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

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'.