Wednesday, March 26, 2008

is is gnarly awesome or knarly awesome?

Or, for that matter, narley awesome? they all look funny, but the only one that feels cool is the first. actually, i think that is the only one that is a real word. anyway, the question came up during language study the other day. (of course, we were studying english) turns out that english is built upon very few rules- many of which are full of exceptions to the rule. i have learned that, as far as english goes, the exception IS the rule.

this week was awesome, no matter how you spell "gnarly"; that is to say, we worked our tails off and it rained all over us. the families that we teach love us, BUT they have got a lot of obstacles to overcome. right now we are looking for more families to teach.

before i run out of time to tell it, let me tell the story of the missionary
angel: AHEM...
it all started about a month and a half ago. e. pereira and i were just walking down the street talking about what more we could do to find some one to go on a visit with us to a house that didn’t have a man. everyone we called was busy that afternoon, and we were trying to prepare this girl for baptism. so, just walking along, throwing ideas around about what we could do, someone honked at us and pulled over. we went over there to see what was up, and it was this guy who wanted to know where the church was and what time the meeting started on sunday. we told him, and he said thanks, and then e. pereira asked him if he was busy that afternoon. he said no and that he’d like to help us visit people. he said that he felt that was why he stopped and talked to us. ... well that was the beginning. if i had a lot more time i would tell all the other miracles that occurred with him that first day. BUT, to be short in writing, it sufficeth me to say that after that day he appeared about every two weeks, offering the help that we needed. LAST, week, he found us in the street AGAIN, and gave us a ride to our next appointment and agreed to do visits with us the next day. so i set up several appointments and the next day went to where he told us to meet him. (fyi- he has got a sweet car. he is a surgeon. he has lived in over 25 countries around the world and speaks 7 languages. his wife is american, but his family lives in paris. his parents and brothers live in miami. he went on a mission in brasil, porta alegre. and he just comes out of nowhere and helps when we need it.). so back to last week. we met him and i called the appointment, and they said that they were traveling. i called plan b. also, fell through. plan c too. everything fell through, so he was like, well, i will buy you guys ice cream at mc-donalds. as he drove there, we talked. elder ronaldo was complaining about a few things and he picked up on them. he gave us this great lesson. he talked to us and helped my comp a ton. then he took us to this giant walmart-ish grocery store and bought us a ton of food. then took us home and told us he would be back on the 29 of march. he came, helped in EXACTLY what we needed, then left. it is always like that too. it is what we need even if we don’t know what we need. well that is the story there.

so, in other news- e ronaldo liked the math. he thinks that is funny that i told you guys that he likes math. he always asked our investigators if they like math and i think THAT is funny.

THE PEANUT BUTTER SECRET- when i got the pb from jay and elle, i hid it. And slowly i started eating it. one day e. ronaldo caught me with my finger in it. so i shared it with him. it is now an empty can of pb. pb=happiness; THX for the happiness. maybe it was wrong to eat half of the can by myself, but it was SO GOOD! Thank you Jay, Elle and Hulk!

alyce- i am way curious about what seems to be a funny story about (aboot) the nasty b-day play. good luck sucking up for the principle in that evaluation. here that is called "puxando saco"- which would mean in english - brown-nosing.

MOM-hey there super missionary! BAPTIZE THAT WOMAN!! step 2 is introduce missionaries and BoM. good luck.

dad- hey, even I don’t exercise until 6:30. you are a stud!!

gotta run, love elder helland

Monday, March 24, 2008

feliz birthday


feliz birthday
sorry, i will write tomorrow, there is a problem with the email today. but happy b-day police!! 18, is still young!

love adam

every rose has its thorn...
and every cowboy sings a sad, sad song... (some song that popped into my head- i´m not really sure who sings it anymore...)

HOWDY- elder ronaldo thought that was a funny word, and i couldn’t really give him a fair translation. throw in that i told him that it is something cowboys say, and, well... i think he thinks that americans are genuine weirdo’s. :) (at least my family- he really only has me for an example of what you guys must be like... :))

so, happy birthday to you, huh! "... you look like a monkey and you smell like one too..." don’t worry, i have an awesome letter written for you alyce, just now the question is when i will pass a correios and mail it. (correio is a post office) so to celebrate your birthday yesterday, we had p-day. for p-day we went to this lame museum with our district. it was small, and i don’t understand all the scientific words in portuguese- so i was bored there were two highlights for me there: they had an exhibit on indians, and i asked the tour guide what she knew about lamanites- she said nothing. so i gave her a book of mormon and said that if she liked studying ancient indians, she´d LOVE the nephites and lamanites! i explained it all to her, but in the end she wasn’t all that interested, so we just left her with a card to call to receive a BOM. number two was the skull of a t-rex! man i love t-rex! we did a photo shoot by the skull with everyone. that was pretty much the only cool stuff. the rest was just dead animals- cool at first, but when they don’t do anything- lame.

this week we have been teaching two families a lot. they are SUPER interested and excited about the church- but like the title, this week the hammer fell. relax, they are still great and excited, just they have got some big problems to beat. real big obstacles. sirlene and her son love the BOM, but this week we found out that when she said "married" to her husband 12 years, what she meant is that they ALMOST got married 12 years ago. AHHH!! What’s the deal with people here that no one gets married?!?! so now we are going to try and set up an appointment to talk with her and her husband and tell them the deal is they need to get married for her to be baptized. then, our baptism this week will have to be pushed forward one week because of cigarettes. those dirty little things are hard for people to put down. THAT family consists of 4 brothers and sisters that all live together and are all working on stopping coffee and smoking right now. yesterday we taught them a lesson about following the prophet, and when we got to the end and taught about how we have a prophet on the earth TODAY, they went crazy. they wanted to know his name, what he looked like, where he lived, how old he is, what he does, when he is coming to brasil, and thousands of awesome questions. ALL of them were dying to know about a living prophet. when we told them about general conference they were ecstatic to go and see and hear him and the apostles. it was incredible!

So, the cool thing is that dirceu and jonathan (recent converts) are helping a BUNCH these days. Jonathan spent ALL Sunday with us, and dirceu Saturday. They LOVE to help others learn about the gospel of jesus christ. Their excitement is truly contagious. Jonathan loves helping because he wants to learn how to be a missionary so that he can be one after a year. Also, he wants to learn so he won’t get so sad when people don’t want to hear or are mean to him about the church. Most days we pass by his house and he tells us a story about how he tried to tell someone about the church or the BOM and how they were mean to him, and how he was sad afterward.

Also, we had a miracle this week. We were visited again by the missionary angel. I don’t know if i already told you about him, but he's this cool surgeon that hás a sweet car that somehow finds us every now and again and helps us in whatever it is that we need. His name is romero. He is really cool. I am out of time to tell all about this last visit, but i will tell the story next week along with more. Suffice it to say that everyday i can see more clearly than the last that GOD does his own work here and that he just wanted to give ME the opportunity to help.

well, i gotta scram. thx for the math problems. til next week. elder helland
ps alyce- dang you are old. love ya. feliz aniversario

Pic1 is dirceu´s baptism

Pic 2 is the dino- skull at the lame museum. That is me there doing my dino-face. I also do that when i am hungry. Hungry for triceratops. Pic 3 is elder ronaldo

Pic 4 is a sign at the museum that tells where the stuff is at.
Pic 5 is me visiting a house that had this HUGE, MEAN dog. That is me hiding. (personally, i think that i look scarier than the dog.)
Pic 6 this goat at the museum hás 2 heads. I guess that was cool tôo.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"like a adam-bomb, about-a oh-ooh-ooooh-whoa explode!"

the guys upstairs in our apartment like queen- so we have been getting a lot of it recently. no complaints here, i think that it is cool to hear music in my "native language" every once and a while. (even better when it is good music- the rest that i hear is normally Rap - ugh!)

well, the update on elder soares is, brace yourselves, he went home. from what pres told me was that it is possible that his separation anxiety is treatable, and he might be able to go on a mission later. sorry for the sad news, i put it first cause now comes the good stuff!!

umm, wait before the good stuff, i have got a HUGE assignment for EVERYONE!!!
here is the deal: elder ronaldo is a math wiz. he loves math like a fat kid loves cake and recently he has been testing my math skills. (for those of you who remember my math skills, you know i am getting slaughtered here. for those of you who DONT remember my math skills- there is a good reason for that.) so what i really am trying to say is that he is REALLY, super good at math. like he was doing college for math.... SO, i have got a request: what i need is this: an incredibly clever math problem to give to HIM. one that is clever and difficult if you don’t know the trick. i think that i am asking the right people. mom, you are a gifted teacher. alyce, you are in calc. dad, ... you are good at math too.( or you can search the internet for a good problem to send). and i know that many more people read the blog that you guys put up. get jocy´s help, she is a math wiz too. really this is an ALL CALL, a SOS-i need your help. i need this awesome math problem to give to my comp. and i like it if you guys could put it in the email next week.(WITH THE ANSWER!) GOOD LUCK, AND THANKS TO ALL WHO CAN HELP ME!

now back to our regular scheduled programming:

this last week was great!! i mean it was SUPER hard. we walked and walked all over. set up and scheduled lessons with tons of people. but everyday- one after another our lessons would fall through. many days, we worked an entire day to find JUST ONE person to teach. but the key is that we learned something really cool this week- to trust in the Lord. we planned out our day, and the next day- that plan would yield nothing. we had to turn to the Lord and pray for his help to find someone. after a few days of very few lessons or teaching opportunities, we saw what had happened. the days that were most difficult- days that we worked ALL DAY to teach, and had zero successes- those days were the days that we found the best people. when our plans failed and we turned to the Lord, he blessed us. one day we had work hard the entire day and still hadn’t found anyone that would let us in to teach. we talked with everyone on the streets and we were praying like crazy for help. the last house that we tried we found a family to teach, and they accepted the baptismal challenge. they told us that they had been praying for direction spiritually, and that we had been sent to help them. IT WAS AWESOME!!! you have no idea how great it was. and we had two more experiences like this this week, where we found more new investigators. "trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." prov 3:5-6. it is true.

dad- i pretty much started crying when i read your letter. that is SO FUNNY. sorry about the bum-evaluation, but hey- "things like that happen". really, that is my new favorite quote.

mom- hey, i am still getting stuff from christmas, so i am still writing letters from christmas too. but, i know i sent a grip of letters to people after christmas. i will try and sort out what still needs to be done. tell all the new missionaries (Mandy, Rachel, Josh) congrats for me. they are in for an amazing ride.

alyce- i am glad to see a letter that doesn’t say "work stinks". i hope that means that you are getting used to it. you are, after all, really old. (ALMOST 18) i am going to mail you a little b-day present, and i would have already, but i forgot that your b-day was coming and now i don’t have much money two mail it. either way, be looking for a letter soon.

once again, we are in a dumpy computer place and the computers here don’t like my camera. next week.

well, times up.
love elder helland

ps really- help with math problem will be rewarded with letters. letters are tough to write and we have so little time to do it, that this really one of the more valuable reward that i can offer.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

cortei- ta bom!!

(translation - OK, I cut my hair)

sorry about the mop top, i cut it this last week. so, this stupid computer isn’t letting me upload the pictures of my new comp and the baptism this last week... maybe next week. anyway, they were great pictures, maybe i can recreate them for you in your imaginations. [ahem]... the first one is of a man named Dirceu. he is 29 years old and super cool. he is wearing the white baptismal jumper and standing next to me (i am also wearing white, but i have a hair cut here) and my new companion in front of the church. (he also has flip flop tan lines) his is short, but here everyone is short, so i don’t know if that helps with the description. it was the coolest baptism of all time!! (actually the cool part was that the baptismal service was super lame, but the spirit was also super strong. he was so excited to join the church of God.)

the other picture is just of me and my comp. his name is elder ronaldo and he is from Menaus (in the state of amozonas). he has been a member for 5 years and is SUPER awesome. his family didn’t want him to go on a mission, BUT, he is here and strong. his family doesn’t write, so maybe you guys could send a note:

this has been a lot of work, training. a lot. but the truth is i know that the more difficult it is the more that i will grow and learn. so, let the good times roll.

mom- yep, he (his first greenie) went to Rio, but i was able to trade companions at z. conf.. the 2 days the we had between pday and z.conf. were the hardest. he got real difficult, but that is over now. whew!! at z.conf. i was interviewed by president, and president let me know that he was proud of me and that i did a good job in a hard situation. sigh... as for kory, i will finish another letter to him and mail it. i enjoyed reading the experience that you and Alyce had- its fun, isn’t it?? well, maybe not the first time, but after a while, being treated like leper is cool. really. and, hey, setting up dates for when i get home already? awesome. keep it up. :)

dad: awe, man... march madness!! i am going to miss one of my favorite sporting events. maybe you could mail me a bracket, i could fill it out and then you could tell me who won. that would be cool.

police- work is a blast, huh? how much are you getting per hour? (movie quote: Six dollars?... that’s like a dollar an hour!!- sorry the movie quotes don’t come as naturally when you only watch "the restoration" regularly. i could however, quote THAT movie in portugeuse. i am considered pretty good at quoting that movie. (então, meus irmãos, voces têm fé?? estão dispostos a provar a Deus que têm fé???- that is one of my favorites) man, you are almost done with high school!! you are gettin old sis...

well, elder ronaldo and i are starving, the members here don’t give much food to the missionaries, so i have been making all the food at home. e. ronaldo doesn’t really know how to cook, but i have been getting better. the food is now pretty good, and not just edible.

good luck with the auto situation.
love you more than the cars,
love elder helland

Saturday, March 1, 2008

sleeping on the keys...

(Letter from 2-27-08)

remember the story about the prince and the pea? well, the last 5 days i have been sleeping on the keys to our apartment... training is a blast...

so, the day after elder soares arrived he got all depressed and wanted to go home. i walked into our bedroom after my shower and he said that he needed to call president. of course i let him. since that conversation he has been up and down and all around with his desire to stay on the mission. we call the president regularly, and i have given every training possible to him to try and help him, but he has stayed sad- even after the baptisms of jonathan and felipe (i will tell that story further down). and so it was that i began to lock the door at night and sleep on the keys. for good reason. yesterday i woke up at 5:30 am and looked around and... he was in the other room packing. i asked what was going on and he said he had decided to go home. (note to the reader: STOP- don’t panic yet, the story doesn’t end how you think). i got him to calm down and we went to the other room and prayed together. and then we prayed some more. then i talked with him for a LONG time. then i called president.

let it suffice to say that yesterday was quite easily the longest day of the mission (except for the plane ride to sao paulo probably)

so he talked to president on the phone FOREVER, and i was in the other room praying like i have never prayed before. in that room, i felt the peace and love of the Lord overwhelm me. i grew closer and stronger with the Lord. then president talked with ME. president expressed his gratitude, appreciation and trust in me, and explained a few things that i could do to help e. soares. all this happened before 7am. the rest of the day e. soares was not doing good. he wanted to call home and other stuff, so we went back to the apartment and called president again. we sat there and talked for a long time. he didn’t want to go out, and i was afraid of him running away if we left, so we passed most of the day in our room talking and calming him down. his stake president called and talked to him at night and then president talked with us again. the plan now is that e. soares will be emergency transferred to an area close to the mission home and i will get another greenie to train that is in rio now.

pray for me... i don’t remember being THIS hard to train...:)

in other news,
sunday we baptized felipe and jonathan, and felipe´s family came to see, and they LOVED IT. His mom is SUPER interested and we are teaching her now. also, and you can see, i got to get my "feet wet" as well. let me tell you, the water was cold. it was really neat (i need to practice the baptismal ... words? in portuguese, because i fumbled a bunch to remember what to say). now jonathan has bought a suit for church and is thinking about going on a mission one day. LO00000000OOVVEE IITTT! (to be read like the one dragon from dragon tails :) )

ooh, ooh, i almost forgot, i gave my first training as district leader in district meeting. (we have one every monday before lunch) i was a little nervous because i would have to teach missionaries, IN PORTUGUESE, and the zone leaders are in my district! but, it all turned out good, or at least i didn’t get any complaints... :) no, really, i did good.

alyce- HERE ctr is still ctr. i forgot how they swing that, but it is cool. it was like " C-(some verb here!?? that starts with C)Todo o Rumo" or "something something Reto ", i forgot sorry. and PROM, hmmm, well have a blast, i know you will.

mom- thanks for the pics, they were great. the valentines package got here super fast. the mutual lesson i gave was pretty awesome, but i didn’t get around to the brownie part. (mostly because they don’t have brownies here, and also because i am too cheap to buy pudim for everyone) but we watched a cool video and then told funny mission stories. then i gave a training to everyone about how to make a street contact with pass-a-long cards. AND THEN, we went and made street contacts. the kids split up and we started helping them talk to people on the street. they LOVED it. i was with one group helping and this young woman went to make a contact. she got nervous and instead of telling the woman to CALL this number 1-800, ( ligar 0-800), she said (gritar 0800). or in other words she told the woman to scream the number. everyone laughed and so did the woman. she accepted the card and said she´d call. also, we had a few investigators at the mutual activity, and it was need to see our investigators having fun sharing the gospel. Lucas loved it. he was inviting people to come to church on sunday and everything. “sharing brownies” is hard because we are afraid that other people won’t like the brownie as much as we did. but this in know way affects the brownie. the brownie is delicious to ALL that eat it 1Ne 8:10,15. the truth is that there is SO MUCH BROWNIE, that we have to share, or we´ll get sick. ps i loved the story about the dogs and the ditch.

dad- new car, huh! cool. good luck with that. ps don’t worry too much about shaq, he´s a big boy and can take care of himself :) he he

this friday is zone conference and i will probably switch companions then. my new greenie will be e. ronaldo from menaus.

love elder helland