Much like Elder Hopper #2, I had a very uneventful week.
However, I had a cool experience on Saturday night.
There's an Elder here named Elder Black, from Utah. He is a
executive secretary right now with Elder Wilson, another good friend of mine.
He plays piano incredibly well, and I thoroughly enjoy listening to him play,
even when he's just messing around. On Saturday, Elder Black and Elder Wilson
had a baptism in our chapel, so we had to go open it up for them and we hung
around to watch it. The assistants also tagged along, and after the baptism we
all stayed around talking. Then Elder Black decided to play piano, which lead
to all of us singing hymns. It was really nice to be able to sing a bit in a
group of people who know how to sing. After we sang a bit, Elder Black played a
rendition of "If You Could Hie to Kolob" and "Come Thou
Fount." I felt the spirit really strong while he was playing, and had a
bit of time to just reflect. It's been a while since I've been able to do that.
I realized how easy it is for us to become ungrateful for everything that we
have. We have soooo many blessings that we don't even realize sometimes. We are
such a blessed people!
Well, I've got a week left. The end came fast. Next week I
might email, I might not. I still haven't decided. We'll spend some time here
in Piracicaba then probably take a taxi out to São Paulo to catch our flight at
11:35 PM... Gotta love red-eye flights!
I love you all! Have a great week! See you next Tuesday!
This week was rather uneventful. However, I arrived in my
new area, with Elder Farias. We are now in Piracicaba 2nd ward. I thought that
I was going to be junior companion, but when we got here, I found out that I am
still a district leader. My whole purpose here is to train my companion to be a
district leader, actually. We got here together, and once again there was no
work in the area. We have to find all new people and try to get the work
started again. There aren't even any records in the area book since
September... So this week we just went after old investigators and a couple of
referrals we got from the mission office. Hopefully this next week we can have
a bit more success!!
So President transferred my who group to Piracicaba to be
able to make the whole going home thing easier. So this is the first time I'm
in a zone with Elder Welch (my companion from the MTC) and Elder Russel
(another from my group) and second time with Elder Marler. I really didn't have
much of a chance to get to know the Elders from my group, and finally at the
end I do. Interesting how that works.
Well, not much else has happened this week. I'll try to do
something more exciting next week so I can tell you guys all about it.
Both me and my companion have been sick since last Tuesday
and have been unable to work full-force since then. We are getting better,
taking some medicine, and trying to rest it off, but it's a slow process.
So that family I told you guys about last week; Maria,
Jonathan, and Rosana, They decided to not be baptized this week. They felt like
they didn't have enough time to prepare and they kept missing appointments and
marking for other days. So with that moleza combined with our sickness, we were
unable to get them baptized this week. A sad ending, but hopefully Elder
Galleguillos can get them back.
Remember Everton that I told you guys about two weeks ago?
He went to church this week! He tried to sleep through it and not come with us,
but we made his dad wake him up.
This week we have transfers, and I'm leaving the area. I'm
not sure where I'm going yet, or with who, or what I will be, but I'm pretty
sure I'll be junior companion. Not because I did something wrong, but because
my group is leaving in the middle of the next transfer, so it's just easier to
do that with us than keep us as ZL. I'll find out later today where I will go
and all that. I'll only stay there for three weeks....
I officially had my last conselho de liderança on my
mission. Looks like next transfer (which comes up here in a week) I'll be put
down to junior companion to be able to simplify the transfer, since I'll be
going home in the middle of it. Which means I get to work and not worry about leadership
responsibilities for the last three weeks of my mission!
This week we had a couple of good things happen. The other
Elders who live with us baptized, which is really good for them. They're both
very new on the mission and were kind of discouraged when they got here, but
these two baptisms helped them, and the ward, out a ton. We also marked three
baptisms for this weekend, but we'll see if they go through. We'll need prayers
in our direction! It's a great family that had been taught about a year ago but
they had problems with police and the law and junk. So now they're all good to
go and want to be baptized! They're names are Maria, Rosana, and
So me and my companion must've ate something bad on Monday,
because we're both sick... We're hoping to be able to work this last week we
have guaranteed together, but we're spending a looooot of time in the bathroom
recently. So hopefully we'll get better soon so we can work and stop wasting
our time in the bathroom!
That's about all the exciting stuff I got for this week...
Lack of interesting things to talk about because of the time I have on the
mission... less than 4 weeks left? Interesting, neh?
And as The Potato says, "Give full order peace love
This week was pretty good for us. We had a good amount of
success, but it'll be building for the next couple of weeks. We've finally
figured out how to work well in this city. Every place has it's own
difficulties, and here it's been finding good people to teach. We've decided to
follow the apostles' advice (go figure) to keep the chapel open. So what we did
the majority of this week, was we sat in front of the church, inviting people
to come in and visit, just to see what the chapel is like. Most of the people
we talk to accept, and then we have the chance to show them around while
talking about our beliefs. It's rare for the people to not allow us to get
their address to go to their houses. So this week we'll spend a good amount of
time going to the houses of these people and all that good stuff.
We also are going to a couple of English schools in the area
to help out and to find some people that are willing to hear the gospel. This
last week, we met a guy named Everton at one of the classes who is really cool.
We went to his house on Saturday to talk to him a bit and invite him to an
activity at the church that night. He accepted to go to the activity and liked
it a lot. He goes to the quadrangular church, which I'm pretty sure is the four
square church in the States, and lives with a pastor from a Baptist church.
Interesting combination. But he seems really interested in the gospel and
wanted to come to church on Sunday but had already promised someone else that
he would help them out with their car. So we'll invite him this week! He seems
That's all I got this week! Hope you all have a good one! 5
This week was another roller-coaster of emotions, and looks
like it won't be the last. Let's start with Maria.
Well, you all remember the story I told last week. We were
ready to leave Maria and never teach her again. But we decided to try again
with her. So we went to her house on Tuesday and invited her to a Family Home
Evening with her son and his wife the next day. We went, and it was all great.
We had a good time and we were all happy. On the way home, (a member gave us
and her a ride home) we were talking about baptism and how she felt terrible
that she hadn't been baptized last Saturday. Then she told us to to mark her
baptism for Saturday. So we did! We visited her again on Friday and she was all
excited to be baptized and all. Then on Saturday, we got a call from her while
we were helping out at an English school. She didn't want to be baptized
anymore. Her mom was having health problems and she had to bring her to the
hospital, and Maria had been asking people if she should be baptized or not...
And they obviously said no. So we went to the hospital. When we got there,
Maria's mom was about to get let out already, so we waited for them, and
planned to get Maria a ride home and talk to her in the car. We had parked the
car in front of the church because it's close to the hospital, so we went there
with Maria. We stood outside of the church just talking to her for a while
about everything, and she got mad at us (we really didn't do anything to make
her mad) and started walking away. She didn't even want a ride home anymore. So
she stormed off and we sat there... and tried to figure out what had just
happened. Well, we still don't know. But we went inside the church to drown our
sorrows in the chocolate cake we had made for her. Which turned out pretty
good, by the way. So we aren't going to go back to Maria's house anymore. We'll
wait for her to call us.
We had a good experience, too! On Thursday we had a
multi-zone conference. For part of the conference, President Canuto wanted to
do a live practice. So the zone leaders (us) had to go out and find some people
to teach! We went out and walked around a park a bit, talking with everyone
there, but everyone was on lunch break about to go back to work. But then we
talked to a guy named Caio. He was also on lunch break, and had 5 minutes to be
back to work. We told him we would only need him for about 20 minutes, and he
said, "I have to go back to work... but something is telling me I need to
go with you guys." So he went with us! He ended up being about an hour
late for work, but it was a really good experience for us and for him. He is
really ready to hear the gospel. The bummer is that he doesn't live in our
area... Or even the stake. So we won't hear about how it goes with him until a
lot later. But it was a great experience!
Well, that's the exciting stuff for this week. I hope you
all have a great week this week! I love you all!
This week we actually got to work. And it was hoooooot. But
we're working, so that doesn't matter!
We knocked on a door this week and the guy opened the door,
walked to the gate, and said, "are you guys Americans?" Which we
responded in the affirmative, and he said that he lives in Texas. He came here
to visit his family for a bit, but he's going right back to Texas to his
family. It was a pretty cool conversation, and interesting how it all worked
out. But he didn't want to let us into his house. So that was a bummer.
The major happenings for this week were that we worked quite
a bit with a lady named Maria. Her son, Janio, is a member of the church since
about three years ago, and Maria was never able to be baptized because she
smokes. But she wants to be baptized and knows that the church is true. So we
went to her house on Tuesday, talked a bit about baptism and the church and
all, and marked to return on Thursday. We went there, and the spirit was SUPER
strong in the lesson. We made promises to her, gave her a blessing, and invited
her to be baptized on Saturday. We returned on Friday to do the baptismal
interview, and she had decided that she wasn't going to be baptized again. We
asked if she had been praying and reading the scriptures, but she said no.
There's the problem. So we talk to her a bit, share experiences, and she
decides that she wants to be baptized again. The interview goes well and she
passes. We then get a call from her Saturday morning saying that she doesn't
want to be baptized, and that she doesn't even want us to go to her house
anymore. She, once again, hadn't read the scriptures nor prayed. So we went to
her house. We talked to her again, told her about the consequences of her
decisions, read Alma 40 with her, talked about the blessings she could have,
and the spirit was even stronger than the day we invited her to be baptized the
first time. But she denied it. She simply said she did not want to be baptized.
So we left her house very sad and pretty down. But then we went to someone
else's house, talked to them for a bit, and everything was better. The mission
is a huge roller coaster of emotions. But Maria wasn't baptized this
That's about all that happened this week. Next week we'll
have the Multi-zone conference with President Canuto. It'll be the one that I
give my last testimony...... 7 weeks left... Wow. That went by fast.
I hope you all have a good week! I love you all!
-Elder Hopper #1
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This week, we basically didn't work. So this email miiiight
just be a little boring. Monday we had leadership council, Tuesday we went to a
different area to work, Wednesday was our P-Day, Thursday and Friday we
working, and Saturday and Sunday were conference. So we spent most of our time
this week outside of our area. But conference was awesome, so that's
The biggest news is that today we have transfers! Buuuut
nothing happened to me or Elder Galleguillos. We're both staying here for
another 5 weeks (5 week transfer instead of 6 this time). But we'll also have
another companionship in our ward this transfer! They'll be living with us and
dividing the area. It sounds like the Elder that's coming is Elder Tomaz, who
Elder Galleguillos just trained and was with before those emergency transfers,
and he's going to train as well. But that's just the rumors as we have not
officially been told what's going on yet. We should find out in an hour or so.
Other than that.... You should all go watch all the sessions
of General Conference. There is no way I can say everything I want to about it
in just this email. But it helped me out a ton. There's always something we can
learn from it. And it's proof that those men are really called by God and have
the Apostolic keys here on the Earth. I'm so happy to belong to this church and
to be able to say that we have a true prophet in our days. We are so blessed!
Well, hope you all have a good week! Love you all!
Well, last Monday night, after Elder Mesquita and I got home
from working, we got a phone call from President Canuto. He called to tell
Elder Mesquita to pack his bags again. He was being transferred to Havaré, one
of the areas that's furthest away from Americana, and he would be companions
with Elder Cabral. And Elder Galleguillos would be my companion. Remember him
from Araraquara? He was living with me there and now he's my companion! I was
pretty sad to hear the Elder Mesquita would be leaving, but at least I got a
good companion. Now we're super excited, we're going to work a ton, and we're
going to help this ward grow! Also, we'll be getting another companionship in
our house next week when we have the transfer. Should be great!
I also told Elder Galleguillos about 7 months ago that we
would be ZL together. Called it.
I don't really have much to say... I'm just excited to work
and to be able to help out more people to be happy! I'm gonna include a picture
of our zone, as we'll have transfers next week and it will change. We will have
two more companionships in the zone, one with us, and one in Santa Bárbara
Well, hope you all have a great week and YOU SHOULD ALL
WATCH CONFERENCE!!!!!! It's going to be aweeeesoooooome!
So on Thursday afternoon, I was walking in the street,
trying to contact some old investigators from the area book with my companion,
Elder Freitas, when we got a phone call from the assistants. Which is pretty
normal, being the Zone Leaders and all. They tell us that there's going to be a
transfer, and I figured it would be a member of our zone that would be leaving,
right? Yeaaahhh.... Nope. They then proceeded to tell me that we had to go home
immediately so that Elder Freitas could pack his bags and be in Piracicaba the
next day at 9 in the morning, because he was being transferred, and would be
going to Pirassununga. Tudo bem. So, logically, I thought that the Zone Leader from
Pirassununga would be coming to stay with me, which is Elder Russel, who is
from my group. It made more sense because I knew that he wasn't getting along
too well with his companion. But then Elder Shumway, the assistant, asked if I
wanted to talk to my new companion. And of course, I did. So what does he do?
He hands the phone to his companion, Elder Mesquita.
Now wait a minute. Elder Mesquita has 2 weeks left until his
mission is over, and is currently the other AP. Buuuuuuut he is now my
companion! Elder Russel ended up going to São João da Boa Vista, and Elder
Albernaz (my last companion who was in São João) became the new AP! I told him
that would happen! So now I have been the companion of three different APs.
Elder Gade (who is the assistant in Ribeirão), Elder Albernaz, and now Elder Mesquita.
I am super happy having Elder Mesquita here. I've known him since São Carlos
more than a year ago, and I feel really privileged to have him as my companion.
Although he'll only be here until the 4th of October, I'm really excited to
work with him here.
Also, I drove a car this week.
Last night, we also had a fireside with President Canuto. He
came here with Sister Canuto and the APs, and that was really cool. Elder
Freitas had been planning everything, but then he got transferred, so his plans
got wiped out and we went with something completely different. But it ended up
really good. There were almost 100 people there (which is really good for a
ward that has a frequency of 80-90) and the ward is now really excited to do
missionary work. Not to mention the fact that we're going to have another set
of Elders in our ward in a couple of weeks. I'm pretty excited about that.
Today I went to the doctor to talk about my hernia. He told
me nothing. Absolutely nothing. Soo..... we'll just have to wait until I get
home to see what we'll do about it. Like... He said some things... But it was
basically everything I know and that I'm already doing. So he told me
Well, I love you all! And Elder Hopper #2 only has 10 weeks
left of being number two! TEN WEEKS.
This week! We had some cool things happen! We found some
good new families! I'll tell you about one.
On Thursday, we got a call from the secretaries saying that
they had a reference for us. From a guy named Carlos Wizard. Who happens to be
one of the richest people in Brasil. But that's beside the point. Generally,
his references are junk and the person has no idea why we were sent to their
house and ends up rejecting us. Buuuut we decided to try and contact this
person! So we went to her house (which was way in the back of this dirt road
and looked like it didn't exist), and knocked on the door. The girl's name was
Gisele. We told her who we were, and she just invited us in as if she was
expecting us. Turns out, she works at a place called Skill, which is a language
school. And she takes English classes there as well (She works in sales).
Apparently she had requested a visit from the missionaries on Wizard's site
because she knew that we were generally American and therefore speak English
fluently. If you could see the typos that I just made you would know that's a
complete lie. Anyways. We went there, and turns out she is needing quite a bit
of help spiritually, and not only with the school. She and her husband had been
fighting a bit, and she had pretty much given up on God. But then we showed up
and now we're going to help her and her husband! We're super excited. They also
have two kids, one who is 8 and the other is 4. So we could have three baptisms
here in a bit! And we're gonna go help out at the English school!
That's pretty much the exciting story for this week. I love
you all and hope you all have a great week!
Well, it seems as if Mom has already been informed of the
biggest news for this week. I got a phone call from Elder Longhurst (the
executive secretary) again this morning, and he started it off saying that he
had some bad news. And some good news. He then proceeded to announce the flight
dates for the group of Elders that are going home with me. Aaaaand we're not
going home on the 26th of November anymore. We leave São Paulo on the 2nd of
December, and I'll get into the Portland airport around 11:00AM on the 3rd of
December. Soooo no more Thanksgiving at home. But that's alright. I guess I can
deal with that.
Other than that, not a whole ton happened this week. Just
more knocking doors, teaching people, the usually. Although, on Sunday there was
an activity for the YSA group in the ward. Just before it started, we talked to
the YSA leaders and they told us to go talk to a couple of inactive members
just down the street from them and so we did! Only of them was home, whose name
is Jackson. So we get to talking to him, and turns out he has a ton of
problems... But he wants to change! So we took him to the activity, which his
mom only let him go to because he was going and would come back with us, and he
was talking about how he wants to come back to church, go to the temple, bring
some friends to church with him, and all that stuff. It was really cool to see
that in spite of his problems, he still has a testimony of the church and
believes it's true and knows that the church is the right place for him to be.
We're really excited to start working with him and help him to get back on the
For this week, that's about all the cool stuff. We're
preparing to have a fireside here with the mission president in a couple of
weeks, and that should be really good. We're trying to get the members here to
work a little more with us, just as the Prophet wants them to. It's just that
difficult part of teaching an old dog new tricks. But it'll work! And we'll
have more success here!
Oh, and I have a doctor's appointment set for the 23rd of
this month to get my hernia checked out. We'll see what they say!
It looks like the other Elder Hopper and I are falling into the same trend. I have almost nothing exciting to say to you all today.
But, I do have something kind of exciting I guess. Last Thursday (almost a week ago... this week went by fast), I got the trunkiest phone call of my mission. The executive secretary, Elder Longhurst, called and asked what airport I wanted to fly into. Obviously, I said the Portland airport. Then he told me the date that they were buying the tickets for. You wanna know? Cool. I'll tell you, then. They bought them for the 26th of November. So, I'll be home the day before Thanksgiving. Pretty cool, huh?
This week I basically got acquainted with me area. My new companion, Elder Freitas, is from Maceió, Alagoas. He's got basically the same amount of time on the mission as me, he'll actually go home two weeks before me, on the 12th of November. Our area, which I'm pretty sure I said was Nova Dessa last week but is actually Nova Odessa, is pretty cool. It's just outside of Campinas, and we have the whole city to ourselves. The ward seems to function pretty well; we've already done a couple of divisions and other visits with some ward leaders. I'm pretty excited to be working here.
So, I'm sending a couple of pictures. The first one is of a Volkswagen Bus that someone decided to shorten. I liked it.
The second one is of a Honda Civic. You guys have to find the error.
The third is when I took a quick trip to New York this week. Or rather, they're building a huge market in a neighboring area, and it's apparently an American store. I dunno.
This week we had another baptism!!!1 Wooooo!!!!!! Tadeu Henrique was baptized on Saturday morning (it's really weird having a baptism in the morning...) and confirmed on Sunday! We called him through the week a couple of times to see how he was doing and all, and it was interesting how everything unfolded. Henrique was actually hit by a car on Thursday morning... Satan really didn't want him to be baptized. But he went to the hospital, got all bandaged up, and then Saturday came to São João and was baptized anyways! Take that, Satan!
We also had transfers this week. Or rather, we have them tomorrow. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand I was transferred. Where to? I still don't know. But I should know in a bit. I'll let you guys know in a week what happened. I'm feeling Piracicaba. But that's just me.
And the other big news is about when I'm coming home..... And I feel bad telling all of you, so I'll go ahead and write it in Portuguese and pretend that you guys don't have translators. It makes me feel better thinking that you guys won't understand what I'm saying.
Bom. Essa quinta-feira eu recebi uma ligação dos secretário executivos da missão. Na verdade, foi o Elder Black. Ele é bem legal. Ele falou para mim que tem duas datas de embarque da missão no final do ano. Uma será no dia 12 de novembro, e a outra no dia 2 de janeiro... E então ele perguntou se eu tenho qualquer compromisso em casa no final do ano, até janeiro. E falei que não, porque realmente não tenho. Só que eu gostaria de estar em casa para o natal. Mas aquilo não é compromisso. Elder Black falou que provavelmente eu vou embora no dia 2 de janeiro... então... Eu não vou estar em casa para natal, nem o ano novo.
Tudo isso é um pouco triste, mas saibam que o Senhor tem um propósito por tudo. Com certeza Ele tem planos para tudo isso e lembra que o homem não pode compreender todas as coisas que o Senhor compreende!
Well, enough Portuguese. I'll send a couple pictures this week of random junk. One is a house that has two addresses... Not sure how that works. The other picture is with the Bishop from the ward here, Bispo Lucien, and his wife and kid, Suellen and Luan. Then I'll try to send pictures of the baptism this week as well. But those will come later.
This week was great! We had two baptisms! I know that we had
said there would be three, but something happened and he wasn't baptized. But
he will be next week! So this week Claudineia and Hugo were baptized on
Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. It was a pretty great week.
What happened with the other guy... His name is Henrique. I
don't know if I said that last week or not. Well, we called his girlfriend who
is a member of our ward, and asked her how we would schedule the interview and
baptism and all that this week, but when we did that, she said that Henrique
knew nothing about the baptism! So we got Henrique's number and called and
talked to him a bit. Turns out that when we said that 17th, he thought we meant
the 17th of next month! (Which is September, by the way. That came really
fast.) So we talked to him a bit, and he agreed to the 24th of this month,
which is this Saturday. It'll be the first baptism in the morning that I've
ever taken part in. It'll be at 10:30AM Saturday morning. Weird. But it'll be
Not much else happened this week, wee spent a lot of our
time in divisions with other areas because of various problems and interviews
and such. But It was a good week.
I'm super tired right now because we just
went up the mountain in Poços again (yes, for a third time), and this time we
basically ran up, sat up there for an hour or two, then ran down. And it had
rained the night before, so the trail was reeeeaaaaalllly slippery. So I fell.
Only once, though. It didn't hurt too much. Plus I got a monkey to climb on my
shoulder! He was nice and fluffy. It'd be cool to have a pet monkey.
Anyways, I hope you all have a great week! I'll try to send
some pictures if my companion gets them to me quick.
One thing that I have noticed lately is that time is flying
by really fast. Like so fast that I don't even know what to update you guys on
Most of this week was sacrificed in favor of the other
areas. We had interviews in Poços de Caldas and Espírito Santo do Pinhal, two
other cities, so we traveled quite a bit. But we were still able to see a bit
of success in our area. We are teaching a family that is a mom and two kids
(one of which is 11 years old, the other 7), and it's going really well. The
mom's name is Claudineia, and the kids are Hugo and Mayara. They went to church
last week and loved it. This Sunday they weren't able to go because of problems
with their dad and the fact that it's Father's Day here (Happy Father's Day
again, Dad!). We marked their baptisms for this Saturday and they're pretty
excited about it! The only problem is that Claudineia drinks coffee still. But
I don't think that'll be much of a problem because after we taught them about
the Word of Wisdom, the kids started being really quite... annoying about the
coffee and won't let her drink anymore.
Well that was weird. There's a key right under the delete
key on this keyboard that turns the computer off. Learned that one the hard
We are also working with a guy named Henrique who is the
boyfriend of a member here. He's a really cool guy and always has searched for
a place like the church of Jesus Christ. The only problem is that he's only
here on the weekends and lives in a city called São Sebastião da Grama. Which
is about 45 minutes away from our city. He's already gone to church 3 or 4 times
now, and really likes it. So we finally were able to teach him on Saturday, and
he accepted everything. He says that he feels like God is calling him to be a
part of the Church of Jesus Christ. So he'll be baptized on Saturday, too! We
had to teach almost everything to him Saturday and Sunday, since he'll only be
back here next Saturday (the day of the baptism), but it went well!
Also, I'm emailing a little bit early this week because we
had to come to a different city so that my companion could have a medical exam.
The bus left our city at 6:30AM. So we had to wake up at 4:30AM. Plus we ended
up getting to sleep late last night because of some... difficulties that we
had. But we resolved everything and now it's okay! We got something like 4-5
hours of sleep last night. So today we get to spend our P-Day in Pirassununga,
a city where we know nothing and nobody! Woooo!!
Have a great week! Next week I'll try to send pictures to
you all! I love you all!
-Elder Hopper #1
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I'm tired. But faz parte, right? As many of you might have
noticed, this email is coming a day late. That is because on Sunday afternoon,
right after lunch, we we our area to go to Piracicaba. And we just got back
into São João da Boa Vista, being 16:00 on Tuesday. That was a tiring trip. But
it was good. We had a meeting with President Canuto and the other zone leaders
in the mission. We got to see all the other missionaries after they did the
transfer where they integrated the two missions. It was interesting to hear
about the difficulties of all the zones, as well as all the success that
everyone is having now. In our own zone we had more baptisms this last month
that they have in the past 6! The mission has some pretty bold goals for this
next month, but I believe was can reach them!
This last week wasn't too exciting, but we did have 3
investigators in church this week! That's a record for this area! It's really
hard to get investigators to church here because of the chapel and it being so
far away, but we were able to coordinate with some members to get them to bring
our investigators. We're going to talk to two of them this week as well about
baptism! The third one lives in some city far away and comes here to visit his
girlfriend, who is a member, on the weekends. But he's liking the church a lot
and we're going to teach him this Saturday! Should be cool!
I got a couple of pictures!
In the States, we have F350 trucks which are pretty cool,
right? Well here, they've got F11000. That's how cool they are.
Also, I'm unsure of the price of Furbys
in the States, but
here they are a little over-priced. R$400. That's about $200 USD. Waaaaaaay too
It's COLD. Actually cold. I felt cold this week for the
first time in a year and 5 months. Ridiculous. But I liked every second of it.
It got down to around 40 degrees this week. It was GREAT. But this week it's
going to get warm again. Up to the 70s again!
This week we had a baptism. It was pretty great. Maryelen
was baptized on Saturday, then confirmed on Sunday. I was sick most of the
week, and we weren't able to leave the house much, but we were still blessed
with her baptism! Even through losing her fiance, her whole family being
against her joining the church, and many other people saying things against her
joining, she had received an answer from God and couldn't deny, and was baptized
regardless of what other people said. She is truly an example for all of us!
Not much else happened this week due to me being sick. But
we're going to the Pedra Balão today! Should be fun! I like this zone a lot!
There's always cool things to do on P-Days. We're already on week 3 of this
transfer, so time is passing by quickly, but hopefully we get to do cool things
the whole time we're here!
Well, that's all I got for this week. Love you all! Have a
This week I'm on another computer that doesn't want to play
well with memory cards, so still no pictures for you guys... But I promise I'll
send them as soon as possible!
So as I said last week, we had transfers. And my new
companion is Elder Albernaz! He's from Vitória, Espírito Santo, the same place
as Elder Küster, one of my old companions. But they didn't know each other
before the mission. Elder Albernaz was part of the Campinas mission, but now
he's part of Piracicaba! There are a couple of missionaries here that I met in
the MTC that are now in my mission, so that's pretty cool. It's good to see
them all again.
This week we were able to mark a baptismal date for
Maryelen. She'll be baptized this Saturday! I'm excited! It'll be my first
baptism in this area, and the first baptism in the ward for the last 6 months
or so! Should be great!
Not much else happened this week, but I love you all! Looks
like I've got less than 4 months left here before I head back to the good ol'
US of A. Not much, but be assured that I'm still working hard out here in the
This week we didn't have too much happen. But it was still
pretty good. We had our first multi zone conference with the new mission (which
was actually still all missionaries from the Ribeirão Preto mission so it
wasn't too different) and we had transfers this week! I'm staying here in
Recanto, but Elder Kevin is leaving. 7 of the 13 missionaries of the zone are
leaving, actually. They've gotta mix together the two missions now, so there's
gotta be lots of changes. We're still unsure of who our companions will be or
where everyone will go, but we should know in a bit. The transfers are actually
happening on Tuesdays instead of Mondays now, so that's a pretty big
This Saturday, we found a new family to teach. They have 7
children. So it's a family of 9. That's a lot of people. When we contacted
them, they told us that they were going to the Assembleia de Deus church, and
had been there for 8 years. Which isn't a problem at all, since we're here to
show people the true church, right? So we taught them the first lesson, where
we talk about Joseph Smith and all that, and it goes really well. The mom and
dad were really interested, which is all that really matters. When we get to
the end of the message, they tell us that they had only been living in São João
for 1 year, they moved from Ceará to here. When they got here, they had only
gone to their church two or three times, and then stopped because they didn't
like the people! And then they said they wanted to go to church on Sunday! So
we arranged a ride for them since they don't have a car, but when the member
got there, they were all ready, but something had just happened with the mom,
so they couldn't go... That was kind of sad, but that's alright. They said they
would go next week. I look forward to teaching them again!
That's about all the cool things that happened this week.
But I saw a cool sign. I'll send a picture. Maybe not. The computer is being
Hello everyone. I am rather tired today. We travelled quite
a bit, and climbed up a huge mountain. A HUGE mountain. With a statue of Christ
on top. It's that same place that I sent some pictures from not too long ago. I
don't think I've mentioned this before, but it is veeerrrry common for all the
cities here in Brasil to put up a statue of Christ at their highest point. Kind
of like they have in Rio de Janeiro, but I'm pretty sure that one's bigger than
all the rest.
This week was very unproductive. We had our meeting with
Presidente Canuto on Thursday, but because of the location, we left on
Wednesday after lunch, and got back on Friday night. So we basically lost 3
days of work in our own area. Kind of annoying, but oh well. Fazer o que, neh?
But we found a really cool family this week, in spite of our lack of work. The
dad, whose name is Eneias, seems to be the most interested, which is really
good! It's hard to find men who are really willing to listen to the message we
have. But he has his wife and two daughters who live with him, and we'll start
teaching them now. We've only taught the first lesson so far, but should be
On Friday, there was a huge party that started in São João
da Boa Vista. It's called EAPIC. And it doesn't end until next Sunday. It is
terribly hard for us to work when everyone and their uncle is at this party.
Which is not in our area, so we can't even go to it! (that was a joke, by the
way) So we just keep knocking doors while people are at this party, and we
don't have much success. The members have all told us that this whole week will
be very difficult. And we saw a little bit of it this weekend, when we tried to
knock doors a bit. No one was home. And if they were home, they were watching
soccer and didn't want to talk to two gringos who talk a lot about God. Oh
well, just gotta keep working and find those eleitos!
So this transfer is only 4 weeks, right? Turns out that the
next one is only 5 instead of 6. Which means one more week that I would be
coming home early. But now they're talking about adding in an emergency
transfer in the middle of that transfer so that we would get home on the 3rd of
December again. But they haven't decided anything yet. So as of now, I could be
home anywhere between the 11th of November, and 23rd of December. I guess we'll
find out soon!
Sending a picture from up at the top of the mountain today!
This week we had quite a few developments here in the
mission field that are very exciting and that I will now tell you all about.
First, we got a new mission president. His name is President
Canuto. I know absolutely nothing about him, though on Thursday we have a
meeting with him so I will know here shortly.
Second, some things come with getting a new president. Such
as new rules and such. Before, in Missão Ribeirão Preto, we could not play
basketball. We now can. We also could not drink cola-based sodas. Now we can.
So I am now drinking an ice-cold Coca-Cola while I am writing this. Just
because I can. I don't actually like the way Coke tastes.
Third, and possibly the most important, this transfer has
been cut down from a normal 6-week transfer to a 4-week transfer. Since we are
combining with the Campinas mission, we have to adopt some things from them,
one of which being their transfers. I'm not sure why we couldn't use the
transfers from Ribeirão Preto, but that's alright. So. That also means that I
will be home 2 weeks earlier. I WILL BE HOME FOR THANKSGIVING. I'm not too
excited, don't worry.
This week we had a cool thing happen with an investigator,
too. We were running a little bit late for some appointments, and we had just
finished teaching a less active member (who went to church this week! Woooo!!!)
and the he offered cake. We kind of reluctantly accepted. Then left. We took
this dirt road back to a part of our area where we had our next lesson, which
would have taken us about 30 minutes to walk there. While on this dirt road, a
taxi pulls up next to us and tells us to get in. So we do. He tells us that he
saw a couple of missionaries in the bus station earlier that day, and for that
reason he offered us a ride (which is an interesting story in and of itself.
The missionaries that he saw were the staff and assistants from Ribeirão Preto
that were passing through the city on the last couple of days that it was part
of their mission, so they shouldn't have really even been there). So he cuts
down the walking time by about 20 minutes. And as we're walking to that
appointment, we pass in front of this girl's house that we had marked with for
later that night. Her name is Brenda, by the way. She tells us that she's going
to Sorocaba in like 30 minutes and asks if we just want to teach her right then
(this was the first time we were able to teach her), so we say yes! So we teach
her, it goes great, and she accepts the invitation to read and pray and all
that good stuff. Then we go to the appointment that we had marked, which we
were now an hour late to, and they aren't even home. So all these little things
built up to where we were in the right place at the right time to be able to
teach Brenda! It was definitely an opportunity for us to see the hand of the
Lord in our work.
We'll ignore the fact that two days later we found out that
Brenda lied to us and that I saw her in the center of the city two days
later... It happens.
Well, that's the exciting stuff that happened this week! I
hope you all have a great week! Love you all!
morning everyone! And happy birthday, São João da Boa Vista!!!!
the city's birthday today, and therefore everything is closed. Which kind of
ruins our whole P-Day thing. But that's alright. We'll figure out some way to
get some food. And not die of hunger.
this week was pretty good. We found some cool people. We actually were walking
past a house this week at about 8 at night. I looked at the house and thought,
"That's a pretty cool looking house. Let's knock on it." So we did.
And then some young, hipster looking kid opened the door and we told him who we
were and all that. He said we could come in, but he had to talk to his mom
first. So she came out, but she was on the phone. And she came out in that sort
of "I'm about to tell you meddling kids to get off my lawn" look. But
then, she told us to come back the next day! And she was on the phone with her
sister who wanted us to go to her house! So we started teaching this family
this week. So far we've taught the boy, João Victor, the mom, Ivana, the kid's
best friend, Luiz, and one of the daughters, Pamela. And they're progressing
great! They all read the day that we left the first message and they're loving
it. They didn't go to church this week because João Victor got sick, but they
would have gone. Next week I'm sure they'll go!
are also quite a bit of protests going on in Brasil right now... And I saw a
video of the protests in Ribeirão Preto the other day. Where 12 people were ran
over, and 1 was killed by some crazy rich dude in a Range Rover. And they
showed video of it. I recognized the place, considering I served a good time
there, and realized that it was literally RIGHT in front of the missionary's' house
in Irajá, my last area. That must have been lots of fun for the missionaries
there! I'm sure they loved it.
I'll send some pictures of Poços de Caldas a couple of weeks ago for you
I always start my emails like that and will continue to do
so until the end of time.
This week we had TRANSFERS!!!!! Not many changes happened in
the zone. 5 Elders were transferred, and we'll have two sisters in the zone
now. So that'll be a big change. Pretty much the city of Poços de Caldas will
be cleaned out, but that's alright because it was needing some changes. Some
fun information about this transfers: of the 14 missionaries in the zone, 11
are American, 2 are Brazilian, and 1 is from Uruguay. So basically everyone here
speaks English. Should be fun.
So while all you back home are enjoying summer time goodness
and being free of school, I'm sitting here working still. But that's alright
because we're actually getting some progress! We think. We met some super good
families this week and looks like they'll be pretty promising. One is a lady
named Soraia, but we haven't met her husband yet. Only her 13 year old kid. We
found her in the area book and decided to pass by her house, and when we did,
we knocked and she immediately invited us in. So we went in and started
talking to her, and turns out that a couple of days earlier when she had seen
us walking in the street, she had a huge desire to stop us and talk to us. But
she was all embarrassed and didn't want to because of the.... vergonha. So
then, when we knocked on her door a couple days later, she was super happy and
was willing to hear everything! She said she would go to church this week too,
but she didn't go... We'll have to see what's up with that later this week. But
she seems like a pretty promising investigator.
We went to Poços de Caldas this week and climbed up a big
mountain. I almost died. And I was sore for the rest of the week. BUT. It was
awesome! I'll include a couple of pictures.
But that's about all I've got for now. This week should be
great! I hope you guys all have a great week, too! Love you all!
Oh, and happy Father's Day! We had no idea that it was
yesterday until just now....
so this week i have a keyboard that is obnoxiously hard to
press the shift keys, so i won't be capitalizing many things.
Last Monday we went to Riberão Preto for a mission leader
meeting. it was awesome because we went a little bit early to go and see a few
of the recent converts that I had there. so we got to see Vera, Victor, and
Jessica, then we went and had a delicious stroganoff with Maria and Carlos. It
was really cool to see all of them. Victor is already a teacher in the Aaronic
priesthood, and Carlos will receive the priesthood on the 17th of this month.
And Carlos told me that he's going to baptize his other son. That would be
So then we came home, and it got hot again. It's been in the
80s here and the sun is BLAZING hot. I want the rain back. But this week we're
spending P-Day in Poços de Caldas. Where it's cold. Yay! Today we'll be
climbing up a mountain to a statue of Christ that looks over the whole city.
we'll have some good pictures next week!
Umm... I'm not sure of any cool stories this week. But I'm
excited to go up this mountain! And we have transfers next week! i don't think
i'm going anywhere this time. but I hope you all have a good week! I'm gonna
stop struggling with this crappy keyboard now.
So this week was a normal week as a missionary. Last Monday
after we got home from the LAN house, it just started pouring rain. And didn't
stop until Thursday night. So the local rivers went up about 3 feet, and
everything got all wet, and our clothes wouldn't dry. That's one of the bad
things about having to let your clothes dry on a line. But it was nice, because
it cooled off quite a bit. It only got down to around 60 at night, but didn't
get above 70 during the day. But then on Friday the sun came out again. The sun
is HOT, in case you didn't know. But on Sunday afternoon it got all cloudy
again, and by the time we left our lunch appointment it was already raining and
it's still sprinkling on and off since that point. But it's completely overcast
and there's no sun! Woooo! So it's cool today as well.
Today me and Elder Kevin (Davis) are heading out to Ribeirão
Preto as soon as I get this email sent off to you guys. Tomorrow we are going
to have a Conselho da Liderança da Missão. Mission leaders council? Something
like that. So we'll go spend the rest of the day today there (after a 3-4 hour
bus ride) and visit a few of the people I baptized while I was there with Elder
Gade! Should be fun!
So there's an inactive member of this ward here who's name
is Ditinha. Her husband, Donizette, is not a member and has not allowed her to
go to church in the past. When we got here and talked to her, turns out that
the missionaries before us had done some good work and talked Donizette into
letting her go to church. But Donizette had a ton of health problems, which he
had already gone through various surgeries for, but this time is was getting
really bad. He had told Ditinha that he was going to die during the surgery
this time. So Ditinha was never able to go to church because she has to be sitting
at home taking care of him all the time. So what'd we do? We gave him a
blessing! Right before he went in for this surgery we went to his house and
gave him a blessing so that everything would go alright. We've been visiting
him ever since, and he's been recovering just fine. He had no difficulties in
the surgery, he's healing great, and he's looking a lot better. And Ditinha
said that during the surgery she was perfectly fine, didn't worry about him at
all and just had this feeling of peace around her while the surgery was being
done. So now we're trying to get Donizette to come to church. Which might take
a while since he 1) is a die-hard Catholic, 2) is stuck in bed with a pump
attached to his stomach, and 3) is Catholic. But we'll get him there. He already
likes us, and he knows other members pretty well. So it shouldn't take too
long. Just gotta get that pump out of his stomach now.
Also, the other night, I was quietly, peacefully sleeping,
when suddenly I heard a *CRAAAAACK* and then my companion jumped up from his
bed as it split down one side. This was about 2:30 AM, mind you. His bed
randomly pretty much split in half while we were sleeping. I just rolled over
and went to sleep. But he had to sleep on the ground because his bed broke. And
he's been sleeping on a mattress on the ground ever since. Coitado dele (pity).
Anyways, that's all for this week. I love you all! Have a
This week I met a girl named Wythórya. It's pronounced
"Vitória." That was a big shock. It seems to be cool to name your
kids something super weird, but have it pronounced normally. I think I want to
name my kid "Thiago" but have it be pronounced "James". I
think that'd be cool.
This week we had the last Zone Conference with President
Prieto. He's only got about 3 weeks left as President, then he's headed out and
we get a new president for two weeks before the new mission is created. He said
something that I though was really cool. Actually he quoted President Monson.
But he said that there are 4 basic concepts that we need to always apply in our
1) Examine the scriptures diligently
2) Plan life with a purpose
3) Teach the truth with a testimony
4) Serve the Lord
I enjoyed those 4 points quite a bit. Really, if we just
follow those 4 points for our whole life, we can't go wrong!
He also said something really funny. He was talking about
calling the financial secretaries on their P-Day and he said we should only
call them in case of an emergency. His example of an emergency: "Elder
Schmutz (the current financial secretary), my companion died and I need to buy
a casket for him." As in, it has to be something really serious to call
them. I thought it was quite funny that he used that as an example.
Anyways, that's all I got for now. Have a great week! Love
I didn't even mean to write that in portuguese, it just
Anyways. This week was a week of finding. Or trying to find.
We basically started off with nothing here. We tried to look through the area
book to find old investigators, but they either didn't live in the same house,
or the person was fake. Not exactly sure why missionaries lie about their work.
Just do the work and you don't have to lie! But some missionaries just decide
to not work. DUMB.
So we're trying to gain the confidence of the members in
this ward because the other missionaries that were here didn't work. We
constantly hear stories about the fubecagem that took place in this ward before
we got here... But we ignore that all and keep working! I also hear a lot about
Elder Henrique (my trainer) because he was in this ward not too long ago. Many
of the members talk about how he was a good worker and all. True story. We'll
see if we can get the members to talk that way about us! We just gotta work
On Friday we went to a city called Poços de Caldas. It is an
awesome city. It's a super touristy city, but it's great. It's up in the
mountains (some of the only mountains in all of Brasil... that's what it seems
like, anyways) so it's colder. It got down to 14 degrees! Celsius, that is. But
it was refreshing. Hopefully we'll be going there for a P-day sometime here in
the near future to go up the side of a mountain that has one of those Christ
statues on top. Should be great.!
Well, that's about all that happened this week! Not much in
the ways of success, but this week will turn that around! Hope you all have a
great week! Love you all!
This week we had A LOT of changes. It was a very interesting
Remember how I said I didn't get transferred? Yeah, I didn't
on Monday. But then on Tuesday night I got a phone call from President Prieto.
He told me I would be participating in the Zone Leader conference the next day
and that I had to be in the office at 8AM the next morning with all my stuff
packed up. So I packed up all my stuff, and went to the office the next
morning. Where the zone leaders who were in my area that I am now learned that
they were being transferred. They had no idea. So they had to go back home and
get all packed and everything then come back to Ribeirão Preto where they were
then taken to their new areas. But then my new companion, Elder Kevin (used to
be Elder Davis), had to renew his VISA. So we waited until Friday to leave.
Then we got a bus at 6:30 at night to our new area, Recanto in the zone São
João da Boa Vista. Which is conveniently the coldest zone of the whole mission!
This morning it was like 65 outside when we woke up! Chilly!
So I got to say goodbye to everyone in Irajá and all that.
It was quite sad because I didn't want to leave that area, but that's okay. Now
I've got some new challenges with new people and a new area! Should be fun!
Both Elder Kevin and I are excited and we'll definitely have a good time here.
We're pretty sure that we'll both stay here and therefore be sent to the new
mission. Less than two months until the mission splits!
Anyways, that's about all that happened. We didn't have much
time to work this week considering we got into our area on Friday night late.
But this week should be fantastic! Lots of finding new people and knocking
And I have to go back to the hospital tomorrow for more
But I'm okay! I don't feel that bad anymore. And it's not
contagious nor deadly (I think), so I'll be fine. Just gotta rest up and keep
myself from working......... Boo.
But I have some news. We had transfers this week. I will
stay here in Irajá 6 more weeks! But Elder Gade... Won't. He's going to train
and open an area called José Bonifácio near São José do Rio Preto. I'm so
excited for him! My new companion is Elder Foster. He's from Pennsylvania, and
he has about 10 months on the mission. He plays piano! So he likes classical
music! That's great!
Well, that's all I got for now. I'll talk to you on Mother's
day! Less than a week now!
This week was rather boring, nothing new happened.
That's a lie.
WE HAD 5 BAPTISMS!!!!!!!
The two families that we had been working with got baptized
and they were able to get everything together to be baptized this week. Vera
and Carlos quit smoking, Maria and Carlos got married, and we had churrasco (barbeque) on
both Saturday and Sunday! It was amazing!
I just have to echo what Elder Hopper #2 said about baptisms
being amazing. They are. They're about the best thing. EVER. Especially when
you know that many more people will enter into the truth and have the wonderful
happiness that the gospel brings because of those people. Victor, a kid that we
baptized, wants to serve a mission! I'm so excited for him to do that! And
Maria and Carlos are the ones that have a son on a mission in Belém, and so he
must be super happy now, too!
I'm not sure what else to say because that's all that's in
my head right now!
Oh, right. Well, there's an Elder here named Elder Olsen.
He's our Zone Leader. He's going home next Monday. His mission is over. He's
from California. Anyways, we saw him here in the center last Monday after
sending emails, and he told us that his house had burned down. Two weeks before
he was supposed to go home. How sad would that be? So now his family has to go
through the trouble of getting themselves a new home and all that. Good thing
they have fire insurance! Nobody in the family was hurt, just a painter that
was inside the house when it exploded. Literally exploded. He just got 1st and
2nd degree burns, though. But I'll send a picture of Elder Olsen for you all to
see him. Along with a picture of our 5 baptisms!