Sunday, August 30, 2009


Well as you can tell, I have not done my part to get this blog up and running in a timely manner. Let me assure you that is about to change.
Josh's final 2 weeks here in Texas were a little crazy.
Originally scheduled to fly to the CTM in Brazil August 19 but with his visa nowhere in sight, we began to realize that he would not be leaving as planned. The Church travel office confirmed that he would be postponed a week and quite likely be making a pit stop in Provo.
The bonus week was spent savoring every minute he could with friends and family, as well as visiting many restaurants he knew he would miss-you know like Whataburger, and Sams Club pizza, Chick-fil-A.
On August 26, he boarded the plane for Provo with one of his best friends, Ned Thomas (who will be serving in Ukraine) as well as Elder Tessers from our ward who would be returning home to Utah.
It was a wonderful experience to see many Elders waiting to return home from their missions. We laughed as they commented (somewhat enviously) about the wonderful shade of white the new Elders shirts were, compared to their rather dingy and very well-used shirts. It helped me to realize that even though 2 years is a very long time, that eventually it will end and our wonderful son will also return home to his family only he will be even more wonderful.
The first letter from Elder Loucks has been posted and we look forward to many more as we watch his love for the gospel and the Savior continue to grow.

Mom and Dad!

Here I am....the MTC is everything everyone has made it out to be. The food is actually not -that- bad, but it's definitely cafeteria food. We actually had Papa John's pizza for dinner last night. How cool is that?

We are learning Portuguese quite rapidly. I love it. It is so similar to Spanish that I am able to pick it up very easily, yet there are some majorly annoying quirks to get used to. We started off learning how to say a prayer on Thursday, and now we are only allowed to pray in Portuguese. Today, we learned how to bear our testimonies. Woo.

My companion is awesome. His name is Elder Hurst, and he is from Dallas/Plano. He actually knows Ben Kendall through another friend. Crazy. Anyway, he went to Dartmouth last year and really knows his stuff about the gospel. We taught our first lesson today to one of our teachers, which was fun. I can't say I have really learned too much about the gospel...We spend tons of time on it, but almost everything we are taught about the gospel is "love your investigators and bear your testimony". I suppose that is true...but very obvious. Oh well.

The best parts, and the only parts I really like, are the language and companionship. I guess that is to be expected, seeing how lacking I am in wisdom and knowledge of the gospel. It will come with time....hopefully.

I love you both very much, and miss all my friends dearly. Make sure to say hi/forward this to whoever. I can only email yous one else. Maybe I'll be sneaky and try breaking the rules every now and then. That being said, I hope you are doing well, and make sure to tell both John and Jay that I love and miss them. I am completely isolated really is like prison. However, it is much better than I expected. I think about all of you all the time. You are in all of my prayers. I am hoping that the other Elders don't notice that every prayer I give (we seriously say like, 30 prayers a day) involves blessing my family with comfort, health, and strength. :-)

Stay strong, write me often, and trust in the Lord.

Love you all,
Elder Loucks

PS Tell me about Thais and her experiences!
PPS Dad, I accidentally stole your name badge from your mission. I swear I didn't mean to. I can send it back, but it is kinda nice to have something to remind me of you.
PPPS Things I need: Shorts and Shirts (probably 2 of each), under armor shorts (so I don't have to wear my garment tops while exercising) and some friggin' pictures of my family! That's about it. Bye!