Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Feliz Páscoa!!! Happy Easter! It´s definitely weird being in a different culture for holidays. Things are much different. They dont sell chocolate bunnies here, only little or giant eggs that are super expensive. I really missed dying eggs with the family. Thats ok. It was a great day. I know that Easter is a lot more important than peeps, or chocolate bunnies.

This last week was my 3 month anniversary. Its weird to think that. I only have 7 of those left. Its so weird to think about. I need to work harder!

I havnt gotten any packages yet, but i am excited and looking forward to them. There is a big stadium kinda..... I dont live at the address i gave you. Thats the address of the mission office. I live in Setubal, a neighborhood in Recife. The city of Recife is huge. Its called the Grand Recife, so people call areas by the neighborhoods, like Setubal. But ya kinda a big stadium close by. Not super close though. I live in an apartment type of thing. It has 2 floors, 2 bedrooms, and 1 1/2 bathrooms. The downstairs is just a giant room where we can study, and the kitchen, and a little area for the washer and a toilet(no door). Upstairs is the 2 rooms, a bathroom(with a door). Its a good house. I hear this is one of the better houses, so i was lucky.

We are really only teaching 5 people seriously. They all came to church this week!! It was great! They all live in the favela de borborema. It´s tough to find new investigators. Everyone leaves in buildings that we cant get into without referals. So its tough. We really need the help of the members. But we have a baptism scheduled for this saturday! All 5 of them. We have two young women, Tatiani and Leila, two primary kids, Weverson and Amanda, and a women named Marli. Marli and Leila were baptized 6 months ago but never were confirmed. So were going to do it over again. They´ve all been coming to church every sunday for about 2 months. Its great. We´re both super excited. We´re going to make brownies and everything. Speaking of which, Mom, can you send me your recipe for brownies? Thanks

There havnt been many baptisms here because the elders that were here before were lazy, and didnt work very hard. I dont understand how they could have done nothing all day. What would they do? Go to the beach and sit all day?? I just dont know.... But we´re definitly working. The bishop said the other day, that he´s grateful to have 2 elders in his ward that really know how to work. Me. too. I´m glad i have a companion who knows how to work and how to teach me to work.

This week has been great. It really has. But everyday i feel like im going to die. My legs are dead, my feet hurt, my head hurts from all the portuguese. Its tough. But, every morning i have enough strenght to get up, and do it all again. Im thankful for this blessing. I know the Lord is helping me with this work. Im so thankful, because i know i cant do anything without Him.

I love you all. Keep in touch. I love reading your letters. Tell me everything. Love you guys.

Elder Tracy

Monday, April 18, 2011


On Saturday we went to a wedding/baptism. It was this couple in the late 50´s. They were taught by an old companion of E Paiva. E Paiva got to baptize them. It was really cool. But, the wedding started 2 hours late, because the bride needs to show up late.... (annoying), so we got home pretty late. And the cake was kinda gross. I dont understand why you would make a cake that looks so pretty on the outside, but tastes awfull on the inside. I decided that my wedding cake will taste good. No matter what.

April 18, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

One thing that i forgot to write last week was about the movie Rio. I bet you´ve probably seen it already, but the director is Brazilian. I dont know if you could tell or not, but he was the director for the Ice Ages, and Robots, and others. But ya, he´s Brazilian, from Rio. He took his whole crew down to Rio to get the experience of a new culture, kinda like the bird. It made me think of me. Ya know? I´ve kinda been thrown into a new culture, new language, and new life. Everything is different, and it´s hard sometimes. I dont know how the movie goes, but i bet its close to how mine will go. I know that I can get through this because I have the help of the Lord. I know that with his help I can do everything. I´m grateful for that.

Ok, now on to my last week. It´s been about the same. Still struggling with the language, learn more everyday. Still not comfortable or fluent. It´s kinda frustrating sometimes, but it´s ok. I´ll get it eventually. Hopefully sooner than later.

We had a pretty cool experience. Well, at the time I didnt know it was that cool, but now i do. Anyways, last sunday Elder Paiva and I were standing in front of the chapel. Not with any purpose other than to invite people in. We saw a man walking towards us. His name was David. He´s from Virgina learning portuguese for 3 weeks. He asked what ward he should go to, and obviously we told him, Setubal II, because it was our ward. So we went, and that was the end we thought. But, yesterday we ate lunch with him and a family. I guess earlier that morning he was praying for a friend that he could have to feel more comfortable, and someone that could help him with the language. While he was at church he met this man, Marcos and his wife. Marcos saw that he was a foriegner and could use some help. So he went and talked to him. I know this was an answer to his prayer. First through us, we invited him to our ward. If we wernt there, he probably would´ve just gone in to the chapel and sat for the sacrament. But, because we told him to go upstairs, (because we have classes first then sacrament last) he got to meet Marcos. And then through Marcos, being able to feel he needed help. I just know this is a miracle. It´s so amazing. The Lord has a hand in everything. We might not always recognize it right away, or even that the Lord is working through us. But He is. It´s so amazing. It really made me think that we need to always be where we should be, and do what we should be doing, so the Lord can work through us. It was really cool.

On Saturday we went to a wedding/baptism. It was this couple in the late 50´s. They were taught by an old companion of E Paiva. E Paiva got to baptize them. It was really cool. But, the wedding started 2 hours late, because the bride needs to show up late.... (annoying), so we got home pretty late. And the cake was kinda gross. I dont understand why you would make a cake that looks so pretty on the outside, but tastes awfull on the inside. I decided that my wedding cake will taste good. No matter what.

But mission life is good. I´m loving it. There are those days when I´m super sweaty, tired, feet hurt, it´s raining, or all of it. But, I know I just have to do my best and keep doing the work of the Lord and He´ll help me. I´m grateful for that knowledge. I love this church. I really do. I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered for our sins so we can return to our Heavenly Father. I know that we can become like our Heavenly Father by following the example of Jesus Christ, and following the words of the scriptures and the prophets. I´m so grateful for this church. I know that it is the true church of our Heavenly Father.

I miss you guts. Love you all. Till next week.

Elder Tracy

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 11, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

It´s my first P-day in Brazil. It´s been good so far.

I´ll tell you a little about what happened the last couple days. Wednesday after I emailed you we went back to the airport and registered with the police so they dont kick me out. Then went to our apartment, it has two stories, two rooms, and i dont know what else to say about it. It´s good. Some people were renovating it so it´s a lot nicer than it was before.

Thursday we really started to work. We´re opening the area in Setubal 2. There has only been 1 baptism in the last 4 months so it was closed recently. So it´s tough. We are trying to visit the members, especially those in nice buildings, so we can get referrals. Oh ya, the buildings are really different here. Everyplace has a gate and a lock. So you cant really just go and knock on somebody´s door. You can try to clap to get their attention, but usually if they´re not expecting you you cant really do much. So, thats kinda a bummer, but its ok. Thats pretty much how our week went. Walking around trying to find investigators, talking with members, and doing that over, and over, and over.... But it´s good. It really is.

Hmm, I guess i can tell you more about my companion now that i know him a little bit. His name is Elder Paiva. He is 26 years old from Sao Paulo. He has spent almost half of his mission in the mission office. He was a secretary for 6 months, and an AP for 4 months. So, he´s like the best. But ya, i get the best missionary to train me.

Hmm, the city?? It´s beautiful! So pretty! I love it! Every where you look there is green. Trees, bushes, plants of some sort. It´s gorgeous. The clouds are amazing here. Just poofy clouds almost all the time. And the beach.... Oh man! It´s so cool. We had lunch at a members home on beach. She lived on the 16th floor of a building, and had a great view of the ocean. It was awesome.

But, there are some gross things about it. Not, gross, just..... different. The trash, is pretty much all over the place. People just through it on the side of the road. I´m still trying to figure out how that system works.... The favelas are gross too. Their living conditions are really bad. The other day we walked through one and i saw a little boy naked, just running around. It´s so sad. They have like nothing.

The word of wisdom is different here i guess..... E Paiva said that we can drink all tea except one, and all coffee except one.... I dont know if i understood him right or what, but that was kinda weird. I havnt tried any so far, that i know of....

Hmm, the money here is 1 us dollar to 1.6 Reais. The money looks pretty cool. The different bills have animals on them. I´ll send you pictures.

About sending stuff.... E Paiva said that on the outside of the box you should write what is inside.
For example....
Missionary Supplies.. $3
Candy... $2
Clothes.. $6

He said that they charge import taxes or something if the total is over $20, $25 bucks. So be careful about that. Also, he said it helps if you put Jesus stickers on it. Just so people wont steal it, and it´s less likely to be charged for taxes and such. Also, if you do send something expensive, hide it in a poptart box or something. Because they might check inside for things, and it´s just better if you hide it somehow.

Ya.... So the address here is    (I think, and hope)
Rua Sao Franciso, 110/102
Paissandu - Recife - PE

But ya, life´s good here.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Brazil - April 6, 2011

Dear Family,

Well I tried to call you from the airport but something didn´t work. I could hear conner and Sams voices, but then when you tried to put in the card number it didnt work. Oh well. I made it here safely.

Ok, well i left monday at 1:45. There were 4 of us from Salt Lake, but lots of missionaries. We transferred in Atlanta, where we picked up a bunch of missionaries. It was kinda cool. One terminal had about a hundred soldiers, and ours had about forty missionaries. It was cool. Anyways, we were supposed to leave Atlanta at 9:30, but we had too much weight or something, so we burned of 2,500 gallons of fuel.... We all just sat on the plane for an extra 2 hours... It was great... But, we eventually left. We were fed dinner at 2 in the morning. It was like a 10 hour flight. Soooooo long! It was tough to sleep. Anyways, we landed in Sao Paulo about 11 oclock. so, i missed my next flight to Recife, so they rescheduled one at 5. So, i got to explore the airport a bit. It was weird being in a different country. We got off the plane, and we were behind these glass walls. Immigration and customs were a blast.... It was all just super different and definitely a new experience. Anyways, the flight to Recife was great. I finally got a window seat! Oh ya! We got to walk up those cool little stair things to the plane! It was very exciting. Then we landed in Recife about 8:30 at night. Got my bags, and walked out the doors and there was a little welcoming party! Sister Emerick, the mission presidents wife, and 3 other elders.

My companion is Elder Paiva.... (I hope i spelt that right) The other two were the AP´s. I found out that Elder Paiva was the AP before this. He was also the Executive Secretary, and now he´s a district leader. I get to learn from the best!

Oh man, Brazil is super different than the United States. First, I don't understand portuguese. I know i tried to learn it for 2 months, but i lost a lot of it during those 2 weeks. But, i´ll hopefully learn fast here. Second, it´s super hot here. Got off the plane at 8:30 at night, and it was about 90 degrees! Man, i was sweating when i walked off the plane. It´s tough to sleep because it´s super hot. No blankets, windows open, fan on high.... It´s just different. The sun sets and rises differently too. Didn't really think about that before. But the sun set probably around 7ish last night, and rose at like 5ish this morning. It´s like its a whole new country!

But, i´m super excited. I'm going to learn so much. I already have. This is going to be a great experience. I am so excited for this opportunity and will tell you more about life here in Recife on Monday. Love you all

Elder Tracy

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Conference Pictures!

 Mitchell and his two companions eating lunch between Conference Sessions!
We saw Mitchell as we went to the Sunday afternoon conference session!