Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Itanhaém - Week 4

So this week, HUGE NEWS!!! Not really. But, I'm going to try something different.... it's a voice recording! Let me know if you like it!

[Click here]

Raimunda was baptized! Her mom didn't come, the weather wasn't alright for her I guess. Plus, she's completely blind I think.

I said bye to Elder Kagi :( I've been with Elder Gonzalez for the past week, but yes now it's just him. Today is the Cabrals' last day! Tomorrow, the new President will get here and we'll have another meeting in Santos. Our weather has heated up a bit, not too much. More sun and stuff, less rain. Although not miserable, yet.

Best thing from last week...I think maybe the conference.

Que mundo pequeno, né? :D
Editor's note:  This is Dany Matos.  She was friends with Michael's cousin, Redge,
when he was serving in Brazil a few years ago.  Small world!

OH. Actually, on Sunday, we visited Kim Marianno (who you guys should totally look up on YouTube), who is this guy that is crazy about music and is an actual artist. We went to his house, and he has his whole bedroom turned into a music studio! He has a drum set, various guitars, lots of percussion stuff. And on his computer, he has FL STUDIO! :) The pirated version, obviously, since it's Brazil, and nobody buys original (sadly), but still. It was very cool, it's exactly the kind of thing I want to do. Not the same kind of music, but yes. That was cool, he doesn't want to get baptized, but maybe he'll keep coming to church just for the music.

He took a video of me playing All of Me and put it on his YouTube channel:
The worst part [of the week] was, by far, saying bye to Elder Kagi. And watching him pack. It was sad, he was kinda not sure how to feel about it as well.

Yeah...so, next week, I will send you guys a voice recording about President Obata! That should be cool! Also, in August (I think), Elder Costa from the Area Presidency will come visit us. So that should be cool. Thanks, I love you lots!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Itanhaém - Week 3

Raimunda actually put her baptism to this saturday instead, because her 100-year-old mom will be able to come, I guess. I hope. So it'll be Elder Kagi's last Saturday, last baptism...woah. Today, he's in Santos getting interviewed by President and also having lunch with him.

It was hard to adjust to not having any technology. But now...I notice how addicted other people are, even adults and stuff. In church activities, FHEs, everybody is just always on the cellphone. Which is sad. I guess I probably did that too hahaha. But I won't, or I'll try my very best. I have noticed that some of the missionary work stuff is just not as productive as it could be...like having an Area Book is a bit of a hassle on paper, it would be so much nicer to have technology to do that kinda thing for us. Let alone GPS, etc...hahaha.

So one thing interesting that happened this week, was that on Tuesday, President called our whole zone in for interviews. Because they were our last interviews with him as our President! Isn't that crazy?! So he did an interview, and then gave everyone a blank piece of paper, symbolizing the clean slate that we'll have with the new President. And he signed it, of course.

Other than that...nothing super interesting. We found a super good family, Aristides and Graça, they're super family-oriented, which is awesome to see. We're working with them a lot.

And yeah! Elder Kagi will have a lot of stuff to do in Santos and São Vicente, as he's wrapping up. It's crazy. But yeah, I can't really think of too much else that's happening... Um. Nobody has ever showed up to a single English class, in two weeks...which kinda stinks.

AH. There is actually some biggish news that I'm forgetting. Yesterday, there was an emergency transfer. So Elder Gonzalez is coming to be my companion, and so me and him and Elder Kagi will be in a trio until Elder Kagi leaves. My first hispanic companion! Looks like I might actually be able to come home speaking some Spanish! I hope so, anyways. So yeah. He was the one living with us in Enseada. Other than that...I think that's pretty much it. (Oh, and I've officially been here for a sister's mission! [18 months] Woo! :) )

About my dedication...I would say that it has plateaued (that's a weird word) at this point. Probably because I've settled down into a rhythm of the stuff we're supposed to do, and also the mission as a whole has kinda stopped changing a bunch of stuff every two weeks. Since the Cabral's are going home anyways. And I guess everything will change AGAIN when the new President gets here...hahaha. Oh well. It depends on the companion, as well. Some are easier to get along with, and so you have more disposition, and others are harder. But everything feels more stable now. Yes, for sure, there has been a big impact on my life. For example, I don't remember really studying the scriptures, I read every now and then, but it was always on the phone and I never had much to show for it. But now, I really like marking the scriptures (especially The Book of Mormon), and it means that I kinda have more to show from it. That's one thing that has changed a lot. I started reading the Book of Mormon over again at the start of this transfer, marking everything in colored pencil so that it's easy to find, and I just got done with the Isaiah chapters this morning. So that has grown a lot. And I think I've gained just a lot of maturity, spiritual and otherwise. I understand so much more about why the church exists and stuff like that, it's crazy to think what I was like back home. And a lot of it has come from personal study as well. I do have spiritual stories...I just might have to look back in my journals to remember hahahaha. But yeah. With the time I have left...I just want to keep going and grow as much as I can. Just take advantage of everything I can. I can definitely do more than I thought I could :) 

Thanks for everything! Love you!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Itanhaém - Week 2

Man, my hands are so cold when I'm writing this, it's hard to type. It's been cold enough to wear a sweater AND a suit or my big jacket. It's been 15-16 degrees here [60 degrees farenheit], which probably sounds lame to you guys, but hey, it's cold to us Brazilians! I haven't been getting cold at night, because I sleep in a sweater hahaha. And the Sisters that were here left some covers, so if I wanted I could use those. As you know, I left mine behind a long time ago.

So, the Mexican restaurant was closed last week. Sadly. We went to Habib's instead, which is an Arab fast food thing. Really good.

Interesting Sunday dinner was mocotó [cow hoof stew]. Basically we just asked Marta if she could make it, because we had all been wanting to try it. Basically...it's really soft and rubbery kinda, which was the worst part. It's not that I didn't like it, it honestly wasn't bad once you got past the texture, but it's still not my favorite thing to eat. It was good to try it though, a good experience. We sucked the bones and everything. (That phrase sounds better in Portuguese - chupou os ossos).

So, news! We are teaching a Raimunda, who will get baptized on Saturday! It was really cool, we've been praying a lot for her, and then when we made the invitation she said that she would, and she doesn't want to put it off any more. So that was awesome! 

Also, in HUGE news, I got your guys' packages!!! They're amazing! Sorry, I couldn't resist, I had to open them. So thank you so much! 

We also had a zone conference with President, it was cool. I went back to Samambaia for a little bit :) In big news, that was really it. 

Anyways, that's about it for me.  And sorry for the length of this e-mail, my fingers are too cold to type much. I love you! Have a great week!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Itanhaém - Week 1

Living above a store is SUPER convenient. Good grief. Even though it closes early. Everything is close to the house, except the places where we work hahaha. But it's nice. I'll...try to send a house tour video, but it might not be at this LAN House...or this transfer...but this one is only 4 semanas [weeks] so it'll be short. The last day of the Cabrals is the first of July I think, or a little before, not sure. Until the end of this transfer, pretty much, which will end at the end of June.

My companion is Élder Kagi, he is from ENGLAND! Which is awesome. We're getting along really well, he was also a gamer and we have really similar interests/humor. Dunno if that means I have a very British humor, or what, but it's awesome! It's his last transfer as well, so that'll be strange. It's an honor :)

We go to the ward on the road Condessa de Vimieiro or something like that. The other one is Belas Artes. So we're in Itanhaém. I would like you guys to try and pronounce that, hahaha.

Yes, here has a piano, although it is acoustic...hm...I've discovered that I'm a much bigger fan of electronic pianos. Not keyboards, but the super classy electronic pianos. Just 'cause they never get out of tune. But everyone here was really thankful that I got here, since NOBODY ever knows how to play the piano besides me. Actually, on Saturday, there was a wedding that we helped to set up for, and a bunch of people knew how to play piano, which was cool. None of them were members, but whatever :) It was cool, this black dude came up to me, said he was a musician, and wanted to get together to have a jam session or something hahaha. Apparently, he's also going to give me a CD of his stuff, which should be a cool keepsake :) So the wedding was cool, I played as everyone was walking in and stuff, and at the end. It was nice to show off ;)

Alright, I'll try to tell more this time. So I guess I'll start telling about the other peeps here. The other Elders are Elder Gonzaga, a little short dude from Natal with 6 months in the mission, and he's training Elder Hirales, from California (Los Angeles I think, I can't remember), who started 6 days ago!!! It's cool. Elder Hirales is cool. Poor Elder Gonzaga, we end up speaking a lot of English at home and he hasn't learned much yet. But he'll learn ;) Elder Hirales has been telling me a bit about BYU Idaho. We've been kinda lost in the area a little bit, but it's been alright. We had to buy a map and stuff.

Elder Hirales and Elder Gonzaga

Um...we've been teaching this lady called Eliane, who is really cool. She didn't go to church yesterday. But hopefully I'll have more news about her next week.

The best stuff is just being the companion of an English guy. I feel like I was helped a lot by my watching of Yogscast :D But it's cool to know the differences between the States and England. He's just a funny guy. He also drinks lots of tea, and always offers me some...but until now, I've never had tea that I really liked. Maybe there's a good flavor hidden out there somewhere. I'm kinda scared that I'm going to start talking like a Brit now...yesterday, he actually caught me saying "membuh" instead of "memberrrrr" during planning, but it was completely unconscious. Weird, right? I think I tend to copy people's speech a lot. Like that one time I developed stuttering from my best friend in...middle school? That stuttered. Crazy.

Um...what else. We had a zone meeting on Friday, it was cool to see Elder Silvestre and Elder Viana, they're down here now.

I don't know what else. I need to find a recipe for stroganoff here, because I'm addicted. That's what we ate at the wedding. They had actually gotten sealed the day before, so it was just kinda a token thing for the friends or whatever, but it was still cool.

There's a Yamaha motorcycle store right across from the LAN House as I'm writing this, so that's...yeah. You know. Distracting. :D

OHHHHHHH!!!!!!! GUESS WHAT!!! We found...drum roll please........................a MEXICAN RESTAURANT!!! WOOHOOOOOOOO!!!! I'm so happy! It actually might have real stuff there! We're eating there today, so I'll tell you how it is next week. They have burritos and nachos and tacos and quesadillas! But the quesadillas don't come with any sauce, so...that's sad. We might get some nachos or something to share. Also, they deliver, which is INCREDIBLE. Oh mah goodness. Best P-Day ever. So yeah! Expect a Mexreport next week!

[Editor's note:  The pink dot is their apartment above the grocery store, the green is the church.]