Monday, February 24, 2014

CAPANEMA

Hello family and friends! I glad to hear that you guys finally got my letters! I´ll try sending more soon.
I love my new area! It feels really isolated. It was a couple hours away from Castanhal, which is a couple hours away from Belém.
I first met Elder Barros as we were switching omnibus. He's super cool! His personality is very straightforward, so it's easy to know what he's thinking. He is a very obedient missionary, so that will be great. He teaches very well and knows a ton about the Gospel. He also is a convert of 3 years-and 1 year on the mission. He is the only one in his family who is a member and he knows why he's out here.
My area is very large, as we split the entire city of Capanema with the Sisters. The members here are very rich, which means that our meals with them will be super good!
In our area there is also a small population of people that live in a neighboring city, Salinas. I'm thinking they will start a group there pretty soon and I'm hoping to be a part of it.
 That's so great that Austin sent his call in! This wait will be just as difficult for me as it will be for you guys! I'm super anxious to hear where he's going.
My 3 guesses for the call are:
1. Brazil Belém
2. Columbia, South Carolina
3. Lawrence, Kansas
I got 2 packages this week! Your package and the package from Lhylla's family! Thank you guys very much for the package. I actually got it during transfers when I was in the mission office, opened it, and then resealed it so that the other missionaries didn't eat everything...and then I left it in the mission office by accident. I´ll get it tomorrow in Belém.
And relay my gratitude to Lhaylla's parents for their package! It was the perfect time to get it. It's always difficult to move houses because you don't have any food when you get there. This time, I didn't have that problem! Thank you so much!
Happy Birthday to Dad and Austin! Dad, you're an awesome example, priesthood leader, and father. I look up to you in so many ways! (not in height). I hope you enjoy your birthday immensely and somebody gives you an extra present from me. Austin, you're an awesome young man. Keep up the good work with the mission.
I love you guys.
Called to Serve,
Elder Gale

Monday, February 17, 2014

TRANSFERRED!

I don't have too much time, so I'll be quick!

I bet you can't guess from the email title..but I was transferred! I will leave on Tuesday at noon. My next area is Capanema, Castanhal. This will be my 4th area in the field and my 7th Companion...I think. It´s very unusual for me to be trading areas so much. It´s common for missionaries to finish the mission only having 5 or 6 areas. 

My new companion is Elder Barros. I haven´t met him yet...but I'm excited to!  He is the LD in Capanema, so that's cool. 

About the area...I've heard that Açai is really cheap there and the members are really cool. And that's about all that I know!

I´m sad to leave Castanheira. I love it here.    

Extra information on Transfers: 

Elder Cedraz and Elder Nores will stay here and they both will train this next transfer.  

Elder Ramos will be Zone Leader of Icoaraci.

My week:

It was good! I actually didn't end up staying home all day, but it was something close to that. We would go to lunch (because I have to eat) and then Elder Nores would drop me off at the house of a member and leave with one of the young men. I stayed with Irmão John (an American name!), who works at home and is a return missionary, almost the whole week. We talked almost the whole time every time I stayed with him. We talked a ton about mission life and techniques of teaching. He knows a ton about the gospel and it was really informative to stay with him. It ended up being a great week!

Elder Nores was able to get one of our investigators (E) firmly committed to baptism...for the next week. I will be gone! But I´m sure everything will go well for next week and I´ll report back when I know more. 

The 7th day Adventist wasn't able to come to church, but is still interested!

Sorry it's short! The good thing about trading areas is that wherever you are in the world, the gospel is the same and the Church is still true. Love you guys!

Tchau!
Elder Gale

A photo of me and Elder Marcedo. 
I did a division (what do they call this in English?) 
with him a week or two ago.

The foto of our desperdido--going away party the members threw for me yesterday. We had cake!

Me being the super-missionary I am!

Me and Elder Baldwin-my favorite LZ. 
You can tell him I said that. 
He already knows. <3 

Zona Cabonagem!


My beautiful face :)

Me in front of Parque Shopping
Me and Elder Nores in front of our Capela.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

PASSED DAY 200 ON MY MISSION!!

Hello to the world of people reading about my life! And particularly to my family that loves me so much and thinks and worries about me. 

First off, thank you so much Uncle Jon and Aunt Brooke for the package! I received it this last week, and it was a great spirit-booster! I loved the card, the ties, the music book, and everybody loved the granola bars. I appreciate the well-wishes and support that I feel from the people back in the USA.

So for letters....my letters to you guys should be coming anytime soon. I sent it several weeks ago when I had a chance to visit Belém (actually Elder Cedraz sent it for me because he knows where it is). It might take a bit to get there because I packed everything in 1 letter and it was pretty heavy. 

Update on my toe: I went to the hospital today and I´ll be returning next week. We don´t have a mission nurse/doctor, so we just go to the hospital like everybody else. I have to put a creme on my toe each day this week to prepare it to be cut next week. And because I know you guys love all the details, I had a wart on the bottom of my other foot that he burned off today. Or that´s what he said he did...I didn´t feel anything thanks to anesthesia.

Thanks for the offer for medicine! They have everything that I need here and I can receive a reimbursement for everything that I spend. So I will probably use my card and turn in the receipt later. That is what I have been doing with the other medicines that I have bought. So thanks again for the offer but I wont be needing any medicine. 

The docto also said that I should't walk for this next week...and I don't know how that will work. I will talk with Sister Scisci today to find out. There´s a chance that I will have to stay in casa this week.

And with the food situation. I think I dramatized the situation in my last letter when I said we don´t really eat a breakfast or dinner because I happened to be hungry at the time and hadn't eaten a breakfast or dinner that day. I wasn't really thinking :D It´s really no problem. We receive just enough for our needs here in the mission and that's enough for me. I'm happy and healthy here in Brasil! 

But I will make sure to keep up my health and eat well each day (even if sometimes I have to use my card to do that). I promise to be wise on using my card and maintaining my health, and I'm not going to give all the details on the money we receive each week. You're going to have to trust your 19 year old son that he's taking care of himself!

So on to the important stuff...

This week we found 15 new investigators! We really focused on finding new people this week and it really paid off. It really is a miracle, because we were very limited in our time to work because Elder Nores got sick on Wednesday and I wasn't able to work on Friday

But even with that, we found a ton of new people. 

A few of the elects that we found:

-Irma B. and her daughter K.

B. is an elderly woman of about 55 years. She´s a fairly devout Seventh Day Adventist, but is curious about why there are so many churches in the world today. There is a idea that it is impossible to baptize SDA and old people, so we're going to put that to the test. 

On Saturday, we talked with B. about going to church. She said that she'd like to but doesn't have sufficient ability to walk/take the omnibus. In the end, we were able to get a member to drive her to church. She loved it! She said that she will definitely go next week as well. 

-Irma L. and her family

The most important thing about them is that she is married to her husband! We have yet to met him, but we hope they will become solid investigators. We've only talked to a few of her children. She wasn't able to make it to church, but is planning on this next week. 

-R, B, R, D, V

A group of people that live together. Everybody is related in some way, but we don't really know everybody yet. They aren't very solid, but we're hoping on strengthening that next week. 

Old Investigators Progressing:

-G and her two daughters, I and I.

I think I am most excited about them. Actually the reason that G is getting more interested is because of her friend in the other area in our ward, Irma J. J is an investigator of Elder Cedraz and Romero, (that I found and passed on to them). She is very solid and there is a chance she will be baptized this weekend. She is really-really-really elect. She had a dream she recounted to the other Elders where she saw the inside of the temple. They were dumbfounded. 

Anyways, J invited G to Church this last Sunday, and G showed up with her two daughters! AND she signed up to give us lunch this Wednesday! If she is baptized she will be a very solid member. 

There are other people, but none of them have very much potential. I will find out this next week if I will stay in Castanheira or leave. I think I will stay here 1 more transfer...but I'm not sure. I hope that I stay!

The Penn Drive on this computer isn't working, so yáll will have to wait for the pictures. Thanks for the pictures you sent to me! 

Thanks for everything. Keep praying for me...I feel the spiritual support. I love you all!

Até mais!

Elder Gale

Monday, February 3, 2014

ELDER GAL-EE!!

Hi Family & Friends!

Sorry I didn't send any photos today or last week! I actually forgot my camera...and I haven't been taking too many photos. I promise I'll repent!

This week has been good. We're having a bit of difficulty finding new investigators, which is what we really need. Our Zone Leaders are really getting on us about that, and we know that if we want success, we need new people. That will be the focus of this next week. 

I went on a division with Elder Cardozo (from Paraguay) a couple days ago. I don't think I've ever met a person who knows the Bible better than he does. I got re-inspired to really focus on my personal study. 

On our division, we had a lot of fun just talking to people. Elder Cardozo loves to talk to kids...so we would interrupt a group of kids playing soccer and talk to them about the gospel. Kids here are super open to strangers, and they always love talking to the missionaries! I know a ton of kids personally by name, and they always remember that my name starts with "Elder"! We can't actually teach them without parent's permission, so we just invite them to talk to their parents about the missionaries.

I don't know if I ever mentioned the way that people pronounce my name here. Almost no one says my name completely right here. Generally, people say something around the lines of "Gal-ee" with an i sound on the e. And when I tell people my first name is Carson they just get confused. :)

The rain is not too bad. I bought a cheap umbrella for approximately 4 dollars, so we'll see if I stay dry! I'm starting to learn why so many missionaries said that the CTR Socks were so good. A present that I would appreciate in the future would be more socks of the same kind or similar. 

And yes, we do keep going when it is raining. If we stopped or waited for too long, we would get nothing done the whole day! If it is really raining hard, we try to stop at the house of an investigator and teach. 

I almost don't want to respond to your breakfast and dinner question...but I think you already know. Generally, we don't eat a breakfast and dinner. If we have anything, it is usually crackers or some kind of bread. It was a bit difficult for me to get accustomed to the drop in food, but I'm good now. It´s amazing how, when you're hungry, everything that you eat is really good!  Our lunch of rice and beans and meat is always delicious. Even the most stale type of cracker is pretty good. Try it sometime! If everybody's actually hungry, nobody will complain about what you made for dinner...they will just eat :D

I actually meant to ask you. We have a very limited budget, and sometimes it isn't enough. Right now, I am using my card every now and then to buy food or supplies. Can I continue doing that? I'm actually being really frugal with everything that I spend, so it's not like I'm using a ton of money. And I think I will buy the suitcase this week, which will be about 150 dollars. Tell me if I need to change anything about my spending habits. It really helps to be able to use my card every now and then.

Our testimony meetings are great. We always have the same problem of so many people wanting to share their testimonies that sacrament meeting goes really long. And the testimonies are usually really emotional and spiritual. 

I think I worded the last letter wrong. When I said Elder Nores had married several couples, I meant that he had influenced couples to choose to marry and be baptized. Technically I've already done that as well. The couple in Barcarena married after I left. The Bishop actually marries them. 

It's super cool to hear about so many people preparing to serve missions. We are all enlisted! Keep me updated on the calls and progress of the people I know. I hope that everyone with the desire to serve has the opportunity and takes it. 

I asked Elder Nores what's it like in Lima, Peru on Hannah´s behalf. He said it depends on what part, but generally it's really crazy with tons of people on the streets and lots of music and parties. I think that fits exactly with Hannah's personality, so good luck there!

I had a sad experience with the Irma B this last week. We stopped by to invite her to church again, and she got really mad. She said she has been attending church for the last 8 years waiting for a miracle to happen and her skin problem to be cured, but so far nothing's happened. She even said she wasn´t willing to pray. There is so much faith here in Brasil, so it was sad to see someone lose it.

Other investigators with potential are L- a 14 year old girl that has a strong desire to be baptized but is not attending church.

C-C-G-C

A group of relatives that live in the same house. None of them attended church yesterday.

L-L-D

L and L went to church this Sunday, so I have hope for them! They are still pretty firm in The Assembly of God, so we'll see what happens.

And other people that have less potential. Like I said, we will concentrate on new investigators this next week.

It sounds like everybody is doing well. I hope everyone continues to do great things and be awesome. Have a great week!

Elder Gale