Monday, August 31, 2015

A good week to be a missionary :)‏

Dear family and friends,
This week was a good week to be a missionary. As planned, Marrone and Diéssica were baptized on Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday. Elder Sena, the ward, a host of heavenly beings, and I are all celebrating and relieved. Although not necessary, it is pretty nice to see the fruits of our labors. More on that a little later.
So on a less serious note, I have been continuing to exercise every morning. Elder Marcelino is pretty determined (and succeeding) to lose weight, so he has turned my daily workout partner. Our plan is as thus. Every other day we run, and every other day we work out. The reason I am bringing this up is because I have accomplished a new feat - On Friday, we successfully ran a 5K without walking. The only other time I even attempted that feat was when I embarrassed myself trying to keep up with Victoria Ecker at the Susan G. Komen race for the cure in the summer of 2012. So that’s that. Yay me and Elder Marcelino.
I hit my 11 month mark tomorrow. That’s ridiculous. Time is going too fast.
I have come down with a cold. It started Friday night, reached its peak on Sunday morning, and has already started to dissipate.
So the baptism. It went over very well. Bishop was impressed and a little awestruck that the water was actually warm, as we figured out how to turn on the furnace. Apparently that hadn’t happened in Ijuí for a while. The members all showed up two minutes before the service, which scared us half to death. It looked like there would be a pretty sad turnout for a while. But. Everything worked out great. I ended up leading the music and singing a special hymn at the service, which completely hashed up my voice as I had a cold (like after that one Friday performance of Beauty and the Beast.) But all was well, Elder Sena had his first baptism - Marrone, and I baptized Diéssica. She has 5 names, but I remembered them all :) I thought that they would have picked Adriano to baptize the two of them, but they chose us. I didn’t complain :) The only thing that was left out was refreshments. Our designated sister to bring the cake didn’t show up. Without refreshments, Bishop decided to take us all to a pizza buffet. Alright with me :)
Adriano and Junior confirmed them the next day.
Rita, a friend of Irmã Esilda, is showing some real potential, and she finally went to church and LOVED it. We plan to mark a baptismal date with her this week.
I’m doing great. All is well. I love what The Lord is doing with the lives of this people, whom I also love.
Com Amor,
Elder Wassom

I finally made a real hamburger with my companion!

Marrone and Diéssica's Baptism:

Diéssica didn’t understand the "mad mug" pose

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wedding :)‏

Dear family and friends,
This week was the Wedding of Marrone and Diessica. It went off very well, and more on that a little later.
This week started off with my very first "bad meal" here in Ijuí. Normally, I love all of our lunch appointments, especially here in Ijuí. Nevertheless, this marked a historical exception. We confirmed our appointment the night beforehand, however, the dear sister forgot over the 14 hours that passed. So she saw us and hurriedly "whipped up" a lunch for us. Rice, spaghetti noodles, Fried egg, and tomatoes. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, you know how in those cartoons, there’s sometimes an episode where the cat knocks something "extra" in the food while its cooking? Well, I’m pretty sure that happened with the salt and vegetable oil. It was sopping in oil, and covered in salt. The egg was undercooked, and the spaghetti was super out of date. After Elder Sena and I managed to down our meal, we had to rush to the nearest ice cream parlor to get the taste out of our mouths. It worked, however, it did not get the feeling out of our stomach.
To make a long story short, we both got pretty sick, and our week was off to a crappy start (Pun intended).
The following day, we headed off to the nearest Schirmann (Home Depot) to buy a new toilet seat. We arrived in the store, and stated our purpose to the nearest clerk. He grinned, and pointed us to a lady who greeted us nicely. I couldn’t help but notice her nametag. It said: "Isabel: Toilet Sales." That seems like an even worse position than that of Brian Regan's refrigerator salesman. I couldn’t help but think, as I read her tag, how happy I am to have worked at Albertsons. At least, as a cashier, I can say, "ooh, tomatoes and jalapeños, looks like you’re making salsa, huh?" Poor lady can't really do that effectively in her job.
So the wedding. It went over very well. The ward did a fantastic job, and Marrone and Diessica invited several non-members to the event. I was impressed with the modesty of Diéssica's dress. As Diéssica started walking down the aisle, Marrone started to cry. And when he started, I started. It hit me, at that moment in time, that the work in which I am involved is really paying off and affecting lives. People who I know and love are getting closer to Christ and to each other. I felt so... successful.
And they’re getting baptized this Saturday, whoop, whoop! We've got papers to fill, Jumpsuits to try on, Interviews to realize, and so on. I'm excited.
Guys, I’m running short on time, so I’m gonna let you guys know that I love yall. My heart goes out to Alyssa and Kaya Chambers and their family. My heart aches to hear the sad news. I'll keep yall in my prayers. God loves you, and trusts in you a lot.
Com Amor,
Elder Wassom

Monday, August 17, 2015


Fico, translated in English, means "I stay."
So, gente, I stay here in Ijui. I’m pretty thrilled to be staying here with Elder Sena for another 6 weeks. Actually, all 6 Elders in Ijuí are staying this transfer. We remain a dynamic 6.
Staying here also means that, yes, I will be here for Marrone+Diessica's wedding and baptism. Yippee! Eba!
We started off the week with a bang, and worked really well throughout the week, teaching a lot of lessons and making a lot of progress.
One day, Elder Jordan Peterson and Elder Jawaad were caught on the road speaking English to each other. This sparked a conversation between them and a stander by. Unknown to them at the time, that stander by was the head honcho of the local radio station, and told them to return the next day to be interviewed. They did, and we other 4 elders listened in. The interview was a little awkward, but went off alright. During the interview, the interviewer told Elder Jawaad that he very much resembled Mr. Bean. We razzed him a bit for that.
We had a "high score" of 11 investigators at Sacrament Meeting this Sunday. It was a good Sunday to have them all there, as the talks were all super fantastic. We also sustained our new Elder's Quorum President, who is quite the fireball and helps us out a lot. Speaking of which, he went with us to Tainã's family, and we had a super awesome lesson. Andrea even said the closing prayer for the first time in 4 years that the missionaries had been teaching that family. They’re super close to baptism.
We went to the recovery center to visit Irmã Marissa, whose depression rose very high. She is doing much better now, and is smiling a lot. She was happy to see us there.
The work is hard. Stressful. Probably too much for any normal late teenager. Good thing I'm not so normal - I’m ordained, blessed, and set apart by God to be His servant. But that being said, it’s still pretty hard physically, emotionally, and mentally. So why am I so happy, might you ask? A verse in my daily reading caught my attention this week. "O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in His Condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in such mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in sorrow[?]" (2Nephi 4:26) Like I’ve said several times in the past, I have the privilege to watch as people change their lives for the better, proportional to their faith in Christ that they decide to exercise. It’s super cool.
I love you all. I love this work and this people.
Com Amor,
Elder Wassom
PS sorry the letter is short, I was too busy worrying myself to death that my SD card had broken.
PPS but it didn’t. It was just my imagination.
I finally bought another thingamajig. It initially gave me a scare, as it looked like it, too, did not read my card, nevertheless, I realized that it was simply my lack of pushing-it-in-far-enough.

From the minute-to win it father-son activity 1 1/2 weeks ago:

Just having fun:

I found it very funny the "Dad, you are D+" sign. It was meant to be an abbreviation for "demais", or, "Too Much", but ended up looking more like "slightly submediocre"

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nice Dia dos Pais

I had a great Brazilian father’s day. I got to speak to my family and that was great! Sorry for all the jealous RMs out there that just didn’t have that opportunity. Shoutout to my Dad, who has, through study and hard work, successfully restored a whole lot of his Portuguese, which was lost over the years! He successfully, for 2 or 3 minutes, bore me his testimony in practically flawless Portuguese. Bem feito, Pai! I did notice something as I was talking to yall - yes, skype is awesome, but it didn’t feel too much different than just reading your emails! You guys are just such awesome letter writers that I can just imagine you guys just talking to me at the dinner table!
On Saturday, we had our father's day minute-to-win it activity. It was really awesome, but horribly attended. We had all sorts of fun challenging games for fathers and sons to team up and battle against other fathers and sons. For those who do not have fathers nor sons in the activity, an informal adoption gallery took place. At the end of the games, the top 3 teams got to go to the "arena" and do this huge awesome obstacle course involving cutting toilet paper with a squirt gun, knocking over cans with rubber bands, and other such activities. It was just great.
So before continuing, I must briefly explain who George is. George is son of Edson and Deborah Samersla. He is 7, but due to mental handicap, he's about 4, and very hyperactive. He loves Star Wars and Legos. That’s pretty brief, but enough to continue the story.
So together, Edson and George made it into the top 3 teams. Looking at the daunting-ness of the obstacle course, Edson told João Bueno to let them go last, as to not hold up the other two teams waiting on George. Well, the first two teams made it through the course in about 5 minutes. There was one part of the course that was giving the teams a good amount of trouble, involving stacking miniature bottles atop the other. So Edson and George take off. George runs off in the wrong direction. Edson runs after George. They get back on the right track, and start the obstacles. With enough prodding, Edson and George make it through most of the course in decent time, and at 4 minutes, they affronted their penultimate challenge - the mini-bottle stacking. Much to the shock of the first two teams, and without delay, grace or effort, George lackadaisically plopped all three bottles perfectly into place in a matter of seconds. Then, seemingly without effort, he knocked over the coke can with his very first rubber band, and thus winning the whole competition. Everyone cheered for George and laughed at how this young man had accomplished those tasks with such little difficulty. His father gave him a big warm hug, and he smiled from ear to ear. It was a Kodak moment. :')
Speaking of fantastic moments, we had tacos today. My housemates were, yet again, happy with me. They were also very weirded out with the idea of Guacamole, (as Brazilians only eat avocados with sugar) but liked it nonetheless.
I know this letter is short, but I had a good week....A good chat with my family. The transfer list gets sent out on Friday, where I learn if I'll be staying here for another 6 weeks or not. I want to be here for Marrone and Diessica's Wedding and baptism, but only if God wants that, too. Let’s see what this week brings us.
I love you all. I continue to pray and think about yall. I love this people. I love... everything.
Com muito amor,
Elder Wassom

Awesome things about Portuguese -
The people here actually use the word "freakin" just like we do!
Me passa o freakin' bola! - Pass me the freakin' ball!

Trollar is in fact, a word, meaning to troll.
Meu, você acabou de ficar trollado - Bro, you just got trolled.
Bah, que trollagem, meu! - Maan, what a troll!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Uma semana quente‏

MONDAY, AUGUST 3rd, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,
Yes, dad, quente does in fact mean hot. We are in the middle of winter here, but strangely we are having an average high of 85 degrees, and from the looks of it, it will stay that way for a bit. It’s very strange, and no-one knows why it’s this way. It is as if summer has started, but we're smack dab in the middle of winter.
Unfortunately, I don’t have too much cool news this week.
In respect to the missionary work, it was both bad and good. To give you an idea, the baptismal date for Nilza and Kauê fell back to at least the 15th, as they did not show up at church. I almost feel more comfortable with that, as there are some complications coming to our attention. Marrone got into a fight with a youth at our church, and didn’t show up at church the following day. I’m not overly concerned about that, as men don’t hold grudges very long. Daiane and Andrea showed up to church for the first time and liked it, I think. But then we got information regarding the two of them that might delay their baptism for a while...
But on the bright side, Luiz' Mother-in-law showed up again to church, and is right ready. Really close. Andrea and Natieli also went to church. We have plans to take the whole seminary and a cake over to their house to make friends with Natieli. Really, that’s all she really needs now. Helmutt, Roseane, and Gabriel also showed up to church, and liked it, as always. We've got some real prospects that are doing well, and coming to church.
I’m sorry, guys. This morning, I sat, making my list of things to write about, with a blank expression on my face. I have that same expression now.
Well, as missionaries do when they don’t know what to say, Ill bear my testimony. I know God lives, and is my father and He loves me. I know Jesus Christ lives, and is my Savior and Redeemer and also loves me. I know the Holy Ghost is real, sent by God, and helps me a lot. I know that the church is true, and is the same church that Christ had when He was ministering personally on the earth. I know we all have eternal potential, and the only way to reach that potential is through our faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ.
I love you all. I’m doing well. Short on words, but I’m doing great. 10 months in, and I’m still working with all I’ve got.
Com Amor,
Elder Wassom
Useless Portuguese Words of the Week-
Esgrima - Fencing (sport)
Estrias - Varicose Veins

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Super Week‏


Dear Family and Friends,
So this title was a knock-off pun because of our Super Sabado with the Ijuí youth. It was a super experience. More on that later in the letter.
First off. I got the package. THANK YOU! I love getting things in the mail. Especially when they have warm clothes, new shoes, and hot tamales :) Good thing about Hot Tamales - I don't even have to share. Brazilians are wimps for spicy-cinnamony-strong tasting foods. So everyone hated my hot tamales, and I ate them in peace :)
This week was super awesome.
First things first - in addition to our Baptismal date (29th August) for Marrone and Diessica, we also have Nilza and Kauê on the 8th and Andrea on the 29th as well.
Who are these people? Let me explain. Nilza and Kauê are neighbors to Ezilda, an awesome lady, and mother of Fernando. They were over at Ezildas house one day that we decided to pay her a visit, and Nilza felt the spirit and asked us to start to teach her. She is Illiterate. She lives with her 10-year-old son, Kauê. They both went to church yesterday and LOVED it, especially Kauê. He loved the Primary, and loved to sing all the songs. He’s super smart.
Yesterday our lesson with Nilza and Kauê was super spiritual. She expressed that she had been having sad feelings. She asked for a blessing, and cried during the blessing. It was the most well-delivered blessing I had ever given. The words just rolled out of my mouth. Normally, when I give a blessing, I pause a lot, listening for words to say. But this one, no.
Remember Andrea from last week’s email? The one with the crucifix that Thaís said wasn't worth visiting? Yeah we have continued to teach her, she has continued to progress, and she has now marked a baptismal date. She’s super awesome.
In addition to the now expanded baptismal scope for August, we have plans to make it even more expanded. Our district here in Ijuí combined together to do a group fast to help Helmutt and Rosane, and their family. As we ended the fast, my companion and I and the Elder's quorum President went to go pay him a visit. And another miracle happened. As we were in a quandary as to what to do to help them, what we should talk about was GIVEN to us. Rosane (his wife) started to talk about how her father had passed away, and how she was certain how he would’ve accepted the gospel had he still been here. She pulled out a box of old black-and white photos of several of her descendants. (antepassados=descendants, right?) She laid them all on the table. As we looked at the photos, we looked back at her, and talked about vicarious temple work. We then said "you know they're waiting on you, right?" She nodded. We challenged her to be baptized on the 8th. Instead of her usual "I'm not a widow yet" response, she said that she would pray about it. The spirit was really strong. I’m anxious to return to their house.
As for Helmutt, my companion and I thought it would be good to have members of the church INSIDE the home. Be a good influence, and have the spirit with them. This will, in turn, help him with his addiction, and give him courage to, as well, repent, and be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ.
So super sabado. This theme was called "having fun in service." Basically, the youth split up in 6 groups, one for each missionary, and went to the street, clapping doors and asking if there was something that they could clean or help with around the house. My group was the best. We called ourselves the "Marinheiros do Senhor" or, "The Lord's Sailors" I’m not sure why they wanted to be sailors, as the theme had nothing to do with sailing, but hey. Wasn’t my idea. But we did get the most pointage. We worked, and swept, and scrubbed, and picked up dog poo, and washed. It was a huge success. Afterwards, we had like a "family feud", just that who lost got pied in the face. I had the opportunity to go up head to head with Elder Sena. The question was "whose quote is "Every member a missionary"?" I buzzed first, but my companion blurted out anyway "Gordon B. Hinckley!" I pied him in the face. Then the Stake Young Men’s President asked me if I knew it. I said that it was David O McKay. He then said "I’m sorry, its Ezra Taft Benson." and ordered someone to pie me in the face. I was pied. But then I ordered one of the young men to search the real answer on his smartphone. Then I showed Irmão Ramos that it really was David O McKay. And so. I also pied Irmão Ramos in the face.
Sweet retribution. Haha. Pie pun.
So that was my week. Sorry that I didn’t go so much in detail, there was so much to tell. But I love you all. I love my calling. I love the food. I love the people. I love Ijuí.
Com amor,
Elder Wassom

Super Sabado Youth Activity:

Elder Wassom goofing off!

Elder Wassom's District: