This week was rewarding with General Conference creating a great atmosphere around here. Then on Sunday night, we were able to hear from Chad Lewis, who served his mission in Taiwan, played for BYU and then went on to play with the Philadelphia Eagles and helped them reach the Super Bowl a few years back. The weekend was full of good messages. Br. Lewis spoke about how important it is to let our light shine to the world, and how the light of Christ can affect the lives of others. One of the conference talks that I liked the best was by Tad R. Callister on the Book of Mormon. The way he composed his talk and delivered it reminded me of how strongly I liked his book The Infinite Atonement - thanks dad for referring that one to me.
Last Monday, after prepartion day was over, my companion and I had to teach a lesson which we hadn't prepared for. Even though we are more or less practicing our teaching abilities here at the MTC, it still is a great opportunity to learn and to feel the Spirit if you prepare correctly. Last week, we didn't prepare and I felt just terrible as we walked into the lesson with a minimal amount of time having been dedicated to reviewing our notes and thinking about the words we were going to say in Portuguese. I was upset at myself for letting that happen, but was glad it happened here at the MTC rather than out in the field. It certainly made me commit to never doing that again - in reference to not preparing for something in which I know I will need the help of the Lord in.
As part of my responsibilities here, I get to welcome new districts into our zone when we get one. This week I was looking over the list and noticed that Leslie Viland heading to New York City North is coming into our zone. For those that don't know, she was a member of the singles ward in Reno. It is always a treat seeing familiar faces here and this will be no different. Speaking of familiar faces, it has been so awesome seeing Sister Harries. I have felt so blessed to have been able to sit next to her during firesides and parts of conference. She impresses me so much with her Spirit and attitude. We shared similar thoughts about not having gotten to know one another very well growing up, but have shared some of our experiences over the last couple years and it has been a blessing to me to see her here.
I scored another goal during the last week. This time I actually had to swing my leg forward and not stand idle where the ball basically bounced off my foot. Still, I like playing defense more. Most of the missionaries don't think I am going to stop when I am running at them trying to get the ball so it usually works out in my favor. That is awesome that the Campo Cougars are 4-0, hopefully 5-0 by now. Mom, thanks for letting me know that Alex Espinoza wrote that article. It sounds like he did a great job with it. That is neat that he was able to make me sound like an alright person.
Last week a bunch of Elders from the East Coast received their visas and took off for Brasil, but no one else from our district. I am really not worried about that, and I don't think there is much worry from the Elders in our district either. I am excited to begin service anywhere because it is all for the same God, whether in Brasil or in America.
I found out one of the members of our branch presidency here, Br. Marion, owns a factory where they produce Stetson and Resistol cowboy hats near Dallas, TX. I saw him wearing his boots and wranglers one day and it made me think of how much I don't like my sneakers and jeans that I wear for service. I told him when I get off my mission I would be looking him up for a deal. Apparently he used to train horses and sell them to Hollywood for movies.
Jennifer Whitaker said she started up a blog of some sort tracking all the letters and some of the pictures. I think the website is eldernickgraziano.blogspot.com. That was awful nice, and I'm sure will be an effective way to get more communication out. How is Elder Higbee and Elder Harries doing? I think of them often.
Time is running out quickly,
Much love and thanks for all your love, support, and prayers.