Remember when Bishop told Tyler, “Come back with a girl”? I told you it would happen! Great for him! Cora, college is so much fun. I know you will enjoy the great adventure. Sorry to hear about Alex. Hope he´ll be alright. It´s wonderful to hear that now Derick is putting in his papers. Now, two of my best friends will be out here with me fighting the good fight. Katie, you are way too funny. Elder Dattilo left a bunch of Disney songs with me, so that permeates the house quite a bit.
So, yep. The tragic day has come. Elder Dattilo has left for Sorracaba to be a zone leader and I got Elder Rebeiro, who has 5 1/2 months left, loves to sleep, and does not speak English. Yep, needless to say, this week has been very hard and often lonely. I already appreciated Elder Dattilo while he was here, but now I really miss him. Don´t worry, though. He´ll be at the front door next October. I´m not adjusting too well with Elder Rebeiro like I should. He lacks a bit of enthusiasm for the work. I guess having less than 5 months left will do that to you. However, the mission is his priority mostly and his first change was to work more with the ward, which was something Elder Dattilo and I failed to do. It´s been strange to go to a few areas though. One of our less-active friends, Eva, was really sad about Elder Dattilo. It felt like a funeral procession when we were there yesterday. On the other hand, despite some problems with Elder Rebeiro, the work is getting done. I do wish I had more of a handle on the language so I could stand my ground in a few areas. Especially with contacts. After three weeks of 40 lessons a week, this week we came in at 24. OUCH! We will be trying a bit more this week, since the new district leader (a tall kid from South Jordan named Elder Goates) will be teaching us some ideas on contacts.
We spent most of the last few days running around finding former investigators, with some success. We´ll see how that goes. The biggest blow to us was the loss of a promising investigator who had already had her bapstimal interview done. She just got scared and thought she was progressing too fast. So, despite still wanting to be baptized, she has bowed out for a while. DRAT!!!!!
Today, I want to do a “Because of your faith” kind of thing. I´ve been “Hollanding” for a while. (A new word Elder Dattilo and I came up with. It means to burn someone with your testimony. BTW, great CES devotional!) Yesterday was the first day in 6 weeks I came close to tears. I felt as though everything that Elder Dattilo and I had been doing has been sallowed up because of the ideas that Elder Rebeiro brought to the table. It bothered the crap out of me, especially since I felt like I was being shoved to the side. The Lord did give me some tender mercies. We sat next to a friend of ours named Flavio (good-looking kid waiting for his call) who practiced his English with me. It made me feel useful.
The music has been a blessing. Every morning I sing a bit with MOTAB and yesterday was “Let Zion in her beauty rise”. Yep, my throat has a lump by the third verse. Mickey, thank you so much for your kind comments. Mom has been sending them to me through DearElder and that last one about your book gave me a bit of strength. I hope to be able to read your book. (A signed copy, maybe?) Cora, I almost cried to see that you put in the “Extra Smile” about the missionaries. Yes, I loved them and everytime I see it, I get that lump. I need to thank Dad for taking time to write a weekly letter. I look forward everyweek to get it and to hear about something that I can put into practice here. I was looking through the picture book this morning and, once again, almost cried when “You´ve got a friend in me” came on the speaker while I was looking through the Katie section. “Oh! That´s my song.” Yeah, a lot of crying recently.
I´ll probably be here in Novo Osasco for this transfer more and than probably leave for a new area. Today begins month 6, and while somedays seem like forever, this really does mean that I´m almost 1/4 quarter of the way done. It will get tougher, but it will also get better. I think of you guys at home, and I´m able to keep going. 6 months has taken a lot out of me, but has replaced it with so much more. I pray for each one of you often. Cora in her new school, Gen with her schooling, Christine with her school troubles, Corbin for his mission preparation, Grandpa with his health, Luke and Kadee with their new kid, Mickey with her life, Dad with his success in the ward, Mom at home, so much to ask for. Yet, I do feel righteously justified in asking. Elder Dattilo told me once that “There is no greater security than what you get in knowing that there is someone praying for you.” I want you to know that I´m praying for you all, and I know you have been praying for me. I would not have been able to make it this far without your prayers. Each and everyone of you is getting quality me time along with my everlasting gratitude when I come home in April 2014. It seems like a long time away, but I ask you not to worry to much about the time. It´ll flow along without you worrying about it. I worry enough about you guys at home. All I ask for is your continuing support and a letter every once in a while. I feel a bit selfish in asking for that much. If you could see yourselves as I see you, 7000 miles away, you would never worry about feeling worthless or unnoticed. This goes for each one of you, including the people I haven´t mentioned.
I love you all and listen to conference. I´ll be!
Eu amo vocês!