Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pictures from P-Day in Taquari!

Awesome Adventures with Elder Rackham Continue!

Hey all!

I was able to borrow a camera this week to send some pictures! My new
companion´s camera (Elder Banks, more later) uses the same card as me.
So the pictures this week are from a PDay in Taquari. Our district
got together and had some churrasca. It means barbeque. It was a lot
of fun. Elder Chiba is the asian looking one, his Dad is from Japan
so of course that´s why he looks asian. Elder Arrant is the other
American. Then there´s me. The photo with me and the short Brazilian
is Elder Santos. He finished his mission this past transfer so he´s
home now. There´s Elder Souza, the black Elder in regular clothes on
the right side of the big group picture, and he´s actually here in
Parnaiba now too (more on that later as well). And then there´s my
old companion Elder B. Santos. The other Brazilians are some members
from the ward in Taquari. It was a lot of fun that day.

So my new companion is Elder Banks. He´s from Las Vegas and he´s a lot
of fun. I´ve noticed that most of the other Elders here in the
Teresina Mission came straight from High School. But Elder Banks did
a semesters in Provo so it´s fun talking with him about college life.
It´s nice to have someone understand about buying food and such.
We´re having a few issues with that now that there´s 4 of us here in
the house we live in.

There´s another companionship serving in our branch, so 4 missionaries
in total. Our area is the biggest out of the other 4 areas so we have
the most room to expand and divide in order to become a Stake. Elder
Souza and his companion Elder Santos are the new Elders. They´re so
much fun! We played some card games with them. I really like living
with another companionship.

Things are continuing to be great. Of course theré rough spots. For
example, this past Tuesday, literally everything fell through, and
everything we tried to do to get some work done did not work. We had
to stay in the neighborhood we were in because we had a Family Home
Evening marked for later that evening and it was a 1 hour walk away,
so to leave and come back was out of the question. But the rest of
the week was good.

In 2 days there will be the next zone conference. It´ll be good so
I´ll be sure to update about that next week. The language is coming
along still. Elder Banks and I are having fun being on our own. He
has 6 months on the mission and I have 4 so we´re both still learning.
But I´m enjoying this opportunity.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. I´ll try to send more but I don´t know
how long I´ll be able to borrow Elder Bank´s camera.

Until next week!

Love you all!
Elder Rackham

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Week in Paradise!

Good mornig, afternoon, and evening to all y'all!

Things in Parnaiba are looking great! The branch here is wonderful. Parnaiba doesn´t have a stake because it´s so small, so it´s called a district instead. There´s 4 branches in total. We had some success this week. We were working hard to find someone ready and prepared to be baptized and finally on Wednesday evening we found 2 girls who had been to church already and wanted to be baptized this Sunday! It was wonderful! They´re family is so happy. And their parents will be baptized soon after their marriage.

I´ll be getting a full-time companion tomorrow night or wednesday afternoon, I don´t know yet. It depends on when they leave to come up here. I think that my branch will get another companionship of missionaries too. So their will be 4 of us total in Parnaiba 3 (the name of the branch).

We got an ominous email from President Dias last Monday about mixing up the whole mission. And the assistants called the leaders of the mission and said "be prepared and humble, President Dias is mixing up the whole mission." Who knows what will happen. You´ll have to wait until next week!

Unfortunately I was answering a few backed-up emails so I ran out of time for this email. Until next week!

Elder Rackham

Monday, April 12, 2010

I hope you're all sitting down...

I don´t think I really need to say that, because you´re all at a computer which probably means that you´re sitting down. Anyway I have some big news that some of you might be dying to hear! Or maybe not but hey that´s fine too.


I´m no longer in Taquari. I´ve been transfered to Parnaiba! Parnaiba is a city in Piauí very close to the ocean. There were Sister missionaries here before I got here but I think the mission of one of them was over so the other Sister went to São Luiz. It´s a lot windier here in Parnaiba because of the beach. I´m serving in a branch and a district. It´s not quite yet a stake or a ward. But President Dias told me I´m here to help Ramo 3 (Branch 3) to divide and help the District become a stake. I´m going to do my best to help this along. Apparently another companionship will come be serving in Branch 3 too aI think when transfer happen on April 20.

The members of the branch here are amazing! They give so many references. They really want to help the missionary work here and they really want to be a stake soon. It´s wonderful to get there help.

My companion for the time being is a Part-Time Missionary. He´s a young man from the ward who has his papers in almost. They just need to be sent to Salt Lake. He´s wonderful! If I didn´t know that he was a member of the branch I wouldn´t have know that he is a part-time Missionary because he already teaches so well. He´s helped the missionaries a bunch already and taught with them.

The house I´m living in now is good. It´s definitely cleaner. There´s a bat that lives in the roof of our porch area but other than that I like. Oh but we don´t have a washing machine. Well, we do but it doesn´t really work. I haven´t figured out to to get it to work yet at least. There´s a wire that I have to connect somewhere to get it to work but I don´t know where. But it´s great! There´s a supermarket like 2 minutes by foot from our house and I´m a huge fan of that.

I arrived in Parnaiba Wednesday after interviews. Literally this is how my interview with President Dias went: How´s your worthiness? You´re going to Parnaiba tomorrow. Then he explained a little bit about the branch I´m serving in. It was definitely a short interview! It was short because he was going to be in Parnaiba until Sunday as well so we talked more once I got here.

My language is definitely improving. I´m starting to use the really strange subjunctive tenses. I´m staring to wrap my head around the Imperfect Subjunctive. It´s really weird.

Oh one thing I did not like about sunday was having to teach Gospel Principals. They told me 5 minutes before the class that I would be teaching it, which is fine and dandy, I think that happens frequently. But I had no idea what the lesson was. And it was so difficult. It was about the organization of the Priesthood. Yeah, like I could teach that after 6 weeks in the field. It was a trainwreck.

Speaking of 6 weeks, I just barely completed one "transfer" and I´m in my 3rd area!

Well until next week! I´ll have a better update about the work here after a full week of being hard at work.

Elder Rackham

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fun with the language!

This week I´d like to share with you all the mistakes I´ve made with the language that have actually turned out to be pretty entertaining! One day while I was still in Timon, we were waiting for a bus. I was eating a cremosinho, a little popsicle thing that really isn´t a popsicle because it´s in a small plastic bag. They´re pretty much delicious! Anyway, I got some of the cremosinho on my shirt but I wasn´t worried because I had coconut soap that works miracles with clothes. I tried to say coconut soap in Portuguese, this is what I said: "sopão de cocó" which means literally "big soup of poop." Haha, I should have said "sabão de coco." It was pretty funny. The other memorable time was here in Taquari. Me, Elder B. Santos and a member were walking to an appointment and we were talking about making fudge. The member was telling me how to make fudge here in Brazil. One of the ingredients is "leite moça" which is just condensed milk. Moça is the name of the best brand of condensed milk but moça means girl. I thought he said "leite de moça" which means milk of the girl! It did not end well to say the least! Well... it was hilarious and luckily there wasn´t anyone else around.
It was General Conference weekend this past Saturday and Sunday, and even though I´m really doing well with the language if I say so myself, I didn´t watch it in Portuguese. It´s too difficult to understand. They use big words and obscure conjugations that aren´t used in normal conversation, but when they´re used in talks they sounds really beautiful and you sound smart too. It was really good though. In my district there´s 6 Elders in total, me and Elder B. Santos, Elder Chiba and Elder Souza, and Elder Santos and Elder Arrant. Elder Chiba, Elder Arrant, and I are all American so we watched the last 3 sessions in English together. It was a lot of fun hanging out with them again and watching conference. I learned a lot and it was a nice break from our usual activities.
This past Thursday through Sunday was as they call it here Holy Week because of Easter. As a result, starting Friday almost everyone in Taquari decided to travel. They thought it was fun but it really wasn´t. We had almost nothing to do, it made it really difficult to work. It was a good thing we had conference on Saturday and Sunday because it gave us something to do. Friday was just not productive at all. That´s okay.
We´re working with 3 investigators right now. They´re going a bit slow but we´re helping resolve problems in regard to accepting the gospel. All 3 of them are awesome and for the most part they´re fulfilling the commitments we extend like pray to know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and also the commandments. The only problem is getting them to Church. It´s really difficult. I´m confident things will work out though.
I was going to send pictures but this stupid cable isn´t working. I think I´m going to by a USB card reader. That worked with Elder Harmon. I even had plenty of time today to send pictures. Oh well. Hopefully next week! Sorry!
I have another interview with President Dias tomorrow. The normal interview during transfers I guess. I´m excited because I´ll really be able to gauge my progress with the language since this will be my first interview in Portuguese. The first one was in English.
Até logo!
Elder Rackham