Monday, August 27, 2012

Allergies So Bad We Went to the Hospital


How are your families progressing?
Eh, they´re coming along, but slowly.

How is your companionship working out?
We´re good. He is really good at helping me out on the language and staying patient. We have different personalities which are very apparent, but we get along just fine. 

How are your shoes holding up? 
My favorites are the Dunhams we got close to our house. They´re holding up the best. The nice ones we got aren´t super durable, so I´ve just been using them for church and meetings. And the docs are fine, not the best but I rotate the two frequently. No problems yet. 

Hey Family!
     Everything here is just dandy! Yes I can get some socks here, I just like the ones from home more haha. This week was crazy! The weather here is so dang strange. All week it was really hot, then Saturday and Sunday it was FREEZING and today it´s pouring rain and cold. I don´t understand the weather.
     I spent almost all day in the hospital on Friday (don´t worry mom I´m alive) cuz my allergies made me almost stop breathing. My nose was stuffed shut and my throat closed off almost, so we went to the hospital and the guy gave me some magic medicine.    We called Ronise, one of the ladies in the ward, and asked her what I could take cuz I was having trouble breathing and she´s a nurse. So instead of telling us what to do she just came and picked me up and took us to the hospital. We were waiting there and she told them I was her son and wrote her address down haha so it was all free. We have been teaching her and her family a lot lately because she´s been inactive since she was baptized as a little girl and her husband and daughter aren´t members. She adores us though, so it was nice having her there to help me. I´m gonna make some cookies tonight and take em over there for a family home evening.
     We had only 1 investigator in church yesterday cuz of the freezing cold weather, but we were able to find several new families during this week.  Families are our only focus now. We are really trying to target priesthood power, because our ward here is really weak in that area. There was a baptism in the ward this week for a little boy and they had his birthday (Ben 10) party in the church afterwards. It´s amazing how many people come out for the baptism of a little boy when there is food and a trampoline party involved! haha We baptized that family last week and had about 20 members there, which I thought was really good. Then they have a baptism of a little boy in the ward and there were about 100 ward members there. Maybe next time we´ll announce our baptism as a party? 

     A lady in the ward gave me a guitar to borrow. Elder Costa is teaching me how to play, so my goal is to sing and play a hymn with him at their baptism on the 8th. I´m still in the learning stage but it´s really not super hard. And I´m not embarrassed to sing there cuz no one will understand cuz I´ll be singing the English part. We have had a lot of success lately finding new people to teach. Every lunch that we have with members we re-teach them the restoration lesson. Then afterwards we ask them if they have any friends or neighbors that would like to hear this same message of the restored gospel. They have been passing along a lot more references than before so we will definitely continue doing this. 

     I am now in the phase where I´m losing weight. Don´t ask me how haha I think it´s cuz I quit pop and now my body has decided that I really want to be healthier. I just called into the secretaries and they said they were able to get my package out of the post office. President will be doing interviews this week so he´ll bring it to me then. I also called into the church office building a few weeks ago to order a hard-back triple and a few church DVD´s, so president will bring that stuff to me as well. All of our cell phones have a number we can call for ordering stuff like that and garments. I asked the lady if she knew English and she did, so then I talked to her about Utah and the weather there and stuff for like 15 minutes. So I´m definitely excited for that book of Mormon triple, cuz all I´ve been using is a paper-back copy and it´s getting destroyed. Thanks for sending the package last week! I´ll get it at transfer! I hate the deodorant here haha. It´s this weird spray deodorant that doesn´t work super well. 

I hope everyone is doing well and had a great summer!
Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Shepherd

Monday, August 20, 2012

AMAZING WEEK! BAPTISMS

How was your week?
Really good and really hot!
Were you able to get your package yet? 
Nope but I sent money along with president and asked him if he had time if he could bring it to me, he said yes.
Are you feeling better?
Some days yes some days not. The wind is what determines it cuz of all of the dang pollen in the air. 
Wassup Family! 

Our baptism turned out just amazing! The family was incredible. The mom started crying when she was walking down the stairs to me in the font. Awkward moment for me haha but it was very spiritual. We had an amazing turn-out in members at the baptism too. It´s amazing how many people want to support the missionaries. I have a feeling that Jefferson, the dad, has big plans of the lord in this gospel. I baptized Marcia, the mom, and John Victor, their son. They were so excited, and after they were baptized they couldn´t stop smiling! It´s like that first-kiss-with-your-girlfriend smile! hahaha (Taylor that´s not an invitation).

So yes, this week went by really fast again. And we taught a lot of lessons. Not a lot of new investigators though, but we do have some families that are progressing. It´s been very very hot here these past couple of days, and even when it rains I´m still dying of the heat. haha but I´m getting fat, so the heat is good. I quit pop and I'm still gaining weight, isn´t that supposed to do the opposite for me? 

Sounds like everything at home is going really well! I think that the TV sounds sweet that you got! Yeah from now on when you send packages just write that everything costs really cheap. That voodoo doctor [that Taylor has been seeing] sounds really interesting, I need him to fix my lactose allergy. Sorry this email will be short, not a lot of exciting stuff cuz we were really focused on the baptizm this week. 

So some women just came in here and they had some really weird accents and were asking me for directions! They were Americans haha! They were 3 sisters who´d served 7 years ago and they were back visiting! That was really weird. But it was really weird cuz i can actually hear an accent now in a different language!

Okay so the address below is my address here. They are now opening a PO box in all of the larger cities. you can send letters all throughout this transfer and I´ll get them here. Only send packages the first 2 weeks of each transfer or i won´t get them for a long time! No one was getting letters and everyone was complaining to President. So now we can get them a lot faster. Ok, so this week you can send me packages. If you send them next week, you send them to the Santa Maria address. Does that make sense?
Elder Carson Shepherd
Caixa Postal 006. 
Cruz Alta, RS.
CEP: 98005970
Brazil

Sorry this was really short! I´ve been playing basketball again today, so that was really fun but it cut all of my time off!
I love all of you!

Elder Shepherd

Monday, August 13, 2012

Catholic Jesus Stickers


How did your baptism go?
The baptism got moved to next week cuz he had to work Saturday. So we´ll be having it this next Saturday.

Did you get a couple of packages?
I only got one of them, the envelope one with jesus stickers. the other one is in Santa Maria in the post office. I have to pay 120 Reis to get it out. So like 60 bucks. DON´T WRITE AMOUNTS OF STUFF IN THE BOXES! AND PUT CATHOLIC JESUS STICKERS ON THE BOXES. Will you please put like 60 more bucks into my account when I take it out? Thanks!

Suggestions for your next package?
 
Oreos, deodorant (so I have a good supply).. Maybe some study materials for the Book of Mormon, like to make it easier to study and really understand. And just treats. 

How are your families doing? 
Eh, we have 2 families that are really good. The rest are still developing.

What scriptures are you focusing on?
I’m reading the Book of Mormon right now, and trying to really study it so I can navigate it quickly for references to questions. 

What do you eat for your member lunches?  specifics?  
Always rice and beans. then usually we have some sort of chicken or beef. Usually a pudding or jello of some sort for dessert.  They always have dessert haha. Sometimes we have lasagna and usually there is a salad with vinegar and olive oil. Don´t worry mom I´m eating plenty of that. And then always Guarana or coke. 

You drinking much guarana.. you said you are off pop, entirely?
Yes, i haven´t drank pop for 2-3 weeks now. I just ask them for a cup of water. 

Do you still clap out front of peoples homes to get them to come out like I did 30 years ago?
Yepp. Everyone here has a fence. And the really poor ones that don’t have a fence, we clap in front of them as well. 

Josh was concerned about the water and bugs up north in Salvador..are you familiar with that at all, or is one of the other Elders?
Yes the water up there isn´t too great. The recommendations are all the same things you sent me… the water bottle (he´ll get on in the MTC), a Steri-pen, and those iodine pĂ­lls. Other than that it´s just bottoms up and pray you don´t get sick haha. 





Hello!
  Sounds like this week went by well for everyone!

And the ninja doctor sounds really interesting! I need him to cure me of this darn sickness. I´m still sick but it´s allergies. We´ve concluded that. I wake up with it and by 4-5 I feel just fine. My eyes are always super itchy, red and watery and my throat and nose are all killing me. I think we´re going to go to the store for some allergy pills. Please send some more Benadryl in the next package. I feel symptoms at night too. I took a couple Benadryl but  during the day it just makes me so darn tired. So i usually just take one before bed and it helps me sleep.
     Like I said above, please don´t write how much stuff costs in the package, cuz now i have to pay a lot to get it out. I´m going to pass along some money to President this week during zone conference to get it out. That picture thing that you picked up at Sam´s club sounds really interesting. [scanner]That´ll sure help with the photos. It´ll be sweet to see how many you have developed when i get home. This week went by quickly, but it´s getting really hot here. No investigators were in church yesterday cuz it was Father´s Day here so they all had a party pretty much. It´s crazy how time is going by. We are doing really good about focusing on families right now and found quite a few this past week. We´ll have to see how things develop with them but I´m excited to see.
     When are Taylor and Hailey headed back to school? Sounds like the summer flew by for everyone there. We played some bball and soccer again today so I´m like dying  of sweat and heat right now. Other than the heat and those families this past week was rather normal. The new missionary is Elder Costa. he´s from Sao Paulo. He works hard so we´ll see some success in the other dupla now as well. I´m stoked for this week and the baptism on Saturday. I hope it cools down a bit but chances are it´s just gonna continue to go up and up and up.
     I was really updated on the Olympics and was stoked to hear that we won the gold in bball. Everyone here was so mad when Brazil lost in the final. We watched almost all of it in a house at lunch. Brazil dominated but Mexico just knew how to put the ball in the back of the net. Oh! please try and send some more black socks in the next package as well. They don´t need to be the smartwool, just more black sock as emergency if I don´t have time for laundry during the week. I hope everyone is doing well! I miss you and I´ll update next week!

Elder Shepherd

Monday, August 6, 2012

POWERFUL Testimony


How are your families doing? 
Really good. We have a baptism for our family of 3 next Saturday.
Who else are you teaching?
A couple of families and some random singles, but no one else really firm. 
Besides walking are you exercising?
Nope haha. I need to but I quit drinking pop a little over a week ago and ask for water always now. 

What is your daily routine, what does it look like?  ( I want to share with Priests)
Wake up at 6:30, sit on our little couch we got this week ‘til like 7AM, then eat, shower and ready for personal study by 8AM. Study solo for an hour and have companion study ‘til 10. From 10-10;30 work on the language. then we leave.  We tract ‘til lunch, have lunch for an hour, then we´re in the streets teaching ‘til 9 every night. 

Any other advice? We're reading Preach My Gospel Section 3 as a family right now for family home evenings 
Just have Tay really practice chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel. It will help him so much. Not much other than that. Have daily family and personal prayer, and try to read at least one little verse of scripture every night. 

Are you freezing?
No this week was SOOOOO hot. So nope, now just burning up.

Are you still with Elder Sa?
Yes I didn´t get transferred today. So 6 more weeks here probably. 

Did you get letters and packages today?
No I´ll get them all tomorrow when the next missionary gets here. Elder Nascimento is transferring and Elder Santana is getting a new companion. So the new companion will be bringing everything. 

Hi Family!
     So, like I said above, I didn´t get transferred, so that´s good. I´m really accustomed to the people and the area here, so it´ll be hard to leave when I go.  I´ve emailed Bryan – haha. He said that they left the airport and were walking the streets in London; so that´s pretty funny.
     Cole´s baptism sounds like it went really well. He´s a great kid.  Did they get my letter I sent for the baptism? I sent it like a month ago. But tell him I´m way proud of him. And sounds like Tay did a really good job with the baptism. Now practice doing it in Portuguese with someone who has a name that´s got 10 names in it haha.
     Haha sounds like Tate´s all growing up. I can totally see him getting ticked off cuz he can´t go on the big rides [on his recent trip to Lagoon].

    We had 5 investigators in church yesterday, so we are definitely making progress. I´m really excited for this family next Saturday. They will be amazing. They love the gospel and notice a significant difference in their marriage with the gospel as a cornerstone. So they are going to be a great family. That´s really cool Josh [Staples] is going to Salvador - Brazil! It´s super hot there haha.  Right now it´s hotter than anything here! I don´t get this wacky weather. I’m sweating like crazy right now cuz we just went to play a soccer game at the chapel with some other Elders. It´s way fun, and President let´s us play cuz there isn´t any physical contact. It´s like a shooting game. Good thing it´s not dribbling or Ii´d lose every single time. 
     This week went by slower than normal cuz I´m still sick. I think I´ve got a sinus infection so we´re going to go to the doc tomorrow for a pill. Normally the “gripe” [cold] here lasts like 5 days and I´ve had this for almost 2 weeks, so time for the docs. We did a lot of walking and sweating this week, and sleeping doesn´t work when I´m sweating. I slept with 2 fans on me all week haha. My companion is used to it cuz he lives in the middle of Brazil. 

     We have some good investigators right now.  Only our family of 3 is amazing. We have been teaching close to 30 lessons a week Now, we´re trying to testify and leave. Trying to leave the Spirit really high in the homes, so that when we leave, they notice a difference. So a lot more lessons, and each lesson is a lot less time.

     I´ve still been emailing Phelps haha - sounds like the MTC there is really slow. That was definitely hard work,  but the field comes really fast;  and it truly is ready to harvest. God´s Kingdom is growing, and we are his representatives for only 2 years. The power of missionary world is infinite. Through this mission I know that I´m not just going to baptize people, I am bringing them home. and I am creating opportunities of eternity. The vision of eternity is amazing. That´s what drives me. I know that 95 percent of the people we talk to are going to say no, but I am just opening the door for them. The other 5 percent are going to walk through that door. The church is true, and truly does bring happiness into families. I have seen it firsthand here with our family we´re baptizing. One minute they´re close to divorce, the next minute they stop fighting and haven´t for over a month. God´s power is limitless, and we are here to spread his gospel. I have a feeling that their son is going to go on a mission, It´s a strange feeling but I feel it. In reality I´m not just baptizing him, I´m baptizing his baptisms, and so on and so forth. We are an army, and this army will always press on. I love this gospel; I love the words of the prophets. Christ truly is the light.

I love all of you! The church is true.

Elder Shepherd