Monday, 25 June 2012

"And it came to pass that it was a busy week!"

Elder Pereira had his first District Meeting last week. "We did a lot of Roleplaying! It's crazy how much we do it as missionaries! :O I swear, there are two things I think I will be a professional by the end of my mission: Acting and Gardening! ;) hahaha" but Elder Pereira finds roleplaying really helpful for learning purposes. They also discussed how important the Book of Mormon is in convertion.

And it seems like it was a week for firsts as Elder Pereira went on his first exchange with the Zone Leaders. He went to Preston with Elder Francis (a friend from his home Stake) and said he learnt a lot!

"Oh my goodness! :O The Zone Leaders are Zone Leaders for some reason! You know that scripture in Ezekiel which talks about hunting under the rocks and in the holes of the rocks and stuff? Yeah, that's them!"

They went tracting and teaching a lot and Elder Pereira found it to be a really great experience. A surprise he wasn't expecting though was that while Elder Francis and him were studying in the morning, the Olympic Torch went past their street and they were able to watch it.

On Sunday, Elder Pereira was back in his assigned Ward with his companion and they had the opportunity to serve by giving talks and teaching Primary children. He says he loves his Area a lot.

Keep writing to him!

Monday, 18 June 2012

19th birthday and "Jacob, The Master"...

On Tuesday the 12th it was Elder Pereira's 19th birthday! We sent him some birthday goodies, including a small birthday cake, which made him very happy! The letters that he received from his friends made his day even more special, he loves getting letters (keep writing)! We also sent him the notebook which we had been asking his friends to sign, he said he loved reading the messages and they made him so so happy!

The next day was Zone Conference. Many familiar faces and names were there; Elder Helzer, who's brother served in our ward a few years ago; Elder Tellem, a friend; and Elders Francis and Lamb from Elder Pereira's home Stake (Ipswich). Elder Pereira said he learnt a lot; him and his companion decided to work even harder, which gave them blisters. This week has been a lot of hard work as they've pushed themselves harder. It's been very rainy in their area but they've finally decided to purchase umbrellas...

Yesterday they had Stake Conference which was great. Elder Jensen (not Elder J Jensen) spoke about the Holy Ghost and some other things; Elder Pereira thought it was a great talk.

But one of Elder Pereira's top moments this week was the following:

"Elder Leimgrub and I were doing street contacting as we visited Less Actives and Former Investigators, when we started speaking to a man. We said hi and he was like:
"I know who you are..."
"Oh yeah? What do you know about us?"
"... You are... Good people."
"Oh... thank you... hahaha!" We were so confused. But then he said:
"I am a Master, a Masonic Master in the Master Lodge"
Now, he was drunk, so we couldn't even tell what he was really saying! But those were some of the words we understood. So we asked him if he knew who Joseph Smith was. His reply?
"I've heard many things. And many names..."
At this point I was already trying to not laugh, so Elder Leimgrub was the one speaking, and asked him if he believed in God to which Jacob replied:
"I have my own religion. We are free people. We come from *drunk babble*. We come from Distant Lands! ... *Looks to the side with eyes closed* ... We believe in the Temple."
Alright... Fair enough... haha we were so confused, so Elder Leimgrub introduced himself, and asked him his name to which he replied "Jacob" after thinking for a bit, and, as usual, Elder Leimgrub extended his arm for a handshake.
"WE DON'T DO HANDSHAKES... You're good people... Have a good day... You're good people..."
And then he walked off. Funniest moment ever!"

Even though Elder Pereira and Leimgrub can't watch the Euro 2012 matches, they are both very happy that Portugal and Germany got through. Elder Pereira said: "I am so happy about Portugal getting through too!!! If we hadn't, Elder Leimgrub would have teased me forever :P haha But yeah... Hopefully we can beat the Czecs too! :D"
For this week and next week too, Elder Pereira will be serving with Elder Francis (a friend from his home Stake) in Preston as an exchange with the Zone Leaders.

Monday, 11 June 2012

"We walk, we teach, we preach, we approach, we plan, we practice, we write in our journals, we study and THEN we sleep for 8 hours!"

As a Portuguese/German companionship, one of the things that they were trying to find as soon as possible on Sunday was: who won the Portugal vs Germany game. It was only at 9:30pm on Sunday night that they found out the result.

Even though Elder Pereira keeps forgetting his birthday is tomorrow, Elder Leimgrub keeps reminding him as well as the investigators and less-active members. Elder Pereira says Elder Leimgrub is a great companion as he has been helping Elder Pereira to improve by giving him tips after each appointment.

They have a 10 year old investigator that will hopefully be baptised next month and an older lady who's daughter is a less-active member, who's also considering getting baptised. There are also two older men investigating the church. They've set up quite a few appointments for the week.

Elder Pereira said that being a missionary is strengthening his love and appreciation of missionary work and that it's weird to see how much missionaries do behind the scenes to help the ward grow and to strengthen the less-actives, investigators and active members' testimonies. 

His first Sunday in the Barrow Ward was very different as there were only about 30 people there and most of them were children. The missionaries passed the sacrament, then Elder Pereira bore his testimony, Elder Leimgrub did a talk and the Bishop said some closing remarks. The missionaries teach a CTR class in Primary every week which is fun.

For their P-Day their Landlord took them out to Piel Castle and the islands in the area and then treated them to lunch.

Elder Pereira is still loving every minute of his mission! Make sure you write to him as he loves getting letters:

Elder Tiago Pereira
England Manchester Mission
Springwood, Suite G5
Booths Park, Knutsford
WA16 8QZ
United Kingdom

Friday, 8 June 2012

"Hello from my first area!"

Elder Pereira's first area is Barrow-in-Furness! His companion is Elder Leimgrub from Munich, Germany who's been out for one year and is taller than Elder Pereira!

Barrow is really up North and according to Elder Pereira "it's a really pretty place". His area includes two islands which can be accessed via bridges. The ward has around 40 members. Elder Pereira sometimes finds it hard to understand the accent up there.

On his first day there, they managed to give out a Book of Mormon to some ladies and to make an appointment with them. Elder Pereira said it's now easy to stop people to talk to them; they have managed to set up 3 appointments for the next week. He also had a funny experience to share:

"Ooh!!! As we were walking, two drunk men also approached us. One of them said he wanted to know what we had to say about Christ, and wouldn’t let us leave! The other one was saying that if we didn’t leave, he’d beat us up. That was a rather scary yet funny experience! Hahaha Don’t worry mum, I am safe! I’m on the Lord’s side! :D"

It rained a lot that day...

On the day where the missionaries got their new companions, Elder Pereira met Elder McFadgen. Elder Pereira's dad served with Elder McFadgen's dad in the Portugal Porto Mission... 25 years ago.

He is loving being "an actual missionary"!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

3rd week at the MTC.

As Elder Pereira was leaving to his first area on the Wednesday, they didn't have a proper P-Day that week which meant a shorter e-mail.

Elder Kerr of the Seventy visited the MTC and spoke to the missionaries, shaking hands with everyone before leaving. Elder Pereira said he was great and that he really enjoys hearing him speak as he's always so positive.

They went to Manchester on that Friday again to do some more street contacting, which went much better than the first time as more people would listen to them.

On the Sunday the missionaries got to talk about the countries where they're from and to sing their National Anthems. Elder Pereira and Sister Rodrigues as the only Portuguese missionaries there, sang the Portuguese National Anthem on their own. Fourteen countries were represented. Later they watched part of the Queen's Jubilee Celebration.

A celebration was organised on the Monday in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, which consisted of a service project, garden festivities, a movie on the life of the Queen, and a traditional English dinner. 

Their last night at the MTC was spent eating cookies and ice cream, before a last meeting with everyone.

The next morning was an early one as they prepared to leave to their first areas with one last hug from the MTC President. 

The group that left to Manchester.