Monday, April 25, 2016

Enseada - Week 6

      Magda Ribeiro sent these pictures and this message:
      Depois do nosso estudo do livro de Mórmon o jantar ficou por conta deles: Élder McCain, Élder Bratsman e Joel Ribeiro e o menu foi: Biscuits with gravy e pancakes with mapple, PARAAA TUDOOOO QUE ISSO É ESPETACULAR!!!!
      [After our study of the book of Mormon dinner was on account of them: Elder Mccain, elder bratsman and Joel Ribeiro and the menu was: biscuits with gravy and pancakes with maple syrup, that's awesome!!!!]

The pancakes were dope :) Especially after I added melted butter to the syrup...oh mah goodnus. So good. Super terrible for you, I'm sure, but it was awesome. It even turned a syrup-color, which was nice. And thickened up a bit. I think I'm about 70 kilos [154 pounds] now, maybe a bit less.

Something I learned this last week...I'm not sure. Hm. I'll get back to that. 

Worst thing, was that on Friday's district meeting me and McCain got lost on the bus, so we got to the 9:00 meeting at 11. Needless to say, after it was over :) Which was kinda embarassing. I never know how to spell that word. Anyways, yeah that was pretty bad. The best part was definitely the visits with Magda. I just can't get over how awesome their family is :) 

One of my favorite phrases in Portuguese... why so many hard questions? :) I like a lot of the slang. E aí, beleza? [And there, beauty] Or another one is "ah, vai tomar banho!" [Oh, take a bath] It's...hard to explain how you use it. [Dayne says it's kind of like buzz off.] Some of my favorite frases, anyways.

We...speak kinda a lot of English, but always at home. On the road, I make Elder McCain speak Portuguese. :) But we should speak Portuguese more at home too. It's hard when they don't really want to though. I think that was what helped me most, is that I always tried to speak Portuguese in the beginning. 

Um...what else has happened...not too much really. We're going to baptize Magda's mom this Sunday. Which will be stake conference actually, my 2nd in the mission! So that'll be cool. Other than that...nothin' crazy. Everything is going well over here. ... Have a great week!

Playing the piano for zone conference (photo from Sister Cabral)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Enseada - Week 5

Yep, I stayed! Elder Melo went to Samaritá, my 2nd area, which is cool (I gave him a letter to take to Cristina, who apparently is less-active :/) So Elder Farias is going to train AGAIN, and Elder McCain is now my companion!!! Really awesome! Also kinda weird, I'd never heard of that happening, but it's awesome! It was sad to see Elder Melo go though.

with Elder Melo

My biggest blessing of the week...was...lots of pacience (sp? that looks wrong...oh, PATIENCE, whoops), I mean patience, to deal with Elder Farias, he just treats us like little kids and thinks he's so much better/more righteous/more spiritual than everyone, just always trys to find faults in what you're doing and then throws the handbook/PMG at you to try and get you to stop. It's super obnoxious. 

I think there have been times when I have really felt the spirit, but that's not common. Usually it's just that everything that you teach goes well, and they accept and understand, and then you're like "hey wait a second, how did that happen?". that's usually how it is. 

[About the impeachment of the Brazilian president] No, there weren't any riots here. Just lots and lots of fireworks, hahaha :) I think lots of people here don't like her. 

Breakfast has been the protein thing when I do a more "workout"-style exercise (sp, again?), or cereal when I don't :) Man, I love cereal. Here, I buy a cereal called Nescau. like...little chocolate balls. Idk. Kinda like Reese's Puffs but with only chocolate?  

Nope, no cockroaches in our penthouse :) Just kidding, it's not a penthouse. But no cockroaches, which is way more important. Just little sugar ants. 

No, we don't sleep in the hammock usually :) Just chill.  I've only slept in the hammock once, just cause it's so darn hot. :/ It's been like 17 days without rain I think. When it's colder though, I'll definitely be sleeping out there. I can't wait for winter hahaha. And then I'll come home to winter, I'm so excited :D 

The work is going well, I don't really know the area too well, because last transfer I mostly just followed my companion around, but now I guess I'll have to learn it haha. In this area, we're doing a lot better working with the members. So how that works is we mark a day to go out (I can't think of the English translation, sorry...I don't mean like a date haha) with a member, and then that member takes us to his/her friends and the other people they know. And then we just continue teaching! It works pretty well. We still knock on doors whenever an appointment falls through, but it's always like a plan C.  

So, news from this week, is we had the baptism of Adriani! Who is actually a guy, unlike the name leads you to believe! Anyways. The baptism after church was a huge mess. We were filling up the font, it got to the second step, and then the water ran out. How does that happen?! That was at like 11:15ish. So we had to start using buckets from the bathroom. Getting all sweaty and stuff. Then, we noticed that it didn't seem to have any effect, and in fact the water was going down! Which it was, very slowly! I'm still not sure why it was draining. But anyways, the bishop did the baptism, and he just sorta kneeled down and then Adriani sat down and then just laid down :D Which was pretty funny. They had to do it 3 times, just cause there was always a part sticking out because of not much water. But, Adriani has spine problems, so this was probably Heavenly Father's way of protecting him! Pretty cool. So yeah, that was my big week story. 

Sorry, running out of time :/ But yeah! I love you lots!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Enseada - Week 4

This week...went by really fast. It was the penultimate week, because this transfer is only 5 weeks long. And then a transfer of 6 weeks, and then one of 4, and then President Cabral is leaving! Crazy, right?

On Thursday, we had a conference with the Cabrals about that missionary transmission that happened back in January, it was pretty good. Other than that...not too much. Normal week. 

Me and Elder Melo have really been getting along, it's nice. Lots of jokes and humor, it's been a nice change. Well, last transfer was good with that too. But still. It makes a difference when you get along. And Elder McCain has been telling me all about the story he's writing. It's AWESOME. He's a really good author. But I'm sworn to secrecy, unfortunately :) I'll get an autographed copy when he's famous though. He's been a good friend too. He's getting better, he's learning quick. Well, it doesn't seem like that, but when he looks back he'll realize that it was fast. And this has made me more grateful for my trainer, Elder Richards. He was always really good about helping me with the language and the inherent difficulties of a mission. Something that Elder McCain's trainer...leaves something to be desired. He just doesn't understand/try to help Elder McCain with that kind of thing. Which frustrates me. But I guess it was meant to be. 

The worst thing about this's been so hot. Seriously. It's an oven here. It's been completely sunny for the last week probably, if not more, without rain. It's awful. I'm getting sick of it, I'm ready for winter to get here.

The best thing...has been just the getting-along-ness with me and Elder Melo. I don't get stressed out as much. And getting along with Elder McCain too, he's funny :) We don't get along with Elder Farias (Elder McCain's trainer), but...I don't know. He's just not that easy to get along with. I'll try to do better though. 

Anyways, that was pretty much my week! Any questions? :) Have a great week! I love you more than coxinha! :D Which is a big deal, trust me ;)

The view from the apartment's balcony

Monday, April 4, 2016

Enseada - Week 3

Yeah, conference was dope! :) Maybe not the most appropriate adjective, but anyways. I watched all in English, the whole stake had to go to the stake center to watch it, so there were 9 Americans in one (very hot, not well-ventilated) room watching. It was awesome. One day, one Elder made donuts which were pretty good, and then on Sunday two of the sisters made American pizza! Which was awesome. Sister Kendall from Idaho and Sister Anderson from Utah, who was in Samambaia with me. I really liked Elder Ballard's talk about the councils, it's good advice. And of course President Uchtdorf. Idk when we'll watch the priesthood session though. And I loved President Monson's talk. It was so awesome. I wish it was every weekend.

Alrighty, where was I? My biggest blessing of the week was conference. Just being with Americans is super awesome, and the sisters that made pizza are super funny, so that helped me de-stress a lot.

Best moment with my companion... why are your questions so hard. I don't know! We're really getting along, so we are just always kinda joking around with each other and with Elder McCain. It's awesome. So there's more lots of small moments. About a prayer [being answered]...I'd say it's along the same lines. Nothing super big, but lots of small ways. Just little things that work out when I didn't think they would, etc. It's hard to explain.

Anyways, I think that's about it for me. Nothing super exciting happened this week. Although we went to McD's on Thursday because the member gave us 50 reais for lunch. So that's awesome :)

Elder Bratsman