Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, December 31, 2012

Glad to hear about Christmas!  Realmente, nada aconteceu on Christmas for us.  Christmas eve was great with the feast at a member's house, but Christmas was just like other days-preaching the gospel and all of the good stuff.  It was great!  Here serving a mission feels like the days crawl but the weeks fly.  Not really sure how that works.  
I'm not sure if I told you, but we had Zone conference on Christmas eve!  It was a blast.  I attached a picture of everone.  My companion is the one on the far right.  Oh, remember that nasty smelling fruit that Andrew Zimmern (The guy from bizzare foods on tv) can't eat?  Yup.  Ate it.  It's name is Jaca.  It has spikes on the outside, giant seeds on the inside, smells like Sammy's feet, and tastes like a banana and a mango had kids....with the aftertaste of feet.  So, as long as you keep eating it, your fine.  I love it!  kindof.  There is a pic if you can't remember.  Anywhoot, we had five pesquisadores attend church yesterday!  One of them is Fortunado.  He is a guy who has had a lot of hardships, and seems to really be opening up to us.  We went in to his house for the second time, read him the story about Joseph Smith (My son, peace be unto thy soul, for thine adversities and afflictions shall be but a small moment..)  and then sang "Sou um Filho de Deus"  The spirit was really strong.  After, he offered my companion and I some suco (Juice)  It was night time and the suco was dark, so we both got our cups full and I took a sip expecting grape juice...huh.  Not juice.  I pulled it away from my mouth, sniffed it a bit,  and looked at my companion.  It smelled a bit like coffee.  My companion started smiling really big. I asked him was it was...He thinks it was some kind of cha gelado (chilled tea)  which he quickly assured me that here it is not contra the word of wisdom....So, with nothing I could do, I chugged that cup full of gross stuff.  Not reeeallly sure what it was, but I repented just in case.  :D
Also, we've been with no water for three days.  You know what that means!!!  NOOOO SHOWERSSS!!!!!  Just kidding.  We fill a bucket with water from a tap below (Because the pressure isn't sufficient to pump it to our room upstairs)  and run it up to the shower and use that.  Also, the water smells like eggs.
Today, nós vamos subir um montanha perto de casa com 2 pesquisadores jovens.  We will pick mangos and try to find more of the foot fruit.  Yup, it's a crazy life.  Pray that I won't get eaten by an anaconda or attacked by little monkeys.  I'm so excited!  
The work is going great, and if all goes according to plan, we will a baptismal service this week!

Espero que tudo é bem.  Eu oro por voces cada dia.  A igreja é verdadeira, e com a mão do Senhor, tudo e possível!  
Eu amo voces
Até proximo vez,
Elder Stinnett.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The part of Rio that the president lives in is exactly like the pictures.  Beautiful de mais!  But the part that I'm living in is not really what you'd imagine.  Well what I imagined.  I love it here.  It's kindof like downtown Phoenix :PI'm starting to get a feeling why I'm here in Brazil.  It is hotter than AZ right now.  Well, it's probably 90 or 95 but the humidity is killer. You know how people gross out if you hand is sticky from sweat when you shake their hand in AZ?  NOT HERE!! Everyone is sweaty and sticky and panting haha.  
We got a chance to eat at a member's house and that is why she shot bethany a friend request.  I had a couple of ideas that I shot dad about skype.

I'm so glad that you got the letters!  They took a while to write, but I figured that if they would take a month to get there, they better be good neh? (That's the Brazillian way of saying Eh?  like the Canadians do haha)  
It's so nice to know that there are so many people back home that support me.  It gives me even more assurance that I'm out here doing the Lord's work.  It's difficult though.  While fazendo contatos na rua, I can talk to anyone that I want.  We actually have a game where we pick contacts for each other, because you can talk to 99 percent of anyone you see.  They just have the courtesy to talk to someone.  They respect us a lot.  I feel pretty safe here because everyone here believes firmly in Christ and respects anyone that talks about him.  Also, there are tons of cavalos and packs of wild dogs that run wild here.  But it's weird.  They don't attack you...unless you are my companion and like to growl at them....I have the sutaki (accent) of Sao Paulo mixed with white boy, so it's difficult to interpret what the Cariocas are saying and for them to discern what I am saying.  But, eu vou melhorar.  Also, on the bright side, the world didn't end a couple days ago.  
While studing the first lesson, I remembered the advice that one of my teachers at the CTM told us.  He told us to pray about Joseph Smith.  Even if we already had, just do it.  I knelt down and started to pray.  I had before, but I figured more times=better.  I didn't feel much while praying, so I stayed there kneeling for a moment.  Then all of a sudden, this rush came over me from head to toe that lasted a solid 30 seconds.  He's indeed a prophet.
Nos temos a pesquisador that we are teaching.  
Have a merry Christmas.
 Ate mais, a igreja é verdadeira!
Elder Stinnett

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guess what?  I'm already in Rio!!! Today is my first Pday and eles vai ser em Segundo (Monday from now on). We got to leave a day early from the MTC so we took a plane ride yesterday at 4 in the morning.  It was onle 45 minutes, but the landing was amazing.  We passed right by the Pao de Sucar (sugar loaf mountain) and saw the Cristo Redentor.  Then we got picked up by President Lima and went back to his house and ate lunch and were oriented and such.  It was so incredible!!!  The view from his house is one of the coolest I've ever seen.  After that, we went to the capela para receber nosso companeiro.  O nome de meu companeiro é Elder Lima.  Ele é um bom missionario e eu ja aprendi muito dele. After, we walked about a mile and hopped on two different buses and a van to get to our area.  Stuff gets heavy when you carry it a mile...  Anyways we got to our lar. Its definitely a humble one, but I like it.  No ac but we do have a fan we move around to each room we go in.  
We gave my first lesson of the field to a sister named Maria.  Ela foi batisou otem e nos se ensinamos novamente sobro o Espirito Santo.  Eu solmente entendi um pouqo, mais eu vou aprender.  The accent here is different than Sao Paulo so I keep having to ask everyone to repeat what they say alot.  Oh well.  I will try to attach a few pictures to the email I will send mom.  I hope it works.  Also, if sending a package, apparently if you declare a worth of more than 20 dollars, the governement will take it and make me pay double its cost in reals to take it say its less than twenty dollars I guess....
My companion says that we will probably use skype in a members house to talk to you on Natal, so im excited for that.

Sorry it isnt longer, but we have a lot of things to do today.  Até mais!
Elder Stinnett

Well, I got to help teach a new convert yesterday as I wrote in the letter to Dad.  Everyone here is very nice and less busy than Sao Paulo. That's cool to hear about India's mission and Boyd's farewell.   I'm feeling a bit lost here with the language, but I'm grateful for the chance to be knocked down so I can learn more.  Also my area is campo grande cesario de melo ....bye


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

That is great news to hear that Adrian is getting married.  That was really cool that he said that I would have been one of the groomsmen.  I'll definitely send him a letter to congratulate him when I get some time. 
Today we went to the temple again.  My last time for two years :(  I got the chance to do Annointings.  It was completely in Portuguese and the were whispering so I only got to pick out a few random words.  But the spirit was definitely there. 
Tell Ashlee and Adam thanks for me.  I really appreciate every bit of help...I can't stop thinking about everyone who has supported me being out here.
Yesterday guess what sister came into my classroom to say hi?  Sister Mendenhall.  (I think that's how you spell it)  I'm not sure which one of the twins it was, but her mission is Belem (Bethlehem in Portuguese). 

 It's been a really good week so far!  We got a chance to watch the first presidency Christmas devotional.  That opening number was amazing.  I'm not sure whether the choir is that good or the Spirit made it seem better, but that was one of the most beautiful renditions of that song I've ever heard.  Going along with the Christmas theme, we were able to go out on Sunday night and carol just outside the CTM.  President Degn (The CTM president) was a concert pianist and a fireworks technician (weird combination) so he was at the piano.  It was really good to be able to sing those songs about Christ and remember why it is we have the holiday. 
We got to go proselyting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!AHHHHHHHH!!!
Yah, I was so excited.  It was over 24 hours ago, but I'm still running off of the sharing-the-gospel-with-others-high.  We separtated into companionships and we were let loose on the streets in our boundaries for a couple of hours.  At first it was a bit difficult to figure out how to approach someone on the street because most everyone is walking really fast, but once you get them talking about Christ, it seems like you can't go wrong.  Elder Palmer, Elder Nascimento, and I ended up sharing 8 Os Livros de Mormon in the time we were given!  My first contacto de rua was a man named Victor.  He is a Brasillero, but he lived in Sydney Aus.  for a couple of years as a chef or Brazillian food.  Can you imagine a Brasillero with an Australian accent?  Legal!!!  It seemed like as we were out there longer, I stopped thinking how to say stuff and the words just came out of my mouth.  I could understand the large majority of what they were saying to me too!  Any whoot, we get to go out this weeks again.  Não posso esperar!!

So this week, a sister was ironing her clothes at like 10:40 PM.  Should have been in bed right?  I guess she was new to the whole ironing thing because her clothes caught fire and set off the alarm.  We got to walk down 6 flights of stairs in flip flops and pajamas and wait outside the CTM for 20 minutes while the guards went and checked things out.  It was pretty funny :D

Also, during service this Wednesday, Elder Haws and I found a slug in the middle of the court yard.  We finished up sweeping and then came back to play with it, but it looked like it wasn't really moving.  So we sat ourselves down on the bench and Haws started poking it with a stick.  Nothing.  Well, we couldn't just leave it there, it was on the floor we swept and it didn't belong.  And we coudn't put it in the trash if it was alive cause that is mean.  So, just to make sure that it was dead, I put my foot out and stepped on it....It exploded and went up the side of my shoe, on my basketball shorts, on my face, and in my mouth.  Ever wondered what slug poop tastes like?  Gross.  that's what.  :P 

Well, those are the highlights of my week.  Isso tempo proxima semana, eu vou ser no Rio de Janeiro!!  Eu amo voces e eu espero que voces vão ter uma boa semana.  A igreja é verdadeira e Cristo vive. 
Até mais,
Elder Stinnett

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

 I that is way cool about Maddie's priesthood blessing.  Eu sei que eles só trabalham com nosso fé, mas isto esta muito incredivel!  This week we had a ceremony on the last night of November where todo mundo gathered in the coutyard of the CTM at night and counted down till the Christmas lights were turned on.  Depois, nós cantamos hinos de Natal com Presidente Degn e sua esposa.  We always have devotionals on Tuesdays and Sundays and Irma Steadman always has the entire CTM show up an hour early to reahearse a song to sing.  This week we sang Come thou Fount.  Este é um de meus hinos favoritos.  We sang the different verses in Portuguese and then English and the last strophe was acapella.  Esta muito dificil para lembrar um tempo quando eu senti o Espirito Santo mais forte que isto tempo.  Eu amo hinos!!! 
Nós estamos ensinando um nove pesquisador.  A nome dele é Igor e ele não acredita em Deus.  Ele não vai orar para ver se Deus existir!!!  Esta muito frustrado!  We ended up figuring out that he is like an iceberg.  He had a lot more problems than initially could be seen.  Right now, we are trying to figure out a way to get him to pray.  We have a temple visit scheduled with him in a week, so hopefully he "shows up". 
If there is one thing that I've learned for sure is that missionary work is not easy.  Eu estou lendo em Alma agora, e quando as pessoas vão receber o Evangelho, o capitulo esta muito corto.  Mas, quando as pessoas estão mal, o capitulo esta mais longe.  Eu penso que preciso lembrar isso.  When I am in the field, it may seem difficult.  The good times may seem brief and the long periods of trial may seem to drag on.  I just have to remember that the Lord is on my side and that I'm doing His work.  All will turn out for the best.  Elder Holland disse "You will have atleast one convert on your mission wherever you serve, and it better be you." 
Well, it's that time again where the clock is counting down.  Know that I love you guys.  I think about and pray for you.  Mas, a igreja me precisa e eu estou animado para servir onde eu estou chamado- Rio de Janeiro.  Eu vou ser aqui antes muito tempo.  Especialdade este tempo que o año- a tempo para celebrar a nascimento do nosso Salvador, Jesus Cristo.  Até proximo tempo.
Seu missionario,
Elder Stinnett