Monday, July 28, 2014

Burnin ties, #JesusMome​nts, and "the big Mormon church with a gold statue on top"

What's good? Well this week was super fast but super long at the same time. The first half flew by because we were in Porto Alegre for the first 3 days doing a doctor appointment, Zone Conference, and the Temple.  Zone Conference was cool because I could actually understand it this time unlike my first one a couple months ago.  We were also presented with our certificates from when we achieved the gold standard of excellence! That day was also my 6 month mark so to celebrate, I did the traditional "burning of the tie"! You all know how I like fire so that was fun. The temple was awesome, as usual. Getting there was pretty stressful. We were told to get on a certain bus but turns out it was the wrong one. We ended up in who knows where in the middle of the city. With about 20 minutes till the service started, we decided to just grab a taxi to see if the driver could know where we were. Turns out we were about a 30 minute drive from the "big Mormon church with a gold statue on the top" as we told the guy. We explained that we needed to get there in 20 minutes so he told us to buckle up and flew through the back roads of Porto Alegre and got us there with less than 5 minutes until it started. We sprinted in. I don't think I've ever seen old temple workers move with such speed to help us. The temple is just a good place to feel some peace and just get away from the world - it was good to be there. The rest of the week kinda just dragged on. We saved a guy's life - literally. We were taking a little snack break around like 7:00 before an appointment, when out of nowhere comes this guy drunk out of his mind and could barely walk straight. He came right in front of us and just fell right over. We jumped up and took care of him. I made sure he was alright while Elder Buhler called one of our investigators who lived close to come help. Good thing we were there to help, and we got him home safely to his worried wife #JesusMoment. He totally could have just jumped in front of a car or who knows what. Saturday, we had lunch with these members that live right next to this lake and since we finished lunch early, we took an hour break and just chilled on a bench that overlooked the lake. It was super peaceful because water makes me feel at home. I gave a talk in church on Sunday. I spoke for 10 mins on the importance of reading and studying the scriptures. I honestly felt pretty comfortable doing it. It's funny how the mission kinda just changes you into a decent public speaker. I didn't have to sit and read off a piece of paper like I used to when giving talks. I just got up there, read some scriptures, told a story, and filled in the rest of the time with personal insight. But yeah, that's about it for Dan the Missionary chillin' down here in Águas Claras, Brasil for 6 months straight!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

6 MESES!!!

Yo yo yo! Hey guess what? 6 MONTHS!!!!!! Wow, that went a little faster than I thought. I mean it was kinda long and brutal but I made it! 1/4 of the way - woo! I'm comparing my mission to high school years - I just completed my freshman year of the mish. Anyways, this week... Wow, probably the hardest week I've worked so far. We not only taught 30 lessons but we also had a baptism and a bunch of other success! We decided to open a new part of our area, Boa Vista, about an hour and a half of a walk. We found tons of nice families there. It's super cool there - with all the farms and stuff and I was trying to take a video but my camera died... Anyways, about the baptism, the highlight of the week! She is the Mom of a member here. She's 76 years old and really weak so I got to enter the water during the baptism to help - it was kinda scary - we didn't wanna drown her! But it was a super spiritual baptism! My favorite part was our musical number - one of the other elders from the zone brought his ukulele and we did a cool version of that baptism song (I don't remember the name in English). What else? Eh, not much goin down here in good ole Águas Claras - just teaching and what not on the daily. I discovered something fun to do - I found out that while passing people on the street, they'll respond to just about any sound you make so now we play a game where we say English phrases to people as we pass and see if they either respond or catch that we were speaking English to them. Oh, speaking of stuff like that, I came up with a new way of learning words: Word of the Day! So one day my word was "golfinho" which is dolphin. To help myself learn the word, I have to use it in a lesson. How the heck do you use the word "dolphin" in a message? I'll tell ya. I shared a scripture talking about the beauty of the world and all of God's creations. "God is awesome! He created cats, trees, dolphins, tons of stuff!" My companion started cracking up and I couldn't make it through the rest of the message with a serious face. Good stuff. See what the mission does to ya? I find entertainment out of stuff like this, lol. But yeah, I've decided to really study the language a lot more, like grammar and all instead of just picking up on stuff on the street and I'm noticing a huge difference now!

Monday, July 14, 2014

World Cup: Já era!

Hope you all had a good week! So I've been doing really well with my new diet and exercise plan - after email last week we went on like an hour long run, hiked the mountain, made a huge pasta dinner with smoothies - good stuff! I've not only noticed that my body has been feeling better these past three weeks but also my attitude! :) Well, the work here is going good. Nothing too crazy happened this week. We did a service project this week for a member and he made us Churrasco after and I was able to try a new type of meat - rabbit. Yum, it's good stuff. The World Cup is officially over - crazy how fast that came and went. I guess the rest of the mission will fly by that fast, huh? Oh, we had a zone meeting this week and found a subway for lunch - felt like stepping into America. But yeah, other than that, not much else is happenig. We're gonna go play volleyball today after email with the other elders and some other youth! 
Até próximo! Love you all, take care!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Taxis, Old Spice, UFO's, and America!

Hellooooooo! So this week was pretty long but full of different things we did! So on Monday I took a trip to the POA North mission to get the rest of my immunization shots at some super fancy hospital (I felt like I stepped into the USA for a little). Because we both had packages and a ton of money on us, we felt safer taking a taxi - wow, taxis through the city are insane! Super fun! We then went to the center of POA to buy soccer jerseys before we headed back to our area (I got a sick Brazil one and a USA one!) I loved my package - the new shoes are good and the Old Spice deodorant and Swedish Fish made me happy! On Wednesday at District Meeting we took a picture as a zone wearing Brazil jerseys so it was good that I had just bought one! Then later that night as we were walking home, I had one of the strangest experiences of my life...I saw a freaking UFO! We were just casually walking when we saw a strange light appear in the sky. We were trying to figure out what it was because it was super bright and had a weird shape. It disappeared before I could get my camera out. Our church building is like right by our house and you can get up on the roof there so we decided to head there to wait for it to return. Sure enough, the dang alien spacecraft returned. This time, it started out super small and started getting wayyyy big as if it were coming towards us! It then just stopped in the sky for a good 10 seconds and then zoomed off. I had goosebumps. Go ahead and laugh, but even our friend and some others saw it! I got a pic to prove it. So yeah, that was cool. It makes sense though because I'm in a super small farm town where nothing ever happens. Anyways, we had a pretty good 4th of July (well, as good as it can get in Brazil). We started off the day by hopping on a conference call with all the Americans in our zone to say the Pledge of Allegiance and then we made pancakes while singing the National Anthem and other America-related songs #MERICA. I rocked a red, white, and blue tie and we celebrated the birth of the good ole US of A with a pizza for dinner! Saturday we had a zone meeting in POA at the stake president's house and I met one of Mom's FB friends who lives here and she gave me a package full of Reese's, Taco Bell taco seasoning, and brownie mix - SCORE!!! That was a super nice surprise. But yeah, overall the week was pretty good! Seeing spacecrafts, flying through the city in taxis, and chowin' down on pancakes on the best holiday ever!

BTW, When I asked Daniel if it was just a hovercraft or something, this was his reply: "Mom, I'm in a small farm town in Brazil - why would somebody be flying one of those here at 9:30 at night?"  LOL!!  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

7 Week Transfer: DONE

June 30th - 
The longest transfer of the year: complete. We got transfer calls today and it looks like I'll be staying in Águas Claras for another 6 weeks with Elder Buhler again! I was praying that I wouldn't leave. I feel like my work here isn't complete yet. I'll make 6 months during this transfer and he'll make a year!  So what happened this week? Well not much. We lost 4 days of work. Monday we had to stay in all day because of the Brazil game, Tuesday we were in Viamão for a meeting and went to help the district out with some work, Wednesday we had interviews with President and training, and Saturday was another game and a baptism for the other two that live with us. It was also the last week of the transfer so we were very tired, but we did a lot of planning for this coming transfer. Honestly, time is passing so fast. I can't believe I'm 3 weeks away from 6 months. I feel like I just got here like last week. I guess being comfortable with the language really helps. I'm currently in Porto Alegre to get the rest of my immunizations.  The Germany vs Algeria game is here today. It's so weird being in the city. Águas Claras is such a small rural town, I love it!   I hope everyone had a good week!