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