Wednesday, September 24, 2014

same ol, same ol

(Yo tell the Penas thanks for the dulce de leche. they have it out here and everytime i eat it, its kinda like home and the Penas gave it to us so tell them thanks. also you dont have to put this letter or anything on the blog im feeling lazy today so yeahhh. you can choose what to put up)

soo im just gonna jump right into things, for my dads questions

What is one of the local landmarks there?
well, there is a park with a statue of some dude, does that count? other than that i have no idea. haha

How do you travel around town (bus, walk, etc.)? 
we walk. alot. but we also take a bus if we're feeling lazy and/or are late. and even then the bus is unrelaibale because it could be 10-15 minutes late... if you ask mom, she knows my area (from google earth) and we have to take a bus to santa terizina every day because we have an investigator out there. and we walk back sometimes to get street contacts and it takes foreevvverrrr. 

How do you do your laundry?
in a laundry machine... i just hang it up to dry after.

and for my moms question
Do you think the people burn the fields because they are getting ready to plant again?  no. there is no farmers here just wild fires - ahah
We are at the end of the cooler season and heading into what we would call spring and summer, and it is already so freakin hot. haha

but yeah not alot to say this week. i had a lot of pain in my stomach but i think it was just the food here trying to settle in. I also stopped drinking the water here so that should help too. haha now i have purified water. i also think it was probably just gas so i dunno. i took some advil and realized the pain was actually cramps in my stomach so hopefully they go away. they are already started to fade away which is a relief.

as for pictures! the computer im on (which costs 2 reals an hour, dirt cheap) shuts off after an hour and it was in the process of sending them last time when it shut off so it corrupted my memory card. I gave it to some one in the ward who said they could fix it and they are in the process of getting them back. haha the other american who served here 3 transfers ago did the same thing so now all americans arent only rich, but also impatient. haha

our baptisms fell through because our family of 3 were in the hospital all week (or so we think) because the youngest one who's 5 years old has a bacteria in him.

every day i think about how lucky we are to live in america. how lucky we are to have good medicine, clean water, clean streets. I feel kinda sheepish thinking about my house that I live in, in comparison to here. it really just puts everything into perspective when you see how people live out here and how happy they are just to have the simple things in life.

oh get this, this week i will be teaching a class about learing english at the church. yeah, so Ill be sure to tell you how THAT goes. haha i figure between me, my comp, and this guy who is not so good at speaking english in our ward, we got this covered. haha since everyone wants to learn english its a great way to get investigators to come to our church, interact with members, learn english, show them some church dvds in english... yadda yadda yadda. so yeah that will be interesting.

 everytime i get on the computer i always blank about my week and about my expierences and about all the things i want to talk about. so i write them down and you can read them 4 months after they happen, thank you brazillian mail.

love you guys miss you a lot.
elder hamm

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Families Can Be Together Forever in the Lord's Plan

Received in the mail on November 19, 2014

20 Sept. 2014
I’ll probably send it around  29 Sept. 2014

Fam Bam,
            Just wanted to write you guys and tell you how much I love you guys.  We’re teaching this guy today who’s like obsessed with Genealogy (his name is V., pronounced W., who was a referral from someone else so this is our first time with him) and he was showing us his family tree and I asked, which was bold cause I don’t normally speak unless spoken to, “Do you believe families are eternal?” to which he replied no.  We asked a few more questions like about Jesus and God (which everyone in Brazil knows and believes in) and asked if he knew God loved him.  Then we went into the plan of salvation pamphlet and at the end my comp looks at me (my cue to bear my testimony) and the words just flew from my mouth.  I cannot explain how easy it was to tell this man how much joy I felt knowing families are eternal.  Not only was I receiving the Gift of Tongues Mad Hard but also I could see my words touching the light of Christ which is within everyone.  I talked about my brothers and sister and named them all for him.  I talked about all that my parents have done for me.  It was like diarrhea of the mouth, but like good diarrhea…yeah maybe not acutally. Haha.  But yeah it was so easy to talk about my love for you guys and at the end we asked him again if families are eternal and he acted like he didn’t say no in the first place!  He was so sure they were eternal.  It was sweet.  I’ve done a lot of thrilling things in my life but nothing quite compares to staring someone in their eyes and saying in a different language, “As familias poderao ser eternas no plano do senhor.”  [Families can be together forever in the Lord’s plan.]   And just watching him feel it.  I do wish I knew the language better but that will come.  My mission president promised me I would be fluent in 6 months if I 1) will have patience cause I was kinda put out I didn’t now the language.  But I need to 2) be obedient (not really easy for me buts it is becoming a strength) and 3) work diligently at language and with mission work and 4) have good companionship.  I know this was inspired because sometimes I want to kill him.  But yeah just wanted to tell you guys how much I love you and I think about each one of you everyday and can’t wait to see you guys again.  I already got a list of things I’m planning to do with you guys when I get home.  Just simple things I miss.  Simple things we take for granted in the good ol’ U.S. of A.  I love you guys, glad I don’t ever have to say Goodbye forever. 

Love you guys,
Elder Hamm (Brazilian one)

PS – Cake batter here is so not that good….The dry mix or if you add milk.  Just so you know. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stories everyone but your mom loves hearing!

Tres Rios
Então another week spent working hard and appying gold gutters to my house in heaven (ask brother linton about that reference)

soo for my moms questions, my apartment is on the 3rd floor of a kinda fenced in community. its fairly nice. it has two bedrooms and a kitchen plus a living room where we study. me and my comp sleep in the same room and we keep our clothes and such in the other room. for breakfast its pretty much anything you can round up. haha so normally I have 2-3 hardboiled eggs and a yogurt thats more sugar than anything else. then for lunch we eat at members houses. the food here is to die for btw. its just got really good flavor. And then for dinner me and my comp normaly make some DANK food. like rice with some meat in it with some pasta we add flavor too. it seems here garlic is used in everything but its a good garlic flavor not too potent. Ive been buying an ungodly (not sure if I can use that word but Im gonna anyway) amount of mangos because they are so cheap here! i figured if dad could have an ibc rootbeer everynight on his mission I can have a mango every night.they cost like 3.00 reals (prounced hay-eyes) per kilo. I have no idea how much a kilo is but i can get 3-4 mangos for like 7 reals. it is my relief haha. i normally buy some meat, kinda rolled into a hot dog but instead i think its in a pig intestine (its less gross than it sounds) its like sausage but 10 times better because I dont like sausage. also milk, yougurt, a type of nesquik so I can make some chololate milk (MONEY) and yeah thats about it. oh and pasta. and then garlic and flavoring. we have a washer in our apartment and we just hang our clothes to dry. we normally walk the streets and contact when both our appointment and our plan b fall through. we clap out side of houses when are desperate for a lesson but its not my favorite thing to do.

and on to my dads questions
the weather is hot. hot hot hot. all the time. 34 degrees in the sun! (in farenheit thats hot) there are no farms. just open fields that people love to light on fire. we meet in a church building kinda like one in the states. we have a ward of like 50 members (30 active) that attend every week. im actually really sad that i dont play the piano. as i typed that sentence I could literally feel my mom beaming, she wouldnt say i told you so but my mom was right. I should have practiced the piano. haha so nomally the songs are accapella.  

SOOO to get to the story my parents dont want to read...

so last week on the way back from a meeting in Juiz De Fora (a 1 and a half hour bus ride) I got a call from our mission president which was a shocking suprise. I was alseep and my comp was like the mission pres wants to talk to you. I felt honored. I had already joked with him about being a slacker because i went to byu hawaii so I needed to make a better impression. He asked me about my mission and how I was doing, then the call took a turn for the worst. I could literally feel the call get serious. he said he had recieved a call from the president of the CTM (mtc in brazil) president swensen about a broken laundry room door that on a video that he saw, he saw me kicking in this door to the laundry room..... now i can explain, but later. haha so yeah a tender mercy of the Lord was that the phone cut out because we were in the mountains on a bus so I didnt have to explain my self right there without a little preperation. so heres what happened, the laundry room locked and closed at 7 on monday night and 4 elders in my hall way who had come from provo only two weeks before, had stuff in there and we were leaving at 3 in the morning. so we tried to find someone with a key but no one was awake and we got yelled at for leaving our hallway. (the CTM is one big building in brazil) so last week the same thing happened and some guy was able to just nudge the door and it popped open. So, these guys knowing i would willingly bust the door down with hardly any reason, came and got me and said their laundry was is there, so I tried nudging it and it didnt budge. so the elder next to me kicks it and nothing happens still. so me in my infinite wisdom say, ``no no, you have to kick it closer to the handle, like this`` and boom. door swings open, and I recieve my man card. so now I have to explain to the president who doesnt speak english, why they have a video of me kicking in a door to a laundry room. so I had a meeting with the president on wedensday( a routine meeting everyone has every transfer), 2 days after the call. I was a little worried but I was reading a talk about faith by Richard G Scott and in the talk it said, faith is the opposite of fear. and in that moment I had faith that my mission preseident was called of God and that all would be well. it was very cool. so when I got in there being the loving mission president he is he gave me a big hug and started the interview with a kneeling prayer. after the prayer I jumped right into it saying Im sorry and i want to pay for the door and I will write a letter to the CTM president about how sorry I was and he literally said, (rough translation) its fine, dont worry about it. youre young, these things happen... well maybe not often but they happen. haha he is so awesome. so now every time i get my allowance a little part of it will go to fixing the door frame and will remind me to be wiser. haha.
haha so yeah I know my mission president is a spiritual giant and I know that he is called of God and is more loving that I could ever be.

I miss you guys and Im sending you a letter today!! hope all is well,

love elder hamm

Monday, September 8, 2014

First week in Brazil!!

Me and my comp, Elder R


So I'm finally in JUIZ DE FORA!!  the area im in is called Tres Rios. its kinda small and we have a ward of like 38 people but everyone is really accepting of Chirst here which is cool that God has prepared them for the gospel. 

So my trainer is Elder R! He's a brazilero and is super nice and hard working and paitent and pretty much everything I need in a trainer. haha. it truly is a blessing.
Everyone in brazil is so nice. its actually disconcerting. most days I dont say much during lessons because I dont know what anyone is saying and my comp gives the lesson, I bear my testimony and then we call it a team lesson. But everyone is so paciência with my portuguese and is so loving its awesome! I just really wish I knew the language better but that will come in time.

It's weird to finally be out on the streets contacting people and such.Tres Rios really is beautiful. its got a lot of people but its not like super busy or like the city. its definitly country. most days we have to walk pretty far along dirt roads to teach people which I dont mind. its cool. but its a little strange how people like lighting fires here so there's almost always smoke somewhere in Tres Rios. oh btw Tres Rios is in the state of Rio De Janeiro so Im actually not even in Minas Gerais. the food is to DIE FOR. its so good and we always have lunch with members and then were on our own for all the other meals. 

 It's pretty easy to get a referral here since everyone believes in Christ and if you deny us you're pretty much denying Christ. haha! But we went to teach a family out in the boonies the other day and both the mom, and her 8 year old son and 13 year old daughter said they would get baptized in 3 weeks!! they came to church with us on Sunday and everything! I asked the batismal question but my comp gave the lesson. ahah. its pretty exciting seeing people see the light of Christ. we also have another lady who said she will read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it's true and if so will be baptized in 3 weeks so that makes 4 baptisms!! 

It's been a tough week and somedays it seems like all i do is sit through lessons and only understand half of what anyone is saying. Ive been studying so hard and ive been trying my hardest to keep up and understand but if ive learned one thing so far its that the lord doesnt just take away our trials, he gives us strength to overcome them. when Jesus was crying out to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, God didnt just stop the atonement or stop His suffering, He sent Him an angel to give Jesus strength. I'll do all I can to try and learn it with the help God gives me, and I know without a sliver of doubt that my Father in Heaven has not forsaken me.
well thats all I have time for! love you guys!!
Elder Hamm
lunch at the mission home with other new elders

Lunch before getting our new companions

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Arrival in Juiz de Fora!

Incoming Elders and Sisters 
Just the Elders - note that at least 3 of them are from his Provo MTC district. :) 
We received an email with PHOTOS (yay!) from Elder Hamm's mission president's wife, assuring us that he arrived safely in Juiz de Fora at the mission home on Tuesday, September 2nd.  He looks good and happy!  We anxiously await his first letter from the field and learning about his new companion and area!