Tuesday, June 24, 2014

5 Months Down!

Two really cool things happened this week... I hit 5 months yesterday! WOO! And also, we had a baptism! This week was a little harder to work with the World Cup going on and preparing for our baptism but we did the best we could! The week was just a normal week of life on the mish here in Brazil. Knocking doors (actually, clapping because we don't actually knock them), walking in circles, eating different body parts of animals for lunch, and spittin' out lessons in Portuguese. It's pretty crazy how fast the time is going though. I only have a year and a half left now... I was thinking yesterday, "what was I doing a year and a half ago?" Well, I was at home for my off track doing that Scholastic Book Warehouse job, doing my online classes at KSU with Mayo, and helping Grandpa remodel his basement. It seems like just yesterday that all that stuff was going down and that's all I have left to do - that point up until today! Our baptism was real cool! Because of the cold, we got permission to do it in the Stake Center in Viamão (thank goodness because I was the one baptizing). The baptism was super awesome! It's a little more spiritual in a baptismal font than a swimming pool. Overall, it was a good week. One more of this transfer! Hope you all had a good week too!  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Got The Gold!

Phew - glad to be done with this week. It was pretty rough. BUT...we achieved the Standard of Excellence! We've now gotten it two weeks in a row which gives us the position of "Gold" but we're thinking about going for "Diamond", the highest level of achievement in this mission which would be getting the standard every week of the month.  It's possible but will not be easy. I went through a couple of trials this week. So Monday was just a normal P-Day full of email and sleeping. Tuesday I got to see a dead guy on the side of the road - he was drunk and had jumped in front of a truck. So yeah, I decided this week to start making my own version of "The District" but the Brazil Edition. It's pretty funny - I'll keep making videos and we can watch them when I get home. Then the World Cup started on Thursday. There's a lot of excitement going on down here because of the Cup. The game day was the ONLY day this week that it wasn't pouring rain. Wow, when it rains here, it rains hard and doesn't stop. So yeah that's how I spent my week - soaking wet and spreading the good word of Jesus during the biggest soccer event in Brazil.

p.s. - Yeah, that picture is me holding a knife and a chicken head. I had the honor of helping a friend prepare his dinner for the night.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Doin' Work!

Wow - I can't believe I survived this week. It was rough. But we DID WORK! We met our goals though! Just gotta do it again this week... We worked up until about the last minute every day getting all our lessons and what not in. But wow did the week fly by.  Here's a cool story - so one of the hardest goals we had to reach was 10 new investigators in the week which we were really worried about since this is such a small town. We decided to spend one day just focusing on finding new ones. We found 4 that day. We were walking down a street that we take just about every day and passed a house with a few people sitting outside and as we passed, we heard the words "Livro de Mormon."  Instantly, we made a 360 and headed for them to ask what they knew about us. Turns out, the missionaries used to teach them about a year ago and they were almost baptized but all of the sudden they stopped going to that house.  Then later that night we were entering a community that has a gatekeeper who works the night shifts and asked us if we had anything good to read because he had a long shift ahead of him. We were like "duh" and ended up teaching him the first lesson and leaving him a Book of Mormon. He started tearing up when we were bearing testimony of these things and said the book was the greatest gift he's ever received and can't wait to feel the same way about it. Just goes to show that the Lord puts people in your path when you're working hard.  Another thing we had to do was make 120 street contacts so we decided to make a game out of it. What we did is loaded up a bag with pamphlets of the lessons and we would make a contact and, at random, draw out a pamphlet and teach a quick summary of it. It was going good for a while, teaching the Restoration and Plan of Salvation because we had a lot of those. While I was making a contact with two ladies, I happened to pull out the Law of Chastity pamphlet. Talk about awkward. Haha!!! I about died laughing when I saw what I got. But yeah, the week was good. We pulled a total missionary move last night -- the Young Women had some special activity at the church last night with their parents and they dressed up and everything. Our original intentions weren't to go there but when we realized that we had literally no food in the house and knew they would have some, all 4 of us kinda just showed up at the activity, lol. The World Cup starts this week - there'll be a lot of excitement going on around here! Other than that, all is well!
We had a lot of rain this week, 
but that didn't stop us from working hard!

We saw this cool rainbow coming out of a storm!

 This pizza box is from my first attempt at ordering pizza on the phone. They thought my name was "Elber" but I successfully did it! I'd say I have a good grasp on the language if I can order pizza on the phone!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Dan the Baptizing Man!

Well, it's June now...kinda crazy. This week was pretty intense getting everything set up for our 2 baptisms and our goal of hitting the Standards of Excellence in June. Let me start off by saying that I have no idea what is up with this weather - one day it is freezing and the next it is scorching hot! So we were literally running around this week trying to organize everything for the baptisms this week. It was hard because one of them lives about a 45 minute walk from the other and we had to visit both every day this week to make sure that everything was good, doing interviews and what not. We spent all of Friday cleaning the pool and setting up chairs and stuff. Everyday this week had beautiful weather and of course come Saturday, the day of the baptism, it was pouring rain and freezing. We weren't going to let a little rain get in the way of a day like that - we called everyone and confirmed that the baptism was still on. Surprisingly, a good amount of members still came even with the rain. The water was 3 degrees in Celsius (not sure what that is in Fahrenheit).  Our first friend had a hard time getting in but just dealt with it and got baptized. When the other one got in, there was a really powerful and unique spirit there. At about waist deep, he jumped out because of how cold it was and was shaking his head saying that he couldn't do it. He stood on the edge of the pool, bowed his head and said a prayer, closed his eyes, and got in the pool.  However, the water was too deep for him to stand so another member got in the pool with them and held him so he could be slightly above the water. The moment he got out of the water, members raced over to give him towels, get him into a hot shower, and give him warm clothes to change into because we was literally shaking of the cold. It was such a cool thing to see how strong his desire was to get baptized and how he relied completely on faith to get into the water and also how quickly the members rushed to his side to help him out. Sunday was a really cool day too because another new friend of ours came to church!  We went through the first two hours and right at the start of sacrament meeting, he came walking through the front door! We were stoked! He said he wants to prove he can change but its just a little hard getting up early.  And then today we had a pretty funny experience. We went up to the mountain like usual to do our P-Day studies. While up there, we decided it would be cool to build a bench so we went on a hike looking for giant stones and logs. We spent about two hours trying to drag 100 pound stones up the mountain (that was probably a pretty funny scene). We found the most perfect one but it was huge and we were struggling to get it up. Out of nowhere, I got this huge burst of adrenaline and swooped it up and charged up the mountain. When I finally got to our spot, I lost my grip and it slipped out of my hands. Can you imagine our disappointment when the most perfect of big rocks tumbled off the 100-ft cliff and crashed right into the lake at the bottom? Yep, that's about it for the week. Oh, we had fun sacrificing frogs to the chickens when we were cleaning out the pool!

More Churassco Fun!!!