Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29

It´s for sure summer. It´s hot again. I guess I forgot how hot it gets here. Everyone says that the city São Paulo itself is a little colder  than being out in the more rural cities, so I was convinced that it wouldn´t ever feel as hot as it did out in Sorocaba, but it´s just about as hot as it was out there. At least we get rain out here. About every 3 days the sky falls at about 4 - 5 pm for about 30 minutes (wait, the sky falls... did anyone see Operation Skyfall?) cooling off the the city for the day, so it´s a little better here in the city.

Anyway, this week has been alright. We had some really solid investigators that were coming to church, and getting prepared to be baptized, but stopped when we started telling them that they have to get married. They had already received all of the lessons and everything, but the mom just was not interested at all in getting married. As we came out of church yesterday, we spotted the family crossing the street in front of the chapel. The mom looked like she was in a hurry to get across the street before anyone from the church could spot them. Too late. I gave them a nice friendly wave. They all saw it, but no one acknowledged that I was waving to them. Anyway, that was a bummer, but on Friday, we got a call from some guy that he wants to be baptized. He just got out of jail it sounds like, and he has had problems with drugs and alcohol, and now he says he wants to get his life turned around. Well, we just so happen to have the best information on how to do that. We marked a date for this Saturday, and we´re going to see what we can do.

It´s Halloween time and no one has even shown the slightest interest. Elder Ruiz Diaz and I thought about calling President Martins on his p-day to ask him what he was going to be for halloween, but we decided not to. It was his p-day and was probably busy studying. Oh, and he probably wouldn´t have found it very funny.

We had a big mission conference this last Tuesday. Usually our conferences are divided into 3 days, 1/3 each day. This time it was a special conference, so we had all of the missionaries from city, which was about 2/3, so I got to see a lot of my old companions and friends like Elder Davis, Elder Paxman, and Elder Larsen.  I talked with Elder Davis about college, and he´s applying to UVU too. All of my buddies are zone leaders. For me, I figure if I continue with my normal pattern, I´ll probably stay here and get a new companion and train again this next transfer. That´s my best guess as to what´s probably going to happen.

Is Dallin studying Preach My Gospel much? Is he finding much time to study? I had a decent grip on PMG and the scriptures before I left, but something I would like to have done more before leaving is study. Particularly chapter 3 of PMG and the scriptures that accompany the lessons in that chapter. Next week I´m going to send a few of the most common doubts that people have as we teach for him to answer with scriptures he´s found.

Lars´ costume worked out pretty well. I can remember Dallin always wanting to have the most difficult costumes ever, and almost always never ended up as what he originally wanted.

I´m excited that Jordan´s getting back out into the field. Now that he´s been home for so long, I´ve kind of caught up to him with how much time we both have on the mission. 

I´m at almost 1 year and 5 months now. It´s going to be over so fast. Every week gets away from me faster than the previous. Some days I´d love nothing more than to come home and just sit around, but there are quite a few days that I don´t even want anyone to talk about anything related to me going home. Everyone misses their mission, but I´m also going to miss Brasil. I absolutely hate how hot it is, but I think if I wasn´t walking in the sun all day with these clothes, it could be bearable. I really hope can find some job that brings me back here often. Lots of members tell me I´m going to marry a Brasileira, but I´m not so sure. I don´t like the idea of having to deal with two sides of the family that are two different countries and speak different languages. But who knows. We´ll just have to wait and see what happens after I´m back.

Anyway, that´s it for today. I´m going to try and work on those essays really quick. Até a próxima semana. Um abraço.
-Elder Candland

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 22

Well, this week here's what happened. The boy we baptized last week was confirmed in church yesterday; just barely. Saturday night was ``summer hour´´ or daylight savings. The clocks all got bumped up an hour, and he and his friends all forgot. Thank goodness this ward ends with sacrament meeting, because we went by his house at about 8:45 to walk to church with him, but no one was answering the door. After Elder´s Quorum we went back and they were all waking up. They all set their clocks an hour back rather than forward, so they were 2 hours behind. We waited in their house for about 40 minutes while they all took showers and got dressed, missing the entire second hour of church. We finally got their around 11:00. As we walked in, they called him immediately to the front and he was confirmed.

We now have 3 couples we need to get married. I´ve never actually had to help any of our investigators get married before they could be baptized, but when I arrived in this area, we got hit with 3 different unmarried couples that are living together and are investigating the church. Anyway, one such couple has 2 children that are both just old enough to baptize, and both want to. We wanted to talk to them about it and they ended up asking about where we go when we die, so we just jumped into the Plan of Salvation. As we were teaching they asked lots of questions. When we got to the part about physical death, we explained that your spirit keeps living and moves on to await the Resurrection. Then the older brother (11 years old) said ``So I don´t have to be scared to die?´´ and we said told him he doesn´t. Then he put his hands in his face and started crying. Then his mom started picking on him, asking why he was crying, and started laughing. In my mind I was like ``shut up mom, your son is grasping the gospel.´´ Anyway, since they were two young kids, we had to teach in a very simple way, and I ended up kind of taking over the lesson. Afterward my companion said he´d never had to teach kids before and said that as I was teaching I had even him wanting to raise his hand and start jump and yelling ``Me, me, pick me!´´ 

We also had our primary program yesterday. It was pretty good I suppose. I´m just too dang picky about music. Kids singing usually isn´t that great, but I don´t think a single kid was in tune or even singing actual notes. This ward is difficult too since there is no ward pianist. And it seems like non of the Elders here in this zone seem to understand a thing about music. I get frustrated sometimes during the opening hymn of our district meetings and stop singing. It doesn´t matter how loud I sing, trying to give them the right notes, after every bar we move to a different key. I wish people were like harmonica: no matter how hard you try, you can´t play a single note out of key or tune.

In my last area, we baptized a boy whose parents are both faithful Catholics and wouldn't let him be baptized for a long time, but he kept talking with the missionaries and asking his parents to support his decision, and after a few months, his parents finally let him be baptized. Baptism is a sacred and vital ordinance as well as a commandment, so if Shaini's friend were to gain a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and a sincere desire to be baptized by someone with the Priesthood, the Lord would help her accomplish that. 1 Nephi 3:7. It could very well be that the plan for her is to wait until she´s 18, but I don´t imagine the Lord would want her to wait, nor is He incapable of changing hearts.

Christmas is coming up and I´m thinking about things I could send again. I´m thinking this time I´ll probably just send a bunch of juice and candy, then when I come home, just bring home some cooler, less edible stuff. Any feedback on the juices I sent last time? Did you guys like anything in particular? It also just so happens that this house here still has the same box for the DVD player that I used to send my presents last time.

It´s getting really hot again. I don´t want to have to go through summer again. At least this time I´m a little more prepared emotionally. Anyway, I´ll talk to you guys again next week. 
-Elder Candland

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15

Oh man, reading all of the news about everyone throwing up started to make me feel a little sick too, but it´s probably because I ate this nasty sandwich for lunch. Actually it was delicious, but it was incredibly unhealthy. We went to the center of São Paulo again. There´s this huge shopping center on a street called 25 de Março. I´ve been there a few times, but this time I realized a little more just how cool it is there. Anyway, there´s this huge food market there too called the São Paulo Mercado Municipal, and there´s this famous sandwich there. Go to Google and type in lanche de mortadela mercado municipal and I´m sure you´ll find pictures. That´s what I ate. Anyway, we also made some buys... wait, that doesn´t make sense in English. We... bought... stuff. Elder Ruiz Diaz needed more white shirts. Then we hit up the really cheap tie shop. We each bought 4 ties, (oh ya, a recent convert took us there; his name is Antônio) so in total it was 12 ties for R$50 ($25). I bought myself a sweet t-shirt for R$10. 

Tell Shaini congratulations... well that´s what we say here. Happy Birthday is how you´d say it in English. 18 already. Get her out on a mission. Have them both email me sometime so I can pass on some stuff about getting ready for the mission. I hope they´re not already gone when I finally get back.

Elder Riuz Diaz is a pretty good companion. We get along rather well. I would say he´s a normal person. He only has About 5 months on the mission, so he´s got a lot to learn. I´m trying to be a good example and help him see how certain things should work; since his last companion was also fairly new too, there was a lot that they hadn´t learned yet.  Other than that, our companionship is good.

Anyway, this week was alright. We´re not doing all of the work that i´d like to, but we had a baptism this week. Bruno (another Bruno). He´s 20, just quit smoking, and seems sincere. He doesn´t seem to grasp everything; like he believes everything we say, which is good I suppose, but I´d prefer that he had a solid testimony because he recieved an answer to his prayers about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We´ll just need to keep working with him to get him a firm testimony.
Until next week.
-Elder Candland

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8

Conference was way good, from what I was able to watch. We had to work on Saturday, so we only got to watch the Sunday sessions. The talks Sunday were really good I thought, There was a lot good stuff that I got that I can use to help investigators and less-actives. Speaking of the new mission age, we've been talking with everyone about what's going to change as well. We've pretty much come to the same conclusions. I was thinking about how many more girls are going to be serving missions now. Now, I'd say to Shaini, Kortney, and Rylee instead of serving a mission if they feel like God wants them to, to plan on serving unless they feel like He has another plan for them.

I didn't mention much about the new area last week. First off, the house is pretty much a real house. First off, it's across the street from the church. We open our windows and the church is right there. If we ever need to talk to the ward leaders, we just wait until Tuesday night when everyone is there. The downstairs is a small living room with a couch and chair, and a small kitchen that has everything working. No broken sinks or stoves. Then, the stairs have carpet. I Don't know if you you guys can understand this, but for me it's awesome. I've seen very, very few houses here have carpet. Some people try and cheat by throwing down a nice rug, but it's not the same. Anyway, upstairs is the bedroom, a study, and then the bathroom. Everything upstairs is also working.

The bishop is our neighbor. He's from Texas. The members here really like to take care of the Elders. Every Sunday night we end the night at about 7:30 with a barbecue. The ward is great,  but the area is really difficult. We don't have many investigators yet. We try talking with people on the street, and few accept our message. I'm just used to being outside of the big city. Sorocaba was a lot friendlier.

Well, that's pretty much it for now. I got nothing yet. After being on the mission for this long, there's nothing new to write about. Speaking of which I only have 1 more General Conference here in Brasil. 1 more Christmas. 0 Birthdays. And then a few days. Oh that's right, mom asked about when I'm coming home. I don't have a for sure answer, but I'd guess around May 29th.

About Spanish. I'm in 2nd Nephi 5 and I understand most of what I'm reading, but it's all gospel related stuff. As for idiomatic phrases and everyday stuff, I'm not so good yet. Speaking is also difficult. Anyway, that's it. Until next week.
-Elder Candland

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 1

Well, I was transfered. I´m a little bummed. Elder Castillo was a good companion and the 3 kids from the less-active family we worked with were baptized this last Saturday. 

Anyway, I´m back in São Paulo. Jaçaná stake, Villa Sabrina ward. My companion is Elder Ruiz Diaz, another Uruguyan. I took it as a sign, so I started reading El Livro de Mormón (I´m in 1 Nephi 18 and understand about 90 of what I read) and I´m trying to speak Espanhol when we´re home. Our area has a lot of Bolivians, so I´d like to get a grasp on the language before too long so I can help them understand what I´m saying. It´s a little frustrating when they don´t understand Português since I´ve spent the last 1 1/3 practicing it.

Not a whole lot to talk about since I´ve only been here for about 4 days, but it´s been pretty decent so far. We have few investigators (for now). Elder Ruiz Diaz just ended his training and the it was the other Elder´s first area, so they weren´t doing everything they should have, most likely just because they didn´t know any better. I´m starting to feel like a pretty experienced Elder these days.

Anyway, we taught this awesome guy the other day. He lives in a very humble home with his small family, and he came to church with us yesterday. We marked to teach him at 4:00 afterward, and when we got there, we taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the holy ghost, endure to the end) and he was like ``I´m ready to be baptized. Tomorrow if it were possible.´´ so we decided it a good idea to invite him to be baptized. Right on.

Anyway, until next week.
-Elder Candland

September 24

Sounds like a pretty fun Mariners game to me. The last game we went to was slow and not much happened. I´m kind of wanting to go to a soccer game down here sometime. It sounds like a little more fun. When I come back, I´ll have to get some tickets.

Cool deal about the baptisms out there. I´m not sure how the Everett Mission is, but out here, we pretty much have to mark about 5 dates before one gets baptized. Not trying to say this family isn´t going to be baptized. When people comes to church just all on their own, they´re almost always baptized. We also have some baptisms coming up soon. We´ve got 3 for sure this saturday. These 3, I´m super excited to see them baptized. We´ve been working with them for the last 3 months, and the dad just recieved the priesthood last Sunday. Both got callings yesterday, and we´ve marked for the dad to baptize his kids this Saturday. I really hope that their bishop lets them get sealed around May, because I want to be there. I don´t know if I´ll come down in July just after getting back.

The weather is back down to about 75 degrees, which kind of feels cold to me. Our shower broke about 3 weeks ago, so we were just taking cold showers during those really hot days, but when the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped to about 70, the water felt like it was about 35 degrees. A member just gave us his hold shower and I installed it (on my own I might add) last night. We got to take warm showers again. It just started raining here about 4 days ago. The day before, Elder Castillo and I started praying a lot that we could have some rain because it was REALLY hot. Not even kidding, it was near 100 degrees during the afternoon. Anyway, our prayers were answered, and we´ve been praying that we could have at least clouds to keep it cooler out, and so far, our prayers are being answered. I doubt that just we were praying though. I bet at least all of the other missionaries and most of the city were praying too.

Anyway, I´ve got some pictures to send now. No more lizards, but I´m curious if Lars like the last ones I sent.

This is Adrianna (the mom), Iasmin (the oldest daughter), and Emily. Adrianna is the lady who was baptized about 4 weeks ago. Iasmin and Emily showed me this game they play. It´s just rock, paper, scissors, but every time you lose, you have to spread your feet about 2 inches, but if you fall, you lose, and if you finally do the splits completely, you also lose.

We made Chileno hot dogs today. Completos. I finally understand what that kid from Kid History was talking about.

This is why they´re called completos. Because they´re complete. Hot dog, guacamole, tomato, onions fried up with chunks of bacon, hot sauce, cream cheese, and garlic.

I also just bought this sweet shirt. The collar is a zipper that comes out of the left arpit. Also, my legs are really white.

-Elder Candland