Monday, April 30, 2012

People speak faster here in Interlagos!

Holy cow mom, you have lost a lot of weight. Haha lookin' good there :) But yes, this week has gone by so fast! The area is great here. Sara has really helped out a lot. She always made visits with us, fed us and many many more things. Micky D´s was pretty delicious! I went there for the first time her in Brazil! It was pretty sweet!

1. So who is your new companion? I know he is from Argentina! How long has he been out?
Haha how did you know that I have a companion from Argentina? But yes it is true. His name is Elder Beron. And let me tell ya, he is pretty boss! He works a lot and way chill! We have the same interests: music, cars clothes and what not. We are getting along really well! It's pretty sweet! I have been blessed with such an awesome companion. He speaks SUPER fast. Like its crazy. It's pretty funny. He is teaching me some Spanish words. Anyways, he has over a year and 6 months on the mission. He is legit! Its so nice that I got a new companion. haha

2. In your apartment do you have other missionaries there too? Or is it just you two?
No it's just us. But the house we have is pretty big. There is a dog there, it's the neighbors, but its pretty roomy.

3. So do they have a branch there?
They have a ward and its pretty strong. Lots of people and they are way out going. They are really busy with work, but they do their best to give references and what not.

4. What are you having to do to start up a new area?
The livro de area. It explains about the area and what not. It's not that hard. Elder Beron already knows the area pretty well. So it just involves talking with members to know where people live and what not.

5. Is it a city area or is it out in the bush?

Holy cow, it's in the middle of the city. It's COMPLETELY different here. The people speak a lot faster, everything is super rushed and just the nature is really different. The slangs and what not, it's pretty crazy. I'm having a harder time understanding people, because they talk so freakin' fast and want answers that minute. It's way different. There are so many people here it's nuts. It's more of a richer area as well. So it's pretty interesting. Way different than where I was at. But little by little I'm adjusting. I don't like being pressured, because I get really nervous and what not. Especially with the language and what not. But I'm getting used to it.

6. Dad said the Indy cars were racing in Brazil, Interlagos did you hear anything about them?
Yep, all the races are here in Interlagos. I have stopped by the track already and there are always races. There are a ton of drivers here but most of them are retired. Hahaha but there is always a bunch of noise because of the races.

7. Did you get my package?
Not yet, but I will stop by in the mission office next week I think so I'll know then.

8. So what did you do this week with your new area?
Well we had a conformation. So that was pretty sweet. We have a really good teaching group right now and we plan on baptizing next week. So that will be good.

9. Are you teaching anyone? Did you get to this week?
We have Jailton. He is legit. He is about 30 yrs old. and has a wife that is 18. Anyways, they are legit. He went to church this week and is just waiting for an answer. This week we will focus on how to receive an answer. He used to be a drug lord and was shot 8 times and lived. He changed his life and has a little kid. A little baby :) He is addicted to weed still but wants to stop. He has a lot of desire!

10. Any new or cool experiences this week?
I'm just getting to know the area and the people here. But I'm loving the area, except for the fact everything is super rushed and everyone speak super fast here. its pretty sweet :)

11. Okay so we are going to Skype for Mother’s Day?…have you figured it out yet? 14 days, not that I am counting…lol
Yes, I just need to figure out what time of the day we will talk. But I found a place and everything. We will Skype, so that will be excellent :) Not that your counting or anything.

But over all, the Lord has blessed me, once again. I have an awesome companion and the area is really sweet! I'm loving the area and what not. I'm so glad I'm here on the mission. I'm always learning to get out of my comfort zone and learning to get over my fear of talking. I'm a little chatter box, but my fear of being bold and asking questions and if someone asks me a question and I don't know, I'm not afraid to say I don't know, or that I didn't understand what they said. I'm learning to not care what people think of me. But anyways, I love the mission and what I do. The time is passing so fast and it seems like a dream.
Thanks for all the support and love. I love you all.
Com Amor, Elder Firl

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jake's Birthday Pictures

Jake at the Vasconcelos home

Elder Woodward, Sara Vasconcelos, and Jake

Click here to check out the video that the Vasconcelos family made for Jake!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Interlagos

Just got a message from Sara Vasconcelos (this is the Sara that her and her family have done so many nice things for Elder Firl). Sara said that Elder Firl got transferred today and that her and her father took him to the chapel and he is going to Interlagos, he is opening a new area there with an Elder from Argentina. They took Elder Firl to McDonald's to have breakfast and he said that it had been a long time since he went there! Elder Firl will be missed in Sao Marcos. Thank you Sao Marco's ward for taking such good care of Elder Firl! Thank you Vasconcelos family for being so good to him and treating him like he was apart of your family!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Best Birthday!

Well it sounds like it has been a crazy week! I know down here in Sao Marcos, playing soccer has probably been a highlight on the mission. This week has flown by SO fast. With my birthday and what not, the members wished me a happy birthday. And I would have to say, probably the best birthday. Serving the Lord, and yet having time to eat cake and what not. I ended up having lunch at Sara´s house, and let me tell ya, it was a fantastic lunch, like always. There was cake and EVERYTHING! We sang happy birthday and what not, and we opened presents. Yes, they did buy presents. I almost cried because the way they have treated me like family. It was quite incredible! I got a shirt, tie, pants, brownies, and new shoes. Yes I said it, new shoes! I could not believe it. It had to of been quite a bit of money they spent, quite a sacrifice, to me. Holy Cow, I had to hold the tears. Likewise, Sara did a slide show, including photos and music from home and on the mission. I don't know how she got the photos but it was fantastic! Incredible!

And then we went to another families house and did some visits. But I also got a key chain of Brazil and 1 real! The dollar bill. THIS real is REALLY rare! So hard to find. Let alone in perfect condition. And I got one. Anyways, this birthday has been fantastic. Everyone here has treated me really well, just like family.

OH! this week the secretaries of the mission office have not paid our bills. So our water got shut off. We have been without water for awhile now. Haha so we have been taking showers in the members houses. Haha oh joy. It sucks not having water, all my clothes are dirty. Oh on the mission.

1. So are you being transferred this week? If so where?

Well yes I did get transferred. But I'm still here in Sao Marcos for now. But tomorrow I will be in my new area. Which I still don't know where it will be. Haha but you will find out next week.

2. How is Jaqueline and her mom? Are they progressing?
We haven't been able to contact them. So we have no clue whats going on with them, we are always passing by.

3. How is Edinaldo? Wow…so impressed with kids at 15 that want to know and are willing to make a change!

Edinaldo is fantastic! It's going to be a baptism may 12. I know I won't be there. BUT he is awesome. His desire to learn is incredible! Such a wonderful experience!

4. So have the tent people left? I know you mentioned they were going to raid things there.

They haven't even budged. In fact, there are people from Rio de Janeiro there. Which is kinda scary because we all know there are a ton of drug lords there in Rio. So this shall be interesting. But I know they plan on taking everyone out, but who knows when. It could be in another half year, its pretty nuts.

5. Is the weather turning colder?
Just a little bit at night, it seems to get pretty cool. But it's not super cold. The weather is actually perfect right now. Not too hot or cold, but there is a lot of sun.

6. I sent you my package, did you get it?

Not yet. I will check tomorrow at the mission office.

7. Did you ever get your shirt fixed?

Haha I did :) it's pretty legit.

Anyways, things are fantastic here! I'm loving the mission and wouldn't want to be doing anything else! Pretty legit! Anyways, I love you all and thank for the birthday wishes!!

Aunt Hollii & Uncle Jared, thank you so much for the shirt! I love you so much. Thanks for all the support that you have given me while I have been on the mission. The support that you are given me. May the Lord bless you and your family in life's journey. The Lord loves you and your family. I love you Aunt Hollii. Hugs and kisses to the family. Thanks again for the shirt!

Thank you Grandma & Grandpa Firl for the tie! Love it! Nice to have a new tie! I love ya!

Elder Firl

Monday, April 16, 2012

Finally got to play soccer....EPIC!

Sounds like this week was pretty crazy! Congrats with the graduation and what not to Natalia. I did get to see the shopping grounds there in Utah when we were watching Conference. Haha I can't believe how many changes are going on. The time is going by super fast. I can't believe I will be 20 this Saturday. It's just nuts! But things have been going really well here. I can't wait for transfers though. I'm ready to get out of the zone and well. I'm ready for something new. Love the zone, but I don't want to spend a year here in this zone, when there are many more zones to see on the mission.

1. Do you have transfers this week? If so are you being transferred?
Yes we do have transfers this week, on the 24. I will know this Saturday if I will get transferred or not.

2. Mothers Day is coming up, May 13. Are we going to be able to Skype?

We need to come up with a time, just like Christmas, it's going to a last minute thing. But I'm pretty sure its going to same the exact thing. Yes I plan on using Skype with you guys, but there is a lot of time to plan. Oh, Ma is invited too. She has a little surprise for ya. I thought it would be neat if she gave it to you there and what not.

3. How many districts are in the mission? How many zones in your mission?
Well I think we have 4 districts in our zone. But I think we have 8 zones in our mission. But I'm not sure. haha

4. Any new contacts this week?
Well we did find Jaqueline and her mom. They are reading and what not. They did not go to church. But this family was a reference in the ward. It's working out really well. We also got another reference. Edinaldo. This has been such a blessing! He is going to be baptized 15 of May. So.... I probably won't get to see the baptism. But that's okay. BUT, he went to church this week. LOVED it. He is loving the lessons and is seeing the difference in the gospel. He isn't super smart, but he has heart. He has been telling us that he has never felt this way. I'm almost positive that he will be baptized. And our area hasn't had a baptism IN over a year... I think, so this has been awesome!

5. Any cool experiences this week?
Well today was pretty sweet. We have a zone activity with the Mission President. IT WAS EPIC! We went to a members house, talk about loaded. We had a BBQ and what not. We did play soccer. OH YEAH! I got to play against the Brazilians, and let me tell ya, they were quite impressed. They kept telling me, holy cow I didn't know you played ball and what not. We have a sister from Portugal, she was quite impressed as well. Hahaha I got a good laugh from that. It was really nice to play around today. But that's why I'm sending the email so late as well.

6. Did you get Richardson's card? It had a visa gift card in it.
I did get it! I just need to know if I need to sent my letter to their house in LC or what... haha I have a letter ready!

7. How long have the tent people been there by your apartment? How long have they lived there? Are they still there?
Well the tent people have been there for over month and a half. Right now they have electricity. It's going to be a lot harder to get rid of them now. It's growing so fast! There is a lot of prostitution and drugs going around there. Not a good thing. And yes they are still there. There are probably over 6 thousand people there.

8. Do you get to watch soccer there even though you can't play it?
We don't. Which really sucks. Like on the TV we can't. Futbol is pretty much dead here on the mission. We can't do anything futbol, except for today which was SWEET!

But anyways, thanks for all the love and support. Sorry the email took forever. I know you have probably been waiting at the computer for awhile. I love you all. Thanks for everything!
com amor, Elder Firl

Monday, April 9, 2012

General Conference Weekend

Enjoy these new pictures :)

Fish for Easter...

So to start off! This week was pretty sweet! I really liked Easter! Lots of fish and well lots of knocking doors, since a lot of our meetings fell through.

Thank you so much for the packages Mom and NANA! I loved them! Haha as well as the other missionaries! I love sharing American candy with them. They go nuts! I loved all the gifts and the Easter baskets! Thank you so much Nana and Grandpa, Mom and Dad for the gifts and candies! I really loved them. It was also fantastic Easter!

1. Did you hide the Easter baskets like I do for Easter?
No I didn't hide the Easter egg baskets. But I did take the plastic eggs and stuck junk in for the Elder in the house. Haha...just as a joke. And then after I shared some candy with them. One of the eggs I stuck a real egg. It was a pretty funny joke.

2. What do Brazilians Eat for Easter dinner. (like we have ham and potatoes)
Well here in Brazil, its fish! They eat a lot of fish during Easter. Elder Woodward does not like fish. Sooo... he pretty much died in Sara´s house when we ate fish. But the tradition is fish.

3. What do you eat for breakfast normally?
It's either no breakfast or grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Haha I'm pretty sick of them at this point.

4. What kind of service did you do this week? And what kind of service have you done for people in Sao Marcos?
In Sao Marcos we helped Izabel, a recent convert. We cleaned up her yard, with all the junk that was there. We made a huge pile, and now we just have to bag it and burn the wood and plants. Since garbage is really expensive to throw out. Like a dumpster site, but we have another service project not this week but the next. And we will pull weeds!

5. Did you get a letter from Shelby? She hadn’t heard from you and was wanting to make sure you got it!
A letter from Shelby... I haven't gotten one yet.... how long ago did she sent it. because it might of not made it.

6. How is the new phone working out?

Oh its amazing. Let me tell ya. I love it :)

7. Any new contacts this week?
Well yesterday we have an awesome experience with a reference that was given to us. A family! Heck yeah! We were trying to find people all week and nothing happened. BUT! This reference was pretty sweet. There were 4 people there and we brought the member with us and well, the mom and daughter are interested. VERY! And the 2 others just wanted to fight with us. One of the guys being a lawyer, a STRONG Catholic. We put that fire out pretty quick. He wanted to fight about baptism and was making a TON of questions. After all it is his profession. But knowing that the gospel is perfect I was praying to get some guidance to get this guy to shut up. Thankfully the spirit was there and guided me. Elder Woodward wanted to bible bash with the guy and was getting ticked off. I knew it wouldn't end well. SO, I was inspired to ask a few questions, since we were talking about baptisms and children. We tried a thousand times to explain that a child doesn't need to be baptized. But he didn't listen. Finally, I asked him, do you think a child can sin? He said, no. Then I asked him, if a child cannot sin or know that he is sinning, how can a child make a covenant with God, when he knows not what he does. And if a child cannot sin, why would he be baptized if he is clean from sin. He said.... well.... and didn't have anything to say. So I testified of the truths of baptism. The member was VERY impressed with the lesson. So yesterday was pretty bomb. :)

8. Anything happen with the tent people? Do you teach them?
Heck no! I'm not going to enter in that mess! There are so many drug dealers and assassins there. Along with hookers and what not! No way! Hah I would rather have my life.

9. Can I send you the conference talks via English ensign or would you somehow like me to down load them? And if so on what so you can listen to them?
Oh its all good. We get the Liahona! So next month we will get the conference talks.

Well all is well here in Sao Marcos! Things are coming along pretty well. My patience is being tested, but there is only 2 more weeks until the transfer. Hopefully I can survive until then. Haha but still, I love what I do and the time is passing so fast! I love the pictures and everything. Love you all

Elder Firl

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


1. Did you tell your Mission President that you lost the phone? You reported it right so that they could cancel it.
Yeah I called right when we lost it. And we went down to the police station to get everything settled. It is a little different down here. I was like, uh... whats the police station going to do about a cell phone that fell. And well... they didn't do anything. What a surprise. BUT! I know a lot of people in the office, so I was able to work my connections and we got a cell phone this week. Haha it's so good to have a cell phone. The bad thing, we lost every one of our cell phone contacts in the ward. But all is well, we got a cell phone with the same number too! This is pretty rare.

2. What kind of hygiene items do you need? Looking at sending another box…

Well I need more Gel. The brand is GOT 2 BE GLUED. idk what styling gel it is, but the bottle looking think is yellow with black writing. It's more of a glue, (yes white creamy lookin' stuff.) But I don't need anymore stickers. I have a butt load and disposable razors. If you could just get the razor heads that would be fantastic for my pro glide fusion. I don't really like the disposable razors.

3. Are you and Elder Woodward talking in Portuguese or in English to each other?
Well I pretty much refuse to speak English. But, I liked using all the slang in English and what not. But were both forgetting to speak English, so at times it's just easier to speak Portuguese. But other times, there are some words idk how to say in Portuguese and well... being with an American I am lazy to look the word up. but its usually Portuguese.

4. Do you still have another set of missionaries in your apartment? Are they new and are they good examples for your companion?
The other missionaries are awesome! Love them! The one from Uruguay and a Brazilian.

5. Is there a zoo in your area?
Haha my area is a zoo. With the tents and people. Haha but literally, there is no zoo.

6. Did you hear about Elder Schenk before I told you?

The kid who got hit by a bus? I don't remember.

7. Did the tent people leave yet?
Haha not yet. But this week, there were 4 helicopters flying over the tents. And well, they were not news helicopters. It looks like they were planning and getting an update on how to kick them out. But while this was happening, the people were saying, we will not leave. blah blah blah. So they haven't left yet, but it looks like they will sent the SHOCK or ROTA to kick them out. and it wont be pretty.

8. How come you don’t go see sights on your P-Day? Are you asked not to?
Well... I'm just lazy. And I really don't have money to take a bus to a place in the zone. Usually I'll stop by in Embu to get something. But since I have 8 months in the same zone, I've passed in every single area in the zone. I'm the most time here in this zone.

9. Did you get to listen to all 5 sessions of General conference? In English? I know you said you thought you would be able to. Was it hard to listen to it in English when you are used to hearing Portuguese?
I did have the opportunity to listen to Conference in English, all 5 sessions! It was pretty sweet! The thing about a language is its easier to understand that to speak. So, I can understand English perfectly, but to talk at times, its a tongue twister. It's the same thing with Portuguese, its easier to listen than to speak.

But let me tell ya, CONFERENCE WAS AWESOME! I loved Elder Hollands talk. He speaks with such power. And then I really loved Elder Uchtdorfs' discourse as well. About forgiveness and what not. I loved it! I will have to get copy of all the talks. Conference was so sweet, truly they are men called of God.

10. Did you get my Easter box yet?
I did! THANKS MOM! :)

11. Any new contacts this week?

Haha no. This week consisted of getting vistas taken care of, getting a cell phone, an interview with President Pinho, and then General Conference. OH and a division with the zone leaders. so... no. But, President Pinho wanted to inspect our house, and let me tell ya, we cleaned our house SO good. Oh yeah! He was quite impressed. And he commented about the tents. It was pretty great! And then he told me I am one of the most animated missionaries on the mission. I have so much enthusiasm and what not.

12. Any cool experiences?
Just conference. And what else.... oh I found out that President Pinho has SO many connections. I heard that one of the Elders that finished the mission didn't get into Provo at BYU. President Pinho heard and called them, and well he got in. Hahaha he has got so many connections. I will be sure to talk to the prez to maybe help me out OR write a letter of recommendation.
Also, at conference in the stake center. I saw a ton of people from Itapecerica!!! Inez and Cleane, John, Sandra, Mayara. Oh it was so nice to see everyone. But the first thing almost everyone said was, Elder FIRL! Holy cow, you got way skinny! And your Portuguese is GREAT! Haha it was pretty funny. I guess I've lost a good amount of weight here in Sao Marcos.

But other than that, this was my week! I loved the pics! It sounds like everyone is doing well! Happy B-day Alex! parabĂ©ns pra vocĂȘ

com amor,

Elder Firl