Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brazilian Thanksgiving

I am super excited to write all of you this week! I hope your week has been wonderful! I just took a 90 minute nap so I am still a little out of it, but I will try to do my best.
As you all know, last week was Thanksgiving so my companion and I tried to do it American Style. We were having Zone interviews with the President that day so two of the districts were going to be in our chapel already. To prepare for this grand feast we got carrots, corn, beans, potatoes, gravy and stuffing (thanks Mom), chicken (because turkey is super expensive and takes forever to cook), and Elder Bybee, Elder Duffy and I made a pie. I was in charge of the crust and I have to say it turned out quite nicely. I learned how to cut butter into flour which was fun. They were in charge of the filling. After it was all put together, Elder Duffy and I decided to paint the top with egg yolk and milk to make it look all fancy. When it was done, Elder Duffy tried to take it out of the oven with his hand. I don’t know if the skin flavoring was really needed :). Sister Tanner, the president´s wife, sad she wasn’t worried about us eating well after that.
One day this week, I was pretty sure we were in for a second flood. There was literally a river in front of our house that we had to wade across in our garbage bag ponchos. I was swimming in my leather shoes! In the morning all the trash on the street had moved down stream and ended up in front of our house.
A family that we have been working with for almost two months now was just baptized. It was a wonderful experience. Every time we had talked about how the mom was feeling about baptism, she would always reply ´´I don’t know´´ so we decided to proceed as if she going to be baptized on that Sunday. The last time we asked her how she was feeling, she said ´´At peace.´´ The baptism itself is definitely note worthy. When we were prepping the font we realized that we did not have the baptismal clothes because the other ward had just used them. So we had to use the white clothes from the house and leftovers from the other Elders´ ward. The mother ended up in one two times to big and blew up like a puffer fish in the water. My pants, on the other hand, were from a Brazilian Elder who is about 5´6´´ and 150. Needless to say they were a little tight. To the point that the ladies of the ward thought I was gonna rip them. After we exited the font it was even worse. Fun times! The gospel has really changed this family for the better and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it. We are still trying to help the father keep the Sabbath so that he might be baptized, but he has work that is very hard to leave. He has such a strong desire to be baptized that I know it will work out.
We have one investigator we are preparing to be baptized this Sunday whose English teacher is a member of our ward. She always has really in depth and deep questions that are at times difficult to answer. What has been a true testimony builder for me is that every question she has had, one of just studied within the last two weeks. She had one question about agency that I had struggled with for a long time that I had literally resolved a couple days earlier. I feel as if a hand is guiding my study so that I study what will help others the most. I had another instance of this last Sunday when the teacher asked me if I knew where a scripture was. I had never studied that scripture before in my entire life until that weekend and was able to help him just when we needed it.
This week I have been studying the Christ like Attributes and I was especially touched about the importance of hope. We always need to be hoping for a better world, always believing that people can improve. When we have the expectation that when we do our part we will receive, we will receive. When we have hope, we have confidence and faith in what we are doing. Doubt and fear are traitors that stop us from achieving what we could if only we believed that we could. Always believe that things can change for the good, work to realize that good, and then it will happen. What we want is what we receive. I love you all so much and you are in my prayers. I hope that you “hope” this week and for the rest of your lives.
Come on really,
Elder Healy

More Pictures!:)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Que Cool

Bom Dia!
Como voce esta hoje? Voce esta animado! Perfeito! Yes, it is Elder Healy writing all you beautiful people once again to give you a peek into my exciting life as a missionary! Ok, well my life as a missionary. This last week was a little slow and a little discouraging, but we have high hopes for this next one.
So some funny things happened this week. Some background, when we teach the restoration we talk about how the primitive church of Jesus Christ was founded on three pillars: 1 prophet, 12 apostles, and authority. We also talk about a pillar of light in the Joseph Smith story.
We asked an investigator to recount this week what happened to Joseph Smith when he prayed, and she thought that he found one of the pillars in the grass, but what we had really said was that he kneeled in the grass... anyways it was really funny in the moment.
One of my days was a pretty clutsy day. When we asked for a cup of water, I spilled all down my front and Elder Bybee and the investigator were on the verge of laughing. Another time, a bee landed on my face and I did a 360 spin dodge move, but it was in the middle of the street and my companion was doing a contact so I looked like an idiot. We walked by a man who was painting his truck with white paint. Elder Bybee asked if he would paint me, lol. The guy said, ´´No no, he’s too white already.´´ I can´t say he is wrong.
Another funny thing is that little kids always ask us what time it is because they want to hear us butcher the language. We just show them our watches. Take that! Just kidding!
I learned this week that Bible comes from the word library because it is a compilation of multiple books.
I read that for everything we suffer in the service we will be repaid 100 fold. We don’t have fabric softener so I am expecting some pretty soft robes later on. :)
I learned that a leader is internal and that the title is only the recognition of what is already there.
I learned that every situation has something to learn from.
Love you guys.
Come on really,
Elder Healy

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let the Rain Fall Down

Derp Derpity Derp,
It is really strange to be sitting in an internet cafe in a foreign country expressing your feelings while people around you are playing Farmville and looking at YouTube soccer reels. It’s that whole in the world, but not of the world thing going on right now.
Anyways... this week was pretty wet as my title is hinting at. Literally we had to walk up several streets of where our appointment was to find a spot to ford the river. It was pretty ridiculous. One day after I took off my leather shoes I realized that the black socks and black leather had lost some coloring and had dyed my feet black. I scrubbed in the shower that night for quite a while to no avail. They are still a little tinted even today. I also realized that having only one or two pairs of pants that are machine washable means that I only have one or two pairs to wear when it rains. The problem lies in the fact that the rain here is pretty scattered and come quite unexpectedly so I don’t know when to bring an umbrella and the proper pants or not. For example, we were walking down the road and everyone was just sitting calmly outside their houses enjoying a beautiful day. Then terror spread like a flood across their faces preshadowing what was to come. Everyone ran from the street as if from the plague, everyone except us. We just turned to look at each other and the only thought that crossed my mind was ´´What the Heck?´´ And then it began. It was as if the heavens themselves had opened and we were looking forward to emersion without an ark for safety. By the time we had gotten our umbrellas open we were soaked and laughing. And within five minutes it had stopped. Good times.
It is really interesting to see how some people are so prepared to accept the message and others are so resistant. We just met this one man this week who set up an appointment from just a street contact. When we invited him to be baptized he accepted and said he will prepare himself. What an elect! Even when we explained to him the Word of Wisdom he did not seem to be put off even though there were empty beer cans on the counter. :) We taught another person the same day who when invited to be baptized could not understand why he needed to be baptized again even though we explained it to him several times. The contrast was night and day.
Some exciting news is that two missionaries from my district in Provo just arrived to the field. DRUM ROLL PLEASE! Elder Duffy and Elder Hielner! Yeah! AND, they are in my zone! I am so excited for next meeting to find out what I missed and what is going on with them. I can´t wait to swap stories about our experiences so far. They are both going to be leaders, I am sure of it. I’m so excited!
Some of you have been asking me if you are allowed to send me pictures via email. I have not read or heard anything to the contrary so feel free! Also, my siblings are allowed to send me emails and I am going to ask about more extended family. So I am expecting an email Nate! Also, the secretaries called me and said that I had a package sent to the Sao Paulo MTC and it would cost me $76 to retrieve. The problem is I am a missionary so do not have much spending money, and I do not live in Sao Paulo. In the future please try to send it to the Mission Home for the Campinas Brazil Mission and also please see my previous letters to learn how to prevent charges and theft of packages. Thanks!
One person in our house was transferred this week and he was really sad, so we bought him a dessert pizza. I found out that this means just pizza dough, chocolate, cheese, and crème. The problem was that I had just eaten dinner two hours before and after eating the pizza I felt quite ill. But he felt better! What I sacrifice for my fellow Elders, lol.
I hope you guys have a truly marvelous week and try to improve every day. If you ever have any questions that I can answer, just let me know. Until we meet again. d-(O.O)z
Come on really,
Elder Healy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Count your many Blessings

How you doing?

I hope you all have had a wonderful week and learned something new. I know I have. I just wanted to let you guys know that I always pray for you and am so appreciative of the letters, packages, and emails I receive from you. There really is nothing like hearing about what is going on with you guys or getting some sour patch kids. It just feels great.

I really enjoyed writing my last how to guide so I think I am going to try and write them as much as I can.

Elder Healy´s Guide to Contacting (Disclaimer: I am pretty bad at contacting so take my advice with a grain of salt :P)

1. Call to them from about 3-4 meters away so that you don’t stiff arm them when you go for a hand shake.

2. Offer your hand to function as an anchor and have your companion move into wall formation. This makes escape near impossible.]

3. Ask them how their day is going. This breaks the ice.

4. Introduce yourself, ask for their name to make it more personal and not a verbal assault, and ask if they have spoken with missionaries before.

5. If they respond yes, see if they have been visited before.

6. If yes to line 5, ask if we can visit them again. React accordingly to response.

7. If no to line 5, ask if we can share a message with them. React accordingly to response.

8. If no to line 4, explain that we are here to share a very special message. Our message is about:

1. Jesus Christ (Default)
2. The love our Heavenly Father has for us (if they seem discouraged)
3. Families can live together forever (if they have kids with them)
4. The true church (if they are adamant about all Churches are equal)

9. If they say they have their religion, explain that our message is independent of religion and is going to bless them.

10. Get their address and promise to visit in the future.

*These guides are just my personal guidelines that I use unless otherwise directed by the Spirit. They are not to be taken out of context.

Also, in case you are wondering what my diet is going to be every day.
1 liter milk
2 eggs
2 pieces of whole wheat bread
2 bananas
1 apple
1 kiwi
1 carrot
1 Popsicle
1 cup of yogurt
1 cup of juice
3 spoons of protein powder
1 multi vitamin
Lots of water
1 treat
1 bowl of oatmeal

This week was stellar and jammed full of spiritual experiences. It solidified for me where I need to improve and why I need to be here. We worked really hard and taught a lot of lessons and helped a lot of people. I am improving in my teaching skills tremendously and have started reading Preach My Gospel out loud in Portuguese to improve my accent and learn new words while reviewing important topics. This week, we have been challenged to have 100% obedience which I realize we haven’t been doing. Sometimes we have gone to bed at 10:40 instead of 10:30 and started study at 8:05 instead of 8:00 and we have been disobedient by doing so. I have just rationalized, ´´What’s ten minutes going to do?´´ and besides the fact that you will feel the spirit less, 10 mins/ day x ~720 days on the mission is 120 hours. That’s a whole week if you sleep less than 7 hours per day. In other words, a lot of time. I am striving to obey with exactness every rule to try and improve even faster. Sorry for the math...

One experience I had this week that was special for me happenened on Sunday. We were going to eat at a member’s house, but she didn´t know we were coming so we agreed to return in about 90 minutes for lunch to give her time to prepare. We were in the church van dropping off investigators and members at their respective houses and we just decided to randomly get off in a neighborhood we had never worked in and work our way back to the member´s house by contacting (see about ^.^) Within a couple of minutes of getting out of the van, a random guy biked over to us and asked if we would visit him! We said we would be delighted to and started making our way to his house. Apparently missionaries had talked to him before and he was really interested to hear our message. When we got to his house, the roof had sprung a leak so his whole floor was covered with water. He quickly squigeed a path for us and we sat down on his slightly damp bed. As we began the lesson, he asked if we were Americans and we said we were. He then started talking to us in English! He had apparently studied English for several years and was pretty dang good at it. We taught the lesson in on and off Portuguese and English and I was able to bear my testimony in English. It was so good feeling. We had a second lesson where he said he had only read a little, but what he meant was that he had read what he had marked for them and other random parts of the book too. He is now preparing for baptism and will go to Church for his first time on Sunday.

Something interesting I have noticed is that my companion often gives thanks for this moment in prayers, and I have been thinking about this quite a bit. ´´Thank you for this moment´´ is such a beautiful phrase. We need to give thanks for the time we have, for our joys and our pains, for the opportunity to learn and grow. I remember hearing once that each moment is a choice. We can continue with what we were doing before or do any of a million different things. We don’t have to continue doing things that don’t bring us happiness or that aren’t for our benefit; we can choose to change right now. I remember a riddle that I used to love to say when I was younger. ´´What is always coming, but never gets here?´´ ... Tomorrow. This riddles implications are far more reaching than when originally looked at. Tomorrow never arrives, so the day to change is today. We need to always seek to improve. So this week try and give thanks for this moment and remember that every moment is a choice.

Come on really,
Elder Healy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The German

Ladies and Gentleman,

I would like to apologize for my sad excuse for a letter last week. The internet went down and we were a little rushed. This week I will try to do better. But before I dive into the minute details of my life I would first just like to give a general lay out of my day, and a fun how to guide.

Elder Healy´s Normal Schedule:
5:50 Hit Snooze Button
5:55 Try to roll out of bed and then realize we made bunk beds last week. Find shoes.
6:00 Run to gym
6:05 Workout
7:00 Stop workout
7:05 Run home
7:10 Make a protein shake and drink it, eat some eggs, and make a fruit shake and put it in the freezer.
7:15 Do pushups and reaffirm that the ARMY is not for you. Try to use the bathroom. Someone is taking a shower.
7:20 Complain that our roommates take too long of showers
7:30 Personal grooming and change into missionary clothes. Use white tie for study because its zip-up.
8:00 Pray and begin study of the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel.
9:00 Break while we wait for Zone Conference Call. Retrieve fruit shake and pour a bowl of cereal. Consume previously mentioned items.
9:10 Attempt to hear the Companionship of the Day sing and pray.
9:15 Discuss what we have learned from our personal study and read the Missionary Manual.
9:20 Read and discuss the topic of the week.
10:00 Practice a lesson and give feedback. This usually results in self frustration followed by progress :)
11:00 Language study/pack food for later snacking/review plans
12:00 Eat Lunch
1:00 Share Message
1:30 Head to Bus Stop
2:00 Arrive at destination and go to appointments, contact as prompted, teach lessons, and essentially try our best to spread the gospel to the people of our Area.
5:30 Snack break. Often involves the purchase of pastries.
9:00 Realize that we are supposed to be home and rush to finish contacts for the day.
9:15 arrive home and begin planning.
9:45 Change to normal clothes, relax, make un-funny missionary jokes, and try to clean up the house again. There are A LOT of dirty Tupperware and we just got leftover furniture from another house that is covered in dust.
10:15 Brush teeth, scrub face, and try to write in journal.
10:30 Pray, talk, and go to bed.

Repeat 700 more times :)

I just wanted to write about something that I have devoted some thought too. My friend Rachel said that she thought I was going to gain about 20 lbs on my mission do to how well the members feed us and my own lack of self control when it comes to sweets. So I decided to write this guide on how to eat lunch in a reasonable time, and not overstuff yourself.

You should never eat a large breakfast before going to lunch. You will just feel sick and they worked really hard to cook for you. You should eat early in the morning so that you have an appetite when you go to lunch.
Right before going inside, however, take a swig of your water bottle to prevent thirst during the meal.

Game Plan:
Explain to the member at the beginning that you have a commitment and so can’t stay all day.
Offer to help with preparation to provide assistance and get people to the table faster.
Cordially ask if there will be dessert. You can better plan this way.
When plating, make a thin bed of rice rather than clumping it. This makes it appear as if you have more.
Your first plate should be small. More small plates are better than one big one because it looks as if you have eaten more.
Get lots of salad. It’s healthy and it makes you and the members feel good.
Spend a lot of time cutting meat. This shows that you are interested in getting every morsel.
Don’t ever let your plate get empty. This will automatically prompt a ´´Eat more´´ comment.
Talk and learn about the member. This is more enjoyable, you eat less, and everyone feels the spirit better.
Fill your glass with soda. Drink slowly to half way. Don’t drink anymore until end of meal.
Scrape plate clean when you see everyone else has finished.
Try a little of everything. It is all good, and shows that you care.
Remind them that you have a timeline.
Use your discretion about dessert.

That´s all I got. I just thought it was interesting to think about because I really don’t want to change from a wrestler to the sumo variety :)

So what do you do on your P-days?
This P-Day we just played soccer with some kids from the ward and I learned that I have very little hand-foot coordination. But, I am pretty good at goalie which is good. Last P-Day we ate ribs with the wards awesome first counselor and watched the R.M. (Return Missionary) I feel as if this is meant to be an instructional video about the do´s and don’ts of a missionary´s homecoming. It was pretty funny. On P-Day we also buy our groceries, sleep, clean, and read. Super exciting I know.

Do you ever cook yourself?
I boil eggs, I fry eggs, I scramble eggs, I make toast, I make shakes, I make chocolate milk, I make cereal, I make ramen, I watch Elder Iverson make chicken stew. So yeah, I am pretty much a master chef.

What do you miss most from the U.S.?
You guys mainly. I miss you guys a lot. And candy and pie. But this Brazilian food is really good so I am too torn up about that.

Do you get to go to the temple in your mission?
Yes, but only if I am in one of the three zones near the temple. They get to go once every three months.

What's your favorite food/meal in Brazil?
I really like the Brazilian sausage they have here. It’s spicy and wonderful. I also really like the tarts they have here. And I like the barbeques they have here. I also like the rice. I like a lot of things.

Did you get the cards we sent?
Yes, thank you soo much! I love hearing from you, and I am going to try and write more hand written letters. You guys are great.

How was your week?
Wonderful. We taught a lot of lessons contacted a bunch of people and are currently preparing about six people for baptism which is great. I feel so much better now that I am finally getting a handle on the language and people understand me. We did a split this week in which we I worked with a Brazilian missionary and I complimented me and said how I had improved from the first time I had given my testimony. I felt so good when he did that. One funny thing that happened during the split is that I was called ´´German´´ like a bazillion times. I guess it’s because of the blond hair and blue eyes. Also, we have had to cut a couple investigators because they were being a little snakey. (A ´´Snake´´ is a female you tries to tempt a missionary to do wrong). After being called German, people call me pretty I think because of my blues eyes. It’s really kind of awkward. We just met with some of our investigators that we are preparing for marriage, and they were so happy when we met with them. Their change and progress was so apparent it is hard to describe. It was really a testament to me of how the gospel blesses life. I am going to sign out now. Good week and good luck.

Come on really,
Elder Healy