Monday, January 21, 2013

Colombo semana 9

Well we broke a rule this week that most missionaries never break... On Friday we went swimming. We swam for about 5 miles from out in the boonies, back to our house so we could change clothes. :)

We had been teaching out in a little neighborhood called Jardim el Dorado (which is kind of a Portanol name that means golden garden) that is quite far from our house. We had several appointments scheduled for the late afternoon/evening in the same area and were there for most of the day. But when we had left in the morning, we didn´t take umbrellas with us because it was bright and sunny. Every single one of our appointments fell through, but we stayed in the area talking with new people while we were waiting for our later appointments. At some point we saw a huge thunderstorm developing off in the distance and realized that we were going to die if nobody was home... sure enough, no one was home... So at about 7:00 we started heading back when IT arrived. At first we thought that maybe we were just going to catch a little corner of the storm, so we hid under a tree in the jungle just on the edge of the neighborhood. We were sorely mistaken. We caught the full brunt of a huge storm that moved through and turned all the roads into decent sized rivers of mud and rock. I had my rain jacket with me, which I tossed over my backpack but there´s only so much you can do when the rain is coming from every direction :) We started `swimming` home (which is only a slight exaggeration) and by the time we got to any sort of store/restaurant where we could hide out, we were already completely soaked... So we swam all the way home to change clothes and get ready to go visit a family in the branch. It was great! Singing all the way :)

But apart from the rain, we are doing very well. This week was very productive. We are helping a man quit smoking and drinking but he is having a very hard time. He has already left the hard drugs, but these last two addictions are very hard for him. It also doesn´t help that there are 3 bars on every block, including two within spitting distance of his house... But he is making steady progress.

Good to hear from Travis! I hope all is well in P-town, and that O-chem doesn´t kill you :) Paper letters take about a month to get here, but I´d love to hear about happenings. And Christmas was great!

Well Mom said that Carsten is driving... Don´t know how I feel about that ;) Glad that I´m far enough away that I´m not in danger... I know he´ll be great!


Elder Conner House

Monday, January 14, 2013

Columbo Semana 8

Well we had a great little week here in Colombo. Miracle and all.

Sometimes in Colombo, we lose water. Don´t know exactly why, but about once or twice a week we don´t have water when we wake up... usually when we have to wake up early to go to a meeting or something. But here on Saturday it was just a normal day and we didn´t have water when we got up. So I exercised for the alloted time but still no water to take showers, cook, and get ready for the day. So I suggested to Elder Trevisanut that we just switch up our shcedule just a little, shifting our study up an hour earlier and get ready at the end... and use our time as effectively as possible to study for the full time. The FULL time. So we did just that, we prayed and studied the scriptures for the hour of personal study. Then we did our two hours of companionship study/new missionary training. Sometimes during we get a bit sidetracked as we study together, but on Saturday, we were dead focused. About 20 minutes before we were done, Elder T asked if we should go check the water yet. I told him that I´d turned the faucet on the shower so we would hear the water when it came on. So we kept studying diligently. And at 10:00 exactly... exactly... on the second according to Elder Trevisanut´s watch, we heard the shower downstairs start pumping out water.

Miracles happen.

But the miracle we see most is the change of heart that we as missionaries see in people nearly every day. And to watch it happen is a great blessing. The thing about miracles is that if you don´t believe that God has the power to work them, he won´t let you see them nearly as often. And if you don´t give thanks when you have them happen, you will probably stop recognizing them in your life.


Elder House

Monday, January 7, 2013

Colombo 2013!

Long time no email... Desculpe

On Christmas, President asked that we not email because we were skyping/calling. Then on New Year´s all the internet houses in our area were closed. In the city, things stay open, but in the favela, everything shuts down for about 2 days before and 2 days after. And this week, we had a temple trip yesterday so our p-day got switched around. The Curitiba temple is gorgeous... The grounds, the interior, and the artwork are all amazing! It was nice to be able to worship in the temple again after a couple months. Hopefully we´ll get to go every once in a while.

Well we got an announcement that Elder Oaks, Elder Costa, and Bishop Stevenson are coming to visit on the 26th of this month. Usually when an Apostle comes to visit a mission, they visit several at a time. But this time, they are flying into Curitiba for a few hours for a special mission conference and flying back out... as in more time on the plane than on the ground... So they must have something special to tell us. Exciting!

New Years was crazy... The air was filled with fireworks. But people here don´t like big sparkly fireworks, just really loud booms! So it sounded like a war zone for a good hour. We went over to the house of a member and had churrasco which was awesome. In winter I hear that´s just about all we eat. Maybe not awesome with the word of wisdom, but I´m looking forward to it :)

Okay, so maracujá is probably passion fruit... but it is sUUUuper good. You have to buy one that when you shake it, you can feel stuff slosh around inside it. Cut it open and pour the goop, seeds and all, into a blender with a bunch of sugar and milk. Walah! Vitamina de Maracujá!

Thanks so much for the Swedish fish and Jelly Beans. On Christmas we took them to a dinner to share and everyone loved them!

Well the work here is going a little slowly. We are teaching tons of lessons, but we need to marry tons of people. We have 10 couples who need to marry before baptism. But that isn´t as simple as it ought to be... one of the two doesn´t want to, or they don´t have the right paperwork, or it costs a bunch for people who are from a certain town, or they don´t want their children from a different person to feel bad about not being married to their dad, or they want to have a dinner with all their family who they haven´t seen for 15 years and probably won´t see before they die... you get the idea :) But hopefully we´ll have the first wedding in two weeks, and get the ball rolling!

Well the first transfer is over, and Elder Trevisanut and I are still together. He is district leader now so we are gonna have some extra duties. But it is really cool because everyone in our district is either training or being trained. And one elder is only two transfers in and already training! But that is gonna be the story of our mission starting in about 3 months... we are going from 180 to 300 missionaries this year! So everyone will be training, and opening areas. Which is really cool!

Welp I hope all is well at home and that the New Year has begun well. 2013 is gonna be great!


Elder Conner House

Sunday, January 6, 2013