September 2009 - September 2011

The Journey from Beginning to End

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Week #75: A Pretty Good Week...

This  past week was pretty good for me. We managed to mark a baptismal date with a woman that I have been teaching for about a month. She is a little iffy on it still, but she went to church this past week and says she is feeling better.

Elder Woolf´s (2nd from left) 1-year party with Elders Stapley, Tenney,
and Lewis at the area of Laranjeiras (Orange Trees)
19 January 2011

"My super awesome district at the Lagoa Verde chapel"
(Elder Henshaw, Elder Johnson, Elder Paixao in front of Elder Tenney)
21 February 2011

I´ve been doing pretty good. I haven´t weighed myself in a while, so I don´t know what I am coming in at these days. I think I may have gone under 70 kilos (154 lbs), though. I came into the mission at 61 (134 lbs), so as long as I come home at 70+ I will be happy. I guess I just need to start eating more like how I used to at the beginning of the mission.

Elder Johnson and I were talking and we were trying to come up with major events/days that we have each transfer until we go home. This transfer is the 5-week transfer, then there is St. Patty's day, I make 18 months, conference/Easter, Mother's Day, Pres. Jayme´s last transfer, my birthday 7/15, then his bday 7/17, then my last transfer. I couldn´t remember anymore than that.

This Monday I gave a talk  in District Meeting. I called it "Um Missionário de Poder" (A missionary of Power). It had stuff from Alma 17-19. There were 10 key points that I gleaned from the example of Ammon: being a friend to the king, he said "I will be your servant", the king was amazed by his faithfulness in obeying, Ammon was full of the spirit and perceived the thoughts of the king, taught with power and teaching on the appropriate level, asking simple questions to explain and also using the scriptures, he taught of the plan of salvation, and after teaching all fell to their knees and prayed to know if these things were true. The king later, after rising, began to teach the others (give references) and those who listened hearkened to his words and were baptized. I forgot to bring my notes with me or I would have given the scripture references. It turned out pretty good. My district is made up of Me, Elder Johnson, Elder Henshaw from SLC (Elder Seastrand trained him) and Elder Paixão who arrived in Manaus with me.

"Ser Mórmon é ser feliz - 'Being Mormon is Being Happy' - a newspaper picture I found and wrote on"
11 October 2010

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Week #74: Happy Singles Awareness Day!!!

Ôpa! How you all doing? I´m doing pretty good. I have a new planner with me today so I am forgetting all that happened this last week. Let´s see what comes to mind... I cleaned out our house from top to bottom the other day before transfers. So many spiders and cockroaches. I think this is the most infested house I have stayed in. I waged chemical warfare on it and sprayed bug spray in all the cracks and corners and I think it lasts for a month, so we should be good for now. This last Sunday for church one of our investigators went to church at 8:00. Church starts at 8:30, and the chapel was locked when our investigator arrived, so she went home. So close, yet so far. I did a mass member training Sunday and at the beginning of each class I gave a quick missionary message and gave out pass-along cards to everybody. I am hoping for many a reference during this week. I have been playing the organ for the last few Sundays here. I make mistakes, but nobody seems to notice, which is nice. Transfers were this week. Elder Woolf got transferred out to Zona Leste to Grande Vitória, which is the neighbor area to Castanheira. The missionaries live in the same apartment building, so he will get to see some of the people and things I told him about. Before Elder Woolf got transferred, we ordered out food from a chain restaurant here in Brazil called "Habib´s". It took me about 15 minutes to make the order because Portuguese is so hard to understand on the phone. But, it was delivered to us in about 10-15 minutes, which in my book is extremely fast!

Elder Spencer Johnson and  Elder Tenney
16 February 2011

My new companion is Elder Spencer Johnson from Green River. He is one transfer behind me, so we should be rocking the area during this next transfer. He has been in staff the last few months as a secretary and is ready to head back out to the field and get to work. Hand trained by President Jayme himself, how blessed can I get? Elder Johnson has an awesome sense of humor and kind of reminds me of Drew Carey a bit actually.

Brazilian Football Gear?
16 February 2011

We went out and played football in a mud field today. It was super fun. I didn´t get as badly burned this time. 15 Americans and one Brazilian again. We went exploring out in the forest after and found a pond with a rope swing and an alligator. I guess the rope swing hasn´t been used in a while... Last night Elder Johnson and I were getting a little homesick because we started talking about restaurants and stuff like that. We both nearly died at the mere mention of Sticky Fingers at Wingers. That´s what me, Ryan, Josh and Darrin would go get all the time. I still remember the taste....... 

Elder Tenney Prepares a Welcome for his New Companion
14 February 2011

Oh, Elder Johnson came in sick, kind of. He has the fever, red dots all over thing that I had, but this time it is supposedly dengue, which I learned is NOT the West Nile Virus. Actually, it's worse. He is getting better already, though. Our battle plan for this transfer is to find the families in the ward where not everybody is a member. Contacts haven´t really been working out for us, but then again, when have they? Member references are always better. By the way, give the missionaries references if you´re not.

I am sure there is more, but I don´t remember any more... Have an awesome week, y'all! I am almost out of the envelopes I bought in São Paulo, and they are expensive here, so, sorry if I have been slacking on snail mail...


+_+ <  Elder Tenney

Oh! I bought new shoes! I went cheap, though, and they are already getting hashed. I will buy better next time, though...

Please keep me updated every single week on March Madness. There are many Americans here who want to know the scoop on everything. Also, please send a bracket so that we can do a mission bracket. We are going to fly blind and go off of just what is sent to us, so this should be fun.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Week #73: Another Week - It Went By So Fast!

Hey all,

So, it's been a really fast week. I feel like I was just here telling you all about how I was dying last week. This week I got somewhat better but both of us still seem to have some sort of stomach virus or something. For me, it's not that bad, but Elder Woolf  is going 3 days with pains in his gut. Hopefully it rolls over soon.

I think the highlight for this week was a reference we got from a member. This member has given us about 5 references this transfer because she said, "my daughter is wanting to serve a mission, so I have to start helping the missionaries now so that she will get help when she is on her mission." I don´t think karma works that way exactly, but I accept her philosophy as long as I am here. Most of her references have kind of dudded out, but this last one is the family that we have been looking for. Luis and Francisca live kind of close to our house and they are from Acre. They´ve been here for about 3 years. They are an older couple in their 40´s, but their kids are all with them still. They need to get married and whatnot, but they were extremely receptive to the message. The hard thing is just finding a time to go and visit them when everyone is home. Last time we managed to get them at home Francisca was sick, so we may try again today and if not we have to wait until Friday. I guess you can never have a perfect situation, but they are definitely worth the time.

WHOA!!! Sam is 16!!! WHOA!!!

Hope you all are doing great. Transfers are this week. I feel like I will stay. Part of me feels like E. Woolf will stay too, but I guess that´s just wishful thinking.

Have an awesome week y´all!

-Elder Tenney

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Week #72: What a Sick Week!

Hey all,
So, just to let you all know, the subject line says, "what a sick week." That is not slang for "what a super awesome week I had".  It means, "ugh, I got super sick again and wanted to die". I guess everyone has to hit that point at some time on the mission. So, let´s describe it. I had muscular pain and lack of energy. Splitting headache whenever I looked anywhere but straight ahead and down, somewhat high fever of 101.3 as the max that I logged, and lots of red splotches all over my body that thankfully did not itch. After consulting with Sister Jayme and many members, I had it down to 1 of 3 things. First, dengue as many members said, but I didn´t have all the symptoms, so I wasn´t too worried about that one.   Second, an allergic reaction, but it was weird because I didn´t know allergies give fever and headache, too, and not a cough or runny nose. 3rd, the German Measles, which Sister Jayme said it might be and I was taken aback when she said I might have that. The spots were 24/7, but the fever and headache only came around 7pm and went until about 12 the next day and would go away and we would go out and work fine in the afternoon and day. It lasted a couple days like this, then finally on Tuesday the headache and fever weren´t there when I woke up. That same day the Missionary Doctor of Brazil called me after talking with Sister Jayme and he said it sounds like a reaction to a shot I may have had before coming to Brazil where I get part of the disease. It was already going away by itself without medicine, so he wasn't too worried. As of right now, I only have the red splotches on my knees down to my feet, so I should be clean by Friday.
"Football today with the Americans (and one Brazilian)"
- Elder Tenney is front row - 2nd from right -
02 February 2011

We went out and played American football on the beach at Ponta Negra this morning, so add a sunburn now, but I am thankfully feeling much better. Just a little sore. Don´t worry mom, it was 2-hand, not tackle. This last week we got a reference to a member´s daughter who is already married and has been wanting to hear the missionaries. We went there and taught her Saturday night with her dad. Her husband didn´t seem to want to hear anything. Sunday, some reason didn´t go to church. Monday, we go back to see how the reading in the Book of Mormon was and praying about it and we get there at 7 and sit and talk with her dad for a while. At 8, after having gone through many conversational points, we re-mark for Tuesday. Tuesday night, 7pm. we sit and chat with her dad again about the weather that day and any new topics that may have come up. Still nothing at 8. Seems her husband is a little bit on the warpath at the moment. So we re-marked to come back Thursday afternoon when she is more free to talk. It was just funny to me that we would sit in the front room for an hour two days in a row and she didn´t even come out to talk to us. She really liked the message, though, and we won´t give up any time soon. Also, I am teaching people to play the piano Saturdays at 3. My last class had 5 students in it and they know the basics of how to read music and figure out which note it is on the keyboard. The only difficulty is that music here is not like in America. Instead of the ABCDEFG with all the sharps and flats, they have some weird scale like so lo fa la mi do re do ... I don´t know the order or all the words. A bit of a speed bump, but they say the ABC way looks easier. Maybe that´s why lots of people tend to avoid learning to play here. I had a bunch of other stuff I was going to say, but I forgot what it was... I guess that´s the highlights for this week.



-Elder Tenney