Tuesday, April 20, 2010

E aí minha mai, tudo bem? Tudo ótimo aqui no Brasil [And there my mother, everything well? Everything great here in Brazil]. Yeah how are doing mom? And you Dad? I keep getting letters from him. And mom thanks for all the emails. And Sister Gingrich and Sister Martin thanks for the letters! Hey guess what, we get to see Elder Holland talk today!! Crazy I know. Sorry this email is going so many places but my mind is everywhere now, wondering what I should tell you guys first. OK, first I am doing super good. All is well I am healthy and happy and I think I am getting a little better at Portuguese but I am not sure. OK so second, my companion Elder Szpack was sent home on Friday for some things he did in his last area and we will leave it at that. So Thursday night the president called us and we had to go to the office. Friday I spent with one of the assistants working in his area (I already have worked as an assisstant!) and then on Saturday and yesterday I was with Elder Toledo working in my area. After the conference with Elder Holland, President will tell me where I am staying or going and with whom.
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].

Um Beixão

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dear Ben and Jessica and Caleb and Emily,
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!!!!

Elder Willoughby

PS- Elder Holland is coming here next week!!!!

Email from April 5

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.

Boa Sorte,
Elder Willoughby

Email from March 29 (sorry its way late!)

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!

Elder Willoughby