Monday, December 23, 2013
Dear Family and Friends, So, we started the week with 5 investigators with baptismal dates marked as high hopes. Now, the hopes are still going great because we only slightly lost one because they are what we call mole which means soft in english. basically, they just dont want to commit. So, we have managed to keep all of our investigators going either by there own will or our pushing. I just get so happy when they keep their commitments and recieve answers to their questions. One of our investigators started the first lesson by saying that they would never be able to ever know which church was true. 2 weeks later, she has told us that this is the true church and she just has troubles with one of Gods commandments. It is miraculous to see the change in her faith, testimony, and just outlook on life. This truly is a life-changing message. In summary, we have 4 baptisms marked for this saturday and 3 of them seem really solid for the moment. During every prayer we pray to know how to help them and pray that the spirit will testify with a stronger assurance in their heart. This also is a work of hearts not minds. It is amazing how many opportunities we could have to make others questions their beliefs, but that is not our purpose. we want converted souls not convinced. We only get new members if they have a personal testimony not a satisfied mind. It also felt really good this week to find some new investigators. this work really is an ongoing cycle. We talk to 100 people, 8-10 hear a message, 2-3 go to church and 1 or less get baptized. and as discouraging as these numbers sound they are some of the best odds in the world. our mission has gone from a goal of 40 baptisms a month to almost 200 just in the last 5 years. We are also reallly concerned about conversion beyond baptism. I dont want any of my baptisms to ever leave the church. So, you will all be happy to know that I am eating plenty. But, it is also pretty unhealthy. If I am lucky, I get one serving of vegtables a day and fruits are all in juice form. One meal this week had rice, beans, pasta, and a casserole with potatoes and more pasta. I think I might need something other that carbs. But, i can still walk everyday and I feel great so everything must be ok. Im very grateful for my youth. I didnt even mention how much soda the people drink here. The houses here are definately more humble but they are so much smarter when they build them. Because of the heat, all of the houses are made of like bricks and rocks, things that do not heat up very much. The ground is tile and never gets hot either. Also, the windows are typically set up to get a great breeze and cool everything off quickly. So, on the days when the sun is beating down and it is like 100 degrees, the houses dont absorb heat and the people just stay inside. The only way i can compare it is to caving. the caves are always 50 degrees all year round regardless of the weather. Carpets are close to non-existant, especially really large ones for an entire room, and everyone uses covers over their couches to make them last longer. it has always suprized me that no matter how humble the house, they always have a tv. Its funny because you can never judge the outside of a house either. you may look at a house and get really nervous about lunch and it is wonderful inside. I havent really figured out why. My newest favorite food is called Farofa. it is basically, ground up wheat that is then cooked on a stove with some spices and a type of fruit i think. I dont reallly know how to describe it besides being really good and makes your mouth really dry. I hear that not a lot of americans like it. I find out next week at transfers if the package arrives. We are going to have a entire mission christmas party on transfer day and I really hope we stay here. Suprisingly, it is very rare to stay in one place longer that 4-5 months. so, to sum up the week I have a picture of me and pizza (american pizza) that we ordered when a lunch fell through. Very good but not worth the price. Everything american here is very expensive. Nutella, 15 reais for the very small size. Icecream, 20 reais for a quart. but, the food down here is great. so there is no problem. I was really happy to hear from the entire family this week. I cant wait to hear about Daniel and Work Crew, and more of Aubreys memories of us. I also cant wait to hear from Brealynn again. It feels like so long. Love, Elder Jacobson (Andrew)
Posted by JT&Crew at 2:39 PM
Dear Family and Friends, I am hopefully going to include more pictures today but I have been kinda a slacker about taking them. This week went really fast and we had lots of success bringing people to church. We broke Elder Mitchells record of 6 people and got 8 people and 7 investigators. This is one of the most important goals because there is a rule here that people need to go to church twice before baptism. but, idk if i said this before, getting people to church is harder than marking a baptismal date. I have no idea why. So, I will report my first heartbreak. We started teaching a 60 year old couple who seemed really interested. Unfortunately they had a smoking addiction and had been smoking about 20 cigarettes a day for about 30 years each. we set a goal for them to reduce that number by 2 every day until they were down to zero and them seemed really excited to stop. We visited the next day at about 3 and they had only smoked one time that day. The wife was on her bed with a headache but they both seemed determined despite the pain. We reminded them to read the scriptures and pray for support. but then the next few days went sour. they started ignoring calls and even ignored us at their gate. Finally, after they didnt go to church on sunday we made eye contact with the husband while at his house and he let us in to talk. We dont know for sure but i think they tried to drop to zero cigarettes in 2 days and had forgotten to read the scriptures. they had given up completely and did not want to try to change anymore. they even said that they would still join the church if not for the difficulty of changing. I was so sad, but I promised to invite them to church every week and help them quit smoking. Honestly, I was just heartbroken to see their willpower completely broken. But, happier news, we are teaching another younger couple and the really enjoyed church. I dont think that they had a single complaint and their kid really enjoyed primary too. Our ward is really good at welcoming visitors and helping the missionaries because we would have been so overwelmed without their help. We are also teaching a 16 year old guy that is really hard to teach because of how much he studies. we finally got him to church and he loved it too especially the priest quorum. I talked to another priest and he is going to help us teach him. Hopefully, we can just find the time to teach him. He is really willing and super smart. right now, he just needs to pray. a thing that everyone forgets. It was good to hear about your trip to Nana and Papas house. (in case your wondering, this keyboard doesnt have an apostraphe) The car trip sounds luxurious, Aubrey. I will do some of my own bragging now. We wake up at 6:30 everyday and dont sleep until after 10:30. Saturday in the rain we got tidalwaved by 3 seperate cars and walked arround drenched. We have had to cut 9 investigators this transfer and I will probably have my first baptism this friday. I ate acai which was awesome and chauhasco which is basically texas de Brazil every week. I have a big blister on my right foot but it is going away. Last week it was close to 110 degrees and all of my clothes stink because the laundry detergent is not very good. ( the last one was an exageration, I smell fine) that about sums it up. Its too bad the Brazilian people are not too fond of sarcasm. Its a good thing I cant say a whole lot yet. I have some time to train my tongue. I bet that is why some missionaries do not like the States when they return. So, you guys are in the car right now huh. I bet that is fun. How many hours is the drive? 15? I am so excited to christmas and to skype you guys. I think we get 2 hours to call. Super excited. I think I will give my financial report since I am in debt right now. Currently, I have 42 R$ in cash and 25 R$ on my card. We will get payed again next week on P-day. we spend an average of 40 R$ every 2 weeks using the bus to get the our lunch appointments which would sometimes be 3+ hours just walking. To get to a house this week, we had a 30 min bus ride. It was crazy. She is the only member there, but goes to church almost every week. Some of the members here have so much faith. I spend another 50 R$ on food which consists of eggs, hamburgers (.39$ each, really cheap), bread, butter, sugar, fruits, and sometimes milk. Im really eating healthy cant you tell. I did make a lime shake this last week but it costs almost 5 R$ each one. so, not supper worth it. I like making abacaxi (pineapple) juice even though it takes like 30 min to get it all strained. If the pattern continues I may be able to save 25 R$ every two weeks. If not, I will not resort to starving myself, just patience. Ill save even more money because elder mitchell is going to cut my hair. I wish him the best of luck. OH, can you forward bryans weekly letter to me. we are emailing each other but only little bits of stuff. oh, and brealynns blog stuff too. man, I am demanding.
Posted by JT&Crew at 1:41 PM
Monday, December 2, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
First, I just want to tell you not to judge our numbers if you see them. remember this is a work of souls not goals. haha that rhymed. we got poured on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday.
I am downloading a picture of our street right now. this was just an example of a good area. The roads with dirt were much worse. we tromped through puddles all day and soaked the floors of everyone's house but they don't really mind. We have a mission goal of 35 addresses each week but we only got 11 because no one likes to talk in the rain and we really tried to talk to some people.
My companion also reached the one year mark and we had a small party with an investigator and recent convert. we had an amazing pineapple chocolate cake (surprisingly great combination).
By the way the ugly tie you guys keep seeing me wear is called the posterity tie. It gets passed down from trainer to Greenie all along the mission. Mine only goes back like 4 generation but we have another one that has over 10. super cool but they are really ugly. not as bad as mine from home though.
And best of all, my first baptism. She is 85 year old and has trouble hearing but she loves the church and gave up coffee to be baptized. I am wearing the jump suit because we asked the brother in the picture to do the baptism but then last minute he didn't feel like doing it because he had only seen like 3 baptisms in his life. I was sad at first but I enjoyed the opportunity.
Hopefully, there will me many more to come.
Well, I love hearing from everyone. I hope thanksgiving was awesome there just like here. We are planning an awesome week and a strong finish to our first transfer.
Posted by JT&Crew at 7:32 AM
Dear Family and Friends,
I am hopefully going to include more pictures today but I have been kinda a slacker about taking them. This week went really fast and we had lots of success bringing people to church. We broke Elder Mitchel's record of 6 people and got 8 people and 7 investigators. This is one of the most important goals because there is a rule here that people need to go to church twice before baptism. but, idk if i said this before, getting people to church is harder than marking a baptismal date. I have no idea why.
So, I will report my first heartbreak. We started teaching a 60 year old couple who seemed really interested. Unfortunately they had a smoking addiction and had been smoking about 20 cigarettes a day for about 30 years each. we set a goal for them to reduce that number by 2 every day until they were down to zero and them seemed really excited to stop. We visited the next day at about 3 and they had only smoked one time that day. The wife was on her bed with a headache but they both seemed determined despite the pain. We reminded them to read the scriptures and pray for support. but then the next few days went sour. they started ignoring calls and even ignored us at their gate. Finally, after they didn't go to church on Sunday we made eye contact with the husband while at his house and he let us in to talk. We don't know for sure but i think they tried to drop to zero cigarettes in 2 days and had forgotten to read the scriptures. they had given up completely and did not want to try to change anymore. they even said that they would still join the church if not for the difficulty of changing. I was so sad, but I promised to invite them to church every week and help them quit smoking. Honestly, I was just heartbroken to see their willpower completely broken.
But, happier news, we are teaching another younger couple and the really enjoyed church. I don't think that they had a single complaint and their kid really enjoyed primary too. Our ward is really good at welcoming visitors and helping the missionaries because we would have been so overwhelmed without their help. We are also teaching a 16 year old guy that is really hard to teach because of how much he studies. we finally got him to church and he loved it too especially the priest quorum. I talked to another priest and he is going to help us teach him. Hopefully, we can just find the time to teach him. He is really willing and super smart. right now, he just needs to pray. a thing that everyone forgets.
It was good to hear about your trip to Nana and Papa's house. (in case your wondering, this keyboard doesn't have an apostrophe) The car trip sounds luxurious, Aubrey. I will do some of my own bragging now. We wake up at 6:30 everyday and don't sleep until after 10:30. Saturday in the rain we got tidal waved by 3 separate cars and walked around drenched. We have had to cut 9 investigators this transfer and I will probably have my first baptism this Friday. I ate acai which was awesome and chauhasco which is basically Texas de Brazil every week. I have a big blister on my right foot but it is going away. Last week it was close to 110 degrees and all of my clothes stink because the laundry detergent is not very good. ( the last one was an exaggeration, I smell fine) that about sums it up.
Its too bad the Brazilian people are not too fond of sarcasm. Its a good thing I cant say a whole lot yet. I have some time to train my tongue. I bet that is why some missionaries do not like the States when they return.
So, you guys are in the car right now huh. I bet that is fun. How many hours is the drive? 15?
I am so excited to Christmas and to Skype you guys. I think we get 2 hours to call. Super excited.
I think I will give my financial report since I am in debt right now.
Currently, I have 42 R$ in cash and 25 R$ on my card. We will get payed again next week on P-day.
we spend an average of 40 R$ every 2 weeks using the bus to get the our lunch appointments which would sometimes be 3+ hours just walking. To get to a house this week, we had a 30 min bus ride. It was crazy. She is the only member there, but goes to church almost every week. Some of the members here have so much faith. I spend another 50 R$ on food which consists of eggs, hamburgers (.39$ each, really cheap), bread, butter, sugar, fruits, and sometimes milk. I'm really eating healthy cant you tell. I did make a lime shake this last week but it costs almost 5 R$ each one. so, not supper worth it. I like making abacaxi (pineapple) juice even though it takes like 30 min to get it all strained. If the pattern continues I may be able to save 25 R$ every two weeks. If not, I will not resort to starving myself, just patience.
Ill save even more money because Elder Mitchell is going to cut my hair. I wish him the best of luck.
OH, can you forward Bryan's weekly letter to me. we are emailing each other but only little bits of stuff. oh, and Brealynn's blog stuff too. man, I am demanding.
Posted by JT&Crew at 6:44 AM
Monday, November 11, 2013
We are very grateful to have Elder Jacobson with us in the Brazil Vitória Mission. He arrived yesterday from the CTM in São Paulo. Although a little tired due to an early plane flight, he was anxious to begin his service in the mission field. After a session of training, we met in our home for lunch and an afternoon interview. Attached is a picture taken in the mission home. Once again, it was a pleasure getting to know your son and we look forward to serving with him as we invite others to come unto Christ and enjoy the blessings of the gospel. If in the future you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
President and Sister Araujo
Posted by JT&Crew at 6:25 AM
I have been sent to Rio de Janiero. I am staying in Campos and our mission is huge. We have to walk everywhere and it takes over 5 hours to get from one side to the other. It doesn't help that our housing is in another area. We start every day with a 20 min walk to our area. My companion is awesome. Elder Mitchell. Yes, he is american. But, he has been here almost a year and speaks fluently. I am learning pretty quickly but it is still really hard to understand what people are saying. I can understand almost everything that my companion says know and some of our investigators.
It is less hot here that in Vitoria but still hotter than Sao Paulo. But, the mission schedule is kinda different than in the handbook. Missionaries take about 2 hours for lunch during the hot part of the day 1-3, and we work straight through dinner until 9. We dodge most of the really hot sun but it can still get really brutal. In almost every part of this mission the members are really good about feeding us. It is hard sometimes to arrange the meals but we always end up with food. Almost anyone in there house will give us water too. Elder Mitchell likes to use this strategy to talk with people. If we can't come in then we can talk for like 20 min over a glass of water. We have gained about 10 investigators so far but have had to make some cuts too. It is really hard to have to tell people that we cannot help them anymore unless they either go to church or pray for themselves.
Another difficulty is the couples that only live together. It is not so much that they don't want to get married. It is actually a long process here to legally marry. It takes over 3 months and costs $500, which is really hard for a lot of people. It found out if we give up our bimonthly allowance we could pay for one marriage a month. But, that we require us to basically starve to death.
Our house is actually kinda big but not very clean. We get rats at night and I have just learned to ignore the ants that are everywhere. We live with 2 other Americans so I get plenty of English in the house, but my companion speaks almost all Portuguese. He is a good trainer. I have only heard good news about him.
It is also really hard to get people to go to Church and the Bishops here require 2 visits before a baptism. I don't know why but the Portuguese language doesn't really have a word that really means a commitment. the direct translation of (I will) really means (I will try kinda maybe wishy-washy) We challenged 8 people to go to church all of which said they would come and none showed up. it was kinda sad, but on the bright side, someone else came and talked to the bishop about marriage and baptism.
With our huge area, my companion said that they typically pick a section of the area and focus on that area for 3-4 weeks and then focus on another area close by. That way we do not have to spend 4-5 hours of our day walking. Instead it is only 2-3. I was told that excising is also not a requirement here because of the walking. I just do stretches and try to stay awake. I have never felt to tired day after day and I hear it only gets better (worse) hurray! I cannot wait to be right along side my companion teaching and feeling like a contribution. As of right now I mostly testify after he teaches and occasionally add a comment. My goal this week is to talk to people on the street and get addresses.
I finally get to send pictures so that is going to be awesome. I just have to figure out how.
Well, I apologize, I forgot my USB cord and can't send pictures until next week. I will make sure to take lots of pictures today and send you a flood next week. Soooooo Sorry.
Elder Jacobson (Andrew)
P.S. I have been missing some things from home and was wondering if you could send them maybe as like Christmas presents. I was wondering first if someone wants to reorganize my iPod into a mission approved iPod. Anything churchy is awesome. I can also listen to like just instrumental music as long as it is reverent. I was thinking like Lord of the Rings. I also would love that soundtrack that Dad listens to with all the songs about Christ. The forgotten carols. .... and I am going to talk to president to see exactly what he will approve.
Also, they don't have deodorant sticks here. Weird I know.
Finally, I have a pair of black pants in my closet that were getting too small but I need another pair of black pants to match my suit jacket.
PSS. Happy Birthday BREALYNN. I hope you enjoy the part they will be having for you in Jerusalem. I miss you too. I will need a picture of you also. haha.
Posted by JT&Crew at 5:59 AM
Monday, October 28, 2013
I love you Mom. And even though your email didn't show up in my inbox for some reason, I still found it. I love you too Dad. I am really enjoying the talk. When I get to the field, I will print it all out and keep it together. I especially liked this weeks because I had read almost every scripture in the section. I think I am going to skip over 2 Nephi in my Book of Mormon reading so I can get to Ammon and the Sons of Mosiah faster. Also, because I don't understand any of it in Portuguese.
So, if you remember last week when I said our investigators were tough. Now, they are close to impossible. After 4 lessons, the spirit was able to touch one of our investigators, but now our other investigator doesn't accept about half of the commandments. We spent over 4 hours yesterday pouring over the scriptures to find ways to explain his difficult questions. I read the story of Enos with an investigator this week. I could not imagine taking an entire day to pray. But, I was happy when the message that we needed to be diligent in our prayers got across.
I have been trying to speak only in Portuguese this week. I was solid until about Wednesday and I just needed to talk. It really is a hard thing to describe. Imagine only being allowed to use Pictionary with people. It's kinda like that. Or you just feel like a completely alone because everyone has given up talking to you. That's not really true though. There is another guy that sits behind me in class that has been trying with me. And of course my companion talks to me. I hope I get a bit better before I am stuck with a Brazilian companion. I really can't decide what I want more. So many people say that tons of the Brazilians are really lazy but I can't imagine that being entirely true. I think my dream right now is a really experienced American that can teach me the accent and everything and I won't feel like a ball and chain around their ankle.
I have gotten to play volleyball almost everyday here. At first my district really liked basketball and we only did that but now we play volleyball every time. I really enjoy it except that the floor is very bad for diving.
I don't really know what to write. I feel like I write the same stuff every week and I gets really boring. IDK
My district is going to a all you can eat place for lunch today. So, I didn't eat breakfast. Its basically a Brazil de Brazil. But only 10 dollars. OH, and there is a tradition among the Americans to see how fast your district can drink a 3.3 liter bottle of Guarana . The record is 1 min and 40 seconds. But you can only use three people and it has to be straight out of the bottle. Kinda gross but I bet it will be really fun. And I probably won't be one of the three because I am so small. HAHA. Actually our entire district is really short. Before my 6'5" companion showed up the next tallest was 5'9." Well he says he is 6'6" but he doesn't look taller that Dallin Skouson to me.
Well, I didn't really have much to report this week. I hope everyone is happy and safe. Enjoy your week as much as I am enjoying mine.
Elder Jacobson (Andrew)
Posted by JT&Crew at 6:00 AM
Friday, October 18, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
We had another great week of learning and growing. Just after writing my last letter I got the opportunity to let out my suit pants about an inch and a half. You all would be so proud of me.
We had more lessons this week and my companion and I are getting better at giving lessons without a script. I think next week they will make us go without anything but our scriptures. We actually did a lesson this week without notes. Our new investigator was supposed to have been taught the 3rd lesson but he told us before we started teaching that he had already learned about the restoration and even though the last time he was taught was in April, he said he remembered everything. So after a good pause, we decided we would have to teach the Plan of Salvation, without planning at all. It was kind-off rough because we did not have the right vocabulary pulsing through our brain but when we finished if felt kind off good.
We also had a really rough time with another one of our investigators. After an awesome lesson with an obvious presence of the Holy Ghost we asked her to be baptized. She responded by telling us that she had just found another church and really liked it a lot. The lesson ended with us just telling her to keep her book of Mormon and continue to read. So, that should have been it right? Time for a new investigator. Nope. We were surprised to find that we needed to teach her again and that we still had a chance with her. With only 30 minutes to prep. we prayed and decided to try to get her to pray with us and feel the spirit again. I don't really know how she felt because she said she had to go right after the prayer. She is one tough investigator.
But, I am still really enjoying my time and learning surprisingly fast. In the temple this morning, I listened only in Portuguese and really enjoyed it. Besides I almost raised my hand when only the girls where supposed to. I also really noticed that I could hear and comprehend much better if I closed my eyes. I just made sure I peeked every once in a while so I didn't miss something.
I was so glad to hear from everyone this week. I even got a letter. What a pleasant surprise! I am so proud of all the missionary work you guys are doing at home. That is truly the missionary spirit.
While praying last night, I felt that I needed to share my testimony with you guys about some of the awesome things I am learning while I teach investigators. I wanted to start with something I learned from conference. I think there is a reason the apostles and the prophet don't talk about deep doctrinal mysteries. The always teach the basics and the teach the basics because that is the only thing that can help you grow a testimony in the gospel. We learned our first week that we needed to be converted not convinced. I truly believe that the Book of Mormon has me thoroughly convinced. I know that there is no way it could have been falsified. Especially while reading through the prophecies of the last days and the forming of the American Nation. But, more importantly, I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God because the Holy Ghost has testified to my heart. We can read the Book of Mormon and go to church every week. And go to the temple and feel the spirit. But, the only way to know that the Book of Mormon is True and that this is the Lord's Gospel is through prayer. We have to know what the promptings of the Spirit feel like. We have to do our best to seek those feelings and follow them. I know that I am out of practice with praying with real intent and with a sincere heart. Every prayer is a literal conversation with God. Don't just spam his inbox. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I know I don't want to preach to you guys but these lessons finally hit me hard here. And I want you to feel too. I shared my experience with an investigator yesterday, that it took me several time of sincere prayer to get a response that I could recognize. Then I decided to accept the same challenge as my investigator and pray for my self. I was touched again. I wrote my experience in my journal and I hope I don't forget it this time. I hope that we all try to hold on to the soft messages of the Spirit.
I also got to go proselyting this week. Bryan is actually going right now. Me an my companion both gave away a book on the bus and then within 15 minutes outside a mall, we gave away our other one (when we where given an hour). I then started helping another Elder. I was so happy to go with him because we met the two awesome business men that were really interested. I could tell that the Lord had a place for everyone of those copies.
Thank you all again for your support. It was awesome to hear from you. Forgive me again for all typos. I always feel super rushed.
Elder Jacobson (Andrew)
Posted by JT&Crew at 1:21 PM
Friday, October 11, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
I had another amazing week. Portuguese is still coming along nice and steady. I'm just trying to learn new words and correct my pronunciation all the time. I just don't know where to start talking to you about.
I did get to see conference. It was awesome. I sat next to the president the entire time so I stayed wide awake. Me and my companion had the only seats that you had lots of leg room. I learned lots. Its kind of funny listening to talks in this new perspective. Some talks are aimed directly at Missionaries, but some have nothing to do with us. It was great to hear the prophet and apostles in English too. That was quite a blessing. It was also probably the most relaxing weekend we are going to have the entire time here. Basically if we weren't in conference, we had personal time/study. I enjoyed every minute.
On Monday, we had our first day with 2 investigators. The first lesson was amazing and we taught this guy about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The second one was weird. It was our first time with this investigator so we spent about 15 minutes just talking, but as soon as we started the lesson, she said that she had to go. Apparently, the guys before us took too long. Fortunately, we haven't had two lessons everyday this week. Every time we plan on two lessons, the investigator ( our teacher ) was either sick or in training classes. So, we did about one every day again.
As, a companionship goal we stopped writing our scripts for the lesson and just write points that we want to cover. Our last lesson was much slower, but if felt good afterwards to know that we had been like fighting with Portuguese and come out victorious. I am surprised with how much I am learning about just giving a lesson and making it more acceptable to the investigator. We learned a process the other day on how to give a commitment for example. Instead of just asking the investigator to read the book of Mormon or start following a new law, we begin by explaining the law, then testifying about it, promising blessings, and then extending the commitment. It really makes investigators understand why this law is necessary and totally worth it.
My companion and I are still doing great together. He is really a hard worker and is constantly pushing our limits. This Wednesday, I went all day without any English. It was such a challenge and so cool afterwards. Even though I didn't feel like I had tremendously learned a whole lot, I became allot more comfortable speaking in Portuguese. My goal is to go tomorrow and Sunday without English! It is so awesome to watch as our whole district learns so fast. We completed a district goal to only speak Portuguese while in our classroom. We almost made it the whole day but by the time it came to planning time we were so exhausted that we all just broke down together. I mean, we had been in there over 9 hours already.
Did you guys get the information about Missionary Ties? I think it is a great idea. IDK what their prices are but I got a free cookie out of it. Walking the streets was pretty fun last Friday too. I bought hangers and some body wash for the other Elder Jacobson. There was actually someone that spoke English in that store who helped us find things. It was really funny that some things were really cheap and other were the same as the US. Ties are like $4, and soccer jerseys are like $10. But, the hangers and body wash were the same price. It was funny to see how many street vender's were there just for the missionaries. There was even a sign with a drawing of two missionaries written in English pointing to a souvenir shop.
Well, I miss you all plenty. I hope everything is going well with Daniel, Aubrey, and Brealynn. I hope the ward is doing fine too.
As for me, I am having a blast even though I am constantly tired. I have a roommate that has trouble sleeping and keeps a light on and another one that just loves to sing his heart out every night. Oh, and someone's alarm always goes off 30 min. early every morning. The meals are still amazing, a little repetitive but always good. I have gained about 5 pounds now. But, my pants still fit.
It was great to hear from you guys. I hope to hear from you all again next week. If I can find postage, Ill send a letter.
Elder Jacobson (Andrew)
PS - I also forgot to say that my new hobby is to go the the laundry room and read my scriptures really loud in portuguese. I think it is really helping my pronunciation. Anyhoo, Love you again
Posted by JT&Crew at 1:53 PM
Friday, October 4, 2013
It honestly feels like it has been an entire month sense I was home. I have learned so much Portuguese I probably speak it better that my Spanish. You will have the excuse the typos again. I am on a time limit. I guess I can read your emails thoroughly when I get the the field. Another unfortunate thing is that I cannot upload pictures so you will get a lot of those when I get in the field too.
It is incredible how efficient this system has become to prepare missionaries. We taught a 30 min lesson the second day in the CTM and then we have had a lesson every night sense. I was even able to answer our investigators questions during our last two lessons. Just remember, this is all in Portuguese. Our investigators are actually other instructors though and they are sympathetic but most don't speak English. During our last lesson, the investigator was to tired that she was dozing off while I recited the 1st vision. I couldn't believe it. We had an amazing experience the day before though when we committed her to baptism. My first companionship was a threesome, and after expressing some doubts about baptism, our most quiet member started baring his testimony ( it was the first time he said something off script and it was sooo powerful). I took his momentum and told her that we would clear up all her doubts and that the feelings of joy she had while we taught would be with her always after baptism. Then, our senior companion bore his testimony and offered the challenge again. Of course, the accepted. All of this was completely unscripted. The spirit was so strong and I could feel help through the gift of tongues.
Then, Tuesday night rolled around and we learned that our pday was being moved to Friday. What a bummer? To better the surprise, I found out the next morning that new guys from Provo had flown in and that I was getting a new companion. At first I was really scared because I relied so much on my senior companion for discussions. But, we went to the temple today and I totally feel that this is exactly what I need. Elder Mortensen doesn't really have a Spanish background and has to take more time memorizing words but I am so grateful that he is a hard worker and a wonderful companion. And we were blessed with conference, so we don't have to teach until Monday. But we start two lessons a day. My newest goal in lesson giving is to be able to have parts of the lesson completely memorized to I don't have to use notes. This past week we have spent about 2.5 hours preparing for each lesson.
And on Monday we are going to have two new investigators, since our old investigator just became our teacher in the classroom. The missionaries back home were right when they said not to waste study time. We are given about 4 hours of personal study opportunity time each day and it is very easy to get distracted. It is so hard to remind yourself to stop speaking English when you just want to say stuff so badly. It was quite a coincidence that when I set a goal to go a whole day with close to no English I got my new companion. I lasted about 6 hours and just had to speed up our communications. I will have to try that goal again soon.
Brazil is wonderful. The weather is absolutely perfect right now. It rains about every night just a little bit and and temperature is always about 60. I know it will probably get hotter that Texas but for right now, there is no other place i'd rather be. The city seems a little cramped and the driving is a nightmare but everybody is so nice. Oh, and the food is amazing. Almost as good as home cooking. i would have put a winking face right there but the keyboard is not working. sad face. haha. I don't think I am going to out grow any of my pants though, because all of the deserts are fruity. The only relief is Wednesday when we get chocolate, banana pizza. it is muito bom (very good).
I think the hardest this with the language right now is pronunciation. It is quite different from Spanish. The R's are H's and D's and T's sound like G's but only in certain situations and the L's are not really used for sound but just to change the position of your mouth for the next sound.
So, we were told we only needed to study chapter 3 of preach my gospel but the entire book is so amazing and helpful. Tell Daniel that he need to start reading it now. Aubrey can too. I forgot to mention that we added two Brazilians in our room. They are awesome to talk to and they teach us so much. Here's a surprise, they use napkins here instead of rolls of toilet paper. it threw me off guard at first. There has been kind of a cold going around and I have it right now. Just a super runny nose but it is not really slowing me down. It was annoying during my temple session though.
I hope everyone is doing good back home. I am glad to hear the report about Daniel. Tell Brealynn and Aubrey that I love them. I just want to thank everyone for their emails. It is really awesome to feel your support. I love you.
Elder Jacobson (Andrew)
the word for twin is Gemeo with an accent on the first e. I really have used this one. well, im out of time. Love you all again.
Posted by JT&Crew at 10:23 AM
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Hello family and friends. Today is my first day in the MTC and I am so tired. The flight was nine and a half hours and very uncomfortable but the MTC is amazing. We have had one language class and a Preparing to Teach class. The language is similar to Spanish but the pronunciation is very difficult. Apparently my version of the Missionary Purpose was not very accurate so I have to re-memorize it. I really enjoyed the class though and our main teacher doesn't speak English at all. I learned more in one hour than I learned in two weeks of Spanish in high school. I love the way the spirit is present even in a language class. In our other class, they brought in an actual investigator with a set of missionaries. We were able to listen to the first half of the lesson and then after learning the investigator's situation were asked to complete the lesson as a class. I have never felt so inadequately prepared. Fortunately the spirit was very strong and some of my fellow Elders were able to provide great insight to the lesson.
Well, they only gave us 10 minutes and that is almost up. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon. Hopefully next weeks letter will be a bit longer. I could talk for hours just about today.
Elder Andrew Jacobson
P.S. There is no spell check so I definately misspelled some things. Love you
Posted by JT&Crew at 4:33 PM
Monday, September 23, 2013
I used to have a week left. Now, my mission has started and I have been turning my mound of supplies into several organized stacks. But I wanted to recap the last couple days of preparation. I had a wonderful time at the temple on Tuesday with my Mom, Dad, and Bryan. We did sealings for several of our ancestors. I love the sacred spiritual feeling that comes from any temple visit. Further in the week, Grandma and Grandpa came to visit before Bryan and I left. We toured San Antonio's river walk and visited a mirror maze. I had such a blast with my brothers playing tag in the maze and racing through the mission impossible laser challenge. High score of 5 seconds when we threw a shoe and .8 seconds when we used two people.Texas de Brazil gave us a high quality taste of Brazilian food. Although, I will probably not get anything that good on my mission. I will always keep my card on the green side to continue getting more cuts. Yummy, filet with bacon. We gave talks again on Sunday. Bryan-What A Boss. He gave a talk without a script to test his faith in the spirit. What an awesome first companion!
I am still at home but this is my first preparation day and I was instructed to write a letter to my family. I love you all and will be missing you soon. I know my letters will get longer and longer as I get more homesick. I hope Daniel enjoys the empty room and Aubrey enjoys less bugging. And Mom and Dad will save on electricity and food. I can't wait to tell you stories of the MTC.
Elder Jacobson (Andrew)
Posted by JT&Crew at 4:14 PM
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Well, I have all of my things packed. Life is kinda boring right now. Bryan and I have been playing games together and watching lord of the rings. I'm super excited. I still don't have word of my visa. I should hear within the week. I think San Antonio is preparing me for the weather in Brazil. Well.....I'll post again soon. Bye
Posted by JT&Crew at 12:03 PM