Saturday, February 22, 2014

Agua Verde Semana 18

7 Brazilians, 4 Gringos, 1 Argentinian (or is it Argentine?)

Our new missionários arrived on Tuesday and all of the Elders slept in our house. The house of the secretaries is kind of like the room of requirement... if you need extra mattresses, they´ll somehow show up in the secretaries´ house. If you need more copies of the Book of Mormon, there´ll be a few hiding in some corner of the house. If you need space to put 7 more missionaries for a few nights, on top of the 5 that already live there... almost magically space will appear (along with space to put new bunk beds, because President didn´t want anyone sleeping with a mattress on the floor). At breakfast for all the greenest of the greenies, we made tapioca. Which doesn´t have anything to do with tapioca in the US... ya know, that lumpy pudding. Tapioca here is the closest thing that Brasil has to a soft shelled taco, where you spread some slightly dampened flour from manjioca (I think it´s called cassava in the US... it´s that big brown root in the supermarket that always is with the fresh veggies that nobody knows what it is or how to use it...) on a frying pan with a little bit of butter. This flour ends up sticking to itself and making almost a tortilla like thingy that you can fill with sweet or savory. We used salted beef and smoked provolone... A bit salty, but turned out alright.

On Wednesday we´ll be back at the Federal Police station to register the new foreigners... And finally, I´ll have to renew a visa (never had to do this before). It´ll be my visa! So i´m very interested in the doing all of the paperwork properly.

We were able to find a few new families in our area this week. Two of them are super excited about the Book of Mormon and are searching for an answer. They started asking a bunch of questions that the ministers and pastors from the local churches weren´t ever able to answer. I promised that the the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ could be found in the Book of Mormon, and we found the answers to all of the questions that they had. ALL of them. They were excited to "meet" new prophets like Alma and Nefi, and learn what they taught to the people of the day, and how it would apply to us. I love teaching people who can get excited about "getting to know" the prophets in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the prophets in our days by studying and applying the doctrines they taught.

I love Curitiba. She´s a bit moody when it comes to weather, but her only major flaw is that she doesn´t have cheddar cheese.


Elder House

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Agua Verde Semana 17

Follows: Excerpt from the Elder House dictionary

Ruth (ROO-chi) : Honest seeker of truth and eternal investigator. As of February 2014 has been attending church for more than one year. The missionaries began teaching her as a referral of a referral of a less active who was a referral of a recent convert. She fell in love with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and every week brings her granddaughter to church.

How great it was yesterday to finally invite Ruth to have a baptismal interview, because she is now able to respond positively to ALL of the baptismal interview questions. Sooo... we´re gonna plan a huge celebration for her! (But she still needs a lot of prayers).

This week we´re gonna get a new bishop (and hopefully a new ward mission leader).

Transfers on monday! But transfers aren´t so exciting when you know that there is a 95% chance that you are gonna stay put until you train the next secretary... #notgoingtodiehere

Working like a dog. But not smelling like one.


Elder House

Ok,  you´ll have to pardon the dorky smile, but I remembered to take a picture of a few of the cookies one day...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Agua Verde Semana 16

Curitiba has turned into a great big pressure cooker. I don´t think I´ve ever offered so many prayers of gratitude related to AC… Being in the office stinks cause we can´t teach in the afternoon, but the AC is aweseome.

On Tuesday, all of our scheduled lessons were falling through... all of them. I was on exchanges with a member who was recently called to Chile, and we were having a rough time finding our investigators at home and entering the homes of referrals/contacts. We stopped for a minute and thought. Then realized that we don´t having a "thinker" quite as good as the Lord does, so we prayed. In about 3 seconds I had a little conversation with the Holy Ghost:

HG - Go visit Wesley at his grandmother´s home.

EH - But he won´t be there... he spends the week with his dad and will only be there on Thursday for the baptismal interview.

HG - Go visit Wesley at his grandmother´s home.

EH - But we passed by there yesterday and he wasn´t there and Rosa (his grandmother) told us that we shouldn´t pass until Thursday cause he wouldn´t be there.

HG - Go visit Wesley at his grandmother´s home.

EH - Ok

So we went to their gate and clapped (cause that´s how you get someone to come to the gate) and Rosa came out. "Hey I was just talking to all of my family, who stopped by for a surprise visit here, that they should come visit our church to meet you guys." Even Wesley was there! He´d hitched a ride with his uncle to visit his grandmother.

HG - See?

EH - Thank you for being patient with me.

To make a long story short we taught the Plan of Salvation and everybody became emotional especially watching Wesley respond to every answer perfectly after attending church for only ONE year. Everybody committed to come to the baptism and a few decided they want to come to Stake Conference as well.

Speaking of Stake Conference, President Claudio Costa is outside our office door with the Stake President (who will shortly be released after 10 years of service) looking at the awful mess that is in the front room of our office… All of the furniture and nick-nacks from the house of missionaries that were kicked out of their house (and are now living in our house) are stacked against the wall… #officeproblems

Tomorrow we will have the baptism of Wesley! (Pray that his family all comes to watch).

-part 2-

Our internet went out in the middle of writing our internet hour, so I had to put a pause on the letter on Saturday. So here is part two written Monday.

Baptism of Wesley was great. He got a little nervous when about 50 people from the ward showed up and all his family… He thought it would just be his family and a few friends from the primary, so we had to help him relax and shake off the nerves, but in the end it all went well.

The stake conference was amazing. Especially the adult session! Elder Costa was talking about how to introduce your friends to the gospel and got way animated about it all. He then called the Stake President, Mission President, and two bishops to the front and the 4 closest missionaries in the building to go on exchanges with them in the neighborhood around the chapel and invite people to the Stake Conference the next day! They all returned about 30 minutes later having talked with over 100 people. The point was well understood. It´s not hard to share the gospel and invite people… you just have to open your mouth.

Elder Costa also shared some great stories about the people of Manaus who had to sell everything they owned to afford the 1 week trip by boat and bus to the temple. That makes the 15 minute car ride from the stake center here to the temple a piece of cake.

This week it´ll be raining new people to teach. The whole stake “ficou bem animado!”


Elder House

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Agua Verde Semana 15

Elder House 2. Polícia Federal 1.

We came out victorious again! And this time it all went smoothly. We have to register all of the Americans who arrive directly from the US in the Federal Police station (kind of like the Brazilian FBI), and there´s a lot of paperwork that has to be done in preparation. This was my third time working with them, and by far the best. All of the documentation and registrations were done perfectly. The only speed-bump was their system in Brasilia that hiccuped for a bit. This week, President saw that I have gotten down pretty much all of the office tasks, and as i was leaving the room, said something to the effect of "Elder House, I´m glad you´ve gotten good at all this, cause you´re gonna be here until September..." I let out a big yelp expressing my feeling of oh-no-please-have-mercy-on-me-and-let-me-leave-to-at-least-train-one-more-time! President started laughing a little, so I don´t know if he was talking seriously or not.

The baptism of Elizabeth was awesome. She is a very special little young lady who is going to be a great example to the other primary children.

Terezinha decided that she will be baptized! But they went back to Pernambuco for a little bit, until they move here definitively in a month or so. I think that one of her grandsons will have the privilege of baptizing her in March.

On a side note... the meals with members in Agua Verde are the best in the world. I always think about Aunt Wendy citing the missionaries in her mission "Missionaries need meat and potatoes..." There was one little old lady in the ward who wasn´t able to have almoço with the missionaries for a few months because she had some health problems, but now she is better and she said that she had been praying about what she could make. The result: baby-back ribs, shrimp, and the best fish that i´ve ever eaten!

Anywho, things going well... It´ll be 43 degrees Celsius this weekend. Lets knock doors asking for water!

-Elder House