Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Unity: Letter from Gravataí August 7th

Dear Mom,
Things are pretty rushed today because we are going to the Temple, and will take about 5 and a half hours out of our 8 hour P-day. I'm glad Tori had a great birthday and that she's enjoying her new tablet. It's so strange, technology is SUPER expensive here and no one has money to purchase anything. Like I haven't seen a single I-Phone here and I'm in one of the well off places in the mission. A lot of it has to do with the large tariffs Brasil puts on imports, but that's enough of that.
      Elder Roman is Brasilian, from Curitiba, Paraná (same state as Elder Oba). He's an average 5'9"-10" and very timid. Before the mission he worked, and his Dad was a convert and his Mom served a mission. He's also super young on the mission, only 4 months, so we are both learning together. Really though he's a great kid, I love serving with him. Its different then serving with Elder E Black, but every companion is different, and Elder Roman and I have finally gotten into our groove. It's funny because we arrived on the mission (officially) on the same day, so it's like we are two greenies stuck together.
      It's funny you should mention my organizational experience paying off, because I really do feel like that's one of my greatest strengths as a missionary. I keep everything organized both on paper and in my head so I always know where we need to be. This has really helped me a ton a as missionary, I know who we are teaching, where they live, when we can visit them. I know the members we have, their strengths, when they are available, and once you know all this its just a matter of fitting together the pieces to make the best invite possible to the church.
      My hip hasn't been bugging me since last P-day, I think it just needed some rest. Thank you for the Prayers, I know they helped :).
I'm finally starting to feel proficient in the language. Of course there are still people that are really hard to understand, but for the most part I can understand what people are saying on the phone, and in a normal day to day conversation I can understand what's going on and participate. I still forget lots of words though, and have a lot to improve on, but I've been noticing that my fluency has improved a lot. Of course some days are better than others and some days I struggle to explain a first lesson, but its steadily getting better and better.
      Thanks for being a support for Kelsey, I know that she really appreciates it. Almost every letter she sends me, she talks about how you always are calling just to chat with her and always so supportive of all she does. I really do appreciate that you took her in as one of your own and have always shown love and support for her.
      So this last week was pretty much awesome. After about 3 weeks of trials in our area, things are starting to improve. I. and his family are steadily improving and really looking forward to being baptised. He wanted to bare his testimony in church on Sunday, but didn't know if he could. I love to see investigators develop a testimony of the restored gospel. Once again, just as Rio Pardo, where we knock doors are opening. Its absolutely incredible, and I don't know how it happened. I don't know what changed, but I think a lot of it has to do with the unity between Elder Roman and myself. Not that we ever had any problems, but we didn't talk too much to each other during the day the first couple weeks together. We talked about it, and both opened up a little more and we are really enjoying one another instead of just getting along. Its amazing how much changes when you have a companionship of Elders that really get along :).
      The whole ward is super excited for the dedication of our new Chapel this week. Pretty much every day this week we have something going on at the new chapel. We are going to pass out invites to the new Chapel tonight after P-day, and then tomorrow we have a training on how to give tours of the building, what everything is going to look like. Then Thursday, Friday, Saturday are the Open-houses of the Chapel, with Saturday being the dedication. Sunday will be our first meeting in the new chapel. The chapel is absolutely gorgeous, I'll have to take some pictures and send them.
      I love you a ton, and appreciate everything you do for me. I also received a package from Kelsey this week, so please let her know that it got here safe and sound.
Elder Henry

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