Monday, July 16, 2018

Xaxim Week 7

So first off I will answer my parents´ questions --

-Since you taught at the temple, does that mean the temple is in your area?  If so, do you get to go more often?

So first of the temple is in my mission, but not in my area. Because it is in my mission, we can ask president if we can go there and teach, if we are in Curitiba, but that doesn´t mean that I will be able to go to the temple more often.

-How did everyone take Brazil getting upset by Brussels?

Yeah it was pretty sad, here. Also everyone was rooting for Croatia so it was sad again.

-Tell me about your area there. Is it right in the middle of the city? Is it close to the office?

So my area is about a 40 minute bus ride from the office, so isn´t that far, and it is in the middle of the city. Actually one of the area divisions is with Parigot de Souza which was my other area.

-How often do you see other missionaries, other than the sisters?

Only on zone conferences or other activities with more that the district like District Leader meeting.

-Are you serving in a branch or a ward? Are you the only missionaries in the branch or do the sisters attend there as well?

I am serving in a ward. I don´t think that there are any branches in Curitiba. There are some in the suburbs. Also my ward is the only ward the attends our chapel.

-Is there anything unusual about this area compared to other places you have served?

Well one thing new is that in the keys to our house there is an electronic car key to open the gate to the condominium. We live in some houses within a gate, and this gate has a motor to open it.

-I see that you are always wearing sweaters now. Is it pretty col

It has been cold, but it is getting warmer, then it will get colder, then warmer again. The weather here is pretty wacky.

Okay so now I will start the rest of my email. So first off about my companion.
His is from northwest Brazil, and the same state where my trainer lives. Maranhão. He is 26 years old, and he likes yugi-o cards. Before the mission he would dance, like real dancing. He said that he already went on a TV dance competion. He was baptised when he was 14, and he is the only member of the church in his family. So far it has been great to work with him. I have been dragging him from one end of our area to the other this week, and he didn´t complain. Also he is helping me a lot as a missionary, and I think I am helping him as well.

This week has been a lot better than the past weeks. We are finally finding people to teach, and we are helping our investigators, and we have been teach a lot more people. We have been walking a lot as well, and I know that we will continue to walk a lot this week.

Well I have been learning a lot this week. I learned that when we are diligent, and obedient to God´s commandments we have access to the Lord´s blessings. Also I learned that really the best way for you to be able to help someone is to listen. Listen to them, and listen to the spirit. We had a District Leader meeting this week, and They talked a lot about the importance of the spirit. They said that the key to the work is listen to the spirit, then ask an inspired question, and if you do this the Lord will help you help them.

Thank you all, and have a good week.

Élder Pettingill

-Pizza with Elder Verdugo
-farwell Elder Verdugo
-My new companion Elder Pereira
-My new district
-Pizza with Elder Pereira

Monday, July 9, 2018

Xaxim Week 6

Well, this week, wasn´t the best week in terms of the work, but we are getting better. Also it was very interesting.

So first off on Monday we had a family home evening with Valdemar, our investigator, and a member in the ward. Then on Tuesday we had a breakfast before the district meeting, so that took some more time as well. On Wednesday, we went to the temple with Valdemar, and taught him there, so that he could feel the spirit. Then because it was the fourth of July we ate pizza. Then on Thursday we had interviews with president to talk a little bit about when I would go home. He had given me three dates, and I had prayed about it and had basically picked. But it turns out that the date I picked was not really an option. Then I went into the interview, talked a little with him, and now I have to decide again out of the two options, but the most probable is that I will be going home on February 5. Also President said that I would probably stay with Elder Verdugo during the next transfer. On Friday we learned that Valdemar would be going on vacation this week end so we remarked the baptism for this week (third time's the charm, right?)

Also something new, that I think that I didn´t say in the last email, is that I am learning Spanish. It is a lot easier learning Spanish when I already know Portuguese because they are so similar in the words, and how you conjugate. I hope that I can be fluent by the end of my mission. (well not THAT fluent, but fluent.)

Okay, now about the transfer. So we were thinking that we would stay together this transfer (Elder Verdugo and I), but no. I stayed in Xaxim with my new companion Elder Pereira, and Elder Verdugo went to a place called Pioneiros, which I think is a neighborhood in a different city. Elder Pereira has 1 year and 3 months on the mission. He is from Maranhão which is where my trainer, Elder R Santos is from as well. I don´t know a lot about him yet, but I know that he likes to play yugi-o (cards). Anyway I have a lot of plans to help out this area, and make the last leg of my mission count the most.

I have learned so much so far, and I am ready to develop more skills, like decisiveness, and more charity, humility, faith, and boldness, which is really important for missionary work.

I am grateful to be able to serve the Lord. I am grateful for the support as well. Have a great week!

-- Élder Pettingill
-us at the temple with Valdemar. (I will send more next week because the computer isn´t taking my card today.)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Xaxim Week 5

It´s funny because everyone says that the first half of your mission is slower, and that after you hit the one year mark everything gets faster. This week especially, my companion has said that everything feels like it is going by faster than it has been, but for me I think that it just got fast straight out of the CTM and it just hasn´t slowed down. It feels like I have blinked-6 months, blinked again-1 year- blinked again- 1 year and 5 months. Basically time is flying by. Also this week I have had to change my plans. I was thinking that I would go home in December, because the next transfer would be after two years, then President called me and said that he asked the missionary department for permission to send me home in December, but they said no. So now I will probably go home in January or February... Yeah that´s weird...

So the baptism that was going to happen last Saturday, but he didn´t feel ready, so we remarked for this Saturday. We have a good plan to help him out, so I think it will be great.

So we were allowed to watch the game between Brazil and Mexico today! Brazil 2-0 Mexico! The only major rule about watching it was that we had to be rooting for Brazil (sorry Mexican missionaries.) That was not a problem for me.

I am learning a lot here it Brazil, and I will continue to learn.

Have a great week, and have a great world cup! GO BRAZIL!!!!!!!!!!

-- Élder Pettingill

Monday, June 25, 2018

Xaxim Week 4

So, this week was pretty good. It has been pretty slow these past few weeks in the area. We haven´t been finding new people to teach so we were basically just teaching the same 4-5 people every week. This week, however, we are finding new people to teach which is GREAT! Also this week we will have a baptism. Remember when a few weeks ago I said that we had a baptism that fell out of the sky? Well, he wasn´t as ready as the people who passed the reference had made it seem, but he has been making progress, and he will be baptized this Saturday. We are planning on having a family home evening with him on Tuesday, and take him to the temple on Wednesday, then on Thursday talk about the baptismal interview, then the interview on Friday, and then he will be BAPTIZED on Saturday. Anyway we are a little excited for him 😊. We have some other investigators as well but they are all a little farther from baptism.

Anyway this week I have learned a lot. I have learned that God really always gives a way so that we can fulfill his commandments. That has to do with obedience. This week I also decided to start being a little more obedient to the mission rules in little ways. I am making small sacrafices, but apparently that is what God expects of us. If we find the little ways that we can be more obedient then we will be blessed. It really is not the easiest thing to do with the World Cup going on, but we do our best.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week, and have a good time watching, not watching, or not being able to watch (me 😂) the World Cup.

Élder Pettingill

-me with a pitbull that a member has, after the ``soccer´´ that we played. (we can´t play soccer, but we can play some games, like knockout but for soccer. )

Monday, June 18, 2018

Xaxim Week 3

So this week has been hard. So for those of you who don´t know, here it is winter and flu season, so guess what? Elder Verdugo and I have gotten sick. He got it first about half way through the week, then I got it on Saturday. We are both still feeling it. Another thing that you all might now know is that the World Cup has started, and here this is like the Olympics, but a little bigger. Literally everyone is watching when Brazil plays. Schools stop, workers are sent home, and people don´t go to church just to watch the game. It is pretty intense, but then there are the lowly missionaries who aren´t allowed to watch the game, so we are going to be out of a lot of work this month. Thankfully our most interested investigator isn´t that in to soccer so it is a little easier to teach him, but not when Brazil is playing.

Anyway the work has been a little slower here. We are trying to find new people to teach, but because we are a little closer to the center of Curitiba, the people here are a little more to themselves which makes it hard for them to accept our message, but we are working with Valdemar who will be baptized on June 30th. He is making good progress, and is very open to our message. Also we are teaching Túlio who is friends with a coworker/ who is a member of the church. The sad thing is that Túlio broke his arm playing soccer this week, so he is in the hospital, and will have a surgery soon, but he is very interested and open as well.

I am learning a lot about God, and I really know that he doesn´t give us things that we can´t handle. How do I know this? Because as I become a better , things get harder. Why? because now I can handle it.

Anyway have a good week, and just know that I am rooting for Brasil to win the World Cup, and it doesn´t have anything to do with the mission rule that we have to root for Brasil.

-first bunch My house (I do pull ups on the stair case😉)
-Me and my new brazil jersey 🎉
-The group that went with me to finish off vista things​

Monday, June 11, 2018

Xaxim Week 2

So this week was cool.
-Monday: P-day We had a barbecue with the stake president and all the missionaries in the stake, and we played a Book of Mormon questions game a learned a little.
-Tuesday: we worked, and we met with Waldemar, who is dating a member of the church. He has already visited the church a lot of times, and he likes it, and he likes the impact that it is having in his life. We are talking with him now, and he is very interested in our message. He is making progress and we hope that he will be baptized soon.
-Wednesday: we had our zone conference. We talked about contacts, and how we need to use our talents to help people come unto Christ. Also we talked about the conference that President Nelson had with the youth, and our part as missionaries. We talked about how everyone one of us needs to take a part in the gathering of Israel. I learned a lot here, and Elder Verdugo and I are trying to apply this in our work.  Also we met with Túlio, who is a friend/coworker with a member. He is also friends with the missionaries, and cuts our hair for free 😃 (and very well too) Anyway we started teaching him, and he is very open, and very interested in the message that we shared, and very open to the commitments that we left with him.
-Thursday: Another day of work, but we didn´t get a lot done because of some different factors.
-Friday: We had District Leader meeting. I learned a lot what it means to be a district leader. About helping the missionaries, and helping lift them up.
Saturday: We worked, helped people met with some less actives.
Sunday:We went to church. The sacrament meeting was great. The Principle os the Gospel class was very good about the Book of Mormon. And we went to the ward council meeting, did a few visits.

Anyway the work is cool and I am learning a lot. One thing that I learned this week is about charity. Charity is the pure love of Christ, and the love that Christ has for all of us. Everyone needs charity, especially leaders. Charity helps us have patience, be humble, and serve others, but one aspect of charity that I learned this week is about the work. An essential part of charity is sharing the gospel. You cannot have charity if you don´t share the gospel. The best way that you can love someone, or serve them is help them receive the fullness of the gospel in their lives, and so if you really have charity you will want to share the gospel with everyone. That doesn´t mean that everyone has to go preach on a street corner, but it means that everyone has to share the gospel in simple ways, and help gather Israel. Elder Oaks has a talk that is very good-Sharing the Restored Gospel, and describes perfectly the ways that we can share the gospel.  I would like to invite everyone reading this to read this talk, and pray about ways that you can help gather Israel. (Read Elder Oaks' talk here.)

Thank you all for that support, and have a good week

-- Élder Pettingill

Xaxim Week 1--The Beginning

So as you all know, I am now in an area called Xaxim as of last week. Well so far it has been interesting. It is a little harder to work here because the people are not as receptive here. Also the last few missionaries that have been here were on the end of their missions and ``died´´ here. So there aren´t a lot of people to teach so far. This week we are doing our best to work, but we haven´t been making much headway. We are going to change the way we work a little so that we can work more effectively, but anyways it is starting to look good. On Wednesday I fasted, in part because I hadn´t fasted the last month because I had forgotten so I made it up this week. Then with Elder Verdugo I  fasted on Saturday/Sunday (lunch to lunch instead of dinner to dinner) Both of the fasts had to do with blessing the area and that we could find people to teach. We had some good results, some people that look like they are interested, and some others, but the biggest miracle of all this was the baptism that is falling from heaven.

On Sunday night we get a call from the assistants. They told us that there was a person who lives in our area who has been taught by the missionaries a lot, and that he travels a lot so he has visited a lot of wards. What they told us is that he basically knows everything, and that his girlfriend, who is a member of the church, is going to visit Portugal, and so he wants to be baptized before she leaves. So basically we are to just go there verify everything that has been taught, and baptize him this Saturday. Yes this is a miracle, and I testify that the Lord answers prayers/fasts, in many ways and sometimes better than you imagined.

Anyway about the District. In the district there is:

-Sister Martos from the Philippines
-Sister Bispo who is Brazilian
-Sister Fernandes who is Brazilian from the Bahia (it is very well known, and has a lot of stereotypes)
-Sister Laurenz who is from Argentina which also has a lot of stereotypes.
-my companion Elder Verdugo
Sister Martos is companions with Sister Bispo, and Sister Fernandes is companions with sister Laurenz

Well a little bit about my companion Elder Verdugo. He is from Chile. he has 9 months on the mission. So he is like a nerdy rocker dude. He plays the guitar, and had a band before the mission. He really likes memes, and he knows quite a bit of English, and is learning Japanese.

Yeah anyway th-th-th-that´s all folks, and have a great week.

--Élder Pettingill
-District meeting
-my new Brazilian flip-flops (because my other ones broke)