Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another good week!

In answer to your question about the water, I´m drinking very well! We have clean water that we drink at home, because the tap water is dirty, and I drink a big ol´ cup of water during the morning, so that I´m not dying during the day. The members feed us daily, and it´s always good food. We are very blessed! As for cooking, I´ve been learning a few things. Hopefully, I come home as a cook!

Well, how good! This last week was good. We spent a lot of time visiting less actives, ancient investigators, and got some references from them! One of these references, Diego, came to Church and has a baptismal date for this Sunday. He goes to another church though, so we´re hoping that he reads the Book of Mormon and gets his answer. We´re teaching a member´s friend too, that came to Church. Her name is Kevley and she´s 13. She is shy, uses a different earing in each ear, and dresses like all the young people in Mesa, with weird colored jeans. It´s funny to see how the styles change, yet stay the same in other countries.
The highlight of the week: we´re teaching this 22 year old named Reinaldo. He has been reading the Book of Mormon, and last week, he took a shower and was walking to his room when he had this really good feeling come to him. He said that all of his worries and problems seemed to float away. He´s been having some problems at his work, but after this he felt like he could do anything. We explained to him that this was an answer of God, and he said that he already knew that it was. Reinaldo says that he´s much happier since he met us and should be getting baptized this Sunday!

So, we have really high hopes for this Sunday. All in all, there are 4 people that can get baptized, so we´ll be doing all that we can to make it happen. With our diligence, prayers, and the Lord on our side, anything can happen!

That about wraps things up. Have a Happy Halloween! I´m curious to see if anything big will happen here in Ji-Paraná for the big day, but we´ll see! Have a wonderful week. I love you.

-Elder Carpenter

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Elder Dorneles, etc.

Zach with the animals

Elder Dorneles eating Copo Azul cream. It´s an amazon fruit

Monday, October 18, 2010

62 people at church!

Thank you very much for the mountain of pictures that came in the package! Sheesh. I had a MOUNTAIN of letters at the mission office. The biggest haul that I´ve gotten yet. My district just looked at me like,"What the heck..." Thanks to all who have participated! The birthday gifts were awesome. It made me super happy to get presents.

Womp, I forget that everybody has October Break there. Making cookies with the nephews sounds like the best idea ever! I´m jealous. And Brendon reported and all that jazz, too! I´m totally there with him about getting people married! That´s where it´s at.

This last week has been great! We had Zone Conference, which was really good. We learned about lots of basic things: how to have a good Area Book, inviting people to be baptized, and lots of techniques and things like that. It just felt really good to review the basics and learn about how I can be a bold, baptizing missionary! Yes. Sister Oliveira talked about how she woke up one night in July, with her entire talk that she gave at this Conference, in her head. She said that things just started coming, and she wrote them down. She talked about Timothy 4:12, and about being an example of the believers in all things. She talked alot about in "trato," which is treatment in English, (although the English edition of Tim. 4:12 uses conversation). Treatment is a much better word though because she talked about how we must build good relationships with the mission president, investigators, ward and mission leaders, and our companions. It was the best talk that she´s given in my time here!

We had 62 people at Church yesterday (the most that I´ve seen in all my time here), and 6 investigators at Church. Some of them aren´t married, but the rest we are trying to get baptized. 2 are ancient investigators, even though one is 8 and the other 12, because there parents haven´t let them get baptized. But Elder Dorneles and I feel like this is the week. And we´re teaching these 2 brothers, too, Renato and Reinaldo. Reinaldo is an elect! He cried during the 1st Vision, and accepted to get baptized. He said that he stopped drinking beer and coffee just a little while ago, and we were amazed! The Lord is preparing His elect to join the Church. We´re excited here in Ji-Paraná!

Have a wonderful week! Give water and a ride to the missionaries, and I´m sure that you´ll be their best friends. Keep strong!

-Elder Carpenter

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crazy weather!

HAIL STORM! How exciting. I´m glad that you are experiencing lovely weather conditions in Mesa. I´m not sure if I remember the last time that I saw hail in Mesa. RAIN! That´s so cool. Not cool about the property damage and all that, but it´s all part of life. Today I actually got woken up by the rain. It was raining cats and dogs at 5 in the morning! Sheesh. It´s much needed though, because they´ve been having a drought in all of Brazil. However, the people say October = Rain here in Brazil, so hopefully we´re just getting started.

Hahaha, 10/10/10 was an awesome day yesterday! But then it made me remember that I´ve been gone for 8 months and that I´m turning 20 in a month. Woah... I´m gonna be an old, gross man. Ugh.

 My comps are always asking about Mexico and I like to ask them about the people from Bolivia and Paraguay. It´s all so interesting all the little differences that everyone has! One thing is that you NEVER say that Brazil is part of Latin America or that a Brazilian speaks Spanish. You will get slapped in the face, if you do.

This last week was awesome! Elder Dorneles  and I are working like crazy! I love it. We had this one investigator, named Renato (22ish years old) that we brought to Church on Sunday. We showed up at his house and his mom (who we tried to teach, but wasn´t interested) was like, "Oh, he´s sleeping." Then, we were like, "Can you wake him up so we can talk with him?" She was kind of shocked, but went and got him. He was super groggy and Elder Dorneles said, "Get ready, we´re going to Church." So, he came to Church. He´s set to get baptized on Sunday.

There´s an 18 year old, named William, who is a cousin of a recent convert that we started teaching. After one day, he had read the introduction until 1 Ne. 7. He was traveling this Sunday, but should be set to get baptized in 2 weeks. William came to live in Ji-Paraná, so that he could find work. Looks like he found something better!

Other than that, I´m doing great. Our Zone Conference is this Thursday, so I´ll let you know how that went next week. I watched Elder Holland´s talk, and realized that I have not been very grateful for my family back home. I´m not sure who is all helping out with keeping me out here, but I want you to know that I am grateful! I have not heard about who is making sacrifices, but I know that there are many. So I just want to thank you all! Especially mom and dad. I wouldn´t be here if it wasn´t for everyone´s good examples, love, and support. Have the best week of your entire life! October Break!

Eu amo vocês,
Elder Carpenter

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Me and Elder Dorneles

Here in Ji-Paraná, we got some rain! It rained for like the past 3 days! It has been heavenly. I´ve slept without a fan for the past couple of nights and it´s been amazing. Thank you for the prayers! It was awesome.

Well, my comp finally got here last week: Elder Dorneles. I had to spend the day with this one member here, Osmir, and it was funny. Elder Dorneles is from Rio de Janeiro (he´s got lots of stories) and is going home in 6 months. He was born in the Church, is a little serious at times, really smart, organized (our house is spotless) and I´ve gotten to like him. He´s about my height and is going to be a civil engineer after the mission. Elder Dorneles speaks English very well (literally the 2nd best English speaking Brazilian that I´ve met on the mission) and is really excited to get down to work here. His attitude is infectious, and I´ve gotten much more excited while being with him. We literally use all of our time wisely, which I am quite the fan of. We don´t waste time with people that don´t want to get baptized and we´re working hard, which is the only real way to be happy! I was complaining last week about having to stay here in Ji-Paraná, but I´m pretty sure that I´m staying here so that I can learn how to be an awesome missionary. And we go running in the mornings! Yes, for good exercise.

Happy Birthday Bryan! Womp. That´s awesome that he took advantage of all the free things in Mesa. That´s my boy! Ugh... I don´t approve of watching Sonic, but hey, 19 years and kickin! It made me jealous to hear that everyone got to eat at Golden Canyon. Those Chinese know how to make good chicken.

This week, we are going to be busy finding people. There is this one girl in the branch that got baptized in May (and is quite strong in the Church), and we marked her sister´s baptism for this Friday. She just turned 8 and her parents are all good with letting her get baptized. We´re adapting our teaching, so that she can understand the principles and it´s been fun. I feel quite strange teaching an 8 year old, but it´s all part of the mission!

Conference was awesome! What made it even better was that I got to watch it in English! After watching the 1st session in Portugues, I was having a hard time understanding things. Thankfully, the chapel has a little TV, and I got to watch the other 4 sessions with Elder Dorneles in English. He understand everything and prefers watching in English, so it was all good. It´s really boring to listen in Portugues, because the speaker´s lips don´t match what you´re hearing. My three favorite talks were Russel M. Nelson (Priesthood) about missionary work (he´s my hero), Matt Kearon (Priesthood; his Harry Potter accent was awesome), and President Monson from Sunday Morning. During President Monson´s talk I could feel the Spirit really strong. Talk about being grateful! I´m excited to read the Liahone next month.

Have a wonderful week family, and let´s put what we´ve heard from Conference in practice. The inspired messages that we´ve heard were truly amazing. Being on the mission, my perspective of things has changed so much during Conference. I wasn´t looking at my watch, waiting for it to be over, but rather looking at my watch and saying, "Oh my goodness! They´re only gonna get 2 more speakers in before the end of the session!" I´ve realized how real that the war is between good and evil in this world. Every choice that we make either helps us or hurts us. As long as we follow and have the Spirit with us, then we´ll know exactly what choices we need to make. So let´s just do it. I´m always praying for everyone at home, and thank you for your prayers! The Lord is blessing us.

Com amor,
Elder Carpenter