Monday, June 27, 2011

Did anyone think that it could reach 40 degrees in Brazil?

Well this week sure was interesting, to say the least. So, transfers are next week, however, we had an emergency transfer in the mission and a few missionaries in our zone were switched around -- including my companion, Elder Cavalcanti. Wednesday afternoon, we got the call from President Tavares informing Elder Cavalcanti that he would be transferred to Apucarana. He was told he would be leaving Thursday morning along with Elder Mortensen and Elder Tew. Elder Mortensen was made zone leader in the Presidente Prudente zone, and Elder Tew went to an area called Cia Norte. Thursday afternoon Elder Ribeiro arrived from Apucarana to be comps with Elder K. Santos. And then Thursday night at 10:00 PM, Elder de Souza and Elder de Jesus arrived. Elder de Souza will be district leader and comps with Elder Ealey and Elder de Jesus will be my new companion, and will be trained as a new zone leader. For those that don’t remember, I trained Elder de Jesus, opening Arapongas last November and we stayed together for 3 transfers. He then spent one transfer with Elder Yuma in Marilia, then 2 in Tupã. In Tupã, he became a trainer, and district leader. He has been in the mission for 8 months, and is already a zone leader. Needless to say, he´s good. Duh, he had an amazing trainer. hehehe. President Tavares called him to congratulate him and asked if we had argued at all in Arapongas, and he said no. Then president said, “Well, I think it’s about time then.” Haha, not gonna happen. Well, looks like he´ll be my last companion on the mission to kill me. I’m way excited to work now! He´s excited and ready to push out of me all that I have left to give.

So there is a huge cold front that is hitting Cascavel right now. Did anyone think that it could reach 40 degrees in Brazil? Well, it did. And tomorrow it’s supposed to hit freezing. Saturday night we took a little rain bath and right now I’m kinda sick, but I’m okay. Cold weather in Brazil has power to condemn, because 50 active members didn’t go to church on Sunday. Silly fubecas.

Well, my fingers are freezing to the keyboard. Tchau!

Elder Titus

Monday, June 20, 2011

-- it is an incredible feeling.

Ahhh, soccer!

A partial view of the city of Cascavel, with our apartments off to the right hand side

Elder K. Santos and I found a fresh water spring!


Unfortunately, not much has been going on lately. Elder Cavalcanti is still sick, but we're doing okay. President Tavares said that due to his sickness he can’t be zone leader anymore because our numbers are really low, so it’s certain that I will get a new companion here in 2 weeks. I told president that for this last transfer, I want a companion who will push me until my last ounce of energy is gone. It’s so weird to say that. I never imagined this day would actually come where I would be confronting the dreaded "last transfer," but alas, all must go through this process. Getting ready to go home definitely has some mixed feelings. I’m excited to go home and all, because I haven’t seen my family or friends, or ridden my bike, or eaten American food in a long, long, long, long time. But at the same time, it’s sad and can even bring me to tears thinking that I will never be able to represent the Lord as a full time missionary again -- that I will never be able to wear my name tag. But it’s part of the deal. Anyway, I don’t really know why I’m writing this, I still have a lot of time left on my mission. OK, well, maybe not a LOT.

Nothing is really new here, except just one thing. I found out that Jefferson, the first person I baptized, got his mission call! He’s going to MANAUS!!! That is up in the Amazon and maybe he’ll be baptizing some Lamanites. It’s interesting because his cousin, Edson, who always used to help us out when we were serving in Ibipora, is also serving in the Manaus mission. Jefferson leaves July 5th, so unfortunately, I won’t be able to see him before he leaves. I’m so excited for him! That news has brought some of the best feelings that I think a missionary can feel on his mission. It’s such an awesome experience to bring a person to the waters of baptism – but to know that same person is now going to go out into the world to teach and to baptize -- it is an incredible feeling.

Well, I’m going to the church to play some ping pong with Elder Griner.

Elder Titus

Monday, June 13, 2011

I found him to be a very humble, and nice man.

Can you say "YIKES!"

Out in the savage jungle with my crew. (And glad the snakes are hanging on the wall at the zoo . . . I hope. . .)

Well, sorry for the lack of blogging last week. We were using the internet at the bus station while we were waiting for our bus to Londrina for the zone leader council. We got into Londrina late Monday night, had the meeting all day Tuesday, then left early Wednesday morning and got back late-ish that night.

When we got to Londrina we went to drink some açaí juice, like normal, but there was a really black guy there and the juice lady pointed to us and said to him, “Their names are elder, too!” Turns out the man was named Helder, a pastor from Angola. We got to talking quite a bit, drinking our juice together. He will be in and out of Brazil for 4 hours, studying theology and preaching. I found him to be a very humble, and nice man. He spoke English well, but we opted to speak in Portuguese (Angola’s national language is Portuguese). Although he had a different accent, we understood each other perfectly. He had no intention of bible bashing (thankfully!), and was very professional, which is very unlike pastors in Brazil. Some other elders showed up and Elder Cavalcanti went to talk to them and I kept talking to Helder. Our conversation turned to our church and I taught him the first lesson in 3 minutes and spent more time on the Book of Mormon, to which he gratefully accepted. He seemed very interested, and he said that when he goes back to Angola he will search out the missionaries and investigate the church.

Like normal I’m out of time, but those moments with Helder made my week and I thought I would share that story with you all.

2 weeks ago we went to a zoo, where we saw some freaky anaconda skins (how’d you like to have one of those slide into your sleeping bag with you?). We also spent some time in a grove-like area and took a replica picture of the first vision. It was quite fun.

Elder Titus
This was actually a great experience, and a photo that I will treasure, for reasons that are difficult to explain.