Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011 Letter


Here it goes again. Its been a good week here in Brazil. Things are going good. Things are going kinda slow here.. But slow and steady wins the race right? Why rush through life trying to force things?... Its just eternal salvation we´re trying to help them with.... But thats alright. If they dont want to come to church because of the rain, thats alright. Sorry, im kinda complaining, but its tough ya know? We spend all day everyday trying to help them, but they just dont understand the importance. Honestly i dont think i did either before the mission. But that is one thing that I have definitely learned. I understand the importance of the gospel so much more. I realize how short this life is, and also how significant these short years that we live on earth. They determine our eternity. That´s one concept that still blows my mind,...  But its hard because people here dont really seem to realize that there is more to life than drinking beer, smoking, and watching soccer... But we´re trying to help them.

Transfers are next week. Im thinking im going to get transferred. I´ve been here in Setúbal for almost 4 months. I think that my times almost up here. Its hard, because I know this area has potential. I´ve seen it. It´s just hard sometimes. The members, the people, .... things are just slow here sometimes. But i know we have investigators that will get baptized soon. Even if its not in the time frame we want, the Lord has a plan, and it´s a lot better than our selfish desires.

Well, tomorrow will make 6 months on the mission. It really is crazy to me how fast time goes by. A fourth of my mission is already passed. I only have a year and a half left.  Melinda is already a senior companion and has less than a year left. Life is short, and my mission is way short. It really made me reflect and recommit to being the best missionary i can be and help everyone i can in these remaining 18 months. I dont have much time left, even though to you guys it seems like i wont be home forever. Dont worry, I´ll be back... sooner than you think. NO WAIT..... When you think... it´ll just come fast. haha

I got a lot of letters this week. Tell Grandma and Grandpa I sent them letters already. It sounds like they arnt getting my letters.... But if they´re at the cabin I hope they  get forwarded to their cabin... because i sent them to their house in Pueblo... They´ll get them eventually at home. I hope.

I love you all. Hope you all are doing "magical".... I miss you. Be safe , and make good choices.

Love and miss you

Elder Tracy

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

This week has been a good one. Kinda rough but still good. It´s good to hear that everyones doing good. Glad everyone had a good fourth of july. Sounds different than mine, but still good. I miss fireworks... It kinda stinks not being able to buy or do any, but it´s ok. In a year and a half we´ll have a giant firework party alright?

Not much real exciting news this week. So i´ll just talk about some things that i think are kinda cool.

The woman we baptized on the 2nd, is so amazing. We stopped by a lot this past week. She is so solid. She´s just absolutely amazing in everyway. She knows everything. She´s even inviting her neighbors to come listen. They arnt really interested in our church, but Maria sure is doing everything she can. The family of one of her sons spent a couple of days at her house. We explained to them what our purpose as missionaries is, what the church is like, stuff like that. Well they left, but a couple days later Maria told us that her son, whose family was there, was going to go to the ward where they live. He´s going to stop smoking and drinking. Wow, right? All of these changes come because of one woman. One amazing woman. If she wouldnt have gotten baptized, this family wouldnt have ever gone to church, her son never wouldve decided that he needs to stop drinking and smoking. Ya know? It´s just amazing how much of a difference one person can have. Sometimes, I know i feel inadequate. Like nothing i do is even helping. But then i see these amazing experiences. These amazing changes that are happing because of the gospel, and it reenergizes me to keep working hard. To keep finding people that the gospel can help. The gospel really is an amazing thing. I love it.

Something else that i absolutely love, is sacrament meetings. Now, more than ever. Because Pedro is passing the sacrament. I absolutley love it. It makes me feel so good inside to see him doing his priesthood duties, to know the priesthood is blessing the lives of that family. I cant even express how excited i am till next June, when that family will go to the temple, recieve their endowments, and be sealed for all time and eternity. I ... I cant even explain how excited i am. I just cant wait. The temple is such a great blessing and in 11 months they will get to experience it. Ahh! Its so great!

We had a family night with a family here in Setubal. They talked about the importance of families. They made paper chains and wrote everyones names on one. Then he had everyone think of something they wanted to do, but not being able to do it with the people you love. Then he hooked them all together. But left it as a chain. Then he connected the first with the last, and explained the importance of the temple. It changes our families from being just some people whos lives are connected, to a family who can be together throughout eternity. Then i got thinking about generations. There´s one family who is sealed, then the kids can be sealed... and it just keeps going. It´s just amazing. It really is. I absolutely love the temple. It´s so amazing.

Those are the coolest things that are happening, or at least what im thinking about right now. Sounds like all´s good back at home. I love you all. Keep up the good work and always remember that we can be together forever through the temple, and doing what the Lord expects of us. SO DONT BE STUPID!... Love ya, haha

Elder Tracy

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4, 2011 Letter

Happy fourth of July! It feels weird... It´s not the same, but it´s good. Yesterday, we had lunch with an American consulate. He made ribs and mashed potatoes and corn bread and pecan pie. It was really good. Not like being at home, but it was still a little 4th of July. It was nice.

This week was good. Im happy. I really am. I promise. But, some highlights.

We got a new mission president as well. It was kinda a weird day. Elder Hocker and I went to the mission office earlier that day to get a prescription filled for E. Hocker. But it was weird. He said he´d been crying a lot, his son was crying. Just a lot of tears. Then, later we went to the airport to great the new mission president. It was a really cool experience. There were like 40 or 50 missionaries. We all started singing the mission hymn when we walked through the gate. Everyone in the airport was staring, but we didn't care. It was super cool. So, new mission president. Exciting stuff.

Next, we had a baptism... It was a real miracle. We had been earlier and she was kinda hesitant. She had a problem with "her man"... The father of her children. She said she would get baptized. So, the ZL´s came and interviewed her. Her name is Maria. But, she said she didn't want to. She had some real doubts. But they did the interview anyways. Everything was good. Then the Zone Leader, Elder Labrum, told her to pray that night and ask if she should really get baptized tomorrow or wait a week. So we went back the next morning and asked how it went. She said no. Ugh, i died a little inside right then. It was awful. But we talked to her a little. We found out that she had a debt. One of her children died and so she owes 3000 Reais. So this man helps pay 200 a month. And she´s scared that he´ll stop helping. But we told her that we cant fear anyone else except God. she just has to do what´s right and the Lord will help. So she thought, and then said that she´d get baptized. It was a real miracle. She just left everything that she had... She doesn't know whats going to happen, but she has so much faith to get baptized. To leave everything to do what she knows is right. It was amazing. She´s such a sweet lady too. It was really awesome. So cool. It made me think that i cant worry about other people. Just do whats right. Just do what the Lord wants me to do.

Well... don't know what else to say. The work is going really good. We have some people to teach, and the members are getting more excited about the work. They´re inviting a lot of their friends to be taught. It´s really exciting.

Well, that's about it. The work is good. I love you all.  I miss you and hope everything is going good. Talk to you next week. Love ya.

Elder Tracy.