Saturday, January 26, 2013

this week....

Well, this week was (not that) interesting to say the least.........

nothing happened. We have been cooked up here in the office forever since transfers will happen in less than 8 days, and so President Wright, the assistants, and the secretaries have been running around like chickens with their heads cut off to make sure that people are going to be going to where the Lord needs them, and that they will have housing, water, electricity, plumbing, transportation to get there, renewed visas, renewed drivers licenses (president and sister Wright). We will be receiving 31 new missionaries and losing 8 in March, this should be interesting :)
On the other hand, elder Loftgrin and I have been working on the 3000 references we came across last week... most of them are old, at least 2 years old...but many of them are just as valid.
Story... So one of the references I came across was from 2009, I passed it to the sisters that are working in the neighboring area of Elisabete, where the reference lived. Well, I passed it at about 8 in the morning, at 2 in the afternoon, I got a phone-call from them, they were crying. I asked to the reason why- they told me that the reference I had given them lived at that address and had been waiting for the missionaries to pass by for the last 20 years. She had been taught by the missionaries 20 years ago when she lived in Santa Catarina, but had moved down to Porto Alegre and had lost contact with the church. Well, that afternoon, they marked a baptismal date with her. She will be baptized next week. I am so excited to pass out the rest of them. There is one area where the ward members passed out a billion pass-along cards, so everybody who called in or went online to get the dvd or Book of Mormon, or whatever the pass-along card said, placed their address down and phone number, along with name, and have noted that they have some sort of interest in God and church. I have had to limit the number of references that I pass them every week. Nobody can contact 500 people and concentrate on the needs of each one. That just doesn't make sense.
The wolf bite didn't break too much skin, so I don't need the rabies shot, it's not necessary.
Mother- a chop shop is a place where people take used or stolen cars and chop them up into pieces and sell the pieces for other cars as replacements or improvements. It is a very lucrative industry, especially if your car is new and has lots of new shiny parts. This past Sunday, one of our recent converts, Marcel, was waiting for us in the parking-lot of a grocery store near where we were (he was going to give us a ride), when a black pick-up truck pulled up next to him, blocked him in his parking space, and three guys jumped out with shotguns and told him to get out of his (newly purchased 38,000 Real) car. He and his date (they were going to a fireside that evening after dropping us off) both got out of the car, the robbers told them to throw his wallet and her purse into the car and then stole the car, leaving them standing on the sidewalk. We were on the other side of the road about 200 meters down, but we saw and heard nothing. He luckily, while the robbers were talking, slipped his * Galaxy phone* into his back pocket, and was able to keep it with him. They ended up not being able to give us a ride or go to the devotional. They filed an incident report with the police, but the chances of them getting it back is slim to nill. A man saw everything happen, and he followed the guys and called the police while following them, but because there was nobody in the general vicinity at the time (police wise), the police told him to stop following them before he gets killed, and to just let it go. I am so grateful for the American police system. She came out of it a bit flustered and disturbed, he came out of it praising God that that was all that happened. He has an incredible testimony that has been growing ever since the missionaries found him.
About the ward boundaries, we figured out why, the map is about 3 years old, and a bunch of the branches have changed boundaries, that's why everything I was looking at was screwy. The carton of milk? Only one liter, but that's a ton here to drink in one sitting, but we put chocolate powder (similar to Nesquick, its actually made by Nestle, it's called Nescão 2.0) in the milk and it was incredibly delicious. No, we don't get the Ensign, we get the Liahona, which publishes all of the main messages in the Ensign, New Era, and Friend. Of course it is in Portuguese, but reading Portuguese is super easy, I can also read most texts in Spanish now, it's just a lot harder to speak. (I've been studying Preach my Gospel in both Portuguese and Spanish.)
Anyway, a couple of days ago, I went with Elder Rech to downtown Porto Alegre to get President's license renewed. The man who did the translation of the license into Portuguese is probably pushing 85 years old, and is incredible. His family fled Germany before WWII, and moved to Brazil. His mother taught him German, Portuguese, Spanish, and English. A couple of years ago, he got licensed to translate legal documents into Hebrew and French also. He has the most incredible rotating library in his office, he says that whoever comes through his office usually brings a book that they like, and trade one with him. He has over 400 books (thick Tom-Clancy style books) on his shelves and he has read them all. We will bring a Book of Mormon next time we come by, but it has to be in English, because he only reads books in English, German and Hebrew. Luckily we have a bunch of English Books of Mormon lying around that we use when we teach English Class every Thursday night. He's awesome. I'm excited.
Anyway, I love you all, the church is true.
Elder Eliason

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I saw this in the shopping mall, and thought aunt Mandy might like it, it's a very fancy shoes/purses/leather/classy elegant clothes store...

I made a galon and a half of fresh juice from our tree out back...we drank about half of it....the rest is now fermenting in our fridge....

Canecas, what more need I say?

The Staff at Outback


Tyler and the Wolves
Dear fam, friends, all who claim to know me or at least have an interest in finding this blog.....

well... this week has been interesting to say the least
I am completely sick, because once again, we have eaten at outback (it was Elder Rech's birthday)
and I drank my bodyweight in Guarana (closest thing to relate it is ginger ale?) whatever

Scharyannie was baptized sunday, she is incredible, unfortunately my camera died as soon as I turned it on to take a pic at her baptism, so a member took one with his phone, and will send it to me hopefully sometime soon. Schary is awesome. Marriage here takes atleast 20 days for everything to be authenticated and authorized, and will cost about 180 R$, so its going to be about a month before her grandma can be baptized, but its all still looking good. Juliano, one of our awesome incredible investigators (age 16) wants to be baptized the 27th, but his parents arent letting him for now, so we are praying earnestly for him. He lives behind the church, so it takes about 30 seconds for him to get to church. Anyways, things are good here in Rio Grande do Sul, it cooled off a bit last week, so its chilling at about the mid 80s as highs, but the AC is now fixed in the office, so we are enjoying the comfort :) This week I....
1. Kicked a cat (so rediculously funny)
2. Once again removed all of the hair on my hand making popcorn
3. Almost got hit by a members car who actually offered us a ride.
4. Found an area that nobody knew about here in Lindóia that is comprised only of chop-shops
5. Drank an entire carton of milk in 1 sitting (be proud of me)
6. Met a family that raises wolves.
7. Had my hand bitten by a wolf.
8. Discovered the incredible power of Google Earth (mom, you love maps, you should totally check this out)
9. Discovered that the official boundaries of many wards here are completely wrong, as in the Boundaries for the ward of Bento Gonçalves, does not actually include the city of Bento Gonçalves, where I was working, and where resides all of the ward members (including bishopric) and the chapel. hmmm.....
10. Killed a bajillion cockroaches
10.1 Did work in expanding the Kingdom of Heaven....
Which brings me to my next point...all you wonderful people who are considering going on missions. DO IT!!!! I can not explain how incredible the mission has already been, I've only been out for 5 months, and I can already see the blessings...
-Language- I understand almost everything that everybody says, and I can say anything that I need to. Some times the vocabulary is lacking, but I can describe it to the point where the people realize what I am trying to say and can help me from that point.
-Social skills- I can make small talk with anybody, and situations are no longer awkward, you just get used to it to the point where I don't recognize most awkward moments....they are just usually normal days.
-Body Weight- well, we shall see.....
-Health- Well, I ate 4 bowls of (yes i mean it) home-made chili yesterday :D :D :D so incredibly delicious...the people had gone to the US for a Judo-boxing tournament, and fell in love with Chili, so they brought back some Costco sized plastic canisters of Chili powder good goood gooooood :_) Also, before you leave on the mission, invest in the gigantor-sized bottles of vitamin- C and multi-vitamins, these two things keep me more healthy than anything else I am eating here.
-Studies- well, I have finally learned how to study intently without being distracted and/or falling asleep, although getting a GOOD night of sleep definitely does help (something of which I realize now I lacked this entire last year)
-Protection- Hahahahahahahahahaha, I am not dead. That means that I have been protected by a heaven-based force, there is no other explanation. We must do our part, but stuff inevitably will happen. The mission has been proof that the heavens want me here at this moment.
The mission has truly been a huge blessing in my life so far, and I know that if we are doing the things that we need to be doing, and trying our best to be in the right place at the right time, things will always work out.
All yall are awesome.... also remember your letters :D whether they be to me or anybody out in the field.
- "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It's our light, not our darkness that frightens us. As we liberate from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ---Marianne Williamson
Be awesome, be awesome beyond belief.
Elder Eliason

Monday, January 14, 2013

A non-real investigator playing a guitar??

Lunch Crew


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Boa tarde!

Howdy yall, here in the south, everybody talks really fast and with a clean crisp accent. Somehow this week, I have felt the gaucho culture more than ever here in Porto Alegre, although we have not been drinking nearly as much chemarrou and tererei as normal, everywhere we go, there are indications that the southern pride is still strong here- it's actually quite hilarious A while back, before I was born, there was a war, a war for independence of the Gauchos (cowboys) from the Paulistas (people from the north, mainly São Paulo). This was called the War of Farroupilha. Like the US Civil War, the south lost, but they did not lose their southern pride. They still wave the Rio Grande do Sul flag around as if it is the flag of their country, although they have come to accept the actual Brazilian flag as one of which is greater valor. Interesting huh? Well, this week has been very trying on the patience, but it has been a big learning week. I have learned:

1. I am not meant to be cooked up in an office
2. I will never accept an office position in any field of work
3. Data analysis is really cool, and can help a tremendous volume if applied correctly
4. I like the cold a lot more than the hot (Summer vs Winter)
5. Taxi drivers will run you over (if you don't have an incredible companion that pulls you out of the way at the last second)
6. The Lord is hastening his work (at an incredible speed- Missionary applications have shot up in number 471% since the announcement in October)
7. Outback Steakhouse is extremely expensive
8. Outback Steakhouse's food is slider food....
9. If you drink 17 canecas of Coca-Cola, you will inevitably get sick
10. It is okay to dress up a bit, just to go out in public...polos, slacks/dark jeans, sport coats/blazers- just look classy... that would be the typical male Brazilian style here. Women are sporting nothing but sun dresses now days, it's fun.

okay, so maybe I got a little off topic, but Scharyannie has her baptismal inerview here in half an hour, and she will hopefully be baptized tomorrow! I am so excited for her. Her grandma, who has sat in on all of the lessons has finally decided that she wants to be baptized too, but has to get legally married first, which we will take care of this week, so she will hopefully be baptized next weekend. We also have Gildo and Solande, who are ready to be baptized, but they have to wait for the judge to finalize her divorce and actually marry the two of them. I am so excited.

I think it is really funny reading Daniels letters, and he makes me laugh when he talks about his new DL responsibilities .. I live with the two APs, they are incredible, they're responsible for about 140 missionaries at the moment, and will grow to about 240 by the end of this year hopefully... its a work and a half, and to include all of that on top of anything that the President asks, and to work a normal area, they are truly masters of multi-thinking.
The person who works the most on the mission (and the least appreciated) here is definitely the financial secretary. He is incredible, He has to keep everything in order- houses, money, reimbersments, light, water, maintenance, anything financial goes to him, including bus tickets, plane tickets, train tickets, boat tickets...etc... this week was quite funny because one apartment of sisters didn't have their light bill payed, so they had their electricity cut off...well, in the 110 degree heat, a solid cement apartment without fans is not a fun place to be, let alone try to sleep in. He has been having nightmares and whatnot because prior financial secretaries have not been organized, and had just kept everything straight in their heads, well, he came in and there was no record of 4 houses, and a ton of bills had yet to be payed. He has been working extremely hard to get everything back in order. Along with all of this stuff, he has to open atleast 3 new houses/apartments, write contracts for them, and get everything approved for the new incoming missionaries. Parabens to him.

I am so glad that you (mother) are falling in love with Preach My Gospel, I love that book. There are so many things to be gained from it, and every time I read it, I gain some insight that i have never seen before. One thing that I would suggest doing for the new year and the year to come is go through the Attributes of Christ, and every week for family home evening, go over one aspect, read the characteristic, the scripture reference that goes along with it and make goals for the next week to improve in that aspect. Discuss it with the fam, and see how together you all can become better. This will inevitably bring you closer to your family and closer to Christ. On page 126 I believe is the Attributes of Christ self-evaluation, try listing in your journal 1-57 and evaluate yourself. See where you can personally improve, and where your strengths are. I have been doing this lately, and it has been a wonderful blessing to my life.

I have also begun reading Jesus the Christ again, and every time I read it, it blows me away. I feel like everything I read, I already knew somehow, but it wasn't presently aware of it. As I discussed this assessment with my companion this week, we came to the conclusion that due to the fact that everybody has the Light of Christ within them, which testifies of things that have already come to past, and the testification of things that happened in the antemortal existence but because of the veil of distance between us and the Savior, we don't all have the immediate recollection of these events. When we hear or read the things that are truths, the spirit testifies that we already knew this things were true, and is slightly pushing us into remembrance The same effect is happening with the investigators who have not hardened their hearts against the ideas of the Gospel, they are turned to the truthfulness of light wherein they have been prepared to receive the remembrance of the things that are really there. In conclusion, we all already knew this stuff, we just have to be reminded. If that made sense, smile. If not, send me an angry letter, at the address posted, and I will promptly throw it in the shredder after reading. Why? because I have free agency to do so. You do too. Isn't it great?

anyways, now that I have splurged my thoughts on to paper for the moment, I have to go to an interview.

Remember God loves you and that he wants you to do works of righteousness.

Elder Eliason

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Dear everyone, including, but not exclusively, Mother, Father, Brothers, Sister, and Grand-parents,
Where to start?
Well, to begin, this next transfer, we will be receiving 20 new missionaries, and losing 10. That means that we have to open up at minimum 5 new areas. This type of increase is expected to happen again for at least the next 4 transfers. In two transfers, we will lose exactly one sister and no elders, but gain another 22. that means 10 new areas, which means an entire new zone just because of one transfer. We had to open up a new zone this last transfer- Zona Praya (the beach zone) Which, evidently is an extremely difficult area seeing as how everybody who is there is on vacation, so finding permanent residents who are willing to accept the standards of the church is extremely hard to do (but the Lord provides). Needless to say, the office is going crazy right now trying to find housing, beds, equipment, funding, etc.... for all of the new missionaries, in addition to training new trainers for these new missionaries, finding Zone Leaders, finding areas that can be opened, working with wards, branches, and angry electricity companies. We are movin' it around here. Today is p-day, and it's about 3 o'clock, and we have been working up until about now. The secretaries are still working trying to figure everything out. This week has also been extremely hectic because Elder Dowden and Elder Tenorio have gone on divisions (splits) three times this week, which means that Elder Anastaçio and I have been switching off working in Lindóia and Ala IV. Elder Anastaçio is an incredible elder and has a gift for explaining things that don't make sense at first and making them logically correct, which is an incredible gift, but we are still working on the small talk/pleasantries aspects, which are important to gain the investigators trust. I love working with him though, he never stops working and talking to everybody.

To answer your question mother, some electrical engineering classes, and yes, the water here in Porto Alegre tastes funny, but is generally safe to drink. There are several ways to drink water here- you can:
1- Chug a ton of water and get sick on the first day, but then rest of the time in the area be fine (what I do)
2- Boil water every night and put it in the fridge so it is cold the next morning (what Elder White does)
3- Drink Coke/Pepsi or Guarana instead (what most normal people do)
4- Drink the same water with Tang in it (what most poor people do)
to be completely frank, the water here is safe, but it is funny tasting. Just don't drink water from rusty cups (happens more frequently than not...), anybody that works in a garage (gasoline water is not good for the stomach, trust me), or from a river (rivers are mostly sewage).

Mother, you asked me about the people we are teaching- well, lets start with my last area, Bento Gonçalves.
Flavia had her baptismal interview yesterday, and hopefully is going to be baptized tonight. Pray for her. I know nothing else about Bento.
Here in Lindóia: We have a family of investigators that were Jehova's Witness missionaries some years back, but have fallen away, and are reading the Book of Mormon (HECKYEAH!!!!) We have several references that are looking really good: Scharyannie (pronounced kind of like shawty-onnie) who is a 16 year old girl and loves the young womans program, has a bunch of friends, and hopefully will be baptized this next Sunday, the 13th, We also have Juliana, a cousin of one of the inactive members of our ward, who has been going to church recently and wants to be baptized, Juliano, a 16 year old boy who is ready to be baptized but needs permission of the parents, Gildo and Luciana, who are also ready to be baptized, but need to get married, and of course our friend Patricia, who has just started investigating the church, and has recently made friends (through us) with one of our recent converts, Marcel- He was baptized 6 months back, and is single and roughly 30, she is single and roughly 30. We jokingly hope they get married, they're both model-type ...yeah... would be awesome. We have a ton of new investigators that we have been finding through the inactives in our ward, we have been visiting people we don't know on the member records list to see if they are even still living there, and lots of times they are still there, and we are helping reactivate them and helping bringing their non-member family members to the church. It's going incredibly well for us, much better than how it was happening in Bento, where everybody had moved. It has been a whirlwind of a week to say the least, no more freak accidents, no more fan explosions, no more anything, although we did watch a motorcyclist slam into the back of a car the other day (he was fine, he flipped over the handlebars, off the back of the car and landed on his face, but luckily he was wearing a full face helmet (as required here) and a leather jacket and jeans) he got up and did the huge Rocky-Y with the arms and then picked up his bike and moved it off to the side.

The New Year is a very annoying time for the missionaries down here- People are not home, they suffer from a disease called the beach, so it's very hard to follow up with the investigators. It is reaching about 100 degrees every day here, which fortunately for us is among the lowest in all of Brazil for the moment. Also something that I am ready for is the cold weather, so people will feel like wearing clothes again. Yes, I just said that. Trust me, it's a different culture down here. I realized the other day that I forgot a winter jacket (it gets really cold here, down to 10 degrees at times), so we have been looking though the stuff here at the office (Elders who are leaving donate clothes and jackets and stuff that they don't want to take home), and so I found a couple of nice dress sweaters and a big brown jacket. It's going to be awesome. The only thing is that right now, we don't have electricity in the bathroom out back, so I take an ice-cold shower every morning (great for now) but when it comes winter, it'll be really cold. Also, I take showers by the sunlight (there is a tiny window on the door, but when winter comes, it'll be dark, and I'll have to use a candle like I do every night now. Fun stuff. But seriously, I love it here.
Anyway, I left my camera across the street in our house, so some time today or tomorrow, I'll shoot you the latest pics. Should be fun.

from the Elder who is writing this email on the President's computer,

Elder Tyler Eliason

Eu te amo, e A Igreja é verdadeira,