Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Google map of my house.

It's the one with the white fence.  You can explore my street!

May 29, 2014

I got to travel on P-Day to another part of Porto Alegre.  I'll send you guys a ton of photos next p-day!  I tried to email you guys earlier but the Ian houses weren't open.  Also, I got to go the the temple on Tuesday and I got to see President and Sister Wright there and it was awesome!  This Monday will be my last with Elder Gee and I can't believe it has already been another 5 weeks!  Time is going fast!  Love you!
Elder Barrus

It's so fun being American here.  I went with this boy Gabriel, who we recently baptized, to see his school.  The government pays for it and it is very big and nice which is good because the area is so poor.  He showed us his different classes and then we talked with the manager and we talked with him for a bit.  And it's so different here than in the USA.  In the USA if I went to a school people would think it was so weird that two missionaries were walking around.  But here, they're like, "hey, come on in!"  There is a blonde English teacher here that is 19 and is learning English.  So I'm going to try and meet her because it would be awesome to come here and teach the kids English.  Especially since my companion is leaving soon and my new one will likely be Brazilian.  This Tuesday is my transfer.  Hopefully I'll stay here because I like this area a lot!  What's going on with the tv thing?  That sounds crazy.  Hahaha.  You guys are nuts!
Elder Barrus

May 19, 2014 - Several emails throughout the day.

Blake is in surgery?  You're joking right?  You don't need to make me another Facebook.  There is a member who adds photos for us time to time.   That picture of me on Facebook with the big building behind me is about 3 miles from my house.  haha.  It's funny,  I thought I only walked about 3 miles a day but it turns out it's about 8 miles.   In my last area it was 10-14 miles that's probably why I started having trouble with my foot!  I'll go on my email more later today as well to send more pictures!  That's awesome Mason won his last game in lacrosse that's super exciting!  Tell Carolyn Elmore I say hi from Brazil and I'm having fun here.  It's cool to be in a foreign country!  Haha.  I'll have to look at your other emails to see what happened to Blake this time!

Haha.  I just read the Dear Elder letter.  You guys never get a break with him - hahaha

Today me and the other three missionaries were walking to the Ian House to email but it was closed so went to this park and the place was filled with 30-40 kids!  So me and Elder Gee, my companion, started talking to them in English and in about 5 minutes we got surrounded by kids!  Then their school teacher came up to us and asked if we were playing a joke?  You guys don't know English!  And then I said, "Eu no fall muito Portuguese" and then she knew I was an American, as well as Elder Gee, because of our accents.   Then we started answering their questions in English and teaching them things like, "How are you?" and "My name is" and "Good Morning"and then we took a picture with all the kids.  Then after we played soccer with them!  It was the four of us missionaries against 8 Brazilian kids!  The score was 7-2 we lost - haha!  They are crazy good with soccer here!  I was running around barefoot on the pavement with the other Brazilians and it was super awesome.  I think we're going to try and play soccer with them again next Monday!  All the little kids were cheering for us as we played.  Then I told them my name is Austin and I had 40 kids saying, "AUSTIN AUSTIN AUSTIN!"  Was super awesome.  They liked us a lot and today was one of the most fun P-Days I've had!

I checked out my blog it's so awesome your the best mom ever but you probably already know that!!  I loved all the photos.  My memory card got a virus and so a lot of my photos got erased so it was a good thing I emailed you all my good photos!

So me and my companion are walking down this road and we see this house that looks completely destroyed!  And I say to Elder Gee, "what happened here it looks like it got bombed."  And he says, "I don't' know man, this is Brazil."  So we nicknamed the place "the bombed house."  
And a boy named Gabriel comes out and starts talking to us.  He's 11 and he tells us he wants us to visit him and he tells us that he wants to be baptized.  We first saw him about two weeks ago.  We kept going to his house but no one would answer.  Then on Wednesday we ran into his mom and we were able to teach both her and Gabriel.  We taught them the first lesson about the restoration and it went really well and we just talked to the mom and she thinks it's really cool that we give up two years voluntarily to teach people and to help them.  She told us we could come back the next day to teach them.  We went back but the mom wasn't there and we taught Gabriel the plan of salvation and the commandments and it was great. Gabriel said he would stop drinking coffee and start drinking sevada instead.  In English sevada means barley.  Then he told us he wanted to be baptized so we took him to church and the district leader interviewed him.  He is super elect and has a strong desire to follow the commandments and he walked all by himself to go to church.  He has a lot of faith and that is neat to see.  So the next Sunday he says, "I can't be baptized yet my mom doesn't want me to be baptized yet."  So we tried calling his mom but she wouldn't answer so we decided if we couldn't' get a hold of her we would go to her.  So we brought Gabriel with us and had a member drive us to their house.  So Gabriel got his mom to come outside and Elder Gee started talking to her and she said she didn't want him to get baptized because she felt like he needed to learn more first.  My companion explained that we don't need to know everything to get baptized but have to have a desire to follow the commandments and that we are always learning.  And then she told us something I won't forget for awhile, she said, "I heard you clapping your hands outside my house but I didn't answer because I didn't want you to teach me but when I saw how my son trusted you and became friends with you I let you into my home.  And then you began to teach me and I felt this peace in my heart that I've never felt before.  And as you are talking to me now I feel this same peace."  Then tears started falling from her eyes and she said, "yes, you can baptize my son."  We said that's great and that she has great faith and that we needed to talk to her husband too to have permission as well from him.  And so we called for him to come to the house and he agreed to have Gabriel baptized as well.  He told us he is Catholic but has no problem with Gabriel getting baptized.  So we invited his mom to come later to the baptism and that it would be at 12:30 and she said she couldn't.   We took Gabriel and his 10 year old brother with us to the last hour of Sacrament.  We took a bus and then walked the last quarter of a mile.  After Sacrament filled into the room for the baptism and Gabriel's mom entered and it was so great!  She was smiling and I knew this was going to be a great day, so I took Gabriel and I baptized him and it was great.  The spirit was so strong and I know that this will be a great day for him and for his family to remember. The morale of this story is sometimes the most destroyed looking houses are the most humble and are the ones you build back up.  It was such a great opportunity to baptize him and to help his family out.  And I look forward to continuing to teach them and helping them as I stay in this area as well as other families I meet along the way.

Elder Burgos, Anelice, Gabriel, Elder Barrus

Anelice is another story.  She is 10 and she wanted Elder Burgos to baptize her because he taught her before I arrived. She is the daughter of another investigator named Daniela.  She is awesome and super energetic.  The mom wants to get baptized too but she has to get married first.  So we're working with her on that.  But she likes church a lot and is super awesome!

Photos da casa!