Monday, April 28, 2014

Ups and always

This week I kind of was having a hard time just being "excited" to work and everything but I think it was because sometimes I think too much haha. Because really on the mission there are some things, like all the itty bitty rules that we have in addition to the "white bible" courtesy of Pres and Sis Parrela, that make living difficult when you want to do everything the right way but there seems like no point or not applicable to the situation or whatever. But as always you just gotta do your best in the moment that you have and not stress out because you didn’t know that word in Portuguese or that wasn’t a "mission appropriate" song, or someone didn’t understand your question, or we were late to our appointment, or your plans fall through, but I digress...
On Thursday Elder Usieda and I cleaned the baptismal font again but just with us two this time and the pump thing is still broken so we hauled out the buckets but it was all good. And then that night our investigator Olmiro had his interview and... the baptism fell through. He felt that he wasn’t ready and I think it was a little bit of fear that things were going too fast for him. But everything was all good and he still was interested and we were going to see him on Sunday so a little disheartening, but all good. Then Sunday comes around and we go to their house to walk with him to church and we clapped and waited... and clapped... and after like the fourth time of us clapping (we had some young men with us who went a little clap happy) Olmiro´s grandma comes stumbling out all disheveled and said "he doesn’t want to go anymore!" and went right back into the house... so we were like uhhhh, ok have a good morning... so we went to church and were a little preoccupied for the rest of the day until that night when we decided to go back to their house to figure out what really was going on. And as it turns out Olmiro was just sleeping a bit more and the grandma who is used to sleeping in on Sundays was just a tad peeved at the young men who wouldn’t stop clapping at her door at 8:45 in the morning.
Traditional Brazilian Churrasco
So we got that all smoothed out and things are going all smooth now and we got to eat a bit of churrasco (shoo-HA-skow), the Brasilian meat on a sword, with them which was my first time and it was super good!     So as always ups and downs in the mission field, Elder Usieda and I are learning how to work together well and things are progressing here in Brasil!

I love you all and thanks for the early happy birthday wishes, and as always thanks to everyone who writes me emails I love to get them! Sorry I don’t have much time to respond but Ill keep on trying!

Elder Pierce

Monday, April 21, 2014

New Companheiro! and the coelho!

New Companion, Elder Usieda from Bolivia!
So this was the first week with my new companheiro and half-father (trainer) Elder Usieda. A little bit about him, he’s from Bolivia and has 8 months on the mission and he turned 19 the day I entered the CTM, which will be 3 months tomorrow, crazy! I am 2 weeks from being 20 (also crazy and hopefully that package you sent will get here around my birthday!) So I’m a good bit older than he is and a good bit taller too haha. Anyway things with him are very different... for one he is entirely fluent in Português but he learned it so he knows how to teach it better and he has already helped me a lot with the little things so that is really good like I can understand people about 80% of the time and people understand me like 60-70% of the time and it will only get better from here so yay! Also I can already tell that he is the kind of missionary that families will talk about after you leave, the missionaries that leave a good impression and you have good memories with and so that is really good to have that example to learn from of how to interact with people that way as a missionary.
It rained a good bit this week and we did this service project laying down rubble in one of our members garages to level out the floor and it took forever! Oh yea and this week I had to show Elder Usieda around our area, well at least everything that I can remember haha not gonna lie that’s kind of stressful that we really have to go off of what I remember and we have to plan our day just from ´what I think´ will be best. *large exhale* That should get better with time for sure and he is really good with learning the area so that helps a lot.

So Easter! yayayay  Here it’s Pascua (pass-coo-ah) and the coelho (koh-eh-lee-oh),aka rabbit, comes to your house and they do pretty much the same thing we do but a little less emphasis on the basket and egg hunt and more on the Pascua ovo this big chocolate egg that every one gets. So the Pascua coelho came and I got a big egg and there were little candy bars inside- it was really good. Oh and also we have a baptism planned for this Friday if everything goes well yay! And I’ll get more to yall on that next week.

Love all of you!  Happy late Easter and until next week!

PS. Dog bite situation: we checked on the dog the next day and it was fine and my leg is totally fine and healing normal so I'm all good and this pic is last week so its even better now.

Healing nicely, much to the relief of his Mother & Family! :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rained on, Dog Bitten, and Here we GO…

Family! Friends and whoever else reads this, oi tudo bom!

Alrighty so Tuesday we got rained on like nobody’s business. I’m grateful I brought my rain jacket I look like a hunch back with my bag underneath it but it’s worth it and really if anyone is going to Brazil bring a big umbrella, it gets crazy. Then after everything calmed down and we were just walking down this street and out of nowhere this random, crazy dog comes up behind me and bites me in the leg! Like what the heck! So you can imagine my quite loud `Mormon expletives´ but really it was just a good hard nip at the back of my calf that ripped my pants and drew blood and gave me a bruise, but I’m still gonna wear the pants, haha. So we went to a less actives house and got it cleaned up and it will be all good.
Dog bite carnage
 In the service of the Lord...
So this week I tried something different, I decided to get to know Elder Fávero better and really become his friend so for two days straight we played “would you rather” while walking everywhere.  I would ask a question of which thing he would prefer between two things and he would answer then we would talk about it.  Then he would ask me a question and so on. And really just this talking and getting to know him on this different level really helped our companionship a lot and we were a lot happier working together. Then Friday came. So we get a call from President Parrela in the morning that Elder Fávero was being transferred to be the financial secretary for the mission and that I would be getting another companion who is from Bolivia named Elder Usieda and I will have to show him the entire area and all of the members and all of our pesquisadores and we both are still learning Portuguese!  I will have to take a major role in the planning and I still only know like 4 street names (nothing here has a street sign and all the houses are mixed up like 50 132 45 800... its nuts) but everything will work out, the Lord knows my weaknesses and will help me out! So Sunday was my last day with Elder Fávero and we went around saying his last good byes and we packed up his stuff Sunday night and put him in a taxi and he was off but they stay in centro de Santa Maria so we see them every p day haha we shall see what is to come though with my new comp who gets here Tuesday!
Last day with Elder Fávero

Oh and we ate this dinner at this one pesquisadores house and it was super good then Elder Fávero told me it was cow tongue afterward... and I was like cow tongue!!! That was delicious!!! I never thought I would say that, haha.

Love all of you sorry I wish I had more time to write everyone!!!

Com um braço (cone oon braso) Elder Pierce

Monday, April 7, 2014

From Divisões & Conference! To a Funeral

Tuesday was Dia de Mentira hahaha (gee-a gee men-chee-ra) April fools day! There were a lot of fake transfer calls going around and it was pretty funny. So this week we had divisões (gee-vee-zoins) so Elder McCutcheon as District Leader went out to the other city with elders in our district and we received Elder Santana who is about to die (nothing to do with the funeral part he is just almost done with the mission) anyway, so I didn't go with him personally but I did get to go with Elder Gama in his area one day and it was just kind of funny the two new missionaries wondering around. But it was actually really good and we got a lot done (felt very different than my average day *cough cough*). Also, we had lunch scheduled at the family that just gives us money so we had pizza again! Yay, but divisões were just a bit crazy because planning and setting goals and companion study just go out the window because you switch companions every day haha.

Anyway, Saturday General Conference! Oh boy I’m not gonna lie I was kind of geeking out haha and it was so awesome! It was in a different chapel than ours and there was a room for English speakers, thank heavens! The actual voices of the prophets are just so powerful and not to mention I can understand all of it (well mostly, that one that I guess was from Brazil was hard we guessed he was from Switzerland, haha). But all of it was good, there was so much about daily prayer and scripture study and how the Book of Mormon can be such a spiritual protection for us, which is so true, so study your scriptures! Also every single one testified of Christ and his doctrine which is a big focus for us missionaries which is awesome. Probably my favorite was Elder Dallin H Oaks in priesthood session about keys and authority. It just made me think a lot and I was like yea! It was cool.

OK so then on Sunday morning we got a really sad call that there had been a death in the family of like the strongest sister in our ward who loves and serves the missionaries practically every day here. We had investigators going to conference with us so we pulled another divisão and Elders Fávero & Gama went to conference with them and Elder McCutheon and I went to the viewing and funeral service to be there and support Irma Iara. So down here they do funeral stuff really fast, like within 24 hours of the death everything with the funeral is over. But it was just hard and super sad for her and I’m just glad to have had the opportunity to serve with my presence and uplift others with the wonderful message of the plan of salvation. So when that all ended we got a ride with our bishop back to conference and we had time to watch the last hour of the last session which dad missed haha trade off. But Elder McCutcheon and I will download the rest we didn't hear and listen today and when we have time.

Thank you all for your love and blessings! I hope you had a great conference and have a great week! Oh and Happy Birthday Noah this Friday!

Love- Elder Pierce
This is us when I met Irma Iara for the first time

                                                 (and sorry no time for more pictures!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Humility, Musical Adventure & 1st Baptism!

Letter from 3/31/14

So this past Tuesday in personal study, I was reading in Ether 12 where we have weakness that we may be humble and through our faith in God our weaknesses can become our strengths. So I prayed that my weaknesses would become my strengths, not really thinking specifically about any "weakness". So Elder Fávero and I went and visited this in-active young man and they just started talking it up about some anime stuff or something and I didn’t really know how to contribute much less in Portuguese so I just wasn’t really talking. So time goes on, and on, and an hour and a half roles by of not talking about anything really and so I start giving Elder Fávero the eye to start giving the message or do something other than talk to this guy about whatever. So he continues talking about whatever and I’m just waiting. 2 hours rolls by and at that point I’m like forget this, I whipped out the scriptures gave a spiritual message and we were out of there by 2 1/2 hours. So after I was like ughhh why in the world were we in there for so long doing nothing?! and all he said was that he was waiting to see how long it would take before I did something. So I was kind of ticked but then I remembered the scripture I read and my prayer and I realized that my weakness was shown unto me. And I realized that I have been too passive in our companionship thinking of excuses like I’m just the new missionary and let Elder Fávero do the majority of the planning or make the contact or give a message or I don’t know what they are saying (which is partially true for some people ha) so I just will let him talk. So that’s kind of hard to accept but I’m really trying now to not let anything stand in the way of me becoming the best missionary I can and helping the people here in our area.

Anyway so Thursday night I get a call from President Parrela that I would be singing for a chapel dedication in Palmeiras das Missões, which is the northern most city in our mission 3 1/2 hours away. So President and his wife came and picked me up and I got to talk with them in the car for a while so I know a lot about their meeting story, or at least I think so, Sis Parrela talks really fast haha, and they know a lot about my singing back ground and our family and stuff so that was cool.  We get there and there were two other missionaries there too, Elder McMaster who was my room mate the first night in SM (Santa Maria) so we had met before, and he plays the piano really well, and Sister Clay who plays the violin really well so we had two hours and whipped together arrangements of “I Feel my Saviors Love” and “Come Thou Fount” and “The Spirit of God” to sing for the meeting and the first two went really well then while Pres. was speaking he switched it up and asked me to sing a song about Christ solo. So I sang “I Believe in Christ” at end the meeting and it was just super great. Then after the meeting I realized that President wasn’t going to take me back to SM so that was a little nuts figuring that out but the assistants to the pres were there and they got a ride home to SM from a member that lives there too and so I was able to come along.  We drove from 10:30pm till 1:30 in the morning and I spent the night at their house then grabbed a taxi in the morning back to our house, crazy adventure.

Also this Saturday I had my first Baptism with Matheus! It was a combined baptism and the other girl who was getting baptized played the piano crazy good so we pulled together (in like 10 seconds) “Joseph Smiths First Prayer” and  sang in English! because she knew English and it was cool. Anyway so Matheus was literally the pesquisador de ouro (pes-key-sa-door gee ohoo-roe), so I felt that I really didn’t do much but it was just a great experience!

Love you all! Still trying to get back to everyone sorry! aaaaaaand Noah BYU all the way!!!

Elder Pierce 

Chapel Dedication special music

Elder  Pierce, McMaster & Sister Clay

Our house- 2nd floor

Cobblestone streets

1st Baptism

Baptism Party

Letter from 3/24/14

First off, my address here in Santa Maria is: Caixa Postal 0339 Centro-Santa Maria-RS 98900-970
 I hope that’s all right with the spaces and all but that is all the right letters.  (Question- do you need anything?) Stuff: deodorant, they don’t have just the normal deodorant here, like they do in the US, its super odd and I would rather just have good old US deodorant. Sunscreen, the sunscreen here in Brazil isn’t the same either it is like way oilier.  I still have a good amount that I came out with but by the time you send it and it gets to me I just want to make sure I’ve got it. Also silver sharpies, the flag I have eats through the sharpie fast so a couple more would be great. Also the other elders tell me that you always mark the value of the package lower than it is or you get fined a good amount if it’s over 30 dollars with taxes or something.

Alright, so this week we got a bunch of rain. Like past Sunday night we got totally poured on, thank heavens we had our umbrellas! Then it was just totally overcast and rained on and off forever and we didn’t see the sun again until Thursday. So Wednesday we had lunch with this family and they have a little boy named Vítor who reminded me of a 6 year old Tanner, haha.  It was funny we played with clay together and I made a little elefante (ele-fan-chee) and he kept trying to make it cocó (koh-kOH), oh little boy humor haha. So this week with our pesquisador (pes-key-suh-door) Mateus we were going to pass by his house and teach a lesson and invite him to be baptized on the 29th this upcoming Saturday but we got there and it looked like he had visitors and it was really late and we didn’t know if we should go home or what so I said lets say a prayer to know what to do. Not 10 seconds after the prayer we get a phone call from one of the mission secretaries who said (translated and shortened obviously) `yall have a pesquisador named Mateus who wants to be baptized right? Yea you guys should talk to him to set a date for baptism as soon as possible.´ and we were just like no way! So we went up to the house and as it turns out his house was the one behind the front house. weird thing here in RS is there are like 2 rows of houses everywhere and you have to walk in the gate of the first house then a path around or through it to get ot a totally different house behind weird. Anyway his house was behind and he didn’t have visitors so we were worried for nothing and more craziness, so he has friends at the other chapel where they hold institute so he has been going there to church and he already set up a date for baptism pretty much himself with the other bishop for the 22nd which was like 2 days away then, and so we were like AWESOME! Due to logistics though considering our bishop hadn’t met him yet we changed the date back to the 29th but its all good and he is super excited and came to church on Sunday and met our Bishop and everything is in place it is pretty cool. I feel like I’ve done nothing though haha because I feel like he was ready from the time we met him and he was already prepared but the other elders say that is way normal and its like that with a lot of investigators, cool.

But the other dupla (doo-pluh) still had a baptism this Saturday too! so on Friday we went to clean the baptismal font at the church and the power was out so we had to scoop it out by buckets and dump the water into toilets and of course I didn’t bring a change of clothes- fun- I have pictures.  Then our lunch fell through so we went and got pizza which was great and the guy tossed it in front of us and every thing, and we got ice cream, so it was like a party for getting out baptisms, haha.

2 months this past week on the mission crazy! Happy Birthday to all the family back home, Uncle Patrick, Gitta, Cameron, Julie and Tanner! (sorry if I’m forgetting anyone) I’m going to skip ahead in pictures and send you this week then when I’ve got time go back send all the others.

Love you all so much!!! Thank you for all the emails and love and Ill try to get back to everyone just give it a week or 2... or 3 haha Love ya!

Elder Pierce

Companions (street -shot- selfie)

Pizza YUM!

Cleaning the baptismal font

bucket by bucket


My room

Triple pairs of socks...HOT but worth it!

View from my room


"Elder Pierce: The Brazilian Dog Whisperer"