Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Week 41 - 27 June 2011 Eleitos!

Hey everyone!  This week went by pretty quick, and it doesn’t feel like too much happened haha.  We went to the farm again to do another service project, which we’ll be doing every Wednesday to help them out.  It was great.  We always get a lot of rain and sun while we’re out there. 

We ended up walking a ton this week, but tons of appointments that we set up fell through.  Yesterday at church was the first ward conference here in Capanema, so we had tons of people and less active members come.  This little house was packed with 120 people.  Elder Farias and I didn’t even get to watch conference cuz there wasn’t enough room haha.  But we got a lot of references and have some good people lined up for baptism this coming month.  One of the ladies is 87 years old and lives on a farm pretty far away.  So we’re gonna go teach her and baptize her on the 3rd of July.  I’m thinking we will have to go to a nearby river around here to baptize her cuz I’m pretty positive that she won’t be able to climb in and out of the font we have here.  We also set up an appointment with a lady that saw us on the street during the week.  She saw how happy we were and wanted to feel that happy too.  She was too scared to talk to us, but she saw us go into a member’s house for lunch.  Then after lunch she went up to the members that live there and asked what church we went to.  She miraculously went to church on Sunday and liked it a lot, so we’re gonna teach her and hopefully baptize her too.  People that really have the desire to follow the Lord are the people that we really need to be looking for.  And in Portuguese we have a word for these kind of people, we call them ELEITOS! haha.

In my reading of the Book of Mormon this week, I was reading a lot about when the people of Alma reunite with the people of Mosiah and of Zarahemla.  A lot of the people start to do a lot of iniquity, and Alma turns to the Lord for help.  Some things that we can learn from this part of the Book of Mormon are that when we need help in something, we need to turn to the Lord to see what we should do.  As a missionary of the Lord, this is especially important to comprehend and put into practice.  It’s something that I’m working on here.  And one thing that the Lord said to Alma was about the repentance of his people, and that every single person has the opportunity to become clean again because of the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ.  A little later on in the story of the Book of Mormon, you can really see this apply to the son of Alma and the sons of Mosiah.

I hope you guys are having a good time all alone at home.  I’m doing great here, and I’m glad Rio’s doing great in the MTC too.  I don’t have too much to say this week, but no worries cuz I have a lot of pictures!

Love you guys!

Élder Andrus

The church house in Capanema

Working on the farm


Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 40 - 20 June 2011 Happy Father's Day

Hey there!  Happy Father’s Day, Papai!  Another week here in Capanema was good.  On Tuesday, we had a service project at one of the farms of one of the members here in Capanema.  Brother Glins and Sister Rosângela have two farms and usually every Wednesday we go to help them clean up and remodel some stuff there.  So we went there this week and were weeding and gardening for like 5 hours.  It started out super sunny and hot, then out of nowhere there was a thunder storm and we got soaking wet haha.  But it was fun working in the rain, quite refreshing actually!  We ate lunch there and had some açai.  Açai is pretty tasty not gonna lie.  Pará is famous for açai, and there is tons of it here.  I want to bring some back home for you guys so you can try it too haha.  So remember you guys told me that there is a really pretty chapel in Castanhal?  So yeah we had a zone meeting there on Wednesday, and it really is beautiful.  It has two stories and an elevator and everything!

This week we had a baptism of an 18 year old young man by the name of Filipe.  He’s a cousin of one of the members in the ward, and he’s really cool.  He learned everything super fast and was really excited for his baptism.  He also dances hip-hop and won one of the competitions here before I got here.  So yeah he’s pretty legit haha.

This week I’ve been reading in the Book of Mormon, in Mosiah, where Abinadi is preaching to King Noah.  He preaches unto him and his people the importance of obedience to the commandments the Lord gives to us.  Later on, before his death, he talks about the Godhead and the need for a Redeemer too.  This part was vital because this is where the prophet Alma started to believe his words and began to preach the gospel and build up the church in the Americas.  So I’m learning out here that no matter how hard it is to preach the truth to people, it’s always worth it because the Lord prepares people to hear it, just like Alma was prepared.

Love you guys and have a good week!

Élder Andrus

Elders Andrus and Farias

Baptism of Filipe 

Baptism hip hop style

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Week 39 - 13 June 2011 in Capanema

Oí Família!

So I’ve been here in the city of Capanema for about a week now, and I really like it.  It’s way like suburban and far from everything, so the atmosphere is pretty tranquillo and peaceful.  My companion, Elder Farias, is way cool.  We get along really well in home, and we work well together too.  He likes to train and work out like me so we always do our exercises in the mornings with a little homemade weight and a pull up bar he has.  He also does something that is called Capoeira, which is like a Brasilian fight dance.  It’s actually pretty sweet and really popular here. Haha  Elder Farias is pretty crazy too.  He kinda reminds me of the energizer bunny haha.  But he’s really good with people and everyone always loves him.  So we get a lot of help from the members as far as I can tell.

As for the church here in Capanema, it recently turned into a ward from a branch around the beginning of this year.  There seems to be about 120 or so people attending, so it’s growing pretty well here.  But we don’t have a chapel here yet.  We meet at a house here in the city to have our meetings.  It’s really humble and pretty cool to be a part of such a small ward.  They are planning to buy some land here to be able to build a chapel pretty soon, so that should be a big jump for the area when that happens.

Our house here in Capanema is pretty big though.  It’s the nicest house I’ve seen yet on the mission and really clean too. Haha  I think I got lucky to get such a nice house.  It’s funny cuz with some of the houses in the mission, I don’t even want to go home when the day is over at night haha.  But this one here is way sweet, so I’m grateful.

So remember Dário from when I was in Cabanagem?  Him and his family were investigating the church.  Well when we went there for the last time to say our goodbyes, he told me that he has a nephew here in Capanema.  We went over there this week and taught them, and they seemed way happy to have us there.  His name is Alex, and his wife is Daisy.  They aren’t married, but they said they have plans to get married.  So we’ll see how that goes with them!

Well, love ya guys!  I got to go.  Until next weeeeeek!

Élder Andrus

Flood in Cabanagem

Sergio, Meyre, and family in Cabanagem

Dario in Cabanagem

Monday, June 6, 2011

Week 38 - 6 June 2011

Oí!  So, I found out this morning that Elder Villela and I will both be transferred tomorrow.  I’m gonna be heading out to Castanhal, which is a suburb of Belém.  It’s a little far away so I’m gonna have to take a bus for a few hours to get there.  I’ll be in an area called Capanema.  I’m pretty excited.  I really don’t know what it’s like out there.  Mas vamos ver!  My comp is gonna be another Brazilian, Elder Farias.  He has quite a bit of time on the mission already, but I don’t really know him yet.  But tomorrow, I’ll head over there to start this next transfer.

But as for this week here in Indepenência, we had a baptism of a girl named Lorena on Thursday.  It was pretty cool because she and another girl in the ward got baptized, then afterward they had cake and food cuz it was the girl’s birthday.  It was pretty fun.

During the week, we got a reference from a member that lives in downtown Belém to go visit her cousin with her.  So we went with her to visit her cousin who has been hearing a little about the gospel, and she was really receptive.  She like organized a snack and everything just for us.  Her name is Saanaé, and she comes from a Catholic Buddist background.  The lesson was great, and she loved it.  There was one part in the lesson where I was talking about the blessing in our lives and about our families, because she has a son that has a problem with depression, and she started crying.  It was great to see her really understand about the Restoration of the Gospel, and she’s excited to learn more too.  So I’m hoping that the new missionaries here will be able to go over there and help her so she can be baptized.  Oh, and she also gave me a book as a gift too.  It is a book about a lady named Dorothy Stang, who did missionary work here in the Amazon and was killed after a lot of persecutions.  She wrote a little note inside for me and signed it.  It was really sweet of her. J  And it’ll be cool to have a book in Portuguese to read when I get home haha.

And something a little funny, last night when we were on our way back home, a girl on the street that had down syndrome came up to us, hugged us, and started talking to us. Then she invited her family to talk to us too.  And as I was shaking their hands, one of the girls there gave me a kiss on the cheek...hahaha  I totally froze and had no idea what to do haha.  Elder Villela was laughing so hard haha.

Alrighty, well have a good week guys!  Amo vocês!

Élder Andrus
Batismo do Lorena 6-2-11

Sweet wall in Cabanágem