Saturday, December 29, 2012

its beginning to look a lot like an oven.....m​osquitos are everywhere​... (add music, you know what tune...)

Dear family, friends, and whoever,

yay, I had the opportunity to skype with my family this week on Christmas day, which was by far the highlight of the week. We have had rain constantly for the last 3 days, and has started a significant amount of normal flooding here in Porto Alegre. Most of the areas are fine, but there are little villages that are very poorly constructed and are made out of cardboard/billboards/alluminum sheet metal, and other things of the like that don't endure really that well against several days of storming. Before the rain, we had a heat spell, it got up to 102 on Christmas day, and since the houses are made out of cement, there were few who were less than that temperature. There was one house here in the mission that had a thermometer in it and read 124 that evening. I am very gratefull to be here in Lindóia where I have an air-conditioned office that we can flee to. It is one of the only air conditioned buildings here in POA.

This week has been a lot of fun for Elder Dowden and I. Before I arrived, Elder Dowden and the old AP had been working the area, but had been required to be in the office a lot, so not much actually missionary proselyting was happening. Now that they have junior companions, we have the task to maintain the areas and focus on the investigators, along with learning how the office works and how to make everything function. It was fantastic, we spent several days tracking down over 100 inactive members (most of whom have moved out of the area) but we found 3 families who were still in the area, and had not been to church in a very long time. When we arrived, each one of them saw who we were and greeted us with a huge smile, hugs, and cookies (a must). We have been working with these three families, and because of this week, each of them now has a desire to return to the church, get endowed, and get sealed. what a blessing, because most of them aren't members. One house for example is a family of 7. The mother was baptized thirty years ago in a neighboring town, and had left the church after she moved. We found her address, and knocked on her door, well, since then (she was 16) she has had 5 kids and gained a husband. We now have baptismal dates for the 5 kids, and they all are excited to learn about the church that brought such joy to their mother so many years ago. That is just one of the many examples of the reactivation progress that we are doing. Because of this work, we have found litterally hundreds of new investigators of people who have never heard of the church before-they are the family of the inactives, or the new residents of the homes where the residents used to live.

Wednesday night, we had quite a bit of excitement...I had a spare 5 minutes before bed, and so I decided that I was going to try and fix the fan that had fallen off of the stool yesterday and had stopped working, I took off the back and saw that the wiring had come apart. Well, me, being the independent problem-solver that I am, pulled out my leatherman and went to work. well, as I finished, I put the plug into the socket to see if it would work, and something happend, but not exactly what I expected. When I placed the plug into the socket, the motor started to whirl and then exploded, at that moment, through my hand that was holding the plug, I felt a very painfull sensation- I was being electrocuted by the plug, and the skin on my had was melting. I quickly retracted my hand, but not before the outlet on the wall caught fire and the fan had exploded.... the entire house filled instantly up with smoke, but out of a miracle/blessing, our blazing hot house had been constructed out of cement, so nothing caught that very moment when all this happened, the pizza man arrived and we recieved a phone-call from a weeping sister. Yes, I am fine, and I thanked my Lord that evening for being alive. It truely is a miracle and a blessing that I am still alive. My hand is fine-I only lost a little bit of skin. Elder Rech stomped on the fan and crushed the inner-parts while I was looking for the money to pay the Pizza man, so I couldn't try to figure out what went wrong and try and fix it. I may not be destined to be an electrical engineer....who knows.

We had a secret santa thing going on here in the office, and I recieved the name of Elder McMullen, our financial secretary- the cap was 15 R$ which was fine, I didnt want to spend anything more than that, So on P-day, I bartered with a street vender and got a giant silver crucifix and chain necklace (HUGE!!!!) and put it in a little Internacional bag. He's a Grêmio fan. Anyways, It was hillarious. President and Sister Wright drew my name and so they gave me a very fancy tie. It was fantastic. We had a little Churrasco, barbacued pork ribs and sausage... so good :D

well anyways, have fun, do something to make this week interesting, and eat an entire roll of oreos for me okay?

with love from brazil,
Elder Eliason

Monday, December 24, 2012


howdy there, well, it as happened, I am no longer in the beautiful bento gonçalves...I am now in an area called Lindóia, i am actually in the office..... I am a junior companion to one of the APs, yup, I get to learn how to be an AP, two transfers in..... ?:) oh well, I get to see the mission president every day, which is tons of fun, he is a brilliant american (IQ level = genius..) His wife is hillarious, and we have a good time here... we work hard, but they are a bunch of crack-ups, when it is appropriate to be...oh my heavens, elder Dowden, my companion, is absolutely hillarious... he dies this transfer, so I will have to stick around at least one more transfer in order to keep the information about the area up to date and investigators going on what we work on...but for the time being, we are together here in the office, doing computer-number crunching, area-securing, and taking care of the mission....resolving any issues (ie...elders who have gotten mugged, apartments on fire, etc....) we also call all of the areas on a regular basis to make sure everybody is running at 110%... it is a ton of fun, but it is also requiring a ton of patience...nobody is ever responsible for anything that happens...of course, it's somebody else's fault.... -.- oh well, i'ts going to be a good transfer
Elder Dowden is an incredible missionary, he is from San Diego, and did Army ROTC there at USoCal... cool huh? well, we live with the other AP and his junior companion Elder Anastácio, from São Paulo, who entered the CTM at the same time as me, four months back... they're unbelievably awesome. we also live with the Mission Executive secretary, Elder Rech, who is from Santa Catalina Brazil, which takes care of basically everything that the president doesn't have time for (normally lots of computer data entry, missionary small problems...etc..) and the Financial Secretary, Elder McMullen, who is from Connecticut...and is in the least-gratifying and hardest-working position here on the mission... he is incredible.... so that makes 6 of us, we live in a full house across the street from the mission HQ.... thus the title of this email.. it's pretty crazy, seeing as how we have 1 bathroom that works, and 2 bedrooms and a kitchen that could fit inside our blue bathroom.... it's a hoot. i love it, we have such a fun time all the time, and they know when it is time to buckle down and do work. we have a fantastic time and I am learning tons of teaching techniques, Portuguese and other missionary qualities from them all the time when we are studying...., our study time is incredible, we cover so much more material than I thought was possible with an incredible comprehension.. they are awesome
today we ate xis burgers again, so absolutely incredible....i had a xis bacon...which means I had a hamburger patty as big as the plate, toasted buns to match, peas, corn, fried egg, cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, grease, ketchup and good... most of the other guys got stuff like chicken hearts, fries, pepperoni, sausage...etc, on the burgers, but each of those cost an extra 2 or 3 real each, so i opted out... we drink an incredible amount of tereréi here, lemonade with the green hay/grass that has been chopped's really good....also, most people drink coke here instead of water, it's just a fact and we adapt to it :) we had the yearly burn this morning, where we get all the files that have to be destroyed, and burn them all....all 8 boxes of them, we threw them in our barbaque pit, and spent an hour trying to defy the extreme heat of burning paper by putting more paper on the fire....yeah, i have no more hair on my right hand........ and my eyebrow hairs are a little bit shorter than normal....not that anybody can tell...

it rained for the last 3 days, so hard to the point where there were quite a few roads that had to close due to flooding...but that didn't stop us from walking along them (I brought my fire-fighting boots that are waterproof, elder Dowden wasn't so lucky...oh well...) now it is 90 with 100 percent humidity....oh well :) it's summer, we eat at an all you can eat buffet almost every day because the members don't give us lunch, we have a schedule of lunches, but everybody either forgets (we always call the night before???) or doesn't prepare anything and just gives us whatever, i have eaten watermelon, mangoes and pineapple by the kilo over the last couple of's awesome...they are so much better than up there in the states, no offence (except probably hawaii....)

i am also losing weight again :( I entered the CTM at 76 kilos, I exited at 86 kg.... I weighed myself this morning, im back down to 74....oh well, the CTM weight wasn't good anyways... oh, we have a pull up bar here, so i'm happy, my arms wont atrophate all the way now :)
i am terribly sorry for what happened on the phone today can't put me on speaker phone..i couldn't hear a thing, just a ton of yelling...and my time expired, so i'll talk to y'all on tuesday at 1230 your time :)
you asked who can send emails, any family member and grandparent :)

elder eliason
Xis Burgers

Elder Dowden and I
 All of the roommates

Monday, December 17, 2012

Macaco nas calças feito de borracha..​.... (monkey in rubber pants)

well, this week has been tiresome...

Wonderful to hear from home, I'm really bummed about the shooting....that blows, and also the political implications mean that the ********** will get more sway about gun restrictions...which is unfortunate for everybody....

well, this week we did 3 moves...(helped 3 families move), carried 4 refrigerators up/down a 5 flights of stairs.... had a christmas conference (see the photos from cousin egberts...???) and fought against the forces of evil...
but seriously....
Last P-day, i was feeling really lethargic...and even though I didn't take a nap, I failed at my cleaning duties, planning duties, and any other duties that I had to take care of....except my eating duties... and elder Bryant had a little bit of inspiration to help me get back on my feet.....
this week, I lead and taught every lesson...he sat back and testified about what I was saying and how it is true.... yeah. well, yeah.... -.- that was not pleasant...I made every decision as to where we would proselyte, who we would visit (he helped planning at night, but still) and what houses to knock....yeah, it was good. extremely stressful...especially since there were some EXTREMELY delicate situations we had to take care of...including but not exclusively- Abusive parents, crack-cocaine, extreme amounts of alcohol, family disputes.....etc... things of the world. these things happen, but we have to get over it and press forward...

on a more positive note...on friday, we had the christmas dual-zone conference where every district had to perform a skit.... our district, the smallest one since it includes us and farropillia...had a tough time creating something we made poems about Christmas (with slight bits of humor) and sang Angles we have heard on portuguese of was off beat, tune deaf, and completely terrible, but the brazileiros loved it.... later that evening we went from Caxias do Sul (where the conference was) to Farropiliah to do a baptismal interview (it has been over a year since they've had a baptism there) and then headed back here to bento to have the chrstmas dinner with the ward (and to our amazement, we had investigators show up w/ desserts :D) it was a fun day..i got zapped by an electric fly killer..ate my weight in pastels....I could eat those all day....stepped on a cat (no regrets right?)
oh, and I got one package!?!?!?!?!? im sorry, didn't realize that it was a christmas gift, so I opened it! thank you so much mom!!!! that footsie is incredible, it's a piece of wood carved with ridges to soften the Plantar's incredible invention that has been working miracles for my aching feet. and I got a couple of letters too....there were 2 that made me smile though...Renee, there is no snow here in brazil right now...its actually extremely hot, and any missionary who tries to go out wearing more than just a white t-shirt and slacks and the backpack would pass out....and of course are hillarious...I love your letters, you make me laugh so much...I especially like the one that you sent where you dropped the waffle on it and there were waffle was perfect! and guess what...we got permission to we're going to have to figure out where we can skype.....but yeah :D

which brings me to my next we recieved a call during our exercise time that told me that I am being transfered...I know not where, but i have to be at the Rodoviária in Porto Alegre tomorrow morning at yeah, specualtion is that I'm going to be opening a new area with another elder...since there is a positive influx of missionaries....over the last 3 transfers (so amazing...before they were closing areas because they were losing more elders than gaining) but now, my arrival, they lost 3 and gained 9....last transfer they lost 2, and gained 8, this transfer is supposed to be the same way....and for every other positive new elder, they have to open up a new area to work in. miracles for the Rio Grande do Sul :)
and yes dad, they do tithing settlements here too...
I have eaten at all-you-can-eat buffets 3 times this past week and 3 times the previous week...when lunches with members fall though, (ie they forget, even though we call them the day before, or they can't) they usually give us a bit of money to go eat out...which is nice of them, and depending on how much they give us...can be EXTREMELY nice for us....but we love the home-made meals, oh well....I would like to thank you mother for making me eat beets when I was a kid, I love them, and they are served with almost every restaraunt meal here...along with pickled carrots (pretty good) and usually 2 or 3 leaves of lettuce. all of course with salt and vinegar over top like normal. one of the ladies that I baptized 2 months ago, Enecir, made us each a fruit cake....or Bolo de they say here cake of christmas...but it's fruit is absolutely incredible, I ate it all over the course of 24 hours, its even better if you put it in the microwave and spread butter (well, butter-like-substance here) over the top...incredible
anyways, the spirit of christmas to me is... service, in remembrance for how much Jesus Christ did for us, see Alma 7 for a glimpse.... it's Alma talking about what Christ will do... absolutely incredible.

anyways I'll hit you up with the pictures
much love always
Elder E.

Elder Eliason & Elder Reeves

Typical Road

Christmas in Brazil

The new drunk - we found him 2 more times

Me & the Giant Jesus Head

The Giant Jesus Head

It rains sideways sometimes

Fortunately nobody was hurt.

Plastic bottle Christmas tree

Elder Eliason & the Egberts, relatives from Burley!

Singing at the Christmas Conference

Reading his poem

Elders Eliason & Bryant

At the gate


Monday, December 10, 2012

dear everybody,
i love your letters mother...thank you very much :)
to answer your questions, we don't have much poison ivy here, but tons of stinging nettle...people keep it as a decorative plant because the leaves can get HUGE....stupidest idea ever.
- the house...well, we threw bricks upstairs, (yes, that was fun, especially when the person up top didn't catch it....) made home-made cement, laid rebar....made reinforced cement walls...the usual house-stuff here....houses here are very rarely made up of a frame and drywall...actually I have yet to see one...they are all cement walls, or bricks with cement laid overtop (more common)....or if they are poor, wood planks. if they're extremely poor, plastic-bag tents (see: picture next week of gypsies that have moved in...)
i'm sorry, this week i forgot my camera, so next week I will send pictures...i took a bunch this week that will make you sorry, i have to talk about one right now...last night, as we came back from a lesson....we found on our doorstep, a drunk man who was passed, we know most of the drunks around here...we have the white haired silent man, the wanabe opera singer (to our chagrin), and the bald mexican....we find him normally passed out about 9 or 10 in the morning.... the bar next door opens at 0530 to serve the early morning hard-liquor enthusiasts...yeah, its pleasant..but i didn't recognize this one....maybe he'll stick around?

well, this week was rough. very rough. especially for Elder Bryant. every year, about this time, he has extreme stomach pain... it hapens in a searies of 3 events...first pain only for a few seconds....the second time for a few minutes....the third and final time for a few hours...extremely intense and excruciating...well, on friday, he had both the second and third he wasn't even able to walk....he laid down in the apartment for a couple of hours while I read the Liahona...luckily it left and we were able to teach a couple of lessons that evening...between that and a meeting that elder Bryant had to go to on tuesday out in Porto Alegre...(2.5 hours away) that took all day....we suffered sufficiently by way of well-taught lessons. I went on exchanges with elder Reeves in caxias on tuesday while elder Bryant and elder Herai went to Porto Alegre. the highlight of that day was when elder reeves, (while teaching a family of a single mother and ten kids ages 1-13) asked "so, who wants to be baptized?" and all of the kids jumped up and yelled "Me!!!" we kind of just chuckled and said okay, and left.
i have to say, that my favorite photo that you sent mother is the one of BJ, he makes me laugh, and is so adorable.... XD
anyways, last night we met a very interesting man....we have an investigator who lives up the street from us...he's 35 lives with his parents (very common) but single...(usually people live with their parents, grandparents...etc with their own families...very common to find 3 or 4 or even 5 generations in a single house) but he likes the book of mormon, so we were going to follow up with him about it....and low and behold, his brother (who has been dropped from the fam..he's atheist (just because he doesn't like catholics)) was there...and he spoke english. turns out him and his brother....both speak english, fairly did they learn? well, one of the brothers bought an oxford dictionary when they were teenagers, and they sat down and read the entire dictionary....because it had context sentances in it, and they would memorize the words and use them in about the most terrible way to learn a language... :P but they could communicate really well... he lives out in PO, so i got his information because he wanted to know more about the "ideology of the mormon church" be completely frank, I really don't care if people try and speak english, i almost enjoy it more when people just speak portuguese..its easier for me to understand (as narcassistic as that sounds) but a supprising number of people here speak little tidbits of English...for example...bispo yesterday in church was talking..and somebody butted in (elders quorum meeting) and he said "I KNOW!" and then calmed down and explained in portuguese...its funny

Flavia (mãe do Artur-the little guy with my name tag) finally came to church, she is the most elect woman I have ever met...when elder Black came to do the interview with Andreo, he met her and told us that she was the most elect woman that he has seen yet on his mission....he's at about 1 year....she reads the book of mormon all day (she's a receptionist at a hotel that doesn't have a ton of people) and reads the gospel principles book when she has questions...she also loves profiles and the Liahona...we gave her a conference issue of a couple of years ago....the only problem is that she has to work on sundays...and she only gets 2 days of vacation a month, so she took two sundays off..and next month she will be baptized the day before her vacation day (sunday) so she can be confirmed.. :) she is absolutely incredible, and will make an amazing relief-society president.
everybody gives us juice *(suco) aka Tang, which is absolutely incredible here...the tang in the united states has nothing on it....the tang here is literally like fresh juice.....fresh orange juice is very different is made with a different type of orange that has a very bland flavor, and they love it....i have a hard time drinking it....but do not worry...i have little chewable vitamin c pills from BJ's, so its a costco-sized'll last me most of my mission....if you are preparing for a mission...that is a very good idea to bring...vitamin c pills and multi-vitamin pills, lots of time people start lacking in one or two areas because of the typpícal meals that are served almost every day (little bit of meat, lots of rice and black beans, and some lettuce with salt and bassalmic vinegar on top and maybe a sliced tomato and raw onions with a bit of oil over them...actually really good)
brittany's little date episode reminds me of something exactly the same as what I did...except it was the other way around...I had an (unplanned) date that just happened, and i had to kick her out of the apartment before my next date arrived (who wanted to stay the evening, but left, i don't remember why... ....i felt kind of bad, but it was alright because I went back over to her (date#1) apartment afterwards and we watched a movie.... yup.... fun of luck B on your provas! (portuguese for finals)
portugese word of the week for all yall....

Lápide: significa- tombstone (la-pee-je) emphasis on the á
much love-
elder T-whizzle

ps. elder bryant just sent me this photo...

Monday, December 3, 2012

abacaxi (ah-bah-ka​-she) N. sig- Pineapple :D also what they say when taking a picture instead of cheese!

hey howdy hey....
well, this week has been absolutely incredible, difficult, trying of patience at times, but absolutely rewarding....
first of all, to the questions that all y'all have been asking....
christmas in brazil?
- well, it reminds me more of the fourth of july than anything else....people have been lighting off fireworks every night, getting ready for christmas, the new year, and at the end of the soccer games.....yesterday was the Rio Grande do Sul classic, Internacional vs. Gremiel, very dangerous to wear either color (red or blue) so we chose neutural ties, even though I'm Colorado (supports inter.) and Elder Bryant is Gremista (supports gremiel)...the temperature here is rising, during the day it can get up to times, but if not...well, then it's our luck :) people are placing red bows on the palm trees, that's cool, and everybody has a little two foot fake christmas tree....the poor people make theirs out of green plastic 2 liter bottles and pvc pipe....the rich buy little plastic trees.... fun stuff....we found a couple of pinecones...I think i'll find some string and decorate the apartment with them...watermelon is in season....peaches rot if you don't eat them within a couple of days of purchasing....(and yes mom, they are ripe when they're green and hard, thats how they are here, they don't get soft and yellow...) somebody in the bar downstairs found a Cindy Lauper cd...yeah that's been fun.... i don't know....we have a dvd with some christmas music on it...along with every efy cd ever made.... so we've been listening to that lately. which reminds, good luck finding a dvd with motab on it...what i was refering to is getting a blank dvd from downstairs and dropping classical/instrumental music and motab on it from the computer, it works the same way as a cd, but holds about 100 times more music - love you XD

we did not get to watch the christmas devotional unfortunately...and president Eyring sounds like he was a crackup.... XD i'll watch it when i get home in two years, they put them all on

dad, you asked about the service projects that we render....well here are a few of the things that we have done...
- weeding the garden
- moving rocks
- carying rocks
- building a house
- throwing bricks upstairs (yes, it happened)
- planting a garden
- mowing lawn with a weed-eater
- painted an apparment
- laid a cement sidewalk (that was fun....i mixed cement with my bare feet and a broken hoe...gravel, sand, and concrete mix and all....)

ideas to have missionaries help you?
- think of service projects that you do with them and family

ideas to help the missionaries?
- offer car rides
- offer to go with them to visit investigators (effectiveness of lesson = 100X more)
- offer to teach investigators in your home (this makes an incredible difference and results in the more likeliness of an investigator being baptized and remaining active)
- give references....anybody who you talk about the church to, offer to send some "friends" to talk about it some more...(seriously we get people who members have met at super markets, standing in line, sitting next to on the bus...all sorts of things, we love it....this makes the work a MILLION times more effective)

so, this upcoming year, our ward here in Bento Gonçalves is kicking it up a gear....last year they had 7 months without a baptism with a 60% retention rate, we are now baptizing (this year) 2 or 3 every month with a 95% retention rate....and the reason? the ward is getting involved...we teach almost every lesson (with investigators that are progressing) either in the home of a member, or with a member pressent. the ward sees it too, how the ward is improving, and to kick off the new year...the stake presidency has decided to set two goals:
1- every month, every home teaching duplo should give at least one reference to the missionaries.
2- over the course of the year, every home teaching duplo and their families should become friends with and reactivate a less active family.

realize, that if these goals are the end of next year, we will have almost enough active members to sustain 3 wards here in Bento Gonçalves
I saw a window sticker the other day...that said something along the lines of ... My secret to success? Jesus and hard work.
too true.... reminds me of a song by Rodney Atkins that i'm not allowed to sing at this current time...
also, yesterday we had testimony meeting...and it was incredible, every time we have testimony meeting here, after the first five minutes the bishop has to stand up and say okay, so we will not be able to have any more testimonies than those who are sitting up in the stands...everybody wants to bear testimony, its incredibile. the most powerful testimony was born by the richest man in the ward by far...he bore testimony about the power of tithing...he has a son right now who is serving a mission in Manaus (amazon mission) and the blessings that he has recieved by was incredible.

the baptisms were incredible, i got to baptize Andreo and elder bryant got to baptize Fernanda...the Lord has blessed us with this because we were able to accomplish our goal of 3 baptisms last month, and with incredible youth, the youth program here didn't exist until last year when the leaders got together, prayed, fasted, and worked their tails off to reactivate...we now have about 15 active youth...and growing :D pictures are to come....
i love you all and pray for you on a regular basis... feel free to write me an email, shoot it to my mom, and she can send it to me :)

Elder Eliason

Monday, November 26, 2012

gonna move into the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches...

dearest family, friends, fred, and karl, spelt with a k...

this week has been insane.
let me start off by thanking everybody who participated in the service out in Nova people here call it... all y'all are incredible. truly inspiring...i'll be sharing this experience that my mother recounted to me this week at district meeting. this week has been more than we expected. yes, I was slightly down last week...feet were starting to drag, and lots and lots of rejection....our investigators were not progressing really well...
well....we prayed, fasted, prayed, studied, prayed, fasted, and prayed again...and you know what!?!?! the Lord provides when you do what he commands....
this friday we are proud to announce the baptism of Fernanda (13), daughter of Luis, who was baptized the third of this month, and Andreo (also 13), son of Glade, an inactive member that we got a reference to from an active member she met her at work..... they are fantastic. incredible. and a blessing. we have been working our hind-quarters off on them, and it's finally paying off.... this week the members were fantastic too, we recieved 6 references...of whom we visited, 2 have a decent amount of the numbers run like this normally..

in every 1000 doors we clap, we get 1 baptism
in every 10 references we get from members... we get 1 baptism
seeing a trend?????

well, we also encountered Elisandro a couple of weeks ago, he is a family friend of our next door neighbors (bishop, and the family that lives above him)... he is a bible scholar and extremely intelligent...absurdley intelligent.....he did a stint a couple of years ago where he spent three months fasting off and on and studying the bible all day...that's all he did....he's a musician by trade. well he moved in a couple of weeks ago with the family that lives above bispo, and we ran into him one day when we were looking for one of the young men who lives in that house...we were going to go out and teach a lesson with him...but as we walked through the door, Elisandro got up and told us to sit down so he could talk with us...find out who we are and what we believe...he was extremeley cynical.....what could these couple of dweebey white kids from the united states tell me about the bible that I don't already know....well, we taught him twice...a little about the gosple and a bit about the restoration...and he read 3 Nefi 11....and took notes, and got out of it more than most members get out of it...but it was all out of satire and to make a mockery right...well, we stopped visiting him because he wasn't sincere....well, we marked Mosiah 8 with him which talks about the spirit incurring a change of heart....and three weeks later (last week) we visited him again...this time. he went to church the next day, and was quite a bit more sincere and honest.... he has a biblical comprehention level of a genious, but he is realizing that there is more than just the biblical interpretaitons to the world...that the Book of Mormon is true and that we can realize this by reading from its pages and praying...because God never lies, and when we pray with faith, with real intent to know...we will recieve an answer.... well.... we had splits on thursday...and elder Nelson and I visited him....and he accepted baptism and to stop smoking. He is hoping to be baptized on the 22nd of december. :) wonderous miracles from the heavens. He's also been to church twice...and we have a new gospel principles teacher who is brilliant and very strong...I had an objection to what she said (I missunderstood a point that she made...elisandro had the same objection) and she took a shotgun and shot us out of the sky....doctrinally....very humbling and slightly humiliating... but she works very well with Elisandro... I'm excited!

so the title of my email is about peaches...and that has been a general theme this week....peaches, peaches, peaches

so on tuesday, we were visiting a lady that we had taught once, and as we left her house and were walking down the adjacent street, a peach truck (large flatbed farm produce truck) was parked on the corner and a lady was selling her fresh-picked peaches out of it. as we passed her, she was in deep conversation, but told the guy to hold on and she called out to us, we came over, and she handed us a bag (probably 3kg) of fresh picked peaches...we tried to pay her but she woulde have nothing of it. Sweet!!! peaches!!!! so we eat a bunch...they are hard and green, but so very succulantly sweet...very much like an apple almost.....delicious....well, the next day, we run into her again...once again she is in deep conversation, so we can't talk with her, but she hands us another bag full of peaches....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ........ so we have about 5 kg of peaches, we are on the other side of the city, about an hour away the next day....and low and behold who do we run into, the same lady (we can easily identify her by her "thoroughly modern Millie" style hat....) but she is carrying a bunch of crates of peaches into a warehouse and didn't have time to talk to us.... I get the feeling that Heavenly Father is trying to tell us time we see her, we're getting her address, and baptizing her... XD
so I have been eating peaches for every meal....breakfast and dinner and snacks...sooo good, we only have 1 left now i them and eat them with milk and sugar (or instead, I eat them with amaixa yogurt. (i think that translates to a mini-plumb?)) very very delicious
pictures are on the way, they are going to tell the story of the last 2 weeks :) ta?
te amo
Elder Tyler Eliason

Monday, November 19, 2012

This goes against everything they ever taught me in medical schooollleee..........

name that movie...tanner

alright, so your description of cheese-cake factory pumpkin cheescake w/ pecan pie makes me just want to melt right now.....(i'm fasting.... and theres nothing even near that here...) well, the news about israel really doesn't suprise me.... and the fact that egypt is trying to broker an agreement is absolutely hillarious to me...seeing as how Egypt is currently run by the Muslim Brotherhood, the same organization that funds Hamas and the Taliban...

sorry...missionary thoughts...
bum pu dum pu...
well....this week has been rough in a short sence of the word....
we have spent the last five days going through the ward directory (the only one that has ever been produced, and is only updated by a single secretary whenever somebody gets baptized...they just enter the name and address) well there are about 300 members here in Bento that we know about...we have about 120 active... so we have been going around trying to find the inactives....and teach them and their families...this is a very effective way to help the ward...usually the inactives have families who are not members... so we teach a lesson to the family, the inactive is the member...and some times they start going to church again...its happened several times recently so we decided to try and do it some more...well, the problem is when the records have never been updated, and so for example we were looking for a family yesterday...we found the address, asked the lady who was living there if she knew of the people....and she said yes. success right!?!?! well, turns out that she bought the house from them 16 years ago. yeah. 16 years ago! I was three when they moved out. :/ okay... our number of lessons have been suffering this week because of the search, but we feel like the lessons we are teaching are much more effective, meaningful, and powerful....actually to be honest, our numbers are at about half of what they were last transfer....but like I said, its getting better :)

you asked me about the music we listen to here... well, elder bryant likes the EFY music.... so whenever he puts that on on Pday, I usually go into the bedroom and take a nap. we do have a random few songs that a member put on a DVD for us...a couple of alex boye, amy grant, Hillary weeks, jericho road...etc, lds music..
what music would i like? on a dvd, because we dont have cd players, but we all have a small dvd player....motab, motab, motab....and calm winston style?
oh, so I have been reading cousin Danie'ls emails....and it blows me away how different the missionary lifestyle is here from there.... starting with just the's ours:
0630 wakeup and exercise
0700 shower/bathroom/getdressed
0730 breakfast/write in journal
0800 personal study
0900 companionship study
1000 trainer-junior missionary program
1030 language study
1100 free-study time until necessary to leave for lunch, which could be at 11 or 1155
1200 lunch w/ member
1300 proselyting
2100 end last lesson and be within half hour walk of home
2130 planning
2200 food/prep for bed/LDM chapter read
2230 lights out

this can be slightly obnoxious at times, zero change in the schedule...but hey, it's good, we get 8 hours of straight proselyting every day. no, we dont eat dinner... and we don't have bikes or cars...we either walk everywhere, or if by some miracle we have cash, we take the bus...

oh well, the computer i'm using is different than any other type i've ever used, and there are no usb inputs that i can pictures will have to wait until next week... sorry.
i laughed when i heard that hostess applied for bankrupcy... oh, speaking of bread, one of our recent converts gave us a huge loaf of home-made bread fresh out of the oven....yeah, I ate my entire half within 20 minutes of getting home...somethings don't change ... especially cinnamon and sugar and butter on fresh bread.... :))))))
anyways, thank you for all of the letters, I actually got 2 more this week when we went to a leadership meeting in Caxias do Sul...thanks everybody :)
mom, you asked for a recipe for brazilian beans...well, youre going to laugh...
black beans
diced onion
couple of crushed cloves of garlic
random chunks of any type of meat
cook it all together for a while in a pot of water (we use pressure cookers here, awesome, scary but awesome, they are aluminum pans with a pressure lid, that once it's sealed, doesn't open until you let out all of the steam...also makes it nice because you never have to add more water...) also, don't drain the beans, cook it until the beans are super tender and the water is black and soupy...then serve over rice along with some random other style of a. pasta, b. meat, or c. polenta...jelified corn meal :P or plain. yummy....lots of people here eat it with crushed potato chips over top...very delicious

anyway, don't set off the smoke-detectors, love you mom XD

Elder Eliason

ps. my hair has once again become the color of snow....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012​ansfers? bah! I'm staying here!!!

WoOOOOOTTT...we found out this morning that we are not getting transfered....Elder Bryant and I will stay here for the next four and a half weeks :D yes, i said four and a half weeks because the next transfer will take place the week before Christmas...if we didn't cut it short, the transfer day would fall on Christmas day, and that's not happening.

by the way, Bah! is a word of excitement and joy's a fantastic exclamation...up there with Nossa! (wow) and Cheiquezou (pronounced sheekeezow and literally means "very fancy", but really means on the street AWESOME!!!)
this week was absolutely nuts! the best way to describe it was an overload of all 5 follows:
-This week went from 36 degrees to 11 yesterday...fantastic :D
-I have blisters on all of my toes
-We have bedbugs...ouch
-mosquitos have come to drain me of blood
-Funk. thats all I need to say. they have trucks here whose entire bed of the truck is a single speaker......and they play the most obnoxious music..FUNK....kind of like Brandon Blake (lil brother) smashing his head on Brittanys synthesizer keyboard and every key is a different noise...coupled with a dozen three year olds with wooden spoons banging on mom's pots and pans. youtube that janx and you'll know what i'm talking about...
-also, we had an interesting experience..we were walking to an investigator's house when a car parked on the side of the road started playing music....pretty common, except the music was just a voice...deep and dark and sinister it said "I am the darkness.....bahahahahahaha..... no...... I AM the DEVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" followed by crazy screamo- i turned to Elder Bryant and said, well, the oposition has never been more clear has it.....we kind of just chuckled and kept on walking
-beans, beans, beans, and yup, you guessed it, beans!!!!!!! yay :D I love beans... well, mom you were right, beans here are very simple...a little garlic, a little onion, usually some random chuncks of leftover meat. (any type works, pork is most common here though), and tons and tons of blackbeans....but they make them different than you do mom, they cook them until they are super super squishy-soft, until you could mash them with a fork and they would be smooth....only blackbeans here though.. so good though....every single meal every day... :)
-I bought a long stick of salami...fantastic decision...super cheap and super full of flavor
-Tererei (I have no idea how to spell it, but thats how it sounds, just say it as fast as possible and thats how it is said)...basically its Matte/Chemarrou with ice and sprite/lemonade/juice sucked through a bomba...same as chemarrou....very very desirable and delicious when it is hot outside
-well, there have been billboards going up all around town about the new mammogram center that has opened up....and instructions on how to conduct a self-mammogram...that has been a wonderful addition to the city >:/
-the volume of clothing people wear here is inversely proportional to the temperature, not much unlike the USA, but in a more openly fashion... we just have to be careful....very careful.....
-because of the heat earlier this week...the gilla monsters have come out of the forests and have been chilling on the unused roads...they're HUGE!!!! i'll include a picture

-Well, we tried to take a shortcut between two of our investigators...they live a stone's throw away from each other, but between their houses is a gorge...where a river runs down through the bottom...smaller than the stream behind our house, and it hadn't rained in over 2 weeks so it was really low...we figured we could save our legs and a ton of time by crossing it rather than going around, over a very large hill, down it, and back up another....yeah, it was and it worked...but the stream was sewage.............yeah, that was absolutely fantastic by the time we made it to our investigator's house....well, we had decided to never do that again.
-we were clapping doors and we ran into a member....she is chair-ridden, and very.....interesting..... but she's a member none the less, so we visited her and her grandmother (pushing 95?) as we were explaining the importance of prayer...her son ran into the kitchen (where we were) and lit up the stove....swooped his head down and lit up the biggest joint I have ever seen in my was well over 4 inches long...we would have just figured that it was a homemade cigarette..the people here grow their own tobbacco and roll their own...but within 2 minutes, he was singing in his bedroom, and the entire house was filled with weed-smoke....she seemed oblivious....we left shortly thereafter
well, after that inspirational that is a bit more spiritual....on a slightly political note
please read Mosiah 29.... but concentrate on verses 16, 21, 22, 23, and 27

we were teaching Irmão Luiz's family last week and ran down the road afterward to visit a member to see if they wanted to do a FHE with him, later that week...well, they did, and they also gave us a reference (LOVE LOVE LOVE references)....we visited them that night...and holy smokes!!!!!! so...she was baptized 12 years ago, but has since then left the church....she lived 18 miles away from it...that's difficult for someone who doesn't have much money for bus tickets or a car...., but they moved to Bento Gonçalves last year....she has a 13 year old son, who is literally the most humble, meek, and willing to learn kid in the entire universe....she also lives with her husband and an 8 year old son....also very kind meek and humble....along with her 2 sisters and 1 brother...all in the basement of a house.....LOVE THIS FAMILY!!!!! they have nothing but love and happiness there....they are the type of home I want to have when I start my own family...there is zero contention and tons of laughter and smiles... they listen intently to the lessons, and she helps because as we talk, she, we have visited them twice...and the two sisters and the two sons all want to be baptized....yeah, they're awesome awesome awesome....
anyways, I have to go, my time on the computer is dwindling.... thank you so much for the emails mom, dad, and blake...they were fantastic and made my week...
BY THE WAY... I GOT MAIL!!!!! everybody who sent mail in the months of September or October I got your letters :D thank you so much!!!! I will respond as time allows...sorry, no promises on promptness... and mother, thank you so much for those awesome pictures, they are truly a blessing here in Brazil
I'll finish with a quote from my bishop here....
"three, three-thirty....same thing right?"
in reality...when we say do you have 5 minutes that we can share a means 30...if we say ten, it means 40 (max. lesson length)
its brazil, everybody is always late, and everything goes over, and nobody cares.
much love from the richest city in Brazil.....(true story...)

Elder Eliason
P.S. Christmas wish list?
-Small English Hymn book
letters (w/ pictures)
letters (w/ emoticons)
letters (w/ drawings)
letters (w/ food stains from sitting on the table waiting to be written)
letters.......X infinity :)
Gilla Monster
Giant Moths
Go International!!!!!!!!!!!!! woot woot Futebol Brazil!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

soo....this week we will have p-day tomorrow, and transfers will be on wednesday....since President Wright is in São Paulo.... the email of the week will come tomorrow... :S keep smiling

Elder Eliason

Monday, November 5, 2012

Area where we work

 Purple church (aka a Igreja do Rei Jesus) or the Church of the King Jesus, purple is the color of royalty

Vinyard one of the members owns

Our district

the cemetary after Dia dos Mortos....their version of halloween, except they have mass in the graveyard, which is fine except we woke up to gregorian chants...which I love by the way...but kind of weird, and my allergies have been haywire since much pollen...

Baptism of Luiz

Elders and Luiz

it's monday, monday...p-day is so monday

and thus I shall write unto whoever cares....and if you wrote me a letter within the last 2 months, I still have yet to recieve it....
woohoo, another week has passed here in bento Gonçalves...more and more miracles are happening all over the place...
this week I had the privilage to baptize Irmão Luiz. He is an amazing individual...quite the character too...he works in construction, is missing his middle finger, and loves to do everything himself...but he also has the soul of a saint. Elder Bryant and Elder Christaldo (the elder before me) ran into him by clapping doors (yes, we really do stand outside and clap until somebody answers, its illigal to enter a yard/porch without permission but it's easy since none of the houses are insulated, most of them are either brick or concrete, or if they're poor, particleboard... all of the houses here have large gates and fences and usually barbed wire or razor wire, or broken glass above a cement wall to keep us out too...) and he let them in and accepted the first lesson...well, elder Christaldo felt something with him, and asked elder Bryant to go back, even though he reacted the same way that most of the people who are uninterested act...kind of say cool, thanks for the story type deal...and it came up that he smoked, heavily, chain smoker...but then when they arrived to teach the second time..they asked him to stop smoking, and said that it'll help him spiritually.... he said he'd stop. he hasn't touched a pack of cigarettes since...we tried teaching him when I got here, for two and a half weeks we tried and nobody answered the door, we had all but cut him when we knocked one last time (note: he has gone to church every week since the elders met him) and he answered with having read all of third Nefi and wanting to be baptized....miracles.....well, we talked to him about the word of Wisdom, and turns out, alcohol played a huge part in his life....well, he stopped in one day. talk about intestinal fortitude.... His family is planned to be baptized in two weeks, seeing as how transfers are next monday, I really hope that I get to stay here and be a part of it....

we walked over 12 miles on wednesday....with the hills, we basically killed ourselves, and we got absolutely nowhere because of it...except 4 lessons...only one of which was productive...during the companionship inventory, we reviewed the week and decided how we could improve our abilities in teaching, how we teach, and how we can be more obedient. President Wright, our current mission president has only been here for 4 months, and Elder Bryant said that when he arrived, he made a promise to us that if we start working with our heads and not with our legs, this mission could double the number of we took that to heart, and have started planning better the areas where we teach, and keep all of our appointements relatively close to one another...and let me tell you, I can already see improvement...

I have been working really hard to understand and comprehend the language here...and it is coming along very well, I can follow any conversation now for the most part, as long as the person is speaking in my general direction...for some reason, the words sound different when the're speaking to somebody else... something that I definitely could improve on is how I ask questions... here in Brazil, you ask questions the same way you would say a statement, you just use tone inflection at the end of a sentance....but when your accent is thick, that becomes nearly impossible...

I just tried to send a picture, bot for some reason, the computer is not allowing me to upload any photos, so I'll try on another computer in just a second....thanks for the patience...
Let me tell you, I have discovered the best panini-sandwich thing yet....cinnamon, bananas, sugar and dulce de leite between two slices of buttered bread in the grilled-cheese sandwhich maker that we somehow obtained....AMAZING....banana pies...basically, theyre delicious.....

Sorry to hear that you're bummed brittany, you know, most of the sister missionaries that were here at the CTM that I made friends with had boyfriends back home.... you dont have to be solzinho para servir um missão.....
anyways, tanner, you are nuts for loving winter track...i loved running out in the cold, not the circles part...
Preston, I can't wait to see your facebook account
blake, I mean're just awesome, I thought of you this week...the gummy-bear song has gone insane here, everybody loves it, in PORTUGUESE!!!! ugh.....

Best of luck,
com amor
te amo
Elder Tyler Eliason

p.s. that photo of the changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is absolutely fantastic....makes me get shivers inside...
prayers out to NY.....

Monday, October 29, 2012

heres the mail, it never fails, it makes me want to wag my tail, when I hear it come i yell MAIL.....
except its email, so whatever right??? NOT
here we go again...
another week has passed here in Bento Gonçalves, the hills are still steep, the cobblestone streets are still absurdly slippery when wet, and the old grandmas who don't want to talk to us curse us in italian....yes, it happens on a regular basis... Its really cool though because the older generations here all speak Italian...and most people here can understand it because its relatively similar to portuguese...I had the most amazing grape juice was all natural, and home-made...i normally don't enjoy the american cough-syrup like substance that we call grape juice...but this one was divine! my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
this week was somewhat challenging but blessed.... our only investigator that wanted to be baptized told us on tuesday that she is not comfortable yet with the church, and therefore wants to wait until she gets comfortable....which could mean eternity. She's a very closed person, which is interesting, because here, if you tell somebody your name, you're basically family...and you recieve the life happens many many many times every day with people we street contact or clap houses with...ESPECIALLY if they're single middle-aged women. well, we had no idea how to help her except to just keep on visiting her and being a friend...well, we returned on thursday with Bispo, and boom, first thing she says is that she has recieved an answer to her prayers and that she is ready to be baptized on saturday. YES! well, that means we have to call zone leader so he can do the Interview...but he already is going to another district on friday for an interview, so the only time he can come is right before the baptism on big deal, except he has a baptism of his own in Caxias that he needed to be he and his companion took the Onibus here at 9, Bispo gave us a ride to Enecir, and we did the interview, alls well until we try and take the Onibus back to Centro, where Elder Black and Elder Garnier needed to catch their bus to Caxias so they could be there in time for their baptism...the bus that was supposed to go by Enecir's house showed up ten minutes early, while the interview was still happening, and boom, the next one passed when elder Black and elder Garnier's bus was supposed to leave the station in Centro... oh, and it takes about an hour to walk back from her house to the bus station in that wasnt an option... so, we're just standing at the bus stop, praying for a miracle, when a car pulls up, its an inactive member who has just moved here from Santa Cruz.... he called us over and asked if we had a chaple here in Bento..which we do, and we started talking...he offered us a ride back to centro...what a blessing and a miracle. we get back to Centro, and elder Black and elder Garnier have just enough time to buy tickets and get on the bus before it pulls out. Miracles happen by way of prayer. it was also a miracle that Irmã Enecir was baptized. She is an amazing woman, and an amazing strength for the church.
I also gave a 10 minute talk in church this week on how our wards and our people are examples to the world, and how that leads to missionary work in all places, times, and situations.

This week I read the majority of Our Search For Happiness, by M. Russell Ballard. And it is has changed my perspective on how I need to live my life... it was amazing...there is a quote about how to have a life well lived...I cant find it, but (mother, if you would find it and please post it here, I would be most gratefull)

anyways, this week was awesme, I highlighted the big points, but remember that you can do missionary work wherever you are, at any time, just by smiling and being you.

Elder Eliason

Monday, October 22, 2012

Woot woot, another week of living the missionary life here in Bento Gonçalves, Brazil (be sure to put brazil under the address mom :D thx)
I am going to attempt to drop pictures on here....i'm not quite sure how this will work, but I will try....
well, i'll start again in another email....
but for now, the carne...
we helped three families move here this past week, and when people here move, they move....everything...everything from all of their cabinets, the refrigerator, to even the kitchen sink, its theirs. also, nobody lives at ground level....they either live up a lot of stairs, or down a lot of that makes the moving process really fun XD.... also, when we were moving one of the families, they were watching Cars 2...the secret agent one, but it was in big deal right? well...think Mater. in porguese... It was hillarious listening to a guy trying to immitate Larry the Cable guy in portugese.. hahahaha.... anyways, we were clapping doors this week...we did a bunch of that because a bunch of our investigators have been not reading, not praying, and not going to church...which means that they're ripe for not being investigators anymore....but we were clapping doors, and we were out in the boondocks, and elder bryant had to go to the bathroom really bad....and there are no public bathrooms here...just what do we do? we go to a bar. those always have bathrooms right??? yup...we walked in...the bar got silent, and elder bryant, wheres the bathroom? and everybody just started laughing and laughing....the bartender pointed to a door, and said help stuff :D

we have another baptism this week, we don't know who is going to baptize here, but it'll be one of us... her name is Enicir, and a wondeful lady whose daughters both joined the church, and decided that she needs to know what they now belive....she's super active and very fun and smart...

also, Maria and Adriano are probably going to get married this week hopefully!!!! miracles do happen, they thought that if they got married that they would lose a lot of money that they were getting from the government (notice that the lot of money is used loosely, and signifies just barely sixty bucks) but the bishop talked to them and told them how his mother-in-law was able to survive through the same hopefully this week we'll go to the court :D companion is terribly mean, I mean that with the most loving respect of course, but he is malicious when it comes to jokes.... he got to do a baptizmal interview over in Farropila, the city next to ours...and so we did another division...aka we went on exchanges....except he left me this time...and another elder came with me.....but not the senior companion from, that would be too nice....Elder Nelson, the same Elder Nelson who was in my district at the CTM, meaning he had less than two weeks experience out in the field also, was my new companion for the day....and I was in charge of meeting and planning which investigators to contact...where to tract...etc.... yeah, we enjoyed the bliss that we experienced when people talked to us, and we only comprehended I dont know, every other word if we were lucky? eh... oh well, we did well, taught 8 lessons, and asked a person to be baptized and she accepted...except she is moving next week, but her husband is an inactive member who got really excited when we clapped their door...he opened the door and grinned, and told us that he hadn't seen missionaries since 12 years ago when he was baptized...but now that he has a son, and a wife, he wants to start going again.... :/ yay, except they're moving to Santa Maria....the mission next to ours....BAH Humbug! oh well
we helped a guy build a house on saturday....layed bricks, made cement, learned how to make reinforced cement w/ rebar, yada yada was really fun though....
questions from mother....
1. yes, we have electricity...we live in the city, and our apparment has been slowly growing nicer over the last 12 years that the church has been renting it...we now have a stove, a fridge, a shower head that heats up water as it comes out....and safe water to drink...well, relatively...they stopped giving us waterbottles at the CTM b/c they were breaking out in the the missionaries here have begun a new method of drinking water...when you move to a new drink about a gallon of tap water your first day... you get sick to your stomach and feel terrible for about a day and a half....after that, youre in the clear to drink all the water you want from that there's judgement calls, like when you ask an investigator for a glass of water, and he brings out a rusted tin cup and pours water out of a beer bottle..... but yeah, fun stuff....we get a card that gets a little bit of money put on it twice a month so we can buy food for breakfast or dinner if we so desire...but really, we only eat one meal a day....which makes it really easy to fast...which we do more than i've ever done before....
anyways, the church is true..pray about it if you haven't already.  God never lies.

Boa Sorte,
Elder Tyler Eliason
the first photo is of us on our first week here in the CTM, my companion is the one on the right, and the elder in the middle is Elder Brito, the one with the "list" XD
CTM friends
my district at the CTM
well, you get really bored w/ 9 weeks in a classroom
Zerildo and I :D
Elder Beatty :D
Elder Searles
familia de Zerildo
the view out of our window....
my pant leg after I was chomped on by the dumb dog....
another of zerildo and Wesleys baptism
where some of our investigators live...
and the beauty of the earth....and brazil...
some nasty brown spider that jumped at me when moving the family's stuff :D