Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hooray for Seth

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Yeah! Seth and Jaimee are gettin MARRIED!!!!! YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!! I´m so EXCITED and HAPPY for them!! That´s the best news that I´ve gotten this year! Like I said to Seth, I think that just made my day/week/month/2011/mission! Awesome. Congratulations to both of ya! March 12 is gonna come quick. SUPER EXCITED! Sarah better take good pictures for me. I totally agree with Uncle Nathan, too, "it is never a successful mission unless one of your siblings gets married while you are out!"

Wow. The rest of my news is gonna be lame. We made Mexican food at a Noite Familiar (FHE) last night! Elder R. da Silva and I made soft tacos with little tortillas (like the ones that you heat up and have to pop the bubbles), with hamburger meat, lettuce, cheese, guacamole and salsa!!!! And we put a TON of pimenta (hot sauce in Brazil) in a separate bowl of salsa and guacamole. It was incredibly hot, and my nose was running, but it was worth it. Everyone wanted the recipe afterwards! Hahaha. Super good stuff. It made me feel like I was back in Globe eating at El Rey. Womp. Then, we played Mafia with everyone afterwards. Our plan is to do an FHE with one family in the ward every week, and then invite everyone to come. Good stuff!

Bruno, Jessica, and their little girl came to Church, too. We planned on going with them to mark the wedding at the legal office last week, but Bruno has been working like crazy. So, we´re supposed to go with them tomorrow. I just hope that I don´t get transferred before their marriage and baptism! That would drive me crazy.

Oh, and there are 3 Americans that just got here. They hadn´t gotten their VISA´s yet, and were serving in Alabama. The mission there is a LOT different. They said that basically, you just knock on doors all day. And there´re lots of crazy Baptists and whatnot that call the cops on you. I went on a division with one of them, and he had lots of stories to tell.

And I found out that our mission has 5 Arizonans. There´s Elder Bowles (Tempe, AZ right next to ASU), Elder Maner (Heber, AZ), Elder Williams (Gilbert, AZ), Elder Butler (Tucson, AZ), and me. Elder Butler used to eat at The Lucky Wishbone all of the time! We talked about how awesome the food is there at our Zone Conference. He goes home in May 2012, and we´re already planning on hitting it up once he gets back.

In response to the questions, no I don´t sing in the shower anymore. In the MTC, Elder Fa and I would sing Disney songs, but ever since then, I´ve outgrown the habit. The Mac and Cheese was DELICIOUS!! I don´t think the Brazilians liked it very much, but I sure did. Have a good week! Love ya! Have fun with the wedding preparations! Jaimee´s dress is amazing by the way. And Tucker is gigantic.

-Elder Carpenter

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good luck to Bryan

Ola família!
Como estão as coisas por aí? Happy Late Birthday to Mike and Jaimee!! Unfortunately, my birthday calendar is not exactly up-to-date. I hope that your birthdays were great! Go watch Tron for me. Everyone from Thatcher is coming down to Mesa! Crazy. Although, this next weekend everyone will be there for Bryan´s farewell. Good luck! It´s only a talk, but I want to know how it goes. Womp. Bryan is growing up! And I enjoyed the pictures of Kade´s wedding.
This last week was good stuff!  We have called it the Week of Reactivation! We spent a lot of time working with this less-active family. The parents have already gone through the temple, but only the dad goes every once in a while. They´ve got 6 kids, 3 of which are young men ages 18-20 that can go on missions (18 is the new age to leave in Brazil). They really like Elder Fraga, so things are going well there. 2 of the kids came to Church with the dad, and also their cousin that lives with them. His name is Julho, he´s 25 and has a baptismal date for this Sunday. The only thing is that he smokes, but I´ll have you know that we were all surprised when he came to Church on Sunday! When we went by on Friday and Saturday, he was keeping away from us, and we thought that he had given up. Neat! Bruno also came to Church again. He needs to get married soon! The last that I heard, he just needs to mark the day, which usually happens 30 days after you pay. Please don´t transfer me, President Oliveira!
The other elders had a baptism/reactivation. The one girl in white (picture below), got baptized and confirmed this weekend. She´d been baptized over a year ago, but never got confirmed, so... Rebaptism! Out of the family, only Domingas has been active (the short grandma-type lady), but her daughter (far left) and granddaughters (everyone else in the picture) live in the same house and finally came to Church this Sunday. Domingas is awesome!!! I will never leave Tijucal because it will be super hard to leave our "grandma" here. She´s really frank and says hilarious things. We made her cookies last night because she´s the best.
In other news, one of the friends of this less-active family showed us his collection of Beatles records today. Awesome! I got trunky, because I love the Beatles. He has 21 records including all of their CD´s, and also some best hits and a live recording. He is selling them for $1000 US. If anyone wants to buy some, I got the hook ups. We ate some fancy chicken thing today too and the less active family´s house. I got to watch the chicken get killed and help de-feather the little guy! Fun stuff.
That´s it for now. It´s January! Happy 11 months on the mission to me! I´m excited for this next year and want to get lots done here on the mish. Have a wonderful week, and remember who you are!
Elder Carpenter
Minha Família Amada,
How are you doing, folks? Everyone is probably crying at the moment because our dear Bryan is going off to the field. Congratulations and I wish you the best of luck, Elder Smith! You´ll do great. Everyone keeps telling me how good your talk was and that they´ll miss you to death. Just remember to work hard and be happy! It´s all part of life.
This past week was fun stuff! We had lots of interesting experiences. We went to a Churrasco that is close to our house. As I cut a piece of blood-red meat and was about to put it in my mouth, I saw that there was a worm on top. I could have died! Thankfully, I didn´t have to pay for lunch and we all got out of there quick before we all started dying. That is why I don´t like raw meat.
We also helped some of the members load up this gigantic truck with branches and plants that they had trimmed. I felt like I was back at home cutting the boganvias (?). Fun stuff. As we were driving to dump the plants off in the forest, Irmão Café wasn´t really paying attention. He had hid some button or something and the back part of the truck was rising up to dump out the garbage in the middle of the freeway. He quickly fixed the situation, but it was hilarious and lots of people were honking at us. Good times on the mission.
Sadly, the guy that came to Church last week, who is the nephew of a less-active, was going to get baptized but didn´t want to give up his beer! He smokes, and drinks coffee, which he said he could do, but he "can´t do without the beer." It made us sad, but not discouraged.
Thankfully, some members brought friends to Church! A+! One of them doesn´t live in our area, but the other one does. So, we´re gonna be working with her! We´re excited. There´s gonna be a Zone Conference tomorrow and I´m excited to see some old comps. Especially, Elder Santana!
                                     Domingas family with E. Saito

                                      Drinking Xi Marrom
                                    E. Fraga and Beatles
Have a splendid week! I heard that it´s been raining lots up there in the Valley. Fact or fiction?! Every afternoon it´s been raining here in Cuiabá. A MUCH welcome change.
Elder Carpenter

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas and New Years

Olá família!

It made my day to talk to yall on Christmas. Thank you so much! I´m sorry that I have a funny accent, but it´s just going to get worse, hahaha. I really liked my presents too. I´m totally making mac & cheese today. SO EXCITED! Everyone else got a pretty good haul as well. That makes me joyful. Christmas is the best when you are with family (in person as well as in spirit).

Christmas for us was really good, too. We got together with some other elders and drank cider and played the Monopoly card game. It was fun stuff. Oh, and this was the 24th. At midnight, everyone lights fireworks and gets drunk in the street. It´s good stuff! On the 25th, we had a huge lunch at Carlos Cafe´s house. All of his family was there, including people from the ward, stake president, etc. They have quite the connections. Lots of meat and Coke! Good stuff.

We also had a confirmation this week, for the little guy that got baptized 2 weeks ago. He wasn´t able to go last week, so yesterday was the day. His sister came and his other step-sister. We´re trying to work with them to get ready for baptism. Sadly, Rhuom´s mom doesn´t have much desire to know the truth. We´ve tried everything with her, but she just doesn´t have the desire. We won´t give up on the rest of them though.

We had a really spiritual lesson last week, too. There is a member here, Carlos, who has been a member for 3 years. His dad has been super anti-Mormon for forever, yet has never even been to Church. So, it was his birthday last week, and Carlos took us over to teach his dad. He actually really liked the lesson! The Spirit was really strong. He doesn´t want anybody to force him in to getting baptized or going to Church, but one day I know that he´s going to come. At least, he knows what our Church is and has a lot more respect and love for his son.

Well, it´s almost 2011! President Oliveira wants us to hit the ground running. We´re all working on making goals so that this can be the best year ever. I need to get working on my goals so that I can make the best of this year. Have a wonderful week! I won´t get to hear from you til next year (wink). Wow, that was cheesy.

Elder Carpenter

Dear Family,
Ano Novo 2011! Another year has already started. Time flies! It´s kind of insane, né?  Hopefully, the new law about being able to use fireworks in AZ is still in effect in 2012! If not, I will punch somebody in the throat.
We had 3 cool things that happened this week:
1) New Year´s here was exciting! We had 4 missionaries come over to our house and had a churrasco! It started raining at 4ish in the afternoon, and never really stopped. So, we did the churrasco under our patio area and plugged in a fan to move the smoke outside. It was really good! And we drank lots of Coke and played lots of UNO. At 11:30, all the people in the street started lighting off fireworks until midnight, hahaha. Then, we all drank cider (without alcohol) at midnight! It was good stuff. Did I mention that we drank lots of Coke?
2) We helped Bruno and Jessica move out of his mom´s house. It was really fun, because we got to ride in the back and hold everything down in the truck. Bruno is a friend of a guy in the ward since childhood, but never got baptized. Now, Bruno and Jessica are planning on getting married soon, and then get baptized. Hopefully, it doesn´t take too long! I am afraid of getting transferred, before it happens (knock on wood). He´s been coming to Church for a solid 5 or 6 weeks now, outside of all the times that he used to go when he was younger.
3) I got to complete one of my life goals this week! I got to drink alcohol-free beer! Much to my dismay, it was super gross! I thought it would have tasted better. I´m now exactly sure what all the people find in that stuff, because I could barely finish my cup.
With that, let´s get the new year started! One of my goals for this month is to bear my testimony every month, because every Sunday everyone gets that feeling that they need to get up there and bear it, so I just decided to make it a goal. And also to study more about Christlike traits in Preach My Gospel. There is nothing more precious that we can have in this life. Have a wonderful week, folks and happy 2011 to everyone!
Com sinceridade,
Elder Carpenter