Sunday, March 31, 2013

Week Sixty Seven - Returning to Belem!

Hello Everyone!
      The transfer is over already, again, but this one doesn´t bring any big changes, to me at least. I´ll be staying in the area Santarém, with my same companion, which is the first time that I´ll be staying with a companion a second transfer since my second companion in the field, which was about 9 months ago. My week was okay. We found some pretty good new investigators this week, but unfortunately, only one went to church yesterday. The one that went, her name is Simara, she´s about 30 years old. We found her while trying to look for some less active members, using a list of all the members of the ward, and there´s a lot of less actives here. Simara is the neice of this less active member, but the member doesn´t live at the address indicated on the list, just Simara and her parents live there. Simara said she was visited by sister missionaries about 7 years ago and received some of the lessons, but her father expelled them from the house one day (while he was drunk) and she didn´t continue with the lessons. But we taught her about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and what the gospel of Jesus Christ is, this past week, and she committed her self to being baptized, if she receives an answer from God that Joseph Smith was a prophet. She hadn´t received an answer yet, but she said she dreamed that her aunt (the less active member) was waiting for her at church. So, she walked to church yesterday, without us having to get her, when we pretty much always have to get our investigators by car, and said she was received very well, and liked the church a lot. Her baptismal date is the 6th of April, and before going to church, she expressed to us that she didn´t think she would be ready by this date, but at church, during the sacrament meeting, she told a sister missionary that was sitting at her side, that she knows she´ll be ready by the 6th. So I have strong feelings that she will be baptized. (Wow! what a paragraph!) Anyways....
         Yesterday, at church, I also gave a talk, which I think is my 4th time in the mission field. It´s definitely getting easier every time give a talk, and a lot less stressful. I received a few compliments on my Portuguese speaking, which is cool. I pretty much just talked about the need of participation of all members in the missionary work, and what many of the prophets have said about it. But today, I will be returning to Belém, getting one more plane ride, to update my protocol or whatever it´s called, so I can stay in Brazil. So I guess I get a few more days of rest this week. But that´s about all for now.
Are the three missionaries you live with all from Brazil? Yes, at the moment I think all 3 are from São Paulo, but one is leaving to another area, and the other that will arrive is also from São Paulo. The newbie will be Elder Neres, the one that worked with me for a few days in my last area as we had the companionship exchange with the assistant of the mission. But we´re going to be looking for a new house early this next transfer, so that we can actually live in our area, so I don´t think we´ll be staying where we´re at now much longer.

Do you see any big bugs where you are at, now? Sometimes. In one of my previous areas, Vila dos Cabanos, I saw a butterfly with almost a foot wide wing span, nossa! But here I´ve seen a few bugs that are a few inches long, 3 or 5 or so. bit I think they were all dead.

Have you bought any new shoes, yet? Yes.... but they are not very comfortable, so I´m not using them...... but don´t worry.... I think the ones I have will last until there is very little time left on my mission, and when my shoes go the way of all the earth, I should almost be home, já..... eu espero.....

I noticed your hair was super short in some of the last pictures you sent.  Who cuts your hair, now? I just cut it at a salon close to our house.

Any packages or letters this past week?  If so, who from? Nope, but going to
Belém today, I should get them this week.

Where do you go to e-mail home, usually or is it different each week? There´s a cyber café close to our house that we usually go to, if its not full and all the computers are working.

And the big question.... did you find out anything about your release date and the date on your passport and do you think you want us to come pick you up? I haven´t found out anything yet. I sent an e-mail to the mish pres last week, but he hasn´t responded yet. I think at the moment, the answer is, even though I don´t want to say it, no. I think I´m just going to return home with the Elders that arrived with me. I still haven´t made a decision set in stone, and being that I´m going to Belém today, I can probably get the info about the visa and the day I return home, but I´ll be thinking about it more this week...... so indecisive, Elder R. Williams!

Pics!.... are taking too long and I have to go now... sorry again for no pics, but next week I promise you will have your pics!

But I love you all and miss you, have a great week, stay safe! Falou!

Love Elder R. Williams

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week Sixty Six - Six Investigators!

Hello Family!

           My week was okay. We tried to rent a house that is actually in our area, because the walk from our house to our area is a bit long. So we found a place, we had our zone leaders inspect it, they said everything looks good, we got the contract from the mission office, gave it to the owner of the new house, saying that we´ll probably get the house, and 2 days later he tells us that he doesn´t accept the contract of the church... de jeito nenhum! Anyways... that doesn´t bother me too much. I prefer staying in a house of 4 instead of just 2. And the walking doesn´t bother me, either... I´m quite used to it. This week, while working, we found a girl, Nossa! I don´t think I´ve seen someone so interactive in the lessons before. I thought she was an elect of the Lord (and I think she is)! But we returned the next day, and tells us the bad news she received that day. She´s leaving the city to live with her father in an other city that doesn´t have the church, or missionaries yet. Ugh what luck. O diabo impediu mesmo, nesta semana... But we´re still lutando (fighting). We had stake conference here in Santarém, which was okay.... I wish I could tell you what I´ve learned, but I forgot.... embarrassing.... But I continue! We had a goal to take 6 investigators to conference with us. 6 I SAY! shut up, dork.... but we only got one to go... Better luck next week... with a baptism, I hope! And that was my week.
      HOW COOL! that David´s going on a state temple run. How many temples are in Utah?  I think it´s 14, or some number around there... that´s the number I tell everyone here who asks, so I hope it´s right.
       About coming to get me here in Brazil, it appears that I don´t have my visa nor my missionary book (is it the one I received with my calling that has all the info I needed to prepare?) but I think the mission office has it. So I will be asking for that info right about now, and if not this week, wait one more and you´ll have your answer.
Did you get any packages this past week?  Valentines packages, your soccer jersey?  If you did get any, who from? nope, turns out Pres. Scisci didn´t come for the stake conference, so nothing yet.
Do you ever wear your sunglasses?  Are you stilled banned from wearing them? nope, I think so.

If you can't wear sunglasses, does the sun bother your eyes? nope.

How are your glasses holding up?  It seems like, in all your pictures anyway, you are still wearing your old ones. They´re fine. I did some deep cleaning on them a few weeks ago. Egua! I don´t think I need to say more...

Do you think your glasses prescription has changed? I don´t think so.

Pics! I´m not able to send them right now, there´s a problem with the computador. Sorry, wait until next week.

That´s all for this week. I love you all. Have a great week. Stay safe and healthy. I´ll be sure to start looking for stuff to buy and send home. Hugs and Ki.... no, no kisses.... Tchau!

Love, Elder R. Williams

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Week Sixty Five - The Orla and the Two Rivers!

Tom on a dolphin!

Tom, Elder Minghini, his companion and Leandro.

Tom at the river.... with a sack!
Mission Conference..... can't find Tom....

Hello Family!

      Sorry about last week. I was at the house of a member trying to use his laptop. My companion used it without any problems but when I got it, it stopped working. What luck! Anyways, this week was good. We´re constantly looking for new people to teach, trying to talk to peeps on the streets (I think I already said that). We taught a girl that went to church with us yesterday. She worked from 7 at night on Saturday until 7 in the morning on Sunday, and still went to church with us, which is cool. This week we had an area 70 visit us, Elder Godoy. He´s really cool. I liked him a bit more than the last area 70 that visited us, Elder Mazzagardi. Elder Goday was the mission president of the Brazil Belém mission some years ago, and he told us a little about how strong the missionaries are that serve here, and if their not strong, they will become strong, after leaving here. "Só os fortes servem no Norte!"
      I´m liking my new area a lot, but I´m kind of sick of being transferred and having to get to know everyone over again, so, hopefully, I stay here for a while. There´s a cool part of our area that´s called the "orla," I think it´s boardwalk in English, but I don´t know for sure. It´s a cool sight along the river. The river has 2 colors, blue and yellow, because it´s where 2 rivers meet together, and the waters don´t mix, so half of it is blue and the other yellow.... I think that´s it for this week.
1)I forgot to look. I´ll search for it this week or ask the mish pres. next week.
2)No packages this week. I hope to receive them this next week. We will be having stake conference, and I think President Scisci will be coming, so maybe he´ll bring some stuff with him.
3) I think I´ll just buy some stuff, to send home, even though it´s really expensive.
4)It´s.... a residential I guess.... I´ll try to get pics, because it´s basically on a hill, so there´s some places that you can stare down the street almost arriving to the river.... it´s quite cool... but I can´t really explain it.
5)I think I want you and Dad to come get me, but I´m still kind of up in the air about it. I´ll give a definite answer next week.
1) Me on a dolphin at the orla. 2) Me, my companion, Elder Minghini, and Leandro, a member here that helps us out a lot. 3) It´s me.... looking out over the river.... with a sack, for some reason.
I think that´s all for this week. I love you all. Have a great week. Enjoy spring break, for those that still have spring break. Stay safe, face your fears, be courageous, do what you want.... but don´t die! (I should be careful with my advice!)
Love Elder R. Williams

Week Sixty Four - No Email.....

Well, this week was a bust.....:(.  

Hello, my time on the computer is not going well, so I´ll just write
to you next week... love you all... Tchau!
Elder R. Williams

Monday, March 4, 2013

Week Sixty Three - Arriving in Santarem!

Tom, Bia, Vinicius, the older brother, Predo, the younger brother, and the neighbor´s girl.

Tom, Edith and her neighbors: Jennifer, on my right, her mom, Auxiliadora, and July (Julie).

Arriving at the airport at Santarem.

       Before talking about anything that went on at home, I will talk about my week so far. So I was transferred to my new area. I got a plane at 11:40 to my new area. I was wrong about the boat, unfortunately, it was just a plane ride, and it was at night so you couldn´t see anything out the window, and I sat in the isle seat... what luck... so no pics from the plane. But generally people that go to the Santarém zone stay there for a good amount of time and are just transferred within the zone, so there is a chance that I still get a 10 hour boat ride to somewhere. Embora ver. My new companion is Elder Minghini, he´s from São Paulo. He´s got about 5 months in the field. He´s an okay guy. The house we live in is again out of the area, about 40 minutes away, which is a little rough. We live in the house of another dupla, Elder Paiva and Elder de Oliveira. Elder Paiva is also from São Paulo, and he´s pretty cool, I like him. He knows how to speak English so sometimes we talk a little. His brother served in Provo and his family owns Mr. Cheyneys, the cookie store outside of the MTC in São Paulo. Elder Minghini is my second companion that served in the Brazilian army, so he´s very disciplined but he also likes to joke around. Our area is quite big, so we do a lot of walking, and right now we´re just looking for new people to teach and talking to lots of peeps na streets.
        Pics: The first is the airport of Santarém. I arrived there at about 1 in the morning and waited until about 2 for the ride to the house, and still had to get up at 6:30... ugh such little sleep. The next is me, Bia, the girl in red, Vinicius, the older brother, Predo, the younger brother, and the neighbor´s girl, who I don´t know. Bia was getting ready to be baptized this past Saturday. I hope she was. The last is me, Edith, on the left, and her neighbors: Jennifer, on my right, her mom, Auxiliadora, and July (Julie) is holding the dog on the leash. They are members in Paracurí.
Joan wants to know if you say your prayers in Portuguese? Yes, I pray in Portuguese.

What kind of boat did you have to take and did you sleep on the boat - if so, where? Don´t know, didn´t get a boat, sorry for the mix up

Did you take a small plane or a big plane to Santarem? It was a normal plane, just smaller.

Did you figure out how to charge your ipod and are you still using it? yes and yes.

Who is your new companion and where is he from? Elder São Paulo is from Minghini.....

Did you get any packages or letters when you did your transfer?  If so, who from? Nothing yet, but maybe I´ll get something tomorrow, if the zone leaders went to Belém this past week, but I think they almost never go there, so who knows.

WOW WHAT EXCITING NEWS! DAVID´S GOING TO DALLAS! Y EL VA HABLAR ESPAÑOL! (eu acho que disse certo). Egua!  Congratulations David! I´m so excited and happy for you! I know it´s not out of the country, but it´s still a mission, and it´s the Lord´s, not yours. I know you´re going to be a great missionary David. This past week I sent a box home (egua it was expensive, so don´t expect another). It doesn´t have any gifts for anyone, exactly (David can have the São Paulo bracelet). But there is a letter in it for David, and I think this letter should help... I hope. I know it´s a little upsetting to see your friends go to places so far away, as if it were a great adventure, while it seems like you´re going to your neighbor´s, but a mission is a mission. It is not to see and know the world, but to preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone. I´m so happy to hear this news. I´m so happy for you, David. I know you will help many people. Have courage to do all that is asked of you, and have patience. I guess I´ll see you in.... 2015 then... wow what a long ways away. But don´t worry, it passes rapidão! (super duper fast).

But I guess that´s all for this week. I love you all and hope you have a great week. Stay safe. Wish me luck, this week! Tchau Tchau!

Love Elder R. Williams