Sunday, 28 August 2011

18 AUGUST 2011

Thanks Dad for checking if PJ's got his call het. He better write me or he's dead haha. I've seen a bunch of friends here which is sweet. Too many to write out. I recently got an update from my friend Stephen Merrill who broke his neck, and basically he is getting some feeling and spatial recognition back. His shoulders and arms are getting stronger, and he's getting better at sitting up. It's pretty crazy but he seems pretty positive.
 
It was good to hear about how things are at work! Good job Mike on answering everyone's questions. I can't wait to get into the field and do that full time. That's awesome about JoJo's family wanting to get baptized in December. Hearing that makes me so excited and I haven't even got in the field yet! That's too bad that you had all those problems with the plumbing at the cabin, but at least the leaky tub is fixed now! That's sweet about the boat being left down at the cabin too. It'll be nice to always have such an empty garage.
 
My Spanish is coming, I try to practice as much as I can outside of class, and my understanding of the grammar is getting way better. It's still hard to try and incorporate what you know into speech, especially when the person you're speaking to speaks a million words a minute. Elder Hague and I are getting a lot better and give and take during the lessons that we teach, but the more I'm here, the more I realize how much more I need to learn. I have SO much ground to cover in Spanish, which being in the field will probably help with, and now when I teach I realize how hard some situations are to deal with, and how much more I have to learn about teaching.
 
We had an awesome Fireside on Sunday talking about what being successful is. The speaker described it as 2 things: 1)  Bringing people unto Christ by baptizing and confirming them, and helping them be active members, 2) The Lord being pleased with your efforts. He described that we can't have one without the other. If we aren't at least focused on baptizing and confirming people like we are called to do, then the Lord won't be pleased with us. Even if we don't baptize a lot of people, we still need to have that as our goal. He also talked about how we can't beat ourselves up for when people reject us, even after they've been committed to be baptized. He said that we need to understand that they have their agency as well, and that it isn't necessarily a reflection on us. In the Book of Mormon Aaron didn't have as many converts as Ammon because it was "his lot to have preached among the more hard part of the people" (Dunno if that's exactly what it says but close enough) but Ammon gets a lot of the praise cause the people he taught used their agency and chose to change. I thought it was a cool talk.
 
We have this hilarious Brazilian in my district named Elder Carters Paschaolini. His English is hilarious. He told us a story in English about when he was mad at his sister and told us he was shouting at her, "I'm going to take your neck off and do many other things that you don't like!!" We all died laughing. Also, Elder Cowger, one of my roommates, tried to convince people that he had a tattoo on his butt, when in reality he was just messing with them and would moon them. We tried to get Elder Paschoalini to look and he said, "No! You are trying to make me look at the pompĂ­s (Spanish for butt) of other men!! You are the mariposas! (Slang in some South American countries for homos, literally translates to butterflies) I almost wet myself from laughing. I love my district.
 
I'm gonna get some pictures printed off this week and send them, or maybe I'll send down an SD card since I have 2. That might be a good plan, if I send one back with pictures for you to have, and when you send it back I can send my other one with more pictures. That sounds like a good plan to me. Sorry I haven't sent any yet, I'm gonna try and take some good ones.
 
Anyway, I hope all is well!! Write me soon! I love you all, and I know the church is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and we can be happy through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is my Saviour and I know that He lives. I know God loves me and I know this is His work. I'm so happy to be here.
 
Love you all!!
 
Elder Blomfield