Monday, May 22, 2017

Ferraria Week 11

So this week was transfers, because it was a five week transfer. I am staying in Ferraria with Elder Armenta. We didn´t work as well this week, and we had some problems getting from one place to another because of the size of our area, but everything is okay. We finally did this thing with contact paper that all the missionaries here do with our daily planners. They cut out pictures from what I think is the Ensign. It is called the Liahona here, so I don´t know for sure. It could just be called the Liahona in the states as well. Anyway we put those pictures on with glue then we use the contact paper to make them stronger, and so they will stay.

This week we have done a lot of walking. When we go from one end of our area to the other we generally try to take the bus, but on Saturday we missed the bus, so we had to walk for almost 2 hours to get there which took up a lot of time in the day. 

I have learned this week that we need to be better at taking control of the conversation, because we have talked with a few people that really like to talk so we stayed there longer than we should have. It is hard trying not to be rude, but at the same time talk about the gospel, and still talking about their lives as well. We are working on that, and the study we have been doing has helped out as well.

So I will be wearing crocs for the next transfer, because of my foot. We went to the doctor this week, and they said that they won´t have to opperate on it, but it will take about a month and a half to heal, so I have to wear crocs for this whole time. I cut the socks that were just normal black socks so that I can still wear socks. I have to keep the toe uncovered.

I am still trying to learn portugues, but it is hard to always talk in portugues when your companion speaks english, but we are trying to not talk in english. 

I am trying to get the first group of letters finished (the list of people that you sent me with mom) so that I can send them, but it is hard when p days are really busy. 

I will end with an expansion of the analogy of the wise man and the foolish man. When we read the story of the wise man, and the foolish man sometimes we miss the point that both of them took the time to build houses. If we only are founded on Jesus Christ, but we don´t take the time to build our testimonies then it won´t help us at all. So we need to take the time to say our prayers, and read our scriptures. When we do this, we build our house brick by brick day by day, and THEN we can withstand the temptations of the devil. I know this is true because I have seen it in my own life, and in the lives of my investigators already. 

I love you all, and I am so grateful for your support.

-- Elder Pettingill

Pictures: So there is a picture of the Ward Mission Leader, and a recent convert, the 50 cookies that we made, some before and after pictures of our hair cuts. One of the recent converts cut our hair. He is in one of the pictures (he is the one that looks older). He also showed me how to cut hair with scissors.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ferraria Week 10 and Mother's Day

This week was a good week. I really enjoyed my skype even though it was only 45 minutes. I know that if I got more time I would still want more time.

So this week we got our water back! Last Friday, the one from last week, we lost our water because the bill somehow never got paid by the office. Then on Saturday, which was the p-day of the secretaries, and assistants, we called them because it wasn´t until late on Friday that we lost it. They told us to use our emergency money to pay it, and that they would reimburse us. We went to a place to pay two bills for water, this month´s, and last month´s. We got to pay this month´s, but last month´s we couldn´t because it was expired. So then we called the assistants again on Monday, last p-day, and spent almost the entire p day trying to get our water back, and at the end to the p day we still hadn´t been able to pay it, but we knew where we could. So then on Tuesday we paid it, and the company said, through the secretaries, that they would turn the water on the next day. So the next day we woke up, and still didn´t have water. We ate lunch, returned, and still didn´t have water. We were going to Santa Angela that day so we wouldn´t return until that night. So we waited a little more, and still didn´t have water. We did our work, and when we were walking home we were just wishing that we had water. We got home, and we had water! That is it, but then we both proceeded to take showers. We survived this by using our water bottles to get water, at the church, and we used this to shave (just me), brush our teeth, and sometimes wash our hair (I did it once; I don´t know how many times Elder Armenta did it, but he got his hair wet every day.) We went 5 days with no water. The end. 

This week we had a division with the district leader Elde Quarezma. It was really good, we learned a lot about teaching people, and not lessons. Also we worked a lot more this week on finding new people which was good, and we met our goal for new investigators for the first time for me. We got to teach a lot of starting lessons, as well as helping people understand things. I learned that if someone doesn´t believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and if they don´t have a motivation to listen to us, then they won´t go anywhere.

I have already learned so much, and ran into problems. It is hard to help people come unto Christ when we have three different areas to work. We have been trying to work more in Santa Angela, and Ferraria. Santa Angela only has two members, and both are recent converts. We have already found so many great people, and I want to help so many people. It is difficult to remember sometime that people get to choose, and that we can´t force them to understand what we understand, and to help understand that their lives could be so much better. Also it is hard to always remember that I am not perfect, and to give myself a little break sometimes.

Concering families, we had an interesting experience with an investigator named A. He is from a big family, but he does like to visit his family, and he doesn´t really like family reunions. He has a brother that lives close to him that he wishes lived farther away, but at the same time family is really important to him. The problem is that when he is with his family, he is worried about saying things that could offend them, and that he could get a bad relationship with them. I thought while we were talking, that is very sad, that you can´t trust that your family will understand you. I think that should always be our goal. To have a family that we can trust will love us enough not to be offended. I have been reading from Teachings of the Presidents Joseph Fielding Smith, and I think that he is a good example of the type of relationship that we want with our families, even though it is not always possible. One of his children, in the book, said that he would never scold them or hit them, but that he would only say ``I wish that my kiddies would be good,`` and that because he had so much love for them it worked.

Also here I get to see a lot of families that aren´t perfect, but they still have so much love for one another. I also see families with problems, and that these problems pull the family apart. I am so grateful for a wonderful family that is such a great example of what kind of family I want to have, and that has prepared me a lot for now and the future.

We have talked a lot about faith this week, with members, with investigators, and just me thinking, and I will end with Alma 32 because I don´t know exactly what scripture it is. All I know is that without faith we cannot get anywhere in the gospel. I like to think of faith in an example. Faith is standing at the edge of a cliff, and believing that there is a bridge there, but in order to truly have faith you need to step off the cliff. Sometimes that is how it is for us. We have to step off the cliff, and believe that Christ is there to catch us, and to hold us up.

I love the gospel, and everything that it brings into my life. Even the trials.

--Elder Pettingill

Pictures: One of these is of Elder Quarezma, and me during a division this week, one is of a cool full moon thing we had. Another is of us being happy, and getting water again. Another is of my coffee cake, and my last breakfast with it. The other two need more explanation. There is this thing for coins outside our house where sometimes the guy has pokeballs in them. He doesn´t have it out a lot, and I wanted to buy them, but it takes two reais ($.32) so I had been saving all the reais that I got to buy these pokeballs. I bought twelve. So there is a 'before I bought them', and an 'after I bought them'. They will be presents for my companions, and people when I get home. Also there was one day we had to wait in the church so Elder Armenta played the piano, and I drew him playing the piano on the chalkboard.

From the skype

Monday, May 8, 2017

Ferraria Week 9

This week has been hard and a little frustrating, but it has also been good. We have been having problems with getting new investigators, so this week we really focused on finding some new people. Also we switched some focus on the areas we have. We have three main areas, Compo Comprido, Dona Fina, and Santa Angela. With Elder R Santos we focused more on Campo Comprido and Dona Fina, but now we are focusing more on Santa Angela than Compo Comprido. The problem with Santa Angela is that it is a long way away from the chapel, and so it takes some time to get there from Santa Angela so a lot of missionaries didn´t spend a lot of time there. We have been working there more this week, and have found some great people that we will begin to teach. 

I am still trying to learn more portugues but it is hard with Elder Armenta because we tend to speak a lot of english, and so I don´t learn more portugues. I will focus a lot more this week with that. 

The members here are great, and they always offer to help with anything. We have a list of the members here, and I don´t know if it is similar to the U.S., but there are a lot of members that are either less actives or we don´t know what they are. We will be working on that as well. 

The weather here has been weird, because it keeps getting cold then hot again. 

The area here is pretty big, and it good in general. The people are more open in this area than in other areas. It is generally safe I think. The unsafe part is Santa Angela, because it is pretty poor. Also I found out this week that most of our area is not actually in Curitiba; it is in Campo Largo, which is a different city. I thought that was interesting. 

The church is good here, and we don´t really have to do anything besides sit and listen. Sometimes we have to go to other meetings, but generally we don´t participate a whole lot. 

I also found out that this transfer is only five weeks, but Elder Armenta and I don´t think that we will be transered although it could happen. The time passes by so fast it is amazing. 

So I tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe with adding chocolate powder stuff instead of vanilla, and they were good. One is in a picture where I put two together to make a s`more. We made s´mores this week because I got a big bag of marshmallows from Easter, and I have wanted to make s´mores, so we heated the marshmallows in the microwave, then scooped it onto crackers and cookies with chocolate. That was fun. 

Anyways thank you all for the prayers, and for the emails that I get. I am very grateful for the support that I have here.

I will end with a scripture Alma 37:37
Alma is a cool book because in portugues Alma means soul so this is the book of the soul. Anyways this scripture talks about prayer, and the importance of always praying, and praying frequently. Heavenly Father is our actual father, and so he wants to hear from us. He sees everything that we do, but it is not the same as actually hearing us talk to him. When we do this he pours out blessings upon our lives, and in every aspect. I have really felt this here. We pray so much, because we really want help with our lives. We are still children to Heavenly Father, and so he will help us out.

I love you all so much

-- Elder Pettingil

Me and my companion
My bowl of mini-wheats from my package

Ingrown toenail


New district

S'mores ingredients
Eating s'mores

Picture of what I am going to look like at the end of my mission, drawn by the daughter of a member who is taking the discussions and will get baptized soon

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ferraria Week 8

So sorry about last week. We had to go to the hospital and didn't get to email until Tuesday morning, but we only had time to do our letter to president then the power went out, and we so couldn't email. We went to the hospital because I got an ingrown toenail. I did things to help with it but it wasn't getting fully better so we went to the hospital, and they told me not to wear shoes.

I am typing this on a member's phone because it is a holiday here so ALL the internet places are closed. We normally email from a LAN house which is where you can pay to use the internet. 

Also for the last week I have been using crocs that I bought because I was not allowed to use shoes for a week to let my foot dry. I will send some pictures next week. I bought the crocs because for one day I was using my flip flop and a normal shoe, but it hurt the rest of my body when I walked. I think it is better now.

So first off I will answer what I remember about some of the questions. It is hard because I am writing this on a phone.

I did get the package (thank you mom!) I really enjoyed all the things that you sent in it.  

First off my new companion and padrasto (stepfather) Elder Armenta. So last time when I said that he speaks English that was an understatement. He is 99% fluent. He was born in Mexico City but lives in Chihuahua. His stake is basically a Utah stake in Mexico so he went to a church school, and the temple is closer to his house than ours is to ours. One ward in his stake is of Americans, and so he learned English very well. He didn't know Portuguese before the mission, and so he is more comfortable speaking in English than Portuguese. So it hasn't been the best week for speaking only Portuguese. He has one month more than me in the mission, but his estimated date for going home is the same as mine. At the zone conference we talked with someone that said that they think we will both go home somewhere around December 24 so before Christmas. He plans on going to BYU-I after his mission so we might room together. We get along great. He is like me where it is hard to talk with people, but he doesn't talk a lot when he gets comfortable like I do. It has been hard to not slack off a little bit when it gets dark. We are trying to stay focused, and do everything right but because both of us don't have a lot of time it is hard. We are really focusing on trying to be obedient in all the mission rules. Having him as my companion is pushing me to be obedient and follow the schedule as much as possible. We are learning together how to do everything.

I would like to also retract any restriction on food I have said. Anything that is from home is welcome. Especially candy. I don't buy candy here very often, and generally it is chocolate. But not peanut butter chocolate, they don't really have that here. So just any candy or food is welcome. Thank you so much for the packages you already sent! I appreciate them a lot. Also I love getting letters from you all. I loved the letter Anna sent, and that is awesome that she, and Jeffrey are learning Portuguese. I will try to send some letters soon. It is really busy on p-days sometimes or I don't have the materials to write letters, but I am in the process of writing some. Also I would like to say that both me and Elder R Santos love the Legos that you sent in my birthday package. 

So on p days other than email we do laundry in our house, shop, generally after email at a big super market they have. It is funny because only the small ones have vanilla extract. Apparently it is not a common thing here. Then we take a bus home. With Elder R Santos we would then play war (a knock off version of risk) with one of the recent converts here until we had less than an hour left, then go home, and finish the other things that we need to do. Right now I I think I will be writing letters, sleeping, and making something cookies or coffee cake, and just resting in general. We also might explore the stores here which I never did with Elder R Santos. 
I have felt the spirit so much this week, and I have learned a lot. Sorry that I didn't talk about my week as much, and sorry that I didn't send any pictures. I will send a lot next week. I am excited for Mother's Day, and I am so grateful for your support in my life. Thank you all for being great people, missionaries, and/or future missionaries. It has already been great to be able to serve the Lord here in Brazil, and I have learned so much. 

Elder Pettingill