Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Last Email until Christmas‏

Hey yall, to make a long story short, i only have 5 minutes now to write you all this morning. I will writ in the afternoon too. SO I can just tell you that I have news. Sort of crazy news. I’m being transferred to Alegrete, Rio Grande do Sul. I will serve in Ala Nova with Elder Anfuso as my companion. I have served up to this point, exactly 2/3 of my mission in the field in the same house as this crazy Argentinian, and now he will be my comp. I’m really super excited. Chances are, I will be taking off at 6pm today.
Like I said, recently my letters make the mission seem small, but it really isn’t. The mission is changing so much, though. Imagine, the last transfer, 18 missionaries returned home, and 25 came. This transfer, 18 left, and 18 are coming. That means that practically everyone possible is either being trained, training, or in leadership positions.
For example, Sister Porter just got here 5 weeks ago, and she’s already going to Uruguaiana.

So guys,
This is my last email until Christmas. Christmas will be our pday next week, so I won’t be writing yall next Monday. This does have me slightly concerned as I have no Idea what Elder Anfuso’s plans are about skyping from Alegrete. BUT. Let´s stick to the plan, 6pm my time, 2pm yours, unless I send a tiny message from Skype warning otherwise. (Which is likely) So stay alert.
new address-
Elder Mitchell Bart Wassom
Caixa Postal 310
Centro - Alegrete - RS
First thing, I said that there have been some massive changes. Let me state some. I think you’d be interested to know that Elder Capistrano and Elder Sena split up. Elder Sena left the Urlandia area (Lucky him) and is completing the training of another Elder. Elder Capistrano is also completing the training of an Elder. That means I'm a GRANDPA! Coolio!
Sister Porter is headed to Uruguaiana as a Sister Training Leader (not sure if that’s right in English). Sister da Silva is going to São Gabriel to complete the training of a sister (yes, with just 4 months of experience). They will be replaced by Sister Hennefer and her new "daughter". Elder Alvarenga will go to Livramento to finish a training, and will be replaced by Elder Santos to finish the training of ELder Jose Silva. Sister Vera will go to Santo Angelo to be Senior Companion to Sister Cornick. Both of them only have 3 months of training, and neither speak Portuguese very well, especially Sister Cornick. Sister Magallanes will be transferred to her house in Argentina after 1-1/2 years of dedicated service. Santiago B will close. I will, as stated, go to Alegrete to be Zone Leader with Elder Anfuso. Elder Donoso will take my place here as District Leader in Vila Rica A, training Elder Alves.
Like I said. Massive changes.
One of the first things I’d like to state in my letter is my gratitude to my awesome parents. I say this because Sister Porter got her package, and opened it in front of us… All healthy food. vitamins, Dried fruit, and trail mix. All good stuff, but it doesn’t take the place of chocolate. I wouldn’t spend 80 bucks sending walnuts to my missionary kids. For this alone, and several other reasons, my parents still reign supreme. Way to go on the super great package, once again.
I know this last week, I didn’t go really deep into the "work" part of the letter. Well, that’s sort of because it was a good week, but no one went with us to church. We went and searched every house, but everyone was sleeping or "on a morning stroll", apparently. This week was no different, as our list of "investigators who went to church" was empty yet again. This was frustrating, as an investigator seems to stop progressing spiritually if they can’t seem to make it to church. It was a little more frustrating this week, because it was a FANTASTIC Stake Conference. Presidente Maicá (StakePres.), Presidente Parrella, and Sister Parrella all hit it out of the park, and I felt the whole time "wouldn’t it be good if _____ was here?"
I felt a little sad, as I reflected on my time here in Santiago. Yes, we baptized Alexandra and Juliandra, but we hardly didn’t even teach them. They were prepared almost 100% by Elder Capistrano and Elder Moore. I started to feel like I hadn’t made much of a difference. But then I started going through the Area Book, updating it the best I could. And I looked at all the people I taught. All the lessons I taught. All the seeds I had planted. Who knows if those seeds will germinate and grow? It gave me a little hope, as I still have planted in my heart D+C 123:17 - If I do all I can with a good attitude, then I will see miracles.
Of all the miracles I’ve seen in the mission, the lives I’ve been a part in changing - perhaps the greatest life I’ve seen change is my own. I marvel to think of the difference of who I was before and of who I am now. I have been changed very very much. And it’s fantastic. I’ve got a ways to go; and a lot of work to do - but I also see the amount of work that’s been done, and it gives me faith, hope, and joy - because the promises of the Lord are being fulfilled.
I love the Lord. I love these gaúchos. I love this place. I love this gospel.
I love all of yall, and wish you the best.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Com amor,
Elder Wassom

Monday, December 7, 2015

Some Funny Stories

Hey guys,
This week was pretty normal. It had some ups and downs. AND I had some administrative business to take care of. So. I thought I'd share some funny things about my week.
1. In Brazil, funny thing is people like to wear shirts written in English, even if they have no idea what it says. A good number of those shirts have some typos, making me think that they were made to be shipped to the United States, and rejected. It makes me re-think buying a shirt in French, or something. Anyways, the other day, I saw a member of the church, and she asked me what her shirt meant. It says: "LET`S GET WASTED" I had a good laugh, and the member felt pretty ripped off. It was her fault. She should’ve done her research, lol
2. I got paid back quite a bit, though. I never had any horrible Portuguese mix-up story, but on Sunday, I had one similar. I was translating the sacrament meeting talk into sign language for Fernanda, a deaf recent-convert, (I’m not awesome at Sign Language, but I get by) and the lady said in her testimony "I love this month" but I translated it: "I love bananas." after explaining to Fernanda that the lady wasn’t actually bearing her testimony about bananas, she started laughing so hard. It was hard for Fernanda to focus the rest of the meeting. And it was my fault.
3. The state of São Paulo just passed a law, (supported by the media, and soon to be followed by other states) that when a woman openly breastfeeds in the middle of a public place, whoever makes that woman feel out of place is fined 500 reais. Their reasoning? "Breastfeeding is a tender moment between mother and child and shouldn’t be restrained to privacy". I think "okay, but she can at least carry a blanket or something." The result? Millions of photos hitting the internet, news, and other public places of supermodels breastfeeding random children.
Brazil is an awesome place. A funny Place, too. I love you all, and sorry for the short letter.
Com Amor,
Elder Wassom

Merry Christmas, Elder Wassom! (Christmas Package arrived!)

A good homemade meal including a Tuscan sausage rice, a marinated ham-and-cheese wrapped chicken breast, topped with roasted tomatoes, and a broccoli salad.

Sister da Silva drawing me and Elder,

a cool member that helps us,

and the families of João, Baixinha (Sueli), and Fernanda and Dani