Monday, December 31, 2012

12/31/12 Email From Vitória

So this is the last day of 2012 that is strange.  It feels like it was just yesterday that it was New Year's.  So this week after we talked we had a busy week. We got called to help with an emergency transfer for some other missionaries. We had to go to the bus station and pick up a missionary and then do the exchange. Then the next day we had to take the other missionary to the bus station for him to go to his area. We lost a day of work, but I liked helping and I know that President trusts me to help with that.

We have been working, but everything has not been going very well with the end of the year coming. We did a lot of contacts and not many people wanted to talk with us or they live in other cities. Pretty much all of our appointments fell through, but I know that that is just how everything goes at the end of the year. It was this way last year as well so I am not getting too down about it, but it is a little difficult. It has been more difficult on my companion, so I am trying to help him with that.
I am really liking things here.  Vitoria is really busy and not a lot of people want to hear the message that we have to bring to them. So think of Seattle and you will know what Vitoria is like other than it being hotter here than it gets in Seattle. I am liking the members here, I am having them come up to me and tell me that they are glad that there has been a change0 in the missionaries and hope to see the work pick up.   I am glad to be getting their trust.

Michell and Elder McBarron
You will never guess who I ran into Sunday, Michelle from Anchieta!  She was at church here in Vitoria.  She was visiting a friend to see her wedding.  She told me something that is kind of funny and also a little strange.  She said that every time that she receives one of my letters the next Sunday she encounters me.  The first time was there in Guarapari, I sent my letter, she got it and then I was transferred and was there on Sunday.  This week she got my letter this week and she saw me here on Sunday.  It was really cool to see her and see that she is still strong in the church.  She is one of the strongest baptized members that I have had here on the mission. 

My companion and I also had our fireside, that went over well and it was pretty much just the youth in the ward that were there and the former Seventy that is our ward mission leader.  The ward mission leader said that it went really well and that he liked it.  The youth in the ward said that we should do another one, I think that that means that they liked it too.  Michelle was there also for the fireside, that was pretty cool too as I was able to use her story (without using her name) as part of the fireside and it helped it.  So, I figure if the youth want another one and a former Seventy is saying that it was good, it was good.  I thought that was pretty cool.

Not too much more happened since we talked on Tuesday.  The Christmas dinner we had was really good. They had a hot sauce that was hot, but also sweet at the same time, it was really good. I have come to like hot sauce on the mission.  The rest of the week was a race to try and get things done.  The highlights of the week were talking with you all and seeing Michelle.  I will find out when I get to come home probably on the 3rd as I will be going to the mission office to have an interview with the Mission President and I will ask the secretaries.  Miss you all and love you all!

Elder McBarron

Monday, December 24, 2012

12/24/12 Email from Vitória

Tomorrow we will be talking over Skype I will be using the computer in the church to Skype you guys.  I was thinking about calling tomorrow about 4:00 or 4:30 pm here which would be about 10:00 in the morning for you guys.

I am in a new area that I have not been before, I am now in the Capital of the State of Espirito Santo which is Vitória.  My area is huge and it is just me and my companion here in the ward.  Our new area is the center of the mission and the mission office is in my area which is pretty cool.   If I want to I can pass by there and pick up things or grab material for teaching. We hope to make a difference here, we both have a vision that this ward can grow. I have gotten to know a lot of the members from this Ward and a few from the neighboring Ward, Marauipe.

I am getting a long with my new companion pretty well, his name is Elder Stelzer, he is from São Paulo.  We are trying to think of ways that we can work more with the members, we are trying to find ways to the ward members excited about missionary work.  We have an idea that we are working on, we are going to do a missionary fireside this next Sunday and we will be having a competition with the ward members with prizes for helping with the missionary work.

View of Vitoria outside our window
So the first day in the area was an interesting one, people were coming up to us and just giving us their addresses and that was pretty cool.  We found a family of 11 people this week and we are working with them and, hopefully, will be baptized before the end of the transfer.  We also did a service project for one of the city representatives that we met where we helped her deliver presents to kids in the city who don't have much.  That ended up being more of being a security guard of the toys as the kids were really excited.  We also helped with a party for the Primary kids and my companion was Santa Claus, that was pretty funny.

All is going well here, me and my companion are really excited for the work. We are going to turn Vitoria into the area with most of the baptisims this year.  I have opened all of the Christmas presents, I reallly like the 2 shirts and the air guitar!  I have pretty much eaten all of the food already.  Oh, I also really liked the books.  See you tomorrow!  Miss you!
Elder McBarron


Monday, December 17, 2012

12/17/12 Email from São Mateus

This week I was the chorister for church and I gave a talk yesterday so that was pretty cool and strange. This week I have been learning about a lot of stuff. I have learned about forgiveness and missionary work and how they are linked even more than I thought. We help others know how to treat each other and how we need to forgive them. We need help others learn to forgive. We need to share the gospel and, as we do, we will as well be forgiven and that as we learn to share the gospel we will know how to forgive. We need to forgive ourselves, which is often times, the hardest part. We had an investigator that has struggled with this. I have also learned that if we do not share the message of the restored gospel we can not receive the salvation, this church and gospel is one of work, we can not just sit there and do nothing.

I will be getting transferred this week on Tuesday, which is tomorrow.  I am excited, but also not, I want to leave but I also don't want to leave.  I will have to get to know a whole new area and figure out what I am going to do for my Christmas call home, that will be fun.  This is going to be a strange week after 9 months here I will be going to another area.   I hope that I go back to an area that I have already been in, but who knows what will happen, I will find out tonight. We didn't find out until last night if I was leaving or if I was staying. My baptism is setup for the 29th, but I guess now it is not my baptism.

I come home in 4 1/2 months to be exact.  I  am not really sure what I will be doing when I get home.  I want to work for a while and do some online classes and I think that I might go to BYUI, but I am not sure.  I will have to get home first to really decide.  I am thinking that I will study psychology as my major and exercise as my minor.

Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!  So, I am 22 and you two have been together for 25 years, that is pretty cool.  As I get older you do too!  I am sending a picture of a dog doing something weird, he is trying to watch everyone from underneath a door.  So we are going to have our mission party for Christmas.  I am going to be leaving after nine months of being here in São Mateus and going to be going to another area that I may not know and that is a little nerve racking.  I am ready for Christmas and for in 4 1/2 months to get home.  Miss you and love ya!

Elder McBarron


Monday, December 10, 2012

12/10/12 Email from São Mateus

Brazil has been gearing up for Christmas since the end of October.  We have been hearing Christmas music and seeing Christmas stuff since then.  They don't go all out like the Americans do but they do a lot of stuff.  Americans do a lot more than the Brazilians do.

Things have been a little tense this week as there have been some problems with one of the other elders that is living with us, but we got everything worked out yesterday.  Me and my companion are getting along fine.  I am getting along better with my District Leader, we talk about a lot of stuff and just mess around, I just feel better with him.  We are teaching a lot but we only have 1 baptism setup and it is for the 29th so I will probably not be here for that baptism.

I am up to the same old same old, teaching and teaching, having training meetings and teaching.  I am happy that it is almost Christmas.  Things will slow down after Christmas and after Christmas I only have four more months. 

I still don't know if i will be transferred or if I will be staying here.  I will probably find out on the 14th or 15th.  We have the mission Christmas party on the 18th, that is going to be great.  I am now getting my bags ready for a transfer because I will probably be transferred, but if not they will be ready for the next one.  If I get transferred I will send an email to you about where I am and when we can talk over Skype when I get to my new area.

I miss sitting and just watching movies, that is something that I am really missing now.  I am also missing the cold weather, it has been super hot here these past few days.  Me and my companion have gotten burned at least 2 times in 3 days and the Brazilians are getting burned as well.  It is getting to be really hot here as this is just the beginning of the summer here.

My most spiritual experience this week was helping resolve things with our one missionary roommate.  I sat down with him and talked with him for about a half hour and everything ended up just fine.

Well, I hope that the turkey was great.  Other than that I don't have too much left to say for this week. I love you and miss you.

Elder McBarron

Monday, December 3, 2012

12/3/12 Email from São Mateus

Thanks for your emails and am glad that you guys replied because it really helped me.  The rest of the week was better than the first few days of knowing what had happened.  I know that I only have 5 more months and 3 more transfers, so I am trying to make the best of it with my companion and mess around and have fun but also work hard and smarter.  I am going it to try and make every day a good day.  I am not sure what will happen with the transfers yet, I will not find out until later, but I will probably be transferred before Christmas.  If that happens I will do everything that I can to have a good time.

So this week we have a river in our area and it started to overflow.  We took pictures and there is a lot of water that has left the river.  We also had a zone conference that we had to go to another area really early in the morning and then when it finished there was not a bus leaving for our area until 7:00 at night to get a bus to another city and then another to our city and when we got home it was after midnight.  That really was a pain, but there was a good side, we got to see some of the people that I taught and were helping bring back to church and they were really excited to see us.  That was really cool.

My best spiritual experience was that of bearing my testimony of the importance to find those that are looking for the gospel because we never know when they will return back to our Heavenly Father´s presence.

I have been teaching a person that is living with an inactive member and she has been learning and asking really good questions that I have never been asked before and we have had answers to these questions and they have been from the Spirit.

We were able to go and ride bikes again when we were teaching and that was really good.  Also, I have been able to do a few exchanges this week with my district leader and that has been fun.  I have been able to help him and him help me.

I don't really have too much more to say.  This week has been a slow week and yeah, miss you and love you.

Elder McBarron