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..... :)