Monday, April 30, 2012

Week 81 - 2 April 2012 Icoaraci

Hey! So...yeah, I am still District Leader here for the sixth straight transfer and with Elder P. I don’t think this transfer will be too bad cuz we live with two other missionaries. I love being able to speak a little English again haha. The area of Agulha is actually shared with a companionship of sisters. It’s weird cuz there isn’t a division of the area for us; it’s just like whoever gets there first gets the baptism hahaha. The members also like the sisters a lot more than the Elders (naturally) haha so it’s a little tough on that aspect. It sure is different than any other area I've been in, but it’s okay.

Our house is actually really small for four people, and there isn't enough room for us to do anything. We’re trying to get another bigger house cuz this isn’t working very well. We have to sit on the floor or the bed to study cuz we don’t have enough tables, and we only have one bunk bed...oh and we don’t have an oven and stove. It’s pretty tough circumstances, but don’t worry. The mission says that they will take care of things. 

This week the ward had three baptisms, 2 were of the sisters, and 1 was ours. We baptized a girl who is 10 years old.  We found her cuz she has been going to church for about two years straight but never was baptized. She lives right behind the church practically, and she goes there just about every day. Everyone thought she was already a member even though she wasn’t haha. It was tough to get her mom to sign the form, but she supports her and let her get baptized on Friday! We don’t have too many other people to teach here yet, so this week we’re gonna have to work quite a bit. The area is super, super big, and it’s tough to walk to all the parts haha. We seem to need to walk way more here, and it’s super tiring. But the good thing is that the ward already sent in the papers to divide the ward and are just waiting for a response. Soon the ward will get divided and that’s gonna be great in the growing of the church here.

I need to go already and I’m a little bit rushed, but I love you guys! Although the temple wasn’t announced this conference, we will never give up!


Elder Andrus

Week 80 - 26 March 2012 Last week in Cabanagem

Bom dia! So last night we found out about the transfer, and I’ll be transferred tomorrow to a place called Icoaraci. I’ll be in the Agulha Ward. I've never been over to that part of the area so I have no clue what it’s gonna be like. Elder R. will stay in Cabanagem, and we actually don’t know who will be his companion...we think he’ll be called to be a trainer. My new companion (as crazy as this sounds) will be Elder P. Yes, the same Elder P. that was my companion in Capanema about six months ago. Weird huh? I’m still waiting to get my first American companion, but the Lord just keeps blessing me with Brazilians! Elder P. and I get along well. It won’t be too tough. We’ll see how this next transfer goes.

This week we had two baptisms here in Cabanagem! One was of a boy who is the brother of some members and is a real fireball hahah. He’s way cool. He chose me to baptize him, but out of nowhere we had to go to Ananindeua to do two baptism interviews, and we got back super late for the baptism. We were running to the church and when we got there, the bishop was all ready to baptize him cuz he thought we weren't able to make it. He saw us and said, “I thought you weren't gonna come!" Haha  That day was stressful, but it all turned out wonderfully in the end. 

The other baptism was a girl that almost got baptized when I was here with Elder R. But Elder R. and I felt like we should go back last week cuz she lives the commandments and everything. We put a date on her for this past Saturday but then she said that she didn't want to anymore. We were pretty sad.  On Friday night, we decided to go back over there to her uncle and aunt’s house (who are members), and we talked to her. She decided to get baptized this past weekend! It was for sure a miracle cuz out of no where, it seemed like all her fear and doubts were just washed away! Her baptism was Sunday morning because she wanted her uncle to baptize her, and he couldn't on Saturday night. He’s the second counselor of the stake so he had lots of meetings. There were tons of young women at her baptism and tons of people to support and help her. I haven’t seen her as happy as she was on Sunday since the first day I started teaching her. It was great to see the girls helping her.

The family that we have been teaching here went to church yesterday and they loved it. They were surely a couple chosen by the Lord to hear the gospel. They will be baptized this week, but unfortunately I will be transferred tomorrow and won’t be able to see it. It stinks, but it’s nice to know the Lord wants me in a different place at this time.

Love you guys tons, and don’t forget to pray for the BELÉM TEMPLE to be announced this Saturday at General Conference! This week the mission baptized 70 people (having only 55 companionships in the mission), and until now 178 for this month. The mission is seeing miracles like crazy, and I’m excited to see the temple be announced!

Até próxima!

Elder Andrus

This is an amazing family ... so humble
I ate my last lunch in Cabanagem with this family 3-26-12

Week 79 - 19 March 2012

Hey there aí! I went on splits with one of my Zone Leaders this week. He came into my area, and Elder R. went over to his. He stayed here for Wednesday and Thursday, and I guess it was good. We have a lot of really good investigators, but we definitely need to find lots of new ones this week. This week we have a goal for three baptisms. Unfortunately, the family we are teaching, only the wife was able to go to church cuz the husband was working :(  So we’re gonna have to set their date for next week. But she said she adored the church, and she even took a friend with her. We’re working a lot with them, and they are both progressing really well, as well as our other candidates for baptism this month. The transfer will be on the 27th of this month, and there is a big possibility that I might be transferred, which means I won’t be here for their baptism... but we’ll see how everything works out.

Sorry this email is so short but since we ran to the mission home today, we lost a lot of our p-day and don’t have too much time to write now. (I feel like I say this in every email haha). I love you guys, and I’m grateful for the support and the blessings.

Elder Andrus

We found Guarana Jesus Zero ... so funny!

Ver-O-Peso Market in Belém 3-19-12
Vero-O-Peso Market in Belém  3-19-12

Belém  3-19-12

Week 78 - 12 March 2012 Ore para que o templo

Olá gente! This week we had a Leadership Meeting on Tuesday with Presidente Campos, and it was really good. Our goal as a mission and in the entire area of Pará and Amapá is for the Temple of Belém to be announced by the Prophet on the 31st of this month at General Conference. This is the THE month for us to deserve the temple here. One more stake in our mission was approved last week which makes 8 in all (5 new stakes from when President Campos arrived here).

All the members of the church and the missionaries are praying for the temple to be announced, and it’s a really cool experience being able to see the unity of everyone having the same goals and mindsets to earn a temple in this region of Brasil. President called this month the Month of Sanctification, which really means doing everything with exactness and such. We also had a Stake Conference on Sunday in the Cabanagem Stake where President and Sister Campos gave talks exactly about this. It gave everyone a good spirit to keep their eyes fixed on the temple and to have a certainty that it’ll be announced. An unshakeable faith knowing that the Lord answers the prayers of His children when it is according to His will. I’m really excited to watch general conference this month and to watch the temple of Belém being announced. I invite you to pray for these same things too. :)

This week we found a golden family! It’s a man and his wife, and they are progressing really well and fast. They live right next to the Bishop so that’s great for his support. I really hope they keep progressing to be baptized before I leave this area.

Also, another funny thing that happened to me was yesterday at lunch, I got my finger caught in the container that has something called "farinha", which is a type of flour we put on the food here. I don’t know why but I put my finger in and it got stuck and wouldn’t let loose haha. It was restricting my finger, and it turned all purple and everything and starting hurting. Even with soap it wouldn’t come loose, and the girls there were freaking out and ended up cutting the thing to get my finger loose...hahaha it was kinda embarrassing but super funny. My finger was hurting the rest of the day and is a little cut up but it was hilarious.

I have to go already, but I love you guys!

Elder Andrus

Week 77 - 5 March 2012

Howdy! This week was a tough week with the work. It seemed like lots of things were falling through, like we worked a lot and got exhausted but didn't see the fruits of the labor. On Sunday we had a lot of new investigators that were going to come to church with us, but NOBODY went. That seems like one tough thing around here. We have a good amount of people who like us a lot and accept the message we have, but it’s tough to get them to actually progress and to go to church and make a big change in their lives. They’re out there, but it’s tough haha.

As we were out with the bishop this week, we passed the house of an inactive member who has been inactive for about 6 or 7 years. We got to know him more, and he is really cool and super open. When he went to grab his scriptures, he showed me some Elders that wrote their testimonies in the book. I noticed a name that was familiar to me. I saw that an Elder Blackner in 2004 wrote in it, and I thought when you told me that one of the Blackner’s sons served here in Belém. I told this man that I thought I knew one of the Elders. What a small world. haha  He was active in a place called Cidade Nova when he was there, but soon after, his wife died, and he ended up falling away from the church and getting another "wife" too. It’s sad news to Elder Blackner, but we’re working on reactivating him. Just a cool thing I thought I’d share.

As for me, I’m good with health and everything. We have a Leadership Meeting tomorrow with President, and I’ll get 2 packages from you guys there...yay!  

Love you guys!

Elder Andrus

Week 76 - 27 February 2012 Trabalho Duro

This week was an extremely good week for us as far as the work. As far as being exhausted, I’m dead haha. A good week of work sure drains me completely, but is really rewarding. This week we baptized a 10 year old boy. He has been going to church for about 6 or 7 weeks alone and has been learning a lot all by himself. He has a strong testimony of the church already. We started teaching him and his family (who are from another church). The boy was ready for baptism this week, and his parents support him 100% too. His whole family went to the service Sunday morning before church and then stayed for the meeting afterward. It was a great experience for them. 

Besides the baptism, we also found a lot of investigators to teach. We found another family that is married (yay). We will need to keep up this pace next week to always have investigators that are interested in hearing us. This way, we will always have people to teach and have baptisms every week! What a blessing!

I also made two interviews for other areas for baptism. In one of them I was interviewing a lady, and it lasted about an hour and a half...yeah it was long. She is really, really good, but had some problems to resolve. In the end everything worked out great, and she was baptized on Sunday.

Elder R. and I are getting along really well here, always playing around and stuff but being serious when we need to. Sure I’m getting "tired" out here, but I’m not sure if I’ll get transferred from Cabanagem. So I’ll sure try my best to leave the area well kept and with lots of people to baptize. 

Love you guys and have a good week! 

Elder Andrus

License plates we made 2-27-12

Elder R. e eu!

Batismo de J e F 2-18-12

Batismo de M  2-26-12