Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"I guess with time they will understand. But maybe not."

Teaching a tortoise


video
"One year!"


Well, one year ago I left home. That's pretty weird, the time has gone by very fast, oh well.
Well, this week basically all of our investigators bailed.
Floriswaldo and Eva said that they are going to stay Catholic because their oldest son has a group at the church, but that they will pay us a visit one of these Sundays. João and his family are never home.
The only investigators that have really put a little effort into things are Getulio and his grandson Gabriel. They both went to church on Sunday, and Getulio is starting to really like it. But he also doesn't really understand, he just goes because he likes what he hears there. Gabriel just goes so he can mess with my calculator watch.
The metal one is reserved for Miguel, who walks from his family to us at the beginning of every sacrament meeting to pick up my watch. It is the only thing that keeps him quiet, so it's fine with me.
Well, this letter is probably going to be pretty negative and short, because really almost nothing good has happened in the last week. We finally got a member (returned missionary) to teach with us on Saturday, but he spent the whole time lecturing us about how good of a missionary he was and what we are doing wrong. Also President Tavares created a new rule that we can't do divisions with members, so that will further impede our progress. I guess it will help us somehow, but I can't imagine how.
I'm also pretty sick of how seemingly immune to understanding what we say people are. We have to explain really simple things, like "The Book of Mormon is like the Bible, but it was written in the Americas", at least 4 or 5 times, and also watch a movie, before the people seem to finally get it. I have an easier time getting babies here to understand me and to stop causing problems and making noise than I have getting adults in college to understand the idea that Jesus and the Apostles were rejected. I guess with time they will understand. But maybe not. We will have to do something different, we will figure it out.
People here traditionally send a letter to their ward at various parts of their mission, should I send one to the Woodruff Ward?
Love you
Joseph

Elder Parrott and Webb, from my district in the MTC


A child, Eduardo Moroni


"But look how they treat us
Make us believers
We fight their battles
Then they deceive us
Tried to control us
They couldn't hold us
Cause we just move forward
Like Buffalo Soldiers"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"That is the Holy Ghost testifying, suckas!"

My friend Miguel


Londrina


Hey family how is it going? Everything is going well here, we have had a really good week and received a lot of help.
We started teaching this really solid family the other day. Their names are Floriswaldo (weird name), Eva (Eve), Luis Henrique, and Felipe. They are Catholic, which is pretty rare in Londrina.
I will go off the subject real quick and note that in Medianeira, EVERYONE was a practicing Catholic, but here it is probably 1 in 17 that belong to that church. Everyone else goes to Evangelical churches, the strongest being the Assembly of God, followed probably by the Universal Church, then God is Love. This makes our work a little bit easier, because really these Evangelical churches contrast more with the truth we teach.
LeGrand Richards said that really the only churches who can claim, logically, in any way to be true are the Roman Catholic Church and the C.J.C.L.D.S. I would add to the list Judaism, Islam and other non-christian churches, as they don't use the New Testament and therefore don't know that priesthood authority even exists. All Evangelical and Protestant churches are reforms of Catholicism, and have absolutely no just claim to Priesthood. So yeah, when we teach them, they see the need, whereas Catholics believe they have authority. Well, their doctrine says they do, but here few actually know anything about anything.
Anyway, back on topic. Floriswaldo and family are super bomb, they really liked the Restoration and all prayed, all receiving a desire to know more. That is the Holy Ghost testifying, suckas! They will probably go to church on Sunday and we will work like crazy with them.
Also we taught João and his family, who are super solid. They asked a lot of questions (What is the name of Jesus, why can't you kiss girls, what do we need to know before being baptized, and other less important stuff. We watched the movie of the Restoration with them, and it was really spiritual.
Celia said she became friends with all of you on Facebook, that's pretty cool, she was pretty excited when I told her that I had a page. She is a pretty fun woman, and likes to make us food and stuff.
People here get the impression that I am some kind of superstar soccer player because of the photos I have of me playing with long hair. They are probably right.
I think I am getting better at soccer even though I haven't played in almost a year. Speaking of which, I will hit the one year mark next week, that's pretty weird, but whatever.
We went to this nature park last P-day and we saw Capybara there. Yes, those huge rat-pigs that me and all of my friends swore to defeat. It's safe to say I chased them back into the forest. This email ended up being mostly just a history of religions in Londrina, sorry! Thanks for your emails. Dad, did you delete your email account or something? The Postmaster sent me an email saying that the family email to you didn't go through.
I'll add an interesting pick-up line that was yelled at me this week. "It's ("It" being me) not margarine, but it is Delicious!" There is this margarine brand here called Delicious. Apparently it is a very classless thing to say to a person, but I take it as a compliment just the same.
Love you all
Joseph
A nice waterfall


CAPIBARA


Feeding some animal

"But look how they treat us
Make us believers
We fight their battles
Then they deceive us
Tried to control us
They couldn't hold us
Cause we just move forward
Like Buffalo Soldiers"
- K'NAAN

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"We talked to him in a bar, and our first visit with him was excellent."

Me e Elder Lopes eating this weird fruit


Well transfers happened the other day, and luckily nothing changed here in my area, Elder Miranda and I will both stay here. VERY luckily, the other elders did change, Elder ____ will stay and train a new Brasilian, so that should be a lot less terrible.
This is the second time I will be in a district as the only American, but the first time was my first transfer and I didn't get a lot of jokes. But now I know (like how Bill Nye used to say "NOW YOU KNOW!!!" Bill Nye is the man...) I can now make jokes, which is nice.
Anyway, things have been going well here. We are planning a fireside on missionary work to try to get the members more involved in things so that this ward can prosper. Hopefully we can get President Tavares in on it, that way people will take it seriously.
Some of the members are good, and give out friendship cards (that can't possibly be the real name of them, but those cards that you give to non-members, they call a number, and missionaries deliver a DVD or something. what is the name in English?) and talk about the gospel with people.
One member brought his son and daughter-in-law to church on Sunday, and they really liked it. Hopefully we can get things crackin big time with them pretty soon.
We have had a lot of success with Getulio and Lurdes and their grandson Gabriel. They are really getting to know the members, and are liking the gospel. Hopefully that will give good fruits soon.
Something that is giving us a hard time is that most of our investigators are unfindable after the first visit! We teach a lot of good people and mark a lot of baptismal dates, but people have the tendency to get nervous with any sign of commitment.
But one of the coolest people we found lately is Donizetti. He is a Tae-Kwon-Do master and has this little gym that he manages. We talked to him in a bar, and our first visit with him was excellent. He has a couple of kids but no wife. Well, he has a wife, but she lives in Spain.
I finally received a Missionary Health Guide, and have started using the elastic band to exercise. Everyone that has served a mission since this manual was created will tell you that this band is incredibly dangerous because it has a tendency to snap while being used, and often times that means getting hit in the face with the giant rubber band.
The United States and Brasil faced off last night in New york I think, how did that go? It started here at about 9:15, so I was not able to hear updates from anyone. Brasil sent all of their younglings (Neymar, Ganso, André, Ramires), and it was the first game of their new coach. Also, is Bob Bradley still in charge? I hope so, or if not him, Jurgen Klinssman. Enough soccer talk. We are still not allowed to play under President Tavares :(
Well, everything is going very well, thank you for the emails, LOVE YOU ALL!!
Joseph


"But look how they treat us
Make us believers
We fight their battles
Then they deceive us
Tried to control us
They couldn't hold us
Cause we just move forward
Like Buffalo Soldiers"

Exercise


AMERICAN MILK!!!! YESSS!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"That is going to take a ton of work. We are up to it."

Me in a spoon.


Well I have no idea why my email didn't work last week. One of the secretaries called me and told me that you guys didn't receive my email, I am so sorry. I will double check every time to make sure it gets sent.
Well, basically this week was HIGHLIGHTED by the problems between the other pair in our district. Tempers were already short there, and now it popped off.
Elder ____ wanted to buy food on Saturday night, but Elder ____ did not. So, as ____ is still struggling with the Portuguese, they called me to translate. So ____ told me what he wanted ____ to hear.
While I was relating it to ____, ____ shoved ____ and I heard them yelling. ____ took off on his own to buy food and then continue on to our house. ____ called President Tavares.
Elder Miranda (Joey's companion) and I decided that we would find ____, who was basically helpless. Luckily some members found him and brought him to us. So I had to go sleep at the other elders' house and go to church with ____ while Elder Miranda stayed in our area with ____.
We traded comps again after lunch on Monday, Miranda and I reuniting. About ten minutes later, _____ ran away again. So the Zone leaders went to pick him up, and ____ stayed at our house. He got a new comp on Monday, and ____ went to another area close by.
It was a huge mess, basically just a lack of humility on their parts. I'm just glad the huge knife didn't get involved LoL.
But we are good here in Semíramis. Two of our investigators, Getúlio and Gabriel, went to church, and I think they liked it a lot.
We have been finding a lot of new people to teach, and we hoped that a lot more people would have gone to church on Sunday, but this Sunday we will make it happen.
Last Sunday, President and Sister Tavares came to our ward, along with the area 70, Elder Tobias, and the Stake President. I guess this ward is going to be divided in a few years. (That is going to take a ton of work. We are up to it.)
We had interviews with President today, it was good to get to know him a little bit. And to show him that I am easily the best missionary on earth. LoL. That was a joke. My jokes have really lost all comedic quality, I am sorry.
We watched Toy Story 3 last Wednesday (A member bought it from a street vendor... that is pretty much how it works here.), I thought it was pretty good.
I got letters from a bunch of missionary friends, Ellis, Allred, Cannon, Borgogna, Fujimoto, and Yuma. That was nice.
I don't really have a lot of specific information right now, but I will next week I promise.
That's all for now, thank you for the great emails, feel free to send photos too, that would actually be really good. We found a better internet place.
Love forever
Joseph

I will improve my photo taking habits as well.


"But look how they treat us
Make us believers
We fight their battles
Then they decieve us
Tried to control us
They couldnt hold us
Cause we just move forward
Like Buffalo Soldiers"