OPA!!! It sounds like it was a great week for missionary calls back home! Tell everyone congrats for me and I wish everyone the best of luck! I can appreciate what it feels like to be going a mission a lot more now and you really don’t know what you are getting yourself into until you are in the field! The CTM was a blast but this is kind of completely different than the field. We had a zone conference this last Tuesday so I got to talk to some of the other elders that left the CTM the same day as me and me and another Elder decided that if singing hymns was a baptismal requirement, then no one in brazil would be getting baptized but that’s how church is. It’s kind of completely different than church back home because the door is open so you can hear all the funk that is being played on the streets and the babies all just run all over the place but it is cool being able to have church all in Portuguese plus we had an investigator, the girlfriend of a priest in our ward there the past two Sundays so that was fun to be able to have people that are sincerely looking for the gospel still be able to feel the Spirit even though church is a little different here. In fact the girl, Natani we hope will be baptized next Sunday so that is pretty exciting if you ask me!!!! :) she has been taught be other missionaries before but wants to be taught everything again before she gets baptized so if we can teach her everything in the next week then it’s a go for the 26th but if not because she has work and school literally ALL the time so it makes it hard to talk with her, then we will for sure have it on the 4 de Março so needless to say I’m pretty excited about that! :)
During the last zone conference we got mail and I got two letters from the family, two from Tara and a package from here so it sounds like that alma 60:6 did a number on you guys ;) But we should get mail again next week so I’ll keep you posted! but if you do want to send me something you can always send me some peanut butter because I would kill for some of that stuff, and zip lock bags would be nice too :)
But now onto my week, it was an interesting week, full of ups and downs that’s for sure! But I’ll have to get accustomed to that quick because that’s how it’s gonna be for the next two years! Let’s just hope the ups outweigh all the downs and when we get all our investigators progressing and some baptisms I’m sure I will feel like I can do anything. Here are a few highlights of the week: Tuesday we had the area conference which was really cool to be able to go to and hear and Area Authority and President and Sister Tanner speak to us! I really have only talked to them once and I already just love them! Our saying here is "São Paulo Sul, o melhor missão do Mundo" (São Paulo South, the best mission in the world) and oh that is spot but its President and Sister Tanner that make this mission so amazing! The conference took up most of Tuesday because it was a two hour bus ride to get to it in São Judas so we left at 6:30 nice and early and didn’t get back until almost 5! A whole lot of bus riding that day and the buses here are out of control! they always seems to wake me up and its fun because you never know if you’re gonna make it to the top of a hill or not ha-ha ;) go Brazil baby! On to Wednesday, it was kind of extremely rough I’m not gonna lie. We had so much planned all day but literally everything fell through. We had zone meeting in the morning and then lunch when we got back but we had a solid 5 lessons set up with investigators, an interview for a baptism with Vila Paulina because Elder Pedersen is DL and then splits with some ward members that night but ALL of the lessons with the investigators fell through and it just so happened that we did not plan our walking too well because they were all literally on different sides of our area which is all hills mind you and then the interview for baptism with didn’t go through and I went on splits with the other missionary of that area and he is kind of new to Diadema so he doesn’t know his way around but here is how we spent our time. He had an appointment lined up with an investigator and of course it was on the top of a giant hill which I didn’t like because my knees were killing me at this point, but we start our climb up this mountain face of a hill, get about 85% of the way up there and he realizes that we are on the wrong mountain of a hill but I could appreciate that because I don’t know our area at all either so we walk down, go a street over and climb up that massive hill, we get to the top cross over through a little alley way and guess what we end up almost exactly where we were on the other hill when we started walking down…great right? If my calves aren’t huge by the end of these two years I may be a little annoyed but don’t worry my knees are fine now! They may have kind of have a breakdown after Wednesday so I broke out the ibuprofen walked like a cripple but I’m all good now so NO WORRYING ;) Also our appointment with the investigator that night when we were on splits with people in the ward and it was a crucial appointment because he (Bruno) is way busy too wit school and work (it’s really hard to mark times with people here because it’s a favela so everyone is working) but I was gonna challenge him to baptism and of course he wasn’t there so overall Wednesday was kind of really rough. Good thing I had candy to cheer me up when I got home :) and good thing this is the Lords work not mine so just about anything is possible! Thursday was pretty rough too... another day of a lot of appointments falling through but on the plus side we had a little time to practice the piano and you were right Mom I really wish I would have kept on playing. I forgot how bad I am, I can’t even play sweet hour of prayer smoothly with two hands but hopefully we’ll get there because piano is definitely necessary for hymns here and after E Pedersen leaves I could be in for a world of pain if I can’t pick up the piano fast. So whip Michael into shape and make him learn a few hymns for his mission. Friday we had a division which is just where you spend a day in another area with a different Elder and some replaces you in your area and oh was it great! I went to Taboão which is north of Diadema but it was a pretty good day and I definitely needed one at this point! I had my first Brazilian bacon cheese hamburger (fun fact they can cheese burgers x burgers here because 'x' makes a sch sound) and oh was it phenomenal. These things could hold up in the states and was as good as 5 guys so that was a great way to start off the day and another big reason they do divisions besides learning from other people how to teach which helped a ton! They had a baptism that went through so that was exciting just to witness that even for other people! :) Saturday was just your average day in the field we had some new people show up for the ala de inglês (English class) so that was exciting and I found out I have apparently been spelling 40 wrong for my entire life. Gotta love getting taught stuff about your own language when you are "teaching" English. Sunday was pretty good too but I already talked about that! We fasted as a zone for people that we want to get baptized so Sunday lunch we got to eat again and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that much in my life! All the houses we went to after church gave us food and the last house we stopped at Laura and Marcillas house and got fed coxinha, two juices, and two types of pudding and she gets a little upset if you don’t eat everything so I felt like I was gonna explode on that walk home. If I don’t gain some weight during the next two years I will be extremely shocked! But that is essentially it for the week! I realized this morning that I still haven’t really borne my testimony in Portuguese to you all yet so brace yourself because here it is! :)
Eu gostaria prestar meu testamunho por todos de voces, que eu sei qute esta igraja e verdadiero. Que realmente esta igraje foi restarou por meio do Jose Smith. Que por meio dele now temos a plenitude do evangelho de Jesus Cristo na terra novamente. Que por meio Jose Smith nos temos o poder para agir no nome de Jesus Cristo, que come este poder nos podemos realizar milagres. Por causa deste sacerdocia, Eu sei que nos temos o mesmo igreja que foi organizou de Jesus Cristo. Eu sei que Jesus Cristo vivo, e realmente ele e nosso salvador. Atraves do sacrificio eterno dele nos podemos viver na presença de Deus, Jesus Cristo, e Espírito Santo. Nos podemos voltar e viver em glória para sempre. Eu sou muito grato por este opportunidade, esta bençãp que nos temos por ficar juntos para sempre. Eu sou muito grato por todos de vocês e este opportunidade eu tenho para pregar este evangelho marvilihoso com as pessoas de Brasil. Este opportunidade para aprender, crescer, e ajudar outros pessoas. Eu amo todos de vocês, este evangelho, e meu Salvador, Jesus Cristo. Eu digo estas coisas em nome de Jesus Cristo, Amen.
Let’s hope good translate can understand my sketchy Portuguese but it’s coming! :) I love you all and think of you always! It’s great hearing about home and try not to forget about me!
Seu Filho, Seu Irmão, Seu Melhor Amigo,
Com todos de minha amor.