Happy Memorial Day. This is the last holiday until school is over right? It´s gone by so fast!
So the big news is....yup, I´m staying in Jardim Ipê. And Elder B. is too! The dynamic American duo is here to stay for another 6 weeks. Elder B. thought for sure he was gonna leave, but you never can tell with Transfers. It makes things a lot easier on ourselves too, since I don´t know the area that well, and we both don´t want to give up on the investigators we have yet. The members are happy too that we´re both staying.
Luckily, the protests were only on Wednesday, so we were able to leave our apartment Thursday. But Thursday morning at 1:30, Elder B. woke me up because he had a killer headache. I gave him some medicine from the First Aid kit (thanks Mom!), gave him a blessing, and he went back to sleep. He didn´t wake up until 10 that morning, and when he did, he was in a lot of pain. The member who brought us lunch that day took us to his house, where he let Elder B. rest until another member could take him to the doctor. We got him to a hospital clinic, and after they checked him all out, they told him he had a bad sinus infection. They gave him an IV, some heavy prescriptions, and sent us back. After the IV and checkup Elder Baker was feeling a lot better, so for the first time in three days, we got to work!!! It felt great getting out and working.
Friday I did Exchanges with our Zone Leaders, and I worked in their area. Both our Zone Leaders are Brazilians, so after speaking straight Portuguese the whole day I learned a lot!! I imagine when I get a Brazilian companion my Portuguese will spike. My only worry now is that Elder B. and I won´t learn as fast because we´re both not fluent and we speak English quite a bit.
Remember on The Honeymooners when Ralph and Norton drank the grape juice they thought was wine? Elder B. and I had a similar experience this week. We were in the home of a less-active, and she gave us some juice. I took a sip, and boy it was some strong grape juice, but I wanted to make sure it wasn´t wine. Thank heavens it wasn´t!! We got a good kick out of it: A little strong but good, right?
The work is going. It´s not as easy as everyone thinks, because it´s easy to get in the homes of less-actives, but it´s hard getting them to keep their commitments, especially coming to church. All the other churches meet at night, and ours is a half hour walk away at least. Plus, we don´t understand everything our investigators are saying, so it´s hard to understand their needs. It´s going to be a challenge for us, but I´m sure this a test Heavenly Father has given me to help me rely on Him more.
I sent a letter off to you all today too. The lady said it´ll get there in a week. I have not been by the Mission Office lately, so maybe your letter has already arrived.
I love you all a lot!! Hope you´re enjoying these last few days of school. Thank you for your prayers.
Love Elder Fuss
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
|Members in Brazil call me Elder "Noodle" . You can see why!!|
So last night we got an interesting phone call from our zone leaders. Over the last month a lot of people have been protesting against the government because of corruption and stuff. Some of it has to do with the World Cup and how the government is spending money, and people have been saying it's the last straw. So because of the protests, the meeting with Elder Nelson was cancelled, and all of the missionaries have to spend the day inside their houses. It's for at least the day, but President told us to go shopping last night to stock up for a few days just in case. Who knows? I guess everything's not all fine-and-dandy when it comes to the world cup. But our zone leaders let us email at a member's apartment who lives in the same complex, so I'm grateful I still get to email you all.
Everything else has been going great here in Brazil. We're teaching about twice as many lessons as I was in California, and the people we meet and teach are incredible. The work moves so fast here! It's not uncommon for the missionaries to meet someone, and within two weeks they get baptized. The hardest part is making sure they stay active, which is why we're working a lot with the members to help find and teach. It's so much more effective! Both the members and non-members are ready and prepared to be a part of the work of salvation - you just have to ask! I still don't know all the members yet, but every week I get more and more comfortable with the language and all.Elder B. and I are doing great, no problems.
|Pictures of my apartment!!! We live on the top floor!!!|
|We only have a washer so we have to hang dry all our clothes|
|The only thing that works in our kitchen is the Fridge, microwave, and our George Forman grill.|
|Guess who sleeps on the top bunk. Yep me!!! Just like home!!|
|We are scrubbing our bathroom down today!!!|
|Guess which side is mine????|
Elder B. had a rough start with his trainer, and he's told me this is the best companionship he's had on his mission yet. This is the last week of the transfer too. I came in two weeks after it started (because of the CTM), and the CTM is having us cut our transfer a week early. Chances are one of us are leaving - we've been lucky to have an american companionship. We find out Sunday night if one of us is going, and then Tuesday morning is the actual swap. Monday is still our P-day, which will give us time to pack if we do get transferred. I find out Tuesday also who's companions with who and where they're going, so it's all kind of a surprise for everyone until Tuesday.
And I'll have you know that after 2196 pushups this last week, I'm 100% caught up!! Feels good doing only 140 a day instead of 400. I'm not gonna procrastinate that again...
Another crazy thing happened this week. We had hail!! And in some places, it stuck like snow!!! On Sunday after Church we were walking from our apartment to a member's house, when it started raining a little bit. There was a lot of thunder, so we speed-walked it all the way to the member. And then after 5 minutes of getting there, we had the biggest storm that I've ever seen in my whole life! I took a video of it all. We had heavy rain, heavy hail, heavy thunder, and heavy lighting all at once! Needless to say things got heavy. And that never happens here. At the chapel some of the ceiling panels broke because of all the precipitation resting on it. Things are just getting crazy here!!
Church was great. We saw one of the recent-converts walking in right when the meeting started, and when we asked where the rest of his family was, he told us he came all by himself. He's 10, and the only member in his family. 10!! He got dressed, walked all the way to Church at least a half hour away, and stayed for all 3 hours - by himself!!!!!! That's true faith right there.
|Before I gave myself a haircut for the first time|
|After!!! Not too bad!!|
Oh, and since I've got a lot of spare time today, I'll be writing a bunch of letters. And I've got pictures to send too today.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
It´s great being able to email you all just a couple days after we skyped. That was so great!! I´m really grateful we didn´t have any problems with that. And it was so good to hear that you´re all doing well.
Sorry if my English isn´t as good or if it all looks funky on the computer. I´m emailing from a LAN house. It´s like an Internet café where you pay like 5 reais for an hour and a half session. The Internet just got back up today after being out all afternoon. That´s why I´m emailing a little later than we normally would. Hope you haven´t been waiting all day at the computer.
Being in Brazil has been thee biggest change of lifestyle ever! Luckily I have an awesome and hilarious companion Elder B. to help me out. We´ve been working nonstop. Well, the only problem was that after a solid week of walking everywhere his toe got some infection. Lesson learned: that myth about wearing sandals in the shower is TRUE!! I´ll spare the details, but there was a lot of puss and skin. But it´s all good now. Elder B. has another appointment Thursday, and between now and then he has to wear Crocs to make sure his feet are ventilated. People normally stare at us anyways (and they have good reason to). Two Americans in white shirts and ties, one of which is wearing black Crocs! haha He calls them his ^fourth quarter shoes^.
The temple today was great!! Sao Paulo´s got a great little temple right smack in the city. Our session started at 9, but because traffic was so bad, we had to leave our apartment at 7. We barely made it in time because while traffic was backed up, we got out and speedwalked it all the rest of the way there. Walking around the Magic Kingdom for fastpasses was great practice. It was the first time I did a session completely in another language - it was so cool too!!! Super grateful for temples.
After the temple we went shopping at Walmart (yup, they´ve got em here too) and at a cheaper supermarket, then we started for the LAN house. We´ve been waiting here for over an hour for the Internet. Here´s some of the things I bought: lunch meat, cheese, bread, milk (in boxes), orange juice, and Hershey´s chocolate. We´ve made a lot of bus trips this week, way more than missionaries normally use. So I´ve had to use some of my money for bus fare.
On my first night here, the night Elder B. bought me a chocolate border pizza, we went shopping for some basic stuff I needed. I was looking for a plastic water bottle that I could carry around with me, and when I saw Elder B. putting one in his basket, I did too. Later that night, when I took a drink, my throat started to burn and I ran to the sink and threw up. I looked at the bottle (and it looks exactly like a cheap little bottle) and I recognized one word: lava, which means wash. I DRANK DISH SOAP!!! Luckily I drank that before the pizza and not after. I´ll have to get a picture with it so you all can see. This place even puts laundry soap in water bottles!! Where am I? haha
And B, just to let you know, I´ve only got 1600 pushups left before I´m all caught up. Next Monday I´ll have it! Are you doing the challenge too?
Elder B. and I are both learning a lot from each other, and we know we´re gonna keep seeing miracles in this area. We´re both not fluent, but it´s ok, because it makes us rely on the Lord all the time to speak and understand what our investigators need. I´m grateful for the gift of tongues, and it´s real!! The Lord has blessed me in so many ways, I can´t thank Him enough. I´m so grateful for my mission. I have grown and stretched a lot. I´m so grateful for my family - the gospel has blessed us so much. Skyping with you all was awesome!
I know I didn´t have as much time as we did in California to Skype, but thank you Mom for being the best. I´m grateful you´re my mom. You have and continue to help me become the person I am and want to be. You´re a wonderful example of Christlike love. I probably didn´t say this a lot back home, but I love you a lot Mom. Thank you, I´m grateful that I will always be your son, and you´ll always be my mother.
I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. I´m thinking about each of you a lot. I´ll be sending letters soon. We can only write letters on P-day, so I´ll have one sent off next Monday for sure.
Here´s my mission office´s address:
São Paulo West Mission
Rua: Eusebio De Souza
Bairro: Jardim Londrina no 121
São Paulo, Brazil
You can double-check online, but I´m pretty sure this is everything.
Love you all a lot,