Friday, December 11, 2015

Sao Francisco de Paula - Week 14

December 7, 2015

FELIZ NATAL (Merry Christmas!)

Sorry i have to rush today, the internet houses were all closed for the greater part of the day and Time for emailing is about to end! 

But this week was great! the pesquisador i talked about last week is doing really good! she asks a ton of questions and we get to talk with her a lot. there is always room for the spirit in her house.  here is some news! she told us she wants to get baptized! the problem is she lives in the same house as her boyfriend and because of this she has to be legally married before she gets baptized. but that is no problem for her! she has a super open heart and is willing to do everything we invite her to. but i think the best moment teaching her was when she started to understand that Heavenly Father loves her, shes starting to really rely on prayer to receive help and answers in her life. the change is both exciting and wonderful to see in her! i can´t wait to continue teaching her!

i´m really starting to get portuguese under my feet. i understand almost everything everyone is saying, with the lack of a few words. but my problem for now is being more certain with conjugations. if you don´t know about conjugations, just leave them be, they´re really hard for us english speakers...
but i really love portuguese! i´t´s really beautiful! 

i´m also really excited for christmas but i´ll talk more about that in my next email

Elder John D. Scarlett

Sao Francisco de Paula - Week 13

November 30, 2015

This week was my first week with my new comp. Elder Fávaro. it was totally awesome. 

My new companion is pretty cool. He´s from a state in Brazil called Mato Grosso do Sul. he learned a lot of english through video games (who knew video games could b good for something?) and is a real channel for the Holy Ghost at times. 

My Zone
We had a few really cool experiences this wee, but i only have time for one. I wrote it in Portuguese first, then channeled it through google translate to english (google translate is really bad...) and edited a few things so it would make more sense in english. but here it is!

a primeiro dia dessa transferência foi bem-ligal, nos visitamos quase todas as pessoas nos conhecemos em uma bajo. na fim do dia nos passamos a casa do irma Silvia. ela tem basicamente 5 filhos em a casa dela. com uma filha, ela teve uma experiencia mal com a igreja e as missionários, mas ela gostou de nos e deixa nos entrar. nos começamos falando com eles e logo depois ela começo falando sobre a experiencia dela com as missionários e a família dela. ela falou sobre essa experiencia, também que ela esta pensando sobre a igreja, o que A Igreja de Cristo deve ser, e tudo foi coisas certas. nos só escutou. uma filha dela começo falando sobre algumas dessas coisas e também falou sobre algumas experiencias mal na vida dele e preguntou sobre algumas coisas como assim. nos damos elas escrituras e explicou um poco, mas muito do tempo la, fomos escutando para entender a situação delas. nos ficamos la para mais ou menos 2:30 até 3 horas, só escutando. eu nunca sentiu sentimento como eu sentiu naquela casa. O Espirito foi tão forte, ele falou conosco exatamente que eles precisam. nos sabemos exatamente que nos precisamos compartilhar com eles. foi tão ligal. mas para mim, o coisa que foi o mais especial para mim foi que O Espirito fez em minha coração. ele testificou para mim que essas pessoas foi amado filhos e filhas do nosso Pai Celestial. eu nunca sentiu uma amor para uma pessoa como assim! foi tão forte e sem descrição dos palavras.

essa experiencia deixa mim com uma testemunho bem-fortalecido que eu sei todos nos são filhos de Deus, e que ele amo todos nos mais do que nos podemos pensar.
Branch Service Project

Making Pudin (pronounced poo-geen)
the first day of this transfer was pretty cool, we visited almost every person we know in a neighborhood. the end of the day we spent in the home of sister Silvia. she basically has 5 children in her home. one of her daughters had a bad experience with the church and the missionaries, but she liked us and let us in. we began talking to them and soon after she started talking about her experience with the missionaries and her family and also about the church - what Christ's Church should be, and everything she said was correct. we just listened. one of her daughters started talking about some of these things and also talked about some bad experiences in her life and asked about some things as well. we shared some scriptures with them and explained some things a little, but much of the time, we were just listening to understand their situation. we stayed there for about 2:30 to 3 hours, just listening. I never felt a feeling like I felt in that house. The Spirit was so strong, he told us exactly what they need. we knew exactly what we needed to share with them. It was so cool. but for me, the thing that was the most special was what the Spirit did in my heart. he testified to me that these people were beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. I never felt a love for a person as was this love! It was so strong, and indescribable.

this experience left me with a well-fortified testimony, that I know all of us are children of God, and that he love all of us more than we can even imagine.

Don´t have much time for more, but i love you guys!
hope a good week for ya´ll!
thanksgiving stories would be appreciated!

tudo bem em Brazil

Elder John D. Scarlett

Mate - herbal drink in special mate mug

Sao Francisco de Paula - Week 12

November 23, 2015

How great is the work of a missionary!

this is the last week of the transfer and it felt super long! but what miracles we´ve witnessed here in São Chico!

First off, last week and the start of this week were both slow and filled to the brim with work to do. As missionaries we often have to take inventories about the people we´re teaching and decide if they´re progressing or not. at the beginning of this week. I´ll be honest in saying i was losing  little bit of hope, but in this work, you don´t dwell on feelings like that, you just work with the knowledge that after all your work, Heavenly Father will make sure the rest is taken care of, and that is what gives you hope to continue working! 
How great a hope is that!

After that slow period at the beginning of this week, thinks picked up, and people were place in our way like i never thought was possible!

for example. we visited one of our pesquisadores who is the mom of a recent convert. she has a lot of faith and belief, but she struggles to keep the commandments. we set a goal with her the previous visit to help her keep the word of wisdom by asking her to smoke about an 1/8 less than she usually did. she accepted the goal and really had a desire to meet the goal when we left on the previous visit. this visit we followed up with her and she cut back her smoking by a factor of 1/2! i was blown away and super excited! yeah, she was still smoking, but she took it upon herself to meet our goal and then some!
I love seeing people progress!

Another miracle happened Sunday. after the first two hours of classes, we were waiting to start up the sacrament meeting and one of the sisters started talking with Elder Goulart while we were talking with Presidente Nunes. Turns our this Sister wasn´t a member like we had always thought. she always came to church and participated in the meetings, but she wasn´t baptized. so she ended up talking with all of us and she said she wanted to talk with the missionaries again and be baptized. Holy Goodness, things like that don´t happen in my dreams! This Sister was practically already a member. we were super excited to hear she wanted to take the next step and be baptized! i´m still marveling over this!

These are just two of the miracles we´ve witnessed this week. the Branch is really starting to mobilized and work with the missionaries. families are coming back to church. people are witnessing honest to goodness miracles in their lives!  How great is the work of a missionary!  The lesson from this is simple. This isn´t my work. it´s not the work of a missionary. we´re just the witnesses. This is the work of our Heavenly Father. his hand is in every part, whether those parts are slow and seemingly hopeless or filled with miracles arriving one after another. 

I´m extremely grateful and happy to be able to put my hands and heart into this work, but more than that i´m humbled by the opportunity i have to really see the Lord at work, changing the hearts of men in even this smallest part of the globe.

I love you guys a ton
Keep an eye out for the miracles!
Tudo Bem em Brazil

Elder John D. Scarlett

Sao Francisco de Paula - Week 11

November 16, 2015

This week was bem-bom (very good)!! and jam-packed with experiences of all kinds!

First off this week was really slow with work. for some reason these two past weeks are the weeks São Chico decided to gang up against us and not answer the doors when we clapped!
But for serious.
We returned to our area after a district conference on tuesday and spent almost the entire day just walking around trying to get into a house! i think we tried 13 houses without entering a single one! foi bem-estranho!

but that was mostly just tuesday. I've had a lot of fun working this week!

for example.
We have a couple fans her in São Chico, my favorite is a woman named Zelha. she´s probably 70+ years old and she loves the missionaries! shes not a member and the missionaries have never had the opportunity to visit her and share the messages with her, she just loves to see us on the street! she´ll stop us and talk with us about how she has new music, how she´s looking out for some cute gaúcho girls for us. she´s a riot! and i love seeing her on the street!

Also a couple weeks back we were int he church and we heard someone knock at the door. when we answered it was a semi-drunk homeless guy and he asked us for some blankets so he could keep warm. we didn´t have any in the church so we gave his some trash bags. he was super grateful but we felt a little bad because we didn´t have more to give him. so Elder Gardener ended up taking the sweater off his back and giving it to the man! The man was ecstatic! Now every time he sees us un the street he makes a point of talking to us and telling us how grateful he is! it gives we warm fuzzies!

so i found out i´m super inventive! i found out that if you clear out the inside of a roll save but a little bit of the bread and pour in hot quasi-maple syrup you can slowly eat the maple that drips out the bottom and it tastes almost like pancakes and maple! haha, i took a photo of my discovery, but i can´t send it through this computer so i´ll try to send it another time!

missions are great! i love it here so much!
i love all of you guys too!
keep on keeping on and i´ll update you all next week!

Tudo Bem em Brazil!

Elder John D. Scarlett

Sao Francisco de Paula - Week 10

November 9, 2015

Essa semana foi bom!
(This week was great!)

I feel very lucky in this area, i have everything i need to stay healthy and work unhindered because of a lack of something. The streets here are almost all rough hewn cobblestone which wreaks havoc on shoes and feet, but my shoes are amazing so my feet stay healthy. 

The weather here in São Chico stays wet. there is a lot of rain and many days a sinister mist blows in making it so you can barely see anything and everything stays wet! it´s very interesting! mornings are cold and it will generally stay cold throughout the day too. but i like the cold.  so i usually will wear a short-sleeve shirt. everyone here thinks i´m unnatural because of it too! here i´m know as the american who doesn´t feel cold, haha!

The Branch here in São Chico is small, really small! some Sundays we´ll have 40 people or less attend sacrament meetings! we don´t have a chapel here, so the church is renting the house of a doctor who died of cancer a few years back. it´s big enough for all the functions of a normal sunday here, but it´s still tiny! honestly i think it´s super cool!

Right now Brazil is having some problems with government, i think it has something to do with payment of workers or something like that, but i really don´t know exactly is going on. anyways people are starting to protest. although São Chico is tiny, people are staring to protest here too. This past sunday as a form of protest all the truckdrivers in São Chico drove thre trucks to the Center (or main street) and started driving nice and slowly honking their horns the whole way down the street! it was super loud and annoying! and right in the middle of Church! 
yeah, so that happened! 

But the branch here, although small, is amazing! The leaders here try to have an activity for the young mean and young women every saturday! they were going to go camping this week, but it was super cold so they ended up canceling. but instead of leaving saturday without an activity, they decided to do a service project. thy planted flowers in the front of the building and cut the lawn out back! it doesn´t sound like much, but the lawn is a monster! when they finished there was a pile of grass in the back corner of the church lot a foot taller than the tallest guy there! tons of grass! but what really impressed me is that a ton of the youth and the ward showed up just for the service of cutting the lawn! the people here are awesome!

We also started an english class here, so after the service project some of the people stayed and we taught them some phrases and the alphabet in english! it´s super fun and at time hilarious hearing the funny ways the Brazilians pronounce our english words!

Everything is going well out here!
Tudo Bem em Brazil!

Love you guys bunches
Te amo muito

Elder John D. Scarlett

Sao Francisco de Paula - Week 9

November 2, 2015

Hey guys! Like always this email will only be the highlights, as i a m still slacking a bit on memory and i´m still trying to start up my journal writing, but tudo bem! (all is well!)

I have very interesting companions! they both used to wrestle back in the day, one was actually almost a state champ! but anyways, us all being in the same house and all has ignited their desires to once again start wrestling! haha, it´s a total mess, they knock chairs over and papers will fly of tables at times! much flailing! but it´s incredibly funny because it´s never a fair fight, not because one is so much better than the other, but because on is super ticklish! he is ticklish like I've never imagined! one touch and he is immediately flailing on the floor hardly breathing! so in all actuality, these wrestling matches are more like tickle fights! all normal in the life of the missionary!

So i´m learning how to cook! Right not i can make a mean pastel! (one of the easiest things to make out here) but i´m learning how to cook right and beans (also easy) and pudin (little less easy) which is pronounced poo-geen. people out here love the american pancakes and will definitely love american chocolate chip cookies, if we could the the recipe right just once!

Anyways, sorry for the short email, i´m still getting better!
 But that all i have time for this week!
love you all!
Tudo Bem em Brazil!

Elder John D. Scarlett