Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, January 28, 2013

So this week we had a number of weird/ cool experiences.  Some spiritual and some just odd.  We were walking in the street and this lady pulls us to the side and tells us that her house is posessed.  Yup.  She was saying that it just feels odd, and that her baby cries whenever she enters the house with him.  She wanted us to pray over the house and cast the demons out of it.  We reluctantly stepped in (the baby started to cry) and this tense feeling came over us.  I don't know how to describe it, but I didn't like it.  We said a simple prayer asking for protection, for a feeling of comfort, and that we can have the spirit with us.  By the end of the prayer, the baby was silent.  We shared a scripture, sang a hymn, and when we stood up to leave, I glanced over and the baby was fast asleep.  The power of prayer in faith is definitely real.  

We have a lady in the ward Irma Angela.  She has a really cool family and they have been the 'missionary house' for the past few years.  She has litterally become my mom here in Brasil.  This week, we had received a lot of dinero em vez de comida pra Almoço which means we eat in the street and kindof go the day with a knawing hunger because of the lack of rice and beans.  We went over to her house on Friday to see how they were, and Elder Lima let it slip to the daughter that we hadn't had a real lunch in three days. (it was like 6 oclock)  The daughter gasped, ran to Irma Angela, whispered something in her ear, and then "WHAAAT!!! NO RICE AND BEANS FOR THREEE DAYS?!?!!"  "Filhos, por que voces não me deixaram saber?"  She got up right then and in less than ten minutes we had rice, beans, steak, pasta, and suco.  Yah, she's pretty great haha.  Her family was sick yesterday, so we had the opportunity to go give the sacrament to her.  Saying the prayer in Portuguese was way cool.  

We had splits with the zone leaders this week, so I spent the night over in a different area "Jardim Maravilha"  It was really cool to see how other missionaries work so that I can better myself.  While I was there, we were walking and saw some people struggling to hoiste a giant concrete pole and plant it in the ground.  We stopped for a second and helped them out.  Afterwards I read the sign on the front of the building, and wouldn't you know, a couple of mormon missionaries (us)helped build a Baptist church haha.  Not sure what type of blessings I should expect from that, but I thought it was funny.  

As for the picture, I saw this while walking and had to grab a photo with it.  Batman lives throughout the world!!!!

Until next week, the church is true.

Elder Stinnett 

Monday, January 21, 2013

So this week has been pretty good.  It's hard to believe that I've alread been out almost three months!  I think.  Keeping track of time is really hard.  
Last PDay, we went up into the mountains to pick mangoes, bananas, and jaca (the foot fruit).  Man it was crazy.  I saw a lizard the length of my leg, their were wild cows that tried to attack us to steal our jaca, and to top it all off, my comp forgot his water bottle so we only had mine.  Guess what that mean....coconut milk!!!  It's actually really stinking good, but you only drink from the green ones.  So, we were picking coconuts and all of a sudden we heard shots.  Then they stopped and then there was one that was much louder.  You bet your buns we ran down that mountain.  By that time it was pouring rain and there was a flood at the bottom of the mountain.  There was a car that was stuck in the dirt at the bottom that wasn't there before.  As we arrived, five men came out and asked us to help them.  So we tried but it was stuck really deep.  But the whole situation was really shifty.  Two of the men took out pistols and threw them in the car so they wouldn't get wet.  Elder Lima disse "A gente vai em la entao." (Pretty much, we need to go.)  He told me that they are milicianos..corrupt police.  We made it home safe and we decided not to go in the mountains anymore...The good news is, I've got some sweet pictures!!!!

Anyways, we got our hair cut this week.  I thought I was pretty well off.  I'm pretty comfortable with being able to say what I need to, but my barber had a lisp.  It didn't turn out how I expected haha. He ended up removing my natural hairline to make it straight in the front, more open on the sides, and it looks like I have a giant forhead.  So yah.  :D  Good news is it will grow. Ohh, and so my companion had an ingrown toenail.  Aparently it's been there for the past six months.  He was messing with it one morning during personal study and all of a sudden I smelt something putrid.  He popped it and there was nasty stuff everywhere!  He was kindof looking at it confused.  "Por que meu dedo cheira assim?"  (Why does my toe smell like this).  I told him that bacteria was eating his toe and that soon it would need to be amputated.  I guess sarcasm doesn't really work in Portuguese because he started freaking out and would calm down until we called the mission nurse and had and appointment set with a pediatrist to get it taken care bad hahaha

Teaching is going really great.  I'm finally to the point where I can express myself pretty well and understand for the most part what everyone is saying.  I had a contact ask me yesterday how long I've been here in Brasil.  I told him almost 3 months and he called me a liar.  The gift of tongues is real.  E as vezes, é mais facil falar em Portugues.  :P Eu sou grato cada dia por o oportunidade eu tenho para compartilhar um mensagem que vai abençoar a vida de quem que vai aceitar.  Eu sei que estou sendo protegido por O Senhor aqui.  Este é a igreja de Cristo.  Realmente foi restaraudo por Joseph Smith.  Eu ja vi milagres acontecem em minha vida e em a vidas das pessoas que nós temos a chance ensinar.  Voce pode ficar tranquilo.  Eu estou seguro e aproveitando minha missão.  É  dificil, sim.  Mais, ela tem um valor mais grande que as desafios estou vencendo.  Amo voces.  Tenham um semana otima pra mim e mandem pra mim um hamburgur americano.  Sinto falto disso.  
A igreja é verdadeiro,
Translation: "And sometimes, it's easier to talk in Portuguese. : P I'm thankful every day for the opportunity I have to share a message that will bless the lives of those who will accept. I know I'm being protected by the Lord here. This is the church of Christ. It really was restaraudo by Joseph Smith. I've seen miracles happen in my life and in the lives of people that we have the chance to teach. You can rest assured. I am safe and enjoying my mission. It's hard, yes. Plus, it has a value greater than the challenges I'm winning. I love you guys. Otima have one week for me and send me one hamburgur American. I miss that.
The church is true,
Elder Stinnett

Monday, January 14, 2013

I don't have any pictures of the floods unfortunately. I didn't want to get my camera soaked in the rain.  But I do have pictures of the aftermath a little bit.  Sorry, I don't have time to send any photos this week.  I'm really pressed for time.  But next week will be great!

So, Fortunato was confirmed this week.  It was really neat to be a part of the circle.  The spirit is always so strong in blessings.  He was really worried that he wouldn't feel anything different, so we fasted and prayed for him.  When we went over to his house to talk to him after church, he said that he felt something out of the ordinary.  He also has a really neat experience of how he knew that we were messengers of God.  Apparently the night we first met him, we told him to pray about us.  If we were really giving him the gospel or something fake.  That night he heard his name being called in the street multiple times, but he couldn't find out where.  His  namorada who lives on the same street heard it too.  He says that that was how he knew.  

I also witnessed a miracle of a different sort walking to a member's house for Almoço.  There's a main street divided with a median in the middle where they are making two lanes to be used only by busses.  In the middle was lying a looked dead like it got hit by a car.  A guy saw it before us and went up and nudged it with his foot.  The dog's legs started spazzing out like it was trying to get up but couldn't.  I thought it was done for.  The man grabbed the front paw of the dog, dragged it to the other side of the road, and threw it in the air.  IT LANDED ON ALL FOURS!! like nothing even happened.  it walked away.  My companion and I couldn't believe it.  I've seen that same dog wandering the streets since.  I call him Lazerus.  

We have another pesqu. that we invited to be baptized.  She accepted and went to church.  She is very interested and talks for hours about her life and how Christ has helped her.  I can totally see her as Relief Society Pres.  I asked her about the confirmation of Fortunato and asked if that is something she would like.  She thought for a second and said that ever since we met her, she's had a desire deep in her heart to be baptized.   Hopefully all goes well and this Domingo, she will be!  

No for a funny story... So we were teaching a preacher.  It's not nearly as fun as it sounds.  Combined with the fact that they know how to manipulate scriptures and the "I know it all" feeling they have makes for a frustrating lesson.  It's difficult to try to teach when he is trying to convert you.  So, muitas vezes in the middle of my sentences he would cut me off and start talking about something different.  After about 7 times of this, we were a bit frustrated.  What was funny is when he thought he made a point, he would give this laugh ahh haha HA!!!   Yup, it was great.  So, in the middle of my sentence he cut me off again.  I kind of snapped.  I started going off in English, something like "you know what, I can talk over you and cut you off in english and you won't think it's very nice either buddy"  He stopped really fast and looked at me like "Huh, he can actually speak fluently in a different language.  Maybe he's not such a retard after all."  (Or that's how I imagined it :D)  Just that look of astonishment made my day.  Not the most Christlike of me, but hey I'm trying.  

Well, that's all I have time to write today.  I love you all.  Take care.  The church is true.

Elder Stinnett

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

AHHHH!!! That's so exciting for Chase!  Now we've got missionaries from the YSA ward to spread all over -USA, Brasil, Honduras, and now Uruguay!  My roommate up at the Y served in Uruguay.  He loved it!  I'm way psyched for him.  

Also, BATISMO!!!!  
We had our primero batismo 6 Jan 2013.  His name is Fortunato.  Nós encontramos ele enquanto fazendo contatos na rua.  We were returning to our house for the night and I saw him standing in the door of his house.  We had already walked by and I had the feeling to turn around, so I did and made the contact.  He had a lot of difficulties to overcome, but he accepted every compromiso que nós demos.  It was way cool.  His life changed completely and he finally smiled :D  I had the opportunity to baptise him.  I was  bit nervous saying the prayer in Portugues, mas quando eu estava falando, não foi eu.  My body only gave a certain amount of effort, but the words that came out of my mouth had much more power.  I cant remember ever feeling that sentimento tanto forte antes.  

I've a ton of stories that happened this week.  I'll try to pick the best ones :D

So, we had a huge rain and flood here in Rio.  It hit my area too.  Our rooms are upstairs, so that was fine, but the streets were litterally rivers.  I heard a lot of people passed away because of the flooding :(  That day we had zone meeting so we needed to pick up a van to Campo Grande.  The river in the road wasn't that deep so we made it fine.  We were left parkouring from high point to high point to avoid getting soaked, but alas we all failed.  The funny thing is, we have man holes in the middle of the sidewalk and to let water in, they open them up. But when they are completely full to the brim and located underneath giant stagnant puddles, they are impossible to see.  Don't worry only part of one leg fell in :D  On the way home, the water in the road was significantly deeper.  But the drivers here are either crazy or have nerves of steel because we were plowing straight through that water.  There was even one instance where we hit a section so deep all the wheels left the ground and we half floated/ started sinking while the momentum carried us to the other side.  FREAKED out of my mind.  Buuuuut, we got home safely and started proselyting in the flood.  Also, you know how movies have a lot of special effects?  You know the one where a bus drives by and hits a giant puddle and water sprays up and soaks the pedestrian.  Im proud to say that that isnot  a special effect.  It really works!!  Also, it gets your white shirt muddy :D

We had a really good New Years Eve.  We had a chorrasco (bbq) com membros and got out there and proselyted more!  We were heading back for the night and making contacts when we walked by a group having a bbq in the street.  A large man wearing nothing but whitey tighties that were about 7 sizes to small starts yelling at me in broken English "My name is Brazil"  "I'm from Roberto!"  Needless to say, we got some barbeque and soda, shared a bit of the gospel and left haha  I love it here :D

People seem to love the American's here.  They are always trying to use what English they know.  There was a girl that I guess was a dropped pesquisadore that started asking me about where I was from and stuff in English.  Then as she was leaving "You are a very beautiful man."   But anywhoot, we are trying to set up a class this Saturday (if not next) where I can teach people a bit of English for service.  I'm so stoked!!!  

Well, I'm out of time, but this has been some of the things that have happened this week :D
Thanks for the packages minha familia and Stringham family.  Also the card from Grandma.  (I went to the mission office to change my address)  They made my day and I'll treasure them always :)

Until next week, a igreja é verdadeira, Cristo é nosso salvador, somos filhos de Deus e Ele nos ama.  
Eu amo vocês!  
Elder Stinnett