Monday, February 25, 2013

Todo mundo, agora tenho o opportunid​ade para fazer uma email para vocês

So this week has been awesome!
Carlos is incredible-just like the Gretz family, he goes out with the missionaries every sunday evening and every tuesday afternoon, and is continually looking for people that he knows to visit with the missionaries...he told me that he was saving money to visit the united states for a month, but now he is using that fund to prepare to serve a mission...he has been baptized for just over a month now, he truly inspires me.

Anderson was baptized saturday, unforutnately and fortunately 95 percent of the people that would have been there were at the temple, actually, there were only 2 families there to see it, but its just the same, he has started on the path of eternal happiness. 
This month we have baptized 3 people here in Erechim (2 the week before I came) and so we have completed our goal and this next week we probably will have a p-day da zona! but this one will be AWESOME and we will do churrasco and play Uno, a classic (elder Dowden gave me a pack of uno cards before he left that he brought from the US but never used....we play uno like normal, but with a few twists that make it a lot more fun, fast, and entertaining...if you have a card of the same color and number, you can place it on the deck even if it isnt your turn, and if you do this, the round automatically starts over with the person on the right of funny...and you can stack skips...and +2 and +4....its so fun!) we had an opportunity to play because our Zone leaders did a Lightning Blitz with us on thursday...we were doing companionship study when there was a knock at the door. Boom, LZs are at our appartment 2 hours via onibus long from their area.... Oi Elderes! vamos fazer Blitz hoje!, we divided, I went with Elder Warner and elder Lucas de Souza with Elder Figureiro, and visited almost all of our investigators and visited tons of contacts and people...just to accelerate the work in this area. It was hillarious, because as soon as they left the next day, our Leader de Distrito showed up with his companion to do the interview for Anderson, how awesome was that!
Well, one of the lessons we taught (Elder Warner and I) was a group of cousins (5 girls and 1 boy) who were just chilling drinking chemarrão in the garage, well we taught them the 1st lesson, they didn't seem too extremely excited but said that they would pray and if they recieved an answer, would be baptized, cool huh? well, we visited them yesterday, and only one of them was there (the most snakey of them all) but her entire family and was we taught them, and although the snake didn't have too much interest, her mother was on the edge of her seat clinging onto every word that we said. everybody concorded that if it were true, they would join, but she really was the one that was never know who is listening and who will be there if you all of the future missionaries---talk to EVERYBODY and invite EVERYBODY in the house to hear the message, and invite EVERYBODY to pray and if they recieve an answer, be baptized. It really works!
Thank you so much for the emails from Dan and Sarah, I look forward to reading them when we return to the apartment. 

I love the gospel, and I know that it is true...just search, ponder, and pray :)

Te amo, e A Igreja é verdadeira

Elder Eliason

Monday, February 18, 2013


So, I have forgotten how fast an hour blows by when reading emails, so next week, I will take photos of each email, ...this week's email will hav to be quite a bit shorter than the rest, I am sorry...mother and father, and all else, don't worry about sending shorter letters okay? This week they made me smile demais.
well...this week has been a whirlwind. the first 4 days were really really slow and bummer days, we had to cut almost all of our investigators, none of them were progressing, and we had already given them many opportunities to progress. Well, it just so happend that we were reading in Preach My Gospel about how to find new investigators and of course the best way is to use the members, every day we ask the members at lunch for references, and we usually get 1 or 2 that they have already given to the missionaries, but we try again and again. well, yesterday, one of our recent converts, Carlos, age 20, asked us if we could eat lunch with him and his family. Of course we said yes, his family are not members. We canceled our lunch yesterday and went to his house. He not only had invited his family, but 5 friends also, to all of which he had been talking about us and were all excited to meet us. Well, they all said that they will try and come to church next week! Knowing Carlos, he won't let them forget. We then had another lesson scheduled, so we had to leave, but then after the next lesson we got a call from Carlos telling us that he had a family that he wanted to visit with us, of course we were excited and left with him. He is kind of short and he walks slow, so it took a while to get across town, but it was so worth it. We get there, in a very poor neighborhood, and go to the back where there is a very well-constructed cement house. He clapped and a buddy of his came out, along with the other 6 members of his family. one left right away, she had to go to work, but the others stayed and we talked for over an hour about the church, they had a billion questions. We covered the restoration and invited all of them to pray about the truthfullness of it. It was quite incredible. Carlos is incredible.
Saturday was also a day for the best. One of the techniques that Preach my Gospel says to look for new investigators is by going through the old investigators of other missionaries, and of course we have boxes and boxes of old files, so we started. We selected a few and left for the afternoon. Well, three days later of no success...we came across a kid named Anderson. Anderson comes from a very poor family, the mother abandoned them when he was young, all of his brothers and sisters are crack-cocaine addicts and the father works 2 full time jobs to put food on the table for them and clothes on their backs. Well, he is 16, and is trying to decide what to do with his life. About a year and a half ago, some elders ran into him on the street and invited him to learn more about the gospel. He accepted, learned a ton and was totaly willing to learn more, but he had to run away from home because of his family. Well, things got resolved back home, and we came cross his file, passed in front of his house and he was sitting on the front door step talking to a very old Gaucho, his neighbor, and smiled when he saw us. He is going to be baptized this Saturday. He went to church yesterday and loved it. He went several times before, but had to stop when he left. He is also very good friends with a family in the ward, who over the last year has gone to church maybe 2 times, well, when we told them that he was going to come to church yesterday, they went to church too, and they all told us that they are going to start returning. It is incredible. Count the billions of blessings, including the blessings of your own family. Seriously. Anyways, a little piece of our gigantic puzzle down here in the south.

Dad- You are right, Here in Brazil, we baptize 1 person for every door they knock in Germany. It's really interesting, here in the South, it is not nearly as easy to get baptisms, but in the north, they baptize every weekend, families, they are very receptive to the church up north. It also is interesting because Elder De Souza is from Rio Grande do Norte, the nordeste- north east. Well, the way that the missionaries get converts and get people to be baptized is very different and he is still adjusting to the fact that people on the street don't imediately accept the fact that we have the gospel. It is very interesting, because the poorer areas are a lot easier to work in, so he feels inclined to work there, but the quality of the investigators and the duration of their perseverance in the church is usually VERY limited, so we have our little scuffles about where to work, but we are getting along very well. Mother, if you want to know what a gaucho is, google the following words:
Bomba de Chemarrão
Faca de Gaucho
Garrafa termica
Little piece of the south
I love you all, the Church is true.

Elder Eliason

Monday, February 11, 2013


well, this week has been a bit long, seeing as how its been almost 2 and a half weeks without p-day....Yes, we had the "pday da zona" but what happened? Everybody arived, the sisters arived and left for the hospital (one was very sick) and the majority of the Zone was working on the transfer (me included) so we blew the entire day making the transfer work. Note to self: Do not plan the pday da zona the day before transfers if you are in the office. Anyways, Yes mother, we are eating blackbeans and rice again every day, along with strogonof (the humble farmers extravagant meal) on a daily basis. The ward is awesome, there are few members (the majority are by far youth and they are all out at their version of youth conference out at the beach....bummer! My companion is Elder Lucas De Souza (that's what his name tag says, we have 5 Elder De Souzas so he had to put his name on it too). He is from Rio Grand de Norte, up near Forteleza, he speaks portuguese very very very fast, and with an extremely difficult accent to understand. He also uses a very different vocabulary than the people down here in the south, so a lot of the time the people here don't understand him also. It's really interesting to have a Brazilian companion, because now, I can't speak English at all. He speaks no English except for "Gootch Nitch" and "Ai love uuh" it is pretty funny. He actually is new, and I am training him also, If you don't know, missionarys here in the POA Norte Mission get trained for 2 trasfers, Elder Christaldo was his first trainer, I am his second. It is interesting because he picked up on a lot of things that Elder Christaldo did that are kind of strange to me, but he taught as normal stuff for missionarys. Not bad, but just different. It was a real eye opener to me to see how huge an influence that the trainers have on the new missionary. They litterally have the choice to make them a fantastic hard working baptizing missionary, or they can be lazy fubeccas. It's interesting.
Mother, I don't know if you realize this, but you said "I know you wish you could be in Caixa for the baptism..." Caixa means box in portugues...Porto Alegre is where the baptism will be, the mailing address says Caixa Postal, which is their way of saying P.O. Box. funny, you made me smile :) obrigado. Mother, I love you and thank you for sending new contacts, I have to ask though, what type are they? I got some new-ish ones right before I left, and it turns out that I am alergic to them, and if I wear them for more than 2 hours I get pink-eye. :) Just FYI. I remember Farenheit 451, it was an interesting book, but as an 8th grader when I read it, I don't think I percieved the significance of it or how well it was dictioned.
Elder Haddow's mission prep class sounds fantastic, he is a really pecuilier guy, and yes, Tanner would adore that class, along with yourself. Tanner is and will be an incredible missionary. I'm so proud of him.

This Saturday night was the first night of Carnival! Carnival is a lot of fun, but when in the larger cities, resembles a lot of 5 de Mayo, down in New Orleans, so the missionaries in the large cities have to stay indoors. We just have to be in our apartment before 8pm, not that much of a difference, but hey, we get a bit more time to study and sleep. Although it might be driven by the more carnal side, everybody here celebrates it in their own way-here in the smaller cities, they are a lot more happy, open, and energetic- everybody gets off work. We had to look long and hard to find a Lan House that was open to send an e-mail. It's a fun time, and there's tons of energy in the air all the time.
P-day is now Monday again, and I have to pay 3$R/Hr to use the computer, so the e-mails won't be as long as before, but know that I love you all the same and that Brazil is incredible, but the United States is my home.

Te amo, e A Igreja é verdaderia

P.S. I have never drinken more Chimarrão in my life than I have here, it is incredible how much they drink, and that everybody drinks it I will actually probably buy a quia so I can drink it on my own...I have developed a taste for it :/

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I am going to Erechim, a farming area with a mini-center of high-rises...where we will live :) I will also be senior companion for the first time :D


Saturday, February 2, 2013

well yeee-haw

E ai caras, como vocês estão?

well, its been a very office-oriented week....transfers are going down on tuesday, so we have (unfortunately but necessarily) been spending most of our days working out the transfers and what not. We have a new family that we go teach about every other day, they are incredible, the parents are a little bit fubecca-ish, but they have some of the most incredible kids ever! The parents were baptised several years ago, but fell away from the church, the kids were never baptised. They have a 16 year old, 12 year old, and a 9 year old, all of them are interested in the church, and the parents want to start coming back. The twelve year old is the sweetest little girl, and even though the mother has a really hard time understanding the scriptures (the older language really confuses her) the 12 year old is already in 1 Nefi 5, and we gave her a Book of Mormon on Wednesday. When I asked her what she thought of it so far, to see how well she was comprehending it, her response blew me away, and I directly quote/translate "Well, it would appear that the older brothers of Nefi were wrong in their motives and beliefs." BOOM! my head just exploded. SHE's 12! her mother didn't read with her, her brother didn't read with her, her dad goes to work at 5 in the afternoon until 2 am....She is incredible! I am super sad that I'm going to be transfered next week..I will not have the opportunity to see her or her brother be baptised on the 16th, but I know that they'll be in good hands. I will be leaving this super rich high-rise fast life style area, to go to a small farming community out in the Passo Fundo area (I can't tell where exactly it is right now because nobody else knows, just the Elders in the office) But I'm super excited, they are the real native cowboys and gauchos out there...I'm very excited.

It's really interesting to see how the church works down here because many times, it is so new that people don't know how the church is run some times. For example, there is a ward here where the bishop is new and he is actually a recent convert from Kenya. He relies on the other leadership of the ward for a lot of guidance, along with the manuals and the Spirit obviously. Interesting to think about, but seriously, the gospel is exploding here, there is so much potential, I would not be surprised if the number of LDS members here outnumber those in the states in a few years. It is incredible, and it is directed by The Lord, if it wasn't, it would fall to pieces. I have seen it here in the office, if it was not the true church, all of the missionaries would be having much bigger problems at the moment than worrying about investigators. We also had the opportunity yesterday to do companionship study with President and Sister Wright, what an incredible opportunity. They are incredible.
Besides that, lunch this week fell though all but 2 days, so we ate Xis-do Bruxo twice...bad idea, I always get the SuperBruxo, a 10 inch burger with a fried egg, grilled chicken strips, cheese, lettuce, tomato, peas, corn, bacon, pepperoni-like sausage, chicken hearts, and about a cup of mayo...all cooked together on a flat-top. SO deliciouis! All on a massive toasted bun. Costs about 7 USD, which for a Xis is pretty expensive, but it is so worth it. It is not the best of ideas afterwards to go walking for hours and hours in the 100 degree heat dressed in slacks and a white shirt and tie. But, hey we do it anyways. I have got to say the best thing to eat for breakfast is their "sonhos" or dreams.... Thick tough dougnuts filled with either Creme de leite or Dolce de Leite.
anyways....back to the spiritual side of the Mission....over the course of this month, we had 8 baptisms in our zone, with many more to come this coming month, but since 8 was our goal, we earned a P-day da Zona! or a Pday where everybody in the zone gets to spend p-day together, a rare opportunity to have fun with other elders and sisters we don't get to see very often. We are probably going to just chill here in the office, but the office also doubles as the institute buidling, and on the institute side, there is Billiards, ping-pong, air-hockey, and 3 tables of foos-ball. We also have a fenced in soccer and basketball court, so if any of us feels the desire to run around in the 100 degree sun, we can.
Mother, you would be proud of me, as I have been doing a lot of data entry for the office this week, I have been listening to Chopin and Rachmaninoff. I am feeling the pull to learn how to play piano again, but it'll have to wait until after the mission.
Thats all for now folks.
Do some good in the world today:
-A honey bee makes about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey every month, yet we can buy 5 gallon buckets of it- every little act of kindness counts

Elder Eliason