Monday, December 26, 2011

Week 18

Alright, so we did just talk yesterday, but I had a few things I forgot to talk about. A few things more related to the mission. Sort of.

First off I liked Kortney's club. You guys could start inviting other people to join your club. I don't know, maybe that would ruin it for you guys, I’m just thinking like a missionary. But it does remind me of a game another Elder in the MTC and I wanted to start up. It’s like pick-pocketing, but you try and sneak money into people’s pockets when they're not looking, and if they catch you, they don’t get the money.

As for food we could use here in Brasil, maple extract would be really good. Maybe some instant oatmeal like maple and brown sugar and cinnimon spice (I always forget how to spell cinnimon and the spell check here is Portuguese). I'll let you know later if I think of anything more.

Anway, as for the mission here, I guess I’ll start of with the funnier stories of this last week:

There’s this crazy guy who ALWAYS tries to talk with us when he sees us. I don’t know why because he never says anything important or asks any questions about what we do. Maybe he just likes Americans, and most people think that all missionaries are Americans. Anyway, this last time he caught us (I wasn’t fast enough to warn my companion to run) he asked us if we had gone to the beach since the last time we talked. I told him we hadn’t because we have to stay in Sao Paulo. Then he saw another guy and kind of hesitated for a minute like he was trying to decide who was worth talking to more, but then he had an idea and said ``wait right here, don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back, I just want to talk to my buddy over there, just stay right there, don’t go, stay," and then ran off to talk to the other guy. So we waited, and when he came back he asked us how the beach was. !?!? What? Didn’t I just say we didn’t go? Anyway, he really likes the ladies too, so he talked about the beach and how he likes to meet the ladies there and kiss them and how he’s been waiting patiently to find some pretty women, and that God know’s he’s been patient, so he’ll be rewarded soon. I don’t know what it is with the beach, but he always relates everything to the beach. He also told us that one day, before he was cool like he is now, he just decided to throw out everything and be a chill guy; like literally throw it all out. He threw his TV out the window and his mom got mad at him, but he’s glad he did it because now he doesn’t have a care in the world. He just lives on a couch on the sidewalk and talks to everyone. We're marked the map with a red area right near his ``couch, as well as a yellow ``Caution! area within about half a mile radius of his couch so we know where not to go and where to be on the look out.

One day, we were walking around trying to find a hous, so we sat on a rock to look at the map, but as we climbed up onto this rock, I noticed a bunch of flies flying around something black on the other side. I realized it was a dead chicken, but then I noticed another, and my perspective widened a little bit more and I noticed there were about 6 dead chickens scattered around this little park covered with trash and knocked over crates and stuff. Then the smell hit us. It was the strangest thing I've seen. It looked like something from an apocalypse movie, like there were some people camping out, then they were attacked by zombies during the night, everyone left a huge mess after the battle, and then the zombies killed the chickens. I don’t know, It was wierd.

Anyway, we've been having a lot more success here now that I've got a companion that wants to work hard too. We've been trying really hard to find new investigators through the area book. We've found a few, but we also got a few references. One is really promising. We taught her about the Restoration and she listened very intently. As we taught about Joseph Smith, the Spirit was really strong, and I know he felt it. She also told us a little about what she believes, and she basically explained a little of the Plan of Salvation to us. We walked out of her house totally excited to come back and teach her again. We've also got a few other references that sound like they've got some potential as well, we just couldn’t meet with them because they were too busy with Christmas. With the ward split, we’ll see what happens, but either way, we've totally ready to rip this place apart.

That’s it for this week. For stuff I didn’t already talk about. I did have a thought on Christmas Eve about the Portal gun. If you put a portal in Washington, and one in like Texas, or somewhere near the equator, because momentum carries through the portals, you'll go flying sideways because of the difference of momentum you have in Texas nearer to the outside of the Earth’s spin. Just a thought. Anyway, have a good week and a happy new year. I’ll let you know if it’s very exciting here for the Elders.

Elder Candland

Week 17

Alrighty, so the big thing I suppose is my new companion. His name is Elder Davis; he´s American, so we speek English at home. He´s pretty good. He´s really motivated so it´s helped me to work hard. My last companions have had their things that I haven´t liked or that they have slacked on like progress reports and investigator reports and using time smart, etc. Finally, being the leader for the next few weeks, I´ve been able to do all of the things I´ve thought should be done better. We´ve been on a roll. Our ward is pretty small, so we´ve decided to focus on less actives to try and get the ward stronger. With our little ward, it´s hard to retain many people when someone new is baptized. I´d rather not have any new members in this area than just keep adding to the less active´s list. Finding is pretty tough in this area too. Most people say we can come back, but I´m pretty sure they tell us to come back at a time they know they´ll be gone or busy. Anyway, we´ve gone through the area book, which doesn´t look like it´s been touched for a long time. I know my last companion never used it. We´ve organized it all really nicely, and are going back to try and see who would be willing to have us back, or who straight up doesn´t want it anymore. We´ve been organizing all the old investigators into little areas so we can try and contact as many as possible. So far we´ve only met a few, and only a couple of them have said we could come back. The others that don´t want it, we do all we know to leave them with a good impression and make sure they know they´re welcome at church anytime. We feel pretty good about all the people we´ve contacted so far. Having two motivated Elders that just want to what the Lord would have them do is so awesome. We´ve had the Spirit really helping us the last few days. Basically, training is the best thing that´s happened on the mission so far.

My Português is getting a lot better as well. I´ve had lots of compliments on my Português, but now that Elder Davis is here, he´s actually speaking better than I was when I first got to Brasil., so he gets more of the compliments now. I still have to do most of the talking though, which has been good for me to get over the fear of talking. I still have a lot to learn, but I´m usually able to carry out all of the conversations pretty well.

Here´s a couple of the funny stories from this week:

I found a really nice CD on the street one day, so I grabbed it and took it home to see if it had any sweet music on it, preferably funk (because it´s the cool thing here and it´s so dang awful). Anyway, it turned out to be this live performance album of some really cheasy, but I think popular, guy. It´s really funny music actually, especially when you understand some of the lyrics. We´ve both gotten a kick out of the CD.

We saw a guy on the side of the street unconscious with a really bloody knee. Elder Davis said: ``Somebody please remove these cutleries from my knees.´´ I had just mentioned Flight of the Conchords earlier that day. We both laughed, but then realized it was real blood and pretty gross.

I think Valve got a bunch of their sounds from Brasil. I heard a dog that sounded just like the flying camera things when you hit them with the crowbar, and the bus´s brakes all sound like some kind of vehicle from Half Life.

One last story. We stopped and talked with a bunch of young boys on the street the other day. They were all curious about how to say different things in English and had us talk to eachother in English. They also asked a lot of questions about the mission and what we do here. It was pretty cool, but then one of the boys showed ``here comes the truck´´ and this big water truck slowly started coming up the hill we were on. As it passed, a bunch of the boys ran after it and jumped on the back and hung there for about 30 seconds. I guess it´s the other thing boys here do for fun. Flying kites and playing futebol can get boring I guess.

Oh, I forgot, we had a ward Christmas party on Saturday. It was so funny. It wasn´t anything like our parties. There was a ton of fruit to eat, lots and lots of soda, and a ton of little fried foods. Then, a few of the more outgoing members sang really really bad Brasilian karaoke for about 2 hours. We both really liked the super cliché karaoke music videos. They´re just as bad here in Brasil as they are in the US. Anyway, we didn´t just sit around for 2 hours. We had a big list of people we needed to talk to and lots of things to figure out with the members and spent a lot of time talking to the ward figuring it all out, but it was also a party, so it´s not like we did that much work during.

Anyway, Sunday we had a lesson about our talents and stuff. When we talked about how are talents are given to us for the benefit of others, I thought about running track and how that could have been for anyone else. Then I remembered mom. I´m pretty sure she enjoyed it more than I did.

Have another really good week. I´ll talk to you Sunday.

Elder Candland

Week 16

[Note: This week Adam just received a "Dear John" letter from Stephanie, the young woman that he introduced to the Church and had been dating for the past 3 years]

Well, as you might imagine, I´m not terribly in the mood to write much right now.
Here´s my week though. We have had a really slow, and lame week. Perfect. All of our good investigators are out of town this week. It´s been terrible. It´s been so hot. I don´t know what 37 - 40 degrees celsius converts to, I just know it´s hot. 

I had a bunch of stories I wrote down in my planner, but I forgot it at home, and I can´t remember at the moment what I wrote. I got some photos at least.

The first, I made some pudding here in the house with crappy pots and stuff, but it turned out real good.

Second, I hit my 6 months and burned a tie.

Third, same thing.

Fourth and fifth, just a couple families here in the ward my companion took pictures with. I figured I´d send them too. The one with the crazy daughters is gonna be the family that keeps me feliz during the Christmas time. They tell us we´re like their sons they never had and they always are willing to make us lunch when lunch fails and we don´t have money. They also like to try and trick us into watching movies at their house. Not good, but they´re converts.

Anyway, The only story I can remember was that I was in a grocery store and the power went out for a few seconds. When it came on again, the master intercom thing that the old lady talks on to tell you what sales there are, it kept making the sound of the whale-like gunships from Half LIfe 2. When you play the game, you get a little bit conditioned, like the Pavlov dogs, to immediately think ``Danger,´´ but since it´s a video game, nothing really dangerous. That´s about it. I got a little anxious the first time, but nothing more.

Anyway, I got the package full of candy and cake mix. My companion was super excited to get american food. I´ve been sharing with him, but have yet to make any of the mixes. 

That´s my week. It´s a little short. Next week will be better. Have a good week.

Elder Candland

P.S. Hey, I´m back at the LANhouse today because my companion accidentally errased all my music on my iPod and he´s trying to save it.
The good news is I just found out I´m going to be training a new missionary this next transfer (tomorrow). I don´t know anything about him. He could be Brasilian or American. Possibly even Argentinan or Chilen. I´ll let you know next week.

Anyway, we´re going now. I´ll email you back on Monday. Hopefully with good news on the new companion and our work.

Week 15

Well, another week without any mail from Stephanie. I´ll trust it´s really super crazy insane busy down there.

Working out hasn´t been super crazy. I need to get back into it, but the week after we played soccer, my legs and back were sorer than they´ve been since wrestling practices started my senior year. I was kinda wimpy about working out too much that week since it was already hard enough to walk around in the sun for hours. 

As for missionary drama, we haven´t had a whole lot lately. Well, I take that back. We´ve got a really awkward situation with a member. We´ve just taught his daughter all the lessons and she´s gonna get baptized on Sunday, that´s really cool, but he´s a member and living with his girlfriend, who happens to be legally married to someone else still. That makes for really awkward encounters with them when we meet with them at their home. But, we did just find a really cool lady who is already married (which is like finding a needle in a haystack here in São Paulo) and she has 2 kids already, plus doesn´t really have a faith other than that God is real and she wants to know His will. The lessons have all gone quite well and she asks lots of questions. She´s finally gonna come to church this weekend, and hopefully there she´ll realize it´s not just church to go to every week to show God you have faith, but that it´s Jesus Christ´s church and a part of God´s plan for everyone to return to Him.

We actually have a really good rodizio here called ``Taverna Gaucho´´ that is popular among the Elders. In fact, the place has a Book of Mormon on it´s shelf placed for everyone to see right behind the receptionist´s desk. It´s a really good place actually. A little less formal than Novilhos, but the food is still really good, and it´s about $9 to eat all you can eat buffet, meat off the sword, and desert pizza which is the best part actually. I love that place. Our churrasco was lots of meat on long sword-like scewers. It´s totally normal here in Brasil, not just some cool thing to amuse Americanos lá nos Estados Unidos.

As for my companion, he´s pretty trunkie. He goes home next Wednesday. He likes to visit member´s homes a lot. The days can kind of drag on that way. When we have good days though, it´s pretty crazy how fast it all goes. It can get pretty annoying when he´s ready to go home at about 8:15 so we can make something to eat instead of try and hit up one more investigator. Yesterday for instance was the final game of the Brasilian soccer tournement, so the city was absolutely crazy as can be. It sounded like war. I´m not even kidding. People with fireworks (only the ones that sound like bursts of gunfire in the distace or bombs going off, never the screeming kind or shiny kind, just loud) all day, and after freaking Corinthians, the preferred team of São Paulo won the cup, people were driving cars up and down the road honking at everything, fireworks going off all over the place, and people screaming nonsense like they were charging into a firefight. Anyway, because of this, my companion figured we wouldn´t find any success, so we stayed home and he said he wasn´t feeling well anyway, so he slept a lot. I tried to study most of the time, but with the war between the Corinthianos and everyone else outside, it was hard to focus.

Here´s our cool story from this week. One of our recent converts in the ward called us up and said ``I have a friend that could really use your message. Can you guys come and teach her today?´´ That was one of the best phonecalls we´ve recieved this week. Finally a reference from the ward. That´s how baptisms usually happen. Anyway, we got there and her friend, who´s about 25, starts to tell us her story. Her mom has been a real jerk to her lately, so she´s been living with various friends. Because of what her mom has been saying, she´s felt pretty worthless and the last day or so she´d felt suicidal, thinking it would be better to leave everyone alone. So we whipped out the Plan of Salvation lesson for her, and really emphasized that it´s not a plan for humanity, but for each human being/child of God, and that it´s a plan for us to find happiness here because he cares about each one of us. She cried a lot explaining her story, but after the lesson she looked better. We also saw her at Stake Conference yesterday (which had a bunch of really good talks a messages about how the Gospel brings happiness and isn´t just for this life here on Earth), and we´re hoping to talk with her more and get her active in church with her member friend.

I could use some more good books. I´ve already read Believing ChristThe Miracle of ForgivenessJesus the Christ, and Our Heritage. I havne´t seen any strict rules from our President here on reading. The MTC in Provo had lots of church books for sale, so I think it´d be fine so long as it´s pretty appropriate. I don´t need anything on Kolob or FHE ideas for newly-weds, but I like to read in my bed at night before I go to sleep, and I´m about out of material aside from the Liahona in Português.

Here´s a story for Lars: we were teaching a young man on the street in front of his friend´s house. My companion was talking, and as I was listening to him, I noticed something moving on the other side of the street. As I looked into the yard across the street through their front gate, I saw a turtle slowly make it´s way across the walkway to the front door to the other side of the yard like nothing else existed in the world except the other side of the yard. He seemed to be in a hurry, but it still took him about 30 seconds to cross about 6 ft. of the yard I could see. I don´t think I´ve ever seen anyone with a turtle as a free-roaming pet in their front yard, but I have now. I don´t think it keeps burglers out though.

Happy Birthday Kortney.

Also, the Christmas card was pretty cool. Now that you did soccer this year, what´s next year going to be if you stick to a Brasil theme? 

Anyway, that´s this week. Hope this week is good with December starting and stuff. I also hope with Winter Break coming up, I´ll get some better emails from Stephanie. Anyway, let me know if it happens to snow or anything. It´s freakin hot here. 

Elder Candland

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 14

Alrighty. This week has been better. We´ve found a few new people to teach, and one of them appears to be looking for the Truth in her life and basically accepted baptism. We committed her to start preparing now, but she seemed a little hesitant to just jump into it. Anyway, we also have a baptism finally here. A guy in our ward who is a little less active is dating a lady who already has 2 kids and her daughter just turned 8. She´s been attending church with him for the last month or so, so we´ve been teaching her the lessons with her dad to get her all prepared. She´s got a lot of sassiness, and makes fun of my accent sometimes, but I´m pretty used to it since I have a sister like Kortney.

Anyway, today we had a zone Brasilian barbacue (churrasco) which is way better than hot dogs, hamburgers, and sometimes steak. It´s pretty much all meat, like 5 different kinds. My favorite is linguiça. It´s a big sausage of chewed up something. It´s so much better than brotwurste. I made some real good American brownies, but they weren´t done on time, so we´ll eat them tomorrow for our district meetings. I left them in the kitchen at the church and hope no one eats them over night. I left a note saying ``Não comam se vocês querem salvação.´´ That should do it. We also played lots of soccer. I´m pretty terrible, but at least I try. We have 4 Americanos and 6 Brasileiros, so we did a lot of US vs Brasil. We held up alright for a while, then the Brasileiros got all excited and destroyed us. They said until 5 gols, but after 5, they said ``Mais um´´ and we kept going until they finally had 10 and we had only 3. Regardless it´s pretty fun. We´re not allowed to be competative as missionaries, so without too much competition, I enjoyed running around in the sun for 3 hours trying to kick the ball.

Here´s our crazy story for this week. We were walking down the road (as missionaries do) and this motorcycle whipped past us through a turning lane of oncoming traffic. Then this car tried to follow him (thankfully there wasn´t any traffic) and drift through the lane after the motorcycle, but he didn´t know how, and almost skidded into us. As he reversed out, one of his friends came running after him yelling ``He´s getting away, go go go!´´ Then the car sped off again. I have no idea what the guy on the motorcycle did, but the guy in the car was ticked off.

Yes, the weather here is getting super hot. I´m dying during the afternoon. The other day it was the hottest I´ve had yet. It was about 40 degrees celsius. I was gonna die I´m pretty sure, but then during a lesson, it started raining, which first of all blocked out the sun, then the rain cooled off the pavement so I wasn´t burning from top and bottom. We walk from place to place, and there´s no wind here at all! Well, there´s no wind between the buildings, but above them there´s a lot apparently. Lots of kids sit on the roof with kites. I´ve seen about 15 kites the last week all tangled up in the power lines too. 

As for being homesick, I got past that in the MTC. I was studying in Preach My Gospel and there was a quote from an Apostle (I forget who), but it basically said that the cure for homesickness and friendsickness and so on is work. Just work and focus on the work and you´ll forget/be blessed.

I can´t believe it´s almost December either. 6 months has gone by really fast. Also, I had a completely normal day. I actually thought Friday was Thanksgiving all day, then we got home and I saw that it wasn´t Thursday, but already Friday. Then, on Sunday, I remembered Black Friday. I think I´d have forgotten all about Thanksgiving if I didn´t have my calendar.

Mexico sounds like it was pretty awesome. Sometims Brasil feels like a vacation not having to worry about homework or much at all. Just work and food. I actually had a nightmare I hadn´t done my homework for school. I also had a dream I went back to the MTC for some reason like they ran out of companions. I was so good at Português in comparison with the other Americans. I actually spoke with the Brasilian Elders in real Português in my dream. That was sweet. Oh ya, Mexico; no one here worries about copyright or anything. Lot´s of places sell copyrighted stuff. Especially movies and video games. Kids daycares and schools have Disney and Ben 10 stuff painted all over their walls to make the barbed wire or shards of glass on top look more friendly.

I´ve started trying to find out who´s house I can visit on Christmas to talk with you guys. 10am there should be about 4pm here. I think that should work. I hope so. It´s almost 7 o´clock here, so maybe you can figure out if the time difference is 100% correct by this email. Major bummer Stephanie can´t be there though. I still have 3 more holiday phone calls at least.

I still haven´t got the first package yet. I´m kind of nervous about Christmas. I finally got everything for your package and have been trying to send it for the last 4 days without success. Either we don´t have time, or it´s closed or something. It´s frustrating. If your packages are late, I´m sure mine will be too, so it´ll be even.

That´s just about it for this week. I´ll try and have some cooler stories next week. I´m also dying to know how Lars´s wrestling meet goes. Anyway, until next Monday.

Elder Candland

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week 13

It´s pretty crazy that in December I´ll already have 6 months on the mission. Speaking of December, I´m kind of worried about Christmas here. I´m pretty sure it´s not going to be so great. It´ll probably be about 95 degrees out too. I´m not sure if we´ll have lunch at a members house or not. At least I´ll probably be able to Skype with you guys. Usually holidays for you like Christmas are pretty crammed with family.

Sounds like everyone is super busy at home too. All of the kids seem to have way more extra curriculars than ever. And Lars, I can´t believe he´s enjoying wrestling. Speaking of which I had a wrestling meet at Tolt in my dreams last night. I wrestled the kid from Win Win and won... That was the inflight movie everyone was watching on my flight to São Paulo. I didn´t watch, promise. I just saw a little bit of the wrestling since it caught my eye. 

Anyway, this week has been pretty empty of success as well. We even had a big ward activity set up for Saturday. We announced it two Sundays ago, and the 2 days beforehand, we invited every member we could talk to, and we asked them to please invite a friend since the purpose was to try and introduce people to the missionaries and church in a more laid-back way. The night of it started at 6 pm, but at about 6:05 the first 2 people showed up. After about 25 minutes our bishop showed up and he helped us make some phone calls. At about 7:00 we had about 15 people there, but the people we had asked to bring certain things hadn´t brought them, so we waited about 30 minutes more for them to grab it and come back. Finally, we had a quick activity. It was that activity where we have someone hand out candy, and each time he asks if they want it, we had to do 5 pushups, regardless of whether they wanted the candy or not. Then we shared a quick message about the atonement and agency and that was it. The activity went well, but we were really sad that so few people showed up. 

One of our zone leaders is from the US, and he reminds me of a combination of Andrew Ashby and Brandon Howlett. He and I had a good conversation about the Book of Mormon animated movies today. We also visited the São Paulo futebol team stadium today. It had the same exact feel as any normal American football or baseball stadium. I picked a team a while ago, and it´s not São Paulo. I actually root for a team from Rio. Vasco da Gama. I get a lot of crap since I´m serving here in São Paulo and everyone loves the teams from here. That´s probably why I chose them.

Oh ya, happy Thanksgiving.I won´t be celebrating. It doesn´t exist here, but there is a holiday about once every 3 weeks here. They even have a Kid´s Day, just like Mother´s and Father´s Day. I´m pretty sure it´s just an excuse not to work and to ``focus on the kids´´ by sitting at home, watching some futebol, and drinking some beer.

My Português is pretty awesome now though. I´m able to listen to most people speak, and I´m reading O Livro de Mórmon every day and understanding just about everything. Now that my ability to understand is catching up, I´m trying really hard to work on proper grammar. I still have a hard time wording questions right during lessons. I find myself thinking in Português a lot too, so that´s pretty sweet.

I hadn´t read Jesus the Christ for a long time and picked it back up again about a 2 weeks ago. Right now I can´t put it down. I have a hard time not reading it my entire study time, so I had to set rules for myself. It´s pretty cool to read about the life of our Savior so detailed. I´m learning a lot about his example and his works that I hadn´t known. It´s a really good book.

Well, that´s it for now. Hopefully next week I´ll get email from everyone with a little more detail from Oregon State. 

Elder Candland

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 12

Pretty exciting email to NOT get last week. Here磗 November 9th (or what should be November 7th):

So my new area is called Mangalot (mahng-guh-LOH). It磗 a lot more like how I pictured Brasil. It doesn磘 really feel like S鉶 Paulo, but more like an isolated city right outside. It磗 a lot more calm here, and is mostly small houses instead of apartment buildings. There are lots of dirt soccer fields, more grass, and trees. My new companion is Elder da Rosa (dah Hozuh). He磗 black. It磗 his last transfer here, so President Martins told me to keep him focused. I don磘 think he磗 very trunky right now, but we磍l see with only 2 weeks left.

The ward here is pretty small in comparison to my last area, so we磖e trying to get to know the members well, and help lots of the inactives get reactivated. We met with on last night. He plays guitar really well and actually sings really well too. He磗 the first person here I磛e heard sing well. We played some songs with him, and he talked to us about how he was an alcoholic and is doing well now, but is trying to divorce his wife since she doesn磘 want family or anything to do with the church, and he seems to realize there磗 something missing in his life. He seemed to really enjoy having us over, so we磖e hoping to get him back in church every week.

It's so dang hot here. I finally burned the other day. Now I'm starting to look really tan, like I did right after Trek. It's still not even December yet, and I'm dying in this heat. I'm so glad It's not up further North.

My companion has an album from the same guy who wrote the Nashville Tribute to Joseph Smith, and it's about the pioneers. There's a song I heard called "Somewhere There's A Mountain" that I thought would be cool if Kortney and Rylee sang.

As for interesting stories this week, we were at another inactive members house and she lives with lots of her family that aren't members and don't really live very well. Her daughter's husband was super drunk and was talking to me for about 15 minutes about Eddie Murphy and a lot of other stuff that didn't make sense or I didn't understand because of his drunk speaking. I also saw a lady with a brand of jeans called "Goot." I thought they looked like a real goot pair of jeans. There was also these really cool guys driving down the road with their music blasting and the words "Check Noris" over their windshield. I thought maybe it was a funny joke in Portuguêse, but my companion told me it wasn't a joke, they were just not very smart.

There's a lot of people here that like to talk about Mitt Romney and Barrack Obama. I think I here just as much talk about our president here as I did there. There was an article in a magazine here about Mitt Romney and if the US is prepared for a Mormon President. They interviewed Elder Niel L. Anderson since he speaks Portuguêse. It was a good interview. He answered simply and honestly. A lot was about Mitt Romney, but the last question said "Will the churches standpoint on gay marriage be changed in the future? and he answered "The family is the central part of our doctrine. I don't see how this is possible." I thought it was pretty straight to the point.

So our missino conference was super good. Elder Godoy and his wife spoke briefly, and Elder Evans spoke for a good 2+ hours. He and his wife only speak English and Japanese, so we had a translator that spoke into another microphone after every phrase. His wife had a really good point. She said that the phrase "The mission was the best two years of my life" is wrong. It should be "The mission was the best two years for my life." She also said it's not just our lives that the mission is good for, but our family's lives; present and future, and that the blessings of the mission don't stop after the mission. Then Elder Evans spoke alot about the mission too. He talked about how the friendships we have on the mission are eternal because we're all served together, and how our relationship with our mission president is going to be one of our best even after the mission. I got a lot of good notes from this session. It was much better than the first.

Hope Mexico is awesome, that everything goes well at home, and that OSU is still sweet. Have a good week.

Elder Candland

Week 11

This last Monday, we had a Mission Conference with Elder Carlos Godoy and Elder David Evans of the Seventy, so P-day is today. Anyway, here's me email from last week October 31st:

Holloween is actually kind of normal here. It's called Halloween, and I've actually seen a few people walking around in costumes. I don't think trick-or-treating is very big though. It just looks like a bunch of youth parties, church activities, normal parties, and wierd single ladies. Dallin and lars have always wanted difficult costumes. Too bad Goku never worked out, it's a pretty simple actually. I enjoyed seeing the ward photos. Some of the costumes were pretty funny. Rylee's too. I was quite surprised that she wanted to be a warrior, but I can see how being a princess each year could get boring.

Sweet deal that everyone finally got their drivers licenses. Is there going to be much of a problem with 2 drivers and 1 car? I can't imagine Shaini will want to drive to many dates, usually girls like to be driven, though Stephanie liked to drive every now and then. I think it's because she thinks her car is cooler since it has a name.

I'm dying to know how Lars likes wrestling.

The Portuguêse is coming along a lot better now. I've had several dreams the last few weeks where I speak more Portuguêse. It definitely feels like it comes and goes sometimes. I still have a harder time understanding than actually speaking. Some lessons, I understand just about everything they say, and others I can barely understand. Lots of people seem surprised when I say I've only had about 3 months in Brasil, so that's good. The other Elders say that my accent is better than other Elders who have had a lot more time than I have. Portuguêse isn't my huge concern anymore. Now, it's just finding people who sincerely want the Gospel. We had all of our baptismal dates fall through since no one will go to church. Either they work, or they say they'll go, but when we show up to pick them up, they don't answer the door. It's really frustrating, but we have a few other investigators now that I think actually want something more in their lives. Though, we had an investigator who was progressing quite well, but had her member roommate call us to tell us she was feeling stressed about her baptism and didn't want it anymore. That was the worste thing to happen to us this week. It was really dissappointing.

This Wednesday we have transfers. It'll be my 3rd transfer (already). The last two I've had the same companion since he's training me. We have no idea what'll gonna happen now. I'm hoping my companion stays. He eats my food and never helps clean the house and has a lot to learn, but he does have a lot of strengths I don't, one of which is being able to be really personable with everyone. I'm pretty friendly, but right now, I don't know how to really talk very freindly with people. Also, a lot of my humor is getting thrown out the window. No one understands my sarcasm at all; they all take it so literally. My teacher at the MTC warned us that Brasilians don't really understand sarcasm. Anyway, he's the reason a lot of our investigators still like to have us over. When I've been there with other Elders, it's really hard to keep the conversation going for me.

Here are my funny stories this week:
I saw an old hobo sitting on the street trying to stand up, but couldn't so I thought "Let's be missionaries" and we helped him up. He said thank you a lot then kissed my on my right peck and hobbled off across the street. About 1 minute later, we spotted him passed out on the other side of the street. It was pretty obvious that he was drunk when we helped him up, but when we saw him back on the ground completely unconscious, that sealed it.
Today I had some chicken hearts at lunch. They're pretty dang good actually. They tasted like chicken. Funny how that always works out.
The last few days have been the hottest days of my life. It's been about 90 - 100 degrees out, but with the humidity, it's worse. I have some sick dirt lines from where my backpack straps are. We walk all over too. I think we probably walked about 7 miles the other day while it was super hot. I could hardly believe I didn't pass out. The best part though, is that it only gets hotter from here until about February.
I also saw a huge flock of pigeons on the street and so I decided to scare them all off for some fun, but what I didn't realize was there was a hobo in the shadows that apparently doesn't like it when you scare his birds off. He got really mad at me, and I was was worried he was going to try and attack me from the way he yelled.

Anyway, that's about it.

Woa, newsflash! We just got a call from the assistants and I'm getting transferred! Pretty random. I don't know anything about my new area or my companion, but I'm leaving. It's kind of sad, I like the ward a lot and have a few investigators I was hoping to see baptized. Exciting that I get to see Elder Larson at the mission office though.

Alright, that's it for this week. Talk to you guys next week.

Elder Candland

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Week 10

Crazy that I´ve already been here almost 2 transfers. It´s super exciting that Elder Larsen got his visa finally. after 2 months in the MTC we got to be pretty good friends. I´m really excited to see him again.

Woo! I can´t believe Dallin finally has a drivers license. I don´t know how much he´s been driving before, but I think it´s definitely a good idea to get him warmed up slowly. A stake dance is not as easy as it seems. I still hate the freeway. Speaking of crazy driving, I´m so glad we don´t have a car in São Paulo. The drivers here are nuts. At 4-way-intersections without stop signs, cars just honk as they fly through at 50 kmh. I´ve already seen lots of accidents here. Usually it´s a motorcycle since the law doesn´t apply to them. They weave in and out of cars and run red lights all the time. Approximately 2 people die every day in São Paulo because of the crazy traffic. One day we think we saw the daily quota. We saw 2 ambulances at 2 different crash sites that didn´t seem like they were in a big hurry, so it was either not so bad, or really bad.

We had the Primary Program in Sacrament meeting this Sunday too. It was so cool in Português. It was the sacrament meeting I got the most out of since I´ve been here in Brasil since they´re all kids with my vocabulary. The music abilities were about the same though, but I´ve decided that music isn´t a huge strength of Brasil. Most people can´t hear the difference between the swing rhythm in ``We Thank Thee, Oh God, For A Prophet´´ and the way they´re singing it. It´s driving me crazy. I want to put together a ward choir, but I don´t think I have the time as a missionary, and it sounds like a nightmare with the singing I´ve heard in Sacrament meeting so far... but the Primary Program was good.

We had a division with our Zone Leaders on Tuesday. I was left as the Senior Companion in our area, but it turned out pretty well. We didn´t get too lost, and we had some good lessons. We also ran into a guy from Sweden going to school here that speaks English and Português. It was pretty cool to talk with him. He said he´s Baptist, and at the end he said a prayer for us. It was a little strange because he spoke English and used really normal words like ``guys´´ and used ``like´´ alot. Also, a hobo came up to me while my companion was occupied speaking spanish with a Bolivian and asked me where he could get a job like us. He wanted to be a missinoary too so he could earn some money and have a place to sleep.

One more ``funny´´ story from the week: a sister from the ward who gave us a good reference told us today why her friend called us and said she doesn´t want the missionaries over anymore. Apparently she thought I like her daughter. In complete honesty, I don´t really evern remember what her daughter even looks like. I saw her one time as we taught her and a few other people the 3rd lesson. When she told our member friend this, our friend told her she was crazy to even think that since I´m a missionary and I have a fiance (I swear I´ve never used this word with anyone). Her friend got all upset that she had been called crazy. She told us ``I wish I hadn´t upset her, but I had to defend Elder Candland.´´ I guess that was kind of cool to have a member sticking up for me. The funny thing is that all of this happened and I was completely oblivious since I don´t understand a whole lot unless I´m completely focused on a conversation. Anyway, to sum it all up, we lost a reference, I don´t like her daughter, and I also don´t have a fiance, but I know about 3 Brasilian Elders who do.

I´m slowly finding that some of the culture difference between me and the Brasilian Elders in my zone is not really easy to get used to. One big thing for me is the ownership we have in the US isn´t so big here. The other Elders will just walk in to our house and eat our food and use our stuff without asking. They´re used to it, but I´m not. When we get together at our house for lunch after district meetings, I get really frustrated because all of the food we payed for gets eaten and no asks. It´d be better if they would just ask since that´s what I´d been taugh to do during my childhood. We also bought it with the limited money we have on our cards, and it´s always our home they eat at.

But for some good news, we have about 5 baptismal dates. I think 3 are pretty solid for right now, but I´m hoping we can help all 5 get prepared sufficiently. We also have a couple of investigators that have been recieving the missionaries for a long time that are finally making some progress. A few less active members we´ve had lunch with are also starting to get a little more active in the church again.

Anyway, I hope this week is a little less crazy. Good luck on the drivers test too Shaini.

As for presents, peanut butter, another watch, my book of guitar hymns, and that deoderant from CTR clothing would be quite nice.

Anyway, have another sweet week in Washington where it hasn´t been super hot this last week. I´m gonna die in December.

Elder Candland

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week 9

I've got a small package here I'm putting together to try and make it home for Christmas. It's got something small for everyone including Stephanie, and some extra small things from Brasil that we don't have at home. It's quite small. I'm trying to keep it cheap because the shipping will be the worste part. Also, I assume you guys finally sent that package. I'm not sure if CTR Clothing will send stuff straight to me, but I'm gonna need more of that Crystalux deoderant they have in about 3 months. I used it a lot before the mission.

I always forget to say happy birthday the week before. Thanks to Stephanie's calendar, I always know when one is coming up. Before the calendar, I had no idea when anyone's birthday was. I'm gonna need a new one soon.

It's summer here, and I thought I was gonna die, but it's been the best weather yet. Cloudy, and lots of rain. I've been using my sweet $300 rainjacket a lot. I love the rain because it keeps all the concrete cool and the air fresh... kinda.

As for my only 2 converts, they are solid. It's like 2 Stephanie conversions here. They both found the Gospel and grabbed on really tight. Ana, the mom, had just gone through a tough divorce she hadn't wanted, and she was always very quiet and looked so sad all the time. Now they seem so much more happy now and just looke brighter. Also, we just talked with her at church yesterday and she mentioned she wants to be married in the temple. I hope so much that she can find someone that she can do that with.

We just had a meeting with our ward missionary leader at this little lunchonette on Saturday. We figured it would be to check up, but really it was to teach us and help us make goals. It was really good. Then, afterward, he had us contact this older couple eating on the other side of the room, and they were very receptive and happy to talk with us. We scheduled to teach them this weekend.

My companion is obsessed with the song
Love Story`` by Taylor Swift right now. He printed off the lyrics and guitar chords. He doesn't speak English very well and his accent is really thick and kinda nasally, so when he sings... it's not so good. I constantly help him get the rythm of the lyrics down, but he forgets quick and is fairly tone deaf. He reminds me a lot of our old neighbor, Daniel the way he pronounces his English; it's just that he's 19, not 10.

I havne't had many good exciting stories this week. I have noticed, though, that on the bus, if I'm standing up, most of the people's eyes are looking at me. I stick out a lot more than I thought I did. It's just that in the United States, any race is pretty normal, so everyone here looks normal to me (except for the black asian people, that's new).

Next door live the Zone Leaders. We have new ones. Elder Fagundes is hilarious. He speaks English well, and he loves to work out. We work out in the mornings a lot, and we've been taking weekly pictures on his camera to show the progress. There isn't much. My arms are a little bigger though, but usually we keep it simple so we're not too sore to work the rest of the day.

Anyway, I hope I answered everyone's questions this time. Have a good week. Get lots of stuff done. Pass your driver's tests if you have them. Don't do drugs.

Elder Candland

Monday, October 10, 2011

Week 8

Ya, it´ll be probably quite a while before I can send some pictures. I´m still looking for places I can buy a camera for not too much. Generally cameras here are more expensive. At lest from what I´ve seen.

As for the baptism, yes, I baptized one of them. I baptized the daughter. The water was seriously hose water. I also got to confirm the mom. I confirmed someone. In Português. It was actually really cool. I was unprepared, not expecting that I would actually be asked to do it as an``Alemanha´´ with not much Português. I had trouble pronouncing the confirmation, but when it came to the blessing, I was able to just say what I felt. It was short, but when I sat down, I realized I said things I wouldn´t normally have said because they were either bold (which I´m not) or used grammar I wouldn´t have thought to use. After Sacrament meeting, I went to talk to them, and they looked different. Better for sure. You could tell they had the Holy Ghost.

Ya, I realized there were actually 2 black guys in the choir. Only during Sunday though. I´m positive Saturday morning there was only one. And the famous black guy, Alex Boye, I´ve seen before. We watched EVERY I´m a Mormon video in the MTC during our breaks. I like his accent, especially since he´s not white.

I recieved a few answers during conference as well, but I also have been recieving a lot of answers here in the field from experiences such as lessons, trials, and straight up revelation through prayer. This week I also learned the meaning of the scripture ``Pray always that ye may come off conquerer...´´ I recieved an analogy between appointments the other day: ``If I were a soldier in enemy territory, how much would I pray? Constantly. And this world is always at war, and we are always in Satan´s territory.´´ Now, I pray always, and it has helped me a considerable amount. Also, my companion was being lazy this morning and I had things I needed to do, but because he didn´t want to do what I wanted, I didn´t have the time I needed to finish it all. Then, on the bus I was praying for help to not feel so angry, and I recieved an answer that I just needed to talk to him about it because holding it all in was only hurting me. Then I realized that the whole situation was just part of his plan for me, and I realized the mission really does prepare you for marriage.

It sounds like things are going well at home with the drivers exams finally getting passed.

Something here I love is the fruit. There are so many different fruits I´ve never seen before. It´s so good to just go buy fruit, throw it in the blender, and make some really good juice. And there are these Lanchonettes every block in the city. There´s on in particulary that our zone loves. It´s in a mall in our area, and for $R6, you can get a huge thing of the best, fresh juice, and two different kinds of bread stuffed with different kinds of meat and cheese. We went there again today for lunchy. It´s so cool there, I wish I could just drive you guys there every now-and-then.

Here´s my ``funny´´ stories for the week. One day, I was trying to say something was ``fun´´ but I didn´t know the word for fun, so I just said the word in the Português sentance, and my companion asked ``What´s fun?´´ and I wanted to start singing the song from Spongebob really bad, but he wouldn´t have got it at all. Also, one day, we were walking on the street, and it just started pouring. I know rain since I lived in Washington for so long, but this was pretty outrageous. There were 2 to 3 inches of water in the sides of the street. The best part was, it was super windy too, and all of the stores and lunchenettes shut ther doors before we could find a place to hide, so we stood under a small over hang for about 20 minutes in the most crazy rain I´ve seen in a long time. We actually just started laughing because it was so ridiculous. We decided after that, since we were soaked, that we had a wild card for any investigator we wanted to visit.

As for being the new ward mission president, here´s my advice. Read through Preach My Gospel to get a feel of what the modern missionary should be like, adn especially read the chapter about working with ``Ward Leaders´´ to get a feel of the missionarie´s responsibility in the ward and the relationship with the leaders. As for things that are nice to have from the leader, we have an awesome leader in our ward right now. He helped arrange the baptism, he´s arranged splits for us to contanct inactive members, he´s always thinking of things that he and we can do to gain trust of the ward. Something we need here is more work witht he members. Working with the members is really important. They show other people that members are normal people. And to hear a testimony from someone else that used to be the same religion as you or had similar experiences before is really, really helpful. Also, try to meet with the Elders, even just for 15-20 minutes each week to help them with anything.

Have another good week. talk to you guys next Monday.

Elder Candland

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 7

Sorry the email didn´t come this Monday. We had our P-Day switched so we could visit the temple this Wednesday. Today. It was pretty cool actually. Everything was in Português, but there just so happened to be a Senior Missionary from Federal Way, WA there to help me out when I needed it. I understood quite a bit, especially since I´d been through the temple about 6 times in English. The temple is much smaller than the Seattle temple, but it doesn´t lack in beauty at all. The inside is just as intricate and magnificent as any other temple I´ve seen. That kind of caught me off guard for some reason.
I don´t eat cereal very ofter here. It´s super expensive and they only have like 4 brands. Frosted flakes, cocoa puffs, cocoa flakes, and corn flakes. All of them are the same company with Tony the Tiger on the front. We´ve bought cereal twice, but it´s not worth it since two guys eat one box in 2 days. It´s strange here, they have as many brands of milk as we have brands of cereal, and as many brands of cereal as we have brands of milk. We pretty much eat pancakes about every other day. In between we have fruit, hootenanny´s or something like cookies. I have particularly good story about food here. I went on a division with an Elder in the neigboring area, and at lunch the sister pulled out a nice fruit salad. I was all excited to finish my food on my plate and try some of the salad. The bowl was sort of small, so I only grabbed a little bit (thankfully) because the grapes were unpitted olives, the bananas and apple were potato pieces and slices, the mango was actually some kind of sweet potato, and the whipped cream was mayonnaise and vinegar. Not quite the fruit salad I had hoped for. I almost threw up. The best part is the missionary code of ``eat everything on your plate.´´ I think my eyes were watering by the time I finished it.

We´ll be going to conference, both Saturday and Sunday. I´ll keep an eye out for Stephanie. They have it in English for people like me, or for people who speak English (there are quite a few that speak enough to understand the speakers). PMG encourages all missionaries to learn English. I think it´s because all the leaders speak in English and they probably can get more from the talk than a translation of the talk.

We finally had our first baptism here in Perdizes. It was a mother and her daughter (we see a lot of this here). I´m pretty sure they´ll both be strong members since we only had to invite them to be baptized. They read and prayed and did everything they needed to to gain a testimony on their own accord. It was really exciting too. The day of the baptism, we got to church about 1 hour late since we picked up another investigator beforehand. We found the tank empty, and the baptism takes place right after sacrament meeting. My companion and I ran back and forth from the hose spicket outside with bucktfulls of water while we had the faucet going. We got the faunt full enough before sacrament meeting that we were able to attend sacrament. Good thing too, because during the announcememts, they announced that I was finally going to give my talk. Anyway, when we finally had the baptism, the water super cold. Not terrible, but enough that I was glad I wasn´t going under. Afterward, Ana (the mother) cried and her daughter, Ana, asked her why she was sad, but she said it was because she was so happy. I´m really happy for them too. I´m glad I´ve finally seen someone embrace the gospel, and so strongly too.

As for my talk, it went well. I said what I wanted to, and I wasn´t nervous (except for when they announced I would speak. that wasn´t fair). I was complimented on my talk by several people, so I know at least a few understood me.

That´s about it for spiritual stuff this week. I do enjoy the bus here. Only because it´s always an adventure. For about every 20 strange people, there is one normal person on the bus. One time, this old lady started making angry cat noises in the front of the bus. Then there was this one guy who probably hadn´t wiped after using the bathroom for the last 2 weeks. Thank goodness he sat at the front of the bus so the wind could carry the smell through the entire bus. Sometimes we´re graced with the presence of a fat lady who´s neck jiggles hypnotically the entire trip.

I know about 3 edlers here that have fiancés and have dates for their wedding already. I don´t feel like I´m being too trunkie with my Stephanie calendar.

Oh, anyway, I was robbed. We were walking across this bridge at night (a freeway bridge) and I knew it was a bad place. I prayed for protection, and we passed this guy and he did nothing. I was all relieved that my prayers had been answered, but then this group of 7 guys about 25 - 30 years old came up to us and surrounded us. One grabbed the watch uncle Matthew gave me at the MTC, and as he slipped it into his pocket, I caught a faint smile on his face as he looked me in the eyes. My camera was stolen. That solves my picture problem of trying to get the computer to let me send any. They almost had my entire backpack too, but as they walked away I rememberd the scriptures I´ve had since I was 8 with tons of scriptures marked. We went back after them and asked nicely for my scriptures. Turns out my companion said something to the guy and he gave me my backpack back to me, but I started taking out the things I needed unknowingly, and he spotted my camera. That´s when he took it from me. They were all high on something, and we could have easily given a few shoves, maybe thrown an elbow, and been free of them. I remembered the missionary handbook and the name on my badge below my own, so I patiently allowed them to take whatever they forced from me. I also remembered the time Joseph Smith was being taken to jail but was rescued, and he invited the captors to his home for dinner and a party. I didn´t have anything quite as bold or cool, but I told them to have a good night and gave them a smile. Afterward at home my companion looked at me and said ``I love them.´´ but then we laughed. I don´t hold anything against them, but I haven´t successfully figured out how to actually fee love for them.

I was able to watch all of conference, and in English too. It was so good. I paid the most attention this time than I ever have. They had a nice little room set up for anyone who spoke English and wanted to hear the raw talks. It was just me and a young couple... that couple... every now and then I heard kissing noises. That is so not cool. Aside from that I really enjoyed a lot´s of things from conference. I remember a talk by an authority with a sweet, thick Hispanic accent. I thought of Dad, Dallin, and I at home getting a kick out of some of the real good accents. I also was able to spot the one black guy in the choir by the end of the first session. Usually I´m a little quicker. There was also this CRAZY dude in the priesthood choir I couldn´t take my eys off when he sang. I really like Robert D. Hales. His talk was about trials, and that´s something I´ve been learning a lot about on the mission. Not because of my own, but during personal study time I´ve just learned a lot about it. Elder Holland was on fire during the Priesthood session. That was crazy, and I enjoyed it actually. You can tell Stephanie I took good notes during Elaine S. Dalton´s talk. I paid CLOSE attention. There was one point in particular duing a talk, I don´t remember which, but I heard something that didn´t quite make sense, because it seemed to condradict something else I heard earlier, but suddenly I felt  the ``prick´´ of the Spirit in my heart and I realized immediately what the difference was and why I didn´t understand. The story from J. Devn Cornish about finding a quarter, I had that happen in the MTC. They have a delicious oreo cream pie, and I had yet to get one because they go so fast. I was in line and as I passed the desert section, it was empty, so I prayed for them to bring the cake, and when I opened my eyes, I saw someone with a fresh tray. I sat down and said a good prayer of gratitude.

Anyway, I had the temple trip and it threw my entire schedule off. I ran out of time and we never had an opportunity to return and send off my draft. Here´s two weeks worth of an email.

Not much else happend this week. It was full of temple trip, zone conference, and conference. I really only had 3 days of good work.

Anyway, I´ll do better next week. Have another good week, and I´ll try and respond more WITH you guys next time.

Elder Candland

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 6

Thanks for the blog. That´s cool.I can view it from here. I can also get on to if I need to. Usually I spend the entire hour, though,  trying to type up an email after writing the Mission President and reading all of my emails. 
I had a bunch of new photos to send, but I think there´s something wrong with my memory card because it´s not working on this computer. When I open up the card on the computer, the file that my pictures are in is a ``shortcut´´ folder and cannot be found or something. It´s in Português and I haven´t learned the computer language yet. If you have any ideas let me know.

 Anyway, this week I procured a magazine full of recipes from a member, as well as got my favorite desert recipe from another member after lunch. I know this one by heart at the moment, so I´ll send it real quick:

Dolce de leite (or milk candy/desert)
1 can of condensed milk
the same can filled with normal milk
4 eggs

Blend everything together. Get one of those cool donut shaped cake pans and somehow carmalize suger in it. (I haven´t figured it out yet, maybe you know) Pour the mixture in the pan, then put that pan in another pan of water. Cook for 30-45 minutes at... 200 C (you can figure that out too). After it´s cooked, carefully flip it upside down on a plate and refrigerate for another hour.

I haven´t mastered this yet, but it´s so good. Good luck.

 A lot of the days here the last few weeks have been quite unsuccesful. We do a lot of walking from appointment to appointment, but not many people know we´re coming since we can´t really schedule appointments in such a busy city. We just hope that the people we decided to try and teach were inspired and that something good will come from it. We have had several times where we happen to run into someone new who is willing to listen to us while we´re out trying to contact someone that isn´t home. This last Sunday, we tried to get our investigators to come to church. We invited about 5, but none wanted to come. It IS so difficult to get them to come to church. But when we got there, about 5 other investigators/inactives were there. That was definitely a blessing for us. 

 Something I´ve really realized here with so many less or inactive members is that I´m not here to baptize. The Missionary Purpose says this ´´Convidar as pessoas achegarem-se a Christo.`` This basically says ´´Invite the people to come unto Christ.`` It´s not just non-members. It´s everyone. We´ve made it our goal to visit the less actives and inactives a lot and try to refortify the ward. 

 The other day we taught a family from Peru that only spoke Spanish. It was pretty difficult because I understood much of what they said, but they don´t understand Português very well. We watched The Restoration in Spanish with them, and they agreed to come to church this week since their daughter is a member. 

The personal space in Brasil seems to be a little smaller than in the US. My companion is constantly walking really close to me and I naturally scoot over to give him and me some space between, and he pushes me into the road a lot.

 We ran into a somewhat drunk guy the other night who asked me if I was American and when I said yes, he got up in my face and told me he doesn´t like Americans. I think after about 8:00 pm and before 6:30 am, I´m a Canadian. 

 Apparently the mail service of Brasil is on some kind of strike right now, so my mail will be coming and going slower than normal. It sounds like it could be about a month for a normal letter instead of 20 days. I´ve got my response to your letter, Stephanie, just about done and I´ll send it tomorrow. 

The I´m a Morman campaign is pretty cool. We learned a little about using at the MTC because it does a good job of showing people we´re normal. You´ll have to keep me updated on that. If they do film the family, make sure to include a little shot of mom holding a picture of me saying I´m on a mission. 

I forgot to tell Dallin Happy Birthday last week. I knew it was this week, but forgot that I´d have to wait until after he was 18 before I could write again. 18 is strange, but I think 20 was wierder. 

Anyway, I hope this week goes well. I´ll look forward to reading your emails next week.

Elder Candland

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week 5 in Brazil

Anyway, I guess it´s adulthood, but I think I´ve got a small glimpse of parenthood bacause of today. I spent all day cleaning, shopping for groceries, and doing laundry. I also cleaned up my companions stuff, did his dishes, made his bed, and cleaned tha bathroom I don´t think he and his previous companion ever cleaned. While I was doing this he came and asked if I was done makin lunch. I wanted to say ´´Are you serious?`` but I´m a missionary. Anyway, tell me that´s not something I did as a kid. Also, I have no idea when I decided I can´t live with a messy house. I must have hung out with Jordan too much.
 Not too much progress with our investigators this week, but we have about 5 more. We also have about 3 baptismal dates, but we´ve have about 4 in the time I´ve been in this area, so I hope they can pull through this time. We´ve had a bunch of opportunities this week to serve our investigators finally. I look and ask each week, but this week we finally saw a few opportunities and took them. One lady was all upset that her house was a mess and her kids were playing video games. We cleaned her house as best as we could for her and I´ve never seen it better. That gained her trust I think because right after she told us about how the guy that lives with them is an alcoholic and it´s really tough for her. She´d never opened up like that before.

 My Português is getting better. I can carry on a conversation with people now without needing my companion to translate. Most people. Although it´s better, I have the attention span of about 3 minutes. We had our first mission conference, and Elder Godoy of the 70 spoke. Our President, his wife, and Sister Godoy also spoke. It lasted about 3 hours, and after the first 45 minutes, I couldn´t pay attention. It was SO difficult. I wanted to hear what a 70 had to say to us, but I caught so little of it. It was very disappointing for me.

One day while I was studying on how members and missionaries work together, I felt impressed that we really need to work on gaining the trust of the members more. The elders before my companion and I were less liked apparently. Anyway, that night, we were walking to see if an investigator was home, but we noticed the church was open. It was the relief society and they were teaching how to cook a noodle casserole. They had samples. An entire pan for a family of 8 kind of samples. Anyway, I got the recipe and I´ll send a copy home with translations some time. It´s way good. Anyway, we got some good time in with the mom´s of the ward (which I think is a vital part of the ward), so that was good, and I think it was very much inspiration for us to walk passed the church at that time. Also, we joked that Elders are just naturally drawn to food.

I had another transfer with Elder Paxman. We had a good lesson with on of his investigators, and this guy plays guitar, so we got a long. He´s a little crazy though, because halfway through the lesson, he told us some crazy dream about maggots turning into people and asked us if we could interperate it. We did our best to explain that we didn´t have any interperatation for him, and if God had given him a dream to tell him something, he should pray. Other than that, the lesson was awesome. We also made some chicken and rice that night, and Elder Paxman had som Panda Express orange sauce his dad sent him in the mail. That was such a good meal for us. I haven´t enjoyed a home cooked meal here more than that.

 Today I cooked everyone sloppy joes and made oreo truffles the night before. I´m going to be quite a chef after my mission. Elder Paxman has also taken it upon himself to tell anyone in the mission he knows that my pancakes are the best he´s ever had, and now they´ve become a legend.

I have Elders I don´t know asking me to cook for them. If you have any more recipes that use the least amount of ingredients possible, I could really use some, but a lot of things here that are normal or cheap in the US are not so here.

On Friday, everything seemed to work out perfectly. I forgot my planner, which never happens, my companion forgot the address of our reference, and the other elders phone was dead, and as we were standing on the street for about 10 minutes, we had two ladies approach us, ask us when and where church is, and practically invite us over to teach them. A few other things like this happened too.

Good job with the missionary work with Mo. Too bad she had to leave. Hopefully the BoM helps her out. You guys should read the section of PMG that talks about how Missionaries and members work together. It was very useful for me, especially for after my mission when I´m normal agian.

Also, the address I gave you is the mission addresss. I´ll never have a home address here in Brasil. Because of this, I get your letters a lot slower since I need to wait for the ZL´s to grab my mail from the office for me. I´ll write back asap when I get it. Write back to the letter you just got asap and we can have 2 going.

With your family, you can always remember the power of the book of mormon. It´s the proof we have that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ is true. If anyone doubts it, all they need to do is read, ponder, and pray. Simple as that. Only you´ll know what they need though. Good luck.

Anwyay, good to hear from you. I look forward to it every week. Have a good and busy week as well.

Elder Candland

Week 4 in Brazil

This week was pretty awesome I have to say. Not just missionary stuff either.
 First off, we went to the church building and played futebol (again), except I didn´t play. I sat and attempted to learn ``Come, Come Ye Saints´´ on the piano while Elder Paxman wrote letters. He´s determined to send mail every week. That sounds expensive to me. And writing letters is REALLY hard for some reason. After that we cooked some food in our house and now we´re headed out to teach.

As for our investigators, we had 6 investigators at church this week. We brought 4 with us, and 2 others came either with a friend or on their own. It was fast and testimony meeting, and since we had investigators there, I felt like I really needed to bear mine. It was short and I know I made a bunch of grammatical mistakes, but I think they understood. The lady we brought, brought her three sons with her, and one (even though it was his first time in the LDS church ever) decided to bear his testimony, and I´m pretty sure I heard him say he feels like our church is true. That was really cool.

 Okay, so one day, during a split with an Elder that doesn´t speak English, this hobo with nasty tribal tattoos and stuff came up to us and started talking specifically to me. He didn´t realize I don´t speak very well, because he started to get frustrated and said the same thing over and over and over. I realize now he was saying ``You´re an American, I live on the street, give me some change for coffee.´´ We walked off, and tried to give him the slip, but about 3 minutes later I felt someone hit my backpack. I turned around and saw him again, but he was more angry this time. Then he started to try and cut us off by walking ahead and stopping. We just kept weaving around him. Then my companion said ´´Oh, I think we need something from this store,´´ adn walked in. I followed, but before I got in, the guy grabbed my arm. I pulled it back away, and went inside. Then he started yelling the same thing again and again. I still didn´t understand, so my companion at the time gave him some change and told him to leave. I feel like it could have gone better. I´ve been looking for him whenever we pass by that area.

 There was one night we were walking to an appointment, and we walked passed this 15-year-old girls. They seemed particularly excited about something, so I smiled and gave a little wave to humor them. After they passed my companion said ``They´re you´re snakes´´ or in other words, the girls that like missionaries because they´re cute. I asked what he meant and he said that one was saying ``He´s so cute, just like the guy from High School Musical.´´ I´ll just take it as a compliment even though I don´t like those movies.

 Oh, by the way, I´m giving a talk on Sunday. I guess the bishop here thinks I´m ready. In the MTC we had to prepare a talk every Sunday even if we weren´t speaking. Which remindsme that my branch presidency wanted me to give you their email for you to forward it to them... I left the address in my room in my old planner. Next week.

 So, there are a bunch of people who resell things on the sidewalks at night. It´s illegal. One night I saw a cop car drive by, and every packed up and acted casual, but as soon as he was gone, everything was back out on the sidewalk for sale. I thought it was kinda funny, but sad.

That same day the hobo grabbed my arm, we never once rode the bus, so I got home completely exhausted. We had to have walked like 8 miles, I swear. Anyway, when we got back, I had clean laundry to take care of, dishes to do, and some other cleaning. I think I´m getting an idea of what being a parent is going to be like.

The food here is still good. I still like the rice and beans. I keep wanting to ask someone for recipes, but I haven´t remembered. I still have 2 years. I think it would be sweet to come home and cook real Brasilian food for everyone.

There´s this bird here that sounds like a kitten stuck in a tree. Thought I´d share that.

The other night, we went to visit an investigator (duh, that´s what missionaries do), but her mom was completely drunk and she came up to me and gave me a huge hug and gave me a 7-second kiss on the cheek. It was real awkward. Afterward she apologized and I said it´s fine just don´t do it again basically, then she apologized like 5 more times. I always home she´s not drunk when we visit now.

I get lots of compliments on my Português from the other Elders. It´s not good enough for me, but keep up the prayers. It´s apparent someone´s saying some for me. 

Also, we just heard from our neighboring Elders that there´s a Sister Robinson in the CTM here from our stake in Washington. She apparently knows Elder Paxman and I, but we have no idea who that could be. Any ideas.

And to finish it off, here´s a dream I had for Kortney to read about:

So, I had just traveled the world collecting the two haves to the beatle from Aladdin. I was in the desert and I put the pieces together just like Jafar. The cave appeared and I entered, but since it was modern time, the cave was full of modern riches and was a nice big hallway and stuff. I suddenly remembered Abu, the monkey, and quickly turned around and told him not to touch anything until the end. I didn´t see him after that. I also had no idea what was at the end. As I got to the end I came across a huge door. Suddenly I had a flash back to a picture from my explorer grandpa´s journal, kind of like Atlantis or Indiana Jones, and realized I had to face my worste fear on the other side of the door. As I opened the door, I suddenly entered my worste fear: apparently it´s surfing at night, while trying to shoot terrorists who are also surfing. Also there are sharks. At one point I fell of my board and started to drown, but was suddenly standing in a suvenier shop. This was the big surprise at the end of the Cave of Wonders. So, naturally, I bought some candy and went to McDonalds with Stephanie, except she was a Sister Missionary, and I realized this halfway through my ice cream cone and we were alone, and that´s against missionary rules, so I had to leave. I felt really bad because it was Stephanie, but she understood. The End.

Oh, also, I have lots of dreams about being home, but I´m still a missionary and have to follow rules and I need to get back and finish my mission. They´re awful. A lot of missionaries here seem to have them. Did you have any like this when you were on a mission dad?

Anyway, that´s my week. The dream was last night. Enjoy your first day of school... or whatever.

Elder Candland


Week 3 in Brazil

So, I definitely had more pictures to send, but I don´t have my camera with me now. All of the senior companions organized this trip to a members house where he cooked us a real nice Brasilian BBQ. It was so good, but they didn´t tell me we´d stay there all day, and come back to write email AFTER our Pday ended. I´m a little frustrated now. I´ve noticed a lot of Elders not following the rules as near to 100% as I think they could be; my companion included. I´ve been doing my best to follow the rules as best as I can because I know I need as many  blessings as I can get. Especially with our investigators. Last night I was a little upset and read the scriptures a little extra before going to bed. It helped me feel a lot better, then I prayed and asked what I could do to help my companion. I got a clear answer that he´s not disobedient because he wants to be bad, but because he doesn´t understand the importance of it, and that I just need to love him and set the example.
 This week was decent I suppose. We haven´t seen much progress in our investigators though. There´s one in particular that I feel like I can help once I can speak Português better. This week I straight up told her and her friend during a lesson that anyone who has any doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ is not true, they´re only arguement is with the Book of Mormon because if it´s true, all else is true, and that she can recieve an answer for herself. She didn´t say much after that, but before she had been quite argumentative. My Português is definitely progressing. It´s not enough to satisfy me, but I can tell it´s better. A lot of Elders tell my my sotaque (accent) is not very thick at all. The other day we taught a family about the Book of Mormon after teaching a quick 2nd lesson, and I did quite well at contributing. I rehearsed the 1st Vision for them in Português quite well and they definitely felt the Spirit. That was exciting.

I also ran into a guy in our ward here that served with my teachers in the MTC. We took a quick picture on his iPhone and he sent it to them via facebook. He was telling us that one teacher in particular speaks perfect Português. I think that may be part of why I needed to be in the Provo MTC. He was very helpful with teaching us the language correctly, getting us excited to learn because he was hilarious, and was always checking up on us individually to make sure things were okay.

 I had a hard time in church yesterday. We were there late because all of the investigators we were going to take with us bailed out on us. I was exhausted and it´s hard to stay awake when you can´t understand the lessons very well. My attention span feels like that of a 5-year-old right now. The second hour my companion and I were interviewed by some friend of a member the whole hour and I missed out on Gospel Principles. Then Sacrament meeting felt so irreverent to me. Lot´s of people talk during the meeting. It´s not just little kids. And I think worste of all, we were singing a hymn, I can´t remember which, but each line ended with a dotted eighth note, sixteenth not, and a quarter note, but they sang it as a triplet. It´s so obviously not a triplet. How does no one see that??? Oh ya, and my companion is tone deaf. Worse than Jordan by far.

This week too I was able to go out on splits twice with Elder Paxman. Totally coincidence(?) that it happened so soon and two days in a row. We didn´t get to teach much since we were two Americanos all alone in a monstrous city with little Português abilities. We did however contact a gay guy in the park. That was not too cool. He wasn´t interested in our message, but still talked with us for about an hour and a half. We couldn´t get him to just listen to our message. He kept inviting us over for dinner at his mom´s house, but he wanted us to be in normal clothes. We explained like 5 times we can´t.

I went to the police station to get all registered and stuff with my visa and ran into my Zone Leader from the MTC. He was about to leave the CTM in São Paulo. It was really cool to talk with him. Turns out he lived in Corvallis and attended Stephanie´s ward a few times. His name is Elder Manning. Good thing he returns after me. He´s tall and very athletic. ;)

Thanks for the cake recipe. It´s good to hear from everyone too. My address is this:

Rua Drive Rui Batista Pereira, 165
Jardim Caxingui
São Paulo-SP 05517-080

Tell Uncle Ben thanks for the letter and have a good week.

Elder Candland