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

Monday, August 20, 2012

Letter from August 20th, 2012

Things here are going good.  I'm starting to get a little bit more used to the area and the members and all.  This is probably the best ward that I have been in so far.  I think yesterday we had 136 people in our sacrament meeting which is great.  But, I still have a lot more to get used and a short time to do it.   I only have 4 more week lefts in this transfer.  The good thing is I know for sure that I'm going to stay here and that I will get a new comp next transfer.  My comp's name is Elder Woolley and  as you can see by the name, he is also an American.  He  is from Salt Lake City.  This is his last transfer, so now he only has a month left. So, he is a little trunky, but he is still working really hard so that's not much of a problem.  He said that his parents are going to come and pick him up, so I should get to meet them as well.  But he is really a cool kid.  He reminds me of cousin Josh (ha ha). 
But I'm hoping this week that we should have a couple of baptisms here. We had a lot of people that went to church which was nice, so that's gonna help us out a lot.  It was nice to get to talk to you guys for a little while on Tuesday even though it was only for a couple of minutes.  Also on Tuesday, we had a leadership training meeting.  It was nice and I saw some old friends and learned a lot of good stuff.  I have a lot of things that I need to get better at (ha ha).   On Tuesday night it was my comps birthday, so we threw a surprise party for him. The other elders who live with us set it all up.  We had pizza, cake, chips, and soda - it was awesome!!  It was funny because we went the whole day without saying anything to him.  We didn't say happy birthday or anything to him, so I'm sure he was a little dissapointed.   But then we got home that night and sang happy birthday to him and everything and it was really cool.
If you want to send a package to me that's fine - you can send whatever you want.   But, I had an idea.  Instead of sending me a package you can send me some money instead, because there are some things here that I will only get to eat while I'm here, and there are some things that I want to buy here so that I can bring them home with me.  I want to bring home some hammocks and some stuff that they only have here.  I'm gonna bring home some food for you guys to try like cuscuz which is delicious and some other stuff.   It's pretty much for sure that I'm going to finish my mission here, so I'm already gonna start buying things to bring home and souvenirs and stuff like that.  So, let me know what you think about that.
But, that's about it for me.  I'll let you know how things go this week with baptisms and all.  It was actually a good thing that I didn't watch the funeral because the same time that the funeral was going on, we did a street contact with a young lady and invited her to go to church with us.  AND to our surprise, she actually went and after the meetings we marked her baptism for next month!!  Love you so much and until next week:)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Letter from August 8th, 2012

So . . . I did end up getting transferred.  My comp was called to be a trainer in our area, so I ended up getting transferred to the other state capital.  My comp will be Elder Wooley.  This is his last transfer, so I'm pretty sure this will end up being my last area as well and I'll only have one more comp after him, but we´ll see.  I'm going to miss my old comp, Elder Leite.  He was a great guy and we got along super well.  It was really tough to say goodbye to all of the members and people that we helped and got to know there.  There was a sweet old lady who really is a mean old lady.  I'll send you a pic and you'll be able to see she is holding a huge knife in her hand.  She sleeps with 2 knives under her bed to defend her children.  But, when I told her that I was going to leave, she just broke out in tears and that was just super hard for me.  But, the Lord has His hands in all things, so I'm sure there is a reason for this.   
But other than that, things are going quite well.  I'm pretty sad to hear all the news and things that are going on with Grandpa Tenney.  I really want to see him again, and know that I will someday, but I think it just won't be in this life.  What are a couple of years compared to eternity!  In this mission, I have gained a much stronger testimony of the gospel and the plan of salvation.  I have talked to many people from different churches, but no other church is compared to us in the plan of salvation.   We are the ONLY church that preaches about the priesthood authority and how this can bind our families together.  Grandpa was a very righteous man and for sure will be able to rest well after he passes to the other side.   Sometimes during the day to day I forget a little bit of how blessed I am to have such an awesome family like I do.  I think sometimes of what I did to deserve such an awesome and beautiful family.  But, I've got to go - I love you so much and you have a great week. 

Letter from July 23rd, 2012

Well Hello!! As you can see by the pics here, we had a baptism!!!  We baptized this young man on Saturday.  The other 2 young men are his brothers who were baptized 3 weeks ago. And, the young lady in the pic is his little sister who will be baptized this Saturday. They are from a super humble family, but we have a made a huge freindship with them and we love visiting them and their family. Things are going good here.  We have been having success with these kids, but this area is still super difficult.  But, we are working our hardest to find someone who wants to hear about the gospel.
Transfers will be the 8th of August.  So, we have about 2 more weeks.  Hey if you can, send me some pics of the new truck and the new house.  I would like to see where I'm gonna be going to when I get back.   That will be super weird not going home to the house that I pretty much spent my whole life in. But that's about it for me here.  Other than that, things are pretty much the same here.  I do miss the Elder that lived with us that was transferd.  I liked him alot. The new Elder doesn't talk too much and just keeps to himself. I found a recipe book in our house this week and made some things. I made pancakes, french toast, and german pancakes, syrup, cookies, and brownies. It was nice to get a little taste of home, even though it wasn't nearly as good.  But other than that, things are good.  I have really had a huge personal growth in this area, and even though it's super tough here, I'm still super happy with everything. The gospel is just a great blessing in our lives!  Until next week -

Letter from July 2nd, 2012

These past couple of days have been some of the best of my mission.
yesterday for one was awesome. those two young men were baptized which
was awesome and we also had one more baptism of an swesome lady as you
can see in this pic. this lady has 3 kids and all of them are members
and she has known the church for the past 7 years. so you can imagine
how many elders have passed by and taught her in the past 7 years. but
you can see how the lord works in his own time. and i had the great
privilege to baptize her which made me so happy. also on thursday
night pres hall called and said that he needed to talk to the other
elders in our house. so it turns out that on firday morning pres and
sister came to our house. pres talked with one of the other elders,
and sis took part in our weekly planning session. it was really cool
and sister helped us out with a lot of stuff. and i took advantage and
talked with pres as well. he said that he has the right to send me
home 30 days early without any problems. if it becomes anymore than 30
he has to talk to the general authorites and stuff like that. he shared
a couple of experiences with me. he said that its up to me and that i
should fast and pray about this and then decide. i need to know if im
gonna get accepted first before i tell him anything.so do you have any
idea when we will know. and this wednesday we will be have interveiws
again haha. so ill ask him on wed to fill out that honor code thing.
today i had to go and renew my visa which had expired 3 months ago
haha. so im good know. but hey got to go; love you all so much and
have a great week.

Letter from June 28th, 2012

Man - it's so crazy to see the whole family together like that.  It sure made me a little bit trunky (ha ha).  Sound like the girls are handling the idea of the move pretty well.  The only rough thing will be the move for real!!  
I would be more than happy to send some rain your way.  We have plenty here!!  Well, as you know it was transfers and all here.  So, I ended up staying here in the same area with my same comp.  He will officially be the comp that I spend the most time with, which will be 12 weeks.  I'm pretty sure I'll stay here with him this transfer, and then he will leave.  Then I will stay one more with someone else and then go to my last area.  Only 4 more transfers left if I go till December.  Actually our house stayed the same so we will stay all 4 toegher, whcih I was happy because I really like these guys.  It's just the area is a little rough. 
This week was pretty good.  It was a holiday here in Brazil called Sao Joao which is a Catholic holiday, so there was a lot of people traveling and partying so it was a little rough.  We have a couple of  young men who always are going to Church and playing soccer with the members.  There were a lot of members who I'm sure will be happy that we stayed here at least for one more transfer.  That's about it for this week.  . We have a couple of young men who should be baptized this week.  They are really good young men who always are going to church and playing soccer with the members.  There were a lot of members who I'm sure will be happy that we stayed here at least for one more transfer.  That's about if for this week.  Today wasn't much of a "pday" because there was a ward baptism today.  It's funny here.  It was a baptism for the ward but they pretty much made us missionaries do everything (ha ha).  So that took up pretty much my whole day.  But hey - love you all so much and have a great rest of the week.

Letter from June 18th, 2012

Sounds like your Young Women's trip to St. George was super fun.  One of the first things that I will do after I get back from the mish is go to the temple.  I miss it so much - seriously the best place on earth.  I sent Dad an email and Ithink I'll write something to Grandma Tenney tand have her read it to Grandpa.  
Things have been going pretty good here.  We had some people who went to Church with us yesterday, and one lady who is gonna be baptized this week!!  This is the last week of transfers, so the next email will be a week from Wednesday.   We will see if I stay or go.  I think I will be staying and my comp leaving.  This is already his 3rd transfer here and only my first.  Well, officially I have been in the mish for a year and a half now.  I was joking around with Dad that now I have served more time than he did (ha ha).  We celebrated by going to all you can eat pizza on Friday.  It was good since we received our allowance so that I had money because I was straight broke (ha ha).  It's been going by pretty fast - only 6 more months now. 
I think we might go visit the zoo today to mess around a little bit, but it has been raining a lot here, so maybe not.   This week our water bill came 1,200 reais.  We think that we have some sort of leak somewhere or someone is stealing our water because that is just super expensive!  It should only be like 75.   We made a delicious cake this week that is like a chocolate cookie cake.  It was SOOOO good.  I don't know if they have all of the ingredients to do it in the states.  If they do, I'll have to make it when I get back.  I want to learn how to make some of the foods here so I can show to you guys how it is here.  But, it will only be the good stuff (ha ha).  But hey, love you all so much.  Have a wonderful week.  Until next Wednesay.