Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pamela got confirmed!  Whoo hoo!.  One more soul on her way to salvation, and all that good stuff.  So my new comp is Elder Bendoski.  He's from Florida, and has just a little more than a year on the mission.  He's a good guy and wants the best for people.  Neither one of us speak Portuguese perfectly, so that makes lessons interesting haha. 

 Well, I've got some bad news.  I went to go print a photo of the baptism to give to Pamela, and I gave the guy at the lanhouse my memory card.  He put it in the computer, and it started to load all the photos, and then Poof it turned all funky letters and now only 100 of the some 500 photos and videos I have on it appear.  (From like December to right now we erased or something.)  Before, the card says that the memory would let me take 200 more photos and it still says it now, so it is possible that they are still on there.  There is this big archive file that you can't open which may contain those photos.  If not, they are kind of lost.  The good news is that some of the cpplest ones I already sent home.  The bad news is, well, I didn't really want to lose any of those.  What I will do, is apparently there is a kodak place in Campo Grande.  I'll see if they can fix it today, and if not, I will send it home to you (get one of the computer people in the ward to work some magic.)  I'm buying a 16 gig flash drive though to back up my photos from now on.  Lesson learned.  At least that happened early in the mission right?  The good news is that we had lunch Irma Angela's house that day.  She asked me why we were late, and we explained the whole situation.  She made her husband go get some ice cream to cheer us up.  It was just like one of those movies where the boyfriend breaks up with the teen girl and then she has to have a pity party and eat 
ice cream with her friends to get by.  Pretty sure I lost a couple of points on my man card for that one.  But the ice cream was delicious :D

So my WML found out he has type one diabetes.  He took it pretty hard.  He took us home to have a meeting with him and eat a snack.  He started drinking some guaracamp (a super sugary drink made from concentrated syrup).  I asked him if he thought it was good to drink that knowing of his condition.  He looked at me and asked me, "O que é um peido por alguem que já esta cargado?"  Or in other words "What is a fart for someone who has already pooped his pants?"   He's the best hahaha.  Looks like he is still in the 'denial' stage of things haha.  

Well, I'll try to send a pic with this week's message.  Pray the computer doesn't kill the card again.  

Love you all, 
until next week,
Elder Stinnett 

Monday, April 22, 2013

This week has been yet another week of miracles, which resulted in the baptism of one of our pesquisadoras.  Her name is Pamela.  We were walking one day down the street looking for people to teach.  All of a sudden I felt the impulse to turn back and knock on one of the doors.  A lady (Fatima) answered the door.  Turns out she has a big lot with like 5 small houses on it.  She was inactive, but she returned to the church now.  She also takes care of pretty much all of the neglected children who live close.  (Their parents abandoned them, or are always at work.)  During the lessons we taught Fatima to help her reactivate, a girl Pamela started listening.  She gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and everything looked great for her to be baptized this Sunday.  

So we woke up Sunday, got all ready, and were walking to the church for our meeting w/ Bispo.  On the way, we met a woman who had committed to go to church that day.  She told us she didn't want to go.  We explained the blessings that she would get there and she walked off.  Later, we headed to Fatima's house to walk with her and about a billion kids who wanted to go to church.  Pamela wasn't there.  Noone had seen her since the night before, and she wasn't anywhere to be found.  We walked everyone to church, and then started what would be an hour and a half long search party to find her.  We said a prayer on the way asking for a miracle to find her so she could be baptized that day (you have to go to church a certain number of times, and atleast getting her to sacrament meeting was crucial).  And so we searched.  

After the hour and half was up, we started walking slowly back to the church, perhaps wondering what we had done wrong.  We had done all we thought we could.  As we walked past the young women's room, we glanced in there, and she was sitting there, actively engaged in the lesson.  Elder Gallion and I went into the other room and offered a prayer of thanks.  God works in myterious ways, but when you do what is right, miracles happen.  

So, my comp is getting transferred tomorrow.  I'm super sad.  I will have another American come and take his place named Elder Bendoski.  Well, the work progresses.  I wonder what's with my luck getting American comps.
It looks like I will be spending the next month and a half here in Cesario de Melo.  It's a great place.  I was looking forward to getting to know a different part of Rio, but hey- this just means that there are more people here that are prepared to here my voice than I've reached yet.  I'm just grateful for the opportunity to serve.  

"Porque, eis que, eu sou Deus, e eu sou um deus de Milagres!!! "

Elder Stinnett

Monday, April 15, 2013

This week went super well.  We were able to get a heck a ton of people in church.  (Most of them were moças - girls) but hey.  when you are so dang attractive that is bound to happen.  :D  Just kidding.  Bispo(Bishop) made sure to tell us that it is the light of Christ they see in us that makes them flock to us.  Not our white skin and dashing good looks.  

So, we were walking down a street and I saw a kind of different guy standing on the corner smoking a cigarrette.  We walked up to him and I started talking.  "Hey man, why are you smoking that?  You know you are making Jesus really sad right now."  He took the cigarrette out of his mouth and looked at it.  "Tell you what- let's trade.  You throw that cigarrette away and I'll give you a present from Jesus."  The man looked up at me, down at the cigarrette, and then up at me again.  Then, chucked the cigarrette into the street.  We were then able to give him a pamphlet about the restoration of the gospel.  Yup, he pretty much made my day.  

We have really been able to see the changes that are talking place in the members we help and the people we teach.  I guess on of the hard parts of missionary work is realizing that you have to be willing to completely put yourself and your opinion aside and just speak by the spirit.  The Lord knows way better what his children need that you ever could, and he will put the words in your mouth that you need to say to let the Spirit touch their hearts. 
Sorry the email is a bit short,  but I wish you all the best for the week
The Church is TRUE!!

Elder Stinnett

Monday, April 8, 2013

Unfortunately, I haven't eaten a single tortilla since I've been here.  I'll give you a rundown of a normal lunch.  You sit down, put a layer of rice down on the plate, put a couple of ladle fulls of beans on top, then spaghetti noodles with a mild sauce (some of the time), a chicken leg or a fatty piece of roast-type meat, and then farinha (it's like a powdered potatoe like vegetable) on top to dry some of the bean juice so you can eat it with a fork.  And there is always soda.  I can not tell you how sick I am of soda.  The thing is, is that it is hard to say no b/c they buy it especially for you.  I just want water!!!  You've got to fill your plate 2 or 3 times because you know it is so dang delicious, and you don't want the Irmas mad at you.  

We didn't get to watch the priesthood session b/c it started 9 at night.  But, we will definitely read about it in the Liahona!  What was really cool is that the conference was voiced over in Portuguese.  It was a bit different, but Elder Scott did his own voice!  It sounds to me like he speaks Spanish, so his accent was a bit hard to understand, but we got the authentic Elder Scott experience!  But can you believe it?  We are getting a new temple!  Our mission president is always hyping us out about getting a temple, so you bet when it was announced we jumped up out of our chairs.  

 oh, and tell Conner happy birthday for me.  I'm writing cards, but it will be like a month before it gets there :D  

So we had a mini miracle happen.  We were trying to find new people to teach, and I felt like we should visit a contact that didn't seem too promising.  We went there anyways.  Someone else answered the door and it turned out he was an inactive.  We got to talking and he ended up going to a session of conference, and is excited to go to church!  I guess you can't really argue with the prompting you get.  

Unfortunately I'm out of time, but I'll make sure to get in more stories next time.

Love you all, stay strong.

Elder Stinnett

Monday, April 1, 2013

So this week, we finally got some pesquisadors na igreja after the drought we were having.  One of them is the sister of a recent converts who I'm sure is about to be the next relief society president.  This means that this conference weekend, it is super possible to have her baptism.  By the end of sacrament meeting, she stood up and put her hand over her heart, rubbing it and saying how good she felt.  

This week was also full of mini miracles.  We were tracting one day and we had already walked past a door and I felt the need to return.  We did, and knocked.  Turned out it was a lady named Fatima who has been inactive for a couple years and had just been praying to know if she needed to go back to church or not.  She said in her prayer she told God, that if the church was true, that he would send the missionaries to her door.  I know that it was not any type of coincidence that we were prompted to return to that door.  

We also taught a woman who was a little off the weird side.  She is living with someone right now, even though she is legally married to another man.  In short all the paper work to get her set to be baptized would take a couple of years.  But baptism isn't the only objective.  It's to help people right?  So she smoked two packs a day, and didn't know how to stop.  We sat her down and made a plan.  We told her that the next day, she would only smoke one pack, and diminish the number from there.  However, every time she wanted to smoke a cigarrete, she would sit down on a chair in front of the refrigerator, drink a glass of water, and stare and the picture of Christ we put there for five minute while praying for force not to smoke.  We went back a couple days later, and she hadn't smoked a single one.  

I'm so happy that we can see the little miracles that keep happening, and I pray that we can all continue to be part of the work of the Lord.  Cada pessoa tem outros que só ele pode tocar.  Eu sei que esta obra é verdadeiro.  Somos os soldados de Cristo e ele é a cabeça.  Vamos la.

Até proxima vez,

Elder Stinnett