Wednesday, July 16, 2008


So let me start this letter with the funny story of the week.
Let me see, it goes like this: [AHEM…]

Everyday we get up out of bed and fall on our knees in companionship prayer when the stupid cell phone goes off at 6:30. Right after that we keep right on praying in personal prayer. When we are all done praying the fun begins. 30 minutes of sweet exercises. Elder Rhodes and I have had a lot of fun doing exercises these last weeks. We do push up competitions (I lose), we have arm wrestling competitions (I lose), we spent a week doing handstand competitions (it is a variation of the game “chicken”. We both lose), and a number of other ridiculous ways to pass a half-hour exercising in our tiny study room. Anyway, this last week we did an awesome pushup game (that I lost), and afterward I was catching a breather. I had my back to the window and was just resting a little before the next round. SUDDENLY, this giant white thing flew in through that window and landed on my head. Needless to say, I freaked out and ran to the other room. As I came back to see what it was, (elder Rhodes was in tears laughing on the ground) I saw the mighty duck. In reality, it was a goose. This giant spotted goose flew through our window and landed on my head. Well, as we regained composure we began to think about what the heck we were going to do with the beast. We both decided that it was best to send it back to whence it came: The window. Then the chase began. We chased it from room to room, trying to catch it so that we could throw it out. (I filmed some of this chase and I will send it to you next week) finally elder Rhodes grabs it and before he throws it out he decides that he wants a picture with it. So, we snapped some pictures. Apparently the flash was frightening to the goose, because it went crazy again and the chase started all over again. After many laps of the apartment we got it again and elder Rhodes chucked it out the window. We live on the second floor and some members of our ward live underneath us. Long story short, we ended up throwing the goose on our neighbors.

The other funny DUCK story is really about a parrot. A sister in the ward made us lunch and she had a parrot at here house. Elder Rhodes asks if the parrot bites. She says of course not and that he just has to put his finger out and the bird will step on it. Elder Rhodes, still apprehensive, slowly put his finger out. The bird shuffled over and promptly bit his finger taking a good chunk of skin with him. It was hilarious, I was laughing so hard. So the sister comes out of the kitchen and is like what happened? Elder Rhodes hides his hand so she can’t see the blood and says, “ oh, he just gave me a little bite. That’s all.” She wanted to see, and when she did, she flipped. She ran inside and got some kind of cleansing stuff and began pouring it on elder Rhodes finger. He was like does that stuff sting? And she said of course not. Just put your finger out. Once again he listened and found out the hard way that the sister was wrong. It stung like crazy. He had this face of extreme pain as she was pouring and cleaning the wound. I was laughing the whole time. Birds here are insane!!

Well enough for dumb stories. This last week was WAY MORE AWESOME than a few run-ins with some funny fowl. We are teaching several families now. They are so cool because we get to talk about how the gospel blessed our families and how it will bless theirs. It is a little strange too because the investigators trust us so much that they ask us for solutions to their difficulties in their marriage. I think that it is a great tribute to you guys that I tell them all the stuff that I saw you guys do. (MOM and DAD :-) ) Stuff like praying together every night, “date nights”, and family home evenings.

On Monday that family that got baptized had their first family home evening. The mom prepared this awesome lesson on prayer. I had told them one time how at our house it rotated who was giving the lesson. That my dad liked doing activities and my mom was famous for her marathon lessons. How we would usually have to wake dad up during our lessons. (I didn’t tell about how alyce usually left crying. He he he . just kidding :-)

Anyway, on Monday a few hours before the FHE we called to see if there was anything that we could do to help. She was stressed and had us come over so she could “practice” on us. (she was worried because she had invited some of her other family members to come as well as some members of the ward. This is one of the missionary plans we helped them make.) she told us when we got there that she would probably teach a lesson like my mom, she thought that she would talk a lot. Actually she prepared a lesson that was like a leaf out of the sister helland lesson book. She had made little lists of ideas on cardstock paper, and little handouts of things for people to read. It was an excellent lesson, and one of the neatest parts of my mission. To see a family doing their own family home evening, I was so happy.

So you know the other daughter didn’t get baptized because she has a 12 year old attitude. A little rebellious, you know. So she goes with the grandma to church just to get her parents goat. We are currently trying to work with her. She loves us to death, but doesn’t was to do anything that would make her parents happy. That is the way that I see it.

MOM- thanks for the article, looks awesome! Um, I liked the pens that you sent me this last time, the ones first time were great too. I really use pens a lot, so just about any would be awesome. Also, another thing that would be cool is maybe a tie or two. I still have all the ones I had, BUT they get really dirty and there is no really way to clean silk. Also walking in the rain without an umbrella ruined some ties. Oh well. The apple pies was a request of some members who said that if I could get the recipe they would make it and have a family home evening at their house to eat it, and they would invite their friends. That was too good of a bargain to pass up. Apple pie, AND member referrals!! WHOA!! If you want to make missionaries happy give them good food AND let them teach a friend in your house!!! THAT is the recipe for success!!
PS what was the deal with article about your students? I am not allowed to open the hyper link.

DAD- elder Rhodes and I decided that if we can’t watch the Olympics that we are going to have them in our own house. We are currently taking ideas for stupid competitions that we can have. I have lost pretty much all of the ones that we have done so far, but practice makes … you tired. Actually I am getting better and more competitive with all the stupid push up stuff we do. That really doesn’t mean I have got all the fat off yet though. That MTC fat is killer. 2 months of all you can eat with almost zero exercise still shows on me. But I am going to get it.

POLICE- sorry that I blew that whole boy thing out of proportion. Just do me a favor and keep on letting me know what is going on. I don’t want you to stop talking about them just because I was like “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” when I started seeing a lot of it.

Anyway, enough weirdness. When the heck do you start school, what classes are you taking?

Anywho, I got to scat, I think that this was a pretty dang long letter, which means you guys owe me good letters next week too.

Love elder helland.

PS - Also, hang on to the those pictures tight!!!!!!! The ones of the baptism. I don’t have any of them. My batteries died and all of those are e. rhodes´ pictures that I sent.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Actually I did TRY and send an email last week, and I thought that it went through…
I guess it didn’t. I looked right now to see if I could re-send it, BUT, the computer doesn’t seem to recognize any kind of email to you guys for last week. Oops.

So let me sum up these last few weeks for you guys:
It has been pretty much one miracle after another here. That family got baptized yesterday, and it was the COOLEST EVER!! There were a lot of trials that they had to overcome, but the Lord helped them through. It was funny; their biggest worry about the baptism was the cold water. But at least they were right, that water was really cold! When I stepped in I tried not to let it show on my face that is was way cold, so when Anderson stepped in, he was like, “Po, cara! A agua tá fria, hein!” :-)

We also started teaching another family. They have had tons of problems in their lives, but they embraced the book of mormon and LOVED church. We went back the next day and the father cried as he told us how he felt when he was listening to the testimony meeting. Another family was doing really good, but then they didn’t go to church. It has been really great being able to teach so many families.

Also the new president came. We had a zone conference with him on Wednesday last week. He introduced his family. He has 2 sons, 17 and 9, and a daughter, 13. Then he and his wife spoke. It was really great. I liked it even more because I didn’t have to give any training during the conference. :-)

Then on Friday we had a special mission counsel with him. All of the zone leaders sat down and he taught us out of the scriptures for a few hours. It was so awesome. He also led a big discussion about what we thought that the mission needed to change. It was incredible too. I really gained a testimony of our new president on that day.

We had some funny experiences this last week. For the baptism we tried to make a pudim. (if apple pie is the all-american dessert, then pudim is the dessert of brasil) we made it with strawberries and it turned out great… except that we burned the topping. The topping is pretty much this sauce that you make by heating up sugar until it becomes liquid. If you burn it it suddenly becomes SUPER-bitter. So when we took it out and tried it, found out that is was awful, we scraped all of the topping off. Then when the members saw it without the topping they asked if it had been hit by a truck. They ate it and liked it. Well, I liked it anyway…
Hey, guess what I just found out? This computer is filming me. It takes constant pictures of me like this: while I am typing. Maybe I can make some funny faces to send in the email.
(The silly pictures of his face he embedded in his e-mail did not transfer over - sorry!)

Alyce: hey, that sounds cool, teaching a class in church. I still get nervous sometimes and I teach the gospel principles class every week. :-)

MOM: In other news, elder Rhodes’ older brother got a mission call to campinas brasil. Elder Rhodes is so excited!!
Things that I need are:
Ø pens. I got the cool pens that you guys sent me, BUT while we were teaching that family their toddler managed to destroy or loose all of our pens. Mine and elder rhodes’ (we would let him play with them so that he would be quiet and we could teach)
Ø red pencils. Or some kind of scripture marking pencils. I seem to be all out.
Ø The recipe for apple pie. There is a family in our ward that wants it, and if I get it to them they will make it for us. …J I would like that next week if at all possible…
Ø Socks. I am good on everything else, and probably will be for the rest of the mission, but my socks are shot. But to tell the truth, I think that it would be a lot cheaper to buy them here. If you want you could send me a few pairs and I will just buy the rest. (BLACK this time, please.)
Ø That is it. Love ya.

DAD: sounds like you work more than I do. (except that you get to golf in-between)
Hey, I have been studying the pearl of great price lately, and WHOA is that book deep. I am loving it and all the insights that is gives to our premortal lives. We get to study for one hour every morning and I feel like if passes in 5 min. another thing that I thought was cool was the angelic hierarchy as it is described in the scriptures. Turns out I learned a lot about how the heavens are super organized and there are lots of rules for the angels too (not just missionaries). here is a good question that I started looking at the other day: did the nephites have the aaronic priesthood? Why or why not? The only stuff that I can come up with is that we know that under the law of moses you had to be levite descent, and we don’t have record of a levite going with lehi. But there are still the mulekites to think about. I am still looking at it. Maybe I will know by next week.

Well, I got to scram. I hope that this one makes up for the lack of one last week.

Love elder HELLAND
ps. I had fun with this stupid computer today and put all of these ridiculous pictures (Silly Adam picture was inserted here) in the email. Elder Rhodes was laughing at me the whole time.
I hope that you like it because now everyone in the store thinks that I am a weirdo. Pois é.

all of the baptism.
father- anderson
mother- viviane
daughter- maria alicia
son- joão gabriel
daughter not in the picture- maira eduarda (12yrs) (she didn’t get baptized..)
Also some pictures of our funny pudim story