|Pictures from Rio de Janeiro|
|The power-lines are a bit sketchy in Rio. Nate says safety is not the first consideration there.|
|Poor area in Rio.|
|World Cup graffiti!!|
|Two of the awesome priest in Elder Mountain's ward.|
Weekly Email - June 30, 2014
Woohoo this was a good week! Elder Veiga and I saw the lords hand in the work very often this week. I'm going to write this letter a bit different I'll type a day at a time. Tell Danny and the family in town hey for me, glad you are guys are having fun with them.
Monday was a bit different because of the Brazil game against Camorim. We worked like normal before emailing and lunch and made some contacts. The few hours we had to work were great, we had 3 lessons in the street and met a new investigator L---. he is a super nice guy, Catholic. He insisted on buying us some guarana (carbonated juice) when he met us and we taught him the first lesson as we drank, haha. He bought the guarana from T-----´s daughter´s restaurant who doesn't like Mormons for some reason and we had the lesson there so that was a tad awkward, haha. Brazil won the game so they partied all night. The people were all happy (and drunk) as can be, haha. While the game was going on we cleaned the house and Elder Veiga made some chocolate chip cookies for us.
We had a few appointments fall through but overall was a good day. We went to Cesar Maia and met A----- (a priest in the ward whose parents aren't members) and his little brother G------- who is 9. He told us that he decided that he wants to be baptized so we set up a lesson for Wednesday to start teaching him. even though he is only 9 G----- looks 13 or 14, he is super tall. His brother A------ is really tall as well. We had a neat lesson with a lady named E-------- in the street. It was crazy how many beliefs she had in common with us (3 kingdoms of glory, non paid ministry, need of prophets today, God and Christ are separate beings). We decided to teach her about the Book of Mormon, which was about the only thing we could find she didn't know about, haha. She was really interested in it, hopefully we can see her again. We had district meeting, the training was on following up on commitments. We got 6 more Books of Mormon because we were out but we had to haul them around all day, man they were heavy. We went to Irmao Stuarts English class. It was pretty neat, Elder Veiga loved it. Should be a good finding tool I hope.
Possibly the craziest day of my mission, haha. Had studies and almoco (lunch) then head to good ol´ Cesar Maia. We met J--- and V-----, two more friends of the priests in the ward. Both were really interested and we taught them the first lesson and invited them to be baptized. They accepted the date to be baptized July 5th, woohoo. After we had a lesson with G------, the 9 year old. It is fun teaching kids, you really got to simplify things and make it interesting. He also accepted the date to be baptized on July 5th, woohoo. After that we went out with two of the priests R------ and A----- for the rest of the evening. As we were leaving Cesar Maia a man named W---- stopped us who clearly was shaken up by something. I thought it may be was drugs. He asked us to come in his home and say a prayer for him. We ended up giving him a blessing and blessing his home. A day later we found out when we talked to him again that he had tried basically voodoo the day before. Voodoo is unfortunately popular among the really poor here. He said after he tried it he felt a pit in his stomach (the feeling when the holy ghost leaves I think) since he tried it and he didn't know how to make it go away. Then he saw us `Jesus Men` as he called us and asked for a prayer. The second day we saw him he was totally different, had a bright demeanor about him, he smiled, wasn't skiddish like he was before. He would look in our eyes which we didn't do the first day we met him. The whole experience was a huge testimony builder of the power of the priesthood and just the plan of happiness the gospel brings. Follow and find God and you will be happy, simple as that. After that we had a lesson with T----- and a less active and his non member girlfriend. The girlfriend M----- was really interested but the less active kinda derailed the lesson, kinda frustrating. Members really can make or break lessons.
Good day despite the fact my face was thesnack for all of the mosquitoes in Camorim, haha. Hard to sleep, the mosquitoes have gotten really bad this week. Spent most of the day in Cesar Maia. Taught J--- and V----- again about the word of wisdom and tithing, they accepted to live the commandments. Then we headed to W----- with Adolfo to check on him. It was really really amazing to see the change in him. The Spirit was back. The difference was day and night, very powerful. It was really neat, he had the pamphlet we had given him the day before with a picture of Christ and a pass-along card with a picture of Christ standing up by his bed. The priesthood is real folks. Then we taught a less active M-----. She was really nice, gave us some super good bread and even better she came to church on Sunday, woohoo.
Headed to Barra Sul in the morning for a lesson that ended up falling through, so we took our studies in a nearby park. It was nice to study outside. It is kind of far from our house but I really like Barra Sul it is a community of 5000 or so apartments. The people there are really interesting and receptive. After that we headed to Camorim for an appointment and to eat lunch. We didn't have a lunch with a member so Elder Veiga asked a man at the bus stop for a good place to eat. The man he asked ended up knowing who missionaries are because his brother in-law is a member. He was super nice to us. The place he took us to was really dang good too. Then an older man at the restaurant came up to us and insisted on paying for us. He took the lessons years ago and knew who we were. Blessings from heaven, haha. No one here knows anything about Mormons, it was crazy we had two in a row like that. Then we headed back to Recreio to have a lesson with T-----. She was having a bad day because her two grandkids that she basically raises were giving her fits. We shared Joshua 1:9 and talked about relying on the Lord. After that we headed to see some other investigators but they weren't home but on the way an old black lady asked if we could give her a blessing. She lived basically in a favela (very poor people) and she hurt her leg and doesn't have family to help her or money for a doctor. Experiences like that, man are they humbling. I just wanted to give her hug. We gave her a blessing and she was very appreciative. After that we went to Barra Bonita to teach in the street. Ended up with 7 lesson in the street, woohoo. Friday was Pres Lima's last day. Didn't know him real well but I really liked him.
Good day, had to stay in a bit because of the Brazil and Chile game. In the morning we left at 7am for a lesson with a guy named E----- in Barra Sul, the lesson went pretty well. After the lesson we studied in the park again and headed for almoco. After almoco we headed back home from 12 to 5 while the game was going on. Cleaned a bit and took a nap which was really dang nice, haha. Elder Veiga wrote his talk that he gave on Sunday, it was really good about forgiveness. After 5 we headed to the gold mine known as Cesar Maia. We met Elder Lesueur for the baptismal interview for G------. He passed and will be baptized next Saturday, woooohooo. He is super excited. While the interview was going on all the the Brazilian teenagers wanted to play ping pong with the gringo, haha. They have one ping pong table and man they play all day, everyday. They are really good as you can imagine. We also went to I---- S-----'s baptism on Saturday. He was excommunicated about 20 years ago and for the passed 5 years has been working to come back. It was a really nice simple service. Man he is happy and excited to have made his way back. In the evening we had a lesson with I-----. He is from Haiti and had some friends over form Haiti. They all were Seventh-day Adventist so we taught about the sabbath day, haha. They were all really nice. A million questions about the states as well.
Decent day had G----- at church. Set up the program for his baptism. There is a primary program on Saturday which is perfect He will be baptized right after, all of his friends will already be there, perfect. We spent the rest of the day in Terreirao near our home and Barra Bonita. Had another lesson with T-----. Talked about the yoke of Christ is easier than the yoke of the world. Best week so far in Brazil. Finally met our goal of 210 contacts and had 26 lessons and the baptism next Saturday, wooohooo.
This week was awesome. I really had my testimony of the priesthood strengthened. It is real and it is the power of God. great week!!!
|Provo MTC district 220 reuniting in Rio!!!|
|Zone Conference in Rio!|
Weekly Email - June 23, 2014
Hope everyone is doing well! This was a real good week for Elder Veiga and me. As a missionary, a lot of the times it is easy to get in a rut of doing the same thing over and over everyday, even if you are doing good things. This week we have been trying out some new ideas and man it has turned out well. Our first idea was to invite the family we have lunch with to go contacting with us near their home for thirty minutes. If they have a young man we take him for sure or take the husband or who ever wants to come. It has been great giving members real missionary experience and the presence and testimony of a member makes all the difference. We also have been setting goals to set appointments with all of our investigators. Before they would tell us a day they are generally available and we would hope they would be home and free when we stopped by. We realized we need to set more specific dates like Thursday at 3:00 that we can return. Our mission has a standard of excellence (or weekly goal for every companionship to strive for) of 20 lessons with a member, 15 lessons in the street, 6 investigators at church, and 210 contacts. It real has made us stretch, we really want to achieve it this week. This Sunday we had two investigators at church. T----- who is a young man who is good friends with the priests. A family also showed up, the wife has been less active for years and the husband isn't a member, and they are relatives of an active family in our ward. Nothing makes a missionary happier than when people just show up, haha. We taught them a lesson Sunday evening and it went great. They gotta get married though, but that's normal in Brazil, haha. Had a sad experience with T----- this week, we went to her house on Saturday to invite her to church and she asked us to stop coming by because her daughter and son don't like us visiting her for some reason and I guess it caused a big fight with them. She lives in their home so she said she doesn't want to cause problems. It was sad, maybe in a little while we can see her again. She herself wanted to go to church and progress but she is afraid of her family. Found an interesting new way to find people, Elder Veiga is super excited about. A brother in our ward from Scotland teaches English for free ever Tuesday at the chapel and he invited us to come to meet the people that come and so Elder Veiga can improve his English. It will be a cool opportunity. I'll probably end up helping him teach since I know English but as you can tell by this letter my English is terrible, haha. Brazil plays again today so we will be stuck inside afterTou muito grato por meu oppurtunidade servir aqui. Eu amo brazil e eu amo meu salvador. Me felizidade e completo quando eu prego evangelho dele. . It was really cool this week, it was nice. Winter just started so it'll be nice for a while longer. Had a multi-zone conference this week. Got to see Elder Evans for the first time since the MTC, he is doing great. He is basically fluent and has been here since November. Still need to see Elder Siebers and Elder Neu. It was the last conference of President Lima. The new president arrives this week. President Lima will start serving as a area president when he is released as the mission president. He shared his testimony and life story really at the end of the conference, it was really really powerful. He has an apostle like presence about him. Anyways, was a great week, looking forward to this one.