Monday, January 30, 2012

"The Turtle Club......"

So I have found something out this week that is really starting to change my language skills. Do you remember how our family is awesome and how we like to sit around the dinner table and quote movies? And one of those movies just happens to be Master of Disguise. I love mimicking that movie and I learned that mimicking people is one of the best ways to learn. It has seriously already started to make such a big difference in how I am speaking and teaching. But it just makes me laugh because it really is such a ridiculous thing. "Have you ever seen a sharks eyes cheify?? Kinda like a dolls eyes.... all black and lifeless like... " Hahahaha oh the memories.

It was another pretty solid week here in beautiful Viçosa, yesh I am sending pics this week too. We didn´t end up having a baptism this week though which is a bummer but our zone has already hit and passed our baptism goal for the month so we are going to start working even a little bit more to try and really set a standard. But it was really frustrating this week because we had... 4 potencial baptisms but they all fell through because of the same reason.... Parents! Like I have been talking about a lot in my last few e-mails, the youth here are awesome and they are doing a lot of good work but all of a sudden the parents of all our investigators just went super stone cold against us and they don´t even want us talking to them anymore. It just breaks my heart though cause these teenagers really do have some of the most solid testimonies I have seen here in Brazil but they are getting denied the opportunity to be baptized because of other peoples' views.... So sad. Yesh, of course it is very important to listen to our parents and we need to respect their opinions and decisions but at the same time... parents shouldn´t deny their children the amazing blessing they can receive in the Church. Pretty bummed, but it is all good. We well keep working and hopefully the Lord will touch their hearts soon.

Also this week I had another really good study about prayer. I have been obsessed with prayer lately and I am just barely starting to understand how powerful it really is. But I was reading in PMG this week about prayer and it said something interesting. It said to pray and ask Heavenly Father for what blessings you need, because He knows your needs better then you. I can honestly say I have never thought of it like that. But it is really starting to change my prayers as well. I am starting to really get more focused on what the Spirit is telling me I need, instead of what I think I need. Just a fun fact.

I am not sure what else to really talk about.... feel free to ask more questions about what cha´ll wanna know. That was great to hear about Aaron and his talk. Too bad he didn´t put powder in his scriptures and blame Kreggers for playing too much golf hahahaha. Thanks Trent and Eliza ;) And you guys went to Brian Reagan?! That is not fair..... Low blow.... It sounds like you all had a rad time though. I can just imagine Danger just crackin up the whole time.... "Who left the green light on?" Hahaha 

Well, once again I hope you all have another great week and everything goes smoothly for all. I am super excited for Tan and Brik and also for Ryley. I had a dream about USU last night actually.... So rad there. Well I love you all a lot and it may not seem like it but I do miss you all a lot as well :) Have a super week!

Elder Big Deal

P.S. There was a random parade this week for all the motorists and so everyone in the city who has a car, truck, or motorcycle drove through the city just honking theirs horns like crazy... It made it really hard to make contacts but it was really funny to watch at the same time. Oh and the pictures are just of the city here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Lots of Water...."

So it has been raining here for about four days straight now and it is very wet.... but not too muddy which is good because mud just makes everything worse. But also on the topic of water... We had another baptism! So awesome. His name is Vanderlan and he is 15 years old and just dope. I can´t express to you how much I love the youth here. They are so rad. They all have super strong testimonies and are always super willing to come out on splits with us. They give us tons of referrals too, which is my favorite way to work, but they don´t just give us names, they give us investigators. I swear every referral we have received from them is just as solid as can be. I think it is because the youth in this branch just set such a good example and make the Church look awesome that all their friends want to join it. Teaching and finding by example... who would have thought that that would be a good way to do missionary work... NEAT!! 

One of my favorite people here is the man we baptized last week. His name is Anderson and he is 22. He is just this chill, relaxed, awesome guy that really is trying to do what is right. He said he joined the Church because he wants to learn how to be a better example for his family. He has a sister, a brother, and a less-active dad in his family. He is already making some amazing changes in his life style and has been to every church activity we have had since we baptized him. And last night we were talking with him and he told us he wants to serve a mission really bad but he doesn´t have the money to do it. So we are going to try and involve him as much as we can after he gets the priesthood. Ah! He is so rad!!!!

We also had a little dance/party in the church on Friday and it was great. It was hard for me to just sit back and not go out and bust it on the dance floor but I held myself back... Barely. I may have made Elder Shokes dance too... Oops... Hahaha. But it was actually really fun to sit back and watch because it made me think about all the times I went to stuff like that. Sooo fun. I just laughed to myself because of how everyone is trying not to act awkward even though everyone is and the funny awkward partner dancing.. Hahaha oh the memories :) It was different though because the dancing here is a lot more partner focused and it was just cool to watch the different dance styles they have here in BRASIL! All in all... this week was awesome, my mission is just... awesome.

We are super super busy here though. We have a lot of less-active/in-active people we are trying to work with because this branch is seriously on the brink of ward-dom and we really want to see it happen. So with a lot of LA work and a lot of investigators we are usually just running around the whole day trying to get a hold of everyone. Then at night we are just absolutely beat. I think I get what Ian said when he asked on Christmas about the schedule, I am dying for 10:30 every day now hahaha. I am sorry I didn´t and won´t send pics this time... the computer is just too slow. But when we have a week where not too much happened I will just spend the time sending pictures yeah? Deal? I love you.

I hope hope everything with the relatives is going well and I will continue to keep them in my prayers. I just think it is funny how Grandma doesn´t wanna go to the assisted living.... It reminds of how Gordon B. Hinkley used to "walk" with his walking stick. Hahaha I am sorry if this e-mail seems short but things are kinda rushed today. I love you all so so so much and I hope things don´t get too wild this week. Ryley sounds like she is just busy as ever... big surprise there! Well in case you all were wondering... this church is super true and I love you :) Stay sweet.....

Elder Big Deal

P.S. For Danger: I lost all my money because it turns out Oregon and Maceió were both giving me money every month and when they went to take out the Oregon money they ended up having to take everything out because of inflation and exchange rates... Not cool. But things are all good now. :

"Stuck in the 80s"

 Well to start out I just wanted to say we saw an article in a newspaper this week that said Maceió is the 3rd most dangerous city in the world.... How awesome is that?! The thing is though.... I am not in Maceió anymore! I am in Viçosa and it is absolutely amazing here. So stinking pretty. I am still in the same zone, same district even, but I am about an hour/two hours outside of Maceió. But really it is so cool here. There is this sweet river running through the middle of the city and it has a lot of "hills" but people call them mountains. But the city honestly looks like it is from the 80s. The church here is tiny. I have a picture of it for you but I am in a new LAN house and they don´t have a place to put my SD card but I will see what I can do. The Church here is actually a branch and I love it. The youth here are absolutely amazing and are always willing to work with us. That is actually a lot of what the ward is is a lot of youth. The majority of the older members are either inactive or moved away to be in a ward. But it is really close to becoming a ward and will most likely happen within the next couple of months so it will be really fun to see that happen.

My new companion is Elder Joel Shokes from Chubbuck/Pocatello and he is a pretty solid kid. He will be hitting his year mark here in about 3 days and he is really excited for that. But he was also a visa waiter too but only for two weeks and he served in the Salt Lake mission. He said it was a pretty cool experience actually and he was there during conference so I would have to agree with him that it was cool. Still doesn´t beat good ol´Oregon though.... So stinkin rad!

We had a bit of a wild week though because through a long series of horrible events, I ended up losing ALL of my mission money and Elder Shokes had spent all of his as well. So for pretty much the first 3 days out here in Viçosa we were living off of couscous and boiled water. We ended up getting our new income of money on Friday and when we were at the bank I saw Shokes use his American debit card and was like... "You can use those here?" and he was like "of course"... And I just slapped myself in the head cause I had completely forgotten about my personal money account on the other card... So pretty much we were starving because I forgot you guys love me. Smooth move Elder Guzy!!! Hahaha 

But we did have a solid week here. We had two baptisms this past weekend and they are dope. One is a 17 year old girl and the other is a 22 year old guy who is pretty much my hero. He is just a stud and pretty much dropped everything to get baptized, like took out his earrings and everything. He also is stinkin good at soccer so we get along well :) Also this week was sweet because all of a sudden... I can speak and understand Portuguese.... I am having real conversations and understanding them and giving opinions and everything. It is really cool. I really believe it is because of reading "Drawing on the Powers of Heaven". That book has completely changed the way I say my prayers now and everything.

The new house is pretty nice as well. It has all the things we need: a bathroom, kitchen, washing machine, study room, and bedroom. I guess before I got there though it was pretty gnarly - like rats in the ceilings and stuff. We can still sometimes hear rats or cats, we are quite sure, but they haven´t caused any problems yet so it is all great. We do have to fill up a bucket of water to flush the toilet though just because it is broken but even that isn´t that bad. In all reality I like it a lot. I promise I will get some pictures of it to you soon... if the computer will let me.

It sounds like things with the family are all going alright. I will remember to keep everyone in my prayers though. Ry, I really am still so excited for you to be going to USU and I would love to hear all the details about where you will be living and with who and all that ish... You are gonna have such a blast! As for everyone else.... you are always invited to go and visit Logan in all of it´s beauty and glory as well :p 

Once again have another great week and remember.... Stay Sweet....

Elder Guzy

"Tchau Feitosa!"

 Yep, I am out of here but not just me.... the entire house is getting transferred! They are gonna close the area or something for a little while but I have heard rumors that it might be a sisters area now. I am gonna miss the house though. It was probably one of the best in the mission and the other Elders in there were a blast. I am sure my next area will be just as fun though. I am kinda happy to be leaving actually. Not that I didn´t like this area or anything but, I just want to see other parts of the mission. I am just dying to know where I am going to be heading now. We find out tomorrow at the transfer meeting and then we just head out from there. So this p-day will pretty much just be packing everything up, I am already sick of packing hahahaha, and super cleaning the house... Yay! It should be a good day.
We ended up having an awesome last week though. We had baptized two more people yesterday and also confirmed our other baptism from a little while back. It was a little bit of a stress because she came to church late and we had to change the program to make sure she could get confirmed. The two baptisms went really well. It was two more teenage girls that both have friends the same age in the church. They are both really cool and were really excited to be baptized until they got in the water and felt how cold it was hahaha. One of the ward members, an uncle of one of the girls, performed the baptism and it as just a good experience all in all. I have pictures to send you but once again, the computer is acting up.
Mom, the language is coming along well actually. I still have a hard time really understanding people but my ability to speak it is solid. I still make a lot of mistakes with the correct verb conjugations and stuff but people understand me which is good. But I really believe one reason things with the language are going so well is because of the books you sent me. I love them. They are really teaching me how to pray with real intent. I am also learning a lot of cool things about people and their personalities too, which is my favorite thing to learn about. So once again Mom, thanks for the books! :) Danger sneaking off to Cali eh?! Trying to catch some rays big guy? Hahaha It sounds like you had a good trip and things with the family are still going great. I hope you told them all hello for me! I like how you and Mom always try to make a trip to the temple whenever you travel somewhere. I think that is so awesome and something I for sure want to try.
That pretty much just wraps this week up. I am going to miss Feitosa though now that I think about it. We have some really cool investigators and families here that I hope fall into good hands. We will be running all over the place today to get some addresses for a few more people here. Ah! I just hope they all continue to have an interest in the Church. So many of them were so close to making the changes they needed to to be baptized and I am just nervous that when we leave they will just kinda fall back into things! You think I would be used to this by now though. I mean I have been transferred before but, this time is a little different because it wasn´t an ET or going to a whole new country. I know things will work out here though if I keep Feitosa in my prayers. Heavenly Father won´t let some of His children slip through the cracks. :) I love you all so much and I hope you all have another good week. Sounds like it is going to be a busy one with everyone going back to school and stuff. Hahaha tests.... oh how I DON´T miss tests! Stay sweet!

Elder Guzy

 P.S. There is a game show on t.v. here where you have to choose if people are from China or Japan. I have never laughed so hard in my life when I first saw it. This country is dope.

"The Last New Year Ever"

Hahahaha oh Danger, you are awesome. "Unplug the eggnog IV", best words I have ever heard! And while I am on the subject of Danger, it seems like I haven´t talked with you guys since last year! Hahahaha I am pretty sure Dad already made a joke like that but just in case, I did too :) It was a blast talking with you all last week though! It really just made my holiday season. And it was so nice to see you all doing so well and that you are all still hilarious. Like I loved how even when the sound wasn´t working we were all still laughing hard.

I had a pretty solid week here. We had interviews with Prez on Friday and that was great because it gave me a chance to really talk with him, because when I first got here I was so tired and could barely even understand what he was saying to me. But this time was great because I got some answers to questions I had. And while I was in the office... I got your package!! Hahaha Great Odens Beard I loved it!!!!!!!!!! The T-bell-tivity was so funny and I have already put the hot sauce to good use. I think I have found a good substitute for Tapitio here but I am not sure yet. I will keep checking but I am nervous I am gonna try something super hot and burn my tongue off.... But the package was great, thank you so much for it and the letters from the ward were great too. It is amazing how you can go to the same ward with people but never really know their stories. And mom, I loved the books you sent me! I was kinda bummed cause I forgot to ask you to send me books but then you came through with some awesome ones! I already finished "Drawing on the Powers of Heaven" But I am gonna try to read it once a week for the whole next transfer.
Speaking of transfers... we find out this Saturday who is leaving and who is staying. I am really hoping I stay actually because I am really starting to love the ward here. I feel like I know the area well enough to take over if I were to stay here as well. I dunno - transfers are not up to me but we will see. It would also be cool to see some other parts of the mission. There is still a whole other state I need to see! Hahaha I guess I am fine with whatever happens :)
The whole week was pretty interesting because we had a baptism lined up for this Saturday but it ended up falling through because she decided at the last minute to travel for New Year's. But right after we found that out we went to another investigators house and taught a lesson to the whole family the first time and it was awesome. While we were there we marked two more baptisms for New Year's Sunday and told them that we would come by and pick them up for church. But when we went to pick them up on Sunday... Boom no one was there. So we had a chance to baptize three people this week and they all fell through, but will more than likely be baptized this coming week. It was frustrating, but at the same time it was really cool because kinda throughout the whole week we witnessed miracles. I am excited to work with them this week and hopefully everything will go smoothly.
New Year's here for us missionaries was pretty blah. We went in early because people get a little crazy here due to a lot of drinking and it is just better to stay out of it. We were invited to some members houses for a little party but we opted not to go. One reason we didn´t go though is because we were fasting with Sunday, the first being the start of the month. I dunno I just found it funny because I was thinking to myself, "who else in the world would not eat tonight on New Year's. Only those crazy missionaries!" Hahaha it was all in all a grood time. Yesh Ian, I said "grood" on purpose.
I think that sums everything up though! I hope you all have some great New Year's goals and are excited to get started on them :) Ryley, I got all stoked on USU again after talking to you about housing and stuff. I can´t tell you how excited I am for you. It is such a blast! I love you all so much and wish you the best for this new year because according to some rocks found in Mexico, this could be... OUR LAST! Hahaha I can´t wait for December next year, it will be so fun to be a missionary. Stay sweet...

Elder Guzy

Wild Week

So I will be very honest with you all, I have no idea where to even start my e-mail this week. It was legit the most spiritual roller coaster I have ever had in my life. But it all ended up being good so no worries. I guess I will start with the mission Christmas. It was awesome!! We had the whole mission there and it was just a blast to talk to everyone. I talked with Sister Nelson, I was her DL for two weeks in the MTC and then I also talked to Elder Nate Finch who went to Brighton! We had a few classes together but he is a year older then I so we didn´t really have a ton of connection but we had some good chats. 
One thing about Christmas though that was funny was there was a talent show... I am sure you all know where this is going. I got roped in at legit the LAST minute to go up and do a dance. It ended up being a blast and it was good for me to dance.. I miss it so much. Pres really liked it too hahaha. I have it on video but I am not sure how I can get it sent to you. Speaking of videos, the one Nyla made about all of us missionaries was awesome. I really believe one reason I love being out here so much is because I know that all of my friends are out doing the exact same work. It is great.
We baptized an 11 year old girl and she is awesome. She would recite the Word of Wisdom to us and stuff when ever we would come to teach her mom. They are both awesome but we are still working with her mom to clear up a few more things but she knows it is true. She told us about how she said a prayer during church last week and got her answer which was awesome. But it was a good thing for us because it really brought the Spirit back into our companionship quickly and it got us even more excited for this week where we have another cool family who is preparing to get baptized on the 24th... White Christmas eh?

To end the week though we ended up watching the First Presidency Christmas message at the Stake Center and after that we had our little choir concert that turned out great. I will admit though I sat there trying to imagine there being snow on the ground outside haha. It sounds like we are all kinda struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year... which is kinda of a bummer seeing as how last Christmas was wild. ¨I got this voucher....¨hahahaha oh memories. I just know that once you guys bust out good ol´Garfield Christmas you guys will start getting into the mood of it all :) 

Oh one other very cool thing about this week was I got a letter from Kara Andrews and it had a a lot of just little messages from other Brighton girls just kinda of cheering all of us missionaries on. It was pretty touching, I just wish I could write her back but I don´t have a post office in my area so if you see her could you please thank her for me? I am excited to talk to you all next week and was a little bummed that I didn´t end up getting a hold of you yesterday. But I am legit free all next Monday to Skype so whatever time works for you will most likely work for me. There is a four hour time difference though, so we will just have to work that in. I love you all so so so much and I hope it starts snowing a lot there all of sudden. Stay fly... :)

Elder Big Deal