Monday, November 11, 2013

SWIMMING POOL HOUSE...WHAT??

Hi family and friends!
I received my package! Woo hoo!!!!  Do I seriously have to wait until Christmas to open it? I´m so excited! Thank you so much!
Let's try a short sentence to everybody, just for fun!
Dad: I´m glad the families doing so well! Missionary work and spirit is the best, isn´t it? I hope everything is going well with work. It´s funny to remember how much the other siblings sports and activities influenced the rest of us. Good luck with the winter sports season!
Mom: Oí! I think I actually got the letter that was sent while I was in the MTC. I must have forgotten to mention it last week. Thanks for that! It was fun to relive the MTC "missionary just left home tender feelings" experience. It´s funny that it took so long for the mission office to get it to me after I got here!  :D 
Yes, the armadillo was real. Not alive! The picture of me getting comfortable with it was after it had been dead and frozen. They don´t really walk around much...not that I’ve seen. I´m not sure where the members got it. They did cook and feed it to us. It was good! The only hang-up was a bunch of little hard parts of the shell mixed in with the meat. You have to be careful when biting. :D 
I´m excited for the other box! It will take every ounce of willpower I have to not open the Christmas box. I´m not sure if I can do it! Thank you for being so nice to me! :D 
I am so glad that I brought my violin. It has been a blessing with members and investigators! I regularly take it to church and play with the opening song in Gospel Principles. And the wedding was fun! Elder Ashby took a killer photo of me playing, but he is in Belém right now for visa stuff! I´ll send it next week for sure. I played whatever prelude music before it started, (Schindler´s List, Hinos, Phantom of the Opera, etc.) and they asked me to play the Pachebel melody while the bride walked down to the groom. It was so cool! And the newly-weds were very grateful. 
I´m so sorry to hear about the disaster in the Phillippines. Thanks for updating me, I hadn´t heard about it. 
Lhaylla: Estou felíz que vocé esta tendo boa experiéncias com o evangelho. Nossa Igreja é uma Igreja do mundo, nao só de um pais. Espero que vocé vai ter mais experiencias com o evangelho e as missionarias. Brasil para sempre!
Austin: My mother is doing quite swell, according to her letter. Good luck with the marathon! And get used to the foot pain. All missionaries end up having some foot trouble. It´s the bomb. :D
Josh: I´m glad to hear that football´s finally over. I hope you make the team for basketball! If I remember correctly, your age group had a killer team, right? Good luck, boa sorte, get sweaty. I´ll make sure to write back extensively to your letter when it arrives! 
Ben: That Sandra Day O´Connor thing sounds pretty cool! Who´s it with? I feel prompted by the spirit to ask you to describe extensively your relationship, expectations, and feelings for this anonymous person. Hmm...
Good luck with the running thing! Its good for you. 
Brindi: I did actually eat Armadillo. It was a lot like chicken and really good! That´s super cool that you got to go to the symphony! I´m glad you are having such great experiences with the piano and violin. :D  Keep up the good work! Violin and piano are a blessing on a mission! :D
Tanner: Sounds like you are having such a fun time with life right now! I bet the primary program was fun and you had a great time at the party! Did you know Gavin wrote me a letter a long time ago and sent me a tatoo? You two are sure to be great friends. 
Enjoying dinner with a member family
Enjoying crab!

The pictures are: one of a meal we had with one of the members at night for Branch-coordination meeting (Reuniao com o lider da obra) and the other two are from another more interesting meal with one of the members. 


We had crab! I had to summon all of my courage to eat crab. Really we just sucked the juicy innards from the broken-off legs. It was pretty manly, if I do say so myself. And whatever the heck the other thing is. It looked and tasted like some sort of sludge... 


Sludge-like Soup/Stew??

So why is my letter titled what it is? Oh yeah, because on Sunday before church we came home to find that our house was completely swamped with water. Something had happened with the water box on top of our house and it had leaked through the walls so that we were ankle deep. Elder Ramos and I were very fortunate because we live in a room outside of the main area. The others were not very lucky. All of their books, journals, photos, and letters for 1 and a half years worth of missionary service were completely drenched. Bleh. 
Worse than that, we had to spend time cleaning it up, and we weren´t able to help investigators get to church. We had only 4 investigators there. It was so disappointing! (For Brazil standards) And naturally that was the Sunday that President Scisci chose to speak at our branch. We looked pretty lame. Whatevs. 
But other than that, the work is going great. We are looking at the 23rd and 30th for baptismal dates for our investigators. Please pray for them! We have 6 girls we are teaching that have accepted baptism on the 23rd. In Brazil, that´s still pretty shaky, so we are praying that it works out. On the 30th, we are planning a massive wedding and baptism for 5 couples. (A person needs to be married before being baptized). If this thing works, we´re looking at like 10-16 baptisms on that 1 day. Our goal that we set for this month was 4, so if either one of these things happen we will be happy. I know these people will be blessed with this greater commitment to Christ. We need all the prayers we can get!
I love my chance to be here serving as a missionary. This is the best work in the world, and it´s work that needs to be done. I know the principles and standards of the Church of Jesus Christ are inspired. I know that God loves us, and He gives us commandments so that we can be happy in this life and forever. I know that God loves every nation, language, and people (But He has a special place for the people of Brazil!). 
Love you all, keep the faith, 
Called to Serve, 
Elder Gale.

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