Yes, I got the packages! Thanks for all of the cool gifts! My companion especially enjoyed the candy.
Another week down here on the hills of Itatiba. This city only has hills guys. There really isn´t any other characteristic stronger than the hills. There is no flat land in this whole city. It´s crazy.
It sounds like you all had a good week back home. Getting sick is rough (more on that later), but even so it sounds as though you guys enjoyed the week. Dad´s veganism continues, and it´s inspired me to eat a little healthier here (more fruits and things), although a new ice cream store opened up in the city. 2 liters of ice cream for 8 reais. That´s really really cheap. As such, we´ve enjoyed quite a bit of ice cream these days, which hurts the whole "healthy" concept a bit. I´ve learned to cook quite a bit of cool, different things here, that someday I´ll be able to show off for you guys at home.
Donald Trump is now the US president. I learned this fact in the hospital on Wednesday morning (more on that later), and I heard it repeated in every single interaction that I had with a member this whole week. Everybody here in Brazil has a different opinion on what will happen to the US, but I as a missionary, can´t say anything about politics. I think that´s my favorite rule in the whole missionary manual, because I can dodge all of the problems that come with such conversations! As for my opinion, only time will tell.
As I have hinted in other places, this week I got our mission´s plague. "Your mission has a plague?" you ask? Yes, one elder brought scabies with him, and it´s transmitted by microscopic mites that stay on your skin, clothes, bed, chair, and basically everything you touch. These things are so hardcore that the mites(ácaros em português) can even contaminate the skin cream you use to combat them! Yikes! And, as this is being passed around to all of the missionaries here, and as I have already lived and had close contact with 3 of the missionaries that had ácaros, I too have become infected. It brings a horrible skin rash that itches without piety or restraint. But before you start to worry about my well-being, I have already been to the dermatologist, and I have started treatment. Here in just over a week I won´t be itching any more. My companion is also being treated, just in case.
On a better note than that one, this week I had a bit of a different cultural experience. Brazil is the place in the world that has the biggest number of Japonese people outside of Japan. As such, we have quite a few Japonese members here in the ward, and yesterday at lunch we ate an authentic Japonese Yakisoba.
This week I have been studying the Old Testament, especially the books of 1st and 2nd Kings, together with some ancient Church study manuals. They are full of awesome stories that illustrate spiritual concepts. I especially like the parts that refer to the ministry of Elijah. He was a pretty epic prophet, and in terms of powerful miracles, between him and his successor, you see some of the greatest miracles of healing, protection, and faith that exist in the Old Testament. I urge you all to read 2 Kings 5 and the story of Naaman as well. We sometimes forget about the Old Testament, but it it scripture, and it´s just as powerful.
Have a great week! One more chance to give all I have.