Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mais Uma Semana

Well, the church changed its e-mail service, so this is my my new email but, also it is g-mail, so it is faster and better. This week was still hard but I am still going. Well, last p-day was fine. I just cleaned and chilled...very realxing. Tuesday we went to Presidents house because our district is one of 3 most baptizing districts in the mission. We ate rice and beans chilled in ac and watched movies...National Treasure and Prince Caspian. It was good...very enjoyable. Presidents house is sweet. It sits up on the 12th floor and it has granite floors overlooking the beach in Vitoria. It's very cool. Then, Wednesday morning we had to go back because we had a trainer trainee meeting. It was good long but good. I love president. He is so inspired. We ate again. I could get used to that. I saw McQuivey (my mtc comp). Its weird, I miss him a bit. I love Ekstrom we get a long very well. He is very easy to live with. I am doing well. Its still hard but I will make it. Keep praying for me, I need them. Its only hard the hours from11-3 hahaha!!!
So, during comp study I was practicing teaching and I was like we come from far away to share our beliefs. The word in port for belief is crença and I said crinça which is a child . Ekstrom laughed so hard and did not stop laaughing and then told like 20 people. It was funny. So, yesterday was good. Daylight savings time ended, so we got an extra hour of sleep. I woke up an hour early. I have a hard time sleeping. I get up and pee like 5 times a night. I thought that was supposed to happen when I was older, oh well. Church was good, Renata got confirmed and the spirit was really strong. I am understanding more.
Josie and Newton, the less actives that love us are moving out of our area, but still in our ward. Sad, I love them so much. Yesterday, for lunch after church the food was really gross. The rice and beans were fine, but I looked in the pot with chicken and there was a chicken leg...very gross. Then we had dessert which were some fruit things; it was a cross between a fig and a brussel sprout. nasty, I ate four to be nice and had to drink water to swallow them.
Transfers are this week. I could be transferred, but it is doubtful. I think Eksrom will become district leader. Johnson we think will be transferred.
Ekstrom made me do a connection, first visit with a contact we made. This family was kinda crazy. The guy had body odor and 7 toes. This mom was crazy too. She kept asking if I was german and i did not know what she was saying so i just said yes. Ekstrom was laughing like crazy. At Newton and Josie's yesterday they wanted to see a pic of the family. I keeep a pic in my portuguese scriptures. After she saw them, I was like I have one more sister and then I showed them a picture of Tazie. They loved I hope your happy Dad!!!
Brandi, if you read this tell Cheeks I said happy belated birthday.
I love you all...... take care!!!!!
Elder Athans

One more blessing!

I tried Cevata for the first time this week. Cevata is like Postum; it tastes like coffee but doesn't have any coffee in it. I love it 10 times better than Postum. I will buy some today . I am excited. It's like drinking the south. Ekstrom was like I didnt realize how southern you were until then. I am way proud of it!

Mais uma semana

Tudo bem everyone

Well, last week after e-mailing, our district traveled across Vitoria to some catholic place. It was up top a small mountain. I wanted to die walking up it but some how I made it. It was worth it. It was a building dediated to some cathloic saint....Maria da Penha I think. After that we went to the mall. It is called "shopping." We ate Burger King lol...It only cost 13.90 Reais. It was good though.

We had a district meeting. I love our district. It is our companionships here in the Jardim Limieiro and the other ward. Our district leader Elder Bessa is very short. He reminds ,me of Yoda, but he is hilarious. After district meeting, I went on divisons/splits with Elder Croshaw (Elder Bessas comp). It was cool; he is pretty cool. We walked a lot that day.

Wednesday, we took the bus into the Vitoria because we had interviews with president. We had mail and stuff. I got a letter from Mike Deal. I think he sent it a long time ago. It was nice though. I will talk about my interview with President later. That night we went on divisions with the ward. I went with the Elders quorem presdient Jose Carlos. It was good. I was nervous, but it went well.

Saturday, we had Renata's baptism. I got to perform it. I was so nervous. It went well and only one try hahaha. I was gonna ´play paino during the service but, yeah did not happen...too many flats. She did not show up to church yesterday, so she did not get confirmed kinda sad.....oh well. Kaique did not show up either so we will see.

This week is carnivel and because our district baptized some of the most we get to go to President's house and have a party thing. I am excited. Then on Wednesday we get to go again for a trainer trainee meeting.

So, about my interview with President, he told me to share my feelings with you guys so here they are. I am struggling a little being here. It is not easy. It's a fight every day to be honest. But, I am enduring and doing the best that I can to endure it well. I got a little emotional during our interview. He said, "Elder Athans I feel inspired to ask you if you want a priesthood blessing," and I was like of course. Some highlights that I remember from the blessing that I want to share are these. I was foreordained to this calling and prepared. I met those that I would baptize in pr-earth life. At the moments when I dont think Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there at that moment they are boaring me up. Tribulations are blessings. I will learn more portuguese everyday.

That blessing was a tender mercy from Father. It helped. Pray for me this week for comfort and support. I need all that I can get.

All for this week, when I get a cord for my camera I will send pics.

I love you all!

Elder Athans

Friday, February 12, 2010

Elder Athans and the Mission Presidents

"Todo, Eu não acho que nós estamos na Kanas mais"

The opening message said, "Todo, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore. Lol, and we definitely are not. Well I am here in a LAN house e-mailing it cost me 1.5 r$ REAIS for an hour. Not terrible.

The plane ride was pretty long and way crazy but I am here. Brazil is way different. I tried a few time to talk to some natives on the plane and the airport. They were very kind to me. I was happy about that. Elder McQuivey did fine. We were separated on the plane so that was interesting. I sat on the window next to a semi- attractive female. Very intresting experience. It took me all night to get the courage to talk to her in português. President and Sister Pickett picked us up. I had all my luggage, so that was nice. We then went to the mission home. It is right in vitória on the beach about 12 stories up. It was so legit. The floors are all granite. You will hear more about that later. Our companions came a little later. My campanion is a kid name Elder Ekstrom from Holladay, Utah. What are the odds. He has about 8 months. We know like 3 people in common, 2 of his best friends I met on heritage tours, and the other was serving in Pinehurst and I played ball with him. He is really cool and he was way excited to see me. I was very happy.

So, we got really special treatment. President took us out for pizza and gave us money for a taxi to our apartments. It was way late. I was so scared riding the taxis. They have the same trafffic laws but no one follows them. You seriously go from 100 km/min to joke. We went to the apartment. It was a lot different them I imaginged. Every house here has tile and no carpet. We do have a machine so we can have hot water which is nice and we do have a washing machine but no dryer. We serving in the Jardim Limoeiro, which translates Lemontree Garden. It is split into two areas and we share the area with 2 other Elders that live with us. Elder Johnson from Idaho Falls and Elder Caravalho from Belém Brasil. First day we did a lot of walking, craziness. I have eaten a lot of rice and beans so far. Hahaha and every day have had soda. It is like the netaor of life. Guananá. I dont talk a lot hahaha I understand about half. The members are nice to me and take pity on me. We met thing kid named Giovanne. He is a recent convert teenager and his mom Cleo not a member. She is a good cook. They were both really nice. We were supposed to have 2 baptisms on friday but one of them will have to pushed back because he did not go to church. His name is Kaique and he is 15. The other who hopefully will get baptized is a 17 year old girl named Renata. She is good. I will probably be the one that baptizes her. President only lets us baptize at first. Then he wants the members to do it after that. But, I am happy for her. Missionary work is harder then I imagined in the MTC. I am glad to be here though.

I met some less actives that Elder Ekstrom reactivated, Newton and Josee and their daughter Julia. I love them so much and they were very kind to me.
So, Church yesterday was very interesting. I introduced myself to everybody a lot of Bom Dia good morning and Tudo Bems. President likes us to bear our testimonies every fast Sunday. I was a little emotional as I did it. It is hard not speaking a languague. But, the spirit was there helping me and speaking comfort to my soul. The ward is really cool and has a little bit of AC. I was falling asleep during Elders Quorem. All I know about what we studied was it was about repentance, and we have to wear our suits to church. Very hot. Hahahah. We walk a ton. I am really tired when i get in bed at night. The houses our funny. You look at them from the outside and you are like ok then you walk inside you are like they are nice. For example, most houses are made out of this red brick stuff that they do themselves but when you go inside they have a TV bigger then ours.

I am not gonna lie at times this is hard. When I am dead tired and have no energy. There are three things I have found as strengths thus far. First, My temple a way this mission is part of the covenant, second prayer and third, the lord, he doesnt make it immediate but he will find a way to get me pumped thus helping me make it when I need it most. I truely am weak but I take comfort in the fact that the Lord calls us in our weakness but he qualifies us. He is the author of this great work. Pray for me as I pray for you. Prayers are answered and I am example and testimony of this. Jesus is the Christ


I love you all

Elder Athans

He has finally arrived!!!

Brother and Sister Athans,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note and tell you that Elder Athans arrived here in Vitória at about 5:30 p.m. and he is doing great. He seems very happy to be here and was very excited to meet up with his new companion Elder Ekstrom. Elder Ekstrom is a wonderful, hard-working, obedient elder. He will be a great trainer for Elder Athans.

We picked Elder Athans and Elder McQuivey up at the airport and brought them to the mission home for a brief meeting after which we went out for pizza – brazilian style (including one pizza with muzzarela cheese (and lots of it), bananas and cinnamon!!). It’s surprisingly good. Following dinner, he and Elder Ekstrom went to their area of Jardim Limoeiro which is centrally located here in the greater Vitória area. It is a great area with a very strong ward. I know they will have much success there.

I want you to know of our love for your son. We haven’t known him for long but know that he has a great spirit and will be a wonderful, diligent missionary! I will stay close to him over the next few weeks as he adjusts to life in Brazil and life as a missionary. We appreciate you “loaning” him for these two years! We love him.

If there is anything I can do to help, please feel free to email or call me at any time. Ok?

Um fortissimo abraço,

President Pickett

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tudo Bem Tudo

Well, another week here in the Provo MTC has bit the dust, hahaha. It really is going by fast now. I'm ready to be in Brazil, pray for me to have patience as I endure. This week 7 missionaries got reassigned, to AR, GA and DC. They all were starting their 15th only 3 weeks left.

One interesting experience is that I saw President Uchtdorf this week. It was during gym, I was upstairs running on the track and the entire gym got silent which is kinda not like I ran over to where everyone was looking and I saw President Smith, MTC prez and another took me a while to recognize him; but, it was him...he just waved hahaha.

Not a lot has happened this week. A lot of the same. We teach as much as we can. We taught like 15 lessons this week. Yeah being here for so long at times can be a little overwhelming. So, please pray for me.

I have really been trying to work on my portuguese. Last Saturday a teacher committed us to go 72 hrs on port. I accepted. It was hard, but I did it. It really helped me out. I have a love for portuguse.

I got a letter from Mike Deal this week...he told me that Blake Cyrier got honorably released.

Well, Mom it is good to hear that your crusie went well. I am happy for you.

Letters from the family have been pretty dry this week...its all good though. I know that you are busy. Thats good for Brittney Pincock getting married.

As I have been working on my portuguese, I have found a great secret that has helped me out. I read a loud from the Book of Mormon. It is an amazing book. There really is not better book. I have really started to study it in english as well. I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart. It really is a true book I know it.

We still do skype with the teachers in Brazil. That is pretty fun. We have one teacher that loves us. His name is Irmão Zamboni (brother). He is really cool. All of the skype teachers are pretty cool.

I really am trying to be patient with Lord right now. I am trying to realize that He knows how precious my time is and he knows the end from the beginning. He knows how to best use me. For now it is in Provo Utah. Tomorrow it might be time for might be 3 months but he has a purpose for me being where I am. If i do get reassigned, I hope for somewhere in California because it would be cool to serve in the same place where dad served. How is Dad? He never did respond to the thing I asked him to send me.

I am trying to keep my head up and have esperença (hope) about the future. Keeping praying for me as I keep praying for you. Give the rest of the family my email. Tell them to write me or dearelder me. I need their support as well. Let them know of my love for them. I know that this gospel is true and that it is the only thing that can give hope to a world that despertately needs it. The Atonement is what the world needs. I know Jesus is the Christ our Saviour. I am lead by him daily.

Te Amo todo

Elder Athans