Tuesday, December 30, 2014

White House Branch

Well, here are some of the happenings of the last two weeks.

I had snickers two Sundays ago and it had been a while since I've had it and I liked it! Well, I officially like snickers.

I finally found something here like ranch. it's called caseiro. Finally I can put it on pizza...

Also, it was raining the other day and I saw a double rainbow, I've seen a lot more rainbows here than when I was in the states, I would say it's because it rains so much. But when there's a double rainbow, the colors are oppositely ordered. It's vibgyor, then roygbiv on the bottom.

Also, more on everyone eating with only forks and knives here. I was in a house where we all ate pizza with a fork and knife. Needless to say, it was weird.

Also, something I forgot to mention when we were talking on Christmas is that I can play 4 hymns in the hymnbook reasonably well. I can't play any others, but Ye Elders of Israel seems to be the easiest to me.

Also, McDonald's and Burger King are really expensive here. For example, the 69 cent burgers that you can buy at McDonald's on the special days are $2.50 here. (converted to dollars)

Also, we had this cool Mission conference on the 17th and we woke up at 5:40, then traveled and chilled in Goiânia the whole day. We first had a devotional thing from the mission pres and his wife and a counselor, then we took pictures as a mish, then we had Christmas dinner and then a mission talent show! I was in a thing where we sung 12 days of Christmas. But it was in Portuguese and things that happen on the mission here. Then we got home and then in bed at 11:30.

I found an interesting passage in the scriptures that has a blessing of what happens when we listen to good music. 1 Sam 16:14-23. (some of the doctrine as to why we try to listen to good and tasteful music)

Have a great week!

E. White

Monday, December 22, 2014

White House Branch

Well, I didn't have as much time to e-mail today, but have a great week and a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

White House Branch

Well, not much happened this past week.... not much work, and not many results. But we received transfer calls and I'm going to be staying 7 more weeks with Elder Av. Also, Christmas for the mission happens on the 17th and things are going to be great! Also, I hope that with the turn of the transfer and one person leaving the house that we'll be able to work more and get things done.

Here's some pics of the area and what it looks like outside of the city. The city has houses until one point and then it's straight up farms.

This is my planner from this past transfer.

Pics of the desk where we study

Check it, I took a blank planner and my preach my gospel to a book binding place and look at what they did!

PMG (Preach My Gospel)

Monday, December 8, 2014

White House Branch

This past week was pretty chill, we worked but didn't see that many results. But I forgot to mention in the last e-mail that J. was baptized! We were able to complete a family. She was already a member, but she was less-active and then we reactivated her and her two daughters and also baptized her husband!

Something that I learned a while ago but only started using recently is the word bicho. Pronounced beeshoo and said quickly. I read the word whenever I read Ender's Game or Shadow, and in the book the author used a few Brazilian words for slang. I always thought that it was a bad word changed a little bit to be slang. But it just means dude or man. (whenever you use it in that sense) It also means animal and bug.

Also, it's really weird here with the way people eat. Everyone eats with a knife and fork at the same time and use them for everything! For example, one week we were at a restaurant and eating, and this elder next to me started eating french fries with a fork! It was weird, but now with just over 7 months here, I'm getting used to eating with a knife all the time.

But have a great week and share the spirit of Christmas
with everyone!

Monday, December 1, 2014

White House Brazil

This transfer's going to be a 5 week transfer b/c of Christmas, so transfers are going to happen pretty soon already. On the 17th of Dec. It's great that time is passing quickly on the mish, and we're having fun here.

Last week's p-day was pretty sweet, we live with the zl's so we know pretty much what's happening in the zone. Also we help them plan activities if we have them. So everyone got together at one of the chapels here and we played b-ball, football (soccer), and volleyball. It was pretty great! In this mish, it's against the rules to play soccer because of the contact. But there's a cool game that the missionaries play on the indoor courts that doesn't have contact.

Really big packages that are sent to missionaries are getting stuck in the post office and you have to pay a fee to take it out. But it's large boxes, parents have been sending ridiculously huge packages to their kids packages about 2X2X2 or larger. (basically excessive) But the flat rate boxes are all great sizes.

Rain here shuts everything down. Usually there's people all around in the road, at the shops, and drinking beer on the corners. But with the rain, everything stops. Also the missionary work. But if we're knocking doors it helps with people letting us come in.

Also, I was reading from a book the other day about the priesthood and in the book (written by LeGrand Richards) said (poucos dias após a primeira ordenação) or a few days after the first ordination, they received the Melchizedek priesthood. Also, thanks for the answers to the question.

Have a great week!
also, something that's cool is that the church bought the banner or masthead for YouTube on Dec. 7 in a lot of countries. Such as: USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Brazil.

Monday, November 24, 2014

White House Branch Report

This past week was great, we worked pretty hard and were able to see results. Washington dropped off of the face of the map, but one family came to church this past week and also this guy that was in a less active family (now active) is preparing to baptized this Saturday!

Well, something funny that happened this past week was Elder Av. has an ingrown toenail and he didn't do anything about it for 3 months. But we went this past week and he's getting it taken care of. It was swelled up and a little infected, so we went to the doctor Wed.-Fri. and today-someday this week and the doctor is cutting off bit by bit and fixing the toe every day. (because it was so bad) It's not that funny, but it's funny to me that it was left for so long and now he takes care of it with me here.

We have lunches here every day, it's a lot better than most of the areas in the us. When I was serving in a branch w/ a lot of latins, we had lunch almost every day. But at the lunches, whenever we have icecream here, every single time that we've had it - it was napoleon ice cream. just an interesting thing in the life of a missionary in Brazil.

I always had a question about the word of wisdom and meat, I never changed my eating habits because of it, but I've always had the question in the back of my mind. Are we supposed to only eat a tiny bit of meat? Or can we eat normally? There are a lot of people that go vegetarian and use D&C as an excuse. Animal treatment also, but I was reading the other day and my question was answered! 

D&C 49:18-19 - you can eat meat, the key is in the moderation.

People already said it to me, but I finally found it written down and cited.

Have a great thanksgiving!!!!!

--note from Mary Ann, check out this site:  http://preparetoserve.com/missionary-blog-index/
If you're thinking about a mission or wondering about other what other missions are like around the world, then here's a cool place to go. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

White House Branch Report

So I'm in the area Maracanã in the city Anápolis with Elder Av. He's way chill and laid back and not I guess crazy. I was a little scared to have another Brazilian companion again, but it's a lot easier with him than Elder N. Thank goodness! and we got a pic together!

Here is a lot cooler (temperature wise) than the other areas here and has about the same humidity (just from feeling) as Rio Verde. The wards here are small, some are big, but the majority of them are really small. 50-80 people. The mission Brazil Goiânia is the mission in Brazil with the highest retention rate, which is really good because that means if you baptize someone, they won't go inactive immediately. Also, I met the bishop and his wife before arriving in this area! The bishop's wife's mother lives in my last area and they were there one time when we had lunch there.

Also, the house that we have here is the best house I've been in in Brazil. Clean, there's power that goes to all of the outlets, and there isn't a lot of dust in the air making your shirt and the house dirty.

In this area, there's a store that sells Skippy peanut butter! I'm probably going to go there next p-day and buy a lot!

For me, it's a little bit difficult to wake up at 6:30 and then work out for 30 minutes, so I started ironing my shirt first, and then working out and it's been working pretty well for the past transfer.

Also, my elbow doesn't hurt anymore whenever I extend my arm and push down on my wrist. Finally my arm is almost back to normal and I can do normal things and work out without hurting more than I'm supposed to.

This past week of work was really cool and we found some really cool people to teach. I came into the area with someone who's going to be baptized on the 29th of this month and we're working with him and he's really solid. We're completing a family and he's the last one to be baptized, (the husband) --- Also, we found a sweet family of 5 people and they're way cool, they didn't come to church the past Sunday, but they gave their word for the next week and it was really solid. Also, Saturday we were knocking doors and Elder Av. was tired of doing it, so he said let's go to this one house I know of a former investigator. We walked for a while to there, and then I say this guy sitting on the sidewalk outside of his house playing with his kids and I said, let's talk with him real quick! We walked over, talked with him, his name is W. and had an amazing lesson and he's going to come to church this next Sunday and then soon be baptized.

Have an fabulous week!

Monday, November 10, 2014

White House Branch Transfers!

Well, I'm going to be transferred! Again! It's strange how many comps and areas I've had, but this past transfer was really great, we worked really hard and were able to see the results.  This past week I reached 6 months in this mission! so 6 months speaking Portuguese. Well, I don't speak perfectly and I've still got a way to go, but I'm a lot better at speaking than 3 months ago. In these past two transfers I've been able to get a lot better at speaking than with my first 3 months here.

I'm going to be going to Anápolis. It's about an hour north of Goiânia by bus and there is a really interesting city. It's got a toooon of churches. So almost everyone that lives there already has a church and knows the Bible really well. Also, I hear that there is the coldest area in the mish. But I'll be able to say more next week. My companion will be Elder Av. and he's Brazilian and from the northeast. He's got the same time on the mish as me. The area will be Maracanaã. 

Here in Brazil, everyone wears flip-flops everywhere around house. No one goes around barefoot because of the nasty stuff you can get. Sometimes in the showers, I see random worms crawling on the flow.

Also, like most countries that are 3rd world, we sleep with all of the windows open, and we always sleep with a fan.

With Christmas starting up soon, and here doesn't have thanksgiving, Christmas started two weeks ago in the stores with decorations and everything else that you need to have a Christmas.

Do any of y'all know the day that the Melchizedek priesthood was restored? I was trying to find it, but I couldn't.
Also, I forgot! We have a lot of people with baptismal dates that are pretty solid, but we're being transferred.... I'm being transferred and Elder G. (my comp) We baptized a son of a couple that's been to church a few times and we were going to baptize another son and get the couple married. But we'll leave that to the elders that are coming in. Also, everyone in our district were able to have a baptism last week! but we're getting transferred...Have a great week!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

White House Branch

So in this mission and in all of Brazil, each cell phone gets 100 minutes per month for calling people and there is no texting. But there's unlimited minutes to other missionaries.

This past week was really cool. We worked hard and were able to get a member referral and contact them, and their son is going to get baptized this week and we're going to work on them getting married so that they can also! Their family went to the church this past week and are pretty solid. I'm really excited for them!

Also, T. is really cool! We took the branch president over to his house and they talked for about 1.5 hrs. The branch president gave a message about the Book of Mormon and then gave his conversion story. And this guy was an elect, he saw the missionaries on the bus and asked for a Book of Mormon because he wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ in the Americas because one of his professors talked about it at college. He then got baptized, baptized his girlfriend, and then served a mission. Really elect, right?

Then T. told his conversion story and then we (Elder G. and then me after) realized: T. was an elect! He was searching for the truth all of his life, he knew the Bible really well and had checked out a lot of different churches, but he never really found the truth. Then one night he was pulling into his house, and we were walking by his house and he and his wife called us and we went up and talked to him, talked about English and if we could stop by another day.

Then we taught him and he got baptized. And he's the gerente de comunicação of catech in Rio Verde. It's like manager of communications and he's really smart and loves to learn. He already has almost finished reading in 1st Nephi!

During the elections, all of the people running threw little cards out on every street in the city. Pretty expensive and dirty, but it's legal here!

This past week was great and this week also will be!

The Book of Mormon spans over the time of the Old Testament and the New Testament. But in the Book of Mormon, where is the branch of switching over to the New Testament or the end of the mosaic law? Here's some cool things:
3N11:15 - Testimony of Jesus Christ, the break in the Book of Mormon
3N11:18-21 - Calling of Prophet
3N12:13,18 - Tithing and offerings
and there's an invitation to look more and see the different parts of the church that Jesus establishes in the Americas that were in the old church of Jesus Christ and the Church today. It's really fascinating to see how it all correlates and makes sense.

This is this Transfer's Planner:
Last Transfer's Planner:

Monday, October 27, 2014

White House Branch

This past week was really chill and a little bit more stressful, but that's b/c we had two more baptisms this past week! T. was baptized and also M.!! And they were confirmed on Sunday. As always, with baptisms, they both almost didn't happen various times, but it all went well!

Pretty much all we've done for this last transfer is work, work, work. And this past week we pretty much worked only with members. Also, we've finally got a lot of recent converts to work with and strengthen because when we showed up there weren't as many before, so we're also able to help them out.
Also, here's a quick spiritual thought from the Bible! This is the Old Testament, so don't *judge* me.
Judges 12:4-6

4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites.  5 And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;
 6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.

So, team a and team b. Team a won, and team b was trying to cross over a river after losing. Team a caught people and killed them if they couldn't say the word correctly. So, applying this to missionary work, we need to teach people so that they know the words to be able to live, survive, and not die. It's always hard to learn these words because there's someone trying to impede us, Satan and worldly things that try to kill us if we don't know the things we need to know and have principles in our life that we need. Lots of people don't have the learning to know how to pronounce these things. So we need to do the missionary work to help people to be able to help people to survive in this world and to help ourselves too so that we don't say shibboleth. Also, We need to do missionary work so that 42,000 of our friends don't die.

Monday, October 20, 2014

White House Branch

This past week was pretty great, we worked really hard and got really tired and it was really hot. There was no ac, and it was fun sleeping in hot weather. But it rained yesterday, so it's a lot cooler and should get a lot better.

T. wasn't baptized this past week, but we're going to work with him and this other person to get baptized this Saturday

Also, something different about here and the US for missionary work and baptisms is that people here are baptized on Saturday and then confirmed on Sunday. It's a really great way to keep people from slipping through the cracks and not being confirmed.

Another thing is that  when people are baptized here, they call people to enter the water. With the doors open, they call the person baptizing and then they call the other person getting baptized to "enter the waters of baptism."

Monday, October 13, 2014

White House Branch

This week was awesome too! I was able to work a ton with Elder G. and we're sure to see the results soon! So those people that I said would baptize themselves? They were baptized last week and confirmed yesterday.

It's crazy hearing about all of the new nieces and nephew that I'm going to have. 2 so far on the mish and 2 more to come. Crazy! And maybe more.. who knows.
Something that I've started doing is instead of keeping a journal is taking a video of myself every night of the accounts of the day. It's pretty cool. And a lot easier and faster than writing.
We've got a cool investigator that has come to church two times and is progressing pretty well. He's a big manager in his company so he travels a lot. But he's great and is smart. He likes using questions and discussing to find the answer and to learn. His wife went to church once but she's kinda like a hipster on steroids in the fact that she is against everything else that people believe in and she questions everything. She doesn't accept prophets and stuff like that but it's really fun talking with her because she makes you think about the why and her personality is really great. But we're working on her and he's going to be baptized soon, and she will follow.
Also, I downloaded some of the talks of general conference because the internet here didn't work very well and we didn't get to watch a lot of talks. But things are going great and Elder G.'s great too!
Also, Elder G. is great, he's from Washington, he got accepted to play football at BYU Provo. But he's going to have to try out again after the mish. And things are going great here in Rio Verde, Goiânia, Brazil.
Check it out! Envelopes in Brazil don't have the lick glue, so to send letters you have to use this thing!

Monday, October 6, 2014

White House Branch

This past week was awesome!! I was able to get better at Portuguese and learn how to understand people better. And I got a new comp!

His name is Elder G.! And he has 9 siblings too! he has 3 sisters and 6 brothers! It's pretty cool! He's got 11 months in Brazil, so he speaks Portuguese pretty well. Also, he likes to work, so this transfer will pass by quickly. And I met him before the mish at BYU! Small world! It was a great first week and miracles are to come.

General conference was really awesome. We only had 2 investigators come but it was really awesome. It was great practicing eavesdropping on people. We watched conference in Portuguese, and so the mouths didn't match up very well. I understood it alright, but in the last session, I was able to concentrate a lot more and get it all. Especially the talk by Godoy. (in Portuguese) it was great being able to understand something all the way from conference. I'd say my favorites were Godoy and Bednar.

Here people use 3% milk instead of 2%

The average Brazilian consumes 20 liters of vegetable oil per year. They cook with it a looot.

Also, here moped and motorcycle are the same word in Portuguese and it's cool to have a moped and some people have tricked out mopeds.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Whitehouse report

Well, this week has short time to email also, but...

Now I'm pretty fluent in Portuguese. It's nice. I only have problems now whenever I try to talk really specifically. My accent's terrible, well, not terrible, but I hope that in  7 months my accent will be able to be like a Brazilian's. Right now, I'm reading in a book that the mission president gave all of us to read, The Power of the Member Missionary. It's a white book with blue borders. Here we travel by bus and foot. We walk everywhere and if we have a meeting elsewhere in the city we use the bus. Also, if we are transferred we travel by charter bus. It's pretty sweet.

But I never have enough time to email, so have a great week!

Here's some water fountains from Brazil, called filters! They're way weaker than in the US.