Thursday, August 26, 2010

So, I am in my new area, Jose’ Walter 1 and 3. Since being here I have gained 3-4 kilos. I need to start working out every morning!!! So everyday we wake up and just start our day and what-not. I have yet to really start a day for the last 4-5 weeks “normal”. Normally we have a personal study time, but for the last few weeks we either are teaching people in the morning, so we don’t really study, or we are on a bus for a division. Even this week will be thrown off a bit because we have Zone Conference on Thursday.

This past week was the 18th I think, which means I hit my 5 month mark!! Which is so, so weird!!! It’s going by so fast. I mean you fall asleep, and the next thing you know, your mission is over! Elder Deffense says the missionaries who want it to be over, it feels like an eternity, but the elders who want it to slow down, it feels like it is only a second.

About your little saying “that the harder you sweat, the prettier your wife will be”, there are a ton of little sayings like that around here. Like if your, umm... plaqueta... your name tag thingy, I don’t remember it in English. Any who, if that is kind of falling off then someone is thinking about you. Umm... if you drop your scriptures or they fall and hit the ground your wife gets fatter or gains weight, and then to lose that weight you have to work in the rain. And when you work in the rain your wife gets more beautiful or something. I don’t know we just have a bunch of them. haha

So we had this one kid all ready for baptism. We even had the interview all set-up, and our district leader walked all the way here through one or two areas just to get to about his house and for him to come out and tell us that his grandma said that he couldn’t get baptized. It was really discouraging. One problem we are finding is that a lot of people here have already talked with the missionaries, have gone to church, and some have even gotten baptized but are now some other religion. So it’s one of those things that we are trying to find the people that haven’t been ¨tainted¨ by the world. There are many churches here who do preach against us. A matter of fact, in this new area of mine is the first time in my life that I have been denied service at a haircut place because we are missionaries. Haha. It was rather funny actually. But whatever, it really isn’t a big deal. haha

The other day we had lunch at this house and after we eat we always ask if there is anything we can do to help them. And to my surprise they actually said, “yes”!!! (usually it’s no) Basically we ended up doing some demolition and replacing a part of a floor for these people. So we spent almost a whole day helping them. Before his mission, Elder Deffense did about everything there is to do, waiter, construction, firefighter, and probably a ton of other stuff, so he did most of the actual work and I did all the other work. haha.

So I have a weird story. So... our chapel or building is the Stake Center. We have cats living in our kitchen. Yep, that’s about it. A mother cat came into the building, chose the kitchen, and had a litter of kittens, of which I believe two are left. The members clean up after them and buy food for them and they are stinking up the building, but no one seems to care. Just to tell you, it’s a little weird. My companion and I took the kittens and put them outside when no one was there, and then we put the mama cat outside and closed the building so they couldn’t come back. But they have become so dependent on the members that we opened the window and let mama cat carry her two kittens back to the kitchen. It is so weird!!!!

So yesterday at church, our conversation somehow ended up by Elder Deffense saying something about me being almost ready to be a senior companion. I just started laughing at him because I am so far away from that. I have a ton to figure out before then... like the language. I am sometimes told that I am really good at the language. And then other times people just stare at me like I just spoke to them in English.

I really want to finish reading the Book of Mormon in Português before my 6 month mark, but I have had less time this transfer so I am way behind on my reading schedule. I’ll see if I can actually do it... It will be really hard but hey... it’s worth a try!!!

So how is family pray and scripture reading working out for ya all? Who else has mission calls coming up soon?

Thank you for sending another Patriarchal Blessing for me because I have read the copy I have so much that it is almost in pieces.

So I have a bunch of letters that I will write back to. Kendra, Jessica, Maren, Sydney, Ashley, Nicole, Gabrielle... and I think that is it. I probably won’t send them all at the same time. But know that I got them. And did you all send more pictures for me like of home and stuff and all that?

Hey just a reminder if you could look at the hammock and guitar thing.

I hope all is well!!! Love you and miss you all!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First thing, just to let you know that I got the package this week! I don’t think that anything was removed! I can´t remember, but with the help of my companion, we have pretty much eaten everything you sent! haha. I haven’t received cards for a while because of schedules and stuff.

My new companion, Elder Deffense has been on his mission for about a year now. This is my second time in three transfers to re-open an area. This time it’s harder because the missionaries before us tainted the Mission, the Church and the United States. For example, we were talking with this man and he asked if the “playing with fire” was a religious thing? And we said “no”, so he then said “oh, is it a cultural thing”? The other thing that is hard is we now have two areas to cover. We have two wards who both want all our attention. Both want to feed us lunch. It appears that the ward that seems to have been ignored by previous missionaries, basically interrupted sacrament meeting to talk about the lunch schedule. We are basically trying to fix who knows how many years of missionaries working here.

We have been trying to fix up our house. Fortunately, Elder Deffense is a lot smarter than I am, and he rebuilt our faucet. Apparently, when the missionary was on fire he ripped the faucet off the wall. So, Elder Deffense rebuilt the faucet and he also built a "table" out of a door, two windows, and a gate... I figured out how to secure it. I built a key hook by the front door!!!!!!! Amazing huh!!!!! Haha, my little key hook compared to his table and faucet is really funny!

Is there any way you can send me another copy of my Patriarchal Blessing? I have kind of trashed mine with how much I have read it. It is now developing holes where it folds and stuff. Plus, it’s fading. Please and thank you!!!

Oh, and have you looked at my facebook recently to see if any Brazilians have asked to be friends? Haha. I am just curious.

Well, I miss you all! And love you all so much! Have a great week!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Because I’m in the middle of a transfer, I may just keep this short.

I am in a new area with a new companion, Elder Deffense, from California! We are re-opening an area where the missionaries almost killed themselves. One of the first experiences we had when we arrived was talking with the members on our street. They all think that the missionaries are children and just play around. Sooo…. we have to rebuild the confidence in missionaries here. But as of right now my suitcases are still in Barroso with Elder Mondonça. Hopefully, I should be getting them tonight.

Today has been a rough day with transfers. I have been riding buses all day. I’ve had one of the craziest adventures of my life dealing with Elder Deffense’s suitcases!!!!

The house appears to be nice... but we’ll see. We’ve only had time to drop Elder Deffense’s suitcases off. But, I noticed that the materials the previous missionaries used for making their “fire rocket thingy” were all still there, and the sink is broken because they ripped the faucet off the wall for water. So who knows? But we are planning to really work this area, to work this area a ton. This area is good and missionaries can leave this area with a ton of baptisms

I have not had a real companionship study in a long time. However, my Portugusê is way, way better because Elder Mondonça spoke no English. So that was rather good for me. I have been speaking Portugusê enough, that at points today I had trouble speaking in English which made me really, really excited!!! Well, happy.

It’s really weird to think that I am slowly coming up on 5 months. I can’t believe that I have been here for this long!!!

Oh!!! I received a ton of letters this past week! Unfortunately I can’t remember who, but I will try. Jessica Boggs, Kendra Boggs, Maren Dunlop, one from you with a bunch of people... one or two from missionties. One was from Grandma and Grandpa. Sorry... it was like 10 letters.

I still haven’t gotten your package, but maybe my Zone leader picked it up today for tomorrow delivery. I did see him with a box, but I don´t know if it was mine.

Well, that is all I have for this week, hopefully we will have more for this upcoming week!!! I miss you all and love you all so much!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

This coming weekend is transfer weekend! Saturday we find out if we stay, if we go, if I stay and he goes, or he stays and I go. I love this area and would really like to stay, but if I leave then hey, off to another new area!!!
Burger King for my birthday was good!!!For my birthday, Elder Mondonça tried his best to plan a surprise birthday party, but it is kind of hard when we are always together. But they had a surprise party at the house of an investigator woman that we and countless other missionaries have been trying to convince to get married, but with no success. We went into Fortaleza again today because Elder Mondonça is getting ready to finish his mission. President Batt allows all the missionaries to pretty much go anywhere in the mission, within reason, when they are about a transfer away from going home. Basically it’s to visit people and buy things and stuff. This week was Elder Mondonca’s birthday, so we went to Burger King again and I bought all our food so it was our little party for him. I think he has been guarding his money because I think he is going home to some financial trouble that his family just got into, so I paid for our Burger King trip.

We had another baptism this past weekend. And we are hoping for two more this coming weekend!!! If it works out, it will put me way ahead of my goal!!! Our only problem is our two baptisms this weekend need to meet with President Batt, or someone else, so it may throw everything off. But what happens, happens.

I learned a lot from being with Elder Sleagle (sp)! I am almost at my 5 month mark, and I am worried that my Portugêse is not good enough. It seems that I am hit and miss with lessons. Some people understand and some people have no idea what I am saying.

So I have a funny story to tell you. Yesterday after church I wanted to look at some of the books in the library in the stake center (our chapel). So we got the key from the library person, I can’t remember her name. But we went and started looking through all the books and we opened a drawer and found a stock pile of the missionary pamphlets!!!!!!! Let me explain why this is so amazing! We have none... our mission has like a permanent shortage of materials. Sometimes we get only 4 pamphlets for a week, when we need like 25. So we just loaded up our backpacks and left. We went and asked if we could have them and she sighed and was like, "sim". The week before we needed another book and she said “no” because it belonged to the stake, but these did not so it was one of those, darn... they can take them. Because we also used the whole, “we need the pamphlets to save souls” and... how can you say no to that? So in total we took like 40-50 pamphlets about the Restoration, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Plan of Salvation. Now we have materials and no one else does!!! And if I leave, I am taking some of it with me!!!
Oh!!!! I forgot to tell you that my baptism pants got stolen the last day in my last area after a baptism!!! So I haven’t had baptism pants for about 6 weeks. Haha... oh well, only so much you can do... I just use the jumpers that are here.