Thursday, March 15, 2012

January 2012

Sis. and Pres. Araujo

Jan 2nd - Hello Everybody!
I think these were the funniest emails I've read on my mission so far. The cabin trip sounds HILARIOUS. Everyone bloody, broken, laughing and crying with Lynlee stuck on the ground in all her snow clothes. I can just picture it all. Hope dad's face is okay. And Bailee's wrist and everyone. Also, I will need a picture of Dallin and Mitch on the scooter...that has got to be the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life. Ahahahahaha! 

So. Questions. Mom talked about Cathy Hulets lesson. I love Elder Holland's talk Safety for the Soul - it's my FAVORITE!!! I love the Book of Mormon. More on my love for the BoM later. Grandma Bowen, the tip I have for your lesson about Missionary Work is Moses 1:39. If God's work and God's glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, and we're all striving to become like God...shouldn't that be our work and our glory as well? I think the happiest people are the people that share the gospel with others. I also like the quote: Share the gospel at all times and when necessary use words! Hope that helps.
So, this week as far as missionary work goes was weird. I've never taught so little lessons but we marked 4 baptism dates! I also started teaching Presidente English. We taught about families and the names for everyone (brother, sister, mom etc.) and then had pai and mãe describe our families in our photos we brought. Presidente thought every picture of me was my mom and every picture of mom was my sister! Congrats mom! Sister Araújo also said dad is that's like 6 for dad and 4 for mom. I got good lookin' parents! We also had to tell them they can't say nigger because they just started throwing that word around. Then, we told them to say black or African American and Presidente said, ''Hey black, come here.'' Ah cultural differences are the best!
We had an awesome Zone Conference this week that was FULL of the Spirit that got me so excited for the rest of my mission and the souls I will help save! I'm a missionary!!! On our way to Zone Conference we went with Elder Spencer and Elder Wilson (DL and ZL) Elder Spencer, my buddy since São Paulo and I had a convo that went something like this:
ES '''Do you have an XBOX?''
Me ''My brother does.''
ES ''Does he have HALO?''
Me ''Yes''
ES ''Well, when we get home you have to set up an online I can blow your head off.''
I love my Elders!!!! We all still fake shoot each other with all kinds of weapons we invent. And Elder Spencer always tells me all the ways he's going to kill me. I love it.
So. My New Year was WAY better than yours! We went with Pres and Sister Araújo to a party at the Assistents and Secrataries house. Super fun. Elders are hilarious. Then we started home about 11:30PM. Sister Vieira asked if we could watch the fireworks with them and Pres made us vote...of course we all wanted too! So. We got to go to Presidentes and watch the coolest beach fireworks I have seen in my entire was like Disneyland fireworks. We stayed way up in the Presidentes fancy apartment house and watched out the window that overlooks the beach. AMAZING!!! Then, as luck would have it, they wouldn't let any cars leave because of all the people on the we had to sleep at Presidentes house again...gosh dang it! (sarcasm). Awesome sauce. 
Church was very good and very spiritual. I love testimony meeting in Brazil. Even Crazy Carmen bore her testimony and was actually pretty good. Sundays are the best days ever. It's so different on a mission. I hope not a lot of that changes when I get home. Anyways. Yesterday, for no reason at all, I just got all sad. I don't know why. Everything is going normal. I just got all sad. So Presidente gave me a blessing that was amazing. I won't write all of it but he blessed me with an ability to study the scriptures and learn from the great missionaries and leaders in the scriptures to become an ever better missionary. It was very special too because a lot of things he said are in my Patriarchal Blessing too. 
So, in the end. Everything is going good. I LOVE MY MISSION and I think you're going to have troubles getting me home. Thank goodness I still have 10 months! Woo hoo! Dallin. Go to mission prep you loser!

Jan 9th - 
Hi family,
Okay mom. That was the coolest, weirdst and awsomest email ever. (the e isnt working good on this keyboard so just figur it out). HELLOO!!! Are you kidding me?! My mom sang with Stevie Wonder?!?! I think I want to b a Hospic Nurse!
Sorry to har about dads friend. I'm so glad we hav th Atonement and The Plan of Salvation. I think if I was a missionary for another church whn Kristen died I would have come home, but because of the Atonement and The Perfect Plan we have, death is just another piece of the puzzle. A thing a lot of Brazilians say here about death is Heavenly Father knows when each pedal falls off a tree, so he definitely knows when a life is taken. I also remember Alma 17 when Alma and Amulek had to watch th innocent women and children be burned for their beliefs and when Amulek asked Alma to stop them Alma listened to the Spirit and knew that the Lord was receiving his rightous peopl. The Lord will nvr do anything to take away our free agency, but it is all being recorded and will be used for us or against us at the Judgement. I think this is why its so hard to see peopl rjct th gospl bcause thy're going to gt to th Final Judgement and have no xcuses. Thats why I nver want to do anything that will take away my Clstial Glory. I think something veryon can larn is to have an etrnal perspctiv. A mission helps with that.

Oh grandma....shes just falling mor and more off the rocker huh? Hearing about it all from another country its all super funny, but I know whatd b like if I was there so I hop all is well and everyone is loving ach other. Iḿ having this problm in our ward right now bcaus Carmen...crazy Carmen was baptized a year ago. No one in the ward...including me....thinks she has the mntal capabilities to be baptized, but now she comes every week and causes all kinds of problems and the whole ward, sav a few, ar fed up with her. This week as I sat in Relif Society I thought if Jesus cam here right now, Carmen would b the first person h would greet. So, I decided to love her and treat her like a child of God, bcause she is.
Ah. Ellee and Lynlee. How cute and how sad. I don't remember being their age, but I was talking to my companions this week and remembered that as teenagers Jenna would never let me go anywhere with her and her friends...Bowen too...but I always brought Dallin along with me. Yup. I'm a saint. Haha. Just kidding. I still love you Jenna!

So. This week. One word. ''RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNN'' I cant count how many times I said that like Uncle Jimmy this week and I've never been in rain like this. Things are always more complicated with rain...but it was good and fun. I called Presidente (who me and Elder Spencer now call poppa) to ask permission to swim home. He laughed. And then he brought me two packages! Thanks Katie and Cindy!!!! Everything I ever wanted. Seriously. Raincoat thing. Umbrella. MacandCheese. PEZ. TShirt! Woo hoo! Thanks!!!! I love people that are close to the Spirit that send me answers to my prayers...its literally a miracle every time. A FESTIVUS MIRACL!

We have some great investigators. One, Sueli, that was smoking 40 cigaretts a day and now shes smoking 12! Woo hoo! I tried to pull a nail out of Sister Vieiras shoe with my teeth and she pulled the shoe away from me and chippd my tooth. Just my front bottom one and its tiny. I'm not having any problems with it. Just a funny story!
So. I'm glad to hear from you guys. I love you. THanks for all of your love and support! Hope this week is better than last week for you...except for the Stevie Wonder thing. I'm still freaking out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Package from Katie !!

Jan 16th - Hi Family,
Let me apologize ahead of time that my email will be sloppy. I´m super tired. Sister Araújo came over this morning and we painted our house, then we went to eat, and now we´re finally emailing...its 4pm...and we have to leave for appointments at 6pm...I´m tired. But. I´m happy and I love what I´m doing. Just friggin tired.
First, hilarious video of Ellee!!!! I love it! ´´Grimace. Okay. Eat some toast.´´ and I could hear my little Lynlee in the background. Awww! Thanks for the pictures too. I love that that dorky picture of me is on the fridge. I´ll have to send some better ones. Did you guys get my other letter and pictures yet? I haven´t had time to write letters in like 2 weeks. Theres perks and pits to living so close to the President. Good = you´r there alot and I love them; Bad = they´re always at our house too and always PDAY. But, hey what cha gonna do. So. Anyways.....
What movie is ´´Yes William with the pigs, with the pigs.´´ Bowen?? I love Willow. When we´re walking down the streets here in Brazil, and not talking I just sing and quote movies to myself. ´´I don´t worship Sorsha I hate Sorsha. She kicked me in the face!´´ So. Yeah. That´s something that goes on. Our Ward Mission Leader said his favorite companion always quoted Brian Regan to himself, he thought it was hilarious.
Anyways. This week was good. Nothing too crazy or interesting happened. This area is super rough with finding good people to teach. We have a new Sister coming that was waiting for her Visa and serving in Salt Lake. She had 12 baptisims one Saturday. Poor thing, now she´s come to Brazil, where the real work begins. I´ve been praying for her. Hahaha. No. It´ll be awesome. This is the best mission in the world!
 This week. Alright. Let me think. My sandal broke so I´ll have to buy new ones. I taught President and Sister Araújo English again. It went much better. They´ve stopped saying the N Word. I love this couple. Have I mentioned that? I can´t wait until they come visit us in AZ after we all finish our missions. HILARIOUSNESS! We have two investigators that are pretty great. They´re sisters. 20 and 14. They live right across the street from the church and have a lot of questions about The Spirit World and the Plan of Salvation. I love investigators with questions. We´re still trying to help Suely quit smoking. She´s down to 8 I think but she also has depression and has a rough life and its hard to keep her animated for baptism. But, thats okay. I think they´re are elect people and people that need some help...but I´m always on the look out for the elect! This transfer is already ending next week! It went by so fast! Because we we´re working so hard!!! I´m going to stop working so hard...just kidding...but I love getting home every day super tired because I know I put in a good days work for the Lord. I emailed this to Presidente as one of my goals. Get home worn out every single day.
What else? Nothing adventurous or excited. Crazy Carmen said she was going to kill me. Then said she was going to die. Then said she was going to Indonesia. So. Always have her to lighten my day. :D I can´t help but love this lady!!! I´ll have to try and take a picture with her. I´m sad that maybe Elder Spencer won´t be my DL anymore. I love my Elders that came with me! Presidente always talks about what a great group we are, that all came at the same time. Three (including me) are training. One is going to be Exec Secretary. And Elder ´´Sneak McB´´ McBarron doesn´t really count. But the rest of us are AWESOME! Presidente loves us.
 So. Sorry for the rambling, crazy email. I´ll have updates next week on transfers. I think I already know what will happen because Presidente and Sister told me...but you never actually know until it happens. So. Thanks for you love and emails and support. I love you all super dee duper dee much!!!!!!!!! Hope mom and dad are alive. THANK YOU!!!!!!
P.S. Presidente is going to do splits with Elder Spencer this week. I told Elder Spencer to take videos and pictures because I wanna see this thing. So CUTE! Elder Spencer said, `´Don´t you ever call my companionship with Presidente cute. It´s the manliest thing ever!´´     It´s going to be so CUTE!
Jan 23rd - What's up fam? 
Thanks again for your emails and your love and your hilarious updates. First thing first. No, I did not know Anita was going to LA. Last I heard I was in Provo and she had colon cancer...thanks for keeping me updated. :p I love mission calls! I'm so excited for D Mac's! We were at a members house last night and a young man from the stake came with his call...he's going to Boston! Super exciting! They say more and more Brazilians are leaving Brazil to serve missions. Cool beans. Maybe Aunt Anita can convert some movie stars! I want to go and do splits with her if she starts teaching John Cusack! (Yes, I'm still me.) Second, holy cow, Liv's hair is so BLONDE! They're so cute. Thanks for sending me pics Bowen! My nieces are getting so big! Ahhhh! So weird. Third, save some names and stuff for the temple for me to do when I get home!!!!
Alrighty then. What's next? Oh. Transfers! I'm staying in JdP. Word. (random sidenote. We have some people that email Presidente in English to help him practice and he asked me and Elder Spencer what the word ''hood'' meant. Yes. An Elder used the gangster word ''hood'' to talk about his area in his email to the Presidente...ahhhhh Elders). Annnnyywwwaayyys. I will be staying with Sister Peterson and Sister Vieira will be a mom! She is going to train the new American Sister that is coming. Presidente wants the Brazilians learning English and the Americans learning Portuguese faster. This transfer is going to rock!!! (just another sidenote to tell you how cool Presidente is...he did a split the whole day with Elder Spencer this week...have you ever heard of a Mission Presidente doing that? I can't wait for you guys to meet these people.)
This week went really well. I had some great lessons and experiences this week that taught me I'm progressing and learning to teach lessons by the Spirit and help people understand the gospel and why they need it. We marked 3 baptisms dates with some really great people that are ready to move their lives and follow Christ. One is the mom of a recent convert, inactive. He doesn't want anything really with the church but she already knows the church is true and wants to get married so she can get baptized. That's another thing about one is married!!!! But, anyone. We also had to go find a woman that got baptized Christmas Eve and hasn't been to church to get confirmed. This is where things get complicated. Can she still receive the Holy Ghost if she's inactive? And stuff like that. So we found her, she's living with her sister. She said she has been here in Vitória a week and just didn't know where the church was...weird because I'm pretty sure Christmas was way more than a week ago. Anyways. So we taught her and her sister, committed her sister to baptism and they said they'd come to church the next day. We even got some members that were going to swing by and take them. 7:30AM Sunday morning. Siene (baptized/not confirmed person) calls and said they can't go because she has a headache. So....I got discouraged. I was thinking. If we can't even get a woman that's baptized to get to church and receive the Holy Ghost, how am I supposed to get investigators to go to church! So. We went to church, with no investigators, as usual. But, I received my spiritual upliftment during Sacrament Meeting. A girl named Raquel that's a good friend of mine gave a talk. She told a story about when me and her did splits one day. After teaching some lessons we went and ate a hamburger and I asked her if she was going on a mission. She said she didn't know. I told her she should because the mission field needs girls like her. Different. Fun. Funny. Real. She said in her talk she felt the Spirit strongly when I said that and now she decided she's definitely going on a mission. It was a testimony builder to me that it won't always be through baptisms and investigators that we receive blessings and fruits of our labor, but through helping whatever child of God realize their true potential.

So. That's the highlight of this week I think. I'm ready to work hard and be diligent, ''while in this tabernacle of clay'' to bring the children of men to God. (Moroni 9:6) Can you believe that the 27th I'll be half done with my mission?! It kind of makes me want to throw up! It's time to get to work. What have I been doing for 9 months?! Hey! Let me know about my little brother and his mission papers! What's going on there? So exciting! And Bowen and Maliá. Keep going. Keep pushing. The temple blessings is what we're all working for. Salvation is a personal matter. Exaltation is a family matter! Jenna and family, you're all awesome. Tell Jared to toughen up, and be a man!
Lastly, it would be super dee duper awesome if you could send me Chalula (or however you spell it) hot sauce for our Ward Mission Leader, Alexandre. He's awesome. You guys will love him too. He told me all kinds of stories about when his American companions would get Chelula and how they'd ration it and make oaths on when and how you could use it. So. That would be awesome.
P.S. We don't have PEZ here. And Crazy Carmen called a woman from the ward at 3:00AM and said she was going to go to Grace Church because there they can expel the demon from he aunts body...its funnier in Portuguese...
Jan 30th ~ 
First, as always. Question and Answers. Dallin: Yes. I got your email. Thank you! 1) Really, when you get on your mission your fears ARE we're not teaching enough people and all our baptisms dates are falling...but I know what you I think I have the most fear of teaching with members. Especially men that are returned missionaries, because I don't feel like a super awesome powerful missionary and I get nervous with them there. But, I just tell myself that I AM the missionary and I HAVE the keys to this area and to teach these people because these investigators can't get baptized without the lessons that we give. Other than that it's really all just a fun adventure. 2) Who are you? I can't believe you're planning a trip that will take you out of the front door! Have fun! Jenna: 1) I think we all would've lost it on Kermit if I was there. Awesome. I'm excited to do some with you guys! 2) In Brazil we use the real (hey-al). I think its about 1 dollar to 2 reais. Vitória is more expensive than Vila Velha, but I think a LOT of our food will be with members because I got the hook up here. But I will start charting how much things cost.Bowen: 1) I got the movie quotes, I just forgot to write the answers. How's the temple prep coming? 2) I've been thinking about Todd a lot this week. I don't know why. I wrote him a letter but never got one back. If possible, tell him to write me!
Okay. I think that's it...

Package: I would like the Family Calendar you told me you were sending. And Chelula for our Ward Mission Leader. Other than that? Chocolate? Snackage? My Women at the Well CD. I think that's about it. Surprises!
This week was really good and REALLY REALLY REALLY HOT. I'm so glad I was born in Arizona and I love the heat. We are still woking with Suely. She's still down to 5 cigarettes, but won't come to church! We're also teaching this older man named Moses that I love. He's very simple (aka: not very smart), but its perfect to teach him because he understands the Spirit and when he feels it. Only problem is his daughter doesn't want us teaching him, so we're going to give her a visit and baptize her too. How do you like that?! A man contacted us on the street and said he wants to visit our church and learn about it because of the things he's hearing about Mitt Romney. What's going on over there? Everyone here says Romney is going to win. It made me think of the revelation of Howard W Hunter that said the constitution of the US would hang by a thread and the priesthood holder would bear it up...or something. It would work really well if the President of the US had the Melchizedek Priesthood! Cool beans. In other exciting news I ate feijoada and rabada this week. Feijoada = beans, pig ears, nose, feet, tail. Rabada = cow tail. Delicious! Not really, but not horrible either. It kind of just sits like an angry rock in your stomach afterwards. We ate it at the going away party/dinner of the missionaries going home. It was really cool and really weird. I'm so glad I'm not going home right now. Elder Hall's parents came to get him, so they were there. It was really cool. They visited a bunch of members during the week and now they're in Rio. I also thought a random thing. I am Johnson and my companion is Peterson. Remember that legal group? Peterson Johnson 877 96 LEGAL! Yup. That's us!

Other than that things are great. I'm happy. Healthy. Doing the Lord's work and learning every day how to be more like Christ. I'm so excited for Dallin to go on a mission and have amazing adventures too! Me and Sister Peterson were discussing something though. We think that in the US. They don't have a lot of people that agree to baptism, but a lot of people that understand the message of the restored gospel. I think here, in Brazil. Everyone accepts the invitation to be baptized, because they all want to follow Christ; but people here don't understand very well the message of the restored gospel. So, that's just a random thought. Teach people, not lessons!
Let me lay it out about this Elder Spencer gossip. :p Me and 5 other Elders came from São Paulo to Vitória at the same time. Elder Spencer was our district leader in São Paulo and he's my district leader here. He's just funny! I don't know what else to say. It's like I came here with 5 brothers and there's only one that I'm allowed to talk to. So...yeah....
Anyways. Thanks for your emails. That thing about Lynlee, ''Why did you throw the brown ladies magazines away?'' Is going in the hymn book of art. I love you guys. You're awesome!

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