I’m emailing a bit early today because I have to travel to Belém this afternoon. I’m going to be blunt with the bad news. In the last Zone Conference, President Scisci announced a new policy of the Mission Brazil Belém. He explained that in the past missionaries had been very disobedient with calling/skyping their families, and also that after Christmas, the number of baptisms statistically goes down because missionaries are not focused on the work. He asked us if talking to our parents was worth even 1 soul losing salvation.
So the new policy is that missionaries cannot call or skype with their family on Christmas. They are allowed 2 hours of email instead of 1, but that is the only allowance that President Scisci said he was willing to make.
I know how difficult this will be. I’ve been looking forward to talking with you guys for such a long time! I can only imagine how much you would want to talk face to face with me. But I realize as well that the "Christmas Calling" pulls missionaries away from the work, and I am willing to be obedient to this new rule because I know it will bring blessings to me and to you.
Even though I wont be able to talk with you face to face this Christmas, I want you to know that I love each one of you so much and I´ll be thinking of you all Christmas Day.
Thank you so much for the package! It was very hard to wait so long to open it, but it was absolutely worth it! I love how creative and exciting the 12 days of Christmas are. Only my mom would think of something that fun! ;D
I tried to take plenty of pictures with the presents so yáll could enjoy it with me. My companion and other missionaries are super jealous of me that I have such an awesome family!
So far for packages, I´ve only received the larger Christmas package. Maybe the other one you sent will come today because I´ll go to the Mission Office today. I hope!
So, speaking of the medicine, I think I probably ought to tell you that I have had an ingrown toenail for the past month and a couple weeks. I will go to hospital today for it. It’s not that bad.
The devotional was so great! I can’t even describe how awesome and spectacular it was. I am writing a more detailed description of it on paper that I will send to you guys next week. Sorry its not done yet, I was pretty rushed this week due to the devotional and other stuff. But next week when it´s done I will send a picture of the paper to you guys. I heard a rumor that we will maybe do the same thing on Christmas Day because it was so successful. I´m not sure. I hope so!
I liked your idea with taking pictures of my journal and sending it to you guys! I don´t think I’ll do exactly that because my handwriting is super messy, I don´t want people reading my journal, and I usually journal in Portuguese. But I´ll use the premise of the idea in the future by taking pictures of letters or whatever so that I´m not so rushed on P-Day Email time.
I´m glad that Grammie seems to be doing so much better. I´m sure this past week has been hard for her, but I'm sure it will be entirely worth it after the surgery!
I´m super jealous about the Christmas Cantata with Brother King. Parabens to Josh for playing so well in it! I´m excited to see the program. I would like so much to be there playing. But, If I was a betting man, I would bet the Christmas Devotional here was cooler :D.
Way to go Austin on getting the mission papers process started! I´m so excited to hear where your going and be on a mission with you. You don´t even know. I´m putting 10 bucks on Lawrence, Kansas.
So I was absolutely lying about the new skype/calling rule. It doesn´t exist! :D Sorry to be so mean, but I couldn´t resist! (Mom’s note—what a stinker!!!!!!)
Sorry to not write anything about the skype last week. I was super rushed. Our plan is to Skype at Kleyton´s (the man who called you) house because he has 4 computers and it wont cost money. We´ll call you on his phone before we try to skype, so we can try to work things out that way. I´m not exactly sure what his Skype "name" is, so we can figure that out in the moment through cellular.
We will go straight there after Almoço, so that will be around 2-3 o´clock that we will call you. That´s awesome that you are having the missionaries over! I´m sure they are very grateful. But make sure to kick them out if it interferes with me calling you guys. I´m so anxious to talk to you it´s crazy.
I love you all so much. Sorry for being so mean with the joke! :D
Called to Serve,