Monday, August 15, 2011

"God's plan is perfect. He wants all of us back, and we all have the opportunity to get there."

"It's over, I'm out."

Well, I'm in Londrina right now. Elders Cavalcanti, Trigo and I left Apucarana yesterday at about 5:30 and slept at some missionaries' house here. We went to the mission office with three other elders (Webb, Ayres, and Araujo) and got some general instructions. Then we had our exit interviews. It was pretty chill.
Today we have the whole day for Pday, then tomorrow afternoon we can walk around in Londrina and stuff. Then we have dinner with The Tavares' at fiveish. Then we head to a hotel close to the airport where all 15 departing missionaries will sleep. Then each one will get their flight. Then it's all over.
It's a weird feeling. I feel sad to leave the mission after dedicating so much time and effort and receiving so many blessings. But at the same time I'm super excited to get home and see you all again. I don't know how things are going to be. I feel a lot like I did when I headed for my mission - really excited, but nervous at the same time. We'll see how it goes.
These last two years were my best. I learned a ton. I think I have grown a ton mentally, especially in the last few months. They were definitely the most difficult, but were very rewarding as well. I think my perspective on life has changed a lot, my outlook on things is a lot more positive. My priorities have definitely realigned.
I have realized that the purpose of our existence is to align our desires and actions with those of Christ, so that we can feel part of the joy He feels. I have grown up, but still think I am the same person for the most part.
I'm glad for my upbringing and the people that God put in my path as I have grown up. I know everything worked together to get me to this point, and I thank God for all the second and third chances he has given me over the years. I know that Jesus suffered for all of us, and that it's up to us to do our part. God's plan is perfect. He wants all of us back, and we all have the opportunity to get there.
I'm so thankful for the restored gospel and church, I have now seen it bless the lives of those who embrace it. I have developed a greater love and understanding for mankind. I think that, along with an increased personal relationship with God, is the most important result of my mission. I hope and pray to find ways to carry the spirit with me forever at the same intensity as it has been here.
I'm super super psyched to see you all! It's going to be so nice. I hope you all haven't changed too much, and I hope that I'm not really unbearably boring. Only these next few days will tell.
Love you all very much,


Monday, August 8, 2011

"...most things were really easy to leave behind."

This week was pretty dang successful as far as finding new people to teach goes. We found some solid people, but unfortunately the majority of them already stopped investigating the church.
Easily the worst thing this week was João, the guy we baptized threeish weeks ago. We hadn't been able to find him in quite some time. On Saturday, we were passing in front of his house and he was walking out. So we started talking to him and he was a little weird. He invited us in, and as he was walking to the front door he was kinda wobbling. I got suspicious and when he started talking our fears were confirmed. He was dang drunk. His sentences were totally mind boggling, I'm pretty sure I left with a considerable amount of brain damage from trying to figure out what he was saying. I asked him if he was drunk, and he denied it. So we are trying to decide what to do with him.
Nothing super interesting really happened this week. I have just really been trying to soak everything in while I still can. It was extremely cold (between 0 and 6 Celsius I think) Monday through Thursday and I was having some serious problems dealing with the cold. Tea and hot chocolate were my biggest allies. On Friday it warmed up a bit, and yesterday and today it has been pretty hot, it doesn't even feel like August. I'm glad it warmed up, it makes the work a lot better.
It's stranger every day imagining that I am going home next week. Looking back, it went by really fast. I missed some things while I was here, but most things were really easy to leave behind. Hopefully this will be one of my best weeks.
Love you all


Monday, August 1, 2011

" big the difference is between the truth and part-truth."

We worked in the area of some other elders on Tuesday. The area is called El Dorado, but is anything but golden. My trainer had talked about that area as being a place of many hills, and sure enough it is. The entire area is either on an upward or downward slope. I got super tired by that place, it was tough.
Our week was pretty tough as well. We are trying a lot to find new people, but it is getting really hard for some reason. To make matters worse it rained on Sunday. Hardly any members went, much less investigators.
Presidente and Sister Tavares came to our branch. The first thing Sister said to me was "Elder Burt, just 15 more days!" It was totally unexpected coming from her, usually they are so anti talk about home/going home. But it's cool, it doesn't really faze me.
At church, a woman who has been a member for about 15 years prayed to Jesus. I didn't really know what to do, so I just didn't say amen. That's about all I want to say about that.
There is this really cool family here of members, inactive members, and non-members. The inactives don't want to return and the non members don't want in. But the active woman's mom died this week and we went to visit a couple times. She has 12 living brothers and sisters, and four that already died. I was impressed by the way she dealed with the situation, really she is chill about it.
She can't read, but understands the plan of salvation well enough to not get super shaked up by things. It is so good to know that death is not a huge deal. It's something I didn't really give a lot of thought to before seeing the other side--people that have no idea where their dead relatives and friends are or what they are doing.
I think about what it must be like to be an atheist. Having zero hope or zero desire for something after death seems like it would make life such a dead end road. I think most atheists and agnostics have hope for an afterlife, even though they deny or try to ignore the light of Christ that they have.
The importance of the restoration of the gospel is something that probably none of us that were born in the church really comprehend fully. I think one of the big reasons we go on missions is to recognize how big the difference is between the truth and part-truth. Even the members who don't really live the gospel are generally so much more at peace with the idea of death. The sadness is natural, but the despair some people go through is unnecessary. I'm glad that I was able to see that contrast here, it has really changed my perspective on things.
Thanks, love you all, have a great week!!!


Monday, July 25, 2011

" really doesn't seem like it is coming to an end."

A river

The last time I will see o gaucho Sehn

Well, we didn't really have a great week but I feel good about it just the same.
We had a solid zone conference on Thursday. President had the missionaries who are finishing their mission go up to the front and bear our "last testimony", it was pretty awkward.
There are some dang good elders going home next month, I really like my group.
I got the two year package you sent with all the candy in it, thanks a ton! Should I wait to eat it at the end or can I chip away at it little by little?
Joao was gone almost all last week,but he was confirmed on Sunday. He is really stoked to help out at church in whatever form possible.
Our mission is going forward at a good pace. We have 109 baptisms so far this month, which is the most of the Tavares reign. Hopefully we finish above 130, that will be classic.
We adventured through a lot of forests this week to find shortcuts. I almost fell off this dang slippery bridge made of broken wood into a dirty little stream (or for the Utah readers, crick), but recovered and jumped to the land. We found some pretty cool little places with a lot of fruits and stuff. I'll send a photo of one place we crossed.
I don't have a lot to say. It's really weird the way time is passing, it really doesn't seem like it is coming to an end. I hope these last few weeks are the best of my mission.
Love you,

Bone saw is ready


Monday, July 18, 2011

"Joao...was baptized yesterday..."

It was great to be able to just do my work this week. Elder Sander and I get along pretty well and are having success.
I don't even remember if I told you about Joao last week. but he is this old guy that unexpectedly went to church. Anyway, he was baptized yesterday, it was pretty sick. He is just way stoked to keep the commandments. So that was the bomb.
Nothing else really notable has happened. I just wanted to share with you the funniest service project ever.
The relief society president asked us to help her put together some booths at the church for a party. We carried some logs to build the booths about two kilometers, then she told us her plan: pull four of the cobblestones out of the parking lot and dig holes deep enough to hold the logs up. The logs would all be nailed together, so really no holes were necessary.
As she was laying down digging a hole with a nail, I told her there was a better way to do it. But she said to me, "Elder, you may have the priesthood, but I have intelligence." I never thought someone would ever call me mentally inferior while digging a hole in a church parking lot with a nail. It was a good day.
Love you all


Monday, July 11, 2011

"...people received him well and he got really happy about that."

I am now in Alvorada, a super small branch in Apucarana. My companion is named Elder Sander, from São Paulo. So Elder Proulx was my last American comp, like a year and two months ago. There were 40 people in the sacrament meeting this Sunday. In these places where the church is poorly established, the classes are not very good, the talks usually don't make sense, and people don't go to the temple.
It used to really bother me. Now I have pretty much a different attitude about it. These people don't know how the church should function. The branch president has been a member for three years, branch president for one.
Almost nobody has cars, I believe no one has gone to college. It is a different situation than my last few areas, but I'm stoked. It's basically a blank canvas to paint.
I'm focusing on finding people who are a little more educated and ready to receive the fullness of the blessings of the fullness of the gospel. Here is a district, so really the leadership is thin all across the map. But really it's a better opportunity for us to exercise the priesthood.
We taught this guy named João on Wednesday, but he showed like zero potential so we didn't even mark to go back. We invited him to go to church, like always, and like always, he said he would go with us. So we were passing by people's houses on Sunday morning and stopped at his house. He was ready to go, so we took him to church. He loved the meeting, he lives here but his whole family lives in São Paulo. He felt good in the church, people received him well and he got really happy about that.
Things are going well here. It's good to not be zone leader or district leader, I can just focus on making myself more Christlike and helping everyone in my area.
Well, what do you guys want me to buy as far as souvenirs go? In these last few weeks I can start grabbing stuff. So far I have Napolean Dynamite in Portuguese and a shirt and drawing that Wagner gave me.
Love you all, have a great week


Monday, July 4, 2011

"...a little disappointed to leave Bauru..."

As the title suggests, I am headed to my last area. It will be a city called Apucarana, close to Londrina. I was a little disappointed to leave Bauru, but not that much. I'm kinda just down for whatever at this point. It's just going to be really weird going to a new place knowing that in six weeks I will be leaving. It doesn't give a whole lot of motivation to get to know the people, the area, etc. I don't know who my comp will be or if I will still be zone leader.
It's really weird that I am now the oldest on the mission. I still feel like a noob, it's so weird. It's something I dont think will really register until I am on the plane. Hopefully I can maintain good focus for these last few weeks.
Love you all


Monday, June 27, 2011

"He lives right next to this house that sells drugs day and night..."

Looking back on this week, I have been less stressed I think. Our zone had a good week as far as baptisms go, so that probably contributed to the positive feelings.
Anderson didn't go to church yesterday, and we haven't been able to talk to him since Friday. We made a goal with him to stop smoking cigarettes by tomorrow, hopefully that didn't spark a crack relapse. He lives right next to this house that sells drugs day and night, so that is a rough temptation. He got a job, but somehow lost all his identification and worker card, so he has to redo all those docs. That might take a while.
The ward had the June party on Thursday. I think it is pretty weird that the church in Brazil doesn't see any problem with a holiday commemorating Saint John. I think the whole saint thing will take a couple generations to wear off. That is if any current members make it beyond this generation.
Anyway the party was cool, a lot of inactive members from other wards found out about the party and went. Also a ton of members brought their friends who liked the party a lot. We have started teaching a few of them, they seem like good prospects. Unfortunately I was doing a two hour baptismal interview with Augusto during most of the party. I wish I could tell you what went down. He got baptized in the end, so its fine.
Yesterday in sacrament meeting, a member was speaking and said that Freud (that perverted psychologist) was one of the greatest scientists of the last 200 years, up there with Einstein and Marx (who he talked a lot about during the talk.) That was a good laugh for me and Elder Stinocher. I don't think anyone else knew who those three are, so it went mostly unnoticed.
Well the week was pretty much a big rush with divisions, baptismal interviews, problems with a companionship, and all that. But it was solid.
Love you all


Monday, June 20, 2011

"He didn't smoke marijuana all week and only smoked crack once."

Well this was a disappointing week. We had a lot of baptisms lined up in the zone, but three interviews fell through or didn't pass. Paloma was one of them, she said she would go to the interview, but in the end just didn't. Later that day (Saturday) she had her son Felipe tell us that she didn't want to continue her studies with us anymore. Pretty disappointing, but whatever. In the end it's her loss.
We keep teaching Anderson. He didn't smoke marijuana all week and only smoked crack once. He has cut in half the number of cigarettes he smokes per day, he is doing great. He is really dedicated, and we have seen him changing a lot in the last few days. He also hasn't been drinking. We are going to try to get him more independent to maybe baptize him this weekend, but baptizing him early (before he is totally good) would be suicide.
Things are pretty good, really not a lot to report this week. Elder Stinocher and Sherwood are talking a lot about how soon I will be home (for example, yesterday we were eating sweet rice, and I was like "this tastes like horchata." Then Elder Sherwood just says "you will be drinking horchata again like eight weeks from now" it was kinda a surprise.) But it hasn't been too distracting.
Love you all, have a great week


Monday, June 13, 2011

"We fasted with her on Friday..."

We had a pretty good zone leader conference at the mission home in Londrina, it was good. We talked a lot about beginning teaching and asking good inspired questions. It was a productive conference.
Things are a little down in the mission at this point, basically a lot of the good zone leaders and a good assistant went home, so there is like a huge leadership lack in the mission. There are like 10 people in their first or second transfer as zone leader, kinda ineffective at this point, but probably the noobs will pick it up.
We have this investigator named Paloma. She went to church two weeks ago, and we have been visiting her frequently. She stopped smoking and keeps all the things we leave for her to do, but she didn't feel like she was ready to be baptized, but had no motive aside from wanting to wait. We fasted with her on Friday so she could know if God wanted her to be baptized, and she got the answer that yes, he does, but she still feels insecure. We marked her baptism for Wednesday and an interview on Tuesday. Hopefully we and the interviewer can get her confident and stoked.
That's about all I have as far as work goes. We got some hilarious new "Preach My Gospel" dvds, they show missionaries teaching before and after the new fundamental principles system. Dang hilarious.
Love you all


Monday, May 23, 2011

"Elder Villela went home today."

Early this morning in front of our house as Elders Villela and Markham leave for Londrina

Transfers are today. That means I had to do all the numbers by myself which takes up most of the computer time. Also I had to get the transfer news and pass it to everybody. So I have little time, again. So sorry
Well, all of our baptisms fell through this weekend. There is a difference between Parana and Sao Paulo in marriage laws, so Yara and Wagner will actually get married on June 4. So she will be baptized that day.
Elder Villela went home today. His dad came on Saturday and bought us some food, so that was pretty nice. Also he was at church on Sunday.
My new companion will be Elder Braga, from Maranão. He was the financial secretary, so basically he is crazy to just get out of the office and work, so that will be good. He is a cool guy, I think we will have a lot of success.
There were a lot of changes in the zone, a lot of good changes.
I'm so shocked that Spencer is graduating this week. Congratulations, that is a great time. USU will be the bomb.
Love you all,

Me, Jim and waterfalls



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"...five baptisms planned for Sunday, so pray for that to work out."

It's becoming almost tradition to write my emails to you guys on Tuesday instead of Monday. Yesterday we had another zone P-day with President. We went to this member's ranch. Ranches (CHACARA--I don't really know what the best word for this would be in English) in Brasil have soccer fields and pools and stuff. Also this one had a monkey and other animals.
So basically I just spent the whole time playing soccer on a grass field for the first time since that tournament with Logan and Kristen and their friends about 22 months ago. Its safe to say it was super tiring, like after one minute my lungs were already sore. But also it was super refreshing being able to kick a ball. I shoot better than before and I am just better overall. Which doesn't make sense since I have stopped playing.
We had interviews yesterday as well, and in the end there was no time leftover to use the internet, so President let us use it today. But once again I have so little time it's nuts.
But our investigator pool is good, we have about five baptisms planned for Sunday, so pray for that to work out.
The coolest is Yara, whose husband was baptized 30 years ago but went inactive. He stopped us on the street and we have been teaching them. They went to church the last two weeks. They are super self motivated, they go by taxi to church and arranged their marriage.
Also we are teaching Solange and her family. Her husband died two weeks ago, the same day her youngest of seven children was born. She is a relative of a member, so we visited her and she went to church with five children. She really needs the gospel, so we will work with her a lot on everything, especially the plan of salvation.
Thanks for everything, love you all!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"No time"

This photo was sent to Doree by Elder Titus' mom.
L to R: Elder Burt, Elder Titus, Elder Parrott, Elder Yuma
All four were in the CTM together. Burt and Titus were companions there.

As the subject suggests, I have no time. We got back to Bauru today at about 1 pm. On Monday morning we got a van with a bunch of other zone leaders and we all headed out for Foz to see the waterfalls there!
It was super super bomb, I'll send lots of photos (I took 222 there). It was nice to be able to walk around in jeans a bit, but also really, really weird.
We had conference on Tuesday in Foz and headed back to Londrina, where we slept and headed out this morning. So I don't have a lot of time, we gotta get to the street. But Mothers day was super, it was great to see and hear you all.
Love you all, have a great week


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

" We had a super spiritual conference with Elder Araujo..."

I wrote this a day late because yesterday Elder Villela, Elder Markham (our roommate/district leader) and I were in Londrina for some super sick training. I'll explain more about that later.
I'm stoked Osama is dead. Now all justification for the Afghan war is gone. Yes, their government isn't self sufficient. Yes, there is a big chance that Taliban will take over again. Yes, the republicans will keep preaching the Monroe Doctrine as long as possible, but in the end we just need to bounce and stop causing problems in other countries.
President Tavares sent us this really ominous email about the possible dangers to American missionaries. He said we should have a bag ready with a change of clothes so we can leave quickly if anything goes down, that we should have a "safe house" at a members residence in case someone is following us, and a few other anti-terrorist tips. But I think the most effective of all is the fact that Bin Laden basically caused 10 years of death and suffering for two Muslim countries. I think it is very unlikely that we would be the victim of any retaliatory attack.
But on with the letter.
We had a lot of success this week. We taught for the first time on Thursday this teen named Inara, who went to church once. We had a goal to baptize someone this weekend, so we invited her and she accepted. But in the end her parents and friend who is a member talked her into waiting a while longer. That is a little unfortunate, but alright.
On Saturday we had to go do an interview in a city in our zone called Lençois Paulista, so we got a bus there at 8ish. As we were arriving in the city we got a call informing us that she was on the way to Bauru because her dad got in a motorcycle accident there. So we turned around and went back. We ate lunch and soon after received a call telling us that she would be back in Lençois at 6 to be interviewed. So we got another bus back that took forever. Finally I interviewed her at 8 pm.
It was funny, I told her I am American and she was like "Wow, it's always been my dream to see an American up close!" So I was like, "Well, alright," and proceeded with the interview.
We stayed the night with the Elders there and got a bus home at 5:40 Sunday morning full of young adults on the way home from some party. This kid threw up behind me. Then we got home, showered, changed, packed up stuff for the conference in Londrina, went to church, ate lunch, and got a bus for Londrina at 3. We got there at 9:30ish and had to wake up at 5:30 yesterday.
We had a super spiritual conference with Elder Araujo (that dude that told the story about how he was inactive and surfing and a member walked out in the water to get him to go to church... I dunno if you remember that.). It was dang sick. We were going to stay til today, but President canceled the meetings we would have today. So we got a bus at midnight and got here at 4:30 am. And that pretty much brings us to now.
That might have not been a very interesting email, sorry. But I'm psyched to skype on Sunday! I will log in at 3:00-3:30 Brasil time, that's the best way for us. I will log on to my email, same system as last time. I don't have the member's phone number here, but I'll email it to you if a problem arises.
Love you all, talk to you soon!


Monday, April 25, 2011

"...I went without brushing my teeth for like two days."

It was a very good Easter this year, we baptized Pablo on Sunday. He is a pretty dedicated dude, he calls us like every day to see how we are and see if we are going to pass by his house. His mom, Osmarina, was confirmed, and Pablo's dad went to watch the baptism. Ill try to include a few photos.
As always my time is short. But the zone is doing pretty well. The assistants came to work here during pretty much all of the last week, and I basically did a tour with one of them. It was kinda thrown together, so I went without brushing my teeth for like two days. I used the good old finger and toothpaste method. Also I used the same pair of Gs for two and a half days. It was pretty disgusting, but we had some really good results. The goal for the mission was 100 baptisms last week, which we didn't get, but we will try again this week.
The Easter box still has not arrived, it is definitely in the mission office. I will get it either next Monday or in the following days, during which we will be in Londrina for a ZL conference. BUT Elder Villela got a bosssss Easter/birthday box that his mom sent to the bishop's house with Reese's and Butterfingers and stuff like that. Seeing that he lives in Belo Horizonte, I don't really know how she got her hands on that stuff, but it's better not to ask questions.
Dad, didn't you pass in Belo Horizonte? Maybe you baptized his grandma or something, that would be cool.
Other news... I am pretty stoked to use Skype for the communication on Mothers day. That will be cool seeing how you all look and stuff. I saw in the photo that Spencer is completely different, you look a lot older. But it's all good.
Honestly I don't think I have any other news. I love you all, we are working a ton and seeing a lot of miracles here.


Monday, April 18, 2011

"...I have never seen anyone so ready to be baptized."

Bauru is totally different than Londrina. It is basically a lot more ghetto and sick. People throw up low-quality graffiti in all places possible-the church, the front of our house, broken trains... it's pretty dang ill. Also the streets are totally full of sand, like all of the streets. I Can't really figure out why or how that happened, but the fact of the matter is that it is that way. But it's safe to say I love this city.
So on with the email. So the ward I am currently in is the Independence Ward, and I have never passed in any ward even a bit similar. The members here are so dang boss, we get a ton of references and this is the ward that basically is baptizing the most in the whole mission. I had never inherited a baptism in all the times I have been transferred. When I say inherited I mean have anyone progressing. But I got here and there are a lot of people already on the path.
On Sunday we baptized this super sick lady named Osmarina. She was super stoked and I have never seen anyone so ready to be baptized. She was taught four times over the space of 12 days before being baptized. Her son Pablo will be baptized next week, he already wants to go on a mission and learn to play piano in sacrament meeting.
We have a bunch of other people who are also moving forward really well and we are pushing to baptize three people on Sunday.
Well, zone leader basically means a lot of phone calls and organizing a lot of stuff. We do a weekly letter/newspaper on p-day, so my internet time will be seriously reduced from here on out. But I will work to increase my typing speed to get better letters to you all.
Love you, this is the Lord's work!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Transferred again

Well as the subject suggests, I have been transferred again! Actually, not til tomorrow, but tomorrow I will get a bus to Bauru, which is actually in the state of Sao Paulo. I will be a zone leader there with Elder Villela. I have worked with him a few times, he is a good guy and a dang hard worker. So I'm pretty stoked for that.
We had a lot of success this week with the new missionaries. We found a lot of new people and were able to teach more than I have taught in a long long time. We found a lot of good couples/families that will progress a lot. Alecsandro has kind of fallen off the map, I was finally able to talk to him yesterday, he said we can pass by on Wednesday, but I don't really know if he wants to receive us.
Well I need to go pack my bags and plan a ride to take me to the bus station tomorrow.
Love you all very much

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"...the spirit was bomb."

Well yesterday all day and this morning we were in conference with the leaders from the four zones in the proximity. It was dang sick, we studied some dang ill stuff and the spirit was bomb. So seeing as today is Tuesday, we were instructed to use internet briefly.
Sickest thing of the week... Charlotte is getting MARRIED!!!!!!! YEAAH!! That was basically the topic of various talks this conference, so that is good that you are following that counsel. It's going to be kinda weird to have in-laws, but whatever. I'm glad I'll be home in time to see it happen. And make some solid "Contacts" at the wedding rarrarra. YEAH!
Second sickest thing... This family we are teaching, Alecsandro and Adriana. We found them last Monday. They are not very religious, which is always good. They both read the Book of Mormon and are liking it. Alecsandro went to the Saturday morning session of conference and was impressed. Adriana didn't go because she is expecting a child in a few days. They have a lot of potential.
Third sickest thing... CONFERENCE!! The marriage talks stuck out a lot, dang Elder Scott put on the pressure like no other. We watched the Saturday morning session and the two on Sunday. I used the learning glasses, and most of the other people here really didn't get why I would possibly use glasses with no glass. They'll see...
Fourth sickest thing... Ten American missionaries that were without visas to come here got their visas!! They will get here tonight and two of them will sleep in our house. That will be quite the adventure, maybe.
Barack Obama came here basically to negotiate their visas and it looks like it worked jajaja.
Fifth sickest thing... Elder Amaral, he is dang sick
Sixth sickest thing... Working with old Jim for a day. It was pretty classic.
Rodrigo has basically disappeared, well see what happens with that.
Well, this email didn't turn out too bad I think. But alright yeah my English paragraph forming is toast.
Love you all


Monday, April 4, 2011

No letter today.

The missionary mom world is a small one. This is what Elder Derek Titus' mom heard and shared with me.
There are 24 incoming elders from the states, arriving tomorrow, April 5th. Also the Londrina Mission is opening up six new areas. If this is correct, then the existing elders were and are very, very, very busy.
This is such exciting news! Especially because there have been troubles with visas and getting the missionaries to the place they were called to serve!
Knowing my son is so busy serving and preparing for others to serve makes me very pleased.

Monday, March 28, 2011

"We helped a member build a wall..."

This week was super uneventful.
One thing pretty interesting is that I seem to have an allergy to the north side of the city. I have a runny and congested nose like I had basically the whole time I was in Semiramis. It is kinda weird, I think I am a little bit allergic to the dust here, which is abundant because of the construction happening here. I talked to Sister Tavares, she told me to get some allergy medicine. So we will see what happens with that.
Well, Rodrigo smoked marijuana and cigarettes again. We took all his cigarettes from him and he said he only lights up socially, so he will basically have to stand up to his friends and tell them that he won't smoke weed anymore.
We are hoping to baptize him and his brother Clayton on Saturday between sessions of conference. We will work a lot with them this week.
Our other investigators have basically all fallen through. We honestly didn't do the best work this week, so we really didn't have a lot of result. I couldn't really have expected anything different.
So on tomorrow Elder Allred and I will work together for the day, that will be a classic. It's pretty weird to think that we kicked it at USU and now almost two years later we are working together like 5,000 miles from home. But a classic no doubt.
Really nothing interesting happened this week. We helped a member build a wall, that was kinda cool, but I got a pretty heavy sunburn on the part of the neck that the collar generally covers.
Well, I hope things are better this week. We have some pretty high goals, so we are stoked to make it happen.

Monday, March 21, 2011

" experiences of my mission was on Sunday."

Some post rain recovery in Maxi (Brasilian word for Sam's Club)

A horse

This was a dang sick week. We had a ton of people at church including these two kids, Elber and Clayton. They are pretty guaranteed baptisms on Sunday. So we are stoked for that.
Today we had lunch at President's house because our zone had very clean houses when Sister inspected them.
We got there and did some practicing and then got a surprise present: 2ish hours of soccer! We have two ex-professionals in our zone, one who played on the u-15 Brasilian national team, so it was pretty dang sick. Elder Allred and I slayed like always.
We worked a lot this week and had a lot of results. We have a lot of new investigators and people moving forward. Probably one of the best experiences of my mission was on Sunday. We were at a members house teaching Elber and this dude named Rodrigo. We were teaching about repentance and baptism and stuff. In the middle of the lesson he was like "I want to talk privately with you guys after the lesson." So we were like alright whatever.
We went with him to the kitchen of the house and he was like "After you guys visited me for the first time I didn't really want to change that much. I drank, smoked cigarettes and marijuana, and stole things since the last time you visited. I didn't even read the Book of Mormon. But now as you guys were teaching me I realized that really I wasn't just lying to you guys, I was lying to Christ. Now that you said the things you said, I want to change and get ready to be baptized."
It was pretty dang sick I felt way happy for him, probably kind of how a bishop feels when someone comes to repent. I'm really glad that now he will be able to progress and be baptized. He is Clayton's brother, I think they will really help each other.
After the lesson we had to cross a big bean field and Elder Amaral and I made a dank freestyle video. Then there was this theif-looking dude at the end of the path and elder Amaral was like "Your camera is gone" But I was like no way, so we cut a different path across the field. He was in a urinating pose the whole time, like four minutes, so that is pretty weird.
In the box I could use some stick antiperspirant deodorant, Degree. That's all I can think of.
Word to all my friends at Utah State and around the world.
Thanks for all the help, love you all
The party

21 years old


Monday, March 14, 2011

"...I started looking pretty intelligent with those glasses."

Well everyone in our teaching group cut us on Saturday. We had this nine year-old girl that read 50 pages of the Book of Mormon because she liked it, but her mom said they will not receive us any more. The same was the situation with three or four other families that we were teaching and that were progressing. So that was really lame.
But a member brought two dudes who are basically ready to be baptized, they already came to church many times and received the lessons. We will see if we can make it happen on Saturday.
My birthday was pretty lame, it was Carnaval. There isn't really a lot of commemoration in Londrina, but people are off work so they generally visit relatives and always drink.
Teaching is pretty difficult, kinda like it would be on the 4th of July in America. Fortunately it was just a few days. But I bought this good pizza and ate it with Ranch, that was nice demais. That mini rhyme made me remember, Elder Amaral and I will probably present a hip hop version of some primary songs or something in the talent contest in the ward. It should be pretty good. Rap in Portuguese is alright, but I prefer rhyming in English. I will record it and hit you up.
Those Learning glasses you sent me have helped a lot. I started parting my hair and I started looking pretty intelligent with those glasses. I enjoyed all the things you sent me and all the letters, thanks a lot.
To the Johnson children: The MTC is dang sick if you like learning, eating, feeling the spirit, and playing sports. I dunno what those missionaries' problem is.
We started teaching this stellar couple, Jose and Sueli and their two year old daughter Sandra. They are dang sick and are stoked about the Book of Mormon and stuff.
That's about all I have to report. I forgot my camera, so the Birthday photos will have to wait til later. Love you all, pray for you daily.


Monday, March 7, 2011

"My comp...likes to rap with me as we walk from activity to activity."

Well, I don't really know what was going on in this area, but they were not teaching very much and weren't bringing people to church. We found a bunch of dang good people really fast. We have a few incomplete families we are teaching, and a lot of potential baptisms.
It was cool to see all the members of Semiramis on Sunday at church, they were all really happy to have me back in the neighborhood.
On Wednesday, I got a call from the secretaries asking what airport I want to land at. It was really weird, I wish they could have called closer to the end. I will land in Salt Lake (I wanted Logan, but it is impossible) on the 18th of August. SO that's that.
My comp is the MAN!!! He is Elder Amaral, he is from Maceio, Alagoas, which is the most violent capital in the country. He is sick, he has fought people in the street before and stuff. He likes Bob Marley and Matisyahu and likes to rap with me as we walk from activity to activity. He is dang ill, and he is psyched that we are finding good people to teach. He made some good/weird breakfast thing today, it was pretty cool I guess.
I will probably do nothing special on my birthday, just work. Maybe at night I will eat ice cream or order pizza or something. Jim/Elder Allred said he will hook me up with a dope present of some kind. It will probably be an Ensign, that's about as dope as it gets for missionaries.
I don't have a lot to report, all of the missionaries in my district here are super motivated and do a fantastic job. The sisters (really just one of them) talk a lot, so I have to reserve about 20 minutes per night to hear about their activities. But Sometimes I get lucky and the less talkative one (the American) answers the phone, then it doesn't take very long. So that's about all I have to say about that.
Love you all,


Monday, February 28, 2011

"It is so frustrating when people teach false doctrine in church..."

Finally things worked out! We got investigators to go to church for the first time since Elder Prado got here. You asked about Jusmara...She went to church with her daughter, bore her testimony in the Relief Society, and will give us lunch on Saturday. That is dang sick. She is doubtless going to be baptized in a bit.
There is this other dude, Reinaldo, who also went to church. He visited the church once in Ireland, when he worked there. He went with a dude from Cambé, Moacir, who also worked there at the time.
I watched movies at Moacir's house many times with C. Thrapp. Anyway, he is pretty cool, he asked a lot of questions about the temple and stuff.
Also there is this girl named Aline who went to church with her mom, who was inactive for the last fourish years till we visited her with the bishop. She has a lot of potential.
The bad news of all this is that now that things are fixed, I am being transferred, I found out right now.
I will go back to my last district and work in the ward that also meets in the chapel of Semiramis. That is kinda weird, it will be my third area in that stake (Tiradentes) of seven wards, two of which are sisters. I am basically a legend in Tiradentes by now. The new Zone Leader there will be Elder Allred, so I will be able to do divisions with him, that will be ILL demais.
I got the birthday box about two weeks ago, I'm stoked to get into the stuff. But I am being patient this time and waiting till my birthday.
Elder Prado regained the faith. I'll just say it was quite the saga, hopefully I don't have to deal with that again. But in the end I know that now he will be able to be an effective missionary and member.
Speaking of members, I would like to share three points of "Doctrine" shared in Sacrament meeting on Sunday, I think they are all dang funny.
1. We, as members, cannot sleep on Sunday, because it is the Sabbath.
2. Full time missionaries become part of the Quorum of Apostles while in the field, and upon their release return to the Elders Quorum
3. To go to the Celestial Kingdom, you need to be sealed in the temple (this idiotic mix-up provided by a high counselor after reading a scripture about the three degrees of glory in the Celestial and thinking it meant Telestial, Terrestrial, Celestial).
I feel bad for the bishop, and really for any member who reads the scriptures. It is so frustrating when people teach false doctrine in church, especially when we have dope investigators.
My new comp will be Elder Amaral, he is dang sick, so I am excited to work in that area. There are also two sisters and two Americans, it will be very different from my current district. We are going to play beach soccer today on a sand field close to our house, I'm dang stoked. I'll send a bunch of recent photos next week.
I passed 1.5 years...
Love you all


Monday, February 21, 2011

"...I prayed basically nonstop in the kitchen/study room."

This week was very hectic. I divided with the elders from University Ward (which strangely enough does not have any students) on Wednesday, then on Thursday when we traded back all hell broke loose.
Elder Prado said that he didn't believe in God anymore and that nothing that happens and nothing we teach has any value. I was like, alright well you are incorrect, bore my testimony of the Godhead, and asked if he wanted to talk to president.
He called, and president told him to get a blessing from me and red some scriptures. So he did it, and spent the rest of the day and evening talking to himself in the bedroom while I prayed basically nonstop in the kitchen/study room. In the end he recovered his faith, but it is still not guaranteed that he will stay here. I hope he stays on his mission.
Well, basically that whole saga messed up the whole week. We had a great visit with Jusmara on Sunday, she is progressing well and is now basically convinced that Catholicism is false because the Book of Mormon is responding to all of her questions that she has had through the years. We are psyched abut her progress.
We had an area 70 visit us today, Elder Tobias, and I have no time to write a decent letter. I love you all, thanks for the emails and support. Everything is good here with me.


Monday, February 14, 2011

"A worse week with a better attitude"

The jungle

The fixed bed

As the title of this email suggests, the week was worse than the last. We really didn't see any progress on the part of any of our investigators. Junior stopped calling us. Erica is really busy. Catiane is just interested in Elder Prado (jajaja). Jusmara doesn't recognize the truth right in front of her eyes. and everyone else is nonexistent.
We were able to teach very little this week and found few new people. So we have dang high goals this week, hopefully we will break the Quebec teaching record.
I got one dang sick piece of news this week. I was teaching this woman named Daniele in Semiramis a few months ago. She was a sure baptism, but kinda disappeared. I got really disappointed. But I left a teaching record there hoping that the sisters could make it happen.
So last night I was talking to them (we have an investigator who we teach here but was going to go to church there) and she told me that Daniele got married to her boyfriend on Saturday so that she can be baptized this weekend! I got so dang stoked that things worked out for her, it's nuts, when there is an elect person, Heavenly Father does what it takes to get them back.
An Elder was doing a division with me in Semiramis, talked to a dude who gave us his address there, we went there and found that he had moved and Daniele lived in the house behind his. We taught her, but her boyfriend didn't like it. President took out both of us to put in Sisters, who taught her a bunch of specific lessons. So dang ill how that kind of thing works out.
Today, Valentines, marks the three year anniversary since the first Horses Concert at seminary. What a humble beginning to what has become a great legacy.
Things are good with Elder Prado, we are united and stuff, we both want to make changes in this area.
I'm dang stoked to hear about the revolution in Egypt, that is very impressive. The Arab people have enormous oppression from the governors, and I believe this uprising in Egypt can inspire the people of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other oppressively-governed countries.
It is also an enormous step to the second coming. The gospel would never be preached to the Egyptians as long as they had a theocratic dictator. Maybe things can go forward now.
You asked about how schools are here. I have never been into a school here until now, but from what I have seen on the outside they are pretty good. I believe that schools can be as good as the students let them be. I think in some areas of the city, the education is low-quality, because the students don't really want to learn. It is that way in the whole world.
I took a few good photos this week. I will attach a bunch.
Love you all very much, thanks for the support. There isn't anything more you can do, I just have to do my part to make things work out.
A rainy afternoon

Two Horses in the darkness



Monday, February 7, 2011

"I fixed my bed, that would probably be the highlight of the week."

This week, as the subject states, was pretty lame. Really there were no new developments, so this email will likely be short.
We dropped a lot of old investigators that were just not moving forward, including Rosangela. She is at a point in her life in which she just doesn't want to make a big change. I believe that in the future she will be baptized.
Our investigators are not going to church and it is dang annoying. That has been a big struggle here in this area. I don't really know what more can be done.
We marked with a bunch of members to do divisions this week, we have two men to go with us every night, so that's going to help a lot.
Sometimes missionary work is just really lame. Yesterday we passed by about ten references and knocked doors for four hours and were not able to teach anyone. I know that there are probably missions in the world where that is normal, but it is really not what we are used to in Brasil. So Basically I will have to get used to it until I get a new area.
I fixed my bed, that would probably be the highlight of the week. I was sleeping on a mattress on the ground, but now I used a bunch of obsolete church materials to make supports for the parts of the bed that were broken. So it has been nice sleeping on a bed.
Love you

"And the story goes on
there's no glory and the worry takes a toll on
his own body but his buddies wanna roll on
It's all bloody when the car comes to a stop
the police with the big glocks pull 'em out
they say freeze but there's only one one comin out
there's two dead with a legal gun to his head
It's stupid, he shoulda played ball instead"

Monday, January 31, 2011

"...there are too many people to teach and too little time!"

The baptism of Laynife: Me, Elder De Azevedo, Laynife,
Luciana, Luciene, Breno (the ward mission leader), and his wife Luiana

So on Tuesday Elder De Azevedo headed out. Elder Prado got in at about 3 or 4 in the afternoon. We have basically been shredding it since his arrival, more than ever on my mission. We pretty much set a Quebec record for people taught this week, it was boss, and we found a ton of new people. Elder Prado is a pretty cool guy...for now he is planning on staying on the mission, so that is good news.
My legs were very, very, very sore on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I didn't warm up or stretch or anything before playing soccer on Monday. Before the mission I always just went straight to work shooting and running fast and there were no repercussions. But my legs are aging and warm up will be a necessity from here on out.
Time is going by really fast, there are too many people to teach and too little time! But we found a bunch of dope ones on Saturday and Sunday. I'll just give a brief description of them.
The most boss is Junior. We found his name among old references that past missionaries got. We passed by his house on Saturday and he is dang rich. Generally rich people give us their name and tell us to pass another day just to get rid of us, and I feared the same with Junior. But we rang his interphone and he let us in after putting his rottweilers away.
He is dang sick, he is Presbyterian and lives with his wife. We taught him the restoration and he understood, which is super super rare. He got stoked about the BoM (which we are teaching in the first lesson always now. We used to not talk about it til the second visit.) and promised to read it. So we are super stoked about him.
Shortly after leaving Junior's house, we found Erica, who is also dang cool. She is a journalist and doesn't go to any church. She also payed attention to what we said and understood, and also got psyched because of the BoM. She is really busy most of the time, but said that on Sunday she will go to church.
There were other people too, but I don't have time to talk about all of them.
Love you all, have a good week. Oh also, my "heartburn" passed and the doctor said it was probably just gas. That is relieving. Love
Elder Prado and I

"And the story goes on
there's no glory and the worry takes a toll on
his own body but his buddies wanna roll on
It's all bloody when the car comes to a stop
the police with the big glocks pull 'em out
they say freeze but there's only one one comin out
there's two dead with a legal gun to his head
It's stupid, he shoulda played ball instead

Monday, January 24, 2011

"...we were liberated to play soccer for this one day!"

We finally broke the Quebec curse!! It had been seven months since the last baptism here, and finally we stopped that with Laynife (whose name I have been writing and saying wrong since I met her).
She was baptized on Saturday and confirmed Sunday. It was really good, her mom, who is Catholic and didn't go to the baptism of the older daughter, went to the baptism and confirmation, and we are going to work with her.
Today was Zone P-day with president, and we were liberated to play soccer for this one day! Elder Allred is here in the zone, so we played on the same team and remembered the good old days, scoring sick goals left and right.
It´s safe to say that the Brazilians were all dang surprised that we were able to chop them. We played for about two hours before lunch and two after, it was refreshing.
We also went to an all-you-can-eat ice creamery, that was pretty good, but I am feeling pretty sick now. That will pass quickly.
Speaking of stomach feelings, how does heartburn feel? I fear that I have heartburn, it's basically a sensation that I feel like it would be good to throw up at any moment, this weird pain in the esophagus only. I have had this sensation since about Saturday, I will call sister Tavares about it.
I'm dang stoked that Spencer got his eagle!! That's what I'm talking about!
Our group of investigators shrunk, a lot of people are just too lazy to pray or read, so that makes it really hard for them to progress.
Rosangela is basically stuck. She has been reading the Book of Mormon like nuts, already got to Alma. But she can't really go to church because she has to take care of her mother in law. Her mother in law doesn't like to go to church, so really she is in a pickle. We are coming to a crucial point wit her.
So we found out about the transfers today, Elder De Azevedo is being transferred and I will NOT be training! Yeah! My new comp will be Elder Prado, from Goiânia. I have heard that he is dang cool. I have had comps from almost every part of Brasil now- the northeast, the north (3), São Paulo, now the Midwest. I just need a comp from the south to finish things off. Aside from that change, our district will stay the same. I'm glad, I really like the Elders here.
Everything is good here, I am dang stoked to be here. I have passed through a lot of testimonial challenges and have gotten a lot stronger. I have made no doubt a ton of friends for life, and my shot has become harder and more accurate hahaha. Weird that I have gotten better at soccer without playing.
Thanks for verifying all the info for my college, generally we leave the mission a couple weeks before our entry date, so I'm pretty sure that I will be back in time to start without any problems. Is there any way to renew my drivers license from here, or will I have to do another drivers test and stuff when I get back?
Thanks for all the things you have all done for me, it has made things really easy here.
Love you all

Sorry, no photos

"And the story goes on
there's no glory and the worry takes a toll on
his own body but his buddies wanna roll on
It's all bloody when the car comes to a stop
the police with the big glocks pull 'em out
they say freeze but there's only one one comin out
there's two dead with a legal gun to his head
It's stupid, he shoulda played ball instead"

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Baptism is essential, but it really doesn't help if the person isn't going to even try to stay firm."

A frog

We ran into a ton of pretty funny people this week. We decided to work in a wealthy area that we had never worked in before.
So we were knocking doors (pushing intercom buttons actually) and we got a few good references. Then we got to this one house and this dude named Paulo came out and opened the gate for us without saying anything. So we went and sat down and started the message like normal.
He didn't say anything until we invited him to pray about Joseph Smith. Then he was like "What will I get for that?" So we re-explained what it means to have a living prophet. Then he went into this long explanation about how he doesn't go to any church because they all have men involved.
I was like "Well yeah, what do you expect, that God himself shows up personally to build a church and teach the people? He has always used men and always will." Then he told us that he had heard that we used the pretense of a message about Christ to get in and then talk about Joseph Smith. So I was like "Well yeah, that's basically how it works. They really go hand-in-hand"
Then he got all confused as to the word anti-Christ and said that Joseph Smith was an anti-Christ, so then I told him that in our message we explain what the Restoration is.
Then he was like "Oh I meant someone who comes before Christ, not someone against Christ" (the prefixes anti and ante sound basically the same in Portuguese, but one means against and the other means before.)
To close he was like "I hope you tell your superiors that I caught you in your trick and discovered your plan" (talking about the Restoration). It was a pretty funny lesson. But we found a bunch of good investigators in that area, so it was good in the end.
I did a baptismal interview on Saturday, but the dude failed miserably. It looked like the elders really hadn't taught him anything or asked him if he would be willing to keep commandments. Baptism is essential, but it really doesn't help if the person isn't going to even try to stay firm. It's like giving a pig a bath hoping that it wont roll in the mud, basically just a Hail Mary.
This zone is the zone that generally baptizes most, so there is a lot of pressure from the zone leaders. But I decided to seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, rather than damn myself and the people we teach just to please the zone leaders.
I am going to buy a cool leather scripture case for my quad, there is this person that does drawings in leather of scripture scenes and stuff, so I'm going to order that today. I remembered some things that would be helpful for my birthday. You sent me that CD "The Master's Touch" for Christmas, but the CD didn't work. Could you burn me another copy and send that? That would be really nice. Also some ranch dressing (Kraft, just normal ranch), and some vitamins. Vitamins are extremely expensive here, like 60 dollars for 100 vitamins. some more country gravy mix would also be beneficial.
Things are going very well, we are working a ton and until now the results haven't come, but hopefully soon it will work out. Laynefer will be baptized on Saturday.
The view from the bishop's apartment

A snake smoking a pipe
The symbol of the Brazilian operation in Italy in World War II (maybe?)

"One of them got out a revolver, and the man said, "Yes, this may scare people who believe in many gods and one world, because for them this would end everything. I am a person who believes in one god, but in many worlds. So you can't scare me with that."

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Her name is super bizarre in Portuguese...but we will baptize her all the same."

A sunrise

Igapo Lake in my area

SUBWAY for lunch

Well, this week was pretty normal. Rosangela is doing well, she has read until 2 Nephi something and is liking it. We are trying to get her to pray, which has been a problem for her until now. When she takes time to pray and see if the book is true, she will be baptized, and probably her sons will just follow her example.
Her husband, Adão is really hard to find at home, and he doesn't communicate very well with his wife. But that family is way bomb, Rosangela said that really she hasn't followed any church steadily because her mom was a fervent Catholic that spent more time at church that with her kids. So Rosangela never really liked churches and promised herself that her children would always be priority.
Now that her kids are old (one about to start the last year of high school and the other already in college) she has time to follow a church. The only real problem is that her mother-in-law, Dina, has Alzheimers and three hours in church are very tiring for her. Rosangela usually takes care of Dina, so that makes it hard for her to come to church. But her progress is good, her sons are starting to get interested (one asked what happens to babies and small children that die-MORONI 8). So that is the family that I like most and is progressing best.
There is this eight year old girl whose sister is a member that wants to get baptized. Her name is super bizarre in Portuguese, Laynefer (pronounced LINE-eh-fur) but we will baptize her all the same.
We have a few other people that are doing alright, but nobody that I haven't already mentioned.
We helped the other elders in the district in their area the other day, and they sent us to this place that they had never visited before.
It is a really big neighborhood on the map, so we were stoked to establish the church there. We had to cut through the university to get to the area, about a 40 minute walk. We got to where the neighborhood should have been and found only partially finished roads covered in a soy plantation. I took a photo of the Lost Neighborhood and attached it in this email.
I ate Subway for lunch last Tuesday, daaang subway is GOOOD. My comp thinks it is worthless junk food. but whatever, I got it on whole bread.
Well, the mission is the best. We are having a great time, our relationship is good, and the success is just around the corner. I am diggin this area.
For my birthday I could use some learning glasses (I think I explained it before Christmas), and basically letters and photos and stuff. I thought of something else, I will think of it and tell you next week.
Love you all
The lost city

Pay close attention to the impressive tan lines on my arm from my shirt and watch

"One of them got out a revolver, and the man said, "Yes, this may scare people who believe in many gods and one world, because for them this would end everything. I am a person who believes in one god, but in many worlds. So you can't scare me with that."

Monday, January 3, 2011

First email of the last year

I made a bomb new years video at midnight. I was asleep and then the concentration of fireworks started at midnight and woke me up. So I was like, "I'm not going to be able to sleep through this." So I got up, put on a shirt, and made a video. It was pretty good I think.
There were fireworks going off basically from Christmas Eve til Sunday afternoon, so that has been kinda bomb, kinda lame. Bomb when they are colored fireworks, lame when it is just a really loud bomb that flies in the air and irritates everyone in the neighborhood.
But New Years Eve was cool, we could see a lot of fireworks from our porch. I mustered up the courage to use some of those poppers you sent me and the air horn, my comp thought they were all cool.
We had a surprisingly successful week, the holiday basically took all people out of commission on Friday and Saturday, all drunk or sleeping. But one couple we are teaching, Rosangela and Adão, came to church and brought Adão's Alzheimer-inflicted mom. They liked it.
Also this recent convert who moved here from Belem came to church and brought her younger sister, Laynefer, who wants to be baptized. So that will be bomb. Another investigator we have is named Carla. She is pretty good, she wants to get baptized, but the overdose death of a close friend messed up Sunday so she couldn't go to church.
But she is pretty set for baptism on the 16th. With any luck, we will baptize Adão, Rosangela, Carla, and Laynefer on the 16th and break the Quebec curse (no baptisms since May) and get a barbecue from the first counselor in the stake presidency that lives in our ward.
Three baptisms in a month gets us that prize, it was like the first thing he told us when he picked us up to bring us to this area. The ward is coming along a lot, really getting behind us and offering basically whatever we ask. Except referrals haha.
It has been really hot here recently. I have been using a lot of sunscreen because I don't want cancer.
Today will be an interesting Pday. My visa expired about four months ago, so today I am going to renew it. Someone in São Paulo controls who renews the visa when, so I have been forced to be here illegally for the last few months. It has been interesting, now I know what it is like to be an illegal immigrant: completely normal, I still feel human and still have been treated with respect.
If only the states in America could treat their aliens the same. Was that law repealed yet?
ANYWAY things are good here with my comp. I tried to discuss the possible benefits of legalizing marijuana with him, but he got kinda upset and said he would tell President Tavares. I told him that was fine. What is the legal status of weed in the USA right about now? And is there still like a civil war because of drugs going on in Mexico?
Well, that's about all I have to say. I hope you all have a great week, sorry I don't have any photos this week
Love you,

"One of them got out a revolver, and the man said, "Yes, this may scare people who believe in many gods and one world, because for them this would end everything. I am a person who believes in one god, but in many worlds. So you can't scare me with that."