Monday, February 29, 2016

Fala serio

This is a bissocoitão which is pretty much all I've been eating for the past 5 days for breakfast and dinner.  Don't have pity on me we just work so hard we don't have time to go to a minimarket that closes at like 8... so everyday we just go to a padaria next to our house.  This is actually really good its like cheese and stuff.  

Q:  Tell us about your new comp – where is he from? 
Elder Barlow is from Utah hes actually from my group! haha so its just kinda a party
Q:  How long he been out?  Same time as me
Q:  Tell us about your new area – rich, poor, in-between, city, farm, etc.  Oh my goodness.... its like a small city in the middle of nowhere. Its a 7 hour bus ride from Juiz de Fora that costs 105 Reais. Its pretty much just some humble people who live in small houses and if you try and escape this small town you´ll run into farms so there really is no escaping.
How is the ward? The Branch is actually super strong! there are like 70 members every sunday and the people here in this area are really humble ready to hear the gospel.

This is me on my freakin 7 hour bus ride trying not to
jump out the window.  

Sooo this letter is gonna be a little short because I am in Juiz de Fora today!! Suprise!! Yeah we have a meeting with Cascardi about how we are gonna help the missoinaries in our area so we got up at 6 and left the house at 6;30 to get our 7;30 bus and got here in Juiz de Fora at 3. Now we´re gonna chill and visit some of my old investigators and then have a meeting tommorow starting at 8-3.... yeah then guess what we´re gonna do? Take the same 7 hour bus ride back to farm-ville Sion. (sigh) 

This one is of the storm.  I have a video of the car...
let me see if I can send a screen shot of it. 

But just to summarize this week, we had a HUUGGEE rain storm that like flooded the streets (and our apartamento because the windows were open) and some car got stuck in the gutters so me and Elder Barlow ran out there and were like in the middle of a gushing river trying to push this dude's car out. I have a video that i´ll send you guys later but it was nuts. The rain hit so hard and I took pictures of the storm before it hit cause I knew it was coming so we tried to run home but we didnt make it. We got drenched. it was crazy. haha but yeah it was cool cause everyone saw 2 missionaries running for their lives in like freakin hurricane katrina.

But yeah we have a LOT of investigators and ALOT of people we are helping to get baptised. I´ll try and send some pictures!! but I think thats about it for the week. A lot of new stuff. I love you guys!! miss you all so much!! 

Elder Hamm

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Varginha-MG, Sion

Have you had the chance to listen to any General Authority's while there? Yeah acutally we had GA´s here like alot actually. They would come and give trainings to president. 

Do they have mission conferences with the whole mission?  Yeah but only during christmas or when a really big GA or Apostle comes to this area.

Have you driven mission vehicles while there? No. Only the assistantes here really have permission to drive mission vehicles and the president doesnt even think of giving them the keys. 

So we helped President N move right? So they keep trying to plan a bbq for us and keeps falling through so finally he marked sunday at 7. But there were a lot of problems and the other elders asked if we could go and President said only during lunch and only for an hour. So long story short he sees me at church so I just ask like "Hey President Nunes is doing a bbq and asked us to come can we go?" and he starts off like uhh I dont think its a good idea and gets to no. its actually a bad idea. So im like alright thats chill I understand. Later that day we get a call from Elder B and hes like, yeah so the president said you guys have to go to the Bbq and it starts at 8:30, dont get there before or after 8;30. So im like what the heck? Haha super confused so when we get there I can already hear presidents voice and im like "oh dang, we really should have called just to confirm that we could come." So we walk up stairs and president is sitting in a chair with his wife and his son and daughter in law and just gives me a funny look. Thats when my heart just dropped. And im like, "look im just as confused as you are, am I allowed to be here?" And the president just kinda looks at us and shaked his head..... Sister Cascardi saw our faces and was like, "he's kidding loves go get some carne" Hahaha I was like wow so not funny. 

So at the BBQ President called me over and asked if I knew where I was going.... I was like, well you do know I work in the office right? Haha and he tells me about the responsibility I will have serving in the Branch Sion in Varginha. I will be responsible for 28 other missionaries that include, I think 1 ward, 3 branches, and 1 district. I also found out that President N is responsible for that district so i´ll be seeing him a lot more. haha but im excited. I just hate packing ugh. its the worst. Future missionaries, bring suit cases with 4 wheels and that spin in 30 degrees. it will make your life 1,000 times better

It will be really sad to leave the office and stuff... but I think Varginha will be the place where I die. only a little more so we´ll see. I love you guys!! miss you all so much!!! 

I also think I have a hole in my boot.... I dont believe this. I´ve already worn these suckers down so much.   

Elder Hamm

John 4:35

Questions: Have you mostly served in wards or branches?  Mostly in wards that don´t have more than 40 people in the ward. Here in Juiz de Fora the church is SUPER strong and all the members help so its awesome. The attendance is like 110 so thats a lot, but in my other wards its been like 40 or less. 
Do most the church buildings have more than one ward in them? I think most have 2 because its just 2 small wards but in some area´s its just one because there aren´t a lot of members and its pretty isolated.  
Do they have singles wards? No. Juiz de fora has like 100 single adults and they dont have a singles ward so I dont think anywhere has a singles ward. But they do a lot of activities together. 
So this week was pretty sweet. We had 2 baptisms and 2 confirmations so that was super cool. umm This week also had a sick family night with the elders in our ward where we found 3 swords so we took a bunch of pictures haha more about that on the way. 

Other than that we just taught repentance and baptized the converts who were B and J. J is 40ish and he is the man. Hes trying to help his family be baptized these next few weeks and if they decide to be baptized, HE´s gonna baptize them! Thats so cool how the church works. And B is the grandson of someone me and Elder B reactivated these days and when he found out he could be baptized he wanted us to talk to his mom right away!! Haha So we marked a date with the family and they are gonna be baptised in the next few weeks as well. Sadly I think this will be my last week here in this blessed area ;( 
I had an interview with the president this week and he was like, uhh do you have any questions or doubts or anything? And so I just went ahead and asked, "President, will I stay here one more transfer or will I be transferred?" he just kinda bapped me with the response, "What difference does it make to you?" And I was like yeahhh... haha So today only a part of my readjust went into my account which means I will probably only be in this area, one more week. But im excited for my next area, just not excited for the packing and the leaving. 
Hahahahah so this scripture. So it just so happens that in chuch we were sitting there and the president and his wife came in and sat down next to us and some girl talks about a scripture in John 4 so a few days before Elder Ballard called me and shared this scripture with me ahaha so when I open my scriptures this verse has like 3 stars next to it and is colored and has fev. written in the margin and president looks over and is kinda looking at my scriptures so I point to it and give him the scriptures. He takes out his glasses and I immediately regret doing this. He starts to read a little ahead to get the context and then when he gets to the verse he cracks this smile and shows sister and sister gives me that eye and president gets this YYeahhh! face on hahahaha I died laughing.
But yeah thats about it. I love you guys!! miss you all alot!! TLove
Elder Hamm

Monday, February 8, 2016


What do most the people wear for shoes there – Nike and Adidas?  Crocs? Flip-flops?  Havaianas is pretty much what everyone uses here. Its like a flip flop made of rubber and not that expensive. its a nice flip flop. I bought some in Cascatinha and I still have them today. So when you get home at night, here in Brasil they dont really use carpet. Its almost all tile. And tile´s really cold, like, all the time. So when you get home you basically take your shoes off and put on your flip flops. Like people never walk around bare foot because you can catch a cold.  

Are there any things there that we don’t think are bad that would offend people there (like Josh said in Mexico you can’t knock “shave and a haircut, two bits”)?  If you call someone an animal. Hahaha they dont like that, thats like swearing at them. 

How do they celebrate Valentine’s day in Brazil? So valentines day is actually in November here soooo yeah. and its call like the day of girlfriends/boyfriends. So its really only for people in relationships... kinda like in the USA

So yeah this week was actually super sick. so last pday was Elder C's Birthday and then the next day wsa Elder B's and then today is Elder Br's so last P day the president invited us over to eat pizza and cake and told us to get there at 21h.....  hahaha but alright he is the president. we had already marked to go out with a member to contact some referrals AND a nother member wanted to have a suprise party for C. So we went to work.  But yeah did all that stuff we had to do then at presidents house we ate pizza and cake and chatted a lot with them. The president is so cool and Sister C is just the best. Seriously they just are awesome haha we talked about everything, the beach, they guessed our first names (cause you dont really use them but they got them all right after about 10 minutes of thinking) and then we had cake and icecream and president got out his binder from the mission and was showing us all of his stuff he got like awards for baptising and stuff. Hahahaha we were laughing so hard cause this dude has like 1,000 and he served only for a year and 6 months. Got home at around 10:40ish. Haha it was cool. 

So after I get out of the shower that night I look at the phone and I see one missed call from president. Hes the only one who would call after 10:30 cause at 10:30 your suppose to be alseep. So I call him back and he said that President N and his family are moving and that they needed my help and if I could help. So I said yeah of course. So on wednsday Sister C picked up in front of the Blue Tower in normal clothes and we drove to the move. It was one of the most trunky experiences of my mission being in a nice car with air conditioning and in normal clothes joking around with sister. Hahah so we get there and they have like a million things its crazy and the truck had to make 3 trips so we being shuttled back and forth and stuff helping out and Sister called the president asking if we could stay a little longer just to help get the treadmil up to the 4th floor. It was tough. But it was cool. And sister took us to Mcdonalds (which here is really expensive) and I asked for a big mac and shes like, why dont you get that one that costs more? hahahaha Sister is so awesome. then she bought us icecream and we went back and finished the move. But yeah it was just kinda a huge trunky week.

But this Saturday we´re gonna baptise J whos 32 (and hopefully the rest of his family next month) and B (the grandkid of a women we reactivated and hopefully her daughers too next month). You see? You can be trunky and still work and still have success. Obviously its eaiser to not be but its not impossible. 

But yeah those were pretty much the two adventures this week. We had a lot of really cool lessons this week with E who was almost being ill because of her confusion amidst the different religions. But she just doesnt wanna leave her church. It is actually really sad. She said someone was gonna be baptised in the church where she goes btu the only thing missing would be..... she paused to think of the word and then said..... Authority. And I almost jumped out of my chair cause I was so glad she understood
Then we were teaching this lady and her son and she was like crying during the first vision because the spirit was so strong and then her husband gets home and shes like, YOU have to hear what these men have to say, and so he sits there for 30 seconds and then wants to like bible bash. -___-

So yeah thats about my week. It was good. I liked it, I learned a lot. Love you guys!! miss you all so much!! Oh yeah this week is also carnaval so thats pretty crazy too. 

Elder Hamm

Monday, February 1, 2016

Just tryin to be EVEN MORE like Christ (only missing 2 more nails)

Don't get that lightning rod too high (from my title), it will probably attract more lightning.  haha

How was your week?  Ours was mostly waiting for stuff to melt.  Like Nate’s brain from lack of school (back home). Hahaha 

My week was good. Its been pretty long especially since I am writing you right now at 1:19 in the morning, from the office, with a hole in my foot. Yeah but more on that later alligator. 

So this week was supppper fun actually. I got to do A LOT of exercise. We helped out a lot with the wheelchairs this week! it was a lot of organizing and moving them around and putting them on trucks and taking them off trucks but it was all worth it Aaturday when we saw all the people there to get their wheel chair. As I sat on the stand looking over the people there I couldnt help but think, "How many of these people will soon know, and embrace, the gospel of Jesus Christ?" Its a great work to be done and im glad that I can do it. 
So yeah why am I here at 1:40 in the morning? Because the secretary is putting the baptisimal forms in the computer which he has to do at the end of every month and this time we had A LOT. So im here with him because his companions were really tired and didnt wanna stay. The presidente already called a few times to see how we were doing. Haha I love that dude. 


As for the hole in my foot. Well today, almost right after lunch, we were walking down the street and I stepped on a wooden board and a huge rusty nail went right into my foot. A feeling I know all too well (curse you Cascatinha). So I kinda ripped my foot out of the nail and took off my shoes. Yeah - the nail's luck cause I wasnt wearing my boots because it was sunday and I had to wear my fancy shoes. And a little info about puncture wounds, they are super easy to seal up and stop the bleeding because even though it went in like 3cm it was only about 1cm wide so you just kinda put pressure on it and it stops bleeding super fast - but we were in the middle of nowhere heading.... to a even more nowhere to contact a reference a member gave us so I just put back on my shoe and contacted the reference. Then I called Sister C and she said what I was dreading.... go to the hospital and take a vaccine. ;(  Its not that I'm afraid of needles or anything its just I HATE having to take the time to go to a hospital and wait in that line JUST to have a shot.  So after 5 minutes of begging her to let me just like

fast and pray that it will be okay, me and my comp take off for the hospital where the Doc takes out a part of my shoe that actually went into my foot. That kinda hurt alot. But Doc Sergio was super cool and we joked around alot. It was also cool because I helped a kid who hit his head on a pole stay a little calmer. I told him I had take about 8 staples to my head too so that helped him a lot hahaha he was about 10 years old. 

But then as I was getting my tetanus shot the doctor walks in (which is weird because the waiting room was full) and asks me what church I represent. So we started talking fast and I gave him the watered down version of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, how it was lost and now is here again and he asks, but what about the gadget? I was like so confused. and he just kept asking so I told him that Joseph Smith used a seer stone to help him translate and about the plates and the Book of Mormon and like everyone his response was "do you have the stone and the plates?" to which I responded "ahhhh Everthing would just be too easy if we had the plates, and would that really prove to you that Joseph saw God the Father and Jesus Christ?" he kinda shrugged and said it all seemed kinda ET to him. I said "yeah I´ve been there. What lead me to know was actually that. I wanted to know if this ET story was real."  So I explained about the Americas and how they had a people there too in the same time as the Bible and he said that makes sense.  So I said "When I read that book. I know Sergio. I know that no man on earth could write a book like that. It was translated in 80 days. 80 DAYS!?! The bible was translated from a KNOWN language to another KNOWN language and it took 52 scholars 15 YEARS TO DO IT."  That sparked his interest. I said I have this book with me right now that could be yours on one condition.  He said "How much you want for it?" I said "nothing but a promise. Promise me you´ll read the introduction and Joseph Smith's testamony and you can have it." He looked at me and kinda extended his arm out to grab it and I kinda did that eyebrow raise. and he smiles and is like "I promise." So all in all it was a good day with an even better expierence. 

But yeah its the afternoon now. We got home at like 2ish and had to still wake up at 6;30. That one hurt.  So I love you guys!! miss you all so much!
-- Elder Hamm