Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Week #60

Hey, Family!
So today I'm just going to type out a journal entry that I did the other day that sums up how this week has been.  I was feeling a little bit of discouragement during the week, but it ended up super good.

17-18 may 2014

"What a fantastic couple of days.  And it all ended with me being extremley tired and spiritual.

"Yesterday was Sandro and Jessiane's wedding, which was super fantastic.  I was realy happy to see them taking such big steps in preparation for her baptism.  And Jessiane was absolutely beautiful, it was so great to see the two of them together.  Their wedding was up in Leporace's area, so we ended up spending the night there.

"This morning we came back to our area and pretty early in the morning had to teach a lesson to Jessaine and Kemily to get them ready for their baptismal interview.  After lunch with President Marlon we made our way downtown.  We did some pretty interesting splits today.  I went with Elder Hanley and Elder Valente to eat lunch with a group of students learning English.  We talked with them about out families, ate waffles with maple syrup (importe, Wal-Mart brand) and just had some fun.  At the end we were able to get the names of everybody and their addresses, so we'll see if it leads somewhere.

The other dary I wrote about the spouts of discouragement that I had been experiencing, and today I learned a little bit more why God lets us pass through these problems.  When we left the English-speaking lunch, we had to return to Portuguese becase a young lady who expressed some interest started to speak with us.  Elder Hanley is having some struggles with Portuguese stil, and today it kind of reached a head.

"When we got on the bus, he gave two bucks to the bus man, but the bus fare is 2.80.  The bus man and Elder Valente were trying to help him understand, but he wasn't able to comprehend right away.  I ran up the aisle and gave him another coin to even things out.  When Elder Hanley turned around, he accidentally spilled his change al over.  It was a pretty humilhating experience, and when he sat down I could tell that he was pretty embarassed.  He was sitting in front of me, so I couldn't see him directly, but after a bit I could tell that something was wrong."

Alright, well I don't have time to finish the entry, I'll tell you more the next time.  Forgive typos, I didn't proofread.

Until next week!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Week #59

Dear Family,
It was great to talk with y'all yesterday on the computer.  It looks like a few things are changing but is just about the same as it was before.  

I did the math, according to my calculations, 86 kilos is about 190 lbs, so I have lost weight since I got here.  But everyone, including my companion, says that within five years or so I'll be fat and bald.  I guess that's just part of the culture here, everyone wants to tell you that you'll be ugly at some point.

We are preparing for some baptisms and a wedding this week, which should be super fun.  I'll update y'all the next week.  I'm foreseeing some great advances this week.  We had a general authority visit with us this week and it made a big difference.  I learned a lot of new things to appy in the work and it's already bringing some results.  The mission is turning more and more fun every day.  Like an adventure.

Love y'all,


Week #58

Hey, Family,

It's been another great week of missionary work.  We are having a lot of success in our area.  It is absolutely crazy for me to think that I have been in this same area for six months, it seems to have passed by so fast.

These last few days have been fulfilling and difficult.  I caught the flu on Friday and started to get sick.  On Saturday we had to return home after lunch to rest, and I ended up sleeping for a solid three hours before we went back to work.  On Sunday we worked until late, but by the time we arrived at home I was dead.  I went to sleep as quick as possible and didn't wake up until late today.  I'm feeling a lot better, but it was pretty difficult to keep going last night.  Thankfully our last lesson was with Jánder and Ana Paula and they did their very best to take care of me.  They are the best family ever.

This last Friday night we had an activity in church that was super fun and made a big difference for our investigators.  President Márlon and Flávia organized the activity, which was basically a big pie-in-the-face fest.  People answered basic questions and then got pied.  Super funny.  It was Jamil and Jecylayne's first visit in the church, and I don't think they were expecting something so silly.  Jecylayne used to attend the Christian Congregation of Brazil, which is a very strict church.  In that church, women can't wear pants, use makeup, pluck eyebrows. or cut their hair.  I said to my companion the other day, "I'm confused.  Why would any man ever want to go to that church?  I want to go to a church where the woman are pretty."  Maybe that's whay Jecylayne left that church, because she is a very stylish lady.  But yeah, I think it was a somewhat of a shock for them to go to the church and watch some pie-smashing, loud-laughing madness.

We had a ton of investigators in church on Sunday, it was a super special experience.  Jánder came to church wearing a brand new suit and was ordained a priest.  Ana Paula is getting really close to give up smoking, and within a week or two she should be baptized.  Jamil and Jecylayne went to church as well and had a great experience.  Up until this point, Jamil has been pretty averse to the very idea of going to church, but it seems like they really enjoyed it.  Jamil loves to talk, and he got some great recognition from the members.  The members are great here.

My Portuguese is getting a lot better because of my companion.  He helps me a lot, and I'm adding to list of useless words.  So far I've added bedpan, weeze, comic book, wart, parallel parking, bunkbed, and vagrant.  I'll be fluent in no time.

Love you all so much, and thanks for your letters.  I will be calling y'all next Sunday, and since my call can only be 40 minutes long, maybe it would be better if y'all gathered together in one house.  I was thinking 20 minutes for Mom, Dad, and the brothers, and then ten minutes each for the two couples.  If it's possible, let's Skype again.  I will get on about 6 o'clock my time, roughly, if that's alright with y'all.  But I will check my email right before to see if there are any problems with that.

Y'all are the berst.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Week #57

Dearest Family,

Things have been going really well here.  We've been seeing a lot of changes happening in the lives of people that we are teaching.  Ana Paula set some goals with the branch president to quit smoking, Jánder is preparing to receive the priesthood, Jessiane has already made personal goals for when she is going to get married to Sandro and is really excited for her baptism.  

Probably some of my favorite visits this week were with another family that we are teaching, Jamil and Jacylayne.  When we started visiting there the a few weeks ago things were super tense in their marriage, always fighting, lacking a lot of peace.  But since we've been visiting, it seems like Jamil has been drinking a lot less and they are really searching to know if the gospel is true, trying to receive and answer.  I'm really excited for them, and it's great to see them bring to bear some of the questions and worries that they have.

Unfortunately for my companion, Jamil brought to "bare" a little bit more than any wanted to witness.  The other day we knocked on the door, and when nobody answered my companion took a peek through a crack in the garage door.  Apparently Jamil was standing in the door inside of the garage stark naked.  My companion quickly recoiled and must have been somewhat scarred because he didn't tell me about it later that night.  I guess that's what you get for being a peeping Tomé.

Love y'all, and I'm glad to hear that things are going well. Especially that story how Dad went and chewed that guy out at Twin Pines.  Awesome.