Monday, April 30, 2012

"Holland-grams"


Soooooooooooo this week was pretty rad. I might even go as far as to
say it was SUPER rad but lets not get too crazy here yeah? I just love
all the little things that happen during a missionary week to make it
awesome and some bigger things as well.
This past Wednesday we had the sickest opportunity in the world to
hear from.... Elder Holland! Yeah, I was legit about to lose it when I
found out. I have known about this for awhile, but since I am a brat I
decided not to tell you guys until now... HA! :P His talk was so
powerful. There were a few breaks and bumps because of the
translator, but other than that it was really great. We all thought he
was just going to come in and burn us all, but luckily, that didn´t go
down. He talked about hypocrisy,(I have no idea how to spell that) and
the story from the Bible where Christ curses the fig tree. He talked
about how out of all the things the Lord hates the most, (there is a whole
list of them in "The Miracle of Forgiveness"), the thing the Lord has
the biggest problem with is hypocrisy. It is the very first thing he
said to Joseph Smith in the First Vision, "They draw near to me with
their lips but, their hearts are far from me." And like the fig tree,
that looked like a fig tree, had leaves like a fig tree, has the name
"Fig Tree", but didn´t give figs, is what made the Lord curse it. And
so we, as missionaries or members of the Church in general, can´t just
say, " I am a member/missionary" but we need to do things that
members/missionary of Christ´s true Church would really do. It was a
great talk. It always is from Elder Holland. My favorite talk ever is
by him actually "Safety For the Soul" from the Nov 2009 General
Conference. If you ever have any doubts about the Book of Mormon, read that
talk and they will disappear.
We also had some great work this week. We had another awesome
baptism this week of a kid named Moises(Moses in English) and I will
tell you what, he sure parted the water when he got baptized! Even
though we aren´t getting out as much as we could, the Lord really is
blessing my comp for the sacrifices he is making. He really has a lot
of pain in his back but is always willing to push just a little bit
harder. He is going into the hospital today to see what will happen
with him and I hope everything turns out okay.
I also had another really nifty thing happen in church this week.
We have this investigator Daniela, who is the sister of one of our
recent converts and she is so awesome. Legit just true daughter of
Heavenly Father. She is 25 years old and a single mother of this
adorable little 7 month year old baby girl (my sub for the amazing
bundle of joy Tan and Brik will soon be having) and both of them are
just always so happy. And I was holding the little girl while we were
singing the closing hymn, which of course was Families Can Be Together
Forever, and I just couldn´t stop smiling to save my life. In those
few moments with her in my arms, her mom enjoying church, singing my
favorite primary song, looking over and seeing some of my best friend
recent converts, being in the coolest, most amazing country/city in the
world (besides Logan), I can honestly say that I was filled with joy.
I was just unexplainably, is that a word? happy. This week was just
awesome. That is all there is to it.
Once again, you guys also had a solid week back in good ol´Utah. I
am excited that I will be calling home to you guys very soon and we
should probably start planning a time, right? I would love to skype
again if you guys are down. I am excited that Hailey will be coming
home soon. I love hearing about all the little missionary things that
are going on back at home. It is good to know that the work is still
booming. I have also been liking the Harry Potter pics from Ian and
Mom. Did I tell you that I speak snake with my Branch President here?
So funny. I think when I leave I will bear testimony like that. I
think this pretty much covers everything, but once again thank you all
for your e-mails they make me happy. Mom and Dad always just out do me
on the spiritual side though... I´ll try harder next time. Have a
great week.... I LOVE YOU!!

Elder BIG DEAL

Ps. Aliens are real.... read Hebrews 11:34 and you will know what I mean.

Monday, April 23, 2012

"No More Poems"




 Mom..... you have to stop sending my awesome poems and stuff like that..... I don´t like crying. and I really don´t like crying in the LAN House in front of random people. That e-mail was super powerful and really hit me hard spiritually. A lot of what he was talking about is almost exactly how things are here in Brasil. As I was reading it I was laughing because a lot of the things he said are exactly like some of my personal experiences and it just got me thinking about how much I really do love this country. Of course I have my days where I would love to be kickin it in Logan playing Halo and thinking about nothing, but in reality, I know for a fact that when I head home I am going to miss this place so much.... That is why I am trying to use every minute of it as wisely as I can. I love Brasil, there is just no other way to put it. And I say this as I am sitting here in my US soccer jersey.... Hahahaha
   
Whew! Little trunky moment there but let´s get back to business! Things this past week were great here in little Viçosa. We had another baptism here and he is awesome. He was a reference from one of our recent converts and he legit just walked up to us and said, "What do I need to do to be baptized?" Talk about the best question you could ever ask a missionary!! We were more than happy to teach him and explain to him the importance of baptism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in the process of doing so, we also contacted his older sister and his mom! The whole family is great and with the baptism of the son, the other two are interested in the Gospel now as well and we are preparing them to be baptized not this Saturday but the next. I am so excited for them and I can´t wait to see a family like their's in the church together. It will be awesome and I know the Lord is just waiting to shower His blessing upon them. I love when stuff like this happens.... Miracles are dope. This is just an example to me of what can happen when the members and the missionaries are working on the same page.... The work just flows perfectly and everyone ends up happier in the end.
   
I am trying to think of what else happened during this week but I am just blanking...... Ah! So my comp is having back problems so we have permission to go home a little earlier then usual. Most of the time I just plan then go to sleep because I am beat, but on Thursday for some reason, I decided to stay up and read. I read tons, the Bible, the BOM, Ensigns, anything you can think of, and I just went to bed happier that night. I am used to reading the scripts in the morning but not at night cause I am usually just too tired, but I have decided to make it a goal to at least read something about the Gospel before I go to bed. I am already noticing a difference. It is amazing how much comfort can come from just reading, it is a great way to calm down and get focused. 

We have been talking a lot about the BOM lately and how important it is to always read a little bit from it. If a member of the Church reads a little bit from the BOM every day, they will never distance themselves from the Church. I find this to be true. We had the chance to visit with the first person to ever be baptized in Viçosa this past week and it was a pretty neat experience, but very sad at the same time. She was baptized in 1991, best year ever :p, and was super strong in the church until about 2007. We don´t know what happened, but we do know that she stopped reading the Book of Mormon then. And while we were talking with her she asked me the difference between the BOM and the Bible and I told her that if you don´t read the BOM you are just doing what every other religion does... and that eventually you would fall away from the Church... like in her case. She just sat there for awhile thinking and then the subject ended up getting changed, but as we left we made a promise to her that we will stop by at least once a week and read with her and call her on other nights to she if she is reading herself. I know this will make a difference in her life, but I know this will take a lot of time, but it is so worth it. She is an amazing lady, great cook, and needs to go back to church.
  
And that brings us to now! (Dave from HotRod) I hope you all had a great week and congratulations to Ian and Holli for finishing school at a wannabe Utah State. Hahaha I really am happy for you too, though. Holli, I wanna hear you speak Spanish on Mothers Day. I wanna see how big the difference is between the two. I am sure we will understand each other a little bit, but it world be fun to try. Tanner you can join in too! The three of us can just make fun of everyone else yeah? Woot! :) So I am not going to send you guys any more pictures until I get some pictures of Heber. Hahaha I hope you like the ones I sent this week. The older guy in the pics is the Pres of the branch he is probably my favorite person in the mission. We speak parcel tongue all the time and he is teaching my how to samba. Have an awesome week and stay fly!
 
Elder Big Deal
 
Here's the letter I sent Cache that he's referring to in his letter.  This was forwarded from Nyla
FW: My friend's son is returning home from his mission and this was his last letter this week, just thought I would share........

Last Words from Honduras

Its here! The day has come and I've been thinking all week about what it was that I wanted to say you all today being my last time to write from here in Honduras. Ive slowly been writing this all week for you guys for my last email... I got the idea from a poem I have read in the mission.


I think I found out what the mission is.....

Its impossible to describe a mission, but rather its the moments, Its sending in your papers. Its opening the call that is signed by a prophet of the lord. Its the 3 months of time before the MTC that seems like its never gonna end. Its the hug from parents and brothers and sisters and walking away in the greatest adventure of a life time. The MTC, the rules, the packages, the classroom, the firesides and devotionals (actually being disappointed when its a Seventy speaking). Its flight plans, tons of food, testimonies, and cabin fever. Its the airport, a phone call sharing your first wanna be testimony in Spanish to your family as tears run down your face. Then out of the little swimming pool and into the ocean of uncertainty.

Its the mission presidents, trainers, realizing your didn't learn hardly any Spanish in those 9 weeks but loving it all at the same time. Its new food, new people, new culture, new language, new currency, new form of transportation, new routine, new everything under the sun (which is really hot). its a lot of first that change: first district meeting first contact, first lesson, first letter from home, first email, first Latin companion, first cold shower with water your not so sure you can touch and survive, first morning of trunkyness, first Sunday in church, first time a kid speaks and if and you turn to your comp to ask if that was Spanish and he only laughs, first First vision, first baptism... unforgettable, no matter how disorganized it is.

First changes come and its all a blurr after that. Its being anxious for your companion to leave then to your surprise you miss him when he is gone. Its 99 contacts.. and nothing. Its shaking fingers, lying children (my mom says shes not here), and barking biting dogs. But its the hope that contact number 100 will be the one. The one that wants to change. The one who has been crying for help to a God that he or she wants to follow, but doesn't know where to find him. The one that seems perfect: perfect questions, perfect work schedule, married, perfect kids that don't scream during a lesson and most importantly, a desire to make it work even if everything isn't perfect. its the hope of finding the one that gets you up every morning, gets you out of members house in 100 degree plus weather and when everyone is sleeping, and gets you to open your mouth and speak even though you don't speak well and don't like leaving your comfort zone.

Its finding the one, one convert, future priesthood holder, or better yet, one golden family. Its making plans, working with members, a lots and lots of prayers to help find that family. Many are found, but few choose to be chosen. Its thousands of disappointments as the family´s commitment falls to doubts, gossip, weather, or anything else clever that Satan comes up with on Saturday night. Its getting the family to church for the fist time and helping them feel at home. Its showing them the Church, presenting them to the bishop and other leaders, as well as the cute, outgoing teenage girl so that the young man in the investigator family will enjoy the experience as well. Its praying that the bishops 2 year old wont make too big of a fuss, that the speakers wont teach too much false doctrine, and that they will feel and recognize the spirit in spite of all that.
Its when that family gets baptized that the reality of what you are giving them hits you. Its the hope of having and eternal family. Its the hope of a better life, without pain and suffering. Its giving that Hope which brings you the greatest satisfaction and joy that you have ever experienced.
Its like going back in time and appreciating what you had back home. Its the firm declaration that you will never complain about vacuuming again when actually have carpet, or mowing the lawn when you actually have grass.
Its having to shower with flip flops and washing your own clothes on those cement trays that you though they only used in the pioneer days.... and you learn to love it.
Its stepping into a baptismal font with freezing cold water, flipping a bug out, and doing your best to put your happy face on so that the little girl getting baptized doesn't get cold feet.
Its getting home soaked 75-80% of the time, whether from the rain or sweat, Its sitting in front of a fan wondering if you can do this another day in the oven your living in.
Its Elderes 14, Cockroaches 1 in a matter of just 2 weeks. Its letters and packages from home. Its wedding announcements, Dear Johns( luckily just to your buddies), pictures, and the realization that life does indeed move on without you!!
Its going through 3 pairs of shoes, ripped pants, missing buttons, shredded collars, and socks closer to heaven (holy).
Its ants, frogs, scorpions, cockroaches, rats, and the little bugs that give you killer diarrhea.
Its a rainstorm that soaks you and your comp cuz them so called umbrellas don't even work with true buckets are coming down on ya. Its walking through water up to your calves and not having anything else to do but laugh as people look at you like your crazy(which ISN'T a complete misconception). Its going out in the rain because an Elder once convinced you that for every rainstorm you work through, the hotter your future wife will be!
Its shortly after your year mark that you get a mini-calendar from your mom and sister and wondering if they are trying to kill you or if they think its gonna make time go by faster. From then on Its change day, Mothers day, Christmas Day, Hump Day, Birthday, P-day, Friendship Day, and Election Day (which always makes for an interesting Sunday). Its good days, bad days, killer journal entry days, and days that you just don't want to end. Those are the good ole days.
The days that cant be enjoyed without a price... hard work, sweat, discouragement, frustration, and faith.
Its discovering that God does hear and answer prayers. Sometimes He takes away from everyone else so that we can really get to know Him. Its coming to learn in a tiny degree, the power of the Atonement applies not only to vile sinners, but also to each individual, including you. Its feeling that power and knowing you'll never be the same.
Its knowing that you have a testimony and nobody can take that from you. Its building it one piece at a time. Joseph Smith was a prophet. The Book of Mormon is true. the priesthood keys have been restored. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. its sharing that testimony dozens of times a day that roots it deeply in your soul.
Its watching missionary after missionary give their final testimonies, while you are certain that day will never arrive for you... and then it does. Its learning the live in the moment and not for the moment because all too soon, its gone. Its the sunsets, the music, the dirt dusty streets, dirty kids. the tiny houses, and the love of the people. its soaking it all in, catching every detail, because you'll never get it back.
Its arriving at the last couple days in your mission, knowing your family is waiting NOT so patiently. Its those last couple contacts that you know you will never see get baptized but you still just wanna leave your soul with them.
Its wondering about the effect of one mission. Does one mission really have eternal consequences? Does planting one seed, teaching one lesson, finding one person really matter at all?
Did the mission of ONE make a difference?
Did His ministry, His teachings, His seed planting have an effect on the eternities?
Did His one infinite atonement pay the price of justice and give mercy her claim???
As you get ready to go back to the former life that you're convinced was just a dream, its realizing that while you were in the service of your fellow being, your have only been in the service of God. Its feeling your hear and soul overflow with gratitude for the chance you had to show your worth, give your all, and return with honor. its BECOMING like the ONE, the Only Begotten, the Son of Man, the Prince of Peace, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, even Jesus Christ. Its those two years for which you will eternally praise the Lord, as the life that was converted more than any other was only one--YOU
Its the tears that roll down your cheek as you write your last email. Its knowing that this poem could go on forever but you don't know, when, how, or where to stop. Its wanting to tell your family how much you love them and hoping they will accept this as a final testimony from Honduras knowing now... without a doubt... that this is the true church.

Two years may come to an end... but for me, my mission will be with me forever. 
Love you all!!
Love your missionary
Elder Gardne

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Miracles are Real"

Wow, I can´t even explain this past week. It was so cool, wild, dangerous, and spiritual. I am legit just so beat from everything and just want to sleep today but we will see what happens. 
    

To start out our list of miracles let´s talk about our first baptism this week. Her name is Edwarda and she is one of the teenagers we have been working with since I first got here in Viçosa. I don´t know if you all remember but, her mom and grandma wouldn´t let her get baptized for anything. We were super bummed about it too, because she has such a strong testimony already and at the same time has tons of friends in the Church. She legit was just ready. We tried everything with her mom but still nothing gave.... until my sweet Brazilian comp showed up. Like I have been talking about, he just has a way with people to get them to like him and that is exactly what he did with this family. He just sat down one day with them, taught them how to play Uno and just created friendship with them and now because of that.... Edwarda was baptized. It just goes to show that no matter how much we teach and use scripture and expound upon everything, one of the key points in the conversion process is trust. It is something I need to get better at, and he is helping me learn to relax more and be a bit more Brasilian with it all.
   

The next miracle was our other baptism, Rafael. There are also other little miracles and one big one that happened with him. I will explain them all. We have been working with Rafa for a long time, but have had trouble getting him to go to church. This past Sunday we had Stake Conference in Maceió so the church got a big ol´bus and we invited Rafa and his friends to come along. He ended up showing up and we started our journey to Maceió but, within the first 5 minutes we had a problem. The bus driver accidentally backed into the power lines above the bus and the bus lost energy for awhile. Yeah I for sure thought we were gonna die, but at the same time I was more bummed that we wouldn't get to Maceió but, The Savior, being awesome, blessed us with energy and we all arrived in Maceió safely. We were planning on having his baptism there with the rest of the Zone, but as we started to get all prepped and ready the bus driver came in and said that we needed to leave because he had another appointment back in Viçosa and it turns out that the pres of the branch forgot to tell him about the baptism. So..... I rode the whole way back to Viçosa with Rafa dressed in all white and when we arrived we filled up the font as fast as possible and had his baptism. It was so fun and so crazy all day. I don´t think I explained it too well but this past week was just so wild for me. It was my first time actually baptizing someone too, which was a really cool experience. I have pics but the computer is throwing a fit so you guys will have to wait. Oh! Also - we almost died on Wednesday because we have our movie night activity and we were making the popcorn on the oven and the gas line to it broke.... Super sketchy but once again... We were blessed with safety.
     

That pretty much sums everything up here. We also had interviews with President Gonzaga this pass week and I talked to him about what we could do for that lady with the water phobia and he just said be patient, it will come on the Lord´s time. I know it will as well. He really is such a great man and I hope I get to have an opportunity to work around him more. It sounds like once again you all had a great week and Ry´s recital was super rad. Danger going snowboarding and golfing in the same day doesn´t seem very fair though.... but I guess even The Danger needs a P-day every once in awhile. I love you all and I promise I won´t almost get killed this next coming week. Stay sweet and stay fly.
   
Elder Squid!

PS On the bus ride back to Viçosa we had two little punk kids start fighting in the back of the bus. Just try to picture all 130 lbs of me dressed in all white stopping a fight.... Pretty funny if you ask me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Buses"

Hello to my family that is both rad and neat. 
I hope that your Easter was delicious and sweet.
I hope that Mom cooked some delicious meat.
And Ian finally stopped having smelly feet.


I have no idea why, but I just wanted to start out like that today. Sorry about the call out Ian..... But I just haven´t called you out in awhile hahahaha. So let´s talk about this week..... another wild one. So we had to go into Maceió again this week, but this time for a different reason. My Brazilian buddy is having back problems and it is pretty lame. One because it kinda stops us from working as hard as I would like to, and because I don´t like seeing people close to me in pain. He has had this pain for awhile but we are just now getting authorized to go to the hospital. So we went there on Tuesday night so we could make sure we would get to his Wednesday appointment for 2 o'clock, remember this 2 o'clock. We ended up getting there just before 1:30 so we thought everything was all good. But it turns out the doctor he was signed up for wasn´t there so we were told to just sit and wait until another doctor could see us. Bad idea. We ended up sitting in the hospital for almost 6 hours waiting to be seen and we couldn´t leave and plan it for another day because it is too expensive to keep going back and forth between Viçosa and Maceió. It was horrible. The seats there were super uncomfortable and I tried to sleep but didn´t really do it. I read the BOM a bit but even that wasn´t working. It was just meh. But at least we found out what is going down with my comp a bit and now we have to go get x-rays for him this coming week. Things are just wild but I hope this will all turn out well in the end. Oh and also because we were there so late we missed the bus back to Viçosa so we had to spend another night in Maceió and lose even more work time.... Lame sauce.
   

Also this week, we tried to have the baptism for that lady with the water phobia. This time we went to the beautiful waterfalls of Viçosa and thought once again, she would do it. Nope. Once again we tried everything, we even had her sister do examples for her and stuff, but she just can´t get over that fear. Being in the river helped a little though. She felt a lot more at ease there and got a lot closer to actually going completely under, but still didn´t work. I am just a little... confused though because now I am wondering to myself if I am the one lacking the faith, if I am the one not doing my part and making the sacrifices for the Lord? I have no idea. I do know that she is still confident and wants to keep trying and that she is loving the Church. She has been coming to everything super faithfully and really trying to do her part. It is so rad to see her at all of our activities. We will be going into Maceió (again) for Stake Conference and she will be going with us so the ZL´s are gonna see what they can do to help.... Who knows what will go down? But I know the Lord has a plan for everyone and everything, some times it is just hard to see it. :)
   

Things with my comp are going well.  I am already learning tons for him. He is really helping me out with my accent and is teaching me fun little neat tricks with the language. Also he is amazing at working with people. He has a way with people that just make them want to open up to him and talk with him about their lives. It makes him a great teacher and I am gonna start applying the same techniques as well.
   

That pretty much sums everything up here on my end though..... I am excited for Ry and her Senior performance. Knowing Ry, she will do awesome and it being so close to her birthday and all..... What do you want for your birthday Ryley? A Princess! Hahaha best video ever. Oh I almost forgot the questions! I really like this part of the e-mail by the way.


Describe what you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a typical day
Ummm breakfast not much. Usually just some yogurt and a banana or some juice. Lunch, usually a fast food place or spaghetti with rice and crackers. Dinner usually consists of coxinha and Ramen. Which for me is almost the perfect meal... I am just lacking two cheesy gordita crunches.....

Do the members feed you or are you usually on your own?
Usually the members will give us lunch, but Viçosa is known for its lack of member lunches. We have been getting a lot more than some of the other missionaries who have pasted(?) here but even then it is still pretty low.

How do you get to the areas where you work, walk, bus, etc?
The whole city is our area. It is small enough that they don´t have a bus system but big enough that to get to some members/gators houses we walk for about 40-45 minutes.

Do you do most your contacting in the public square-type areas, or mostly less-active families and referrals?
Just anywhere in the city. Usually when we are walking to appointments or somewhere else. We have been trying to work with the members a lot more though because I feel like I have contacted all of Viçosa and contacting isn´t the most effective way to find new people.

Where do you do your laundry?
In our house. The pres before Pres Gonzaga bought washing machines for all the houses in the mission. Tender mercy right?

Do you have access to copies of the Ensign and can you read those or just the standard works?
Yeah we get tons of them through the branch and then also the mission sends them to us when we have District/Zone meeting. I love the Ensign, I probably read from it more than anything else because they use more modern Portuguese than the Standards.

How hot/humid/rainy/dry is it in Brazil during the next few months?  How cold does it get?
I have no idea to be honest. Everyone says it is just gonna rain a ton and get "cold" but, cold to a Brazilian is like 90 degrees. So we will see what happens. It is actually a little chilly today because it has been raining off and on.

Are there any bad bugs or not so much?
Not that I have seen lately. We have had one scorpion in this house since I have been here and that is about it. I want to see and catch more. I also wanna catch the Brazilian Wandering Spider so bad. The worse thing animal- wise here so far is we have mice/rats in the ceiling and everyday I have to sweep up their nightly droppings..... Bummer right?! Hahaha


Bye..... I love you all. Stay classy San Diego..... I'm Ron Burgandy?

Monday, April 2, 2012

"Different Sins"

Soooooo I am having fun and experiencing joy.  I figured out a mission is not about you as a missionary having fun, it´s about you as a missionary helping other people and seeing their joy when they recognize the Church is true. This to me, is when a mission is fun. Yesh of course we do plenty of fun little activities in lessons and stuff like that but, the real joy is when someone becomes converted to the Gospel. I believe there is a difference between fun and joy. You can have both at the same time, but they are different things.
  

I learned a lot of really good things from the 2 sessions of conference I got to watch. Probably the biggest thing I learned was from Elder Uckdorfitif. ( I can´t spell his name so I just hit random buttons). I loved the quote he had from the car bumper sticker, " Don´t judge me because I sin differently than you." This is very true. I have tons and tons of things I need to work on before I can start judging others. That doesn´t excuse me though from trying to help others grow and change with me as I try to make myself a better person as well. And so I have decided that if I am going to help my Brazilian friends be better people, I need to start with myself.
   

This week was pretty normal - nothing too wild happened. Our baptism that fell though last week was sick all this week so we still weren´t able to baptize her but we will be taking her to those waterfalls and hopefully she will feel more comfortable there out in the open and be able to be baptized. I am just impressed every day though by the faith of this woman. I mean she is legit putting herself into her least favorite situation because she knows that this church is true. I know that Heavenly Father HAS to bless her with the courage and strength to be baptized because of the amount of faith she is showing, but it will all come on His time-line, not mine.
   

I really can´t think of anything else from this week.... I think I am just gonna answer those questions that you sent Mom. I really like this idea by the way, it makes me have more to write about.
   
What are some of the things you do each week to fulfill your "service" time? 
We don´t really have "service time" anymore here, we are just always out asking people if we can help them out with something. I have done plenty of weeding and I am now a champ at washing other peoples' dishes. Don´t get any ideas guys....... :p

How many discussion do you usually teach a week?
On average about..... 25-30. That is including less-actives as well. We are working a lot with them and part-member families. I feel like I have already contacted everyone in Viçosa.

What household item to you miss the most?
Ipod touch.... so bad. I want music more then anything...... real music. And when we have those little five minute random breaks in the day it would be sweet to have Words With Friends or Tiny Wings. Or carpet.

What are you enjoying most about your new companion?
Everyone loves him so we get to talk with a lot of people and he is Brazilian so he is teaching me how to be one too. Woot!

Did you resolve the challenge you were having w/the sister who was too frightened to get baptized?  How?
See above. Working on it....

How much Conference did you get to watch and where?
Just the Sunday sessions sadly. The branch here doesn´t have enough to go to all sessions of conference and Stake Conference in 2 weeks. We went into Maceió of course!

Where do you go to write your email each week?  How much time do you usually spend there?
In the LAN House across from the church. Ummmm....... Plenty? Hahahaha

Do you do any additional physical exercise, or just what you get in walking around?
Dancing to random music in the street and every once in awhile I ask a kid to pass me a soccer ball so I can juggle a bit. (Glad to know he's not overdoing it ha-ha)

What was your favorite Conference talk and why?
Tough question.... I loved the one about the Haiti earthquake from Neil L. Anderson and the guy about unrighteous dominion was super funny.

What was the hardest thing about this past week?
Having to tell a kid he couldn´t stay in our house cause his road was closed cause someone got killed there.... Last night. (This is an uneventful item not even worth mentioning above? Great.)
What was the best thing about this past week?
Conference for sure. It was a blast on the bus with all the members and going off with the Pres of the branch. He is legit my hero.
Do you dream in Portuguese yet?
I started dreaming in Portuguese in the MTC but I actually understand what is going on now. My comp woke me up this past week twice because I was "Sleep-yelling" in Portuguese... I am going crazy.

Well..... you all are so rad and I hope the pumpkin waffles for conference were delicious. I love you all tons and tons. Have a solid week!!! :)


Elder Big Squid