Monday, December 29, 2014

Well Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

December 29, 2014

Well this week was Christmas!

We started off the week with an awesome family night that we are teaching right now. We went into it with lots of prayers because the members that we were going to bring with us werent able to come... well We prayed a lot and a member from a different area came and made the family night great. I love how much the Lord has his hands in everything that we do. 

(THe family! Elder R. Oliveira, ME, Gustavo, Elaiane, Sharla, Rony, Elder Guimarães, and Elder Matheson)

One thing that has frustrated me a little bit this week is that I was thinking about how I was teaching pretty well back in the US. Here I have changed a lot and also I think I have gotten worse at teaching, but it just gives me that much more motivation to work harder to teach even better! ALWAYS have something to get better at.

So Here in Brazil. Christmas is usually celebrated more on Christmas Eve. We got permission to stay out later this night until ten so we could eat with this awesome family. Well time went by faster than we all thought. When everything was finished we had to go back home. Luckily they dropped it off for us at our house. We had TURKEY it was a good night. I felt happy. 

(Amazing Christmas Food) 

Then CHRISTMAS. We woke up with our little Christmas tree and the few presents we had underneath it. To be honest I was feeling pretty lonely during these days, but then I realized I dont need to feel lonely. EVERYONE here is feeling the same way. We are all away from home and it still doenst feel like Christmas. But it was good. I wanted to make Christmas good for everyone. So I stayed up a little later that night to wrap a few presents for everyone after they were all asleep. I didnt have much to give, but what I could I gave. It was a good morning. Then We had the day. We decided to bring a little bit of American Tradition to Brazil. Elder Matheson and I decided to go Christmas Caroling to some members! IT was awesome. YOu could see the Joy and happiness on their faces. I will for sure do that next year too.

(Talking with my family on Christmas)

So theres a famous song here called MEN DONT CRY. Well everyone here makes jokes about it. My companion will be transferred today and I will be with another american named Elder West. I dont know him at all but there will be 3 americans in our house! Woohoo! 

Something that happens here is that adults will have their kids lie to us to tell us something thats not true. Like if they dont want to talk to us. They will say oh menino Vai e fala Que Eu não Sou Aqui ``Kid say that I am not here`` its pretty sad. Immoralizing children already. 

Also people here are sometimes so bad against mormons that they wont even accept help from us. We were trying to help someone move and she said no. I am evangelist. I dont want your help.. Really Christlike. Trying to help and they wont even accept it. 

Theres awful music here called FUNK. Well all during church this week someone was blasting it in the road. 

Well the next time you guys will hear from me will be 2015! how crazy is that?


Elder Hamrick

I'm a little more tan here... My foot and my hand. 

Still Doesnt Feel Like Christmas

December 22, 2014

This week was a pretty awesome week. We started it off with a Whole Mission Wide Conference. We had PANCAKES! that never happens. We also got to watch a movie. It is called Arthur Christmas. Its so good. The one movie I get to watch for a whole year. But it was super good and really applicable in the life of a missionary. It talks about the Worth of one Soul... WHICH IS A LOT. So at least I will come home with one Soul changed... Mine :)

We had a really awesome day this week. Usually we ask people if they know anyone that would like the message that we share. Well usually nothing happens because of that. But this day we were able to find 9 new people to teach because of that... Its awesome. I hope we can help them all out and get them to where they need to be.

SOmething happened that I really didnt like this week. We were teaching these Teenage girls that are awesome, The only problem they dont want to go to church or anything... Well one of them said she felt like she was being forced. it absolutely killed me. That is the number one thing I dont want to make people feel like. like they are getting forced to do this. I prayed a lot that night. I will work even harder to continue helping people in a better way. 

We got a new Elder in the House and in Alto Da Mangueira. He is awesome. His name is Elder R. Oliveira. 

So I have lost a lot of weight here in Brazil... When you grab my shoulder you grab basically bone haha. Well now I weigh a little bit lest than 158 pounds... haha. I will probably lose even more. Who knows we will see.

So there is something weird in this area. We have a lot of Drunk people come up to us and just talk. We never know what they are saying. One time about a month ago.. A drunk guy wanted us to give him a visit. Well we couldnt his house. We have had 3 chances to run into us this week. He is not very happy with us. We were eating at a bakery. well he decided to sit down with us and try to forcefully take our food. Well a guy working there didnt like that. He kicked him out. but he kept coming back . So he kept having to be rough with him. the last time he passed by he said ``Eu vou Te MATAR Viu?`` which means. Im going to kill you alright? Woohoo drunk people. they just buy beer. Then Beg for food. Its aweful.

WE had 9 people at church this week. I was super pumped. there were 2 families included in this number. I love teaching families. It makes the essence of the gospel so much stronger. WE will be marrying a couple soon. 

We had our ward Christmas party this week. It was awesome. I sang A Christmas song. A lot of people recorded it, except me haha. Well then we had dinner there. It was good. The next day I woke up feeling pretty sick. So did my companion. We got to church and during sacrament meeting like 30 people left because they were sick too. Haha I think the meat that we had went bad... It was really funny, but pretty awful at the same time. 

This week is Christmas. IT DOESNT EVEN FEEL LIKE ITS CLOSE. but we will see how it goes. I love you all and hope that you have like the best Christmas ever. For me :) I will be here sweating and dreaming of snow.



christmas parties

Amazing Cakes!!

Something Has Changed Within Me

Cow Beatles

December 15, 2014

So yes I still really like Wicked. But this statement of the email is so true. When I got here to Brazil I was kind of just a spoiled brat. Wanting everything that I had no way of getting. I was just here suffering because I wanted to I guess. Well The whole time I have been here I have been thinking a lot about who I am, and who I want to be. How I want to help people out. I really havent found that out yet, but I think that I am getting there. 

I had an interview with President Fusco.. He answered one of my most heartfelt prayers I have been having for a long time here in Brazil. I want to be a missionary that the Lord can trust with literally anything.. Well during the interview he said ``There are two types of missionaries for me. The ones I like and the ones I trust... I like you`` then he paused for a bit... sO I thought he didnt trust me... but then he said ``And I trust you... But more importantly the Lord Trusts you`` When I realized that this was an answer to my prayers I almost cried... Now I just have to keep working to be worthy of that trust that they have for me... 

We did a lot better this week for me. We have been really focused in Recent Converts and Less actives. And not finding anyone new to teach, but now we are starting to get a mix of those two things. We found some families that really made my week. Teaching FAMILIES is the best thing that we can do.... It is the whole essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We had 7 people at church this week... The Most I have had my whole mission here so far! It was such a great feeling. This week was stake conference. it was transmitted from Utah.. Elder Cook spoke. aNd some other authorities spoke too. some of them had one of the worst accents I have ever heard, but it was awesome to still feel the spirit that they had. It made me realize how much we do here because one person told a story how he baptized someone. Well this person was a pioneer of the church in Brazil... It was so awesome. It makes me want to find people even more now. 

Something else that happened this week made me so happy...  We had a returning member helpe us out with a lesson. It was such a good feeling. 

So some funny things that happened this week...

- I ate the menstral system of a cow this week....

- We were trapped by a group of really angry cows.(Cows here dont moo, THEY SCREAM)

- We were almost assaulted and robbed, but we ran as fast as we could and escaped. They did rob a member that we are working with though :(

- There is a song that is played here nonstop that says ``Um homem não chorar`` which means a man doesnt cry. ITs funnny and is stuck in my head. 

Well people are telling me that my portuguese is really good for only 3 months here. I am working every day to get better, but I really want to learn other languages already. I think the first one that I will work on is spanish because it is so close. 

This week was full of good things... I felt a lot better about everything. Tomorrow willl be the Mission Conference for Christmas. So this next week will be good too.

Te Amo Demais. Obrigado Por todos seus Orações e por teu amor. Eu Sinto Tudo. 

tchau tchau
Até Mais 

Elder Hamrick

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's prohibited to put trash here, please. HAHA, so much trash! 

Chokito, an awesome dog

Chillin on p-day

God Does Answer Prayers

We have a Christmas Tree

December 8, 2014

So this week I learned a lot about how much Our Heavenly Father Loves us all. I know that when we take the time to pray with our whole heart he stops everything to listen to you in that exact minute. The love he has in limitless and I am more than grateful. 

SO this story was awesome. We were in a lesson this week. the lesson was full of the spirit. I was just feeling great, saying things I didnt even know I was going to say and not even thinking about speaking portuguese. then I got a feeling to promise these 2 people to PRAY WITH ALL THEIR HEART right after they left. Then Open the Book of Mormon to the first verse that catches their attention, and if they read it, they will feel that this is right and that this ONE verse was really meant for them. After I made this promise I did the same thing that night. When I prayed with all of my heart I knew I was being heard. I read a scripture Alma 27:18 which basically says that when we say things by the spirit it WILL happen. If that wasnt an answer I dont know what is. He is always there to listen to each and every one of us. 

I had some pretty good exchanges this week. One was with the Zone Leaders. I went with Elder Molina. He is a great missionary. I am trying to work hard to really show my love to people, Ifelt the spirit a lot with him and it was a good day for me. HE speaks a lot of languages he is from Honduras but speaks english spanish french and portuguese fluentely. Hes a bro. THen Another exchange with Elder Matheson in the same ward. IT was cool being with another american again. I felt like Iwas back in the US for a bit.

This week I did 10 months in the mission and about 3 months here in brazil. Surprisingly my portuguese is getting really better. SOme have said that I already speak better than some other elders that were here for more than 8 months. I am working hard. 

So this week I had a dream of what I want to do when I get home. I want to go on tour and learn to speak a bunch of languages. And then share the importance the gospel has in my life to every person who I sing to... 

I am still having a little trouble with how to work here. I am not feeling the best about how we are working and that we are really helping people. I just need to find a way to mix the two styles of working and I will be perfectly fine... I hope... I miss working in the US a lot, but also  I am starting to like it here. 

The SPIRIT IS KEY. Without the spirit we are just talking...we need the spirit more and I am working on it a lot. 

SO I have a michael buble christmas CD... I listen to it a lot. ``ITs beginning to Look a lot like Christmas`` doesnt ever apply here I dont think... but there are some cool lights in some areas. 

I ate cow feet this week. It was good

Love you all,

Know that the Lord hears every one of your prayers. Its the little things that matter. 

ELder Hamrick

a fruit called acerola It is kind of like a cherry but more sour and with 3 seeds

we had a baptism 3 weeks ago! Vitoria shes cool

Ya we can Be spirtual giants and be cool at the same time

I ate a hot dog... In the mall 

It's Christmas time and Christ is the present. 

Elder Molina and I 
I found a motorcycle with kansas on it

Monday, December 1, 2014

Nada demais Aconteceu Essa semana

December 1, 2014

Nothing really happened this week for us in MAracanau

The first day after P day we had to go all the way to Fortaleza to recieve a training... Well we were supposed to be there at 8 in the morning. Woke up at like 5:45 to get there in time... Well we took a train then took a bus to get there... well we decided to get off the bus WAY TOO EARLY... we were still way far away from where we were trying to get. Well none of the other elders had any money to pay for another bus... so.... We walked an hour and a half to get to where we needed to be... nossa.... It was crazy. We all arrived practically soaking wet and dirty. IT was pretty funny, but also pretty annoying. The training was good there. We learned a lot about how we can change and do better here in the mission. We went to a restaurant in Fortaleza that had HOT CHOCOLATE! but it wasnt the same... because it is really hot here. ( IT DOESNT FEEL ANYTHING LIKE CHRISTMAS YET) 

I recieved a strong testimony that God really does answer prayers. I was thinking a lot about the past and how I had made so many mistakes. I was wondering if I was really forgiven for what I had done. I prayed with all of my heart that night... I knew That I would recieve an answer. and the next morning I was studying and the first thing I read in the morning was  For verily say unto you, will that ye should overcome theworld; wherefore will have compassion upon you.

 There are those among you who have sinned; but verily say,for this once, for mine own gloryand for the salvation of souls, Ihave forgiven you your sins.

 will be merciful unto you, for have given unto you thekingdom.

I know that OUR Savior Loves each and every one of us... I know that he wants to forgive us but we have to take the steps to be forgiven for what we have done. 

This week an innactive member of the church decided to tell us that if we continue on this path we would not be saved. I recieved this enough in the US it really doesnt bother me at all anymore. Just makes me sad for them. That they had the chance and now they are completely going against the ways to salvation. 

THis week I have been missing work in the US a lot. I feel here it is much faster and much less meaningful... but I just need to make it more meaningful. Just because others teach in one way doesnt mean I cant change.. Thats whats so amazing about this gospel. WE can ALWAYS get better and become better people. 

Work is so much better when you can have fun. One day we just laughed a lot. I found more joy in the work. Sometimes we dont talk much, but I know that this work is meant to be joyful and we need to make it that way. 

I am starting to get to know more missionaries in this mission. When I got here I was pretty sad because I knew nobody... BEcause in Washington I knew basically everyone. I am ready to change and be a better missionary. The Lord is waiting for me, and I dont want Him to wait that much longer. 

My portuguese is getting a lot better. I can talk with anyone, and I am working on the accent more and more every week. HOPEFULLY PICTURES WORK THIS WEEK. IF NOT I WILL BE SAD. 

I love you all

Elder Hamrick

I'm in Brazil...

November 24, 2014

You know you are starting to get used to things when you have to pause for a minute and think... ``IM in Brazil``

You could say things are going well for me. Honestly portuguese is coming a long a lot better and a lot faster right now. I am able to speak basically fluently having little to no problems talking with people. I dont know all the words, but I know enough. NOw that I am at this point it is time to work on my accent and making people think I really do speak portuguese. HAving an accent is something really annoying for brazilians I think. So I will definitely be working on this. NOw that I can basically say what I need to say, I need to work on expressing my personality for people. SOmething I learned in WAshington was that I am put in places for my personality and how I need to respond to them. SO I need to be ME not just some random missionary.

We are working a lot with Baptize Retain and REactivate. We are trying our best to keep all of these areas high. It is so important for all the members of this church to have a testimony of the things that they know. THEY NEED ONE. Without a testimony one thing can make everything crumble and fall.. No one wants that. I know that each part of this plan is important and the Lord trusts us to do our best to help them in whatever way that we can. THe blessing of eternal families is just toooooo strong for people to be missing out on. They need to know the importance and the happiness that this will bring to their lives. I know that it has a huge effect on me. I am so thankful for this.

With this new program we arent really finding near as many people as before, but we are trying our best to find in all situations. It is different to just find people... When you find people who are really interested. 

One day here it rained! Rain is such a glorious thing here. It is super hot.... So rain feels sooo good, because it has a lot of wind and its cooler. But here it doesnt rain very much when it does rain. Literally rained for about 2 hours. And by 3 o clock it was same old hot and sunny like it usually is.. MAn it is crazy how different my skin is now. I am so much tanner. It is crazy to look where the sun hasnt hit... Like half of my neck is white as snow, and the other half is like an african american... sort of... haha;. 

We saw an epic dog and cat fight this week. We were walking then all of the sudden a group of people started yelling. We looked behinf and 3 dogs were attacking 1 cat. one big dog bit the cat and had it in its jaws swinging it around like it was dead... well 2 seconds later that same cat scratched one of the dogs until it cried and ran away then ran up a tree and escaped. DONT MESS WITH CATS HERE!

WE had a baptism this week! My first baptism in brazil. It is cool to think that there was a party going on down here, and also a party going on in heaven. This is such an important promise that we need to make to live with our families forever.

Love you all,



Let's Work This Out

Jesus loves you and wants to save you! 

November 17, 2014

So this week honestly felt great. Since we are working with less active members and new members of the Church more It is really cool to see. MEmbers who simply just stopped going to church for little reasons are willing to come back to church again just like that. One even might have serving a mission in his sights. It is crazy how awesome this work is. Sure maybe we didnt have the best numbers this week, but I know that I at least tried my best to help people out this week. When I was in the United STates I could care less about my numbers. When I got here I felt like numbers number numbers were everything that anyone cared about, so Of course so did I. But I realized this week that I need to stop because even if we get to talk to one person its ``NOT JUST ONE`` NAO UM SO This phrase I came up with in the United States, but then forgot about it. I will be using it a lot when my companions get frustrated. I gave Elder Guimaraes a peptalk this week. We were both struggling with how we were feeling, but then I realized I just need to be happy. We are doing a great work out here.. A super good quote about less actives is ``Let us reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down`` They are in need of help and they have forgotten how much the gospel has blessed their lives. 

As you can probably tell my attitude has completely shot up. I am honestly pretty happy here, my portuguese is at the point where people arent really having a hard time talking with me or understanding me, and it feels great. But I need to work much harder on my portuguese. I want to sound just like a brazilian. I want people to question ``Are you really american`` I am beginning to love portuguese. It is a really hard language for sure, but I am learning a bit more each and every day. 

I had a really good exchange with another elder this week. It just felt good. We were both happy, both talking and getting some serious work done. That is how it should be done every single day haha. 

So one day for lunch we had something pretty interesting it is called Buxada De Bode. Which means intestines (Tripe) of a BillyGoat... It was actually pretty good. I will include a video and a picture in a little bit so you can see me being brave. I like pretty much everything I have eaten here so far. So that is pretty cool haha. 

We had something cool happen with every single mission in BRazil. There are some places in Brazil that are having some problems with water. Either they have too much, or they barely have any. So all the missions as a whole fasted on saturday for the people with this problem. It was cool I could feel the power of missionaries while I was fasting. Fasting here is a lot harder. NOt really because of the hunger... but of the thirst. It is hot haha, and we couldnt drink water for 24 hours. I am sure a big miracle will happen with this. 

I used a whole journal already... Luckily I have another one. HOly cow My mom would never have thought she would read this haha. I write in my journal every day. 

I also had to give a talk this sunday... Well I got the opportunity to give a talk. It was... I really dont know. People here didnt really say anything to me. All they said was ``Da para intender`` WHich basically means I could understand you. 

I think this week was a great week for me. We will have a baptism this next week and I think It will be another week full of miracles.


Elder Hamrick 

Te Amo

I am super strong I did this to a car... maybe.. or maybe a pole

Buxada de Bode Billygoat intestines
Sorry, the video didn't work, but here is a picture.
Old planner, new planner

Fun With Food Coloring with Elder Coiti, ME, ROnin, Sharla, Elder Simer, And Elder Guimaraes

More fun with food coloring

I forgot something pretty exciting that happened this week.. I saved an 11 year olds life... She was hanging from a quarter pipe and a light pole about 15 feet off the ground. At first she was laughing when we asked if she was all good. she said ya I just need to get up eventually. Then we continued talking to one of her friends when she started to slip.. crying she asked for help. So as fast as I could I sprinted up the 15 foot half pipe to go and save her. She was slipping and I tried to grab her hands to help her up.. She was too scared to let go .So I picked her up by her arms and hauled her over the side of the half pipe. I have lost a lot of Strenght, but miraculously I was able to lift her up and save her life. Afterwards she decided to just run off...

Another Week in Brazil

I see this basically every day! Proof God does exist! 

November 10, 2014

What do I have to say for this email this week. I will basically do a summary of how I think things were going and then what happened to finish it all off. 

This week it was looking like we were going to have a really solid week this upcoming week. We had about 3 people that could be ready to be baptized for this next week. Well it turns out that they all dropped off. The adversary is working really hard against us right now because all the reasons that they couldnt were super crazy. One decided to move that day and move to another area... one of the other ones decided to move as well and we havent seen her since. Then the other one had her child taken by her ´´Spouse`` so she couldnt come to church. I have never heard of so many weird things happening in one week. But I do know that we recieve trials and get tested so we can recieve even more blessings eventually. I am super grateful to see these people at least make progress. IT is a good thing to see people become closer to their Heavenly Father. 

One thing with the new way missionaries are working is that the Lord literally trusts us with everything. We are in charge of the recent converts, the people looking into the church, and the people who lost their way from the church. We are now in charge of doing this. I am more than humbled by how much the Lord trusts His missionaries. We literally represent Him in all that we do, so we better do it well right? I think so too haha. We will be spending a lot more time with recent converts of the Church to make sure that they stay strong, so we will most likely not be finding as many people to teach at the start, but with time weve been promised exponential growth in all of our areas. The Lord has a plan, we just need to act on it. 

So while I have been waiting for the last general conference magazine to come out I have re-read all of the conference from last October. THere were so many good talks that seemed to speak directly to me. I am so thankful to be in a church that recieves revelation directly from God to His Apostles and Prophets. The role that this has played in my life is absolutely crucial. If you dont know what this means I suggest you look into it. It is one of the GREATEST blessings that we have been given in this earth. I really cant wait to see what this last conference had to say. Hopefully I will recieve the magazine sometime this week. 

English is starting to feel pretty weird to me. The only time I really think in english is right now when I am writing to you all. All the other times I am thinking in portuguese. unless I am helping someone with an english word. I really do believe it is amazing how fast I am being able to learn portuguese. I am not perfect by any means, and I still have a long way to go, but I know that I have had a lot of help From my Heavenly Father. 

I recieved a letter from home this week. It really made me feel good. It was about how she thought I was a good influence while I was at school and how people realized I had something different. But to be honest I really didnt even know what II had while I was home. It wasnt until now that I realize how much I truly do have in this Gospel. 

We went to an area of some sisters to do some baptismal interviews, while we were doing that I had to wait outside a house. With some crazy little girls. well anyway they grew to like me. Then a little bit later we were a few houses away and one of the girls was riding abike. SHe said ``HEY ELDER`` then she fell off the bike hahahaha. It was super funny to see. haha.

Then on the way back from that trip we were riding the bus and the music that was being played was in english. You will never guess who they played. TYLER WARD> for those of you who dont know he is one of my favorite youtube stars and I look up to him a lot for following his dream. Then that night one of the members told someone else that I have yotube videos. So now she thinks I am famous. She asked me for my autograph and took a picture of it for when I return and  ``MAke Millions``

THis week was a little frustrating and not the best. But I had a good attitude the whole week. I have the opportunity to be here. I am not going to be sad while I am here. Sure there will be times of difficulties and where I will just be sad, but I know I have someone much greater than me walkiang with me every step of the way. 

TRust in the Lord with all of thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. I think this is Proverbs 3 5-6 I am probably wrong, but I love this scripture. It is so true.

Love you all. 


they do christmas lights here too! I Am more than excited to see what the streets will look like. CHristmas will be really weird here.. .probably really hard too. but we will just have to wait and see.

Translation: Road Good Jesus

For all those who wanted to see our house.