Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March 30 letters

To Mom:

So this past week was really good. We worked really hard and had a lot of success. There are several families that are progressing incredibly. One family came to church which was really exciting. The wife didn't come but the dad did and the 4 kids so that was really nice. The wife was at her parental home taking care of a family crisis. I believe, however, that next week she will be at church. We also visited several new families that are really progressing well. We taught one family that is the richest I've ever taught. We actually have sat with him twice now, I don't think he'll progress but it was kindof fun to sit with him. Another family that we sat with are really cool and pretty rich as well and they are progressing super well. We visited them twice and taught the restoration which they took really well and then on my last day which was monday, we went to their house so that I could say good by and they were crying saying that I had inspired them to visit the church and even be members of the church so they really are progressing fabulously. He had a stroke about 3 months ago and while he was in the hospital, he felt like God was telling him to come closer to Christ and especially to pay his tithing so I think that will work out great into his acceptance of the gospel. He also said that our coming was kindof like a sign to him of what he had felt in the hospital. It was quite the week with them. One time when we were teaching them my companion, Elder Goes, fell asleep during the lesson, haha. He doesn't understand English so he always gets sleepy because he isn't understanding and can't talk or anything. All of the sudden, (I was teaching at the time) we just heard him snore and we all looked over and he was sleeping in his chair. It was really funny. 

My official guess for Adam's mission is the Portugal Porto mission. I can say that that is the mission really that I want him to go to as opposed to where I think he's going but isn't that what we all do with our guesses anyways. Or I could just go with the Grandad guessing scheme and just guess an entire continent so I choose Europe. Just kidding, I want him to speak Portuguese with me and since the people who speak the best Portuguese in the world are from Portugal I want him to go there. 

To Dad:

So this week I was transferred to Beira again which was my dream to end my mission there. Not only was I transferred back to Beira but back to my old area in Maraza A!!!!!! I will be returning to the promised land. It will be the greatest transfer ever. I am seriously way excited. I will be with a Brazilian companion named Elder Carvalho so three straight Brazilians. I am seriously way excited. My flight to Beira leaves today at 12:30 I think so it's pretty crazy. I'm also going to see many of my friends on the mission that are all there in Beira serving right now so it's kindof like a dream come true. Several of the members from Chimoio also said that they would come to Beira to visit me and that they are so excited for me to go to a place where they can see me one more time. I'll be in the same zone with Elder McAllister so maybe I'll get to do some divisions with him but we'll see. President told me of where I was going and everything last week at zone conference in an interview and I was seriously way excited. It's been a long time since I've emailed though haha. We also didn't have pday on monday because it was a holiday in Swazi so we all went out and worked. 

It was really sad leaving my last area because it was really starting to pick up with families that we were teaching and other investigators but it is all worth it in where I am going now. 

Zone conference was really nice as well. I got to see Elder Hruby, a good friend of mine who is also one of the APs because he came down to Swazi to give a training in zone conference. The training were all about faith and really very good. I enjoyed the day for sure. I had to translate of course for Elder Goes and my other companion Elder Silva. I don't know if I already told you this I was walking with another Brazilian for the past two weeks who had to go to Swazi to wait for a visa issue. It was pretty comical to be walking with two companions that have absolutely no knowledge of English and teaching lessons by myself. 

Seriously I have been going all out with working lately and am really excited to go to Beira to continue the hard work there. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March 21 letters

To Mom:

So this week was a good week. We found a few more really nice families and now we currently have a bunch of really nice families to really work with and try to help progress. I'm really excited for the progress and the area has a lot of potential right now. Unfortunately, no one came to church but I'm confident that in the next week or two we will see some real progress by one of the families that we are currently working with and bring someone to church. 

Also this week, I got pretty sick on wednesday and Thursday we had to stay in. Ever since I've been a little shaky with my health but by now I'm close to normal so this next week should go along normally. I'm excited to really dig into the work with no health problems to hold me back. 

That's exciting about Adam getting so close to getting his call and turning in his papers. I'm sure we'll all start guessing the place that he'll go and such. I'll send my guess next week when the call has been sent. It's crazy to think that Adam, my younger brother is about to go on a mission. I still haven't gotten past this stage in my life. 2 years is a long time. It's good because it gives you a long time to serve the lord, get your priorities straight and basically just learn and grow. 

To Dad:

I'll tell one interesting story that happened this week. So we contacted a family last week and just the wife was there. We talked to her for a bit and she said her husband wasn't there but would be home in the next saturday(the day before yesterday) because he was in California (which was pretty crazy). So we went Saturday and he wasn't there yet and then we went yesterday and he was there but it turns out he is a straight up American white dude. He came out of the house and just said "you got nothin here we have our own beliefs so get outta here" It was so blunt and honest that it was just hilarious. Here in Swazi and Mozambique, you will never here a person say that they aren't interested or go away. They will always just make up some excuse of time or work or something. It was kindof refreshing to hear someone just say no haha. I imagine that that is what you probably went through a lot in your mission all the time but for me it was so alien. We just said thank you and walked away.

I love you and can't wait to see you and the rest of the family. To be honest, when I went on the mission it hurt more to leave my friends but you were right when you said my priorities would straighten on the mission and I realized that the thing I miss the most is you guys. I love you and have a great week. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14 letters

To Mom:
This week was a really good week. On Tuesday we sat with a really good family. They are understanding the message terrifically and reading the Book of Mormon a lot. This week will probably tell if they will truly progress until baptism or not. I'm super excited for them and keep them in my prayers constantly. They have some serious potential. We also found another 2 really good families that have a lot of potential as well. We have a lot of potential in the area right now but nothing is really set yet. They could all work out for baptisms or all not so it's a crucial time of faith, prayer and careful teaching. 

At church we had the husband of a family come to church but his wife stayed back. Unfortunately, we are redrawing the area boundaries (my idea) and will be giving this family to another companionship. It's ok though because it should help them and I'm sure they will love and help this family progress. He even stood up and bore his testimony in Gospel Principals and said that he wan's to be baptized so they should be pretty good for the branch. I'm excited for their progress. 

To Dad:
At the beginning of April we have transfers and I actually asked to be transferred to Beira to spend my last 2 there with all of the families I baptized. President said that he would see if it was possible but who knows. I could be transferred or just stay. I'm hoping to get transferred to there though. Not because I hate Swaziland, in fact I love it here and the area is picking up. We have several pretty good families that are currently progressing but I want to see those people again before I finish my mission and live in Beira again (I love it there). 

Don't worry about the whole role of Christ in my life. I've gained such a powerful testimony of Christ since being here in Africa on my mission. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is his church and that he loves and cares about me. He wants to help me and is always at my side. I could never forget about him for even one second, whether I'm here or there. Some missionaries are excited to go home to not have to do church things all the time anymore or not have a calling but I'm really excited to get a calling and magnify it with all my ability. You remember how I used to say that I would never be a bishop because of the work being too much but now I would be excited for the opportunity to help the lord and others. I don't know what will happen to me in the church, job or elsewhere but I will always have Christ at the center of it all. Truly my duty to him is more important than any other that I have, have had or ever will have in my life. 

Getting back into sports will be super nice. I'm excited to follow them again and have a blast watching march madness, NFL, NBA and City action. It's going to be amazing. I wouldn't say that it is at the top of the list for things I am excited for. I thought about that the other day and made a top 5 things I'm excited for (not the best use of my time but it was one night when I was thinking about home a lot, haha) 1. family 2. freedom to do whatever 3. friends 4. good American food 5. movies. 
last night

Daniel and Elder Barros

Elder Barros, Sister Dudu, and Daniel

Daniel and Elder Goes

Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7 letters

To Mom:

This week was good on the work. We got fairly good numbers but unfortunately didn't get any families at church again. However, one new investigator of ours came. Shes a girl who's about 16 years old I think but I don't know her name because we only sat with her one time. She's a referral from a member family so that's good I guess. We're getting closer to some families but swazi is harder than Mozambique. It's ok though because it just means that we need to work harder and teach better and have the spirit more.
We had one really fantastic lesson with a family where we taught the book of Mormon. When we read in the introduction I really saw that the spirit just struck him and he felt a witness that it was true. Then we talked more and it was a really nice and spiritual lesson. I really saw the spirit working with them but unfortunately they didn't come to church which really depressed me but we'll just keep working with them and hopefully they'll come next week.

I cannot believe that Rachel, my baby sister, is going to be in Junior high. I still remember my seventh grade year and being the first in the family there and how I felt so old and whatnot and I can't imagine Rachel being anything more than just a little albeit spunky girl. 
To Dad:
Usually on Pday we are just all too lazy to go and play soccer and end up just taking naps. These days I've just worked out a little bit. Everyone wants to play but no one really makes it happen. I never taught this guy that was the richest guy we just got his contact and he said we could visit another time. Unfortunately it didn't end up working out but it was a cool story nonetheless. They are wealthy because there house is pretty nice it's probably about a fourth the size of our house or 1 sixth or so, and they have a pretty nice car and own a bunch of little flats that they rent to people. The house wasn't insanely big but it was really nice so that was cool. Unfortunately they weren't that great at actually having time for us to visit.
For my diet and exercise let me explain. I work out every morning and night. Monday through Saturday. In the morning I alternate from arms and chest to abs. At night I alternate between 2 cardio work outs. One night burpies and mountain climbers, the other is running up and down the stairs of our apartment complex. Diet-wise, I cut out most all chocolate or treats. In the morning I eat 2 pieces of toast and an egg or two, a really big lunch and then nothing at night. In this mission we don't eat dinner. So missionaries usually eat at night right before bed which puts on fat so I completely cut that out. At lunch I just eat a lot knowing that during the long, hot day, I'll work it all off and then my nightly cardio. I drink one coke while we are on the road to keep me going and then that's it. I used to eat out more at restaurants but these days I cut it down to only Pday and tuesday after district meeting. Pday is usually KFC and tuesday is a pizza place. Its ok because usually no matter what I eat for lunch I'll work it all of during the afternoon at work. As I get even closer to the end I will probably start waking up even earlier and running as well to polish everything off.