Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 13, 2014 - Elder "Good"

Hello, Family and friends!!  

How are you!?  Espero que muito bem!!!  This week has been one of the most relaxed weeks that I think I have ever had in the misison office, yet hahah..

Sunday night we had another choir performance in Guarujá!  The Leadership in Guarujá is super good and they were super prepared for what we were wanting them to do.  Especially with announcing that there was going to be a Christmas program at the church house and getting it out there to not only members, but also to those who aren't members of the church as well!  In total, there was just about 250 people there and about 25-30 were non members which is fairly good!!  I got to see some of the members from Enseada where I  served last March!! 
It was super cool because I haven't seen the majority of them for a long time!  I was pretty happy too becase they all remembered me.  But the thing is, they don't remember me as Elder Thurgood, but as Elder Good. haha They can't figure out the "th" sound and so they simplify it for everyone!!!

Monday it was pretty laid back. I basically studied the whole day only checking the mission email if I needed to do anything.  The only thing that came up was about the two American sisters that want to stay another transfer and so I had to make sure they
actually could with their visas and when the expiration date was.  I just had to call the Church association and ask them how to figure all of this out and yeah that was about it!  hah I told you guys that it was a super relaxed weeek.

Tuesday I worked a lot in preparation for the new transfers that will happen this next week!  We will only have 4 new missionaries, but they are all from the states so it should be fun to see where their Portuguese is.  There are exactly two ways to see how an American's Portuguese is.  The to them in English. If they stutter and keep pausing, you know that they think in Portuguese.  You can tell that my Portuguese has gotten a lot better  because writing in English is difficult. I forget how to spell and grammatically I forget everything (sorry, Tate).  The other way is to ask where are they from in Portuguese.  De onde você é?  You cant ask them their name because that's what they are expecting and if they answer correctly then you know you can talk normally in Portuguese and if not, then you translate everything you just said into English. hahahah

Wednesday was good  nothing much happened.  I studied quite a bit about the fall of Adam and Eve and how that affects us today.  I also went to the English class in the other ward to help out teaching while the Assistant had a baptismal interview in our ward!  It went pretty well. I like teaching English because they think that you are super cool because you speak English and Portuguese.

Thursday we started our back-to-back-to back choir performances.  We were in São Vicente at the stake center.  It went really well.  It was definitely the funniest performance we had, too.  There is a new missionary that has only a month on the mission and he's a big innocent dork and sometimes he just gets distracted really easy.  He's one of the shepherds in the little theater part.  When the cue came for the shepherds to walk up to the manger, (there's 3 in total)  down the aisle came two shepherds...missing the new missionary.  Then the music was already about to start and in comes running the new missionary through the chapel trying to hold his little crown on while the whole choir and Sister Cabral were trying to not break out laughing.  He told us after that he was just chilling and looked back and everyone was gone and he just came a runnin'.

Friday morning we had a meeting with President Cabral and Sister Cabral!  We learned about how we need to prepare ourselves to have spiritual experiences and also what our focus is on the  mission and why all of these different resources are being used by the church: So that we can baptize and so that more people can enter into the Kingdom of God.  At night, we rented a bus to

go to Belas Artes which is about a 2 hour bus ride.  It was pretty fun. We made a little groupie on the way up to the chapel talking about some cool stuff in the scriptures that we had learned in our studies.  It was a good time, but about half way through, the bus' motor burned up and the bus filled up with smoke.  All of the elders were in the back dying and the sisters were just chilling in the front.  If there was a real fire, the sisters would have been guilty for not getting out of the bus fast enough while the elders all burned to death. haha We teased them quite a bit hahah.

At the end of the night, we got home about 11. I was exhausted. hahah I'm turning into a little baby. haha If it hits 9 or 9:30 at night, I'm already in zombie mode. hahhaha

Have a good week and I hope to hear from all of you!!!


Elder Thurgood

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 29, 2014 - He is the Gift

Hello, family and friends!!!  

How was your week!?  I am so jealous of you guys!  Everyone is telling me about the great mountains of food that they ate!!  it sounds so good right now - a good piece of turkey with gravy. Oh, man, that sounds so good right now!  I'm with a Brazilian trying to tell him what he is missing, but he still doesn't understand what kind of food he is missing out on! I also hope that everyone was kept safe in their Black Friday adventures yesterday!!  I had no idea that it was "celebrated" haha here in Brazil, but I think it was because last year at this time I didn't understand a thing anyone was saying or didn't know what was going on in front of me!! ahah 

I had a good week that was pretty eventful and had some ups and downs that I got to learn from!

Sunday!- We  had a really good Sunday!!  Before church we had talked with Guilherme to meet with us at like 8:30 so we could teach him the restoration and help him answer questions that he had.  The lesson went really really well!!!!!!  He understood everything that we taught him and always has questions that lead into the next part of the lesson that makes the lesson have a really good flow to it!!  From last week, I had said that his baptism date was today, but he is in college and this was his week of exams so we decided that it would be better for him to be baptized next Sunday after the meeting!  He is excited to be baptized. He told us that he has been waiting to be baptized since he was a little kid, but his parents never would let him. When he turned 18 and he could choose for himself he didn't feel right and that he needed to wait just a little bit longer. Then he was invited to church and now he's preparing to be baptized in the true Church of Jesus Christ!!  

I also had another performance; this time in Cidade Ocian in Praia Grande!  It was good; there was about 170 people there, but it was so hot. Let me repeat- it was so hot!!!!  All the Elders in suits were just dripping in sweat; it was so nasty hahah.

Monday- was a normal relaxing day in the office. hahah I'm trying to get ahead for the next arrival of missionaries and so I'm putting together all of the folders for them already.

Tuesday- We had the Leadership Council Meeting!  It was really good!  We talked a lot about how we can help the missionaries and how we can make sure  we are doing our best to serve the Lord.  The coolest thing that we talked about was "He is the Gift"!  If you guys haven't heard about it yet, it is so stinking cool!!  It's an initiative that the church is doing right now to help people remember what Christmas is really all about, the birth of our Lord and Savior!  They also have a video that goes along with it that is super good!!  The church is doing a ton of propaganda for it too.  In New York City, they have one of those billboards in Times Square with the "He is the Gift" picture on it. On December 7, the video will be on the front page of Youtube.  They said that it's likely that more than 220 million
people will see this video in over 30 languages!  It just shows you that the Lord is accelerating His work so much right now!  So my invitation to all of you today is to go to and watch the video and share it with friends and family!  

Wednesday-  We had a zone meeting explaining what we had learned with the leaders and we also planned an activity for the stake that we are in so that we can try and excite the members more about the work and what they do is what makes the difference!

Thursday-  It's starting to get hot here in Santos!!!  It's so humid and I hate it!!!!  But if you think about it, it's a blessing because that makes me feel grateful that I live in colorful Colorado where its nice and dry haha, but really Colorado weather is a blessing!!

Friday- Prepared for the Helping Hands activity that we had today!  We also were preparing for the performance tonight in Parque das Baneiras.  It was a more relaxing day really.

Saturday---Today- We got up early to finish setting up at the church house and the activity was good.  I have to go already because of the performance tonight, but I love you all and hope to hear from you next week!!


Elder Chase Thurgood

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 22, 2014 - A Full Week!

Hello, Family and Friends!!!!

How was your week??  I hope yours was as good as mine. A lot of stuff happened this week!!

Sunday- We had our first choir performance in the 2nd ward in São Vicente.  This ward I wouldn't say is in the safest place in our mission. In fact, it's  the most robbed church house in our mission boundaries.  Just in the time that the Santos mission has been open, the air conditioning unit has been robbed twice and the church house has been broken into 3 times!!  So you can imagine it would be a terrible place to get lost in.  Well, I got lost trying to get there.....hahah Yeah it's just my luck, right??!  We called the Zone Leaders that are in the area to give us directions, but either we got on the wrong bus or they got confused on what bus we were on because we ended up in a FAVELÃO!  I came with two other missionaries, and we were all in our suits for the performance; it was so tense!!!  We walked down this street and literally every car parked on the side had some sort of bullet hole in the doors or the back window was destroyed and the hole wasn't from a little pistol. It was for sure a shotgun.  Yeah, I started breaking a sweat at this point.    Then we turned a corner and what did we see?  4 people with crack, smoking it.  Oh, dear, that's awesome. Now all we need is to get robbed and you could call it a day.  I was with a missionary that had just gotten onto the mission and I'm telling you, sometimes newbies don't understand situations.  He looks at his companion's hand and basically shouts "You have your nice watch on! They are going to steal it!"  I couldn't believe that he said that. hahah Right now, it's funny, but before I was ticked. haha  After walking for an hour, we found the chapel, but holy smokes was it complicated!  The performance went well. We had about 200 people there, so it was really good.

Monday-We had the closest thing you could call Thanksgiving in Brazil!!  hahah  It wasn't quite like it was at home, but it was still good!!  We had 4 turkeys there, but they aren't turkeys like we have back home. They are about a 1/4 of the size. It was weird how much smaller they were.  The food was good, but I think what made it good was when Sister Arthur made gravy.  That's what made everything better!!  All of the Brazilians that were there liked the food, but they kept
asking where the rice and beans were at. hahaha They are addicted!!  They also said that they ate so much food and that there was so much food there.  We then explained that this would probably be for one family. haha They looked at us and told us we were crazy! haha All the Americans just laughed.  After we ate we wanted to make it more like Thanksgiving, so we got a group of elders and played rugby (I know it's not football, but it's the closest thing). Found out I still have a
little burst of speed, but I also was not playing with anyone athletic hahah

Tuesday- Woke up sore from playing rugby since I haven't played contact sports in such a long time hahah.  Don't remember much else.

WEDNESDAY- We had our zone meeting!  It was really simple. I gave the training on how we need to help the areas and the wards grow or the purpose of the Lord to put us here in
 these specific places was not only a waste of time for Him, but also for us.  We then planned a little bit at how we can do this in the most productive and efficient way.  The missionaries liked it so I think it turned out really well.

Thursday-  We had a lesson with Guilherme (William in English). He's 18 years old and is really smart.  The first thing he says when we walk into his house is did you bring me a Book of Mormon.  Haha That's all smiles for missionary!!!!!  We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and a quick introduction on the Restoration and The Book of Mormon for our next lesson with him on Sunday!  We challenged him to be baptized on the 29th of November and he accepted!  When we were leaving his dad was telling us how we need to take him out on the mission with us because he basically is already Mormon - just needs to get baptized. haha We were just laughing.  We also had lunch at President and Sister Cabral's house!!!!!  Kimberly and Carol know how to cook!! They made kive and a Brazilian fried rice kind of thing, but the best part was dessert. We had a white brownie with a berry syrup.  Then Kimberly made a homemade ice cream where you have frozen cut up bananas and put them into the blender with strawberries and bam! You have this smoothie ice cream. It was so stinking good!!!!  

Friday-  I have been trying to do a lot better in my studies, especially with Preach My Gospel. So I studied 2 hours in PMG yesterday and then I am starting to study the New Testament with the Institute manual and it's been a good experience so far!!   There have been some Americans that have been starting to learn other languages other than Portuguese and I figured that I would have the best chance to start a new language while I am here on the mission, so I ordered a Book of Mormon in Italian!!!!  I have been
 reading it on the website, but I think it will be better with a paper copy.  I understand a lot more than I can pronounce, but I'm just starting so I'm not too worried.  

We also had another performance for the choir yesterday that was fun, but soooo hottttttt!  We were literally dripping with sweat. It was so nasty, hahah but we had 10 investigators there at the performance and we got all of their addresses. So it
was a huge success for our ward and the missionaries.  We also had a meeting with the ward missionaries because we want them to help us out a little more in finding new investigators and so the other elders came up with the idea to give them their "Mission Call". We made a mission call that they were called to serve the Lord in the Orquidario ward speaking Portuguese. haha It was really good.  The bishop really liked the idea as well which was good to gain more trust from him!!!

Saturday--today-- I paid money for the package I got.  I was fairly upset paying for the package that Mom already paid for,  but when I opened it, I didn't feel as bad!!  MOM I didn't take any pictures while opening it, but I'll take a photo. Don't worry. hahahah I'm sorry, please forgive!!

Thank you all for your prayers and the birthday wishes from last week I loved them all!!!


Elder Chase Thurgood

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 15, 2014 - Happy 20th Birthday!

Hello, Family!!!

First of all, thank you for the birthday wishes. It's been a great day already!

This was a great week!!  And do you know why??????  Because it was full of change!!!  

Sunday- we had transfers!!!!!!  I wasn't transferred and neither was my companion and we were pretty happy about that!  The problem about the transfers was that President Cabral didn't finish them until 9:30, which means he still had to send pictures to us of the transfer board. Then we have to call all of the missionaries to let them know that they need to go to their new areas or pick up their new companions before p-day ends the next day.  The other problem was that President tried just about everything to send the photos and nothing worked. It took him 15-20 minutes to send the pictures and he was talking to me the majority of the time. hahah You could tell he was a little frustrated.  It was exactly when dad gets focused on something and he wants to get it done himself, but it keeps going wrong.  I wasn't laughing at the moment, but afterwards, I thought it was funny.  

It was Elder Stokes, Elder Eufrasio and me in the office calling all of the different zones. The problem is that you have to talk about each missionary - where they are going and who there new comp is and there are now 165 missionaries in the mission, so it takes awhile!  We finished finally by 11:30!!!!!  We were so tired and didn't want to walk home so we decided we would sleep on the floor in the office. hahah It wasn't the best night of sleep, but it was fun. We talked about the mission and  after we were so tired, I don't even know if we were understanding what was being said!!

Monday- We still woke up at 6:30, but you could see on all of our faces that we were basically passed out.  We did a lot of preparation for the new missionaries on Tuesday and visited some families!!

Tuesday- The new missionaries arrived and it was really fun!  There were 13 new missionaries so there was a solid amount of people coming in and out of the office and back to the President's office!!  Afterwards, the Assistants and I had a meeting with President and Sister Cabral about the week and what we need to have ready for the big zone conferences.  President also wanted to study with us the Parable of the Talents!  I learned so much!!!! I had never in my life thought about it this way and it blew my mind!!  You guys should go and study it again because you can see some really cool things Matthew 25:14-30!!!!

Wednesday - We found a less active family that has a little boy named Bernard that really likes us!!!  When his dad told him that we had to leave he immediately frowned and went to the front door and stared at us. He was telling us in a stern voice, you can't go away - you need to play with me!!  hahah It was super cute and we were kind of laughing because it's not always the case that someone refuses to accept that we need to go and that just made Bernard (the 3 year old) even more mad!!

Thursday-  nothing happened, I did a lot of studying in Preach My Gospel and in Doctrine and Covenants for our zone meeting.  We also had 2 talks to study and they were so good!!  I'm going to send them as attachments!  One by Elder Bednar, and the other by Elder Nelson!

Friday - We had our conference!!  It was so good!!!!! 

I have never felt such a strong feeling of love and respect for President and Sister Cabral!  I was so happy!!  The conference went from 9 in the morning until about 7 at night. It was super good and I got a hug from Sister Cabral which means it was a special occasion!! hahah

Saturday...Today!!-  We were planning to go on a ski lift and then the rains came a tumbling down. haha So we decided to go to the mini zoo park. 

 It sounds crazy in the rain, but it was actually really fun.  I dropped a 5 dollar bill while I was trying to take out my camera and the bird that was right in front of me tried to grab it with its beak!!!  He ran off with it about 5-10 feet before he dropped it.  Yeah i was nearly robbed by a bird......but the rest of the day has been really good.  Trying to study a lot and feel of the spirit.  I learned a lot yesterday and I need to do a lot better!!

Love You Family!!!

and yes i am the big 2 O. Twenty haha I'm old.