Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015- week 21- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!

Hey, It's me again!!

Well, this week was definitely a changer from the past few weeks. We taught SO MANY LESSONS. It was crazy. I didn't even realize what we could do. Needless to say, this week was exhausting. Good thing today is P-Day, and I can relax.  We brought this family with three kids to church yesterday and I think they want to get baptized. We're going to their house later this week to say hi. 

Well, last week on Thursday, we had another Multi-zona. You guys probably don't remember, but my second week in the field, we had one. And, now I had my second one! It was great! Also, it was probably my third time wearing my suit coat out in the field. Haha, we don't ever wear our suits because it's just too darn hot to ever wear even just the regular white shirt and tie. I had to brush off some dust with the roller before putting it on. 

At the Multi-zona, Presidente Canuto came and talked to us all, along with all the secretaries, treasurers, and assistants. Oh, and can't forget- the lovely Sister Canuto. During the last part of the conference, we got to see part of the "Meet the Mormons" film, in Portuguese of course. But, I really liked it, and encourage all those who want to know a little bit more about "the Mormons" to watch it. I especially liked the last part that talks about missionaries and follows this one guy as he puts in his papers, gets the call, then goes to Africa! 

Overall, this week flew by so fast. Elder Chipana had his birthday on Tuesday, so we had a little celebration. Yesterday, I was frying some french fries, and I dropped one of the fries. The burning oil splattered up and covered my right middle finger. It kind of hurt. Still kind of hurts. A lot. Don't worry, I did everything I needed to, but I remember just staring at my finger for a couple seconds and thinking- dang it...Anyways, I'm sure it'll heal soon. That's it for this week and I look forward to the next!

Love always,

Elder Collins

PICTURE (sorry, I only was able to take one this week haha)

Arnson, Maxwell, and I reunited again at the Multi-zona!

P.S.  Also, while I have eaten most of the food you guys sent me, I have not eaten ALL of it. I still have one more box of mac and cheese and some candy canes. I wish I could get some more swedish fish, sour patch kids, and gummy lifesavers. I guess American food in general is what I miss. I miss the fast food places. 

P.P.S.  One thing that I don't miss at all from being gone is homework. Here, we don't have any homework!! Yipee!! haha But there are a lot of things I do miss. I miss music a lot. The kind I listened too at least. Also, using the internet and playing minecraft. I wish I could use facebook! haha Anyways, yeah, I miss Sunday naps too...

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015- week 20- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!

Heya Fam!

Well, this week sure was hot! I also got sick again! But it was worse this time! I got a fever that went up to 102.4 degrees Fahrenheit!! O loco man. Good thing I still had some left over drugs, so I took those and then after taking a long nap, my fever slowly declined until it went away. We still had an important lesson to go to, so I left the house with a 99. This family was actually contacted a couple years back and the missionaries set a date to return, but they never went back. Elder Holder was talking to me and he was like "If we don't go tonight, they're gonna think we're just like the others who never went!" I was convinced, so went and taught them. It was good though! 

Also, this week, I went on ANOTHER division!! What?? Why did I never go on a division the last two transfers?? Haha, but it was actually really cool! I went back to Villa Flora, but this time I was with Elder Mayorga, who is the District Leader's companion. He's been out for 7 months now (two more transfers than I) and is from Bolivia! He's super cool! We worked really hard, but he did his best to help incorporate me into everything. It was awesome! We went tracting, and knocked on doors in the extreme heat, but almost everyone let us in! Also, something I don't know if you guys know. Here in Brasil, you don't actually knock. The houses here are different- they all have gates in front and they'res no way you can knock. So! Here in Brazil, we clap. Yup. It's just like a door bell...haha. If its someone we know, we'll clap then yell their name out. It's just the way it is here haha. Anyways, Elder Mayorga and I did a lot of work, but we were also able to get to know each other better and he's a good friend. It was the day after that division that I got a fever, though.

So, the work here is progressing. It is a little discouraging at times to see the other areas around us in our zone have success and then most of our plans fall. But, I know the Lord is with us, and it is in His time and not ours. That one investigator that I gave the English Book of Mormon went on vacation and then just recently got back, but he's been busy with work and we haven't been able to contact him very much. Also, yes, we walk A LOT. And thank you so so so so much for those shoes. Those were a life saver. We walk through sand, dirt, concrete, mud, water, grass, and ALL KINDS of terrain. So these shoes are perfect! I'm sure they will last for a long time.

Well, that's it for this week! Thank you all for the emails! I appreciated them all! Until the next week!

Elder Collins


Another view of our area- Jardim Eldorado

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015- week 19- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!


Well, this week was transfers week, but as you all know, I'm still here in Sumaré!! Our zone is called Siãomaré haha (Sião means Zion)!! Elder Murray was transferred to another area and is now a zone leader!! But, Elder Chipana has now a new companion- Elder Firmino from Recife! His accent is so thick, I can hardly understand him sometimes haha. Anyways, I also received mail!!! And I finally got your guys' card and Package!!! YEAH!! Thank you so much! It was greatly appreciated!! I especially loved the cereal and Mac and Cheese!! I miss American food, so getting this was really nice. Thank you so much! I'm not sure how long it took to get here, but I just got it on Tuesday during the Transfers.

Also, this week I finally went on a division! We're supposed to be doing it at least once per transfer, but yeah... I went on a division with Elder Nixon, who is our zone leader. He's been on his mission for a year and 6 months now, I think. He's American, but during the whole division, we only really spoke Portuguese, so that was cool. He taught me some things and was able to help me improve my Portuguese. I stayed the night over at his place (his area is Villa Flora, which there Chapel is huge!! about the size of the stake center in Florida if not bigger) and then came back to the center of Sumaré the next day in the morning.

So, you asked about my schedule. Every day, we wake up at 6:30 and then take a shower/exercise/eat breakfast(sometimes) and then at 8:00, we start Personal Study, Estudo Pessoal. Usually, I'll read the Book of Mormon in Portuguese, then study Preach My Gospel, and I also like to mark good Scriptures in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I probably mark more things in the Bible than the Book of Mormon though, because that's what everyone here uses, so its good to have things marked down to use during lessons that people will accept more easily. Also during Estudo Pessoal, I'll sometimes read some of the books here from the Missionary library or church manuals, all in Portuguese of course. ;) At 9:00, we have companionship study where we'll start out by singing a hymn, then reading from the Missionary Manual. What we study usually varies, but we do a lot of practice lessons and study Preach My Gospel. We'll leave the house around 10 to start our day, have lunch at a member's house around noon, then continue on till 8:30, when we return home. As soon as we get home, we plan for the next day, and then after that we get ready for bed. No, there aren't any siestas here. The only time we can take naps are during P-Day, which I gladly do. haha

That's so cool hearing about Erin getting called to Paris, France!! She's gonna love it! The language will be hard at first, but then it'll just come. My companion, Elder Holder studied French in high school, and he thought he was gonna go there. Haha, but his mom just recently sent him a French Book of Mormon, and he's trying to learn French again.

Anyways, it was good to hear from all of you again. Until the next week. 

Love you all,
Elder Collins

PS  Sometimes I wish I would've brought some of my sheet music, because there's a piano here and I can play on it. I guess I'm stuck with hymns!

PPS  My favorite foods...hmm...I really like the churrascas that they have here. It's basically a barbeque, but they just smash meat with salt then slap it on the grill. Really, really good. 


Elder Firmino, Elder Chipana's new companion

Elder Murray before leaving


Walking around in the sun a lot hurts my face

Dang it, it poured again

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015- week 18- P-day in Sumaré, Brazil!

Hey Familia!

Espero que todos vocês tenham um ano muito feliz! This past week was kind of slow. You remember last week when I told you I was feeling sick? Well it actually started a while back with a really bad pain in my jaw and ear. I felt terrible, but got better. Then last Sunday, after eating lunch at a member's house, I felt really sick. We went home and stayed in for the rest of the day. It was like that on Monday too. We still went out and did our P-Day, then went to see some of our investigators. We weren't able to contact any of them, so we went home. I remembered that I brought a thermometer from home before I came out here, so I used it. I had a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit! The next day, we went to UPA (Unidade de Pronto Atendimento) which has such an ironic name, because it is actually NOT quick attendance. We were there waiting for about an hour and then I was told to go get some drugs. We went and got them and I took them. These days I was sick, I mainly stayed in bed and slept. I cannot believe how much I sweat the last day! That is the most I have EVER sweat from sleeping. It wasn't because it was hot or anything (or maybe it was a little) but man, the fever left me!

Anyways, my New Years was pretty normal. There was literally no one outside the following day, so it was hard to work. We were able to visit a less-active, but that's pretty much it. There was a lot of fireworks at midnight though! It was a lot like Italy, just not as many. But, leading up to New Years, starting before Christmas, there's been fireworks going off all the time. It was just the climax that was at midnight. There's still been some straggler fireworks here and there haha. 

On January 3rd, I turned 4 months old on the mission!! Yeah! It's kind of weird to think that I'm already 1/6 of the way through my mission. Holy Cow! Also, transfers are tomorrow, but I'm staying here. I am also staying with the same companion- Elder Holder. The only missionary moving from our house is Elder Murray. He's been here for a transfer and two weeks, and he's going to be a Zone leader in one of the areas far south west. I can't remember where exactly, but I know his companion Elder D. Silva who was our Zone leader here for a transfer. He's a pretty funny guy, but a really hard worker. Well, another transfer here! 

Well, thank you all for the emails, letters, and packages that are on their way! I think we might get mail on Wednesday, since people will be going to Piracicaba tomorrow and there's a zone meeting on Wednesday. Until the next week!

Elder Collins


Elder Chipana is sad because Elder Murray is leaving.

We had a churrasca with the Bishop and some of the members!

Us waiting for the fireworks!

You can barely see anything, but some of the fireworks.

Elder Holder and I waiting out another rain storm.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

December 29, 2014- week 17- We had a great Skype call from Elder Collins in Brazil on Christmas day!

Oi minha família!

Well, first off- It was great seeing and talking with you all! It was kind of weird afterwards, because it didn't feel like our Skype talk was real. The strangest feeling. I know I didn't say everything I wanted to say, due to time and power outages...but it was awesome to see all of you! I hope you guys have an awesome New Years! I have a feeling there's gonna be a lot of fireworks here in Brazil.

Anyways, this week was kind of slow. All of our investigators (well, most of them) went on vacation and left Sumaré. We weren't able to talk to too many people, but we did get some lessons in. Also, it rained the hardest its rained here in a long, long time!! It was on the news too! There was a lot of flooding all around the São Paulo area. Here in Sumaré, the streets were flooded, and the rain kept coming down and down. It was after finishing a lesson, it started raining really hard, so our investigator gave us their umbrella to use, and that was really nice of them. So, Elder Holder and I had to huddle under this tiny little umbrella with the pouring rain, and reduced visibility. Our house was about 25 minutes away, and by the time we were half way there, the rain fell down even HARDER. The streets started turning into rivers, and so we had to stick to the higher ground. Then, we got to a point where we had to jump to get to the other side. We looked for the spot with the least amount of water and then jumped. Well, it was quite the surprise when we landed in a foot of water. We ran out as fast as we could to the high ground, but it was too late for our shoes and pants. Totally soaked. Because we were only half way there, and we were already completely soaked, we decided to ford through the street rivers to get to our house in the fastest time possible. Holy cow. Never have I been so soaked. A lot of the things in my back were drenched and I had no idea what to do. Haha. That was fun.

You guys already know that we went to Irmão Eduardo Pedroso's house for Christmas. He's the ward mission leader, super chill, he knows how to speak some English, and he's just plain hilarious. You'd have to meet him. But, we had some difficulties with setting up Skype, plus the power outages...haha

So, yup those were the highlights of this week. Yesterday, I got pretty sick and I'm still feeling pretty bad today, but hopefully I'll get better within the week. Until next week!

Elder Collins

P.S. Hey! I was just wondering if you guys would be so kind as to send me some recipes for Picadillo and Macarones com Bacon!! I've been wanting to ask you guys, but I keep forgetting when P-Day comes around. But, now I've remembered! Thanks!! Love you lots.


Elder Holder and I outside of Eduardo's house on Christmas

It's hard to see because it's night, but the street is flooded

Another view of the flood

Elder Holder, Murray, and I on the Vespa de Natal (Christmas Eve)

Elder Holder and I after the fording through rivers

*EXTRA* pictures that we added

A Christmas card send to all parents of missionaries serving in the Brazil Piracicaba mission from the Mission President and his wife

Elder Matthew Taylor Collins on the Skype call- Christmas day 2014

Huddled around the computer talking with Matthew via Skype

Matthew with his companion Elder Holder

Matthew talking with his grandparents- Jerry and Maggie Beebe

This was a photo we saw posted by the ward mission leader after his Skype call- the caption read:  
"Elder Matthew Collins after talking with your family on Christmas day. Poor little kkkkkkk"