Monday, November 29, 2010

"...when I say I, I mean the spirit and I, because my comp was asleep..."

So we had some progress with Bryan this week, we solidified his baptismal date for the 4th. He is super excited, his cousin is going to baptize him. His mom and grandma are extremely supportive and without a doubt are not far behind him. They all really like the church, have excellent examples, and its only a matter of time before we make them crack hahaha!
So Guilherme had kinda come to a standstill with the refusal of his mom. Fortunately, after a ton of prayer and meditation, I (when I say I, I mean the spirit and I, because my comp was asleep) decided we had to knock on all of the doors of his street until we found his house, because we only knew the street he lives on.
So Friday night we went to it. We found a few really good people to teach in the process, and after a bunch of detective work we figured out what house he lives in. Nobody was there, so we decided to pass the other day. It was last night that we passed and were able to catch his mom there.
Her name is Claudia, and as it turns out she is a really good person. She is just a little concerned because she recognizes that it is a big decision, and she doesn't want him to just jump in the water. In the end of out conversation, she said that it is his decision, and we promised her that we will do everything possible to prepare him for baptism. We hope to baptize him on the 11th, if not sooner. So that little discussion we had with her on Sunday night was probably the biggest success of the week.
I'm pretty stoked because all of the missionaries in the district are going to baptize this weekend! That means a lot of running from one end to the other to do interviews for the other pairs in the district and probably a division with the zone leaders to do interviews for other pairs in the zone. Our mission is starting to get things going as far as baptisms go.
We will have two awesome conferences next week. On the 9th, we will have a conference with President Ulises Soares, the president of the Brasil area. Then we have Christmas conference on the 10th. Both of these conferences will be with all of the missionaries of Paraná. So I will see some of my comps, like Elder Carmo and Elder Titus.
It has been a year since the last time I saw Elder Titus, that will be nice. I had a meeting with president and the assistants the other day, so I was able to crack some lame jokes with Jim/Elder Allred like the pre-mission days.
Well, everything is going well, moving forward. Love you all, congrats on the snow, accomplishments, and Thanksgiving! I ate PBJ on thanksgiving.
Love you all
The unknown Elder, Elder Sehn, Elder Barbosa, Elder Burt

Elder Burt and Elder Sehn

"One of them got out a revolver, and the man said, "Yes, this may scare people who believe in many gods and one world, because for them this would end everything. I am a person who believes in one god, but in many worlds. So you can't scare me with that."

Monday, November 22, 2010

"...brings him to church each week, so his conversion will be sustainable."

This week was exceptionally ordinary. We were unable to find a lot of good new people to teach, just a bunch of old people. No offense to old people, but they are very stubborn and don't really get what we explain.
Guilherme has continued to be in a tough situation. His mom refuses to even talk to us or anyone from our church, which is especially odd because she is not really solid in her church, and her church has nothing against our church.
We are working on a few little schemes to get her to let him be baptized, like tricking her into talking to us, giving her a present, threatening her with eternal damnation, and other stuff like that. I think it is pretty much foolproof.
So I will talk a little more about the food I have been eating. So normally, PBJ is eaten on white sandwich bread, which in reality has little to no nutritional value (thanks mom and dad).
The other night on the way home, we stopped by the bakery and they were out of white bread, so I was forced to buy some whole wheat bread.
I reluctantly slapped together a sandwich and lo and behold, it was the BOMB!!! Wheat bread, crunchy peanut butter, and guava jelly is an excellent combination. So that's about all I have to say about that. Also I bought this nutella stuff, which, when combined on bread with peanut butter, tastes much like a Reese's (spelling?) peanut butter cup.
My weight has dropped from 83 to 79 kilograms.
I got a hair cut the other day, I had been putting it off for the last seven weeks, just cutting it little by little myself. I had the lady (who happened to be a member who has been inactive for 15 years) cut it pretty short, and, alas, I am going bald. I don't really care though.
That little boy that I probably talked about last time, Bryan, went to church again and now we just have to plan a day for him to be baptized. We have a lady that brings him to church each week, so his conversion will be sustainable.
I got a letter from Zach, sounds like he is doing well. Also, I got one from Matt, the Russian!
That thing was sent in like July I think, but just got here. It was a great letter, and Matt, I'll hit you back soon with some classy photos and stuff.
Thanksgiving is Thursday, yeah!! I will totally not do anything to celebrate.
Well, it is raining a lot, and that means a power outage is inevitable. Love you all, have a great week and Thanksgiving!!

"One of them got out a revolver, and the man said, "Yes, this may scare people who believe in many gods and one world, because for them this would end everything. I am a person who believes in one god, but in many worlds. So you can't scare me with that."

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Ah rice and beans, that definitely doesn't get old, jajaja."

Check out the name of this street, SO SICK

I will start off by saying that my companion lost his mission credit card, and our mission money is delayed, so I had to take some money out at the bank to email you guys. So yeah, I took out 20 reais, I don't know how many dollars that is, probably about 14.
We had a pretty normal week. Daniele seems to be avoiding us, I can't imagine why. We have called her a lot with no success and passed a lot by her house, but no cigar. Hopefully we can get in touch with her to find out what happened.
We had stake conference on Sunday, and it was easily the best stake conference I have attended. An Elder from the 70, Elder Araujo, came and gave a sensational talk about a bunch of stuff. He was really funny but also really spiritual.
Toward the end of his talk, he called all of the missionaries in the stake to the front of the chapel and started talking about how important we are. Then he had us sing "Called to Serve" in front of everyone, that was pretty/kinda cool.
Guilherme went tot the conference and liked it a lot. He is ready to get baptized on Saturday, but he thinks that maybe his mom will not approve. We are basically just going to be focusing on that the whole week.
I found peanut butter in the supermarket here, so I ate about 10 PBJ sandwiches since last Thursday. That is a very healthy meal, PBJ with milk, but my companion cannot understand how I can possibly consider a sandwich and milk, lunch. I let him try a sandwich, but he thinks that these things don't have nutritional value, that only rice and beans are food.
Ah rice and beans, that definitely doesn't get old, jajaja.
The other pairs here in the district are not doing well at all, they are both having companionship problems. They are hardly teaching anyone. So that is a little bit stressful but if they don't want to do anything,
I can't really force them. Kinda like my comp, he really doesn't want to do anything, but I drag him around with me all day so he doesn't get in the way of my mission being a success. He doesn't study ever, doesn't wake up at 6:30, and doesn't accept advice. But whatever, I'm pretty sure I will be transferred next transfer.
At the stake conference I saw Daniela, who me and C. Thrapp taught, and her RM husband Tiago. She almost died from appendicitis. She was in the hospital for three months, but now is almost completely recovered. I was really happy to see them and a bunch of other people from Cambé again.
That's basically all for now, love you all
The best breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chocolate milk, and HORSES

Monday, November 8, 2010

"I must say, I am a pretty good confirmer."

The baptism

Us and Giovana

Yoooo family
So we have stayed on a roll, Giovana was baptized and confirmed yesterday. Her mom was DANG happy, she has been waiting for this day for a long time. A bunch of people came to the baptism to support from the ward here and from other wards throughout Londrina. The first photo attached is of the people at the baptism. A member from the ward baptized her and I confirmed her. I must say, I am a pretty good confirmer.
So our other main investigators, Guilherme, Daniele. and Bryan, are also doing very well. Guilherme has now been to church four times, is reading the BoM a lot, and is on the verge of baptism. He has already watched two baptismal services, and is good to go. Basically, it is either Saturday, Sunday, or next Saturday. He is the man, and he will probably go on a mission in three-ish years.
Daniele had to work on Sunday, but has expressed several times her desire to be baptized. With little doubt, she will be baptized on the 20th. She will be a great addition to the ward, she is intelligent and not crazy.
Bryan is a nine year old dude that is a nephew/cousin of members in another ward. We combined with his family to bring him to church here, and they visited. His grandma also came, who has been to church many times, likes the missionaries, and for the first time is taking the challenge of reading the BoM and praying seriously. Two of her daughters are members, and another, Bryan's mom, will basically be baptized when she can go to church. The problem with the family is that they work a lot, including a lot of Sundays. If it weren't for that, they would be members in a flash!
My diet is pretty dang unhealthy, I basically eat french bread and drink milk for breakfast and dinner. The real problem is lunch, which we eat at the members houses. There are many foods that do not need additional oil, but people put oil in them. My companion (Still Elder D. Barbosa) and I were prepping our pasta one day. I just boil water with a little salt. But he grabbed a bottle of oil and started dumping it in. I was like "Noooo!" but he thought that without oil it would be flavorless. That is probably why I have gained weight since my arrival, too much oil.
So our district leader became a zone leader in Londrina, so I became the district leader here. Basically it's the same thing, but the zone leaders call like 100 times a day and also the other missionaries call a lot. So yeah, really didn't change a lot.
Well, that's about all I have for now. It's almost Thanksgiving! YEAH!!!
Love you
Some girl that ate with us

The dopest district ever (not pictured: Elders Corrêa and Vogler

"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"

Monday, November 1, 2010

"This ward is being blessed like never before."

Kiara, Ianara, and Tainara

Well we had the baptisms of Tainara, Ianara, and Kiara on Saturday, that was pretty dang nice. I baptized Kiara and Ianara, and Barbosa baptized Tainara. They are pretty dang stoked about their baptism, and I believe they will endure to the end.
Well, once again, the Lord has poured out blessings almost beyond our capacity to receive. We taught Giovana all of the four lessons in less than an hour, which is definitely a record. She is really quiet, and has been going to church her whole life, so we just killed like eight birds with one stone.
Her teaching record sheet is pretty funny, October 31 (HAPPY HALLOWEEN!) is the date for first contact, all of the lessons, all of the commandments, and everything else. A classic record that will be an interesting thing for future missionaries to ponder.
Also we got a reference from the zone leaders for a nine year old boy who went to church in a different ward with his cousins and lives in our area.
Now, I don't look for nine year-olds to teach and baptize, and for this I will never be assistant or anything like that. But hopefully through this kid we will baptize his mom and grandma, whom he lives with.
They already know a little about the church, and his grandma said that now she will really dedicate and pray about the restoration. The mom has already decided that she wants to get baptized, but she hates her sister, who is a member, very much, and doesn't want to be baptized with hate in her heart. We will work a lot with them and see if we can help them out.
Daniele went to church again, and liked it again. Our bishop asked us "Is she a visitor?" I said "No bishop, she is just a member who has never been to church before, that we are teaching, and we put on the progress record that we give to you. OF COURSE SHE IS A VISITOR!!!"
I didn't really say that, but it would have been funny. She brought a notebook and took notes and is learning like nuts. She will be baptized on the 20th, if not sooner.
Guilherme also came again, and once again enjoyed it. We are cultivating a good friendship with him, he is a solid dude. His baptism is marked for the 14th, the day of stake conference. I have very little doubt that he will be baptized. So we will probably pull off over a month of weekly baptisms, something that President Tavares has been preaching since the day he arrived but has thus far eluded me.
I have had this enormous feeling of gratitude writing emails to you and to President. Relating all of the miracles we have seen has really helped me recognize the amount of blessings we have received lately. This ward is being blessed like never before.
I feel so sad that Bert is stuck in Provo! I sent a letter to the MTC in Lima a long time ago thinking it would reach him about the day he arrived, but they probably have it there. Tell him I support him and to SMASH LIES, even there in the MTC.
I am sending letters to a few cats around the continent today: Evan, Nick, and McKay; and Scott Rogers in Belgium. I don't know if Matt ever got my letter that I sent about eight months ago, but I will send another soon.
Good news of the week: Spencer has carried on the family tradition of being the senior elected least ready for real life! YESSSS!!!! REPRESENT! Burt for life! It's funny because they think we are immature, then we get into college and just destroy all normal people.
I was thinking about college this morning and about how I applied for Huntsman Scholars as a freshman accidentally in the category for juniors in college, but dropped a train on everyone there. Moral of the story, Spencer will drop a train on everyone in college, and maintain all momentum because he is not lazy.
Well, may the peace, grace and love of Jesus Christ be with every one of you in your individual adventures.
Love you all
Elder D. Barbosa, Elder Reis, Elder Burt, Elder Galdino, Elder Corrêa, Elder Allred at a bus stop

"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"