Monday, September 28, 2015

Week Eleven - "Eu vou ser batizado"

That birthday celebration picture was funny, Enjoyed that. Also Happy Birthday Tyler! And I will try and send more pictures. It all depends on how good the wifi is at the church. We are going to watch conference in our building. Also, this week we have a mission tour, a member of the 70 will be coming. That should be good. And I have a bed cover, I just don't have a blanket to sleep with. Not a big deal.

Yesterday was the last day of my first transfer and I will be staying here. But they are closing down the Jacintino ward so we will have a 4 person apartment to ourselves. Lima and Sorrenson will be transferred. That is going to be a little weird.

This week went well. Sergio was able to get divorced. Now he and Andressa are going to be married and baptized within this next transfer. They have been waiting a really long time for this to happen, so that will be really great to see. I'm looking forward to it. Also Janielle said that "Eu vou ser batizado" I will be baptized at the beginning of our lesson on Saturday. He and his spouse who is a member have been studying and praying together and he has been going to church regularly. He needs to be married first which they will try to do within this month or the next. And then he will be baptized. So I'm really excited about that. He has a strong hold in the Church, friends, and his wife. And he has a firm desire so I think he will remain active when we leave. Having baptisms that go inactive is a fear of mine, but I don't feel that with him. It's going to be great.

But yeah, I'm still learning the language but I feel like I'm getting closer and closer every day. My companion and the other Elders in our District say that my Portuguese is good. A lot better than a lot of other missionaries with more time than me. And also that my accent is visible but not as strong as some other American missionaries. So that is reaffirming.

I don't have too much else to say. The days are slow, but it feels like I just had a P day yesterday. It's super weird. Also writing these emails is getting harder. My mind has transitioned into thinking in Portuguese so writing in English can be a little hard. I don't know.


Thank you Drew Wilson for this photo. The girl in the picture served her mission with Drew and now she is home in Macieó in the ward where Luke is serving. They are teaching her sister the discussions.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week Ten - I'm 20 now

Well, I'm 20 now, pretty wild. It feels like time just kind of pauses here in the mission even though it doesn't. It's hard to explain. I don't know when I'm going to be able to receive the package. I don't think that I can until zone meeting. But I can wait. Writing these letters is a little difficult because the weeks are all starting to blend together. This week I had some interesting experiences.

We were in Cruz das Almas for lunch. (Here you have lunch with the ward members, not dinner. It's a culture thing here.) But we received a call from a member in one of our wards. He is an interesting person. He needed a blessing because he wasn't feeling well so we went and gave him one. After he was pretty grateful and wanted to make us juice. We said that we had to teach a lesson to a person who lives in his building two floors down and he said he wanted to come with us. Our investigator wasn't home but we ended up teaching the grandmother of our investigator. Pretty early on with talking to her the ward member started talking about the endowment and proceeded to pull down his shirt so he could show her his garment top. I almost died. He would pull unrelated scriptures out of the Book of Mormon to share while we were having the first discussion about the restoration. It was pretty funny I have to admit but it was really hard to teach. Especially since the sister was resistant to the Book of Mormon already. But at the end of the lessons he asked her if her apartment had been dedicated. She didn't know what that meant so he explained it. She said that she doesn't need it because her house is already a place where the spirit resides and it would be unecessary. But he was like no. You need to have your house dedicated. I will do it, I will do it ("Eu vou, Eu vou"). And then he dedicated her apartment... It was really difficult for me and my companion to not bust out laughing during some points of the lesson, but whatever. I know he means well. He's just a little strange.

I have tons of mosquito bites all over my legs, I don't know how. And it's almost impossible not to scratch them, they itch so bad. I'm accustomed to the food and everything now. I'm not throwing up and my stomach sits well pretty much every time I eat. So that's good. Also it's starting to heat up a bit. Around 11-2 it's really hot, but 5-9 is really nice when the sun goes down. I'll try to send more pictures soon. I keep forgetting to take some.

The language is going really well. I'm understanding almost all the time now. I still hear words that I don't understand but I can figure out the meaning of things much easier. And the tense that people are talking (past, present, future) I can understand really well. I just need to learn more words as of right now. But I just need to have patience.

Well as for our investigators.  We have a couple that the husband needs to get divorced so they can be married, and baptised. He's still working on that. And we lost one of our investigators this week. Roben said that he's done with going to church and seminary. That was frustrating because he's been to church numerous times. He was basically almost a member. And we put a lot of time into him and now it's done. But we have an investigator named Janielle who is doing great. We teach him on Saturdays and he went to church this Sunday. He's been before. He is a friend of a member named Bruno who I like a lot.  He's been helping him with doctrines and stuff like that during other times. But he could be baptised this coming month I think.

Well, until next week.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Week Nine - Zika

I don't have too much to say about this week. It was really hot this week and my companion got Zika. Zika is something that pretty much everyone in Maceió has had at some point. It's a virus that you get from mosquitos. It lasts anywhere from a few days to a week.  Your skin turns red and you get a headache, and feel nauseous. Apparently it's not very fun in the heat. But he is better now.

This week was a little tough. Only one of our investigators went to church yesterday. It was a little frustrating. We have so many that are close but they have the smallest hang ups sometimes. But this week we are going to work hard, so all is well.

I'm doing well though. The language is still hard sometimes but I'm getting closer and closer every day. Also I forgot to mention the first week that I arrived we had a change of bishopric in Bari Loche. This past Sunday we had a change in Beir Mar as well. Which is good because they didn't have a bishop. Also, more people attended that ward yesterday which was good to see.  Anyways, I don't have much else to say, until next week.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week Eight - Splits

Sorry I didn't send an email yesterday, all the LAN houses were closed and it was going to take forever to wait so we got permission to send emails today. Also we had plans to play soccer at the church. But everything is fine.

This week was a little rough. Adjusting to the food here hasn't been bad until early last week. I woke up at 4am and vomited pretty horrendously and woke up my companion. He wasn't that upset considering that I was throwing up. The day after I was pretty tired the entire day but it's all over now, and I'm doing alright now.

We had splits this week. First with the zone leaders. They came to our area to split with me and Mariano and Sorrenson and Lima (Sorrenson and Lima are the other missionaries living in our apartment). It was fun. Good to have a change of scenery. That was Wednesday I think. And on Friday we had splits with the District leaders. I went with Elder Pedro to the Canada ward which is like a 15 minute walk. That was fun as well. We spend the day with Jailson who is a member of the ward there. He lives alone and needs some help sometimes. Mainly just company, so the missionaries visit him often. He expected me to play the piano for him on his electronic keyboard and thought I was lying when I said I didn't know how to play. Also he forced me to sing hymns for him. That was fun. That was actually the night that I threw up.

But besides the splits this week went well. We have many prospective baptisms close. Sergio is close to finishing his divorce so that he can get married and he and Andressa can be baptised. Also we have two really good investigators that have a lot of potential. We have one who agreed to be baptised on the 27th. But all of this is circumstantial. I really need to focus on their needs right now and the baptisms will come. But setting dates for their baptisms helps them to work towards goals.

I'm doing great. I'm happy here, the language is hard and some days are better than others but I am learning every day. My tan lines on my neck are pretty bad. And I think I'm going to buzz my hair next week because it's so hot here. But that's pretty much all I got. I also bought a smaller bag because the black Nike bag I brought was too big. All I need is my Book of Mormon, Bible, and pamphlets really. And sometimes Pregar Meu Evangelho. So I bought a small bag for 20 Reais, which is like $6 so not a big deal,  But yeah, until next week!