Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October 31 - Welcome to the Hills of Itatiba

Family and Friends, 

Yesterday I celebrated my 20th birthday. We tried to order a pizza on Saturday to commemorate, but it was going to get to our house 11:30 at night, so we gave up. Usually when you have a good amount of time in the area, and the members know you, some kindly soul offers to make a cake, but as I got here this week, I had no such luck. In the end, we made ramen. It wasn´t the coolest birthday I´ve ever had, I´ll admit. But hey, 2 decades! And I didn´t come to Brazil to party, but to serve a mission.

My new area is a cidade called Itatiba. Before you go and get confused, my first area was Itajubá, which is quite different from Itatiba. Itatiba is well known because of it´s extremely hilly nature. I´m having to channel my inner mountain goat every single day, because there isn´t any flat ground in this city. You are always, always going up or down. All of the people that live here have huge calves, or are extremely skinny. As you can see from the picture, it's a pretty beautiful place though. 

My new companion is Elder Leandro, shown in the pictures. He´s from Alagoas, a place in the North East of Brazil. He´s a cool guy, a little bit older than me (26), but as you can see he still looks really young. He´s the owner of a small business that uses multilevel marketing to sell cosmetics. As such, he´s got a partnership with a major line of cosmetics here in Brazil, called Hinode, and all of the many creams and lotions and soap and deoderante, and toothpaste, and basically every consumable product he uses come from this same line. Cool huh?

This week I learned a lot about true faith. To really have faith, the prophet Joseph Smith said that we need to know three things, that God exists, that He is perfect in all ways, and that the life that we lead is right in His eyes. If we know these three things, we can be certain that God will bless us, and that His will will work for our good. 

I have one more chance to give all I have. Have a great week!

Elder Murray

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