Monday, February 27, 2012

"Not Just for Investigators....."

So I am not gonna lie to you guys, this week was kinda of a slower one. We still taught a lot of good lessons, found plenty of news, and marked four baptism dates but, it just felt like a long week.  In all honesty, not a lot out of the ordinary happened this week like, I don´t have to much to talk about which is kind of a bummer. 


I did have another good study with the scriptures though. I was just reading them one day during personal study and the thought just popped into my head, "Why did I not read these before my mission?!" That is the truth though. Before my mish, the scriptures for me were just another thing in the Church we have to read as members and I slacked off a ton on reading them. A ton. And now I am really kinda regretting that I didn´t really read them more. But I am loving them now. I am actually excited every single morning to open them up and dig into them. There is so much solid information in them it is wild. One of my favorite things to do is read from the Bible Dictionary, it is crazy how many little interesting facts are in there. It is rad. So I guess this is just me bearing my testimony to you all that the scriptures really are, without a doubt, the words of Heavenly Father. He gave them to us not only so we can know how to return and live with Him again, but also how we can have an awesome life here on Earth. They talk about how to be successful in all aspects of life, people, family, church, money, if you can think about it there is a scripture about pretty much everything. Even dragons. Roar!
   
Sorry this in´t the best letter but hopefully the picture for the week will make up for it! Just think of Master of Disguise when he says, " We aren´t going anywhere with you melon-head!" Hahaha I was dying when we took this picture :) And by the way I don´t need the Ipod cord anymore I found one here.  I love you all and I will talk to you next week. Stay sweet.

Elder Big Dill (Sucha rockin pic Ry)

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Carnival"

Well, from what it sounds like, most everybody wants hear about how Carnival went, and is still going. Yep it is 4 to 5 days of straight partying and it is literally right next to our house in the center of Viçosa. To be quite honest with you it hasn´t been that bad for us because it has been raining a lot here the past two days so it has kinda bummed the people down a bit. But they still have no problem playing the same song over and over again until three in the morning... That is the hard part .... just getting some sleep. The work is also really hard because practically everyone, if they are not at the main party in the center, are having their own mini parties in the streets by their houses. So legit, more than half of Viçosa is just drunk for these four to five days and it is really hard too keep the Spirit with that stuff around. 


And when there are little kids who want to throw eggs at you... That makes it pretty tough as well. Luckily we haven´t been hit yet, but one kid got pretty close to getting my comp. We have mostly just been passing by members and LAs since Friday and have still been doing some good work there. But another thing about Carnival is the Church, being rad, sends all the youth to a camp out away from all the craziness. And it sounds like it is an awesome time for them but it also seriously drops the numbers at church because pretty much everyone goes. Yesterday we only had myself and Elder Shokes with the Priesthood so we had to direct Sacrament, bless and pass, and give talks! Yep two in a row for me hahaha. It was a neat thing though cause we got to see what it is like being a real leader of a branch.
  

We still had a pretty solid week though here. I just have two things that really stuck out to me about this week. One was we had a really awesome lesson with this lady named Monica and her family. What made it awesome though is it really felt like we were really teaching her, not just talking to her about our church. There really isn´t a good way to put this, but the intelligence level here in Viçosa isn´t the highest, so we haven´t been able to really use the scriptures in our teaching. But that is what made our lesson with her so awesome; we were diving into scripture and having actually discussions on doctrine. Ah it was so nice! I really think we helped explain some things to her but because of Carnival we haven´t been able to see her since... Bummer.
  

The other thing great about this week was once again with the scriptures. Scriptures are the best. If you want to learn how Heavenly Father thinks and feels, read the scripts. But I just had a really sweet study of 2 Nephi 31 early this week. I love that chapter because it is all about the Doctrine of Christ. There are so many powerful things in there it is amazing. I don´t really have time to go into super details but I just love the last verse. It explains so simply that the doctrine of faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and continuing with faith forever is THE doctrine of Christ and it is only through Him that we can gain salvation. I dunno, it was just super powerful to me.
  

That pretty much sums my week up. We also had transfers this week but we are both staying here so that is nothing too exciting. Sounds like things are going solid at home. 8 inches of snows sounds like a blessing for sure. Danger, I am here in the LAN house laughing because I think this is the first time in my life I have ever missed shoveling snow but right now it sounds so nice.... Hahaha. Mom, things that would be sweet in a package would be deodorant again... because last time you sent gel DO and I use dry..... Sorry :/ And I also have a lot of other books I would love to read, one being Mormon Doctrine, but I think that might be a little too big to send. I am spacing on the name of the other book I want right now, I think it is "The House of the Lord" by Talmage but I am not sure. I dunno just any books you think I would like would be awesome. Oh also! The little white cord for my Ipod would be great cause I want to start downloading talks from General Conference. But really that is about it. I hope you all have another great week and just take it easy. Play some Halo, go snowboarding, or to a dance party for me k? :p That would be rad! Love you!!! :)

Elder Big Deal

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Jurassic Park"

Hello to my family that is both awesome and cool! So I legit felt like this week we were living in the jungle... Not only do we sing the Jurassic park theme song everywhere we go because our area looks like the movie set, but I also caught a huge frog, many lizards, and had a pretty gnarly scropion in the house! How rad is that? The only animal we were really missing, besides squids and all of their greatness, was a snake! I am sure I will be able to find one, too. I have also secretly been hunting for the Brazilian Wandering spider, one of the most dangerous in the world, but I don´t think Pres would be too stoked on me if I had to go home because I was flirting with danger. Thats what Mom did before she got married. Hahahahaha Get it? Oh happy Valentines day also!
   

We had a pretty solid week here though in beautiful Viçpsa Brazil. But still not the week we wanted. It is getting really hard to work here in Brasil right now because it is Carnival season.... Pretty much it will be four days of sin in the streets.... Wow. I don´t think that is a very good missionary environment if you ask me. We have already gotten our instructions for what to do for those four days and it pretty much is, listen to the Spirit. If we feel like we can work, then we can go work but we should be home before * usually because after that things just get wild. The other thing is, the main party for Carnival will legit be right in front of our house.... It is going to be a rough few days of sleep that is for sure. But even with all of this, we are still doing good work here and will more than likely have another baptism this Saturday... Woot!! But honestly work-wise this week was just normal. My comp got sick for a day so we had to stay close to home just in case he had more problem,s but we were able to find some good solid people close. 
   

We also had just some funny things happen during the week. Last P-day we went to go play soccer with Anderson and the boys and they didn´t have a ball. So I of course went and bought one for them and so I could use it in the morning for exercises. I paid about 25 bucks for a good ball and within the first ten minutes of playing real socer with it.... it popped. I was so frustrated. That is one thing really kinda of frustrating about Brasil. Everything here is super expensive, but not super good quality. But it ended up being a good joke for the week, but I am still a little bummed about it. 


Also this week, I had to give another talk in church. But I felt a lot better about this one. It really felt like what I was saying was flowing and just that I was remembering all the rules and grammatics of the language. I spoke on faith and I really think it went well. I just spent the majority of my time reading from Alma 32 but there really are so many other good scriptures on faith. The scriptures are siiiiiick.
   

That about sums everything up though. Sounds like ya´ll had another good week. Ry I am stoked about you wanting to stay at Snow. Even though I didn´t live there, that is where I spent the majority of my time. Just always leave your door open when you are in the room and you will make so many friends it is ridiculous. The only thing I have to say about Ian is I hope he gets an Army haircut soon cause he looks like a Super Sayan in the picture you sent me. Haha OH Snap! Mom... You should for sure, with out a doubt, ask to learn how to cook coxinha. It will literally change the lives of our family I believe. Oh get this, there is a restuarant here called "Tia-bel" And they sell coxinha for only one Real... Tia-bel... T-bell, for sure a tender mercy. Well have another awesome week and be sure to go hit the slopes sometime soon. That is funny you guys were golfing in February... I thought only Brazilians could do that. Well I love you all so much and I know you are all doing great things right now. Have a super week and stay sweet....


Elder Big Deal.


P.S. There is a member here in Viçosa who really wants my Ipod. He talks to me almost every other day to see if we can make a deal for it.... So wild

Monday, February 6, 2012

"Europe"

Yeah, that pretty much describes this past week. Just kinda out of the blue we had all of our investigators/potential baptisms fall through so this week was a lot of tracking and contacting. Which in all honesty isn´t that bad, but it does get pretty repetitive after awhile. I know I shouldn´t say anything like that though cause I have no idea what it means to tract for like 6 hours a day like those crazy missionaries who serve in Europe. But we did have one pretty cool thing happen because of it. We contacted this Italian/Brazilian family!! The dad has the coolest Italian accent when he speaks and it just got me thinking about Elder Miller and Elder Mendel. But what else made it cool is the family was very receptive to the message and they're going to start coming to teach with us... Hopefully.
 
That is kinda of the problem here -- no one comes to church... It is super sad because really going to church and partaking of the Sacrament really makes your week so much more fulfilling, but if people never go to church... they never experience that and then they have no reason to go to church. So that is what I am struggling with right now is how to teach people how to have a desire to go to church. We do have a lot of our recent-converts going still which is good. We gave some ties and white button up shirts to Anderson and his brother so they can feel more comfortable in church and it was really funny trying to teach them how to tie ties. Those two are my favorite people ever... We are going to be hanging out with them today after e-mail time and I am honestly just stoked.
  

Other than that the week was pretty normal. I had some really good studies this week and I am loving the BOM. What makes me stoked though is I am exactly with Mom in her reading. I am in 2 Nephi right now as well and so every week I get to hear Mom's in-depth study of what I just read and it just makes it all the better. I honestly love 2 Nephi though, probably my favorite book in the BOM. Yesh, the Isaiah chapters are rough, but there is so much good doctrine in 2 Nephi. So rad! I think my favorite chapter is 34 though.... I always share the scripture about "Feasting on the words of Christ" after lunches with people and I have this little lesson that goes along with it. Also, while talking about the BOM, I would invite you all to read the talk from Elder Holland in the November 2008 Ensign "Safety for The Soul". Easily one of the most powerful testimonies of the BOM I have ever heard.
   

That pretty much sums it up... Sounds like nothing exciting happened at home...... beside the fact I AM GOING TO BE AN UNCLE TO A BABY GIRL GUZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell I am excited? Not gonna lie, I was thinking about that all throughout the week and I am so happy right now. A little baby girl Guzy... So adorable already ah! Mom and Ian, I loved the pics you both sent me this week. I was legit just laughing at the computer. I am pretty sure Brazilians think I am nuts cause I do that a lot but, I can´t help it, you guys are so stinkin funny. Also Dad talking about the word "mingling" Hahaha best times ever making Mom embarrassed during church. 


Well I hope you all have another fantastic week and I will be praying for you all of course. Ry, I hoped you loved USU... Still my favorite place in the word even though I love Brazil. Parents when you go up there, feel free to stop by the Admissions Office and ask for some help or a tour and they will hook you up. Have a great week :)

Elder Squid


P.S. My comp and I have been singing " They´re taking the Hobbits to Isingard" all week.... Youtube it, I dare you. And the pics are of high class Brazilian security and coxinha!!