Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon

Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

Florianopolis Bridge -taken at the mission office during the "Toe Repair Trip"

Well the week after is certainly not as exciting. OR IS IT!?
So interesting story for the week is this. On Christmas, I discovered and ingrown toenail developing. Didn't think much of it 'til the next day when it was FLAMING red and hurt like crazy! We called Sister Silva (The President's wife)  to get an appointement with the doctor in Florianopolis and we went the next day. When we got to the mission office, waiting for me were 4 letters and a package! I wouldn't have recieved it for another 2 weeks had that toe not freaked out on me. Blessing in disguise? I THINK SO! So that was fun. Kinda.
Soda Habit
As far as lessons that were interesting, we are teaching a 22 year old named Andre. He smokes 2 packs a day, and knows he shouldn't. We teach him every week usually and he wants to be baptized but knows he has to quit smoking first. He understands the gospel, has a testimony and comes to church. During one lesson we offered to give him a blessing and he said that we could after we all fasted together last saturday. We meet with him tomorrow to see how he is doing.
On Christmas eve we went to the Branch Presidents house to have lunch. They invited us to stay and watch movies with them and you know how disrespectful it is to turn someone down here so we agreed. We ended up watching 5 movies! So that was different! Especially since all of them were in Portuguese! They fed us like we never had been fed before also. I felt like I would explode because of Lunch, Lanche, Dinner, and Desert! It was so much food! So that was awesome!
Talking to our families this week was good as well! Really good to actually talk to them! Good to catch up and it was way more efficient then typing out all these emails. So that was nice as well.
Spiritual experiences were great this week! The most was actually with my family! Before now I had never shed a tear during a testimony! Now its like I can't NOT shed one during a testimony! ITs ridiculous! I've turned into my mother! ;) Not that that's a bad thing! ;)
Well everyone, Its about time to wrap it up this week. I'm grateful for your prayers, support, and letters/cards. They mean a lot to me. Love you guys.
Elder George

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Week of Christmas - December 22, 2014

Well everyone, this is it! Finally the season we wait all year for. The day of the birth of the most important person ever is almost here. This week, I'd like everyone to remember him everyday and do things how he would have done them. Really give all your effort to do this. Don't let the passing of this season stop you either! Think of ways to be like Christ all year long. Love others as he did.
As for this week, the work is just as hard as it was last week. We are staying a little busier so that makes time pass faster. We have the same investigators as last week and we are trying to prepare them for baptism but thats a slow process. So thats what we are doing right now.
We had some parties for Christmas this week and that was fun. Different, but fun since it's summer here. 
Other then that, Christmas is this week and everyone is super pumped in the district. Should be really good.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and fasting on my behalf. I feel their power in my life and so I am grateful for that.
One more interesting thing this week. Shortening, like for cooking, is different here then it is in the US. It is WAY more concentrated then it is there-so making cookies with the same amount kinda makes them weird.... Fun fact!
Love everyone there! Hope you all have a great holiday!
Elder George

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thanksgiving Day-November 27, 2014

"Abridged" from a letter written to "Mom:"

Today was my first real holiday away from home. I missed the family and the food SO MUCH! Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays and now I don't have it. But I have that stuffing (you sent) that will try and make tomorrow! That'll be sooo good. The elders in our district celebrated though. We went to a rodizio of pizza last night! A rodizio is like a pizza buffet if you don't know. So that was fun. That pizza was good. Way different than the U. S. but everything is.

New stuff? We had a conf. with the area Pres. this week, Elder Costa. From what I could understand it was good. Didn't get much from it. Mostly I read my scriptures for the majority of the time. So, that was the spiritual highlight this week.

Weird thing I've eaten? Today for lunch we had fish. Like the whole fish. I saw fried fish head on the serving plate. Kinda gross....So I ate the middle pieces..... :-)

Other then that, it's getting hotter her as it gets colder there. I miss snow! And carpet. They don't have that here! It doesn't exist! Never thought I'd miss carpet. But I do! Oh well, I'll get used to it......

And now to close mine epistle. I am Elder George. I have embarked on this journey to testify that Jesus is the Christ, that God lives, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I testify that these things are true. I now pass these writings to my mother who will "abridge" them into a book for my posterity. And now I end my writings....

God knows our struggles. He helps with them every day.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Beautiful View of Imarui coastline

This week was one of the longer ones. When you´re in a place with only 8000 people it makes contacts rather difficult. So that was hard this week. But lets see what was good this week shall we!
We had our Christmas conference this week so that was a good time. I think all the missionaries went in thinking it would be a day of Spiritual meetings but what we found was very different.
They had a whole bunch of games set up for us!!! It was a very big surprise! They even had 2 xboxs with kinect games going! That was insane. AND Pres. Silva was pretty good! It was funny.
Teaching was slow this week. We only had 2 lessons with actual investigators. So that was a bummer. But all we can do is soldier on. We are teaching a 20 year old guy that wants to be baptized but he knows he has to stop smoking first. So we are working with him on that.
As for interesting experience, we were out with our branch mission leader and we were talking to this guy and 2 girls walk along the road and the mission leader calls to them.(Disclaimer everyone in this city is out of their ever loving minds.) And he says to them,"Hey! Have you recieved a present today?!" SERIOUSLY?! Me and elder badger were like OH NO..... They probably thought they were gonna be kidnapped.... That was bad. Why he said that is we are handing out cards with "HE is the Gift" meaning Christ.So that was awkward....
As for weather here. ITS GETTING HOTTER. We die practically everyday! WE go through so much water and refri. Its rediculous! But it is Brazil so I knew it would be hot! So that will be something yet to get used to. Michael, what did you do for that? Any advice? Steve? Sarah? How'd you guys beat the heat?
I guess thats it. Love everyone there!
Take Care!
Elder George

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

This week was good. Definately a trial for faith though. We didnt get into many houses this week. We stil have 2 investigators, one of which with a baptism date, but we didnt get to teach either of them this week... Really disappointing. I realized last week that I never mentioned thier names! They are David and Raquel. Raquel's is pronounced Hakell. They aren't any different. We're trying to get them ready to be baptized but its not going teribly well.
Also there is a different thing going on is this mission. We are not allowed to do service unless we get it approved by the President. So that method of trying to get to know the branch is out the window...
Christmas isn't as hyped as it is in the US. Kinda really disappointing. But oh well. Me and Elder Badger will find something to do. Our transfer ends on friday so he may not even be here.... We'll find out.
So one thing about my area is we have spiders. They are huge!!! They are about the size of half a dollar bill. HUGE. So everytime we find one and kill it we have "a burnt offering to the spider gods" for it ;) haha-Kinda fun.
Not much spiritual this week. Just the everyday study, walk, get sunburnt, and get turned away. I finished 3 Nephi this week and that was good. I loved seeing the teachings of Christ in the americas. But that was really it.
Well everyone, thats it this week! Stay safe everyone! And you boys, keep preparing! Never Stop!
I have one bit of advice for you boys, especially you Justin and Joseph. You are the closest to the mission field in the George family. Prepare spiritually definitely, but also prepare emotionally. Missions are very difficult. Its not fun all the time. And you WILL be homesick. SO think of things here to do for your family that you can remember when times get tough. Make sure you make your relatonship last. Cause  you wont be there for much longer! 
Love you guys. Stay safe everyone.
Elder George

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 1, 2014

This week was a lot better! We had quite a ball! I missed my first Thanksgiving though..... Didn´t like that too much. BUT, we went to a Pizza Rodizio on Thursday! Mike probably knows what that is. ;) But its basically a buffet of Brazilian pizza. SO GOOD. 
Today We are in A city called Laguna, which is where we come to email. With some other elders in our district. Super! COOL! I speak English with them. One is from UTAH! The other is from Brasilia. He speaks English really well though. Laguna is pretty much a bigger Imarui.

I spend 4 hours a day studying... 1 hour-esh of BOM, 2 hours of PMG and 1 hour of language.... its not terribly fun.... but I gotta do it to get better. Understanding the language is good. Getting better everyday.
We had a REALLY good lesson this week. And because of it we have a baptism scheduled for the 13th of this month!!!! Her name is Raquel and she is not very young her husband just died and she is very interested in the Plan of Salvation. So we are teaching her 2 times a week until then!
We finally met one of our referrals that we got from the assistants to the pres! He is like mid 20´s and he is NOT suffering for money. He lives in like a freaking stronghold! Huge house. He´s super interested but really busy as well. we think we´ll convert him though ;)
The weather here is getting very hot! Everyday while walking feels like death..... But it´s also windy so that’s okay... It makes it bearable.
We are right next to a lake and so seafood would be common you´d think! We´ve had it once and they literally deep fried a fish! A whole fish! It was very strange..... Definitely different then the US.
There’s little markets in Imarui. Like BILo. We don't even have a supermarket...So we can get food there, but there really isn't much of anything else. Groceries are more money then I thought it was.... :/
The People here are WAY different then the states. They have no filter! They just say whatever. AND Because I look American Everyone tries to speak English with me! The people in our area are Brazilian. I´m pretty far south. They are more German north in the state. All Brazilians here.
Well everybody, That’s all the interesting stuff this week! Love everybody there! Stay safe! And you boys out there, NUNCA PÁRA PREPERANDO!!!! Esta é muito importante. Nunca pára. Eu sei que esta igreja é veirdadeira.
 (Translation: Never stop preparing!!!! This is very important. Never stop. I know this church is true.)
Elder George
Elder George at Sao Paulo Brazil Temple

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

Another view from my apartment window

November 24, 2014
I am doing well! The area is good. REALLY small, only 8000 people. My companion is Elder Badger. He is from California. He is good. I´ll send you a pic next week of us.. It is just us two elders for 2 hours by bus. So we have our own apt. SO NICE . I am pretty happy, Some days are worse then others but thats life. Homesickness comes on sometimes. But I just have to press through it.. My left foot has been giving me some trouble... just the shoes I think. But other than that not really. Could you send me my glasses? My vision has been better, and some days are worse than others. Also, could you send me another yellow shot record from the CDC? I will need it to get back into the US. Also, could you send a fitted sheet? THEYRE LIKE 80 Reals HERE. ($35)
Teaching is pretty inconsistent. People don’t really have much desire here. Lots of Catholics as well. Kinda hard. We have 1 kid that’s 17 that’s progressing kind of. He wants to be baptized but his dad won’t let him.
How is the language coming? Idioma é difícil sempre. Eu posso entender mais ou menos todas coises.
The members sometimes feed us lunch. We have a schedule but most of the time the member who is supposed to feed us just gives us money to buy food. We get food and cook at home. We eat mostly what we can make. I made fried chicken once. But other than that a lot of instant meals... I´ve been eating fruits and vegetables though! We had a pineapple that may have been one of the best pineapples ever!!! Also, Bananas and oranges and corn and peas and beets. The most exotic thing... Probably That pineapple. Rice and beans are really the base meal here.
I got your package and only opened the things that weren’t wrapped for Christmas. I would love more oatmeal and sweettarts!!!!!!!!!
Today, We’re gonna go look for a tie store! Super exciting!!!! I actually have 2 hours on the computer for letter writing today, so that is unusual. I got quite a few emails this week. So that’s still good! Yes, I am able to print the emails you send to me, but I also love the hand written letters. Also, I like the pics you send in the emails, but REALLY like the ones I can hold in my hand. BTW, I can only get packages and actual mail when we go to Floripa, which is rare, Or at zone meetings. Which are once a month.
This week was good! We had some pretty good success this week! We gave out 3 LDM this week so we could potentially have 3 new investigators! So that’s cool! We had some good food this week. We had Lunch with the ward yesterday! I´m used to having tables and chairs to set up an take down, but the whole ward fit on one table! Only like 12 people there! kinda sad...
We have done a LOT of traveling this transfer... We´ve really only had 7 days actually preaching the gospel.... Bummer. And we have a conference with our area authority this week in Floripa! So we´ll be traveling again! YAY!!! Muito chato... Oh well they have something we need to hear!
Well everyone, I wish you well this week!
I´ll leave a message that I learned this week in a bit of a hard way.
This week I hit a really hard bottom.... But while I was reading the scriptures and I happened upon the Atonement Chapter in Luke. Christ Is the perfect example of humility and toughness. I decided that day that I would not " boast in my own strength" but I will "boast in the strength of my God" because I know that without them I would be nothing.
So for you boys out there in the family, remember that when you embark on your missions like I have. It WILL be hard. But with the strength of OUR God we can do anything. Remember your Savior especially at this time of Christmas. Love you all.
Elder George.

November 17, 2014

I am in a city called Imarui South of Florianopolis. I can only get letters at the mission home. They dont want us to get any letters anywhere else.
Well this week was LONG. Lots of traveling. Our area is 4 hours south of Floripa by bus. So, We had a lot of time to sleep off the plane ride and getting up at 4 in the morning. Other then that. nothing is really new. My companion is cool. the people here are nice, kinda crazy though, and the weather is warm. Attached is the view from our appartment which is pretty nice btw! Pretty roomy, clean, and stays cool throughout the day.
Food here is good as well. We have had to cook for ourselves so thats different then the CTM. Now we just prostelite, go to meetings, plan, eat, and have a good time! Portuguese is coming along well. I´m understanding people more then the first day. Which is nice. OTher then that, if anyone wants to semd a letter to me, send it to the mission home. My mom has the address. I cannot recieve mail at my apartment.... So thats a drag but it should be good. Other then that everyone, sorry for the short email today. uploading pictures took a lot of time, and emailing the Mission Pres. isn´t super easy cause I dont speak or write in Portuguese very well yet. Well everyone, see you next week!
Elder George

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 11, 2014:
Well we arrived safely in the mission home today! We left the CTM at 5 in the morning and I had to get up at 415 in the morning! So its possible you guys were going to bed when I got up! WEIRD! But Floripa is SOOOOO much better then São Paulo. Its so green here! Also its a lot cleaner here. No trash everywhere. Que bom! Otro que issa, não muitos otros coises novos. I might have just got my Christmas package As I am writing this! Not much time today. But PDAY is on Monday and I will go to my premeiro area a manha. Cannot wait to send pictures next week. love you guys! talk to you next week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The First 6 Weeks

October 1, 2014:
Well I cant say that I had a great flight experience. Long, uncomfortable, and the food.... SUCKS. Other then that, most of the missionaries are nice and chill. There is even a sister missionary that we found on the way!! We met up with some elders and the sister in salt lake and then the rest in Detroit. Fun stuff! Still hasn't set in that I am gonna be in a different country for 2 years. Will probably set in when my head hits the pillow. But stuff is good. My companion is Elder Smith from Florida! he's nice from what I've seen so far. Lunch is next, and then a meeting with the president. Crazy! P-day is Wednesday from what it looks like. I will have pictures up probably next week. So don't pester about it ma! Miss you guys a bunch and hope you guys have great week. Hopefully I do too.

October 10, 2014:
Life is freaking crazy!!!! Weeks are short but days are long! I'll explain more about that later. So everything that's been going on. Portuguese is coming along fine. Meals are very exotic! Not. Rice and beans every meal! My districts classroom is always not terribly nice smelling. Oh well. Meat is fantastic here! I know Cammy will appreciate that. My companion is nice, tall and good with gospel topics. you can't upload pictures in the MTC sadly. But I will have sooo many my first P-Day in the field.
 I taught my first lesson in Portuguese last Friday. Crazy! It was sketch and just reading off a page the whole time but I said the words! Other stuff with language, our district went to the temple today in Sao Paulo and it was awesome! We got there a bit late so we had to wait a few hours... But that lead to something so much greater. I performed my first baptism in Portuguese at the Sau Paulo Temple! Like I dunked people!!!!! First baptism and I did it in Portuguese! Como um chefe! Hit the translate. Hopefully it means what I want it to. We got back from the temple and we had Cheeseburgers and fries and stuff!!! Best meal ever after rice and beans for almost 2 weeks! Its getting hot here. Not too bad but not great. Lessons are confusing sometimes and teaching is still a bit rough. But that will come.
 Conference was AMAZING!! They showed it in English which was awesome. After like 20 straight hours of being lectured in Portuguese I had 10 hours of uplifting messages in English. Good stuff. I won't say what my favorite was because I don't have one at this point. But that should come soon. I've gotten more letters then anyone in my district. Thanks MOM! <3 People love those Mormon Memes. I had like 15 emails too!
 Sleeping and getting up is a bit easier then the first week. At first I thought I was gonna die. I did the math and getting up at 630 every morning here is like getting up at 330 every morning there!
 As for home stuff. I miss everyone. Not been easy trying to put that aside. But the price to pay for blessings! Other then that just the same old thing. Get up, eat breakfast, study til lunch, eat, study til dinner, eat, study til physical activity, change, study more, then bed! Really so exciting. Not much else! Just trying to get through day to day!
October 17, 2014:
This week was good! Well some of the time... Things are still pretty good though. Getting along just fine. some nights are harder then others, but overall I feel okay. Anything new to report.... not much really. Staying in the same room, all day, 30 minutes of physical activity, and more study is starting to melt everyone's brain... Not too good... But It happens I guess. The only thing I can think to describe at this point is how fast time moves, and how slow it moves... Days are long, weeks are short. That's the only way to describe it! Its really good and really bad. So PDAY comes quick, but when I look at each day its like eternity. Nights were a bit harder this week. That photo album is killer. So are Mom's letters... 
Well I have to say that my favorite talk from conference has to be a talk from President Uchtdorf. "Is It I" I don't even have to say why! If you want to know go listen to it. Its fantastic!  
That's really it this week. Not much interesting happened. Pictures will start coming Mid Novemberish. Apparently you cant upload pictures in the CTM.  
To this email I add my personal witness that God lives. He knows each one of us. He knows our struggles and our shortcomings. He knows us. He answers prayers. I've had prayer after prayer answered these past weeks. Every time I think I cant do it anymore, I'm reminded of a scripture. I don't know where it is because I haven't had the time to find it, but its about the 2000 valiant sons of Heleman. They were not afraid to go against their enemy to battle for they KNEW their God would protect them, because of what they're mothers taught them. I share that witness. I get scared everyday. But I remember their strength and it gives me strength. I love everyone. I miss everyone. I'm praying for you. And I leave you this week in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
October 24, 2014:
OLÂ!!! Tudo bem?! I hope so. Anyway, activities for this week were all over the place! Some good stuff and some bad stuff. But we'll start with the good shall we! 
For starters, we are almost halfway done!!! That's freakin sick! Super pumped to actually get to Florianopolis. I'm super tired of looking at the same classroom everyday for 10 hours a day. We went proselyting on Wednesday and that was super great!! Our district gave out 53 Livro de Mormons!!!!!! 53!!!!!!! We could potentially have converted 53 people/families. Awesome stuff. I got some actual mail this week and that was good. I 've decided to do 25 ish pushups a night before bed now. Everyone will probably appreciate this but I think I've gained weight..... Like quite a bit. I think I've put on like 5 or 6 pounds since I've been here! AGHHHHH. Most of you will say no you haven't... But it's true! This food has been terrible to me! I can't wait to make my own. Anyway! Everything else is pretty good. The language is coming right along, but speaking Portuguese 24/7 practically will do that faster then 1 hour a day in school! We had a devotional by the president and his wife on Tuesday that was OUTSTANDING. The life of Joseph Smith. Couldn't have been done better. Sterling emailed me as well! That was cool. I'll probably shoot him a two liner real quick. 
I guess I'll get  to the improvement that was suggested this week. Presidente Swenson came in and grilled us for like an hour about crap some people were doing. That was fun. instructors have been at us once a day at least as well. We have got to get it together. But I can't fix anything on my own here. Our instructors are cool about it though, as well as one other instructor. One of them reminds me of Nathan Stoddard. And a member of our Branch presidency reminds me of brother Horrocks! So weird! Anywho, everything is mostly the same here. Same old thing different day. 
As for a spiritual thought, I was reading Jacob 3 the other day and found something very cool. Read verse one and you'll see what I mean. Coooool stuff. Really helped me the past few days. 
Well that's all for this week. Sorry there more interesting stuff! And Ma, I would LOVE a gift or two from Mr. Cheney's cookie shop ;). Just a hint!
October 31,2014:
What a week!!! It's been so crazy! And kinda bad at the same time. Anyway, Class is the same and learning the language is still hard. BUT, I have learned to give a 30 minute lesson practically off the cuff! Its soooo nice to be able to that again! Other then that my new custom leather scripture case will either be done today or next week. HOPEFULLY today!!! That would be awesome. Other stuff.... I've been thinking quite a lot about life here and I have quite a few mixed feelings. Especially now.  
Announcement time. I am now the district leader for the MTC district 40B. Scary stuff. Its good so far. Been the district leader since Sunday. It's not all its cracked up to be. And also I know John will call me a climber ;) But I'm not I swear! Anyway, Its a good experience and it also is a bit frustrating when nobody obeys the rules because you are in charge of enforcing them. Ugh! 
Other stuff, The temple was good today, but it was the REALLY old film. Not my favorite. At all. Oh well though. It was a very boring week this week. We got a HEAVY lecture from some administrators yesterday and that was not fun, and some individuals in the district took it hard. They weren't happy about it. I thought it was fine but they were less then pleased. 
For a spiritual thought this week, I've been reading a lot about Joseph Smith and his trials compared to Christ. They are pretty similar. They both did the right thing despite CONSTANT trial and tribulation. They both KNEW what they were and what they had seen. They fought for it all their lives until the bitter end. Cool stuff.
Well that's it for this week. Really kinda boring.
November 7, 2014:
This 6 weeks has gone by really fast, and yet slow.... Its the weirdest thing. Anyway, Stuff is the same here. Our "Investigators", Instructors, are getting baptized tomorrow and We're "so excited" This being the final PDAY is worrisome for some. Not for me because I know that the Lord will not leave his faithful missionaries alone as long as we are faithful. BUT it will be nice to actually be in Brazil! I feel like I never left the US because of how sheltered the CTM is. Some missionaries are nervous as I said. 2 or 3 guys in my district are in for a rude awakening. That will be a trial by fire for them... Not me!!! 
Anywho, This week was mostly bland. Me and Elder Smith's teaching is getting better and we have a lot of fun. too bad we leave in 4 days. But its time to get out there and really serve! Super excited! It'll be great to see the change in atmosphere and actually get to send pictures to people! And those ocean views man. Can't wait for those and the food that comes with them ;) I get my scripture case today and I'll send Pictures next week of how awesome it is :) Other then that, it's been a ride being here for six weeks. I'm ready to leave. It's bittersweet though. Like leaving home, only a lot more sweet and less bitter.  
Nothing much spiritual this week. BUT on Sunday I'm performing with the rest of my district in front of the whole CTM in the Devotional that night! I'm gonna record the audio today and send it home next week for Mom. I know she's gonna want that. Monday is gonna be crazy. Meetings and training all day long! Literally all day! Not looking forward to that. I will be wearing a suit for 3 days straight... I need to get that thing dry-cleaned asap! Not that it's dirty but you guys get what I mean. Well that's really it for this week.