Monday, March 26, 2012

"Halftism"

Alright, just to let you all know and understand..... the picture of me sleeping on the mattress without sheets has a reason. That picture is from when I was on splits in Maceió and they had tons of missionaries in the house and only a few mattresses. So I know it looked super gnarly but.... I am alive right? Beleza? Hahahaha Oh how I miss my family :)
  

So this week was pretty wild, but generally when I say "wild" I mean "awesome". So I ended up staying here in Viçosa and Shokes was shipped off to the other state in our mission. He will do awesome work and he really is such a hard working missionary. My new comp is Elder Amorim, a Brazilian, and I don´t know how to spell his first name so I won´t even try. He is rad and we are already getting along really well. He is helping my out TONS with my goal to be a Brazilian. Teaching me all the slang, customs, everything. I love it. He has almost one year in the mission and came out the transfer before me, so we are both excited for the always dreamed about "Hump Day" Dun dun dun. We just laugh cause we both still feel like really young missionaries. The other neat thing is I am Senior comp now and it is a whole new experience. So far it has been fun but I have already noticed changes in how I am working and praying. I am just happy to finally have a different situation, instead of being the missionary who was trained for.... like 5 months :p
  

The work this week was.... different. We focused pretty much all of our attention on our baptism for this week to help her prepare herself for baptism. We did practices with her outside of the water, asked if she wanted someone else to baptize her, everything. We really felt like she was ready for it and she was super excited as well. We showed up at her house on Saturday and she was like, "Let´s go! I am so excited ah". Everything went perfect until she got into the water, once again, we tried EVERYTHING. Amorim literally spent 45 minutes in the water with her trying to help her out but it still didn´t happen. She went under ti´ll her forehead, but that was it. We are going into Macieó tomorrow and we will stop by the office and talk with Pres to see what we can do. Most likely we will end up baptizing her in the river here because she is also a little scared of tight spaces. Who knows. I am just gonna keep praying and I know the answer will come eventually. Heavenly Father has a plan for everything.
  

That sums the week up though here. Real transfers will be on Saturday but I am 99% sure we will be staying together which I am fine with. It sounds like Ryley had an awesome week at the greatest place in the world. How was it Ry? Still beautiful as ever? I can´t wait to go to the Logan Temple when I get back. Dad, I am pretty much straight up just studying the language right now. I read a few chapters of the BoM every day in Portuguese so I am not really doing anything super in-depth, but I will let you know when I start my next topic, deal? Tubustus. The last thing, Mom if you haven´t already sent a package, do you think you would be able to send a lot of ties? They don´t need to be anything great, just some to give away to the youth here and other people who don´t have any. If you 
can´t I totally understand. Well, I love you all so so much and I hope you have another super blessed week! Stay sweet.

Elder xSquidChildx

P.S. Ian and Holli, if you happen to see Mac could you please make fun of him for me? Thanks :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Papa Squid"

Wow! I don´t even know where to start with this week.... but usually a good place to start is the beginning so I will give that a try. After P-Day last week we packed up and headed in to Maceió again so we could have District Meeting, It was awesome. I don´t think I have ever learned so much from a DM but I loved it. We talked about the importance of making contacts and how there are people who are in our areas looking for us, we aren´t just looking for them. It kinda changed my mind on contacts because I had been a little frustrated with them lately, but now things are going great.
   

After the meeting we went on exchanges. I stayed in Macieó and Shokes and the DL went back to good ol´ Viçosa. I had a great time in Maceió and the elder I worked with is awesome. His name is Elder Soares and he is Brazilian and is in my group. He is so funny and we just had a blasty blast together. I forgot how much I like working in Maceió but then at the same time... I don´t miss it at all. Get this, we were coming out of a house we had been in to find out that the street we were on was pretty much in the middle of a rebellion. No joke. So it turns out the police here found a drug dealer and his "woman" selling and they had to use some brute force to get them to cooperate which is logical. But the people of the street did not like it at all and ended up rebelling against the cops and lighting stuff on fire and throwing it into the street..... SO WILD!! And this isn´t just some little street in the city, it is one of the busiest. This place is so wild I love it! We ended up getting out of there safely, don´t worry but I just had to tell you guys that story. I have plenty of others but I think I will leave them ti´ll I get home :p
  

After getting back here in Viçosa, the ZL´s came out to make divisions with us and helped us out in the area a little bit. Miracles happen. I was lucky enough to work with my favorite elder here, Elder Guth, and we had an amazing time. He leaves the mission at the end of this transfer, and I am a firm believer that near the end of your mission you just become a super hero. It was so rad to teach with him, he taught so well and the people were so open to him. I have no idea how he did it, but I want to learn. Shokes and the other ZL also did some great work too. All in all we ended up marking like 8 baptisms and 13 new investigators just in that one night. It was so sweet and I learned a lot of things I want to start applying in my own teaching skills. Pretty much though..... Elder Guth is just rad.
  

The other big thing that happened this week is.... Shokes is getting transferred! The thing is though transfers aren´t until the first of April so most likely it means he will be training which will be so awesome for him. He really is such a solid missionary and though we had our differences, I really enjoyed my time with him. I really learned tons from him and I give him a lot of credit for teaching me Portuguese because he absolutely refused to speak English with me. It was such a blessing. So I have no idea what is going to happen with me but for some reason I have the feeling I might be training as well.... I have no idea why I have that feeling though cause I am nowhere near ready to train some noob. It is a lot more then just knowing the language really well, it is knowing missionary life, and the ins and outs of the mission as well. But who knows. We will find out tomorrow what the Lord has in store for me, either way I am pumped. We are going into Maceió again tonight and are going to spend the night at the AP's house. Should be a great time.
  

That wraps everything up here though pretty much. Please be sure to tell Grandma happy birthday from me and that I miss her tons :) Sounds like you had a good time up in good ol´ Idaho. My comp just about died when I told him you were there. If you remember he is from Chubbuck like right next to Pocatello. Also, thank you both Mom and Dad for your awesome e-mails this week. They were both very powerful and had a lot I needed to hear. Oh! I almost forgot! We had someone come to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So dope! She is a past gator who was literally in the baptismal water but she has a phobia so she didn´t actually get baptized but we kept working and praying with her and she is ready to try again this Saturday! Ah so pumped! 
   

I love you all and hope you have a solid week!
   

Elder Squid Deal 

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Take a hike"

So.... I am not going to lie to you... this week was pretty bland and not the greatest of weeks... I just don´t understand what is going on. We are working harder then I have ever worked and yet NOTHING is happening. Literally all this week we just had spiritual battles with people who had really shut their hearts and once again.... no one came to church. No joke literally every night this week we had a "lesson" that turned into a "battle". I dunno if it is my teaching style or what but maybe I just ask questions the wrong way so it looks like I am trying to back people into a corner I dunno... Frustrating. But the other thing that makes it frustrating is it usually happens with people or families I really like. Last night we taught one of my favorite families and during the lesson the dad just quit listening and started calling us out... I dunno it was just draining. That honestly sums up the week though.
   

We had a good P-Day today though, we went on a hike to some of the waterfalls "close" to Viçosa and it was pretty rad. It was hot and it took a lot longer to get there than we thought but it was for sure worth it. I hope you all like the pics too. I like the one with the Tree of Life hahaha. I always knew it was here in Brasil! It was also nice to hang out with some of the members too, not only do they have really strong testimonies but at the same time they are really funny too. I did get a little jealous though when they all started swimming but I am over it. I couldn´t do gainers there anyway so I will wait 'til I am back at Cottonwood Heights. But it was nice to just get out and do something different for a change. I forgot to put sunblock on my legs so they are pretty burned but I am pretty sure I´ll live. I mean come on, I wear slacks 99.9% of the time, I don´t really think about putting sunblock on my legs! Hahaha
   

On the spiritual side of things this week we had a sweet opportunity to hear from the Stake Presidency here which was awesome. I am good friends with the President for some reason and we had a good time catching up. But what I really like about it was the whole day was focused on the Priesthood and how important that authority really is. Also he went into a lot of detail about the power of the Priesthood which was great to hear because we have been giving a lot of blessing lately and it is just neat to really see that power working not only in my life, but the lives of the people here. 
  

Also, for Danger, I did a little study of the Atonement this week just to see if I could find anything new for you to use. Just to start off my favorite scripture about The Atonement is Alma 34:8-10, it just explains how absolutely necessary The Atonement is. And the another thing I learned about this week is that The Atonement is not just for the sinner, it is also for the sinned against. Christ suffered every single pain, sorrow, and grief imaginable and so when those who have been wronged by someone or have feelings of malice or whatever, Christ can help them find it with in themselves to forgive the person who wronged them. He will be there with the person through every step if they are willing to accept Him. I don't know if I explained that too well but I think you will all get the picture.... I hope :/ I was debating on sharing this with you though Danger cause when you told about the next Danger Dave´s Day in the park... I just about lost it... Just about :p I already knew it is going to be so rad!
   


That pretty much sums everything all up, sorry my letters haven´t been that great lately. I don´t know too much about Jones Hall Ry, I didn´t really go in there too much but from what I remember it is pretty much just like Morgan so I wouldn't stress it. I hope you all have another solid week and keep doing awesome things! Just one question.... How does indoor golf work? I miss and love you all!

Elder Squid

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Zone Conference"

Hello to my family that I love a lot... Like really, I love you all.. a lot! Hahaha. So this past week was a pretty awesome week spiritually but work wise... difficult. But either way it was still another solid week here in little Viçosa Brasil.
   

We had Zone Conference this week which was so awesome because it seems like it has been forever since I have seen Prez and a lot of the missionaries. We went into Maceió Tuesday night and stayed at our ZL house which was a blast because my one of the ZL´s, Elder Guth, is one of my favorite missionaries here in the mission. He is from Alaska and is going home after this transfer but I have already told him to be on the look out for Elder Hartman up there. I also convinced him that Utah State is the best place ever and he has plans for going there...WOOT!! But we just hung out there that night and ended up sleeping outside under the stars, because they have a backyard and it was so rad! I just stayed up pondering life and things and just had a great time thinking.
   

Zone Conference was great, we had a lot of really great teaching and it is always fun to hear the arriving and leaving testimonies of missionaries. It honestly seems like I was just giving mine. I am sure you all know but, usually at Zone Conference they have two missionaries give little 5 minute talks on something.... Yeah it was mine turn this time. I was honestly fine with speaking, but the thing that made it difficult was my DL forgot to tell us what the topic was. He told me five minutes before that the topic was going to be on working hard, but that I had a really low chance of speaking so I shouldn´t worry. I worried. I just knew from the second I heard missionaries had to give a talk that I was going to be giving one. It turned out really great and went pretty smooth. I talked about how Paul(?) baptized 3,000 and we can do the same if we have the faith to work hard every day even when it seems like no one is listening to us. Don´t worry I made some good jokes too. :) All in all it was a good ZC and got me really excited to go out and start working again. The only thing that stunk was I lost my little clip on tag... It must have fallen off in the taxi because we couldn´t find it anywhere. I still have my other tag though so it´s all good.
   

The work here this week was frustrating.... We found some really awesome new people and a new family which was great but NO ONE came to church. We literally got up early on Sunday so we could make sure we could pass every investigator's house and we only had one person even open the door. Ugh... I was furious I am not gonna lie. This has just been our problem here for a while now, no one has a drive to come to church and I just don´t know how to create that desire in them. It feels like we have tried everything but nothing seems to be working. I know it will all work out though in time and there is a reason for everything, it is just hard to see it sometimes ya know? But I will keep doing my part and I know, in time, the Lord will do His. He has to. It is promised in the scriptures time and time again.
   

That pretty much sums it up besides the fact I have sworn off English. I am seriously in love with Portuguese and I want to be a Brazilian so bad... Mom, are you sure I wasn´t born here? Ryley, I think you made a smart choice to live in Morgan because it really is right next to Snow but a lot cheaper. I don´t know if they did the renovations of it though but if they did, Morgan Hall should be awesome. You will love it I promise. Ummm box wise mom, no I don´t have A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, so I would love that and also, if possible, Great Apostasy and Articles of Faith by Talmage... That about wraps things all up but thank you all for your e-mails and Danger I will be sure to do a little study this week for you and see what I can come up with, deal? :) Have an awesome week everyone and be safe! Love you :)
   

Elder Squid 

P.S. They have these coconut cookies/crackers here that are amazing and I am sure no pics this week because I forgot my SD card... Oops :(