Monday, August 11, 2014

Trainer, District Leader and Transfer! Oh yeah!

Weekly Email - July 14, 2014

Picture in the foyer of Grandma Hutchens' church. Made Popa think of his missionary.

Sorry for being super late today, has been a crazy day. First both Elder Veiga and I got transferred. We found out on Saturday. Elder Veiga had been there 6 months so that was no surprise he got moved, but I was shocked that I would be moving as well. Turns out that the new Mission President decided to move nearly half of the sisters out of their areas because their areas were too dangerous for his liking, haha. So our area is now going to taken over by sisters. It will be a big shock for the ward on Sunday. Today I found out some crazy news. First I will be training a newbie, my first son in the wilderness, haha. I have not met him yet, he will arrive from the MTC tomorrow. I am really excited but a bit nervous, not sure if he is Brazilian or American. If he is a newbie American we will be in trouble, haha, we will not understand hardly anything. I was also called to be a district leader. I am really nervous about that. It's a small district, only three companionships. I will live with the Zone Leaders so hopefully they can help me out. There will be a lot of headaches in the near future but it will do a lot to help my Portuguese. My new area is called Itaguai. The zone I am in boarders one of the Sao Paulo Missions so it is really, really far away, 5 hour bus ride I heard. Elder Veiga is getting transferred to a neighboring ward in Camorim. He was a great companion, I wish him the best. This week was pretty good. Sunday was really awesome, had 2 investigators at church that we have been trying to get there all transfer, M----- and M-------. Have a ton of pictures from this week but my camera is packed away in my suit case. Spent a lot of time in Cesar Maia, as usual. It was hard to tell the priests we worked with a lot there goodbye, they have become great friends. They will be great missionaries soon. Had a funny experience this week, we found a community behind Cesar Maia about a 5 minute walk through the forest. Our entire time there we had never heard about it. I felt like Kramer when he sees main street intersect main street, the nexus of the universe, haha. It was nearly identical to Cesar Maia but it was like they built it over night. Had a great last lesson with W------. He is probably who I will miss the most, I really hope the best for him. I know that with the help of the Lord he can turn his life around. He has already taken leaps and bounds from when we first met him. This week the world cup ended. Man the people aren't happy here. After Brazil lost people spray painted ´vergonha` all over the place which means shame. They still are pretty upset. They felt a little better when Germany won just because Argentina lost, haha. Trying to remember what else happened, I'm really tired, had to wake up at 4:30am today to get the bus to make it to the transfer meeting on time. Don't have my journal either, it's packed away also so it's all a blur. It's going to be an eventful week ahead. I can't wait to meet the greenie. Got to see nearly all of the district from the MTC. Elder Fox and Evans are training as well so I'm hanging out with them at the mission home until tomorrow morning. I have seen everyone from the district so far except Elder Seibers. Pres Cabral gave another amazing training today at transfer meeting, he sure is inspiring, very powerful. Showed a really awesome video it had President Eyring speaking about courage and the brotherhood of the priesthood and told a story of a guy in the army who died to save a fellow soldier, not sure if it's on the church site or something but i really like it. Anyways was a good week. A lot of changes are coming. I feel very very unprepared for all that that I was asked to do. It will be a learning experience for sure and I am excited and take comfort in Ether 12:27. The Lord works through the weak a lot of the times. Hope you guys have a great week!!

vamos la
Elder Montanha

Happy Hump Day to our favorite missionary!!!!

Weekly Email - July 7, 2014 
Hump Day Week!!!

Man time is really flying by I really can't believe I will hit a year this week. It's unbelievable. I still think I'm 16 a lot of the times but dang somehow I got old, haha. This week was great had G------´s baptism on Saturday, woohoo!!

After emailing you guys I took Elder Veiga to Subway he doesn't have it over in Campo Grande where he is from and he had never eaten there before. Some restaurants are different here in Brazil than in America but Subway seemed to be exactly the same, even had the cold cut trio, haha. Elder Veiga really liked it. After cleaning the house we headed out to Cesar Maia. We had a lesson with G------- with two of his friends who are members about the Sabbath day. We also set up some lessons with more of the friends of the youth in Cesar Maia and contacted there. Had a lesson with an interesting guy in the street. He really, really was interested in the Book of Mormon. It's pretty cool here telling people this is a history of your people! Did you know Christ appeared to your people? Almost everyone wants to hear at least a little more. 

Spent most of the day in Jacarepagua at a Zone Conference. The stake center we meet at is about an hour bus ride away. The chapel there is huge; bigger than some temples for sure. It is three stories tall and has a huge steeple. I've been meaning to take a picture of it. Zone Conference was pretty good, was trained on some changes the church has made here with preach my gospel. Now we have to teach lesson 5, which talks about temples, family history, missionary work, callings things like that before baptism. Before we would teach it after baptism. Also, recent converts are now the missionary´s responsibility not the Bishops. Retention is a big problem here so they want to make sure baptisms are truly prepared and that they aren't forgotten afterwards. I can imagine being baptized and then learning about the concept of temples 3 months latter could be weird. After zone conference we had to head back home because Elder Veiga had a pretty bad migraine. He gets them once and a while. He seemed to have found a cure though. A sister in the ward told him to put oregano in some water and boil it then breath in the steam. Sounded really weird but he said it worked like magic, haha. While he rested I made some grilled cheese and listened to almost all of the 1973 April conference, haha. good talks. I really like Mark E Petersen and President Kimball. On Tuesday the USA was eliminated from the world cup, sad day, haha.

Interesting day. We left bright and early at 7:00am back to Jacarepagua to meet the new Mission President, President Cabral. Man did he leave an impression. He is from Forteleza. I have heard they speak crazy Portuguese there but luckily he was a professor of Portuguese, so he speaks everything grammatically perfect. Which is really rare in Brazil but man it makes it easier to understand. He is super short, maybe 5 foot 2, haha, but he makes up for it with energy. He is a convert and he definitely has some evangelical preacher in him, haha. He wasn't afraid to pound the pulpit or raise his voice, very powerful. He talked for about 2 hours and the whole room was completely focused every minute of it. He is really funny as well. There were three zones there so I got to see Elder Evans again. The mission president shared his vision with us that missionary work starts with missionaries living the gospel themselves and everything else follows after that. Also the sacredness of our call and the priesthood. He was really motivating. At the conference I got the mail from you guys. I got the card from Rae and Grandma H´s letter, so it takes forever but the mail does eventually make it. We had ordered pamphlets and other materials so we had to haul them around all day, which was no fun but we really needed them. Once we were back in our area we had a lesson with W-----. We could tell he had been drinking the night before so we taught the word of wisdom and committed him to live it. He only has a problem with drinking. He said he has only started drinking since his wife left him not too long ago. We also helped him clean his apartment. There was some mold starting to grow on one wall so we bought some bleach and cleaned it with him and did his dishes. On the way to the store to get the bleach we saw a heard of pigs eating trash in the road (common sight here, haha). But one of the pigs was dang massive like a small cow. I said `nossa um porkao zao` which is kinda of a goofy way to say dang that's a big pig. W----- thought that was so funny, he was laughing and laughing, he said have you never seen a pig before. No not a massive pig on steroids like that I haven't, hahavisited a less active family in Cesar Maia, really big family 8 kids. They were really nice and insisted on giving us a pizza. We ended up giving it to a homeless guy we talk to a lot. After Cesar Maia we made contacts in Barra Bonita

Good day today except the water heating thing on our shower broke again so we have to take cold showers. COLD showers, freezing, haha. Wakes you up in the morning for sure. After studies, we had almoco at a pretty good self serve place. Elder Veiga gave me some of his tea he was drinking called cha leao. I'm not a fan, tasted like dirty water to me, haha, but a lot of the members like it here. After almoco we had a lesson with E------, she is 11 and is living with some members for a couple months and is interested in learning more about the church. After that lesson, we headed to Cesar Maia. We had a good lesson with T-----. He is 17 and has been investigating the church for a long time. He has a hard time recognizing answers to prayers, so we taught him about the fruits of the Spirit and told him like it says in Moroni 10:4 to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon is NOT true, instead of asking if it is true. Sometimes changing the question is all it takes. After that we had a lesson with G------ about the plan of salvation and finished up the details for the program of his baptism. He said it was a perfect weekend, Brazil game on Friday, Baptism on Saturday, Holy Ghost on Sunday. After that we made contacts at Barra Bonita and treated ourselves to a pizza, haha.

Today was the Brazil game against Columbia so all of our work was before 4:00pm. We didn't have a lunch today so Elder Veiga and I decided to fast. After studies we headed to Cesar Maia. We had a lesson with M-----. Last time we were there we found out he is living with a different woman than he is married to, we gotta change that, so we taught the law of chastity. After that we visited W----- again. We could tell he had been drinking again so we asked him what happened. He really, really wants to change but it's hard to break away from addictions. We taught about turning to the Lord for strength and gave him a blessing. He said he knows drinking is ruining his life and was crying like a little kid. He said pastor, he always calls us pastor instead of elder for some reason, please have patience with me I need your help. He is the truest example of humility I have ever seen. Every time we . After W-----, we leave his home he gives us the biggest hug so tight I can hardly breathe, haha. When we left we told him alright soon as we shut the door pray to God for help with your addiction and he will give you strength. After we shut the door we peeked through his window and saw him praying. There is nothing more humbling than to see a man on knees praying to Heavenly Father. I have had some of the most powerful and humbling experiences teaching that man. 

Baptism today, woohoo, what missionaries live for. Baptism was great despite some hick ups. G------'s brother came down with the flu so he couldn't make it to the baptism so Elder Veiga ended up baptizing him. Also when we got there there were a ton of members there cleaning the building. It was chaos really, haha, but when they found out we had a baptism going on they stopped for a bit and most of them came and watched. The more people the better. G------ had his non member mom and aunt and cousin there which was cool. After the baptism in the morning we had a lesson with T------. It was a really good lesson, she accepted a soft commit to be baptized, woohoo! A miracle there. We tried to set a date but the best we could get was the end of July. We really, really need to get her to church. After that we contacted for the rest of the evening. We had a goal of a 100 in two hours and ended up with 101, haha. 

Great Sunday. Went to ward council and the ward and Bishop gave us a ton of stuff to do in the coming weeks. A lot of families to reactivate. It's really sad the activity rate here is about 20%, a lot of less actives. The Bishop really needs our help with all of them. I really respect and like our Bishop, he is only 28 but he really holds our ward together. He is the only Bishop I know that teaches gospel essentials and priesthood nearly every week. There was a 18 yr old girl, F------, who came to church and came up to us and said she wants to be baptized. Another miracle, haha. We have a lesson with her this evening. 

Great week! This week is the last week of the transfer, man time is flying by. I know Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Only through him can we find lasting peace. He lives and it's a joy sharing that message everyday.

Elder Mountain

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