Monday, March 5, 2012

"I'm going to die in Brasil--it will be AWESOME!!!" Letter Home 3/5/2012

Dear Mom,
Elder Whetstone says that after the last dot gets filled in it usually takes 2 weeks for you to leave.  Its crazy to think I will be leaving in about 4 weeks though.  I had a run in with a Brazilian this week and I can't understand Portuguese at all >.>.  I'm going to die in Brasil with the Heat and the language and the sickness.  It's going to be awesome!
     We will see if I have room in my bag/weight available.  I might just have to do without Peanut butter, but I don't know if I could survive without PB and J!  Ana Pinheiro made me Rice and Beans Brazilian style and I can't wait to be eating that every day.  It's really yummy ^^
     Hey I'm not going to complain if Spencer wants to study economics.  Maybe we can start up our own Financial Firm or something like that.  I think it would be a lot of fun to work with Spencer on research projects and the like.  We'll see if he really likes it or not, although if you love history and math then it usually works out pretty well.  I'll make sure to keep Sherry in my prayers this week for her auditions.  I'm sure everything will be ok this weekend with Preston and Sherry.  I'm still chuckling inside that Sherry is bringing a boy home though :P, and ANOTHER pre-mi at that.  ;)
     I have been following instructions and taking pictures!  I just can't send them home on these computers yet.
     It was really hot yesterday, speaking of the weather.  It was in the high 80's low 90's.  I can't imagine spending Summer here, Winter is hot enough for me :P.
     We got transfer facts last Saturday and Elder Dixon is leaving.  I'm getting a new companion named Elder Bowles and finishing my service in the Long Beach California Mission in the Granada ward.  I'm pretty excited to be here for another transfer, although there is a lot of work ahead of me.  I know who my new companion is because he was in my zone in December, but I don't know much more than he's a decent basketball player. 
     We didn't have a whole lot of progress with our investigators this week.  Lyn was confirmed yesterday at church so that was a great experience.  After the blessing she started crying and then her fellowship Sis Braxton got up and bore her testimony of what an awesome experience it was to help Lyn into the church.
     Steve, Steve, and Nicole are our only other investigators.  Everyone else we dropped, so we are back at square one right now.
     We were able to do a service project last week with some less actives named the Savalas.  We built a little garden in their backyard and that was a lot of fun!  They didn't come to church like we had hoped though :/, we'll keep working hard to help them, but one day they have to do it themselves.
     We did a lot of finding this week and did find three pretty solid investigators, but they are Singles aged so we have to pass them on to the Sister Missionaries in the Singles Ward.  That's kind of hard, but sometimes you benefit from others giving you solid investigators, and sometimes you give them away.  It doesn't really matter who teaches them so long as they find truth and really peace and happiness in their lives. 
     This week we had a run in with quite a few hooligans.  In fact Saturday night we were biking home from an appointment and sitting at a stop light waiting for the light to change.  All of the sudden a black Toyota Tacoma drives by and flicks what looks like a cigarette at us, and it hits my shoe.  At first I was like great, and then what I thought was a cigarette explodes.  It didn't hurt us or anything, turns out it was a firecracker.  Man did that make Elder Dixon and Myself just fume with anger.  Who are they to throw fireworks at two people just trying to do good in the world.  We aren't trying to upset anyone, hurt anyone, or do anything negative to the community.  
     Then as I was biking I reflected on the Savior.  He was absolutely perfect, uplifted, encouraged, healed, and did all manner of good.  Yet he was persecuted profoundly, spit upon, whipped, and ultimately crucified for what he was trying to do for the children of men. I then reflected upon how the savior handled his persecution.  He was not angry with his aggressors, but instead turned and forgave them.
     I now understand just a fraction better what the Savior must have gone through when he performed the Atonement for each of us.  Such anger rose up in me from something as small as a firecracker, and how hard it was for me to forgive someone who would do that to me.  Yet that is what Christ did, and he invites us to follow his example.  Facing persecution is never fun, its hard and hurtful.  I'm glad I have the scriptures and the example of Christ to look towards when I am in these situations.
     I hope I haven't scared you, I'm not in any physical danger, and Whittier is a nice place to live.  Also I'll be in a car next transfer so I should be safer from Saturday night drunks pulling those kinds of things on us.  I only shared that because it drew me closer to the savior, and I'm glad I could experience just a small part of what Christ did in order to draw closer to him.
     Thank you for keeping me so well updated on the home front.  I hope all goes well this week!
I love you always and forever.
Elder Henry

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