Monday, February 25, 2013

February 25

We had another baptism this week. It was insane. I´ve never had a baptism this crazy. It was just one girl, but we had lots of problems. Anyway, she´s had boyfriend problems recently, and was hoping to have him baptize her. Then the night before, he broke up with her, for the second time. Anyway, she called to tell me that I was going to baptize her instead. The, we go to the chapel a little earlier to see if our ward mission leader was filling up the font. When we got there, we noticed that there wasn´t any water. We called the ward leaders to figure something out, and eventually found out that the water was turned off (ya, there´s a single valve in the front of the church that a small child can reach). We turned it on, but it took forever to start something. By the time we had water coming out of the sink where the teachers prepare the sacrament, most of the people were there. We started running buckets of water from the sink, through the sacrament meeting room, to the font. Eventually the bishop showed up, and he ripped the fire hose off the wall and got the font filled up in about 20 minutes. But, while we were waiting for the font to fill up, there was some drama with her ex-boyfriend´s parents. They came to watch the baptism, and apparently didn´t know that he had ended things with her. They seemed pretty upset, especially the mom, because the girl was practically crying nonstop at her own baptism. She asked the dad to baptized her, but the mom didn´t want him to because it was supposed to be her son, then the mom started crying. In the end, she was baptized by the dad, and she seemed happy. Nonetheless, it was pretty crazy. Hopefully this story makes sense.

Anyway, my companion is doing pretty well for being 12 days away from going home. He helps quite a bit, but it´s still really difficult here since I don´t know any of the members, or even the area very well yet. I had almost 3 weeks in the area when it all fell into my hands. That´s half the normal time. Oh well, we´re finding lots of new people to teach.

That´s pretty exciting to hear about Dallin´s call. I´m slightly disappointed that he´s not coming to Brasil too. I was hoping to be able to share lots off cool things with him if he was called to Brasil. At least we have an entire month together before he´s gone though.

Well, I think that´s the excitement for the week.
-Elder Candland 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 18

Well, this week was going well until today. We got a call from President Martins at about 11:30 saying that Elder D. Santos is being transferred to another area. He had about 6 hours to be ready to leave. Now, we're just waiting for President to get here and take him away and leave my new companion. It´s a big bummer. I liked Elder D. Santos, my new companion is going home after this transfer, so he might be trunky, and I don't know the area super well yet.

So, here´s a cool story. Actually, I have 2 cool stories. First: the family from Parque das Laranjeiras (the ward I passed through a few months ago) just opened up a luncheonette down the street from our house, so I get to see them often, and they give us free food when we pass by (I try not to pass by too often). Second story: Another family from that same ward that I helped get reactivated just before leaving, has a bunch of family and friends in the area in which I´m currently working, and they've marked several appointments with us and these friends. Basically, because of an inactive family we worked with about 5 months ago, I´m getting a lot of really good references now.

It´s really hot here again. When I first came back to Sorocaba, I had some luck; it was about 22 degrees, overcast every day. Now it´s up to 28, and the sun is absolutely frying us now.

That´s about it for today. I´ll be back in about 30 minutes to finish up my email. We´re out of time. President's gonna be here soon.
-Elder Candland 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 13

So, this week was pretty crazy. I have a lot to write about especially with two more days to write about.

First thing. We had a baptism. Adriana. She has a friend who took her to church at another ward in our stake, and she converted really quickly. She said that the idea of an eternal family got her super interested, then she prayed about the Book of Mormon. We met her my first week here, and she got baptized on Saturday. What makes it cool is that she was a reference from a member from another ward who was baptized without much time for the ward to prepare. Anyway, there's another girl who was going to church with her boyfriend in another ward. We had spoken with her because she wanted to get baptized in her boyfriend's ward, but she lives in our ward boundaries. It caused a lot of problems. The two bishops needed to speak, then they needed to talk to their stake presidents, then they stake presidents with our mission president who would take it up the the area presidency. Anyway, she called today wanting to get baptized here. Turns out her boyfriend was a jerk and woke up one day, just not feeling anything else for her and dumped her. She was already really excited to be baptized, but she doesn't care if it's in her boyfriend's ward anymore. Saturday this week, we have another baptism to get all set up.

Okay, next big story. We were walking on the street and some guy asked us if we carry the word to others. I wasn't in the mood to be sarcastic and pull out my bible and read a single word to him, so I just said that we do. He said "OK, there's a lady here who needs your help. Her husband just died and she needs to hear the word." I told him to take us to her, and when we showed up, there were a bunch of other people, all somber, in front of the house, so I figured that it was some kind of open-house mourning thing. As I stepped in front of the door, it opened up, and a lady came out bawling. She ran over to another lady who was on the phone. As she left the front door, I looked inside, and noticed there was a body laying on the floor. That completed destroyed my open-house theory. It turns out that he had died about 15 minutes before we got there. Anyway, after she talked on the phone with some other people, then passed out, we sat her on a chair and gave her some water. While she was there, I went and kneeled down in front of her (I'm not sure why I kneeled, it just felt awkward standing over her) and explained to her that we were messengers of Jesus Christ and that we would like to share a message with her to try and help her find a little peace. We explained the plan of salvation; left a copy of the Book of Mormon with her, telling her that if she ever needed to find some peace, to read; then we left her with a prayer. While we were speaking with her, she was trying to respond, but was so panicked that she forgot to breathe between sentences. After the prayer, she was much more calm. She managed to stand up and go inside to start cleaning up before the family showed up. After that, I never saw her again, but I think we were able to help her find a little more peace in that moment.

That same day, we had a problem with a maggot infestation out back by our washing machine. There was an awful smell of rotten meat, but we couldn't find anything. We just swept up all of the maggots, threw down some alcohol, burned them all, then mopped the floor with every cleaning material we had in our house; bleach, floor cleaner, laundry soap, dish soap, and mouth wash (for a minty smell).

So, it was Carnival this weekend. Tuesday was the last of this 5-day holiday. Usually, all of the parades and stuff happen in the center of Sao Paulo, or near the beach. Anyway, on the main road of our neighborhood, just up the road about 30 ft. from our house, everyone was throwing a huge party with lots of "funk" and alcohol and marijuana. We swung by our house around 6:00 pm to get some water, and as we were on our front porch watching, about 5 police SUVs flew up our road, throwing tear gas grenades out the window. Everyone took off running and the police got out of their cars with shotguns, MP5s, riot shields, etc. and cuffed a few people. Then, for the next hour, no one was allowed through that road, so we just stuck around in our house watching everything go down. While we were watching, about 5 more police cars, 8 motorcycle cops, a mobile station, and a helicopter showed up. Alright, so this sounds crazy right? I never heard a single gunshot or anyone police yelling or anything. And the worst is that when we came home around 9:00, the partying was back in the street about 5 times worse than it was earlier, and the police never showed up again. We figure the police just wanted to scare everyone early so they could all enjoy the last night of Carnival too.

Front room with Porch

Outside the Kitchen
I come sit on the roof at night to catch a cool breeze and look at the city.


Here´s Jesus GuaranĂ¡. It tastes like bubblegum.
Fo´ Real X

-Elder Candland

Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4

Well, I´m quite happy to be out here in Sorocaba again. It´s hot, but it hasn´t been too hot yet. Since it´s already February, it shouldn´t get too much hotter than it already has been. Oh, and just as a bit of information, this transfer is only 5 weeks, as well as my last transfer. It´s 5, 6, 5 and I´m home. I´m hoping this is my last area. I really don´t want to have to pack everything up only 5 weeks before really packing up for the last time.

Anyway, my new companion is Elder D. Santos. He´s Brasilian. He´s kind of got a badboy personality; a little arrogant, likes to work out without a shirt on, and everything for him is ``sweet´´ or ``sick.´´ We seem to get a long well though. He´s not picky or whiney.

I found out that our house has a glass bottle for GuaranĂ¡ that is returnable. I´m going to try and get the most out of it before coming  home. R$1,25 per liter. That´s like $0.75. And it´s in a glass bottle, so the flavor is a little better.

Anyway, upon arriving, I looked at the area map and noted that near the south of our area, there´s this tiny little bridge that connects our area to Parque das Laranjeira, my last area, entering right next to a family I helped reactivate and get the kids baptized. On Thursday, we had a lesson right on the edge or our area, so afterward, we hopped on over to see them really quick. It was really cool to see them again. Everyone is now an active member and they talk about the ward and church as though the´ve never been inactive. When I showed up they were like ``Candylord, you´re back!´´ For some reason I was known by them as Candylord. It happend in a district meeting. Someone wrote my name on the board, and people started messing with it. Here are the steps it took to get to Candylord:
  1. Candland
  2. Candyland
  3. Candylond
  4. Candylord
You can see how it makes sense, right?

Anyway, the area is pretty good. It doesn´t feel like a difficult area. I feel like these next few months we can really get some good work done before I come home.

There´s this guy in our area who has a really nice red Camaro. It turns out he´s a loan shark. Well, I just won't take out any loans from this guy. He also owns a really nice hardware store near our home.

I´m glad to hear that Dallin probably will be home when I get back. I was almost happy that he took so long getting his papers in, to keep him home a little longer. 

Speaking of the Super Bowl, we ran into some guy yesterday while looking for an old investigator, and he was about to watch the superbowl. He seemed to be pretty excited, but no one else has even mentioned a thing to me.

Anyway, that´s about it for now. I don´t have much else to talk about since I´m new here.
-Elder Candland