Monday, July 7, 2014

Ipanema B (BdG) 7-7-2014

Olá família! Quero lhes apresentar o meu último email da minha missão! Foi uma aventura legal, um tempo de crescer e aprender, servir e amar.
Parece que tudo que vale a pena escrever acontece logo depois de mandar os emails no P-Day. 7 dias atras, foi assim:
Sunday we marked a Family Home Evening with [names redacted]. I could tell that [name redacted] was a bit hesitant about committing, and said that they wouldnt be able to give us esfihas that they always had at Family nights with us (its an arab fast food from Habib's, basically mini arab pizzas) and I told her it wasnt a problem.
Monday morning, I went preparing a message to leave with them that night, and I couldnt decide what to say. Pablo was going to be there, and two recent converts [name redacted] and [name redacted], so I wanted it to be extra special. I decided to show the video Missionay Work and the Atonement and apply it to our lives. After the Family night and lanche, Irmã [name redacted] took me aside and told me that the message I shared had answered her prayers. It was a really special moment. Even when we are feeling inadequate and unprepared, but give our best anyway, we can still do the Lords work.

Dad, I about had a heart attack when I read about the memory card. A small part of me couldnt accept that you didnt check first, but the bigger part just kind of sunk and froze. :P Master is tricksy.
Ah yeah, my temple recommend is expired. That is quite a problem. :/ Well, thats okay then, I can wait a bit. :)

Mom, could we stop at 5 Guys on the way from the airport? And this next part is kind of crazy. I want cold cereal Wednesday morning with an unopened gallon of milk. :D:D
Unfortunately, the temple wont return to the original, they already started construction on it. Its been approved and everything, but oh well. :/
You dont have to worry about making former President and Sister Souza feel obligated from your present. They liked it a lot. :)

Well, the last letter has come to a close. Sorry there isnt much news, just work as usual. We are going to pray for a miracle that [name redacted] will have the desire to be baptized this week and be prepared for baptism, which is much more important. Prayers for her and her family's behalf would be much appreciated, thanks! :)
Well, until next week!

~Elder Wille

P.S. Mom, when is the welcome home lunch? You can invite all the people that you feel appropriate. :) All the listed families can come and would be welcome if they would like.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Ipanema B (BdG) 30-6-2014

Hello family and friends, and welcome to the penultimate mission letter that I will be sending. Things are winding down to a nice end, the mission presidency has been changed, Irmão Francisco and Irmã Elaine Souza are now comfortably relaxing in Curitiba, and President and Sister Bonini (Like the pill bonine, with an E on the end) are now in command of the mission, from the moment they set foot in Fortaleza at afternoon. I havent had the opportunity to meet him yet, theres going to be a welcome conference when we will officially meet him for the first time.
The Goodbye conference for former President Souza (SOH-zah) I bore my final testimony (almost forgot how to spell that) and Sister Souza gave every Elder a departing hug. As for their plans when they arrive in October, I havent the foggiest. Just that they will probably now have a detour to Texas Roadhouse. I can keep in touch with them when I return. :)

I dont know if they have informed you yet, but when Elder Andersen was here, they made the final decisions for the temple here in Fortaleza. They had to change some stuff, cause the goverment is being difficult. They said its too tall and they have risks of airplanes where the temple is. I dont know how thats possible, when the apartment buildings on Beira Mar beach are much taller, and other apartments less than a mile from the airport are also really tall. The mayor or governer doesnt like the church, so it may have something to do with it. The modified design is much less attractive in my opinion, a fusion of the Nauvoo and Curitiba temples.

Mom, Im in the Brasil Fortaleza Mission, not the East. (West hasnt been formed yet, probably in the next few years. The interior is exploding!)
The cookies arrived a little melted together, but entirely intact. :)
President and Sister Souza dont speak hardly any english, just a few phrases here and there. Mom, that fast that you did really helped me, thank you so much! It passed quickly and now its not a bother at all! :) I found a conference talk that I think you might like, especifically the last half. Its from October 2013 conference by Elder Eyring, called To My Grandchildren. I think its worth taking a look at. And in church one of the counselors gave a very interesting talk about if the Savior visited our home, what would we do? Would we be able to let Him in right then, or would ask just a minute and run around hiding and cleaning stuff? Would we wish He hadnt seen that last scene on the TV, or hurry and switch our music to hymns? It was really interesting, and a bit of a sting, but it teaches an important principle, that we should always have our house in a state to receive a Celestial Guest.

Dad, thanks for the advice! I think maybe hibernating in the theater isnt such a good idea then after all? :D hahaha. What is Hand, Foot and Mouth disease? Does it come from babies' habit of sticking anything and everything in their mouths?
Im sorry the trip to Powell wasnt as sporty and exciting as other times. I wonder why fishing is becoming so difficult, it used to be really easy to get at least something. Are the mussels having an impact yet?
Congrats on keeping up with the young whipper snappers!
Once again, I cant believe that its all coming to a close, it doesnt seem real.

Well, I gotta go now. Brasil is playing here in Fortaleza this Friday, which is going to be absolutely NUTS!!!! The US is doing really well this year, they managed to stay in so far. Brasil isnt doing as good as it usually should. They tie a lot with people they should beat soundly, but its okay. Win or lose, Friday is going to be very hard to work, and nothing is going to get done after the game. Wish us luck!

~Elder Wille!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ipanema B (Buraco da Gia) 23-6-2014

Hello family and everyone!

Wow, the time is flying by! We had a few things go awry this week. We had planned 11 people to visit the Lords house, but 3 or 4 at a time they dropped faster than flies. We ended up with just one, but she is almost a guarenteed baptism. Her name is [name redacted], 28, and used to go to the Universal Church, but its been more than 10 years since she went. She needs an answer to know that her pastor doesnt have authority, and then she should be able to be baptized soon after. Im pretty sure she lives most of the commandments, maybe just not coffee.

We also had a couple called [names redacted] and they werent progressing. We were just about to put them in the area book for later, when it turned out that [name redacted] put [name redacted] out of the house. She was the one interested in our messages, and sadly [name redacted] was playing the dead-weight role. Im sad that it has to be this way, but at least [name redacted] can have the chance to recieve the blessings of the atonement in her life. [name redacted] is now living with his dad, so at least he has a place to stay.

We watched Sinbad today! Its a movie that I rather like, and it came out 11 years ago! Ive had a hankering to watch it, and Elder Lessa just happened to choose it! For being pretty old movie-wise, the animation is stunning!

Um, there really isnt anything more to say. I made frozen hot chocolate that went really well, and Im going to buy pizza for everyone on my last Saturday. It doesnt seem like my time is almost up, but it will be really nice to have a break. Its been such a great experience, its amazing how much a person grows in adversity. Oh, President Souza got the card to Texas Road House, but he says he doesnt know how to use it. I will explain to him at the Goodbye Conference this Wednesday. I believe this is his last week here. On the third of July, we have the Hello Conference of President Bonini.
Well, I think thats about it! I will talk to you all next week for my penultimate mission letter!

~Elder Wille

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ipanema B 16-6-2014

Hi Family!
I have to be really fast today, |m sorry that It will probably be a short letter.

We confirmed [name redacted] and he already recieved the Priesthood! (aaronic) the baptisms are a little slower than we would like, and we are probably going to have to cut a family that we loved teaching. :( Someone else will come and harvest the seeds we planted. The husband [name redacted] stopped progressing, and doesnt want to mark a marriage date. They already plan to get married, but felt a whisper that he isnt ready yet.

Um, what else in terms of news. The World Cup is a bit different. We have to stay inside, so I took the time to make some brownies! They turned out really good.

We watched The Lion King today, and theres one part that made all of us SUPER trunky, it wasnt even funny. And we made at least 10 gospel/mission jokes as the movie went on. :)

Um, so theres really not much news to tell you guys, sorry! The most exciting stuff is trunky, so.... yeah. I hope you guys have an excellent time at Lake Powell! Dad, thanks for the trunky quote! :) Apesar do planejamento e comentários, eu não estou muito trunky. Só as vezes. Mas agora preciso ir, até mais família!

~Elder Wille

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ipanema 9-6-2014

5,  4,  3,  2,  1, at 14h20 I will be landing in the Salt Lake City International Airport. :) Passing from Fortaleza to São Paulo (Guarulhos, the airport that I arrived at for the MTC) to New Yorks JFK airport to SLC.

Hello family! I have some news today for you guys! I got my trunky papers!!!!!! I bet you guys couldnt tell! :P hahaha.

Okay, now the real news. We had a baptism! And it wasnt the grandma, its a youth called Jonathan with 16 years. (age wise) His brother is already a member, so he has some company! We will continue to see how hes going and help him in what he needs spiritual wise.

Well, we have a few more baptisms lined up! We are teaching lots of people (most of the people have never heard of the Church) and so its hectic in teaching everyone! we have around 7 people progressing in one week of work! My problem is I want to focus in on these people and not find new people, which kind of creates a problem.
Oh yes, because of the lack of water in the chapel, we had to fill the font up with buckets from the well. Its probably 150 feet from the well to the font, and I carried two 4 gallon buckets, one in each hand. I think around 20 times or so. My shoulders are still recovering, and I think I will end up looking like the Incredible Hulk from the chest up. :)
We caught a Lizard, and instead of his belly being blue, his back is green! It looks like someone painted his back, but its the real color. I got a picture so you can see it. Sarah, Im also taking lots of close-up pictures of bugs here. :) Even a few cockroaches! :D I hope you like them!

Today we watched Brother Bear in Portuguese. Its been a while since Ive seen it, so it was a bit of a referesher. Its not super high on my list, but its kind of a cute movie. The moose are much funnier in English, I have to say.
The world cup is on the doorstep! Everyone is putting up decorations, and all are identical. It consists of twine strung across the street (15 feet up or so) all parallel every 2 feet, with ruler size pieces of green and yellow plastic dangling from the twine. Its kinda cool, the strands blow in the wind and stuff. When Brazil plays, we have to return home during the game, cause itll be a bit dangerous and nobody will want to hear us. But its going to be cool. We cant watch the games either. :/ Oh well.

Mom, Im doing well. I dont know if the card has arrived yet or not. Did my package arrive yet? I sent it before Pablos documents, and it had the same number of days for arrival. I wonder if they sent it to Japan again...
Mom, what did you mean when you said that we can do Breakfast? I didnt quite get that.

Dad, the picture of your thumb is quite.... lovely... :D ahahaha. Im so glad its doing better! I think the pictures will be better when I get home, and maybe after hibernating and watching the movies that I missed. :P ahhahaha! I cant believe that its ending! I know I already said it, but really! I cant believe its practically over! Did you cry at some point when you came home? One thing Im curious about, how does it feel that your only son will have completed an honorable full time mission?

Well, sorry this letter isnt super interesting! I will have lots of stories to tell when I get back. I love you all! Im counting on one hand now, and staying busy. I know the Atonement is real. Elder Christofferson said something in conference last year that I read today. All the unfair things we pass through will be made right. Our wounds of innocent suffering can be healed if we do our part. We can find peace. And now family, até mais!

~Elder Wille

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ipanema - Buraco do Gia 2-6-2014

Hello family! Hows everyone doing? Im pretty fired up this week!
We have lots of work to do! The few alleys we were working gave us a few problems, cause Its actually another stake... >.> so we had to move somewhere else, but still in Ipanema Ward. Weve hardly walked the streets, and we already have a baptism waiting for us! We lost all of our investigators to the other stake, but Heavenly Father blessed us with this instead! :) Theres also a referral for us too!

I did something even better than draw Arches onmy planner. :D I printed out delicate arch, and put that on the back of my planner! And totop it off, I cut out the aviãozinho from the bonine box and put that under the plastic that holdsit all together! :) Its pretty trunky. :D heheheh.

Dad, those pictures are pretty cool! That was the worst part for me here, the description didnt really affect me. :)

Elder Parkhurst was transferred, and an Elder is with us now. Hes from Brasília, and... I think hes doing better than his reputation. Lets just say that President Souza asked him if he wanted to return home. (and President Souza does everything to keep people on the mission) Today I heard him and Elder Dos Santos talking, and it looks like he is wanting to do better. I hope that is the case, he will be so much happier.
We watched Tarzan today, it was cool in Portuguese. I understood practically everthing, and even more than I remember in english. :)

Mom, I think its a super idea on the Texas Roadhouse thing! Ive eaten beans almost every day, but Istill like them a lot. Just not beans in water, like a lot of people do down here. :) Maple is just what they say down here. Xarope (shar-OH-pi) is syrup, I dont know why they dont use it. I dont have anything in mind from King Arthur, sorry!

Man, I cant believe all this iscoming to an end! And Dad, it is getting a bit bumpy. :S maybe quite a bit? But oh well. This final stretch, Im goingto do my very best. Im going towork hard until the very end! Love you all, see you next month!

~Elder Wille

Monday, May 26, 2014

O Fim Se Aproxima (Parque Universitário 26-5-2014)

Yes, I am that trunky. :P Well, only sometimes. I seem to be getting trunkier and I dont like it. :( And to top it off, I made a cover for my last planner! I printed the picture of Delicate Arch and put it on the back with a little airplane flying home. :D Its my last planner, my last 6 weeks of being a full time missionary. I cant believe its the end!

Well, this week was stake conference, and President and Síster Souza talked in both Saturday Night and Sunday morning sessions. Sunday it was short, but Saturday was really good. Sister Souza talked about using Mormon words when you bater papo to help people get to know the church, and President Souza called the stakes attention to help the missionaries, reading off the statistics. Basically from what I remember, here is what it said this.

Of the new investigators found,
40% - Talk with everyone
20% - Referral
I forgot the rest.

Of the total people baptized:
48% - Member Referral
25% - Less Active/Partial Families
17% - Talk with Everyone
8% - Tracting
2% - Other

President Souza said outright that Tracting does not work here, the people dont want to know about our message.
Its true, even though here they are more warm and less hostile. They will listen and even agree to the teachings, but when it comes to put it in practice they make some excuse. My theory is that there is more or less some kind of equalizer in all areas, regardless on which continent it is, that it is equally hard to find elect. Teaching is easier in some areas, harder in others. Some will teach 20 people in a week and find one elect, others will teach 5 people in a week and also find one elect. Just an opinion of mine.

Okay, other news. We got 3 people to church this week! And the car didnt break down! :) Two girls of ages 16 and 17 (the mom had to work) and a lad that has (is) 13. We are going to try and baptize [name redacted] this week, one of the girls that went with us. If she isnt ready we wont. We also are teaching a few other people. [name redacted] has 3 kids of 7 years, 4 years, and one month, and she lives alone. We started teaching [name redacted] and her husband [name redacted], and she would have gone to church, but had to travel. This week she will go with us! :) Im super happy!

Elder Lessa is indeed conversing more. Our walks to Bela Vista are much more entertaining now. :) Someone asked how he and his Japanese girlfriend got to know one another. Theres a lot of Japanese immigrants in São Paulo, and here animé is a very common thing. Alisha and Sarah just rolled their eyes. :P

Ummmm, Im still playing piano? Im learning the left hand of Vede Morreu o Redentor #110. Ive forgotten which one in english. >.> Its not terribly hard, and Im seeing lots of progress! :)
Oh oh! We watched Cars 2 in portuguese today, but it was filmed by a camcorder in the theater and really hard to hear. I liked it, not as much as others, but I think its worth seeing another time or two. :)

Hope you liked the letter, sorry for lack of news. Not a whole lot has happened. Just that every single week, at least one person gets sick. We havent had one entire week with everyone healthy. I think we got 6 days at the most. Must be the lack of veggies here. ;)

~Elder Wille