April 21, 2009

I have one suit now. I've gotten rid of almost everything. Actually, there was a member in one of my areas that took one of my suits and had it tailored to fit him without saying anything to me. Brazilians...
The suit I currently have will work just fine for Sacrament meeting the Sunday I get back. I'll get it cleaned before I come home.
Thanks for the itinerary info. I read it out loud to my companion and he appreciated it very much. He still has a year and a half left:) You said I leave at 6pm from Brasilia and get into Sao Paulo at 7:45pm, but I think those times are actually am, not pm. Since I've been here, the missionaries have always left early eeeaaarly in the morning Tuesday morning and then spent the day waiting in the Sao Paulo airport. Although if it were nighttime that would be fine with me. However morning would also be good because the plan, apparently, is to have a van from the CTM come pick us up from the airport and take us to the Sao Paulo temple where we would do one session there and then come back to the airport to catch our flight home that night. I don't know if that's true or not or if that would even work, but it sounds nice. I miss the temple.
Regardless of whatever we're busy doing the week I get home, please leave me a little bit of time to go to the temple.
I haven't gotten my secret special package yet but I'm hoping I will this Thursday at zone conference. I haven't gotten the special letter with the pictures of Mom's "changes in appearance" either. My guess is short hair? Fine by me. Anything to make me feel less self-conscious about my male pattern baldness. If you want to say "widow's peak" in Portuguese you say "entrada", which means entrance.
I'm pretty excited about how things are going in our area. We're having a breakthrough with member missionary work. Things are going as planned. We're dedicating most of our time to visiting the members, teaching them, challenging them in simple and easy ways to be the "finders". Little by little we're having results. If this is the last thing I can do in my mission, good then. Our Branch President told us that we're the only missionaries that have ever come to this area that have given an honest and persistent effort to working well with the members and administering the teachings of the gospel through the members, which is how the leadership of the Church wants it done. I know we're doing something good, even though it's not what the majority of missionaries do here. Unfortunately, there are a lot of missionaries that rejoice only in numbers and do everything for the wrong reason and have completely the wrong vision. It makes me so sad. I love this mission! I feel the Spirit tell me so strongly and so peacefully that the way we're doing things here is the way God wants it done. I'll need to keep in touch with the Branch President and Branch Mission Leader after I leave to see how things turn out here.
That's all for this week. Oh, I saw Elder Cosme last Monday on transfer day. He finally came back from the jungle. He cried when he saw me. I saw Elder Chacon too, but didn't manage to get a picture with both of my kids like I wanted. Oh well.

Have a great week! I'll get you the phone call number next week. I love you.

ps: Thanks for the stories, Dad! They're great, and they'll for sure come in handy.

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