Elder Akina was able to Skype home on May 10, 2015 for Mother's Day. Here are the highlights of his call home - - along with a few photos. Words really can't accurately describe how happy we were to be able to see and hear from him as he serves in Brazil!
It was magical!
|Elder Nunez & Elder Akina|
|Primary kids placed the Dogs on the back of his tag!|
- Transferred to Cidade Aracy, Sao Carlos.
- Aracy (Ah-Ra-See) has less meat to eat, they do have potato salad!
- New companion is Elder Nunez from Rio de Janiero.
- Elder Nunez is a Capoeira Master!
- Lives in a home with 2 sets of Elders (Jamon y Larenchi), one of them is a very good COOK! All Elders are native to Brazil.
- New area is not as agricultural as Portal Bordon, there are more hills in the area!
- There is a government housing where many of their investigators live, it is a dangerous place to visit.
- Many of the investigators don't believe Elder Akina is American, his Portuguese is really good! They ask him to speak English to prove he is American - - major fail as his English is now horrible!
- Brazilians can't say "Carter" as there is no "ter" in their language. So he is "Ahhh - - - key - - NA". Heavy emphasis on the "NA"!
- He spoke pretty eloquent Spanish with Kanani! What's up with that?! Elder Fernandez taught him Spanish as well - - who knew!
- The Sister who had them over to Skype is an investigator, she came in the room to meet Elder Akina's mom - - she was a doll! Said Happy Mother's day and blew hugs and kisses! She loves our Elder!
- Nights are very cold in the new area - - he is happy to not be so HOT!
- Upon departure of his first area last week - - he was given all kinds of gifts from the members. He isn't sure how he is going to haul it all around!
- He will begin teaching English classes in the area over the next two weeks and is working with the other Elders in the house to help them learn English.
- He teaches phrases rather than vocabulary for the 1st hour.
- Focuses on root words and tenses 2nd hour.
- His home has a washing machine, there are no dryers in the homes. They line dry all their clothing.
- He gave a shout out to all the e-mails he receives each week. Says to be patient, he gets 16 - 20 emails a week and sometimes can't respond. READ THE BLOG!
- He loves interviews with President Canuto, his Mission President. Says he learns a lot about the work and the culture.
- There are so many things Americans take for granted, like having your trash picked up weekly at your house! Clean drinking water on tap in the kitchen!
- Your stomach never gets use to the water!
- Toilets are smaller here - - this is a struggle!
- I dream in Portuguese!
- I have given away many of my ties as members don't have them for church. They notice that I wear a new one each Sunday, then ask for them since "I have so many"!
- Spiritual Experiences:
- Praying for guidance in the moment as the discussion changes while you are teaching. Silently praying for guidance. Then my companion and I respond the same way - - we both get the same answer ALL THE TIME!
- Promptings come if danger is present.
- Book of Mormon knowledge and how it is intertwined with the Bible, I did not understand the connection like I do now.
- Seeing our investigators desire to change, stop smoking or drinking so they can have the gospel in their lives. They are determined and work very hard. It is a strength to me that they are willing to do this work for the gospel.
- ADVICE to Ben, Baylor, Braxton and Caleb: Preparing to leave on their own missions shortly
- A mission is fun and scary at the same time!
- Be mentally tough and tell yourself you can do it!
- No time to be shy, be bold with the work.
- There is no such thing as a perfect investigator. They all have trials or struggles to overcome. Love them as they search and pray for answers.
- Be organized! You have to keep track of your appointments, investigators and meetings you need to attend. You don't want to lose someone because you forgot to write it down!
- Be obedient. You need to be the companion that keeps the rules. Be upfront and say that you are here to work.
- Be prepared for your Mission President to drop in! On the day you are lazy he will appear!
- On the days it is hard without your phone, music and friends, REMEMBER YOUR PURPOSE! Slackers forget their purpose!
- The CTM is mentally challenging as your days are long. You can do it! Once you understand why you are there it all changes!
- Dogs are real on your mission. Use your bag to protect yourself and the heel of your shoe to kick the dogs!
- Final Advice: Go hard, Be obedient, Love the people and Rock your Mission! I am proud of you guys!
So serious! Happy Mama! Love my boy! The Boys listening and laughing with Elder Akina!
|Caleb, Braxton, Baylor & Ben|