Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sweating, Baptisms and RAIN

Wow! I just got done reading all of those e mails and I realized that I am sweating! But then I remembered that I am always sweating here! haha This morning I was getting my work out in and doing some jump rope. I finished and went and took about a 10 min cold shower.... dried off went and sat on my bed and put a fan on me to write in my journal. And you know what.. .. I was still sweating! haha I have accepted that I will be sweating non stop for the next year and a half haha.

Anyways it was awesome hearing about all of the amazing things that are happeneing at home! Everyone is growing up and doing so many things! It is so crazy to hear all of the sucess and amazing things my family is doing! :)

Before I forget.... MOM, I am living with this awesome missionary from California named Elder Baker. He just got an e mail from his mom saying that she is wanting to start e mailing other moms that have missionaries. So you should e mail her if you want. haha

I don't know if I can respond to everything that was sent but I will try, and what I don't fit I will write in the letter. The package that I got was untouched! We were all admiring the pictures from the liahona! haha the letter that had pink on it... there is a little story behind that. I was writting you that letter sunday night and I was getting pretty tired so I set it on the ground to go to sleep (under my hammock). I went to sleep, woke up the next day and apparently we had a rain storm that night! Becuase I stepped out of my hammock and I stepped in a puddle of water. Our house was flooded with water! So everything on the floor got soaked and there was another letter I was reading form another person that was pink ontop of the letter I wrote to you guys, so it got stained pink. ha

This week we had an awesome baptism of Victora! It was really special because her brother was able to baptize her, and now they have two members of the church in their family! It was always really cool to help a family get strengthened in the church.

We had a really interesting time yessterday morning before the baptism bringing a family to church. We went to pick them up without a cloud in the sky and right when we arrived at their house and started walking to chruch. It rained and it poured! We all started running together to find shelter. We left the family under the shelter and we went running to a members house that has a car. It was only a 5 min run but we were soaked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!haha we arrived there and Elder Batista and I could only laugh. We got the car and picked the family up and they loved church! Nothing will keep us from bringing families to church!!!!!!!!!! ha Then we ran into one more problem when our pia was filling up at half speed and there would not be enough time to fill up the font for the baptism. But we said a prayer and went to sacramemnt meeting. When we started the meeting it started POURING AGAIN! It was coming down!!!!!!!!!!!! at first we though t that the rain was a bad thing, until we went to look at our font (that is outside) And it was practically full!!!!!!!!!!! haha It was a miracle! This was another experiance that when we are doing what is right, and when we ask for help our heavenly father will help us.

I also was wondering if mom and dad could do something for me.... We have a couple in our ward that are thinking about a divorce. They are really young and they don't see what they are losing. Do you have any advice for what we can teach them to help them? We have watched together forever by the church. But I had an impression to ask advice from the pros in marriage, my parents. So anything to help strengthen a young married couple stay together would be awesome! :)

I love you all and I am so blessed to have such an amazing familiy!!!!!!!!!! YOU ALL ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your missionary Elder HEATH

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Easter!

Hey familia!!!!

I opened my e mail and I have an e mail from Cassie and Trev... so I hope that everything is all good with mom and dad :) I'm sure it is all good though. But this week I am risking some virus´ but I wanted to send some pictures home to show you all what is happening here is Brazil. I also have some videos that I want to show to you so I think I will have to send a dvd home sometime. But this week has been awesome here in Sitio sao Joao!

First of all this week is Easter week and I have seen some pretty strange traditions of the Brazilian people here. I found out that for the whole week no one eats meat. Which was really weird because there is always a mini BBQ going on at almost every corner and this week it was empty. So for lunch this week we ate fish every day of the week! The fish was really really good and it was a nice change up that eating chicken everyday. The way that the fish is prepared is a little different and when it is put on your plate it it looking you in the eyes. I asked a lot of people why they don't eat meat on Easter week and no one really knows why... they all just said, they never eat meat and it is just how it is. I thought that was a little fishy ;) There is one more tradition that I was shocked when I was it. I think it is a little cruel and I don't think that I will continue doing this tradition. But people make life sized dolls and put clothes on him and shoes and fill it full of stuffing. And this doll represents Judas. So what do people do with it? Everyone has a UFC match with this Judas doll and then at the end they burn the doll..... I saw a bunch of kids doing this and I couldn't tell that It was a doll at first and I was pretty freaked out. This is when having a Brazilian companion comes in handy ha And so those are some Brazilian tradition for Easter week that are pretty interesting. ha A little different but for people here it is normal.

I don't know if I wrote about this next tradition in one of my e mails but there is a tradition of when you meet someone you give them the two kisses on the cheek. One on one side and one on the other. Almost everyone does this and I am used t seeing it. But people usually leave the missionaries alone with this tradition.... usually.... At church we have this member that is like the dad of the ward. He is always helping everyone and I think he is the oldest man in our ward too. But this Sunday he came up to me gave me a hug and the Brazilian greeting. I knew that this tradition would get me sometime ha my companion laughed.
Also at church we are learning out of the book of George Albert Smith and I think it is really funny that every week we read in this book, every time a name of a person comes up in the reading everyone looks at me to say the name. ha It keeps me on my toes.

We also had a talent show this week that I think I will have to explain more about next week. But I played the guitar while two girls sang, and I also did a special Hawaiian drum talent. Who knew I knew how to do that? If you remember at the PCC there was that station where the Tongan would play something on the drums and someone would repeat what he played. So I did a rendition of that and it was a ton of fun! Ill explain more next week!

I love you all and I cant want to hear from you all!

Elder Heath

Sorry... Branden rarely explains his pictures... so you'll have to make up a story to go with them. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Conference Report

I knew that I saw David Archuleta in the missionary conference! I was thinking to myself.... they should of had the missionaries sing in the last conference when I was in the MTC! ha There was also a missionary ``Brad Barber`` that is from Richland that sang in the choir. Watching conference in Portuguese was a blast with Elder Batista! I was really excited that I could understand what they were saying. There are some funny things that happened though. So we watched the transmission and when it got to the hymns everyone rose and they showed the words in English to sing. So we all started singing in English and it was super funny hearing a room full of Brazilians singing in English. ha There are certain letters that Brazilians cannot pronounce. the TH sound in heath is impossible. And when words start with R in Portuguese it sounds like an H. So the hymns were pretty funny. Richard G Scott also speaks Portuguese! SABIA! So before his talk he recorded him giving his talk in Portuguese. So while he was speaking, he was translating himself in Portuguese. He spoke really well.... he has a heavy American accent but it was cool.
So the other week you asked about African Voodoo churches! I forgot to comment on that! We have one that has church every Friday night that is along our was to our house! It is crazy! They have tons of people playing drums and doing weird chants all night long. They have church in this old beat up house.I was talking to my companion about it and he said that they do a lot of animal sacrifices and weird black magic.... And in front of this house for about 3 weeks were 2 goats chained up to the house where they have the church. And for 2 weeks now we have not seen those goats.... so I don't know what happened but My comp is persuaded that they sacrificed them... kinda weird. but we stay far away form this church.
I ALSO RECEIVED THE PACKAGE THIS TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for the package! The massive tub of peanut butter and oreos and the rubic cube, ( I can solve it in 2 min now :)), and the heath bars! Everyone is loving the Heath bars, I have enjoyed giving them all to our members and telling them our family is famous! ha And the pictures were awesome too! I have a funny story with the peanut butter.... we went to a sisters house to learn how to make truffles. ( well more to just eat them ha). So we brought the peanut butter along and put it inside the truffles and they were so good! At least that Is what I thought. :) We had a member try it and she took a mosquito bite and she said, oh ya its so good! But then didn't take another bite.... then other members tried it and no one liked peanut butter! I was in shock! ha oh well, we took home lots of truffles that day :)
There is also a tradition here in Brazil that when you greet someone you do the double kiss on the cheek. One side and then the other. I have seen tons of women do it, and it is normal to me now.( I have never done it, just seen it ;) ) But this week I saw two men do it too, and I asked a member and she said it was normal as well. I think it is kind of a strange tradition, but Brazilians do it.
This week has been great and we found Elder Batista's luggage at the airport! Someone took it there and left it during transfers! So now all that stress is gone! Elder Batista and I are working really well together. He just likes to sleep a ton, and doesn't like getting up on time. SO I have been trying to help him wake up at 6 30. I wrote a song on the guitar that I play to him at 6 30 that always make him laugh and he starts singing along too. So that is resolving that problem. ha He is an awesome guy, and he really loves the people which is a key aspect! I love life here and hope everyone is doing great there! I love the letters and keep them coming! You all are the Best!
Elder Heath!