Monday, November 28, 2011

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade ... In Brazil?

Dear Family,

Hey guys!! What’s going on? I’m doing good over here! Thanksgiving was ... different. Basically, it didn’t feel anything like Thanksgiving.  At the same time … it wasn’t just another Thursday in the mission.  It was such a good day!  An amazing day actually!  I'll write about it in my letter today because it'll take some time to write.  Also, something I thought was pretty cool is that down here, they get the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was talking to one of my investigators about Thanksgiving and how it was the next day.  The next time I saw him he said that he watched something on TV in New York with giant balloons that look like characters. I was really confused at first and thinking maybe I misunderstood him. He was like, “You know … a lot of huge balloons and people walking down the road  holding them.  And there were some bands too and people dancing and everyone walking and waving.”  I was still a little confused until he said, “It’s on that day that you guys have, with lots of food and turkey.”  That’s when I clued in.  Pretty sweet that they get it over here don’t you think?

Monday, November 21, 2011

With My English to Portuguese Dictionary In Hand ... It's Time To Talk

(Speaking in Sacrament Meeting becomes a little more nerve-wracking.)
 Hey guys!!!

Man!  So this week has been exhausting!!  This P-Day is very welcomed!  In this new area, we didn’t have too many investigators.  The ones we did have, aren’t very firm at all and aren’t progressing.  You know what that means … time for a new start!  And that means going and knocking doors and making contacts.  Sooo … lots of time spent in the hot sun walking all day long.  Fun times!  However, we found a lot of new people that seem like they will be really good.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The "Missionary Look"

Brazil is beautiful!
Dear family,

Glad you guys liked the pictures.  It's kind of hard to send pictures home.  I need someone (investigator or member) because we do our emails in a public computer house and Mauricio warned me of using those computers to send pictures home. I guess they are generally loaded with viruses and if I were to hook my camera or memory card to them, I could get a bunch on it.  Then when I get home and try to load up my pictures, it could mess up the computer.  So that’s why pictures are in short supply.  I do have a bunch on my camera.  And … yes … the backpack or hip bag thing that my companion has on, is normal here.  That’s actually part of the “missionary look”.  Whenever I’ve left without my backpack or just with stuff in my hands, and I run into a member, they sometimes don’t recognize us as missionaries at first.  They always ask where our bags are.  Do the missionaries back home not wear backpacks?  I thought they did.  How else would they carry a Bible, Book of Mormon, one or two other copies of the Book of Mormon to give out, and whatever other stuff they need?  The area I took the pictures, is basically in the middle of my area.  We pass through there lots.  Those trails that I snapped some shots on, we use those a lot.  I saw a huge lizard in that tree area the other day.  One of those with a snake-like tongue, that are big, and have a load of poison that it stores in it's tail.  It was really cool until it started coming right at us.  That kind of freaked us out a little.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Little Training and Some Construction

David F. Evans - Of the First Quorum of the Seventy
Dear Family,

Hey guys.  How’s it going?  Mom … you mentioned in the email today, again, that you guys aren’t getting any mail.  I don’t know what’s going on with the mail.  I’ve received letters from people saying they haven’t heard back from me so I think some of my letters are getting lost in route.  There have been some weeks where we get in late and I don’t have time to write, but those weeks I don’t have time to write anyone.  Just know that whenever I do write letters ... I write one to home.

On Monday we had a training given by Elder Evans (a member of the 70) and it was so good!!!  It wasn’t really a training like normal.  Normally we just learn stuff about teaching and do some practices, but since he was there, he just spoke.  He first opened up by letting us ask questions and then started talking after … first about tithing, and then about revelation and lots of other stuff.  It was amazing because I have been working hard and studying in reference to revelation and how best to receive answers to questions.  He totally answered every question I had in aspect to that topic.  He also answered questions about other stuff I have been thinking about.  It was so cool!!!  A great little experience.  Also, his testimony that he bore was incredible!!!  It was so powerful.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard a testimony that strong before in my life.  His testimony just cut right through me … to my soul.

"Goodbyes" and Armadillo Encounters

A little family encounter!

A street contact ... I don't think this one counts.
Dear Family!!

Hey!  Our P-Day got moved to today but I didn’t know until Wednesday of last week so I wasn’t able to get out any notices.  First of all, transfers were last week.  I got the call Monday afternoon … unfortunately just after I had written my last email.  haha  However, I’m sure you guys have found out I was transferred through the grapevine.

Ok.  So first of all … I’ll talk about my last day in Freguesia.  Tuesday after our district meeting, was spent running around saying “Goodbye” to everyone and throwing all my stuff into my bag.  I had gotten a couple of extra stuff in that area, and since we’re only allowed one bag in the field and have to leave the other one and stuff at the mission office, I had to sit on it to get it closed up.  Once the quick packing was done, I was off running around saying “Goodbye” to members and investigators.  Man!  That was so rough!  I hated it.  People were crying and as you can guess … I cried a bit too.  The recent convert that said she was going to fast so I would stay was pretty bummed.  When I shook her hand to say goodbye she pulled me in and gave me a hug.  Needless to say, I totally freaked out and stiffened up and she had a good laugh about that.  Transfers are no fun at all.  You leave so many people behind that you have really grown to care for.  One family bought a bunch of pizzas for my "last supper".  That was pretty fun.