Monday, September 30, 2013

Training Again

Hi Hi Family! I got moved. :( I was really sad to leave Palmares, but it also means that I completed what there was to be done there. :) Im now in the (more or less) rich part of town! My area is called Montese (Mohn-TEZ-ee) and the house is VERY clean. :D I also happen to live in the same house as the assistants to the president. :O I cant fubecar anymore. (slack off)

So, like the title says, Im going to have another son! And itll be my first American companion since the MTC. Ive had just about all there is here on the mission. Brazilian, African, (Cabo Verdiano) Argentinian, Paraguayan, and finally, after a year (one year exactly to the day) I get another American. :) October 2 2012 is when I left Elder Meeks, and October 2 2013 is when I get my new son! :) Massa, né?
So he is only half my son, em verdade. I know all this stuff because he already passed the first 6 weeks of training in the US somewhere and was delayed because of the visa. So, I get to show him around and complete Lukes training. Er, I mean the Elders... :D

Okay, story time! We closed the month with less baptisms than we wanted and planned for, but we still beat out the zone leaders. In the end, we had 9 baptisms just in the month of September. And then I got transferred.
Another story. So we baptized [names redacted], and they are just strong and powerful. [name redacted] smoked right before the baptismal interview, but had repented sufficiently to be baptized. Then we saw and guessed that he smoked twice more in the week between then and the confirmation, so we called President Souza as to what we should do. He gave us the jurisdiction to interview him and see if he had repented. If he confessed, we could confirm him. If not, it has to wait. He not only confessed, but also told his wife that he had smoked and wrote in his agenda to talk with the Bispo about it. Now, hes just firm as a rock. That couple has really come far in the Gospel. They dont just follow it, they actually live it. [name redacted] was in tears when we passed to say goodbye after the transfer call. She gave a powerful testimony that none of our work would ever be forgotten, that they would be strong and help lots of other families become strong too. She often said that there is nothing she can do to repay the changes we made in her family. Personally, I think theyre already doing it. Thats all I want in thanks, just pay it forward, share it with others, because I know how important and cherished this Gospel is. As Paul puts it, Its the power unto salvation of man. Romans 1:12, I think.

A weird thing has happened. I have developed this 'thirst' for reading the scriptures, especially the New Testament. Im also reading Jesus the Christ, which is absolutely fantastic! Ive never before had this 'thirst,' but its a welcome change more or less. Sometimes I just want to read instead of preach, but I cant do that. Theres people out there waiting for me.

Oh, I almost forgot. I continue being district leader in addition to training. :) Here we go!

Alas, I have forgotten my memory card. I think even Neville would be surprised. :P

Dad, your trip sounded like so much fun! Im so glad that you were able to sneak one in! I think thats one more trip that we have to add to the list of when I get back. :) You guys got very muddy, must have been a most excellent adventure.

Mom, you can really stop worrying about me now, cause Im living with the assistants. :) They're right up there with the President, the highest position of leadership possible for a full time missionary. I will be looked after very carefully. :) As for the package, could you send some AA bateries? The ones here are almost all garbage. I think 8 would last a good while for me. I still have AAAs, so Im all good there. Um... A raspberry scone mix? :D Those ones were the best ever! Thank you so much!

Sarah, how is life treating you? I havent heard much news from you, are you doing okay? :) Hows Hayden? Do you have any fun plans to go and do something crazy fun? Just remember how much I love and miss you! :)

Alisha and Toddy, hows the grown up life for you guys? How are you liking your new jobs? Elder Galli, from Argentina, would get along great with you guys, cause he likes to fart next to people. :D Hope you get a kick out of that. :) Im in my fourth area! Its crazy town here, they almost dont have places to use the internet! And they have planes landing a few miles away, they fly overhead every 15 minutes or so. (trunkeza!!!) But its all cool here.
Last question. When am I going to become an uncle? ;P

Well, this letter is getting pretty long, and my time is short. Bye for now, I will give you all the big details next week when I actually know some. :D Love and miss you all! Have a very interesting week!

~Elder Wille

Monday, September 23, 2013

Palmares 23-9-2013

Hi Family!
Well, I have a lot of time this time!
This morning, I made biscuits and gravy from memory! It was pretty dang close to the ones I usually make. They dont have the sausage like at home, so I improvised with ground beef and a seasoning that tastes exactly like sausage. Its rosemary and parsley, and I dont know how that works, but it did! :) We just got done playing volleyball, and that was fun. I got my serves down pretty good. :) We have kinda let go watching movies for now, maybe the next transfer.
I have a little story to tell you guys. Elder Tamanho gets some migraines every once in a while that last for 3 days. He got one recently, and a few days after, he told this story as his message to the members who gave us lunch.
He woke up with a migraine (called a chequeca here. sheh-KAY-kuh) and couldnt study because of it. We had quite a bit of work that day, and he had informed me of his condition. In the companionship prayer before leaving, I prayed that it would stop so that we could work normally. I tried to put it out of my mind, still being conscious that his head was hurting, and we went to work. Turns out that his head stopped hurting that very same day. His message at lunch was on faith, or prayer, one of those. But it is very important that they come together. I had asked Father to help because it seemed like the thing to do. And it worked. I had no idea what happened until he told the story. Im so happy to have a Heavenly Father that looks out for us and wants us to have success, all of us! Not just missionaries. :)
Sarah, your dreads are pretty sweet!!! I thought at first that your hair actually was that long, you got me fooled! :) You are so pretty, they do look really good on you! And Elder Tamanho thinks they look awesome. :) changing the topic, hows work going for you? Do you go with Dad like I did, or do you take your own car?
Ive had a lot of people ask this, so Im forwarding their question: What college are you going to go to?
Im more than halfway through my mission, its going by so fast! In the pictures, you have grown up so much! Its hard to believe that my little sister is catching up to me! You gotta stop until I get back, okay? :D

Dad, that project sounds like the bomb! I hope that all goes smoothly for the release date!
32 pullups? Holy cow that is a lot! We had a pullup bar last transfer, but the missionary leaving took it with him. My max here is about 8... :S hahaha.
It took me a half a second to understand how I could go to Egypt with you. Ah, the trunky-ness. Its a little worse this week, cause everyone is having problems lately. The work is going pretty slow, we arent going to make the 20 baptism mark this month. :( 3 fell through this Sunday because they didnt go to church. We are now trying to find new people to teach, with the transfers next week.
Ah, a quick question. Have you had the time to pay my tithing on those last paychecks and increases that I got? Its something that I got a firmer understanding and desire of here in Fortaleza.
Im still learning to play the piano. I can play top hand pretty well on the easier hymns, despite the very few hours I get to practice. I wonder if I will be able to knock your socks off when I come back. :)

Mom, is there some way to get raspberry freezer jam over here without melting? D: I was telling the guys about strawberry jam today, and Elder Bramwell made fresh italian bread today. It would have been a perfect combo...
You want the recipe for the cinnamon rolls with mashed potatos? I will have to ask him for it, I dont remember. :( Its just a wierd kook where they put just about everything in, Elder Whatcott says they do that a lot in the south.
Mom, thanks for teaching me handy skills of how to cook, its really coming in handy. :) I made a title for myself: King of the Breakfast Quick Breads. But really,

Im starting to look around for some stuff to send out to you guys. Mom, Alisha and Sarah, the jewelry here is about the same as there. Nothing really stands out as particularly Brazilian, except for the few things that have the flag or soccer teams on them.
And thats it for my letter. I think I will still be here in the next transfer, and the feira is on Monday. I will look for stuff to send you guys. Until the next time! Any movies that you want me to look for? They're a dollar here.
Okay, Im going now, love you all! Bye!

~Elder Wille

Monday, September 16, 2013

News! 16-9-2013

Hello everyone! Lots of good things happening it sounds like!
So, I watched Dispicable Me 2 last week. The audio was absolutely horrific, because it was recorded in the theater. I didnt understand 80 percent of it, but the general story was good. El Macho was quite interesting. And I have a fiery hatred of that chicken. :)
I have some very good news! [name redacted] and his wife got baptized!!! And they went to Stake Conference with us! Im so super happy for them, he really is going to make good progress. We did a fast with him, and he was so dedicated that he started at 4:20 and ended exactly at 4:20 not a single minute sooner. I was very impressed.
Dad, Im so very very very sorry for not wishing you a happy birthday last week! I was so looking forward to that, and then I ended up forgetting the most important part! I felt terrible the entire week knowing that I missed it. :( So happy belated birthday!!!
Parabéns pra você, nessa data querida
Muitos felicidades, muitos anos de vida.
Parabéns pra você, nessa data querida
Muitos felicidades, muitos anos de vida.
É pique, é pique, é pique-é pique-é pique
É hora, é hora, é hora-é hora-é hora.
um.... I dont remember the rest...
I think the weather is waiting for me to get back. :) I hope next year is good! And before the end of the season. Good luck with the new bouldering routes.

I have to stop sending so many pictures, its using up a lot of my time. I think Im almost done, so that will be good.
Sarah, you had surgery?? Wow, are you okay now? Thats pretty awesome about spraying blood across the room though. :) I hope it went well, and that you are okay. Does it still hurt, or has it pretty much gone away?
Hows Hayden? In that letter I sent, I asked bit about him. Does he want to serve a mission? I wrote that he should, cause its just amazing! And, at the very least, he will be able to wash his own clothes. :) bonus for you! I love and miss you so much!

Alisha, thank you so much for your letter! I really enjoyed hearing about the turtles and stuff! Good luck in your new job! I know youll do really great! Todd, congrats on getting a new job! I hope you like the picture of your stuff that they have here. :) The snowboarding season is just around the corner! you lucky ducks! I think youll have to teach me again the next time I go. :S
Miss you guys tons! Thanks for writing to me, even though you are really busy!

President Souza came and gave a talk in our Stake Conference, it was really awesome! His talks are so spiritual and powerful!
Ah, I gotta go! Talk to you all next week! Stay safe, stay strong!
~Elder Wille

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Hurried Letter

Hey guys, this one is going to be a little short, sorry! I had to shrink pictures to send to Elder R Barbosa, and then the computer stopped reading my card. :( So once again, I have no pictures.
I made the cookies for Elder Tamanhos birthday, and he really liked them. :)
Sarah, you have dreadlocks??? Could you send me a picture? I didnt get to go to the Beyoncé show, I didnt even hear any noise from that area! Hows work at footnote? Do you like it there, and are there lots of people?
Okay, so I have ten minutes. :(
Elder Tamanho and I looked at the people who can be baptized this month, made a list, and my jaw about hit the floor. We cant do this on our own, and we asked the ward to help make visits and pray for them. Would you guys be willing to pray for these people? We have around 20 people that can be baptized in just September, just in our area. Our goal for the Zone is 44. Names of people that need a special boost [names redacted]. Thanks so much!
Alisha and Todd, how are you guys doing? Is school still in, or are you in férias? (break) The time goes by so fast right now, every week passes and things still havent been done, people still havent been visited, and we're just scrambling to keep up. Is it like that for you guys too? :)

Dad, that story about Caleb is pretty funny! But what did you do with all the food from the cancelled trip? And the tornado, what happened there? Was it just really windy, or did it do lots of damage? Its getting a little scary, things are getting worse and worse as the world nears the end. I cant even imagine what its going to be like a few days before the Lord comes again. I want it to be soon, but at the same time, I want to live life a little bit on earth.
That is super sad about your boss's son! There was a missionary here too that went home from mental problems, I think Elder Lysenko was his name.
My problems here (the toes) are getting a lot better, the retainer is helping everything to grow naturally. I go in again on the 19th.
I finally saw the Work of Salvation. Do you remember Elder Reynolds, whos family was preparing him for the mission? He was one of the Assistants here in Fortaleza!!! And the courtyard is from the MTC in São Paulo! :) Cool huh!!!?
Well, my time is up. :( I really wanted to tell you guys more, but mom just a quick last note. Im just fine, Im tired constantly, but I have a vigor that I never felt before. I just keep on doing the work, and everything else is taken care of by our older Brother. :)
Love you all! Sorry for the lack of news, letters, and stuff. I will be back in less than a year! :O

~Elder Wille

Monday, September 2, 2013

Palmares 2-9-13

Dear Family,

So in the rush to get here, I left my card. again. D: So sorry Gromit!

Dad, that shirt that you gave Frank is hilarious! :) I got a kick out of that, and Skeelee with the jalapeño.
The rope actually broke, on rappel? Wow, that must have been a real gut dropping experience, and not one Id like to live. I think its a good idea to skip that one.
I finally got myself the messenger bag. I had to use the money to stay alive in Caucaia, and then I heard about a delivering problem from someone else who wanted one too, so I never got around to it. Then the boyfriend of a girl who lives in the ward happens to be the delivery boy, so I bought one. And the buckle broke two days after. :( I just need that part replaced and all will be as good as new. :)
Dad, I have a favor to ask of you. could you email me a picture of the Kokopellis on the boat, and maybe a few others? I have the tradition of drawing a Kokopelli on each planner, and I want a different one on each, if possible. The boat has quite a few that are simple.

We had not one, not two, but THREE baptisms this week! [name redacted], (10) his sister [name redacted]  (12) and [name redacted] (14) who is the brother of [name redacted]  (anyone see Portuguese grammar structure? Yeah, its bad) This week we are having the baptisms of [name redacted] and [name redacted]  (calm yourself Iago)
Remember that couple that had the goal of not just baptism, but going to the temple? [name redacted] and [name redacted]? Its that [name redacted], and then a year after, they can go to the temple! yay!!!!
[name redacted] is the nephew of [name redacted]  15 years old. Get this, she has a niece ([name redacted]'s sister) who also is named [name redacted]  :SSS We are hoping to baptize them both with another sibling named [name redacted]. [name redacted] hasnt gone to church yet, and FINALLY [name redacted] went to non-evangelicals-church for the first time, on Fast and Testimony meeting. (Side note, I play the piano for Sacrament meeting, which consists of playing the rhythm with any key and the piano plays itself.) I was a little concerned, because [name redacted] has had a bit of a problem accepting that God only has one true church, and testimony meeting is chock full of that. Between testimonies, I walked down and briefly explained what was happening and why, and she already understood, and said "Eu me sinto paz, eu nunca senti assim nas outras igrejas" or translated loosely "I feel peaceful, and Ive never felt this in any of the other churches"
Wow. I about did a backflip, but that would be a bit disruptive. Instead, I crept back up onto the stand (I just barely remembered what it was called. :P) and watched the meeting go on. When we open our hearts, we really feel what the Holy Ghost has to tell us, and it only happens if our hearts are open.
I very recently had an enjoyable time reading Our Search for Happiness. I highly recommend it for something beneficial to do. Its written by Elder Ballard of the 12 Apostles, and he explains our basic beliefs to non-members so that they understand what we LDS people are all about, and does it in just about the perfect way. Applying a few techniques and situations in there, we can help spread the gospel and not be overbearing and offend someone. Even though the material is basic belief, the book is still a really good one to read. It strengthened my testimony that God lives and has an active role in our life.
Dear Sarah, I have some news that will make you super jealous. :) Beyoncé is coming to Fortaleza on the 8th of this month! Shes doing the Mrs. Carter show in the Castelão stadium. :) I cant go to it, so dont feel too jealous. :) in the bus terminal, they always have an ad about it, and I think especially of you every time I see it! A bit more trivia, Paul McCartney played in the same stadium a few months ago, and the world cup will have a game or two in there this next year! :)
Did you get my letter that I sent to you? I hope it didnt get lost in the mail, I would be so sad if it did, cause you'll miss my awesome and skillfull drawings. ;)
How are things going for you? I hope you are well and enjoying life after High School! Stay safe, I love you so much! :D

Oh oh, também, youll never guess what I found at the supermarket today. Chia seeds!!! What a coincidence! And we do indeed have a blender!! :D
Kung Fu Panda 2 was really good! i cant decide which I like better, I have to see number 1 again to make a decision. Theres a lot more friendship in 2, and the bad guy is really awesome. Seria legal se vocês assistissem Kung Fu Panda 2. :) hint hint.
I made the coconut scones this morning. They were good and everyone liked them a lot, but personally they rank #4 in the ones Ive made so far, not counting the apple cinn ones. Raspberry is by far #1, then Gingerbread, and then peach. thank you so much for sending the mixes, they are perfect for breakfast and super tasty!

Ah bummer, I have to go. Have an excellent week, keep pressing forward with Faith in Every Footstep. (missionary hymn) I love you all! Talk at you next week!
~Elder Wille