First Week Run

So the first week has been completed this transfer with almost hitting the 3 standards and 2 baptisms. I will find a way to send photos another day because I am in the Lesser LAN-House.

Elder Delgado is a good companion, hard worker, a little quiet. He is taller than Elder Agre, so I feel a little bit of a Napoleon complex but working on it. We need to integrate our teaching a bit better but that will come with time.

Spending so much time looking for new people and finding a ton of less active members. I’ve been talking with the Elders Quorum President about how we can reactivate all these less active irmãos so we can have more priesthood in the ward. But we keep trying.

Today after I write this we are going  to Santo Amaro. It’s about an hour bus ride from here. I will also start my list today and send to you next week. Packages have been arriving normally without problem here. Unless you are Elder Moos who has cameras sent in the mail to here.santo-amaro

Love you all!

Mission Service Project

2016-09-07-Mission ServiceTransfer calls came in last night and thankfully I am staying yet another transfer in this area. This area really has been a learning experience and I now think I have the hang of things to do something really great here. My companion, Elder G. Santos is getting transferred, so I have outlasted two companions in the area now. I will receive Elder Delgado from Cabo Verde Africa as my new companion tomorrow, yes another Cabo Verdiano 😉

This week was the Brazilian Independence day, on 7 September, so we had a mission-wide service project. I am currently loading the photos Elder Loveless took during the event to find any with wonderful me to send to you guys, since we were advised not to bring cameras to avoid losing them or being distracted from actually working. I got to wear jeans in public for the first time in forever and the sensation was quite odd.
We did not manage to baptize anyone this week, we are hitting the three standards again though which at least was a good strong end to the transfer that may have otherwise been difficult. I found out how I can overcome my weakness to stop people in the street (which has been a thorn in my side for a while now) I just knock on doors when I need to get some new people to teach. Do people still reject us, yes, lots of times. But when people accept us we generally get more than just one person if the family is home.
Miracles happened this week that helped us hit the Three Standards. We, by the three standards of our mission, need to have 15 investigators and less-active members in the chapel each Sunday. This has been really hard. We have been working with a large less active family that recently sent a son on his mission, we were certain that they would come to church this week but they didn’t and we were quite disappointed. Then we started to count all the others that had showed up, members had brought enough people for us to hit the number we needed and now we have a ton more people to visit.
I will see if these photos are loading, and send any along I get a hold of, I am online. Love you guys!

Mudança Magico dos Missionarios

I apologize, the subject line did not work in English too well. So I wrote it in Portuguese.

Ahhh…. I actually had pictures to send this week, including my new haircut, but this machine  does not have a place to put my card to attach photos. I will just have to print them out and send them through snail mail because we are now using the LAN House closer to the house.

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So we had transfer last week. We received a new District Leader, Elder De Campos. Okay a short refresher course if you forgot, I worked with Elder De Campos in Guarapiranga, but my goodness last week when he entered the house I could already feel that there had been a great change wrought upon him. This week he has continually surprised me with the ways he has changed and how he somehow has achieved to gain my respect as a leader. And now I have made a decision that if he could change in such a great manner, why not me? Now I just have to find a way to perfect perfection. (I’m joking!)

When it comes to the work it was a little discouraging with people running away from us. People, who last week were progressing really well, now all of a sudden they have a fear of us. But we will discover what happened. We had one rescue, Juliana. She was baptized six years ago in the Bahia with her brothers and mother. They had since gone less active when they arrived in São Paulo. Juliana is now reactivated. We are reteaching them all the lessons, also with the intention of baptizing the youngest son Wesley (14).

Last week was hard, but things are getting better now. The sun is rising on São Paulo.

Love you all!

Healthier Now

I am healthier. I just have a slight cold, but that is because out of nowhere came this round of freezing rain. It gets interesting when our clothes get wet because as of yet I have only seen one dryer machine existent in Brazil. Drying socks by the iron is interesting.

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The week has been a little discouraging, but I find comfort when I read scriptures.
I have spent my time reading the Bible. It actually is quite entertaining. 1 Samuel until 2 Kings is full of crazy things. Did you know that Absolom (spelling), David’s Son, had to cut his hair every year because it gave him a headache as it weighed more than 3 kg. He died because of his hair, as he rode away from battle on his mule his hair got stuck in the branches and his mule continued on without him. He was stuck in the tree suspended by his hair until his enemies found him and killed him. It makes for good comedy.

Seven Fatfleshed Kine, Seven Sickly Kine

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New mission joke based on truth I discovered this week, on the mission we live out Pharaoh’s Dream. Receiving the allowance every 2 weeks we live a week of feasting and plenty and a week of living off of whatever storage we have amassed. This is true especially in this zone when we have to take the bus to get to District Meetings, 3 hours away…

I had pictures this week to send however the usb in this machine is not working currently. I will be sending my card back to you guys as soon as I get it back, I gave it over to the Second Counselor in the Bishopric who works with computers, our cards have been picking up viruses in these LAN Houses.

I am having to really kick up my game as Senior Companion now, especially with this new investigator Michael. Michael lives across the street from the chapel and plays American Football as a linebacker. He asks a lot of questions, but good questions. He is learning really fast and the questions he asks really makes us study. He recognized really quickly when we taught him about the Great Apostasy that he needed to be baptized by authority and asked how he could find someone who could baptized him with authority. We then taught the Restoration.

Yesterday Michael went to church with us and learned about the Word of Wisdom, we hadn’t taught him that lesson yet and were slightly worried how he would take it. As we talked with him afterwards he said he was going home to throw out the coffee he had in house. All throughout sacrament meeting he would point at people: the Bishop, the Priests blessing the sacrament, the Deacons and asked if they have authority to baptize.

I will receive a new companion this week, Elder G. Santos the same Elder I shared a house with back in Figueira, it’ll be great. Today I will buy a usb and start downloading videos we use in teaching because the DVD always breaks.

Hope all is well at home! Love you all.

 

Bathroom Surprise

I looked in the bathroom and what did I see? This thing on the floor that grossed me out! (picture omitted)

No it is not real. It is a piece of waste cement the other elders found, but it looks so very real!

I know the Elders already scared the Bishop who lives in the house above us with it. It is quite convincing. We’ve terrorized other elders when they stayed at our house, as our house is the waypoint of the Zone. It takes about 3 hours to cross our zone by bus, and the buses do not run very early to São Lourenço and Juquitiba, so those elders asked to stay at our house when we had an early meeting in Santo Amaro. Their mistake. We had lots of laughs!

What’s the latest at home? How’s the Presidential race? So, I have Trump, Clinton, & Johnson to choose from? Hmmm…. I will probably receive my absentee ballot in October.

We had a baptism. Making a total 4 in this area so far. He is the nephew of the couple we baptized a few weeks ago. He is 18. I feel old now.

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I had a good conversation with  a sister in our ward who is a temple worker with her husband. Her stories were inspiring, bringing me to a realization that I should remind myself not to be prideful. All that I have is from above. Powers of Temple Workers….

Hope you all have a good week! Love you all.

They All Don’t Like Brasillia

I am on a division right now. Elder L. Silva from Manaus, capital city of the Amazonas state likes to have fast internet so I got him to agree to do a division with me, and we walked far for a faster internet!  So, I am in a better LAN House! How are you all doing?

It’s interesting to live in a different place and learn a lot about people and culture. I found out that it is a hard work for some Brazilians from different regions to get along.Right now I live with Elders who come from  Amazonas and Para, their states  have a rather vicious hatred toward each other, a few wars and such between the tribes. They are learning to deal with each other, and practice charity.

Brazil is full of this hatred between states or regions, I have no clue how it is all kept together. The only thing I think they can agree on is they all don’t like Brasillia.

Thanks for the news update! The people really went to the aid of Erdogan? They’ve hated him for the past 5 years I remember with his imprisonment of journalists, opposition to Kurdistan, and a bunch of other things. Interesting!

This was my first slump week in the area. For the first time this transfer I failed to hit all three standards of excellence,. It was hard to get people to accept our message this week. Normally we have a 50% rate of people accepting, but this week it was more like 25%.

We did get a visit from Elder Campos of the Seventy this week for our mission tour. It was good, attached is a picture.

Zona Itapecerica com Síster e Élder Campos da Setenta

This week we finally got to bring Floriano and Carla to church. Floriano is a bit old and I don’t think he has left his sofa for about 9 months now. He had an accident nine months ago, fell about 7 meters and absolutely destroyed his femur bone, it has since reformed, but in a deformed way. He can no longer walk. He had Irmão Flavio use his perua (little bus) to drive us and them to church.
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He was really happy to have the sunlight touch his skin again and is happy we are visiting him. He was a member of the Congregação Cristão no Brasil for many many years, yet since his accident he has not seen any of them again, no one went to visit him. Reinforced to me why we do Home Teaching in our church.

I hope all is well at home and you all stay safe. Be well!

There Can Be Miracles, When You Believe

Five points to whoever can name the film I am referencing in the subject line…

This was a week of personal bests. Had a baptism and then confirmed, beat all the 3 padrões de ouro, and brought 13 people to church yesterday. So yeah it was a successful week. The thing is a majority of the people we talked to and said they would go to church didn’t go. So we were a little disappointed, all our work would be for nothing. Then people just started showing, some of them had never even talked with members of the church before. They just saw the chapel and came in to visit. We talked with them after, got their information and they accepted to have us visit  next week in their houses. It will be a busy week indeed.

This week we have two baptisms lined up José Roberto and Maria Zilda, we took them to the courthouse to get married legally. Now they are kicking their addiction to coffee and they are scheduled for baptism this Wednesday.

It is frustrating being the only American in the area, but I am working to survive despite the frustration.

What is going on in Politics?  Can you please send me the Star-Spangled Banner complete, including the 4th verse if you’re online?  For the first time, it wasn’t part of my Sunday hymn yesterday. I love you all, Happy 4th of July!SAM_0084

I’ve always admired Qui-Gon Jinn

So I survived my week of essential quarantine. It was not as bad as I expected, after the initial shock I got over it and just lived life as usual. Got a lot of reading done and had a lot of time to think.

This week we had transfers come in, so President was at home fasting and praying for most of the week. After all the anticipation it was decided I would go to…. (drumroll) Itapecerica da Serra 1A! I will be a Senior Companion to Elder G. Rodrigues. Never met him, but I know he has 3 months in the mission and President is counting on me to help him have some success. I feel like a Jedi Knight now as more and more newer missionaries enter the mission around me. Some of them can be a bit impatient. Quite Anakin Skywalker-ish. I’ve always admired Qui-Gon Jinn… but I digress.

I washed my long coat so it is fresh and clean, ready to face the São Paulo pollution again! The smog was absolutely terrible this week and made it quite difficult at times to breathe. The sign posts showing time, temperature and such have always show green for air quality or “Ar Bom”. Occasionally I have seen yellow “Ar Mod”, but this week for two days straight I saw Orange “Ar Ruim”, for the first time in my mission.

Meanwhile the mission is getting sick. Actually I am quite mild in my sickness, I have no clue why I got stuck in the office but I just follow orders. One Elder is going to need surgery to fix his problem, put my griefs and woes in perspective.

I am really happy to be going back into the field and ready to reignite fogo nos ossos! Well I hope your week has been good all! Until next week! Here’s  my last picture with Elder Martins after we played goal-a-goal.

Goal on Goal