Monday, March 29, 2010

This Keyboard isn't the greatest...

So... I was just finishing up this email when the credits ran out at this computer and of course it ate my email. Let´s try this again.

Last week I went to the zoo with my district. It was really fun! It wasn´t the same as in America of course but I still enjoyed it. Elder Chiba was there and he was one of the other 2 Americans going to Teresina in the CTM. I had a lot of fun talking with him again.

Zone conference was last week and it was great! Longer than I thought it was but it was good. I understood most of what was going on until the end. I was tired and so I gave up a little I´ll be honest. I really liked getting a big chocolate egg for Easter! It was delicious. I also got a box of chocolates because it was my birthday since the last zone conference I was not in attendence for.

A few things about everyday activities:

There´s a big supermercador (supermarket) chain here called Carvalho. It´s pretty much like a regular supermarket in the states but the one I live by is a bit on the small side. Anyway I usually get oatmeal and make that in the morning and eat it with some bread. It fills me up. Then there´s a place called Bompreço in the center of Teresina that is a brother company to Walmart so pretty much it is walmart. I like that, but we only got every other week because we have to go into the center of Teresina to get our money every 15 days.

As far as washing clothes, we have a "washing machine" that just spins clothes around. It gets them fairly clean. But then I have to hang dry my clothes. I do a little scrubbing first before throwing them in the washing machine to get the dirt and sweat out around my collar with some coconut soap. It´s pretty much the greatest invention ever.

Anyway, time to go until next week! Love you all! (P.S. my first draft was a thousand times better unfortunately, sorry!)

Elder Rackham.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Week in the Books!

Hey ya´ll,

I´m no longer in Timon, I´m now in Taquari! It´s in the state of Piauí. Formerly I was in the state of Maranhão. My companion is a native brazillian from the state of Bahia. His name is Elder B. Santos. I´m excited to work here! I like the ward here a lot. Things are different here than they are in Timon like the weather. It´s not quite as hot, and by not quite I mean just a little less because it´s still really hot. And it´s been raining. And there´s almost no dust. Dust was everywhere in Timon.

Anyway, tomorrow I have my first zone conference! If you´re not quite sure what a zone conference is, ask my family to find out! I will probably explain about it next week and tell you all about it because this week I don´t have much time. In fact, I have to end it here unfortunately.

Things are going good, hopefully I can share more next week!

Até logo
Elder Rackham

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wonderful Things Are Happening

Unfortunately I don´t have much time to talk about them. Basically this week we baptized the husband of a family after getting them married first! It was a lot more work getting them married than I thought but completing their family as members of the church was fantastic. Things are going great. I´m wanting to work harder and harder each day. I´m really beginning to love the people and love being here. Of course it gets hard sometimes, but it´s all worth it.

Sorry I can´t write more. I´ll make up for it next week!

Elder Rackham

Monday, March 8, 2010

So Cow Tongue Isn't that Bad...

Olá everyone!

As the subject says, I had cow tongue! Today actually! And cow heart as well. And ram. Elder Harmon and Elder Cook and I went into Teresina to eat at a churrascuria by the mission office. It was delicious. They have a salad bar with different side dishes you can choose from but they come out with swords with meat on them and serve you different kinds of meat. Elder Harmon talked me into eating a strange-looking piece of meat but I made him not tell me what it was until after I finished it. Turns out it was cow tongue. It was definitely better than the cow heart and the ram. Too be honest I kind of liked it which makes me feel a little weird. All in all, it was a delicious meal and a fun little adventure. It was my first time at a churrascaria.

I´m walking so much every day. Elder Harmon and I are usually together while Elder Cook and a member from the ward here split off to cover more ground. One day, Elder Harmon and I had appointments all over the place and we ended up walking about 36 kms! We had to walk from one end of the city to the other and then back again. I almost died that day.

We had two baptisms this week! They were both miracles. This past monday we had an appointment with a niece of one of the members of the ward and when we invited her to be baptized it went silent as she thought. But the Spirit worked upon her and she knew it was something that she wanted and said yes! Vanessa is her name. Adriana out of the blue said she wanted to be baptized. One night after a visit from Elder Cook and Elton (that´s the member from the ward, yes his name is Elton) she had this amazing desire to be baptized. The next morning she had it again except stronger! So we baptized her as well! They´ve changed their lives and I was able to witness a small part of it. It gives me much satisfaction in this work.

Some info about my companions: Elder Harmon is from Logan, Utah and this is his last transfer. He goes home the 16th of March which is when transfers are next. He´s so much fun! He´s helping me so much! Elder Cook is too! He´s from Shelley, Idaho and he´s so funny! He was in the Provo MTC for 11 weeks I think and got to Teresina a day after I arrived at the Brazil MTC. I actually really like being in a companionship of three.

This is all I have time for this week, until next time!

Elder Rackham

Monday, March 1, 2010

I now hail from Timon!

Dear Everyone,

First off, my P-Day is now on Monday. So I´m emailing one day earlier than normal this week.

I´ve arrived in Teresina safe and sound after a not-so-bad of a flight. The thing that threw me off though was my connection from Brasilia to Teresina. I went from São Paulo to Brasília then from Brasília to Teresina. But the second flight had two destinations; Teresina then Fortaleza! I´ve never heard of that before! But I guess it saves money because Teresina is a smaller airport so taking a pit stop their then continuing on is better than having an individual flight.

My trainer is the most beautiful man in the world (he told me to write this if you couldn´t tell). His name is Elder Harmon. But! I also have a second companion because I came in alone and that made the number of Elders in the mission become uneven. My second companion is just as beautiful! His name is Elder Cook. And oh my goodness they´re so much fun. I love them! They work hard and they teach me a lot. Elder Harmon finishes his mission at the end of this transfer. Elder Cook has been out for 8 weeks already. He was stuck in Provo for 10 weeks though so I never got a chance to see him at the CTM in São Paulo.

I came in on a Friday and had an interview with my mission president, President Dias. He´s an amazing man. And his wife is so wonderful! He gave me some great counsel. I know I will love it here. After a bit of training about logisitics, I worked with the assistants to the President. We taught about 4ish lessons if I remember right. They we´re smart (but I didn´t think so at the time) and had me pray before each lesson. And they would turn to me in the lesson and give me a look that said "here you go pick it up from here". I hope I didn´t mess things up too badly. I actually really appreciate how they did it because it really helped me out. It gave me self-confidence, and got me speaking. If I´m afraid to try to speak Portuguese, I´m not going to learn it. I have to be brave and open up my mouth and make a million mistakes. That´s how I´ll learn.

On Saturday I had lunch at President Dias´ home. They found out it was my birthday so they surprised me with a cake. It was pretty much delicious I´ll be honest. After that he assigned me to the area of Timon! It´s just west of Teresina on the other side of the Parnaíba river. I can see the city from a few places in my area. It´s a wonderful first area too! The members of the ward are so awesome! They´ve given us all sorts of referrals. So we´re always doing something. It saves us time too because we don´t have to go out and do the finding ourselves.

Yesterday was Sunday, and I had a fun time trying to understand everything at church. I could understand about 2/3rds of everything that went on, but I didn´t even try the last hour. Instead I studied a lesson plan that I felt I was a bit unprepared for that we would be teaching later in the day. Then we ate lunch at a member´s home. I´m not sure what it was, but it tasted good! I think it´s better this way too. I´m not going to ask what it is, I´m just going to eat it.

My favorite thing that happened on Sunday was a lesson that we had in a bakery. It went so well. The husband and wife said they know our message will help their family become the happy family that they used to be. Even if nothing comes of this, we´ll have at least helped them as much as we could. At the very least, we´re planting seeds.

Because there´s three Elders in one companionship (which is not normal, Elder Harmon finishes in two weeks and this is the first time in his whole mission he´s been in a trio), we had divisions. Elder Harmon and I went off and taught some investigators while Elder Cook and a member from the ward went off and taught some other investigators. We were able to get so much accomplished. I enjoyed it. But not the rain or the mud. Everything else except for that.

Everything is going great! These next 22 months are going to be hard, but they will be worth it!

Love you all!
Elder Rackham