Monday, March 28, 2011

Jurassic Park!

So I've been transfered to Açailândia. Here it's soo beautiful! The city just is magnificent, and there are a bunch of hills surrounding the city. When I look at them I think of the movie Jurassic Park, and at any moment, I feel as if a herd of dinosaurs is going to come walking out of the trees. It's the best thing ever! I couldn't have ever hoped for a better place to be, for this reason.

Maybe a few P-Days from now we'll go dinosaur hunting in the hills. I'll send pictures that I already to of the countryside. Today I ran out of time.

Oh before I forget, I'm with Elder Yorgason. He's from Utah. He was serving in Texas until now, and he got to Brazil about 2 weeks ago. We're way excited to work here!

Until next week!
Elder Rackham

Monday, March 21, 2011

A wonderful week!

So first things first, since Wednesday, I've been working with Elder F. Silva. He's a new missionary that just got here from the MTC in São Paulo. He's going to be with me until today, actually. We should be finding out shortly where he'll be going and who will be his companion. He's a great missionary and we've worked very hard this week. He has taught me a lot of things, that's for sure.

Elder F. Silva is from Curitiba, which is a city in the south of Brazil. Apparently it's an extremely beautiful city. Elder Youngberg, from my district in the MTC is there in Curitiba with Elder Flynn (also from my district) and he's been enjoying it down there. I've been keeping in contact with him.

Neto who was baptized on my birthday, received the Aaronic Priesthood today, so he's starting the path to taking his family to the temple and being sealed for time and all eternity. It was so great to see that this past Sunday.

Other news, Taquari DIVIDED! It is now two wards, one of the wards stayed with the name Taquari, the other took the name Uruguai. We had no idea it happened, but it was exciting. So next Sunday it's going to be in the seperate wards already. Taquari meets in the morning, Uruguai in the afternoon.

We found a great family. It's a father and two of his children. He moved from the countryside of Piaui (close to Parnaíba) to Teresina for his two kids to get a better education. Here in Teresina the schools are good, but in Luzilandia where they're from, the education isn't as great. We started teaching them and it's going really well. They went to church this past Sunday. They had a really good experience. Tonight we're taking them to a family night that we're holding at Neto and Zenaide's house. So we're really excited for that.

(the internet place I was at shut down for lunch and din't open until 2 hours later so this is why I'm sending this several hours after I sent emails this morning)

I'm excited for this next week, it'll be a good one!

Love you all!
Elder Rackham

Monday, March 14, 2011

Subway Eat Fresh!

So today I went to Subway here in Teresina for the first time! OH MY GOODNESS! It was like heaven in between two slices of angel wings and sunshine dust! And it was very cheap. It was only R$6,45 in reais so it was about 4 U.S. dollars. If you go once a week, and only get the 6 inch sub special they have, it's definitely an affordable luxury. My mouth was overcome by flavors I had forgotten that existed. It almost couldn't contain the pure beauty that is Subway and it's fresh ingredients. Maybe it was a clever mixture of two divine sauces (parmesean and chipotle), that sent me over the edge, but either way I was hooked from the first bite. If I haven't made it obviously clear by now how tasty Subway was, it was good.

Moving along, this week I was working in my area and in the other area right next to us. Elder Daniel and I were working together again this week. It was a little tough working in two areas (very tiring that is) but very satisfying, because we both worked very hard I felt. We really focused on families this week, something that President Dias is really pushing for. It's just so much better and easier when we fulfill our purpose (for those not familiar - Invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them to receive the restored gospel, through Faith in Jesus Christ and in His Atonement, Repentence, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) through families. It's much easier for them to have that support. In fact we talked about this at a lunch we were having once with a member. Elder Daniel and I were about to split with two different members, so we could both work in our seperate areas that day. One of the members ate lunch with us. He mentioned that he's the only member in his family and he talked about the difficulties he has in being the only member. I sat and thought about that. If I really work to find the families that have been prepared by the Lord to hear the message of the Restoration, I'll be able to help more people receive the blessings of the gospel, but nost just more people, more families. In fact, families that will be able to prepare to go to the temple and make and keep sacred covenants, so that they can be an eternal family.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. I've now realized that my perspective in relation to families and their eternal potential was the groundwork for this change in attitude towards the work. Because of certain moments where I really sensed and felt that families have the ability to be together forever, that it's not "Till death do you part" (I've forgotten the exact words in English), then I wouldn't be able to have the focus on families. But because of this, and becuase of instruction through President Dias and several other missionaries, I've been able to elevate my thoughts and purposes so as to seek for and find complete families.

We found two very special families this week. We just started teaching them, but we're going to go back and work with them more this week. Well, time ran out!

I'll talk more about these families and their progress this week!

Love you all!
Elder Rackham

Monday, March 7, 2011

Things got interesting!

So this past week, things got a little interesting! My companion has to do physical therapy for the next little while. There's another Elder in the area next to us, Cidade Satelite, that is also having to do physical therapy. It's just an hour in the morning, but they have to go all the way to the center of the city. So what we do is they go together, and I stick with Elder Daniel until they come back just before lunch. Then me and Elder Santos go to lunch and it's all normal from there. In the morning, I'm sometimes in Cidade Satelite, or in my area. Tuesday we stayed in my area and had our District Meeting. Wednesday, we went to his area. Thursday we stayed in our area, and actually ended up working the entire day together.

That's where things changed. Elder Santos and Elder Romero now have to stay at home and rest their knees, because it's nullifying the effects of physical therapy if they walk. So Elder Santos and I got our stuff to sleep at Cidade Satelite for a little while so Elder Daniel and I could work together a day in his area, a day in our area. Friday morning we get to their house and find out that they got robbed! They didn't even wake up. The thieves snuck in and grabbed stuff. Friday night I go to sleep. Around 3:00 in the morning I hear something, but I didn't pay too much attention, I was really tired. So I go back to sleep. Then I hear Elder Crittenden come in to the room I was sleeping in and he said "They're leaving, I can see them leaving!" Something like that. I wake up and think, I think we were robbed. Oh well. And went back to sleep. A few minutes later Elder Romero came in and looked out the window and then I woke up again and decided I should probably go see what happened. They said they had weapons, but we all know they were lying. They were just very desperate.

Apparently, they got into the backyard and went to one of the windows and started talking about how they were going to break in. Elder Crittenden woke up and tried to get them to leave, but they took one of the hoes they had to clean the yard and broke the glass. Then they tried to bend the frame so they could get in. Everyone else woke up except for me and they all ran into the room. There were 5 Elders and two guys. They were really desperate to go up against 5 guys. They saw an MP3 player and demanded that. They gave it to them so they would leave and they left. They were talking with him and saw his face and everything. We called the police and President Dias.

So... they're moving houses. It's not safe anymore. It was 2 nights in a row that they came, and there is no doubt that they've already tried to go back since then, but there's nothing of value in the house, we took it all out and put it in another missionary house in the south of the city. Saturday Elder Santos and I helped before going back to our area. They had to pack everything up and go to the center to stay with the secretaries. They also had to find a new house as soon as possible. Elder Daniel and I spent at least 3-4 hours looking for a new house, but we found nothing except for a small condo really far away.

It definitely kept things interesting! I'm safe, the thieves are gone. Good thing I didn't wake up and show them who's boss, right? ;) Just kidding!

Well, until next week!
Elder Rackham