Thursday, February 25, 2016
Yeah sorry we called so early there is a 5 hour difference. Our mission president said our companions have to make the call as well. It was kind of awkward talking to my companion’s parents as well. I think I woke them up. Anyway I am glad you guys answered. We will be going to the Bishop´s house to Skype. I feel kind of bad because I feel like we are kind of taking advantage of the Bishop but no one else has internet or will be home on Christmas. They will also be able to talk to you guys.
Things are going good here. On Wednesday we had the Christmas conference. Our zone sadly arrived an hour late because our bus driver got lost. So no one from our zone is in the Christmas picture, but whatever. Then we had Christmas presentations. Every zone did a presentation. Ours was probably most the simple one there. There was a 10 minute time limit but of course a few zones didn´t get that message. So there were some drawn out presentations but in the end it was pretty cool. We also had lunch which is always good. Then in the end President and Sister Campos kind of flamed us a bit as missionaries. But I did like what President Campos said about how through dedication, diligence, obedience, faith, and effort missionaries can get to know Christ at the end of their missions. So there is a lot I need to do to accomplish that goal, me and my companion have made plans to work on it.
Things are going good. We are having a bit of trouble finding people to teach but things are going good.
So in my apartment lives; me, my companion, and well just us really. There is only one companionship that is working here but our apartment can hold up to two. There is another bedroom that we don´t even use. My New companion is Elder Alec Rapoza. I showed him a picture of Braxton and he seemed to recognize him but they never really knew each other.
Yeah so I have been transferred 4 times in the past year with 9 companions. I don´t know how Bri was only transferred once. But my new companion is great! He is my first real American companion since Elder Ayerdis. We are getting along well. We just don´t agree with one thing. That Utah is better than California but you know not everyone is perfect.
Oh so good news the packages arrived on Wednesday last week, but I wasn´t able to get them because well I am so far away from the Mission home. But tomorrow we have zone conference and so I will get them tomorrow morning. I will be sure to try and get all three; with any luck my Zone Leaders haven´t opened them :)
The weather has been pretty good these last few days. It has been raining off and on awkwardly but the weather is still good. Not the unbearable burning, melting hot that I passed through when I first got here. Supposedly being in the mountains here is cooler than close to Porto Alegre.
And about how they celebrate Christmas here I am not sure. Last Christmas I was in the MTC but now that I am out I will get to see how it is here. I do know that generally they stay up really late and have a feast at mid-night. But being missionaries I don´t know if we will be able to do that.
Anyway I am doing good, might have to see the doctor about my foot because it´s bugging me a bit but I think it´s just irritated because we have been walking a lot.
Have you guys made some Christmas plans or anything?
Love you. Have a good week!
This week has been pretty good. It was the last week of the transfer and my companion was transferred. But I will be staying here. The weather has been pretty strange for the past few weeks. It should be really hot right now but it is actually pretty cool. We usually have to bring a sweater with us as we leave. But yeah a lot of people are wondering about why it´s so cool.
The members here are great, especially the bishop and his wife. They talk to me a lot. She usually talks to me in English. This week we will have lunch at their house and are going to prepare a thanksgiving feast for us since it isn´t a holiday here in Brazil. I’m pretty excited to see what the bishop´s wife is going to make this time. She usually makes American food.
Thanks for sending packages. I will keep an eye out for them. If they get to the mission home by tomorrow they should be sent with my new companion. If not, I´ll get them at the next Zone Meeting.
I hope you guys have a great thanksgiving week!
How’s it going? It´s been some time since I´ve heard from you. Hope you´re doing well. Christmas is just around the corner and pretty soon we will be skyping again. Call number 3 baby! Which means that there will only be one more call, after that and I will be home.
Oh a guy that looks like Uncle Paul just walked in. It´s funny I keep finding people that are Brazilian versions of our relatives. The other day I met a guy just like Uncle Doug too.
Any way things are going good here. I am starting to have a bit of homesickness during this time of the year and being that I will complete one year this Thursday the 19th.
Sure do miss you. I hope you are doing well have a good week!
Here in Brazil sadly they don´t celebrate Halloween. It looked like there were a few parties but nothing much. No one went trick or treating or dressed up. So we had a normal day of work here, nothing too out of the ordinary.
Things here are going pretty well. We have some really cool investigators that are going to be baptized this Saturday. So we are working really hard with them to make sure they don´t have any questions or doubts. She is really taking a step of faith. She has been praying for a long time to know if the church is true and this last week she received her answer. So she wanted to be baptized as soon as possible. We still have a few lessons to teach but she is pretty well prepared.
This last week we had a baptism marked for Saturday but it fell through because the pool we used wasn´t filled up. So here in our ward we don´t have a baptismal font so we use a set up pool. On Friday we set up the pool at a member’s house so they could fill it up early in the morning for the baptism. But they forgot so we didn´t have time to fill it up before our Stake Conference. We would´ve filled it up ourselves but we had splits in Bento Gonçalves. We remarked for this Saturday so she could be baptized with our other investigator.
But other than that, things are going good.
How was Halloween there? Did you guys do anything special?
Have a great week!
It has been going good here. We moved this last week and it went well. The new house is great! It is actually an apartment but it is very spacious. We did lose a day of work but it all worked out in the end. The ward is really cool! The bishop is great! He helps us a lot. He speaks English because he studied at BYU. He also married an American. So she is really cool and cooks American food for us.
We don´t have a chapel here but we do have a floor in a building in the city center. The city is really cool and our area is really big. So it has been a bit difficult to work because we are walking a lot but we are figuring it out. We are doing a bit of both, reactivation and proselyting.
My companion is really chill. He never gets mad or nervous. So we are just learning how to work with one another, which is normal in the being of the transfer. But things are going good.
Have a great week!
Sorry the past few emails have been so short. I had a few problems with the recording and got tied up.
So yes, I have been transferred. I am now serving in the mountains of Rio Grande do Sul, in a city called Farroupilha. It is close to another big city called Caxias. So far I really love the city. It isn´t huge but it has a lot of shops and stuff to do. I think you would probably like it here too. There aren´t a ton of people so it isn´t crowded and it has a good view of rolling green mountains. Sadly though my hope of escaping the obligation of moving by serving in a completely different country has crashed and burned. Today we have the opportunity to move! Yes, so I will actually be moving myself and my companion into another apartment. Which is cool, because the new apartment is really nice. It is on the 6th floor and has a great view. It also is in the city center close to everything. Some other elders from Bento Gonsalves have come to help us out.
My new companion is yes, you guessed right, another Brazilian! Whhooooooo!!!! What is actually great because I need to work on my Portuguese skills. My companion wants to learn English so we are going to help one another this transfer. He is quiet but he has a good heart and is really sincere. So I am excited to work with him.
As for the area it is pretty far away from Porto Alegre. We took a 2 hour bus ride to get here which isn´t that bad compared to Passo Fundo. It also means though I won´t be able to get the glasses thing figured out very easily. But I will see what I can do.
I will continue to keep you guys in my prayers.
I had a great birthday this week! On Friday we ate churrasco at a member’s house and it was awesome. Then I had a division in Gujuvidas and Almoço, there was also churrasco with an awesome dessert of pudim! Also on Friday we had a zone meeting and they gave me a surprise party. They made cake and gave me a lot of Oreos. So this was actually a pretty great birthday forgetting the fact that we are thousands of miles away from each other.
Conference was great; we felt the spirit so strong even though we had to watch it on a postage stamp sized TV. I hope you guys had the opportunity to watch it. There were some good talks on trials, which helped me and my companion a lot because we had 2 baptisms for this Sunday that sadly fell through after doing all we could. I felt a little sad but at peace because I know we did all we could to help them this week.
OH there is a missionary that took some photos of the Birthday party for you guys so look out for those!
On Independence Day we worked! Independence Day was on September 7th. It was a P-day so we had to switch our P-day to Tuesday to go to the temple. That means we had to work on Monday. Sadly though no one was in the street and wanted to receive a lesson. So we just kind of walked around knocking on doors and such.
-Derek (Élder Stevens)