Monday, March 31, 2014

Mission Update -- 3/31/14

Hey everyone! I hope you're all having a great week!

This past week was tough, we had a lot of teaching appointments fall through, and the person we had set up a baptismal interview with for Friday didn't make it to the interview. But, he still wants to be baptized this Sunday, so all is well! Our district has a goal for this week to double all of our goals for lessons and finding new people to teach. We're going to have to work really hard, but it is going to be awesome. Everyone is really excited to try and reach these goals this week.

On Saturday, my companion and I were stuck at the church for just about the whole day, because someone's son passed away in our ward, and there was also a double-wedding (2 seperate couples) the same day. Imagine that, a funeral and a wedding in the same building, at almost the same time.. crazy! The funeral was supposed to be at 3pm, but it got moved to 8pm. They had to tell everyone to come back later in the day. We got stuck watching the gate and letting people in (there are walls and gates around our chapel, and just about every building here!) for a few hours -- but it wasn't too bad. We even got wedding cake at the end of the reception! The funeral was after that... we had this idea to try and help people out though, which I hope works out. We set up tables by the doors and gave out copies of The Liahona (church magazine) and "The Plan of Salvation" pamphlets to people, and got a bunch of names and addresses to share a message about the plan of salvation to help comfort people. We're going to be teaching this lesson to probably 6 people tomorrow. I really hope that we can help these people out in this hard time in their lives. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, made this wonderful plan for us to return to live with Him and with God after this life -- The Plan of Salvation. I am so grateful for this knowledge.

Like I said, I'll try to write updates more often from now on! Even if they're not very long sometimes, I'll try to at least be more consistent. I appreciate all of the emails that I've gotten -- I'll try to respond to as many as I can! Have a great week everyone!

I love you all and I am always praying for you!

Elder Canto

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mission Update -- 10 Weeks in Brazil

OI TUDO MUNDO! (hi everyone) I'M BACK! Still living, yep.

(Wow, when I post this, it'll have been 6 weeks since my last update... oops...)

So we have transfers every 6 weeks, and I have 2 weeks left in my second transfer right now (hard to believe). I stayed in the same area with the same companion this transfer. I like this area a lot, so I didn't mind staying here for another 6 weeks. My companion is pretty awesome as well, so I'm glad to have had another transfer working with him. We haven't had any baptisms, yet -- but we have had people come to church a few times, and we're always finding new people to teach. We just have to keep trying -- I have faith! When we exercise our faith, we will see miracles.

Anyways, I'm getting the hang of Portuguese now! Speaking is getting to be easier -- more natural. Understand other people is the hard part! I'm getting better at that as well though. Before I got my mission call in July, I wasn't sure where I wanted to go, but I wanted to learn Spanish. Portuguese isn't Spanish, but it's really close! I actually like it a lot more than Spanish, to be honest. I think I'll try to learn Spanish during my second year in the mission field.

For the first 8 weeks here, I had been feeling sick (my stomach) on and off all the time, but I had another Elder give me a Priesthood blessing, and for the past 2 weeks, I haven't had any problems whatsoever! I think that was only the second time in my life that I'd gotten a Priesthood blessing -- but I definitely have a testimony of the healing power of the Priesthood now. I also had Dengue in my sixth and seventh weeks here (fever/headache/feeling really weak -- you get it from mosquitos). Brazil was kicking my butt for a while there! All is well now though. :)

I'm getting used to the heat -- it's not so bad once the sun sets around 5pm. The food here is always really good (and is always beans and rice, haha!). I don't mind walking everywhere since everything is pretty close. I kinda like living in the city -- but I still prefer suburban living over urban or country living. But yeah, I'm happy here in Brazil. I'm really enjoying teaching (and still have lots of room for improvement, hah), and talking with people, and helping people. My testimony and faith have grown so much since I left for my mission in December, and I am learning a lot here. I'm so grateful for this experience.

Oh, one last thing. My fiancee, Alissa, got her mission call this month! She'll be serving in the Chesapeake, Virginia mission, from April 16th, 2014 to October 16th, 2015. So she'll be getting back 1 month before I do (November 17th, 2015). I'm really excited for her to serve a mission -- I know that she is going to do great things on her mission! She's amazing, and has such a strong testimony of the gospel, and a lot of faith. It'll also be good, because we'll be able to help each other and give each other advice on missionary work and things.

I'll try to write updates more often in the future! I love and miss you all! I'm always praying for you.

Have a great week!

Feel free to write! Tchau!

-Elder Canto

P.S. I should be getting a voice recorder next month! (thank you, Alissa! :) )

By The Way:

Alissa here. By the way:::

Joseph will be posting things on his blog while I am away. There is a way to do this, and I taught him how. I know how a lot of you are asking about who will update his blog. HE will! Him and I both will update our blogs on our own while we are away (By the way, my blog is in the links section on his blog, and his blog is in the link section in mine!).

Anyways! Hopefully Joseph will post soon!

And be sure to be on the lookout for my postings sometime after April 16th on my blog! How exciting will this be!

I hope you guys have a great day!


1.) Joseph is feeling well.
2.) He is more fluent in the language, and he is able to have conversations with people now.
3.) He feels trunky from time to time
4.) I've sent him a voice recorder on the 13th of March. Hopefully it gets to him by next month
5.) I also sent him some American food
6.) He says the milk tastes funny up there
7.) Yes we still are making plans to get married after we get back (A lot of Prayer involved; I cannot doubt anything about this man! ;) )

Anyways --
He is gorgeous. <3 ;)
Even with his deep farmers tan!
I love him.

I don't know what his new post will say, but it may go in more detail about what is in my list above (minus number 5 and number 7. He doesn't know about the details of number 5).  

-Alissa Marshall