January 13, 2014

            Wow, that’s all some really cool News mom!  I am so excited for everyone back at home in Dean and Merriloy's family. I hope these things all go well for them! I sure love that Family so much! Well if you want to be a little alarmed, I counted the mosquito bites I woke up with one night, and I had 69 on my left arm. But they were tiny little bites and it wasn't too big of a deal, we bought a repellent plug in and it did the trick. No worries mom. Well here it’s not as hot as Campinas, but its still crazy hot. I can’t handle the thought of snow again though. Ha ha!
            Well mom, the branch here is really quite cold to tell the truth. Most of the missionaries that passed through here caused problems, or just kept getting on people to help them out and it pushed the other way. But we have a lot of activities planned and we have been doing our best to get them a little warmed up. It’s a little different living in four. The members don’t like to give lunch that much but hey, what can ya do. The leadership is really great and we will be working a lot more with them to help their goals also.
            Well mom, my growth here on the mission is a question I often ask myself, and it’s pretty much impossible for me to answer. I don’t know really. I feel like I have been blessed with some really great friends here to help me see past a lot of the politics of the mission and such. I had a couple turning points on my mission mom. The first was when I realized that if you count your blessings, you will see more, and be more happy. Another is that if you truly desire something, God will give it to. The other is that this work we are doing here, is not numbers or baptisms or a hard two-year sacrifice away from the Family, this is the work of eternal salvation. And unfortunately I don’t feel like that is well perceived by the majority of missionaries. The things we do here are so much more important than most people think. And yes, its been really tough at times to choose between doing what would make me look good as a missionary and what would be best for a person in an eternal perspective. Spirituality is something so hard to take care of at times. I don’t know what it is, but I have felt like as the mission has grown on, it has been harder maintain because everything becomes routine, instead of it all being new and unknown. But I really wish I had the opportunities to visit the temple more often to help maintain it all.
            Well Tiago was baptized. The old Ward went fishing last week and they sent me some pictures. I missed out but I am going to get my fishing trip in here for sure. Ha-ha
            We have a chapel here, its a lot of people, they just barely joined two branches together so its a big branch now. It’s nice. We have a huge area, so we ride the bus a lot to get around. It’s just a diferente ball game here. But I love it. I sure love it here. I hope we can be sending some pics of families going in the water soon. We will see how it all works out though. I am so grateful for the opportunity to do this work and to be here. Mom thanks so much for the email. I miss you and love you so much!

 These are the falls we visited on our p-day.

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