Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Scored a Goal!

Hello all!

What a crazy week it has been here in Brazil!  Full of rain, sun and snow!!! Ok not snow... but i pray every day for snow.  Do you think that prayer will come true?  We teach that faith without works is dead, so i bought a snowboard. OK not really, but the weather was crazy this week! Always a fun adventure to work in the morning in pouring rain, and then after lunch work under the hottest sun you have ever felt!

I don’t know how many of you know this but I am a genius! I’ll tell you why right now.  OK so it goes like this: I have had a knot in my shoelace that I could not get out.... for about 2 months. I couldn’t get it out, none of the missionaries could either, no one. So one night I was sitting at my desk, so frustrated that I had this stupid knot in my shoelace, I couldn’t pull them even before I tied them and I was sitting there with a frozen water bottle and I have this thought water expands when frozen!!  So I leapt out of my chair, ran to the sink, and soaked this little knot in water, then I stuck it in the freezer.  It’s a priceless look when a missionary opens the freezer and finds a shoe there, but anyway the next day I jumped out bed, ran to the freezer, pulled my shoe out let it thaw and BAM I got my stupid knot out.  Yes, Yes, I know, I know I am amazing.

So today we played soccer with our zone and I scored a goal. Just picture this ….me, Elder Mender scoring against a team of Brazilians. Needless to say, they weren’t happy but it was a lot of fun, and I am slowly but surely starting to love the game! haha but it will never be as good as American football.  Well I’m running out of time but that is really all the exciting things that have happened this week.   I love you all and hope you have a great week! I hope next weeks letter will be better!


Elder Mender

oh!! My birthday may or may not be June 7th soo... yeah just a thought. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Saw a Monkey!

Hello tudo mundo!

How are things going up there?!  Down here in Brasil they are amazing. We had a great Mother’s Day and I got to talk to my family! How cool is that?  I hope everyone is helping my mom while I’m gone because it sounds like she is having a very hard time with me not at home... OK, maybe that was a joke. My family sounds great! It is always cool to see the blessings that come from serving a mission. 

Some fun stories from this past week. I SAW A MONKEY!!! Pretty much my lifelong dream accomplished this week! I got to hold it and it was the craziest experience of my life.  It’s the bishop’s pet how insane is that?! It likes to try and crawl up your arm and sit on your head and they have this little leash for it.  It was amazing.

I have realized that I am really getting used to being down here.... I was sitting at my desk one night eating crackers with this jelly like substance they have down here then when I went to put the lid on the jar I saw an ant on the inside of the lid! So I killed it. then when I looked at my finger I saw jam so naturally I licked it clean... about two seconds later I realized I just ate an ant and it didn’t even bother me that much.  Another morning as I went to get into the shower there was a lizard chilling there so I took the broom and pushed him into the hallway and took a shower.  I didn’t even worry about getting him out of the house. I mean he would just crawl back in right? 

I don’t know how many of you knew this, but I am a magician.  I had the most fun this week making coins disappear and reappear behind kids ears. They think it is just the coolest thing ever... if only they knew the truth. Hahaha

Well we have some of the coolest families ever in this ward. I absolutely love this ward! I mean they have pet monkeys!  One member is named Robson but its pronounced Hobson with a Brazilian accent, probably one of the coolest names ever. I want to name my kid that but I’m not sure my wife will go for that.  I mean think about when he is trying to learn to spell his name and he spells it with an R and all the kids think has stupid or the first day of school when the teachers call his name they say Robson and he will have to explain that is Hobson and that he has a Brazilian name... but has American! 

 This week we taught some amazing lessons! I love teaching even if people don’t understand what I’m saying and my companion has to translate it is very cool experience to just have thoughts and ideas come to your mind as you are teaching by the spirit! This week we were working with this new member family that got offended by a member and didn’t want to go back to church... I would like to explain to everyone that 1) the church is perfect, but the members are far from it.  2) If you are offended by someone... Great! Think about the group you are with. Think of all the people that offended Christ! The trick of life is to learn how to forgive and move on to what’s important. 
We have these three siblings that are preparing for baptism it is so much fun to watch them get so excited and to see the change in their parents life too! Last night the parents told us they like our church because it is different and feels good.  I’m hoping they will chose to get baptized too but first they have to get married! Ugh that is one hard thing down here. No one is married and it takes a good month and a half to get the papers processed for a marriage. So please do the missionaries a favor and just get married when you find the one you want to live with. Okay, thanks. :) We have another less active family who we challenged to prepare to go to the temple and they accepted and they are progressing so fast! It is amazing how when you have a goal, something to focus on, you can and will improve at a faster rate.

My companion is a ton of fun which makes life and the work a lot better.  This work is amazing.  I have a testimony of this gospel and this work. If you want real lasting happiness in your life live the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I promise this is the only true way to eternal happiness.

I love you all and am so grateful for your support.  Until next week! Have a great one.

Elder Mender

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Hello all!

Well I will start off my letter with the sad news: I got transferred. Now the exciting news: I got transferred!! 

It was really sad to leave my first area here in Brazil I don’t think I will ever get used to leaving people I love.  it was especially hard because when I left home or left park city I knew I would see these people again but Monday night I realized I could never see these people again that I loved!  If you promise not to tell anyone I’ll tell you a secret... I cried as I left Cohab Monday night.   On the other hand it is exciting to have a new area and a new companion and a new six weeks to work! It I something about the start of a transfer that gives you more energy and more joy! 

If you are wondering my companion is elder Almeida (I want to get a tag that says elder Bauer... tell me that wouldn’t be sweet!) he is from Rio de Janeiro or close to there and is black as can be! I have a feeling we will get along great so I am excited for this next transfer. (I was going to send pictures but this computer doesn’t have a card reader... sorry) we are serving in the smallest area in the mission called nova esperança in a city called Coite about four hours from Salvador! Woot,woot!!  This is my companion’s third transfer here so he knows pretty much everybody that lives in our area. 
yesterday was transfer day so all the missionaries that are being transferred go to Salvador at the bus station it is always a good day when you get to see all your mission friends, make new friends, and talk about mission stories!  So yesterday was fun and we got burger king! (Salvador is the only city with a BK so on transfer day you can see about 80 missionaries in filing in and out of the place.)

Well one story that is sad, funny or happy I can’t really decide: our investigator Charles we had an amazing week with him! We challenged him to baptism and he accepted. He was keeping all his commitments and was just a golden investigator then Friday before the baptism we went to his house and his mom said "charles doesn’t need to be baptized he is already baptized." so we explained to her proper authority and how baptism needs to be done by someone with the right authority but she cut us off and said, "no he was baptized in YOUR church."  If you can imagine the look on my face and the sound that came out of my mouth it slightly resembled Tim from tool time as he hears something shocking.  Well we did a quick search of the records and sure enough his name was there. When we asked Charles why he didn’t tell us he said he thought he could be baptized again and receive a new forgiveness of his sins...  I mean it is good that he understands why baptism is so important right?  So while we didn’t baptize him we did reactivate a very amazing man.

What else... I think that is about it on the exciting scale yesterday I had to say goodbye to missionaries going home which was really sad because Elder Ballard and Elder Sego are two of the missionaries that helped me a ton here in Brazil but I know it just means that soon it will be my turn to help some poor new elder out and pay-it-forward.

One really cool thing that happened before I left Cohab Monday night the 1st counselor in the stake presidency came and gave me a soccer jersey before I left! That was really quite an honor here in Brazil soccer jerseys are like... Gold or.... diamonds!  The people here are so amazing they will do anything for you. Give you the shirt off their back if you asked. The humility and the charity are in abundance and I love it!

I hope all is well in the states and that you know how much I love you. I need to get to work but I will write more next week hopefully with some good stories! Have a great week and if you’re a mother have a great mother’s day!

Elder Mender