April 21, 2008

I really wanted to get a haircut today but the Salon is closed because it's another one of those every-other-week holidays in Brazil where everything is shut down. It's almost always a holiday here. Some months have two or three holidays per week. It makes going to the post office and getting haircuts difficult but oh well. I'm pretty sure Brazil will never change. The constant manifestations of laziness by this country are so conspicuous I almost kind of respect it now. I didn't at all before. I mean, yes, we have our Presidents Days and Veterans Days, but the holidays that Brazil shuts down would be the US equivalent of Arbor Day or something like that. They're all taken very seriously. It's so lazy it's amazing. The day I watched a man walk out of his house with a bag of garbage and walk it across the street to a field and light it all on fire and then walk back to his house and go inside, I've had a deep respect for the Brazilian people.
I've enjoyed my first wek with Elder Turner. He is a nice guy. He is from the same group as Elder Maughan, and he is a lot like him. They have the same EFY CDs, they say the same little Mormon swear words, they are both kind of nerdy. It's a nice momento of Maughan. It's nice to be with an American again. I was a little nervous, I've been used to Brazilians. I actually prefer Brazilan companions because I can improve my Portuguese but whatever. A new companionship showed up here so we have six now. The new Elders live in a different house. We had to divide what was my area (the north an west of the city) and give them the north because that's where they live and they don't have bikes, so it's more practical. The problem is that's where almost all our investigators were before. So this week has been all about finding new people to teach and we haven't done a very good job of doing that.
Turner is all bummed this week because the people we've taught haven't been very receptive and we didn't bring hardly anyone to church. I don't understand why Missionaries are so negative. They get upset over the smallest things, and it's all about numbers. It makes me sad because I'm often being made to feel like I'm wasting my time if I'm not bringing good numbers every week. I always try to stay positive though. It's been one of my goals in the Mission to follow President Hinckleys council and not be a pickle sucker, as he said. Meaning people who love to suck sour pickles and they say sour things and think sour thoughts and depress you. This Mission is full of pickle suckers. So I keep a happy face and tell my companion everyday (literally it's been every single day since he's gotten here) not to worry, everything will work out.
Anyways, the good news is that I get to talk toyou guys soon! Three weeks now right? May 11th I think. We might just have you guys call our ell phone so we can stay a home. Tha will be fun. It'll be Sunday, so let me know what hou works for everyone. Will you be in California for Gpa's Birthday? I think thats what you said. Oh man, I'm excited.
I bought a box that I want to fill with candy and chocolate and send you guys but I was thinking that maybe I shouldn't because of Dad's diabetes stuff. What do you think, Pop? Is it worth it? I understand if it's not. I'd prefer to not be responsible for killing you with candy. Let me know.
I was on the edge of my seat just reading about that Suns game! Sounds like it was incredible. Don't get down about the loss. Even if we never ever win a championship we'll at least go down as the team that gave the world the most exciting basketball ever. Although a trophy would still be nice. Keep me updated on games 2 and 3 and 4 if it happens before next Monday. Momma I will be praying for your low blood pressure during this week with the elevator going in. Michelle, I'm not sure why I didn't mention this first but the bacon flavored chocolate sounds AMAZING!!!SEND IT IMMEDIATELY. Speaking of haunted houses, there is a haunted house in the mission that my old companion Elder Redd is living in right now. I want to go there. There is a big heart-shaped bathtub in it. Lex, WRITE ME BACK!!!!
I don' have my camera with me today, but I do have some pictures on it. I'll send them next week. I love you guys so much. I miss you. If you want to, pray for my happiness. I need it. I wouldn't usually ask, but I'm feeing like I should. I'm keeping a happy face, I really am. You can help, I promise. Have a great day and week! Jordan
PS: I've been hearing from some Brazilians that Obama is winning these days? Is that true? Ohhhhhhh man.

April 15, 2008

I think as long as we're in the playoffs, I'm happy. It doesn't matter where we're ranked. If we don't make it then I'll be sad, of course. To be honest, I'm much more concerned about next season. I don't mean to be selfish but I will be home for the Finals of next season, so...yeah. I want us to win it all this year as well of course. As soon as there can be (at least) a two-peat. Thanks for the info, Dad. Keep me updated.
I'm not being transferred today but Elder C Nunes and Elder Santos are. Elder C Nunes has been complaining a lot lately that he's getting fat and now he's going to the jungle where it is never below 100 degrees with thick humidity, so he's pretty happy. Santos, who is also getting fat, is going to an area where there is a McDonald's near his house, so I don't think he has a chance. I've been getting fatter myself. There's no avoiding it here. I got skinny in Aguas Lindas. I weigh 80 kilos now. Almost what I weighed when I left the CTM, which was two months of eating candy all day. I and Elder McAllister will stay here and my new companion will be Elder Turner, an American. I prefer Brazilian companions but I hear Turner is a good guy. McAllister's new companion will be this really black Brazilian guy named Elder Santana. There will also be one more dupla added to our area, making six missionaries overall. The new dupla will take half of what was my area. So I have a much smaller area now. That will be good. We need to grow quickly here.
Our Branch is lacking 4 full tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders to become a Ward. That's all. Our Stake is lacking 1 ward to be divided into a new district, which would quickly become another stake because there would already be enough members. The Temple district is lacking 1 Stake to qualify for a Temple. So you can see how much potentially lies in our small branch here. Unfortunately worthy men who stay strong in the Church and pay their tithing aren't easy to come by. We have an abundance of women but Satan is attacking the necessities.
I'm excited for transfer day! It's fun if you're not being transferred. I'l get to go to the bus station and pick up packages and letters and see Valentine and Day and Maughan and everyone. Always a good time. PLUS, Turner is coming into Brasilia from Palmas which is 13 hours away so I'll most likely once again be staying in Asa Norte for the night waiting for him to arrive, and that means I get to eat at McDonald's )!)!)!)!YEAH!! I'm pretty excited.
OK time's running out on the computer. I must go. I hope all's well at home. I'm so happy Zach is back home now. I'll be sure to send him a letter right away. I didn't know where to send one before. He would be riding Bulls, that _______. I'm glad you guys got to see Christian as well. I'd like to hear from him. And it's always a good time seeing Tim. I miss everyone, they say the Mission blesses the lives of your loved ones.

Lots of Love. Have a great week!

April 7, 2008

I'd like to point out Momma's mentioning of President Updorf in her email. I agree that his talk was the best of Sunday morning, and in my opinion perhaps the best of the whole conference. I love it when he talks about ZE FAZALAND! To be honest I just can't decide which talk was my favorite. I think that if any one talk was missing it wouldn't have been the same experience. Every talk is just as it should be, at the right time. They were all wonderful. I loved conference so much. It was such an honor to sustain the First Presidency, and the Twelve with Elder Christofferson (whose granddaughter like totally made out with Elder Days friend, like seriously), and President Aidukaitis who was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. That is a blessing. I've loved so much of what he's had to say in the last ten months and now I'll have the chance to hear him speak every once in a while at conference.
Let me just take a moment to say how much I love the men in the First Presidency and the Twelve. They are the anchor of my faith. I appreciate each one of them. Everyone seems to have a favorite Apostle but I can't see it that way. Like President Packer said, they are all ordinary men who, as a quorum, are a power. I don't know any of them personally so I can't fairly say I like one guy over another, I love them all. They are all examples to me and I hope that none of us will take for granted the fact that we have them and their words. Elder Holland mentioned in his talk that he had personally seen the mantle of the prophet fall upon President Monson. As I watched, especially at the very end I saw and felt that he is a prophet as well. When I get home, I don't ever plan on missing a session of conference if I can help it. In person I mean. After meeting soooo many faithful Brazilians who would give almost anything to be there in person, I can't help but recognize the blessing of being only a days drive away. So, that will be my reason to go to Utah twice a year. More than that I don't know if I could handle that. Maybe three. I don't know. Michelle you'll need to come home and visit a lot.
As much as I wished I could have been there, we had a good time here. A whole bus full of people from the branch going together to Brasilia. It was so much fun. NONE of our investigators went. We had all these people lined up and ready to go on Friday, and when the time came they got lazy. Such is life. Especially in Brazil. No one wants to do anything. I guess if we can't get anyone to give up three hours and go to church, we can't expect them to give up a whole weekend and go to conference. I get sad because I know if they'll just go they'll enjoy it but, oh well. You guys got to sit next to a Japanese woman so I'm happy.
I go. I need time to write a few more emails. There isn't much else to write anyways. Conference is wonderful. I get caught away. I hope all is well at home. Sorry about he BMW, Momma. I haven't gotten any packages yet. I got two letters today, one from Elder Fagan in Belem and one from my Russian friend Yana. That was really great. I'm still awaiting your letters and packages though. Maybe if you write "deliver despite strike" on the envelope the Brazilians will bring me my mail.
Who knows. I'll let you know as soon as I get them. I'll probably get them on transfer day next Tuesday because more than likely at least one of us will be leaving and I'll have to go to the Bus station where the packages are. Which reminds me, don't send anything else to my apartment address here. I might be leaving. Hope not. But still. Pray for me that I can stay here for the next 14 months. The last thing I want to do is move again. I hope I didn't just curse myself by saying that.

I LOVE YOU! Jordan

March 31, 2008

THE letter is all written and in it's envelope and I'm going to send it priority tomorrow. I've been sending letters priority lately because it's only like 60 cents more so, whatever. Let me know if it really gets there that much faster than usual.
Dad, your Aloha Airlines story is one of true heartbreak. I could feel the pain. I'm sorry it had to happen that way. I can say this much though: YOU ARE A BARGAINER! I know you can get that money back. I've told the tale to many a friend of watching you, in your true element, bring the price of the cobalt down by thousands from the sticker price in a matter of minutes in front of that car salesman. And after hearing about all that business with the people who were trying to rip you off after Michelle's car died in Nevada...I have little doubt you'll be reimbursed in full.
This week I was at our Thursday night activity we always have at church and I took a piece of candy out of my pocket and was about to eat it when this little girl who just HAPPENDED to have had the same kind of candy with her, ran up to me and tried to grab it from me, thinking I stole it from her? She got all crazy on me. I was completely confused. I just stood there with my arm up in the air, guarding my candy, trying to figure out why in the world she was freaking out. I was about to just give it to her when she started crying and ran to her mom. Her mom then came up to me, and asked "Elder Hoon, did you rob this child?" I just shut my eyes and quietly said, no". I tried to patiently explain that it was all just a big misunderstanding. The mom understood, but by then it was too late, a bunch of women from the branch were already staring at me. The little girl still hates me.
I hope that Mom and Lex and Michelle have an AMAZING time at conference. I'm so jealous. I would LOVE to be there. Go to the first session if you can. Everyone go stand on different street corners asking for tickets like I did with JJ and Karl and Brock that one time. Is that what you're planning on doing anyways? Someone always has extra. Seriously, go to the first session. Having the chance to sustain the First Presidency in person would be an honor.
Give my congratulations to Jessica. I'm glad she was able to go out that way. Does she really want to go into the pros? Like ...the WNBA? If so, well, alright! If that's what she wants. Does Crystal still want to be a firefighter? I have some great girl cousins!
Yes, yes I'm coming up on a year. I know. Exciting, right? Really I'm coming up on 10 months to be exact. But it will be a year in no time. It's about the time I should start being given some actual responsibilities. Around 10 or 11 o'clock the sun starts getting hot, so maybe I'll be senior companion soon, maybe district leader, or trainer. Yikes. I'm not very excited about any of that. I'm so complacent in my position of quiet junior companion who just answers questions people have about America and occasionally has a spiritual thought to share.
I hear there was an emergency family meeting about my love life while on the mission. Haha. What sorts of ideas were discussed? Any conclusions? I think I already know what they would be. Was there any filibustering?
Alright time to go. I love you guys. I don't know how I feel closer to you more now than I ever have, but I do. Blessings of the mission, right? Have a fantastic time at conference. I'll be watching from a stake center in Brasilia. It'll be fun. We'll have a bus full of members and investigators all going together with us. I'll bring a sack lunch (with NO candy). It'll be a good time. Conference is like Christmas to me now. Is that the dorkiest missionary thing I've ever said? Yikes. OK.
Lots of Love,

March 24, 2008

Well, the internet went out for the second time in one hour at the internet cafe riiiiight as I was finishing my e-mail to you guys. It didn't come back so we left and I asked Tokinho (the guy who owns the building we live in and the pizzaria done below and gives us free food sometimes and won't get baptized for some reason but aleady lives all the commandments and loves Mormons) if I could use his computer really fast just to tell you guys HOPPY EASTER!! They do have Easter here in Brazil. It's called Pascoa and there is no easter bunny, but there is A LOT of chocolate. All I did at church was eat chocolate. Honestly. All three hours. Amazing.
I'll send a real e-mail next week. But other than that, all's well here. I love you guys. I miss you. Have a wonderful week. Spend plenty of quality time with the Wii and HBO. I know I would. ]
Love, Jordan

March 17, 2008

I just got the best haircut of my life from Antonio at Ass Salon. Sooooo good. So professional. R$7 for a trim, which I appreciate particularly because in my opinion a place that calls itself Ass Salon can charge WHATEVER THE HECK THEY WANT. But no. Very classy.
Lately I've been noticing my widow's peak and how it's gotten a little worse. I hope I'm not bald by the time I get home. Pray for me. Tim tells me he's going bald. Isn't that ironic after all this hair school and getting a job at a fancy Manhattan salon and moving himself up in the hair world? I guess that's just the price you pay. My keyboard is getting all jacked up I don't now what's going on it's typing letters without me doing anything HEY NOW ")")")")")
Alright, uhhhh....about the Wii. I hope everyone is getting so phased by it like I would be. I'm pretty sure all Wii's come with Wii Sports included, so enjoy that. Baseball is fun, bowling is fun. Tennis and Golf are AMAZING. I love it so much. I went pro on golf. Tennis, I don't remember if I went pro but I do remember playing against Tim until 3 or 4 in the morning that week I had a Wii while you guys were on the cruise. Why didn't I go on that cruise? Besides Wii, Tim, Zach and Jonny and I played Goldeneye on the Nintendo '64 constantly that week. I had 22 kills one time. True story. Ask Hajax.
Momma, I'm glad you think I'm going to be a good Dad someday. That's all I really want out of life, my baldness helps me feel more like a Dad. I'm always trying to have an eternal perspective and stay focused on the mission. It's important to think that way. I'm sure President would counsel me in the same way.
We had zone conference last Thursday and I did talk to Sister A about feet. She told me it sounded exactly like something President had a few years ago. He ultimately had to get operated on. She told me for now I should continue taking the Celebrex or take a lot of Advil. She suggested taking four 200mg pills every four hours. That seems like alot, but she seems to be pretty sure about it. By the way I need more Advil, I'm almost out. Here you can only buy it in Brasilia and I don't want to have to leave my area just for that. Nor do I want to leave my area to go to the doctor, but I'm allowed if I want. Sister says if I go then most likely the doctor will tell me I'll need to get it operated on. I'm not sure what to do. The thing is it doesn't hurt ALL the time. But apparently that's how it was with President. I don't
know. If it gets worse I'll set up an appointment to see the doctor but until then.... meh. Talk to Dr. Allen about it. The pediatrist? Ask him about this whole thing. In my right foot it kind of feels like a little ball (or bump) in the ball of my foot. I can't walk on it for very long. On the bike it holds up pretty well though. When I get home and take my shoes off...yikes. In my left foot the pain is more in the arch and there doesn't seem to be any bump but there is a sharp pain when I push on the tenden of my big toe. If I need to get a new pair of insoles, go ahead and order them. Gay.
I'm really excited to get a package from Dad. I know its gonna be tight. I got your two packages this week. THANK YOU, THANK YOU. The Brazilians get SO phased by the oatmeal creme pies and swiss cake rolls. They say thank you. Also, thank you for reminding me that Honey Bunches Of Oats exist. Forgot!
You don't need to worry about sending me a coat right now. It's still the rainy season, next will be the sunny season. Remember, Brazil only has the two. They tell me winter isn't very cold here. It was cold in Sao Paulo but that's farther south. If you want, you can send me a new sweater. Unfortunately, the two I got ended up leaving little black fuzzies on my white shirts that are a drag to clean off. I'm sad because they were both extemely comfortable and kept me really warm. I usually have to take it off eventually when the clouds go away in the afternoon, and then I'm left with a dirty shirt. So try to find me one that first and foremost won't leave stuff on a white shirt. It can be really really cheap and ugly and plain, I don't care. Just mremember we're not allowed to have designs.
I'm sorry, I feel like I'm just asking for things. I just don't have anything to report. Thank you for the Ensigns. They are wonderful. I have to ask for one more thing...Please send me the March Ensign that is all about Jesus Christ. President talked about it at zone conference and gave this whole lesson on the Atonement that was just incredible and he said that the mission has ordered a thousand copies of that Liahona (Ensign) to give to the missionaries to give to investigators. I want to read all those articles in English. It sounds amazing. I hope you guys are reading it too.
I'm sure I'll think of a bunch of stuff to say as soon as I get up and leave but MOST IMPORTANTLY I love you guys and miss you guys everyday. Thanks to Dad for the letter, I got it last Monday. It was so long and full it made me feel close to home. Wonderful. Everyone have a good week and tell Josie she was in my dream last night up on her top step with a MACHINE GUN in her paws. Amazing. TCHAU. Jordan

March 10, 2008

Well I'm happy for Brett Favre. He threw in the towel the way a true football player should. Old, beaten, destroyed, last play was an interception, sitting on the bedside staring at the floor as he tells his wife he "just doesn't have it in him anymore". That's every bit as good as Jerome Bettis' retirement, which I think most people would agree could probably go down as about the most picture perfect retirement in the history of sports. Farve should grow a giant beard and be given a box at every NFL stadium in the country for whenever he wants to watch a game, with a fixed camera on his chair.
More than that, I'm jealous of anyone who lives on the Mississippi coast. I want to go back there. What do you think, Dad? Biloxi for a weekend when I get back?
I think you guys will like golf on the Wii more than bowling. I didn't really get the bowling down, it seemed a little difficult. I can't use Tim Wandrey's patented guaranted-strike-everytime move unless it's in real life. Boohoo. Regardless, be sure I'll be jealous of this wii-ness for the next 15 months. Soon to be 14, right? Then 13... then a year. Alright I'm not gonna count down again.
Do you think you guys could pull a Prince Harry on me and get me out of here because it's too big a liability? I do hold the future of the Hoon name, you know.
I hope I can at least get my ballot in time to vote. Is there any chance that wouldn't happen? I doubt it. I at least need a little information about the candidates and what is up with their policies in these modern times. I really only studied Guiliani and now that smooth talkin' New Yorker is long gone. I meant to read Obama's books but I was lazy. Help me out here. Some Brazilians are starting to know more about what's up with the election than I am.
I got Jessica's Christmas book today in a package. It's amazing. Someone text her or call or tell her I said thank you a hundred times and that I will write her back.
Alright, I'm out of time on here. I can't wait for more letters and packages. I also got Grandma D's letter today, tell her thank you. Tell her and Gpa that I love them. How is Grandpa lately? I hope he's well. I pray for them. You guys too. Everyday. I love you. Jordan
Ps: Chelsea told me D'Antoni said we won't even make the playoffs!?!? What in the world?? Is he saying otherwise now with that win against the Spurs? Goodness Gracious.