Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm from Germany now

So because the U.S. lost and are out of the World Cup, I'm from
Germany now! Basically to avoid any awkward conversation like "haha
your country lost!" and stuff like that. Plus, Germany apparently
dominated their last game. We could hear the announcer from the TV in
the next house over while we were eating lunch. Which by the way was
probably one of the best lunches I've eaten so far.

We had this thing called a torta. In Italian it means cake. But in
Portuguese it means like a pie, but not a sweet pie, more like a meat
pie. So anyway, it was a chicken torta and it was amazing. I
absolutely loved it and I'm going to ask the sister how to make it.
Then we had this breaded and fried beef (yeah it wasn't chicken). It
was tasty. We eat at this sister's house every other Sunday. And she
makes really good beans as well. But this Sunday, everything was
especially tasty!

We had a great zone conference! I really liked it. The Zone
Conference had been post-poned so this time we didn't have a chance to
have lunch. We had it earlier and we had lunch in our own areas like
we normally do. The only unfortunate part was that we had to walk an
hour and half back from the church building we had our conference in
to the house where we were having lunch. It wasn't fun. And then we
had to walk an hour back to our house to drop off our suits and our
backpacks of the things we needed for the conference.

We met two young guys this past week and we taught them the first
lesson and it went really well. They were very receptive. The older
one is almost 17 and he was extremely interested. His brother told us
that he prayed for 2 hours to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet.
We only had a few minutes to talk to him about it, but he definitely
received an answer he said. He has a very very firm testimony already
that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It was very cool to see this! I'm
very excited to go back and teach him!

Anyway, I hope all is well with everyone! Until next week!

Elder Rackham

Monday, June 21, 2010

I find myself at the end of a good week and the beginning of an even better one!

This past week was really good! We found some great new investigators
and it really showed me that working with the members really does

We had an activity this past Friday called "A Noite de Chocolotão"
meaning the The Night of Awesome Chocolate! Of course I translated it
with my own twist because hey I have that liberty and unfortunately
you all have to rely on me to know! But it really was awesome which
is why I threw that in there even if literally it wasn't in the title
of the activity. And hey, we're advised not to translated literally,
but to translate ideas! So there you go, I'm perfectly justified. (I
ate my wheaties today, what can I say, it brings out my normally
dormant witticism).

So anyway, Elder Banks and I invited several of our investigators and
we had a great turnout! Actually now that I think about it, we had
three of our investigators come, but, one of the brought a friend and
then we had a recent-convert (Tálisson that was baptized 6 or 7 weeks
ago) bring 4 friends too! So it was a really good result of our
efforts! Especially because one of Tálisson's friends wants to be
baptized this Sunday! He's one of the most wild and reckless kids
I've seen so far in Brazil and I would not complain if someone started
him on some medication because to be perfectly honest, he could
definitely use it.

We found a great family on the street. I really felt the Spirit and I
hope that I taught what they needed to hear if that makes sense. I
feel good about it and I'm excited to keep working with them. It's
just proving to be a little difficult to find them at home. But no

Anyway, here's a couple photos of me and a pet bird of one of our
investigators! Woo!

I hope everyone is with health and safety and good tidings of great
joy because it's almost July and apparently we have Christmas then

Until next week!
Elder Rackham

Monday, June 14, 2010

The World Cup and my parasite

So there are two new interesting things going on here in Brazil. One
is I have a parasite (it's not as bad as you think), and the other is
that the world cup is going on!

First the parasite: So a few weeks ago I started to notice that white
spots were starting to appear on my skin. It's like patchs where the
color of my skin dissappeared. I don't remember how to properly word
that in English. Anyway, it's called Pano Branco in Portuguese so I
showed Sister Dias and she got me some medication. It's this creme
that I put on the areas with the spots of discoloration in my skin.
Apparently the reason I have them is because of a parasite. The
parasite is on the top of my head so when I take a shower and such,
the water from my hair runs down and affects my neck and shoulders,
where I have the white spots. But it's not lethal, it'll go away.
I'm getting Selson Blue in Teresina this week because they don't have
it here in Parnaíba and that will help. It just takes some time.

Second, the world cup! The days that Brazil isn't playing are pretty
normal. Everything is a bit more colorful though because they put up
decorations. But the days that Brazil play we have to stay inside
because it gets really crazy here. So far Brazil has yet to play but
tomorrow and next Sunday we have to stay in our house. And then
there's one more day but I forget. If Brazil makes it to the next
round (and they will) then we'll have even more days we have to stay
inside because it'll be even crazier! But on the flip side it helps
us out a bit that the world cup is going on. When we contact people
on the street, talking about the World Cup is a great opener and it
really shows that we're normal, easy-going people. It helps keep the
atmosphere relaxed and people like us and are even more willing to
hear our message. And it's fun for us too to hear the results!
Apparently the U.S. and England tied and everyone was telling us that
England would dominate us!

We have two really good investigators this week. One is a girl and we
started teaching her a couple of weeks ago, but we lost contact with
her because her mom died and it looked like she was going to move. We
got back into contact with her and found out she's been reading the
Book of Mormon a lot and it's been helping her out with this hard
situation. She wants to stay in this Church she said, so she'll be
baptized soon. The other is Jon. He's very intelligent and very
receptive to the lessons. He's having trouble recognizing an answer
to his prayers. But we finally got him to come to Church and he loved
it. He loved the Gospel Principals manual and he wanted to have a
copy. It's looking good for him.

Other than that, things are going good! I'll let you know how fun
this week is with the two Brazil games next Monday!

Elder Rackham

Monday, June 7, 2010

What I learned from Moroni 8

Well hello there!

Like the subject of the email says, I learned something from Moroni
chapter 8 this week!

Not yesterday, but the last Sunday a lady from the branch came up to
us and introduced her grandson and said he's 8 years-old and wants to
be baptized! The first thing we had to do was figure out if it was a
convert baptism or a baptism of the branch, but both of his parents
are non-members and his grandmother doesn't have legal gaurdianship
over him (not very many people do in Brazil). So we called the
assistants and asked them and they gave us the green light.

We finally were able to get in contact with them to start teaching
Wednesday. So we go there Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
morning before the interview to teach him everything so he could be
baptized Saturday. Saturday, we spent the whole day getting things
organized. Getting them a ride, getting a cake, making sure people
would be there, etc.

So we were sitting with the grandma, waiting for the ride, her
grandsons and daughter had already left and it was just us outside
waiting for the ride. She ran inside and I had the sudden thought
that maybe he's not 8 years-old! I didn't notice when I was filling
out the baptismal record, but I counted it out and he really was only
7 years old! So we went and talked to the grandma but she insisted
that he was 8 years old and that the date she had was just wrong
because his mom is indian as in native brazilian and doesn't know, so
we had the baptism.

We got there, the baptism went smoothly there were people there,
everyone was happy. The cake I made was delicious I might add. It
was lemon. Everyone loved it. But after the baptism I wanted to
double check with the family to make sure that he really was 8
years-old. I talked with his cousin and we figured it out and he was
only 7 years-old. We baptized a 7 year-old! Moroni chapter 8 talks
about baptizing little kids, and I'm pretty sure the word abomination
gets thrown around. Dangit! But I didn't baptize him, Elder Banks
did so the sin is on his head! Haha, just kidding. It made us feel
better laughing about it.

Things are going good still. I'm starting to get a bit more organized
I think. Not as in our house and my things, but how I plan, how I
think and I'm just a bit more efficient.

I hope things are well with everyone! Until next time!

Elder Rackham

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hey hey hey!

Hey ya'all!

It's been a few weeks but here I am again!

Things are going great here in Parnaíba! We found out about transfers
this morning, and Elder Banks and I are staying here. Elder Souza,
one of the other missionaries in our house is going to Sobral. In his
place, Elder Manning is coming from Imperatriz! Elder Manning was
trained by my trainer Elder Harmon, so I'm really excited to talk to
him and get to know him.

We had a baptism this past weekend. A man named José. We met him one
night and taught his wife and his grandson. It was a really really
good lesson. And we gave them a Book of Mormon. Since then he's read
it every single day for an hour or two! He prayed to know that Joseph
Smith was a prophet and he received an answer. His testimony has
grown since then. He was a little unsure about baptism but we helped
him realize that with the Holy Ghost that comes after baptism, he'll
be able to understand so much more. That's the role of the gift of
the Holy Ghost. Well one of them at least.

Today is very nice, but it's been hot the past week. The worst time of
the day is right after lunch for about 3 hours. At 4:00 it starts to
cool down and the sun isn't so powerful.

Apparently my old companion Elder B. Santos is coming to Parnaíba but
in a different branch. I'm excited to see him again! It'll be weird
but interesting talking and not being companions. We had a lot of fun

Well, until next time!

Elder Rackham