Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Beautiful Easter! 04.17.2017

Hey everyone,
    So first off lets start off with the basics. Sadly I had to leave the amazing city of Resende to go to Varginha. 

They are polar opposites. I left Rio Janeiro for Minas Gerais. I left the plains for huge hills. And I left the tiny apartment to an apartment that seems like a house. So there are some good tradeoffs here. 

Varginha is known for an alien encounter and so it has alien statues, UFO bus stops, and even UFO sidewalks in some places. It is really cool. Plus it has a 2 dollar x-tudo burger. Literally a huge hamburger with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, batata palha, corn, and more stuff. Yeah corn is a bit strange, but I am already used to it. My companion is Elder Sousa from the north part of Brazil. 

    So I am once again opening an area. This means that the two misisonaries that were here were both transferred and we start with nothing. This is the third time that I will be doing this so I am kinda a veteran. Its a good thing the area book is up to date. Shout out to Elder Ricks because I am going to the houses of people he started teaching. Or at least trying to. The area is pretty good, the only problem is that it is filled with hills. Literally you will never walk on a plain. You will either be ascending or descending a hill. But it isn't terrible.

     This week we have been getting to know the area better and starting the work. I was really happy because I have already been able to mark some baptism dates and got a bunch of new investigators. The people in Minas are really receptive. We will see how the follow-up goes. That is usually the harder part here, but I have faith. 

     There is a college student called Tiago that we met. He is really smart and knows a lot about the Bible. We stopped to ask him directions and then found out that he had already recieved a book of mormon a year ago and had brought it to his new apartment that he literally just moved into a week ago. We taught a killer lesson and he had some good questions. The only hard part is that he studies and works a lot so it will be hard to find him during the week which limits our teaching time. Oh well we will work with what we can.

Is the church wifi the same for all the churches in Brazil?  The same as here?

The wifi password for the churches and the church affiliated places all have the same password. I learned this in Texas. 

Do you have any nick names in the mission so far?  For you?  Companions?

I don't have any nicknames yet in the mission. Well in Uba Elder Lemes called me Sbife becauses of a teen there who couldnt say my name right and it stuck for a little while. But besides that no.

Was Easter celebrated in Brazil?  Anything different than here?

Yes they celebrate Easter here. Friday, Saturday and Sunday don't have anything happening in Brazil. Most of the shops are closed and everyone stays in their house sleeping or partying with family and friends. They also sell huge easter eggs for 15$ that are filled with other chocolates. I dont think it is that different from here. but I didnt see many chocolate bunnies, but I know they have some here. 

Tell me about your new area/apartment/housemates.

I am living with Elder Sousa, Messias, and Ramos. Elder Ramos is finishing his mission right now. And then Messias will go home at the end of the next transfer. But they aren't home sick, they are still working a lot. The area is Varginha, Minas Gerais.  They are all good missionaries, Elder Messias is way funny, and Elder Ramos has a spirituality really high. When he gives a message at lunch it is really sincere and you can feel the power behind his words. Ramos and Messias are the Zone Leaders and my companion Elder Sousa is the Distruct Leader.

     This week all that I want to say is that in life we need to laugh. If you don't laugh the time will pass really slowly.  Even when you are getting fried by the sun and climbing a hill laughing can make it seem like you are casually walking. The Lord provides a way to make all burdens light.

-Elder Smith

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