Friday, November 2, 2012

Jake returns home for medical treatment...

Jake called us on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 and informed us that he would be coming home. He would leave Sao Paulo Brazil on Aug. 15 and arrive in the US on Aug. 16 in the Portland Oregon airport.

We enjoyed the day with good friends and family! So glad Natalia and Jeff Gibson were visiting from Utah that week! We felt like it was an answer to prayers to have them here with us when Elder Firl returned home! We had a simple and nice lunch while Elder Firl shared lots of stories from his mission! Later that day he was officially released from his mission by President Randall, of the Vancouver Washington North Stake. We then celebrated by going to Red Robin for a cheese burger...Jake hadn't had one of those for 14 months!

Not doing any better...coming home

Aug. 16, 2012...I wanted to compete the blog.
1. So did you have the baptism of Santiago & Milena?
Well they were not baptized... we decided to mark the whole family together. We're having a hard time getting the new bishops trust. He doesn't want our investigators to to go less active when I leave. So he is really resistant for us to baptize. But we are doing our best!

2. How is the doctor coming along with reading the Book Of Mormon?
He isn't reading. He decided to read Romeo and Juliet. But I bore my testimony of that book, that he needs to read it.

3. So do you spend a lot of time sleeping during the day?
Yeah I usually have to take a break from working because the meds make me so tired. And it's not safe to be in the street with I'm tired and dizzy. Haha I almost fall asleep in all the lessons. The only thing I've been able to do is keep our teaching group. To find people makes me so tired and I can't really think straight at times. So usually we have to go back to home to sleep. And I get headaches. But usually when I'm tried I still work. But if the headache comes on, I go back because it's a pain to walk back.

4. I am assuming there isn’t much change in your jaw. Have they tried to pop it back into place?
Well... there hasn't been any change in the jaw really. Today I'm going to call and we are going to talk about it. I will have an interview with President Pinho today. He sent me an email and said he has received a letter from the First Presidency, giving me the news. I was very sad... but at the end President stuck a little note at the end. But we will talk. I already told him my opinion and that I want to stay. He told me to pray about it. I said I wanted to stay and do treatment down here, I told him I would use my college fund to pay for it. But he told me to pray. So I prayed and studied about it, before I received the email from him about the results.

But before, I want to bare my testimony that my mission means everything to me. And the the Prophet and First Presidency are men called by God. And President Pinho has been called by God. Their decision is truely inspired by the Lord. I gave everything on the mission. Everything. My mission has been the best thing in my life and thats why I told President my opinion. I love the work and this country. The people of the country and also the language, even though its super hard. I found my answer when I was studying the scriptures. For the past four days I have been praying to receive a solid answer. I was readying my blessing and felt something, but I wanted more than just a feeling. I did find my answer, in 2 Timothy chapter 4:6-8. I knew in that moment what my Heavenly Father thought of me. And what I have done has been accepted in the eyes of the Lord. And will be blessed. I do my best everyday I talk and feel the Lord comforting me. It has been a miracle.

5. Do you get up and try and do your missionary routine and go out and then come home and sleep after lunch?
Look I do everything. I study I do my exercises go to lunch and go to all the appointments that we have challenged the people. Usually I just feel a little sleepy, and some days I get a strong headache that lasts for an hour or two. If its super bad I go home to rest for the rest of the night. But usually I'll sit in the chapel to wait for the headache to pass. But like I told President Pinho, I can do almost everything. It's just really hard with the meds. Thats why I didn't like the answer. Because I can still do a lot most of the time. Like I said, I have given it my all and I know that God is real, and that he helps those he serves. I know that I am a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.

6. Have you lost more weight? Are your clothes falling off of you?
Not sure, I think I have gained a little. I've been eating really well lately.

7. Is your new apartment pretty good? Its closer to the church right?
We haven't gotten the apartment yet... something didn't work out right. Urgh, darn those secretaries. haha

8. Is your ward mission leader helping you find people to teach?
He is awesome. He has been helping us so much!

9. Is the ward feeding you guys?
Oh yeah! They are so good. They have stopped giving us really thick meat and what not because of my jaw. The ward is SO good!

10.Have you had to use your coat? Has it gotten cold?
No its actually super hot!

Mom I will call at 2. I don't know how the interview will be. But I have my answer and it seems the FirstPresidency has their answer as well.

I had a neat experience when I asked in prayer. If this is the answer, will a look back with regret, the answer was the first thing. My mission means everything and has moved my life.

I'll call to give more details and we will see what happens. But I love you guys and I love the Lord with all my heart. I love this mission and everything it has done for me. We will talk later. Love you all!

beijinho pra todo mundo!

até daqui apouco

com amor,

Elder Firl

Monday, August 6, 2012

update on jaw...

I feel so blessed to have contact with someone from the church, that can explain things. As the communication from Elder Firl is only partial of what is happening.

Sent from Elder Jones on 8/2/2012 @12:01PM

Hello Again from Brazil,

I have spoken with your son, Elder Firl, today and discussed the results of his recent visit to the doctor, a specialist in TMJ. This last doctor agreed with the first doctor's opinion that the condition is indeed TMJ syndrome. He would be happy to treat the condition over the next several months with a custom made mouth piece (bite plate) and frequent visits back to be checked. However, the problem is the cost of $2000.00 and the frequent visits. Elder Firl is currently getting some relief from a medication call Tandrilax, which has a muscle relaxer, an anti-inflammatory, Tylenol and Caffeine. The Tandrilax does make him sleepy so I am not sure how long he can stay on that particular med.

I am in discussions with the mission president and thinking about various options. Elder Firl is out of pain and having no headaches at the present time and we will see if the medication will have a lasting effect or temporary. I think that you will be hearing from your son on Monday, P day. Otherwise I will keep you posted on his progress.

Thanks, Elder Jones.

I emailed Elder Jones back to let him know I got Elder Firl a mouth guard made & that it was in the package I sent him a month ago. I needed to know if he had received his package. He replied back 8/2/2012 @ 5:00PM

Hello Sister Firl,

Good news, the mouth guard has arrived and Elder Firl will start using it tonight.

I don't know the specifics of the Brazilian doctor's treatment plan other that the mouth guard or bite plate. This doctor is over an hour and a half travel time from Elder Firl's apartment and the doctor wants him to come back twice a week, so the problem is more than just the cost of the treatment. If is very difficult to complete this type of treatment here in the mission field.

So the current idea is to try to find something that will be more convenient. For now we will go with the dental tray that you sent, the current medication (Tandrilax), and find a local dentist that can adjust the tray and follow his progress.

Elder Jones

Baptism next week!

1. So does the mouth piece fit?

So the mouth guard does fit. I have been using it every night. But it doesnt seem to be doing anything. Which is kinda a bummer.

2. How is your jaw feeling this week? Do you think the mouth guard is helping?
Haha the mouth guard doesn't seem to be working. Which kinda sucks because I was hoping it would.

3. Are you going to start treatments? Or are they going to see if this mouth guard works with a local dentist?
Well were just gonna try this mouth guard to see if it does something. If not we will see other options. But it's looking like the options are getting pretty thin. But whatever happens, I know that everything will work out. I had a pretty interesting experience this week while I was reading my patriarchial blessing. There is a part that talks about the mission and that I would be prepared. But the thing is, is that I never noticed a small detail. It seemed to be an answer to my prayers. But the thing is it doesn't say mission. But rather missions. Not saying I'm coming home. Not at all. But the fact that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and it's in his hands and whatever happens... happens. I have done all that I can do and Heavenly father is doing his part.

4. How is Joice & her family doing? I know you said their baptism date is Aug. 12 how cool! How many are in her family?
Well they didn't go to church yesterday because her baby was sick. So her kids didn't go. But Santiago and Milena are ready to be baptized. I told them that the dad wasn't ready yet and that more time would be needed. And I thought it would be cool to baptize the whole family. So, make the suggestion to Joice and she was like WHAT!!!! Let's do the baptism this week. Next sunday! Let's baptize Santiago and Milena and then we can baptize Jose, her husband and Rafaela, her daughter, together on the 26th. Haha I was like... alright. So I'm pretty sure we will have a baptism this Sunday! Heck yeah!

5. When you saw the doctor again, did he have more questions about the Book Of Mormon? You are so great to make that into a missionary opportunity! Just love you!
No he didn't have any questions because he didn't read. But after he gave me the damage with how much the treatment and what not, I just about died. And then I died when he said the health plan will not cover it. Which means I would have to pay for everything out of my own pocket if I would do the treatment. But I did tell him to read the Book Of Mormon because it's price is well more than Romeo and Juliet, since that was his excuse for not reading. And than this book means everything to me. And we just left.

6. So what was the name of the person that you found by knocking on doors? I think you were setting up another appointment with her…did things work out? Are you teaching her?
Her name was Iracema, but we stopped by again and she lost interest. sad...

7. Hope you found everything in the package you needed! Hope the sweat pants fit!
I did :) Everything worked out just fine! thanks for everything! :) I loved it, and the ball has been an awesome toy in the house. haha

8. Where is Elder Amorim from in Brazil? Is he the first to go out in his family? How many are in his family? I am so glad he is so understanding with your condition!
Well he is from Brasília. He is not the first to go out from his family. He is actually the 3rd one to go out. He is pretty understanding. The working agenda is pretty light. Because at times, the meds just wipe me out and I seem to get pretty out of it after the second dose it get pretty out of it. But other days it seems to work just fine and we go and work out butts off.

9. Do you need anything else? I will try to get another package together.
Well let's just hold off on the package for now. I wanna get a report on what's gonna happen.

10. Are you teaching anyone new?
No. It's been really hard to find people with little energy I have. But we have been maintaining the people we do have. So that is good!

Anyways, I hope everything is well! Keep up the good work! I love you all!

Com amor,

Elder Firl

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Getting treatments for my jaw...

1. Did you get my package? Does the mouth guard fit?
I haven't seen the package yet. But this Thursday were going to the office to get we shall see.

2. How far do you have to travel for your treatments?
Oh man, it takes forever to get there. Distance it's not very far. But with traffic all day everyday it takes awhile to get there. But we go to vila mariana. It's a nice little place, but you have to take 3 busses to get there. Hahaha and the street is HUGE!!! It's pretty sweet.

3. Is the doctor LDS?
No. But he is reading the Book of Mormon. I talked to him on the first visit. He had a few questions and I hope he felt the spirit. He asked me, "Is the work hard?" I said oh you have no idea. And he goes, "really?" And I said yes. But it's all worth it! You see miracles and we know our message is true. He is reading the Book of Mormon. I'll be sure to ask him if he is reading. Haha I already told him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We will see how it goes tomorrow.

4. Have you been able to still do missionary work during this?
Yes. I've been taking meds to keep me going. The muscle relaxers are helping quite a bit. I get SUPER tired but when we are in the street I am able to stay awake. Haha the meds are pretty strong. But it's a lot better than feeling a lot of pain.

5. How are things going with training?
It's awesome! I love it! Elder Amorim loves learning and asked a lot of questions. It's pretty sweet. We study a lot more, but its nice!

6. Things going good with your new companion?
Things are going excellent! He loves to work and is always asking me if im alright. So no worries. I'm in good hands!

7. Are you teaching anyone new?
We did have a sweet expereince this week. We were knocking doors and nobody was home on the street. We kept knocking and what not and came to a house that let us in. The lady let us in and said she only had 10 minutes or less. I said alright our message will be really quick. Went in, we didnt really have much time to break the ice with her. Just to know what religion she was and if she works and what not. She out of work and so I told her we have a program that will help her and what not. and that the next visit we would explain more, just to make another visit right on the spot. Then we explained about our purpose really quick. About baptism and what not. It was SUPER quick and as we were wrapping everything up. She just started to cry. I asked her if she was alright and what not. she said yes and wanted another visit. elder amormim asked. is that normal. Hahaha I said, that's what you call a miracle. We taught so quick and it seemed so horrible with teaching tactics and what not but we wanted to help her and bore testimony. It was an excellent experience. We will stop by this week to see how things will go with Iracema.

8. Did anyone show up to church this week?
Joyce and her family went to church! OHHH YEAH! They all loved church and they are excited to be baptized!!! August 12 they will be baptized! heck yeah!

9. Did you do service this week? If so what was it?
Well we really didn't have much time since we had doctor appointments and what not.

10. So are the treatments helping? What kind of things are they doing? Do you have a splint?
I'm just taking meds, stronger meds to keep me going. It's kinda hard to put a splint on a jaw. But we did take a ton of X-rays! So that was good. We will go tomorrow to get the x-rays and to get the status and the plan of treatment!

11. Anything new happening?
Other than teaching and going to doctor appointments, nothing much. I'm just taking advantage of every minute. The time is really short.

So it sounds like things are going well in Utah and sounds like a blast. Everyone here is watching the Olympics, haha so we get a quick glimps of what is going on. But things are excellent here. Don't worry about the jaw, I am in good hands. Things are going a lot more smoothly. So no worries. I love you all and thanks for all the support!

com amor,

Elder Firl

Tender Mercies of the Lord...

After hearing Elder Firl passing out on the bus and having two dislocated jaws, my mind kept wondering what could I do to help him? I have spent a lot of time praying and I felt like I needed answers and I was beginning to worry. I am sure many of you have felt the same thing when you have read Elder Firl's letters.

The tender mercies of the Lord this week while I was at Utah at the Jesperson Family Reunion...
My Cousin John Jesperson returned home from serving as Mission President in Guadalajara with his dear wife Diana. They only stopped by the reunion for a short time and I got to spend some time with him and asking him questions and in return both of them comforted me with their words and also with getting me in contact with the Church's IFR(the church only has 10 of them in the whole world). And the IFR sent me this message that same evening.

Friday 7/27/2012 @ 7:30PM
Sister Firl:
I managed to contact Dr. Jones, the Area Medical Advisor, in Sao Paulo. I explained the situation with your son and first thing in the morning he'll find out what's going on and let both of us know. Then we can decide how to help your son.
Ed Platt, IFR
Missionary Department

So when I woke up in the morning I found this email from the Brazil Medical Representative...I just this was the information I was needing to calm my spirit and give me comfort. I felt so blessed that the Lord knew what I needed and put people in my path to help me...thank you Heavenly Father for hearing my prayers and answering them!

Saturday 7/28/2012 @ 6:00AM
Hello Sister Firl,

I have spoken with your son, Elder Firl, and he is under good medical care. Currently seeing a specialist who deals with TMJ syndrome and other jaw problems. Elder Firl as you know has had some pain and discomfort in the Temporomandibular joint for several months and in recent weeks the problem has been getting worse and causing generalized headaches. He has an appointment next Tuesday with the TMJ specialist to review all the X-rays and MRIs and recommend a treatment plan. At this point we don't know what that treatment will be, but surgery is not part of the discussion at this point and you can be sure that it would be unlikely that he would ever have surgery here in Brazil. The condition is usually treated with some kind of mouth splints or bite plate.

Today is the first contact that I have had with your son, but I can send you additional information after Tuesday regarding his condition and treatment.

Thanks, Elder Jones
Brazil Area Medical Adviser

I now have a more clear picture of what Elder Firl is going through and what kind of things they are doing for him.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Both jaws are dislocated...

1. Alex wanted to know for EFY did you ever do the variety show? If so what was it? And what year was it?
No I never did anything. I wanted to dance in front of everyone but I never had the guts to do it. And I was too lazy to try out. Haha I just depended on my flirting powers to get the ladies.

2. Did you get my package?
No yet. I think it will come in this week.

3. How is your jaw this week?
Haha no comment. I don't think you wanna know what happened this week.

4. Did you get the CT scan of your jaw or tomografia?
Yea I got the tomografia, and I have been putting ice on my jaw and what not. The pain has gone down but I can't open my jaw a lot still. I put heat and then ice after.

5. How is Joice & her family doing with the gospel? Are they progressing?
They didn't go to church again. How annoying! They promised again! We called and went to get them. I think were gonna drop them because they live super far from our area.

6. How is Miguel and Lucia doing?
Well Miguel went to church but we went back and he dropped us. He said he doesn't want the responsiblity, and things to that sort. We explained about the blessings and what not. He doesn't want to get involved with anything. We explained about searching the kingdom of God first and what not but he dropped us. It was really hard. Elder Amorim, my son... he was like, hey is it usually like this when people drop you. Haha I said no.

7. When do you start training the newbie? Do you know who he is? Where he is from?
I started on Tuesday! I have Elder Amorim. He is from Brasilia! He is way legit. I'm pretty excited that he is my son. I just feel bad we haven't been able to have a normal day and work 100 percent.

8. Does this mean that the other elders in your apartment will be transferred too?
Elder g. Silva was transferred. But thats ok. This time I have the Brazilian in the house. haha its pretty sweet. Elder g. Silva taught me a lot of expressions in Portuguese and what not. Haha and funny things.

9. Have you seen Sara again? She is very nice and messages me on FB.
I haven't seen her for awhile, I did see her dad at transfers. I gave him a big hug and what not.

10. Any new investigators?
For now.... no. things have been very busy. I'll explain later.

11. Anything new happen this week?
Haha oh you have no idea.

12.So do they eat dog out there or guinea pig?
No that's so gross. Haha dog would be horrible. I think they eat that stuff in the north but here in Sao Paulo, everything is normal. Just a lot of rice and beans!!!! It's my love.

13. Do people grow their own gardens? Or just buy them in the market?
I think everybody gets their stuff in the market. Usually they have flee markets and farmers markets to buy fruits and what not really cheap. Because there isn't space to plant a garden since usually there are 3 houses stacked on top of each other.

14. What do people do there when it is in the winter and rainy? DO they still play soccer or do people become hermits like here in the NW and stay indoors and don’t go anywhere?
Usually they stay inside or there are some people who get umbrellas and go in the street. But usually people stay inside. this makes knocking doors really hard because people just wont answer the door.

15. So what do you want to do in Cali if we go there as a family? Disneyland? They opened up a new land at California Adventure, Cars land! We will have to save our pennies!!!
Well this time I want to go to the zoo and I want to go to the beach. I want to see what cali is really like. And well the roller coasters, or russian mountians in Portuguese, at Knotts Berry Farm. But we shall see... things are interesting right now. just keep everything on hold about home.

But anways, this week was an adventure. Just to spare all the details. DO NOT GET FREAKED OUT MOM! But anyways, on Tuesday I did faint on the bus when we were going back to our area. Earlier that day I had a migraine and laid down and what not. I got put into the hospital that night until 3 in the morning. They took a tomografia and what not. Anyways, long story short. Turns out both sides of my jaw are dislocated. But the one side that has always been hurting is pretty bad! Anyways the results. The jaw specialist said I will have to get a thingy ma bob. idk what its called in English, but its 2,600 reais. Plus treatment fees. President Pinho is aware. And so today were going to another specialist to see his opinion. Because I am having the super bad migraine's because of the pain in my jaw and that's what caused me to faint. So anyways, we will see what will happen after today but don't freak out mom. They asked if I wanted to call you on Tuesday. Haha I said no I didn't want to worry you. So anyways, thats what's going on. I'm doing my best to work but I have been having really bad head aches and migraine's everyday. And the meds are only helping a little. I am using ice and what not anways, so thats what's up. Don't freak out mom. Alright? If it's something super bad I will have to call.

But other news. We did get a house! Well we will probably be living in a super sweet condominium. Haha oh yeah! I am good! It is only 3 minutes from the chapel. BONUS! I'm good! haha jk, the Lord is good. He has blessed us so much this week. And will continue to bless us :)

Anyways, I am loving the mission and am learning a lot. This is a time of trials, but the Lord will bless me and everything is in his hands. I'm doing the best I can on my part. And for sure he will do his part.

Anyways Alex, I am so proud of you that you felt not to go. Keep up the good work and stay strong in the gospel. Read every day!

Com Amor,
Elder Firl

Monday, July 16, 2012

Learning more skills on how to budget...

1. How is your jaw doing this week?

Things are alright. I've already been putting ice and heat on my jaw. I talked with President Pinho and I will be taking a tomografia, idk what its called in English (tomography or CT scan). But anyways, on Thursday I had a super bad migraine, I think it's because of the long term pain. The room seemed like it was spinning so I stayed in the house for a few hours and went back to work. I don't want to lose the investigators that we have. So we did two visits and went back home. Friday I went to the dentist to do the final lazer treatment and I did pass everything you sent to Mission President from Jonathan. I was already doing most of the things that he suggested. The stretching and meds and ice. But we shall see what will happen! There is more movement to open, but to move side to side, there is no movement on the right side.

2. Did you see anyone about it again this week?

3. Any other new investigators?
Heck yeah! We have Miguel, he went to church! We also got a butt load of references this week. We have a family night with a member and holy smokes! He has so much knowledge about the scriptures. Haha he explained everything to a pastor at FHE(Family Home Evening) and we have another visit with him! It was legit!

4. Did anyone come to church today?
Yes Miguel went! He loved church and said he will be going to church this week as well! Haha he is sweet!

5. Anything interesting happen this week?
Well I did get a phone call this week or yesterday. I will be training a newbie! Heck yeah! It's sad to see Elder Rasmussen leave, we had such an awesome time together. We worked our butts off but this transfer, I will train. I'm pretty excited. I hope it's a Brazilian! I need to brush up on my Portuguese a little bit more. haha

6. If I sent you out some soft foods for you to eat, what would you like me to send you?
Well for now I'm good. I eat rice and beans everyday, that's pretty soft.

7. Is your companion pretty understanding with your appointments?

Yeah he is excellent. Though I know he would rather be working more but we have seen miracles with people falling into our hands. We are doing all we can, and the Lord is doing the rest. From family nights to a lot of references that are working out!

8. What have you been able to eat with your jaw?
I can eat, it just hurts. I eat beans rice meat, I just have to take small bites. With meat it hurts but I am sure to cut it extra well.

9. Did the mission president give you extra money so you can get to your appointments via bus?
Yes! We did get a little more, so that was nice. The bus is freakin expensive. haha

10. How are you able to afford to get over there and back? Do you need more money?
It's not cheap, but I just have to budget. So I have been learning more skills on how to budget and to see what I really need.

11. Has it been cold enough for you to use your coat yet?
Yes! It's been so cold! I always use a jacket and two covers to sleep. Well this week, and my teddy bear :) But it's been getting pretty cold. But its working out well!

12. How are your shirts, pants and shoes holding up? Oh and your socks? Need new garments?
Things are holding up! I'm switching everything and what not. I'm good for now :) My shoes are doing pretty good. I think I'll be good for at least another 5 months.

13. Have you tried the bananas out there?
No.... and I don't plan on it. I just tell everyone I have an allergy to banana. Haha it seems to work pretty well. So I have not eaten bananas. Haha its' pretty nice.

Anyways, things are going great! Anyways, Alex is pretty much a stud. Did he get the ladies?

About xc (cross country), I'm really proud for Alex, and he is right. It's almost always like that. They look at horrible things or talk dirty. And I trust in Alex that if he prayed its not a good idea to go! I'm proud for him! He is on the first steps of being a super missionary!

Anyways, always look for people that will accept the gospel. Just open your mouth! Miracles will happen. Give a lot of references to the missionaries! Ask them if they need help finding houses and what not!

Anyways, I love you guys and things are well. I'm loving the mission!

Com Amor,

Elder Firl

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sao Paulo State Day...that's why email was late.

1. How is your jaw doing this week?
Well the jaw is the same. I already talked with President Pinho about the jaw. He said he is going to see what he can do, but I haven't heard anything back. This process is taking forever!

2. Did you see anyone about it again this week?
Yes, I'm going this Friday to go do more therapy in the dental office. So we will see how that goes.

3. What size sweats do you want? AL? Do you care what kind?

I think an AL work. I don't really care. Just soccer sweats would be excellent! those are my favorite :) haha

4. So was Alan baptized this week?
Yes he was baptized! That was a pretty sweet experience. Elder Rasmussen had his first baptism in the water. I told Alan, hey let Elder R. baptize you he was like porque (because); and I explained that it would be his first. It was such an awesome experience. haha :)

5. Any other new investigators?
So we did find Joice and her family so that was excellent. So we are teaching them again. Also we found Miguel and Lucia. They are awesome. It's a mom and son. They are looking for work. So we are helping them out and having them walk by faith to get work. To search for the kingdom of God and then the things of the world. They are challenged for baptism on 4 of August they are planning on being baptized. It's most excellent! The area is progressing so much! It's been almost a year since they have had a baptism here but right now the area has so much potential.

6. Have you thought about teaching English classes out there?
Haha no. We already have a big teaching group. We have no time to do an English class.

7. How is the ward mission leader working with you guys?
Our ward mission leader is the man. He helps us so much! He is always searching for people and has families ready. Manuel is the man!

8. So did they figure out who broke into the church? Did they steal anything? What are they doing to prevent it again? Has this happened before?
No they didn't find out who broke in but they didn't take anything. They tried breaking into the Bishops office and what not but everything was locked. So they didn't get away with anything. It hasn't happened here before, but it's really common for churches to get broken into. Since our church is not just a garage. haha

9. Are you still in the same apartment with the other Elders?
Yes. But its awesome. I love living with them, it just sucks that our area is kinda far.

10. Do you think you will be transferred again soon?
Haha I'm not sure. I just know that President Pinho is really strange with transfers. So I have no clue what he will do.

11. Anything interesting happen this week?
Something interesting.... haha for now, I don't think so. But its been pretty chill here. It's just weird to think that its already July. Oh wait. Corintios won the cup. That was pretty sad. Everyone was out until 5 in the morning with fireworks and what not. It was pretty crazy! The fans are psychos!

12. Did you get your jersey?
Well I did get a jersey of Manchester! With Rooney on the back! Haha it's pretty sick! I loved it.

13. Do you have a microwave in this apartment?

Yes we do! Thank goodness. But I use the stove to make everything. French fries and what not. haha

14. Any interesting foods you have tried lately?

haha interesting.... hmmm I know yesterday I ate some part of the bull. I think it was the spine but not sure. It was wicked heavy. I didn't know what i ate but it looked interesting. Elder R. didn't eat it. haha

But anyways, it sound like the 4th of July was awesome! Sounds like you guys had a blast. I loved the photos! Holy cow mom, you are looking good! You have thinned out so much! Keep up the good work! I was quite impressed. I couldn't believe it was you! hahah impressive.

You guys threw out the bed! haha funny. Oh next 4th of July we should do something in cali! That would be legit.

Sorry for the email, yesterday was a holiday (Sao Paulo State Day) and all the labs were shut. So there was no way to send an email!

Anyways, love you guys!

Com Amor,

Elder Firl

Monday, July 2, 2012

"Thanks for the fasting for my jaw...been needing the blessing!"s

Thank you so much for the fast! I have been needing the blessings for my jaw. It's seems to be getting better. I can't believe the time is passing so fast! HOLY COW I CANT BELIEVE IT! But that awesome that Alex went to the youth conference.

1. How did your lazer treatment go for your jaw?
Well the lazer treatment went pretty well. It seemed to help for a little bit, for only a little bit. But its all good.

2. Did you and Elder Rasmussen get your own apartment?
No... not yet. But its all good. We just have to make copies of the keys to live with the other Elders. Because it's a mess without keys to get in a what not.

3. So tell me about the Ghetto there. Is it scarier than the tent people? Are there drug dealers there or just people who do bad things? Is it like places in Portland?
Haha it's not that bad. But it's pretty intense. But in Sao Marcos I think it's worse. But that's just my opinion. There are just a lot of drugs, but as for the murders it's not that bad.

4. How often do you do Zone Conferences?
It's once every 4 months I think. Its pretty rare.

5. So did you have anyone come to church today?
Alan, he is a kid that is 12 years old. He is going to be baptized this Saturday! Heck yeah! We talk with his mom and what not (that was pretty interesting), but its all good because she gave permission. But I did sacrifice my alarm to Alan, so that he could get up and go to church. Haha since I was without money. I promised him an alarm.

6. Did you teach anyone new this week?

No, everything seems to be falling through. but yesterday, we made some excellent contacts in the street. We just have to see where they will go. haha.

7. How is your jaw this week?
It's the same thing. It's not getting worse or better.

8. What have you and Elder Rasmussen done on P-Day there?
We sleep. But today, were going to cut our hair and I'm going to by a jersey today. I think a Manchester jersey, but I'm not sure. It just depends on how much it costs.

9. Do you have a washing machine?
Yes! With 4 elders, we have to have a washing machine. Without we would be toast!

10. Do you take a shower each morning? I know Chris said on his mission, he got a bucket and sponge for his shower.
Yes, we take a shower, every morning. We have a shower head things that are weird. It's electricity that passes through the water and then sprays on us. If you get super close to the shower head when your bathing, it gives ya a small shock. haha its pretty funny. haha

11. What kind of service did you do this week?

Well this week, we just did visits and what not. We did have an opportunity that I remember to do service. Wait!!! We did help clean that church. Since it did get broken into. That was really sad. They jumped the gate and destroyed the church, but the church fixed everything that day. It was pretty neat.

12. Anything interesting happen this week?
Just the church got broken into and that's about it.

But anyways, sounds like its been a blast there in Washington, it seems like its super hot. With Bishop Evans, sounds like the Young Mens organization will change a lot. When I get back I wanna do something with the young men. I think it would be legit!

Alright so I have a little bit more time. We have a new system and I needed to figure out how to send a letter to the Mission President... but anyways, so this week I decided to focus on the conference talks that were given. And holy cow, talk about revelation! I loved all the talks that I have read so far. The discourses have shown me that President Thomas S. Monson is really a prophet of God. There are so many things that I am learning! I know you are really busy, but if you have time, just give another look at the counsel of the apostles and prophet from the last conference. There is so much to learn! I loved the talk of President Uchtdorf! Incredible!

Anyways, thanks for everything! I love you guys. Don't forget that we are the light to the world. Be an example and share this peace and happiness to everyone. Thank you so much for the fast! Thanks for all the support!

Com tanto amor, Elder Firl

Monday, June 25, 2012

Got a phone!!! Persistance pays off!

1. Did you get the package from Ma Woods?

No yet. I went to the office this week but there were only a few letters for me and not a package.

2. How is your jaw feeling this week?
Haha it's the same. I'm going to call the specialist this week to get another appointment for my jaw. She is doing a lazer treatment, just to help the pain and when I go to the specialist she will do more. It's really hard to organize everything. I'm learning about planning. I haven't been making a lot of visits because of the lack of time. I don't want to lose the people we have in our teaching group.

3. What kind of medication are you taking for it?
I'm taking the meds from the wisdom teeth surgery. The 800mg Ibuprophen. Haha I thought it would of it been a good idea to bring those from home.

4. Did you and Elder Rasmussen move out and get your own place?

Not yet. We have to call today to see if we got the house we wanted. But I'm pretty sure we will get it! We should be moving out pretty soon.

5. Tell me about the other two missionaries you are rooming with!
Elder Smith and Elder Silva. They are boss. We always talk and have a good time. Haha we sing and do things like that. Elder Silva is from my group, I arrived with him in the field. So we have a good time talking about the CTM and things like that. I give a hard time with Elder Smith with his GF (girl friend). I tell him what happened to me and what not. We always tell stories and what not, it's pretty great!

6. So did any of the 10 people you have set for baptism come to church?
No.... only Alan went to church. He is 12 years old. But he is awesome! He is reading and doing his part, he is crazy to be baptized.

7. Tell me about your “HUMP” Day!
And well... hump day. Haha I burnt a shirt and well we bought pizza. Sara gave me a cake, which was most excellent! It was pretty nice. It's crazy to think that in less than a year I'll be home, the beginning of June because of the visas. It's kinda sad that it's passing by so fast, but it's only the half way mark! So I have time to work still...lots of time :)

8. So does the food vary from area to area or is it sort of the same?

It's the same thing...rice and beans everyday. Haha its pretty nice!

9. How much walking do you do in this area? How many miles?
Not sure. Probably 7 miles everyday. But I'm not sure. But we do a lot of walking because we have to walk into our area and then to our lunch and what not. And then at times, run back home in the middle of the ghetto. Haha its pretty tense.

10. Do you have a cell phone yet?
Yes! We got it on Friday. I think I pestered the office and then gave me one just to get me off of their backs...but hey we got one :) its been helping so much!

11. Does the area have a lot of hills?
Nah, its pretty chill. Embu das Artes has more! Here there are hills but not a ton and ginormous.

12. Do you know if Elder Beron got the package from Ma & I?

I have no clue. I think he will send me something when he gets it.

13. Are there things you need me to send you?

I think I'm good for now.

14. How many people did you teach this week?

A ton. But there aren't very many people progressing. We have to find the people that are ready. It's been kinda tough to find people who want to make the change in their lives.

15. What kind of service did you do this week?

Well we went to a ton of meetings to get the ward organized. So that was good. This week was pretty crazy with meetings. For example. Friday we had interviews with the Mission President; so that pretty much ate up our whole day. And then we went to Interlagos to go to the dentist. And then we went to the office to get the cell phone. We only did one visit and then Sunday we have meetings with the Bishop and with the President of the Elders Quorum.

16. Did you want me to send you out UNO cards?
No I have some. Just a soccer ball would be nice. And some soccer sweats :) It's starting to get pretty cold. Oh and some gel pad things to put into my shoes.

Anyways, from Sara's house I'm thinking it's about 2 hours. Its not really a short drive to get here. So when I saw her I thought I was going crazy. IDK (I don't know) how she found out I was here. But anyways, the cake was most excellent! I heard Danilo was baptized, and Edinaldo. People I started to teach. So that was pretty sweet. I was so happy to hear that they got baptized. The fruits of the work. Haha I feel like I am the one that leave seeds for others to get. But it's all good, we are the same team! :)

This week I was studying about the parables of Jesus Christ. Holy cow they are amazing! The history and everything. The first parable of Jesus Christ is awesome. About the 4 soils. It's in Matthew. IDK(I don't know) what chapter but I loved it. How the soils can be related to members and their testimonies, or people in general, about receiving the gospel. I am loving the parables and learning so much!

Anyways, I love you guys!

Com amor,

Elder Firl

Monday, June 18, 2012

Still no phone...Happy Father's day DAD!!

1. Tell us about Elder Rasmussen from Idaho Falls. Did he go to BYU-I?
Well Elder Rasmussen is pretty sweet! He didn't go to BYU-I but he is planning on going to Utah State University, he wants to play soccer there.
Does he speak Portuguese well? How long has he been out?
He speaks pretty well. Not sure well but really well for the time he has. He has 5 months on the mission. It's a little bit of time, but he speaks well. I'm helping him a lot with Portuguese and learning with him as well. To teach, you have be a professional so I have to study to explain at times. It's pretty great!

2. How are you able to survive if you don't have any money? Did the
Mission President give you any? Is the ward taking care of you?

The ward is excellent. The Mission President gave us more money since we use a lot to call everyone. We are still without a house and cellphone. But he said we should be getting one soon. Haha we all know what that means...another week or two.

3. Does the Mission President know about your jaw and how much it hurts?
I've told him, but I don't think it quite clicks. He just says, go to the dentist that you know. But it's kinda hard when we are getting nailed on numbers and don't have the time to go to the other area to get it taken care of. Haha you know. I've mentioned a few times, but I don't think it quite clicks.

4.Have you had a Priesthood blessing for your jaw?

5. How is your jaw feeling?
The pain seems to be the same but it's enough to eat and what not. It's not horrible, it's just super annoying and at times it just hurts for no reason.

6. So how much do you walk in Guarapiranga?
Holy cow we walk a lot but not enough. I think I'm gaining weight here. haha

7. So is the area jungle like?
Haha nah, it's just a city in the middle of nowhere. It's like Vancouver being in the area of La Center.

8. Do you have a ward or a branch? What is the name of it?

It's a ward. It's called, Chácara santana.

9. Do you have a ward mission leader?
We do, he is most excellent! And we are rocking this joint with him. He helps us and what not. The ward is SO supportive. It's pretty sweet. We did a division with the President of the Elder Quorum, and 1st counselor. It was pretty nice to get to know the area a little better.

10. So how far away time wise is Guarapiranga to your mission home in Sao

Well its about 1 and 30 min. But with traffic its about 4 or 3. It sucks!

11. So did any of those 5 people come to church on Sunday? When are their
baptism dates?

Well now we have 10 people set for baptism. But nobody came to church. We stopped by Saturday to see if they would go and they said yes. Well half of them. But nobody. But they are all still set for baptism for 7th of July.

12. Is the ward good about feeding you? they are way good!
It's pretty sweet!

13. What are you going to do for your big HUMP day? Can't believe you have
been out for a year!!

Well I'm going to burn a shirt with all the areas on the back! It's gonna be wicked!

But anyways, things are going really well in the area. I'm loving what I'm doing! The work is tough but we are being blessed. The ward is really good! Anyways, I just want to give a shout out for Fathers Day! Happy Fathers day Dad :)

So I have a little bit more time. Just a random though, I was thinking about doing something different for a job. Not a profession because I still want to do dentistry. But I was thinking about doing something with Portuguese in Florida to earn some extra money. Haha imagine, Florida with the Brazilian people and Portuguese :) legit!

Anyways, just a random thought. Anyways, so this week I decided to study about the parables of Jesus Christ. Holy cow, I am learning so much! I'm putting sticky notes in my scriptures to remember everything.

Love ya,

Elder Firl

Monday, June 11, 2012

Transferred Guarapiranga...opening a new area again!


1. Where did you get transferred?

I am in Guarapiranga, Chacara Santana. And I am opening an area. We don't have a house or cell phone. We are living with other Elders in their area. So we have to walk to our area everyday to teach. It's quite the walk. We are broke. Holy cow, we had to take 2 buses and a train to get to the mission office, because our ride fell. We got lost so we had to take another bus. We have my 3 suitcases covered to not get wet. Then to get to the new area we took 2 buses and a train as well but with 6 suitcases since we are opening area. Quite an adventure. But I am so happy and miracles are happening in our area. We were left with nothing. and the area is growing. we have 5 people marked for baptism. Heck yeah!

2. So what is your new area like?

Out in the middle of nowhere with ghettos. Haha how great!

3. Why did they transfer you? Do they tell you?

Because of the gossip of the ward. There were a few recent converts that didn't like us. An American and Argentinian, and we told her we would stop everyday at here house just to visit. She got mad and made up lies. So President took us out.

4. Who is your new companion and where is he from?

Elder Rasmussen from Idaho Falls. He is new doesn't speak anything. But we had the same trainer. I'm his second comp and I'm still breaking him in. But holy smokes, he is awesome! He is way organized and has a huge desire to work! We are going to rock this place! With my social skills and his organization we are going to rock this joint!

5. So did you see the specialist for your jaw? Or did you cancel the appointment?

No... because I'm opening an area. I'll take care of it when I get home. And if it gets to the point where it gets worse I'll get it resolved. I want to handle this. The lord will bless me in my service. I'm taking meds and what not. No worries.

6. Did you get my letter that had the $2 bills in it?

I did :) Thanks mom :)

7. Would you like to have a family fast for your jaw? Say next fast Sunday?

pode ser. vou jejuar com vocês este domingo. (May be. I will fast with you this Sunday.)

8. How is the language coming? Have you been able to pick up on the really fast speaking?

Haha of you have no idea. The Lord has blessed me. Incredible. Hahah gift of tongues. Some people ask if I'm from the South of Brazil. haha

9.Did you get my package? The one with the Electric tooth brush?
I did get it. I'm loving the tooth brush. With a nicer and clean smile :) Love you mom!

10. Is there anything else you would like in a package? Ma sent the q-tips in her package.
Perfect! Let me think. I think that's it really.

11. Do you write in a journal every day or every week?

No. It's been awhile since I've written in my journal. But I will write today. Haha lots of things happening! Some pretty great stories as well :)

Anyways, sounds like lots of things are happening! Tell Brody to serve a mission! He won't regret it! Just forget everything and go. He will be blessed!
Anyways, I'm excited to be here! I'm loving this life. Even though we have nothing, I am so happy! The Lord is blessing us so much. I love you all and am giving everything I got here.

love ya!
Elder Firl

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jaw still hurting! And being transferred again!

1. I will be sending out another box to you soon, is there anything else you want me to send other than the jersey?

Haha I think a jersey is sufficient. Wait....I don't know what they are called anymore, but the ear cleaner things. Haha with cotton on the end of them. Those would be nice, but I think that's it.

2. So when you went to the dentist, did they clean your teeth?
No, they just took an x-ray and that's it. It would have been nice if they cleaned my teeth. haha

3. Worried about your jaw, how is it doing and when is your appointment at the jaw specialist in the Southern Part of Sao Paulo?
Well we already went to the specialist and he is really well known in Sao Paulo. And so, I went there to get everything checked out but the news wasn't too good. He said, he isn't sure what it is, and with the x-ray its hard to tell. So I have to get a tomografia (CT scan), I don't know what it's called in English, to identify the problem more clearly. But he said, that I will either have to do some therapy or possibly surgery. I have been taking meds, but it hasn't been doing anything. The pain isn't INTENSE. But I have a really hard time singing and eating breads and meats. I can open my mouth, but its limited. We scheduled another appointment, but I have been transferred so I don't know if that appointment will work. It sucks that I got transferred because I can't do anything to get things worked out with my jaw. I'm not sure what I can do. I'm taking meds but it's not enough. I don't know what I can do. I have to talk with my mouth more shut, and it sucks and hurts. Sorry for the complaining, but its just getting worse. There is no improvement.

4. So did Michelle get baptized this week?
No... she had to work, that was a bummer.

5. Are you teaching anyone else?

Haha well... Jailton and his family but for now I guess we will see what it's like in my other area.

6. What kind of service have you done in that area?
Usually we help with construction or clean up or give blessings. This has been working really well in the area.

7. What kind of work do the people do in that area to be so well off?

Well it's hard to pin point what they do. Because its the big city. It's basically the same thing here as it is there. It's like a Southview Heights for the most part everyone went to school and is well off.

8. How is Danile coming along in the gospel?
She went to church!!! Heck yeah! It was Stake Conference and the prophet spoke. Yes, it was a broadcast. So that was most excellent! She still doesn't like the law of chastity but that will change.

9. Have you activated the ward mission leader?

Yes, but he haven't had a meeting with him yet. We will receive another ward mission leader. But both Elder Beron and I are being transferred tomorrow, we don't know where we are going but we are not together.

10. So is Elder Beron getting you out and about on P-Day instead of sleeping?
Yes and no. We normally go to a members house to play around for a little and then just come back and sleep. So were kinda getting out and about during p-day.

11. What do they do for HUMP day-the one year mark of being out there?
Well, we burn a shirt. Yes a white shirt. No worries. I've been saving a shirt that has a lot of pen stains. So its' all good :) It will be pizza and a white shirt that will be burned to the ground :)

Anyways, things are going excellent. except for my jaw. Haha lunches are getting miserable because it hurts to eat. And well I just try to avoid talking and what not. Haha talking really loud, like acting things out and what not. Haha my personality.

But anyways things are great! Just the jaw sucks :/

I love you all and hope you guys have a great week :) I'll let you know next week where I will be.

Com Amor,

Elder Firl

Monday, May 28, 2012

Won a France Jersey...

1. Did you see the dentist…did you get your teeth cleaned? Any cavities?
Well I did go to the dentist, just to get an x-ray to see what was going on, because I knew that it's not a problem in the teeth but in the jaw. But the dentist just wanted to look at the x-rays. But this week she told me I have to go to Southern part of Sao Paulo to see a jaw specialist. She already has an appointment, but things are well. It's been hurting for about 4 months, but the pain is going away little by little. I think it's just because my body is slowing getting accustomed to it. But I still can't move my jaw in some parts. But I think this week I'll get an update on what I have to do. But I don't think its too serious. I can work and what not. It's not impeding on the work, haha just lunch. So it's all good.

2. Things getting any closer for Jailton on getting married?

He is still waiting for his papers. So we are on hold with him, but it's all good.

3. Are you teaching another one of his daughters? The rebellious one? What is her name?
We are teaching one of his daughters Danile (dan-E-L-E) haha but yes she is the rebel. She doesn't want to obey the law of chastity. She was asking why and wanted details. So finally we just cranked a scripture to keep her quiet and to answer the question really direct. In John, "If you love me keep my commandments..." haha and we just told her this was a commandment. She was pretty quiet after that, but she is really difficult to get a hold of.

4. Are you teaching anyone else?
Yeah but nothing is too serious yet. We taught Michelle a long time ago and we got a phone call that she wants to be baptized. And so, this week we are planning to baptize her. I guess the other Elders have taught her for a long time.

5. How is the family you reactivated the dentist? What are their names?
We reactivated the family. It's the family of Vicente. Haha but the daughter was already active, there are just a ton of problems in that family. They have a ton of money, but have other problems. The house is empty, no spirit, so it seems.

6. So is the weather getting cooler? I see that it is raining more, how are you able to hang your clothes to dry then?
Haha yeah its getting cooler, I've already lost my tan. Dang it! But yes we are able to hang up our clothes and what not.

7. Did you get a washing machine?

Not yet. haha

8. How are your English and Spanish classes you are teaching coming along?
Haha we stopped them. We only have a few members going and so we just stopped because we wanted to use our time a little bit better.

9. Are there golf courses out there?
Haha yes there are. It's pretty sweet! There is the Interlagos raceway. I did pass by this week. I got a little peek at the GT3 Porsche race. I got some pictures. Dad would have gone nuts. I'll be sure to send photos, but this lan house doesn't have a USB port.

10 .So people who are in the wealthy areas, what kind of cars do they drive? What do they do for work?

Usually the people who are rich have Fiat´s or Peugeot. BUT the Honda and Japanese cars are WAY expensive out here. Oh by the way, I did see a Nissan GTR in action on the road. I couldn't believe it when I passed. It was whipping by so fast. Everyone here loves cars and motorcycles, so it's awesome to talk and break the ice here. I have to admit, this area is pretty boss. I get to talk about cars bikes and the gospel all day everyday. Cars and bikes to break the ice and what not, or soccer. I have to admit its pretty sweet and I'm loving life :)

So as for this week. I did win a France jersey this week. (A replica, which is about 80 reais). But I did a scratch and win and what do you know I won! My companion couldn't believe it and the guy at the stand as well. Haha it was pretty great. Also, this week I plan on buying a green lazer. Yes, the ones like the military use. They go for MILES! For only 30 reais! I'm pretty stoked, since you cant buy them in the states. I'm pretty stoked. The area is progressing super well! What else, I am just loving life. I just hope everything will work out for my jaw. I'm a little worried about it.

But I did get your package this week! Thanks MOM ! :) I loved it! Also, I have a favor, you don't have to buy it now. But my companion has been so awesome! And we have been working our butts off...he is going to give me his Argentina jersey. It's original. So I have a little favor. If you could get a Real Salt Lake or Portland Timbers jersey and send it, he would freak out! Elder Beron is legit! He is thinking about going to BYUI with me. He has already gone to the states but, anyways, he is legit and I thought he deserves something.

Anyways, sounds like things are well with Alex. Alex, tell profe that I'm learning Spanish and tell her I plan on coming back to talk to her in Portuguese. I want to tell her about my experience here is Brazil as well as the other teachers. OZ, Link and what not. I think they would love it. But anyways sounds like things are going great. It's crazy to hear about the tree and the storm! NUTS!

Anyways, I love you all and wish you a fantastic week!
Com Amor, Elder Firl

Monday, May 21, 2012


Reactivated 2 families!

Looks like you were having computer problems mom...I only got part of your email.

Anyways, I'll give you the update really quickly! Sounds like things went excellent with Josh Vaughan's farewell talk! Sounds like an unforgettable experience! He is going to love the mission. He will learn so much! Nice to hear about Chris Vaughan's mission!

But as for this week...

Things went pretty well! We reactivated 2 families this week! One super rich family and another. This other family is so awesome! The dad was beating the wife and we explained about the Atonement and he said he will go back to church because we was embarrassed. SO that was an awesome experience. And this super rich family was kinda weird. We got a call to visit them and so we passed by and what not. We talked joked around shared a thought and they went to church. And now we have a ton of references that we should be receiving soon in the RICH neighborhood. HECK YEAH! We finally got a way to get into those filthy rich homes. Haha talk about a blessing.

But anyways, she also got me hook ups to go see a dentist. Because my jaw is hurting. The same side at the Ridgefield game. Remember when that happened? Yeah, its the same side and it hurts to chew meat and bread. And I can't open my jaw all the way. So she said she is going to have a specialist look at it take x-rays and what not, for free!!! She is a dentist. So anyways, don't worry. I'll be sure to give you an update. I didn't want to say anything until I got an appointment.

But things are going so well mom! :) Oh if you haven't sent a package I would like to have Listerine as well and a few good pens and deodorant.

But anyways mom I love you mom and thanks for all the support :)

1. How are things coming with Jailton?

Things are going great! He just needs to get his papers and he will get married! We are working with the rebellious daughter. She went to church! He has 3 daughters. We baptized the 2nd oldest, but the rebel is the oldest. So this is progress :)

2. Did you get a washing machine?
not yet....

3. How much does a bus ride cost?
It's about 3 reais. Haha it's so expensive! It sucks!

4. Do the kids play soccer on turf fields or dirt and grass? Are there turf soccer fields there?

Usually they will just play on anything. In Embu das Artes, they always played on dirt. But here they have a lot of grass and turf. The turf field is super nice here! HOLY SMOKES!

Com Amor,

Elder Firl

Monday, May 14, 2012

Loved Mother's Day!...time is going quick

Oh man I loved Mothers Day! It was so awesome! I loved seeing everyone and talking! It was the best Mothers Day! I miss you all so much! The time is going by so quick! And well, I know that Christmas is going to arrive so quickly, and then bam! Mothers Day again and one month till I come home. It passes quick. But anyways, I want to thank you all for being there. I'm so glad you loved the present. Give the credit to Ma Woods! It was her idea and she put it together. I just sent the pictures. But I love you all! And hope you have a fantastic week! :)

1. Do you meet with your ward mission leader a lot in your new ward?

Well our Mission Ward Leader has been inactive, we have no idea why, but we are going to try to activate him. We have been trying to get his address, but he won't tell us and nobody knows where he lives. So that makes it a little complicated.

2. What is the name of your new ward?
The Interlagos Ward.

3. How much does pizza cost there?
Well it depends. But with chocolate stuffed crust it's about 23 reais ($11.72 US currency). But it just depends on the place.

4. How much do you get each month to spend?
It's about 300 a month ($152 US currency). But, we spend so much money on the bus fees. Haha its crazy.

5. Do you put the whole program together for the baptism?
Yes, we put everything together. The baptisms are way different here. They aren't NEARLY as well put here as it is there. Haha you have no idea. But it's still awesome.

6. How long has Elder Beron been in this area?

Well... we opened the area. But he has been in and out of here for about 2 months. He doesn't really know the area really well. But enough to get around. haha...

Natalia is asking these questions below as she is teaching a lesson in Relief Society and wanted to know from you…
7. How have the scriptures helped you? Before or during your mission?

Before the mission I didn't really read a lot. I read, but at the same time I didn't read. The importance of STUDYING is SO important. And then reflecting what is actually going on. How you can apply it in your life. I have learned this on the mission and the difference is huge. You gain knowledge about life and you gain happiness in your life. The peace you can get out of the scriptures is incredible. Also, with so much confusion among other people about religion. With people attacking our religion everyday, the scriptures are a huge tool to defend our faith. The Book Of Mormon is the most correct book on the face of the earth. Don't be afraid to use it. When people bash on us I give the same response. Why do you say that our religion is false? or the Book Of Mormon is not right. Usually they will express what they feel or what they have heard. But share your testimony, that you KNOW it's true because you have received an answer from God. And if they want, they can find out for themselves that it's true. They just have to read, pray and go to church and have an open heart. But they can't say that your answer is wrong because you got an answer from God. This is the power of the scriptures.

8. What do you teach the investigators about the scriptures?

Normally we ask what they know about the scriptures. Then ask if they read the Bible and what they know about it. Because everyone has a religion here. I just explain that the Book Of Mormon and the Bible were written by Prophets. But the Bible was written in the Middle East. And the Book Of Mormon was written in the Americas. And then ask, do you think that God just loved those people in the Middle East to receive the word of God. For sure, everyone says no. And say, well in this time, existed people in the Americas, the Indians. And explain they didn't have technology to get the word. SO, explain about Nephi and how he went to the Americas and his story, prophets were called and what not. Christ visited the Americas and what not.

9. When do you start teaching about the Book Of Mormon to the investigators?
Well, I do things different. I explain about baptism first and the importance of it and ask if they have desire, on the first visit. And they agree they if they receive an answer from God they will be baptized. So the second visit we explain that through the Book Of Mormon you can receive an answer, the history first obviously but that ONLY through the three things that I mentioned we can receive an answer. People often ask why they cant receive an answer through the Bible. I said you can, but do you believe that the bible is the word of God. They always say yes and I ask how? they explain how they feel the peace and what not and explain they can feel the same way in the Book Of Mormon but they have to read it. You already have testimony about the Bible, now you have to get a testimony of the Book Of Mormon.

Com Amor, Elder Firl

Monday, May 7, 2012

Using the tanquinho to wash clothes....

Holy cow, that is quite the spiritual experience Mom! I can't believe Chris had an honorable release and he is home, that's crazy man! The lord knows whats best, and the Mission President is able to receive this kind of revelation. Anyways, I can't wait to see you guys this Sunday! It's going to be most excellent! I love you all and can't wait. I'll be sure to call you as well.

1. What time are we going to Skype on Mother’s Day (SUNDAY May 13!)? You are 4 hours ahead of us. So it would be 4:45 your time to call. Will that work? Will you call me? Who do I need to add?
Oh no worries. We were planning on talking in the afternoon around 6 or 5 here in Brazil. But I will call you and confirm with you. Also, I think I will just use my Skype account. No worries, I will call you and everything. I think I'll call Saturday to confirm.

2. Do you have a washer in your apartment? Or are you washing clothes by hand again?

Haha we don't have a washer yet. But no worries, I have my connections in the office. And they said they will get a washer for me... next week. Ahaha...heck yeah! But yet I am using the tanquinho. And it's pretty much is by hand. but that's ok. The area is really flat, so I don't even sweat. I have a feeling I'm going to get pretty chunky here. We are WELL fed and we barely walk. It's pretty legit.

3. How are you and Elder Beron getting along?
So we are getting a long really well. The work is coming along excellent as well.

4. How is the language coming? Are you speaking and listening faster?
Oh the language. I'm learning a lot here about the language. There is always something that I need to improve. Sometimes I feel like I have a really thick accent. And at times I can't speak some words because everybody here speaks so freakin fast! But my language is improving a lot! It's pretty sweet! I tell everybody that they can correct me and what not. And they correct me all the time. its pretty nice. There is a lot of slang and usually I don't understand slang super well. I'm always learning something. Elder Beron helps me a lot. He says I speak really really well for an American. But it's coming a long really well. Also people word things different. It's quite interesting. I'm liking it.

5. How is Jailton coming along in the gospel?

Haha holy smokes! Jailton is going to get married! We are going to pass in the office, not this Saturday but the next to get a wedding date and everything. Then they will be baptized! ALSO! His daughter is going to get baptized this week. Crazy! She received her answer yesterday! So we have her set for baptism and well Jailton encouraged her to get baptized he bore testimony. So awesome!

6. Teaching anyone else new?
Nobody that is ready to progress. haha

7. Is the ward feeding you? Are they giving you good referrals?

Oh yes, they are feeding us really well. They are pretty good at giving references.

8. Where do you go to email me?
To the lan house, its like a computer lab.

9. I heard you are teaching English & Spanish classes…how are they going?
They are coming along pretty well! My first class was sad. There were a few people, but the word is getting around, and the people really liked the classes. I'm learning Spanish. It's pretty sweet. It's way similar to Portuguese. It's kinda scary.

10. Have you gone anywhere on your P-day in your new area to check out any of the sights?

Haha no, we just sleep wash our clothes and sleep more. haha

Com Amor, Elder Firl

Monday, April 30, 2012

People speak faster here in Interlagos!

Holy cow mom, you have lost a lot of weight. Haha lookin' good there :) But yes, this week has gone by so fast! The area is great here. Sara has really helped out a lot. She always made visits with us, fed us and many many more things. Micky D´s was pretty delicious! I went there for the first time her in Brazil! It was pretty sweet!

1. So who is your new companion? I know he is from Argentina! How long has he been out?
Haha how did you know that I have a companion from Argentina? But yes it is true. His name is Elder Beron. And let me tell ya, he is pretty boss! He works a lot and way chill! We have the same interests: music, cars clothes and what not. We are getting along really well! It's pretty sweet! I have been blessed with such an awesome companion. He speaks SUPER fast. Like its crazy. It's pretty funny. He is teaching me some Spanish words. Anyways, he has over a year and 6 months on the mission. He is legit! Its so nice that I got a new companion. haha

2. In your apartment do you have other missionaries there too? Or is it just you two?
No it's just us. But the house we have is pretty big. There is a dog there, it's the neighbors, but its pretty roomy.

3. So do they have a branch there?
They have a ward and its pretty strong. Lots of people and they are way out going. They are really busy with work, but they do their best to give references and what not.

4. What are you having to do to start up a new area?
The livro de area. It explains about the area and what not. It's not that hard. Elder Beron already knows the area pretty well. So it just involves talking with members to know where people live and what not.

5. Is it a city area or is it out in the bush?

Holy cow, it's in the middle of the city. It's COMPLETELY different here. The people speak a lot faster, everything is super rushed and just the nature is really different. The slangs and what not, it's pretty crazy. I'm having a harder time understanding people, because they talk so freakin' fast and want answers that minute. It's way different. There are so many people here it's nuts. It's more of a richer area as well. So it's pretty interesting. Way different than where I was at. But little by little I'm adjusting. I don't like being pressured, because I get really nervous and what not. Especially with the language and what not. But I'm getting used to it.

6. Dad said the Indy cars were racing in Brazil, Interlagos did you hear anything about them?
Yep, all the races are here in Interlagos. I have stopped by the track already and there are always races. There are a ton of drivers here but most of them are retired. Hahaha but there is always a bunch of noise because of the races.

7. Did you get my package?
Not yet, but I will stop by in the mission office next week I think so I'll know then.

8. So what did you do this week with your new area?
Well we had a conformation. So that was pretty sweet. We have a really good teaching group right now and we plan on baptizing next week. So that will be good.

9. Are you teaching anyone? Did you get to this week?
We have Jailton. He is legit. He is about 30 yrs old. and has a wife that is 18. Anyways, they are legit. He went to church this week and is just waiting for an answer. This week we will focus on how to receive an answer. He used to be a drug lord and was shot 8 times and lived. He changed his life and has a little kid. A little baby :) He is addicted to weed still but wants to stop. He has a lot of desire!

10. Any new or cool experiences this week?
I'm just getting to know the area and the people here. But I'm loving the area, except for the fact everything is super rushed and everyone speak super fast here. its pretty sweet :)

11. Okay so we are going to Skype for Mother’s Day?…have you figured it out yet? 14 days, not that I am counting…lol
Yes, I just need to figure out what time of the day we will talk. But I found a place and everything. We will Skype, so that will be excellent :) Not that your counting or anything.

But over all, the Lord has blessed me, once again. I have an awesome companion and the area is really sweet! I'm loving the area and what not. I'm so glad I'm here on the mission. I'm always learning to get out of my comfort zone and learning to get over my fear of talking. I'm a little chatter box, but my fear of being bold and asking questions and if someone asks me a question and I don't know, I'm not afraid to say I don't know, or that I didn't understand what they said. I'm learning to not care what people think of me. But anyways, I love the mission and what I do. The time is passing so fast and it seems like a dream.
Thanks for all the support and love. I love you all.
Com Amor, Elder Firl

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jake's Birthday Pictures

Jake at the Vasconcelos home

Elder Woodward, Sara Vasconcelos, and Jake

Click here to check out the video that the Vasconcelos family made for Jake!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Interlagos

Just got a message from Sara Vasconcelos (this is the Sara that her and her family have done so many nice things for Elder Firl). Sara said that Elder Firl got transferred today and that her and her father took him to the chapel and he is going to Interlagos, he is opening a new area there with an Elder from Argentina. They took Elder Firl to McDonald's to have breakfast and he said that it had been a long time since he went there! Elder Firl will be missed in Sao Marcos. Thank you Sao Marco's ward for taking such good care of Elder Firl! Thank you Vasconcelos family for being so good to him and treating him like he was apart of your family!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Best Birthday!

Well it sounds like it has been a crazy week! I know down here in Sao Marcos, playing soccer has probably been a highlight on the mission. This week has flown by SO fast. With my birthday and what not, the members wished me a happy birthday. And I would have to say, probably the best birthday. Serving the Lord, and yet having time to eat cake and what not. I ended up having lunch at Sara´s house, and let me tell ya, it was a fantastic lunch, like always. There was cake and EVERYTHING! We sang happy birthday and what not, and we opened presents. Yes, they did buy presents. I almost cried because the way they have treated me like family. It was quite incredible! I got a shirt, tie, pants, brownies, and new shoes. Yes I said it, new shoes! I could not believe it. It had to of been quite a bit of money they spent, quite a sacrifice, to me. Holy Cow, I had to hold the tears. Likewise, Sara did a slide show, including photos and music from home and on the mission. I don't know how she got the photos but it was fantastic! Incredible!

And then we went to another families house and did some visits. But I also got a key chain of Brazil and 1 real! The dollar bill. THIS real is REALLY rare! So hard to find. Let alone in perfect condition. And I got one. Anyways, this birthday has been fantastic. Everyone here has treated me really well, just like family.

OH! this week the secretaries of the mission office have not paid our bills. So our water got shut off. We have been without water for awhile now. Haha so we have been taking showers in the members houses. Haha oh joy. It sucks not having water, all my clothes are dirty. Oh on the mission.

1. So are you being transferred this week? If so where?

Well yes I did get transferred. But I'm still here in Sao Marcos for now. But tomorrow I will be in my new area. Which I still don't know where it will be. Haha but you will find out next week.

2. How is Jaqueline and her mom? Are they progressing?
We haven't been able to contact them. So we have no clue whats going on with them, we are always passing by.

3. How is Edinaldo? Wow…so impressed with kids at 15 that want to know and are willing to make a change!

Edinaldo is fantastic! It's going to be a baptism may 12. I know I won't be there. BUT he is awesome. His desire to learn is incredible! Such a wonderful experience!

4. So have the tent people left? I know you mentioned they were going to raid things there.

They haven't even budged. In fact, there are people from Rio de Janeiro there. Which is kinda scary because we all know there are a ton of drug lords there in Rio. So this shall be interesting. But I know they plan on taking everyone out, but who knows when. It could be in another half year, its pretty nuts.

5. Is the weather turning colder?
Just a little bit at night, it seems to get pretty cool. But it's not super cold. The weather is actually perfect right now. Not too hot or cold, but there is a lot of sun.

6. I sent you my package, did you get it?

Not yet. I will check tomorrow at the mission office.

7. Did you ever get your shirt fixed?

Haha I did :) it's pretty legit.

Anyways, things are fantastic here! I'm loving the mission and wouldn't want to be doing anything else! Pretty legit! Anyways, I love you all and thank for the birthday wishes!!

Aunt Hollii & Uncle Jared, thank you so much for the shirt! I love you so much. Thanks for all the support that you have given me while I have been on the mission. The support that you are given me. May the Lord bless you and your family in life's journey. The Lord loves you and your family. I love you Aunt Hollii. Hugs and kisses to the family. Thanks again for the shirt!

Thank you Grandma & Grandpa Firl for the tie! Love it! Nice to have a new tie! I love ya!

Elder Firl

Monday, April 16, 2012

Finally got to play soccer....EPIC!

Sounds like this week was pretty crazy! Congrats with the graduation and what not to Natalia. I did get to see the shopping grounds there in Utah when we were watching Conference. Haha I can't believe how many changes are going on. The time is going by super fast. I can't believe I will be 20 this Saturday. It's just nuts! But things have been going really well here. I can't wait for transfers though. I'm ready to get out of the zone and well. I'm ready for something new. Love the zone, but I don't want to spend a year here in this zone, when there are many more zones to see on the mission.

1. Do you have transfers this week? If so are you being transferred?
Yes we do have transfers this week, on the 24. I will know this Saturday if I will get transferred or not.

2. Mothers Day is coming up, May 13. Are we going to be able to Skype?

We need to come up with a time, just like Christmas, it's going to a last minute thing. But I'm pretty sure its going to same the exact thing. Yes I plan on using Skype with you guys, but there is a lot of time to plan. Oh, Ma is invited too. She has a little surprise for ya. I thought it would be neat if she gave it to you there and what not.

3. How many districts are in the mission? How many zones in your mission?
Well I think we have 4 districts in our zone. But I think we have 8 zones in our mission. But I'm not sure. haha

4. Any new contacts this week?
Well we did find Jaqueline and her mom. They are reading and what not. They did not go to church. But this family was a reference in the ward. It's working out really well. We also got another reference. Edinaldo. This has been such a blessing! He is going to be baptized 15 of May. So.... I probably won't get to see the baptism. But that's okay. BUT, he went to church this week. LOVED it. He is loving the lessons and is seeing the difference in the gospel. He isn't super smart, but he has heart. He has been telling us that he has never felt this way. I'm almost positive that he will be baptized. And our area hasn't had a baptism IN over a year... I think, so this has been awesome!

5. Any cool experiences this week?
Well today was pretty sweet. We have a zone activity with the Mission President. IT WAS EPIC! We went to a members house, talk about loaded. We had a BBQ and what not. We did play soccer. OH YEAH! I got to play against the Brazilians, and let me tell ya, they were quite impressed. They kept telling me, holy cow I didn't know you played ball and what not. We have a sister from Portugal, she was quite impressed as well. Hahaha I got a good laugh from that. It was really nice to play around today. But that's why I'm sending the email so late as well.

6. Did you get Richardson's card? It had a visa gift card in it.
I did get it! I just need to know if I need to sent my letter to their house in LC or what... haha I have a letter ready!

7. How long have the tent people been there by your apartment? How long have they lived there? Are they still there?
Well the tent people have been there for over month and a half. Right now they have electricity. It's going to be a lot harder to get rid of them now. It's growing so fast! There is a lot of prostitution and drugs going around there. Not a good thing. And yes they are still there. There are probably over 6 thousand people there.

8. Do you get to watch soccer there even though you can't play it?
We don't. Which really sucks. Like on the TV we can't. Futbol is pretty much dead here on the mission. We can't do anything futbol, except for today which was SWEET!

But anyways, thanks for all the love and support. Sorry the email took forever. I know you have probably been waiting at the computer for awhile. I love you all. Thanks for everything!
com amor, Elder Firl

Monday, April 9, 2012

General Conference Weekend

Enjoy these new pictures :)

Fish for Easter...

So to start off! This week was pretty sweet! I really liked Easter! Lots of fish and well lots of knocking doors, since a lot of our meetings fell through.

Thank you so much for the packages Mom and NANA! I loved them! Haha as well as the other missionaries! I love sharing American candy with them. They go nuts! I loved all the gifts and the Easter baskets! Thank you so much Nana and Grandpa, Mom and Dad for the gifts and candies! I really loved them. It was also fantastic Easter!

1. Did you hide the Easter baskets like I do for Easter?
No I didn't hide the Easter egg baskets. But I did take the plastic eggs and stuck junk in for the Elder in the house. Haha...just as a joke. And then after I shared some candy with them. One of the eggs I stuck a real egg. It was a pretty funny joke.

2. What do Brazilians Eat for Easter dinner. (like we have ham and potatoes)
Well here in Brazil, its fish! They eat a lot of fish during Easter. Elder Woodward does not like fish. Sooo... he pretty much died in Sara´s house when we ate fish. But the tradition is fish.

3. What do you eat for breakfast normally?
It's either no breakfast or grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Haha I'm pretty sick of them at this point.

4. What kind of service did you do this week? And what kind of service have you done for people in Sao Marcos?
In Sao Marcos we helped Izabel, a recent convert. We cleaned up her yard, with all the junk that was there. We made a huge pile, and now we just have to bag it and burn the wood and plants. Since garbage is really expensive to throw out. Like a dumpster site, but we have another service project not this week but the next. And we will pull weeds!

5. Did you get a letter from Shelby? She hadn’t heard from you and was wanting to make sure you got it!
A letter from Shelby... I haven't gotten one yet.... how long ago did she sent it. because it might of not made it.

6. How is the new phone working out?

Oh its amazing. Let me tell ya. I love it :)

7. Any new contacts this week?
Well yesterday we have an awesome experience with a reference that was given to us. A family! Heck yeah! We were trying to find people all week and nothing happened. BUT! This reference was pretty sweet. There were 4 people there and we brought the member with us and well, the mom and daughter are interested. VERY! And the 2 others just wanted to fight with us. One of the guys being a lawyer, a STRONG Catholic. We put that fire out pretty quick. He wanted to fight about baptism and was making a TON of questions. After all it is his profession. But knowing that the gospel is perfect I was praying to get some guidance to get this guy to shut up. Thankfully the spirit was there and guided me. Elder Woodward wanted to bible bash with the guy and was getting ticked off. I knew it wouldn't end well. SO, I was inspired to ask a few questions, since we were talking about baptisms and children. We tried a thousand times to explain that a child doesn't need to be baptized. But he didn't listen. Finally, I asked him, do you think a child can sin? He said, no. Then I asked him, if a child cannot sin or know that he is sinning, how can a child make a covenant with God, when he knows not what he does. And if a child cannot sin, why would he be baptized if he is clean from sin. He said.... well.... and didn't have anything to say. So I testified of the truths of baptism. The member was VERY impressed with the lesson. So yesterday was pretty bomb. :)

8. Anything happen with the tent people? Do you teach them?
Heck no! I'm not going to enter in that mess! There are so many drug dealers and assassins there. Along with hookers and what not! No way! Hah I would rather have my life.

9. Can I send you the conference talks via English ensign or would you somehow like me to down load them? And if so on what so you can listen to them?
Oh its all good. We get the Liahona! So next month we will get the conference talks.

Well all is well here in Sao Marcos! Things are coming along pretty well. My patience is being tested, but there is only 2 more weeks until the transfer. Hopefully I can survive until then. Haha but still, I love what I do and the time is passing so fast! I love the pictures and everything. Love you all

Elder Firl

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


1. Did you tell your Mission President that you lost the phone? You reported it right so that they could cancel it.
Yeah I called right when we lost it. And we went down to the police station to get everything settled. It is a little different down here. I was like, uh... whats the police station going to do about a cell phone that fell. And well... they didn't do anything. What a surprise. BUT! I know a lot of people in the office, so I was able to work my connections and we got a cell phone this week. Haha it's so good to have a cell phone. The bad thing, we lost every one of our cell phone contacts in the ward. But all is well, we got a cell phone with the same number too! This is pretty rare.

2. What kind of hygiene items do you need? Looking at sending another box…

Well I need more Gel. The brand is GOT 2 BE GLUED. idk what styling gel it is, but the bottle looking think is yellow with black writing. It's more of a glue, (yes white creamy lookin' stuff.) But I don't need anymore stickers. I have a butt load and disposable razors. If you could just get the razor heads that would be fantastic for my pro glide fusion. I don't really like the disposable razors.

3. Are you and Elder Woodward talking in Portuguese or in English to each other?
Well I pretty much refuse to speak English. But, I liked using all the slang in English and what not. But were both forgetting to speak English, so at times it's just easier to speak Portuguese. But other times, there are some words idk how to say in Portuguese and well... being with an American I am lazy to look the word up. but its usually Portuguese.

4. Do you still have another set of missionaries in your apartment? Are they new and are they good examples for your companion?
The other missionaries are awesome! Love them! The one from Uruguay and a Brazilian.

5. Is there a zoo in your area?
Haha my area is a zoo. With the tents and people. Haha but literally, there is no zoo.

6. Did you hear about Elder Schenk before I told you?

The kid who got hit by a bus? I don't remember.

7. Did the tent people leave yet?
Haha not yet. But this week, there were 4 helicopters flying over the tents. And well, they were not news helicopters. It looks like they were planning and getting an update on how to kick them out. But while this was happening, the people were saying, we will not leave. blah blah blah. So they haven't left yet, but it looks like they will sent the SHOCK or ROTA to kick them out. and it wont be pretty.

8. How come you don’t go see sights on your P-Day? Are you asked not to?
Well... I'm just lazy. And I really don't have money to take a bus to a place in the zone. Usually I'll stop by in Embu to get something. But since I have 8 months in the same zone, I've passed in every single area in the zone. I'm the most time here in this zone.

9. Did you get to listen to all 5 sessions of General conference? In English? I know you said you thought you would be able to. Was it hard to listen to it in English when you are used to hearing Portuguese?
I did have the opportunity to listen to Conference in English, all 5 sessions! It was pretty sweet! The thing about a language is its easier to understand that to speak. So, I can understand English perfectly, but to talk at times, its a tongue twister. It's the same thing with Portuguese, its easier to listen than to speak.

But let me tell ya, CONFERENCE WAS AWESOME! I loved Elder Hollands talk. He speaks with such power. And then I really loved Elder Uchtdorfs' discourse as well. About forgiveness and what not. I loved it! I will have to get copy of all the talks. Conference was so sweet, truly they are men called of God.

10. Did you get my Easter box yet?
I did! THANKS MOM! :)

11. Any new contacts this week?

Haha no. This week consisted of getting vistas taken care of, getting a cell phone, an interview with President Pinho, and then General Conference. OH and a division with the zone leaders. so... no. But, President Pinho wanted to inspect our house, and let me tell ya, we cleaned our house SO good. Oh yeah! He was quite impressed. And he commented about the tents. It was pretty great! And then he told me I am one of the most animated missionaries on the mission. I have so much enthusiasm and what not.

12. Any cool experiences?
Just conference. And what else.... oh I found out that President Pinho has SO many connections. I heard that one of the Elders that finished the mission didn't get into Provo at BYU. President Pinho heard and called them, and well he got in. Hahaha he has got so many connections. I will be sure to talk to the prez to maybe help me out OR write a letter of recommendation.
Also, at conference in the stake center. I saw a ton of people from Itapecerica!!! Inez and Cleane, John, Sandra, Mayara. Oh it was so nice to see everyone. But the first thing almost everyone said was, Elder FIRL! Holy cow, you got way skinny! And your Portuguese is GREAT! Haha it was pretty funny. I guess I've lost a good amount of weight here in Sao Marcos.

But other than that, this was my week! I loved the pics! It sounds like everyone is doing well! Happy B-day Alex! parabéns pra você

com amor,

Elder Firl