Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Pretty much my last email.........."


Weird.... This is pretty much the last time I am ever really going to be e-mailing you guys from here. Next P-day is going to be really really busy for me because I am going to..... Viçosa!! And then the next P-day is my last one where I will eat at President's house and most likely not even pass in the LAN house. I am planning on e-mailing you guys just really quickly while I am there so we can set up our Skype time and then a few things about the week that passed, but other than that....  era! 

I am super excited to go back to Viçosa and see everyone there and take a few more pictures of that beautiful city. It will be very interesting for me to go back there seeing as it has been pretty much a year since I left. So so excited. But before I forget about Skype.... I am planning on Skyping with just Mom and Dad. Not that I don´t want to see the rest of you, but I want it to be more of a surprise for when I see you in real life three days after the Skype call. We will probably just talk about plans for when I get back and a few other things as well. I hope that is okay with everyone. Oh! Mom, I do have the flag with me here. It is in great condition though and probably shoulda left it with you when I left.
    
This week was amazing. It rained a ton here, but it was still a blast. We taught tons of good lessons and have lots of people lined up to be baptized in these last two weeks. I am so excited. I will tell you their stories when they are baptized and everything, but it is going to be sweet! I also got to visit Boa Vista this past week and say good bye to everyone there. It was hard because I really loved that branch and the people there, but isn´t it amazing the blessing we have with Skype and FaceBook?? I can keep in contact with all of them still and help to keep them on Christ´s path while I am far away in the U.S. still. That just blows my mind. It musta been so hard for missionaries in the early days here to leave amazing places like Brasil, Italy, or wherever knowing that you would probably never see those people again. I am so grateful for the blessings of technology. "I love technology, but not as much as you you see.."
      

Also as a highlight.... We got to go kick it on the coast today!! Pres lets the missionaries who are leaving have a p day there to go and take picts and walk around.... Oh my heavens it was so pretty. Even though it was about to rain the whole time, we still got to get a few cool picts and even caught a little crab! It is weird because it is a whole side of Maceió that I don´t know. Tons of really nice apartment buildings and really fancy hotels. It was awesome and I hope you like the picts!
    
Well, I better get going. Mom, do you know how much time I have on Sunday to give my talk? I have been thinking all week about what I want to say and I am still just tossing ideas around. Just let me know how much time I can use. 
    
I am so grateful for the time I have had to e-mail you guys for the last two years... It wasn´t much and I know my e-mails were never those e-mails full of amazing spiritual messages or in-depth details about the hardships and the people that I have taught. I just never felt like I could express myself the way I wanted to though e-mails. I know that what I have learned out here as a missionary has been so life-changing and the understanding I have of the Gospel now  to me, is amazing. It just makes so much sense. Today while we were at the beach I was just sitting there looking at the ocean and all the stuff around and I caught myself thinking about how there is no way any of this is just for kicks and giggles. All of it is for our benefit, even the trails and hardships. All of it will be so worth it in the end. I am so happy I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am so happy I can have an eternal family through Heavenly Father's plan of HAPPINESS. And I am so happy I have had the chance to share the feelings of joy that I feel every day because of this Gospel with the people of Brasil. I will never be the same... and I am completely fine with that. I love you all and can´t wait to see you :) Stay sweet....

Elder Big Deal




Monday, April 22, 2013

"Even More Water........"



Hello family!

So before anyone asks, no there wasn´t another flood in the church this week. Thank heavens. But we did have another baptism and Friday it rained hard all day long and no one let us in. It was fun and miserable at the same time. It had been a long time since Maceió had had rain like we had last Friday and it was nice because I actually felt cold for once here haha. I just didn´t like walking around wet all day though.
    
The baptism this week was awesome. So if you guys all remember, a few weeks back we baptized a girl named Rafaela. On the day of her baptism she brought her mom and her little brother to watch and we ended up talking with them and sharing the message as well. Well the baptism we had on Saturday was her little brother! His name is Danilo and the kid is great. He has been coming to church with us for more then six weeks now, but couldn´t be baptized because he didn´t live in the area, but he wanted to get baptized so bad in Aeroclube that they ended up moving just to be in the boundaries! Talk about faith right? 

The other really cool thing is his mom. She is extremely strong in another church, but has recently fallen in love with the LDS church because of how much her kids have changed since they have been a part of it. She is so funny because yesterday after she came to church to watch the confirmation, we went to her house and talked about how she felt there. She said she loves it and that she knows she needs to get baptized as well, but she just can´t bring herself to do it. She wants to be baptized so bad, we see it every time we talk with her, but she just doesn´t know how to make the change. Her kids will help though and I fully believe she will be baptized before I peace out.
   
I am trying to think of what else happened this week... Yesterday there were TONS of these huge ants flying around our area called Tanajuras. They look like flying black widows, seriously. I need to get a pic of one to show you guys and I hear that it is common to eat them here, so I will for sure give that a try if I have the chance.
   
So I really need you guys to respond to this question, because I don´t remember what you guys brought back with you from your missions. Should I bring back my planners and everything or what did you guys do? Mom, I was thinking about leaving behind all but one of my short-sleeved shirts for some of the members here and possible even my indoor shoes. Is there a problem with that?? Just let me know what I should leave behind and bring with me.
   
I love you all and I hope you like the picture. It has Rafaela (with glasses), Danilo, and her mom Ana. Have a great week and please stay away from Boston or North Korea. That is all I seem to be hearing about about the U.S. now a days... 

Wild. Stay sweet!!


Elder Big Deal 

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Wayyy Too Much Water"


Hello family!!


Welp, I am still here in Brasil just chuggin along! Hahaha. We were very busy this week with transfers, zone meeting and a district leader training meeting all in the same week. All three meetings went over well and I always like giving a zone meeting right after transfers. Everyone just
seems to be excited and ready to go out and work. We have a really great zone this transfer and I am excited to work with these missionaries. They are all pretty young. We have four companionships training, and there is plenty we can teach them during this transfer. It looks like we are going
to be doing lots of divisions with them as well, so it will be great to get to know and help these greenies.
   

Our normal work week in the area was great. We had a baptism of a young man named Vitor. He is pretty much the man and showed up to church last month in a shirt and tie with some of the other members of the ward and we didn´t even notice he was a visitor! He lives on a road here called, "Road of the Mormons" and it is the road in are area that has the highest amount of members. It is so awesome because the whole road is always just looking to help in missionary work and they just end up taking people to church once or twice and then give the reference to us and we go there and teach them. Talk about awesome way to find new people right?
The picture is of his baptism and you will notice his mom there with him. We are working with her as well but she is struggling to go to church and also her husband doesn´t like us talking to her too much. We actually talked to him last night and he seemed really open with us so we are planning on helping him out as well.

There was one other interesting thing that happened as well this week..... OUR CHURCH FLOODED!  Yep, Sunday morning at like... 6:35 the bishop called and told us to get to the church a.s.a.p and help drain the water. We got there and there were tons of other guys already there in suits and ties draining the water. It looked pretty funny. The problem was that one of the water boxes didn´t stop when it reached it´s limit and just kept getting more and more water until it over flowed and then flooded the roof of the church. One cool thing though is that there was basically no damage at all and we were able to clean it all up before the meetings started. It was a good time and something I  won´t forget for sure.

That is it. I love and miss you all..... a lot. oh so so so much and I am just workin my way home. Mom, don´t stress, well maybe you should, but I really am eating a lot and I think I am eating more healthily than I have even eaten in my whole life. I honestly have no idea why I am so skinny
still. It has to be just from walking in the Sun so much. I guess I am just gonna have to sit down and play some Halo 4 when I get back :) Tchau gente!!!

Elder Big Flood

Monday, April 8, 2013

"The Last Transfer"


Hello to my family that is both neat and great. From the e-mails that I received this week it looks like no one liked my "Rick Roll´d" joke besides Ryley... and that is why she is my favorite! Yep... I said it. I am glad you all had a nice relaxed Conference weekend and hope you all enjoyed the talks as much as I did. I was lucky enough to watch them in English again with all my American buddies here and we had a good time. But seeing the Conference Center everyone just looked at me and said stuff like, "You´ll be there in 5 weeks!" or "Wow, I bet you're trunky now!" Hahaha thanks guys. It is kind of a weird feeling though, because as of today I am in my last transfer and I am officially the missionary with the most time in the mission. I even have more time than Pres. Gonzaga! I am happy that I will be ending my mission here in Aeroclube with Rodrigues and I am so grateful I have a companion that will work hard with me till the end. It is going to be a blast of a last transfer here.
   
So on to Conference!! The talks were once again amazing and after every session I felt so spiritually renewed and ready to keep going. It was perfect. I am like the rest of you in having a hard time  deciding my favorite talk of Conference, but in my point of view the themes seemed to be about families and missionary work... the two things I love the most! ( I am sure they woulda talked about T-bell too, but it just wasn´t the place or time.) 

President Monson's talk on obedience was so good and his mannerisms were hilarious. He has the perfect balance of spirituality and humor. Elder L. Tom Perry, and Elder Bednar both laid down the law that the rules and commandments of the Church aren´t made by man, but of God, and they are not to be changed. Mom, I agree with you that this conference was more for the actual active members in the church, than any other group. I agree that our views need to be in line with the views of the church and that through those views we receive eternal joy, not just mere pleasure or short moments of happiness. 

All in all, I loved all the talks and for sure thought that the Conference Center was going to do the wave after Elder Nelson's talk! That would be so rad! Oh and the temple in Rio de Janeiro was quite a nice blessing as well.... One more on the list to visit :)
   
Ry, I hope you have an awesome birthday this year and you do something fun with all your friends before you peace out. I will be sure to celebrate for you here.... maybe I will go to the Rodizo for you.... Mmmmmmm. Trent, I would love to see pics of the nice place in Cali if you could send some over my way. It sounds like you have a pretty sweet gig going on down there. I don´t know what else to say..... I LOVE YOU ALL!!!  Stay sweet....

Elder Big Old Deal

"Fail..........."


So if you haven´t seen the first e-mail I sent today... GO TO THAT ONE FIRST! If you already have........ HAPPY APRIL FOOL´S!!! HAHAHAHA (I hope) By the looks of it though it looks like it shows the video in the e-mail so it totally takes away all of the fun that I was planning on.... I have legit been planning that joke since November and I was quite surprised that no one April fooled me yet....But I hope you guys liked it if it all worked out, but if not.... Tudo bem.
   
This week really wasn´t that exciting though work-wise. I guess the theme of the week would be gospel discussions. It seems like we met and talked with a lot of people who are really strong in other faiths and instead of the usual, talk politely and then move on, or the ever worse "bible bash", we were invited into the houses and we had really, deep, gospel talks with these people. It was a blast because it is so neat for me to see how much I have learned since I have been out here. My knowledge of scriptures, stories, and all that jazz has grown so much and I love it. One thing I do regret though is that I didn´t spend a lot of time actually memorizing the scriptures that I use. I know Mom, you told me to do this way back in the start but I fail :( Hahahah. I can tell you which books the scripts or stories are in, but to actually say it word for word in Portuguese... I am lost. I still have time though so I will change that!
    
Mom, Easter here is pretty much just these huge chocolate eggs that are amazingly delicious, but super expensive and everyone going to church, which is good..... if it was with us! Haha. We had a great meeting yesterday in church about the Atonement and it just got me more and more excited for General Conference. I can´t believe it is already this week! Have you even thought about how awesome of an opportunity we have to hear from living prophets and apostles every six months?? It is incredible. I do really have to peace out though so I will talk to you all next week!! I wanna hear from all of you about your favorite talks deal?! DEAL!!! I love you all!

Elder Rick Roll´d

Monday, March 25, 2013

"I Don't Understand?"


Not Hey Fam!
Not too much to talk about in this week's letter. It was an average week with some interesting highs and lows. Let´s start off with the highs. We had another baptism this week!! I just don´t have a picture of him though... My comp is sending it to me then I´ll just forward it to you guys after.


His name is Henrique and he is the friend of a recent convert from the elders that were here before my comp and I. It is amazing how awesome recent converts are in finding new people to baptize. Ryley, this is probably one of the best tips I can give you for your whole mission -- work with recent converts and less-actives. They always have friends or family members who aren´t members and they already have some connection with the Church. You kill two birds with one stone, help the RC or LA and at the same time... wham a baptism! Talk about neat right? People think missionary work is trying to knock as many doors as possible during a day. Not true. Yesh, we have to knock doors because there are people ready to be baptized behind those doors, but never forget the power of RC´s and MA´s.
    
On to the bummer side of things.... Our beloved Maria... complete changed this passed week. It is honestly like she has forgotten all that we have taught her and all that she has felt. I just don´t get it? She was so ready and excited and then for no reason just completely changed. We showed up at her house on Wednesday to have her baptismal interview, but it didn´t even go down because we just sat there teaching her and listening trying to find out what happened. I am still not 100% sure about what it was. We are going to keep working with her, but please keep her in your prayers if you could. She needs this gospel so much and the blessing she can receive of an eternal family. This is why a mission is so.... interesting. You just never know what is going to happen with the people you are teaching. I have seen people who didn´t want to get baptized in any way, shape, or form change over night and get baptized and then I have seen some of the most elect people do the opposite. There is a reason and a plan for everything though, right?
   
So that wraps things up here! Danger... I have been bugging Mom for quite awhile now with stuff about EFY and college and now I think it is your turn :p It looks like my buddies and I are planning on living in either Oak Ridge or Pine View up and USU... If you could check into prices and stuff for us that would be awesome. I think at Oak Ridge we get a bit of a discount for being Ambassadors but I am not sure on that. This isn´t super super urgent I think, but is better to get started early. As for the rest of you family members..... I hope all is going well in your activities and hope the Halo sessions are just wonderful. I miss and love you all!!! I have a challenge for the family... I wanna see one of you guys on tv this general conference.... Good luck! Stay sweet....

Elder Big Deal
Pics: A reallly big sandwich and trying to decide if I should go to the beach or the airport....
Notice how "work hard" isn't an option. Hahaha Mom is going to kill me for that joke ;p

Monday, March 18, 2013

"Ready for take off? Not quite......"



Hey guys! Hahaha
   
So to be honest, not too much happened this week. We just taught a lot of lessons and talked with lots and lots of people. I guess the highlights from this past week all have to do with that lady, Maria, I told you guys about last week. She is doing amazing, and every single one of our lessons with her have been the same level of spirituallity as our fist lesson with her. I love it. One thing that has been amazing though is that we took a different member with us every single time we taught her and they all seemed to be the perfect member for the lesson we were planning on teaching that day. It was great because when she came to church yesterday she felt so comfortable with everyone and the whole ward already knew about her. It was sweet. We also took a returning to activity member with us one day and it was really neat because this less active member now has the responsiblity of taking care of Maria. The spirit is so strong between the two of them now because both of their testimonies are growing. Miracles are awesome... that is all there is to it. We are excited for her baptism this week and I can´t wait to send you pictures of her next week!
   
Also on the awesome side of things this week..... I got my flight plans!!! Yay hooray!!! I will copy and paste them to you right now. But you will notice that it says, May 14th and not the 15th. They switched the dates again and so now I will be home on the 15th not leaving Brasil, the land of dreams, on the 15th. I just have no idea what I am going to do with 6 hours of wait time in São Paulo and 3 more in Atlanta? They better have T-bell in Atlanta or I might not make it home. I plan on not eating anything until I have two cheesy gordita crunches in my hands, but we will see what happens :)
   
That sums things up here for me though! I am just going to keep working until the end. I am starting to notice how tired I really am though. I remember a few months back when I thought I was tired.... Hahaha not even close. This is one of the reasons my comp is such a blessing to me right now. The kid has tons of energy to work really really hard and all I have to do is just guide him a bit and we end up doing a lot of really good things here.
I love and miss you all so so so much and I am a little jealous with all the temple time Ry had this past week.... nerd :p 

Love you guys! Stay sweet............

Elder Big Deal


P.S. The picture is of a coxinha a member bought for me here. It is huge. Usually they are about the size of a an egg or a little bigger, this one was about the size of my head.... it was awesome

Monday, March 11, 2013

"Old Friends"


The subject line has two meanings for this week. One is pretty simple. This week I had the chance to go on splits with my very first comp here in Brasil... Elder Pinto! It was a pretty funny experience to see how much both of us have changed. Now we just speak Portuguese when we only used to speak in English or I am the one leading the teaching now and not just him. I think the funniest thing of all though is how when we went to lunch we both put a huge pile of beans on our plates and we just started laughing because "In the beginning" we both hated beans and now it is just normal. It was a good time and I am excited that I will be leaving with him.
  
On to the other meaning of "old friends". We are teaching this absolutely amazing old lady named Maria do Socorro. She is 73 years old, lives alone, and all of her children have died and she just gardens all day. But our lessons with her are amazing. I have never had lessons in my entire mission more spiritual than the lessons we get to teach her every day. It is unbelievable to be honest. It is as if when we walk into the room the Spirit just takes over and we are just there because the Spirit needs voices to help him. It is these types of lessons that make a mission so worth it. Yes, I have taught other spiritual lesson during my mission and had other spiritual experiences, but nothing like this. It just makes up for everything during the mission. The hard work, the hot sun, the struggles with the language at the start, these few lessons have just been so.... perfect. I can´t express my gratitude to the Lord for letting me even be a part of it. And the thing that makes it even better is that she wasn´t the "golden reference" or "the person who showed up and just asked to be baptized". She was a contact, just a normal average every day contact that I have done so many times in my mission. It amazes me how the Lord works and how important it is for us as missionaries to do our part.
  
Also, I had my last normal interview with Pres. Gonzaga this week. It was funny because I had just been interviewed by him and I will be having my last interview here in a little bit, so when he called my in he just said "We are just doing this to be formal hahaha" And then we just sat down together and talked about the zone and how I can start focusing on helping the district leaders do better. But that was pretty much it hahaha. It was still fun to just chat with him, but I am sure my next interview will be an interesting one.
  
That pretty much just sums things up for me here in Aeroclube! I hope you all have another great week and Ry just takes it easy with Spring Break wooooooo!! Any fun plans dude??? I love you all and miss you tons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay sweet.....

Elder Big Deal

Monday, March 4, 2013

"Young Blood"

This week Cache's little sister Ryley was endowed at the Draper Temple prior to her entering the MTC on May 22.  Cache gets home May 16, so we're anticipating 6 days of blissful family togetherness.  Saturday all the rest of us were in the temple w/Ry and they called up "Sister Goozy" to the veil.  In the Celestial Room a young man approached me and asked if we had a son named Cache?  Heck yes!  He said his name is Nate Finch and he and Cache knew each other at Brighton and they served together in Brazil. He said Cache is a great missionary and the people love him and he is doing amazing work there. Talk about a tender mercy in the temple for a missionary momma.  (See, at times, there really are some great perks to having a bizarre last name!)

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidsssssssssssssssssssssss!!! Hahahaha good times :)

   
So I am just going to start with transfers. I am still here in Aeroclube as a ZL and by the looks of it, this is going to be my last area seeing as next transfer is one of only five weeks. I am really happy about it though because the majority of my areas have been here in Maceió and it makes things a lot easier to visit all the areas I have passed in. I am really starting to like Aeroclube too. It might be in the running against Boa Vista for coolest area. 
   
My new comp is once again from Rio Grande do Sul. I swear there is something about me and getting comps from there. It is not a bad thing though because they are always awesome and really hard workers. His name is Igor Rodrigues and is just a newbie still. The punk doesn´t even have a year out in the mission, but he is such a good missionary. It is exactly what I needed after my last comp and so I'll keep working hard until the end.... because the end doesn´t even exist for this kid yet hahahaha. I like him a lot though. He reminds me of Gentry Alan Nielson and we all know Flint Rider is just one of my favorite people in the whole world. Elder Rodrigues is an amazing teacher and worker. It amazes me how much I am learning from him every day. These next two transfers are going to be a blast.
   
As for the work this week, we found lots of great new people to teach and our area is down to just one companionship instead of two so we have a lot more space to work with, which was much needed. Our baptism for this week ended up falling through. It was a bummer because it was planned for Saturday night at 7 and he called us during lunch that day and told us he wasn´t ready. We went over and tried to help him out, but he just didn´t have the desire. It was funny though because he still showed up at church the next day. He will get baptized for sure, we just have to wait for the Lord's time on this one. We still have other people lined up for this week that we are helping and it just gets me excited for all the potential this area has. 
   
I am not really sure how to talk about what happened with you all in the temple this week with Nate Finch. To this day he is still known as one of the best or the best missionary who has passed here in the mission in recent years. He was one of my buds at Brighton and he was my DL his last transfer here and we got really close and he helped me out a lot. There is just no way that he was there at the temple just by accident. It is amazing how the Lord always has these little "mini miracles" planned for us when we do what is right, as in going to the temple and such. I am so glad that night and the past week was so full of great spiritual experiences in the temple and can´t wait to be there with you guys as well. :) 

I also can´t believe Brad and Landon are home now. Those guys are just wild. I remember being in the MTC with Brad. Now there is just O-lex and then next is me.... We are all getting way too old. 
   
Well, I better get going and I am sorry I don´t have a pic with my new comp, but I will get one up soon. I loved the pic you sent me mom. It is so cool to see the whole family outside of the temple together. Love it. Stay sweet....

Elder Big Deal

"No Questions"


So, the question mark button on the computer I am using is broken... So let´s see if I can write this whole e-mail without asking questions.... This should be interesting. 
   
This week though was stinkin rad.... We had some great things happen. First off we had..... Baptisms!!! Ahhhahahaha Hooray!!!!! This was honestly the biggest blessing of all because as you all know this transfer was a little rough, but ending it with a baptism was just the best thing ever. They were all old investigators who other elders had stopped teaching and just out of nothing, two of them came up and just asked to be baptized. The other was a bit more of a battle and we have been working with her since I got here. But after the first time she went to church she was just hooked! It was awesome. Their names are Rafaela, Driely, and another Rafaela. They are 18, 14, and 20. I am trying to get the picture to send to you but my computer is just rubbish! I am so happy they were all baptized though and who knows if I will be here when they get confirmed next week. We get transfer calls tonight so we will see what happens.
   
They weren´t confirmed this week because we had another awesome blessing of stake conference!! They made a few changes in the stake boundaries so we all got to go to Farol and have an good meeting there. It was awesome because I got to see all of my old friends from my beloved Boa Vista. Oh how I love that area :) I got to talk with all my buddies and I even found out some wild news that my best buddy, Elder Pájaro, is leaving this week! Ah! He got permission to peace out early because of college and a few other things and I am going to miss him a lot. He is a stud and I am so happy I got to serve with him. He was a great missionary and will really help his family when he gets back home :) 
   
That pretty much just sums everything up. I am really sorry these pictures aren´t working.... It bugs me to death when this happens. I am so excited for all the temple action that is going on in the family too. I can´t tell you how much I am missing the temple lately. That will be one of the first things I do when I get home for sure is go to the temple. Please go to the temple as much as you can. It is such a blessing that we have half a million temples within 10 feet of our house hahaha. The pictures are working now!!! Love you all... Stay sweet :)

Elder Big Deal

Pics: 

1. Those that were baptized. I think the order is E. Marques, Felipe (Wardie), Rafaela, other Rafa,Driely,and then me!
         

2. Cool octopus my friend drew while we were waiting for conference to start! The Squid is comin home..... :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Wait, what?..........."



I can´t even tell you how many miracles happened here during this past week. This past week was probably one of my favorites of the whole mission. So many amazing things happened and it was just what I needed to get my head on straight and keep going. It is so amazing how the Lord works on his own timeline and how it always "happens" to be just right.
   
First off, we had people we have been working with for this whole transfer who are finally coming around and seeing the importance of baptism in their lives. It is such a neat thing when you are able to see that they understand it and use their faith to mark a date. It is so so so rewarding as well, because after so much work, love, care, and prayers, they feel and know that baptism is what is missing in their lives. I am very excited for the week ahead and for all the stuff we have.
  
Secondly, we had zone conference this week. I don´t even need to explain to you how spiritually uplifting zone conferences can be, but this one was slightly different. Here in the mish, the elders who are just coming in bear their testimonies and so do the elders who will be leaving before the next zone conference. My whole group was all excited because our next zone conference would be our testimony time, but Pres threw us a curve ball. Because of the transfers here, my group will miss the next zone conference by a week, and so even though we still have a lot of time before we peace out, we got to bear our testimonies. It was such an interesting experience for me because I remember so well when I was there in the same chapel giving my testimony upon arriving... bad Portuguese and all. It hit me pretty hard though when I started talking about Brasil and the people here that my time is ending..... and how bad I don´t want it to be. I can´t explain all the things I have learned or the feelings I have felt, but I know there is still so so much more for me here. These past weeks here have been rough because of a million reasons, but the biggest one being my own drive to help the people closest to me and just work, no matter the situation. Bearing my testimony was a... a.... I dunno, a slap in the face and "Get your rear in gear Guzy!!! I have so much more I need to do, so many more people who need to hear the gospel, and many personal qualities that I can improve on. I forgot that in the world outside the mission I have to worry about math tests, politics, jobs and tons of other things. My time to come home will come one day, but as for right now, I am not coming home till next December.
   
And last but not least, I had the opportunity to go on a division with an elder from........ FRESNO!!! Hahaha what are the odds of that, right? It was awesome because he is still pretty new here in the mish and I got to see all these pics from Fresno and hear him talk about how much he loves it there. Ry, you are going to have such an awesome mission there. I don´t know about the other wards, but Elder Katich said his ward loves the missionaries and they do really well there. I am so excited for you :)
   
Well that is about all I have for this week! Mom, I chatted with Pres about EFY and he said I can get on and do what I need to do with that. Also, don´t stress about the no Valentines thing.... I didn´t even notice it was Single Awareness Day until one of the clowns in the zone called me up and told me. It is weird because usually Valentines is a BIG DEAL for me, but not this year.... Next will be wild though for sure. 

Well, I love you all and can´t thank you enough for the advice you have given me lately. It was much needed. Have another great week and stay safe. Stay sweet....
 
Elder Big Deal

Monday, February 11, 2013

"Meh week"

  
So I don´t really have too much to talk about this week. We had a rough week here of just knocking doors and trying to find at least one solid person to teach. We had a little bit of luck and even got someone to come with us to church, which was such a big miracle. Her little brother was baptized a few months ago and we just barely got her to come to church as well. We will see how things go with her during the week and we are just excited that we finally have one person to teach.
   

I am not sure if you guys all know, but this week was the start of the ever horrible... CARNIVAL. Hahaha. Oh how I didn't miss tons of people running around with eggs and bags of flour attempting to throw them at us, or our neighbors playing really lame-sauce music until the wee hours of the morning.... Ummm this all really brings the spirit. Hahahahaha. It actually isn´t too bad here, yet. I am sure later tonight and tomorrow will be pretty interesting. It is just fun to think about how last year I was in Viçosa still struggling to speak, now I am here understanding all the stuff the music is saying! Hahahaha. I still have yet to get hit by an egg or flour bomb and I plan to keep it that way. A few prayers from you guys though would help :p
   

I am excited that the fam will all being going to the temple soon! I think I said this in the last letter, but I will say it again anyway. It is a hard choice between Draper and Salt Lake. Both are very very awesome and beautiful, but if it were up to me I would go to Oquirrh Mountain. I have no idea why, but I loved that temple when we went through it that one day Mom. 

I hope all goes well for you guys and that the garage stops throwing fits. Where is Bill when you need him?! 

Love you!!!
Elder Big Deal

Monday, February 4, 2013

"California girls are baptizers....."

This week Cache's sister Ryley received her mission call to the CA Fresno mission.  She'll be speaking Spanish.  Cache gets home May 16 and Ryley enters the Provo MTC on May 22, so we will have the whole family together for 6 days.  Her mission president is Larry Gelwix, the "Get-away Guru"/Morris Travel guy and Highland rugby coach featured in the movie Forever Strong.  

OH MY AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE BEST SISTER IN THE WHOLE WORLD JUST GOT EVEN COOLER!!!!!! Ry, I am so stinkin happy for you!! The mission in Fresno will have no idea how to even handle the wild child that will be Sister Guzy! Doesn´t that just have an awesome ring to it? Sister Guzy... Spanish speaking master and Gospel teacher of the eternities. Yeah it has a good ring to it for sure :) I am also very very happy about when you will be leaving. Yesh, a little more time with you would be perfect, but the Lord knows what he is doing and I think that week will be awesome for our family. I will be honest though... it will be weird to be going back to The MTC almost 2 years exactly after I left... I´ll probably cry or something. 

But on the topic of the MTC and Fresno.... Did you know I have already met and talked with your Mission Pres? Yep! He was there when I was in the MTC during the new presidents seminar thing and I was outside studying with some buds and he passed by. One of my friends called out to him because he knew who he was from Forever Strong and being the awesome man he is, he came and sat down and talked with us for a good 45 minutes. It was really neat to spend time with him and I even remember leaving thinking "I hope I get reassigned to his mission!". You will love him though, and you can learn tons from him and his wife. You are going to love that mission. People kinda get disheartened about going state-side, but in all honesty, it will be a major blessing for you and you still get to learn a language! Foreign missions are fun, but they're rough in the start and towards the end, because no matter how much you love the culture, you start to miss your own country. I can´t tell you how much I loved my time in Oregon and I know you will love your mission a million times more!
Well, with all this going on my week seemed pretty stinkin normal... which it was. Nothing out of the ordinary happened teaching-wise, but my comp and I got to have special interviews with Pres this past week. My comp is just kinda..... tuckered out and wanted to talk with Pres about some stuff. So being there with him.....I took the chance to get an interview as well! Hooray! We just talked about blessings and all the things I have learned since I have been out here. It was exactly what I needed as well to get that last little boost of energy.  I may be tired, but there is always more I can do. 

That is pretty much my week though! I love you all so much and once again, congrats Ry and Caitlin (Ryley's friend Caitlin opened her call to the Ukraine Kiev Mission the same night) on the awesome mission calls. I hope you all have another great week with lots of spiritual experiences... Até mais! Stay sweet....

Elder Who was a big deal until last Thursday







Monday, January 28, 2013

"Hot and Cold"

This may be funny to you guys, but I am legit just dying to be in your situation right now.... It is so ridiculously hot here. Between 10 and 3:30 the sun is just murder and it just kills our energy so much. I read your e-mails about the snow and I just got so jealous.... I want a snowball in the face or a nice catch on my front edge to just fall into the wintery coldness...... Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Luckily I am not getting sunburned, but I am getting quite a nice tan. I guess the heat does have it´s benefits..... sometimes.

So this week was a pretty normal week work-wise. Nothing too amazing/wild happened teaching-wise or anything like that. We are helping this one lady stop smoking and she was doing well... until she bailed out on coming to church with us. I don´t get how she can feel the spirit helping her to quit smoking and then decide to hide from us when Sunday comes around. The best place for her to learn how to stop smoking is at church, but she just won´t put it to the test.... Kills me. No matter how much time you have in the mission, these types of things will always make you stop and think about what you can do as the mouth-piece of the Holy Ghost to really make sure the person feels it. I just don´t know anymore..... It just makes me sad when people do not accept what we have to offer...

On the other side of things not spiritual this week, there was TONS! First off, our house got attacked by larvae .. we have no idea how or why, but it was horrible. We legit cleaned EVERYTHING as well, but still didn't find the source. It happened this week as well to a few members, so maybe it has something to do with the time of year. I haven´t seen any for a few days though so I think we are good. Secondly, we saw two dead guys and this wild mini parade in the space of about six hours on Friday. We had 4 deaths near our house this past week and we saw the leftovers of two of them. One of them the cops hadn´t even shown up yet. That one was a little wild. It is pretty amazing though how protected we are here as missionaries. The little black tag is more than just a "Hey here is my name and my church!" it is a sign of respect and protection. And last but not least, with the stake changes here Boa Vista still is a part of my zone and I get to go visit there basically every week! Talk about blessings, right? I love being so close to an area I love so much. I was there twice this week on divisions and doing baptismal interviews. Good stuff.

Well I am not sure what else to say... It´s not like someone is more than likely getting her mission call this week.... Oh wait, only the coolest sister in the whole WORLD IS!!! (That last part is in caps so you know it is important) I am honestly already so excited for next week´s P-day already for when I get to know where Ry will be headed off to... I am feeling Europe, but I honestly have no idea and I know how annoying it is when people ask, "Where do you think you're gonna go?!" So I won´t do that. But good luck Wednesday Ry, and I hope the whole fam is there to see it :) I love and miss you all!!! Stay sweet....

Elder almost as big as a deal as his sister....


P.S. Picture is of the spider we had in our house last week.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Cold showers, Apostles, & really big Spiders"




Hey there dooooodes!!!
So where to start.... I guess I will just start with transfers! I am still here in Maceió, but I am in a whole new zone and my area is called Aeroclube. It is pretty neat here, I guess. It is a little bit far away from the actual city of Maceió, but I still like it. Except for the fact that airplanes fly over us about every 15 minutes.... Yeah it is kinda killer on my new comp and me because we both have the same time out!! His name is Elder Marques and once again, he is a Brazilian from Brasília. Like I said, we are from the same group and we will be heading out together. It is most likely that he will get transferred before that though, so who knows. He is a good guy and we have had a friendship all throughout the mission, so it will be a fun transfer as ZL´s together. 
I am really missing Pájaro and my beloved Boa Vista though.... But it is close, so I can go visit when I need to :) The only thing I don´t like about this area is that our house doesn´t have hot water and never will. There is some problem with the circuits where, if we were to try and put hot water in, it will cut the power to the whole house..... Hooray! But on the bright side we have tons of missionaries that live really close to us and I already found this huge spider that I believe to be a banana spider, but still not 100% sure... I forgot my memory card so there goes that picture until next week.
On to today. We had the amazing opportunity to listen to Elder Bednar today!!! Oh my heavens it was so nifty. It wasn´t that normal type of meeting where he just comes and gives a talk, it was all about us asking questions and him trying to show us that learning is so much easier when the person has the will and it´s not just people trying to force information into their heads. I loved it because I have been thinking so much lately about my teaching style and how I can improve it and it was just what I needed to hear. I also was lucky enough to hear from Elder Bednar yesterday as well, because he spoke in our stake conference here. He and his wife both gave amazing talks and his wife even said that it was nice to come to the beach and get away from the Utah snow.... If she only knew how much she would miss it after two years :) 

   Well, my time is short, but I am just happy and ready to start to work here. There is a ton of work that needs to be done. This zone just feels like it isn´t very.... excited right now and that just doesn´t work for me so Imma think of ways to change that. 


Love you all!!! Ancestors protect me... May they protect you!
Elder Big Deal

P.S. Ry, you need to send me the USU registration dates for fall 2013 when you find them out and parents if you could look into my leave of absence stuff that would be just lovely!!! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

"Saturday is a Special Day"


Heyoooo!!


So once again, I am super short on time and I have TONS I wanna say. I honestly can't stand putting numbers in anymore.... and it is even worse when the computer crashes twice and you have to re-do it... yay! But for reals, this week was so wild, well more like just Saturday, so that is what I will tell you about.

So to start off, I haven´t been transferred yet. That happens tomorrow. Pajaro and I have just know about it forever because they have been doing some changes in the stake. I am a little bummed about this transfer though because things are on fire here and of course Elder Pájaro is just the best comp I could have ever had in my life. But we ended strong together which was good. Our last Saturday was wild because we had two baptisms, as you can see in the pic, and just about everything went wrong before. 

So, to start off the day we had a service project nice and early with the other branch that comes to our building. We thought we were just gonna do some weeding at a school near by which in reality is what we did... we just really underestimated how much "weeding" we would do. We got there and it was this HUGE field that is completely overgrown and we had very little materials. To cut things short, ha! pun :) we worked until 1:00 in the afternoon and didn´t even get close to finishing it all and we had over 20 men helping us. Ya crazy. We also forgot sunblock so all of us elders got really burned... not too bright... well that is a lie because I am bright red.... another pun?? 

After that we had to go get things ready for the baptisms and everything went well until.... the power went out in all of Boa Vista! Yep... we had to run back to the house to get our flashlights because we already had everyone there and there was no way we weren´t going to baptize because, come on how sweet of a story is that? Baptizing in the dark! But after we got back and another 15 minutes later, the lights came back on and everything went smoothly until we noticed that we didn´t have enough baptismal clothes for everyone... We were too focused on the energy to notice that problem before. We ended up working a way out to baptize people then switch clothes and everything went swell. It was a great time and such a good way to end my time here in Boa Vista, which for sure is just the best area ever. 

I think that sums it up... oh wait! After the baptisms we had our Branch activity which was fun... It was just a few games and snacks and yeah... good times!

Well I gotta go but I love you all and hope you have another amazing week! Stay sweet family!!!!!!!!!! :))

Elder Big Deal




P.S. All this week we have been having a conversation about who is the best/coolest villain of all time? I wanna hear your opinions. Mine are Shredder, RockSteady and Beepop from Ninja Turtles, or the Nightmare King From Little Nemo.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Alright! So right off the bat and before I forget, there have been a few changes with transfers in the mission. The only way it affects you guys though is that now my flight leaves on the 15th and I will be back in Utah the 16th. Just one day's difference but still a little bit of a change in things. They already called me about where I want to land and stuff, and by the looks of it I am heading to good ol´ Salt Lake! I haven´t gotten my travel plans yet, but they should be here in the next couple of weeks! Neat huh? Also transfers are this Sunday and Pájaro and I already know that we are both getting transferred from here. It is a bummer because it has been so awesome here and he is my favorite comp in the world world, but... that is just part of mission life. I really will miss Boa Vista though. It is such a fun branch and things are really rolling here now.
   
Not too much happened this week work-wise. Knowing that we are both going to get transferred makes it kinda hard to have the will to find new people, but in reality we found some awesome young people that are just so pumped to get baptized. We also had interviews with Pres and then Zone Counsel. Both were great and I have already told you guys enough how I like being near Pres and the other missionaries so I won´t say much there. We talked a lot about goals though, seeing as how it was just New Years last week and that brings up the question... What goals do you guys have for this year?! I wanna hear at least one from everyone if that is possible. Pájaro, Cardoso and I all made a list of goals for the year and I think I came up with some good ones. I have about 20, and some are going to be pretty interesting to try and achieve. So excited. I am not really sure what else to say... We had two emergency transfers in the zone this past week and we got the "rough side" both times... Our zone is looking pretty interesting right now with the elders we have here. It will be really interesting to see what will happen during the transfers.
  
I hope you like the picture of Pájaro. He is a champ. I am glad you all were safe during New Years and had lots of fun (Mom and Dad) Ryley, how is Utah State basketball doing?? Do you love the games or what? Tanner, I have a feeling that I will be in serious need of style tips when I get back.... What do I have to do to get some advice?? And don´t say, "speak English correctly" cause that is not gonna happen soon hahaha. 

Well I love you all of course and hope you have another fun-filled week with lots of snow and snowboarding. Hit the sick roller near Chips for me someone!! Stay sweet....

Elder Big Deal