On February 26, 2014 Elder Kamilos wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad,
So I have surprising news! I am once again in a new area: Valentina! It´s fairly close to Mangabeira actually, and it´s in the same zone. But needless to say, I was very very surprised. Not only that, but my new companion, Elder Castro (Brasilian. Yay!) and I are white-washing again! On top of that, we´re both still very young missionaries. He actually reported to the MTC in October, a month after me! So we have the same total amount of transfers, but he´s my senior companion, considering I can just barely communicate still, haha. But man, this Elder can cook! He made lunch for the whole house today, and he made bolo de cenoura (carrot-cake, but it´s different) which was awesome! I´m very excited to work here in Valentina! I was devastated to leave another area, but I had a thought: maybe the Lord plans on having me ouch the lives of as many people as possible. I have yet to stay in an area for more than a transfer, but I know the Lord knows what´s best.
Here´s how the mission has gone so far:
4 areas (in two countries/missions) Smithfield, UT; Hooper, UT;
Mangabeira 2, JP-PB; Valentina 2, JP-PB
2 trainers/6 companions (if you include the two short-term trios)
Elder Trujillo (Trainer), Elder Jensen (Trio), Elder Richie, Elder
Patino (Trio), Elder Gilliam (Trainer), Elder Castro
Just when I thought I´d finally have a little bit of stability, the Lord has once again humbled me and set me in yet another place to serve, with new people and experiences. I can definitely say that my mission experience so far has been very unique!
I´m finally starting to get more comfortable with the language. Also, I know I´ll learn much faster now that I have a Brasilian companion and we live with another Brasilian/American companionship in our house (which is huge!). So it´s going to be hard, but I feel like this is going to be quite a growing phase in my mission. I´m excited to see what the Lord has in store for me!
I love you all so much! Keep doing well, and never forget that we have angels and the Hosts of Heaven working for us everyday, even when we can´t see them. I know that our Savior suffered all so that we don´t have to bear the burdens of mortality alone. I know this because I have gone through some of the hardest, most physically, mentally, and spiritually draining experiences of my life, and yet here I stand, getting stronger everyday as my testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ grows. Elder Gilliam shared a revelatory thought with me after we had a very dark experience a couple weeks ago. We realized that Satan is very organized. He probably has his followers organized into missions, zones, districts, etc. We have 80,000 full-time missionaries, but the adversary has a third of all of the hosts of the pre-mortal life. For every missionary on Earth today, doing the Lord´s work, Satan probably has entire districts of his followers working against us. This is why the Apostles in Christ´s time were commanded to cast out devils in the name of Christ. We cannot do this work alone. We MUST rely on divine assistance, and for this to happen, we must remain humble and receptive, and trust in God. With this in mind, I´m even more determined to fulfill the task that God has given me. I have witnessed miracles, and they always give me hope.
This work is true, and I know that with surety. I love our Savior, and I know He loves us!
Until Monday! I look forward to your next email!
On February 17, 2014 Elder Kamilos wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad,
63 degrees Fahrenheit sounds soooooo nice! It´s almost always above 30 Celsius during the day (upper 80s, sometimes 90s). The humidity just makes it that much hotter, haha. But I´m getting used to it. The nights are pretty pleasant here, we just keep the windows open and a fan blowing.
This last week was... difficult. We had a baptism fall through, and we don´t have anyone marked for this week either. We´re in a finding stage again, but it´s okay, because we actually found a lot of new people yesterday! The work continues.
I really do feel like a child sometimes, haha. I have really good days, and then some not-so-good days with the language. Also, I find that I can keep a conversation going really well with the people that we visit more often. And then there are some people that I can´t understand a single word. But I´ve definitely discovered that my language skills are much better on the days that I do effective personal study. It´s amazing how much of a difference it makes.
Two weeks for letters sounds right, because I did receive your other letter this week. It was so nice to get a letter from the family! Thank you! I´ll be sending a letter home today, hopefully with some pictures if we can find a place to print them. Uploading pictures on these lanhouse computers is just asking for a virus on my camera, so I can´t really send any picks through email. An Elder we live with had all of his pictures on his SD card erased two weeks ago, so I learned vicariously NOT to do that.
Next week is transfer week, so you won´t hear from me until next Wednesday. I´m almost positive that I´ll stay in Mangabeira, because Elder Gilliam is leaving and we just white-washed the area this transfer. But anything is possible! We shall see. I´m hoping my next companion is Brasileiro, I´m ready for a little extra push with the language. I´m learning quickly, but with 4 Americans in our apartment, it´s way too easy to just revert to English. I feel like that would help me a lot. But needless to say, I´ve been very blessed to have
Elder Gilliam as my trainer! He´s an awesome guy, and a great missionary.
I love you all! Hopefully the weather stays nice! I´m just hoping it starts raining here more, because it´s a lot cooler when it does. And don´t everyone leave me so far behind in life!! Haha, love you all. Stay well!