September 2009 - September 2011

The Journey from Beginning to End

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week #45: 28 July 2010 Email: What REALLY Hurts?

Dear everybody,

You know what really hurts? Losing two toenails in the same day on different feet. You know what really hurts? Getting bit by a mini cobra in the road. You know what really hurts? Getting that same foot that lost a toenail get run over by a car the next day. You know what really hurts? Not getting any letters from your family and friends. You know what really hurts? Sitting on a wooden stool that breaks under your sudden weight increase over the last year. You know what really hurts? Getting smacked in the face by your companion. You know what really hurts? Stubbing that same toe that got run over by a car AND lost a toenail a couple days ago. You know what really hurts? Trying to climb up a really tall tree and then slip and fall a few meters. You know what really hurts? Getting shocked by the electric shower head when you try to fix it. You know what really hurts? Waking up in the morning to find a bunch of red ants all over you biting and pinching.

These are ten things that really hurt. Thankfully, none of them happened to me! :) (Except the letter one... that really hurts...)

So, yeah, another week down. It was one of the longest weeks of my life, but I´ll just leave it at I got a lot of study time in this last week. I´m in 2 Nephi again and about 1/7 of the way done with Jesus the Christ in Portuguese.

I learned from the scriptures how to tell the difference between a visitor and a thief. I don´t know if it translates, but it's John 10:1.

Happy Birthday to my dear sweet sister who I love so much and loves me to the point where words in a letter can´t describe it, so she doesn´t bother to send them! Hahaha kidding, Ally! I love you a ton! Happy B-day! And yes, I got your last letter.

Wards here are really funny. Situation: One elder in the area for a long time. (Elder Fox for example) and a new guy shows up. Everyone talks with the one that's been there forever. All questions are made to them, every statement. If the new guy wants in on the conversation, has to butt in. Old guy leaves after a while, newer guy stays, after having a few months in the area. Suddenly the newer guy is the old one, and the one that just arrived is shunned. Everyone is asking me questions now, like where we are going next, to read in the Gospel Principles class, whereas not a single question is made to my comp except the hi get to know you where are you from questions. It's just so weird...

Funny thing: Brazil is already advertising for the 2014 World Cup. The moment they lost, it was all 2014 in Brazil. So sad...

We had lunch with another family on Monday. The sister is running for some political office, and I learned that this ward is full of Communists! I think I am going to die. I just want to take all their little red flags with sickle and hammer stuff and burn it, but being a messenger of the Lord, I am learning to forgive and forget.

So, yeah, basically that was our week. We went to a farm of a member in a different ward with the zone today. That was pretty fun. We caught a chicken, killed it and cleaned it and ate it. The only sad part was it's death. They strung it up, one held the wings, and another held the head out. We kept saying just cut the head off, but the elder with the machete just started doing a sawing motion to cut the head. Poor thing had a long and painful death until another elder grabbed the machete and whacked it off.

We also had cow meat to grill, so that was good.

I´m thinking about sending the chicken pictures. Anyone who has a weak stomach don´t look. ;)

Love you all!

Elder Tenney
25 July 2010
Elder Fox's Homecoming Talk in Las Vegas, NV
Elder Tenney's brother and parents
 with Elder Tenney's last companion, Elder Trevor Fox

PS- That's so awesome that you got to see Elder Fox! Sweet sassy boto! (boto = dolphin)

Hahaha, yeah, it was just a slow week because we aren't doing much teaching. I was joking about the letters, too. I got like 7 of them last week and I will probably get more on Monday.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Week #44: 21 July 2010 Email: New Companion

Dear Family,

20th Birthday Bananas
15 July 2010

Hi. I´m good. I like beans and rice. I like bananas. I like cow intestines. Ok, just kidding about that last one, but yeah, we still get it sometimes. 

Elder Tenney (back row, 2nd from right) with his district
12 July 2010

Well, I´ll just get to the big news: Transfers again! As Elder Fox left, I was left here to keep the area until the new comp arrives, so yes, I am still in Senador Guiomard, Zona Rio Branco, Acre, Missão Brasil Manaus.

Elder Stanger (ID); Elder Gallacher (AZ); Elder Fox (NV)
(Homeward Bound!)
15 July 2010

Three elders went home this last transfer from our zone. There were also two short time missionaries in our zone last transfer. They don't have this in the US, but basically, the "18-25 haven't served mission worthy young men in the mission" can volunteer to help where needed and become mini-missionaries. Well, not mini-missionaries, they have all the rights of a regular missionary, too, but you know what I mean.

5 July 2010

On my B-day we had a BBQ at a sister's house in Rio Branco. Her name is Anita, and she is an angel to the missionaries. She always makes extremely good food, and likes to joke around. She keeps saying she is 148, but she is only 60 or so, so yeah. She also likes to say, "well, in my Bible it says..." and then goes and makes a funny saying or something. She also gave me a shirt of a soccer team here. Pretty cool beans.

Oh, hey, almost forgot, I have a new comp! But I´m getting to that, so let's see what happened in between bday and today.

Alisson's Baptism
Elder Fox, Alisson, Raian, Elder Tenney
16 July 2010

Day after Bday we had a baptism of a young man named Alisson. He is basically an elect. He had no problems, was already going to seminary, church, has lots of friends at church, etc. He was baptized by one of his friends (Raian).

"Sick Day"
Elders Fox and Tenney
12 July 2010
On Friday, I think it was Friday... both Elder Fox and  I were feeling a little sick. I'm better now, though.

Elder Tenney (3rd row middle) and the Zone
12 July 2010
So, Elder Fox left on Saturday. After that I stayed with Elder Sabino, my Zone leader, who was comps with Elder Stanger. We went back to my area so that I could make sure Alisson got confirmed. (He did.) I also cleaned out the house. After, we went back to the ZL house/mansion and we cleaned that house, too. Basically it was just preparing to start everything over with a fresh clean look.

Before I forget, another cold front came through last week. Saturday night my thermostat showed 9 degrees Celsius. (48 degrees Fahrenheit!) This isn't right. . . It passed now, but there should be another one coming through soon. We borrowed jackets from a member in the ward. I kept nice and toasty warm.

So, basically that was my week. Yesterday our new companions came. My new comp´s name is Elder Trage from Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul. He just came from an area called Grande Vitória. Guess what´s so special: That is the neighbor area to Castanheira, my last area! I showed him pix of all the people I knew back there and he said he saw all of them still going to church. Yeah! Also, he was neighbors with Elder Martins, so I got caught up on all that has been going on since I left. And he has heard a lot about me already from Martins. That´s deep fried awesome.

So that´s my week. Pray for us to find lots of investigators. The area is a little stiff right now. Things are looking up, though.

Happy Elders on Elder Tenney's Happy Birthday:)
15 July 2010
Oh yeah. about turning senior. I forgot who asked me...President Jayme was asked by another missionary what he was lacking to turn senior. Pres. Jayme said, "What do you think, Elder?" the Elder replied, "Well, I could learn the language better and teach better I guess." Pres. Jayme:  "Wrong. The problem is the lack of juniors." So basically, lots of us could turn senior if the Americans would just get their visas and come. 4 areas were closed last transfer because of the lack of greenies. There are a lot of closed areas now. . .

Send chocolate! (Milky Way, Almond Joy, Snickers and all that fun good stuff! Christmas!! For Christmas, not now!)

 Love you all! Eu vós amo! (I love you!) Have a great week! Tenha uma boa semana! (Have a good week!)  Bye! Tchau! Elder Mitchell H. Tenney Élder Mitchell H. Têni

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Week #43: 14 July 2010: 20th Bday Party

Oi todo mundo!  (Hi everyone)

How are all of you? So, my final day as a teenager, and we did a lot of fun stuff, being p-day and all. Practically the whole zone slept over at the zone leader´s mansion house last night, and a cold front came in so everyone froze last night. Yesterday was Elder Owen´s birthday. I brought one of the boxes of brownie mix with me. I wrote a letter to mom this week that has my thoughts on being 20. I will try to send it soon.

So today we played soccer and basketball at a gymnasium. I was goalie in soccer for a couple rounds. I was rocking it at one point, but, I will not lie, I make a terrible goalie. I'm a worse point guard, though, so yeah.. Later we went to a park that just re-opened last Sunday. We didn't know much about it, but it ended up being a zoo! I didn't bring my camera, but I think I will go back next week or so and get pictures. There were a lot of cool birds and monkeys and stuff.

So, sadly my pendrive burned up or scratched or something, so it's not working anymore. I will try to fix it, but basically that's it. I filled up my memory cards so I am going to burn them to a dvd soon and maybe send that home. Maybe. Still not trusting the postal service all that much.

I gave a talk last Sunday on prayer. It was pretty good. The power was out, so I didn't have to use the microphone so I wasn't as timid.

I did a division last week and the bus broke down when we were going back. After a 30 minute wait, we finally came into Senador and the Military Police pulled over the bus and stormed on with guns and bullet proof vests and stuff. Pretty cool. The people they were going for got off at the stop before.

So, I have 10 months on the mission this Friday!

Last night a sister in the ward threw a small surprise b-day party/going away party for us. It was really cool. Cake and everything!

We have to go do an interview for a baptism soon, so I promise I will try to get in earlier and have more info next week.

Love you all!

Thanks for the bday messages!

(Happy Birthday to You...Happy Birthday to You...Happy Birthday, dear Elder 10-e....Happy Birthday to YOU!  We love you!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Week #42: 07 July 2010: 4th Fun


There was a huge power outage in Rio Branco and pretty much all of Acre, and there are a few strikes, including the internet somehow, so I am just now getting to send all of this.

I typed up something earlier before the power outage waiting for the internet to come, but I missed a few things.

4th of July was fun. We sang the national anthem and then ate Snack Packs  (pudding) from the last box. I made banana bread again, too.

Please send Grandma Tenney´s email address and Grandma Martins. I will add them to my address list of distribution so they can get my emails, too.

It is very sad that Sister Thayn passed away. I know for certain that she is in a much better place now. Give my love to the Thayn Family.

This next Sunday is Elder Fox's last Sunday in Acre. WHOA! (Elder Fox is going home with honor this week!)

So basically I am trying to load my pen drive into the computer and it is being very rude. I have a few photos and a word file on it with everything else... I think I may just have to send it next week. Sorry about that. I am starting to hate technology and computers. Nothing ever works right. One day I will find the perfect computer that never pops up with warning messages and problems that say that things don't work. Until then, I think I will just smash up this computer with a sledgehammer.

Did Ty really lose his two front teeth????

Love y'all. I will send my message from this week next week if my pen drive works.

-elder tenney

P.S. Sam, just study PMG how you want to. It's more for missionaries, but basically think of it this way. Chapter one is the first thing you need to know about missionary work- What is your Purpose? 2nd chapter-how you should study 3rd chapter- what you should teach, the lessons and whatnot 4th chapter- having the spirit with you 5- the Book of Mormon (It's that important) 6- what kind of person should you be 7th chapter- speaking to others 8- the paperwork side of the mission 9-get out there and find people 10-How to better teach other people, hints and tips and stuff 11-having people commit to read and go to church and stop drinking and stuff 12-how to have a baptism and confirmation 13-working with the ward leaders. So yeah, that's basically it. If you want to study before the mission, I suggest read through chapters 3,4,5,6.  That's the good stuff. Also, something I did was go through PMG and mark all the scriptures in the 3rd chapter to color code with the lessons 1-5.

Fun fact- I had no idea what the gospel of Jesus Christ was before I left on the mission. I knew the 4th article of faith, but I didn't know that was a lesson we taught. If you had asked me before what I thought the gospel of Jesus Christ was, I would have said,"ummmm... be a good person and don't do bad things? follow the commandments?" so yeah..

love y'all. again.

stupid flash drive.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Elder Tenney's Birthday!

Dear Readers,

Elder Tenney will turn 20 on July 15th!  If you feel so inclined, we know he would love to hear from you with a letter, card, postcard, takes 2-6 weeks for mail to reach him, but he won't care what day he receives your mail - anytime is great!  Thanks for your prayers and support of him!

The Tenney Family

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Week #41: 30 June 2010 Email: Baptisms of Carol & Carolayne

Hey, we just got back from the member´s farm again today, and then we had to run all the way across town to give a blessing. My big email is coming soon. We just got here.

A chicken in my hand, so small. It's for Livs (his niece)
if I could get it to her. (Found near his house)
29 June 2010

in a bit!

(And now...the Big Email...)
Hey everyone!

Sorry about being a little late today. There seems to be a lack of consecrated oil in this ward, and we had to run to the 1st counselor's house to give his wife a blessing because nobody here has oil for some reason. I have the anointing part down pretty well now. I forget to tell about all the times, but usually at least once a transfer I have the opportunity to give a blessing. I have done the anointing every time except once, and it was the most nerve-wracking experience I have ever had to be the second part. I managed, though.

So, let´s start with the list of things I have in my planner. First off, the other day we found shampoo that was about 90% off, so we bought it, being the thrifty shoppers we are. Last week I was looking at the bottle, and I learned something. Shampoo has an expiration date! I have never heard of this before in my life.  Is this normal? Because if it is, I need to know soon because I am still using it and it's "gone bad" for about a week now.

I am Guybrush Threepwood. Mighty Pirate. I slayed a monkey with my bare hands and... I won't go into details. This was the latest insert in the animal graveyard close to our house where we found the chicken. We have found dogs and cats and back ends of animals and skulls and lots of fun stuff. There are always a lot of vultures there, too. This was the closest I have been to a monkey in a while. Too bad it was dead.

Monkey Skull
30 June 2010
(Editor: Good thing it WAS dead with those fangs!)

Next up, the USA in the World Cup. Yes, it was very sad for us. Everyone makes fun of us now every chance they get, but I continue on happy because I know that Grandma Tenney is happy that Ghana won, being her mission and all. :) I am just waiting for Brazil to lose this Friday so we can actually get back to teaching. It is so hard sometimes to talk to people. They keep checking scores like every 5 minutes and it gets a little annoying after a bit.

"The Banana Bread before..."

I got a few letters from this last Zone Conference, and one of them had recipes inside! I made banana bread last night. We had to hunt all over Rio Branco for ingredients. We couldn't find any Baking Soda, though. (Is shortening vegetable fat? We found a package that says that on it and I just hope and pray it is shortening.) As I was making it, it came to the last ingredient of baking soda and I said, (being the smart little chef that I am) "Well, it's just a small little teaspoon. It can´t be that important."

Whoa! A bat just flew into the lan house! go away! go away!

"The Banana Bread after..."

Anyways, where was I? Oh, yeah! Baking soda. So, I threw it in the oven and. . . basically it turned out great. It just didn't rise at all. It is basically banana cake. Oh, by the way, 10 bananas costs about $1 here. I win.

If you can send a small package really fast, send a new white tie and my old alarm clock. The little white guy that I brought with me is kind of dying. I put in the second battery a couple transfers ago, but it's life span isn't looking very big. The white tie is a priority, though, even if it is just a small $5 package, that would be great.

So, I realized that I could never be a Brazilian citizen the other day. We ate lunch with some members the other day who are part of the political party called PCdoB. (Partido Comunista do Brasil) (Communist Party).   It is actually a pretty big party here. I am not a fan. never never never never never

Elder Mitchell Tenney
26 June 2010
Zone Conference was really good. I had to give a 2-3 minute talk about how the mission is strengthening my faith in Jesus Christ. I made a few notes beforehand, but I ended up saying completely different things.
Carol, Elders Fox and Tenney, Carolayne
26 June 2010

Oh, we had a couple baptisms this last Saturday. We baptized Carolayne and her friend Carol. Carolayne is Lidiane´s little sister.

Elder Tenney, Carolayne, Elder Fox
26 June 2010
Carolayne, Elder Fox, Carol
26 June 2010
Carol, Elder Tenney, and Carolayne
26 June 2010
Carol, Lidiane, Carolayne
26 June 2010

They were all really nervous. Especially Sunday for the confirmation. Lidiane was really really scared and stayed in the bathroom crying with fear last week, but this week we helped her work up the courage to get confirmed with her sister and her friend. It is really awesome to see how much happier Lidiane is, especially after what happened to her brother so recently.

Lidiane and Carol - 26 June 2010
Sisters: Lidiane and Carolayne
26 June 2010

Sorry I haven't been writing many handwritten letters. It is R$2 to send each letter and I just sent out letters to friends the other week like Elder Auston Hafen and Kevin Steck and all them. Did you know it costs R$2.55 to send a letter to Russia?? I´ll try to write a letter to home soon! Promise!
Tereré stuff that Elder Fox bought
28 June 2010

Elder Fox - Going home soon....
26 June 2010

I got a slide show that I asked from President Jayme that he gave as a training for the Stake Conference Priesthood session about how to find your eternal companion. I will work on translating it to English. In the meantime, I took a picture from it that we see all the time in the mission. It's a good one of the temple that someone photoshopped the Christ statue behind. Now this is a pic you can put on the blog.

Manaus Temple
Love you all! Tell me about Toy Story 3! It's going to be 15 months before.... whoa... just 15/24......... whoa......

love you all!