Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012

Hello Family!
Looks like you guys had a fun week, with injuries and all! I've actually been thinking a lot about Grandma and Grandpa (on both sides), and it would be really nice to hear from them. Could you give me their email addresses so I can send them an email next week? 

This week was pretty good. We had two baptisms out of the originally planned 3. The third decided to drink and smoke a ton this week, and when we went to his house to do the baptismal interview, he was drunk. Sooooo he will have to wait a bit longer. But with time he will come around to his senses.

Not much really happened this week... More lessons and things like that, and more of the usual missionary working. But, along with a lot of walking comes some things that aren't so good sometimes. I've been having a lot of pain in my left foot this week, and it feels like the tendon is not happy. But I've been taking ibuprofen and I have icy-hot patch type things, so it's all good. 

Annie - One thing that helps a lot of the people here that I've been talking to that smoke or something like that, is reading the book of Mormon. Just one chapter a day, or even one verse a day will help a lot. I can assure you that you will be more happy and more able to quit that smoking thing. We have a member here who almost died because of how much he was drinking, and it wasn't until he almost saw his dad die from the same thing that he finally decided to stop. But the one thing that helped him most was the Book of Mormon. He testified the other day to an investigator of the power of the Book of Mormon in helping with addictions, and I know that there is no other thing on this Earth that can help more. It would be even better if you started reading it as a family every day like we always tried to do!

Well, I hope you all have a good week! I really enjoyed the pictures! I love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 21, 2012

So this week has been a bit interesting. Reeeaaallly up and down. We ended up having 3 baptisms out of the original 6 that we had planned. One that fell through was the dad of the Barbosa family, and he ended up getting home from work on Saturday and going straight to the bar and drank and smoked for quite some time. We visited him last night and he's dedicated to fixing what he did and to being baptized this week. We took his cigarettes from him, and he's working with a member of the ward right now so that should help a lot. 

Another one was a 13 year old boy who is the president of the student body at his school, and he has a really strong testimony of the things that we have taught, but after his baptismal interview on Thursday he was talking with his dad (who was drunk at the time), and his dad said that he couldn't go to church anymore, couldn't meet with the missionaries, and couldn't have a Book of Mormon in the house for at least one month, maybe more. We went and talked to him, his name is Herisom by the way, and he started crying because his dad won't let him do any of this even though he knows it's true. It was really sad to see this all happening, but Herisom promised that after his dad forgets about all this, he'll search out the missionaries and say that he wants to be baptized. So there's still hope for him!

The last one that fell through didn't actually fall through. His name is Lucas, and he's the brother of a kid that we already baptized. He was going to get baptized this week, but his family couldn't be there for the baptism, so they decided to reschedule it for this week. He should be baptized along with his little sister, Julia. With them three baptized; Rodrigo, Lucas, and Julia; there's only the Mom, older sister, and the older sister's boyfriend left. Only Rodrigo, Lucas, and Julia have gone to church already, but the others said that they will this week. They want to watch the confirmation of Lucas and Julia, so they should be there for sure. 

So we have at least 3 more baptisms planned for this week! We'll see how things go!

So I found a trombone on the internet to buy, and it's only R$800. I can have it sent to the Mission Office, and they'll get it to me from there. I'm really excited to have a trombone again! Hopefully it all works out!

Looks like you all are having fun with Disneyland and all that! How is Annie handling the trip? Is she still holding strong?

I love you all and I hope you have a safe trip back home!


Elder Hopper #1

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 15, 2012

It looks like your Mother's day was pretty fantastic! I'm glad you were able to relax a bit and had a good time.
Oh, I've got some good news... Turns out I can talk on Google+ for as long as my heart desires on Christmas and Mother's Day. It's just if you call on the phone that you can only be on for 1 hour because it generally costs a ton. But since Google+ and Skype are free, we can be on for as long as we want. So on Christmas Eve we can talk for longer! Good thing I found this out after I was done talking to you guys...

Yes, I did take money out of my account. That sounds about right to the amount. We're trying to find me a trombone today, and then we'll go barter and try to buy it at some point later. I might actually buy one online, since they have a website here called merkadolivre that you can buy stuff for really cheap. It's kind of like eBay, but without the bidding part. But just let me know if there are any more changes in the amount.

So far we've only had 6 baptisms, but we have 5 more (possibly 6) planned for this weekend. I'll let you know next Monday how things went!

So this week... I was transferred to the area Jardin Jandaia on Monday, and stayed there until Friday morning. I got a call Thursday afternoon from the mission president, and he said, "We're going to have a re-transfer!" so I went back to Ipiranga. My companion here is the same one, Elder Henrique. He was having some health issues the week that I was in Jandaia, and the elder that was with him was just making everything a ton worse for him, so President had me come back here to help out Elder Henrique. Looks like I'll be here in this area for at least 2 more transfers, at least one with Elder Henrique, but we'll see how everything turns out in the end. I might become the senior companion at the end of the one or two transfers that I'm here with Elder Henrique, also. 

Well, I think that's everything. I love you all! 


Elder Hopper #1

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012

So many good things happening at home! Such exciting times ahead for everyone. Sounds like the ward will be quite a bit different when I get back, but for every bad thing that happens, another good thing happens. Did we only lose part of the ward and not gain any ground? It'd be cool to get to know some new people, too.

 This week was pretty good. The Barbosa family (the one with the three girls and mom that we baptized) had some good progress this week. The dad of the family decided that he wants to be baptized and that he would go to church. He had been saying he would go to church for a while now, but this week he actually did! But we visited him after church around 6, and he had been drinking and smoking after church that day. Also, to add to the bad news, I was transfered to another area, so I can't be there to teach him anymore. Gleon is his name, by the way. He was talking and said that he wants me to baptize him, so probably me and my new companion will go to his baptism since I'm in an area that neighbors the area I was in. But the whole family is happy now because he went to church and has a huge desire to change things that he had been doing.

What else happened.... This week felt like it was super long. But I can't remember anything that really happened... Oh! We met a kid who is the student body president at his school this week. We were walking in the street and he called to us and just wanted to talk for a little bit, and we started talking about what we do as missionaries, and he asked if we could share a message with him. We taught him about the restoration and asked him to read the Book of Mormon and pray, and he told us that he already believed that it is true, but he still prayed about it. He told us the next day that he had a dream that night where he was walking in the street with his family, and they were walking to a different church when he heard a voice telling him to take his family to our church instead. The voice told him that the LDS Church is the true church and that he should go there and bring his family with him. That day we asked him to read Lehi's dream, and the next day when we talked about it, he said that Lehi's dream was a lot like the one that he had. He has a baptismal date for the 19th, so I won't be able to be there. Unlesssss Gleon gets baptized that day, and then I will be there to baptize Gleon and everything will be good!

 My new area is Jardim Jandaia and my new companion is Elder Cavalcinti. He's Brazilian and doesn't speak English, so it should be fun! But I guess we live in a really big house with 2 other companionships, so it should be pretty cool. 6 missionaries in the same house! This transfer should be fun.

 7:00 should work for me for Sunday. I will still call you on Saturday night probably (Saturday afternoon for you) on your cell phones and try to confirm plans. I have all your numbers memorized still, so I will not have a problem getting a hold of one of you! I can't wait to talk to you all!

 Anyways, I love you all! I hope everything goes well with the trips and surgery plans and fixing all the things around the house!


Elder Hopper #1