Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 24

Well, our week wasn't so great again. It's Christmas time and most people are too busy or are out of town. There are still people out there being prepared, but we just have to work even harder to find them.

Well, it's Christmas Eve, but I don't really notice any difference. We just have more chocolate in our kitchen than normal. Speaking of Chocolate, Elder Caetano got a package on Sunday. That's a good story I'll have to tell you guys tomorrow.

Well, there's not much to talk about since I'll be talking with you guys tomorrow. 3:00 pm my time I'll be calling.

One last thing, I was reading Discourses of Brigham Young (ya, I'm still reading it one year later; I've lent it out to other missionaries every now and then) and I found a good quote I wanted to share:
"Our Heavenly Father does not always reveal to his children the secret workings of his providences, nor does he show them the end from the beginning; for they have to learn to trust in him who as promised to fight our battles, and crown us with victory, if we are faithful as was faithful Abraham."
Often we have difficulties or challenges, and we want to know what greater blessings God is planning for us in the future so that we can find comfort and solace, but He doesn't always make it known because we need to learn to trust him.

Here´s our zone before the transfer.


I´m not sure who was brave enough to park his Porsche in this part of the neighborhood.

-Elder Candland

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17

Well, it was a pretty slow week for us, but we had interviews with President Martins on Thursday and we both left feeling better and more confident. A lot of missionaries like to criticize President saying he's not a good president, but I've never had any bad experiences with him. He's corrected me several times, but I've never felt like it was without good reason. Anyway, he helped us to feel better about what we can accomplish in our areas, and how. I'm really hoping to stay (for lots of other reasons) so that I can really get some good work done in this area before I leave it. I would really like to leave it better than I found it.

Um, not much else happened here. I also don't have much I feel like writing since we'll be talking face to face in a week. The only real big thing was that there was a huge football game in Japan between São Paulo's big team, Corinthians, and Chelsea, from England. I'll explain more on Christmas, but I really, really don't like the fans of Corinthians. The vast majority are fanatics that all think they're better than everyone else because their team is playing so well these last 2 years. I think I explained last year that I chose Vasco as my team because they were the big team that was giving Corinthans a run for their money during that championship. I did it in spite of the ``Corinthianos," as theyre called. Anyway, Chelsea is a pretty good team too, and I was really hoping that they're win so that the Corinthianos would shut up. Too bad they lost, and we had what appeared to be another war on our streets. Lots of fireworks, motorcyles driving wild, people waving flags out their car windows and honking their horns, more fireworks, screaming, more fireworks, etc. It was the worste sacrament meeting I've ever had. Thanks a lot Chelsea.

I'll send some pictures and get back to those college questions.

Elder B. Rodrigues and I during a division.

When we helped out at the helping hands thing during the expo.

I was rooting for Chelsea. They also sell Guaraná here in bottles of 3.3 liters.

Elder Caetano and I at the Christmas party with Santa Claus.

-Elder Candland

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 10

Well, this week we had a week full of offsets. We had a mission conference on Thursday, all day; on Friday we were called to help out at an expo center with a stand for the Mormon Helping Hands (Mãos que Ajudam); and yesterday we both got sick. Again. 

Aside from that, things are going alright. Ricardo, the guy who was baptized last week, is solid. We had a lesson with him on Wednesday and he invited his sister and his girlfriend`s niece to hear about the church of Jesus Christ.

Thursday was a good conference though. We had a white elephant gift exchange and I scored a big box of Frosted Flakes (Sucrilhos as they are called here). I´ve been enjoying them every morning since then.

I sent off my Christmas package for the family. This time around I speak Português a little better, so I was able to understand what the lady at the post office was saying. Anyway, I could either send a package economically, which she said would take a really long time to reach you guys since it´s December, or I could send it by priority. Since everything I sent this time is edible, I decided to just send it by priority. I´m not even going to say how much it cost to ship. I´ll just say that foi caríssimo. Think about music. There´s f for forte, mf for mezzo forte, and ff for fortissimo. Português also uses the diminutive issimo, and looking at its usage in music, I´m sure it makes sense added onto the word caro. 

I don´t have much else to write. Want a good Brazilian desert for FHE? Here you go:

Parfait from Brasil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder or chocolate
  • cookies (I think Oreos would be good)
  • Milk to wet the cookies
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)
  • Unsalted butter or margarine
First grab a can of sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, cornstarch and milk.
Heat on the stove and let stand until it´s creamy.
Set aside.
Heat the second can of condensed milk with a little margarine and cocoa.
Let it heat up until it starts to get thicker.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cream.
Place in a cake pan the white cream first.
Dip the cookies in milk and place over the white cream.
Then add the chocolate cream.
Throw some chocolate shavings on top.
Set in the freezer for 2 hours.

Ah, there we go. The emails are arriving.

Okay, I got my trunky letter. I´ll be coming home May 22nd. About 2 months before I come home, I´ll get my flight plans, and I´ll send you all of the other information.

It looks like all of the young men just below Jordan and I are going to be gone when I get back. If Dallin gets his call before Christmas, It´s very likely that he´ll be gone before I´m home. Even if he goes to Brasil and has to wait forever to report to the MTC. 

I´m really hoping I get to stay here in this area for the next transfer. The  transfer is on the 19th, meaning you won´t hear anything until Christmas Eve, the first P-Day of the transfer. 

Anyway, I´ll talk to you next Monday.
-Elder Candland

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3

We had a solid baptism here in Vila Sabrina finally. His name is Ricardo. He´s that guy I mentioned earlier who accepted everything we taught him. As he came out of the font, he pumped his fist really quick. It was a really good baptism. 

Since Thursday I´ve been sick too. I woke up feeling really week and with a bad headache. It only got worse until last night. Coming home I felt like throwing up because of how bad headache was. Today I´m already feeling better at least. I´m going to sleep during the afternoon to try and fight whatever it is that I have.

I´m just about done with the majority of the churches here. I feel like the stories about priestcraft in the Book of Mormon apply a lot more here in São Paulo. So many people will just start up a new church out of nowhere so that they can get rich. There are so many churches here that pretty much say exactly what Mormon prophesied in Mormon 8:32 - 

"Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins."

I´m not even kidding, the other night, we were walking in front of another church and the pastor was singing some song that goes like this: ``Give me money because He will touch your lives.´´ 
Elder Caetano and I just looked at one another in awe that there were people in the congregation clapping their hands to the rhythm and even singing along. 

We´ve started making a game with the contacts we make on th e street. If we pass by someone and we here them whisper ``Look, Mormons...´´ we turn back around and start up a conversation with them; ``Oh, you know the Elders already?´´ Usually they say yes, and don´t want anything, but they usually look really uncomfortable that we turned back around and started to teach them. We even have one for the girls on the street who call us beautiful. We go back and say ``Beautiful, huh? In that case you won´t have any problems paying attention to what we have to say about the Gospel of Jesus Christ...´´ If they try to change the topic we just go right to the point: ``Would you like to hear more or not?´´ If not, we just say tchau.

Today I´m going to buy everything for my christmas package and send it off asap. Oh, by the way, right now it´s noon here, so I´m going to save this as a draft and come back at night.

Well, that´s it. I´ll send the photos from last week that I didn´t send. I can´t send 10 photos per email anymore. This camera only fits 2 per email and I got frustrated and quit. Anyway, I´ll talk to you later.

These are what we call Salgados. I´ll bring home some recipes. They´re a big deal here.

One of my shoes finally died. The sole fell off as I was entering the house.

Heres the metro station we take to go to the temple. It looks just like something from Mirror`s Edge.

Here`s some graffiti for Lars.

Ricardo, our baptism this week.

Elder Caetano and I.

The girl who took this picture said smile, but right before she took the picture, we both changed without planning beforehand.

-Elder Candland

November 28

Finally, we have a baptism this Saturday. He´s definitely an elect; D&C 29:7. During church someone mentioned coffee, and he asked about it. The next day when we taught him, he said he had already thrown out all of his coffee. Then we taught him the law of chastity and he said he´d  tell his girlfriend that they can´t do anything else until they´re married. She didn´t want to know anything about another church, so he dumped her. Anything we teach him, he puts it in practice immediately, without hesitating. That´s the importance of a solid testimony in the Book of Mormon.

That was pretty cool that uncle John ran into President Martins´ daughter. Speaking of President Martins, he said in his email that he just needed my login for BYU so that he could give me the endorsement. I replied and marked it as urgent.

I have 3 o´clock my time reserved for Skype here in this area. We have a transfer on the 19th though. It´s possible that I´m transferred to another area one week before Christmas. I´m really hoping that I don´t get transferred.

That´s it I think. Next p-day is in just 5 days. I got some of the stuff for EWU done too.
-Elder Candland

November 19

Well, we had a better week. We´ve got 2 new people who have dates that look pretty solid. I´m dying to have a good baptism this time. The last two guys we baptized here in this area are both already inactive. I´ve never had any problems before. All of the other people we´ve baptized had testimonies that this is the true church. These two guys didn´t have that strong testimony, but still wanted to be baptized. I feel like we´ve only created burdens for the ward, and it makes me upset.

Other than that, This week was fairly uneventful. I can´t really think of anything else new.

I finished up the application for BYU. I also sent in my email to president that it´s all done and I just need my ecclesiastical endorsement. 

This week I have a few pictures.

The front of the church.

Here´s a cool painting in the Relief Society president´s house.

Here´s Elder Souza and me. I had to go interview their investigators for baptism.

Here´s a picture I drew on our chalkboard.

Here´s me in front of my initials.

-Elder Candland

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12

I passed 1 year and 5 months this week. At 1 year and 6 months we get what´s called the trunky letter. I don´t know what´s actually written, but I assume it´s got my exact return date, so I´ll let you know when I get it so you know when I´m really come home instead of just a guess.

Anyway, this week was awful with work. We had the lowest numbers I´ve ever seen on my mission. Every marked appointment we had fell through, except for one. Regardless, we found lots of new people who show promise, and this week should be much better. Correction: will be. I don´t ever want another week as poor as this last. Not with such little time left.

As for the transfer, Elder Ruiz Diaz was transferred. He was transferred to a place in my second zone called Brasilândia. The day after we got the call about the transfers, we were at a members home for lunch and they had the news on. When the city alert part came on, the anchor started off ``Good afternoon, we have 6 dead and 3 wounded in Brasilândia after a shootout between police and drug traffickers last night.´´ It caught Elder Ruiz Diaz´s attention quickly and he started to get even more nervous to be transferred from his first area.

Anyway, the in the last month or so, things have gotten pretty intense with the police and all of the drug lords here in São Paulo. The traffickers have set a curfew for the city. At 10 pm everyone is to be in their homes or they´re shot. Well, it´s not that big of a deal since it really only matters if you´re in the areas that have more problems with drugs. And since the absolute latest we can get home is 9:30, we´re pretty safe. The police have practically declared war against the traffickers, and when any police officer is killed, the police come back and kill 5 in his place. It´s just been a bunch of vengeance between the two until it got as serious as it is now. The members at lunch are always like ``They shot 3 more police down in             last night.´´ None of the Elders have had any problems that I´ve heard of, but there are some people who think we´re from the police since we walk around in these clothes all day. Oh well, we´re protected just like the sons of Mosiah. 

Oh, my new companion is Elder Caetano. He´s from Brasília, and he was in my last zone in Sorocaba. We get a long well, but he´s also rather new on the mission and has a lot to learn still as well. 

Well, that´s it for this week. Next week I´ll have more to talk about. I´ll also finally have some more pictures.

Talk to you next week.
-Elder Candland

November 5

Tivemos algu... well, I´d just finished writing President Martins, and my mind was still in Português. As I was saying: We had a few exciting things this week. We had another baptism (which I´ll have to explain later) and a really cool ward activity.

As for the baptism, his name is Fernando. He´s crazy. Literally. He´s got some problems. Whenever we´re teaching him, he always brings up the weirdest subjects. We were walking to the church one day and he started to tell me that he things all films are made in heaven, and to get into the kingdom of heaven where these films are made you have to be really special. Then he started explaining that he´s pretty sure that Will Smith, Sylvester Stalone and Van Dam are his spiritual fathers because he feels like he´s looking in a mirror when he watches movies. Then we asked him for his info for the baptismal form, and he wouldn´t give us anything because he thought we might be the police. Anyway, he understands just enough that our District Leader passed him in the interview and he was baptized and confirmed this week.

As for the activity, we had what was called a mini MTC. We only had about 12 members who came, but those that came received a little training on how to approach people on the street and share the gospel with them quickly and then ask if the missionaries could pass by their house later. We then split up in twos and went out to the street. In the end, we ended up with about 40 addresses for us to pass by later this week. We´re super excited, but with transfers this week and also being so many people to contact ASAP, we´ve got a lot of work this week. 

I got the package with the camera. I can finally start taking pictures again. Thanks for the other stuff too. 

Well, my time is really short today, I need to rewrite the essay, and I´m trying to put the music you sent on my iPod.

Until next week.
-Elder Candland

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29

It´s for sure summer. It´s hot again. I guess I forgot how hot it gets here. Everyone says that the city São Paulo itself is a little colder  than being out in the more rural cities, so I was convinced that it wouldn´t ever feel as hot as it did out in Sorocaba, but it´s just about as hot as it was out there. At least we get rain out here. About every 3 days the sky falls at about 4 - 5 pm for about 30 minutes (wait, the sky falls... did anyone see Operation Skyfall?) cooling off the the city for the day, so it´s a little better here in the city.

Anyway, this week has been alright. We had some really solid investigators that were coming to church, and getting prepared to be baptized, but stopped when we started telling them that they have to get married. They had already received all of the lessons and everything, but the mom just was not interested at all in getting married. As we came out of church yesterday, we spotted the family crossing the street in front of the chapel. The mom looked like she was in a hurry to get across the street before anyone from the church could spot them. Too late. I gave them a nice friendly wave. They all saw it, but no one acknowledged that I was waving to them. Anyway, that was a bummer, but on Friday, we got a call from some guy that he wants to be baptized. He just got out of jail it sounds like, and he has had problems with drugs and alcohol, and now he says he wants to get his life turned around. Well, we just so happen to have the best information on how to do that. We marked a date for this Saturday, and we´re going to see what we can do.

It´s Halloween time and no one has even shown the slightest interest. Elder Ruiz Diaz and I thought about calling President Martins on his p-day to ask him what he was going to be for halloween, but we decided not to. It was his p-day and was probably busy studying. Oh, and he probably wouldn´t have found it very funny.

We had a big mission conference this last Tuesday. Usually our conferences are divided into 3 days, 1/3 each day. This time it was a special conference, so we had all of the missionaries from city, which was about 2/3, so I got to see a lot of my old companions and friends like Elder Davis, Elder Paxman, and Elder Larsen.  I talked with Elder Davis about college, and he´s applying to UVU too. All of my buddies are zone leaders. For me, I figure if I continue with my normal pattern, I´ll probably stay here and get a new companion and train again this next transfer. That´s my best guess as to what´s probably going to happen.

Is Dallin studying Preach My Gospel much? Is he finding much time to study? I had a decent grip on PMG and the scriptures before I left, but something I would like to have done more before leaving is study. Particularly chapter 3 of PMG and the scriptures that accompany the lessons in that chapter. Next week I´m going to send a few of the most common doubts that people have as we teach for him to answer with scriptures he´s found.

Lars´ costume worked out pretty well. I can remember Dallin always wanting to have the most difficult costumes ever, and almost always never ended up as what he originally wanted.

I´m excited that Jordan´s getting back out into the field. Now that he´s been home for so long, I´ve kind of caught up to him with how much time we both have on the mission. 

I´m at almost 1 year and 5 months now. It´s going to be over so fast. Every week gets away from me faster than the previous. Some days I´d love nothing more than to come home and just sit around, but there are quite a few days that I don´t even want anyone to talk about anything related to me going home. Everyone misses their mission, but I´m also going to miss Brasil. I absolutely hate how hot it is, but I think if I wasn´t walking in the sun all day with these clothes, it could be bearable. I really hope can find some job that brings me back here often. Lots of members tell me I´m going to marry a Brasileira, but I´m not so sure. I don´t like the idea of having to deal with two sides of the family that are two different countries and speak different languages. But who knows. We´ll just have to wait and see what happens after I´m back.

Anyway, that´s it for today. I´m going to try and work on those essays really quick. Até a próxima semana. Um abraço.
-Elder Candland

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 22

Well, this week here's what happened. The boy we baptized last week was confirmed in church yesterday; just barely. Saturday night was ``summer hour´´ or daylight savings. The clocks all got bumped up an hour, and he and his friends all forgot. Thank goodness this ward ends with sacrament meeting, because we went by his house at about 8:45 to walk to church with him, but no one was answering the door. After Elder´s Quorum we went back and they were all waking up. They all set their clocks an hour back rather than forward, so they were 2 hours behind. We waited in their house for about 40 minutes while they all took showers and got dressed, missing the entire second hour of church. We finally got their around 11:00. As we walked in, they called him immediately to the front and he was confirmed.

We now have 3 couples we need to get married. I´ve never actually had to help any of our investigators get married before they could be baptized, but when I arrived in this area, we got hit with 3 different unmarried couples that are living together and are investigating the church. Anyway, one such couple has 2 children that are both just old enough to baptize, and both want to. We wanted to talk to them about it and they ended up asking about where we go when we die, so we just jumped into the Plan of Salvation. As we were teaching they asked lots of questions. When we got to the part about physical death, we explained that your spirit keeps living and moves on to await the Resurrection. Then the older brother (11 years old) said ``So I don´t have to be scared to die?´´ and we said told him he doesn´t. Then he put his hands in his face and started crying. Then his mom started picking on him, asking why he was crying, and started laughing. In my mind I was like ``shut up mom, your son is grasping the gospel.´´ Anyway, since they were two young kids, we had to teach in a very simple way, and I ended up kind of taking over the lesson. Afterward my companion said he´d never had to teach kids before and said that as I was teaching I had even him wanting to raise his hand and start jump and yelling ``Me, me, pick me!´´ 

We also had our primary program yesterday. It was pretty good I suppose. I´m just too dang picky about music. Kids singing usually isn´t that great, but I don´t think a single kid was in tune or even singing actual notes. This ward is difficult too since there is no ward pianist. And it seems like non of the Elders here in this zone seem to understand a thing about music. I get frustrated sometimes during the opening hymn of our district meetings and stop singing. It doesn´t matter how loud I sing, trying to give them the right notes, after every bar we move to a different key. I wish people were like harmonica: no matter how hard you try, you can´t play a single note out of key or tune.

In my last area, we baptized a boy whose parents are both faithful Catholics and wouldn't let him be baptized for a long time, but he kept talking with the missionaries and asking his parents to support his decision, and after a few months, his parents finally let him be baptized. Baptism is a sacred and vital ordinance as well as a commandment, so if Shaini's friend were to gain a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and a sincere desire to be baptized by someone with the Priesthood, the Lord would help her accomplish that. 1 Nephi 3:7. It could very well be that the plan for her is to wait until she´s 18, but I don´t imagine the Lord would want her to wait, nor is He incapable of changing hearts.

Christmas is coming up and I´m thinking about things I could send again. I´m thinking this time I´ll probably just send a bunch of juice and candy, then when I come home, just bring home some cooler, less edible stuff. Any feedback on the juices I sent last time? Did you guys like anything in particular? It also just so happens that this house here still has the same box for the DVD player that I used to send my presents last time.

It´s getting really hot again. I don´t want to have to go through summer again. At least this time I´m a little more prepared emotionally. Anyway, I´ll talk to you guys again next week. 
-Elder Candland

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15

Oh man, reading all of the news about everyone throwing up started to make me feel a little sick too, but it´s probably because I ate this nasty sandwich for lunch. Actually it was delicious, but it was incredibly unhealthy. We went to the center of São Paulo again. There´s this huge shopping center on a street called 25 de Março. I´ve been there a few times, but this time I realized a little more just how cool it is there. Anyway, there´s this huge food market there too called the São Paulo Mercado Municipal, and there´s this famous sandwich there. Go to Google and type in lanche de mortadela mercado municipal and I´m sure you´ll find pictures. That´s what I ate. Anyway, we also made some buys... wait, that doesn´t make sense in English. We... bought... stuff. Elder Ruiz Diaz needed more white shirts. Then we hit up the really cheap tie shop. We each bought 4 ties, (oh ya, a recent convert took us there; his name is Antônio) so in total it was 12 ties for R$50 ($25). I bought myself a sweet t-shirt for R$10. 

Tell Shaini congratulations... well that´s what we say here. Happy Birthday is how you´d say it in English. 18 already. Get her out on a mission. Have them both email me sometime so I can pass on some stuff about getting ready for the mission. I hope they´re not already gone when I finally get back.

Elder Riuz Diaz is a pretty good companion. We get along rather well. I would say he´s a normal person. He only has About 5 months on the mission, so he´s got a lot to learn. I´m trying to be a good example and help him see how certain things should work; since his last companion was also fairly new too, there was a lot that they hadn´t learned yet.  Other than that, our companionship is good.

Anyway, this week was alright. We´re not doing all of the work that i´d like to, but we had a baptism this week. Bruno (another Bruno). He´s 20, just quit smoking, and seems sincere. He doesn´t seem to grasp everything; like he believes everything we say, which is good I suppose, but I´d prefer that he had a solid testimony because he recieved an answer to his prayers about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We´ll just need to keep working with him to get him a firm testimony.
Until next week.
-Elder Candland

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8

Conference was way good, from what I was able to watch. We had to work on Saturday, so we only got to watch the Sunday sessions. The talks Sunday were really good I thought, There was a lot good stuff that I got that I can use to help investigators and less-actives. Speaking of the new mission age, we've been talking with everyone about what's going to change as well. We've pretty much come to the same conclusions. I was thinking about how many more girls are going to be serving missions now. Now, I'd say to Shaini, Kortney, and Rylee instead of serving a mission if they feel like God wants them to, to plan on serving unless they feel like He has another plan for them.

I didn't mention much about the new area last week. First off, the house is pretty much a real house. First off, it's across the street from the church. We open our windows and the church is right there. If we ever need to talk to the ward leaders, we just wait until Tuesday night when everyone is there. The downstairs is a small living room with a couch and chair, and a small kitchen that has everything working. No broken sinks or stoves. Then, the stairs have carpet. I Don't know if you you guys can understand this, but for me it's awesome. I've seen very, very few houses here have carpet. Some people try and cheat by throwing down a nice rug, but it's not the same. Anyway, upstairs is the bedroom, a study, and then the bathroom. Everything upstairs is also working.

The bishop is our neighbor. He's from Texas. The members here really like to take care of the Elders. Every Sunday night we end the night at about 7:30 with a barbecue. The ward is great,  but the area is really difficult. We don't have many investigators yet. We try talking with people on the street, and few accept our message. I'm just used to being outside of the big city. Sorocaba was a lot friendlier.

Well, that's pretty much it for now. I got nothing yet. After being on the mission for this long, there's nothing new to write about. Speaking of which I only have 1 more General Conference here in Brasil. 1 more Christmas. 0 Birthdays. And then a few days. Oh that's right, mom asked about when I'm coming home. I don't have a for sure answer, but I'd guess around May 29th.

About Spanish. I'm in 2nd Nephi 5 and I understand most of what I'm reading, but it's all gospel related stuff. As for idiomatic phrases and everyday stuff, I'm not so good yet. Speaking is also difficult. Anyway, that's it. Until next week.
-Elder Candland

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 1

Well, I was transfered. I´m a little bummed. Elder Castillo was a good companion and the 3 kids from the less-active family we worked with were baptized this last Saturday. 

Anyway, I´m back in São Paulo. Jaçaná stake, Villa Sabrina ward. My companion is Elder Ruiz Diaz, another Uruguyan. I took it as a sign, so I started reading El Livro de Mormón (I´m in 1 Nephi 18 and understand about 90 of what I read) and I´m trying to speak Espanhol when we´re home. Our area has a lot of Bolivians, so I´d like to get a grasp on the language before too long so I can help them understand what I´m saying. It´s a little frustrating when they don´t understand Português since I´ve spent the last 1 1/3 practicing it.

Not a whole lot to talk about since I´ve only been here for about 4 days, but it´s been pretty decent so far. We have few investigators (for now). Elder Ruiz Diaz just ended his training and the it was the other Elder´s first area, so they weren´t doing everything they should have, most likely just because they didn´t know any better. I´m starting to feel like a pretty experienced Elder these days.

Anyway, we taught this awesome guy the other day. He lives in a very humble home with his small family, and he came to church with us yesterday. We marked to teach him at 4:00 afterward, and when we got there, we taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the holy ghost, endure to the end) and he was like ``I´m ready to be baptized. Tomorrow if it were possible.´´ so we decided it a good idea to invite him to be baptized. Right on.

Anyway, until next week.
-Elder Candland

September 24

Sounds like a pretty fun Mariners game to me. The last game we went to was slow and not much happened. I´m kind of wanting to go to a soccer game down here sometime. It sounds like a little more fun. When I come back, I´ll have to get some tickets.

Cool deal about the baptisms out there. I´m not sure how the Everett Mission is, but out here, we pretty much have to mark about 5 dates before one gets baptized. Not trying to say this family isn´t going to be baptized. When people comes to church just all on their own, they´re almost always baptized. We also have some baptisms coming up soon. We´ve got 3 for sure this saturday. These 3, I´m super excited to see them baptized. We´ve been working with them for the last 3 months, and the dad just recieved the priesthood last Sunday. Both got callings yesterday, and we´ve marked for the dad to baptize his kids this Saturday. I really hope that their bishop lets them get sealed around May, because I want to be there. I don´t know if I´ll come down in July just after getting back.

The weather is back down to about 75 degrees, which kind of feels cold to me. Our shower broke about 3 weeks ago, so we were just taking cold showers during those really hot days, but when the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped to about 70, the water felt like it was about 35 degrees. A member just gave us his hold shower and I installed it (on my own I might add) last night. We got to take warm showers again. It just started raining here about 4 days ago. The day before, Elder Castillo and I started praying a lot that we could have some rain because it was REALLY hot. Not even kidding, it was near 100 degrees during the afternoon. Anyway, our prayers were answered, and we´ve been praying that we could have at least clouds to keep it cooler out, and so far, our prayers are being answered. I doubt that just we were praying though. I bet at least all of the other missionaries and most of the city were praying too.

Anyway, I´ve got some pictures to send now. No more lizards, but I´m curious if Lars like the last ones I sent.

This is Adrianna (the mom), Iasmin (the oldest daughter), and Emily. Adrianna is the lady who was baptized about 4 weeks ago. Iasmin and Emily showed me this game they play. It´s just rock, paper, scissors, but every time you lose, you have to spread your feet about 2 inches, but if you fall, you lose, and if you finally do the splits completely, you also lose.

We made Chileno hot dogs today. Completos. I finally understand what that kid from Kid History was talking about.

This is why they´re called completos. Because they´re complete. Hot dog, guacamole, tomato, onions fried up with chunks of bacon, hot sauce, cream cheese, and garlic.

I also just bought this sweet shirt. The collar is a zipper that comes out of the left arpit. Also, my legs are really white.

-Elder Candland

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 17

Exciting week up there. Well, maybe just active. Or interesting.

It´s continued to be outrageously hot again. Today was particularly bad. I think it´s because we stayed in the house all day where we basically just slow-baked. I actually felt like a rotisserie chicken. I laid down to try and not burn any calories since I felt like I was already warm enough, but my back would get sweaty, so I´d roll over, then my front would get sweaty, so I´d roll over again, etc. There is no relief here. Only if we want to slack and hide in the high priest´s room where there´s air conditioning.

Aside from all the heat, this week was pretty good for us. We had Elder Costa of the seventy give a conference a few weeks ago, and President Martins has made some big promises for us if we do everything he´d taught us. We finally started trying to work with members, which ended up really well. We have this older guy we´re teaching and the only member near him is a member who is everyone´s friend and really nice and everything, so we didn´t think he´d be a good fit for this guy who is trying to stop smoking and get his health back. During the lesson, the member was jumped in with ``Well, I can understand. I used to be a drug trafficker.´´ Elder Castillo and I just looked at each other like ``really?´´ He ended up helping out a lot with that guy. And when we started showing a little more faith that the members could actually help, lots of other things started working out better for us. President Martins sent me this quote today that explains what happened:
  • "To get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded. Men may preach and practice everything except those things which God commands us to do, and will be damned at last. We may tithe mint and rue, and all manner of herbs, and still not obey the commandments of God. The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 332).
We´ve found lots of new people, and we´re working with a bunch of less-actives that seem to sincerely want to come back to church. We´ve got FHE with one such family tonight.

I suppose the new truck is pretty cool. I kind of called it last week that you guys would be buying a new car any time. The only problem though is it isn´t my VW Gol.

As for Dallin´s buddy from São Paulo, I´ve got some slang for Dallin to use with him. They´re not super gangster though.
  • E aí (ee eye-EE) - what´s up
  • Cara (kada (the `d´ is the fancy `r´)) - Dude/Man
  • É nois (eh noice (like Jordan´s Australian ``Nice´´)) - Kind of like saying ``we´re cool´´
  • Negócio (neh-GOH-see-oo) - Thing (ex. what´s this thing? I forgot a thing(something).)
  • Beleza (beh-LAY-zuh) - OK (can be used as a question like ``Got it?´´ or even ``How´s it going?´´)
  • Valeu (va-LAY-oo) - Thanks (but cooler)
Well, we´re pretty excited for the next 2 weeks. We´ve got some big goals to fulfill still, and we´re holding strong that we´ll still meet them.

I also particularly liked the picture of Rylee and her friends eating donuts. I started laughing out loud and the 9-year-old playing Counter Strike to my left looked at me funny.

One last thing I just remembered. This Saturday, we had a cool youth activity. The youth from the 3 wards near our area got together, and we went on splits with one of the leaders to lead 4 different groups of youth throughout the neighborhoods nearby making street contacts and distributed pass-along cards for about 45 minutes. I was really impressed with several of the young men I was with. The 2 deacons in my group, one of which isn´t actually a member yet, did really well at explaining what we were doing and why. I thought it was a pretty cool activity. Mostly because we scored about 12 references in one day.
That´s it for this week. Until next.

Here´s one of the members we worked with. It was really hot that day, so we took a little break afterward to drink some water.

Here´s a cool butterfly I found.
Here´s a lizard for Lars. In the wild. It´s the size of my arm.
These birds just sat down in front of our house today.
I´ve been wanting to take this picture for a while now. I´m pretty sure that´s Goku´s peck, but I like to imagine it´s his shoulder.

That lizard 2 pictures earlier; here´s live footage.

-Elder Candland

September 10

Okay, wow it´s really hot. They always say outside of the actually city of São Paulo, it´s a little hotter. I think it´s probably a lot hotter. Inside our house was 85-90 during the whole day. I decided to leave my thermometer out in the sun to see what happened, and it read 114. It makes for some long, hard days of work, coming back home absolutely exhausted. I guess if you look on the bright side, taking a cold shower is instantly the best part of every day; both morning and night.

I looked at the list of schools. I´m not entirely sure which I should apply for. I feel like I need to apply to both BYUs, and I think my criteria is (for now) somewhere I can run track, speak Português, and won´t be too expensive to live. I really need to decide what I´m going to get into. Film is still an option I suppose, but it seems more like a good hobby than a job. Mom always said medicine, and I´ve had a lot of people tell me I look like a doctor, so I´m almost taking that as a sign. I´m hoping I can get into something that uses my Português as well. Ugh, I don´t like thinking about all this stuff again. I like my life here in Brasil as a missionary. I´m pretty content doing this for at least a few more years when I look at this stuff waiting for me back home.

Well, this week we´ve continued finding new people, but with little success yet. We´ve got some big goals for our area, and we´re trying really hard to help people get to church, read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, etc. The e big things our mission is focusing on are having the faith we need to have help from the other side of the veil, obedience to all of the rules, talking with everybody we can, and working with members when we get investigators. It´s probably the hardest I´ve worked yet on the mission (which is about how I feel for every transfer).

I´ve been seeing lots of little miracles out here in our area the last few weeks. For example, we needed a copy of the Book of Mormon for an investigator that night, and we had nothing in our house, and none of the other Elders in our zone had anything. While we were out trying to contact some investigators, some lady came out her front door with a copy in her hand. She told us hour her daughter had received it from the missionaries, but said she didn´t have anything to do with that religion, so she told her mom to get rid of it. Anyway, this lady didn´t want to throw it away because she´d be upset if she gave someone the Bible and they threw it in the trash, so she´d been waiting for a day when she could give it to the first missionaries she saw. I was hesitant to take it, being a missionary and the Book of Mormon being our greatest tool in helping people to know this church is true, but after trying a little while, I figured I should just take it since we needed one that night. It doesn´t really seem like much, but absolutely no one had any copies of the Book of Mormon, and we had one in pretty good condition put right into our hands right at a time of need.

Well, there wasn´t a whole lot else that happened this week that was different from a normal week out here, other than the fact that it´s super hot.

Oh, I just remembered I´d like some more maple extract (Vortigaunt: Yesssss, the EXtract... ). The other stuff is gone now, but to be honest, it tasted like burnt rootbeer, vanilly, and a little plastic. If you could send a different brand, that would be appreciated. More peanut butter and Reeses too whenever you get the chance. I would assume the next package will be mostly shoes and socks.
 Here´s a picture from the last Multi-Zone Conference Wednesday. (Left to right: Elder Santiago, Elder Rodruiges, me, Elder Castillo, and... you know I don´t actually know that last Elder very well.)

This time it´s so hot I could drink a coconut.

We just had a couple birthdays in our zone, so I wanted to take a cake, but one of the Elders, who´s birthday is Wednesday, can´t eat wheat, so made nobakes instead. Also, that´s a strawberry mousse the containter to the right. There are a couple cartons of milk behind it. Some eggs down on bottom with a tub of strawberry jelly stuff, and an avacado the size of Rylees head.

Alright, until next week. Tchau.
-Elder Candland

September 3

Well, we worked pretty dang hard this week. We didn´t have a whole lot of success, but we got home exhausted every night, and we feel like we did a good job with what we had. We´ve got a couple new investigators who look pretty promising, but I´ve said that a lot already. I´ll leave it at that until they know the church is true.

We´ve got a lot of hope for this month though. Things are looking really good here in this area. After the baptisms last week, the ward got pretty excited and is helping out a little more. We´re talking with everyone on the streets that pass by us. For about every 10 people we talk to, about 2 - 3 will give us their addresses and a time we can come by. About 1 of those people actually tends to be home, but we´ve been finding lots of people still. Our plan is to just talk to everyone, get tons of addresses, pass by as many as possible as soon as possible, and continue until we have too many people to handle, then just work with the ones who are most promising. It seems to be the way this mission works. Too bad I didn´t figure this all out until about 15 months into my mission. Oh well, I´m so ready to see some more success out here.

Well, sounds like the camping trip was pretty fun. I REALLY miss camping. I´m definitely going camping when I get back.

Well, I don´t have much more actually. After over a year on the mission, a lot of the stuff I used to put in my emails is pretty normal now. Anyway, I´m hoping next week I have something exciting to write about.
Some pictures...

It´s just kind of funny because the kid that did this probably had to print out the lyrics so he could spell it correctly.

I really only bought it so I could take a picture of it. It´s pretty good actually, I`d recommend it.

We walked past this house and this little baby pig came running up to us, so I decided to pet it, but he only wanted to eat my hand, so I changed my mind.

We made some wraps for lunch today.

Here´s a decent picture with Elder Castillo finally.

-Elder Candland

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27

Well this week was pretty good for us I think. We had two baptisms here. The first was a 15-year-old boy named Bruno, and Adrianna was also baptized that same night. Here are a few pictures of each of them as well as everyone who showed up. It was probably one of the best baptisms I´ve ever seen. Tons of members, and there was this excitement in the air. It was the first time anyone has been baptized in over a year, so the ward was super excited.

Elder Castillo is pretty cool. He´s very patient and logical. We haven´t had any problems yet. Every companion is going to do stuff that is obnoxious, but he´s probably the best companion I´ve had since Elder Davis. We´ve been working pretty hard this last week. We found some really intersting new people. We´re helping out this lady is is addicted to cocaine and is trying to stop so she can be a better mom for her two sons. There´s this other lady who we´ve been teaching who seems pretty excited to learn more about the church. She ran into us at the grocery store and said she´s already reading and enjoying the Book of Mormon. And just before the baptism, we got a call from some other Elders in the other zone passing us a reference that has been going to church with his brother-in-law over there, and we got to teach him the next day. He´s looking for some relief in some difficulties he´s facing these days. He and his dad are really cool people, and I´ve got a really good feeling we´ll be seeing some more people baptized soon.

As for the Book of Mormon musical, I´d actually heard about it back when I was working at Nintendo, and while I was in the MTC, our Branch President mentioned it to us. He told us how popular it is. Good for those guys I suppose. They´re not really ´´anti´´ as far as I can tell, but they two guys that direct it both served missions. I´m not sure how someone gets that far off after serving a mission. Either way, if you´re going to make a play, movie, or anything on the church, at least make it good regardless of what it´s saying, because the church leaders seem pleased with the publicity it´s at least giving the church.

I had a few more ideas during this week on what would be nice in the next package. The only thing I can remember is the Kiwi instant shoe shine thing that I got at CTR. It´s really handy out here, and I haven´t seen anything that compares yet.

Well, that´s the week. I´ve got just a few other pictures too that I´ll send.

I´m so thirsty I could drink a motorcycle.

This guy is running for Vereador out here. I´m hoping he wins.
-Elder Candland

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20

Well, this week Elder Dial got transferred. Guess what. I´m training again. His name is Elder Castillo. He´s Chileno. Like the people from Chile. His Português is already really good, so it´s nothing like Elder Arichichu. I can understand him when he talks, he also doesn´t do anything really wierd. He seems fairly normal actually. One of the members wanted to add him on Facebook, and they opened up a few of his pictures. Looks like he was pretty normal from what I can tell.

When I went to the mission office for transfers, I got a package. It´s the one you guys sent in February. That took a little while. I´m not sure why. 

So this transfer has started off well. We´ve marked several dates, and we should be having a couple baptisms soon. One lady in particular is pretty funny. She was reading the Book of Mormon (well, actually O Livro de Mormon) and when she prayed to know if it is true, she asked for an answer that would hurt so she would know it was true. Thank goodness it didn´t actually hurt. She recounted the answer she received to us, and she knows the Book of Mormon is true. 

I gave a talk in church on Sunday about sacrifice. Everyone has to sacrifice something during their lifetime, but I figure I was a pretty good fit for the subject. My talk went really well I think. If I have time next P-Day, I´ll write up a copy of it for you guys and mail it in a letter.

Did you guys watch President Monson´s birthday broadcast? I thought it was pretty fun. We had a few investigators there, so it was pretty cool for them I think. I enjoyed watching the choir sing Seventy-Six Trombones since I´m so used to watching them sing during General Conference where they sing very reverent music. It was a pretty fun to watch such excitement in the Conference Center.

I thought it pretty funny that of all people to discover that our water heater was broken, it was Jordan. Of course. 

Alright. That´s it for this week. It wasn´t super eventful with the transfer and all. Until next week.

Zone picture. We´re actually missing another two Elders.

I wanted to be different.

Ruben and Alessandra´s family. They´re the less actives we´ve been reactivating. Their kids aren´t members. Yet.

There´s this juice called Caldo de Cana here that´s really popular. They basically just crush the juice out of big sticks of sugar cane.

This was also a rather good flavor of soda I´ve never had before.

Somehow we made it out alive. I guess Goodbye Kitty was feeling merciful that night.

-Elder Candland

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012

Well this week was okay. We didn´t have any cool stuff happen until the last 2 days. It was a long week, we worked hard, but there wasn´t a lot of success. We had interviews with President Martins this Wednesday. While I was waiting I was reading the missionaries little book ofanswers that you sent me, and President picked it up when I sat it down, read a little, said it was a bunch of crap, opened to another page, did the same thing, and then repeated a few more times. Then he told me to just not teach anything from that book. Either way, I´m still reading it. The beginning specifically says everything written in the book is the author´s opinion. I should have been reading Discourses of Brigham Young instead. President already recommended to the Elders to read that one. Specifically in English.

Anyway, I´m pretty jealous about the sweet trip through Seattle you guys got. I want to go to the EMP, Pike Place, Space Needle, Avatar Exhibit, and I just want cheesecake. I haven´t seen cheesecake here yet. It´s pretty cool out here in Brasil, but I don´t get to just walk around exploring. I definitely want to come back for the Olympics in Rio. Maybe even the World Cup. I´m more interested in the Olympics though.

Anyway, I guess the cool stuff that happened this week: first, there´s a boy we´ve been teaching, and his mom finally is going to let him get baptized. He´s really excited about it. I´m not sure if he actually understands everything about baptism, or if he just wants to be a member of the church really bad. Either way, we´re really excited. Second, we lost a couple investigators who just aren´t even trying to keep our commitments we leave them (not cool), but we scored a bunch of new ones that we´re really excited about. One in particular we met on the street with her little daughter. We asked if we could help her with anything and she said ``Don´t ask, I can´t even talk about it without crying,´´ then started crying and said that her husband got involved with drugs and left the house 2 days ago, has no idea wherehe is or if he´s even alive, and she´s also pregnant with their second daughter. Obviously we asked if we could pass by her house later that day when she got back home. Not only is she interested, but a few others that live above her.

Alright. That´s pretty much it I suppose. Transfers are this Wednesday. I´m not sure if one of us will go or if we´ll both stay. I´m hoping we both stay since I like this area a lot, but I don´t really know it very well on my own yet. I´ll let you guys know next week.

-Elder Candland

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 6, 2012

[note: switching to dates since weeks in the field is misleading. Adam has been out well over a year.]

Well, it was an alright week. We talked with lots of people, but we didn´t have quite as much success as our last week. Elder Dial seemed kind of disappointed. I´m used to knowing my area really well, but being here where I know so little in comparison to my last, I´ve been looking to Elder Dial a lot. I have more time and experience out here, and I think I need to start stepping up more and being more of the senior companion than the older companion.

I`m feeling pretty bummed that your summer is coming to an end too, because it means my winter is almost gone. I´m pretty sure I can survive one more summer, but I REALLY don´t want to. I just wish it could not be so hot. If I was here as a normal person who didn´t have to wear missionary clothes and I could sit in the shade, I wouldn´t have too much of a problem. It´s pretty much the most miserable thing ever to wake up to a house that is already 80 degrees F and know that you have to put clothes on, go out into the sun, and work hard. Thank goodness the work is satisfying.

Thanks for the recipes too.

Anyway, we have a few pretty exciting investigators we´re teaching. The big problem is they still won´t go to church. Either way, we´ve been able to get in a lot more lessons these last few days, and we´ve seen several people being blessed as they live the things we teach. One lady in particular has noticed a big difference in how happy she is, and also miraculously got a job after trying for a long time.

There´s this other guy we´ve been trying to teach for a while, but he never seems to be home. Last night we happened to walk past the front of his house, and he was sitting out front drinking about 3 beers at once. At least 3 people in the world tell the truth: Kids, crazy people, and drunks. He opened up and told us that he´s suffering from depression and wants to kill himself. He seems particularly upset that his mother died and he feels pretty lonely without his own family about 45. He started crying all over and started making a scene in front of his house, so he asked us to come in. He was drunk, so it was kind of difficult to help with anything more than listen, promise to help him, and assure him he can find happiness. After the conversation he seemed a lot happier.

Anyway, those are the highlights of this week. At least that I can put into this email. We talked with a few other people, and they talked about some of the strangest stuff that I do not feel like I am now a better person for hearing.

-Elder Candland

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Week 49

Fist thing, I got the packages. Elder Dial was pretty excited about the candy and music too. I was pretty pleased with the Nashville Tribute to the missionaries; it´s a lot better than the tribute to the pioneers. I was also hoping for a couple recipes in the package, but you can just email them to me next week. I want brownies, lasagna, and the Kosorok cookies. I have lots of friends here that all ask if I know how to make them. I know how to... just with a recipe.

This week was really good, and also really lame. It´s the middle of winter and our house is about 80 during the day. I also got a really bad cold on Wednesday and working was awful that day. The good though is that the entire mission has difficulties making street contacts and talking with everyone we encounter. We finally toughened up and started talking with everyone and had a lot of good things happen. We found a bunch of new people that we´re pretty excited about and the work is moving quicker now. Making contacts is actually a pretty big deal. I´ve known for a long time that it´s the biggest thing that was holding us back, but couldn´t ever get myself to approach people on the street. I can talk to anyone, but to start things off is always difficult.

Nobody talks about anything that isn´t soccer (Futebol). The Olympics don´t really matter to anyone here. I´d like to watch a little.

Elder Dial decided he wanted to pick up the harmonica a few weeks ago when I pulled it out one day, and he´s been practicing this week. The only problem is he´s kind of tone deaf. Not really bad, but enough that if the notes are in the same scale, it sounds like the right note to him, or, when he´s whistling and singing, if he has to go up or down more than 5 steps, he changes keys. It kind of hurts when he´s playing my harmonica at 10:15 at night before bed. I´m tired, and he isn´t very good yet. I have hope though, I hope.

Well, that´s it I suppose. This area is nice. No one has fallen through with lunch since I´ve been here, so I never have the opportunity to cook anymore. I liked cooking. Anyway, I´m gonna send a couple pictures now, but it´s nothing special.

Oh ya, last thought. Almost every boy in Brasil flies kites for fun during the day. I don´t know why they do here, because there are so many telephone wires in the city. Anyway, they will all fly kits up really high, and then they´ll battle with the kites, trying to cut the other kids kite, and then run and take it when it falls. Kites here are like $1, so it´s no big deal to play for keeps. Anyway, we took some kite we found on the street and I found a ton of old line on the ground. Today, we spent about 2 hours untangling the line and fixing up the kite. Then we started flying the kite from our back porch, and after about 10 minutes, the line broke and we lost our kite in a tree way down the road. We figure we´ll just pay a boy to buy us a kite this week,.
When I think of Brasil, this is always one of the first images that comes to mind. Finally, I captured a real photo.

Here´s our zone with Elder Costa when he visited this last week.

-Elder Candland