Monday, March 26, 2012

Week 31

So the big thing this week is we had a baptism here. It's the first baptism in the new ward since the ward changed. Her name is Rose (pronounced hosy). She was pretty excited to be baptized I think. I hadn't seen her that enthusiastic before. She's a pretty somber person usually. Anyway, she's the lady who found us in the grocery store a while ago.

Elder Rocha (HO-shuh), my companion, is Brasilian. Things are still getting better, slowly. Very slowly. He needs to learn a lot but doesn't really realize how much more there is for him to learn that he didn't already learn in the MTC. We'll get him there.

We got invited to another churrasco this last Saturday. We stayed, had some really good food, and tried to talk with some of their friends about the church. They always have other people at their home. We were on the street the other day and some guy came and talked to us real quick. He said that he'd met us at their house a few weeks ago. I don't remember him really, but he remembered us and the fact that the family likes us too helps their friends to feel a little more comfortable with the Elders.

I was thinking this morning, and remembered how much I didn't know about the Plan of Salvation and how it all works when I got to the MTC and started learning how to teach it. I was thinking it would be a good idea to to a FHE lesson on the Plan of Salvation as well as another on the Restoration. Those are both really important things that make our church of Jesus Christ different from all of the others. Especially for Dallin, Shaini, and Lars... Lars who could have opportunities to share the church with friends.

Another goal I thought might be a good goal for you guys is to try and think of a reference to give the Elders whenever they're over for dinner. We have a family here that kind of does that and it's super helpful. Plus, if the Missionaries happen to start teaching that family, you guys can help them out, and when members help, there is so much more success.

Alright, so my big thought for the week. We were studying the chapter on Christ-like Attributes and read teh scripture in Matthew when Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to love God, and second love our neighbors as we would ourselves. I was kind of trying to figure out exactly why that's most important, and it's kind of obvious: if we do everything with love, we'll do everything right. What I got from that is if we do everything with love, we can't sin. Someone could say (maybe someone like Lars) ``What if I kill someone with love? Well, there's the scripture that says "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Take that Lars. Anyway, I'm pretty sure it's part of why Christ was able to be perfect.

Anyway, that's it. I did like the part in Dad's email about Rylee waiting at the free tray. I remember doing the same thing.

A green coconut.

Elder Morais chopped it open for me to drink.

That´s Elder Morais.

Some member in the ward has this ninja statuettes set up in his living room. My house will have something similar I believe.

Here´s a cool shot from his apartment.

Here´s Rose with her daughter Larissa in front of the church.

Elder Rocha, Rose, and me.

Our friend Van was taking pictures and he snapped this one. I think I look good in white. 

-Elder Candland

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Week 30

Things are definitely getting better with my new companion. It´s still not super fun though. I´ve been praying a lot myself. I try to express my gratitude for my new companion in my prayers, and it´s helping a little. I think one thing I´m going to learn is to be really productive with our time. If we ever have down-time because of poor planning, it means I´m stuck trying to find something to do with him. If we can just work, work, work, then I can focus more on the work and the people than worrying about having an odd companion.

I got the package. The guy in the office told me it was a little wierd for him. Some random guy came up handed over the fence an opened box with my name scribbled on it. Since it was opened already he decided to look through it. Anyway, I freaked out when I finally had the guitar book. Whenever I have down time, I end up playing the 3 hymns I have memorized, but now I´ve been slowly learning other hymns. I´m a lot better than I was when I was first playing them at home. I don´t really have much time to play though. Today was about it. Then at night when we get home, IF we get home right at 9:00, I usually have about 15 minutes to play around. The Darth Vader box is a lot cooler than the chocolates tasted for sure. The crayons are helpful. I finally have something to mark scriptures with again while I study. Then there was one more thing I think.

As for the geneaology chart, I think what we have of the last 6 generations would be cool going back to my great-great-great grandparents.

Also, I have a few things to email Dallin, but I´m still not sure if I have his correct email or not.

Here´s a small thought really quick: So Elder Davis hates this cheese called catupiry, as well as the sound of babies crying. After he left, I noticed we were all of a sudden eating that cheese with our meals in the members´ homes, and the neighbors baby started crying a lot again (it had sort of stopped whining so much when he got there, but I figured it was just kind of stopped being such a baby, but I guess not). Anyway, the point is, he doesn´t realize that we ever had this cheese very often with members, or that the baby used to cry so much. I just wonder how many small little blessings each of us don´t ever really notice we´ve recieved.

That´s all. And some photos coming too. Nothing special.

One of our investigators has about 14 cats.

We fed them ground beef and they started going nuts.

That´s homemade lemonade. I made it with beets. It tastes like normal, really good lemonade, just with like this healthy ``dirt´´ flavor. I like it.
 This huge nasty spider that´s probably about the size of Rylee´s hand when it´s all stretched out.

Until next Monday.
-Elder Candland

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Week 29

I guess that´s cool that Jordan and I will be getting home around the same time. For his sake, I still hope he can get back out to the field really soon.
Two requests really quick. I realized I´d like to have a family tree, as well as my priesthood lineage chart. If it´s possible, I´d like to get a priesthood chart in about 3x4 inches to fit in my little Missionary Handbook that I have with me always.

 Anyway, I stayed here. I´m training again. Elder Rocha is probably going to be my most difficult companion. He got here and pretty much started trying to train me. Not that he said I was doing anything wrong, but whenever I tried to help him learn a principle he doesn´t quite understand yet, he started trying to teach me something I had already learned in the MTC as well. He´s got a lot to learn about the work. He thinks he can pretty much kill anyone´s doubts with a scripture or logic. That´s not how it works. They need to be taught by the spirit to be convinced. We´re not here to convice; we´re here to invite.

Please pray a little extra for me. I´m going to hate the next 3 months of my mission if I can´t learn to like him.

Anyway, I got to see the two videos. Kortney looks a little older, and I really like Rylee´s breakdance splits. The pictures were fun too.

The zone and Elder Davis since he was the only leaving from the zone. Lame.

Elder Davis, Van, and I. Van was meditating I think.

That´s Van´s guitar too.

Some of the funniest grafitti art I´ve seen.

Some of the best I´ve seen.

Also, it this new elder looks like Andy Samberg.

That´s all for this week. It´s going to be a tough next week. I´ll talk to you guys next Monday.

-Elder Candland

Week 28

So real quick, there was something I learned during our Elders Quorum meeting this Sunday. Concerning Heavenly Father´s plans for us; I´ve obviously seen what He has been doing for me lately.

In Elders Quorum, they were teaching the Elders about home teaching and it´s importance. They talked a lot about the missionaries and how they are like the missionaries for the Ward. I got the feeling lots of the Elders didn´t really feel like they could do a whole lot without a calling with special blessings or keys or being called to a specific area where the Lord has a plan for them. That´s when I realized it doesn´t have to be that the Lord sends you anywhere specific all the time. His plans are always changing depending on how we or others use our agency. It may not be that you were sent there, but I know that no matter where you are, the Lord will make some plans for you there, and he´ll get something prepared for you to do. For the Elders in the Ward, they may not have been placed in the ward just so they can home teach someone, but because they´re there, there have been other plans created for them to fulfill. That could very well mean Jordan too. Pass this on to him for me.

Alright, one last good missionary thing before I just talk about the fun stuff. So our two baptismal dates have been moved to a week later. We prayed several times about their date, and we felt like they needed more time. When we talked to them, we found out they definitely weren´t ready yet. It wasn´t that they weren´t understanding doctrine or had doubts, but that they just need more time. One more week is perfect. The daughter came to church and the girls her age were all over it. They sat next to her in Sacrament, invited her to church activities, and one is coming with us to teach them tomorrow night. The ward is so important when there are new people there. I don´t know how many members realize that.

 This week has been the hottest week of my life I think. We wake up and our house is about 85 degrees.   Meaning it cooled off 2 degrees during the night. It´s dropped off today though, but because the house is just brick and metal, it retains the heat a while, and we´ll need a few days to have a nice cool house. It hasn´t even been THAT hot out either. It´s been only about 95 during the day, but I´ve never been in slacks, black shoes, and a tie, walking around all day when it´s that hot out.

 One afternoon while we were sitting in some shade, an older guy walked past us and started talking to us. I´m not suere what his thought process was, but the conversation went about like this:

Him: Hi
Us: Hi
Him: Which church are you from?
Us: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Him: I go to a church just over there
Us: Oh ya
(He started to walk off)
Us: Good night
(He comes back)
Him: I´m a war veteran
Us: Sorry, what was that
Him: Feel this lump in my arm
(He pinches a lump in his back arm and we touch it)
Us: Woa, is that bone or something?
(He starts to walk off, but turns back around)
Him: Bullet
Us: What? Serious?
(He waves and leaves)

 Anyway, we looked at eachother and kind of laughed not knowing how his mind was working at the moment and then I said ``I think we just touched an old Brasilian´s arm bullet.´´

 Another day we passed by a drunk hobo laying on the ground singing to himself pretty loudly as he undid his fly and started peeing while laying on his side.

 Keep working on the scripture reading as a family. I tell lots of people to read as a family because I see  the blessings they´ll get as they read together. It´s pretty important for our investigators, so I would assume that it´s even more important for a member family. It´s a commandment to read the scriptures daily. The scriptures are the words of the prophets, therefore they´re the words of God. I know that every word in The Book of Mormon is there for a specific reason. Not a single word is there just because. With that said, I can´t imagine that God would have placed the scriptures down here just for us to read lightly, as a family or personally. They´re to guide us, so we should do our best to treasure them up constantly.

We have a transfer this Wednesday. We find out tonight what´s happening, but I´m really hoping we stay on more transfer. We´ve got two baptisms as well as several other promising appointments after Wednesday. 

 Anyway, the last thing. Mostly for Dallin and Dad. I had a sweet dream the other day. I was being trained to be a ninja. There was this ancient ancestor spirit guy training me because something big was happing between this realm and another, and only warriors with special abilities could be of use. I had a partner. He was a mummy basically. He´d been reincarnated to help fight this battle. He was pretty sweet since he´d been like the Prince of Persia in his past life. He was still a mummy, but had several magic abilities and was really good at running on walls, climbing stuff, and fighting with his two egyptian scythes. Anyway, he had to leave to go find some sort of artifact or something, and said I couldn´t come because I wasn´t ready yet. While I was still training, I was attacked by bad ninjas. I was able to take out two of them silently by using my stealth training, but one caught me and I used my newly attained swords skills to take him out as well. Then, the city was attacked by a couple collosi like from Shadow of the Collossus. I used my ninja grapling hook to climb up them and hit their week points. Anyway, the mummy guy returned and I was like ``Am I ready yet?´´ Then we set out on our secret mission, but I woke up.

 That ends this week. I´ll let you guys know if I stay or not next week. Also, how the work goes with our golden investigators. 

-Elder Candland