Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Semana 10


Hello. This week has been one of my favorites so far. First and foremost, we had a baptism. Our investigator, Reginaldo, got to take the first step closer to Christ and honeslty i've never seen anyone happier. Like a kid in a candy store this guy. The elders from Androgina had a baptism too, so they came and used our building cause we're the closest chapel to them. I got to baptize Reginaldo and he thanked me profusely afterwards haha. His testimony is rock solid, and he's so humble and willing to learn. Love that guy.

We also had the opportunity to attend an english class a member of our branch teaches. It was so funny haha. When everyone found out i'm american they tensed up and didn't want to speak english in front of me. Eventually they got up the courage, and i would say in portuguese what they would practice in english. It was pretty fun, and we're going again tomorrow. The idea is to find investigators there, so we're working on befriending the class.

Twice this week we've been lectured by older religious guys we've met in the street. It can be pretty funny, but it also kind of wastes our time cause they don't really listen to what they say... or to what they're saying either haha. Yesterday an old catholic guy told us we were reincarnations of a holy person in another life, and kind of rambled on and made us an hour late for our lunch haha. He was also blasting some portuguese rendition of the beach boys in the background, which made it hard to hear what he was saying.

Elder Aguirra and I are getting along pretty great with our work. It's helpful that he speaks a decent amount of english, cause i can ask him about concepts or phrases in portuguese and he can explain or clear up anything i can't really wrap my mind around. It also allows me to make all my mistakes in portuguese with him, rather than in public, which is way less embarassing. For example, we were making cookies last p-day (brazilians LOVE cookies) and Elder Aguirra was pouring flour. There's 2 words, bastante and basta which more or less mean "enough." The difference is bastante can mean more when someone is pouring something and basta means no more. Well one thing lead to another and lets just say we made a lot of cookies.

Otherwise, we're out here working, walking for 4+ hours a day, getting tan (burnt), and saving souls. Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. Hope all is well up north.

Stay sweet,
Elder Seaman

Top row left to right is Elder(s) Sant, Digiogio, Aguirra. 
Below is Elder(s) Araujo, Beneton, and Seaman.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Semana 9

Família e amigos,

I hope you guys are all doing well. Things here in Três Lagoas are as strange and wonderful as ever. At the start of the week we had zone conference in Araçatuba, which meant getting to go by my new FAVORITE means of travel, the bus. And i say that half sarcastically half not, because it's really not that bad. We just do it all the time. But that was fun, and it was cool cause i could understand the whole 3 hours of brazilians talking. Afterwards, though, the zone leaders tried talking to me and i couldnt understand what they were saying. Sometimes the gift of tongues comes and goes. Your mind literally feels like it's been exercising after listening to another language for too long haha. But my ability to understand definitely depends on how tired i am, how hungry i am, and my mood. Probably also true for a lot of things.

In the way of miracles, we're never short of them here. We received a list of referalls from Salt Lake (apparently people actually ask to have the missionaries visit them...crazy) that we were going through. One was literally at the very edge of the city limits, that had apparently been tried before twice, but the house could never be found. Perchance, as we were walking down the highway looking for the house number (a little hopelessly) some guy pulled over and asked what we were looking for. What are the odds that his parents and uncle are members, so he recognized us as missionaries, AND that he happened to have an apt knowledge of the area and took us to our appointment. THEN when we met our investigator, he was stoked to see us, and had a grocery list of questions for us to answer. This guy was sitting on the edge of his seat the whole time we talked to him, trying to make sure he heard and understood every word we said, even through the motorcycles passing by, dogs barking, and the thunder... thundering (we dont really have a verb for this, but in português we do). It was awesome. It's always really cool to see the joy that comes to peoples lives when they hear our message and realize its what theyve been looking for. At the same time, it really sucks when they hear it, understand it, and reject it. But, such is life.

Otherwise, things are same old same old. By that i mean i wake up everyday to cats in the house, later slay some cockroaches (i hate those things by the way. I'm pretty sure they report directly to satan himself. the worst is when they can fly. who's idea was that?), later get asked if i'm american (occasionally people will just shout whatever they know in english to me), and sometimes get stuck in thunderstorms on the opposite side of the city from home. Oh, and it's getting so hot now. The other night i couldnt fall asleep it was so hot. It started raining and i just left my window open until i was sufficiently soaked and cooled off. It was great.

Stay sweet,

Elder Seaman

Monday, November 9, 2015

Semana 8

Tudo bem amigos,

Esta semana was filled with... well, excitement i guess you could say. I've renamed this city Três Lagoas e Um Rio, because every time it rains the roads become a river. And it's rained nearly every day. Our house flooded again last night, and we lost power. the whole city did actually. lose power that is. So in the middle of the night i woke up to all the alarms going off because the electric fences that top most of the gates/walls didn't have power. 'twas the worst thing i've ever heard at 3:00 am. And then i woke up to a stray cat in the house. Such is life.

The work is going great here. The member throw references at us like it's going out of style. Two days ago, we visited a man named Reginaldo. This guy is amazing. Seriously. He found a book of mormon at work, all wet and tattered, and started reading it. Then he met a coworker who was mormon. He said none of his other coworkers ever talked about their religion or beliefs or wanted to share anything, but this guy did (hint hint, TELL YOUR FRIENDS). So he came to church one day, loved it, and wanted to talk to us (the missionaries). We visited this guy in his humble little home with his wife, and he was happier than a kid in a candy store. He literally couldnt sit still because he was so excited about our message. He told us about how, for his whole life, he had been searching and searching and didn't find God or truth in any other church. He also told us he didnt believe that other churches baptize correctly. This went on for about 10 minutes, before we even started teaching him. Imagine how thrilled we were. I've never seen faith like this guy has. He came to church yesterday, and plans to be baptized in 2 weeks. Ah, i've never been happier than when i was in this guys house. People are so humble and willing to learn it blows my mind. When Christ talks about becoming as little children in the scriptures, this is it.

Other than missionary work, we do try to have some fun. We've had a couple run ins with wild animals this week. Apparently there are scorpions here that stink rather than use venom, which we didnt figure out until, well after the stink. I also had my first run in with Capybaurus Rex, a remnant left over from when giant rodents ruled the earth. I'll send pictures. One of my favorite things to do is give kids here war heads. they dont really have sour candy down here, so its the greatest and worst thing they've ever tried. I also try to over play the american who doesnt understand card. Sometimes, i'll nod and act like i understood what they said andthen reach into my pocket and hand them a couple centavos haha. They usually just look at the couple of coins and then back at me confusedly and try to reexplain, but i get a kick out of it.

Anyways. Hope you guys are doing well. Probably a little colder than i am, but probably dryer too. Help the missionaries, help your friends, help strangers, just be Christlike.

Love you bye!
Elder Seaman

Monday, November 2, 2015

Semana 7

I don't even know where to begin. This past week has been the strangest and most exciting of my life. Ever. Tuesday morning we flew out of São Paulo at 6:30 to Ribeirão Preto. We arrived and President Brum, our mission president, and his wife Sister Brum, were waiting for us. We all went to the mission home and got briefed for the mission field and got our companions. My companion's name is Elder Aguirra. He's from southern Brazil. He speaks a decent amount of English, and is a great missionary. The city we are in, Três Lagoas, is the farthest from the mission home. We spent the night at the Assistants to the presidents apartment, and left the next day with some sisters for the 10 hour bus ride to our area. We are actually in a different state than everyone else in our mission, and a different time zone. So for all those wondering, were on the same clock as the east coast in the US.

The weirdest and most confusing thing for me has been the language. Day 1 in the field, i understood nothing, but it has progressively gotten better and now i understand 80-90% of what i hear throughout the day. It's crazy. Wordsjust come out of my mouth, that i don't even know half the time. I'm by no means fluent, but I'm just saying the gift of tongues is a real thing brothers and sisters.

On another subject, the food here is the bomb.com. We get lunches every day from members, and it's always meat. usually steak. Oh my gosh it's so good. I don't know if I'll be able to be satisfied with food in the US when i get back.

Since I've arrived, there's been all kinds of adventures. I'm afraid that the rest of my mission will either be crazy because of how odd it's been, or super underwhelming cause it's been loco right off the bat. For example, day 2 it rained. Not super bad, but bad enough. We had been home for the night for about 30 minutes, when i heard what sounded like a waterfall in the kitchen. Water was pouring our from the light. for about 30 minutes we were trying to catch it and get it out of the house. Apparently that had never happened before. Just my luck haha. If i had more time I'd write more, but I'm sure better stories will come.

Little miracles happen here everyday. I don't know how, but my companion is definitely inspired by God. No matter how many times i try to contact people and share with them, it's always no, but we'll just be walking down the street and he'll go out of his way to talk to someone, and it'll turn out their wife is LDS or that they had been searching for a church or something and boom we set up an appointment and we have someone to teach. Hopefully one day I'll be missionarying at that level.

Remember, the church is true. I've seen it so much here, even in just 1 week.

Stay sweet,
Elder Seaman