Monday, June 30, 2014

Rain and Transfers (or not)

I got a new sweater and my new name tag with a clip came in- Joy!

First off it has rained every day this entire week and it just really stinks because nothing dries and considering that we have to walk everywhere, everything is wet!  The joys of winter down here in Rio Grande do Sul. So we just set everything up with fans blowing all the time and it works our... sort of, haha.

And transfers! So normally the mission president will lock himself in his office on Wednesday and Thursday and then Friday morning is when everyone starts getting phone calls and we would generally know where everyone will be going by lunch time on that Friday. Also if you're "moving up" in the mission world like being called to District Leader or Trainer or something the president will call you personally to give you the news. So in possible anticipation for this we changed our cell phone ring tone for President Parrela to the imperial march from Star Wars to know if it was him calling. Let me just say I will be traumatized from that music for a while because they (our senior companions) played a joke on Elder Gama as if President were calling and changed the name of our cell phone in theirs and put on that ring tone and then called during our lunch.  It was super funny but we all, even though it was a joke, got a bit excited after that. So all day Friday we tried to go about our business and not be too jumpy when the phone rang. I'm not gonna lie I was a little apprehensive because this is the first transfer that something could actually happen and I might be transferred out of the city. So when we got about the 3rd prank call for transfers I was a bit on edge to know. And finally at the end of the night Elder Dos Santos came in to tell us... that transfers wouldn't come out till the next day ahhhh!! and that President still hadn't finished transfers and something big was happening. So Saturday morning the transfers come out and... I'm staying here with Elder Usieda for one more transfer and oddly enough Elder Dos Santos, who only had one transfer here and almost finishing his mission, is being transferred. Which is a bit sad because he is a really great guy and we are good friends but that's the mission. So I'm excited to figure out the next thing I need to learn from my companion and my area this next transfer until the 11th of August.
Love you all and I hope your having an awesome warm dry summer!
Elder Pierce

Last Sunday with Elder Dos Santos
Cake for an early birthday for Elder Dos Santos

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Service Project: Extermination! and My Unexpected Talk

Zone Meeting

5 months on the mission yesterday (Sunday) that's pretty crazy but I still wont say its going by fast until I've hit the 6 month mark, although I did think it was still May last week... And this huge 7 week transfer (they are usually 6 weeks so it feels much longer now) is coming to a close this week and on Friday we will know what all will go down and its possible that there could be some changes.
So during the week we (us 4 missionaries) got called over to a service project to do some deep cleaning at a house with and suspected rat issue! So we started to do what we do best and throw everything outside of the house into a big pile and clear out everything that could be a hiding place for the ratinhos (ha-chee-nyos) (little rats) and for the majority of the morning we only were finding evidence until Elder Usieda and Elder Dos Santos found some of the little babies (and were hilariously out smarted by those fast little buggers who got away).  From then on we knew that we were getting close to the big momma rat. And a little later when we were thinking about leaving because we were late for out lunch, we hear these screams from another room and this huge rat comes running by so we all freaked out and ran out the house where I held the front door shut (you know to not let the rat get away) and watched through the window the hilarious and wild hitting of the floor with brooms by Elder Usieda and some of the others in the house! Gracious it was too funny with all the screams and running around and in the end we were victorious and got one of the big daddy rats, euhhhggg<wigged out shudder>  We also had some close calls with some other rats but they were smarter and ran away, but great news the house is a lot better now and for now rat free. 
And I feel that I've hit a mile stone in the mission because Saturday night at 9:30 I got a call from a member of our bishopric to give a talk the next morning. And it was interesting because every morning before my personal study I ask that I will be able to use what I study through out the day so I look for that and this week, I felt that hasn't really happened.  So, I was thinking more about that and maybe I was studying wrong or something but then the call came and it was cool because the things that I've been studying are just what I needed for my talk. So I gave a talk about that Priesthood and used 3 examples to explain 3 key points about the priesthood. 1) Captain Moroni and the power that we can receive through the Priesthood (Alma 48:17) 2) The baptism of Jesus Christ and the authority that John the Baptist had (Mat. 3:13-17) and 3) I was reading through my journal and remembered an experience when Dad and I gave a blessing and the example he gave me to always use the priesthood to serve others when given the opportunity. And it worked out pretty well so now i can give a talk in Portuguese at last minute notice cool    

Here's a funny you had to be there moment with Portuguese. So we were at lunch on Sunday and we were discussing the differences between words in English and Portuguese. And I said that there were some words that I liked better in Portuguese than in English such as "portador" do sacerdócio (priesthood holder) and it just clicked in my brain that a "portador" was someone who opens a door (porta) like we are opening the door for the priesthood or something like that and then everyone began to laugh because the word for a doorman in that sense is a porteiro and it was kind of a had to be there moment but I haven't laughed so long in a long time and I want to be a portiero do sacerdócio, haha.

Love you all so much and have fun in the summer heat! 

Elder Pierce

Baptism in the other dupla

Monday, June 16, 2014

Baking Cookies and WORLD CUP (It's a BIG Deal!!)

What do missionaries do during The World Cup??  STUDY
June 16, 2014
Another semana has come and gone down here in Brasil. The cold is coming in but that also means that we are getting more used to it (except for my companion from Bolivia where it stays around 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees F), so he is dying from the cold). But also here in Rio Grande do Sul during winter it starts to do a cold, windy mist sort of thing all day long and that's starting to come too which is kind of miserable and nothing will ever stay dry... yay.
Anyway so its a preconception down here that every American missionary knows how to bake cookies (or just cooks as they call them down here, if they've even heard about cookies). So for a Noite Familiar (noi-chee) (Family Home Evening) I was asked to make some cookies. And... I don't know how to bake cookies, haha, but I said I would try anyway. So last Monday after we went grocery shopping on p-day, we headed back to the house and picked up a recipe from another member and started to throw some stuff in a bowl and make cookies. But after some confusion and phone calls to another missionary who knew how to make cookies we finally got the dough to work right-ish and bam! We made cookies. And they weren't awful too- success! But lemme just say that I have to repent for not learning how to make cookies from you Mom because your cookies are the best! So as a tip for all preparing to go on missions: at least know how to bake cookies.


 And the World Cup started this week! Which would be more exciting if you know we were able to watch it and it wasn't a point of contention and a little rebellion for some missionaries, haha. As for me never having watched a World Cup before, I was content to stay home and study during the opening game Thursday and for a bit of fun Elder Dos Santos were on a split and I studied a bit of the Restoration movie with popcorn, yum. But it was funny too because we were able to keep the score of the game depending on the screams and fireworks and honking of horns in the streets when Brasil made a goal, haha. As for the next month with all the other games that will be a bit difficult. One because if Brasil is playing everything stops. School gets out, stores close, people have holidays off work, and of course everyone is watching the game. And during the rest of the time the games are always on and asking people to turn off their TVs just doesn't happen especially when your a junior American companion. So as the world turns we see a couple minutes of the games every day trying to talk to people but hey the work goes on... or tries to hah.
Popcorn and The Restoration Movie

Love you all and keep going with all your awesome, crazy, cool end of the year stuff going on! Our next transfers are on July 1st and we will see what happens, I dont know if its a sign that things are going to change when people start to say "oh no you cant leave!" or "for sure your going to stay" but we will see

Elder Pierce

Visit from a Seventy and a Baptism

My District
Elder & Sister Soarez

June 9, 2014

To start off the week we had a visit from a 70 this past Tuesday. Elder Mozart B Soarez, from of Manaus Brasil, and his wife came down and had a "tour" trough out the mission. It was super great and the training sessions went well and I felt that I learned a lot. He spoke a good bit about our actions and the reactions that occur which is right in line with my "theme" of study lately. When we have faith, which is a principle of action, we are going to demonstrate that faith by doing something. Then we must be diligent in our actions and with diligent action we will receive fruitful "reaction". And as always when we have a big conference or anything President Parrela has me sing a special music number so I sang hino 70 "Eu Sei Que Vive Meu Senhor" for the 70 (hahaha) Then after the conference we might have slipped by a McDonalds...
The good ole "Golden Arches"

Anyway on Friday we had the baptism of Andriele! She is the sister of a recent convert in our area and turned 18 on the day of her baptism. Her "path to baptism" was by no means easy but she is an example of how the Lord prepares us for when we need to be ready. And after almost 2 months of the roller coaster of life that hit her after she decided to be baptized it finally happened! So Friday night we gathered everyone together and had a nice baptismal service, and I sang the primary song "I like to look for rainbows" (I can't remember the actual name in English ha) And seeing as it was her birthday a sister in our ward who does cakes professionally baked a cake and we had a mini festa after the service. And on Sunday she was confirmed a member and received the Holy Ghost, awesome experience. And Matheus, my first baptism, blessed the sacrament for the first time on Sunday too which was cool and he almost had it perfect and only had to say the prayer twice. 

Walking home from the baptism

Thank you all for your prayers and love! The Mission life keeps on going down here in Brazil and I'm excited to be hearing about all the great stuff going on at home.

Love Elder Pierce

Uno Abducted! and try not to stress out as a missionary

There were hot air balloons, haha, random

June 2, 2014

To start the story: first off, our shower head was being really bad. It would be really hot, almost to the point of burning, and then switch to freezing cold after one minute and stay that way. So we called Sister Parrela and arranged that we would get a new shower head. Other than that in our house we had Uno and Phase 10 that we played on P-Days which was super fun and I started to teach the other elders Mau, haha and a good way to just relax for an hour (one hour in the week!). But as always someone has got to ruin the fun and as it turns out a lot of missionaries are playing card games like Magic and are going home earlier to play games so that just ruined it for everyone and President Parrela was on the alert. So this past Tuesday we had our district meeting and we knew that President Parrela was going to pass by some time during the morning to drop off our new shower head. So our entire district after the meeting at the chapel and lunch at Irma Iara's (8 missionaries is a bit crazy there) we went back to our house so that everyone could use the bathroom and be on their way. And seeing as we only have one bathroom it was taking a while and what do the other 7 missionaries have to do?, talk and joke around of course. And it was getting a little bit late 2:00 in the afternoon we were still in the house talking we hear someone clap at our gate. So Elder Usieda went to go see who it was "Nossa é Presidente Parrela!" we entirely forgot that he was coming and it was just a bit embarrassing because we were all just chilling and laughing. And Sister Parrela was with him too and she is the iron fist behind the rules with cleaning our houses and stuff and so she walked into our house and thank heavens we had cleaned the day before so she was happy with that (but not with the packages of cookies in the pantry) and then she said "... alright where are the games" and with vergonha nas caras (ver-go-nya nas cadas) (shame on our faces) we gave up our games and hence Uno was abducted... sadness but now its official in the rules for our mission not to play games yay...

Other than that this week I've been learning a lot about how not to stress out as a missionary. Pretty much just worry about yourself! It's a lot easier that way and for me easier said than done, haha. And another thing hard for me to accept is that all the missionaries everywhere that I talk to say the same thing and that is to be happy on the mission you just have to accept that your going to break a few rules every once in a while. That really bugs me but every week I come to see how that is kind of true, still working on that...

Anyway love you all and have fun up there in the hot summer! 
Elder Pierce

Elders Dos Santos Gama and Usieda "roubando bergamota" stealing tangerines, haha