Monday, October 29, 2012

Week Forty Six - Sword Envy!

View on Tom's street.

View out of his window.

Elder Mendonca's sheath and sword.

Bom Dia! Que belo saco de milho você tem!
     Well, as usual, hope you had a really good week last week! I was glad to hear about your new companion and that you think he will be a good missionary to be with yo.... oh wait... I´m just repeating what you said. That´s weird. Anyways, my week was okay. My companion´s pretty funny. He likes to talk a lot. He has about a billion and one stories to tell. And he´s usually pretty blunt with with people we teach. But he´s a good missionary, has lots of experiences, and should help me out a lot. Unfortunately I don´t have a lot of news this week. Not a lot is going on here, Ma!
         Thanks for the picture of the mountains. Looks cool. Hearing about that hurricane is unfortunate, but it hasn´t affected anything here.  Funny to hear about Elio in the Air Force. Good Luck! If it´s anything like the mission, it should pass quick and be a good experience. Egua time is passing fast. It´s already almost Christmas, you already sent me my package. Justin´s almost in the last quarter of his mission, já! Frick, this is weird!
      Anyways, pics this week are assim: Elder Mendonças sheath and sword. Egua I´m jealous. If you see me take out about 500 bucks from my account, it´s because I bought a sword. The next one is the view of our street outside the window, and the next is a view out the window of the chapel on the third floor.
  Do they celebrate Halloween in Brazil?  If they do, does everyone dress up like they do here? I think they do, but it doesn´t seem very popular. I´ve only seen a billboard that says there will be a party in the forest on the first instead of 31st anyways, I haven´t seen much about Halloween here.

Have you had any bad weather there - maybe could be from that hurricane headed our way. Nothing here. I think the daily rain should start up again this next month.

Is there anything you need that I could have Grandma send in her Christmas package to you?  How are you on deodorant and sunscreen? Deodorant don´t need, nor sunscreen. Oh I have an idea. Cinnamon(?) rolls. I think if you send the kind you have to cook in the oven, I can learn... but send some microwavable ones just in case. UMMMM CINNAMON!

Is the beach you sent a picture of on the banks of the Amazon? I don´t really have a clue. I think I need to look up where I´m at on Google maps.

Any packages or letters this past week?  If so, who from? zero letters from my good friend, no one... But that´s okay, my mission is almost over já. 
Anyways, that´s my life so far. Thanks for everything you do for me at home. Thank you for your love and support. The church is true, I love you, em nome de Jesus Cristo, Amém!
Love Elder Williams

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Em Turns Twenty Four - Happy Birthday!

Em and Davey at Brio!

New Tom's!!

Em opening presents.

Birthday dinner at Spaghetti Factory.

Em blowing out the candles, with Rachel.
On Thursday, October 11th, my first born and only daughter turned twenty four years old!  Happy Birthday, Em!  I remember the day she was born, like it was yesterday!  It was a beautiful day and still felt just like Summer.  I was told by my doctor to call a phone number on Monday morning to tell them I was supposed to come in to the hospital for an induction.  When I called the number, they told me they were completely full and didn't have one room open.  I was devastated and remember I went back to bed in tears.  Dave went off to work and about a half hour later, my doctor called wondering where I was.  I guess he had accidentally given me the phone number to Holy Cross instead of LDS Hospital and he wanted me to get up there right away.  So, the day started out pretty chaotically, to say the least!  I was in labor all day, after they hooked me up to the Pitosun and Em finally arrived around 8:30pm that night during a World Series game on the TV in my room.  I had been sure that I was having a boy, so when they told me it was a girl, I was in shock!  She was so incredibly cute and I remember Dave and I taking her home from the hospital and then looking at each other while she was sleeping and wondering "what do we do now?"  

There is just nothing like the experience of having your first child.  It's scary and incredible at the same time!  It's amazing that we apparently have instincts that help both the child and us survive.  It's funny how in some ways it seems like a lifetime ago that she came into my life and it other ways it seems like just the other day.  I can't imagine life without my daughter.  She has become my best friend and the person I would do anything for.  At twenty four, she has become all and more than I could have ever wished for her. I am so proud of her!

Em had to work on her birthday (part of being an adult, apparently), but when she got home, we all went to dinner at Brio at Fashion Place Mall.  It was really fun to have the four of us there, but we all were wishing Tom could be there, too.  After dinner, we went home and she opened her presents.  The next night, she went to dinner with friends and then on Sunday, we celebrated with my family at Spaghetti Factory.  It was a four day birthday, but I think she had fun.  She was complaining about feeling old and not wanting to get older than 24!  Oh, to be 24 again!  I know the feeling, though, that you get to a point where you just want to stop time, but you can't - you just have to accept it!

Week Forty Five - Assistant to the Assistant to the President!

Tom, his companion and Jean.

The beach, which Tom cannot enjoy :(

Tom and Elder Puffer watching conference.

Alo Mamãe, Papai, meu irmão e minha irmã!

           Well my week was pretty good! I met my new companion, Elder Munhós. He´s from the south of Brazil, I forget which state. He hits one year in the mission this next month. I´m still the zone leader´s companion, which I hope changes after this transfer. Elder Munhós actually trained Elder Hoch, an mtc buddy, which is cool. He doesn´t show a lot of emotion, but he seems like a good missionary, and a hard worker. Before the mission he was drafted into the army here in Brazil and says he wants to return after his mission. But this week I actually had 2 companions, the second was Elder Cavalheiro, one of the president´s assistants. The assistants arrived Wednesday night and stayed at our place. Six missionaries in one home is kind of annoying, but anyways, they ended up dividing my companion and I, one assistant went with my companion, the other with me. I now have an idea of what it takes to be an assistant in the mission, which doesn´t seem easy. Anyways, it was a great learning experience, and I think it will help a lot, because I have a better idea of what I can change and where I can improve.
         But that´s about all that happened this week. So yeah, kind of short. But I´m glad to hear everyone´s week went well! The increase in missionaries is cool to hear, good luck President Monson!
The first is of me, my companion, and Jean, the kid that left for his mission just over a week ago. The next is me watching general conference with my roommate, Elder Puffer. He just started his second to last transfer this week. A picture of the beach, which I can´t enjoy. And a little family home evening we had at a members place.
What is your new companion's name?
Elder Munhós!
Where is he from and does he speak English at all?
Some place close to Santa Catarina, and no he doesn´t speak English, at all
How are you feeling - are you healthy?
I´m feeling fine, no problems here.
Where do you go to e-mail each week in your new area?
A cyber/lan house close to the park, here in the vila
Any packages or letters this week and if so, who from?
I received a letter from one of my teachers in the MTC, Irmã Korth. It was really cool to hear from here.... what more can I say?

Anyways, I think that´s all for now. I love you all, stay safe, let me in on some more news outside of home too please.... what more can I say? Tchau!

Love Elder Assistant to the assistant of the president!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Week Forty Four - Strange Dreams!

Cool Family Home Evening.

Tom waiting for lunch and dying in the heat!

Hello Mom, Dad, Em, David, and whoever else might be reading!
      I´m glad to hear everyone´s week was good, and without problems, except for maybe a chewed up shoe, but that´s okay, Toby´s worth a chewed up shoe, right David? Enjoy the weather for me, send more pics, and it´s nice to hear that everyone is not dead on the couch without me... that was something I was worried about.... well... not really.......... Anyways, the house looks great! Maybe you can send a pic of the changes to my room. Is it red still? I was able to watch conference in English, thankfully. Watching anything in Portuguese is still difficult, and I usually just doze off.
      But yeah, my week was okay. A funny story rapidinho! I´m starting to do some really weird things in my dreams. One night, Elder Mendonça heard me saying "Thelma, Selma, Belma, Telma," or something like that, and after I sit up on my bed not doing anything.... and I start saying "A sala está vazia! (the room is empty)" and I grab my companions arm telling him "A sala está vazia!" and he starts thinking we´re being robbed! Egua! my dreams are weird! And I have no idea what I´m dreaming!
        Anyways!On Monday we went to Elder Mendonça´s previous area, Ananindeua, so that he could say goodbye to at least a few people. President Scisci didn´t allow, originally, anyone that is ending their mission to visit previous areas, because a lot of missionaries in past transfers abused the privilege and got lazy in their last transfers, not doing anything. So, my companion was very upset about that, and talked to presidente, and he let him visit one area. So we took about an hour and a half bus ride to get there, going over some really cool bridges, unfortunately not getting any pictures, but I got to say hi to Elder Shaw, my air plane buddy, again! He´s already a zone leader and a missionary super powerful! We ended up missing the bus to return to our area, and stayed the night at Elder Shaw´s place. His birthday was Tuesday, the big Vinte years old! PARA-BENS ELDER SHAW!
      This past week was Elder Mendonça´s last as a missionary. He gave his testimony for the last time in sacrament meeting and after, when he sat down next to me, he started crying :/ He´s not happy to be leaving the mission. His conditions aren´t great at home and it´s difficult for him to let go of everything he has here. He went to Belém today, will buy some things, have his interview with presidente, and tomorrow at about 4 a.m. he returns home. I liked my time with Elder Mendonça. He was a great missionary, and maybe my best companion. He worked hard, didn´t slack off, we had 6 baptisms together, one yesterday, and now it´s all over for him and I have to continue here in the Vila. The transfer is tomorrow, my new companion is Elder Munhós, and he will be Zone Leader, so I´m still the companion of the zone leader, which is cool I guess. I think he trained Elder Hoch, a buddy from the MTC. But yeah, it was kind of sad to see Elder Mendonça go, and now I´m kind of dreading my last few days in the mission. But I can´t stop now, gots to continue!
      Pics! The first is of me dying in the heat, waiting for lunch to arrive. A friend of Elder Mendonça´s in his previous area. He´s preparing himself to go to the United States to do that foreign exchange student thingy, which is cool. One is of a Family Home Evening activity we had, which was cool too.
When does your companion go home? Tomorrow :(

Any packages or letters this past week?  If so, from who? no

What is Blizzcon news? World of Warcraft!

Do you visit with families with little kids and is there something I could send you to give to them?  Do kids down there like Disney? Not a whole lot, but if you want to send some Disney stickers or something I wouldn´t complain.

Do you know of any other American missionaries in your area?  If you do, where are they from? Elder Puffer, is from Clinton UT, and a new Elder will arrive tomorrow, Elder LeCompt, is from Texas, I think.
Okay, that´s it for today. Bye-bye! I love you all, have a great week, especially you, tober tobers Toby!
Love Elder Williams

Week Forty Three - On My Journey to Belem!


      Tudo bem? que bom! Well my week was pretty interesting. Tuesday, a man died in the neighboring backyard of a member´s house, at 3 a.m. We went there to have lunch with him and he told us a little about what happened. Apperantly he was shot, and tried to run through some backyards to get away, and ended up dying in the neighbors backyard. I didn´t see a whole lot, just his face planted in the sand, which is a sad sight... anyways, I won´t dwell on it. There was a small farewell on friday for Jean, who leaves for his mission on wednesday to Paraiba I think its called. He´s really cool. He plays basketball with us a lot, including today, and he speaks English! He says he wants to live in Delaware, in the USA and he doesn´t feel much like a brazilian, which is kind of funny. At his farewell, his mom and older sister both said a little something and ended up crying, which reminded me of the day I left for the MTC, which is already sooo long ago! So yeah, that was a nice little spiritual experience.
     We didn´t have a baptism this week which is unfortunate because it ends the 42 straight weeks of baptism here in the Vila, but that´s honestly not that important to me. But how was General Conference!? Was that cool or what? That news from President Monson was cool. It was just as exciting as receiving Blizzcon news! (wow). I really liked President Uchtdorf´s talk about regrets and all that, I`m hoping I don´t end up having much more in this life, and Elder Holland´s talk and his little interpretation of how the discussion between Christ and Peter might´ve went, a little after deciding to be fishermen again (after Christ´s deat hand resurrection). There were some reeeeaaally good talks this time. If you didn´t watch it you missed out! BIG TIME! But anyways, today Elder Mendonça and I are going to visit one of his past areas, since this week is his last, and he´s probably going to buy some stuff in Ver-o-Peso to take home with him. It´s kind of strange being companions with someone that is going home. This next week might not be very productive...
                But HEY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY EM!!!! Pai d´egua! 24 years old.... What more can I say? Oh, your letter is coming! Just be patient! I´m glad to hear you are still serving the missionsaries! Is it different missionaries every time, maybe one new one to the area and one old one, maybe both new, or maye the same ones from last time? And it´s cool that David talking with them and maybe getting some practice. If you ever have to explain polygamy, use Jacob 2:24-30 with emphasis on verse 30. Anyways... Glad to hear G-ma Pratt is melhorando (improving). Relax Grandma!
Are those houses in the picture you took in your new area or if not, where are they? I think they are houses on the banks of the river, on my journey to Belém.

Where were you going on that boat in the picture you sent? That is a picture of me, on my journey to Belém

Cindy and Andy are wondering if you got any letters from them, yet? Yes, I did get a letter from them, on my journey to Belém, thank you soooo much! It was very nice to hear from them.

Any packages this week and if so, who from? On my journey to Belém, I received a package from G&G Pratt, on my journey to Belém.... Thank you so much, the goodies were excellent! Fantastico!

Dad wants to know what kind of garments you want us to send you and the size.  Do you like the mesh ones?  Are they better in the heat? I don´t like the mesh kind much and the nylon (I think I am using) is doing well. The size.... your guess is as good as mine... on my journey to Belém.

Anyways, I forgot the cord to plug the camera into the computer today, so no pics. But I still love you and wish the best for alls y´alls lá em casa. Have a great week. Have a super awesome 24th EM! Have a belo tranquilo day at the park Toby! And that´s all!

Love Elder Williams!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Week Forty Two - Basketball and Boats

Houses on the trip from Belem.

The boat from Belem.

Tom on the boat from Belem.

Hello Family!
    Glad to hear things are good and the weather is getting better. Ugh, I miss change in seasons. Anyways, my week was okay. I baptized another 8 year old.... yipeee! The young men watched the Avengers in the chapel a few nights ago. I didn´t watch it but I did see a little of the behind the scenes stuff. Egua it looks cool! But, but, but! I have to wait. Some days during the week, we get up at 5:50 to play basketball for an hour at the church, which is always fun. We did it today and I´m exhausted now. We taught a guy this past week the plan of salvation. His sister is a member and her husband to, but they´re not really doing much to help him get baptized, which is kind of annoying. "you have to take it slow with him, maybe one visit during the week." Egua! he´s never going to get baptized at that rate.
       Anyways, when we taught the plan of salvation, we tried to make it as specific and detailed as possible to let him know that God really has a plan, that is not just "baptized, sleep on the clouds, not baptized, cooked in an oven for eternity," but we will all be judged according to EVERYTHING that we did here, and only the people that keep ALL the commandments of God (go to church every Sunday, Em, and stop drinking coffee.... Mom) will have eternal life! I think he actually started to reflect on it, but still did not go to church, DA´GOMMIT!
    So yeah that was my week. Agora, my response to your e-mail. I am almost 90% sure that Vila dos Cabanos is north east of Belém. The boat that we got only goes south, but the road goes north east. When I arrived, I thought the sun was setting in the north. Egua! that was confusing. Don´t worry about sending music. My pen drive screwed itself up somehow. When I try to open it on the computer it says a disc needs to be inserted and I have no options to do anything with it. Sheesh I wanna feel that fall air so bad right now! And that´s high-larry-us that Toby´s day is ruined when he doesn´t go to the park. Man I miss that dog! Anyways, the sad news is very unfortunate to hear. I had a few classes with Brock Butler in high school and he was always very cheery, happy, and friendly, and it´s horrible to hear that he passed away. I didn´t know him very well, but we talked a few times in class and he was a very cool person. Sad news is sad...
You said you got a package last week.... who was it from?  When we send stuff, we are always wondering if you get it or not. The package was from home. It had the letter from David and Landon in it. Mmmm can´t wait for the next one.

Are you still eating rice and beans?  Are they different from area to area? Rice and beans for every day, the more you eat the more... you know the rest, and no, they are the same... everywhere....

We are wondering what "Bible bashing" is that you talked about in your last e-mail. Debating with the bible. "The bible says this!" "No no no, you´re wrong! here it says this!" yeah, that kind of stuff.

How are your shoes holding up? Fine!

If I send new shirts for Christmas and garments, how many do you need? 3 or 4 of each

How's the language coming for you?  Seems like you haven't been too frustrated about it, so hopefully it's easy for you now! I haven´t been practicing much during this transfer. Zone leaders don´t have a whole lot of time, but I think it´s going fine. I usually understand what is said... more or less.
Some houses along the river. A boat... with many cars! ooooOOOooo!  Look! I´m on that boat!
So that´s all for now. I love you all have a nice day and a nice week. Stay safe, be health, make smart choices. Em! you´re birthday letter is coming! but it might be a little late, tá bom? tá! tchau!
Love Elder R. Williams