From Sept. 23rd
Hi mom! You sent this email right as I was starting to write one home. First of all, I'm not beating myself up because of losing things. Everything got replaced besides the wallet and money really isn't all that important out here haha. There are far more important things to worry about and invest your energy in out here than losing a wallet. I'm glad you got yours back though. As far as the scriptures, I gave you a few just because if one didn't work for some reason, you had some backups. I want the D&C 4 one, though. As far as clothes go, I'm saving up enough every couple weeks to buy more clothes that it's not a problem. Yet. I will let you know, but the couple in charge of apartments has asked if the visa waiters need quilts. Winter is coming very quickly....don't worry I'm taken care of:) Also, did Kylie send an email yet?? I saw that she landed but I didn't see a group email. It is beyond fathomable to think she's there before I am haha but I can't wait to hear how she is doing. What a different environment that she's been thrown in, without any idea what lies ahead. Both trials and more importantly life lessons she'll never forget. I know she'll get home from a mission and not be able to believe that she ever thought about not serving a mission. The sister missionaries can do things on a mission that the elders simply can't do. Like getting through to some people. So this week, we had a fantastic time teaching people and getting to know people more personally. The highlight of the week was going to the temple. Our ward had a temple trip and 40 people showed up at the lunch beforehand! It was a great turnout, and I could really see the whole ward join in and put it together. There was one lady who has a hunched back, can barely hold her head up, but she went through the temple with us anyway. There is no age limit to the temple. I also was able to notice how much symbolism is portrayed in the temple, especially through pictures of nature. It made me think of how many things that are found in nature that really typify Jesus Christ and His purpose for us. Some time just take a walk and take note of how many times and ways you see God's hand around you just in that walk. For example, everything we use for energy, everything we eat, produce, everything that lives and grows temporally, is generated through the power and energy of the Sun. Likewise, everything in our lives that we experience and are able to grow from, originates from the Son, or Christ. Nothing can learn. Nothing can feel. Nothing can grow without the help of Jesus Christ. It is so simple sometimes to see the influence He has in our lives. We got to talk to some great people this week, including a family from Sri Lanka, the same man we've been teaching from Congo, two Chinese students, two Haitian family members, another man from Sri Lanka, as well as another man who has an accent but who's been too many places to know where it originated haha don't really know how that one works but he's VERY passionate about his beliefs, whether they are political or religious. My companion Elder Allen said something that defended Paul Ryan, and this man got in his face and my favorite quote of his was: "PAUL RYAN?? PAUL ryAN? I bet you that if he was running for JANITOR-IN-CHIEF he wouldn't get elected. JANITOR-IN-CHIEF!!!" What a guy. There are so many personalities out there, and it's amazing to know that not one of them is exactly identical. Thanks for all the emails and letters, and by the way I did not get my visa yet, and according to someone I talked to the Brazilian President just stood up President Obama and ditched out on a luncheon so there may be more delays on letting Americanos into Brazil if she's still offended by him. I would love to hear any updates you may have!
Elder Jake Hirschi