Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hey Everyone!!

Sorry guys, I am really rushed for time today, but I had a great week. Elder Namanny is ending his mission right now and we are working hard to help him leave on a good note.  We were in sacrament meeting and I heard a great talk that made me think a lot.  Adrianna talked about families. There are some things that I learned/ made an opinion about during that talk and afterwards when I pondered about it.
  -*Nossos filhos são como os nós pais somos*  or rather *our children are as we parents are*---or in other words the best way we can lead is by example
  -The responsibility to teach the children is only of the parents- not of the school or the church.  -and it is an extremely sacred responsibility
- our job as parents/ future parents is not only to let our children grow up, but grow as people.  with food and time, they will grow in size, but personal growth requires time comittement, searching, and love.
- we have to help them take advantage of their capacities when they are young and help them develop their talents and expand their vision and open up doors.
            -eg reading, piano, scripture study, etc
I feel a little like dr Dean saying stuff like this, but I think it took me 20 years to really understand how important the raising of kids is-  it is the base that gives a person capacities and skills to grow and succeed in life.  I can say that I am a lot more grateful for my childhood than I had realized ever before.  i have a wonderful family that let me try new things and experiment many roads while helping me stay focused in the gospel along the way.  Here in a little bit, Ill have to apply it to my own family, and I feel alot more capable of doing this after experiencing what I have in life and here on the mission.

We were visiting Rogerio the other day and we were trying to help him see that if he gave less focus in just working that he and his family would be a lot happier.  he gave us his whole life story, and I could see how little decisions in his life led him to the pickle he is in right now.  he told us something about lymphatic draining- which was odd and really interesting.  aparently you massage a fat person and try to *push* fat towards lymphnodes.  (there are 6- on the legs, on the neck, and in your pits) and then as the fat is broken down and enters the lymphnodes,  you pee your fat out and you get skinnier.  Aparently he helped some lady lose 30 cm of waistline....interesting.  He loved doing this and seeing the effects that it had in people, but his wife got jealous...  Im not going to be a massagist.  

We are working a ton right now, the results are a little slower than we would like, but Im just excited to be here on the mission.  Our zone is seeing a great change for the better which is really nice.  I feel like I am fulfilling what the Lord has asked of me here in Madureira, Sulacap, and that is pretty much all I can ask for.  
Love you all!!!

Elder Stinnett

we were hitting some doors and we saw this girl...hahaha

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hey Mom/ public!!!

Thanks so much for the photos and stories from home.  They really made me laugh. 

This week I got to go to the Policia Federal at the airport in Galeão to renew my vista.  It was really cool getting to remember my short time that I passed on that island a few months ago.  It was a pretty easy process and I got all fingerprinted and everything so Im legal here again!  Elder Namanny is going to be going back there in April to grab a plane home :O  

This Sunday was really cool at church.  Vani and her two sons were  there dressed up all pretty and Cilene got to church safely without being kidnapped too :D  We had some really cool talks that talked about how to strenghthen your home and how to raise kids.  I dont have kids yet, but it was interesting to hear about haha.  After the sacrament was passed and the first person was talking, I felt a small tap on my shoulder.  I looked over and saw a little girl who smiled at me and said *oi*.  I opened my eyes up really wide and my mouth opened a little as I tilted my head and tried to remember who this girl was.  All at once I remembered- it was Barbara- a little 9 year old from Nova Iguaçu.  She pointed to the back bench.  I looked and I saw everyone -  Eduardo and his wife Roseni, Maria Eduarda, Ana Carolina, and Tia Daisy.  They smiled and waved at me.  The surprise to see this family that Elder B Ribeiro and I helped be baptized back in Nova Iguaçu was so great that the emotions all pooled together, and I felt the urge to laugh and cry and jump in the air all at the same time.  When the sacrament meeting ended we got to talk.  They told me that they are very firm in the church.  Eduardo had the chance to baptise his daughter Ana Carolina this last Saturday (as she turned 8) and that everyone is doing really well.  Tia Daisy had made a promise to me when I left that she would become firm in the church (she had been inactive for a lot of years).  She told me that she is now has received a teaching calling and is giving lessons each week.  Roseni, who was really timid, is now giving talks in sacrament meeting. And Maria Eduarda is firm with her testimony and is dying to serve a mission.    It was really great to see them, and they helped me to remember what a grand effect this gospel has in the lives of those who live it.  The ward back there is doing really well.  Eduardo gave me a policia militar shirt with my name stiched in it (from his work) that matches the hat that he gave me when I left the area.  I couldnt stop smiling for the whole rest of the day.  
We are working really hard to help some new pesquisadores come out of the woodwork, and we are finding a lot of really great people.  There is this *different* kind of religion here that is called spiritism or cadecista that believes that we are going to reincarnate.  Here in Sulacap, there is a heavy slavery history, so this religion is really strong here.  We found a family that is a bit divided as the dad is evangelic and the mom is espirita.  They are wanting to go to church on Sunday and accepted the invitation to read the book of Mormon and pray about it.  

If you could, keep all the missionaries in your prayers- and their investigators.  I realize more and more each day that even if we labor with all our might every minute of every day alone, the results are nothing compared to when the Lord steps in and gives a hand.  I hope all is well with you guys!!


Elder Stinnett

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hey Mom! and everyone else!

I got my package!  Thanks so much for the socks and letters and ring and everything.  I feel like a boss/grandpa with socks that have little squigles on them and the ring is super cool.  
Tomorrow we will have the start of a new transfer!!!  Elder Nammany and I will stick together as ZLs (he will leave 2 weeks early to head off to BYUI in time for the semester to start).  We will have a few changes in the zone-  Elder Krepsz (the one we dressed like Santa) is leaving along with Elder Montenegro, Elder Rojas, Elder Jorge, and Elder Ribeiro.  Im gonna miss those guys. 
I gave a talk yesterday in Sacrament meeting.  I chose the topic *When you are converted, strengthen thy bretheren*  I got to use Adam´s Valentine to me where he told me how he read the whole Book of Mormon and then told me what he liked and gave a short testimony at the end.  I showed it to everyone and explained the importance of using the basic building blocks of scripture study and prayer, and going to the church to live the doctrine of Christ- and how this will help us be inspired to be missionaries.  It went really well, and I feel that the members were touched to do more.  I pretty much dont get nervous at all to give talks anymore.  I hope that going back to the US and having to speak English up in front of everyone doesnt weird me out haha.
Ive got really good news...Rogerio went to church again!!!  He was taking a trip last week, and he found us in the street as we were doing contacts and he told us *Im going to church with my daughter this week!  My wife doesnt like churches, but we are going.*  And he went!   He told me he really liked the talk I gave and got really sad when we told him that there was a possibility that one of us would be transferred.  He told us to pass by that night and he made us some cool fish dish for dinner. I have no idea what it was, but the bones of this fish were MASSIVE!  pretty tasty.  i dont know if it is just because we are eating fresher fish than they have in AZ, but I am kindof liking it.  Ill have to get the recipe and try it at home haha.  
Youre never gonna guess what happened to our recent conver Cilene (the little old lady).  This last week she grabbed a taxi to go to church and she was kidnapped. :O  The guy picked her up and then when she realized that he was taking weird paths and passed her destination, she was like *Do you have bad intentions with me?  Because if you do, Ill have you know that Im a baptized member of the Church of Jesus Christ!* haha the taxi driver broke down a bit and was like *I wasnt even supposed to work today, but ive got all these problems with my family and work and when I saw you, you reminded me of my aunt....and I wanted to talk to you....*  Cilene responed *Well that is very nice.  You can take me home now.*  The drive was like *Well, Im just going to stop here in this hotel and take a shower and then ill take you home.*  When they got to the hotel, he wanted her to go up to the room with him. *Im not going up there with you!  *  *No, just come and wait on the bed.  Ill be really fast*  *No, Im staying down here in the lobby!* Cilene responded.  The driver reluctantly went up to the room alone, smoked a cigarette and then came back down,and took Cilene back home.  When I heard her story, I got super weirded out.  Needless to say, we went there yesterday to grab a van together to get to church.  I dont want any other weird incidences like that to happen to her.  Up until now, Cilene is convinced that the devil is sending every thing he can at her to take her away from the one true church.  

Ive got to get heading off, but I love you all and hope that all is well with you guys!!

Elder Stinnett

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hey Mom and Dad and Everyone!!!

Sorry my last emails have been shorter.  Things have been a bit rushed, but they are starting to cool down.  This week, was a bit more chill.  There was just one really bad party and the rest was back to normal.  I hope that it stays that way haha.  Oh, PS I havent gotten the package yet, my LD is going to the mission office today and should bring it back with him.  So excited!!
We had mission counsel and zone training this week.  It was really great to go to the counsel to receive all the new information, do some practices, and then pass it all for our zone in the training the next day.  I think mission counsel has got to be one of my favorite days of the month.  I always leave the chapel feeling super confident and excited for the upcoming month.  :D  During the counsel, Sister Lima nagged us again that we need to drink 4-5 liters of liquid each day.  That is a ton of liquid!!  I decided to give it a try.  I think by lunchtime I had dranken like 3 liters.  Ten minutes later, we had to run to a nearby member´s house to go... haha.  We checked up on them and then were on the way to an appointment and I had to go again haha.  Rio de Janeiro is a great place, but they have next to zero public bathrooms.  We werent near any members, but we just happened to pass one of the only gas stations in our area.  I ran inside and used the bathroom.  When I cam out, there was one of our pesquisadoras- Yolanda crossing the street.  She was over in Santa Cruz in the hospital with her son (he will have surgery today) and was just running home to grab some stuff and then was going to grab a bus back.  We were able to talk to her.  She is reading a lot of the Book of Mormon at the hospital and she is really liking it.  We asked her if she had prayed to God to ask if it is true.  She looked at us and said *It couldnt be anything but true.*  We asked her if she had prayed to ask God if Joseph Smith really was a prophet and if this is the church that Christ has established on the earth.  She replied that she had.  *Did he answer you?*  She looked at us as if it was the most obvious thing in the world and said, *Yes!  I want to be baptized.*  hahaha.  She is going to finally get to go to church this next Sunday- her son should be out of the hospital, and we are going to help her on her way to get baptized.  I am completely convinced that the reason why God let us talk to her was because we were being obedient to the cousels of the Sister and drinking a ton of water.  
Later that day, we were passing through Bento Ribeiro doing some contacts and we were just getting ready to leave and go to a new appointment.  As we were walking, I felt that we really needed to visit a family that was coming back to the church.  It is a humble, elderly couple.  We got there, and entered in the alley.  We called the name of the husband, and the wife looked out the second story window and motioned to us to come in quickly.  We ran up the stairs to see what was happening.  The husband was on his bed grimacing in pain.  He has a problem in his lower region that gives him searing pain and the doctors have been stumped in trying to find out what it is.  They just give him a really strong pain pill to numb out the pain a little.  We got there and his medicine had run out and they hadnt been able to buy any because of Carnaval.  He saw us and, muttered out the words, *Benção...saude...*  We dropped our things on the ground and gave him a blessing of health.  As we said amen, he was already calmer, and we ran out and got everything set up at the pharmacy for his medicine.  I am really grateful that I was able to pay attention to the Spirit enough to be able to help this brother out.  
I am really happy to be here in this area.  Im sure that this is the area that has been the most difficult, but also, the area that I have grown the most.  It has given me the understanding that the scripture that says, *Many are called but few are chosen* was definitely inspired by God.  The only thing that makes the difference between those who are called and those who are chosen, is our willingness to hear and obey the call.

Love you all!!!

Elder Stinnett