Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's not Salvador Brazil

HELLO friends, family, and anyone else who feels they dont fit into those categories but are still reading my emails!

como vai?!

well to start things off this week i was looking at a memory card that had pictures of Katies efy and my comp was sitting next to me and a picture of strawberry shortcake ice cream popped up and at the same time my companion screamed, "ahhh i want one!!" so we went and got one that night it was pretty funny because it had been years since we had had one.

ok so this one elder in my district is a miracle worker and he adjusted my back one night and it was most wonderful!

ok so i have a joke that i think i have heard but i heard it this week and it made me laugh and its about brazil so ill tell you.

this girl goes to the fair and she comes back and her roomate asked how it was and she said, "it was great i made out with a brazilian!"  her roomate then responded, "you slut!!! ... how many is a brazilian?"  yeah i laughed pretty hard sorry if i offended any one.... remember a man is a fool who takes an insult that wastn intended. :)

so we are sitting in my room and talking about the wii fit and elder way get all mad and he says, "i hate wii fit!!" (he is a tall athletic kid) and we were like what? why?!  and he tells that the wii fit game made his avatar, with his actual BMI, have a pot belly and he was legit mad about it. i laughed so hard and he just got angrier and he was like you dont know what its like to have a fat avatar!  yeah way funny. maybe you had to be there....

ok before you all think i havent done anything spiritual or related to my mission this week i have probably the most exciting news of my life!!! Josephine Ward, the woman i have been giving the lessons to over the phone,  We asked her to prepare for baptism and she said yes!!!  and it has just been amazing to see the change in her from the first time we talked to where she wants to be baptized and asks heartfelt questions about the gospel.  Even if she doesnt get baptized to me it is a miracle and i am so glad i was the one that was able to talk to her!  one of the tender mercies of the Lord.

so i had a dream the other night that my district put fake travel plans in my mailbox and i started crying.... like i started crying in my dream.  hahaha sad night.

i went to the travel office and they said that elder Perry does not want to give out any more temp assignments so i just missed a temp mission and will be here, for now, until i get my visa.  so who knows when i will leave.

i have a challenge for those of you who are bold: pray tonight about someone in your life who is ready to hear the Gospel and then give them a book of mormon and then write me a letter telling me how it went! i would love to hear your missionary experiences. :)

also i would love for people this week in there letters to tell me things that they are grateful for. just to get other peoples opinions on what the Lord has given them!  thanks so much if you do i know ill love reading your letters.

so i hope you all know how much i love you! i know every one of you has touched my life in a unique way and i am glad to know  you all.

oh exciting news about staying here for thanksgiving we have no classes and we get to do a huge service project that is going to be amazing and rumor has it that elder Holland is coming!! woot woot.

ok te amo, ate logo.

elder mender

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Forgotten Elder....

Hello everyone!!

What a great week it has been. Warm, beautiful, and full of learning!

to start things off our district has been here way too long! saturday night as we walked home to our room we ran up the stars in slow motion. fighting, talking, everything in slow motion it was crazy when we got to the top i realized oh my goodness im turning into the crazy missionary i saw when i first arrived! sad but fway funny day.

then sunday night during the fireside my pen stopped working!!! sooo frustrating. it would work and then not work for a letter or a word and then work and then not work! i finally threw it down and stopped taking notes. it was a really good frieside though!

so this week i had a chance to talk to Josephine Ward and she agreed to go to church and i am just so excited for her!! how great it has been to be able to work with her!

during class this week i volunteered my comp and i to teach a lesson and he hates when i do that but we prepeared it and we were so excited and then our teacher had us start from the door (which he usually doesnt do) then when we came in we asked him how his life was and he just started talking!!!! and he wouldnt stop to breath at all oh he told us we only had ten minutes to teach him. come to find out the whole point of this lesson was for him to show us that brazilian people wont shut up so you have to learn how to tactfully interupt them. so frustrating. but really funny. he talked about cow tipping and other crazy stuff. oh all in portuguese which just adds to the humor.

ok joke time!! why do all the pictures of the book of mormon characters have really buff arms?! because of all the brass plate scripture searches!!! i laughed so hard for about an hour when i heard that.

this week our branch president taught us about a thing called, "jeito" which is basicly brazilian bribary. he told us how he smuggled his kid into the U.S. after living there. it was jsut a really funny story but morl of the jeito is you can get around any red tape with enough money! woot woot. it made me think of the lytles...

so this tuesday we had a fireside on temples!!!! so good. i LOVE the temple! if any of you do not go to the temple as often as you should do it!! if you arent worthy get worthy! im just so excited about temples. today we did an endowment session. how amazing the house of the Lord truly is. so yeah he showed pictures of most of the temples it was great. They are such pretty buildings! if you didnt know....

oh so i accomplished my life long goal! aka my mtc goal. to eat a plate from everyline!! i felt so pround of myself. unfortunately i forgto that we had gym right after lunch so about died from my poor choice. but it was so fun it reminded me of the time owen and i drove down the miracle mile stopping at every fast food joint! thanks mom!

oh tell the carpet guys "tudo bem?" when you see them its like "is everything good?"

oh this missionary in my zone is soooo funny. i asked him if he had a belt on because he looked like he didnt and he comes over with this sad face and says "no i have dunlap disease..." i was like what is that? he got a huge smile and said my belly dunlap over my belt!" so freaking funny i just about died.

so visa information:
my whole district has been assigned a temporary mission to georgia and tennessee!!! (sister hobbs spelled that) our district leaves monday morning. except me. they forgot about me!!! haha our district got called down to the travel office and she was handing out assignments and she got to me and she was like oh... we forgot you. so i have to wait at least another week. i dont know what ill be doing since ill be all alone so dont ask but mom! the lady felt so bad she forgot me that she gave me a phone pass so im going to call tonight at 8 your time. please you and dad be by a phone!!! so yeah it is going to be interesting next week when im the oldest missionary and im all alone. i think ill just get a lot of study time. who knows!

well life is good im hoping eventually ill get out of here but if not all is well. it truly is a great place i learn so much every day it is crazy!! portuguese is so fun. i love that i can pretty much read whatever i want its just the speaking part that is really hard. but im hanging in there and practicing a lot!

what else? thank you everyone who sends me mail! it is so fun to hear what is going on in the "real world" . soooo... im gonna go now. Love you! you are amazing! all of you every single one of you. i love you and miss you. well not really miss... i dont know its hard to explain im just so happy to be here i cant imagine being anywhere else! so i miss you all but i dont. you know what i mean? (that was for you owen!)

elder mender

The Miracle of the Apple Juice

this week was greattttt! kinda like frosty flakes great!

to start off with holloween is definately not the same in the mtc, i have a feeling its just not the same on a mission! it is ten times better! i walked around saturday night handing out spider rings and a bunch of people said i made their day so that was fun!

because the time changed we felt it apropo to have a time change party in which people invaded my room and spent the night there. it was fun until people kept talking past lights out and i couldnt fall asleep but im not bitter....

um... arianne if you could have ariel send those amazing brownies that would be life changing! love you! haha

ok so fhe this week was amazing! irmao marriot had us prepare a five minute lesson for another elder in our district (we pulled names) and then give the lesson to the whole district i got about two pages of amazing notes from all the lessons. it is amazing when these elders (and sister) speak power and authority comes out of their mouth.

oh we got one sister this week who is going to salvador!!!!! finally another missionary!

so the devotional this tuesday was AMAZING. elder Rasband or something like that spoke with his wife and she told a powerful story about a missionary who in one of the last areas got his shoe shined by a poor man in ny. when the missionary heard the man cry out shoe shine who wants a shoe shine he got really excited because he had always wanted one and when he asked the man how much he just said as much as you are willing to pay. as the missionary was thinking about it the man just got down and started shining his shoe he put everything he had into that job even using his shirt to shine the shoe. she said that the missionary in that instant saw the savior in the garden of gethsemani and realized the savior has done everything for us and all he asks is for us to give what we can. as she told this story tears came to my eyes, yeah im a baby i know, but its so true the Savior is there to do what we cant and he has suffered for worse than we ever will. when the man was done this missionary gave him all he had and all his companion had. then elder rasband spoke and told a story about his parents who served a mission and thought they hadnt really touched anyones life. then 25 years later elder rasband was one assignment and a woman came up with seven kids asking if he knew these two missionaries (who were his parents) as they got talking he had the chance to give the whole families blessings and then go home to tell his mom who was living in assisted living care and tell his mom that because of her mission thousands had been converted,(four of the boys had served missions) then she responded "you mean my mission meant something?" when i heard those words i knew the reach of our mission goes far beyond what we can ever know and it was just an incredible feeling.

so i called josephine ward on tuesday(the investigator i got on the chat) and gave her the second lesson then i called on thursday and gave her the first lesson. as soon as i got to joseph smith story she said hold on. then i heard yelling and swearing and it was crazy and then the phone hung up. sad sad sad! so i called her today and i guess the police showed up with a restraining order! for her kids and it is just a very said situation but i have a time to call her on monday and hopefully things will work out. the missionaries in her area need to get to her soon!

since i have no really funny story this week i am giving multiple kinda funny ones.

1st elder johnson told me the other day that in his celestial kingdom he would be in a field where zombies were coming at him and he could shoot power beams from his hand and kill them. he was dead serious. we then had a hour long conversation on why that could or couldnt happen.

2nd elder moore and i have become really good friends this week and he knows me really well and he was reading in the middle of class and he stops and says, "elder mender, why does it say we will all SUFFER death?" and just the way he said it with the emphasis on suffer i busted up laughing and laughed anytime he said it throughout the day... he did it a lot.

3rd elder bigalow asked in the middle of class "come se diz how?" or how do you say how?

4th elder moore and i were walking out of the temple and i saw the byu stadium and i just got really happy and i continued to tell him how my perfect day would consist of me going to the temple with my wife, then going to a byu football game with her, and ending the day with a nice dinner date. and then we saw a husband and wife jogging with their kid in a stroller and i said that would be another perfect day. and i was just wayyyyy happy. (i love it here.. ) the funny part is later he told me as i was teling my perfect day he was getting really jealous of the dates i had with my wife! so funny.

ok so a legit miracle happened this week!!!! listen up all.
so i really wanted apple juice but there was none! and i was so upset but i was like ok thats fine i can deal with out it today but what do i want? and i thought fruit punch , i dont ever drink fruit punch in the morning!!! but i did it anyways and apple juice came out!!!! it was a miracle i kid you not! it was a great morning!! oh and the other day i went to the bathroom and i washed my hands and there were two rings sitting there! a lehis dream ring and a ctr ring! for those of you who dont know i have big fingers! but these fit me! as i looked around i was all alone! a gift from above? i think so!!!

ok i love you all. your support is amazing! i miss a few of you... jk i miss you all!!

love elder mender

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Update from the MTC

Hello Elder Mender fans!

OK, so this week has been crazy! Happy sad... sad and happy!

First off I am no longer zone leader.  Here at the MTC they like to give as many people leadership positions as they can, so they switch it up every four weeks. (Unless a missionary leaves) so I’m not leaving but I am no longer zone leader. That was really sad because I have had so much fun working with the zone and being able to serve everyone. I think I have said this before but I really do love them so much. So yeah I sat on the stand tearing up it was so pathetic but it is really exciting because I have had so much time to study and get caught up!

Which leads to the TRC this week was amazing we taught a wonderful lesson! That proves that miracles happen. It was really funny because the woman we taught brought her baby and set him on a blanket during the lesson. Mid lesson he crawls over to me and rubs his face on my leg and plays with my shoe. I can’t   describe him rubbing his face on my leg! It was crazy!!! hahaha but soooo funny my companion and I had to try so hard not to laugh!

This Sunday the fireside was amazing one of the district presidents and his wife gave it.  They had their family come and sing this song called “my kindness shall not depart from thee”. It was absolutely amazing! I for sure teared up during it and then President Thomas gave a talk about how the cosmos are testifying of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon apparently some of the locations in the Book of Mormon have been found (how could Joseph Smith know about them) and he also talked about how there is a part of our galaxy called the habitable zone and we are in that spot the perfect spot for us to live and he used the scripture "there is room down there where we go and create the earth" or you know what one I mean. It was just so cool to see scientist who are not Mormon show how the Book of Mormon is true! And includes things that Joseph smith could not have known!

Then Tuesday night Elder Perry came that was just amazing as well! He talked about five points for us to teach better and it was just great to be taught by a prophet!  He used one of Elder Holland’s talks to create his talk so it was kind of like getting a two for one!

On Wednesday our teacher told us he had a friend that was coming and we were going to teach her the first discussion he said she wasn’t a member and was doing an exchange program here at BYU. We got really excited and started to prepare as a district. As soon as she walked in I was so mad because I recognized her as my teachers boss (you have to have a temple recommend to work here) but we started to teach her and this was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever been in. It was amazing to watch these elders in my district who when they first got here could not teach to save their lives give this amazing lesson with probably some of the strongest testimonies I have ever heard. So I was so glad it happened and it turned out to be amazing!

OK so a lot of people have been asking about the visa issue. A visa hasn’t been approved in about 6 weeks so I am thinking I will finish up the MTC here and do one transfer in a mission in the states.  It should be really interesting. It will also be interesting because a few of us in my district came late so we don’t know if we will leave with our district or stay another week. Stay tuned!  But yeah I don’t think I’ll be leaving the US for a while. :) It’s what the lord wants though so it’s all good!

OK funny story for the week: I was sitting there waiting for the Sunday fireside to start and this sister going to Argentina sat down. her name was Hermana Mitchell and I said "Hermana Mitchell! What a great name! it’s my first name!" and she goes "your name is hermana?"  Completely serious, I just look at her and cock my head to the side. She thinks for a minute and covers her mouth saying, "OH MY GOSH I CANT BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT!!" it was hilarious...

Oh we got a new sister this week who can rap and all the elders are mesmerized by her. HAHA She just did freestyle on the restoration that was pretty sweet I’m not going to lie.

Oh we also got to host this week which means we get to pick up the new missionaries on the curb and help get them situated it was so fun! I saw Sister Stephenson on her first day that was exciting! BTW it was so much fun to talk with new missionaries, see where they were going, and help them find there way around.

OH in the RC this week I talked to a woman who is having a hard time with her family and she wants the Book of Mormon and the missionaries. She also asked me to call her and give her a lesson! So she is my first investigator! I am so excited. Also I talked to another guy who was excommunicated and then his brother committed suicide and he was saying he didn’t have faith and I talked to him about how his heavenly father loves him and even though he wants us to be happy he cant take away our agency and it was a really neat conversation then he just logged off! I don’t know if I helped at all but I sent him an email and I hope he will respond.

Oh mom it’s getting cold can I please buy sweat pants and sweat shirt?! or can you send me some? We also like mountain dew but we don’t have any... :)  Oh Dear Elders are sent on Saturday so you can send them then too! Well I love you all. Thank you for all your support!


Elder Mender

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