Monday, April 17, 2017

Ferraria Week 6

This week was long, and short at the same time. We had transfers, and Elder R Santos got transferred. I am here with Elder Armenta, who has one more transfer than me, so this will be exciting.  My companion is from Mexico. I asked him if he speaks any English, and he said yes. I don´t know how much that means. I can communicate pretty well in Portuguese most of the time.

Santa Angela
-We have 3 main areas here: Santa Angela, Ferraria, and Campo Comprido. We live in Ferraria which has a second part, São José. Campo Comprido goes right up next to the sisters´ area, and has the chapel. We work there on Sundays, and Tuesdays. Santa Angela has about two members who are both recent converts. We work there on Wednesdays. Ferraria is bigger, and very hilly like Santa Angela. Compo Comprido is not hilly. We live in Ferraria, and it is about an hour of walking in between the areas.
  -Easter here is celebrated with chocolate, as in the pictures I sent. They do have Easter eggs as well, but they are all chocolate, and they don´t paint eggs. They do have a special Easter meal, with family, but I don´t know if they have a specific meal for this. Easter is on Sunday, but also Friday, and Saturday so almost everyone has work, and/or school off on these days.
-The weather here is cloudy, and sometimes rainy. It is very hard to tell what the day will be like. It changes every day.

This week was my last week with Elder R Santos. He was pretty sure that he would be transferred, and so he trained me as if he would be transferred. We had a division on Wednesday, and this helped me realize that when I am with Elder R Santos, I rely on, and follow him, and don´t take the lead a lot, but when I was with Elder A (the Elder I had divisions with) I took the lead more because I knew the area better than he did. With Elder R Santos, he knew the area better than me, so I followed his lead. I think this is why I will have another trainer, because the Lord knows this and wants me to progress as much as I can.

During the week Elder R Santos worked on making me do the 'how to begin teaching' so that I am better at it, and so I can do it without looking to him for help. It has been hard, and I am still not an expert at this. I don´t even think I am an amateur. The combination of not being confident in Portuguese, and not having a personality that makes talking with people easy, makes beginning teaching hard for me. I think that I am ``fluent`` in Portuguese, meaning that I can have conversations where I don´t have problems. I still have a lot of conversations where I have problems understanding people, or communicating exactly what I want, so maybe not. Whenever people ask me how is my Portuguese, I always say ```melhor, sempre melhor`` which translates to better, always better.

We had Easter, and Elder R Santos said that holidays are not good for knocking doors. I think that they are because people are in their homes, and so we can talk with them, and make an appointment to visit another day. This week on Saturday we went to an appointment, and the family was busy so we knocked the door next to them, and met a man named M. We talked, with him, and taught the Restoration, and he was focused on what we said. During the lesson I could feel the spirit very strongly, especially during the first vision. I think that he will be a good investigator, and I think that he will accept, and fulfill commitments.

Easter was good, and I liked being able to remember the Savior more. The church put out some videos for Easter. I don´t know all of them, or if there are more than one, but the one I know is ``He Lives`` if you all haven´t watched it yet, watch it here. It is a very special video, and helps us remember the Savior. I have been listening to the conference talks on the ipod you sent with me, and one talked about the Savior´s atonement. It talked about how if Christ had sinned even one time, or if he had not atoned for all our sins, then everyone no matter how good they are would be doomed to eternal torment, and they would be forever in Satan´s power, BUT because he atoned, and because he was perfect he saved everyone from this fate, and he made it so that even the worst person can have a state of glory. He made it so that we can return to our father in heaven, and that we can live again. I am very, very grateful for his sacrifice, and his love, and I want others to be able to realize the love that he has, and had for us. I hope you all had good Easters as well.

-- Elder Pettingill

Here are some pics. One is our my division with Elder A this week, and others are of the Easter package given to us from the ward we are in. Also the lego sets from my birthday package. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ferraria Week 5

So first off, questions->
-For division, I think that we normally start at night and end at night, but so far we have started in the mornings, switched companions, then ended the next morning. It is a little bad because we don´t have time to study when we do this. 
-My portuguese is better. That is what I say when people ask me. I can communicate well sometimes, but my biggest problem is understanding what people say. Members that we have lunch with say that my portuguese is good, but that is only because I didn´t have any problems with them. 
-My standard meals are usually cornflakes with a banana cut in and some sugar added. I like this, but they only have corn flakes, frosted flakes, and their version of coco puffs. So I am content with this meal. Lunch is usually rice and beans, some meat of some sort, salad, and another thing, usually some kind of pasta. Dinner is usually the same as lunch, but slightly smaller when we have it at a member´s house. Otherwise I have a ham sandwich which does not happen very often.

and now onto my week.->
I bought the things to make treats this week so that was fun. I made chocolate chip cookies on Monday, and coffee cake on I think Tuesday, but I am not sure about that. I brought the cookies to my district meeting, and they all liked them. My companion really likes the cookies. They have some chocolate stuff here, so I am going to try to make some with it so they will be chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I made coffee cake, and my companion liked it, but not like the cookies. We had divisions this week as well, and so my companion for division (I will go into more detail later) tried it, and liked it as well. I do want to learn how to make the pudding here which I like, and they don´t have in the states.

We did a lot of knocking doors this week because it has been hard to find people who are there for the appointments we set. It has been frustrating as well because it is hard to teach people certain days because we only have certain days that we work in one of the 3 main areas we have. I came up with another analogy this week, and this one is about joy. Our lives are like a bucket, and joy is water in the bucket. The world shakes our lives and creates waves in our buckets where our joy goes up and down, but through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can pour more water into our buckets, and increase our average level of joy. We can pour more water in by living the gospel of Christ in our day to day lives. There are other things that increase our levels of joy, but the gospel of Christ is the only consistent way that always works. 

We had divisions this week, and I stayed for the first time in my area. It was with Elder Fuzaro who is the Zone Leader, and has I think about 1 y and 7 m on the mission so he is experienced. It was really a great learning experience. I learned to focus on the spirit, and not on portuguese when I teach, and to always want to find people to teach. That means when you are frustrated that all you have to do is knock doors you need to still be excited. I also learned about things that we should be doing when we plan activites. For example always have people that you don´t have an appointment with that are in the area that you can try and contact. It was a great experience, but because he spoke English (he is not Brazilian) so I had trouble always talking in portuguese. I also learned that I need to learn the streets of all of my areas so that I don´t have trouble finding a place, (that happened during the division). The main reason for the division was for the baptismal interview with J. We had a little trouble though, because Elder R Santos forgot to give me the keys to the chapel, so we had to call a member to help us out. This division was on Friday-Saturday so I didn´t get to open my presents in the morning. 

Saturday was my birthday, but it didn´t feel like my birthday, for most of the day. We had 4 appointments, and all of them fell through, and the other people that we tried to talk to couldn´t talk with us as well. So we went back to the house to prep, and study for the baptism. We went to the church, but we couldn´t get the water heater to work so the water was cold. The baptismal service was cool though, and I got to baptize J. It was awesome. before, and during the baptism I was focusing on the words, and doing in right, but when he came out of the water I felt a wave of joy come over me that can only come from the Lord, and I knew that I had helped J come onto the path of salvation. I forgot an extra white shirt so I rolled the sleeves up and sat there a little wet. After we went to E´s, and talked. Then we got a call about a referral that they wanted us to go visit. They picked us up, and it turns out that it was a party for me. It wasn´t very big, but it was cool. They had a cake because they forgot about fast Sunday, but they gave me half to take home. When we got home Elder R Santos just went straight to bed so I didn´t get to open my presents until Sunday night. That was okay though.

The Fast Sunday was cool because they give shorter testimonies, and a lot of people bear them. Some families go up together. It was cool, and confirming J (My companion did it) was cool as well. 

So interesting fact. Pineapple in spanish is slang for iniquity. I learned this from a spanish speaker. 

Thank you for the presents, and here are some more pictures. One is of Santa Angela, and another is of Elder Pr, and me during a division. The others are of my little birthday celebration for myself with the presents. Thanks again. I love you all, and I am so grateful for your support. 

--Elder Pettingill

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ferraria Week 4

We didn't get an explanation of this photo. Maybe it's a mannequin pose? I am guessing it is the new missionaries that came to the mission with Elder Pettingill. The Mission President looks like he could be one of the missionaries! Can you find him?
He is on the second row, farthest right. 
First off I will start with questions.
-I don´t know why the week felt so long last week, different days feel different lengths. 
-We don´t get to go to the Priesthood session because it is from 9-11, and we have to be back by 10. 
-Conference was good, but it was hard to understand a lot because It was in portugues. I was able to understand enough to take notes. I remember that I liked the talk by Elder Ballard about the Holy Ghost, and the talk by Elder Cook.
-I got one letter, and I have been told that they have a bunch for me. 
-It feels about 70 here. although with the sun and walking it gets hotter, and some days it is colder than 70. 
-My apartment has gas stove/oven, bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet. We have hot water in the shower because in Brazil they have shower heads that heat the water. We don´t have a lot of things to use to make food, but we have a blender, and a griddle/toaster thing. 
-We will have fast Sunday this week. It is a little sad, because in Brazil they fast from lunch to lunch so I will be fasting half of my birthday (Apr 8), and I will have divisions the day before. 
-So as it turns out my body likes the food here. I have not had any problems except when I eat a lot of snack food that I buy for myself. 
-One note I would like to make is that since there are a lot of dogs here I have a new appreciation for Mozzie´s size. Most of the dogs here are small and/or skinny. There are a few that aren´t but those are rare.

On to my week:
Monday: We played war (a knock-off of Risk, I don´t really like it) with some recent converts, M and J. They are part of a family that was baptized in the last transfer. Then we taught E who is also a recent convert who was baptized in the last transfer.

Tuesday: We had a zone/district meeting. We met as a zone then split into districts. It was a little funny because at least one of the zone leaders was not there. I had a division (splits) with one of the missionaries that arrived with me. It was a good experience, and helped me learn about leading, and not just following my companion. It was with Elder Pr. I got to see Pres. e Sister Cuvelier because the zone leader went to the temple with them. (I don´t know the exact situation, but he got called about a day before telling him that he was going to go to the temple). That was cool. The zone leader is also my ``Great-grandfather`` I don´t know about other places, but here you trainer is your father, so he is the trainer of the trainer of my trainer. 

Wednesday: Had a new missionary meeting so I saw Pres e Sis Cuvelier again. We got taught about not lowering your standards, and also not following your companion, because you have the same calling, and authority as him. Went to an area called Santa Angla and had three good lessons. One with J, the investigator who is planned to be baptized on my birthday. I forgot to tell you about this, but we had a baptism that was technically in our area, but the sisters found her, and taught her, so I don´t count that as my first baptism (it was my first Saturday here). Anyway J is my first baptism, and it will be on my birthday! So I will have a least one birthday present from here. We also taught a family that wants to be baptized, but the parents aren´t officially married so we are working on that. We also taught a first lesson with a family, and invited them to be baptized. The Father was hesitant, but the others were not. Those were good lessons.

Thursday: made some contacts for on my birthday, and taught the NTM-person who lives with a member- who owns the bakery next to our apartment

Friday: I don´t remember much about this day

Conference. We had lunch with members at 11 then went to the chapel for conference. In between the sessions we went to a bakery and got a snack. Then went back to the Chapel for conference again. We taught E again, and did some studying after returning to our apartment.

Sunday: Lunch with a member where I got to see some videos about EFY in Brazil which was cool. We had conference again, and J came. I am very glad that we got to hear from President Thomas S Monson, and I actually got to understand all of what he said because of subtitles. We taught J in between the sessions which was good. Then listened to the last session of General Conference. I learned that when an apostle can speak a language, they record it in the language beforehand then play it while the apostle speaks. I also learned that Elder D Todd Christofferson is the only apostle that can speak Portuguese. So that is cool.

I love hearing from you all, and it is cool that Jeffrey, and Anna are learning Portuguese. So I learned in the CTM that where you go determines when you report to the CTM or MTC. I just thought that was interesting. Elder R Santos thinks that he will be transferred this transfer, so we will see if I will have two trainers. So pudding here is not the same as pudding in the U.S. Here it is a cake like thing with some caramel liquid poured on it. Also they have a word here for some one who is doing iniquity. Fubeca. Fu for fumo which means smoking, be for beber which means drinking, and ca fro castidade which is chastity. I thought that was cool too.

Thank you all for your support, and I am doing well.

-- Elder Pettingill