I’m doing great! We didn’t go to the temple today because we are going to the police station to get registered to be here or something, so that should be fun. But my week is going pretty good. It was kind of sad because Elder Pedro left for the mission field and he was mine and Elder Jones really good friend. We love that guy. I’ll tell you a quick story about him. He was baptized about two years ago and he is the only one in his family. His parents didn’t like it but were ok with it. Then he decided to go on a mission and this set his parents off. He was going no matter what but the day he left and he was saying goodbye, he went up to his mother to give her a hug and she denied him. She pushed him away. He tried to do the same with his father and the same happened. His father said that he wouldn’t have a place in their home when he returned. How completely terrible is that? He is so strong though. He was having a lot of thoughts of discouragement for a little bit because he was scared about his family. He was thinking of going home because he loves his family. But he asked us for a blessing. Just the Americans, which really touched me because he thought the Brazilians, would have called him weak. It really humbled me because in my life I know that my mother loves me and my father, and that when I get back I will have a loving family there to give me a hug. He may not have that, and yet he is still out here doing what he is supposed to be doing. I think about all of the “problems´' that I have in my life. When I’m a little tired or the language is difficult. How can I say that those things are hard and let them get me down when he doesn’t even have a family to support him in anything. Thinking about this and about the rest of my mission, I started reflecting on my status as a missionary. How hard am I studying and working? Am I doing everything that I possibly can to prepare to help the people of Brazil? I’ll admit at times my time has been wasted. But last night I bore testimony of the importance of working as hard as I possibly can. Anything else that I have put effort into like basketball or hiking I need to put 100 times more effort into this work. I will not waste mine or the Lords time for one more minute. It is too important. So this week has been a lot of thinking and reflecting and getting myself on track. My companion and I have set goals to study hard and practice and speak Portuguese as much as possible. So we are going to do better. But yeah, I love my companion and we work hard and it’s fun. The language is coming along. I just need to practice more to understand and speak it better. But I love speaking it even if it’s not right. haha! You know rice and beans are my favorite part of the meals. Haha The other stuff sometimes isn’t so good. But that’s ok. Oh man the Campinas temple was so cool! So beautiful. I really enjoyed that. I’m glad that I will get to go to the Sao Paulo temple as well. Soon. Yeah I heard about Elder Horne and that’s awesome! I can’t wait to see his big eyes when he gets here because everybody is just like deer in headlights when they first get here. haha! Oh tell Cameron that I met two of his roommates that lived with him here. I can’t remember their names right now but I will send them next week. I love our family! Tell them I love them. General conference! I’m excited as well. Lots of note taking will be happening. Benevolence. I never really knew the meaning of the word but that definitely is true. We should be serving with a Christ like love and kindness through our actions. I love you Mom! I love you so much and thank you for loving me. No one else has written so I can just keep writing you haha. The CTM is beautiful. I study outside a lot. There is a little courtyard with trees and flowers and stuff so it’s really nice. At sunset my room faces outside so I have gotten some really good pictures of Brazil sunsets! Awesome! Oh I got my first Brazil soccer jersey from Elder Pedro! Sweet! Oh tell McKenna that I love her and to tell Josie that I got here last letter and that I’m sending her one today. I’m going to try to get one off to Keno as well. When does Amber go off to school? Tell McKenna it write and tell me how her prom went. How’s the family doing? What have you been up to besides hanging with the cousins? I heard BYU lost…bummer. Keep me posted on who wins. Sorry this last part is for everyone. haha. Thanks for the cookies by the way. I will pick them up later. I love you all! Thank you for supporting me. It means everything to me. Please pray for me that I can work as hard as I possibly can. I love you so much.
Your loving son
Elder Taylor Vincent Summerhays