Monday, April 29, 2013

Letter home from Elder Henry 4/29/13

Dear Mom,
I've been a district leader for about 6 months now...(we just got a letter this week from his mission president telling us he'd been called, I thought Brazil regular mail was bad, but apparently email is even slower! haha).
Did you guys have a broadcast Stake Conference this weekend? We had one which was pretty awesome, we heard from Elder Scott, Elder Ellis from the 70, Gary E Stevenson Presiding Bishop and Sister Stephens from the Relief Society Presidency. There were some awesome talks in the stake conference, and was a super uplifting experience in all.
Yup our American recruits have dried up for a little bit. We were supposed to have 26 new missionaries come in this transfer, and only 7 got here (2 of which were American). Sounds like everyone is stuck state-side once again.
What I'm going to need clothes wise when I get home. Uhhhhhh, like a couple t-shirts, some jeans, what do normal people wear in the States these days? Probably some winter clothes, a couple hoodies/jackets. I honestly don't even know how to wear normal clothes anymore. I probably won't need very many new white shirts, and my suits are still pretty intact, as they don't get all that much use. Although, I -may- buy a new suit here because there is a place close to my area that makes suits tailored to you in the range of 25-100$ for the suit coat and pants. If I'm not mistaken, that is a much better price than any new suit you're gonna buy in the states.
This week was actually pretty fruitful. We had our first English Class last week which went pretty well. We had 4 non members show up and 12 people in the class in all. We are hoping to be able to keep this class rolling and baptising because of the class.
We had a pretty cool experience last week. Two weeks ago we were contacting some people on the street, and Elder Chidester was talking with a lady that speaks English.  We taught them last Friday, and the first lesson went really well. We asked her how she knows English and it turns out she works for the United Kingdom Embassy here in Porto Alegre. Anyways we invited her to baptism last Friday and she and her husband accepted. We'll see how everything goes.
We actually had a really good finding week last week, as we ended up the week with 20 new investigators. I wish all my weeks were like that. Unfortunately hardly anyone went to church, so now we have to get back to work with these investigators.
I hope everything goes well with Bailey's first missionary lesson tonight! How exciting it is to have missionaries in your home.
Elder Henry

Dear Dad,
Well Sherry's off to Mexico today huh? How exciting is that! I loved my two week stay with Gran-Gran in Mexico. Of course, I think I would understand the people there a lot better today than I did then lol. Dad that's a crazy temple story. I could just see a great title to this story like, "The Pants that went WRONG!" Of course that kind of sounds like a Dr. Who episode more than missing a pair of pants at the temple :P. You know the funny thing here in Brasil is that if you rent temple clothing you don't get charged, even normal members, because usually people go to the temple on a Bus from far away, and they don't always have temple clothing or money for temple clothing. The temple here is super small too, about the same size or smaller than the Newport Beach temple in California.
I love you Dad, thanks for keeping me updated on life back home!
Elder Henry

Monday, April 22, 2013

Not getting transferred, hooray!

Dear Mom,

Did you ever know that I hate writing? I could never be an author, just sitting down and thinking about the huge task of writing everyone back after reading the e-mails just makes me sick to my stomach. Well here we go!

So tomorrow is transfers, and I and Elder Chidester are staying together. I'm super surprised by this, because I thought for sure we were having too good of a time together to stay together. All my other companions I've had that I absolutely loved I only got to stay with them for a transfer. Well I'm not going to complain about it :P.

Yup, Elder E. Black lived in the same part that Sherry is going to serve in in Switzerland.

This week was pretty rough in the work again. I don't really understand it, because we were doing everything right, and we simply didn't find anyone home... Oh well, I'm pretty sure we are passing through some hard times because we need to become better missionaries and we only become better through trials. I'm hoping with the start of our English Class this week we will be able to turn things around.

Transfers sure are anti-climatic when nobody gets transferred. Like today was supposed to be a super crazy day, and now its just another normal P-day. Oh well...

I think all Missionaries write less and less the closer we get to the end of the mission so, don't feel like its a personal thing Mom. I'm looking forward to Mother's Day :).

All my Love,
Elder Henry

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What kids with Autism Spectrum can do.

My Tori has always been really afraid of crowds.  I couldn't take her to the supermarket when she was little, she would freak out at all of the sensory input there, and every Sunday was a huge struggle at Church because she was so frightened by the crowds.  Of course, we didn't know what the problem was, luckily she was our fourth child so we were so much more patient with her than the older kids!   She was diagnosed with developmental delays when she was almost 3, major speech delays and Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  It has only been in the past couple of years that we realized she had PDD-NOS on the Autism Spectrum, she was always "too friendly, too loving, too social to have autism."  So we all thought.  We are grateful for the continuing research into Autism that helps Tori and other children on the spectrum achieve to their capabilities.
    Anyway, Tori really works hard at things.  She never succeeded in giving a talk in Primary at Church her entire 11 years.  She couldn't do class presentations.  She would prepare and practice, then up in front of all those faces she had meltdowns.
    Well, look at her now---singing in front of a few hundred people at her school choir concert--singing a SOLO!  All of her teachers and therapists have a part of this, as well as Monika Tabor who was her choir teacher for her first 3 years at Laurin and helped her to believe in herself and overcome much of her fear of standing in front of crowds, the support and encouragement of Jana Hart her current choir teacher, and of course Tori's interim vocal coach ChristyAnne Ford.
And here is one with her speech therapist---Mrs. Nitsch has been Tori's speech therapist for a total of 7 years I believe, 3 in preschool, 4 in middle school---on the guitar, I love watching Tori's complete trust and appreciation for her in this song!
We are so grateful for all the people who have helped us to help Tori become the amazing young lady she is blossoming into!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I was reading this talk last night, and I was super inspired.
You can also watch it here:
Four Titles - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

There are several very quoteable quotes, and this one particularly jumped out at me.   It is what I believe, too.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Letter home from Elder Henry 4/15

Dear Mom,

So here is the deal on the flights, I have permission from president to leave a couple days early to get home in time to see Sherry. The only problem is we don't have any way to control when I come home, just when I hit get on the first plane. Basically what he told me is he doesn't choose the flights or anything like that. He tells Salt Lake, Elder Henry needs to leave on this day at this hour, and then Salt Lake books the flight and sends the passages back. So there is really no way to guarantee that I could show up in Salt Lake Wednesday morning. He said our safest bet would be to send me home on the Saturday before and then I'd show up sometime on Sunday in Vancouver which we have permission from president to do. The only bad part about this is I'd miss out on my final dinner with President and all of the missionaries that are leaving with me which I really don't want to miss out on. So my choice is really between my last dinner with my Mission Friends and Mission President, or see my sister before she leaves for a mission. We can't move the dinner either, because president has put a rule against it. I told the secretary I'd let him know what I want to do next week so yeah, I'm stuck in this situation. (i.e. What should I do?)

I haven't really lost all that much weight on the mission. I was looking the other day and I've gone down to about 202 pounds, before the mission I was around 210, so its not really all that much of a difference, which drives me insane because I'm working my butt off here, and I only eat like 1 meal a day!

Our baptismal dates have all fallen through. We'll probably scrape one back up to be baptised, but the other three just died out this week. We actually had a pretty rough week last week as everything fell through on our faces and we went to teach new investigators and nobody was home when they said they would be. The funny thing is with everything that happened last week usually I would be pretty upset/discouraged, but because of my companion Elder Chidester we are just having a great time together. Of course there are things we need to do better, but I'm just loving my time with him. We are just instant awesome friends :).

AHHHH TIME IS RUNNING OUT SO QUICK! Ever since they made a new but still 1 hour limit of E-mail mission rule I just never have enough time to write everyone. Sorry to cut you short, thanks for all the updates from home.

Lots of Love,
Elder Henry

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy birthday Elder Henry!

Pancake breakfast at the Bishop's house before Conference on Sunday

Wonderful baptism Saturday between Conference sessions!

Canoas' Skyline

Dear Mom,
We did have a Dinner appointment lined up (for his birthday tonight), but then we decided that we need to go and teach instead of eat, so we postponed for a different day. Although seeing as we are headed off to the Temple today, we'll make sure to use the opportunity to get a nice hearty American Lunch at Outback Steakhouse. Thanks for the birthday lunch ;). 
     They only have crab grass here for lawns, although quite a few of the older folk have their own gardens. But yeah, nothing like the states lol. Our Zone P-day was pretty awesome, we got to play a few hours of basketball, which was AWESOME. There's nothing like playing basketball with Brasilians to just make you feel like a super-star LOL. We have district meeting every week, Zone Meeting every month, and a Multi-Zone Conference every 3 months. Those are some of your best times as a missionary, as you get to see and chat with your friends that are in a different area.
      That's super cool that President Harbertson's son is going to Porto Alegre Norte!
      President Wright told me to talk with the Secretary (about getting home early enough so it's before Sherry has to report to the MTC), so I think that's a yes. I'll have to talk with him to make sure he can book a flight on the right day/hour.
     So this week was just super full of things to do. It was great, and ended with two baptisms! Nothing better than Baptisms right? It was pretty cool because after the Morning session ended at 3, we all just went over to the Relief Society Room,  we had our baptism, and then we had a snack, and went back to conference. Just like General Conference was planned out to have a break just for our baptism ;).
     Other than that, we spent had an exchange this week, so I went with one of our Zone Leaders, Elder Paula, and Elder Chidester went with Elder C. Neves to Rio Branco. It was a fun exchange and we worked our tails off. I'm really just enjoying this transfer a ton as I'm with Elder Chidester and we just work together great. We are working towards baptizing 4 more people this weekend, so we'll see how everything goes :).
     I need to get going to take the train to get to the temple. I love you thanks for all the birthday wishes.
Elder Henry
Dear Dad,
     I'll go ahead and write now as because if I wait, there probably won't be an opportunity. General Conference was really awesome. I just was waiting for it all week and it was just as awesome as I thought it would be. In fact we even got ourselves a pancake breakfast here on Sunday morning from our Bishop and his Wife thanks to mom sending me some maple extract. It was like a normal Sunday Morning at home. (Because here Conference is from 1-3 and 5-7 due to the time zones so we had spare time in the morning ;)).
      We ended up watching Priesthood session on Sunday morning as well because our mission president doesn't let us watch it at night, seeing as its so late (from 9-11 on Saturday night). I asked our bishop if we could catch the re-broadcast Sunday morning and he lent us the keys to get things all set up. It was great!
      New Dr. Who companion huh? Man a lot has happened since I've left on the mission, I can't wait to get caught up afterwords. And who knows, maybe Tori will go to London when she leaves on a mission! How cool would that be?
I love you Dad.
Elder Henry

Friday, April 5, 2013

"I'm already starting to miss my mission..."

This is an older picture of Elder Henry from almost a year ago, but I hadn't seen it yet and it happened to pop up in his news feed when I was on his facebook accepting friend requests from Brazilians =)

Dear Mom,
     I e-mailed President to see if I could catch a flight on the 9th to get me into Salt Lake City on Wednesday Morning.  I'm sure we'll be able to work something out as its about 16 hours of flight, but I'll be gaining a couple hours on the way back :).  I don't really want to miss my last dinner with President Wright and all the missionaries from my group though.  But we'll see what we can work out.  Although if I fly into Salt Lake, I may never make it back home to Washington ;).  It would be pretty tempting to just land in Salt Lake and go right back to Provo...
     That's crazy that Elder Chadwick is getting married already!  Actually its right on time, about a year and a half since he came home from the mission is a good time to wait.  Well if you don't have someone already waiting for you.
     Yes we do lots of Exchanges down here.  Its a super useful tool that helps you teach a lot more people in a lot less time.
     We've had a pretty good week here.  We didn't really find a whole lot of new investigators as we spent most of our time following up everyday with our current progressing investigators.  We'll have to hit the finding part again this week as we start to drop old investigators and pick up new ones.  I'm really excited for General Conference this weekend, but it seems really strange to me that it will be my last one on the mission.  My time seems really short here, and I don't know if it makes sense, but I'm already starting to miss my mission.      
      I still feel a little bit jipped as I'm only going to have a year and 3 months here in Brasil, but everything will work out for the best right?
     We have 2 baptisms scheduled for this weekend, in-between the Saturday sessions of general conference.  I'm pretty excited as its been some time since the last baptism in January.  Anyways, we have P-day today with the whole zone and we need to get going to not be late.
Love you guys.
Elder Henry