Monday, September 29, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tchau CTM

Hello people of the outside world. I’m back in communication for a short time to tell you how fabulous this week was. Honestly it is kind of bad, because just when we start to like the CTM, can speak an alright amount of Portuguese, and make crazy good friends, we get kicked out, not so nice ;) But I have loved meeting all my new friends, and talking to the district everyday.  Honestly if you would have told me I would have missed the MTC when I got here I would have not believed you one bit. 

View of the City from the CTM
As for this week we had the opportunity to hear from two more general authorities today. Richard G Scott via intranet on Sunday, his message was about prayer and had a fabulous quote that I loved. "Pray to God and he will give you one of three answers. First a sense of hope, courage, and love signifying yes. Or, a stooper of though, signifying no. And finally if God doesn't answer, he trusts you to make the right choice." He went on to say that God will never let us go to far on the wrong path, so if you are receiving promptings heed them.  It was kind of awesome to hear from him. 

Then on Tuesday we had the 1st Counselor in the presiding bishopric come and speak to us. He is a french man, who speaks broken english, so it was hard for me to understand, I could only imagine the Braisleros ;) He spoke about how Jesus Christ is the reason for everything we do. If we want to be a successful missionary we need to learn more about Christ.  I loved both their talks and look forward to applying them. 

In other news, this week was generally normal, we went to class for a long time, and for physical activity (sorry about not answering you mom) we can do a few things, soccer is not one of them. :( We can play basketball, volleyball, or run on the hilarious looking track, and do weights and work out. Normally I play volleyball, and when I occasionally want to play ball, lets just say the kids call me Allen on the court :) haha me and E Kendle busted out the soccer balls and played some garbage can soccer, and E Da Silva wants me to teach him to juggle, so that will be fun. This week I also arm wrestled Barros, and I won, he put up a good fight, but I ended up pulling through :) 
CTM gym

CTM Track 40 x 3

Elder Davies
I talked to the post office, and they said that the letters get home in 18 or 20 days, which obviously is not true :) So i hope you get them soon. 

So we have three meals a day, and a snack, and on P-day we can buy snacks to keep in our room The food here is pretty dang good, but the same, meat, beans, and rice, is getting a little old, still good though.  

About the emails, I take pictures of all the guys emails. Then I read them during the week. Also, I gave my comp a blessing because he was hurt, and sick, so he requested one. 

Other random information is that this Sunday we will receive a card that says we are official representatives of Jesus Christ here in Brazil, I am pretty stoked to get my hands on that. Also monday is orientation,  we sit in classes literally all day, and then get to know where, and when we are leaving Tuesday morning. Probably in the early morning 5 or 6. I am ready to get out there. 

Random fact about the city, there isn’t much of a night view, because most of the buildings we can see are residential, there isn't much city light at night which is kind of weird.  

Mom you would have been proud of me today, I sewed my pants up. That was interesting. But it was only a pocket, so that was nice.  I did learn to sew, and yes my hair is that short. A mistake, by me fixed" by E Keller.

On the more spiritual side. I made a paper, that tracked all the people in the BoM that held the plates, and called it "Tracking the Plates" yeah I know nerdy.  Also some scriptures that I loved today are Alma 41:8.   I also think I found my favorite BoM quote is in Alma 44:10. Read that story and Moroni's one liner there is incredible I love it. Also the new motto for the mission is 1 Cor 13:11. The 1st counselor shared that and I loved it. 

Well. I love you all, have a great week, I will be contacting you from I do not know where or what day, maybe when I get to the field then I am not sure what Day my P-day is. I love you all, and se lembram para Consevar Tua Rua  

Elder Iverson out.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What a Great time in Brazil

What a great time in Brazil. This week is going great and always caps off with a fabulous trip to the temple. 

This week I did the temple veil in Portuguese!! That was kind of awesome. The guys all talked in Portuguese even though the session was in English because of all the english missionaries, anyway so i figured I would go for it and try it in Portuguese. I enjoyed it and love the temple. 

Campinas Temple - Sao Paulo Brazil

The city, I haven't quite fallen for. I can't remember if I told you guys, but it is filthy. There is a ridiculous amount of trash everywhere. Also, there is so so so so so so many people here, the places we have been are all safe, maybe minus the proselytizing area ;) but the homes that I have seen. and the trash, and the filth just hasn't made me love it quite yet, the people, oh yeah, they are the best. And i cant wait to actually be in the field which is the 30th. So excited. 

A little more about the city. When we went proselytizing I forgot to tell you about the homeless people. They have a massive residential building that wasn't supposed to be for homeless people, but homeless people now reside there, and it is very sad to know that.

One of the few clear days in São Paulo
Teaching this week has had its ups and downs. On Saturday, we had a "investigator" commit to baptism and then we were talking about the atonement and we shared D&C 45, and he went off. He told us he didn't want to be baptized because now he needed to read 3 books?? He was off the wall! we tried to calm him down to no avail, better it happened in the CTM than in the campo I guess. I learned a lesson there. :) 

Also we had the recorded teaching on wednesday, where we convinced a man to be baptized even though he had a sucky life, he was super excited, and it is surreal the feeling you get even when the pesquisadors are fake, I cant wait until I actually get to see someone get baptized.

This week we got a new DL E Wood, he is a great guy and keeps us in line. Also, my companion got made ZL with me, like the field which was good, and we got a new branch president. Then Sunday we had a devotional where a MP from Bountiful, MP of Sao Paulo North, came to talk and he did great. Great to hear a guy who spoke Portuguese and wasn't a brasilero (and he must be doing alright, because he is one of the youngest MPs I have seen.)

This week was a great one in class. Our instructor in an effort to fit in in Utah, asks us all sorts of english words, and some of those include swearwords, we had the opportunity to have a couple on the board, haha :) Our other instructor loathes english so he made a thing on the board that said "Amigos de Satanas" and if someone spoke english they got their name by Satan’s haha :) he is actually a really good guy, and now that we understand some Portuguese class isn't total torture.

Yesterday we went to register at the police station, and they needed every finger print twice. I am not sure why, but they took a lot of figure prints, three pictures I couldn't smile in, and a lot of people laughing at the white boys in brazil. They "love" us, and always give us a hard time, but a lot of them will actually come talk to us. Which is nice.

This week some scriptures really stood out to me, Alma 17-29 with emphasis on 17, 26 and 29. I think 26 is my new favorite chapter. Also Alma 31:5 tells us of the importance of scriptures in our lives. Alma 36:19 through the end: about having the Lords help. and D&C 42:6 angles declaring the word of God. I absolutely love these.

Sempre com amor
Elder Iverson

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Streets of Brazil

Well, it doesn't feel like it but I have now been in the CTM more than half my stay here. It is crazy that in 18 days I will be on the streets, that are quite filthy (I will talk about the streets soon) but I am beyond excited to be in the field. To be honest the CTM isn't that great, I know they say the mission will be hard, but I would much rather be tired from saving peoples souls than sitting in class for 8 hours a day. Some days longer. I will do my best to answer your questions and tell you about the week.

Well, this week started out well, It was fast Sunday, and for the first time in my life I can say I fasted and enjoyed it. We had a devotional and it was fabulous also we had Testimony meeting in sacrament, and Yes i did bare my testimony in Portuguese, well as best as I could. It was a neat experience and i think the language is coming along alright. 

Yes Dad we do teach everyday, they call it TRC, and that is when we are recorded, but we also teach our instructors and “no ingles” as the instructors say (well Mello is the one who always says that.) Barros is the one moving to Bountiful next DEC so he loves speaking english and singing rap songs. He is hilarious. 

So that is all well, and you wont believe the opportunity I had on Wednesday, we got to go out of the CTM not on Pday!!!! That was so so awesome, we went to what Barros said was a "Sketchyer" part of town, and so we only could take our LdM (Book of Mormons) so we didn't get robbed, don't worry mom, the people were actually very friendly. So we each had 2 LdM (Livro de Mormons) to hand out. The first guy we talked to, not only gave us a free bracelet for giving him the book, he said he wanted to be baptized!! So that is awesome.  Barros gave him the number to call the missionaries. We talked to a few more people and handed out the rest of the LdM. The place we went, was in my mission and super i mean super nasty! The bus stop we went to was a square, with a massive yellow church of some religion, that had a ridiculous amount of Graffiti everywhere on it. Then there is so much garbage on the streets and you can see the pollution everyday, and it is super gross. The place we went to hand out LdM was on a bridge that was the "Sell illegal stuff, random stuff, and cheep soccer shorts”. They sold the Adidas shorts, for R$10 which is like $4 back home. So if you guys want some just let me know. But the experience was fun, everyone asked us why 2 white boys from the US were here. We then transitioned well into the lesson. We talked to about 6 or 7 people. the most of which for 20 min each. I love it. That is why, while I can not speak Portuguese as well as I would like, being in the field, is going to be so much better. I loved it. 

Then the next day was one to remember.  While the others teach the teacher, we have to study and other instructors come in and teach us. The irma said "God has a plan for us. Speaking Portuguese is going to be more than just our missions, and God is going to do great things with you.”  That hit me hard. I was like Woah, thats cool. or “Legal” as they say here. That same day a mission president of the Interlagos mission came and gave a wonderful talk. He talked about temple work, and that it is the same work as missionary work. That we need to save our families on the other side of the veil. 
That got me thinking.

Other noteworthy things this week, my companion like “broke" his ankle, or at least from the bloody Mary scream he gave you would have thought so. It did swell up pretty good, and this was on tuesday, so it is better, but he still walks funny. Because of that, I got to be a man-servant for a few days, and actually God is defiantly blessing me because I didn't mind. It was a neat feeling really. 

Even missionaries take bathroom selfies... Me and Elder Hurd
Also this week we said goodbye to our Brazilian roommates. Which was hilarious because I got them all talking about futbol and they all were fighting over whose team was the best. I laughed, and one was actually a RSL fan, I was like, thats my team. So that was fun, I have pictures, I will send soon..  Tell the Carnahan clan that their tie has now been to the Campinas and Sao Paulo temple in Brazil. 

I also have a good scriptures for you mom. D&C 84:80-84 i loved it. and i am sure you will to. Have a great week everyone. I love you all, pray for you everyday, and love serving the Lord more and more each day.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Week 2

Well, this has been quite the week at the MTC.

To start out the weeked was good, Sundays are my favorite day here at the MTC. And this sunday I had the privilege of being called to be the Zone Leader over Ramo or Branch 1. So there is that for you :) and I am loving every minute of being the ZL. I don't have do do much, but it came as a bit of a shock to me. I get to run papers around every week, make sure the districts are behaving, have more stuff to do besides learn Portuguese, and just enjoy it I guess.

So on Saturday, before my call to be ZL, me and Elder Hurd had the chance to teach a bible bashing investigator.  And while we had a stellar lesson planned, the actual lesson didn't go so well.  

Sunday, like I said was the day that I got made ZL and I enjoy these days because they are very spiritual and laid back, the schedule gives you more free time and it is good to rest, and write home, and study on my own. Also on Sunday I met an Elder that was in the Provo MTC with E Wallace. He was quite fond of him, and I was like "Yeah, thats my best friend".  That was a cool little connection I made with that lad. Ok we are now on to monday, today I was kind of frustrated with the language.  We were learning Past Subjective and how to use it, and I couldn't quite grasp it. I was very bummed about that. But to cheer my day up I guess, we have an Elder, who you met at the airport, Elder Kendle, he is hilarious.  Sadly he doesn't quite get the language, at all, and I feel super bad about that, but he plays it off as a total joke. He makes all of us laugh. Some of his famous quotes from these last 2 weeks are "Its one of the dois" "Sim" "Por favor ajuda me spreakin portuguese" He was just trying to speak so well, and he can't, I feel bad, but he laughs at him self and doesn't really care yet. I am praying for him to understand the language better.    

The next day was a touching one for me. My companion was having a good day, until we got to our room in the evening, he kind of broke down. He said that he felt bad, because he is sometimes or all the time impulsive and gets into arguments a lot. So he started crying about how he wants to be more loving and care less about when people are jerks. So we had a good talk and I shared Mosiah 4:19 "For are we not all beggers?" That calmed him down a little and he was a little happier after that.  

I also got the chance to meet a crazy awesome elder from SLC. He went to Olympus HS, and I think the reason I like him so much, is he reminds me of Whitey. He plays basketball, he is inappropriate a little not too much, he is missing ladies in his life, and many other things, so we became friends fast, not because I was missing ladies or am inappropriate but because he does remind me of my good friend Whitey. We had the chance to teach on Wed an inactive member, and he complimented us on our Portuguese for being in the MTC for only 2 weeks. Its crazy that I have been here for that long. I don't think it has been that long, but I try not to think of the airport :) 

I also got to see E Chrittenden, Im not sure if you knew him, but he went to FHS and we were pretty good friends. He left Tuesday for the campo, as it is called here, and he was super excited.  We got to go to the temple in Sao Paulo today. Absolutely gorgeous. It is stunning and it is just in the middle of the city.  There is a lot of city, then the temple and the inside is gorgeous. I'm not sure if I told you last time, but they allow us to do the session in English, but the veil workers representing God, don't speak English, so it makes for a little bit of a hard time. Next week I am going to try it in Portuguese. I will let you know how it goes.  

I would like to end with some quotes from my "gangsta" instrutor Irmao Barros. "Para-Freakin-bens Man" "Shut your cracka' mouth!" "Make it Rain" (while doing the make it rain motion) and he also knows about every rap song ever to come out and frequently says "Im getting paper, look at me now" All of us love him and he is a stud. Our other teacher is quite different. He doesn't speak english to us, and is a lot more crazy, and speaks only about 100 mph, imagine Chebawka from Star Wars thats what his Portuguese can sound like at times. HAHA. Love you all and miss you like crazy, but sorry, not coming home.  
Irmao Barros

Love you so much. Elder Iverson