Sunday, December 25, 2011

December 19, 2011

December 19

Well by the next time we talk we will have talked in person. I am not sure where I will get the internet or where I will get to talk or when so just keep the computer on (skype keeps itself on usually even when you are doing other things so just keep it up and I wll try to call haha but if I can´t just relax and wait for mothers day ;)

This week was rough. oh my goodness. I am opening a new area here on the Island with the assistant. But he is working on the Christmas conference and being trained by the other assistant so he is not here so I am working with the companion of the other assistant. We both know nothing about the area and are pretty lost. Oh and by the way he is from uraguay so its pretty much a miracle that we can talk at all haha. He has 9 months and I have six somehow we understand each other and somehow people understand us. haha

He has a different attitude about this work. I don~t like talking to members because its not my purpose, I don~t like walking slow because people are waiting for me and I hate `punting.’ I want to give it all up haha. But people think I am crazy. haha I see this time as a time of repentance (change) a time to reshape my life into what I need to be for the Lord in His kingdom. So I am trying to do that. I think it is right.

Anyways this week I felt like we lost a lot of time and wasted a lot of opportunities to find people but it was necessary to open the area so I feel good. The island is really touristy and has a lot of people that speak english. Lots of super nice homes (look up jureré on google its a neighborhood in Florianópolis wow...)

So its hard to find people that want to listen and actually live here. It is difficult but I am excited to work with the new Assistant becuase he is old like 25 and I think I can learn a lot from him.

Thanks for the news about Hannah and Toni. I wrote them both these past two weeks.

Blaa blaa blaa Hannah blaa blaa blaa. (Hannah he does mention you every once in a while.) The work is hard but is so rewarding and i just feel so good. I feel like I am growing and like I am learning how to teach better and how to build my relationship with my heavenly father.
Feliz Natal!

December 12, 2011

December 12
Ok so the Christmas call.

We can skype. We have no more than 40 minutes total.... haha so if you want to set up two skype accounts then send me my password and username so we can skype together :)
This week we met a lady who loves me becasue I am a blonde american. super awkward appointment and then awkawrd church because she came to church haha but it was good.
There is not a lot more hilarious than your brazilian companion singing american music in the shower haha. He is hilarious.
Oh and I remember you saying before my mission that I would be so calm when I get back that I was stressed and rude before. I didn~t believe you but today we spent an hour in the post office waiting and I was so relaxed it was amazing haha. Something about learning what is important in life I guess. haha
Well tomorrow I will leave the area. There is an american family here that was born in brazil but lived in america for 10 years so they are all learning portuguese again and they are super cool. We planned an american party with for after my mission. Ill try to send their address so that you can send them a letter. They lived in Utah and she is amazing (the mom) but she hates brazil so they would love a letter or something.

Congrats to Hamilton! And Way to go Romney! As a Freshman almost placing at one of the hardest tournaments in the state! Wow. He is going to be so good. Haha He should go the same weight as Hamilton so that we can have two brothers in the same wieght at state :)

My companion is amazing. He really doesn~t care about numbers or baptisms but how to help the ward and how to help the people we are teaching come to Christ. He knows preach my Gosple and he does his calling as district leader as written in the handbook . He is teaching me so much more about missionary work, really missionary work the work as a representative of Christ. My dream now is to get transfered to the furthest spot away from the president and just work with a companion that loves to work. Not worry about zone leaders or Assistants or president. Just work. But because the Lord knows that that is what I want I was transfered to the Island (by the mission home) and I will be companion to the Assistant..... not really excited about it. But it will be a great chance to learn from a great Elder so we will see.

But Heavenly Father knows me. In the missionary handbook this week I read a scripture in Helaman 3:35 and this week i have prety much just studied that scripture and the heart and how the humble will suffer sometimes but it doesn~t matter because we can humble ourselves more and become closer to Heavenly Father when we give him our hearts.
Just a lot of thinking this week..

December 5, 2011

December 5

Christmas is coming here but its odd because it is super hot and instead of more clothes people wear less haha It is hilarious to see what people think is ok.

That story about Catherine is funny. Tell her to write more ;) haha just kidding

Its odd that I miss things like that but they really don~t have a big place in my life right now because I am just so busy thinking about people and my role and I am absolutely loving the scriptures. I get home and read before dinner and before bed and whenever because during personal study I don~t have time to study what I want. haha

I miss wrestling.... but all is well.

This week I have some stories for you guys..

Story Number one
First have you ever put a pick up load or a truck load of propane cans or glass bottles together and then driven over a bumpy road? You know how they just kind of bounce back and forth together swaying and wobbling. It is kind of humorous no? Well remember that image in your head.

In Brazil lots of people use buses. And the buses here have 6 seats and then a turn style and then the rest of the seats. Old people don~t have to pay so they don~t go through the turn style. This usually isn~t a big deal. But this p-day we went to the mission office (about an hour on the bus) to get Books of Mormon for our District. Apparently this day was Bring a retired person to work day because about 15 older people got on the bus. Almost all women. They, not wanting to pay, did not go through the turnstyle. So on this bus the back 3/4 of the bus had no one standing and the front 1/4 had about 11 grandmas standing up. This was a hilarious situation for anyone who got on the bus, well at least it was hilarious for the one American sitting in the back, and an even more hilarious situation because roads in my area are anything but smooth. (Sometimes standing up on the bus feels like a roller coaster) so sitting in the back I watched a load of grandmothers bounce around like a pick up truck full of propane bottles. It was hard not to burst out laughing but somehow I managed.

Story number two

In Brazil you don~t have water heaters. Just a shower head that has a heated metal coil that the water runs through and gets semi hot. Well this last week our shower head died. So after 1 day of cold showers we bought a new coil. And my companion installed it. Long story short we were treated to a small fireworks display and now we have a new shower head.

Well a pretty good week. haha I~m relaxing more and having fun. I kind of came into the mission with an attitude that I would never have fun and that I would be Christ like in a serious manner. But I think I am learning who he really was and that he had fun too. That he was probably like Presidente Hinckley or President Monson and enjoyed life. I am learning to enjoy the mission.

This week I was walking ont he street after trackting and was on my way to an appointment. I was on an exchange with my companion from the MTC and I thought lets talk to that lady sitting on her porch. I stopped and that lady had been praying for help. For someone to stop and talk to her. But this prompting wasnt scary or stressful just a thought. A quiet lets try this. It was so relaxing to me that the spirit can speak in a calming manner as well as a powerful manner.

November 28, 2011

November 28
I miss my muscles too..... haha But I went running 3 times this week with my companion to an outdoor public gym thing that was pretty cool. Almost killed him I think. Haha but it was great.

This week took a pretty big turn on saturday. I have pretty much been coasting here. With Elder Pereira I was really excited to get promoted and that was my attitude be ready to be promoted after my first two transfers. But here With Elder Barros its like we don~t have a senior companion we just work together we plan together, we teach together and we cook together. And he as all the responsibility as the senior companion. It was great. So I was just kind of coasting. Not really worried about a whole lot just really enjoying the service of the Lord.

Saturday during lunch... President called and told my companion that he needs two Americans to train next transfer (2 weeks) and he was asking how I was doing. All I heard on my side was this (certantly President, he helps he is ready more or less this) When I learned what it was I got pretty stressed. I have been stressing out the past three days about this and if I am ready or if I can do this. I realized that I really don~t know what Im doing and that I really don´t speak all that well. I was stressing out about this saturday afternoon and sunday and was really really worried. Sunday we had the primary program in our ward. I was excited because that meant that I could read my scriptures during sacrament meeting. I did a little reading but found myself listening to the music that they sang more than reading. I read DC 6:36 and just listened to their voices sing songs like I´ll bring the world his truth and When I was baptized and I~m trying to be like Jesus. I remembered Ether 12:27 and the words that Mormom wrote their. He was so worried that the people would mock the words he wrote because he felt week in writing but the Lord responded with verse 27 and we can learn so much about what the Lord expects of us (humility and faith) and how much power we can receive when we are humble and faithful.

It was incredible how much power a primary singing without a piano in a Chapel in Brazil could bring to me and how much peace they could bring to my Heart.

Had someone yell GO back to America from a Motorcycle this week. And had some girls yelling something about my hair. It was an interesting week.

We had about 18 appointments Friday Saturday and Sunday and we had 18 appointents fall through. Which meant a lot of walking in the sun not a fun thing and very discouraging but it was good for us. The work here is really odd. The people here are so Good. Lots of return missionaries and lots of people with great faith. I want to help.

November 21, 2011

November 21
This week was a pretty good week. We are teaching a ton of lessons and not baptizing anyone haha. It is difficult here to get people to the church and even more difficult to get them to want to go to church.

This week was a crazy week in our ward not really crazy for the members but for us behind the scenes it was a crazy week.

I got the christmas packages!! haha super excited. Thank you :) i~m saving them for Christmas so I hope that I stay in this area for Christmas because I don~t want to lug those things all the way to my new area. Haha (He was transferred the week before Christmas. HA)

This week I feel like I progressed a lot. In my relationship with the members and in our ability to make sacrifices to follow the mission rules. We had a division yesterday where I taught a family with a member about some doubts they had. They have a lot of doubts that I have had and still have. Primarily how is this whole mortal experience is fair at all and how we can even be judged when so many of our actions here are based on our ability to think which is greatly influenced on who our parents were. It is hard to explaining to someone in English (including me) and even harder in Portuguese.
Basically I had to just use simple questions to try help him see that Heavenly Father loves us and it will all work out. I hope he can understand.

It is odd teaching someone with the same questions that you have.

OH and something that happened three weeks ago, We were walking down the street when this cop on a motor cylce was chasing this other guy on a motor cycle, not a big deal, then the motor cycle comes flying down the road the other directions back at us and stops not 30 feet in front of us. At this point the cop has also stopped and is trying to pull the other guy of the bike. They guy gets away with his motor cycle and flies down a side street the cop turns around and chases him (naturaly)
By this time the entire street is looking and yelling and making a rucus. As we continue onward we see the cops bike tipped without the cop.... (this is where the fun starts)
We are kind of watching curiously when every young man on the street starts yelling and running down the street chasing the bad Guy. At that point we left hoping that the people were going to beat up the bad guy and not the cop.
Pretty crazy day haha

November 14, 2011

Sorry, a bit late getting things updated.

November 14

This week was a pretty good week (i~ll share two stories here that you need to share with dad)

1 - I hate it when people say - this is the ONLY true church on the face of the Earth.

I hate it for a lot of reasons. One I think it orients our thoughts toward the fact that our church is different and the away from the purpose of church in general. I also think it is a little prideful and can be a little combative as well. Also, my understanding of the attonement and the love of my Heavenly Father is that they are not going to send anyone away just because they weren~t memebers of this church. The church will not save anyone. (they love to say that here there are a ton of evangelicals)

I was doubting my testimony pretty hard. We ran into a lady whose church also had a prophet in the states and they follow the teachings of him. I started thinking why this church? Why should I be telling people to join this church othere churches have profets as well. I was praying about this while we were tracting and this one lady said we could talk to her. we were talking to her and her husband when she said, (Deus é um só) basically it means that there is just one God and your church doesn~t matter. I have always had a hard time responding to this phrase because I don~t know what to say. But this day it came clearly to my mind. If there is just one God then there is just one way to him. And if there is just one way to him only one church has that way. I testified to her that that way that path was in our church. After her we had the chance to teach the first discussion 3 or 4 times to people who just let us in to talk. It was such a good chance for me to strengthen my testimony.

Heavenly Father gave me a chance to share my testimony and thus help it Grow. It was a great day.

2 - I am scared of this lady in my ward.

She is crazy. I love her and she is hilarious but she is crazy. haha and she gave me a reference 2 weeks ago and I did nothing with it. I didn~t have confidence in the reference and didn~t want to waste the time going to talk to her so I didn~t. (pretty bad of me) We had lunch at this ladies house yesterday and I was scared. I was scared for my life to be honest with you haha.

I was thinking about this the last three days before this lunch and had a revelation. The spirit helped me come up with a plan about how I could use this family to teach her so that it wouldn~t be just the missionaries but rather the family teaching.(I told her that before my mission giving references to the missionaries was like lighting a firework. You drop it and run away and that I didn~t want that to happen here) At one point during the plan she shook my hand because she was so excited that a missionary understood this relationship.

It was such a blessing to me that insteading of losing the confidence of the member we gained it. I am really excited to work with this family.

My companion is Elder Barros. He is from Campinas, São Paulo. He is a lot different than my other companion and drives me nuts a lot at home but on the street he is amazing. He loves to teach and follows and knows Preach My Gosple. It is a good relationship.

The food is good. A lot of rice and beans. And stroganoff (made that today) the stroganoff is just tomato sauce and cream with corn and chicken or beef. The lasagna here is with lunch meat and white sauce its a lot different but really good. They eat spaghetti but spaghetti is always with the sauce never separate. The food at the bakery is really cheap like 30 cents for a cinamon roll thing but in general food is more expensive. Milk is 2 reals for one liter but vegetables and fruits are really cheap.

I am learning to cook brazilian food so that I can share it when I get back :)

We eat with members everyday except p-day which is hard because It takes a lot of time and sometimes is more stressful to me and less efficente but its ok.

I know that we are procted because we walk in some pretty crazy areas in the dark with people doing crack right next to us and nothing happens :) love you !!!!