Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pretty Sweet

this is me and freddi.  He's super sick and has super cool eyes. 

So this week was pretty sweet. so we're living in a house with 4 missionaries thats really meant for 2 so its pretty cozy to say the least.
To start as always, Questions from my dad,
what is your favorite hymn? Hmmm dont really have one they are all pretty sweet
Do you eat meals with members?  What do they feed you? Is it dinner or lunch? Weeelllll its like this, most days they sit us infront of a television and us 4 missionaries just eat and joke and laugh and its a gay ol time. Sundays we always eat with the families cause its Sunday and we always have rice, beans, some chicken or beef, and fruit juice to drink. We always have rice and beans but some days when its like 39-40 degrees out side its super hard to eat hot rice and beans. Haha I dont think Ill ever get used to that.

So this week I managed to convince the bishop that I dont speak a LICK of portuguese. we were in the car on the way to church sunday and he was joking with my comp about giving a talk on sunday and my comp (who never hesitates to throw the whole world under the bus) suggested that the other two Elders sing a duet because they love to sing (which is a complete lie). So they laugh and then he saids that Elder Hamm should give a talk because he's more new to the area. So the bishop says ``oh no lets give Elder Hamm some more time, we know that he struggles with portuguese´´ and everyone in the car kinda just looks at me and in the thickest accent I said ``Eu saber como falar muito bem. Eu ter a capacidade para falar muito bom muito bem.´´ and everyone in the car just busts out laughing and the bishops like ``yeah we´ll give him some more time.
So now every time he tries to talk to me I just dont congagate anything and use my american accent. hahah

This week was also kinda interesting and just kinda shows you never know whos counting on you. So we needed to talk to the assistants to the pres this week about something I dont remember, so Elder C calls them up and jokingly the first thing he says is ``Man I cant stand Elder Hamm I need to be transfered this week.´´ And Elder G (assistant to the prez) who I know pretty well cause he was in my last zone and hes super chill was like, ``what?! You have got to be kidding me?? What could you possibly be fighting with Elder Hamm about??´´
 And I was just a little taken back, in a good way, that he knew that I was a pretty chill person and he had confidence that I wouldnt really cause any problems with Elder C.  So that was cool. 

But yeah so this week we were teaching this middle aged lady and shes like you guys dont believe in God and as it says in the bible in Matthew 6:24 ``No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mormón.´´
And both me and my comp exchange glances like, what is this?! My comps like, ``where is this scripture? Geez Senhora if this scripture exists I will rip off my name tag right now and join your church.´´ So we open up the scriptures to this chapter and she reads it and just looks at us. She still doesnt get it, so we're like, read it again. So she does. And im like read it ONE MORE TIME but this time focus on the last word.... So this time she reads it and when she gets to the end shes like ``Mammon.... ohhhhhh´´ and things got really awkward hahah but it was funny.

So yeah the mish is pretty sick, Im gonna be honest out of our district leader and his comp and me and my comp, Im the only one awake at 6:30 untill really like 8-8:30ish. Haha Its not so bad but yeah thats how my week's going. Hope Josh is enjoying being home!! Its crazy to think that hes finishing his mission like Right now but hey thats life. just 2 more years and Ill be home!! haha love you guys

Elder Hamm 

Monday, January 12, 2015


so this week I literally only have bad news.... But this week has been the best most fun week of the mission yet. how? I really cant explain so ill just tell you all what went down this week.
so it started at the bus station when my bus arrived late and so I missed the bus to Cascitinha with my whole district so the assistant to the Prez said that I will be traveling alone... and the sprinkles on top is the fact that I had to wait. all alone. in the bus station. for 2 hours. alone. for my bus to cascitinha. (*side not to my parents the 100 reais i sacked out of the card was for a little cart for my luggage that I strap everything to. its literally impossible to make it through transfers without this cart. ill send you a picture next transfer)
So I get to Cascitinha fine and my comp Elder C is waiting for me with Elder S (americano) and Elder F (chilean? chilliean? hes from chile, also from my group in the ctm). So we take a bus to the house and when we get there I see that the house only was made for 2 Elders but since this area is difficult it has 4 missionaries... In a 2 missionary appartment.
So my luck is that we live right next to the chapel!!! which is currently going under reforms which will take 1 year to complete so every morning at 7 we hear them drilling away and hammering. Well I hear it cause im normally the only one up at 7.
So since this chapel is under construction we have to go to a chapel in Correas which is a 50 minute walk from our house. so the members are trying to work something out where we have people giving rides to our investigators and to the people who dont have cars cause by bus it is 30 minutes and costs 4 reais. 
So our area here is straight hills. No joke. We have these cement stairs going up the mountains in all different directions and thats pretty much our area. like 4 cement stairs per mountain and we have like 5 mountains in our area. sometimes it takes 20 minutes just to climb up to the top of a mountian to visit a recent convert. It is a pain. ill send you a picture. The view though is to die for. 
And our house, you ready for this? the faucet is like a broken cap to a water bottle. you just keep twisting and twisting and twisting and the faucet never stops so we had to replace that this week without turning off the water cause there no way to do that. needless to say it was a wet experience... but we did it! Then I went to open the bathroom door a few days later (which only had 2 working hinges to begin with) and ripped it off the wall.... so we're trying to fix that as well. and the freezer was literally all ice when i got here so we defrosted it this week and it was like i was ice picking for buried treasure but instead of treasure it was raw frozen meat and yellow ice... yeah. 

The water comes out of the faucet a yellowish tint but I havent died yet! Me and my comps beds are the original beds in the house so to make room for the other 2 beds they ordered 1 bunk bed and just kinda put one bed on top of the other. So really my comps bed is secured ontop of mine with 3 bic pens we stuck in the holes we made in the bed so yeah... Im kinda just waiting for the bed to fall on me but its whatever. 
so yeah thats my week so far. Its freaking awesome and If I told you all the stuff me and Elder C did this week it would take up like 3 huge emails! and I dont have time. But this is by far the best week of the mission yet. Hahaha Im excited to work with elder C and yeah love you all. ill write down the stuff that happened this week and send it in a letter! Its awesome! love you guys miss you all so much. AYE AND when josh comes home I dont want none of this prodigal son has returned! you better call him kemosabe for at least a week, which mean wrong brother.
haha te amo,
Elder Hamm

Monday, January 5, 2015


Dad's questions: 
Where you are now, what do people live like?  people here live fairly well. im still in tres rios but I am being transfered tomorrow to Petropolis, I forget the name of the city but its like Cascatinha, im pretty stoked
Are their homes nice?  they have nice homes and they have really really bad houses.
Do they have running water?  Do they have electricity?  For the most part yes they have all of this. I have yet to see a house without water and electricity. Electricity here is sketchy though its like a wire entering your house that goes to a few appilances
Do they have warm showers? Yes but when its a constant 30 degrees you dont want to use warm water. 
Do people have carpet?  Do they have windows? Do with windows have screens on them?  No. No one here has carpet its all tile or cement, ive seen one house with a rug but thats it. Windows yes. Its like Hawaii - the houses here are very open to get that good breeze rollin through the house. Screens no. You have to buy screens and no one uses them.
Do they have garages? Do they have garbage disposals or microwaves? Few houses have garages, and they dont have washing machines for dishes, dryers, or garbage disposals. Its funny I actually had this conversation with a memeber the other day. She was saying she saw this thing in a movie about some american things and she was like what is this? haha so yeah they dont have any of that stuff here. microwaves yes, washing machines for clothes yes. but thats it. 

soooo this week we had 3 days without water in our apartment..... You might ask why, so what happened was we live in an appartment. this apartment has one tank of water above it. Its fairly large its about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. so when you start to use water the tank automatically starts to refill BUT if you use all the water in the tank, it needs to refill fully before anyone can use the water.
So its been freakin hot this week so everyone in our appartment was using water so the water just stopped flowing. so we wait a day and on tuesday we still have no water so we went and asked and he explained what was happening and said we should have water by tomorrow night  and at like 9 on wedsnday night we finally had water.

Soooo dont worry we still showered. haha we have a spigot out side of our house that still had water -____- so we filled a bucket with water and use that to shower. it wasnt pretty but it was less smelly.

I also will be transfered tomorrow to the area of Petropolis! so im pretty excited but at the same time im super sad to be leaving Elder L. He is the sickest dude ever and ive had so much fun with him here. But all good things must come to an end. its a way I can learn from other people and become better. Im excited

so it rained the other day and the sewage system here is supppperrrrr bad so it doesnt have to rain much to flood. so this picture is the road to our appartment... this isnt the only road to our appartment but the other way was more flooded. so yeah we had to just keep on truckin. 
To be honest I took off my shoes which might have actually been worse but I took off my shoes and walked through this water that was like knee high. it was not fun wading through sewage. 

But I love you guys!! hope you all are doing welll! love you"!

Elder Hamm

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Feliz Natal! e Feliz ano novo!

So its crazy but the mission is just FLYING BY!! Its funny cause my comps at 1 year mission time and im like man thats like forever. But right now Im almost half way there! 
So dads questions
Plans for New Years – do they have fireworks or parties etc? Yes there will be the works but there are always fireworks going off somewhere in this city.

Any other Christmas festivities there that were new or different? Did I tell you guys yet? They celebrate christmas on like the 24th cause at midnight on the 24th they have a dinner to kinda welcome in the birthday of Christ. I tried to explain to them that if they stay up this late, santa claus wont come but they didnt believe me!

Are most people you meet able to read? No. Literally, its impressive. The generation above this generation here is illeterate. Im not sure if the pattern will continue with this new generation, but in almost all of our lessons when we ask people to read from the bible or to read something they say, oh no you can read it. Or they pass it to their kid to read. So right now just off my own perception, it looks like most 20+ year olds here cant read-especially in certain parts of town. While their kids who are 13-17 can read so mabye this is a generation who want to learn to read I dont know. Theres the study of Elder Hamm for you all.
So this week something interesting happened, and I would like to try and relate it without offending any other religions. So if you are of another religion please dont take offense, but use this as an opportunity to reflect on yourself and learn a little more.
So me and my comp were walking down the street on the way to an appointment when some very brave guy started yelling in our faces and telling us all the things that are wrong about our church.
He didnt get very far since he started with, ``you teach with your mormom bible.´´ At which point I unzipped my bag and pulled out my Holy Bible that all the churches use in brazil. I said ``this one? We use the same bible as you, the same one all the prophets of God wrote in, do you have a different one?´´
He responded ``is this the one that Joseph Smith wrote?´´
We said no, but we use this one too. Then we went on to explain The Book Of Mormon and how we use both books to testify of Jesus Christ as it says on the front cover. Another Testament of Jesus Christ. 
Long story short he continues screaming at us and my comp kindly tells him that he doesnt really have a good spirit around him but if he would want to learn about our chruch we would love to give him a lesson some day in a more calm enviorment. at which point he kinda ended the little respect I had for him by saying ``no I already know about your cult, my church gave a class about it.´´
At which point my comp kinda lost it, im gonna be honest. He's like ``oh the same one that said we dont use the bible? And all the other things we showed werent true?´´ At which point he whipped out the scripture in Ephesions 14:12-15 which talks about having apostles, prophets, pastors, doctores untill we all reach the unity of faith.
So my question for you is the same one my companion left with this man. If we´re not all here at the unity of faith, where is this church with apostles and prophets and everything else? Im here to testify that this is that church. The Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is that church. It is the church that Jesus Christ built and established and Joseph Smith restored this Church in these Latter Days in the exact form that Jesus Christ left it. The proof of this is the Book Of Mormon. Read it. Pray about it. Its the main way you can know if this church is true or not.
I love you guys and hope you all have a good new years!
Elder Hamm