Saturday, January 12, 2013

Boa tarde!

Howdy yall, here in the south, everybody talks really fast and with a clean crisp accent. Somehow this week, I have felt the gaucho culture more than ever here in Porto Alegre, although we have not been drinking nearly as much chemarrou and tererei as normal, everywhere we go, there are indications that the southern pride is still strong here- it's actually quite hilarious A while back, before I was born, there was a war, a war for independence of the Gauchos (cowboys) from the Paulistas (people from the north, mainly São Paulo). This was called the War of Farroupilha. Like the US Civil War, the south lost, but they did not lose their southern pride. They still wave the Rio Grande do Sul flag around as if it is the flag of their country, although they have come to accept the actual Brazilian flag as one of which is greater valor. Interesting huh? Well, this week has been very trying on the patience, but it has been a big learning week. I have learned:

1. I am not meant to be cooked up in an office
2. I will never accept an office position in any field of work
3. Data analysis is really cool, and can help a tremendous volume if applied correctly
4. I like the cold a lot more than the hot (Summer vs Winter)
5. Taxi drivers will run you over (if you don't have an incredible companion that pulls you out of the way at the last second)
6. The Lord is hastening his work (at an incredible speed- Missionary applications have shot up in number 471% since the announcement in October)
7. Outback Steakhouse is extremely expensive
8. Outback Steakhouse's food is slider food....
9. If you drink 17 canecas of Coca-Cola, you will inevitably get sick
10. It is okay to dress up a bit, just to go out in public...polos, slacks/dark jeans, sport coats/blazers- just look classy... that would be the typical male Brazilian style here. Women are sporting nothing but sun dresses now days, it's fun.

okay, so maybe I got a little off topic, but Scharyannie has her baptismal inerview here in half an hour, and she will hopefully be baptized tomorrow! I am so excited for her. Her grandma, who has sat in on all of the lessons has finally decided that she wants to be baptized too, but has to get legally married first, which we will take care of this week, so she will hopefully be baptized next weekend. We also have Gildo and Solande, who are ready to be baptized, but they have to wait for the judge to finalize her divorce and actually marry the two of them. I am so excited.

I think it is really funny reading Daniels letters, and he makes me laugh when he talks about his new DL responsibilities .. I live with the two APs, they are incredible, they're responsible for about 140 missionaries at the moment, and will grow to about 240 by the end of this year hopefully... its a work and a half, and to include all of that on top of anything that the President asks, and to work a normal area, they are truly masters of multi-thinking.
The person who works the most on the mission (and the least appreciated) here is definitely the financial secretary. He is incredible, He has to keep everything in order- houses, money, reimbersments, light, water, maintenance, anything financial goes to him, including bus tickets, plane tickets, train tickets, boat tickets...etc... this week was quite funny because one apartment of sisters didn't have their light bill payed, so they had their electricity cut off...well, in the 110 degree heat, a solid cement apartment without fans is not a fun place to be, let alone try to sleep in. He has been having nightmares and whatnot because prior financial secretaries have not been organized, and had just kept everything straight in their heads, well, he came in and there was no record of 4 houses, and a ton of bills had yet to be payed. He has been working extremely hard to get everything back in order. Along with all of this stuff, he has to open atleast 3 new houses/apartments, write contracts for them, and get everything approved for the new incoming missionaries. Parabens to him.

I am so glad that you (mother) are falling in love with Preach My Gospel, I love that book. There are so many things to be gained from it, and every time I read it, I gain some insight that i have never seen before. One thing that I would suggest doing for the new year and the year to come is go through the Attributes of Christ, and every week for family home evening, go over one aspect, read the characteristic, the scripture reference that goes along with it and make goals for the next week to improve in that aspect. Discuss it with the fam, and see how together you all can become better. This will inevitably bring you closer to your family and closer to Christ. On page 126 I believe is the Attributes of Christ self-evaluation, try listing in your journal 1-57 and evaluate yourself. See where you can personally improve, and where your strengths are. I have been doing this lately, and it has been a wonderful blessing to my life.

I have also begun reading Jesus the Christ again, and every time I read it, it blows me away. I feel like everything I read, I already knew somehow, but it wasn't presently aware of it. As I discussed this assessment with my companion this week, we came to the conclusion that due to the fact that everybody has the Light of Christ within them, which testifies of things that have already come to past, and the testification of things that happened in the antemortal existence but because of the veil of distance between us and the Savior, we don't all have the immediate recollection of these events. When we hear or read the things that are truths, the spirit testifies that we already knew this things were true, and is slightly pushing us into remembrance The same effect is happening with the investigators who have not hardened their hearts against the ideas of the Gospel, they are turned to the truthfulness of light wherein they have been prepared to receive the remembrance of the things that are really there. In conclusion, we all already knew this stuff, we just have to be reminded. If that made sense, smile. If not, send me an angry letter, at the address posted, and I will promptly throw it in the shredder after reading. Why? because I have free agency to do so. You do too. Isn't it great?

anyways, now that I have splurged my thoughts on to paper for the moment, I have to go to an interview.

Remember God loves you and that he wants you to do works of righteousness.

Elder Eliason

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