Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Got to Baptize Mariajose Dos Santos Lima

Yeah, that time sounds fine (2:00pm our time). Next week I'll email the number for you to call at that time on Sunday. I'll have my mom call me after I'm done with you guys, and my buddy Henry gets the first few minutes to talk to me if that's ok.

So I got to baptize Mariajosé dos santos Lima last Saturday and will see if I can get pictures sent this week. We got a few people we are working with and will see how all that goes. I can't think of much that happened, but that we work like normal and we're making some progress with the people here. I won't lie though, my area is tough and hard to teach and get people to church here. Yesterday we worked all afternoon and found one guy to teach and get to church, but he seemed like a really great guy and excited to go to church so we will see how it goes.

Today for p-day we played games and me and two other Americans went to McDonalds because our companions don't like food without beans n rice. So it's been a good day and week and enjoying it here.

K well love you all, Brian

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

From the Streets of Jatiuca

A view from my bishop's balcony
Another view from the balcony
Another view
Through a chain link fence

One more view

A great view of the ocean from Brian's area.

MacDonald's...A favorite place to eat Right across from the beach!

Looks the same as home, and it's still called a Big Mac in Portugese

The Hansen's made them lunch while watching conference with them
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches...Yum!

Elder Hansen, with Brian and Elder Lundgreen

A boy on the street

Brian with his companion Elder Dos Santos in their apartment

A street in their area

The Work Will Go On!

I asked him to explain the pictures he just sent this week. I will post those along with this letter. His letter begins with those explanations.

So the pictures of all the buildings and beach etc, was of my working area. The church is in some of the pictures if you look closely and is close to the beach. I took a lot of the pictures from my bishop’s balcony on the 9th floor and has an awesome view. The ones with food are just lunches I’ve had. I like to take pictures of everything I eat before I eat it. Umm I think the one with pbnj (peanut butter & jelly) is what the Hansen’s made us when we went to watch conference with them, which btw (by the way) the older guy is elder Hansen and so that was conference on Sunday, the kid was just some random kid I took his picture, and the one with me and the lady is Amiere the woman we baptized here, so I think that covers the pictures for now.

Arline doesn’t speak English, but I think I'll call home with her phone at her home.

So this last week went good, we had transfers and nothing changed for me. We had three people to stake conference which was awesome because they all went on their own which is a good sign and we will be baptizing Maria José this Saturday, and I want to do it at the beach because our tiles in the fount are stained, but I think we will end up doing it at the church. We taught another guy that was a church Sunday last night and was funny when we walked into his apartment we noticed just two big piles of cigarettes huge piles and all unused so this will be a fun guy to help but we taught him and marked a baptism date for him and he accepted it so we need to go back and see how is reading was etc and teach the word of wisdom to him, he does work like crazy and is actually from Sao Paulo but we will see him again Saturday and also will call him tonight because now we got new cell phones and can call our investigators. The other lady has known the church for a while and she has a busy schedule also, but I marked to visit her on Saturday too so hope that goes well. I’m also working with the ward with inactive members and helping them out there.

Ok well the work here will go on, things are all good and thanks for all the prayers n support. Brian

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sexta Santa or Easter in Brazil

Yeah it was a good Easter Sunday turnout and seems like the ward is getting better attendance every week I go. It was Sexta Santa were everyone took work off and everything shuts down and have parties and they only eat fish for the week, so you can guess what I’ve been eating for the past few days. The stores here sell chocolate eggs etc...people here like to do that and give candy for Easter.

It hadn’t rained for 4 weeks here in this area until the past 3 or 4 days it’s been raining a lot and has been good to get the rain. I love it when it rains, but does mean less work. The weather here I think is the same all year long, it just has its season of rain and no rain.

I’m emailing today because we have conference tomorrow so today is p-day and next week will switch to normal.

So at church we had another German family come to church and they were just vacationing here and was fun to talk to more Germans.

Today I went to McDonalds and to the beach and took a lot of photos of the area for you to see, I got up into the bishops balcony and took some good fotos of my area. I tried to see if Amerie was home to take pictures with her so you could see her but had to mark it for another day and time. I didn’t have my camera the night of the baptism because we didn’t have time to go home and get it. We found another lady that wants to be baptized, she’s a mother of a lady in our ward but don’t think that will be till next transfer.

So it was a good week and cant believe the transfer is just about over, so we will find out if I stay next week or leave. Any whoo love you all and will try and send some fotos again.

Love Brian, thanks for the pictures.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Great Visit With My New German Friend

So it was another good week, especially to be able to watch conference. We watched the first in Portuguese and then me and Elder Lundgren got a taxi to watch the rest at another church in English. So I saw the rest in English, but also missed the priesthood session because of the times they showed it. But yes conference was awesome and I noted the one when Elder Nelson talked and thought of you because he talked about prayer and he said something about keeping your public prayers simple and don’t need to be long. Just brought back some memories of your long 20 minute prayers. (Yea, but my prayers aren’t public and I have never said 20 minute prayers. Our kids just exaggerateJ) But yes I miss the temple and am excited to come home to the building of more near our home which by the way how is that coming along? Did they announce ground breaking for the temples?

Yeah I like getting pictures and I just load them on my pen drive and then print out the ones I want to. I don’t believe you sent the pictures of the baptism yet but I just think that would be cool to show and explain how a baptism is with pictures especially with a picture of me that makes it personal. It helps because a lot of people I baptize no matter if we explain what baptism is they still don’t know what to expect the night of their baptism.

So yesterday we went to our lunch appointment and after we ate a lady that lived below in another apartment walked in before I gave the message and it turns out she’s a member and hasn’t been to church since before President Benson. She bore testimony in how she knows the church is true and all, but said she isn’t ready to go back yet I just tried to get to know her and be her friend and so was fun to talk with her. I found that she married a German and that she lived in Germany for a long time and also in Romania and she speaks fluent German and Romanian and so I spoke German to her and we talked for at least 2 hours talking in German n Portuguese and made me really remember my German and I actually miss it. So I tried to mark a day to go to her home and just make a thing called mousse with her and talk more, but she said no to that so I made a deal with her that if I stay here another 6 weeks this next transfer that she has to teach me how to make this certain type of mousse that I haven’t figured out how to make yet and will hopefully get her to church. I just really love this lady and was a lot of fun talking with her about her experiences in Europe and would really help the ward out because she could really bring a lot of other inactive friends n family she knows back to church with her. So I actually hope I get to stay and help her, but we will see. I told if I do leave this next transfer that I’ll visit her again and she said that’s fine.

Well that was a long story, but was probably highlight of my week getting to talk in German, a language I will learn along with Spanish when I get back.

So today for p-day we went to another area closer to my last area to a multi-zone activity where we played soccer n football n had bar-b-q that is why you are getting this email later than usual.

So I don’t think well get anymore baptisms pulled off this transfer when we aren’t getting people to church, but hopefully we can get some work done with these members n inactives.

Oh yeah your package got here and was really cool to have more candy and the tapes and other fun toys. Thanks so much for it and is weird that my b-day is coming up, but hey I’ll get to call home on that day, so that’s very exciting.

K well thanks for everything and until another week,
Love Brian

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Photos from Maceio

Brian to help cook food for the ward party

Looks like he did a good job cooking the meat. Yum!

Instead of water, they decided to fill their water bottle with pop.
Brian with the patriarch for their area

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Good Week!

It was a good week and got her baptized. Yeah this lady in my ward, her name is Ariline and has been a member for a long time and is the lady I go to, to send pictures to you, always nice to have someone to do that for me.

The roach thing has sadly happened to a few times, I remember in Arapiraca when I was teaching a family I had two of them fly in on me and just was funny and freaky at the same time. It’s Brazil so you can see roach’s all over the place in the roads and especially near the drain holes or ditches w/e. The photo is my comp and the ones of us playing cards is at our ward activity we had last Saturday and turned out really well and had many inactive people show up and some nonmembers and helped give a good turnout on Sunday in church. War is a different game that a lot of people like to play as well but no at the activity we all played dominos and Uno and they had a huge water fight thing and then we played their version of dodge ball with them. It was a fun activity and went well I think.

I do my part to keep the house clean but Brazilians are just lazy and don’t like to clean but I leave a part for them to do and they never do it but I just let it be. It has been a lot more fun having 4 people and love having another American to even things out and can talk in English.

So yes we baptized Meire who is 45 or 48 and she was confirmed Sunday and Carline is doing good and has been reading and progressing so we will see if we can get her to conference this week but for the most part it will be hard to get people to the stake center to watch conference but we will do our best with that. I’m really excited to go watch it, me and Lundgren while at the church found a room where they have a cable and so we will get a TV and set up conference in English for us. Last conference I understood nothing and didn’t even get the Liahona in English so I had to read the talks in Portuguese as well. Me and my comp gave the lesson and message at the ward family night thing last night and we did practices with them on how to invite their friends and family to conference this week and was funny and made it fun for them the best we could.

So yeah this last Sunday went well, this time we filled the chapel! The chapel is very small as it is but it turned out a lot better than the first week and got many inactives to go and some nonmembers too. That Sunday the bishop asked me to give a 10min talk on anything but he asked me right before the meeting started so I had 5 min to think of what to talk about but it went well and I think they learned from me so I feel like the language is going great. The president told me in my interview that I was ready to be senior comp and wants me to be expecting it next transfer so we’ll see if that happens and could mean me being transferred again but don’t know yet.

So this last week no of us had water so I boiled water the first time on the mission and was fun. Then we get our monthly money yesterday and that’s when we decided instead of getting water to get coke. It was funny and has already been drunk.

Ok well cant think of much more but things are going good and love you all and until next week.