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 mormon.org 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. :)