Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

I hope the electricity doesn't get jealous of our time together again today. Everyone is so big and deep-voiced!--with the exception of Mom and Rynda. I'd like to use the excuse that my excitement in seeing you kept me from communicating fluently in English. Now I'm "that guy" who says he forgot English, but it was perplexingly difficult to form normal Bryce phrases while I talked to you guys. 

I sent you a picture of a family we met last week. Leone, (hard name I haven't gotten the hang of -- his wife, Daví, Gilhermi, and Ana Luiza). We found Leone walking back from a service project in our normal clothes. He saw our name tags and started to talk to us. He went to our church 20 years ago and wants to go back now. He is very talkative and doesn't let a question pass in his mind without verbalizing it. This makes teaching him interesting. We have to be ready for any and all questions. He has gone to church 2 weeks in a row now and says after praying for God to open his mind, he is understanding the Book of Mormon and is considering and accepting alternate points of view. 

We met Maciel a while back but have only been able to teach him on Saturdays or Sundays. This week out of nowhere he said he would go to church and went. He says he wants to go to church and get baptized. After watching the 20 minute restoration video he accepted the 26th as a goal for his baptismal date. We want to teach his family as well. 

I've decided to start everyday with a question. I make it the focus of my personal study and ponder it throughout the day. My goal is to be able to answer it, or at least have a path cleared and planned to how I can answer it with my week's efforts. I have found that this motivates me and helps me understand goal setting and "taking things one step at a time." One of my continuous questions is "What can I learn today that I can teach to someone else?" I saw that questioned answered as I thought back to what I taught during the day. I kind of answered that question in reverse. As I thought about what I taught, I understood what I had learned to make that certain teaching moment possible. This happening reminds me of a saying by one of the McConkie's that we can learn by listening to what we say when teaching others. It's thrilling to explore that concept.

There is a crazy lady who runs to hug us every time she sees us on the street. Yesterday we did everything politely possible to avoid it, but she squeezed us like stress balls and called it a hug. When she sees us she yells "Irmãos!" and runs to us with arms open wide. We also saw about 10 men playing soccer in the street with dresses on...End of the year festivities  here could be more aptly called end of the year oddities. I enjoy the daily surprises they bring.

Happy new year! I hope you guys keep up the family traditions! I laugh thinking about all those times mom had to get us excited about banging pots and pans. She was so insistent on banging pots and pans at midnight. Keep it up mom! Bang  those pots and pans for the  neighbors to  hear. 

Elder Young

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