Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Q & A

My companion and I walking. Cute!

Here are some pictures of recent P-Day fun!!!
We found a bowling alley here in Belém!
This was a while ago when I was with Elder J. Santos.
We played with Sister Costa and Sister Moura in our area.

Today we went to the zoo! Actually, it wasn't really a zoo.
It was more of a park that had some wildlife in it.
There wasn't really anything too exotic, 
but it was a lot of fun to hang out with the other missionaries.

  Our entire zone went.

Sorry I wasn't able to respond to the questions you sent last week!  Here are the answers:

1. Do you get to play the piano very often?

I do get to play the piano! Every week since I've arrived in Brazil I play the piano for the congregation. I actually play more piano than I do violin! I certainly don´t play perfectly, but I´m capable enough to where I can make my way through any hymn without stopping or messing up too much. I really like to play and the congregations like to have a pianist.

Photo 17 is with Elder Godoi. 

2. We've heard that every missionary worldwide will get an iPad mini by the end of 2014.  Have you heard about that?

I think there is about 0% chance that I will get an iPad on my mission!  If it´s true that they´re looking at giving every missionary an iPad, than our mission would be the last one that would receive it.

3 .I read on the Missionary Moms email group that your mission has a rule that you have to take 2 showers a day in freezing cold water.

True. Unfortunately. This was one of the rules/differences that I had to get used to. It is reeeeeaaaaalllly cold. It's actually funny, because the Brazilians/ Hispanics are already used to it and generally they love taking showers. Americans are used to taking 1 shower per day in hot water, and it's a bit of a change for them (us). :D.

4. I recently read about a missionary who was sent home after his companion hit him, even though he didn't hit back.  Any missionaries who get in fights result in both getting sent home.
Moral of the story, don't hit your comp!

Snap...I hit him yesterday. See you guys in a week!

5. Have you heard of MissionTies.com?  
I wonder if we would like to try it to write to one another.

I haven't heard of anyone using that system. I'm not sure if it would work here, mainly because I'm fairly certain it's against the rules to use our actual address. We have to send things to our mission address. I can ask if its allowed, but I'm pretty sure the mission office is the only way to go.

Me with pretty animal life. 

8. We'd like to google where you are...
do you know your actual address?

Good question. I know that I live in Bairro Tapana close to Castanheira in Belém. I think the easiest way to find my area would be to look up the chapel in Castanheira Ward or look up the Shopping Center "Parque Shopping". Either of these things will guide you to my area.

8. Have you received either of the packages we sent to you?

I received a package this week! It was awesome to feel the love and warmth from home that can come in a brown box. I think it was the 3rd package you've mailed to me, and the 2nd hasn't arrived yet.

I thought your snowball fight in Brasil thing was hilarious!  We're having some crazy snowball fights here in Brasil.   Elder Cedraz said it is the closest thing to snow he has ever seen.

But the best thing that I got was the pictures! I loved seeing you all happy and safe. I felt like I was a part of all the fun things you guys are doing as a family. And with the letters too, it really made my day to receive that package.

Thank you so much for sending me these packages! It means so much to know that you are thinking about me and spending time on me back
in Missouri.
If there is ever a day that I can bring you guys to visit here, 
this is where we would go.
It is right next to the sea, beautiful, 

and smells like freedom.

9. How is life right now?

I’m doing a lot better. I'm still having some problems with motivation right now, mostly due to our area.

After about 3 days, I grew to love my new companion Elder Nores a ton. He is always smiling and making jokes. He teaches very well, and I’m really enjoying having him as a companion. He is a convert of about 5 years, and the only one in his family who is a member. His parents are only half-supportive of him going on a mission, so I feel so blessed to have a family who understands why I'm here and supports me! We're growing to be great friends here in Castanheira.

I'm a bit disappointed that I've only had 3 baptisms so far. I had 0 in Chapin, 0 in Barcarena, and 3 in Castanheira. I'm trying to figure out why I’m having so little visible success. When Elder Ramos had my same time on the mission, he already baptized 27 people. Elder J. Santos already baptized 14. Elder Nores already baptized 20. Why have I only baptized 3 people?

To be completely truthful, I don't know what happened after I left Chapin. But I know that after I left Barcarena, Elder Ramos baptized 5 of our former investigators. That was right after I left, so maybe I should get some credit too? :D It was some of the people in the families that needed to be married.

So maybe the effect I’m leaving after I leave an area is bigger than I thought, but I’m still disappointed that I'm not able to see many visible results. Every one of my companions have said that I'm doing the right things. I'm working hard, I'm teaching well, I'm not that ugly...why am I not baptizing?

That’s one of my struggles right now. But overall I’m very happy! Sorry I couldn’t respond to everyone personally. I’ll make sure to write next week or die trying.

I love you all so much!!!!

Called to serve,  

Elder Gale

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