Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 26, 2012

Alright this week was CRAZY! I’ll start at the beginning with last P-day while e-mailing you actually. We received a text from an investigator, T----, whose baptism was marked for Saturday. She told us that she wouldn´t be baptized and couldn´t talk now and would talk to us later. This investigator had been progressing and was ready for baptism. I don~t remember if I wrote about her or not, her daughter has problems with drugs and had been in a clinic but had left the week before and was living with her mom (T-----) again. We were so worried we didn~t know what happened. We called multiple times and she never answered. We stopped by on Tuesday and talked with her. Luckily she was just having doubts that she was ready or not to be baptized. We read some scriptures with her talked about feeling the spirit. And helped her recognize that she was receiving an answer the church is true. And…….she was baptized Saturday!!!!!! Whoohooo Party in the heavens!!! Her baptism was probably the craziest yet. Luckily we actually had members there (our last only had 3 priesthood holders and us) but no one filled the baptismal font. T------ was a referral from a member and he was going to baptize her but he had to go to work and its about and hr ½ to fill the font ahhhh. So the rusha began. There were two faucets in the bathrooms and we were filling up buckets and a GIANT cooking pot filling the font. You´ve never seen such a ridiculous sight. I told S. Teixeira baptisms are never easy we always have to work, T------ was an elect, she accepted everything…so we had to do the work in filling the baptismal font haha. Pay the toll haha.

Her daughter N-----  is super special. She already love us and us her! We´re starting to work with her to stop smoking (she´s already stopped drugs but has substituted it with cigarettes). She´s 16 and has had these problems for 2 years! I can hardly imagine, she´s a kid with adult problems.
We had a neat experience with her. Friday night we had an activity for missionary work (she and T----- came. It was supposed to start at 7 but didn~t end up starting till 8:30 so we only got to stay for ½ hr. The next day we visited T------ after her baptism and she told us N----- was out with some friends at another church´s activity. (we were slightly worried because this church is very popular with youth) but while we were there she came back. She told us she had left this activity early because they had tried to expel a demon out of her when she told them she was going to our church (she hadn´t even been to church yet haha). She told us she felt peace and friendship at the activity and liked it a lot. Whoohooo. Its going to be a difficult road because she doesn´t believe she can stop smoking. But we want to help her so much. So its going to be an interesting next couple of weeks helping someone overcome an addiction. Haven´t had this experience yet!

Temple, yes I get to go, but its only every 3 months or thereabouts. So far its just been one time.

I already told you about chimarrão, but yesterday we were visiting some members and drinking chimarrão oh its a tradition i Love.  

You know the funny part is i was thinking abou tour Age of Sail adventure a few days ago!  

Package: RECEIVED! It depends on a lot of things to receive pkgs. Right now since I´m in Porto Alegre, in the zone of the mission Office we get things a lot faster. Plus this week we had zone conference so we went to the mission Office and picked up our pkgs. Other times Zone Leaders bring them to district mtgs when they visit. (and sometimes they forget to bring them and we have to wait a few more weeks grrrr haha)

But thanks for the package!!!yeahhhh!! (The 5 gum is going to help me with my diet that i´m starting for about the 5th time, hopefully it lasts more than two days this week).

But nossa i´m overflowing with toothpaste and goldbond now haha. Though the toothpaste was a blessing because the toothpaste i brought expired in February of last year!!!  And sour gummy worms....its been so hard not to eat them all. And thanks for the footsies...i have not Idea what they´re called. and I showed S. Teixeira about chewing LifeSavors.   That was a fun little activity after prosilyting all Day. far as i know its not celebrated. No one talked about it...I remembered on Wednesday and then again on Friday haha. Everyone is in the Christmas spirit starting to decorate and all....its so strange to see Christmas 95 degree weather.  (although this week hás been cooler and raining a little tôo)

I Love getting your talks through missionties. Its something different to study. I loved the ones you sent. The funny part is two Sundays ago we studied the same talk in Relief Society. Laborers in the Vineyard, and it was a talk i studied a lot in the CTM. I Love it. And I adore the talk about Grace i think i remember it from somewhere but i don~t remember where. I haven´t been using missionties as much because well i´m past my 6th month Mark which means people start forgetting you at home and people start missing you here (which is really cool). So i don~´t know how missionties works on your end. For me when i receive na e-mail from someone not a member of the family i write them back and then send it to São Paulo to missionties and they send it. But i don´t think i´ll be using it as much anymore so if its cheaper for me to send it snailmail i can do that tôo because i have a ton of stamps.

Well Love you tons miss you. Happy late thanksgiving tôo!

Oh, questions....
hairloss....i´m lossing a ton everyday! thinning thining ...why?

November 19, 2012

Dearest Mother (and family who read), 

This week we had a conference with parts of two missions!!!! Zones in Porto Alegre North and Porto Alegre Sul close to Porto Alegre (who many times will I write POA) got to go! So I got to see some of my friends from the CTM serving in Missao Sul. It was a member of the 1st quorum of the 70. Elder Aidukaits. He reminded us of Jim Carrey but was a little more spiritual. He spoke about planning and obedience. He read us D&C 4 and told us it is a promise of the Lord that the field is white. It is a promise that the world is ready for our message. But then he read us another that when we do not what he says we have no promise... why aren´t we baptizing as much as we´d like?   obedience....     (So we´ve been trying harder than ever to be more obedient). 

I´d love handwritten things. A--- and I have been writing, thats been fun. But its a little more expensive and takes a lot more time to get it. Don´t stress about the makeup, i still have quite a bit. And i figured out how they buy makeup here...through the magazine. (avon etc). 

 Thats such an awesome experience! (I had shared a missionary story about two elders who were wearing their white shirts and ties on p-day and were able to make contact with someone who would not have recognized them in p-day clothing.)   We have the same rule -- we are always in skirts wherever we go! There are so many little miracles. This week we´ve been contacting less active members (there are a lot here) we´ve found two really special families. We´re really hoping that they will start coming back to church. OH Free agency it really is frustrating as a missionary. But we are learning to be a little or a lot more forceful and direct with people. I´ve been studying the new testament...Jesus taught with authority, Peter and John taught with boldness and authority. We have authority; we need to exercise it. That is something really hard for me sometimes...especially in another language. 

Well not very many new things this week. Our RC (recent convert)  is firm and faithful. We passed by and he told us we was studying tithing and needed an envelope so he could pay it. We pretty much just jumped for joy. I haven´t had this experience. from beginning to end and seeing the change they make. He told us we was talking with someone at work and they asked him when he was gonna be `mormon´ and he told them he already was. With all the other people we´ve baptized its been complicated or i was transfered the next day  :(

Ya they told us they received 7,000 applications after they announced the change.  (Carissa is referring to a new policy that allows young men 18 years old to go on missions, and for the young women the age was changed from 21 to 19.)  It will be a little longer until we have tons of sister from the states here but this or the next transfer we´re expecting sisters!!!! 

Anyways love you, have a wonderful Thanksgiving...does NOT feel like christmas or thanksgiving time here. Although everyone is starting to decorate. So Christmas is almost just doesn~t seem right to have christmas in the heat haha

But no i hadn~t heard about the media thing.  (I had written to Carissa about a church website dedicated just to Christmas.    How cool. We don~t really use the media because its hard to find people with a DVD player. Let alone internet. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 13, 2012

oh Shaneyyyyyyy tell him I miss him. 

Here the heat is coming. Its already almost scortching at times. Its been threatening to rain here all weekend but as of yet, nothing. Just dismal humidity and clouds. 

What type of subjects is he looking at doing?? I´m sure they´re all over the board haha. (anything to do with brasil or rio grande do sul (its basically its own country everyone says haha)

I have been studying parables too!! Presidente Wright wants all of his missionaries to have read the standard works. Since I´ve already read the Book of Mormon He wants me to start with the New Testament and read it cover to cover. Its weird because I´ve hardly ever studied the scriptures cover to cover. Rather by topic but its going to be an interesting and difficult expereience because I have a goal to read the book of Mormon in Portugues. and I have to read about 10 pages a day to finish all the standard works before I go home. (Sister Teixeira and i today created a study plan) Yikes the mission does pass quickly. I´ve almost hit my 6 month mark. I can hardly believe it. 

Oh but the parable you shared i found a poem, `´the echo´´ in a conference talk its about this parable and its really neat. I liked it i think you´ll enjoy it.

More Pictures, Finally!


The WORST hill every. trust me the photo doesnt do it justice
( This was in her old area)

Me and sister Teixeira at the temple! 

me,  Elder Francas(missao Sul), Elder Tomaz (my district) (CTMMMMM)

My 1st Pizza in fBrazil!!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13, 2012


We´re off Schedule tôo this week. It s transfer week!!! But Everything got switched around. Transfers will be tomorrow (Although we already know who´s being transferred, and whose staying… S. Teixeira and I are still together).  So P-day got moved to today. But by the looks of things it was for the best.

This week we had our 1st baptism here in Elizabeth. It was really special, and very very small. We had the minimum number of people possible. Person being baptized. Person Baptizing, two witnesses and two missionaries. We were a little frustrated because we had done everything we could, announced in all the classes on Sunday, sacrament, called everyone but no one came. But that evening was a baptism of a member and the whole world was there. GRRRR. But it was good. He works nights and so to ensure that he came to church Sunday to be confirmed we offered to pick him up with a member who has a car. He wasn´t at the place we had planned on picking him up, so we went to his house. We clapped our hands. Called his name, Called his phone (which we heard inside the house) we even banged on the window! But he never answered!!! Gah we were so frustrated! He was sleeping!! We decided we´d come back before sacrament meeting (we have it last) and wake him up. We got to church about half hour late and when we went to Gospel Principles…HE WAS THERE!!! He had walked to church after work!  We could hardly believe it! What a miracle and what faith! He has more faith and desire than a lot of lifelong members!!

Thursday will be special too, we are having a conference with a member of the 70. And because I´m in Porto Alegre I get to go! (and lead the music). It was so scary when I found out. Because S. Teixeira wasn~t feeling well So I called and was talking to Sister Wright. And I heard President Wright ask to talk to me…my heart jumped and sank ahhhhhhh. But then he told me we´d be having a conference with a general authority and he wanted me to lead the music.  What a relief, haha. (And no one else knew about the conference until today hehe I like being in the know, doesn’t happen very often here in the mission). Just in the ward…sheesh sisters know EVERYTHING!

Oh Politics how I miss it…not. Lots of people ask me about elections, politics I think its funny that people here know when we have elections and what happened. They had elections here about a month ago and I´m pretty sure no one in the US knew.
Its so strange to think that Thanksgiving is almost here. It doesn~t feel like Christmas/thanksgiving time yet. It has been really hot. (We walk with an umbrella because the sun is ridiculous). Yesterday was nice it rained and was cool, but its getting warm…and i´m not very excited for it to get worse!

Oh did you get my photos I e-mailed the past few weeks? And did you get my letter from missionties about makeup etc? I´ve been using missionties every now and then but I don´t know if it gets through sometimes.

OH i´m kinda jealous you all got to play risk. I´ve known how to play it directly. (Though I think I lack the patience to play it).  Tell Lauren and Chris Hi for me. (What mission is his brother serving in? I have a better knowledge of the missions here now than before haha)
Elizabeth is a difficult area. Its not in the city but its pretty poor in some areas.  We struggle to have people progressing. We can find people to teach. But no one is willing to put forth the effort. Its interesting, the different understandings people have. I think it would be very interesting to serve for a little while in the states and here and see the difference. Here people always say There is just one God and religions are just the different ways we have of worshiping him and such. People are very passive (which is surprising because passive is  not a word I would use to describe brasilians haha)another thing i´m learning here in the mission haha.

Today we were walking to the internet café and talking about food (because we haven~t eaten yet today…we´ll eat my first Xis today!!!) But we were talking about hamburgers and S. Teixeira was saying how much she wanted a Big Mac. I started thinking about In-N-Out oh how delicioso!. J

OH that car that car. Its ridiculous! She needs to date a mechanic :P
OH and how is my baby boy? ( She is talking about Shaggy, her cat.) We saw a cat yesterday that looked exactly like him. 

I don~t know how my Portugues is haha. Its coming, but for me I wish I was  alittle further along for being in the mission 6 months!....can you believe i´ve been in Brazil for over 6 months now! Next week I´ll have one year left in the mission! Sometimes it does seem forever and other times it seems really short. 

The other day we were talking with a woman and she was telling us all the problems she has with her son. Made me so grateful for the relationship I have with you and dad.
Anyways Love you tons and miss you too!

November 5, 2012

How Sad about Halloween!!!  (Our Halloween was very cold and stormy.)  Ours too was fairly uneventful, they don~t really celebrate it here. I saw two houses kinda decorated and that’s about it.

Yeah for Shaney! (A friend of Carissa's just arrived home from his mission.) How is he adjusting to being home? And Janelle leaving soon how crazy is that! Send me her address and I´ll write her, I want to hear how she´s doing! Life´s gotta be so crazy for them right now.

That’s funny you mention testimony meeting. I was sitting in our ward thinking about that because not one of the youth or primary kids shared their testimonies and I was thinking I wonder if they (Matthew and his friend) are still sharing their testimonys all the time. That’s so good to hear that they are doing that still. Might as well cuz when they are on the mission….no one knows how many times a day you share your testimony! And the when not if is very important. ( I was telling her about some boys who are planning on serving missions that are saying "When I go"  not "IF I go"  )    We had a RC (recent convert)  tell us he won~t serve, he won~t go to church anymore and all that stubborn rebellious stuff. So awesome that they are preparing and excited to serve!

I did hear a little about what happened in NY. But not much after effect that always happens.

Sorry this letter is kinda short, I had to send pictures to the mission office for Christmas and transfer pictures for sister matiaco because her camera broke and she doesn’t have any pictures so i´m transferring some for her from my camera. And it used up some of my time to write yáll sorry.

  (The next part is a question and answer type of conversation.  Sometimes Carissa doesn't have time to write long letters, so she will just type in answers to my questions.)

How is your new area?  Is it as hilly as your old area?  No not even close. Its flat flat flat flat. Chico has more hills than this area. It was the first strange thing about being here in Porto Alegre/Elizabeth. Not hiking hills, its so much easier haha Plus we live in the area. In Caxias we didn~t live in our area so we had to walk about 30 min to our area and then to wherever we needed to go. Crazy (That hill photo was very impressive! I can't believe you go up and down those all day!)  How is the ward? I really like the ward here. Its awesome. Tell us more about your new companion?e  us more about your new companion?  Where is she from?  Is her family supportive/ active? Sister Teixeira is a new convert of about 2 ½ years. She is from Sao Paulo. She and her cousin are the only members of her family.  I did get a letter from Sister Wright and she does sound adorable.  It was so sweet of her to write!  Are you in a suburb of Porto Alegre? Yes Any miracles happen this week?  Yes we had several but i´ll just share one because I still have to send a letter to president and I have 10min ahhhhhh we contacted a woman in the street. She was boarding the bus but said we could visit her and quickly gave us her address . We went to visit her several times but she never could visit with us. Finally the last time we were going ot visit her we she said we could come in. We entered and she had a friend there, Aliane. We taught them both and when we finished we invited them to be baptized and attend church on Sunday. They said they would and asked where the church was. When we explained it Aliane said oh i´ve been to your church before I know…and named a member. This member had told us that she had a friend Aliane who wanted to learn more about the church. But we had never been able to coordinate with her to visit aliane. (We´ve been trying for about6 weeks) The Lord always prepares a way.

BTW I hear you want a puppy!! Chow/shepherd mix….how did you know that’s what I wanted :P

Love yáll