Elder Alex Evans has been called to the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission. He reports on July 10th, 2013, and will serve for a period of two years.

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014 Update from Brazil

Elder Evans with French copy of Book of Mormon

Froot Loops and Tang - All is right with the world

Elder Evans and Elder Silva with Junior

Chalkboard full of things that Elder Evans misses from Kansas

So is anyone updating my blog or posting a link to my letters on my facebook? I want more of my friends to email or write me.

First off. Holy Crap, Madison Margaret Evans is turning 18 this week??????????????????? Just yesterday you were my little sister in kindergarten and now you are 18? And going to graduate high school and going to college? Não acredito. I don't believe it. Happy birthday Madi, hope you get that pony and the lifesize barbie doll and the furby that you've always wanted ;)

Well, this week we had a miracle. Mark one more baptism and confirmation for the church here in Maricá. Junior the haitian was baptized and confirmed Saturday and then Sunday this week. It was really awesome. So if you don't remember, Junior moved here to Brasil a little over a year ago with his cousin. He started to work at a meat production factory here in Maricá and that's basically it. We found him one night at about 8:40 PM doing our mandatory street contacts on the plaza. He was alone listening to music when Elder Silva contacted him and since then we've taught him everything, his portuguese has improved and he has definitely felt the spirit speaking to him. He speaks portuguese at about the level I did my first day of the MTC, after a year of living in Brasil, so we really became some of his only friends here. He's come to church the past three sundays and he has been Reading the french book of mórmon that we got for him.

So what I've learned through this week is that even when a week is rough, or a month, or a transfer, there's nothing better than the joy that you get when you get the chance to participate in bringing a soul unto Christ. It all becomes Worth it in the end.

A quick update on everything. I hope I get my package tomorrow. We have President interviews tomorrow and if it's there, I'll get it. Did you guys send it to the Rua Dois de Dezembro address? because that is the right one to send it to.

My health is doing good. Only about once a day do I get the squirts, so we are improving, and that also means I don't have any major parasites yet. woo!

My companion is doing fine too. 

I hope all is good for you guys, I enjoyed the updates from Mom and Dad. Congrats on being announced Regional Manager Pops. I guess we can just call you Michael Scott now.

Love you all, say hi to my friends for me and tell them to write me,

Elder Evans

January 13, 2014 Things in Marica

Yo yo yo família e amigos! Hope all is going great with y'all! Everything is crazy here, but I'm happy and looking upward. This week was a bit of a challenge for us here in Maricá. Both monday and tuesday we had to go to Niterói, the nearest big city. It's the one right on the other side of the bay and the sugarloaf mountain, or pão de açúcar. Because my comp needed to get a tomografia, which I believe is an cat scan or mri on his brain to figure out what has been giving him this headache that he has been talking about since november. He is always complaining about it and every word out of his mouth is a complaint about how something hurts. It reminds of me of Madi, "I don't feel good, I can't go to school today, or the rest of the year." ;) jk but really I think he's just stressed and won't admit it to anybody because he's a tough guy, so there's a lot of time that we can't do anything because he needs to rest his head.Wednesday we went to Arsenal, the stake center, for Zone meeting. It was supposed to start at 2pm but our zls didn't show up until 4:30. So we we didn't get back to Maricá until 8:45Thursday was a more normal day. We walked, contacted, clapped at peoples gates, taught lessons and got more sunburnt.

The rest of the week was normal until sunday. We had the first ward council meeting ever here in the smallest branch of the church in the world, and it just showed us exactly how disorganized this branch is and this area is, and basically the branch leaders don't want to hear what our mission president has to say about how we work and where we should work, they just made it super frustrating for us missionaries and we got a bunch of stuff dumped on us to do for the branch that is contrary to the counsel that we got from pres lima. So we are just figuring everything out here.

This area is great. I love the members and the city and everything, but it is one of the most strange places to do missionary work. It's like a bermuda triangle. You put a lot of work into it, you try different things all the time to try to get results, you fight and fight, and you kinda just have to get lucky to make it out, or blessed. There have been a couple RMs that had served in Maricá several years ago that visited and they talked with us and were like, this area is the strangest area ever, I got here near the end of my mission and the whole time I was here, I was just lost on how to work here. Every where else we could figure it out, but here was just too different.

We're working on figuring it out. 

Also, my package hasn't arrived yet. We have interviews on the 21st so maybe I'll get it then. But I did get the letter from Grandma and Grandpa and a letter from the relief society. Thanks!

Love yall,
Elder Evans

January 6, 2014 Water and Carpet

In my next package I would like to get an air conditioner, ice, and American Milk. It's -13 degrees there in Kansas right now, and you want to know how hot it got up to here in the great state of Rio last Friday? 50 degrees Celsius, which is 122 degrees fahrenheit. Rest assured that the pounds are just melting off me here in Brasil. Which by the way, I've dropped under 200 pounds again. I'm pretty sure. The last time I checked I was 90 Quilos (Kilograms). Walking everywhere is so tiring, I've never been so exhausted in my life. Plus it's incredibly hard to sleep in a house that is hotter inside than it is outside. So sleep this week has been pretty frustrating to be honest, we've both woken up at 2 and 4 every morning and had to go outside on our balcony and try to cool down a little. But despite all of the heat and the stinkin sun, everything is picking up and getting going down here this week.

Like I said the week before was a bit of a struggle for us with health issues, Christmas and everyone being at the beach 24/7, and my comp almost going home, but this past week we set some good goals for ourselves and pushed ourselves to work harder and do more, and we've begun to the blessings of the Lord here in Maricá. It's actually been pretty funny because ever since I've been here, nobody has recognized us as mormon missionaries because the church presence here in Maricá is sooooo small, and missionaries haven't been here for years, but this week at least once a day somebody has stopped us on the street or called out "hey its the mormons, come over here I want to learn more about your church!", so we've had a lot of good street contacts this week where we were the ones being contacted and not the other way around. But also this week we've found a couple very solid investigators. One family that is friends with the presidente do soc. soc. here (Relief Society) is moving here this week, and we started to teach them and help them move a little bit. The best part is that they are married legally!!!!!!! So we don't have to figure out how to marry them and then baptize them, like a bunch of our other awesome investigators who aren't married legally. They weren't able to come to church yesterday because they went back to their old house on Saturday to finish packing up stuff, but we're working with them and I'm sure they'll be there next week.

The next most awesome story of the week is the other really cool investigator that we found. We were finishing our required 30 street contacts a day out on the plaza on wednesday. It was about 8:30 at night and my comp had one more to do, and he saw this guy walking across the sidewalk listening to music. He went over there to find out that the man harldy spoke Portuguese, and wasn't actually from Brasil. His name is Junior, he is 25 and from Haiti. He moved here with his cousin a year and 3 months ago, but he still barely speaks any portchy. He is way nice, though, and a good guy. He speaks French and Creole, and a little bit of English. But after we met him on that contact, we taught him the restoration on Friday and he came to church with us yesterday, and already you can see the progress that he is making in his portuguese and outlook on life. He lives alone, works in a meat factory that doesn't pay much and makes him work a lot of hours, and he basically goes from work to home and from home to work without much interaction with people outside of work. We promised him that if he would learn about the restored gospel and continue to come to church with us and read the book of mormon and pray for help  from his heavenly father that he would begin to see the blessings that are available to him. We are helping him with his language skills and learning about the Gospel and everything looks bright for him. It's awesome to see the help of the Lord in the lives of people you are serving.

Besides that this week has been a lot of walking in the sun and sweating some more. Everything is good. Just wish we had AC and water that we could drink. Oh yeah, everyone who lives in the United States needs to be thankful that they can just drink water at their houses. Here we have to buy all of our drinking water, and it runs out sooo fast. It's just way more inconvenient for everyone. Count your blessings. even the simple things like water and carpet. Those are some of the things I miss most!

Elder Evans