September 2009 - September 2011

The Journey from Beginning to End

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Week #71: Another Week Gone By....

What´s a hip flexor? Is that some sort of German donut? Sam says he pulled one, but I don´t think I am using my context clues very well to figure this out. I don´t know why on earth he would be pulling on donuts during a basketball game, but hey, I´m not the coach.

"We made a bunk bed out of our beds"
11 January 2011
"Kind of didn't work"
Elder Woolf - 11 January 2011

In response to Dad´s 1-9-2011 letter, I get handwritten letters in a couple of weeks if I am lucky and if my zone leaders are awesome. So, yeah, they come pretty fast these days. No more Christmas delays for me now! Oh, and about Jessica´s talk for the 26-12-2010, that was a super amazing talk! I am half tempted to send it in to the Liahona and get it published. Kidding.   I´ll let the author do that.
"Street sign in our area. We live near the Bola da Suframa, Amazon Theater, just up the road and right outside of our area."
26 January 2011

So this week was a pretty good one. I´m having a really tough time adjusting to a different part of the city, but there is still the general love for the missionaries from the ward members here. Oscar still hasn´t come back yet, so we are going to let that one sizzle out for a bit and try later on. Recently we found a man named Állison who is from Rio de Janeiro as a soldier for the Brazilian Navy. He was pretty cool. One of the few people that actually stopped to talk with us.

Sounds like they sometimes get treated like this cockroach...
22 January 2011

Most of the time we say "hi" and people just blow us off or say, "No, I don´t want your religion," and leave before we can say anything. A bit tougher here, but slowly but surely we are building a teaching group. Sllllooooooooowwwwwwly....... Interviews with President Jayme are this week.

One thing we are trying to do is do a bunch of activities, but my brain bucket is kind of empty and the rivers of my imagination have run a little dry. Any ideas on low budget (meaning R$0) ideas we could do that would be fun for members to bring non-member friends to? We are going to do an activity I call Bolo Macho (Man-Cake) next week. It´s where the husbands have to make a cake all by themselves. Find the recipe alone. Buy the ingredients alone. Make the cake alone. There can be no woman interference at all. Then at the activity the women taste the cakes and judge them.  Pretty good if I must say so myself.
We gave a couple of health blessings the other day and my oil container is starting to run dry. I feel more close to the spirit when I give a blessing. It really is amazing to say words sometimes that I would never even think of saying. I´ve done it enough now that I don´t have to grab the missionary manual and follow the steps anymore either. I think the only thing I haven´t participated in so far is dedicate a grave and set apart somebody for a calling.

We went to the culture center that is in my area today. If you all remember, it is the one I went to with Elder Gannon on my 2nd or 3rd week in the field. It is a green building. I don´t know if I sent pictures.

"The Culture Center"
26 January 2011
"Fun at the Culture Center"
26 January 2011

"Our Tour Guide"
26 January 2011

"We are thinking about moving in here. (kidding) Another Indian shack at the culture center."
26 January 2011

Sadly, they packed up and moved most of the stuff to a different location, but we did a small side tour and played around in the giant arena behind the center.
"In the stadium"
26 January 2011

Hope you all are having a fantabulously awesome time! I feel cold right now, but that´s just because I got a computer underneath the AC.

Elder Tenney in the stadium
26 January 2011

OH!!! 500 Days this Saturday! 400 days ago on Saturday was my first phone call on my first Christmas out!

Smile, You look better that way!

-Elder Tenney

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Week #70: 16 Months Mark!


So this last week was a bit of a bummer for us. I got really sick again near the end of P-day and it stuck like that for the next couple of days into Friday. I called Sister Jayme and she told me it is either an intestinal flu or dengue. I´ll let you check up on the dengue one. Hint: Mosquito disease.

Oscar went out of town early so we never got to go back and follow up with him. He is scheduled to come home tomorrow so we will pick up again tomorrow. We also got a few references from a member named Deka. She invited ALL of her neighbors to come to church and about 3 came and a 4th one wanted to have us visit.

Elder Woolf is on his one year anniversary on the mission today, so we had a little American party over with Elder Stapley and Elder Lewis and made pancakes with peanut butter and other American delicacies. I feel so old on the mission now that I am having companions go through the things I already passed. (16 months!!! 2/3 done and I feel like I have done barely anything! I am definitely finishing up as a Senior Couple.)

Well, hope you all have a most excellent week. Elder Woolf and I are getting along great. I am indeed very happy to have him here with me. We have a lot in common actually.

Until next week!

-Elder Tenney

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Week #69: And so thus ends another week...

Well, this week has been a toughie for me. The area I´m in is completely different from the Manaus I know. It´s all cars and high gates and doorbells. I didn´t think this stuff existed. There are a few parts that look like Zona Leste, but in all, I´m going through a transition right now. I´m still sleeping in the bed, but the hammock is a nice addition to take a breather and just rock in.

So, Lagoa Verde is basically where the church started in Manaus. It has one of the oldest chapels and members that have 15-20 years in the church. They love the missionaries, though. There is one member, Atila, who is 33 and has already served as bishop. He is super awesome and lives just right up the road from us.

I made an executive decision and we are "training" members to give us references to help us form our teaching group. It´s a bit of a challenge to find people in the road here. But, the members came through with their part. They brought 4 people to church this week that we were not even expecting. It was really cool because I looked at the numbers over the last few months and there have been like 2-3 references a transfer! We got 4 on the first week here, and then others during the week. I like this ward more already.

Tough part of the week.  Yesterday around 3 in the morning I woke up with a fever, stomach ache, back pains, headache, and I was just hating life. We spent our day at home while I recuperated, but I called up Atila after a while and asked him to come over and help give a blessing. I immediately felt better afterwards. I am so thankful for the priesthood and for the amazing things that can be worked through it.

We played football today with about half of the American missionaries in Manaus today. It rocked, and we ate tacos later. I started to feel a little sick again and I´m a bit queezy right now actually, but today has been splendiforous until now. (That´s a word in my dictionary.)

We met a guy named Oscar the other day and we taught him the restoration lesson, and he was getting really into it. That made me excited. We are going back tonight to see how it went with the reading we left him and the prayer we invited him to do to know if these things are true or not. We actually could mark a baptismal date with him, too! If only everyone were like him! Pray for him! He is actually traveling this Thursday and won´t be back until the 20th, but I feel that he will be baptized end of January or early February.

Hope you are all having an awesome week! Good luck to Olive&Ike with the strep...

-Elder Tenney

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Week #68: The New Year

Ôla! How y´all doin'?
I´m doing great. This last week was pretty fun. I said goodbye to a bunch of them because I got transferred out of Castanheira. I got transferred to the Center Zone (Zone Central). I´m in an area close to Castanheira and Mauazinho. It seems like I am meant to just stay in the Southeast areas of Manaus. Oh, the area is called Lagoa Verde (Green Lagoon). We live in a neighborhood called São Lazaro. It´s in a place called the Bola da Suframa which is a major industrial place. It is a bit of a richer area than the ones I have passed through so far. There is the giant 7th Day Adventist Hospital and a McDonald's in my area. By the way, it's the R$4,00 menu, not the $1 menu. The new thing here is the Cheddar McMelt or something like that for R$7. Ouch.

Elder Woolf and Elder Tenney
New house and area in Lagoa Verde, Center Zone
05 January 2011

My new companion is Elder Tanner Woolf from Spokane, Washington. He is like 3/4 Canadian, so he´s a blast. I´m already loving this transfer. The only problem is there is no teaching pool, (again), in this area. Lots of other elders were telling me this area is a "hole" right now (in a slump) so I said the classic "Well, I´ll just fill it up with water and baptize everyone then" line. The house rocks.

Kitchen in Lagoa Verde
04 January 2011

Bathroom in Lagoa Verde
04 January 2011

It has two bathrooms and lots of space with our own wall all the way around. We live in an alleyway, but it's way safe. The house was way dirty when I got there, though, because elders leave their junk in that house for some reason so I purged the entire house. It´s a lot better now.

Desks in Lagoa Verde
04 January 2011
I already have a bed and fan, the fridge and washing machine rock, the oven works, we have many tables and chairs, a sink, hot water shower heads, (not sure if they work or not...), a blender and tereré {a Brazilian drink}. What more do I need? So I went to center and bought a hammock today. Blue and White and I´m taking it to BYU. Now I am all set. We are starting from square one, but I think in a couple of weeks we will already be having baptisms once the people are ready. We just need to find them. Any ideas for fun activities we could do instead of regular street contacts? The sky is the limit.

Neto and Sandra are getting baptized and married (not in that order) this weekend so I am going to miss it, but hopefully I get photos from Elder Ammon if I´m lucky.

Right now I´m in the area where Elder Koehler started his mission. The ward members really liked him. He just became assistant to the Pres. this transfer. He is so awesome. This transfer all the leadership positions changed. District leaders became zone leaders, zone leaders became trainers or regular missionaries. Some changed positions with companions (Junior became the Senior, Senior became the Junior.) There are 20 missionaries going home this next transfer, so I guess President Jayme is just preparing the new generation a bit early. There are 16 Americans waiting for visas right now, but other than that the mission is going to get close to only 100 missionaries this next transfer. 

Goodbye to Family in Castanheira
03 January 2011

All the pix are of the new area except for one which is a family I helped reactivate in Castanheira. They were really awesome.

Hope you all are having an awesome week. Safe traveling and good luck with your endeavors!

-Elder Tenney-