Monday, December 16, 2013

Manaus...Week 11!

So, this was a crazy, crazy week. (This is Elder Links Mom)  I hadn't had time to write him, and by the time I got my letter to him, the computers where he was started this week is short and sweet.

Switched lanhouses. So I am now back.  So about skyping... what will happen is that we will get a laptop from a member and then head to the church. One of us will use the church computer with a borrowed camera and the other will use the laptop. I don't think we will have a problem with time. So we should be pretty good. As for what name it will be under, I have no idea. That one will probably be figured out day of. But, we will be emailing during that time too, so we should be able to figure it out. 
So I don't have too much time, so I can't write too much. Sorry but switching lanhouses and waiting for your email took away a lot of my time. I'll catch you up on my week next week. Just know this week was super good and this upcoming week will be pretty awesome too. No baptisms, but we will have them next week. I hope. 
I love you guys a lot. I'll try to send some pics too. Pretty sure I can here. Love you guys. 
Tip of the week real quick. Be happy in your work. If I have already done this, I will do it again. Be happy in your work... and find ways to have fun while walking or with your investigators. If it isn't fun, you won't wanna do it. So find a way to make it fun.
Love you all!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Manaus....Week 10!

So lets answer some questions!!!  The companion business is goin pretty well.  We are getting a lot of teaching done.  Over 40 lessons a week. We are kickin some serious butt here.  My portuguese is doing pretty well and no one can believe that I can speak as well as I can after only two months. I´m doin allright I guess.  So about the Christmas Devotional I did not get to watch it...lame sauce.  But I´m sure eventually I will be able to see it.  Maybe. Who knows.  We will just have to wait and see.  So this week had some fun stuff. We just had transfers and I´m with my hispanic companion again, but a sister from my mtc district is now in my district and my district leader is an American as well. Pretty cool.  But so this week had a pretty awesome baptism, wasn´t sure if it was gonna happen but it did.  All thanks to the fact that my new district leader had a good talk with him during the interview.  Pretty sweet.  His name is Gabriel, and he´s 15 years old...pretty chill kid.  Took a while to get this point, like the whole time I´ve been here.  But we were supposed to have more but the guy was drinking until 7 in the morning...yeah.   But so, that´s what has happened.
Walked right through the middle of a drug deal, that was pretty funny. ...In a back alley that´s a shortcut to our house.   Right after lunch on a Sunday.   So it was like 2 in the afternoon. And the best part is at first they tried to hide it by covering the scene with an umbrela that they tilted into our line of sight. It was pretty funny to be honest.  So that about sums up my week. Oh, apparently I also am now an english tutor for kids who are taking english in school.  That´s pretty fun.  Kinda silly sometimes when they really just don´t get it.  But I´m trying.  And I guess it helps them.  Their teachers are suprised they do so well anyways. 
So, I have not yet gotten my box.  If all else fails I´m pretty sure we will pass by the place that it will be sometime for the mission Christmas reunion.  I hear all the missionaries in the entire city will gather.  So I´ll be able to get it then if I don´t get it anytime soon. So yeah, don´t have my box yet but I´m sure it´ll come soon. So I would really love to have that scripture set I asked for...Only Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Thanks!
So, I´m glad to hear that everyone is doing pretty well.  Hope that Caden gets his grades up.  NO MORE 0´S!!!!  Keep up the work in the cold!  LOve you guys a bunch! Hopefully pics to follow!
Advice for the week! Remember to thank everyone who gives you food and do it with real intente. The members will provide many dinners for you (here it´s lunch but same concept). They go out of their way to help you out so Always have ready for them a message and a prayer and thank them. Very importante.  You need the members to like you cause when they like you they trust you with their friends and your teaching pool will grow exponentially. Allright!  
Love you all!  Until next week!
(No pics this totally just depends on which computer he gets)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Manaus Week 9!

Welcome to the rainy Amazona!!

Well, glad to know that everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I however had no Thanksgiving. It was kinda sad. Got a bit trunky for a minute. But yea I took some time to be grateful. So my Portuguese has definately improved a ton. I could go off on my own if I wanted and be just fine. But I'm always with my companion of course. So this week has been a fun one. Had exchanges 2 times in one week. One was with the zone leaders because I´m technically being retrained, and then another one with the district leader to do interviews for our baptisms. Only one this week, but we have another one set up for next week too, and that´s at the minimum. So this week we baptized a guy named Tiago, he was baptized by a recentish convert which is super sweet. Tiago believe it or not is 20. He doesn´t look it at all. But so here is his story. Elder Colgrove and I were teaching him and his Family but he never did anything. We baptized his cousins, mom, basically everyone that lives in one of the 2 houses he stays at. But he never did anything. Then Elder Diaz came in. While I was on exchanges, Elder Diaz spoke with Tiago..... And he was baptized. Strange how it Works, but pretty sweet to see him finally moving somewhere. So I don´t really have too much this week, but I do have something you´ve been waiting for for quite some time now. Pictures!!!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!
 Pictures of Tiago!  He's on the right and the recente convert is on the left.

Opa! Right, I almost forgot. But now I am reminded and am ready to give my weekly advice. Be sure to pass all of my weekly advices on to Bro. Cook for his mission prep. class. Should be able to help. At least a little. So this weeks advice is work with your leaders. All of them. Whether they be other missionaries in leadership positions or Ward leaders or the mission presidente. All are there to help you in your work and if you dont use them and the knowledge and experience they have you are wasting a lot of valuable resources. Learn how to listen to and work well with these people and the work will accelerate. So that is my weekly advice. Oh and for Bro. Cook especially. In the mission prep. class, watch `the district´ vídeos. They will do a lot of teaching. allright, until next week!

This is Lucas!  He's awesome!

So we have a young man leaving on his mission soon and the ward had a party for him.  Super Cool!
These are the young men that are awesome in our ward.

Two Baptisms....Emmerson and Erivielton.  They are brothers.  Super Sweet!
My Companion Elder Diaz....From Chili!
This is Guilherme...baptism that we had last month.
A picture of how bad my shoes are getting.....
My shirt that I ripped while we were walking of the long sleeve ones.  I wasn't vey happy.

Here is the dirt I swept up on our floor after 1 week....7 Days!!!

And...I continue my tradition of a new car every transfer....2012 Mustang.  It's pretty.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Manaus Week 8

Size 32?  Because I've lost weight.  Actually quite a bit.  That belt I've got...I can pull it to the last hole without really a problem. And I used to have 2 empty holes. I'm skinny again and not fat!  And I'm keeping most of my muscle because I'm working out pretty hard again. I can go into a handstand and do 2 to 3 handstand pushups against the wall. I'm gonna come home looking awesome.  Actually, I'm gonna come home and live at home because I'm still my moms little boy.  I'll magically turn back into a 4 year old. But yea, I'm not worried about any of that.
But so, I love the fact that you guys got to see an apostle. Super cool... especially for Caden.  They just look you in the eyes and they can read you're soul. Super cool. But yea, sorry about the freezingness of the states, but I understand the rain entirely.  Every day!  My planner is destroyed because it has gotten drenched so many times. But the transfer is almost over.  Speaking of which, I have had basically the hardest week I have ever had.  Its just all the worse because I know the language and can speak but I can't because my new comp spoke the whole week every lesson. I literally was basically his personal escort to each of our investigators and he taught while I sat there. It was super hard. I got super frustrated. But I'm over it and we are gonna figure it out. But I'm pretty lucky. I've got the language pretty well now.  People understand me and I understand them.... and it's only gonna keep getting better.  But I'm not frustrated anymore because I can't speak.  I can.  It's crazy, I speak Portuguese!  I took how many years of spanish and can't speak it at all?  And here I am, at basically 3 months of time, and I can speak with anyone.  There is still some stuff  I don't get but I'm getting it.
So yea, that's basically it.  That was my week.  Nothing much else happened.  My comp taught and I said maybe a few words.  We found a new family and we are teaching them.  Hopefully I will be able to talk more. We shall see. But things will get better.  We had a talk.  I get why he's here now.  He talked to the mission president.  His reason to be here is to teach me the language to where I have no doubts and am ready to be a leader in the mission.  I'd much rather just stay a normal missionary and just work.  But yea, that's what my comp told me.  Gonna be a fun one.  So yea it's all portuguese from here on out.  He speaks some english but he basically said he has orders from president to only do portuguese unless english is necessary.  Woohoo!  But yea, I can speak well enough to get by. Which brings me to my missionary tip of the week. 1 Nephi 3:7. No matter what, whether it be language or lack of confidence or no investigators, God's got a plan. He will provide a way. So have confidence.... And the Spirit will speak for you.
Thats it for this week. Thanks to everyone from family and friends, to President Kimball from Dallas East stake. Thank you guys so much. Love you all. Love you mom!

(No pics again this week....he's really trying)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Manaus....Week 7!

(Before the mission)

Allright here we go. The letter for this week. And I'm trying super hard to do capitilization right for you guys. So let's see, what do we have. Well first off, I still haven´t found a computer that allows me to send pics. So i´m sorry mom, but still nothing. I´m working on it, I promise. So let´s recap this past week. We had 2 more baptisms! They are 2 Young men, named Emmerson and Erivielton. Super awesome, way huge miracle. So that´s basically it. We were working super hard with a select group of people to move them towards baptism. So this upcoming week we will be spending most of our time looking for new investigators. With my new comp! So, allow me to shed a little light on the situation. There were some elders that weren´t getting along so they took my comp and one of the elders and switched them. So I now have a new comp from Chile. Goodbye english! Only Portuguese now. This is gonna be a lot of fun. But so yea that basically sums up my week. Not very interesting. I have a new comp who I met last night at around 8:30. So I don't really know him but luckily it´s a p-day so we have plenty of time. But so yea, that´s about all my new news. And since mom hasn´t sent me a big update I have no idea how to respond to how you all are doing. So I will go with what I know. Which is nothing. So I will now give the missionary tip of the week. And this week is have fun. You can get super tired during the week and the work is hard so find a way to keep it fun. Don´t fall into a pattern because then you are giving scripted lessons. And that won´t help people very much. Have fun, otherwise you won´t want to be out on your mission. So that´s all for this week folks. Until next week! Love you all!

A little back and forth....
Mom-How long has your companion been out?  That'll be interesting for you.  I guess it forces you to learn Portuguese.  How do you get your mail?  Do you get it once a month at zone conference?
Elder Link-It's zone conference and he speaks Spanish.  He's been out for about 7 months so we basically came out around the same time.  And yes, I will have to learn Portuguese.
Mom-You crack me up...
Elder Link-I'm glad that I do.
Mom-When are your zone conferences?  Just to make sure that we get your Christmas there in time.
Elder Link-Like once a month.
Mom-I know they're once a month...but when?  Like the first week of the month or the last week?
Elder Link-I don't know, they are mostly random.  They switch.  It just really depends on the month.
Mom-Is there a calendar?
Elder Link-No.  We get told the week before in an email.
Mom-K...Love you son.  Have a great week.
Elder Link-I will definitely try.  Love you mom.
(The Brasil Manaus Temple)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Manaus...Week 6

I really do have limited time to email. We have to pay for our time to use the internet. Totally lame. But since mom hasn't emailed me I will be sending the email to you first. silly mom, not emailing me and such. But so lets see, this week. Had some awesome and then some wierd stuff. So let's start from the top. Tuesday we had district meeting and I taught a little bit in Portuguese. Then we went and taught people. Wednesday was a normal day and we went and taught poeple the gospel. Thursday is where the uh oh happened. It was interviews with the mission presidente. Don't worry, I'm not in trouble, some people would see this as really good but I actually kinda wanted to avoid it. So Presidente was talking to me and he said that next transfer is going to be very challenging and I'm pretty sure he hinted that I will be a leader of some kind. So at the very least I will probably be a sênior companion. Which means I will really have to figure out the área. Which is super hard cause it's so different. So things are gonna be hard... and I am moving up to a leadership probably. I actually hoped to avoid that my entire mission. My goal was to at the highest be sênior comp and I'm probably already gonna be there.  I just wanted to fly under the radar and focus on working and not have to worry about the leadership stuff.  But yea, thats what presidente said.  Then Friday we had an awesome miricle happen. So we had taught these 2 Brothers for weeks and they weren't progressing so we had to drop them. Then we were walking down the street and we passed their house like we do almost every day and they just called out to us and said to mark their dates for the following Saturday and then Sunday they were both at church which hasn't happened before. So they are gonna get baptized Saturday. What? That doesn't happen! But it did! It was way awesome. And then on Sunday we had another baptism. His name is Lucas. He is the cousin of a recente convert. Super sweet. Super awesome. It's awesome to see the change, even though in the pictures I will send none of them are of him smiling. But I've seen it while we are teaching him. Its super sweet. But so yea. Here's another thing about Brasil. They can't really sing. It hurts like every time I listen. And they don't know how to follow the notes on the page. They never hold them like they should, even on the rare occasion they have a piano. So they had me do a special musical number while my comp and Lucas were changing. Now everybody thinks I'm this awesome singer and that I was like in choir and such before I came out. Uh oh. Now all the Brasilians are always talking to me about it and the sad thing is they start talking really fast and I have no idea what they are saying haha. But then they slow down and I get it. So yea, that's about my week. So the hurricane thing, that is aweful. How big was that monster? I hope every one is allright. I will be saying a special prayer tonight. So I finally got moms email so I shall now answer hers as well.  So, I could probably use another pair of shoes just in case because I am really wearing through these ones. But they are supposed to be awesome so im hoping they will keep lasting. Oh, and if you guys could find a special book. It is the soft cover Doctrine and Covenants/Pearl of Great Price combination in english. It's a lot like the soft cover Book of Mormons just it doesn't have the Book of Mórmon. Its only the two. If you could find that, it'd be awesome. I know it exists because I've seen it once before.  That'd be sweet.  But so honestly I think thats it. Just some like good old fashioned American candy and other such snacks. I kinda miss snacks. So that's all I need for that. And I have heard about Shea, he e-mails me almost every week still which is awesome. And the other missionary is Michael crow. super sweet. I'm so happy for them, it's so awesome. And so Logan got his call too?  Thats super sweet. I'm sure he will do well. So, I think that's all I got for this week. So my Family, friends and other random people that look at my moms blog, here is the tip of the week. Do whatever it takes to get along with your companion. If you guys get along you will teach well together and with the spirit and you can really help people. If there is contention in the companionship then you won't have the spirit (because contention is of the devil haha, scripture quote) and it will just be you talking, not teaching and chances are you won't help anyone. So get along with your companion and you will have the spirit which brings conversion and which brings miracles.  So, there you have it!  Love you guys!
(Sorry pics again.  Gotta find a computer that will let me download.)
(So, mom just put a couple of awesome ones up.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Manaus Week 5!

(We received a postcard form Elder Link letting us know he got there safe and sound....mailed October 5th, 2013.)

Well, this past week was pretty good. Teaching some new families, and we got one of our boys baptized. Not our goal of 6, but we at least had one. And guess who did the baptizing? That would be your own, Elder link.  So quick side note, capitalizing takes way too much time and that is something i am limited on here. Have to pay for it and such. So i will continue my not capitilizing and people will just kinda have to deal with it. sorry poeple. still love you and all. but Yea, back to the baptism. I wanted a member to do it but he couldnt so I went into the font and baptized him. His name is Guilherme pastel Martins. Not pronounced at all like you would think. But it was pretty sweet though. We had 2 more who were going to be baptized but when we went to go get them to bring them to the church they weren't home. Apperantly they went out with their mom. totally lame. but next week. But seriously, they had already had their interviews and everything. They were ready to go. Oh well... next week. But so yea, teaching pool is great but there are some people here who are serpentes. The chickas. They be flirtin. They be hittin on my comp and I. Totally freaky. We teach and then we are out. Haha, we joke about it a lot though. Its pretty funny honestly. Cause we know what they are doing and we are just too smart. Haha, but yea, its honestly pretty funny. But yea, thats basically my week. Daily schedule is Wake up, exercise, get ready, study, go eat lunch, come home do lang study, then go out and teach people then come home and go to bed. Pretty rythmic honestly but im getting it. the language is getting better as Always now. I can speak and dont need translations. My comp doesn't have to go back over what I said anymore. Things are looking bright. Except the weather. Its the rainy season now. Literally every day just about it rains. Today its already been raining for 5 or 6 hours and its still going. Just might go all day. Who knows. And my comp and I were gonna ball it up today. Go play some bball. Oh well, we still have ping pong. Of the which people down here are not only good at futebol, they are good at ping pong too. Way crazy. They are way good. Give me a run for my Money. I still usually win. I've only lost to one guy. But I still can go on a run for my Money. Even like 12 year olds will take me for a while. Super intense. But honestly thats about all my week. Glad to know everyone is doing well and that they are all cute. Just do me a favor. Teach Beckett to take his ´`anger`` and use it to play football. Throw a ball, tackle someone. He's big enough. Let him do work! Haha but yea glad to know everyone is doing good. Hopefully the house situation starts to look up. Which it will. So, things i could need. Ties. People here love my ties but i'm not giving them away cause they are super nice and I have a limited supply. So a bunch of ties that aren't that great but that I can give away would be appreciated. And I would love some American candy. Smarties, runts. that'd be awesome. And a jump rope. That'd be sweet. But the people here are super great. Honestly, i dont know if they need anything because every single one of them give to help others. So for the brazilians all I can think of is like some little toys for kids. I'm sure they would love that. But yea the people here are way nice. It can actually be one of our door approaches while tracting to ask for water as a starter. People do that. Just random starangers can walk up and ask for water and they'll go get a glass and their water. People here are awesome. Love em to death. So yea, that's about all i got. I'll send some pics of the baptism. I gotta say I think I'm looking better. Losing some weight and getting more toned. So tip of the week. Have a plan, and then be ready to abandon that plan. Many times while we have been teaching, both here in Brasil and in the states, we have gone in with a plan to teach a certain principle, then gotten a new piece of information and taught something completely different. Know your stuff so that when the time comes that someone is ready to hear a certain message, you can teach it, not just what you had prepared because they need something else. PMG was developed for a reason. Be loose, be open, be ready to teach any topic of the church. And that is the tip of the week. So, ate a próxima semana minhas pessoas. eu lhes-amo. so, until next week my people. Love you all. Love you mom.

So apparently they just changed the way these computers work at this lab and I can't attach pics. So, I guess we will have to wait until next week. Seriously though. No consistency with emailing here....sorry mom.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 4....In Manaus!

So, Here is my district! 

So, that sounds like a fun exciting week except for more of the house problems. Besides, just have to keep the end goal in mind. Awesome property with an equally awesome house. Not too bad of a deal there. I'll take that deal any day. But so yea, this week was kinda a dissapointment. we had an awesome teaching week, but no one is progressing and no one got baptized, fell kinda short, but this week is gonna be awesome. Our goal is 6. We just need people to say yes and not whimping out. Also, we had a talent show for the ward, brought all our investigators out... or at least a few. But yea, my comp and i sang 2 songs. We started with Battle Hymn of the Republic, first verse in portuguese, 2nd in english, then third verse we split doing both languages. Pretty cool. Then we did If You Could Hie to Kolob. I did a piano intro, my comp did a solo for the first verse while I played a simple line, then I came in and we both did, while I kept doing piano, then we did the last verse without piano and my comp split to bass, then I finished out with the piano line an octave higher. It was pretty sweet, super spiritual, only problem was we were first. Then everyone else came out doing this wierd stuff and ruined our spirit. Totally lame. But it was good for that little bit. Felt pretty cool. All the members love me now because brazilians cant sing and I can kinda carry a tune. So I have lots of brasileiro amigos. And the language is coming along too. I can have a conversation without needing my comp to translate. Not super in depth stuff, but I'm teaching with more confidence and saying things right and people understand what I say. And our teaching pool is pretty big. We are teaching 2 families and then a bunch of young men... but the young men aren't really progressing, so we have to put them in our area book and go find some news this week. So, my tip´for everyone for upcoming missions this week. Hmmm, first off, be ready to walk, drink lots of water. But for spiritual note, always teach with your testimony. You can say the words of the lessons but there is a reason we don't use memorized lessons anymore, teach with your testimony. The spirit will testify. Always always always use testimony. And how to prepare, get used to sharing testimony in public. Have random testimony meetings, and be able to bear about something very specific, like the power of the spirit. Doing a testimony of everything is great, but you also want to be able to specify down to one very specific thing. So that's my tip of the week. Stay tuned next week for another tip. I will be doing one every week now. Hopefully that will help. So holidays, Halloween doesn't exist down here but I picked up a halloween tie from a member in Washington so I will definately be wearing it even though no one will understand. Also, it's a looney tunes halloween tie. Pretty sweet. So for Christmas. Lets see. I will be needing some underwear, it's amazing how fast you can run out when you shower 2 times a day and they are always dirty. Like seriously, even at night you can sweat. I fell asleep for 30 minutes and woke up sweating. Its crazy. So I'll need that. I would like a tie or two since there isn't really much I can get as a missionary. But I think the ultimate Christmas present would be a car waiting for me when i got home. :) Just kidding, but yea, I dont really know what I would need. Maybe another pair of black pants? I dunno. I'll think some more about it and get back to you next week. Love you mom! Love you family! Love you America! Miss you all! Happy birthday Beckett!

Our dinner one week.  One fish and a few loaves of bread....and by loaves, I mean rolls.

A visitor in our apartment.


So, here is a friend of ours we met outside the church.


Traffic jam because people here are crazy drivers.

 The country has its own dryer...Because real dryers don't actually exist in Brasil, so here is how it's done.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

I Love To See The Temple....I Went Today!

It's always special when someone goes to the temple of The Lord for the first time....but it's an incredibly spiritual experience when it's for a young man who is leaving his family and friends for two years to dedicate his time to serve a mission.  It was a beautiful, sunny day at the Oklahoma City Temple.  It was almost as bright as the light surrounding Greyson.  It was a beautiful day.

Then we were able to spend the rest of the evening with family to celebrate and say so long for a couple of years.


Saying Goodbye to Grandma was tough...