Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Missionary Reunions and "Helping Hands"

(Elder Fox, Elder Downer, and Elder Krusi ... heading out of Provo and over to Sao Paulo Brazil.)
Dear Family,

Sounds like you guys are having some fun times!  The letter I got last week was from Mom about Belle’s dancing and the Chuck Norris competition.  That’s so cool that you like dancing Belle!  But you don’t like Hip-Hop very much?  That’s one of my favorites to watch.  That’s cool that you’re liking Ballet!  Did you guys tell Lindsey that?  She loved doing Ballet.  Sounds like you guys also had a good time at the competition thing.  Britt … you weren’t impressed by the guy going to take out his cup?  I think that’s a pretty impressive and manly thing to do.  But what’s the deal with all these people you are meeting after I leave?  Chuck Norris, Bill Nye, Adam Sandler … who next?  Shawn Horcoff?  Haha

Thanks for the news updates.  It’s nice to know that there’s still life in the States.  In the MTC in Provo, when I left to go to the doctor, Elder Tarbet asked me to bring back a branch from an olive tree (like Noah with the dove) so he could find out if there still is life outside of the MTC.  It’s even worse here because the only news I hear is soccer and that Amy Winehouse is dead.  I guess she’s really big down here.  I couldn’t think of any songs.  I only recognized her name.  So, ya, please load me up with current events.  If I were to get any news, it would be over exaggerated liberal garbage.  I was talking politics with some people here (one time the guy could speak English but the other time only Portuguese which was way hard) and they think Obama is the best man ever and that Bush is one of the worst men to ever live.  I quickly corrected them on how they had it 100% backwards.  It’s sad that other parts of the world are only hearing lies and half truths.  One of them mentioned how Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize so I asked him what he did to deserve it and he had no answer.  It just goes to show how bias the media is nowadays.

This week I went to the Policia Federal and now I’m finally not an illegal immigrant.  Haha  It was so awesome though.  I got to see Elder Downer and Elder Krusi, both in my district in Provo and then came to the CTM with me.  It was so much fun to catch up with them and hear their stories.  I loved it!  Some other missionaries we knew at the CTM were there too so we got to talk with them.  One of the first things they asked was, “How’s the real world?”  haha  However, that same day I found something out that just killed me.  One of the Elders that came straight to the Brazil CTM and was in my district there, and is in the same mission as me, went home the night before.  When I found that out, my heart sank.  You know the feeling when you find out something bad and you get that feeling … ya … I was hit pretty hard by it.  He’s such an awesome guy and he’s missing out on the chance of a lifetime.

This week was so-so as far as numbers go … like lessons taught and all that.  Maybe part of it was that we had a lot going on like the Policia Federal and other stuff.  We did have a lot of slow days though.  No one was home when we went to visit and it was a pretty rough week.  The lessons we did have were good and we have a lot of dates set up.  We have a baptism every weekend this month if they all work out.  This weekend is Eduardo (well by the time you get this it won’t be this weekend.  It will have already happened.).  He is finally getting baptized.  He was the one that asked us if he could get baptized but works in Rio so it’s hard to work with his schedule.  Looking at this guy, and talking to him, you would never know he isn’t a member.  He’s so nice and smart.  He knows a ton about the church already.  In his free time, he likes to watch old Conference talks and his favorite speaker is President Hinckley.  He’s so cool and he already has that glow about him.  I can’t wait to see it after he’s baptized.  He’s way excited.

Then, on the 13th, is Rau.  He’s the one with the member girlfriend … needing to get married or separated.  Heavenly Father helped us out big time because they decided to be strong.  They wanted Rau to be able to get baptized sooner so they made some decisions and now they have time to plan a wedding.  We got big time help on that one.

You know the church’s service program “Helping Hands”?  Well, they had a big nationwide project going on Saturday and we went and helped out.  Every stake got a different project for “Helping Hands” which is Maos Que Ajudar.  Our stake was in charge of a park that really needed some fixing up and cleaning.  There was broken glass everywhere, the teeter-totters were messed up, the swings didn’t have seats, and the support bars had been broken off.  There was a jungle gym too that was a child’s death trap.  This thing had holes in the sides that were this metal cage stuff so all the wires were pointing in different directions and very sharp.  It also had a metal slide … but only the top half.  The bottom half was busted off.  On the edge where it was broken, it was all jagged and sharp.  If you slid down you would get sliced up pretty bad.  We cleaned it all up, fixed up the broken stuff, and it looks soooo much nicer now!  The plants were also in need of trimming so guess what I got to use to trim them?  Not clippers or anything like that.  I was hacking away at them with a machete!!!  It was pretty sweet and a fun way to do yard work.  When I get home I will have to buy one to do yard work with … in our yard.  Haha  It looks way better now that we cleaned the park up.

There was also a dead rooster half buried in the ground.  Pretty sketchy because that’s a voodoo ritual.  There’s a “church” here that their practice is basically voodoo and black magic.  It’s some weird stuff.  Elder Krusi said that he had a cat on fire with a circle of fire around it.  That’s part of a ritual they do.  It’s some dark stuff.  They use drums too.  We’ll be walking and hear this drum beat and you get a real creepy feeling … and we get the heck out of there.  There’s another “church” that’s … interesting here.  It’s a spirit church and the way they worship and obtain knowledge is they get one person possessed and then ask him questions.  They are also not happy at all when two missionaries come knocking.  We were working on the less active list we had received, and went to a house for this one guy.  Some lady threw open the window and asked us what we wanted.  We asked if the guy was there.  She got very angry at that and said, “He’s in touch with the spirits.  And if you are smart, you wouldn’t come back.”  Needless to say, we didn’t go back.  Haha  But at least the spirit people stay inside, unlike the voodoo ones who come out into the streets.  On the plus side, the voodoo people give a heads up with their drums.

Well, I have to get going.  I love you guys and I hope all is well back home.  I love you guys so much!!  I miss you!


PS - It’s kind of funny Mom how you wrote about being excited for Christmas because that day me and Elder Henrique were talking about it and the calls home.  He was saying that with President Cooley they used Skype when they called.  So … if it’s the same … that will be awesome because I get to see you guys!

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