Monday, November 4, 2013


Dear Family & Friends--
Hi!  We had juice of Cupuaçu yesterday and it was heavenly! In case I ever drag one of yáll down to the Belém area one day, you have to try Acaí, Cupuaçu, and Fareina. I probably spelled those wrong. 
Holding a parrot that one of the members owns.

The citade that we live in is the same as our zone, Barcarena. We actually live in Villa dos Cabanos, Lorangal. I had to spell that phonetically, because I´ve never actually seen it written out! :D I have no idea what our current address is...I´ll try to figure that out this week. The streets and houses are very confusing!
Our Branch is awesome! We have about 80 people show up to church on a normal week. But we only have about 10 worthy priesthood holders, which sometimes makes things difficult. The church building is about 15 minutes away by car, which makes it a bit difficult to get investigators to church. Our chapel is super nice. Our building is one of the best I´ve seen. I even think it´s nicer than the ones in the US! It´s a 3 story building with a basketball-soccer court outside. 
Rock On, Elder!

Our home is awesome as well! Elder Ashby told me that it was the nicest in the mission. Lucky me! Elder Ramos and I live there with the Zone Leaders, Elders Ashby and Gondim. Elder Ramos is the district leader. We have about 8 people in our zone and 12 people in our district. We have only 2 sisters in our zone. Very few sisters get called to our mission because it is one of the more rugged areas of Brazil. Only about half of the members in my area have cell phones, and the members are some of the richest in the area. This is a very poor area. 
I am at an internet café right now. There is only a small charge for the time. Elder Ramos and I will have to pay about 3 Reis for the time we spend today, which is about 1 dollar. 
 The stores are very different here. We use a supermarket called Lider for our weekly shopping. My first week was very confusing because I didn´t know what to buy. Actually, it´s still very confusing. :D The prices for regular things in the US are very expensive here. A can of shaving cream is like 16 dollars! But other things are very cheap. It´s all dependent on what is made and shipped to and from Brazil, I suppose.

I did get a letter from yáll and from Grammie this week! Thank you so much! It was dated October 15, so if there was a letter sent earlier than that, I haven´t received it yet. I´ll ask the mission office if there is anything sent earlier with my name. I´m very excited for the Christmas package! 

I showed the pictures of my family back home to some investigators who asked to see them. The response I kept getting was how beautiful my mother and sister are. Mom and Brindi are models down here in Brazil! :D
We actually realized that Halloween had happened the day after. We did nothing for it and I didn´t see anybody doing anything special.

I am very healthy! I did take a few adjustments to food, and I am still adjusting. We eat very little besides a very big lunch, so that´s hard to get used to. Elder Ramos has lost a really lot of weight in his 6 months here, so I am interested to see what happens with my weight. I´m working out pretty regularly!

I absolutely love that my Gamecocks ruined yálls (and MU´s) day. I will root for the Gamecocks my whole life, and if I was there in Missouri I would be yelling "WASSUP SON" to Austin. And everybody else. 
These pictures are from a recent service project.
Even the dog is helping!
We helped out a woman who was baptized
a week ago with her 4 children!

Anyhow, our week was awesome! I was able to play my violin a lot this week. Once for another Family Home Evening, and then for Church! :D I played and the other Elders sang for a musical number. We played A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, and everybody loved it. 

One of the women in the Branch asked if we could play at her son´s wedding! Weddings here are absolutely a missionary activity, because we have to work so hard to get people married and ready for baptism, so I´ll be playing violin for a Brazilian wedding this Saturday! 
Unfortunately, we think we are going to have to drop the investigators that came to church last week. They have some problems with the Word of Wisdom and it doesn´t look like they will be willing to stop.  
Elder Ramos and I were a little bummed that we weren´t going to have any investigators attending church. 

But miracles do happen!
The dynamic duo!
On Saturday, we were inviting investigators to church, and none of them could make it. We decided to try one more investigator named Jefferson. 3 women sitting in front of his house told us that he wasn´t home. So we asked them if we could share a quick message with them. 1 hour later, they all committed to church the following day! 
We arrived with a van on Sunday, and they were all willing to come to church! One woman had 2 children, one had 3, and one had 4. And another woman in the area wanted to come too! Only one of their husbands was able to come. 

We packed everybody in the van and went to church. And 2 of our other investigators ended up being able to come! Basically we went from having 0 investigators at church to about 16 (including the children). We were super excited. All of them loved church and want to come back! 

The other churches in this area tend to be very disorganized, so usually the typical church in the area is pretty shabby. Almost everybody who attends our LDS church has a really great time. Next week we are hoping to have a lot more attend!
This is me kissing a tatoo (armadillo).  We later ate it--yum, it tasted like chicken!!
I am loving life here in Brazil as usual. Love you all!

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