Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017 - Amaralina

[Sam did not send a regular letter today due to limited computer time because of Carnival. Carnival of Brazil is an annual Brazilian festival held between the Friday afternoon and Ash Wednesday at noon, which marks the beginning of Lent, the forty-day period before Easter. It's like a week-long Mardi Gras. Carnival in Salvador is supposedly the wildest and longest in all of Brazil. He responded briefly to several questions for this email. Also, no pictures. Sam says he hasn't carried his camera this week due to Carnival.]

1. How has this week been? did you have a regular schedule or was it changed because of Carnival? 
The schedule was normal, just less people to teach and areas we weren't able to go into. I got yelled at by drunk people, and everyones been naked and drunk for like a week. Everything is so loud here and tonight the main area kinda near us hahaha.

2. Are you drinking water and carrying it with you?
Yes i drink lots of water, heat is killer but i've been drinking lots more, I'm not sunburned at all, sunscreen is pointless I sweat it off in 5 minutes no exaggeration

3. How is the food? What is the best thing you have eaten so far? What kinds of things do the members feed you?
The food here is awesome but some has weird textures and stuff haha. Fav thing is honestly the italian food, lasgna with chicken not beef and stroganof with chicken

4. How are your feet and legs with all the walking? Still feeling the burn?
My feet hurt sometimes but thats it! the hills here are nuts haha

5. Are mosquitoes a problem? Are you using your mosquito repellent I sent with you?
There are tons of bugs and spiders everywhere (even the shower and kitchen) but mosquitos are not a problem! I think I've only got one mosquito bite. 

6. How is your Portuguese coming? Does Elder Cruz speak Spanish and Portuguese? Did he learn Portuguese on his mission? Is he a lifelong member or a convert?
Elder Cruz only speaks Portuguese and Spanish and he is a convert at 11 years old. My Portuguese is coming slowly. I need to study and focus more as well as show my faith by speaking with confidence and not being scared. 

7. Who are the other elders in your apartment? Where are they from? Do you see your mission president often because you are so close to the mission home?
Yes the mission pres (President Bangerter) is in our ward and we see him more often than most! Elder Gifford is from Texas and Elder Silva from Sao Paulo. They all came in at the same time as the boys (Sam's friends from high school) went on missions (about 18 months ago). 

8. Have you taught many lessons yet? If you will tell us the names of your investigators we will pray for them as well as for you and Elder Cruz.
We teach 4-5 a day even on a bad day and we are gonna start teaching more when carnival is done.

9. Are you able to understand some of the language when you teach? Have you been able to feel the Spirit even when you can’t understand the words?
I understand gospel words and converstation really well but normal talking not so much! I still feel the spirit yes! especially when I or Elder Cruz bears testimony or prayers or personal study.

I love you all, go read Alma 26 and think on the glory and power of God!!

Elder Prince

Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20, 2017 letter - Amaralina

It was kinda crazy week. Tuesday when we got to Sao Paolo we had to find our luggage and our way out to find church representatives to get us to Salvador. Customs here are way more chill than in America everything was so easy haha. We had another two hour flight to Salvador and I have literally never been hotter in my life. I have not stopped sweating in a week. Not even in our cold shower because we don't have hot water!

We stayed the night at the mission home before we got assigned our companions and areas. My companion is Elder Cruz from Honduras and he doesn't speak English so its been an interesting week for me! I just kinda follow him around and try to bear my testimony hahaha. Our area is right next to the beach its called Amaralina if you want to look it up. We live in a house with two other elders from our district and my comp is zone leader as well. I love him so much. He is pretty soft spoken but super nice and patient with me. 

Wednesday was full of lessons and meeting members of our ward. The ward in Amaralina is super strong and the members love the missionaries. No one really speaks English but they understand that i have no clue what is going on hahaah. I am really starting to love it here. Its a little ghetto. I would compare it to James Bond [Casino Royale with Daniel Craig] when he is chasing the guy with the bomb thru the market before he shoots up the embassy. There are wild dogs and cats everywhere and tons of people have horses. There is a group of little monkeys that live in the big tree down the street from our house so that was super cool to see. Our apartment is the whiteone to the left in the picture with elder cruz on the hill. Salvador has more stairs and hills than I could ever imagine haha i get such a good burn going everyday. 

I am the first American in the ward in a couple years so everyone is pretty excited to talk to me lol.
We have been able to have a good amount of lessons everyday and meet with investigators and less actives a lot! This work is difficult but there is no feeling better than being able to teach people and see them feel the spirit testify of the truth of the gospel! I love being able to see people be comforted and uplifted by the spirit. 

Elder Cruz, Eduardo, and Elder Prince
We had a baptism this week!! This investigator was already with a date but I was able to help in a couple lessons and baptize him!! It was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. The spirit was so strong and Eduardo is gonna be a great member. He loves the gospel and is so excited to be more active. 

We have been working way hard! I get home and can't wait to go to sleep. I am still getting accustomed to everything here, the heat, the new culture, not seeing many white people besides the mission pres. and not being able to understand anything. Its really frustrating to not be able to help because I don't know what is happening. 

The food here is way good. The ward is so strong and nice they try to hang with us everyday and make us lunch. Lunch is huge and breakfast and dinner are just like snacks its kinda weird. I try to snack lots. I drink water everyone we go into a house. Its the first thing people ask is if we want water.

Also I don't have very much time to reply because I still have to write mission pres. please tell everyone sorry if I can't reply. I love you all so much and I pray for you everyday. Also mom if you are worried about my safety please don't. I have never felt safer in my life. The missionary badge really is like a giant force field. Its such an interesting feeling. This place is super ghetto though haha.

I love you mom. I hope you are having a good week and stay safe! 

love elder prince

3 nephi 27:20

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Map of Amaralina, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (February 16 - May 1, 2017)

Sam is in Brazil!

Sam flew to Brazil Monday morning (Feb 13). His flight went from Salt Lake City to Atlanta, Atlanta to Sao Paolo, and Sao Paolo to Salvador. We were able to talk to him while he waited for his flights. Sam sounds great and was excited and a little nervous to finally get to Brazil and his mission field.

In the Salt Lake Airport, Sam saw Barry Smith from our home ward, and ran into a few friends, Jake Dobecki, Brett Binford, and Kyle Van Noy!
Jake Dobecki and Sam in the airport

His flight to Sao Paolo landed Tuesday morning at 4am (our time).

We finally heard this morning (Thursday) that he had arrived in Salvador in one piece! Short and sweet, but all we needed to hear.

Elder Prince arrived safely and excited to be here in the Brazil Salvador South Mission. His companion is Elder Cruz and they are both very excited to be serving the Lord!
Thank you,
Elder High
Secretário Assistente
Missão Brasil Salvador Sul"

Sam with President and Sister Bangerter
Elder Cruz and Elder Prince

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 5, 2017 letter -- Provo MTC

[Note from Karianne: Sam will fly to Brazil on Monday, Feb 13. He goes from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Sao Paolo, and then onto Salvador.]

Hi mom!

I had chocolate ice cream last night and I just kinda imagined sitting at the counter at home. I'm glad you were able to make it through the whole superbowl. Did they have any good commercials? Tell robin hi! i meant to write her a thank you letter for the package she sent me but i have not gotten around to it yet lol. 

I love the plan of salvation. My testimony of our purpose has grown so much and its something that helps me get through everyday here. 

Tuesday night we had a nice devotional and the choir sung "where can I turn for peace" and I received another testament from the spirit that God knows and loves us all individually. I love this gospel and the chapter 31 of 3 Nephi where Jesus lets the people come and feel the nail marks one by one. 

Wednesday was a prettty good day but we were supposed to have a little teaching skype lesson with a member in Brazil but it did not work out. Technology problems man. I can feel the gift of tongues helping me every single day to learn all this Portuguese!! we also talked abut the importance of prayer and a quote from Jesus the Christ pg 238.

Thursday 3/4 members of our district recieved flight plans for Brazil!! The mission got a little more real and scary in that moment but I'm excited to be able to get out of the MTC and go serve people! Also to get out of the cold and snow in Provo hahaha. I have been reading lots in Alma about all the amazing missionaries and its so inspiring!

Friday and Saturday were both just kinda blurs. Nothing super exciting went on but they were both good days.

Yesterday we had mission conference and Fast Sunday. The focus of the day were Christ's teachings to the apostle Peter. It was incredible to see the change in Peter and Christ's amazing teachings and patience with him. Also faith like peter's is incredible. 

One thing that helped me was a quote from a devotional at the Institute from Jeffrey R. Holland that Holly shared with me. 

"It is not coincidental that the word used for Christ's experience in Gethsemane is that He is in 'agony'. If we say we are disciples of Christ... we will occasionally be in agony. And I bless you that when those moments come, contemporary issues, historical complexities, personal problems at home, challenges in a mission or marriage, wherever it is I pray and ask and bless you to the end that you will be strong."

God is there to help us. Take advantage of that. If Christ wanted us to suffer for our sins He would not have suffered and sacrificed himself. 

love you guys so much,
Elder Prince