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 everything...so 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 cried...as 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