Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Summiting the Mountain

Dear People,

Today was wonderful. We woke up at 4:55 AM and then re-woke up at 5:20 to prep for a hike to a giant statue called ´´Cristo o Redentor.´´ I packed two sandwiches of banana, peanut butter (thanks guys), and honey and filled up a jug of milk with a litre of water. I of course had to bring my new aviators that I bought for 15 reais ($9). We left the house at 6 and my companion decided to do the whole journey in flip-flops. It was over 20 kilometers round trip. And it was worth every step of the way! It was cool when we left and we saw the sun come up and we got a little irrated due to all the switch backs and trails to no where, but once we reached the top it was amazing. We were able to climb inside the statue and look out the top of his head! I am going with a 100 feet tall. The problem was that you had to go up a jank metal ladder and it was pitch black. I tried going up but then a bat flew by my ear and I almost wet myself so I quickly returned. My comp then went slowly with his eyes closed. I saw 10 bats fly by during his ascent. Once the coast was clear, I just sprinted up there and arrived sweaty and breathing hard. But once I arrived, the view was breath taking. I could see for miles around and just felt happy. We almost got stopped by police on the way back who were looking for looking for some bandits. I guess I looked to American to match the description. I hope you guys like the pictures.

We have been really struggling to have lasting progressing investigators. We always find tons of new people every week to teach, but something always happens. One man we were teaching said he recieved an answer about the Book of Mormon and then later said that it distorted the teachings of Christ. It amazes me how easily people are influenced by the opinions of others. Another understood that they needed to be baptized again, but later stopped because their family is catholic and they did not want to feel alone. This is not to say we are without success. We have several peopl progress for baptism and I hope see the fruits in the next two weeks.

As always, the mission is just hilarious for me. We were teaching a couple whose son has problems with drugs and their grandson ran into the street. The grandpa yelled, ´´Come back here!´´ The boy, who has an eye patch to help with his cross-eyedness yelled back ´´Your Potatoe!´´

Another day, we were walking and a bird flew out of a bush and I jumped back about 5 feet yelling ´´Freaking freakers´´ much to my companions amusement.

We were visiting an investigator, but he had 24 litres of beer between him and his friend. We decided that another day would probably be better to visit him. We are going to re-teach the Word of Wisdom.

I had the privilege of being called to a leadership meeting where we talked about how we can improve our prayers and our teaching to investigators´needs. At the end, President Tanner announced that he will only be able to serve for two years as mandated by the first presidency as a result of health problems. As he told the news, I cried for the second time in the field (the first being with Elder Bybbe when I lost a bunch of letters from home) He will only be here for 4 more months, but I will support the new Preisdent the best I can. I hope you guys have a great week and always do your best even when you dont want to.

Come on really,
Elder Healy



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Carnival

Dear People,

I am writing to inform you that we are trying our best to best our best this side of the hemisphere. We had a great week this last week with every single one of our numbers in every category, from finding to teaching improved. We almost led the mission in a couple! That isn't to say a week of hard wasn't a week of fun too.

In Brazil, they have a 5 day party called Carnival where pretty much every sinful is done. One day, some kids through soap bubbles on us while we were walking. Thankfully there were alcohol based ;) so they evaporated without too much damage done. Another day, we were stopped a couple of times and asked if we wanted go do worldly things. We ended the contact there and ran off. We are really good at handling situations.

We were walking with some investigators from church and one of them was a 13 year-old in high heels. Our area is really hilly so it ended up being really funny. One time she tripped and was about to face plant when she grabbed a pull and almost did a twirling 360. She walked bare foot after that.

We did a division with the Zone Leaders on Monday I think to see how I work in the area. I saw a cell phone on the street and stopped an old lady walking if it was hers. She said it was. Immediately after, my temporary comp informed me that I had helped a grandmother break a commandment because that definitely wasn't hers. She was on a walk with two little kids. Why would she leave a cell phone under a tree? My bad...

I am really tired. Last night, two other Elders slept at our house. One of them talked to me in English about how he did not like his companion and about how he thinks people don't like him. I felt bad, so I tried to counsel him. His companion wanted to play me in checkers, but I said only if we played with normal rules (their rules are strange here). I won and he got really mad and just complained about how American rules are dumb. He then played with my companion until almost midnight which really upset me. That coupled with soccer today really just thrashed me so today I am rocking the double bags under the eyes. Oh well. I hope you guys have a great week. Sorry this was a bit rushed.

Come on really,
Elder Healy

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Slaying the Dragon

How goes it fine people of the world?

My kind sister told me that I am now retarded at Engrish (<--) because I keep writing words incorrectly. I will try not to do that so much this time. So this last week has been interesting to say the least. The first day we went out contacting we asked a girl if her parents were home because we wanted to share a message with them about Jesus Christ. The mother came out with a knife. We didn't go back :) As I said before, the people of this area are quite Catholic which means we have to really focus on the baptism of Christ so that they understand why it is important. We have been working really hard and have been trying to talk to everyone. And we have been having some really amazing results. We marked nine baptisms in just the last two days! We are always rushing around and are doing the best we can. We are teaching first lessons like crazy and this has really been the focus of my studies so that I can teach it more effectively! My companion and I are getting along great and see eye to eye on pretty much everything. We are really working as a team and trying to help one another improve. One problem we have been having is marked appointments fall through. Yesterday our whole night was filled with people to visit at specific times and no one ended up being able to hear. I have heard a wide variety of advice, but I have some ideas of my own I want to try out. My companion is a little funny. He has been trying to earn English for quite some time now and his other companions have taught him phrases like ´´Pimp Slap!´´ so I have been trying to help learn ones he can actually use. My favorite so far is ´´You sir, are a party animal´´ in a British accent of course. If you don't have a little fun on the mission you go a little crazy... He once tried to use the bathroom on a dirt road. I dragged him to a bar to use one instead. But he is a great guy and I love him and am learning tons from him. A phrase me and my companions have started using a lot is ´´Slay the Dragon´´ which means if all your plans fall, do missionary stuff until you have to go home like knock doors, talk to hobos, or see if there is anew pizza place near buy :) I am just joking about the first one! Love you guys and wish you the best. Here are some pics. Come on really, Elder Healy


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fresh Start

I am super hungry guys. We just had transfers so I am in a new area and have not had time to buy food. The problem is that the last time I had a real meal was Monday night and it is now Wednesday afternoon!

Transfers were announced on Monday afternoon and one of the families from the ward wanted to throw a going away family night party. So we went to their house at 7 O´Clock and pretty much ate barbeque and a kind of pudding cake until 9 whcih was wonderful. I felt stuffed. They then asked me to give the message so I shared a scripture in D&C that talks about how our relationships in this life will continue. I love that ward so much and almost cried when I was saying goodbye. The ward was always supportive and always tried to help us. I am so glad for the opportunity I had to work there. On Monday night after the family dropped us off at our house I needed to pack my bags. Elder Link and Elder Corbitt stayed up with me and we just talked while I packed. Once I finished I only had a couple of hours to sleep before I had to catch a bus to the main mission bus terminal to meet up with my new companion. I burned the bread I was cooking so no breakfast. At the bus terminal I just had time to get some of these cheese bread puffs they have here.

After talking for a while with Elder Duffy (who is still waiting a response to his letter Morgan Rebecca Healy...) and Elder Hielner, my two best friends from the MTC, they announced the new companionships, areas, and positions. I was shocked to find out that I was called to be senior with an Elder from Bahia who has one year and nine months on the mission and has already been in the area for 6 weeks. He is really nice, really skinny, and really likes alot of things I do also. We both can do the Rubik´s cube and we have already played two games of chess. He said it is boring when he always wins against his companions so I made it un-boring for him both games :) but with unpacking and going to work I still did not have tiem to buy anything I think we will go get some a├žai today (a healthy berry ice cream) so I dont faint. Just kidding!

The new area I am in I believe will be a little tougher than the last one I worked in because it is a branch instead of a ward and it is quite catholic. But I am excited to hit the ground running and see how I can apply what I have learned for the benefit of the people and members here.

Side note, I have way to much stuff. My stuff together probably weighs as much as I do. That is a lot because apparently I have gotten a little fatter according to one member of my last ward. Wonderful. This area is much more hilly and my companion doesnt like pizza or spending money so I think that will help. it is too early to tell what the future looks like here because I have yet to meet a member, but I expect good thine nonetheless. I hope you guys don´t sweat as much as I do and have a great week!

Come on really,
Elder Healy

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Apostles in Campinas

Oi!
How are you doing this fine day? Are you tired? If yes, go sleep a bit so you can read with focus! Yet another wonderful week happened in sunny Brazil in the life of Elder Healy. I think I will tell it in reverse. Also, I am half way to the half way point :)

So we were doing a service project yesterday where we were helping in the construction of a member´s roof. We were passing ceramic tile from the ground floor up via a ladder. There was a dog in the next yard over that could see me on the roof over a fence. Everytime it would see me it would run at me barking until he lost vision of me because of the fence. He would lose interest because of lack of sight and then circle back to his original position. Repeat 100 times. Probably the dumbest dog I have ever seen. After we were done, the member´s brother´s lady showed up. After the brother talked to her for a couple seconds he slapped her bottom and just kind of left his hand there. Elder Corbitt and I were dying. We hope she is his wife.

On Sunday, we had the batism of the three investigators I talked about last week. When I was performing the baptism, the boy kind of locked his legs and spazzed out for a second, so I had to re-do the ordinance, but we were all smiles after words. It was the best feeling ever to hear the oldest say that she felt a burden lift from her after the baptism and felt completely cleaned. This is what I amhere for.

On Saturday we had a meeting in Campinas with two of the twelve apostles, Elder Ballard and Elder Anderson. They truly are called of God to direct this church. I felt as if they were specifically speaking to me and helpign me to becoem better. Before the meeting, my best friend Elder Duffy was flipping out because his ex-girlfriend was gettign married that day. I have not told you guys about her, but she wrote about how she loves Elder Duffy and let´s just say he didn´t reciprocate. So she got engaged after datign someone for two months... Got to love that about BYU :)


Last Wednesday, we had a Family Night at a member´s house to try and family friend of their´s help him understand how we can recieve an answer about the truthfullness of the Book of Mormon. He had established a goal with himself that he would read the entire Book of Mormon all the way through before praying to know of it´s truthfullness. I explained to him that when I first wanted to know whether the Book of Mormon was true or not I had much the same idea. I thought that it would be best to know the whole story before asking to know it truly is a book inspired of God. I have come to recognize now that I was doing thing because I was truly afraid of what the response might be, truly afraid of what an answer would mean for me and my life. But I know now that there is no reason to fear the truth, no reason to not follow if our message is true. You do not need to read the whole Book of Mormon to recognize it as the truth. You might just read in 3 Nephi 11 about the visit of Chirst or in 2 Nephi 31 about the path we all must follow or in Ether 12 about faith, but one chapter might just be enough. If you really want to know whether the Book of Mormon is true or not you must do three thing. First, you must read part of it. Second, you must ponder about you have read. Third, you must pray unto God and ask if the Book of Mormon is true. It is that simple. If you do these things with an open heart and mind and with the intent to act upon the answer you recieve, you will recieve. I testify that this is true because this is what I did. I asked God if the Book of Mormon is true and I recieved an answer. I didn´t recieve an answer after reading the first page or after saying one prayer. My answer did not come in the form of an angel or a voice from heaven, but it came. I know the Book of Mormon is true because I wanted to know and I continued until I recieved a response. My response was a feeling of love, of warmth, of serenity washing over my body and bringing me unexplainable joy. Even writing this now I feel the Spirit more strongly. I am no different than you. God is our father and he loves you as much as he loves me and he will respond. You just need to ask. There are dozens of you reading this right now who may never have picked up a Book of Mormon, who are only reading this because I am your friend or because you know someone in my family. But just because you have never been a part of religion, just because you have never prayed, does not mean you can´t, does not mean god does not want to hear from you. My invitation for you is this. I invite you to read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon for no one else but yourself. And I promise that if you do this you will recieve an answer. I only ask that you do so that you can have all the blessings in your life that I have in mine.

Your friend,
Elder Healy