September 2009 - September 2011

The Journey from Beginning to End

Friday, March 26, 2010

Week #27: Apostolic Visit and Transfers?!

(Elder Tenney sent us a memo he received in Portuguese with the following news...)
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is coming to Manaus April 20th!

(Cool!  Another St. George native in Brazil:)  Elder Tenney will get to go see him at a special conference!

Then answer to several questions by his dad....)

On any given day, I think I walk about 5-10 miles.

The church is right around the corner from our house, so it's a nice 3-5 minute walk. A very slow walk. All the members live far away though for some reason.

Buses are constantly passing our house. It costs R$2.10 for a regular bus, and 3 for a fancy one.

Brazilian Money

Brazilian Reais
Language Skills... Sometimes I understand. Sometimes I don´t. I have a church vocabulary, so any conversations that are about churchy stuff: I´m there. Soccer and other things, still getting there. I am in the mode where I don´t have an English accent, but I don't have a Portuguese accent, either. I am just in the transition where right now I am hard to understand in any language. (kidding)

The temple of Manaus... Let's see.. I haven't been there since the day I arrived in Manaus with my arrival group. Supposedly, the foundation is done now and they are starting to put up the walls! It will be completed around January of 2012.

 (And now, his big email of the week...)

Beautiful Castanheira Sunset - March 2010

Well, we just had transfers yesterday, and I am in a place I was not expecting for this transfer. Any guesses? Anyone? If you said, oh, he stayed in the same area, you got it right!!
That´s right, I stayed in Castanheira. Elder Seastrand went off to the interior for the third time in his mission. Technically, anything outside of the city of Manaus is the interior. He actually went to a pretty big city. He is in Boa Vista in the state of Roraima(?). It's to the north of Manaus.

I have a new companion here. His name is Elder Martins. And here is a fun fact. He is a Brazilian! He comes from São Paulo. Pretty cool. As of right now, there are no Americans anywhere around me. I think in my district there is one other American, but he just got here from the CTM and I haven´t met him yet. It´s going to be nothing but Portuguese for 6 weeks.

This will be my fourth transfer in this area, which means I will have 6 months when this one is over just in this area. (8 months total.)

I got the big package yesterday. The thing is, I had to go claim it at the post office because it had valuables. They opened up the box while I was there to see what it had in it. There is a 60% fee of the total value of all electronics. Thankfully, the lady there just opened up one side, looked in, saw the football, and sealed it back up and said, you can go. Good thing the ipod was in the duck tape. I almost had to pay a hefty fee for the box. (Future reference, you can just put "Missionary Supplies" I think.)
The Big Package

Thank you so much to Jess for putting that together! It saved my life! MuSiC!! Suddenly, I am a happy camper with all of the toys.

I also got a few letters, too. I have about 7-8 dollar bills now, so thank you very much. I think that should be enough.

I started opening letters and it was funny because I got the Valentine's Day card the same time as the St. Patty´s day. I also got one from dad, and the one Mom wrote up in SLC.

Elder Seastrand, Janderson, Elder Tenney
20 March 2010
Janderson's Baptism Day: 20 March 2010

We had a baptism of a man named Janderson this last Saturday. It was a miracle that he got baptized. I really have no idea how it happened. He was unsure of whether he wanted to do it and then one day we went there and he was all, " I´m ready for this." Elder Seastrand and I were elated. Janderson had to overcome a lot of addictions. He is 23 right now, and the other day he said he might go serve a mission next year. He has a girlfriend and a little boy. The boy is from adoption, though, so he is good to go for next year I think. . .

I am a little preoccupied with how this transfer is going to go. This is the first transfer for Elder Martins to be the Senior Companheiro, so he is in the position where he has to decide how he is going to run the ship. He is 24 right now and has 13 months in the mission. Before the mission he had a stroke, so now he is a bit wobbly on his feet and it takes him a while to process things, but he is really really awesome. Supposedly, he makes really excellent home-made ice cream. YAY!
Ok, Special Moment Story Time Part:


So, about 50 days ago or so, Elder Seastrand and I ran into a guy who had many many many problems. He called us off the road to come talk to him, and it was easy to tell he was super drunk.  He had a bunch of really strange tattoos, too. He told us he also used some pretty strong drugs like meth and cocaine and all that junk. He also told us he was a Satanist. He told us about times when Satan would come in dreams to him and tell him to do things and tempt him with stuff. All in all, he was in really bad shape. So during the conversation, I felt prompted to give him a Book of Mormon and I said that if he read it, he would find help with his problems. We booked it out of there and didn´t go back because he was like super crazy scary person.

The last day Elder Seastrand was here in the area, we ran into this same guy on the street on the way home for the day. He seemed to be slightly different. He told us he had been reading the "Book of the Mormons" and that somehow, he had found the strength to "throw off Satan". He had stopped using the drugs and stuff. (I think.) He still drank a little, but it really did show that he had more control over his thoughts and actions. All just from reading in the Book of Mormon.


Anyway, these next 6 months I plan on doing some very hard core study. I just finished reading that new Gospel Principles book that came out this year. (In Português) (Princípios do Evangelho) I understood practically all of it. I think this transfer I am going to be speaking much better than I have been. (Pray for me.)

(We always are....)