Monday, January 15, 2018

Borda do Campo Week 16

Well this week was interesting. So this week was a lot of ``what are we going to do?´´ This isn´t exactly the best question for missionaries to ask, but sometimes it is necessary. There were a lot of things that fell through this week. It was sad, and it didn´t help that this week for some reason I was angry and negative, probably because I was tired. That continued until Sunday evening. We went to teach a man named Alison. Well I got into explaining something, and then I felt the spirit, and as we say here in Brazil, he gave me a quemadinho, which basically means he burned me with my own words. That was alright because I was able to focus, and feel the spirit for the rest of the day, and get out of the bad attitude that I was in. Moral of the story, the Lord knows what he is doing.

Anyway, this week Elder Gomes and I did a thing where every day we made a list of the things that week we're grateful for. It was cool to see that when you really focus, and think of the things for which you are grateful, you find that it is easier than you thought it would be. I totaled the combined list made--162 things for which we were grateful. That is 162 things per person so yeah. It was really good to see the different things for which we were grateful. I will send pics of the lists next week. We did this in remembrance of President Thomas S. Monson and when he said that we should develop an attitude of gratitude, so I invite all of you to find some way to be a little more grateful for the things that you all have received from God.

Thank you all for the support, and have a good week.

-- Élder Pettingill

-The legos that we got for christmas, and the adjustments that I made.
-Here in Brazil they have a thing called missionary tea which is like a baby shower, but for people who are going on a mission. The missionary makes a list of the things they need, and people go to this event, and give them the things. Anyway they had one for a sister going to Santos, São Paulo, so we went to support and talk to any non member that went. This is the pic from that.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Borda do Campo Week 15

So this week has been interesting. It was really sad to hear about the death of the prophet, but it is good to know that he isn´t suffering anymore. Right now is the time to really remember his teachings, and put them in practice again. This week I have asked a lot of people what was the last thing that the prophet said. It was really sad to hear that a lot of people didn´t know. So I would like to remind everyone that is reading this that, if you have forgotten, the last thing that the President Thomas S. Monson said was about the Book of Mormon, and how we need to read it, and really focus on developing a testimony of it. As I thought about it I asked the question, why of all the things that he could have said, he said this. I have realized that it is because, if we really have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, we have a testimony that the church is true. There is no way of saying that the church isn´t true if the book of Mormon is true, and aside from that, it really is a book that testifies of Christ. It helps us understand Christ's teachings, and helps us come closer to him. If we live all the teachings that there are in the Book of Mormon, we will really have great lives, and we are prepared for the second coming of Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I say this a lot here, but I would not be in Brazil, spending 2 years of my life helping people come unto Christ, and testifying of the Book of Mormon if it were not true. One way that I know that we can really remember Christ, and remember President Thomas S. Monson, is if we study the Book of Mormon. Not just read it, but study it, and ponder the message that it has.

Thank you all for the support.

-- Élder Pettingill

Elder Pettingill didn't send any pictures this week, but there were pictures from his Christmas conference posted on the mission website. You have to look for him, but he is in each one of these pictures. Also posted on the mission website was pictures of the t-shirts he and Elder Curbelo made for President and Sister Cuvelier, conjugating their name as a Portuguese verb.

Borda do Campo Week 14

So this week was interesting. It was hard to visit a lot of our investigators this week because a lot of them went on vacation, but we did manage to find some new investigators that I think will make progress. On New Year's we had to be home by 7pm because of the different fireworks and stuff. Anyway Happy New Year to all of you, and I hope that your 2018 is better than your 2017.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 13 CHRISTMAS!!!

So this week was Christmas which meant that there were a lot of people on vacation, so we couldn´t talk with some people, but anyway. I really had a good Christmas especially with the different Christmas messages that we taught to people to help them remember Christ. There are a lot of people who really don´t think a lot about the true meaning of Christmas, and it really helped me remember, and think about it. I love the Savior, and everything that he has done for us, and I think that Christmas is such a good time for us to really remember him. In the scriptures it talks about how the birth of the savior was welcomed with glorious songs of hosts of angels, and sometimes I think we don´t stop to really think about how wonderful, meaningful, and important the Birth of the Savior was. We learn in the scriptures that there were nations waiting for the birth of their Savior, because this meant salvation, for some worldly salvation, and for others spiritual salvation, and the birth of the Savior meant the completion of this promise. It is something so simple, yet something so special that sometimes I wonder if we really understand all the Jesus Christ did for us. I know that we don´t, but when we remember him, we understand a little more. 

Thank you all for your support, and Happy New Year. I hope that we can all continue to light the world in 2018.

Explanation of pictures:
-My new District
-The pokemon that we can buy here in a little coin turner think (like the ones where you put in quarters)
- Me and my companion with a sign that says something along the lines of ``almost there!´´
- The different presents that we got from our branch. (I got one of the things that Elder Gomes is holding as well)

From Khristine:  Also, we learned some interesting things from our email and skype with Elder Pettingill this week. I'll list them below.

  • Elder Gomes is a convert of 4 years. He is the only member in his family. His parents are not very good with technology so he rarely hears from them. He was able to skype with his sister on Christmas but not the rest of his family. He also did not receive a Christmas package from home, so the gifts we sent for him were the only gifts he received, other than what the ward gave him. He was very grateful for the gifts we sent, and he send us a thank you video to express his appreciation.
  • We asked Josh how long it took him to get used to the culture and the food. He said the culture is very easy to adapt to in Brazil. He said the people are very loving and warm.  But he said the food was harder for him, not because of what he eats but because of how much he has to eat. He said it is required of him to eat a lot more than what he would normally have eaten at home. He told us that, at his first dinner appointment, he really offended the family because he didn't eat enough of the food they served him. So it took him a while to be able to eat all the food he is served at meals. But he is able to eat it all now
  • He told us that, even though it is summer where he is currently serving, they are in the mountains, so it is not nearly as hot as other places in Brazil. So he is comfortable most of the time.
  • He told us that it has taken his whole mission to be comfortable in the language but he still has times when he doesn't feel like he knows everything he wants to say. He said he speaks only Portuguese every day, and you could tell he was searching for the phrases to use in English. He had a very noticeable accent on his English words. 
  • He has been out 11 months and will come home in exactly one year (just before Christmas). We asked how he feels about having only one year left on his mission. He said he still can't believe that he is a missionary living in Brazil, and that it is so weird to think that he only has one year left.
  • We asked if he gets homesick. He said he has gotten a little homesick because of Christmas, but otherwise, he never really gets homesick. 
  • Daniel asked him if the things he learned in the MTC helped him once he got in the mission field. He said not really. He said the only way to learn the things he needed was to actually do them. But he did think the Sao Paulo MTC was a good way to ease into the culture. He compared it to dipping your toe in the water versus jumping all the way in. 
  • We asked why they do thumbs up in their pictures that he sends home. He said that thumbs up is a hand signal that they know is not a gang sign, so they all do it so they are not flashing a gang sign accidentally.
  • We asked what they will do to celebrate the new year. He said they have to be in their apartment on New Year's Eve by 7 pm, most likely for their protection. They get to sleep in on New Year's Day and then it will just be a regular pday. But he will not email because the email places will not be open, so they will likely email on Tuesday again next week.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 12

So this week has been good. We had the Christmas Conference which was cool, and I got my Christmas packages, (Thanks mom!.) We had a talent show, and a white elephant which both were fun. I participated in the talent show by singing Glorious in a bunch of different voices. Also a lot of other people sang hymns, and played instruments which was really cool. There were only 2 things that weren´t singing or playing a hymn. Mine, and some sisters that did poems. I had to start two times because I had a power point with it, and so the first time the person who was switching the slides got mixed up, but it went well, and everyone liked it. Then we had the white elephant. Everyone had to bring a 10-20 real ($3 to $6) gift. We played, and it was fun. I went third, and got a pink journal, and didn´t get to switch until the end when someone stole it, and so I stole a big egg that glows different colors. It was pretty interesting. There was also a pinata, and that was cool. Elder Curbelo and I made T-Shirts for President and Sister Cuvelier conjugating the name Cuvelier in Portuguese. They liked it, and President showed it to everyone at the end of the conference. All in all, it was good.

Then we worked the rest of the week, and God blessed us with some more people to teach. We had the Branch Christmas party that was also good, and on Sunday Elder Curbelo gave a talk in the place of someone who didn´t come, which was really fitting since it was his last Sunday in the branch.

I stayed in Borda do Campo, and my new companion is Elder Gomes from Rio de Janeiro. He has 1 year and 5 months on the mission, but I am the senior companion. He´s been a member for 4 years, and the missionary that baptized him is from Sacramento California.

Merry Christmas, and have a good week!

-- Élder Pettingill

Photos: So the first one is of the T-Shirt that we made, and how they are wrapped to give to President and Sister Cuvelier. Then there are a bunch of pics from the Christmas conference. There is President Cuvelier, Sister Cuvelier, Elder Curbelo, and I using the T-Shirts we made with the other missionaries behind us. Then there is the nativity that my mom sent with some presents, and the temple recomend holder, and the egg that I got from the white elephant. Also Pres. Cuvelier Sister Cuvelier, and I for the christmas conference

Monday, December 11, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 11

So to answer Mom´s questions. No we have not had transfers yet. Also we have not had the Branch Christmas party yet; it is this Saturday. Also I haven´t gotten the packages because we haven´t had the Christmas Conference yet. All those things will be resolve by next Monday. Also about the Light the World, we are doing it as much as we can, but as missionaries it isn´t always possible to do the one suggestion that we have on our little card. The members are doing it, or at least we invited everyone to do it. I don´t know if they are.

Anyway, this week is going to be short because I had to prepare a talent for the talent show at the Christmas conference this week. I will be singing Glorious (the one that David Archuleta sings), but with about 20 different voices from movie characters. So I had to make a power point.

Anyway one thing that I learned this week is that we can choose to be happy, and one thing that really helps with that choice is to smile. I don´t really know why, but when you smile to the point of wanting to look like plastic (see the unlikely conversion story of Glenn Beck, which I watched recently, since it was in the house.) You have more energy, you are more excited, and you are happier. I think that it really is a blessing from God to have the opportunity to smile, and love others.

I hope that you all have a great week. ​​

-- Élder Pettingill

P.S These are the Christmas tree that I made this week, (I am too cheap to buy one) and the pic from the last Zone conference.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 10

So one thing that I don´t know if you know, but here in Brazil there are people that drive cars selling things with a radio yelling what they are selling to all the world. The most common are eggs, sonios (they are kind of like cream filled donuts), and popsicles; but this week we had something special which is a car yelling that the circus is in town. I don´t know how, but this car has managed to be the most annoying car in the history of my time in Brazil. So if you didn´t get the message it is pretty annoying.

Anyway, this week has been good so far. Ricardo is still progressing, and I think that it will take a little time for him to really be ready to be baptized. Also we got some great new people to teach this week. There is Natany and Mateus, who are a mother and her son. The mother was taught by the missionaries years ago, and for some reason they stopped visiting her. Recently she asked for a missionary visit, through a member that is studying with her. She is really great, and wants to learn about the church. There is also a women named Benoir (nicknamed Bell) who went to church last week with her friend who is less active, and so we talked with her one time this week. She is really investigating about the church.

Other than that, this week started the #LightTheWorld program, and we are inviting everyone to participate! It is our chance to really take on the real meaning of Christmas, and really remember Christ, and everything that he has done for us. Every day has something simple to do to help someone, and there are videos on the site for every day of the program. This is a wonderful opportunity to do as Christ has asked us to do, and be the light of the world.

I am so grateful for everything that Christ has done for me, and for the opportunity that I have to be His representative here in Brazil, and to help spread the message about His gospel to the four corners of the earth.

I thank you all for everything that you do and I hope that we can all do a little bit more to be the light of the world.

Have a good week,

-- Élder Pettingill

I don´t have a lot of pics this week, but this is a pic of the floor plan of our house that I made. The numbers are the number of tiles that each room has. In pencil there is a bed in one that would be our bedroom. The big one in the middle is the kitchen. The one that has a smaller part connected is the bathroom, with the small part which is the shower. There is the one that is a square which is where we change usually, then there is the one which is next to the room which the hammocks which is where we study. Our house is big in comparison with other missionary houses.