Monday, May 26, 2014

Weekly Update -- 5/26/14 - The Book of Mormon is true! :D

Hi everyone!

I actually have time to write an update today! I'm getting less and less emails as time goes on, which is a good thing, because when I started out, I was trying to email way too many different people each week, and having to read a ton of emails as a result of that.

So I just went to the dentist about 30 minutes ago, because one of my teeth has been hurting every time that something cold touches it, ever since my first transfer in Brazil -- I just never got around to going to the dentist! The dentist in Brazil is pretty normal, fortunately. XD The hospitals though.. I'm not really sure. But anyways, so they couldn't find any problems with my tooth with the x-rays they took, but I'll be going back later this week to talk with a specialist about it. They mentioned something about a canal, which I'm assuming is a root canal. I've never had one of those.. but it doesn't sound fun, from what I've heard! Hopefully I won't have to do that, or if I do, hopefully it won't be too bad, or expensive!

So this week, we had one investigator at church, finally! But, unfortunately, he didn't seem to happy to be there. We've been teaching him for a long time, pretty much since our first week in Geisel, and things have just been going South lately.. I'm not sure what's going to happen with him, but we'll probably figure it out this week.

Today is P-day (or, Preparation Day -- once a week, on Mondays, till 6pm), and we're going to be playing volleyball at 3pm, and then we're going to get ice cream afterwards. We're going to have members there, and the other 2 Elders, and an investigator. It should be awesome! We did the same thing last week as well. We're planning on doing this every week, if possible. Maybe not volleyball every time, but we'll see.

This week went pretty well. Yesterday, we met this drunk guy, and we decided that we're going to try to help him turn his life around. After we talked to him on the street, about an hour later, we found him sitting in front of his house, and talked to him again. His brother-in-law showed up, and I'm not sure if he was drunk, or just crazy, but I was asking what his name was, and he was like "I don't want anything to do with your church!", in response to this question.. haha! Then he went inside for a minute, and came back out, and asked my companion a question, and he responded with "Uh huh", and then this guy started making fun of him and repeating "Uh huh" over and over again. He said something about how we don't believe in God, then he got on his motorcycle, and continued to say "Uh huh" a few more times, and then he drove away, laughing hysterically, like a maniac... It was hilarious, to be honest. XD

I am still loving being a missionary, and being here on a mission, as usual. :D We have all sorts of experiences, talking to tons of different people each week. Oh, here's something -- we ate Goiaba with cheese the other day, for dessert, at a lunch appointment. It was probably the most disgusting thing I've ever eaten here in Brazil... haha! Oh and the other day, I saw the legendary weird food -- chicken feet, on a plate of chicken, at a different lunch appointment. I didn't eat it, but, it was there!

I saw this huge spider.. last week? I think it was. That's the first time I've seen one here! We also had a tiny scorpion in our house the other night when we got home! There's monkeys here as well, I saw those the other day in some trees, along with an iguana (I think).

It's hot, as always, and I don't think I will ever like living in heat like this.. but I'm used to it, for now.. haha!

Oh, so I had a few cool experiences this week. One of our investigators told us that his family really likes us, and he also said something that really struck me -- "When they look at you, they feel something different." We really are examples to everyone around us, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. One way that people are converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, is by our examples. Keep that in mind, always! Do the right things, and be a good example. Serve others, and show people that you care for them. Don't be afraid to share your beliefs, with anyone. I do it every day! It's not that hard! :)

We also had a cool experience with another investigator. He said that he had prayed about The Book of Mormon, and that he had gotten an answer, that it is true. I feel the Spirit really strongly throughout the rest of the lesson, after he said that. We're going to be teaching him again this week, and I have really high hopes for him! He's awesome! My friend Elder Shields, said something that I will never forget, the other day -- nobody has ever told him that they received an answer that The Book of Mormon was not true. They only say that they didn't receive an answer, or that they did, and that the answer was yes. I myself know that The Book of Mormon is true, and I have a strong testimony of its teachings, which are the teachings of Jesus Christ himself. Anyone who reads this book, and studies it, and ponders about the things that they read, and prays to God, asking Him if these things are true, with faith, and an open heart and mind, WILL receive an answer, through the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon IS true -- but I can't convince anyone of this. Only God can, through His holy messenger, the Holy Ghost.

I miss you all so much, and I love you. I hope that you all have a great week! Feel free to send me some emails if you get a chance! :)

Elder Canto

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekly Update 5/19/14 -- We're teaching an English class!

Hey everyone!

It's been way too long since I've written a weekly update! (once again)

I'm going to try to keep these short for the most part, so that I will have time to write them each week, and so that I can respond to personal emails and read the emails that I get. I know I already promised to try to write more often -- but that didn't happen.. so.. no more promises! But I am going to try to write these more often -- again.. haha!

So I left my first area, Manaira, after 14 weeks, (we had an emergency transfer to my new area, Geisel II), and then after 3 weeks in Geisel II, I once again was not transferred, and did not change companions! Just like transfers #1 and #2! Haha -- So my companion is still Elder Anderson. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, his girlfriend sent him an email saying that she wanted to take a break from their relationship... it's been rough for him, but he's hanging in there! She also didn't show up to Skype with him on Mother's Day.. oh, by the way, I got to talk to pretty much everyone in my family on Mother's Day, and it was awesome! I was not expecting that! Apparently you can do conference calls on Skype now for free! I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to talk to Alissa on the phone or on Skype or anything on Mother's Day, and I was also a little jealous when I heard that she had talked to my mom and my brother that day.. but, all is well. We are patiently waiting for each other still!

So anyways, I've been learning a lot in the mission field, and I am loving it here. I wouldn't want to live here, mostly because of the heat, but I am happy to be serving a mission here for these 2 years. I am meeting so many people here and making lots of friends -- who don't speak English. XD I actually have met a lot of people here who speak English (somewhat). This lady taught us a few words in French the other day when we were talking with her after knocking on her door -- I asked her to teach us some things, because she said she was studying French, haha! Oh by the way, my companion and I are teaching an English class at the church now! Our first class was on Thursday night, and we taught the alphabet (and the song too, haha!), and a few words. Our next class is going to be tomorrow, and we're going to print out the lyrics to "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz, and have someone play the song, and we're going to teach everyone to sing it. The lyric sheets will have English on one side and Portuguese on the other side. I would encourage all of you to learn a second language if you haven't already.. it's really fun! You can just switch languages whenever you want, haha!

My grandpa keeps asking me if I've had any converts yet -- and the answer is still no, for now. But, I've had quite a few people who I met with a bunch of times, and they listened to all of our lessons. Nobody seems to want to go to church, or they just don't have time (or don't want to make time). It's been about 6-7 weeks since I've had someone come to church -- it's pretty disappointing! Every week, we get all these people who say they'll go, or they'll try to, and then Sunday arrives, and nobody is there! I don't understand it.. but I'll keep trying, until the very end! We are supposed to endure to the end, aren't we? So why not endure to the end of my mission? :)

Right now, we're trying to get to know people better, and have better relationships with the people we teach, because this Elder we were living with in our last transfer, said that the people that you will baptize on your mission, are the people who are your best friends. So we're trying to be really good friends with people, and not just jump right into a lesson every time we visit someone in their house, and just follow the promptings of the Spirit. We're getting to know this guy named Daniel right now, who was best friends with these other Elders about 10 years ago, and he's been going to the English classes every week (Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6pm, until 7pm). He's pretty awesome. He has problems with drinking and smoking, and he said he only believes in things that he can see, but, we have high hopes for him. We're going to start moving more toward teaching lessons this week I think.

I guess that's all for this week. We cleaned our house a ton this morning, because after all of the missionaries who have passed through there.. it was filthy! And we're planning on moving to a place that's actually inside of our area soon -- our president said for us to look for one, so we needed to do some cleaning.

I miss you all, I love you, and I'm always praying for you. Keep me in your prayers as well please, and please write to me! :)

Sempre fiel!

Elder Canto