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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week 83 - Indexing!

So sometimes when Americans send packages the mail service here tries to get money out of us by keeping them in the mail office.  They make you pay a “fine” to receive the package.  One elder if he wants to get his package would have to pay $800 reis!  If you don’t go pick it up they just send it back to the return address.  This usually happens if the package has a lot of stuff in it or stuff with a lot of value.

[This happened to Dallen's Christmas package last year.  The post office knows whats in them from the custom documents.  Dallen's package was eventually returned]

This past week I went to the temple!  Going to the temple with the mission president and just getting to converse with him the entire day was such a blast. We went out to eat at Applebee’s and I got all you can eat baby back ribs with all you can eat fries and there they have free drink refills! We talked about the temple and marriage and funny childhood stories! It is such a blast to be able to have a relationship with the mission president and his wife!

On Saturday, we went to the mission president’s house. We had lunch and Sister Silcox showed us how to make cookies.  It was way cool.  It was a little weird too because they have carpet in their house.  It's been so long since I’ve stepped on carpet.  Typically, houses have tile floors here.

I’m doing indexing in Portuguese!  It’s interesting.  After I downloaded's indexing program, its been the hit here in the office.  Everyone is doing it during their free time now.  I think I will turn it into a competition to see who has more points at the end of the month or year. As missionaries in the office we can’t do missionary work in the streets so we might as well do service while we are on the computer!

Elder Williams will be my companion for only four more days. and then it will be just me and Elder Marques.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 82 - Waking up to parrots

[Dallen didn't have much to say this week in his email...  Here is one interesting fact about his daily life in São Paulo]

I sleep in a hammock outside and one cool thing is every morning I wake up to parrots talking

Here is a picture:

A lot of the mission got to go to the temple this week.  I'll get to go soon.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Week 81 - P-day at Soccer Museum

This past week we weren't able to teach much.  We did a lot of moving.  I look forward to going to the temple next week!

I've been making a spreadsheet of the good hospitals in the mission that accept our health plan. I'm giving it to the missionaries so that in an emergency they will know where to go.

Elder Williams and Elder Marques helped a missionary home this past week.  He needs medical attention.  His family lives close enough they travelled by bus.  We'll be taking another missionary to the airport this week.  He is not able to get enough of the medicine he needs so is being released. He'll receive free medical care at home.

Today for our p-day we went to the soccer museum.

Elder Nilson and Elder Marques

Elder Williams

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Week 80 - Adapting to new responsibilities

Working in the mission office is a bit different than what I have become familiar with.  First, I’m in a companionship of five.  Yep! That’s right.  There are five of us working together and I’ve been pretty busy.  Most of the day is spent working in the office.  After 6:00 pm we can go out if the work is done. We were able to go out a couple times this week and are teaching someone.

I shared one of my spiritual experiences with one of the elders. Later, he was telling his companion about it and a lady overheard.  She wanted to know more and was baptized!

Ironically, I’m not getting many emails now that I’m in the office.  I’m on the computer everyday and can read them, but for some reason, emails have decreased.

I’ve been surprised by the number of issues and problems that arise.  I spend a lot of time just trying to solve problems.  I had no idea how many people would call with issues.

This week I had people calling asking for records.  We enter new member information and transmit the data, but for some reason the wards (congregations) haven’t gotten the recent records.

I spent a lot of time helping missionaries move.  

I’m in charge of medical, visas, passports, and taking care of the mission presidents schedule.

I spent a good deal of time taking missionaries to the doctor everyday this week.  Twice, I was at the hospital at 3:00 am in the morning.  One missionary has heart problems.  He lost his medicine and needed medical attention.   We gave him a blessing.  He has been recovering at the mission president’s home and hopes to complete his mission.

Today is my p-day. We woke up at 5:00 am to take a missionary to the doctor.  We sat there for four hours.  Going to doctor's appointments can be tiring. Part of my medical responsibilities are to keep track of everyone’s doctor’s appointments.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week 79 - Serving in Ala Belém

I'm serving in Ala Belém and the São Paulo East Mission office.  My p-day is now on Saturday which means I'll be emailing on Saturday, not Monday.

My companion is Elder Williams. He is mostly from Idaho but I think his family lives in Washington now. We have a devotional with the mission president every morning. This week because of transfers we weren’t able to have it every day.  It was a crazy week. 

President Silcox is amazing.  He doesn’t get angry and is super spiritual. He is a really good guy. He taught at UGA for awhile. We talk about Georgia a lot.

I spent all day Wednesday taking people to the airport.  It was way fun. We took another the other day too. Next week I’ll be taking people to the federal police office for legal reasons. New missionaries have thirty days to register with the authorities. 

Only president and sister Silcox have cars. Missionaries are not allowed to drive in this mission. We call taxis. The mission has a contract with two taxi companies.  We just call them and they take us. I would die if we had to take public transport to the airport. It costs about 80 reis (about $20.00) to go. I met members from all over the world there. We talked to a person from Idaho, Venezuela, and Argentina the other day. We also ran into elders from other missions too. We got to go to the Olive Garden afterwards which was heaven to me!

I had a lot of administrative work to do last night. I was entering all of the recent baptismal records. This took awhile.

Because of  General Conference we will stay in the office for p-day.

In my new area there are some reminders of home.  The mall and airport have restaurants like Olive Garden, Outback Steak House, Johnny Rockets, and things like that and you can get free drink refills there! But, they are expensive.  Plates start at 60 reis (about $15.00). There is a store near our house that sells a lot of things imported from the USA.  I can buy root beer, cream soda, and all kinds of stuff there. The drinks are 4 reis a can (about $1) but things like chips are super expensive. A can of Pringles is 20 reis (about $5). They sell Ben and Jerry’s ice cream too but a tiny container is 30 something reis.

I like sleeping in a hammock. The power is out in our house.  We haven’t had any problems with bugs and I share a small space with six others.  This gives us a little more room.  Its the only place where I can get some personal space and I like looking at the night sky. 

I only have three white shirts left. We live next to Brás which is the largest clothing trade area in Brazil so I hope to find some good deals there. 

I was able to go with some elders the other day because the office work was finished. Normally, we work to 6:00 pm in the office and then go out after that.