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,

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