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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Week 96 - Preparation day woes.

Since Elder Marques and I work in the office, we have our p-day on Saturday.  Things like real estate agencies and other businesses are only open Monday through Friday and we have to be here to solve anything that comes up. We also need to answer the phone calls.  Rather than a p-day on Monday with the rest of the mission, ours is on Saturday.

We asked the assistants to try and change their p-day to Saturday so we could do things together but they didn't.  A couple of weeks ago they played basketball with President and Sister Silcox.  Elder Marques and I were allowed to play for ten minutes.  P-day alone just has no point.

With all our appointments on Saturday, we don't have time to go anywhere.  Our p-days are never really p-days anyway.  We are always solving and fixing problems.  Somebody always calls. There are often housing and medical problems that need fixing.

I don't do anything with the housing problems. Elder Marques handles all the housing issues.  I handle the medical issues.  Even if I don't have anything on my plate, if my companion does, I need to stay with him until the problem is solved.
In the states, the missions have senior couples that act as the secretaries. Here most missions don't have senior missionaries.  Plus most missions have four secretaries. In our mission it's just Elder Marques and I.

Sometimes, there is little to be done.  I hate staying in the office when there is nothing to do. I just study scriptures all day.  Sometimes I'm so bored.  It's been hot recently, but I would welcome the opportunity to be out in the streets again finding and teaching people.

Today, we woke up at 5:00 to play soccer with the youth and we hope to get away and play with the adults at 4:00. We will have lunch at a wonderful Chilean member's home today.

The Mission President, the Sister Leaders, and the Assistants are working on transfers right now. Transfers are this coming week.

The zone.
There's tons of mosquitos now.  Is the Zika virus a big problem world wide?

Here in South America dogs are like the squirrels back home. They are all over the place.  There are a lot of strays.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Week 95 - Preparation day.

For p-day we played soccer this morning with about ten people. We had lunch at a member’s house. It was really really good. They are Bolivian. She made lasagna but it tasted just like mom's taco casserole but without the crunch! We were there for about two and a half hours.

I fixed some medical problems in the mission and we just got back from going to get açaí with the assistants.

The one thing I haven’t seen yet that I would like to is Aparecida and Our Lady of Aparecida. Aparecida is in the last zone of this mission. Our Lady of Aparecida is the biggest catholic church in South America.

The family we helped last week has disappeared.  We haven’t heard from them at all.  I think something has happened...

Lunch with the assistants and sister training leaders.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Week 94 - The Lord's second coming and serving with love.

We had a conference this past week.  We were told that the end is getting closer and we can no longer hang on the fence. You have to decide who's side you're on.  Elder Nelson gave a POWERFUL blessing to all of us at the end.  He talked about how this is the last time the Lord is sowing his fields. 

Our mission president said we will have a world wide mission devotional on the 20th.  It's going to be about baptizing people who are truly converted. 

Sister Nelson gave us a question to think about to do a self evaluation.  She said what if we told you that the Savior is already here on earth meeting with his true followers in preparation for his second coming?

The mission has had some turmoil lately.  The assistants have been doing splits with the zone leaders all week and there have been several emergency transfers. But everything has been going well overall.

Elder Marques and I were contacting referrals we got from this week. We received ten. Only two really existed.  One was a person who didn't want to be contacted but he ended up taking a Book of Mormon anyways.  He is part of a religious group from Kentucky.  Elder Marques got into this huge bible bash with him and I just sat there listening to them argue for an hour.  Elder Marques tried getting out of it (Contention never produces anything good) but the guy kept poking him.  The man kept sayings things like "You can't defend yourself because you know I'm right."

On the way back this family stopped us and asked if we knew where a church was. They are from the favelas (shanty towns) in Rio.  Rio's accent is really funny! It's a ton of "ssssssshhhh"-- almost like a lisp. The man received a job offer here.  He brought his family but it ended up being a scam.  They lost everything.  He has three kids:  One is five.  One is two and the other is a new born. They were living in the streets because the homeless shelters don't accept families. They would split them up if they went to a shelter.  We gave them some clothes and I cooked them dinner that night. The bishop talked with them and the next day he helped him prepare a job resume. That same day he was hired! I don't know where they are sleeping, but they are super cool and are going to come to church on Sunday! 

We should have a lot of people come to church tomorrow!  Elder Marques and I are going to give talks. He will talk about how members can do missionary work. I'm the last speaker and was asked to talk about serving with love. I've already started working on my talk. I'm going to talk about what is service and the difference it makes when we serve with love.  I'll also talk about the blessing we receive through service.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Week 93 - Fruit smoothies.

I've heard the church is growing in Grayson!  I left on my mission from the Grayson ward or congregation.  I hear I'll be coming home to the Dacula 1st ward.  That's crazy good.  [In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you attend a specific congregation based on where you live.  As the church grows, boundary lines are redrawn and new congregations or wards created.  This just happened in the Lawrenceville, Grayson, and Dacula Georgia area]

Brazilian smoothies and fruit are so good!  I love the fruit smoothies!  I'm the king of banana smoothies.  The bananas don't ripen on the trees, but they are really good.  We are going green in the office.  I use organic sugar and the smoothies are so good.

Dragon fruit smoothie
Dragon fruit

Dragon fruit cut open.
This fruit is called Caju!  ​​The inside is like squishy cheese. You chew it until you get the juice out. The juice is good and makes your mouth tingle.  See the end of the fruit. There is a nut in there.  This is where cashews come from!

The squishy inside.  It is filled with juice.
For p-day, an elder is teaching me origami.  I made a ball with sticky notes, but it took a long time.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Week 92 - Brazilian food, computers, and harmonicas

I've tried some interesting things.   I eat a dish called mocotó.  This is a dish made from the foot of a cow.

I eat feijoada all the time.  I love feijoada! It is Brazil's national food.  The original is made with pigs feet, pigs ears, and pretty much every other part you don't usually think of eating.  Its way better that way. But I don't like to eat the weird foods. Here in São Paulo they have a light version of feijoada. It is made with sausage and chunks of beef jerky.  It is so good.

Brazil's national dish - feijoada - light version

More traditional version

We ate food from Chile this week.  It was good too.  It's not that different from Brazilian.


The computer I use everyday is having problems.  It has been dead all day.   I think it has a bad power supply. Somedays it has a flashing light and wont turn on.  If it starts up, two seconds later it dies. But if I leave it unplugged for a couple of hours it works again.  I need to call technical support.

The assistants computer has problems.  It can't pull up the church internet sites.  We haven't had this problem before.  It just started recently. We reset the router a couple of times but it didn't do anything.  When we move it into our office and tried it with the cables we here, it works just fine.  It may be the cables or the router port it is connected to.  The mission president wants to reorganize the office.  We'll rewire or fix it then.

For p-day we went to a music store and afterwards ate sushi. At the music store they sell Hering harmonicas and they look super nice!! Elder Marques bought a blues one for R$95.

Hey ask grandpa what is the brand of harmonicas he wanted me to look for?

Greensleeves - harmonica Hering A

APACHE des SHADOWS à l'harmonica Hering C

[NOTE;  Mission rules don't allow Dallen to search or watch youtube videos.  The youtube videos were added by his dad]