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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.