Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 44

Sounds like there was some pretty good American food there at home. General Tso´s is now officially an American dish to me. I have almost 0 oriental food here. It´s just all rice, beans, and sometimes a lasagna (Brasilianized). There is a Chinses Restaurant across the street from where I am now (Lig Lig), but it´s not so good. The American Chinse food is a step down from real Chinese food because it´s a copy. The Brasilian Chinese food is a copy of what we have in America, so it´s copy of a copy. 3rd tier Chinese is not so good. 
Elder Arichichu has had a few good songs lately. Some Maroon 5, some Argentinan rap, and I think he sometimes just makes wierd growling noises at himself and laughs alone in the shower. When he sings his own songs, he usually is on key, but in sacrament meeting, he can´t seem to sing on key.

Well, this week was the worst week of my mission. We had the least success and lowest numbers I´ve ever seen. We worked hard and planned well, but for some reason, we just couldn´t manage to get into anyone´s homes this week. Elder Arichichu is kind of frustrated that his first weeks of the mission have been pretty unsuccesful. I don´t blame him, but today I decided to study the Christ-like attributes with him and focus on Patience and Hope. I think he learned a little.

I don´t really have any good stories this week. I think the best thing that happened was the Multi-Zone Conference with President and Sister Martins. I got to talk with a bunch of friends, including Elder Davis, during lunch, and I learned a lot of good new things I can improve on to be a better missionary. 

Something interesting I also learned is that depending on how worthy and active the members of a ward are can affect the work in the area. Sometimes if the ward isn´t super strong, the Lord won´t send his elects there just yet so that his children don´t join the church and fall away because there was no firm foundation to support them. In comparison to lots of wards I´ve seen here, our ward  in Carnation seems to be a pretty strong little ward, but don´t forget that the Elders aren´t alone in the missionary work. They´re just the one´s who are working full-time. The members need to see the work as something that they work hand-in-hand with the Elders rather than just support the people the Elders bring. The missionaries are part of the ward too, and should work with the ward leaders just as any other calling.

Anyway, until next week. I won´t expect too much. And I´ll send a few pictures again.

Cooking Like a Brasileiro with Elder Candland

We only buy toilet paper with the suavest of perfumes.

Rylee drew this for me in the MTC. It´s the cover of my guitar music binder.

Being under a plastic cover, I can enhance the image with a dry-erase pen.

Elder Arichichu getting his hair cut.

Some hobo made a fire and left the hot coals for us to use on a cold night.

It has been a little chilly these last few nights, and with the cousin of the Snuggie, I don´t have to unmake my bed, meaning I can leave it made for days.

-Elder Candland

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 43

I guess first off: if you end up having to buy a new car before I'm home, get the Volkswagon Gol.
It's actually kind of a joke they have here in Brasil that strawberries are really hard to find. They definitely have them here, but it's tough to come across. And don't even bother with raspberries.
I forgot it was Father's Day. Here in Brasil Father's Day is in August.

Anyway, this week was kind of a tough week. It's not getting much better. Elder Arichichu is slowly (very slowly) getting a hang of things, but I gotta try and keep encouraging him. My district is having problems too, so I'm trying to help them out. I went on exchanges to try and help them figure things out. One of them is just plain trunky and doesn't really feel like working. I think he's here because he doesn't want to disappoint the family. His companion who's a little newer isn't handling things so well either. I went over there and talked with the younger companion, figuring he was the only one I could really do anything for. We had a really productive day in his area, so that got him fairly excited, and we just spent a lot of time talking about what he can do to help. They'e still having a tough time though, so I need to keep helping out.

We reactivated a couple really good investigators, but they'e still behind. It's tough here, I'm seeing, because everyone is so busy, we rarely have the chance to pass by our investigators more than once a week to keep them going. I'm trying so hard to keep some of these people interested and reading the Book of Mormon, but they just need to make time to go to church or they'e not going to progress any more.

So, the other day, we just had an awful day. Absolutely nothing happened. We tried contacting investigators, but no one was home. I had planned to knock on some doors from 6 to 7 that night, hoping to find some people. After about 15 minutes of rejection I was like "I'm done." but I remembered something President Martins told me in the MTC. He said that some days it's just tough, but if we keep working and don't quit early, in the last minute you'll find some success. So we kept going until 7. At about 6:58 we knocked on this guy's door (or clapped outside his gate as we do in Brasil), and he came out and talked with us for a few minutes. When I asked if we could come back another day to share more with him, he was pretty reluctant and didn't really accept. I left him with a little pamphlet and we left. I don't really know what happened, but I think we needed to talk with him that night. Maybe later on he'll talk with the missionaries and find the blessings that come from the Gospel.

Well, alright. We'e heading to FHE now. I really hope this family managed to get their friends there. I also hope they have some cake. I worked out really good today. My abs are sore. I started working out again. I'm using the bar a lot. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I work upper body and some abs; and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday I do just abs. I'm not looking forward to the summer though. It's not fun waking up to a house that's already 80 degrees and then working out. Anyway, I'll send just a couple of random pictures I took.

"Star Command, do you read?" - "Looks like your blood pressure is to infinite and beyond." - "woa..."

Here's a couple little kids running around blowing bubbles. I don't know. They're Brasilian kids, so it's different... kind of.

-Elder Candland

Week 42

Well, this week didn´t go as well as I had hoped. I´ll start from the beginning. During the week, all of our appointments that we marked fell through. Stupid winter break. Everyone was too busy or not even home for the days we marked. Then there were the people who were kind enogh to say that they couldn´t mark anything because they didn´t know if they would have time. Well, that makes it just as hard. You pretty much have to pass every day, several times per day if you want to catch anyone here in São Paulo. We also had big plans for Sunday, but as we started working that night, Elder Arichichu got sick. Again. So we had to stop for the night, and we didn't get to do hardly anything that day. The temple dedication of Manaus was really cool. We also got to watch the cultural celebration on Saturday night, which was also very cool. So as for the celebration, I saw the celebration that had here in São Paulo a few years ago with President Hinckley and James E. Faust for the rededication of the São Paulo Temple. It was an incredible show with lots of different performances. The people of Manaus are a poorer people, so their show was rather small, but there was still a huge difference. The people here in São Paulo were celebrating a rededication, so it was fairly exciting for them, but the people in Manaus never had a temple nearby. They would travel 5 days by boat and bus to get to the São Paulo temple, most of them having to sell furniture and many other things in order to afford the trip. You could definitely see the difference in gratitude when the people in Manaus were celebrating this temple. At the dedication itself, President Uchtdorf dedicated the temple. When they went out to set the corner stone, he started off placing the mortar, he was absolutely hilarious. He sounded very satisfied with the mortar, almost as if someone was scratching a part of his back he couldn´t reach. Then he started passing on the spatula for everyone else to try and he seemed very excited for them all to try out the mortar. He called up some Brasilian kids as well and helped them out. Anyway, Elder Aricichu got sick and we had to call Sister Martins. He was having stomache pains, and she called the head of health over the Brasil Missions, and he ended up calling us. This guy diagnosed Elder Arichichu with really bad constipation... oh boy. So we went to the drugstore and bought some milk of magnesia and a ready-to-go enema. I handed him the enema, told him how to use it, sent him into the bathroom, and sat as far from the door as possible, dreading the words "Elder, I need help." Thank goodness he figured it out on his own.  

This whole week rained really hard. On Wednesday, we were at the Stake Presdient´s house for lunch. Right after we left the message, the sky started falling outside, so the Stake President and his wife told us that we needed to stay just until the rain let up a little. While we were waiting, they had me tune their guitars, and then President Kutomi grabbed his clarinet and we played a few hymns together. I suppose it´s only kind of funny since you don´t know President Kutomi. He´s Japanese (with that name, clearly) and his personality is really different from most other people in Brasil. He´s just a funny guy.

Too bad about the minister at the baccalaureate. It sounds like he´s a little ignorant. Anyone who understands anything about our church understands that we are Christian. First off the name. The Book of Mormon´s cover says "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." And then there´s just the basic principle that all of our church is based around Christ and his Atonement. Maybe it´s the definition of Christians. D&C 131:6 - It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. Many people here that I see are ignorant because they fear what they´ll have to change if they know the truth.

Well, that´s about all for this week. At least there were a few stories this time. I´ve got just a couple photos this week I´ll be sending now.

Here´s just a picture that Lawignia took of my face while we were at their house the other day.

Here´s Elder Arichichu while his alarm goes off for about 15 minutes.

I burned a shirt on my one-year-mark Friday.

It strated burning my fingers.

I decided to drop the shirt since my fingers were hurting.

I did some studying by candlelight. 

This  is one of my favorite songs Elder Arichichu sings.

-Elder Candland

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 41

What? June already? I hit my one year mark in 4 days.

So this week was pretty normal as well. We dropped lots of investigators that weren´t progressing on arriving in the area, so we spent most of the time finding new people to recieve our message. We haven´t seen too much luck yet. We found a few people who could be promising, but here in São Paulo, the hardest thing is getting back to their house after finding them. Everyone here works about 13 hours a day, 7 days a week. No one has time, and they don´t understand that our message is definitely worth the time. And a the few that have time, they would rather use it on other stuff.

Elder Arichichu is probably the funniest Elder I know without trying to be. Every night he sings really loud in the shower, and I think it gets louder each night. Sometimes he´s not in the shower until about 10:00, so I always feel a little bad for the neighbors. He sometimes wakes me up at night with his sleep-laughing/talking. He talks really loud and coherent in his sleep. He also sleeps really, really heavy. I have a hard time waking him up, but I think I´ve figured it out. I wake up, pray, use the bathroom, and then I have to turn on my iPod as loud as it goes, play some Beethoven on the DVD player, turn on a song on the cell phone, and then stand in the middle of the room playing harmonica. It worked this morning, but I had to do it for about 2 full minutes. Then, after he was awake, I don´t think he was fully awake because I asked him about 3 questions before he even looked over at me. He sure is going to be the a big part of my mission the next 2 transfers. He has a lot to learn. The other Elders I trained already seemed to understand a lot of things, but Elder Arichichu has a lot more to learn still. We´ve been working on the small things first, like the keys to the house, and he´s almost figured out which key is the door and which is the gate. I´m not even picking on him, I´m serious. 

This last Sunday was a regional conference for the state of São Paulo and Rio. It was a broadcast, and Sister Dalton, Elder Anderson, and President Monson spoke. It was pretty good, but this next week is the dedication of the Manaus Temple here in Brasil. Saturday night we get to take all of our investigators (if they´ll actually go) to watch the cultural festival live in the stake center, and then on Sunday, we have 3 sessions for the temple dedication instead of normal church. That´s going to be really cool to watch. It sounds like it should be President Uchtdorf who will dedicate the temple. This is going to be a really exciting day if we can get prepared for it. This last week we spent a long time trying to find families who we can visit on the 10th, and these next 6 days we´re going to be trying really hard to be prepared to pray in 10 families´ homes.

Well, I can´t really think of much else that happened this week. I´ve got a couple pictures I´ll send too.


A sweet view from a members home.

I want one of these trees in my front yard.

I guess the guy that lives here is a Mason. It'sjust missing the G in the middle.

pão de mel is sooo good. Honey bread is the translation, but it's more like a cake with dolce de leite in the middle.

The front of my dream car.

And the back has to look just like this one because there are various styles of the VW Gol.

There's a lady who gives us lunch that has all the missioinaries that pass through the ward sign her hot pads. I found this and thought "If only."

Here's a quick video of a guy driving down the road listening to funk. My email won't send very big files, so I had to keep the video short. Just after I stopped the video, the white van's alarm went off.

And one more sound clip of Elder Arichichu singing because it's so funny. There are a few really good songs I have yet to capture though.

-- -Elder Candland