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