Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 24, 2014

1. Do your shoes ever dry with all of the rain and humidity? Yes, my shoes are normally dry because it rains in the mornings when it rains. Then, it is hot for the rest of the day. But the last few weeks we have been having less and less rain, and more cooling wind. It's still hot and sunny but its definitely a blessing (or the start of fall depending on your beliefs)
2. How are the mosquitos? Mosquitos arent a problem here exept for one neighborhood that is about 4 miles from the city. Probably because of the fields around that neighborhood. idk we arent there very often.
3. Will it get colder their in the fall and winter? Probably. Will it ever be cool or cold? Doubtful. But i keep it in my prayers anyway. who knows?
4. Will you ever go to the temple while you are in Brazil? No, I wont ever go to the temple during my mission here in brazil. The temple is about 5-6 hours away from me now and 3-4 hours away from the nearest location in mission joao pessoa. Unfortunate but as one missionary said here "the work of a missionary isn't to get people to the temple, it's to get them to the waters of baptism and the baptism by fire (the holy ghost). It's the job of the ward/branch (with a little help from the missionaries) to get the new converts the the temple for their saving ordinances. and so it is.
 5. Do you expect to be transferred soon? T
ransfers are april 9ish. Apparently, the odds are that i will be transferred, then i will have one, maybe two transfers (wherever i am) then i will be training...not a happy thought. My portuguese is incredilbe for my situation but its not anywhere close yet.

This week, we didnt have a baptism but on the flip side in sacrament meeting, we had 117 people there...a record. The branch prez thanked the missionaries from the pulpit for their hard work. gratifying.

Also, this week we made really good progress with several weak investigators, including one named david. His wife vanini has been ready for baptism for about a month but wouldn' do it without david. So, when he told us that he thinks that he probably need to be baptized, it was a fist pump moment.

This week we made a bet with our roommates (other companionship) for who could do more contacts in one day. We did 50. and lost. They did 51. freak. So, we had to buy them bolo. It's like squash pie cake, but in many flavors. really good. My comp said and I quote, "we're not doing any contacts for a week." lol
i hope that all is well in the home land, my time is up see you next week
elder brett wilson

March 17, 2014

Answers to questions:
1. Does Brazil have a daylight savings time? Yes, but only the southern half of the country. random.
2. Does your companion speak any English? My comp speaks really good english. That's because he loves american hiphop and rap so he learned from drake and 2chainz. Sometimes this causes problems with the words he says. lol.
3. What do you do on your p-days? Pdays are different every week. Last week, we harvested coconut and played games with some of the youth. Another time, we hiked to the top of the local "mountain". Brazil is one giant hill country so the largest hill is referred to as the mountain.
4. Does Pres. Noguera speak any English? Prez Noguiera probably speaks some english but i havent heard any.

Some house keeping: I recieved your package from the 23 of january with sweettarts in it. Thanks - it was awesome!

Questions: 8 missionaries work in our area. We have divided up the city. Yes, we have a litle problem with retention but we work on it. We have one branch of about 100 for the city.

This week, we had an awesome baptism of the man i talked about in my last email. manuel. It was really sweet and you could feel the spirit of the baptism. Also, for all of you Beatles fans out there, for the sisters, I baptized John Lennon :).
This week, we had lots to do and that's good because it makes resting on pday that much better. It's funny we scheduled an appointment with a man named jose and his family for 6:30. We showed up and they were in the middle of watching a soccer game so we literally had to wait for half an hour until the game ended before we could teach...that's brazil for you. Also, it was a good lesson and the family agreed to pray about the Book of Mormon (but it may have been the happy endorphins because their team won) lol. I'm going to assume that it was the spirit we brought.
Also this week, a women, ana paula, who we were visiting the last time before "cutting" (dropping her because she doesnt make progress) said that she wants to be baptized because she needs to change her life. This is awesome because she has been weak, weak, weak before now. Overall, it has been a good week. But, on the bad, the senior comp in the other companipnship of elders is really annoying mostly because he is always in everyone else's business.
Also, this week the rain came back with vengance. I did jinx myself but we have a missionary saying here -- "Every time you walk in the rain, your future wife just got a little hotter!" So, that's what I'm going for. But even if that's not the truth, I am still in the right place.

Elder Brett Wilson

March 10, 2014

Hi all,
Answers to questions:
This week, my baptism of Manuel fell through because he was sick. He looked normal to me and my comp. Sooo yeah...we rescheduled for next Saturday but the Lord is awesome. We found out that he was sick and as we were walking back from his house to church, we received a phone call from the sisters. A boy we have been teaching named vanjilson showed up at church with his parents. His parents finally agreed to let him be baptized. So, we did have a baptism this Sunday. It was truly a miracle.
You asked if I had received any of your packages yet...I have received no packages as of yet. What goodies should i be expecting? We haven't moved yet but we have secured another apartment. It's much bigger. The downside it still only has one bathroom. My mission prez, he is Brazilian, significantly shorter than me, and he says that he loves and worries about me.
For breakfast, i normally eat a piece of fruit and a hard boiled egg or 2. In the scriptures, i am studying several things - the Book of Mormon reading it through, missionary work as found in the D&C, and the pride cycle - why people are lifted up in pride, and how to avoid it.
Miracles? well the baptism of vanjilson, my language skills. I can understand almost everything now. and this week my comp told me that i now know enough Portuguese to get by and i need to study/work on my pronunciation because and i quote my comp, "people don't understand you because your Portuguese sounds weird." I don't talk like a Brazilian...who would have thought :).

This week, I had an interesting experience. So my comp, the DL, decided that we were going to do splits with the two new missionaries in the district - him with the trainer (elder Borges) and me with the greenie (elder Beserra). That way my comp could teach elder Borges how to work because as my comp said, "I'm not going to have a fubeca in my district." A fubeca is a slacker missionary. In Portuguese, fubeca translates to `stress` as in it causes the leaders of the mission and church stress. Of course, that left me and Elder Beserra to do the work in my area. So, we have one missionary that doesn't speak very good Portuguese but knows the lessons and how to teach and the other that knows Portuguese but doesn't know the lessons or how to teach. It was interesting to say the least and i don't think that we taught false doctrine so I'm going to call that a win.
It hasn't rained in the last 2 weeks so I'm hopeful that the rainy season is over (of course even as i write this i think that i might have jinxed myself). Remember that the field is white already to harvest. The scripture doesn't say that its white in Mexico, or Brazil, or Utah. The field (everywhere) you go is white and ready to harvest. When you thrust in your sickle with your might, when you give some effort to helping this work go forward, the Lord promised that you will lay up in store or have success and thereby bring their soul to God and your own. Just some food for thought about missionary work.

elder Brett Wilson

Friday, March 7, 2014

March 5, 2014

Again, i am late with the email. This time because of Carnaval. All of the businesses were shut down on Monday and Tuesday to celebrate.
Anyway, I had an insight this week about all the cold y'all had...maybe our fruit trees will actually give us fruit this year. when I'm not here - go figure.
Anyway, this week we taught and taught and taught and it finally paid off. We have a baptism marked for this Sunday with one of our investigators and funny older gentleman named Manuel. It's funny...we did our original contact with his son and when we started teaching his son he was there and told us that he would like to hear more. It is truly a miracle (or it will be when he is baptized). The people of Brazil are great!
So to preface, down here they have 2 types of mango - green and orange. The orange are like what we have in the USA. The green are far superior. They have more of a tangy flavor.  The other night, we were teaching this family and they found out about my love for green mangos. The mother told me to follow her so I did.  On her back porch was a tub of green mangos. She told me to take some so I tried to take 3 and she ushered me out of the way and put 8 more in the bag. Awesome!
So, this Friday night through Tuesday afternoon was Acompamento for the youth. It is a cross between youth conference and efy. The thing that is notable/a little humorous is that Carnaval is from Saturday to Tuesday and that is the same time as acompamento. I'm sure that there is something here about avoiding the evils of the world. I will let you figure it out.
This week, I broke down and picked my futbol team. Everyone here has to have a team regardless of how much you know about soccer or what country you are from. So, i did it in the most logical way possible --- which jersey I liked the best :). So, I am now and forever more a Sao Paolo Dragon supporter. 
My companion is from Sao Paolo. His team is the Sao Paolo Dragons. He didn't want to influence me in my choice so he waited outside the store for me while i picked. I chose and here is the funny part when I walked out of the store with my jersey and asked him "hey, what team is this?" He said, and I quote, "It's Sao Paolo, baby, the best freaking team in the world." Then, he made me give him a high five. As you can probably figure, he was pleased.
Also, in other news, I got 2 new Brazilian roomates because of transfers. One has about 8 months and according to my companion is a slacker. The other is a greenie fresh from the MTC. So, i guess we will see how much work they do. My comp, being the dl, is worried. 
Now overall, we have 8 missionaries in Guarabira, which is good the work is moving forward. The bad is that we have to find a new apartment. Ours technically fits 4 but in reality is great for 2.
Thanks for the prayers,
elder b wilson

February 24, 2014

Sorry for the late reply. This week is transfers so my pday is on Wednesday. It didn't really affect me though because i am staying in Guarabira with my trainer. We did get one new companionship here in our district. It is elders so we are going to have to move because our apartment was great for 2 people but it doesn't work very well with 4.

So on Wednesday, we did splits with the zone leaders. They were good. The best part was that my comp and elder southwick went to an area called Mutirao.  This had previously been a bad unfruitful area but they went and found many new people to teach and the majority of them came to church on Sunday. So, we have been very busy in that neighborhood.

This week, the district leader (also my comp) made the focus of the week, miracles. And that's what we have been working for. We had one (almost) so last Sunday this man and his children show up and say they have taken all of the lessons in Brasilia, They have just moved here and decided that they need to be baptized. So, we scheduled their baptism after checking their story out. The problem is that when we went to visit them on Friday, the father was literally in the middle of smoking marijuana with his buddies. Apparently, he didn't quite understand the word of wisdom :). So, we retaught it and he committed to live it. We go back tomorrow to see the results.

Besides that this week was good. Because of the new transfer we have re prioritized and focused our work better. We have been working hard but we decided that now we are going to work smart, mostly that means cutting out the fat. We have a plan. Now, lets see how well we stick to it. On that same theme of miracles, over the last week or so I have noticed and my comp has commented that I am understanding almost everything that is said to me, or around me. This is truly a gift from God and a major blessing. Now, i just need to learn to talk back to them after they speak to me.

Have a good week,
Elder Brett Wilson

February 17, 2014

Hello all,
- Yes, zach and i have regular correspondence.
- My investigators survived their family. We have about 8 that we are teaching right now. We get most of our investigators by member references or by talking to random people on the street.
- I can and do teach in Portuguese, actually that is when i am at my best with Portuguese (I'm sure that there's a reason for that, the spirit or something like that). It's just with normal conversation that i have a hard time with.
- There are a few normal things- like pringles, club crackers, peanut m&ms and then things like rice,eggs,fruit. I found chocolate pudding last week. So yeah, I bought that. Other than what i have named, there are only Brazilian brands which some of them are similar but they aren't the same, like not even close. They have cereal but it is really expensive so i haven't tried it yet.
- Yes, the members have pets, mostly dogs or birds. But for those families that don't have pets, there is always a stray dog within a few blocks.
- The members are willing to help us. The problem is that our area is spread out so it is sometimes difficult to get a member who is in the area that we are teaching in. But if we ask, then they will almost always help.
This week was difficult for the work. We had 8 commitments for church and none of them showed up, and our baptism commitment backed out because of her husband's doubts. sigh. But I am well and the sun is shining. Maybe with all of the cold weather, we will actually get some fruit this year.
Congrats with your missionary work. It is truly amazing the way that the Lord opens doors and hearts when we are looking to share the gospel with others.
This week we had mission conference with a member of the area 70 presidency. It was good and there was one talk that struck me about how no matter where we are or what we do we are always leaving a legacy. So, the question is "what is yours?" Something to think about. The conference was also good because i got to catch up with my friends from the MTC. It is truly a great feeling to see how well they are progressing and growing on their mission and to know that they see the same growth in me.
But despite the bad, we did have a baptism this week from a companionship of sisters in my district. It was the last son in a family of recent converts. I baptized them all so it was really cool. It's funny when the youth found out that I am American they often come up to me and ask me the meanings of song names or of the lyrics. I have to explain the figurative language of music in my broken Portuguese...kind of frustrating but funny at the same time.
I hope that you are well. Remember with this work it's not about the money its about sending a message, "also i can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me."

elder Brett Wilson