Saturday, May 31, 2014

Agua Verde Semana 32

Elder Leite is picking up all the office tasks quickly, so in a few weeks this weekly letter should be coming from somewhere in the FIELD! The only bummer is that I will return to the field in the middle of the
On Sunday, we had a little miracle happen. During the week, we spent some time exploring the darkside of our area... the darkside because it takes forever to walk there and there are basically no no members or old investigators there. And we thought that it had all been in vain, because nobody let a couple of cold missionaries in. But ONE lady (and her granddaughter) who had been contacted and invited to church came to church. They just appeared in the Sacrament Meeting! One minute, Irmã Flávia was sitting with her family, then all of a sudden Eloiza was at her side. "Legal!" And it was on the day that the youth gave a special musical number and all of the talks were extremely well prepared. I strengthened my testimony of the importance of working to have a good Sacrament Meeting. When all of the people giving talks really put in the time to prepare and there is good music, the Lord really does see the effort and blessed the meeting with the Holy Spirit.
Today I got trunky emails from almost everyone... Or they are finishing missions, or engaged, or recently sealed, or etc. But that´s life right?
Agua Verde is great! When we arrived at the house of one of our investigators he told us, "hey, I rented a view films that the guy there said would help me know more about the Mormons." My heart froze solid. I thought that he had gotten some film produced by one of the anti-mormon groups in the US that they had translated to Portuguese (luckily there is very little of that sort of thing here)... but when I opened up the DVD case it was the 3 films of The Work and the Glory!! So now he is watching those instead of Rambo. :)
Well I hope the family is well and that Christian is getting excited to be a Cougar!
Elder House

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Agua Verde Semana 30

Calling home was a great treat! Mom and Dad were the only ones who seemed more or less the same, but Christian, Carsten, and Calli all look (and sound!) different. I called from the house of a family who recently sent their son off to the MTC in Santiago Chile who will serve in Vinha del Mar and got to call in from the MTC for a few minutes. I was with Elder Lima, and he got suUUUper trunky before and after the call home. Beforehand, he could hardly eat and wouldn´t respond to anything anyone said to him. When he finished, he kept saying to himself under his breath, "they´re all good at home. everything is okay." Elder Silva II, Leite, and I thought it was hilarious, until our proselyting stunk for a few hours and until we said, hey man, bring your head back from Goias!
The baptism of Anna Gabriela was awesome! She is in the middle, with her mom (Erica) to the right, 2 of President Fernades' daughters to the left, and the back row from left to right is Moisés, Elder Lima, Silva, House, and Leite. Erica got very emotional during the baptism and is preparing for hers as well. The only bummer is that they moved to just a little past the limits of our área, so the Sisters of Jardim Botanico will be teaching them.
We had a few neat experiences with contacting referrals from members and other missionaries. We had received a referral from Rute, a woman (Maria) who had heard about the blessing we gave to Odair and how he had been cured, and commented with Rute that she wanted to meet us. But when we went to her house, only her husband was at home. So we taught him (Aginaldo) about the Restoration and he became very happy to hear about God calling a modern day prophet! He is now going after a testimony of the Book of Mormon to have his answer from the Lord. Today we´ll meet Maria!

Well this week, I went a little bit crazy cause I found cheddar cheese. You don´t even know how hard it is to get cheddar here! Everytime I found "cheddar" in the grocery store I it was falsificated mussarela with cheddar flavoring. Then I started finding a bunch of things like cream cheese with cheddar flavoring... g-ross. But I even asked for a family who was visiting New York to bring back some cheddar cheese, and what they bring... spray cheese. :´( But this week we had a half hour to kill near the Rodoviária and went the the Mercado Municipal, where I found imported English smoked cheddar. Was it expensive? Yup. Did I care? Nope. I paid about R$30 for a little block of the yellow stuff, but it was worth it. Today we´re gonna make American style burgers with REAL cheddar. And if we get real fancy like, we´ll even put it in Brazilian tapioca (which has nothing to do with US tapioca... it´s like a salty fried tortilla made from tapioca starchyflour)
Well the oranges and persimmons are in season so fresh juice for breakfast is a must. A sister in the ward has a huge orange tree with the juiciest oranges I´ve ever seen! She gave one to us to peel and eat while we were talking with her about her neighbors and who we could visit, but when we opened the oranges, they practically exploded all over us... So we decided it would be better to take a few home to make juice instead of eat. One day, I´ll have a pé de laranja e um de caqui.
Well this week it´s supposed to start getting cold, so I´ll have to pull out the big overcoat and the sweaters and gloves and scarf. The cold is good, cause everyone gets lazy and stays at home :)
Love you,

Elder House

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Aqua Veerde Semana 29

Minha nossa essa semana voou...
This was the first week of training Elder Leite to be the new secretary. Which means 5 more weeks until I can return to 100% proselyting! He´s picking up on everything super quickly and will end up being a much better secretary than I am (which really shouldn´t be too hard to do).

(yes, Elder House and Elder Milk [Leite] are together, along with Elder Oaks, Elder Blackberry-shrub [Silva] and Elder Lemon [Lima] in the mission office... the only one who doesn´t fit is Elder Ameigeiras which doesn´t translate into anything from any language)

I´m writing as the baptismal font is filling up for the baptism of Ana Gabriela. Next week i´ll have pictures and the story of how we started teaching her!
Our teaching pool is continuing to grow as we are going back to a few people who I met back in October/November. It is amazing to see how sometimes all someone needs is a few months to think about the things you taught to see the difference that the gospel was making in their lives, so that they have a stronger desire to apply what we teach. One man named Emerson was going through some very serious problems with depression, that he ended up having to be put in a clinic to resolve, but now he is out and has a newly built house! And is very excited to come to church with us this week.
Our recent converts are all going strong. I feel like a mother duck leading our little group of recent converts and visitors through the giant chapel from class to class each Sunday.
This week we were planning on getting 9 missionaries, but when the plane touched down, there were only 8! President called up and wanted answers. Unfortunately I had left my little zip-lock baggy of answers in the office and I was on the street... and was unable to contact anyone in São Paulo or Salt Lake who could explain... It wasn´t until we got back to the office that we had an email explaining that the mission in Arizona that was sending the 9th missionary got the dates mixed up and sent him one day late. President made it very clear that if I ever messed up something like that, then I would finish my mission as "tia" cleaning the mission houses (He didn´t use those words exactly, but I think he would do something like that). In the end, Elder Leite and I went to the airport to get Elder Bussiere and bring him to the office the next day.
I´m excited to call home again! But I´m a bit scared to see Calli as a small lady instead of a little girl

Elder House

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Agua Verde Semana 28

Weeks are passing so fast I can hardly believe it. This week we made lots of progress in our area. We were able to go out every single day of the week with members to help us teach and were able to find lots of new people to teach.

Also, Irineu came to church! We walked a half hour to his house to walk with him to church, but when we got there, nobody came to the door. We clapped and clapped, but nobody came to the window. So then we had the bright idea to call him... and he was about one block from the chapel walking to church with one of our recent converts. I think the Lord just wanted to test our faith to see if we´d go all the way out to his house :)
We took a few investigators to the temple and they loved it! The temple is such a peaceful place, and it is hard to NOT feel the Spirit when we are there. I am happy that the ward seems to be putting an emphasis on taking the primary children to see the temple gardens and feel to power of that sacred place. It is a huge blessing to have a temple close by.
The cold (relatively speaking) is coming on. The other day it was 13 degrees Celsius and everyone was already complaining about the cold... I was talking with another missionary from Oregon (Elder Erickson) and then we realized that 13 degrees Celsius is probably the average temperature of Oregon! There is a recently returned missionary in the ward here who was serving in Boston, and he was laughing about how it was the first time he saw feet of snow! (and how he thought it was much less cool when he had to help shovel it).
We are helping several people fight against addictions to cigarettes and alcohol. Any ideas on how to help them break the habit?
Very excited to skype with the family next Sunday!!

Elder House