Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

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 good one!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

Hello family! 

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 sun!

Have a great week! Love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Hello family and everyone else! 

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 change. 

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 dumb.

Love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Hopper #1

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 8, 2013

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 great!

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!


Love you all! Have a great week!


-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

Hello everyone!

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!

-Elder Hopper #1