I am very happy to serve a mission! I´m reading the Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball, and I am learning a lot from the first two chapters (it's also in Portuguese), so hopefully I get both the blessings of understanding the Atonement and language when I am done. I will also get information this week via E-mail from the mission president about Christmas (so, in other words, I will tell you what is going on not this week, but next week). Oh by the way each pair of missionaries gets to choose two movies to watch during Christmas weekend, and we will have a list to choose from; so, that will be fun. My companion said that last year, Lord of the Rings was on the list, and he lived with three other missionaries in his house so they all three chose Lord of the Rings and watched that for Christmas. Lucky. Thanks for the money because it is needed. Once I pay [for a medical procedure], I will be reimbursed.
OK, so this is what has been going on so far in our area: We are teaching five great families who are reading the Book of Mormon, hearing the lessons, and gaining a testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and are loving it and everything. Here is what is holding them back from completely progressing: They are not going to church. Almost all of them would make the decision in seconds to be baptized, if they would only go to church. It can be so frustrating at times, especially since they know that the Book of Mormon is true. That means that the Church is true as well! But I can not force them and that is probably one of the first greatest gifts and blessings that Heavenly Father has given us: Agency. They must choose for themselves and be influenced by the Spirit to come unto Christ, because force will never cause happiness.
One of our investigators is a mason, so that would be cool if he were baptized. Also, his kids (who are now almost in their thirties) are extremely well mannered. Like, extremely well. They treat all guests like royalty and always make sure that they are not hungry or thirsty. That is how I want to raise my kids: that all guests are royalty.
I did not have McDonald´s because the McChicken (which is one dollar in Oregon) is R$ 6.00 over here. And as of now, I don´t have much money so I don't plan on buying much of anything at the moment. Things that are from America are expensive here. For instance, R$ 2.00 for Jellybeans and you get like 7. So I will wait.
My companion has bought a bunch of perfume and lotion from Brazil for his family back at home and some flip-flops as well. I don't have to worry about that for now, but I did find a cologne here, that was made in Brazil, called Seduction and I wanted that, but I thought maybe I should wait until my mission is almost over. It smells good though. Kind of a little like passion fruit. But the name is what caught my eye the most.
Oh yeah, I kind of wanted to know if you could send the ingredients for the frosting for the cinnamon rolls (the cream cheese kind), because I don't know where to find that here in Brazil.
Tell Katrina that I just got her letter which she thought I would get in January and that I did appreciate it a lot and will write them all back today. Henry and Charlotte are growing up so fast.
It is getting more and more like summer here (which is weird since the central here is covered in Christmas decorations) and I am getting a tan. But first off, they do believe in Santa Claus and he is all the same except he wears one of those tropical shirts and swim shorts as well as the classic clothing. And yes, I do have a tan, and I will prove it with some pictures later. I will even take a picture of the watch tan line, which is very severe. I have a problem with wearing sunscreen most days and so my nose gets a little burnt at times and starts peeling, but I am trying to do a little better with that.
That about wraps it up for me. I enjoy your E-mails and I love it when I hear from my whole family. But I think that my parents just love me the most in the family. So they will get nice souvenirs.
Love you all and keep writing and striving in the Gospel. The most important part of being converted is enduring to the end, and helping others to come unto Christ.
Elder Kevin Brady