Monday, December 21, 2015

Dec 21, 2015 I picked a banana off the tree

          79 weeks

This week was fun. We had our christmas conference on Tuesday. We went to a city kind of far away called Rio Claro. We did a small play, and I played the piano with various songs for each character on the stage. I really enjoyed that.
We ate lunch with a family here that works with a meat company. Well, he told us that the hot dogs here are made with newspaper.....It´s a little bit startling, but I haven´t gotten sick, so I think that I will continue to eat them ;)

I had a chance to put a check on my bucket list this week. When I got in Brazil, it was always a dream to take and eat a banana directly off of the tree. It was such a great moment. The stash of bananas was really heavy. I didn't expect it to be so heavy...

My companion and I stopped by the church one day and the Christmas choir was singing. They told us to come sing with them in front of a supermarket that day. We weren´t too prepared with the songs, but it was fun mouthing the words in the back of the group ;)

The next day, we had a ward Christmas party at a cabin. The cabin had a pool and a soccer field, but we couldn´t participate in any of those activities... but we still had a fun time.

Feliz Natal!

Elder Sullivan

My experience with the banana

You have to cut down the tree to reach the bananas

There are a ton of Bananas

Choose the most yellow :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dec. 14, 2015 1 year and 6 months.

         1 year and 6 months. (78 weeks)

This week, we spent a long time doing service projects, we painted a house and it took us two days. It looks way better, but the house will never look good.... imagine painting a poorly built brick house... it´s bad.

We had a problem one day. We were going to eat lunch with a member and she told us to ride on a bus. We went on the bus that she told us, but at the wrong bus stop... about 20 minutes later, I asked my companion where we were. He didn´t know. He said that we are going in the direction to campinas. Yes, the bus took us to campinas.... We had to stay on the bus until it took us back where we wanted to go. The bus driver told us that it was the correct bus as well.

We took on a bunch of rain again the other day. It flooded the roads, so we had a hard time crossing... Here is a picture of my shoes.

that is a puddle of water in my shoes after taking them off.

boa semana!

Elder Sullivan

Dec. 7, 2015 transfer and rain and a picture

         77 Weeks

I was transferred!!! I went to my new area on Tuesday. I was transferred to Hortolândia (the center). It is on the side of my old area, but it is a different stake and zone. My new companion is Elder Mesquita who is from Fortaleza (That is where I will visit after my mission).

Elder Nunes told me all about the area because he has already been here. He has always said that it is the best place. It is comfirmed. The members here are awesome and treat us like their children/best friend. It´s great. 

We don´t really have any investigators here. I think that will be the only challenge that we will have. 

Last night, we visited a less-active member. While we were there, it started to rain. We were at least a half an hour away from home. We called for a ride, but everyone with a car was out of, we walked/ran. If is wasn´t complicated enough, we had to cross a small bridge. On top of this bridge, there was a train! We had to walk on the edge and hold on to the train so that we didn´t fall. It was interesting. I took off my shoes when I got home and there was a good amount of water in them. They were extremely heavy from the rain.

Elder Koby Sullivan

Nov. 30, 2015 a forced week off

          76 weeks

My companion and I did about nothing this week. Monday night, my companion started to feel a little bit sick. Tuesday morning, he felt even worse, so we called Sister Canuto. She said to go get it checked. We went to a health clinic nearby, but we didn´t realize that the health clinic was not the place to go, but they just kept telling us to come back for results and stuff. They thought that my companion had dengue. He had a blood test and everything. 
Thursday, he was feeling a lot better, so we went to work. At night, he started to feel bad. He had really bad diarria. It got to the point where blood started to come out. We decided to wait until the next day to go to the clinic again and they said that they can´t do anything about it and that we needed to go to a bigger clinic. So, they called and ambulance and we went to the center of SumarĂ©. Well, the ambulance showed up 3 hours later!..The bigger clinic thought that he had dengue, so they said to come back the next day to do another blood test. They said that you have to wait six days to know if it is dengue or not...kind of ridiculus....We came back the next day and they said that he didn´t even have dengue. It was just an infection. They just said the drink a lot of water...they didn´t even give him medicine...What a ridiculus health program...

We stayed at home all week because he was feeling aweful. Now he is feeling better and we can go to work again.

Elder Sullivan

Nov. 23, 2015 I made it.

          75 weeks

We had some interesting things happen this week. We were doing contacts way late at night one day and we contacted a girl on the road. She said that she would visit our church if we visited her church. Of course that is a great trade. So we went to her church. Well, her mom is a pastor and the church was at her house. It was more like a family home evening. In the middle of the meeting, the pastor thanked us for coming, then said, "My daughter was planning on going alone to your church, but she will not be alone. She will go, I will go, My family will go, and my congregation will go..."  I was stunned. She also told us her story on why she made the church. I think that we have a chance with her, but it will have to be different. She couldn´t come to church on Sunday, but she called us and explained why. She invited us to her daughter´s birthday party next week. It´s all just really interesting...

Sunday, a lady showed up to church out of nowhere. She looked at me with big smile and said, "I made it!" I was so confused. I asked her what her name was and she told me that I invited her to church the other week, but she couldn´t come last week, so she came this week. I still could not remember her and I told my companion. He couldn´t remember at first either. After some thinking, we remembered that we contacted her over a week ago. She didn´t give us her address and said that she would go visit the church. We didn´t believe it, but she went :) I think that it will end really well :)

elder Sullivan

Nov. 16, 2015 tmi about the stove


         74 weeks.

So how you can tell if you´ve had a successful week is by the amount of people that come to church. This week, we thought that we did really well. There were many who promised to come to church the night before, but nobody came... My companion was really sad about that. I am a bit stressed out about it too. We have gotten to our last hope which is "treinamento de poder" It is supposed to work miracles. We´ll find out.

We have been having a problem with our stove for a little while. One of the fires was leaving some oily substance on all of the pans.... Somebody got smart and decided to clean out the airway for the gas. He lifted up the cap where the fire comes out and underneath the cap was a....half......burnt.... cockroach.......I think the oily substance was from the cockroach.....The house wasn´t even dirty! How did it get there?! That was a sad day...

Our area is divided with two sets of missionaries. E. Nunes and his companion work on one side of the main road and we work on the other side. Well, we discovered that their were other missionaries that were working in a part of Nunes´ area. We called the assistances to see what was going on. It turns out that the area that we have, isn´t our area... that takes a good part of our ward. That could easily knock us down to a branch. It is a huge confusion and now us four are just doing a free-for-all in the area. There is no more division. I hope it doesn´t go wrong. This place is a mess right now...

Elder Sullivan

Nov. 10, 2015 bbq crashers

          Week 73

We had a busy week. Sadly, Thiago, who was our investigator most likely to baptize, started to look up things on the internet about the church. He found a bunch of crap. When we visited him, he started telling us all of the crap that he read. We were able to prove all of it wrong and he understood what we told him. A few days later, I called him and he told us that he read the book and wasn´t feeling anything and that it was against his beliefs... I knew at that moment that he was letting other people talk bad about the church and he believed it all. He doesn´t want our visits anymore...It was hard to accept.

Last night, we went to visit some investigators. They were in the middle of a barbaque with a ton of people. They saw us and invited us to join in on the barbaque. It was fun. We were the highlight of the Barbaque. They have never seen americans before. They wanted to talk about Beer the whole time... 

Our other investigator, Daniel, has been to church several times. Well, he went to a church activity and stayed out really late. Now his parents have grounded him from going to church....Great. That is the worst punishment ever! There is only one other place to go that isn´t church; The ROAD!!! Where it's normal to smoke weed on a walk to the supermarket. Now we have to hunt down the parents to be able to convince them that we aren´t trying to sabotage his life, but trying to help it. Wish me luck.

Elder Koby Sullivan

Nov 3, 2015 crazy week

          Week 72

This week was a little crazy. Thursday night, the assistances called me to tell me that there was going to be an emergency transfer. My companion was sent to Hortolandia and I stayed here. I had to go to Piracicaba to get my new companion, so that took up the whole day. My new companion is and american. His name is Elder Bush and he is from Syracuse, Utah. He is my first American companion. He´s cool. The bad smell from our house went away with E. Maia, so we are de boa!

The next day, the Zone Leaders got mad with us because we weren´t able to do very much that day... They are being ridiculus on the numbers. They want us to focus on numbers, but when we are focused on satisfying the ZLs, we can´t seem to make progress with our work. It´s basically ineffective work. It´s getting to a point where I might have to start talking with President.

We´ve only been having some success in our part of Campinas. We found a man who seems really interested. When we invited him to be baptized, he said, "I have already been baptized and I believe that it was valid. But if what you guys said was true, then I would have to be baptized again." He is looking sincerely for an answer. Sadly, it was a holliday weekend, so he was not able to come to church...

Elder Koby Sullivan

Oct. 26, 2015 disappearing investigators and a rat

          Week 71

This week was rather frustrating. We had so much planned and scheduled, but all of our plans had fallen through. All of the people who we thought would let us come back weren´t at home to accept us. We called and scheduled and confirmed, but nothing. Our only investigators that were going to chuch dissappeared all of the sudden. We haven´t been able to get ahold of them for several weeks... 

One night, E. Nunes yelled really lot shouting, "rat!" We went to see, but we couldn´t find it. We soon found it inside the oven that we never use. It ran out of the oven and everyone was in a battle with the rat until we could capture it. While the rat was running, it ran right under Nunes´ foot and he stepped on it. He stepped a little too hard and it died under his foot... That was a first rat that I´ve encountered alive.

Elder Koby Sullivan

Oct. 19, 2015 15 minute notice to speak in church

          70 weeks

We have found some people who have potential to progress. I don´t have too much faith in them, but my companion is begging me to go back to them. I don´t want to go back because the father flat out said, "I disagree." But my companion thinks that he persuaded him otherwise.... Investigators that don´t want anything are not worth teaching. (That is what I told my companion).

We found one that was really cool. He was the only one who came to English class on Saturday. He is Baptist, but we just spoke in English for a little bit, then I taught him the Restoration. After I said the first vision, he asked me, "Who was that?" with astonishment. I drew everything out in detail and I taught in English :) I think that he will want more.

Well, last week, Elder Nunes was asked to give a talk in church. He was with another Elder in a different ward because his companion went home. So he told my companion to do it. My companion likes attention, so he gladly accepted it. However, he had already given a talk a few weeks before. When we got to church, the bishop asked why I didn´t give the talk, then asked me to give the talk. I couldn´t say no. So, I had to prepare a 15 minute talk at church... talk about nervous. In the end, it went pretty well. I was able to fill the time.

Elder Koby Sullivan