Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Six weeks already!!! September 29, 2009

Hey everyone. This week was a pretty good week. I enjoyed the food a lot this week, I don't know why, but it just seemed to taste better.
Another guy in my district was sick this week, but we gave him a blessing and he is doing better now. I heard that Emily had the flu. That's not good, I hope you are better.
It was a testimony meeting here also, because of conference and everyone in my district shared our testimonies. I talked about proselyting. It was a great experience. I had a huge headache at the time we were going, so that was a little difficult, but it went well.
The first guy that we talked to was drunk and he talked to us for about 15 minutes. Then when we finally got away from him, we talked to a few others with no luck. Then we had two people in a row that we taught the first lesson to and gave them books of Mormon. It was sweet to see how excited they were as we were sharing our message with them. It was a very great experience. So, after that, we had about 15 minutes where we did not find anyone that was interested, so I told my companion that we should go back around by the CTM. So, we do and we go around the corner and nobody was there, so I said lets just wait here for a second and somebody will come. Then a minute later we see a guy walking down the street and we felt we should talk to him. We did and as we did he got so excited. We shared some scriptures with him and he told us that the missionaries came and visited him in his home in Rio De Janeiro. That he has only visited with them one time, but that he reads from the Book of Mormon (a few pages) at night time whenever he gets a chance. He said he is in like Jacob. So we gave him a chapter in Alma to read and some other verses to read, including Moroni 10:3-5. Told him just to keep reading, pray, and call the missionaries to come visit him. He was still interested just could not get in touch with the Elders. So, anyways, we share our testimonies with him and thank him for his time and he heads off. After that we placed one more Book of Mormon and talked to a bunch of people. It was a great experience and I was not nervous like I thought I would be. It was not hard to do. Well that is it for this week. I am looking forward to General Conference this weekend. I am excited for it. It is a break from the regular class time studies and etc. I love you guys, I pray for you all daily. Take care, do not get sick, and have a great week everyone.
Love, Elder Caldwell

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 22, 2009 Week Five.....

Hey, everyone. Good week for me. I hope you all have had great weeks. So our devotional speaker on Thursday was the founder and owner of the airline company Jet Blue. It was a really good talk. He talked to us about his mission he served in Brazil. (oh his company also has a big airline in Brazil also) He speaks both Portuguese and English. He just says to focus on the work here 1,000 percent and to do your best. Take advantage of the study time I have now at the CTM because I will be wanting that in a few weeks whenever we are in the field. Saturday at 9:45 we did our teaching practice with the Brazilians and I thought that it went great. We were the only companionship in our district to answer all the guys questions and make it all the way through the lesson within the time limit, all in Portuguese. We had to start with a practice door greeting and had to get into the house(classroom) in order to teach them. We had a big microphone hanging in front of our faces and a camera pointing at us from the top of the room directly in front of us, so after we taught, we went and watched how we did. The first time our instructor Irmao Alexandre watched my companion and I and said we did excellent. I did not realize we knew as much Portuguese as we actually did. It went very well and was great. I can understand a lot more when reading but am getting to the point that I recognize most of the words that are spoken in Portuguese. They sound simialar to English words and Spanish words that mean the same thing so it is not too difficult. I still wish I could learn it faster, but our Branch President told us that we will all be fluent in 3-5 months. Since once we are in the field you pretty much have to speak Portuguese. This Friday is the day that we go proslyting(walk around the neighborhood and try to get appointments and potential investigators for the missionaries that are in the field to teach and place Livros de Mormon) I think it will be fun, yet at the same time I am pretty nervous about doing it. It is easy to go to the store and buy stuff and ask questions. Some words I think in Portuguese I do not even think of the English word for it, I just naturally know what it is. Looking at a book, I think livro now, do not even call it a book. So today we went to the Temple again in Sao Paulo, it is such a beautiful temple. Anyways, I got into a conversation with a temple worker in Portuguese, he asked what mission I was going to and then said that he had been a temple worker for 11 years in Sao Paulo, and a member for 30 years. He has 6 kids and all 20 members of his family are members of the church. He was a very happy man and smiled a lot, it was fun to talk to him. I love talking to the Brazilians here about soccer. It is hilarous, not all of them like soccer, most like either the LA Lakers or the San Antonio Sours, or basketball. The ones that like soccer are fun to talk to because I know a bunch about soccer so it makes for some pretty good conversations. There are 3 big rival teams here in the Sao Paulo area and so everyone is a fan of one of the three and they do not like any of the other teams, its funny. The instructors always try to talk the missionaries into supporting the team that is their favorite. I learned some more Portuguese words and phrases this week, as usual and re-read some of Jesus the Christ and finished it, then started reading in Our Search for Happiness. Great books. The Brazilians are always asking my companion and I if we are related, like brothers or cousins or something, because they think we look alike, and then we are both from Texas (which we tell them is the best state ever). I ran into Elder Hurst the other day (mom) and talked with him for a few minutes. We are a few weeks ahead of him, because he got here late with the Visa thing. But he said his mom had told him to look for me. Well, that is about it for this week. I love you guys and hope all is well. My week was great. I hope you have a great one this week as well.
Elder Chase Caldwell

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 15, 2009-Email #4

Hey, family and friends,
This week was a great one. My companion and I have been working on our Portuguese and yesterday, we taught the first lesson in Portuguese. We get to teach to a Brazilian family on Saturday as like a progress tester and I feel pretty confident bout it. We went to the Sao Paulo Temple again today and it was as amazing looking to me as ever. I love it. This language is great, we got two new Brazilian companions in our room and I have been able to have some pretty good conversations with them about things. I still have to make some hand gestures but its okay, they understand. Thanks for all the letters this week, too guys. Shelly I did get that card from you. I still have more than all the other people in my district. Sister Hummel sent me letters from all of the seminary students, so my total jumped up from that too. KK thanks a bunch for the Mr. Cheney's certificate, I really appreciate it.
I have been reading the book, Jesus the Christ,(out of the set of books I was given), it is amazing. I have read 274 pages since last Wednesday. It has really helped me gain an even stronger testimony of Christ. The weekly devotional that is usually tonight has been moved to Thursday night, some people think that might mean we are going to be getting a General Authority or someone to speak, but I don't know. We have had the Sao Paulo Sur, and Sao Paulo Oeste Mission presidents speak this last week and they all have amazing stories, which I have written in my notebook/journal. I am still having a great time here and the food is good still. We had some the other day that was totally nasty, but the beans and rice were still good that day so it helped a lot. I really enjoyed it. I have been drinking lots of water, Sunkist, and grape juice, my 3 favorite drinks that they have here. Breakfast gets boring because it is ham and cheese sandwiches everyday. Sometimes cereal or pancakes, but it is not that great. I am really thankful for that last pancake breakfast nana made for me a little before I left, I just imagine eating that every morning when eating the boring food. Pizza night is still great, the regular pizza like cheese and pepp. tastes nasty, the weird stuff is what tastes good here. I guess just how they cook it. But I am not going to complain, I like the food. One Brazilian said that Sao Paulo Norte has the best food (he was from there) and that it is so much better than CTM food....I am really looking forward to that. Well I was a little sick this week, but got some medicine and am better now, so nothing to worry about. We are going out to eat with one of our teachers today, he is hilarious, he just got back from his mission 5 months ago. Our other teacher had a bad experience this week. He drove his car home and as the garage was closing, 4 guys with guns told him to get out and take them into the house to his sage(his family has no safe), so they tie up him, his dad, mom, sister, aunt, and friend, and they steal almost everything in their house. They were really mean until they found out that they had the wrong house and this family was religious. They in all stole about 100,000 REALS worh of stuff. Plus two cars. The mom told one theif (in the name of Jesus Christ I command you not to steal that laptop computer) and he hid it and told her not to tell the other guys that he didn't steal it. Our teacher said that this experience really strengthened his testimony, but he was so mad his car and everything was stolen. Plus he has been trying to have enough money to get married to his girlfriend, but now this has set him back, so they are upset about it, they live in different cities in Brazil. Well that is all I have time for right now. I love you all so much and miss you, I really appreciate you guys sending me letters and e-mails, have a great week.
Love, Elder Caldwell

I love and miss all you guys, keep going strong.... Oh, also, I just ate at an all you can eat buffett.....I had armadillo, chicken hearts, wild boar, cow skin/fat, massive beef ribs, sausage, beans with rice, fries, and rolls. Ha, it was so good. They cook it and jusst keep throwing stuff on your plate. It was great, though sounded nasty. Well, I love you, mom, keep strong and have a great week. I love you. Love, Chase

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Email # 3

Hey everyone, this week has gone by super fast for me, its crazy. I knew they would start going by faster once I started getting letters and getting to look forward to e-mail. The Elder that was sick still has a sore throat and a bad cough, and he gave it to my companion so now he is kinda sick again, thats the second time he has been sick. He hadn't been sick in forever since before his mission, but now is catching everything. Well we had some more chocolate banana pizza on Wednesday. It was just as good as before. They have so many good foods here, yet so many weird and not so good ones also. It is very interesting. I have had a great week. We have had some very good speakers at the firesides and devotionals. Sunday was a testimony meeting and some of the Elders in my branch were leaving so we heard all of their testimonies, and then time was pretty much up. (we go to church in branches at the CTM because there are at least 400 missionaries here) I love it here, this place is so beautiful. Today as we were walking to the supermarket it started raining super hard, I had an umbrella but was still completely wet. It was crazy, it just dropped out of nowhere. The rain was great, very refreshing and everything seems so much cleaner and fresh. I'm very please to be here, I know it is what I need to be doing. I love D&C 100:1-2. Great scripture there, we got it in a talk and the speaker said that it can have more special meaning to you if you put your name in for the names in the scripture. So I did that and it has helped me if I ever start to worry about any of you guys back at home. The Brazilian companions we have had for 3 weeks left today, we get new ones on Thursday, but the ones we had were so cool. I've taken pictures of them and the next p-day, I am going to try and mail some pictures home. But names are Elder Almedia and Elder moraes, Elder Moraes is a local Stake President's son, and he was excited that the four American Elders in our room were going to be serving in his area. The cookies at Cheney's are good, I enjoyed them so much when I had them last week. I have practiced my Portuguese even more and can pray, say by testimony, have people commit to reading something or praying about something, ask common questions like how is it going and everything. I know the purpose of a missionary in Portuguese, as well as Joseph Smiths first vision and some articles of faith. I feel great about the language and know as long as I continue to do what is right I can continue to learn the language nicely, my companion is doing really well with it also, his accent is more actually Portuguese sounding than mine, but people still know what I am saying. I actually remember a lot of the Spanish I learned in high school and it has really helped me out during my time here so far, and I know it will continue to do so. So take a language class in high school, it is very helpful with things you may do during life. It hasn't been the most entertaining week, but I have learned a lot. I love all of you guys very much and miss you. I think about you frequently. I kow I am doing what I need to be. Thats all for this week, hopefully next week I'll have better stuff to talk about.
Love, Elder Chase Caldwell

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Email # TWO!!! SEPTEMBER 1, 2009

Hey guys, I don't have a lot of e-mail time again today, we went to the Campinas Temple this morning and got back this afternoon, it was beautiful and I had a great time, I just wish I had more time to e-mail and stuff. I did get the cookies from Mr. Cheneys and they were great, thanks for the internet time, milk, and cookies. My internet time will carry on next week since p-day ends soon today, so next week I will be able to send a much longer e-mail. Everything is still going great, I am learning more and more Portuguese each day, it is still a bit hard to understand whenever people talk to you, but not as hard to speak or pray. I can say a nice long prayer in Portuguese now, its great. I sent Emily, Camri, Emily, and Nana letters in the mail this week to reply to the ones they sent me, so be looking for those either end of this week or start of next week, because I can only send letters in the mail on Tuesdays, so anyways keep me updated on how everything is going at home. On Sunday I lead the music during Sacrament meeting, Sunday school, and Priesthood. We had great lessons and it was a good experience having to lead the music. It was a great joy getting the letters from Emily Hummel Thursday, and Nana, Emily, and Camri on Friday. Letters really help cheer me up (I don't usually get too sad anyways) so send letters if you can, right now I am leading my district with 4 letters, next two guys have 3, one with 1 letter, and the other 4 have not gotten anything yet. But mail gets everyone excited and really makes the day of the person who is getting the mail. One of the companions in my room is sick, so I really hope I don't get it, I would hate to get sick, he keeps sitting by me everytime, lol, just by chance I keep having to sit by him, its alright , I don't get sick (right dad). I am glad that people are asking about me, makes me feel good. Next week, I will bring my journal here with me and type all about my week in more detail. Keep having everyone write to me, it is great to hear from people.
I have been reading 2nd Nephi and Jacob in personal studay and those are two of my favorite books in the Book of Mormon, or O Livro De Mormon. Well, the area around here is great, there are buildings as far as the eye can see from our window. I am hoping to send some pictures soon. Things are still going very great here, we have a fireside every Sunday night and a devotional every Wednesday night, they are really great, we get to hear from some really good speakers, some are members of the Area 70, and Stake Presidents, etc. It is great.
I love all of you, thanks for the help and support.
Love, Elder Caldwell