Monday, January 26, 2015

Olá os amigos!

So my week has been crazy as normal. My feet and all are having fun now and I'm probably the first missionary to be authorized to wear tennis-shoes normally for a few weeks. [He has had a rash of some type on his feet and hand for a few weeks, for which he is getting some treatment]. As promised, my camera is fixed and I'm back to taking photos.

So, today we're in the middle of a transfer and my friend and district leader is getting transferred to another part of the mission. (Hope you're ready Élder Crabb!) And with the end of this transfer, ends the endlessly fun phone calls that begin with "fala faca cega!" Which means dull knife here ... or something to the effect of that. I'm going to miss the banter in the district here.

FUN STORIES, WOO HOO!! So we got a reference from Germano, and in one week that reference turned into a baptism for next sexta-feira (Friday). It's really fun teaching her because she already knows the answers when we ask them. (I personally think she is cheating and reading the Pegar Meu Evangelho [“Preach My Gospel” book] her aunt has in the house.) But she is really ready for baptism, and I'll probably be doing the confirmation for that. 

My bet with my Companion (Élder R. Lima) is kind of fun, but I think he's going to win in a day or two. I agreed with him that every time I conjugate or say the word "usar" [use] with a mistake I have to count, and if I get to seven, I have to buy him a milkshake. Yep, that happened. I'm currently at six.

Isalino, another story, is a great member. His wife and kids are recent converts, but he was less active for a long time after his mission. Now he's giving us a lot of references! We have now 2 ready people that we're teaching and one more probably tonight that are because he's inviting them to "Noite familiar" (family home evening). We are really excited for this. But as usual my companion makes the jokes: If all members of the church were as Isalino, the devil would have no power over the hearts of men.

That's my piece for the week! Tchau! Élder A. Smith

Side Note: We asked Joel why he was signing his name last week and this week as “Elder A. Smith.” This is his response: So, besides the fact that my first name here is "Élder", I actually did get a Troca de Plaqueta (switched name tag). My name is now literally that: Élder A. Smith. I found out why too, we have two other Smith's in the mission and in order to prevent confusion for the president, we have different names in the mission. But, for your enjoyment, everyone always asks because my name is A. Smith, and always they think it is very cool that the name of my father is George Albert Smith [the name of one of the latter-day saint prophets]. Brazilians …

Elder Lima and Elder Smith

House in Campo Comprido: Looking from study to kitchen

Hallway in house

Joel's desk in study room

Kitchen in house

Laundry room

Study room


Monday, January 19, 2015

Meu "Freaking" companheiros‏

Olá e bom dia!
So the title has a back story: Every single Brazilian missionary knows one phrase in inglês, “My Freaking (fill in with a random object in Português),” which actually is really funny in the accent here. But that's really a stretch for me to try to give the accent in an email.
So, this week went really... well, sub -average for me. With the transfer, my new companion and I have to come up with a teaching method that works for us both. Sounds easy, for you more experienced missionaries you know better! IT'S HARD!! With my trainer it was easy, he gave me words, and I said them. Nice, now I have words to use, now I'm trying to switch things up and use new words to explain the same thing. Then transfers!!! Yay, new companion! And he uses words I have never heard before... Elder, where are we in the lesson? This makes things fun. I have to make mention that I love my new companion for the small fact that he teaches me new words all the time and is really good a teaching the conjugations of a word. But lessons... Nossa! Como sim rapidás? Difícil.
A historia da Semana! Minha câmara recebeu uma virus. So sorry, this week due to technical difficulties, no pictures. But this week I have a clean slate to continue. The week went really well for introducing my companion to the area and the people we're teaching here. No big surprises, and everyone is reacting the way I expected (which is easy for me to explain.). Now, we have this great investigator (Andre) who we've been teaching for a while now. In the past when we tried to convidar-lhe for baptism he said he wanted to wait for a year, learn more, then if he got a responce to his prayers, he'd get baptized. (WHAT?!?!) After transfers, and fortunately my companion now has a scripture that explained exactly what we needed to respond to how the spirit feels. He now recognizes his responce and he'll get baptized on 31 of this month!!
We also had a investigator fall into our path por meio member of the ala. Germano, a recent convert, went to the praia (beach) and met Tamires. Okay, no big deal. Shared the Gosple, and found out she lives in our area... and after one visit with Germano she's committed to be baptized on the same day as Andre. The church is true guys. Milagres acontecer.
That's all I have time for this week, and as my companion says with a thick Brazilian accent: the church is true, the book is blue. Tchau!
Élder A. Smith.
PS. As a rule of the mission: do not tentará conversar com amigo after I send emails, I will not be able to respond until the next week.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hi from Campo Comprido

So this transfer, believe it or not, we pretty much knew that my trainer (that's right, good old Élder Cavalcante) was getting transferred. He's been here for six months now, so he was bound to leave soon. However, this means I now have a new trainer [companion]. And for the first time, I have someone next to me that I can actually use as a leaning post. I'M KIDDING! Élder R. Lima, he's from way up north, and he today (Quase 32 C) [89 degrees] is wearing long sleeves.  I don't understand this madness! He'll be great. He's really animated.

So after this transfer of speaking a lot, getting new people to talk to and finding new roads to "knock", my trainer, and frankly, good friend is going to be the branch president in a brand new area that was closed for a while. Eu Espero por quando nos encontramos de novo Élder Cavalcante! Boa Sorte! Oh, também, tenho photos por você aqui!

Other than that, I found that finding people to talk to is one thing, getting back to them another day is so hard... just because those times that we'd have other plans are the times that new people are able to meet with us! AHHHH!

My normal day starts with me getting out of bed, saying a prayer and exercising for a 40-minute period after which I shower, then have a piece of bread and start planing/ studying for the day. After all the planning/studying I do, we go for almoço (lunch) which is really good, just because the members make it and I don't.  After that, we work. "Knocking" doors, and getting in sometimes, talking with people on the street, and then the lessons: normally mais tarde. But when I come home, dead tired note (I walk for more than 4 miles normally in a day) I'm glad to shower then read a short scripture with my companion about faith, then sleep! Church is going better now that I understand more. And the mission president of the area is a lot like Dad ... minus one thing. Dad still has a few dark hairs. No more baptisms, but in the next couple of weeks you're going to hear a lot about Gabriel and Maria, they're almost ready. 

Penguin made out of ? eggplant?

Elder Cavalcante with cake

Elder Smith with friend

With friends

"Go Forward with Faith"
What muscles!

Farewell to Elder Cavalcante


Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year

Sorry I don't have time to write a big message today; my week went well and I’m happy. Here's the photos of the week! And please, if you visit here don't make the same mistake I did and forget an umbrella!

So personal experience this week, it rains a lot here, but we have a more interesting occurrence that causes some amusement to me when it happens. Okay. Encountering drunks. They're funny but also dangerous. Had a close call with one this week; he was standing in front of a less active member's home and we wanted to go teach her. This guy was lost, so we gave him directions and a card to call if he wanted to learn more, (the whole time he was asking for money, where the bus was, etc.) then we walked a little way down the road and returned a little later. But I had the thought: aren't we all like this guy once or twice in our lives? We don't know where we are, we have nothing, and we need someone to find us and point us in the right direction. Just a thought for the week.