Elder Akina

Elder Akina

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week #63 The Christmas Skype

 Hey Mom - - 
     Okay the pictures I sent are all in Dropbox.  It's waaay easier to put them there, they upload like instantly.  You can download from there, and share them.  There are a bunch of pictures from Christmas there.  Plus a video, the video is crazy! 
At the Nativity
     So the first pic is me at a Nativity, the next one is an alligator that we found in a roundabout in the middle of the city lol, watch the video at the end to see more fottage of the Alligator.   The next picture is Christmas eve dinner at President´s house, then the food that we ate - -  the pics of the dessert, (my pudim is on the right, there are two in like ring form) it was good.  The next one is us with the gifts President gave us, and after that the gift we all got President and Sister Canuto, they are jerseys of the Piracicaba Quinze, the football team for the city.  They loved them! 
The Alligator - - - Elder Akina'a Mom is asking, why do you have to stand so close?  Run!
     Super nice talking to everybody yesterday..  It was awesome to have the family there and to chat with Elder Hee!  Send me the video of my testimony, or put it in the dropbox, so i can see it. It's good to know everyone's doing great, 
The Jersey's!
See my desserts!
     I love you all,. tchau  Elder Akina

Christmas Skype Details:
Tell us about the office:  
  • It is very different than what I am use to.  We catch taxi's every where - - not as much walking.  I miss the streets and teaching, but the office is a great experience.
  • A lot of responsibility keeping paper work straight with Visa's etc . . . 
  • My companion is Elder Johnson, he is from Nebraska, his family moved to Dallas while he's been out on the mission.  He goes home in a week or so.
  • I have to tell missionaries NO when they ask for stuff, like new phones.  I am the hammer!
  • I provide a lot of translation support for our office as we communicate with church HQ and parents in the U.S.  I have really taken the time to learn the language as a native speaker.  I love speaking with the people.  When they think I am Brazilian I feel like I have forged that bridge of trust - - I want them to know I care enough to speak as they do.   When they ask me to speak English to prove I am American I fail!  It's pretty funny!
    Happy Mama
  • I will travel the mission with the President in January  - - my power point and portion of the training is complete and ready to go!
  • Our apartment is a 10 minute walk from the office. 
  • We typically proselyte from 6 - 9 p.m. everyday, some days we get tied up in the office and don't make it.   
  • There is a really nice market, Carrefore Market - - it has everything I need.
  • We Hoop every Monday, Elder Johnson and I are known as the guys in the white shirts.  They play us by fouling - - trying to beat us.  Have not lost a game yet.  Oh - - I gave my Kobe's away. They aren't important or part of the spirit of the mission.
Where did you spend Christmas:
  • We ate Christmas eve dinner at the mission home.  It was awesome - - really good food.  I made that custard desert!
  • The Canuto's loved their jerseys.
Did you get your Christmas Boxes?
  • Got your's mom and dad, Aunty Tiare, lots of Christmas cards and M & M's from Aunty Debby.  I had to pay to pick up the M & M's but not the boxes, go figure!
  • I love the Christmas Garland!  The letters each day were awesome  - - thank you to the family members who wrote to me!
  • I got letters from the seminary class, please tell them thank you!  Seminary is at night here.
English Class:
  • We are on break for the holidays, we resume on January 6th. 
  • I love teaching English, we average 30 to 35 people a class.
  • I use post it notes to play games with them - - this invites interaction as they talk to each other.  
  • I keep in touch with Elder Romney and Elder Hatch.  Elder Kendrick emails me too.  
  • He asked about Elder Stuart in Russia, Elder Stuart in Spain, Elder Slade in Angola, Elder Kendrick in Nicaragua and his Spanish, Elder Nelson in Sweden and Elder Gilbert in Alabama.
  • I get lots of emails, tries to respond even if it is a short hello!
Elder Akina in Brazil and Elder Hee in Washington state - - -skyping!
Love technology!

Love this kid!
Ohana chatting with our Elder!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week #62 Feliz Natal

Hazzit Everyone, 
     This week was pretty sweet, we had our confraternização de Natal, ( christmas conference).  It was cool, there was sooooo much mail to give out.  
Office Staff: AP's and Secretaries
     This past week we renewed 4 visas, all of Central America, Honduras, one from Salvador, 2 from Guatemala. I think I got the process down. I  am going with 2 more this Tuesday.  (the missionaries that are being renewed have to go with us, so that have to sleep in our house that night in Piracicaba) an American, and a one from Cabo Verde Africa, his process is a little different than the others but we got it figured it out.  I going by myself this time, Elder Johnson wants to see if I can do it by myself. 
     Oh yeah - -  great news, President Canuto´s son got his mission call!  He is going to the Salt Lake City South mission, which I think is where Elder Hee served! He doesn't speak English, we never think of those who go state side and have to learn English.
     I got put in charge of his Visa!  I am done, we will start this week, ha - - ha!  I just got done learning how the Visa for Brazil works now I gotta learn the American one, but I'm pumped because I'm probably going to go to São Paulo with Pres and his son.  Super nervous, I just don't want him to have to serve in Brazil, I want him to go where he was called, so we're going try and get this in as soon as possible.  The good thing is, it will be an Ecclesiastical Visa, so I'm hoping it is a little easier.  
     I'm super pumped to skype with this week. Very excited to talk to you, I don't know when or for how long.  Be ready! 
Our Zone
     We are eating dinner at Pres's house Christmas eve, everyone says it's sick, so I'm pumped.  Our new Mission President has been called, we won't know who it is until January 9th, super anxious. 
     All my comps loved their ties. so thank you for those.  I got a box but I have to pay for it, the good news is it's 34 reals.   So that  like the cheapest it's ever been.  So I'll go get it Monday.  I gave all the candy canes out to my English class, they loved it!   we will start class back up on the 6th of January, we're taking a break for the holidays. 
     Feliz Natal para todo mundo, que possamos lembrar do verdadeiro significado de Natal, e sempre lembrar de nosso Salvador, e por causa do sacrifício expiratório dele todos nos temos segunda chances. Sou imencimente grato por isso, Feliz Natal, eu amo vocês. 
     I love you most, excited for Christmas!  Tchau  Elder Akina

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Week #61 Reports - - Reports!

Hi Mom,
     Piracicaba is dope!  It's a lot different than what I'm used to.   Ha - - ha I'm accustomed to a bunch of tiny neighborhoods spaced out and smaller houses.  Here it's buildings all over, traffic, cars and huge houses.  Being in the office is weird because we don't get to know our members as well as I would in my last areas.  No one even knows my name in the ward because the only time we only see anyone is Sunday for church.  
     For lunch we order Marmitex, I guess you could call it like a Brazilian plate lunch.  Its' pretty good, but we eat it everyday - - so it gets kinda old.  I guess I am grateful to be eating!   Some days they have chef specials where he mixes it up a little bit.  
     My English class is so AMAZING!  I love those guys, the cool part is they are all non-members.  I say prayers with them in English and a bunch of stuff.  This is the biggest class I have ever taught.  In my last areas there would be about 8-15 attending, this one has about 30-35 people, so it's a good time.  Lol - -  no one wants to leave when the class is done.
Ingles Class
     These past couple of weeks I've been looking for stuff to send you guys for Christmas, but like I can't find anything.  It's all a bunch of normal overpriced stores here in the city.  I am  going to  look again today. 
     This week was spent making these reports for President, and all of the Stake Presidents in our mission.  Key indicators for each area in each stake.  We renewed some protocols, got a hold of all the parents of missionaries going home this transfer, passed their itineraries out and all that good stuff.  We speak a lot of English here in the office - -  calling families, calling Salt Lake City, or other Mission Presidents.   I do a lot of translating.
     I got the mail you sent for my old companions,  you don't have to put President's name, I'm the one who gets it all! Super sick  - - because I used to have to wait for a Multizona or  transfers, but now I get it right when it gets here. Working in the office does have it's perks!  Oh yeah, did you know the dates are different here, you put the day first then the month.  It confuses me so hard sometimes!
     I will be traveling with President in January, he will being giving training's in all of our zones in the mission.  I have 15 minutes to present my portion of the training. I'm  starting  this week on my Power Point.  I'm  touching on Baptismal Forms, but most of it will be on cell phones.  Misuse of cellphones! 
      Are you excited for Keapo's wedding?   You need to take a bunch of pictures for me! 
     I have no idea where we are going to be calling from Christmas day.  Excited to talk to you in a few weeks!  
     Love you guys, going to make this good week!  Elder Akina

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

English Class

Love that our missionaries teach Ingles - - teaching them to say "Carter", no "ter" in Brazil - - sounds funny! 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Week #60 1st Week in the Office

Hazzit going Everybody!
     This week has been suuuper crazy!   I am in the mission office now, I am the Executive Secretary. I am learning a lot in a little amount of time.  I am super nervous - - ha ha!  
Elder Akina working the office!
     There is a lot that the Exec. Sec. does.  Now I´m the one who goes and gets boxes for people and I do all the paper work. Tuesday was super crazy, it was transfers. I stayed in the bus station, in Piracicaba, pretty much everyone that gets transferred has to stop through that bus station.  So I gave them their bus passes that we buy ahead of time for each missionary going to that specific place.  That gets really confusing. I had a 2 Sisters miss their buses and 1 started to cry (Sisters are very emotional).  I have to make sure that all the missionaries take their boxes and letters for their zones.  So if there are just 3 people from one zone passing by the bus station, those 3 people are responsible for taking all their mail for their zone.  But the problem is that some missionaries don't like to take mail unless it's theirs.  So you really gotta pay attention to make sure the missionaries are taking their stuff for their zone. 
This is just half the mail at the office right now.
We get crazy amounts of mail around Christmas time!
     I ate at President's house on Tuesday.  This coming transfer I will be giving a training for all the new missionaries that are getting here.  At this past training we had a Sister that just got here from Anchorage, Alaska - - so I translated for her.  
     The part I'm worried about the most is the computer stuff, we use a lot of EXCEL and I'm still learning how to use it.  I'm also in charge of the phones - -  so I'm the one that burns people when they have a call longer then ten minutes or outside the curfew.  Plane tickets that's me, Visas protocols passports, mail, baptism forms, ordering materials - - that's me too! 
     We talk with a lot with people from the States. We had to call Elder Tarver who already went home, he's in Montana.  We needed his help because he was the only one that new how to use this program.  So Elder Johnson was talking to his mom and then all of a sudden she said, "How is Elder Akina liking the office?".  Elder Johnson was like,"How does Tarver´s mom know that you're in the office?" She said it's because she keeps up with my blog - - lol!  So here's a shout-out to Tarver´s mom if shes reading this in Montana. 
Elder Johnson, my companion and Elder Larenchi, we were together in Aracy.
     I'm in the office all day on a computer and a phone.  We usually leave around 5 to go proselyting, but we're seriously so busy this week we didn't have a lot of time.  I already miss the mission field.  I miss teaching, I miss being on the street - - but I am excited to be here with the staff, President Canuto and the AP´s. 
     We attend the Piracicaba Centro ward and look up the mission office on google maps or Earth so you can see what it looks like. OH YEAAH, we have AC!!  It's so weird being in a room with AC, like I freaked out.  I don't eat lunch in members homes anymore, we eat in the office - - marmita everyday.  The cool part is if you eat fast you can squeeze in a nap.
Proud Mother moment - - wake up!
     I have a ton to learn and I'm super excited.  Oh Yeah, Leonardo did not get baptized last week, he has a date set for the 12 of December, so this coming week.  I will have Becker send pics of the baptism.  
     I got all 3 of my Christmas boxes.  I am enjoying the peanut butter and will save the rest for Christmas day.  Still waiting on the last package with my previous companion gifts.
Kitchen in the mission office.
     I heard about the shooting in San Bernadino, super sad. President Canuto is super cool, I never really spent much time around him in my mission.  I'm learning how he likes things done.  Hey Keapo's wedding is coming up soon right? Bummer to miss that!
      If there's one thing I've learned this past week, it's that the church is ORGANIZED man, there is place and person for everything! It's ridiculous!

Reception at the office
Reception at the office
More desks

I love you more.  Getting ready for another busy week - - lots to do!  Elder Akina