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.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 9

So this week was good. We started the #LighttheWorld program here with the zone conference where we got the materials, and then we showed the introduction video in the church on Sunday. It is really cool to do. It is called #SejaALuzDoMundo here, which means Be the Light of the World.  Also we have been working a lot with a Man named Ricardo, who has been an investigator since I got here. He was one of the first people that we found. He went to church for the first time this Sunday; it was the primary program. His daughters participated in the program, and he went with his mom who is also an investigator. His wife had to work.

We had Eunice´s baptism this week which was really good, and went well. Eunice is elect. She is the mom of a recent convert, and out of nothing wanted to be taught. I am so happy to be able to help people here. Also she ``adopted´´ us so now I have two moms. haha. Anyway I don´t have a lot of time to write a whole lot.

I hope that you all can be a light to the world this December.


-- Élder Pettingill

So about these pics, first there is Elder Curbelo and I when we went to renew my visa. Then there is us at the birthday party of a member. Then there are the cookies that I made. After that is our hammocks. Then the pics from Channel Hill, (which is really a moutain.) Note about that is that now we know that we shouldn´t have done that, but we thought it was a hill. Also the last pic is of Elder Curbelo´s shoes after the hike. After that is me with a tie from an Elder that asked me to thin it, so before giving it back I took a pic. Then there is me making pancakes. After that is our zone shirts of the Book of Mormon. Then is the Eunice´s baptism.

Answers to a few questions:

Do you sleep in the hammocks? No, we tried one night, but it felt too much like camping, so we didn´t make it through the night. 

Did you celebrate Thanksgiving? No, nobody celebrates it here.The only thing that they have is Black Friday, which we noticed when we got milkshakes on Saturday. 

Why did you say you shouldn't have gone on the hike to Channel Hill? Well, in the missionary hand books it says that we can´t do mountain climbing, probably because it is very easy to get hurt, but we have to climb hills in every area that is built on hills, so I think a hill would be okay. 

Are you getting tan since it is so sunny now? I don´t think that I am getting very tan, at most I am just burning. I am trying to use sunsceen every day, but I forget.


They called this the Lion King hill. This pictures shows why. :)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 8

So this week was a good week, but at the same time could have been better. First off about the weather here. So you would think that it is almost summer here, but the problem is that Borda do Campo is an area that is weirdly cold, but that doesn´t stop it from being hot as well. Basically during the day we have the four different types of weather right now. We start off with usually brisk and sunny; after that it sometimes becomes rainy/sunny or rainy/cloudy/hot, or sometimes it just becomes scolding burning sunlight. Also it can get rainy, and windy, and cold, but at night it is usually consistent with cold. Yeah it is pretty funky here, but it isn´t getting bone chilling cold so I guess that is good. 

Anyway we had a division this week, where I went to Jardim Ipê with Elder Verdugo, a missionary from Chile who is still training; and Elder Curbelo stayed in Borda with Elder Alvarado. It was pretty good, and I learned somethings so I guess it worked out. About our investigators, we haven´t been able to talk with Maria Lourdes, because the last time we had a visit, they called and canceled. We dropped Benedito, and because he wasn´t making progress, and he doesn´t really believe that the Book of Mormon could be true, and he will only accept an answer through a dream. We are still trying to talk with Douglas´ dad, but he doesn´t help us out so it is hard. Giovanni is making progress, but hasn´t been to church yet, and he has problems with understanding, so it is going slow. Eunice will be baptized this week! So that is awesome. She is really interested, and doesn´t have any problems. She was living with a man, but he didn´t want to get married so she left. 

We have ``found´´ some new investigators. I say ``found´´ because some went to church without being invited so that was cool. We talked with them, and went there with a member that knows them (ilco Paulo, Erika, and Alinny.) They are interested, and good. I think that they will progress. There is also a young women, Emanuela, who was taught by the missionaries, but they stopped for some reason. We met her at the birthday party for a different member, who is good friends with her. She is interested, but also has a lot of problems in her life, and family, but all's well because the gospel changes people. 

There was also an interesting experience this week. We went to Ricardo, our investigator, to teach him, but he had been called to work. His mother, Tanha, attended, and said that he went to work, but invited us in so that we didn´t lose the visit. So we talked with her, about Ricardo going to church (he hasn´t gone to church, and we have been teaching him for a long time.) She said that she would try to get him to go, but said that he would be tired, so probably wouldn´t go. We invited her to go, and Ricardo's children. She said that she would go, and the girls (the children) wanted to go because of the Sunday School, and they ended up going! It was really cool, and funny because Ricardo didn´t go because he was tired. She is really sweet, and the girls said that they liked it. (They are 7, 5, and 5 years old.)

Anyway I know that the Lord loves all his children, and that he is preparing a way so that all his children can hear of his gospel, and partake of the blessings it brings.

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

-- Élder Pettingill

Monday, November 13, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 7

So this week wasn´t the best week. I think that part of it is because I haven´t gotten a new daily planner yet, (because of some problems, and some imperfections.) Anyway, we haven´t planned the best this week, (I am the one that is more organized in the companionship.) I have faith that this week will go well. We visited Benedito again this week, and I had more deja vu. I don´t really know what to make of it.

Also we have a family that we are teaching this week that was a reference of the new Relief Society President. It is a friend of the member who had heard a lot about the missionaries through her friend, but the missionaries had never actually gone there. It was a strange experience because we ``knocked`` the door the first time, and her son came out, and we marked a different day. It was an experience like when missionaries had already been there, so we thought that we weren´t the first ones. We came back again, and the mother came out, and let us in without really talking to us (another sign of missionaries having been there before.) We started to talk, and we realized that the reason she was so open was because she had already heard a lot about the missionaries from her friend. We were amazed at how much they knew without talking to the missionaries. We are now teaching Vanderlei (the dad), Adelia (the mom, and the reference), Leonardo (the youngest son), and we will teach Vinicio who is the oldest son who wasn´t there when we talked with them the first time. This really was an example to me of how much the members can do to prepare people to accept the missionaries. Our job is to teach, but we can only do that if we have people to teach, and it is a lot easier to teach someone who has a friend who is a member. 

That was a long story, but I  all of you to talk a little bit more with people about the gospel or about the missionaries. It is something so simple, but it helps so much.

 I am grateful for all of the things I am doing here, and for the people I am getting to know. Thank you all for the support.

 --  Élder Pettingill

Monday, November 6, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 6

So this week was transfers, and nothing happened. I am stil here with Elder Curbelo which means that I will probably stay here for the next transfer as well (but it isn´t garenteed.)

So this week was a good week. The only thing is that Halloween isn´t really celebrated here so I didn´t even notice that it went by (that was really strange to realize.) We have been working a lot this week. This week I made Elder Curbelo the ``senior`` companion for the week so that he can prep better for one day being the senior. It was good. We have been contacting more references this week and that went well. We found a lot of people that are really good, and really prepared to receive the gospel. We have been well received in these homes, and the work is moving along. The mission president hopes to turn this branch into a ward in December, and the Lord is helping us help him make that happen.

I had an experience really cool. So one day we were going to contact a reference from a missionary that already served here a little while ago, and we ended up finding Benedito. He talked with the missionaries some time ago, and ever since has been reading, and praying to know if the book of Mormon is true, but he hasn´t received an answer yet because he had been hoping for a dream as an answer. Anyway we started to teach him, and I had the weirdest deja vu. I know that I had been there before, and that I had talked with him before. He had a lot of questions and doubts, but I think that we were able to resolve most of them. I know that for some reason I am here teaching this man. SO I would just like to testify that mission presidents are inspired, and that God loves his children. How this story relates I don´t know exactly, but I think that I knew this man before this life, and that if only for him I am here. So this makes sense to me, and I wanted to share this with all you.

I don´t know if I told you, but this area, and Jardim Ipê are in a city called São José dos Pinhais. This area is a poorer area that is also unusually focused on spiritual things so that is really good. I don´t feel unsafe here. Please pray for the branch here. We want a lot of people to come back to church, and we are having a lot of difficulty visiting all the people that need our help here.

 We will be going to the temple probably in the next transfer.

We have been teaching a lot, and helping a lot of people here in Borda do Campo, and the experiences that I am having every day are testifying to me that God is real, and that he lives. Jesus Christ is the son of God, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and we can come closer to God by studying it.

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

-- Élder Pettingill

This is of the Family Home Evening that we did with one of the sisters in the ward. Also there is a pic of our investigator Ricardo. Also, these are pics from the jeopardy activity that we did with the Branch this week which included ping pong.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Borda Do Campo Week 5

Hello everyone. So I realized that I have not written about the extent that my current companion played music before the mission. Elder Curbelo was famous; I don´t know exactly how famous, but he was to the point that he could get things really easily, and he could pay for his mission. From what I know he plays at least piano, guitar, and the drums.

Anyway this week was interesting. It started out good, went bad, then went back to good. We got at least three new investigators this week that are really good. Douglas still hasn´t talked with his Dad, but we are pushing to talk with him.

Also I will be renewing my visa tomorrow so that is crazy!

This week I learned that if we do our best to work, and to do what the Lord wants, he pours blessings out on us. We are finding golden investigators, and talking with some of the investigators that we haven´t been able to contact. There is a lot of work to do in this area, to the point that I haven´t really knocked doors in a while. I am feeling so blessed with all the little miracles that I am seeing. I know that everything goes well when we have faith. The gospel is wonderful and I know that we can all be blessed. One of the investigators that we found this week is Gionvanni. He is a guy who for most of his life was a workaholic until he had an experience where he lost a lot of money, and went into depression. He got out when he went to a church one day. His friend invited him to our church, because he is visiting a lot of different churches right now, and he really likes it. His friend referred him to us, and we talked with him. He wants to seek God in his life now.

I am so grateful for the gospel in my life and in the lives of others. Thank you all for the support. I am doing great here.

-- Élder Pettingill

Monday, October 23, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 4

So this week was a good week. We met our goals for the key indicators that we have so that was good. Also a lot of the problems with the branch are being resolved. The President got released (first councilor called), so it was a good week

We had a special division this week because there is an Elder in the district that passed in the area so he came on Tuesday with me, and showed a lot of addresses of people that he visited or contacted. It went well. Also with him we were able to find some new people to teach. After that Elder Curbelo and I marked 2 other baptismal dates, so now we have 3 people with dates for baptism in November. Ricardo who has a date for November 18th which will be a marriage as well. The problem is that he isn´t very firm on this date, he wants to put off the marriage until January, but we think that if he does that he will put it off again, and we want him to keep the commandments as soon as possible.

 We also have Eunisse, who is the mom of a recent convert. She wants to do everything right, and is already reading The Book of Mormon and is a decent way into 2 Nephi. Her problem is that she isn´t married with the person that she has been living with for 20 years, and based on what she has said, he isn´t too excited to get married, also he doesn´t want to talk with us. Date is for November 25th.

Also we have Douglas, who is the only one that came to church this week of the three. He is 14 years old, and almost all of his family are baptized. He is really cool, and he has a friend in the branch. The only problem is that his dad doesn´t like the church (basically religion in general) so pray that all goes well (he doesn´t know that Douglas is talking with us). He has a date for November 4th. I am praying that all goes well with these people.

I have learned a lot about faith this week with the story of Enoch. Enoch had a speech problem to the point that everyone hated him, but because of his faith the was able to convert a lot of people to the gospel to the point where his city was taken up to be with God until the second coming, and he had a one on one conversation with God where God basically explained everything that will happen. Now that is what I call faith. I made a goal to really have faith in God, and to trust in him completely. I love the story of Enoch now, and it just goes to show that with God everything is possible.

Thank you all for the support, and for everything that you do to live the gospel.

--Élder Pettingill

-Elder Andrade and I on the division with Pizza (tradition here)
-Elder Curbelo and I one day when he really wanted pizza
-the 12 Liters of yogurt, and 3 bags of cookies that a Irmã(sister-member) gave to us (Borda do Campo is awesome, also I am not going hungry her mom! :) )

Monday, October 16, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 3

Well this week was good, and interesting at the same time. I ate chicken heart for the first time--that wasn´t that interesting, but hey. We have been working a lot with less actives here, and I think some will start to come to church again soon. Also we have been working with a man called Ricardo. He had a baptismal date for the 28th, but he needs to get married so that will slow it down, but he wants to get married, and be baptized because they are commandments. He is a very good person. Also we have been talking with a youth called Douglas. Practically everyone in his family is baptized except him, and his brother, but we still haven´t been able to talk with the rest of his family. He has already prayed, and received a testimony. The only problem is that his Dad doesn´t like the church (he isn´t a memeber.) I don´t know why, but Douglas doesn´t really want him to know about him talking with us or going to church with us. Anyway that is cool. 

We had a division with the ZLs. I went to the other half of my old area, and Elder Curbelo stayed in Borda with one of his old companions that is a ZL now. It was good, and it helped me really get better at teaching and planning. It helped Elder Curbelo as well from what I have seen. 

I don´t really have any funny stories except Elder Curbelo bought a guitar, and now he is playing it a lot. (Every day before and after working). It is nice, and a little funny at the same time. I didn´t take any pics this week, but I will try to send some next week

I hope that you all are doing well, and thank you for the support

Stay in the gospel (it´s the better way!)

-- Élder Pettingill
This is a picture of Elder Herlin and Elder Pettingill from their division. They shared the butterfinger that we sent, which is Elder Herlin's favorite candy. So his mom shared the picture!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 2

So this week was good. I have seen a lot of miracles this week. I have started to write all the miracles down in my journal, but I don´t have it here with me to remind me of what it has in there.

So we had a zone conference this week and it was really good. We talked about goals, and the area books that we need to be updating every day. It was really cool, and I learned a lot from the things that we did there. I am really motivated to help out this branch here, and to do my best work for the Lord here in Borda do Campo.

Also I got a package from my Mom, with root beer flavoring packets and we are now putting them in these bottles that have carbonated water that they have here. Also I would like to give a shout out to the Folsom 3rd Ward Young Women that made a contribution. It was very fun to see that, and all the things that it had. I also got numbers for my hair cutting clippers, so I cut my hair. (see the pics). There were also a lot of treats and snacks that I am very grateful for along with pics of Mozzie (my dog). It was very fun to get all those pics. Thank you all.

This week we have been visiting a lot of less actives, and looking for others. We are helping out the ones that are less active rebuild, remember, or build their testimonies. There are 274 members in the branch, but only about 50 go to church. I am still finding out the details why, but we are going to help these people get over it.

Also I had an experience with cutting my hair this week. If you didn´t know or didn´t perceive I cut my own hair, but there is a part that I can´t really do by myself. This is the last part of cutting hair. So I had Elder Curbelo do it. It was late at night, and after I had taken a shower I was looking at the back part through some mirrors, and there was a part that was done badly. I was frustrated, but I prayed, and decided I would try to fix it with the help of the mirrors I had. I couldn´t get a good angle to do it so I decided to try it just by feeling with my hands. I was praying a lot while I did it, but everything turned out fine, and I was able to do it, and I know that it was Heavenly Father that guided my hand so that I could know that he loves me, and is there to help me with the small things that I am worried  about. I love how he picks the ways that we will recognize that he is there to help us. I am very grateful to be here serving the Lord in this branch.

Thank you all for the support.

--Élder Pettingill

So here are the pics this week. There are three of the hair cut that I gave myself when I finally got the hair cutting guards to do that. It was A LOT of hair. (as you can see.) Also there is a pic thanking the Folsom 3rd Ward for the things that they sent in my package. It was cool to get. Also there is one of our first District meeting with the transfers. There is Me and Elder Alvarado with the new ties we got. Elder Curbelo and I with a pizza we bought. Also I found a knock off Kool-Aid here. It was pretty funny to find. ​