So it's been quite the week. Sounds like you guys are getting ready to have a lot of fun in DISNEYLAND!!!! That's so awesome!!! I'm happy for you guys. This next week is gonna be crazy because we're gonna have the multizona activities , and so we're gonna have to travel. We're already scrambling around trying to get everything ready so we're super busy. This isn't even gonna be a p-day, I'm just writing you and then I'll go back to getting stuff ready. Even the senior couple is here working today, so it's pretty crazy. My companion and I are getting along pretty well. When he gets stressed things get a little more stressful but I'm trying to roll with it the best I can. It's going ok.
Stop trying to make me homesick!! ;) By the way, I have more than a year and 2 months now. Can you believe it? Time is passing by so fast. I dreamt last night, AGAIN, that I went home, but I was sad because I missed the culture and language of Brazil so much. I think my first few days at home are going to be rough haha. Maybe you guys can just move here! Haha, just kidding, and I'm going to go to college at Utah State obviously, but man I would be lying if I didn't say I'm gonna miss Brazil so much. Something funny happened yesterday. (Kinda) I was looking at my passport and noticed that my visa start date is July 21st 2016 and I thought that that meant I would have to come home before my official end date () and I got so sad that I almost cried! It seriously made me so sad!! And then I called Elder Vogl and he explained that the visa only "activates" the day you enter the country and lasts until 2 years from that date, so I felt better after that haha. I was surprised by how sad I felt. It was funny.
[I asked Nathanael about the ring on his finger in this picture. This was his response.]
By the way, the ring I use is sort of a joke. In Brazil there's this system (a silver ring on the right hand means you have a girlfriend, a gold ring on the right hand means you're engaged, and a ring on the left hand means you're married) so I use the ring sort of just to be stupid. Sometimes I tell pretty girls I have a girlfriend.
To answer your question, we live really close to the office (about 10 minutes away). Everything else is pretty far away but we usually can get a ride from the Wagers or we just walk.
So here's a superhonest breakdown of my week from day to day, as far as I can remember:
-- we went to church which was obviously nice. I was super tired but enjoyed it. We gave the lady who gave us lunch a blessing and then I left a spiritual thought. I did the anointing part, and then I read from 1 Nephi 8 which is Lehi's dream. I felt the Spirit really strongly and it was comforting and a sweet contrast to my stress. I don't remember really what we did the rest of the day... I just remember I was feeling totally fried because of how stressful last week was.
-- we got permission to go to a zone pday (and there are 30 missionaries in our zone so it was really fun!). I had a great time but at like I got super tired so I layed down on a pew in the church and tried to sleep. Then I said a prayer asking for someone to talk to about my stresses and like my friend Elder Jones came over and we talked for a while. That was really nice.
-- I don't remember. I think it was pretty normal.
- I was so DANG STRESSED . I had been praying a lot for help, and I went to the bathroom and when I came out my comp was outside of the office (there's this little outside space with some couches) and I just laid on one of the couches and started reading the Book of Mormon out loud cause I needed to relax my brain. And I read 2 Nephi 8 which is my favorite chapter and when I got to verse 12 I started to cry a lot. (My companion was in the bathroom, so it was less embarrassing.) It was like the most loving rebuke I've ever received. I really like 2 Nephi 8 and it has carried me through the hardest parts of my mission. The part starting with verse 12 talks about how even when we are super afraid of "the oppressor" (bad stuff I guess) we shouldn't be because God is so powerful and sometimes we forget that by his power the sea was divided and so on. If He is that powerful then why do we ever doubt that He can be in control of our lives too if we let Him? I felt like God was speaking personally to me through those words. It was a really powerful experience. God will make sure my life will work out great.
-- coming off of the stress of . We had district meeting, and at night we ALMOST had a baptismal interview, but it was planned last-minute and didn't end up working out because the guy wanted to make us dinner first and that wasn't ready until 9.
-- It rained super hard yesterday but luckily we were inside the office. The storm was awesome though. Also, I had the wonderful opportunity to give a blessing. I sealed the anointing of a dude who came in to the office to fix a desk and who was sick. I felt the Spirit so strongly, and at the end I went and sat down and the Spirit in the room was really strong and lingered for a while. There is a tender and sweet spirit associated with giving blessings that you don't always feel in other situations. It was neat.
Today -- I am SO TIRED. I will be ok though. I at times feel incredibly discouraged about the present and the future. I am trying my best though. I'm at 62 weeks of my mission, so either way it'll be over soon so I'm just gonna try to enjoy and take advantage of my remaining time here. I pray a lot. I've been studying the scriptures a little more too. I know I'm not perfect -- I'm so painfully aware of my imperfections -- but sometimes I feel like God accepts my offering. I sure hope so.
Ok, so your other questions. At Christmas we're gonna go to some member's house for dinner or lunch I think but we're gonna do the Skype from the office which should be chill. Only a month and a week left! Also, I didn't change my password. I'm weirded out that you're not able to access. What pictures exactly did I send you though because I don't remember? I can send them to you again. I got a haircut this week by the way... I'm looking pretty fly now. Sort of. I hate cutting my hair but I think having it longer is worse... I can never decide! Sometimes I think it would just be easier to be bald, but I would look really weird if I was bald I think.
I have really mixed emotions about my mission, because on one hand it has taught me so much and I can never be thankful enough for what I've gained from it. On the other hand though it's so ridiculously hard that I just want it to be over sometimes. Now that I'm starting to get emotionally attached to Brazil though it's just even worse. I feel like my whole life is a total wreck honestly. Nothing makes sense anymore. It's like a wonderful nightmare and I can't decide if I want to wake up or not. How's that? It'll work out I guess. What happenedwas a really tender mercy for me. The Lord is in control. Once more an affirmation that everything is going to be ok. So everything is going to be ok.
Love you guys tons and hope you're doing well. Thanks for the letter. Let me know what pictures you wanna see and I'll send them. Love hearing from you guys as always.