Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 16th, 2013

Hello everybody!! So this was the first week of the transfer and it was awesome! My new companion is Elder Mendes, and he is from Santa Catarina, but lived in Utah for six months studying English! He is way way cool! We get along great, and he is a super hard worker! We are going to work some miracles here in the area! So as my title shows, I have been in an all out war with the mosquitos. Its getting pretty warm here, and so the mosquito race is growing at an increasing rate. So last night I went all out, and built a fort around my bed of blankets to protect myself, and put a shirt over my head and socks on my hands to proect myself... but I was outsmarted by the little critters.... Today I will buy some weapons to destroy their race... bug spray... yeah, Im going all out!

So this week was actually really really awesome with Elder Mendes! I am feeling the Spirit so strong when I terasch with him! Yesterday I had the experience of teaching a lesson about the word of wisdom, and I really felt that the Spirit put words in my mouth of what I should have said.; It was REALLY cool, because the guy had some big doughts, but because of that spirit he ended up accepting it and wanting to live it!! So that was awesome!

Yesterday, a miracle happened! So we jsut ended church and we were walking to our apartment to put our suits in our apartment, and a lady walked up to us and said, "Can I talk to you?" So we started talking and she said that she has been going to a christian church for a long time, but felt like there was so much more that she was missing. She said that a friend had given her a book of mormon, and when she read it, she felt so much peace, and started being able to sleep again (she was having insomnia)! And then she said... "So I want to follow this religion... how can I?" Thats like candy for a missionaries ears!!! It was such a miracle! As she was talking I just had such a strong feeling in my chest that was the spirit, and AHHHH! I love being a misisonary! Her name is Jovelina, and we are going to start teaching her this week!

We also have two guys we are teaching that are going to be baptized next week! They are named Claudio and Marcelo! What happened was a while ago, I talked to Claudio on the road, and invited him for church! He ended up going a few weeks later, and brought his son Marcelo, who has 30 years. They ahve gone to church the last 4 Sundays and are loving it, and are friends with a bunch of people in the ward already! They are super super super smart guys, but love the church because it accepts science and religion! They are so so cool, and next Saturday is their baptism! They are very excited for it!!!

So yeah! As for skype, I will be calling 3 O CLOCK MY TIME!!!!!! I dont know for sure what it is your time, but yeah! Be sure to send me the user name and stuff to call!!! But thats just about it I think! It was an awesome awesome week! I love you all, keep being awesome!

PS These pictures are from a few weeks ago I just never had the chance to send them!


December 9th, 2013

Hello everybody so its that time of the month again!!! Thats right, transfers!!! Haha I will be sticking in Fragata for a little bit more, which means I will spend Christmas in this area!! Yeah!!! So also, send me the name of your skype and whatnot and I will skype you guys on Christmas! So Im pretty excited about that! Also, my package got released from captivity from the mail pirates, so it should be coming to Pelotas soon.
Anyways so this week I did a few emergency divisions with some other missionaries! As would be expected, Elder Aramayo wasnt super happy that I talked to President, so he decided to get all mad at me. So I went on splits with the zone leaders and another missionary, Elder Paz the day after. It was actually really really good. I felt the Spirit and I felt more like a missionary. Lately, its been hard to feel like a missionary with the other missioanries around me doing un missionary like things, but when I was on splits I felt so good. It was like a refresher!
Um so this week our lunch appointment fell so we had to cook in our house... And I made some freakin awesome Tacos!!! I even made the tortilhas from scratch!! Pretty awesome right!! I made guacamole, aand like everything! It was so good! It made me miss Arizona a little bit, but its all good!
Connor I am so happy that you are participating in the missioanry work!!! Thats so so awesome!!! Its alot of fun huh!!! Its so much better when the members are involved and helping! Keep up the good work buddy!!!
And yeah, as for people that we are teaching, we found alot of people taht seemed so so awesome during the first lesson, that ended up running away and hiding from us! Its actually kinda funny sometimes. But lets face it, Im a pretty scary guy!
But one thing that s really cool. In the beginning of the transfer I talked to a lady on the street named Fortunata. She gave her adress, but she lives in the middle nof nowhere and so it was hard to visit her! But this week we ended up getting a chance to go there and she said that she was waiting for us for a long time! So im pretty excited to start teaching Fortunata! But yeah!!
Anyways thats about it for my week! I love you all and hope you all have a great week!!!! And Im sorry, I have pictures again but once again this computer doesnt send pictures.... oh Brasil. Ha, I love you all!

December 2nd, 2013

Soooo one more week has passed here in the wonderful Brasil!! So first of alllllll for THANKSGIVING... I didnt do anything sadly. I wanted to go eat churrasco, but we marked with an investigator that ended up not even fasting. But it was still good! I remembered that im grateful for  so much stuff. Haha it was awesome to see that you all had fun!! So this week I mailed a package for you guys for Christmas!! You should be getting it soon!
So this week was good! So all this transfer we have been struggling to find really solid people to teach, we are teaching lots of people but not alot are progressing. But this week we started teaching an awesome awesome lady named Aline! We went to teach her and started teaching and talking and she asked the question, "How can we recognize answers to our prayers" and "what does the holy ghost feel like'" before we even started teaching!! She is super awesome! I have high hopes for her!!! So that was really awesome! I always feel the spirit so strong when I ask quesions and answer questions. So Im excited for her!
Soooo I have a little bit of bad news... My Christmas package arrived in Porto Alegre... but the mail system is holding it hostage. I had to bail it out with 300 reais from my emergency fund... It happens when the value is really high on a box or its really heavy, and so they tax it. So I gave President the money and it should arrive in Pelotas soon. But if you could, can you put some money in my account so I can recharge my emergency fund?
And so yeah! Yesterday we had a devotional with President Castro for the Pelotas and the Pelotas North stake! All of the missionaries sang in a choir and it was way cool! And afterwards President said he wanted to have an interview with me and Aramayo. So today we had the interview and President asked me to tell him everything. He said it was right what I did even though it was really hard. For right now he is still my companion, but I might switch until the end of the transfer, I dont know yet! But Im very grateful for him.
So that was my week!! I love you all so much!! You are awesome and Im very grateful for all of you! Thanks for everything!!! Sorry I cant sedn picutres this week the computer isnt recognizing my flashdrive.. .Dang Brasil... Haha Tchau!

November 25th, 2013

Hello my wonderful family!! So this week being the week of thanksgiving, I would like to write how thankful I am that I am a family that supports me so well! Lots of missionaries dont have supportive families, or they are the only members in their family, but I am so grateful that all of you are supporting me and still showing so much love. I am also so grateful for the scriptures! I am learning so much adn feeling the spirit so strongly! And I am thankful for my mission, because I feel like Im growing up alot, and yeah! Im just thankful for so much!! But mom, for the thanksgiving rolls, you can put I am thankful for a supportive family that helps me with anything I need.
Anyways, this week was a good week! We are teaching this elderly woman named Nelsa, and she is super cool! She is pretty old, but recieves the messages well! We taught her the restoration and showed her an image of the first vision! She said that she had a dream one time of the exact same image!! Pretty cool huh? So we invited her to come to church and she said she wouldnt make any promises, which normally means no. But this Sunday she came all on her own! It was awesome! It takes alot of courage to jsut go to a new church alone, so I was super happy about that!
This week I ate sugar cane for the first time! It was really good haha! It looks like bamboo, but you eat the inside and chew it, and this sugary juice comes out of the sugar cane! It was super super good haha! So yeah!!
But yeah. Also, Im so grateful to have recieved a firm testimony about this gospel. Yesterday we were teaching this man Eduardo, and he knows alot about scientific stuff and whatnot, and pretty much ended up telling me that my testimony and answer to my prayers were all in my head. Yeah so naturally, I didnt get to happy when he said that, but I was so happy to be able to say that I know for sure that it was true. And as I said that I felt in my heart again, that it was true. I am so grateful for that too:)
But yeah! Carson, sorry to hear about your finger!!! But Im sure you are lovin the atention from the ladies... HAHAHA just kidding. Dad sorry to hear about your ribs. Hope you feel better soon! I will probably send your Christmas presents this week! I hope you like them! And mom I dont have a picture of me and him on my camera... Im sorryyyy.... 

 Me with a sugar cane!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tudo tranquilo?!

November 18th, 2013
Hello my family, how are you all doing!! I hope you are all well!! Carson you look so old with braces... how long are you going to have them on!? Thats pretty awesome! Dad I understood your portugues! Thats awesome that you could understnad my leter that I wrote in Portugues! And also so awesome that mom wont need to work as much!! What a blessing!!! Im so happy that everything is going so well! Im very blçessed to have such a good family!
So this week I learned a new word in Portugues! Morcego! Let me tell you how I learned this word.... we were headed back home on Friday night and got a call from the other missionaries that live in our house that a morcego invaded our house and was hiding in our room. I thought it was a joke, and didnt even know what a morcego was.... So we got back in our house, and my companions gave me an umbrella to protect myself. I didnt even know what I was protecting myself from... So I went in our room, started looking around... Put my hand on my laundry basket and found.... A BAT!!!!! Haha I almost had a heart attack! Luckily that type of bat just eats fruits er something.... but I freaked out!!!!! Haha just in Brasil....
Anyways about the work here in Fragata! It is very different then Capão! Its pretty hard to find new people to teach, but we got a referral for a family that orded a church video on the internet. We went to deliver the video and it is a family totally awesome!!!! We are going to visit there tonight to teach them again, but I think that they have alot of potential!
As for Mayara, she doesnt even live in our area!! The missionaries in this area before us found her house and didnt let us know that it isnt even in our area... so thats kind of a bummer, I think we will talk to the missionaries in her area to start teaching her. Its a little sad because she was doing so well, but you gotta do what you gotta do!!
Anyways, about the letter to President about my companion, as of right now nothing happened... but we will see what happenes this week. I love you all so much and hope you are well!! Im thinking about you!! Have a great week family!!!! Até Mais!


Nov 11th, 2013
Hello my awesome family I hope you all are doing well! I am missing you all so much but its crazy that next month I will be able to skype you!! It will be way cool. But yeah so right now it is raining a bunch and it is craziness! Last night there was a huge lightning that shook the apartment and it was crazy!! Haha but yeah! I feel like the summer will never come! Its november and Im still using a jacket!
So this week was a good week! I am really loving the ward here! The bishop is actually the brother in law of the bishop in my last area and he is way awesome and super dedicated. We had a meeting of ward council and he explained a plan to help the ward with the missionary work, but also to resue members that have fallen away. I liked it a lot and I am really excited to help this ward.
So this week there is a chance that we will be baptizing a girl named Mayara. She is 19 years old and is very smart, but because she is so smart she really like to question things. She feels a difference in the church and while she reads the Book of Mormon, and I think she knows its true, she is just having a hard time having faith to make that step. She speaks English fluent, and so the other day I taught her that if she waits to know for sure that the church is true before baptism, the certainty will never come. If she had a certainty, she wouldnt be using faith, and baptism is an act of faith. It takes alotttt of faith to be baptised because its natural to want to know for sure. But I told her that when she is baptised she will feel a confirmation that she did the right thing. Faith faith faith!!! Everything in the church is an act of faith.
So yeah! Also we are working with a lady named Maria, who is the mom of a girl named Dara, who is a member. We have only taught her one time, but I had a feeling really interesting whe we taught her. It was a feeling that her "hour" to be baptized is going to be soon. So we are going to help her all we can!!
But yeah so my companion has some issues with obedience and some other things. Some pretty big things. I really feel like a letter to President Castro is the best way I can help him, becasue he is going to ruin his life if he continues like this. He is probably going to hate me forever, but its what I have to do. So wish me luck haha...
But that was my week! I love you all so much and miss you! I hope you are all well! Until next week!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Primeira semana no Fragata!

Hello everybody!!! I love to hear that you are all doing well! Your Halloween costumes were very awesome I was very impressed! They dont have Halloween here so it was a little anticlimatic... but Im busy doing the Lords work. But in Brasil they have Dia das Almas, which is just a day when everybody visits the cemetary and whatnot nothing big, but we had a zone activity and we passed out pamphlets that talked about the Plan Of Salvation!! So that was Legal!
Haha mom your story about the disaster situation was hilarious.. .Carson Im glad the Piano was still working when the power went out. Naturally that should be the first thing to check when the power goes out.Haha but Im glad you had a good Halloween!!
So about my week! First of all my new companion isnt Elder Araújo, its Elder Aramayo. When my district leader called to tell me last week he said the wrong name. He is Argentinan and has a reallllly strong Argentinan accent haha. He is cool haha.
The area that I am in is pretty cool! The members here are super strong and Ive already developed some friendships! My friend Elder Jackson was serving in this area and did a great job and so its awesome to see the people he helped! And he went to my old area so he gets to see the people I helped! But its going pretty good here!
This week we had a conference with Presidente Mazzargardi who is in the Presidency of the Brasil South area! It was really really awesome and I learned alot, but specifically how I can sacrifice my will for the will of the father. He spoke about a cleansing process that missioanries need to have, and as we cleanse and sancitify oursleves we will be more ready to followthe will ofthe Lord. He spoke about our role in the Plan of God and it was really really awesome!!
But yeah thats about it for this week! Nothing too crazy, but here in a few weeks I should get settled in!! Haha I hope you all are well! I love you so much.

Mais uma semana!

Hello family! So first of all, I will be transfered tooooooo FRAGATA! Its a bairro of Pelotas, but a different zone! My companion is going to be Elder Araújo, and Ive already met him before he is way cool!!! Im excited!!

I am pretty sad that I will be leaving but I am excited to serve there! I feel like I have learned so much in this area and I am excited to see what my next area will bring!

But this week was a great week! This week we really have been trying to help Aureci and Niara feel more ready for baptism! Niara is ready and she has been ready for a while for baptism, but we are trying to help Aureci the best we can! He is having a hard time just having faith in Christ to begin with, but he is really trying to recieve an answer I think. They went to church with us yesterday and Niara loved it! She even found out that a friend from her work was a member! And Aureci would have loved it... if he could here. He told us he didnt hear one word.... Its pretty hard to enjoy sitting for 3 hours when you cant hear anything.... I think him and Niara are going to try getting him a hearing aid er something. Its just really expensive.

Yesterday somethin really cool happened! So it was my last Sunday in the ward so I gave a talk, and so this week I prayed and studied and wrote a talk during the week. But speaking in Public isnt one fo my strengths, and I was nervous because my talk was supposed to be 15 minutes or more, so I wrote out a long talk on paper and yeah! I prayed a bunch that I would have strength to talk for a long time, with good portugues, and that my talk would help people. When I got up there to talk I only looked at my notes to read the scriptures that I wrote! The rest I just spoke! And it was awesome! I had such a great feeling during the talk, not a feeling of nervousness, but a good feeling! It was awesome! Haha and the bishop ahad to telll me that my time was up because I was talking for so long! But it was such an awesome feeling to recieve an answer so direct to my prayer!

But yeah so those were the highlights of the week! Also this week it rained a ton and the roads got all flooded and whatnot, so we ended up walking to lunch in flip flops... she lived close and it wet shoes are the worst... And she told us to. What can you do haha.... 

But yeah I love you all! Thanks for all you do for me! I dont need anything but thanks for always offereing:) I love you all!


Hello from apple world!

Hello everybody!! So first of all, only the people who watch Spongebob will understand the title, but I have been eating lots of apples this week. Haha so this week has been awesome! We did lots of cool things and whatnot! But yeah! Mom thats so scary about the ladder incident.. I hope you are okay!! Thats so scary!!! I really hope you are okay! Connor... of course he would be captain america on the homecoming float... anyways.

So this week was really awesome!! This week we had a zone conference and I got to see my friends Elder Harris and Elder Jackson!! They are awesome and so it was great to see them again. The conference was way awesome! I love every chance to hear Presidente Castro! He is awesome and it was very spiritual! That day was the day of Elder Galdinos birthday so we decided to eat at the Lobão, or (Big Wolf), which is maybe the best churrasco restaurant in Rio Grande do Sul. Im sending photos but yeah... it was epic. It was way expensive, but luckily I have been saving my coins and change for 3 months... I had 80 reais in coins hahaha. So yeah that was way fun!

We have been talking with some people at the school where we used to have our sacrament meetings, and we are going to start classes of english this week! It is going to be awesome!! But I will probably only teach this week because I am pretty sure its my last week in Capão do Leão. Its pretty sad actually. I love this area, but I have been here for a long time! And Presidente Castro gave a hint that I will be tranferred next week... Exciting but sad at the same time!

As for the work here in Capão its going really well! We are still teaching Aureci and Niara, but they need a little more time before they can be baptized. We had a dinner at their house on Saturday and she cooked pan churrasco! It was super good! I really feel like good good friends with them! I hope one day they get baptized because it would make them so happy! Also!! Remember Nelson, my friends from Texas that we were teaching before I left! I got an email that he was baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How awesome huh?! I knew I had a purpose in going to Texas!

But yeah, so today we are going to get me some new clothes. Dad, I chuckled a little bit when you said mold only grows on damp clothes. Haha if only you could see it here. I have a radical picture of mold on my belt haha... and pots... and pans... and everything else. Haha but dont worry Im fine here, and Ill probably be leaving this area soon. I love you all so much!! Have a great week:) 

Ps Connor, the batmobile is awesome congrats!!!!!!! And the boat was an assignment that President Castro gave us after the zone conference... its pretty sick huh haha

Monday, October 14, 2013

Uma experiência muito legal!!

Hello my family!! I am so jealous that you went to France first of all!!!! Thats crazy that you al went! You all look so happy Im glad! Carson you look so old already!!! Its weird!! But Im glad you are all having fun! I would love to have gone with you but Im grateful to be here serving the Lord! So this week was awesome and I had a really cool experience happen this week that I would like to share with you!

But first, an update on the work here in Capão do Leão! So, me and Elder Galdino have really been trying to show the Lord that we are righteous missionaries and that the Lord can trust us with his children. So, we worked extra hard this week and found a few families that are awesome!! I am excited to start teaching them because they are humble and ready to learn! Right now, Niara e Aurici are progressing and doing so well! We really gained a friendship with them and there is a possibility that they will be baptized soon! But yeah, for right now that is the highlights!

But this week I think I felt the Spirit the most strongly while teaching this week then any other week all of my mission! I have really been working on strengthening my own testimony to help others. So this week during my studies, I had a doubt about a little bit of doctrine! So I studied it a little deeper and found an answer, but I prayed that the Lord would help me share what I learned with somebody. So we went to the house of Andrei that day to teach him and his mom, Lanice. Andrei was baptized a year ago and his mom isnt a member but loves to visit the church. Anyways we started teaching them and I seriously had a moment where I didnt need to think about what to say or what I should ask, I just talked. It was almost a little weird because even she asked questions that I normally would have to think about, but I just talked and the answer came out of me!! It was awesome!! And after the lesson, Andrei stayed with us and Lanice had to get ready for work... and Andrei asked THE SAME EXACT DOUBT that I had that morning! Word for word!! Exactly the same!! It was awesome!! I felt so good because without having to think, I had the answer and helped him understand!! It was so awesome and after, I cant describe the feeling the I had after!! It was such an amazing awesome cool feeling!! Haha so awesome!!

Oh and this week we did a service project... at this guys house... that has............ 200 dogs........ Jonathan remember when you said someday I would herd chiuahuas? I thought of that exactly when I saw this guy. We helped hime pick up the poo... of 200 dogs.... that was um.... fun....... cough cough........

But yeah that was so awesome! I love all the pictures that you are sending! And oh I have some bad news... this week I was putting on my pants and I looked behind me, and my pants had a hole. so I looked at my other pants... It had another hole... and all of my others... holy as well... pun intended.... anyways the fact is that all of my pants have holes. Some big some small... If you could, could you put some money in my account to buy some new pants here? Thank you!! And if you didnt know what to get me for christmas... maybe a small Portugues hymbook? I love you all! Thank you so much for everything!! I love you all!!!

Semana da conferência geral!

Hello my family how are you all doing! This week was a great week! So first of all how awesome was conference?! It was so awesome! I felt like every message was so inspired and I loved it! Also it was really cool to hear in Portugese the talk from Richard G Scott! He speaks Português and so he recorded the talk in Português! My favorite talk was President Uchtdorf´s talk on the first session. I loved it so much! I think it was maybe one of my favortie talks of all time! So good! I really have a testimony so strong about the prophets! Also I really liked the talk from Adrian Ochoa too! It was really good! I loved when he reinforced that we could always strengthen our testimonys through prayer and study of the scriptures. I think everybody has doubts at one time or another, but those two things have helped me alot, especially here on the misison. I feel like alot of talks this conference were towards people who have doubts, and it was awesome to hear the words of the prophets of what we should do. 

Anyways so I felt so awesome after the conference! On the Saturday sesison, Aurici, our almost deaf friend, went to the conference! We were fariad that he wouldnt be able to hear, and we tried to find ways to help him but we couldnt find anything! I said a prayer that he would be able to hear, and he heard!! It was so cool because I can tell when he can hear and when he cant by his facial expresisons but he looked like he was hearing everything! He said that he heard almost everything too! It was awesome, I think he liked it alot! Him and his wife Niara are doing so well and I think they will be baptized next saturday! I hope so! Niara is so ready! Aurici is a little less sprepared, but we are going to help him the best we can!

So other then that nothing really new happened this week! We did a billion contacts trying to find more people to teach, and we found a few that lookd like they have potential! I hope we can help them! I love watching how happy people can become through the gospel! 

Anddddd sadly, the bishop decided to shut the group down... Not because of us, because we are doing our best to find more people to teach, to strengethen the members and all that, but the members arent doing anything to help the group, so he is going to close the group for a while until the members start to get more involved! Im pretty sad, but I think it will be better for everybody. So next Sunday will be the first Sunday in months that I will have sacrament meeting in the chapel in Jardim!

Anyways, I love you all! I hope you are well and have a great week! Im so grateful to have a family like you all! Thanks for all you do! Have a great week!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hello my family!!!

First of all I will clarify the questions! Yes Ricardo was baptized weeks ago, but still had family problems! I sent pictures and everything!! He is the dark skinned boy in the pictures! When I say the school, I mean the Colegio Castelo Branco where we have sacrament meeting! And no Im not sick anymore, I got better, but I was sick for like two weeks. And in those pictures we were at the beach Laranjal on P-Day. Dont worry, we got permission from President Castro to go on Pday. We could only go during the winter because nobody else was there!

Haha sorry for the confusion!! I have trouble writing my emails if you ahvent noticed, Im not much of a writer! Anyways! So Ricardo is doing much better now! He had some family problems, but for right now, all is good. He said that at the end of the year he will move to Porto Alegre to live with his uncle. I think it will be much better for him there! 

So this week we had interviews with President Castro! I love interviews with President! I always feel so good afterwards! And so this week I really tried to work extra hard and really help people with what I teach! Sometimes as misisonaries we get in the routine of the same lessons for every person, but I really tried to teach specifically to what the people need (because now I can speak haha!) It feels so good to teach this way, I feel the spirit alot stronger! 

So we found a couple Niara and Aurici the last week, and they are really awesome! The only problem is that Aurici is almost deaf and so its hard to teach him becaause we have to yell! We really have to rely on the Book of Mormon with him because he can read and doesnt need to hear! 

But this week she prayed to know if the Book of Mormon and the church is true. And so she prayed, and after went outside to hang the close on the closeline, and she looked at the stars. She just looked at the stars and felt a feeling so strong in her heart. She thought, "Is it really possible that I have an answer so quickly?" But when she was telling us about this experience she had teary eyes and I know that she recieved an answer! The spirit was so strong when she was telling the experience! She is progressing and is super awesome! She reminds me alot of Grandma Hoopes actually! She is super sweet!

But yeah! This week I really tried to hard to do what the Lord asked of me and to follow all of the promptimgs of the spirit! This week I decided I wanted to read the Bible completely, and my testimony is getting so strong of the church! I just know it is true! I want the whole world to know it like I know it! So im going to do my part to help others to know it!

I love you all and hope you have a great week! If you wanted... for christmas I think I will need new shoes and pants... but you dont need to if you dont want to!!! I love you all so much! Tell scouty I say congrats for that gross bird she caught hahaha I died laughing when I saw that picture!


Olá amigos, como estão?!

Hello everybody! I hope you all had a great week! I hope you all are doing well! Mom your cake for maddox looked absolutely amazing!!!!!!!! Wow im so impressed!!! Connor and Carson, Im very jealous that you guys got to go to the all you can eat section!! I miss baseball games! But enjoy your hot dogs and whatnot because there is an all you can eat churrasco restaurant close to my house for 7 dollars. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! 

Anyways, I should stop talking about churrasco and talk more about how I got to MEAT my companion this week!!!! HAHAHAHA!! No seriously. Ha so his name is Elder Galdino and he is from Curitiba! He is a super hard worker and we are getting along great! I miss Elder Menezes becasuse we became super good friends but at least I got a good companion! Ive been blessed with good companions and Im really lucky!

So the area we kinda had to find a new teaching pool, but we found some really awesome people! So first of all we found a lady named Niara that is super awesome and super nice! We taught her the first lesson and after she gave us a mid afternoon snack which was super nice haha. But she went to church yesterday and loved it! Its awesome that the spirit can be so strong even in a school! I was a little bit worried that she wouldnt like it because yesterday we had an incident with a stray dog that decided he wanted to participate in sacrament meeting too. Haha he ran in and I tried to catch him and get him out but he was pretty quick... 

Also Ricardo is doing alot better. So the law in Brasil is pretty weak, and I dont know how but his stepdad is roaming the streets again. He must be awaiting trial er something. So in December Ricardo is going to move with his uncle in Porto Alegre. I think it will be good for him because the church is strong there and he can escape these problems! But he passed the sacrament for the first time yesterday and it was awesome! He had a shirt and a tie and everything. A member of the group asked him if he was a new Elder in the ward at  first and then recognized him! But I think that made him feel really good!

But yeah other then that nothing much happened. We met alot of people but its so hard to get people to do simple things like read and pray. I think alot of Naaman how he was told to heal his leprosy all he had to do was bathe in the river Jordan 7 times. But he didnt want to do it because it was so easy and he didnt have faith it would work. I feel like alot of people are the same way. They refuse to do it because its so easy. But really if you read and pray, believing that you will recieve an answer, you will know that its true! 

But yeah so that was my week! I love you all so much! Thanks for the support that you give me!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Montanha Russa

Well well well this week was awesome and some very cool things happened, miracles actually!!! But was also a montanha russa, or roller coaster for all you non brazilians hahaha. So this week we had planned to baptize Arlete and Vilmar and they were so excited! But on Monday Arlete said she didnt want to be baptized this week. So we talked and resolved her concerns... and she wanted to be baptized again! Then on Tuesday we talked to her, and she didnt want to be baptized again! But this time she didnt change her mind! Every day we talked to them but they didnt change their mind! It was a little sad becasue Vilmar really wanted to be baptized but Arlete didnt want him to be baptized without her. But, she kept on saying that she knows its true, that everything is true, but she wanted to wait to be baptized. But they already waited for more then a year! So, they are moving to Florianopolis for a few months and so I probably wont see them again. Its really sad, but we did all that we could. We grew to be such good friends and so its sad to see them go.

ANYWAYS, now for the miracles! So Ricardo is doing much better thatnks to all the prayers, and here is why. The other day we had an appointment with him and we went to his house, but his mom said that he never came home from school because him and the stepdad got in a fight in the morning. so we called him and he said that he climed a mountain that is in our area to hide from his stepdad. So we went to find him and we saw two policeman on motorcycles desceding the mountain with Ricardo. We talked to them and turns out they found Ricardo and learned about the situation. The crazy thing is, Ricardo didnt call the cops, they just found him. On a mountain! Crazy! Anyways the cops went to the house, fought witht he stepdad and locked him away. They found out he had already been in jail for two homicides, had 3 false identites, drugs, a revolver, and the thing that every gangster has... a ninja sword. So he his gone for good. And Ricardo knew it was a miracle and he has been much better since then. 

Another awesome miracle. Last tuesday we had a district meeting in Pelotas so we were chilling there, and when it was over we went to catch the bus. Butttt we missed it. So we were chillin for an hour waiting for the bus, and this lady walks up to us and asked if we were the mormon missonaries. we said yeah and started talking to her and she said, "Im a member of the church for a long long time, and I was married in the São Paulo temple, but my husband and I divorced and I stopped going to church. But I really want to come back to church. How can I?" MIRACLE! Its so crazy that in a huge city she found us to come back to church! And guess where she lives?! Across the street for the school where we have our meetings!!!!!!!!:) She went yesterday to chruch and loved it! What a miracle! Her name is Nadirlandi!

So those were the big highlights of the week! Really cool huh! Oh also, we found a frog in the bathroom the other night. He was awesome! And today we found out about transfers and tomorrow I will get a new companion Elder Gaudino, who was Elder Menezes´s companion in the MTC! Pretty cool beans if you ask me! So yeah! Im going to miss Elder Menezes but yeah!
Anyways I love you all so much! I hope you are all well! I love you all so much!!! Have a great week!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

A primavera está vindo!!!!

Hello my family!!! I am so happy to hear from you all! This week has been really great! Man I love being a missionary. But first! Connor Ms Grogan is crazy. Talk to Erica about her... haha... but thats so cool you are going to Italy, and so cool that you interact with the missionaries! The members make such a difference in the missionary work! Carson! I hope your back is okay!!! Thats pretty scary stuff right there! And I heard you are crushing the ball! Keep up the good work! They actually reorganized the stake presdency of the Pelotas stake, but I serve in Pelotas North! But yeah! And mom, I dont really need much for Christmas! If I do need anything Ill let you know!

But this week was really good! It was Independence day on Saturday for them and so in Capão there was a huge street party, and so we tried to find people to teach but nobody was home! Haha so not really much you can do there.. but we met this guy named Alan months ago, but he never had time for us to teach him. But we always saw him on the street and talked to him. Anyways on Saturday he was walking and we talked to him and invited him to church, and he went on Sunday! So cool! Its definately the biggest struggle for us, is helping people go to church because everybody says they will, and hardly anybody does!

So yeah that was cool and we will be teaching him pretty soon! Also this week we had a family night with Arlete and Vilmar, and made cookies, substituting the ingredients for gospel this that we need like faith and repentance! They like it a ton, and we talked and talked, and they will be baptized this week for sure! Arlete finally is more excited about being baptized! Vilmar has wanted to be baptized for a long time but Arlete had doubts, but almost miraculously she became excited for the baptism! So Im really excited becasue they will recieve soooo many blessings from the baptism! I love when we get to baptize people becasue I know how much it will help them! Thats all I want for the people here!

But yeah also, if you can keep Ricardo in your prayers. There is a church here that preaches straight up stuff about us that isnt true at all. But Ricardos uncle goes to that church, and this Sunday Ricardo went with his uncle there because he was staying with his uncle for a little bit, and he is pretty confused. Me and Elder Menezes are famous in Capão, becasue since we arrived more and more churches are talking about us.
But yeah so we are famous, but keep Ricardo in your prayers!

But other then that my week has been good! I will send a few pictures here but I hope you all are well!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ó Brasil!

Olá minha família! Hello everybody, I hope you are all well! This week has been really good! I love hearing from you! Dad thats exciting about the garden! Good luck! It should be really cool! And yeah! Haha anyways, so this week, I got sick... again! Its hard to not get sick here becasue the temperature changes so much so fast! Like yesterday it was really warm, but today is cloudy and freezing! So yeah! A little difficult, but its all good!

Anyways so this week was really good! The mission has so many ups and downs, but it is still an amazing experience! But anyways the group is doing good! I think in a little bit of time we can have a branch here, but its up to the members! They need to be firm if the want a branch here, becasue the bishop doesnt want to open a branch if it is just going to close. He has all the papers ready to open the branch, but he is waiting to see some initiative from the members!

So yesterday was fast and testimony meeting and we brought a man named Luiz with us to church! We met him when we were looking for an adress that turned out to be false, but he is way awesome! Yesterday was his first day at church and he bore his testimony! It was really cool! He is awesome! Im really excited to teach him, he seems like a really great guy!

So we heard that this area is full of cruzeiras, a type of snake really poisonous, and I thought about pit vipers... I think maybe that snake we saw wasss a pit viper... ill be more careful next time! Haha i also caught a frog this week! Naturally, I put him in Elder Wilkinsons bed! Hahaha, so that was funny!

About Arlete and Vilmar! They are doing great! Vilmar really wants to be baptized, but Arlete is still having doubts! We are helping them the best we can, and I think they will be baptized soon! We really want them to be baptized, not for numbers or anything like that, but becasue we want them to feel the happiness that we have becasue of the gospel. I read a talk today taht said the spirit wont testify of what you say if you have false4 motives, or if Im trying to baptize for my own glory, I wont have the spirit with me. I really care so much about the people I teach!

Dad and Connor! I was thinking, now that there are Elders in the ward, you should try to visit people with them! There is a huge differnce when the members teach with the missionariers! I think you both would love doing it! Its alot of fun!

But yeah thats just about it for right now! Thanks for eveything! I havent recieved the packeage yet but I think I will this week! I love you and miss you all, but I know Im doing the work of the Lord! I love you all! Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Olá olá olá meus muchangos!!

Olá my familia I hope all is well with you! So this week was a great week! Brasil is awesome and its getting better and better every day. I think im getting pretty good at Português fimally! It took some time but now Im getting the hang of it. Every morning before we study I write a short story using more Português words and it helps alot to learn more words! I think God saw that I was trying to be Proactive and decided to help me! So thats awesome!

Im so glad that you all had a good week! Its weird, tomorrow is 6 months on the mission! Weird right? 1/4 done! Its going by super fast! Mom, your story was hilarious about the hotels at one in the morning... Haha it made me laugh! I love hearing about how things are going at home! Natalie, congratulations with your art show! Your paintings are awesome, like seriously. No, like seriously seriously. Seriously. Haha Jonathan thats awesome you played at the University of Utah. Stop being famous. Forever Ill just be the brother of a famous person. Or brother in law. Actually, I accept this, as long as you both buy me a car.

Anyways so this week was really awesome! We walked to the Cerro das almas a few days ago becasue we talked to a really cool family that lives up there. So we walked for 1 1/2 hours and didnt find the family... so we started walking back and a car drove by (oh by the way it was raining and freezing cold) and stopped, backed up, and offered to give us a ride. Normally we would say no... but it was cold, and the guy looked normal. So we got in and started talking and turns out he has a great family. We marked a day when we could start teaching him! But it was super pretty up there, cold, but pretty!

Anyways, we baptized Ricardo yesterday!! He is so awesome! That kid is so awesome. The very fact that he is the way he is is a miracle, becasue his mom used to live on the street, he never knew his dad, and heis stepdad is a drug addict. But he never smoked, never drank, never used drugs, had faith in Christ, and everything. Such a miracle. The baptism was awesome, and I had the opporutunity to confirm him. Very very cool. He is going to be awesome!

So we are working alot with Arlete and Vilmar! They are doing so good! Vilmar might be baptized this Saturday! Arlete is a little nervous still, but we are helping her the best we can! They will be so cool!

Sooo the bishop talked to the stake president and.... he authorized that we start a branch here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we just need to find a place to rent, fix it up and yup, there will be a branch in Capão do Leão! I hope I am still in this area when it opens!

Anyways so thats about it from here in Brasil! And I dont think the snake was a pit viper, it was just a tiny little thing like a garner snake er something! Não sei! Oh Im obsessed with a fruit called ameixa that grows here on the trees, and I ate my first real live fig yesterday! It was good, but I wasnt crazy about it. But yeah thats that:) I love you all! Have a great week! Attached is a photo of the baptism, and the Cerro das Almas! Oh and the mission has a blog if you want to see, type blog Missão Brasil Porto Alegre Sul in Google! Tchau!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mais uma semana no Frio Grande do Sul!

Hello! So this week was very Very cold! I never knew it could get so cold! Here in Pelotas it is the 2nd most humid city in the world (Dont know if thats true but thats what everybody says) and so when it gets cold it gets COLD!!! But then when it gets hot, it gets really hot! There is like no middle ground! Anyways yes it snowed in some cities here in Rio Grande do Sul but not here! Thank goodness!

So first of all. Taco!!! Haha he is afraid of black people!!! HAHAHAHA I pretty much died laughing! What a crazy dog... He always has something weird going on... But yeah... I miss him. Scouty too! But I got some letters from you in the mail this week with the Big Foot air freshener and the stickers! I was hoping that he was Big Foot scented but Pine scent is good too haha! I thought it was hilarious thank you! I got a good laugh from the stickers too! Thank you!

Connor congratulations with Volleyball thats so cool! I cant wait to here how you do during the school season and whatnot! Congratulations! Carson I hope school is going good! You are going to be pro at piano when I come home! But yeah! Jonathan, I hope your snout is well groomed. 

So my week was really good, and some really cool things happened. We have been working with this family Arlete and Vilmar, and they are super awesome. They attended church for one year in a different ward without being baptized becasue they feel like they arent prepared. We have been working with them alot and helping them resolve the doubts that they have and they are progressing alot! They are so awesome and know that the church is true they are just nervous to make that step in their life. 

RICARDO RECIEVED AN ANSWER!!! So Ricardo, the guri that we were teaching has been praying and reading the book of Mormon, trying to find out if it is true. And he has told us that he still hasnt recieved an answer, but that it has to come eventually. The Book of Mormon makes a promise that everybody that reads and prays with faith will recieve an answer and so we knew that he would, but for the whole week he didnt recieve an answer. 

Anyways, we were talking with him yesterday before church and he said that his step dad, this big scary looking drug addict, that beats Ricardos mom and is just full of problems, said something to him. He said, "Ricardo I think its really good that you are reading and going to church. I think its really good of you" Something that he would never say in a million years! Ricardo recognized that as his answer. BUT! Heres where it gets crazy.

We watched a talk with Presdent Eyring that said missionarios work under apostolic keys, and if we speak a prompting of the spirit it is as good as scripture, and it will be done. When we taught Ricardo we promised him, that the more he read the scriptures and searched for an answer, things with his family and stepdad would improve. Wow. What a miracle huh? So he decided he wants to be baptized on Sunday! So cool! I cant wait!

Anyways thats my week! We are famous here in Capão, they put our picture in the newspaper! Also there is talk about starting a branch here, not just a group!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week of Miracles!

Wow. This week was amazing. I cant wait to tell you about it! But first, I will wait to tell you about it to respond to your emails! Mom thats crazy about the midget wrestler... and the deflated eyeball... Never even knew that was possible. Carson! I am glad that you are liking Greenfield! It will be really good for you! Just be yourself and you will make lots of friends. You are the kind of kid that I would want to be friends with in Junior High! To respond to your email mom, I live with Elder Menezes, Elder Wilkinson (an american that was in my MTC district) and Elder Queroz. This week Elder Mendonça was transfered (the old companion of Elder Wilkinson) and yeah. The sad thing is that both Elder Mondonça and Elder Queroz are very disobedient. Its hard for Elder Wilkinson, but not so much for me becasue I dont really need to deal with it becasue Elder Menezes is good. My President, I dont see very often becasue I am 4 hours south of Porto Alegre, but when I do get to see him its awesome. He is a great guy!

Anyways! First of all! This week me and Elder Menezes were talking and decided taht we needed to pray for specific blessings for our investigators so that they can progress. We read in D and C 4 that missionaries in the work can ask, and they will recieve. So we put it to the test. Anyweays that is some background. 

So remember Maristela and Eva? We met them in the Cerro do Estado and Maristelas husband passed away? Anyways last week they didnt go to church because the mother in law of Maristela has cancer and is in the hospital, and Maristela was taking care of her. We decided that for her to go to church, her mother in law needs to improve. So we prayed asnd asked, and RECIEVED! We called on Saturday and they said that the mother in law improved so so much, and Maristela didnt need to stay in the hospítal with her! Miracle!

This week we met this kid named Ricardo, and his mom Rosimeri, and they loved the lesson we gave, but said it would be hard to go to church becasue Ricardos stepdad is a drug addict and gets crazy sometimes. So, we prayed that the stepdad would improve so that Ricardo could come to church. And boom, we went to Ricardos house yesterday and he was wating for us and told us that his stepdad improved and that he could come to church! Woah! Miracle! 

Nara, the daughter of Neiva uses drugs, and its really hard for Neiva becasue she constantly worries, even to the point where Neiva gets sick becasue of worry. Its dangerous becasue she is so old. So we prayed that something would happen to improve that house. The daughter of Nara discovered that Nara uses drugs, and now Nara is in rehab to stop using drugs! Miracle! 

We met this girl named Dienifer when we taught the English class, and had a good feeling that she was ready to hear the gospel, and marked a day to visit her and teach her, but we never found her in the house. Anyways, Wednesday, we were walking and one of our appointments fell, and we went to go to the house of this guy named Carlos. But, I had a super strong feeling, NO GO TO DIENIFER! So we did... and found her at home for the first time in like 3 weeks! Miracle!

So awesome. This week was amazing and I felt overwhelmed with blessings. Ketlen was baptized yesterday by her uncle! It was so awesome and I think that her dad will be baptized too soon! Neiva spoke yesterday in sacrament meeting! It was really good! She got up and said a prayer first and gave her talk! I guess its never a wrong time to pray! We saw a snake yesterday that was cool too! Anyways that was my wonderful week of Miracles! Hope you all are well! Love you all! Tchau! Oh, the first picture is all of us with Elder Mendonça, second is the cool snake, third is Ketlen with Marcio, and the last is us debating if we should go to the passo do descanso, or pass of rest... we didnt go there... but we really realllly wanted to.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 5th, 2013

Óla minha familia! I hope you are all doing well! This week was a great week! Carson and Connor! Good luck with school! I hope you guys do well! The new couch looks so nice... I miss couches haha. But its all good! Haha thats crazy that cousin Miriam is married! Dad thats awesome that you are working in the temple! After my mission I want to go to the temple often, I love it there. Its so peaceful! I really miss it! The last time I went was in Texas! I really have a testimony of the temple and how sacred it is!

But this week was a great week! First of all, I bought some AWESOME soap called red berries and rainbows... and now I smell like a granny every day... So thats fun haha! Today we found out about transfers and Elder Menezes will stay here for another transfer! That will be 9 months in the same area for him! Louco! But its awesome becasue we are good friends and work well together!

We are really trying to be an obedient companionship which is awesome. The sad truth is that ALOT of missionaries in my mission are disobedient... But I have been trying to hard to be obedient. At the zone conference last week me, Elder Wilkinson, and Elder Harris were talking and Presidente Castro came up to us and said, "I have alot of trust in you. Prepare yourselves to lead in this mission very soon." Crazy right! So I am trying extra hard to be the best I can be!

Yesterday Donna Neiva shared her testimony! Seriously, the one of the best moments on the mission so far! I got all teary eyed becasue shew shared how much we helped her and she explained things about her life that we didnt even know about, but helped in some way. She is awesome! I cant tell you how good I felt! That was so cool!

Ketlen wasnt baptized on Saturday becasue her family was super busy and nobody would have been able to come. But I think this Saturday will work! One cool experience that happened! Sorry this email is super long! But we have a part of our area called Cerro do Estado, which is really far from the main part of Capão, but we had the feeling that we should go there. So we went there and it had some houses, but nobody on the street. So after some time we started walking back to the centro and Elder Menezes had the impression to knock on one door. We did and a woman named Maristela came out. We started talking and turns out her husband passed away 4 months ago. We taught her and her daughter on a different occasion about the PLan of Salvation and the Spirit was so strong! I think they have a ton of potencial!

But yeah that was my week! Right now I eat a peiace of cheese with doce de leite every morning becasue its amazing and you should try it. Haha but I hope you all have a great week! Oh mom thats so awesome you met that guy from São Paulo! I hope I meet people from Brasil when I come home so I can still speak Português! But Yeah! I love you all so much! The Photo is me and Elder Menezes with our "rich" Hankerchiefs haha. I wanted to take a photo with them becasue it was part of the gift that Grandma sent!! I love you all! Tchau!