Thursday, June 24, 2010

{June 21, 2010}

Dear Mom and Family,
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!!!

Elder Willoughby

{June 17, 2010}

Dear Family,
Everything alright on the other side of the world? I´ve been hoping so. Everything here is really good. Oooo, I dont know why I just thought of this but we got the conference Liahona, and ooo it is so good. I really enjoy studying but lots of times I overuse personal study and dont want to do companion study but I´ll work on it. Alright so what funny stories and spiritual experiences can I tell you guys about.
One funny thing is that we are teaching this guy named Tico and he is definitely in a gang. He has a bullet in his calf and he let me touch it. His real name is Francisco Otaliano but his nickname is Tico. So the bullet thing is cool and I cant remember if I already told you this but he had fears about coming to church just because it was on the ``other side of town´´ and he has had some problems there before, but we assured him that if he walked with us he would have no problems with anyone. Also we had been teaching him in this house, and the last time we were there, he took us to his real house which is behind the house we were teaching in, through jungle type terrain where giant pigs/boars are raised, and through a bunch of muck. I am kindof afraid to take my camera and take a picture but I really want to. Mmmmm, what else? The streets of Brazil are being decorated to the max. Here in Fortaleza they are having a contest and which ever street is most decorated gets a TV to watch the world cup on, which is totally not worth all the effort, but whatever. People are painting the streets and most of the streets now have yellow and green plastic string things that are hung above the streets from one house to the other. Its slightly ridiculous because people in the US dont do anything I´m pretty sure.
One cool thing was that one day we were walking down the street and this one guy called us over and talked to us and he made a lot of mistakes in the past but he wants to be baptized to wash those mistakes away. How cool is that. He came to church this last week and so he can be baptized next week if he comes to church and he really wants to be baptized next week.
Mikael and Mikaele came to church. They are brother and sister 11 and 13 respectively. They liked it. I really like them because they are really cool. Mikael, the brother, told me that if I wanted I could ask him to pick people up for church next week, because this past week we picked them up for church. They are super cool. Ooooo also Marcos came to church again. He is the brother of an inactive family. The whole rest of the family was baptized but him and he never came to church before, but we taught him, he came, and he came again, alone this time which shows a lot of strength. He wants to be baptized really bad but he has to get married or separate and his situation is really complicated. He said that when he went to church he forgot all of his troubles and stuff and we told him that he can keep that feeling if he gets baptized and receives the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Another cool thing was that we taught one kid like half a lesson and in the middle he had to go but he said he would come to church if we sent someone to pick him up. So we talked with one of the ward missionaries and he went to pick him up, and they ended up already knowing one another and friends since childhood which is a really great blessing for us. Alan is the name of the ward missionary and Robson is the name of the investigator. So Robson came to church and really liked it so that is really good.
Well tomorrow should be interesting. We will have district meeting, lunch, work for maybe an hour and a half, go back to our house during the soccer game, and stay in our house until 5:30 and then try to work.
Well I know that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and he died for us and we can be forgiven through His Atonement and I know that God called Joseph Smith to restore the Gospel and I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I appreciate all of your prayers. Happy Birthday again to Ben and God bless Max and all of you.
Um abraço e beijão,
Elder Willoughby

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

{June 7, 2010}

How are you guys doing? I hope you are all super well and aren´t worrying about me at all. I am doing really good and I thank you guys for all the prayers. Happy Birthday to Ben, he is an old man!
Well things here are going well. Hey I think I lost more than 10 kilos which is awesome for me. But unfortunately I think I am losing arm and gaining stomach. That was when I weighed with all my missionary clothes on in the mission office and I think it is like 175 lbs, so I am probably like 170 lbs without shoes and clothes. And when I say I lost 10 kilos, that is, in the MTC I gained 5 kilos, lost those, and then 5 more. So really I probably only will look 5 kilos skinnier.
Well this week was....interesting. By interesting I mean that it was difficult but at the end was super awesome. It was difficult because the majority of our appointments fell through and we just had to work with contacts on the street, so that was difficult, and it seemed like everything was going against us. And then we had a Zone Conference on Thursday and it was really good. Some things I learned was about the desire to help souls come unto Christ. Also we talked about the Book of Mormon and a whole bunch of other things. It was at the chapel in Aldeota, which is near the mission office.
So after that I realized that I had this desire that other people might feel the same feelings I had felt about Jesus Christ and want to repent and be baptized. This was hard though because every time someone rejected us I was like torn. But then yesterday we had a really good day. We had 3 investigators at church with us and also 3 inactive members that we have been working with and it was like so satisfying to my heart. The only thing this week lacked was a baptism. This is like my 5th or 6th week without a baptism but I know that as we work hard and effectively we will find those that want to repent and be baptized.
Elder Porto is easy to get a long with, so that is super good. Oh and at the Zone Conference we found out that we can NOT watch the World Cup. THe last world cup the missionaried were allowed to watch so the Brazilians were really hoping. On the days with a game with Brazil we will leave the house at 9;00 and then return home during the games to do our study. We usually leave at 1030 or 11.
Oh yeah do you guys still want to come and pick me up? There have been a few parents here while I have been here to pick up there missionaries. I knew you guys wanted to but you havent said anything for a while.
Um abraço e beijão,
Elder Willoughby