Monday, December 26, 2011

Week 63

Hey family,
I really enjoyed talking with you all as well.  They don´t let us call enough I feel.  I think that 4 times a year would be better.  But we don´t always get what we want so its all good.  But It was great to see everyone.  Everyone looks good and healthy.  Hopefully new years isn´t too bad but i think that it will be worse.  We will see.  Well I love you all and I hope that all continues to go well.
Love,
Garrett

(This was Christmas week and we got to Skype with Garrett!! It was wonderful to see and talk with him. He had quite a time trying to speak in English)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Week 62

Hey Family....

Its been a week...thats for sure.  But it ended a lot better than the middle.  I arrived here Wednesday morning after a 12 hour bus ride that felt like it would never end.  It was sad to leave my area as well.  We have 2 people ready to be baptised and I want to be there for them.  But it always seems to work out that way...you leave when things are finally getting better.
My companion is an American with little time here in Brasil.  He was serving in Idaho the south for 2 months.  So i´m not really training...but in the same sense i am.  And i´m for sure teaching him Portuguese.  He is the first companion that i´ve had where we had a hard core argument.  And in the first few days wow.  He is all rigid with everything.  But I understand now...he has been on the mission for 6 months without a baptism.  Fortunately things are a little better now.  We just have very different personalities.  Also i´ll never home school my kids.  He was and all of the homeschooled kids have a similar personality.  But anyways he does have good qualities as well so we can work. 
I´m leaving with the Zone Leaders.  They are so cool!  It keeps me sane.  Without them i´d die I think.  But the mission is all about learning so I guess that´s why this things happen.
Yesterday the stake had a christmas play.  It was really good!  You could feel the spirit and the music was beautiful.  But they didn´t have food....so the christmas party at home could have been better....haha. 

Everyone was talking about a 7 pm call.  We will be going to a lan house that a member is giving us the keys too because the house of the member that we would use skype is having problems with the computer.  So we don´t have a number you can call.  But if it doesn´t work out which it will President will allow me to to it another day and I´ll just go to a member and you can call.  But right around 7 we will be there.  If it changes I´ll email Saturday.  Is the time difference 5 hours now or just 4?  I´m not sure but it did change so its possible its 5 hours difference.  Well i´m super excited to talk to you all Christmas!

I love and miss you all,  I hope that Christmas is awesome and i´ll talk to you Sunday or Christmas :)

love,
Garrett

Friday, December 16, 2011

Week 61

Hey Family,

The nativity thing looked cool.  Is that a new missionary program that the church is using or just a cool thing?  The pictures turned out really well.  Sounds like the church is doing a lot of new things there though.  That is always a good sign.  And that is cool that there will be 4 wards.  Just means the church is getting stronger there.
Well i´ll be leaving for Salvador again....and my first area of the mission.  I´m torn.  It will be cool to be able to talk to the members there now but i´m not too excited to be in Salvador.  I don´t like it there its just dirty and there is a lot of crime.  But this is where the Lord needs me so i´ll return.  I leave tomorrow night...12 hours in the bus!  Its always fun. 
So this last week my system started to get really bad.  I think that I ate bad food or drank bad water.  Anyways I talked with Sister Vecchi and i´m taking medicine for worms.  Hopefully it will help.  The things that happen on the mission.  Luckily we had a christmas party with the whole interior and sis. and president vecchi were there.  I got the medicine from her.  Also I was able to see Elder Hales my trainer.  It was great to see him again.  He leaves the next transfer.  Its crazy...he had the same amount of time I have now when he trained me.  Time flies...or passes eventually.  Depends on the day...haha.  But the christmas thing was really good. 
This week we had a baptism!  Finally.  Also he wanted me to baptise him.  It was my first and it was a great experience.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I´m glad that we were able to end the transfer with a baptism.  We had another but it fell the day of.  He will be baptised this week but I´ll miss it. 
Sunday we had to go to Porto Seguro because the satelite here is still broken and the President waited 2 months to try and fix it.  I´m glad that i´ll be away from him and going back to a strong ward.  Its so much nicer.  But i will miss some of the members here a lot.  There were some really cool people and right now we have one investigator that is super cool.  But change is good as well.  Anyways is was branch conference and it was so good!  Heard from Elder Eyring, Cook, and Lissen I think is his name he is in the 70´s.  But it was super good.  I enjoyed it a lot.
I´ll be able to call from skype because i´ll do it in the same house that you called in May!  Haha...but what time is best for you?  I want to be able to talk to the whole family this time.  That will be cool to see Grandma as well.  I will send my skype contact information in another email.  I´m excited to talk to you all...it will be hard.  I´ve almost lost my english.   But if I have an American companion now it is possible that i´ll remember a lot.  We will see.
Well i love and miss you all,
Love
Garrett

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Week 60


The above pictures were from a nature reserve-Park Veracel, he visited.

 Hey family,

It was a fast week here.  We had interviews with President Tuesday.  It went well...i passed and can stay on the mission..haha.  He did the interviews during lunch in Porto Seguro so he took us out to lunch and paid for us.   

The christmas season is starting to come here.  The put up lights on the power poles here.  Its pretty cool looking.  But i´m still not a fan of the no snow part.  Its just not the same without snow.  But oh well...i guess i should count my blessings.  Oh i receive your christmas package.  Thanks for everything and everyone that wrote are included notes.  I enjoyed it a lot.

I´m trying to remember what happened this week that is worth writing about.  And for some reason i´m drawing a blank right now.  Did the normal stuff.  One day when we were tracting we tracted into a guy that has tried about every religion.  I started to get excited because it was like being in California again.  He was very educated and knew a lot about the religions.  I really miss this part of the mission in cali...we had a lot of deep conversations about religion.  Unfortunately you usually don´t see results with these types of people.  Just a good conversation.  

This is the last week before transfers.  I think that i´ll be leaving.  I´m ready to leave.  I have 6 months here.  Its time for a change of scenery.  But we will see what the Lord has in store for me.  There are a lot of members that don´t want me to leave...i´ll miss some of them.  But change is good as well.  Oh last night there were a bunch of football games with big teams playing.  One of the big teams won and the other lost.  After the game there was a prosession of cars and motorcycles for about an hour or so with people yelling and screaming.  They were are crazy about football here.  But it was kind of cool as well.

Well i love and miss you all,
Garrett

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 59

Hey Family,

Sounds like it was a fast fun filled week.  I missed the turkey this year...Thanksgiving was just another day at the grind.  They don´t do anything here for this day...but its makes sense its a North American holiday.  I think every place should have a holiday to give thanks though.  Its a good idea.  

This week we found another family that we are working with.  They are very humble but eager to learn and loved church.  I`m hoping that they continue to progress.  Also the Lady that we have been teaching that is Mom like made it to church and really like it.  This week she made oatmeal with tapioca.  It was so good!  Its always a blessing going to her house because she has good food.  Also lately i´ve been making a lot of Maté.  I love that stuff.  Also Maté with milk is really good.  I´ve figured out how to make it.  Nothing like a good cup of Maté to unwind.

Today we did another cool thing for P-day.  We went to a forest reserve.  It would have been even cooler but a big part of it they were reconstructing.  But it was completely free.  We had a guide...a little slide show presentation and a snack.  The price was right!  The only bad part was a guy in the ward took us and said he would only charge gas.  He ended up charging was we pay to go to Porto Seguro and that is farther than the reserve.  I was a little annoyed about the robbery but oh well what are you going to do.  I´ll send some pics.  Hopefully i´ll get some pics in exchange .  

The weather has been really weird here.  I´m not complaining.  Its been raining for about 2 weeks straight and cooler.  I´m not a fan of the heat so this isn´t a bad thing for me.  But everyone is saying this is really weird and unusual for the Bahia.  I think its a blessing because i´m here.  


Love you all and miss you all a lot,
Garrett

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 58

Hey Family,

It was extremely nice to finally do something on P-day.  It is so hard to do things here because this city literally has nothing to do.  The palm tree was nice....unfortunately it was just a picture and leave type of situation because we didn´t have time to stay.  It was a little hectic of a day but it was fun.  

This week was a really up and down week.  We started working in another area this week that is really far away.  It was super successful and we were excited to have a lot of people in church.  Also Saturady night a family we have been working with decided they finally wanted to get baptised!  They passed the interviews and everything.  After we went to the church around 9:30 at night to start filling the font.  We were there until 11:30 and it still wasn´t filled but enough that we could return a little earlier Sunday morning.  Oh side note when we were filling the font a bug that looked like a centipede popped out of the drain.  My companion freaked out and was like that is more poisonous than a scorpion.  Luckily we had no problems killing it.  I´m not a fan of all the bugs that can kill you here but oh well.  So Sunday morning we got to church around 8 to finish filling the font.  The baptism was at 8:30.  In the end they didn´t show and they wouldn´t answer their phone and to top it off we had 0 investigators at church.  So the end of the week was a little disappointing but at least it started well.  

We are teaching this one lady right now that is so awesome.  She would have gone to church but there was a mix up on the times...long story.  Anyways she is so cool.  She is the most Mom like of anyone i´ve met on the mission.  She is always giving us food and the lessons are really good.  Too bad everyone isn´t like that.  

Oh Mom the Elder that´s sick is from Argentina.  He is still in Salvador and the last time he talked to us he was the same.  Well he´s not in the hospital but he still has the same symptoms.  He has bad pain in his lower back...also there are other side effects.  But the doctors still don´t know what he really has because the symptoms keep changing.  Whatever it is it seems bad.  Knocked him out of work for a month now.

Well I hope that its a good week.
Love,
Garrett

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Week 57

Hey Family!

Wow maybe this coming week I will write to you on P-day, haha.  Yesterday was awesome!  We had to go to an area an hour away from Eunápolis to pick up an Elder there to be the companion of the Distict leader here because his companion the one in the hospital was sent to Salvador until he gets better.  Anyways the area close by is very touristy so we spent to whole day there.  It worked out nice because we will receive a reebursment for going there because we had to pick up the other elder.  We went to the area the Portuguese discovered Brazil and passed through the old city.  It was cool.  Also they had people there dancing a native dance.  Then we went to a Indian reserve and had a tour.  It was cool but super hot all day.  I got sun burned.  Also we walked a lot so i´m a little sore right now.  I´ll send photos.
This week wasn´t that good for the work because we spent a lot of time in the hospital with the other elder.  But we did have a really spiritual experience this week.  We left the hospital after lunch to go to some apointments with our investigators.  When I got there I was like I have no idea what to teach we haven´t planned anything or talked about teaching them.  I was like well we need to pray first in the lesson and then we will go from there.  After the prayer I knew what we needed to teach.  This happened 2 times.  That night my companion was talking with me and was like I had the impression we needed to talk about the commandment you taught and you started teaching it.  It was a huge blessing because we were not prepared to teach anything.  Without the help of God this work isn´t possible.  These experiences are what help build my faith and testimony.  And I need them because you get kicked down more than lifted up on the mission.
This transfer has started out a lot better for us. We are finally getting people to go to church.  We have had at least one person in church each sunday.  I´m hoping that it will stay that way so that we can start seeing some results here.  It makes it a lot easier when you see results.  
 
Well I love and miss you all.  I hope that you have fun in the snow!  
Love,
Garrett

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Week 56

Hi Family!

Sorry that I didn´t write on Monday.  Wow it has been a heckic week!  One of the Elders here has been really sick for the last 2 weeks.  He finally got cleared to start working again on Sunday and that night he fell super sick and has been in the Hospital since Sunday night.  He is still there but we are hoping he will get out today.  And his companion had to go to Salvador for a meeting with President Vecchi because he is the District leader so my companion and I had to stay with him in the Hospital.  But I am fine so no need to worry and he is doing better...he looks a lot better as well now.  

Snow!  Its been cold here...low 70´s.  I think that i´m becoming weak.  I like the cold but 70´s isn´t cold and it feels cold to me.  Its been raining for a while and it almost looks like snow at times....or maybe i´m just dreaming.  Haha.  

This past week was a really good week for us.  I have a lot more hope for this transfer.  We are teaching a family that my companion ran into while we were on divisions.  He was making contacts with less actives and made a contact with some kids in the road.  They are elect!  They went to church on their own this week and loved it!  That doesn´t happen.  It is a blessing and a half.  Also one of our old investigators stopped us in the road the other day and was like you have to return i want to go to church!  So we will start teaching her again today.  Also we have received a couple referals that I´m excited to contact.  Right now the work is good...but it hasn´t been that successful for a while so i´m going to enjoy this time with good investigators as much as I can!  

I will send more photos this next week.  I don´t think I have many new photos but then again i´ve forgotten the last time i´ve sent photos.  


Well I hope that its a good week there and that all is well.  I love and miss you all!

love,
Garrett

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

week 56

Hey family,

   This week was a little rough and good at the same time.  Our 2 baptisms fell.  But we found a family and a couple other good investigators.  It was pretty hot this week as well.  I´m not a fan of the heat.  Hopefully i can get used to it.  Transfers came and i´ll be here for one more transfer with my companion.  6 months in an area...i´m torn on it.  Oh well there are some good things happening so hopefully things only get better.  
This week we went home teaching with the Elders quorum president.  It was so awesome to do this type of teaching.  So much diferent then what we do everyday.  I really enjoyed the experience.
Its weird here.  They know its halloween but they don´t celebrate it.  Probably because they have 4 or 5 holidays a month!  Haha its ridiculous how many holidays they have here.  But they already have stuff out for christmas!  Its good and bad...i´m waiting for snow and family but that will have to wait for another year.  Oh well.  But we will be doing some cool things with a few of the members in the branch for christmas.  We are going to make cookies and create a message about christmas and go to less actives and sing a christmas song and give them a christmas present with cookies and a message.  I think it will be really sweet!  At least we are hoping it will be.  
 Well I hope all goes well...and if it snows this week think of me and send it this way.

Love,
Garrett

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 55

Hey family,
It was a crazy week here.  My companion was sick the beginning of the week we had zone conference Thursday and then I got sick that night.  All in all we didn´t get too much done this week.  We had a interesting experience in church this week though.  Our investigator there has some problem.  I´m not sure what but he takes medicine to be semi normal.  Anyways at church he began to hit on the young women.  I was like hey you can´t do this in church.  He replied I´m Bahiano...which just means he´s from Bahia the state.  My companion was like it doesn´t make any difference what state you´re from.  The sad thing is that his comment pretty much explains the morals here...or the lack there of.  Then he ran into the Primary and sat down.  We were like can we watch the primary and the sister said we could.  Man it was an interesting Sunday.  I was so embarressed.  I had to apologize to the girls.  Oh well...its a experience to write in the journal. 
This week the weather was nice....cool almost cold all week.  Its been raining a lot.  It feels like fall...i´m just sad that it will leave and turn on not cold.  Haha. 
You are right Dad...i do need to appreciate how little I have to worry about right now.  This is only a time to learn things for my future that will help.  I know they will...I wish it wasn´t so stressful but we don´t get what we always want. 
There were a lot of good talks this conference!  I enjoyed listening to them.  I want to go back and listen to them in English...we will see if that will happen here on the mission or not.  But I learned a lot from the conference.
Well I love and miss you all,
Love,
Garrett

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week 54

Hey Family!

This week went really fast for me.  We had a family night/birthday party for one of the families in the ward.  We bought 2 kilos or cake mix! Haha it turned out really well.  It was a fun night.  
Brasil likes their protests.  All of the banks and the post office have been on strike for a month or more.  Its annoying because i want to send a letter but it wont go anywhere if I send it.  My companion said that this happens a lot here.  One of the members didn´t have school for two months because of a strike!  I´m glad we don´t have to worry about those kind of problems.  If they have a strike the fix it fast most of the time.  
To answer your questions mom...my companion is from São Paulo the state...I think the city is São josé dos campos.  And a dupla is two missionaries.  I guess its not a word...i´m forgetting english.  I had a dream last night that I was home and everyone was talking in Portuguese.  It was really strange because everyone was talking with voices of people I know here.  I guess this means that i´m learning portuguese finally.  Haha.  It finally feels like that i´m getting it down.  Each day i have fewer problems...and more problems writing in english ;p.
Well good luck in your game dad.  You´ll have to score a hat trick to prove the sticks are good!  Haha....I think my companion is getting annoyed with me because everyday I say oooo...i want to play hockey!  Haha...i miss it a lot.  I need to get into shape again because I will die trying to play.  I think that i´m getting fatter but the other day at lunch the sister said that everytime she sees me i´m getting skinnier.  So at least the other people think i´m skinner still.
Well I love and miss you all.  I hope its a good week!
Love,
Garrett   

Week 53

Hi Family,

This week went by really fast.  I had a division with the zone leaders this week and for the first time it was actually a good experience.  He helped a lot.  Most of the time divisions are just annoying and nothing is learned.  Finally we are starting to revive the area.  We have a few investigators right now that are progressing.  It is nice to work with people that want to learn more.  Our problem now is the President in the branch.  He is trying to split our dupla from the other dupla.  There is such a divide in the branch.  The members against the President....the sad thing is the President is in the wrong most of the time.  It really makes things difficult here.  I´m just hoping that things will get better.  But the positive is the members are good.

This week wasn´t too bad for heat.  It was overcast all week.  I´ve always had problems with the heat in the summer.  My body just doesn´t like it.  I will just watch and see if I continue to have problems or not.  


I love you all,
Garrett

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 52

Hey Family,

This week was good and bad.  Stressful...i think i´ll take your advice Dad and Chill a little because I will die early at this rate...haha, well i´m not that bad.  Conference was a hassle this week.  The President of the branch rented equipment to watch the session but it wasn´t set up right.  My comp and I ran around all saturday morning trying to get it to work but no one could help us.  We ended up watching it in a members home.  But saturday night at 8:00 the zone leaders called and said we had to go to Porto a town a hour away to watch the priesthood session.  I told them that we wouldn´t go because we didn´t have enough time to get our stuff and find a bus.  If we went we would get there at the earliest 9:30 but most likely 10.  They didn´t like that...and told me that president said it was mandatory.  After the call my comp called president and he was like do whatever you want if you just want to download it off the internet later thats fine. The zone leaders always try to pull `president said this´.  Its really annoying and I have no patience for the leaders here.  They don´t plan anything out.  But in the end it worked out.

Friday I fell sick with a little fever...and other symptoms.  It wasn´t fun.  I think that i had heat stroke or a minor case because thursday was really hot and I woke up weak and feeling bad.  My system has always been bad in the heat.  Hopefully it will adjust or maybe i´ll go into the office where its cooler...but i´m not sure if I want to go to the office and always deal with missionaries.  Oh well whatever the Lord wants will happen.

This week we found 2 really good investigators.  That was a blessing.  Finally we have a couple people that are solid.  Its frustrating here because everyone is soft.  They will let you share a message but they really don´t want to listen to you.  I would like it if they just said they aren´t interested...but oh well.

Well I love and miss you all.  Sounds like things are going well.

Love,
Garrett


Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 51

Hey Family!

The weather is as messed up there as it is here.  It´s hot one day and cold the next.  This type of weather is not good for staying healthy.  The hot weather here is brutual as well.  I´m not sure what i´ll do when its summer....melt?  Haha i think that the sun is a lot stronger here or closer. 

Being senior is a lot different.  We will see.  My companion is a lot different than he was in Salvador.  He doesn´t have much energy at all.  The only thing that´s good about this is it is forcing me to talk alot and well do about everything.  I´m hoping that he will rejuvinate and have energy.  He is a nice kid but does stuff that annoys me.  I just need to have patience.  It will be good.  

We had some interesting lessons this week.  I knocked the door of an 7th day adventists.  It was an interesting lesson.  They just wanted to argue and I kept saying pray and God will give you an answer.  In the end they gave us a book about what they believe.  Haha it is apostasy but I was stoked to get it.  We also had the Mom of one of our investigators finally come to church this week.  I´m hoping she will progress and be baptised but we will see.  It has changed her daughter a lot for the better.  

I´m really excited for conference this weekend!  The only bummer is it will be in portuguese and we wont be able to watch the priesthood session!  The best session of them all.  I`ll have to download the talks when they stick them on the internet.  It is always such a great experience to hear the Prophet speak!  The last sessions were so powerful!  It was great to be able to watch them all before I left for Brazil.  I didn´t know what I had there until it was gone...I´m trying to be better about that.  Enjoy the little things more.

I´ve heard about the soup with blood in it.  Luckily I haven´t had it.  But i´ve eaten a few things amost as bad...for the most part the food is pretty good and safe.  Rice and beans with meat.  Can´t go wrong with those ingredients.


Well I love and miss you all,

Garrett

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 50

Hey Family,

The Transfer ended well here for me.  We had a baptism which was a blessing.  Its weird to think that 3 months have already passed for me here in Eunánoplis.  Elder Mafra my companion will be leaving for his house tomorrow, he finished his mission.  I hope that I never am a companion with someone going home.  It just makes things harder, he was really cool but was trunky.  My new companion is really cool.  I´ve already had divisions with him.  I also was made senior.   That will be a learning experience for me, but should be good.  I guess its time I am senior...i´ll have a year in 2 weeks.  I´m excited that he is Brazilian also.  It really helps to learn the language when your companion only knows portuguese.  When I get home i wont be able to talk in English that could be a problem...but i´ll deal with that when that time comes.
The weather has been messed up here as well.  The other week was extremely hot and this week has been cold.  I´ve been cold here and that is a new.  I´d rather have it be cold than hot though so i´m not complaining.  I hope I just don´t get sick with the weather changes.


Well i love and miss you all,
Garrett

Monday, September 12, 2011

week 49

Hey Family,

Haha....the language is coming but i still have a lot to learn.  I can do everything I need to but i still need to work on my grammer and sentence structure.  But this week in church all of the missionaries gave talks.  I gave my talk without reading from the paper.  I just used an outline so that is another sign that the language is finally coming.  It still hasn´t really hit me yet but every once in a while I be like i just talked on the phone with that person and understood everything they said.  Or had a conversation for a long time with so and so.  It doesn´t click because it happened so gradually.  But its definatly not all me.  The gift of tongues is real...President Pennington bestowed it and an apostle at the MTC as well.  Maybe that helped to learn because I had it twice.  No thats not it but i´m grateful for all the help God gives me each day.  

We got shut down...I guess we aren´t allowed to play soccer with members or investigators.  This is a bummer because i played really well this last time.  Everyone was like watch out the gringo is playing soccer correctly.  A couple even said i was playing as good as an Brazilian.  I ended with 4 goals.  They nicknamed me Robinho a really good Brazilian soccer player. Oh well...we won't be playing anymore.

These week was ridiculously hot.  I almost died...well not really but i wanted to.  I don´t do well in the heat.  I´m tempted to ask president to stick me in the office during the summer.  We will see. If it get worse i think that i will ask to go into the office.

That is awesome that you were able to go with the missionaries Mom.  It is amazing how much it helps when members go to the lessons.  A simple sincere testimony speaks louder than any elaborate wordery.  Just like President Young said it was the simple testimony of someone that made him feel that the gospel was true.  Many times we forget our testimonies because life just goes on.  But if we take time to look back we can see exactly when times were best and those were always when we were following the commandments of God.  I´ve realized this a lot while i´ve been here on the mission.  I thought I was happy without the gospel for a while but I was miserable.  It wasn´t until I got back into the church that things started to work out again.  Also these experiences help our testimonies grow.  I know that the gospel is true and the book of mormon is the proof that this gospel is true becuase i´ve seen the blessings in my life and in others.  Everyday is proof of this.

Well i love and miss you all.

Love,
Garrett


Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 48

Hey family,

It was a fast week.  It seems like the time is speeding up now.  Wow its already Labor day that is weird to think about.  Time really does pass...eventually haha.  Sounds like the weather is just right there.  Its been really hot here.  The sun just feels hotter here.  Maybe its closer...actually i think it is...isn´t it?  
 
Had a good experience this week.  I was on divisions with one of the other elders here and we had a really good lesson.  It went really well.  The investigator really wanted to stop smoking and be a better person.  I asked here to give her cigarettes to us so she wouldn´t have the temptation to smoke and she did.  The first person that has actually given me anything against the W.O.W.  It is a good sign that she actually wants to change.  
 
We had apartment checks this week with the President.  During the interview with him I had a really hard time talking in English.  By the end I we were just talking in Portuguese because it was easier.  If I continue to have Brazilian companions I wont be able to speak english when I go home.  President was really happy with my Portuguese as well.  He was like you speak excellent Portuguese.  That was a huge confidence boost.  When I think about how little of time I have here in Brazil its a huge blessing to be able to speak as much as I do.  I´m glad that the language came relatively fast because I don´t have the patience to wait forever to learn the language.  I still have a lot to learn but I know enough to do everything.

Well thats all for me.  I hope that things continue to go well for everyone there.
Love 
Garrett

Monday, August 29, 2011

Week 47

Hey Family!
 
Sounds like things have been really hecktic this week.  But thanks for finding a way to get the emails to me.  Its alwasy a huge boost to read whats going on at home.  I only hear and see bits and pieces when we are at members or investigators homes.  I guess DC or that side of the States is hurting a little with the earthquake and sunami.  Hopefully it didn´t do too much damage.
I really miss the thunderstorms in Moscow.  They don´t have them here.  It just rains hard at times.  This week the weather has been really crazy.  Hot and cold.  I wish it would just be cool.  Here its usually in the mid 80´s low 90´s but the sun goes does around 5:30 or 6 so around 7 its cool most days.  Some days its still pretty warm at night.  But that is a blessing here it gets cool at night where as in Salvador its always hot.
 
This week was pretty hard. We didn´t have much success.  It was really frustrating.  I´m hoping that things pick up.  I think it will be better next transfer.  My comp is a cool kid but he is pretty much dead.  He says it everyday and he like i´m sorry i just have little desire to continue doing this.  I know where he´s coming from...i´m hoping that i´m not that dead when at the end of my mission.  I wont let myself be that dead if I can do anything about it.  But he was a super good missionary so I guess it happens to the best of them.  I still learn a lot from him when we teach so that is good.
I found a milkshake shop this week.  Oh and they are so good!  That is a huge plus for me.  So that made the end of the week better...haha.  But man its ridiculous how much they like their alcohol here.  They have milkshakes with alcohol! I´ve never heard of that...its crazy.  We saw some fights last night because this woman and man were drunk.  Alcohol never does anything good. 
  No we actualy had a really good experience this week.  The other elders had a baptism and one of our old investigators was there.  She is friends with the person that was baptised.  We dropped her because she wasn´t keeping her commitments and said she didn´t want the Book of Mormon anymore.  The first person thats given it back to me while i´ve been on the mission.  But during the baptism she felt the spirit really strong.  After she was like i felt this peace that i´ve never felt before in my life you have to come back and teach me again!  That is awesome so i´m praying she will progress this time.  I think she will. 
Well it was another week.  I hope that everything is well with you all.  It sounds like you all are busy thats for sure.  Well i love and miss you all.
Love,
Garrett

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 46-more pictures


Week 46

Hey Family,
 
It was a quick week for me here.  The weather has been bad....in that its been really hot here.  My body just doesn´t like the heat.  But i´m surviving better than my companion.  He got really ill and went to the hospital yesterday morning.  He is fine now.  He got a few shots and told him to stay out of the sun.  I guess this happened once before and he had to stay in the hospital for a few days.  I hope that my system holds up the hospitals scare me here.
I miss the temple so much.  I´d do practically anything to go to the temple right now.  Its crazy how many blessings we receive by going and the peace and spirit there just make it worth every effort to get there. 
I played soccer for the first time here.  It was really fun.  They said for an American I play really well.  Haha.  I´m really sore now from it.  I´m so out of shape.  But we will be playing again this week so hopefully i´ll be able to get back into shape a little.  There is this family in the ward that is difficult.  I thought they were just difficult about church stuff.  But during the game the man was mad the whole time.  There was this 9 year old playing and when he made mistakes he would yell at him.  Everyone was like calm down geez...we are just here for fun.  Wow its sad how serious some people take these things.  I´m serious about hockey but not like that.  Thats just stupid.  I don´t know how you could live your life and be mad the whole time.  Its not my type of life thats for sure.
One of the missionaries in the other dupla is from Argentina...Mendosa.  He was talking about how hard it is to learn spanish.  He was like good luck for the Americans that go to Argentina.  The language is hard.  So you learned it dad....parbèns.  And he is really cool!  But his companion is just annoying.  We´ve been doing a lot with them lately especially on P-day.  The argentino is a good cook.  We all split the cost and he cooks.  I like that.  I actually like to cook here but he knows recepies from memory and I don´t so it just doesn´t work well.
That is so true Dad.  I need to remember that more.  Patience is something that I lack.  I´m always looking to the future instead of living in the moment.  I need to enjoy the little things more.  It is so true they live on with a lot less here..i´m not so sure about the rich...the rich here have really nice stuff.  But the poor.  Thats the thing here there is no middle class there is only rich or poor.  And the difference is night and day. 
Well it was a pretty good week all in all.  I´m excited for this week. We have 2 referals that should be really solid! 
Well Í hope all is well there and that you continue to have fun in the hot weather.
 
love,
Garrett

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 45

Hey family!
 
  Looking back now I miss the state side mission.  There are a lot of things that I miss/took for granite when I was there.  I feel that this is one of the reason that I was called to serve here in Brasil.  We just don´t realize or I didn´t what we have in America.  Also I didn´t take the important things in life for how important they really are...like family.  Now that i´m 5000 miles away I realize how much family means to me...what a blessing the gospel is to us to be able to live with our families forever! 

Yesterday was fathers day here. 
We´ve been having some dificulties getting people to church for a while now.  I´m hoping things will turn around.  But we do seem to have some solid people that we are teaching until it comes to the church part.  Its probably because everyone is catholic here and going to church means diferent things to catholics than to us.
 The weather here has been weird at the start of the week in was super hot in the mid 90´s and then the end it was in the 70 and 80´s.  We have an investigator that lives super far away.  It´s a 30 minute plus bike ride.  But he stopped us near our house and asked for a book of mormon.  He is solid. Hopefully things will progress with him.  Well thats all for me.  I hope that things go well.
 
I love you all,
Garrett

Monday, August 8, 2011

Week 44

Hey Family,

This week was full of crazy stuff.  This morning there was someone that tried to break into the apartment next to ours.  They climbed up through a window on the bottom floor and were in this empty space that has air conditionars for the company on the first floor.  They climbed up and luckily knocked one of the air condiontionar units off and ran away through the window.  It was crazy how close they were to our apartment and we didn´t even know it until they knocked the unit of.  We will have to be a lot more careful to close all of our windows.  The building is always locked up so we didn´t really see a need but I guess during the day some people have the nerve or stupidity to try and rob.  I don´t understand people.  Also Saturday we had a freaky experience.  We were walking to a investigators house when in front of us a cop car stopped and 2 cops got out with their pistols in hand.  They confronted this guy and I thought I was going to see someone die right in front of me.  It was messed up.  I´m not going to lie I was so scared I just stood in one spot not moving.  Luckily the cops just reholstered their pistols and we went around.  I don´t like that kind of stuff.  Its doesn´t matter where you are here...it seems like you can always find crime or danger.  I´m just thankful the Lord is watching out over us.  I know he is because things always seem to work out, when you wouldn´t think they could.
Today was transfers...the zone leaders got transfered to another area.  We only have one of the ZL in our zone the other got transfered to another zone.  It was very strange.  I feel that it will be better.  The zone seems a lot nicer now.  Hopefully things will be good.  We will see.  I´m excited for tomorrow though.  We got 2 referals from a member and one of the referals already commited to go to church.  Hopefully everything will pan out right. 
Well thats all from me.  I hope that things go well for you all there.  This last week was really hot here....is the weather still hot there or did it get cold again?  Also when you went to Helana was all of montana on fire like it usually is?
Love and miss you all,
Garrett

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week 43

Hey Family,

 It is hot today here.  I´m not a huge fan of the heat.  I just die in it.  But its because its so humid.  It makes it a lot worse thats for sure.  The week here went quick.  The lady we gave a ride is still our investigator but i´m not sure for how much longer.  Her boyfriend and her are thinking about spliting up which means she will leave for another state.  We are going to meet with them tomorrow and show families can be together forever and try to help out.  Its just minor things that need to change.  But we did have a special experiece with her.  We went to her house at the begining of the week and followed up about church and stuff.  She really like it and started crying...she was like i know that God sent you two to teach me these things.  It was a very special experiece.  Half of the time it doesn´t feel like you´re making any difference at all when the whole world is shutting you down or being rude.  These experiences are the little bits of sunshine that help me go one more day.  I try to just take it a day at a time.
 My body is better here because there are less hills and stairs but in Salvador my knees were giving out on me.  It was terrible!  I hated it.  Oh well.  It´s better now not perfect.  Its hard because the mission does terrible things to your body.  I´ve never been this fat in my life and after the mission I hope its a long time before I ever get this fat again.  Oh well.
  I´ve started jump roping every p-day.  I´m always to tired to do it the other days.  But maybe i´ll start trying to be better about that.   
I love and miss you all.
Garrett 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week 42

Hey family,
Wow it is hot there.  I´m liking the weather here right now.  It not that hot or cold.  Around the 80´s and 60 at night.  I do miss the snow though.  Hopefully i´ll be able to make it one more year without snow. 
 
We had a baptism this week that was a huge blessing.  Its always nice to see the change that comes over people after they start to live the gospel.  It is huge.  Most of the time I don´t think that they realize the change but they do change. 
 
Yesterday was crazy day.  We had to get up early to go find our investigators because they live a long way from the church.  To make things worse it was raining.  We have bikes in this area which does help.  We got the the house and only 1 person was willing to go with us.  I gave her a ride on the back of my bike.  It was horrible i almost died by the time we got to church and then we had to go back out and get other people in another area.  It wasn´t fun.  When we got everyone to church we went back to our apartment and dried off.  It was a difficult sunday.  Then after church the LZ had taken the bikes and left them in some random spot so we had to go find the bikes and by the time we got back to the church our investigator had left.  Hopefully she will continue to take the lessons and go to church.  Also we got a flat with the bike and had to walk to lunch.  We didn´t get to lunch until 2:30.  Only 1:30 late.  OH well i´m still alive, so i guess its was just one of those days that makes you stronger.
I had a really interesting bump in with a drunk guy the other day.  We were walking along this street and a guy stopped us at a restarant.  He wanted to buy us a coke.  We were like no we´re fine thanks.  He was talking about how good we were and then he was like you need new shoes i´ll buy you both new shoes. Then he asks me why i´m not married. I was like right now i´m not married because i´m serving a mission but after the mission i will for sure get married. He was like i want you to marry my daughter. She is really pretty.  Haha.  I was like ´thanks but no thanks.  Drunk people are crazy here...well probably everywhere. 
 
I love and miss you all.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pictures!!

Week 41

Hey Family!

I just had the flu...like what flu really is not throwing up and stuff.  But i´m all good now.  Things are good here. 
We will have a baptism this week.  She is an elect.  I´ve never seen someone this elect on my mission.  She likes it all.  We did get a little scared this week because we went to her house and she said she wouldn´t be baptised.  We asked why and she told us that a J-Dub had come to her house and told her terrible things about our church.  How our bible doesn´t have the right people in it and stuff like this. After we explained it all she was like I knew that that lady was telling lies.  So she is still solid.  She has a testimony about this stuff already.
They have this ice cream shop here that is so good!  Every tuesday and wednesday they have a half price deal.  Its still pretty expensive at half price but its worth it.  I love ice cream.  We´ve gone once every week since I´ve been here.  I´m starting to get more creative and cook more.  I made peanut butter this week!  It actually turned out well.  It is similar to Adams peanut butter.  It was really easy to make.  Also I made pancake mix and i´ve got new pasta recepes.  I like my food better now.
It does sound like its been a crazy summer there.  The weather is really nice here.  I love it. Its not to hot or too cold.  At night its cool almost cold as well so I sleep well.  I can´t complain about the weather.  Its in the 70´s and 80´s in the day.  Its funny though because it was 83 and I felt cold the other day.  I guess you can get used to the warm.   But i think it was just because there was a cold breeze.
   This week we went to Porto Seguro for district meeting.  It was an hour car ride.  It was scary.  It felt like we were flying along but we were only going 55.  Its been a long time since i´ve been in a car going more than 30. 
Well I hope that its a good week for you all. 
Love,
Garrett

Monday, July 11, 2011

Week 40

Hey,
It was a crazy week here.  And this weekend I got super sick.  But i´m finally feeling a better.  Í think that i´m over the hump and will be ready to go this week. 
 
My companion is way cool.  We get a long really well.  Also i´m learning the language a lot faster with him.  That is a huge plus.  Its funny how that is but its like that in Brazil as well.  Except its more like all of Brazil hates Bahia....oh well i´m here.  My new area is so much better.  Its a lot cleaner and has blocks.  Also there are trees and vegetation here.  I missed seeing vegetation in Salvador.  It was horrible all thats there is concrete.  Also the people are alot nicer here and more civilized.  It is cold here at night and sometimes in the day.  I do like that.  I think its because of the elevation and we are like 1 hour from the ocean.  There is a lot less humidity as well.  It is more like the weather in Moscow.  It´s just better here.   I took a bus here.  I left at night and got here in the morning on Wednesday 2 weeks ago.  The ride was about 12 hours, but I slept most of the way so it wasn´t too bad. The only thing that could be better is the LZ here, they are really uptight.  One of the LZ was companions with my trainer.  He says that I talk exactly like him in English and in Portuguese.  Haha its probably true we had a lot in common so i wouldn´t be surprised if we do.  But the LZ here are like our DL in Salvador.  No matter what we do its not good enough.  Hopefully that will change or we will just continue to do what we´re doing and laugh about it. 

Well it sounds like things are continuing to go well there.  I´m glad to hear that.  
Love,
Garrett 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Week 39

Hey,
 
The area i´m in now is called Eunòpolis.  Its 12 hours from Savador.  Its a lot better than Salvador but still the same stuff.  The middle of the city is like a strip mall.  There are just tons of stores for blocks.  We live in the middle of the city above some stores.  Its not a bad location.  It is nice here because it does get cold here.  It is a strange feeling to be cold after being hot for 3 months.  I like the cold.  We had a zone activity here today but it really wasn´t fun.  It took forever to cook the food and nothing really happened.  Poor planning is what it boils down too.  My new companion is a good guy. He is a Brazilian and doesn´t know english.  Its all good though.  We get along just fine.
Sounds like there is a lot of good fruit this year.  They have a fruit here called Acaí.  Its really good.  Other than that though I´m not a huge fan of the fruit here. 

Love,
Garrett

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 38

Hey,
This week was crazy!  At district meeting we got chewed out by our district leader because he said our numbers weren´t good enough.  He was like if you don´t start getting more people from you english class you won´t be able to do it.  We have the second most baptisms in our district and our district overall was the highest baptising in the mission.  I think its just because he is short and likes to have power.  Oh well.  We had a baptism this week of one of our English students.  He is way cool and we reactivated his grandparents.  They are way solid now. 
There is this guy in our ward that is schizophrenic.  He has been a help at time with getting referals but today he told us that the millenium has already started and that Armageden will start in December.  We were like who told you this.  His reply was the Lord.  He´s out there.  Oh well.
So I still don´t know where I´m being transfered or if I am yet.  We will find out today some time.  I want to leave.  I really don´t like my area.  But my companion is cool so it is a double edged sword. 
  But I think that I´m going to the interior because they want me to come to the office to do something with my visa and you have to have a paper with your visa info to go the interior.
So this week was a holiday.  It was terrible.  All of the people here were drunk, playing loud music and throwing fireworks all over the place and the fireworks here are just loud they don´t do anything cool.  I hate it. 
Well I hope that everything continues to go well at home and that the weather continues to get warmer for you there.  The farmers need some warm weather.
 
Love,
Garrett

Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 37

Hey family,

It has been rainy here for the last few days.  I actually kind of like it because its so hot when the sun is out.  And the rain here is warm.  We went back to my first area today to visit the members and our recent converts.  It was really cool to see them again.  
We had a baptism this week so that was a blessing but our area is just hard.  No one wants to listen.  Everything has to be done through the members.  Hopefully we will get more referals soon.  I´m probably going to be transfered out this next week to another place.  I´m kind of happy about that.  I´m just hoping I get a companion that is as cool as Elder Hales, he has 17 months on the mission.  It doesn´t feel like much happened this week.  
I´m glad that things are going well and that you´re all being blessed even though America is having problems.  I can really see that you´re being blessed from your emails.  God will bless his children when we follow is commandments.  It just proves he exists and the gosple is true.
I love and miss you all,
Garrett 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hey,
This was a crazy week. The week started out really good.  We have zone conference on tuesday.  It was really good!  Elder Hales said that it was one of the best he has seen.  I learned a lot there.  But then things just started to go downhill.  It was a hard week during the middle.  Its really hard to find people tracting here.  All of our solid people are from referals.  We are trying to get the members to help more.  They are pretty good but the more help the better.  The english class is a huge sucess.  We have 50 or more people going.  And each day we keep getting more.  I think that they shut the doors to the class because there just isn´t room for more people.  I´m glad that Elder Hales is good at the Portugues because I´ve only been teaching a little bit and its really hard when I can´t really explain myself in Portugues.  We also have gotten 3 references because of the class.  Hopefully we will continue to get people to teach from the class.  It is also nice because it gives us something to do at night.  Nights are slow here and most of the time its a pain to find successful things to do. 
One of our recent converts has been really nice to us.  Everytime we go over there she makes us something to eat.  We had something that was similar to an elephant ear.  It was so good!  I love Elephant ears.  And then she also made this tea from some plant. I got the name of it somewhere.  It was way good though.
Yesterday at lunch we had Bahian food.  I was worried at first because the first time I had it I didn´t like it.  But this was diferent and it was really good.  It was some of the best food I´ve had on the mission here in Brasil.  I guess its just on how you prepare it if its good or not.  But the food overall has been a lot better here in this area.  I think its just because there is more money in this area.
I had a cool experience yesterday.  After church we went to a recent converts house because she hasn´t been going to church.  We had a really good talk with her.  I was able to talk about leaving the church and coming back in and shared a scripture and stuff.  After she was talking to Elder Hales and she said Elder Parsons doesn´t talk much but when he does it is beautiful.  It wasn´t me talking if it was beautiful it was the spirit because I know I was making a lot of mistakes.  But most of the time they can understand what I´m trying to say.  At times I can understand when people are saying and participate in the conversation.  But a lot of the time I just get really lost and don´t know how to say because I don´t understand.  Its starting to come...slowly but surely.  I just have to continue to have patience.
Its been another week.  I´m hoping things pick up here.  I think that they are starting to a little.  I hope all is well at home and that the weather continues to get better.

Love,
Garrett

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hey,
So Moscow is finally going into summer now.  Its about time.  It is getting cooler here.  I enjoy it more now.  But its always hot...its just less hot now. 

We haven´t started the english class yet. It will start on Wednesday.  BYU has created a book that has lesson plans for the class so it should be pretty straight forward to teach.  We will see though.  Right now we have 30 non-members signed up to take it.  It has gotten so big that the employment department for the church here is working with us.  They are donating supplies and stuff for it.  So that is a big plus.  Hopefully it works out for the best.  We will see though.

The drug raid wasn´t too close to our appartment.  It was a little ways away.  But they were walking down the street when we saw them so I´m not exactly sure where it was.  My area right now boarders the most dangerous area in the mission.  So that is why we always see cops here.  I liked Engenho Velho more.  Most of the members here are really cool.  So that is a plus.  They are the only thing that makes this area work.  Knocking doors is a flop.  No one accepts because the area is small and has been knocked so many times.  Its really frustrating.  Hopefully it gets better.  We are starting to get more referals so that is a plus.

The view here is pretty sweet.  But our apartment is a dump.  Its horrible.  We don´t have water all the time and its just crap.  I´d rather just have a good apartment because we can´t even do anything at the beach.  And actually the beaches here suck because people throw trash all over the place.  Its really annoying.  All the missionaries tell me constantly the rest of Brsil isn´t this bad.  Only Bahia is.  So I guess i went to one if not the most gettho part of Brasil.  Oh well.  There still are some cool things here.  So far I just haven´t found anything that would make me want to come back after the mission.  Its just too dangerous here.  I guess a lot of it is because when the cops did the raids in Rio all the drug dealers came here.  Or that is the word on the street.  Now the cops are trying to clean them out here.  Hopefully it gets better.

This week we had a division because we needed to have the district leader interview some of our investigators for baptism.  I went to his area and there we were able to teach a lot of lessons.  It felt really good to be able to teach again.  That is pretty much the only part I like about the mission is the teacher and helping people change their lives for the better.  But we haven´t had success here to be able to do that.  Hopefully that will change.  We did have 2 baptisms this week.  That was a blessing but other than that the week seemed really bad.  I hope that this next week is better. 

I love and miss you all,
Garrett 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hey Family,
This last week was crazy.  It felt really long as well.  Hopefully this week will be better.  The members really want to help us out which is a huge plus.  I´m in Amaralina and thats the name of the church building.  Its a stake center. 
Today they had a drug raid here.  It was crazy they had the main street shut down and they black police were out.  They only call in the black police when they are going to kill someone.  They shoot first then ask question.  They all had out their fully automatic machine guns.  It was a little intense. 
This past week I´ve had some messed up food as well.  I ate cow insides twice...like the intestines and stuff, its probably good i don´t know what it all is.  Its not very good and it looks worse!  But for some reason they like that stuff here.  Hopefully its not a trend.  Yesterday for lunch we had lasagna!  It was so good.  It made me almost feel like i was in America.  The members are a lot better off in this area than my last so the lunches have been a lot better.  Our investigator gave us the cow stuff.  I think its actually a treat here.  Oh well.
So the view from our apartment is awesome.  We see the ocean and the breeze comes in all the time.  That is a plus, but other than that the apartment is a piece.  Nothing really works well and we don´t always have water and the bathroom smells horible all the time.  Oh well its an experience, one i´d rather not have though. 
I totally agree with you that baptism don´t measure how good of a missionary you were.  My companion and I are both on the same page with that.  We don´t wan to baptise anyone unless they are ready and are likely to stay active in the church.  Its useless to baptise and then 3 weeks later they are inactive.  You did a dis-service to them if that happens.  And we were talking to the members here and they were talking about baptising kids and how bad it is.  We were like we aren´t looking to baptise kids.  Right now we have 2 kids that could be baptised this week but they have parents and family that are members or investigators right now.  So they will stay active if their ties to the church do. 
Oh we are also starting up a english class.  I´m excited for that.  It will be good.  A lot of the people in the ward want to learn more english and with 2 Americans what better time.  We are also going to invite investigators and other people and hopefully it will be a good oportunity to get lessons. 
Well I´m still alive.  The days this week felt like they took forever but looking back now it seemed to go fast.  Hopefully we will get things running here like we did in Engenho Vehlo.  I hope all is well in Moscow and that it gets warmer for you. 

Love Garrett

Monday, May 23, 2011

MORE PICTURES

Hi family,

Oh don´t worry about letting me know about whats going on.  I´d rather know than find out when I get home.  Oh I finally got the birthday package!  Thanks so much.  It really made my day.  I´d take a present like that anyday over something else.   Oh that is good that there is a lot of good fruit coming on.  I miss American fruit.  They have some good fruit here but not really that great.  Our land has better.
I loved seeing the picture of Koda in the Present.  I miss that dog.  He was cool.  I´d love to go run with him.
Yeah when members get involved in the missionary work it helps so much.  It really does make the investigators want to go to church and be active.  Its hard to do something when you don´t have any outside support.  But it still can be done. 
This week was hard.  I was showing Elder Almeida around the area for the week and we had a hard time communicating at times.  It was very frustrating!  I was suppose to be in Amaralina my new area on Saturday but i didn´t get here until about 2 hours ago.  Its been frustrating!  But I did have some very special experiences this past week.  We had a baptism. That was awesome to see another person get baptised.  After the baptism we went to lunch at a members house.  Lunch was good.  After the lunch they asked me to give the message.  So i did. I read in Alma 38:5 when Alma is talking to his son about staying strong in the church.  I started reading it and i barely made it through the verse.  When i started to explain it and bare my testimony about it I lost it.  I was talking about the dificulties of the language but I knew that the lord would help me and that the gospel was true.  I just started to cry because i felt a overwhelming feeling of love and peace.  I don´t cry but I couldn´t help it.  It was a very memorable experience.  Then at church Eliana asked me to confirm her a member of the church.  It was a little stressful because i didn´t know the words.  Elder Almeida wrote them out and I tried to memorize them really fast.  I don´t remember what I said or if I even said the right words, but after church the Bishop came up to me and was like you did really well and said a lot.  You´ve learned the language well and have the gift of tongues.  It was a special experience.  I wish I was fluent and could have that gift all the time.  It feels like I only get bits and pieces of the conversations.  I never am able to understand completely.  It is frustrating.  And then when I don´t understand they try to talk in English.  I´m just like talk Portugues just slower.  I´m in a frustrating phase right now and its overwhelming/stressful.  Oh well...thats a mission.
Another experience I had was we went to a members house for FHE with a investigator.  It was a really good experience.  They member gave an amazing lesson and helped the investigator out a lot.  At the end they made me give a solo hymn because it was my last day.  It was actually a good experience.  It was hard but turned out well.
It was a hard week but I learned so i guess that means it was good.  We had a baptism so it was good.
I love and miss you all,
Garrett

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Transfers!

hey familiy!
Wow it was a hecktic week.  So P-day was changed because of transfers.  So I didn´t get to email till today.  But this next week it should be on monday.  Also a lot has changed.  Elder Hales and I are in a different area.  The stake president is in our ward so the zone leaders have to be in the same ward as he is.  Its lame but oh well.  The area we are going to is a lot richer so i like that part more.  Also the area is pumbing right now with investigators.  So is this area we would have had at least 5 baptism this month.  But right now i´m showing the zone leader around the area until sunday.  He doesn´t speak english so it is hard to communicate.  But we have a baptism i hope this saturday so it will be a good end to a great area.  Its been colder here.  I´ve actually been cold a couple of days.  But its because its been raining.  Maybe i´m getting used to it here a little. 
Brasil has money...just not in the north.  It is a lot poorer here than the south.  My comp says his area is so rich.  There is tons of money celebrities and pro athletes there. He´s in Florianopolis though.  The yougurt and the ice cream aren´t very good here.  I miss real ice cream.  I think that mcdonalds soft serve ice cream is better than the stuff they have here.  And pizza is terrible here. They don´t know how to make one at all.  Oh well i´m just not much for the food.  But i´m still alive.


Love,
Garrett

Monday, May 9, 2011

(We got to call Garrett for Mother's Day so this week his email wasn't too long. He said that things are picking up. They seem to be able to find investigators, but not a lot that will commit or follow through. That is the frustrating thing he said and of course not knowing the language right now. Following Garrett's update are some pictures he just sent. I would guess that the first photo was in the MTC and next photo when he was in CA, and possible the last photo was in Brazil)
 
 
Hey,
It was great to talk to you all as well.  I really missed hearing all of your voices.  But it sounds like things are going well there.  I´m not that frustated.  I like it here overall better than california...missions in general are just really hard no matter where you are.  But its better here.  I know that the Lord has helped me a lot already.  I still have a long way to go.  I´m just not patient.  But it will come.  Haha....i´d take cold weather any day right now.  The crisp cold air is so nice.  It is really refeshing.  You never get that here.  It always feels like you´re dirty or just not very clean.

 
Love
Garrett








Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hey,
They don´t have 5 of maio here.  I can´t remember when their independence is. I think its the end of July though or June.  I guess its a terrible time of the year because all they do here is drink during the holidays.  There is a really sad story about drinking.  We got a referal to teach this guy.  We taught him the first lesson..he was drunk so we were going to go back and teach it again the next week when hopefuly he was sober.  When we stopped by to see him his wife informed us that he had died a couple days ago from alcohol poisoning.  Its sad how much they drink here.  They just don´t want to get out of their rut.  All we can do is try.
The Baha was awesome.  Its right along the ocean.  It was so clean and really nice looking here.  There are a lot of tourist attractions there.  There was this guy selling necklaces.  He kept trying to get us to buy but he wanted 15 for one.  We ended up getting 2 for 15 so it worked out in the end.  It was really fun to go down there for P-day though.  I enjoyed it a lot.  We wanted to do something like that today but we had to go to the airport so that I could get finger printed for the police.  If they didn´t do it I would be deported.  It was a pain.  We got to the airport at 10 and didnt get back til 2!  There went our P-day.  Oh well i guess it will be next week that we do something. 
 
So on Sunday we are get to call home.  Well can you call here actually.  Call at 6:00 pm my time.  I think you´re 4 hours behind but im not sure so like 2 your time. We get to call on Saturday for like 5 minutes to see if everything works.  I´m going to try my calling card but if it doesn´t work i´ll ask to check my email, so email me back before sunday just with the information if that works or not. 
Also FYI...our P-day will be on Monday from now on.  So you´ll have to send emails a different day. 
I know we are trying to be safe.  We only go into the bad area´s when we have appointments with investigators.  And yeah there are people that get robbed at gun point.  It happens a decent amount thats why they say to bring a little cash.  But they don´t shoot people unless they are stupid.  We are trying to be safe...but its hard when the whole bahio is pretty unsafe.  We don´t intentionally go into places thinking that we are invisible.  But I feel that we are watched out for.  I know what you mean about missionaries taking things too personal.  I´ve done it myself here.  Its just becuase the work is so hard.  But I don´t take pride or act like i´m happy that they don´t accept.  My comp and I are just like its your lose not ours and move on.  If they don´t want to listen theres nothing we can do about it.
We are getting the support of the members which is great.  It really helps us out.
The language is coming slowly.  It really depends on the person.  I hate not being able to talk...i feel like a little kid and at times useless here.  But everyone feels that way or thats what they say.  It will come some day.  I´ve only had a couple of people laugh at me when I talk to thats a plus I guess.  Im just trying to stay positive about the whole situation.  My comp is awesome so it makes up for the difficulties.
 

Well I love and miss you all.  Garrett
 
 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hey Familiy,
 
I´m not sure what all the pictures were.  My companion now is the tall one thats pointing at me.  We are both in sunday clothes.  The other pictures with other people are all in Oakland.  My companions name is Elder Hales.  He is way cool.  The picture with all the high rises in the background is the view from our appartment.  You can´t really see how ghetto it is because we are in the better area.  But you walk a minute or less and you are in the ghetto.  I´m going to take a picture from the church soon that really shows our area well. 
 
Its been hot here.  And i´m not used to it.  I haven´t heard of anyone that does get used to it.  Missionaries that have been here for almost 2 years still have trouble in it.  It´s just really hot.  I´m not a huge fan of the heat.  It really does make you appreciate seasons.  You just need to live somewhere where you never get snow and its depressing.  Oh well its not too bad here.  I like it actually...mostly.  Our area is Engelho Federaçao.  Or something like that.  The church is on Cardial Da Silva.  Its one of the nicest in the mission so thats cool.  There are a lot of members here.  We just need them to all be active and then we´d have like 6 wards.  But we only have 1...so there are a lot of inactive members. 
 
It was a crazy week.  The house numbers here are retarded. They jump all over the place.  You´ll see 4, 6, 8, then 150  I´m not exagerating either.  It makes it really hard to find where people live.  We´ll ask people and they don´t even know and they live here.  Or we´ll go the the number of the house and the people will be like no they live in the alley behind us.  But it has the same number for like 5 houses.  Its dumb.  Makes things fun though i guess.  The holiday was terrible for work here.  Everyone was either drunk or gone.  Not much success happens when people are like that.  I´ve started to see a lot of sad things around here.  Besides the parents teaching their daughters to be whores when their are born which really bothers me there are a lot of kids that do drugs here.  We walked by some teenagers doing cocain on a car in the middle of the day.  I didn´t like seeing that.  One of the kids looked like it was his first time...or what i´d assume to be a first time.  He was way gone.  I dunno maybe you always look that way when you do cocain.  It was messed up.  I don´t know why people here don´t just stay in school and make something of their lives.  Its frustrating.  Everything is really expenisive here.  Especially things we take for granite...like electronics.  They are through the roof here.  And cars...don´t complain about them being expensive in the states.  A VW Gol is 33,000.  ITs so small.  The Jetta is 84,000!  Its unreal and the average person here only makes like 600 a month.  Thats Reaize too!  Wow I´m not going to complain about prices anymore.  They do have really good juice here though.  I love it.  The members usually make us juice for lunch.  We have real Bahian food for the holiday.  I don´t like it at all!  Its horrible.  I wish it was what Mark said steak and seafood.  But its not.  I don´t even know how to describe it but its no good.  I´ve had some weird stuff here already.  One day we had cow stomach.  I didn´t eat much it was so bad.  And another time we had liver.  I can eat liver but its not good either.  Mostly the food isn´t too bad though.  Beans and rice.  Can´t go wrong there.  The music here sucks.  Oh i hate it.  All it is...is a crappy beat with a guy rapping the same 3 words the whole song. So dump!  It gets annoying.  All the brasilians say the music is bad here though so its just Bahia.  I guess Bahia is about as redneck as it gets in Brasil.  OH well.  Crazy things on sunday we were contacting on the street.  I was walking away from this lady that i had just contacted when this man walking towards me started talking to me in English.  The first time anyone has done that.  He was like be careful this is a dangerous street.  And then left.  So we left as well.  Too bad we have to go down that street because the bank is there.  I feel protected though so I think I´ll be fine.  Monday night was a little scary.  We were walking home around 9 and we started walking up these stairs.  At the top I look up and there are 10 military cops with guns out!  Not pointed at me though.  As I was moving over to the side to let them by because they were doing a drug raid or something a guy with a fully automatic rifle steps infront of me to come down the steps, I just moved out of the way.  I thought i was going to die for a little bit though.  Not really...it just got my heart racing.  They do things here differently than in America.  I didn´t want to take the chance.  On a brighter note last night we started a bet with a member.  They are really cool.  They are sisters and both served missions. They have helped us a lot to find people and teach.  And I don´t like them because they are women...either.  They are just good missionary minded members.  But we have a bet with one of them.  She is going to do push up and we have to beat her number by 20.  If we do we get a pizza.  If not we buy her one.  We are holding the competition in 2 weeks.  I´m excitd.  We did pushups last night though. Im really glad we have 2 weeks to get into shape for it.  Oh so our power was turned off for almost 2 days because the bill hadn´t been paid in 3 months.  I guess the secretaries never found out that we had moved 3 months ago.  We got it turned on but we had to walk to the office which is a 25 minute walk one way to get the proof that it had been paid. Its all good now.  Adds to the excitment. 
 
Well i love you all and hope things continue to go well,
 
Garrett
 
Oh we are going to the Baha today.  The huge elevator and the sights around it.  I´ll let you know how it was next week.