Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week 33 Hurting Hands & Ripped Pants


2013_03_11 Family Letter


Dear Family,

I should say first off that I am very excited to be here and, I
suppose, to face new challenges that will bring new growth if I rise
to the task. If I don´t, I might just crash and burn (literally-pardon
my grim sense of humor) but I have hope that the Lord will bless me if
I avoid complacency and go to work with all my might, mind and
strength, so that I might lay up store to myself. Just thinking of D&C
4, I suppose why the reason for that might be is because you will have
that which is good restored unto you at the last day. Ergo, if you
laid up good works by persevering until the end and not faltering,
you will have great things to look forward to at the end.

Today we, ELder Longo and I, have been able to already get the
apartment quite a bit cleaner. There may be quite a bit of
self-benefit involved as it is likely that I stay here for at least
two transfers or even some time more. But either way, I hope that I
would be a good steward of whatever the Lord puts into my hands.
Though in due course, it will become dirty again, I believe that we
can avoid quite a bit of filth by just having some good sense. Hurrah
for cleaning supplies.

I am currently in the store-attached mall, which would normally be
something prohibited (malls are a no-go) but as it forms a part of the
local BIG store (actually WAL-MART- I would like someone to look into
why the name is different when WAL-MART also exists in the country) we
are allowed to use the Lanhouse here. Needless to say, the city is
quite huge and thus has a very large shopping culture, of which this
store makes a part. There are a lot of things here and a lot of
imported products, though I haven´t even been in the store´s entirety
yet. But as always, it is fun to be in a new area.

Yesterday I was able to meet the ward and see a big ward for the first time in my stay here in Brazil. It has over a hundred 
attending members and has a wonderful stake center on top of the hill. For pictures, looking for Joinville Stake Ita├║m Ward. There are a lot of active men and the WML even has two assistants.
 
My hands are currently hurting which I believe comes from a fall that I took two weeks ago and still haven´t told you about: I had wanted to go contacting in a different area, but Elder Romero wanted to check at the chapel and see how the branch was doing.
He ended up wanting to play volleyball and though I insisted on going, we stayed and played volleyball for a bit. At one point I went to get the ball (sigh) ....
and fell, ripping one of my gray slacks in the process. It was something that hurt physically and emotionally, because I felt like I had been punished because of lack of determination to do my work. Elder Romero took the blame upon himself but I didn´t blame him... . That night, we
had the Zone leaders in our apartment doing a division with our District Leader. One of the Zone Leaders told me that I was a good missionary and that one could tell that. Two days later, President Fernandes called me. Anyhow, back to Joinville. The Ward is really great. I met a sister Gerda (I didn´t understand her last name though) who was baptized in 1934. She is 92 but still remembers her German quite well and was tickled pink to be able to converse with me in German. Her German was quite good though she had a different manner of expressing things. I still am speaking German fine but I realize that I have the tendency to add a ´ne´ at the end of nearly every phrase, which is because of the necessity of doing so much of that in Portuguese. I am still hoping for any ideas of language study books. I really need to get back on task for that because I only have little over a year and 4 months of mission left. My accent is getting better and better but I need to become more nasally, ie think Cleopatra. I still have the tendency to speak a lot with my throat and my chest because of English and German, but to lose my yet remaining accent, that will have to go in Portuguese. I still don´t know the area particularly well in terms of geography, but I already will have the chance to get to know another area this Friday doing the baptismal interview for one of our District Leaders. Additionally, I need to memorize the names of all the missionaries. Furthermore, we don´t have many investigators, but Jean and Therezina (son of 19 and mother of 55) went to church on Sunday and liked it, as well as Carlos (25- lives far away but one brother independently organized to pick him up every Sunday morning). This week will be lots of traveling again, as we have the Conference in Florianopolis on Thursday with Pres. Mazzargardi. Beyond that, I suppose that I will get back to shopping now and then some more cleaning of the apartment. Good to hear from everyone and from Morgan. Love to all of you, -- Elder Frederick Luschin

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