To: Family & Friends,
Isn't that address great? :) I think he is the same mission president as listed in the package, President Bezerra (Portugues for "Calf"). I really can't think of anything else you'll need. I'll try and give you more details when I get a chance to email on my next available P-Day. I'll try and send more pictures, too :)
So, some stellar things happened this week. President Bell took me out to lunch with Elder Johnson, Elder Ives, and Elder Waite (from Newton). I was arranging to meet with him before I left and his car was getting serviced so we met him at a Firestone in Wichita and he was like, "Are you Elders hungry?" and the answer to that question is always "Yes!" so he took us out to Logan's for lunch. It was so much fun! I haven't told anyone in the ward I'm leaving yet. I've only told Troy. I'll tell some others, but I'll just let most everyone else find out, ha ha. I Love President Bell so much. As far as I know, yes! I can phone you in the airport. My itinerary says I leave Wichita at 11-ish AM and land in Atlanta at 2-ish so, it looks like I have a layover in Atlanta for a bit, so I think I'll call you from there while I'm still in the states. I don't know the time difference I think its 3 hours ahead of Oregon. So, I might call around 3 or so Atlanta time on Monday the 16th. I'm not sure why the address was different. Here's what my call packet says:
Elder Austin Earl Weaver
Brazil Vitoria Mission
Avenida Joao Baptista Parra, 633
Edf. Enseada Office, Praia do Sua
29052-123 Vitoria - ES BRAZIL
Phone: 55 27-3325-3703
I hope this helps. I am so glad to hear Ashley gets to go through the Temple on January 4th. There is not a greater Christmas gift she can give to her Savior.
Our mission has a goal of getting 40 baptisms before Christmas. They're calling it "Noche Blanca!" It's the greatest gift we could think of to give to the Savior in remembrance of his birthday (even though that's in April, but you know what I mean).
We had some crazy things happen this week. We got a voice mail from President Bell sent to all missionaries saying that due to the number of missionaries in service Elders have their time reduced to 18 months and Sisters to 12 months, effective January 1st. Elder Johnson and I went quiet, but we prayed and felt a reassuring feeling of peace that everything would be alright. Then an hour later we got a voicemail from our Zone Leaders saying it was not real!!! President Bell and the Assistants came up with this as a training exercise. They said they wanted it to be a wake-up call to help us understand that anything can happen and we ought to serve our best because our missions, and lives, are short. It was wonderful! They likened it unto Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. Even though the Lord stopped him from doing it, He wanted to see Abraham's willingness. Even though it wasn't real, I know that if President Monson had received revelation for missionary service to change I would be okay with it because he is a prophet of God, and I have a testimony of the gospel.
I'm glad to hear you got to help someone in the snow and ice. Thank you for depositing those checks. I haven't found the adapter yet, but I'll look at Wal-Mart today when we do our shopping. The Devotional was great. We tried getting investigators and less-actives there but no bites. It was a really great message. I am glad to hear Dad gets so much vacation. He deserves it. I'm glad he's finally found a job that treats him right. I think that's about all, I'll try and send more pictures shortly.
Before I go, you must know that Jesus Is The Very Christ. The gospel is true. It is just as true in Wellington as it is in Brazil. I am SO grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve here. I have come to Love in ways I did not think I was capable. Israel is everywhere. I don't have much to say, but just know that I Love all of you, and your spirits are with me. The Holy Ghost reminds me from time to time of your Love.
Na Manha Quieta, Nevoenta,
Quando a lua ia a cama...
Vou ser amarrado para casa em tempo.