Monday, July 1, 2013


(this week we were able to "chat" via email - this is some of the back-and-forth):

MOMMA!  It sounds like the branch activity (last meeting of the Susquehanna Branchwas a memorial of Dad and the legacy of the branch. I do remember all those hard times mostly involving Dad sweating over the the sacrament meeting bulletins. And the occasional late night interview with someone in the branch. But mostly, above everything else I remember the grand love he had for every single YSA (young single adult) in the branch. He worked so hard to bring them closer to Christ and I wish I was a better helper and supporter when he was having a hard time. 

Culture Update
Futebol - Last night Brasil beat Spain in the Confederations Cup 3-0 and Osternack went crazy. It was awesome! First, let it be said that whenever Brasil is playing anyone, whether it be a top team like Spain or a random team from Nepal, no one is outside. Stores close down and it seems like it is always raining cats and dogs. Last night after church, Elder Bastos and I went around to our progressing investigators to check up on them and to see if they were still keeping up with their commitments. We were able to teach 3 lessons and chat with a couple of people on the street but once the game started, Osternack turned into a ghost town with the occasional rebellious teenager skateboarding. Skateboarding is huge here.  Every time Brasil scored a goal, fireworks flew into the air, pots and pans were all that I heard, and little Fiats with massive speakers drove around blasting Brasilian pop music. Elder Bastos was so sad he was missing it and I was having the time of my life.

More culture

chimarrão - is a drink. It is a Brasilian thing. It is green and always is transported in a really cool chalice with designs on it. At first it tasted like Brasilian vegetation.  Strange Brasilian vegetation.  It is definitely an acquired taste. They pass it around and you have to drink the whole thing when it is your turn to indulge, because the green...stuff... gets hard if you let it sit for too long. The first time i had it was on splits with Elder Fernandez  (Bairro Novo -- right next to Osternack).  I'll have to get a pic of him and me. Funny guy. He doesn't speak any English so the fact that I know he is funny is a step in the right direction. I can somewhat understand Brasilian humor. gol.  Gol is the same as goal and you hear it loud and clear when Brasil scores one. 
Like so....GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. I think they just yell it as long as possible to make the other team feel pathetic. 

This past week it rained everyday and I had to switch between my brown boots and my black shoes every other day. They are a little damp everyday. My jacket is holding up quite nicely. When it gets really cold I wear a sweater, my Columbia fleece with my blue north face rain jacket over it. The weather here is pretty crazy and in the morning it reminds me of the San Francisco fog. 

We had to get my visa verified by the federal police this past week and it took us 2 hours by onibus to get there. It was at the very tip of the Curitiba North mission. The mission hadn't split at the time so we were all good. They took pictures and asked me to be serious for the picture. All in all the picture turned out as usual. An angry Ian. I don't know why these federal pictures always make me look like I work for the mafia. I think it is because I am smiling, then they take the picture right as I am going into serious mode. The bus ride was fun because I got a nice tour of the city and the parts that I will never see on my mission. I saw a couple of people from my zone in the MTC which was really nice. :-) The Central part of Curitiba looks a lot like San Francisco with the steep hills and homes that look like Grandfather's. 

 I am sorry that I don't have a picture but the food here is incredible and the same everyday. One would think the repetition of rice, beans, some form of meat, guarana, noodles, and pudding everyday would get a little boring....but no, the flavor makes up the difference. On the other hand, these past few days were strange because I didn't have a single spoonful of rice and beans. It was just rice.

Also, the fruits are super good. They live up to the reputation. The food here is really cheap. Last week we left the super mercado with bags full of food for only 32 reals. That's around 16 bucks for a couple of lunches/ dinners, 2 litre of guarana, tea, and snacks. 

That's another thing. Cha (tea) is really big here. Whenever you walk into someone's home they immediately offer you some tea with hot milk. It is so good. The hot milk at first threw me off, but it is good. Sometimes I cannot understand what people are offering me so I usually just say yes. I have eaten so many different strange foods because of this strategy and my stomach has been able to handle it. "Claro. Eu vou comer qualquer comida...sem problemas. Beleza?" 
(" I will eat any food without problems. Beautiful?")   Brazilian conversation is hilarious because it always starts with tudo bem (it's all good? ) and sometimes people respond with beleza (beautiful) or  belza can also be used as a question. ''Beleza" takes the part of a question, like so: "Is that alright with you if I do this certain action?" aka "beleza?"   Also, the word "later!" shortened from "see you later," is "falou" meaning "you said it."  I dig the lingo here.  It's fun to say beleza and tud bem for just about everything

(my friend Carolyn shared this scripture w/ Ian):
Phillipians 3:2  "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision."  (concision = mutilation or cutting up or off.  Nice!)

I like that scripture. Elder Bastos was almost eaten by a very small dog the other day. Small and slightly shaved on one side. I don't know if it was natural or accidental.  What I do know is that the dog was upset with humans in general.

The Mission

The missionary broadcast really was incredible! It was all translated into Portuguese so I only got some of it. I loved the videos that were made for the broadcast. They created a good profile for what missionary work is and is becoming. Be the best member missionary you can because it really does make the difference. Working with members is great but working with members who want to share what they have with those who don't know about the gospel of Jesus Christ is even better. The work is quicker and more effective when members are on the same wave length.

We meet with the new mission president next week and he might be coming around today to introduce himself. That is the rumor on the missionary street. Yeah, I heard from Sienna! I was astonished.  I think that is so cool! I didn't guess Brasil at all. (Sienna was called to the Brazil Juiz de Fora mission, beginning Nov. 20!)    I was thinking more along the lines of French speaking because of her prior knowledge. I was think Paris all the way. Did I really just write astonished?  The word just went through my hands onto the keyboard to the monitor. I think it is from all my Book of Mormon reading.

I am growing up, Momma. I find myself doing things differently. I don't know if that makes sense, but in a more mature manner. I say things differently and have a different outlook on life. I think it's because I have a new perspective on my purpose here on earth. Alma 34:32. I  just feel old. But at the same time when I see a little boy playing with hot wheels I cannot help myself and turn my leg into a giant ramp and let him fly his miniature ford mustang off my knee. I then in turn need a try;) But I think a lot about my purpose and the kind of father that I want to be after the mission. The mission is a great opportunity to shape myself to be the father I want to be.


  1. So fun to read what's going on and how well he's doing :)

  2. Gosh, we love him so much. Thanks for sharing his mission with us!