Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hey mom and Dad and the rest of everyone!!!
We are all sharing the computer in the chapel so we have very little time to write hahahaa (the lanhouses are all closing early today because of the Brasil game)  Hopefully they can pull out a victory and move on to the next bracket. --the same for the US -  seems like the US selection is pretty good this time!!!  Maybe we will see a showdown US vs Brasil in the end.  (in which case the American elders would have to go into hiding) 
This week we were running around like NUTS.  We had a great zone conference with Pres. and Sister Lima.  They will be leaving us on the 27th.  Almost everyone was  crying when Pres Lima bore his last testimony.  He kindof opened up in a way that he neve had before.  Turns out that even though he loves to chastise us, he trusts in us a lot too.  Im going to really miss him.  Sounds like our new president is an older guy.  Im excited to see what he is like.
This week we had a lot of miracles.  We are teaching some references of members and one of them is an older guy named Britto.  He went to church last week and we invited him to be baptised, and he said that he is ok how he is.  We stopped by this week to say hi, and we left a liahona from conference with him.  He read it and decided that he wanted to go to church again.  We had a recent RM give the Gospel Principles class and it was about----dum dum duuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmm  BAPTISM!!!!  At the end up church I asked Britto what part he most liked, and he said that class.  I asked him what he felt there. He told me that he feels that it is the first pass that he needs to take-  he wants to be baptised, not immediately, but wants to prepare for it.  He is such a great guy.  He has some really bad knee problems and walks with crutches.  he told us that he needed us to give him a blessing- to heal him.  When we finished, he said Amem, -  eu creio, eu creio.  He is a man of a lot of faith.  
Also, before church, I was standing outside of the fence, and i saw Vanessa coming up the road with a woman I never saw before.  Apparently as Vanessa was coming to church, this lady asked her "where are you going??"  and she responded "the mormon church"..  "me too, I was just too scared to go alone".  Vanessa guided her in and started showing her everything, like an experienced missionary would do. It is so hard to believe that she has only a month in the church.  Francine (the woman who came to visit)  is the ex gf of a catholic pastor that just got baptized in the LDS church.  She felt the need to visit the church and came.  She loved it, and said she wants to be  apart,  but wants to learn more first.  To top it all off, this next Sunday will be the baptism of Alex!!!
sorry I dont have time to write any more, but I love you all!! have a great week. 
You are in my prayers,

Elder Stinnett

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hey Mom and Everyone!

Great to hear from you guys!  I havent been able to make the corndogs yet, we have been really busy getting everything ready for our English course to start, but I am going to translate and pass the recipe to the RS Pres.  
This week was pretty amazing.  Last Monday night, we left to work and we kept seeing people in the ward on the street.  We passed them and said hi each time, and they kept looking at me kindof weird.  Our meeting with the WML fell through, and we decided to do contacts.  Then my comp remembered me that we needed to download a movie to pass for the zone in the training we would give the next day.  We headed over to Marcos´s house and when we got there we knocked- they opened up- SURPRISE!!!  there were so many people crammed into that little house.  They were all dressed up in party stuff, and had made a cake, and sang to me for my birthday.  It was awesome!  They gave me some soda called Guaraná Jesus that you cant find in Rio, and we took tons of pics.  Coolest Bday Ever.
The cup is kindof making work a little hard.  For all the Brasil games we have to lock ourselves in our house and keep quiet, but I guess I kindof expected that.  On the bright side, we got to make a stinking delicious homemade lasagna that kindof tasted like Pizza.  Dont know how we managed that one.  We just kindof throw whatever we had in the sauce, and it turned out pretty dang good.  
Also, Elder Richmond made some choc chip cookies for us.  We both got diareah.  
Yesterday was the confirmation of Vanessa!  She is doing great, is happy and feels included inthe ward.  I guess that´s all I could ever ask for. She is completeing the young womans personal prog. even though she is already 22 because she wants a medallion.  I told Sammy that she has got to get working on it or else Vanessa will beat her hahaa.
This week, I made a contact with a guy in his front yard, and we marked a day to come back.  He seemed a little weird.  We got there and we asked him about his life- he is like 50, lives alone, has a big house with almost Nothing at all in it, and has gone to church like 4 times in the past (like 4 yrs ago.)  We were a bit confused.  Normally if you go to church like 3 times, you are already wanting to be baptized.  What was even weirder, is that me and my comp both had a weird feeling in that house, and for the first time in our whole missions, we had absolutely nothing come to mind as of what to say to teach him.  Nothing, at all.  It was as if someone had turned off my mind, and took away my tongue.  Weird.  We decided we needed to leave, and he told us he would go to church that sunday.  We left there confused, and weirded out.  Welp, he went to church.  A member came to talk to us after he left, and told us that he remembered him.  He wasnt baptized because something pretty grave happened with him, that has to do with Homosexual tendencies.  Now we have a lot better idea why we were prompted to get the heck out of that house hahaha.  I think we will just pass by and tell him that we cant come back alone, but if he wants he can keep studying the scriptures, and visit the church.  
Well, I just want to end with a quote that Elder Richmond´s greatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgrandpa said.  It doesnt really have to do anything with what I already wrote, but I really liked it. "I´ve often thought how wise it is that we cannot see the end from the beginning- for often the difficulties would be greater than our faith, and we would fail to make the progress that we do." William Mourley Plack
Love you all!
Elder Stinnett

Monday, June 9, 2014

Im having a great birthday.  We are running all around Niterói exploring and stuff, and then we went to a members house to send the weekly report of the zone (cause the lanhouse is stupid and doesnt open excell spreadsheets- and they told us to stay and eat lunch with them!  They made chicken for my comp and some cool ham and egg mixture for me haha.  Then we had the chance to give the wife a blessing because she was feeling really dizzy.  Ive been telling Heavenly Father that all I want for my birthday is for Him to help Dad get a good job.  He is the owner and creator of everything, so I dont think that was toomuch to ask :)
Thanks so much for the corndog recipe.  Im going to combine with the RS pres to get the activity rolling!
We met with our WML this week and today he is going to go get a banner made that we are going to put on the main road in front of the chapel advertising our English Course.  I am super stoked for it!  Who wouldnt want to learn English from two beatiful gringos like Elder Richmond and I?  haha
We had stake conference too this week!  Vanessa went too (Even though it was an hour away by bus.)  She told us that Michel and her have the goal of reading the whole Book of Mormon together. - 2 chapters per day.  Her confirmation will be this Sunday! :)
In the stake conference, all of Brasil had a transmission from Elder Ballard, Elder Scott (who spoke Portuguese and Spanish mixed),and Elder Costa.  It was really a great conference that got everyone thinking about prayer, and standards, and missionary work.  
I have gotten some really good news at the last mission counsel I went to.  All the LZs are there from all the zones so I get to ask how some of the people are doing where I have already passed.
- In Vila São Luis- Emanuel is doing great.  He is a member of the elders quorum presidency and has gotten the Melchezidech priesthood!  He is very excited about doing hometeaching visits (a rarity here) and told the quorum that whoever doesnt do their visits is going to have to wrestle him. His sealing in the temple will happen 18 of July!
- Nova Iguaçu- Roberto e Ana Paula are doing really well too.  Last week they bore their testimonies as a family in  sacrament meeting. 
                -Eduardo and Roseni are strong and firm.  Eduardo is the first counselor in the elder´s quorum
                -Daniel is really happy too.  He is the elders quorum as well
Im really glad that so many people are progressing sowell in the gospel.  It makes all of the sweat and hard work worth it.

I am out of time, but I love you all!!
Elder Stinnett

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hey Mom!!!! and Dad and Everyone Else!!
Im just going to make one big email cause I have a lot to say.  
So you asked about me coming home....I am going home together with a Brasillian Assistent Elder Maciel, so he has the inside info on Everything.  When I was doing a division with him about 4 months ago, he let it slip when we were going home.  Da-da-da-dummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............................The 8th of October!!!!  I leave the 8th at night and get home in the morning on Maddies birthday! That will be pretty special.  The crazy thing is that this transfer right now, I will get my *trunky call* where they ask me what airport Im returning home to and buy my plane ticket :O  Scary right?
The good news is transfers happened today, and I am staying here in Mutuá with Elder Richmond!  We´re probably the coolest pair of American LZs known to Rio, but we´re really humble about it. We have been working really well together and have been having all sorts of adventures.
Ill start off with the most important one.  So do you remember Vanessa?  She was baptized yesterday!  It was definitely the best planned baptism that we´ve ever had.  We even made her a cool baptismal program (just like the US has!).  The meeting was super spiritual.  Her boyfriend Michel was the one who introduced her to the church, and after a lot of searching and praying she decided that it was right to be baptized.  As Michel gave the message before the baptism, she couldnt help but cry.  She will be confirmed here in two weeks because we have stake conference this week.  It was really funny- she was joking around about being a Sister missionary, and apparently got really squirmy and told her that he thinks its best only when they are old and married. hahaha.  I dont think he wants to get dear Johnned hahaha.
We also had a lot of miracles that happened during church yesterday. Everything just seemed to come together, and we had eight people visiting!  They all loved it.  Fast and testimony meeting was great and a few of the pesquisadores were moved to tears along with the members.  I love this ward! 
Saturday we got to see Mateus Martins open up his mission call.  He is going to Teresina, Brasil. -  It may be the only place in Brasil that is hotter than Rio.  It´s ok though, because he is wanting to lose some weight haha.  He asked me to give the message before he opened up his call in front of everyone, and after a bit of thought I was able to tell him how I was feeling when i was in his spot, and I read Alma 26:12 (the scripture on my plac).  This ward has the most spiritual young men that I have ever seen-  it is amazing to see how that can change the atmosphere of a ward.
Oh PS before I forget- Im totally serious about the corndog recipe.  ive already talked to the relief society president about it, and she is wanting to make a corn dog making activity haha.  So any type of easy and fun food recipes that you can send my way, Ill be grateful. (cookies, corndogs, etc)
Today we went to a place called Costão in Itacoatiara.  It is a huge granite rock that you can follow a little trail to and climb up on.  A member took us to it, and we got some really cool pics.  We even saw some little monkeys that were jumping from one tree to another.  While we were up on the rock, we were sitting and resting a little bit, and then we got up, and decided to take one last photo together before we left.  We just didnt have anyone to take it for us.  From the middle of the trees came an old man- that we never saw come up- that took our picture for us.  We stood there looking at it and then we looked up and he was gone.  Im pretty sure that he was one of the three nephites sent to take the pic for us...........
The work continues as normal.  We are really having to take care of where we walk here now.  As they are cleaning up the city of Rio, the crime seems to be pushed to where we are working.  I never feel like I am in any danger.  One of the members reminded us that it is all of the prayers that the whole world offers up for the safety and protection of the missionaries.  Im definitely really grateful for them right now.  

I love you guys!  See yah next week.

Elder Stinnett

                                                                 Vanessas batismo!!!

                                                             Costão at Itacoatiara!!!