Sunday, November 17, 2013

Last week Bryant sent me a link to this video. I absolutely love it!

I'm not a good missionary mom! I'm so sorry for the delay in posting Elder Holloway's emails. But here they are so Enjoy.This one was sent on 9/29/13.

Well this week was great. We worked really hard, began doing P90X to keep the weight down haha, and we had a baptism!

I know I say this all the time, but this mission really is giving me so many new experiences that I never could´ve dreamed of before coming out here. This week we were wrapping up a lesson about the plan of salvation with a family when this 14 year old boy walked in. He looked terrified and was breathing really fast when he said: ´They think its cancer. They think I have cancer.´ apparently he was a family friend and wanted to tell them. We didn´t know what to do, but we prayed for him, and I find it extremely interesting that we were there when he came in.

Also, about my baptism. I´m not sure if I shared the story about this woman or not, but this story is pretty cool. 10 years ago, this woman, T began taking lessons from the missionaries. She liked them and began to develop a testimony when a bunch of huge problems came up in her life and she couldn´t continue. After time she went to an Evangelical church and was even baptized there. But she said she just never felt right about everything. We recieved a phone call one day during lunch at our house and it was a woman. She sounded like she had been crying and she asked if this was still the number for the Sisters. We said that we needed to pass by her house that day. So we did. Long story short 3 weeks later she was baptized. Her testimony is so strong. goodness gracious, this woman knows that this church is true. It´s really cool to see this and be apart of her story. The important message here is, we do not know what seeds we plant or when they will sprout. 10 years ago there probably were some pretty frustrated missionaries who weren´t sure why she stopped taking the lessons. But myself, my companion and T are grateful for what they did 10 years ago.

Also, if you guys want something good to read. Read How to be a Preach my Gospel missionary by David A Bednar. I loved it and found it really interesting.

Well that was my week. Lots of walking, teaching, talking, learning, and growing.

Elder Holloway
This one was from 10/6/13
I watched sunday morning session of conference. It was... wow... Elder Richard G scotts talk was amazing, and after Dallin H oaks talk, the world knows where we stand. We went to Guaíba to watch it with the other branches and it was really good. President Monson said it was one of the best sessions he´s been apart of. The themes i saw were repentance, families and marriage. Pretty cool. Had a good time with my first conference in Brazil. Also, here´s something cool, Elder Scott translates his own talks into Portuguese. I liked that.

The work here is progressing. 5 reactivations this week and 3 the week before. I´m loving the beans and rice by the way.

Not much more to talk about. I´m seeing myself change though. This is pretty cool. Love you all

Elder Holloway
This is all the way from 10/14/13. These are the roads he walks everyday.

He is so dang cute! I love him.

He likes Brazilian soda.

Here is his note for the blog dated 10/21/13

Well this past week was pretty standard. Except for one thing. Gre-nal. Gre-Nal is when the two soccer teams in Porto play against each other and basically it´s the biggest game of the year. No one was in the streets, but we did know exactly when one of the teams scored because we heard screaming, honking, fireworks and all sorts of other things. For those who are curious, it was a tie 2-2.

Also, a dog peed on my bag this week. So yeah, that was pretty much great. But yeah, I´m doing great. I´m really surprised at just how fast each week passes by.

I´m almost done with my ´training´and my portuguese is improving. I´m thinking I will recieve a Brazilian next week. I´m excited to see what happens!

I´m really pleased to see how much my testimony is growing. Really studying the scriptures everyday and praying is where I would go if I was needing help with my testimony. They seem like small things, but... Alma 37:6-7.

I really enjoy life as a missionary and I´m excited to be out here.

Elder Holloway

Here from 10/28/13

Well this week was good. We are finding success and also having a great time. We also found out today that we both will be staying in Arroio dos Ratos for the next transfer! We´re both excited. We have so much stuff on the horizon.

Really quickly I want to talk about the various people and religions that we come across here in Brasil. Generally speaking, almost everyone down here was baptized Catholic. There are many Evangelicals here and they´re pretty cool. Taught some evangelicals yesterday and although they didn´t have much interest in our message they called us brothers in Christ and prayed for us. Their prayer was different. Unlike anything I ever heard or ´experienced´(?) But hey, I´ll take all the prayers that I can get. We also have a lot Spiritualists and bandistas. These are the bodily possession religions. These people never like talking to us and always seem embarrassed when describing their religion. Oh yeah, ha, almost forgot about the Atheists here. First and foremost, Brasil is considered the most religious country in the world, so these Atheists are few and far between, but its absolutley hilarious when we find them. When people here call themselves atheist, what they really mean is: of course I believe in God and accept Jesus Christ as my savior, I just think the churches here are corrupt, so I don´t go. It´s funny because I really don´t think they know what atheist means but hey its cool.

Well my português is still progressing but this week we finished ´training´. Yay, i´m pretty excited. My mission is just flying by so far. At the end of this transfer I´ll be nearing 6 months. That´s crazy. Anyways, that´s it for now. Thanks for the support everyone!

Elder Holloway
This was from 11/3/13. And I am completely grossed out by what my boy is eating.
Well this week was crazy. We started off with a a funeral, ate some sheep heads, and got to listen to a general authority.

First the funeral. Man, the funeral was sad. Seeing people with no hope of seeing their family again after death is really sad. We ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation with the husband of the woman that died. It was a great lesson, and I know it helped him.

Now for the sheep heads... Well we got invited to try something that isn´t normal even for Brazilians to eat, sheep heads. I hope my mom posts the pictures! It was surprisngly good, and something I will never forget about my mission. We ended up eating: sheep head( cheek, face meat?), sheep tongue, kidney, heart, liver, and... Brain. Wow, the brain was easily one of the most unusual things I have ever eaten. It´s not so much the taste, but it´s all about the texture. Elder Gagnon almost lost it haha. It was awesome, and one of those things that I can say I did. Yay for future stories.

Also, on Halloween we had the opportunity to listen to Elder Mazzagardi. That was amazing. He had a question and answer session, and what he said was just unbelievable.

Anyways, this week was great. The work in Arroio is progressing. We should be having 2 baptisms this saturday and we had nearly 60 in our branch on sunday. This is a huge miracle. One sunday when I was here we had 12 I think. needless to say, things are improving! It´s good to have the support of all the members.

Thank you all for the prayers and support.

Elder Holloway
Here from 11/11/13
We had a baptism! Yeah! It was great. Also, I bought some cereal. Cereal here is expensive and not very good. I bought a cheap knock off brand of frosted flakes. But It was delicious. Cereal is definitely something I feel fault of.

We also had 68 people come to church this week. This is huge progress. Usually we have 40-45 but I guess this week everyone wanted to go. Hopefully we keep this going. We have 4 more baptisms marked for the next 2 weeks so hopefully these work out. I´m still enjoying my mission and enjoying Arroio dos Ratos! Thank you all for the support.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Yesterday my bud answered some of my questions. I just love him.

Hey Bud!
This week flew by for me, how about for you? I have more questions.....
1. When do you get to go back to the temple?
2. What fun stuff do you get to do on your p-day?
3. How about that less active family? I hate to see people leave the church. I know it happens for many different reasons but it breaks my heart. All I know is that everything good in my life has come from living the Gospel.
4. What are the stores like? I know how much you hate shopping but do they have just tiny stores or do they have like a Walmart.
5. Is there anything you'd specifically like for Christmas?
6. Have you gotten your package?
7. What's your favorite part of your day?
8. Do you love Sundays?
9. Are you bored with your ties?
10. You left some sweaters, I was thinking of sending them. Do you want me to? I know it's getting warmer so maybe later?

1. Next transfer I might go to the temple if my area isn´t too far away. So if I get transferred to Pelotas or some place far away, then yeah I won´t be going to the temple again for who knows how long.

2. The language is going well. when I´m humble, I can speak so much better. But yeah basically, I can speak with any random person on the street and hold a conversation about myself, missionary work, or the gospel. Regular conversations are coming along though. Everyday I see improvements. The fact that I can speak, read, and write what I can in Portuguese after 3 months, is a miracle. Seriously, it´s amazing to be apart of all of this.   At first it was really hard. I didn´t know anyone, my companion (although American) didn´t speak any English to me the first month. So yeah I felt pretty alone sometimes, but now its way better. My Portuguese is good enough to where my companion and I speak a little more English. 

3. The sad thing is is that I can´t remember which inactive family i was talking to you about. But basically no families have returned. so i guess that answers that question.

4.The stores here are pretty much the same. a little smaller and way different stuff to buy, but basically the same. I´ve only seen walmart in Sao Paulo by the way. That reminds me as well, here there is 0 fast food. In porto alegre they have some, but besides that, there´s nothing. It´s way different. i always talk about this with my companion. Life is America is so much faster than life down here. Up there people rush, eat and drive, and do other things. Here people take things easy, eat at the table with their families and other things like that. That´s something I like about down here.

5. For Christmas, ties, CDs, pictures, and a baseball. I specifically want a picture from my baptism. It would help a lot with some of the kids down here.

6. I have not received my package yet. We´re going to Porto Alegre today and it might be there, but probably not.

7. My day´s are great. They´re all the same but at the same time, always different. My favorite part of the day is probably going to bed, not going to lie. I´m always exhausted. But besides this... I´m not sure. Oh, having just a super good lesson with someone who is ready to hear it. That´s something I really like.

8. I do love Sundays. We get to sing with the primary, eat a delicious almoço after church, and teach.

9. I´m kinda bored with my ties. Haha, I only have 8 or 9. as you can imagine, sometimes I do get bored with them.

10.Don´t worry about the sweaters. Maybe next June you should send them.

I´m loving my mission right now and time is flying by.
Love you Mom,

See that, he loves me.

Monday, September 16, 2013

From my boy today. I just love him.

Well this past week was great. It was really hot, 38 degrees celsius. Naturally, we ate bastante sorvete. This week was also my last week in my first transfer. Crazy how fast it went by. I got the call that Elder G and I will stay here for 6 more weeks. We´re pretty pumped. Lots of work to be done. We are so close to baptizing many people. We attribute this to our fast we had this week. Whenever we have a fast we ALWAYS see success. This principle of the fast is something that I never really used before my mission. But it really does work.

People here are upset about our spies that were spying on their president. We don´t really here much, but what we do hear is pretty biased against the United States. One guy told us that all of europe including england and russia are backing behind Brazil. Basically he alluded to the fact that he thinks there will be a war and that the US will be sorry for spying on Brazil. Pretty crazy.

Well Elder G and I are really getting closer. He´s a really cool guy. I learned that he played the computer game Age of Empires before his mission. How awesome is that? well it´s awesome for me.

Anyways, hope everyone is doing well. I´m enjoying my time down here in Rio Grande do Sul.

Elder Holloway

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just got this today. He sounds good and that makes me happy.

This week was fantastic. We had the most contacts we´ve ever had, the most lessons, and we had a baptism. It was great. We worked super hard, and I don´t even know where the time went. time on the mission really does go by fast.

This week was a little different as well. The mother of a a woman in the branch passed away. The death was expected, but it was still sad. I had the opportunity to be a pallbearer(?). That was interesting. I´ve already seen and done so many things that I couldn´t even dreamed of before the mission.

7th of setember was brazil´s independence day. There was a parade and it was pretty cool. The only thing is, is that the Gauchos down here don´t like Brazil. Hardly anyone sang the national anthem of Brazil, it was hilarious. the 20th of setember commemorates the day the Gauchos tried to break away from Brazil. Everyone is super excited for this day. All the Gauchos dress up, get on their horses and drink chimarro. It´s actually going to be really cool.

Theres this line in Nacho Libre that goes like this : And that is a crazy lady.everyday here I say that in my head. But really.. every day i see crazy ladys. I do love the people down here, even the crazy ones. They´re all Children of God and my favorite thing about living down here is conversing and teaching people down here.

if you all are curious as to what I might be doing during the day, at around 9 or 930 mountain standard time, there is a 95% chance I´m eating rice and beans with members.

Elder Holloway

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Some pictures we recently recieved.

We recieved this email a couple of weeks ago. I felt like I needed some answers to specific questions so I sent him this list of questions:

1) are you warm?
2) do you live with members or have your own place?
3) do you have a maid?
4) are your shoes holding up?
5) do you need a mosquito net? for summer?
6) what would you like in your care package? peanut butter? socks? a new tie? treats that don't go stale?
7) are you doing good?
8) will you get to go to the temple sometime?
9) do you enjoy teaching?
10) what are your duties at church?
11) how big is the branch?

Here are his answers:

1) Yes, I am warm!
2) We have our own little place. And I mean little. Theres also little food in it. Classic missionary apartment
3) my maid is myself
4) my shoes are amazingly comfortable. But i did have to buy boot/work shoes for the mud and rain.
5) I´m not sure if I will need a mosquito net. I will let you know.
6)Peanut butter, face lotion, face wash (classic me, I know) stuff that won´t go stale, chocolate also. But make sure that if it were to melt during transport, it wouldn´t ruin everything else.
7) I´m doing good. Sometimes its tough. I think about home and how far away I am and how much more time I have and sometimes its depressing. But when you´re climbing a mountain, sometimes its better to look at your feet than to look at how much more you have.
8) I am going to the temple on the 28th. Which reminds me, my p day next week might not be monday. It might be wednesday the 28th, because of the temple;.
9) I love teaching people. It beats street contacting or batendo casas
10) We teach gospel principles and we are basically the servants of this branch. We aren´t supposed to be, but we´re working on this.
11) This past sunday we have 45 people show up. Woo! the problem here is number of priesthood brethren. There are 6 or 7 I think.
He also wrote this...

Well this week was pretty standard. Beans and rice. Everyday. Luckily i like beans and rice, otherwise this mission would be the most difficult thing of my life haha.

THis week I had my first baptism. Elder G and I invited, set up, planned and literally did everything for this baptism. I baptized an 8 year old boy named H. He is wild. Like insanely wild. But it was a good experience. His parents are members but I don´t know if he would´ve been baptized without us inviting him to be and doing everything else. I wasn´t even supposed to baptize him, his dad was, naturally, but his dad didn´t want to for some reason. Pretty interesting baptizing someone in a pool. Different, but awesome.

The Brasilians down here aren´t Brasilians. They are Gauchos first. They really don´t like the rest of Brasil and jokingly want to be their own country. Kind of like Texas. I think I´m serving my mission in the Texas of Brasil.

Taught more investigators and we´re helping reactivate this amazing family. I want them to come back so badly. The weather down here is getting better. I´m told i will burn like crazy during the summer when it gets about 110 degrees. I agree. I will burn like crazy haha.
This work is progressing in Arroio dos Ratos. Glad to be apart of it.
Elder Holloway
And some more pictures



Sunday, August 18, 2013

We got this after a LONG wait. We were very anxious not knowing exactly where he was. He sounds good and that makes us happy. We sure do love him and we're so grateful for his example.

Well since the last time I emailed, I finished up at the CTM and went out into the field. I had a great CTM experience with a great district. I left for the field early in the morning on tuesday the 6th. I´m here in a place called Arroio dos ratos. This translates to, river of rats I believe, but in all honesty, it is a great area with a great branch. Also, super pretty here and as well in Porto Alegre. São Paulo was too big and pretty ugly, being further south is better for me. My companion is an American. Elder G..... from Utah. Really a great guy. He´s teaching me a lot and I think we´re having a good time working together. We have a family that we´re going to baptize. It´s pretty cool. The dad wants to be baptized but hes always busy. We still need to teach him. But there is a mom and a ten year old daughter. I really hope everything works out. Also, I´m getting really good at clapping outside of peoples houses. Thats how you knock down here in Brazil. Pretty different, but fun.

Arroio dos Ratos is a pretty interesting place. I have yet to see any carpet in houses we visit. It is either tile, concrete, dirt, or a combination of all the above. There are some parts of this town that are pretty poor. I mean like really poor. Look up favelas online. I think the people here aren't living in favelas but, its close. The people are really humble and the members here love missionaries. Also, there is an interesting religion down here called á banda´ I think. Pretty evil actually, deals a lot wih possesion and doing evil devilish things. But hey, I'm a missionary, so I feel pretty protected. Elder G...... knows a lot about it, so he´s watching out for me.

Also, stray dogs everywhere. They´re all hungry and cold. I feel bad, but there is really nothing I can do.
Winter down in southern Brazil is actually pretty rough in its own way. This whole week except for today and yesterday it rained. Just a cold 40 degree kind of rain. Not very fun, especially when half the roads here are dirt.
My Portuguese is progressing. I can understand almost everything Elder G..... says. But he has an American accent. Other people here, slur, mumble, cut words off early and other things making it really hard to understand. But I´m making progress.
This week I also drank a ton of Chimarro(?) not sure if the spelling is right on that one, bur it is a tea drink that we´re allowed to drink. Super big deal with the Gauchos here. There are so many cultural rules about how you can drink it as well. But I like it. The food here is fantastic. Rice and beans everyday, but everyone puts there own spin on it, and somehow it tastes delicious and new. Haha hopefully I still feel this way in 12 months. Please continue to pray for this great work. It is really amazing to be apart of it all. I know my email this week isn´t really spiritual but that´s because of all the new things I had to talk about. Next week will be better!
Elder Holloway

Friday, August 9, 2013

This email came on August 8th. We haven't heard from him since. He should be in Porto Alegre but we haven't heard. We're going with no news is good news. I'm kinda sad he stepped in poop, I just bought home those shoes!

Well this week was crazy. My last full week here at the CTM. I committed my other pesquisador to baptism and I went proselyting in Sao Paulo this week. I am so excited to leave for the field on Tuesday. I have about a 1 hour flight to Porto Alegre. I also learned that in some parts of my mission you have to travel by boat to do transfers. Pretty cool stuff.
So my proselyting experience was hilarious, scary, and also very awesome. Naturally my companion and I were nervous to leave the CTM and to talk to real Brasileiros about the Book of Mormon. But we quickly shook off all nervousness and had a great time.
First man we talked to was drunk out of his mind. We know now that we should've just left him as soon as we realized this but he was intent on hearing our message. He then said I wasn't an American but a Brasileiro. i told him no and he called me a liar haha. He continued to mutter portuguese to himself for the next 20 minutes after we stopped talking to him. My companion and I found a husband and a wife sitting down at this park table. Lucklily they were sober. We talked to them in great detail about the Book of Mormon and the husband accepted it. He was truly interested as to how he could become closer to Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon. As I was finishing up with him, a slightly less drunk man than the original sat down with us and started talking to my companion. Remember that we can understand half of what sober Brasileiros say, with drunk Brasileiros this percentage drops to about 10%. This drunk man's name was Josué. i totally forgot the name of the interested man, but he has me a quick testimony in the cover of his Book of Mormon. When he left, the super drunk guy(who was yelling and muttering while I was teaching the good investigator) came back and sat down in his place. Josue was actually kinda interested and when he saw that the more drunk man was just trying to cause trouble, he started yelling at him. "Sai Fora!" "Get out of here!" He then proceeded to take his little cheap bottle of vodka, and smash it in the table in anger. At this point I was kicking Elder -----------'s leg, trying to tell him we needed to leave. So we did. Josue wanted to still learn more so he came with us and we sat down on another bench. Josue wanted a Book of Mormon really badly. I wonder if today he remembers anything. But hey, he gave me his address even without me asking for it. So I guess he's my first contact. Oh yeah, and I stepped in dog poop from one of the many stray dogs in Sao Paulo. Pretty funny story. Spiritual at one point, and at other points, not at all. So far my experience with missionary work is pretty hard, but fun.
My investigators are doing great. Igor is going to be "baptized" tomorrow, and Ellen, on tuesday. My lessons are going great and i can hold a solid conversation about gospel things in portuguese. Everyday I feel the spirit here, and the fact that myself and my district have learned as fast as we have is a testimony of the power of the spirit. I'm picking up regular conversation phrases and words just from talking with people around the CTM. Pretty pumped to get out there.
Oh yeah, went to the police station this week to get all my documents finalized and stuff with the government. When my fingerprints were getting taken I had a great conversation about our church with the man taking my fingerprints. I taught him from the beginning. God is our loving Heavenly Father and then I went from there.
Super cool week. Makes me really excited to get out into the field.
Elder Holloway

This email came to us on July 26th.

Time is flying by so fast here at the CTM. 1 month down, 23 more to go! I´m really enjoying my time here but the CTM can get a little old after awhile. All of us want to get out there so badly. Lucky for me I have 11 days I believe before I leave for the field.
2 days ago was pioneer day and this whole week here at the CTM has been full of all sorts of Pioneery(?) stuff. I watched 17 miracles on sunday and really liked it. I´m glad Dad had a successful talk! It´s funny he spoke last sunday, because this last sunday in my branch, I gave my first talk in Portugese and it went really well!
An aspect of the CTM that is never mentioned is how sad every week is. Literally every week you have friends leaving, it´s sad but it makes me want to get out even more.
I have not been able to visit the Campinas temple and I don´t think I´m going to. No one has ever mentioned going to that one, but it´s no big deal. I cannot post pictures in the CTM. It bums me out because I want all of you guys to see what I´m seeing! Haha although I have gained weight, my clothes still fit me. Don´t worry mom.
This week has been SO COLD. My mission got 2 inches of snow, and São Paulo has been freezing. The CTM is super open. The entire lower level isn´t enclosed. They also love to keep the windows open and have no heaters. But it´s all good. I´ll be praying for Madison. A bunch of Provo kids just came here so, I hope she´s not there long. I better see her this coming wednesday!
Anyways, I´m still down here doing well. I appreciate all the prayers.
An update on my Português, I can understand anywhere from about 30-50 percent of what the average Brasileiro speaks and I can speak about half as well as I can understand. I see progress everyday though, and I am super grateful for taking Spanish in school. Taking only 4 years of spanish has helped me tremendously.
This ones for Derek: Derek, the weeks feel like days and the days feel like weeks. just in case you were wondering haha.
Love you all. next friday is my last p day in the CTM. After that, I think the next time you´ll hear from me could be on the 12 of August I think? 
Elder Holloway

Saturday, July 20, 2013

We received this letter on 7/19/13. He sounds good and that makes me happy. We also learned that he will make his way to Porto Alegre on August 6th. 

Well another week has flown by at the CTM (Acronym for missionary training center in portuguese). I am loving it here. Oh, i got a new nickname this week from some Brasileiros, Elder Edward Cullen. I guess I just look like a pale vampire to some people, its cool haha. Well this week, was extremely humbling. My companion and I tried to drop an "investigator(Ellen)" we had because she hasn't progressed in about 12 lessons, and afterwards we were chastized. We were getting offended that she was falling asleep on us, and basically I was told my pride and unwillingness to love my investigators has led me to this point. I was mad, frustrated, and upset. But my teacher was right. I accepted what she said and now I'm really trying to learn from it. fast forward 3 days after my most humbling experience at the CTM to when my companion and I were able to commit our investigator(Igor) to baptism. I don't think myself and my companion could've done what we did with our second investigator without being broken down by our first. I hope I can take this lesson to the field and I hope that my pesquisador Ellen sees this change.
My companion and I are getting much closer. When you see everyone as a child of God, you really can't help but love them.
Also, with zero distractions and some scriptures, I am learning so much. I have found the deepest love I have ever felt for the Book of Mormon. Can't explain why it has affected me the way it has out here, but its truly an amazing book. 2nd Nephi is easily my favorite book now. I used to hate it as a kid, but it is truly inspired of God.
Elder Holloway

This letter came to us on 7/12/13. We've been singing "this is Holloway, this is Holloway" ever since.

Before I talk about this week I want to quickly talk about somethings I missed from last week. I was called to be District Leader my first week here. In some ways it was an answer to my prayers. Also, here at the CTM we have 3 main groups of ethnicities. The Norte Americanos, the Hispanicos, and the Brasilieros. My district and I have some Hispanico friends who for some reason they love my last name. Every time they see me they sing "This is Holloway, This is Holloway, Holloway, Holloway" Remember the movie the nightmare before christmas? They changed the words from the song, This is halloween to this is Holloway and It makes me crack up everytime.
The food here ranges from super delicious, and recognizable to I have never seen this before and don't want to see it ever again haha. The food is good, and I guess I'm still just getting used to Brazilian food. They also have a Guarana soda fountain. Guarana is quickly becoming my favorite soda.
I make friends everyday, usually because the Brasilieros get cycled out every 12 days. You always see new faces here and I am definitely enjoying my time.
I was able to go to the temple again today. It was really awesome as usual and now I'm about to go out into the town. Sao Paulo is huge. I mean HUGE. Skyscrapers in every direction. I literally don't know where the middle of the city is because wherever you are you feel like you're in the middle.
Also, being here is very interesting. We get no information about the outside world. Including the protests. I haven't seen any protests while here in Brazil, and all the info I get is from a couple instructors.
Speaking of instructors, my "investigators" are both bad and good. Ellen, is not progressing and its quite frustrating. We're still trying to find out how we can help her completely. My other investigator or Pesquiador is Igor. Igor is progressing so much! We found out his problem(The real reason of why he wanted to meet with us), and now are building lessons around what he needs. He really trusts my companion and I. I know these lessons are fake, but you can still feel the spirit so strong. Let's just say I pulled a Mike Holloway during one of my lessons, and it wasn't allergies haha.
I am still progessing in Portuges and the other day my entire district of four people went all day without English, only portuges. We didn't get it 100 percent but we tried hard. It's amazing how you can do something difficult if you put your mind to it.
This is to Dawson, I wish you were here. There are so many times when I say "Dude" in kyle's voice and no one is here to laugh. It's kind of depressing. Oh and I have also forgotten almost the entire Daft Punk album lyrics. I literally cannot remember it :(
The work is progressing and its amazing to be apart of it.
Elder Holloway

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

We recieved these photos today
from the CTM President.
They made us smile.

It was so lovely to FINALLY hear from him and really get a sense of how he is doing. Also I understand it takes some practice getting used to using Portuguese keyboard, so please pardon the punctuation errors.
Well I made it to the CTM. I had a long flight from Atlanta and arrived here at around 8"30am. I only met up with one other missionary, Elder Booren. He's a good guy and we had a fun time driving from the airport to the CTM. As soon as you get off the plane, no one speaks english anymore and it is kinda confusing. Someone should look up the distance between the airport in Sao Paulo and the CTM, because it only felt like it should've been 30 min, but it took two hours haha. The traffic was so bad, it was raining (it rains almost everyday, because it's winter here) and there are motorcycles flying everywhere. Definitely haven't seen anything like it in the states.
Hm.. So the CTM is a pretty interesting place. 90% of everyone here is a Brasiliero or a Hispanico. There are about 10ish English speakers and about 600 waiting to get their VISAS in the states. Everyone here is super friendly. Everyone wants to talk with you, oh thats another thing. Brazilians just want to hang out and party. Which is totally fine except for when you can't get to bed on time.
I study portugese for about 8 hours everyday. It is pretty intensive. I am slowly replacing some english words with portugese. Like, como vai, entende, nao sei, Deus, etc. I have 3 "pesquiadores" i'm teaching right now. Ellen, Mario, and Igor. Although they are only my instructors, my companion and I are required to teach them anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes all in Portugese. It's insane. One week ago, myself and my fellow Americans could harldy speak portuguese, now we can teach lessons for 30 minutes. I think that just adds to my testimony of the Spirit and how blessed we are to be in the CTM.
My companion...where do I start...haha
Well he is... not like me at all. We are very different and to save time, I will say that he is just teaching me a lot. Anyone on a mission can tell you that you get pretty tired of spending 24 hours a day with the same person staring at you in the face. He is teaching me a lot and I consider that a blessing.
Another interesting thing about the Brasilieros is that many of them are desperately trying to learn english. It makes me sad because I want to teach them English but we literally have no time. If they speak English their job prospects go WAY up. So I have definitely seen how even just speaking english blesses us in so many ways. I feel so blessed to be here and experiencing everything I'm experiencing. Love you all!
Elder Holloway
We recieved this letter shortly after he arrived to the MTC or better know in Brazil as the CTM. After a long night of worrying, it came as a welcome relief.

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 Wednesdayor Friday, 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
The Call.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Here my mom or someone else will post pictures, emails, and other information. See you all in a couple!