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Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 56 - Baptism, training, and my camera.

I had a baptism this week!  This was the first baptism in this area for some time. We had a good turnout from the ward. It was really good and we have super sweet investigators too.   We are teaching two FAMILYs that are progressing.  I am hopeful they will accept the gospel and chose to be baptized. 

My companion and I with the sister who chose to be baptized.
This transfer I am training!   My new companion’s name is Elder W. Souza.   He is from Natal. Natal means "Christmas" and is a northeastern state in Brazil.  He speaks with a little different accent than I am used too, but I understand him just fine.  He is super nice and has a great attitude.   He has the missionary fire which, is good!   He talks to EVERYONE -- even the drunks!  Normally, I just leave them alone but my companion is setting a good example for me that we need to give everyone a chance to hear the gospel message regardless of their circumstances.  The Lord looks at each of us as who we may become, not as what we are now.  He invites ALL of us to come unto Him.  The gospel of Jesus Christ changes each of us as we embrace it.  He will forgive us of our sins as we forsake and confess them and mold us into better people.

My camera is dead.  I’ve been looking at new cameras.  I didn’t see the model that I have but I’ll go check out one more camera store I know about around here.   I guess I could go to the mall and look too.  My district leader has lent me his camera.

Today we are going on a picnic with the sister missionaries and our district leader. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 55 - Dengue Fever

I was struck with dengue fever the entire week.  Boy, let me tell you dengue sucks!  I called sister Andrew the mission president’s wife.  I was either in bed or at a member’s house the entire week.  With dengue you have a super high fever, a migraine, and throughout your body your muscles just ache and throb.  I couldn’t even sleep.  I had to buy a ton of Gatorade because you dehydrate super fast.  I also bought Tylenol for the aches.  One of the members said açaí is really good to eat when you have dengue.  It's like coconut water on steroids but I didn’t have the money to buy any.  Dengue is super bad here right now.  Everyone has it.

The other elders had to come over to teach some of our investigators.  I didn’t feel like eating much.  One day we ordered pizza and I was only able to eat one slice.  That day I had a temperature of 102.

All I know is that I don’t want to get it again.  I’ve been told that it is usually worse the second time. It is a virus. You don’t catch it from someone.  Mosquitos transmit it.   I live in an apartment on the fourth floor.  Mosquitos can’t even fly that high.  I probably contracted it in the house of someone we taught.

Things have been going great for Elder Helamã and I.  The fruits of our labors are starting to show. I'm hopeful there will be many baptisms this transfer.

I feel bad for my companion.  He is being transferred tomorrow.  Elder Helamã is sad too.  He taught this good sister that will be baptized Sunday and really wanted to be there.  Today we going around to let him say goodbye.

We will go to São Paulo tomorrow morning.  That is where Elder Helamã and I will get our new companions.  They don’t give you information on transfers anymore to try to stop all the rumors that end up going around. You just show up and they introduce you to your new companion.

Campos Jordão was so freaking cool!  First off its cold there!  Second its like Switzerland!  I’m just in love with this town.  Check out my pictures:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 54 - Camera problems and the apartment.

My camera is having problems... The other day when I turned it on the camera said there was a lens problem.  I turned it off and the lens wouldn’t retract into the camera.  I think the camera may be broken. We had lunch on Friday with a member who just happens to be taking a photography class. He told me that I should plug the phone charger into the camera to see if the camera still has the problem or if it is the battery.

The camera worked fine when it’s hooked to the USB charger.  I’m hoping it is just a problem with the battery.  I don’t have another.  I’ll look around to see if I can find one.   If not, I probably won’t have pictures for a while.

Pictures of our apartment.  The washing machine.
The kitchen.  See Elder Helamã's tower of Coke bottles in the corner.
Study area.
Today I wish the camera worked.  I’m going to Campos do Jordão.  It’s a town with Swiss architecture near São José dos Campos.  It’s the highest city in Brazil!  It’s also the coldest!  It’s part of our mission.  The area is closed right now [missionaries aren’t in the area].  I’ll beg President Andrew to let me open the area! I heard it even snows there some times!

Elder Helamã is letting me use his camera today so I may take some pictures, but the quality isn’t going to be like what my camera produces.

There is a member here that gives tours.  He said he is willing to take us anywhere we want to go if we will pay for the gas and the rental car. He wants to take us to the biggest waterfall in São Paulo and some other sick places! But it’s a matter of if we can get the money.  It would be fun to go someplace on our preparation-day.  The member said car rentals are 60 to 70 Reis and depending on where we go it would be about 70 Reis in gas.  Our plan is to bring another set of elders with us to make it cheaper. [1 US dollar ~ 3 Brazilian Ries].

The member started his own tourist company.  I know a ton of sick places to go that he's told me about.  He said that if you guys [Dallen’s parents] ended up coming to Brazil to pick me up he would take us around. He showed us pictures of this giant rock on top of a mountain that you can see Rio de Janeiro from.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 53 - Love one another, Conference, and Castles

There is a wonderful member here.  He is a great example of loving your neighbor.  He has a property with several small houses on it.  We helped him move from his family’s home to a smaller one.  They have an Arabic man living with them.  Apparently in the Middle East they are killing anyone that is Christian.  He is a refugee and is bringing over the rest of his family soon.  The member is giving them his house because it’s bigger.   Afterwards the man cooked us Arabic food!!! It was so good and different too!

Conference was great!  We watched the Saturday Conference Sessions at the stake building, and Sunday at the ward building.  Watching in Portuguese is kind of boring when it comes to Conference because you see that they are crying or getting emotional but the translator is mono-toned the whole time.  The Portuguese talk was my favorite because we could hear and feel the emotion in his talk.

We had interviews with the mission president this week and he told my companion, Elder Helamã, that he could stay here one more transfer to participate in an upcoming baptism.  This means I’ll probably be here for another transfer too!

My companion, Elder Helamã, is on the right. 
I ALMOST FORGOT!!! THERE ARE CASTLES HERE!!!  There are two in my area. Actually, they are just apartment complexes that look like castles. Only those with lots of money can afford to live there.  You can’t even get close to them but there is a legitimate castle in another area of the mission.

The past couple of days have been really hot. It’s rained a couple times last week.