Monday, November 26, 2012

Week Fifty - Transfer to Paracuri!

Tom driving a boat with 100's of cars on it!  Love this pic!
Good Morning Loved Ones!
     Glad to hear everyone is good, that Thanksgiving was good, that you all had a good week. EEEESH! Eu vou ter muito saudade neste proximo mês! This past week was good. We had a wedding here in the area. The first couple I taught that got married, so that´s pretty cool, and after the wedding, the wife and her daughter were baptized, and in the next week, the husband and son should get baptized, I hope, but unfortunately I won´t be here to see it. I received the news yesterday morning that I will be transferred, which I´m not too excited about. I didn´t realize how good I had it here, and now I´m leaving. :/ My next area is called Paracurí, which is back in Belém. I didn´t really want to return back to Belém, and I´ve already served in Paracurí once. We had a companion exchange one time a few months ago. I went to Paracurí while one of the missionaries of the dupla there went to my area. The area was okay, but it didn´t seem very lively... but I don´t know how to explain it better than that... Anyways, I have to continue on. Egua I don´t feel like saying much more! Christmas has come, I´m being transferred!, I have to leave everything behind, again! Being a missionary is difficult...
Any packages this past week?  I am really hoping you get the first one I sent in the next week - you'll see why! I received cookies from Mr. Cheyneys, but it ain´t my cinnamon roll! I want a cinnamon roll now!, but thanks for the cookies, whoever sent them. Also, a package arrived at the mission office for me, but the post office is holding it until I pay 320 reais, I think (160 bucks more or less) or they send it back. I´ll go ahead and pay it, don´t worry when a lot of cash is taken out of my account this week, but you have to send smaller packages I think. I´ll get more deets today, because I´m going to the mission office. Anyways...

How are your shoes holding up?  If you need new ones, can you buy them down there?  Do they have the kind of shoes you need?  Let me know.... My shoes are fine, they should last a few more months, and there are shoes that I can buy here, so don´t worry about shoes.

If you are getting taller, are your pants long enough?  I hate the thought of your pants being too short! My pants seem to be fine still, thanks for worrying.

Where do you go to get haircuts?  Your hair always looks good in your pictures! There´s a bunch of barbershops here, but I haven´t got my hair cut since I arrived in this area. In my previous area, a member always cut it for free, lucky me... but don´t worry... thanks for worrying....

Do you need me to send you a jump/pen drive? that would be cool, I accept!
Just one pic this week, I´m out of time. It´s me, driving a boat, but not just any boat. The kind of boat that carries 100s of cars. (I hope I didn´t already send this pic)
Anyways, I love you all, Have a good safe week, and enjoy 1 last Christmas without me, and the next one I´ll be home! YEAH YEAH!
Love Elder Williams

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Week Forty Nine - Getting Ready for Christmas!

Picture posted on facebook by Carla.  

No pictures this week, but I found this picture of Tom and his companion on facebook, so I added it to this week's post.  I am wondering if this is from when he and his companion acted in a ward play?  Guess I'll have to ask him!

     EGUA! this is annoying. I got a kid here to fix my pen drive,and while he was fixing it, I bought another pen drive. I tried to put some pics on the new one and the same thing that happened to the old one happened to this one, saying I need to insert a disc  to use it... but meu amigo ends up getting the other one to work again. I try using the old one today, and it ends up saying the same thing, "insert disc...." GAAAAHHHH, WHAT LUCK! friggin frustrating!
     Anyways, this week was okay.... but now I can´t remember anything because there is so much frustration in my brain.... This week we had an exposition of the church at the park, which went well I guess. We gave away a bunch of Books of Mormon and Teachings of the Prophets. Some people showed some interest, others were a little mad that the Mormon missionaries talked to them... but whatev. Wow, it´s the last week of the transfer already. Every single one just passes faster and faster. I think when I arrived in the mission field, I looked at everything on a daily, maybe hourly, basis, but now, the transfers are just flying by! hrmmm... what more can I say?
    Can you believe it´s thanksgiving already? I´m quite sure Thanksgiving isn´t celebrated here. People here are already getting ready for Christmas. It´s weird, lots of Christmas lights but no snow. NATAL CHEGOU! Hey! good idea about the party! I think I´ll do that too! Should be easy, and awesome. I´ll probably eat a loooot of pork and beef! Hmmmm, soo good! Thanks for Justin´s info, I´ll be sure to right him today. Don´t worry Justin! A letter´s coming buddy! Egua! Only 6 months left! Eeeesh the mission passes too fast. And all that other stuff is interesting, moving on!
 Grandpa wants to know what "Equa" means because you say it a lot in your e-mails.  He tried to look it up and translate, but got something like a female horse, which he doesn't think that's what it means. Egua, in fact, does mean female horse, but it is used here as "wow!" or "gosh dangit" or "frick" or "holy moly".... I promise it is not palavrão (swear word).... where I´m serving at least....

Do you know if you'll be able to Skype on Christmas when you call home?  If you find out you can, let me know asap so I can get a camera.  We can't wait to talk to you, again! I´m not sure... I might be transferred this next week, so I´ll wait until after the 27th to see what to do for Christmas.

Any packages or letters this past week and if so, from who?  I mailed you another small package this past week with mostly some letters and than a couple, small gifts that didn't make it into your big Christmas package. No, but that´s okay, you´re e-mails are good enough for now.

What season is it down there, now?  I figure the weather probably isn't much different but someone asked me about the season the other day and I didn't know. The weather is the same. Very hot, lots of sweat, but I think it will start raining soon.

Does Brazil do a holiday like our Thanksgiving?  I am sure you won't be too bummed to miss it, as I never got the feeling it was your favorite holiday. I´m not sure. Thanksgiving in Portuguese is "dia de ação de graça," or day of action of grace... or something like that. Search it up on the net...
Okay, that´s all. I forgot my camera, sorry!. I love you all and will miss you a bunch, especially in this next month, mas eu preciso continuar firme! Have a safe week and enjoy Thanksgiving. Gotta go now Tchau Tchau!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week Forty Eight - Fourth Zone Conference

Tom, his companion and Cleide at her baptism.

"The church of the Brothers: The Bible, All of the Bible, nothing but the Bible."

It sounds to me like Tom learned a valuable life lesson this past week about people.  Sometimes, the kindness you receive from strangers has nothing to do with their religion or lack of, for that matter. It's their humanity that guides how they treat people in some cases.  I hope it's a lesson that stays with him forever.  So proud of this amazing kid!
Hello Fam Fam!
     Egua! those pictures of snow make me sooooooo jealous. But I must continue.... in the place closest to the inferno... So my week was pretty interesting. Tuesday we had a zone conference, and wow those 3 months from the last one passed fast. There´s only 4 zone conferences in the year. My first was the day after I arrived in the mission field, and this past one was the last of the year! EEESH it passes fast! At the zone conference I saw Elder Hoch and Elder Kaufman. Elder Hoch looks 5 years older already, and Elder Kaufman is about the same... but he says I´m getting taller which is cool.
     We had some pretty interesting experiences this week. We tried talking to one woman, who was taught by my companion and another missionary some days before, and she told us that we were deceived, the Joseph Smith is a liar, that the Book of Mormon comes from the Devil, and that my companion and I are going to perish in the last day.... O_O. Egua! Eu não acho que tive senimentos tão ruins na minha missão até escutar aquela mulher! (I don´t know why I had to say that in portuguese, it just kind of makes more sense to me right now. you can Google translate that though -"I do not think I've had such bad feelings in my mission to listen to that woman!" ) I heard, but I don´t know for a fact, that she burned the Book of Mormon we gave her.... Eeeesh, that´s going to be held against her in the last day.
    Yesterday, my companion and I were walking and walking and walking, we had a few appointments fall, and a man at the front of his house stops us, asks if we wanted some water, lets us in and we end up talking to him and a few others that were there for almost 2 hours I think. It was funny, because all of them were drinking and smoking, and the oldest woman there was screaming while watching a soccer game the whole time. Every time someone scored (3 times because it´s just soccer) she yells GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!! while everyone else was interested in learning about "Os Mórmons." Just a funny experience.... kindness shown from people that aren´t really religious and rudeness from the people that claim to follow Christ. (I´m not saying that all are like that, just in these cases this past week)
     Anyways, we had another baptism. A woman of about 34 years of age, Cleide. She actually brought some amigas dela that we are going to try to start teaching, which is cool. I talked in sacrament meeting for only the third time in my mission, the other day. I think I´m getting better. I was not as anxious or nervous this time. So that was my week! Did you like it? I did.
       Pics: The first is our baptism this week. The next one is a pic of a church. "The church of the Brothers: The Bible, All of the Bible, nothing but the Bible." Funny. The next is the zone conference and after that is a pic of the river at about 6 or 6:30 in the morning.
What do you like to eat at the barbeque places?  Are they kind of like Cafe Rio with barbeque pork, chicken and beef?

Did you hear anything about our presidential elections in Brazil?  Does anyone talk about our president? I just heard that Obama won... but that doesn´t matter because I´m in Brazil"

How many missionaries are living in your apartment...please send some pictures! Just 2 duplas, me and my companion and one other companionship. But I already chose the pics for this week, sorry.

Did you do anything to celebrate your companion's one year mark?  Don't missionaries burn something, like a tie or a shirt? Just the 10 baptisms in one day.

Any packages or letters this past week?  If so, from who, so I can let them know.  I hope you get my first Christmas package pretty soon..... nope but that´s okay thanks anyways!
okay I gots ta go! Tchau! I love you all!

Love Elder R. Williams

Week Forty Seven - White Saturday!

Hello!      This week was pretty good. We had a little activity called "White Saturday," which is when you have all the missionaries of the zone (6 duplas here) baptize in the same chapel. We 10 baptisms in total. My companion and I only baptized one person, and we didn´t have a confirmed baptism until the day of, so we were running backwards a little this week. At the baptism, we sang that primary song "quando eu for batizado" (when I am baptized, but I´m not sure if that´s the title in English) and "que manhã maravilhosa" (that marvelous morning, again I forgot the name in English). It was really cool. President and Sister Scisci were there, and sister Scisci said she cried while hearing it. How spiritual are we, nè? (probably not so much) Anyways, that´s about it for this week, unfortunately. Oh, some exciting news! My companion hit his 1 year mark! Wooohooo! Me next! Me next! Me next!.... continuing on.
        Interesting news to hear that someone was called to a 3 year mission. A few months ago, one of my companions asked me if I would serve a 3 year mission if I were called. It´s a tough decision, but I think I would. And that´s even more interesting that he got to call President Monson´s office. Hrmmmmmmm.... Nate´s costume is pretty awesome, but I´m drawing a blank on Macklemoore, too. Hey! Give me updates every week about the jazz games por favor! Egua! Only one more season and the first few games of the next and it´s all over for me. Scary.
Dad wants to know if you are teaching anyone or have any investigators? Yes we are teaching people. "Nothing happens in the missionary work until you find people to teach," and I´m definitely not doing nothing, although I have heard that many missionaries are slacking off. FUBEKAS! We taught 2 people who have gone to the church a number of times, but we just found out at church yesterday that they aren´t members. And they both accepted a baptismal date this Saturday, which is really exciting.

Do you have an oven, microwave or both? and a stove!

Are there any little bakeries in your area and if so, do you ever go to them? yes there are, but rarely do I buy from them.

Andy has asked me a couple of times if you have gotten his e-mails -- can you reply to him when you get one, just so he knows it went through? Yeah I received an e-mail from him a week or 2 ago, don´t remember very well. Sorry I forgot to mention that. It was great to hear from him and that he and everyone else is doing well.

Have you been out to eat at any restaurants in your new area and if so, what kind of restaurant was it? There are a lot of churrascarias here (BBQ), and I´m loving it. But we don´t there too often.

Do you have a washer and dryer where you are now? Just a washer, but we don´t need dryers here. I don´t think anyone in the state of Pará uses a dryer.

Any packages or letters this past week and if so, who from? Nothing yet, but it´s almost Christmas, já, and I´m as excited as relampago!....

Well that´s all for this week. I´m feeling a little too lazy to search pics to send him because it´s completely out of order and I don´t know what I´ve already sent home, but next week, first thing I´ll do is send about a bajillion pics home, tá? tá! I love you all and am glad that you are all safe, and that he hurricane hasn´t hit Utah yet! Have a great week and forget about MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!e!E1E11E!E1E1!e1!

Love Elder Williams