Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon

Monday, August 24, 2015

Friends and Family 8-24-15

Sorry about the short email last week. I really didn't have much time.
My bday was.... Fine... Not great... I didn't get any mail but Hopefully I will this week! There is a guy going to Floripa this week to train so he's gonna try and go get it! So I really hope it's there! Other then that I have only gotten one bday card from RD.  But we had lunch and the sisters made a cake for me! I sent pics of it so that was nice of them. We also had a ward activity about the.... IRON ROD!! It turned out great! I was the voice preparing them to get on the rod and it was awesome! I felt so dramatic! I was telling them all about how the blindfolds that they were wearing represented the veil at birth and that they should grab the rod and listen for the voice which would guide them until the tree of life. It was super spiritual and a few people were in tears and others laughed others were deep in thought. Now we have NO idea what we'll do for the next activity. Good thing its next month. Then we came home and we got a HUGE pizza that wrecked everyone. WE woke up the next day and everyone was like "hung-over" from pizza.... Super funny... We got 6 different flavors and I don't even remember what they were... But it was awesome.
Another spiritual experience was we got to have a conference with Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles! He was in Floripa! AND I FREAKIN MISSED IT! Super angry... But we had a meeting last night where it was broadcasted and it was good. He talked a lot about the temple and finding your OWN light before sharing it with others. He also talked about giving an example with your light and not FORCING your light on someone else. SO that was cool. Elder Aidukatis was there as well. Elder Anderson also spoke in PORTUGUESE! He had a lot of accent but it was good! He spoke a bit in English which was cool. Its been a while since I have had one of those meetings. It was really good and I wish I could say more but time prohibits.
We didn't travel this week because transfers happened and A LOT of things changed. In the mission there are now 18 assistants to the president and there are 2 per zone. Now they will be the ones going to the conferences with president. We got a call and my companion is being transferred to be one of the assistants in another area. I am receiving a new comp; he was a junior his entire mission and now he is a Zone Leader with me.
I have started my referencing of the book of Mormon in Portuguese that mom gave me before I left and it is great. I am referencing the scriptures that have to do with Attributes of Christ and it is amazing. I'm learning a lot about what HE would do and how HE would act so that it helping me a lot this week. I have a few of those cards that mom sent so long ago as bookmarks and I'm liking it a lot.
Yeah I got that pic of Steve's companion, and I thought that I sent it to you! I sent it to them this week to see if he would remember. He is super nice and like Steve's twin. Super funny.
The ward is supportive and they do a good job. But it's finding people to teach without a referral which is the trick. We are gonna try some new things this transfer and see if we cant get some more people to teach. We don't have too many yet. We have two that I mentioned I think already. One has trouble with just about everything; He probably only got baptized because of his family so that's a hard thing. We have another guy as well. He was taught by the Elders before us and since then has been so busy that he cant visit with us. So we are gonna really try and work him this transfer. They come to church every once in awhile but not every Sunday. At least they come!
The weather hasn't made its mind up yet. It was hot, then cold, then rainy, than windy and well annoying. This week it should be cool but not cold is what I've heard. But I don't know. The weather here is like home... Doesn't seem to follow a schedule.
But I guess that's all the really interesting things this week. I should get other bday things this week if anyone sent anything... hint hint... But in advance thank you everyone for the support thoughts and prayers. They make all the difference for me here around the world in a dusty, hilly town in Brazil. I love you all and I hope you have a great week starting school again!
Love Elder George
Eating mashed potatoes on my Birthday

Monday, August 17, 2015

Birthday Boy 8-17-15


Well I didn’t think I would make it this far already! My Bday is on Wednesday and that is freakin crazy to think about. It feels like I've been here forever but at the same time not very long... Weird. 
I'm getting healthier every day and now this is the end of the transfer yet again! I'm positive that I'm staying but I REALLY don’t want Elder S. to leave... That would break my heart really. He is one of the better friends that I have had on the mission.
We have another 24 hours on the bus this week and it will be long. We are going to council with President on Sunday night and we'll get there on Monday morning probably. Should be okay. The better part is I'll get my bday stuff! We are so far away from the mission home, we don’t get mail very often.
This week was good but I will have mom give you guys the Q and A Things that she does so that I don’t have to break rules and stay longer.
I just wanted to use this email to ask if anyone has any requests in my emails from now on. If you have them then make them because if there isn’t any I don’t really know what to write here. So please ask me what you want to know! Sally that means you too!
I also want to thank everyone for the support and prayers these months and I hope that you feel blessed because of it! I know I do! I could never thank you guys enough. 
Well sorry there isn’t more but at least mom can send that other part. I Love you all and I Hope you all think of me on the 19th! Love you guys!
Elder George

1 What happened to your arms in that pic?!?!?
Well we had a towel whipping contest ;) IT was awesome!

2, Tell me about that party you sent pics of.
 That was a B-Day party for a girl in the ward. They have big parties when people turn 15 so that's what that was... super legit.
3, What was the most meaningful thing you experienced last week?
The best experience that I had was actually working out problems with my companion. I had been anxious about some stuff so that was good.
4, Are you well finally?
I am getting better. Slowly but its happening. I think WEDNESDAY! I will be better.
5, Tell me about your best lesson last week.
We had a lesson with someone who has stopped coming to church last week and that was awesome. Through questions and stuff we found out that he never really had a testimony of the Book of Mormon. So that is what we are gonna focus on this week with him. His name is J. Like in the BIble.
6, Are you enjoying your companion? being ZL? The area?
I think that this comp I will learn the most from. He is super awesome and he has a strong personality, so that’s what I need to learn really.  That sister is in our district: I'm almost as tall as her on my KNEES! It was hilarious!

This area has a lot of hills and is very beautiful.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Answering Questions! 8-10-15

This week mom asked Deven some specific questions about his new area. After answering the questions, he didn't have time for an actual letter. So his update this week is the answers to the questions. He then asked, "Will you tell them I love them?" So, consider yourselves told. ;-)
FYI: The missionaries are asked to make a certain number of contacts per day and per week. A “contact” is when they speak to someone more than just a "Hello;" asking about their lives, talking about the LDS Church, their mission, Jesus Christ, the meaning of life, etc. I am not sure how many contacts they are asked to have per week, but I vaguely remember him saying they should have about 70.

1- tell me the story behind that cake pic with your name tags. Seems like there is a story!
Well That is actually a muffin heart. I made it:  1- because I wanted muffins.     2- we didn't have a muffin pan so it's a heart.  3- we had a dispute the day before so I wanted to make amends. It worked out so that’s the story really.
2-How about your health-are you all better now that you're using your filter again?

Well... As soon as I wasn’t sick because of the water I got the flu. I have had it since last Tuesday and it still hasn’t gone away. I haven’t called Sister Silva because there was a chance to take a flu vaccine and I didn’t because I didn’t want to pay... So I'm kinda hating life right now. Yay learning from our poor decisions.
3-who is your investigator with the most potential right now?

We don’t have any consistent investigators… yet. BUT this week we have 4 return appointments to references from a member; and EVERYTIME they give references the people are sincerely interested! So we are super pumped.
4-tell me some of the Brazilian foods you've been making and I will Google them to see what they are.

Basically we make mashed potatoes, stroganoff, beans and rice, pasteis (Brazilian pastries), and a Brazilian hash thing that Elder A made... Don’t really know how to describe it... But that’s really it. They make pancakes here that are more like savory crepes and stuff like that; but you NEVER miss beans and rice.
5-you said your area has a lot of hills. Is it pretty? A lot of farms? A lot of people? Poverty?

It is pretty. Not as pretty as my last area, but I'll take so pics this week and send them to you guys. It's about the same size in population as the last area, maybe 100,000+, but geographically it is MASSIVE. Way bigger then home or the last area. Really big. They have 2 wards and 2 branches. (wards are larger than branches) So the work is really growing here.
6-finance speaking, is he area there like ours? Or do they have more or fewer material things?

They WOULD be about the same but the cost of living here is high so they don’t have as much. There are a lot of expenses, so they don’t make enough to really sustain themselves as well. But it’s not POOR. Just less then well off.
7-tell me about that cool camera!

The camera is awesome. It was one of the more cheaper cameras and it is really rather good. Sadly my other camera finally gave out on me. So this one will be cared for like my child and It will last the rest of my mission FOR SURE. It is a smart camera from Samsung so I can email pics and send them to a drop box and do all kinds of effects on stuff. Super sweet.
8-tell me about how you saw Gods hand in your life this week.

Well I had a bad week being sick and Saturday was horrible. I was feeling awful and wasn’t seeing straight because of needing to sneeze and stuff. We went to lunch, which was a 40 minute walk and I was destroyed. So after to lunch we got a ride to an Elders quorum (church sponsored) soccer activity. IT was at a REC center deal and we went to see if any investigator would be there since we can’t actually play soccer. As soon as we got in the door, this lady stopped us and asked us if one of us was American. I said that I was and she immediately stared speaking English with me! She told me that she was an English teacher and she wanted to have a native speak to her class to test their comprehension. So we went! We stayed there for quite a while and we had 25 contacts while sitting in air conditioning! So that made our day really. It helped me a lot too. I felt blessed for that.
Well, I love you and I'll send pics during the week! Love you!

Elder George

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Week-8-3-15

Well this week was another eventful one. Lots of good things! I'll talk about 3 things in specific instead of trying to sum up the whole week... We'll see if that's better.

On Wednesday we had interviews with presidente again and they were exceptional really. First off we talked about a talk from Pres. Benson from like 25 years ago which was kinda good. Lots of good insights. Really about how to lead and how to be a good member. Then we had interviews. We were last and there are at least 24 missionaries so that took quite a while to get around to us. Presidente decided to do a companionship interview where both the missionaries go in to talk with him and after that individually. My individual interview was good. I felt really good about the counsel I received. He also thanked me for doing what I needed to do to be on the mission. Super cool. I'm growing to really believe that he was meant to be my mission president.

Ward Activity of AWESOMENESS:
So that night on Wednesday was had our ward integration activity* and we were in charge of the message. So we went all out. First, we arranged the chairs in 2 columns and a bunch of rows of 3. It was to represent a plane ride... Anyway Elder S then began to announce that the flight would leave momentarily . Then, I had a big speaker, and I started to play "The Circle of Life." He then said "Welcome to your trip to AFRICA!" HE then did the security check and compared the safety devices to things in the Gospel which help and protect us, and then we went on our way! We then handed out little kitkat things for the "airline food" Then I played a different song that sounded a little more intense but soft... Elder S then announced that they were hitting turbulence. He reminded them of the safety devices and told them to stay calm.
THEN I played a sound of a plane crash... P.S. All of us were wearing our white clothes. The lights were off and Elder S. then announced that everyone had died in the crash and that they would either follow me to Paradise or Elder A to Prison. Then we split the group and went to different rooms in the church using only flashlights. We then talked about our respective places with music and then switched... My song was "the Burning Bush" from Prince of Egypt and his was some song by TSwift. We then led them to The Kingdoms. First,  Telestial. Elder S. Talked all about it with No Way Out by Phil Collins in the background. The Terestial kingdom was in another room and in the background was "I Can Go the Distance" from Hercules. Then.... Celestial.
We led them there in the dark with the flashlights we used for the whole thing and when we got there I started Praise to the Man from Lez do Axevedo or something like that and it was POWERFUL! WE talked about everything about the kingdom and told them that this should be their goal. We went back to end with our testimonies and in the background I had "Glorious" from "Meet the Mormons" by David Archuleta playing. It was amazing. The ward members were really touched by our presentation. Best activity ever.

This week we had two divisions. I had one with Elder S and one with the assistants. They were normal but I had an awesome day talking with Elder S. It was awesome really. So nice to have someone from close to home. Well thats about all the details this week about stuff. I hope everyone enjoyed and I'll see you guys next week!
Love you guys! Thanks for EVERYTHING!
Elder George

*Deven mentions an activity he and the other missionaries presented. He talks about this life being like a journey. He briefly shares some additional things which we believe happen after we die. If you are interested in more details of what Deven is referring to, you might enjoy the video, "Our Eternal Life."

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Family and friends,
literally I have 5 minutes so accept the typos and lets get this going.
My comp is great. He's super chill and really a lot like me. So now you can imagine.
The area has a lot of hills. So I think the shoes that I brought will have to be tossed after this area, but they have made it a year! So thats good I guess. For christmas maybe a nice new pair of shoues would be a good idea. the shoes here that last are super expensive. So maybe something to think about.
Elder S is in our house as well. He is from close to home! So we hang out quite a bit and talk baout things from home.
Being Zone Leader isnt too interesting or too different the District Leader, we just have more missionaries that we check in with. I collect the numbers from the DL's and stuff on Sunday and we go once a month to a training with President Silva. And then we train the District Leaders about the stuff he told us.
But thats basically it about that stuff.
This week was normal. More or less. We had the missionar tour with Elder Lear from the Quorum of the Seventy and it was good. He talked a lot about Charity and loving the people and the other missionaries and avoiding contention. So it was super good. The bad thing was we were ont he bus a total of 24 hours this week. so that was great. 11 hours there and 13 back.... so that was a drag but it was worth it. 
That night we had a water gun fight just for fun and it was awesome: 4 elders running around with little water toys and it was funny.
The day after we found a store called BIG. Apparently it is the same chain as Walmart! Super cool. I was so happy to find it and i thought to myself. Of all the places to have one... But oh well.
Sorry this thing is so short but we have to walk a lot today... gotta get everything ready for interviews on Wednesday with President. So I Love you all and I'll see you guys later!
Elder George