Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 5, 2014

It sounds like you guys had a crazy week!  Time to get a new car!  That's crazy that it totally died like that!  The beach looks beautiful and awesome!  I'll be able to go to the beach in 3 years!  Enjoy the water for me!  This Sunday is Mother's Day and I can Skype you guys but you need to create a Skype account.  Then I can talk to you guys and it will be awesome!

The time for me is the same time zone as Sao Paulo.  I will call you guys at 3 o'clock my time so that is 2 o'clock your time but just check to make sure.

My companion is named Elder Gee and he goes home in 4 more weeks.  He has been in Brazil for almost 2 years and he has a lot of experience so it is fun to learn from him.  He is American.

My new area is in the north of Porto Alegre - Rubem-berta.  I live in the ghetto.  My apartment is less than half the size of the living area of our basement.  We have four Elders living in it.  We are trying to get another house.  Me and my companion and the other set of missionaries have a lot of fun together.  My area is awesome though.  The church is a lot bigger and we have a lot of members in our ward.

Everyone in my area is black and is very poor.  My area, I think, is the poorest in the entire mission.  We had a lot of investigators go to church last week and that was awesome.  We had one investigator named Daisy, who is married (the people are never married in Brazil) so that is awesome.  Being married is a requirement to be baptized.  Daisy brought her sister and her sister's two kids.  So hopefully they will be baptized this Sunday.  That would be way awesome.

My mission is a baptizing mission.  This area of my mission apparently just gets a lot of baptisms.  It's super neat to see how Heavenly Father prepares different areas and people to hear the gospel.  The average missionary here baptizes one or more people a week here.  And it's not because the missionaries here work harder or that we're just lucky but it's because a lot of people here are just prepared to receive the gospel.  It is great to work on this mission, to see so many people open their hearts and to hear a message from us.

This week I walked into the most ghetto area I could find.  I told Elder Gee "let's go on an adventure."  We went into an area that was just wooden huts so I did the first normal thing I could think of and thought, "let's find the person that looks like the most unlikely person to teach."  So we found this guy with a bunch of jewelry and tattoos and I decided to teach him.  So I taught him the third lesson in Preach my Gospel - just the basics about faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  He said he wants to go to church, but we'll see what happens.  He told me, "wow, no one ever comes here.  I've never seen any church person every go anywhere near this place."  So on the bright side there are lots of people who have never been taught, and on the other hand it may not be such a good idea to return because a lady started asking us for money when we started to leave.  Don't worry, I won't go there at night -haha.  But it is fun and humbling to go to different areas and seeing how people live.

Two of my favorite families.
 This family is my favorite.  I told them they were my Brazilian family.  They made me BBQ's every week and I taught lessons with their son.  I also helped their son learn more English.  He reminds me a lot of Blake and he is crazy.

The guy sitting to my right returned from his mission 3 months ago and he was our mission leader and helped us out a lot.  This is another awesome family.  We ate cake and drank lots of juice and had lots of lunches with them.

 This is a picture of Juliano.  He got baptized and for being only 14 he has a ton of faith.  He rides his bike 35 minutes just to get to the church.  He is an incredible example for me of how to not only have faith but to really show faith and the blessings you can receive when you apply faith in your life.   He is an awesome kid and hopefully he continues to go to church.

This is me and my companion and a guy named Tiago.  He just returned home from his mission two weeks ago.  His is super awesome and has helped us teach lessons.

Me and my missionary bros...

                                                                      Elder Gee

 Elder Andrade

Elder Burgos

Elder Barrus - they pronounce it Bahos here

My new house.  The shower broke so we boil pots of water and then we put it into a bucket that has holes in it.  Then I run to the shower and dump the hot water in and then I put the two smaller buckets underneath to catch the water from the big bucket.  Good think I have street smarts - haha.

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