Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 17, 2014

I forgot to mention last week that there are actually 7 churches in Cabeceiras not including our school house haha. But this week was great, the guy that cut my hair today was talking about how he got shot one time by a guy whose girlfriend he kissed and he still has the bullet just below his ribs! Needless to say people handle things a little differently here in Brasil. This week was the annual celebration of the birth of Cabeceiras! So starting on Friday there was three days of partying for the citizens and lots of alchool sadly. So we spent some extra time in our apartment escondidos (hidden). On friday there were all the schools of Cabeceiras marching on the main road drumming and showing off their colors it was great and a great opportunity to talk to people and set appointments! Our appartment is right next to where the heart of the party was and on Saturday night i woke up at 3 in the morning and the party was still going strong, we had a little less people in attendance that next day for church haha. Also that night there was a couple fights we heard and gun shots! But we were safe in sound in our apartment, dont worry mom :) We look out for each other here.

Everyone thinks that im Japanese, its weird but whatever starts a conversation! Another thing that really different here is that people get married, or should i really say teenagers, at young ages. One of our investiagors named Douglas is 16 and has a wife and one kid and right now is building a house for them all! Its so weird to think about how young he is and all the responsibility he already has. sad, but hes really nice and is intersted in the church. Elder Matheus told me that he hasnt really seen this kind of lifestyle anywhere but here in Cabeceiras and its partly because of the lack of education and means people have. Another thing that really humbled me this week was that i noticed that probably 80% of the people i talk to here dont really know their dads. Its very sad, and had me thinking that in the states sometimes kids brag about what their dads do for a living, but here, its more like they brag that they even have a dad. So i am very grateful for you Dad! 

     On our way to an investigatrs house Gabriel, we say little kids sliding down a cement hill on 2 liter soda bottles and they were having the best time! Again, it just made me so humble to know that some people just dont have alot but they make the best of it. I feel like i am very ungrateful sometimes and now i really see how wrong that is. People here offer you so much even when they have so little, its just like Christ taught. It sometimes feels like being in the movie tarzan here because of all the forests and dirt roads, ill attach a picture of the way to an investigators house we had to go on, it felt like we were on a safari! This week especially though i felt like humbleness was something that i need to work on and really stood out to me.

    This week we saw a lot of cool wildlife! Does it count as wild life if its in your house? Because we had a lot of little visitors (bugs) in our apartment because of the rain, they just love us so much! THey also love oatmeal, and i discovered this when eating breakfast on thursday, ewww. haha but after flicking them out it was still delicious.We went to the Odells house this sunday for lunch and they live on the farm thats owned by the church. Its so isolated from the world! No one lives within 20 miles of them, but they are awesome, theyre from California and brother odell speaks spanish and sister odell is learning portuguese right now, if moving to a country where you dont know the language even a little bit isnt faith then i dont know what is! Theyre awesome, and on the way back we saw two mccaws flying right next to the car it was awesome! I didnt take a picture i just enjoyed it, we saw more later that day and a toucan! Also this baby crocodile looking thing i didnt take a picture there were people watching, also these cool birds that look a little bit like emus were just roaming the yard of the odells and then scampered away when we went out but they were really legal! (cool)

I tried some strange fruit called Picki which you cant bite but just scrape the skin off with your teeth, it was good! The baptism we had scheduled for Lucas on Saturday was canceleed because it was raining so much, but he went to church and we rescheduled for this saturday! This week was great nonethelsss, we got alot of references from the festival, and a nice old woman who is an inactive member let us pick tons of mangoes from her trees and eat sugar cane and also told us to cme back to teach her grandchildren! This week were also having a chess tournament among the elders, Elder Matheus and i are tied for first, and its double elimniation! But the church is really growing here its amazing, i am so grateful that the Lord is guiding us to people to teach, the Holy Ghost is real! 

Thanks for all the emails, i hope everyones week is great! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 10 Rain Rain and more Rain

 Hey eveyone! So while in the CTM in São Paulo everyone said that Brasilia was so dry but i guess thats to Brazils standards because it has rained so much this week! It feels great though after a week of dry heat. Anyways this week has been great, piano lessons with Lucas have been getting better and better, I got to hold a super cool parrot, and at a lunch this week with an investigator to my pleasant surprise i saw two huge chicken feet in the pot of beans we were eating! Haha it startled me but hey it was delicious.

     Were receiving two new missionaries today, Elder Sifuentes and Christensen were transfered we had a little going away partyfor them but right now we have so much extra space in the apartment its amazing! The best day this week was by far wednesday. So one of the members had been planning a `super mutua`` to try to get new youth interested in the church, they had set up a trivia game for the kids to play and everyone was having a great time. Then another one of the random power outages that happen alot here occured and so we broke out the candels and kept playing which made it even more fun for them. Then it startd to storm and Brazilians are scared of lightning but they have a good reason to be since the most deaths due to lightning happen in Brazil. So there was just lighting and thunder like every 2 minutes and it was raining so much! THe game finished and everyon was jus laughing and smiling and playing in the rain. pretty soon everyone was drenched except the missionaries of course we have an image to keep haha but the time came that we had to leave so we grabbed our stuff and ran for home! THe streets were rivers! And within 30 seconds of being outside we were soaking wet but it was soooo fun! It was just a good day. 

    The church is growing alot here especially beause the members are helping us alot with references and famiy members that arent members. Were teaching a sister of on e of the youth whose name is Julianna and she is really progressing we have set a tentative baptismal date for her! Another boy who weve been teaching named lucas is going to be baptized this week! Its way weird to think that i might be doing it but well see! This week we had lunch with a man named marcello and his famiy which one of them is a member and it went really well! Hes been working as a mechanic for 30 years and has a lot of cars on his property, we helped him move a car from the street into his yard it was fun! THen he gave us a ride in a super old ford and it was so nice to not have to walk home haha i forgot to mention we walk everywhere, none of the missions in Brasil have cars or bikes! But that was great, i have learned that the best way to preach the gospel is just being a good friend first and genuinely love the people and serve them in any way possibe! Even if its washing dishes.

Well i hope everyones week was great, thanks for all the emails and stuff! Love you guys!

November 3

Hi everyone, sorry to spam you again but let me tell you a little bit about this week in Cabeceiras!

     First of all im at an internet cafe here in cabeceiras where the keyboards are annoying to use, so bearwith my bad spelling, this reminds me of how evey word in the Book of Mormon was preciousy carved especially for us! Haha anyways i saw some toucans and parrots this week it was pretty cool to see them flyin around on rooftops, also a huge frog, and just like my buddy john said who is serving in |Lima right now, lots of dogs that just sit around and eat garbage. It makes me miss Uva so much! Also this week we had some friendly visitors in our apartment aka huge beetes and mosquitos. Theres all kind of wild life here! I also got to try some terrerra which is a wierd tea that im retty sure my grandma loves to drink. it was so good!

Also this week i realized just how many churches are in the small town of Cabeiceras, there are 6 different chuches within 1 square mile not including ours@! Its a huge eye opener to see how different the gospel is practiced and also very humbnling to have a testimony of our church and not be caught up in the tumultuous times. People here like to drink, sleep, and praise the lord! In whichever manner they will haha but i love it here nontheless!

On friday Elder Matheus who hails from Recife Brazil and i had a kind of hard day, first of all, he has this or shoud i say had this bicycle deck of cards which he does magic tricks with just to get to know people break the ice but anyways we were teaching a boy named Julio and his grandma who is a non active member, and then left for home, the next day we walked past the house and saw his deck competely destroye because it had rained that night and I forgot it outside, I felt so bad! Cabeciras doesnt have alot of stores like the US where everything is available at anytime so it was a huge bummer to start the day off. uBut we talked with this investigator we have named Franciele, she works in a grocery store next to our house and we just stop by to see how she is doing, and sneak a lesson in there. But she recently had been having relationship problems and her husband kicked her out two nights before. So we had taalked to her about trials and it was a very spiritual lesson1! So friday we went to talk to her again, and she had fixed her problems with her husband which was great! But also a ittle road block because now to be baptized she will need to move out or live seperately. 

So that was bittersweet, but we moved on to Julios to talk to him more because he commited to a date later this month to be baptized! HE is 12 years old and is super fun and full of energy, so we were teaching him and his grandfather and then his grandfather said he wanted julio to be baptized in his churhc, the Catholic church,. Huge let down becauase we had been spedning alot of time with Julio and his grandfather and he knew we arent missionaries for the cathoic church and now he is working against us in a sense, but theres still hope because julios grandma was baptized awhie back in the church and julio wants to as well. It is so sad how something as beautiful as baptism can be scewed and different in all churches of the wold and just how much conflict it can cause. But if theres one thing that has stayed the same through and through its that Christ is our redeemer and salvador. 

We kept moving on, next was to a members house to have integration, where investigators and other inactives or whoever come to know the members more, little did Elder matheus know that it was a surprise bithday party! FOr him of course haha so that was just great, good feelings all around. 

Bear ith me here, later that night we found out that one of the members had called the MISSION PRESIDENT to taattle on us because we had to use a membes house last wek to email becuause there was no power at the cafe or our apartment. Othe stuff also but im not sure what but needess to say we felt betrayed especially because this member had been kind tyo us and then made us look very bad for our president. Here in Brazil people are critical but also fun loving, its sad to see though how members even tak about people behind their backs. Yeah no one felt happy after that, But the next day saturday we had a surpise celebration for Elder Matheus in our apartment and carved some watermeln! It was the day after Halloween afeter all haha it was a blast and really just made us feel a little better about everything going on. i nwow realize how important it is to gain the members trust. 

All in al this week was great! After the weekend we grew much closer with each other as missionaries. WE have 2 people with baptismal dates! To further the work is such a blessing, and regardless of what stands in our way the lord has a maneira for us (way). Stay faithfu everyone i love you all!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

First week in the field ah yeah!

So ive been here in a smallish city of Cabeiceiras its been a great week! Its a new area that the mission president just opened up so there is no chapel but we meet in a school! The members here are great! One is from Victoria Brazil and he served in Boston his name is Alan. So how did i get here you may ask? Well at 4:30 in the morning we left the CTM and took a bus to the airport, got on our flight, oh yeah while on the plane I made my first contact! It was awesome! We talked the entire time in Portuguese and just chit chatted away and eventually i was describing the relationship between the Bible and Book of Mormon he was interested so he gave me his card and wrote his personal email and phone number on it! His name is Arriosto, he is an engineer for John Deer and travels alot but lives in southern Brazil, It was such a spiritual and humbling experience. 

Anyways we landed, took a bus ride to the mission home, ate some super yummy lunch, took pictures, slept haha finally, had our interviews and i was off to Cabeicerias! We arrived at like 11 at night i was so tired. My companion is Elder Matheus! Hes super funny and a great missionary, super easy to talk to and he is great at teaching! This week consisted of meeting the members, teaching a lesson here a lesson there, oh yeah one member Lucas who sadly his mom died last week but he is so amazing and strong in the church and the only member in his family. But Im teaching him how to play the piano its a blast! The peope here are amazing, seriously sometimes i just wonder how they can be so kind and loving. Some of the houses remind me of pictures of Africa some are impoverished some arent.

Chickens run around in the streets, as well as countless stray dogs, horses are hitched up to poles outside stores, its great! Its like a mix of everything
haha our apartment is pretty small and one of the two chairs we had broke yesterday haha it was so funny, the other companionship consists of elder Christensen who hails from ST> G and Elder sifuentes from LIMA PERU! Hes way nice and funny. Cough cough the other companionship was having a bit of a struggle with each other like in the best two years but theyre doing alot better, 

One interesting thing about this area is that It was closed 7 years ago becuase of bad missionaries that were kissing the girls and other bad things so its kind of scary to be here as the first missionaries in 7 years but then again im really grateful that i get to represent our savior Jesus Christ! THe portuguese is coming along just great, i ate some sugar cane yesterday it was delicious, i dont have many picutrues becuase it just makes me look like a tourist but slowly theyll come! The food here is so so good not as good as my moms cooking though. 

Everyone please read Alma 26:36 and just think about how lucky we are to have the restored gospel from ancient times from the beginning of the earth! It just really opened my eyes. Well enjoy the pictures! district

2view of cabeiceras

4. me looking like a dork in front of some world cup street art
5. Our tiny little stove haha goes well with our small apartment

 7.the view from the ctm