Good to hear that everyone's alive and kicking back home. Dad has become a "patrão" as the Brazilians would say, flying in private jets and such. Jake, I'm with you on the vegan food! Meatavore revolt! To answer Mom's question, no, they don´t celebrate Valentine's Day here in Brazil. Carnaval's about to come up though, so things will get pretty "vida louca" for a little bit here.
As for my week, we had a mission tour with Elder Fortunato, one of the Area Seventy. We talked a lot about faith, a little bit about planning, and quite a bit about optimism. One of the ideas that was given is that we, President Hinckley style, wake up each day and tell our companion that yesterday was a great day, and today will be a great day. It's a good idea for you guys to practice at home too. If you say something enough, you start to believe it, and you get to realize that today really is a great day, even if some crappy stuff happens.
Describe your daily schedule.
My daily schedule is as follows. Wake up. Plan. Work out. Take a shower. Eat. Personal study. Knock doors/make contacts/teach lessons (let's just call this proselyting). Lunch at a members house, or at our house, as I have learned to cook. Companion study. Language study. If it's Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday I then call the members of our zone to see how their areas are doing. More proselyting. Half hour of break (I usually eat something). More proselyting. Go home. Eat. Sleep. End.
Do you like your bed? Do the apartments always come with towels and dishes and stuff?
I sleep on the top of a bunk bed, and my companion sleeps on the bottom of the other bunk bed. (We have 2 because this area had 4 missionaries in the past). It's not all that great, but the mattress is good and I'm able to sleep, because I'm usually dead tired. I carry my towel around from place to place, and there are usually some towels that other missionaries left around for other hand towels. All the houses have dishes (except Itajubá, lol).
What are the five smartest things you packed for your mission?
The five smartest things, are
Do people have very many pets there? What kind are the most popular? Do you ever see American dog breeds?
Everybody has dogs here. Some have cats, some have birds. The dogs like to bark at us when we knock doors. They are really annoying. Some try to bite you. You see just about every type of dog here.
Give us a funny story from this week.
I asked one American missionary how his mission was going this week, and he said "It's the same thing every day. I knock doors. On the same road." Then, we went to do a baptismal interview in their area, and he showed us the same road where he knocked doors every day. It's a really long road. And they baptized a guy from that road.
Give us a spiritual thought that you gave this week.
As for spiritual thoughts, I like to just open the scriptures wherever inspiration strikes me, or when something that we talked about during lunch reminds me of a scripture. One scripture that I like is Matthew 9:9. Jesus Christ calls Matthew, and he just goes. He doesn't wait around. He doesn't ask any questions or give any excuses. He just follows. When we receive a call from the Savior, we need to do the same thing.
Have a great week!