Monday, November 18, 2013

My first package!

Hello Family and Friends,

I got the first package and have already made one of the packets of cookies! Sort of. Haha we added a bunch of other things into them and they turned our AWESOME! Thanks a ton! We are already decorating for Christmas.

Some advice for Fortaleza bound missionaries:  
     1) One thing that I would not advise (in Fortaleza at least) is bug spray. Seriously, it will torment you more than if you don´t use it because the only time you need it is at night, but it doesn't last all night, so you wake up with a bunch of bug bites. However, Elder G shared a little secret with me. You know those electronic mosquito repellers? Well if you buy one of those the canisters last for 3 months if you only turn it on during the night (the only time that you need it for). All in all it only cost about $15. About 30 reais.  
     2) I figured out that it is less expensive to pull money off of the debit card than to actually use the card itself to pay. 
     3) There is no real way to prepare for a mission emotionally....  Seriously, the only thing like it would be marriage, but I have heard that the mission helps prepare you FOR marriage! 
     4) Backpacks verses side-bag issues:  I figured out that it's better that I don't use my backpack because the other Elder's took one look at it and said that I'd get robbed in a heartbeat! My sidebag isn't all that bad, especially since I'm doing some stretches and exercises to help loosen up and strengthen my back.

I have no clue how to manage my time on the computer! It certainly doesn't help that this time we had to use Internet Explorer (slowest thing around) for emailing. Talk about frustrating! This week was pretty rough, but fortunately ended on a very good note. My companion and I had been having some difficulties working together, and it was definitely affecting how we treated each other. We kind of had a breaking point on Saturday and ended up talking for about an hour. It was interesting because it was the first time that I felt like we actually opened up to each other and expressed our thoughts. I found out that I often don't speak my mind because I'm afraid of some of the things that I would say and that they might offend someone. Elder G encouraged me to speak my mind and that I shouldn't hold things in (because of the type of person that I am. Everything shows on my face. EVERYTHING!). I don't cope well with harboring hard feelings. Also, we reached the conclusion that we simply need to talk more. Elder G didn't realize (now he does) that I don't understand everything or I don't read people as well as he does. Shocker. I'm too focused on trying to speak another language!!! Anyways, during the past 2 days we've decided to talk more about the needs of our investigators, what problems we saw when we were talking with them, how we can help them, thoughts, feelings, promptings, impressions, etc. So far the tension has gone way down and we're working a lot better. I think that that would be my advice for anyone out there. If you have a problem, talk it out! It'll help for sure! Having good communication is vital when you're working with others, and I hope that it's something that I will learn by the end of my mission. We're still working our butts of and sweating and walking and all that jazz. 'Tis the life of the missionary! I definitely have a love-hate relationship with that! 

I don't have too much contact with my mission president, so I'm just kind of stumbling through things on my own. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it, but we'll see in the week to come! Also, I'm not sure how I feel about this, but our mission is basically trying to compete with the other mission in the city. I'm grateful that my companion is focused on our area, and the needs of our investigators and not numbers in the mission. 
We have a piano in our hous now! Haha I'm trying to learn a Christmas piece for the ward talent show coming up, and I found a way to practice. Sort of. Haha, it's better than nothing!
~Elder Colvin

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