Wednesday, May 14, 2014

April 28, 2014

1. thank you sister sennett for your care and concern with the portable shower heater. that is very kind. one day we had water long enough for me to take a real shower and i discovered 2 things:  1. that we have hot water in this apartment. 
2. that hot water is only something that you want when you have a climate controlled house and aren't walking in the heat all day. 

also this week, the prez came by to talk to the owner of the apartment. good news because of that, the owner will be putting a water box on the roof so whenever its finally hooked up we will have water. the truth is that we have a running bet going for when it will be complete. the most optimistic guess is a month. the least optimistic is 6 months. we will see. but it is something good to know is in the works.
so this week in the bad column, our progressing investigator- Dyegina who was in church last week has been blocked by her uber-catholic mom. there will be no more progress there until she moves out, 3 years from now.

but in the miracle side, we received a reference, janderilson, who was in church with his member friend. when we taught him last night, he was still uncertain about baptism. so we challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and then to pray if baptism was right. he didn't understand so he opened right there during the lesson randomly to Alma 4 and started reading. it talks about how the Nephites had difficulties and so they were humbled and were baptized into the church of God. (1-4) thank you, heavenly father. i owe you one (in fact, many, many). janderilson agreed to be baptized next Saturday. miracles happen. 

yeah so this week i had a really trippy thought. i have been out of school for almost a year now. the second part of that thought is the thought of how much time/effort my teachers used to teach me things that i have all but forgotten. lol
the pic I sent is of a fruit called jaca. i think its called jack fruit in English but I'm not sure. yes its the size of my head. it tastes like a citrusy banana. and is pretty good.

so some of the members said that fall is coming but all i did was shake my head because this week was the hottest its been here in itapororoca for me.

we are still trying to find people to teach consistently but it was better this week. we just need them to come to church because if they dont come for two weeks, we have to cut them (stop teaching them). 

i am well the church is true

elder brett wilson

p.s. sorry about your phone dad that really bites. also forgive scout he knows not what he does (scout knocked me over while walking and the phone was destroyed...and scout was in very big trouble!)

April 21, 2014

so guess what our family is not the only weirdos who do their Easter candy on Saturday. all of Brazil does their candy (which is only chocolate) on Saturday as well. the chocolate is the same, but they have different fillings/flavors, many using the native flavors. also i got your Easter package thanks. so yeah this week was a little fat. people love to give missionaries candy. I'm not complaining, but it was a little unhealthy for me.

so this week we had a (small) miracle. we have an investigator who we met through an apostate member. she hasn't been to church in more than a year. the investigator told us that she would come to church if luanna (the "member") went with her so that she wouldn't be alone. Sunday came and they were both in church together. luannas brothe-jo( who is the youngmen's prez) told us ``good job. y'all just performed a miracle, she hasn't had any church desires for a year. and you got her to bring her friend to church. thanks.`` gratifying. now if only we could get the miracle of people not lying to us all week about going to church. i don't know what it is. it wasn't this bad in guarabira. i guess that people here don't have shame/ embarrassment about this kind of thing. must be something about the culture.

so as far as some sad news in the branch, Luciano a member of the church, one of about 3 Melchizedek priesthood holders in itapororoca and the only endowed member in itapororoca has decided to leave the church. He said he "doesn't need church to worship god." he still believes in our doctrines and beliefs- just not church. we tried to help´but he wouldn't listen (look up Moroni 6:6). How sad to see him in this state. elder simonson says that its because he is really prideful, and was prideful when elder simonson was here a year ago. its a vicious cycle. the worst thing is how its affecting his family. his wife wont go against him and only one of his children is firm enough to continue in the church on her own. it is really sad to watch. 

i now have a greater understanding of the dangers of pride and unfortunately there is very little that we as missionaries can do. just keep them in my prayers i guess.  

its funny so we have 3 Americans and a Chilean- elder Munoz. so here in America we have Spanglish for Spanish/English mix. elder Munoz speaks portuanish, Portuguese/Spanish mix. its really funny, to correct him "speak your language elder. you are in Brazil." He says, "oh sorry, i thought i was." he doesn't even realize it...very funny!

also do you want to know the worst thing that i have experienced here? too bad, i'm going to tell you any way. last night i entered our bathroom to use it, and there were 2 cockroaches. i killed them. then during the course of my business 4 more cockroaches enter through the drain. all of which i killed. 6 cockroaches in about 10 minute. afterwards i just felt dirty for the rest of the night. it was pretty gross.


elder brett wilson

April 14, 2014

me and elder simonson, my new companion. he is pushing me while i am riding a tricycle.

1. well, for starters my comp's name is elder simonson. he is from a small town in southern Idaho near Pocatello (here is a shoutout to grandpa Wilson). he has 17 months on a mission. He has the same views about American football as i do and he served here in this city almost a year ago, so the members like him. 
2. itaporoca is not really 3rd world...i don't know, its hard to describe how life here in Brazil is compared with how you would think coming from America. just know that it is nothing like America, yet at the same time you have everything that you need. 

3. also as further proof, remember my comment about the water. yeah that was on the best day. in general its available about 20- 25 minutes right when we wake up. we spend the time filling up many water bottles, and buckets then we take our showers from the buckets. who says that you wont experience something new on a mission. lol. all joking aside. that is one thing that America does better.
A goat i encountered. the funny thing is that about 3 seconds later it charged me and i almost got mauled. awesome!

so far our teaching pool is pretty small. we had a few hold overs from the last elders but we cut most of them so we have been doing a lot of street contacting and had reasonable success until Sunday when everyone had a desculpa (no English equivalent. its like a sorry or an excuse) and we ended up with no investigators in church...frustrating. i wish that people would stop lying to us. if you aren't going to come to church then just say so and save both of our time. 

as far as the branch, there is a frequency of 30-40 with 200 on the rolls of the church for this city. so yeah a lot of less actives. but i like the branch especially the youth. all of the ones that i have met are fun and like the missionaries (and they love to correct my Portuguese). so this week a young man named Carlos asked me what the phrase "piece of crap" meant. apparently a missionary had taught it to him but not explained it. fubeca. so that was interesting.  

This is Carlos from the branch. he stole my tag so i made him take a picture as elder Wilson in the guise of the missionary he will be one day.
the people are spiritual and open to the gospel in general but in general only to listen. everyday we talk to people and it goes like this:
do you have faith in god? of course
what are you doing to show your faith? i dont know
will you go to church this Sunday to show your faith? (we get a variety of answers here) who knows, we´ll see, one day, and the most annoying of all, "si deus quiser" if god wishes. really bro? where do you think that God wants you to be on a Sunday morning. 

but anyways, i always try to keep it in the context of everyone we talk to is one closer to the elect we are seeking. the ones who say yes.

anyway. i am aware that all of this may seem dreary. but its all part of the experience and if u take it with a grateful heart knowing that everything that happens gives me another story to tell about my mission. lol

i am well and it is not as hot here in itapororoca so that is great thing. and our apartment has a veranda, which is way sweet. and don't worry too much about the water we are in the process of moving apartments. 

please pray for us to meet people prepared to accept the gospel.

love elder Wilson

April 7, 2014

To answer some questions:
1. i watched conference almost live - at 1 at 5  on Saturday; 8am for the priesthood and 1 and 5 on Sunday.  
2. i watched the sat sessions in English and the sun sessions in Portuguese because we had investigators with us on Sunday. the conference was really good. for my thoughts see the pics.

3. i was transferred. my training is over. i am a missionary in full. i was moved to a city called itapororoca. it has about 16000 people. my comp is named elder Simonson. i haven't met him yet as he is currently en route from joao pessoa. 
4. i stay in the same zone though so not everything has changed. In this area and for much of the city, they are having problems with water because they are building new houses but don't have the infrastructure to support all of the new houses. So, in my new city apparently we only have water for 2 hours in the morning. that should be interesting. 

This last Sunday, we baptized a teenager, named Cleber. It was really cool because he has been investigating for a long time and finally decided that the church was right for him. 

One good thing about this new smaller city - there are no neighborhoods that are 20 or 30 minutes away from the actual city. it's all here together. that should save time. 

Also i was wondering, what kind of things do you want me to talk about in my emails, or do y'all not really care as long as you hear from me? 

In my new district/apartment, i have 3 Americans and one Chilean so i think that i will be hearing more English for the next little while. I'm not sure how i feel about that.

the branch here is about 30 people about 1/3 of what is was in guarabira so it will be easier to remember everyone's name. lol

anyway good job family with your missionary work. i wish that all members were like y'all. its kind of frustrating when members won't work with you because "they're busy, or its too far" especially when they are converts themselves. it's like come on, seriously. you were converted because someone made time and walked a far distance for you and you cant give back a little. but entropy is a powerful force. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of members who help us. its just the ones who don't that are annoying. just know that you are making this missionary proud.

also as far as our flowers/flowerbeds, you know how much i value the flowers in our front yard. does that give you an answer how i feel about them lol

We had zone conference and I've decided that this is not my favorite part of a mission. Here, they always have some motivation thing as part of conference. This time we marched and chanted as soldiers "Os soldados de senor", "the Lord's soldiers.".  Last time, it was as athletes and they had football face paint to put under our eyes, like were are competing in the Superbowl, 'the Superbowl of souls." so yeah but i receive my mail at zone conference so its not all bad.

On a funny note, a sister here asks all the missionaries to sign a pillow case. You may notice the Hooters emblem. She doesn't know what Hooters is---hilarious!

love elder Brett Wilson