Saturday, June 21, 2014

Giving blessings, World Cup and Investigators :)

Weekly Email - June 16, 2014

Isaiah 12:2

How's everyone doing? This week has been good, the World Cup started this week and my goodness it is insane. The whole city shuts down for the Brazil games. Everyone is wearing yellow and green and nearly every house has a Brazil flag. Imagine the fourth of July combined with the super bowl times 10. It is awesome, haha. We have to stay in the days Brazil plays. they play again tomorrow. it would be impossible to teach anyone and a bit dangerous because of the alcohol. The people all watch the other games as well. They may have no idea who the county is but its futebol so they watch, haha. It's really cool to be a part of. Besides the World Cup it was a good week. They asked me to give another talk in sacrament meeting. They must like picking on the gringo, haha. We had some real good lessons this week. We met with T----- and P---- nearly everyday. T-----´s son (P----´s father) has a drug abuse problem and it is really hard for T-----. She has been basically left to raise his three kids. So we taught a lot about how God is our father and he will support us in our challenges. Yesterday we invited her to be baptized and she had the concern they she can't read and that we read a lot in our services (hymns, class). I told her no need to worry, the gringo does alright and he can't read or talk or understand Portuguese. They even asked him to give a talk. Hopefully that gave her some comfort. P---- is an awesome kid. He is 17 and really has a lot of motivation to make something of himself. He sees the trap his father is in is not what he wants. We are also teaching a young man named T----. The priests quorum is really awesome in the ward. There are only 4 of them but none of them have parents who are members and they all live in the same neighborhood and are great buddies. T---- is another one of their friends. He has been investigating a lot of different churches (JW, Universal, Catholic) and the priests in our ward told him about ours and gave him a Book of Mormon. We have had two lessons so far with him and they have gone really well. We had zone conference this week so we were able to see they rest of the new zone. They sure moved a lot of people around last transfer I didn't know any of them. It was a great training, the AP's (assistants to the president) were there as well. Finally got some more Books of Mormon there as well, we had been out for about 2 weeks. I gave my first actual blessing this week in Portuguese. It was a another neat experience. It was for T-----. I really love the ward here. I'm starting to be able to connect whose is family with who, names are still tricky though. Overall a lot of teaching this week. We are working on getting more members at our lessons. It's hard here because the area is so big, everyone lives so far apart but fellow-shipping is very important. Did a lot of contacting this week. We met the craziest people it seems contacting. We have gotten to be friends with these two ladies who are always there at the mall where we contact. One sells jewelry and they other hands out flyers for her pizza restaurant. They are always there so we talk to them a lot. They may not know it but we have taught them almost all of the lessons in our conversations with them, under cover teaching, haha. Neither of them live in our area but hopefully we can refer them to other missionaries. 
Love you guys have a great week!!! 

Isaiah 12:2

Com amor,
Elder Mountain

Elder Mountain representin' in Rio ;)

Nate on a bus in Rio.

A spiral staircase to an investigators home in Rio. 

Alley in Rio during World Cup!

A picture we had not received yet of Elder Mountain and a convert/friend from AZ. :)

Email - June 9, 2014

Sounds like you guys have had an eventful week! Glad you guys are having fun at the pool and at Sonic and out west. This week was another good one. Been battling a cold the past few days but I think I am past the worst of it. This week we had Stake Conference and it was a special broadcast from Salt Lake. The area seventy and Elder Richard G. Scott (who speaks Portuguese) and Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke. I'm pretty sure it was for all of Brazil. It was a really good conference. The Saturday adult session was just normal speakers from the stake and they talked a lot about preparing for the temple that's going to be built here. The people are all really excited. The church has bought the land but hasn't started construction yet. Talked a lot about family history and missionary work. This week Elder Veiga and I worked a lot on teaching in the street. It is easy when you are making contacts to be tempted I guess to just give them a pass along card or get their phone number without teaching them a whole lot. So this week we tried to improve our contacts and teach a one minute restoration or plan of salvation lesson to them. It has taken a lot of work because you got to talk so dang fast to make it work,  haha, people will only be interested for 30-60 seconds, so you got to make it count. Oh, Elder Veiga and I stayed in the area (forgot about that). A lot of the zone changed though. 3 of the 6 in our district including the DL are new. Elder Fox is still in the district though. This week Elder Veiga has had me lead some lessons as well. He is good at pushing me, he has been a great teacher. We had a really good lesson with T------ (the lady who cant read) and her 17 year old grandson. We taught the restoration and it went well. First time I said the first vision in Portuguese in a lesson. The 17 year old, P---- was really interested. It has been hot the past few days here. Summer here is gonna be really hot. The stake center we went to for stake conference was massive. It was like a small temple. It has to be bigger than the tiny Birmingham Alabama temple we went to once. I don't know if all the buildings are big like that here but I was surprised. Have been continuing to read the Book of Mormon with Elder Veiga. I'll read Portuguese and he will read English. He has learned English really fast. It's funny sometimes he will say Book of Mormon phrases like `I am exceedingly afraid` or `My book upon my desk` haha, it has been a blast learning with him. The leadership is all so young here. Our elders quorum president has been a member for about 8 months, our bishop is 28, our stake president is in his 30's, growing pains I think when the church is growing fast. The buses kinda went on half strike for a few days so it took forever to find the buses that we needed and they are always packed with more people than you could imagine could fit. I had a cool experience this week when the stake patriarch who is in our ward. He called us and asked if we could give his wife a blessing. She was sick with a cold so we needed to anoint her with oil. She asked if I could anoint and if Elder Veiga could give the blessing. I wasn't sure if I could but Elder Veiga told me you can do it I know it. I had studied how to give a blessing briefly before but it had been a while. So I gave it a shot, it was neat how the words came when I needed them. The holy ghost, and the gift of tongues is real, that's for sure. Elder Veiga always tells me trust in the Lord he will help you. It is definitely true. It was a testimony builder for me. Was a good week for sure. Love you guys!!!
Eu sei que Jesus vive. Ele e minha luz. Todo de minha paz e felizidade e por cause dele. 
Com amor,
vamos la!
Elder Montanha

Super hard to see but it's a night picture of the crocodiles that Nate mentioned in his last email. Scary!!! The bridge doesn't even have a gaurd rail!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Teaching in Brazil, VISA finalized & clapping on doors :)

Weekly Email - June 2, 2014

Elder Fox and Elder Mountain, together in Provo MTC and Sao Paulo CTM.

Another week down in Brazil!!! Glad to see all of you guys are doing well. Can't believe Aunt Cindee had her baby tell her congrats for me. This week was another good one. The language is progressing little by little. Elder Veiga has been an awesome teacher for me. He definitely has patience to be companions with a fresh gringo, haha. Transfers are tomorrow, we actually will find out if one of us is moving in a couple hours. I hope not, and I don't think so, we have only been comps for 3 weeks. We had a really good week of finding this week. We found 8 new investigators. One really neat experience we had was with one of our new investigators M-------. We were teaching her the restoration and it was going great. We got to the first vision and Elder Veiga started to quote it as I held the picture of the first vision that's in the pamphlet. She stopped Elder Veiga about half way through (which normally isn't ideal, haha) and said "This is exactly what I imagined would happen if we had a Prophet again. That he would be a young boy with pure intentions, he would pray in a forest, and he would see God and Christ. You mean to tell me this happened"? haha, yes it did happen. I have never seen that reaction to the first vision. Often people have doubts that a 14 year old boy in the USA is who God called to be Prophet but she already had imagined it exactly how it happened. It was pretty neat. We knock on doors, or clap hands, haha, once in a while and we had some really good luck in this one small apartment complex. (I asked him about the clapping and he said,"yeah we do that for the houses because they all have gates. we knock the doors for apartments".) There are maybe 15 apartments in there and we ended up getting 4 new investigators. One of them who is an older lady actually had been interviewed for baptism a long time ago and we didn't know about it. She doesn't know how to read so she said it's hard for her to get a testimony of the Book of Mormon. That was the only thing that kept her from being baptized last time. So we gotta try to figure out how to help her. This week I had to go to the federal police and get my visa finalized. It was foreverrrrr away so we took a bus to the secretaries apartment and spent the night there and left the next morning to go to the police station. We got there at 7:00 in the morning and ended up getting back to the secretaries apartment at 4:00 in the afternoon. The Brazilian government workers are really fond of Americans, haha. We were put in the back, of the back, of the back of the line, but i got it. I met a really nice guy from Argentina there. He spoke Spanish and a little English but didn't know much Portuguese so I ended up teaching him in English. He was a really nice guy. He moved here from Argentina for work and is saving money to help his family move. He was really interested in the Book of Mormon too. It has been a bit wet this week, really nice temperature though, maybe 75-80. The food here is amazing. Really different but amazing. Haven't gotten sick yet. The water seems to be clean. No one drinks from the tap they either have filters or buy some from someone who has one, so there isn't much reason to worry. They drink guarana (a type of soda) here like water too. They drink that stuff non stop all hours of the day. It's really good too not sure why they don't have it in the USA. Church was really good this week. I really enjoyed the classes. It's a small ward (the EQP teaches every week and the bishop teaches gospel doctrine) everyone has a few callings and we don't have a WML at the moment, but they are really close, like a big family. They have made me feel very welcomed. Anyways, been a great week. The language is getting better everyday, only if I could get these people to talk slower, haha. 
love ya!!!

Sei que jesus vive. Eu sei que ele nos ama. Sei que o dom de lingua e real. Sei que o livro de mormon e a palavra de deus. Sei que este evangelho e simple poderoso. Ele pode mudar nossas vidas. Eu amo voces!! Obrigadao por sua amor. tem uma semana boa!

I know that Jesus lives. I know he love us. I know that the gift of language and real. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that this gospel is simple and powerful. It can change our lives. I love you guys!! Thanks a lot for your love. Have a good week!

vamos la!
Elder Montanha
(I might actually get a name tag that says that!!)

Provo MTC district #220 reuniting in Rio!