Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 22, 2014- week 16- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!

Feliz Natal Familia!

As the end of the year and Christmas has been rolling closer, things have started to get a little harder over here (work wise). People are leaving for their summer break to their families all around Brazil, so we didn't have as much teaching to do as usual. Everyone has just entered their Summer Break about a week ago, and it's getting really hot!

So, this week we had a Christmas mulit-zona conference up in Piracicaba! We went up there on Tuesday and it was actually really fun! Apparently there was a ''Secret Santa'' thing, but neither me nor my companion knew that, so we weren't allowed to participate. :( Haha, oh well. It was still a really good discourse that President Canuto gave. Also, I got the shoes!!!! I started wearing them the next day, and they are so awesome! Thank you so much! The shoes are really good, and I have a feeling that they'll last for a while. Also, up at the conference, I got to meet up with a lot of other American missionaries, and its always really good to talk to others from back home. I got to talk to Elder Arnson and Elder Maxwell, who are both from my CTM district. Elder Arnson actually is in my zone, and I see him every Tuesday at the chapel, but it was cool to talk to Elder Maxwell. Also, since we got here, there's only been other American group come here who weren't visa waiters. Elder Akina is in my district, and he actually has a blog too! If you want to know more about what its like over here, you can check his out!

There was recently an emergency transfer, because one of my zone leaders is going home- Elder Costa! And also one of my district leaders this Saturday. Elder Costa is super cool, and we've been in the same zone for two transfers now. We always played foosball together, and now I'm pretty good because of him haha. Attached is a picture of him. Apparently, there's going to be a lot of changes going on within the next couple of weeks, with where people are going. We're also getting an American zone leader! Yeah!

Well, since it's Christmas time, I'd just like to bear a small testimony, but I'd also like to do it in Portuguese!

Para esse Natal, lembram que Ele, Jesus Cristo é o presente. Por causa Dele, nos temos um esperança que ninguem pode tirar de nos. Eu sei que Ele vive. Sei que Ele sofreu por nossos pecados e desafios para que possamos ser limpos e voltar a presença de nosso Pai Celestial. Ele deixou o exemplo perfeito para todos nos a seguir. Fazendo isso, nos ajudará com qualquer coisa em nossas vidas. Eu amo essa igreja e sei que é verdadeira. Eu sei que o Evangelho abençoa as famílias e nos ajuda para entender nosso proposito aqui na Terra. Sei que esse evangelho foi restaurado por meio do profeta Joseph Smith. Eu testifico que essa igreja é a mesmo igreja que foi estabelecido por Jesus Cristo, que é restaurado, e que Ele guia-lo por meio de um profeta vivo- Thomas S. Monson. Eu tenho um testemunho forte sobre essas coisas e estou muito grato por esse oportunidade que tenho para estar aqui no Brazil. Eu espero que todos possam ter um Natal muito feliz!

Love from your son and brother,

Elder Matthew Collins


Elder Costa goes home today!!

Elder Maxwell and Elder Arnson, who were in my CTM District!

Just another morning here in BRAZILLLLL!!

Our last full zone picture

Another view of our zone!

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014- week 15- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!

Hey Family!

Well, another week down! It was a little bit slower than the previous one, but still a good one! It was super rainy this week. It's rained pretty much every day for the past 6 days. About a month ago, we had a stake fast (all the Wards in the Sumaré stake, maybe other Stakes too) for it to rain, because it had been years since it had rained for a week straight, and it wasn't doing any good. Since then, it started to rain every now and then, and then last week it came down hard. That was really cool to see; fasting really does work. 

Also, I finally got a haircut! The cabeleireiro (barber) was interesting haha. He was kind of old, and had been cutting hair for 50 some years. He was talking about how he was still learning! Haha, but he spent about 30 minutes on me, making sure everything was even. I hadn't cut my hair since I left the CTM, so it was a lot of hair. You probably saw all those pictures and were thinking- What in the world is he doing with all that hair! Haha, we just didn't have anytime to get it cut, and then we always forgot on P-Days. But, here I am now!

On Thursday, we went to the main plaza in the centro of Sumaré and sung Christmas songs for the "Noite da Amizade" which is a weekly Ward activity. We usually meet at the chapel and have a special message, a brincadeira (game), and then a lanche (snack). But, for last week, and this week too I think, we are caroling. We also set up a little table with gifts for everyone who passed by. Haha, there was also this crazy dog who had been roaming the city. Elder Holder and I started petting him, and he got so excited because no one really did anything like that for him. He starting jump around in joy, and then tried biting our ties. Then, he ran over to this one woman with a dress, and then pulled on it, dragging her with him. The bishop ran after them and then wacked the dog to get it off of her. It was pretty funny.

Well, there's that little update. Hope all is going well back home! That's super awesome to know that the shoes are here! Tomorrow, we have a multizona conference up in Piracicaba. We'll all be going up there, so I'll be able to pick up some mail! I don't know if they are gonna send down any more mail before Christmas, but I hoping they do something like that. I get to Skype on Christmas Day, and it will be at a member's house. I'm not for sure who its going to be, as of right now, but I'll tell you guys more next week. Also, thanks for the Christmas package! I am super excited to get it! I don't know if it will get here before Christmas, but I know I'll get it sometime, and anytime is a good time for me.

Thanks for all the emails again, and until next week, and CHRISTMAS!!! I love you all!

Elder Collins


My hair cut, and also a little break from walking

The other side from that picture of my hair cut

 This one sign we found that talked about a killer on the loose in that area! What you can't see is the scratched out part of "de gatos". A CAT MURDERER! Still kind of scary haha.

 Us leaving our house to use the internet!

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014- week 14- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!

Oi Familia!

This week went by really fast too. I seems like I just sent off an email to you guys yesterday haha. Also, we didn't do much when you add it all up- so, I guess this will mainly be a picture letter.

Anyways, so the big things that happened this week were that we finally got our planners! We had to go almost two weeks without new planners! That was hard. We started using every free space in the planners, but we had to go somedays without using the planner, rather we had to use lined paper haha. But luckily, we got new planners on Wednesday during our Zone meeting! It definitely is nice to be able to use new planners.

Also, I can't remember if I told you last week or not, but our washing machine is broken. We have to wash and dry our clothes by hand. Holy Cow, that is a reminder for me of how blessed I was to have a washer and dryer back at home! Anyways, we had a technician come and look at the washer to find out the problem, and he said that the wires had all been chewed! BY A RAT!!! We had seen a rat a couple times, and we even found some poop on Elder Murray's clothes that were in the washer. So, we got some rat poison from a member here and laid it all over the ground by our door. The next morning, with all the poison gone, we found the rat- dead! Cha-ching! Too bad we saw some of its babies the other day...The technician said he'll be coming sometime this week to fix the washer.

This week, we also went to the other Elders' area- Portal Bordão. We helped them out by doing contacts for a couple hours. It was a district activity. It was really fun, and I'm actually kind of jealous because there were so many interested people over there! Almost everyone we talked to wanted us to go to their house! There were even a couple who wanted us to bring them to church! Oh well. Anyways, still a cool experience going to someone else's area.

As for the shoe problem, they are completely out of use. I am now renting some shoes from Elder Murray for a modest price haha, so that way I'll have something to wear.  It doesn't really look that bad, but trust me- you can't wear them without them falling apart as you walk. I anxiously await for the new shoes you got for me! They look pretty cool!

Well, thanks for all the emails this week, until the next week!


Elder Collins


 Portal Bordão!!

 Elder Holder and part of the house (for some reason he can never make anything less than a devil face haha)

 Epic mission pic: A super cool shot of our district (minus me...)

 A selfie with Elder Murray #missionswag

 The rat we killed! 

 The rat we killed! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014- week 13- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!

Minha Familia!

     This week has been great! We found a lot more investigators, and we also have some baptisms marked! My companion and I have also been able to work together a lot better. Also, as usual, my Portuguese is progressing.

     So! Like I said the other week, Tuesday was transfer day. Almost everyone left from our disrtict except my house (Elder Holder, Chipana, and Murray) and one other guy. We got two more Americans straight from the CTM! They're not in our area, but we saw them at church and at the District meeting. Also, our District leader changed. It is now an American. His name is Elder Sanchez, and he's been here for a little more than a year now. It was cool to see the new guys, because that is probably how I looked to the other people in my District. One of them knows a decent amount of Portuguese, but the other one needs a little work. With time, I'm sure they will both be amazing. I hope I can be amazing one day...haha.

     We were able to find one pesquisadora this week who is really interested in the church. We were able to go there 4 times this week! She wants to know everything she can learn from us. Its going really well. She wasn't able to go to church, though, because she got sick at the last minute. She was able to send her three kids though. We will see how well we can progress with her. Also, we found another family who seem pretty interested in what we do. They also want to know more about our church. We've already gone there three or four times too. We actually found them by mistake, because we were looking for a person with the same name, but they accepted us with eagerness. They always invite us in their house when they see us.

     Well, thats about all the cool stuff that happened this week. We did a ton of walking, as usual. The heel on my left foot is literally falling off the shoe, but its still connected. I've already put three soles in there to give me the support that I can get. The original sole, the sole from my slip one, and Elder Holder's gel sole. Hopefully, it'll last me a little bit longer. 

     Sorry about there not being much this week, but here are two pictures and just a little update on me.  Anyways, thanks again for all the emails, I love you guys! Till the next week.

Elder Collins

P.S. Portugal sounds like it was fun! The Portuguese you heard in Portugal, however, is not the same as Brazil. Haha, still cool that you got to hear Portuguese though!

A picture of our district here in Sumaré with President Canuto. This picture was taken in October I think.

A sunset in the area of Paulistano. Shows the center of Sumaré.