Monday, October 15, 2012

Devin's twenty cents worth about Conference...and other things

Well, Conference is interesting in other countries. It´s just like we do at the chapel. They set up the projector and everything. Of course because of the time differences, the times get a bit funny. Priesthood Session gets over at like midnight here. It´s great because it´s the only day we get to stay out late. It´s of course much more awesome because we get to hear the words of living Prophets. So it´s all the same as at home except there´s like an option to change the language. Translators speak live over the speakers and it´s like they are speaking Portuguese (Of course the mouths don´t match up). The other funny thing is that the video doesn´t change, so when it gives the lyrics to the Hymn that we sing as a congregation it´s all in English and the members don´t sing. It´s also tough because the audio of the English lyrics throws it off. I sang sort of softly in English with one of the Brazilian elders who knows English enough to follow along.
So I lit up like a Christmas tree when I heard the Prophet announce the news. I think we were all thrown a bit off guard. It was great to see that they showed some of the youth reactions in the Conference Center. So we had to stick around in between conference sessions and they showed some Church news in the chapel. It was a Press Conference that was translated from English to Portuguese. I got the chance to translate for the other Elders who didn´t understand. The conference explained more about the news. I immediately thought about Rick. Rick should go as soon as possible. As soon as I got out here Í felt very strongly that I should have come out earlier. There´s a lot that passed through my mind before (like "I don´t know two years is a long time") but it all got clear early on in the mission. Back at home I felt like maybe I wasn´t ready, but the truth is, the Lord and the work prepare you. The only way you learn is doing it. I think that if Rick goes out now, it will give him a great advantage. Another thing is that as soon as I got on the plane for the mission I thought I´d get real anxious or homesick but I just took it a step at a time and felt good. At the MTC you don´t feel home sick at all (It´s a lot of fun). Then you get to the field and things start to sink in but you just get in to the work and it goes well. I´ll have to wait a bit longer to see him but the Mission will pass by so fast for him and we´ll be telling mission stories over dinner in no time. It´s great to just be involved in the work. It´s a big load off your shoulders and you don´t have to stick around the house doing nothing. I love the friends and experiences and the way that the mission shapes my life.I´m positive that the number of Sister missionaries from the states will more than triple in the near future. Before they all felt that 21 is a long time to wait. Now they can get home around the same time as the guys. The other great thing is that the number of missionaries in the field at the same time will climb. It´s now around 58 thousand. As the number climbs the converts will too and many other youth will be off on missions.
There was a bit of a flood here. I´m really close to the River Uruguay and every few years when it rains hard it overflows both there and here in this small town. It got a few blocks around here. The houses are all fine though and it never got anywhere near our apartment or the chapels.
Last week and earlier today I had internet problems so I couldn´t write before. I remember that Adam always had good things to say about his mission experience. Another good reason that I´m out here is now I can understand some of the things he felt. This week, the other set of Elders in the district had a baptism. It was the baptism of an 8 year old girl and her nine year old brother. The dad did the baptizing. We were at the Chapel to help and we sang that "I like to look for rainbows" in Portuguese as a district. The other great thing is that the senior couple missionaries sang too. You´d love them. They are some of the happiest people I´ve seen. The way they just have fun as they serve is inspiring. When the kids were baptized, it was terrific to just see the ordinance and to feel the spirit. A baptism always strengthens my testimony of the restoration. I found out that the majority of the people I´ve baptized so far on the mission are going strong and have callings in the ward. There´s a family that I taught which has a mom that´s teaching primary and the dad is the young men’s leader. They also give cake to the missionaries once in a while...that´s good too. 
Love you guys. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nothing yet

RATS! We were really hoping to hear from Devin this week and get his scope on how he felt about conference and the new age approvals for missions and his brother Rick most likely going sooner than expected.  We assume he must've had zone mtgs and he'll catch us next week.  -Joy

New companion coming (emailed Oct 1)

Well this week was terrific...during the week. When Sunday came around almost none of our investigators went to Church. It´ll all work out though. By the end of this transfer I´ll have been here for six months so we can almost be positive that I´ll be transferred next transfer. There´s another four weeks until next transfer. My companion will be transferred as part of an emergency transfer tomorrow. This means that some other Elder had to switch out of where he was at and they picked up my companion because they had to trade someone. I hear my new companion will be awesome.
The funny thing is my companion can not stand the Elder who he will be companions with. I smell another emergency transfer soon to follow.  
So the work is slow but we did challenge a few people to baptism this week and I really felt how true our message is and how much the Lord really loves us.  I´m learning to really love others and understand them.
This week I started reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese again. I had already read it a few times in English and once in Portuguese but then went on to study other standard works. After Zone conference this week I started to read the Book of Mormon from the start again. I´m learning a lot more this time around and my spirituality has been getting better. I even feel like my countenance is changing for the better. I´ve been reading out loud sometimes which really has been helping my accent. The Book really does have power. 
I love this Church and it´s Doctrines and I love my Heavenly Father.
I have to help my companion with the Transfer.
- tchao, Elder Hanson