Saturday, December 31, 2011

Off to Curitiba!

Olá everyone!

This week has been pretty long, but it marked the second to last week of my first transfer, so that´s pretty exciting! I´m not gonna say it went by too quickly, but everyone says the first transfer is really long, and the rest just fly by.

Christmas was really good, at church we only had sacrament meeting, and because it was Christmas, we had a pretty low number of people, but we had 3 investigators, so it was really good. After that we worked a bit and then did our phone calls, and that was really fun, it was great to talk to everyone, sorry I only had a short time to talk!! Later that night we had Elder Alexandre and Elder Harper over from Irati ( we had a zone meeting the next morning, so they were staying the night), and Elder Alexandre is from North Carolina, so we had North Carolina Barbecue for Christmas dinner, it was pretty good.

Other than that, not too much this week, we are still working with Sidney and her family, and José has been smoking and drinking a lot less since we have been visiting him. I think he actually quit drinking Pinga (Whiskey) completely, but is still working on other stuff. He has a lot of faith, and I know that he can quit. He also can´t read, but Sidney reads out loud so he can hear, and try to understand what we left for them to read. We also started teaching a man named Carlos and his wife. There is something really cool about them, and we are hoping that they continue to pray about our message. We visited him a second time on Monday, and he read everything that we left for him, but didn´t understand all of it, so we went over all of it, and we invited him again to pray about it, we´re visiting him again on Friday, so we´re really hopeful for him. He´s a really nice guy, and he is really open to the Book of Mormon.

Tonight we´re going to Curitiba, for a training conference for new missionaries tomorrow, so I´m pretty excited about that. It´s always really cool going to Curitiba, it´s the coolest city ever, I´ve only been back once since I´ve been out here. I´m also really excited to see all of my MTC friends, I havent seen them in a month, so I´m pretty pumped, we´re kind of like family.

That´s awesome to hear about California and Six Flags, I wish I could be there, that sounds really fun, man I miss all of that stuff, but only 21 months until I´m back in the States again haha.

Anyways, we gotta cut it a little short this week, we gotta go catch our bus to Curitiba, so I´ve gotta go! Talk to you all next week!!! Tchau, até logo!

Elder Trevisanut

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It was like a 30 foot belly flop

Ola! Feliz Natal todo mundo!
This week has been good on this side of the world, but really, really hot!! Technically, summer starts tomorrow for us, and it has definitely been showing, its been in the high 100 all week, plus like 100% humidity! It´s been so hot, I´m like sweating as I´m writing this haha.
This week has been good. We have 6 baptism dates set for the 1st and 7th of January, and some of them are actually looking really hopeful. We found this family of about 8 people and we have been teaching them, it's just a mom, 3 daughters, 3 sons and a drunk uncle. We invited them all to church, and the drunk uncle José, the oldest daughter Sidney, and the youngest daughter, Joselera came. They all really liked it, and they are progressing a lot. José is a really good person, he definitely has some problems with drinking and smoking, but he has a lot of faith, and who knows, he might be able to quit, we are being really faithful that he will. Sidney is really great, she seems to be progressing the most of all of them. She is 17, and the young women in the ward really took her in and she made a lot of friends. When we got to their house later that night, she was sitting in front reading the gospel principles book that someone must´ve given her. She really seems to have a desire to learn more, which is something you don't see too often around here. Joselera is 8 years old, and she loved primary, she´s just a really sweet little girl haha. The rest of the family is nice, their mom Antonia, likes the church, but hasn't really accepted our message yet, but I think through the others she´ll get there. We´re really excited about them. The other three baptism dates are this different family, but they aren't really progressing too much.. But we can only have faith.
Not too much else happened this week, we´ve been doing a lot of contacts to try to find some new investigators, and we´ve walked about 50 miles this week, its been pretty intense.
It has been really weird being here during Christmas and it being like right in the middle of Summer. It´s not the same as back home. And they don't really have the same Christmas spirit that we have in the states, it´s really weird haha. But I´m sure it´s got a lot to do with the fact that we´re missionaries and we´re always working, even on Christmas Day! But it´s okay.
Last night we caught a gecko in our apartment, it was awesome, he was just a little guy, but it was cool. We usually see huge lizards out in the forest, like some that are like a foot long not including the tail. But this morning we decided to let him go, and so we opened the little container that we were keeping him in and took him out to the balcony and turned it on its side, and he just ran off the balcony, from the 3rd floor! And if any of you have seen a gecko, they run fast, so he shot out like 4 feet and just superman´d it all the way down 3 floors onto the cement, it was hilarious. It was like a 30 foot belly flop. But it must´ve been a perfect landing cause he was fine, and just ran away.
Other than that, I can't really think of much else that has happened this week. Prudentópolis is a little dull. I did get my first Brazilian haircut this week....... you know how I am with yeah. My companion told me about this guy who is really good, and he only charges $4 for a haircut. Aparently he has never had any formal training, and he learned how to cut hair on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, but yeah.. I guess he did a good enough job considering all of that, but I wasn't too happy for a while haha.
Anyways, I am really low on time this week, so I should probably go, but Feliz Natal to everyone!!!! Merry Christmas!!
Elder Trevisanut

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Puts Washington rain to shame!

Opa! Tudo bem!

This week has been good, we have been working hard here in Prudentópolis, but I don't really have a whole lot of time to write today, but I will try to type as much as I can. This week, it has rained quite a bit. And I hate to say this, but Brasil rain, puts Washington rain to shame. It´s crazy here when it rains. I think it was on Saturday, but we were out walking, and out of nowhere it just started pouring like crazy, like just bucketing on us, we were both soaked from head to foot in a matter of seconds, and our umbrellas did nothing, it was like in Forrest Gump, it was seriously raining in every direction. We found a little awning thing to take cover under for like 20 minutes and then it finally slowed down a bit. But there were like rivers in the streets, it was crazy.

The times that it hasn't been raining, it has been hot though. So hot. The humidity here makes a huge difference, but I think it´s been like in the 90´s with like 100% humidity or something, at least that's what it feels like. I wouldn't know cause I can´t read celsius yet haha. This week for lessons has been hard. A lot of our progressing investigators are falling through, and standing us up on lessons and stuff, and we don´t have any likely baptisms this week. But our hopes are high, and we are still continuing to work really hard. The languange is still hard, but I am getting better. Hopefully once I get better at it here in Prudentópolis, I will have a really easy time in my next area, because prudentopolis is definitely the biggest hick town in the mission haha. Not to mention half the people here are of ukranian origin, and so that changes the language a bunch too. But it will come eventually.

On sunday we had a pretty low number at church with only 35 people there, and one of the sisters who  was supposed to give a talk wasnt there, so guess who they called on to bear his testimony for 10 minutes? Haha you guessed it. It wasnt too bad, I just talked about serving others and missionary work. People said that I spoke well, so I´ll just trust them. Haha.

And no, we didnt eat at Irma Eva´s this week, but its coming up next week, we are not looking forward to that.

That´s really funny that you met Elder Harper's mom, did I mention him in one of my last emails? The Curitiba mission has 180 missionaries, and out of the 180 missionaries, he happens to be in my district. We only have two companionships in our district, so that's a huge coincedince, haha. He´s serving in Irati, another city kinda closeby to us, he and his companion are staying the night here with us, so we can all bus down to Ponta Grossa for Zone Conference tomorrow.

That's exciting to hear about Christmas this year. It is so weird being here during Christmas, they call it Natal here. But there obviously isn't any snow, and its really hot, so it really doesn't feel like Christmas, and we don't have anything planned for that day except work, so yeah, its a little different here. But its all good, and yeah, people do put up lights and stuff, at least in the rich area, most of the places we work don't have money for lights and stuff. But the Catholic chapels have some pretty cool stuff going on, I´ll have to take pictures.

 Anyways, I´m kinda short on time, so I need to finish up, this week has been a little dull, sorry anyone who´s reading this! Hopefully this week will be more exciting!

Anyways, tchau! Até mais!

Elder Trevisanut

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Week 10 Pictures!

I don't know how to put captions on the pictures, but I´ll try to explain them here:
The picture of me, that looks kinda weird with a tree in the background is for Bailey, it´s an Aruacaria tree, its her favorite haha.
The tiny building is the church we go to
The one with the guy sleeping is at the main bus station in Curitiba
There is a huge roman catholic church here in Prudentoplis, and thats what I was taking a picture by.
The cool looking one with the building is in Curitiba, my first night, that area is called Baragui, its where the president lives, its so legit
The can that says Kuat, is guaraná, show that one to uncle mike, tell him that is my favorite kind of guarana
One of them I took in the grocery store, its kinda goofy haha.

Scorpions, oh my!!

Oi, tudo bem!!! Como vocês estão???
This week has been much better than the last, a lot of stuff happened, I´ll try to remember it all! Out here in the field is crazy, how the time passes is really weird. In the MTC, the common phrase was the days are long, and the weeks are short, but out in the field, its like that only times 10. Every day feels pretty long, but it is crazy to think I have been here for 2 weeks already! As much as has happened, it's still a crazy thought. The language is coming along a little better, I think. It is still really hard to understand people, and it is so mentally draining to try to focus all day, but I´m picking things up every day. And every day I get more used to the mission lifestyle. About culture shock... yeah, I would say culture shock definitely happened for a while. Before I had gotten into the field, all I thought about was Curitiba, and the thought didn't really cross my mind about serving outside of the city. Of the 180 missionaries in my mission, I think only 50 or so are outside of Curitiba, so it was pretty rare to be called here. But here in Prudentópolis is very different than Curitiba. In my last email, I think I called it ghetto, but I dont think that was the right word for it, its more just like poverty. The central part of the city is fine, it has a few nice parts, but pretty much everything surrounding the city center, is pretty poverse (I don't know if thats a word). A lot of people live in tiny, tiny cement or brick houses, and they are usually one or two small rooms. It´s not too uncommon to see a family´s couch and bed in the kitchen. It was kinda interesting when I first got here, but I am more used to it now. Every other Monday, we get lunch from a sister in our branch called Irmã Eva. She is a nice lady and all, but to be honest.... the missionaries always dread those Mondays. She is probably the poorest sister in the branch. We always eat two plates though, to be polite. On Monday we ate at her house and she served us Fejão (its just black beans and rice, we have it EVERY single meal, but its usually pretty good) and we had this chicken stuff that tasted really undercooked. It was all kind of cold, and really did not taste very good, but we just smiled and tried to enjoy it. By the time dessert came around, we were all kind of naushious (idk how to spell it anymore) but then she brought out dessert, it´s called arroz dose, which is just rice with sugar milk poured over it. It usually isnt the best dessert, but its usually okay, but with hers.... it... was not. The rest wasn't made well, and the milk was lukewarm, and tasted really, really weird. We have no idea where she got it. We kinda had to muscle it down. I felt kinda sick for the next two days, so hopefully I didnt get a parasite or something haha. But it´s all good.
The people in the branch are great. There are a few really standout people that are just the best. We had about 50 people at church on Sunday, which is a whole bunch, and thats two weeks in a row that we had fifty, so its awesome!! It really seems like the ward is growing. We need an average of 80 people for 3 months to get a chapel, so that's our goal, but its gonna take some hard work. But we will get there eventually.
We still try to get out with Fernanda´s family, its more difficult now cause she got a job. Her parents definitely could get baptised, the only problem is that they smoke, and they aren´t married. In Brazil, getting married is a huge issue. It cost about 250 reais to get married, and that is just too much for some people, so they just don't get married. But Fernanda´s parents have been together for a really long time, they just arent married. But it will happen, we have faith. They love the church, and really want to be baptised.
Thats so awesome to hear about Skyview, I cant believe they made it that far, that's awesome. And with letters, I havent gotten any yet... We were in Ponta Grossa yesterday and we picked up mail from the Zone leaders, but I didn't have any, I was really expecting some, so it was kinda disappointing, but its okay. I just hope people wrote the right address down haha. For money, it finally came in last wednesday, so i have had money this week, it was a huge relief to get it. We get 150 reais every two weeks, I´m not really sure how much that is in american dollars, but I think its sufficient for our needs. We don't pay our rent, so thats all for food and buses and stuff. Its been hard this week because we´ve had to go out of town a bunch, and the buses are expensive.
Hmmm... I´m trying to think of any other cool things that have happened this week. A bunch of stuff happened, but I´m having trouble remembering. I´ll have to write down stuff this week so I can remember next time haha. Yesterday we got to go to Ponta Grossa, which is a big town close to Curitiba, and we stayed at this one companionships apartment, it was so run down. The rumor is, the apartment in Prudentoplis is the best in the mission, to make up for how hard it is here in this area, so we were really shocked when we saw the apartment we stayed in at Ponta Grossa. We had only been there for 3 minutes, and we saw a scorpion walk across the floor, it was crazy. Oh yeah, we also did a divison on Monday, thats when two companionships switch for the day, so I was with an Elder from Irati, another small town close by. His name is Elder Harper, he is really cool. We met a lady who let us into her house, and we taught the first lesson, and she really seemed to accept it, we even invited her to be baptised on the 18th of December, and she said that she would if she recieved an answer of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, it was so cool. It never works out easily like that, so it was really exciting. Hopefully it goes well we will visit her on Saturday.
Anyways, I´m outta time, so I will talk to you next week!!
Até mais!!
Love, Elder Trevisanut

Victor emailed pictures but he took them in super high quality so I will post after resizing them.  Stay tuned!