Monday, December 26, 2011

Week 67 - 26 December 2011 Feliz Natal


It was fun talking to you guys through Skype yesterday! I know you didn’t understand a lot of things that were said haha - sorry. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be to talk in English, not gonna lie. It was a bummer that it didn’t work out to talk to Rio too, but that’s okay. We’ll try it again on Mother’s Day.
As for Christmas here, it was pretty good. You know we had a goal to have 10 baptisms, but that didn’t work out so well because a lot were falling through. We had about 11 that could have been baptized, but Christmas here is a lot different than it is back home. There is so much more temptation and iniquity here. It seems like almost no one remembers the true meaning of Christmas. Everyone here just puts super duper loud music on the street, drinks like crazy, and sets off fireworks. BUT, we had two baptisms, and it went really, really well.
After the baptism, the bishop called Presidente Campos to see if he would let us stay out at the home of a family here a little later than 9 o’clock because it was Christmas. And...he let us stay there until 10:30! haha So we had a Family Home Evening there and a huge feast with tonsss of food. There are still leftovers there today haha.  We went back home and opened presents and stuff. So even though I’m far away from the family for the second Christmas already, this Christmas season made me love the Lord a lot more and also give more value for what I have to be thankful for.

Although we didn’t have a White Christmas, at least I can say that I got sunburned on Christmas Eve! Haha How many people back home has that happened to? haha jk

Love you guys!

Elder Andrus
My group from the CTM at the Christmas Party
A snake in the church building!
Feliz Natal with Suzana
Celebrating Christmas on the roof!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Week 66 - 19 December 2011 Week of Miracles

Opa! Sorry I didn’t write last week.  I ran out of time here, and we were in a little of a hurry. But no worries. Last week not much happened really. We got a lot of new investigators and have lots of people with baptismal dates. And this week that passed now was super tiring cuz we were running around all over the place and doing tons of stuff. We must have walked a good 20 kilometers or so a day haha. We have that activity this Saturday "Natal Branco," where we are planning baptisms for lots of people. We had a goal of 10.  We’re with a really big teaching group, so we are keeping busy. This week is certainly going to be a week of miracles for us… lots of fasting and praying to be able to find as many baptisms as possible.

As we were doing this, we were talking with all the members, and at lunch we asked a nice family if they knew anyone that was almost baptized but wasn’t, and they thought and showed us a lady who has a skin problem, and wasn’t baptized because she can’t enter into the water. We went there, and she is totally ready for baptism. She’s read the Book of Mormon more times than I have, and knows a lot, just that this skin problem doesn’t let her enter the water. The problem she has is very, very strange and rare, and no doctor has been able to tell what it is or cure it. I don’t know how to describe it very well haha, but yeah. We are going to try everything to help her out.  She has a grand daughter that can be baptized too. The Lord really is showing us more people everyday for us to baptize here.

So I’ve been going on exchanges with my district these past few weeks to help them out, and the other week I was at the same building that I attended when I was in Independência.  I saw Pedro there, who we baptized! He’s super active in the church still and is doing great. Seeing and talking with him after like 6 months was great. It made me so happy to see him still active and firm in the church.

Anyway, I’ve already written a lot haha. But I’m super excited to talk to you guys on Christmas! This Sunday! Let’s ´s see how good my English is now...hahaha.


Élder Andrus

Week 64 - 5 December 2011 Natal Branco

Hey Family!

This week was a really good week for us here in Cabanagem. The members here are helping us a lot with tons of referrals, definitely the most that I have seen in other wards. As a ward, we are preparing an activity called ''Natal Branco'', which means ''White Christmas."  And our goal is to have 10 baptisms on December 24th to have a White Christmas. The members are super excited to help us reach this goal. The mission leader is excited too, and we’re working together with the ward missionaries to go on splits with us to contact all the referrals and get 10 people to be baptized on the 24th. We’ll see how it goes!

Besides that, this week was pretty normal. We didn’t have a baptism so that was a little sad. But we’re working hard. It sure is a lot tougher being the district leader here than it was in Capanema haha. Here, I have to learn to deal with more problems with the elders and have to really receive inspiration to help them. There’s a lot more work, a lot more burning from the zone leaders, and more responsibilities, but it’s all good.

So this week, while we were walking to a recent convert's house, we were walking in a tiny but busy road where a lot of buses pass. And you know how you see people in the movies getting splashed by cars driving by and stuff? Yeah it rained about 2 hours before so the streets were pretty wet and had lots of puddles. you can imagine...this lovely bus drove right past us into a puddle and splashed TONS of water on me and got me soaked....haha. It even got the Book of Mormon that I was holding wet. Elder Rodrigues was laughing so hard and tons of people on the street too hahaha. Man you’d think that things won’t happen to you in real life, but they do. hahaha  It was funny.

Well anyway, those are the few things that happened this week. Tomorrow I’ll be getting some letters hopefully! It has been a while haha.

Love you,

Élder Andrus

The best soda pop in the world . . . Guarana Jesus

Week 63 - 28 November 2011 Cabanagem Ward

Hey there pessoal!

So this week, as you know I’m in my new area, Cabanagem, which actually covers some blocks in the neighboring city of Belém, called Ananindeua. It´s right next to the area where I have already worked in Independência, so I already know a little of the area.

I’m the District Leader here still, and I take care of my area and the areas of Entroncamento and Maguari. Being with six elders instead of sisters, I think this is gonna be a little more work than I had while I was in Capanema haha.

Anyway, this week we went to teach a less active family that was returning to the church. They have a son with 11 years old who hasn’t been baptized yet, so we went there, taught them and their son, and prepared him to be baptized on Sunday after church. So after sacrament meeting, the ward got together and prepared the service and everything turned out great! He’s a cool little kid, and Elder R. baptized him.

So the ward here is really cool.  I like it a lot. There is a sweet new chapel here that is super nice. I was really astonished on Sunday because I’m so used to the tiny house we have in Capanema! haha  I was almost frightened with how nice it was haha. We have our meetings at 3:30 in the afternoon, which is super late, but it’s the best time for everyone here to be able to make it.

The house here in Cabanagem is super small and not that nice...but it’ll work haha. Capanema was a lot better, but we’ll clean this place up for Christmas and decorate it all nice for the holidays.

Love you guys! Have a good week!

Élder Andrus

Last lunch in Capanema

Zone Conference - zone Castanhal

Baptism 11-27-11

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 62 - 21 November 2011 Leaving Capanema

Wassup! So this week was pretty sad, not gonna lie. I’m getting transferred from Capanema, and I’ll be going to Cabanagem again, but this time I’ll be in the Cabanagem Ward. I won’t say that I’m not excited haha cuz I’ll go wherever the Lord calls me, but I like the little small towns.  
My new companion will be Elder Rodrigues.  He’ll be my fifth straight Brazilian companion on the mission. Haha. I was rooting for an American so I can have a little break from the Portuguese, but it seems like the Lord really wants me to do well with the Portuguese language haha.

So the members here threw me a little goodbye party on Sunday night. It was super sad. Capanema really is a place that lives in my heart. I love all the people here and this place. Although it’ll be good to get transferred, it’s gonna be hard to leave.  I have already said all my goodbyes, and there were lots of tears shed.  It’s probably not good to become so attached to the people where you serve, since you know that one day you will be transferred, but I can’t help it. Capanema will be a place that I’ll never forget and was really such a great place to serve 6 months of my mission. The whole goodbye thing actually reminded me of the goodbyes when I was leaving SVU.  I said goodbye to all the people I love, knowing that I will probably never see them ever again in this lifetime. But I’m happy.  We’ll travel to Castanhal in about an hour, then tomorrow we’ll be heading to Belém.

I love you guys, and I’m grateful for all of your support. Tchau!

Élder Andrus

Week 61 - 14 November 2011

Hey there família! This week we had a Zone Conference with Presidente Campos and 4 zones here on Tuesday. It was super good, and it lasted alllll day haha. It started at 8 in the morning and got done at about 7:30. And the cool thing is that we had to leave at about 5 in the morning to get there, then after we had to travel back home late at night still haha.  I’m really learning how to love traveling being here in Capanema haha.  OH and I got the package you guys sent me at the conference. Loved the Goldfish and the Christmas lights are already put up. :) Man, I love the Christmas spirit.
So this week we had a baptism of a 21 year old girl.  We ran into her on the street about 2 weeks ago, then we started teaching her, and she really showed the desire to change and be baptized. She was definitely a person that was prepared by the Lord for us. Her story is pretty cool too. She told us that about a week before she ran into us on the street, she was getting pizza with a ton of friends, and the subject of religion came up. They started talking and the subject of the "Mormons" came up and what everyone there thought was true about the church. Of course, she heard tons of rumors and lies and crazy stuff about the church, but this sparked an interest in her to actually find out for herself if these things were true or false. So she prayed, and she gained the desire to change as a person too, like stop doing things of the world, and turn more to God and become a better person. Then all of a sudden, one day we were walking on the street, and she was on a motorcycle with a recent convert here, and we stopped them to talk. Then we got her address and marked a visit to clear up her questions and teach her. She immediately accepted baptism and really felt the spirit. So then she began to study the Book of Mormon and Bible and started to really pray and ponder and ask God for help. She gained a testimony real quick and with her own will, changed her life, started living the commandments, and began going to church, even with all of her friends saying bad things about everything. She told us later that she recognized it was really the Lord that had put her in our pathway just at the right time when she was ready to hear about the gospel. This experience is really cool because it also strengthened my testimony that the Lord is really working through us to help and bless the people who are ready and prepared to accept the gospel in their lives. She is what you can say, a little "popular" with friends and stuff, and even with these temptations, she is going firm and strong in the gospel.  She’s also bringing in other friends for us to teach too because she’s seeing just how happy all of this is making her.

Thanks for the support ya´ll.  Love you and until next week!

Élder Andrus

Baptism 11-12-11

Week 60 - 7 November 2011

Hey there ya´ll!  So this past week was a little slow and stuff cause I was a little sick, but besides that it was still a good week. I’m feeling a lot better now and this week will be good. We have a girl that will be baptized this coming week.  She’s a 21 year old girl who really has a lot of desire to change. She used to be a part of many worldly things, but now she is really turning to the Lord for help. It was cool the way that we met actually. She told us that a couple days before we met, she was getting pizza with tons of friends, and they starting talking about the subject of religion. Then they started talking about the "Mormons" that walk on the street and everything and lots of rumors and stuff that people spread here about the church. This sparked her interest, and she started to really get the desire to know more about it and if these things were true. Then, the other day she was with a girl we recently baptized, and she mentioned that she was a part of the church. Then that same day we ran into them on the street and marked a date to visit her and help her out. She believes that the Lord put her in our pathway, and it was a sign to her that this is the right way to go. I also think that. It’s crazy how the Lord works. Just about a couple days after she asked the Lord for help in this respect, the Lord acted and put her in our way to teach her.

Love you guys! I’ll let you know more next week!

Élder Andrus

Week 59 - 31 October 2011

Hey everyone,
Sorry this email is going to be a little short because I don’t have too much time, and I have a headache.

But this week was a good week. We got to go to Salinas again.  We confirmed the baptisms for Sunday and planned out everything for them. So then early morning on Sunday, we went to the church and prepared the font and everything, and other people went to Salinas to pick up Monica and Inacia, the 2 baptisms. Monica is the wife of a member, and Inacia is their daughter. The baptism occurred nicely, and they got confirmed during sacrament meeting. I had the chance to baptize Inacia. Besides that, there isn’t too much more. We completed this family, and we could see how happy they were.

Tomorrow there is going to be a Leadership Meeting in Belém again, so we’re gonna have to travel some more...which is tough cuz I’ve spent allllll the money I have from the mission on the past trips we’ve I’ll need to use some cash from my personal fund and wait to get it all reimbursed.

Sorry for the short email, but don’t forget that I love you!


Élder Andrus

Baptism 10-30-11

Mural in Salinas

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Week 58 - 24 October 2011 Salinas

Hey ya´ll,
This week we had the opportunity to go to Salinas, finally, and I did 2 interviews there. The plan is that we’ll have 3 baptisms from there this Sunday here in least that’s what the plan is haha. But, was it pretty over there. It made me miss the beach so much! Since we’re not allowed to go on the beach, we went to a nice spot on a dock over there and took some pictures and all. Man it was super tranquilo there and relaxing. Loved it. I can’t wait to be able to go to the beach when I get back home haha.

This week we also had a baptism of a boy we’ve been teaching for a little while.  He’s 12 years old, and he has been a really good investigator. He’s a referral from a member here, and the member was so happy to actually see an acquaintance of hers get baptized into the church. His family isn’t like toooo interested in the church, but they support him. And his mom actually went to the baptismal service to watch it and everything!  She really enjoyed it too. So that was a cool experience. Now he will be ordained a deacon and receive the priesthood and everything in these up coming weeks.

As for the weather here, it has been like super, super hot lately cuz I guess it’s during the hot season here. So it has been about 2 months since it rained last. But this week, I think on Wednesday, it rained ALL DAY here. Haha and since we have to walk everywhere, it was tough to work. But the rain seemed to have passed by cuz today it’s burning like always. Haha  I think Wednesday was only the second or third time I have actually felt cold since I’ve been here hahah.

Well, that’s about it. Thanks for starting up and doing the stuff online to apply for BYU. I’ll make sure to do the other stuff too so we can get it in before the deadline.

Tchau! Amo vocês!

Élder Andrus

Baptism 10-22-11
T-shirt from YW for my birthday 10-17-11

On the way to Salinas 
Palm trees in Salinas

Cool beach spot in Salinas


My companion and me in Salinas 10-22-11

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week 57 - 18 October 2011 Happy Birthday

Hey everyone!

So sorry I couldn’t get online on Monday like normal, but I got called late Sunday night and got told I had to go to Belém real early in the morning to renew my visa at the police station. So we woke up at 4:30, headed over to Belém, and didn’t get home until super late. So yeah we didn’t even get a p-day, but Presidente is letting us use the internet today real quick. So yeah, but no worries, everything is all set and stuff with the visa.

But before I move on, I need to make a real special shout out to the WORLD`S BEST MOM and wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Woohoo! We’re both one year older mommy! haha. It’s weird being 21...I still feel like I’m 18 or something. haha.

But as for this week, we had a baptism marked for this past Saturday and everything was super ready, but then when we went to interview him, no one was home and we couldn’t get a hold of him for the whole day. Finally his mom answered the phone, and we found out that a relative had passed away and they had to travel to Bragança. So his baptism got pushed back to this coming Saturday. It was sad cuz we had everything planned already. But that’s okay. He’s still excited and everything!

Oh and this past week was soooo exhausting. I’m like a mess haha. We haven’t had a normal day for over a week. Every single day last week we had to wake up super early to go to Castanhal to have a meeting with our district and do a special training. Including this and the other trips we’ve made, I’m super tired and am lacking sleep haha. But I’m excited for tomorrow cuz it’ll actually be a normal day here in Capanema.

Also, today we had a zone meeting with Presidente Campos in Castanhal. It was really good.  He really knows how to put some sense into missionaries hahah. But yeah I talked to him about some things like applying for BYU and other things, and I’ll start that stuff up this next p-day so we can get everything ready okay?

I’m real short on time today so I have to go.  But as for my birthday, I spent the whole day in Belém.  When we got back late at night, the members threw me a little party and everything with cake and food and everything, so it was really cool. I think there were about 25 people or so there. Haha  It was a nice way to end a long and tiresome day.

Well, that’s about it. Love ya´ll! Tchau!

Élder Andrus

My birthday party with companion and investigator

                     Learning capoeira moves                                      Bull's foot turned into a bottle

Yummy birthday cake!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week 56 - 10 October 2011 Wonderful Investigators

Opa família,

Como está? J  This week was a super good week with the work here, probably one of the better weeks I have had as for the work. It was great. At the beginning of the week, starting with our trip to watch General Conference, we traveled 3 times to Castanhal and back in the space of 5 days haha. Yeah, this area here demands a lot of traveling. We always have meetings in Castanhal, and interviews in Bragança and stuff. But it’s good! We always keep busy.

So this week we had a baptism on Saturday of a 12 year old girl we have been teaching.  It was cool because last week we were walking on the street and saw her and some friends in front of their house.  We went up to talk to them, and they were telling us that they have already received lessons from the missionaries a long time ago and already went to church before and all. So we taught them, and the 12 year old girl was super good and accepted a baptismal date and everything.  She didn’t even drink coffee! haha. So she was real ready to be baptized. So that was cool. The baptism was stressful cuz she actually didn’t show up cuz she was getting real sick cuz of an allergic reaction.  But in the end her friend went to get her and it all worked out.

Yesterday was an especially good day at church. We had lots of investigators that showed up with their own desire and will. One investigator went for the first time all alone and liked it a lot. Also, one young man went to church and is getting ready to be baptized this coming Saturday. Another girl actually said she wasn’t gonna go, but she walked about 45 minutes all alone and showed up there on time and everything. It was pretty cool seeing all these investigators there. We're teaching a 17 year old boy.  He does Capoeira (that sweet dance fight thing), and we started teaching him this week. When we went back the second time to teach him, he told us that he had a really spiritual experience about the Book of Mormon and he gained this HUGE desire to learn more and follow the gospel. We went to his house every single day during the week, and there isn’t one commitment he didn’t fulfill. He’s reading and praying everyday, and he was waiting for us outside his house on Sunday morning all ready to go to church. He has changed so much over the years.  It’s hard to even imagine the great change he’s made in his life. While we were at church, he pulled me aside and he said some words that I’ll never forget.  He told me "thank you for bringing this into my life."  I’ll be giving him a white shirt, tie, and pair of pants for him to go to church this next week all spiffy. It has been so great. The only thing that is holding him back from being baptized is that he has a girlfriend and a little daughter with 2 months. So we have to wait for them to get married. But as soon as that happens, he will become a part of the Church of Jesus Christ. I’m not sure if I’ll be around when that happens, but I sure hope so.

Love you guys so much and thanks for the packages and support! I’m really seeing how the gospel changes people and how it can be such a blessing in our lives and in the lives of others. It’s incredible.


Élder Andrus

Baptism 10-8-11

Baptism do novo 10-8-11

Feliz 21 Aniversario Elder Andrus

I like motos a lot now! 10-10-11

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 55 - 3 October 2011 General Conference in Castanhal

Hey there family!

This week was a really good week for us. We found lots of new people and have lots of people with dates for baptism for this month.  We’re preparing lots here, so I’m feeling that this month is gonna be a good one. But definitely the highlight of the week was General Conference. Here in Capanema there was only the transmission of the Sunday sessions, so we went to Castanhal on Saturday, and stayed there until this morning watching all the sessions over there. It was cool to be able to interact with the people from there and get to know more people too.

And as for conference, I absolutely loved both the sessions on Saturday. I think they were my favorites. My favorites were the talk from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf when he talked about the size of the universe and the creations of God, and as it seems our lives are small and don’t have much importance, when in reality everyone plays a huge part in the plan of God. I also liked the talk from Sis. Barbara Thompson as she talked about personal revelation, what it is, and also how can we get it and use it. It really helped me know what I have to do to get some answers to questions I have and decisions I have to make in this next coming year.

Two more talks I liked a lot were from David A. Bednar about the Spirit of Elijah and the great importance of the Restoration, and also from L. Tom Perry about being testimonies of Christ in all things and in all places. These were some that stuck out to me, and I was sure to take tons of notes.

I remember last conference when I was in Oriximiná.  I was really sick and also I didn’t understand much Portuguese, so I don’t have any notes at all from that conference. But this one I was able to understand every word that was said and comprehend a lot better the messages that they passed to us. It was a good experience to be able to watch conference. Sure it would have been easier if they had it in English, but I actually really enjoyed it in Portuguese.

Well, I gotta go already. But thanks for everything and for those packages I got last week for my birthday again haha.


Élder Andrus

Super Elder!

Week 54 - 26 September 2011 Got Two Packages!

Hey Fam!

How are you guys doing? This week for us was a really good week. We didn’t have a baptism and didn’t get to go to Salinas like I said in the last letter, but it was still a great week. The baptisms in Salinas were pushed back to this week, so now the plan is that we’ll go there this week and baptize them this week. I’m not sure how it will work out completely with General Conference, but we’ll make it all work out.

We had 4 more people with baptism dates for this week too, but they all fell through. But they are all great investigators, the only thing that is holding them back in the attendance at church.  It’s super hard to get people to go to church with us here. I’m getting pretty used to let downs. But when someone actually goes to church with us, it shows us that they really do have a desire to learn more.

Oh, and I got 2 of the packages you guys sent! The ones you sent for my birthday :) I loved them. They made it in time for my birthday so that made me happy! I love the sunflower seeds and the Oreo´s haha. And especially the Goldfish :) Adorei! I’ll take it to the next district meeting to share with the other Americans that are craving more American food haha.

Sorry this email is super small, but it’s raining pretty hard here and my time is running short. But I’m loving it here.  I’m loving being a District Leader and being able to help out my district to help out the zone here in Castanhal.  I’m feeling really comfortable with the language lately too, and the work is going really well here in Capanema.  I’m gonna miss this place when I get transferred...

But I love you guys and have a good week!!!

Élder Andrus

Service project last week

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 53 - 19 September 2011 Baptism

Olá Família! Como vocês estão? Tranqüilo? Que bom :) 

This week was a pretty good week for us. Just like last week, it was draining. We ended up walking a ton and having a ton of appointments fall through. If only we had a nice air conditioned car like Rio has in California...haha jk. But there sure is a lot of walking in the hot sun. But after one year already, I’ll be able to tough out the next year easy. My feet aren’t suffering as much as I thought they would too, so that´s good!

Although a lot of things fell through throughout the week, we had a baptism on Saturday that turned out really well. He’s the little brother of our latest baptism.  They are good kids and are sticking firm in the church. One of them already has the priesthood and comes to church with a shirt and tie and everything.  It’s really cool seeing the change in people and their progress.

I’m not sure if I already mentioned to you guys about some plans that we have to go to a beach city around here called Salinas, but we have plans to go there this week to baptize 5 people who are ready there. They accepted to be baptized this Saturday, so our plans are to go there on Thursday for me to interview them and everything, then we’d go back on Saturday to perform the baptism service there. Then on Sunday, they will have a caravan thing that will bring them to church here in Capanema for them to attend church here and be confirmed at sacrament meeting here. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?  My companion and I are really excited to have a good week and be able to go there to help the people there.  I’ll let you guys know this next week how it went, tá bom? :)

Besides this, I’m all good here. Good of health and everything.  Stay safe aí and have a good week!

Élder Andrus


Burned my shirt after one year

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week 52 - 12 September 2011 One Year on the Mission!

Hey there back home! Do you guys know what this week is? It’s the week where I make one year on the mission! Man it’s passing by pretty quick, not gonna lie. I feel weird cuz I can already like see the mountain peak of the mission, and yet it feels like I got here yesterday. Haha  It’s a weird feeling knowing I already used up half my time here in Brasil already.

As for this last week, it was a real tiresome week with a lot of work, but it was good. We had a baptism planned for Saturday of a 13 year old kid named Tiago, but he wasn’t all the way prepared and we had to push it up for this next week. But he’s excited about it. He’s the brother of Patrique, the boy that we baptized about 2 weeks ago. We also have some other good investigators here that are preparing to be baptized this month too. A 12 year old boy named Késsio who is a referral from a member who is helping us teach him. Irmã Eliene is helping us with him, and he’s a real good kid and is really willing to follow the gospel. He has a date for the 24th of this month to be baptized.  I’m excited for him. We also are teaching a family of a man named Jaimilson. He has 2 brothers that are all in a pop-rock band (which is pretty legit) and his wife too who we’re teaching. They are all really smart and like us a lot. They haven’t gone to church yet, but are also a really willing family to follow the teachings of the gospel.  I can’t wait to be able to see them go to church and get baptized.

This week we had to travel some more too. On Saturday we spent the whole day basically traveling around to do baptismal interviews. We first had to go to Bragança in the morning before lunch, then return to Capanema to eat lunch, then head out to Castanhal to do another, then we had to return again back here to teach Késsio at 8:00. Yeah it was a big rush haha but I’m liking the traveling here. It just isn’t so fun when we get stuck in a little van, standing, with about 20 people, and without air conditioning haha.  But it’s all worth it in the end.

Well that was my week.  I’m all good here so don’t worry about a thing :)  Love you all!

Élder Andrus

Me and my companion

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 51 - 5 September 2011 Traveling this Week

Hey ya´ll!

So my new companion is Elder Pereira, and he’s from the state of São Paulo.  He’s pretty cool, and we seem to be getting along well too, so that’s good.  I’m glad I haven’t gotten a bad comp yet haha.  Let’s just hope it stays that way huh haha. 

So last week for the transfer, I had to take Elder Farias to Castanhal for him to go to Belém, but I stayed in Castanhal with another Elder waiting for our comps.  We woke up and everything normal, and they said they’d get back around noon, but ended up staying there waiting for them until 6 oclock! haha.  It was weird not having anything to do and to just wait for like the whole day.  But then we headed to Capanema that same night and got there around 9.  Then on Wednesday, I had to head to Belém for a leadership meeting we had on Thursday with President Campos.  It was for the leaders of the mish and was extremely edifying.  Then we headed back to Castanhal that night, slept there, then headed back to Capanema.  Then on Saturday, we had to travel to Castanhal again for me to interview a young woman that was being baptized.  It was really cool to be able to do my first baptismal interview.  But then, we headed back to Capanema again and got there at about 8 at night.  Yeah this week was jam packed of trips from here to there, so it was tough to actually do work in our area.  But on Sunday we worked a lot and received 3 references too, one of which will be baptized this next week.  We’re also starting to plan more our trip to the beach city, Salinas, and to bring all the investigators from there to here to be baptized.  I’m super excited to be able to do that.  I can’t wait.  Hopefully we’ll  be able to do that this next coming week.

Besides this, there are a lot more things to do as a district leader here.  But I’m liking it a lot.  The sisters in my district are really cool and don’t cause any problems, and they work hard, so I’m surely grateful for that.  But I like the work as a district leader.  It keeps me a lot more focused on the work than on other things.  Also it gives me a lot more responsibility in the companionship and the zone.

Well, that’s about it, I think…I hope I’m not forgetting anything.

Love you guys!  Can’t wait for the packages!

Élder Andrus

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Week 50 - 29 August 2011 District Leader

Bem Vindo a Capanema (Welcome to Capanema)
Hey there back home! This week went well, and it’s also the week of the transfer. Elder Farias got transferred to an area in Belém, but I’m gonna stay here in Capanema with another Brazilian comp. I don’t know him much so we’ll see how things work out haha. And I also got called as the new District Leader here too. Pretty cool huh? I’ll be taking care of my companionship and 2 sisters in Castanhal (Sister Freitas and Sister Welch). It’ll be tough it seems, but I’m sure I’ll learn a lot of the calling as a leader.

Also, Saturday morning we had a baptism of a 15 year old boy who was an ELEITO for sure. We had a lot of help from the members, and they did practically everything to prepare him. His name is Patrique, and he’s a real cool kid. His dad even came to the baptism which was cool too.

As a goodbye for Elder Farias, a bunch of people went over to a member’s house and had a group of Capoeira and everything. So people were playing, then after we had a Family Home Evening, then like a party dance thing for the members haha.  It was fun. I even got pulled into the circle to fight Capoeira haha.  It was riduculous. Elder Farias was sneaky and got it on film haha - embarrassing.

One thing that I’m noticing is that my hair here is like super, super dried and burnt because of the sun. I can’t even like run my fingers through my hair anymore haha. They always say that here the missionaries go bald - bald because of the sun, and now I’m seeing that it really does happen haha. But hopefully my hair stays in place and doesn’t  start to fall out haha.

Love you all, and sorry I’m short on time again today. We need to take Elder Farias to Castanhal tonight so we’re rushed.

Love you!

Élder Andrus

Iguana found on the street 

Burning six-month tie!  A little late . . . 

Patrique's baptism 8-27-11

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Week 49 - 22 August 2011 Talked in Sacrament Mtg

Hey ya´ll!  This week was a good hardworking week.  On Saturday, we baptized a boy named Pedro. He is the son of a member here who is just now starting to come back and become active again. Pedro is 11 years old, and he’s a really good kid.  The baptismal service went really well too.  It started pretty late, like around 8:30 pm because everyone showed up late from a conference in Castanhal, so it was pretty rushed, but even like that it went really well.  His dad, which is the less active member, gave the closing prayer and started crying cuz he was so happy.  Then yesterday at church, he was able to be the one to confirm Pedro a member and give him the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Also, I gave a talk yesterday at church.  It went pretty well, I think.  It was about patience, and I talked about the Sons of Mosiah and based it on the scripture in Romans 5:3-5.  It teaches us that we have tribulations to test our patience, so that we can gain experience, so that we can have hope in the Lord.  It went a lot smoother than my last talk that I gave.  I ended up actually going over the limit haha. I think it was about 10 or 12 minutes long.

Oh another cool little thing is that our bishop here, Bispo Pamplona, he knows a girl that lives at a beach about an hour away called Salinas that wants to be baptized. So we might be able to go there to teach and baptize her. Pretty sweet huh? We need permission from President Campos, but it would be a really cool baptism. Everyone says that it’s one of the most beautiful beaches around here. So that would be a fun experience.

Well family, I love you guys.  I hope you’re all well at home all alone without the kids! haha

Élder Andrus

               Pedro's baptism with his father, Celso

                                                            Marcio and Aline family

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week 48 - 15 August 2011 New Baptism Goal

Hey!  Sorry I didn’t get around to emailing on Monday.  It was a holiday here in Pará for some reason and there wasn’t internet.  So President Campos let us use it today on Wednesday.  This last week was pretty broke too.  During the week we worked read hard but it was a touch week for us.  But on Sunday at church, we received some referrals that we’ve been praying for.  We got 3 referrals from the members.  One is a sone of a member here who we’re gonna teach today, and we’re planning on baptizing him this week with the help of hid dad.  Another is a friend of a member who he took to church with him.  And another is a girl that lives at a really famous beach here about an hour and a half away from here called Salinas.  It’s a tourist place here and as missionaries we’re not allowed there.  But there are actually a lot of inactive members there, and we’re gonna ask for permission from the president to go there to be able to teach this girl.  Our bishop lives kinda close, and he’s gonna have a sacrament meeting there this Sunday, and he’ll take the referral there too.  So hopefully all of this works out!

Yesterday, we had a Zone Conference with 4 zones in Belém.  It was way good.  President Campos talked a lot about what we’re doing and what we’re not doing as a mission to help us.  We received new revelation too and have a goal of 250 baptisms per month as a mission.  We’re really working hard here to get a temple built in Belém.  The goal is to have it announced this next General Conference in October.  When President Campos got here as the mission president, there were only 3 stakes here in the state of Pará and Amapá.  He’s really changed the vision of all the members here cuz just in the 2 years he’s been here so far he’s been able to create 4 new stakes (so now we have 7) and there are 2 more that have been sent already to be approved.  Yeah the work here in the Brazil Belém Mission is amazing, and I’m positive that we’ll get a temple here real soon.

Love you guys and have a good week!

Até próxima!

Élder Andrus

Friday, August 12, 2011

Week 47 - 8 August 2011 What is the word in English?

Hey there pessoal!  This week has been pretty slow.  Not much happened actually.  We worked pretty hard during the week but didn’t have too much success.  We had to cut a lot of investigators cuz they weren’t keeping their... compromissos (wow I can’t even think of the word in English, sorry).

So yeah it was pretty lame and chato.  But it’s okay.  This past week at our district meeting, I gave the training there, and it seemed to motivate our district.  We have 2 sisters in our district who work in Castanhal.  

Man this week was really slow and not much happened.  So I don’t have much to write about.  Sorry about the short email, but I’m pretty short on time.

Love you all!

Élder Andrus