Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ups & Downs 5/24/14

This week was just kind of different!! to start out, last saturday and sunday were good, we ended up having a good meeting at church! Elder Albuquerque spoke in Sacrament meeting and did a really good job, this ward is needing some good motivation and he did a really great job speaking about missionary work. So hopefully we will see some results! Then last week we had a little miracle in that we found more new investigators in one week than we have in all the previous weeks that I have been in this area!! It has been a little hard finding new ones when we have such limited time in our area each day, but we found some great families and it went well!

 One night we were just about returning home and we tried this referral that we got from Church Headquarters. Well she wasn´t home and we were walking and passed this woman who was walking with her dog. Well it was night and we kept walking when all of a sudden Elder Irineu said that we should talk to her and that maybe it was our referral! So we turn around, and start speed walking at this woman, something that we seriously try to avoid doing late a night to people we dont know!! Well she turned around at that exact moment, crossed over to our side of the street and started walking towards us. It was perfect!! 

Haha so we did a contact, she was super friendly and invited us to come and talk with her family anytime, and that was that. Well we went there on Sunday night and it was so cool, she lives there with her sister (both are in their late twenties or early thirties) and their mother. They were super receptive and we had a great lesson with them. Well we returned this week a day before our marked appointment with them (for reasons I will tell you later on in this email). We got there and this woman wasnt there but her sister and mom were. She greets us and one of the first things she says is that she was just really needing a prayer at that moment and that we were an answer to her prayer! So we went in, found out htat they had had a really not so great experience with some distant family who had said some really cruel things and that they were needing something to lift them up. Then we found out that the other daughter, the one from the contact, NEVER invited anyone from any religion to talk to her, least of all enter her house to teach a lesson. Apparently she is pretty bitter about religion and God, and so when we came the first time her sister was going to tell us to come back another time, but her she called out and said that she wanted to talk to us and hear what we have to say! So we found out it was a miracle that she even talked to us that night on the street, and even more so wanting us to come and teach her family! We felt really blessed to have found them and we really hope that they will progress and come to church! We have a lesson with them tonight so hopefully it will go well!

So on Monday and Tuesday we worked like crazy getting things in order and ready for the devotional with Elder Nelson on Wednesday! On Tuesday the zone that is farthest away from the capital (all elders and it is the only one farther away than my last area in Itapetininga) came to sleep here for the night. Well at 4:58 PM, two minutes before we close the office and email, we got this urgent email from President saying that the devotional was cancelled and that we needed to cancel all the transport and advise all the missionaries.


It was so heartbreaking!!! It turns out that on Wednesday the Police here in São Paulo and 13 other states in Brasil were going on strike, as well as the buses here and the teachers. So there was going to be just chaos in the city and state here and the church and Elder Nelson were really worried about our safety and missionaries all traveling on that day so much. So they cancelled the meeting and also ordered all missionaries to stay inside their houses the entire day. It just killed me. So we scrambled and cancelled all the buses and vans we had ordered and went about advising everyone. So we worked for the rest of that day and bought food for lunch and everything for the next day. That morning President called us and told us we could go to the office since it was so close to our house and work there but atfter 5 we had to come back home and stay there. So we came here, but since we had done all our work the day before planning to not be in the office, we didnt have a lot to do. But that is ok! It was pretty boring, but I was able to study a lot and read some talks online. Haha so i was super bummed, but completely understand why they had to cancel it. The rest of the time here this week has been interesting, I found out that there are going to be some pretty big changes with the transition to President Farnes, I will have to do some things and have more responsibilities that right now Sister Martins does, so that will be interesting. And the church is changing the systems for a couple things that I do so I will get trained on that as well. Overall it will be pretty crazy !

Well besides that not much else happened this week, as always sorry about all of the typing and grammar mistakes, it is difficult to correct them when I have such limited time! 

Love you all!!

Elder Carney

Bom Dia! 5/17/14

Haha man, I am seriously struggling with something creative to put as a subject line, sorry about that, the best I could do was Good Day in Portuguese. Haha I am a tired missionary, this has definintely been a crazy week, but also a very good one. It was SUPER great to talk to all of you on Sunday, haha it was really fun, everyone said that our family is awesome. And it really cracked me up because our family definitely fulfills the stereotype of what Brasilians think all americans look like, and so all my comps were loving it. Haha they said to me afterwards that "temos uma família bonita!!" Haha but they also included that I am the mediocre one... haha sorry dad, I had to tell my comps that story! But thanks, it really made my day talking to all of you! Then it was a pretty normal week of working in the area and in the office, one highlight was going to the temple on Tuesday, it was super good. The last time I was able to go was in November so I am very grateful I had teh opportunity. I felt just such an overwhelming feeling of peace, it was really nice and just good to be reenergized. Then on thursday I had to wake up at 5:30 so we could go to the Policia Federal to register the Americans that got here recently. I dont do anything with that but Elders Irineu and Albuquerque do and so I had to go with them. Well there was a bad turn of events and the person from teh MTC here who usually helps with the process didnt show up so instead of the missionaries getting registered super quick we had to wait. And wait. And wait. 

Haha we ended up being there for 7 hours waiting, it was killing us, but we had to do it so that none of them would get deported or anything!! Haha but it was fun because there were so many foreigners there waiting, I did a contact with this German woman and her family who dont speak any Portuguese but do speak english and who live in our mission bounderies and also with this Bolivian woman, who actually spoke fairly good Portuguese. It was pretty fun to meet so many different people. I just love doing contacts, it is so much fun to talk to people and meet them and teach them right then and there about our Savior and how his church exists on the earth today, with a living prophet. it isjust really fun to be so open and friendly with complete strangers who have such diverse backgrounds. Well finally we got back to the office and the rest of hte week went well. We found a couple new families this week, actually through us getting lost!! The other companionship has the map for our area nad we are waiting on a new one, and so in the process of trying to find a referral we got lost and it was the best thing ever!! It is so easy and great doing contacts and finding new investigators through asking directions, we found a couple new families that are great including this less active man who actually stopped us on the street and we marked an appointment with him the next day and his non member wife. It went really well and we are excited to see where they go. Overall I am very grateful for my blessings. I know that there will always be trials, but i am so grateful for those opportunities to grow and become more like my Savior. I hope you all have a fantastic week!!!

Mom! Here are some of my favorite mormon messages:
Mountains to Climb
Lessons I learned as a Boy
Enduring Love
Bullying - Stop It
Sanctify Yourselves
I choose to be Pure

Haha they are all so great but here are just some of them that I love! Also you might have to search for some of them, I think they were moved or something but should still be on the site or maybe on YouTube.

Love you Mom!! 


Haha well this week was for sure one of the more stressful that I have had thus far, not because of office stuff thankfully! It started last Sunday when we only had a couple investigators there at church and the family of Emmanuel and Reuza and Nabil and Nilza didnt come to church, which was a super bummer. Such a bummer. Well we called them, no one picked up, nothing. So later that day we were working and decided to call Nabil´s home phone, to which we found out that Nilza was in the hospital and they were doing some tests on her. Well on tuesday we found out she had a brain tumor and thankfully it was benign, but still high risk as it was in the brain. Thursday she had surgery and it went well, but we have yet to hear about recovery and all of that. So that was kind of stressful, we have been praying so so much for this family. It also has prevented us from being able to see any of them because they are always at the hospital and it is out of our area. I am so grateful she is ok and I pray and hope that they are doing well as a family. 

Then unfortunately one of our investigators, Laersio, dropped us, always a bummer, but I am grateful for the area book and someday he will be ready to receive the gospel. He actually loves our visits and loves to talk to us, but isnt interested in changing and making commitments. 

Then we almost had Natalia´s baptismal interview on tuesday, but her sister in law had a crisis with lots of not so good substances and was freaking out at her house so they had to go help her, then on wednesday she couldnt, then on thursday we were there ready but we found out she had stepped on glass and cut her foot pretty bad and went to the hospital, and so finally Friday, yesterday, we were seriously praying SO hard that nothing would happen and we would be able to have the interview with her. Thank goodness it worked out and we were finally able to have it, she passed, and she is super excited to be baptized!!! It went well and we are so grateful, so she is getting baptized tonight at 7 pm! Woo!!! Haha it just felt like there were a lot of trials and difficulties this week, but something that I was able to practice was not get bummed out or discouraged, always have to look to the brightside and with everything we have to have the faith to see the blessings and tender mercies that happen in our lives. So it was a good week, just with lots of little bumps and trials.

But we are also super psyched because now we can officially tell everyone... on May 21st we are having a special devotional next to the temple, and the person who will be speaking with us missionaries is... ELDER RUSSELL M NELSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So. Today baptism. Tomorrow talk with you all. Tuesday we get to go to the temple. The next week devotional with an apostle. The next week transfers. then the World Cup starts. Then President Farnes gets here. Basically this next month and a half is going to FLY by becaues of all the crazy aewsome things that are going to happen. So yeah! Woo, super excited.

We also were able to find webcams to do the skype, super psyched about that! So yes, I will actually be online just a little before 6 pm my time, or 3 pm in Colorado. Also we were able to test skype and gmail today, and it looks like the quality on skype is actually better, but we can go ahead with whatever you all think is best! I will check this before to see which one you all prefer. My gmail account will be the one I always use,  So search for me on both (although should already have me on gmail) and be ready a little before 6! Ok?? Ok. Woo, super excited! Also, sorry mom, but I dont know which number you would be able to call, if it comes to that (which it wont) then I will be able to ask Elder Irineu. But anyways, it has been a great week, hard at times, but still great! I am loving it here as always and so grateful to have this opportunity to serve my Savior. Love you all and talk to you tomorrow!!!!!!!!!
Elder Carney

So Felicidade!

So it was just a great week, a little different, but by now I am realizing that every week as a missionary is different, haha there always is something that happens or something new that mixes it up. Also being in the office amplifies that as there is always some sort of new event happening here or some crisis with people losing credit cards or the like.
Last Sunday was good as Emmanoel and Reuza and their family came to church. Also Nabil came alone and early, his wife had an appointment with work and their sons slept through, but it was awesome that he came alone. I already said this but Nabil is from Lebanon and is Muslim. It has been interesting teaching him about Christ. We also found and gave him a Book of Mormon in Arabic, and he is reading consitently. It also has been more than 3 weeks since he has smoked!!! He is truly awesome, just struggles in accepting Christ as the Savior, but we are seeing him changing. He is more happy and the other day it was so cool, we went to their house and after the lesson we invited him to pray and he did and closed in the name of Jesus Christ!!! That was such a big deal, he is really progressing and we are really excited for him.
 Haha but it was a good week, we started the week and kind of realized that we and our other investigators were in a rut. They all have pretty much been progressing, but only slightly, and that is frustrating to a missionary because you can see how many blessings are waiting for these people, but they have to act of their own accord. So we have been praying so so much this week to help us to know how to help our investigators progress towards baptism. Emmanoel and Reuza have been a huge focus of my prayers because they need to get married before they can progress more, well I truly hope they can have a change of heart and decide to mark a date to get hitched. One of the main problems is that Reuza´s mom lives in Northeastern Brasil and she really wants her mom to be here for their wedding, but like most brasilians they cant really afford to just fly her out on a whim, it would have to be a pretty long process of planning for her to take the bus from Bahia to SP. Haha well as 20 year old young men we dont really understand that need or the need for a big wedding party or anything, haha and Emmanoel also doesnt really see the need for it, but that is ok, we will continue praying and inviting. We did invite their two sons to be baptized and they said they want to, but were slightly hesitant, so they didnt accept a date. Overall it was kind of a bummer because this is such a great family and I just want so badly for them to be able to progress and receive these blessings that Heavenly Father is just waiting to give them. 
Well we kept on doing our part and doing more contacts on the street and visiting our investigators. 
Remember Natalia and Thiago??? Well we have been super bummed because she started working at this fast food restaraunt here in SP called Habib´s and it is so horrible to work there, she only worked nights and would get home on the weekends at like 5 AM. She started working there like a month ago right when she was getting really close to be baptized. Well she has also been a serious topic of prayer and we went to visit her on Thursday since it was her day off and we found out she quit her job!! Haha it actually was a huge blessing!! She said she didnt feel right there and she needed to be at home to see her kids and husband since she was basically never seeing them. Well we marked the next day (yesterday) for an appointment since her husband would be there. So we went and had a good lesson reviewing the Restoration. At the end we invited her to be baptized the 10th of May and she was so surprised!! She said to us that this was for sure a thing of God, because that same day she had told her husband that she really knew this church was true and she was going to ask us if she could be baptized. Haha so she accepted and it was such a miracle, she was found by the sisters who worked in our area last august, wasnt married, then got married finally, but when I first got here she didnt accept baptism thinking it was way too early. It was such a tender mercy, she really has had a change of heart. So we are excited for her!!!! Other than that not much happened this week, haha just the usual craziness!! 
Oh!! So in regards to the skype call! This time will hopefully be a little different! I will be able to skype here in the office! We asked President and he said we could since there are so many of us here in the ward, and so I will use it here. Let´s plan to use a google hangout, starting at 6 PM SP time, which I think is 3 PM your time in Denver. Woudl that be alright?? Also I already downloaded skype on this computer in the case that hangout doesnt work out again. So you guys should make a hangout and be on it at 6 PM my time and invite me to it. OK??  Love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Carney

Busiest Week of my life 4/26/14

So it was certainly an interesting week here in Tucuruvi!! It was easily one of the busiest weeks that I have had thus far on my mission! Starting last saturday at 6 pm we were leaving our house (the end of our P-Day is 6) to go work in our area and I got a call from President saying he was bringing one of the elders to come stay with us because he was going home the next day, always a bummer, but it was good to work with him before he left! 

So the next day we had 6 elders in our ward (5 secretaries and the extra elder) haha there were more missionaries than members during the elders quorum. But then unfortunately only one of our investigators came to church, Givaldo, but that was awesome because he came without the rest of his family as they were traveling and it was a big deal for him to come alone of his own accord, so we were psyched!!! Then it was a definitely different sacrament meeting, haha there really was no reference to Easter at all, that was a bummer. Haha there were some really good talks on journal writing and other good topics, but I was looking forward to a really great sacrament centered on Christ. Then afterwards we had this seriously incredible lunch with these members, it was SO good, and so much food, so that made my day! haha there was so much food that 6 missionaries couldnt even put a dent in it! Then afterwards we got to do the best thing ever on easter... do missionary work in our area!!! I genuinely loved it. I was thinking about it on Saturday and I am just so grateful to honor the sacrifice my Savior made for me by working here in his name. I love it. So we did a little split and I was with Elder Irineu and tthe other elder went with Elder Barton. We were waiting to hear from President about the elder´s flight info and when he would leave, well we were on one side of our area and had just entered this less active lady who is returning to church´s home and got a call from President saying the elder had to check in at the airport at 7 pm... it was 6:05 when we got hte call. Let´s just say that few missionaries have walked that quickly in the history of missionary work, we met hte other set at our house with his bags and sent him off and he made it all right so that was good, just a little crazy!! 

Then monday started the week of transfers!!!! It was crazy, haha monday we found out there had been an error in the exchange rate from the dollar to the real so every missionary in the mission had received 3 to 8 reais less than they should have for their allowance. Haha so I had to make a payment to every single missionary in the mission with the right amount they had lost, it took forever but it was good to get that done!!! Then we found out about transfers!!!! They were huge, it was one of the biggest President has done!! Elder Barton was transferred and I officially finished my training and he went to Sorocaba to be a ZL, he will do seriously great! And my new companion is... Elder Albuquerque!!!! He is from Northern Brazil, and was my ZL when I was in Itapetininga for my second transfer, so that was fun to find out! He is super chill and a good missionary so that was nice to find out. Then tuesday the new missionaries got to the mission and we did training for them and then that night we did a giant split and I took a really cool missionary from Santiago, Elder Medina, with me and we were able to contact a man who we had taught once. Haha he works with Boy Scouts but here in São Paulo, his name is Laercio, and he and his wife are super nice. Well we didnt know if he was just interested to talk or actually find out more and this time it went so well! He said he had already read the Book of Mormon (or parts of it) and prayed about it years ago, but he said that he feels now that he is being led to something more inhis life and he knows that is why we are here right now in his life. It was cool, and fun to work with this new missionary. Haha he didnt really speak Portuguese very well, but luckily I was able to recognize most of the spanish that he spoke. Then we had transfers on Wednesday morning and it went well and resulted in a very very tired Elder Carney. It was just crazy and now I am realizing that it is way more fun to do my work with another missionary, Elder Barton, but now it´s just me! Ah well, still liking it, wishing I could work in my area more, but that is ok!! So yeah, that was the craziness this week!! 

Overall I am super grateful to be here and serve, it is such a wonderful opportunity and I am grateful to be here serving my Master and Redeemer and give back what little I can for all that I have been given.
Love you all, remember to be missionaries, these people and missionaries need you!!
Elder Carney