Monday, November 3, 2014

Answers and Reativocao

45 degree celcius hast day

Hey Family!

No one has said anything that they want me to buy to send home for christmas... Sooooo this is the last week I´m giving you all one last chance to let me know if there´s anything you´d like me to send home. 

What does your apartment look like?
It´s kind of a house and an apartment mix, since it´s in a yardish thing called a vila with about 2-3 other houses. There´s an old guy who sells pizzas underneath us for 6 reais (a little less than 3 bucks). and they´re quite fantastic. Our house has a cool balcony on top where we dry our clothes and excercise in the morning. Since there´s 6 missionaries in the same house, it´s a litttle crammed. Elder Silva and I don´t actually have a bed. We just have a mattress that we put on the ground at night to sleep, and suring the day we put up against the wall. Here´s a google street view of our house (Above the gate... We live on the second floor)

What can you hear from your window?
It´s a relatively calm neighborhood where we live, so there´s isn´t much sound. But at night, especially on the weekends we have some nieghbors who have no shame to play their music until late at night. Last saturday, they were playing just Justin Beiber Songs for over an hour straight. Not okay. 

How does it smell?
....Normal. I guess. Bangu is pretty normal. No weird smells like some of my past areas (cough* Alcântara)

Tell me about the streets where you walk.... Or do you tak public transport?
The streets here are also normal. Just a little bit skinnier than in the states. Take a look at the street view to see what they´re like We only take buses/vans when we have to go to a conference or we have an appointment with someone that lives far away. Usually we just walk though. There´s also the train closeby that we use when we have to go to Rio.

Have you put your hand on your companions shoulder and thanked him for being your companion?
I actually have :)

So this next Saturday, four zones (including mine) will we singing at a Helping Hands service activity for the church. I hear it will be broadcasted on the local news and that the area president of Brazil will be there. So I guess that´s cool. We´re also putting together a Book of Mormon Christmas choral that will be performed in many public locations and stake centers throughout the Rio area. I´m excited to be a part of that and help others feel the spirit of Christmas through the wonderful means of music.

This week, we were able to help 3 MEN return back to church, along with a young man and a lady in the relief society. We focused a lot on reactivation, and by that, we´re hoping to help strengthen this Ward with more priesthood holders and future missionaries.

Osair is one of the first members here in Bangu! He was baptized when Bangu was a branch, over 30 years ago. He helped many of the current members meet the church, and having been inactive for over 10 years, many of those members were very happy to hear we had been helping him. Even more happy to see him back at church yesterday.

Benton is a 26 year old guy who was baptized in a city called João Pessoa in the north of Brazil, but he left the church after 3 months. We found him doing street contacts. Kindof. There´s a house next to the chapel that we had always wanted to visit, and this week (Friday, the day we were fasting) we decided to knock the door. Benton answered, and said he was a Mormon. We instantly were surprised (since he literally lives 1 minute walking distance from the chapel) and talked to him about the Book of Mormon and his baptism. He changed a lot and improved his life when he first was baptized (Stopped smoking, stopped drinking afelt more love for Chrost in his life) And when he left the church and everything went back to the way it was, his life instantly got worse. He couldn´t figure out why until he saw us and accepted the invite to come back to church. He says he´s surely gonna stay now. 

We also visited with the Young Mens president a young man who had been less active for several months, João Vitor. We talked to him a bit about commandments and how they bless us if we´re obedient. He said he´s always wanted to serve a mission, but he got less excited when his parents split up. His dad was grateful for our visit, and even though we didn´t know he is also a member of the church with much time not participating, he wanted to be a better example for his son and he returned to church too! YEAH

We´re hoping to make use of these lost sheep who have returned to the Shepards fold so that we can help find many others to come unto Christ to receive the saving ordinances required to live in his presence forever, as well as their family´s.

I love this gospel so much. I felt many of my prayers were ansered this week, and I felt the strength of those sent from y'all at home. Thank you so much. I love you all and wish the very best for you!

Elder Braun

We had a service project helping an elderly lady in the ward rearrange her furniture and clean up a bit. She gave me this wonderful necklace as a token of thanks. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

The black guy in front is our ward mission leader. Yesterday was his farewell Sunday, since he leaves to serve in London this week, so he took a picture with a bunch of us in the ward. 

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