Monday, February 28, 2011

Cruz Alta

"We decided to try to take pictures like the first presidency"

Cruz Alta! (that means tall cross... or high cross. It's the same thing in Portugeish)

This was in Quarai. It's an Armidillo tail and claw. It smelt really bad.

"Well I'm finally in another city! Cruz Alta. Yes, and like mom said, it is quite on the other side of the mission - more or less an 8 hour bus ride. Cruz Alta is a much bigger city. There are 4 wards here. The ward I'm in now is apparently one of the best in the mission. There are 4 of us missionaries in this ward, Me, my companion Elder Neves, and the Zone Leaders, with whom we live, Elder Wiscomb (who was Executive secretary before my friend and roomate from the mtc Elder Jones), and Elder Ball, who also served in Quarai, in the same area I was in until a week ago. They are way cool guys, I'm quite exited.
Being transferred was cool. I stayed in the house of the secretary's the night I got transferred. It was quite interesting getting there. I got to Santa Maria (alone!) at 1 in the morning, and only had 10 reais to pay for taxi, I got in, and as I feared, the meter reached 10 before we got there. I told the guy I didn't have any more money, got out, asked him directions, and walked the rest of the way alone, in the rain in the middle of the night. I prayed that I would both find the place, and not die. Haha - quite an adventure.
Leaving Quarai after so much time there was cool, and it is good to know that I had a positive effect there. While I didn't baptize much there, right now, both companionships there are teaching people that will be baptized, that I started to teach.
It was funny, there at the secretary's house, that's where everyone stays who is getting transferred, and also the people going home. This one guy, in the morning, Elder Tebatini, was saying, "If everything goes right today, if everything goes right. I will kiss today!" Hahaha. So funny - those guys! It was cool to stay in Santa Maria for half a day. I got to hang out a bit with Elder Jones, my roomate from the MTC who is secretary. Also I got to talk to Elder Black briefly on the phone. He is now training.
I'm quite exited about being here in Cruz Alta. It's gonna be good.

Have a good week!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Family Night

"This week has been tough. I've been here in this city for a super long time. The transfer is today, but I haven't found out if I will be transfered or not.
This week we did a Noite Familiar (family night) that you will see in the picture, with some members and this really good couple we are teaching. They have gone to church the past 3 weeks. They are totally going to get baptized. But they will have to get married first. A very small amount of people here actually get married legally. And so to be baptized, couples usually have to get married first.
One funny thing about this place is that all the B
razillians seem to think that us Americans live on the North Pole or something. They always say ´´Oh it must be cold up there.´´ and then I reply ´´Actually, no´´ haha.
An awesome thing is all the fruit trees that are here. The Guava trees are starting to get ripe, so we just grab guava to eat off the tree. It's quite good. I'm not sure why we don't have guava in the US. If it grows here, it should grow in Fresno. The climates are very similar.

PS I just got the call that I am being TRANSFERRED to a city called Cruz Alta, a much bigger city, I'm going to be with Elder Neves, and apparently the ward is really good!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Sower

"Well this week was cool. Monday I had 7 months as a missionary. Tuesday we did a division with the Zone leaders. I was with Elder Harris, he is a way awesome guy from
Lindon Utah. I learned a lot of sweet stuff. I have been studying preach my gospel a lot, the lessons mainly, to be able to teach ridiculously well. That's my goal anyway.

Right now we are teaching a couple that is really good, they've already been to church 2 times and they are liking it a lot. The wife is the daughter of an inactive couple we are activating.

I tried playing the guitar the other day and it was hard because all the calusses and build up on my fingers are gone. Wow, it's going to be way fun and painful to start playing again after the mission.

Lately I have been realizing my role in Quarai, I am the semeador, which means the sower. Quarai, for the past long time, has been known as basically the worst/ hardest city in the mission. I worked hard for 4 months in Santa Helenara, and saw little results ( like a sower when he looks back at a field he just planted), but now, Elder Taylor and Elder Matoso are having good success there, and will be baptizing a lot of my investigators there. And it could be the same thing that will happen where I am now, covering the rest of the city. Other than one other missionary, from what I know, I have spent more time already in this city than anyone else. Also, from what I know, I am the only missionary to have worked in all the branches of the city. I am working hard, hoping and believing that in a bit, when I am in some other city, Quarai will be known as one of the better areas of the mission."

Monday, February 7, 2011

They Expressed Their Joy in Their Testimonies

"Hello. This week things seem to be improving a bit around here. Though one thing way annoying is that we were teaching this way good Uruguayan couple, and then all of the sudden they got evicted and we have no idea where they are. Probably back in Uruguay. Well at least the seed is planted.
We have been having some trouble in the greater part of our area, and so this week we went to this neighborhood really far from the city, a place missionaries had not worked at for a while, and we had some good success. finding some good new people, one of which went to church. So we´ll see how it goes there.
I forgot to write last week that I had finished reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese, and also this week, I finished reading the New Testament in Portuguese. SWEET.
There were two days this week in which it was like death hot, sun killing you, and then out of nowhere, during the afternoon, it just rained. Hard. For hours. It was crazy.
This sunday, in total, 8 people came to church, 4 inactives and 4 investigators due to our efforts. It was very gratifying, because we have been having a really hard time getting people to church here in Quarai. The branch members got quite exited about it, and expressed their joy in their testimonies. It was quite good.
Today I have been a missionary for 7 months. It's crazy how fast it's all gone by. Crazier than that though, is that 5 months of that have been in this tiny little Quarai. Crazy."