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.
Monday, May 23, 2011
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,
Thursday, May 19, 2011
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.
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)
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.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
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