Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 10: "He's been to Disney." "AAHHH!!!"

The subject this week is referring to when ECG and I were walking down the street, and we started talking to some little kids. As per usual, they were kinda laughing at my accent and pronunciation of my words, until ECG said that I've been to disneyworld. Then, without hesitation, they all started freaking out like crazy and asking me questions about Disney. I officially know how to impress little kids here. Win for the week.

Oi everybody!

This has literally been among the 10 strangest weeks in my life. So many up and down moments, and so I don't really know how I'm feeling. Here are the main points:

We got 4 baptism commitments in 3 days.

But we lost Jessica, our other baptism commitment.

But then we got 1 more!

But she's crazy.

But I'm feeling good!

But then Andre fell as well, and I've been teaching him since day 1.

And then I broke my ankle.

Why yes, this has been quite the week. The 4 baptism commitments come from a family and one other person. The family is absolutely amazing. We found the mom, Marcia, and her daughter Anderessa on the street. And they have one other girl, Amanda. And all of them committed to baptism! Unfortunately, Anderessa wasn't able to attend church this week, so we might have a problem with that, but we still have hope. Our other date is Shelder, who has interest and a desire to be baptised. We just need to get him to church first, so we'll see what happens there.

And then we lost Jessica and Andre, both saying that they were going in other directions. But I don't feel like talking about them.

And yes, I broke my ankle this week. I was walking down a hill, and I tripped. My ankle hurt, but not terribly. So we went back to the house, and called Sister Martins. She said for us to go to the hospital regardless, which was probably a good idea, because my ankle is actually a little bit broken! So next week won't be too exciting, since I can only go to teach when we have a car. Luckily, I'll only have this cast on for 10 days, so don't worry about me.

Sorry I don't have any pictures or audio this week. I'm at the mission office right now to talk about my ankle, and we have some sort of meeting tomorrow, so I didn't bring my camera or recorder with me. But rest assured, this week I will be writing to many people (To whom I have addresses). And now, since I don't know if I have a full hour of writing or not, I'll respond to individual emails (including probably calming my mother quite a lot.)

Obrigado! Boa semana!
Elder youd

Monday, October 14, 2013

In Front of the Chapel

Chapel in First Area

Elder Youd & Elder Casagrande

Hitting the Streets!

Update #8: "The cat of the apocalypse"

Oi amigos e família!

I am quite surprised at how quickly this week has gone by. I think that I've passed the time of getting used to missionary life, and now I'm gonna go go go, until before I know it, I'm home, have a smoking hot wife, a steady income, and I can spend my days cuddling with the aforementioned smoking hot wife and watch movies all day. That is my motivation for everything that I do.

This week was a little bit more difficult, dealing with investigators. We met with Jessica on Monday, and she said that she received an awesome confirmation of truth, and afterwards, another guy from another religion talked to her about how he's looking for things...and then he listed things that he wanted, and they were exactly in our church! She didn't know his name so we didn't get a reference, but she saw this as a sign! However, since then, we haven't been able to meet up with her, because she's so busy, so we can't even teach her commandments yet. And she didn't come to church, so we're gonna have to change her baptism date. Luciana (the pizzeria lady) said that her boss won't let her meet with us at the pizzeria, so we have to wait until this sunday to talk to her again. Claudine read stuff about us on the Internet, so she's out, but her son Andre still has interest. But now, anytime we go to their house, she tries to "A-ha!" us. Luckily, this is our jobs, and so we're usually well prepared. Tip to people who want to trump missionaries: don't try. We literally are preaching the gospel as a full time job. You're not going to stump us on a question permanently. Maybe for a few days, but we'll find an answer. And if not, the Book of Mormon is true.

But we did find one really good investigator this week. We had a street contact named Julio, who gave us an address. We tried the address, but nobody was home, so we figured that he gave us a fake address. However, last Monday, he passed us on the street, and asked us when we were going to visit him. We were shocked, and decided to visit him the next day. When we got to the address (his place of work) we met João (Portuguese for "John"), his boss. We realized partway through the lesson that Julio isn't fully mentally aware, but Joao has a TON of interest in our church, especially in feeling the Holy Ghost. So pray for Joao and Julio, as well as our other investigators!

We've had a couple people drop us this week, and we've had a couple days that were rough. We have one investigator, Aline, that wanted to be baptized, but not anymore because she's convinced that quitting smoking and coffee is physically impossible. But we have hope that this week will be a great week!

By the way, I've grown a new love for writing letters in my free time (mornings, nights, and when Elder Casagrande is getting ready.) So send me your address, and I'll send you a letter, handwritten!

Alright, thank you all for your support! You have no idea how much I appreciate it! Continue praying for me and our investigators, and I'll keep on working hard! Ate mais!

Elder Youd

Brazilian FFOTW: October 12 is Dia dos Criancas, or "Kids day". Kind of like Mother's Day or Father's Day, Dia dos Criancas celebrates commericalizing toys to give to punk kids...also, children, and the beauty they bring to the Earth. That was our worst day with this week, because nobody was home. So I'm a little bitter towards punk little kids. Grr..

Friday, October 11, 2013

Update #7: "Yard? Yoood? Muito dificil!"

Hello everybody!

This week has been another great week here in Vila Medeiros! We have been working diligently, and we're starting to see the fruits of our labors!!

Firstly, most exciting news: I got my first baptism commitment! On Tuesday, we were about to go visit an investigator that's about to drop us because he doesn't want to commit to change, even though he told us that he received an answer about the Book of Mormon. On the way, we saw a woman sitting on the porch. We thought we'd try and talk to her. She told us, "Who are you representing? I've seen people that look like you and I've always been curious, but they've never talked to me before." So we talked to her for about an hour, and now Jessica is planning on getting baptized on October 19! We still have work to do with her (She smokes and might live with her boyfriend?) but she has great faith, and we are very very excited for her.

We technically had another baptismal date marked, but that's not gonna happen with Ramiro. Ramiro is Bolivian, and for some reason, Bolivians and Paraguayans here have to work a lot more for less pay. But, he also doesn't speak very good Portuguese, so we're trying to teach him in Spanish. Last week, he told us that he believed in our message, and committed to a date; however, we then started talking to him about commandments, and guess who isn't legally married? Him! And he said that it'd take him a year to get married through Bolivia, which brings up other questions. So we'll see what happens.

We also have about 3 or 4 other investigators that could commit to baptism this week. Firstly, Andre. This week, he and his mother Claudine accepted a second lesson, which is usually our maximum before they drop us. But, then we visited him on Friday. We weren't able to go in because they had a visitor sleeping in their living room, but Andre found the Restoration movie on Youtube, and is "muito curioso". His preacher said not to talk to us anymore, but he's too interested to stop. We also have Luciana, who works and learns from us at the Pizzeria (double win, because I can teach and eat amazing pizza), and Bruna, the 17 year old that has a ton of faith, and is the only one in her family that can read a lot. So this week, as said in conference, pray for Jessica, Ramiro, Andre, Claudine, Luciana, and Bruna!! They are our main focuses. I'd really appreciate it!

Also, last week I realized I didn't talk about my mission president. Pres Martins is super duper strict, but absolutely amazing. He was the first black missionary ever, and I'm guessing he'll be the first black apostle. His rules are hard (for example, we aren't allowed to do sports or cultural activities on P-Day, only prepping and writing), but he is a genius. A true genius.

I got to see most of conference, except priesthood session and the first hour of the first session (refer to my voice clip for thoughts on it.)

This is hard, hard work, and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't exhausted all the time from doing constant 16-hour days. But as of now, it's absolutely amazing, if nothing else, to see the successes of the 5 people after the failure of teaching the 95. 

Alright, I'm gonna attach a voice clipping (which I'll do every week, so that you can all hear my lovely voice), and then respond to these individual emails! Thank you all so much for your support. You have no idea how much it means to me!! Tchau!

Much love,
Elder Youd