Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Temple Blessings

Yummy lunch by Elder Morias dos Santos!

This past week our district here in Rio Verde (the smaller version of a stake) took a bus to the temple in Campinas, São Paulo. The members that went were super excited to go to the temple and it makes me greatful for the fact that I´ve always lived close to a temple. I´ve never had to to wait 6 months to drive 11 hours to go to the temple. For the members here, going to the temple in Campinas is both a sacrifice and a wonderful blessing. The members were so excited they brought back “temple hour” cards for the missionaries. I really miss going to the temple weekly and I know that I´m going to appreciate it more when I come home.

In case you haven´t noticed, there´s been a shortage of baptismal announcements this month. In fact, Sis. Santos and I haven´t had a baptism since the last transfer...this is my first month without a baptism and I don´t like the feeling. So we´ve put into practice a miracle maker that tests our faith. We wrote a list of blessings we wanted, what we were going to do to achieve these blessings, what Heavenly Father needs to do to help us and what sacrifices we were going to make. Well...we found a man, Reilson, who accepted a baptismal date when he made a street contact with him. He came to church with us this Sunday, but due to a misunderstanding left after the quorum´s meeting. We knew he left but we weren´t sure for where. Sis. Santos wasn´t too thrilled with me when I said that we were going to go after him, but I was determined, so we left church to walk to his house. I was fasting that day and praying super hard that we would be able to have a baptism the next Sunday (the last Sunday of the transfer). I wasn´t about to let our only chance slip by without doing everything I could . . . My prayers were answered when we found Reilson at home. . . This story's not over and I know that we have got a week long battle ahead of us, but I´m going to do my part and more so that I can be worthy of the blessing of a baptism.

Christian Graffiti

Horse drawn carriage. This cart picks up tree limbs
that other workers cut down while cleaning the
city. He took us for a short ride around the block.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Eight Months Into Mission

We are starting to focus on a neighborhood that is close to the church but a lot of the people work, so they aren´t home during the week...but this is what you have to do when you´ve knocked every street in the other neighborhood (that´s what 6 months in one area will do to you.) We´re hoping to have success with a social class that´s a little wealthier.

Funny story...I got proposed to this week and he wasn´t drunk or joking. I was doing a street contact with a man when he interrupted me and asked if I was dating anyone. Random...but showed that he clearly wasn´t interested in the gospel. I invited him to come to church and he invited me to marry him.

This past week, the branch had an activity to celebrate "Festa Julina" It´s a festa (party) that should take place in June, but the ward wasn´t ready in June, so it got postponed to July. I´m not exactly sure what the history is behind the has something to do with a wedding at a fazenda (farm). So in the photos you can see the costumes that they use and they had tradicional food. The missionaries didn´t get to eat anything because even though the activity started at 7:30 the food wasn´t ready when we left a little after 9 pm. They performed some dances and I got to film them. Ward activities are something we missionaries love. It´s an instant way for investigators to get to know members in a laid back setting without having to worry about fitting in. I love the Brazilian culture and the people here who love having get togethers...reminds me of Polynesians.

The chapel got a deep cleaning this Saturday. Cleaning the church is super different here in Brazil because the buildings are made differently. There´s no carpet and no wallpaper...which meant water gets thrown everywhere and the members just have at it. I was put in charge of cleaning the walls. The walls are textured concrete so I got to scrub and scrub and scrub. Other members were taking down curtains to wash, trimming bushes, and in general flooding the corredors with water. It was super fun!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

President Prieto Visits Rio Verde

"This past week was super special because we got to meet our new mission President! President Prieto came with his wife and 4 of his children. I love, love, LOVE zone conferences! Their son introduced the family with a little slide show they put together, Pres. Prieto talked about a few of the mission rules and they even had a game planned for us that involved a scripture relay, tennis balls and buckets and a baptismal suit. They stayed in Rio Verde for 3 days and attended our branch on Sunday. Their whole family is excited to be serving here in Gioânia, and I am excited for the opportunity to serve with 2 different mission presidents."

"I really miss having temple time on Tuesdays, but 10 more months right? Besides I´m here helping people prepare to enter the temple!"

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Mission President

Cleaning the baptismal font

So tomorrow we are getting a new mission president. Presidente e Sister Prieto. I´m not exactly sure how this transition is going to be. I´m excited for our first interviews with him! I think it´s going to take a while for him to reach the interviews here in Rio Verde, because we´re not exactly located in the center of the mission. I´m greatful for the time I had to serve under the direction of President and Sister Tobias; I certainly learned alot!

So we got elders in the ward again! I´m super excited! Elder L. França only has 5 months in the mission and is already training! His "novinho" (new elder) is Elder Moraes dos Santos.

We´re going to focus a lot on working with the less active members of the branch and their families. There are over 500 members listed and with a frequency of 70 members at church every Sunday we have a lot of work to do. But, we have a plan, and with a plan and stubborn will, there´s a way.

I´m learning the terms for baking and cooking. I want to be able to bring home some yummy recipes, but everytime I ask an Irmã how she made a dish, she goes off using words that I´ve never even heard of. So I´m learning to expand my vocabulary.

Brazil is doing fairly well in the world cup. We don´t watch the games but, we don´t need a t.v. to know who´s winning. Everytime Brazil scores a goal, there are fireworks, noise makers and lots of cheering fans. Everyone is quick to let me know that the U.S. got disqualified...oh the joys of being the foreigner. The streets are deserted on game days, but luckily we haven´t had to knock doors on these days. We have back up plans that include the elderly in the branch and we KNOW that they´re not watching soccer games on t.v. But they live super far away, so I´ve gotten some good exercise this past week.