Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013

Good morning everyone!

This week was a pretty good one. And by pretty good I mean that nothing special happened again. But it looks like things will start getting better here pretty soon. We had an interview with João Carlos this week (who has been going to church for like 6 months now), and he's getting pretty close to being baptized. He's a really cool guy. Also, every time I talk to him I realize that he's richer and richer. The other day we went to his house to talk to him, and he was pulling out in a convertible Peugeot. It was a rather expensive car. And he was driving out to unload a machine in a different warehouse that is his. Some people and their money. But he should be baptized here pretty soon.

Then we got Maria and Carlos. The couple that needs to get married. We actually met Carlos this week, and he's really cool. He is interested in the church and is super nice to us. They actually made us dinner last Wednesday and we just sat and talked with them for a while. It was a pretty good night. They are still working on the marriage papers because it seems to be quite an annoying process, but hopefully this month Maria can still be baptized. Carlos will be a little bit longer because he smokes and drinks coffee still. But they're both excited!

We also finally met a guy named Thiago that we had been chasing around for a while. Elder Gade and I were in the mall about 2 weeks ago and a man walked up to me and asked me to go to his house. So we did. Multiple times. And he was never there. But finally this last Monday we caught him. Turns out he's from Maceió and his family lives there. He's living here with his cousin and they're working here for now. He has a wife and kid back at home. They actually had been receiving the missionaries at their house for almost a year, and were planning on getting baptized. But they want to be baptized together. Kind of a problem when they don't live together. But Thiago is this super nice, super humble guy that is super hard to find at home, but an awesome guy. Definitely a blessing that he came and found us!

Well, that's about it for this week! No pictures this week, though :( It was raining quite a bit and I didn't want to risk bringing my camera with me.

Love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013

Good morning people!

Well, it seems like the work here is kind of in a slump. These past couple weeks have been the same ol' story. Lots of rejections and lots of appointments falling through. Though this week I have a couple of good stories.

So we were supposed to have a baptism on Saturday, right? Well... That didn't happen. Our zone leader went to her house on Friday to interview her and it went well. She's ready to be baptized. (I didn't go to the interview, by the way) Then, after the interview, they were sitting there talking with her and Renato, when they noticed something weird on the baptismal forms that they were filling out. Maria (the investigator) never took her husband's last name. Odd. Renato said something about that and how it was weird, and she was just like, "Yeah. I guess marriage is the next step, right Renato?" At that moment, Elder Gade and Elder Pereira just looked at each other. You can't be baptized if you're living with someone of the opposite sex unmarried. Soooooo she couldn't be baptized. And most of the people here have quite a big problem with that because of the money. But this family doesn't. Theeeeey have a good amount.  So Maria said that she would talk to her husband about it and they would figure it out. She called us later that night and said that her husband wanted to do the whole marriage thing, that he wanted to start sitting in on the lessons, and that he would start going to church with her. Wooo!!!! It's interesting how the Lord works sometimes. Now, because they weren't married, we'll teach the whole family!

One more story. On Saturday, Elder Gade and I were working in the poorest part of our area, João Rossi. Nobody was home. NOBODY. Even the guy that never leaves his house because his legs are broken and he lives on the fourth story. HE NEVER LEAVES HIS HOUSE. But he did on Saturday. So we were pretty down. We went back home around 6 because we had no idea what to do. Elder Gade suggested that we walk all the way to the center of the city (about a 45 minute walk) to deliver some DVDs that some investigator had asked for. We had nothing else to do, so we went. On the way, some lady stopped in her car and waved us over, and asked if we could give her a blessing. But I didn't know the lady. She pulled into an empty parking lot, we got into her car, and started talking to her. She had been baptized in 2004, then left the church. She had recently moved back to the area and didn't really know many people here. Soooo she had been looking for someone to help her spiritually, so she went to some lady that said she would say a prayer for her. She spent almost R$100 on towels and junk that the lady asked her to bring, and then when the prayer was over, the lady asked her to buy 3 candles to help out. The candles were R$250 each. That is total bologna. So this woman got totally sad and depressed and left. Then she found us. We gave her a blessing and then she asked if she could buy us some pizza. So she did. It's interesting how the Lord works again. If everything hadn't fallen through that day we wouldn't have been on that road at that exact moment to help her. We are guided in everything we do, even when our plans fall through the whole day! I love this work!


That's all I got! I love you all! Have a great week!


-Elder Hopper #1

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 11, 2013

Hello family and friends!

This week was a week much like how Drew described his last week. Rejection. And a lot of it. But that's alright - as Drew said, if you're not suffering, you're doing it wrong!

Basically every day this week we had another investigator tell us straight up that they didn't want us to teach them anymore. They didn't even beat around the bush as they normally do. They just told us flat out. Which is pretty disappointing. Plus, when we were at church on Sunday morning, we were waiting for our investigators to show up, right? Well, we waited. And waited. and waited. And waited a little bit more. And called them. And nobody answered. And we got pretty... desanimado. But then, at about 9:15 (church starts at 9), Renato got a call from Maria, one of our investigators! Turns out she was a little bit lost and couldn't find the chapel. So we had one person there. Then, while we were in the Gospel Principles class, another member checked in to see if his cousin was there, who is another investigator, but he wasn't. So he called him. And two more investigators showed up! Then at sacrament meeting, three more showed up! So we went from thinking that the whole week was a waste at the beginning of the three hour block, to having quite a good end of our week! It was great!

Other big news for the week:

I am now District Leader! 

I got a call from the Assistants yesterday afternoon, and they called and said that Elder Silva Santos (the current district leader) was being transferred to São João da Boa Vista as a Zone Leader. And that I would be the new District Leader here! Then I asked who would be taking his place. Remember Elder Henrique, my trainer? He's baaaaack! But he took Elder Silva Santos place in Parque Ribeirão and I am now his District Leader. Should be interesting.

Anyways, I think that's it for the week. No pictures this week, sorry guys. Maybe next week.

Oh, and go look at the chapel that they just built in Abu Dhabi! It's pretty sweet!

Love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

Good morning family and everyone else!

This week was pretty good. WE HAD TWO BAPTISMS!!!!!! Ana Paula and her son, Giovane were baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. It was really good! The whole week we had been visiting them every day, and Ana Paula was getting suuuupper nervous about the baptism day and could not wait for the day to come. I don't think I've seen someone so nervous, yet so prepared for baptism in my life. It was soooo good to see her be baptized! And she's so happy now! Plus now we'll start teaching her daughters and possibly her parents. Yaaaay references!

This week we also have a baptism planned for Friday, another woman named Samara. However, she has a few problems, and if she can't get rid of them here pretty soon, she might not be baptized this week... We talked to her yesterday and gave her a blessing to help her, and we'll go back there tonight to try and help her out some more. We'll need lots of prayers to help her get baptized! It's been over 6 months since the missionaries first met her, and she's progressed so much since then! She can't fall now!

This week passed suuuper fast, and I don't even remember what happened... All I know is that we had a ton of lessons, I was super tired all week, and we had baptisms! I forgot everything else! Soo... Here, I'll send pictures of cake as well! We have an investigator that currently has a son on a mission, so she treats us really well. Every time we go over there, she has some salgados and cake. Really good cake. So we took a picture with the cake. And Renato. 

Well, that's about all the exciting stuff that happened this week. 

Well that was pretty cool. The power just went out in the mall. Turns out pretty much the whole mall is run on generators when that happens. The only place on this floor that was without electricity for about 5 minutes straight was this LAN house that I'm in. But it's back now, and thanks to Gmail, my email was saved! 

I hope you all have a fantastic week! Love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1