So this week was Christmas which meant that there were a lot of people on vacation, so we couldn´t talk with some people, but anyway. I really had a good Christmas especially with the different Christmas messages that we taught to people to help them remember Christ. There are a lot of people who really don´t think a lot about the true meaning of Christmas, and it really helped me remember, and think about it. I love the Savior, and everything that he has done for us, and I think that Christmas is such a good time for us to really remember him. In the scriptures it talks about how the birth of the savior was welcomed with glorious songs of hosts of angels, and sometimes I think we don´t stop to really think about how wonderful, meaningful, and important the Birth of the Savior was. We learn in the scriptures that there were nations waiting for the birth of their Savior, because this meant salvation, for some worldly salvation, and for others spiritual salvation, and the birth of the Savior meant the completion of this promise. It is something so simple, yet something so special that sometimes I wonder if we really understand all the Jesus Christ did for us. I know that we don´t, but when we remember him, we understand a little more.
Thank you all for your support, and Happy New Year. I hope that we can all continue to light the world in 2018.
-My new District
-The pokemon that we can buy here in a little coin turner think (like the ones where you put in quarters)
- Me and my companion with a sign that says something along the lines of ``almost there!´´
- The different presents that we got from our branch. (I got one of the things that Elder Gomes is holding as well)
From Khristine: Also, we learned some interesting things from our email and skype with Elder Pettingill this week. I'll list them below.
- Elder Gomes is a convert of 4 years. He is the only member in his family. His parents are not very good with technology so he rarely hears from them. He was able to skype with his sister on Christmas but not the rest of his family. He also did not receive a Christmas package from home, so the gifts we sent for him were the only gifts he received, other than what the ward gave him. He was very grateful for the gifts we sent, and he send us a thank you video to express his appreciation.
- We asked Josh how long it took him to get used to the culture and the food. He said the culture is very easy to adapt to in Brazil. He said the people are very loving and warm. But he said the food was harder for him, not because of what he eats but because of how much he has to eat. He said it is required of him to eat a lot more than what he would normally have eaten at home. He told us that, at his first dinner appointment, he really offended the family because he didn't eat enough of the food they served him. So it took him a while to be able to eat all the food he is served at meals. But he is able to eat it all now
- He told us that, even though it is summer where he is currently serving, they are in the mountains, so it is not nearly as hot as other places in Brazil. So he is comfortable most of the time.
- He told us that it has taken his whole mission to be comfortable in the language but he still has times when he doesn't feel like he knows everything he wants to say. He said he speaks only Portuguese every day, and you could tell he was searching for the phrases to use in English. He had a very noticeable accent on his English words.
- He has been out 11 months and will come home in exactly one year (just before Christmas). We asked how he feels about having only one year left on his mission. He said he still can't believe that he is a missionary living in Brazil, and that it is so weird to think that he only has one year left.
- We asked if he gets homesick. He said he has gotten a little homesick because of Christmas, but otherwise, he never really gets homesick.
- Daniel asked him if the things he learned in the MTC helped him once he got in the mission field. He said not really. He said the only way to learn the things he needed was to actually do them. But he did think the Sao Paulo MTC was a good way to ease into the culture. He compared it to dipping your toe in the water versus jumping all the way in.
- We asked why they do thumbs up in their pictures that he sends home. He said that thumbs up is a hand signal that they know is not a gang sign, so they all do it so they are not flashing a gang sign accidentally.
- We asked what they will do to celebrate the new year. He said they have to be in their apartment on New Year's Eve by 7 pm, most likely for their protection. They get to sleep in on New Year's Day and then it will just be a regular pday. But he will not email because the email places will not be open, so they will likely email on Tuesday again next week.