Monday, July 29, 2013

My halfway letter

Well, whaddayaknow sherff, he guessed it! (Knutzy)
Hello Family! Is it really true that Im out a year already? My time is half gone? It doesnt seem like it, and it somehow doesnt seem really fair. I see now why missionaries come home and wish theyd made better use of the time. I have this picture in my head of how I will be when I come home, but I think its exaggerated. I still have my whole life to get there.
Well, we had two baptisms! I will try to send pictures, if this slug of a machine will let me send the huge files. Dad, is there a way to shrink the file like a zip? cause i dont have a program to smallify the resolution. (theres some good computer talk for ya ;D )
We baptized [name redacted] and [name redacted]  two girls this Saturday. [name redacted] is 10 years old, has a good friend who is the daughter of our ward mission leader, so she always goes to church.
[name redacted] is the older sister of [name redacted]  (hahaha, brazilian grammar) with 16 years old. They are both really small for their ages, but good kids. Elder Savaryn baptized [name redacted] and I confirmed her, saying the prayer twice. (I forgot to confirm her a member the first time) Now we just have to teach the mom and another sibling, and they will be good to go.
An interesting story, we found a couple and contacted them on the street in front of their house. They hadnt heard of the Book of Mormon, so we marked a day to visit. The guy was great, comitted to read and pray, but the mom is an evangelical woman with a firm belief in corrupted doctrine, one of the ones who wont accept anything. to put it in better perspective, during the First Vision, she was busy looking up scriptures to burn us. (prove that we're wrong while not directly saying it)
One of the ones she used was Galatians 1:8, something to the effect that anyone who preaches the gospel different from me (Paul) be it an angel or prophet, it will be basically invalid. I thought "Oh okay. Good thing that we preach the exact same gospel" [name redacted] brought up that point, more gently than I would have. Hes preparing for a mission very soon, so it was a great opportunity to practice. I asked him how he liked teaching a very hard-hearted person, and he said "I liked it. You can learn a lot more about the bible when you teach them." Well that is certainly true. Every scripture they use to prove us wrong is just another pillar that supports us, and goes against them.

About the package. I got the priority mail one, with all the goodies in it. We ate the peach ones today, I made pancakes on the divisions that were made with our house. The second batch of pancakes, I put two spoonfuls of batter, and they turned into monsters! 3/4 of an inch thick, and 4 inches across! but they were SUPER good! I was slightly disappointed with the peach ones, they werent as strong as I hoped, but thats okay. I liked them all the same. Thank you so much for sending those! :D I think I will make the cookies on my one year mark.
So speaking of the divisions... Elder Bonds from Alabama is our District leader, and hes really awesome. He had a beard before the mission and big hair (cabelo grande, long hair?) and you would never have known it. Anyway, we kinda broke a rule. I asked him about baptisms and interveiws and such, and we got talking about readiness and when to baptize, really spiritual stuff, and when we finally went to bed, it was 1 in the morning. Oh... But it was really good, a conversation in which I learned a lot and removed a lot of doubt. He has only 3 months on me, but he has a lot of knowledge about these things.
Elder Savaryn had this idea to have the people in the spanish classes sing in Sacrament meeting, and it was a success! 4 girls dressed in black (all non members and basically according to the standard of dress) and I sang a prelude to the people coming in to sit down. The song was Eu Trato de ser como Cristo. He has the Argentine accent, so it sounds more like show, not yo.
[name redacted] recieved the Aaronic priesthood! Yay! He was super shy when we first met him, but now he actuall talks! and quite a bit. Its so great to see the progress that they are making. [name redacted] will recieve the priesthood in 2 weeks, cause he has to work this next sunday. We stopped by their house after church to see how they are doing, and because [name redacted] didnt go to church. She was sick, couldnt turn her head, so we gave her a blessing and they offered us dinner. We accepted. :D
Im still learning how to play piano, and Elder Savaryn is teaching me. Im learning in solfege to not confuse with viola, and I think its working rather well. :)
They have glasses that are a computer screen? Thats pretty cool. Technology is going so much faster than normal. I read that they made something fancy with nanotubes, a capacitor or something that is completely transparent and flexible to boot, something that might intrest you Dad. I think see through cellphones are not only a possibility, but also not very far away.
Is it true that Mastercard is making a little microchip to put in people to buy things and use as ID? Ive heard rumors that its starting to happen.
Well, I have to head out now. Thanks for all your help and stuff! I love you all, and miss you so very much! Tell everyone hi for me, and I will see them in one year!
~Elder Wille

Monday, July 22, 2013

Me again! 22-7-13

Hello family! I recieved my package from the Correios! It was rather interesting. We went to get it, and I assumed that a passport is pretty much good for everything, and even a photocopy of a document is pretty common in Brazil. I left with only my photocopy passport, thinking it was all i needed. I was wrong. The guy at the counter was a real stickler about identity, and not in the best mood. The identity that he wanted had to be one given in Brazil, and specifically wanted a document called a CPF, and said that "all Brazilians have one." Well gee, Im not Brazilian, am I? I called Elder Savaryn over, who thankfully brought his Brazil Federal Police thingy with him. That didnt do either. I didnt even know what a CPF was, and it seemed like it was the only thing the guy would accept. Anyway, after him asking a few questions to other employees, he put in a code and it worked. I got my beloved package!
Okay, so before the Correios incident, we got [name redacted] and [name redacted] married. It was quick and slick and insencere, more or less. We took pictures, and left. My computer isnt reading either of my cards, so I have a mountain of pictures to send. :(
Before I continue, lots of members have been commenting that [name redacted] has the qualities of a leader in the church, and that he most likely will be a leader in the near future. He helps carry chairs and put them away for the classes held outside. They are really heavy, probably 25 pounds each, and he helps more than the members do.
Okay, back to the story. Saturday, we had the baptism! But I was severely disappointed. We marked it for 6h in the evening, and when the hour rolled around, there was nobody there, just a ward missionary. A few minutes later, the family and another member showed up, but the church was still empty. I felt like Id been hit by a train. The day we marked the wedding was in June, and they were married this last Friday, and we had announced that we had a baptism of a family coming up since that June, about a months time. Also, the ward hasnt had a complete family baptized in quite some time, so it should be extra special, right? Yes, so special that nobody bothered to show up and show their support for probably the most significant baptism in 3 months. We changed clothes and took pictures to spend the time that people take getting there. Finally we had enough people to begin. Elder Savaryn baptized [name redacted], [name redacted]'s son, and I baptized [name redacted]. [name redacted] passed the interview, is super ready for baptism, but for some reason just doesnt want to be baptized. The interview was No, I dont want to be baptized, yes i know this yes I believe that, yes, yes, yes yes yes yes yesyesyesyes, no I wont be baptized. It was really odd. So she didnt get baptized, shes waiting for the desire to come again.
we finished the baptism with maybe 20 people. Huge disappointment.
The OM (organização das Moças) or YW had an activity called Missionary Week. I thought it was a brilliant idea. They took the young women and paired them up, gave black nametags with Future Sister on it, and sent them off to live the life of a full time missionary for 2 days. Up at 6h30, study, hit the pavement, lunch, pavement again, home, bed. It was slightly altered because Bom Jardim is dangerous at night. In house at 7 instead of 9, and they even had a snack provided before going to bed. Lucky them! They slept in other members' houses to complete the experience, and visited only less active and inactive members.
On tuesday, we gave a presentation of missionary life to them with a Q &A, which was great. "What?? No music? No cell phone? Im gonna die!"
Thursday night, we had nothing to do, so we went to the chapel. The girls had just finished their first day, I think 8 of them were there at the church. They were absolutely dying after just the first day. I read a few scriptures of encouragement to some of them. I felt a bit sorry for them, coitadas (pobreziñas) but I also kinda laughed a little bit inside. One girl who wants to serve a mission and is preparing to go said "How are you guys able to do this? I have so much more respect for you guys now." I didnt realize the mission field was so hard without having the special blessings of being set apart. Really, the Lord qualifies who He calls. Its hard at first, but He shapes the back to fit the load, and it is nothing less than a perfect fit.
Aw phooey, I have to end. I hope you liked the stories! They are 100% true, and home grown in Good Garden! Until next week!
~Elder Wille

Monday, July 15, 2013


Hello my dear family!

So, we had another baptism! His name is Pedro, 13 years old, and a good kid. I am sending fotos so you can see who he is, and our bishop, LMA (Ward Mission Leader) and a few other peoples.
So Pedro pretty much always goes to church. He lives next to a family in the ward who takes him every week. Now we just have to get his mom and sister there too.
I finally broke down and bought me a rede. (its said exactly like hedge) Im sending pictures of that too. We went to Centro to sign and finalize all the paper work for [names redacted]'s wedding, (this Friday!!!!) and afterwards I took the opportunity to look around and buy one at the Shopping de Rede. I found one really great for R$43, and the lady gave it to me for R$40, and R$5 more for the metal loop protectors. I wanted a cheapish one, and bought her (rede is feminine) to use during the mission. If she breaks then oh well. I didnt spend an ton on her. Near the end of the mission, I want to buy a really fancy one to take home. (Yes, I know that sounds really bad and cruel. But its a hammock, not a real girl. :D )
I was also intending to buy a small-ish one. The lady showed me a casal size, but it was too expensive. She then showed a smaller one, with some color options. I picked the wine-colored one, and took it home. Im now thinking that my rede is a casal size, or only slightly smaller. Im almost on the ground when I sit or lay down, about a fists width up.

Mom and Dad, happy Silver Anniversary yesterday!
I have some bad news. My package got nabbed by the Correios again. Those oinkers! This time I know the deadline, so I will get it for sure. Im planning on going this Friday after the wedding to get it. And I will be paying R$162 just to pick it up. D: But at least it arrived and I know where it is. I still have plans to send a package to you guys. Since Bom Jardim is a little scary and dangerous, they dont have many fancy things here. :( Back to centro we go!
If you need an answer really soon, I would probably go with come home and return later. Depending on the Mission President, I might not be able to get released here, and that means that I still have to obey the mission rules. :( Not the most fun when your family goes to the beaches in Brazil. so my answer: Christmas break.
Real fast. Mom, Im doing really great! I wash my own clothes in my own house. :) Every apartment has a washing machine, and none of the missionaries get air conditioning, just a fan. We even have to clean our own house! (dang, unfair. :D )
Alisha, Im so sorry that your turtle died! :( I hope you can find a replacement turtle really fast!
Sarah, when you get back I hope you had a really great time in Michigan! Sounds like a lot of fun! I will talk to you when you get back? :)

Ah dang, Im out of time. I think I have to send a ton of pictures next week. I will talk to you guys next week! Love you all!
~Elder Wille

Hey Dad, I was wondering if you could do something fancy with a scanner somewhere and email me the music for Phantom of the Opera on piano via attatchment? Elder Savaryn was studying music as his major in Argentina, and hes never heard it, much less played it. Would you be willing to send that to me? Thanks!
I hope your arm gets better. That trip to Hansens must have been a huge nightmare. Did they have any adult supervisors besides the clerk?

Monday, July 8, 2013

News news news!

Wow, here I am again at the LAN House! Its another bright and sunny day here in Bom Jardim, Fortaleza! Probably 90 degrees outside with a scorching sun effect. :) I love Brazil.

So, they had the preparations for the World Cup a week or so ago, its called the Confederations Cup. Brazil went in the finals against Spain, and they won 3-0!!! Yay! I was in a Priesthood meeting at the stake center, but you could hear when Brazil scored. The first goal was a miracle, and then Spain almost made a goal, and one guy booked it to the goal and saved the day. It was incredible. (I watched the highlights the day after during lunch)

Okay, so we had a baptism!!! [name redacted], and I had the honor of baptizing her. :D It was a bit sad though, cause almost nobody was there. We tried to let lots of people know, but there was an activity at the stake center. :( Ah well, she was confirmed yesterday during Sacrament meeting.

Okay, sorry that I forgot to tell you about my companion! He's from Argentina, Buenos Aires, and lives 15 or 20 minutes away from the Temple. His parents are divorced, both members of the church, and they have 2 older daughters and Elder Savaryn. He talks VERY fast and sometimes people dont understand, so he gets a bit nervous and explains even faster what he said earlier. :S but its only once in a while, and hes getting much better. He speaks castellano (with LL being SH) and uses vos instead of tú. Its been great, and I still have at least one more transfter with him. :) We had our transfer meeting today, but I didnt have to go.
Sarah, one of our Zone leaders (Elder Quadros) saw the pictures of your graduation that Dad sent, and he says that he wants to marry you. :) Everybody here says you look like a model, youre super pretty, etc etc etc. :) They are very highly complimentary of you. :)

Hey Dad, could you send two copies of the missionary wakeboarder? I want a copy for myself and one to put in the Mission Office. :D If they let me, that is.
That faceplant sounds like it was massa! (super cool) But I bet it didnt feel that way... :S Is it possible to send it to me through email?
I also think that Facebook is a rather dangerous option for missionaries. Its hard enough that bad things jump out at you on the street. Im thinking they have pretty strict rules about where you can go on facebook. I dont get to use it, so its just speculation.

Mom, I did get the letter you sent last time, thank you so much! The way you say não sounds like Now, but you have to nasalize it. It will sound pretty much exactly the same to you guys, but it makes a difference here. One example, bread and piece of wood. Pão and pau, they have identical sounds, but one is nasalized. (your bakery goods are weak, old man)
Our address is something like Avenida Oscar Araripe #2600 more or less. Its a condominium and its right next to a motel, (Motel Stop) across the street from a supermarket called Araripe. (ah-dah-DEE-pee)
Ah, so they eat guabiru in Thailand? Thats great!... Ive seen a good number here, thankfully not in our house. Just a few catitas.

Ive been dreaming of those 4th of July waffles... :( well, not really, but I still have a slight hankering for them. I will have to make a list of things I want to eat in the first few days at home. :D :D    5 guys, nacho supreme... Im going to stop there... :(

Well, I gotta be going now. The big news was our baptism, and she was taught by the other missionaries. but we have a wedding coming up on the 19th!
Love you all! Have a very excellent week! Stay safe and strong!

~Elder Wille

P.S. Hey Mom and Dad, when you guys book stuff for the trip here, make sure you get a nice fancy Motel for us! :D.... Im kidding. Motels here are SUPER bad. People go there to break the 7th, so its a very high level of iniquity. And we live next door! :( and the guy who owns the motel is the owner of our condo. Uh oh...

Monday, July 1, 2013

News from Palmares

Hi Family!
Lake Powell has Zebra Mussels? Ai nãoooooo!!! :( :( Do they know if it was brought by a boat, or if they arrived from upstream? Will Lake Powell still be boat-able and not destroyed when I get back? :'(
I was very surprised at the changes around the house! The garden is absolutely beautiful! Does it work well, not having to bend over so much to weed?
I think its just me, but did you pour more concrete to make the path wider? Maybe its just the picture, cause the path in front looks a lot wider. Anyway, its looking great! Thanks for the pictures!
Thanks for the offer to resend, but Im good with them right now. :) Just those ones that I asked last week. I wanna see what people say to a wakeboarding missionary. :) Who was the original person there?

I think my foot problem is just the walking and not washing my toes thoroughly enough. Im thinking about designating a toothbrush to clean my feet in the shower. (complete with toothpaste, for that minty clean feeling between your toes!) :P
Glad you guys are having a good time out on the water without me. *wink wink* But I think I will skip on the decontamination process, that doesnt sound like too much fun.
Dad, you  are completing the mission goal with your 'crescimento real' on slalom skiing. Alisha, Im sorry that skiing didnt end well for you. :(
Sarah, what do you do for work? Thats so awesome that youre keeping busy and making some sweet mulah. :) Do you like your job? Who do you work with? When I was at the vet, I worked alone a lot of the time, its a lot better when you have someone to work with. :)

I saw a sign of a package, white from the US, but it went to Elder Patino. :( Still no sign of mine, but dont worry too much. Im still alive and I still have a bit of peanut butter to last. ;)

Mom, a special note to you. Every day I see different things. Families and things like that, and I am so very thankful to you and Dad for raising me the way you did. I see some things every once in a while that makes me cringe inside. From the profundezas de meu coração... brigadão má! (black/gangster-brasilian version of Thank you very much!)
Okay, onto more exciting news. [name redacted] não se batizou. Oh golly, Im doomed when I get back em casa. Or would it be that you guys are doomed? >:) Anyway, she had a lot of things to do for college, so we couldnt even slip an interview in. This week should be easier and Im hoping very much that we can baptize her.
We also recieved a referral from other missionaries, a recently married couple (9 months) who are just perfect. They are married civilly, so that eliminates the longest wait. They have no addictions, just the traditional coffee habit. Their names are [names redacted], and they like to visit the Lisboa Ward, our vizinha. Other than that, its just teach and baptize. They even want to get sealed! Thats their goal right now, or at least [name redacted]'s goal.
Hey, I gotta go now. Thanks for all the support that you all give me, I really feel that it is helping. Im so glad that you all are well and healthy. :) Say hi to Jeff, Celi, Celine and Kim for me! Love you all!
I just want to close with a few quick things. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is real. It changes the life of anyone with enough faith to experiment and put it in practice. I know that anyone can return to Father's presence with 5 little steps. Faith in Jesus Christ. Repentence, the miracle that makes the biggest difference in us. Baptism, the bath of our spirit. Recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, as a guide for our lives through this troubled world. Lastly, Enduring to the End. Its hard, its long, but we have our Older Brother with us, at our side. He never abandons us, we move away from Him. He always welcomes us back, so much so that He died with His arms open towards us. I know this is true.
~Elder Wille