Well mom you may have sent me the longest email that I´ve received in the history of my mission but it was so much fun to read and awesome to hear about how everyone is doing back at home. To answer your question I would LOVE one of those family calendar´s and actually was looking at my 2012 calendar and wanting one for this year so thanks mom you made what we call an "inspired question"! There´s nothing that I need need thanks to the money that I used to buy new shoes and fix my pants! I really like getting books and pictures so if you send a little package you could definitely add that. Also thanks a bunch for all of my friends emails it´s always fun to hear how they´re doing and how they´re progressing in the work.
This week was different for us but good. It was one of our worst weeks in terms of getting out to our area and working but it was because of a lot of circumstances out of our control. Something that happens when you´re with the financial secretary is that President will call him and ask him to make a payment immediately and that exact scenario happened to us a few times. It´s ok though and it´s just a part of the assignment we have. One of my goals while being in the office has been to do everything in my power to make President´s life easier because he has lots of other things that he needs to worry about and so if I can help lift his load a little bit I feel like I´m doing a good job.
As a mission we´ve put the goal to read Preach my Gospel before the end of the change (Feb. 20th) and so that has required a reading of 6 pages every day. It´s been good to go through and read it a little bit quicker and get a very general view of what the first presidency has written to make us better missionaries. I love that book and HIGHLY RECOMMEND that anyone preparing to serve a mission reads it and starts to study what it teaches because it will make you a much better and more prepared missionary before you even start.
A few highlights of the week...
Interviews with Pres. Ward: On friday we had our interviews finally and it was neat to sit down and talk to him one on one for a few minutes. We talked a lot about me staying in the office because he told me I´m doing such a great job he doesn´t want me to leave. He asked me how I would feel spending an extra change here in the office which would have me staying all the way until May...To be honest it was hard to hear but I told him if that´s what he needs that´s what I´ll do. We talked about a few goals and then how to make the office a more positive and working atmosphere. He also gave me compliments about how well he thinks I´m doing and how much he appreciates my service.
Fire Brazil: There´s a restaurant right by where we live called Fire Brazil. It´s a Brazilian steakhouse kind of like Rodigio´s or Tucano´s in utah where they bring out all the meat on giant swords and then cut you off a big slice if it´s what you want. On Thursday we finally broke down, spent a little bit of money and ate there. I ate about my body weight in meat. Oh words can´t describe how good it was. You guys know the carnivore that i am when it comes to steak so needless to say I was in heaven. After that meal it was a little bit tough to walk but it was worth the pain. The weirdest thing I ate while I was there was a chicken heart and strangely enough it was pretty good. Other than that it was just big slices of juicy, red meat!
Elder Christofferson: On Saturday we had a two hour meeting in which 5 general authorities were present. Elders Amado, Duncan, Maynes, Duarte and Christofferson were all there. It was a logistical nightmare to bring all the missionaries in to hear him because it involved getting 207 people from all over the country and into the chapel by 9 o´clock to start the meeting. By lots of planning and a small miracle there were no large problems. Maybe the most impressive part is that we were able to get everyone in position in front of the temple to take a picture. Hopefully that will get to us next week so I can send it to you! Elder Maynes his wife and Elder Christofferson along with his wife were the only ones to speak with us in the meeting. It was really neat and had such a special spirit to have one of God´s special witnesses there testifying to us. I loved the talks and then with an hour left Elder Christofferson opened up his time to questions. It was amazing to watch people ask something and then have him pause, meditate and then immediately know where to go in the scriptures to teach us the answer. It was neat that he didn´t answer questions, but he taught from them. Needless to say I walked away from that meeting with a greater desire to do a lot of things but one thing that was impressed upon me was the "why" behind the gospel. A lot of times we know that things are important and that we should do them but we don´t realistically understand why. Another point that stood out to me was the Book of Mormon. In almost every single answer that he gave he used examples and teachings from the Book of Mormon. He stressed over and over the importance of using the Book of Mormon in our day to to day teaching and helping the people read and gain a testimony of it. There really were so many other things but if I wanted to mention all of them this email would never end! I know that he is an apostle of God and that he understands the perfection of the Gospel and he truly understands the "why" to many things. The spirit that he brought to the meeting was something special and an experience I won´t soon forget.
To wrap this email up things went well this week and the work keeps moving forward. One of the greatest sacrifices we have to make here in the mission is within ourselves. We have to learn how to discipline ourselves and make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure that we take control of the things that we can and do them the best we can. I loved this week because I learned so much. I know that it´s a blessing to be here in the mission and I love it so much!