Mission: Brazil Joao Pessoa
Entered the MTC on: December 15, 2010
Release Date: December 2012

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Letter from November 28th, 2011

This week was really good. We had a surprise meeting on  Thursday and Pres. and Sister Hall came to our Zone and talked to us and gave us a training and everything.  The Assistants to the President were there as well and both gave really good trainings as well.
Thanksgiving here doesn't have the same meaning - it was just another day in the mission, with bread and sausage for dinner. A real feast, I know (ha ha).  The more part of our week was spent teaching a lot of people which was great.  We also got a lot of help from the members this week.  We had a couple of baptisms on Sunday, too.  It's been a while since we last baptized, but we baptized 4 young men which was awesome!!
These kids are really funny and we always have a good time with them. They are all really firm in the Church too, so that was really awesome.
Today was P-day, and we had P-day with our whole Zone which was great. We all went to a Chapel in Natal(which means Christmas ha ha) and we played soccer and volleyball.  It was super fun!!  It was pretty hot and everyone was just sweating like crazy, but it was a lot of fun.  Then afterwards we went to a restaurant and ate to finish it off.  It was a whole lot of fun. I hope everything goes well with the wedding and all. Tell Kim that I will be there in spirit.   Have a great week!!

Letter from November 14th and November 21st, 2011


This week was pretty good.   I took the birthday money and I bought myself some things. I ended up buying ice cream that was 17 reias (over 10 American $$'s), but it was way delicious!!  I bought some Adidas shorts because now I only had my Under Armour shorts. I also had a member buy me Our Search for Happiness, Our Legacy and True to the Faith, but I bought them all in Port.  But, that's about it .  Birthday's in the mish are a little different.  It was a pretty normal day, just that the other Elders made a cake and sang to me and we ate ice cream which was cool.   Then we had pizza for dinner which was delicious. But, it was pretty cool.  I am no longer a teenager anymore.  I'm starting to get old!
Things are going pretty good here.  It's still as hot as ever, but we have been getting a little bit of rain, which reminds me - I have a mission for you.  I need you to try and find an umbrella that is really sturdy (because of the wind) and that is compact.  All of the umbrellas here are a bunch of crap!  But, I am needing one because of all the rain, and I don't like to get wet.  So, if you could get me one and send it in the next package, I would greatly  appreciate it.  Other than that, it's just the same ol' same ol' - working hard and doin' work!
One funny thing from this week was Elder Jensen - he came to me one night and said "I'll let you tickle my feet for 10 minutes and if I don't pee my pants or tell you to stop, then you have to give me 5 reias".  So, I was like "you're on".  (Elder Jensen's feet are super ticklish).  So, we did it (ha ha).  I think he lasted like 5 min and then told us to stop.  But, it was hillarious!!  He was like screaming and squirming - it was so funny.  I was laughing my head off.
One other story - there was one day we were walking in the street and this big ol' tree got taken by the wind and almost hit us.  We were all screaming and and running away from this tree.  It was hillarious. But, that's about it.  I hope that all is well.  I will talk to you again in a week.  Much love!!


Things have really been improving in our area. A new convert introduced us to a young man who is really interested in the Church and in finding him, we also found his litttle brother who has been going to Church with the Bishop's son.  AND in finding them, we also found alot of other young kids who are their friends.  All of them went and visited the Church yesterday and they liked it a lot, so that is way awesome.  It's really an eye- opener on references.  We have just been trying to find people to teach with our own work and everything, but it hasn't been working out very well.  All of a sudden we get some references from some members and everything changes in the blink of an eye.  This week I think was probably one of the best weeks that I have had in a long time. We really had a lot of success this week.  So I am truly grateful that things are finally starting to get better. Really makes me sad that I never helped the missionaries before the mission with references.  Who knows how things would have worked out??  But, at the same time, it makes me super happy to hear that you guys are helping the missionaries there in Heber with Rebecca.   I don't know if you realize how awesome it is as a missionary to have a family that gives a reference and then offers their home as a place to teach and you already have a friend in the Church as well.  This is really the ideal situation as a missionary. So, that makes me really happy that you guys are helping them.
About Thanksgiving - that pretty much doesn't exist here. It's more of a Holiday there in the states.   But, I live with 4 Americans, so maybe we will get together and have a nice meal of ramen noodles or something like that (ha ha - just kidding) But, we will see.
Other than that, it's going good. Heavenly Father has really been blessing me a lot lately, of which I am truly grateful!!  I hope that you have a great week and that all goes well.  Much love!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Letter From October 26th and October 31st 2011

October 26th 2011

So, I have pretty much come to the conclusion that President doesn't want me to stay with my comps for very long.   I am staying in my area with my new comp, Elder Barnes.  He has 6 months in the mission and is from Washington. I was working in 2 areas because one was closed, but it opened up again so I will just be working in the one area.  Also, we have 2 more elders that are living with us and working the other area and you will never guess who they are.....Elder Jensen (my comp from the MTC) and Elder Marston, who was in my District at the MTC.  So, it will be us 4 Americans living in the same house.  It should be pretty crazy!!  I was really wanting to stay one more transfer with my other comp, but that didn't work out. I truly believe that President Hall recieves revelation about these things, so I guess that this is how it's just supposed to be. 
Hey, tell some people to write me some letters.  It's been more than 3 months since I got my last letter in the mail.  Have a great week!!

October 31, 2011

These past couple of days have been pretty good. It has been cool to get to know my new comp a little better and all.  I am really getting along with him well.   It's also been way cool being able to live with some Elders from my group. I didn't even realize how much that I like Elder Jensen until now (haha).  He is really funny!!  It's really funny to listen to him talk slang in Portuguese. Funny experience - we have a hot water shower head in our house, but you have to flip this switch for it to work.  So, before he got in there to take a shower I turned it off so that no hot water came out. He isn't tall enough to turn the switch back on (haha). So, he ended up taking a shower with cold water!!  He got pretty mad at me afterwards, but it was hilarious. Then last night he wanted to play chess against me. I haven't played chess in years. I think Dad taught me to play when I was like 13 years old.  Elder Jensen was talking all this mad trash about how he was gonna beat me and everything. But somehow I pulled off the miracle win, and ended up walking away with the "W". I  was so excited and I started yelling and everything - it was hilarious.
I think today we are going to get together and play soccer with some Elders from our District which should be fun. It's gonna be how we celebrate Halloween today.  Email me next week to let me know how much you put in my accout for my birthday.  Maybe next week I will be able to buy some ice cream to spoil myself!!  A container of ice cream here is like 17 reias (over $10 American dollars).  It's straight ridiculous!!
We should be helping another family get married this week. They moved into our area recently and they have been frequenting our church for a while now. They are really firm and have really strong testimony's, so I am really excited for that. I am sending some pics of me and my old comp.  Also me and a member when we got to take some pics close to the beach. But, hey - I'm gonna get going.   I hope that all is well with everyone and that you have a great week. Much love.  Until next Monday. . .

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Letter from October 17th, 2011

This week was good. On Saturday I officially hit my 10 month mark in the mission. I am officially in the double digits. This coming week will be transfers.  I am really hoping that I will stay here in this area. I'm liking it a lot here and there is a lot of work here that has to be done. And now that I know where mostly everything is makes it a little bit easlier. I don't want to have to learn where everything is again. But, I think that both me and my companion will stay here, but you never know - sometimes President does some pretty crazy things with transfers.
This past Wednesday was a holiday here in Brazil.  It was Children's Day (ha ha). The Church put together a way cool activity and everything with food and games. So we went there to eat lunch with everyone. They ended up renting a trampoline for the kids to jump on and everything. So, I got there and I just wanted to jump on the trampoline so bad.  So, I  waited for all of the little kids to get off and they said that I could get in.  It was awesome!!  It's been so long since I have jumped on a tramp. It was funny because the whole Church was there watching me and cheering (ha ha).  I did a couple of back flips and front flips and some aerials for them.  It was cool, and my comp took a sweet pic.
Yesterday the bishop asked me to give a talk, so I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. Here in this area I have 2 chances to give talks.  Maybe I can dodge a bullet and not have to talk in the first meeting, but only in the second. I thought it went pretty well.  I talked about enduring till the end and some things that help us endure like daily scripture study and prayer and going to church every Sunday. I don't know if anyone was paying attention, but I thought it went well. We had a couple of our investigators that went to Church, so we will see if we can get a couple of people "dunked" this week. But, things are going really well. The only thing that's rough is the heat, but I am pretty much used to it now. It's just my face that will always be red (ha ha).  I hope that all is good and well with all of you and that you have a great week.  Much love. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Letter from October 3rd, 2011

This week was pretty good. With Conference and all it took a lot of our time to work and everything, but we still had a baptism which was cool. We watched Conference and heard the words of the prophets and then had a baptism - doesn't get much more spiritual than that. Conference was way awesome, but a little different than normal. It was a little strange not to hear their real voices.  I'm used to being able to tell who is talking just by their voice, but here they just translate it live, so it's Brazilians talking. It was funny because before every talk there was a couple of seconds that you can hear them talking in English and then they start to translate it into Portuguese. So, I was trying to translate that little part into Portuguese before the translators said it.  It was pretty funny.

Things are going prettty good here. I didn't even realize how big my area is until this week. I knew it was big, but I had no idea that it was THAT BIG.   It's big enough to have at least 8 more missionaries here, but noooooo.  It's just us 2,  but we are making it happen.   If everything works out, we should be having a baptism this week as well.  

The only bad thing is that it's starting to get REALLY hot here, which is starting to suck. Everyone is always asking me if I use sunscreen, because my face is so red (haha). They don't know that's how I always look.  I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Letter from September 26th, 2011

Things are going pretty good here in the new area. I am getting a lot better at getting around and knowing where our investigators live and members and that kind of stuff, which is pretty dificult considering that we have an area that is freakin' HUGE.  Me and my comp are getting along and working really well. I made it through 6 hours of church yesterday, and let me tell you that it's a straight war to stay awake for 6 hours of church, but I managed. We had 8 investigators at Church yesterday which is really good. The family that we are working to marry was there, and we already got some things ready and only need a few more things to do the marriage.

I am sending one pic of our new wheels that we got this week. We have a member family here that absolutely loves and takes care of the missionaries. They had an old rusty bike in their backyard.  So, I looked at it and fixed it all up and everything.  I even put some pegs on the back for my comp (haha).  So, that's how we are traveling to and from our area!  Usually it takes about 30 minutes to walk to the house of this member family, but on the bike we cut it down to 10. It's hillarious (ha ha)!!
But like you, I am way excited to watch General Conference this weekend.  It  should be really good. The only thing that stinks is that we can't watch the priesthood session here because it starts at 9 oclock at night here (ha ha).  At that time we have to be in our apartment. It should also be pretty interesting that this will be the first time that I will be watching it in a different language which will be kind of weird not hearing their actual voices. l am gonna wrap this up. I hope  that you guys have a great week, and I will talk to you next week.  Much Love!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Letters from September 14th & 21st, 2011

September 14th- 2011

As you know, this week was transfers. And............. pack your bags - you're headed to Natal in Rio Grande do Norte. So, I switched capitals. Right now I'm in my new area with my new comp Elder Bandeira. He is REALLY new. He only has 2 months in the mission so he has only been in the area one transfer.  Needless to say, this could be interesting (ha ha). I personally don't think I'm prepared for this, so keep me in your prayers because I will need all the help I can get. It kind of stinks having to leave the area that I had just barely gotten to know and all of the people that I know there. But, I'm excited to be here in Natal.  It should be really good. My last comp was really bummed that I had to leave. He told me that I was the best comp of his entire mission which was really cool. We had a lot of good times together. This past week was really good. We had a baptism which is always way cool. I forgot my camera at the house, so I will have to send the pic next Monday on
p-day.  That's pretty much about it for this week. I will email again this Monday with more news on how things are going and all. Love to everyone!

September 21st- 2011

That is so cool that I'm an uncle again!!!  It will be crazy by the time I get home to see all the new kids and how big that they will all be. Well, I have been here a couple of days and I still have no idea where I am (ha ha).  We actually take care of 2 areas.  One is closed, but we still work there. So, we have a really really really big area to work with. We are going to have to work a lot with the members and get their help or it's gonna be really difficult. Also, as we work in 2 wards, we have to go to 2 blocks of meetings; one at 8:30 in the morning and the other at 3:00 in the afternoon. So a lot of my Sunday's will be spent at the church in 6 hours of meetings.  We had an investigator family that went to church this past Sunday.  They need to get legally married so we are going to try to help them with that.  That is one big problem here in Brazil.  There are alot of the people that just live together that aren't legally married.
We had zone p day today, but we didnt even get to go. My companion and I got a phone call and we had to wake up at 4:30 this morning to go to Joao Pessoa to  have interviews with President Hall.  We just got back like 5 min ago.  So pretty much my whole p day was spent traveling, but it was worth it talking to President.  
That is so cool that dad pulled out the "W" on Show Low.  He is just the man!I  I hope that win doesn't rank above our State Championship though (ha ha). The new nephew is so tiny.  Tell Jessie that she spelled Chase wrong and that it is
with a "c" (ha ha).  I hope that you all have a great week. Much Love.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Letter from September 5th, 2011

Things are going pretty good here. We are working our tails off here in this hot weather which is awesome. I still haven't figured out how I'm not weighing like 100 lbs right now because i sweat so much (ha ha).  We did find this one guy who is great this week. He went to church and liked it a lot. He pretty much bore his testimony in our Gospel Principles class which was straight legit.  There is definitely some potential for this guy. We had a division this week. This was the first time that me and my comp have been seperated since I got here. But, it was cool to work with a different Elder for a day. I stayed with Elder R who is from Belem. He is way chill and we had a good time. The Elders that we live with had a wedding of a family on Wednesday and had the baptism on Saturday that we went to.  That was really cool!!  I hope to one day baptize a whole family like that. That was about all that happened this week. It was a pretty swell week. This is the last week of this transfer, so I won't be emailing until next Wednesday. Hope you can make it that long  Hope you have a fantabulous week. Much love!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Letter from August 29th, 2011

We went to the zoo last pday which was pretty fun. As you can tell by the photo, I wrestled with an anaconda. All I can say is, "THIS ANACONDA AIN'T GOT NUTHIN ON ME!!". There was like nobody there at the zoo. All you do is pay to get in and then after that we pretty much did whatever we wanted. I wanted to get in the cage with the lion, but I decided not to (haha:) We had Zone Conference on Tuesday which was awesome. It was cool to see all of the other people that I know - all my old comps and people from my group. The Assistants to the President (AP's) and President and Sister Hall all gave talks that were awesome. It was a lot of fun.
Things are going really good here in our area. We should be having some baptisms this next week. I'm getting along really well with my comp. He said he is gonna ask President if he can just end the mission with me. He only has 3 months left. We have a basketball court in our apartment complex, and since I'm in Brazil, of course there are soccer goals too. So, it's pretty sweet!! We get to play basketball and soccer everyday. Let's just say that the Brazilians are a lot better at soccer than basketball (haha). It's starting to change from "winter" to summer here. It's getting pretty hot. There was one day that it was like 105 degrees, and let me remind you that we walk everywhere! It's really humid here too. So, it takes like 2 days for your clothes to dry completly (haha). Hope all is good and that you all have a great week.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Letter from August 22nd, 2011

That's funny that Grandma and Grandad ran into Elder Gilliland over in Flagstaff. He was assistant to the President, and he was the elder that came to Pombal and I got to go on splits with him for a couple of hours. We ended up finding the family that was baptized a couple of weeks later. I'm glad that he spoke good about me (haha).
Things are going really good here. As you can tell by the photo, we did baptize the man that was super excited! My first baptism here in Mandacaru, and it's a man!! His name is Fabio. He was seriously so excited to be baptized. It was really cool that he understood how important that baptism is. He had a few things that he had to quit like coffee and some other things, but he dropped them like it was hot (Snopp Dogg haha)!! It was funny, he got so cold in the Church because of the AC that he started to shiver (haha). And the water in the baptismal font was a little cold too, and so he started to shiver even more when I baptized him. It shows how used to it that these people are to just being hot all of the time!! We will have zone conference tomorrow, so that should be really good. I will get to see my old comps and some of the elders from my MTC group which will be cool. And it will be at the chapel in my area so i dont have to travel. The last zone conference, I had to travel 7 hours there and 7 hours back!
This week too, (haha) we discovered that my comp has a deep fear of spiders. So, the other elders that live with us they bought this huge fake spider and they scared the crap out of him with this fake spider. It was so hilarious!! He was like yelling and screaming and we were all just laughing so hard. It was so funny!!
I hope all is well and you have a great week.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Letter from August 15th, 2011

My week was pretty good. Me and my comp are really getting along well. We are working really hard and at the same time we are having a lot of good laughs too, which makes things a little bit more enjoyable and the time go by a little bit faster. By the way, I finally got yours and Grandma Hancock's packages!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sending that stuff - I know it wasn't cheap, but it will help me a lot here haha. Tell Grandma H that I said thanks with a big hug:) I have already eatin almost a whole thing of peanut butter. It is so good!!!!!!!!!! Well me AND the Brazilians that I live with have been helping me (haha). They just love it when us Americans get packages.
This week had a lot of ups, but some downs at the same time. I know that this is the work of the Lord, but Satan works too. We had a baptism marked for this past Saturday for a young girl. We had passed by there alot and her parents were really cool and had no problem with her getting baptized. They even signed the baptismal record saying she could be baptized. But, Saturday morning when we went to talk to this girl she wasn't home, so we called her cell phone and she was at her aunts house. Her aunt took the phone from her and started yelling at us saying how she wasn't gonna get baptized and how she was Baptist. So we went and talked to her dad to see what the deal was and he just was completely different. He wouldn't even say why they wouldn't let her get baptized. I think they just heard a bunch of bad stuff about the Church and then changed their minds. So that really sucked.
But at the same time, we marked at least one baptismal date every day this week which was legit. And we have one man who is super duper excited about his baptism which will be this Sunday. Of course since I was the new missionary in the ward, the Bishop asked me to speak at the last minute. In my first area they never called me because they knew that I was new, but here it's different. I think that will be the first of many talks that I will give.
Things are going really good here. Me and my comp are kicking butt and taking names (for baptisms that is-haha). Much love and thanks for everything!! Hope everyone has a great week.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Letter from July August 8th, 2011

"Things have been going good here so far. We didn't have a baptism this week, but we should have one or two this coming Sunday. It's tough trying to memorize all the new roads and everything, but I'm getting there. At least I know where our house is (haha). But, I'm in the part of João Pessoa called Mandacaru. It's a really poor part of Joao Pessoa. They call this a "favela" or in other words it's like the ghetto. I live in the same apartment as our Zone Leaders. So, I am the only American with 3 Brazilians. We live in an apartment with 1 bathroom that we have to share so its a pretty tight fit (haha). But, I'm liking it a lot. It's a lot more fun when you live with more people. We had p-day today with our whole zone here which is like 20 people. It was really fun. We had this funny teaching practice thing that got everyone laughing really hard. Then of course being here in Brazil, you have to play a little bit of soccer. It was my very first time playing. It was pretty fun, but there are some elders here that play really good. I think it was more fun just to watch. But, that's pretty much it here. I'm just getting to know the people and the area right now. Hope everyone has a great week!!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Letter from August 3rd 2011

"Well now that I got "Dear Johned" I guess my mission is complete (ha ha). But anyways - it is what it is!

So, I got transferred. Right now I'm here in João Pessoa, the capital. I'm here with Elder Vasconcellos. He will be my first Brazilian comp. I left Pombal last night at 12:00 and then I got here in João Pessoa this morning at like 7. But, I only got to say goodbye to like 2 people in Pombal because I had to stay with other missionaries in a different city because my comp is training right now. But, I'm excited to be in a new area and that I'll be able to meet some new people.

I'm sending some photos. The baptism was of Lucas. He is the son of Gorete, the lady that we baptized last Sunday. He just wasn't baptized because he was sick. So now in that family there is only one more person to be baptized to complete the family and she should be baptized soon. I will give you more details and everything Monday. I will need many prayers to help me get through these next couple of days."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Letter From July 25, 2011

"I hope you're prepared to hear about one of the best weeks of my mission! The first couple of days of the week were nothing special just normal days of the mission life. But Wednesday was an awesome day. First of all, we went to the kids house that we baptized last sunday, Romario. He told us, "Hey, I've got something to tell you." We asked him what? Then he just went off about how thankful he was for us and how much we had helped him in his life. He told us a little bit about his past life and the things he used to do. He told us about why he was baptized and the answers to his prayers and stuff. He told us about how it sucked that we would eventually get transfered and how he didn't want us to forget about him. As I was sitting there listening to him say all of this i was just like WOW this is so awesome. In that moment I was seriously so happy it was ridiculous. I just thought to myself, this is what makes the mission all worth it - moments like these. I was seriously so happy. Then right after that we went and visited Gorete and her family who live up the street. She is the woman that Elder Gilliland (the assistant to the president) and I found when we went on splits. We had her baptism and the baptism of her youngest marked for last Saturday. We went there to talk to the rest of the family because she has 3 sons and 1 daughter. So we went and visited them, and in the process of visiting them, we marked the baptisms for her other two sons as well. As you can see by the photo, we baptized Gorete the mom, Bruno the oldest boy, and Richel the youngest. We would have baptized Lucas (the other son) as well, but he got pretty sick at the last minute, so we will do his baptism some time this week. But it was just an awesome week. We had 3 baptisms and 4 people received the Holy Ghost yesterday. I couldn't help but smile. I was so happy. It's these kind of weeks that get you through all the rough parts of the mission."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Letter From July 18, 2011

"Here is a picture of a spider that was in our apartment that looks like it has silver and gold armor and looks like it could murder an elephant. But, I don't know if its got it in it to murder a servant of the Lord haha.

This week went really good. I got to do a division with the zone leaders here which is always really good. I always learn a lot of stuff from them even though I was only with them for a day. We had quite a few of our investigators at Church yesterday which was awesome and we had a baptism yesterday which is always legit! We baptized a young man named Romario. This is one of those stories of when the elders before start to teach and the other elders come in and do the baptizing. It's just this time I got the lucky part and got to do the baptizing haha. It has been almost a year since Romario first met with the missionaries and he started to go to church. But, he stopped after a couple of months. Then me and Elder Paskett went there a couple of months ago and he said he would start going to church again, but he never went until a couple of weeks ago. So, me and my comp had the privilage to baptize him finally. I'm pretty sure the missionaries that found him and started to teach him are probably already at home and they have no idea that he was baptized. So, that was a pretty cool experience. We should be baptizing a woman and her son this week too, so that should be good as well."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The First 6 Months...

Chace has already been out for over 6 months now! As a matter of fact, it will be 7 months this Friday, July 15th.
Here are some pictures and quick updates of Elder Tenney's time in the mission field so far:

Letter sent January, 2011:

"We now officially have 3 investigators that we teach now and we teach them all in Portuguese which is pretty crazy because I was talking to some other elders and they have been here for the same time we have and they teach like 2 times a week and its in English. So, our pilot program is pretty crazy! But, we met with our one of our new investigators on Monday for our first lesson and taught him about the restoration and stuff and it went pretty good. It was cool. I quoted James 1:5 to him and also did the first vision after that from memory in Portuguese as well. It was super cool! Just a great, wonderful feeling that you get when the Spirit is there - it makes you feel so good. So here is a funny story- my comp is always trying to throw pieces of paper in the trash from far distances away, so I told him that if he missed he had to do 50 pushups that night, and if he made it, I would do 150 pushups. He ended up missing, so he tried to do 50 pushups that night without stopping (because he said that he could) but he only made it to 15 (ha-ha). And another funny story about him was in companionship prayer last night he was saying it and he asked to please bless our conquistadors instead of saying please bless our pesquisadors (which means investigator in Portuguese) so I just started to laugh because it was pretty funny."

Letter sent to April 25th, 2011:
"Things are going well here. I have been adjusting to the heat its not so bad anymore haha. its still really hot. here its either hot or its hot and raining haha. last night was funny we have to be in our house by 9 to 9:30 and we were at an appointment and it was like 9:25 so we had to like sprint home and it was raining like crazy and our house was like a half a mile away so by the time we got there we were dripping wet it was hilarious haha. We didnt have any baptisms this week but hopefully we will be having a couple this week though. Me and my comp have a great work to do here. We need to baptize 5 more men who have to receive the melkezidek preisthood and then the church can ask to buy the land that they would need to build a chapel which would be so cool. So these next couple months we will be working our butts off to try to make it happen. A chapel here in this city would really make the church grow fast. The language has improved a little bit but i still have a long ways to go till i will be comfortable. But I pray that it will happen soon. Life really is good no matter what anyone says. there isn't a day that goes by that is all bad. You just have to look for the good in every situation."

Letter sent June 13th, 2011:
"My week was pretty good. We didn't baptize this week but we had 8 people that we got to come to sacrament this week so I am hopeing that next week we will have some baptisms. I'm sending you pics of the baptism that we had a couple of weeks ago- his name is Roberto. Then the other one is just me in front of grafite, the funny thing is next to me in Potuguese it say "Careful with the men in ties" so it's pretty funny. The other is me with a young man in the branch here who is way chill and good friends to the missionaries. Things are going really well here. The language has really been clicking this past week which is way awesome. It's crazy that I have almost learned a whole different language in just 4 months haha. The Lord has blessed me tremndously with this. I finished the Book of Mormon on Wednesday so that was the fastest that I have ever read it. Now here pretty soon I think I will start again but in Portuguese haha. Yesterday a funny thing happened in our house. We only have one place to put hammocks so my comp put his on the top and I had mine on the bottom so it's like bunk beds but just with hammocks and I was on the bottom and he was on the top and his hammock ended up coming undone and he fell on top of me haha. He is not very small either he is like 6 2 and weighs like 200 lbs- but it was so funny. We had a really spiritual experience today. My comp and I were asked to give a blessing to this young lady who isn't a member who has been having these pains for like a year and the doctors don't know what the problem is. So my comp was giving her a blessing and the spirit just came in so strong, it just filled the room. My comp and I didn't talk about it till after we left the church but we both agreed that it was the strongest spirit we have felt giving a blessing. So that was a really cool experience."

Letter sent June 27th, 2011:
"My new comp got here Thursday night, his name is Elder Casperson and he is from Twin Falls Idaho. So I have pretty much had to been the senior comp here these last couple of days since he doesn't know the people or who we were teaching or anything. So a couple of things have happened. First off I think I am speaking way better than I use to because I am having to talk a lot more than I had to with my trainer. It was funny, Pres and Sis Hall came here to Pombal to talk with us and do interveiws and I was talking in English to Sis Hall and I was having such a hard time talking it was funny becuase my brain is just in Portuguese mode right now haha. But also this week we had a baptism too!!!! We baptized a young man named Augusto. this was really cool too becuase my trainer and I only had taught him a couple of lessons and stuff, so I had to like take the lead with him and make the decisions with him and put the baptism together and everything so that was really cool. Augusto had been having some bad problems in the past with drinking and drugs and smoking and stuff like that, but when we got there he was only smoking, but he was smoking like 3 packs a day, so we had to get him to stop smoking. He stopped and now he is baptized. It's way awesome to see the change that the gospel can make in peoples lives- it's absolutely incredible. I was talking to Augustos mom and she was talking about how he had changed so much with the church and stuff, so it's way cool to see people change for the better. I am hoping to have a couple more baptisms this week too."

Letter sent on July 4th, 2011:
"The language has really been coming good lately since I have been having to talk a lot more. A mission is way hard. There is this woman that we have been teaching that would be baptized but she is not legally married to her husband, so I told her that she needs to marry him but she doesnt want to, and I don't blame her I wouldn't want to marry him either he is a lazy terd. So i don't know what were gonna do there. oh yeah and about our baptism this week. His name is Manasses and he is 17 years old. I realized yesterday that this is the work of the lord and that i am only an instrument in his hands. My trainer and I knocked on this kids door one day and started to teach him and stuff. in the beginning he said that he didnt even believe in god, he WAS an atheist haha, he belived in the big bang and everything haha. There are some powerful tools with this work too. prayer and the spirit are one thing that helped him a lot, and the book of morman helped a lot too. But we taught him and everything this was like a month or two ago, but we taught him the word of wisdom and after that he didnt want more so we had to drop him. But I saw him last week in the street and talked to him again, and marked to visit him again. Went there and things were way better in his relationship with heavenly father. so we marked his baptism for yesterday and his was baptized. I realized how powerful the Lord is and the influence and change that He can make in someones life. When I look at the baptismal pic I think just a couple of months ago this kid didnt even believe in God, and look at him now."

Letter sent on July 11th, 2011:
"I never would have thought a year ago that I would be reading scriptures and Preach my Gospel and the Liahona and these sorts of things in a different language. I think its so cool!! Granted I still have a lot of more stuff to learn, but its still pretty cool. So we didn’t have a baptism this past week but we should be having a couple this week. A couple of weeks ago when Pres. Hall came here and I went on splits for a couple of hours with the assistants to the Pres., me and an elder from Flagstaff AZ (haha) knocked on a door to this ladies house who let us in to teach her. We marked her baptism for this coming Sunday so we should have her and I think we will be baptizing some of her kids too which should be really cool because really this gospel was made to bless families, so its a lot better when you baptize a whole family."
Picture from 4th of July celebration 'Brazilian style'.