Monday, December 10, 2012

Reflecting on the mission so far and update

Hey Dad,
I never thought when I left home that one of the things I miss most is
laying down and enjoying a good book.  You'll have to make up a list of
good books I've missed out on for me for when I get home :P.  There have been
a couple times that this situation of a CD being cheaper than the MP3's.
 I'm not quite sure how it all works, but I'm certainly happy for when I
get the Physical CD instead of just MP3's.
     Are you guys looking at snow yet?  I'm not sure quite how cold its getting
there in Washington, I'm sure that Utah is starting the snowy season.  It's
super hot here.  Actually this week was completely miserable, I've never
experienced such heat in my life.  It was over 100 degrees, and super
humid.  I was sweating at 8 o'clock in the morning when I started studies
and during the night it stayed in the high 90's.  With 3 fans blowing in
our small apartment I still could not sleep because of the heat.
 Absolutely miserable, actually yesterday it was about 92-93 degrees
without humidity and I was thinking how nice and cool it was.  I've never
thought of 90 degree weather as comfortable in my lifetime!  I sincerely
wouldn't be surprised if this summer kills me.  I picked up Athlete's foot
last week because of the heat and humidity which is a super bummer because
I've got a bunch of red dots on my feet that itch like crazy.  Fortunately
I had bought and brought anti-fungal creme from the states so I could treat
it, and I was thinking remember when I bought all those drugs to bring with
me on the mission and we thought, am I -really- going to need all of this?
 Well the Anti-Fungal creme was the last of the drugs I brought with me
that I hadn't used and I'm still only half-way through the mission!  At
least its nothing serious, but it is a bummer to get sick and have to
continue to work.
     You know Dad, I have a lot of up days and down days on the mission, but the
longer and longer I'm here the more I appreciate everyday I have here.
 Certainly there are a lot of things I can improve as a missionary, but in
all I'm very happy with how my mission is panning out, I'll probably never
be an Assistant to the President, maybe never a Zone Leader, but I'm very
happy with my personal progress and the miracles I get to see on the
mission.  Just wish they'd happen more often and quicker ;).
Elder Henry

Hey Mom!

Mother's Day we ended up calling at about 6 or 7 o'clock my time, and I really have no idea what will happen this Christmas because we have transfers next week, so I don't really know where and when I'll be able to use a computer.  You guys are going to see Les Miserables on Christmas?  How awesome is that!

Honestly it simply doesn't feel like Christmas here.  Nobody is singing Christmas carols, no one talks about how their excited for Christmas.  The advertisements of grocery stores say "Boas Festas" which means Good Partying!  Even in Sacrament meeting this week we sang only one Christmas hymn.  I'm very disappointed with Christmas in Brasil.  Christmas in the states always seemed so magical to me, and here it just feels like another month.
     Its interesting you mention not having an activities committee isn't working out very well in the ward, but really here in Brasil we always have awesome activities with less than half the members St. Johns has.  What happens is the bishop says, alright the Young Men/Women are going to put on a dance party for the ward on this day, then they go and get everything ready and its turns out awesome.  Then the next month its the Family History Committee turn to put on a dance, the next is Relief Society, the next Ward Mission makes the activity, and everyone loves the activities.  It may be a difference of culture as well, because schools and the community here don't have extra-curricular activities, so the members more or less live in the church.
     I've been trying to send you pictures but every week I'm having the same problems.  It looks like my SD to USB adapter broke, so I'll be looking for a new one today.  I did enjoy seeing Mitch and Audrey in the E-mail.  It's fun to see pictures of people from home.
     We had a really productive week last week.  We are finally finding people who are worth our time and really have a desire to move their lives.  Some weeks you just find people who are nice and let you in once and really don't have any interest, but this week we found a lot of families that went to a ward activity we had two weeks ago.  Unfortunately hardly none of our investigators went to church this week which is a bummer, but we will redouble our efforts to help people get there next week.
     Our investigators that we are focusing on right now are J, S, R, and P.  J I believe I talked a little bit about her last week, but just a re-cap we found her knocking doors and she went to the Stake Conference two weeks ago.  Unfortunately she was ill yesterday and didn't make it to church.  She also loves the Bible and really hasn't been reading more in the Book of Mormon.  We taught her the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity this week and she doesn't really have any problems with the commandments.  It appears that her biggest problem is she doesn't really see the difference between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and every other church on the planet.  We'll review this week with her the importance of the Restoration of the Church with her, and make sure she understands the importance of baptism by authority from God.
     R is a cousin and P is a nephew of our Bishop.  We began teaching them this week and really want to be baptised.  R bore a strong testimony to me about how he began reading the Book of Mormon and going to church and now he isn't fighting with people, that really that desire has began to leave him.  P isn't quite on the same level as R yet but he's reading the Book of Mormon and likes church a lot.  The only problem is their Dad wants to wait a little more time before they get baptised, but we will see if we can't bring him into the church as well :).
     S is really excited for her Baptism and Wedding this coming weekend :).  I'm pretty satisfied with how everything turned out there.  Really there isn't much more for us to do but to stop in and see how things are going.  
     Hopefully we'll see some progress from our new investigators this week, and I'll have more to report next week.
I love you Mom, thanks for writing.

Elder Henry

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