Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016- week 78- Happy Leap Year day from Capivari, Brazil!

Bom dia minha família tão linda!

So this past week was the transfers week which means it was a rushed week. Yes, I am still here in Capivari with Elder Harbison. We were with another Elder- Elder Schmitz up until Monday because his companion went home. He decided to stay with us because he already passed in this area and loves it. Also, he likes us too.

Yeah, I know! I think it's way crazy that I only have 5 months left! That means I have 4 transfers left (including this one). After this transfer, it'll be a transfer of 5 weeks, then two more of 6 weeks. Then I get back the 2nd of August! I feel like I'll leave after this transfer in Capivari and go to my last area for three transfers, but I'm not sure. I know President likes to transfer missionaries on their last transfer. But then again, President Canuto won't be here as he leaves one transfer before me. We found out who'll be our new Mission President a while ago. He's an American and his name is Howard K. Bangerter. That'll be a hard name for the missionaries here to pronounce haha.

We got a new District Leader whose name is Elder Villeda. He'll be going home after this transfer. We had District meeting on Wednesday with him and the other dupla. He'll be coming here tomorrow to do a division with Harbison. He's gonna do some baptismal interviews for some of our investigators. I feel like not this week, but the next that there might be another baptism or two in the Branch. We'll be working on that this week. We'll actually be going to this person's house tonight to have a Family Home Evening and make Cinnamon Rolls! That should be fun!

Well, that's about it for now. Also, I forgot to take pictures this week! Sorry! :( I'm always busy and forget to take pictures! I feel like it was a lot easier to take pictures in Poços de Caldas. I'll try and get some good shots for you guys next week.

Tenha uma ótima semana para todos vocês!

Com amor,
Elder Collins

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016- week 77- A great week in Capivari, Brazil!

Hello Everyone!

So, as you all know, this past week was the last week of the transfer and this week starts another. I will be staying another one here in Capivari, which I'm totally cool with. I thought I was going to be transferred because the past 4 missionaries who have passed in Capivari, were all American and only stayed 2 transfers. Well, at least I don't have to pack all my stuff. That's always such a hassle. haha
Anyways, we had two baptisms! There was one of a boy named Kaike and another of a woman named Maria. We had been working with Kaike for a couple of weeks along with his dad and grandpa. His grandpa is the branch president's councilor and was also privileged to baptize his grandson. Maria is the grandma of the branch president's wife. 

She had already been attending church for about a year along with her daughter and granddaughter. She was always very adamant about not baptizing into the church because she had already been baptized. We had gone to her house several times to eat lunch with her and her family and had gotten to know her, but never really talked to her about baptism. A little more than a week ago on Sunday, the branch president's wife came to us and told us, with an excited outlook, that her grandma wanted to be baptized. We confirmed this with Maria and she asked us when we were gonna go to her house. We went that day after church. 

We marked her for baptism last Saturday and taught her within a week. We were pretty curious as to why she decided to be baptized all of a sudden so we inquired. She told us that the first time she went to church she was experiencing a lot of pain in her foot. She told us that after one time of going to church, the pain drastically reduced till she didn't feel anything anymore and it's been that way since about a year ago. She decided that that was a sign from God and decided to continue attending church. 

A little bit ago, she was talking with her daughter about baptism and that night, she had a dream that she would be baptized, and so made the decision to be baptized. On Saturday night, we had the baptisms of Maria and Kaike. It was a spiritual time and Maria kept telling everyone how happy she was. So that was probably the best day of the week. Also, the day of the baptism is always such a stressful time until the baptism actually happens. Then it's super gratifying and calming. Such a happy feeling is felt everywhere.

I think it's awesome that John has officially decided to go on a mission. Although I am a little worried that I will not be seeing him for probably four years. But, however it ends, I am glad that his decision is to serve the Lord. There is no better thing to do than this. As he mentioned, if he serves in the States, I may be able to see him in the MTC. All depends on where he goes though. haha

Well, we have a wide variety of lunch lessons seeing as we have lunch with members of the church pretty much every day except for Mondays and Tuesdays. It also depends on the age of the audience. Usually with family members and kids, I like to leave more interactive messages and involve them. We use the Book of Mormon a lot. I also bought a Gospel Art book to be able to help with lessons and messages. 

Thank you everyone for the emails! 

I love you all!
Elder Collins

Elder Bandeira went home today.

So, we don't have a baptismal font at our chapel.

Kaike and his family.

Maria and her family.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016- week 76- Getting a tan?! in Capivari, Brazil!

Hey Family!

So, this week went by extremely fast and I am now tanner than ever (or at least my arms and face haha). It's getting pretty hot here cause there hasn't been rain in a while. 

So, this week we will have a baptism for two people! One is the little boy, and the other is one of the members' moms has finally decided that she wants to be baptized in the church. She's pretty old, but is really sweet. It was cool to be able to hear her story and why all of a sudden she wanted to join the church. I'll be sure to tell you guys next week after the baptism with photos. 

Also, about the photos- so like I'm forgetting a lot these days to take pictures. I promise I'll have some next week. Sorry :( 

We've been working a lot with the members and references that they've been giving. We visited this one dude last week who plays the drums really well and works with one of the members. Since Elder Harbison is a drum player and absolutely LOVES drums and music, the dude got along very well with us and especially Harbison. He said he really wants to visit our church one of these days, so we can totally work with him.

Also, this is the last week of this transfer. I'm not sure what'll happen with me, but there is a pattern with Capivari. Basically: Capivari is an all-American area and you only get two transfers here before getting transferred out. I really don't want to leave because Capivari is one of my favorite areas. Also, I love being comps with Harbison. We get along really well. I guess we'll all see next week with my email.

Have a great one all of you! I know Valentine's Day passed for you guys, so I hope it was enjoyable. Valentine's Day here isn't until June 12th, so I still gotta while haha.


Elder Collins

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 2016- week 75- Carnival and bacon in Brazil!

Hey Guys!

So this past week went by really fast! Also, I wasn't too sure that I was gonna be able to use the internet today. You see, Carnival is now the season here in Brazil! Everyone's partying and having a good time and there's not many places that are open here. We were afraid that we were gonna have to do P-Day on a different day. Not that that would've been a bad thing. Anyway, we were able to find this LAN house open. Not too bad prices.

Last week, we had our Zone meeting as the Piracicaba Zone. That same day, I came back to Capivari with our District Leader, Elder Schmitz, on Wednesday to do a division with him. This was his last area, so he had some people that he wanted to visit. We also visited some of my investigators. The day after, the other Elders were supposed to meet us here at Capivari, but they lost their bus, so we had to end the division kind of late.

On Friday, after a wonderful lunch with a member, I started having problems with my stomach. It was the first time in like 3 months that my gastritis had acted up. It's probably because I'm eating so much bacon. I finally found sliced bacon at a good price here and decided to buy it. It came in 1 kilo. So like 2,2 pounds of bacon! So good. But not healthy in the least.

So news about that little boy I mentioned last email. So, like I said, his dad a returning less-active. We've talked with the Branch President and the dad, and we're gonna help him so that he can be the one to baptize his son. Maybe towards the end of this month, the son'll be baptized. I think it's pretty cool.

Usually on P-Days (each Monday we have a 'Preparation' day), I use the internet for emails, then eat some sort of food for lunch (usually ''pastel'' which is a Brazilian food) then we go home, clean the house, and then sometimes we can watch a movie (like a Disney movie or cartoon) if we ask the mission President. Other times, I've written letters, or played games (like UNO, or War which is like Risk, and whatever the other companion has). It's our relaxed day until 18h when we go back to work. But, on Mondays it's usually like a Family Home Evening with a family. Those are always fun.

Okay, questions-
What has been your biggest challenge this week?
-I do believe the gastritis problems was a challenge for me.

What has been your biggest success this week?
-I think having 3 investigators was a big success.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
-The tender mercy was probably that my shower head was finally fixed so now I can have warm showers. haha

What are you looking forward to this coming week?
-Well, I mean I always look forward to church on Sunday, but I guess I'd have to say I'm looking forward to helping the dad and his son.

What scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
-2 Corinthians 5:6-7

Well, have a good week everyone!

Elder Collins

Zona Piracicaba!

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016- week 74- Brazilian hospitals, sick companion and more piano playing in Capivari, Brazil!

Hey everyone!

So this past week was not a super productive week. We had to stay home for a couple of days because my companion got sick with something. We don't exactly know what it was. That's one of the things that drives me crazy about Brazilian hospitals. You go there, wait like 4 hours to be attended, then they look at you, maybe poke you once or twice, then they'll prescribe a drug to you and send you off. It's actually ridiculous. haha Like you could literally be dying and people will die waiting to be attended. This is a real thing here. 

So, on Monday, we went and Elder Harbison got looked at and then given a shot and told to go home after waiting 20 minutes to see if he had a reaction with the shot. He actually got a little worse on Tuesday and had troubles getting out of bed, but he slowly got better with more rest. On Thursday, we finally went back to work, but taking it easy the whole while. 

There's nothing too new going on. On Friday, we had another Branch Family Home Evening activity, which it looks like they'll be having it every two weeks. I think it's a really good idea to help the Branch become closer and also to help the members introduce friends and family members to the church. We also met this one boy who is the son of a returning less-active member. The boy turned 9 years old recently and has shown a lot of interest in being baptized. We're gonna go there this week to talk with him and his dad about the possibility of a baptism this week or the next. We'll see what happens with that.

The best part of the week was probably Sunday when we had a lot of people at church and at our class. Usually we have like 1 person, but this past Sunday there were 5! That was cool! 

The funniest part of the week? It was, well, I don't really think it was funny, but just like last Sunday there was that little kid that came up and started playing piano with me. I was kind of annoyed because the mom wasn't doing anything so I wanted to like push him away, but I'm pretty sure everyone was watching me so I could only just hope the mom came soon to pick up the child. haha

Other than that, that was pretty much my week. Thanks for all the emails! Have a great week!

Elder Collins

P.S. Sorry I forgot to take pictures this week... :(

Multi-Zona Photo (from last week)