Monday, February 24, 2014

Triumfant Benfica 24-2-2014

Hello Family and Friends, bloggers and strangers!

Well, this week was a pretty eventful one. I dont want it to sound like complaining, but it was a fair fight to the end.
I didnt get to attend the wedding of [name redacted] and [name redacted] because of a Zone conference. That really didnt help, cause they really needed our support.
Changing topics, after a year and six months, I got lost in Fortaleza. Moreover, I actually ended up outside the mission limits. :S The story goes like this.
At district meeting, one day before that Zone conference, I asked how to get to the stake center, and was told to take this one bus and to get off at a certain point. I didnt understand exactly where to get off, and figured from past experiences that someone would know where A igreja dos Mórmons is. Well, they didnt. The driver, passengers, even the cobrador (the guy who accepts the bus fare and gives you your change) had no idea, and it didnt help that I accidentally switched the name of the stake from Aguanambi to Iguatemi. I was told to go to Papicu (a bus terminal near the temple site) and take a bus to Iguatemi and the bus passes right in front. Okay great, thinking it was that one, we went. A bit behind schedule, we got off the bus at the stake center to find it locked and utterly desolate. Oh goody!
I didnt even know what stake we were at, we left our cell phone/number list at home (only the Zone Leaders can carry on the street) and I recorded the wrong Zone leader number in my planner. I borrowed a phone (the mission carrier is Claro, which everyone hates and almost nobody has) to call a number that I remembered from another zone. He informed me that I was outside the mission limits, and told me what bairro it was actually in, Bairro de Fátima. The signal mark is a giant statue of Mary that I had seen every time on my bazillion visits to the foot doctor. I just hadnt asked what bairro we had to go to, and it would have solved a lot of problems. We got there at 10h30 instead of 8h30 like we should have. :)

On Friday, the day of the interview, we walked a half hour to the church with [name redacted] and [name redacted], got there, no Zone leaders. I called (interview days are the exception to bringing the phone) and they were at the hospital. Oh great. We marked for the next day right before the baptism and right as [name redacted] gets back from a short trip. We get there on time, and again, no sign of the zone leaders. They arrive late, and are on splits, so they can only do one interview at a time. :S BUT in the end, they got baptized and confirmed!

Mom, I did get my package! :) It was very delicious, but they switched the Lime skittle out for green apple! D: thanks so much for the treats! American stuff is awesome. :) and is that grocery store list some options for the last package? If so, I could I get the Raspberry, gingerbread (and very berry ;D) scone mixes, pumpkin pancakes, maple syrup, and coconut macaroon cookies?
I hope you get better soon! You should do like the Cearense people do, always pray for health. Their top things to pray for are peace and health.
Pablo absolutely LOVES talking to you guys, he says that you guys are angels!

Dad, your mission is very similar to mine. Almost nobody plays the piano, just us Americans. :) I played it for Sacrament meeting in Bom Jardim after Elder Savaryn left, but it was an automatic hymn playing electric keyboard. To make it more interesting, it has a mode where you play the rhythm of the song (including the notes from left hand that dont appear in the melody) by pressing any key, and it plays the song. Its pretty slick.
I sang part solo and part duet with Pablo in the baptismal service. I actually did better live than in practice. :) Pablo also has a keyboard at his house, a more standard one. He writes music, plays guitar, sings, etc. Its always fun to have him around, I really enjoy his company.
It was only 33 that day? Really? It was one of the hottest days that Ive been here, or felt like it at least.
I asked Pablo if he reads my blog, and he didnt even know I had one! I guess he does now. :) and speaking of social media, could you accept the three facebook requests? Alessandra, Vitor and Marília? Thanks!
Im sending Joana D'arcs letter this Wednesday through the office. It should be there next Monday to Wednesday.
Its been a long week, I got really worried with the baptism and wedding. Its hard work, but the blessings of eternity are not easily won. Its honoring and yet interesting to me what Pablo, Bishop Soderberg and people in general say. I just try to do my best to do what I know is right. I feel like myself, not anything special. I dont understand it.

Well, I have to go. Thanks for listening to my blabber about adventures. I think theyll make a movie called Lost in Fortaleza. :) Farewell to all you lovely people, thank you for your support, and Im terribly sorry if I havent responded to your letters! Have a fabulous week, dont miss me too much!

~Elder Wille

P.S. One more favor. Can you save some of those drinks for me? :P ahahaha. hehehe. ahem, tchau!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Benfica 17-2-2014

Dear family,

Is it really the second half of Fevereiro? Where has the time gone? I mean seriously, at this rate I will be home in a month! I wont have time to write anymore!

I think what Pablo meant to say is Now the picture of them is better. We're just great over here. :) He only tries to kill me every other week. :P haha.
Okay, aparently they dont have a google translate for Brazilian shorthand. ie, lol u want 2 go 2 the store? brb. What is this world coming to, not having that option nowadays??
Here is the translation:
Grande amigo Wille, não sou que nem Pablo, não sei falar inglês mas gostaria que seus pais possam ficar tranquilo porque você encontrou amigos e estamos aqui para lhe (te) ajudar. Obrigado por nos dar a oportunidade para mim e minha esposa sermos seus amigos, e quem sabe, um dia possamos conhecer sua família. Grande abraço.
English anyone?
Great Friend Wille, Im not like Pablo, I dont speak english but I would like your parents to not worry because you found friends and we are here to help you. Thank you for giving me and my wife the oportunity to be your friends, and who knows? One day we may get to know your family. Big hug.

Could you send this to Joana? And could it be in a way that if President looks on facebook, he wont get the idea that Im using facebook? thanks!
Cara amiga Joana, vou mandar uma carta melhor em breve. Tenho que primeiro pedir autorização do presidente da missão para lhe escrever, porque ainda estou na missão. Espera só um tempinho.

hahaha, date night sounds like a great idea! :D if I want to get sent home in a wink. I think I want to finish first. :)
I would absolutely LOVE to go all day to Brighton! How did you know that Ive been missing the cold? I swear it was almost 40 degrees here on Friday. What was the actual temperature that day?
How many people can fit on the new tube? it must be a monster! Can Todd barrel-roll it like his tube? :)
Dad, I think you should definitely do Cassidy arch. (Have I been on that one? The one where we couldnt see if the rope was at the bottom with Todd?) You will see VERY quickly which are the real men of the group. ;)

Mom Elder Benitez is going pretty well. Physical adaptation is good, the language is a bit hard for him, and he didnt become fluent in spanish, so it helps and hurts at the same time. His parents did what you guys did, converse in the second language so we chillins didnt know what was happening.
I knew Porto Rico has a U and E somewhere, but didnt know where, so I just went with Brazilian. Much easier for me. :D
The Elders from America depends quite a bit on their visa. They can be like me, and start in Brazil if they have the visa. Or if they dont, they go to Provo. After the MTC, some still dont have their visa, so they serve in a US mission until their visa arrives. They learn Portuguese in the MTC, but promptly forget it when they serve english speaking in the US. :S Even though they study the language in the US during study time, its pretty much like starting fresh. Whew! Understand all that? ;)
Today I made those divine maple and oat scones. :) Not quite number 1, but still quite tasty. My package still hasnt arrived in my hands. It might be an the Mission office, where they hold it until Wednesday (district meeting)
Brazilians I think are a more social people, but especially here where its hotter, they people are also warmer. The southern Brasileiros are more quiet like US people, or so Ive heard.
Mom, I know Leonard and Penny only from the file name of the picture Dad sent. :S Past that, I have no idea. Your Valentines day Card did get through, thank you! And no, I dont feel very much like a giant. Pablo does, but its really pretty normal here. I am a little taller than most people.
The computer still is being persnickety about my camera card. D: And i got a virus on my pen drive, so my backup pictures are gone. Luckily, I didnt wipe my card yet!!! :D
Um, I havent heard of anyone who wanted the quad for a while, but thanks for the update! I will think of some things that I want for my last package. :)
Fofinho is pretty much exactly like that. Everyone says that when they see Skeelee's picture.
Cachorra is not a bad word, but calling someone Preto is. ;) hahaha its okay, Im not offended. The odd thing is that nigger is the more politically correct word to use of the two.
Im pretty sure Pablo is going to BYU, so I think he will be up with us sometime in the winter. And he really wants to go rapelling. (Dad, can we do the honors?)

Quick note. Sarah, did you get my letter? I miss having you write to me, I was always so happy to get your letters, even though I took forever to reply! Whats been your latest death-defying adventure? :)

Okay, this is turning into a novel. Sorry for not writing a whole lot to you in this letter Dad! :( Im so glad that you got the bug resolved in your project! It sounded really big and important, so all the better.
I hope you all have a good week, we are going to be busy! Pray for lots of new investigators! You guys are marvelous!

~Elder Wille

Monday, February 10, 2014

Benfica 6-2-2014

Hiya family! Hows everyone doing up there?
Down here its all the same, still hot and sunny, but we get some rain every now and again. Ceará is passing in a bit of drought, especially in the interior. Itapipoca has a big lack of water.

My new companion arrived! His name is Elder Benitez from Chesterfield, Virginia. You wouldnt guess that he's american, cause his family has people from spain and Porto Rico. (Puerto Rico? I dont even know how to spell anymore...) He is 18, doesnt have a girlfriend, served in South Dakota for 2 transfers, which is the training period. Im just training his language skills, like I did for Elder Tenney.
His parents are divorced, has 2 older sisters and 1 younger brother. He has had social media contact with Taylor Swift, via twitter. (her authorized account)

Okay, not much has happened this week. We started all the paperwork for [names redacted]'s wedding, which will happen on the 20th of Fevereiro, and then they will be baptized! We still have to help [name redacted] a little bit, he just doesnt quite get it yet.
We need to find more people to teach, and we found one guy called [name redacted] who loves American History, (his dream job is a semi driver in the US) so we gave him 1 Nephi 13 about the collinization (I know thats horribly wrong) of America and he fell in love. He is probably one of the .001 percent of non-members Brazilians who believe the Bible is not completely perfect. Pretty much everyone believes it is, so it was super refreshing to not have to explain that before the Book of Mormon. He went to church yesterday, thought it was pretty cool. He just focuses on the secular things instead of the spiritual things. Im hoping the Atonement will help shift his focus.

Dad, thanks for adding those people on Facebook! Pablo's name is Pablo Henrique something or other. He was Elder Henrique in Riberão Preto, São Paulo.
Back to Facebook, could you accept the following people?
Isabele Cristina, Rosana Alves da Silva, Denis Till, Joana Bezerra dos Santos, Rogerio Lima da Silva, Edilene Rodrigues, Geniane Gomes, e Luciana Bruno Maia?
On my visa, I have to look on my protocol. Its good for about a year, and I got it before Christmas. Im pretty sure that it will expire before, I will need to look to be sure. Do we have to go to the Federal Police when we come here? Or is that just for longer stays?
I did get the pictures, sorry for not commenting about them! The wakeboard almost trunked me out of my mind, and the others I found quite amusing. I got a chuckle out of Leanard and Penny. :) I think Todd should be a runway model. :P hahaha. but whats with the cheese?

Mom, I will definitely let you know when the package gets here. Thanks for sending me one! Im creating a plan to finally send one off to you guys.
I look tan? Really? To me, I still look white, but maybe its cause I see myself every day. You should see my farmers tan, its ridiculously great!
Pablo is a really great guy, hes wanting to come over to BYU, so its very likely that you could meet him in person! And if he stays there for a few years, we might see each other there! Hes one of the more dedicated members of the ward, he really knows what is important. I have a lot of respect for him, cause he's had some really big challenges in his life.

Well, life keeps going on. There wasnt a whole lot of news this week, sorry! Im district leader of 4 sisters, so I dont do any exchanges. They are Sister Troseth, Sister da Silva, Sister Zeller, and Sister Sowa, from Tenessee, Brasília, Oregon, and Virginia respectively.
Sorry this wasnt so newsy! I think I will have some more this next week, and maybe some pictures. God lives, he loves us and wants us to be happy and perfect. Until next time, tchau!

~Elder Wille

P.S. The computer isnt reading my card. I took a picture of some BIG cashew nuts, but I cant send them yet. :(
And thanks for sending my line of authority! :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Benfica 3-2-2014

Hi family!
Wow, another transfer already! Im still in Benfica, but they stole Elder Tenney from me! I dont have my fixed companion yet, cause Im training again. Elder Tenney is also training, and Elder Phillips too! My mission family just grew to 4 sons and 4 grandsons!
This time, I will only be training the language, like I did with Elder Tenney. Hes almost definitely American, with two transfers in the states. Aside from this, same old story of I Dont Know's.
We do indeed have cell phones! Some missions even have iPads! :S We are not that cool, so we get one cell phone per house. Its a nokia of some kind, basically its just to call our leaders to report our work, and if we get sick. We arent allowed to play the games on it, and it has to stay in the house. So yeah, we have phones. :)

Btw, [name redacted] got baptized! Vanize, we found some problems with the family that are giving her doubts, so we will wait some more.

Mom or Dad, could you add or accept some friends on facebook? Pablo flp, Nilson, and Paula. Nilson and Paula should be friends of Pablo, if theres more than one.
One more question, could you send me a list of people that have requested me that look Brazilian? Some people are super anxious for me to accept their Friend Request, but some I dont know who they are.
Dad, my school schedule looks pretty good as far as I can tell. I did take AP World History, but I didnt take the AP test, so I dont think it counted. Do you know if they will transfer my Eng. credits from UVU to Snow?
I would like to consult with you guys about the engineering thing, but also my main goal is to end up at BYU. (yep, I decided) My limited knowledge and plan is to get my associates and then transfer, but I know BYU has a special program with Snow.
As for classes, (President Souza will let me do some online enrollment stuff here if I need to) Id like to go moderate, and work on the side. I prefer studying in the morning and early afternoon. Also, Id like to take institute. :D If theres a way to have one free day in the week, I think that would be awesome. Thanks so much Dad!
One more little story. Pablo was having an anxiety attack, his eyes were pretty red, and he asked for a blessing of comfort. I gave it to him, and he immediately calmed down, his eyes cleared up quite a bit in the first minute, and after five minutes his eyes were completely back to normal. Im so thankful for the Priesthood. There is no doubt in my mind that it works.
Ah man, my time is up. Hope you all are well! Stay strong, stay faithful! There is happiness in exact obedience, that happiness comes from confidence of knowing that God is happy with you. Until my next adventure!
~Elder Wille