Monday, November 1, 2010
Dear Mom and Family,
Happy Birthday today mom!!! You are awesome, and I really am
grateful for you and you lovingness and kindess. I sent some things
for you. I sent a letter and a CD of pictures and a birthday card, but
i am not sure if i put the right zip code on the birthday card, but I
hope you get it all.
So this week was really good. It is really hard for me to work the
week of the transfers because all I can think about is if I will get
transfred or not. But there is a way to get over these distracting
feelings. If you are distracted, or mad, or down, or have a bad
thought you can make a contact and you will be alright.
So this week we baptized Mateus. He is 10 years old and really
really smart. One day we were knocking on a door and he was walking on
the sidewalk and started to talk to us. He first said to me Excuse me
sir, where are you from? and then we talked to him and we got his
address and went there another day. He knows Daniela who we baptized
my first transfer. He is an amazing kid. Oh yeah and we had a talent
show. I will send pictures and videos later but I did this thing were
I was the midget missionary and everyon laughed and it was awesome.
There were 150 people there.
And for the transfers I was transfered to Benfica, my first area! I
left last night and got here this morning. The bus ride was good, I
actually slept good. My companion is Elder J Santos. He is really cool
and he is from Riberão Preto. He has almost 1 year on the mission and
we will be zone leaders here. Our zone has almost 30 missionaries.
Elder Carvalho is in my zone! Also one cool thing is that I live in
the same house as I did in my first transfer and Elder Gomes lives
with me, the goofy skinny tall calm missionary.
Oh yeah and the good thing about now is that I will be able to get
letters every week. Oh and I got the package that you guys sent. It
took about a month to get here I saw and thank you so much!! I
especially like the shorts and the hat and the drawings and
everything! Also thank you Grandma Ruth and Papa Earl for th money and
also thank you Grandpa and Grandma Tanner. I will write letters and
properly thank you guys.
PS- the picture is of me and Elder J Santos.
Well things are awesome here in the Celestial Kingdom. We are working hard and God is blessing us a lot. One cool thing that happened was Sunday morning when we were picking up our investigators to go to church everyone was ready. Every sunday we walk around and pick up our investigators with sometimes the help of members. Lots of times we have to wait a few minutes for people to get ready and lots of times we have to wake people up. Well this Sunday was really good. First we walked by Cidinha´s house and she was ready. Then a woman named Ana and her daughter Bruna went and they were waiting for us. And since Cidinha knows where the church is and already knows Ana they walked together to church and then we went to get more people. A young man 10 years old went and he went with a member girl that is 16 (Daniella that we baptized 2 transfers ago). Then we went past another house and 2 more young men came, Alef and Rian. These two walked to church with Jairo. So it was cool because 3 people that I baptized helped us. I love this place so much. I dont know if I will stay or if I will leave this transfer but up until now I have spent half of my mission in Barbalha. I am on my 6th transfer right now and this is my 3rd in Barbalha. So this Saturday we will find out what will happen. And if I do leave I will leave Sunday night and get to Fortaleza monday morning.
To all the readers and I know with full certainty without a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God and is, as it says, the most correct book on the face of the earth, and by abiding by its precepts you will get closer to God than by any other book. Read a chapter and ask God if its true and He will touch your heart and you will feel the truthfulness in your heart.
This week was really good. First of all thanks for all the emails and stuff. I was surprised to hear that Brody is living in Rexburg. Sounds like all of you guys are having a good time there. Oh and I always forget to say it but good luck for Isaac Robertson, here in Ceará is hot, but everyone says that Teresinha is a lot hotter, so all I have to say for him is boa sorte. Here in the Cariri Region of Ceará they say they just have two seasons, summer and hell. Oh yeah and thanks all you guys for the letters and emails and birthday cards. Thanks mom and dad for the birthday money and card and also for the pictures that were inclosed in the card. I like to show people them and everyone says the same thing, that I was really chubby. On Wednesday, the 13th, the assisstants came and we had a mini zone conference thing and so the brought all the letters and stuff from Fortaleza. I am not sure if I had told you but here in the Juazeiro do Norte Zone, we just get letters when someone from Fortaleza comes here, which is usually 2 times a transfer. All the rest of the mission gets letters everyweek. I havent gotten the package you sent yet, but no worries I will probably get it the next time someone comes. Well anyway my birthday was good. My 5 companions got me a cake and I got some presents from some members and investigators, mostly candy, and also on Saturday after having lunch a member surprised us with a cake, cajuina, and clown noses! It was fun. This week we were able to baptize a girl named Cidinha, who is 21. She is really cool and we found her when we were teaching Jaiane. We were teaching Jaiane and before we started she went to grab her friend. Cidinha works as a maid and babysitter type thing. The first time we invited her to go to church was the week of gen conference. We stopped by her house to go with her, but she didnt go. After that she got really sad and started doing all the committments and stuff. She even answers the questions they have at the back of the Missionary Pamphlet things, which I had never seen anyone answer. I was thinking about it and baptism is so cool, because if Cidinha is confirmed and endures to the end, she can enter in the kingdom of God, but if she hadnt been baptized with the proper authority, she would not be able to do that.
Thanks all of you for your prayers!!
Well this week was a great week. We worked really hard and God always blesses us lots. Elder de Oliveira is really a great elder, and I am learning more about how a father feels and thinks. One cool thing was that we found this really good family, Antonio Marcos, Ana, and the daughter Bruna. It was a contact that we did and then we went back. We invited them to come to church and they said yes we will go, and they were really excited but something happened at the last minute and they were not able to come. I am not sure if I already said about Jaiane, but she is a girl that was playing the guitar on the sidewalk one day. We taught her and were preparing her for baptism and hopefully she will be baptized in the next few weeks. Also she brought her two friends to church and her one friend whose name is Cidinha wants to be baptized like right away. She cried during the sacrament and said she felt really peaceful. I love hearing the feelings of people who go to church for the first time! God blessed us a lot.
Those were all the good things and probably the worst thing that happened is kind of funny. We ate last THursday at a members house and I ate a really lot, and a lot of dessert too. And so I was feeling really sick that day, and it is getting really hot, and I was just like, this awful feeling in my stomach will go away. So we were walking in the street and I was like praying that I wouldnt throw up, but God said to me that all these things would give me experience and be for my good, so in the middle of the street I started puking a lot. Like a really lot. But we had an activity in the church so we went there, I met up with Elder Nascimento, who also had thrown up, and so us 2 went home while the rest of the missionaries stayed at the activity.
But the worst thing isnt anything compared to the best thing that happened. I got to help ordain Jairo to the Melchizidek Priesthood. It was so cool that someone that I taught and baptized and confirmed, I also got to help ordain and confer the melchi. Priesthood.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes and I love all of you, and pray for us!!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Everything here is going good. Well I had my son and I attached a picture of him and I. His name is Elder de Oliveira but his name is going to change to Elder Monteira I think because there is already an Elder de Oliveira. He is from Curitiba. It was so cool when I picked him up in Juazeiro. I was talking to him and he said something like, yeah yesterday when I was in the MTC, and it shocked me that the day before he was still in the MTC. I cant believe I am training, I am totally not prepared to mold a missionary, just yesterday I was being trained by my father Elder Carvalho. Well anyway it is kinda cool because he is already teaching like I teach, for good or for bad. Well one thing that happened this week was that we had family home evening at this one members house. We watched the movie the Testaments and then drank Mango Juice, which was delightful.
Some of the people we taught this week were Janielle, Francisco, and Fábio. Francisco was cool because we hadnt gone there all week and then on Saturday we decided to go and we taught about the Sabbath Day and he was like, sure I will go to church. He has a wife named Lena and a son Ericleiton. We found him because a youth talked with his son in school about the church so we went there to talk with his son, but found his parents too. I was just about to stop going there because we had been teaching them for like 3 or 4 weeks and they hadnt gone to church yet, but yesterday was a miracle because he went to church and we will work really hard with them this week.
Well I have to go already because I burnt a CD with a bunch of pictures for you guys.
Always remember to read the Book of Mormon everyday!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Well this transfer ended and one more is beginning. It is all going so fast. This week was good, we worked really hard. One thing that happened was that we had a small conference with President Batt. He only comes to this region like every 3 months so we said some things and we had interviews and then we all ate lunch in Juazeiro.
One cool story was about this one family. They were a referal from a member here. We went there and taught and the mom was like I was praying that someone would come to help my son and you guys are it. So cool!! But the sad part is that they didnt go to church and I am worried and like hope everything turns out alright. We marked a baptismal date with them and everything.
Inviting people to be baptized has to be my favorite thing to do. You cant be scared to do it but have to be really bold. Its cool because most of the time we mark a baptismal date in the 1st lesson and something to work toward. And if they read and pray and go to church then chances are that they will be baptized on that date.
So here are the transfers
Elder Nascimento- stays, will be companions with a young american
Elder A Mendonça- transfered to Benfica(my old area) to be Zone Leader
Elder Warn- transfered to Serrinha in Fortaleza
Elder Landskron- stays in Barbalha but changes to Elder Mendonça´s area
Elder Oliveira Santos- transfered to Ipanema (also my old area)
Elder Willoughby- STAYS and other exciting news
I am pregnant
I am going to have a baby and be a father. That is missionaryslang to say that I am going to train. So my baby boy will be delivered to me from the MTC on Wednesday. I DONT KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF BABIES. But I´ll be able to train a missionary. Pray for me.
I know that God lives and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and the most correct of any book!
Um abraço,Elder Willoughby
Saturday, September 18, 2010
How are the United States doing? My hope is that they are really good and you guys are having a blast there. I am still super well here in Barbalha. Today is already the last P-Day of the Transfer. Time here goes super fast. It flies. Let´s see what did we do this week. We worked really hard. On Setember 11 me and Elder Warn sang the national anthem and had a moment of silence to remember our country, which was really cool. One cool thing is that for the first time this ward has a Ward Mission Leader. So this week we had a meeting with him. So his name is Diego, a typical Brazilian name, and he is like 21 and preparing to serve a mission. He still has to wait like 8 months though to be able to have a year. One other cool thing is Jairo is helping us a lot. He is super active in the church. He is basically the man and all the missionaries think so. I am proud to have been able to find and teach such a cool man. He has just been a member for 1 month but he is preparing to serve a mission. I was thinking about how cool it would be if he left to serve a mission while I was still on my mission.
This week we were working really hard, preparing this one really great man for baptism, but Satan worked really hard to and it didnt work out. But one good thing is that last week the two people that were supposed to be confirmed didnt come (for more or less legitimate reasons) but this week they both came and were confirmed and received the gift of the holy ghost. Now if they endure to the end they will be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven!
There is this one guy named Luis who is the man and he took us on another hike today. He is the man and it was really awesome but I didnt bring my camera.Luis really has a big heart.
Well that is it for now but thank you for all your prayers!!
Monday, September 6, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Last night we had a family home evening at the house of a man named Luis. He is the YM Pres and really awesome. He has a huge heart and he is like a big teddy bear. He looks like a little boy and I can always picture him with a pinwheel hat on. Anyway we had FHE at his girlfriends house, who was baptized also yesterday by Elder Nascimento´s companionship, and Luis and this girl are going to marry!! And he is always like I want you to see my marriage. What else that is it. I will just write some in Portuguese so you guys know that I am not lying about the whole being in Brazil thing.
Eu sei, com certeza, que essa igreja é a igreja do Salvador Jssus Cristo. Eu tô aprendendo muitas coisas aqui. Ontem a gente teve uma noite familiar na casa do Luis bem especial. A gente cantou É Tarde A Noite Logo Vem e O Elder Nascimento tocou o violão. Depois eu deixei um pensamento sobre o Espírito Santo e li a escritura 3 Néfi 11:3. O Espírito tocou bem forte no coração da gente. Eu nunca esquecerei dessa noite.
Oh yeah and I am learning a little bit of guitar!
From freetranslation.com this is their translation for the above:
I know, with certainty, that that church is the church of the Savior Jssus Christ. I tô learning how many things here. Yesterday the people had a family night in home of the Luis well special. The people sung IS Afternoon THE Night Soon Comes and THE Elder Birth touched the double bass. Afterwards I left a thought about the Holy Spirit and I read the scripture 3 Néfi 11:3. The Spirit touched well fortress in the heart of the people. I never will forget of that night
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
How are you all doing? You guys are probably enjoying the heat there, and so am I here! Well anyway this week was really good. I am trying to think of what all we did. One thing we did was help Jairo (a man we baptized last transfer) pour concrete in his back yard. And it is also interesting that the top part of Jairo´s house is going to be rented to a woman we baptized this week named Paula. Paula lives in Missão Velha, another city, but she is going to move here. Three weeks ago at church she came to church with some members and was like I want to be baptized. But the hard thing was that she only is in Barbalha on Saturdays and Sundays and so we had to teach her just on the weekends. She is dating a member and they intend on marrying. We also baptized a girl named Eryka who is a friend of Andrea and Fernando. She is really a good young woman and the gospel will bless her life greatly.
Monday, August 16, 2010
How are you guys doing? I am doing well here with my new companion. Elder Oliveira Santos is basically the man and we are working hard. He is from Sao Paulo and is pretty funny. One interesting fact about him is that no matter how much he shaves, he has like a permanent 5 oclock shadow goatee. Elder Nascimento´s new companion is Elder Landskron who is Gaúcho and is beginning his mission here. So I am trying to think of things that happened this week. My companion got in Juazeiro Tuesday and we met at District Meeting and afterward we took a taxi to Barbalha. Sometimes in our house we run out of water, (I am not sure how that is possible, but we do) and when my companion got there there was no water to take a shower, which stunk because he had traveled 12 hours to get here and was not able to take a shower. Well anyway this week we worked hard and have good people preparing to be baptized. For example, there is a girl named Paula that will be baptized this next week. She was like I want to be baptized so we were like.........alright, lets do this. She is the girlfriend of the brother of a member. She lives in another city Missão Velha where there isnt an LDS church or members or anything, but she comes to Barbalha every weekend, and so we taught her on Saturday and she accepted everything. We also have one young man named Rafael that we are preparing to be baptized. He is the brother of Andrea who we baptized last transfer. Also it was cool because we brought Dariane´s brother to church who also knows Rafael so that was awesome, and we are preparing both to be baptized. Well that is cool that you guys talked to my mission president. I called him on Tuesday or Wednesday and he wanted to know your telephone number.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Well how the heck are you guys doing? How is the summer heat doing? I hope you all are doing really great. I was sorry to hear about the water line breaking at Ben and Jessica´s house, just get some duct tape on that puppy and patch her up.
So this week was pretty good. Elder Magno´s parents were still here. One cool thing that happened this week was that we had a talent show. The missionaries do all the planning and everything and it turned out really good. There were 90 people there! Me and Elder Gomes and Elder A Mendonça did this theatrical peace skit type thing that was really funny. Elder Warn played guitar and sang Aint no sunshine when you´re gone for Elder Magno. Elder Nascimento played guitar, Elder Magno sang, and there was a young man here that played the drums, and their little band was awesome. Everybody loved it.
Every Thursday night we have a ward activity called Integração. They have it in almost all the wards in Brazil and its to let people have fun and integrate the investigators. Usually when there are a lot of people at Integração, a lot of people will come on Sunday also. And at Sacrament meeting this week there were 100 people! That is exciting because every Sunday this transfer the frequency has gone up. It started at about 46 and yesterday was 100.
So we had transfers and it was hard because its like this. Elder A Mendonça was a secretary in the mission office for 7 transfers and so like he has a bunch of connections and is really influential with the President. So like everyday this week he knew what the current transfers were. But the president always changes them and tweaks them until Friday. So it was really hard not killing Elder A Mendonça and trying to firgure out what was going to happen. So the transfers are like this.
Elder Magno is being transfered to Sao Paulo to his house and his companion will be his girlfriend that waited faithfully for two years.
Elder Warn and Elder A Mendonça will continue to be companions here in Barbalha.
Elder Gomes will be transfered to Fortaleza, Nova Aldeota, and will be companions with Elder Boyer
Elder Nascimento is the new district leader and will train a new missionary.
And me. For the first time in my seven months as a missionary I will stay! And my companion will be Elder Oliveira Santos who I already know. He is from Sao Paulo and is the man. He is 1 transfer younger than me. So this will be his 4 transfer and my 5th. I am a little nervous to be senior companion so you guys gotta pray for me that I dont screw everything up!
Oh yeah and yesterday we baptized one girl named Teresinha. She is the younger sister of Dariane who we baptized this transfer. She is really cool because she always came to church with her sister and really wanted to do all the right things. I think yesterday was her 6th time coming to church and also she always comes to church on Thursday´s also.
So yesterday I went with Elder Gomes and he said goodbye to everyone and I swear everybody loves that man that we call baby. Everyone cried when they were saying goodbye to him. And I felt like a jerk because I swear I was the only one that didnt cry. But then I was talking to Elder Warn who saw Elder King in Juazeiro (because Elder Warn and Elder Mendonca had to go leave baby at the bus station in Juazeiro) Elder King said that same thing happened to him. His comanion was leaving and everybody was crying except for him. Are we bad people? I think so.
So I think I am going to burn all my pictures on a CD or DVD and send them to you guys. I think that would be a good idea. Yeah I am going to do that.
Well I know that this church for which I am a missionary is the church of the Savior Jesus Christ and I know that we can be forgiven of our sins no matter which they may be.
How are things going there? I hope really good. So I was helping
another elder send photos so now i dont have very much time but quick
recap of the week. it was good. elder magno´s parents are here and
yesterday elder magno and i went to crato because he has cousins and
an uncle and aunt there and we had lunch with his family and this is
his last week! This week was good we baptized Jairo and Andrea. Both
stories are cool. Like the first Sunday here we were brining
investigators to church and we were already really late when this one
lady stopped us in the street and asked us to talk with her son, and
we were like we are really late we cant talk right now and she was
like no it will just take a minute, so we went and marked a day to
come back. Jairo is cool and is 23 years old. At first he had a lot of
doubts and he started asking really weird questions and he had been
reading anti stuff online and so we were like great thats too bad we
will just cut him, but then he started reading the book of mormon and
knew it was true and he said he used to go to a bunch of different
churches but our church was the only one he felt good at. he is
basically the man. he has already read to alma in the book of mormon.
Andrea we met like this. Elder Magno had to do an interview with an
investigator of Elder Nascimento and Elder Gomes. But we kinda wanted
to stop by Nei so we had to do a division Elder Gomes and I went to
see Nei and Elder Nascimento and Elder Magno went to do the interview
(Elder Magno and Nascimento are cousins and they do a lot of divisions
which is cool for them so Elder Gomes and I spend a lot of time
together) well anyway we were coming back to meet our companions and
this girl yelled elder and we went back and she said she had already
been taught and so we got her name and number and adress and stuff and
said we would stop by and we just started to teach her and she
accepted everything and was baptized yesterday. She is 18 and we are
teaching a lot of her friends and family members too.
Alright gotta go, love you, the church is true,
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Dear Family, Well everything is going good here in Barbalha. How are you guys doing? I hope you are doing really great. Its so cool here in Barbalha. Its really has been growing since we got here. The first Sunday there were like 48 members, the next there was like 64 and then yesterday there was like 84. I feel like I am in a movie here. The church is so young in this jungle town. You never know what is going to go wrong at church. For example, this Sunday someone was going to give the closing prayer in sacrament meeting and they got up and started saying something like this, Brothers and Sisters I would like to give you a warning, that next week we would like all the married brothers to be here...and then the branch president cut him off and told him to just say a prayer. I really would like to know what he was going to say. I think I will ask him later. Also it is funny because whenever you say Good Morning brothers and sisters they always say good morning back....always!! So this week was good. One thing we did was go work at the ExpoCrato thing where the church had a tent. IT was kinda lame because last year the missionaries talked with like every single person that passed by and they got all their addresses and stuff, but a bunch of the addresses were wrong and stuff, so this year the president was like just sit back and if someone walks into the tent and is interested then you can talk to them and stuff. THey also had a bunch of animals there which was kind of cool, I got to touch a goat and a sheep. They have these really big cow things with big hump back things, almost like a camel, its called a BOI. So this week we baptized one man named Nei. He is the kinda crazy guy, yet so cool. We found him when we were knocking doors, and he let us in before we even said anything (which alot of people do here). He always speaks what he thinks which is kinda cool. So he is basically the man. So I got 5 letters which is awesome, thank you guys, but I have given up hope of getting the one package that you guys sent in April. Is that the last one you sent. You shouldnt worry about me here, I am doing fine, but thanks!! I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the church that Jesus Christ established, again on the Earth. One thing that annoys me is that a lot of people think that it doesnt matter what church you belong to, it doesnt matter if you are baptized or not, because God´s love is so great that he will save us all. Not everyone that says Lord Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of God. I know that all of us have to repent and be baptized in the true church.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Well everything is going really well. I have lots of things to say so I hope I dont forget anything. Alright to answer one question Elder Porto has 2 more transfers and he will end in 21 September.
Alright so when I was at the office one thing that made me feel good about myself was president batt pulled me aside and told me that because I worked well this last transfer he was sending me to Barbalha. But he kinda of scolded me and told me that I have to be perfect here. The missionaries call this the Celestial Kingdom. The two other cities close to here that have missionaries are Juazeiro do Norte and Crato. So the church has been in Juazeiro for 10 years but in Barbalha for only 10 months. In the past 6 months there have been over 100 baptisms. Everyone here is a recent convert. The only one that hasnt been baptized in the past 10 months is the Branch President Silva. He moved here from Rio de Janeiro and is a member for like 15 years. My companion Elder Magno is the Branch Secretary.
What else? So this is the only house in the mission that has 6 elders. Its crazy 6 missionaries for 1 branch. So this week there were just like 45 members at church, 6 missionaries, and 23 investigators. And we had a baptism!! It was an awesome young woman named Márcia. She´s 18 years old. I think they found her through this awesome family that the missionaries before me baptized.
So Elder Magno is awesome. He is from Sao Paulo. He is working hard still which is awesome. I knew him when I was companions with Elder Lopes, he was training Elder Redd. Elder A. Mendonça also lives with us. He was the secretary of finances of the mission. He is really funny and awesome and I love him because he is so cool. He is from the State of A Lagoas. He is training an American named Elder Warn who is from California and cool. Also there is Elder Nascimento who I knew before. He spent the night at my house my first night in the mission field. He saw me being born. He is really cool too. And his companion is Elder Gomes who is cool also and from Sao Paulo. THis is just his second transfer.
SO the busride here was good. We left from fortaleza at 10 pm and got to juazeiro at 6 am and then took a taxi to barbalha. Oh yeah and one cool thing is that Elder Carvalho, my trainer, was one of the missionaries that opened this city. What else???
So Elder King and Elder T Larsen who are both from my group arein Crato so I see them every Tuesday for District Meeting.
Barbalha is cool. So there is this dead guy here named Padre Cicero and everybody loves. him. You can look him up. The cajuina factory Sao Geraldo is close by. The sky at night here is incredible. Here is more like a jungle, and for the first time this week I taught straight up in the jungle, with mosquitoes, palm trees, pigs and all.
For some reason I am not being able to send pictures right now so I will send them later. Oh yeah and here the Zone Leaders only get the mail like every 3 weeks so stuff will take longer to get to me here.Well thats it and tell people to send me letters!
With all the love that my heart posseses,
Thanks for all the emails and the letters. Well I am kinda of in a hurry right now because I am at the office because I was transfered and there are a lot of missionaries are waiting for the computer. Well this week was good. I am going to Barbalha which is close to Juazeiro do Norte and Crato which is a 12 hour bus ride from here. We leave tonight! My companion will be Elder Magno who is on his last transfer. Sorry its such a short email. Tchau!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
How are you guys doing? Happy Father´s Day to Dad and Ben and Max. Is it getting really hot there? Well I hope you guys enjoy it.
So this week was pretty good. Mmmm what did we do? We had interviews with President Batt so that was really good. There is a strike here among the public bus drivers so taking the bus is a large pain in the rear, but seeing as there were four missionaries we took a taxi and divided it 4 ways so it wasnt that bad. Let´s see also there was the World Cup on Tuesday. It was impossible to sleep or study so I just sat around. Its really cool. It sounded like there was a war going on. Tons of fireworks everywhere. Its really unlike anything I´ve ever experienced. And after everyone was drunk so it was hard to teach people.
So yesterday was pretty good. We had two men baptized. One of their names is José. He is like 55 years old. One day a few weeks ago we were walking down the street and he called us over and said he wanted to be baptized. Crazy huh? And we taught him everything and he just had to give up coffee but it was easy for him. They have this stuff here that is like coffee but not so we usually buy it for our investigators, its called Cevada. So he was interviewed on Saturday night and everything went well and he was baptized on Sunday. In the picture you´ll notice he has something wrong with his eye. A car hit him and basically his eyeball fell out of its place but is now safe and sound in the socket, so everyone is happy about that.
The other man we baptized is Marcos. He has been coming to church for a few weeks and I think I already wrote about him but his family are all inactive members and like for years he didnt want anything to do with the church, but when we went to visit his family to try and reactivate them he was interested. He broke up with his girlfriend to be able to live the law of chastity and he gave up coffee also. He likes reading the Book of Mormon and he also read the Principles of the Gospel lesson like twice beforehand which is awesome.
So the two baptisms were awesome and also we had a man and his two children, Cláudio the father and Mikael and Mikaely the children and they watched the baptism so that is super awesome. We will pray and work hard for them to be baptized next week.
After the baptisms we ate at an investigators house, and after that we home during the soccer game. The end.
So you totally dont have to send me a package but if you want to I guess I would like some garments, round neck mediums drilux or mesh. Also Gillette Mach 3 razor blades (they are really really a lot more expensive here), candy, pictures from home. Yeah definitely send pictures from home. Pictures of me you guys, from high school, pictures of the snow, and whatever else. People always ask to see pictures. And the best advice I got to send pictures is to put pictures of Mary and Jesus on the box. I dont know but it will probably just take a month, but I still havent gotten that other package, must have been a fluke.
Well I have to go but good luck with everything. And send pictures!!!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
How are you all doing? I hope really good. Well my new area is pretty good. This is the second straight area that I have opened. Opening an area means that the old companionship from the area both left and two new missionaries come, so neither you nor your companion know where anything is. I dont know why the president hates me. I´m just kidding, I am enjoying it, but it is dificult. There are lots of things to tell you guys this week. Well I think I already said this but I live with the LZ´s and they are both Brazilian so this means I live in a house with three Brazilians. Its fun but sometimes I just laugh because I dont know what is going but most of the time I know what is going on. Oh the first two nights were not good because the front of our house is like, I dont know how to describe it. Its like we have a big spot for a huge window but no one here has windows, just bars to keep out robbers. So at night for some reason you can hear every single car and they honk their horns and there are fights and I swear people just stand outside our house and yell just to annoy me. Jking. But anyways the first two days I was pretty sick, but we moved our beds into a room further back so now I sleep really well, and am no longer sick. So one thing that we are doing to open the area is visiting every single less active member in the ward. Everytime we go to an inactive persons house there is someone else there for us to teach which is good for us and good for the ward and good for the Lord. I like to call it the Lost Sheep Project, because I heard someone doing this before and they called it that. One of the inactive members is Ana Cristina. She has 3 boys Jefferson, Carlos, and João Victor and I can´t remember her husband´s name. Anyway we taught her and it went really well and she said she would come to church this next Sunday. What else. One cool thing was that there was a talent show at our chapel that we went to. It was actually not from our ward but we have 3 or 4 wards in our chapel, I dont know. No one was that good but this kid that sang a song in English and he was pretty good. I just remember some of the lyrics were Let me go home/I´ll be home tonight/I´m coming back home. You guys should look it up so I can listen to it when I´m home. Hehe that is ironic and I swear I am not trunky. But I am serious it is a good song he sang.
Well anyway another cool thing is that we are teaching a guy that is trying to stop drinking. He really wants it which is awesome. And surprisingly enough this is the first guy that I am helping with an addiction.
One cool thing is that Elder Porto and I had 28 new investigators which was the highest in our zone. We taught a lot. It was really flippin hot.
Elder Porto is a pretty good guy. He is a Gaucho (you can look that up) and really tall and really skinny. He is having some personal challenges but he is strong and I can help him. We all have challenges. We both are pretty shy people inside, and this has caused me to really become ridiculously animated and outgoing which is a good thing. And I can really feel the gift of tongues here.
Christ lives and He will help you! You just have to come unto him through the five steps of the Gospel, faith, repentance, baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
It was really awesome to talk to you guys last night!! Oh yeah and one thing I needed to tell you was that for a shirt for my companion it can be a medium and also medium shorts. Soooo yeah he is going to give me money to give you guys so dont worry about anything.
Oh yeah and I was also going to ask you if you could email me the mp3s from the CD Eclipse Sacred Praise I think it is called that I had. It might be in one of the cars, I dont know. And if you can find an mp3 online of that Adam Ashby song, How Can I Be? I am sorry that I am asking so much!!!
Soo I am trying to think of what happened this week. Oh yeah and before I forget I think my companion knows Alise (only if her last name is Smith) because he served in Teresina for a while and his name is Elder Lopes.
Let´s see what happened this week. So I got a letter from mom and from Dad which and from Grandma Tanner which is totally awesome. (But she sent it to the MTC address in Sao Paulo, so just tell her my address in Fortaleza, the one with Santos Dumont in it). So thanks to everyone for the emails and letters!
So this week went well so one cool thing that happened was that we were teaching this one old lady on the street on the sidewalk, because that is where we teach half the time, on the street. So we were teacing her and this other lady comes up to us and is like ´´I knew the missionaries before you guys and they always came to my house and ate and taught me´´ so we were like sweet. So we went to her house and taught her and she is like I already know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. And she already knew about everything and she is like I know I have to be baptized. And we were like totally shocked. But she just needs to start coming to church because she has never been yet. So that is aweosme.
Also we were teaching Felipe again and he wants to be baptized but like its hard for him to come to church because like lots of weekends his dad comes and picks him up. So we were teaching Felipe and he was like my friend wants to get baptized. So we talked to his friend and she wants to get baptized. THe only problem is that her mom wont let her. But we havent had the opportunity to talk to her yet so we are going to try to teach the mother. So thats about it and I really am running out of time!!!!
Um abraço pra todos,
Hey thanks for doing that. I will try and do the following. I will try and call you guys with that number Saturday and tell you the time that you can call me on Sunday. Alright hopefully it will be 7oclock on Sunday night Fortaleza time. The number is 085-3235-0829 or maybe you dont need the zero I dont know and it is the number of the Ipanema chapel.
So this week went well. Elder Lopes and I are working hard. One thing we did was have family home evening at a members house with two investigators which went well. We have a lot of investigators that need to get married. We have Janaina who comes to church every sunday with her daughter without us having to wake her up or anything and already is paying tithing. She just needs to get married. And also we have Iracy who comes to church with her son without us having to pick her up or anything. She probably can get married in June. Another marriage that is being planned is that of Jonathan and Darlani. I talked about them in mylast email. Darlani read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and asked God in a prayer if it was true and she totally knows it. So yesterday we were teaching them and I was talking with her and asked her if we could make a goal for their marriage to be next month, and she accepted. I wish it could be sooner but I was definitely led by the spirit in making this goal because that is the earliest they would be able to get married anyway. So yeah they are totally awesome.
Also this past Saturday we had the oppurtunity to baptize Lucas who is the son of Iracy. He is totally awesome. We were asking him the interview questions the day before he was going to be really interviewed and he was like I studied those little pamphlets and he like knew everything perfectly. He is awesome.
Hey well for some reason this week the computer keeps on freezing so I am already out of time but I will call you guys Saturday!!
First thanks for all the emails and letters. And I havent got the package yet but people say it takes like a month. Letters take like 2-3 weeks. Oh my gosh and thank you for sending a package, I know it takes a lot of work and especially money to send a package here. And I can receive pictures by email just so you know. I wrote a letter for you and dad today and brother and sister martin that i will send today and i will try to write more next week. Sorry if this is really scatterbrained. I only get to email once a week and i have to remember everything to write.
So that is crazy that Isacc´s mission call says to bring long underwear because if Teresina is anything like here he wont want them but the mission president there probably knows what he is talking about. All the stuff I bought is working out well. I like the pants from Ferrells about 10 times better than the pants from MR MAC. The pants from Ferrells are cool because after you wash them you dont have to iron them. And when i put my sweaty arm on them it like wicks away the moisture. One of my shoes has started to fall apart, but dont worry because if I need shoes they sell pretty nice shoes at the mission office for only 30 reais, which is like 18 dollars.
I really like hearing about what you guys are doing so thanks for the updates.
Alright so Elder Holland was awesome. It was Elder HOlland Elder GOdoy and Bishop Edgley and their wives that talked to us. ONe cool thing was that Sister Holland encouraged us to take our time in praying. First sit in the middle of the room when no one is around. Then think about Heavenly Father for a few minutes, what He looks like, what HIs nature is, and then thank him for everything that He has ever given you, and then at the end ask Him for what you desire for most in the name of Jesus Christ. THen sit and ponder for a while.
Elder Holland was cool, we all knew he was going to burn us, and he did. He talked about how he interviewed us when he shook our hand and that we were all doing alright. He said he was proud of us and then he emotionally encouraged us to keep all the rules in an Elder Hollandly way. It was really neat. Oh yeah and it was cool because I got to see all the Elders from my group like Elder King,Subacz, Birdsall, and Morrow. They are all doing well. One funny thing that happened to Elder Subacz was the following. His first area was Juazeiro which is 10 hours by bus. But he got off at the wrong stop in the middle of the night and somehow he got a taxi that brought him to the right place even though he barely knew any portguese at all!
Alright so my new companion is Elder Lopes, and he is actually from Juazeiro do Norte which is in this mission. He was serving in Belem but because of the Climate he will finish his mission here. He only has 4 months left. He works really hard also. As we have been keeping all the rules I can feel the Spirit work stronger through our teaching.
One of our investigators is Aline. She is really cool because we just found her when we were trying to find another person, and we taught these two women who were washing clothes at this one well. It reminded me of Jacob´s well in the bible and it was really a neat experience. She said that her husband was a member but hadnt gone to church in like 15 years or something. So we came back and taught her with him and it was suuuppppppper cool because we could tell that he remembered his conversion and wanted that for his family.
Oh and another lesson that we taught that brought me SSSSOOOOOOOOOO MMUUUUUCHHHHHHH joy was last night. So there is this 19 year old man who was baptized many years ago, fell away from the church, and now is living with his fiance. But he wants to have an eternal family so like a few years ago he stopped doing drugs and stuff and now he really wants to build his family in the gospel. So we taught him (Jonathan) and his brother Jefferson and his fiance Darlinha. Oh my Darlinha just needs to read a chapter in the book of mormon and pray about it and receive an answer and get married and oh the joy that will enter their lives. oh yeah and afterwards she can be baptized. Seriously that lesson we taught them made me so happy!!!!1
Alright so our apartment is pretty small. It is cool though because it is above a small store and from our porch we can see a lot of Fortaleza and we always see planes coming and going.
So the ward is really good. We always eat reallly good and get referalls and our lunches almost never fall through. We are working really hard here and the past 3 weeks have been really awesome, with just 2 things wrong- Elder Szpack going home and the fact that we havent had a baptism here. But I can see the Lord preparing the people.
Oh flip my time is up but I love you guys. This week I am going to try to buy a memory card reader so I can send you guys more pictures. Thank you guys so much for everything!!!!!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
We didn´t have any baptisms this week but one cool story is that Saturday night I was like counting how many investigators would probably come to Church and I was like it will be a miracle if 5 investigators come. So Sunday morning we were picking up investigators and like no one answered the doors, just one of our investigators, so I was kinda bummed, but then at Sacrament meeting 4 more came by their selves so we had 5 so it was totally a miracle.
So I have to go but dont worry about me at all I am doing fine. I know that God loves us and we are His children. I know that He answers our prayers and He is a God of miracles. I am really excited to see an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ speak with us. Hey thanks for all you guys do, I gotta go but fica firme-forte [stay firm].
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I have a feeling that you guys are pregnant. It would not be cool to hide this from me just because I am in Brasil:-P
Anyway thanks so much for the email. It means so much! And oh my goodness my sobrinhos are so big. I really enjoyed the pictures! Hehe the small kids here usually go around either naked or with just underwear on and it was really weird at first but now it is just normal. Yesterday we had lunch with a couple that had a little boy that reminded me of Caleb because he was always getting into trouble and a little girl that reminded me of Emily because she was always smiling and singing and stuff. They have the name Emily here but I havent heard Caleb yet. So yeah this past week was totally LEGIT.
So my new companion is Elder Szpack and he works really really hard. The assisstants were in this area last transfer so neither I nor Elder Szpack know the area very well. He only speaks Portuguese so that is good for my learning and growth, I am always thinking of how to say things in Portuguese. We didnt have any baptisms but we taught a ton of people, just trying to get lots of new good investigators. We are busy all day everyday!! And Elder Szpack is cool because we do a ton of contacts. We have lots of investigators with potential. Our 2 most solid investigators are women who are not married civilly to their husbands, so we have to have 2 marriages which they say takes like a month and stuff.
So this area of Impanema is a little bit more rural than Benfica. There are some cows and chickens and mules and what not. It is funny we were walking down this dirt road these cows just are walking towards us and we just walk in the middle of them. Its different. Our apartment is way nice except for there are a lot of bugs but its all good in my neighborhood. And the people here are a lot poorer, which is sad but good because everyone usually is really receptive to us leaving a message with them.
Alright so I think it has passed enough time that I can tell you guys this. I didnt want to tell mom or you guys this when I was in the MTC because she would freak out but when I was in the Sao Paulo MTC I had this really hot fever and stuff of like 101 and I was miserable and they werent sure if I had swine flu so they put me in isolation for like 3 days where all I did was rest. But seriously I didnt have swine flu. So yeah dont freak out, I am fine, Brazil is awesome. ALright I gotta go, I would appreciate it if you guys could send this email to the family and stuff, you dont have to send the part about you guys being pregnant if you dont want the others to know. JKing but seriously I love you guys and thanks so much for the email. Alright tchau family!!!!
PS- Elder Holland is coming here next week!!!!
Dear Mom and Dad and Family and Friends,
Happy Easter yesterday. We were able to watch conference, and there was even a room for English and it had air conditioning and everything. All the sessions are live and I think they pre-record the translations for most of it in Portuguese. We couldnt watch the Priesthood session in english though.
Umm as far as calling on Mothers Day I do not know. Hey and I am pretty sure that I have like 200 or 300 dollars in my account but can you guys just make sure to check the balance every once and a while. I dont want to be bouncing any payments. So it snowed there crazy.
Hey lets see last week we didn´t have any baptisms, sad, but in 5 weeks we baptized 12 people which is like really really great. Like super great its basically because the Lord blessed us. So yeah, guess what. I got transfered. I am now serving in Impanema with Elder Szpack who is Brazilian from Curitiba. So its super hot here but I am looking forward to it. Everyone says Elder Szpack is really hard working and a really good teacher so I am really looking forward to this next transfer. He is the district leader. So I was gonna tell you guys that I actually got cold the other night which was crazy. I dont use a top sheet, just me and my garments with a fan blowing on me all night.
So I was thinking and if you wanted to send me a package anytime in the future that would be alright with me. I found out that I only have to pay customs on electronics. Oh and soon I am going to buy a SD card reader so that I can send you guys pictures every week. So yeah.
So yeah I don´t know what else to write so I guess I will let you guys go. Tell Dad and Sheila thanks for the letters. Pray for me and I will do the same for you guys.
Oh yeah and I encourage you guys to make a comprehensive study plan to fully understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ as suggested by Elder RIchard G Scott this weekend.
Dear Family and Friends,
Well this week has been pretty good. How are all you doing. I hope well and by the way this computer is weird and I can~t find any punctuation. Alright hey I got a bunch of letters since the last time I emailed. I got one that Aunt Sheila sent I think on the 12th of Feb to the Provo MTC and I got 2 letters from dad and a bigger packet thing from Dad. It looks like it takes about 2-3 weeks to get letters. So yeah.
I don~t really know what to write about. We had a baptism this week which is totally awesome. His name is Jefferson and he is 18 and he is a friend of Joyce that also introduced us to Alef and Dienhe. Dienhe was supposed to get baptized but she didn~t. Its complicated. At first Alef and Dienhe broke up so she didnt want to get baptized because she would see him at the chapel all the time, and then Elder Carvalho like got both of them from their houses and put them in the same room and they got back together. Then Dienhe decided she would not be baptized and now Alef didnt come to church yesterday and it is complicated.
Joyce is like 14 years old and always brings her friends to church which is awesome. We had lunch at her house yesterday. We had rice and like beef and fish and this stuff they have here that I cant explain but is yellow and crunchy and yeah. She has a 12 year old and 16 year old sister and her mom that live at the house.
Well what else happened. Portuguese is still troubling but it is coming. Lets see who are we teaching. There is this family in the Maraponga ward that we are teaching. Francisco read and prayed about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and he felt all these awesome feelings and he recognized it as an answer from God but he didn~t want to be baptized because he has always been Catholic. This frustrates me a lot. The rest of his family in Maraponga said they would read and pray but didnt but they will have by the next time we come!
One cool thing is that we saw this guy that takes the tokens on the bus this week for the second time. The first time we saw him a few weeks ago he asked to be visited by the missionaries because he had been taught in the past. So he lives in another area so we got the missionaries there to visit him. And this last time that we saw him he said he is being baptized like next Saturday. That is awesome!
I cant think of anything else so tchau!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Well first of all to answer your questions, i am only supposed to email family and stuff which stinks but its a rule so im gonna follow it. MMmmmm and I am not sure how long it takes for mail to arrive here I think it is usually like a month but I don´t know because I havent gotten any mail here but it still hasnt been a month yet. We receive the mail usually on Tuesdays because that is when our district meetings are and the zone leaders get it from the office and drop it off at the different district meetings. And we usually eat with members for lunch. Yesterday we ate at the bishop´s house so I had to make a really good impression and I ate so much and it was so good but I thought I was going to die right there and explode but yeah. Mmm this week has been awesome. We baptized two people. Both were on Saturday. The first man is Alexandre. He had been coming to church for a few weeks already on his own which is totally awesome. He had been referred by a member of his AA group or something, and he is the president of the AA group which is totally awesome. He is a very short Brazilian man with a really deep voice. He is really cool and firm and stuff. The other person whom we baptized is named Alef, I think I have written about him before. He and his girlfriend were going to be baptized a few weeks ago, but for some reason they werent. Well it was totally cool because Alef still wanted to be taught and stuff which shows he is super awesome. He kept on changing his mind though and Elder Carvalho and I knew that he had to choose because it would totally change his life. He lives in the ghetto and he is like 4 years behind in school and not going anywhere but he still had really good values. So the night before the baptism Elder Carvalho and I taught him and we could really feel the Spirit of God. I shared the experience where I wanted to put off serving a mission and it was really good because I felt that that experience touched him, and he ended up being baptized which is awesome. Right, what else, we had a zone conference in Aldeota which was pretty awesome and it was on Friday. Mmmm I´ll tell you a little bit about my area. Benfica is one of the richest areas in our mission. There are not really any favelas but there are lots of ghettos. Maybe a little bit worse but I am fine. Yeah I gotta go but talk to you later, bye!!!!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Hey how are you all doing? Hey send this email to mom and stuff. Hey and Courtney are you putting all the emails I send to mom on my blog? And is mom sending you all the emails I send her? I hope! So Stephanie you asked about what I like to hear about in communications with me and the answer is what is happening during your week, its very interesting for me.
So this week was pretty good, alright I am going to tell you about the investigators, food, and weather. By the way what do you guys like to hear about?
So this past week we had five baptisms. The first one was on Wednesday we baptized this 13 year old boy named Iran. He was pretty cool and before he was coming to the chapel with his friend Pablo every night for seminary and futebol. And I baptized him! Also we baptized two girls yesterday named Andressa who is like 13 and Aparecida who is like almost 16 and they both live in the Benfica area. They kinda remind me of young women in America who are really awesome and smile all the time and stuff. In the Maraponga ward where there are no missionaries serving we baptized Marilha who is 16 and married to a inactive man named Jon and we also baptized a 14 year old named Berto. I baptized these two in Maraponga as well! Especially Marilha was like so awesome she had such a witness that we were speaking the truth. Everytime we tell someone to ask God if what we are saying is true and they have a sincere heart, every single time they will go home and read from the Book of Mormon and ask God and every time God answers their prayers through the power of the Holy Ghost. A side note. For a person to be baptized they have to have gone to church two times, keep the commandments that we teach them (law of chastity, word of wisdom, keeping the sabbath day holy, and tithing), have a testimony, and be taught the lessons in Preach My Gospel. Usually a person can get baptized really fast. They come to church on Sunday we teach them during the week, and if they are keeping all the committments and come to church again the next Sunday then we can baptize them after church. Oh and a cool thing with Marilha. Every time that my district leader, Elder Christensen, asks them who they want to baptize them I usually can know what will happen. It can either be Elder Carvalho who talks to them and laughs with them and really knows a lot about these people or it can be me, who is oblivious to most things, and usually just teaches the first part of a lesson or bears my testimony at the end. By the way that last sentence was supposed to be funny. Because I dont care it is just funny.....well anyway when Elder Christensen asked her and she was like I want it to be a very special person who worked so hard to communicate with me, and it was me!! I was so excited, not that is matters, but it was fun. :-D
So about food. I basically never eat breakfast because I am never hungry and this is common among missionaries in Brazil. Because at lunch we eat like so much, so much, I cant overemphasize how much we eat at lunch. Usually they have rice and beans and sometimes some feijoada which is like beans and sausage, and they sometimes have pasta, and steamed vegetables and stuff. And usually I pile it on my plate. Eat it all. Pile my plate full of food again, and then maybe half a plate more. So that is 2.5 full plates of food. WE usually have some legit juice or guaraná which is totally awesome, and then sometimes we have icecream for dessert. Sometimes we will stop by a bakery for dinner and pick up a salgada. Like today I wasnt even hungry for lunch even though I didnt eat dinner or breakfast.
So the weather is pretty hot, it has started to rain just a little bit but they say that more rain will come. Whenever we are in the street there is a breeze and its not bad.
Well I gotta go but I am sending some letters today hopefully. It will be there in about a month if I do. mmmmm Love you all and have an awesome day!!