Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feb 26th, getting ready for a fiesta!

Dear Mom,
So we tried out the Mexican recipes that you sent me last week, and they actually turned out really well! We didn't end up finding any Chili Peppers, but the taco seasoning worked out pretty well without. So you guys are headed off to Disneyland this weekend right? Don't worry I'll learn from your mistakes and get the education taken care of first ;). That's awesome about the new missions that will be created! I doubt that any of them will be here in the south as the missionary work is the slowest here, probably a bunch of new missions in the northeast, maybe another for São Paulo XD. I just looked at the list and looks like there will be two more in São Paulo, and nothing here in the south. The closest new mission will be in Curitiba, Paraná.
Sounds good about Southridge and staying at Todd's for a while. It'll be a lot of fun to spend some time with him and talk about Brasil in Portuguese. The only problem will be transportation, so I'll -have- to have the car at BYU ;). I'm so proud of my little brother, go Spence! Beat those nerds! I was thinking the other day, I've always been looking forward to the day that he graduates and goes to BYU and we'd have a year or so together at the Y, but now that he'll probably go off on a mission at 18 that might never happen! What a tragedy :(.
Oh by the way my the battery of my Camera finally died. Its not holding a charge anymore. I'm going to look around today for a new battery and I'm pretty sure it won't be too hard to find, but just to let you know that I won't be taking pictures until I get this resolved.
Our week was absolutely fantastic. We are getting really excited for a Mexican Night this Friday, and looks like it will turn out a huge success (thanks again for the recipes ;). We found a bunch of investigators last week that have a lot of potential to be baptised. Unfortunately all of them need to GET MARRIED! Which means that we are going to have to wait a little while before the baptisms go through. This Sunday we had 3 progressing investigators at church. First off A.
A lives together with a less active member of the church, M, and we found her at church two Sunday's ago. She really doesn't have much of a religious background but she's having some great experiences at church. She's also reading the Book of Mormon and she told us on our last visit that after we had a kneeling prayer last Thursday she felt something really good and that she felt like hugging M, and that she never feels that way. Its funny to see how different people feel the spirit of the Lord in different ways, but slowly but surely she'll have the assurance that this really is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we are teaching her.
We are also visiting another couple, a girlfriend non-member with boyfriend member less-active. They had a really hard week last week, as one of his brothers was murdered last Thursday, and then this Sunday before church ANOTHER friend of theirs was murdered in the street. Both died to gunshots, but I don't really know much more about the whole situation. We haven't had the opportunity to talk with them after these deaths as they have been with family and in Funeral services, but I'm very excited to be able to talk about the Plan of Salvation tomorrow with them. It will be a crucial lesson for her, because she'll either accept or reject the spirit in that lesson. I'm pretty sure it will go over really well, but we'll see tomorrow.
Last the sister-in-law of our ward mission leader, and has been going to church for about 6 months now. The reason she hasn't been baptised yet is because she smokes.  If there's one thing I've learned about cigarettes is that it really depends on the will of the person. Nobody can stop someone to smoke, they are the only ones that can choose to put it down.
Anyways that's been our week in a flash. I love you guys, thanks for taking care of me :).
Elder Henry

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's a pity you guys don't speak Portuguese...

Dear Mom,
Now I know why I don't respond to your questions when you send me e-mails.  I got this habit from you!  You still haven't told me when Sherry will be headed to the MTC, and how much is Southridge?  I talked with Elder E. Black a little bit about housing, but he's already got a full house with a best friend of his from high school.  Unfortunately the friends that I wanted to room with are already married :(.  Oh well, that's how things go I suppose.  But I do like the location of Southridge, and agree that it is probably a lot better to live with the "big boys off-campus" now.  Sometimes I forget that I'm almost 22, and not 18 anymore :P.  I did a little bit of searching on BYU's site, because they have the listings for Off-Campus housing, but nothing's showing up.  Also is there anyway I could move into Southridge early?  I'm tentatively planning on moving back to BYU at the start of August (for obvious and already stated reasons).
     You know its a real pity that you guys don't speak Portuguese, because it would be a lot easier for me if you did!  I have to think so hard nowadays to write in English.  Its funny to see all the families here with young kids and imagine that I acted the same way when I was a kid.
     So my new area is quite a challenge for me.  We really haven't had much success these last two weeks and are working our tails off.  Fortunately yesterday we had a couple breakthroughs.
     First off the ward doesn't really trust the missionaries that much here.  Unfortunately a few missionaries passed through this area that broke the trust of missionaries and members.  Also M has been stuck in slow-mode for about a year, in the last 5 months they've had 1 baptism, which is absolutely terrible.  Our goal as a mission right now is 3 baptisms per month, so we have quite a bit of work to do.
     The cool thing is our ward has a lot of younger members that have returned from missions, so we shouldn't have too much of a problem to remind our members of their duties as member missionaries ;).  Also everyone is super excited for Mexican Night, so I have to make good on my tacos!  I think I'll try out the recipes today and see how they go, just to practice a few times before the real deal.
     Our best investigator is V.  We met him on the street two weeks ago, and after teaching a first lesson he told us, "Wow, this is the message I've been waiting for all my life.  I've always looked for a church that talks about the original apostles, and the church of Jesus Christ."  The only problem is he didn't go to church this Sunday, and I'm not sure why.  We went to his doorstep Sunday morning and clapped and called him, but nobody answered.  I'm pretty sure its just a lack of friendship in the church, and he may have had to work Saturday night.  We'll get in contact with him this week again.
     We also received a couple references from members this week that look like they have potential.  Also 2 less-actives went to church this Sunday, and they both have non-member wives that came to church.  We made sure to talk with them, and mark a time to visit them and teach them about the gospel.  Hopefully we'll see progress there.  The only problem is EVERYONE here needs to get married legally before being baptised >.>.  I'll have plenty of marriage practice before this mission is over yet!
Anyway I need to get going.  I love you guys.
Elder Henry

Dear Dad,
Sounds Great, that will give me plenty of time to settle in before hiking a mountain.  Yes I do remember that 'boring weather' and to be honest, I'm very glad to be rid of it.  California is great to serve a mission and to visit every now-again, but live there... YUCK!
     Here in the south of Brasil we have a lot of German influence in the culture.  The three biggest influences in Rio Grande do Sul are the Italians, Germans, and Spanish.  The Portuguese actually didn't colonize Rio Grande do Sul, but latter through a few pacts, gained this state.  What I really wanted to say is we actually eat a lot of colonial food, usually sausages, linguiças, salamis, and cheese (although cheese is really expensive here XP).  Anyway I do enjoy a good sausage nowadays ;).
Love you dad, thanks for keeping me updated.
Elder Henry

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Elder Henry 2/13/12 Transferred to Canoas

Dear Mom,
Nope I'm not training. It looks like all the Americans got stuck in America again, because we were supposed to get 20 missionaries this transfer, and only 13 showed up. I almost forgot that you don't know where I am. I didn't move too much, I'm in Canoas now, which is about 25 KM from Gravataí. From my apartment I can see Porto Alegre, so its not really all that exciting of a place to be :P.
I don't know if I've ever explained this to you guys, but here in Brasil everything works in Bairros, which are kind of like neighborhoods, only they are like the size of Hazel Dell, or St. Johns, or Salmon Creek. I'm in Mathias Velho, which is about 3 km from the Center of Canoas. My new companion is Elder Moura, from Rio Grande do Norte. Oh, and I'm close to Elder E. Black again! He's my zone leader this time around, but we are having all sorts of fun calling each other and catching up on old times. By far my favorite companion on the mission!
Wow, what a trip about Sherry's mission call. I never would have guessed, actually I was pretty close with Italy wasn't I? I'm super excited to hear the news. How cool it is for Sherry to go to Europe! I don't even really know what to say about the whole "super coincidence" of Sherry going to Preston's mission, I'm just a little bit sad because that probably means Elder E. Black will never get a chance with Sherry *sigh*. Oh well sometimes your plans just don't turn out how you want them to.
Next up is a list of all the things I call from Sherry:
- Her Cell Phone
- The Car
- Her Job
- Maybe her Laptop, I'll have to look and see first
- Any other cool electronics that she has that I don't know about
Tori can keep the clothes. OH, and now for sure Sherry will have PLENTY of room in HER CLOSET for HER (formal) DRESSES. So the first thing I want to happen when she leaves is the vacancy of my closet of all female clothes.
I'll write more if I think of anything else ;)
One of the most important things you didn't include is when she's leaving. Dad mentioned that she'll be leaving before I get home, but you guys didn't give me a date or anything. How weird I wont see Sherry for another year. 3 and a half years without seeing each other. Its almost like we aren't siblings o.o. Maybe by the time she gets back I'll already be graduated from BYU XD.
One more cool thing I thought of right now. You know how you say German in Portuguese? Alemão and the country is Alemanha. How weird, in German, English and Portuguese the word 'German' is completely different one from another.
Anyways I'm going to finish up this letter. There's not a whole lot to talk about my new area as I'm still trying to get to know who's who. Also we have to find some new investigators, because this area doesn't have a whole lot of movement going on. Everyone is pretty discouraged about missionary work, so I have a lot of work to do to get everyone excited again. Oh before I forget, I'm going to make Tacos for a ward activity in March, and I can't buy taco seasoning here. Could you send me a recipe in what goes in homemade taco seasoning for ground beef? Also if you find a recipe for Refried beans and Mexican Rice, that would be a great help!
Elder Henry
P.S. GO SHERRY! I'm super proud of you for choosing to serve a mission!
Also, let me know exactly what the rates are for where Sherry lives, and the address.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Alpine German-Speaking Mission!

Sister Henry's mission blog: http://SisterHenry.blogspot.com 
Sherry reports to the Provo MTC on June 12th  changed to July 10 (see here http://henrysvancouver.blogspot.com/2013/03/new-report-date-for-alpine-german.html).  She was really hoping to go German speaking because she loves the language so much.  She was planning on a Study Abroad to the same area (Vienna), and then the mission ages changed and now she gets to go love and serve the people of Austria, southern Germany, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland for 18 months! They are going to love her too and her voice.  She will get to be in the same cities as many of the great composers of Classical Music and Opera!  What an incredible blessing from the Lord.  A full 1/4 of her FHE Family from last year at BYU are going to be serving there, pretty crazy!
God knows you and He loves you!  Personally!
   She was just absolutely 100% shocked.  And one of her singing Vergebliches Ständchen in German her senior year of high school, this is the song that made her fall in love with the German language. =)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Elder Henry finally getting transferred.

P-day Hike a few weeks ago
Dear Mom,
I'm finally being transferred tomorrow. I was pretty sad yesterday when I was thinking about leaving here and not seeing Gravataí anymore. But that's how life goes. I'm excited to see a new city meet new people, new challenges, but I will miss Gravataí. This is the area that I really turned from young-Elder Henry to veteran Elder Henry. We'll see where I'm headed tomorrow. (The tradition in Porto Alegre North is they find out at the bus station on Transfer Day).
This last week was HOT. Thursday and Friday both exceeded 100 degrees and we were out on the street knocking doors. Saturday was a lot better as it decided to rain which cooled things down.
I can't wait to hear the news about Sherry's call next week!!!!!
Tell Spencer that I got 100% in all my Economics tests at Clark. He'll have to study a little bit harder to be able to beat me.
Man now I have to pack all my bags. I'm absolutely dreading having to do that.
Last week was ok in the work. I feel like we are bating a lot of doors and nothing is happening. Maybe that's why I'm being transferred, who knows? I'm going to have to call my converts to let them know I'm leaving. In all I'm pretty happy with the work I'm leaving behind here. I had a goal of 12 baptisms in this area and ended up with 11, just one short. I've learned a lot with Elder De Pina as well, and really worked my butt off with him. We did have a pretty neat experience this week as well.
     Last Sunday (January 27th) we began to teach J. He's a complicated case as he's already been  wrapped up in all the wrong things. He said I want to change my life around, I want to be happy and have a good relationship with my Dad. We invited him to church and marked to return on Wednesday. On Wednesday he wasn't there and I figured he'd disappeared once again completely forgot about him. Then on Sunday while I was waiting for our investigators to show up, guess who walks in the door. J! We talked with him again yesterday and it looks like he really has the will to turn around his life. I was really surprised to see someone in his situation with the willpower to change his life around.
     Anyways that was pretty much the highlight of the week. I need to get going because there's a lot of stuff to get done today!
Elder Henry
Want to be rich?  Ask the missionaries!
For some reason they decided to spread all their money on the table and take photos.  Such funny guys!

Dear Dad,
     That's really sad to hear about taking away all of Isaac's things (our dog who died July 4th). The
deck will be so much emptier now. I suppose it will be good, but still its
like Isaac never even existed! That's how life goes I suppose. Just
think, your house will just keep getting emptier and emptier every year
that passes by now.
     I laughed when I saw your last sentence. I'm glad Tori is getting the help
that she needs. That's really the benefit of a family, is that you always
have what you will need and everyone works together to help one another.
I'm very grateful for having had such a great family and being raised in
the Gospel. The things you learn on the mission right?
     I gotta go, but I love you Dad
Elder Henry

Dear Gran Gran,
     How I miss swimming in the ocean. Especially on a really hot day, there's nothing like being on the beach in the ocean with a nice breeze. After living here in Brasil I don't think I'm EVER going to want a dog ever again. There's nothing worse than dogs barking at you all day long when you are trying to work.
     It's not official yet but it looks like I'll be leaving here on July 10th and arriving there July 11th. We'll have to see if the date moves. In about a month or so I'll have the plane tickets already booked.
Got to go. Love you!

Elder Henry
Elder DePina at the top of the mountain they climbed on p-day.  Look at the pretty foliage too!

Elder DePina and another missionary enjoying delicious food! And Pepsi it looks like, not Coke?!?! =)