Londrina, Brazil

Londrina, Brazil

Monday, January 30, 2017

Another Baptism

That is awesome that the town is excited for your opening. Hopefully you guys can grow out of woodville and continue expanding and having success. Props for Aj with his chanter lol. That is hilriously awesome. Wish him luck for me with tennis and solo and ensemble. At first it will be dificult but do not worry about it. Just have fun. And kick some tail! lol Thanks for the quotes each week. I love them. I am recording them in a journal. They are really great. Speaking of journals, I passed day 100 of my mission 3 days ago. Wahoo! Um I do not have any names for the temple. All is well here. But you can pray for us that we can have some baptisms because our area is in a baptism drought. And for my continual progression in the language. That would be swell. This week I baptized our investigator, Solange. The change that took place in her heart was truly a miracle. She went from completely depressed and never smiling to not being able to stop smiling. She has had many bad experiences in her life, but that is all beginning to change now. Oh and the night after her baptism she had a dream/vision. She remembers ditinctly viewing the words "I am blessed" from her vision. What is crazy was that it was in English. She asked me what it meant on sunday after her confirmation and cried and could not stop saying that she was blessed. Wicked cool. Congrats on the baptisms back home. That must be a branch and mission record for number of convert baptisms in a day. Congrats! Nothing else is new this week, just working hard and trying to be my best for The Lord. I hope you guys have a miracleous monday and a wonderous week. I love you guys so very much! Tchau!

Monday, January 23, 2017

So the pictures in the woods were taken here in Antares lol in a path discovered by our Zone Leaders. It is on the edge of a river and in a part of the town where not many people live lol. It was a short cut I guess lol. But we were just walking along and saw the patch of light and my Zone Leader got down and posed and the rest of us followed likewise. Lol we thought it was funny. We call it the second sacred grove, and the first vision of 2017. lol we had a good laugh. Lol yeah those were Brazilian burgers lol. Looks like the forbidden fruit from film 3 but be assured it is in fact a burger lol. 300 grams of meat with cheese and bacon colocated inside. Soooo good lol. They were the size of half of our faces! The draw back was that they were 16$R. But it was a worthy cause to help the youth get some money to pay for FSY (For Strength of Youth)(In Portuguese). FSY is our known EFY back in the states. They have youth conferences as well. But things are a little bit different here as you might probably imagine. But yeah it was a fund raiser for the youth and we tagged along and brought our investigators. As to whom that sent you a friend request I know not. If his name is Danielle or along those lines of spelling, that is the bishop´s son here in Antares. But I do not know of the intentions he has. I will ask and find out. Thanks for responding to my questions! I will be sure to tell my companions. That helped a lot. As I am studying each day I have some pretty neat expereinces and some times come across some pretty cool and deep doctrinal topics. I was studying about the cherubins yesterday and learned some pretty crazy stuff and some stuff I have yet to comprehend still lol. But thank you again. I will probably have some more questions. Lol it is getting more and more difficult to write in English lol. Everything I type I have to speak in Portuguese in order to remember how to speak lol. Craaazy. But yeah the language is coming along, everyone says I speak great for having what little time that I have with the language. Doctrinally I can speak and understand just about everything. It is the real world stuff that gets me lol. Medical terms and politics is also hard to discuss and I find myself having to talk about those things everyday. Lol we have two types of Brazilians here. The first are those that want to know how your homelife is and how your family is like and your interests and personality. The second type is the type that only cares to talk to you about politics, political affairs, Trump, and so forth. lol it is a different experiences being an "Immigrant" (lol that is what they call us, the immported) opposed to being a native. But the langauge is coming a long. Our baptism fell through due to some law of chastity issues but is rescheduled for this saturday. Oh and we had stake conference this sunday and were pounded on with missionary work, and keeping the sabbath DAY holy. But that is about it that happened this week. lol Thanks for always telling me what is going on back home. I love to here what is new. I love you guys so very much. Have a great week!

Monday, January 16, 2017

New this week!

Lol AJ´s coach told him to get back to practicing already? Interesting... Who knows is in store for next year lol. Finally the office is ready! Only 16 months in the making right? lol I do not know otherwise where the tennis bag would be. Maybe in the new garage or in the closet of the bedroom by the front door in the old house. Or maybe the old garage, I do not remember. So our baptisms that we had set up all fell through, which has been occuring practically every time. Our two diamnds in the rough ended up needing to be married legally, and our other two did not make it to church. But we are going to continue on with them and hope for this week or the next week. Oh and we had 9 people in our english class this week so that was nice. We are teaching this guy named Luiz. He is a "spirit". Spirits are people that have spiritual gifts or so they say. Spiritual gifts as in seeing demons, spirits, other people´s lives, prophecy, and so forth. So he was telling us about his past life and how he lived down the road from where he lives now in the year 166 a.c. He then showed us a painting that he painted of how it looked in that time. I do not know if it is possible for us to live on the earth before being born or not but it was an interesting concept for the following reason. He even told us that he remembered his past life´s name. And he said he read it in the Book of Mormon. I then was prompted to tell him a little about temples and how we receive or heavenly name. It was really spiritual and one of the craziest lessons ever lol. But I thought you guys might find that interesting. The picture he painted is below. Nothing else exciting really happened this week. But I have some questions I need help answering. My companions always ask me deep profund questions and generally I can satisfy their demands but here are a few I need help with... If Adam and Eve were perfect in the garden why did they need to gather fruit and eat in the first place? Hence, why was it a temptation to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? If you forget your temple name, what happens? There were only dinosaurs on other planets... Who is Melquesidek? ... I know there are some more, but I have forgotten them. I do not know if you guys have any answers are not but if you do we would love to here them or even just your personal beliefs about these questions. Thanks! If you guys ever send another box I would like more pictures of home. The investigators and members here love my pictures and want to see more. Also, I do not know how expensive it is to send books, but I am looking for study material that I can use to further my knowledge of the gospel. Or if you have any recommendations, I can try to look for them in Portuguese but they do not have much here. My zone Leaders said that it is alright to read any church approved book about church doctorine. I do not know if you can amazon things here or not but we do have amazon lol. I am especially want missioonary books that I can use to learn to be a better missionary. If these things are possible I would love it, but if not all is well. Thanks for all that I have been given already, physically and spiritually. You guys are great, and in my view our family is perfect. Thanks for everything. Oh also, in all seriousness, my trainer and my Zone Leaders told me, they think I will be a trainer next transfer, or a district leader. I say in seriousness because they always joke that I will be the next Assistant to the President because I work hard and keep the rules. I am not position seeking though, I just want to serve. in whatever capacity that may be. But all is well here for be, despite being sick the last few days. If you guys want to pray for something for me, pray for my health and that we might find some success in our area. Thanks! I love you guys so much! Keep being awesome!!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Teaching English This Week!

lol yeah I was working all by myself, the others watched for the first five minutes and got bored and went to sleep rather than cleaning the house. It is a little difficult to motivate my companions to want to work but I am managing just fine and will be blessed for my efforts. I cannot believe that it snowed! That is crazy! And sleet? Wow... I was tekking my companion yesterday that I have been stuck in summer for basically 8 months now without a break of heat. I would like some cold weather right about now lol. Londrina is very similar to bi-polar texas. It will be perfectly clear 100 degree weather one moment and start pouring rain the next and then go back to super hot. Crazy weather here as well. I do wish we had more of a breeze here though. It is very humid like texas and so it feels like we are walking through molecular walls of water all the time. There has not been a day or night where I have not been covered in a layer of water lol. Oh how great a blessing air condition will be in 2 years lol. Aj will be playing with Brooke? Sweet! She will be good. She is always practicing and wants to get better so that is a good sign. Aj should do well at the tournament, he is much better prepared than I was. Lol I still remember my first tournament where that kid from Nederaland cheated me out and I lost 9-7. lol good for AJ, go get 'em stretch! Oh and bagpipes??? That is hilarious! And awesome. But know that bagpipes are incomplete without a kilt ;) lol. Have fun listening to that in the house! It should make for some interesting moments! This week has been good, our investigator pool is pretty firm and we are hoping that our two baptisms next sunday will hold through, we have a possible 8 to be baptized in these next two weeks so we are praying that all continues to go well. My first transfer ended yesterday and it was pretty cool to see that we got 10 different people to church, taught 110 lessons, and had 690 contacts. My companion is confused to why we are not having many baptisms with the amount of effort we are putting in. His trainer is what they call a fubeca or slacker in english. They hardly worked at all and had 8 baptisms. I know not what The Lord's plan is for me in Antares but we are giving it our all! I had my first english class this week and it went well. we only had one student but still it went well. Tomorrow we have an anticipated 40 students lol. It will be dificult but all things are made possible through christ who strengthens me. We need not feel nervous, anxious, depressed, or afraid because we know our purpose and the gospel is made for the weakest of saints to live. I love this gospel and cannot wait to feast upon it for the rest of my life and giving my life to the lord to be of his service. Thinking about my future in the gospel always gives me hope and peace. Eternity truly will be full of joy. And eternity is now. Have a good week guys! I love you!

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Eve

I understand AJ´s feelings that first year of going to dances was not enjoyable to me because I did not know hardly anyone and the older kids were not that nice. However Youth conference definitely helps with not having any friends at dances, he will make friends he would not have made otherwise. Like me with all the beaumont people. I thought they were all strange for the first two years lol. But for now it is alright for him. The most I ever skipped was three in a row that first year. I do not get to use an Ipad. I saw an Ipad for the first time the other day and was bewildered. Lol I do not remember another word for that in English. All I have to practice English is the book of Mormon really lol. But many times I have thought that having an Ipad would help a lot with the work. But all we use is the ancient stuff. Oh and the only time we use D&C and The Pearl of Great Price is at church, and most of the time not even then. Brazilians hard core believe in the New Testament and a little about The Book of Moromon. But the focus is definitely centered on the bible here. This weeks work was difficult, in that everyone was partying and drunk the whole time and no one would be home when they said they would be. It was kind of crazy to see so much inquity. I have never really seen much alcohol in my life up until these past few days. On New Years Eve we were super hungry. Then a member pulled up and gave us a full meal. We went to town eating all we could. We had just finished when someone else knocked on our gate, another member! Another meal! This week I may get to eat dinner a few times! Wahoo! So I tried to go to sleep on New Years but my comps. told me it was useless until after 1:00 am, for a reason I would come to know after, and so we stayed up until then and got to say happy New Year at midnight. It was crazy what happened after. So the whole day prior to that night people would shoot fireworks and throw little explosives lol. In midday! Then at midnight,.... World War III began. If you can imagine the sky going from pitch black to almost white like flash bangs going off alround, that would almost compare to how it really was. The sky was lit, flashes were going off everywhere, ´mortars´were going off every other half second, everyone outside was running around and screaming, including my companions, and it was just crazy... An unforgettable moment for sure. The fireworks did not stop until 5 in the afternoon on sunday. Sunday I gave my first talk in church. I had five minutes to talk about baptism and the Holy Ghost. I thought I was not going to make it to the 5 minutes. I love to give talks. The problem was, Portuguese, lol. But I confided in The Lord and my knowledge of the language and just went for it. Sitting on the stand, the secind councilor to the bishop told me to take a lot of time because he had not prepared much. Then I was a little worried about my own preparations. So when the time came to speak I spoke. And I lasted a good 13 minutes. It was probably the most I have ever spoken in Portuguese at one time in my life. The spirit was awesome. After sacrament concluded I was given a few gentle praises like people normally get, but the councilor to the ward mission leader came up to me and asked,"What are you doing?" I was very confused. He continued,"How are you speaking so well after only 1 month?" Whew I thought I had insulted him in some way or the other. I was actually confounded as to my response. I had not a knowledge of what to respond. He just said the gift of tongues. In all honesty I do not know how I am "speaking better than most Americans 4 months in the field". That is what everyone says. I never have study time and I feel like I do not know hardly anything. I think my progress will increase after I am out of training. Once out of training I will be able to have language study finally. One hour each day. Yay!!! Also lots of people in the road complement my Portuguese so that is nice. But sunday was a cool day. Our investigator that came to church with us told us that off all the religions and churches he had been to, ours would help bring him to heavenly father the most. Sweet! We are having lots of great gospel discussions but not a lot of people want to repent. Other areas of the mission get fed baptisms freely and we are hardly getting any progress from our investigators. It is almost as if, the harder you work the less baptisms you have. However it is not the case, but this area is pretty dificult. The whole mission knows that our area is one of the worst, but I am working hard and will continue to do so and I will be blessed for it. I made a covenant with the Lord so as long as I do my part, He will do his as well. But yeah everything is well here and I hope you guys have a great week. I love you guys! Chão!
Today I mowed the lawn! Good thing I lived on a farm :)

Misc Pictures

Picture of Londrina, mission office, and a member's simulator that he built. He is a pilot. Cool.