I'm not really sure how much time I have, I think most of the new American missionaries aren't writing their families this week because we are all in the mission office waiting to go with the office elders to the federal police to get Brasilian documents...so they don't deport me. I'm the only one writing right now.
I found out why I didn't get to finish writing 2 weeks ago. I was watching the missionary broadcast from President Monson and my companion was watching on the computer next to me. She accidentally watched the wrong video (which was much shorter than the broadcast). She finished everything before me and thought we were supposed to be done. We found out later from the district leaders, when she talked to them about the broadcast, that she had watched the wrong video. We laughed about it and all was good.
This week was much better than last week, I didn't cry, yay! It was still really hard to understand the language though. I understand most of what my companion says, but not when other people talk. Other people have accents that I am not used to. I often understand the gist of conversations, I just don't feel comfortable contributing, because I also semi understand. I think it confuses my companion when I don't talk to people, because I understand her just fine. Oh well.
The office elders scheduled all the new Americans to get documents today in Ribeirao Preto, but forgot to tell us...we are 5 hours by bus from them and the only buses leave at 10:30 in the morning and 11 at night. We are not allowed to travel at night, so we are on a last-minute, 3-day trip to the mission office. We have lessons we were going to teach! Oh well.
We planned to have like 5 investigators at church today, but they all fell through. We met a dad on the street though on the way to church and convinced him to come with us. He asked if the church was nearby and my companion said yes...nearby as in like 1.5 miles. He came with us, it was great.
I forgot to wish dad a happy birthday...Happy Birthday Dad! I want to write you a letter, but I'm running all the time to keep up with people. As soon as I get a moment I will write you. Please excuse me. I love you!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!
Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes. I love you all so much. Ben, Alena, Nic, Grandma Shari, .....I want to write you all.
The card came through a day or two after my birthday. My companion made fried pancake thingies for me on my birthday, they were delicious. I was grateful for breakfast too, people don't really eat breakfast, mostly just crackers to hold over until the mid day meal.
I started teaching English classes this week. We invited the whole city. Lots of people said they wanted to come. We had 7 primary kids. I tried to teach them how to pray in English, it was really fun. They were adorable.
Thank you for the words of advice too. They are always welcome.
Dad, be careful with those shoulders. Its not fun when we take on more than we can handle. I have the quote you sent me in my scriptures, I stole a copy from your office. Its often a lot easier to remain quite than to respond to whatever people say, because of the language barrier. Its hard to be patient sometimes, especially when you want to talk to people. It all really is a process. I really appreciated what you said about the refiner`s fire; about voluntarily entering it.
Thank you for all your prayers. I got a priesthood blessing last week, it was all in Portuguese, but I managed to understand lots of it. Part of what the elders said is to know that the Lord is taking care of your family, they love you, are praying for you, and all is well. It was wonderful to hear from you all this week. I love that Audrey knows who I am too. Yes!
Take care, I love each of you, even though I don't really write you all. Remember that my email is to each of you.
I love you both a bajillion,
Until next week,
P.S. I got a letter from Grandma today and a week or too ago, from the Jepsens. Thank you! When does Doug come home? Is he already back?
I get to meet President Broom this week, I´ll tell you all about it next week.
P.S. Can you give Doug and Myrna Gunn a big hug for me, they really are the best!
From Sister Hoggan's dad:
The quote she mentioned in her letter is from Elder Marvin J. Ashton, a modern apostle of Jesus Christ, on the topic of Charity. Charity is another word for love, specifically the pure love the Savior has for each of us, and which He wants us to have for others. But sometimes we struggle in the application of the principle. Here is the quote from Elder Ashton:
"Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other."
|Birthday breakfast, compliments of Sister Castro|
|Happy 21st Birthday to Sister Hoggan!|