Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 26, 2012

Soooooo this week was pretty... Interesting? It seems that everything is against us in this area. Almost all of our appointments are still falling through, and the people that we have been teaching are telling us that they don't want to learn anymore. So we lost a couple of investigators this week, and not many others have been joining the ranks. But! This week we have an activity in the ward which should be super fun. It's a dessert night. So all the members will come and bring desserts for everyone to eat! And the missionaries get to go as well! So we'll get super fat that night! Yayyy!
But a little bit did happen this week at the beginning. On Monday night we went to an investigator's house, Sônia and Benedito, who we have been teaching for a long time. When we got there, the daughter, Julia, was outside with a bunch of kids from her church that were pretty much all crying. So we say hi to everyone, walk in, and see Benedito throwing a bunch of stuff into the back of his semi (he owns two semi-trucks). He starts saying something about Sônia and Julia going to Leme (where Sônia's family lives) for a few days and says that they'll be back. But he's throwing all of their stuff in the truck. Including their beds, sewing machines, and all of their clothes. Sônia showed up at this point, and told us that she's moving to Leme with her parents and taking Julia with her, and that Benedito would stay here in São Carlos. They decided that they were going to separate. We talked to them for a while, and found out some very personal things about them.... But in the end, Sônia still left to go to Leme. The next day, I visited Benedito with Anderson (the one that sent the invites on the face place and Skype) and we talked about things that he needed to do to fix all of this. So he went to Leme the next day, asked for them to come back and took them out to lunch. Sônia and Julia ended up coming back on Wednesday, and now everything is good! Sônia has been talking about wanting to go to the temple and get sealed with her family there, but they still need to get legally married in order to be baptized! Hopefully this week we'll know more about the marriage and all the papers that have to be done. And this week Sônia and Benedito are going to the dessert night at the church and we're going to make a cake with them to take there! Should be fun!

So my memory card for my camera is almost completely full... I've got about 15 more pictures that I can take. But there's something wrong with the card and you can only get the pictures off of it with some programs.. Windows isn't letting me take them off. Sooooo Dad can figure that out when I send the card home! I just need another one to take it's place!

Today we're going to make Torta Paulista again! It's sooooooo goood! I'll have to try and make some when I get home for you guys because it is AMAZING!

Well that's about all for this week! I love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1 (It works this week!)

P.S. Send me letters! And remember that you have to put more than one stamp on it for it to get to me!
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Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

Mais uma semana!

So I appear to be really concentrating on music lately... I'm not sure why. Last night we got to watch the celebration for President Monson's 85th birthday. The music... Oh my goodness. I LOVE the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra. It was so good to be able to go and listen and feel the spirit. Plus I know two people who were in the orchestra! That was pretty cool.

This week was really kinda hard for us. We had a really hard time finding people to teach... Everything was falling through. And I mean EVERYTHING. We had a multi-zone conference on Thursday, so that was pretty cool. They talked a lot about health and things that we need to be doing to make sure that we stay able to work and do everything that we have to here. So me and my companion have decided to start exercising more and to take our health more seriously. So we're starting to try and eat more healthily and be more clean! I guess the sour patch kids for breakfast today wasn't too great of an idea... But we're eating more fruits and everything! 

I had a couple of scriptures that I wanted to share with you guys, but I don't remember what they say... So I'll give you guys the references and hope that you can receive your own personal revelation from them!

Mosiah 2:41 -
41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and ahappy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are bblessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out cfaithful to the end they are received into dheaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

 and D&C 130:20-21 -
20 There is a alaw, irrevocably decreed in bheaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all cblessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any ablessing from God, it is by bobedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

Looks like all is well at home. It's good to see that the car made it safely and that it's still in good running order more or less! I think it might just be a problem with the gas, but that's just my thoughts... Try running it on premium for a while and the problem might just solve itself. Between switching the gas and that part that I showed Dad, it shouldn't give you guys too much work. Aside from the aesthetics that I wanted to fix up on it... That little spot with the paint, put a new top on it, new tires, replace the antennae, a couple new speakers, new headlights, maybe a hard top.... And while we're at it, we'll just go ahead and throw a turbo in there. Or maybe just go for the V8 LS6 swap. I think that might be the best course of action.

Anyways, I love you all! It's so good to see that life at home is fantastic. Good luck with band and the new freshman! And thanks for the DCI results! I'll be waiting restlessly for a letter from Tim about what happened. I hope he got the one I sent him... 

Love you!

-Elder Hopper 1 (Curse these keyboards....)

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012

Hellllooooo family! 

This week was pretty good. Elder Stewart and I are starting to work even better together. It's awesome to be super good friends with your companion. We had quite a few really good lessons this week and have been able to feel the spirit a lot. We aren't really having much success here in the way of baptisms, but we're still having a good time and doing what we're supposed to be doing.

We've been working a lot with less active members in this area. We were talking to the bishop of this ward the other day, and we've pretty much decided that our work in this area isn't finding new converts, but rather bringing back the lost sheep. Through working with less actives, you usually get some baptisms at the same time as well. But we're trying to help the bishop with his goal: an average frequency of 150 by the end of the year. When the bishop became bishop, the frequency was 80-90, but it's already up around 120. We had a meeting with the stake president yesterday, and we talked about it being reasonable to have a frequency of 250 in this ward at some point in the near future. This area that we are in has a huge amount of potential. 

It's good to see that everyone at home is having a good time with the travels! And it's good to know that my car isn't giving you guys too many troubles! I definitely would like to see some pictures of it back home in the driveway! Were you guys able to drive it up onto the trailer, or did you have to push it?

I found another quote this week that I liked a lot. It doesn't have a lot to do with spiritual things specifically, but it had a ton of meaning for me. It is from the old Tabernacle Organist, John Longhurst. He said, "You come to a point where words finally are inadequate to say what you feel. I think that's the beauty of art. When it's all said and done, art can take the human spirit beyond the point where words fail." I think that's one of the reasons why I've always loved music so much. I do have quite a problem expressing myself with words, but there have been certain times where music has been able to express what I haven't been able to with words. I am reaaallly thankful for the role that music has played in my life, and the talents that I have been given.

That's all I got for this week. I love you all!

Oh! And I want to know what happened with DCI! What place did Crown come in?!

Love you!

Elder Hopper 1 (ainda sem uma butão por aquelle símbolo)

August 6, 2012

Mais uma semana na missão!
This week was a lot of getting to know people and the area. It was a pretty productive week. Elder Stewart and I are getting along really well and we're both super excited for the rest of this transfer. It should be a good one!

I found a quote the other day that I really liked and decided that I would share it with you guys. "Disappointment, sorrow, and affliction may be the expression of an all-wise Father's kindness." -Elder James E. Talmage.

Life is full of trials and tribulations, but we can always learn from them. Like we heard in the MTC, when we go through hard times, we shouldn't ask, "Why is this happening to me," but rather, "What can I learn from this?" There is always something that we can learn, in the good times or in the bad. Just remember that your Heavenly Father loves you and that he is always mindful of you and your needs! And when it seems hard to do what is right, just go and read 1 Nephi 3:7, and it will help you out.

We are currently working with a family here (kind of a family) that is planning on being baptized on the 18th of this month. It's a husband and wife that have been together for 15 years or so, but never got around to marrying. They have one kid who is 14 years old, but she works at another church so we still haven't really gotten a chance to teach her. The husband, Benedito, has problems with smoking, but he's been working really hard this week on that. He used to smoke 40 or 50 cigarettes per day, but as of yesterday he was down  to 5 or 6. And yesterday we gave him a blessing and took the rest of his cigarettes. We'll be talking to him later today, so we'll see what happens! The wife, Sônia, only really had problems with coffee, but she's been pretty good about that since I've been here. Today Benedito went to go get his papers so that they can be married, and we should have more on that subject next week! Looks like we'll being doing a joint wedding-baptism in a week or so!

Looks like the truck is coming along well! I'm so glad that everything is falling into place. Now you just need a transmission and maybe a new transfer case? Let me know how it all goes! I wanna know! 

Oh! And let me know what happens with my car, too. Take some pictures and send them to me so I can know what condition it's in! 

I love you all and good luck with EFY and the travels and all that fun stuff!

-Elder Hopper 1 (these computers don't have a number sign...)