Sunday, August 31, 2008

1st week in the field

August 28, 2008

Well 1 week down a lot more to go...
So much happens in a week that I don’t know what to say.

First, yesterday i didn't have p-day because it was our zone conference with the mp and that happens every 4-6 weeks and when that happens we take the 3hr bus trip to Maceio and spend all day there and then 3hrs back home and then have our p day the next day which is today.

About the games, we can play games on pday and is something our district does every p day. and i wanted to give emily a list of cds to burn for me if thats ok...

I also got the package with the sd card reader on it so i will post some pics here and thankyou soooo much for the goodies, the gummie bears didnt last long and was nice to read all the letters on that 3hr bus trip, I only get my mail every 6 weeks when I go to zone conference unless I get transfered to maceio but i dont think that will happen for a while.

So about this week, We have talked to so many people, knocked or clapped on many doors, invited all to church, etc...we got 6 people to go to church out of the like 50 that said they would go, and out of those 6 one boy that is 16 asked us when he can be baptized so we were excited for that (doesnt happen everyday) so we will baptize him next saturday and two of his other friends want to go to church this sunday and i have a good feeling about them as well. It takes 3 weeks to baptize someone because they have to go to church at least 3 times. another that came is a girl I think 17 or 18 and she said she would prepare for baptism after we taught her the first lesson but I’m not too sure if she will truly commit, then we have the mother and her i think 3 kids come one 8 the other two infants but when we taught her she said she would be baptised or prepare for it and we felt really good about her but then we found out she is not married to her husband and that he is currently in sao paulo and wont return for a few weeks...yeah she might take a while to baptize but I’ve heard weddings here are fun and make you broke but well see were that one goes over time. So thats our success for the week thus far. So much more has happened but i cant think of how to explain it.

Believe it or not but I’m still gaining weight, I just dont get it, i exercise every morning and for being in the poorest state in brazil and in one of the poorest cities of my mission and all the walking...but I must say that the food here is awsome! We eat lunch with members every day and sundays we have both lunch and dinner, alot of part member families and awsome people. They make amazing meals all the same tho, consist of rice beans spagetti carne and for drinks its cola or gaurana or succo. oh yeah and somthing i like they serve us is coffee... before you freek out its called ceveda and i dont know why but its a drink members are allowed to drink and tastes just like coffee but i dont think it has any caffeen in it and is i guess healthy i dont know but that i get to drink it and it is not that bad.

So for breakfast me and my comp usually have just had cookies but depending if we have the stuff we make ham and cheese and the bread here in brazil is just awsome. Lunch is always good and by the way i think i gained 2 kilos in this first week! Dinner well we skip alot and just work instead and somtimes use that time in the afternoon to take a siesta when most people are napping but not always somtime we will have appointments.

Jared got his call, hes going to melbourn austrailia!

The language justs gets better even though i still cant speak it well i understand more than i can speak...but all the missionaries just told me it takes that first 2 months to be able to understand it all and then another 2 to be able to speak it. The people here speak the language all mumbled and as fast as they can and dont pronounce all their words correctly, its tuff to fully understand them and they always want to hear the american speak, i hate it sometimes.

Speaking of people we are teaching alot of what we call snakes in the mission and they always want to know if I have a girfriend and I just tell them I do so that they dont get any ideas. So, Heidi and Emily I need a girfriend for the next 22 months, so if you can help me out by setting me up with one of your friends or finding me someone, she needs to be able to keep commitments(22months), preferably lds, cute, sense of humor, I need a picture to and thanks for the help!
I know I said I wouldnt have a girfriend untill after the mission but its necessary for in brazil.

More about the city, people still use horses as a form of transportation, we somtimes use the motorcycle taxis which is alot of fun, alot of dirty places but like i said alot of good people and all are polite. I think its still winter here and it somtimes just feels like summer but ill have to wait and see what summer has in store for me.

I heard the D-backs are doing good and that brandon web set another record if you wanna keep me posted on that. I think its the last month of the season and then playoffs!

So, Im really enjoying the food well except the dessert, if anyone ever comes to brazil you will know what i mean, the desserts here are garbage and so decieving but they have good candy! Ill keep you posted on our baptisms and will take pictures when they happen, its been slow here because were all new to the area and have just barley touched the surface and like i said the rule is the people have to have gone to church 3 times to be ready for it. Well ask me any questions and Ill be happy to answer, thanks for the photos, the girls are all cute and looked like a fun sleep over.

Love Elder Roberts

Pictures of 1st Area & Companion

This is my washing machine & scrub sinkMy bed is the blue one

My companion Elder Guerra

Thursday, August 21, 2008

President and Sister Beynon

President and Sister Beynon

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Av. Dom Antônio Brandão, 333, Sl: 402, Bairro Farol, Maceió - AL 57021-190

Maceió, August 21, 2008

Dear Loved Ones of Elder Roberts,

Greetings from the Brazil Maceió Mission. Your son recently arrived in the mission and we wanted to send you a picture taken on his first day. Thank you for the gift of your son for this two year period. The first weeks in the mission field are challenging, but he is excited to face them. We are so grateful for your role in his preparation. We are confident that he will perform a great and marvelous work among this openhearted people in the states of Alagoas and Sergipe, which make up our mission.

We kindly request that you write to your son regularly. He should soon be sending to you his apartment or house address. All missionaries should write to their parents once per week. This is a mission rule. Each missionary will be allowed to call home two times per year on Christmas and Mother’s Day.

Rua Dom Antonio Brandão, 333 sala 402
Ed. Work Center – Farol
Maceió, AL


Thank you for supporting your son in this sacred work. Many children of Heavenly Father will become members of the Church of Jesus Christ through his hard work and sacrifice. We know that both he and you will be blessed for this service. We will do our utmost to help your son achieve his dreams and to further the building of the kingdom of God in this part of His vineyard.

President Gary Beynon

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First week in the Field

August 20, 2008
K well i made it to maceio at around 2pm along with 5 other elders 4 americans 2 brazis. The mission pres and wife and other elders were there to pick us up and we all went to the mission home. We ate an awesome home made meal that made me realize that the ctm food was não bom and then was got to meet each other while we each met with the president. You probley got our picture by now and not sure if he told you where i am right now. After all that was done he told us our new companions and the first four all had their new comps there at the home waiting for them and then he looked at me and my comp (his comp from the CTM) and kinda laughed and said onibus which meant long trip to your new comp.So my old comp got the exciting 2 day bus trip and i got the one night bus trip. He went to estencia in the state of sergipe and I was sent to arapirca!So I was in maceio for no longer than 5 hours and now am currently in arapiraca. So far, since the plane landed it rains every 10 minutes and this city im in is mostly dirt roads except where the shops are. I met my comp elder guerra after waiting at the bus stop for a bit and two other elders were with him. It was his first day there too and so were both new to the area and really havent unpacked anything at all, in fact ive only been in our home for no longer than 20 min...last night we dropped my stuff off ate the dinner they gave me and then asked if i wanted to sleep or play war(risk board game). i was kinda tired but i havent played games forever so i was all for it. so we got a taxi to the other two elders home and we played war until about 1am and then went to bed. we did the same thing this morning for our pday and just messed around at their home. Oh yeah the other two are brazilian as well and my distric consists of 9 people 3 americans, i havent met any of them except for these two. The church is a street down from my home and can see it from our stairs. I havent taken any pictures yet but will have some for you next week hopefully. i have alot on my mind and things i have to do so might be a while before i figure out how to send a package to you with a cd of all my pics and videos. ohh and if you havent sent me the package yet could you add 2 decks of uno cards please...the brazis love that game and is practically a rule to play it every night. So tonight at 6 will be my first real work except the fact that me and my comp are both new to the area and have no appointments and know nobody and so i think we are just going to figure out our area before we do much, but I’ll let you know how the first week goes. my pdays are the same every wednesday. Yea craig i will be doing my own laundry, i think i saw what was a automatic washer not sure but they also have buckets for that too and we hang dry our closes, we have a small stove, refrigerator, the home is pretty small. Only one light was working i think the others just need new bulbs. K so thats whats going down so far; morning I’m in the ctm and that same night I’m in a foreign land but the air is clean and is so much nicer than in a big polluted city like sao paulo. I love it here and am doing my best to learn from the other elders. To answer the other questions im not sure about how long elder guerra has been out but long enough to train someone. He is i think the same size as me. Most brazilians are small tho, he understands quite a bit of English, but never uses it unless i have trouble saying something. The weather is beautiful, it is a lot more humid but has been nice so far and cant wait till the summer hits. Im sure after a few months I’ll have the language down. So i just need to take my mission pres advice and just survive. He is an awesome guy and i love his wife, all she wants to do is take care of us and feels like another mother for me. So here i am 3 hours from maceio and will tell you when my next baptism is! Hah at the mission home they had me demonstrate a street contact but one where i invite to church and baptism in the first contact which is not what they teach in the ctm, but the people here are really acceptive to it i guess and missionaries have been having great success so I’ll see how it goes.Well i love you all and tell granny hi and i wish here well Elder Roberts

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Last Week in the CTM

August 13, 2008

Well I leave next tuesday morning, not sure what time but we fly out there on i think a 4 hour flight and when we get there we go to either the mission home or some kind of meeting where we have an orentation kind of thing and we get new comps and meet the president. Im not sure on too many details but i know we have meetings on sunday and monday were they will probley tell us what we are doing. Im not sure when my p-day will be but is fun knowing the next time i write you i will be in maceio. Jared wrote me and told me still no call, his papers have been in for 6 weeks now and says it can take months because people in this wicked world have no respect for the beautiful nation of New Zealand and think of it as the scum of the earth...that is blasphemy! But i hope he gets it and is called to brazil...Thats cool, tell david phelps congrats and what about the other guys in the aspen ward, ryan powel? any others?

Last friday we went proseylting at the metro station again and it rained the whole day but made it fun and exciting and got to test out my umbrella and worked out great. I dont want to brag but that day was the best my comp and i have done out of the three times we´ve gone and placed the 6 boms we had on us and could have given more if we had them on us. Almost all the people we talked to listened to us, understood us and seemed interested and we even once again had a guy come to us asking about the church and the bom and told us he wanted one and that he had meet some missionaries before but didnt have the book, we just meet many people that day(while in the rain)and felt really good about them all. I dont think there was a minute wasted that day not talking to someone, it was awsome.I can say that i can see improvement in the language every week and hear that it improves faster in the field. I think Im ready as I can be, Ive done my best and know its going to be 100times harder out there but the language will come in the Lords time and ill have my new comp there to fix my mistakes. To give you an idea of where im at with the language, the president said that on a scale of 20-100 every elder would get at least 20 through the ctm and some would get 90 and some 50 and some 30. I would say i got probley 35 wich isnt terrible but not even close to the best. There are some in my district that i would say are at 80 because of the spanish classes they took but again I feel Ive done my best and that the Lord will make up the rest.

Thanks for the pictures, I just love to see the kids and the family and I find myself missing the olympics, we tell our instructor to inform us on all the events and medals etc..and cant believe the u.s. is losing to china, but they´ll beat them at track. Umm i dont know if you read the part about needing a card reader so that I can continue sending pictures in the field but that would be nice to have.

Its been awsome going to the temple weekly and will miss it for the next 20 months but ive decided if you and robert cant come to brazil because ive heard that because of visa restrictions etc that parents cant come pick their sons up but if thats the case then i say we go to utah and go through all the temples, that would be a fun trip to do either way.This week is going by fast and the real work is about to start, so I think the next time i write you I will have gone through a week in maceio so it should be interesting. Mom I love you guys and know this gospel is true with all my heart and cant wait to share it with the people the Lord has asked me to and know its going to be some of the best experiences of my life. I love you all and will talk to you again, this time in maceio!

Less than 2 weeks in the CTM

Brian standing in front of the Campinas Temple

Tyler Orme, Tate's friend from Hawaii, with Brian at the CTM

The Brazi's left the CTM and this is the rest of Brian's floor without them. Brian looks like he is having a lot of fun. If you can't find him, look for the blue shirt.

August 6, 2008

Well it’s almost that time and I’m not sure what to expect but I’m sure Ill let you know how it goes when the time comes. Today just my district went to the Campinas Temple and I was able to get the instructor to take a picture of me on my mem card on her camera. Yesterday we got rid of half the brazi´s on our floor and the other pic is of half the people on my side of our floor and the last pic is of me and Tyler Orme. I’ll send it to Tate as well. Umm I’m going to give Jared my address so that we can both keep in contact during our missions just like I will with the other missionaries in my district. Yes my cd player broke, I don’t know how or why but it just doesn’t work at all, and if you send me one please add a card reader so that i can send pics throughout my mission and maybe another mem card por favor.I just love Tate’s picture with the kids, its the complete opposite of mine :)I would write really long letters but I’m a boring person and there isn’t much to do in the ctm, though your right about missionaries doing stupid stuff and we do do a lot of stuff but Ill save that for another year or two. I took pictures and videos of all the dumb things we did. I´ll share one story tho...we spent the whole day one day convincing one of the elders in my district that another elder in my district was really mad and depressed because his package didn’t get here yet and that he was contemplating going home...this elder believes a lot of stuff and is very gulable so it worked out perfect...its a really long story because we spent all day doing this but in the end we made it look like that elder tried climbing out the window and fell all the way down to the bottom floor and elder Howard just freaked out, it was funny but hard to explain all the details... we just do dumb stuff like that.I didn’t get any mission ties so just everyone forget doing it and stick with dear elder because I am getting those and should be able to get those out in my mission right?Umm we have saturday night devo with just americans and thats all in english, then sunday night devo with everyone and that in both languages, and tuesday night devo with everyone in both languages. At all devos we either get a stake president or mission president or someone that is serving the ctm to speak to us and have all been good thus favorite ones are on sunday because we all get to sing the brazil anthem which Im trying to learn, its not an easy song.I stick with my district till the day we depart, there has been new american and brazilian missionaries reporting and leaving every week thus far and always alot more brazilians than americans and we also get afican groupes too.Umm no tortias but my instructor said they do import them but not as much and their really expensive and cheese is expensive too.I think we go to the muesum friday and that will be my last time proseylting till I leave. Elder santos or Obama wrote a letter to us the other day, he is in Juan Pesoa and said he baptized someone his first sunday there and said his district has a rule that everyone baptizes every week. I really looking forward to going out there and having to speak nothing but português. Today the temple session was all in português and was really hard but fun at the same time.Well sorry I cant think of much to write, Im sure Ill have more exciting stuff like when I baptize someone but I love you all and appreciate all the support and love you give me.Elder Roberts