September 2009 - September 2011

The Journey from Beginning to End

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Week #97 Part 2: "Emergency"

Hey, I´m just sending this email from the staff building right now. We had an emergency transfer due to a missionary not coming to the mission and now I have a "short time" missionary as a companion. His name is Elder Elderlan Brasil and he is from Manaus. He is waiting for his call to come so I might even get another companion in the half time of the transfer. Just to let you all know. Love you tons!

-Elder Tenney

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week #97: "Very Anti-Climactic Ending, But I Like It"

Hello peoples,

Once again, it rained today and so the internet is very very slow and after an hour I have finally managed to get to this part of writing. I think I´m going to try and find a different lan house and check my luck. But, for now...

Well, it´s that time of the year again, where people come and people go, new areas, old areas, new companions, old companions. The trial of faith at venturing into the unknown. As much as I would like to say that I am going into the Amazon Rainforest to find a hidden tribe and convert them all to the gospel after learning their local dialect, I will have to settle with the anti-climactic. The continuing story. The never-ending truth. Or... in other words, I´m staying put here in Nova Cidade with Elder Eça to finish out the fight. I´m actually kind of happy, though. He has been teaching me capoeira and it's actually really fun.

So, this week we have a young man named Gabriel all set up for baptism, and we are working with a few other really good families. Our ward mission leader is most excellent, and working with the ward the frequency has gone up by 30 since I´ve been here. We are hitting around 180 each Sunday in sacrament meeting. I´m happy to have been given a wonderful area and companion here in the final stretch.

We keep going to the center every other week it seems, and I keep buying more junk to bring home. Today was the piranhas. You guys are going to freak out at them. Limited supply. I´m trying to avoid spending here in the last few weeks, but I want to get the weight back that I lost. . . .
Well, hope you all are having a great time.  Plan on going to Wingers with me here in a few weeks! I´m craving it! Love y'all!

 -Elder Tenney

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Week #96: Lucky 7

Dear Family people,

Elder Tenney, Kellen, Elder Eça
Kellen's Baptism
17 July 2011

How are all of you? I am doing great. I feel different now... my last milestone on the mission has passed after last Friday, and I´m starting to get this strange anxious feeling inside. This last week was an extremely long week with the whole "change pday to Monday" thing. It was very weird. But, we are going strong and had a record 8 people in sacrament meeting. The investigators are all going good. This transfer has been one of the fastest ones I have had so far.

We also had a baptism last week of a young woman, Kellen, (18). She is the cousin of Marcileia who I baptized with Elder Gannon forever ago. Small world. I even got Marcileia's number and called her out in Parintins to tell her and catch up. It was cool to talk to her and her husband Ronaldo. They had a baby girl last month. I don´t know why missionary work seemed so hard at the beginning. I think it was just learning how to follow the spirit and teach in a way that others can feel that this stuff we are saying is true. It´s amazing to me to see people who fall away from the church and start going to another church that just opened up a few weeks ago. I almost want to rip what little hair I have left out of my head and say, "Did you never pray to Heavenly Father to ask him if this stuff is true? Why would you go against something like that?" I am so thankful for the power of prayer. Some of the people I have taught have had dreams and visions and warm cuddly feelings. For me, I just don´t have any doubts come into my head. It´s just a simple, straight up fact to me after I pray about something. I feel that it's right, and then I go with it. Never doubt your first impressions. The enemy always comes along to put doubt in you for the second round. Anyways... church is true, y'all. If you don´t believe me, go pray about it. Don´t stop praying until you get an answer, too, because God is there listenin'.  You just gotta be patient enough to get the message back to ya.

Happy Sailings!
Elder Tenney

P.S.  We played football on the Ponta Negra again. Temple is looking awesome. Everyone loved the Swedish fish.

{And from Elder Asa Laws' blog this week: "This week I got a survival package from Elder Tenney... An American flag, Pepto-bismol, and playing cards!!!!!!" It is so nice to know the elders have each other to support them in their work so far from home!}

Monday, July 11, 2011

Week #95: I Hate Mondays

I just don´t know how it happens, but another week down. Oh wait, I was just here last Wednesday... It is so weird to have P-Day on Monday now. I´m all flustered. The week suddenly looks so long until Sunday. How are we going to manage it? Good luck. Anywho, how be all you people in the computer screen? I see you put more messages in my inbox, and for that I am happy. We got our new mission goals from pres to the zone leaders to us. Basically we are having a mass change and it involves the members a whole lot more. Stuff like having 10 people in sacrament every week and marking 6 new baptismal dates. Nothing TOO big. But still, it is a big goal. We hit the ground running thankfully and the ward here in Nova Cidade has gone to arms to help in any way possible. Our baptism for last week fell, but we re-marked for this week. If all goes well we will be baptizing straight for at least the next 3-4 weeks from what we have so far. I like areas like this. 

I feel like I have nothing to say as it's only been four days since my last email, so for now, this week we have interviews with president and ... I´M TURNING 21!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What on earth is happening??? I still feel like I am 18!!!!! Where did all the time go???? Ok, I guess it´s not that bad. I actually forgot about it the other day until the package came... Time stands still on the mission. Thank you for all the love and wonderbars! Fun story, other day our ward mission leader came to teach with us and he starts preaching to our new investigators about baptisms for the dead. The woman suddenly got all confused and said 'how is it that you can do that? Is it really possible to save people after they are dead?' She didn´t voice this until another visit last Friday-ish. I spent 2 hours trying to explain  the how and why and all that, but she didn´t get it. Then she re-worded her question: How can you force someone into the celestial kingdom by doing this baptism? Oh.... This isn´t something that forces people, it gives them the opportunity to be baptized according to the commandment so that they can get there if they accept it on the other side. Problem: solved. Some people.... We also had a young man named Gabriel who after praying had a dream of a pillar of light/second coming and on our next visit was 100% ready to accept the baptismal invitation. That´s some experiences from the week. Hope you all are having a good time! I know I am. :) Loves and Hugs!

-Elder Tenney

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Week #94: Extra from Elder Asa Laws Blog....

{Kind words from Elder Asa Laws serving in the Brazil Manaus Mission...from his blog....}

We met our new mission President on Monday, the 4th! He is so cool. President Moroni Klein! He is from Porto Alegre, the south of Brazil, and he has a wonderful family. He is just so excited and he has a TON of energy. I instantly liked him from the moment I saw him.  ... He is a history major and he knows a ton. Everything relates back to the gospel. ... he let us sing the Star Spangled Banner as the closing hymn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got to conduct and Elder Tenney held up his giant American Flag. It was AMAZING!!!!!!! I LOVED IT! Everyone here knows I was in the ROTC and they all know I am really patriotic.

Speaking of Tenney, he said he is going to give me the flag when he leaves to pass it on to another loyal American. We talk alot on p-day and meetings. He is a way cool guy. Today he said "dang, why does this have to be my last transfer! We would have been great companions!" He is a cool guy and he is a good example of a hard working missionary.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Week #94: Picture Day!

Mixed Emotions? - 24 June 2011 
First off, today I remembered to bring the card reader, so lots of pix coming. Second, as a notice to all peoples who write me, please don´t keep reminding me about how much time I have left. I am very aware and would like to not be aware. Thanks. 3rd: love all you all tons!
Current Companion: Elder Eca - 20 June 2011

So,  the email finally opened up. We tried earlier and the myldsmail was down. Finally got in. So, let´s start from the beginning.

Bedroom - 29 June 2011
Elder Tenney's hammock - 29 June 2011

More of the house - 29 June 2011

Stairs in new house - 29 June 2011

Washer - 29 June 2011

New mission president came last week. Elder Eça and I saw him early on Friday because we were dropping wedding papers off at staff and he invited us to come have a morning devotional with him and the secretaries. He is very excited and animated. It was weird not seeing Pres. Jayme there.

Wedding - 28 June 2011

Wedding Decor - 28 June 2011

Friday night, the staff building caught on fire. The missionary apartment up top had a wiring problem and burned about 1/4 of the upstairs to nothing but ash. Everybody is all right, but the secretaries lost there duds. We are all donating to help them out. Nothing of the mission office was destroyed either - just their personals.

Ward Party - 01 July 2011

Pinata @ Ward Party - 01 July 2011

Afterwards, we had an activity Friday night in the ward and we got tons of references! I love when this happens! It was like a cowboy dance party thing that happened in the ward in PV before I left. There was a giant wooden pole that was there for people to climb. It's a daring test like climbing up the açai trees in the Amazon forest. I tried it out and made it to the top in my missionary stuff. Pretty good work, Elder Tenney. Thank you.
With President and Sister Klein - 04 July 2011
24 June 2011

03 July 2011

Afterwards, on Monday, there was a Manaus conference and everyone got to meet President and take pictures with him and whatnot. As it was Fourth of July, I brought my American Flag with me, and Elder Larsen from my group asked him if we could sing the National Anthem and I whipped out the flag real fast. It was quite hilarious, and Pres said "yes". So at the end we sang gloriously the Star Spangled Banner song and it was amazing.

Elder Tenney @ Indian Cemetery - 02 July 2011

Indian Cemetery - 02 July 2011

Elder Eca @ Indian Cemetery - 02 July 2011

Rotary in Brazil - 06 July 2011
Autographed? - 04 July 2011
On Tuesday, (yesterday), there was zone leader conference. A lot of changes are happening here in the mission. The one I think will affect you the most is that...


I hope you take note of the notice which I placed in the note this section that says...


Thank you. So, this is my last Wednesday email, but I´m back sending the next one off in a few days.

Visiting Elder Johnson (in yellow) 15 June 2011  

Goalie - 06 July 2011

P-Day Soccer - 06 July 2011
Elder Tenney's Feet after Soccer - 06 July 2011

We played soccer today and I was goalie for my team, again. I like it better. I´m getting pretty good at the whole dive for the ball and drop kick it low and far technique thing. It was sure fun. I will say this, though- I miss playing tennis so much!

Missionary Supplies - 01 July 2011

We are starting to get some quality references these days and we end up not having enough time in the day to go meet everyone. Elder Eça has a tendency to wander to the same places every day to do friendly visits, but I am starting to get to know the area better now and we get more done these days. Well, in all, I hope you are all having a most glorious day, and may your French toast be super tasty. Whoops, sorry.  FREEDOM toast.
Happy 21st B-Day, Elder Tenney (coming up on 15 July 2011!)

Love you all tons! I´ll start sending pix!
-Elder Tenney