Saturday, September 20, 2014

September 13, 2014 - Office Work

This week President Cabral said that he talked to you guys over facebook or over the phone or something like that.  I was like, oh dear. I don't know if that's good or bad hahah. Then he's like for you it's terrible - you never are going to get rid of me.  Your parents and I.......BFFs.  hahah I just started laughing!  Hes is funny as heck.

Mckaylee told me about her little meltdown.  I think its going to keep happening until I get home hahah because it's already been a year.  Of course, the phone thing happens in the same week.

Spncer is a nut. when he emails me it's like....yo, whats up bro. how's the beach.

Tate, I decided is the most commited writer out of the kids about writing a ton to me every week which isn't really a surprise, but its funny how she is so worried about some of the smallest things.

Coulson is a stud!!  I always take a little look at the article on the Coloradoan to see what they say about the game.

Dad.  Give dad a break ahaha Just kidding, but you do give him a ton of stuff to do!  

I have been running this week almost every day 4km, which is just about 2 1/2 MILES! I was pretty proud of myself because we did it in 16 minutes which is about a 6 minute mile. I was pretty excited about it.

This week wasn't too bad. I had a lot of work to do, but it's been good. I've been working a lot with Microsoft Excel. I've been getting pretty good at it, but sometimes I get ticked because it gets so complicated.  Here in the office, President Cabral and I have made a friendship that's been pretty sweet.  Sometimes it's weird because your Mission president should be serious, but when he hangs out with us or goes to lunch with us, he's the one that jokes more than any one else.  It's stupid how funny he is.

For Christmas, Sister Cabral is putting together a special choir and a program where we will go to different areas and sing at the different church houses over the month of December!  The problem.......I, as the executive secretary have the great blessing to print out the music book for each choir participant.  That's 40 pages a book with 35 missionaries who are going to be singing.  I had to do all the preparations.  To say the least it took a long time and I didn't even  get half way done. Do you want to know why??????  Because I first just sent the printer to print out the books (all 35) until the printer ran out of paper.  So I just kept working in other things while it was printing.  I stopped after 10 minutes to find that the printer was low on ink and the little books were no longer usable because you couldn't see a thing.  So there went about 100 pieces of paper into the trash.  Then the same thing happened again on the other printer.  After that I just stopped because it was so ridiculous or maybe it was because I was so frustrated; I'm not sure.

I found out a new job of mine this week is to mark interviews for President Cabral.  I had to make a document that said when the missionaries were last interviewed so the president could see who needed to be interviewed most.  It took a while, but I finished it. The funniest part is when you call the missionaries to be interviewed you at first have small talk with them, like how's it going, how's the work, etc. Then I ask how long it has been since they've had an interview with President Cabral.  It just goes silent on the phone and they answer hoping that it's close enough that they don't need to come to Santos for another one. 

I found out that I'm going to be going to São Paulo again next Friday so we will see how everything goes. Maybe I'll be able to go to the temple - I'm just praying for the chance!

Love yo

Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 6, 2014 - Hair Cut Fashion and a Day at the Office

 Well, this is something that Brazil has done to me that never existed before.  To explain how I took the picture....I was about to get my haircut (we cut each others' hair) and I didn't want to walk around the house in just compression shorts, so Iwent to go find some shorts.....all dirty.  I grabbed a long sleeve Van Persie jersey and put it on, but then I realized it looked like track tights.  Then my bud told me I have a huge butt and I took a picture haha.

I drank water straight out of a coconut that Elder Parrella and Fernandes brought to me from Caraguatatuba.  It basically tastes like a sweet water type thing - I don't know. I just know that its good!'

Debaltzo and I are ordering burgers to eat right now haha. Yeah you can basically have delivery for just about anything here in Brazil. Even your groceries can get delivered to your house!

September 6, 2014 - A Day at the Zoo

Elder Debaltzo, Chase and Elder Kocinba
Hello family!

I have found these past couple weeks a little bit easier to just send the general things in one big email and then respond personally to your emails; that way I'm not wasting a ton of time.  I'm still with my "trainer" Elder Debaltzo.  

He is one of the oddest people, he is very straight forward with a lot of people and it's funny because some of the missionaries don't like him because he tells it how it is - he doesn't give you any wiggle room hahah, but we were already friends in Areia Branca and it's cool because we try to make everything fun.  

Today, my companions and I went to the zoo that is in our area!!!!!!   We honestly didn't even know that it existed. We first were going to a meeting with our ward mission leader, but he forgot to tell us that he went to São Paulo. This was at like 8:45 in the morning, so we were just like great now what.  So we walked down close to the beach near the church house when we looked to our right and it said, Orquidario parque e zoologico.  (Orchid park and zoo).  Debaltzo and I freaked out, Kocinba wasn't quite as excited, but I was pumped.  The zoo didn't have any of the super big animals like lions, tigers, elephants and that sort of stuff, but it was cool. They had a ton of plants from different parts of the world, and because Brazil is such a warm place, the keepers there can plant basically anything inside the park and it will start growing.   They had lots of plants from Asia that they had planted.  

Debaltzo had a little love affair with a parrot that literally
mimicked any kind of sound that we would do!  We got this all on video and I was just laughing; I couldn't whistle.  Then we were about to leave to go to the next thing and he starts singing, so we came back and gave him more attention, which is what I think he wanted!

This week we also had the Leadership Council meeting that was super fun!  
We also learned a ton at this council about the Holy Ghost!!  I think it was seriously some of the coolest stuff that I have learned about the Gospel!  President talked a lot about having spiritual experiences and that we need to have these experiences daily if we are to be in tune with the spirit.

The electricity was cut off today in our neighborhood from 8 to 4 where the office is and that's why I'm emailing so much later than usual!  

Love y'all

September 4, 2014 - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Finds It's Way to Brasil Santos Missao

Elder Johnson's dad challenged President Cabral to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Here's the ice bucket challenge that President Cabral did, haha hes such a funny guy.  He tried to get out of it for awhile, but there is a reason why God created a woman to be a man's companion!  Hahah  Sister Cabral just kept telling him, "Nope. Stop being a little boy and do it! You were challenged; how are you going to challenge your missionaries when you won't even accept a challenge to pour some ice water over your head".....hahah it was hilarious.  Then I tried to get Sister Cabral to do it with President, but then I just got that mom stare back and I got the picture hahahahhah.

September 3, 2014 - Supporting Riley

I need your help!!  I can't imagine a family member or friend getting cancer while on my mission and fearing that I may never see them or talk to them again.  I wouldn't make it honestly. Thinking that someone I love doesn't want to fight for their lives anymore, and I can't do anything - it's too much.  If you could do me this one little favor, I can't thank you enough!!

I am sending this email today because in the next day or two in the mission we are trying to serve someone in need!

We have a Sister Missionary in our Mission that has a brother who has a rare form of Bone Cancer.  He is going to the exams taking the treatments, but he is getting really disappointed....he said he doesn't want to fight anymore... he said its not worth it anymore and wants to stop with everything!!!  WE CAN'T LET HIM DO THIS!!!

Imagine how this Sister missionary is feeling!!  I literally can't think about the fear of losing a family member while on the misison.  We need to do more for this Family!

We want to help him understand that he can do it!!  That the fight doesn't finish until the end and that he is so much stronger than this discouragement!  What we are doing in the Mission is sending photos of Posters that have inspirational quotes or phrases that will get him excited that he may have the strength to keep GOING!

PLEASE!! Send a photo to me and of all the people that are willing to help!!  It will be super special for him, so the faster you can do this and the more people you talk to the better it will be!

His name is Riley!  He played Football and was a stud all-state center in High school!  His number is 68!!

We know that he can do it with just a little help and with your help it could make all the difference for him!

Send tons of PHOTOS!

What do you think????  If you can send them to me today it will be awesome!!

This is his video:

Send photos with something that's close to the photo that I'll send!!  With different phrases!



Elder Chase Thurgood

Even if its of the kids or the dog we just want to show this family support!  Thank you
Speak No Evil (Elder Parella), Hear No Evil (Chase), See no Evil (Elder Fernandes). We went to the  President's house to get more photos of missionaries for Riley because they were taking so long to send photos so we went to where they had missionaries. haha . We also didn't have lunch and we knew that they would have extras at his house if we went over there.   

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 1, 2014 - Who Doesn't Have This Suit? (at the Mission Council)

Chase, President Cabral and Elder Winstanley

August 30, 2014 - Trip to Sao Paulo and Zone Conference

My week was pretty and good pretty eventful going to a whole bunch of different places! 
The highlight for sure was going to São Paulo...the third largest city in the world!  To take a bus to one side of the city to the other, you better expect at least a 2 to 3 hour bus ride.  We had to fix a problem for an Elder. His Brazilian identification that he received said that he was from the Vatican.  He's a hick from North Carolina hahah. He was just having a blast just being there, but I was stressing out that we would miss something or it wouldn't work out in the end.  We had to redo his documents there at the federal police department.  It took quite a bit of time to say the least.  We left at 5 in the morning and didn't get back to Santos until about 7:30 at night.  I was to say the least, a little exhausted.  I also found out that it doesn't matter where you are in the world, the people that deal with passports or visas in those offices are grumpy people in general.  Even if you give 'em a good old Thurgood smile, they still look like they don't want you to be at their desk at that moment!

We have been working with a family to get them married so the woman can get baptized, but something always happens in the end like a technical error or something else goes wrong that we can't get the marriage marked.  

I'm still with Elder Debaltzo as my secretary trainer, but President said he is going to be transferred on Tuesday, so that's when I will officially be alone to figure everything out.  President Cabral said that it will make me learn the stuff a lot faster when I'm thrown into the fire without any help.

We had a zone conference meeting yesterday that was really good.  President and Sister Cabral are so amazing.  Sister Cabral helped us out on how to plan activities and basically everything that we want to do in the mission.

President talked about an apostolic blessing that was given to him and other mission presidents in São Paulo by Elder Holland. He said we were also blessed by him by what he said. He didn't share anything specifi, but just one phrase for us to interpret on our own that he will explain later.  He said that, "the Red sea is open."  How I interpreted it was that we have everything given to us; the way to success is already in front of us.  We just need to take it.  Take the courage and press forward with faith.  Super cool!

Thinking about getting a new suit.  My blue one ripped on the bus this past week.  I have 200 reais saved up that I might go to a store today and look.  I'm gonna go Brazilian style on everyone hahaha
Sister Cabral's Favorite Chocolate


August 23, 2014 - Elder Holland's Visit

Obviously, the highlight this week was with Elder Holland!!!   He is freaking hilarious, honestly!  You think from the general conference talks that he is super serious always and just speaks super harshly about the gospel that the members need to repent, but he was super awesome with us.  We got to shake his hand and basically be interviewed by him when he looked us in the eyes, (advantages of being an apostle).  We got to receive a special training from him and he responded indirectly to a lot of the questions I had about the gospel and other more specific things.  A lot about the Holy Ghost and he talked about if we do anything on this misson it's to bring one soul converted to the church - and that one soul is yourself.  Really and truly an awesome experience!  He has some of the brightest, clearest, blue eyes I think I have ever seen in my entire life, they were crazy.  Here are some funny mimes that the missionaries sent around.  The area president also talked, but really and truly we were all thinking this. hahahahah


He gave us homework to study: Moroni 7 because he opened it up to questions and someone asked about how we can love others like our family, then he gave us this to do.  
He also talked about what we should pray about, which needs to consist of at least 2 things:
1. Constant reference to repentance and forgiveness that we may forgive others and that we ask God for forgiveness.
2.  Live worthily of the company of the Holy Ghost 
I thought it was really interesting because he said the most under honored principle in the gospel is the companionship of the holy spirit. 

Life in the new position is a different.  I get to the office at about 8 every morning and study the scriptures until 9.  Then I start doing the office work.  This past week I've been working a lot with passports and visa problems with the foreign missionaries.  I am going to have to go to São Paulo with another missionary to change his identification.  Im pretty nervous because São Paulo has like 20 million people living there, its like NYC on drugs. And were not going with a single Brazilian, just three Americans that haven't been to one of the biggest cities in the world. haha pray for me on Tuesday. The one thing that I'm learning a lot is computer tricks.  It's a little frustrating at times because my "trainer" makes me learn them myself, but I have learned the stuff better in this way.  I'm in the office from 8 in the morning until about 5 or 6 in the afternoon then we leave to visit investigators and families that we are teaching.  I most likely will be in the mission office until February just about 6 months.  By that time I'll have almost a year and 6 months on the mission!!!!

But overall, I'm doing good!  Have a good week!  If anything happens during the week you want to share or ask you can!  I'm always on the computer and can send a quick email to you when I have time..  I just don't have time for an hour and a half every day. Saturday is my P-day!

August 16, 2014 - Executive Secretary and Mom's Questions Answered

AHHH that's so cool that you guys threw that big activity!  Did the missionaries get success out of that? At least some people to visit?   That's where we get a lot of success here is when the ward throws a party and we just talk to all the members' friends!  

Sorry about your Hamstring. That sure does stink.  How long do you think it will take for you to get back into shape or form to walk as much as you did before?  Its hard to work out now that I'm in the office because we have 11 people living in our house and there are so many suitcases everywhere and with it being a new house there literally is no room for me to jump rope or anything!

The secretary job is a little stressful to be honest.  Especially because President Cabral wants me to learn everything at an accelerated rate so that he can send Elder Debaltzo, who is training me here, to an area!   He said, "Elder, the Lord´s work is hastening and so must you in learning everything."  He wants to send Elder Debaltzo out of here in a week or two in the middle of the transfer so it will be a little crazy!

The change was good in the end.  I'm with my best friends on the mission who are the AP's so its been good to see them all the time, and have them helping me out!

1. Do you still have a companion? 

Yes, but it's not really the same thing.  He almost went home because of stress, but I might have a new comp sometime next week. I'ts been a little crazy with all of this stuff!

2. Will you ever go out and proselyte?
Yes. We are supposed to leave the office at 5, but this week we haven't had much time because of the transfers and preparations for Elder Holland.

3. Will you ever travel with the president? 
Yes, I will travel with the president, but not to places super far If anything, I will be an hour at the most.
4. Where do you live now? 
I live in Gonzaga with 10 other elders.  It is so crazy.  Taking a shower is a fight to the death!!!!!!  But it's cool because we don't have any slackers or fubecas!!

5. What is a typical daily schedule for you? 
I wake up and get ready by 7:15 - 7:30, then I go to the office. 8:00 I study personally. 9:00 I start the work.  I work a lot with the cell phones: how all of the lines are working and who has which phone, if they are using the with the Visas of the foreign missionaries (Americans, h]ispanics) and the transfers.

6. If you work in the mission home, but live in a different place, do you have to pack a lunch or do you go home and eat? 
We usually buy food or the ward that we are in gives us money, but a lot of the time it's just us ordering something to be delivered.
7. What about dinner? Does anyone Feed you? 
Dinner hasn't existed since I entered into the field.  Dinner is a luxury.

8. Did you even get a chance to do any work in your one day area ?
I basically ate lunch at a sister's house, went to the market to buy food and that's when President Cabral called.
9. Did you get my letter yet with the quotes by Elder Holland ?
Yes, I did. I showed everyone in the house. They thought it was pretty cool!
10. Do you have any assignments related to Elder Holland ' s visit?
I am going to be in the choir that we'll have, but other than that I think I will be fine on tasks.

Last rehearsal before Elder Holland comes.