Cidade do Sol: Week 1

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hey family!

By now I´ve gotten pretty used to adjusting to new areas. This one seems like a great area. It's actually the area next to Nova Natal so maybe I´ll see some of the same people that I saw back then. This might be my favorite apartment that i´ve lived in so far. It´s on the 3rd floor of  a 3-story building and it has a view of all of the north zone of Natal from the top. We´re the only people that live on our floor too so it´s nice to have some privacy. There are 4 of us in the house- two in each of the two apartment rooms. There´s a door that leads up to the roof of the building too, so I´ll have to take some pictures from there sometime.

No, this Elder Wilson is a different one. There are 3 of them in this mission and I´ve gotten to know each of them pretty well by now. This elder wilson is a lot of fun to be around. He has a good sense of humor and he likes to joke around with people. One of the hard parts of this transfer might be to speak english less so we can both improve on our portuguese. It will be a great transfer though because we seem to have a lot in common and work together well. The other companionship has 2 brazilians. 

Yes, I think it will be a blessing to have an american companion. I think we´ll be able to have more unity because we understand each other well and have a common background. When I think about it though, Elder Wilson´s background is a lot different than mine. He is a convert to the church and is the only member in his family. His parents are separated and he has 11 brothers and sisters (from different marriages). But he has been a great strong member and helped a lot of his friends get baptized in florida. He also served for a few months in the US.

I think I helped pass the sacrament 1 time. I´ve been to a couple of wards where adults have to bless and pass the sacrament because there aren´t enough young men. In some areas we would work with priests quite a bit, and I think we will in this ward too. Our mission has a standard for a number of lessons with a member, so we have to find a way to meet it. Yes, we´ve had referrals from investigators several times. And yes, we have weekly planners that we use all throughout the day.

This ward seems like a good ward because it has lots of youth. I´ve only seen a good amount of youth in one of the other wards i´ve been in. I was lucky when I came into this area because elder wilson and his last companion had already prepared some people to be baptized so we had a baptism right away. I´ll send some pictures.

Well I´ll end my email for this week, and I´ll let you know more about what´s going on in the area once I have a full week of work.  Thanks for your prayers, and I am praying for you all too.

Love you all!

Elder Church

Transfer week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hi family! have you stopped reading my weekly updates yet? I hope you haven´t gotten bored of them already ;) just kidding. Here´s what´s been happening lately:
I thought for sure that I would stay in Monte Castelo, because I had been switched around so much in the past, but of course you never know until you get the transfer call! 
So I got transfered again, this time to Cidade do Sol, close to where my second area (Nova Natal) was. This will be my 5th area in only 5 transfers! This really isn´t common to happen on this mission, so it´s been unexpected for me. My companion is Elder M. Wilson, an American. I´m pretty excited for this transfer with him. He´s from Miami, Florida. 
It´s always hard to leave an area after little time there, but I´ve gotten used to it. The plus side is that I´ve gotten to be friends with lots of other elders! I´ve tried to think about what my favorite area has been so far, but it´s hard because there are good things about all of them. 

I love you all and I´ll talk to you again on Monday!

Elder Church

Parnamirim Week 5

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Well I realize that I´ve been in this area for almost a whole transfer but I haven´t written much about it. Sorry! This area is considered one of the harder ones on the mission. Our ward has 2 separated areas. One of the companionships has to take a bus every day to get to their area but it makes part of our ward and about half of the members live there. The vision has been to eventually split the two areas and make separate wards, but there needs to be a little bit of growth before that. Both of the areas are fairly hard though. But we´ve been enjoying our area a lot and having success! We´ve always been able to bring at least 3 investigators to church every Sunday. A few Sundays ago we even had 10! Every Thursday night there is a soccer activity in the church parking lot. We´ve been working hard to bring young men to that. There are usually 10 or 15 non members that have been going to play in the past couple of weeks. We have found a few golden investigators, but unfortunately there have been things that have prevented them from getting baptized now. Like they have to travel or work or things like that. One of them was an awesome reference from a member. His name is José and he´s 25 and is very humble and receptive. One of the obstacles has been his job. He works in a place that distributes shrimp and they have been really busy lately. Another is named Nalva, she´s in her 30s. She really liked the church meeting the first time she went, but her family member got in an accident so she has been spending lots of time in the hospital. So there really are some good people here, but there have been lots of obstacles.

I did a division this week from another missionary in our district. When I was in this other area we went to a less-active member´s house that has a huge backyard. They have every type of fruit tree back there. Lots of fruits don´t exist in the US. Mango, acerola, cashew, starfruit, goiyaba, jaca, and lots of others that have Portuguese names. I wanted to go back and take pictures because it was pretty cool!

I like our bishop a lot but I think he might get released soon. He has been difficult to work with though because he has to work in Rio de Janeiro for half of the month, So he misses almost every other Sunday. He has good counselors that help run the ward while he´s gone though.

We had interviews with the president this week. He came to our chapel and interviewed the zone. That was my second personal interview with him since I got on the mission. It was pretty quick but it was good to talk to him again!

I´ve been missing the weather from home lately because it´s so hot outside during the day. The sun feels like it shines a lot brighter and stronger here too.

I hope everyone is doing well at home and I miss all of you!

Elder Church

Parnamirim Week 4

Friday, January 9, 2015

Yes, about the couch picture. It was taken and posted on Facebook by the ward mission leader.  Last Sunday night we found a couch in the middle of the street that someone was wanting to throw out. It was in great condition so we got the idea of taking it to a recent convert´s house. We carried it for about 5 minutes until we got to his house. Before he didn´t have any furniture besides a mattress so he enjoyed the present!

About the thumbs you have noticed in pictures.  A normal thumbs up doesn´t mean anything, but when it is sideways with both hands it means baptism.

Wow, dad, congratulations on the two years as bishop! That´s great.  In your two years as bishop, how have you seen the impact that bishopric visits have had? Are there any specific less active members that you are working with right now? Are there any less-actives that are progressing?

Aunt Krisi sent me pictures from the Christmas eve gathering.  I saw a framed map with pictures of all of the missionaries in our family. I thought that was really cool!

I can´t think of a whole lot to write this week so I don´t think I´ll send a weekly update, but next week I will!