Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rosario do Sul - My New Area

A river beach in my new area - Rosario do Sul - Elder Florencio, Elder Mason, Elder Ferreira and Elder Shepherd

How is your new area?
      SWEET! Good BBQ.

What is it like in your new area?  Gauchos?  Small city or large city?
It´s got a lot lot lot more farm land. And yes, only Gauchos haha. City of roughly 40,000. So not a ton. And literally no large buildings. Our 3 story apartment is the biggest.

What is your new companion like?  Where is he from?
He is way way way cool! He was a semi-pro soccer player when he turned 13 til he turned 17. Then they were going to sign him to a contract and start paying him. He decided on the mission instead so he never signed on. He´s going to play Pro after. The team is called Santos. He´s from Sao Paulo in the capital area. He is definitely the definition of humble. We get along SO well.

How many missionaries are in your new city?
There are me and my companion in half the city, and another companionship in the other half. What I hate about it is that we live in their area, so we have to walk like 15 minutes just to get to the start of our area.

How are your allergies in the new area?
Haven´t had anything yet cuz it´s been pretty rainy. We´ll see when the winds start up again.

How was the day of moving to your new area?
So boring. I was just on busses all day, but got here all safe and sound.

What is your apartment like?
It´s HUGE! But it´s really old, and they´ve jacked up the rent so we are searching for a new one right now.

Tell us all about your new area, people there, etc.
So the city is called Rosario do Sul. It is really ``Gaucho`` here. So lots and lots of cowboys. The 20th of September is like the Gaucho holiday. So last week there were tons of parades around town and lots of parties. So we didn´t teach much. I took a ton of photos. Cruz Alta was the wealthiest city in the mission and Rosario? May be the poorest,  so it was a big difference. I´m in a branch. The city is divided into two branches and train tracks separate the two. Our branch has a really low frequency [attendance], so the missionaries will do about everything. There was a huge churrasco [BBQ] last week in our branch. I took some videos of all the people dancing and lots of pics. No money today so I´ll send my card next week I promise. We don´t have a branch president here, but the district president lives in our area so he just runs the sacrament meeting. He´s the only one with a car in our area, so that´s part of the problem with people not coming to church. We have just enough members for the missionaries to get lunch every day though :)

Did you get any packages when you had your transfer?
I got the package you sent my with more medicine and the study book for the Book of Mormon! Thanks for that book. I´ll be using that every single morning for a while.

How is the new ward?
Getting stronger. But we´ll get things going. We have a family ready for baptism already. Don´t ask me how we did it. I think they were just ready for us 2 [me and my new companion] to be together, that´s how the lord works.

How many members are there?
We have about 30 active members. Three complete families.

How many families are you teaching?
Just that one family. We cut all of the rest of their investigators because they didn´t have any desire to come to church and my companion said they´ve been taking lessons for 2 months or more. So we invited them last week and said if you don´t come to church this Sunday then we can´t be coming over any more. We´ll pass by again in a couple of weeks.

Did you teach 30 discussions this first week?
We taught about 28. It was rough! Lots of empty spaces for farm land, so a lot of walking. Good thing about this area though is that it´s in the frontier so we didn´t do mountain hiking like Cruz Alta haha. The roads are all cobblestone though.

Did you know there is a golf course south of town right before the dirt strip airport?
Here? or where? haha if you mean here then no, I didn´t know that.

Is it colder there? I read somewhere that it is one of the colder parts of Brasil.
It´s colder here yes. It is the coldest area of Brasil; not too bad though.

What is your companions full name, where is he from?
Micael Melo Ferreira. Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo mesmo.

Well hello!

     Wow this week was quite a change. We had Zone Conference yesterday too, which was so good. We learned the importance of using the Book of Mormon and how to use it more effectively. Bruce R Mckonkie said that when Christ comes the Book of Mormon will be known more around the world than the bible. How crazy is that? And it is our responsibility as missionaries to bring the fullness of the message it contains to people. My companion is a really good guy!  We´ve got a family ready for baptism right now. They will be getting married legally next week, then we´ll have their baptism in 2-3 weeks. It´s a family of 4. The Dad said he was baptized when he was 8, but there are no records here. So we´ll do some research, and if not, we´ll baptize him again. They loved church on Sunday and we taught them again last night.
     Did you know in 3rd Nephi it talks about Christ visiting another people in the Americas? And that there is a written account from them that hasn´t been revealed to the world yet? I´m so stoked for that to be revealed and to read it. The church has so many things we can discover through reading and studying. How Joseph Smith translated the book of Abraham and Moses and we have those books in the Pearl of Great Price. He also translated the prophesies of the Prophet Joseph of Egypt, but that hasn´t been revealed to the world yet either.

     So mom´s friend´s son, Elder Mason, he lives with me. The other missionary here, Elder Florencio, is training him. He learned a lot in the MTC so he will be a really good missionary. He went to Davis so he knows a lot of the guys that I know. He´s a sharp guy, really intelligent. Elder Florencio is from Joao Pessoa, so like on the equator in Brazil. This week went by really fast cuz we were working really hard and teaching a lot.

     I´ll try and attach a photo. They´ve got a HUGE river here with a beach. So we took some fun photos this morning. The city is so big I don´t know if I´ll have time to pass through all of it by the time I leave.  Like I said, not a lot of inhabitants, but there is a lot of farm area. I think more people here drive horses around than drive cars, pretty cool. I hope one day we´ll have a member that lets us use his horse.

     I sent a letter off to Hailey for her birthday this morning. We are going to start running every morning to the beach and back. I need to lose my fat. I feel so unhealthy which is weird cuz I´m eating really good.

     I feel my testimony grow every single day. Just seeing the people and how they change with the gospel in their homes is a testimony builder. Even if people don´t accept it I know they eventually will because of the difference in their home. The Book of Mormon truly is the keystone of our church. Make sure you are all reading it every day. We can find answers to literally anything through reading. Maybe mom can find comfort for her swollen lip in the Book of Mormon as well haha. Sounds like that [water skiing – 3 stitches to Melanie’s lip] crash was nasty! Oh the fun memories of Lake Powell. I´m looking forward to going there the summer I get home.

We are over 1/4 the way done right now and I feel like I left yesterday still! That is so crazy to me.  
I feel like I need more time!

I love all of you!

Elder Shepherd

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