Thursday, January 24, 2008

when it rains it pours...

that’s not at all to say that things are bad here- just that it rains A LOT!! it is pretty much always raining and i like it! :-)

so yep, i am starting to get over the sadness that comes with transfers. last week we had a zone conference, and i saw the sisters that are in my old area now. i asked them about all my old investigators and they gave me bad news and more bad news. i felt sad, because i really had learned to love those people and now there are two new missionaries there that really are just looking at the teaching record that we left. so, after that (it was kind of like "closure" for me) i started the healing process. having a lot of good investigators here helps a lot.

so, in other news i STILL haven’t received those packages. actually, at zone conference i came close to not getting ANYTHING. luckily, i got a letter from another missionary that went home. he told the story of all the surgery he had to get... other than the thin-ness of the letters, zone conference was awesome. i was really far away- we were on a van at 4 AM and the van got us home at 8pm. the van ride was like 5 hours and the conference was worth it. we learned how to extend better commitments and help people keep them. in the way of new cool investigators we have got these three teenagers that we are teaching. they are between 15 and 17 and live pretty close to each other. we found them when we got an address from one of them in the street one day, then like a week later we passed by there and he had his two friends over playing video games. so, we asked them if they’d like to hear a message too. they accepted. now we have taught them a few times and they are cool guys. they are all reading and praying. and the coolest part is that when we read together- THEY UNDERSTAND!! it is SOO cool. usually we have to explain EVERTHING to our investigators. no wonder most of the them don’t read the bible- they don’t understand it. so of course they believe whatever their pastors tell them the interpretation is. they seem to think the pastors have the secret decoder for the bible, to make it mean what they want. anyway, these three really read and understand- and they come up with tough questions. i LOVE IT. investigators that ask questions are the best.

as for my new comp- he is cool. like all people, he is pretty weird about some things, but hey- he is brazilian : ) we get along good, and i really love teaching with him. he is a good teacher because he teaches so sincerely. today, i think that we are going to watch a movie and clean the house- pday favs.

alyce: sounds like alyce it going crazy at school! awesome! good luck with the car situation...

mom- teacher of the year, huh. That’s cool! i guess that’s what happens when you move to just one school : )

dad- this week i got something for you: the other week i was at church and it was a fast sunday, right. and i was sitting there enjoying the testimonies. then one person, tells their conversion story. well, in a ward of converts, with almost nobody that was born in the church, soon everyone was telling part of their "conversion story" as a part of the testimony. it was AWESOME!! you will never know how proud i am to say that my father is a convert. so... i was wondering if you could sort of write me YOUR "story". you know, like your experience with the missionaries and how you felt at church, and what helped you know it was true. (if you could do that in a paper letter, so i could have it, that would also be great) also, for you dad> i thought that you'd like to know that our ringer on our cell phone that is the alarm to wake up in the morning is.. get this.... the outfield! "i don’t want to lose your love, tonight". funny, huh! i don’t know who put it on our phone, but i thought of you.

sorry, the letter isn’t huge, but i am tired and not thinking my A-game right now. also, this computer doesn’t seem to like my camera, so pics of the apartment next week.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


(that is actually something that the people say here that is a funny change from rio. “oh-why”!)

Howdy dudes and dudettes!

Sorry about the lame letter last week, I was really rushed to type and stuff. So the news is that I am now in minas gerias [another state]. I am just now getting un-lost. We spent the first few days teaching and meeting the old investigators, we have several awesome ones here that are ready for baptism. Elder Pereira was in this area last transfer so he knows that investigators. The problem is that he doesn’t always know where they live. He was here for 6 weeks, but he didn’t learn the streets all that well, so we are learning together. Our area is pretty much just hill. Big hills. Lots of them. Correas had hills, but this… this is different. Really, everything here is built on a steep hill. Actually, I like it.

Now for a little that I learned about my companion this week. His name is moroni, which is to say that he was born in the church. If you ask him where he is from he will say that he is from santa catarina (or something like that- somewhere in the sul) but the truth is that he is from here… rio. He only lived in santa catarina for like 9 months or something, his parents actually live in Niteroi (part of RIO capital). I guess that is just inside the north rio mission. This is his 3 transfer, and he is a great teacher. Now we are finding new investigators to teach, and it is really cool.

Speaking of the new ones- we found a guy named Ruan. He is this 24 to 28 year old man. He has longhair and a few tattoos. His living room had a few movie posters hung up in it.(pirates III and homen aranha III :-) ) We taught this AWESOME lesson to him and he was REALLY exited about the message. Before we even extended any commitments for him to pray to know, he said, “Man, if this book, and this story were true, it would really change my life.”(more-or-less translation) needless to say that he accepted all the commitments to read pray and come to church. Then at the end of the lesson we were trying to schedule a return appointment, and he was telling us about his work schedule. Then he was like, “you guys will think this is pretty funny. … I work as a “show-man”!! Now the word he used in Portuguese was “showman”, and I didn’t know what that meant, and neither apparently did my comp. so elder Pereira asked, and he was like, “uh hang on, I’ll show you”, and then went to the other room. I was thinking that he told us he was a stripper or something, and that is what e. Pereira thought too. We were about to get up and run out the door, when he came back with photo albums. We looked at them and it turns out he is like a clown. A bar-clown. He juggles bottles and blows fire and stuff. It came as such a relief - but that is like something that we can definitely work around.

So that is it for this week. I do miss elder everton. Next week I will have to attach the funniest movie of his first (second actually) bubbly gum bubble. But me and elder Pereira are doing awesome.

Alyce- awesome- byu, hein! LEGAL!! AND WHAT- you killed my car! NOT COOL

Mom-boa sorte com [good luck with] Future City. I’ll pray that the end comes quickly :-)

Dad- you are not a loser face. You’re a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins! :-)

Logan- um feliz aniversario, é o que desejamos pra você. Nossa homenagem aqui via, feliz aniversario pra você! (Musica da missão. Nos contamos pra todas os missionários) [Happy 1st Birthday Greeting!]
Old Comp
New CompNew Area?

New Area?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

is it senhor or senior... either way i guess...

well, that’s the big news- i am now a senior companion! i got transferred out of correas to this area called bairu in juis de fora. my junior is this new brazilian missionary that, too, doesn’t speak ANY english. it feels weird to be senior to this other missionary , when i only have a transfer or two more than him on the mission. so here we are two newbies lost in juiz de fora! :) yeah, that came as quite the surprise in transfer meeting when president called that out. i was like, "oh-no, this is not funny." all of the other guys that were in my ctm district came to me afterwards and made fun of me. of the 12 of us now, 2 of us are seniors and one went home for health problems. now about my new comp. : his name is elder peirera (or something like that) i can’t really remember where he is from or anything. we have only been together less that a day. i do remember that his first name is moroni! my new apartment is cool, pretty big. the problem is that all my clothes are dirty because i didn’t do any before that move.

well, sorry, i don’t have much time to write today, i will write more next week.
love elder helland

ps. thx jay for the letter- foi a unica! i got the package from gma jones, thx!! i haven’t mailed in forever- i will try to do it this week!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

feliz ano novo!

Whoa- happy 2008 to you guys too! Just so you know, it was 2008 here FIRST! Ha ha! Actually, it was a pretty long night. I just wanted to sleep like regular, because walking all day up and down mountains makes me tired. BUT, a certain brazilian that lives with me was excited pra caramba for the new year. So, 10:30 rolled around and i hit the hay, only to be awoken at 11:30, because he wanted to go out and see the fireworks. He finally got me out of bed and we got downstairs to see the explosions. I noted that there is a BIG difference in the fireworks THERE (USA) and HERE. There, they have selected places that professionals light big fireworks. Here, they sell those things to the public and everyone does their own from the roof of their house. IT WAS SO LOUD!!! Explosions EVERYWHERE! So this went on for about an hour and i was asleep again by 12:30. So that was it for new year, other than that it was a regular day. (well, actually, there were A LOT more drunks that usual, those guys are a bunch of fun!)

As far as new investigators go- we are teaching this english teacher and her father. she came to church this last Sunday, and it was pretty good. Our stake president came and took the Sunday school to tour the new chapel, so she got to see it. (the new chapel is awesome- i will have to send pictures!(next week, if i don’t get transferred) the only bad thing was that we have this crazy old woman in our ward that decided to talk to her the whole time on the tour. This wacky lady was talking about all kinds of stuff. When i found them, she was talking about the temple- to our BRAND NEW investigator! I interrupted and tried to steer the conversation to something more suitable. Later i came back, and she was talking about excommunication. I was like: “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” So i hope that this doesn’t affect our investigator in a bad way. I think that we are going to start giving lessons to the members after lunch about how to talk to investigators and nonmembers. Algums sao sem jeito!

Now replies:
Alyce: you looked gorgeous in those fotos! And that jacket was pretty sweet!

Mom: no packages yet, but maybe i should sent the thank yous anyway :-) loved talking to you too. It was the most fun i have had on a p-day!

Dad: my little skiing boy! Sounds like you guys had fun. Yup, you’ll have to take me when i get home! (snowboarding?:) )

Love elder helland

E-mail from Elder Everton:

hi helland family thank you for the gifts . i liked them a lot. i saw your picture in colorado and it was very beautiful. now i´m so close to finish my mission ´cause now i´m in my last week but it was very good work with elder helland .he´s a good missionary. he´s close to kill me . so feliz ano novo

elder everton

happy holidays - 12-26-07

E-mail sent 12-26-07 - Sorry it's taken SOOO long for me to post this! :-)

all of you guys sounded exhausted and sad that christmas was over. To be honest- i hardly saw it coming, and it was here so fast, that things are just back to normal again. I think that the video is of our ward party last week, so that is our ward. Then some pictures of my area.

Well, like you know, we were at my bishop’s house for christmas lunch. It was good, but by that time i was still filled from churrasco the night before. So we ate enough to be polite. (which in brasil is TWO PLATES FULL- i thought i would explode. Any less than two plates means that you didn’t like the food, i guess, because they ALWAYS say, “pega mais elder, pega mais... voce gostou? Entao, come mais!” (take more, take more, you liked it right?, then eat more.) it is one of those tricky situations that we have EVERYDAY and is why i will probably come home fat. :-)

Anyway, after lunch, elder everton REALLY REALLY has been wanting to go to this “waterfall” in our area. I didn’t want to go because there are always people swimming there, and swimming in brazil means brazilian swimsuits- which are DISGUSTING- both for the men and women. Also, it would mean a long bus ride, and i wanted to write a few letters during p-day. Well, i relented, as a part of the “learning to love my brother as myself” campaign for this week. So we went. We got way out there, and all the other people got off the bus. Elder everton asks the bus driver if this is it. He says, YEP, this is it. So we get off. And there it is, the anticipated ... creek. It is this little river that runs over the rocks: think slide rock. So here we are. We look at it for 3 or 4 minutes and decide that this was a waste of time and money. I take a few pictures to record the lameness of the trip, and then we return to the bus stop. All this takes place in about 20 min tops. We didn’t know the bus schedule there, and it turns out the it only comes EVERY TWO HOURS. So we waited FOREVER (1.5 hrs) , before we gave up and started walking home. The walk would be about 2 hours. We got to the next city and started to wait for the bus there, hoping that it ran more frequently. Then this purple van stops in front of us and asks if we want a ride to Correas. “Uhmmm, sure.” So we get in and the man says: do you remember me? “uhmmm, yeah...” he looked familiar, but the answer should have been no. Turns out he was just this contact we made one day, and somehow he recognized us in “civilian” clothes. So, we got a free ride home, and got home much faster.

So I included a picture of this place, it really wasn’t all that lame, but seeing as how we can’t swim, just look, it got old fast.

Mom- about charity. I don’t really think there is a secret. I have to study something different everyday to help me with Elder E. One thing that helped me this week was a couple of entries in true to the faith. (see adversity and charity) the article on adversity really helps a lot. But the truth is that like Cap. Moroni, the same tactic doesn’t win every battle. You’ve got to be creative and have something new everyday to win. “The only thing that is constant is trust in God” really, read the article, i really liked it.

Dad- thanks for the thoughtfulness, and not getting me sick. Sick as a missionary would be miserable. Remember, no TV, comfy couch, ice cream for me. Tell, grampa to “get better!” for me. .... i also sent them a letter, i hope they get it soon.

Police- WHAT!!!!!!!!!! Skiing?! AWESOME! Have fun with that. Take pictures and now you can SEND ME some.

Well, i loved talking to guys yesterday; it was a bunch of fun. I didn’t really get trunky at all. Well, i got to go, but i will write a little more later today

Love elder helland

Adam’s e-mail to Pres. Brinton
Merry Christmas!
president, thank you SO MUCH for the help and support during interviews. it really helped a lot to feel the spirit there testify to me that whatever the trial is, it is for my good. (d&c 122:5-7) one thing that i studied the next day in personal study, that has helped me a lot in working with elder everton, was the article in "true to the faith" under adversity. [smile], i know that sounds a little severe, but it really, REALLY helped. it had five questions to ask myself whenever i felt down or stressed because of our companionship. the truth is that things have gotten harder since then, and without the strength that i felt with you and in personal study, it would be tougher. elder everton thinks that the end of his mission means obedience isn’t important, but i am working with him to be more obedient. i am also working with our new district leader, elder wilson. (who, by the way, is AWESOME)

anyway, thanks for the help, love, and prayers. I AM SO HAPPY to be a missionary, and this happiness comes because i am in the service of others, and NOT because of exterior conditions. you told me to do ALL that i can do to have the spirit with me ALWAYS, and it has changed my perspective and helped me a lot. now i have TWO constant companions. (D&C 123:...the last verse, i think, really was great. so was that part about, "waste and wear out our lives")

love elder helland

This is the waterfall they visited:
This must be Petropolis

The second counselor's little girl - they spent Christmas Eve as their home