Tuesday, September 30, 2014

VOICE RECORDINGS

Information on Voice Recordings from Jodi:  

Carson only has 1 hour a week to read and write all of his letters and emails to friends, family, and his mission president.  Obviously this time is super restrictive.  We have been sending voice recordings back and forth lately, and he can download ours to him onto his phone and listen to them later, so it doesn't use up time.  He LOVES getting them and would prefer to getting recordings over letters from everyone, since his letter writing time is so limited!  

If you are interested and willing to send him one here is how you do it:
  • Every smart phone has the capability to record and send voice messages. 
  • You can stop and start the recording as needed.  The sound quality has been very clear, from what we have found. 
  • On an iPhone it's called Voice Memos and on an Android it's Voice Notes or Voice Recorder, I believe.
  • After you complete the recording, in the bottom left corner there is a box with an arrow in it--click on it and it will allow you to attach it to an email, just like you do to attach a photograph to an email.  
  • Carson's email is carson.gale@myldsmail.net.  As a side note, Austin loves them, too!  His email is austin.gale@myldsmail.net.  :)
  • If he sends you a voice recording, to listen to it just click on the recording from your smartphone and it will start playing!  Very simple and awesome to hear his voice.

Thank you for doing this--he will absolutely love it!

Monday, September 29, 2014

CONFERENCE TIME

Hello my wonderful family! I send my love, a few hugs, and even a kiss or two (for Mom and Brindi) your way to Missouri!

This week was fantastic. We baptized two more members of the family of L and R. Their Grandpa, F, was able to baptize them. The most people baptized that I've ever seen was 7 in one month. These 7 were really special to me, but would be even more special if the Father and Mother could be baptized together. The mother cried when we told her she couldn't be baptized until she was legally married with her husband, and they don't have the conditions or disposition to get married right now. 

I said everything in the voice recording, but sometimes it's better to write it out so you can understand everything. Elder Rolando left for the entire week to Guanabara to help some Elders that were having difficulties. 

So I was left practically alone with the area for the week. It went really well! We had a real fire and desire to find married families...of the 75 contacts that we did over the course of the week, I believe that 50 of them made part of a couple that we saw walking on the streets or something. 
I thought this would be interesting to mention, knowing that in the States (and maybe Chile?) the regular tactic of the missionaries is to knock on doors. I don't think I've knocked on one door without knowing who it was first on my entire time on the mission. 

Here everybody stays in the street. We just speak with everybody that we meet and we are able to meet tons of people. I love that part of the mission. There are so many fantastic people in the world and we get to know every single one that crosses our path :D

We found 4 married families, and 2 of them have baptismal date for the 11th of October. Probably we will have to postpone that date because the families weren't actually able to attend church due to sickness in the family. One of them works for the governor here in Macapá. 

I think that is so awesome that David and Josh received their calls. I'm sure they both will be stellar missionaries. There sure are a ton of missionaries from our ward going to Brasil!  I'm sure David will love his mission in Long Beach. If it weren't for South Carolina, I think California would be a pretty cool place to serve a mission. I know quite a few missionaries that are in Porto Alegre missions as well, but I don't know which missions. 

If it weren't too much trouble, I would like a list of all the missionaries in our ward with all of our emails on it. I think I will start a mission chat think on Gmail :D

I'm SO excited for General Conference this week. Like seriously. This week will be full of conferences, because I will also be attending the mission counsel in Belém this Wednesday. I'll be going by airplane (woohoo!) and it's going to be awesome. 

However, I've already asked the assistants, and they said I don't have a package waiting for me in the office :(. I don't know what happened with the first package you sent with the gospel message ideas, but it looks like it is taking a bit longer than we thought. 

I'm going to really try to prepare myself spiritually for the two conferences. The mission conference has a tendency to be really long and not as exciting. But I know that it's all a matter of my preparation. If I'm prepared, I'll be able to participate. General Conference, however, has always been an uplifting experience for me on the mission. So I'm just beyond pumped for that. 

WAY TO GO!!! Mom and Dad, on helping the missionary efforts. I know you guys have shared other missionary things that you've done, but I'd just like to relate my parabens (congratulations) to you guys on helping the local missionaries. 

Thank you so much Mom, Dad, for the letters. You're the best, most inspiring family that exists! 

To everybody else in the Ward, my Friends, or anybody else. These voice recordings are a great way for me to get support from the people I know in a way that doesn't take too much time on the Cyber. I would love getting a family voice recording from the people I know!!  It would be great mission support.

Love you guys!

Elder Gale


Monday, September 15, 2014

LOVING THE VOICE RECORDINGS!!

First of all, I really did love the voice recordings from last week! It was super easy to download them to my phone and I loved hearing your voices! Please send lots more with tons of details! 


You asked if I speak a lot in Church. I have only been asked to speak 3 times on the mission until now (besides testimonies of course). Generally they save the speaking opportunities for the members of the ward, but missionaries are always a back up plan :D

As for the work here in Santa Rita, it's going really well. We baptized another woman this week with the name of L. She is the sister of the two young men that were baptized last week. We are looking at 3 people being baptized this next Saturday. The work is going super well and super fast. We had 9 people visit the Church with us this last Saturday. The only problem is that all of the families that we are teaching aren't married. So they will take forever to be baptized. But we are still putting our faith in the families!

As for the new companionship...things are going well.  I really am happy that I have even more chance to learn with him and refine my attributes as a missionary. Lets go. Bora. Vamos lá!

Love you guys!

Elder Gale.

Monday, September 8, 2014

BIRDS IN THE HOUSE, REPEAT COMPANIONS, AND BAPTISMS...

...wow...what a week. 

I didn't get around to making a voice recording. Sorry! It was a packed week and would have been perfect to make one, but I didn't, so I'll make 2 this next week :D

We ended up not going to Belêm. Some things happened that weren't very great and we ended up not participating. 

These photos are of a bird that decided to take nest in our house. Each morning we woke up to the bird feeding her children. Finally the kids grew up and they were able to fly away. We've already cleaned out the area.




TRANSFERS WERE THIS WEEK! 

I can't believe it. It seems like time flies so fast! I got here 5 weeks ago and I will already be showing the area to someone else! That's right...Elder Malosso was transferred. We practically knew he would be transferred. He'd already packed his bags. 

My new companion. Relatively new, anyways. I'll have to admit I got a bit of a shock. Elder Rolando will be my companion again, here in Macapá. 

I'm excited to reunite with my long-lost companion. I really do think that Elder Rolando is the most skillful missionary that I've met until now. I'm sure we'll see a lot of success here in Santa Rita.

The zone didn't have too many changes. There was 1 area of Sisters that closed and will now be Elders. Nobody that I knew really well was transferred here. 

We had two surprise baptisms this week! Not really surprise, but I didn't mention that it would happen last week so it's a surprise for you!

2 young men of a family that we are teaching were baptized this last Saturday along with a lady the Sisters were teaching. 

I baptized D, F (the elderly man, recent convert of 1 month) baptized D, and Elder Malosso baptized M, of the Sisters. 

It was an awesome service! We had a great participation from the ward and everybody was happy :)


Baptism photos! 

There is one photo here that was from a different Saturday, another baptism of the Sisters.


There are photos here with us 2 and the whole family of D and D. 


There are other photos here of all the people in white together, and so on.


Anyways, that's about it--I love you guys! 

Elder Gale.

Ps. I sent a separate birthday email to Ben, but Happy Birthday, Ben!

Monday, September 1, 2014

CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE!

*This is transcribed from a voice recording Carson sent to us.  He has been doing that lately instead of letters and we love getting so many details!

Hello Family and Friends!  

Yet one more week gone by here in Santa Rita.  It was a super fast week.  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was writing to you guys.  It feels like so much has happened and yet so little has happened.  It's funny how that works on a mission. But anyway, I had a good week, an interesting week.  

On Tuesday, we prepared everybody to have something really awesome~a Family Home Evening night, but with all the ward members in our area.  It was actually my idea, I wanted to do a FHE night with all the new members and investigators together.  I've gotten really good at spreading the word and getting people really excited about upcoming activities.   

I called it "Chocolate Night", and everyone couldn't wait to come eat lots of chocolate!  Of course, everyone loves chocolate.  We had a pretty good turn out for just our area, around 12 people.  That maybe doesn't sound like a lot, but we are pretty far from the ward building, and we only invited people in our area, so we had a good turn out with 12 people.  

We started with a message from P, who is a recent convert.   She shared a great testimony, and it was her first spiritual thought given in front of people, so it was really awesome to hear that.  Then we watched a Mormon Message and that was great, and then the Chocolate Night!  

We played a game that Elder Rolando taught me where you have to put chocolate on your forehead, and without using your hands, you have to get it into your mouth which is really hard to do!  

It's really funny because it leaves a huge mess all over your face from the chocolate melting and sliding down your face.  It was great integration for the members, new members and the investigators.  

Both Elder Malosso and I were very excited about how well it turned out.



So we have some recent converts in our area, and I'm pretty excited for the work we are doing in strengthening Santa Rita's new members.   Throughout the week I practically didn't stay in my area.  

On Thursday night I went on a division, a split as they call it in the states, and I stayed in the area of Elder Huxford and Elder Gisoza.  Elder Gisoza was sick, so I worked with Elder Huxford, who had been a visa waiter.  He has the same time I have on the mission, we arrived in the MTC on the same day, but he stayed in the states for 10 months, and I only stayed for 1 transfer.  It's a little different for him to learn the language and to start out as a junior companion now, but he is doing really well and getting used to it.  

It seems like it is pretty hard to transfer the skills you learn in your stateside mission to the mission here.  I'm sure all missions are different. I would guess Austin is learning very different skills and ways of teaching than I am.  But anyway, I stayed with him on Thursday and helped him.  We had 5 new investigators, so that was awesome, since they have been really working on that.     

On Friday, I went to do a baptismal interview in Santana, and I ended up staying the day because the woman wasn't there in the morning.  It went well and we did different things to excite the area and the missionaries.  I was able to help with their member work.  I asked if they had any less active members or recent converts, and we went to their houses and had a mini meeting with them. I asked them to go with us and visit people, and we ended up being with these members all day!  

Before we started we had talked about what a testimony was and that you can bear your testimony and influence others, and then they had the chance to share them with members, which was a safe way to share their testimonies.  Now hopefully they can go out and share them with other people.  It was a great way to excite the members and the less actives and the new members!   

The baptismal interview was interesting.  I was thinking about how often it is that people have trouble with the 4th question in the interview.  It asks about a serious crime, abortion, and homosexual relationship. I've interviewed a person who had had trouble with all 3 of those things, and they had to be interviewed by the bishop, but were still able to be baptized the next day.  It seems like there are just a lot of problems with those things here.  

All together I was gone from my area for 3 days, which was weird.  When I got back to my area, Elder Malosso had already confirmed the people who would go to church, so I didn't have to do anything, which was pretty cool. 

On Sunday at church I went to go on a search for our investigators and I felt like I didn't know anybody!   We ended up having quite a few people to church.  There was one woman named F, she is a friend of a recent convert.  F was very excited, she really enjoyed church today, and she said when she arrived home she felt like her entire day was better and that she had a spirit of peace and joy, and it was a feeling she hadn't felt before.  

I thought that was so awesome, and what a wonderful thing it is that we can have the spirit stay with us!  I remember so much our Sundays growing up, and I know sometimes I was able to honor the Sabbath day better than others. I sure have gained a testimony of that now, to really honor the Sabbath day, and I know that if we do, we will be able to receive the blessings, just as it is in all things, whatever principle of the gospel.  


The transfer is coming up! It is just happening so fast...Elder Soares (Assistant to the President) told us that we would have 3 missionaries transferred in our zone...but we don't know which missionaries will go! I'm doing everything in my power to stay here 3 more transfers. I haven't yet stayed 4 transfers in any area and if I could choose I think it would be here for sure :D

I thought it was so interesting the rule in Austin's mission to not baptize children. I think that rule would be very effective here in the mission. In our area we are having some major decisions to make. We had 2 young boys ask to be baptized on the same date...but we decided to not let them be baptized until their parents were also ready to at least support them. We don't want to baptize kids who won't stay in the Church. 

Tomorrow we will travel to Belêm for the mission conference. Perks of being a zone leader! :D It will be great...President is doing some wonderful things and we are trying to organize the viewpoint of the zone on the mission--what things we are doing that are working/not working/how we can be better/etc. 

I am learning a lot right now about the social conversion. Investigators need both social and spiritual to be truly converted, but sometimes the spiritual conversion takes time. 

So it really was a good week and I had some good experiences.  I am very happy here in Santa Rita.  I hope everything is going very well with the family, and that you guys are all happy, and my friends are happy as well!  I love you guys, and I hope that you have a great week!  I still don't have an answer on my departure date for the vacation plans. I'll try to get that to you this next week!

Love you guys!

Called to Serve, 

Elder Gale