October 21, 2008

I don't really have time to say much this week. I'm sorry. My p-days are so hectic now. I'm running around the whole day. But there isn't a whole lot to say about this week anyways. The pictures show the highlights. The woman and the girl in the picture of Carlos' Baptism (his Mom and Sister) will be Baptized this Saturday. Unfortunately they couldn't be Baptized with Carlos this week because they both had emergency female situations that I'm not familiar with. Hildeni (the Mom) said that she was frustrated with her Church and had been praying for days for God to show her another path, and we showed up. The Church is true.
I love you, family. I promise I'll have more to write next week.
Love, Jordan
ps: pictures are here......
#1 Our beautiful Chapel in Planaltina
#2 Hildeni, Carla, Carlos (who was baptized this Sunday!)
#3 Me with my American flag that Eli sent me in the mail
#4 Me with Valentine
#5 Me with Elder Leite (who wanted me to tell you guys thank you very, very much for sending so many nice things to a poor Brazilian who you don't even know)
#6 Me with the second Counselor CHILLING at Presidente's house before lunch on Sunday

October 14, 2008

Worry not, Mother, I'm being very well fed. There's a restaurant in Planaltina that gives a discount to the Missionaries. We eat there a few times a week. It's amazing food. There is a thing called "churrasco" (shoo-ha-sko) here in Brazil that I'm going to miss so so SO much when I leave. It's like barbeque, only better. Dave Larson and President Cardon certainly know what's up. I'll have to eat at the Rodizio Grill a lot next summer. I imagine the food will be one of the hardest things to part with when I come home. But it'll be nice to be back in a place where there is more variety and food is less expensive. A donut in Brazil is 8 reais, or 4 dollars.
I love fast Sunday. I went to two Sacrament meetings this last week and bore my testimony both times. I have no idea how I'm ever going to speak in Church if it's not in Portuguese.
I would give you guys a synopsis of my daily life if it wasn't so unexciting. People think missionary work is all miracles and incredible spiritual experiences--and that is some of it--but there is a lot of walking from place to place and asking for directions and people not being home and, in my area, a LOT of dirt and mud. So I try to only mention interesting things in my e-mails. And I realize those things aren't always that interesting.
Oh here's something. this week the four of us were all asleep in our room at about midnight when a rock come flying through our window and got glass all over our beds. Nobody was hurt, but it startled the H out of me. Satan doesn't want the missionaries to sleep well. The next day we talked to a 16 year old kid walking down the street and invited him to go to church. He went, and liked it a lot, and now he is going to get baptized next week. I'm pretty excited. We're hoping his Mom and Sister get baptized the next week.
I have to say, I'm so honored to be in Planaltina. I've been here on and off in my mission, and this is where I want to stay until I'm done. We need to work hard and baptize a lot of people here. Particularly men. We need 60 tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders in the Planaltina District to have a Stake. The District President, Leandro (who was also one of President Cardon's missionaries and one of President Aidukaitis' companions), was telling me on Sunday that he was talking to Pres. Aidukaitis on the computer and he had mentioned that President Monson sent him (Pres. Aidukaitis) a message asking "How's Planaltina?" President Monson is very aware of Planaltina and the fact that a Temple in Brasilia (which would serve the entire interior of Brazil) depends on this District. There are currently 11 Stakes in and around Brasilia. We need 12 to qualify for a Temple. It all depends on Planaltina. It all depends on 60 men. If only the world knew how important this is and how close we are! The PROPHET wants a Temple here, GOD wants a Temple here. There is no Mission President in the world more closely watched than President Pizzirani.
As it turns out, I've got even less time to work here than I thought. I found out this week that my last transfer is going to be a 5 week transfer. So I'll be coming home on May 27, 2009. A week earlier. That can be good news and bad news. Sometimes I'm REALLY excited to go home. Sometimes I'm kind of bummed.
Dad, I'm not able to use any websites besides myldsmail and the Church site for missionary referrals. So I'm not able to do the voting online thing. Today I sent you back the form you sent me to get ready to vote. As soon as you can, send me the ballot at my apartment address and I'll send it back priority.
I'm glad to hear the Stock Market is slowly repairing itself. Is everyone poor now in the US? All I hear from people here is that everything is in ruin in the States. I don't know what's going on. I hope I can find work when I get home. At least for now I have a good job.

I love you family, I miss you always, Jordan

October 7, 2008

This week I got all four boxes that you guys sent. Thank you so much. Particularly the shirts, I was needing new shirts very badly. The food mostly goes to the Brazilians. (I only have Brazilians in my district!) A can of Pringles is 10 reais here, which is out of control crazy, so they are appreciative very much. For the abundance of peanut butter M&M's too. Give thanks to Gma & Gpa Hoon as well. I think I will write them a letter today. Summer 2009 is going to be so great with them in AZ. I'm excited.
I watched all four regular sessions of Conference in Portuguese for the first time in my life. It was good but sometimes the translator would speak really fast and it was hard to understand, and I missed so much hearing the voices of the First Presidency and the Twelve. I have to hear Uchtdorf talking about the FATHALAND in his own voice! It's just not the same.
President Aidukaitis' talk was so great. I felt like I was in zone conference. I was so happy to see him. I loved what he said about people who don't read the Book of Mormon: "Not reading the Book of Mormon is like getting a letter from your father and not even opening the envelope". Classic. I love that man.
He told me the story of his father's conversion once in an interview. He mentioned that he still keeps in touch with the son of the missionary that baptized his father, who lives in Salt Lake City. President Aidukaitis' father was that missionary's only baptism in three years of missionary service. He returned home feeling like he hadn't done anything and that his mission had been served in vain because he discovered that that one baptism had fallen away from the Church a short time after his baptism and supposedly that was that. However, years later another missionary showed up at Antony Aidukaitis' house and invited him to repent and come back to church. He did, and never again fell away. From that there has come two Mission Presidents (Brasilia, and the other one in Salvador), a Stake President and now one General Authority. Think of how many people have come from their service, and the service of the people whose lives were changed because of them, and their posterity. Incredible!!
The talk that was most touching to me was Jeffrey R Holland's talk about the Ministry of Angels. As he spoke about how there are Celestial Angels and Mortal Angels it made me remember all the ways I've been helped in my life. As I fasted and prayed to receive answers to questions in my life at Conference, I felt comfort and increased faith that I would truly find what I was seeking. I can testify that I received a very clear response to a question I had from the Prophet himself, in his last talk on Sunday afternoon. It was wonderful. As always, as soon as possible, please send the Ensign of this Conference. I'm dying to re-read everything!!
I miss you guys more than ever. I can't wait to see you again. I hope you know how fast the next 8 months is going to pass. We'll be talking on the phone in just two and a half months. Exciting!!
Lots of love,

September 30, 2008

The rumor around the mission is that ELDER MARCOS A. AIDUKAITIS is going to be speaking at the Saturday morning session of Conference this weekend. As AMAZING as that would be, I accept that it's only a rumor and probably isn't true. Although I do think he'll speak, I just don't know which session. There was another man called to the First Quorum of the Seventy whose name is Godoy (I forget his first name), who was companions with President Aidukaitis in their Mission. Look for him to speak as well. I'm hoping to hear one of the two. Dad, I don't know how you give your Priesthood lessons knowing that Wilford Cardon is there. I wouldn't be able to handle it. I have such incredible respect for him. I have no idea how I'm going to shake his hand or give him a hug or whatever when I get home in what is now 8 months.
Being a Trainer and District Leader is pretty legit. I was all worried about it but it's all good now. I had my first District Meeting yesterday and it all worked out just fine. My Zone Leader is Elder Camacho who is a nice guy, he helps me a lot. Elder Day (who is now an Assistant) did a trade with my companion while I worked with Elder Wright, one of the other Assistants. That helped me so much. I'm learning all kinds of things. It's great. I'm so grateful for all of these wonderful missionaries who help me.
My "son" is Elder Cosme. A Brazilian from Fortaleza, which is in the northeast of Brazil. He speaks extremely fast so I'm trying to help him calm down. He's great though. He's adapting well. He's the only member of the Church in his family and is EXTREMELY happy to be on a mission. It's so much better training a Brazilian than it would be training an American, I think.
This week was busy. We worked a lot. We have to talk with everyone in the street (ALL fathers with kids and ALL families is our goal) because we started with nothing. We're getting by. We're trying to teach at least 50 people a week. We're finding good people. MEN AND FAMILIES...what we need to have a Temple here. There is another dupla of missionaries here to help us. Elder G Goncalves and Elder Reis. Everyone in my District is Brazilian. There is a dupla of sisters in our District as well, who work in a different city. One of them, Sister Cavalcante, had to go back to Sao Paulo for a few days this week because her Dad died. She watched the funeral and then flew right back and went straight back to work. I interviewed a 15 year old kid to be baptized. That was interesting. I was afraid I would say something that would make him not want to get baptized, but it all worked out. He was baptized. It rained like crazy this week after six months of NO RAIN. There's no asphalt here so we were up to our shins in mud. It was great. Elder Cosme was loving it. We brought an ELECT family to church this week. They loved everything, they already want to be baptized. We just have to help the parents get married first. No one here is married.
We have a somewhat small branch here. There were 60 people at church this week. That's better than some places I've been. My first week in Cabeceiras there were 10 people at Church, including the missionaries. I like it here. We have a great Branch President. I gave a talk in Church this weekend about repentance. My companion had to give a talk too, on his first Sunday in the field! He also had to give the Gospel Principles class. He's a great missionary. Extrememly obedient, and loves to work. It's awesome.
That's all for this week. I'm sorry to hear the economy is in ruin. But good to know Gma D took good care of her money a few months ago. The Lord is responsible for that, without any doubt. I hope things are ok when I get home. I'm gonna need a job. For now, I don't know my apartment address here yet, but I'll be sure to get that to you next week. P DAY IS NOW TUESDAY. President is changing all kinds of things, it'a good though. No pictures yet, but next week!
Keep me updated on my fantasy football team!
I love you family,