It tugs on my heart to read about home and to know that the blessings of heaven have been pouring out upon you. The same here. I was on a bit of a funk this week. Then I read a talk about what one mission leader thought the work was about: Suffering. Not a very enlightening topic, but it put this whole mission into perspective. I miss not being able to tell Dad about the people, or you about the mysteries of the gospel that I uncover, or to Christine (Tell her I got her letter and my letter to her is on the way as of 3:00 my time) about our days, or to Cora about the things I read, or to Gen about people watching. (I enjoyed her email).
I’m so excited for Kadee and Luke; I once told them that their children would be the epitome of awesome and I hope that prophecy turns out to be correct. I enjoy getting letters from all of you and these week I received three. One from the family, one from Christine, and the Dear Elder. I’m pleased to know that some of you are touched by the words of a simple worker in God’s Kingdom.
I felt impressed to share a simple coincidence I found in the language. The Portuguese word for church is “igreja”, and the Portuguese word for joy is “a algreja”. Thought it was a nice remembrance.
We are about to hit the month mark and we are more than excited to get some practical experience. We had a new Elder named Elder Mendoza from California join us. He sat in Provo for three weeks, and there is apparently two more behind him expected to arrive here any day now.
I’m glad to FINALLY be getting some pictures from home. I can’t think of more things I want in the package, but I’ll be excited to get it soon. The scripture in question I thought we had decided before. One in particular tickled my brain that you may want to consider. It is in Acts when Paul speaks before King Aggripa. “And this thing was not done in a corner.” Something along those lines. I’ve been reading Talmage lately and his insights into the Savior’s life make for some fascinating reading.
I’ve been taking some pictures of our Brasilian and Hispanic roommates and writing down the names. You’ll get them as soon as I get out into the field. The highlights this week was a TRC (a training exercise). Normally, you go in with your companion and you speak entirely in Portuguese to some members and act out a scenario. They sometimes throw in a curve-ball or two. (Like a baby having cancer!) This time, it was our turn to play investigators and because of our odd number of elders, I ended up alone with some 7th weekers. I held my own, but I really need to start remembering some of the words. I’m nowhere near the best, but my problem comes in the application of the language. You can’t think English and translate to Portuguese; you must think Portuguese. These elders try their best to speak English, but it really is our job to adapt to them. We are the ones who were sent to learn the language. I’m starting to wonder if one of the reasons the Lord sent us out here is because we would have had an easier mission state-side. We know the doctrine, we know the lessons, and we have a desire to learn the deeper mysteries. However, we are being held back and given the task of communicating differently.
That’s not to say I hate it here, but it can be frustrating to have to be silent because you lack the communication skills to effectively convey your thoughts. The way around it is to use the simple words we know and that in itself is a challenge. I’m trying a new tactic this week; I hope it works.
On the note of letters: it only takes a week to get here. I can’t say the same for my responses because I have to wait til Tuesdays to send them and I don’t know if my letters have even arrived. Some of the Elder’s first letters are just now arriving in the States. Please don’t worry about me or your communications with me. I do get them and I do reply.
On that note, I leave you with the same words Christ told his two worried parents. “Know ye not that I must be about my Father’s business.”
Chiao! I’ll probably start writing another batch of letters to everyone tonight. Wait til next Tuesday before I send them.