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 Portugu√™s 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