Thanks for emailing as always. I love hearing from you guys. I miss you always but am having such a good experience here. Learning the language is going well. I've had a few really cool experiences this week because we've been going on splits with Brazillian elders and teaching lessons together. You can probably imagine how that goes, haha, but I've had a lot of fun and honestly, I can really feel my language skills growing. It's a miracle. I can understand a lot of what is said and can reply well enough most of the time. My Brazillian companion's name is Elder Pittella. He's really nice and has been helping me with pronounciation and learning new words. It is so fun to have conversations in Portuguese!! The language is really hard though and is one of my biggest challenges definitely. It's hard to have a lot to say (and, well, I always have a lot to say, as you guys know) and not be able to say it. But I'm working on it. I actually set a goal Sunday to speak only Portuguese except for P-Day and Sunday and I didn't quite make it, but I went at least 10 hours each day this week speaking only Portuguese. Pretty cool. Although I'm having a hard time spelling in English now...
I can't wait to get paper letters from you guys!! That will be awesome. I love those letters you guys put in my suitcase (did I mention I found those?) and I can see the advantage of having those, so anyway.
We got to go to the temple again today!! (We go every P-Day, so no surprise, but hey.) I forgot to mention that last week, we had extra time so I got to be the baptizer (?) for baptisms for the dead. That was a really neat experience and the first time I've baptised, but I couldn't pronounce the Portuguese words very well so it was tricky. All in good time. Today was a great experience. I love going through the temple and I always miss you guys being there but it's still great. I was thinking about how Adam and Eve had to leave God's prescence to become like Him, and how they actually couldn't become more like Him without leaving for a while. This was really comforting to me because I want to be like you guys so much and I was worried for a while that if I left I would drift from that path or something. Well I know I'm supposed to follow my own path and be my own person anyway but I figure if I want to become more like you guys maybe I need to strike out on my own for a while. So that really helped me feel better, if that makes any sense.
We're going proselyting tomorrow! There's a square in São Paulo that gets literally millions of people worth of foot traffic every day and we're going to go hand out books of Mormon there in the morning. I'll be sure to let you know how that goes. I'm nervous because I'm afraid of people but also because I'm nervous I'll let that fear get to me. I really just want to do my job well as a missionary and tell as many people about the Gospel as I can. I'm just going to go for it. I'm putting my honor on the line guys!!! Share the Gospel or bust. I'm really excited. Everyone who has done it already loved it, so I'm just going to go for it and not be nervous. People need to hear this message. I think I would feel a little better if I was slightly fluent in Portuguese, but oh well. All in good time.
Dad, I'm glad to hear that school is going well for you! I'm excited to hear how Prince of Darkness goes and what you have next in store. I think you are just the best and love hearing what you have to say, so thanks. And Mom I loved your email, thanks so much. Reading your emails makes me happy and sad at once!! I miss you guys but I'm happy too. I am learning to miss you without also having the desire to get on a plane and fly home. It sounds like the Lundells are good. I miss them almost as much as you guys (don't tell them I said almost!!). I've been thinking about Eric and Emma a lot. Tell them they have to email me or I will be sad. :'( ;)
My district is awesome. I think I already said that, but they are really awesome so I wanted to say it again. They are a good support system and when we focus, we work really well together. (I like them so much that I've had to work on focusing harder on the language. Don't worry, I'm working hard!!)
I got a mosquito bite and I think I have Zika. Just kidding.
We only get 45 minutes to email so you can imagine it's a little crazy. People have all sorts of strategies for answering emails. I like to just come in, sit down, and write. If my emails seem incredibly rambly, that's why, so sorry about that.
I've been thinking about the line from that Robert Browning poem, "Man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" or something like that. I was feeling pretty discouraged a few days ago because I felt like I was falling short as a missionary, and this line popped into my head. I don't think I really understood it very well until I was in this context. I was feeling frustrated with myself because I have this image in my mind of what the ideal missionary is, and I'm trying as hard as I can to be that but it's very difficult. I think after this week that I'm realizing that we are actually supposed to have an ideal in our minds that is higher than where we are currently at, and that that's just part of the process. So I am still working hard but I'm working on being more patient with myself too. Life is good.
Keep me posted on how life is. I love and miss you guys so much, but I'm great and I love hearing about what's going on at home. Thanks for emailing me and I can't wait to hear from you next week! Sorry I can't write more, I'm out of time.
Love you guys,