Hang in there Nathanael! We love you! Merry Christmas!
Hey guys!! (I think I always say the same thing. Oh well)
It is always so good to get your emails, so thank you. You may not realize how helpful and comforting they always are to me. It sounds like you guys are doing great! When are you going to Denver? It sounds like life is busy but good. I'm glad you got to go to the temple, and it sounds like you are doing a lot of family names and that is awesome!
Tell Sister Goodman thanks, she is awesome and I miss her too. Heck I miss everyone in the ward. Our ward here is nice but sometimes they talk in a foreign language and it trips me up.
Here is the plan for Christmas: I'm going to be available all day to Skype, so make sure to get all that figured out, and let's talk in the chat about a time that will work well for both of us. I can also email you when I'm ready if that's better. We're going to pass Christmas in a member's house and it's going to be really chill I think. I'm super, super, super, super, super excited to talk to you guys!!!!!! Ah!!! So that will be good.
I'm doing good this week. I'm struggling with all manner of different feelings and so on but I'm doing good too. Mission life is great and really hard. I love the work -- I love teaching, I love talking to people, and the language is really starting to improve for me so that's good. Our ward Christmas activity was and I found myself alone in a conversation with 3 brazillians and I was talking and they were understanding me!! It felt like I was back in Pleasant Grove just talking with ward members, and that was really really cool. The bad news is that the work has ground to a halt this week. We had very few lessons and no investigators at church, even though we're trying as hard as we can, and that's very frustrating for us, especially becuase the people we are teaching are so good and could be baptized very soon if they would just keep their committments... sigh... but we are doing what we can and praying a lot. Haha. People always have their agency, and we are also looking for things we can improve.
It sounds like Rogue One was awesome. I'm jealous. I saw a poster for it hanging up and got all excited. I'm not the world's biggest Star Wars fan as you guys know but I like it a lot and look forward to watching it when I get home. There's always time for me to change my mind ;)
We eat with the members about half of the time, and the other half they pay for us to eat at home. And I've faithfully been eating 3 meals a day for several weeks, thank goodness. I'm still kinda skinny but I feel much better. The bad news is that I'm sick for the first time in the field (and I'm a little p.o.'d) but I asked Elder Oliveira to give me a blessing and I'm taking Ibuprofen (which Brazilians have never heard of). So things are ok in that sense.
What else can I say? Dad, I stinking loved the picture that you sent me. [I'm including the picture here for your reference. It's a running joke in our little family. I'll be interested to see who knows the reference...]
Thanks for that. I miss you guys a ton, I've been struggling with homesickness this week and overwhelming feelings of anxiety and so on as always, but I'm improving every week, I think. Things are ok. I have high hopes for this transfer and this mission. Some days I just want to be home but I understand the promised blessings of the mission for myself and the people I teach, and above all I know it's the right thing for me right now, I know it's what the Lord wants for me.
I love you guys.