February 8, 2016 (week 17)

Hey everyone! So we are at a different land house (place that has computers) and this keyboard is awwwwful, so this will probably be short!

Transfers are next week, which means more than likely I will have a new companion and possibly be in a new area!

I was talking to the bishop here after lunch, and he offered me more Coke, I told him thank you but I’m good (already had a glasss) and then he says that I need to drink plenty of liquids. I told him I am and that I have plenty of water with me. Then he says I need to trade my water for Coke because Coke has more nutrients hahah. Then after he told me that the hotter it is on my mission, the more pretty my future wife will be. I said thats awesome, I’m going to be blessed haha.

Well, this week I heard a new variation of my name, “elder orange”.  Although it was from a four year old so I couldn’t help but laugh. I don’t know why people here can’t say Lawrence!

This week we’re going to focus on finding people. We aren’t teaching a whole lot of people right now and so we’re going to meet as many people as possible and hopefully find some people who are prepared to hear our message!

The person I want to tell you guys about this week is Mateus! He was baptized almost a year ago and is getting ready to serve a mission! It’s so awesome to see the change the gospel has had in his life and how excited he is to share his happiness with others! He’s fun and energetic and it’s always a good time when he comes to teach with us!

Well, I’m glad to be done typing haha.  You guys really have no idea how bad this keyboard is hahah.  The keys are literally taped with the letters written in sharpie and they don’t move. till next week!

Elder Lawrence 🙂

February 1, 2016 (week 16)

Hello everyone!

I’m literally always happy as I write these emails. I’m 99% sure that it’s because just before writing them I buy bananas. Today I got 12 for $0.50. I mean how can I not be in a great mood after that!

So this week I started craving cereal haha. I’m actually laughing as I type this because I never thought the day would come when I would crave cereal. They have cereal here, but only a few types (none of the same as the States) and it’s (relatively) expensive so we never buy it. Also the milk here isn’t good to drink, to be honest it tastes bad. But it is fine for recipes!

Earlier in the week a man told us we were going to go to prison for robbing people. I didn’t understand at the time because he used a different word for prison other than prisão, and so my companion had to explain it to me after. Basically he was saying that churches rob people of their money and that we’re going to go to prison because of this. Which is actually pretty funny and ironic because we don’t get paid to do missionary work, we pay to be here and “Mormons” don’t have a paid ministry like other churches, it’s all voluntary.

My companion knows where Fargo is!!! I died laughing when I found out because he doesn’t know much about the States and most States he doesn’t know their names, but he know Fargo, ND hahah. I guess theres a TV series that he watched based in Fargo.

So my mom asked about the people we are meeting/teaching here and so I thought it would be a good idea to write about one person every week! Someone we’re teaching, another missionary, a member of the church here, anyone! Sometimes I forget that you guys don’t know these people. So this week I want to tell you guys about Lucas! He’s about 16 or 17 years old and we’ve only taught him a few times because we can only teach once a week. To be honest, he is a little confused with religion, but he doesn’t really know it. He loves Jesus and reads the Bible a ton, but I think he is a little lost without Christ’s church. We are helping him to pray specifically to God to ask if what were teaching is true. I want so bad for him to be able to recognize his answer! I can just picture him being a missionary, he knows the Bible well and has a huge desire to follow Chirst.

Until next week!
Elder Lawrence 🙂

January 25, 2016 (week 15)

Training for the American Missionaries

Training for the American Missionaries

 

Golf Real (coin) made because of the Olympics in Rio.

Golf Real (coin) made because of the Olympics in Rio.

Hello everyone!

The beginning of this week was a little rough for me because I’ve been sick, but I feel good now! I find that I usually don’t apreciate my health until I get sick, but I’m definitely grateful for it now!

So this week we had a training thing with most of the missionaries here. One of the Brazillians offered me popcorn and I told him I was good cause before he said he was hungry and I didn’t want to eat the food he bought for himself. Then right after he said I was good another Brazillian said (in a high society voice) “He only eats high quality popcorn imported directly from America.” You kind of had to hear his voice but it was so funny. Brazillians definitely like to joke around.

We were on the bus and this song comes on (in English) and I don’t know the title but you guys all know it. One of the lines was “been around the world, dont speak the language” and I couldn’t help but laugh because thats how I feel a lot of the time here. But I’m definitely learning! I always look forward to the day when speaking isn’t a challenge.

Here it’s completely normal to share cups. One day this week we were talking with this woman in front of her house and my companion asked if we could have some water. She said yes, got us water (with only one cup) and after my companion drank she filled it up for me and said “Sorry I only brought one cup, I hope you don’t mind” and I said no worries its completely fine. Then, as I’m drinking, my companion says “It’s fine sister, we’re practically married!!” I almost spit the water out hahah, its funny cause its true. Im pretty sure we spend a lot more time together than most people that are married, cause were together 24/7!

Also this week I saw 5 people on a motorcyle…meant for 2 people… so there’s that haha.

The picture is from a part of the training that was just for Americans. It was nice to speak english, but a little hard, because we are so used to portuguese, even though a lot of us dont speak great yet. I miss English! The other picture is a real ($1 coin here) and it has golf stuff on it! (because of the Olympics in Rio in 2016. So I’m going to try to keep it as a keepsake!

Thats all for this week. I hope you guys are having fun doing whatever it is you’re doing. Enjoy the cold for me!

Elder Lawrence 🙂

January 18, 2016 (week 14)

Hey everyone!

Here kids are alllllllways flying kites, and when they don’t have a kite they find something else to fly. I’ve seen grocery bags, french bread bags, and even pieces of paper. They tie the string from whatever they are flying and wrap the other side around a bottle or can. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but they try to cut each others strings while they are flying them. So we always see kites falling from the sky because of this.

I don’t think a lot of people here have seen a white person, other than movies. Or at least don’t on a regular basis. I haven’t seen any other white people in my area. And so people always stare at me while we’re walking. It makes me feel weird but hopefully I get used to it. The kids often ask what time it is because they want to figure out where I am from from my accent. They assume I’m brazillian but are confused cause I’m white, and when I respond in far less than fluent Portuguese they are even more confused. So earlier this week these kids said to each other “He’s american” one of them said “liar”, then they asked me what time it was and I told them. Then like 15 minutes later we were walking by the same spot and they asked again what time it was and before I could respond my companion said “You guys want to know if he’s American, yes, he’s American, yes he speaks English.” Then they told me to speak English so I said “Will you guys come to church with with next sunday?” Almost in unison they said “huh” and so I told them to say yes and then after I told them what I said and we gave them a card thing to give to their parents and to come to church with them, but none of them came.

Saturday this guy was talking to us and then he started talking to me after he asked if I was a foreigner and I didn’t understand anything so I just kind of nodded my head. After we left I told my companion I didn’t understand anything he said to me and my companion said “He was trying to speak English” haha so that made me feel a little better at not understanding.

Spiritual thought for this week is James 2:16-17 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” A lot of people that we meet and teach say that they have great faith in Christ, but they don’t do anything because of it. If our faith is solely a belief, and doesn’t provoke action, it’s dead and essencially useless. Our faith should make us want to be a little better, work a little harder, love a little greater, in short, to be a little more like Christ. A living faith, a faith that drives our actions, is something that completely changes us. I love that I have the opportunity to see this faith in others and try to help them increase that faith through living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope everyone has a good week!
Elder Lawrence 🙂