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New Adventures In Denver North Mission

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

I’m technically being trained again. I don’t have to do all of the training again, but I think President Toombes wants me to get familiar with the program so I can train in three months. Which is cool. Its pretty exciting to be teaching in English, its helping me with my social anxiety a lot. In Brazil I had a language barrier to hide behind. I can see a lot of reasons why I’m here. We live with members, which is a little weird. We have like a room in the basement, and my bed is 2 mattresses and 2 box springs. Its pretty comfy actually. They’re both retired, and their kids have moved out, so its pretty quiet around the house. We have a microwave, our own bathroom, and a fridge. They also have a piano that they let us play, so that’s pretty neat. I’m going to try to learn how to read music better again.

The work is slower here than in Brazil, which is okay with me because I feel less pressure. I’m getting better at talking to people, and by the end of the mission I should be a pro. We have a cool district, there are a bunch of really funny guys. When I first got here, there was an Elder from Brazil, and when I talked to him I found out that he lived in my last zone. I actually did baptisms for the Sisters in his ward. So that was pretty cool. Having a car is nice, I stay nice and cool on the way to appointments. We get 120 dollars a month, so if I budget right, I could leave with some good money. President actually told us too, that an Elder had left right before us with 300 dollars.
We get fed dinner instead of lunch, so I bought cereal for breakfast today and Ramen noodles for lunch. I have some fruit and bread for sandwiches too, so don’t worry about me eating healthy. I haven’t had as much time to draw as I would like, but as soon as everything settles down I think I’ll start to doodle a little every night.
We have a few people who are ready for baptism. In fact one is sitting right next to me! She likes to go to the library where we do email. For free. We have an older man who just needs to marry his wife, who is a member. There’s also a woman who’s son is going to fly here to baptize her on the 21st. So even though the work is slower we still baptize. We teach less lessons, and we don’t get into peoples houses as much, but that’s okay. Ive gotten the door slammed on my only once, but since I’m not really new to the mission I’m okay with it. So I’ll be with my first companion for 3 months, and then I’ll train. I’m still getting used to the area here, and meeting people, but I’m not as nervous as I was when I first got to Brazil.

All in all, I’m going to be alright. I try not to think too much about how long I still have here. Hopefully in two months when I hit my year mark, it will start to go even faster. Keep sending me emails, say hi to everybody, and get my mission address out to people so I can start getting letters haha. BTW, I only have one request so far for a package, and that’s a blending stub. Nothing else yet, most stuff I can get here. More rubber bands would be cool, I’m going to try and get it basketball sized. Not much else to say, only got emails from you, president McCombie, and Grandma Nelson.

November 9th

Monday, November 21st, 2011

I’ve never actually seen mac and cheese here, but I hear they have it in some stores, but it’s expensive. The mac and cheese Elder Heaton has he got in a package from home for his birthday. I have no idea what I want, just whatever you can think of. I’m so tired constantly, but we’re so busy I usually forget how tired I am. Elder Heaton is sick, a combination of a cold and allergies, so his brain isn’t working either. Its funny when he talks and he cant even say what he wants. The temple was great, we got there a little late because of the bus, so we missed our session, but we were witnesses for the baptisms they were doing. It was really neat, and really reminded me of all the times I went to the temple for baptisms. Seeing the picture of Tanner reminds me a lot about when I was in cross country too. I’m glad to hear the uncle Adam is doing better. We had another laid back week, so I don’t have to much to write, but we have baptisms this weekend and transfers next Tuesday, so I’ll make sure to write a ton to you guys about it. I’m super tired, we played a lot of basketball last p-day, and then Monday morning we played basketball for our exercise. It was really fun. Today we are going to play a little more, maybe some ping pong too, and eat some mac and cheese. Our gas ran out last p-day, so we didn’t get to make it. But I think were going to call the gas guys soon so we can start using our oven again. Anyway, I will write to you next week, love you, cant wait to see you guys again, Tchau!

November 16th

Monday, November 21st, 2011
I completely forgot that they are the Titans there now. I remember going to the Indiana branch, it would probably be easier for me to understand now. Thats how it always starts learning another language though, you just learn more and more words until that you can understand everything. The new car sounds pretty cool. Gas is extremely expensive here by the way. I though it was cheaper because it’s 2.89 a liter, but then I learned that a gallon is three and a half liters. So we’re actually pretty lucky. Imagine paying for gas three times what your paying now. I really want to see Chelsee’s little boy. Mom will probably tell me in her email, but whats his name? Its not to hot here right now, when it gets really really hot here, like it was a few days ago, we get a couple days of rain right after. I remember a member telling me about a time last year where it rained for fifteen days straight. It might have been even longer, I dont remember exactly. So this last Saturday we baptised three people, Messias, Rosi, and Kelly. Messias and Rosi have known missionaries for four years, and have been slowly investigating since then. Messias is extremely curious, and wants to know everything, but he’s also really stubborn. He finally decided that the only thing he could do to progress and learn more about the church, was get baptized. His wife decided to get baptized too. Kelly has been going to church for a few months, but never thought she was ready to get baptized. So we had our zone leader do an interview with her, she passed, and he told her she was ready. She didn’t show up at the baptism on time, so we went to get her, and her shower had broken so she was still fixing it. She told us to pass by in half an hour and she would be ready. We ended up having to do two baptismal services, but it was worth it. Elder Heaton made brownies. Monday we visited Solange and her family, recent converts who really love Elder Heaton. They were really sad he was leaving, everyone bore their testimony and told him how glad they were that he had passed through this area. Then yesterday we went to transfers, and my new companion is Elder Coelho. I don’t know him that well yet, but he seems pretty cool. I will send an email next week with more about how its going with my new comp. He’s brazilian, and now there are three Brazilians in the house, so I’m hoping my Portuguese will get better.
I cant even think of fire or hot chocolate. It’s so hot here. The last few days have been a little rainy, but it’s still warm. For the Brazilians it gets cold here, but for me its always hot.  I’m glad I’m on the mission. I still have vitamins, I forget to take them every day though. Other than that, there’s a recent convert girl here, Luara, who wants to know what foreign exchange student program you guys are doing. She wants to go to the states to study, and she was thinking it would be neat if she went to our house. By the time she did the program I would already be back from the mission though. She’s 19, shes going to take an English course this next year, and she wants to learn it so she can go to an English speaking mission. I forgot to charge my camera, so I will have to send you pictures next week. I will send a bunch. I think I have changed a lot from the last time you saw me, I’ve gained weight, I’ve tanned a lot, I think I might have even gotten taller. But I guess you would be able to tell me if I look different better than I could.  Transfers were good yesterday, it was pouring rain when I had to take two of Elder Heatons three extremely heavy bags to the bus stop, and when we got to the bus station where we do transfers, the escalator was out, so I had to drag the bags up the stairs. But it was neat to see Elder Motta and a bunch of my other mission buddies. My new companion is Elder Coelho (Portuguese for Rabbit), and the two other elders in our house are Elder Bastos, Elder Santos and Elder Nogeira. Nogeira is being trained, he just got here from the MTC. I dont know a whole lot about them all because I just met them yesterday, but they all say I speak Portuguese really well. I’m hoping that I will get even better with three Brazilians in the house.
Well, I will send you some pictures next week. Another thing, do you think that when you guys come to Brazil we will stay at Matheus´s house? I know its a little early to start planning, but there are tons of people who tell me any time I wanted to visit Brazil I can stay at there house. So we will always have somewhere to stay at.
Tchau until next week!

Halloween 2011

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The only thing really exciting that happened this week was that we had a typhoon Saturday. Every one calls it a tempest here, but it was pretty cool. We were in our house, and I had just taken a cold shower to cool off, when there was a bunch of banging around that came from the top of our house. So we looked outside and there was crazy wind blowing, dust and garbage flying everywhere. Then it started to rain, and the wind blew it sideways. We could hear trees breaking, thunder booming, and all of a sudden the power cut out. We grabbed our flashlights, and just watched through the windows. It was sweet, it was so dark and there were still people on the street, running and trying to find cover. I feel bad for the sisters in our zone, who were filling up the baptismal font in the chapel when the storm started. So they had to stay in the chapel until 1130 at night. The power was out in the morning, in almost the entire city. The church didn’t have power either, but we had to get to a city close by to do the baptism for the sisters. When we got back for sacrament meeting, the power was back on. All around town there were trees lying in the street, garbage everywhere, parts of peoples houses hanging off. We lost a part of our roof, when we woke up it was in the neighbors yard. Our kitchen was full of water, and because here in Brazil the showers are electric, we had to take cold showers. It was pretty exciting though, and I slept really well even though the storm was so loud. Well, I just thought you could put this in the blog, its the most exciting thing that’s happened in a while. But the work is going well, and the mission is passing by really quickly. At the end of this transfer, I’ll have 9 months!

Thanks for writing, until next week! Tchau!

Ola some more

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

I got the Halloween package today, and at exactly 3:00 today I got the letters from you guys. It was awesome to see Matheus´s writing in Portuguese. I still need to send my letter to him. Not much happened this week, we found another baptism for the fifth this next month, so that’s at least four we should have (fingers crossed). There are lots of Brazilians there in Salt Lake too. It’s so awesome that now I basically have a sister in Germany and a Brazilian brother. Everythings going great here. I had an idea for the Thanksgiving package today. I would be very thankful if I got double stuff oreos and pop tarts. And whatever else you guys want to send. It was great to read your letters today, and that package has some awesome stuff in it. Thank you! I can’t wait to see you guys again, not too much longer. I’ve only got a little more time before I hit a year! Talk to you next week! Love you mom!

Don’t have much time to write today, we spent our pday in Campinas and we just got back. My sunburn went away a couple days ago, but now its starting to peel. Did you know there’s a Mormon running for president again? His name is Jon Huntsman, and he served in Taiwan. I’ve learned how to make rice and beans Brazilian style, so I will be eating them for the rest of my life. I love Gaurana and I can see how Matheus misses it. I got the Halloween package and the letters from you guys today. It was kind of sad that I didn’t see a letter from Jordan in there, maybe I didn’t see it, but it would make sense since he’s not home anymore. Well, can’t wait to hear from you next week! Tchau!


Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Hey Mom! I get my letters once a month, so it wouldn’t do any good to send them separately. I did get the letter from Carson, and the ten dollars that were inside. I am taking pictures, I just always forget my cord to hook it up to the computer. We baptized Solange this last weekend, now we just need to help her husband with his drinking problems and he can be baptized too. He already said he really wants to. It’s good to hear that Connors growing up, its going to be so weird to see everybody when I go back. Two years is a long time, especially to growing teenagers. I hope Adam will get better soon, I’m praying for him. Well, not much other news this week, except that my legs got really sun burnt today, and they really hurt. It would be great to have aloe vera, but by the time you guys sent it, it would already be healed. I’ll see if I can find some here. I’ve learned from my mistakes, and will always put on sun screen when I’m playing soccer. We had a barbeque today, and it was really fun. Alright then, I’m going to shower, and maybe nap for the rest of my  pday. Oh ya, did you know that because of the time change, We’re now seven hours apart? You guys gained an hour, we lost one. I’ll write more next week. Love you mom! Tchau!

Wow, Tanner looks a lot like dad. And they both look really tired. It’s hard to tell how long it takes to get a package, because I only get them once a month. I think it’s somewhere between three to six weeks though. It’s weird to me to that I’ll be 20!

Another Week Gone by!‏

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

This week has been pretty good. Jardim Paulista is part of Hortolândia, close to Monte Mor. It’s right next to Campinas. I think. I wrote a letter for Mateus in Portuguese last week, I just need to send it now. I haven’t gotten any letters from Uncle Carson yet, but I did get a bunch of letters from the Wilkersons and the package from the Young women. It was kind of funny, Cheyenne Wilkerson started her letter to Elder Spencer. I hope he isn’t going to get a letter to Elder Perry. I think the letters might have been a little late too, because it said that it was accidentally shipped to India. The address was wrong, they wrote to Capinas, but it got to me anyway. I still think that some people have the wrong email address for me, because lots of people like Carolyn, Susan, and Jared have said that they wrote emails to me, but I never get them. The package from the young women had little twix minis, some snickers peanut butter minis, Pop tarts (YES!!!), dried apple slices, raisinets, a little water bottle, and a bunch of letters. I shared the apple slices with some investigators, and they loved them. It’s fun to remember back when I was running cross country. We don’t do tours in the chapel, but we can anytime we want. It’s always open to us, (we have keys) and the other day we had a wedding there. We gave some tours to nonmembers who went. Solange and Claudio, who have been investigating the church for a long time and wanting to get baptized, finally got married this last Saturday. It was great. Solange is going to get baptized this Saturday, and maybe Claudio, but he has some drinking problems. I took a bunch of pictures at the wedding, but I don’t have my camera today. I just keep forgetting it. Its funny to look at my self now and when I was in the MTC.  I’m a lot tanner, and a little bigger. I’ve gained like twenty pounds, but I’m still skinny. It’s like twenty pounds all over me, so you can’t really see it. I am starting to get a little bit of a belly because of eating so much rice, so I’m going to try to eat a little less and do more sit ups. My pants were starting to be a little tight, but it’s back to normal now. Well, I can’t really think of that much more to write, I might write more to you later. It was great to hear from home, I’ll write more next week!

I Love Wednesday

Monday, September 26th, 2011
Hello again from Brazil! This Sunday we had branch conference. It was pretty neat, the bishop rented a bus for all our investigators and for everyone who needed a ride. We had a lot of people at church, everybody invited less active members, friends, and family. There were some really good speakers too.
Last P-day I tried to make Brigadeiros, a great chocolate treat they have here, for the first time on my own. It started out well, and was going pretty good, but I ended up burning them. We’ve spent the last week trying to get the burnt mess out of the pot. But its almost all out. The problem was that my companion asked me if I knew how to tell when they were done, and I said no. So he said, well I’m going to take a shower, they should be done by the time I get out. And they were. Very well done. But it was a good learning experience at least.
So we have been teaching a lot of people, and there’s some good news about our investigators. I can’t remember if it was last week, and if I already said something about it, but we went with Solange and Claudio to the marriage office and marked their wedding. They’re going to get married Oct. 8, and baptized Oct. 9. Elder Heaton is sad because its not until after transfers, so we don’t know if we will be here still. We also have been teaching Eduardo more, and his whole family is excited about his baptism. They’re all going to church this Sunday, and we will keep teaching them and see if any more of the family will join. Eduardo is already wanting us to teach his aunt, so hes excite for us to teach his family. They’re really great people, its just that they haven’t been to church yet, only Eduardo. But at least this Sunday they will go for the baptism. Well, I will write more news next week. Tchau tchau!

Week 3, Transfer 4

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
These last few weeks have flown by. We’re really busy, there is always too much to do. Even on Pday! But today I’m finally going to write about this area, my companion and everything we’ve been doing this past three weeks.
So my new area is Jardim Paulista. The Ward Jardim Amanda here grew so big that they had to split into two separate wards, and now Paulista is even bigger than Amanda. Jardim Amanda is the biggest neighborhood in South America, but its not our area. We have Jd. Amanda 2, Jd. Paulista, Parque de Café, Nova Avorada, and a bunch of other neighborhoods. We have to walk fifteen minutes from our house to get to our actual area, and we need to take the bus to get to the area where were working.  We live in a house in Amanda, above a mechanic shop. Its a pretty big house for missionaries, but we do have four of us living there. Its also really messy, and its hard to keep clean with this many people living here, so Ive given up. I still clean a little, and keep at least my area organized, but the rest of the house is pretty messy. Its better now than when I first got here, but still pretty bad. Its me, Elder Heaton, Elder Ricardo, and Elder Fa. Elder Ricardo is Brazilian, from Recife. Elder Fa is Tongan, but he lived in the states. My companion is Elder Heaton, from some town in Colorado that I cant remember. But his family is moving to Denver. He has 9 brothers and sisters, so I think his parents are busy. His older sister is getting married soon, and their going to wait for Elder Heaton to get home so he can go to their sealing in the temple.
Its starting to get really hot here. Because the seasons are switched, as everyone back home is going into fall and winter, were going into summer. December is when it gets the hottest. We started using sunscreen because the sun really beats down on you when you walk around outside at midday. Every day we get to take a little break where we sit under a tree and eat a little snack in the shade. Its not much time to rest, but when we’ve been walking around in the heat for hours, its a blessing. Its paradise just to sit down and eat an apple. The problem is that our area is pretty big, and the people who were preparing for baptism live pretty far apart. But its going to be worth it.
Now for our investigators. We try to visit a family every night, Solange, Claudio and Jessica. Solange was a reference from a member that my companion got last transfer, but she still isn’t baptized. Although, everyone else around her is. Her daughter, her niece, her sister, even a boy she used to babysit, have all been baptized because we met them through her. Shes ready, the only problem is that she isn’t married. But her and Claudio are going to get married soon, we just need to keep helping them. Its not hard when she likes to make us dinner and cake. We also met another kid who she used to take care of, and hes really interested in the church. Solange got a little frustrated because she sent the missionaries where her sister lives to go visit her sister, who was then baptized in two weeks. Shes been investigating the church for months and cant get baptized, but her sister already is. Its funny though, its just a problem of waiting for all the papers to go through for her marriage.
We walked to the neighborhood on the outskirts of our area the other week, because we had a reference there. When we talked to the family, we found out that 4 months ago Elder Heaton met them at a church activity, and it had taken 4 months for us to get their address. But we invited them to church, and the 13 year old boy went the next day. And the next week. He also went to a church dance, and is excited to go camping this Saturday for another church activity. His name is Eduardo, hes really excited about everything to do with the church, and really excited for his baptism. His mom and dad haven’t been to church, but they read a part in the Book of Mormon, and they really like us visiting. His mom is really excited about his baptism, and shes already talking about him serving a mission. And she hasn’t even been to church! Its awesome, he really wants to serve a mission. He started taking an English class, and he wants to practice talking with us so he can go to the United States for his mission.
These are our investigators that are progressing the most right now, we have a bunch of others that were teaching too. The members here are really cool. Our Bishop works at IBM, and speaks English fluently. His son wants to start going on splits with us twice a week, and start learning English with us and his dad. There’s a member who helps us a lot who’s Colombian. He works at IBM too, and speaks with a really strong accent. In his house the whole family speaks a mix of Portuguese and Spanish. Its pretty amazing to see how much Spanish I can understand, it shouldn’t be too hard to learn after the mission. The members have also been doing a lot of activities where investigators, less active members, and members all get together, sing some hymns and read some scriptures, and then eat. Its really fun, and its great to take our investigators there. They make friends with members, and we get to eat cake! This area has a lot of cake, I hope I don’t get fat. But I don’t think I have to worry when its getting so hot.
Well, Ill make sure to send more news about whats going on next week. Until then, tchau tchau from Brazil!


Sunday, August 14th, 2011
Yup, it was the big one. A bunch of beef jerky, which I’m good to
go with the jerky now. It should last a while, I don’t eat it very much,
just snack a little during morning study. I am learning a lot with this
companion, especially about patience and humility. So I’m going to try my best to be humble and follow the spirit. I
need a lot of guidance, especially this last week. We had a division yesterday, and I
talked with Elder Steck a lot. He’s going home in two weeks, so he helped
me to see the big picture. He had a really difficult companion for three
transfers in the same area. He said for two transfers he tried to help
him, tried to change him, but the third he just decided to work as hard
as he could and be grateful and happy to be serving the mission. He says
it helped a lot. So I decided to do the same, not just with my
companion now, but with everyone. I remember that when I was happy,
thinking about investigators, and really working hard, the transfer
passed really quickly. So that’s what I’m going to do for the rest of my
mission. I don’t have much time to write, so I will write more for the
blog next week.
I’m sure I could hang out with Matheus on a P=day, he could play
football or go bowling with us or something. I’ll ask President Tanner
and then get back to you.
Say Hi to all the Hatches for me, love you and I’ll talk to you more next week! Tchau!
P.S. I was thinking the other day, and I got this strong feeling
that I needed to hug my mom. So next time I see her I’m just gonna give
her a big hug, but I’m gonna keep it a surprise, don’t tell her.