Monday, December 29, 2014

Brasileiros are Obsessed with Fireworks, Happy 2015

With out a doubt. The fireworks start at sundown and stop around sunrise. (they do slow down around 12) Therefore I've been lacking a little sleep this week (and I imagine that it will be similar the week that comes).

So this week we got a stop light in our area. And it broke the next day. So we had a stop light.

Well this week was great, I got to work hard and do almost nothing at the same time. As in everyone is obsessed with the commercial part of Christmas that they completely forget the Christ part of it. We knocked doors, and didn't get into one. We made contacts, and I managed to get 5 addresses. Also we contacted some referrals, and we found one in their house who was leaving (as in we were walking up to the door and they were walking out of the door, so we simply set up an appointment for next week). 
And I'm pretty sure the members are trying to kill us. Every time we talked with a member this week they invited us in and gave us food. I think I gained like 10 pounds just this last week. 
So this week we went to talk with people we have contacted on the streets and met a man with whom we had a great discussion. I really enjoyed talking with him. As we gave the lesson he would bring up any points that were out of line with his faith, and we would talk some more about them, and we would turn to the scriptures to clarify anything that we didn't come to a mutual understanding on. He is probably the first investigator that I have taught that is constantly asking us questions to clarify, and who helps us understand his beliefs so we can have a greater understanding of each other and thereby more effectively teach.
I got to call home on Thursday, which was nice, I loved hearing from my family and being able to see their faces. (and my puppy) We went to the bishops house and called from there and my family got to meet the Bishops grand children. 
Saturday we ran into a lost American couple and we stopped and helped them. We discovered that he is a returned missionary returning to visit where he served! We told them how to get to their hotel, and they took us to dinner, then we took some pictures with them (if I can I will send them home, but its not looking like it)
Elder Conceção and Elder Dennis almost had a baptism this week, but their investigator asked them to change the date to next week.
Also next week is transfers, and  Elder Conceção and I will probably head to new areas.
yeah this was a good week.
I love you all
Have a prosperous New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Feliz Natal! We got a White Christmas Too...With Fog :)

So the reason I am writing today is because we had Christmas conference ontem e (I just switched in to Portuguese didn't I...) We woke up at 5 so we could get ready and go to centro to leave by 8 then arrived in Juiz de Fora at about 10. The conference started at 11 and lasted till 5 (including photos and lunch), and then we headed home and arrived in Petropolis at 8 (not sure why it took 3 hours to return, there was more traffic on the way there) and basically ran home and arrived at 9(02). 
But hey it was awesome to see my group and all the missionaries I know and all those that I don't.
This last week we worked our tails off (including 3 service projects). 
So this week was interviews with president, which means that I do not understand. Somehow it fell through so we had to throw together alternative plans (seeing as how we thought that there was no way the interviews would be cancelled we didn't make alternative plans) 
So we scrambled together some plans, visited some people whose addresses didn't exist, and stopped at a members house to ask for referrals. 
 This week we started talking with the owner of the pastry shop in Independencia, and gave him the first lesson. We learned that his wife (we aren't completely sure if they are married) is less active and has been wanting to return, and he has been looking for more peace in his life. After we taught him he told us he knew it was true, but when we invited him to be baptized he said he wanted to read the Book of Mormon and go to church before he settled on a date. So this week we will probably return and give him the second lesson and again invite him to be baptized. 
This week we also had the opportunity to do some family history (one hour) so we went to the temporary stake center (the actual center was rededicated this week) and filled out the my family histories that unite us then went back to proselyting.
 This Sunday after church the president of the elders quorum called us in to talk to us about plans for Christmas and how we would spend most of the day visiting members, then he said the list (signup sheet) was downstairs and we went to go get it and as we walked into the relief society room. The entire ward started singing "Hark the Harold Angels Sing", and they had a table FULL of food that they gave us (which I think will last a full transfer or two (or three or four). See pictures.
 Then we all said a few words, and some how I broke into perfect Portuguese when I was thanking them and bearing my testimony. Afterwards I had so many people come up and complement me on my Portuguese. I testify of the gift of tongues, the Spirit really can put words, even words you don't know you know into your mouth. 

I know that Jesus is the Christ, that He is the Gift, the Perfect Lamb, I know that as He lives, we to may live, that we are made alive in Him. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is the kingdom of God on earth
I love you all!!!

*****my prayers have been answered, it looks like we are going to have a white Christmas, it is currently exceedingly foggy

With the Relief Society


Monday, December 1, 2014

New Companion Elder Duarte

Well this week was transfers, and Elder Cordiero left to go to Ubá i am still here.  My new comp. Elder Duarte is really good, he is constantly encouraging me to speak more Portuguese, and is always helping me when I say something wrong. He is also one of the larger missionaries in the mission, and I feel rather safe around him(I'm no longer the tallest in our house and Elder Dennis is no longer the largest in our house).
This week I introduced Elder Duarte to our area (Elder Duarte meet area, area meet Elder Duarte) and to all of our investigators.Literally all of them (so we had a lot of lessons this week) 
This week it rained. If you didn't know rain makes things hard for missionaries because not many people are on the street, so it's hard to do contacts, and no one wants to come out to open the door (the majority of houses here have a wall around them so they have to go outside to open the door to the street) so its also hard to find new people. Also even water  proof shoes get wet in a Brazilian rainstorm. This week we (our house) bought four umbrellas Elder Dennis had to buy two and the other elders one, due to the excessive rains and winds (mine has yet to break). 
In case you have never been in 25 degree weather (about 70) and had thick fog covering everything its really really weird, but such is Petropolis. 
Anyway we got 3 new investigators this week, one was a reference from an investigator, one was from knocking doors, and the third just showed up to church. we have been having problems with all of our current investigators (only one of them is always at church and she needs to be married before she can get baptized) 
We have a young man with whom we have been working with for a while whose parents again refused to let us baptize him, and told us that their son would not be baptized until he is an adult.
So we can only work with his parents and pray that their hearts will soften or that our investigator will continue to go to church until he is old enough to decide for himself that he wants to be baptized.
well I don't have much more to say except that we learned that our ward is pretty close to a split (we only need 2 more Melchizedek Priesthood holders and this month we have a recent convert who should be receiving the priesthood) and we have been working with two of the central people from the Old Quitandinha branch who when they fell inactive many others also fell inactive, and I hope that as we help them they will help us and others in strengthening the church here. so before I go home we should have a Quitandinha Ward.