Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tell Tanner congrats on the call!  I heard they have some wicked pink river dolphins in Ecuador.  He will have to send me some pics.  Im totally sad that I will miss him and Spencer.  That will be a solid four years without seeing them i know they will be great missionaries.  Im still using this cruddy lan house computer keyboard that sticks a lot and I still have not found the question dont be too harsh on the grammer.  Im english retarded as it is.  
Hey so I got your birthday package!  Weird huh one took a lot longer.  We really enjoyed the peanut butter and twizlers.  The tie was beautiful and I think Im going to save that super hero shirt until I get home to impress the ladies. Thanks so much!!!!  Speaking of ladies- I am still in shock that Little Sara graduated already.  One day we (me, sara, sammy, conner, adam, madeline) are totally going to have a statue dedicated to the stinnett family outside of the UH campus haha.
Hey Ive got a question.  How can you make homeade corndogs I think that would be so cool to do for a integration night for the ward here.  #coolamericanfoodstheydonthavehere.  We went over to a less active families house last night and she made cuzcuz amarelo for us.  It kindof tastes like the white part of mexican tamales.  I almost died!  I totally miss the mexican refried beans (los compadres!!  mmmmmhmmm)  but I am colecting some cool recipes from the members here so I can make some brasilian food for you guys.  
This is one of the fastest passing transfers in the history of the mission.  I really hope we arent transferred this next week!  Today we decided to go to Niteroi to go see the famous art museum that looks like a satelite dish.  It was totally closed, but we got some cool pics and got to look at the ocean a bit.  (Ill send the pics in a separate email)  Area Niteroi is super beautiful.  I get super jealous sometimes that the pretty areas are always given to the Sisters!  oh well, I guess they deserve it.  
We are teaching this really cool girl named Vanessa.  She knows someone from ala Jacarepagua.  We had lost contact with her for a while and then finally we were able to mark a lesson in the chapel.  We taught her the plan of salvation- a very powerful message.  She had already been to church a few times, and told us that she wants to be baptized, but she wants to know more, and wants to wait to be sure that this is what she really wants to do.  We understood.  We also explained a little how the Gift of the Holy Ghost will help confirm each step she takes after she is baptized.  We left her with the invitation to pray that night, and talk to us in the church the next day about what she would like to do.  When she came to church, we got done with the block and she came up and said she wanted to talk to us.  She said *I was praying and thinking last night, and I realized that there is no way for me to know everything before I am baptized, so I want to be baptized this next Sunday*  I probably looked pretty goofy, because I had the biggest smile on my face hahaha.  I am so excited for her.  We are working to prepare everything so that it can all run well.  
Sorry, but Im out of time!  Ill talk to you guys next week.
Love you!
Elder Stinnett

the satelite thing is the famous art museum!!  the other one has the pão de açucar and the Cristo waaayyy in the back haha

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hey Mom and Dad and public,
It was really good to hear from you guys.  I am still shocked by how fast things are passing back at home.  I guess I kindof expected that everyone would put their lives on pause while I left and went on a mission.  It didnt quite work out that way haha, but I am glad that our family is having so much progress, especially in the gospel.  
This week was really cool.  We had a lot of crazy stuff that happened, some let downs, some miracles, and in general a feeling of satisfaction and happiness to be here.  
We have a few people that are so close to being baptized, but have some little barriers that are keeping them from taking that step.  It has been really humbling as I am figuring out that even when I give my all, the Lord has the ultimate word.  What He wants goes, and his timing is definitely not my timing.  I know that the Lord will bless these people so much as they take that leap of faith to be baptized, and that is why I get so anxious, but I have to be patient and help them one step at a time. 
There was  a 16 yr old boy that went to visit the church to play soccer a couple of weeks ago.  We grabbed his address, but we put him on the back burner because from the outside, he didnt seem to have much potential.  One day this week, with plan after plan falling through, we were led close to his house.  We decided to try to visit him.  He let us in, and we had one of the most direct and spiritual lessons that I have had on my mission.  How I need to look at all people with the eyes of faith.  He taught me  a powerful lesson that day.  I guess that even when the situation seems bleak, then that may be the moment that the Lord has a great blessing prepared for you.  We will go back this week to teach him again.
We have been really protected this week.  Here in São Gonçalo, the situation has gotten a little ugly.  The police are driving the bandits out of Rio (the city) and they are making their way to where we are.  We have had a few incidences this week where I said a prayer thanking that I had a white shirt and name tag on, because everyone seems to know that we dont have anything to do with undercover black markets or police.  We even had a dog that decided it wanted to walk in front of us (leading our way and protecting us) for a good 4 kilometros.  He would stop to make contacts with us and knock doors, and when we entered for a lesson, he wanted to enter in too.  It was really funny haha. We got separated after that, but when we finally got home at the end of the day, somehow he had found our house and was searching for us.  
This week we had a really fun ward activity that brought a lot of less active people to the church-  bbq!!!  The steak and sausage were really good, and all the primary kids liked to come and tease me to make me eat chicken haha.  This ward is really united, which is a good change of pace.  
I did a division with our DL in the other area which went really well.  I got to know Elder Diniz a bit better.  He is from São Paulo and is always smiling.  We went and taught a beautiful family  (yay families!!)  the restoration and they understood it really well, and are wanting to get married so they can be baptized.  Usually you think about doing a division, and you get a little resistant because it means leaving your area, but it is amazing how much the Lord blesses both areas when you make the sacrifice and do it.  In our area, they taught Jose, who already went to church and now wants to be baptized.  He is out of town for the next two weeks, but here in a bit, we are going to help him to enter the water.   In general in our area, we have quite a few progressing investigators. We just have to be patient and help them a little more.
That was pretty much my week.  Im loving it here in zona Niterói.  Miracles are happening!!!
Hope you all have a great week,

Elder Stinnett

Monday, May 12, 2014

It was so great to see you guys yesterday.  You all seemed so happy!  Cant wait to see you guys for real in a few months (so that I dont have to rely on a cruddy internet connection to hear what you are saying haha)  It was so cool to see Ollie, but for some reason when I tell people about him, I keep saying he is my cousin by accident.  Something hasnt quite hit that I am an uncle already haha.  
I was also reflecting the other day about how much things have changed.  People moving out of the house, Maddie is huge, Sammy has kissed boys (just kidding heehee) , starting in less than half a year Ive got to get a jump start on the whole college, job marriage, and family thing  :O  That and I woke up with backpain yesterday-  I am feeling really old haha  Good thing is, is that this whole change and progress thing is going to go on for eternity.  Isnt that great keyboard doesnt have a question mark, so please enjoy the emoticon)
So my comp and I finally got the whole electricity being shut off thing taken care of and got it turned back on- hurray for warm showers!!  I was seriously debating heating up water on the stove and taking a sponge bath-  cold water makes me sad.  
Our zone is progressing a lot.  We have got various baptismal dates with people in the zone and our missionaries are powerful.  Im really grateful that I can learn from them so that I can be a better missionary while I have the chance to serve them and help their areas progress. Whatever happens I am seeing miracles happen every day that really lets me know that the Lord is at the front of this work, and where He is at- that is where I want to be also.  

I want to invite anyone who reads this email to take the chance to ask God in prayer about someone that you can serve today.- physically, emotionally, spiritually- and then afterwards to go search for this opportunity that He will give you.  I know that the life of that person will be effected and your kindness will make them reflect upon the blessings of the gospel, and you will be enriched as well.  I know this to be true
I love you all, and pray for you all.

Elder Stinnett

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Thanks for the updates on the life back home.  How cool that Conner, Sammy and Sara got to go to the temple with you guys!  I am super excited to see the Phx and Gilbert temples when I get back.  
So this Sunday Ill be online at like 7PM.
I am sure that this is going to be a super fun transfer!  My comp is Elder Richmond- from Utah, and he is totally into hunting and shooting and riding quads and stuff.  Right up my alley!!  We are working with a few people that are really cool already, so we will definitely have a lot of success this transfer.  We have a rough place to start out from, but we have got the ball rolling already and we are picking up speed.  
Having Sisters in the zone has been pretty cool up until now- once they open up they really have some cool insights to share.  
So Yesterday we had to give up our PDay to go to Mission Conference (So that we could give the zone trainings today).  It was really great, and we heard Presidente/ Elder Lima bear his testimony for the first time as a Special Witness of Jesus Christ.  Really powerful.  We passed a great training to the zone this morning, and we are ready to work really hard this month.  My body is begging to rest right now, but I guess Ill have to wait until next Monday. hahaha
So we have some cool things that have happened so far-
- I got to meet some really cool people in our ward- I am absolutely sure that our Bishop will be made into a stake president really soon.  He is super spiritual.
- fast and testimony meeting was really great.  We had a recent convert that told us about her eye surgery.  she said *When they took the eyeball out of my head to operate on it, I just saw a white light.  That´s pretty much what it is like to see the light of Christ.*  hahaha  I love recent converts.  
-  We are moving into a new house that is in our area.  We dont really have anything as far as furniture, but a brother came over to help us try to put our closet together-  turns out we just got a lot of random pieces that came from various closets- but he did his best (see foto attached haha) Installed a new shower head and I didnt even get shocked!, we are doing some cool changes to make the house more homey.
- I got to try some sword fish yesterday!  It is stinking delicious- doesnt even taste like fish and it falls apart in your mouth.  eating something that has a sword on its face made me feel like a champ.  haha
The people in this area are a bit more receptive than the ones in Sulacap which is really cool.  I pretty much filled a page of my planner with one street of contacts.  If we can help them keep their commitments, we will be golden.  
Sorry that my email isnt longer.  I really am terrible to think of things to say on the spot. 
See you on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love you,
Elder Stinnett

Alright-  here is our cool closet, me and Elder Richmond (youll have to ask me about why we have  a couch on skype) and a cool shot in the sun......