September 2009 - September 2011

The Journey from Beginning to End

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week #80: What an Area...

Dear peoples at home,

Wow! I must say this is the most interesting area I have passed in in my mission. For the first time I have the Stake President in my ward, and not only that, I have a 70 living in my ward, too! This will be a very interesting transfer. (The 70´s name is Elder Renato Capelletti; he left for Salt Lake yesterday). I also must say this is the richest area I have been in. Every member here is a professor, owns a business, or works in upper management that I have met so far. The people here are very well off. Most anyway. My area is the "City Center" where all the business and shopping happen and so all the residential is out on the far reaches. I have walked a lot in this last week. We have a baptism this Friday of a young woman named Larissa. Her mom and older brother are already members, but for some reason she was scared to get baptized, but I guess she talked with the right people at church this Sunday who helped her to understand and told us she is ready now. We actually have a massive teaching group right now. The area is so big that it is like having 3 groups and we have to divide the days into which region we will work that day. It´s hard to mark to come back with the same people on the same days, but we manage. We got a ward member list this Sunday. 710 members, 100+/- active. Time to update the records. Everybody in the ward will be helping, but we got the bulk of the work. I like it because it helps me to get to know the area better and the members. Plus, it creates opportunities to find others.

I guess that´s the highlights for my week. There is a Subway here, so we may hit that up one of these days. R$4.50 for a 6 inch. {about $2.75 U.S. dollars}

Love you all tons!

-Elder TeNnEy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Week #79: Transfer by Plane!

{Email from Wednesday, 23 March 2011}
Dear Family,

Gerdson's Family with Elders Tenney and Johnson
20 March 2011

Atila's Family
21 March 2011
Hey, how you all doing? I´m doing just fantastic.. I got a really bad cold on Friday and I´ve still got it. Stuffy nose, sore throat, I went deaf in my right ear for a while, the usual stuff. Nothing too big. It was the worst when we were coming in on the airplane and my ears wouldn´t pop. Oh! Surprise! I got transferred! I left Lagoa Verde and now I am in the Porto Velho Ward in Porto Velho, Rondônia. My ward is the city center, so it's a lot of commercial and not so much residential. I am with Elder Amorim from Maceió. He started his mission when I was with Elder Seastrand, so we already know each other. I am super excited, as well as he is. I left Lagoa Verde with a baptism for this Saturday, so I will get back to you all if it went through next week. {Porto Velho is 550 miles from Manaus, and has a population of just over 300,000).

Yesterday I got to the staff at 5:30 because Irmão Atila had to get back to Lagoa to work, so I had been up since 4:30 to get a ride. Then I found out that our plane wouldn´t leave until 8:15 that night, so I didn´t get to my new house until around 11:15 and I couldn´t get to sleep because my ears wouldn´t pop until about 1 in the morning. I am absolutely wasted right now. I am so happy that today is P-Day.

Porto Velho, Rondonia
23 March 2011

Porto Velho, Rondonia
23 March 2011
Porto Velho, Rondonia
23 March 2011

New Room
Porto Velho, Rondonia
23 March 2011

I think this house is the smallest house I have been in so far. It even has a low ceiling. Let´s just say I have to bend over to get underneath the showerhead it´s so low. Actually, they just put the showerhead in low is all.
Mission Plaque
22 March 2011

This area is huge! I saw the map and it has 23 neighborhoods in it. It has a giant main road to the east until the Rio Madeira on the west side. Pretty big! There are a total of 10 missionaries in this entire state. As I think about it, I think it is either 2-3 Brazilians and the rest are Americans. {Elder Tenney has been serving till this transfer in the Brazilian state of Amazonas - Rondonia is an entirely different state. He has also served in the state of Acre}.

Elder Mordechai's Tree of Life
22 March 2011

I haven´t taken a picture of Elder Amorim and me yet, but I think maybe there is an old one somewhere that I sent a long time ago when I was with Elder Martins or Elder Seastrand.

I got a letter from the Mail Office saying they are holding my box because it may contain drugs or something. It´s being held by the sanitary department. I have to go clear up what's in it or something. Was there anything important in it that I will need to get? Or if I can´t manage to get the box it wouldn´t be a complete disaster other than I will be completely devastated on not getting the super awesome contents?

Missionary Trauma Checklist completed by Elder Tenney :p
23 March 2011

Tell Sister Andersen to tell Nick to get better and that he is brave to get a needle stuck in him in a foreign country! I just got that letter the other day. I actually got a huge wad of letters yesterday because nobody was going in for the last little while to deliver them to us. Now I am even further from staff so I will get things once a month out here. Yay. . . oh well.

Hope you are all doing good! Don´t worry. I´ll drink lots of water and rest up so I can get better soon! Love y´all!

-Elder Tenney

Week #78: Bleh

{Email from Wednesday, March 16, 2011)
So, this week´s letter is a short one. Last week on Thursday we both got food poisoning or a really bad stomach virus and we were sick from Thursday to Sunday. Monday was good and we went out to go find some references we received from staff. None of them existed or were of the person who they said it was. Well, that´s actually really common, so I guess it was just a normal day in the neighborhood. Elder Vaughn Christensen, who went home in December of 2009, came passing through the area for a visit. It was cool to see an old familiar face. He was companions with Elder Gannon in the CTM. This ward seemed to really love him.

B. is giving us a bit of a headache, but I feel that with a little TLC she will be ready to get baptized here in a bit. I don´t know if I said how she is worried about breaking a commandment with her boyfriend after getting baptized, but that´s the situation right now. We have explained and explained, but she wants to either break up or have us teach him first, and she says he doesn´t want anything to do with the church, and she isn´t ready to break up.  It's complicated...

Transfers are next week. Who knows where Elder Tenney will be here in a week..

Today marks One Year and Six Months since I left home.

Love you all!

-Elder Tenney

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Week #77: March March March Marching Marching Marching Truth is Marching Truth is Marching Truth is Marching FORWARD!

OK, well, let's just put it this way. Hard week. Rain. Sun. Carnaval. You got that right. It's that time of year again. The Brazilian Mardi Gra (spelling?) for 2011 that basically is a giant Beer Fest. So our teaching pool just lost some of it's potential growth. It´s really a challenge to find new investigators when they are all drunk. Yesterday for example, we were leaving lunch and there was a huge party that blocked off a few roads. Everybody was drinking and dancing and it basically stayed like that for the rest of the day. We took refuge a little early and read some Liahonas and whatnot.

So we have our golden investigator, B., who had a baptismal date for last week, but she was always saying, "Oh, I´m not ready, I don't know." She had read the entire Gospel Doctrine manual, is reading the Book of Mormon, received an answer, etc. We had her go to the interview just to help her see that she is really more ready than she is. She has the interview and was marked for a second interview with the Stake President on this Sunday. After the second interview, the Stake President calls us in and tells us how she says she doesn´t feel ready because of a boyfriend she has been dating for the last 8 years. WHAT? She never said anything about that to us! So, on Monday we went and gave an inspired lesson on the Law of Chastity and she was actually doing a lot better. She said she was ready, but she just had to go to her boyfriend still and say, "hey, either you marry me, or we are done." So that´s the way we left it with her. We are giving her a few days and we will go see what her response will be tomorrow. Pray4Us.

Next Wednesday I will have 1 Year and 6 Months on the mission, but, as mom so wonderfully mentioned in her email to me, I have less than 6 months till I get home.

List of Things to do when I get home before Christmas:

1-Doctor Appointment

2-Dentist Appointment (Actually 1 & 2 are the same priority)

3-Backpacking trip - Blake, Me, Sam - Blake needs to find a super awesome location

Still in the makings for this list...


Have an awesome week! Love yáll!

-Elder Tenney

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Week #76: Is It March Already?

Dear Family,

This week has been a tough one. Just when we thought everything was going good, it all fell down in on our heads and suddenly we didn´t have a teaching group. We had found this super awesome family from Rio de Janeiro, but they told us they weren´t that interested. Thing is, we were so excited to find them, and they told us off so nicely, it was like a dagger to the heart and twisting it round and round and round. Almost destroyed us. They were such a good family, too! I don´t know if I told last week, but I had to teach Gospel Principles, play the organ in sacrament meeting, and give a talk in Sacrament, all last minute. This Sunday, I taught GP and played the organ again. Almost gave a talk, but the bishop decided to give me a break this week and asked somebody else. There is a GP teacher here, but he does whatever he can to get out of it now. Ever since I taught the first time a few weeks ago he thinks, oh, the elders have got it taken care of, and just scoots out of class now. I don´t mind I guess. It helps me to learn the stuff, too. We had zone conference yesterday and President announced the new  {mission} president, but it seems like everybody already knew. News gets around quickly. Oh! I got my package and a bunch of letters, too! That really brought me out of the slump afterwards! Thank you so much to everybodys! One and alls! We have a baptism for a woman named Bina this week. She is super excited now. She has already read the Gospel Principles Manual and is reading in the BoM and praying and stuff. She dropped coffee on the spot and all that Jazz. Speaking of Jazz-->basketball-->BYU--> can somebody send me a bracket for March Madness? We want to do a mission bracket. Just a thought.

Love you all!

-Elder Tenney

{Editor:  And this from a separate email today:} 
Our house got flooded last night in one of the rooms during a rainstorm and my suitcase got wet on the bottom again. Thankfully nothing was permanently damaged. All dried out now.