Sunday, September 30, 2012

4 Months Today!

 This is what 4 months looks like on our countdown app, still have a long way to go....

We love and miss you Elder Brown!

Monday, September 24, 2012

President Kretly's Visit

Oi! Family and Friends,

This week was pretty tiring. So on Tuesday we had our Zone Conference with President Kretly. And we were supposed to be there at 8ish, so we left at 7 because it usually takes like an hour to get to Cassquel. It took us 3 1/2 hours to get there, and we had to take like 5 different taxis and walk so so so far. It was a nightmare, especially because we were in our suit coats as well. I was sweating like a dog. But the actual training was super good with President Kretly. He is a very inspiring teacher and motivator, and he gave us a really specific direction that this mission is going to take in the future. It was really cool. 

Other than that, we taught some lessons which went pretty well. We have some really good progressing investigators right now, and there are going to be baptisms soon for some of them. And this past Saturday was a special time for our mission.We had bue baptismos. Angola had a total of 12 people baptized on Saturday. One of them was from our branch, but the other missionaries taught him. But it was such a neat experience seeing all them get baptized. Unfortunately, this one smaller missionary couldn't get this girl all the way under the water, and tried like 8 times to do it. Someone else had to do it, and it was little awkward but it happens. I cant wait to baptize someone, but I will be so nervous when I actually do it in Portuguese and everyone is watching. But we will get there when we get there. 

Today President Thompson came out to Viana to see the chapel so he gave us a ride back from soccer, and on the way here, the Police tried to pull us over. President wouldn't have it and just kept driving past them, and this random motorcycle guy gave us a thumbs up and congratulated us and everything. Because the Police here are so corrupt, they stop random cars and taxis and take their cars or licenses until you can give them a good enough bribe. And they have stopped us and tried to get bribes out of us and scare us, but you just have to be confident, because we haven't done anything wrong. Although its a little hard sometimes when they have a nice assault rifle slung over their shoulder haha. 

For meals, I just eat whatever I get from the store, like this last week I made myself an omelette filled with tomatos, onions, peppers, and potatoes, with a side of potatoes and that was pretty good. And no I haven't killed a live chicken yet, and I really haven't had any stomach problems since I've been out here. 

But you guys are going to like this, I learned how to swallow pills out here with just water, booooooooom. Yeah 4 live in our house, and yeah I will let you guys know when I get mail and packages and such. And I'm assuming its just immediate family that I can email, and let Laura know as well that she can email me as well, as well as Kaitlyn and Thomas, I haven't heard from them in a while. 

And yeah Joana, she was our tough investigator that got baptized on the 1st of Setembro. But she is funny and I love her, and her nephew Delson that I told you guys about. I'm starting to better understand people but my speaking is still dragging a bit. But these kids, I love them to death, even though they tire me out like no other. Man, but 'Im going to miss them when I actually have to leave. Anyways that's about all. Love you all and all your prayers as well.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Another Transfer Begins

Oi! Family and Friends

This week went by pretty good. I stayed in Viana for this transfer and I am still with Elder Tolman. Only three people moved during this transfer, so it was kind of hyped up for nothing. So Elder Wilson moved from our house and we got Elder Mcalister. And I think that this transfer is going to go fast. And from what the pattern is going to be with transfers, I think I will be here till the end of January or until Marchish. 

Anyways this last Wednesday I had my first interview with President Thompson. It was really good, we just talked about me a little bit and then the future of this mission, it was pretty cool. And then tomorrow we have a zone conference with President Kretly and an interview with him as well, so that will be cool. 

This last week was a little of a struggle with scheduling lesson around meetings and such, and me personally I struggled a bit as well. But that's why we have prayer and scripture study, to let the spirit and God pick us up when were down. 

This last week we got so many references it was ridiculous, close to 8 to 10 people, and then we also meet people who want to be taught. It's a little stressful becaue you don't want to lose anyone or forget anyone but its hard. It's alright though, we are really blessed here. We have three baptisms scheduled for the 6th of October and two more on the 20th of October, so thats really cool. 

Everyone here calls me Chris Brown, I think I get called that more than Elder Brown haha. We don't eat that much at members houses, maybe once every week or every other week. But the rice here is really good, I love it. Asians don't know how to make rice because Africans do, and I love it. All the meals that we do get are really good and tasty. And frango is portguese for chicken. 

With taking pictures we don't bring our cameras with us everyday just because it just depends where we are going so we don't get it stolen. And missionaries here don't get asked to speak in Sacrament, so I think my next sacrament talk will be my homecoming talk haha. Also with the email thing, anyone can email me, but I can only email family. 

This last week I heard some James Blunt and it reminded me of the phase that Mom and Dad went through with listening to James Blunt haha. One thing I would like is a jumpdrive with music on it, since the dvd players here have usb ports. So some church music, disney, LOTR and Inception soundtracks, etc. would be nice. 

Overall, life just keeps going on. That BYU game sounded ridiculous, makes me sick to my stomach a little bit, but there's nothing I can do about it haha. I miss sports in general but they will be sweet when I get back. I am also trying to introduce Kid Cudi to these people haha, because Lil Wayne is the main guy here haha. 

The taxi rides here are so insane sometimes. Just imagine the Indiana Jones ride, but a little bit crazier, and that's what we ride on a daily basis haha. There really isn't a nursery but a Primary where all the kids go to, and some are of the devil... haha they are crazy here but I love them. Also let Thomas know I did get his email, and he and Kaitlyn can email me. 

Lastly some of the members and my investigators might send me FB requests, so Mom you can just accept them for me. Keller and Ridgely keep doing work with getting up with Seminary and learning tons of stuff. Keller really study and know the scriptures because that has helped me out so much here and I know it will for you too. Kaden, those Imagine Dragons things are so sick, I am jealous, How did you get that stuff? Well I love you all and always think of you guys. Have a good week!


Monday, September 10, 2012

End of Transfer

Oi! Family and Friends

This week went by pretty slow for me actually haha, but its all good. Sometime today or tomorrow we will get transfers and see what will happen to me and my companion, we're all a little anxious. 

On Tuesday we were in Cassquel all day because we had training from Elder Renlund of the 70. He was so amazing and gave us some really great training. One quote I really liked from him was when he said " We are immortal beings in a mortal world, we are like fish out of water, we are out of our element." He was just talking about why this life is hard and why it can be so difficult sometimes. He also interviewed each one of us personally, and that was a really cool experience as well. 

We talked about my family, and about the people here in Angola, he really showed me a very cool and unique perspective on things. That was a very good day. Then the other days were alright, lessons weren't coming together all that well, but we have some investigators progressing very well like Helder, Will, Domingos who all have baptismal dates, and were hoping with a few others to mark some dates as well. I just really hope that I will stay here for another transfer, because there is so much work here. 

Yesterday was the best day of the week for sure. We had church, where there were 94 people in sacrament meeting. We got two new investigators from church that look like they have potential. Then we ate lunch at the Branch President´s house which we had frango, funge, rice, beans, salad, bread etc. The salad here when they make it is just raw tomatoes and onions cut up and then they use oil for the dressing, it was delicious. 

Then we taught three lessons with Maria, Will and Domingos, and Yanne. All three were really good lessons. We also in between lessons picked up two more people who are interested to hear our message so we got more people. Here in Angola, we don't even need to try to find, the people come to us, or our investigators/members bring people to us, all we have to do is teach, its great. But yeah Sunday we were truly blessed. The hot season is starting up now, and will last until like April, so I'm gonna get really tan, haha. 

For baptisms, the people who are getting baptized get to choose who baptizes them and who confirms them. And about the Moto accident, I was debating on whether to tell you guys but I thought you would hear it from another blog or something so I thought it was just better to tell. And no I'm not scared when I go out. 

My portuguese is getting better, day by day. I am picking up more and more of what the natives are saying, but its still hard, just taking it day by day. And no the Thompsons I don't think have taken any pictures yet but we will see. I haven't gotten the new package or the first package yet. And I hope the photo card thing comes safely here. But yeah whenever I get the opportunity, I try to take pictures, its just hard sometimes but I'm trying hard. With the FB thing, they were probably requests before I left that just got accepeted, no one else knows my password. And yeah we have DVD players so we can watch DVDS. 

How's the election going on in the USA, we heard that Obama is probably going to take it. And also do you guys still keep up with your gun hobby haha? It's great BYU won, and we need to get the win on Saturday. I got all the pics that you sent mom about the VMAs and I'm so jealous, but thanks for keeping me updated with the pics and letters and such. I love hearing from you guys and seeing what you guys are doing while I'm working hard out here in Africa. Did Gabe or Grant ever get mission calls? And when does Hayden put his papers in? 

And yeah you don't need to send me NFL scores, just college football, NBA, and College Basketball. Thats hilarious that the Utes lost to the Dairy Yewts. And also yeah I check my blog a little bit just to see what it looks like haha. And yeah I haven't been able to get to know President that well yet, but we have our first interviews with him on Wednesday. 

I love you guys, just keep working hard with school and such and the Lord will bless you. I am having an amazing time, and can't wait to share it with you all in the future. Tchau Tchau.


Monday, September 3, 2012

5 More Baptisms!

Oi! Family and Friends.

This week went by pretty fast, just because we had less time this week to teach. But the baptisms were really good two days ago and we had a total of 5 on that day. The best part was these two boys who are from our branch who got baptized, when the first one came out of the fount, the dad was crying and scooped him into his arms, I started to tear up seeing that. I will never foget that image at all, because that is what the gospel brings to peoples lives, joy. 

We just seem to be picking up new people every week its kind of ridiculous. We had like 12-15 investigators at church yesterday, and during our weekly planning we had to cut some people which isn't fun to do, but needs to be done so we can get the most out of our time. 

Saturday was a weird day for us. So we had the baptisms which were great. But then later we were at our house and we were late to the ward council meeting. So we decided to take motos or motorcycles to get there. And the rules with the motos is if you can avoid them, dont take them, but if you need to and they don't go on the main roads then its fine. Well we take these motos to the church, and mine just takes off through the roads of our condominium complex. And there's speed bumps everywhere in the complex, but there's a tiny space between the speed bump and the curb for motos to get around the speed bump. Well my guy was going way too fast and the second speed bump he was trying to get around he ran onto the curb and then back on the street and then lost control and we crash/fell down in the street. I can´t exactly remember how exactly we fell, but all of the sudden I was on the street shocked out of my mind. Luckily, and only because the Lord was watching out for me and I'm a missionary, I was able to walk away from it with just a tiny hole in my pants, dirt all over my pants, and one my hands scraped up because of sliding on the pavement, but that's it, I was completly fine and able to walk away. 

I felt bad for the driver though because he had some gnarly cuts and scrapes all over his legs, ankles, and arms, it was kinda gross. But I survived and got a picture of my pants afterwards and its an experience I will never forget, and I won't be taking a moto for a very long time. 

Then the day got even weirder because on the way back from the ward council meeting, it was all four of us this time, this guy on a moto starts yelling at us to talk to them. So we talk to this one guy and he shakes our hands and everything. Then he says alright each one of you give me 500 kwanza. And we were like no and tried to walk away but he grabbed Elder Tolman and he said it again but if we didnt he would slap us. So Elder Tolman said to slap him, and the guy took a nice hard swing at Elder Tomans head. Elder Tolman said thank you sir and goodbye and we walked away and that was it. Crazy huh? Only in Angola. 

Oh also President Thompson got here on Saturday so we met him and his wife at the baptismal service so that's really good. Overall, life here in Viana and Angola is good. The work is exploding in this area. And this is the last week of the transfer, so we will see if Elder Tolman leaves or not next tuesday. 

That's so sick that BYU dominated, I hope for a great season for them. And you guys just keep partying it up with Universal and the Dodgers game haha. Ridgely make sure that Mr. Tinker and Mr. Snedeker know about the blog because I was supposed to get them something to follow, so do that for me please. You guys can send me anything. 

With the email, when I have my first interview with President I will see or if he tells us or not. I haven't sent anything yet because we have been low on money a little bit. But we got it refilled yesterday, 300 dollars worth, and its supposed to refill every two weeks I think, I dont know. I love you guys and miss all of you!