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