June 24, 2013

Email 6-17-13

From Shannon -  So sorry I didn't get this out sooner -- I am really very sorry!  There's a wonderful phrase in the letter -- "she will open the door to the rest of her life".... Love it - brings up so many wonderful happy images and feelings!!!    Enjoy!


Oh Hey!
This week was pretty good.... just kidding.. it was awesome! Just like every week here on the mission. :)

E_____was confirmed in sacrament meeting yesterday. She got super sick, but wouldn't miss church for anything. It´s awesome to be there and see when our investigators are growing in the gospel. It´s no thanks to us, we´re just a mouthpiece. The faith that the new members of the church show is awesome. I love it. 

The other two elders that live with us had a baptism last night. They don't have a chapel in their area, just a house where they have church, so they had the baptism in our chapel. They needed help with some things so we got to be there for it. The girl is 13, and her whole family are members already. They were all baptized a super long time ago and went inactive shortly after. Elders v______ and J____ have been helping them come back to church. They all became active again and the girl showed an interest in learning more. They taught her and she was baptized yesterday. The best part was, I went up to say congratulations to her and her family. Her dad had his head down when I got there and didn't look up. I got his attention to shake his hand and he looked up at me and he was balling! A grown man shedding massive tears of joy. It was such an awesome experience.

Last week we got invited to a family home evening at the house of a sister in the ward. We got there and they wanted us to give the ``lesson.`` that wasn´t a problem, it actually turned out being awesome. We´re still pretty new in the ward and don't know everyone yet, and there were some young women that we didn't know. We just assumed that they were all members. We got to asking questions about the gospel and such and turns out, one of them was taught everything, wanted to be baptized, but has some health problems, and a fear of water and never actually got baptized. We´ve passed by her house a few times, setting goals and helping re-light the fire she used to have. We set a date for next Sunday. If everything goes as planned she will open the door to the rest of her life next week! 

A few days ago there was the soccer game, Brazil vs Japan. We had a few appointments set up to go visit some people, but we forgot about the game. We decided to go try anyways and visit the people. We got to one house and they were not home. We went to another house and they said they told us to come back later because they were watching the game! Usually, all day every day there are people in the streets, music playing, and kids running around in the streets. It was the first day that I didn't see anyone in the street! No one! We ended up walking and visiting one of the recent converts in the Favella. We hung out with him and talked, while listening to the fireworks in the road! It wasn't very productive at first but we had some awesome discussion with A___, and he game us some references that we´ll go pass by on Wednesday

There are endless stories that I could write! So many miracles happen on the mission. So many good things! I can´t even explain how great it is. The only way, is to experience it for yourself. 

I did buy a camera, it was like 150 dollars. It´s super good. 

Have a good week! I know I will ;)

-Elder Kyler Blane Farr

June 19, 2013

More from 6-3-13

More from Elder Kyler    3 June 2013
He is serving in Jerusalem and Cidade Oeste right now –  Jerusalém pronounced just like Jerusalem but the emphasis is on the last e, and Cidade Oeste. seed-ah-gee   oh-es-ch 
Favela just means like a ghetto. Right in the middle of Cidade Oeste is where it is.
He likes to spend all of his time there in the favela. It’s exactly how he imagined it to be there!
He wrote, “ I miss some of the people there in my other area, but here is so awesome! One kid yesterday thought I was Brazilian. He said I spoke perfect! :) Then he found out I only have 3 months here and he flipped! It was such a good feeling! That always happens, then the next day (today) someone will probably say I speak terrible! Ha ha it was super cool”
He told us he still hasn’t received the package his good friend/former young men’s leader/new YSA Bishop sent quite a while ago.  He hopes he gets it still and someone else isn’t enjoying it!!  They were recently told how to tell us to mark the packages from now on.   Depending on what's in the package, they may have to pay to pick it up and sometimes the officials charge a lot.   (Us parental units appreciate the Hatch's sending Kyler a package - it is very expensive to mail there and it's risky that it will actually get to him.  Thank you from us and Elder Kyler)
On June 5, 2013  Elder Kyler hit his 6 month mark.  He wrote, “I feel like I’ve been here forever, and for no time at all, at the same time!!! It’s weird.”

He's so happy and loves Brazil, the people and serving the Lord so much. 

Email 6-10-13

Elder Kyler     6-10-13

This week was awesome! We´ve been teaching a lady named E_____, and she was baptized on Sunday! It was an awesome experience. It was the first baptism I´ve actually had the opportunity of being at here in Brazil. I was just thinking of how all of the Elders felt, showing up into an area and having like 8 baptisms waiting for them. Well now I know! We still taught E_____ everything just to refresh her mind, but it was way cool. Her husband was inactive for years, and they were living together for a while too. He cleaned his life up, they got married, and he got to baptize her! It was way cool.

Our area is picking up nicely. We had basically nothing to work with when we got here. The other elders left only 2 names in the area book, without the addresses of the people, but the work in this ward is picking up nicely now! It´s cool to see the work progress like it is. 

The assistants called us this week and told us we need to look for a new house. The elders that we live with have 2 wards, and we have 2 also. But next transfer they will be putting one companionship in all four wards. That has been one of our priorities this week. They want us to have a house, and everything straightened out by the end of next week. So maybe this time next week we´ll be living in a new house!

One of our wards has just called a bunch of new ward missionaries, and they are all pretty young. They are starting a little thing, where every Sunday they will go visit all of the in-active members of the church. They all were wondering what they could do when they got to the house. And our ward mission leader told them that we could have a class on it! So, Sunday night we set up a class, Me and Elder B____ taught it, of how they can teach. We gave everyone the pamphlets and taught them how to use them, and we had everyone practice teaching the first lesson with each other. It was awesome, kind of like a mission prep class. Most of them are like ages 14-18 and preparing for missions anyways, so it was perfect. 

Saturday night the bishop stopped us in the street and asked us to talk in church the next day. Of course we said we would, so when we got home that night we prepared a little bit and talked Sunday. Both of us talked about missionary work, and the people in the ward liked them so much, they gave us a couple of references after sacrament meeting. (which is pretty rare here)

Today we went to a college here in Fortaleza for my companion to take a Portuguese test. They wanted to see how the missionaries speak. They were all impressed, that we all have different amounts of time here and that we are all speaking so well, with basically just learning on the street! I wasn't scheduled to take the test, because I don't have a ton of time here on the mission, but when we got there, they said I could take it too. We don't know how we did, but it was still pretty cool!

The other night we were walking home from ending another exchange that we did, we walked passed this little restaurant and we heard all of this yelling! Some girls stopped us and told us to go in and they would buy us food! We quickly found out that they´re members of our ward. Funny because I´ve never seen them before. But we set up a family home evening with one of their friends that is not a member. She´s gone to church a few times, likes it, she just needs to be taught!! We´ll be going over there tonight and we´ll see how it goes!
 We might be having another baptism of an 18 year old boy. He´s kind of sketchy, but we´ll see if he really wants this. He´s super cool, just not very educated and forgets a lot. 

Sounds like everything back home is awesome!! Everything is great here too!  Have a great week!!
:) -Elder Kyler Blane Farr

June 4, 2013

Email 6-3-13

(From Shannon  -  Here's his letter - I have a little more info to send out, but have to get to work so I'll send it asap!  He is so happy - can't you just feel his energy and excitement?!!  It's wonderful!!) 

This week was ridiculous! So, we got to this area knowing nothing. We knew where we had lunch the next day, and the names of the Bishopric, and we had a map of our two areas. We spent the first two days pretty much walking around, trying to find the members at home. It has been crazy. The missionaries that were here before us left the names of only two people in the area book. One lady who just got married to her husband who is a member, and the other of someone we haven't been able to contact. The lady who was just married, her name is E_____. Her baptism is marked for next Sunday. We really don't even know if she has been taught everything or not. We only talked for her for about ten minutes at church! This week we should be able to meet up with her a few times and see what the real situation it. Everything should work out. 

There is one other boy that was at church, everyone said he had been there at church like nine times and already knew everything, just needed to get put in the water! :) Nope.. We went to his house and asked him if he remembered that one young man named Joseph Smith. He said no, so we are just going to teach him everything again and refresh his memory and make sure he is really ready! The problem is, he works all morning and has school all afternoon/night. He said we could come over and teach him while he eats lunch at home! He is super cool, just super busy. The fact that he will let us come over and teach him in his only free hour in the day is great. He is already showing the faith he has! 

So, we have a list that the bishop gave us of the recent converts. So, during the week we have been going around getting to know all of them. I´ll explain our area before I tell this story. . . . . 

Our area is more city-like than Jatobá was, with asphalt streets, real houses etc.. But, one part is straight up favelas just like in the movies! Some of the streets are so small I can barely fit! There´s people sitting outside all over the place! I love it. Everyone says it´s super duper dangerous, but I love going in there and just talking to everyone. They all stare us down and act super tough! I love it! :) --it´s like in fast and the furious when they´re in Rio, like that.. but worse! It´s awesome. (we´re not allowed to go there at night!)

So, we were looking for a house there in the favela and got so lost. None of the streets are organized at all! We just started looking for someone that looked the least scary. We found this lady sitting on a log outside her house. We asked her if she knew where the street was, of course she said no! But she started talking about how she used to go to our church but doesn´t anymore. She didn´t really have a real reason why she doesn´t go anymore, but as we were talking her ``husband`` came out. He started asking questions about what we do and why we´re dressed up and what not. We just asked if they had time to talk right then and they did! We taught them the first lesson there on the street sitting on a log. They all liked the message, It´s the dad, mom, and four kids, three over the age of eight. The only thing is.......guess what!?!? They´re not married.. Of course. But that´s just one more thing that we can help them with!

There´s a little shop down the street from our house that sells all kinds of snacks and drinks. They have Açai!! I can´t even explain it! All four of us are addicted to it though! 

This area actually has a real chapel. It´s HUGE, two stories. We got some members together and just got done playing Ping Pong. It was awesome. We went to this store to get money from the ATM, I just thought it was going to be like a little market like I´ve seen before. NOPE! It´s like the size of sam´s club! And they have a tire section and it smells like rubber. It smells the exact same way as Sam´s Club! So, we got done buying all of our stuff and were walking out and saw........GUESS WHAT!? SUBWAY!!! So, we got to eat a real Subway sandwich today too! Probably the most trunky I have been on my mission is today. You really don't know what you´ve got till it´s gone! It was just super expensive. Like the equivalent of six American dollars. Which with our budget, is a ton!! It was so worth it though!!

Our area´s are called Jerusalém and Cidade Oeste. You should be able to look on any map of Fortaleza and find both of them. And, we went to the doctor this week too, to get the results of all of the exams that I´ve done and everything is perfect. He just told me to keep an eye on my blood pressure at home and if it gets low again I´ll just go in and we´ll adjust my meds. He said everything is exactly how it is supposed to be! :)

Whaaattt!!! L____ coming down here too!?!? That´s awesome! Tell him to get used to walking all day on over 100 degree weather! And cold showers! And mosquitoes! :) There´s more but it can be a surprise. There are so many trials, but the good things definitely overpower the bad! We do talk English more that I expected, but Elder V_____ is from Paraguay and doesn´t speak any English so we have to speak Português! It´s all working out! Everything is great! I love my mission! I wouldn´t change it for anything! Unless I could trade the heat, then I think I would.. But I can´t! So it´s perfect how it is! 
I have three friends from the MTC in cuiabá too!!! Elder K____, Elder S____, and Sister C____! It´s just as hot there as it is here!! It´ll be great! ;)

More from 5-27-13

Kyler sent this after sending his original letter:
I forgot to say, that D_____ soon to be wife told me to tell you thanks so much. She is so grateful that you and dad have such a strong testimony of the Gospel, Enough for us to feel the desire to serve a mission. She said because of you two, and your testimonies, she had the opportunity, through us, to learn of the Gospel and have much more happiness in her life. She was on the verge of tears as said she just wanted to give you and dad the biggest longest hug in the world! I have never seen so much gratitude from a person in my life! It was amazing. She is so amazing. They will be so firm in the gospel. I don't have a single doubt in my mind. If I ever get the opportunity go back there, they will be the first that I go visit!! I’m so grateful I’m here experiencing this!! It’s great!! :) 

You guys are the best!! Keep doing what you’re doing, working hard! Everything always works out when we do what we’re supposed to.  I don’t know why I’m telling this to you, you already know! I guess, just know that I love you guys a ton!! And that I’m learning so much!    :)
-Elder Kyler Blane Farr
 our reply:
That’s so amazing what she said... if you get a chance, tell her thank you and that what she said means so much to us. I would love to give her a big long hug too.  It's amazing on this end of the experience to hear about people like her letting our son into her home, and to allow you to teach them and to love you and help take care of you.  We're so far away in miles and we pray all the time that people will be responsive to you and kind and nice and helpful and we take good care of our missionaries here partially so that people like her will help take care of you. It means so very much to us that you are associating with people like them.  
(He later said that he will be allowed at the end of his mission to visit all of his areas so he's excited to go back and see them!)

Email 5-27-13

Oh.. HEY! :)                                 5-27-13
So, some tricky stuff happened recently! I got transferred!! Everyone thought I would stay in my other area, and Elder P____ would leave, But he actually stayed there and I got transferred! So now, my companion is Elder B____, He´s from Idaho and has about a year on the mission. I´m not sure what exactly to think about this whole situation. We are living with two other elders too. One of them is from Paraguay and the other is Elder J____ from my District in the MTC. And, in our zone is Elder W____, and Elder B____ from the MTC also!  I´m just going to have to focus a bunch to keep learning the language. It´s way different having the opportunity to speak English now. Self discipline will have to take place, that´s for sure. It´s just so much easier to speak English, but everything will work out! We´ll all continue to learn and grow together. Last night we had some people come to our house and wish Elder P____ goodbye, because they all thought he would leave. It was super funny when they all found out that I was actually leaving. After this transfer Elder p_____ will have over 7 months there in Jatobá!  BUT, we have good beds in our new apartment, and our washing machine works! No more washing clothes by hand! :)

Okay, so we are in the Zone Litoral. We are opening two areas together. We have two wards. We have so much to do it´s hard to know where to start!  I´m hoping we will have help from the ward and everything will work out how it´s supposed to. 

They started the marriage of D____ and his ``spouse`` I don't know what to call her.. ha ha today, and next month they will be baptized. I´m kind of sad that I´ll miss their baptism, and that of F____ too. But that´s not what's important. Just that they are continuing to grow in the Gospel. 

It will be awesome to get to know the people in this area though. All of the people are super awesome here, and so humble, it will be great to get to know them and learn with them. 

I´m really not sure what to write right now!!! I know nothing about our new area!

Almost the same thing happened here as in California though. There I left like 3 days before the R____ family was baptized, and I left a bunch of people in Jatobá also. From what I´ve seen here in this area is, it is way more city-like. It´s not a super poor area. I don't know what to write! My thoughts are so scattered!!! I´m just so excited to get out and open these areas!

Oh! This area is in the Fortaleza mission. Depending on what area I got put in, depended on what mission I would have got put in. Because the mission in splitting three ways. But now we know for certain that all of our MTC district will all stay in this mission except Sister V____. So, I'm super excited we´ll all be staying together!

On Friday I have the appointment to talk with the doctor about all of the different tests they´ve done. I´ll know how everything was, and what I need to do from now on. I don't see why anything would be wrong, but it´s just to make sure! :)

I´m doing super great here! I´m kind of nervous serving in two wards, and opening them both, but everything will be awesome, I know it!
Hope everyone is doing good too!
-Elder Kyler Blane Farr