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 Nesc√£o 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

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