Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The End

Well here we go.

Hey everybody!  How's it going!?  Things here in beautiful Aracaju are just dandy as usual.  This week my companion had to go to a meeting and sadly enough I wasn't invited.  So what was it that I did?  One of the ward kids was my companion for the day.  It was pretty sick.  We studied and worked together.  I taught him a lot about missionary work and he taught me a lot about how to fight Muay Thai!!!  We had a good division and it was just a splendid ol' time.

So I've got some exciting news to tell you all.  You won't even believe what I'm about to tell you.  I hope you're all ready because here it comes...

I can do a pull up!!!!!!

You heard it here first everyone!!!!  Elder Tanner Johnson has accomplished an impossible task, lift himself up with just the strength in his arms.  I'm very thrilled that I've accomplished this goal.  After a transfer of practice and a great professional trainer (Elder Eddington) I have done wonders.

Side Note:  It sounds like I'm in the middle of Vietnam being raided by the Viet Cong.  Today is "Nossa Senhora da Conceição," a very popular holiday for Catholics/Macumbeiros, and I just happen to be sending this email in a Lan House just right outside the Cathedral of Aracaju.  Side-Side Note: a firework just blew up on the ground 15 feet from me.  Apparently this holiday is celebrated with many explosions of bombs.

There was an advantage to having this holiday though.  Because of the holiday, the zoo was open on a Monday and we got to go again!  We also got to climb up on top of the largest hill in all of Aracaju and we got to see everything.
That's a very steep hill.

I must testify that God loves his children.  This week we were going to have to walk from "A Barra Dos Coqueiros" to the center of the city.  For those of you who don't know how long that is.  Look at this:


And it was like 7:00 at night.  We were about to cross the bridge when this bus stops, which was going to exactly where we needed to go and here's the miracle, it opened it's back doors for us to get in.  When a bus stops you normally have to enter through the front doors where you pay.  In our case, they let us go in through the back doors for free.  THAT NEVER HAPPENS.  Just goes to show you that good people do exist.  Here's the thing though, that was the second time that happened to us.  God truly does love his children.
Morros do Urubu

Well here I am.  I would have to say that I have very mixed feelings about writing this letter.  I got to go back and visit Soledade today and see a lot of the members.  It was super weird because I went to say goodbye to everyone and they all thanked me for my work.  It's a very weird feeling being here writing my last email.  I never thought that I'd actually get to the end.  When the missionaries bare their farewell testimonies at zone conferences they'd always say, "Man you think you're never going to get to this point, but time goes by quickly."  I normally responded that with a sarcastic "pffffffffff!!!!!  Yeah right!!!!  That's easy for you say!"

And now I'm here...

Man it passes by so quickly....

I will be completely honest, I'm going to miss this place so much.  It's been an amazing two years.  It's very gratifying to look back and think about all that I've been able to accomplish.  My main feeling is of gratitude.  I'm so thankful for this time I've had.  I'm so thankful for the people I've met and helped.  Mostly I'm thankful for what the Lord has done for me.  Coming out on the mission, I thought that I'd be able to repay the Lord back for all that he'd done for me.  I quickly learned that even when I try to repay it back, He blesses me more than I deserve.  It's been an amazing ride.  I know for sure that this gospel is true and everything that goes along with this great and wonderful church is 100% true.  To say otherwise would make me a liar!!!  Thank you all who've helped me and supported me during these two years.

I know a lot of my emails home have been filled with many jokes, sarcasm, frivolity, and all manner of lightheartedness.  I feel like that's just how my personality is.  I firmly believe that we have the choice to be happy and find humor in all.  This life was meant to be enjoyed, so let's have some fun while we're at it.

I guess that's it for now.

The church is true, without a doubt.
Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.
God lives and speaks to us.
Jesus Christ is the savior.

Simple truths worth knowing.

-Élder Johnson

Knockin' on doors.

It says, "Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord."

I had no idea pomegranates grew here in Brazil and we have a tree full of them in our backyard.

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