Monday, September 19, 2011

$40 in an envelope just showed up!

Holy cow! This week was a good one! Lots of stuff happened this week. so where to start. Lets start with the Wellington family. So we baptized the kids in the wellington family! they have 4 kids. Wendel, the youngest wanted me to baptize him. I felt it a real honor to baptize him. So we did that Saturday. After we had some victory pizza. We will still work on the ´parents to get married so they can be baptized also. So, this week was tough. We had a really hard time finding people and a lot of our appointments fell. So that kinda sucked. We were working our butts off too. We didn't understand. We were doing all we could do. So, there is an ongoing investigator named Sandra. And we taught her everything and what not. She is going to be baptized. I know this church is true. She marked a date for herself and everything. talk about a miracle. But that's not all. Jose was also a tough one. He realized this week that the BOM is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. We marked him for a baptism too. He will get baptized the 24 of Oct. Crazy how much the Lord has blessed us.

Ah but there is more. This week, we had to go to the mission home. It was the last day before we got money into our account. Well, we were broke. We had no money to take a bus to the mission home. And the banks aren't open in the morning to take out money. So, we were just like... well idk what to do. We went to work and had faith it would all work out. When we arrived home that night, there was an envelope on our door. It had 40 dollars in it. We have no idea who it was from or how it got there because there is a gate that's locked. Anyways, it was just enough money to pay for breakfast, lunch, and pay for the bus fee for both Elder Lembranzi and I. Talk about a miracle. Such a testimony builder! The Lord loves his missionaries. Also, I received the package from Ma Kayla and Aubrey and Yours Mom. Which is kinda crazy because a package takes at least a month to get here, or longer. So I was surprised I got both. Holy cow I was excited! Between the packages, I had everything I needed. I was so happy! I loved everything. I got it all! Nothing was touched. I passed out the stickers to the kids and they love it :) I loved the candy. haha it's already gone. Thanks everybody for the support :)

In the next package I would love snacks, a tie, and shampoo :) and if I think of anything else I'll let you know.

Well Camila is done. haha we cant get a hold of her. We have tried everything. I think she is avoiding us haha. And well we don't have many families to teach. We are having a really hard time finding new people to teach. But, I know we will find someone!

I haven't had to speak yet. Thank goodness!

Well p-day I nap, email, write letters and do laundry. haha its not that adventurous. haha

Well about those pictures. I have some taken on my camera. But I don't have a computer with a usb connection. sooo... you will have to wait. haha but I have a new nickname. I am called freewilly and elder fio. haha fio is like a string. haha its funny because nobody can say my name. haha so I make fun of them for saying my name, and well the little kids make fun of my Portuguese, so its all good. I love the work here! haha as you can tell I'm fitting in pretty well. haha I just wish I knew more Portuguese. haha

Sounds like things are going well at home :)

Holy cow it was an excellent week! I love being here! Such a testimony building week that's for sure. the language is still tough. But I got to see elder Acosta again and my buddies from the CTM. haha that was pretty great. They said I have improved a lot, which was nice. haha eu tenho um longo caminho pela frente. mas, eu sei que eu vou aprender esta idioma. Com tempo. mas, eu preciso ir. eu amo vocês!

com amor,

Elder Firl

Glass Tequila bottle thrown...

A letter written to Kayla Pickett...

Jake asked me to share this story with you.

“So, remember that picture of the big city outside my window? Oh yeah, we went through there. Haha and when I say big city, I mean this place was crazy. I’ve never been to NYC before, but it’s the only thing I can compare it to. SO many people, the buildings are giant! The air is terrible and well, it smells like smoke. So anyways, we had this one street we could be on, the busiest street of them all around here. My instructor told us it is the wall street of Sao Paulo. And well, its nuts! The streets are HUGE. Anyways, so when driving over, I got super nervous, I was worried about people not understanding and well, just nobody wanting to listen. Satan’s thoughts were getting in my head. So when we arrived, I was in awe. Elder Acosta was like a deer in headlights, and I was like…uh, where to start?

Walking down the street, we were trying to find someone to talk to. Haha a little nerve wracking. Finally I told myself, lets talk to that guy sitting down. So we did. I introduced myself and all that good stuff. Haha turns out the guy knew English and was a pastor. Haha oh joy. Let me tell you, we got shut down! Haha I got a good laugh, told Acosta that it couldn’t be any worse than that.
So the next guy we talked to was black and was called Miguel, he too spoke English. Haha we were busting up. We couldn’t believe we got two English contacts in a row. Except this guy had an English accent, he was from Capetown, South Africa. So that was legit. He was a really strong Catholic. In face he had his bible on him. So we showed him a scripture about other sheep, John 10:16. It was good. We were bummed that we didn’t have any English BOMs. But its ok. We talked to him for 20 minutes about Africa, rugby, and the gospel.

But then later we talked to a guy with a heart problem, sitting there to get money. Told him this book will help his life. He was very interested and thanked us so much! His name was Joao. So humbling, it was hard to understand him, but so awesome he had nothing and was loving.

One of my favorite contacts was Matthew. He had a cig, long hair, stunna shades, and coffee…I think. But he also spoke English, way cool. He was way interesting. Just sitting there on that curb. But anyways, he didn’t believe in God, but in a higher power. We made him think. We taught the whole first lesson. Very knowledgeable about the bible and Christ’s life. We talked to him for 25 minutes. Super good! I knew he felt the spirit and we asked the right questions. So awesome! Never gonna forget that, I judged him too quick, but I know something clicked in him. He accepted the BOM and promised he would read. So awesome we are teaching real people!

Haha so the others were good experiences, but these were the ones that stood out. Ones I want to remember. We passed out 5 BOMs. All seemed way interested….well except the last. But that’s an interesting story. Haha so here goes. So with 35 minutes left, this bum came up to us. He said, “ I want a Book of Mormon.” But he slurred all his words. He was totally drunk. You could smell it from a mile away. This guy was a bum. Trashed clothing, no shoes, super dirty, his eye (right eye) was messed up, super gross, losing teeth, walked funny. Haha got the description? Haha oh [and] he was black. But anyways, he came up to us wanting a BOM. I wasn’t sure if I should give him one because its sacred. I told him that, and he said like he had a desire and all that stuff. I still wasn’t so sure, but then a thought came to mind, “yeah he is drunk and doesn’t know what he is doing, and I don’t know what he will do with the book, but he is a son of God, and deserves a chance to hear the word of God.” So I gave it to him and just testified my heart out to him, knowing I’m not the one to judge him and that I am doing my part, and that I should love this guy. So yeah, he took the book and the other bums were sitting…drinking. And well one got mad because his bottle was empty and he threw the glass tequila bottle right next to us. Haha glass was everywhere! I’m surprised none of it hit us. Acosta looked like he was going to pee his pants! He didn’t like the…weirdos and creepy people. Haha I don’t mind. But yeah, I just said “haha we should probably go.” So we did. Rushing to get back to go meet up with the others.

So with these experiences, I was surprised how friendly the people were, especially in a scene like NYC, people who don’t want to talk or be bothered, ya know? But those who didn’t want to talk were so polite! Almost everyone was willing to talk. It was so neat! I loved it. But I loved the feeling of getting a taste of the campo. I’m not as nervous, and am super excited =] I know this is the mission Heavenly Father wanted me in. Without doubt. Ah I love this place. Crazy place, but so awesome, I wish I could describe it better. Its kinda like the states in Paulista, all different types of people. Same hearts and all, they are like you and me, searching for happiness. Incredible, and well I am here to give it to them as best as I can."
Elder Firl

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Baptism!

I would have to say that this week was crazy too!!!

Well about Camila, We haven't gotten a hold of her. But we are going to keep trying! As for the Wellington Family. They are making progress! The kids will have their baptism this week! Crazy! Yes we have other investigators, we have Jose. We have been teaching him for a long time. He is trying to find if Joseph Smith is a true prophet, so we are helping him out with that. This last week we had a baptism! It was Gustavo. He is a rapaz. Most of his family are members. The plan for the Wellington family is to visit them everyday to make sure they are doing alright. I will lets ya all know next week how it goes :)

Oh the weather. Haha its just like the northwest except there is more sun. Its really funny how similar the weather is here.

And as for the laundry. haha I wish I had a maid. We have to do our laundry by hand. Yes pulling out the scrubby brush and using a sink, and then let it soak. Then after we have to since out the soap, after letting it soak. Then we hang it. haha yup, hang dry. Its a lot of work. haha

As for the packages. I haven't gotten anything yet. But I'm stopping by the mission office quinta feira. So I will know then. The things I miss from Washington, well I miss a real shower and American ice cream. haha but the food here is amazing. I love it here! The juices they make are amazing. Holy cow and the pizza. The Brazilians know how to make pizza. I had the best pizza in my life. We had a Tuscany pizza. haha it was amazing. It had chocolate in the crust. At first I thought it would be gross. But its so good!!! Holy cow. idk how to describe it.

Yeah our ward mission leader works with us quite a bit. We have a ward. But its pretty small compared to a normal ward. We have a decent church building here. Its pretty small, but its better than nothing.

In fact this week, we helped put together a talent show. Let me tell ya it was pretty epic. We got a ton of references and contacts from the talent show. haha so we have a lot of work to do. We have been having problems finding new people. But anyways the show de talentos. The ward made me do a talent. haha well I ended up dancing because that's the only thing I can do. haha oh man, they loved it! Everyone came up afterward and was just amazed. I just did the worm, moonwalk, that good stuff. haha it was funny. All the kids came up and wanted to talk. haha I just wish I knew exactly what they were saying. haha anyways it was excellent! I got a good laugh out of it!

As for a package for Christmas. haha hmmm American candy would be nice. Some star bursts and what not. Just snacks and hygiene stuff would be excellent, toothpaste, oh some new tooth brush heads. I'll let you know if I think of anything else. stickers and what now. Anyways, it was a crazy week. I just figured out how to use The pictures I think. So I'll try next week to post some pictures. Hopefully that computer will have the ability to do it. haha

Anyways, I love hearing from ya all! Until next week :) tudo bem, e eu amo voces!

Love Elder Firl

Monday, September 5, 2011

Encountered a Poisonous Centipede....

The progress with the Wellington family is great! we committed them to not drink that coffee. and well we just found out that we will have 4 baptism dates for the kids. I believe it will be next week. haha too many baptism dates to remember. We make a lot of commitments, but only half or less actually go through. Like Camila, she wasn't there for our next appointment and we have been trying to get a hold of her. But we haven't been able to contact her. Sad day. We will keep trying though.

Ah most excellent!!! I cant wait to get the package! I have checked the mail this week at the mission office. So I might have received it, But I haven't gotten a big envelope yet. haha so idk. I've only gotten letter from ma so far. No worries, I should get it. I have connections in the CTM. I informed them about it.

As it sounds like the first week of school went well!!! Alex will love high school! I know I had a blast!!! Just make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. haha there is a lot of dumb stuff that goes on in HS.

Go easy on the missionaries that don't know English. haha its harder than it looks. Trust me. The language is a killer for me. haha I can talk with people sort of. Its about half and half depending on the conversation. I have a long ways to go. haha

I've been getting mail from Elder Anderson so no worries :)

Lol... yes the Mission President and his wife did feed us. But idk the names of the food. haha I just ate what was on the table, like always. haha

Oh as for my apartment. It's pretty small. We live right next to the church. So that's kinda cool! Well its kinda dirty but not really. haha just the usual. Haha although this week we did encounter a poisonous centipede... my companion was like don't move! And then smashed it. He explained those things kill people. haha so that was interesting.

No I haven't been taking any meds. haha I don't think they will really help out here. If you get sick, you get really sick.

The roads are paved. Its a pretty big town here. Even in the mata there are still paved roads. So we have it pretty good. haha there are just a ton of hills!

OH the ward is most excellent!!! It's pretty small! But its really tight. All the little kids like to talk to me and what not. haha they are really excited to have an American. They always joke with me in the language. This week the ward is having a talent show. haha and well they are forcing me to do it. haha my comp said I have to dance for them. Lol... looks like I'll be dancing for the ward talent show. haha that should be interesting. I'm actually really excited for it :)

As for this week. This week was pretty tough finding people. A lot of our appointments bailed on us. But it's coming along :) holy cow I love the work here and the people here. Things are great! The food is excellent! I didn't bring my camera with me to post pictures. But next time I will try to post pictures of the apartment and all that good stuff :) and of my comp. haha let me tell ya he is a stud.

If anyone has any questions about the mission just ask :) I love answering questions. haha it's a lot easier than thinking of things to say. haha the weeks kinda blend together so its really hard to remember what happened. The language is coming along better with everyday. I can actually teach a lesson for the most part. There are so many rules in Portuguese and it's hard to remember which rules to use. But it's starting to come together. haha at times I find myself thinking in Portuguese. haha its kinda funny. I just have to extend my vocab.

Anyways, all is well here in Brazil :) eu amo vocês, até o próximo email. falou!
Elder Firl