Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 2 in the field!!

Dear family and friends, So happy to be here in Curitiba! There are so many things that I´ve been learning every single day. To give a brief update on how I´m doing, I´ll make a list of what has happened in this last week:

Bitten by a dog (just on the pants, I didn´t bleed that much)(didn´t bleed, don´t freak out please),

walked more in one week than in 2 months at the CTM, taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd lessons and commandments, invited people to be baptized and had them accept, at least 15 contacts in the street daily, wake up bright and early every morning at 6:30, watched as a little kid peed on the floor in the middle of our lesson, getting stuffed with food at member´s homes for lunch, having the Português firehose set to destroy the brain, but yet understanding more and more of what people are saying, trying to communicate and watching people´s faces contort in confusion as I talk in real good Portogeez, having a great companion (Elder Duarte) and learning a lot every day and also working our bottoms off, getting a severe watch tan line in the first few days, and having my nose and ears peel off (Don´t worry mom, I learned), going to the Policia Federál and meeting up with my buddies from the CTM….the list goes on and on and on. Basically, I have been thrown off a cliff with a little kit that tells me how to put together a parachute, and right now I´m in the screaming and worrying phase. This week, however, will hopefully be more of settling down and reading the instructions, and taking away a little more of the stress. Yesterday I had a great opportunity to go on splits..with the LZ Elder Nascimento. Since Elder Duarte is the LD, we´re going to have these a lot, and I was more than a little nervous to go to another area and work with an Elder who is way more experienced and qualified. I soon learned, though, that through hard work and smiling, every missionary can be any position. Like a leader in the church said, the greatest secret to missionary work is WORK, and that´s exactly what we´ve been doing. Every day has been a grind, but it´s the best kind of work that we can possibly be doing. Sometimes it gets a little frustrating, but then, at the end of the day, on the last street, with the last person, who has the dogs from Heck, you get a person that is ready and willing to hear the Gospel. It´s those little moments that make this whole ordeal worth it. We are teaching several families right now, and like Dad said, many people just don´t think being married is important. There are 2 great families, Edson and Sirlane and also Marcos and Sonja, that are about ready to be baptized and have been for quite some time, but are still unmarried. It´s difficult, but they are trying to get the money and stuff ready, and HF will bless them and us for their efforts. We are also continuing to try and find people – one of the hardest things to do. A frustrating thing here has been that in the Area Book, some of the Elders were maybe a little less than what I like to call organized, and the book is kind of a mess. Also, when I first arrived here, our house was comparable to an explosion. The lights wouldn´t work because there was a storm nearby, clothes everywhere, and the like. That was a scary day, the first day. It´s tough to be excited when you don´t know what people are saying, but again, it´s those little moments that really push us to keep on going. Dad was right – the first few weeks at the beginning (and the end) are the hardest, but I know it won´t always be this way. After a while, it´ll start to come together and get easier. I do have one goal, however; never to get “comfortable” with where I am. Constant improvement. One awesome thing that happened at the end of our CTM time was our district got together, made a circle, and took turns telling each person what we learned from them. This was a great opportunity to recognize that people really do notice the little things we do. We had an awesome, AWESOME district. The main thing that brought us together was our desire to serve and become the best missionaries that we possibly could be. Because of this, I know that Elders Hardy, Beckstrand, Brown, Lott, Landeen, Carter, Martin, and McClure, and Sisters Schneider, Lindenlaub, Ward, and Armstrong will always have a special bond. This love was amazing to watch grow and blossom as we grew in the CTM, and I already feel like I´m being stretched and growing even more out here in Curitiba. It really is a testimony to me about how much our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to find in ourselves our true potential, for He already knows – we just have to discover it for ourselves. To all that read this letter, know this: I KNOW that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He came here for us as individuals. I know that as I continue to Preach His Gospel here that people will see my testimony of Him and be converted through His Spirit. I know that we can all work miracles with Faith and works, as well as through sincere and mighty prayer. I am learning here how to become a missionary, how to become a man, and how best to represent all of you and, most importantly, our Savior Jesus Christ. Again, I KNOW He lives. Love you all more than words can say (well, they can say how much, but I only have an hour here…you get it) Ciao, Elder Jacob Brown, Brazil Curitiba

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