Tuesday, April 29, 2014

SWEATER WEATHER

Its officially sweater weather here in Rio Grande do Su! It's actually been getting pretty chilly. The days are pretty warm but it gets cold in the nights and mornings. Not much happened this week - kinda just the normal routine. I'm still not used to getting up at 6:30 every day. We decided to get creative in our effort to help one of our investigators quit smoking... We made a tea out of cigarettes (empty the contents of 3 cigs in a mug, pour hot water in, 3 ice cubes, stir, CHUG, the smoke a cigarette after). We learned it from a member who used it on his mission to help people stop smoking. Apparently once you smoke after drinking it, your throat just burns and your body rejects what you're doing. I think its been doing the trick because she's really lessened down on the smoking and like the 2 or 3 that she has smoke since have been super painful. What else? We went to Porto Alegre for a lunch with our zone and another at the stake president's house (lunch was SO good). It was cool hanging out with all the missionaries for the day. We found a ball pit in his house and played in that and also played on the tree house (more like tree mansion) - it was probably a pretty funny site seeing a bunch of 19, 20, 21 year olds in white shirts and ties playing in a ball pit and on a tree house like little kids. Honestly, other than that, not much has happened. My Portuguese is getting better - I understand just about everything that people are saying... I'm just waiting for the point where i can say everything I'm thinking. Everything gets better with time. Today has been  really cool - we woke up super early and hike a mountain to do our personal studies. It was super cool because we found this super cool spot on top of some cliffs that overlook a river. I felt a lot of peace studying up there. Oh yeah, in case you're wondering about the pictures of me in slippers and a polo - that's at the bishop's house. He came and picked us up one night when he saw us walking and said "Elders, you look like you need a break". So he took us to his house, let us take showers, gave us slippers and polos, made us Churrasco, and let us relax! Haha, it was pretty sweet! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Esta semana

Well this week was a roller coaster for me. Tuesday was my 3 month mark on the mission and I celebrated it by laying in bed all day because I was sick :( I woke up with one of the worst migraines in my life and felt like I was going to throw up every time I moved. I felt awful all day and had to take everything very slowly because my stomach was very weak. While I was laying in bed during the day, Elder Jackson decided to renovate the house for us since there's just 2 of us now and bah, its a lot more homey now - its actually clean! (something rare for a missionary home). We made a ghetto ping pong table! I was sick for the next two days as well which was a real struggle for me because I just laid in bed all day and of course my only thoughts were of home and how badly I wanted to be in the comfort of my home. But I had a rather cool experience when Elder Jackson was giving me a blessing where I literally felt someone patting me on the shoulder during the blessing when he spoke of how my family is thinking of me and I'm always in their prayers - it was cool because I could still feel both his hands on top of my head when I felt someone patting me on the shoulder. One of the biggest things I'm learning out here is that you've gotta go through hard things in life in order to get anything out of it.

Friday and Saturday were great days! I had full health again and a strong motivation to finally get out of the house and work! We taught a pretty powerful lesson to a new investigator. We taught of the importance of baptism and invited him - he accepted! YEAH! I know he's being sincere because he's literally one of the funniest people I've ever met but when we were teaching, you could see the change in personality and tell that he was being serious about it. We also met a new investigator who has been taking the missionary lessons for a while but it hasn't really clicked with him yet because he hasn't been able to have a strong relationship with any missionary and get that trust he needs - I changed that the moment I walked in the house and saw that he had a drum set! Yep, he likes us. It was pretty sweet bangin' on the drums on the mish. 


Funny story: So one of our appointments was a good hour or so walk from where we were and it was super hot so while we were walking. We were talking about how it'd be a miracle if someone gave us a ride. Right as we said that, a tractor passed us and offered us a ride. Yep, two missionaries cruisin' up the street on the back of a tractor. Then, when we needed to go on a different road, we hopped off and started walking. About 5 minutes later, a truck passed so I stuck out my thumb and scored us a ride in the back! WOO! Hitchhiking isn't only useful in Rexburg! Saturday was all service. We played with chainsaws. :) We cut some trees for some families which was really good. I love the feeling you get after doing service. We got to spend the whole day in normal clothes just helping people - good stuff. Sunday was stressful - we had 9 investigators in church! It was hard having to run around and talk to everyone especially since I don't speak the language well but overall it was a good experience for everyone! After church, we didn't do much because everyone was busy with family so we just headed to one of our favorite members houses and had Easter Sunday with them! It's been an interesting week. I'm glad I made it through. I'm glad I receive the strength each and every day to make it through.

P.S. - I have officially eaten the weirdest thing in my life and you're not going to believe what it is -- rat. Gross!









Monday, April 14, 2014

BAH!!!

Final week of my second transfer in the mission: COMPLETE.  It looks like I'll be staying for another transfer here in Águas Claras with Elder Jackson! However, this transfer is only going to be 4 weeks instead of 6. We have a lot to do this month.  This past week was good! It flew! On Monday we went back to the house and did a sweeeeeet study on the Premortal Existence and BAH it was awesome! When P-Day ended, we headed to a family's house for a family night that we planned with them and made grilled cheese!! They loved it and want us to teach them how to make more American food! It was soooooo good; que saudade! Tuesday wasn't such a good day because all our appointments fell through and we kinda just walked around all day when finally we decided to just go make a cake for someone because we were bored. We discovered that it was a birthday of a mom of two kids from our ward, so we decided it would be cool to surprise her with a cake! However, on our walk to her house, it decided to pour rain (and I mean POUR RAIN) and we had a mile to walk, holding a cake. She was super excited that we did that though; in fact, we were the only surprise she got all day other than from family members! From Wednesday-Friday, I was in Porto Alegre on divisions with one of the elders that lived with us this transfer - he had to go there for some "how to be normal again" classes since it was his last week. He was fun to live with - Elder Place from Idaho! Porto Alegre was fun! All I really did was hang out in the office while he and all the others were in their classes. We got McDonalds one night though - yum!! It was good to come back to my area; its kinda like my home away from home now.  The night I returned, we had a ward party for Elder Place since he was leaving and had probably the best barbecue I've had here yet! The ward here is so awesome! Saturday and Sunday were pretty relaxing.  Sunday we went back to the "Promised Land" for a birthday party.  It was great, we had Churrasco! I'm tellin' ya, I'll never starve here! Oh, btw: they weren't kidding when they said this part of Brazil gets cold, brrrrrr! But yeah, there's my week for ya!

P.S.  BAH!  It is a slang for "wow" or "sweet" or "awesome" 








Monday, April 7, 2014

Superbowl Weekend....for missionaries!!

Time on the mission is the weirdest thing. Like it feels like its going so fast but at the same time it feels like its dragging on, haha. Some days it feels like an eternity and some days I'm like "whoa, its already Friday?!" But it's getting better. I think more about the future because that just makes me happy and is like my motivation to keep going! This week went pretty well! Monday was fun, we had a family night with an investigating family and had ice cream and shared Book of Mormon stories with them! I even got a bunch of letters today from you, Grandma, and Nana (I loved the baby pictures she sent of me). That was awesome to get letters because I have more time to read them throughout the week. I love mail!! Tuesday we worked in another area, another city area. I really am not a city kind of guy. I enjoy the middle of nowhere type places. It's just so relaxed and peaceful in my area. I hope I don't get transferred for a while. Wednesday was the baptism!! I got to baptize one of the three sisters that we've been teaching! Its was so awesome! It really opened my eyes up a little more and made me realize more of the importance why I'm out here. It was such a great feeling! I baptized one of the sisters, Elder J baptized another, and their Sunday School teacher baptized one. It was fun! I was so nervous that I would mess up since it was in Portuguese. Her full name was harder to say than the actual prayer. Three baptisms within my first month here, I'm on fire! #DanTheMan Lol. The rest of the week kinda just rolled along like usual. General Conference was awesome!! It's like a holiday for us missionaries! Literally better than Superbowl weekend or any other holiday weekend! I've been in need of some spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional recharging and conference did just that. The only problem was that it was all in Portuguese, but I actually understood enough to get a good message out of each talk. I said a prayer before each session so that I could understand and it really worked! Having conference in another language is both good and bad - good because it makes you pay attention more but bad because its really easy to just kinda zone out, haha. Also, I kept mine and Dad's tradition going by getting ice cream after! We couldn't go to priesthood session because it went from 9-11 but I got ice cream from McDonald's on Saturday after the second session! Oh, one of those pictures is from a Churrasco we had this week! They bring all the meat out on swords and cut slices onto our plates - its awesome! Almost done with my second transfer in the mission! 14 more to go and Ill be back, chillin in sunny Florida, sippin on a nice smoothie on the beach! Time will go by so fast, I know it - especially once I get the language down. Here's to another week! Tchau! :)

 One of my favorite places, we call it the Promised Land because it is so beautiful and peaceful!!

Special Baptism Wednesday night!


Churrasco!


Gotta get me some McD's!