Monday, May 28, 2012

Week 89 - 28 May 2012 Feliz Aniversario Pai

Hey there! First off, I need to say Feliz Aniversário to 
Dad! Is he turning 60 yet? hahaha jk. He said he bought an iPad for himself...when I was at home he could barely even use a cell phone, and now you guys are using iPads?! Crazy how everything changes so much in just a few short years.

So this week was the last full week for Elder C. He´ll be heading out next Saturday, and I don’t really know who I’ll be with and where I’ll be. We’ll have to wait and see. But there were a few cool things that happened this week! We confirmed two baptisms for Tuesday so Elder C. can be here for them. One is a man who is a friend of the Elder´s quorum president. He sure surprised us like crazy. He’s gone to church all alone for the past weeks, and he stopped drinking coffee so he can be baptized. He even helped clean the chapel after church. So that’s cool. 
Also, there is a little boy who is really special. He’s been coming to church all alone for 4 years straight already (he´s only 11), but his mom has never let him get baptized. Many, many Elders have already tried really hard to get her to let him, but she doesn't like the missionaries much so she always kicked them out and said no. But, last week, we made some goals with Gabriel to show his mom the church is helping him be a better person, and then we fasted with him so his mom would let him get baptized. Yesterday at church, he came running up to us and screamed, “The fast worked. She’ll let me get baptized!" So after 4 years, he’ll finally get baptized this Tuesday! How cool huh? It’ll be cool for Elder C. to have a couple baptisms on his last week on the mish haha.

Well, we’re about to head off to Belém to the mission home to take care of some stuff. So until next week! Love you all!

Élder Andrus

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Week 88 - 21 May 2012 Muitos Investigadores

Bom dia gente! So an update about this week - this week was a good one. On Tuesday, we had our last Zone Conference with President Campos. The new mission president, President Scisci, will officially be getting here on the 29th of June. Like I said on the call, I’m pretty anxious for the new president to get here. It’ll be interesting to see the difference and the changes that will occur. 

This week we had 11 investigators at church, which was great to see. We are seeing lots of good stuff happening - lots of great new investigators that actually have the desire to learn more about the church. That was a big problem here in this area this past transfer, so I’m happy to finally be able to find the people who want to learn more.

Also, something funny happened this week. You guys remember the movie Jumanji? Do you remember the part when there was a huge man-eating plant that grew like super duper fast and everything? So I was in the bathroom this week taking a shower and noticed that the drain was clogged and the water wasn’t going down. So I took off the top of the drain to see what was clogging it, and guess what I found? I found a huge plant that was growing underneath in the tubes and stuff haha - totally reminded me of Jumanji. It was like a huge, thorny vine thing. So weird.

But anyway, love you guys and can’t wait to hear from you again next week. Tchau!

Elder Andrus

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 87 - 14 May 2012 Baptism

Hey! I don’t have too much to say cuz we talked a lot yesterday on Mother’s Day. But on Saturday we had a baptism of a 17 year old boy who started dating a girl of the church and decided to be baptized. He’s really cool and has the desire to serve a mission too. It’s great. His baptism was on Saturday morning, as well as the youth activity we had where we played baseball and other things. haha  It was great to throw the ball around a little even though my arm is super sore because of it haha. 

Anyway, this will be a short email. Thanks for the support, and it was great talking to you guys and Rio yesterday!

Love y'all!

Elder Andrus

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Week 86 - 7 May 2012 Batismo na Cabanagem

Olá Família! This week I have lots of cool things to say! Haha. Lots of good and also interesting stuff happened this week. The work is going pretty well here with Elder C.  again. At church yesterday, the Bishop and the Stake Presidency announced the division of the Agulha Ward! Now I actually am officially not a missionary of the Agulha Ward anymore, but of the new ward that was formed called the Augusto Montenegro Ward. Yeah the name is a lot longer and harder to say now haha. But that sure was cool to see the ward and the area growing and to have a new ward here.

Also, even though we didn't have a baptism, at the Leadership Meeting we had on Wednesday I talked to the Elders that are in Cabanagem to see how the investigators are that I taught. They told me that M. decided to get baptized! He already bought a suit and everything! I asked to go and watch the baptism, and I got permission. I was stoked! On Saturday morning, I got a call from the zone leaders in Cabanagem. They told me that M. chose me to baptize him!
So on Saturday, Elder C. and I headed over to Cabanagem (about 30 or 40 min. away), and we had a beautiful baptismal service for him. It was sure great to see people there again. I forgot just how much I liked that area. M. is a really powerful man that will definitely help the church a lot with his service. He’s here to help and work too, so I’m super happy to  see how out fruits in the area will bless the church there. I’ll send pics.

So yeah some interesting things that happened this week -- as we were walking on the street in a pretty busy neighborhood, we looked over to a little house to the left and saw a girl on the telephone walk out of the door. I thought something was weird, but as we got closer I realized what was so weird about her - she totally wasn’t wearing a shirt...hahaha. There is another thing that happened yesterday that I  thought was hilarious, but I think I’ll save it to tell you on Mother´s Day haha.

I think that´s about it! Now we’re gonna go home and have lunch that the sisters will make for us :) haha  Can´t wait to talk to you guys on Skype. Inform Rio about the times and all so I can talk to her too please!

Amo vocês!

Elder Andrus
Elders during a division
P-day festa!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Week 85 - 30 April 2012 Stay in Icoaraci

Boa Tarde! So yesterday we found out about the transfer, and my companion is getting transferred, but I’m going to stay here in Agulha. Also, I will be the District Leader, again, and my new companion will be Elder C. AGAIN! Haha Yes, the same Elder that was my trainer when we were in Oriximiná. This will be his last transfer on his mission, and he’s pretty worn out by now. Haha  He has worked a lot. I was with him for 6 months in Oriximiná when I was just starting out, and now I will be with him for his last month and a half on his mission. Kinda ironic, isn’t it? haha.  

But as for the week, it was a good week full of a lot of hard work. We practically cut off all of our investigators and found all new ones. AND we found a married family that lives right next door to the other married family I told you about last week! AND they actually went to church! That sure made me happy. They are a family really sensitive to spiritual things now because of some hard things they’re going through, and they are progressing really well. Besides them, we also have some other referrals from members that turned out great and have a baptismal date too. 

I forgot my notes for the email this week again cuz of all the stuff with the transfer, so I don’t really remember what else I had to say. Oh, but this last week I did the count to see just how much weight I’ve lost on the mission. When I was in the MTC I was at about 160, and now I’m at 140...which means I've lost a good 20 pounds since I’ve been here. I’m sure gonna need some help to get back into baseball shape haha.

Love you guys! Can’t wait to talk to you on Mother’s Day!

Elder Andrus

Week 84 - 23 April 2012

What’s up people back home! So my interview with President Campos was pretty good. He just opened up the time for us to ask and talk about anything we wanted basically. I have to admit, it was pretty trunky hahaha. I also confirmed my date to return home on the 15th of August. President told me I have to be a leader here who helps the greenies get used to the new president when he arrives so the work can keep up it’s pace and not slow down. I think that’s one of President’s biggest concerns. I still haven’t seen a picture of the new mission president yet.

As for this week, it was tough again. I went on a division with an elder in my district. They are having a tough time in a tough area, so I went over to see how I could help. It was a super good division, and we both learned a lot. It was also fun getting to speak English again with him haha. 
This week was pretty tough for us. On Sunday morning, we left way early to get more lessons in cuz we were super low. We went to contact some referrals that some people gave us, and instead of finding the people we were looking for, we talked to their neighbors and found out that the husband was taught by the Elders about 5 years ago. They are legally married (which is so rare here), and they have a little girl. He has some disbeliefs about the religion, but he also hasn’t really searched to know the truth. We taught him quickly, but we’ll go back. They were a really good family, and I know that the Lord will help them with their lack of faith. 

This week is the last week of the transfer, and I have a feeling I might be transferred. Haha I don’t know why. But we’ll see. In these next few transfers there are gonna be tons of missionaries going home, which means there are gonna be a lot of changes in the mission. I’m excited to see how the changes turn out.

Love you guys.

Elder Andrus
Jello cake from Elder C.
Elder D. and Collin Jack the CJ

Week 83 - 16 April 2012 Keep on pushin on

Hey there pessoal! This week was a pretty tough week for us. The boy we are working with for baptism had a date for last week, but he’s really struggling with a desire to follow the church. He loves soccer and everything, but the desire to get baptized to stay firm in the church is really week. We have some other people we’re teaching too, but literally no one went to church with us this week. So many people said they would and no one went. So sad. That’s probably one of the toughest and hardest things with investigators here in this region.
Besides that, the sisters in our area had a baptism this week too (the sisters are on fire in this area haha). Their baptism was a girl who didn’t have a firm answer that it was all true, but then on Thursday she told the sisters of how she received a really strong answer that night and she didn’t want to delay her baptism! Really cool story.

Also, we have interviews with President Campos on Thursday this week. It’ll be my last one with him as president! He’ll be ending his mission on the 30th of June, which is in like 2 months. Wow how time flies.

I don’t have much more to say other than this, just gotta keep pushin on and not give up.

Love you guys!

Elder Andrus
Elder P. um ano 

Week 82 - 9 April 2012

Olá gente! So, this week was a pretty tough week. With the fact that the area is huge and we don’t  have a division in the area with the sisters yet, the work seems a little messy. I have a goal to leave here with everything organized and to make it easy for the future missionaries cuz I know it’s hard when it’s not. I’m finally getting a hang of the area a little bit, so that’s a good thing! This transfer will only be 5 weeks long instead of 6 like normal, so that means the transfer will already get over in 3 weeks (maybe that’s a good thing or maybe it’s a bad thing haha).

So this week we fixed the problem we had with the other missionaries who were living in our house. It was literally like having 4 elders in a house that is comfortable for just 2. So, they moved out and went to a super big house in their own area and some other sisters moved in with the sisters of my district. It’s so much better. We cleaned out the house and organized everything, and now it’s a pretty nice place to live. We got an oven and gas this morning in Belém, so now I don’t think we’re lacking anything. Ainda bem!

This Easter weekend was full of Catholic parties and festivals (since the Catholic culture is really strong here). So starting on Friday until Sunday it was just full of parties and drunk people on the street. Not many actually celebrating the true reason for Easter. 
For this week now we have a young man who has a baptismal date for this Saturday, along with a lady and another girl from the sister missionaries. Our investigator went to church on Sunday, and he’s good friends with the Elders Quorum President. So this week we just need to prepare him a little more, and he’ll hopefully be ready for baptism!

Well that was a little catch up on the things happening in my life. Love you guys! I can’t wait to be able to talk to you next month!

Elder Andrus