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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Week 100 - Shopping.

This morning, I was at the airport with a missionary.  A sister missionary was having medical problems and needed to go home for treatment.

I think I’ll be doing my last bit of gift shopping today.   I’ll pick up an harmonica for Grandpa if I can find one at the right price.  Last p-day, I went to an old antique store and bought some antique Brazilian things.  There aren’t that many things I can find that are Brazilian here in São Paulo.  In my area, the culture is too diverse.   I can find tons of Bolivian or Chinese things.

The food is a Bolivian dish.  I have no idea how to spell it.  But, if I was to sound it out in English it would be “Chan-cho.”  It’s pork with Bolivian corn.  The kernels are bigger then quarters!  The drink is a peach juice with cinnamon.  It’s super super good.  I also bought key chain llamas for everyone when I get home.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Week 99 - Pondering

I have had some really neat studying experiences recently. With Elder Hirst doing a lot of the office work, I can study.  I find cool little things all the time. I’m in 3rd Nephi and I was reading in chapter 17 verse 3 where Jesus tells the Nephites to go home and to pray and ponder about the things which He taught them that day.

Sister Silcox is always talking about how President Silcox has such a great knowledge of the gospel. For the last twenty something years he wakes up at 4:30 am everyday to study for three hours.

I had some time so I went and talked with President Silcox about the verse.  I asked him how he studies and specifically about pondering. President Silcox told me when he reads something he can’t understand or he has a question he can’t get out of his head he’ll spend sometimes weeks just thinking about it non stop.

I’m the opposite. I’ll find something and I’ll think about it, but then my mind starts to wander. President Silcox uses to study all the time. It’s a site that shows all the talks a general authority used a given verse of scripture. So I checked it and out and found a talk.  Apparently there is a gift of pondering.

I pondered the scripture more and more.  What later stood out to me was how the Savior tells them to prepare their minds for the next day.  So that’s what I have been trying to do.  I prepare my next scripture study the day before and my study is a lot better now.


This week has been crazy busy. Lots of traveling and police station stuff. Brazil keeps changing how they are renewing the visas and it just gets more complicated. Now we have to take the visas in 90 days before the year date of when missionaries entered Brazil. One day earlier we can’t renew the visa. One day later we receive a fine. It’s a handful.

We still have to do peoples CPFs which we haven’t even started. There is lots of medical stuff.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Week 98 - CPF cards

My companion, Elder Hirst, is awesome!!  I love him.  He reminds me of my cousin Christian.  We played soccer this morning. We plan on going to a members house to play war (a Brazilian version of Risk) and then Elder Hirst and I will go gift shopping. I got some cool hand crafted lama things from the Bolivians. They are super cool. I’ll try to send a picture. My camera’s battery has been dead for a week and I’ve been so busy I haven’t charged it yet.

This super big problem came up. All foreigners have to get something called a CPF.  It’s like our social security card.   There is only one place in our mission where we can go get it done.  I’ll probably have to travel the entire rest of my mission helping the missionaries get there CPF.

We need to go to a place called the Poupatempo.  This is where people go to get their drivers license and things like that. We have to go there to get our CPF cards except because we aren’t Brazilians we have to go to an office that is like linked with the federal police.  There is only one in our mission boundaries.  So I have to plan out how to get people out in the middle of no where to this place and back. Its going to be super expensive and complicated but I don’t think we will have the option to not do it.

I don’t have one yet.  I have my RNE which is like an identification card. CPF is literally like a social security number and we need it in order to use our new health plans. We have to bring original documents.  Missionary original documents stay locked up in the office because it’s a mission rule. That’s why I’ll have to travel. I’ll need to bring them their documents as they register, pay to get it done, and then we will have to go to Itaquera to finish the process and pick up their card.  I don’t know how long it takes because I’ve never done it.  I’m in the process of doing it. But the post office says after applying for it we have 90 days to pick it up.  If we don’t get it within 90 days, we will have to start over again.

To register for the card is only 7 reis, but that is just for the CPF processing.  Traveling and getting everyone to places is what’s going to cost an arm and a leg.  There are approximately 70 foreign missionaries in our mission.

We’ll use trains and mass transportation.  We may even rent a bus or something.  I don’t know yet what will be most cost effective.  I still need to plan it out with the mission president.

New missionaries will have to do this once they arrive too.  They can’t do it before their arrival. Elder Hirst will help all of the new missionaries after I leave.

I had some wonderful spiritual experiences this last week, but don’t have time to write about them now.  I’ll write about them later.

Elder Hirst, Elder Martins and I are doing “Insanity” in the morning and evening.  It is super hard. I’ve been losing weight.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Week 97 - New missionaries!

Things are going well!  We have been super busy and it has been crazy here.  We have been swamped with things to do.

My new companion, Elder Hirst, is great.  He’s pretty cool and fun.  He is from Illinois.  I’m training Elder Hirst to take over my responsibilities.  My former companion, Elder Marques, is training his replacement too.

I train by first explaining what we do and why.  Then I show him.  Then I let him try and if it’s something we can do together, I do it with him.  When I was trained, I was shown what to do and then turned loose on everything.  I think it is better to work together if possible.

We took several missionaries to the airport this week.  That was weird.  I had to say goodbye to Elder Homer and Sister Andrade.  That was pretty hard.  We were all so close.  It is different with them gone.  It’s just not the same.

We received a lot of new missionaries.  A new missionary arrived from Georgia on Tuesday. He is from the Sugar Hill Stake.  His family lives near Lake Lanier.

President Silcox is changing everything in the office.  The office layout has changed.  How we do our work has changed.  We won’t stay in the office anymore on our p-day except to email home. Once we email, we will lock up the office.  He is trying to reinforce the idea that the office is not our home or a place to hang out.  We won’t even eat here anymore.

I still haven’t heard anything from Utah State University or Brigham Young University – Provo. Utah State sent me an email about how they were behind schedule and it will probably be awhile before I hear anything.  I’m not sure where I’ll do my undergraduate study.  Brigham Young University – Idaho has accepted me, so it may be there.  I would start April 18th at BYU-I.