Monday, June 22, 2009

the days are just packed...

Last letter from Brazil! Adam comes home this Thursday at 9:10 AM!!! We are soooo excited to see him!!! :-)

Letter 6-22-09
the days are just packed...

well, we ended up baptizing neuza's son- evandro. nilzas husband won’t let her get baptized until next week. i went to juiz de fora this week and spent most of the other days in the other areas of my zone trying to secure baptisms in the zone. we ended up with 4. like everyone said, i guess i will see you guys this week. weird.

MOM- thx for the money- i didn’t know i would lose my wallet and all my money and the amount you sent helped us keep working hard this week.
DAD- i can’t wait to see the house. i can only barely remember it. i am pretty excited to see you guys too, i guess.
ALYCE- tell nathan i am pumped to meet him. elder silva thinks that i should just walk up and give his a kiss on the lips to break the ice. i am thinking about it... :) just kidding.

até logo!

love ELDER helland

mark 5:19
then luke 15:6

One last time…
i tried to confirm the time of my flight, but the office is REALLY busy with transfers and a hundred other HUGE changes in the mission. i guess I’ll get there when I get there.

ELDER helland

Monday, June 15, 2009


Letter 6-15-09

i think that i will write a little next week. very little.

so this week was great. we found a lady, neuza, last week that went to church and she was baptized this week. it was great. her sister nilza went and we are going to try and baptize her this next week. a great story that i will tell in greater detail- in a week. :)

as for the information about my comps bank account, we will go to the bank today and get all of that. the need for the money got more important this week when i lost my wallet on saturday. somehow it fell out on the bus. a member of the church was on the bus and picked up the wallet later and gave it to the driver. today i will go to the office of the bus and see if i cant get it back. stinks, huh. i will send a little email later with the bank stuff and news if i got the wallet back or not.

1) [question - what do you want to eat when you get home] for food- i used to think about that sometimes- "man, when i get home i want them to have a pizza in the car for me"- and other weird things like that. Right now i am not really sure what i would want. ... actually the more i think about it, there is so much stuff that i would like to eat... i am up for anything really. if i used to like it, chances are that i still like it. i could suggest some things that i DONT want- spaghetti, rice, lasagna, ramen, :), and of course beans. :)

2) [question - anything else in particular you want regarding coming home - we're in the "catering to Adam" mood] not right now. i guess i am feeling pretty relaxed today. i dont have many ideas. i guess i am trying not to think about being at home too much. if anything comes to mind i will write you next week. right now, anything is great for me.

MOM= its funny that you mention elder everton. poor guy. i think that i went pretty hard on him. not excusing some of the dumb things that he did. maybe one of the great things that i have learned on the mission is how to manage problems and tough situations. i think if we were companions now, we would get along better, mostly bc i know how important it is to have a good relationship and how to have one. well i guess those experiences so long ago prepared me for others, just as tough in the future.

DAD- yeah, that elder is pretty pumped that the lakers won. kobe mvp. well that makes sense- that man makes the team. which, tying it in to the gospel, is something that i have learned these last weeks. one man can make a huge difference. for example: our misson pres got here and turned the mission around. not that i was bad before, but now it is so much better- growing everyday. another example: a missionary in my zone did a lot bad stuff, not like serious sins, but gossip and behavior stuff, and still i am dealing with the results of his actions two month ago. he complicated everything in that area for the missionaries. one man can make a huge difference. for the better or worse.

ALYCE: hope you don’t freeze your booty off [on the pioneer trek]. :) i am freezing mine every night here. i sleep in jeans and a shirt and a sweater because it is the winter here and our house only has two blankets and four missionaries. i only get to use my superman sheet to keep me warm at night. the sheet is worn pretty thin these days. on top of that we have to have fans blowing on us all night to save us from the mosquitoes.

well, i try not to think about you guys this week, but cant wait to see you next.

love elder helland

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bird Poop In My Hair

Letter from 6-8-09 - Three letters planning has gotten the best of me...sorry! Less than two weeks til Adam comes home - yippee! :-)

Bird poop in my hair

if i could sum up this week in one word it would be: holy-cow!

for the mission counsel we did something different this time. like i said it was two days long- some of the best two days of my life :) the first day there was p-day. it was so cool: where president lives is a virtual paradise. we played soccer with president and the other zone leaders all morning. on the beach. by the tropical forest. the ocean has got these little tropical, tree covered islands all over the place. it was a blast. after running around in the sand for a few hours everyone was beat tired, so we went back to president’s house and ate lunch and watched a movie. (passage to zarahemla) then some of us went down stairs and played basketball until we could hardly walk anymore. then we took showers and changed back to church clothes and had "family home evening" at president’s house. it was really an all night fireside. we stayed there until 10pm. he taught about repentance, and then we did a cool activity with two talks by pres benson (some of moms favs): beware of pride, and cleanse the inner vessel. Then we went to the secretary’s house, in another paradisiacal place here in rio that is on the beach. President called us and told us that he was going to kneel down and pray and that he wanted us to kneel down with him and pray with him. He said that he would call and tell us to stop when he was done. And so we started to pray. We prayed and prayed. It was funny because we were all sleeping in the same big room on mattresses and bunk beds everywhere, the lights were off and everyone was kneeling on top of their beds praying. In less that 15 min somebody started snoring. Everyone giggled a little and then somebody threw a shoe at him. He woke up and continued praying. One by one as the minutes went by, missionaries gave up and fell asleep. Some of us solved the problem by changing the praying position every once in a while. Kneeling up, kneeling down, sitting in the Indian position, standing, or in the classic muslim praying position. That night i learned an important lesson: after playing soccer in the sand all day, i am no longer at the spiritual level of being capable of offering a meaningful, hour long prayer. :-)

i caught myself mostly praying that i could stay awake and that president would stop praying soon. :-) after a little more than an hour pres called. All jokes aside, it was a really neat experience, and the Lord talked to me that night too.

The next day we went to president’s house and had another day of learning. He gave a great talk of two hours about the “enemy of all men”, or satan. The best part of all the trainings that he does there is that he lets us ask any question that we want, about the theme. Then we had to deal with all the needs in the mission. After that president took us out to a nice rodizio de churrasco for lunch. It was the best.

Regarding the debit card situation - the funny thing is that it stopped sometime in may. The diet thing was joke. I am still NOT fat, but that isn’t because i don’t try. It’s because i am always out of money and there is no food in our house- so i don’t eat as much as I’d like. As far a college goes- i plan on getting into debt anyway... so go forward and sign the contract to live with Caleb and Jimmy, even if it's more money than we planned. i don’t really know what i want, so, heck, why not. Lets go for it. Thanks for helping me get registered at BYU, apt., etc.!

I don’t really know why sis roberts emailed me. It didn’t say happy birthday. She said that she had been talking with some guy named brady that knows you.

DAD- PARABEMS happy bday pops. 42 now huh? Wonder what that feels like. Probably the same as 100. elder pili is so happy that the lakers are in the finals. I hope the magic win.

ALYCE- take it easy lady, cant wait to see you. Yesterday at church we had a cool lesson about thoughts. The teacher said that we cant control if a thought will come to our heads or not. It is like birds flying over our heads. We cant stop them. BUT we can keep them from landing on our heads. He compared it to BAD thoughts, but i compare it to thinking about going home. The birds keep coming. And every once in a while they even land on my head. (every Monday) but i am doing my best to keep them from building a nest.

LOVE elder helland


Letter from 6-1-09 24

Sorry about the lame letter last week. The real problem is more of a time thing than interest. Lets see, what has been going on here…
My comp is elder silva. He is a chubby Brazilian from the extreme north of the country. He is pretty funny, I guess. He is in love with rock and roll; the extreme metal or grunge kind. (metallica, nirvana, ramstein, etc…) b/c of this he spends most of the day playing the air guitar when we are walking from one appointment to another. Weird, huh?
What else?... these last two weeks we have started an interesting set of activities in the zone. Maybe I will send the ppt that I sent to the president and the assistants detailing what we have been doing. It seems to be going well still. We are keeping a close eye on it.
Been a while since I have baptized anyone… we are working on that! Actually this last week we worked with some of the missionaries in the zone. One pair had three little girls that they wanted to baptize, so we went there this weekend to help out. Their mom wanted to let them be baptized, but the dad, a drunk, didn’t. we spent several hours talking with this man in front of his house until he gave in and let his kids get baptized. It was fun! He was really drunk and mean. He called us all bad names and stuff, but we just laughed with him and kept on pushing for baptism. It worked! We will most likely do the same thing this week. Gotta go where the baptism is…
Today I am going to Rio again for a mission counsel. My last. It will be cool bc it is going to be two days long. The first day will be a play day (sports and fun with president) and the next all business. Yipee.

MOM- sorry, not a lot to write. Got to work more. Almost out of time- and not just on the internet. The truth of the matter is that soon we will be able to chat. A lot. So hang on.

DAD- wish me luck. Tomorrow I am going to play tennis against the pres. Then soccer and basketball- I am coming home MVP!

ALYCE- man- you are going to make a weird adult. Usually when my stomach hurts it means that I am going to have diarrhea. And a lot.

Love elder helland

Oh yeah…

looks like you told everyone and their dog to write me something for my birthday :-) thanks! it was great to get b-day e-mails! i got emails from:
gma & gpa helland
aunt liz
anti and greg
gpa and nanny
and sister roberts? (wierd, huh...)

another thing of importance- My debit card hasn’t been working in the last couple of weeks. not that i am going hungry, well at least i am not getting fat, but i wanted to be able to buy some stuff before i go home. not a lot of stuff, just maybe some cds and a t-shirt. Can you please see what’s going on there for me? thx for helping me out.

Just Pictures This Week

letter from 5-25-09 - Yep, I'm behind - what's new??? :-)

Dear Family,
I don’t have much time to write. But you guys haven’t been writing much either. I guess we all know that soon we can talk…

Here are some pictures:
my comp

Tres Rios

(cool shirt, huh!)

(in pink is the last person that I baptized here- milena)
LOVE Elder helland

Monday, May 18, 2009

no, i am not fat!

Letter 5-18-09

big boned.

well, this week we are doing a barbeque with the zone and i am running around getting things ready.

congrats little lady, on all that mushy stuff. :) i feel kind of like i do when you are talking to somebody and they say that someone they know died. :) i mean, that whole, "gee, i don’t know what to say really...stinks huh!" only that here it is like, "oh, gee, well way to go. hope you don’t lose the ring or anything! that would really stink!" :-)

just kidding. [the proposal] sounded a little like that part in the 'other side of heaven': swing, pond, a bunch of people watching as though it were a movie or something. :) i don’t really like saying mushy words, but it sounded kind of 'sweet'. funny about that word: if you say that something is flippin’ sweet, no one makes fun of you, but if you say that someone is sweet or "ahhhh, wasn’t that sweet!" people call you fruity. not worth it sometimes, but for alyce i said it once. heck, while i am at, why not go all the way- tell nathan that i think that HE is sweet. (say it in the fruity way. :) )

this week, the zone baptized... 0. my great family is dodging baptism right now and didn’t go to church on sunday. the other lady that was supposed to be baptized this week told us yesterday that she doesn’t want to yet. we are going there tomorrow. damage control. today we met with the zone to try and get everyone excited again and we started a new strategy. if it works, i will tell you about it next week.

well i got to roll.

love elder helland

MOM- not many letters left to write home, so sorry if they are short. love you and way to go winning all that money and awards and stuff. i always knew that you were great!

dad- hang in there big guy. whatever you do - DONT LET THEM BRAINWASH YOU with all the wedding mushy girl stuff. i am coming to the rescue, in a few weeks, and i need you to still be the big burly macho man that i remember. :)

alyce- since you are the center of attention right now, i think i wrote more about you than anything else. but really, nathan will be ticked if you lose that ring. :) don’t play with it in you mouth, bc if you swallow it... there will be unpleasant consequences.

love again

This is a picture of him today - to show us how the diet is working - ha-ha!

FYI - In case you didn't know - Alyce is engaged to be married on August 1, 2009 to Nathan Robinson. We're very excited!

Message to Alyce from last week:

PARABÉNS! (that is like congrats in my language). what kind of a ring is it? (any decoder ring is NOT engagement material, although handy for reading the backs of cereal boxes.) i won’t say much more, but my comp, who has been teasing me about this since you started dating nathan says that you are going to steal my thunder. i'll get home and everyone will say hi, and then they will go back to talking to you about getting married and the wedding shower and stuff. :) cool by me, just so you know.

Here is a picture of the two of them in March at Magic Mountain. We'll take some better pics...soon! :-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Six weeks to sexy…

Letter 5-11-09

that’s the name of the diet that elder christensen and i have copyrighted. the theory is that it isn’t so much about what you eat but about HOW MUCH you eat and what exercises you do in the morning. for example: everyday (except pday) i have to eat the dang rice and black beans. BUT, part of MY diet plan is that i am going to only eat some rice and drink a lot of water. that way you are full without getting any nutritional value, one of the keys to success. :-) I guess this diet is going to be a big high school fad, kind of like other diets that got big in the past like bulimia and anorexia. The good news is that i will come home thinner. The other important part is the exercises. Push ups. LOTS of the push ups. Then the arms get bigger and the chest muscles stick out more than the stomach. Sounds like a great idea, huh? I am looking for volunteers that way i can measure results. As for me, i will probably come home fat. :-)

Not much to say today...
The only news is that last night president called me after the our phone call and said,“elder helland, how do you want to end your mission?- as a zone leader or a trainer?” i said zone leader. He said ok and then a lot of other things about people in the zone. I got nervous, but it was cool. Form what i can tell from last night is that i will probably finish the mission here as a zone leader. Still... president is famous for changing his mind at the last minute.

Today i will go and enjoy the last pday with the zone, a lot of them will be transferred.

Well, it was nice to talk with you guys too.

Love elder helland

Alyce: Do me a favor and find some people for me to date too while you are at it. :-) Don’t tell them about the diet plan. Good luck with finals.

MOM- truthfully, phone calls are “trunky”- I mean, heck, we ended it saying- see you soon! But if it felt funny, you had to see my poor comp. The kid is getting home sick. Or mission sick...

DAD- last transfer i ripped my pants one day helping a family that we were teaching move in. It was a big one - right on the butt seam. I just finished the move and went home and changed it. That family still makes fun of me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Trails and Trials

Letter from 5-5-09

This week was a good one. Lots of cool blessing and trials.
Sorry I didn’t write yesterday. We had interviews in the zone and p-day got moved to today.
This week me and my companion were in that same old thing always running around looking for people to teach. We knocked a lot of doors with little luck. On Tuesday we were all tired again and we realized that we had very few investigators that were any good (meaning interested and progressing). As we deliberated about what to do a crazy idea came to our mind: get on a bus going to a neighborhood far away from where we were at and where we haven’t ever worked. At first it was just a funny idea, but then we made it real. We had like 10 addresses there to go after so we decided that it was a dumb idea but that we would go for it. We walked to the bus stop to wait for the bus, when we got to the bus stop there was another bus there going to a neighborhood equally far only we only had 5 addresses there. Since we were just being crazy, we decided to get on the bus and go anyway. We went out there and worked the rest of the day looking for people to teach, again without luck. At the end of the day we found a family of four. They were awesome. They loved the message and were excited to go to church on Sunday. They went and liked it. We went there yesterday and they gave us food. If was great. Since we are working out there a lot now, we have since found several other people to teach- way out in the boonies.

Ok, about mothers day:
Our number here is 24 9984 0998
I don’t know what time you have church. Mine is in the morning- 9 to 12.
You can call me at 5 our time. MY time. I don’t know what the conversion is, but we have got a few people using the phone on this day so I hope it goes well. If anything goes wrong, I will call you with another number on that day. Deal? Just 40 minutes of fun though, ok?

MOM- parabens e feliz anniversario. Way to go you oldie!! 29 is a lot!
No I am not sick.
Thanks for your sweet email.
I got MY bday package this week and it was great. We ate it all already (the other missionaries in the house and the zone do not permit that food is shared for more that a day.). the shirt was sweet. Sister bezerra wanted it, but I didn’t give it to her. :-)

DAD- GOOD luck running in the morning. my comp tries to get me to go running with him but I am too tired to go. Tell gpa and gma they are in my prayers.

ALYCE - have a blast with finals. i guess that I am coming up on a sort of “finals” too. I am pretty nervous. Love ya and know that I am happy for you and doing fine.

Love elder helland
PS On Sunday ask me about a cool story that happened at interviews. It was great.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Longest week of my life…

Letter from 4-27-09

my companion- being from my group in the CTM, will go home with me. he, not me, is a trunky monkey sometimes. he pointed out that this week we were in the MTC in reverse. (the ctm was 9 weeks at the beginning and this being 9 weeks to the ...) anyway as we remembered our first week as missionaries we remembered that it was the LONGEST WEEK of our lives. i remember at the end of the first week thinking that i had been there a month. the days seemed to crawl by. this week, we commemorated that week by having the LONGEST week since the ctm. on Tuesday we did the big activity that i told you guys about (a BIG success!). BUT that meant that we were up and out of the house at 8 in the morning knocking doors and doing contacts and that lunch wasn’t going to be much rest either. knocking doors and contacting people in the street has to be one of the most tiring and least effective ways to do missionary work, but a member who hasn’t done it since his mission years ago thought it was a blast - for an hour at least :) we worked those members into the ground, but that wore me out too. when the activity was over the members went home and slept and we kept on doing the same until 9:30. i remember it was dark that night and i was beat tired and all of our plans were shot and we were knocking doors AGAIN. i thought that we were getting pretty close to closing time bc no one was letting us in and they looked like they were sleeping. i asked what time it was, and my comp said guess. i tried to guess low so that i could be surprised when he would say " eight thirty". so i said, "um, like seven thirty-ish?"- he pulled out the cell phone and looked at it and shook his heads, half laughing, half crying and said " nope, SIX thirty."- longest day EVER. the rest of the week we had similar trials and the days seemed to drag on and on- nobody seemed to want us in their house at night.

but the activity was great. we had over 70 men involved. we did 1920 contacts in 4 hours. got over 586 addresses and gave out 1771 pass-a-long cards. now we get the sticky end of the activity- working through the addresses that are mostly lies and lazy people that don’t want anything but a free dvd. (some of the members said some DUMB stuff to the people when they got their addresses. they promised books and DVDS and CDs to people. they told them tons of stuff... well, they did their best. )

the week, other that that, was hard. not much success in the zone either. this week is zone conference and we are going to train about how to listen to the investigator.

MOM- take it easy on the fingers lady. you only have ten. the little punk girl is still a punk, but her sister is acting up now so the mom thinks that the first got better. funny.

DAD- my comp is from utah- he is not a sports guys. playing or watching. BUT a guy in our house is from san diego and today we are going to play basketball together. he loves sports.

ALYCE- PARABÉNS! (that is like congrats in my language). :) cool by me, just so you know.

Elder Helland

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Hello Family and Friends - I am soooo sorry I am soooo behind on posting Adam's letters - this has to be a record for me (a bad record!). Anyway, I'm posting 4 tonight so enjoy! P.S. Adam's coming home date has changed. He flies out of Rio the evening of June 24 and arrives in Phoenix the morning of June 25. We're very excited! He will give his "homecoming" talk on July 12 if anyone is interested in coming. :-)

Letter from 4-20-09

ih-eh! is this weird colloquial saying here in tres rios. it is pronounced with the "ih" as in the "spit" and "eh" as in "any" (just the vowel sounds). it is really common for the young people to say. they use it like "no way!" our "whatever!" or "gross!". funny, huh! but they say it a LOT!

this week we had a baptism on saturday, but I didn’t get any pictures. one of the other missionaries did and we are going to print a few out today. her name is milena and she was a teenage punk. she still is a teenage punk. her mom kept asking before the baptism if her daughter might be magically different after the dunk in the water. i kindly explained to her AGAIN, that the gospel doesn’t work that way was and that it isn’t magic. just like pres uchtdorf said- continued faithfulness is the key. the gospel has the power to change, BUT only if they keep on going to church and reading the scriptures and praying everyday. maybe years, but things will get better. she believes me but still wishes that there were some more magic involved.

this week we had a great meeting with pres.! actually, all meetings are great with pres.! Even though i was totally sick and weird, i learned a ton.

we had some really stupid problems in the zone this week. one dumb missionary doesn’t like one of the other missionaries that he lives with. both sets of missionaries work in the same ward. i guess one spread a bunch of rumors about the new missionary. it was a really good experience for me because i felt the Lord lead me and help me know what to do. it is a long story that i don’t really want to tell right now. suffice it to say that things are getting better in their house and ward now.

president called a new mission counselor, a guy name Tita. he was a very famous soccer player once upon a time - won the world cup once or twice and stuff. he is pretty cool.

MOM- the bus ride was miserable. thanks for helping me remember. the big stake missionary activity happens tomorrow and i am a little nervous bc we have a dumb missionary who doesn’t want to participate. (yep, same dumb missionary as above.) just so you know, the majority of your letter was this weird proposition that you cancelled at the end. :) hey, what ever we do is fine with me. i don’t know about the cape, though. not that i have my reputation at stake or anything... :)

DAD- if you think that you have writers block- then i have family block. i block you guys out for a week and then suddenly i have to write down something to make you guys happy. some days i just feel like working and keeping the family block up.:-)

ALYCE- hey, i ended up getting the little note from you from last week. thx and sorry. tell nathan that i don’t have to get an email from him. if it is weird for me to get it, it is probably WAY weirder to write it. I want you to know that i am doing my best here, but it is still REALLY weird for me. so be patient.

TYSON- hey sweet guitar dude. i had a companion that played the guitar in some our investigators houses just to help that relax and to show that we were interested in them. on your mission you will use you musical skill ALWAYS. so be sure to learn some hymns along with all that heavy metal. (Truthfully, i have grown to like acoustics these days- they use them a lot here.)

LOVE elder helland

Today I’m Tired

Letter 4-13-09

i had a fever last night and i am still getting over it. i didn’t sleep much, and don’t feel much like writing a lot today. PLUS we are doing a zone activity today- soccer and pizza. (oh-yeah, elder christensen and I are still together here in tres rios.)

this last week was good, but tough. we are going to baptize a lady this week. we went to juiz de fora last week to have a meeting with the stake president (about an hour and a half from here) it was cool. we are organizing a stake mission day, where we are going to put tons of priesthood holders on the streets to knock doors and do contacts with people. there are going to be at least 50 members from the stake in our little city this next Tuesday all trying to do some good.

tomorrow i am going to rio again. (Tonight i get the bus, actually) we have a meeting with the president in his house with all of the zone leaders. it is going to be great. the last time president did a really cool sermon thing about the creation and the fall and the atonement and he let us ask all kind of questions. i hope he does something like that again.

MOM- sorry everything is so sloppy, but i am pretty groggy. this other guy that lives in our house, elder pili, got the same virus, so we both had fevers all night and kept getting up to use the bathroom. i was pretty sick. me and him were joking last night that if we were at home we would flop on the couch and turn on the tv or a movie or something to help get to sleep. i ended up just playing with that dang Rubik’s cube for 40 min in the bathroom. (beat my record, solved it in under 2 min. ) :)

DAD- elder pili loves b-ball, and is thrilled that you send such good and useful information every week, too bad he is from san diego and doesn’t care much for the suns or the d-backs. he did really like the march madness finals info. he thinks you are the greatest.

ALYCE- man, not writing to me AGAIN! i think i will cry. mom has to tell me all that goes on with you now a days. tell me about school and this nathan kid. just talk to me lady! love ya anyway.

well i am sick, i think that i will grab some more ibuprofen.

love you guys,

elder helland

I heart conference!

Letter 4-6-09

Man conference was the best!
My favorite was elder Holland’s talk about the atonement of Jesus Christ. I felt really excited to go out and tell EVERYONE that a prophet speaks! It was great. The only down side is that we had to watch it all in Portuguese. Not that i can’t understand it, but it isn’t the same. Imagine it all without voice intonation and sometimes they even translate it different. BUT i guess the real teacher was the holy ghost- who is present in all languages. I learned what i needed for today and for this week. We shared a lesson with a member the other day where we read that one quote from president brigham young saying that he would give up all of the written and ancient scriptures to have a living prophet. I thought a lot about how incredible was the opportunity to see a prophet speak. When my companion fell asleep in the first session all of the missionaries woke him up and chewed him out after ward. Poor guy. i found some hersheys dark chocolate and so i bought some. I snacked on it during conference and used it to bribe some kids to be reverent.

Well this week is transfers again. Not really sure what’ll happen. Guess you’ll get the news next week.

We were going to baptize a little girl, but she couldn’t because she might move this week. Maybe if she doesn’t move she will be baptized this week.

Well i got to go. Sorry, i guess some days i don’t feel like writing much, huh.

Do i need anything, you ask? Baptisms. But if you can’t send me that i´ll take a letter or candy or pens. I hadn’t received a letter in a while, but last week i got one from Sarah. Thx! :-) I know that i don’t have much time left and that means that i need to work harder than ever, but i bet you can still send letters for a least another month with out running the risk on me beating them home.

Elder helland

waiting for something amazing to happen, I guess

letter from 3-30-09
This week was pretty dang good, i guess.
We baptized two women- claudia and tais. This next week will be a girl name milena.
It has been pretty exciting because the mission has been changing so much since pres bezerra came – no more movies, no more guitar, no more pday traveling, no more coke, and tons of other stuff. Even better have been the change in success. We were looking at a report that pres sent to all of the zone leaders about the mission growth. Last july, pres bezerra´s first month here, the mission baptized 46 people in the whole month. In the next two months he made a goal for the mission to baptise 100 in the month of september- something that hadn't happend in over 8 years in our mission. We got close, baptizing only 90, still the best that had happened in over 5 years. We celebrated and president took all of the zone leaders to this sweet restaurant (it was awesome). And now for more recent news: This last week our mission baptized 47 people! In one week. This month of march we baptized over 185! Doubled that 90 that we we so happy to get in september. Cool,huh

I don't know if you ever got the pictuires of my head, so here they are:

So, i don't have a lot to write this week. I guess if i thought that my head was dumb last week, you should see my comps head this week. He has this weird tropical infection thing that gives him these occasional boils (i don't know what to call them in english- they are like huge zits. Usually just one at a time. He had a huge one on his elbow, and he would squeeze puss out of it every day.) anyway, he has one on his jaw now. It lookes like the biggest zit of all time, but he is afraid to pop it. It is so big it makes his face look asymmetrical and lopsided. Everyone in the ward and everyone we teach gives their own witch doctor remedy of what to do. Everyone tries to diagnose him, but everyone has a different story of what it is that he has. I am going to call sister today, because he doesn't want to. It is pretty wierd. I hope that it isn't catchy... hehehe. (will you still love me if i come home looking like and elephant? :-) {what movie?}

this internet place stinks.

Well, i guess i'll talk to you next week.
Elder helland

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

happy birthday alyce

Letter 3-23-09

i figure that you can’t write it too many times; once b4 and once after. this week was tough too, just like the trek. our baptism ditched us on the day of her interview. turns out that her dad, a pastor in another church came and told her that she isn’t ready to be baptized and a bunch of other crap. i was sad. she still went to church, but she isn’t really talking with us much. we have two other baptisms for this saturday- claudia and tais.

last week we had a zone conference that was excellent. it was out in juiz de fora, so i felt like i was going home. i can’t believe that is has been over a year since i went to juiz de fora. time just keeps trucking on, huh. my companion, being from my group, goes home with me. he is already pretty trunky- you know counting days and stuff. he is a goon.

today, we are going to play ping pong at the church. i am still pretty tired and don’t feel like writing much more. tried to send pictures last week, but it didn’t work. I’ll try again today maybe...

well, love you guys

elder helland

Monday, March 16, 2009

happy birthday police!!

Letter 3-16-09

happy birthday police!!

If last week was good, this week was fun. Don’t freak, but i went to the hospital. Twice. The first time i just went to get a skin infection looked at. The man gave medicine and now it is clearing up. He said that it is a bacteria that grows because of a lot of sweat and heat for long periods of time. So that was the first time. The next time i hit my head walking down the street. Here I am well above the average height, so most things bump me on the head. but this time it got me pretty good. I had to go to get some stitches in my forehead (kind of like Frankenstein). I sure hope I don’t end up with some kind of funky scar (like harry potter). Just kidding, i only got two stitches, it isn’t all that big. i had a HUGE goose egg on my head for a few days.

We had mission counsel this week, so we traveled to Rio and stayed there a few days for that. It was great. Besides that, not much happened. The last few days we have been scrambling to dig up some baptisms in the zone. We didn’t come up with much and so the assistants came out to stay with us last night (elder harmon and i got to hang out together again). Tt was great. This next week, i think that we will baptize a lady named claudia. she went to church on sunday and is pretty much ready. we are also teaching two more women that need to be baptized- fabiola and francirlene. update you next week.

i have got to go to lunch. i will try and send you pictures next week or later today of the house and my head.

love elder helland

Monday, March 9, 2009

Good Week

Letter 3-9-09

man do i feel boring this morning...
this last week was good. president sent me an email saying " way to go", your zone was the second best baptizer of the mission. so that was cool. we baptized a little girl named eliza. she was really excited about it. i got to baptize her. we accidentally forgot to turn off the water to fill up the font until a little boy ran out and told me the bathroom was full of water. so that was a little mess that we got to clean up. speaking of messes: you know how we are living on the ground bc there aren’t any beds or mattresses or closets or shelves or tables or desks or chairs?(we have stuff for two missionaries to live well, but nothing for 4) anyway, on friday president and sister bezerra visited our house. i wanted to die. it was a surprise visit and it was quite embarrassing. well, in the end it was worth it because they liberated tons of money to buy the furniture that we need so badly. don’t worry mom, we clean our house every week. just that we also live out of our bags and sleep on the ground- like bums.

MOM- thnx for the help with BYU. good luck with the trek stuff. and i am a teacher of the truth- that means that i want the truth even if it makes me squirmy.

alyce- sounds cool lady! way to go, finally snagged a boyfriend. :-) i can't wait to meet him. congrats on the byu too! we must be geniuses, huh.

DAD- you are a pro, dude. really go for it. if field day is your thing- go pro! :-)

well, i got to go. i am going to cut my hair bc today i have to snag a travel bus back to Rio to go to a cool mission council tomorrow.

ill try and sent pictures next week- of our house and baptism, my comp and the other cool guys that i live with.

luv elder helland

ps got the packages from you guys and grandma jones thx a ton! also here are pictures of me and my comp

Monday, March 2, 2009

Working our tails off…

Letter from 3-2-09

Man, this week has been a rush. We started trading off who gets to sleep in the beds bc the tile floor is NOTHING like i remember camping to be! I feel kind of like a bum on the street, sleeping on a piece of cardboard with an ugly blanket. I guess that we all have different ways to have fun, but this isn’t mine yet. Actually, i think that my comp likes it... but he is a little crazy...

This was a tough week, but productive for us at least. We are going to baptize at least 2 people this Saturday that we found on Friday, and we have a bunch more that we are excited to baptize this week or next. The other elders in our house are also getting ready to baptize a few people. In testimony meeting an investigator went up and started telling this wild story about how her son is in prison for killing two people, but that he is innocent, and how other people were going to kill him in the prison and were trying to ransom him for 8000 bucks, and a bunch of other crazy stuff. I was watching the bishop, and he looked REALLY nervous. After like 7 or 8 minutes of this crazy story, she said that one night this week she was praying and crying and that she received and answer to her prayers that the book of Mormon is true and now she wants to be baptized. It was cool because the ward is already excited to have so many missionaries, they had never had 4 before, and our first Sunday there, a crazy lady went up and said that she wants to be baptized ASAP! So the ward thinks that the new missionaries, US, are going to turn things around in the ward. And with the Lords help, we will. We brought a whole family to church this Sunday. Most were inactive members, but there are two children that we are going to baptize on Saturday.

Other than that, not much else. We are lost. It is super hot, and i am sweating a TON. (I always stink, at least to me i stink.) i get these weird heat/sweat rashes all over my body, and they itch a lot.

DAD- wait, let me see if i understood- your missionary experience was getting doors slammed in your face? Bummer. I try and teach the missionaries that it is SO important that they work with members. The Lord knows this, and so, the Lord will provide a way for them to have a spiritually uplifting experience if they seek Him and His help. And it works. I have never left with a member when, even when everything goes wrong, we didn’t find a way to have a good experience or find a good person to teach. Sometimes it was hard, but the Lord prepares a way. Good luck with the field days, no throwing rocks.

The other gross stuff this week is the weird case of chaffing that i have got going. It itches and hurts ALL the time. What do you do fix it? I am a little afraid to ask the mission president’s wife- i am not sure how to say a lot of the words that i would need to explain it and it would be awfully awkward. Imagine me trying to explain what the problem is with my poor biological vocabulary i would end up using the cruder words that i've learned on the street here. It might come out way wrong... i bet i will have a funny experience to tell you next week bc of this. :-)

MOM- actually elder harmon is one of the new assistants to the president. President called 4 right now. He is a really cool guy. Turns out that being dedicated in the MTC, (even if he was annoying), stayed being really dedicated on the field. We have since met several times on the mission and we love talking. We had a bunch of meetings when we were zone leaders in zones close to each other. I have got a cool picture that i took with him like 2 months ago that is really cool, he is a LOT more fun these days...elder rhodes is one of the new assistants too. So we get to talk a lot more now. Whenever i want actually. Weird that jimmy is coming home already... but cool that shane comes home at the same time as me; didn’t he start before me? I think that i am getting ripped off out a few days of mission service, but i don’t think they have a complaint desk for me to call about this one. Be sure to email before or after the trek, BUT DONT forget to email me. Alyce that bum, didn’t get around to it again.

ALYCE- hey goonie! What’s the deal sis? Hope you are alright... guess i’ll here from you next week.

Well, i got to try and buy mattresses today and maybe bunk beds- so have a good week.

Love you more than mattresses (which i love a lot)

Elder helland

Sunday, March 1, 2009

We're gonna rock this town!

letter from Thurs. 2-26-09
We´re gonna rock this town, turn it inside out...

SO, I got transferred. Bummer, huh. I was pretty pumped for all the baptisms that we had set up for this week, but ‘i'll go were you want me to go’, I guess. This is my sad face about transfers:

In our house in Vila Nova there was one of those dumb missionary things, you know the kind of the thing that all of the missionaries write there names on? Well, there was this chalkboard on the wall that was like this. I am, as a rule, against the graffiti of any missionary anything, but my comp really wanted us to put our names on there. So I decided to DRAW us on the board. Here it is:

To tell the truth, I was surprised how well it turned out... I still don’t think that I will make a habit of writing on things in my houses, BUT, this one was cool.

So, the transfer news is interesting.
I am now in Tres Rios, a tiny town in the middle of no-where. I am not really sure what is going on yet, b/c president sent a whole bunch of missionaries to this town, creating a new zone. and sent me as zone leader here. When I got the phone call saying that I was being transferred and they said I was going to be a zone leader again in a zone that didn’t exist, I thought it was a joke. But here I am, lost again in a city. From what I can tell, there are two or three ward/branches here, and all of them are struggling. My new proselyting area is TINY. Probably kind of like our ward at home. My new comp is elder Christenson. He is from my group in the MTC, so I already know him pretty well. He is from utah, which means that he is probably a mormon. J

I am also living with another set of missionaries here. Our house is tiny, and we still have to buy some mattresses… It is a real adventure. Kind of like camping!

President just sent me an email telling me a little bit about the mission that he wants us to do. It is all about getting the wards here to start growing, and bring up the sacrament meeting attendance to 100 in all of the wards in the next few weeks. WAHOO!! It is time to go to work!

I am totally excited to go to work with the Lord and get these areas baptizing and growing.

MOM- yep, carnival stunk. The office called and said i got two packages. Sounds like one from you and one from gma jones, but I don’t know yet, b/c I will only get them here in a week or two. Good luck with the prom and trek stuff.

DAD- man, I always LOVED field day. I loved the lunchable that we got almost as much too. March madness is coming up, right? Send a bracket. There is another American in our house named elder smith, (we are going to play basketball together on pday, YESSSS!), so we talk about sports. He is pretty new on the mission, but I was up to date thanks to your sports update emails. You are the bomb. I didn’t feel like a loser. (My comp on the other hand doesn’t really like sports, but that is okay, b/c I was never a sports fanatic anyway.)

ALYCE- mom told me not to freak out, and I am doing my best. Man, boy talk makes me really nervous sometimes. :-) just take it easy, ok? And keep me updated…

Sorry, today isn’t pday, so I got a ton to do today- i'll write more and send more pictures next week.

Love elder helland
PS : the name if my ward is Vila Isabel

Monday, February 16, 2009

Quiet like a fish...

ok, this week was pretty dang awesome here too. It rained like crazy and my umbrella broke (again...), and i got all wet. It was ALMOST like baptism, but not quite the same. Just so you know, i am in Rio still, in a part called Campo Grande, which is to say, big field. In some places that is exactly what it is. Not much like the normal “favela” part of Rio, so there isn’t as much danger either. The ward is pretty cool. They seem to like me. But i guess i can understand why :), actually, they really try and help the people that we bring to church. This last week, one of the coolest experiences was when i did a division with some ward members to visit inactive people. We got to this one guy’s house and all of his brothers and sisters were there and they all are members of the church (like maybe 4 brothers and their wives). I had never met them before, but soon they started talking, all of them saying why it was that they weren’t going to church any more. Some blamed it one others that had done or said something, others bc they thought that they weren’t worthy to go to church bc of the way they are living. They all said that they knew that the church is true, but none thought that they could come back to church after the things that had happened. They kind of got riled up talking about the things that had happened that made them leave the church. The brother that was my companion looked scared and didn’t say anything. So after letting them talk for a while, i felt the spirit say- it’s time. I put my hands in the air, it was a little strange, but everyone stopped talking and looked at me. Then i started talking. I don’t really remember all that i said, i just know that i felt weird bc i was like calling them to repentance. It was neat bc every objection that they had, the answer that i gave them was “repent”. The lady that didn’t want to go to church bc she drinks i said, look, you have to go to church bc there is NO OTHER WAY. You have to repent and go back to church bc there is really NO OTHER WAY to return and live with Heavenly Father, except through our Savior Jesus Christ. This other man didn’t want to go bc of things that people had done to him in the church, people that were leaders in the church and stuff. I told him that he had to learn to return to church and the gospel, bc he couldn’t afford to lose great blessings bc of what others did. I told him that it isn’t worth to NOT be sealed to his family just bc of something that one person said 13 years ago. And more. I only remember the feeling that i had as i lit into this family of inactive members. I knew the things that came to my mind were of the spirit so i kept right on speaking. But it really touched me too. Really, NOTHING else matters. Really, there is NO OTHER WAY except through our Savior! I always remember a talk in gen conf this last fall called “the way”, by some seventy. He said, "There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the Way." [Here's the link in case anyone wants to read it:] well to end the story, some of them kept quiet just thinking, some of them kept on grumbling and one of the brothers left the room, kind of miffed. Well, i was out of things to say, so we said a closing prayer. Then the brother came back from the other room and said, 'good job elder. I’ll go to church on Sunday if you guys go with me.' I said, 'deal'. Then he turned to his brothers and sisters and said, “ hey, if I’m going you are all going with me. We are a family.” in the end he invited all of his family and a friend to go with him, but only he and one of his sisters went with us. He is now excited to come back to church and try and be fully active again and worthy to receive the M. priesthood.
Well that was this week’s story.

Alyce- whats up luver gurl? Don’t you even think about “ dating” anyone for a while. No more of these blind dates with hotties. My spin on it is this: if the guy walks out on a dumb movie, he isn’t you style. You ARE the dumb movie queen. (at least you were...) you made dumb movies awesome. (remember our last adventure at the movies b4 i left? Nancy Drew and some other dumb movie?) But i guess if you keep on dressing up like a homely dork, i am good. Way to go. [Alyce got invited to a party and her date told her it was a DI (thrift store) party so she wore dorky high water overalls, an ugly shirt, etc. Well, it turns out it was a DRESS UP DI party (who’s ever heard of that?!?!) where everyone was all formally – so Alyce was dressed ALL wrong – luckily they skipped the party and did their own thing, but she still felt “homely” all night wherever they went in her crazy outfit!]

Did anyone give you roses? :-)

What happened at the hobby lobby? Are you gonna make it? And mom said that you are slacking at the byu app; what’s that all about? I hope that we get in, or i am hosed.Other that that, take it easy little- lady.

MOM- thanks for clearing it up. “Return with honor” is something that you tell to future or struggling missionaries. NOT to happy missionaries.

Today was interviews and i got two letters, one from the wilsons with 20 bucks in it. Tell them THANK YOU and i think that i will hold on to it and grab a snack on the layover on the flight going home (this attitude in no way contradicts my peter pan theory, it is however a fact of reality that there are no taco bells here, but in the Atlanta airport that is sure to be at least one.)

and just so you know, i think that i WILL use that analogy, just for your information and tomorrow too! Hmmf! I will have to give it a twist and a tweak, but it is definitely doable. Maybe something about the power of the spirit in the teaching. I duhknow, i will have to ponder on it. Ill let you know how it goes.

Transfers are next week and carnival is this week. It stinks. We have to stay inside our houses saturday and tuesday and on monday and sunday we can only visit members and only until 6 pm. So pday is gonna stink. MEMO: i will only be able to write email on thursday of next week, after the transfer. I repeat, thursday.

DAD- i thought that brown was a more manly color. You macho man. Hey, i want to see you with hair? How was it? I remember at g-ma’s house looking at your pictures with you and your hair. Once upon a time you were a stud with blondish, 70s hair. Now you are an animal- with hair all over. Cool huh? You wanna hear something that i did really dumb too? It has to so with hair... kind of. I got a weird heat rash on my stomach for a week or two, and it was all red and itchy. (this also happened last year. It is something that has to do with the heat and the sweat. It is kind of like a huge diaper rash on my belly.) anyway, my comp told me to take cold showers, which, DUH, i do anyway in this ridiculous heat. Then he suggested that i shave the hair on my tummy. I said no, but his idea stayed in my head. Until one day it was really bad. And i thought, maybe it’ll work... well the rest is history. I shaved a ctr shield into the fur on my tummy. In is now almost grown back. But i learned that if it itches with hair, it is two times worse without.

WELL, i gotta go now, talk to ya next Thursday.

elder helland
ps, the title comes from a movie quote from the movie chicken run. When the two rats are telling how they stole the tools, the one says, “ we snuck in real quiet like.”, and the other says, “ yeah, yeah, like a fish.” then the first replies, “ like a fish? You idiot.” man i like that part.

Monday, February 9, 2009

p-day is a special day!

Rio is my Neverland

Letter 2-9-09

MOM-thanks for the help with byu. I sure hope I get in. I will tell president about e-mailing it. Actually i will tell the executive secretary, elder hill, a good friend of mine (from my mtc group). He really wants me to go to byu with him, so i bet he’ll get it done right. :-)

Hey you didn’t end the email with one of those “i love you more than [...]” i bet you are running out of new and creative sayings after all this time, but if you reuse the first ones i won’t even notice (b/c “return with honor” makes me sad. I don’t want to return. So if we could just act like that won’t happen for a really long time, that would be great. I feel like peter pan - don’t wanna grow up, don’t wanna go home. Rio is my neverland. Because this same oppotunity can never happen again.)

Maybe you could share some of the cool comparisons that you learned. The truth is that even though i am not a zone leader now, i have to do even MORE trainings. So send the cool ideas. One of the things that we do is try and “focus on the one” missionary. I have a district of 6 and i feel like what i have to do is be close enough to them to know their problems and have them be willing to accept ideas to make things better.

[regarding me asking if he is using his piano “talents”] In nova iguaçu i used to play the piano for sacrament meeting until the organ broke - pretty much just the upper hand, and sometimes just the melody. I played in almost every ward at one time or another. I did prelude at a madureira stake conference (just the hymns that i had memorized :) and i played for the primary in petropolis for a few weeks when they were getting ready for their primary presentation.

ALYCE- hey, keep your chin up. Remember the stake dances? : “work [stinks], i know” (all the small things) man, those were the days. They would turn down the volume for that song and every one would yell it anyway. [sigh...] i guess now you know...

It is really good that YOU didn’t get fired. I guess it is that more obvious why is is so important to always be 100% honest. Integrity could cost a lot more than a job if lost. Maybe you could just suck up to the new boss(es) and maybe share the gospel with them. That is a GREAT idea.

DAD- I spell badly bc i almost never use inglês. I spend all day thinking, writing and speaking another language- that is my excuse. PLUS, these dumb old computadors only have spell check in portuguese. the only funny thing that happened this week was that we taught a man from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I guess i have learned a lot on the mission bc i dont get angry anymore when people say dumb stuff and want to fight with us. This guy was REALLY annoying. Anyway, when i saw that he wasn’t going to let us talk or explain, i calmly told him that we would have to end the lesson. It took a while but finally i got control over the lesson and i said, “well let’s say a closing prayer.” the man got up and was leaving the room, when my dear comp, the greenie that he is, asked the man if he wanted to stay and he said he would IF he could say the prayer. We let him. He said a ridiculous prayer, to which no one was inclined to say amen. I think that was his plan. I opened my eyes and my companion was visibly ticked. The man asked why he didn’t say amen, and my comp gave him a really intense smile. I almost laughed. My comp is a REALLY calm and caring person. But he was NOT happy, and it was pretty funny to see how one annoying man really ruffled his feathers. We got out of there and i calmed him down. I told him some funny stories about other encounters with j-dubs, and when we got home i showed him good scriptures he could use to defend the docrines of the church if he wanted. He got kind of excited. I think it is funny bc i remember early on the mission getting mad when this kind of stuff happened. And now i kind of like being able to stay calm and be honest with the person and tell them that this is not the way that we teach and then invite them to church.

I got the package from gma and gpa! THANKS! My comp thinks that those cookies are the best in the world. The problem was that they open the box in “alfandeges” (forgot the word in english...) dang, i really can’t remember it....oh well, it got here and we are eating everything. The sisters thought that it was cute that i got a teddybear, and said the texture was really neat.

Well, wish i could write more, but there are other things that i also want to do today.

Love you guys,
elder helland

Monday, February 2, 2009

too bad cardinals

Letter 2-2-09
*Yep, I got behind AGAIN! :-) Below you will find the Adam's last three letters! :-)

this week was tuff. we baptized sandra, and that was really cool. i got a christmas card from camille and from the ward. i also got an AWESOME letter from a convert. it was the best i have EVER gotten. really cool. one of the poeple that i baptized in bento ribeiro. i got to write her back today.

MOM- hey i don’t when the deadline is for BYU, but elder rhodes said that he had to have it in by feb for byu idaho. pres sent his letter two weeks ago. help me! please to do it this week. Eek!

oh, and relax. everything is fine here. sorry the letter didn’t go thru. we baptized and are working our tails off.

alyce- sorry the email didn’t get thru last week. i love you still. keep up the good work. i hope you get last week’s this week bc i don’t think that i will write much...; good luck with school. maybe you can teach me how to dance some day....

DAD, hmm sorry about the big loss. no one in the zone believed me when i said the cardinals had gone to the super bowl. i guess we didn’t have enough faith. it is like that movie angels in the outfield. except the angels didn’t come to help out warner. hmmm. :) I’ll find out if i got the package this week.

this friday elder ellis of the presidency of the area is coming to see our mission. he is a seventy from the first quorum. i am really excited.

I’ve got to roll out. i hope to baptize another man this week called josenilson.
I’ll let you know next week.

elder helland

I believe I can fly…

Letter from 1-26-09 (we actually didn't get this letter until today!)

this week we are going to baptize this really cool lady called sandra. she is a 50 year old retired history teacher. she is full of tatoos, but loves the church and the BOM. she was going to be baptized this week, but due to a few things that i didn’t know how to resolve (menstruation?), it had to wait. when she told me i was like, ummm, why are you telling me. i guess the only real reason that she didn’t want was that she is also HIV+ and she has to take extra precautions with weird stuff like that. i just said- "ok. don’t say anymore bc i don’t wanna know" any way she will be baptized this week. :-)

we are teaching a few other people and families, but a lot of the people that go to church and want to be baptized can’t- bc they aren’t married. man, that really stinks sometimes. it is expensive to get married here- about $$450 big ones. (in reais)

my comp is cool. he is pretty quiet and i am not. i sometimes wonder if i bother him talking so much, but someone has got to fill the silence. next week i will send a picture of my district. i have sisters in my district. one is loud and crazy, and the other is silent. it is pulling teeth to get her to laugh sometimes. there are two other elders. one doesn’t have an ear. both are great. i am the only American in the district. i am in the same zone as elder labrum, from the ctm. he is the other DL. we see each other every week and it is great. we goof around together on pday.

MOM- fun story lady! i guess it has always been different here on the mission, bc when i had to talk to pres about a missionary, he usually helped me out and sent that missionary to the other side of the mission. other times president would say things like, "hey, you’re the zone leader... YOU solve it." then he would make me do a division with a missionary to bust his chops. NOT fun EVER. the worst was when we would have problems with bishops in the zone, president would make ME talk with them to figure stuff out. usually they weren’t interested in what i had to say, because i was just another missionary to them, and then i would have to do a conference call later with president and the stake president to figure stuff out. the truth is that i don’t think i am very good at "fixing" tricky situations. if i were part of the bomb squad- i would set off all of the bombs... but i guess that is one way to get rid of the bomb... :-) i like hearing your experiences bc i think about all the ways that the mission is preparing me to deal with stuff like this later. Interviews for example. the next time i will do worthiness interview like i do for baptismal candidates now, as if i am bishop. lots of neat experiences- one after the other!

ALYCE- sometimes when i read your emails i begin to think that you do more than ME in the week. ...hmm, nope, that is impossible. :) i don’t have any classes or boyfriends, but i get up and work everyday sunday to sunday. so...i think it is cool how you say "skated" all over the place. you must be pretty cool. sometimes i miss the skateboard. there are some radical hills in my area. BUT all the roads are cobblestone. i guess it wouldn’t be all that tell the truth, at first i really missed you in the ctm, but since then i don’t really ever have dreams with you in them [Alyce told him she had a week full of dreams where he was a character in them]. actually, i don’t have a lot of dreams. i guess i am so tired that i kind of black out for a few hours every night. when i do dream it is of baptism and new investigators.

DAD- i practically died laughing reading your e email this week. you should know that your emails have improved greatly over that last year and a [...] . at the beginning of the mission i used to laugh at your emails sometimes bc you would write like a two sentence sports update or would goof up the spelling of all the words. NOW, thanks to your new rap training from v-ice, you got some gnarly writing skills. not to mention some ridiculous stories. you have got to write a book with these dumb stories. i remember when alyce and i were little in the "old house", we were playing in the backyard throwing rocks in the air. we would throw that rocks in the air and then close our eyes. you won if your rock hit you on the head. alyce was still pretty gullible and she won A LOT that day. when she closed her eyes i would chuck a rock at her. i was great! she would even get excited bc she was winning. heheheheheh :) ahh... [sigh] but really, if you want an adrenaline rush, close your eyes and chuck a rock straight up. it is fun. maybe you can play it with mom...good luck with the super bowl situation. hope warner has got one last miracle in him
still no package from, but lots of prayers for gpa and gma. i haven’t given up hope, i could still get it here.

i love it here

fala com vocês semana que vem.
love elder helland

these are picures, camp grande means big field. it really is.
New Comp

jeepers mister...

Letter from 1-19-09

jeepers mister, you're real strong.
"jeepers mister??"
"i was going for cute and innocent." (hercules, disney )

hey this new internet house doesn’t have WORD. i hope that word pad has spell check or something... because i am terrible at spelling these days-- ESPECIALLY in English! (i was always bad a at Portuguese :) )

NEWS- i got transferred. i am now in a ward called vila nova. my companion is elder modena. This is his second transfer. i am now a district leader again. i am totally excited bc i got here and there are already a few people ready for baptism. with a little work, we should baptize someone this week! her name is sandra. she is 50 something and has a bunch of tatoos. she is really excited to get baptized, she just has to fix a few things in here life for that to happen. and we are gonna help here. another man is named josenilson, and he is stopping with the coffee still. he will be baptized just as soon as he quits.

today we had a zone activity. it is a little bit weird not being the zone leader anymore, but refreshing. it is like something new and exciting- ALL OVER AGAIN! anyway- elder labrum and elder evans are in the zone so we had a great time playing around together and remembering the good old days of the mtc.

MOM- yep- what could you send me?!?! i thought of two things that you could send me. the first is a rubiks cube. my comp is in love. here they are called magic cubes, and he is teaching me how to play with them. BUT, they don’t make them so well here in the big 'ole brasil. that would be cool if you could. (i would probably give it to him as a present... after i played with it first :) ) The other thing is ... anything. i just really like getting stuff. i am not talking about greed, bc i currently don’t get a whole lot. I’m talking about need. it s just plain fun to get anything. pictures, puzzles, goofy stuff, candy or food. it makes me and my companion happy. it makes my district happy. in my new house the washing machine is busted and the repair man always has an excuse for why he doesn’t show up. so, yep, that means that i am washing clothes again by hand. BLEH. The truth is that i am bad at it, and the clothes still stink when i finish. BLEH BLEH. bytheway, that was the 3rd comp that i "killed". but when missionaries get close to going home they talk about home a lot. and that kills me. bleh :)

ALYCE- HEY- n, o means NO dating. tell mom to leave boy scouting to the boy scouts! i am glad to hear that you are working your tail off. it is fun isn’t it!?!? there is a greenie in my district that gets home so tired that he starts sleeping when he sits down. his companion has to wake him to tell him to take a shower, and every night when i call them he is already dead in the bed.

DAD- way to go idaho!! your fanship really paid off this year! thanks to years of fearless faithfulness in the face of doubters YOU DID IT!!! here is a high five: (picture of a red whithered hand) i know. it is kind of like a mutant high five... maybe like this: (another hand - green!) either way, i am proud of you :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the bigger they are, the harder they fall...

Letter 1-12-09

this is my companions LAST pday. the poor guys is super sad, as you can imagine. today we are going to an all you can eat pizza place w/ some other missionaries to try and lighten him up. so i think that this letter will have to be short again. sorry. the good news it that i got the 2nd package you guys sent - full of christmas stuff that we have being giving to everyone. we found out the problem- why stuff isn’t getting here fast: the post office opens some packages. when that happens it takes a lot longer to get here. they don’t take anything, usually, but they open it up to see what is in it. i hope that the package from gma and gpa still gets here. :-)

mom- the truth is that i have a TON of pictures on my camera. most of the coolest i sent to you. so you are going to be a pioneer, huh? pretty awesome. don’t let this trek stuff affect your grades : ) this week we are working with a lot of young men. most are less active, but we got them excited to go to church and they brought their friends. almost all of them are the only members in their families, but they are excited to bring other people to church with them. we are also teaching 2 preachers and a deacon. one of the pastors went to church last week, but not yesterday. we have been exceedingly blessed with new people to teach, but are still working hard to help some of them be baptized.

alyce- WHAT THE HECK IS SPEECH PATHOLOGY? it sounds totally awesome. i really have no idea what pathology means so i cant even guess what it is. is it kind of like "the science of cross word puzzles"?

actually, we sing a LOT! in sac meeting, other meetings, and in lessons. when i was with elder rhodes we sang everywhere. once we were invited to sing “lead kindly light” in relief society, and it was so cool. a whole bunch of the sisters were crying at the end, and the next couple of weeks after lunch with the members they would ask us to sing it again for them. it is fun. the problem is when my companion sings, it’s WORSE than me. THEN, we are sunk!

DAD- talk about an underdog story! i hope they pull it off. it is funny, because here in brazil people really love their soccer teams. making fun of someone’s team is like insulting their mom- its fighting words. the funny part is that the biggest team here in Rio is the flamingos. doesn’t sound fearsome at all, huh? but if you tell someone that the name is wussy- you run the risk of them shooting you. elder carvalho was telling me how every team has its own songs and stuff. then he sampled some of their songs for me. they were all really dumb, and i was thankful that the only songs at prof sports games in the states is 'we will rock you', 'national anthem' and the occasional 'take me out to the ball game'.

well, i still got to write an email to pres and send all of the numbers from the zone to the office, so next week i will try and write more detailed stuff.

love elder helland

well my comp is finishing up his email right now and i thought that i could send a few more thoughts...

this week one thing happened that was really funny. we visited an investigator that is the husband of a member. he wants to get baptized, but has to stop smoking first. anyway, at the end of our visit, elder carvalho asked to use the bathroom. "sure", he said. while e. carvalho was in the bathroom, i was chatting with the investigator in the living room. after about 6 or 7 min elder carvalho comes out and we said goodbye and left the house. we went down the stairs and were in the street already when elder carvalho runs and says, "dang, i forgot to flush!!" he then ran all the way to the house and up the stairs. he didn’t even knock, just went in and ran to the bathroom to flush. i was a little behind him because i was laughing so hard that I couldn’t run well. the best part is the when elder carvalho went in to flush, the man was in the bathroom already- brushing his teeth!!

well, elder carvalho, finished now, i gotta go. he is a little embarrassed that i sent this story to you guys. ha ha .

love elder helland

Monday, January 5, 2009


Just wanted to say THANK YOU to our family and friends who have written Adam, sent packages, and especially remembered him in your prayers! We are truly appreciative! For the Christmas phone call, he said he is anxious to work hard and remain focused for his last 6 months, finding and serving those the Lord guides him to. We hope you all have a wonderful New Year! :-)
Letter 1-5-08 and OLD pics! :-)

I am sorry to say that i wrote a really great letter to you guys and then the power went out. 3 pages of great experiences from this week, the most of which are in my journal and I will share them with you later. Problem: I am now out of time to write more.

I hope you know that I love you guys and the the letter that almost got to you was huge and awesome. But that is the way the cookie crumbles.
Love ya
Elder helland

FYI - I was catching up on Adam's Missionary Scrapbook last week and found some pics that I hadn't posted from last summer. I'll attach them here - but they are from July when he was with Elder Rhodes. :-)