Monday, April 22, 2013

April 15

Sorry for the late email. We were in the LANhouse writing President Martins when the Internet dropped. We didn´t have time to go find another place to finish our email.

Anyway, at least you´ll get to know about my last transfer before next Monday. Elder Nascimento and I were transferred to the same area together. Our new area is called Julio de Mesquita. The Elders there are coming here to our area. It´s a really strange transfer, and I don´t have a clue as to why yet, but the other Elders called last night to try and coordinate the switch. They mentioned that President called them that afternoon and said that he had a dream the night before that they needed to be transferred to another area together. So I can say that my first and last transfers were decided because of dreams. I just took a look at my first blog entry to see if I mentioned anything about my first transfer. Let me tell that story now too:

The morning of our first transfer, President Martins showed up and started talking to us new missionaries, and he asked us if any of us had received some sort of revelation about where we would be assigned for our first areas. No one said anything, so he asked if we´d had any dreams or anything. Obviously he was just kidding, but I decided to go along with it. I said that I hadn´t had any dreams about my new area, but the night before I had dreamt that I was Batman in a space station fighting some villain. Then President started to think a little, repeating the name `batman,´ then said, ``Ah, Perdizes. I think you´ll go to Perdizes.´´ And that´s where I went; to start my mission in Perdizes with Elder Santiago in the neighboring area of Tanner Paxman.

I´m pretty disappointed to be leaving this area though. We´ve left it in pretty good condition. Lots of new investigators, several people who will be baptized, and a couple of investigators who just need a little help to decide to be baptized. I´m really hoping that the Lord has lots of plans for us in this next area.

Good to hear that Grandpa is doing better. And I don´t really think it´s weird that you were telling Grandpa´s family that they couldn´t have him yet. Something I´ve learned here on the mission is that when we plan for the next day, there are angels present planning with us to go and prepare the people who we plan to visit the next day (D&C 84:88). Sometimes before planning I clean up my desk because I´m a little embarrassed to have them there planning with us and my desk is messy.

To add to Stuart´s comment about fast and testimony meeting, it´s true. Most times the Bishop has to get up and say that only the people on the stand will be able to bear their testimonies because the meeting is about to end. Almost always. This last Sunday was an exception. It was just a constant stream of testimonies until the very last minute. When the last person on the stand bore his testimony, it was time to end the meeting, ending it smoothly.

Well that´s it. We have to go to lunch now. We also have a TON of work to do before leaving the area since both of us are leaving, we have to leave everything perfect for the other Elders. 

Until next Monday.
-Elder Candland

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 8

That´s not so good to hear grandpa isn´t doing so well. I´ll remember him in my prayers.

It was my last General Conference on the mission. It was kind of lame to be honest. During the first session, our building had problems with English, so all we got was some lame subtitles underneath. The second session was great, with English working perfectly. Then, on Sunday, we went to my old ward´s building to watch there because it was closer. They had English too, but no one else there was watching it in English, and I couldn´t stay alone, so I had to watch it in Português. Oh well, it was probably the first and last time I´ll have to watch a dubbed session of conference. I won´t lie, it was not so great. The translator is kind of slow, and doesn´t even try to capture the emotion of the speaker. 

We´re teaching this boy who knows the church is true. He says that he knows that the Book of Mormon is true and gets mildly irritated when his friends from other churches tell him he´s wrong. The only problem is that he was reading in 2 Nephi 31:14 that says: But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, (...) and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me. He´s worried that he´ll fall short afterward. We´ve done everything we can think of to help him; even several members have tried speaking with him, but he´s fixed on this idea.

This last Tuesday President Martins called all of the missionaries together for a special meeting. He showed us a a video of him on a show here in São Paulo where he was invited, with 3 other church leaders from other churches, to speak about a religious topic. It was about what the appearance of Christ should be like since he was born of Judaic decent. It was interesting, but since he knew he´d be on television in about 50,000 homes here in São Paulo, he made the best of it and taught several principles of the restored gospel and of the church. Basically mentioning eternal families, faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost, authority, and the Book of Mormon. In the end, he knocked on about 50,000 doors in about 40 minutes. Know we just need to find people who watched this program and help them learn more.

Well, I pretty much have only one transfer left. The next transfer starts on April 17th, but it´s only 5 weeks long, so a normal 6-week transfer starts this Wednesday.

Anyway, I hope everything works out up there between grandpa, mom being out of town, crunch week, and the rest of the kids. I´ll talk to you next week, and I´ll try and get a quick letter typed up now for UVU.
-Elder Candland 

April 1

We went to the city center today. It´s not quite as intense as São Paulo´s center, but I found some cool stuff to bring home.

This weekend was pretty good for us. At the cake party last Saturday, we had an investigator there, and our ward missionary started talking to her and scheduled FHE with her family on Friday night. So Friday night we arrive, and this lady also invited her grandchildren and some nieces and nephews. She also recently adopted 3 little kids. FHE was basically just a primary lesson with about 10 kids between ages 5 and 11, a young man who is close to baptism, and his mom. Saturday we had a baptism, and on Sunday, we managed to have 11 investigators at church. Of that family we taught Friday night, we brought 7 of them to church, but since 2 of them aren´t old enough to baptize, we actually had 13 people at church. All of the little kids wanted to sit with us during Sacrament meeting, so my companion and I sat with what looked like half of the primary. We were running around the church all day helping out with gospel principles, speaking to the primary, finding people to sit with the investigators, taming little kids during sacrament meeting, finding rides home for a bunch of people, going up to the stand to confirm Douglas, etc. We felt pretty cool.

Easter here is different, and to be honest, kind of lame. During this time of year, the stores start selling a bunch of chocolate eggs about the size of a football. Most ar hollow with more chocolate inside. The kids eggs are just like big Kinder eggs (actually Kinder also makes this big eggs here for easter) with small toys inside. Last year I scored a Ben 10 Omnitrix. This year I just got some chocolates from a few members.

Transfers are April 17th. Then my last transfer ends May 22nd. It´s another trasnfer of only 5 weeks. It sounds like this year we have two 5-week transfers because the transfer was going to fall on the day of Christmas, and the area presidency wasn´t going to be cruel to thousands of families waiting to hear from their children that morning.

I remembered something else I really want to eat. I haven´t eaten crab or shrimp since before the mission. I really want some good seafood. It´s really rare here. Every now and then someone fries up some trout or cod. I think I could count the times I´ve eaten fish on 3 hands. I only have 2 though.

Anyway, President let us now a few weeks ago that there is a rule on how much time we can spend for email. He said no more than one hour. With writing to president, sending our numbers to the First Presidency, reading your emails, then replying, I don´t have much time. At least today I won´t be able to send a letter to UVU or Eastern. Maybe this week I can write a draft on paper, then next P-Day I just copy it quickly.

Anyway, I have to go. We have an appointment at 6:00 sharp on the other side of our area. We gotta fly now, and this sun isn´t forgiving. 

This is Douglas. We met him just over a week ago. 

Until next week.
-Elder Candland 

March 25

Yep, 8 p-days left. It´s coming fast. I´m already almost half-way done with this transfer.

Man, a lot of young men are heading out before I´ll be back. Even a few that I thought would be home still when I come home. That´s too bad. I´ll have to wait 2 more years to see them again.

Speaking of mother´s day, there is a family here that can help us out with Skype, but I´m not planning on staying here in this area until the end of my mission. I bet President sends me to one more place before I´m home.

Speaking of President Martins, he spoke in the neighboring stake´s Stake Conference yesterday. It turns out that during his talk about the doctrine of Christ, he pulled out white baptismal clothes from his briefcase, and invited anyone who wasn´t yet baptized to be baptized that very day after the conference. Afterward, they filled the baptismal font with the fire hose and baptized a young man then and there.

We found a young man on Saturday. I´ve never seen anyone looking so sincerely for the truth. He said that he was praying specifically that God would show him which church he should follow, and received an answer the next day. We invited him to be baptized on the next Saturday and he accepted. The only problem is if the Bishop will let us baptize him this Saturday or not. Since I arrived in the area, the 2 of the 3 people we´ve baptized here were baptized on Saturday, then confirmed in their first sacrament meeting. I guess the bishop and other ward leaders are kind of concerned with baptizing people so soon. I think they´re worried about staying active in the ward. To me, whether or not they´ve gone to church yet doesn´t really matter to be baptized. The real preparation is their faith, not knowledge or friendships. Just like Christ called his apostles; they left everything without even truly knowing who it was that called them.

This weekend, was pretty funny. First off, we had a really fun ward activity. Since we had several investigators there, we got to participate. It was a cake competition that the Elder´s Quorum put on. Only the men could make the cakes, and the Relief Society judged all of the cakes. It turned out to be an awesome with lots of participation. We expected about 8 cakes, but ended up with about 14. We got lots of compliments on our cake. Anyway, aside from the activity, Elder Nascimento caught a cold Friday night and lost his voice, so Saturday and Sunday, I had to teach most of the lessons. Tonight I´ll probably have to do the same.

Stuart missed cookies. I miss pop tarts. Particularly cinnamon, s´mores, and fudge pop tarts. If you happen to remember 8 weeks from now, take some of those with you when you go to the airport.

Last week, we received an email from the area presidency saying that we can now email anyone. Ask Jordan if he checks his email much these days and to send me an email. Any other friends or family you think would want to send an email before I´m home are also welcome. ( )

Well, that´s all for this week. I´ll send some photos from the cake competition. 

Here´s a cute photo. I found some nice green fields at the edge of our area. I stood in the picture to prove that I was there. Also to prove that I´m putting on a little weight.

Here´s our cake. I decorated it. That´s mousse we used for our frosting. It was kind of warm and runny still, so it didn´t turn out so pretty.

Here are all of the cakes.

-Elder Candland