Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week 3

Here is Elder Vester's letter for the week. I am so glad that he is doing so well. Sounds like he is working hard and enjoying every minute of it. 
So I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Bon dia saidju da sol~!
I'm up and running with my 3rd completed week in the CTM.
By far one of the most exhausting weeks I have had, but I'm loving every minute of it.
This last week I taught my first discussion without a script. (With Regina.) Elder Johnson and I taught the Restoration. It was a very challenging thing to do, but I thank the lord every day for the things I am learning here. Every time I stop, and look back at how far I have progressed in the last 3 weeks, it's amazing.
This truly is the Lord's work, and I am so grateful to be a part of teaching these wonderful people.
Regina is slowly but surely progressing with her lessons. She's very hard to teach. The language barrier is hard to get over. But I always feel the spirit so much when teach her, and I hope to challenge her to baptism soon.
Alexandre is also coming along. He told us that he was having some major financial problems, and that he hardly had enough money for his 2 kids to eat and have clothes. And as soon as he told me, the church's welfare program was brought to my mind, and somehow, the Portuguese words for "bishop and welfare" came to my mind. It's truly amazing to see just how much the lord is blessing me.
I may not be progressing as much as I would like, but I know more then I did the day before.
I'm slowly getting used to the idea of living in a big city. There are massive skyscrapers, and bunches of tiny cars everywhere we go. It takes us 45 minuets to go 10 miles because traffic is so bad. But, it's starting to grow on me.
TRC this week was wonderful. Rather then having other elders pose as investigators, there were members from the area who came in. I find it ironic that we did better at getting to know the actual people, Recadio and Semyone, better then we did for the teaching exercise. Fun times.
Not much has happened. Every day is the same. I spend about 9 hours in the classroom, studying the language, and It gets very hard sometimes. It's so very different from English.
But whatever. :D I'm loving everything.
I love all of you so much!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Update - Week 2

Some updates - I have updated Elder Vester's mailing address. I added his Box# &  District #. Jacob e-mailed today and said that he hasn't received any mail yet. I have one in the mail and one ready to go, so he was excited to know that there was mail coming.
SOOO if you can please take the time and send him snail mail, I know he would really appreciate it and so would I. He really doesn't have time to read the e-mails right now. He is only given 30 mins on the computer once a week. A 1 oz letter to the CTM costs $1.05 in postage. I bit pricey but he is worth it. I have been checking his e-mails and printing them and mailing them to him for now.
Jacob sounds like things are going good for him. I am so proud of him and his desire to serve a mission even tho we miss him lots.

 Jacob's letter:

Ola world~

Week 2 has gone by much, much faster then week 1 did.
I had the opportunity to go to the Sao Paulo temple again this morning. It looks like I'll be able to do that every single P-day that I am in the CTM! It's such a pretty temple, gold leaf and stained glass everywhere. <3
But anywho.
This last week has been wonderful, and hard at the same time.  I'm still struggling with Portuguese, but I am learning more and more every day.
Progress has been made with Alexandre. c: He's really starting to see and understand more. I'm enjoying every lesson I get to teach to him.
I also have a new person I started teaching/ her name is Regina. She was referred to us by her friend Julia, and she's one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. She's fairly young, mid 20s, and is very interested in the truth of eternal families. <3 I'm excited to teach her again this week.
I had my first TRC this week. It's elders who have been here for more then 7 weeks, will pose as investigators, and have us teach them a lesson, and it's filmed, so we can go back, and review where we messed up, or what we did well.
It's terrifying, but I enjoy it.
I also met Elder Oak's grandson this week. He's been here for 5 weeks, and is really nice. Always smiling, and willing to lend a helping hand.
Life in Brazil is so different from the comforts of America. Different food, different people, different ways of life, different everything!
But I do really love it here. I'm going out shopping today in town, and I'm really excited for that. They keep me couped up in my classroom for a good 9 hours of language study a day.
The Lord has already started to bless me with the Language. I've been worried that I am not learning enough, or keeping everything in line. but my first lesson with Regina really helped me a lot.
I went to go write down what I wanted to say, and I was able to write down almost half of the lesson just from the vocabulary that I have learned thus far.
The church is true. I know that for a fact. My testimony has grown so much in the last 2 weeks, and I'm excited to share the Lord's restored Gospel with Brazil.
It's hard, each and every single day. But I love this work, and I love this language. It's amazing to see the Lord's hand at work, and to know I am a instrument in the Lord's hands.
My time is almost up, so know that I love you all, and wish you the best from Brasil!
Te Amoruso
Elder Vester

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Elder Vester's first week -

Hello everyone! Tuto Bam~!
It's been a very long week. Very first day they started all of us greenies on Portuguese. pardon my spelling, I've only 30 minuets to write all of this.
the first few days have been hard on me, very hard. I was frustrated with the language, and struggling to keep myself positive.
They would not let me write an email, or call anyone to let everyone know I arrived safely. But, they allowed me to write a letter, and it should have reached home by now.
It's so very different from the Arizona I know and love. Even the keyboard I am using is very different. I'm sure I'll figure out how to do all my Asian smiley faces sooon~
My companion is Elder Johnson, from Rexburg Idaho. He's got a very sweet disposition, and I could not have asked for a better companion to be in the Ce te emme with. (CTM, or MTC for all you Americans.)
This entire country is amazing. from my window, I can see the old, and very new, rich and poverty, humble, and proud.
Oh, by the way, I can't take pictures while I am in the ctm, otherwise you would be spammed to death with my photos.
I can already see the Lord blessing me. Elder Johnson and I have already began teaching an investigator, Alexandre (Allashandree). He is a single father of 2, Joao Paulo, and Carlos. Our first lesson was about Families, and how God's  love blesses families, and how the Gospel, evanglho, can bless families.
I noticed something was off, but said nothing about it.
The most recent lesson we tried to teach was about the Restoration. My companion was reading from the Preach my Gospel, and I noticed that Alexandre was close to tears. I asked him what was wrong, and he said that his kids were fighting a lot. He would take them to school, and they would fight, go to work and get yelled at, and come home to more fighting. It really broke my heart to see him as sad.
I did my best to tell him that Heavenly Father (Pai Celestial) and Jesus Christ love him, and love his sons, and that if he did his best to live the Gospel he would be blessed, and that families can be together, forever, and have eteral happiness in the life to come.
I've really grown a lot in the last few days, and I'm excited to interact with the Brazilians later today.
<3 Much love, for everyone.
Elder Vester
My heart is happy. I got to hear from Elder Vester. Will post letter and a picture when I get home tonight. At least I know he is alive and doing well.
Here is the e-mail that we should have gotten if they didn't have the wrong e-mail address for me. THis was sent to our Bishop.

Dear Parents,
We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.
They now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting.  These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.
The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.
Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.  We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “ There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an Elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".
Please accept our love,
President Ralph Degn and Sister Mary Ann Degn
ADDITIONAL  information . . .  
DO not send packages to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving, not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.
WE Strongly eNCOURAGE sENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.
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Friday, September 7, 2012

The Beginning

As you can see- nothing from Elder Vester. I thought that maybe they would have let him do a quick e-mail letting us know that he arrived OK. I guess no news is good news. Hopefully we will hear on Monday, I think Monday will be his P-day.
Waiting for Jacob to become Elder Vester

This is what we raised him for.

This will be the last time the family is together for 2 years.

This is a special name tag. It has been handed down from the 

first to the last.

This is the plane that took Elder Vester to Atlanta for his flight to Brazil.

You have to have some fun. David was a good sport.