Monday, March 28, 2011


"Well well it as been a semana of RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CHUVÂO!
I have included a fine little picture, and yes, the street is in fact flooded with water.
Basically it has been raining a ton the past 5 days, and Cruz Alta is really hilly, and so all the roads turn into waterfalls, haha!

Anyway, this week has been good (other than getting really wet).
We have had this gigantic kitchen counter thing in the middle of our kitchen that is way annoying and we have been trying to figure out what to do with it. We decided to leave it out on the street and hope that maybe somebody might take it away eventually. So we did. It is a huge bulking piece of trash made of wood. Anyway, we put it out, and an hour later, to our surprise and delight, it was gone already!!! Haha, people will take anything around here.
One day this week we had 10 lessons (wow).
This week we started making tea. A few members have this plant called Cidreira. It's really good to make tea, you just put the leaves in water and boil it. A member taught us how.
I did a division with my friend, Elder Mott, and his companion this week. Elder Mott is the other District leader here and I had to do some baptismal interviews for him, so I just stayed with them the whole day. In the morning we taught a less active person who is an English teacher, so we taught him in English! It was crazy weird.
It has been cool to be with Elder Ball and Elder Wiscomb, they´re awesome guys, but it is really annoying being in a trio, you don't get to do anything. Especially when you are in trio with the Zone Leaders haha.
I did learn a lot, but only by watching, and it's much better to learn by doing, and I didn't get to do much of that. But it's all good because the Transfer is today, and I just got a call from my buddy Elder Jones (the executive secretary and my room mate from the MTC) and I will be training! Meaning, I get a brand new missionary from the MTC who has been on the mission for 3 weeks and knows nothing! It's gonna be awesome! Well, I'm quite exited, I'll be going to Santa Maria tonight, and my comp will arrive tomorrow. Yea.

Monday, March 21, 2011

That Bow Thing that Japanese People Always Do In Movies


This week has been good. I have been starting to eat cereal more. For the first 8 months of the mission, I basically never ate cereal. It's not very popular here, and a little expensive, and there are not many options, basically just frosted flakes (called Sucrilhos here) and cocoa puffs (Nescau). But anyway I've started to eat more lately. I also make a lot of lemonade. They have a lot of these weird lemons here that are actually like, half orange. but anyway, I just grab lemons walking around during the day, and I make lemonade.

On tuesday I did a division (thats what we call it anyway in Portuguese, I think in English they say exchange, I don't know, what is it Dad?) but anyway, I went to a nearby city called Panambi, and worked with the 2 missionaries there for the day. Cruz Alta has like 80,000 people, Panambi has 30,000. we have 14 missionaries here, there are only 2 in Panambi. The church is quite weak there, just a branch that has like 25 people per sunday. But it's a cool little city. It's quite well known for being made up of mostly German descendants. And it's true. Most people are German descent there. There's a lot of German culture and some of the houses are Germanic. Elder Carvalho and Elder Lana are there. They are great. Elder Carvalho was trained by Elder Ball, and Elder Lana is being trained right now. He's brand new to the mission.

This week a crazy thing happened. Elder Ball had been saying the whole night that he wanted to order pizza when we got home, and we said we didn't want to. It was about 8:53 and we were heading home. Then Elder Ball said, let's stop by Japonés real quick (thats not his name, but this guy he's Japanese, and we had only done a contact with him.) just to do a prayer in his house. Anyway, we went, and got in. It's a middle aged Japanese couple, with a nice house. They both were born in Japan, but moved here when they were 10 and 8: Mineite and Ticaco. Anyway, no sooner had we sat down than they started offering us a snack or a drink. We politely said no because we knew we didn't have time. Then all of the sudden Mineite got up and he said, ´´How about Pizza!´´ We politely said no, but he was already out the door on the way to get pizza. (Darn!) So we were stuck, we couldn't leave. But it was way cool. Ticaco's parents live with them. They are 93 years old, and don't even really speak Portuguese. We met them and they did that bow thing that Japanese people always do in movies, and we did it back. It was way funny and way cool. Her dad fought in WWII! crazy! They are both apparently a little crazy now and always try to escape the house because they think Japan is just like a mile away and they want to walk there. Haha. But anyway, we ate pizza, and it was way good. Then, they also invited us to Churrasco on Sunday. So we went to that too. Awesome! Churrasco is their form of barbeque here. It's what they do at the brazilian steakhouses. It's pretty much super awesome. Rio grande do sul is basically the capital of churrasco.
Anyways, it was quite an exiting week."

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Lot of 'really cool guys'

1- Zone conference yea!
2- churrasco yea!
3- baptism yea!

"Well this week was quite an excellent week.

The first two days of the week were crazy because Elder Ball, as the Zone Leader, did two exchages (Ithink that's what you call them in English) in a row, and so I was along for the trip. Tuesday was with Elder Medeiros, and the second day was with Elder Mott. Elder Mott is a way cool guy. He also plays like the same intruments as me and is going to major in Music at BYU.
We have been finding a lot of really good people. This is a really good area.
I talked on the phone with Elder Taylor this week (who is in Quarai), and 2 more people that I taught have now been baptized (*yea!*).
Saturday was the baptism of Juliano. He's a guy who Elder Ball and Elder Wisomb had already been teaching for a little while. He's a cool guy.
We have been teaching this older guy named Omar. His son and grandkids are members. He is a really cool guy. He has a lot of good questions, and has a lot of interest. He went to church yesterday, and loved it. His granddaughters sung with the youg women in sacrament meeting, and he just adored it.
One of the funny things about missionary work, is that once you have actually found good people, the elect, you don't even really have to work much, they are just ready to accept the gospel. The majority of the work is finding those people.
This week with Elder Ball and Elder Wiscomb was quite good. Elder Ball only has 2 more months on the mission. Also he is from Kaysville Utah. I think that's right by where Tiff and Dan live. Where exactly do they live? Also he saw my picture of the boys at ´´Tasty's Doughnuts´´, apparently that's right by his house.
Elder Wiscomb is from Salt Lake, apparently a few Apostles live in his neighborhood. He has 5 more months on the mission. He is from the same group as Elder Marx and Elder Taylor (meaning they will go home at the same time) He was the Executive Secretary before Elder Jones (my roomate from the MTC) was. Probably both of them will finish their missions here in this area. It has been awesome to finally have people that want to work hard as companions.
Well, have an awesome week!"

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Tri-panionship

"Wow this has been quite a week. And today quite a day. Le'ts see, where should I start... A month ago in Quarai, Presidente Ribeiro was with us, and he got a call from someone wanting to go home. We thought it interesting, but things got more interesting for me, because that ended up being my next companion, Elder Neves. President had told him to try a little more, and see what happened. He was good for a few days here, but afterward he has just been falling apart again. It's a sad story. Elder Neves has a great testimony of the gospel, he has 1 year and 6 months on the mission, but he has completely lost faith in the people. Apparently he has just heard ´´no´´ too many times. Anyway, these last two weeks, while I absolutely love the area and the ward, have been the 2 hardest weeks of the mission for sure, because he didn't want to work. He refused to leave the house sometimes, and when we left, he jsut wanted to visit members. And all I could do was follow him because I don't know the area, and if I tried to go another way, he wouldn't follow me. Yesterday he left the house to call his mom without me. By the way, thats WAY against the rules. But anyway. Elder Neves is going home. Sad. But such is life sometimes. We did all we could to help him stay. Anyway, today I didn't have the time to email until now because we have been running all around the city, Elder Neves getting ready to leave. But anyway, I don't know if I told you, but we are in the same area as Elder Ball and Elder Wiscomb, the Zone Leaders, the same Ward. And so now, instead of getting a new companion, I will spend the rest of this transfer in a tri-panionship with Elder Wiscomb and Elder Ball, I'm quite exited, it will be cool and really weird to have 2 companions, but also for them both to be Americans. Many Americans never have an American companion other than the MTC. Anyway, I'm quite exited for the coming weeks!"