Letter from 1-26-09 (we actually didn't get this letter until today!)
this week we are going to baptize this really cool lady called sandra. she is a 50 year old retired history teacher. she is full of tatoos, but loves the church and the BOM. she was going to be baptized this week, but due to a few things that i didn’t know how to resolve (menstruation?), it had to wait. when she told me i was like, ummm, why are you telling me. i guess the only real reason that she didn’t want was that she is also HIV+ and she has to take extra precautions with weird stuff like that. i just said- "ok. don’t say anymore bc i don’t wanna know" any way she will be baptized this week. :-)
we are teaching a few other people and families, but a lot of the people that go to church and want to be baptized can’t- bc they aren’t married. man, that really stinks sometimes. it is expensive to get married here- about $$450 big ones. (in reais)
my comp is cool. he is pretty quiet and i am not. i sometimes wonder if i bother him talking so much, but someone has got to fill the silence. next week i will send a picture of my district. i have sisters in my district. one is loud and crazy, and the other is silent. it is pulling teeth to get her to laugh sometimes. there are two other elders. one doesn’t have an ear. both are great. i am the only American in the district. i am in the same zone as elder labrum, from the ctm. he is the other DL. we see each other every week and it is great. we goof around together on pday.
MOM- fun story lady! i guess it has always been different here on the mission, bc when i had to talk to pres about a missionary, he usually helped me out and sent that missionary to the other side of the mission. other times president would say things like, "hey, you’re the zone leader... YOU solve it." then he would make me do a division with a missionary to bust his chops. NOT fun EVER. the worst was when we would have problems with bishops in the zone, president would make ME talk with them to figure stuff out. usually they weren’t interested in what i had to say, because i was just another missionary to them, and then i would have to do a conference call later with president and the stake president to figure stuff out. the truth is that i don’t think i am very good at "fixing" tricky situations. if i were part of the bomb squad- i would set off all of the bombs... but i guess that is one way to get rid of the bomb... :-) i like hearing your experiences bc i think about all the ways that the mission is preparing me to deal with stuff like this later. Interviews for example. the next time i will do worthiness interview like i do for baptismal candidates now, as if i am bishop. lots of neat experiences- one after the other!
ALYCE- sometimes when i read your emails i begin to think that you do more than ME in the week. ...hmm, nope, that is impossible. :) i don’t have any classes or boyfriends, but i get up and work everyday sunday to sunday. so...i think it is cool how you say "skated" all over the place. you must be pretty cool. sometimes i miss the skateboard. there are some radical hills in my area. BUT all the roads are cobblestone. i guess it wouldn’t be all that fun...to tell the truth, at first i really missed you in the ctm, but since then i don’t really ever have dreams with you in them [Alyce told him she had a week full of dreams where he was a character in them]. actually, i don’t have a lot of dreams. i guess i am so tired that i kind of black out for a few hours every night. when i do dream it is of baptism and new investigators.
DAD- i practically died laughing reading your e email this week. you should know that your emails have improved greatly over that last year and a [...] . at the beginning of the mission i used to laugh at your emails sometimes bc you would write like a two sentence sports update or would goof up the spelling of all the words. NOW, thanks to your new rap training from v-ice, you got some gnarly writing skills. not to mention some ridiculous stories. you have got to write a book with these dumb stories. i remember when alyce and i were little in the "old house", we were playing in the backyard throwing rocks in the air. we would throw that rocks in the air and then close our eyes. you won if your rock hit you on the head. alyce was still pretty gullible and she won A LOT that day. when she closed her eyes i would chuck a rock at her. i was great! she would even get excited bc she was winning. heheheheheh :) ahh... [sigh] but really, if you want an adrenaline rush, close your eyes and chuck a rock straight up. it is fun. maybe you can play it with mom...good luck with the super bowl situation. hope warner has got one last miracle in him
still no package from, but lots of prayers for gpa and gma. i haven’t given up hope, i could still get it here.
i love it here
fala com vocês semana que vem.
love elder helland
these are picures, camp grande means big field. it really is.