transferred.. again?

Monday, November 24, 2014

We got a call last night at 10:30 that me and my companion would be transferred today. This came out of nowhere because it´s not even transfer week! I don´t know exactly why he took us out of the area now, but there was an elder in another area that finished his mission today so one of us had to take his spot. There won´t be any missionaries to replace us for now so the Nova Natal ward just has 2 missionaries. I got transferred to Cidade Nova which isn´t too far away from Nova Natal. I arrived here this morning and I´ll be in a trio companionship until the end of the transfer. My companions are Elder Oliveira and Elder Fernandes, both Brazilians. It´s the same Elder Fernandes that trained me! It was fun to see him again and to hear about what happened in Caic√≥ after I left. He will finish his mission in 2 weeks. I don´t know much about my area yet. We live right next to some huge sand dunes so I´m excited for that! I was not expecting at all to leave Nova Natal yesterday. It´s too bad because we had the wedding planned for december, but maybe I´ll get permission to go back and see it.
Yesterday our stake had a great stake conference. A member of the seventy that lives in Brazil, Moroni Torgan, came and spoke. I´m always amazed by how strong the church is here and how much it has grown in recent years. The chapels here are just as nice or nicer than in the US, and most of the wards seem to be functioning pretty well. Lots of the leaders are young or are recent converts. In Caic√≥ the bishop was 25 and had only been back from his mission for a few years. In the Nova Natal ward, the Elders Quorum president, primary president, and sunday school president are all recent converts of a little over a year. This is motivating for me to think that recent converts can go on to help the ward a lot in a short amount of time. It makes me anxious to find people to teach that have potential to strengthen the ward.

Sorry if I don´t give you enough updates about how I´m doing here. My first transfer was a little rough sometimes but things got a lot better after. I lived with Elder Wilson, an american elder from texas for several weeks in Nova Natal. He had served for 1 year in Washington and had just barely arrived in Brazil. He is doing well, but he had struggles adjusting to things. He would talk to me about how much he missed his mission in the US and how hard it was for him to be here. I really am doing well though. Thanks for always sending me good updates from home and pictures!  I hope everyone has a great thanksgiving this week. I´m sure thursday won´t feel anything like thanksgiving for me haha.
Love you all, and I´ll write again next week!

Elder Church

Nova Natal Week 9

Monday, November 17, 2014

I had a good week! This week Sister Soares, the mission president´s wife, came to our apartment to look at our washing machine. Sometimes she makes unexpected visits to missionary apartments, but we knew she was coming so we got the chance to clean it really well. Not that it was too out of order before. The main problem about the apartment is that the neighbors live so close and sometimes we don´t have the best privacy. Other than that it´s fine to live in. It´s small but it´s new and is nice on the inside. The appliances are nice and we have tile floor, etc. After that she took me and another Elder out in her car to look for places to live. We didn´t find anything that day, so we might keep looking. It was fun driving with her though because she would stop the car every once and a while to tell us to go talk to certain people on the street about the gospel.
Yesterday we had the baptism of Leandro, the son of the couple that will get married in December. He is really afraid of water, but he finally decided to be baptized!
Things are going well! The ward has some problems but we have been meeting a lot with the Bishop lately to see how we can change things and move the work forward.

To answer your questions:
No, I haven´t ever been robbed here and I feel pretty safe. I´ll try to start taking more pictures!
The language is really getting better. I feel like I can understand just about everything that people say now, but I still have trouble responding sometimes. Thanks for the updates of the family and for the quotes from general conference!

Talk to you next week!

Elder Church

Nova Natal Week 8

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dear Family,

I´ll try to give you an update with how things are going now. Sorry that I haven´t been sending very many pictures. Honestly, there´s nothing too scenic here in my area, and I don´t like carrying around my camera very much with the risk of it getting stolen. Right now we have 2 Americans and 2 Brazilians living in our apartment. We are looking for a new apartment/ house right now because the one we´re in is really small and isn´t the best. The nice thing about it is that it´s so close to lots of stores. Last week our washing machine (which is pretty new) stopped working because of electrical problems. The bishop has been trying to fix it, but we might just have to get a new one. Washing clothes by hand isn´t that bad, but it just takes up a lot of time (which we don´t have). One of our neighbors bought a washing machine that we´ve been using though.
Elder Gomes is awesome. I´ve liked my other two companions, but he is easiest to work with.
The family (Lucas and Michelle) that I´ve told you about before is still doing really well. Their marriage is marked for December 13th in the church. It´s right after the transfer, so I hope I get to stay for it! Yesterday we had 5 investigators in church. None of them will be able to baptized very soon though.

Where do you go to read and write emails?
There is an internet place nearby which is really cheap to use.

Do your companions email their families, too?
Yes, except for my first companion. His parents aren´t members and they didn´t talk to him very often.

What is a typical Sunday like for you?
We leave the house early to bring our investigators to church. We stay for all three meetings. We usually have to help with the Sacrament because there are hardly any active young men in the ward. Right after church we have lunch at a member´s house. Sometimes we bring investigators to the other ward in the afternoon. After church we go out and work like usual, but we often go to members houses too.

I miss being home this time of year with Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc!

Have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Church

Nova Natal Week 7

Monday, November 3, 2014

No, we don´t have daylight savings here. I wish it stayed lighter for more of the night though. It gets dark here at around 5:30 so we always have to work for a few hours in the dark. Wow, sounds like Grant is working a lot. I missed the Halloween traditions this year. Haha, I´m sure fast sunday was hard for the girls having bags full of uneaten candy. That´s amazing to hear about Dad´s progress in family history. I look forward to him showing me how he does it when I get back. Yes, thanks for telling people to write me. I got a couple more emails than usual this week. I can´t think of anything that I want you to send. Maybe some American candy that the girls got trick or treating- yes, send some of that!  haha.
Thanks for writing me every week!

Love, Evan