Então, é assim. (So, it's like this) I didn’t have the opportunity to buy what I was going to to be able to implement it (refer to last week’s letter about helping investigators keep appointments) and so I didn't implement it. Hopefully I'll find a place to do that today. Basically we just have issues with setting appointments and then people not being there and so I was going to leave some piece of paper with them reminding them of the appointment and this could also be used to remind people of their commitments as people also have problems with this.As for conference...I think they did have a TV in one room that was showing English. But we didn’t know that.
Let me know what happens with Fabio, we tried to pass by his house again but he wasn't there. If it doesn't work, don't push it. Just see if he responds to the email. Was the email in English or did you use google translate or alguma coisa assim?
Letter to President Ferrin:
While we may yet to have a baptism in this area, our key indicators have been growing every week better and I feel a lot better about this past week than any week previous. I'm also well excited about the week and weeks to come. Elder Steele and I have been improving a lot together. He finds a lot of ways to help me and I even find some ways to help him sometimes and we're both always trying to be better. Right now we're working with a family that the mom and dad need to be married and then they can be baptized and there are some difficulties with this but I believe that we can help them come unto Christ through baptism. We're working with others as well which I think have good chances of being baptized with some more time. We're always looking for new people to teach and trying to work with members.
As for me and the language. I'm getting better every day and God is blessing me a lot. Of course I'm not fluent yet but I'm working on it.
Elder Steele is a very good companion. He and I haven't had any conflicts and we're both pretty easy going when it comes to decisions so it's a good mix for not arguing.
End Letter. So I don't have to write things twice :)
Opa thats crazy with you and dad and the hike. It’s good you guys are trying to be more active! I'm happy to hear BYU came out triumphant :D Isso é bom. This is good.
Good job with the missionary experience! Did you get her information and pass it on to the elders?
As for the references to age. I really don't think that what you guys experienced was terribly different from what anyone else would experience. I don't think you guys are getting old you're just not used to some things. I'm sure I would've been DONE too haha. Also, Irmão Belchior said "Don't label yourself" and then referred to Preach My Gospel which says that labeling yourself diminishes your effectiveness. I second what Irmão Belchior said and third what Preach My Gospel said. Don’t label yourself! You guys are amazing.
What’s something you learned this week?Jejum. Fasting. It’s 1000 times easier when you have a purpose that you really care about. Also, if you want to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord, you should fast and pray a lot and study the scriptures a lot too. It’s what Ammon and his brethren did.
How many Brazilians are there in your mission versus imports from America or other countries (like you)?Então, we have 10 sisters and 16 elders in our zone. All our sisters are Brazilian. I think that we have 6 elders who are American so 3/13 are American mais ou menos.
Do you have your lunch meal or your dinner meal with families in the ward?Lunch meal. I have eaten beans and rice with every meal with another Brazilian since arriving. It's way good though! And I'll probably eat lots of rice and beans when I get back because it’s nice a cheap too.
Eaten anything new or interesting lately? (Do I ask too many questions about food?)I had spaghetti squash dessert that was interesting haha but good. That and cana, the sugar cane. That was interesting too eat haha basically just biting the outer woody layer to get access to the inner layer and then biting that off and sucking on it to get the good juices and the spitting that out. At times it tasted like sugar, soap, corn, and salt. Usually though it was very good and the salt was rare and soap was not very obvious haha.
Does your mission ever teach English classes as a way to serve the community and interact more with the people there?Então, the missionaries in each area can do that if they want to. We've debated it and we might still do it but for now we're not worrying about it. Elder Steele said that he's done it a couple times before and usually the problem is that the members don’t bring nonmembers. We might do it though where if a member wants to come, they have to bring a nonmember haha
Do you ever feel unsafe?? Is the area you’re in a pretty safe one, or not??Our area is pretty safe. Initially, at night it felt a bit sketchy but it's all good now. And anyways God is watching over us and we have the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide us.
What is the weather like lately?It’s been a bit hotter in the last day or 2...but before that it's been pleasant. I expect it'll continue to get hotter. We were lucky with our colder days but I think they're a thing of the past.
Do you carry a water bottle with you?I do. I have at maximum almost 3 liters of water with me. I use my bag of water from my camelback! Very handy.
What scripture stood out to you in your study recently?Nossa, how hard to decide! Alma 26. The whole thing. Usually used for return missionaries but I love it. I'm using it as a goal and motivational speaking and lots of stuff. I love it especially when he says "As to my strength, I am weak, but I will boast of my God! For with him I can do all things!!" Or something like that. I love it. I am weak! God does all for me. I love it haha
What is your favorite thing about the mission since getting to Brazil??The people, the food, but especially serving the people and serving God and feeling God's blessings in my life.
I saw a man with one leg riding a bicycle. The will to survive is strong.
I learned 4:20 means marijuana in the drug world in at least this part of Brazil haha very useful I know. Random fact.
Oh! Mom! I want a planner when I get back from my mission! I heard tell of a planner that’s basically the same as a missionary planner just not for missionaries! I want it! I heard BYU-I sells them. Do you think you could research this for me?
When we have a vision of what we can become, our desire and our power to act increase enormously! I really liked this quote from something Elder Steele was reading.
Portugues: Quando nos temos uma visão de que conseguimos nos tornar, nosso desejo e nosso poder para agir aumentar enormemente!!
I think I'm gaining weight here in Brazil....The food is too good and I eat too much haha I think I'll lose it here in just a bit though with verão - summer coming.
If you want to be cool. When you just did something really hard and challenging. You should say that you just killed a lion or maybe even 2! That’s what the Brazilians say haha I learned that this week.
I also created my own quote this week based on my knowledge and experiences.
"If you're faithful and life sucks, be happy because you're about to have some good success." This is based on a couple things. 1 being Doctrine and Covenants when the Lord says, "if the very jaws of hell shall gape open after you, know thee my son, that it shall be for thy good" ou alguma coisa assim. Or something like that. And also a story of a missionary first day in the field. He crashed his bike and ruined his suit and returned back to the apartment to find that they'd been robbed and a lot of his stuff stolen and he called the mission president to tell him that he was going home and the mission president said that he can't wait to see the rest of his mission. The mission president knew what I know. That after the tribulation are we given success. And so I pray to God for tribulation. For mountains to climb and rivers to cross (https://www.lds.org/youth/music?lang=eng look for the song “Mountains to Climb”) because I know that if I endure faithfully I will be made better than I was.
We did a divisao this past week with the zone leaders so that Elder Rees could show Elder Steele an area that he thought was elect and ready to be harvested. And so I was with Elder Paul in his area and that was interesting. That’s when I found out that 4:20 meant marijuana and he also showed me the street that the drugs were sold on and told me about how the police is corrupt and so does nothing. He said that they don't bother the drug people and they don't bother them. It was good though! Learning from another elder and watching how he teaches and what not. And also the area that Elder Rees showed my companion is cool. We're teaching some people there now. One of my favorite parts about the area is the trail we take to get there. It takes us off the street and up a hill side which is way cool. Elder Steele said I probably won't get that the rest of my mission so I'm trying to take advantage of it.
I began torcando or rooting for, the Corinthians a futebol team here. Not for any particular reason... A lot of people root for them including Elder Steele and I got a little keychain thing out of deciding to root for them so that's always good.
We had some Rodizio Pizza (buffet basically) and so I got to try about 5 different pizzas from Brazil! They were all good and none were like American pizzas. One had corn, one was like pão com quejo one was a dessert pizza, the others were good but don’t remember exactly. I think bacon and one more.
We attended a wedding which was way cool! We went to get references and we ended up getting 7 good references but 5 were in other areas but we'll visit with the 2 later. It was way cool though! It was in the chapel. I sent a picture of what it was like. I also sent a picture explaining the tradition with the tie and money.
Saturday, was the day of the children here which was interesting. At about noon, a wholllle bunch of people started lighting off fireworks. It wasn’t the kind of fireworks that you could see though, it was the kind that just made a HECK ton of noise and so one started on one side of the city and then everyone started. It was interesting. Also at night we passed what I think was a catholic parade commemorating the day and that was interesting as well. I think we were in the background of some of the pictures they took preaching God's word. Photobombed :D
Last p day we visited a family in Jacareí, Elder Steele’s old area. He baptized them about a year back but it was cool to visit them! They started to like me too pretty fast and were awed by my height. A little daughter of theirs brought out a 1 real in bill form and I thought that was way cool because it’s super rare because its old and I expressed desire for one of my own. I wasn’t wanting hers at all but it turns out she had 2 of these bills and so she gave me the one that was practically falling apart. It was way cute and it was hard for me to accept it but I did. Maybe I'll serve in that area later. Who knows.
This part of Brazil is one of the richer parts I found out.
Almost everyone who rides motorcycles wears helmets!
I think that's all for now. I actually had time sufficient today to talk about everything I wanted too for the most part! Elder Steele wanted an extra half hour haha. I love all of you. Stay true on the path to Eternal Life!
Cana, or sugar cane :) Practically right out of the ground. Good stuff!
Elder Steele needed to make a call so we were waiting for him.
Sister M Silva is in the back sitting on the ground and Sister J Silva is in the front
with cana in hand. It took pretty much the whole day just to interview her because
she lives in another area in the roça or as we would say, the sticks :D
As DL, Elder Steele does interviews (I think I already said this)
and so he interviewed her and she passed and we took pictures.
All the refrigerante (soda) for the wedding :D
This is our capela (chapel) that was the location of the wedding. It was well transformed!
The happy couple. Both members of the church already.
This is our LMA or Lider de Missionario da Ala Or ward missionary leader.
And his wife. He's the man. Very nice and helpful.
Also instead of the money dance like mexicans have, they have a tradition
that is maybe a bit less exciting but also a bit more memorable.
You put money in the hat and you get a piece of the tie to remember it all by.
I put in some money and so got a piece of the tie.
As we were leaving the interview, we passed a truck that was being stocked
with loads of cana! Sister J Sylva just asked for a piece and
we got a piece that was probably 5 maybe 5.5 feet long and we split it.
This was what I had when I got home. Elder Steele and I are gonna finish it off today :D
Fotos that a sister took because of the height difference