Good morning, everyone!
Snow in Brasil. It was a jaw dropping experience for everyone here. -3 C. It was Elder Bastos' first time feeling the magical white stuff. He was running around on our neighbor's roof, he was so happy. Our neighbor´s roof is below us -- we can simply walk onto it. It is the perfect spot to gaze at the stars at night. You can see so many of them down here. One of my favorite things to do at night is just sit on the roof (our neighbor's) and read. When you are without your guitar and facebook to guide your day, you start to find other hobbies on the mission. Like star gazing. :)
Speaking of my lost hobby of playing the guitar. I had a guitar contact. Yeeeeeah. :) Thanks to our Founding Fathers and their diligent pursuit of many different kinds of freedom, we have been blessed with religious freedom. One thing led to another, and Joseph Smith restored the same church that Christ established when He ministered on the earth. Many years later, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was born and went on to win Grammys. There is a story my mother can tell you of when I was an infant and was instantly calmed when she was watching the taped recording of the Choir singing at General Conference (because my birth got in the way on October 1). Ever since my early days I have adored music, constantly trying to find new genres and new ways I can express myself through music. Thanks to my family, with a father who played a slick clarinet, a mother who is the queen of the organ, and three brothers that play several instruments, I grew up in a home where music was always on at least someone's mind. Usually on the mind of my Mom and my brother Eric when they would try to schedule around each other's piano and drum lessons:) I discovered John Mayer at Jonathan's mission going-away party. I have a distinct image of Jeff Meise and Eric playing "daughters" and everyone singing along. I think this is when my desire to own a guitar was born. Christmas of 2010 my mother surprised me with a brand new guitar. At the time, I didn't know that the wooden phenomenon would become my new best friend/ girl friend. The nights when I had nothing to do I would just sit and play "Charlize" (my mom can explain the name). I started playing at school. I met two awesome brothers at college and even started a band! I left for a mission and had several opportunities to play primary song medleys with members in Ohio, but never with a complete Brasilian stranger. Then, two weeks ago, Elder Bastos and I were in contacting mode and Elder Bastos pointed out a man with a guitar across the street. At this moment I was really missing my guitar while feeling my not-so-calloused-anymore fingers. I immediately ran across the street, a Fiat had to slam its brakes, and started talking to the young man and asked for the guitar (kindly) and Elder Bastos and I explained the Restoration in song..... and we now have baptism marked for this young Brasilian fellow. Music is grand. :)
2 things I miss from home that can't be sent to me on the mission because they will get ruined in transit.
1. Wawa Hoagiefest. Nothing like that glorious month exists here.
2. Water Ice. ditto.
More found hobbies in the mission. Teaching ENGLISH! We have an hour to study the mission language and Brazilians have a chance to learn English if they have an English speaking companion. We have recorded some hilarious videos that I will have to transfer onto CDs and send home.
OK, almost out of time, but here is a list of people to pray for:
Pray for them.
Seding love - stay sweet, everyone.
Elder Ian Forsyth