Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 14, 2011

Bom dia para meu pai!
 Man, it sounds like you've had another eventfull week full of fun and pain! haha thats too bad to hear about your kidney stone. I remember when we were about to go on a cruise and that one hit you! You're lucky it didnt hit you in hawaii, then that would have ruined all the fun! I'm glad you got my letter safely and you had a good birthday. I was thinking of you a lot on the 10th. Good choice on texas roadhouse. I could deffinatly pound some of that right about now haha! I'm super happy to be back to eating normal food again. Darby threw me in a loop with that nasty african food! I've gained about 3 pounds since darby, so its good. Thats crazy about the earthquake and tsunami! Man, its crazy how much out of the loop i am on news and stuff. I found out like 2 days after it had happend by some old guy we were teaching. I'm just so focused on the work here i dont know whats going on in the world haha, but its good. Its still cold here, but there are some days where it gets warm and it gives me hope! THat's too bad about grandpa, i pray for him all the time. I hope he hold on for a while longer, but i dont want him to suffer. All will be well. Thats way cool about hayden getting his mission call! Do you go home teaching with his brother? Well this week has been pretty good in Pottsville. My spanish is going up, and i'm understanding it good when i hear it. Every night when i call in to the district leader, we speak all in spanish because he is a spanish elder, and he says how amazed he is on how much i know and how i can understand him. I get tons of compliments on my accent, so i guess all of this practice is paying off! haha. So hawaii was good huh? THats awesome. When are you going to florida? Is this your last trip there? Transfers are today, but i'm gunna be staying here in Pottsville with Elder Hunt. We get along fine, so its good. I'm not worried about the area anymore cuz we just work hard and do our best, and thats all we are expected to do! Something unique about out here is how huge of a holiday st.patricks day is. Every night there are people dressed in green going from bar to bar and getting slammed haha. There are pubs and bars everywhere here, and they just drink drink drink. If they're already celebrating st.pattys day drinking, i can only imagine how big its gunna be on st. patricks day. All the building are decorated with green leprechaun hats and stuff, i never imagined it being that big of a holiday. I remember when mom would just tip over the furniture and color the milk green, but out here people just drink all day and get hammered. I imagine we'll go in early that night for our safety haha. WE'll see. My portuguese is still improving and i'm opening my vocabulary. I'll be ready for Brazil i hope. I've been told by several people that i have the gift of tounges, and that i'm way farther ahead on the language than the other people that have been out as long as me. Speaking of being out as long, can you believe i'm coming up on my 5 month mark? Crazy! Well, thats all i gotta say this week, i'm just enjoying every second of the mission and i've learned a lot through this area. It's elder hunt's bday today so we're going out to eat! Keep up the good work and push out that kidney stone! Haha i love ya!
 Love, Matt

March 7. 2011

Man that sounds amazing! I would love to be in hawaii right now but nothing can keep me from doing this great work! I love it here and the other night truely realized how much i love this work. It brings a lot of joy and is making me a better person. Things are looking up here and i'm going a lot better. I'm used to the area and through our hard work we've picked up some investigators! We're doing a lot more than the elders before were doing. Man, from what i hear and see they were lazy and rude! The members love us. With prayer, i've been progressing with the language again. I can read it easily now and am getting a lot of grammer rules down. Only if i could practice it with someone here! haha. We've been tracting a lot and i dont mind it that much anymore. Maybe its cuz of the weather getting warm! I'm so ready for spring! This winter was so brutal! East coast cold is so much worse than utah hahaha. It rained for like 36 hours yesterday and the day before, so i hope things get green. I woke up this morning and looked outside and there was snow! man it sucked! THe curitiba winter is starting, so if i get my visa soon i'll be there just in time to endure yet another winter in a row! haha that would suck, but i'd do anything to get my dang visa! I got an email from an elder thats a month ahead of me on the mission, and he's still waiting for his visa. He entered in like early september. I hope brazil just lets loose all the visas for us. In the mean time, there is plenty of work to be done here in Pottsville, penn. and i love it! I was tracting this past week and i ran into this latino lady and you could tell she didnt wanna be bothered with missionaries, so she looked at me and said she doesnt know english, and started speaking spanish to me. Little does she know, that i can understand spanish good and speak some as well! I responded in spanish and introduced ourselves and she had the look on her face like, "crap, now what" hahahah. She accepted a book of mormon card. I owned her! Something about this area is that the branch is realiable on the missionaries for a lot of the duties, like piano, blessing the sac, passing the sac, teaching sunday school, and we also teach a scripture study class on thursday nights. Its pretty cool. Something also about pottsville is that the women have mustaches and beards and its so gross! haha. People absolutly dont take care of themselves and about 95% of the people here smoke and own about 20 cats haha. I've found that its rare to see people with many teeth and those that do have teeth are all decayed and nasty. Obesity is huge here too. Man, health is just overrated these days I guess. When we tract, its so hard to get our message accrossed when there are stubborn catholics and baptists who dont wanna listen, or they just wanna bible bash with us. Tracting is interesting, because you get to see all kinds of people and it gets you over the fear of talking to everyone fast. I'm not afraid of that anymore and i actually enjoy it. I'm bold with the message and it seems to work. I'm getting good at contancting! Things are good here and i'm happy to be here. I dont think about my visa too much. I know its all in the Lords time. Well, not much else to say, keep up soaking up the sun and fly home safe! I love you!


February 28, 2011

Oi Pai! Tudo bem? Thanks for the encouragement and fast. It really helps. This area is going really slow with the work. It's like we're starting from scratch. We have no progressing investigators, and the couple of investigators we do have aren't progressing, so we're gunna have to drop them because in the past missionaries would just go hang out at their house and get nothing done. Elder Hunt and I have been trying to do a lot of finding with every possible means. We tract, contact, try to seek refferals, offer service, and work through the ward, but nothing is coming out of it. We work so hard, but we can't find anyone! Everytime we tract people slam their doors in our faces because they're catholic and the dont want anything to do with us or our church. There are so many catholics here its nuts! Every one is catholic! It probably comes from their irish backround, which gives them a funny americanized irish accent. But to try to get investigators we started a program called "set a date". We go to members houses and we teach them about missionary work and have them set a date in the near future when they will invite a friend/aquantance/person to their house to be taught by the missionaries. We hope that this will help us find, teach, and baptise. We just need something to get going here in pottsville. We have to regain the trust of the members because I guess missionaries in the past were lazy and rude, so the members didn't like them. Me and Elder Hunt are new, so they like us and see that we work hard. We're just scrambling to get things going around here. We need people to teach. It's hard to stay positive when we tract all day with no success at all. Its not productive here at all, no one wants to listen. The only way i see successfull missionary work here is through the members. That's why we're so stoked on the "set a date". Because its through the members and that makes it a lot more successful when it comes to missionary work. I've been praying so hard for my visa. I understand that its all in heavenly fathers hands, i just can't help but get anxious to get down there. I've hit a wall with the language and i want to progress. Please pray for me. There are senior missionaries that live right above us and I love them! They feed us and are super nice. Every night me and Elder Hunt go up there to their cozy apartment, which has the feel of grandmas house, and we talk with them and visit. Its really comforting. In other news, I'm starting to dream in portuguese, and understand it haha. I also can understand spanish good, and its awesome. I remember when spanish was just blahblahblah on the radio or tv, but now i can understand whats being said and its cool. I can only imagine what i can understand in portuguese, but no one speaks it here haha. There is a branch here of about 30-40 people but its cool and i'm excited to help it grow, i just gotta stay motivated and positive! So you guys are leaving tomorrow for Hawaii you lucky! Have fun and soak up that sun which i've been begging for. Its so cold here when we tract! I have spring fever for sure! Pennsylvania cold is sooooo much worse than Utah. That humidity just kills! I'm so glad gary is doing better, i was worried about that kid! Knowing him though he'll be hurt again soon. Who's gunna watch him? And wow, i dont even know what to say about deron williams. Man, he is my favorite!! That sucks so bad that he's gone! The jazz have just completely fell apart since i've left. Is raja and jefferson still doing good? Devin Harris is good and so will that other guy but DWILL is the BEST pg in the league. Dang.... Oh well. I'm still a jazz fan. Well, not much else to say. Please keep praying for my visa and that we can find investigators here. I'll press on with the work and stay positive and motivated. Missionary work truely is work. Hard work. But I love it and i'm happy to be on a mission! Woo! haha. Well, dont have too much fun in hawaii, and take a bunch of pictures for me! I love you! Eu amo voce muitio! Embracas!
 Love, Matt