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

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

we get mail once a month here, so snail mail will work, its just going to be a LONG wait...and the responses will be even slower....I bring my camera with me to the wifi lab here in the Bento Gonçalves shopping center to take pictures of the emails, so the e-mails work just perfectly. you may also post on the blog (that is, if it´s alright with you..) that people may send letters in the form of a word document, email it to you, and then you will email me the attatchment..that´ll work too
also, send letters/packages/love to ONLY the Caxias address, the other one only works half the time.

So, Bento Gonçalves, the wine capital of Brazil...yeah, word of wisdom is a wonderful challenge here... IT is amazingly beautiful here, you thought the forests of virginia and the carolinas were thick?? BAHAHAHA, yeah, I did too...untill we got here.. after a 3 hour plane ride, to Porto alegre, where the mission home is, I took a bus with another greenie from my district at the CTM out here to Bento Gonçalves. The people here are uncannily friendly...even the people who reject our message when we knock doors always offer us water if its hot, or Chemarrão if its not swealtering...sometimes both. XD Chemarrão (i´m positive that i´m not spelling that right, but whatever) is a drink that was origionaly against the word of wisdom, but has been revealed that it is not....basically its green hay, crushed up, and drunk with boiling water through a filter litterally tastes like wet hay. not too appealing, but it starts to grow on you after you drink it every lesson you teach... speaking of lessons, we have investigators who have attended church over the course of the last month, so our hands are extremely full trying to get around town and teach and figure out who is really interested in the church, and who is just doing it to recieve the benefits of being a member... the vast majority of the town makes elder Grigsby look like a king...the poverty is unreal, actually just the opposite...its EXTREMELY real, but people accept it, and everybody is trying to make their situation better, which I find absolutely incredible. We are teaching a whole slew of investigators who love the gospel and are attending church every week, but are living together unmarried because they just cant afford the costs about 160 R$ to get all the legal fees done for the marriage, (that equates to about 85 USD). The only thing we can do for them is teach them about the benefits of the laws of the fast, tithing, and chastity....we did have a set of our investigators get married on friday though! what a party :D they´re getting baptized this saturday! man, this email is becoming difficult to write because about half of the words i want to say are just in portuguese.... To answer your questions mother...
1- no, my first area is not in porto alegre, it is in a decent sized town about 3 hours north (by way of bus)
2- there are approximately 150 active members, many many more who are semi-active or nonactive
3- there are no missionaries here in porto alegre n. that have cars except the mission president (he has a minivan)
4- there are none of us who have bikes either, they would be stolen and parts are EXTREMELY expensive to replace here
5- My first companion is Elder Bryant, he´s from Spokane Washington, he´s been out in the field for 20 months. He´s apparently the legend of Porto Alegre N. So I´m super pumped to be trained by him.

I don´t know how to attatch photos....okay, I just looked at the computer...and it doesn´t have a SD slot, but it does have a USB hook-up, so i´ll find an SD to USB transverter and I´ll try and send pictures next week. Last night was the elections for the state governments, and let me tell you, more people are excited about the state elections than the presidental elections of the US... there were fireworks and horns honking all last night just as the results were announced. Also, I got bit by a dog on my first stuff, drew quite a bit of blood actually, I was quite supprised...I took a picture of my pants afterwards because you can see the saliva where the teeth chomped on my ankle...full teeth impressions...but luckily none of the teeth went though the pants or the socks so there is no chance of infection from the bite...made my companion laugh though...he has yet to be bitten by a dog... the food here is incredible, we get lunch EVERY day from a member...or an investigator, they love too cook, but only lunch, very rarely will we ever get dinner...and even more rarely will we even try to make a breakfast, usualy it consists of a handfull of rice. One of the things I love to eat for either breakfast or lanche (post dinner-snack) is a bowl full of rice, covered in milk (cold-cereal style), and then a spoonfull of sugar and a bit of cinnamon, it´s SO GOOD!!! you can eat it cold or Hot, I like it hot, I think it brings out the flavor more...if you want to make it more of a dessert, which people do here, use sweet and condensed milk instead of regualr milk. also, milk only comes in boxes here, and is good forever untill you open it.... we usually buy 3 percent because it´s the cheapest, you can get 1 per, but its almost double the price, or you can get 6 or 12 per....also more expencive, but VERY DELICIOUS...Rice rice rice....everywhere I love rice, i´m so lucky i like it, because if I didnt, I would be hosed.....there´s this drink here that everybody loves, it´s orange juice mixed with soy milk....oh my heavens, it´s almost like drinking a creamsicle....never mind, it´s like dreaming a super smooth orange julius. mmmmm.....

Also! General Conference!!!! AWESOME, watched it in Portuguese, so I only caught a little bit of what they were trying to say...but what I did catch was that women can now serve missions at age 19, and that men can serve at 18!!!! oh my heavens, so is Brittany going to try and do what i did and serve a mission after 1 year of school? I know she wanted to serve tell all :D
Pdays are now on Monday, sorry for not writing last week, I didn´t get an opportunity, in the CTM, pdays are wednesday, here they´re on monday...transfers are on Tuesday... :/ oh well, i´m here now. There are so many hills here, you know that really steep hill in cali that everybody knows about...well most of the roads here put that one to shame...and people drive straight up and down them in cars and on are EVERYWHERE here...its awesome. also, there are security guards here in the mall with full body-armor and m-16 rifles...makes me laugh. My roommate from the CTM was from Farropilah? I have no idea how to spell it, but that´s the area right next to mine, and when we went to district meeting last week, there was a picture of him on their wall...made me smile :D go Elder Brito! (he´s the armored car driver)

Anyways, I love it here, we had trouble sleeping last night because people were lighting off homemade fireworks around our appartment all night long...(you can tell which ones are home-made because the factory made ones make it more than twenty feet off the ground before they explode) Brandon blake would LOVE it here XD also, all of the (non-main) roads here are made out of cobbelstone, which I absolutely love, I don´t know why, but I also makes it extremely dangerous and difficult to go up and down when its raining...which it does almost every night here....that´s why here is so perfect to grow grapes it´s super sunny all day, and then when the sun goes down, it rains.

So long, farewell, ciao....
Elder Tyler Eliason

P.S. the fact that we only get mail one time a month does not change the fact that I want letters.... ;D

Thursday, October 4, 2012


New mission address:

Porto Alegre North Mission
Caixa Postal: 13008
Porto Alegre, RS
CEP: 91010-971