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!