Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Sounds like things are good.

Oh Brazil.... Life´s been good here. This week we marked 3 baptisms... Well, we kinda had the sisters help with 2 of them.... We´ve been teaching these young woman for almost 2 months now.... Leila, who was baptized 6 months ago and never confirmed, and Estefani, who is the older sister of Weverson and Amanda who we baptized last month. But we´ve been talking and teaching and asking about baptism... and... no.... So we got the sister missionaries to come and try. Some of the girly talk stuff. It worked! They´re both going to be baptized on the 4th, this saturday.... Things just work different when a girl talks to a girl.... but it´s great...

Then there´s my favorite. Maria.... She is the mother of Tiago, who we´ve been trying to reactivate. We´ve been teaching lessons, getting them to come to church, the usual.... But, last Wednesday, we felt like it was time to ask. So we did... she was hesitant. She said she didnt know... wanted to talk to Tiago first...... So we watched the Restoration movie.. After bore testimony and asked her to take Moroni´s promise, and to ask if the church is true and if she should get baptized. She said she would... The next day, we went by to check her answer. She was so excited to see us! She brought us in, and told us that she prayed, and she felt this warm feeling in her heart. She said she knew she should be baptized. She told us she couldnt wait till we came back and she could tell us. It was so cool!! It was really my first experience of someone "I" taught and they had a big spiritual experience like that. It was awesome.

And last night we taught Johnny... A referal from Lion, (cool name huh?). (PS Lion was the trainer of Irmão Dodge, my teacher in the MTC, they both served in Manãus Brazil) So, Johnny, he´s a tennis player, he has a "wife" and some kids. He told us that he knows he needs to change his life, so 3 weeks ago he stopped drinking. He still drinks coffee and smokes, but we can take care of that..... We bore testimony of the Word of Wisdom, and how God will help us, if we try to do whats right. He told us that we´re his favorite missionaries he´s talked to... Probably a lie, but thats ok. ..... But, he needs a good example, and Lion.... isnt. When we left, he grabbed a cigarete from Johnny, started smoking..... He has a woman, and a kid on the way.... We talked to him, he says he has a testimony, he just needs to change.... Ugh.... It´s ok. Just more people to help.

But, the wards here are different. Members are somewhat slackers. For example, our ward mission leader, a japanese guy... He hasnt spoken to us in a month. He doesnt come to church, anything. Lindenberg called him, and i guess he hates our ward. He hates how nobody does what they´re supposed to (hypocryte?)... So he has been going to a different ward. And now, he´s moving.... Ugh, just people are so much different here. I know if that happened in our ward, Carl would be there hanging on his ear till they did what they were supposed to....

But... it´s good. I love Brazil. I love my mission. I´m really looking forward to this saturday. We have our baptisms, and stake conference. It should be fun. I´m also looking forward to next transfer on the 13th..(really its the 15th)(????) Im excited to experience more, new companion, new area, new everything. I think it will help me a lot.

Thats life in Setubal. Love you all.

Elder Tracy

May 23, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Things sound like they're going good at home. I got Grandma's package. Thanks so much. Dont worry, I really like black jelly beans. And my companion doesnt, so more for me. Thank you.

Rain... Ya, we have a lot of that here too. But when it rains, it floods the streets. The canals overflow, the drains fill up, and the streets are like rivers. It's pretty exciting.

This week has been pretty busy. We had zone conference this week. And President Emerick called Paiva to help out at the office. So we didnt have a lot of time in our area this week... Kinda dissapointing really. But ya. 2 days at the office. 2 days at zone conference. Thats about it.

Zone conference was cool. They divide it into 2 days. Starts at 9 and goes till 4. They have breakfast, which is basically a giant box of cookies, and a giant lunch, which was super good. President and Sister Emerick give talks, and trainings, a training by the assistants, testimonies by the elders leaving. It was cool. Really motivating to do better. And i got to see it twice! Ya! Oh ya, and i got to see Elder Clark again. That was nice to have someone i knew, another friend. It was good to catch up.

We had a kinda cool experience yesterday. In the morning, we usually go to Borborema to pick up our investigators. Usually the bishop or someone goes and picks everyone up, because it's kinda far. But yesterday, nobody came. So we really wanted this old widow and her son to go. So we practically ran back to our house to get money for a taxi, went and got them, then went to the church. Then, after church, two members in Setubal 1 gave us awesome referrals. And, to top it all off, we found 50 Reais. We were standing infront of the church, and we turned around and there it was. Nobody came by.... Paiva said it was a reimbursment for the taxi... But it was cool.

But, everything is going good here in Brazil. I love you all and will talk to you next week.

Love ya,

Elder Tracy

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 16, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

All is well here in Brazil. Well life is good here. Me and Elder Paiva have both been a little sick this week. So that's been a little tough. But we´re both getting better.

I finally get to play soccer! President invited our zone to play with him today because last transfer our zone(and district..) had the most baptisms. So today we get to go have lunch at presidents house, and play soccer and stuff with him. It'll be great.

Well, this week has been a little rough in the teaching... The other elders asked president to transfer them because "nothing was happening". So now, me and Elder Paiva are covering both wards. It´s tough. Its like opening an area. We have no references, dont know any members.... Its just tough. But we're doing everything we can. We taught a cool lesson in Setubal I yesterday though. The consol? for the United States and Pernambuco lives there. So we went to his house, which is super amazing. It's really beautiful. Wow. The best building i've been in. But they had friends, the teacher of their daughter. Her and her fiance were both really interested. Im excited for the opportunity to teach and share the gospel with that cool couple. But one thing that bugged me was the family of the consol is going on vacation this week and wont be there on Sunday. So the wife told our investigators to not go to church this sunday, but wait till they get back.... Who tells someone not to go to church!?!?!?! Especially someone you're teaching the gospel?!?! UGH!! BUT, they said they'd come. I really hope they do.

Love you all super much,

Elder Tracy

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 9, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Well, not much has changed since i talked to you last... night. But anyway, things are still good here. I got a haircut today so i look more like a missionary now.

I dont really know what else to say. I feel like I told you everything yesterday. That was great to see you all again.

Well, if you have questions and stuff dont be afraid to ask. I´ll answer the best i can.

Love you all

Elder Tracy

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

This week has been crazy. We basically spent all week teaching our investigators and making sure they were ready for saturday. But it was good. Time went really fast this week though. Kinda good, and kinda bad. I get all the days mixed up. But anyways, back to the baptisms. Our baptism was scheduled for 6 oclock on Saturday the 30th. So we spent the whole day getting ready. We went to the chapel at 11 after studies. There was no water at the chapel. So we had to call a water truck to come and fill it up. It was kinda weird. We organized the program, and i practiced the hymns, i am a child of god, and families can be together forever. After lunch, we went and bought stuff for brownies. We made them, cut them, and got everything ready. It was exciting. So at 5 oclock we went to the favelas to talk to them and make sure everything was good. We got there and everything was going good. Then we talked with Leila. She didnt feel ready. She wanted to talk to the bishop first. Which is good. Im glad she wanted to clear things up before she got baptized. But that was rather dissapointing. Then.... the bishop was supposed to come at 5:40 to pick them up and take them to the chapel. He didnt show up till 6:20! Goodness! It threw off our whole night! Very frustrating!!........... But finally we got to the chapel. We changed into white, and boy do i look good in white! jk. But seriously, i like it. But right before we were about to start, Paiva talked with a little boy. He was baptized 6 months ago and never confirmed. So he interviewed him right there and we baptized him. I was a little weirded out. I didnt really think that was right. But there really wasnt anything i could do...... Anyways, the names of the people that were baptized. Amanda Ferreira da Silva(8), Weverson Ferreira da Silva(9), Tatiani Araújo da Silva(13), Maria Marli de Araújo(45?), and Anderson Henrique Diniz de Araújo(12). I baptized Amanda and Anderson. Amanda is so cute. She grabbed my hand, looked up at me and said, I want you to baptize me. I felt so cool right then. It was awesome. The baptism was definitly different than in the US, but still an ordinance of God, so it was really special.

I miss you guys. Love you all. Talk to you on Sunday! Tchau

Elder Tracy