Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 22, 2014

We get a phone call and/or Skype session on Christmas day, but here are a few pictures Austin sent today.

Me on a division to another city in Santa Cruz

Mc Donalds

Me as a ninja

I woke up with the ceiling pouring rain!  I think we might have to find a new house!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dec. 8, 2014

This week we found a cool family, the mom is named Maralaya who has a daughter named Natally who is 15, and her other son Nicolas who is 16. They came to church and liked it a lot! Nicolas said that he received an answer that everything was true and so were going to teach him more this week and help be prepared to be baptized this weekend hopefully everything worksout okay. 

The family of Nelson was going to get baptized this last Sunday but Nelson had to leave for another city for work and so we moved their date for baptism this next weekend. 

Also our investigator Nedir stopped smoking to be baptzied but had to go to the hospitlal because his daughter had a bad fever but it will all be good. He´s a great guy and wants to be baptized and loves the church a lot so hopefully the next week it will all work out as well.

With Christmas approaching we had a special conference on Thursday with President and sister wright and the mission reached its goal with 1900 confirmations for the year and we still have more time. The president´s goal is that each area baptizes two people so were working hard and having lots of faith and we know that the lord will bless us with many special people to teach. 

I also got to see my first two companions on the mission. My first two trainers elder Seidmann and Elder Gabaii it was fun to speak with them because when I was with them the last time I didn´t speak andy portuguese so it was fun to be able to speak with them alot better! 

It´s deffinetly awesome being on the mission so many great people and aweosme experiences I 
don´t know where I would be without being here on the mission field! 

Love you guys have a great week!! 

Elder Gabaii and Elder Barrus

Elder Seidmann and Elder Barrus

comprei uma espada (dec.1)

During the week a lot of cool things happened but one of the more interesting things was what the church will be doing for Christmas! On the 7th of December You Tube will only be showing one video on the entire website that will be hosted by the church. Also in times square on the big billboard will be advertisting the video as well so it will be cool to see what people think about the church after it is realesed. Really the gospel is being preached in all times and in all places. The video is called ``He is the gift``   

We found a family super special, they have a son that was having some problems with drugs and so they accepted to hear our message, they ended up going to church and wanting to be baptized but the parents just need to stop smoking. But they are super awesome and I know that God has a special plan for them.

We then found a very poor but humble family, the mom lives alone with her daughter and two sons. We were only able to teach them about the book of mormon and the importance of baptism and they went to church as well! It was cool to see how the lord is helping these wonderful people. 

I´m so thankful for my oppurtunity to be a missionary and to help so many people come unto Christ especially during the Christmas season! 

I love you all and have an awesome week!! 

Nov. 24

haha sounds like your having lots of fun adventures enjoy your trip! Those lemure things would be fun to play with! That fish thing sounds really weird! Have caution with all the spiders! This week a big horse chased after the mexican missionary in our group it was pretty funny!! 

November 17, 2014

So this week was pretty great,
Monday:Pday for lunch we made a bunch of pastels with meat and cheese and sat around and played some cards.

Tuesday: We went and vistited Philipe he wants to be prepared more before he gets baptized and didn´t give any reasons for why or what he wanted to know so it was strange and then on sunday he didn´t show up for church even though we went and knocked on his door and he said he would go so we cut him.

Wednesday: Found this cool bridge and was a super cool view a train passed by underneath us and I think It must have been one kilometer long because I could just barly see from the caboos to the front of the train. We then and visited our investigator named Enrique who is doing well and said that he wanted to get baptized on Sunday. 

Thursday: Taught this cool man named Neri he owns a farm and liked our message alot and ended up saying that he wanted to go to church so that he could be baptized when I had only shared a message about how we can live again because of the resurection of Christ and the importance of church. SO it was way cool to see how the spirit prepared him. We then got to go to his farm because he wanted us to say a prayer for his animals so I got to see a cow that was only 15 days old I thought it was a goat! We also had district meeting and I taught about how to teach investigators effectivly by using 15 different points.

Friday: We ate an ostrich it was good but it made me super sleepy. THen this guy started talking to me in the street and every time I tried to leave he would keep asking me more questions it ended up that we talked to him for an hour and a half and so we hadn´t even talked or taught a single person until 6! And I wasn´t feeling super well probally because of the ostrich!

Saturday we visited the family of Jean the family that gave me my brasilian pants. They are super awesome and I started my long life carrer of catching chickens. The grandma wants to show me how to kill a chicken so we´ll see how that goes! Also I was using a lighter and I put it near my face cause it felt warm and then my hair caught on fire... 

Sunday Enrique wasn´t able to get baptized because his friend was sick in the hospital so he went and visited him so this next week were going to schedule his baptism again and hopefully it all goes well! Then for dinner we had a barbeque on the other side of the city and so we took a taxi and when we got there there was all kinds of meats it was sweet I ate rabbit, goose, chicken, cow and who knows what eles?! It was awesome and it rocked! Also we found a turtle in the middle of the road and so I put it in my bag and put it in the baptisimal font with lettuce and tomorrow I will put Fred near the river it was pretty funny because it kepts trying to climb out of my bag while we were walking and I didnt want any people to see a missionary with an escaping turtle cause that just wouldn´t be good!

Today is also the day of the transfernece and so tomorrow I will be getting a new companion so that´ll be good me and Elder Hortêncio had some good times! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yo - November 10, 2014

So this week was pretty swag we went into the depths of Pantano the world of evanglicas and crazzy old people who yell at you when you get too close!  We found our friend philipe and taught him a few times but didn´t come to the church to get baptized. The family of Elisangela is doing good we are going to their house tonight and it will be fun. The six year old son José is crazzy and filled with energy and its fun to spend time with such a great and special family! 

During the week we visited the couple Valmir and Laine and they want to go to church again this past week but their daughter had an intesnse surgery to get her tonsels taken out. We left a message about how the Lord will strenghthen us throught the commandments, really when we do the simple things through obeidience we are sure to receive the blessings and promises exercised  by our faith.

When traveling throught the city we found a big cemetary and it was cool to walk throught it here the people are buried above the earth! 

So a cool story:
Before I arrived in the area of Rio Pardo the missionaries before me had talked with a guy on the street named Enrique. He had been smoking and told them that he wanted to go to church and needed some help. So it turns out that he is studying English and it happens that I know a little so I went over to his house and translated a whole page for him and then after I started to help him understand the basics of some of the grammer that we use. Then we taught him a lesson and told us he wants to be baptized this Sunday so were going to do our best to help him! Its so cool to find people who need our help and to be there for them each step of the way! 

I loved reading your emails I ran out of time to write a big email because I was coping pictures into a pindrive of 16GB that I will try to send home soon. 
The gospel is awesome and I love being in RIo Pardo so many awesome people in this area!

Lots of Love,
Elder Barrus! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 3, 2014

haha thats awesome she called you. elder dickson was super awesome... We got along great together he was the first companion that made me able to teach in portugeuse I wouldn´t be where I am without him. We had alot of fun times together me burning food, lady that wanted me to baptize her dog, the crazzy guy all kinds of fun things. He knew how to teach super well the gospel and now Im am starting to speak portugese alot better than ever before this week I started saying some phrases without any accent! And now I can say the first vision without any accent as well I think at the end of my mission I´ll be able to speak without an american accent but we´ll see!  Elder Dickson was deffinetly one of my more normal companions for sure. I liked him a lot we are still in the same zone for another two weeks and so every thursday we see each other so its fun.  You stay strong mom!

I don´t know what I´ll do today -  mby make some cookies! Its weird because pday is the most busy day for me at least it not super relazing!! I have to write letters, clean the house, cook food for lunch, and I ran out of all my clean clothes that hasn´t happened in awhile but ohh well! I think the next pday we will go to a hisoric site of the area and see canons that had shot at people 200 years ago. Also has the first road of cobble stone in the state of Rio Grande do Sul ( Big river of the south is the name of the state that Im in) 
Soo this week we did somthing new in the area we left. We found out that there is a whole entire city that never had missionaries! So we left for the city of Pantano and it was interesting usulally people when they see us look away, cross to the oposite side of the street, or start walking super fast when they get close to us haha. But when I arrived in Pantano the people didn´t know what to think of us! We started knocking doors right away and taught a woman named Maria the first lady taught by missionaries in Pantano, she liked our message alot and we will return there on wednesday. We also found a lady who had gone to church in Rio Pardo twenty years ago! Her son Philipe had gone with us to church 3 weeks ago but had been sick so we decided to visit them. His mom Rosari had alot of questions and we ended up teaching her for two hours to answer all her questions about baptism and the book of mormon man it was a long lesson but she agreed to have her son baptized on Sunday. He is 26 but because of his accident lives with his parents but is a fairly normal guy he just seems alot younger like 18 or 20 but is super cool and is very interested in the church. We had the interview with the district leader and he passed and chose me to baptize him the next day. I was super excited but then we got a call from his mom saying that she didn´t want him to be baptized until the following week and becuase it was raining -__-  So we´re going to visit them this week and prepare them as a family for baptism this coming sunday and I hope that they can all go to church together. We also had a couple who went to church for the first time after four weeks of teaching them! They loved church alot and I hope that they can keep going. So this week over all was good Im starting to get alot better at planning and not getting lost anymore which is good!
Halloween: For halloween here in Brazil they don´t carve pumpkins sad right? But don´t worry I carved a watermellon instead it was awesome!! The face glowed red in the dark it was sweet and now we have tons of water melon to eat! 
Crikets: For some reason my mom sent me crickets in a box... And I ended up eating two of them! And the other three missionaries with me also ended up eating some crickets as well! Thank you mom! Haha my companion wasn´t able to eat it and ended up spiting it out and started to cry!
But all in all this was a pretty great week! It was fun to take the bus to another city to teach the gospel. Love you all and hope you all had a great week!

October 27, 2014

haha sounds good! I got your five packages ohh my goodness! I took a picture of me standing next to all the boxes! Early christmas right!

Just finding and following up with people in this area here. I´ve had a ton of people who have accepted us after the first visit. The other missionaries that were here had been baptizing every week so I'm going to keep trying and finding people to teach. The members here are great and love helping the missionaries out a lot so the area is having a lot of success!
can you put in one of the boxes quejo the cheese suace it doesnt exist here in brazil :( only for doritios but its super expensive its like five dollars for one can

yea I got tons of syrup I think it should last until the end of my mission so thanks alot! I also got milky way bites and twix and 27 starburst!! The brazilians liked the starbursts And I still have about 15 or so

Monday went and visited the family of Elisanjela again and so it was fun to see them and have some fun. Joseph the six year old is crazzy and has lots of energy and is always running all over the place! P days always go by super fast! 

Tuesday- Our appointments fell through so we tried to find people to teach but didn´t have any success. It was a super hot day and my arms are dark brown again so I wont get any more sunburned. 

Wednesday: I had made a bunch of contacts with people on the streets, so I got excited so I planned out the day with a bunch of contacts and decided to go to an area where all of these houses would be close together so that we could teach a bunch of lessons in a short amount of time. It would´ve been a super good plan but all the people gave false adresses.... So it was another day of lots of walking but we mananged to have a few lessons with people so that was good.

Thursday: We went and tried to visit Philipe but he was in another city and sick. We went to a section far on the other side of our city and taught some new people and marked appointmets so hopefully it all works out. Then we went to a family that had been baptized a month ago and they gave us food and told us to come back on saturday so that we could make bread together. 

Friday: We had a zone conference with the president and the assistants and it went really great. THey taught about how we need to remember our goals and to continue applying the techniques in the lessons. They did some practises as well and It helped alot. 

Sat we ate bread with the family of Jane and it was alot of fun, it was good to visit them agian they are doing really great and the grandma wants to make me a pair of brazilian pants should be pretty awesome.

Sunday: I gave a short 10 minute talk on my purpouse as a missionary. I used preach my gospel to help me out and the talk went great! After the meeting we received 3 references from the members. After church we went and visited a few more people, then we went to our investigators house. His name is Tiago and he is planning on getting married in January so that he can be baptized. He has been going to church for two years and is super awesome! We made a barbeque together and I learned how to make a barbeque, brazilian styled! It was a good way to end the week. 

Love you guys!
Elder Barrus

The lady is kicking us out! I will return at 5 but I think you will be at the baby shower so have funn!! 
Love Austin!! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Eu quero tacos October 20, 2014

Monday:  Had lunch with President and Sister Wright in Porto Alegre. We went and picked up our district leader's companion and he is from Mexico.  Man, does he speak fast! Then we went back to our house. The bus ride is about 2 and a half hours - it was a good opportunity to take a nap.  We visited a family that was recently baptized and made a cake for their six year old son to celebrate his birthday. It was fun to visit them and to help them out.

Tuesday:  We walked around and found a lot of new people to visit. We found a man named David and he told us he would like to go to church.  At the end of the lesson he told us to pray for him so that he would be able to go. 

Wed. We went and visited this group of people sitting on the sidewalk, and a girl named Tracy said that she had been to church before and liked it a lot. So this week we are going to try and help her go again.

Thurs. We went and tried to visit two girls named Aline and Patricia but Aline was in the hospital with a fever or something and so no one was home for the rest of the week. We also tried to visit Philipe who had been in a coma for three months, after suffering an accident,t and told us that he loved church but was out of town for the week. 

Friday: We visited another family who was recently baptized and they love us! They are super cool they always give us food and the grandma always says I'm gaúcho dude!  Then we drink lots of chimarrão together. The twelve year old son Jan already has a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and is doing super great. We also then found out that Doritos makes cheese sauce which I thought didn't exist here in Brazil, and so we bought Doritos and had nachos! 

Sat. It rained since Wednesday and on Saturday it was still raining!  We went on a division with two boys of 14 years and taught some lessons. Then as we were about to leave we went to a very poor house and I started to teach him about baptism and then he started telling us how he didn't want to go to church because he didn´t want to tell people about his situation.  I then bore a testimony that the only thing he would do at church would be to feel the love that God has for him. That this is a church with a prophet and 12 apostles. And that I was called to teach you these things. Then I paused and it went completely quiet and then I said this is my testimony that I leave with you in the name of Jesus Christ amen. Then he told us that we are always welcome to return and that he will start to think about going to church. I looked at the boy named Nathan and said what did you think of that lesson?  He just smiled and said it was good. I then told him that bearing a testimony of the things that we know will always be more powerful than any lesson we have to offer. 

Sunday: We had a baptism for a boy named Aliandro  - the brother of the little boy of whom we made a cake and it was a great spiritual experience because now everyone in his family is a member of the church.  Now we are going to help stregthen them so that they never fall away. 

Lunch with some members who are awesome

Doritos and Doritos cheese sauce!

 The baptism of Aliandro and his family.

the picture of the family 
Left to right
Eliandro, Aliandra,Elisanjela(the mom), Joseph the 6 year old, Belo, and their cousin Jackson 

o batismo e com photo com train

haha okay I´ll give you names of everyone!
IN the train picture my companion is the guy next to me his name is elder Hortêncio 
In the doritos is a brand new elder named Elder Alvares who is from Mexico and today is his 13th day on the mission!
IN the train picture the guy on the far right is elder Cordeiro 

October 13, 2014

That"s exciting about the beach house! And that"s funny that all the stuff in my room just got moved! Haha almost made it to the one year mark! I met Sarah before Nick left for his mission -  her cousin is Taylor who is in Mexico. That's awesome that she´s with the Hintzes right now -  that´s problaly alot of fun!   When do Courtney and Emily come home?  It's around Christmas time right?  Tell Amanda I say that she´s going to do awesome and that the langage will come with time!  The first six weeks are the hardest because you won´t understand everything but just be patient and it with time you will start to understand what is going on!   It's funny that you guys are already planning when i´ll come home!   The time does go by fast so that good. Two years ago I was starting my last year of high school.  Good times. 

This week was awesome!  I arrived in my new area called Rio Pardo.  It's a super poor area but awesome. The members here are cool and very nice. Also, I'm the senior missionary now and my companion only has been 3 months on his mission.  So I'm teaching him the ways of Elder Barrus. I bore my testimony on Sunday as well to introduce myself. We worked super hard. More in this week than in any other time on my mission. So we found a great family the mom was a member but her children weren't so we baptized the two children. Also we found a man named Philipe and he went to church with us and we gave him the Book of Mormon and he wants to go be baptized this coming Sunday.  So hopefully it all works out well!   Also I have a crazy girl named Brenda -  she told me that she would only be baptized if I agreed to live with her and then she followed me to my house and tried to kiss me!  Haha it was crazy!  She is 17 and likes Americans so that was interesting!  Haha.  But all in all I like this area a lot.  The members want to help us and I´ve taught with them during the week. I feel like I can really help a lot of people here in this area and that a lot of people here are waiting to be baptized. It"s definitley cool to be a senior missionary now and be the one to say where we need to go and what we need to teach.

A baptism

 BBQ with the members

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 1, 2014

this week was good.  We worked hard and found some cool people.  The area here is a small city, with lots of restaurants and BBQ's which is good.  I eat lots of chicken and rice mixed together for lunch everyday.  It's called galinhada.  There's nothing American here.  It's very German and Brazilian.

I have a new companion from Utah, his name is Elder Dickson and he's cool and a super hard worker so I'm going to learn a lot.  I'm trying to work on stop thinking in English and only think in Portuguese to learn faster.  It feels weird to write in English right now.  I started to translate the Bible from Portuguese to English to understand a lot more in Portuguese.

During the week we tried to visit a member who lives in an apartment but we could never pass her house.  We found a lady named Isolde who went to church a few times but we couldn't find her either so we taught her cousin and it went good.  We found a lot of new investigators also.  We were walking on the street where a member used to live and we found this lady who was having a bad day because she was having problems with her house.  So we taught her and invited her to church and she went so that was awesome!

And this week I learned that the gospel helps people a lot when they have problems and they go to church it helps them have a better day and a better week.  It's great to see the changes in the lives of the people who accept the teaching of the gospel.

I love you guys and keep staying awesome!!
-Elder Barrus

Was up? (August 25, 2014)

So this week was good but I stayed in home three days.  Yuck!  My companion got sick as well as the other missionaries.  But somehow I was fine which was good.  So I studied Portuguese a lot which was good.  I've definitely come a long way since when I first got here.  I remember my first day in the heat and barely being able to say "hi, how are you" in Portuguese!

On Monday we ate cow tongue which was good and very strange!!

On Tuesday we found a lady in the street that had been baptized when she was 9 and wanted us to come over so her kids could get to church.  So we went over to her house but she wasn't home but we gave her son our number.

Wed-Fri. we stayed inside.

Saturday-Sunday I did a division with the other Elder and we knocked a lot of doors and taught some of his investigators and it was fun to go to the other side of Vanancia Aires  We taught a couple where the boyfriend is 18 and the girlfriend is 15.  They are thinking of getting married so they can get baptized but it is a very weird situation.  Our ward mission leader started going back to church again and so we set up an appointment for the next Sunday to meet with him.  The other family I visited with like the Bible a lot as well as the Book of Mormon and it was fun to visit with them.  I'm staying in Vanancia Aires for the next 6 weeks.  My companion is leaving so I'll have a new companion and I'll be showing him the area and I will be the leader for the first week.

On Sunday we had two awesome people in church - the older man named Jose who wants to be baptized next week, and an elderly lady who told us she liked church a lot and wants us to visit with her the coming Thursday.

So all in all a good week!  Hope all is well with you guys!

-Elder Barrus

Special of the week (August 25, 2014)

Cow tongue

August 18, 2014

So this week was good but Tuesday and Wednesday passed by slow!

Monday:  Made sloppy joes and played soccer with the Brazzilians.  They are crazy with soccer so I'm going to learn a thing or two!

Tuesday:  I walked into the English school to talk with a member and the member looks at me and says, "what happened to your shoes?!"  Haha.  So she took me to this sink and starts cleaning my shoes!  Haha.  She is a mom with a kid on a mission as well and she told me, "If your mom saw you with those shoes she would be crazy!" haha.  So it's good to have good members.  All our lessons fell through and we walked from 2:00-6:00 knocking doors but no one was home or had interest.  We then went and visited a member and when they saw how tired we were they went and got us food.  And then my companion left a super powerful message in the end of Matthew 25 about service.  So that was awesome to show the members how much we appreciate them.  Then at 8:00 we visited a less active family and only one girl is active and the family members said they don't go to church because they're lazy!  So that was weird.

Wednesday:  We went and visited some people but a lot of our investigators weren't interested so that was sad.  Then our other appointments fell through so we knocked some doors.  We tried to visit this kid named Fernando  but he wouldn't answer the door.  So my companion says, "I don't think he's here, let's go."  So I say "FERNANDO" and my companion says "voce sai matando mim com vergonha! (you are killing me with embarrassment)" haha.  The neighbors think we're crazy missionaries that yell at people when they don't answer the door!  Taught a few lessons and then went home at 9:00.  Also I super glued my bag because it broke but then I found out the super gluing a bag doesn't turn out too well….

Thursday:   The weather got super cold and then we woke up super early to go to a zone meeting.  Me and my companion gave a training on "Dar um Jetto" which in English would translate to give the way or find a way.  And so we did some practice scenarios of different things that had happened in our area.  We took a bus for an hour to Santa Cruz.  Then when we returned to Vanancia Aires we ate lunch at 2:30 cause we got back super late.  And my companion got food poisoning from lunch so we returned him and weren't able to do any more work.

Friday:  We went to a street where a member had used to live and a lot of people knew that he was a member.  And so we found this super elect type family who are searching for a church and we answered a lot of their questions and gave them a Book of Mormon.  Then we continued down the street and this old man told us he wanted to die and for us to bury him with his cat and dog soooo, we got away from him, he was crazy.  Then we continued down the street and this family said they liked practicing Batuki, so then we continued to the very end and we found this lady who liked our message a lot and they want us to return on Saturday.

Saturday:  We went and visited a couple we had visited a few weeks ago but we felt that they weren't super interested.  They told us they missed our visit last weekend because they felt very peaceful and wanted more peace in their lives.  Then after we taught them they told us they wanted to go to church!  THen we went and visited Jose who has a problem with the word of wisdom but told us he prayed and said that he needs to get baptized in September so we're going to continue to work with him.  He's super humble and has a desire to learn more.  I'm glad we were able to find him and help him out.

Sunday:  We had Jose in church and the couple that said they would go and they learned a lot and liked the three hours they came with their 6 year old and it was great to see all of them.  After church we had lunch with this member who is the owner of an English school so it's fun to speak in English with him. Then we went and visited a family of investigators and after them visited a recent convert.  We had family home evening with them and it was a lot of fun!

So the beginning of the week was slow but we worked a lot and I know that if we have diligence in our lives we will find and encounter many blessings.  I love you and hope you are doing well.  I know the church is true because of the differences it brings into the lives of so many people.   It's crazy how fast summer has flown by and I may be transferred next week!  But if I leave it was awesome to work in this area.  I learned a lot and I was so thankful for the help of the members.

I'll write again soon!
Elder Barrus

My chimarrao!

Sloppy Joes

This is where I do all my studying.

Monday, September 29, 2014

How to eat a chicken in Brazil (August 11, 2014)

How to eat a chicken in Brazil

Here I can buy kidneys, chicken feet, chicken heart, & liver.  People yesterday were telling me about how good pig brain is!!  I'm starting to get worried and hoping that I've never eaten dog or cat!!!

A typically day as a missionary!

August 4, 2014

Monday:  Played soccer in the parking lot of the church with the other Elders and then translated parts of a book from English to Portuguese for an inactive member.
Tuesday:  Went and visited the father of a girl named Fabula.  The dad lost his wife in an accident 9 years ago and so we taught him the plan of salvation and he also accepted to be baptized.
Wednesday:  I did a division with the district leader and went to another area to do a baptismal interview and hung out with one of the other missionaries in an area called Rio Paro and it was cool.  I walked on the first ever made road in Rio Grande do Sul and went to the edge of a river and saw the cannons where a battle was fought.
Thursday:  It rained super hard so we stayed inside and I slept like 3 hours cause I wasn't feeling good.
Friday:  Visited some families and found some new investigators but a lot of them didn't have interest.
Saturday:  Went and visited Ana Paula who got married but is still having trouble with smoking.
Sunday:  Fast and testimony Sunday so everyone is baring their testimonies and stuff and then for like 3 minutes it's dead silent and everyone is looking around and like who will go up?  So I go up and somehow manage to talk for a good amount of time because after I finish we sing  the closing hymn and church is over.  Yeah.  Then we went and ate lunch with this English professor and then visited some in actives who live an hour away by foot.  And people stopped picking them up for church so we're going to work with them.  We then visited a friend of a member and started to teach his family about the Book of Mormon and he asks A LOT of questions, but it is good because he pays a lot of attention and he wants to learn more so that's good.  He told us that he believes that he doesn't need to go to church because God visits him in his home.  So we're going to take things slow, very slow!  On Sunday a guy named Jose came to church.  He came to church a year ago.  If he can stop drinking cofe he can be baptized so that would be super cool.  But all in all I love the mission and it's so great to keep finding new people to share the gospel with.
I love you guys and hope all is well!
-Elder Barrus

July 28, 2014

My apartmetnt when you see the picture you´ll see two windos and that is my whole appartment and it is awesome so much bigger than my other house!https://www.google.com/maps/@-29.613552,-52.193479,3a,41.5y,269.09h,92.28t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1snXfWD7wynaVc-E3m_N0F3Q!2e0

this is the park i pass by when going to eat lunch with members and stuff

this is the super pretty catholic chuch and there are tons of catholics here in this area and alot of people that speak german so mby I´ll learn a thing or two! 

Im in the capital of chimarreou that wierd green grass drink and people can walk up and refil there thermoses with hot water for free here 

This is where I proselete and teach different people and walk everyday you´ll have to explore here alittle bit! 

Haha yea its fun. I'm starting to get better with my accent sort of! I bore my testimony last sunday in the gospel class for the new converts and it's just a super awesome place because the spirt is so strong and one of the new converts said he had never felt the same way he had felt before after hearing my testimony! It helped me understand that through testimonies people can really feel the spirt and the love we have for them as we teach them the different principles of the gospel. 

I'M so glad to be oujt of the ghetto I was suviving in brazil for 3 months in my other area. it's good to be in a more civilized area!! 

HAHAHA I like all you funny stories of blake and carter almost killing uncle jason!!

this is my chapel and im going over there later to play some soccer should be fun! 

Enjoying not eating rice and beans everyday!

I love the area because there is so much here to do. I'm going to go and play soccer in the chapel later.

Yea THE  chapels here are super cool they are different in their own unique ways! 

If the shoes are over 50 dollers they will charge me alot of money but if you put a picture of Jesus on top of the box they wont tear it open supposedly but it would probally just be easier to send a card with some reals that would be better cause nothing will get stolen and I wont have to pay money for the package. In a box send some candy that would be aweosme

Sounds like blake hasnt changed to much so thats good! 

hahah sounds good being on the mission is fun! 

haha yea he´s crazzy! How is lacrosse?

BRAZIL lost the world cup 7-1 to germany they were humiliated and all the brazilans were angry! 

Love you too! have a good day!! The mission is awesome!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

July 21, 2014 My new area!

I'm in Venancio Aires it's a nice little town two and a half hours away from Porto Alegre and it feels great to be out of the super ghetto area for awhile! The members here area cool and help a lot so thats good! We have an investigator named Anapaula and she is working on not smoking and then she can follow the example of her daughter and be baptized so that would be super awesome! Me and my companion are kind of opening the area though because a lot of their old inverstigators were cut so we found a lot of new people and it was a good and busy week! THe only stange thing that happened this week was we were walking down the street and this old lady opens the door as we are walking by and shouts `` I'm a catholic!!!`` and then slammed the door! I immediatly turned to my companion and said `` dude new record we got rejected without even clapping at the door!`` Haha so that was pretty interesting! My companion is from the U.S. and he knows how to make pancakes so Im definitely going to learn how to cook some food this transfer!! Well I love my new area and its awesome and I love you guys and I´ll write some more when more stuff happens!

Elder Barrus

New companions

People I said "good-bye" to before I left Parque dosMias

July 14, 2014

It was fun to read your emails and see you guys having and awesome summer and staying busy!  Tell Mason I say Happy Birthday and that being 10 is super awesome!  I sent you guys two letters last week  so they should arrive before the end of August!  Everything is going great and I can't wait to see where I go next!

So I'm getting transferred but I have no idea where yet!  Gabriel and Heliel are awesome they went to church yesterday and I did a division with Gabriel and taught the father of a recent convert Clayton.  Clayton is loud and crazy and funny and his dad is very similar.  He asked a lot of questions and it was fun to answer them.  His dad was in a motorcycle accident but is doing a lot better.  In one more month he can walk again and work.  Only his foot is in bad shape but with time it will get better so that is a relief!

  For a division I'm just with Gabriel and he is 11.  Life here in Brazil is very different than in the US!  At 8, 8:30 I see little kids running around and stuff in the street.  There was no rioting in my area after the World Cup.  It's chill.  Just really quiet because they didn't feel like celebrating after losing 7-1with Germany.  Brazil got humiliated!

 I'm in the hottest part of my mission so the coldest it's gotten here is like 55 but now it's nice and in the 70's!  But if I go to the mountainous areas it will be more cold!

 Missionwise I feel great.  I'm having a blast and I don't want to come home!  I'm glad you tell me about birthdays and stuff because I forget all about that kind of stuff being down here!

  Hmm.  Good stories…Last Saturday I was in an activity and a friend that was a non member was curious in learning more about the gospel and so we taught him last night and it was super awesome.  We taught him in a members home and only two of the kids are active, and the mom said that even though she is inactive and has been for several years she hasn't lost her testimony and knows that everything about the Book of Mormon is true  She bore a powerful testimony and the room went quiet and then my companion Elder Romares asked, "Ademir, what are you searching for?"  And he said, "I'm searching for happiness."  And then we explained that everything about this gospel would bring happiness into his life.  He agreed to pray and read sections of the Book of Mormon that we had shared with him.

Foodwise it's just rice, beans, and meat everyday but I don't eat beans anymore because I started to get sick because I'm not used to having so many beans in my diet.

It's loud in the streets here.  There are lots of churches called Assembleia de Deus or Assembly of God and they have about 20-30 people and a guy shouting in microphones about random stuff so sometimes I listen to that or motorcycles and cars driving with loud music.   But it depends a lot on the area.  My other area was silent because I lived in a reserved neighborhood.  The apartment - we finally organized it a little but I'm glad to get out and escape.  My area doesn't have a lot to do -no banks or large grocery stores.  I had to walk for an hour to go to big Brazilian Wal-Mart!

And my boots that I had I destroyed in 3 weeks so they weren't too good for missionary shoes so that was sad, but I hope my new area has a place where I can buy new shoes because the shoes I'm using now will probably only last a month or so!

I haven't eaten anything terrible.  Only when that old lady in my last area used literally a cup of salt and I watched her dump it on the food.  It thought I would keep drinking water forever!!  I loved my birthday week.  We ate 3 pizzas during the week, and I made American cheeseburgers and they turned out great!  Also, another missionary from Columbia who is learning Portuguese too stayed with us for a few days so that was fun.

It will be sad leaving Gabriel behind.  He said he would miss me a lot but I think before my mission ends I can visit this area again one more time so that would be cool!   I have a lot of memories here in just 3 months of being here!

July 7 2014

I got all the money thanks so much! I´ll save it up in my reserve fund it will help a lot! That's funny that sophie kept wanting to send me stuff, hope the sickness goes away! Everytime I check my email somthing crazy happens from week to week! Thats good that blake is liking efy so far! I loved all my candy I still have some skittles and starburst that I'll save for awhile. Carter will definetly like his camp a lot! Hope you guys enjoy fourth of july! The german is cool but Im not going to start learning it for another two months or so I need to improve my portuguese still. I hope the hurricane goes away! How are things with the honda dad told me he test drived a camero with blake for fun. The cheese burgers were a success it was awesome! And the chicken heart pizza was awesome as well! Transfers are this Tuesday! I feel like i've been here for awhile so if I go or stay it doesn't really matter but I do like this area a lot!
 Homemade cheeseburgers
Chicken heart pizza for my birthday!

Friday, July 4, 2014

I'm quase 20!

Wow! sounds like you guys had a blast!  Sounds like you wore them out good!  Haha that's funny how much you spent in the Frozen gift shop!  Discovery cove sounds like a Jamaican vacation just because everything is prepaid!   I got my birthday package and I've been enjoything the Starburst and candy! Thanks for the mac and cheese as well!  I bet Blake will like EFY!  Wow,  Sophie´s first coaster!  That is aweosme that she enjoyed it so much!  Discovery cove sounds cool just because it has so much nature! AND thats crazy about the black bear -  watch blake!! Sounds like life is nice and busy this summer will pass by so fast! It's cool spending my birthday in another country . I'm going to eat some chicken heart pizza! If you guys are able to come to Brazil you´ll have to try chicken heart - it is super good!  

More June 23, 2014….

So this week was pretty cool.  Visited our recent convert Erika and she is doing great.  The bishop's wife has helped her to feel welcomed a lot and it's shown me how great and important the friendship of members is.  We can help the person come to church and even be baptized but if the person doesn't have anyone to talk to they won't stay active for long.  This Saturday and Sunday we had a stake conference so it was cool to hear from my mission president and to hear from the different speakers from the stake.  We had a guy named Joao Paulo and his girlfriend and a boy named Clyton who is 15 come with us to the conference so that was cool.  They're progressing a lot and are eager to learn more about the gospel.  Clyton lives in a very poor area of Porto Alegre and so the gospel will help him .  He wants to get baptized this weekend so hopefully everything goes well!!  It's starting to get col here now but only in the mornings and evenings.  During the afternoon it's in the 60's so that's nice.  I bought a coia and started drinking some chimarrao!  It tastes like hot grass the first time I tasted it but now it tastes so good!  I think I will fill one of my suitcases with a bunch of chimarrao when I return!  All in all it was a good and busy week!  The world cup is still as crazy as ever and the Brazilians are loving every minute of it!  I hope that Brazil wins just to see what all the people will do!  I love you guys and I hope all is well!!

 My umbrella.

 We ate microwave cheeseburgers cause we were tired of rice and beans!
 Just chillin'
 This is Erika.  She is 13 and is super awesome and has a lot of faith.  She is the daughter of one of the people we are teaching.  The boy Gabriel who was baptized awhile ago helps her keep coming to church.


June 23, 2014

Wow!  The time is flying by!!  So this week I can't remember anything super special that happened other than I walked a lot and got rained on.  It was a pretty typical week.   The boy named Clyton wasn't baptized because he was in another city taking care of his Dad so hopefully this weekend!

I finally got gas for our house so I'm going to show the Brazilians how to make an American cheeseburger.  It's going to be awesome!

And the shower finally stopped catching on fire so that's also good!

The Brazil games are as crazy as ever.  Since Brazil defeated Chile and is still advancing in the World Cup EVERYTHING went crazy.   People were honking their horns and fireworks are everywhere shooting up in the sky.  Brazil knows how to party!

For my birthday I'm going to eat a huge chicken heart pizza and it's going to be epic!

I love you guys!  The mission is awesome and there are so many great people to teach!

June 16, 2014

I was in the missionary headquarter on the 13th and I'm only a 30 minute bus ride away from the mission office so I'm super close by.  Maybe I'll get the package this Thursday when I have district meeting!  Tell Sister Barrand, "Muito Obrigado e que voce sao ben legal!" Haha.  I'm getting close to being fluent!  I can now talk to people on the street without my companion helping me and I can ask them when we can come to their house and share a message.

I did a division so I went with Gabriel and my companion went with his little brother Heliel.  So we leave his house and we're talking to people and Gabriel, who's only 11just goes up to anyone and says, "Hey, we're missionaries and we want to share a message with you about the Bible.  Can we come by your house another day?" So he's awesome and I can see him being a missionary someday.  So everything is going great until Gabriel goes up to a crazy man with only one eye and before I can stop him he says, "we're missionaries and we want to share a message."  And the man starts shouting in the middle of the road, "Everyone is a missionary and can teach the word of God." And I'm like, "well, but I'm only in Brazil as a missionary for two years" and then he starts jumping up and down in the middle of the road and laughing a weird laugh like crazy.  So I walk away and then he starts walking beside me!  And starts telling me about how angels baptized him in holy water with their hands so at this point I just start thinking to myself, "yep I'm in Brazil with a crazy dude on drugs telling me about angels and yep this is really happening!"  So I just keep nodding my head and saying wow! and really?  And then I finally got away from him.

I then found this cool guy named Carlos and he wanted a Book of Mormon.  But I told him I have to teach him before I'm allowed to give him a book so he agreed and I'm going to visit him this Saturday!

Also, I'm starting to teach an English class.  I've got some people here that are excited and I think it will be quite the hit!  So I'm excited to start teaching the people some English.

Everything here in Brazil is good!  Always something interesting happening!  During the World Cup if there is a game I have to stay inside.  I don't mind.  I just study my Portuguese.

 Picture of me in my neighborhood.
 Picture in my neighborhood after it rained a ton!
 Me with Elder Romares

So this week was good.  Being here during the World Cup is crazy.  Every time Brazil scores a goal I can hear fireworks going off everywhere and people are yelling and the streets go wild.  The cars drive by at the end of the game with green and yellow flags!  So it's fun to be here during the World Cup even though I can't watch it.  I've seen glimpses of the world cup games in the restaurants or in the markets and when I see in the stadium everyone is standing and yelling and going crazy!!!  In the US we have the Super Bowl and it's in the US every year, but the World Cup is only every four years and it won't be held again in Brazil for another 80 years or so!  Because of this everyone is crazy about the World Cup!!!  When the games aren't being played I'm out in the streets talking to people.

June 9, 2014

So this week was cool.  We found a great family that we're teaching.  We taught them the first lesson and they thought it was interesting.  Then we asked them if they would come to church and they came and they said it was interesting.  And then there is a girl named Erika and she is excited to be baptized so that was awesome as well!  She went to church with us on Sunday as well and she is super cool.  The boy Gabriel who was recently baptized tod us that he would bring her to church for us and he did so that was pretty awesome!  He's only 11 but he has been a great example of faith for me.  The church from his neighborhood is about a 10 minute bus ride and then 30 minutes of walking.  And he comes every week with his little 10 year old brother and his other investigators!  He also likes learning English.  So I write words down on a piece of paper and I tell him to just learn 10 words a day and then he'll start to learn more.  I also taught him to say, "you are cool" and "you are a monster" so it is fun teaching him stuff.

The area I'm in is poor but I like it.  It's cool living in the ghetto area.  When I first got here I felt really weird with my sink in my apartment breaking and water leaking or using a microwave to dry my clothes, but now it's normal.  It's Brazil.

I got a new companion this week.  His name is Elder Romares and he's cool and he's a hard worker.  He only speaks Portuguese to help me improve and that is helping a lot.  All in all life is good here in Brazil.  It feels strange sometimes to think that I'm in the very bottom of South America!

But I love you guys and I love being here it's so cool to get to live in another culture!

"Love the pictures this week.  Are those from when you played soccer a few weeks ago?"
Austin's reply - "Yeah, it was awesome!  They were a lot of fun to play with and they thought is was cool we were American!"