Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday we spent Christmas eve at Andreas and Paulo´s

Wednesday!!! Christmas at home, then skype!!!! :D That was great to see everyone again! I ended up catching a ride back to David´s house. Once we got there we were surprised with Pizza Hut!!! :D

Thursday!!! Doctor and study day, one day I[ll end this stuff.

Friday!! We had lunch then were emergency called to the ZL´s area so that I could do some baptism interviews... It took from about 5 until 9 so... That was it, though before we went to Vó Lias to confirm there presense at church... (more importantly her great grandaughters... we´re trying to baptize her)

Saturday:Normal day, we found 1 family super cool, Candida and Henrique and taught them, theypre a reference from his daughter that lives in a different ward. They work everyday so we can only find them home on Saturdays, that´ll be the only problem with them.

Sunday:  we had a normal day at church, lunch with paulo and andrea, tried to knock doors, that didn´t work sowell... Ha, then at about 7 the elders from cavalhada came to sleep at our house becuase they had a doctors appointment at the same place as me so we all went together!!!!

With Pietro, Leo and Dudu

Justin's email from last week did not send, but he found the first half of what he had written.

Well, on Tuesday we had our big ole christmas party!!! Apresentations from the zones, we had lunch at the "Green smell"and more presentations. (Ours was the best) we had the spiritual part and got presents from Mrs. Clause!!! ?D

Wednsesday we had a normal day, visited the people and tried to find new investigators but it[s hard right now... People are nice during the contacts but tell us to wait until the next year to pass by.

Thursday  we went to the foot doctor again... Nothing. Only next Thursday she[ll take off the nail. So, we worked normally until the end of the day.

Sexta: Distrito Amigo! My 1st as DL, after we bought a pizza and I learned a little bit about how to play the Ukelele!!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

My CTM district reunited

Me and Mrs. Clause

Me and Elder Machado

My zone at the Christmas party

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mom's Talk

I was going to post this a while ago, but I forgot, so here it is now.  This is the talk that mom gave in sacrament meeting a couple of months ago:

As I was preparing to give this talk, I asked Justin if there was anything he didn’t want me to say.  He gave me the green light to talk about anything I felt inspired to, with the warning that you might just have to hear it all again in a year.  Also, know that I don’t speak Portuguese, so I am sure I will mess up terribly on pronunciation of words and names.  So, next year, if you do hear the same story, you probably won’t even know it!!
President Monson said, “Those who have felt the touch of the master’s hand somehow cannot explain the change which comes into their lives.  There is a desire to live better, to serve faithfully, to walk humbly, and to live more like the Savior.”  Justin has been on his mission for over a year now, and this quote describes him perfectly.  He has felt the touch of the master’s hand.  He is the same person and yet, I can tell, when I read his e-mails, that he is different.  He is changed.  He is better.
Every day Justin, and missionaries all over the world teach people the word of God, and then invite them to make changes in their lives, so they can be worthy to be baptized.  No less is expected of us!! As we come to church each week and hear the word of God, as we daily read the word of God, as we pray daily to God, we should have a desire to change and then do it!!
For this is what life is about changing, progressing, becoming better.  Marion G. Romney said,  - "No Latter-Day Saint should be content to stand day after day in the same place on the way to eternal life."
There is always some way we can improve and do better!!   It is not easy for anyone to change their habits or lifestyle.  Change doesn’t come quickly, it comes day by day, one choice at a time, until, before you know it, a year has passed, and looking back, we can see the person we have become.  Change is always worth it.

As I read Justin’s e-mail each week I can see his growth, feel the spirit and my own testimony is strengthened.   Oh, how I look forward to them.

In these e-mails and letters there always seems to be 2 recurring themes.  Both of these themes President Monson has taught,
“There is no such thing as coincidence.” And
 “The Lord is in the details of our lives.”

It is my hope, that as I relate some of Justin’s mission experiences we will all be able to see the Hand of the Lord in the details of His children’s lives.

Justin, in the beginning of his mission, was discouraged that he wasn’t learning Portuguese as fast as he wanted to.  And there were times when he felt he wasn’t really contributing to the lessons being taught.  Now, when I read his e-mails, I can tell that his Portuguese is better, because his English is worse.  So, as I share e-mails written by him, know that I have edited them, just a little, so that we can all understand them.

When Justin reached his 1 year mark, he took time to reflect.  This is one of the stories that he wrote:
 “I´ve seen a lot of things happen this year.   Right from the first 24 hours in the``Brasil`` MTC, I knew that it was going to be a lot different.  Even living in the most American part of the country it was easy to see the differences. No Dr. Pepper, Mcdonalds is expensive, and they eat rice and beans EVERY DAY (capital letters).  I thought I was going to die with this diet after the first 2 days.  Though, I know how blessed I am, and that I´m supposed to be here in Porto Alegre South.  When I was in the Brazil mtc, they served brown beans every day.    I couldn´t eat brown beans without feeling sick, though when we had black beans once a month or so, I loved it.   I ate them more than anything else... I got nervous about having to eat brown beans, when I got close to coming into the field, thinking I would be sick every day. But, I’ve been blessed. The people here in the south only eat black beans... Less than 5 times I´ve had brown beans here... I love black beans so much now.

Before going to Brazil, Justin didn’t know that brown beans would make him feel sick… but the Lord did.  It is not a coincidence that Justin was sent to a place where black beans are eaten instead of brown beans. My heart is full of gratitude, knowing that the Lord is watching over our son and is in the details of his life.

The first area Justin served in was Pelotas.  One of the ward members is a DJ for a Saturday night radio show and he invited Justin and his companion to be on his show.  Justin could hardly speak the language, but he was so excited to have this new experience.  During the show they gave away a Book of Mormon to the first 5 callers.  The next Friday, they went out to deliver the Books of Mormon to the winners.  When they got to Paulo’s house, he turned them away saying he wasn’t interested.  His mother, Paulina, however was very interested, and she was there when the missionaries came knocking.  She accepted the Book, invited them in and they taught her the plan of salvation.  They continued to teach Paulina and she soon committed to be baptized.  Paulina was active in another church and the day before her baptism her pastor came to her house to try to talk her out of it.  He told her that the whole church was based on a lie, the Book of Mormon.  Then Paulina, not yet baptized, but definitely converted replied, “If you read that book, actually read it, you won’t find one lie.”  The next day Paulina was baptized.  What an inspired sequence of events that led to her entering the waters of baptism.  Justin was honored to confirm her a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter –Day Saints.  But, he was also nervous because he did not know the language very well.   About the occasion, Justin wrote, “I hope the congregation had the gift of tongues,  so they could understand the blessing.  Well, I at least got the confirming the Holy Ghost part right because I didn’t have to redo it.  So I guess all is well!!!”
Paulina has such a special place in my heart.  At 76 years old, she had a desire to change and be better.
Was it a coincidence that Paulina’s son called the radio station and won a book that he didn’t even want?  No. Paulina was ready and waiting to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Lord was in every detail.

Jair is a man who lives in Porto Alegre.  Over 20 years ago he served a mission in Sao Paolo but, within 4 months of returning home, he became less active in the church.  He has been less active ever since.  About a year ago, a lifelong friend of Jair’s moved into his area.  These 2 friends grew up together, got baptized on the very same day, and were even called to serve in the same mission.  This friend of Jair’s is Justin’s mission president.  It is no coincidence that President Castro was assigned to serve in the Porto Alegre South Mission, the same mission where his dear friend desperately needed him to be.  President Castro has been instrumental in helping his friend Jair become active in the church again.  The Lord was in the details of both of their lives.  They both needed to be in the exact place, at the exact time (for the Lord’s purpose to be fulfilled). Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

One week Justin and his companion only had $20 R, which is equivalent to $10.00.  On Monday, they had to ride the bus to get to an appointment.  That bus ride cost exactly $20 R.  So, they were down to no money and payday wasn’t until Friday.  They needed money because later that week they had an appointment far away, which meant another $20 R bus ride.  The night before their appointment, the lady that was going to fix lunch for them the next day called and cancelled. But she said, “Come by my house and I’ll give you some money.” Because of the money they were given, Justin and his companion, were able to ride the bus and keep their appointment that evening.
In his e-mail that week, Justin wrote, ”It’s strange how God works and that things always work out for the best.”
When I first read this story, it brought pain to my heart, to know that he went a week with no money, and that I couldn’t help him.   But, I do know that the Lord is there for him, when I can’t be.  And I am grateful that Justin is having these experiences, to learn to rely on the Lord and to trust in Him.  I know that it is because of experiences like these that he is being changed.
President Monson said, “ I believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant.”  Justin and his companion were short just a very small, seemingly insignificant amount of money.  But this story again illustrates that the Lord is in the details of our lives.
Elaine Kennelly wrote a poem titled, “God Is in the Details”.

If God is in the details of How? Where? and Why?
If that is true, then who am I to argue, fear and cry?

If God is in the details, and His path is the Way.
Then what am I doing , as I worry through the day?

If God is in the details of all simple daily life.
Then I can give to Him my pain, my hurts, my strife.

If God is in the details, then courageous I can be.
All day-to-day decisions are for Him to make -- not me.

Yes! God is in the details. Obedient faith is a must.
For as He leads, He holds my hand, and I need simply to trust.

Yes! God is in the details. He protects me night and day.
He counsels me and guides me, and to Heaven leads the way.

Yes! God is in the details of our lives; it's real for me and you.
Jesus' death and resurrection has made all of this come true.
Elaine Kennelly

I want to close with Justin’s own words.  In his reflections on the past year, he wrote,
“I know the Lord watches over us, he´s watching over Carol who had some difficult times before her baptism, and still has difficulties, but keeps going with faith and hope that things will get better. He´s watching over Paulina who took the step late in her life, but is now less than 3 months away from going to the temple. He´s watching over Tiago and Helena, protecting them as Tiago continues getting better every day from his terrible addictions. He´s watching over Gabriel, giving him the chance to see his parents baptized just months after he set the example. He´s watching over Milena.  He´s watching over João, as he blesses the sacrament. He´s watching over Letícia as she´s being an example in her family for her sisters, doing the right things, reading and asking questions, learning more and more and helping her classmates as a newly called member of the seminary presidency. He´s watching over me, and He’s watching over you.”
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Well, week one with Elder Machado went well.

Monday: Oliveira said bye to people, and we ended the day ( a good part of it) At Paulo´s and Andrea´s.

Tuesday: Oliveria said by to Jair and iara then we went to the bus station until about 5. Took a taxi home (Machado and I) and then we went to buy stuff. At the bus station I saw a bunch of friends and met Elder Fagg´s parents. 

Wednesday we had district meeting,  then Elder Machado met some of the people before we went to FHE with Andrea and Paulo

Thursday: Was a little bit harder, we walked to the belem velho... For those of you who dodn´t know where that is... It´s far away... all up hill. Not even kidding. We walked for over 2 hours to get there, taught 1 lesson (the other people weren´t home) then we walked back... Over 10 KM and it was really, really, really hot. Ps, quick weather forcast... Over 90 all week, and summer doesn´t start until the 22nd... I´m not too excited for this summer.

Friday: We went to eh mission home to pick up our new cell phone, and that took up a good part of our day. 

Saturday we practiced for our skit at the christmas party (tomorrow) then we ate lunch, at home... And we stayed home because my toe was hurting alot (In 2 hours I´ll be going to the doctor, hopefully this time the problem doesn´tcome back)

SUnday was a normal sunday, we had lunch and then FHE with Andrea and Paulo. 

My new comp is super cool, I´m liking my time so far and my new responsibilities... I love you all!!!! :D Almost merry christmas!

Monday, December 2, 2013


Tuesday: We spent the whole day finding new investigators until our appointment at 6 in our apartment complex... Though, she wasn´t home. so we sat waiting for her until about 7 until we decided that she probably forgot, so we left and waited again at about 9 when she usually gets home, nothing. that sucks because she´s supposed to be super good! :(

Wednesday: We got $ for lunch, kinda. The sister forgot to leave money so her 87 year old dad ended up serving us bread and milk... oh well, at least we ate, right.    We took advantage of the extra hours we got out of it and visited people in the ``Cohab``

Thursday:Thanksgiving!!! Distrito amigo in our area, didn´t do that much. Oh well, at least we tried. that night Elder Oliveira taught a guitar class, I don´t really understand why still but, oh well. haha. Though thanksgiving was cool!!! I got my christmas packages! :D And I bought a cheap pizza! (Though I know why it was a dollar, oh well.) Thanks everyone for the Christmas ornaments!!! :D

Friday:We took our list of references that we recieved from the pass along cards... too mad that nobody told us that this list (Which they gave to us this week) Is a year old, The people didn´t even remember requesting the stuff. Oh well, at least we did our job, right?

Saturday: English class in the morning, lunch with Andrea and Paulo, then we visited people until our dinner with Cris.   We basically just visited less active members in the ``Cristal`` The dangerous area.

Sunday: Church!!!! then lunch with Barth and Rosana, went home to drop off our stuff, went to visit the Less active members that the releif society gave to us. Then we had FHE with Paulo and Andrea... i ate, a lot. I thought I was gonna be sick.

What a bummer that I really got sick, right??? I´ve thrown up 3 times today (Though I can´t complain, it´s been quite a while since I´ve gotten sick) Don´t read this if you have a week stomach!!!! It was the nastiest throw up of my life, it came our really thick and almost solidish... If only what came out of the bottom came out solid... Alright, sorry for the details!!! :D though I love you all! happy Christmas month! :D

Thanks for all the ornaments!

I was too excited to wait until Christmas to open this gift!
oh ya, I forgot to mention that we had water problems this week.. Maybe that´s what made me sick. 
I finished my study journal!

Monday, November 25, 2013

WEll, first off to answer the question that everyone was asking.. yes, Finally after a good time of working with less active members we were finally able to reactivate some of them... Well, actually alot. Yesterday 8 opf them went to church. Including Andreia!!! :D 

Well, it was a normal... really hot week. On Tuesday we had our district meeting, with a really cool training, it was probably the coolest one that I´ve seen. Elder Ritz is my DL I don´t know if I´ve ever said that.  Then we worked normally, visiting our investigators and less active members. 

And last night the elders from the other ward (elder Ritz and Marshall) slept at our house becuase we were gonna go hiking today but... We didn´t end up hiking. Though last night was fun, we played monopoly and ate food. It was almost like having a normal life..> but not.

Just to alarm ya´ll a little bit more, there were more gunfires this week close to home but, nobody was shot!!! just a battle!!! This week I had a couple of things to write but... i forgot my planner at home. 

Though I´m doing well here, just continuing with the same things. getting ready for Christmas (And thanksgiving) though, just christmas here!!!! Though I would like to eat a turkey and potatoes!!!! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tuesday: we spent the whole day visiting less active members in the (condominio cristal) Where the person was shot last week. so, that was a pretty fun experience when we were walking on the street and saw the blood stains...

Wednesday: We visited Isabel, and more less active members (we´re working with less active members quite a bit becuase we were given a promise by Elder Mazagardi that if we work more with them we´ll baptize more so... gotta do it right?)

Thursday: we visited Paulo and Andreia, ate what was probably the best dinner of my whole life. Salmon, and a lot of other fancy things. we also prepared for the activity that we had on Friday!!!

Friday: Rain, and a lot of  it!!! Of course it didn´t start until about 1 hour before the activity making a lot of people stay home but, oh well. :( We had a good lual!!! Good food, music apresentations and everything like that!!! No investigators went but, oh well. I still had fun!!!l

Saturday: We got to clean from the activity (because we didn´t even leave the church on friday until 10:30.... oops, then we had a normal day, we ate lots of food visited some references that we recieved from members and ya. People here like to talk, we listened to one guy talk for about 2 hours, during this time we kept trying to leave and he kept talking and talking and talking... patience.

Sunday was a normal day, church, lunch, nobody home becuase everyone goes to the beach and has churrascos on sunday. So, we went home at about 6 to study and prepare for Pday. :D ha!!!!

Getting ready for Christmas!

Fancy dinner

After getting caught in the rain

All set up for the party

With Elder Ritz

With Paulo and Adreia and family

Monday, November 11, 2013

 Well lests start off with the most important news first. Last night we had FHE with Paulo and Andreia (in a sketchy area) and as we were about to leave Andreia got called and told that someone was murdered just down the street so... we had to wait about a half hour for the police to arrive before we could leave, cool right??? At FHE we played games and ate the best cake of my whole life!!! I didn´t take photos becuase It was raining a ton!!! (still is actually)

This week was good, we visited a lot of less active members and I mean a ton... Like a lot. It was also really hot this week, it´s not even summer yet, but the head is back. I miss winter. :(  To be honest the week was the same every day. Just at a difference lEss active members house. Always FHE with food and stuff.... Sorry, I´m just not in the mood to write that much today. Ha. (Sorry mom, don´t hurt me.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Anothier week without photos but, that´s just because there´s not a lot of stuff to take pictures of here.

Tuesday: A normal day of work while everyone went to the bus station for transfers. :( I wanted to go to so that I could see all the people!!!) But, oh well. We did our stuff and waited patiently for Thursday to see everyone!!!!

Wednesday: We had our district meeting in the morning, a lot of new people came in... Actually, only 4 in our zone, but the other district completely chagned. And our district only changed like this (Elder Hiatt left and Elder Marshall came) for the 3rd time I´m in the same zone as Elder Marshall (Viamão, Bagé and now POA SUL) WE then had a normal day of work, kinda. WE cut our hair to prepare for Thursday, then visited Jair and Iara. We then had to go to the church to help one of the members of the bishopric with something on the computer.

Thursday: Happy Haloween!!!! WE weren´t allowed to dress up. Ç( But, we all went to the mission home for our ``Mission Tour`` With Elder Mazzagardi from the 70 and the area presidency. It was super cool, he´s funny and gave a really good training. I also saw a TON of peopl there!!!! Everyone in the North part of the mission was there. So, I saw, Elders... M. Nascimento, Fagg, Staples, F. Silva, S. Silva, Xavier, Tapp, A. Miller, Gagnon and others... But I think these are the names that I´ve mentioned before. 

Friday: We had a good day of contacting new people... Including David and Carla... Why are they special?: Well, He´s a (more or less) Famous singer here in Brazil the name of his group is David and Elvis. He´s an RM that served in JOão pessoa and baptized over 300 people. Now he doesn´t go to church too much becuase he has shows on Fridays Saturdays and Sundays. Well, when we first got there he came out with a huge old bandaid on his face and everything swollen becuase he got surgery a couple of days ago. Plastic surgery becuase ``Look is 50%) And he´s got money to do it. I felt kinda at home, they have 2  cars, 2 huge tvs, a macbook (first time I´ve seen one here) and a PS3. And they eat at mcdonalds and Pizza hut a lot. We were invited to mcdonalds after his surgery heals. :D Ha!!! And for those of you who don´[t know, Mcdonalds is expensive here. WEll, he also gave us a reference that we started working with. So, I think he´s gonna stay close to us for a bit.  We then had FHE with recent converts!

Saturday: we had lunch and a reunion with our Ward mission leader. Then we contacted people and went to clean the church. After that we went to A less active families house for FHE. We weatched church films and ate Mexican chili, Fish Pizza and Cake. :D We´re almost there with Paulo, though I think the problem is Andreia. Paulo is a member for a bout 3 years. He´s inactiveve for just as long. Though, he´s read the BOM 2, and knows it better than most active members here.

Sunday: Church, lunch, ward leadership meeting, rain, Paulo and Andreia again where we had cookie cake and watched more movies. :D

So, our lunch on Friday was... 5 stars. We have a family here (Cris and Morôni) He´s a chef at a restaurant and knows how to cook, really well. So we had a super good super healthy meal there with Wine! (Without alcohol... though I don´t like grapes so, whatever.)

So on church sunday they were talking about why people don´t make the HOme teacher visits..> They asked why people don´t visit in Utah... I said Because of Football games... Everyone laughted. It´s too bad that they thought I was joking.

“When the Holy Ghost brings light and knowledge to the mind, it is like He floods a room with bright sunlight. Children who grow up in active, faithful homes grow up in that sunlit room. Light and truth is all around them every day. So when the Holy Spirit begins to bring light and knowledge to their own minds, it doesn’t seem that remarkable. In some cases, it is so much like the light they have known all their lives that they barely even notice the light now found within themselves.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

This week was... Cool. On Tuesday we had ``Distrito Amigo`` Here and we found 14 new investigators in 2 hours. Me and Elder Ritz found 1 family super cool, hopefully they´ll go somewhere!!!!

Wednesday: WE took a big ole rain shower as we crossed our area to go to an appointment in the sketchiest part of the area. I don´t know if I ever told ya´ll that I´m in a pretty... less safe area. ha. But, I like it here. :D 

Thursday: The rain continuted and we did too, we visited our Recent convertrs at night and during the day we visited some of the references from Distrito Amigo. 

Friday we got rained out again but, we worked through it. We visited 2 investigators (Ananda and Gustavo) And contacted a bunch of people because we were needing to boost the stats (numbers) 

Saturday more rain... It was starting to get annoying by this time.  But, we visited 2 less active members at night and we studied after lunch and a meeting with our ward mission leader. until about 5. The rain was too ridiculous to leave. 

Sunday was a good day. We had lunch with Jair and Iara. Then we had a bday party for a kid in the ward (Wasn´t even a party we just ate a ton of cake.) Then we visited a less active member and ate more... Yesterday I almost threw up because of how much I ate.

Well.... Transfers are in, but nothing changed so I don´t really care. Ha.
Thursday we have the inventory of the mission and Elder Mazzagardi (President of the area) Will be here to look at stuff and give a training.

Funny story at church on sunday there was a little baby that kept farting, and I lost it laughing because I was thinking about the time when Soren let to big ones on my leg during church in Utah. 

Happy birthday dad!!!!

I hope everything is going well! HEre everything is going well, normal.! ha, but I´m happy! Just tired, like always. And nothing cool is happening so I cdon´t have alot to write about. :( 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Well on Tuesday we had zone conferences, 3 zones went to the mission home and had our conference, it was super cool, we then had lunch at a restaurant and went home at about 7.

Wednesday we went to the temple! We left at ten thirty, ate lunch down town with our zone then took another bus to the temple. We had the session, took photos then we went home, getting home at about 8 after eating a snack in the center.

Thursday we had a normal day of work ya know? Nothing super interesting happened.

Friday: We went to a recent converts house that lives way far away. they picked us up at the church and made us a dinner, before that we visited some people. When they were taking us home they took us on top of a mountain and we were able to see the WHOLE city, it was super cool, though I forgot my camera. Next tame I´ll take pictures. ;)

Saturday: English class in the morning (No one went) :D  So we4 visited people after lunch going to a lot of Less active peoples houses and that sort of stuff. We got some good info on why they went inactive.

Sunday: Church, then Gre-Nal (Grêmio and Inter played) So nobody was on the streets!!! We visited members then hade a marked dinner with another member.

Our ward mission leader had his baby (his wife actually had it)  The branch ``Chui´´ Opened up Why is that so cool, look up that city So everyone wants to go there to open up the work!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Well, I won´t lie... tuesday we did absolutely nothing... We studied in the morning then went to the church where we had our zone training and interviews with Pres. Castro. That took the whole day... Until about 6 actually, then we were hungry so we went to a less active familiies house for dinner.

Wednesday: We did a ton of stuff, nothing that was super memorable, we went to confirm the baptisms but... They weren´t home so, ya... That´s that. 

On thursday we confirmed the baptisms for real then we played uno with them for a little bit!!! We taught Heber visitied the recent convert here in the ward that´s pregnant (She´s 14) That was good to talk a little bit with her.

Friday we went on splits so that our DL could do the baptism interviews. I stayed in the other ward with Elder Hiatt and we walked a lot because everything that they planned fell through. Cool right, as if it´s not bad enough when that happens in my own area, now I have to deal with it in other areas!!! :(

Saturday I came back to my area, we had our classes at the church (English and guitar) We taught Heber again and then we went to get the church ready for the baptisms, the tank takes forever to fill up so we had to go the night before.

Sunday: We passed by their house to walk to church with them... Nobody answered. We were a little bit late so We thought maybe that they were at the church already, we got there... Nothing. we called and called and called... Nothing. Well, after 2 hours of calling one of them answered said they were on there way. They got at the church about 20 minutes before it ended and we got everything ready really fast...

What happened (basically) The baby cried the whole night, they didn´t sleep unti 5:30 and didn´t hear anything. It was a tiny bit more complex than that but ya´ll will have to wait for that story. :D It´s a lot to type.

My companion cut my hair

Monday, October 7, 2013

Here we go...

Monday. Nothing]

Tuesday: service lunch, then we had to fix our shower, that broke... Again, for the second time this transfer well... As you might know here they don´t store the water and heat it in a tank, the water gets headed at the shower head as it´s coming out so the shower head likes to burn out... Turns out we had a little bit of a  problem with the wiring in the house so a member came over after lunch and helped us(He did everthing) fix everything in our house so we could stop taking cold showers! after that we had a FHE with a less active family!

Wednesday we had our district meeting, then everyone went home to eat lunch and then we had our ``Distrito amigo`` Well, there I went on splits with an australian that has 3 weeks in the field, lets just say I taught everything that day. Though it was kinda cool, it made me realize how much that I´[ve really learned here in the last year and month.After that we went to our baptisms house and talked with them, it was a good  night! Everyhitng is ready for Saturday! :D

Thursday: We had a service project in the morning (But what´s new here we serve... a lot, it´s good but I kinda miss studying) Then it rained, and it rained, and it rained. So, we did some indoor service projects while visiting members (We were actually just hungry and tired of the rain, it worked. ;)   ) That was our whole day, eating and talking with people out of the rain!!! :D

Friday: We finally had a good day with decentish weather and a lot of people to visit and invite to conference!!!! We started off running, and continued running until the end of the day, inviting everyone to conference and... unfortunately to say, it didn´t 
go so well. Nobody went. The stake center is pretty long from our area and..f. I don´t know, b ut nobody went. fOh well, at least I got to hear the prophet... :D And on Friday when I got home I recieved a phone call from Fátima and Letícia! That made me happy!!!!

I´m waiting for your cards to get to me, also waiting to send cards because the post office is on strike... What a pain for a missionary isn´t it?

Conference was great!!! FOr the few people that were at the stake center watching it. Ha. :D Between the sessions on Sunday we went to the River (Guaiba) And took pictures (looks lieke the ocean doesn´t it.) That´s really my only cool news!

last story, so. After conference yesterday we were trying to go home right... Right. Well My grandpa (Elder Vianas trainer) Was with us and told us that this bus would get us home. We believed him...A After about 15 minutes we realized that wasn´t happining and we were headed for the central! SO, hereés this photo. In the end we had to go to the central, then take another bus to get home. We were on the busés for about 2 hours last night! That´s the only kind of cool story that i have. ANd, the picture didn´t turn out so great becuase the bus was moving.

this is the guy that trained elder Viana (My dad) He married and is now living in this stake

Monday, September 30, 2013

Well, another week another sunburn!!!!

It rained ALL week... Except thursday I think... And that day we had a service project where we cleaned a lot where an investigator is going to build a house... Well, the sun was powerful that day. And I burned my neck right up. That´s the only cool news from this week.
We visited a lot of investigators (When the weather permited) It took more than 10 days for me to see the sun here in POA, and now it´s left again, it´s kind of a bummer) Though everything is going well here. We´ve got a lot of work in the front and not a lot of time becuase everyone here wants service done and that kind of good stuff. But, we´ll find a way to make it work out... On the 12th we should have 2 baptisms. I´m trying to get the picture problem worked out... Just have patience with me!!!

Found M. Nascimento at the bus station too.
Ward mission leader my comp and the other elder that was here. (Elder Araujo)
Service me and my comp (Oliveira) And the missionaries in the other ward. (Rits and Hiatt) Hiatt fell before the picture.

I found Fagg and Emanoel at the bus station. Emanoels last day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

WEll, that sucks... I was almost done witht he email then the computer froze... Good thing Google chrome saves everything!!! Except this email. :(

WEll, as I was trying to say, it was a good week. I forgot to mention last week that I´m finishing the training for this kid... He´s got a whopping (almost) 2 months on the mission... He´s from São Paulo, São Paulo. 21 years old, born in the church (inactive for a bit).
The ward is super good, everyone accepted me and made me feel at home. The bishop is the most excited bishop that I´ve ever seen. 

I haven´t seen the sun since being here, it´s rained nonstop for about 6 days. though, whatever... 
Do ya´[ll remember Tamirys, an investigator that I was teaching in Montanha? Well, she got baptized last week!!! When I was at the bus station the missionaries told me that she was gonna be baptized on saturday (And I assume she was)

P.s. No photos this week because the lan house is... Not so good. 

We have a couple of good investigators (Heber, Gustavo... etc) But this week had a lot of problems. Baptisms fell, recent converts changed for the worst so for my comp. it was  a difficult week, for me kinda, because I don´t know that people,m ya kno?

We have one super good ready baptism! Yara, she´s ``Married`` to Jair (an RM that went inactive 4 months after his mission and stayed that way for 20 years). They have been active for 4 months now, they´re just waitinf for Jair´s divorce from his last marriage so that they can get married and baptized!!!!!

And, I´m not lyi8ng, president Castro called now telling us that the divorce went through! Now we just have to wait about a month for the marriage!!! 

President Castro called, why? Well, they´re really good friends. It´s becuase of President Castro that he´s active again... President Castro and Jair are from the same area, got baptized on the same day and served in the same mission so they´re super good friends!!!  Yay!!! :D

Monday, September 16, 2013

It´s official, I´ll be leaving. Going back to POA. Zone POrto Alegre SUl
Ward Vila Nova
Comp. Elder Oliveira

Well, not a lot happened this week becuse of the rain... Still waiting a transfer call...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wow, this week was... Something else. I can honestly say it was the wildest week of my mission. I´ll just give details about Friday and Saturday the other days weren´t too bad.

Well, tuesday Fátima had her interview and Elder J. Souza (DL) Said that she was perfect and even cried during the interview.

Wednesday no problems, we had our meeting with the leaders of the ward and marked everything for Saturday.

Thursday no problems.

Friday No problems, we confirmed everything, talked for a while and left at 9:30 everybody was smiling and happy. Perfect right? Well, after I took a shower I was playin chess with Elder Machado when they called, I figured it was nothing like always, but when I answered somebody was crying on the other side asking if we could come over (it was 10:30) (Vitória called, the yongest sister) I told her we couldn´t but asked what was happening. Didn´t understand alot through the cries and people screaming in the back. I just understood that people were arguing. (I won´t go into more details because, it´s sad.) I called back at about 11 to see if everything was okay and I talked with Fátima. She said that things had calmed down, but before she hung up she said that she wasn´t going to be baptized... Great right!?!?! Less that 24 hours before!

Saturday, woke up early, woke my comp up to tell him what happened but neither one of us were too worried. I didn´t sleep too much because of what happened but after praying and asking for help, I as able to at least rest. I left Elder Carlos sleeping knowing that we would need somebody running at a normal function. We woke up early (Oh it was September 7th this is independence day here: Random fact) got the baptismal font ready and everything organized, went to fix some lunch calander problems then went to talk with Letícia to see what happened. She told us the story and that was that. we then left to lunch, and came back after to talk with Fátima because she was working. Well, we talked a bit then asked her about the baptism. She said that she didn´t want to but still weren´t to nervous. We told her about Jesus and how when he was fasting for 40 days Satan tempted him knowing that if he succeeded it would change the world for the better. Then we talked about Joseph Smith and how Satan did the same thing in the sacred grove, knowing that if Joseph was able to pray it would change the world for the better. We told her that he was doing the same thing with her, becuase he knows that if she gets baptized it will permanently change her life for the better. Then we asked her if she was gonna let Satan win... She replied like this.
I won´t let him win! Whil slapping the floor. 

Well that made our day even crazier because it was 3, we had almost no time to run around and get stuff ready for the dinner after that we had promised... Well, once we got home we were just about ready to open the chicked to let it thaw when one more prayer was anwered. She called saying that it would be better to eat on Sunday... That was a blessing, gave us time to shower (Becuase it´s freaking hot again! People lied saying that the south is cold) and finish organizing. 

At 5:30 the baptism went well, the water was cold, and it took 3 tries, but in the end it happened. She told us that after changing out of the wet clothes that she felt a peaceful filling.  

Sunday was church, everything went well. I confirmed her, there was a childs baptism and we made dinner. In the end, everything worked out, it walway does.. Sometimes the enemy pushes, and pushes and pushes. But he doesn´t have any chance to win. He pushed me to the end this week, I´m exhaused but the week was a good one, I learned a lot and ended happy!

Bathroom I found

Saturday's baptism

Making juice for dinner

Monday, September 2, 2013

Well, a lot of stuff happened, but nothing HUGE, ya know.

Yesterday we had stake conference and the strake presidency was changed so, I guess that was pretty big. The ward took a bus to Bagé (but some money went missing from the ward budget so everyone had to pay for themselves, for that not to many people went.) Last night we marked Fátimas baptism, this time it´s set in stone!!!! For Saturday! We dedicated their new house and are happy for them. It´s a little cramped in their but after everything got organized it all worked out. Our lunch yesterday started at 4:30, I don´t even know if you can call that lunch but it was good. We ate with the RS president and were able to talk about the things that Fátima is needing and she´s willing to help us. (Tonight we´re going over there to pick some stuff up for Fátima) Everyone´s happy to see that the family will be more or less completed.

Wednesday and Thursday we spent a good part of the day moving in the hot sun. I don´t know what´s happening, it´s still winter but it's burning hot. 

Saturday Fátima invited us for dinner and we celebrated the move.   No cool spiritual stories happened, sorry. Really, almost nothing happened because of the move, we spent a good part of the week at the same house. But it wasn´t time lost, now the baptism is marked and we are friends with the other 2 sisters. (They´re a little more difficult but, we´ll find a way in) 

I don´t know what to say, I said everything that I had last week, haha. But I love you all!!! Getting ready for the (probably) last 2 weeks here in D.P.!!!! :(

Monday, August 26, 2013

Well that´s 1 nyear down!!!!!

(Sorry for the bad spelling and stuff today, I´m using gloves because The guy has the door open and I´m sitting write in the door way)

Tuesday:... You know what, I´m not even going to lie, the week was rough, not a lot happened because winter came back, and it came back mad. \\\\\\\\ \\\the whole week was walking in a ghost down in the freezing cold rain trying to accomplish something without a lot of luck.

\our baptism isn´t going to happen this week because of stake conference there´s no way to confirm her on Sunday, so hopefully on 7 of Setember (But this is independence day here so maybe not) And if not 7, the 14 for sure, we just don´t wanna keep putting it off.

At church there were only 30 people there, it was freezing and seeing as only a few people have a car, the church was pretty empty... I´m just happy that we live close.

Well, now lets do a little bit of reflecting on this accomplishment of  year...

I´ve seen a lot of things happen, right from the first 24 hours in ``Brasil``(MTC) I knew that it was going to be a lot different. Even living in the most american par of the country it was easy to see the differences. No Dr. Pepper, mcdonalds is expensive, they eat rice and beans EVERY DAY, I thought I was going to die with this diet after the first 2 days, though, I know how blessed I am, and that I´m supposed to be here in POAS (Porto Alegre South) When I was in the mtc eating beans, I always got sick after, every day, I couldn´t eat brown beans without feeling sick, though when we had black beans once a monh or so, I loved it, I ate them more than anything else... I got nervous about that when I got clothes to coming into the field, thinkijg I would get sick everyday but I[ve been blessed. The people here in the south only eat black beans... Less than 5 times I´ve had brown beans here... I love black beans so much now that it´s going to be difficult coming back home where the people don´t eat anything good.

I also learned to like a weird green drink called Chimarrão, it shouldn´t even be good. It´s just herbs with fire hot water that you drink through a metal straw, But... Here I am drinking it everyday, loving it more and more as time goes. I Now love fat on the meat, I continue to love chocolate milk and bolagna; I learned to appreciate the good things in life (Chocolate bars and hot dogs). Though I didn´t just change my eating habbits. I learned to love the word of God. I´ve knocked the book of mormon out a couple of times. I read my blessing daily I´ve even taken down the new testament oh, and I´ve read the whole missionary reference library and preach my gospel a good amount of times.. all of this with a lot of time in the front. Time to do it all in a different language, a couple weeks ago I started O Livro de Mórmon with a real intent to understand it and finish it this time... I´m just about done with 2nd Néfi and I´ve learned way more until now reading in portuguese than I ever did in English.

I´ve seen the gospel bless lives, not just my own, but the lives of my Gaucho familys as well as I´m learning how to gain an unconditional love (it´s coming, slowly but surely) I´ve seen 9 people enter into the baptismal covenent, and been a hand in WAY more than just these 9. I was blessed with the opporitunity to baptize, and confirm by the power of the preisthood, I´ve seen healings, and watched/participated as evil spirits were cast out of houses AND people. I´ve seen the difference in people after baptisms, and also how sad the people are that have gone inactve... I don[´t know how many RM´s I[ve seen that have fallen away and look like their lives don´t have a purpose.   Mdaybe I haven´t done everything that i WANTED to in the first year, no I haven´t seen a whole family (Dad, mom and kids) Enter the gospel together, but I KNOW that my efforts are being seen, that one day I will. Maybe it won´t be on the mission, but one day it´ll happen. Maybe I didn´t give 100%, 100% of the time, but I know that my efforts were rewarded.  

I gained a testimonehy about fasts, before the mission I just starved myself... Now, I do it KNOWING that I or someone that I love will be blessed because of it. I´ve seen it happen twice with 2 of my best friends (João and Letícia) in the last 2 months. I know the Lord watches over us, he´s watching over Carol who had some difficult times before her baptism, and still has difficulties, but keeps going with faith and hope that things will get better. He´s watching over Paulina who took the step late in her life, but is now less than 3 months away from going to the temple (She´s already done baptisms there) He´s watching over Tiago and Helena, protecting them as Tiago continues getting better every day from his terrible addictions. He´s watching over Gabriel, giving him the chance to see his parents baptized just months after he set the example. He´s watching over Milena (I actually don´t know what´s happening with her). He´s watching over João as he blesses the sacrament. He´s watching over Letícia as she´s being an example in her family for her sisters, doing the right things, reading and asking questions. Learning more and more and helping her classmates as a newly called member of the seminary presidency. He´s watching over me, and you.

As João 8:32 says... E conhecereis a verdade, e a verdade vos libertará

The gospel only helps, it doesn´t give us rules, just promises us blessings for doing the obvious things.

This is my short reflection after 1 year... Sorry if it didn´t answer some questions.!!!

Amo vocês!
All the letters I have received in the first year

Me with Utah!

Being goofy