Monday, December 26, 2011

Transfer...Sao Marcos "A hole"...

Oh it was so awesome to able to talk with you guys! I loved it so much! Sorry my English was horrible! It was really hard to speak because I was thinking in Portuguese at first. Yeah I figured dad was sick. He didn't look to good there. It's a bummer that Natalia got sick and Jeff too. Haha but I had such a great time with all y'all.

About the Nalley's chili, well it's good to eat. It's just hard because we don't have a can opener in our house, and yeah the taste isn't that good as well. I'm just used to beans and rice right now, it's kinda hard going back to American food. haha

Well, in my other area, Sister Inez, she gave me a mug, a Santos mug. It was really sweet of her :) and also, I got a lot of food. From my area here in Sao Marcos, I got cake, this thing of wood, I guess it's pretty rare to find here in Sao Paulo. and also ice cream! So mostly food., so it's all good!

Yeah we ate at the 2nd counselors, house yesterday, it was a basic meal. But as always, it was really good. And about Elder Ferreira, he has been out 3 months in the field. I only have a transfer ahead of him. So it's been pretty interesting. I'm his second companion. He said he has been learning a lot. I asked him if there is one thing that you have learned from me. He said, "Man, first off, you will teach anyone anywhere. And second, holy crap, you are not afraid to talk about baptism." Haha

The place I'm at right now is called "A hole". They haven't had a baptism here for about a year. The numbers are really low here and what not. So, my first week here I got our goals from my companion. And well, I asked him, how many people do we have set for baptism? Haha he goes zero. I am thinking, oh great...and our goal is?... 7. I asked him, do you think we can reach our goal? He goes... uhhh yeah, but I don't think it's going to happen. Sure enough this week, we had 7 people accept baptism! What a blessing that was! But we can do better. Our goal is to get 10 people.

We have one investigator that's really firm right now. Marli... She already knew the church and what not. But we found her in a contact. Her daughter is a member and her son, has major issues with drugs. The area I'm in has a lot of drug dealers and problems with this. So, its been interesting. But she is set for a baptism in January 22. I don't have my planner with me at the moment. The cover is getting plasticized so it will last longer. But over all, things went well with the transfer. I already knew my companion so that was pretty sweet. Since I'm in the same zone I was in earlier, that's pretty rare I guess. But I hope all is well!

Oh I think you guys might get a good laugh out of this. But I cut my hair by myself. Haha in less than 10 min with some scissors. Hopefully, it didn't turn out way bad. Before the transfer, my hair was getting pretty long, and I didn't have time on P-day to get my hair cut. So... I cut it myself. haha its cheaper, and it was pretty fun. Anyways, I thought you guys would get a good laugh out of this.

I love you all and I loved seeing you and talking with you! I can't wait for Mothers Day :)

With much love,

Elder Firl

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Halloween Pictures

Enjoy the pictures!

Celebrating Halloween and a Birthday with the American and his family

Jake bobbing for apples

Monday, December 19, 2011

Transfer this week!!

I haven't had a chance to go to the mission office yet. But i will tomorrow. I will be transferred tomorrow morning. So... this kinda complicates things. I couldn't believe I got transferred. They decided to do transfers this week at the last minute. But I did get a letter from the Evan's and I sent them one back, no worries.

So this week was excellent! With yesterday receiving the phone call that I will be transferred was tough, really tough. But I know the Lord prepares his people. I love this area so much and it will be so hard to leave. Tonight we will have a giant family home evening! I'm excited for that. Also, with Christmas coming up, I want to inform Alex, that I got him a little Christmas present. :) I love the rest of the family, but Alex will love his gift, I got it way cheap and what not. But you will have to wait when I get back. Haha and as for the rest of the family. I will get you guys things too. But Alex, I got you a Barcelona Jersey! And it has Messi´s name on the back of it! Hahaha oh yeah! I thought you would like that. Don't poop your pants just yet. It has his number and everything :) And it will fit you when I get back. It's a large. So no worries. SO don't get a jersey like it.

But this week for church, pretty much nobody showed up because of the final, between Santos and Barcelona. Santos is my team. It's a Sao Paulo team. And well. The game was the same time as church. So nobody came till the last hour. Haha but anyways, Neymar and Messi are way good soccer players and everybody was excited. Turns out Santos lost 4 to 0. Haha yeah I got a lot of crap from the members that my team lost. But it's all good. But this is about it this week!

1. Why didn’t you have clothes to change into after the baptism of Nair & Sidney? Was it because you hadn’t done your laundry? Or did you forget them?
Well, we planned on baptizing Sidney, so I just brought pants for him to wear. I wasn't planning on baptizing. And well at the last second, I was asked to baptize. So I had only the clothes I was wearing, white pants and a white tie. But everything turned out well :) Being wet is so worth a baptism :) so I didn't forget or didn't do my laundry. Just wasn't expecting to baptize.

2. So why can’t you do your laundry if it is raining too much??
Because I dry my clothes outside on the line. So when it rains, it's hard to dry my clothes. Haha we don't have dryers here.

3. So all your ASL (American Sign Language) can’t help you over there I take it to communicate with Nair & Sidney
… haha well it's helped. I am able to communicate my ideas to them and finger spell everything if i don't know the word. So it's helped a little bit :) It's been a blessing, because I was for sure prepared to meet Nair, and talk with her. I mean what are the chances that I took ASL.

4. So have you taught anyone else??
Many people! We actually found a family this week! They are elects (ready to hear the gospel)! Antonio and Adriana. We have taught them the first and 3rd lesson. Have a baptism set for 14 of January. They are so excited and know the church is true. They have a little girl that's 9 and 3 sons. Not, old enough for baptism yet. But such a blessing it was to find this family. It's going to be hard to leave. With an area that was difficult, we are now having success. And I will be leaving it. Talk about a heart breaker. I guess my mission is accomplished here. Leaving the area a lot better than what I found it. Itapecerica da Serra, this is it! Tomorrow I leave for a new area!

5. How is Cleane? Is there a baptism date? Can’t wait to see her via Skype!

Well the baptism, will be moved again. Since she was working again. And well... you guys won't see Cleane, since I'm being transferred. and I don't know about Skype. We will keep planning for Skype! For sure! I'll see if I can work any connections in the new area and I'll call you guys. haha

6. How is Nair and Sidney?

They are good :) Nair, received the Holy Ghost this last Sunday! What an awesome experience. :)

7. What about Geralda, Mayara, and Ingrid? Did they come to church? Baptism still set for Christmas Eve?
Haha its set for Christmas day! :) They didn't go to church, not sure why. And want to know why. But I won't be there for the baptism :/ for Cleane or Ingrid. I'm kinda sad, because we taught everything and I don't get to see the end result. Haha oh well :) were all on the same team.

8. So what changed Elder Viana’s mind to go on a mission since he was so inactive?
Haha well, he prayed and fasted and he knew he had to go. That's what he told me. He knew, he would be even more blessed with the mission. He was explaining to me, that it's not all about the money. But he has realized the importance of family. Here on the mission.

10. Did you get any packages from anyone else??
Hehe I'll see tomorrow. We just don't have time to go to the mission office. We only go about once every month. So... I don't know yet. haha

11. Christmas phone call…if you can give me a time on your end I will figure things out on my end. It looks like you are 6 hours ahead of us. That way I can give a time to Kayla and the Wood family. This means I have to clean my den…you know how hard that is for me this time of year! But I will do it for YOU!!
Haha well with this transfer and what not. It makes it complicated... But I'll try to call maybe the day before or something. Just get the schedule of Kayla and Ma first and we can work it out on the phone. Haha sorry. I'm kinda upset about this transfer. One, I don't wanna leave. Two, this makes Skype and everything else ten times more complicated. Three, all the members in the ward told me they have something for me. Haha and now I won't get it. Haha gosh dang it. Also and more importantly, I will miss the baptisms. AND! yesterday, we talked with the Wellington family, its been awhile, and well we set up a wedding for mid January! haha and their baptism and I will miss that.

12. I sent you money via Western Union for the cost a lot! Can you negotiate and can you find a Western Union?
Haha they won't negotiate. But I will try. It's a government building. But I'll try. There will be a lot of words I don't know, when talking to the bank and the post office. Haha this should be an adventure. I'll let you know what happens. Haha oh great. The bank of Brazil and Bradesco. Haha talk about a living nightmare. Freak! I'll see what I can do about the package. As far as new packages being sent...the claim or price, put something, just make the price low. So this won't happen again. Inform the others. Haha thanks mom for everything! I'll stop by the bank after this! And well, I will try to work something out.

Love, Elder Firl

Monday, December 12, 2011

Two baptisms this week and no change of clothes...

Hey I love the pictures! Sounds like it is freezing there in the states. It's nice and warm over here. It's been raining a lot. Its been difficult to do laundry and everything. haha but its all good. At least the rain is warm. So I have a lot of things to tell.

So I received a phone call saying there is a package for me in the post office. But I have to pay 70 reais ($40) to get it. I don't know who it's from. Because I haven't been able to check if I have gotten any packages. I don't know why they are charging this much. But they said, if I don't pick it up, they will send it back, if I don't want to pay. And well I don't have money to get it. So you guys will probably get a package in about 2 months. I don't know if its from you, ma, grandma or whatever, they won't tell me anything. So I thought I would give you guys a heads up. And on the package, make the price really low on the items on the front. Because of everything. They will be nosy or will want to tax a lot. So anyways.

Also, about Christmas. For sure we will be doing Skype. I talked with Cleane, and she said we can come to her house and use the computer there. She has Skype and everything. Also, I don't know of a exact time yet. But it will probably be at night. Because a lot of members in the ward wanted us to pass by and everything. Also, I have a little wish list. I'm so excited that Jeff and Natalia will be there :) I will have lots of stories to tell. And I'll probably have issues telling them in English. I've noticed that my English is starting to dwindle. I'm mixing the languages together. But mom I will call you and let you know of a time. We have 5 minutes to call to confirm everything and what not. ta bom?

As of this week! We had a baptism this week! It was Nair! She is deaf! So we taught all the lessons and everything to her. I did most of the `talking`. It was a very complicated situation. And well her brother, Sidney, is deaf too. We wanted him to baptize her. Because it would of been a special experience for both of them. But at the last minute, they told Sidney no. Because he can't read very well and can't pronounce the words. We have no way to verify it. And well, both Nair, and Sidney, chose me to do the baptism. SO that was an excellent experience. I felt it such an honor. I had no extra clothes after wards. But, its an experience I will never forget. I will try to send photos to ya, via snail mail. She has the biggest heart. Such an amazing experience. I'll tell you guys on Skype, because it's a really long story. haha

But all is well here! Our area is progressing a lot! I love you guys and thank you so much for the support!

Com amor, Elder Firl

1. So have you figured out any Christmas traditions they do in Brazil?
Well Christmas is pretty much the same thing here. Other than the food is different. They have Christmas eve and everything. haha its pretty sweet. They don't have trees. But they buy crappy fake ones that are really little. They also put lights. But that's about it.

2. Do they have stockings like we do here?
They do indeed! haha its pretty much the same thing here. haha

3. What is your companions first name?
I will try to spell his name. Audecie. He played for SearĂ , a team in fortaleza. And then he played for Curitiba.

4. Will you be transferred before Christmas?
Nope :) I will stay. But I think I will get transferred after Christmas.

5. Did you get my package yet??
Look acima sobre the package.

6. How is Cleane? Did she go to church? Is there a baptism date?

She is excellent! She didn't go to church because she was working. But we are think the 24 de dezembro for her baptism. But who knows! I think you guys will see her via Skype and Elder Viana :)

7. What about Geralda, Mayara, and Ingrid? Did they come to church again?
Baptism still set for Christmas Eve? They didn't go :( yup it is! haha same date!

8. How is Rento?
Again, impossible to contact. We have tried so many times. haha talk about frustrating.

9. We have a ton of questions for Elder Viana!!
Did he play on Sundays?

yup, only Sundays.

How did he balance church and soccer? Having that issue right now with Alex.
Haha he didn't. He only did soccer, he traveled around Brazil and everything. No time with family and church.

Did he go to Young Men Activities and still do soccer practice and games?
Haha nope only soccer.

How does he remain strong in the gospel and be around all the foul language? He said no. He was inactive. For this reason, he said he doesn't want to go back. It's good money, but its not worth it. He had earrings and everything.

Had he played professional before the off to Germany?
He didn't go to Germany, he had a contract for him waiting. If he wanted to go. But he didn't because of the mission.

Does he have a large family?
He has a family of 3 bros and his mom and dad. He is the youngest.

Is playing soccer there expensive like here with Premiere?

Haha its kinda different here. They pay for everything. You play in the streets and on the beach. They pick you and train you and pay for everything.

Com amor, Elder Firl

Monday, December 5, 2011

Time is flying by...

Well it sounds like things are super busy in the Firl home. As for here in Brazil and this week, nothing super amazing happened. We have been working a lot. And I can't believe it's December already! The time is just flying by.

This week, Geralda and her family went to church. That was super awesome. That was probably the highlight of the week. We have had a really hard time with getting people to go to church. I feel as if asking people for baptism is easy. Teach with the spirit and bang! They are touched and accept baptism. haha and then they don't go to church. It's frustrating. We teach about Sundays and the importance of going to church. haha for example. We have 14 people that we have asked and accepted for baptism. But only have 5 are progressing because the others don't go to church. haha I never thought by asking people for baptism would be easier than getting people to church. I thought you guys might get a good laugh out of that. haha but this week we found a family of 4! Heck yeah! We taught the first lesson, they accepted baptism. It was an awesome lesson. The moms husband died. We explain about families, probably one of my favorite things, and well she almost cried. it was sweet! We will teach them again this week :) We are super excited. They are set for baptism on Christmas Eve! haha talk about a super awesome day to have a baptism! Well that's about it for this week! I hope all is well. Keep up the good work with basketball mom, I know winters are a living nightmare, pesadelo, for yeah. haha

1. Eric wanted to know if you got our letters we mailed to you?
I did get the letters :) let me tell yeah, I was so happy to get them :)

2. What are some Christmas traditions that Brazilians have for Christmas?
Well it's the same here as it is there. Just less lights and less Christmas trees. haha I'm pretty much clueless on this kind of stuff. haha its one of those things that ill find out when I get there.

3. What are some things they do different there for Christmas than we do here in America?
Well they have little Christmas trees. They can't cut down trees here and it's really expensive to buy a tree. They have a lot of Christmas lights that flash. They are called pisca pisca (in translation its blink blink), the verb is piscar, which is to blink. I thought you might find that interesting.

4. How are things working with your new companion?
Things are fantastic!!! We are getting a lot of work done here! He is helping me with my Portuguese and I'm helping him with English. haha we have pretty funny conversations at night. He always teases me that I'll marry a Brazilian. (haha not going to happen.) But we talk about soccer, where is used to play what we want to do with our lives. He is awesome, he sacrificed a lot to serve a mission.

5. What kind of things have you done on your P-Day?
I like to sleep and write letters and I don't know, walk around in the shops.

6. How is Cleane? What an incredible experience!
She is fantastic! Our compromisso with her fell through, because she is now working. It's way hard to get a hold of her. We asked her this week for baptism, but she couldn't go to church this week, so the baptism fell through. For sure were going to re-ask her for baptism and set another date.

7. What about Geralda? Have you taught her family too? How about Mayara, and Ingrid?
Geralda, Mayara, and Ingrid are great! They came to church this week. and let me tell ya, this week was probably the best sacrament meeting I've had in a really long time. So glad they were there. Here is what they said. "I have never felt the spirit so strong in my life. I absolutely love church!" Nossa, it was awesome! ` Geralda shared an awesome experience with us, about us. She couldn't believe that she found us. Because we made the contact in the center of the town, she was getting a hot dog. And well, we talked with her and she was like... I don't know why, but I'm not hungry anymore. Crazy! Because she went into town just to get a bite to eat. SHE lives way in the middle of no where. With the time she spent in town it was a miracle we made the contact with her.

8. Did you and Elder Viana teach her?
Yes we did teach her. haha it was legit.

9. How is Audrei and Luciana?
They aren't really progressing anymore. So we had to cut them off. (not teach them anymore) Love them to death, but we are here to find those that really want to be taught.

10. Have you stopped by to see the son of the American?
We have. he is still being stubborn. He has his free agency. We have done all we can do.

11. How is Rento?
He is good. Talk about impossible to contact. He is not drinking and fulfilling the Law of Chasity. So that's excellent. He didn't go to church this week :/ and his baptism is this Sunday. So he kinda has to go this Sunday. We will see what will happen. He is good though.

12. What about Valeria and Victoria? Are they still reading?
Impossible to contact also. I think they fell off the face of the earth. We have called stopped by and everything. Sad story. I think they are trying to avoid us.

13. What kinds of fruit have you tried since you have been there?
I don't remember the name of all the fruits, but I've been addicted to mango. SO good! And the condensed milk is probably the best thing in the world! haha not a fruit, but I'm going to bring a lot of it to the states. You guys have to try it.

14. Did you get my Christmas package? Was it opened? Did you get everything?
I haven't. Although, I haven't checked either. I don't know when we will be going to the mission office. But I'll let you know when I get it. Oh no worries! it's all good!

15. We have a ton of questions for Elder Viana!! We will save those for the next letter!
Haha sounds good. You can ask me questions about it. I'm pretty sure I will be able to answer it. haha

16. Phone call on Christmas…do you have any idea on how we are going to do that? Do I need to get a calling card? Or are we skypeing?
haha it's still up in the air. BUT, I want to do skype. I need to ask Cleane if I can use her computer to skype, since she has a webcam. But I still need to ask. But I'm pretty sure it will be skype. ta bom?

com amor, Elder Firl