Sunday, December 23, 2012
December 10, 2012
So as you all know we went to the temple this week on Tuesday and it was FANTASTIC! It had been like six months since I have been because I was in the Baixada but man I love that place. Just feeling the difference once you step through the front door is amazing. On funny note, I totally lost my temple recommend so I showed up nice and early to get interviewed by the President before our session but he said he had already talked to the guy and he would really interview me after but when I got up the front desk guy apparently the president hadn’t talked to him so I had to wait for him to come out and pass me off. But other than that it was AMAZING!!! I got to see missionaries from my good old CTM district which is always great! After the temple and lunch, we just took to the bus home and p-day was already over plus our LAN houses didn’t have internet, hence me emailing on Wednesday! That was also the day that I got my packages which I LOVED and may already be flying through the candy. This week was EXTREMELY hot! I don’t even want to know how hot it is in the Baixada because if Sao Paulo is this hot the beach is nice and HUMID! Thank heavens I’m not still down there. We found some sweet news this week but unfortunately and as usual, no one went to church; still the big issue here; it’s one thing for someone to accept a baptismal date but it’s a whole other thing to get them to actually show up to church! But well, we’re doing our part so he HAS to do His! Just hold strong and the elects will come running to us. But let’s jump back to Friday, the day that marked a year in the field! We did a division with another companionship because there is a kid that has the same time as me so we worked our butts off all day, found some new people to teach, knocked tons of doors. We cranked out TONS of contact and then when we got home it was party time! We got ourselves an amazing good calabresa and broccoli pizza (sounds kind of weird but broccoli pizza here is good), ate some chocolate from my package, wrote on and then burned some shirts. I didn’t have any shirts that ware wrecked enough to burn but my companion already has some pretty sketchy ones so I gave him one of mine and then burned one of his that had these sketchy stains on it, gotta love the mish. The Elder that I did splits with gave me a cute little "return with honor" ring to celebrate our year because he literally gets at least two HUGE packages from his family every month..... man his family must love him. But let’s just say it was a great day but it really hit me HARD that the mission passes by WAY too fast I am loving my time here! I love you all and can’t wait to see everyone on skype for Christmas! Keep the emails and letters coming and enjoy the pics.
um abração e beijinhos!
December 5, 2012
The big highlight of the week is our gospel investigator I’m pretty sure I talk about how she had this crazy dream when she was 11 and saw inside the temple and learned about angel Moroni and all this crazy stuff but then her catholic preacher at the time said that it didn’t exist but she always calls us "angels of Moroni". Well this week was even better with her! On Tuesday it was POURING rain when we left in the morning and my companions umbrella broke because of the wind and then we saw her walking in the pouring rain without an umbrella so we go and talk to her and I give her my umbrella and say not to worry about it because "God would bless us with some sun" and well she doubted it at first because the news said it was gonna rain all day but well after a little prayer, what do you know it was nice and sunny before we even got to our first appointment and well we found this out after but she said that she prayed and did a little "test" to see if we are really representatives of Christ so she said that IF we are, God would stop the rain and well BAM the rain stopped! So let’s just say she ate that right up and called us prophets and all this good stuff and then on Friday we had our weekly appointment with her where we just talked all about the crazy answers she has gotten and how she needs to follow her answers getting baptized but she still thinks her baptism was good so we talked a lot about that too and it was just a super good lesson! She even said I have fire in my eyes at one part, I’m assuming in a good way! But it was so good that I ended up marking her baptismal interview the next day so the ZLs came and interviewed her while we taught her son and his little friends! It has been 3 weeks since we’ve been trying to meet her son but no success until now! Her preacher of her gospel church said that since her son listens to music "he’s gonna go to hell" so needless to say her son wasn’t the biggest fan of preachers after that so we had to really break him down to get him to let us talk to him but it worked and we taught a sweet lesson and broke the ice pretty nicely too. But onto the real highlight of the week, Sunday! As you all know it was fast and testimony meeting and well who went up to bear their testimony, our investigator…oh Gloria. It was pretty great I’m not gonna lie! Even though it was super "gospely" and she stayed up there for 15 minutes, she really has a great testimony about the church! She talked all about the angel Moroni dream, my sun "prophesy", and the spirit she feels in the church! :) something pretty funny though she always calls me "elde" and my companion "ferrais" so she threw that out there a couple times and instead of saying "missionários" she said "missionieros" and well it really was a pretty sweet testimony meeting even if my heart may have been pounding the whole time. Oh and she is already visiting people with us and introducing her friends and after her testimony, she said if her son comes to church she'll for sure get baptized so here in a couple weeks, get ready for a nice white Christmas. We found some WAY good news this week too, for my training for district meeting, I talked about making covenants instead of goals and well we are already seeing the difference that is making because this last week was absolutely great! Instead of trying to do our and the Lords part, we decided to focus on just doing our part 100% but well I love you all!! I got the thanksgiving package today and loved it! From home and from tar bear but well the week that I got tons of emails was the week we don’t really have any time to respond so I’ll respond to Grandma and Grandpa next week but everyone keep your eyes open because I sent our Christmas card home this week so in a couple weeks that should be showing up! One more time, I love you all, I love this mission and I love this church! Keep the letters/emails coming but always remember letter > email.
um abração e beijos,
November 26, 2012
Last week for P-day we played basketball for four hours in insane Brazilian sun and well I didn’t really think that one through too well and I got FRIED! It was MEGA hot the whole week besides today and yesterday, getting burnt on top of a burn is always fun but this week was full of TONS of contacts, knocking doors and finding new people to teach. Essentially all of our people from last transfer stopped progressing and one of them actually got baptized in some other church, didn’t see that one coming! But it’s a new transfer so we did a little cleanup of the people that we are teaching and were gonna find us some elects baby! We found some sick people and hopefully in a couple week well have a little água.
We had our first district meeting for this transfer but we only had two people leave the zone so not much changed! Also on Wednesday we had a nice bible bash with some Jehovah’s Witness guy saying how anyone who supports politics will be "destroyed" (i.e. Mitt Romney and apparently our whole church) but I got him pretty good because everyone here has to vote because its required so if our church is gonna be destroyed so is all of Brazil buddy boy. Wednesday was a day full of contacts and contacts and contacts and well we even went back and visited investigators for the first time in like two weeks and well they still don’t want to give up coffee so if you want to let some gross drink mess with your salvation so be it but were doing our part!
Thursday it was a day of everything falling but I made sure to stay nice and happy and grateful because hey the harder the mish is the more blessing I’ll be getting right? We went with some members to a little pizza place and well there was my thanksgiving feast, not bad at all if you ask me!
Friday was quite the day because GET THIS, we went to go teach our gospel lady and when we got there she said she was already feeling something different so we got excited and used that for our advantage of course but she said how she thought it was "the angel Moroni" at her door, (her exact words!!!!) ANGEL MORONI.... so I’m like what the heck, that definitely JUST our church that has an angel Moroni so I ask her where she has heard that name and she goes off to tell us how she had a dream when she was 11 and she was in some "fancy church" where everything was "white and expensive" and there were people "being baptized" so I freak out and we show her a pic of the temple and then on Sunday at church I found a pic of the baptismal font and the celestial room at the temple and she said that was where she was so that is kind of super insanely cool especially because she really likes our church but she LOVES her church and she still thinks her "baptism of the spirit" was valid but don’t worry here in a little bit she being getting baptized and then even going through the temple to see the font for herself. That night we went to a college and sang Christmas hymns and did some contacts then Saturday, normal super busy day! English class had some solid people, lunch was great, got some lessons in, tons of contacts and had the ward talent show that night and well like no one was doing anything and they had the music of Coldplay so they made me sing that I sang that Shrek hallelujah song with a kid in the ward.
Sunday was pretty great too even though we left super early to get everyone to come to church and no one came but hold strong and it will all work out. Another highlight of Sunday we had our usual English lesson with a couple in the ward and we had an American food party after that was killer good! Hamburgers, french fries, and KILLER good chocolate and banana crepes! I know you already sent me my Christmas package, but if you send me another one anytime soon, I’ve had some requests of syrup so send some of that if possible! Well that wraps up the week! I love you all! Get the letters coming, say your prayers and read your scrips!
Monday, November 19, 2012
Mom you’ll like this one, last p-day for our FHE that night we ended up setting up a Christmas tree and I LOVED it! There is nothing better than Christmas I tell you. Tuesday we had our last zone meeting before the transfer so we all said our potential goodbyes and all that cute stuff but we found out about the transfers yesterday and get this.... only 2 people are leaving in our entire zone which is kind of really weird because there is one kid that has been in the zone for over a year now just in different wards. Crazy stuff but the Pres knows what he is doing and I really like our zone so I’m nice and happy! My companion is staying with me thank heavens because I don’t know our area at all. We did TONS of divisions so if he would have left, we would have gone hungry because I know how to get to like 5 irmãs (Sisters) houses. Good thing the Lord has got my back and let him stay huh? But well speaking of division I did one in Batistini on Wednesday to do another baptismal interview of actually the same girl that I interviewed a couple weeks ago but everything worked out greatly, I LOVE baptismal interviews and she was baptized this Saturday which ended up being quite the thing because they baptized in our chapel because theirs doesn’t have a baptismal font but the girl suffered a chemical burn on her face and neck and she always wears these body glove things but since she had to take them off, she didn’t want very many people there but either way it was mega spiritual and we loved it! Thursday was a huge holiday so we didn’t get to talk to like ANYONE but lunch we had a huge barbeque and Brazilian BBQ is 50X better than American ones plus they had BBQ sauce so that was pretty great! Friday my companion and I felt like studying some deeper doctrine for morning study and well the creation of the world and the atonement you can go pretty deep on but frankly this church is 150% true. Literally everything makes sense in this church and I love it. But for lunch we got money so we made some massive hamburgers which turned pretty great if I do say so myself and then another day of essentially everything we had marked falling, gotta love feriados. Saturday was the baptism and Sunday we had our baptism which was a tad bit stressful but super great too! Sunday was kind of a crazy day since lunch took forever as usual on Sundays but we cranked out a ton of contacts, had choir practice, filled up the baptismal font and set up the church and well it was ALL WORTH it to feel that amazing spirit and see the change that a baptism makes in people! That wraps up the week, a week full of tests of faith to see if we really deserved that baptism and well NAILED IT. I love you all, I love this church and I love this mission. Have fun but not too much fun at Thanksgiving and always say your prayers, read your scriptures and write me letters.
amo vocês (love you)
Everything is going great down here. I really do absolutely love it more than I ever thought possible. These people are amazing. Same thing goes for the food. I’ve only gained 15 pounds as of right now but I lost some of that in my last area because it was the second largest in the mission and right next to the beach which meant nice and hot and plenty of walking. Our area was 22 miles long and it was just a little branch with about 60 people. But I don’t think I have ever grown so close to people so fast in my life. It’s so easy to really grow to love everyone here.
I love it my new area too. I’ve only been here two weeks but I’m the District Leader now and I love it so far. Doing a baptismal interview is the most spiritual thing ever.
Time has gone unbelievably fast so I’m just trying to soak up every single day and moment. Here close to Sao Paulo teaching is much easier than the areas by the beach. We teach solid 3-4 lessons per day but then at the same time there are a couple of days with zero lessons and street contacts are your only hope. Our mission is a low baptizing mission for Brazil. I have had four baptisms in 10 months on the mission but frankly if I don’t baptize a single other person in my mission I’ll be happy because I know I’m doing my part and numbers don’t matter. I left my old area after breaking the six plus months of no baptisms and we finally turned the place around. We had a family and three other people marked for baptism for the first Sunday after the transfer so I did the work but don’t get to witness the baptism. Definitely the worst part of the mission. But I have had tons of comps, eight including my companion in the LTM and well I have had a few little disputes with some of them but that’s part of living with a dude. I have had three areas and all of them have been pretty different, 100% sum, beach and half slum and half rich apartments. But I really have loved all of my areas and frankly all of the moments I have had on the mission. This is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done but it also is without a doubt the most rewarding and amazing thing I have done as well. It wasn’t easy for Christ during his earthly ministry so how can it be easy for us (D&C 122:7-9).
You need two just things to be able to serve a mission; be converted to the Gospel and the church and be spiritually prepared. First off about conversion, a mission is mega hard! No one really understands that until it’s you getting denied, it’s you that Satan is attaching harder than ever and it’s your faith and your conversion that is being tried. As Elder Bednar said in conference, with just a testimony we can waiver, but if we are truly converted we constantly receive strength. That strength is definitely necessary on the mission, physically, mentally and most important, spiritually. True conversion is the foundation that you need to take you through the trails that you will certainly have. But conversion is not the event but a process. It’s a process that you need to work on but if you do your part, God always does his (D&C 82:10). We have his promise so use it! But we aren’t converted through dodge ball fights at the church, your girlfriend that takes you to church or the snack you get after Sunday school. Conversion comes through silent prayers to Heavenly Father, diligent study of the scriptures and really just strengthening your love and relationship with God and Christ. Also like Elder Bednar said, a lamp without oil is a testimony without conversion (see the Parable of the 10 virgins). Persistence and patience but once you are truly converted, and then comes spiritual preparedness. There is a video on lds.org by Elder Holland called ‘Staying within the Lines’ that explains the importance of spiritual preparedness a lot better that I can. If you are not 100% worthy of the Spirit there is no way you will be able to teach the way the Lord wants. This is His work not ours. There is one way the Lord wants this done; the right way, and if you are not worthy of the Spirit or not spiritually prepared there is no way for you to pull it off. Satan has had a lot more time at this than we have so if you cannot get the Spirit he sweeps in and does the work that he does so well…the little turd. I know it may sound like a lot but if you are willing to accept the help of the Lord he always gives it. Whether it is through Priesthood leaders, Bishops, parents or the scriptures take advantage of it all. We really are so amazingly blessed to have all the help and ease we do living in Bountiful Utah. I think literally every single Church member here in Brazil would give just about anything to have the things we do. Take advantage of it all, church Seminary, Institute, mission prep and all the dedicated leaders we have. Is the missions hard, YES, is it worth it, YES!!!! I would go through just about anything to have the joy of sharing the Gospel with others. I thought I was happy with my iphone, car, x-box, McDonalds down the street, and a great home but you really never know what happiness is until you see someone’s life change forever through your help. Your simple testimony has a greater impact on others than you or I ever imagined. I LOVE THE MISSION. I’ve only been out for 10 months and I’ve loved something so much. This mission is also a blast. My name tag gets me free food and presents like you wouldn’t believe. Trust me on this one, you’ll love the mission. It’s a lot of extremely hard work but it’s also a lot of fun. Yes you are allowed to have fun on your mission. I have never regretted my decision to serve the Lord for one second. You change others lives and end up changing yours as well.
This week was a little rough because I felt like I was going to die for a good part of the week which started on Tuesday. We had district meeting and I taught a lesson on diligence which turned our decent and then I did a division with one of my districts. I went to their area and my companion stayed in our area. We didn’t get a lot done in terms of lots of lessons and stuff but the lessons we did get in were all mega powerful and important because get this they have this kid who is 17 in their area who wants to be baptized but his MEGA catholic mom hates the church and was "never" going to let him get baptized so I of course wanted to meet her which my split was a little nervous about because she had apparently screamed at them and all this stuff but so we go there and she lives in an apartment so we have phone to her room and I just say we are "representatives of Christ and we wanted to see how she was" so that got us through the first stuff, then the door approach she burned the church a little but we calmed her down and ended up getting in the house which had never been done before and well we are just chatting up a storm, showing pictures of my beautiful family and we really actually got a little trust and friendship going! We didn’t talk much about our church but we talked about God and left a little bible scripture and it really was quite the miracle I tell you! That made up for getting mega sick that night because it was just great so let’s hope that they can use that in and get her to let her son be baptized. On Wednesday we ended the division, and after not sleeping ALL night and almost puking I was EXHAUSTED but we had an appointment before lunch so we walk forever long to get to our house, drop the stuff off and then back out to save some souls! We ended up cranking out two really great lessons before lunch but lunch just about killed me because I wasn’t even hungry but the Sister threw some serious food on my plate that was all deep fried so that destroyed any bit of life that I had so after that we went home so I could take a nap but then after a two hour nap we had a ton to do that night so back to saving souls and despite the fact that my body felt broken, congestion headache, sore throat, etc (been quite some time since I’ve felt that bad) it was extremely cool because I felt really guided and inspired in all that we taught so that was my blessing for pushing myself to go work and it was definitely worth it! That night I made some natural marucujá juice (passion fruit) because it helps relax you and attempted to sleep but didn’t really sleep again so I woke up on Thursday a little better and off some meds we went to Santo André because we had our zone conference which was amazing as usual I always love those things because we got a training from the assistants and from the Pres and Sister Tanner! MEGA spiritual and I got some letters and materials but then left my little taking note book there...oops! We left at 7:00 in the morning and finally got home at 3:00 so then that night we only connected with two lessons but they were both great also! We taught our investigator who was supposed to be baptized this week but will be next week because her mom had to go out of town and all this stuff and then we taught another investigator. I always teach her in English which is EXTREMELY nice and a ton EASIER but I always ended up falling back on Portuguese because its weird teaching in English but I was teaching about the Book of Mormon because she LOVES the bible but doesn’t read the BoM that much so I gave her alittle run down of the beginning and let’s just say she did not like the fact that Nephi cut off Labans head at all so I explained about David and Goliath and how it was essentially the same thing and that helped calm her down we got her believing so don’t worry. Then on Friday my cough got a little more bronchitis-y so I was coughing up crap all day but this Sister gave me this pineapple and honey mixture that helped get the stuff out! Later that day we taught our investigator and this time we kept the lesson to an hour so we kept her more under control. I said that if she came to our church, we would go to hers and she came on Sunday so we’ll see how that turns our because I’m sure there will be people falling and casting out demons and plenty of "tithing", so that should be fun. Then we had an activity for the seminary that night and the Elders from Batistini (part of our district) came because they brought some of their investigators too and well we got pizza and it was a pretty good little fireside! Onto Saturday, English class had a pretty great turn out of like nine people but everyone was participating and actually attempting to speak so that was great. Then we had lunch and cranked out some sick lessons after that. We taught a members grandson who is eight and wants to be baptized and even thought it doesn’t "count" for us, they want us to teach him then we got some new investigators and taught some less actives and the that night we had our meeting with our ward mission leader (LMA) and had a buffet dinner of french fries that was pretty dang good. I told the irmã that I was craving french fries last week and well she really wanted us to quench that craving. I even tried to make fry sauce but it’s not the same thing because the mayo and ketchup are both pretty different here but it turned out pretty solid! Then onto Sunday, quite the day I tell you! First off that morning I was calling everyone as usual to get people to come to church I called one of our investigators and she says that he mom officially is not going to let her go to church or to seminary. Then flashing forward to church, in our gospel principles class where it is just new members and our investigators we were talking about the spirit world and life after death and the LMA just started arguing about doctrine in front of our investigator and well that wasn’t a KILLER GOOD first impression of the church. But after church, lunch took FOREVER so we told some jokes, played some chess and a princess matching game haha then that night we visited some less actives that didn’t come to church and gave a blessing to someone that I’m pretty sure was possessed....but thank heavens didn’t have a break down while we were giving her the blessing. Dad did you see any of that crazy stuff on your mission because I have heard some beyond sketchy stuff that happens on peoples missions! Then we had our weekly FHE was pretty great as usual and well that wraps up the week! It was a pretty hard week because we worked our BUTTS off this week and only had one person come to church and I was as sick as a dog but SÓ VAI!!! :) I love you all, I love this mission, it’s crazy to think that I almost have a year and in a little over a month I’ll be talking to you all again for Christmas! Get those letters coming everyone! can’t wait for the packages to get here and PEACE FAM!
This week the weather was totally INSANO! Wednesday was supposedly the hottest day of the year, I almost died, and on Tuesday it was insanely hot in the morning, then was POURING rain for an hour at like 2:00 and then got mega hot again after that which meant it was nice and humid and well I’m just glad I’m not in the Baixada because it’s probably 5x hotter down there! On Tuesday, everything we had marked fell except for one lesson which was actually a pretty good lesson. We had a few appointments marked with a member and of course those fell too so we ended up eating all of our pains away with esfihas (mini pizzas). Wednesday was Halloween or dia das bruxas and that was weird not seeing little kids in costumes and stuff like that but for district meeting I had everyone wear their ugliest tie and on p-day I bought a mega ugly one for 2 reais. Then I did a division with a companionship in my district and it was a pretty sick day! He has a way sweet ward and since it’s mostly favela, the people are more open too! I did a baptismal interview for them though, which was AMAZINGLY spiritual! The girl I interviewed started crying and it was just really intense and I love doing interviews and GET THIS, come to find out that the girl that I interviewed is cousins of a kid that I baptized in Diadema, can you say a small world! I had them call him and I talked to him for a little bit which was great! Then I got to talk to super "mole" investigator that they have that decided like 5 minutes before his baptism that he didn’t want to go through with it. I gave him a nice little burn session and talked about the importance of baptism and the atonement and all this stuff and it really was mega cool because I have never felt that "guided" on the mission! I don’t even really remember what I said but I knew exactly what to say and what scriptures to use at every moment during the lesson. I love the mission! Thursday = everything falling too.......patience, patience, patience. It’s was funny because we did a TON of contacts and I talked with this guy that I told I was American and he was signing stuff so that I could "understand" what he was saying. I played along with it for a little bit but then I was just like "bro I can understand you just fine" and his friend and my companion just cracked up. Gotta love being American! We did get one solid lesson in though with the couple that has had an inanely hard life and some church members have done some pretty messed up stuff towards them because she is a less active and he isn’t a member and well we essentially just kind of let them vent and said that the church is perfect but the people aren’t. Friday I timed myself for the Rubix cube and found out I can pull it off in 3 minutes and 7 seconds! Not bad for only knowing how to do it a week ago. I’m getting there especially because my cube is AWFUL and always gets stuck so a real one would be nice. Then FINALLY some stuff actually worked out! We got some sweet new investigators and taught some street lessons and then an FHE that night! Saturday you’ll never guess but...our SUPER important appointments that couldn’t fall....FELL! Gotta love it. So we taught some less actives and had our meeting with our LMA and get this a teen I baptized in my first area called and said he would go to my church on Sunday so that was SICK! Being able to see him again and he is going strong in the church so that rocks! He says the ward is getting kind of sketch and people are moving or falling away but well there is Inamar for you, favela baby! Sunday really was a great day though, it was mega spiritual and had finally some investigators come to church and I bore my testimony and may have shed some tears because I talked about how the week was hard for us but I read section D&C 122 that morning and that always whips me into shape! I love that section more than anything! Also we talked to an investigator after church and she now wants to be baptized but we still have to figure out what to do with her Mom not letting her. But we will have a baptism next week of another investigator that everyone thought was already baptized but turns out never was! She is only 10 but she goes to church every week with her family so SÓ ÁGUA! I love you all! Get these letters coming! Um abração e beijinhos!
HELLLLOO FAMMILYYY!!!!!!!! :)
I hope it’s starting to get a little cold because well the weather here is absolutely INSANO! I feel like I’m in Utah again, it’s usually decently cold in the morning then by noon its ABSURDLY hot until like 4:00 then its pours hot rain and gets decently cold again at night. São Bernardo weather = Utah weather.
Tuesday was a pretty rough day. It started out great with another district meeting and we had a mini Halloween party and my training turned out really sick but then after that everything was just kind off all day. Lunch fell which has NEVER happened here, so we went to our "Moms" house and she made us spaghetti, then we knocked doors for three hours and no one let us in, and then our two appointments marked for that night we found out that our three baptisms marked for that Sunday ALL fell through. I’m not sure what we are supposed to learn from this one but there has got to be something so essentially we are just going to hold strong because really these three are all WAY too close to baptism to "kick". A few more fasts and prayers and we´ll see! The future is only as bright as your faith so hold strong Elder Gubler. Wednesday we had one lesson with an evangelical lady which means she is from one of the crazy Brazilian churches and well she was really participating but a little too much because the lesson took 2 hours. She kept on going off on all these stories OH GLORIA and well we have yet to teach her again but we´ll see with her. Then we taught some less actives and recent converts and I was talking to this guy who served in the Nordeste mission and you apparently baptize ATÉ O PÓ there! I’m pretty sure that Belo Horizante has some pretty good baptism too so get Lauren pumped! How is that going with her by the way, and Oliver too? You have got to keep me posted! Thursday we had lunch MEGA far away... it took and hour and fifteen to get there but the house was MASSIVE. My companion said there are six floors but I only saw four, either way, nice and big for Brazil or the US for that matter. And the lunch was definitely in the top 3 lunches of my mission so far. I LOVE BRASILIAN FOOD! I really don’t know what I’m going to go without beans everyday when I get back.... I’m addicted. Then we got lost trying to find our way to the main part of our area but finally found it and then we did a division with the ZL (zone leaders) because they needed me to do an interview from a kid in their area and well we ended up knocking doors in their area the whole day and got only three people to talk to us, two of which were solid street lessons. Oh get this, it is definitely going down in HISTORY, we totally knocked a whore house....actually looked more like a brothel. There was this guy sitting in front of the gate so we go talk to him and say we are missionaries and just says "cool you wanna come in" which was way too easy in my head so thank heavens I asked if this was his house and well he says no its where girls "present themselves to you" so we just look at each other and try not to laugh. We got out of there nice and fast! Só na missão......só na missão (only on a mission). The kid that I was going to interview had their 4 month old puppy get kicked by their neighbor and broke his leg so everyone was crying and they were leaving when we got there so needless to say the baptismal interview didn’t go down and that was definitely the newest way I’ve seen Satan interrupt a baptism…the little turd. Friday we had lunch at the house of a Brazilian but said she lived in Utah for a bit and went to pleasant grove and knew some Pinegars so start asking around who knows her! She is like around 32 and was there in 1998. It’s an insanely small world I tell ya! Oh and get this, since she has been to the states she had peanut butter and made peanut butter brownies for us and OH MY LANTIS....I almost died….sooooooooooo good. Mom they weren’t half as good as yours but man did it hit the spot even if I was absurdly full. We even got to take some home and I’ve still got two waiting for me in the fridge. Then it was also the day that I finished a Rubix cube for the first time, woohoo! It took me a week to get it down but I finally got it. Then that night, there was a little mini party that a member had for us and well I don’t think I have ever eaten so much in my entire life in one day! It’s funny because in every other area in the mission, everyone is struggling to find food but we are struggling to eat more food because we literally ate at three out of the five houses we went to, not counting lunch, I almost exploded, but we did it for all those suffering without food in the mission. Saturday we had a mini activity at the church where some members showed to pass out pass along cards and we were on a roll! We cranked out 70 in one hour just us two! Then at lunch we had quite a huge chat about free masons because there is a member who is probably going to join. But it was essentially a day of nothing working out so we got two lessons in. Then Sunday I found out that an investigator doesn’t even "want' to get baptized now. We then taught a newlywed couple in English. Well that is the week in a nut shell! I love you all! Get the letters coming and abração e beijinhos.
It was a pretty solid week full of fantastic food which always leads to eating too much and then downing Pepto and full of some great lessons! Tuesday we had our zone meeting instead of District meeting and it was WAY good! I really LOVE the people that we have in our zone here but it was fantastic because we got some letters too and well even though my family is full or slackers that never write the beloved first born serving the Lord, Tara has always got my back but so I will try not to talk too much about food this week but our lunch on Tuesday was this lasagna that the Sister used crepe things instead of the spaghetti stuff to make the layers and it was the greatest ever! The pepto definitely came into play after that but then we hit up this free bus in our area called Fatima... yes the bus has a name but everything fell there. We got some solid contacts in and marked a ton of stuff for this next week then Wednesday we had a service project in the morning where we helped set up this thing to make a wall at someone’s house. I don’t really know how to explain it because construction here doesn’t really make sense then we had another killer lunch with the most amazing fruit salad I’ve ever eaten in my entire life! Brazilian fruit is just the greatest. Then after lunch we had to go to the central to sign something so I won’t be put in jail. Everyone keeps losing my paperwork. We then hit up the favela part of our area and got tons of lessons in! We got a few new people to teach and a couple of them seem pretty promising but no one came to church on Sunday.....boohoo! Then that night we taught an investigator the word of wisdom and chastity and that was a fun lesson. She apparently had bought black tea earlier that day and wanted to try it because they drink it in England and she wants to be English but we just told her to pray about it to see if it really is a commandment...works like a charm. Thursday we taught a few more new people, taught a lesson on the street and then went to another area to do a baptismal interview for a companionship in my district but well the kid was sick and had taken medicine and went to bed so needless to say that didn’t go down. Friday we had interviews with the Pres which were great as usual. I also got a package from the great Tara full of candy and well let’s just say that our ward and my district is loving it because everyone gets to try American candy. I ate too much at lunch again, found some less actives knocking doors and then had our baptismal interviews that night so I went and did a division and slept in the ZLs (Zone Leaders) area. Our ZL had Reeses fast break and well that is my first request for Christmas. I stated my list this week so I’ll get back to you so see what I really want! Saturday had a ton of people in English class so that was sweet then we had lunch at some members from Chile that have live here for 30+ years and still can’t speak Portuguese but the cool thing was I could understand mostly everything. I got lost in a few parts but hey I think one year of Spanish and I should be good to go when i get back. Then we had THE most interesting lesson of my mission....teaching some drunk guy. He kept on screaming at my comp then I would calm him down and he would scream at my comp again. He kept on asking "what is the seventh?" Man got to love the mission but I had him say the closing prayer and that was a HUGE mistake, we were on our knees for like 15 minutes while he was screaming I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. Love it. Then we had our meeting with or LMA ward mission leader, and he speaks English so he gave me this business outline so I’ve been proofreading that for him, fun stuff. Sunday the time went ahead one hour so we lost an hour of sleep and it just about killed me! I gave a talk at church and it turned out pretty solid an then we had a meeting with the Mission President and with our Ward leadership. It was in Guarujá but I did get to see my daddy Elder Petersen and Elder Hansen and Sister Brenchley from my CTM district. That wraps up the week so keep the emails coming and LETTERS too! I love you all and I love this church.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Before I get onto my week and the General Conference run down, tomorrow is transfers but for some reason we won’t find out what will happen until 6:00 PM so if I get transferred it could be a fun night of saying bye to everyone and then packing until 3:00 and leaving at 5:00 AM. I sincerely have been praying that I stay because we have some AMAZING families and people we are teaching right now that should be baptized in a couple weeks and the guy we baptized three weeks ago is already giving a talk this Sunday! Man, I love the mission but transfers are AWFUL!
I won’t talk to too much about my week because I want to have time to talk about General Conference but some big news for the week is that the President is "cleaning" the mission up so he has made some new pretty intense rules and is sending people home all over the place! As of now, if you break the rules, you’re out of here! A little nerve wrecking but I kind of like the idea because there are plenty of people who are slacking off quite a bit! Onto our amazing investigators, we are teaching three people over the age of 70. One is the Dad of some members, one is the Mom of a less active and another is a contact on the street and well old people are just the greatest! Investigator1 is an ELECT that has accepted and knows everything is true, we have just got to get here grand children to stay making her coffee and she is good to go! Investigator2 I totally thought was a member because she is always way nice to us and always says Elders and all this stuff but apparently only one pair of missionaries has been able to teach her because she is kind of picky but after three months of knowing her, she likes me so we took that and got some lessons in. Investigator3 is adorable and likes the church but once we get him to realize the significance of the church, we are set! Then our AMAZING family, well they are just the greatest! This week we stole their mega expensive coffee (very impressed they gave it to us because it was unopened and most people won’t even give us the cheap brands) and their cigerettes and once we get them all clean from coffee they all said that they know the church is true so they are definite elects!
After all that, I can’t hold back any longer, CONFERENCE! I could talk for hours about the sessions! The Saturday sessions seemed to be focused a TON on parents and Saturday on conversion and discipleship but a few highlights that I loved: ASK THE MISSIONARIES, THEY CAN HELP. Elder Nelson, we definitely appreciated that one! "pollinate the world with the word of God" , "service is the very definition of pure religion" , "rejoice and be glad in it" , "with faith comes trials, which brings more faith" , "let your works make your faith perfect" , and last but not least "testimony is your greatest possession, don’t sell it for anything". All I’m going to say is that man is ALL of that 100% correct. I have seen one small simple testimony change lives of others FOREVER, use it! About service, I thought I was happy before the mission but you never really know what happiness is until you see other become happy through your help and your service. Faith really is the first step of EVERYTHING, without that, we have NOTHING. On Sunday, I loved the quotes "your future is only as bright as your faith", "the Lord is in the details of our life", "fear distracts from faith", conversion and discipleship is DOING and BECOMING. Righteousness is a process, not one single action. Essentially I LOVE the church, I know that we truly heard the voice of the Lord through His chosen people and well I love you all! I’ve got to go but remember to soak up the things we learned, say your prayers, read your scriptures and keep on writing me! :) I love you all!
PS: we just found out that i am leaving Bertioga :(!! BOOOOOOOOOOO...... but no one knows where i will be going to....ugh I hate transfers!
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
This last p-day my email was kind of tiny because we were in guarujá because we went to the "biggest aquarium in South America" which wasn’t very big at all just to get that out there but it ended up being mega sweet because we were there when they were feeding the sting rays and the sharks so needless to say I got some SWEET videos of a sting ray eating up some gross dead fish right in front of the glass.
Tuesday: We had to sleep in another companionships house that night because we didn’t have money to go back down to Bertioga and come up the next day for District meeting so needless to say I didn’t sleep at all. Three couch cushions on the ground under the fan with a tiny little sheet didn’t work out too well! The next day the other American and I made some pancakes but we made then jabuticaba (a great Brazilian fruit) flavored and they turned out DELICIOUS! I’m not really sure how we made then because he threw all the stuff in the blender and I just fried them but they turned out great and I decided I miss pancakes! Then we had District meeting and back down to Bertioga after! I always like District meeting but having it be so far away from our area is a tad bit annoying because it always makes the whole day late and essentially everything fell on Tuesday but we did land one lesson with an older lady we are teaching and she is such a great person! The spirit is always so strong in her house and she always reads what we tell her to and everything so in two weeks or so let’s hope her baptism works out and let’s hope that I’m still here because we marked it for the first Sunday after the transfer and I’m pretty sure I’m going to go away this transfer. If I go away that will stink because we should have a solid four baptisms of AMAZING people this next month but well the Lord know what he wants so...SÓ VAI!
Wednesday: It was freeeeeezing, when we got up it was mega cold and pouring rain! Actually it was pouring rain all morning but luckily it calmed down a TON by the time we left! But rain in Bertioga is awful because we are so close to the beach; there is sand everywhere which turns in to MUD and lakes in the streets. I rocked some shoes that a member gave me that are awful, he got four pairs for free from his work but I didn’t have to worry about wrecking my other shoes, the only bad part was that my feet were broken by the end of the day! I realized something on Wednesday that really the little things you do can make a HUGE difference in your day and in the day of others! We were walking along doing our thing and some homeless guys came to talk to us and I assumed they were going to ask for money as usual but I decided that I was going to actually talk to them so I went into it with a smile and it changed everything. They didn’t even ask for money, they did ask for a bible and I didn’t want to give them mine because it’s all marked up so we said come to our church and well give you new ones but the thing that hit me was when I said sorry one of them said "oh don’t worry about it your smile and just talking to us helped enough". It’s the small things that make big differences, ALWAYS SMILE. We are so amazing blessed so show it! That night we talked to family that I haven’t seen in a long time but we taught them again and then contacted a reference we got, it was a solid day.
Thursday: Not much went down but it was still a great day, lunch was late but then after we gave a blessing to a little boy that was in recession of cancer but it came back and the blessing was mega powerful! After the blessing we both knew that he would be completely fine, the Priesthood is real. We also gave a blessing of comfort to the Mom and ended up talking to them for quite a while because they are from close to where my companion is from and people from the south of Brazil love their other people from the sul. After we attended a wedding which was pretty cool! They got "married" on paper that morning so it was just the cake and stuff that night but then after we hit up English class because the member gave the class for me because we had to go to the wedding.
Friday: A pretty big day because I used one of my three shirts that has yet to be used yet because all my others were dirty but well I may have gotten it nice and dirty. I have awful luck with keep clothes clean on the mission! Then we taught an investigator again and she said she got her answer that the church is true but I don’t thing she really understands the significance of that yet so we are working with that right now and then that night, I got to speak English for an hour straight! A week ago an English teacher stopped us on the street and asked if I could come by his school to talk to his students and let them ask me questions and stuff so that happened on Friday and there ended up only having two people but they spoke quite well. But I just essentially rambled on in English for an hour or so and I essentially ended up teaching all of the word of wisdom so that was sweet!
Saturday: No one showed to English class during the morning, no one in the ward goes on Saturdays so it may end up just being on Thursdays. Our money fell so we could buy food again and on an even better note we got a new family that we taught for the first time and the lesson was GREAT! They accepted everything and all seem really interested and the Spirit was way strong! They went to church this Sunday and they said after church they were all in shock because they liked it so much! I love the mission! Then we taught a Catholic family.
Sunday: We had some great investigators come to church, seven people baby! Even the English teacher that I taught in his class came! I really hope I stay here this next transfer because things are really starting to pick up in Bertioga! Well that essentially wraps up the week so I hope you all enjoyed! Make sure to SOAK up general conference this week, say your prayers, read your scriptures and keep the emails and letters coming! I love you all so much and thanks for all of the support and just everything!
So Tuesday was another day of trooping through Brazilian heat and having nothing work out, a day full of not a whole lot. I know that there is a reason for EVERYTHING in life especially on the mission because you’re doing the Lords work but days when not a single thing works out gets a little rough. Good thing you can always fall back on contacts, we didn’t have a meeting planned for our activity on Friday so that was apparently the only thing that was supposed to go down on Tuesday. Days like that happen so I can learn. Wednesday was an INSANELY hot day! It was 25 C at 7 in the morning and then got up to I think 37 and there wasn’t even sun... it was just like being in a heat box... awful. But we did a little better on Wednesday than Tuesday; we nailed at least one lesson. Also the District meeting that we had was AMAZING! I just realized that my time is essentially up so a few other random things for the week, had some solid English classes, got some new investigators, we ate just french fries soda and ice cream one day for lunch, got to love getting money ;) Michael you will love the mish! we had an activity at the ward that turned out pretty great and then had a hilarious mimicking activity and 225+ esfiha which are just baby pizzas, I talked with a FLUENT English teacher that actually knew how to speak English and I’m going to go and teach a little mini lesson and let them ask me questions about being American I had a wooden plank made with my name and Missao Brazil Sao Paulo Sul and all this stuff and it was done on Saturday and it turned out SICK, and then on Sunday we had a confirmation and had a mega spiritual class on temple work, I gave ANOTHER talk (that makes my third one here in Bertioga) that turned out pretty dang good if I say so myself, service baby, and then that night we had a meeting in Santos with the President of the mission, our Bishop, his secretary and the Ward Mission Leader and it was MEGA spiritual too! The beginning of the week was a little tough but it made up for everything just on Sunday alone! I love the mission. We are in Vicente de Carvalho right now because we went to the biggest aquarium in South America today, pretty sweet but it wasn’t big at all. I love you all and sorry for ending this so abruptly, I’m just working my little butt off it’s not my fault. I’ll be better next week, love you all.
Um abração e beijinhos!
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Tuesday: We had quite a few lessons fall because lunch wasn’t ready when we showed up and if lunch is late it throws the whole day off. Just to clear up a little confusion, we eat in the houses of members everyday for lunch but dinner is rare. But so we had a few appointments fall but at the same time, sometimes it seems like that Heavenly Fathers way of "weeding" out the appointments that are less important because ALL of lessons were very spiritual! We taught two different girls that were references from members and they are really progressing! References from members really make all the difference because when we have someone that they know to teach with us and to sit with them at church it makes things work out much smoother! We are hoping that one of them will be baptized this week because she already keeps the Word of Wisdom and chastity, she just isn’t sure if she has gotten her answer yet but we’re getting there! Also we are teaching a family that has quite a few problems but is very interested it’s just kind of really complicated to get here to come to church. But that is definitely the worst part of the mission not being able to see the baptism of people that you teach.
Wednesday: We had district meeting and I got a package with a quicksilver shirt and a tie from one of my baptisms back in Inamar and some another letter from someone back there and well I really wish I would have been able to talk when I was back of there. There were some great people that I already feel like we are mega close but I couldn’t really talk right back there. But I absolutely love here in Bertioga and will probably go away this next transfer but I decided I want to finish my mission here! Also about the district meeting, we got to do some sweet practice lessons like you do in the CTM but again, I could actually talk this time and it was pretty cool! But after the district meeting, it was a pretty rough day, EVERY SINGLE appointment fell. We literally walked for three hours without stopping and well it was a pretty rough day and it’s been a while since I have been that exhausted because we usually can get in at least one house to sit down for a little bit but well that didn’t really work out too well.
Thursday: A much better day! First off, we ate some cow liver for lunch. I found out that one of my favorite things to eat (carne seco or "dry meat") is donkey liver so that may have left the list of my favorite things to eat. We taught the two girls that are progressing quite a bit again and taught the lady that ended up calling the cops on us after the whole little girl mess. It’s funny seeing the plan of the Lord play in front of you after all the huge mess and going to police station two times, we end up teaching the family…only on the mission. Well unfortunately she is going on vacation for a month so even though she really likes us now, we won’t be able to teach her for quite some time. Also a funny story we were with a member, Hyrum (named after Hyrum Smith, it’s pretty funny hearing people try to say his name in Portuguese) but we were going to teach some people with him and they asked the names of everyone in the family and well mom they ate up your name. That night we had a meeting with the leadership of the ward, I FINALLY worked out this English class mess and essentially said just let me start teaching now and you guys can work out all the stuff while I’m teaching so that will be starting this week on Thursday and Saturdays and that will help a TON to get the name of the church out there! After that we all went to a pizzeria that was delicious . The Brazilian restaurant that I’m going to open in the bakery is going to be HUGE especially because at lunch on Friday I learned how to make brigadeiro in the microwave and I love that stuff! With so many chocolate fans that there are in the states I don’t know how it doesn’t exist!
Friday: It was a holiday and since Bertioga is gorgeous and has beautiful beaches it was insanely full of people! We taught some people on the street and that was pretty interesting because there was just a car blasting music next us with people dancing around it. We got another reference from a member and its funny how people react when I say I’m American! Everyone is always like "oh it’s such an honor to have you in my house" my companion may have gotten ignored for a little bit and I chatted with them.
Saturday: We had the baptismal interview in the morning so our District Leader came down from Guaruja to our little island of Bertioga to interview him and we had to do it close to the beach because his family has a little shack on the beach and he was working but that all worked out smoothly. Satan is a DIRT BAG, problems always arise right before baptisms...chato pra carumba! But then that night we helped out LMA (Ward Mission Leader) move and Brazilian babies love me! I hate to brag but in the hands of Elder Gubler they stop crying within minutes.
Sunday: We had choir as usual after church and we have to perform our music number next week and one of them is solid but the other is awful. I’m a little nervous, we are definitely in need of a miracle! Then we had lunch at a members house, I am going to bring her to the states to open our bakery because she is pretty much the best cook I have EVER met! Then that night we had a few other lessons. Well that wraps up the week! I hope everything is going great back at home and you enjoy this massive email this week! Keep the emails and letters coming!
amo todo vocês! amo esta igreja! amo esta missão! até mais,