Monday, December 28, 2015

Semana 15 (Happy New Year)

Hey guys.

This week has been pretty mellow, cause well it was christmas and everyone and their mom travels to the 4 corners of the earth so visiting people was a little tough. We did try though!

So first off Christmas Eve was pretty cool. It was deemed p-day by our mission president so we got to relax all day and then were invited to dinner with a member. It was fun to just talk to the people that were there, and the member's house is on the outskirts of town so we could see the whole sky like in a planetarium. And planetariums are cool, and things in real life are always cooler, so obviously it was super cool. AND we had churrasco (brasilian barbeque) to eat so how great is that.

Christmas Day we had lunch (more churrasco) and got to skype with our families! Always a good time. Then we went and spent some time with some recent converts, Lucas and João. All in all a pretty chill day.

Yesterday we went to church, and i love going to church cause everytime we do another miracle happens out of nowhere. Yesterday we actually had 2. First of all, there were lots of people we didnt know visiting family, so we couldnt really judge who was a member and who wasn't. But as we were sitting there in sacrament meeting, the guy behind us out of nowhere asked for our number and wants us to teach him and his girlfriend! Miracle 1. After sacrament meeting, another guy approached us and wanted to go on divisions with us, which is all cool and everything so we did. But later as we were talking to him it turns out he's moving into our ward and has this HUGE desire to do missionary work conosco cause he's a convert. His name is Regivaldo and he was a huge help in fellowshipping (make friends with) our pesquisadores (ahhh can't remember that word in english, but it's the people we teach), so now we have him to help us with our work too. Christmas miracles haha.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Happy new year! Make some resolutions and keep em!

-Elder Seaman

The only house that decorates for Christmas

Chocattone kind of like an Italian chocolate cake that super rad down here
Our Charlie Brown Christmas tree

Playing risk with some investigators

Artsy photo of the lake

Monday, December 14, 2015

Semana 13

I am pleased to announce that i have survived my first transfer in the field (this one was 7 weeks, a little strange) and, as my companion decided to make clear to me yesterday, i have finished 1/8 of my mission. Ugh, that's crazy to think about.

We've been travelling a lot lately, and it seems like every time we've tried to work something comes up or an appointment falls through etc. I guess that's part of being in the farthest city from the mission home. We did have a good zone meeting last week in Araçatuba, and this week (today actually) we have some missionaries dying, and we'll have 3 missionaries training in our zone, which means i'll no longer have the glory of being the newest missionary. what a shame. not really haha.

I also got the opportunity to do some divisions in Araçatuba, which was cool to work in another area with other missionaries, see how they work and teach, etc. For the first time in my mission i had to knock doors (well, clap my hands outside people's gates). It was, well, knocking doors. We just met a lot of people who were SUPER busy and didn't have time to talk to us haha.

We had a branch christmas party this week, which was pretty fun. We got to know our branch members a little better, and i got to hear Christmas music in English, which is far and few between down here. I do like our area though, so i'm glad ill be staying here for (at least) another 6 weeks. It seems like every week in church, we have new investigators as well. This week, a 17 year old guy just wandered in. Didn't know any members or anything. It was crazy. We'll be adding him to our list of people to teach this week. Things like this make me frustrated though, because we have SUCH a good area, but are hardly ever here to work. Hopefully now that it's a new transfer we'll have time to focus more on our investigators instead of 6 hour bus rides and what city we need to be in every day of the week.

Stay sweet,

Elder Seaman

Most of the zone

Elder Martins- zone leader who just went home

Monday, December 7, 2015

Semana 12


Things have been just swell in Três Lagoas. Miracles every day. Seriously though, little things. Like when you're walking down the street and someone pull onto the sidewalk on their motorcycle and tells you he talked to the missionaries 5 years ago and wants to again. What do you even say to that. "yes" i think is what came out of my mouth.

Our investigators are all doing quite well, and it seems like we hardly have to do anything to find new ones. They pretty much fall into our laps. In D&C 4 when it says the field is white, i'm pretty sure três lagoas is that field. I would think that everythign that happens is a coincidence, but after 6 weeks of coincidences yuo can kind of tell it's not so much that, as it is something bigger at work.

What's even more amazing though is seeing the healing power of the gospel in families and individuals. People who are broken and hopeless suddenly turn around and have direction in their lives. I just wish we had time to teach all the people we have, because the city is SO big.

Sorry i didnt have much time today, but know that things are great and the church is true haha


Elder Seaman

Our house

A main road

The Church of Brazil

The town Christmas Tree

The Daily Flood

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Semana 11

At least, i think it's semana 11. Time is kind of irrelevant here. Today i'm writing from Araçatuba because we had zone conference yesterday. So we bussed to araçatuba and spent the night, then to Rio preto, then back and tonight we'll go to Três lagoas, and then next week we have zone meeting in araçatuba, and then the next week we'll make the 10 hour trip to Ribeirão Preto for transfers. Awesome.

Zone conference was cool though. I got to meet lots of new missionaries and the mission president and his wife gave awesome talks. Oh that's another thing, we also just had interviews with the mission president in Andradina. Basically we haven't been home in a week, and i'm a little scared to return and find out i forgot a steak out on the counter or something and now there's a jaguar in my house. It'd be just my luck. But back to zone conference. We talked a lot about how we can help our investigators, and where we usualy fall short in getting them where they need to be. We also talked about repentance, and how it means change, and we often confuse it with suffering. The point was that suffering comes from a lack of repentace, because the suffering has already been suffered. By Christ, ya know? We also learned that faith grows through sacrifice (see luke 17:5-10 it's good). This is kind of tough cause let's be honest, who wants to sacrifice? It's god though, and we learn to love people through it, and i'e found i'm often happier after i've served someone or sacrificed for others. Especially my companion. Next time someone asks something of you or you see a need, try to fill it and see what happens.

Last week we also had divisions with our district leader and his companion. That means i got paired with Elder Sant, another American who only arrived 6 weeks before me. And we took on Três Lagoas. Just kidding, we just taught a lesson. But it was the Plan of salvation, which if you didn't know is the most complex and can bring up the most concerns. But we taught the whole thing in Portuguese and could understand everything our investigator, André, said or asked. It was amazing. Definitely chalk it up to the gift of tongues cause 5 minutes before when i asked some guy on the road the name of the street i couldn't understand anything he said haha. Ever since that lessn though, it's like something clicked with the language and i'ts improved a lot. An elder even told me at zone conference that he thought i was brasileiro when he heard me spoke cause i spoke sem sotaque (without an accent). Honestly it depends on the day but i'm feeling pretty good about it. Still praying for that gift of tongues every day though.

I guess last week was thanksgiving? I had a turkey sandwhich, so that counts. One thing i have been quite disappointed with is the lack of cherished american christmas traditions here. I shouldnt be surprised though, but i did have to explain the story of rudolph the red nosed reindeer the other day. And the names of all the other reindeer, cause that's simply not a thing here.

Otherwise, i'm surviving in the ever increasing heat here. I think the rain keeps it a little cooler, cause it goes 0-hurricane in 10 seconds here just about every day. Once we were walking and we passed a store with open doors and i thought i felt the air conditioning from inside, but then a half a block later i still felt 20 degrees cooler, and it turned out it was just from the approaching storm. The weather is awesome here.

Stay sweet,
Elder Seaman