Monday, August 29, 2011

Still working on the verbage

Eai ,
Good to hear about the family and everything that´s going on.\
 So I´m really progressing with the language. This week, I´ve noticed a big leap in my understanding of everything I´m beginning to pick out a expressions and other things. I taught Principios do Evangelho (Gospel Principals) class this week again as well. I just can´t get a break, this week the lesson was on the Abrahamic Covenant. Difficult enough in my native language. I also gave a talk this Sunday and was able to gather up enough Portuguese to talk for five minutes. I know my grammar still has a lot of work to be done with it. I´m at the point where I´m comfortable enough with the language (and blessed enough with the gift of tongues) that I´m starting to really retain things, the language is sticking. I need to work so much on verbs but I´m actually starting to remember all these verbs and different forms with a lot more ease lately.
So two weeks ago we started teaching a family the Gospel. This family is amazing. Each one of them seems to care about the lessons and they understand everything. Things were going great until our last lesson. Then everything just fell through. They really like us and our messages but are having trouble making that jump to conversion. I believe that they feel that if they didn´t know it was true then it would be easier to stay as they are. So they already are starting to know but they have to continue to pray and read the Book of Mormon to gain a true testimony.
Then we started teaching one Investigator who ... well it was like the training videos we watched at the CTM. He was perfect, hungry for the gospel, like we were answering his deepest questions and that the Gospel had a familiar feeling to it because of it´s truth. So he´s committed to baptism everything’s going swimmingly. Sunday it was a sunny day, perfect for going to church and... he just didn´t go. So ... it´s really the truth that being a missionary is hard.  But I´ve worked hard this week, learned a lot, and laughed hard. I love these people. The hard times just make it easier to humble yourself lower than the dirt so that maybe you can invite these people to take these steps in their lives and maybe they´ll accept.
As for marriage of people here, It´s really not expensive. It´s around a hundred and forty dollars American I believe. It´s really not difficult, people have smart phones here but they never thought to spend the few dollars at the commencement of their relationship to be legally married. Ceremonies are rare, it´s really just signing a piece of paper. The majority of people that we ask we say "how long have you been married" then they give us a number then we say "on paper" and they say " on paper" So they aren’t married.
The Church is paying for the marriage of Alan and Leila we just have to wait for the papers to finalize. Hope I can be around after this transfer to see everything going on. Love all of you guys.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Great to hear from you!  This week I taught Gospel Principals for the first time in Portuguese. It went well. My vocabulary is limited but I think I did an alright job. My companion and the other companionship that were in the class helped me with explaining some things. So we had our first baptism on Saturday! He was baptized by a friend of his that is in our ward. The next day I performed the confirmation and I was able to do so confidently and with a decent accent. The Lord is blessing me so much in the language and everything else. My companion and other Brazilian Elders are a big help with the language.
So much has happened this week. So we started teaching a family last week that I felt good about but now I feel amazing about them and feel really strongly that this family of four will be baptized as well as understand the full importance of things. There´s even potential that a few relatives of theirs could be baptized as well. Then there´s the family of Alan and Leila, they have four little girls and two of the girls are 8 and 9 years old. They will be baptized together as a family (They're already super active in the church) but they need to be married first. We paid for their license for marriage and it just needs to come in the mail. I´ll probably be transferred out of here before the ceremony that will be held in the chapel and before the baptism. Towards the beginning of my time in the field, my companion and I found someone named Ondina and she´s such a terrific person. We taught her the lessons and prepared her for baptism and then she moved just in to the neighboring area so she was baptized in to the other ward by other elders. Well now she moved back in to our area and ward. Heh, go figure.
People here are very straight with you and they are very spiritually hungry. I haven´t met an atheist yet. I love these people so much. I´m becoming a better missionary, teaching better and I´m trying to temper myself in patience and humility.
Oh, the other day we taught a 92! year old man and his 75 year old wife. They were both really with it and for ninety two he could really move. He had the biggest bombasha (pants that some of the southern Brazilians wear) that I´ve ever seen. They accepted baptism but they have the Divine problem of Brazil - that´s right - they aren´t really married. So we´ll see how everything works out.
This week a strange man came up to me, my companion and the other companionship that we live with. He ranted in Portuguese something about us not being able to enter japan then he tried his best English to say "WE NO WANT YOU" we laughed it off but it was just kind of ...interesting. We also contacted a young man who said he dreamed about the end of the world. We said something to the affect of "how special" then gave him a contact card.

The majority of these pictures are the property of a family in the ward. We have a picture with the family. The boy's 19, getting ready for a mission and his dad is 88. Go figure. The shorter Brazilian is my companion, Elder Andrade. The taller one lives in our apartment with his American companion, (the guy with blondish hair) Elder Anderson. There´s a couple pictures in front of the Chapel here in Ijui. There´s a picture of one of our members who takes pride in wearing the ...uhh native clothing around here. He´s a lot of fun and a very spiritual guy as well. There´s a few pictures from baptisms of the other elders and ... then there are just cows that some family has. I don´t think these cows are the kinds that anyone eats or milks around here. 
Love you.  Elder Hanson

Monday, August 15, 2011

Patience? Really?

A lot happened this week. The Portuguese is coming along. I´m starting to understand people better and better and things are "sticking" in my mind better now. Tell Jimmy that I´m sure that the elders in the Spanish speaking branch will come along with the language. You can also tell him that it´s gospel truth that Portuguese is more difficult than Spanish. There´s nearly an entire page in my verb book on conjugating the word for "laugh".
The people here are wonderful. I just wish I could get them to come to church. So it turns out we´re not having a baptism until next week because the person who would have been baptized this week went on a trip this Sunday. I´ve seen many beautiful things and many strange things this week. It´s been up and down again between freezing and fryingly hot. Luckily it´s more just hot and I don´t have to worry about walking to church in a suit in the rain anymore.
I´m growing a lot in my patience and understanding of people. I´m waiting patiently for the success to happen. Of course it´s a lot more than waiting! I need to act! and that´s what I try hard to do everyday. I´m studying my head off and striving to love these people with all my heart. So my companion and I opened this area. He had already had success in his other areas but here (In this city) they hadn´t had a baptism in nearly a year. Not to worry though the other sets of missionaries in this city have been having a few baptisms here and there and we´ll have ours soon enough. This week we took a bus (just for an hour ) to a conference in Cruz Alta. The ward building in Cruz Alta is literally more beautiful than temple square or a visitors center or pretty much anything anyone has ever seen before. Our ward building here is also gorgeous. I´ll pray for the family, make sure to have everyone pray for me and make sure that they pray for my investigators to stick it out with commitments. I have a few funny pictures this week. Sending them soon.      

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ups and downs

Hey Guys, This week was crazy. Tuesday it was bone chillingly cold and it wasn´t really raining but there was a constant cold mist coming from every direction. Next day it was just COLD and then the rest of the week it´s been scorchingly hot. So the only baptism that we would have had was of a woman who moved just before we could baptize her. She barely moved in to the next ward over. So some missionaries that we see all the time ended up baptizing her. She´s already a great member. LUCKILY my companion and I have the opportunity to teach her brother and his family. Great Family! There´s a lot of trust and progress going on there. This month is looking to be significantly more successful. There´s also a family who were taught three months ago and they accepted baptism but they had two problems. One, the ward split and two, the other elders were transferred right then. So thanks to a little confusion and the previous elders in our area not following up - until just now - this family was lost in the shuffle. We visited them and they seem interested still - JOY. The highlight of the week was when one of our families came to church. It was sunny and they were a couple with four little daughters. The little girls were all wearing pink dresses and the family were holding hands. Picture perfect. They like the church and want to be baptized. Of course the couple isn´t married yet, but they are filling out the papers. So we´re waiting the thirty or so days and I should be able to baptize them in the last couple weeks of this transfer.
We talked to one guy this week. We were discussing the authority for baptism that John the baptist had and why it was significant that Jesus Christ chose to be baptized by him. Of course he didn´t think that authority was important and told us that you could - having faith - take a shower and the Lord would accept that as a baptism. We had a lot of moot appointments and trouble with contacts then we bumped into a really perfect contact. We'll see how things go with him. I´m excited. Our first official baptism for our ward by someone we found will be Sunday. His friend who´s a member will be performing the baptism. We are working with his mother also - things look good. Have another baptism following with another kid but the kid needs to go to Church more.
The language is coming bit by bit. I know a good bit and I´m significantly better than even a week ago.
Love you all

Monday, August 1, 2011

Watch out for the fox!

Eia Tche. (This is bagual (Brazilian Redneck) for Hey Man.) Crazy week. So a lot of things have fallen through. Yesterday we had a baptism for a woman named Ondina who I taught with my companion. While we were teaching her, she moved to just out of our area and in to the area of a nearby set of missionaries. They baptized her but my companion and I should get some credit ha.  Also found a perfect family and started teaching them. And of course they just happened to be moving to just in to that set of missionaries territory. We´ve had a lot of people saying without acting and a lot of hard times. This is the hardest area my companion has been in. He had baptisms before in his other areas but here there hasn´t been a baptism for anyone in nearly a year. Well...before our new district got here. All the missionaries in my district have been having a lot of success here. But I started in one of the harder areas. So after all this ... the dust is settling and we have a baptism coming (!!!!) up for Guilermi, a fourteen year old boy. Hopefully his mom follows soon! Also a boy named Vini needs to come to church more but he´s actually had excuses for missing and hangs out with the church kids. He´s getting baptized soon. Hoping his father also gets baptised. 
This week was crazy. The lightning here is crazy. It can be mid day, barely raining at all, and the lightning will quickly flash and light up the whole sky. It´s beautiful and happens very frequently. We practically have to drop the one woman who won´t re baptize. She´s really hitting some walls. She still goes to her church along with ours and claims she knows that ours is true but if she knew that then she wouldn´t agree with this other church. It´s one of those "gift of tongues" churches. She also can´t pray without a veil. Her pastor had a revelation for her about it. He also very commonly has revelations in Japanese she says... and she has no ... suspicions about this...go figure. 
This week we had lunch with an older couple who are members. As the meal was being prepared, in walked a middle aged man (I think he was their son). They had a fox in their crawl space between the roof and the ceiling. So I saw him walk in to their bedroom then the old man walked in with trash bags, then the old woman came through the house dragging a large wooden club! She took it in to the bedroom and then we heard the middle aged man climbing around in the ceiling. We heard many thuds as he whacked all over the ceiling that was above our heads. We then heard him dragging the club around to sort of finish off the fox. Then I think I heard the fox´s bones break! The fox must have been sick because he was just killed but smelled long dead. After lunch we were given a dessert. They call desserts a "sobre mesa" meaning "over the table". I think that´s clever. So this nice old lady obeys the word of wisdom but apparently didn´t know she couldn´t flavor the cold dessert by dumping wine on it... so before we figured it out I had two hefty helpings. I lived and of course I didn´t know. Talked it over with the leaders. It´s okay ha. 
So the other set of Elders who live in our apartment with us made a contact the other day. The man said that he had been paying tithes to Heavenly Father all of his life but that he never saved him. He then said "I have a story you´ll never believe"... He was right about that. He said that he was in his living room reading the bible and someone mysteriously walked by and threw a bomb in to the room. Then, just as all hope was lost and the explosion was going to start... John the Beloved appeared in a column of fire and saved him...WHAT!? The elders then asked who he thought would have sent John to save him. To this he replied: "Well... I think it was ...probably God." Then they asked if he was baptized and studied the bible. To this he replied that he had been baptized catholic and emphatically stated he had studied the bible very well for seven years! He was asked if he knew anything about the baptism of Jesus Christ, to which he said "no." Silly rabbit. 
So please correct my spelling and grammer. I´m in a hurry. I also am losing the ability to spell in English. I´m nowhere near where I want to be with Portuguese but it´s so much easier to spell in. I´m trying to think in Portuguese as much as I can. The language is really doing better this week. So I´m sending more pictures. As for the pictures from last week, the older guys with different tags are institute instructors. The group photos are people from my CTM district and all the other elders  and sisters are missionaries who I became good friends with. There´s a picture of me with the CTM president and his wife. I´m sitting in the middle. My companion from the CTM is Elder Hollandsworth. the guy who looks like clark kent, not the Elder who looks like James Franco. Then there´s a couple pictures of me with my new companion. He´s the skinny guy with a couple pictures of us together at the house of the mission president.
Ooops. Can´t send pictures this week. There´s next week then.