Monday, February 27, 2012

"People are waiting for this word..."

Just answering questions this week:

1. Are you and Elder Woodward feeling better?
Yeah I'm feeling better. But Elder Woodward went to the hospital this week. While I was in a division (this is when we split up, go tracking with another Elder) Elder Woodward got really sick... apparently. He went to the hospital to find out nothing was wrong. I'm not exactly sure what is it.

2. So what was Carnaval like?

Well... to sum it up, it's a party full of sin. It's called the meat party. Haha and they are not referring to BBQ. It's like Marty Gras but, worse everyone is drunk or doing something horrible. It's kinda funny, because there are A LOT of Brazilians that do not like Carnaval, they say its horrible and this isn't coming from just LDS members.

3. Did you get to teach people this week or was it just too quiet because people were gone.
Well, this week we were able to teach some people after Carnaval. During the division with Elder Monteiro, I learned SO much! He is known as the baptizer in the mission. So, I learned a lot on how he baptizes. He told me his secret, it's so bold and simple. He told me the following... to be happy, you have to have a good teaching group. And to get a teaching group you have to find people with desire. And so I asked him, how do you find people with desire. Haha he laughed and said, you just ask them on the first visit. We did some practices and then put it into practice that day we found 11 people! This guy does not loose a minute. We ask if the person has ten minutes. We go in, and share our purpose. (this is the key, you have to tell them your purpose and they have to understand that you are there to help them to get baptized) Then, we share how Jesus Christ was baptized and ask, do you have the desire to be baptized like Jesus Christ was? A yes or no answer. If they say yes, you explain we will give them assignments and they have to fulfill them to know the truth, and ask if they will do it. And BAM! You found a person with desire in 10 minutes, from there they will do the rest, you don't need to `convince` it's quite amazing! SO simple and direct! It's working out so well!

4. What do the church members do during Carnaval?

Like EFY (Especially for Youth), they do a little camp for the kids and teenagers in the ward, so they don't get into trouble. I found that a really good idea!

5. Do you have a fridge? I know weird question. Do most members have fridges?
Haha yeah we have a fridge and freezer and pretty much everyone has a fridge.

6. How is your washing machine? Is it working?
Oh it's heavenly, I learned this week a pretty slick way to clean my ties. Haha to get almost any stain out of it.

7. Is there a McDonald’s there?

Heck yeah! But it's so expensive! They don't have a 99 cent menu. A big mac is usually, 7 reais. It's way expensive! And when I tell people here that they have a 99 cent menu in the states, they freak. I explain that fast food is cheap in the states, but fruits are expensive, they find it way interesting.

8. So did you completely stop teaching Joyce?
Yes. for now.... because we can't talk about baptism, so what would be our purpose.

9. What do you want me to do with the box you sent?
Haha well. I'll try to remember what all I put in the box. I know there are scripture cases in there. Those are for Eric, from the Sao Paulo temple. There is a little blue thing for you mom. You can put it on whatever you want. but usually, the girls put them in their hair. Haha but please don't do that mom. There is a Santos jersey in there for Alex, that has, Naymar on the back. Alex can wear the other jerseys at school one time. Haha but I bought the other for me. BUT! there is a Barcelona jersey with Messi on the back for dad. I bought it for way cheap, IDK (I don't know) if he will fit, but I bought it for him. The cup looking thing is mine; and the mug you guys can use. A member gave it to me. Does that help?

10.How is Danilo? So cool he can be baptized sooner? Does he have someone in the ward fellow shipping him?
Well...he has so many friend in the ward. He went to the Carnaval camp and made so many friends. He is going to church but his mom wont let him be baptized till the end of the year. BUT his dad said he could be baptized. BUT the mom is way stubborn. So I'll do the following. I'll give him the baptism document and tell his that he just needs to get his dad to sign it and he can be baptized. There is nothing else I can really do. We tried bringing the bishop and young men's president to talk to her about the program and what not. But she is stubborn.

11. Did you see Marli this week?
Haha we did. She doesn't have the desire to be baptized. End of story. But we love her to death. But we have to find more people and we will stop by every once in awhile.

12. Any new contacts this week?
SO many contacts! With Elder Monteiro we found a lot of people. The main people we found are Leonardo, Davi, and Rodrigo. All of them are references, and they all said they want to be baptized.

13.Have ward members been writing you?

The Evans! :) I'm still waiting from the Richardsons. Haha but not worries. I'm great :) Usually people forget the missionaries with 9 months out on the mission. And then the girls write on the last 6 months. Haha kinda sad, but whatever. I've heard a lot of missionaries that don't write back because we all know why the girls write on the last 6 months and not the whole mission.

But over all, I am great! After the division this week, I feel great! I am teaching more people than ever, and being more affective. There are always things we need to correct. But being bold and teaching simple is the easiest and best way, especially with a member. Just find the elect (those who want to learn about the gospel). Don't waste time with people who don't want to be baptized, even if its hard because you made a good relationship, but keep searching and you will find. People are waiting for this word. It's all about planning! I am fantastic! If you wanna a little taste of what always plays in the streets here. Ask Ma Wood for the name of the song. But it goes like this. Nossa nossa assim voce me mata. It's a HUGE hit here. Haha the lyrics are pretty funny. Aanyways, I love you all! Peace out

Love, Elder Firl

Monday, February 20, 2012

Got sick this week...strong flu

So over all it sounds like a pretty crazy week! It's crazy to see how much Eric and Alex have grown, this is the first picture that has turned out pretty well that I've received. haha


1. So what are the guidelines for Carnaval this week in the mission field?
No nothing really changed. Except it has been impossible to find anyone, since everyone is traveling or is drinking. So we have visited less actives and members in the ward to get references. So its been a pretty slow week. haha

2. How is Joyce? Is she progressing?
Oh heavens, where to begin. Lets start with the good news :) Well she went to church this week. So that was good! I ended up giving a talk yesterday as well. I was feeling too well, and I felt like I was beating around the bush a little. But it's all good. Anyways, so we visited Joyce and what not Saturday. It was an interesting visit. It was a make it or break it visit. We wanted to know if she has the desire to be baptized. So anyways, we taught the lesson and tried to remark her for baptism. That didn't work out too well. After talking with Sara, Joyce said that we pushed baptism a little too much.... my bad. Anyways, she didn't accept a date. But she did tell Sara, that she will be baptized, just not now. So... the lesson didn't go as well as I hoped. But I did learn a lesson. Not one of us is perfect as a missionary. And I kinda got down on myself for this baptism falling through, I feel like it is my fault. But, none of us is perfect.

3. How is it being district leader?
Ah, its okay. Nothing too special, I just have to get the numbers and what not. Our district is doing pretty well! So that's good :)

4. Any progress on Danilo?
YES! Danilo went to the church camp thing during carnaval, so that is excellent. He will get to know the young men and women there, to feel more integrated. So that is excellent. And well... his mom said he can be baptized in 2 months! HECK YEAH! its an improvement. 1year to 2 months. I accept :)

5. Did you find out what happened to the Familia De Admir family? Are they still in your ward area? Were you able to teach them?
Well... We talked to them and they were there. What a blessing. We explained that this is a huge blessing. And asked them if they would go to church. They said yes! we will go! I said, well there is a difference between saying yes and doing it. Haha and they said for sure they will go. But... they didn't go. So we let them go because they aren't progressing.

6. Did you stop by and see Marli this week?
Nope. This week, Elder Woodward was sick Sunday through Wednesday. And then I got what he had. I have had a headache, cold sweats, I'm pretty sure it was a really strong flu. I have been drinking tea. It seems to be helping a lot. So I was out Thursday. Talk about a really slow week. Our numbers were horrible. I'm a little stressed out about that. But for the most part I'm feeling better. Still not feeling well, but enough to work.

7. Okay so do you text out there on your phones?

No. But we can receive texts. We always have to call.

8. How are things going with your new companion Elder Woodward?
Things are well, for the most part. Just a slow week being sick. But this week will be better.

9. Any new contacts this week?
Because of being sick no. But we did get some references that we will pass by tomorrow :) So that's good.

Anyways, that's about it! I love ya all! And have a fantastic week!

Com Amor, Elder Firl

Monday, February 13, 2012

"With trials, we always learn something..."

So this week has been really tough. But with trials, we will always learn something. Between a new companion, baptisms falling through like no other. It's been really tough. But I know that I will grow. But I often think of what am I doing wrong. I'm trying my best and it seems everything is falling. Haha and then I remembered the story of Job. And well that pretty much told me. Get your butt into gear, give your best, and don't let Lucifer win this battle. I can tell ya, we will not win.

Tell Janice that I will make a visit out there! I want to tell them all the stories from the mission :) After all, she practically is a mom of mine. And tell Matt to send me a letter. I don't know his address. But I wanna hear how he is doing.

1. So with Carnival (Carnaval-how they say it in Brazil) coming up, you have strict guide lines as missionaries? I know it is Feb. 17-22. Should be interesting!
I can see it being a problem to teach during that time. I'm not sure. We should be getting a phone call about the restrictions and what not. I'm pretty sure they will want us to get in the house earlier.

2. So what are you responsibilities as District Leader?

Basically, I just have to make sure my district is reaching their goals. haha a lot easier said than done. It's just another weight as a missionary.

3. Who are you training? Where is he from?
My new companion is Elder Woodward. He is from Washington, Spokane. But I'm not training him. He as almost a year on the mission. He is a good guy! He has a good desire to work. But yesterday, he did get a little sick. its all good though.

4. Did you go to the Western Union to pick up your money?

not yet.

5. Nana and I are putting together your birthday box! One more question…on the shorts, do you want soccer shorts, basketball shorts, cargo shorts? And Adult Large size? Is there a specific color?
Haha soccer shorts :) the best kind of shorts around, and yes, an adult large.

6. On the ties…specific colors? I am hoping to finish it up this week. Bright colors!
I don't have a gold tie yet. Some sweet paisley ties would be pretty good. Oh and a tie clip thingy would be sweet as well.

7. How is Joyce doing? So exciting about her! It is hard when you have family issues!
So... we made a visit with her and things went... alright. We taught the 10 commandments explaining the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chasity. And well... it seemed to me that she was a little overwhelmed. We explained everything and what not. She said she understood and what not. She has a slight addiction to coffee and drinks every once in awhile, but she said she would try to stop. But after a slight pep talk, she seemed pretty determined to do a diet. We are going to call everyday to check in on her. But after we taught the lesson, I had a horrible feeling throughout the day. Like I was forgetting something. I couldn't figure out what it was until I had the slightest impression to call her and let her know that her Father in Heaven loves her, for whatever burden we have or sin we have. He always loves us. but.... as we know, I hate calling people, well.... talking on the phone. I didn't want to call because I have a little fear of the phone. But when we got home and were planning I told Elder Woodward what I was feeling. He told me, dude, you gotta call. Haha and for about 5 minutes he told me I had to call. But I kept saying I can't. Anyways, I made the call and not sure what the results are, but I felt better after. I guess we will find out on the next visit. Joice didn't go to church so her baptism fell through as well... gah.

8. Did you have Danilo’s baptism this week or is it next? How cool for a 15 year old boy to want to join!

Well... his mom won't let him be baptized. We talked with his mom and dad. His dad fully approves, but his mom is kinda stubborn. So that baptism fell through. We can only wait for approval. She said, he has to wait a year. But we will see.

9. How is the Familia De Admir family doing?? I know you said they have a wedding date coming up and the kids are to be baptized!Did they come to church this week?
Well... they got kicked out of their house... they weren't able to pay rent. And I don't know what happened. She made me talk to the owner. Talk about intimidating. And they didn't go to church. We have to pass by this week, to see what happened. Because we have called... but nothing. So we think they got forced out. Therefore another baptism swiped out of grasp.

10. Did you talk to Marli this week?
Nope. We will this week.

Love ya all!
Elder Firl

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pictures of the mission

Elder Ballard and the mission.
Where's Jake?

District I come...

That's way cool that I'm related to Elder Ballard. Haha I got a good laugh out of that one. I just told my companion, he didn't believe it.

As for the Buchada, we have left overs and well I told everyone in my apartment if they wanted it, they could have it. They were all making fun of me because they said I have an American stomach. Turns out, anyone who ate the buchada got sick. Haha they were in the bathroom for a long time. It was a good laugh.

It is sad to hear about people getting a divorce. I don't think they realize the covenants they made, and well are about the break. It's really sad. I can't remember which part in D & C (Doctrine & Covenants), I think its section 130. I don't remember, but they should read the blessings of a marriage. But everyone has the free agency.

NO WAY! Alex got an acoustic guitar! He has to teach me when I get back. For my birthday when I get back, I wanted to get lesson on how to play the guitar or something, but it turns out, Alex can teach me now :) and I'll teach him Portuguese ;)

That's really sad to hear that the Richardson's are moving! Really sad, I wanted to have President Richardson release me. But that's okay, it was an honor to have him send me out on the mission. I wanted to spend some time with Matt when I got home and what not. This is sad news, but they will be blessed in Colorado.

Oh, transfers are this week. I got a phone call about 10:30 Saturday night that my companion will be transferred, and that I will be the district leader, and that I will probably train as well. Haha uh, I am way nervous for this new calling. Because I still don't know the area really well. So I'm kinda freaking out, with the new calling. So mom if you guys could pray for me, I would love that. That I can help my district and maybe the newbie this week. I will find out tomorrow if I will train or not.

1. What is your ward called?
Its called the Sao Marcos ward. haha

2. So you must be preparing for Marli’s baptism this week! Hopefully she is making progress! How is this coming? Did you make the phone call to one of the zone leaders for help?
Well... We pretty much dropped her. NOT completely, but she isn't making any progress at this point. So for now, we will be stopping by once a week or two weeks until she gets that burning desire to go to church and know the truth. Because she isn't going to church and will always make an excuse. And we need to find those with the desire.

3. How did things go with the Familia de Admir? You said they were a little shaky accepting the gospel.
Well we visited them and it went well. We challenged their kids for baptism and marked a wedding date :) March 24, and the family will be baptized. But they have to go to church! Gosh dang it!

4. Any of those other families you taught last week, did you get to teach them again?
We didn't :/ it's hard to find someone with desire, especially with Carnaval coming up. Nobody wants to take on obligations.

5. Did you have any investigators at church this week?
We did :) Joyce and Danilo! Danilo will have his baptism this week. He is 15 years old, and is awesome! He has a huge a desire to know the truth and has been reading like crazy! He is way smart for his age. Joyce, loved church! And her baptism will be the 18 of this month, hopefully! We have been teaching her so much lately! She knows the Book of Mormon is true, and we have been able to use that as a tool to know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and well... the rest. :) we answered all her questions about the Book of Mormon and she is progressing so much!

6. Did you go to the Western Union this week?
Nope. The bank was closed. Getting this money is a pain in the butt.

7. If Nana was to send you something would it be best to send you money or what for your birthday?
NOT MONEY! Maye a few one´s. To give out to a couple families.

8. How is Joyce doing? It is good to have a friend like Sara to help!
She is progressing :) She is loving the church. She just has problems in the family. She is a little scared. But after testimony meeting, I think that helped a lot. Considering 3 people talked about this same problem that she has.

9. Did you send the package to us this week?
I did! You don't wanna know how much it was. Haha 70 reais! ($40.25 in US currency) But I sent it! Let me know when you get it.

10. What else did Elder Ballard teach you? Did you get to shake his hand?
He taught us to fix the problem and get to work. Basically suck it up. Yes, I did get to shake his hand.

But anyways, this week has been crazy! I'm way nervous for this next transfer! Considering I don't know the ward super well, or the area. But I know this will be good experience and that the Lord will bless me in my trails that are to come. Anyways, love ya all! And I hope you are doing well.

Com amor, Elder Firl