28 December 2016

Transfer and Skype

Mom and Dad Skype on Christmas
With Elder Lundy!

2 very intent Elders Skyping

Wonderful Hosts
Working on English

I'm staying here. My new companion is someone I've never met. Elder Alves says my new comp has 5 transfers in the mission. I'm going to be District Leader again. (We congratulated Elder Lundy on his new responsibilities) Thanks, I am happy about one thing though! Elder Ewerton will be a zone leader starting tomorrow! (What did you do after we Skyped?) We stayed with the family for the rest of the day. After the call we ate, and then I helped K... with English a little (the family is planning on moving to the U.S. at the end of July) then we watched the Saratov Approach (missionary kidnapping movie) then ate a bit more, then went back to our house.https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif
Love you

19 December 2016

A new Nephew a week before Christmas!

(Elder Lundy got a new nephew on Sunday. Ethan William Lundy!)
Seriously... you've got no idea but you provided them with one of the best meals ever made for a zone conference. Almost all of mine have been sandwiches (super basic ones) with a banana, yogurt, a brownie thing, and pop. This week we had a change of pace with our zone conference meal but yours was still way better.
I'm glad you had a lot of fun with the Haworth's!
Okay... so you mentioned that like it was nothing too big but, woah... Rachel got married already? I mean yeah, we're already 21 years old but it's really weird hearing about someone my age getting married!
 1. When is the next transfer? Is that when your companion finishes his mission?
Two days after Christmas. Elder Alves finishes his mission in February. (Elder M. Pereira will be ending his mission today, a week early, because his parents are coming to get him. If you don't remember, he was my second official companion in the field.)
2&3. What kind of Christmas music are you hearing? What would be traditional Christmas decor down there....?
People don't do much for Christmas here. I haven't heard any Christmas music outside of the church hymns, and there are a few people who have put lights out and some people have trees in their homes, but that's pretty much it. Oh and everybody always makes you wear red ties if you're an Elder... It's annoying because I've only got one red tie.
4. How did this week go for you? What was it like?
This week was alright. I had our "Christmas" zone conference and the only thing Christmas-y about it was the decorations on the lunch tables. Then at the end of the week we had a three ward devotional which consisted of lots of hymns, President and Sister Silcox giving talks, then a large dinner. (The next day, pretty much everyone that ate had stomach trouble because of something that went bad that was served) Other than that, we managed to visit some people but they didn't want to make or fulfill commitments.
5. Are you staying well?
More or less... I already had a bit of stomach trouble lately so I'm not sure if the trouble I'm having now is from that devotional dinner or something else. I also need to start exercising again. I've gained a few kilos and I can feel a difference in my belly chub... not happy about that because that means I'm gonna have to work really hard once I return to not gain a lot of weight again.
6. Are your shoes holding out. In other words, do you still have shoes to wear?
I'm down to two pairs. The Doc Martins that Ron and Bridget got me and the black tennis shoes. I use the Doc Martins on Sunday only, and the tennis shoes every other day. The sole is starting to come off the tennis shoes but I'll probably buy some glue soon. 
By the way, I plan on buying more or less a new wardrobe during the transfer before I return. I already have some pants but I need more. I've got enough shirts now too. (more or less... you know I love t-shirts of heroes and stuff and can never have "enough") I'm also thinking about buying a new suit if I can find a good one for a cheap price. But I'll probably wait for that too because what I wanna buy doesn't follow mission standards (light brown slim suit) (I'm not a big fan of brown clothes but I have to admit I looked better in a brown suit I borrowed from an Elder once.)

I love you!

12 December 2016

a FHE/birthday party

I miss snow! :(

That's cool that you're doing splits with the Elders - Dad! And I'm sure the elder is grateful for the ride to the mission home. I'll probably end up having to travel all alone.

I'm doing alright. I've actually gained 3 kilos lately (not happy about that because it's a result of me not exercising... aka bad omen about when I go back home) I guess lately when I say I'm not eating too well I mean that I'm not eating very healthy stuff.

This week was kinda slow... we didn't have too many visits because of the issue that you got to know this week (people not being home) and on top of that the weather has been either raining or super hot and the hotter it gets the more difficult of a time I'm having. I start sweating just getting dressed in the morning and if I stay out in the sun too long I feel like I'll get sick :( but oh well, just keep working

There was a fun thing that happened this week. This Saturday was Elder M. Pereira's 20th birthday and a member from our branch invited all six elders from the three wards in our chapel to his apartment for a FHE/birthday party.

We haven't taught anyone new lately, but this week we should be getting some new investigators.

ohhhh I miss that style of a breakfast meal! Especially the biscuits and gravy! (I might be able to make it here... I just don't have time and I'm too lazy) [We had a Ward Christmas Brunch on Saturday and I fixed one of Elder Lundy's favorite breakfasts] And that was mean what you did right there describing the Mexican style meal you're preparing for the zone conference! Mexican food almost doesn't exist here! :,( 

Oh so Brazil had a special conference this Sunday with Jeffery R Holland, Elder Maynes, Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, Elder Joaquim Costa, and I can't remember the Sister's name. It was good. Elder Holland is (slowly) learning portuguese! He said that his grandson is serving in Brazil and guess who his companion is right now... the grandson of Elder Faust! Pretty cool haha :)

Image result for Jeffrey R Holland
Jeffery R. Holland
Image result for elder maynes

Image result for Elder Claudio R. M. Costa
Claudio R. M. Costa,

Image result for Elder Joaquim Costa
Elder Joaquim Costa

Anyways, I love you! https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

06 December 2016

Planning ahead ;)

Okay so the Skype call's not going to have to be at night. All three wards that use our building will get together at 9 am for the sacrament meeting then church will end for the day. We'll probably go to lunch a little after that then we'll have to see from there still but I think it might be in the afternoon... but what time would be better for you?

My head is alright. Yup a hammer to the head. But really it didn't fall that far so it didn't do much. After two days I was completely fine. Others are using the bunk bed and I've got a bed box with two flimsy foam matresses but it's better than the couch. I've been eating more, but seriously... I ate three whole meals yesterday and I was super full by the end of the day. (And my stomach isn't too good today)
That's really great all the support that you're giving Michael. The couple that took care of me in Taubaté when I was sick called me their other son and this really helped me relax a lot.

I'm excited for Tiffany and Chris too! I've been telling everybody I'll have one more nephew soon haha :) Have fun with decorating for Christmas!

All the members are asking about our Christmas plans, but I think we might end up staying in our house. The mission had a Christmas party last year (missed it because I was sick) and this year we'll just have zone conferences :( I don't know why President changed it but NO ONE is happy about it. Victor will enter the MTC on the 14th. He invited us to a FHE at his house on the 12th.

We had more success with visiting people this week. Something cool that happened this week is that we were walking to the farthest part of our area one day and we heard someone yell for us. When I turned around I saw the bishop from the São Mateus ward! 
He recognized us first as missionaries then remembered me from my time in the neighboring ward Jardim Tietê. He bought us water (offered more but I only accepted that) then offered us a ride but we planned on searching for people while working our way to our destination. But it was really cool to see him again and that he remembered me even though I never really was a part of his ward!

Anyway, I love you!

30 November 2016

Drawing a tree...

Congrats on the Angel Tree. (I told Elder Lundy that I had an adventure trying to find all the pieces to our wards angel tree...I finally just put up one of our family trees for the angel tree) We'll have decorations because Elder Alves really likes them. I was just planning on drawing another tree this year but we might have a real (fake) one!

My week was alright aside from the hammer that fell on my head Wednesday. I was sweeping the stairs in our house, and the hammer that was on top of the half wall by the stairs got bumped and fell on my head. I only got a little bump and a head ache so we went to lunch then returned to our house to rest for the rest of the day. (Yes I put ice on it).

Not much other than that happened this week. Oh! I've got a bed now after 7 weeks on the couch. The hammer was because the guys were putting together the bunk bed finally.

My companion is doing fine. He's a bit nervous about returning home so soon.
The lessons are going slow with those we are teaching.
And I don't think I'll be able to get pictures to you for a bit
I haven't really been eating better but I've been eating more during lunch at least.

I've got a lot of respect for recent converts who choose to serve missions. We've got a bunch in our mission and they do the work very well.
No offense, but that thanksgiving sounds really abnormal ha ha. I personally won't have a thanksgiving day until next year. But I'm glad you ate enough :3

I love you

21 November 2016

The week of Thanksgiving! in the USA

We're going to visit some referrals, past investigators, and less actives this week. We visited one family of less actives a few days ago and they attended church this Sunday! We've got a girl that we're teaching that really wants to learn more but still hasn't gone to church Sunday.

Lately I've been kinda sick. I'm alright. I got caught in the rain (not badly) and it's been getting ridiculously cold randomly. I don't really have much time to rest because we've always got visits that we have to do. Don't think that Elder Alves is forcing me to work instead of rest. It's my choice. And no I'm not eating correctly. I'll buy more food today.

Alves and I have been participating in the choir. He plays the piano and I support the very low numbers of men singing. We do some warm ups that are kinda funny, one being hissing for as long as you can on one breath. I'm almost the winner. There's one brother that can keep up with me. And the other is moving the Adam's apple up and down to change pitch. I'm able to move mine around at will. The members found these two things funny.

We're returning to some people we kind of left on the side because we were focusing on F..., but we have gotten some new referrals. She showed up late at church but she was finally interviewed by the bishopric! Her sister/mom (older sister that raised her and she views as mom) isn't being supportive at all.

The weather here is being dumb too! It's been getting pretty cold at night! And it's hot when you're in the sun but cold while out of it. And it was raining a lot here too. :(
That's pretty awesome about the movie! (Dad and I went to see "Fantastic Beasts and where to find them" it was a fun movie)

Oh... a funny development. I'm not the only one in the casa who watched iCarly... 
Spencer's "WOOOO" belly rub has become a common occurrence in our casa haha

Love ya! https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

14 November 2016

More willing to go to the temple here...

I'm doing alright. 
Elder Alves baptized F... last week. This Sunday she didn't go because her youngest boy is sick :(

One thing I noticed about Brazil versus the U.S. is that they're more willing to go to the temple here than there.

Oh and Brazil verses U.S. again: everyone here is appalled that Trump won. They all wanted Clinton. (So you understand a bit more... they all love Obama)

So transfers are this week. I'm going to stay where I am with Elder Alves! :)
He only has two more transfers left in the mission and I might be his companion until the end. Oh and I finally get a bed! But that means the newbie (Elder Freire's new comp) who'll come to our house will be sleeping on the couch possibly (unless Alves decides to give up his bed)

This week brought us a lot of rain which is really annoying. Oh and my last pair of fancy black church shoes were destroyed this week so I've started using the shoes Ron and Bridget got me.

That's pretty much all I got too...

I love you!

08 November 2016

Election Day at home

Hi Mom

I asked Elder Lundy a few questions I was curious about.
We will be teaching our next person tomorrow hopefully.

The most asked question is...
 "Why do I have to be baptized again? - I was already baptized in the ... church."

But the thing they're most concerned about would be family I think.
Which is good.

I've learned that F...'s phobia of water is really bad. She almost didn't get baptized because of her phobia. Luckily one brother in the branch is studying psychology and he helped out a lot. He even had to enter the water to support her as she was baptized.

Diana told me she got a house! Yay!

With all of these missionaries leaving President Silcox will be forced to close some areas... ours will probably be closed eventually.

V..., the young man that's been helping us a lot got his calling this week!
He'll got the Fortaleza East mission (home of two of my former companions!)
He's going to the MTC December 14th! Yay!

I don't really have much else for now... 

Anyway, I love you!

31 October 2016

2 Leaving home for their Mission

Tell Bay congrats for me!! 
and Michael too! (They are leaving on their missions)

I'm doing better now.
I only lost 2 kilos but I probably already gained it back. 

We've got a few families of inactive parents with non-baptized children we're teaching

Elder Alves and I get along very well.

I'm starting to get the hang of the branch I think. 
The community is still a bit difficult.

So I've got one awesome piece of news about this week! 
We've got a baptism this Wednesday!!
President met with F... and afterward told us all that she can be baptized!!!!!

V...'s friends didn't go to church this week. :( 
He's been looking really upset lately and I'm pretty sure it's more than a
lack of progress with his friends. I think he's in a similar situation as M... 
His family is all in the church but he's the only one active.

Oh so President Silcox said that within the next two transfers we'll only get about 15 
new missionaries and about 30 will go home so that will make our mission shrink a
little for the time being. There might be the issue of some wards not even having 
missionaries for a while too...

As for my testimony: I know our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. 
He wants us to come back to him and he's provided us with many things that will help 
with that. The most important being our Elder Brother Jesus Christ.
He showed us the only path and asks that we simply follow in his footsteps. 
It's easier than people make it out to be, and it's only hard when you want it to be.

Anyways, I love you!

24 October 2016

I'm doing better

I did manage to get better quicker this time.
I'm doing better. I'm a bit healthier and I'm working better with Elder Alves.

So my week... a few minutes after emailing you and leaving, I ended up throwing up in the street... Then we just stayed in our house for the rest of the day. 
Tuesday, we did a division with the other elders in our house because we had important things scheduled and they didn't have anything scheduled. I rested in the house with Elder A. Souza, and Elders Freire and Alves went out to work. 

Afterwards we were still taking it slow so we only visited people nearby, but we had some great visits with F... We think she's ready to be baptized but she has to be interviewed by President Silcox because of some things she did many years ago. 
I feel kinda sad for V... (the young man that's been helping us and will soon go on his mission) because this Sunday none of the young men he was helping us with came to church this Sunday and he was visibly upset. But I already know that he's gonna be a great missionary. 

Oh! This Sunday F... decided to participate in the choir practice!!

The Stake conference sounds like it was cool! I already know it's not about who baptizes the person. It kinda seems like my purpose in all of my latest areas is to work out the kinks in the ward's mission work. In Jardim Tietê I helped get the LMA and ward missionaries working. In Brás Cubas I helped them get their ward registry under control (and we got a new LMA and ward missionaries that worked in their calling), and now it looks like that sort of stuff might be needed again here.

I love you! 

17 October 2016

Stomach virus again

First things first. 
I think I got a stomach virus again and I've been throwing up a bit this morning. 
And I started throwing up at 6 am, then again at 8 and 9... 
I'm only doing the minimum today.

Second, my connection is terrible. 

Third this is gonna be short because I'll return to our house soon.

Oh, Elder Alves says hello!

So  I got to go to the temple and afterwards I went to the Deseret store and bought 
root beer!!!! But it was super expensive. 2 cans were about 14 reais. But boy was it good.

We're going to have to have President Silcox interview one of our investigators but I think she might pass. If she does she can be baptized whenever. 
You can add the requests on to Facebook please and thanks. 
The majority of the people are from my last zone. 
Even Mauro Leal (my last bishop) searched me out on Facebook. 
I find that cool :)

I love you too,

11 October 2016

I'm like Harry Potter lol

The transfer travel went alright. I got help from a random man to get my third suitcase in and out of the train and was able to carry my three suitcases by my own in all the other situations. I'm not eating too well because the little market close to our house is super expensive and sells nothing of value, but today we'll pass the larger and more distant market that should be better. I'm felling alright. A little sore because our casa has only 3 beds and a couch... so my "bed" is a couch under the stairs... I'm like Harry Potter... I live under the stairs now. but oh well...

1. Did you get off to a good start with your new companion Elder Alves?
I did. We're were already friends. (He was in my first district when I arrived in the mission) And we started working right away. He's helping me follow the rules better. We're finally doing companionship study and planning. Elders Medeiros and Ewerton are the only other companions that did those things with me.
2. . I tried to look up where you are and am not quite sure, but Santos said it was close to her. Is she right?
She's absolutely correct. It is very close! There's only one or two other areas in between and I see buses that go there on a daily basis.
3. Stats on your companion. i.e. age, family, home location...you know - the run down on him ;)Elder Alves is 20. Is going home in February. He's from Rio Grande do Sul. His family is in the church. I know that at least his mom served a mission, and his girlfriend is serving right now in the north. He's a nerd like me (but I'm a higher level of nerd than him) He told me that he'd been talking with his cousins about opening a nerd store together so he's been asking me what sort of stuff would be good to have there.
4. Describe the area you are in please...
5. Is the area you are in growing.
6. Investigators?
Answers: 4-6. This area is a city. A crowded city. There are A LOT of apartment buildings which are difficult for us to work in, and then there's the standard favela in the mountainside. I'm in a branch instead of a ward. Elder Alves said that the members haven't been helping much, but we got a lot of help from one of the two young men in the branch this Saturday. V... sent in his papers about a week ago. Every once in a while his friends would go to the church with him and they told him that once he leaves they'll have no friends there and no reason to go. What he decided after hearing that was that he needs to baptize at least one of them before he leaves so that one can bring in the rest. He took us to 5 of his friends on Saturday and 2 went to church this Sunday.
 7. How's your stomach doing?
My stomach is alright.
8. What's the name of your ward?
Tiradentes 2nd Branch or in Portuguese Ramo Tiradentes 2
9. What are you studying this week?
I found a Portuguese version of the children's illustrated book of Mormon so I'm giving that a read through.
10. So fall is now here...What is your second spring like there?
It's damp and cold... or its super stupidly hot... ugh...

So I'm going to the temple tomorrow! This will be the third time in the field. I'll go one more time at the end of my mission in the third week of July probably (because I'll be returning home just a little bit after that) And yes, I am feeling better.

Thanks mom
I love you too

03 October 2016

Conference Weekend

There might be some baptisms during this next transfer here in this area, but I'm going to be in a different area so yeah...

I liked conference. I got to see it all. I don't really remember much at this moment due to the whole overload situation. We asked some of our investigators to go - but, we couldn't get them to go. They were busy. We did get to see the priesthood session because our house is literally 3 minutes walk from the church.

At this moment, my stomach is worse. The peanut products were paçoca (a Reese's like thing without the chocolate) and actual peanuts...

Transfers are tomorrow. 
I'm going to Tiradentes in Itaquera to be comps with Elder Alves.
I already know him and I like him. He's ending his mission soon I think. 

My companions so far: Elder Webster, Elder Kebker, Elder C. Santos, Elder Matos, Elder M. Pereira, Elder Furtado, Elder Medeiros, Elder Ewerton, Elder Soares, and tomorrow 
Elder Alves. Most of them have signed my tie.

That stinks about the flu (I've been sick this past week) :( I've had a cold or allergies this week and it wiped me out for a bit.
I saw Santos again because every week we have district meetings and the whole zone gets together in the same church building.

I had a cool experience this week. As I was leaving the chapel last night after conference
I told a few members that I'd probably be transferred and one Irmão, Irmão W......, gave
me a hug and told me I changed a lot of things in the ward. I may not be good at baptizing
but I'm able to do something. And it made me even happier that it was him because this
Irmão has a history of not getting along with/approving of the elders that pass in the area.

I love you