Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24 letter

Sorry for the delay everyone. Don´t worry mom, I´m still alive! Yesterday my companion was sick and couldn´t even get out of bed. Apparently, he had some weird infection in the weird glands under his jar. It got all swelled up and his whole body was dead. Sunday we had to go home after lunch so that he could rest, then he had vomit and diarrhea all night. We went to the hospital and got him some drugs so that´s it´s all getting better now. He´s feeling better, but he´ll have to take it easy for a few days. He woke up this morning and took this one medicine, which is like a super Tylenol and then he had weird rash things on his hands and they got all swelled up. Elder D. Souza is doing better though! Yes, for being a soldier!

CONGRATULATIONS to Clayton! Or shall I say Dr. Carpenter. Wow. My brother is a real smarty now. The pictures were cool. Sad to have missed it, but we´ll have to go back to visit Ohio someday. I want some Steak and Shake and Italian bakery foods! Oh, que delícia. And PARABÉNS to Sarah for moving out to a new apartment! Now we´ll be able to have ASU parties when I get home. I´ll call all of my friends over and we´ll buy some Bud! Maybe not. But the singles ward there has got to be awesome. CONGRATS to mom as well for finishing out the year with piano recitals and choir concerts, oh my! I´m guessing that everyone will be coming back for more next year.

Answers to Questions: Yes, the hammock is hanging up in our patio out back. I paid $25, which is like $15. Yeah! I got a super good deal. About the spiders, I have no idea what kind of spiders that they are or if they are poisonous. I´m just a stupid missionary that likes to take pictures of possibly-deadly animals, without knowing whether or not it´ll hurt me.

Thanks for the pictures of Olivia´s wedding! That made my day. The cake turned out... different, but legit at the same time. Nathan is in Peru? Hey, 60 degrees has got to be awesome. I have heard about Peru. They say that it is super poor there. I´m sure that he´s having the time of his life though. Yesterday, I got all of the Seth/Jaimee wedding pictures too! Now I can show them off to everyone. That was awesome. And Devin finally wrote and it got here! Give him a thumbs up for beating Kevin in the Race to Write Elder Carpenter a Letter.

We´re planning on moving to a new house next Monday (the day of transfers) and I´ve been in charge of getting the contract and all of that organized. Eesh. What a headache! The new house is tons better though. There aren´t mosquitos there, the house doesn´t run out of water, and it´s bigger. We´re all happy to get out of our current house.

Sadly, we didn´t have a baptism last week, but we´ve already got one marked for this Saturday. His name is Celso. He´s a 15 year old and Lucas´ (recent convert) cousin. He´s really funny and a Gremista! Grêmio is my soccer team and almost nobody in Cuiabá or the mission is a fan. That´s just because they are lame. Celso is hilarious and I love the guy. We were teaching him the 10 commandments and I asked him what he thought that "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" meant. He started saying howing it meant that if he had a child, that he wouldn´t give him the name of God, because that´s not showing Heavenly Father respect. Hahahaha. It´s the effort that counts! He loves the Church though and is progressing really fast.

We´ve been teaching Hodinei and Jaqueline lately, too. Jaqueline is a recent convert´s daughter, and they LOVE to make food and have us eat it. They made us a churrasco (big BBQ)  last week as well as other dishes. So, we told them that they´d have to get married to be baptized (since they only got married illegally at the Catholic Church since Jaqueline was 14 and he is 23) and they kind of freaked out. When we came back the other day, they said that they are going to get married! Yes. Then, they started to say how their lives have completely changed since we started to visit them. Hodinei used to go and drink all of the time and they were always fighting. But after coming to Church, everything has gotten better for them and their relationship. They have a 7 year old, too. We told them that it wasn´t us, but the gospel of Jesus Christ that is making all of the difference.

I put some pictures of food in the email too! One is of this one stuff that you put on rice and beans. It´s basically hamburger meat and jalapenos, and it tastes awesome. Another is of Rice and beans with a meat party on top! Most of it is bacon. Delish! Another is of the Brazilian Style Hawaiian Haystacks! The only thing is that it doesn´t have pineapple or dried rice (instead we put on those little potato sticks). I love food. The other is us at a bustop. Uau, que chic!

Things are going well here in Pedra 90, though. We´re just wanting to baptize more people and do our best! I thank everyone for your prayers and support! Have an amazing week!

-Elder Carpenter

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 16 letter

I have included some neat pictures this week. The first was of an awesome sunset that we saw. Not nearly as pretty as in Arizona, but it was still beautiful. Then, we´ve got a picture of some spiders that we found at the Church. As you can tell, all missionaries were present. Sadly, when put together in a bucket with a frog, they don´t fight at all. The other picture of my sweet hammock. I love that sucker. If any of you want one, let me know because I´m gonna be buying a few before I go home. I like the hammocks here better than the ones from Mexico, because they don´t have the weird piece of wood at the top. It makes them easier to sleep in.

Nothing new happened this last week. We´re still teaching Lucas´ mom, but she needs to stop drinking coffee! She has already tried one time a while ago, but said that she almost fainted after. She only drinks a little cup in the mornings, so we´re bringing her Cevada (which is like coffee without caffiene and other harmful ingredients) so that she can switch. We´re also going ot be teaching Lucas´ cousin who has already gone to Church many times, but never got baptized. Yeah! And there is this other girl that came to Church and Activity Night with Carla that we´re going to teach, but we need to talk with her parents first. The problem is that he´s a pastor in some Pentecostal Church. I´m excited to get to talk with him! Maybe I´ll get to baptize a pastor. That´s been my dream for my entire mission.
Good Story: So, on the mission, you hear PLENTY of excuses from people as to why they can´t go to Church on Sunday. There are people that will go as long as it doesn´t rain, as long as they aren´t sick, don´t have to make lunch, or go out of town. But this was a new one that I´ve never heard. We´re on the street and contact this lady. We invited her to Church on Saturday and she said that she had a commitment on Sunday, so we asked her about next Sunday. She was like, "I don´t know. If I´m still alive then I guess I´ll go." Hahahaha. Wow! That´s something that we all hope for right? Womp.
Other than that, we cleaned our house today and it looks spotless. Woot! We had Zone Conference and I finally got Leah´s wedding invite. They look like a really good couple! Kind of creepy that his name is Bryan (cousins...), but he looks like a sweet guy. We also got some good ideas to find more people to teach. We´re gonna go and visit the member´s and less actives on their birthdays to sing them Happy Birthday on behalf of the Bishopric. It´ll be good fun. That´s it for now. Love you all! Go to Church and feel the word!
Loves and kisses,
Elder Carpenter

Mother's Day phone call

I just wanted to share some of the things Zach talked about when we called him on Mother's Day.  First his English sounded a little weird at first but it got better as the phone call progressed.  He has been blessed to have all native companions so he is really getting the language down.
He shared with us his plans to the first couple of days after he gets home.  I loved it so thought I would share.
1.  After all of the hugging at the airport he wants to go eat at Sweet Tomatoes.
2.  Go to the Temple.  (He really misses that.)
3.  Get released from his mission
4.  Stay up and talk all night or at least part of the night.
5.  Sleep in until noon.
6.  Lay on the carpet for 15 minutes.
7.  Go eat Mexican food at Taco Bell (really Taco Bell??? we might have to do better than that).
8.  He wants to try and grow a beard.
I sure do love this kid!!!

May 9 letter

FELIZ DIA DAS MÃES! Happy Mother´s Day to all! The best of wishes to every mom that is reading. I hope that it was a wonderful day for everyone. It certainly made my day to talk to everyone after quite some time. It´s weird how it seems like I haven´t even been gone while talking on the phone, but it´s actually been quite a while, hahaha. Phone magic! Everyone is doing well too, so that makes me happy. Thanks for everyone being there (including the RM´s, womp) because it means a lot.

Happy 34th Anniversary to mom and dad! Woot woot. Happy Wedding to Leah (if it´s this week) and Happy Graduation to Clayton and Katie (not sure when it is either)! Hope that everything goes well with finals and projects, etc. You can do it! Good luck with graduation pics Sarah!

Elder D. Souza (who changed his name because the new nametag got here) is doing great as my comp! We had lots of people at Church this Sunday, too. We have 2 couples that we´re working with to get married. One is Cassio and Elenir. Cassio is a member´s brother, so they´re getting their money together to get married soon. The other couple are family of some recent converts (Maria Auxiliadora and her son, Jeterson). They are Jaqueline and Hodinei! I love them a lot. 1) They always make us really good food, because I told them that I like cooking now and 2) They´re super interested in the Church, and loved this last Sunday, which was their first time. Now we just have to help them get married. Then, Lucas got confirmed this Sunday along and his mom and grandma came to watch. His mom is an amazing lady. She loved Church and is reading the Book of Mormon. She wants to take things a bit slower because she´s been Catholic for a long time, but she knows that the Church is true. We´re working with her, so that she can get baptized soon. Things are going good! We´re trying to only work with references here and so far so good. Lucas is taking us to teach his cousin this week, and we´re really excited to be here! Yes.

Things are going great here. I don´t want to leave Pedra 90 ever! I love the members and want to stay here for the marriages/baptisms. The pictures of food here are some Brazilian dishes. The first is a soup with strips of chicken and eggs. It kind of reminds me of the soup that we always eat at Golden Canyon, except that it´s not hot (jalapeno style). The other is an awesome dish of rice with chicken, beans, salad, and banana farofa (which is just a flour type thing that we always put on our food here with fried banana in it). Awww... we´re so spoiled.

Good week to everyone! I love you! Give the missionaries a thing of fruit snacks when they´re in the road.

-Elder S. Santos (I changed names for P-Day)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 2 letter

Holá e Bem-Vindos ao Cuiabazão!

May has begun! Wooo! How exciting.

We had an awesome last week em Pedra 90! Sunday was Stake Conference and a Seventy from Curitiba, Brazil came to speak. We had 8 investigators there! 5 aren´t married, one got baptized, and we´re gonna be teaching the other 2 this week to get baptized on Sunday. President Oliveira gave an awesome talk directed specifically to those who visiting! I love my mission president. It was an awesome conference with a ton of people. I was way in the back because we were taking care of the baptismal font, but I could tell that the leaders of the Lord´s Church are truly inspired men.

Our baptism this week was of Lucas. He´s a friend of Luiz (member) and Mikael (recent convert). He´s a super elect kid! I don´t think that I´ve taught someone who was baptized so easily. He always reads the Book of Mormon and never once had doubts of what he was doing. His mom supports him 100% and came to Church on Sunday. We´re gonna go teach her tonight.

Elder S. Santos is getting funnier every day. I love my companion! He is a great guy and we´re working really hard here. He is really good looking, as well. Another good thing is that he likes Coke, so we usually have our afternoon Coke. Good guy. We had a really spiritual lesson last week. We went to teach a reference that lives really far away on a ranch-type thing. It was really peaceful and calm, and the 1st Vision had the Spirit at 110%! The young lady came to Church on Sunday, so now we need to go and teach her more. Neat experience.

Happy May! Say hello to good ol´ AZ sun! Yes. Love ya!
-Elder Carpenter

April 25 letter

Óla família!

FELIZ PÁSCOA por todos. Quero estar aproveitando esse tempo muito especial com voces, mas está muito quente por aí, e vou ficar aqui. Womp. Happy Easter! Tucker´s seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the Easter party. Yes! I´m going to print out that one picture of him, because he´s just so dang cute!

Hey, Seth and Jaimee have already been married for a month and a half, huh? Sheesh.

Things are going awesome here in Pedra 90!! My new greenie´s name is Elder S.Santos and he is awesome! I really love the kid. He´s super excited to work and just baptize. He´s from São Paulo and actually baptized some of his friends before coming on the mission, so he´s already a baller. Only his mom and younger brothers are members, but he has a really strong testimony and really came prepared to the mission. I don´t even feel like I´m training him because he already teaches better than me, makes friends with everyone and is just a joy of a person. His body seems to have some kind of thing that makes him skinny, but he´s not mentally handicapped or anything. He tells lots of jokes, is funny, and used to listen to rock music back at home. Oh, and he showed me some fancy soccer tricks that I could never hope to be able to do. Not to mention that he´s really humble and relaxed. I´m pretty sure that he´s been my best comp so far! I love this guy.

We were actually teaching this couple last week, and we showed up and they were like, "Have you eaten dinner?" We responded no, and then they made us eat. After, we taught them The Restoration and the Spirit was really strong. I looked at my greenie and asked if he wanted to do the First Vision. He said yes, and did perfectly! Unfortunately the couple needs to get married, but if it weren´t for that they would be baptized already. I think that I´m training the future Dan Jones of Missão Brasil Cuiabá!

So, we had tons of people at Church this week, and already have one baptism, Lucas, marked for next week (one of Mikael´s friends) as well as another friend of his that we sent the 2 newbies in the area to teach (he´s gonna get baptized on Sunday too). Yes! Hopefully, we´ll get this other Lucas to get baptized too. He likes to do Parkour and crazy gymnastic stuff. As well as Carla´s daughter that we´re gonna try and baptize. Things are going well, and I´m hoping to show my new comp how to work! Things are already going better than when I trained my first son. Yes!

As for Easter, here in Brazil they eat giant chocolate eggs. The eggs are really expensive, but now that Easter is over, they should all be cheap so Imma go and buy one. Some of the members were nice to us and gave us pieces of their chocolate eggs. I love them. Thanks for helping out the sisters in Mesa! I´m sure that you made their day.

Funny story: You know how this last week was Holy Week, or whatever it is that the Catholics do? Well, We ate fish almost everyday. Ugh... I didn´t like fish before the mission, but I grew to really like it here (except for all of the little bones that stab your mouth). But PLEASE. Fish everyday is unbearable. Ugh. So glad that Easter has passed now, which shouldn´t even be a problem because it was the members that were feeding us fish. You can eat meat people!

Good week to everyone! May is around the corner! Woot! Time is flying by. Love ya!

-Elder Carpenter

Fotos: Some weird plant thing that has seeds wrapped in white fluff that tastes like cotton candy (there´re inside of the jalapeno lookin thing). Us with Grandma Odília, Mama Sara, and Daddy Francismar (they´re our family). Then us 4 on the night that newbie came (at 1 o´clock Elder T. Silva, Me, Elder S. Santos, and Elder Jones from Colorado)