Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Brasileiros, Cachorros e Este Negocio Aí... [Brazilians, Dogs ?lost translation? …]

Olá! Bem Vindo semana dois de transferência... Nem sei mais. [Hello! Welcome week two transfer ... I do not know more.]
Here's the story of my life for the week:
So now that everyone knows me here now as the missionary of the desert (I had to explain the definition for a few) I had a few odd questions asked. [People ask me what] odd foods [I have eaten], for example, crickets, ants, wasps, scorpion and for some snake. But that said, people here are trying to figure out who I really am. I'm practically a part of the branch. But still I'm quite removed only because I'm a missionary and not a resident.
Alright, we finally were able to mark a date[for baptism] with one of our investigators. Here in about 3 weeks. We'll be trying to accompany that as close as we can. The deal is he travels a lot. That may be a problem latter, but for now he is alright.
This last week about killed us from the amount of heat the sun wanted to give us. It was made only worse when the wind stopped. And then we had a nasty food surprise when we both ate something that did not agree with us, that resulted in a rather sad day of taking turns. Fortunately for us, we have rain in the coming days to look forward to. That should cool us down a bit.
Sabido, we were walking down the street when suddenly: PUPPY! which was bad! The amount of animals abandoned is a sad number here, and this puppy was just following us. We were walking along the main road and that is a kill-zone for dogs here, so we led him to a side road and when he got there he started following a recycler, at which point we tried to escape, only to have the miserable animal run behind us again. As a missionary you can't do much.
Beyond that, we are having fun finding people, I'm 'relearning' to teach. I'm hoping that this time I'll be able to apply better what I know. That's the trick to all this: application.
This caught my eye this week, Mosiah 3, happy study! Send me what you all find. If you find what in this chapter called my attention, you'll get a brownie point in the next email!
That's all for this week, have a good one!
Elder Joel A. Smith

Brasileiro Samurai Jack!

 From January 18, 2016

Good day! Unfortunately, I did not take pictures this week. It was a busy one and really I don't want to carry my camera where it could be a license to be mugged. But we have some fun stories for the week.
In our many adventures of the area, we went to the home an investigator that is taking forever to baptize! And while there, her daughter was on the computer. Get this, she likes Anime. So while we were there helping and teaching we introduced Samurai Jack. And she started watching. You know, it was like 2005 when that program was taken off the air. I feel old. Beyond introducing it, we couldn't participate in the battles of Jack. Sad day, all will be rewarded in the end.
Ninja, I forgot about that. We have been teaching that funny hand slapping game to the adolescent in our area. Elder Verissimo has not let me win since I started with him. And so that has been fun as we get to the houses, teach a lesson then slap each other’s hands.
This week I had the sad experience to arrive in the home of an inactive member that has family that aren't members that have been disappointed with the experience. The members that have gone inactive have done so because of insensitive remarks about how they have been dressed. The non-members were under intense pressure of the missionaries that worked with them and as they were unable to complete their goals, they gave up. I ask this in humble and pleading note: Please don't cause this to happen wherever you are. Missionaries or member, be sensitive and patient. These people are humble and good. They have their challenges, but instead of doing as these people have done, help me help them. Be an example of the believers and a friend to the humble.
Have a great week! Stay happy, stay firm!
Elder Joel A. Smith

Week 5 Brasil

From Jan 11, 2016

It's been a fun week here in Guarapuava. We had some tense moments, some sad moments and a lot of cool cars. (See the photos below)
I worked and worked and now we're coming to another close of the transfers of the mission. So I'm working with a great house. They are very good a willing to help, and they want to baptize. (as the phrase of the MTC Brasil says "nosso proposito como missionário é BATIZAR!!") I still am convinced that that phrase is still the same in the PMG hand book. (INVITE all to come unto Christ...)
As the adventure in the house continues, we actually managed to launch a small soccer ball out the window, into the back yard of, what could be better, the local bar. It wasn't that hard really, we just were putting around in the house when suddenly.... We discovered the window was open. It's funny to think as Elder Grabski was kind of right in front of the window, the ball still passed by him and into the air. We recovered it, but after two days the ball was in a sad state.
We also have been teaching some fun families. Luis and his family have been less-active since I arrived in Guarapuava, we have been working little by little and at least his oldest daughter has been returning strong, her brother is very excited for a mission the daughter OF THE daughter is STILL running from us. So, I decided to put on a Sasse hat and make her stick around. (Again, photo below.)
Have a good week, stay out of trouble! Until next week!

Chevy SS

Elder A Sasse with Luis

Ford Maverick

Monday, January 4, 2016

WHAAAA....... Brasil 2.0‏

THIS (being the first email of the year) IS BRASIL, after seeing the whole year I now know what to do, what not to do, and in case of emergency what to break.

The week was full of adventures in the rain, and a few of us just messing around. I was quite excited to learn the lessons that I needed. The good news is next year about this time I'll be taking a break; I'm tired about 80% of the time and the other 20% I'm sleeping or doing something active.

So the stories of the week: We are going to be senseless until we get to watch the new Star Wars, and this past week we had a rapid debate about what the first things we'll be doing when we get home. Star Wars marathons was on three of the four lists. We also have this great card game that we all seem to have gotten hooked on. It's like war ...  only with cars, tractors, four wheelers, fish, etc.  It's quite entertaining.

But enough of what happens in the apartment. We have a group of people that have CATS.  (see the photo below) The kittens are crazy. And they sleep on us while we're teaching. We also played volley with our feet in the church grounds, which was really fun. Unfortunately, some of our investigators have been traveling these past weeks, so that's been a true pain. We hope they all come back this week! And then we have some good news, and some bad news, the transfer is almost over (that’s good) the unfortunate part is I've been here the longest, which means that I'll likely be traveling here soon. :..(

So after being awake for half the night (everyone and their dog lets off fireworks on New Year’s, EVERYONE!!) we went to lunch and we found a dog, that happened to fall asleep in the "Idoso" parking space, which is reserved for the aged and disabled. We are still working out if he was really "Idoso" or if he just wanted to wake up closer to the market doors. Then there's the endless churrasco (barbeque)! AND DON'T YOU DARE COMPARE!! We have steak and ribs and all that good meat:  a barbeque isn't anywhere near in the States; hamburgers and hotdogs is a sad comparison.

But that's all for this week, have a great year, enjoy the pictures, and STAY HAPPY!!!!

Elder Joel A. Smith

A very tall Lamanita (Lamanite)

Dog in the Handicap Space - After New Year's

Hanging in the Church Courts (Man, I'm White!)