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- PARAB√ČNS! (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