Saturday, February 21, 2015

Letter #95


Yesterday I successfully fulfilled a two year mission.  awww YEAH!  And today, day 731 of the mish, we baptized Vera Lúcia Giovanini.  awww YEAH!

This past week has been pretty chill.  We got our new companion, Elder Menden, and he's been doing our visits with Elder Zolet while I stay in the office and try to organize some stuff.  There's been a bit of miscommunication from assistent to assistent, so I'm trying to organize stuff to maintain a standard.  Elder Zolet made fun of me yesterday because I got super excited when I learned how to work on Excel without using the mouse, only the keyboard.  I thought it was pretty awesome.

Speaking of rodents, I killed a rat the other day in the house of one of our investigators. I don't remember if I already told you the story.  Ask me when I get home.

Ummm, I'm not sure if I'll be able to send you a letter next week.  Next Saturday we're going to have a self-reliance course for the life after the mission.  We'll see what tips that have for me to save up money for college.

Life is good, I love you all a ton.  Can't wait to see you soon!

Much love,

Friday, February 20, 2015

Letter #94

"O fim dos tempos está chegando!  O fim dos tempos está próximo!"

There's some crazy guy that always yells this at us when he walks past us.  I guess he doesn't understand what it means that we're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But whatevs.

This week was good.  I used all of my creative juices last night writing in my journal, so I'm just gonna type it up for you.

"These last few days have been some great ones.  I only have things to be grateful for.  Let me describe some of the missionary marvels thtat we had these last couple days.

We went to Araraquara yesterday night.  It was super weird going back to my old area and house.  We got to the house before the ZLs, so we took the liberty of stopping by Evelin's house.  When we were walking up to the house Evelin's mom was outside talking to the neighbor.  She saw me, but, not realizing who I was, continued talking with the neighbor.  When she finished, she turned to talk and was surprised to see that I'd come back to Araraquara.  She couldn't help herself and attacked me with a hug.  Apostasy.

It was a good visit.  It was a friendly gesture and I'm sure they won't forget that I didn't forget about them.

We went to the house after that, bought the pizza that we always to buy, and then prepared the training for the zone.

This morning we started off bright and early.  The training was good; nothing out of the ordinary, and I ended up leaving a little bit unsatisfied.  I felt like we weren't every inspirational, but we prepared as much as we could, so watta-ya-gonna do.

So, we bumped into a few people today.  And it definitely wasn't a coincidence.  The first group of friends that 'accidentally' found out that I was in Araraquara was Assis, Carmelita, and Isabela
(two investigators and a recent convert that live in a neighboring city).  They called Elder Magalhães in the middle of the training asking if they could meet up with me for lunch.  When I asked them how they found out that I was in Araraquara, they said that one of Assis's coworkers saw me on the bus and told Assis.  A likely story.

I also ran into Inês and her two daughters downtown.  Not a coincidence, they said that they were planning on visiting the church these days.  Hopefully I was a good influence and they end up going.

When we went to catch the bus to go to Matão we saw Marcelo, an elderly man who goes to church there.  He was going to baptized; I did his interview and he didn't pass.  He's been chilling in Matão ever since and no one was able to baptize him.  We had a nice long conversation on the bus about how all languages need to be reformed to agree so that the orthography and phonetics agree.

I went on an exchange with Elder Borup, which was really great.  My dissatisfaction that I felt after the training went away  when I was able to sit and have a one-on-one with with Elder Borup.  we had a lot of fun and I made a new friend.

We visited Sandra today.  She's and investigator that's going to be baptized next week.  I taught her once when I was zone leader here and the lesson was so spiritual that she never forgot.  Today I committed her to never, ever miss church on Sunday.  These last couple of days were great."

Much love.  See ya in two (weeks).


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Letter #93

Dear Family (scientific name: dirsus familius vaudrimus)

Things are going super well here in our area.  It's flip-tassting-ly ridiculous that I'm going to be home in three weeks.  AAAHHH!  I'm freaking out right now!  Super excited.  I got my flight plans today, I'll be arriving home at around 10:30 am on March 3rd.  What the flip?  Crazy-sauce!

Don't worry, I won't lose focus on the work.  We've got some great people that we're teaching that are planning to be baptized these coming weeks.  One of them is Valdir, who is super awesome.  We found Valdir after church two weeks ago.  He went to church for the first time this Sunday and has a baptismal date for February 14th.  Everyone's got dates for Valentine's Day, and guess what, I do too!  Baptismal date!  Yes!  Salvation!

What is Valdir like?  He is the perfect example of why we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.  He's from Minas, and by the way he talks you would think that he was a redneck that didn't know how to read very well.  He reads like a champ.  He shares a room with a less active member, is a cement worker, and is super dedicated.  We brought him a white shirt and super wide tie that we found in our house for him to wear to church, and he loved it.  He's awesome.

We had a really awesome lesson with Valdir the other day.  We invited Brother Oswaldo to visit him with us, and it was the first time that Oswaldo had gone on splits with us.  Valdir has been a little bit hesitant about praying with us, so we were determined this time to help him pray.  When we got there, he explained super simply and powerfully about everything that he had ready in the Book of Mormon and loved it.  Up until now he's been asking us to share "the doctrine" with him, so he loved the doctrine of Christ in 2 Nephi 31.  The lesson was sweet, simple, and well understood.  He said the closing prayer.

Super awesome!  Much love to all of you!


Letter #92

Dear Family,

This has been a pretty fantastic week, funny to the point that you want to tear your hair out.  It seems like all of our investigators have one personality-trait in common: they talk soo much.  It can sometimes be a little bit frustrating, but when I think about it it's actually pretty funny.  Either God is messing with us or he knows what kind of people we need to teach, for us to grow and because the investigators need it too.

We have one investigator, Valdir, who is a little bit quieter, but some random guy name Marcos that lives in the same house decided that he wanted to participate in our lessons too.  I've included a dialogue to illustrate some of the things we hear when we visit them.

1st scenario

E. Vawdrey: "So, Valdir, what do you know about the Creation of the world?"

Valdir: "Well, God created the Earth and put Adam and Eve with the animals in the garden--" (abrupt interruption).

Marcos: "Yeah, God created the Earth with the four elements: water, fire, air, and...

E. Zolet: "And earth."

Marcos: (Ignoring Elder Zolet) "And life.  Yeah, that's what's up, life's the fourth element."

2nd scenario

E. Zolet: "So here in this scripture it says that we partake of the bread and wine, but nowadays we use water instead of wine."

Marcos: "Alright, that's chill, no problem.  God'll forgive you."

These are some of the people that we're teaching.  It's been an absolute treat.  We have a few baptismal dates set for these next few weeks, which should bring some great results.  Gotta finish off well!

Much Love,