Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Elder Henry in Gravatai 9/4/12

Note from Mom:  I use initials instead of names to keep from offending anyone hopefully!  Also, I just love seeing through his letters as he grows to love the people and his companions whereever he serves (and there have been so many areas already!).  It makes me so happy from the inside out!

Dear Dad,
Its so funny, I was so scared to be a missionary before the mission.  I think back on the experiences I had with the Browns, and remember all the times I thought to myself, hmm maybe I should go visit Brother Brown, but then didn't go because I was scared.  Now I realize how AWESOME it would be for a member to just randomly show up and talk with one of my recent converts or investigators.  I'm glad what little I did had an impact on their lives :).
     Spencer is doing full-time Clark huh?  Smart kid, there isn't a day that goes by I regret doing Running Start.  Such a blessing, two years of college for FREE.  Just make sure you don't screw up your grades Spence!  You have to get into BYU with Sherry and I.
Is the Doctor (Dr. Who) the same still or did he have a change this season?  It hasn't died off any has it?  Or is it still as great as the first time we watched it?
     Hope you are enjoying a nice day off.  This Friday is Independence day for Brasil so I really have no idea what it will be like.
Lots of Love,
Elder Henry

Dear Mom,
You can let Tori know that she's right, there are no such things as screen doors here :P. 
     Our areas here are much bigger geographically, and more people live in smaller spaces here.  Our ward covers about the same size as our stake (minus Ridgefield) so its much easier for members to share the gospel with friends and co-workers.  Also here they don't hold very firm to the rules of boundaries when it comes to family, they just go where their family is, although usually the family all lives on the same city block.
     How crazy, Elder Clark has a baby (Jenna and Brett Clark).  I'm starting to feel the fact that I've been gone from home for a long time.  Yesterday I went to an investigators house, who's son was playing League of Legends, and I thought, "Great!  I can talk to him about the game and ease him into talking about the Gospel", until I realized that the game had changed so much in a year or so that I really had nothing to talk to him about... 
     Fruits are so much cheaper here.  66 cents per pound is expensive here.  Usually I buy fruits (Oranges, Tangerines, Apples, etc.) for 1 real per Kilo, or about 22 cents per pound.  I love Brasil!
One of the members gave me their cell phone to talk to someone (because here in Brasil the church doesn't give the missionaries an unlimited plan like they do in the states) and it had a touch screen.  I felt like such a loser because I didn't understand how to use it, I was pressing all the wrong buttons and everything pretty much exploded in my hand.  Tori's going to have to teach me how to use this touch screen non-sense when I get home with her tablet.
     Neither you nor dad told me who the Ducks were playing against.  How come USC is number one again?  Do the Ducks have the depth they need to support all the injuries they are going to have this season?
     The only other thing I desire from my Christmas package is Toffee, but I really have no idea if it will last ~2 months in freight :P.  Probably I'll have to go without this year.  From everything I've heard summer here is going to be scalding hot.  Around 35-42 degrees Celsius.  I'm not looking forward to it...
     So our week was pretty normal.  We ended up cutting a bunch of people that weren't progressing and went back to finding new's.  We were trying the normal methods to find and really nothing was working out the way I wanted it to, so we asked our district how we should go about finding people.  Like the States, knocking doors is ineffective and makes me cry (metaphorically speaking).  In response to our question our district leader, Elder Cefalo, told us about an idea President Pavan had given him a year or so ago.  Go put out a table in the middle of a park with a sign that says, FREE STUFF.  When people come to grab the DVDs of the church, Books of Mormon, Pamphlets that we have, get their address and tell them you will deliver it to their door.  So we thought, lets give it a try.
Of course we had your regular hobo's that see the word FREE and ask for stuff, and your bible bashers, but we actually had a couple really good contacts that came from Tabling.  One is named J, and she asked us for video Lamb of God.  We delivered it to her last Saturday and talked about the restoration.  She then told us about how she never walks by where we were and how she felt prompted by the Spirit to walk by our table.  Absolutely incredible!  We asked her to read the Book of Mormon and she accepted.  We are going back tomorrow to talk with her again.
     Also a less active member of the church saw us sitting out in the Park, came up to us and asked us, "when is church?"  Then yesterday at church she was there.  I couldn't believe the success we saw after just 2 hours sitting in a park with a sign that says free stuff on it.
     We also have a baptism marked this Sunday.  We are helping her quit smoking and she already gave up coffee (which is huge here, much more so than in the States).  Unfortunately her son was sick yesterday and couldn't make it to church, but this Sunday she'll be there again for her baptism :).
     Really there is nothing better in this work than to see someone accept the truth, and repent of their sins.  Such a burden is lifted from the person, and the Atonement of Christ is allowed to settle into their lives.  I feel so blessed to be a servant of the Lord in this work, because I have the privilege to see people change and grow and live happily with their families for all eternity.  What a Privilege :).
Anyways that's pretty much our week.  We were invited to speak at an Seventh Day Adventist school this morning for their religion class.  It was interesting, to say the least, but a very friendly atmosphere overall.  Out of all the other religions out there that I've come to know in my time as a missionary, the Adventists are one of my favorites.
Send my love to everyone in the Saint Johns ward, especially the Brown Family.
I love you,
Elder Henry 

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