Friday, September 12, 2008

White has got to be my new favorite color!

letter from 9-1-08 - Yep, I'm behind...again! :-)

WOW- Behold the super awesome pictures!

(I am taking a picture of you, so that you can send it to me!)
This is the “door” that enters into the “way” or “path”, you know that one that Nephi talks about in 2n31, that leads to eternal life. Man is it cool to be here, and have this thing full of water. The rules say that missionaries can't swim, and have to stay away from water and stuff, but this… this kind of swimming is encouraged! :-)
The lady that is pictured here with me is Nilza. Also pictured is her husband, André, her daughter Rafaela, and her mother in law selma. Selma gives us lunch every Thursday. André is a member that is returning now, and rafaela is really shy around us. One time I asked her how her day was and if she liked to play with her dolls. She just says yes to everything, so she was like, “yes. Yes. Yes.” And then these cute little tears started coming out of her eyes. I guess she got scared because she started crying. Not like screaming crying, but she kept on answering our questions while these little tears kept on falling. She is really cute. (3 years old I think) .
So that was pretty much it. I took a lot of other pictures, but mostly of the baptism. I will write another email with more words. Love elder helland

(brushing my teeth during personal study,... elder Sidney thinks that is funny, so he took a picture.)
FYI - We sent him a "singing toothbrush" - you're supposed to keep brushing until the music stops playing. I guess he's having fun with that! :-)

the view from our window...

...really isn’t anything spectacular. But hey, I call it home.

Actually one day something cool/scary happened right here, but I think that is a story that I will tell after the mission… :-) (or at least after I am transferred…:-))

Well, let’s see, where to start… I have got a lot to tell, and little time/money to be able to tell it. Let me start with the baptism. It was totally awesome. Nilza is way afraid of water, plus the water was SUPER cold (there isn’t a water heater in the font). I was even a little nervous to get in that water, bc it was really cold. Baptisms, as always, are really great experiences. The spirit is felt by all. We had another family that kind of showed up by surprise to watch. I could tell that they were touched and the feeling and spirit in that room. … I’ll see if there is time to tell more later…

…BECAUSE… something else really cool happened this week. Elder Didier, the first quorum of the seventy, and the president of the Area Brasil, came and toured our mission. He did three conferences with the missionaries in different parts of the mission. I went to the first one that he did… it was really great. He came with his wife and mother-in-law. They all speak French, being that they are from France, but the wife also speaks good English and President Didier speaks English and Portuguese. Anyway, he talked about knowledge and the 5 kinds of knowledge that every missionary needs to have. As part of the conference he wanted to do a demonstration. So he said, “I need a missionary to help me with this…” and then he pointed to me and called me up. So I went up there in front of everyone and he told me to pretend that he was an investigator and then he asked me some questions. I tried to answer them the best I could, BUT, elder Didier is tough. (se ele for um pesquisador de verdade, eu teria queimado ele por ser tão duro comigo, mas... sendo que ele é um autoridade geral, eu tentei responder de uma forma calma e educado... foi engraçado.) He asked a bunch of tough questions and didn’t seem to like any of the answers. Then at the end i guess he felt that he had made his point and let me sit down and told me that i did a good job. I am STILL not really sure what the point was, but he did it to 2 other missionaries too. Whatever it was, it was cool to try to teach him and to be able to talk with him a little.

Well, I am out of time. I am loving every minute that I have here to serve the Lord. I am also loving brasil more and more everyday. For example, this last week I developed two more addictions- caldo de cana and água de coco. (in other words juice of sugar cane, and coconut milk.) man that stuff is good!!

I gotta go!, love you guys.
Elder Helland

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