Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Email 08/14/17

I am well. I had a pretty good week with Elder Mendez. Sadly this was my last week with Elder Mendez as a companion here in Mapim. He is getting transferred, but I am not. I will be staying here for six more weeks with my new companion Elder W. Silva. He is a Brazileiro and he is from Belém, the capital of the State of Pará.

We had rain yesterday, finally, after several weeks we received rain. We had no cloud in the sky for a while. We had another Baptism this last Saturday. Rafael, the little Brother of João Victor, was the one who got baptized.  Rafael´s Uncle, who is already a member, baptized him.  I have photos in Google drive for you to enjoy. Yesterday we went proselyting with one of the members of our ward. He took us in his car for the sake of the rain and we successfully taught four families. I may, in the future, have the opportunity to teach them again with Elder W. Silva.

I am sad to hear that Great Grandpa Kartchner is dying. I see that Jaron and Tharon are there.  That´s awesome that Spencer is nearly to Elder and will be starting his work in the vineyard soon. I hope he is ready spiritually. I found that that is more important than any of the others. Although I was prepared emotionally, I was not very prepared secularly well. I should have studied better and more.

Many people have been getting sick lately, even here in Varzea Grande.  I got a hair cut this last week. A member of the São Mateus Ward did it for us. She is the one that has done it the last few times and she is an expert at it. To top it off she does it for free.

Thank you for the jokes they were a good PUNishment. Thank you for the thought. The Pictures are great.  If have any questions just ask. Tchau.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Email 08/07/17

My week has been good. Me and my companion have been working trying to convince and teach one of João Victor's brothers, Rafael. Things have been going well.  He received the lessons and understood well. I gave him a Book of Mormon and he and his brothers are still attending church. I do remember meeting someone while I was with them. A man was in their store in front of their house buying beer and I felt that it was a good idea to give him something. I decided to give him a pamphlet or two and also a Book of Mormon. He was so grateful for this that he gave me his sweater. I tried to refuse seeing as I have what I need sweater-wise and he is a poor man, but he insisted. He also decided to buy us a soda.

I was not given a blanket when I got here. I may be given a blanket in these areas (Campo Grande or Ponta Pora where the weather is very cold). It is likely that I will be sent to these areas.  A fleece blanket would be good.

This week will probably be my last in this area seeing as I have been here for three transfers, but if not I will let you know next week. Tchau.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Email 07/31/17

My week was excellent. I attended a few activities at the church house, met a new family, and...... I BAPTIZED someone this week. His name is João Victor Frances De Almeida. I helped confirm him the next day. My investigators are doing pretty good. We still need to visit them a lot more and get them to come to church before they will improve greatly. I usually have one (zone conference) every two weeks. I have not as yet talked with, met, nor taught any aboriginal people. I hope that you will be pleased that I now have one ordinance performed and have now had the opportunity to help at least two enter the path to the kingdom of God. I have pictures of him and his family. My companion and I hope to help his brothers and possibly others be baptized as well. Thank you for your prayers for me.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Email 07/24/17

My week was pretty good. I had that zone conference.  The cold weather, that was shown in the pictures I sent last week; lasted for two days and half afterwards. The zone conference went well. During it I learned that President Oliviera´s mother is dying. It is so sad that he has to suffer not being with her. I also learned that some of the missionaries are getting very trunky. I didn´t receive the package yet. They said that they hadn´t received it yet and they hadn´t. I will just have to wait until the next Zone Conference and see. Thank you for the jokes. They are getting better and better. I have forgotten to tell you, I have a few families that I have been visiting. Many people here are Catholic, but I thinks these families are from some other religion similar to it, but nonetheless they are good people. One family is very conveniently close to our house and it is enjoyable to visit them. They have provided us with dinner on several occasions and it has been nice to visit them. The name of the woman of the house is Solange. They have met the missionaries before, and were delighted to meet us when we first found them. We found them while we were trying to visit another one of the families we have to visit. They live right next to this family. One thing I find interesting is how they pray. It is similar to the manner in which we pray in the Temple. I am beginning to understand more and more how significant the Apostasy really was. Nevertheless they are good people and we will be visiting them again tonight. I love the people here. I am grateful that I could have the opportunity to spend time with them for three transfers. Other than that things have been kind of slow here.

I forgot to tell you another story of another family we visit often. This family is predominantly Catholic. They like us and the missionaries in general. Jossy, one of the members of this family, was baptized a member while I was with Elder Silva. We go over there a few nights a week and they normally attend church. Jossy has three sons, that I know of, and they all have potential to be baptized, but I don´t know if we will be the ones to do so. This last Saturday we were there and they decided to have me dance the Lambada. They mostly did it, because they thought that it would funny and it most definitely was. I really hope they don´t put that video on Facebook. It was interesting learning how to dance that, somewhat. I will definitely need to practice a lot more in order to get good at that dance.

One thing that is good news is something our Mission President mentioned in the Zone Conference. He said that our mission has less missionaries than all the other missions in Brazil and yet we still have good numbers for baptisms, investigators who attend Sacrament Meeting, baptismal dates, etc. Thank you for writing me. If you or any of the family have questions, just ask. Tchau.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Email 07/17/17

I am doing great actually. We are having a cool, misty, and almost rainy day here right now. It is actually cold enough for a sweater. My week has been pretty good. I went to several activities this week at the church house. I neglected to to mention that I am helping teach two English classes now with the help of another American. He is from Spanish Fork, Utah. (Elder Dayton) He and his companion both know English. His companion is from São Paulo. My companion is doing well. I have the opportunity to help him learn English every so often. He is way better than my previous companion. I like this. I have now had two Brazilian companions and two Spanish speaking companions. The language is improving well, but I will still have to keep learning even by study and also by faith in order to get fluent enough to teach better. I have been having trouble with giving messages at almoços (lunches). I definitely need to keep studying with my companion. We have been having a steady amount of investigators frequenting Sacrament Meeting. Other than the cold weather we get at times, things tend to stay the same. There has been a lot of construction going on here in Cuiabá, and I remember that in Rondonópolis they had the same happening. When Elder Brown came here, to spend the last few days of his mission in his favorite area; he mentioned it was rather important. All throughout Matto Grosso there have been fires. They have been burning the matto or weeds. That which Elder D. Todd Christofferson foretold about Brazil soon having improvement is being fulfilled (something along the lines of that). I have not yet been able to bake my cake. Don´t worry it´s fine, I still haven't been able to make the pasta either. Maybe I will be able to do so later on. My next Zone Conference will be on Thursday. I will probably receive the package then. I forgot about Independence Day, but don´t worry the Lord didn´t forget me.  I had an enjoyable activity that day.

Great you got more Kindle fires. I bet the little ones like that. Is Jeffrey the President of the Teachers Quorum? (He's a counselor.)  Wow; (Great-grandpa) 88 that is an accomplishment to typewrite about. I am glad to hear that Grandpa is still kicking. We have a member here that is 90 something and she still walks around and attends the Church activities. I hope that Alex and Jeffrey had a great time. Alex is good guy. At West Side Matters do they ever play "I'm so pretty" from West Side Story? That´s good that Jemma and Julia got their hair cut. It is far healthier for everybody when they don´t do that themselves. I hope the job you did cut it. That is impressive that you still find time to go to concerts and dates. Even with what has been happening. Thank you for continuing to go to the temple.

National Ice cream day shouldn´t be too hard to celebrate, they have ice cream everywhere and anywhere there is enough people to have a town. Oh good you just talk about topics that concern the west side of the Valley; such as whether the Jets or Sharks will win the football game or not. I hope the west side of the valley is still doing well. Oh got it. Teresa did their hair, that´s good. She does an excellent job, that does cut it. Jesseca cut her hair too. It must me hair-editary. Thanks for bearing my humor. Thank you for the jokes. And the great Spiritual Thought. I love you all. 😊

Monday, July 10, 2017

Email 07/10/17

Hey. My week was good. My investigators are improving. The Lord is helping us well. One family, the Family of Eliete; came to church this last Sunday. I was informed by my previous companion Élder Santos that the young man that I confirmed in Rondonópolis, has received the priesthood and is continuing. He may be able to serve a mission eventually. Elder Santos said that things in Rondonópolis improved after I left.  They had five baptisms there after I left. He also told me that many people there missed me. I am grateful that area was my first, even though it was difficult. I have not yet received the package you sent. I may need to wait until our next zone conference to receive it. Thank you for sending it.  I actually had forgotten that it was Independence day, whoops. That was Patriotic. I guess I am becoming more and more a Brasileiro as time goes by. I love it here in Varzea Grande. There are many good people here. I am grateful that I could stay here for one more transfer. That is excellent that you got to enjoy yourselves on Independence Day. Yep with the humidity I could say the same about here; temperature wise though it is still less. I am very grateful the Lord sent me to Cuiabà during Winter. It has been tolerable temperature wise. Jostan got a hair cut. I got one too, two weeks ago. Here in Varzea Grande, the Mapim Ward:  the Lord has blessed the Missionaries here with a member that is willing to give the missionaries haircuts for free. Ever since the Missionaries from Varzea Grande found out this they started getting their hair cut there as well. I like that Jaylen is staying in Cub Scouts. That is excellent that Jostan is still spending time with the Priests. Fishing is good. I hope he doesn´t get hooked. I am, in a way; a fisher too.  I haven´t had rain for a while either, which is a blessing in many senses of the word, but I still like rain.  I didn´t take very many pictures this week, but I may take more today.  By the way, a member from the Varzea Grande 1st Ward said that she wanted your email. Just to let you know if you receive an email from Brazil you weren´t expecting. She is a very good member. Obrigado. Tchau.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Email 07/03/17

My week has been great. I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting another missionary who is going home. His name is Elder Brown and he is the one in the newer photos I have taken. He is from North Carolina and will be going home tomorrow. He chose to come here to the Mapim ward because of the many people here he found to be special. My investigators are alright.  I didn´t have very many opportunities to visit them this week. We have been contacting referrals a lot lately. We haven´t had an opportunity to visit them since the week before last week. I may be able to visit them more this week. My Portuguese is improving gradually, but the members are saying that I am doing a lot better. The experience with Elder Brown was a good spiritual experience. It is sad to hear that Jemma scraped her knees, but she'll learn from that experience; I know I did when I had them.Yeah I hope that family reunion will be great. Good luck with your foot problem. If it gets worse just try and walk it off.  Thank for the email. Until next week. Tchau.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Email 06/26/17

I am doing great actually. I really like my new companion. I have still not been able to bake my cake, but I found one of the problems. The pan I need is in a member's house. Elder Silva and I accidentally left it there. We´ll probably have an opportunity to get it back this or the following week depending on whether we go to that member's house or not. My companion is a good person and he not only knows how to clean well, but likes to; so our house is finally approaching adequately clean. He has many good ideas that have been solving some of the more annoying problems that have appeared in our house. The number of Americans in our mission? I am uncertain about that. Considering there are 110 missionaries here and there are usually Brazilians and Americans paired up, as well as others from various other countries; I would say there are around 45 to 50 more or less.  I will probably never pair up with an American companion, here; but if I do I will definitely let you know. It is very likely I will have companions from any country other than America, but I could. Most of the Americans that come here, specifically Varzea Grande; are from Utah.  Just to let you know we received more pesquisadores this week. We have received 22 new ones since Elder Mendez arrived. Até mais.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Email 06/19/17

I am doing alright. My companion left yesterday for Cuiabá and will stay there until tomorrow. He will be leaving for Peru on Tuesday. My new companion's name is Elder Mendez. He is a good missionary so far as I can tell. I will still need to get to know him better. I didn´t know that there even was a Brazilian valentines day. I do know about Corpus Cristus, though.  Happy Father's Day to dad. My week was good. I had splits with an Elder and we visited some of our investigators. One family is improving, but we need to continue to visit them. The night that I had splits, me and my companion visited them and when we arrived, we found that they were watching "The Other Side of Heaven." They were very enthusiastic and said that they might go to church the following Sunday, but they didn´t. We need to keep visiting them. My Birthday was good, but the fourteenth was good too. On the fourteenth a member took us to Cuiabá to see a water show. The Lord blessed us with seeing this. I have a video, but I am having trouble uploading it. The sixteenth was nice because there was a little thing for Elder Silva that happened that day. My new companion is from Bolivia.

I have not had the opportunity to bake the cake yet, but I may during this following week. Last week was too occupied.  Thank you for the cake.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Email 6/12/17

My week has been alright. I thought that it was great to chat with you on Monday as well. I got all the packages including Grammy's things. I will be expecting your other package. Thanks for all the snacks in the other one. The cards were great and the things that Jostan and my other siblings said were great. Yep I have been out for six months already. I will be busy that day (birthday) with activities, seeing as my companion is leaving next Sunday and I will be receiving a new companion. Moab that is rather far south. I hope they have fun. Jonah and Jaylen getting shots that reminds me of last Wednesday, when I got another Flu shot. That day was busy. I am happy to hear you all went to Lagoon. Thanks for the Joke. We have not been having very much success with our pesquisadors, but I am grateful that the Lord is helping some of our pesquisadors to attend church. I hope that we will be able to do better in the future. I will keep trying to have good weeks.  Thank you for the spiritual thought. ☺Tchau.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Email/Chat 06/05/17

My week has been very good compared to weeks in the past. I am finally becoming able to improve. I had extreme opposition in improving in anything during the first part of my time here, but the Lord has helped me and is still helping me solve the problems that were keeping me from doing well. The thing that was going on last Monday is this: We needed to go to Cuiabá for the day. We had several reasons for being there. My Companion and other missionaries planned the day. They gained permission for us to eat at a restaurant, but the main reason why we were there is because my companion needed to find a good briefcase for him to take with him on the plane. He will be using it on the 20th to go home seeing he has finished his time here. Even after we were there for a while he still didn´t find what he wanted, a low price for the briefcase; so, we returned to Arzea Grande and he tried again to shop here. He eventually found what he wanted and by three O´clock we were ready to return home. He suggested that we come back here seeing as we had no other plans for the day, but I declined seeing as it costs me 4 reals an hour to use the computers here and I had already used a good 10 reals. I realize now that I could have returned and tried to see if any of you were available for a chat, but reasoned that it was not likely. This is, in short; why I didn’t have time to chat with you last week for very long.

I have not received the package you sent yet but I may receive it this Thursday seeing as there is going to be a zone conference and usually during this time President Oliveira hands out bug spray and tries to sell his "Missão Brasil Cuiabá" marked bags and merchandise. I will probably receive it then, seeing I just read that the tracking report says it was delivered to the Mission Home; but if not I will be able to tell you next week what occurred.

The language is coming along but I need to keep studying well. The language is very complex for me in my perspective, but I know that the Lord will continue to help me. The hardest thing to adjust to is not necessarily the language, but the hardest thing for me is knowing what the heck everyone is thinking. Their customs for what is ethically wrong and what is right are nearly opposite to that which I know. When they try to let me know I am doing something wrong they use sarcasm, thinking that everyone, no matter their heritage and background, will understand. They will not give me the information I need and so this is one of the reasons I have been having such a hard time with the language and everything in general. I have been needing to figure these things out on my own; though I know this good for me, it only makes things even more complicated in a situation where improvement is wanted quickly from my leaders. I am very grateful for this experience so far here. I have learned much and will keep going. So my Portuguese is getting better.

My investigators are fine but we are still having trouble getting any of them to want to go to church and read the scriptures. I still have so much to learn. We had an opportunity this last week to meet with one of the families we hadn´t visited for a while.  They were doing fine, but their daughter was having trouble and I guess this is one purpose why the Lord had us meet her in the Grocery Store. We haven´t seen them since but we may in the future. One family is starting to become promising, but slowly. The mother’s name is Eliete and she has several children. They are friendly enough to let us come and talk with them. Others that we have just started teaching are slowly getting interested.

Till next week, Tchau.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Email 05/29/17

Hey. I am doing great. My week went pretty good. We had an experience where we went the church house to celebrate the birthdays of all members that have birthdays in May. I have pictures from that that I will upload. My companion is doing good; but I just found out that he is going to be leaving for home in June. He will strangely enough be taking a different route to his home land. I will explain that more next week. I am happy to hear that Jostan graduated from high school. I am sorry that Dad has a cold. I remember that our ward transferred back to the Stake Center. I bet that was a wonderful reunion. Thank you for the good story. That is true that the Lord will protect that which is his own. Even if he has to damn others in their efforts to harm that which his own. The only power that anyone can have over God's children is the power that God gives them. I remember when the Lord was talking with Pontius Pilate. He said, in essence, you can have no power over me save it be given you of my Father. It is the same with Faithful saints of his church and anything else that is his. He will protect that which is his own. He has done so for me. Thanks for the Missionary jokes and the Great Story. I hope to able to chat with you more next week. Thanks tchau.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

05/22/17 Email/Chat

Bom dia!  I have had more success in teaching investigators. I attended a baptism for one of my investigators this last Saturday. Her name is Jossy.  I didn't participate in the ordinances but I got to watch. Two others were baptized that night and all of them were confirmed the following day.  Things are going better with my companion. We are getting to know each other better. I still have much to work on. My area is pretty good.  If you looked at the map I sent, it should show you how big it is. We had some strange weather lately, as Elder Silva puts it.  I think that the language is coming better, but my companion says that I need to converse more. I have been having difficulty paying attention when people are talking. I will keep working on it. He helps me with it a lot. Have a good week.

Monday, May 8, 2017

05/08/17 Email/Chat

My week has been pretty good. I had some challenges, but they are lightening up. My English class is going better. I am having help from a member. Tomorrow she will bring a book that will help a lot with teaching them. It’s is going alright with my pesquisadors. One family came to sacrament meeting a few days after we first met them. President Oliviera didn’t mention a time exactly for skyping with our families, he just said two hours, no more. I will probably be provided with what I need to get to skype. So far as I know I can´t use Hangouts. The Lord works in mysterious ways. He is over all. I do not know the exact time that I will be skyping on Sunday, but as I have been learning, if I trust the Lord to take care of and take no thought for my life, you´ll be on right when I need you to be. I have been learning here just how powerful the Lord is at fulfilling his word. He has not failed to help me when I exercise faith in him and my patriarchal blessing.  In other words I have no idea when I will be skyping with you on Sunday. Church starts for me at 8:30 here. I will probably be skyping with you in the afternoon.

I have had trouble adjusting to the way they do things here. Did you read the email that I sent to Mom about the possessed people that I have met?  But to put it plainly, I have met at least two. My companions just call them crazy, but I know otherwise. The first man I met was in the wilderness alone with no one else. I knew he was possessed. He was not a deceived person. He did nothing to try and convince me to do anything that I should not. He just kept shaking my hand and saying over and over I love your Church. This guy was not in his right mind like Sherem was. He was like unto the man the the Savior met in the wilderness that was possessed with a legion of devils, but I don´t how many this man had. He was definitely not like unto Korihor. I met this man at the outskirts of my area in Rondopolis. I have authority to rebuke them but I leave them alone.

I remember one of the Apostles or members of the Seventy saying something: "Life is not meant to be consistently pleasant. In the coming time even the wisest of you will struggle." Or something along the lines of that. I think that it was in the October Conference or somewhere else.

See you next week on Dia das Mães and your birthday. Tchau.

Picture of Jarrek with his companion Elder Silva and a couple in his mission, the Silva's (not related to Jarrek's companion).

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

05/02/2017 Chat/Email

I am liking my new area well.  Elder Silva is helping me well. I got the idea that I should buy rechargeable batteries for my camera so that if it dies again I can just recharge the batteries and take pictures again.  Me and my companion need to clean our house for this coming Thursday. We will be having an inspection. I hope to be ready.

I have been practicing at baring my testimony. I have also had the opportunity to visit a less active member.  Oh, I forgot this past week I had a wonderful experience. The Lord had secretaries from the office in Salt Lake City call my companion on his cell phone. They gave us a reference to an investigator who was very interested in the Book of Mormon her name is Marilze Costa and we may have the opportunity to visit her again sometime. I have some investigators: Rodrigo and his wife Fabiani are two of our new investigators. They live somewhat far from our house.  They may be interested in learning more.

I have been given the assignment to teach an English Class. I hope to be able to do it well. I will be doing so tonight. The Lord provided me with the supplies I need for this. I am grateful that the Lord has been helping and thinks me worthy to do this.

Sorry I didn't tell you about the Brazilian Labor day last week. I didn't know that I would have P-day today. The Mission President sent it in his letter to us.  I was given the information during a recent zone conference that for Mother's Day I will be skyping, although I don´t know where.

I have had great weather here. Sometimes it´s rainy and sometimes it´s not but I like it all the same. I am learning a lot here. Although I learned many things in Rondonopolis, I am grateful to be here. Beginning in Rondonopolis was very bumpy, but now I am doing better with the Lord's help, as always.

I am very grateful for you teaching me correct principles. I have been using them down here. The language is coming better with the gift of tongues that the Lord gave me is important.

I will keep trying to perseverar até o fim. I hope you all stay well. Valou.

Monday, April 24, 2017

04/24/17 Email/Chat

Olá Familia, bom dia.  My week has been pretty good. I have had challenges, but the Lord has helped me through them. My new area is great, but it is hot. I am glad I was sent here in winter or it would be a lot worse. I usually eat with members every day except p-day for almoço (lunch), I usually eat rice and beans with every single last almoço, but they usually provide meat and something else as well a beverage of some kind; whether it be soda or juice or water. Sometimes I am favored with chicken or steak.

I forgot to tell you, but I have met possessed people and I could tell they were possessed because they recognized me. They talked and I noticed something they constantly said I love your church. Every one of them was very careful to neglect saying that they loved the Gospel or plan of Salvation. Satan is truly very cunning. I better learn how to be as wise as a serpent and yet with out sin quickly or things are only going to get more difficult here, But I know that if I exercise faith in the Lord he will help me. Sharing my testimony is not only a privilege but a responsibility. I have already seen some of the power of a testimony in the CTM. I bore mine to my instructor Sister Andrade and she looked as if that was just what she needed to give her hope.

I am here in Várzea Grande with Elder Silva my previous zone leader in Rondónopolis; who is now my District Leader.  I was a little off when I told you that I was going to Cuiabá. Várzea Grande is the area right next to it and is within walking distance of Cuiabá. Várzea Grande is a suburb of Cuiabá.   Elder Silva is now my companion and District Leader.

Now that I have left Rondonópolis I will  have to form new relationships. I met many good people there. One investigator in Rondopolis whose name is Evania called me her preferido, which I think means she really liked me. She may want to get baptized later on. Her son Ygor is the one I had the opportunity to confirm. I made friends with the Elders and some of the Sister missionaries in Rondonópolis.  I have been meeting, strangley enough, many English speaking people here in Matto Grosso. I came here to preach the gospel in Portuguese and the Lord is kind enough to provide me with some English speakers to practice. I have met, in two instances now, English speakers from the Philippines who say they are missionaries for some childrens fundraiser, and each time they have accepted a pamphlet. The first person I met after leaving the CTM was on the plane and I sat next to him. His name was Marcos and he spoke English fluently. He lives in Matto Grosso  from what he told me then. In Rondopolis I met a woman who is from Africa. She was learning Portuguese and knows English fluently. She was a great help to me in Rondonoplis.  Till next time. Valou.

04/17/17 Email/Chat

Olá, bom dia familia.  Happy Pascal, as well.  Everything is going better.  The Lord is showing me things I never dreamed of, including the wild life here. I will be transferring to Cuiabá tomorrow. I am grateful the Lord let me know before hand so that I could pack and get ready. My new area is Mapim, in Zona Cuiabá. Hey dad keep up the good work. You're a great Father. I apologize for not recognizing it before. The Lord has been working miracles for me and helping me in many ways showing me where I have done wrong. He has been helping me understand the scriptures as well. I know that the Book of Mormon and Bible are scripture. I feel a lot better now the Lord has been helping me overcome my difficulties here. I thank the Lord for providing for me and helping me along through my trials. I am grateful for his help in overcoming Satan, which is still difficult. He is very tricky. Lucky he can´t hear my thoughts, so I have an advantage over him.

I will keep trying to get my camera to work. It is a really complicated camera. I will need to learn more about how to use it fully. I hope you have a great week, tchau.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Email/Chat 04/10/17

Bom dia, Minha Família. Como estão vocês?😀 My week was great. My investigator's confirmation went well. I am glad that the Lord helped me. I had a lot of help. Ygor is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Ygor's mother, Evania, is very interested in having us visit her often. The other investigators like us as well. Luzia and Gilmar are doing alright but we are having a hard time visiting them, but we will keep trying. One named Erika we met this last Saturday, is doing fine. She is very intelligent and remembered the basics of our lesson well. When I returned she recited the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. We will probably be returning there this Wednesday.

Things are going well now with my companions, but I am sad to say that Elder Santos, my companion, and Elder Aravena may be leaving me at the next transfer next week. God is supporting me as I humble myself before him and exercise faith in him.

Mom, Dad: thank you for helping me and raising me up. I am sorry for resisting so hard. You are great parents and I hope that the others realize it, too. Thank you Mom and Dad for preparing me so well.  Without the true principles that you gave me from the Lord I would be struggling far more than I have been. Thank you for being good parents.

Oh I forgot I got a new camera. It is called a Nikon. It is of much higher quality than the other one.  I may need to wait a bit to take pictures. It is  dangerous to show expensive stuff out in the open here in  Rondopolis. I need to be careful and trust in the Lord and my companions to get good pictures, but I will try to get good photos as best I can.

I hope you have a good spring week. I love you. Valou.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Email/Chat 04/03/17

My week has been great. The meeting with the President went pretty good. I didn't understand the whole reason why he was there, but I got the jist. He talked mostly about how to set goals and why we set them. Most of it I already had some understanding of. At the meeting with President Oliveira I received the letter from Grammy. I loved General Conference. My batteries got recharged too. I loved all of the ones I could understand, so only the ones I heard in English were the ones I could understand, but the others I tried to listen to. I loved Elder Christofferson's talk as well Hales' talk. I liked that there is going to be a new temple in Brazilia, Brazil and Saratoga Springs in Utah.  The Lord has been blessing me greatly. I love obeying his commandments.

Oh, I haven´t told you yet. Me and my companion had a baptism this last Saturday, in-between the second session and priesthood session. His name is Igor. He will be confirmed probably this coming Saturday or Sunday.  My companion baptized him and I will be confirming him.  We have a new family that we are teaching. They like the gospel and we will be visiting them this week. I can't quite remember their names yet.

My Portuguese is improving better and better each day. The gift of tongues is helping a lot.   I am glad I asked for it before I came here.  My companion has a very thick Eastern Brazilian accent. At times I can´t understand a word that he says. Accent is very important in this language and I still need to work on listening to native speakers and imitating what I hear.  I understand him for the most part, but when he uses either slang or new words I understand little.  His Father is from Africa and knows French and some English. My companion knows some French and English as well. He tries to speak in English and when he does I can understand him for the most part. He wants to learn more English and often during our weekly planning he ends it by trying to pray in English. When he speaks French I don´t get a word.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Email/Chat 03/27/17

My week was pretty good.   I have been having tests of patience, but I am getting better at overcoming them. I am doing alright. I have a family that I am teaching right now that is close to baptism. We may have some opportunities.  I am happy to hear that you have taken care of that tree (in our backyard). I am trying to think of a joke about cutting down trees, but right now I am stumped.   Oh that is great to hear that Sister Mira is having a new menina. I will miss the Miras as well.  They are great people and the things they told me and gave me are very helpful. I can´t think of very many days that I have not used the dictionary that they gave me.

I haven´t taken any pictures because the batteries die too quick for me to take very many. I buy new batteries, but they run out real quick; yet the same batteries work fine in my flashlight. I haven´t been taking pictures because I haven´t been able to. I will keep trying to find a way to solve this problem.  I will keep trying to take pictures when I have the opportunities to but I may be able to use the photos I have received from my district members in my emails.

My companions play a lot of what they call brincadieras on me and each other. Some of them are less fun than others. One thing that is a bit of problem is that my companion doesn't have any money. His family is inactive and is not supporting him.  I have to help him in order for this to work, but I am glad to buy him his needs, but I still need to be careful, because these Elders are not so hesitant to use people as others are. I am trying to help them, but I will try to be careful.

I have a family we are teaching that is nice. They are a good family. Igor is one of them and he is interested in the Gospel and the church. He comes to the English/Spanish class we have and attends sacrament with his little sister Camila. (I don't teach the class but my zone leader Elder Gomez teaches it. Sister Flake helps as well, she is an American. I help out with the class when needed but I don't actually teach it. Many people in Brazil love America and English, because America to them is a symbol of prosperity. Many members want to learn English and Spanish here.) Their Mother can't attend easily because she has work often on Sundays. Lozia and Gilmar, the investigators that I had with Elder Novaes; are progressing a bit, but we need to continue visiting them often in order for this to work.  

I will be watching General Conference in the local church.  I hope to learn much from it.   The President of the mission will be visiting my area this week. I hope to be able to learn from him. He is a good President.

Till next time. valou

Monday, March 20, 2017

Email 03/20/17

I am great.  I do like my companion. Elder Santos is a good missionary, if I did not mention it before he is from the same place as my first companion. Salvador, Brazil.  His father is from Africa so he knows how to speak a bunch of English, but when it comes to understanding it, it´s a little different.  My Portuguese is coming better.  The Lord is making it possible for me to teach. The gift of tongues is real.  I am nearly entirely healed.  Missionary life is getting better. Brazil is great. Their laws here are almost the opposite of the ones we have in America. My world was literally turned upside down.  Bytheway, almost every house here has a dog somewhere near it.

Just to let you all know, during the time I had at Provo, the Lord provided me with many things I can´t obtain here such as a tiny Portuguese hymn book or a laminated tiny version of my patriarchal blessing.

Often twice a week we travel to the mission home. I must visit there on P-day and on other days for the district meeting and on occasion the zone meetings.  We are having success due to help from the Lord. We are teaching two families right now.  The house issue has been resolved.  I know that God allows Satan to test us with afflictions and trials so that he can work our patience. 

I love that dad is such a hard worker. I want to be just like him. Thank you both for being such good parents. I will try to have a better week.  Thank you all for your support whether that be emotional, physical, spiritual, etc.  Tchau!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Email 03/13/17

Hello everyone I hope that all of you have enjoyed your week. To start I have a new companion and his name is Elder Santos. I miss Elder Novaes a bit, but nonetheless he is where the Lord needs him to be. I had a week, seeing as I had to train my senior companion, mostly because he doesn't know the area well yet; but I am glad God gave me the gifts that I have so I can I succeed in performing the work he sent me here to do. I had a fun trial this week. My house companions had the fun idea of taking all the things we need to the other house and sleep there for the sole purpose of not having to walk a few kilometers more than we usually do. The irony of the whole situation is that we have been walking far more than we would have, during the past few days; than we would have been had we just left our things in our own house. To continue, my companions insist on returning to our own house, seeing as our food is there and they also don't want to have to walk back and forth from the Zone leader’s house, just to have the things that we need. Nonetheless I find this all fun.  I have no authority to stop them, all I can do is give them advice and do my best with the situation that I have. The Lord has been showing me why he has been allowing these things to happen.  One of the reasons is that he has been trying to get us to humble ourselves and be willing to share the things we have with those that need it. Even if the people that need our things are simply our brothers. One example of this is when I need to use my companion’s towel, because my towel is in the zone leader’s house. Nonetheless I find this all fun. The Lord is helping me have what I need after I do everything I can to get those things on my own. Other than that, my week has been normal. I attend church on Sunday, do what my senior tells me to the best of my ability.  I have healed for the most part. The Lord helped me heal quickly. The missionaries here say I need to read, speak, think, and dream in Portuguese, but they don't understand why I read in English when I do, nonetheless I will keep trying to read the scriptures in English and/or Portuguese whenever I am given the opportunity.  I hope you'll have an enjoyable week. I will try to read all your emails as I have time and opportunities, but for now, Tchau.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Email 3/6/17

I hope you all are doing well. I had an interesting week this week. First of all, it has been raining off and on for the past few weeks. When it rains it pours and creates miniature rivers in the roads. I had divisions this week, twice. I went on one of the divisions with one of my house-mates Elders Soares, during the which I walked into the glass door down stairs. I was very rattled and I got a bloody nose; also, I got a cut on my nose, but for the most part I am alright. I didn’t go proselyting that day, but spent the time in the house. I had to take a nap to recover. I later studied with Elder Soares for the remainder of the day. During the second division, I spent it with Elder Silva, one of my zone leaders. I didn’t know that I was supposed to be showing him who my pesquisadors (investigators) are and where to find them, but it all worked with the Lord’s help and plenty of walking. Other than that, it has been a pretty good week, but I am sad to say that my senior companion is being transferred to another area and I will be receiving a new companion soon after Elder Novaes leaves.

I have a few more Pesquisadors, but I am still struggling at remembering their names. I have some, but I don’t know how to explain them in full now, and a summary of these experiences would not suffice, so I will not talk about all of them yet. The Lord has been helping me by having things I need ready when I need them, especially when I am unable to do those things on my own power alone. He has been providing me with sufficient food, so that I can make it by during the week. Mostly because I can’t visit the grocery store every day. We had two Pesquisador families show up and one less active member. The language is coming better.

I wish you all well. Valou 🙂

Elder Jarrek Nelson

Monday, February 27, 2017

Email 02/27/17

 I am doing well. The Language is coming better. I have been having trouble with the grammar, but the Lord is helping me preach and teach. Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet five in one house. On Saturday I had the opportunity to meet a very intelligent man named Max he was nice and gave me and my companheiro cookies and water. Please thank the Snarrs for the donation (toward his mission). Awesome that Jaylen had his birthday and reached double digits.  It´s good to hear that Jeffrey gave a talk in sacrament meeting. He´ll need the practice if he wants to be ready. Oh, something I forgot to tell you last week. I gave a talk in the local Capella (Church House) last week on Sunday. They asked me to talk on Faith. I think that it went somewhat well, because the members of the ward told me how much they liked my talk afterwards. I am doing better now that I am starting to take no thought for my life. The holy ghost reminds me of scriptures when I need them. That is awesome to hear that Jonah is so close to becoming a deacon and receiving his Faith in God award as well. Would you please dad that he can have and use my laptop. I know I should have taken care of this before, but better late than never. Tell Jonah that I am having fun sharing the Gospel and doing other Missionary Work. Thanks for the jokes. I wish you all well. I had the opportunity to move to a new house this last Friday. This house is much better. I am grateful for the blessings the Lord has given me.  Tchau.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Email 02/20/17

To start off please tell Jeffrey that I am sorry for neglecting to give him my password to Starcraft through email, but I hope you were able to get it anyway. I am thinking that you are talking about my companion in the field, if so; he doesn’t speak a lick of fluent English, but he knows many words and knows about the History of the United States a bit. He also knows about Trump. Trump is very unpopular down here. At least it looks that way. Other than Elder Novaes there are four others Elders Soares, Aravena, Silva, and Gomez in our house. Aravena is Chilean. Silva is Peruvian, but has Brazilian ancestors. Meu Portuguese é ótimo. Mies ou Menos. If you are interested I am gaining much light and truth here. The Lord is being merciful to me. Without this light and truth, the Lord is giving me I would have a lot of trouble surviving. I have difficulties giving you examples now, but I may be better able to later on.  Oh yeah I forgot that it was Valentine’s day. I am glad to hear that you all enjoyed Valentine’s day. I wish Jeffrey luck with his friend who is a girl. Awesome to hear that Jaylen is going into scouts maybe he will be able to do better than I did. I like that Jemma is giving not only you, but also Brin a break. Mom, you went to the Dentist, ah that bites. I hope Julia and Jemma keep being happy. It’s good to hear that you are having opportunities to attend the Temple. Wow, Jeffrey must be really good at Science in order to be able to go to the District Science fair. I am glad that members of the ward are staying busy. Excellent joke from Dad. I miss Jemma as well. Tell Jonah that I am trying to always do some form of Missionary work (See Missionary Work in the Guide to the Scriptures) but if he was referring to what most people use to refer to missionary work, which is of course Proselyting; I eat, sleep, study, listen to the music that my house members have and my own when possible; as well as doing most anything else that is needful. I try not to waste a minute. I have seen many different types of birds and other animals, if that is what Jostan is referring to; but I do see hundreds of different types of cookies when I am at the grocery store; but seriously I did get to visit an investigator who used to or is still operating a Circus here in Rondonopolis. He showed us pictures of Lions and acrobats in his Circus. Thank you for the thought about judging, but I have one of my own about it. In this life we have to judge. We can obey the scripture, Go ye out from among the wicked without judging. The key to judging correctly is doing it righteously; see true to the Faith under Judging others. Don´t get me wrong I agree with President Uctdorf one hundred percent. Judging others incorrectly and unrighteously is wrong, but judging righteously is right; when justified. I am doing fine thanks to the help Heavenly Father gives me through infinitely many sources. I love you all. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Email 02/13/17

Hey everyone. It´s great to have time to update you all today. This week was a little weird we did very little proselyting. Mostly because of a complicated situation with a few of the members of my district in my house. I ended up being in a trio for three or four days while the other three in my house went to Cuiabá. We were able to enjoy going to each other’s areas. Although it was annoying to have to take three buses; one to go to Almoço (Lunch), a second to return to the first bus stop and a third to go to a pesquisadors (investigators) house. Other than that it was a pretty normal week. I am happy to hear that Jostan is working on his driving. I am glad Mom is having time to relax and enjoy time with her sister-in-law. Speaking of rain, it is raining off and on here in Rondonopolis. I am grateful mom had me buy that umbrella and rain coat. Thank you for the Jemma humor. Ah, that was good. Dad’s joke was even better. I do want to tell you I met a return missionary here in Rondonopolis. His name is Ben. He is from Oregon State and went on his mission here. I am guessing he met his wife here or somewhere else in his mission. He was an awesome help and gave me some respite from Portuguese, because I could speak English with him. He also gave me a few pieces of paper with a bunch of helpful tips, such as slang and common phrases that would not normally make sense without knowing the language already. One example is Beleza which means alright, Fica de Boa means chill out. E aí means what’s up. Negócios means stuff. A lot of the language depends entirely on context. Para can mean by, to, for, etc. I did accidently forget to tell you all about an experience I had on the plane coming to Cuiabá. I sat next to a man that was lives in Matto Grosso somewhere and he started to talk and inquire of me concerning the church, and wouldn’t you know it; he was fluent in English. His name was Marcos and he asked some simple questions like what is the difference between your church and protestants for example. I didn’t have resources, except for the Articles of Faith in my scriptures; to answer his question. So I used that.  He read a few and said that the second one made a lot of sense. After that point he didn’t talk much, but I did have the opportunity to give him the church website as a reference for more information on our church. Sorry I forgot to tell you this story before. Concerning souvenirs, I need a list from mom or dad of souvenirs you want. All I really need is some ideas. Mostly because I don’t have a lot of room in my suitcase for a lot of stuff, and I don’t know what you’d really want. Concerning what Jeffrey said about Third Nephi 11, I happened to have already read that scripture this week in Portuguese, but nonetheless I will still read it. Tell Jonah that I am enjoying my time here. I am learning more and more about how to be a real missionary. If any of you have questions just ask. Till next week, Falou.

Jarrek and his companion Elder Novaes.

Jarrek's companion and other elders in his house.

Sao Paulo, Brazil Temple.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Email 02/06/17

My week has been a good week.  I am keeping very busy and learning quite a lot. I am learning a lot of Portuguese and plenty about the culture here in Brazil. I am liking my first area here in Rondonopolis. It rains every so often, so I am grateful for my umbrella. Me and my companion are teaching at least two people a day, depending on the day. We usually always tract. I am doing better with the language. God is helping me understand them and speak to them and teach them. Are the names of the Sisters in my district named Sister Kahr and Sister Atkinson? I am sorry you were in a minor accident, but I am glad to hear that you and Jemma are alright. I am also happy to hear that Jemma is healthy. It is good that Jeffrey is staying busy. It is great that Jeffrey is participating in plays. I am happy to hear you obtained pictures from my mission president. It is good to hear that Jemma is developing more and more. Thank you for the scriptures and the thought I will try to use it well in my mission. I would update you all with how many Books of Mormon I have given out, but I don’t exactly know how many. We don’t really record that here; but I do know at least how many lessons we have taught. It’s around thirty-three. If you want my mission pictures just go to and you will find them there. If you need the password, just ask. On another note, the members and people in general here are very nice. Last week, when my district and I left for that conference about the schedule change for missionaries; I had the opportunity to meet an inactive member in the street. I was just singing a Portuguese hymn and he was walking along by me. He then started to sing along with me. I found out that he lives in Curitiba, but would be in Rondonopolis for a little while. My companion and I talked with him for a while and he left, I probably will not see him again, but it was nice meeting him. Concerning the conference, I liked the changes that were made to the missionary schedule throughout the world. My mission president adjusted the schedule for us and we now get up at seven and our time is more free for us to choose what we do. I am very grateful for this and I hope to use it to its full potential. Well until next week. Tchau.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

First Pictures from Cuiaba

Jarrek with his President and Sister Oliveira after his arrival in Cuiaba.  Also picture with other missionaries who arrived at the same time.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Email 1/30/17

I have traveled from Cuiabá to Rondonopolis (, my first area (looks like it is Southeast of Cuiaba); I have already proselyted for 50 hours. My new companion’s name is Elder Novaes. He is good so far as I can see. He is from Bahia, Brazil.

The wards here are massive. It takes me and my companion thirty minutes of walking to get to one of the members houses. I have already given three Books of Mormon to Pesquisadors (Investigators). I am sorry to hear that Jeffrey was sick, and on such an important day as well. I hope that he gets better soon so that he can enjoy his time in student council. I am glad that Jostan is practicing driving. ´´Cookie dough makes her strong. ´´ Oh that is pretty funny. I am glad Jemma still has her wonderful sense of humor going. Tell Jonah I am doing alright. I have adjusted for the most part with Missionary life, but I still have many things to learn as I am the Junior companion. I miss Julia and you all and I am glad I have the opportunity every week to email you. I haven’t seen any Jaguars yet. I hope to see them when I go to the North, but not in the wild. I would probably have to see them in a zoo or something. I have seen many birds and dogs, otherwise not much yet. I have spent most of my time in cities. If you all are interested, my new companion’s name is Elder Novaes. I live in a house with 5 others. I hope to be able to adjust to my situation quickly. Thank you for the thought and for your prayers. I hope to email you all again soon. If any of you have any specific or general questions about my mission or area, please ask and I will do my best to answer them.

My typical day is hot and humid, and I usually walk several miles a day if not more. We proselyte most of the day in neighborhoods with members and Pesquisadors. I have not yet received the new rules, but I am going to receive them today at the zone conference I am going to in Cuiabá, but from what Grandma Nelson told me my schedule will be changing for the better. Otherwise, I don’t know the changes in the rules. I am adjusting to the food and culture slowly, but surely. The food is generally good. The weather is either really hot or rainy or cloudy either way it is usually always hot. I do like my companion; he is an enthusiastic missionary for proselyting. He follows the spirit well and knows what he is doing. I love the people and they are interesting. It (the culture) is almost the opposite of ours in many aspects. They have no right to bear arms for citizens and so everything needs to be locked up tight. I hope to be able to learn a lot about the culture as I go on. So far, I like the food.

Mission home address:

Elder Jarrek Spencer Nelson
Brazil Cuiabá Mission
Av. Hist. Rubens de Mendonça, 1731
Sala 10, Bairro: Consil
CEP: 78050-975 Cuiabá – MT

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Quick Note from Cuiaba

I am safe and sound in Cuiabá. I left the CTM at 7:00 am this morning. I hope to be able to update you all when I have my first P-day on Monday. I may be able to send you all pictures at that point. I hope Mom and Dad are feeling better. Love you all. Tchau.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Email 1/18/17

I have been preparing spiritually to go to Cuiaba, but there is not much left for me to prepare otherwise. I proselyted for the first time this last Friday. It was an interesting experience. I was able, with the help of my companions and the Lord; to place my first O Livro De Mormón. I had a hard time communicating mostly because it was very loud out where I was. We were in downtown São Paulo. There was constantly a car passing by us which made it impossible to hear them clearly. To top that off they were speaking softer than needed and were not speaking clearly, but through it all we were able to have success. I am enjoying my time here in Brazil. The people are very friendly and the food for the most part is delicious. I have now visited the São Paulo Temple three times. I have enjoyed every experience. I am understanding the language a lot better now. I can read it easier than before and I can get the main point of what some people are saying. I am still struggling actually speaking the language, but I know as I try I will be blessed with help and success even if I have to go through failure 1,000 times. Not too much is new, but I will be leaving the CTM this Tuesday. I hope to be able to contact you when I get there. If you have any specific questions, go ahead and ask. I will answer when I am given time to. Love you all.  Tchau.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Email 1/11/17

The weather is great down here and I found out that Cuiaba is the hot capital of South America. I am sorry to hear that Jostan is going to have to get surgery. I am glad that Jemma and Julia are doing fine. I am pretty sure the Gaurana here is not caffeinated, but I’ll find out to make sure.  I don't need to purchase a bike because they just don't do them here. I am going to walk or bus everywhere I go. I miss Jemma and Julia as well. I can’t really update on my mission much since I am not out there yet, but I am improving on the language, gradually. You can do whatever you want with the shoes I didn't box up. Whatever works. Here at the CTM it is pretty much the same each day as the day before. I get up at six thirty and prepare for the day, personally study each breakfast and so on. I do get exercise time every weekday, but P-day. I haven't seen much of the wildlife I am only allowed out of the CTM on P-day and we can’t go far. The most I have seen of the wildlife are the birds. I spend most of my time in my classroom studying and learning the language and socializing with my district. Thank you for that quote Mom. On January 25 there will be a Missionary conference for all the missionaries in the world, if you haven’t heard about it. This conference may affect the rules or we may be getting a new “Preach My Gospel” or a new white handbook. I really don’t know what it is, but it is highly probable that it is very important. I will be leaving the CTM on January 23 and going to Cuiaba. After I get there I will watch the conference. I hope to tell you more soon.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Email 1/4/17

It’s great down here. I love the food and the cafeteria is an all you can eat kind of place. There is a drink here called Guarana. It is delicious. I have had it every day I have eaten. I like this MTC. This MTC or CTM is a lot more strict than the other though. We only get 45 min for email time and it is only on P-days. I will try to get everything in here before I have to get off. I am now in a trio companionship with Elder Davis and Elder Burr. They were in my district in Provo. Everyone I came with on the plane in my district became my district. My district is 50B and has eight members. (three sisters and five Elders.) Their names are Elder Barnes, Elder Davis, Elder Burr, Elder Andrus, Sister Atkinson, Sister Kehr, and Sister Hill. I am glad I didn’t have to go on the plane alone. The CTM here is seven stories tall with six floors above the ground floor. I live on the fifth floor above the ground floor, so technically the sixth floor. The beds are very comfortable. There are six to a room I am in a room with my companions and two Brazilians. At this CTM everyone is required to participate in the Choir. We sing every Sunday and Tuesday. Our schedules are very tight we hardly have time to do laundry or rest. Our whole day is planned out. I have already started teaching. Actually I started teaching the day I got here which I thought was ridiculous, seeing as I hadn’t slept in two days and I didn’t know the language even adequately. I would fix the spelling, but the spell check is in Portuguese. I am glad to hear that Jeffrey misses me. I hope Jemma doesn’t realize where I am until I get back. That may make things easier. I can’t send pictures down here while I am in the CTM. The computers won’t let us. So I will have to wait until I am in the Mission Field to give you pictures. I am improving in the language. The Lord has been helping me. I am constantly seeking after the gifts of the spirit that I need. I can tell that the Lord is granting me the gift of tongues when I am worthy. Sometimes I can understand the language really well and other times my mind is blank. Thank you for helping me get the reals (Brazilian currency) I needed. I won’t need to buy a bike. The extra reals will be useful. I hope you enjoy the New Year. I have enjoyed it so far. We got to stay up till midnight on New Year’s Eve and then wake up at nine. I like this CT more than the Provo MTC. The rain here is awesome. I was recently told that it generally doesn’t rain during the dawn here, just during the night. I won’t need the temple clothes. They don’t allow us to bring our own they provide it for us when we come in. I enjoyed going to the temple. The driving here is way different than in America. It’s as if they have no laws for many situations. Motorcyclers do as they please on the roads. It has been a bit of a culture shock being here but I am doing the best I can with the culture. We have around four hundred missionaries here in this CTM. Compared to the Provo MTC, this CTM is the third largest MTC after Mexico. I hope to hear more from you as time goes by. Thank you for the help and support.