Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Elder Sanok and The Great Flood of Pelotas

HAPPY MONDAY! Hey so I've officially been out here for 13 months :O ! Once again, another eventful week here in Pelotas!

On Tuesday we read Alma 8 as a district and noted the similarities between us and when Alma was out on his mission. I encourage all of you to read and study it because it's a great lesson on not getting discouraged in times of difficulty and how to trust in the Lord because he always has a plan for us to help us have success! We worked out in the beach town this day and had TONS of success! We started out by just knocking doors but because it was so hot we decided to take an ice cream break. As we were eating ice cream in the shade of a tree, a little old lady comes up, "Joseph Smith as well had a good experience under a tree". I was like "whatdaheck?" Turns out she was baptized 20 years ago and stopped going because of a confusion between her and some other members but she has never stopped reading the Book of Mormon and has a strong testimony. She came out with us and started giving us references left and right! We ended up teaching a ton of people that day because of her help, including a very hairy man in a speedo. Later on we knocked on a door that was actually a baptist church and we ended up teaching the Restoration to about 10 people (the entire congregation) lol. A cool experience was when we decided to visit a contact that we had made the week before. Last week as we were headed to the bus stop, an older woman and another younger woman passed by us and it was as if something was pushing us towards them to talk to them. The older woman was baptized about 20 years ago in the city of Rio Grande but ever since her husband passed away, they have faced tons of hardships but really wanted us to return. We went there on Tuesday and left a message with her and her daughters who aren't members and then she bore her testimony to her daughters about how special her baptism was and in that moment, all of the daughters decided that they wanted to get baptized. 
  

On Wednesday we did a few visits in the city part of our area and accompanied some of our investigators who are also preparing for baptism.

Thursday we had a Distrito Amigo in another area and it poured rain literally ALL DAY. I don't think I've ever seen so much rain in my life. We were literally walking with water up to our ankles all day. I got a good laugh when a dude passed us on the street in a kayak. We taught a guy that look like Bob Marley and he was freaking out the whole time telling us that it was a sign that another flood is coming like in the time of Noah. 
  

  

Friday we got McDonalds, worked on the beach, and had an activity at the church like Jeopardy. I took a funny video of one of the questions that the other elders made about me.  
video
   

The rest of the week was normal...nothin exciting to share. :P

Hope y'all had a great week! LOVE YOU!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Jesus' Super Hero

Yo what's crackin homies? Sorry, I've been teaching my Chilean companion English slang lately.

Well this week was once again quite eventful so let's see if I can remember everything I did...
  


On Monday after e-mail time we hit up Subway for some subs. Unfortunately $5 footlongs don't exist here... it's more like R$25 footlongs.... -__- btw..I wore that same time last time I went to Subway like 8 months ago.
  


On Tuesday morning I gave my first training as District Leader and it was pretty cool.  I set up the chairs in a circle and had a really good discussion with them about how we can expand our vision of the mission and realize the importance of being here.  We started by going around the circle talking about our favorite super heroes and the reasons why we like them.  After, we studied together the story of Jesus calling his disciples to be fishers of men and how it relates to us - we as well were called as disciples of Christ to help him in this oh so important work.  However, in this story, Christ extends another invitation, he invites them to FOLLOW him. We as well were called to follow Christ. We then started talking about the reasons that each of us came out here on this mission and why the heck we gave up everything we had to walk all day in the sun or in the pouring rain to knock on doors and what not - all came to the conclusion that it was to accept the Lord's invitation to follow him. I concluded by making an interesting relation to the first part of the discussion - just as we have our preferred super heroes, without a shadow of a doubt we are the Savior's super heroes because we are out here doing something that many people in this world would never do and we are helping the Lord tremendously on a daily basis to bring souls unto him. It was way cool to be able to help out the district. I feel that a difference was made that day because last night when I called each companionship, everyone was super happy and had worked super hard that week!

Thursday was another day of working at the beach! We didn't have lunch that day so we ate real quick at the house and headed out to a cool spot and chilled on some rocks that looked out to the water.
   


Friday we found a sweet Pizza place so we decided to make Fridays pizza nights! :D The crust comes stuffed with cheese or chocolate! :D
  


Saturday was kind of a hard day because of Carnaval so we didn't really get to accomplish much.
  


On Sunday we did a special musical number in church where my companion sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" in Portuguese, French, Spanish, and English! I played piano. Right before Sacrament Meeting started, they realized that the only pianist in the ward of 150 people was out of town so they came up to me panicking and begging me to play the hymns in sacrament. Wow...talk about being nervous. But I feel like I did a pretty good job! 
  

That's about it for my week! Hope yall's was awesome! :D AMO VOCÊS!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Seja Feliz!

OI! Well the time is seeming to go pretty fast! This week flew by and I realized that I only have 10 months left?! Crazy how fast it's going - gotta take advantage of every moment!

This week we did a lot of door-knocking because we're opening up a new part of our area and it's been going pretty well. The part that we're opening is a little beach town so I'm lovin it! Basically our area is divided into three parts: the city, the billionaire beach town, and the chill beach town (which we're spending more time at). Aside from the hot sun, I'm actually enjoying walking around all day and talking with people; the people are very receptive here in Pelotas.

We had one of those rare moments on the mission where we got to eat at McDonald's for lunch. :D
  


One day we didn't have lunch so we ate some sandwiches real quick at the house and then headed out to the beach to chill on the pier during our lunch hour. 8)
 


  

And this picture of me next to a sign thing in Portuguese cracks me up because the people here are so addicted to chimarrão (hot water and grass drink) that they have a machine in the park that dispenses hot water for you. :P

 


Being District Leader is pretty stressful but I appreciate the love and support that y'all have for me - y'all are the strength I have that keeps me going. My body is getting pretty worn out and I'm hoping that I can push through these next 10 months. Mentally, I'm alright because I know that it's going fast but physically, I'm exhausted.

Since my companion knows the basics of Italian, I've decided to start learning it with an Italian copy of the Book of Mormon that I picked up!  It's kind of a funny situation... a Chilean who speaks Spanish is teaching an American how to speak Italian using the Portuguese language while in Brazil. hahaha.
  



I'm trying my best to just be happy.  I received a letter this week from one of my friends who just finished her mission, PARABÉNS KELSEY (former Hermana Barney), who told me that we've got like 80 more years to live and only 18-24 months to be missionaries so we've gotta just put a smile on our faces and try to love every moment. At times it's not all that easy to be happy because we have so many trials and challenges in life but as long as we remember that we've got the restored gospel on the earth complete with prophets and apostles and all that good stuff as well as the fact that Heavenly Father loves us, we don't have to be sad! DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY!!!


Love you guys.
Elder Sanok

Monday, February 2, 2015

Elder Sanok is in Heaven!

HELLLOOOOO LOVED ONES!!! Wow this week was insane. Let me just say that Heavenly Father opened up them windows of heaven and let them blessings come pourin out because He put me in an AWESOME area!!! Holy cow, I'm lovin it here in Pelotas! Aside from being in a BEACH TOWN, the members are WAY awesome and my companion is a homie! This week was super super eventful....

On Monday I had to do the dreaded packing of the suitcases.

On Tuesday, I headed up to Porto Alegre to meet up with my travel group and then we headed down here to Pelotas on a super fancy bus. It was a good 4-5 hours but it was a super beautiful ride down because once we got out of the city, it was just rivers, lakes, and open fields the whole way down. I got in to Pelotas at about 10:00 at night and had to stay up to prepare my training for my district the next morning.

Wednesday morning we had zone meeting and to my surprise, I'm in charge of the largest district in the mission...woo. But it's all good because everyone is super awesome and they work really hard so I'm lovin them already! The rest of Wednesday was spent getting to know one part of our area and a whole bunch of members. That night, there was a ward talent show and me and my comp were asked to do something... My comp is from Chile but he knows English pretty well so we got up there and performed "We Are Never Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift, hahaha.

Thursday was a normal day of work but it was way awesome because the members in this ward literally beg us to take them along with us to lessons!

On Friday we went to heaven, aka THE BEACH. Yep, we've got the beach in our area. It's about a 15 minute bus ride from our house but since we had to eat lunch in that area, we decided to stay and work. Turns out that it's full of super receptive people and the members that live there help us out too so we're making plans to work there more. I had fun doing contacts on the beach! :D

Saturday was super busy as we were getting everything worked out for two wedding receptions of two couples that got baptized last week. The wedding was way cool!  

Sunday was awesome because our ward starts at 2:00 so we had a chill Sunday morning just doing our studies and what not. After church, all the missionaries in our stake had a meeting with the stake president which was cool because we had ice cream and felt the spirit.

TODAY was freaking awesome! I went fishing.  Today was some holiday here in Pelotas so a group of members decided to take us out fishing! We left at about 8:00 in the morning, stopped on some island, and fished and took it easy for the day! BAHHHH it was great! I got pretty burnt but it was soooo awesome!

That's about it for me though. I'm just loving my new area and I'm excited for what it has in store for me these next few weeks! Hope you're all doing great! LOVE YOU!!!!

p.s. I hope you like pictures of my face