March, 2011

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I have never eaten so much pizza in my life

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Date: March 30, 2011

Wow, it’s weird… I am here thousands of miles away and life still keeps on going there. That is pretty weird. I cannot even imagine David with a girl friend. that is so weird! And if their relationship is serious… That is just weird.

I am doing great this week. My comp is all good and we are working hard. It is tough being with an older missionary at times because they are usually a lot more tired and trunky but you can learn a lot with them and you usually have success because you got to experienced missionaries in one area. It is great at times!

Well I don’t think I have taken pictures of our house yet. We live in a house with 4 missionaries. I am the only American in the house. It is really funny. Man I have never had so many laughs in my life (or at least my missionary life) it is great I am living with Elder Opazo, Elder Ferreira, and Elder Feitosa, my companion.

I have never eaten so much pizza in my life. The pizza that we have here is cheap and good tasting. I love it. Pepperoni is pretty expensive but calebresa (a sausage) is pretty cheap and it tastes good.

Well this last week was a good one. It was a normal week but I just am so happy when our investigators are progressing. You know it is so weird at times to think that people of every age decide to change their lives just because we ask them. Imagine, I am teaching people who are 50 years old to change their lives, habits and beliefs after 50 years of living. I am trying to help people fix their marriages when I haven’t ever been married. This is a miracle to me.

Well these last few weeks I have been eating a lot of barbecue. It has been pretty good. Brazilian barbecue is a lot better than American.

I am pretty excited for conference too. Man, I love this time of the year. I wonder if they will set up a separate room so I can hear it in English. Conference in English is way better than in Portuguese.

It is good that Preston and Colton are liking the spring sports. I always loved spring. I love tennis too. Man, I really want to play tennis when I get back.

Yesterday and today I am with assistant Elder Hansen again. It is great working with the assistant. But this time we are in my area. The mission has destroyed his body — his was actually pretty good looking before the mission. He was 6´5″ 190 lbs. now he’s is 6′5″ 160 lbs. He is looking pretty weak, I hope I don’t get to that point. He says “hi”.

Well what else is going on here in Americana… Not much we are doing a good work here. Everyone in the zone is happy and working really hard. I am pretty happy with how everything is going. I am really happy in the mission. If I could change one thing it would be lunch It is difficult eating a big delicious lunch and then leaving to work afterwards in the hot sun. I love the mission but Sundays after lunch are the toughest hours in the mission. Especially in Brazil. Luckily where I have served up until now has been pretty mild. Not mild like spring but not 40-50°C.

So what position is Preston playing? Is Colton playing singles or doubles? Where is David going to school?

Well, what else do I have for you guys… I will take some pictures of the families we are teaching so you guys can see them. You will like it.

Well, my family I love you guys. I wish you all a good week and lots of health. Congrats on reading the Book of Mormon and all. Just got to do family home evenings now. I am praying for you guys too. Until next week my beloved family Tchau!!!

Right now we are entering autumn and the weather is quite pleasant

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Date: March 23, 2011

Well this week was great! We are just having a party here in Americana 2. We are finding families and baptizing people. We are really being blessed by the Lord. This is the first area in my mission that I have really loved. It is great here with all the cool members and amazing families that we are teaching. When I got here I wanted to be transferred to another area as quickly as possible, but now I just want to stay and work here. I love it.

I really liked Rosolem but I didn’t have that connection with the members. The other areas I passed by I just remember how difficult was to work. I really liked and am grateful for the other areas but I love this one.

We are quite a long way from Campinas.  Well I will be going there tomorrow to renew my vista so maybe I can see how much they cost and take out money so I can buy one when I get the chance. It is weird I will have to renew my vista. Really weird.

Well this last week was a bit tough too. My comp. decided he needed to stay in the house for two days because of a swollen eye. I did a division one day so I worked but the other day I was in the house from 5 until the end of the day. It was terrible. I have never stayed in the house in my mission up until now. I don’t know why he had to stay home but his excuse was a pretty weak one. Saturday was his birthday and we ate pizza. One sweet pizza and one bacon pizza. It was pretty sweet.

We baptized two friends of a member this week. It was pretty amazing. I have never seen two young men so prepared. It was amazing. Their mom will be baptized this week or the next. She has a few more problems to work out. Their names are Wesley, Wellington, and Elizangela. They were referrals from a member.

Antonio and Maria, that couple that I told you about, are doing well and will be baptized conference weekend if they have stopped smoking by then.

We had another miracle happen. It has been six months that this family has been going to church and their daughter finally decided to pray about the Book of Mormon. She got an answer in a dream and will also be baptized. We still have not decided a date. Their names are Aparecido, Lourdes, his wife, Flavia, his daughter, and there is one more kid that doesn’t want to go to church called Fernanda. They are a pretty special family.

I think this p-day I will just relax. I will read some scriptures and sleep. I will also write some letters to some other missionaries in Cuiabá.

You know what — there is a new American that arrived in the mission. His name is Elder Powell and he is from Dayton, Washington. He will be in my zone. He will probably know a little about Oroville.

Yeah I am a lot better now. I got two shots. One was a medicine for the flu and the other was a vitamin C shot. I am doing a lot better now though. It is good that dad is doing better too. I also drank a lot of orange juice. It was kind of expensive but it worked out in the end.

Yeah the zoo was cool. I don’t think they had any animals that were really weird. I took pictures of all of them so you can have a look when you get them. I literally took a picture of all the animals.  It was pretty cool. I didn’t eat tuna though. I just ate some mini pizzas afterwards at an Arabian restaurant called Habib´s. It really was not that good but it was good to try it out.

You know it is a little weird that there it is spring. Right now we are entering autumn and the weather is quite pleasant. The sun has cooled down bit and it rains a bit more. Here in a bit it will be winter.

Soccer, baseball, and tennis. Those were good times. Here they just have soccer.

We are all a bit creative. I have lost a bit here in the mission and I will have to cultivate some of those skills again after the mission. I hope he makes it out all right.

It is amazing that Kloey is playing the piano. I sure wish I would have learned. She will have to teach me when I get back.

Well I am happy and life is going good there. I sure hope you guys have a great week. I think my week will be great!!!

I love you all and I am learning a lot. I am growing everyday and wow — I cannot even describe my feelings about the Church and gospel now. It will be sufficient to say that I know that the Church is true and the Joseph Smith Jr. was a prophet of God. I know these things because God testified them to me.

Have a great week and send everyone my love especially Kloey! Tchau!!!

I bought a working shoe. It is ugly and tough — like a man should be!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Date: March 16, 2011

I know how that is - I was sick all last week with a fever and many other symptoms. I didn’t stop working though. I finally got two shots on Friday. After that I was feeling pretty good.

Well today we went to the Zoo that was sweet. I took a bunch of pictures. You guys should like them. Everybody in the zone went with us it was an awesome activity! The zone got some new missionaries that is the only thing that changed.

Well about São Paulo. It is a tropical climate. It varies a lot. It is not like the Amazon and it is way different than a desert. Lets just call it tropical. Americana has a population of 200,000 people. It is not that big but it is a nicely developed city. They also filmed a novela here. and the city has two soccer clubs. It is a pretty cool place.

There are 3 wards in the city. Our ward is awesome. Our bishop keeps us busy. But just him. Unfortunately the other members don’t help much. There are a couple of amazing families that I love here. I will never forget them. I have learned a lot in the mission about the work that the members have to do. We always have to share the gospel.

We also have to feed the missionaries. Unfortunately we only eat in like 5 different houses during the month. The food is great and the members who give it are the good ones. It is pretty sweet. The rest of the time we eat in our house or in a restaurant. but don’t worry I am never hungry because every Sunday the Relief Society brings us goodies.

Well my shoes are not that comfortable or pretty but they will last a long time. I bought a working shoe. It is ugly and tough — like a man should be! When I polish it up it can almost pass as a dress shoe.

Oh about the suit, I will try to buy one soon. Maybe next week I will go and buy one in Campinas. they have some pretty good suit stores.

Tell everyone thanks for the letters. Especially Kloey. I hope she can teach me math when I get back because I have forgotten just about everything. I hope it comes back quickly.

I am happy that the all-star game was sweet. I hope Preston gets some sweet chances to play after the mission that would be amazing.

Well this last week was good. I got sick but we saw some more miracles in our area so it was pretty good.

Well, my mother, I love you and I hope you guys have a great week. I am ready to have a sweet one.

I love you all and I am really having a great time. I have really loved the mission for the study habits that I have now. Everything about the gospel has become more real it is amazing.

I love you all and I wish you all a good week see ya!!!

Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke to our mission on Thursday

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Date: March 2, 2011

Well this last week was pretty difficult for us. I mean it was a great week in some ways but a difficult week in others. I shook Elder Russell M. Nelson’s hand and he talked to our mission on Thursday — that was pretty amazing. It was just a simple talk about the gathering of Israel but I liked it a lot. It was weird seeing a general authority in person he really is an amazing man. I liked being able to see what type of man an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ is like. I learned a lot that day. A lot.

The hard part of the week was that our investigators decided to travel and couldn’t be baptized this weekend. I don’t know when they will get back either. This was the difficult part. Other investigators got sick and we just didn’t have much time to find new ones this week. So it was a bit difficult. But I feel pretty good now.

Oh yeah I really don’t need a new suit now. I wanted the new one for our mission conference with Elder Nelson. I ended up just washing my other suit and it is in good condition still so I will just buy some new shoes today. I am pretty excited — new shoes!!! I will buy a new suit later in the mission. It isn’t a necessity right now.

Thanks for sending the Perry’s the letter and also for getting the camera. That member will be pretty happy. I will have to talk to him soon. I am not in that area anymore but it will all work out.

Yesterday I found a giant piece of rose quartz. I know how you love it so I took a minute and broke it up in a few pieces so that I can give it to you when I get back home. I got a pretty good size chunk. It is really pretty.

I read a really cool talk about the spirit world today. It was extremely sweet. It was by Heber Q. Hales. Maybe you should look it up it is really, really cool.

Man it has been raining for 3 days straight now. I feel like I am in Seattle. It is cold. Really cold. but I kind of like it.

What else has been going on… Not much, I mean the members here are awesome and our bishop has a sweet mustache. I am doing great and growing a lot. It is crazy. I cannot wait to see the reaction when I get back.

We are going to have a zone barbeque right now. So I will go. I am praying for you guys and I love you a lot. I will add that to my fast too. Just remember when we do our part everything works out right. I know it will be all right in the end.

I love you all. t has been a while since I have heard from Preston and the family. Can you remind them to write? Thanks family I love you all!!!

When Elder Nelson shook my hand he said he was proud of me — that was pretty cool.

This last week we had a miracle happen

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Date: March 9, 2011

Well that is great that dad’s surgery went well. Why did he have to have surgery?

This time of the year is always horrible. I also caught a little bug. But I am all right.

Well the transfer ended. I stayed in Americana. My comp. was transferred he asked the president if he could stay one more transfer but president didn’t let him. I am pretty excited because we have a bunch of families to baptize this transfer. We have a couple of really special families that we were able to find.

This last week we had a miracle happen. A kid named Jonny was baptized. He is the brother of a recent convert and he had already been invited and everything. He was actually going to be baptized a while ago but he started to use drugs so he freaked out and didn’t want anymore. He was invited to an anti-drug course by our bishop and went to church the next day. He started to read the Book of Mormon and had an answer to his prayers and was baptized. It was an amazing experience to see that change happen. A real miracle. Because all the times that I had talked to him before I thought he was a lost cause.

I could see the power of the Book of Mormon in action. I had already seen this in my mission but it was good to see it one more time. One more experience to strengthen my own testimony. It shows that God can do anything He wants. I am pretty sure that in 3 years Jonny will serve a mission. That is an amazing thought.

My new comp is called Elder Feitosa. He is from the Bahia, which is the northeast part of Brazil. It is a really pretty place. A lot different than São Paulo. A lot different. São Paulo is like the ugliest place in Brazil. The real Brazilian experience is up there in the north. That is where they got beaches and monkeys and the Amazon. São Paulo is just a place like the U.S. we don’t even eat weird food here. He is a pretty cool missionary. We are both sick right now. He is pretty tall and he is a pretty cool Elder. I think I will like serving with him.

Well on Saturday we had an activity with our ward. It was just a potluck but I ate cow tail. It was actually pretty delicious.

Well we had a couple changes in the zone and I think a lot of stuff will happen this transfer. I am pretty excited.

So I bought new shoes. They should last a long time. They are a shoe made for working. They are strong and a little bit ugly but I mean they work. They really weren’t that expensive either just 49 R$ (it is like 30 dollars in American) Everything is really cheaper here. It just seems more expensive because we receive very little money.

So now I will just go buy some food and read and sleep. I’ve got to get feeling better so I can work well tonight.

Well, my Family I love you all and I hope you guys write me again soon.
Tchau!!!