Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014- week 12- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!

Helllloooooo Family!

Another week down here in Brazil! This past week, not much happened, but there were some cool events. On Saturday, the Ala (ward) had a End of the Year party/churrasca at the Recreation Center close by. It was really cool and a ton of people went! We also got some of our investigators to go, and they said they had a great time! The food was also definitely good! 

Anyways, work was same as usual. We contact people on the streets, and they're almost always really positive and they love to hear what we have to say. We have a lot of investigators! They all live in far and spread out areas, though, so we can't always go and visit them. Some times we'll have to walk 30 minutes to an hour to get to one place, and then walk another 45 minutes back to visit someone else. We're starting to focus a little more on the people closest to us haha.

As for my Portuguese, it is coming along well as usual. I am starting to participate a lot more in the lessons, because I can actually understand and say a lot more. There is still a lot that I need to learn- mainly vocab...vocab, vocab, vocab- but I can hold conversations easily. I kind of have an accent, but I'm working on that haha. It's not even that bad, a TON better than most of the American Elders here.

Also, transfers was this week. I am still here with Elder Holder, so that's a relief. We have a lot of Investigators who are almost ready to be baptized. Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks, and we shall see!

Well, there's my little report for the week. Till the next week, all. Thank you also, for all the emails!

Elder Collins

 A view from the main road in Paulistano

Some random cows in Paulistano

 Another road on the outskirt of Paulistano

The view of Sumaré from Paulistano

NOTE: Paulistano is a little neigborhood just outside of the city Sumaré, but it's still part of Sumaré.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014- week 11- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!


Another week down here in Brazil! It was a fast week, but a lot happened. I also included some more pictures for those who wish to know what my area is like down here.

This past week, we opened up a new favela called "Villa Soma". It's been around for 2-3 years, but that whole time, only Sister Missionaries have been here. I can't remmeber if I've told you or not, but we're the first Elders that Sumaré has had for several years. Anyways, Villa Soma is a dangerous area, so the Sisters weren't allowed to enter it. So, we made history! First missionaries ever to set foot in Villa Soma! We found a lot of investigators there, too! There's this one family that's super accepting, and their daughter wants to serve a mission! How cool is that? We've only been there two times, too! Haha, kind of funny- Villa Soma is ginormous, but you can't really tell from the picture because most of the favela is behind the hill- but the second time we went there, we got lost and couldn't find the address of the family. So, for two hours, we walked and walked and walked. We asked for directions, but no one knew anything. Ai, haha.

On Friday, we had interviews with President Canuto here at the chapel in Sumaré. The whole zone was there. Because we work here in Sumaré, we have the keys to the chapel, so we have to open and lock up every time there's an activity for missionaries. The interveiws with President Canuto lasted about 5 hours, so we had to stay in the chapel until he was done. Good thing there's a foosball table at the chapel!

Also, Elder Urquia left! He was having serious problems with his knees, so there was an emergency transfer. He's in Piracicaba right now, but Elder Chipana has a new companion- Elder Murray. He just got here to Brazil a couple of weeks ago, but he's been serving in the States for 14 months! He's pretty cool! Now, there's 3 Americans in our house, all against one Hispanic haha. Oh! Another cool thing: Elder Chipana and Elder Murray had their first baptism yesterday! As for Elder Holder and I, we're progressing.

We have a lot of cool investigators. There's this one family in Paulistano who the dad is really interested. He also really wantes to learn more English (he can already speak really well), so we gave part of our lesson in English. I also gave him my mini Book of Mormon that I got from Sister Miller in Seminary. Along with the gift, I told him about the promise that if he reads the entire Book of Mormon in English (along with his Portuguese one) two things would happen: first one, he would learn English and become fluent; and second, that he would receive a testimony of the divinity of the Book. I bore my testimony and we could all feel the Spirit. Just one of the many experiences on the mission.

Anyways, I hope all is well back home. All is well here, so no need to worry haha. Thank you all for the emails. Until the next week.

Elder Collins

 A view of the edge of our area

 Elder Chipana's new companion, Elder Murray

 A pathway to Villa Soma and Paulistano

 A river under a bridge on the way to Villa Soma

 Me on top of one of the huge anthills near Paulistano, with the Book of Mormon of course :)

 A bad picture, but one that holds the last memories of dear Elder Urquia

 A view of Villa Soma and the river

Pathway to Villa Soma

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014- week 10- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!

Hello Family!

Another week down from my mission! This week went by really fast. We had a lot of activities that we went to. Last Saturday, there was a Family History Activity in one of the nearby Wards outside of the main city of Sumaré. All of the missionaries from my zone were there, and we all handed out little notices throughout the week. At the activity, people learned how to do Family History and were introduced to the Family Search website. It was a really fun activity! Also, on Friday, my companion and I and the two other missionaries helped a member with his work. He's a construction worker, so we helped him to build his house. We also moved a ton of dirt using shovels. I got some blisters and my hands because I have never used shovels as much as I did that day. It was exhausting work, but we got fed lunch by him!

That reminds me, we actually get fed lunch everyday by the members here. Everyday, except P-Day, that is. But, they're almost always SO GOOD. The people here eat rice and beans with every meal here, doesn't matter what you're having haha. But they also eat a lot of meat, that they usually fry. Yesterday, we had a churrasca at one of the members' house. Like always, churrascas are the best.

This week, for work wise, we visited a lot of our investigators. Because we walk alot, I have a lot of blisters, and one pair of my shoes is already ruined. The other pair started to fall apart too, so I took out the sole from the broken shoe and added it to the shoes I'm wearing right now. It helped a lot, but it's still not comfortable to walk with blisters. Oh the life of a missionary in Brazil haha. Anyways, our investigators! Almost all of our pesquisadores (investigators) are really receptive. They all believe in God. I haven't met a single person here who doesn't. Also, almost everyone loves us and wants us in their houses. There are a few people who don't really like us. But I've only seen maybe two or three people total like that.
Only two more weeks left in the transfer!! I'm pretty sure I'm gonna stay here though. My Portuguese is going well. I'm reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese right now, and I'm starting to understand a lot. Theres a ton of vocab, but the basic format is easy to understand. Its funny, though, because its not a literal translation- so the wording is changed. For example, in the very beginning it talks about Lehi and seeing the burning bush and then he goes and falls on his bed with exhaustion, but the Portuguese translation says that he throws himself on his bed.
This week, I went and visited a lot of my pesquisadores (investigators). I wouldn't say its easy to get investigators, but everyone is always so happy to let us into their house. They always go and fetch us a glass of water. I don't know if you know, but theres a kind of drought here, so there's not very much water. People have to travel far to find a well and get water from there. Yes, I am beginning to understand better. I am reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese, so that is helping a lot with learning vocabulary.
Anyways, for this week, I only have one Picture, but at least its something! I'll try to take more this week. Thanks for all the e-mails! Until the next week.

Elder Collins

Just another day here in Sumaré

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014- week 9- Photos from Sumaré, Brazil!


Another week has pased! I've been starting to take lots of pictures, so this update will mostly contain pictures! Yay! So I will add descriptions to the pictures!

Anyways, I've been doing just fine over here in Brasil. Last week was kind of slow, but I'm constantly learning Portuguese every day. Till the next week. (Sorry for the short email, but next week I'll have more to say)

Elder Collins

 Elder Holder and I; my companion is a little too excited at times...haha

 On our way back from a little village outside of Sumaré

Our kitchen! 

Just outside of the kitchen 

My companion and the two others who live with us. Elder Holder on the left, Elder Chipana (this dude is hilarious) in the center, and Elder Urquia (who arrived in Piracicaba with me) on the right. 

A view of the favelas from Sumaré 


Me again! In front of our humble abode! (Just the gate on the right)