Friday, February 15, 2013

Week 29 No Valentines

2013_02_11

Dear Family,

I am really doing quite well after having had a quite terrible
weekend. One of the members gave a churrasco (pronounced shoe-hasco)
for lunch on Saturday and the potato salad may have ended up making
me sick by the end of the day, and I threw up.
Oh well, that would be the second time on the mission. I am becoming a
little more meat averse and more Word of Wisdom conscious, I do
believe. In reality, vegetables are not too rare but there are never
too many of them which I why I have to buy them if I want them as a
consistent part of my diet. Recently, I do think that I have become
quite healthy starting off with a good granola breakfast and trying to
drink a lot and eat little portions. Needless to say, I do not think
that eating a huge meat lunch is a good idea for people that need to
be walking around in the sun all day.
It has gotten a bit cooler though, and we no longer seem to be facing
blistering sun. I guess fall is indeed coming.

I am very excited for my cousins Patrick Kramer and Johnny Dangerfield
for getting engage just recently. It is very special, and though I can´t be there I am
sure that the experience will be good.
It´s also great that Morgan will be heading off to the MTC. I suppose
that he won´t be staying there quite as much time as the missionaries
used to spend there , seeing that they changed the requirements of the
whole program.
I am sorry about Celeste. Sometimes I think that it would be good for
Doro´s kids to be in Brazil and to get exposed to a whole lot of germs
like I am being quite frequently. Hygiene and cleanliness standards,
at least amongst missionaries, are not particularly high.

I don´t really have much to report from this last week. It is a
constant struggle for me to try to get in more work and more working
time. My companion went on an unauthorized exchange last week to be
with another Brazilian instead of me. It´s not that he doesn´t get
along with me, it´s just that he wanted to be able to talk to him for
a few hours.
On Thursday we had our Zone Conference, where I received Mom´s
Christmas package from Germany as well as one from the Hanau ward,
which is nice, even though it seems like I don´t know half of the
people that signed the Christmas card. That´s life I guess and we keep
on moving. On an aside, I think that one other package that Mom must
have sent in November from the States containing cookies or other
things to the value of 32 dollars must have been lost as well. (The package
was rejected in Brazil and returned to Italy a little worse for the wear
but not worth the 85 Euros I spent to send it as it was only German
Christmas cookies and candy. I won't do that again. What a headache the
whole thing was with the Post Office and getting the 3 kilo package hand
returned to our apartment. DUMB!!!)
 Maybe it´s the same one that she sent from Italy, but maybe it´s a different
one. (No it was the same one)Either way, I think that Brazilian customs must have
snagged it, then sent me a UPS form asking for a certain number which I had the
office provide, and I haven´t heard from the package since.
The Conference was good though, and it was refreshing to see some
missionaries that I think actually work really really hard. Our mission seems to be one of the
lowest-baptizing missions with one of the higher actual growth rates,
whatever that means.

I wish I had more to say as regards the work. In reality, we are
losing a whole lot of time. For me, it is a struggle feeling like I have not been
the kind of missionary that I could have been already. Or maybe not.
I try to keep all the rules. I do keep on thinking that one of my challenges will
be how to motivate others to work hard and keep the rules,
even the small things like the hours, which is a very hard thing.
I grew up thinking that missionary work
was intense and a very focused time, only to be surprised that Brazil
is very different from Russia, for example; i.e. we rarely start work
until about 2:00 in the afternoon, which is not something that I´m
proud of, but I do not think that it is my fault (when we leave the
house to go to lunch, I already have everything that I need for the
day in my backpack).

In reviewing my notes from the last few weeks, I can see that I am
making some kind of progress. My programs are improving, and so is my
health. I see a lot of self-questioning as well as self-doubts due to
my lack of teaching skills and other things, as well as that I haven´t
been doing so well on my memorizing lately, but I am alert and ready
to spring forward. I have been waking up earlier to get in some more
study time, and that has been going well. Also, shortening my exercise
has made it more intense and I have been starting personal study on
time, which is also good.
One struggle for me  is practice. I believe that if I practiced a lot
more, that I would improve in just about all areas of missionary work.
I hope it´s true. Like all good things, it´s not easy though and I
think that merely the fact that it takes more effort keeps me and
other missionaries from practicing more.
I am not quite sure why, but I am quite happy right now. Maybe it´s
part of the roller-coaster of life, and I will start feeling worse
again, but I really don´t know. I read in one of my entries that I
feel like I have a whole lot to do. Well, maybe taking my chores like
I did today has made me feel better about myself.

I love you all and hope that I meet more interesting people to write
about this next week. Please pray for the missionaries and my desire
to work hard and keep the rules.

All the best,

Elder Frederick Luschin

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