Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Beginning

Oi Familia!
Tudo Bem?

I can´t believe school has already started up for all of you.  As I look back on the last year I´ve realized how much I´ve done.  It seems like yesterday I was finishing up work for chick-fil-a, packing up boxes for BYU, and getting my missionary papers all filled out.  Since then I´ve done a semester at BYU, helped start an amazing software company ;), learned spanish (sort of), moved to a different country, and learned Portuguese (sort of).  Crazy.

The big news this week is that I get a fresh start in Brazil.  I found out this morning that me and Elder Barbosa are getting transferred out of Vida Nova.  Not sure if they are closing it or just putting two new missionaries in, but either way, I´m leaving.  I was kind of dissapointed when I found out.  It´s a rough area, but I was kind of excited to get to work.  Elder Barbosa was sick of working here, and since he´s my trainer and senior companion and the only one that speaks Portuguese, it was kind of rough to get him excited to work, and we spent the last two weeks really dragging along.  I was expecting that he would be transferred and I would stay, but I guess you never know what will happen.  Mostly I´m just excited to get a fresh start here in Brazil.  The first transfer was pretty tough, but I feel like now I kind of know what to expect and how to work here, and am excited to give it a new shot in a new area.

Other than that nothing too exciting happened.  Did a couple exchanges with some other elders which was fun.  We got back in contact with Jose e Ana and tought them the Plan of Salvation, and Ana really started to get excited to come to Church, but sadly, their son got really sick Saturday night so they were in the hospital.  All is well now, but I´m leaving so not sure what will happen with them.   Hopefully the other Elders will pick them up.

I guess I´ll just share some more Brazilian culture to finish this letter off.

Motorcycle delivery:  We have pizza delivery in America, but here they have motorcycle delivery for everything.  Be it Pizza, burgers, hot dogs, mineral water, propane gas etc.  It´s kind of fun.  When we order pizza, we usually stop in the store and order it on are way home, and then 20 minutes later here a honk outside and know the pizza is here.  

Churros:  Delicious.  And way better then the churros in America.  They have Churros trucks that drive around, kind of like and ice cream truck.  But when you want a churro, they stop and make the churro fresh.  And the best part is that they fill up the middle with chocolate or doce de lete, and tip the top in nuts, or coconut. Delicious.

Well I guess that´s all for now.  I´ll let you know where my new area is, who my knew companion is, and anything fun that happens this week.  Hopefully I´ll find more success in the future, but as for now, all I can do is work my hardest.  

Love you all,


Monday, August 12, 2013

Ja um mez aqni na Brasil

Oi Familia!
Tudo bem!

I´ve probably said this before, but I can`t believe it´s already been nearly a month since I got here to Brazil.  This week has been great!  A lot of work, and not a lot of success as far as finding people, but I´m finally starting to settle in and figure things out.  Portuguese is coming a lot faster than Spanish.  I guess that´s what happens when you are forced to speak and think in Portuguese all day everyday.

The more I learn Portuguese, the better I get along with Elder Barbosa.  We still have a lot of differences, but it´s amazing what increased communication can do.  I have decided I can´t worry about what all the other missionaries do.  As long as I am doing my best to use the Lord´s time wisely and diligently, things will work out.  Elder Barbosa has been kind of home sick this week, but all is well.

Now for a little about my investigators.  I feel like I´m throwing new names at you every week.  We found an amazing lady Saturday night.  Edineia was a referral, and she had actually asked for missionaries a while ago, but they could never find her house, so she asked again about a week ago, and we couldn´t find her house.  However, Saturday we started knocking this random bairro (neighborhood), and after a while realized it was the bairro we had been looking for.  We went back that night, taught her the Restoration, and she´s commited to be baptized this week!  She even came to Church yesterday and everything, so that should be good.

Other than her, we found one more promising person.  His name is Alex.  He´s probably about 30 years old, but just recently separated from his wife so is living with his mom right now.  He really enjoyed our first lesson with him, but sadly he didn´t come to Church.  He seems to want to know the truth, but is just busy like so many other people.  He promised to read the Book of Mormon though, so we need to follow up and see how things went.

Fernando is doing alright.  He had work Sunday so couldn´t come to church which means we have to wait another two weeks before he can be baptized.  He´s so concerned about Emily, a recent convert girlfriend who has gone back to drinking and smoking and partying, so hopefully he can be a good example for her.

Other than that a lot of knocking doors this week. I want to improve the way we contact people.  Too often we just tell them we are missionaries and have a message of Christ, but kind of leave out the testimony.  Hopefully that will improve this week.

Brazilian culture bit for the week:  Coca-Cola, or Coca as they call it here.  I refer to it as the water of Brazil because I´m pretty sure they drink more coke than water.  In one month here I think I´ve had 20 times the amount of soda than I had the first 19 years of life.  Probably not the healthiest thing, but we do so much walking I think it cancels it out.

Not much more to say this week.  Hope you all are having a wonderful summer and I know everyone is looking forward for school to start up again!  Have a great week!



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tudo bem de Brasil

Monday August 5, 2013

Oi Familia,

Another week has gone by in Brazil.  Time is so weird, it goes by so fast and so slow at the same time, but I´m mostly enjoying my experiences here so that´s whats important.

I´m still frustrated a lot of times in my inability to speak Portuguese, but when I realize I´ve only been here for three week I realize how fast I am learning.  I just need to be patient and do what I can and trust that the Lord will make my meager efforts count for something.  There is just so much I want to do and say to these people, and a lot of times I feel kind of handicapped.  But the people are nice and loving and  understanding.  So all is well.

The area I´m in is kind of struggling.  We aren´t really working in unision with the ward which makes things tough.  It´s a tiny ward, and I hear rumors that they might close it soon and combine it with Ouro Verde soon.  Elder Barbosa has also told me that Presdient will probably close the area after this transfer, but nontheless there is still work to be done.

We are working a lot with Fernando right now.  We found him last week, and are hoping he´ll be ready for baptism in two weeks.  He just has work sundays which is difficult.  His girlfriend is a member, so he has some support from the ward. But she has a hard time coming. It´s hard here because a lot of people just don´t see the need to continue going to church.  There is so much more after baptism, so I guess we need to do a better job of helping people catch the vision.

We also found a great family this week.  Leandro, Thais, Leandro jr, and Lucas.  Currently they are reading the Book of Mormon and looking for an answer, but haven´t been to Church yet.  He works in Sao Paulo which is a couple hours away, and a lot of weekends is there so it´s tough to get them to Church, but I´m really hoping they find a way because they are an awesome family!

To conlcude this letter just some other cultural tidbits about Brazil.  Omnibus, or bus rides, are a roller coaster.  They have a pretty big bus system here in Campinas, but the roads are horrible, and the drivers crazy so you have to hold on for dear life.  We use the busses quite a bit so that´s been and adventure.

O cachorro quente:  The brazilian version of a hot dog.  I haven´t figured out what all they put on it, but they load those babies up.   You´ll have to google it cause I don´t know how to describe it.

The culture here, especially the mission culture is a lot more relaxed than Indiana, it´s just hard to relax and enjoy myself in Portuguese.

One other thing that is kind of fun, is instead of going to the first two hours of Church, we stand outside the church inviting people to come in.  So far we haven´t gotten anyone to come in, but I guess the mission has had success with this in the past.  So just sacrament meeting for us.

Well I think that´s it for this week.  I´m slowly getting used to things here, and know things will all work out  in the end.  Hope things are going great in the states!

Love you all :)