Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20, 2011

Tudo bem pai! I see you´ve been studying up on your portuguese. Keep it up haha. When you use those automatic translaters it doesnt work out so well, cuz thats not the way they would say those things you said haha.  Thats crazy about the floods in west weber! Good thing we dont live by the weber river!  This week has been good, we are finding and teaching a lot of people, along with several baptisimal dates. It really is crazy how much we have done in just two weeks after opening up an area. Tonight we have a baptism, and he picked me to baptise him! We also have 3 other people this sunday that will be baptised, its gunna be sweet. The language is getting better, but its still really hard. The people speak so fast, and use slang. It will just take time and work, and ill have it down. Everyone i talk to says im really good and have a good accent, and that im progressing really well. Its just hard! haha. So about the baptism tonight, his name is wellington and he is 9 years old. His brother is a member, but no one else in the family is. He is awesome, and so fun to work with. The other baptisms this sunday will be clair, leonardo, and joão. Clair and her husband live right in front of us, and her husband is a none active member. He is excited to get back to church when his wife is baptised, and to eventually go to the temple. They have a kid together, but they just got married last week, just in time to be baptism worthy. She knows everything is true, and we are super stoked to have her baptised. Leonardo and João are brothers and their parents are members, but less active. They were offended by someone so they dont go anymore, but elder evans and i worked with them and now they are ready to come back to church! Its awesome building eternal families. So this week i got to go to center city curitiba twice. Once, for getting a brazilian identification, and the other for a training for new missionaries. The training was good, but it was funny cuz they just told us what our purpose was as missionaries, and they talked as if i was just fresh out of the mtc. Its funny when they call me a greenie, when ive already had a lot of experience in philly with missionary work. In center city, people like to do entertainment for money in front of the cars at stoplights. These kids were standing on eachother juggling for the cars waiting for a green light, wanting money. They were actually really good!  This sunday in sacrament meeting i gave a talk in front of everyone! It went good, even though i was nervous hah. Im speaking a lot better than when i got here! Im still loving the food, and loving the fact that we have meal appointments every day with the members. It gives us the chance to have legit home made brazilian food. Rice and beans every day mmmmm! Ha im lucky, cuz i love the rice and beans, but a lot of missionaries dont like it but they have to eat it every day! The dessert here is super good. If you guys come get me in brazil you~re in for a good treat food wise! Its the best! The hot dogs and pizza here are so much better than in america. You~d think that american would have better pizza, but nope, here its amazing! The weather has been so hot! Man, im getting cooked haha. The humidity makes it so much worse! The humidity sealed all my envelopes haha, so i gotta pry em open before i can put letters in them haha it sucks! But yeah, Everything is going good, and im learning a lot! Pray for me to get the language down quick! Mission pres said that i have to learn super quick , because hes gunna be using me soon leadership wise. This next transfer were getting 17 missionaries. wow! Thats a lot. Maybe ill even train ha that would be crazy! Well, all is well, i love you and hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Harper

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 13, 2011

Tudo bom para meu pai!
Man, this has been the most different week of my life haha. Its crazy living in another country, but its cool and a great experience! Florida sounds like its been way fun, and the airboat rides sounded like a blast! Universal studios sounds pretty fun right about now haha. Thats cool that you got to see the church ranch and hang out with the justesons. Sounds like fun! Well, things here are going good, and Im loving the food. Today we ate something called tapioca, which is these pancake like things that you put hot chocolate fudge in and we also put linguisa in also (sausage) it was good! I love the guarana, and also they have tons of way good fruit drinks like mango and pinapple thats so good! We get fed lunch by the members every day except pday, and its awesome cuz we get the best homemade brazilian food ever! There is always a big thing of rice and beans, which is amazing, but thats just the side dish. They have sausages, chicken, pasta, and salads. Its all so good! Not to mention the dessert, which is amazing as well. I had this way good bannana pudding stuff with caramel the other day, it was way good. But anyways, thats just the food haha. Its funny how brazilians do stuff out here, like cutting grass. They usually dont use lawn mowers, but they get a team of guys armed with weed whackers, and just go to town on big fields and yards, then they scoop the grass up in tarps and move it. Kids and teens here like to show off their cell phones here by playing music while they walk, and a lot of people sell things out of their cars by driving by with big speakers on their car yelling what they are selling kind of like an icecream man. There are wild dogs everywhere out here. Hundreds of them! They just go around looking for food to eat, and they dont bother us. Some are actually pretty nice and want to be petted. So ive been having my first brazilian tracting experiences, which consist of standing outside the peoples gates, which everyone has, and clapping at their house. They always have their doors and/or windows open, so they can hear us. To get around, my companiona and i walk everywhere, but to go far away we ride the bus. The bus system here in Parana (the name of the state im in) is some of the best in the world, especially in curitiba, so we take the bus quite a bit, about three times a week for pday, district meeting, and training for my comp cuz hes district leader. Curitiba itself is a really nice, clean city full of flowers and gardens. The plants and trees out here are beautiful! There are a lot of lime trees in my area and other fruit trees as well. The language is really hard, but ive already learned so much and im developing an ear for how fast people speak and also picking up a lot of common frases. Each day i speak better, and im starting to teach now and the people understand me and say i speak good! Its so hard, but im learning quick. As far as the work goes, in one week we have found several investigators and have 6 baptisimal dates! Man, the people out here are so much more receptive than philly. Its so nice to have a lot of investigators again, and teaching people that are willing to get baptised. We have one this sunday, and im excited! His name is wellington and hes nine years old. The work is going good. There are a lot of snakes out here (girls) that yell at us sometimes like this week when they called us delicious as we walked by haha. I guess they really love americans, and elder evans and i are pretty handsome young americans haha but dont worry we just laugh and keep walking. We get a lot of looks haha. As for laundry, we have a small electric washer thing, so we wash our clothes in that and dry them on clothes hangers in our house. The weather here has been near perfect, but in the mornings and late at night it gets pretty cold. This past week, we had a crazy storm that dropped marble sized hail and it was coming down so hard! I guess its really rare for out here, and the kids loved playing in the hail piles after it was done. It was a cool sight to see. The members of the church out here are awesome, and they love the missionaries. I~ve seen a ton of spiders out here that are huge! Like triantulas! Ive also seen some cool looking birds and such. The bugs out here are crazy haha. Well that was my crazy week, and it was fun. All is well and im enjoying the work! I hope all is well over there! Until next week, i love you!
Love, matt