Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week 6 - 26 October 2010

Hey everyone! So today at the temple was really cool because Elder Evans, Christian, and I got to do baptisms. It was really cool because it was my first time doing baptisms and it was in Portuguese. I really enjoyed it and it made my whole day better!

So last Friday was the day we went proselyting and it was really fun. We just walked around the CTM and the area of Casa Verde. We ended up giving out 9 Books of Mormon! It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be and it got easier after we handed some out. We gave one Book of Mormon to these 6 workers sitting at a park bench during break. They looked pretty tough but we decided to go talk to them anyways. They ended up being pretty cool and telling us they´d read it. Another guy we talked to was walking without a shirt on and smoking. When we headed over to talk to him he put on the shirt he was holding in his hand and threw his cigarette down. He was actually really nice too. It was nice to see how he respected us and the Lord’s work by noticing he was doing wrong things and he recognized we were servants of the Lord. We also talked to this guy who was just sitting on a cardboard box. He talked to us forever and talked really fast, but we understood most of it. He said he loves the work we do and has read the Book of Mormon. Then he took us to some lady´s house that he thought would want a Book of Mormon. It was really cool and he was super nice.

This week we had some really good lessons on personal revelation and the importance of it. I also feel like I was really humbled this week. The work seems to be getting harder because there seems to be more I have to do, but I also feel like I am able to do it all because the Lord is helping me a lot. One quote that Irmao Zamboni shared with us is from Neil R. Anderson from a CES fireside. He said ``You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you can´t count the number of apples in a seed´´. The people here are teaching us well on how to be able to plant our seeds in others and bring them to the gospel.

So you know the phone charger for my phone that I gave to Mom? Well it has a converter from USB to plug into the wall outlet. And I noticed the charger for my mp3 here is only a USB and we don´t have computers where I can charge it. It would be great if you guys could find a converter so I can charge it from a wall outlet like Mom´s phone. That would be great.

So I met a Brazilian elder here named Elder de Jesus and he looks just like Elder Smith from our ward haha. He´s shorter but his face does. It´s funny. He´s really cool too and speaks some English. You guys mentioned that Ethan got his call to the Sao Paulo Sul mission. 
That´s sweet. He´s gonna love it. That´s where both of my teachers served and that´s where Kyle Hodges is right now. It would be great if I could get his address or email or something. I love you guys and thanks for all the support.

Com Amor Muito   
-Elder Andrus

Week 5 - 19 October 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!  Feliz Aniversario!  Today is your birthday, and I want to make sure you´re having a good one.  I wish I was there so we could celebrate ours together, but this is as close as we´ll get Haha. 

So this week went by super fast, just like last week.  The weeks are seeming to go by super fast now.  I got an email from Kyle Hodges from SVU who´s serving here in Brasil.  He seems to be doing really well.  I also got an email from Adam and Ryan Carpenter.  It´s nice to get mail from people.  I also got some letters from the primary, the Knechtel´s, and Katie Pederson. 

So remember that finger that I jammed last week?  Well, it was my ring finger and now my ring doesn´t fit anymore!  Hahaha.  My ring was a size 9.5 and now it fits a size 11.  I find that so funny, but I do wish my ring still fit cause I liked that one. But, oh well.

So guess what song got stuck in my head the other day...the song from the movie Rockadoodle. Remember how I used to love that movie?  Yeah, I started singing that the other day for no reason; brought back good memories.

Thank you guys so much for that big cookie and all the other stuff in the care package from Mr. Cheney’s.  We´ll enjoy it for sure :)  Next friday we get to go proselyting for the first time!  It´s gonna be so nerve racking since it´s really hard to understand natives here.  I almost can never understand them, or I have to concentrate really hard in order to understand.  But I’m stoked.  I know we´ll do fine.

Can you guys send me John Lane´s mission address?  By the time he´ll get my letters he´ll be in the field, so could you guys do that so we can keep in touch?  That would be great. 

The other day, we watched a video from a devotional where Elder Holland spoke. He spoke on the importance of the Holy Ghost and he called it the ´´Divine Companionship´´.  He told us to not only go out teaching ´´two by two´´, but that every companionship should go ´´three by three´´ with the Spirit.  It was really good, and we actually watched it twice.  Not only is this applicable for mission companionships, but also for all other companionships in life. 

Another thing, can you guys keep me informed about William? I don’t really know much so that would be awesome.  Thank you all so much for everything and all of the birthday treats and wishes.  Thanks for the support, and I love you guys! 

-Elder Andrus

Week 4 - 12 October 2010

Hey everyone!  This week went by super fast.  It seems that just yesterday it was last p-day.  I guess it could be a good and a bad thing.  The days are long and hard, but the weeks are going faster.  The language is still coming a long well, but I still want to know more and learn faster.

Rio emailed me about William having some health problems.  I will fast and pray for him and will be thinking of him.  He is such a great guy, and I know he blesses every single person he knows.  I would feel a lot more comforted if I know you guys are praying for him too.  I have lots of respect and love for him and will really pray that the Lord will help him.  Please keep me informed on what’s going on.  I would greatly appreciate it.

Well this week we went to the police station to do some stuff with our visas and everything.  We met a bunch of Elders there who have been out about 1 year and 6 months, and even one that was going home in just a couple weeks.  It was so hard for them to speak English with us Haha.  They were all from Utah and yet they had accents just like the Brazilians here and really had trouble finding words to say to us in English. I kind of wish that is me in about a year or so because I think it would just be so cool to become that lost in the work and in the culture here.

After all of our Brazilian friends left, we made a ton of new ones, and they are helping us with things.  One named Elder F. Silva is really cool and taught himself some English, so I love talking with him.  He’s probably the coolest one I’ve met here.  I’ll send pictures when I can.  Elder Silva and tons of other elders left this morning and even more good friends are leaving next week.  It’s sad because they are so friendly and we become attached that its hard when they leave.  But we exchange information so we can write each other. 

So at gym I jammed my finger really bad Haha.  It’s all good, but it looked pretty bad. It was cool because it was purple, blue, green and like twice the size. Haha  I took pictures. One of the newer Elders here, Elder Curtis, I found out knows Mariah Flake - such a small world.  He was actually at that family reunion at Mt. Rainier when I went to hang out with her. 

So in the priesthood session of conference, the Provo MTC choir got to sing all of the songs at the conference center.  Dad might have told you that already, but if my visa hadn’t come and I had to go to Provo, I totally could have sung at conference!  Not fair Haha.  It’s okay though.  I think I would much rather be here in Brasil. 

So remember me saying some things about my teacher Irmao Waskow riding a motorcycle and how they are crazy?  He got in a crash the other day, and he acted like it never happened.  I guess it happens a lot, and it was like it happens everyday. Haha  It’s crazy here, especially the motorcycles.  We get to go proselyting in about a week and a half!  Next Friday we get to go out and place Books of Mormon in Portuguese.  I’m super excited for it.  I love talking to people in Portuguese even tho I’m not near good enough to actually have a good conversation.  We try to practice with our new neighbors, who are so crazy.  They absolutely love us Haha.  They say we are the coolest Americans here. They are insane.  It’s great though, Brazilians are so funny. I love you all and will always have you in my heart.  I will also always keep William in my prayers. Let him know I care about him and hope with all my heart he will get better. Thanks for all of your support! 

-Elder Andrus

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week 3 - 5 October 2010

Hey Family!

So the President’s wife, Sister Clark, is like the nicest person I’ve met.   Last p-day, there was an ice cream party for the new work out gym here, and we missed the ice cream.  So she personally served us this huge bowl of ice cream just for us. Haha  It was fun, and I  love her.  I also bought this cool tie and a jersey of a soccer team here in Sao Paulo.  Tons of Brazilians love it and tons hate it.  They are really into soccer and only like their home team, no one else.  The teacher here that knows Sterling is Irmao Ramon, or Sterling would know him as Elder Ramon.  He said that Sterling was his trainer and the way he talks about him it seems they were good friends.  So Irmao Zamboni told me he added me on Facebook  Haha.  He tells me he looks through my pictures and everything.  He’s a great teacher, one of the best.  Another thing he said to me this past week was “I would have been happy to have been half the missionary you seem to be”.  I don’t know why he’s saying that because it seems he was a top notch missionary.  But it sure does mean a lot to me. 

The food here is kinda crazy sometimes but sometimes it’s really good too.  I’m definitely gaining weight. I’ve probably gained 8 or so pounds! Haha  The goal is 15 by the time I get out of here because I’m sure I’ll lose it pretty quick in Belem.  It’s cool here because the contrast between the Brazil CTM and the Provo MTC seems to be just like the contrast between SVU and BYU - such a smaller environment but just as good, or better. 

One thing I remembered was that you guys should try to get some pictures of the Neal’s house as “after” pictures.  Just a thought because I’m sure it’ll look different in two years. 

Being on a mission is such a good experience.  It’s really hard work out here though.  This week they are really pushing us with the language and it’s really tough.  I know I can do it - I’m catching on really well.  Man, I really like Portuguese.  It’s such an amazing language. 

So yesterday, all of the Brazilians we were friends with left.  It was really sad cause they were really cool and we were really good friends with them.  Only two are going to Belem.  I’ll miss of them gave me one of his t-shirts too.  They are great people.
So today we went to the temple, and I bought brand new Portuguese scriptures.  They are super nice.  How did you guys like conference?  We got to watch all the sessions and took tons of notes.  It was really good and all the talks were amazing – I can’t even pick my favorite one.  Yeah today I went over to Mr. Cheney´s and sent a letter and got 3 cookies.  Man those are some good cookies!  Best one’s I’ve had in a while.  It’s too bad I can’t send pictures yet cause it would be cool for you guys to see everything.  I’ll make sure to take tons and send them when I can. Thanks for all of your support!

Love you all!
-Elder Andrus
The newest Elders of District 38-A at the Sao Paulo Temple
The newest Elders of District 38-A
The night view of Sao Paulo from the MTC