Monday, May 28, 2012

Week 40

Okay, big news is that I´m back in São Domingos full-time with my new companion. I´m training again, so odds are I´ll be here 2 more transfers. That means I´ll be here until about August 15th; that´s about 9 1/2 months in this area. Anyway, my companion is Elder Arichichu (ar-ee-chee-CHOO). He´s from Uruguay, and he speaks Spanish. Since Spanish and Português are pretty similar, he speaks fairly well already, but on the other hand, being so similar gets him a little confused with some words and the pronunciation, so it´s kind of hard to understand him too. He is also one of the goofiest people I know. He fits the archetype for ``goofy-foreign-exchange-kid´´ in any movie or show. He likes to sing, and some of his favorite stuff to sing is Black Eyed Peas, which is hilarious since he doesn´t really speak any English. He talks lots of Spanish in his sleep, wakes up yelling most mornings, makes the funniest faces when he puts rubbing alcohol on his blister, wheezes through his nose as he breathes, and sings really loud in the shower. He´s also probably the most humble companion I have had too, so that is a huge blessing. I don´t like arrogant Elders. Especially when they have few reasons to be so self confident... anyway, these next two transfers should be pretty fun.

This week was pretty lame for us once we got started back to the work in this area. We tried contacting lots of old investigators and we had to drop several, so we´re doing lots and lots of finding again. We knocked on doors for about 1 1/2 hours last night and got only 1 person who actaully said we could come back. Usually we get about 8 or 9 after that long, and then we drop about 6 pretty quick because they were just ``polite.´´ We also have about 7 solid investigators who are progressing and reading the scriptures, but still haven´t come to church for the last 5 weeks, so I´m getting a little frustrated with them. I´m making a contract for one to sign promising to come to church. 

 I`m going to be a little excited to leave this area. First off, I´ll get to see a different part of São Paulo. Second, I´m getting a little frustrated here. I´ve been here about 7 months, and only 2 people have actually followed through with our appointments and invitations. The same routine with little success for the last 7 months is getting to me slowly. I have waves of ``saudades´´ (this word doesn´t really exist in English) every week or so where I get up and don´t really feel like working. I´m still working, but it doesn´t make it any easier. 

 That´s basically it for this week. The only other mildly interesting thing I can think of is last night we got stopped on the street by a drunk old lady who walked and talked with us for about 20 minutes about something. Then she got tired walking up a hill, so she shook our hands for about 5 minutes while she continued to talk, then gave us really big hugs, and finally set us free. Oh ya, also, Elder Davis is training already too, and my trainer Elder Santiago is now an assistant to President Martins. So, with the mission jargon, my dad is an assistant, I´m the oldest of his 2 sons, and I myself have 3 sons as well as a grandson. wooooo...

 I´m glad to hear Rylee is so interested in Star Wars. I don´t know if I hid away my lightsabers, but she can have my blue one if she wants. I suppose she could be my Padawan when I get back.

 I also got a nasty cold on Friday, but I ate lots of fruits and drank lots of water. Então, passou. Something that I´ve really started getting into is this banana snack Van invented. 

You WILL need:
2 bananas
Rolled oats
1 cup of plain yogurt
Brown sugar or honey

Chop up a couple bananas in a bowl.
Throw on a bunch of oats.
Sprinkle cinnamon in there.
Pour on the yogurt.
Put some brown suger on that.
Eat it cold. S´healthy.

Okay, that´s it. I´ll get some pictures sent too. There´s some good stuff.

That´s Elder Arichichu. He´s giving the camera a very slight thumbs up.
Here´s a shot of the bathroom door as Elder Arichichu sings.
Flashback back to when I was in the trio still. This store is awesome.
Starfruit wasn´t so good the first time, but the second time I had like 4.

Here´s some gym in Pirituba. I remember the muscle section of anatomy. That guy has muscles that don´t exist. I don´t want any mutations, so I´m not going to work out at that gym.
Here´s what a bus looks like.
This is what graffiti on the bus looks like.

A lady gave us a bunch of vegetables, so I tried to make lasagna from eggplant, green peppers, onions, tomato sauce, cheese, and eggs. We ate it, but I won´t make it again.
This monkey freaks me out at night.
The sky was pretty cool that night.

And the only picture I managed to get of our zone before the transfer.

-Elder Candland

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week 39

So this was my last week here in Vista Verde. I´ve got Today, Tuesday, and then on Wednesday I hopefully get my new companion and can actually start living in my area again. I´m so tired of taking 2 buses for an hour or more into the area, then back again. I won´t know until tonight though. It´s 1ish right now, and they usually call around 7:00.

I´ve had a few successes in the area, but it´s really hard to keep them when I can only pass on marked appointments. Our time is pretty short during the day when we have two areas and a bunch of bus rides, so we can really only go to my area when I have something scheduled. I prefer to just pass by. If I call, they´ll try and schedule for later in the week, but if I pass by randomly, they feel bad and let us in. It´s cool, I just wanna talk to them about the rest of their eternity, so I don´t feel bad inviting myself over.

 I can´t really think of anything too exciting that happened this week. I took pictures of really anything interesting this week. 

 Being District Leader is tough here. It seems that my district pretty much has the same problems each week, and I haven´t figured out what more I can do to help them out. I need to go on some exchanges with them, but the transfer is almost over now, so I´ll just wait until next transfer and jump on it the second week once things have settled in. 

Did you guys happen to check out any of the music I sent? It´s kind of different when you listen to it when you´re actually in Brasil, and I think it might come as an acquired taste after the mission.

Well, that´s about all. We had to do email a little early today since we decided to hike the peak... peakzinho. It´s really not that high up. It´s probably about 2/3 of Mt. Si, and takes about 1/4 of the time to climb it. Anyway, I´ll send some pictures now. They´re more fun than me talking about walking around the streets of Brasil talking to random, normal people. There wasn´t really anything cool this week. 

Well, Lawígnia was confirmed in church. We´re gonna go back to Rose (the first lady who was baptized) and see if we can´t help out her family.

Some Pictures...

We saw this in a dvd store and had to take pictures.

 Van gave me a sweet Brasilian haircut. I keep it chill while we´re on the street though.

I made a shield from an ironing table, some strips of rubber, and some nails I found on the ground. Also a spear.

We pretended to be Nephites while we hiked up the peak.
Watching over my area.
There´s so much nasty smog over the city.
We had some snacks. That´s Elder Dattilo smelling a banana.
Just a tall radio tower that kind of reminds me of Star Trek.

Those stairs were awful. We ran up about half way and couldn´t keep going.

That´s all.

-Elder Candland

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 38

Ya, there´s not much to talk about right after talking yesterday. 

We were going to hike Pico de Jaraguá today, but Elder Dattilo woke up sick. Maybe next week. I´m hoping so. I´d like to go one more time before my time here is up. 

One thing I forgot to mention was that I had a baptism yesterday. I baptized a little girl named Lawígnia (it´s pronounced la-VEE-nee-uh). She just turned 8 a few months ago. I´ve been working with the family for quite a while. The dad is a member, but he´s less active. The mom isn´t quite ready to be baptized just yet, but the whole family has been coming to church almsot every day the last 3 months, and Lawígnia has been showing a lot of interest in being baptized lately. I was going to wait for her to be baptized the same day as her mom, but the mom needs a little more time, and we decided it would be best to add one more person in the family with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I had some help from the ward getting it all figured out, but the biggest problem was no one knew how to get the water hot. We finally managed to figure it out, but the water only had about 1 hour to heat up, so it was still pretty cold. When she went under, she kind of freaked out a little, and when she came up, she was pretty shocked from the cold. I asked if she was alright and she said ``I just want to get out of the water now.´´ She´s full of attitude and always bullies me around. She earned cold water. But at the same time, she´s probably going to chew me out the next time I talk with her. Oh well, she looked happy after she was sitting with her mom again.

Just a few more days in the trio. I´m really hoping I get a new companion and don´t just get sent to a new area. I´ve got some really important people I´m working with right now and I´m worried they may not trust new Elders so quickly. 

 Well, that´s it. I´ve got a lot of work to do this next week. It´s going to be pretty tough, but I think it´s going to be really good to help out the ward here too.

Also, tell Dallin to check his junkmail and reply. I sent him a music reference and I´m curious to know what he thinks. Oh, and if you guys are interested in some Brasil music, here are some of the artists I´ve caught on to: Chiclete com Banana, Zé Ramalho, Djavan, (and for mom and maybe the girls (I really like this singer actually)) Paula Fernandes. 

´Tá bom. Até próxima Segunda. Abração.
-Elder Candland

A popular bar here in São Paulo.

A cool caterpillar.

Almost all of the houses here are really close together like this. You can hardly tell there are streets in between.

Lawígnia and I. You know that age where she won't admit she likes me, so she makes fun of me instead.

Lawígnia and her family. (Left to right: Me, Lawígnia, Iuri, Vitor, Anapaula.
Me talking to you guys on Mother's Day. The kids asked to look at my camera photos and I guess decided to take a picture for me. I didn't even realize I had this until today.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week 37

Oh man, the work has been so slow in my area this last week. The Elders in Vista Verde (who I´m staying with) don´t even live inside their own area. They live in Pirituba. The commute to my area can take up to 2 hours when traffic is awful. If traffic is good, it´s like 45 minutes. The problem is, we usually need to get into my area around the time everyone is going home for lunch (since lunch (almoço) is the big meal here. Coming home isn´t so bad since we don´t need to be home until 9:00. Anyway, I´m here with Elder Dattilo and Elder Messias.
Elder Messias is from the northeast of Brasil. Recife. Elder Dattilo is from Edgewood, WA. His mom works at CTR Clothing. Next time you´re there, ask about an Elder Dattilo.

Anyway, I´m chilling at the other missionaries house for the next 2 weeks while I wait to get a companion at the next transfer. Thank goodness this transfer just so happens to be the only 5-week-transfer of the year, so it´s less time. My old house is still running, just a little dormant. It feels like a Batcave to me. It´s a tiny little house hidden back behind a bunch of other houses, it´s full of all kinds of supplies and stuff, and there´s even a few snacks in the fridge. If we´re ever near, we swing by to use the bathroom and get some water.

It´s kind of cool being in a trio; it´s got it´s perks. If I ever need to go on... a division is how we call it in Portugûes when we swap companions for the day. Anyway, if I ever need to go on a division with my district, I just just go there with them both to see how they´re doing in their area. I get to watch how they work together rather than just one at a time. We tend to get a long pretty well. The only problem is Elder Dattilo and I start talking to much about Washington, but that isn´t so bad. We´ll see. I´ve only got 3 days with them.

Something sweet about their house even though it´s outside the area, is that their neighbor has a bunch of exercise equipment, so we go over there every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night to work out with him. He has a little routine that we follow. I was really sore after the first night. I should have taken it just a little easier. It made it difficult to concentrate in Church on Sunday. I worked out Friday.

As for Skype, I´m not sure anymore. I just talked with the other Elders, and it sounds like I´ll be able to talk from about 6-7 pm my time. That´s I think 2-3 pm in Washington. That should work out I hope.

Anyway, there´s this older lady we found that calls us angels. She really likes talking with the missionaries, and we love talking with her. She always talks about her church and how she loves her church, but there are a few things she doesn´t like. Everything she says makes me more and more convinced that she may have been a member a few years before, then had an accident and forgot. She basically teaches us when we go there. She ends up strenghtenig my faith with her stories. She´s not a fanatic or over the top when it comes to her faith. Her stories are all legitimate. She doesn´t say that she prayed one day, then she got what she needed the next day. She worked for it, but because she was praying while doing her part, she got all she needed and a little more. She´s really cool. Also, she ended up giving us a little food the other day. She actually gave us two ``beachbags´´ full of fruits and foods she cooked up for us. It had to have been about 50 lbs in total. I´m going to miss walking around the streets of Brasil, talking with everyone, and getting food from lots of random people.

Anyway, that´s my week. It´s been pretty slow going back and forth between areas, but hopefully this week will be better. I marked with the Elders quorum on Sunday to go on lots of splits with them. That should help out.

Anyway, I´ll talk to you guys on Sunday. Até lá. Tchau.
-Elder Candland

Elder Summerhays and I. The only picture I got before he was gone.
Me with the bird too.
A sweet sunset.
The sun hitting Jaguar Peak

A nasty limozeen
 I made pesto pasta for lunch.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Week 36

We had another temple trip today, so that´s why I didn´t write on Monday. 

Well, the big news is that Elder Summerhays is going home tomorrow. His medication is giving him bad back pains and makes him really tired. We´ve been having to take lots of breaks during the day so that he can still help teach at night. Anyway, President Martins called me up to plan out how things are going to work out. He said there aren´t any other missionaries available to send me here in São Domingos, so I´m going to be staying with another campanionship in the area just above mine. It´s kind of a bummer (well, aside from the fact that we´re losing an Elder here in São Paulo Norte), but we have a family that is pretty excited about the church, and we´re trying to prepare them for baptism right now. I´m gonna be dragging the other Elders into our area to teach.

Oh ya... exercising in Brasil... it´s pretty good. When I exercise that is. Running is pretty tough here too. There isn´t a good place to run aside from around the neighborhood, but in that case, my companion has to run with me too, and that´s not really easy to find here. I got lazy during the summer when I woke up and the house was already 80. I don´t have that excuse anymore, so maybe I´ll get back on it. It´s dropped down to about 65 now. It´s fantastic. I can walk around without getting sweaty.

Are you sure that the guy broke the 800 state record with 1:59? I ran exactly 2:00 that one time, the only time I ran the 800. There´s no way that the national record is only 1:59.

I wonder if my childhood will look really bad when I´m older. I know it wasn´t great, but I think back in the 70´s, but particularly 80´s to 90´s, the fashion was pretty bad. I don´t think these last 10 years have been too ridiculous.

Well, this week was pretty slow, so that´s all I have for this week. Next week should be a little more interesting. It´s coming up soon too. I´ll be sending an email on Monday, so that´s only a few days from now. 

Until then.
-Elder Candland

p.s. Oh ya, I´m district leader too. I forgot to mention that last week.