Flying at Provo MTC (on the ironing board...)
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
1. Does your mission president speak English? Yes! Although, he speaks Portuguese mainly. I really like it.
2. How often will you get stuff (letters, etc.) from the mission home? We get stuff during Zone Conferences and transfers. We have everything get sent to the mission home (which you have) and then you get them at Zone Conferences and things.
3. Do you have a frig, stove, etc. in kitchen? We have all of those. They´re all small, but it´s no biggie.
4. Do you have hot water? Our shower head has a thing that makes the water hot. Fancy.5. Are you four elders the only ones in the city? Yep. We split the city in half and there are 2 branches.
6. How big is your branch? It´s really small, because there are lots of less-actives (we have work to do). I think we had about 50 people at church on Sunday.7. Have you had any rain? Once, but thankfully I had my umbrella. It´s hot in Vilhena, but thankfully there is usually wind.
Anways, I´m currently in Cuiaba for my first Zone Conference! It´s been a blast so far. Today is our P-Day and we´re staying in some other missionaries´ apartment. We had lunch at a Rodizio, and I don´t think I´ve eaten so much meat in my whole life... It was flippin good though! It tasted like Ruth´s Chris and was amazing. They had some grilled pineapple with cinnamon that was also quite delish. Cuiaba is so much bigger than Vilhena! They have stores and things with technology and paper and stuff, that is not so common in Vilhena. Conference is tomorrow, so I´ll write about that next week. We took a bus and slept the whole time to get here.Que mais... I just got the little box package, because I´m emailing in the Mission Office. I had my interview with the president already which was good. I have goals to learn Portuguese! I can usually understand people well, but it´s hard to keep a conversation going. Other than that, It´s all going good! I love you and pray for you every night!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Oh, and I didn´t tell you about the plane trip. We got off the plane at this tiny warehouse thing where we got our luggage, and it was like a slap in the face of hot. But we had the best lunch of my mission at President Oliveira´s house and a testimony meeting and such. Pres. Oliveira is really cool and I like him. He´s goofy like me and tall and skinny. Ha, so then we went to the office and had training and whatnot. Then, I got rushed to the bus station at like 7 that night, because I was going to miss my bus. We were running with my luggage and I got on at the last minute. Miracle! Anyways, I was all alone and kind of freaking out, because it was an all night bus ride. And there was a super drunk guy in the back of the bus that started smoking during the trip... weird. I got there in the morning (thankfully I got some sleep on the bus) and then got right into working.
And HOLY CRAP! I was so tired the first few days. We were literally walking the entire day, it was super hot, and I can´t speak Portuguese. So, I kind of felt like a bodyguard for my companion, Elder Magdo. He is a native and we talk, but I don´t understand too much, hahaha. This might be his last area, so he knows what he´s doing. I usually bear testimony and teach little parts in the lessons, but he´s got it all down. So yeah, he´s cool and obeys all the rules. However, kind of weird since communication is a slight problem.
I got two gigantic blisters on my feet after the 3rd day, so I stabbed them and it´s been a lot betters. The Elders say that it will get calloused soon, so that is good. And also, I´ll just adjust to the walking and heat. We eat lunch with a member every day, because lunch is their big meal in Brazil. Then, we kind of just don´t eat dinner. Hahaha. We eat stuff when we get home or if we visit a member at night, they like to feed us, but yeah. The people here are really cool too. I don´t really know what they´re saying, but you can walk up to anyone and ask if we can come by and teach them, and they say yes. It´s weird. But so far, we´ve only taught the first lesson to people during my 5 or 6 days in Vilhena. Also, they have two districts here and 2 branches. The Church is teeny small, but the people that come are awesome. Small in numbers, but they all love each other. Like we ate with a bunch of youth and older people at a part-member family´s house yesterday, and it was just really fun. They walked us home and it was cool. Also, the food has been good. A little weird at times (I had duck on Saturday), but good.
Oh, and there was a rat that we killed the other night. Somehow it got in my closet, and it was a group event. Thankfully we killed it but it peed and pooped on my clothes, so I washed them. Flippin rat. Apparently none of the other elders have had a problem with rats during their missions, til that night. Good...
Time flies on the mission! This past almost-week in Vilhena seemed like an eternity for the first few days, but now I kind of know the investigators and people and I´m not freaking out anymore. I was so lost for the first few days... All is well though! Thank goodness for prayer. Now I just need to learn how to teach people and speak Portuguese, ha. Elder Onken said that it just kind of came to him, once he stopped thinking about learning the language and focused on the work. So that is what I´m trying to do. Let me know of any other news! I don´t have time to comment on your announcements, but I love to hear them. I love you!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Conference was awesome! I absolutely loved it. I took notes on every talk (even the ones about raising children and such) and it was great. I really, really liked Uchtdorf´s talks. He was my favorite speaker. Boyd K. Packer gave a really good one in Priesthood, and Pres. Monson was great as well. Lots of talks about the Atonement. Our whole district made it a goal to study more about the Atonement. I was also very suprised at the hope that I felt leaving Conference. Many talks spoke about how wicked that the world is and how tough that the times are that we live in, yet they are always optimistic. That is something I have always tried to emulate in my life, but it´s hard. Even as I´m typing, I can just feel the love that all of the Brethren have for the youth and others who are struggling in the world. It is amazing. Also, we went proselyting in O Centro of São Paulo, last Friday. This is supposed to be the busiest place in the whole city, but... it was Good Friday. Hahahahaha, EVERYTHING was closed. It was weird because most of the people on the street were either going to or leaving the Catholic Church in the middle of the place that we got dropped off. Most people wouldn´t say hi back to us, and it was kind of funny. Then, we had a really funny experience. This woman walks up to Elder Syndergaard and I, and asks us for money or food. She was probably homeless and she said that she lost her job at the bank. So she keeps asking for money and food, and we´re like Não temos comido ou dinero! We kept offering a BofM, and she kept saying that if we helped her out with what we needed, then we would be helping Jesus. It was quite awkward and she wouldn´t leave. So then, she wanted my nice Zebra pen , so that she could ´write a letter to her kids´´ Finally, I was like ´´You can have the pen but only if you read the Book of Mormon, pray, and call the missionaries´ number. So we gave her a BofM and my pen (I still have 2 left though, and that one barely had ink in it). Yeah... not doing that again. The other people that we talked to and gave BofM´s to, were all really cool and receptive. We´re leaving next Tuesday! I´m so excited. We´re all sick of the CTM, so I´m excited to get out. I´m fluent in Portuguese or anything, but... it´s time. That´s about it though. I´m not sure when I´ll email next, but hopefully soon. I got the pictures and you guys looks like you had an awesome Easter. Have a good week! I love you all! Don´t be afraid to share the gospel. It´s really just a matter of opening your mouth. Love you!