Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Almost Died!

September 24, 2008

oí mina familia,This week is my companions birthday so we made the trip to penedo which is his last and only area before me and we are just visiting all the people and elders here and now I’m emailing. Lets see my week....last night we played soccer with the members at the stake center and was alot of fun (they have soccer instead of basketball here at the church’s), saturday I baptised Helena and my companion baptized Jeorge and was just so awesome to see their excitement, and for their age it is pretty incredible (she is 88 and he is 86). I wanted to send a picture but cant at this place so next week I will. Before the baptisms we were getting a key from our bishop at the stake center and while we where standing outside his car a random bullet nearly hit us and was so weird and cant believe how close that was to hitting me. I think that is the closest I have come to death. I’ll send a picture of the bullet next week also. We ate at a Laberdoria for my comps b-day and was really good, I think they have one in Arizona I’m not sure never been but if they have one there that will be cool. Oh I love being out here in brazil and am growing accustomed to their ways of life and now call this place my home. Eu te ama e eu sei esste trabahlo e verdederia, meu português esta melhor e eu sou apprendando mas semente um mes aqui então eu teno mutio tempo apprender português. Well I guess I’m doing decent with the language according to others but I still feel like i know nothing and find it difficult to understand a lot of people and my messages and contacts really stink and think their just being kind to me. hehe k well I’m done blabbing about nonsense.

Oh yeah dogs, we had i think two weeks ago at night just a huge gang of them pass by us and then they turned around and came towards us and my comp just raised his Book of Mormon and they took off, but that was the first time that’s happened to my comp so it isn’t common that they do that. We have been doing really good this week and have already found like 4 really good families to teach and excited for that. Well it’s the last week of my first transfer and think I’ll still be here for another 1-2.

So yeah no package yet and will have a chance to see if it is there when i go to maceio in i think 2 weeks so hopfully it will be there then because if it isnt then that mean another 4-5 weeks before i get mail again.

Man like I said above with helping the people...I’m starting to see what it feels like to be a bishop. The people like to come to the missionaries to resolve their problems and it is just a weird feeling...idk hard to explain. But they are all good people and just hard to understand how they have problems, but don’t we all...anyways the mission is great and when i think about it I would rather be here than going to school and working etc...heheCool Tate´s in Honduras. Awesome for him. i want to hear how it is there and not fair that he got to call home, but yeah 3 months e nada.

I love being out here in brazil and am growing accustomed to their ways of life and now call this place my home. Eu te ama e eu sei esste trabahlo e verdederia, meu português esta melhor e eu sou apprendando mas semente um mes aqui então eu teno mutio tempo apprender português. Well I guess im doing decent with the langauge according to others but I still feel like i know nothing and find it difficult to understand alot of people and my messages and contacts really stink and think their just being kind to me. hehe k well I’m done blabbing about nonsense. So I love you and good luck this week. Sorry about Gavin that’s gotta be really hard and I have been praying for them every night, but is true that he is in the best place he can be in. I will continue to pray for his parents.

Well love you guys and will send pics next week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stake Activity

September 17, 2008

I feel so bad because I didn’t send Brian’s letter until this morning. However, of all days our internet went out so I couldn’t send it until 10:00am. I was hoping that I could send it before he sent his. Of course, wouldn’t you know it, he sent his earlier than he ever has, around 8:30am. At least he will know next week that I really did write. Oh well. So here’s Brian’s email:

Well how are things going at home? Hope all is well, things are going good here. Its always hard to remember all that happens in a week but thats how it goes. We got no one to church this week and can see how satan is really working hard to get our investigators not to come, i mean we spend all week with these people and they all tell us they are going to go and we visit them the night before and go to pick them up in the morning and then thats when all the excuses come and then their just plain lazy and sooo much contention between the people....when we returned to these investigators we were working with to get them and go to church we found them fighting and arguing with each other about i dont know what but was insane and we just left them there...these people are just crazy and need the gospel in their lives. So all of the people we visited sunday morning to go to church didnt go, but we did have George e Helena this elderly couple we have been working with go. They went with a member in our ward and we are going to baptize them this saturday and just really cool to see them excited for it and especially for their age. Its really funny to see that they still have a great sense of humor, they are in their mid 80´s and and is the guy that bore testimony last week if you remember. We met some other people that seem like they will prepare but not sure yet untill we work with them today so i will tell how that goes next week. Yesterday we had an all day stake activity where they rented out this place that has a big soccer field and swimming pool and patio with music and they had a huge barbeque with tons of food and soda etc...was alot of fun and my first time playing soccer with they are crazy and take the game too serious but was fun and i scored the first goal of the day and didnt realize the activity was really going to be all day, it went from 8am to 7pm, when they play soccer they really play and they play forever...and all the guys play, the bishops and everyone, idk how to explain the way they play but it was fun overall and now i am tired from all the playing we did. So yesterday was our p-day and today we are just emailing and getting back to work after lunch. Tomorrow the mission president and his wife are coming to our stake for a zone meeting and i feel like i wont be seeing a package yet but did you send it? Depending on how long it takes i might not get it for another month when we have another zone conference but w/e. because of yesterday´s activity i wasnt able to put my pics on a cd yet but im going to try my best to get that done and send a package home and another to my i hate our budget because i dont think they put bus fees and taxi fees into our budget and those things really rack up the sum of our money, we do get reimbursed for things that have a recite (receipt) for cleaning supplies and bus tickets but we have to send that to macieo through the mail and then takes his secretaries forever to reimburse us and by that time we are already broke, which is why i have been using my own money because when i first got here my comp was broke and we needed stuff badly for our home which was a big mess and then tickets to get to conference and district meeting, food etc...and then my comps b-day is coming up so i bought a jersey to give him and a jersey for me, and then there is candy that i really like that i bought so i mean i have been using some of my own money for this kind of stuff. so we have about 160Reais worth of recites that we are sending in sometime this week and more because we constantly use the taxis almost everyday. So its fun not having money and am still trying to figure out how to make my budget work so im learning and in the meantime have spent some of my own money on extra things...well i love you all and hope to hear from you next week and pray things go good. Brian

It sounds like Brian is going to learn how to Budget, huh? They learn so many great things on their mission, that they wouldn't learn otherwise. They really can live within their budget if they have to. I am sure he will figure it out soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 10, 2008

My first baptism-Kayse

My companion, Elder Guerra, Kayse, Brian and some unknown littl guy. Brian didn't tell us who he is.

September 10, 2008

Well I like to get the questions out of the way first so...3 investigators came last week, the ward is decent size and has a lot of great people (we do get fed every day for lunch by them), Kayse is awesome. I baptised him last saturday night and was awsome to see his excitment to be baptized. Not to sure on the status of mislayne, but like i said she seems prepared and not sure if my comp taught her the word of wisdom last night because we were on splits but I’m sure if he did she was ready for it (i hope so because she does drink alot). We didn’t teach english last week but we are tonight i guess. Jared leaves in november and goes to the mtc in Hamilton, New Zealand. So more about the people, A lot walk, a lot drive their little cars, you see people using their horses, taxis, bikes, motortaxis, buses. I´ve used all except the horse...the weather is well sometimes bearable and most of the time just wet and humid and muggy feeling most of the time. You sweat a lot and just i dont know if they have seasons here, but not summer for a few months...nice when it rains but then after its worse so idk (I don’t know)...when i sleep at night it a lot of times feels wet and damp but I’ve gotten used to it and nothing i can do about it. Don’t carry water with me, just my backpack, if I’m that thirsty I’ll ask someone for water and hope it is good water. There are dogs everywhere, and cats, lizards, bugs, etc...we have only found one angry dog so far that wanted to chase us but was chained...there are some streets were its dark and we have to be carefull and only speak Portuguese because they will rob you they think you have money and stuff (first week here another two elders in my district had their house broken into and his camera was stolen and so we spent a morning helping them move to a different home and he has been robbed at night to where they take his watch and 5 reais (money), Yeah the streets are pretty dirty and more in other places but yeah you will see water draining from all the homes into the streets and people dont care to through away trash so you will see a lot in some areas, depending on the area most people here have concrete or tile floors and if it is a poor area they have dirt floors. A lot of the homes I’ve seen can be pretty bad in terms of mold and just stink and filthyness. well I think that was all the questions...Very long week...did a lot of stuff...we hade a big service project with the stake were we spent all day at a school painting, and cleaning, and doing just about everything to make it look like a school, was fun and i got a little burned on my neck but feels better now. Church we had i think 4 investigators attend and one of them is an elderly couple and the husband went up and bore his testimony and said a lot of good things about the church and yeah we have baptism dates for them and my comp told me last night that during our splits yesterday they scheduled another one, not sure who but i will find out tonight. Tuesday night we went on splits with our district leaders, so I spent that night and all day yesterday with my dl in his area and was alot of fun. Today we went and did service for a member cleaning up her yard and weren’t happy that our dls made that appointment on our p-day but we got it done, so yeah fun week. i think 3 more baptisms to come and hope to find more this week!Thats really cool about the new callings and sorry you guys are sick. Lucky me i haven’t been sick once yet and have had no problems. I was going to send pictures of the baptism but forgot my card reader so i will do that next week and not sure if I’ll get to sending the cds of all my pictures today but will try my best. The other guys want to go play football, I’ll see what my comp wants to do and I’m hungry right now so I’m going to go eat. The food is awsome, great bread, pastels, fruit, when we are poor we buy this thing called cuz cuz and is not that bad its like only 25cents and can feed two people. Umm cant think of much else but how is the ward doing? i think parker is due to leave and where is ryan powell going? How are the deacons? Its amazing how much of the langauge i have learned in the first three weeks and just never imagined myself here in brazil doing missionary work....Im having alot of fun and just love my district and the mission. Well I love you all and if you can let me know the status of the package, i miss listening to my mo tab because my comp has his mp3 thingy but not much music so we listen to the same stuff every day!!! Gets boring....anyways thanks for all the prayers and love

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Getting Ready for His First Baptism

September 3, 2008

So, its Olá in portugues but that is formal, most brazilians use tudo bem/bom, and here in this state at least all the people greet with just any wierd loud noise, it is so funny and took me a few days to get used to and be able to do it. It sounds kinda like this oooopa! or uuuoopa! And to they also use Beleza or tranquill (what up or chill)or hapaz ( used for just about anything and can mean anything but translation i think is of course or something like that). Well lots of differnt greetings and kinda just depends on the situation of the greeting. I use all of them all the time. (I asked if Hola, was what they say in Portuguese.)Sunday could have been better, we only had 3 come to church and still are going to do our baptism this week with kaysee, he is 14 years old an awesome kid and really prepared for it. Another person really prepared is mislayne, we werent too sure how we were going to teach her but like i said she is prepared and without bringing it up she said she wanted to be baptized but didnt think she could because she isnt married and she told us she was going to explain all of that to her boyfriend when he returns from Sao Paulo and if he doesn’t want to get married she will leave him and get baptised! we were so amazed at how well prepared she is and to make it better last night we visited her and as we were leaving she asked if she could pay tithing without us even teaching her anything about it so we smiled and explained a little about it and will teach her more tomorrow. So overall we had an awsome 1st week but this last week all of our numbers have been cut in half and has been a bit frustrating, the people have been hard towards us lately and so we are trying new things and we have felt the need to work with the members so tonight we are teaching english to members and investigators and every other week on Saturday nights we are showing the Joseph Smith film. My companion, Elder Guerra, Awesome guy, he has been out for 6 months now, im his third comp and he has had only americans so he has improved his english alot and is really good guy and is from sau paulo.We wake up at 6:30 and in bed by 10:30. The bus trip from Maceio to Arapiraca is 3 hours and not an overnight trip sorry for the confusion, the overnight bus trip is to a different area in the mission. Well lucky me we have a washer but helps to have water to wash my cloths in :)The first week here we had zero running water for three days, the owner said it just goes off sometimes and happend to another elder in our zone as well but it came back on and we were so happy to have it! But there are two different water sources and the one that is for the washer is almost never working so when it does work we use it. My shoes are fine but are impossible to keep clean so i just try to clean them before leaving the home but they always get muddy after an hour of being out there. I’m starting to know my area better and the city and can see my improvements as each week goes by.So about our pdays, there are three games a person will learn to play if you come to brazil, 1 Truco, 2 Uno, 3 War, we have played all three every pday thus far and is really fun. I get to eat this really big hamburger they call the X-Tudo wich has egg, ham/cheese,bacon,hamburger,hotdog,lettuce etc...and for a drink a fruit of my choice and they make it fresh and give you like a liters worth and all of this for i think like 3 american dollars. The best!Well Emily and Heidi, i forgot to give you that list of cds i wanted. In itunes i have some music to burn, it is to listen on my pday: Transformers soundtrack, bourne idenity st, lord of the rings st. (should be in itunes) Obligado and also if you could buy me some christmas music, i know my brother jason told me to take christmas music with me but i didnt know why? but i love listening to it (dont ask me why but i just love it)so any really cool musical christmas music you think i would like please get as well. Thank you soo much. Remember the music is for my pday and will not distract me from the work and is legal to listen to down here. Well still have time to write more so...yesterday for lunch we had to take a bus to another city because that is were the member lives and i guess the church is not established out there so yeah it was about a 3 hour lunch appointment and i think we spent more getting there and back home than was spent on the meal itself, but was fun and one thing we have started doing is taking all our photos and the people just love to see the kids and think they are just adorable. Don’t really want to send photos this week, the internet here is really slow and takes forever to upload a pic and to see a picture so i will have one next week and am almost done with my first chip so when i finish that one up i will put it on a cd and send it home. Another funny story is we meet this guy that said he would go to the church and that he thinks it cool but that he couldnt go because he has to work and we asked him who he works for and it turns out he works for our bishop selling pirated movies. Kinda sad when you think about it but in brazil no surprise i guess and they have really no rating system for movies so i mean you’ll see kids watching groosome movies. Alot happens in a week and cant explain alot of it but the work goes on and looking forward to another week of it.Well I love you all, please burn those cds for me, I will be sending pics next week, and Até mais from brazil or thau Eu amo vocês!