Monday, December 22, 2014

I Won't Be Home For Christmas

HO HO HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS! almost... How y'all doin? I hope that everyone is feeling the Christmas spirit and making the most out of this time of the year. As they say, "it's the most wonderful time of the year!" I agree with that statement because this week is gonna be filled with skype and churrasco!!!

This past week was crazy busy. I'm enoying my new area, São Tomé. I mean, it's pretty much the same thing as my last area because it's only 15 minutes away but it's filled with awesome people.   

On Tuesday, I made the long journey here. One of my faixas (homies) from Montanha drove me to the new house and on the way he pulled off to the side of the road and bought me a giant watermelon as a gift! :D 

The new house is pretty fancy. It's an apartment on top of a super nice grocery store and is way huge. We live with two elders from another area - a Utahan and an elder from Cape Verde (Africa). However, they're not the elders that work in our same ward. In our ward, we're working with two Americans - one that has one more transfer and one who is fresh out of the MTC.

Wednesday and Thursday were filled with work and getting to know the new area that, surprisingly, is more hilly than Montanha.

Friday was our Christmas Conference where we met up in Porto Alegre with about half the mission. Had a good experience learning a little more about the Book of Mormon, watching musical performances, and feasting on American candies!

Saturday we got permission to go to the temple to watch a sealing of a family that my companion worked with in another area. We got there at 8:00 in the morning only to find out that the sealing was scheduled for 12:00 so we were privileged to help in the temple for about 4 hours doing sealings! BAH. Words can't describe how amazing the temple is and the sacred ordinances that take place in there. Let's just say that it was a good day. A very good day. Spritual battery = SUPER CHARGED.

I have a feeling that this transfer is gonna fly by (like all the others...except for my first one) because we're gonna be working so hard!  This is a very special week. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. I'm a little sad that I'll be spending it on the other side of the world away from family in the burning sun but I know that this is the best gift that I can be giving to my Heavenly Father and my Savior and I know that they'll be blessing me so much for it. This is a pretty big week though because it is marking the middle of my mission. I'll be home for Christmas next year! I love you all and wish you a FELIZ NATAL!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Transferred! (down the road)

Hello everyone! Well, looks like I'm getting transferred. Tuesday I'll be making a long 15 minute journey to my new area. Yup, that's right, 15 minutes. My new area is São Tomé. I'm staying in the city of Viamão (the same city that I've been in for almost a year now). I'm pretty sure in the history of this mission, I am the elder who has stayed the most time in this zone - 3 different areas in ONE zone. Here's to another transfer...

Well this week was full of visiting tons of people (including Águas Claras) because I thought for sure that I'd be heading far, far away. I had the opportunity to do a division with my district leader this week in Águas Claras. It was great going back. Honestly, it was amazing seeing the difference I was able to make in the lives of the people there. I got there thinking that hardly nobody would remember me but EVERYBODY did - including the guy that sells Caldo de Cana (a type of juice) on the side of the road! It was fun surprising tons of people as I showed up at their door. Listening to the people talking about what my companions there (Elder Jackson and Elder Buhler) and I did for their lives gave me comfort in that what I'm doing here on the other side of the world truly is worth it.

The stake had Natal Branco (White Christmas) this week which was full of singing Christmas songs, 11 baptisms, and Christmas messages. Us 4 from Montanha, the 4 elders from Águas Claras, and the 4 from São Tomé invaded McDonald's after!

I enjoyed my time here in Montanha. I learned a lot and was blessed to get to know tons of amazing people. I don't know what lies in store for me in my next area but I look forward to new experiences and trust in the Lord that He has a plan for me and will use me as an instrument in His hands to do His work here in Viamão. MISSÃO VIAMÃO!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hello from Brazil!

I hope you all had a great week! As for me, I'm just trying to survive in this blistering heat!

I had a pretty good first week of December. It's SUPER strange being in 100+ temperatures in December when normally this time of year, it's fixin to snow outside. I'm enjoying the Christmas spirit that's goin on, however it's a little weaker here than it is in the US. I think the biggest Christmas tree I've seen came up to my knee...

We were blessed with 3 churrascos this week! One was a surprise from Leila's family. We went over to their house just to say hey when we started smelling smoke and they told us that the neighbors were just burning trash. When we saw the table full of steak, giant sausages, and chicken, I was like, "this aint no trash!!!" We made a churrasco at our house one night and for lunch yesterday, churrasco to break the fast! :D Churrasco is the best thing about Rio Grande do Sul. Y'all are gonna love it when you try it!

On Thursday, we had Distrito Amigo in our area which is when everyone in the district goes to one area to work for the day. Without thinking, we sent elders to all of our investigators and to the best places to knock doors and we were left with pretty much nothing to do so we decided to go make snickerdoodle cookies at Leila's. I came home with a stomachache because I ate so much. It's not every day that I get to eat my favorite cookie in Brazil.

Today, to do something a little different for P-Day, we got up early to go to a state park. There wasn't much to do but it was nice to escape being in the city and get out into nature. We found a lake which was cool. 

Btw, the church is currently doing a real cool project called 'He is the present'. We have little pass along cards that we share with everyone. During this time of the year, we often get so overwhelmed with what types of things we're gonna buy for someone or what we want when we forget about the biggest present of all that we already have, our Savior and Redeemer. Check out the video on :D

Love you all.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Faça Alguém Feliz!

HAPPY DECEMBER! Holy cow, I can't believe it's already the last month of the year! 2014 has been flying. December of 2015 sure will be a good month! ;)

Wednesday we did a rather interesting service project where we smashed hundreds and hundreds of cans for recycling and scored a churrasco as payment.

Friday we had a zone conference in Porto Alegre with one of the Area 70. It was pretty cool seeing some mission friends and feasting on some uplifting messages. The purpose of the conference was to help us gain a better understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to give us more of a desire to share the truth with others, gain more of an appreciation for it, and use it more in our lives. The highlight of the conference was when he asked us to kneel down and for about 15 minutes offer a prayer asking Heavenly Father to take us to the Garden of Gethsemene to gain enlightenment. It was a neat experience and is something I've started to do every night. I challenge each of you to start doing it too and to look for the difference it makes in your lives.

When we got back to our area, we swung by the grocery store to grab a Coke to accompany us in a game of WAR (a board game) and we started joking about buying a case of Coke to the point where we actually did and came home with 18 liters of delicious Coca-Cola! :D Coca-Cola's slogan right now is "faça alguém feliz" (make someone happy) - I testify that I sure was happy with 18 liters of Coke in the house.

Well that's about it on this side of the world for the week! I hope all is well back in the good ole South! Saudades... Love you guys; have a great week!

p.s. - I finally got my scripture cases!!!