June 24, 2008

First, Momma, your questions. I will try to indeed answer ALL of them! Wish me luck. Here I go:
My companion and I are well. Just about all better. The cough always seems to linger but I'm fine. We do have a washing machine and a nice kitchen and two very nice bathrooms with showers and everything. We just got new pans for the kitchen yesterday. You never have to worry about the housing. I know there are a lot of stories about missionaries in foreign countries sleeping on haystacks and concrete slabs in the cold and all that but not here. Sister Aidukaitis (who is now doing well, by the way) has made absolutely sure that the Church takes care of us. Every house has to meet a certain standard and be approved by the mission, and they all have washing machines and refrigerators and fancy things like that. I would say our house is pretty nice compared to other houses in Cabeceiras.
Yesterday at zone conference I saw Elder Valentine and I asked him what he thought we were doing a year ago today in the CTM. He was pretty sure what we were doing. I would tell the stories but they are long. Maybe when I get home. All I know is I was having a good time. On the other hand, I was miserable because I felt like I was dying spiritually and had no idea why I was doing this, but then I was happy because I was with my brothers. I do remember now being kind of sick at the CTM. Not just one, but all three of the sisters in our group were nice enough to give me medicine and take care of me. I haven't written any of them but I should. Yes, Maughan's going home in a week, I can't believe it. Also unbelievable is that Presidente Aidukaitis is leaving. It's the craziest thing ever. I don't know what to expect at all with Presidente Pizzirrani. Everything could change. Or nothing. No one knows. He'll get here next Monday night and Presidente Aidukaitis leaves the very next morning. Just enough time for them to probably go out to dinner with their wives and that's it. Then Presidente will become "Elder Aidukaitis" and it's off to Buenos Aires. Like I said before I'm just glad I'll have the chance to see him speak at conference every so often, read articles of his in the Ensign, continue to learn from his counsel. And even more so when he is an Apostle.
I want to write more about the things he talked about yesterday at zone conference but I think I'll save that for next week. There's a lot. It was like no other discourse I've ever heard. Oh his, or of anyones. Sister Aidukaitis also gave us some really great insight and advice on our futures. It was a really wonderful conference. And not just because of the talks, but because we had all the zones in and around the Districto Federal together. Five zones, about 100 missionaries. Everyone in my group (Day, Barton, Valentine) and five of my six companions. Only Elder C Nunes was missing because he is 13 hours away up in the jungle. That zone will have their conference today. At the end of conference, after lunch, we took pictures and gave hugs to Presidente and Sister. I've gotten two hugs from women in the last year, one from Sister Cardon and one from Sister Aidukaitis.
We had to leave from Cabeceiras Sunday night to get to Brasilia for conference. When we got there, we waited until after midnight (because it was Sunday) and went to MCDONALDS!!!!!! I was freaking out. It as so great. We were a little scared because when we first walked up only the drive-thru was open, but then they told us we didn't need a car to go through. So we stood there in line between the cars in our suits. I got a Big Mac, large fries and Coca-cola, and a gigantic vanilla milkshake with chocolate fudge and sprinkles and all this great stuff. I was dying. It had been six months since I last ate McDonalds. Amazing.
The next day, after conference, we had to wait until 8 PM for the bus to Cabeceiras. So we went to Wal-mart in Cruzeiro. Ten minutes from the bus stop. I ate donuts. I bought cereal. I ate Brazilian food at this place inside the store called Giraffas that was amazing. I developed some pictures. Saw a Modest Mouse music video playing an a TV. I was in the States. If you're at all curious as to why I would get so phased by places like Wal-mart and McDonalds, it's because they are soooo fancy here. Upper class places. And really expensive. A can of Pringles is 8 Reais (or 4 dollars). It's kind of unfair, but it makes me proud to be American, seeing our everyday products looked at as delicacies here. It's interesting at least. Elder Maughan and DaSilva had to wait until late for their bus too so they hung out with us the whole day at Wal-mart and elsewhere. Maughan bought shoes in Brasilia.
Momma, I'm so happy for you that you got your job! I made sure to mention in my prayers that ONCE you got the job, you would do well. I had no doubt. I know you will do a great job. What kind of work did Zach do for you? I hope you paid him well. He's gonna need a lot of $$$$$'s to pay his hospital bills if he keeps wanting to be a bullrider. Not that I don't support him. You should pay him with a giant belt buckle.
So everyone in the family is going foreign, huh? I think that is terrific. Everyone should do that for a while. I got a letter from Grandma Hoon telling me about all this. She said that she and Grandpa probably ought to move to Africa or something. What is Crystal gonna do there in Germany while Jessica is playing basketball? How long will they be there? I hope long enough for me to go see a game. If you can, tell Eris that I wish her the best of luck in Germany as well. What city will she be in? I would love to go to Berlin someday.
Well keep taking care of Gma D. I think it's so funny that this was the first week she has ever been alone in her whole entire life. Poor Grandma. I think she'll get by just fine. Good to know Gpa is doing well in the nursing home now.
How is it that dogs can get stung by scorpions and freak out but cats can eat them and be just fine? Regardless, if Socks ever had a problem like Pebbs did this last week I might have to just fly right on home.
One more thing...tell the Boston Celtics I said congratulations and tell Philadelphia good luck on the new building. Looks nice. Is that Freedonm Tower in NYC coming along well? Oh, more importantly, the Burj Dubai? Has it gone into space yet? Has it fallen over yet? I might want to live there after I get home.
OK family, have a great week. I miss you and I love you.

June 16, 2008

Winter is starting to creep into the nighttime here in the Brazil. It's still hot during the day but at night we keep our big window in our room open and I have to use two blankets. It's great. Every night for the last week or so the moon has been framed perfectly by our window so I stare at it for a good while before I fall asleep. It's beautiful and bright and lights up our room. I think about God, and all the amazing things people have done, and how Lance from Nsync is gay and wanted to go to the moon.
We've still been getting over sicknesses this week so we haven't done much, so once again there's little to update on. Remember that old missionary couple I told you about, the Biglers? Well, one of the members who we spend most of our time with, Max, still keeps in touch with them and mentioned to them that I'm from Mesa. The Biglers have since moved from Tempe to Mesa and asked Max for our phone number at home so they can call you guys. Haha. I'm not sure why. I gave the number to Max so you might be getting a call from Sister Bigler one of these days. That should be interesting. She can tell you all about Cabeceiras.
I'm sorry to hear about Ernie having a stroke, I hope he's doing well. I'll remember him in my prayers. And Tim Russert... that's tragic. I liked him. I'd like to read his book when I get home.
How are the Finals shaping up? Lex tells me it looks like the Celtics are gonna take it. It could be over this week, right? I don't know. I've seen NBA highlights on TV once since I've been n Brazil. In Planaltina. They were showing some of the Spur/Hornets series on the news. I was freaking out. It was game 7 and in the end when the Spurs won I buried my face in my hands and everyone starting laughing at me.
I've been missing Planaltina a lot lately since coming here. I really really miss the people there. They felt like family. That's one of the hardest things about being a missionary. Maybe THE hardest thing. Not only do I have to be away from my real home, but when a new city starts to feel like home, I have to pack up and leave. Again and again. It's not easy. But all's well because I know that no matter what I get to go back home to Mesa and my real family.
Momma, I'll pray for your success in your interview at the lawyers office. I bet you'll get the job and you'll do great. Just study those design shows that only have like 1000 dollars to make a room look legit.
Happy Faza's Day, Dad. I hope you get the most out of that Oregano's gift card. Eat a pizzookie for me. Mmmmm. This lady from the Ward made chocolate chip cookies for us this week. A very rare thing in Brazil. They were amazing. I honestly ate like 20 cookies in five minutes.

I miss you guys and I can't wait to see you again in LESS than a year. I love you.


June 9, 2008

Yeah Cabeceiras has it's strong points. Farming, for one. If there ever was or is another article written about Cabeceiras, I'm sure it had to do with farming as well. I guess that the Church farm that I mentioned is the largest the Church has in the world. There used to be an old missionary couple from Tempe that took care of the farm. The Biglers. Everyone here misses them. When they went home was when the Church started to get weaker and weaker here.
So far as helping with that problem is concerned, I haven't been of much help. I got sick AGAIN and have been in bed for the last week. I've gotten better by now for the most part but my cough is lingering still. It's terrible. My chest hurts. There's no medicine in this city so everyone just keeps trying to give me homemade remedies that do nothing. I've eaten honey, I've eaten leaves, I've put a hot wet towel over my face and breathed slowly, I've put an ice cold rag around my neck, I've tried not talking... and all to no avail. Cough drops are the only things that help and that's only temporary. Nothing can seem to get this cough out of my throat.
There isn't much else to update, we did nothing this week. Yes, Sister Aidukaitis is still in the hospital. President told me yesterday she's had some pretty bad migraines. We should all pray for her to get better before they move.
So I suppose now is the time I need to be learning more about Obama and McCain. The thing is, I want somewhat partisan opinions. I wish I would have read their books. Dad, I know you can give me good non-partisan info on both of them, and you should. I'm sure I'll get plenty proBama talk from Chelsea. If there is a McCain supporter in the house, or nearby, have them give me their opinion of why he would be the better choice. I really do not want to make an uninformed vote. And I'll be mad at myself if I don't vote at all.
Alright, is that all? I think that's all. Well, Cabeceiras is without a doubt the worst area of my mission so far. As a city, it's not so bad. It's quiet and peaceful. But as a missionary... frankly I don't understand why President doesn't close this area. I'm doing my best to keep my head up though. And not cough too much. I get to go eat at a really good restaurant for free right now so that's something to be happy about. Also, my Portuguese is improving again after a transfer of only speaking English with Turner and McAllister. That's a good thing. I need to remember to count my blessings.
I have a request... some time ago when my foot pain was getting to the point where Sister said I would have to get surgery, I mentioned it to you guys, and within a week it was gone. I don't know for sure but I believe it was your prayers that made that happen. So I ask, please pray that my cough may go away. Or at least be eased.

I love you family. I'll see you in ONE YEAR!


June 4, 2008


TODAY I PUT THE 365th STICKER ON JORDAN'S MISSION POSTER!!!! We are so proud of you Elder Hoon. Keep up the good work.....Love, MOMMA

June 3, 2008

Well first off, let me just say that it won't do much good for me to give my new address because I live so far in the country. I'm three hours away from Brasilia. So if a letter or a package to go from Sao Paulo, and then Brasilia, and then Cabeceiras, it will end up taking the whole transfer. Just send to the mission address and I'll pick things up at zone conference and at transfer day. This is a 5 week transfer, and we now only have four weeks left. So I can wait a little while. I did get two boxes from Mom and Dad and one from Gpa and Gma Hoon. Tell them thank you so much. I like how my two diabetic grandparents send me boxes full of candy and chocolate. I eat half of it and use the other half to get members to burn me CDs and come teach with us and that kind of thing.
Though I appreciated all I got in the packages, I must say what I cherish the most is the story of our family history that Dad wrote and sent. Thank you so so much for that, Dad. I loved reading that. I read it often. I had never known about Grandpa living in a rich guys mansion, and how much his mother cared about him and wanted him to have success. Both Goldie and Jennison's lives are so interesting. My favorite part of the whole story is the last 25 years or so of Jennison's life and how simple and peaceful it was. I feel connected to that. I love feeling a connection to my ancestors.
REMEMBER WHAT WE NEED TO DO WITH ALL THIS! Guys, the new familysearch.org is apparently very easy to use and we need to put to use the incredible blessing of the THREE new temples we will have near us soon (not to mention the one beautiful temple we already have in our very own city), and do the work for each and every one of these people. I cannot think of anything more important we can do for our loved ones.
I want so badly to go back to the Temple. Especially after having the chance to watch the dedication of the Curitiba Temple by satellite. It was a really wonderful experience. President Monson's dedicatory prayer was beautiful. Elder Nelson was there as well and he gave a good talk. I noticed just before the little cornerstone ceremony outside, President Monson asked the Temple Presidency to go up to the Celestial room. And they stayed there until after the dedicatory prayer. I thought of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery's experience in Kirtland when the Temple was accepted. I imagine a similar acceptance must happen with each Temple Presidency at a dedication, and that is why they go to the Celestial room. Ask Grandma D about that for me.
So Cabeceiras is a nice town. It's really small. Farming town. But I can hang. The air is fresh and the people are friendly. There are about three thousand people, and maybe two thousand have already heard the messages from the missionaries. That makes things a little difficult because those who declined (which is most) did so because they are Catholic and don't want any changes. They just want to work on the farm during the week to get enough money to buy meat and beer for the weekend and that's that. Nothing more. It's difficult. The Church is very weak here. There is a frequency of maybe 25 people that go to sacrament meeting each week. The best of the Church here is a 500 or so acre farm it has outside the city. What grows there helps a lot of people around the world I imagine.
So we spend a lot of time at member's houses. Partly to get people more excited about church, and partly because there isn't much else to do. I like it here though. We have a nice big house for some reason. My companion is a nice guy. He's the only Brazilian I know who loves Weezer. He's always singing. I was sick when I first got here. I'm doing better but now Elder Saldanha is sick. I feel bad.
It was wonderful to see President Monson last night! We watched the dedication on Sunday morning and then last night was the "Big Family Night with the Prophet" as it was called. It wasn't anything Pres. Aidukaitis put together (and no he hasn't been released yet... July 1 he leaves). Brasilia is pretty close to Curitiba and a President of the Church has never visited Brasilia so I guess it just seemed like a good idea. I'm hoping that President Aidukaitis and President Monson went around looking at land to build a Temple. Any day now I'm expecting an announcement.
I can't think of anything else but I feel like I had a lot more things to say. Oh well I'll remember things throughout the week. I'm glad all is well at home. I love you guys. Have a great week.
Love, Jordan

May 27, 2008


Hawaii was a good time, huh? I'm glad my absence allows for such vacations. I'm happy for Dad. Skydiving is for men. So is swimming with dolphins. I have to say though I wouldn't be so much afraid of them eating me as I would be of them poking me with their noses. That seems terrifying. There is a river somewhere in our mission that has little pink dolphins apparently.
I will not be going there this transfer, but I will indeed be transferred. I'm going to a city called Cabeceiras, which means head trees. I guess it's a really small town and everyone has problems with the law of chastity and drinking. Even the members of the Church. Valentine has been there while I've been in Planaltina. My new companion will be Elder Saldanha, a Brazilian.
I'll still be somewhat close to the DF, which is good because President Monson is coming to Brasilia on June 2 and the missionaries nearby can all go. The poor missionaries up in the jungle who are 13 hours away cannot. It will be next Monday that we'll go see him speak. A President of the Church has never come to Brasilia. It's so exciting. And it's on p day. What could be better?
I'll let you guys know how all this transfer business works out next week. I'm glad everyone had a fun vacation. I miss you and I love you more than ever.

May 19, 2008

I've learned that there is something really special about President Cardon. (Sorry, I can't call him Brother Cardon). His missionaries were a special group, and he's done a lot of good for the Church. Apparently it was him who designed the plan that became the Perpetual Education Fund which the Church bought from him. President Aidukaitis tells us that in his mission, while Cardon was the Mission President, there were missionaries who had the "ministry of angels". They baptized a LOT of people. I've heard stories of entire congregations of other churches being baptized in their mission. Something like seven of the Mission Presidents in Brazil right now were missionaries of President Cardon's. As well as other Bishops, Stake Presidents, Patriarchs, Area Seventies. Plus this Jet Blue guy. President Pizzirani (soon to be my new Mission President) was a bishop in Sao Paulo during President Cardon's era. I don't know if this is true but apparently they, that mission, were responsible for compiling much of what is now Preach My Gospel. He's friends with a lot of the Apostles. And I just remember him walking down the halls of our ward building when I was younger, thinking he had kind of a funny face. Nothing more. Having no idea what he'd done for the Kingdom of God, and having no idea that one of his Brazilian missionaries would someday be a man who would help me so much!
I spent this week in a different city on a trade with Elder Macdonald again. Did I mention him before? He's from Washington. He's been to Bowen Island. We spent some time in a place called Vale do Amanhecer where there is a community of people who have their own religion. It's amazing. All the men wear capes and the women wear long dresses and there is a big lake with a floating pyramid in the middle of it. They have a temple and everything. There is a gigantic "GOD SAVES" written on a mountainside in the city. In their temple they have a gigantic painting of their prophetess and her eyes are rolled into the back of her head and they give you a little Buddha statue if you go through the whole temple. I'd like to take you guys back there. What do you think?
Alright, I'm out of time and the barbecue place across the steet is looking really good. I love you guys. I'm praying for Gpa D. And I'll be sure to take every opportunty I have when the big 100 watt light bulb goes off over my head, Dad. You do too! Keep everyone up on that.

May 12, 2008

Well, once again, I wrote you guys a nice little e-mail and then my time promptly ran out on the computer and it shut down and I lost it all. But I didn't have much to say anyways, considering I said most of what's been in my head yesterday. More than anything I just wanted to say that it was so great talking to you guys. It's like we've never been apart. That is a great blessing!!
I'm so glad Gpa Hoon liked my letter. I meant what I wrote. Also, tell Grandma D that I love her and that she is in my prayers.
AND!!!!! HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY EVER TO DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD. 51 and only a few gray hairs. Everyone should celebrate. Send me pictures soon from the California festivities.
I've included a picture from the baptism last night. It was so great. I love you guys and I still feel closer to you than ever. Have a wonderful week.

ps: in your face Avery Johnson!!!

May 5, 2008

Wait a minute now, did I have any kind of accent when I talked to you guys on Christmas? I don't think I did. I don't think I will this time either. I think the whole accent thing is a lie. At least for missionaries in Brazil. Maybe if you go to Mexico it's not. But here, every American I know speaks like an American from what I can tell. Missionaries who claim to have accents are just trying to be cool. There were people at the CTM saying they were getting an accent. It's a joke.
Last night was pretty funny. I was sitting in a hammock talking to Turner and then the cell phone rings and it's Dad! I knew you guys would call, haha. I'm glad everything is all worked out. It will be 2p our time. I'm excited. Apparently you guys will be in California? I guess I"ll find all this out on the phone call this Sunday.
I hear it's all over for the Sun's. Goodness gracious. We get Shaq for the purpose of taking down Tim Duncan and then they go and destroy us in the first round. I guess I'm not that sad about it. After all, I didn't watch any of the games this season. I really don't know what's up. They need this time to work out the kinks because next season I'll be home for the Finals, and we're going all the way. Keep me updated on what keeps happening in the playoffs.
Alright that's all. I'll save the rest for the phone call! Here's pictures. Have a great week family, I love you. Jordan