Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 17


Dear Family,

The month of November is descending to a close. It's certainly hard to believe that I was celebrating Thanksgiving in Arizona this time a year ago.Nevertheless, being here is no less of a cause to be giving thanks.

This last week has been a lot about realizing more about myself in regards to patience.A good part of the last week was not particularly effective. I was sick on Wednesday.Nevertheless, things improved and after feeling pretty down on Friday as well, we were finally able to get back to some work.  
One sentiment that I felt in the CTM was that if I were to work as hard as I could during the mission and focus on the Lord's work as much as I could, that the Lord would bless me to procure all the opportunities that I had either neglected or not used to full capacity before my mission.  Needless to say, despite that feeling, I also have the feeling that I haven't been working hard enough nor effectively enough.
How can I increase my effectively?  IDEAS for studying the scriptures or Preach my gospel?  
One thing that you might think funny to know is that the Branch here is really full of unusual characters, to put it affectionately. 
No progressing investigators, nobody came to church. I have learned a lot of patience by listening to my companion talk for hours at an end. Sorry I don't have any interesting news to report.
My feet are doing a lot better, and right now I don't have any blisters specifically, but my feet do get hot on some days. I still don't know what it was that caused all those problems in the first place. They´re doing a lot better. I've been trying to use the mole skin to make my shoes fit better. 

TIme is up, love
Elder Luschin

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Week 16 Sore Feet!

2012_11_12 Family Letter

Dear Family,

I´m at the mission office and writing. Got a shot today in Florianopolis, which is why we´re using the email here.
Interesting to hear about Obama, but so far, nobody seems to really care in my little Branch of Biguacu.   The work is so slow or non-existent. It makes me sad.  Our Zone Conference is fun and large. Nevertheless, in my immaturity, I struggle to be very spiritual.
We had a lesson last week with a Catholic lady who let us in from the heat, which was searing. Things went well but her Evangelical son arrived to drive the spirit away. He didn´t want to pray with us.
Anyhow, I go up and down and all around, and I wish I could say more, but I hope you share information from what I write.
We need to get back to Bigaucu; we have one lesson with Fatima at 7, maybe. Appointments are hard and I find that things are not going too well. I think at times that it´s like the Israelites who get the 10 commandments in stead of the higher law. I just am having a hard time working effectively or doing Anything effectively.
My feet have been itching so much the last few nights that it has been waking me up. Sister Silva from the office thinks that I´ll just need to make sure that my sheets cover the mattress (probably pretty infested) and make sure that everything is clean.
Elder Luschin
(Comment from Mom Julie:  Fred has always been a hard judge about himself.  He makes me smile because I can just see him saying these things.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

More photos of hike

Week 15


Hello Everybody across the seas!
I am doing quite well here in Brazil. Fortunately, that has a lot to do with attitude. I have been writing down four things for which I am grateful every single day and have been noticing an improvement in my daily attitude about things. I've noticed that a lot about the mission is just going and doing, and that you pray a lot while doing so. Ultimately, it also helps that when we walk, I either have tried practicing contacts with Elder Fraga or tried memorizing hymns or scriptures.
For some reason, my singing has been suffering and I can tell that Portuguese has taking a hit on my vowels as well as breathing spaces, though my breathing time might be improving.
Scriptures are going well but due to lack of pens I have not marked my scriptures since leaving the MTC. I probably have to spend the money. One thing is that other than probably R$50 that I spent from my own money at the beginning of the mission, I have stayed solely within the mission money that I have been receiving. That is also to say that I haven't really seen anything that I really would be interested in buying other than some different kinds of food, seeing that miscellaneous goods are pretty much the same here as anywhere else. I'm probably going to buy a Brazil soccer jersey as I finally have a reason to do so. Other than that I may be the cheapest American missionary we currently have in this mission.
Right now we have been continuing getting up at 6:30 and going to bed at 11:30. I think I am doing better with the schedule than my companion is. My exercise program is becoming more intense, but I still struggle to get in as many pushups and planks as I would like on a given day.

This last week was really good, but mostly because of the attitude issue more than anything else. On Sunday, not a single one of our investigators came to Church which is rather sad and pathetic.

One thing I've realized is that I am probably a better cook than any of the sisters in the ward, but that is also because the Brazilian palate is that much different. i.e our meal on Saturday was mashed potatoes, rice, spaghetti bologna and rib meat, as well as really salty lettuce which would be termed a "salad." Vegetables are a rarity and overcooked. Oh well...

On Thursday, we had one lesson with a really fascinating woman named Fatima who has lived in England and the Netherlands and thus knows the respective languages. She is really spiritual and somewhat disenfranchised with all religions, which is why she was intrigued by our promise of James 1:5, because she knows the scriptures really well and is interested in reading the Book of Mormon. She asked about plural marriage and the Indian issue in the Church, which was different because nobody ever asks us interesting questions. Some people think we are Seven-Day Adventists or Catholic.

Time's up but the love increases,

Elder Luschin

P.S. you should be able to see Floripa in the pictures, which are from last week's hike.