Monday, September 26, 2016

Registro - Week 11

Hello parents and people! So... my week:

On Tuesday we visited the two rapazes that came to church last week, João and Mateus. We taught them the Restoration and set a baptism date for the 2nd of October. It was all great! Not too much else happened successfully.

On Wednesday, we did divisions, then we had lunch with Emerson's family (the possum family). It was not possum though, luckily, it was rice and beans with spicy bbq sauce. Heck yeah! It probably sounds like a weird combination but it was good. That was pretty much the only good part of the day because then everything that could fall through, fell through. Even João and Mateus' mom called us and said, "You can't visit them anymore because their dad doesn't want them to." We're not sure why. :( I cancelled the English class, because Wednesday night there was a Noite de Integração at the branch. They had cake and soda - so obviously it took high priority ... I'm mostly kidding about that, but not completely. :) Elder Carlos gave a message about the Good Shepherd. [Click here for the whole story.]

On Thursday, we had lunch with Irmão Rosete which was good as usual. There was brigadeiro de colher, so that was good. (Instead of forming it into little balls, you make it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon, a lot better than going to all that effort making it into neat little spheres.) We visited Viviane after planning. Then we visited two new people, Lincoln and Lydia. Then at night, Denelsa (who is the mom of the girl that's doing piano, they're the ones that got baptized last week) they gave us cake. She has a pharmacy, so all six missionaries went over there and she gave us cake and soda. It was great.

Friday, we started off the day thinking that we didn't have lunch, because there was no lunch on the calendar. So we went and bought pasta and sauce and soda, you know, all the necessities. Then we made lunch and it was good and everybody was full. Then at 1:00, Rosete called to tell us that Christina has got our lunch covered and she's making it so we're supposed to go over to her house. So that was crazy, we went to her house and ate second lunch, like hobbits. And for the first time in Registro, she had ice cream (the one day where we were too full to eat anything else) and so I had to have a lot. :) Then stuff fell through with our investigators, but it was alright.

At the start of this transfer, we had the challenge to read the Book of Mormon before the Christmas conference, or in my case, before November. So I started the first of September and I'm in Alma 27, so I'm a little more than halfway through, I think.

On Saturday, we had lunch with Ronei and Bibi. They're great, they have my kind of humor. :) Then everything fell through again. We had piano class which was fine, just used the church manual. (I don't even think I'd want to teach my kids piano, if they want to learn piano, I'd hire a piano teacher. That probably sounds ridiculous, but I don't think I can teach that well. It's hard for me to go back to basics and see stuff from their point of view.) After that, we did English class, which was good. We did vocab of getting around a city, and Elder Rodriguez drew a city on the chalkboard and we had them give directions to each other to get around the city. That was cool. We tried to visit some more people, but nobody was home. Consequently, nobody came to church today.

Today, church was fine. The hymns were pretty easy, so it was not bad. I'm probably going to have some sort of minor hymn shock when I get to the States and realize there are so many more hymns than in Portuguese and that we sing so many more of them percentage-wise. So even though now I feel I'm pretty good at playing just about any hymn, I'll be in for a big slap in the face from reality when I get to the English hymnbook. :)

Tomorrow we're going to play volleyball for Elder Martins' last p-day in Registro, he's definitely going this transfer, and maybe I'll leave, I don't know what will happen. It's transfer week, and it's General Conference. Big stuff going down. I'm super excited for General Conference, it'll be awesome. I think I'll be able to watch it in English with Elder Rodriguez, he said he wants to watch it in English.

So that is it for me. I hope you guys have a great week and I love you guys. Until next week! Tch-tchau!

This car was one we saw parked outside the civil police delegacy. With a bunch of bricks of drugs hahahahaha. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Registro - Week 10

Hi Parents and Jacob and people! So this week...

We played volleyball on Monday the 12th of September, it was pretty hot and I got a little bit sunburned but not bad. I don't stay sunburned at all anymore.  Maybe I'll get burned for like one day and then the next day I'm fine, which is probably a sign of advanced skin cancer or something like that so I probably shouldn't be bragging about that. :) I got a bunch of lettuce and cucumber and tomato and this one salad dressing that the market had, and I made salad. They didn't have ham and cheese at the grocery store, don't ask me how, they just didn't have it. I'm pretty sure the salad dressing is the rough equivalent of thousand island, which I've never liked, so it's sort of eh... I ate it anyways. I'm craving ranch super bad. Yeah... eating salad this past week has made me crave it like crazy! At the beginning of the week, it was really hot, like hot wind, which is awful, that has not been fun. I think we're into spring officially, maybe.

Wednesday we were walking on the road and saw a market, you know the feira, the market that I've told you guys about? I haven't been to one for awhile but we were walking through one the other day just to see what it had, and they had sushi, because there's a lot of Japanese people here. I thought that was pretty interesting that they had sushi in the market. I didn't get any, but I could have if I wanted to. On Wednesday is was a rapaz-from-the-branch's birthday, Emerson, so we bought some soda and made a cake for him and we took it to his house. Because his family is a bit more...humble, and so we thought it would be good to do that for him. And they have a special kid, he's super cool and funny. At Emerson's house, his dad has this fake pistol that shoots plastic bb's, so we had a little shooting contest. (It reminded me of the Goodman's house, shooting the guns at the little action figures.) We weren't outside or anything, we were in his house shooting at these medals that his kids had earned. Elder Rodriguez is a good shot, and so am I, two for two.

English class went better. I taught a big list of vocab and then we did this game where each person had five seconds to answer, like "Name three jobs." Then they'd have to name three jobs, in English, obviously. Or name three colors, stuff like that, simple stuff. They were all pretty bad at it but at least it got them participating so it was a lot more agreeable. :)

On Thursday, it was planning day. And Elder Rodriguez finished the little penguin sculptures he has made, he painted them. He made a little missionary district of penguins, they're pretty interesting:

I also had piano class on Thursday. I had downloaded the church manual as a PDF then bluetoothed it to her phone, so it was a lot better. The church manual is really good, by the way, if there's anybody that's wanting to learn piano. It's awesome. While we were there, there was this Argentinian gypsy guy, apparently just traveling around without money, so he showed up at the church, walked right in, asked if he could sleep there, so that was awkward. :) Then a bunch of rapazes showed up wanting to play soccer, so we let them. And that was our whole night, we just watched them playing soccer. And also Elder Rodriguez bought pizza because it was his three-month mark, woohoo!

On Friday, we ate a bunch because it was the self-service restaurant that one of the sisters here buys for us, it's all-you-can-eat, so that was great. And Elder Rodriguez made this other Colombian food called arepas, this corn flour thing that you fry, I'm not really sure what it is because apparently it didn't turn out perfect. Maybe he'll do them again sometime. Also on Friday I found out that I was going to talk on Sunday, so that was fun.

On Saturday, it was my one year and nine months mark, which is insane. I had a baptism interview to do at 7:30 in the morning, it's the mom of the girl that's doing piano lessons. It went well. Since we got there early, we sat around at the church and I practiced piano. Then we had a zone conference with President Obata. They had sandwiches and lots of fruit. It was a good conference. One strange thing that happened was that apparently there won't be another conference before the Christmas one I think, so it was technically my last zone conference I guess, so that was strange. So anyways, I had to stand up and give my testimony about the mission and all that stuff, it was crazy, it was a bizarre feeling.

Then we taught English class at the church, which was a lot better. We also did a game where we did a bunch of vocab for describing people, then one person would sit with their back to the chalkboard and then we'd write some sort of character or person on the chalkboard, then the whole class had to describe whatever we wrote on the chalkboard to the person in the chair, and then they had to guess who it was. It went well. Then I did the baptism interview for the girl that's doing piano (so on Sunday, the girl and her mom got baptized). I bought pizza because, you know, one year and nine months. :) And also, Irmão Rosete bought us yakisoba, which is a Japanese noodle thing. So we had yakisoba and pizza, so that was sick.

On Sunday I talked in church about The Music of the Gospel, the old Native American dude that said:
"I can teach you how to dance, but you have to learn to hear the music." 

I'm not sure why, but I still get nervous about talking in sacrament meeting, which is strange, but it is what it is. And finally, two rapazes came to church...finally! The first people that we've managed to bring to church in this area, which is crazy! Their names are João and Mateus - João is 13 and Mateus is 17 or 16. So they came to church and they also came to volleyball on Monday, so that was cool. Then after church, Denelsa and her daughter (which is the piano girl) they got baptized. It was really good. Then it rained a ton, the sky turned just about black at 4:00 in the afternoon, which was crazy.

So on Monday morning (yesterday) we had an old oven that we took to Emerson's family and gave it to them. Then we came back and we played volleyball, from 1:30 until 5:00. We played with an investigator of the other elders and her boyfriend, and then João and Mateus, and also Emerson. It was really fun. Elder Carlos is super competitive, so that was not so fun. :) And also the Assistants [to the President] are in town, so they did a surprise division with us Monday night. I don't like it when they're not surprises, let alone when they was alright though. I went with Elder Sharp, he is going home this transfer. We went to visit a bunch of people but nobody was at home, so we ended up just knocking on doors. We found a piano teacher actually which was cool. Then Monday night I was starving because I hadn't eaten anything since lunch and then we played volleyball and walked around a bunch, so I had a big salad for dinner.

I found some more piano songs to learn. One of them is a really good classical one, by Erik Satie - Gymnopédie No.1. Normally I didn't like classical music but I like this one, it's fun.

Anyways, that was my week! I love you guys, thanks for everything. Until next time!

The shirts got here! Pretty quick really, although I was lucky because there was the zone conference this weekend, which facilitated the delivery significantly :)  They're sweet. I just opened mine to take this picture and send it to you guys, but I won't use it.
[Editor's note: he's bringing 3 matching ones home for the rest of us! :)] 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Registro - Week 9

This week!
So last p-day we did the family night at Franciele's house, it was good. We watched a video of when Elder Wirthlin was speaking in General Conference and started shaking super bad, then Elder Nelson went over and helped him. It was good. And then we ate salchipapas again.

On Tuesday, I was super sore from playing volleyball. I was actually sore for four days this week, it took forever to go away. For lunch, Fabrizio, the lawyer who gives us lunch on Tuesdays, traveled to someplace, so he paid restaurant for us. So that was good, restaurant food, rice and beans.

Wednesday, I bought a new hat. There's a double meaning of rolé. The first is like when you go for a ride with your buddies. The more favela (gangster) meaning of it is stealing. My intention of it is going out with your buddies to ride motorcycles. :)

Wednesday was a holiday, Brazil's independence day, so everything was closed, nobody on the streets, it was very strange because as I recall, whenever it was a holiday in the states, you'd never see everything closed/ghost town, because it's the best day to sell stuff. But here it's the opposite. Same goes for Sundays as well, everything is closed. (Coming from an American more capitalist society, it's very strange.) On Wednesday we had the Book of Mormon reading thing, there were just two youth there, which was fine, it was good. Then Elder Rodriguez made this other Colombian thing, buñuelos, which basically is dough and you fry it.

So on Thursday, it was planning, and we made hamburgers and french fries with barbecue sauce. It was great! I used all my experience from helping Dad on the grill to fry up some frozen hamburgers. :)

I'm studying Spanish with Elder Rodriguez, which he's happy about. We tried to visit some people that are in the area book from other elders, but they weren't home. We visited Viviane. Because she's a teacher, one of her students showed up during the lesson. (We were talking about chastity, which isn't the most... you know... comfortable, I guess.) Anyways, her student showed up in the middle of the chastity lesson and then she actually stayed to listen to the rest of it.

On Friday, Sylvia, who is the wife of Irmão Rosete, she gave us some pasta and some beefs (that's what they say here), so we made that. We visited another person from the area book, she's pretty cool, she talks a lot, and she thinks that we are Jehovah's Witnesses, but that's fine. :) There was a big demonstration in the parking lot of the soccer stadium in front of our house, complaining about the vice president, because Dilma was impeached so the vice president took over, apparently nobody likes him either. So there was this big demonstration, and when I say big I mean like 20 people. :) They were shouting and stuff, so it was an actual protest, which was interesting. We are in the center of Registro, but Registro not close to anything, so I was pretty impressed that there would be any sort of demonstration here.

I've actually started teaching piano, so as you guys know, that means I will be transferred. :) I'll be teaching it twice a week. It is the daughter of an investigator that the zone leaders have, because she wants to learn piano. I'm not super excited about teaching, because I've realized I'm not good at teaching English or piano. Teaching is definitely not a career option for me. :) I told her to download the church manual, because that will make my job a lot easier. I hope nobody else comes. It's bad enough with one student and one piano. After that hour, it was English class at the church, and the English teacher from the adult school came with her son.

Sunday, they called a new district president and they also called a new branch president. So one of the mission presidency counselors was here, and he gave a really good talk about supporting our church leaders, what it means when we raise our hand, and the wheat and tares parable. Then we had lunch with Christina again, so we ate a bunch more jabuticaba. :) After lunch she let us pick just about all of it, so we have a big bag of it here again. It's really good. I'm trying to take advantage of it because I know it's not a state-side thing. Then we tried to visit some more people from the area book, in an effort to try to find some people to teach, but it was in vain.

We're going to play volleyball today, Monday, and we should have a bunch more people to play so we might actually have decent teams, maybe 5 on 5. Oh, there was an emergency transfer yesterday, not sure why, so Elder Batista left. The new zone leader is Elder Carlos, he was my trainee, so that's pretty cool.

Not much else has gone down. I love you guys and have a great week. Tchau!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Registro - Week 8

Hello! I guess we'll start from last Tuesday.  Elder Rodriguez got his hair cut.  I wanted to as well, but I didn't have money, because we only got money on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, I finished writing the little background music thing for Elder Martins game. For lunch, Irmã Elizabete got take-out for us, and she gave us pasta and money for Friday's lunch. I got two new name tags that I ordered with the accent on the E in Élder so they look super cool. There was some pretty big news also that the Church sent out to all the missionaries in Brazil, talking about how we're going to have to have two weeks of food storage and water and gas, in case of political protests. I don't know if you guys have seen any of this, but apparently Dilma (who was the president) left officially, she is no longer the president. I don't know if there will be a bunch of crazy protests and stuff. Also, we went to an activity on Wednesday night which was reading the Book of Mormon with a few members. Not very many show up, but it was cool/chill.

Elder Martins bought pizza to commemorate the death of Elder Martins do Nascimento and the birth of Elder Martins. :)

A week ago when we did divisions with the zone leaders, Elder Batista was here and he burned out the shower again, except this time it was just the resitencia, the little metal part that actually heats it up. So on Thursday morning we bought new things to take hot showers again. We sent the reimbursement for that. I got my hair cut, I'm pretty happy about it. I had not cut it in Registro, usually it's six weeks between hair cuts, but this time was 7-8 weeks, so I was needin' it. :) I made pasta for us two, me and Elder Rodriguez. We did weekly planning. When I went into my email to send the reimbursement for the shower head things, I saw that Sister Hammond had sent my flight itinerary... what? So that's pretty crazy. I must say I'm not looking forward to 17 hours on two planes, that'll be interesting. I understand it's probably cheaper and more convenient to go to New York first, but that seems a little bit ridiculous, that is not close at all! But what are you gonna do? So yeah, that was weird.

The futebol [soccer] activity that we do on Fridays got moved to Thursdays, so we went to that. So last week there were only 4 young men there, and somehow this week, there were 24! Twenty-two of them were not from the church, they were just from the neighborhood, so that is the power of soccer here. I think Emerson invited one of his friends, and then there was this massive chain reaction. So this time it was actually fun to watch, it was a better game.

On Friday, we made a Colombian fast-food thing called salchipapas, which is pretty crazy. We're going to do it again tonight for a family home evening that we will do with Franciele and Mateus and their family.

Friday's lunch was the pasta that Elizabete gave us so the zone leaders came over to our house to eat. Last time they did that they didn't wash their plates, but this time they did so it was better. :) Oh, President Obata called me and he did the interview for my BYU endorsement over the phone, which I was super happy about, because I didn't think he would. So yeah, he got all that sorted I think, let me know if there's something else. It scared my pants off when President called, I was like "Oh dear, what is it now?" but then it was a really enjoyable experience. So I'm glad I don't have to worry about that anymore, I hope.

On Saturday, I finished another song. In the little bits of free time that we get, I'm doing that. We had lunch with Ronei and Bibi, which was good. Also on Wednesday, we were walking around, coming back from sending the reimbursement, and this guy stopped us and he wanted to know more about our message. So that was cool, we got his phone number. So on Saturday, I called him to invite him to go to church, but he couldn't because it was raining. We're having real problems getting people to church. We have not managed to bring anybody to church this whole time that we've been here. I don't know why. It's been raining the past two Sundays, and then that gives people an excuse. So that's another thing that's a little bit frustrating. Normally on Saturdays we do the English class thing, but we went there and nobody was at the chapel to open it up, just the only two kids that do seminary here and the teacher didn't show up. It was raining as well. We visited Franciele's family again.

On Sunday, we had lunch with Irmã Christina, which started late which was perfect because it was fast Sunday. Of course lunch always has to start late on fast Sundays, it's some sort of curse or something. :) But it all turned out okay. We got the keys to actually be able to play volleyball and we invited some members and non-members to come play with us. We visited Mateus and Franciele and their family. We planned a family night that we're going to do. Oh also Irmã Christina has a jabuticaba tree outside of her house, so after lunch, we picked a bunch and it was awesome/tasty.

We played volleyball today [Monday], it made me actually miss the MTC hahaha. Just us 4 Elders and one rapaz [young man] from the ramo [branch]. But it was fun. Probably the only sport I'm actually decent at. Anyways...that is it for me, so I'll talk to you guys soon. Tchau!