Wednesday, September 26, 2012

and to all a grand day, and night, or whenever you're reading this....
well, it's the last week here in the CTM, which means please do not send me any letters to this address, the new and hopefully constant address of the mission home where you can send my letters is as follows...:
(Mom, please verify this address, because I wrote it down, and I can't tell if the first number of the zip code is a seven or a nine...thanks!)
Elder Tyler Eliason
Brazil Porto Alegre North Mission
Av. Visconde de. Macaé, 245 Cristo Redentor
71350-290 Porto Alegre - RS
Alright, so for the happenings of this week.....
First, the piano fiasco...
So I was to accompany the CTM Choral (choir) with my violin skills again this Sunday with a nice rendition of Called to Serve (an arrangement I've never heard before, but when practicing sounded really nice). I had the piece down pat; it was difficult, but doable. Well, we get to the Choral practice, and the pianist plays with the starting soloist, I'm supposed to be playing also, but after the first two notes, I realize that we were playing different pieces of music. I look at the piece that I think she is playing off of (there's five sheets of music on the piano board) and it's the same arrangement, so I continue to try and come in and luck. Confused out of my mind...I try and find a spot to come in on...I eventually figure out where they are...about the third verse, and bam, I play my notes, and it sounds atrocious....actually, it was exactly the right notes, but the music writen for my part was an entire whole step below the acompanying harmony being played on the piano, so as I try and figure out what to do, the song ends, and the director, Sister Steadman dismisses everyone. I'm sitting in my chair, considering what to do, so I go up and talk to her three minutes before the song is supposed to start, and she looks at me, gets huge eyes, and starts appologizing profusely, she had changed the key signature to a more compfortable range for the soloist without telling me. She had also changed the first half of the song to a different arrangement- she then tells me that I can come in after the third verse and it'll be fine...I get up and play with the Choral, and as we get to the third verse, I realize that it is still one whole step off, and sounds terrible, so I stop for 2 measures, readjust my fingers, and transpose the entire harmony part on a whim into the new key signature and everything (difficult on the violin because of the muscle memory for where all the notes are is up to distance between the fingers, changing it is rediculously difficult)....all in all, I played about 30 measures wonderfully out of a 200 measure harmony part, but hey I did it! (we later found out that somebody had tampered with piano, as it was electric, and had actually pressed the transpose button on the piano, so it was the pianos falt, not mine or the music for sounding bad...)
also, that morning I had played a rendition of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief for sacrament meeting, the first verse normally as written, the second verse in a minor key (1/2 step lower w/ 2 flats I think?) the final verse in 2 sharps, all by was awesome!
Second story...Proselyting (I have no idea how to spell it...I know how in Portuguese though!)
Monday we went proselyting for the first time! amazing! we just went out and did street contacting, talking to everybody we could find, passing out copies of the Book of Mormon with the phone number for the local missionaries...I also wrote my testimony on the inside cover (in portuguese of course) and highlighted and tabbed Moroni 10:3-5 The first couple of guys we talked to seemed somewhat interested, but just curious about the book...the second to last one spoke so ridiculously fast that neither I nor my companion could understand a single word he was saying...but he accepted the book of mormon and asked where the church building was...we pointed him in the right direction and went on our merry little way... the last guy we talked to was way out in the Ghettos of São Paulo...we stopped him on the street and introduced ourselves, told him that we were representatives of Jesus Christ and his Church, and asked if he believed in Jesus...he did, but then he stopped and thought for a minute and then told us that he didn't belong to any church because none of the churches had prophets. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could have sworn I heard trumpets blowing and angels singing....we told him about president Thomas S. Monson, and about Joseph Smith, and then read him the promise from the ancient Prophet Moroni...he was super excited and wanted to know so much more, we were only 2 blocks from the local chapel, so we told him where the building was, and showed him the number to call, he said that he would as soon as he got home. he thanked us and we were walking I turned around and looked at him, and he had stopped in the middle of the street (it wasn't busy at all thank heavens) and was reading out of it. :D :D :D I had also written my testimony in there beforehand about Joseph Smith and President Monson, so hopefully something will come out of it. He was an awesome guy, real humble and down to earth, so I really hope he finds what he was looking for.
anyways, much love always...
Elder Tyler J. Eliason
P.s. I just got your letter Nicole...congrats, it brought tears to my eyes :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

to all...
2 weeks in the CTM left......and another week down, and another week down, another elder from the dust... oh my heavens I'm going insane! not really, just a little cabin fever :D so....this week was very not-interesting...except for the fact that on sunday, I played the violin to accompany the elders who were leaving as they sang armies of helaman, the normal choir with As I search the Holy Scriptures...and then I got to sing in the specialty choir which sang an awesome arrangement of I believe in Christ, and the CTM president loved it so much that he actually stopped us from sitting down and invited us to sing it again at his request...which of course we did. onto the stuff that everybody looks for... Does anybody know an Elder Bradley Johnson??? He's from woodbridge and once I told him that I was in the Centreville stake, he started naming off almost every youth in the stake, blew my mind...but he didn't know Koa Beus or Andrew Beaty which was unfortunate, but whatever. Today we went to the São Paulo temple like we do every week in the CTM, (which by the way mom, is not across the street, it´s a solid hour drive in mediocre traffic, usually a bit less, sometimes double if it´s bad) and as soon as most of us got to the Celestial Room, the power went out over that entire section of the city....they have a single back-up generator for the emergency lights in the hallways, but nowhere else...bu a single light right above the chandelier in the Celestial room, it was awesome, although finding my locker in the midst of the hundreds that they have in the temple and getting dressed was extremely difficult in the pitch black.
Yestderday was Chile´s independence day, the 18th, so as always, when there are people from that country in the CTM, they make all of the native foods and have the natives go up and sing the national anthem at the devotional that week...we basically ended up with a ton of Dulce de Leite, popcorn, and Pad-thai (I have no idea how to spell that) along with the mountains of rice and beans :D as always.
One of my wonderful Brazilian roommates, Elder Brito, told me two days ago, right before he left, that he was set on marrying one of the north American sisters as soon as he returned from his mission...he then proceded to show me a picture that he had gotten with the wonderful Sister Robinson, one of my friends that I have made here...and told me that she was his new "Plano A"...he had a list of girls that he had ranked as "Plano A, B, C, ...." I could not stop laughing....especially since he's 5'5'' pushing 80 Kilos...He's also from somewhere in my mission, and he told me that every day he ate atleast a kilo of meat, and drank nothing but soda...great, and that every night that they didn't eat meat, it was lasagna, I'm positive that he was overexagerating, but that's hillarious none the less. He's actually an armored vehicle driver, he works for a private security firm who transports massive sums of money from businesses to the banks, he's about a nutty job! His drivers seat has a shotgun where the seatbelt normaly clips stuff, and he drives a motorcycle everywhere when he's not on the job. He's a funny guy, but he said that he's going to write his mother to take care of me if I end up in his hometown/area.
Anyways, today we're going to clean up a park that's down the street from the CTM, when we arrived, it was kind of clean, but every week we go back and it gets worse and worse and today, in about an hour or two we're going to get a group to go down and clean it up...we grabbed some trashbags from the janitorial ladies here... so yeah, hurah for organizing a service project in less paperwork than a paper airplane requires... (thank you Mr. know who i'm talking to...)
all's well in zion
not really, watch president Holland's address and you'll know what I mean.
Elder Tyler J. Eliason
P.S. they have a saying here in the CTM... "Un vazio caixa de correio é un triste caixa de correio." hint hint :D
letters sent this week will still get here when I'm here so don't hesitate :D

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

bum bu buh buh, buh bu bumm... buh bu bu bu, bu bu bu bu bu, bum bu buh bu, buh bu bu... buh bu buh buh bu buh bu bum bum bum bum....
ten bucks if you can figure out what song that is...
okay, so I really don't have that fantastic of an email to write today...  I wrote some ideas in my missionary planner, but I left that in the room four floors up... so... i'mma wing it.
This week.....I played the violin again for the Sunday night devotional, we ate berries that were growing on the trunk of a tree (very odd looking), learned the Portuguese word for a slacker (in the LDS sense)... Fubeca...  Oh! okay, so on Friday, Brazil had it's independence day, and it's NUTS!!!!! The chefs litterally brought out 100 gallons of icecream (the first time that we had had any since arriving here) and we proceded to devour all of it.  DELICIOUS.  I also believe that the Brazilian national anthem will allways be playing in my head, whether I want it to or not..  my teacher, Irmão Costa ran around the CTM the entire day wearing a brazilian flag as a cape...I love that guy to death.  Sunday evening, my district stayed up a bit late and threw a devotional party, we keept our classroom computer running (the one that´s connected to the TV), and streamed President Holland´s devotional live, while eating Brazilian chocolate and gummies. It was fantastic! If you have not watched it, I highly recomend roommates keep saying that President Holland is going to bring the church into a new phase of combating evil, he was as blunt and poignant as ever, I love it!  Today I get my leather scripture cases, so photos will be coming shortly...
I´m not quite what else to say....good luck Sockey-Wockey at school ~;D  I sent you a letter last week, but it was to the Virginia address, so you´ll probably not get it for another 2 weeks... and OH MY GOODNESS, WOOT WOOT!!!! congrats to my cousin SARAH AYER for getting her mission call, Elder Schenewark and I threw a party last night because I got the notification :D
Best of luck to all!!!!
Elder Tyler Eliason
P.S. Letters are looked forward to as the highlight of each day, and are definitely held in the most high reguard...*hint hint*
P.S.S. Scripture of the week: Alma 32:28

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Week 5 has flown by....exact same schedule every single day XD oh well, so for all of you wondering, we're actually here in the CTM for 9 1/2 weeks... yeah, so I still have what, 4 weeks left? mother has been blowing up her letters to me w/ tons of questions, so I figure I'd take this opportunity for a little Q&A with here we go :D
1. how many people in my district? --11
2. Am I teaching Alexandre every night? -- no, we only have time for 2 companionships to teach him every night, and anyways, he got baptized last Saturday, so we have a new investigator now...
3. Does he come to the CTM?  yes, he works here as an instructor :D
4. What did I teach last night? I taught about Alma 32, being humble by choice, not necessarily by force
5. Personal scripture study stuff?  Preach my gospel, chapter 5 w/ applicable references---AMAZING!!!!
6. Do I study using Portuguese Scriptures? yes, I do during language study, I study using both english and portuguese side by side, translating, it helps w/ grammer.
7. Are my CTM teachers native Brazilians? --yes, both of my instructors are native São Paulo residents, Irmão Costa, and Irmão Irmalho.
8. Do they speak English? --kind of, they´re both learning
9. Do I play soccer (foote-bal) on pday? no, we don´t play sports on pday...too much stuff to do, I´ll probably do that once we get out into the field though...
10. The São Paulo temple open? yes, opened a couple of weeks ago
11. Animals have I seen? --dogs, rats, dogs, mice, dogs, vultures, dogs, dogs, dogs, and 1 mccaw
12. Best thing eaten this week? ---mango, definitely mango, we bought a huge mango for 2 R$ last P-day, and it was amazing :D
13. Worst food of the week? Stroganoff--i have no idea how to spell it, we call the meat they put in it the bubblegum meat, you can chew it for hours and hours on end, and itll never diminish or change
14. How is winter weather?  fantastic, mid-70s every day, and low 60s every night
15. Good sunsets and sunrises? I live on the sixth floor of the CTM, and we look out over the west part of São Paulo, when the smog isn´t bad, its fantastic.
16.  Winter days are about sun up at 6 to sun down at they´re not bad...
17. how is regular sleep and little exercise?  terrible, I´d rather have a non-routine sleep pattern and exercise for most of the day, not sit for 10 hours in a classroom, the muscles tend to cramp a lot from lack of use :(
18. What do I do on Sundays? ---church at 8, lunch, and a 4 hour nap, then a fireside
19. Classes on Sunday? ---no, no classes on sunday
20. How did they know I played the violin?  they took a music poll when you first arive, they want to know the musical abilities of everybody
21. They have a violin for me? Yes, I play the CTMs violin, it is much nicer than the one I got in 6th grade and still use today :D
22. What am I playing? Hymns, lots and lots of hymns
23. How many missionaries in CTM here? 200, the largest outside of provo
24. How many zones in CTM? 5
25. How many districts in each zone? 3-6 depending on the week
26. How many missionaries are headed to Porto Alegre w/ me? 4 others, Elders White, Reeves, Blair, and Nelson
(funny story, Elder Blair is cousins with the Smiths ..Troy, Alyssa, Justin....)
27. When do I leave the CTM? the Tuesday before General Conference, in 4 weeks?
28. Fried food? yes, they love fried food here, but it´s not that greasey, its delicious :D My favorite are the fried bananas, they are absolutely delectable, and I could eat them all day!
29. Funnest word that I learned this week: ........ <--- the word, I´m not telling what it is, but it has 3 definitions....
    a. To hang oneself
    b. To loose an incredible amount of money at once
    c. To get married
- was the editor filled with pent up anger over something or what not???
I almost died laughing when I read that...that´s what the dictionary says, but I asked a native brazilian if that was true, and he said that they never use it for anything but the first definition
also, under the translation of eggs, it has an example sentance and then uses of it in slang terms...the slang term used for eggs was ´´to go tell your grandma to eat rotten eggs´´  so many questions about this
anyways, I bought a set of leather scripture cases for my Portuguese scriptures, i´m so stoked,  they come next wednesday ^^D pictures to come
Best of luck to all y'all
Elder Eliason
P.S. Letters are the little bit of sunshine on each day, (food for thought)