Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week 31

2013_02_25 Family Letter,

Dear Family,

It will be Christmas Day in 10 months, which just tells us how fast
things go. I am excited that it will be General Conference in just a
few weeks. One thing is that I have been wondering about the problem
of always being at a point that you are looking forward to things. I
guess that at this point that I have been looking forward to knowing
next week whether I will be transferred this next week or not, though
in reality, as I talked to Elder Romero about this last night, all we
have to do is go out and do this week.
We also have a Mission Conference with Elder Mazzagardi of the 70
coming up on the 13th of March, which will be nice, even though it
will be some distance from here or my next area, depending on how
things go.
The area of Concordia is doing well, though I admit that I have a hard
time or maybe I am not trying as hard as I could to be pushing my
companion and myself on to new and better heights for numbers and
lessons and investigators taught. We did not have any of our
investigators come to church this last week, which is a little
frustrating because I don´t know what more to do with some of the
people. My problem is that the people promise to come or say that they
will do something, but then simply don´t do it. Ie., they commit
themselves but then don´t follow through with the commitment.

Writing here is also very self-reflective and retro-reflective. I
realize once again in receiving President Fernandes´s letter how much
I could be improving. There is a lot I do and a lot that I don´t do.
He wrote about cleaning this week and even though I try to sweep once
a day and do other things to clean up, the apartment is messy beyond
my control and I confess to have fallen into the trap of being
accustomed to the messy or filthy state. Oh, the loss of perspective!
One thing that I am trying to do and have started doing since last
Thursday is to keep track of every 15 minutes of my time. Maybe, that
way my efficiency will improve and I can start making more progress. I
am at a stage on the mission, so I feel, where I am pretty much
established in my habits for the rest of the time, which may well be
quite a sad thing. As I shared in the little letter that I wrote to
Mom, I feel like writing home is always a little bit of a low point
because I am more aware of my flaws as regards others, especially my
dear ones, which would be you. I guess that is why we have family as
well, so as to help our little self-dependency bubble fade away and
help us see things a little more as they really are.

This weekend´s theme was actually that I felt a lot better about how I
have been doing things, but I guess that I need to get started again
on things.

Can somebody look into the subject of a good Portuguese grammar
learning book for me? The book that the MTC provided has somewhat lost
its point for me, even though I should be using it a lot more for
practice. The same thing is that I have basically stopped learning new
vocabulary, which is a bad thing, but a problem that is propelled by
the fact that the modern Brazilian doesn´t use a whole lot of words,
neither too much grammar. So Mom, if you could look into the subject
or maybe have one of your sons look and then have you send the book,
that would be greatly appreciated. Before you do anything though, I
think I will go check today and see if they have anything here.
Bookstores as a concept as well as locations are basically
non-existent in the country, as far as I can tell.

On the topic of goods: There are incredibly high tariffs on all
foreign goods, which explains that even basic cars like a Corolla cost
35,000 dollars here. Though you might be able to research a lot more
on the topic, it means that Brazilians spend on things which are
expensive and foreign, but also buy fake brands.  All the cars, for
example, are foreign and I am not sure that there are any Brazilian
car companies.

I realized today that even though I know, I realize that I have never
told any of you that I really don´t spend any time in the evening
reading letters or things from home. I am falling behind in my goals
of learning scriptures and things like that that I really don´t find
the time to do anything besides getting ready for bed in the evening.
My analysis is helping me become a better teacher, I believe, but I
think I am still falling short in a lot of areas.
I am lacking in discernment for how to use my time well, as well as
lack of understanding for how to study the scriptures effectively.

I am praying a lot for all of you. I will now go and try to practice
the piano as I kind of messed up on the youth of Zion during sacrament
meeting yesterday.


Elder Frederick Luschin

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