Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Continued growth in Gravatai

Dear Dad,

I'm really excied to hear that Trevor Sjogren is headed out on a mission. I do
remember him a lot from the times that Brother and Sister Bankhead brought
him to church. My time is already out, but I want to thank you for the
updates from home. I love you Dad!
Dear Mom,
What teams are still undefeated in the nation? If we ended up beating Stanford in the Bowl Championship (I don't remember well, but I'm pretty sure they are in the PAC-12 South division?) could we still make it to the National title? Anyways they just have to stay awesome for next year ;).
My Thanksgiving came and passed before I even knew it. I was planning at 9:30 at night last Thursday and noticed, hey I'm pretty sure today is Thanksgiving. That was pretty much my thanksgiving... Oh well last one I'll miss out on right? That is if the world is still around next year... :O!
Man Sherry's life is like a Brasilian Novella! It's all filled with romance and life-changing decisions and all sorts of crazy stuff. Kinda lame that the commercial ended up being just a student commercial, but hey it looked like a lot of fun, and the BYU film department is one of the best there is, and every opportunity she takes will bring her one more opportunity in the future :).
So far as photos, I don't really have any in particular that I would like, its just that everyone wants to see my parents and I don't have a picture of the kids with Parents. Just of the kids and singles of each kid. Wallet size would be preferable so I can carry them with me everyday in my wallet.
We are headed off to the Temple today which is pretty exciting. In other news I and his family was baptised this Sunday. I'm so relieved to finally have it happen. We've been waiting so long and its just been trial after trial after trial, but FINALLY everyone was baptised on Sunday.
Our next goal is to split the ward. We just need to baptize two more adult men into the ward and we'll divide the ward. We are going to be working overtime now to find, teach and baptize these last two people in order to split the ward. Unfortunately we really don't have anyone that's progressing. We have a couple people with potential, but we are really doing a lot of finding right now. Fortunately we received a bunch of referrals from our ward members this Sunday so we will be contacting these people and helping them go to church.
I feel like the more and more I'm on my mission the shorter and shorter my letters home become, because we just do the same thing over and over, just the faces move. I'm going to attach some pictures and then send this E-mail.
Thank you for caring for Kelsey while I'm gone, and taking care of me as well :). I love you so much Mom,
Elder Henry
Sorry can't send the pictures because the stupid computer isn't recognizing the device. I am taking pictures though!

Monday, November 19, 2012

New companion from Africa!

Elder Henry with Elder Glessing, from here in Southwest Washington

Dear Mom,

Life is GREAT!  I'll answer your questions and then get moving on to the week.

I absolutely love my new companion.  I'm very grateful for the move in companion to motivate me to get back to working hard.  Elder Roman's farewell party was good, he wasn't very sad to go though, because he had already said goodbye 3 times, this time was pretty certain it was going to happen.

That's WAY awesome that Sherry is going to be in a commercial!!!   I totally want to watch TV just to see the commercial with Sherry in it!  Send me the video when its all finished up.

Wow Spencer scored pretty high on the ACT for a first time.  Just remember 36 gets you a free ride at BYU Spence!

Of course I'm interested at working for BYU housing when I come back.  I also have my eyes on a job at the MTC, but those are pretty hard to come-by.  The nice thing about the MTC is you make 13$ per hour.

I was looking at the photo of our Family in 2004 and really our family looks like many families that I've seen on the mission.  It's really surreal to see my family so... Young?

So my new companion is Elder De Pina from Cabo Verde.   I'm really excited to have an African companion.  His Portuguese of course is a little strange but he's a super hard worker.  He's also 26 and joined the church when he was 17.  He and a few siblings are the only members of the church in his immediate family, but he has uncles and other relatives that are members.  Also he works -hard-.  It reminds me of me times with Elder E. Black, oh how I am grateful for those times to return.

We finally marked N and S's marriage in the office and they'll be married on Dec. 15th.  Also I and his family are all ready for marriage and baptism this Saturday, so I'm quite excited for this week.  We had a busy week last week with Transfers, P-day getting moved, and also a conference with Elder Aidukaitis.  So our work week got cut a little short, but the little time we had we worked hard finding new investigators and helping them receive the gospel.

Sunday was especially cool because we had a Priest from the ward accompanying us to our lessons.  It reminded me of when I was a Priest and would go out with the missionaries every week :).  We met a few new families with potential and will spend the rest of the week preparing I and family and our new investigators to head off to church and set baptismal dates.

Anyways I better e-mail some other people before time runs out.  I love you, thanks for taking care of me so far away.  I hope my packages make it here before time runs out, but we will see.

Elder Henry

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sherry's commercial

Luigi, Peach, and Mario

Hair and makeup

After she got "thwomped"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Staying in Gravataí!

Dear Mom,
I'm not exactly even sure if its mosquitoes that are biting me or a different animal. I don't really think I need a mosquito net or I could buy one here. I'm keeping my eye out for Brazilian nativity sets don't you worry :P.
Everyone here was asking me about the Elections on election day it was absolutely ridiculous. Everyone stays up to date on American Politics here in Brasil except me. I thought it would take a little longer to have a winner but better sooner than later I suppose.
Great news about the Ducks! So we just have Stanford and OSU to play before the championship game? I don't remember if we beat Stanford already or not. Who's number one, Notre Dame?
I'm super excited for Sherry's mission papers to get started up. How exciting it is to have another missionary preparing to leave on a mission!
Thanks for helping me out with Christmas Presents. I'm sure everyone here will enjoy the new cards. Hopefully they'll get here in time. Packages and Letters get to me pretty slowly nowadays XD. The Address hasn't moved at all. It's still Caixa Postal 13008, Porto Alegre, RS - Brasil 91010-971.
Sorry I didn't write yesterday, the Zone Leaders called on Sunday Morning and told us our P-day was going to be moved to Tuesday and transfers on Wednesday. We also got the Transfer calls today and Elder Roman is leaving and I'll be here in Gravataí for another little while. 6 months in Gravataí, oh yeah baby. I actually don't feel like I've been here for that long, but by the time I leave I'll start to realise how little time I have left on the mission. Fortunately this next transfer should be really good as I and his family are all set for their baptism on Nov. 25th and their marriage on the 24th.
Another one of our investigators (a lady) is progressing really well. Also L was confirmed yesterday and went out and bought a suit so that he could go to church. I'm really happy to see him doing so well after such little time. The Bishop talked with him on Sunday and it sounds like he's looking into serving a mission in a year. I hope he goes to the United States and then I could see him in his mission there! How awesome would that be?
Also N went to Rio Grande once again to get the papers all ready for their marriage. Looks like they'll get married in December and S will be baptised soon after :).
So we have 6 people that are really quite close to baptism. Only problem is we cut all of our other investigators, so we will have to find a whole bunch of new people now ^^;.
Anyways I better wrap this up so I can write Dad and President Wright. I love you all, thanks for always writing.
Elder Henry
Dear Dad,
Sounds like this Christmas is going to be a good one. I'm still not convinced on these tablets, I like my computers just the way they are, with a keyboard and a mouse, but we'll see when I get back. Definitely won't be buying an I-pad that's for sure :P. I feel a little bit sorry for Sherry because I know how lame it is to only get stuff you need for a mission instead of all the cool new things that everyone else is getting :P. Oh well it'll pass and she -will- need stuff for the mission.
I feel really bad, because your E-mail to me was super interesting, and I already said all of my interesting stuff to Mom. Also my time is just about up for the week, but thanks for sending such a detailed account of what happened this week. I love you very much. Also I spent 30 dollars on a farewell party for Elder Roman and 25 dollars today on contact solution. Thanks for always keeping me well stocked with money to get by.
Lots of Love,
Elder Henry

Monday, November 5, 2012

Another wonderful baptism & admitted back into BYU!

From left: V (Neighbor of L who brought him to our english class), L,  Elder Roman, and Me at the baptism

Me, Bishop, L. Elder Roman, and R (who was baptized last week) at L.'s baptism.  L asked the Bishop to baptize him which was really neat.
Hey Mom,
Great news, I heard back from BYU already and I've been readmitted to the school :).  Looks like I'll be headed back Fall 2013 to my dreams!  I'm really quite relieved that I received a decision so quickly, I wasn't too worried I wouldn't get back in, but there was always a chance.  Now the future is as certain as it will ever be.  I also gave a look at MyMap to see how things turned out with my Associate's degree, and I'm only missing the religious requirements and another English class to finish up the GE's, so I'll be able to focus on my major when I get home.  I'm very excited to see everything work out so well :D.
Great news that the Ducks won against USC this weekend!  I'm still pretty much against the Ducks headed to the National Championship without me, but if they win I won't complain ;).
Its starting to get pretty hot.  It stays about 25-32 degrees Celsius but its very humid.  Yes the mosquitoes have returned and with a vengeance, fortunately I have OFF, but we'll see how long that holds them off.  I'm scratching pretty much every part of my body already and we aren't even in summer yet :P.  I'm sure I'll get accustomed to them soon enough.
This week didn't even feel like Halloween, I didn't even eat one piece of chocolate on Oct 31st :(.  Oh well, there's always next year...
So we had a pretty cool experience yesterday.  We didn't have anything planned for the afternoon, but L one of our Investigators was progressing super well.  We had already taught him everything and he had quit smoking and working towards a baptismal date of this coming Saturday.  As Elder Roman and I sat planning for our Sunday I told him, Elder, why don't we baptise L tomorrow?  We couldn't think of any reason to wait, so we called up our Zone Leaders and asked if they could give L an Interview after church.  After some deliberation they made room in their schedule for us and we marked for them to do the interview.
Sunday Morning we asked the Bishop, "I know we don't have anything planned for today, but could we have a baptism?"
The Bishop replied with a grin on his face, "Elders you only bring me good news!  Lets do it!".
The only person who we needed to confirm with was L, so after sacrament meeting we asked him, "L next Saturday will be a little bit tricky with your work schedule for the baptism."
He replied, "Yeah I know, what are we going to do?"
"Let's have your baptism today!"
"Yeah why not?"
"I don't know, one more week of preparation..."
"What's going to change from today until one week from now.  You are prepared for baptism already."
After a moments hesitation L replied, "Alright lets do it!"
So at 6 in the afternoon we had a baptismal service for L.  It was great, completely spontaneous and fun.  The bishop's daughters made a cake, and we had a great time.  Nothing has made me more happy than to see L baptised, because I brought a leader into the church yesterday.  Someone who will go off in a year and serve a mission.  Someone who will marry in the temple and be an Elder's Quorum President, Bishop, and who knows Stake President someday.  After the baptism, all the men from the ward surrounded him and made him feel at home.  What an awesome Sunday.  :)
The rest of the week was pretty hard, we didn't really find anyone new, and cut a lot of people we were visiting.  It's always hard to leave the people you've established a relationship, but sometimes these people just aren't ready for the gospel yet.  One day they will be and Missionaries will pass by and help them back.
Anyways I'm going to send this E-mail so I can reply to dad and e-mail our president.  I love you very much.
Elder Henry

Hey Dad,

Glad you guys had a fun Halloween :).  That's a bummer about Tori's tablet
dieing.  I'm still not convinced that a Tablet is for me though, I've seen
an I-pad or two here as well as a couple tablet/phones that have a few cool
tricks, but I'm still a big fan of the Tower/Monitor desktop computer ;).
You guys ended up buying a Chromebook?  I know a couple weeks back (maybe
months) you were talking about looking into one, but I didn't know you
bought one.  What's it like just having an internet browser?  Is it a lot
like having a tablet, or is it better or worse?  I suppose the cool part is
it still has a keyboard and mouse which I like a lot better than touch
screen technology, but still.... It's just an internet browser.

It's funny because homemade grape juice and eggs woulds seem like such a
treat in the US, but here its an everyday phenomenon.  For example
yesterday we had homemade Mango Juice, made from real mangoes, eggs are
commonly produced in the back yard (not everyone as them but quite a few,
and the ones you buy from the grocery stores are produced here in
Gravataí), and all our meals are cooked from scrap.  Nothing is pre-canned,
ready to cook, fast meals here.  You have to work to eat here, much
different from life in the US.  But real good grape juice is really good.
I'm excited because lots of our members have grape vines at their houses,
so here in a little bit we should be seeing home-grown grapes.

Got to go, but I hope you guys have a great week!

Elder Henry