Monday, May 25, 2015

I Caught A Bug


I´m a bit short on time here so I´m going to have to be fast!  This week went really well!  We worked really hard, but I got sick too and we lost some time because of that.  This was the first time that I got sick in Brazil, I´ve gotten pretty far through unscathed!  I´m not sure exactly what I had, but we had eaten some barbecue earlier on the day that I got sick, and I think that it might have had something to do with that.  I´m feeling a lot better now, but I still can´t stomach anything fried, I´ve almost gone vegetarian lol!  It´s getting easier though, so hopefully I´ll be back to normal in a bit.

   So this week we started teaching two brothers named Leandro and Leomarcos.  They´re both about 25 or 30 years old, and very interested in the church!  They weren´t able to make it to church this week because of work, but asked if they could still be baptized a week after the date that we had planned.  We said of course, and that´s were we are!  This week we´re going to get to know them a bit better and start introducing them to the lessons.  

   We also had a ton of people at church this week, including a bunch of Seventh Day Adventist ministers.  That was pretty cool!  They were very friendly and fun to talk to.  
   Like I said, Time´s really short this week so I´m going to have to leave it there.  Sorry!  But, I saw a Toucan!  He just flew by though so I couldn´t take a picture.  I did take pictures of some cool bugs though, so I´ll shoot you guys those.

Until next week!  Have an awesome week and keep me up to date on what´s going on!

Elder Sweet

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Cooler Area!

Hey guys!  What´s everybody doing?
My Companion Elder H.

   So, let´s talk about the new area!  R.  is quite a bit cooler than I, so my shirts don´t get quite as yellow at the end of the day.  The branch here is very strong, there´s more than 180 active members I think!  The branch President wants to have a stake here in 2 years, so 
we´re working hard! 

Elder H. is actually Brazilian, and I´ve actually already been his comp!  It´s not very common to get the same comp twice, but I´ve got no complaints.  He was in the sextet with me in Itumbiara when we were getting ready to dedicate the new chapel.  He was Elder O. at the time, but since then he has switched all of his tags and everything to Elder H.
   Elder H. is very cool!  He works hard and knows how to do a lot of things very well about the missionary work.  I´m really enjoying working with him!  Right now we´ve got a few investigators, and we´ll see how things go with them.  We have one family, S. (the mother), J. and T. (sons), and F. (daughter).  They seem to have the desire to be baptized, but unfortunately one of their aunts got really sick over the weekend and they had to leave town to care for her.  We have another investigator, P., as well.  She was very excited to learn about the Book of Mormon, but didn´t make it to church because she got sick too.  We´ll see if they continue to show interest this week, and if so
it´s just water!

     We were working pretty far from the chapel in the previous week, but we´ve decided to switch our focus to areas within a normal walking distance of the chapel.  That way we can just walk with our investigators to the church instead of relying on members to give rides.  I like what you said about creating a vision for the investigators of what they can have if they go to church.  I thought about this a lot yesterday.  We only had 2 investigators at church, and neither of them were due to our own effort.  This is something that I´m going to do better this week, explain the blessings and give them a vision of the blessings of being at church.  Some missionaries try to force them, but I feel that if someone is being forced to investigate they won´t truly repent.  I want to be very firm and clear that I want them to want the blessings, and that they need the blessings, and then leave the decision entirely up to them.

     Rio Verde is not quite as calm as Itumbiara, so I´ve stopped carrying my camara around.  I´ll still take pictures whenever I get the opportunity!  I´ve got a few to shoot you guys this week though, and I should still be able to shoot some past you each week.  

Well, I´ve got to run!  Keep up the work on the home front and keep me up to date!  Send pictures!

Até mais,
Elder Sweet

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mothers Day / Transferred!

Hey all!

Elder "C" and I
It was so great to get to talk to you all yesterday!  I´m sorry that the connection fell at the end and we didn´t get to say goodbye, but it was still so great to talk to all of you!  Landon, your voice has gotten even deeper (keep singing!)!  Savannah, your prom pics are gorgeous!  Amy and Trevor, congrats on everything awesome that´s happening in Utah!  Dad, congrats on 5 years as a Bishop!  That´s so awesome!  And last but not least!  Mom, HAPPY MOTHER´S DAY!!!   I´ve got the most incredible Mom in the world, and I hope that you could feel our love for you yesterday and throughout the whole year!  More thoughts on that to come, but first I´ve got some news!

Elder "C" and my district at Itumbiara
I got transferred!  This was a huge surprise that I was not expecting at all!  We have transfers every 5 or 6 weeks, but we´ve also got a mini transfer in the middle of each transfer for missionaries who arrive from the United States after having waited for their visas for more than two months.  They have to go through 2 weeks of intensive portuguese re-training in São Paulo before hitting the field again, so they always arrive 2 weeks into the transfer.  Anyhow, Elder C. will stay in Itumbiara and train a missionary who´s coming in from the US, and
I´m going to Rio Verde Popular!  I´m going to be the junior comp of Elder H.  I´ve heard a lot of good things about him, so I´m pretty excited.  Rio Verde Popular is also one of the best areas in the mission, everyone wants to go there.  Looks like I´m the lucky one!

                                                                                                                                                                                         "I've got to pack my bags today and we´re going to leave tomorrow morning."
I´m pretty excited!

Elder sweet

Monday, May 4, 2015

Not Another Oportunity

Hey all!  So, let me tell you about my week...

My New Companion (3rd Comp)
My new companion, Elder C, is awesome!  He works very hard, and     I´m learning a lot about how to work smart on the mission.  This transfer is only 5 weeks long though, so I´ve got to soak up what I learn like a sponge to make the most out of this time.
   We´ve got a new investigator now named I.  He´s 17 years old, very smart and has a lot of questions about the church.  It was awesome to be able to start working with him!  He´s the first investigator that I´ve had that called us before church to make sure that we were going to swing by and bring him to church.  He´s pretty awesome!  He has a baptismal date for the 16th of May;
we´re hoping and praying that everything goes well!
last Picture before Transfers, Itumbiara Sisters & Elder "U "(2nd comp)
 Transfers were pretty fun too.  I got to travel to G. with Elder U.  I wasn´t expecting that, but I like travelling so I went along with the plan.  At the bus station I ran into my first companion here in Brazil, Elder A.!  It was so cool to see him and catch up on what´s been happening for the both of us.  I also got to see Elder M. who was here when I arrived, Elder S, my MTC comp, and several other Elders that
I´ve gotten to know along the way.  It was pretty cool!

Elder A.!!! My trainer (1st comp)
Also, I´ve got a short but pretty funny story to shoot by you guys too.  So, it was Elder C´s first day in I.  We were walking along one of the main avenues here when we heard some shouting behind us to wait.  I turned around and saw that same kid who tried to rob me a month or two back, and he´s tried several times since then as well.  Elder C. didn´t know who he was, so his first thought was "He´s golden!  He´s chasing us down, he wants to learn about the church!"  As he approached I was trying to warn Elder C.  I was saying "Elder C, thief! Theif!" but he wasn´t getting the picture.  Anyhow, I was getting ready for a fight while elder C was getting ready to right down his address, and then he finally caught up to us.  He started to talk to me and put his hand on my shoulder while his other hand was reaching toward my pocket or my bag, I´m not sure which.  I was just so ticked off to see the same guy trying the same thing on me with the same approach, and so I told him!  I quickly knocked his hand off of my shoulder and started chewing him out.  I said "You´ve already tried to rob me three times, get lost!"  He asked me on what day it was that he tried to rob me (that was wierd), and I just replied "It doesn´t matter!  You´ve already tried to rob me three times, and I´m not giving you another opportunity!  Get out of here!"  Then he left!  I got a bit of a kick out of that, and hopefully he won´t try to rob me again.
   That´s all for this week!  I hope that all of you have an awesome week, and I´ll talk to you all again next Monday!  I´m excited to talk to the fam over Skype on Sunday too!  Até logo!

Elder Sweet

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Transfers! Monday April 27, 2015

Hey all!  How´s life in the good old United States going?

Where Will I Serve Next?
First, let´s talk about transfers!  The Assistants to the President called yesterday to tell us what´s going to be changing in Itumbiara.  Luckily, one of those things is not me!  I´m going into my fourth transfer in Itumbiara, which is awesome.  I love Itumbiara, the Branch here is incredible and the work is on fire!  My companion, Elder U, was transferred to Independência, close to Goiânia.  I´ll be receiving a new comp, Elder C. or something like that.  He´s from Argentina as well!  I guess there´s something that I´m supposed learn from the Argentinians...  Anyhow, he´s going to be the district leader, and we´re going to keep on going!  One of the sisters got transferred too, and Sister V. will stay here to train a new missionary!  It´s going to be pretty awesome.

   This was a pretty interesting week.  Earlier this week a young 9 year old boy started showing up at the church and just hanging out there all day.  I learned that his name is G. and that he really likes soccer, but not much more than that.  Yesterday he had been at the church all day, through the meetings, the afternoon, evening, literally all day.  He didn´t eat breakfast or lunch, and he had done a similar thing the day before.  Anyhow, yesterday President Santos was trying to close up the building, but G. refused to leave.  It wasn´t just that he didn´t want to, but he was literally terrified to leave.  We talked to him to figure out where he lived, but didn´t want to give us much information.  We finally figured out the street and the name of his mother, so Elder Uboldi, President Santos, and I went to find her to see if she could come and get G.  We arrived on the street and started asking around to see if anyone knew him.  No one did, so we got in the car again and said a prayer asking for help to find his mother.  As soon as we said "amen," we heard a lady yelling from a ways back down the street.  She said that she had remembered the boy and where he lives, and showed us the house.  Sometimes prayers are answered very quickly!  We found his mother and took her to the chapel to get G, but I think he had figured out that we were going to get his mom and had already ran off.  We weren´t able to see him back home, so we definitely hope that everything´s okay.  Our guess is that his home environment is pretty ugly, and that he spends as much time away from it as possible.  He hadn´t even eaten at home in 2 days, and his mother showed absolutely no signs of concern.  It was pretty saddening to see the state of so many families.  President Santos and us are going to do what we can to help out there, it´s just so hard to see a young boy being raised in a home that he´s terrified to return too.
Pave'        (photo from
On a different note, there´s one more thing that I wanted to say this week!  I lied, it´s two more things :)  First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAVANNAH!!!!!!!   How old are you now?  It´s 16, right?  That´s so awesome!  Congrats!  Second, there´s a brazilian food that all of you have to try.  It´s called Pavê.     It´s like a jello cake, but infinitely more delicious.  It´s just about the best dessert that I´ve ever had.    I´ve been told that it´s pretty easy to make, so make it!  It´s ubelievable!  With that, I wish you all an awesome week and (to Savannah), an incredible new year!!!


Elder Sweet

A Quick Word On Portuguese, Monday April 20, 2015

Hey there my incredibly awesome family!  
Our District T-Shirts designed by one of these Sisters
How is everyone doing?  By the way, I have a not-so-good keyboard today, it tends to drop some letters (especially g).  So, don´t blame my bad spelling on me.  Okay, now that that´s out of the way, let´s get down to business here!

   Not a ton happened this week, so I´ll share a cool experience or two and then just find something to rant about.  Here we go!  First, we met a really awesome guy named E.  We were knocking doors in a neighborhood that is quite a ways away from our house, and I saw him sitting on a chair outside his house.  I went up to talk to him really quick, and before I had gotten more than a couple words out of my mouth he told me to sit down in the chair that was next to him.  We talked for a bit and then marked a return appointment for the next day.  We returned the next day, just as he was pulling out of his driveway to leave.  I waved at him as he drove by us, and then we continued to our backup plan.  A little while later a car pulled over next to us with the window down, and there was E.!  He said "I saw you guys as I left my house, and remembered that I had marked an appointment with you.  So, I went to pick up my wife and, knowing you couldn´t get too far because you were on foot, we drove around the neighborhood looking for you.  We´re heading back to the house now, so you guys can come on over and share your message!"  We returned to his house and had a very nice first lesson with them.  They had lots of questions, and we didn´t have a lot of time, but we did what we could.  I´ll keep you guys up to date!
   We´re also finally teaching M. again.  His life has been pretty complicated lately, but it´s started to settle down just enough so that we can catch him at home.  He´s a great writer too, and likes to write short proses that he reads for us.  One was about the creation and the fall and was absolutely gorgeous!  He read us another prose that he wrote a couple of days ago, and a couple things that he said stuck with me.  First - "If you ask God for something and he doesn´t give it to you, it´s because that thing wasn´t what you needed."  Second - "When you are passin through a real trial and ask yourself "Where is God," remember that during a test the professor always remains quiet."  I did my best to translate, but it still sounds better in Portuguese.  It is very true though, at many points in our lives we have to pass through tests and trials seemingly on our own, and often ask ourselves "Where is God?"  We need to remember that he is helping us to grow, to become, and that no one has more invested in us and no one has a greater desire to see us succeed than he does.  He is always at our side, always doing his very best to help us.  We need to learn to be just as driven to see ourselves succeed as he is to see us succeed.
   To wrap up here, a quick word on portuguese!  My portuguese is actually really coming along.  I´m thinking in Portuguese, talking in Portuguese, praying in Portuguese, and living in Portuguese.  I feel quite comfortable with the language at this point, but am still studying it as hard as I can.  There are actually far more words that we have in English and don´t have in Portuguese, and vice-versa, than I had expected.  The two words from English that I miss the most are "too" and "even."  We have too in terms of in adition to, the word is também.  But, we don´t have the word too in the sense of too much, too many, or too full.  For example, if someone´s putting cereal in your bowl and you say "Too much! Too much!" in Portuguese you´d actually say "A lot!  A lot!"  It´s a bit different.  The word even, in the sense of adding emphasis, we also don´t have.  For example "he didn´t even brush his teeth," or "Is he even going to make the call?"  We can still say the same thin in Portuguese, but there´s a number of words that we use depending on the situation.  Just having one is kind of nice, it makes things easy for my simple mind!
   Anyhow, I hope that all of you have an awesome week!  Keep me up to date on what´s going on and what´s important to you all, and always remember that Christ lives!

Elder Sweet    

Leaning On The Arm Of God, April 13, 2015

Hey there, família!  This week was so awesome, and J. finally got baptized!  We´ve been working with him for a little more than 6 weeks, I think, and finally seeing him and his son baptized was such an incredible experience.
   We had an especially neat experience last weekend in which we were able to see how much embracing the gospel has changed his life.  As I mentioned a while ago, J. recently went through a divorce, it was shortly before we found him and began teaching him again.  At that time, he responded to a difficult situation by burying it under alcohol and violence.  When we arrived, he knew that what he was doing was damaging his ability to raise his son well, and recognized the need to change.  We´ve worked with him over the past several weeks helpind him to leave behind those bad habits, and that was put to the test last weekend.  When his son was over visiting his mother, she decided that she wouldn´t let him return to J.  This was devastating for J, his son is everything to him.  Rather than coping with this situation according to his previous pattern, the first thing that he did was pray.  We went to his house shortly afterward and he told us about the situation.  We brought him with us to one of the sessions of General Conference, where he prayed some more and took the opportunity to cool off.  He left the session well in control of himself, with the presence of mind to think through how best to deal with the situation.  In the past several weeks he went from leaning on man´s arm to leaning on the arm of God, and demonstrated the results of this by dealing with an incredibly stressful situation with grace.  
   All is well in his home now, and his ex-wife eventually agreed to continue to share time with their son.  It was so neat to see how he has understood what we taught, and applied it effectively in his life on his own.  
Elder U. and I were able to see J. and his son baptized this past weekend, and the other Elders here baptized 3 persons as well.  It was an incredible sacrament meeting for sure!  It was also neat to see D, the very first person that I saw baptized in my mission, perform the baptism.  It was awesome!!!
   I´ve got to go now, but I´ll include some pictures from the baptism!  Have an awesome week!

Elder Sweet    

"Prodigal Children"

Wooh!  Conferência Geral foi increível!  Até Elder Uchtdorf falou em sua propria idioma por um pouco!

D, Me, J, L, and Elder U
So what did you all think of the General Conference?  President Monson didn´t speak much, so that was a little wierd.   All in all it was an incredible conference!  I watched the whole thing in Portuguese, and I understood it pretty well.  At times it was difficult to understand because a lot of other people at the church just made chit chat through all the sessions, but it was still pretty cool.  I loved Elder Ulisses Soares´ talk in Portuguese!  It was so awesome to hear the actual voice of the person speaking!  There were some pretty deep talks about grace and the atonement as well.  Man, I can´t wait to get the Conference addition of the Liahona!  It´s going to be so awesome!!!

  Now, about this week!  It started a bit rough.  J. didn´t come to church last week, and we tried and tried and tried again to contact him.  We were finally able to get into his house on Tuesday to share a message with him.  In our district meeting that morning I´d given a short message about the prodigal son, and how each of us are "prodigal children" of our father in heaven.  Elder U. asked me to share the same message with J.  We went there and taught him a special lesson focused completely around this parable, about how God loves us no matter what we do, and how he is there ready to bless us with everything he has no matter how many times we leave, so long as we come back.  It was the most spiritual lesson of my mission so far, I think we all cried at some point.  We taught J. again the next day, and he opened up to us more about what´s going on.  He said that he drank over the weekend and because of that missed church, again.  He figured that after so many failures, we would give up on him and not come back.  Then, we showed up!  And on top of that, we taught him a lesson about no matter how many times we leave our Father in Heaven by commiting sin, he waits with open arms to welcome us back.  This whole week has been incredible becuase of J.  He wants to be baptized more than any other person I´ve seen on my mission, and is on track to be baptized this coming weekend!  There´s a lot of rough things going on in his family right now too, so we´re praying hard for him.

  This week was pretty strange outside of J.  All of the people that we taught just wanted to bible bash, and hour after hour of work seemed to yield so little fruit.  It was so great to be able to leave all of that at the end of each day to go teach J.  He´s pretty awesome.  I´ll attach a photo here of Elder U. and I, J. and his son L, and a recent convert named D. who is teaching J.with us.  D. was my very first baptism on the mission, and seeing him serving faithfully in the church and (hopefully) baptizing J. this coming weekend is just incredible!  There´s no greater joy than this, without question!

 I took a picture of lightning!  It took a lot of
shots to finally get one, but it was pretty cool
One of my trainers, Elder S, told me that the mission is the best and worst thing that he´s ever done in his life.  It´s hard.  People yell at you, try to rob you, and just want to fight us on every point of doctrine instead of going to their Heavenly Father in prayer.  With that and more, the mission is the worst thing I´ve done in my life so far.  Every now and then, though, you get to see a life change and to see the joy in the eyes of people as the embrace the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ; there can be no value assigned to that joy.  It surpasses all of the hardships of the mission, and makes it the best thing that I´ve done in my life.

   I love you guys!  Have an awesome week, and remember that I love you!  Also, share your thoughts and insights about conference!  I want to hear!

Elder Sweet

A Flood!

Hey all!
So what´s everybody doing?  I hope things are going well back on the home front!  I know that Landon came back from Paraguay last Wednesday; is he adjusted to the US again yet?  When will you all be headed to Utah to visit Amy and Trevor?  We´ve got General Conference coming again this weekend, that´s pretty exciting!  
    This week went very well, although not a whole lot happened.  Compared to last week, I guess that´s a fairly good thing!  We started teaching a man named A. this week.  He´s very cool!  He works with leather for his living.  He makes belts, pants, shoes, just about anything.  He also repairs saddles.
I´ll attach a pic here of a saddle that he was working on repairing.  He said it´s pretty expensive, but that the guy who bought it bought it online and that it has some mistakes in it that make it nearly un-useable.  He said that he knows everything about saddles, how to make them, how to maintain them, etc.  You can come to him with almost any problem with a horse´s saddle, and he´ll tell you what´s wrong with the saddle and how to fix it.  He´d like to make saddles, but he said it typically takes 3 days to make one saddle, so he focuses on just repairing them and making smaller leather items.  If he brings a couple more people on to work for him, then he´d like to start making saddles.  
   We also taught another family this week!  It´s a father, a mother, and their 3 or 4 year old daughter.  They seemed fairly receptive, especially the mother.  Their daughter was adorable too.  In the middle of the lesson she ran up to me with a terrified look on her face and said ´´There´s a giant rat outside, that eats men!  You can´t stay here, it´s not safe.  It ate my feet!´´  I got a pretty good kick out of that!  
Well, that´s the update for the week!  I love you all and hope that everyone has a great week!  Be sure to send E-mails!  I love hearing from you guys!

Elder Sweet      

5371 - The saddle that I talked about
5318 - A flood!  It rained like crazy several days ago, you should have seen the river.  It was a good 10 feet deeper than usual, and all of the streets became rivers too.  It was pretty fun!

The Power Came Back On! March 23, 2015

Okay, I lied!  It wasn´t just another week, this week was crazy.  It was crazy good, but also crazy tense at several points.  I´ll explain piece by piece.

First, I´ll explain how it was intense.  I think it was early Tuesday morning at around 2 o´clock when we got a telephone call from the sister missionaries saying that someone was trying to break into their house.  We live a ways away and hence couldn´t do much to help them, but they called the police and a couple other men from the branch who live close by.  The man who was trying to break into their house ran off, but needless to say it put us on edge.  The sisters live in one of the more dangerous bairros, or neighborhoods, in Itumbiara.  If you go deeper into it it´s practically a favela.  The live outside of that part, but it is still not a very friendly place.  So, the next day my comp and I were walking and... Someone tried to rob me!  He was an aweful thief though, so he lost.  It wasn´t a Shaolin-Ssu packed action story, sorry about that.  He came up to us saying that he needed money for food, and we told him that we didn´t have any.  After that he tried to put a piece of paper in my shirt pocket, and then grabbed everything in my pocket and tried to pull it out.  I grabbed it too so that he couldn´t take it, and then we left.  It was kind of wierd.  I normally wouldn´t have let someone put their hand so close to my pocket, but he was acting like he was a little mentally challenged so I figured I´d cut him some slack.  I´m not doing that again!  Next, in this same day, we were heading to another lesson.  The sun had already set.  We were following a road that should´ve taken us close to the chapel, but we missed the road we needed.  Next thing we knew we were in the favela I talked about, and didn´t know how to get out.  Dangerous neighborhoods in Brazil aren´t like dangerous neighborhoods in the US, it´s a different level entirely.  The ones here aren´t so bad during the day, but they transform into a completely different animal at night.  The streets they´re are a mess, so it´s very difficult to leave the neighborhood.  We were wandering around trying to find our way out, when a little girl came running out to meet us on the street yelling "Elderes!  Elderes!"  It was the little 8 year old girl that the Sister missionaries had taught that asked me to baptize her!  "I want the one who says ´um.´"  Does that ring a bell?  She lived in the house that we were walking past, and knew how to get to the chapel.  She described how to leave the nieghborhood and off we went.  
   The next day Elder U. and I were on our way to a lesson when the power went out across half of the city.  The sun went down, and then we were in the dark.  The sisters called us and said that they were on their way into that same neighborhood that I just talked about when the power went out.  We said "Don´t go in their Sisters!"  We arranged to meet them in a safer part of town, and then we were going to walk them in to their house.  We met them at the house of a recent convert, and just stayed their for a little bit.  We were hoping that the power would come back on so we wouldn´t have to walk through this neighborhood at night with absolutely no light.  We waited, and waited, and waited.  The lights stayed out, and it was getting later.  We decided that walking through that neighborhood at 8pm without light would be better than at 9pm without lights, so we started to get up to leave.  I was literally in the act of going from a sitting position to a standing position when the power came back on!  The sister missionaries started screaming and chearing with relief, and Elder U. and I just sat down and took a deep breath.  We were pretty happy that we didn´t have to go into that neighborhood at night.  God takes care of his missionaries!
   That´s the gist of the week.  It was an awesome week, definitely not one to forget anytime soon.  We reached all of our goals, and we saw the hand of the Lord in our lives almost everyday.  It was tense at times, but we learned and grew from it.

Have an awesome week, family!

Elder Sweet

FHE Adventure!

Hey guys!

 I hope everyone´s doing great in the states!  Brazil´s still going pretty great :)  Keep me up to date on what´s going on in your lives, I love getting E-mails!  I don´t always have time to respond to each one, but it´s always a pleasure to read letters from you all and see how everyone´s doing.

   There´s two main things that I want to talk about in this E-mail today: Transfers and an Adventure that we had!  First, transfers.

   So, there´s good news and good news.  Which do you want first?  Let´s start with the good news!  First, we´re part of Zone Uberlândia now!  Uberlândia is closer than Rio Verde (our old zone), so it makes more sense for us to go there for Zone meetings and such.  Second (this is the good part), drumroll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdum... BOOM!!!!  No one in Itumbiara was transferred!  We´re all staying here, with our same comps.  I´m excited for the opportunity that I have to stay here, there are several investigators that we´re working with right now that I really want to see baptized.  So, that´s what happened!

 Next, the adventure.  We had a Family Home Evening last night that we needed to go to because they were going to bring some new investigators for us to teach.  This home is quite a ways away from us, it´s about a 45 or 50 minute walk if we take a shortcut through a field.  The sun had already set, and we were approaching this field.  First we have to cross a little bridge over a creek with a bunch of trees on either side of the bank, and then there´s a path through tall grass that takes us to the other end of the field.  There´s always several horses grazing in the field too, so that should help you guys with the image.  Anyhow, it was dark.  As we approached the entrance to the path, we saw 7 young men gathered around the entrance to the pass smoking something.  Generally speaking, when 7 young men go to a fairly remote part of town and hide in the cover of trees to smoke, they´re not smoking tobacco.  Elder Uboldi and I decided that a detour was better than risking a confrontation, so we continued down the road that runs along the field.  We thought that there was another road that cut through the field a bit further down, but there wasn´t.  To walk all the way around would have added a good 1.5 or 2 kilometers to our trip (I´ve given miles guys, sorry), so we decided to cut through the field.  We found a little trail, and followed it.  It took us into the trees, and then we ran into the creek.  At this point, the creek was probably 6 or 8 feet wide (haven´t given feet up yet, I still like ´em), with a thin branch spanning the width of it on the ground.  My comp put one foot on it, realized that it was very unstable, and then stepped off.  I was describing another method that we could use to cross when we heard "Neeeeeeee-eeee-awwww-eeeee-awww."  My comp said "Okay, let´s go!"  I told him "Elder, it´s just a donkey; we can do this!"  With a bit of persuading, we resumed our attempts to cross the river.  I crossed first, walking on the thin branch to cross the river while holding on the trees above to balance myself, and then Elder U. followed suit.  We arrived on the other side, and started crossing the field.  The tall grass made it so we couldn´t run because we couldn´t see the ground well, so we were left with doing our best to cross the field.  We eventually emerged from the field at a road on the other side, and then walked to the family´s house that we had the appointment with.  Anyhow, that´s the adventure of the week!  I hope you guys enjoyed it!

Now, the pics:
5297 - A pic we took after the FHE I talked about
5285 - A really awesome sunset I took a picture of!

Have a wonderful week, learn lots, and preach the gospel!  Until next Monday.

Elder Sweet

"Have You Prayed Yet?" March 9, 2015

Batizamos!  J, one of the two sisters that we started teaching a couple weeks ago, got baptized!  Her stepdad is reading the Book of Mormon too, so hopefully we´ll see something develop there soon.

   Another really interesting thing happened this week.  I was on splits with Elder M, and we were going to do J's baptismal interview.  We were walking down the street and saw a bit of a commotion on the other side.  We stopped to see what was going on.  Several police had stopped a woman on a motorbike, and were apparently not very happy with her.  They had surrounded her and were speaking to her rather angrily.  One of the police kicked a water bottle out of her hand, pointed at her and started yelling.  She got off of the bike, and then the police officer that had been yelling at her kicked it down.  The seat broke off, and then he took his knife and popped both of the tires on the bike.  I´m not sure what she did that ticked them off so much, but whatever it was it was petty enough for them to let her just walk away afterwards.  I was really surprised to see that.  We really are lucky to live where we do.  A lot of times we make a big fuss about how aweful we think our government is, and how much we don´t like this or that about our country.  All things considered though, we have one of the least corrupt governments on the planet (the twelfth least corrupt government if I remember the statistic right), and police that generally speaking work for public peace, not personal gain.  Remember that we´ve got it good, and we need to be grateful and give thanks to God for what we have!

   We´ll actually hear about transfers next week, so I´ll keep you guys up to date.  We´ll also go to Uberlândia this week for a conference with President Kuceki.  I´m pretty excited about that!

I love you guys so much!  Have a wonderful week and I look forward to reading your E-mails next monday!

Elder Sweet