Jordan in Rio

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jordan's letter 6/27/2011

This has been a wonderful week; the last week of the transfer so it was good for that reason-my companion and I are probably staying here but we won't know until tonight for sure-but not everyone will be staying so that will be sad. We also did some very cool things this week. I wanted to include some pictures but couldn't find my cord. We are also changing the mission office location because of getting a new mission president so you will need to update that, I will send you that address later.
This week we ordered a 70 centimeter pizza (that is over 2 feet)!!! I had to put it diagonal to get it through the door and the best part is that it was free!! Well, so far it is free. I was going to pay for it with my gringo card and everyone was giving me their part of the money-but when the guy got here he didn't have his card swiper so he just gave it to us and said he would come back a different day...he hasn't done that yet. I could only eat a quarter of it.
Yesterday I had a chance to look at my hard drive and I couldn't find any pictures of me wake boarding and was wondering if Dad left those off so I wouldn't miss it or if there was just some other mistake? I thought that Dad was going to relax and not do any projects while I was gone but it looks like he just can't stop.
Like I said, we are getting a new mission president this week and I am a bit sad and also can't wait to meet the new one. We will probably have a big mission conference this week.
Our work has finally been coming together for us-this week we baptized the two girlfriends we have been teaching. One has been coming to church for a year but didn't want to be baptized because she was afraid of her step-mom and dads opinions but she couldn't fight with the spirit she felt so she got baptized. We also baptized another girl who had been coming to church for four months and almost decided to never come back before she prayed and felt the spirit. So pretty much without the spirit none of this would have ever happened, not one thing. We were just there to say a couple things and show them the path. They were both baptized Sunday and most of the ward stayed to see it. Until this point this was the coolest thing I have ever experienced out here; the strong feelings and little details have made it even more worthwhile. The funniest part is that my companion and I both knew they were going to say yes, I told my comp to bring our district leader with us to do the interview-and we did. After she said yes, we told her we had someone to give her the interview and she didn't know how we knew because she hadn't said yes yet. We explained to her that we had faith in her and felt she would say yes, cool stuff. Time is up, I hope you could follow my stories. More next week. I am out of time!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 20, Letter

Time in the mission is going by so fast, it is way crazy. I think I need to live in the moment a little more, I am already trying to do that but I can always do better so I will make that a goal. Tell Megan and Ty happy birthday and I will try and baptize someone for their birthday present!! This week I was talking about the movie "Yes Man" with my companion. I decided that if everyone was a yes man that my job would be easier. I can imagine asking the questions..."Will you read the Book of Mormon, will you pray for a respons to know if it is true, will you be baptized, will you endure to the end". That sounds like a Golden member to me, but then the reason people are not yes men is also what makes life so interesting! The area is going good and we are teaching about a lesson each night here. We have really made a lot of progress and we have some good investigators. One we will baptize when he gets his marriage papers-that is a problem here because it is expensive to get married. We also are teaching two girlfriends of members and they are smart about their decisions. We are also teaching the husband of a member-we taught him last night for the first time. One challange in our area is that it is so big and you can only get from one place to another so fast, especially when you are walking, so there is a problem there. Transfers are coming up and this has been the fastest 6 weeks of my life. There are so many things to do and so little time to do it. I hope the president doesn't decide to close this area again, he has in the past, but who knows, he might leave it open because there is a new Mission President coming.

The language is coming well. I can understand about everything and I can speak fine as well, I just mess up conjugations and don't have a full vocab yet. Last week the president came to our zone and gave all of us a blessing and in mine it said that I would learn the language faster than humanly possible and I believe that is already happening. Today is going to be a fun p. day, I get to go to a big field and play soccer there. Everything is so packed here so that doens't happen very much.

Something that I have been doing here is they have this Brazillian herbal tea made from a certain grass here and I make that at night. I use honey or sugar in it. It is the only tea I have tried that I like. They also make a "Mormon Coffee" around here-which is a non-coffee drink of course. It is kind of like what Uncle John makes when we go hunting. I end up cooking stuff here more often then not. So keep on keeping on...Elder Peterson

June 13 letter

This week I will give you a little lowdown of how the living conditions are here in Brazil...but it isn't complaining, just information. As of this week, the end of my 3rd week in this transfer, I have blisters all over my feet, so walking many miles-which I do each day-sucks. I am still living out of my suitcases because the apartment I am staying in is really small and there are 4 of us staying here at the moment. We don't have room to put anything away in closets and my bed is on the floor with my sweatshirt as my pillow. All the walking we do is to referrals and either they are never in their house or the address they give us doesn't exist. We would call but our phone has no credit until the 17th so we can only receive calls and call other missionaries until then.

I enjoy the work, it is very fun and I am getting better and better at the language, and we are very close to baptizing someone, so we are praying and hoping it works out. Right now I am reading the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon, and I am understanding about everything because of the way I am reading. Every time the Lord is speaking I highlight all of the "I" or "me" or "Lord" or "God" and this makes it easier to understand-paying attention to who is saying what. My companion and I work hard, every day and all day, all we do is work and work, I love it. I am always doing something, when I am not I feel almost claustrophobic because everything is so close together here. Last night I was standing on a hill in Rio and I felt the openness and it was crazy I felt SO calm and I remembered how long it had been since I was that much in the open! The zone we are in right now is probably one of the most dangerous zones. We live in one dangerous zone and work in the other. It is kind of disappointing, it is not that dangerous. You hear gunshots often, sometimes daily depending on where you are, but you never see anything. The military does a good job keeping things under control. We are definitely protected because we are missionaries, and we are fine, but the members have no faith, everywhere we go they say we will die...It is ridiculous. I just go but I stay out of the really bad favellas around here, that is plain stupid to go there. The other 2 Brazilian missionaries we live with are awesome. They are way cool and full of love.

There is not too much going on here, just faith, work, and trying to baptize. That is all we really have time for, we have a lot of Family Home Evenings set up for this week so that should help everything go smoother. Love you all.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Letter from June 6, 2011

Todays letter had some photos so I thought I would include some of them in here along with the message. So....This week has been work, work, and more work with little results, but I wouldn't trade it for the world-we are sensing some serious potential coming up this coming week! We should have people to teach under our belts.
Our bishop here is one cool cat in my opinion, he has his ward run like a military unit, it is the most organized ward I have seen in my life! This guy read the manual and I am pretty sure that he has read mine more then I have as well. This past Sunday our ward mission leader hadn't done a whole lot with us and the bishop straightened that up and now we should be having a better experience with him. He told the EQPresident to give us a division with a member each day, then he went with us to elders quarum and helped set up those divisions for us. He first asked for volunteers and when that didn't work out He started calling on people and said, "You, I know for a fact you have time on this day and can go on a division with the missionaries..." He is really willing to help us out with whatever problems we have. He understands how the church works and uses the organization in a good way.
We might finally get a house to stay at soon, we found one yesterday and will probably look at it tomorrow, so I hope it works out. We taught an amazing lesson yesterday, the restoration is such an amazing thing and there are so many different ways to talk about it, I have been very bold lately when I talk with people. I never did that at home but if something is not right here I will point it out with straight up facts and all doctrine. I don't know, it was just very different then I use to do things, maybe because I do a different type of teaching here. I was pondering this concept this morning when I was doing my personal study and I came across 2 Nephi 1:26-27.
I read that and was kind of blown away and now I know that is was the right thing so I guess I am doing what I am supposed to do out here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Letter 5/30/2011

So my new area is called Iraja, it is nice but at the moment we are living in a place called Ramos and I even got to work here a couple days. Ramos is a ghetto area...remember when the police invaded that place in November? That is where these missionaries are working and I got to work with them -I got to be in a famous area a couple days. My new area Iraja is an upper middle class with some favellas as well but it is a really big area.

We had a meeting with the bishop Saturday and he talked to us for a long time without letting us say anything. Everything he said was good though. Finally, I said, "do you want to hear our vision for the area?" and I boldly told him what we were going to do and what we expected out of this area. He was surprised because (1) I have only been out here over a month and (2) I was very direct with what I told him. I might not be able to speak perfectly but I can speak with power! That ended the meeting. The last two years they have tried to start this area up about 4 times so I know that the president is watching us and we are planning to do good work here.

My new companion is awesome, his name is Elder Robinson and he is from Twin Falls Idaho. He only has 6 months left. Our president usually puts 2nd transfer missionaries with some of the hardest workers in the mission and I think this guy is. I make our plans, because I am good at that and then he teaches me to be a good missionary, so we both help each other out a lot. I think once we start teaching in this area we will see great success here. It might take a bit to get going, our phone is dead, we are short on money and I don't want to use my cards much. We get our money soon though. We are getting getting a tour of what our area is and getting things going so that we can get up to full speed.

Love all of you!

Letter from 5/23/2011

Hey Fam, I had a cool week. Monday my companion got permission to go into the mall so he went on a shopping spree and bought lots of things. I got a nice pair of shorts and some food. The rest of the day we were looking after a guy in our district who got sick, he had the same thing as I did but for 3 days. He lost 20 lbs and he was skinnier than me to begin with. We had a great stake conference with one of the area presidents. Lots of powerful talks given.

I am getting transferred tomorrow, I think the president is putting sisters in here because they are in a dangerous favella area right now, probably like the ones you saw on Fast 5. I don't really care where I am, there is on area that gets up to 50 (which is 122 for us)and it is super humid as well, with no wind; but if I have to go there I will because I am supposed to. Today I am just going to chill and finish packing, and eat and visit some of the members.

Yesterday I fed a little monkey smaller and uglier than Mushu and I was also playing with a parrot. One thing that I think will be strange when I get home is that I will feel like I need rice and beans with everything. Another thing different out here is the way they season food. They only use salt, not even pepper, and sometimes some lime on chicken. Every night people put their BBQ's out on the street nad smells sooooo good! Sometimes we eat something called x tudo's; it's a hamburger with egg, bacon, and ham and they have fry sauce and stuff to add to it, they are really good. The other night my companion ate 3 of them plus 700 ml acie,(no idea there-might be a typo?)crazy business. Well, not too much going on, looking forward to the next transfer. Till later, thanks for the picture of Khas.(note, Mom was in the picture with the dog but no mention of that).