Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015- week 34- P-day in Monte Mor, Brazil!

Hello Family!

Well, this week went by ''mais ou menos''. Still, all the weeks of my mission go by so fast. On Tuesday, I did a division with an Elder named Elder Guerrero (Elder ''Warrior'' translated in Portuguese haha). He is from Mexico, and actually got here the same time as me. He was in a Spanish district in the CTM, but I saw him all the time. It was cool to catch up. Also, as usual, we did a lot of walking. We didn't do so much work with the members, but this week we're going to teach a lot of people with members. I don't know if this was a thing back when Dad was serving a mission, but lessons with members is a lot more effective for teaching. 

Anyways, the members here are pretty cool. There's a lot more youth here who are preparing to go on missions than in Sumaré, so that's really cool. One is waiting for his call, another one is preparing his papers right now, and one more that will send in her papers in a couple months. All the Elders here are super excited for them, inculding me!

Haha, yes I finally get to play the piano. This will defenitely help me to get better. I'm surprised, however, on how much I can play. Like when I left for the mission, there were maybe 5 or 6 songs I could play. But, here, without any practice except for a little 5 minute warm up before Sacrament meeting, I can play most all the songs. And there's like almost 200 in the hymn book. What is this? Haha, but it's cool to be the ward pianist. 

Also, Dad, that's absolutely wonderful to hear that you met a Brasilian woman from parent conferences, let alone from SUMARÉ!!! THATS SO AWESOME!!! You have no idea how happy that made me feel. Thats so awesome! Tell her I said hi!! I miss Sumaré a lot. So many memories. But, now I'm here in Monte Mor!! 

Anyways, not much happened this week. But, this next week is the last week of the transfer! This transfer is only 5 weeks! But, I have a strong feeling that I will stay here. In fact, President actually sent out a notice for the whole mission, that he'd like to keep missionaries in one area for about 6 months at a time. This way, the missionary will be able to work more effectively, as he will know the area well and have a connection with the members. So, I guess I'll only have 4 areas my whole mission. haha We'll see how that goes. 

Thank you all for the emails! Talk to you next week! (also, only 2 more weeks till Mother's Day- totes excited to talk to the fam)

Elder Collins


Another American! It's Schmitz! (his birthday's today btw)

This dude is Brasilian! Bastante de Elder Basante. kkkk

Yup, this is the Interior.

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015- week 33- P-day in Monte Mor, Brazil!

Hey family!

Woo. Another week gone by like that. Not much super special happened this week, but nonetheless, it passed by pretty fast. We had a multizona on Thursday, so that was really cool. I got to see all of my last zone and district, including my besties from the CTM. President gave a really good trainging on "Palavra e Poder"- Word and Power. It inspired me, and his finishing touch was a snippet of one of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talks. It left the Spirit really strong. 

Also! This Sunday I had to play piano for Sacrament meeting. They don't have anyone who plays piano, so I guess I'm the Ward's pianist now. Oh well haha.

Well, I don't have much time left, so I'll do the question thing.

1. What has been your biggest challenge this week?
Well, I'd say the 50 minute walks we have to do everyday to get to the center from our house.

2. What has been your biggest concern?
One of our investigators has a problem with smoking, and sometimes he feels like he can't stop. We're working really hard with him to quit.

3. What has been your biggest success?
Feeling the spirit in a lot of our lessons. 

4. Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
Well I'm gonna go ahead and call out my fav boys of the mission: Elder Arnson, Elder King, and Elder Maxwell. Why? Because I only get to see them once every 3 months now. And I love them haha.

5. What has been your most significant tender mercy?
Hmm, I think that it would probably be that I am learning humility more and more.

6. What are you looking forward to this coming week?
Well, because my companion is the District Leader, he's gonna be doing some divisions with the other Elders, and that means I get to go out with the other Elders too!

7. Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
Use the spirit more in the lessons, and find lots of new families to teach!

8. Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
Galatians 2:8-9

Thanks for all the emails guys! I'd love to get letters too! From anyone and anywhere! LOVE YOU ALL! Talk soon.

Elder Collins

4 Elders from District 36A at the CTM.

Swaggin it out in Hortolandia Zone.

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015- week 32- P-day in Monte Mor, Brazil!

Hey Family!

Two weeks down here in Monte Mor! Last week was a bit slower than usual, but the end was a little more interesting. I almost caught Dengue! You can read more about what that is exactly on the internet, but basically it is this disease spread by mosquitoes that leaves you super weak and incapable of doing anything.

On Wednesday, towards the end of the day I was having trouble walking up with my companions and I was really tired. On Thursday, I had trouble moving my body and had a headache so my comps took me to the hospital. Haha, they were worried that I caught dengue, because Brazil's pretty much having a Dengue epidemic over here (or at least in the São Paulo area). I had to wait 6 hours, then they attended to me and I took the exam. The results were that I had the starting symptoms and so maybe I had it. They told me to rest one day, then come back and retake the exam in 2. So, Friday I rested, then by Saturday, I was already feeling better and I kept telling my companions that I didn't have it. We went and I retook the exam Saturday morning. The results came back that I was normal and NOT with Dengue. That was a relief, but I knew I didn't have Dengue.

Anyways, that was pretty much half of my week right there. On Tuesday, we had a District meeting here in Monte Mor and in my district, there are two missionaries who arrived in the mission the same time. Elder Denike from Argentina and Elder Guerrero from Mexico. It's been 6 months since I've seen them! It was good to see them again.

Being a companion to the District Leader is pretty interesting. Also having to speak in Portuguese with my companion, because that's the only way we can communicate, is different. But, my Portuguese has already improved a lot haha. I'm starting to be able to talk faster and faster. It seems that I don't have to put as much effort into speaking the language. Meaning, I don't have to think in English and then translate into Portuguese. The only thing that gets me sometimes is my limited vocabulary. I mean, I know thousands of words, but in English, I know a LOT more. So, sometimes describing things can make me sound like a little kid. Eh, its not even that bad as I make it sound.

I can't wait to speak for you guys soon! Anyways, we've also been able to teach a lot of receptive people and mark baptisms too! I'm pretty excited.

Well, there's the update for the week! Thank you all for the emails and letters! They are always appreciated! Until the next week!

Love you all!

Elder Collins


Missionary in Brasil!

New District!

What is this place.

This abandoned factory.

On our way to lunch.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April 6, 2015- week 31- Received transfer to Monte Mor, Brazil!- LOTS OF PHOTOS!!!

Tudo bem familia?

SO! RESULTS- duh duh DUHHHH- I was transferred! Finally! After 6 months in Sumaré, I was transferred to Monte Mor! It's actually not even that far from Sumaré haha, but it is a different Zone- Zona Hortolandia! Haha, Elder Holder is actually is in this zone too so I got to see him again. My new companion is Elder Aguirres. He's from Buenos Aires, Argentina and he's been on his mission for about 9 months now. He's the District Leader for my district. Also, just for a little, I am also companions with Elder Augusto. He's from São Paulo here in Brazil and only has 6 months left on his mission! Yes! Finally I have companions who are not American! Now I have to speak Portuguese haha. Hopefully this will help me. I feel like my Portuguese is pretty good, so onto improvement and perfection. Gotta show off for you guys the end of this month when I talk to you haha.

Anyways, Monte Mor is actually not the name of my area. My area is Guanabara A. It's that because the chapel is in the neighborhood Guanabara (which is in Monte Mor). Also, my area is huge!! Everything is so far apart from everything. It's crazy. From where we live, it takes like an hour to walk to the center, where the chapel is. And to go to another neighborhood, its at least a 40 minute walk. I have a feeling I'm gonna be spending a lot on the cost of bus travel. Oh well. I think we get a bonus here in Monte Mor because everything is so spread apart. I'll have to talk to President. Also, because my companion is the district leader, I'll have to catch some more buses to do divisions. Elder Aguirres is pretty cool. He's really funny, especially when he tries to speak English. I'll make sure to teach him well.

Yes! General Conference! Well, this conference was a little different for me, mainly because I watched it all Portuguese! Yup, all in a different language. It was hard to keep focus sometimes, because I still have to concentrate to understand everything, but I was able to do it! I think my favorite talk was by Elder M. Russell Ballard during the Priesthood conference. Haha, also it was nice to hear that one Brazilian speak during the conference. Also, how about President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and his German? haha The translator for Portuguese laughed too! I loved all of the talks and I'm gonna download them all so I can listen to them at our house.

Also, this week I have attache LOTS of photos. Well, more than usual at least. Enjoy all! Thank you so much for the emails sent. Also I finally got your guys' package! Thank you! I've already eaten all the candy and I will definitely be using the food packets. You have no idea how happy I was to see the Ranch dressing packet. SO STOKED!! They don't have that kind of stuff over here. Anyways, till next week! Love you all!

Elder Collins


Elder Aguirres: My new companion!

Me and Elder Aguirres: So much green...

Elder Augusto: my other companion (for a little time)

Fountain: AGUA!!!

Monte Mor: So beautiful

Monte Mor: Much green

Monte Mor: That map though

Monte River: That's a river alright

Monte trio: A Brazilian, a Hispanic, and a MURICAN

Transfers: Two buddies from my past zone

Zona Hortolandia: Wait, do I know anyone here?

FOTOS from Elder Maxwell

Family Night. The guy with the baby is Pedrão, member of the stake presidency, and his wife.

Lennon, the cool member.

Lennon and Maria, his wife.

Tamara, on the far left, Adrea, and Andrielli. And Elder Collins and myself. 

Me and Elder Collins last foto.... as comps haha sad.