Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015- week 60- First P-day in new area- Piracicaba, Brazil!

Hey Family!

So, as you all know, I was transferred to Piracicaba 8 to be comps with Elder Rodrigues. He's super chill. I have a feeling that this transfer will be awesome haha. Anyways, I always wanted to serve here in Piracicaba, but now that I'm here I realized it's a whole lot different than I imagined haha. 

The accent here is really strong haha. I don't know if I already told you, but the accent here is a lot like a hill billy accent. It's kinda funny. Also, there is almost nothing in our area. The closest grocery store is about 40 minutes away, all the mini stores are SUPER expensive, the LAN house is almost an hour away, we live 30 minutes from our area, and so on. 

But we have lots of investigators who are going to church and preparing to be baptized. Like, a lot. Let's see what we can do here in the next couple of weeks. I'm still excited to be here. Also, guess who are the other Elders in our ward? A Brasilian named Elder Gomez and...Elder Holder!!! I still can't believe it. This is his last transfer on the mission and I'm going to see him die. He saw me when I was born and I'll see him when he dies. 

We have lunch with the other Elders everyday at the members' houses, but we don't live with them. Actually, we live with 4 other missionaries who go to a different ward. So basically, there is a house in front, and then going to the back, there's a different house- that would be my house. I'm sorry if that doesn't make sense, I'm confused too.

We also had interviews with the President on Wednesday. President Canuto said dad talked with him? I dunno, anyways it was really cool to talk with President again. 

Well, that's about all that happened this week. Thanks for all the emails and PACKAGES TOO!!! I finally got them. Also, shoutout to the Streeter Family! Thank you so much for the package! I loved it! Especially the tie!

Have a great week y'all!

Elder Collins


Reunion with the peeps at the bus station in Piracicaba.

Elder Francato and Elder Pereira.

Goodbye comp.

This guy is too much.

So that was my face on the bus leaving Poços de Caldas...I was sad.


What a lovely present! Thanks Streeter family!

I love this tie!

That's Piracicaba!

This is also Piracicaba.

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015- week 59- Received transfer to Piracicaba, Brazil!

Hey family!

Well, Transfers have come through and I am now going to Piracicaba! Also, my neck hurts- sunburn. Well, it's been a great three transfers here in Poços de Caldas. I will definitely miss this place, and the people, and the sights. This will definitely be a city I will return to after the mish. Anyways, it's time for me to leave, and I've always wanted to go to Piracicaba. My comp will be another Brasilian! YES. His name is Elder Rodriguez. I've already met him at multizonas, but I'm pretty excited. 

So, good news. We had another baptism this week! His name is Natanael. This is the guy that we met a week and a half ago. It was a really neat experience. My companion Elder Pereira baptized him. After he was baptized, we asked him his feelings and he commented: "Now, I feel like I'm a part of a family that I never had".

We had originally planned for the baptism to be on Sunday, but there was an activity for the Elders Quorum where we hiked to a waterfall here in Poços. It was awesome, but unfortunately I did not bring my camera. Also, it got up to 40 degrees celsius. Whatever that is in Fahrenheit. But it was hot and my whole neck, face, and arms were burnt to a plump red. It hurts to move my neck. Oh well. 

Anyways, when we got back from the hike, we all had a churrasco. Pretty delish. Natanael was there too and one of the members asked us why the baptism wasn't going to be then and there. We thought about it, asked Natanael, then we baptized him right there. On Sunday, I confirmed him a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

I guess I'll end my email here. There isn't much to say. I'm pretty excited for this upcoming transfer! Thank you all for the emails. Talk to you next week!

Elder Collins


What's he looking at?
That's a giant head.

Paleta Mexicanas are delish.

This dude.

Natanael right next to a red hot chili pepper...(that's me)

5 Baptisms in Poços!

Esses gatos esperando para LAN house abrir.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October 13, 2015- week 58- Children's Day holiday was yesterday in Brazil!

Hey fam bam!

What!? Seriously?! That's so awesome that Peter or I guess Elder McCollaum is serving in the Caserta ward haha. I would have never guessed that he would go there. But sweet! I think that would be so weird for me since it wouldn't feel like he's a missionary serving in my ward there, just a friend at church with a plaque.

Anyways, this past week for me was pretty good. On Tuesday, we had multizona at a city called São Carlos. It's about three hours away from Poços so we left early in the morning again. I really do not like waking up at 3 o'clock in the morning, but it was definitely worth it to go to the multizona. It was my favorite of all of them so far. Really spiritual. Also, a lot of things that we're doing in the mission are changing. We are now changing our mentality to quality instead of quantity. The amount of lessons are going down, but the amount of people we are contacting is going up. I think I already told you that. 

Also, unfortunately, there wasn't enough space in the car of President for packages, so I'll have to wait until next week when transfers happen. I'm so anxious to get my packages!!! AGGHH
So, there might be another baptism this Sunday. This is the last week of the transfer btw. It was really cool how we found him. On Friday, we were walking in a plaza when he called us over. He said he had gone to the church up in Brasilia (the capital of Brasil) and liked it a lot. He said he was passing through some difficulties. We said he could go to church with us on Sunday, so we took down his number to call him. On Saturday, while we were doing contacts in this one park, we found him again. We decided to take advantage of this opportunity and we taught him the Restoration. He liked it a lot and we also invited him to be baptized. He accepted! 

On Sunday, he came to church with us. Here comes the cool part. When we arrived at church, he was immediately greeted by two members who both hugged him. These members had gotten to know him on Friday when they climbed up to the Cristo here. This guy happened to be there too. The members invited him to climb up with them, so he accepted. One of the members became really good friends with him and even wanted to share a little of the gospel with him, but he didn't because of fear. That night, the member prayed for him. The next day, we found him. Oh, the power of prayer. We've already taught him two times and he is definitely ready to be baptized and follow Christ. He said he's been looking for the right path for many years, but couldn't find it. He said he finally found it. How great it is to be a missionary.

Also, sorry for not emailing you guys yesterday; P-Day was moved to today because of the holiday yesterday (Children's day). Literally nothing was open yesterday so I was okay with that. Anyway, we had our last District meeting of the transfer. Two Sisters will be going home next week, so we had a party after the meeting. I have some photos attached of the week.

Thank you all for the emails.

Love y'all!
Elder Collins


The best district ever with our cool t-shirts.

Sister Menezes!

American sisters!

Is it someone's birthday?

Well, I got a present for my b-day.

Just some of the Elders from my group.

Elder Carter is gonna go home!

Elder Sanchez is so ugly.

Even my father is going home!

Elder Tarver, from my first district going home too...

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015- week 57- P-day in Poços de Caldas, Brazil!

Hello Family and Friends!

So, this email is going to be short this week because not much happened. On Monday, I left with my companion Elder Pereira to São João and stayed there overnight. On Tuesday, there was the Leadership conference of the mission that, for the first time ever, was done via Skype. It was quite interesting. We talked about a lot of things that we need to change in the mission. Over the next couple of months, the form of work will be changing. Instead of lots of lessons and average number of contacts, we will be doing crazy amounts of contacts with a low number of the best lessons we can teach. Quite interesting indeed. Anyways, later that day, I did a split with Elder Stone! Woohoo for reuniting past companions! 

On Wednesday, we had a Zone meeting over in São João. After the meeting, all the guys went and ate at Burger King for lunch. There was this weird special burger for Halloween which will be happening over where you guys live in about a month. I miss eating lots of candy...When we got back Wednesday night, we had a meeting with our Ward mission leader. 

All day Thursday I was busy doing baptismal interviews for 4 Sisters. Friday was probably my only day to work. We knocked doors and taught some lessons. Nothing heavy. Saturday and Sunday were both GENERAL CONFERENCE!! YEAH!! I loved it! I've been able to watch General Conference on the mission three times now! And, it's crazy to think that I only have one more General Conference left on the mission...Welp! Some of my favorite talks included Robert D. Hales, James B. Martino, Jeffery R. Holland, and Devin G. Durrant. Of course I loved hearing every one of the inspired men and women who talked, but these ones really stood out to me. Gotta love Robert D. Hales plainness on what we need to do and Jeffery R. Holland's heartfelt testimony on the divine and sacred calling of mothers. I love you mom! :)

This upcoming Tuesday (tomorrow) we will be going to a city called São Carlos for a Multizona with the President! It's gonna be awesome! Also, they will have mail there. I haven't gotten any packages or letters for a while, so I'm sure that tomorrow I will have some. At least I hope haha. 

Also, for the past 3 days, we haven't had any water in our house. Someone forgot to pay the bill back in March of this year! Having to take showers with a bucket of water from the neighbors isn't too much fun. I don't know if I told you too, but a couple of weeks they cut the electricity too. I think I prefer without electricity. *sigh* oh the wonderful experiences of the mission haha. #noregrets All those who will be going out on missions- you'll love these times haha. 

Well, thank you all for the emails! I wish all of you "uma semana belíssima"
Tchau para todos!

Com amor,
Elder Collins


Remember this dude?

That's a big hot dog... 

This dude is with me now.

Elder Carter is dying! 2 weeks left!

Part of the Zone.

Burger King Lunch!

Either that burger is burnt or it's one of those weird Halloween buns.