Monday, February 18, 2013

Elder Steed is staying in Sobral

This week was a short email because of having just writen on Wednesday.   
So it looks like Connor gets to stay with his companion until his companion finishes his mission. His entire apartment is staying together which Connor is very excited for. They've all gotten very close and as Connor put it "have seriously had some of the funniest times together!" He was super super nervous for this transfer because he thought for sure he would get transferred and start training another missionary. He is very glad to stay because he knows the area, he knows his companion, he knows the members, and so now he can focus on really working (as he put it).

The greatest news was the baptism of C--- this past Saturday. He said it was amazing! He wrote, "It was seriously the most surreal feeling I can't describe. I said the ordinance perfectly and I only had to do it once. It was a super great experience for me!" This was the first time Connor has ever baptized anyone so it was an experience he will never forget. He tried to upload a photo, but was having problems - so maybe he will send it next week.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Carnaval, Wedding & Baptisms

We didn't get our traditional email from Connor this past Monday because it was Carnaval and all the internet houses they go to were closed. During Carnaval things get pretty crazy and so the missionaries have to be in their houses by 6 pm each night. Carnaval ran from Friday to Tuesday. He and his companion  hardly got any teaching done this past week because of the festivities.
They still had a super amazing wedding and baptism combo this past weekend of the 9th. Elder O and Connor had been working with the couple from the first week he got in Sobral, but Elder M and Elder A (the elders he's living with) got to baptize them because they taught them for the last half of the discussions. It was super amazing for Connor to see them get married and baptized one day after the other.

This coming week... Connor will have his first baptism! Her name is C and she's about 40 years old. Connor says that she is super super amazing and is definitely going to be a leader in the church. Connor wrote, "She's literally the most perfect investigator and future member and she'll be my first baptism. I'm super stoked!! I've been practicing the "wording" for the baptism like crazy this past week because I really don't want to mess up my first baptism hahaha."

D & C's wedding day. Hahaha this was seriously the weirdest picture ever
.... but they wanted to do it and it was their wedding haha. We got some looks from people ;)
D & C's baptism!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Street Contacts

Connor's first week in Sobral, he and his companion contacted a couple on the streets. They have been working with them since the end of November. At the beginning of the last transfer, they divided his area, so the other missionaries he was living with got the couple to teach. They decided to get married this Friday and then get baptized on Saturday. Connor said he was still counting them as a baptism for him because he and his companion along with the other companionship have been working with them for the last 2 months. 

Connor wrote:

"It's amazing to see the difference in their lives now. Both of them are definitely going to be leaders in the church and they pretty young with a little girl and little boy. Super super cool!!"

Connor's shoes are already falling apart after just 2 months of really using them. Yikes! He still has 20 months to go. We did send him with 2 pairs and so hopefully the others are holding up.

Monday, January 28, 2013

4 Month Mark

Connor hit his 4 month mark! He wrote "only 20 more to go". Hahaha

This past week he and O went to Camocim which is right on the end of the ocean. It was super pretty there! They went there to help out a companionship in their district. They set up a table in the middle of a park and just did contacts for about four hours. He said it was actually really fun, but kind of tricky at the same time.

Connor wrote:

"So about the food. I haven't really eaten anything too weird. It's literally beans, rice, and spaghetti noodles every meal and you mix it together. There will usually be chicken or beef with it as well. I think we've had lasagna about three times and that's probably the only "different" thing we've eaten haha. Nothing too crazy! I've seen some weird stuff on the streets though. You'll be walking and see a HUGE heart from some animal with flies all over it and a puddle of blood underneath it hahaha. Kinda weird ;)"

He is happy, healthy and having an amazing experience sharing the gospel to the wonderful people of Brasil.
Teaching in Camocim

Ward Activity

Monday, January 21, 2013

1st Baptisms

Ola! Connor got his first 2 baptisms this past Saturday (1-19-13). One was an 8 year old boy and the other was a 16 year old girl. He was so happy for them and the opportunity to teach them the Gospel.
Connor encourgaed everyone to watch "The Atonement: How It Applies To Missionary Work". Here is the link:

 I can't paraphrase this part and so I am posting Connor's own words:
In the poorer part of my area, I get little kids that come up to me and say "fala ingles!" ("speak english!"). And trying to be funny with them if we're in a rush, all I'll say to them is "ingles!" They all pause for a second, and then realize it was a joke and they all start cracking up. I've also had kids come up to me and ask what their name is in english. And just messing with them, I'll say something like "saggy bum". They get the biggest smile and then they turn to their friends and keep saying "saggy bum! saggy bum!" It's seriously the funnist thing in the world :)

The language is coming along, but the investigators are still struggeling to understand him.
He'll say everything correctly, but because of the tone and maybe not speaking loud enough, people have a harder time understanding him. So there have been multiple times where he's said something, the person won't understand, and then his companion will say the EXACT same thing and they'll understand. Kind of frustrating for him, but he kind of thinks it's funny too.

 He said to tell everyone that he loves them!
Notice the fly on his forehead. It had just rained and so the flies were everywhere :).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Each week I have been posting pictures and emails from my son who is serving his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Brasil Teresina Mission. I just received word from a missionary moms email group that I belong to that each email we receive from our missionary is copyrighted and cannot be posted on a blog or on facebook. So the only posts that will be forthcoming will be brief comments about his letter (in my own words), where he is serving and some pictures that he sends. I was really bummed to hear this news, but it obviously is to protect the missionaries, the people they are serving and the church.

Connor's letter this week was super short and so here are the highlights:
  • The missionaries in their apartment leave their window open at night to help combat the heat, but when they wake up there are mosquitos splattered on their wall. Apparently the fans blowing on them not only help to keep them cool at night but it also blows the mosquitos away.
Dead mosquitos on wall (picture doesn't do it justice)
  • Two weeks ago it rained so hard that it created small rivers in the streets and churned up all of the junk at the bottom of the river. Because of that it turned their drinking water yellow. Connor braved it and cooked spagetti in the yellow water killing the bacteria as it boiled. The food tasted fine-just looked weird cooking in yellow water.
  • The damage from the yellow water were 3 of his white dress shirts got stained :(.
  • One of his roommates, Elder B was transferred, but they got Elder M who is apparently awesome.
Me, Elder M, Elder A, Elder O

Monday, January 7, 2013

Had to stick a grocery bag over my bag because it was raining so much.
I look absolutely ridiculous with it, but it worked! Hahaha

Obra missionaria até o pó! (Missionary work in the dust!)

My lovely family! 

So I actually did get the Ensign! It was brought to me this past week and I've been really enjoying studying it! Thank you sooo much! And tell Grandma I said thanks! A realy cool thing in the Ensign is there is a picture from my area (Sobral, Brazil) in the November Ensign (pg. 59)! The chapel in the background is the stake center here! At first, I thought it looked really familiar, and then I read the little caption and got so excited because Sobral isn't that big (I don't think) and so it was cool seeing that in the Ensign.

Funny thing... People think we work at the grocery store here. The outfits are a button-up white polo with dark slacks. And so we have had a lot of people come up to us, asking where things are. At first we kept telling them we didn't work there and they got super embarrassed and it was super awkward. But now since we have been there so much and pretty much know where everything is, we just help people out hahaha.

About the language. I can talk with my companion really well because he knows how I talk and I can pretty much get my point across about anything I want. I'm slowly starting to ask my questions during lesson and I'm able to follow the conversation really well if it's Elder O talking, because its doctrine and that's pretty much all I've been studying.

About my companion... He's been out for a year and nine months and he still doesn't know how to plan very well. So we have spent a lot of time standing on the side of the road deciding who we can teach because all of our appointments fell through. All I'm pretty much doing with him is trying to help as much as I can, but also sitting back and picking out the things that aren't working, so I can do it better when I'm a trainer. Super frustrating right now, but there's not a whole lot I can do except keep going and following him and hoping he knows what to do haha. Otherwise, things have been really good! Things aren't absolutely terrible, but there definitely not where I want them to be when it comes to working and talking with people. We are working with a bunch of people and its coming, but no baptisms yet. I guess we were put in a harder area because in our ward, we have 10% of the members. The other members live in another area. And yes, we have two companionships working with one ward. I don't know why, but that's just how it is haha.

This past week, we were talking with this man on the side of the road and his kid turned around, pulled down his pants... all the way, and then started peeing on the wall. It was hard to hold back a smile. .......... And this is why I love Brasil.

So to answer your questions... Yes we did work on New Years, but it was a whole lot of nothing because EVERYONE was drinking. All I can say is that we were approached a lot by drunk people telling us they were Jesus Christ and other absolutely hilarious things. And about transfers, today is transfer day, so I don't know why Elder R was transferred. And yes I'm pretty sure i'll stay with my companion (and I'm still with him right now), but its not positive. Because my companion said he had two trainers during the twelve weeks. Elder A is serving in Belo Horizonte, a completely different mission from the rest of us. My district in the CTM was Teresina and Curitiba people and Elder A was the only odd man out.

I also finally sent off that package this past week, so I'm really praying that it'll get to you just fine!

Love you so so so much!!!
Obra missionaria até o pó!
(Missionary work in the dust!)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Elder O and I being silly with a machete
The dead lizard we found in our water pipe.
Our washer is still flooding. Maybe there's one more in there.


I spent my Christmas morning (about 1 am) sitting on the floor of another companionships house. After the caroling and HUGE dinner on Christmas Eve, we waited for a taxi because our house was super far away. A taxi never came because they were too busy driving all the drunks. A miracle happened and somehow a nonmember stopped by and gave us all rides, but this was already at about 2 in the morning on Christmas morning. While we were sitting, waiting for a taxi, I was talking with another American about how we spend Christmas. It definitely brought back some really good memories of all the lights off, except the Christmas tree, and how cozy it felt. Also about how you would make muffins after opening gifts, and it would smell the house up. There were a lot of other details that we talked about that I never realized before until I didn't have them on my Christmas day haha. It was good though! It made me really appreciate the tight family we have because on Christmas day (after lunch) we went to work. I saw a lot of people sitting on the sidewalks that have absolutely nothing (including a house) except the clothes on their back and a bottle of alcohol next to them. It was really sad... We seriously have it SOO well in the US where we live. I wish you could spend one day with me and see the things we see.

That Christmas package was AMAZING!!! I absolutely loved all of the gifts that went with the scriptures and a lot of them made me laugh!! Thank you soooooo much!!! The other missionaries that I'm living with were drooling over all the candy and snacks inside haha :)

FREAKING BRAND NEW HOUSE!!! So this past week we moved houses because the house we were in sucked hardcore haha. Long story short, the house is amazing because the house was just built and we're the first ones to live in it. The only problem is that when we started our washer for the clothes for the first time, it started to flood where the dirty water exits. It wasn't that big of a deal because it's outside, but we found the problem of why it was flooding. A dead lizard (about the length of your hand and fore-arm combined) was hanging out in the piping when we turned on the water. It drowned him out and we found him floating at the top of the pipe that went into the ground. We think there's another one in the piping that's stuck because we're still getting flooding, so yeah..... hahahaha. Fun stuff :) I'm sorry, I don't have any pictures right now, but I'll work on it!!

A challenge for you and dad... I highly encourage that you read and study "Teaching Chastity and Virtue" by Matthew O. Richardson (Oct. 2012 Liahona). I was studying this talk during my study time and all I could think of was Parker. We need him to know NOW that our bodies are sacred. I just don't want anything to happen to him. You and dad are AMAZING parents, but it's scary how early kids are doing things. I've seen kids (about 10 years old) with cigarettes, tattoos, a bottle of alcohol next to them, and who knows what other things they've done. It's weird... It's so weird...

We were FINALLY able to get a family of four to come to church with us and it was amazing!! I thought it went really well and they said they liked that, so I take that as a thumbs up :)

PS. Tell John Timms I said hi!

Elder Steed