Monday, August 7, 2017

What a Packed Week!

Alô tudo mundo! 

Man has this been an interesting week. I will first start with how this week went. This week was packed! 

Nós we were busy because in order to get the three perspective baptisms this week, we needed to go there (visit the investigators?) basically every day to make that happen. So we did that and everything was looking right for that to happen until Thursday.  We talked to the father of Rosimere (she is older but she still lives at home) and her dad said, "oh you can baptize someone who is still smoking" (Which two things, first that was hard to translate that from Portuguese to English and second, she told us that she had stopped smoking and everything) which was a surprise to us.  So we talked to her the next day and continue to talk to her about that.  Then, we talked to the mom of Fernanda, and she didn't give her permission after 20-30 minutes of trying to talk to her (but it went from a straight no to in a few weeks so that is good haha). 

Then, came Saturday. Saturday, we did splits because Elder Western needed to do the interview because he is the zone leader and you need someone who hasn’t been teaching and invested in the person to give the interview. So I was with the other Zone leader when we received a call that Ingrid will get baptized! Man I was super happy.  We had a great turn out and after the baptism I was just filled with so much joy because we helped another person get closer to Christ and it is amazing to see that happen! 

Then, after church (where she got confirmed!) we were having a meeting with the ward missionary leader (Líder de missionária da ala in Portuguese) when the Assistants called (we just finished our last week of the transfer) and we received our next areas and companions. 

So, my companion Elder Bledsoe will leave for Manchester and finish the training of Elder Cunha there. (Still in Juiz de Fora so that is chill). Elder Western and Elder Hilario will stay our zone leaders. AND I WILL... do nothing as well I will stay in Bairu (Antiga Grajaú) and I will pick up my new companion, Elder Valdivieri tomorrow at the rodoviária (bus station lol) which is cool because first, he is from Argentina, and second, this is his last transfer before going home so that will be fun! So yeah that was the week. I will talk to everyone next week!

Love,
Elder Kupferer

Monday, July 24, 2017

God is Great

Hey so this week was amazing.

So first off, we have been working a lot.  We received uma referencia [a reference] from Andre, a 13 year old member and we talked with two of his friends and marked dates. 

Then on Friday, things went south. The past week almost all our dates fell through, my comp and I were a little tired of knocking doors, and were a little tired of the area. It got a little better but was hard. 

Then Saturday, we went to Homero, a member and his daughter was there so we started to give her a message, but then turned it into a lesson and then committed to the 5th for baptism! Then we talked to Homero and he was in shock haha. 

Then on Sunday God blessed us with miracles. So first, we went to wake up a member João Victor because he usually sleeps in past church and when we arrived, an investigator was there and he said that he would go too. Wha... alright. 

We had two other girls that thought church started at 7 so they were there... at 7 lol. Fernanda was mad at Ingride (the two girls) but after church we committed them to the 5th as well so I will hopefully have some pictures that day. And that night we were trying to hit the standard of new investigators. (from Dahrl:  When I asked him what this means, he said 15.  What I think he is saying is that they have a goal of getting 15 new investigators in a week or a month.)  So we started and got 4 IN 25 MINUTES. That was a record and I just turned to my comp and said, "Why don’t we do this all the time?" So you will see more from us hahaha. 

I have been trying to teach my comp English and the other Brazilian with the other American and it is hilarious. We are reading the Book of Mormon in English and it is hilarious. 

Well, this week was awesome. I will talk to you guys next week!

Love,

Elder Kupferer

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Festa Junina

Ai caras beleza?! Man this week was hard but a lot of fun as well. 

So this week, we had two Festa Juninas [*] and if you ask, what is that, well.... good question. I don’t know haha but our ward threw it and it was really cool. We also went to a birthday/Festa Junina para um menino [for a boy] called Diego, who is one of our investigators. 

Also, we went out and worked some members which is always fun. 

Oh and I am teaching my comp some hymns in English which is pretty entertaining.

 Also, we had a baptismal interview but she was drinking coffee the day before so the next one is for this week! And we had a date fell through so that was hard because she is awesome but fell through because she didn’t want to go to church because of some of the people there (long story) but Ronaldo and Miriam are stronger than ever, asking awesome questions, just need to get married! They made food for me and my companion every week for the past three weeks and it is amazing. 

I also hiked up to the Christ statue again so that was awesome. 




Thanks for all the love and support. Talk to you all next week!

Elder Kupferer


[*] “Festa Junina” is the term used to describe the traditional festivities that happen at the beginning of the Brazilian winter in June. It is a month to commemorate some of the most famous saints for Catholics; namely Saint Anthony, Saint John the Baptist and Saint Peter. It is also a month to honor rain, the harvest season and marital union. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fourth of July...Kind of

Hey everyone!

So, this week we celebrated the Fourth of July! Sort of. Since I am in Brazil, no one does anything for an American holiday so I went to an açai place and celebrated with that. 



Then this week we just worked. Like, I don’t think I have had a week this busy, but what a blessing. 

First, we finished less actives in a bairu (neighborhood) called “Linhares” and they said to come back in a little bit. 

So, we continued and we talked with a reference and they let us in. We taught them, one had already been taught but the other three haven’t and all three of them accepted baptismal dates! And they were going to come to sacrament meeting, but there was a family emergency. 

But then we are continuing with a lady named Aparecida, who believes in everything, but when it comes to baptism, she is hesitant. So, we are just working with her and her husband (a member) Elizier, is awesome! He is trying to speak English so he is talking to me in english, and he sings. He is also 86 years old! So that is impressive. 

For sacrament meeting, we had 7 investigators there so that was amazing! But one didn’t come because of a different family that was already there. They apparently hate each other so that will be interesting to see what happens because they are both awesome. 

And we also had Zone Conference which was awesome. Sister Lacerda talked about 8 steps for emotional stability so that has been good to use because if you are emotionally healthy, your body functions better and you can work more effectively. Also, President Lacerda and the assistentes all said great things that I am trying to continue to use. But that is it for this week. 

Love you guys!

Elder Kupferer

Monday, July 3, 2017

Transfers and 4 Months

Oi tudo mundo! Esta semana foi legal! 
[Hi everyone!  This week was cool!]

So this week was the first week with my new companion, Elder Papalino, from São Paulo! He is really cool and Elder Bledsoe and Elder Pereira arrived as well. 



We then got to work and we have 3 new baptismal dates. And something really cool happened this week. Ok two things. 

First, I hit 4 months in the mission! I can’t believe that that much has already passed! 

Second was a literal gift from God. So, we were a house with some investigators, and we were teaching about the plan of salvation. So we finished and we felt like we should invite them to get baptized so we invited them for the 22 of July and the mom got really spooked. She then told us that her dad died one year ago from that date and that she was planning on doing nothing that day because she would be super sad and then we came along and told her something that could change her life. It was an awesome experience. Then after that, they mentioned that they were not married yet because of some legal issues but are getting married this month! So guess I am going to a marriage! And as we were finishing up we asked them the three things they need to do (these things are usually read the Book of Mormon, pray to know if it is true, and go to church). We said one and the dad said, marriage (I mean, yeah that too) and then we said second, and they said baptism (YES not what we were going for but yes) and the best thing is that they came to church! Dude I have such a strong testimony of our Heavenly Father that He lives and helps to prepare His children to return back to Him. I am grateful for this week and am excited to continue to work! 

Love,

Elder Kupferer

Monday, June 26, 2017

Noite do Bang Bang

Man was this week busy. So first thing was that we finally had this activity that was planned weeks back (or at least mostly planned). So this past week, our LZ [zone leaders] (because even though it was our activity, everyone in our zone was invited to bring investigators, especially since our mission president was speaking) wanted to do a little skit about the Plan of Salvation. So this past week we did that in the morning instead of studying. So we prepped for that, had our usual meetings with the ward mission leader, and the activity began on Saturday. It was a lot of fun and everything went smoothly once it started. Then the other dupla [literally ‘double’, meaning companionship] had a baptism (and Bairu but the next morning). Then we had something insane happen on Sunday.

So we usually have two wards at this building but on Sunday, they announced that the two wards were merging and is now called “ala Bairu” (which was the other ward already). So that also means that all the missionaries here are now for Bairu because there is no more Grajaú. But then we had the call for transfers, which also means I finished my training! That just means I am a normal missionary now. But we got the calls last night and I got transferred.... to the other side of my house.

Yeah so I am now just with Elder Papalino but because of this ward change, everything else got moved around. For example, Elder Western will be training again (haha boa sorte [good luck]) and will be the district leader in Manchester (still in Juiz de Fora).  Elder Pereira will be coming into our house with another elder, Elder Bledshoe (I think that is how you spell it). The zone leaders got moved to the house in Bairu (where Elder Pereira was) and Elder Smith got transferred to Conselho Paulina (Elder Smith just arrived two weeks ago).

So this week has been an adventure and I am glad to continue here in now Bairu!

Love,

Elder Kupferer

Monday, June 19, 2017

Dom de línguas é real! [The gift of tongues is real!]

Olá gente! Está semana foi top jé mais! 
[Hi guys! This week was ________]

First off, I helped with two mudanças (moves/out of a house) and they were interesting! They were both with our district leader and comp in their area but the first one, Elder Pereira cut his finger on the washing machine and he went to sit down after a few minutes and then PASSED OUT! He was sweating and turned white, it was pretty scary in the moment. So we then called Sister Lacerda and she said, "Oh elders that is nothing, just send him home, eat some crackers (or bread I don’t remember) with butter and he should be good.”  Elder Pereira ficou bravo demais! (stayed really mad). That was fun hahaha. 

Next move, we first moved them out of the old apartment and then we had to go up uneven, steep stairs in the other apartment. That was pretty difficult but she fed us afterwards so it is all good. We then had an activity after that move at the church. It was futebol, and it was a BUNCH of fun. It was just jovem [young] investigators so everyone was playing fast and it was good. And after that Diego, 12, said that he wanted to get baptized now. MILAGRE!!! I was sooo stoked to hear this, the Lord truly helps, it was great! 

Also, this week Elder Kzeczik was transferred to Varginha and was transferred with Elder Smith! He is from Draper, Utah and is pretty great. So we have three Americans in our house and I thought that I would hear more English, but I just hear mostly Portuguese, and man, dom de línguas é real! [the gift of tongues is real!] So I have still been reading some things in English and my comp and the other missionaries were constantly saying “Português” (as in “read in Portuguese”) and I would ignore them but they finally seriously said that I would learn more if I stopped. So I did it, and I understand so much more now! I understand the people on the street, in houses, and I understood all the talks this week. 

Speaking of Sunday, Leonardo passed the sacrament this week!!!! It was great to see him to continue to progress in the gospel! Also, we had four investigators at church, and a less active, Gabriel, came to church. He had not been to church for two years and he stayed all three hours! 

Well this week was great and went by super fast. Hope everyone has a great week!

Love,

Elder Kupferer

Monday, June 12, 2017

BATISMO! [Baptism!]

BOM DIA TUDO MUNDO! [Good morning everyone!]

This week was pretty great even if my comp was sick for a day. So first, for district meeting our district leader had crackers, cheese, and yogurt with grape juice ready for us which was dope. 

Then that day Elder Western got 15 new investigators and then we got 5 dates so it was a good day. THEN Elder Western was sick for two days so I got stuff done around the house.

Then we continued to work Friday but on Saturday, we went around getting people/ teaching people and then later that day I baptized Leonardo! He was someone that I found on splits but the other elders took him. Luckily, I was able to baptize him and I was able to see him get confirmed the next day. It was amazing! I am so glad to help a person come closer unto Christ. It felt great.





Later that Saturday, we had an activity, and then on Sunday I gave my second talk of the mission, which was on missionary work (ha that´s easy). It was a great week and I am excited to continue to work hard this week. Hope everyone has an amazing week!


Love,

Elder Kupferer

Monday, June 5, 2017

Bad Boys, Shrek and Cancun

Man has this week been great! 

So, it started with a pretty great district meeting where we set higher goals and really talked about how we can continue to work harder. At the end, we took pictures and one of them was with Elder Kzeczik and he saw the picture and said, "Bad Boys" which was pretty funny in the moment. 




Another thing is that we got 7 baptismal dates this week! It was awesome, some were referrals but some were just us running into people. One of them is named Dudu, and he has close to nothing, but he seemed really interested in the gospel and we marked a date with him.  After the meeting, he gave us a Shrek doll which was really cool and nice considering what he had. We then continued to work with members and just try to continue to work hard. 



On Saturday though, we went to this açaí and lanches (snacks) store called Cancun which is run by some people that know the missionaries and subsequently us very well.  Maria, one of the owners, made us some soup that we all got to enjoy and it was fun to just relax and talk with them. 



This week has been amazing (I passed my 3-month mark two Sundays ago) and I am just continuing to work hard, especially with 7 new baptismal dates! I hope everyone has a good week! 

Love,

Elder Kupferer

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Blessings of the Priesthood

Hello everyone! This week has been an interesting one but has been a hardworking week.

First off, we gave two blessings this week which was amazing. They were two investigators and I was able to be a part of it. We also gave my companion a blessing and I have really seen how the Lord has been able to bless His children through worthy priesthood holders and I am glad that I can be one of them and stand as a representative of Christ.

Also this week, we had some trouble with a baptismal date. This person has some legal trouble and they can’t be baptized until this is resolved so that was a little hard. Also, the other baptismal date is always gone when we try his house. But we gained 8 investigators in one day and are continuing to work hard and I have seen the Lord’s help.

We will see how this week will go but I feel this week will be better. Talk to you guys next week. 

Love,

Elder Kupferer

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mission Tour with Elder W. Mark Bassett

Oi tudo mundo! This week has been pretty great! We had a lot happen this week. 

First thing was we had a mission tour which is when a General Authority comes and talks to us and we get to meet him which is pretty cool! Elder W. Mark Bassett is a General Authority Seventy and is a member of the Brazil Area Presidency. 




We also took a picture of the entire mission with him but he was taking a while to show up so we were all standing and I was talking to a guy from Shelley, Idaho and we were talking about random stuff and I was trying to tell him that my grandparents who live in Arizona used to have a spot for missionaries (an apartment for missionaries to live in) but the word for grandparents is avos, and the word for eggs is ovos. Então, I told him that my eggs live in Arizona which makes absolutely no sense. Got to love mess ups with the language! 

Then after that, we continued to work and went to a possible investigator's house. She wasn’t there but her son was and he let us in. His name is Douglas and we continued to talk to him and by the end we set a baptism date! That was great but now we just need to continue to work with him. 

We also had stake conference which was good. All the talks were good and I understood a good amount! Overall this has been a good week and I can’t wait to continue. Talk to you guys later!

Love,

Elder Kupferer

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Transfers

Esta semana foi muito bom! [This week was really good!]

I did a lot this past week but I will start by talking about how we had transfers and we will be staying here! (Elder Western, Kzeczik, and I) Elder Igure got transferred to Teresopolis and we gained Elder Papalino who is really cool (and Elder Pereira until his companion shows up). But starting with last P day, we went and hiked this hill called O Morro de Cristo (the hill of Christ) which had this awesome view at the top. The next day we had district meeting which was good because we did some role-playing that helped me out this week. Then on Thursday, we helped someone move and then got some food afterwards so that is always good! The next day we had an emergency practice for the Mission Tour this coming week. What a mission tour is, it is basically when an Area Authority (in the Seventy which is a separate quorum) who comes and talks with us (or chastises us, we’ll see haha) and then he has a bigger meeting with all the wards and stakes in the area. So that will be fun. Also, this week we have two baptismal dates that we got so I am excited to help them prepare! This week has been good and I can´t wait to continue to work in Grajaú for another transfer! Oh, we also had a festa for the new transfer. 

Love, 

Elder Joseph A. Kupferer

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Week of Splits

Cara esta semana foi interesante! Hey everyone so this week has been interesting. 

So we did splits three times this week because I think we were supposed to and for some of the work to progress it was necessary (for the other dupla to change up) so I was with Elder Igure half the week which was interesting but we were working hard and I have gotten way better at making contacts in front of the church enquanto nós fazemos capela aberta (while we do open church (I think?)) which was a struggle before but it started to get better. 

I also visited a great investigator that has great potential. He also plays the accordion so that was a lot of fun. Also, there was a divisão com um outro missionário and he stayed with us for a night which was awesome. 

Overall this week has been filled with helping members, going with members to menos ativos, and just finding and teaching! Sorry it is short but I am a little pressed for time. Talk to you guys next week!

Love,

Elder Kupferer



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Welcome to Grajaú 2

So this has been a really interesting week. So first off, right as I sent the previous email from last week, my trainer gets a call from President Lacerda (but he only said President so I thought he meant Branch President) and as soon as he hangs up, he says, "Well, we are being transfered." I honestly did not believe him but we were having an emergency transfer to Grajaú 2 which is in the city of Juiz de Fora because apparently the bishop called the mission president and said that he needed more missionaries. So President Lacerda prayed and thought of us. So after I finally started getting some great investigators that I felt that we had some great progress with, we got transfered but God has a plan for each of us and we are apparently needed here so we packed all of our stuff and we moved out. The night we arrived, we had a meeting with the bishop and I think his councilors so that was fun because I barely understood anything but it is great. We moved in with two different missionaries which is always fun. They are cool and will help us with the area. It is just tough because our area book had barely any good information so we were basically starting from scratch but the Lord has helped along the way and we have run into some great people that I feel that have great potential including this one guy that had been taught 8 years ago and wanted a tri (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price) so that was awesome. We had someone help get that and will give that to him soon. Other than that we have been just working hard. The members are good, possible investigators are great, and we just are trying to love every minute! Talk to you guys later! I would send pictures but this LAN House doesn’t really send them that well so until next week! 

Love, 

Elder Kupferer

Monday, April 24, 2017

Condensed Milk

Oi Tudo Bem?! Tudo Bem! So this week has been pretty awesome. I first had zone conference which was pretty awesome. President Lacerda talked for four hours and from what I could understand it was great! I am glad we could have the opportunity to have that conference especially since I also got to meet a good amount of people in my mission. Then I was back in my area and we got back to work. It was a little tough to start because we had one investigator tell us to go away, but the other ones are cool, just sometimes they aren’t very motivated so it is hard to make commitments with them. But we just contacted three people that seem really promising so we are hoping it works out. Also, people here are really nice and are very generous. For example, we went to just visit with a less active family and they had just bought chocolate milk and bread with meat and gave us some. And we went and took the sacrament to a member and she made us fruit salad which was good but I noticed that they love condensed milk here. It is very interesting. Another thing is that we celebrated my companion’s tenth month in the field so that was great. 




One last thing was that I had to give a talk in straight Portuguese for 10 minutes with a day’s notice. So guess who used language study for that talk? This guy. But it went really well and I am glad for a trainer that went over my main points to help make sure I was speaking the way I should. Well I hope everyone has a great week!

Love, 

Elder Kupferer

Monday, April 17, 2017

Welcome to the Mission Field

What’s up everyone! 

So these past few weeks have been interesting.  First off, I had to fly to my mission and that was really interesting because I was with 5 other people and we all decided to go on splits and divided into duplas (companionships) and we started handing out cards and information so that was fun.

Then, when we arrived, first the airport was super small (it was one building) so when we landed, we had to turn around to get to it, but when we were waiting for our bags, there were missionaries with the mission president waiting for us.



We then went to his (the mission president) house, got lunch and he showed us his skateboarding video that happened because he was trying to get someone to come to his institute class. (My president skateboards what’s up?!)  We then figured out our companions that night (mine is Elder Western from Salt Lake City which means he speaks English (yes) but we have been trying to only speak it when I need him too).  We then had dinner and my mission president then showed us pictures of when he had long hair and played the bass (like what!)




The next day, we headed to the area. It is this place called São João Del Rei, it is this super Catholic town with about 8-10 different Catholic cathedrals (or churches sorry I don’t know the correct term) which is cool but that means all the people are super Catholic which makes it a little harder to contact people but it’s great. 




The members here are great, they feed us lunch every day, and it is always fun to visit them (there are only about 20 members though so that is interesting). I am just trying to get used to being in a new area but I am loving it, loving my companion, and I love working. Thanks for all the emails and talk to you all soon!

Love,

Elder Kupferer

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Man with A Bear Tattoo

Oi! Tudo Bem? Tudo Bem! 

This week has been killer!  So first thing, I love always getting new missionaries, especially when you are the ones here longer. It is nice that we can tell them that it gets better but the best thing happened yesterday. I saw some new missionaries coming so I just said “Oi novos missionarios!” and they just gave me the biggest stare in the world. I felt accomplished that I sort of gotten better from that. 

I also had my first dream in Portuguese. I was at a concert and someone came up and needed me to translate for him because he was sick so I helped talked to someone in Portuguese which was awesome.  

We went to do Proteletismo and it was awesome. We handed out 8 Book of Mormons and had some fun experiences. 

The first one was I went to talk to a guy and he said “Meu paí é Satanás” (My dad is Satan) so Elder Carlson and I just said thanks and walked away. 

Then there was the man with the bear tattoo. We approached him and his brother (we will call his brother Jared and him the Brother of Jared {Book of Mormon reference, you should read it} because I cannot for the life of me remember his name because it was long and complicated).  We approached them and he stared at the book for a while, then just handed it back so we kept going, but when we were talking to another person, he came running up and grabbed my hand, and asked to see the book again but didn’t take it. THEN we walked past one more time and said that his brother would want it so I had to go get another book from a sister because we ran out and then handed it to him. And when we shook our hands and after we got his and Jared’s reference he grabbed my hand, lifted his shirt, and showed us his bear tattoo and closed his eyes, and said no power. SO that was fun. 

Then we had conference and that was honestly the best. I have such a strong testimony that we have a living prophet on this earth today and he still gives us constant guidance and council. Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you guys!

Love,

Elder Joseph A. Kupferer

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Suave na nave!

Oi todas as pessoas! This week has been a mix of emotions. 

The Portuguese is slowly coming and the food is starting to just be the same thing except for the occasional good surprise. The subject is actually a phrase that our teacher told us which means  “cool on the airplane” but it is so much fun to say that we keep saying it.

Also, the temples are always so much fun to go to. Also, it is also a lot of fun to go around the city but we started seeing the same stuff so we are going to try to change it up.

 Also, I have been in Brazil a month! I don’t know how the time has flown by so fast. 

So time for some sad news. One of my companions had to go home to have foot surgery because he dislocated his foot while stepping wrong on the track (there was a drop from the track to the grass) and he has a stage 3 sprain which means that almost all his tendons in his foot are torn.  He will have to be home for about 3 months but by the sounds of it he will be straight out once he can. If everyone could just keep him in your prayers that would be spectacular.

So I will talk to all later. Tchau!

Love,

Elder Joseph A. Kupferer

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Street Artist

So this week has been great! I first went out after emailing last week and got a Flamengo (a soccer team in Río) jersey, got a free cookie and I showed some people a food place that is amazing.

We also gained Sister Davila and an Elder Carlson who is my new companion with Elder Deal! (Not sure if I emailed about him last week but he is from Nebraska so that is cool.)

We have exercise time during the day and we are constantly playing volei (volleyball) and everyone is killing it. It is a lot of fun especially since Elder Carlson does a handshake whenever something good happens so we kind of do it a lot. 

We then did some proseletismo [proselyting] in the biggest street in São Paulo which was really interesting. We were handing out Book of Mormons to just random people and it was hard! There were a lot that didn’t want the book but we did hand out three. The first guy was a security guard who basically just asked us to hand him a Book of Mormon. The second guy was a minister for some Christian church and thanked us for the book so hopefully he reads it haha. And finally the last guy was the street artist. He was just painting these really small paintings and we just walked up and tried to speak Portuguese and he tried back and then said that he was actually was better at English so we then talked in English for about 30 minutes about the church and he seemed really interested and he said he would read it so there is hope! The coolest part though was that he was from Georgia, which is the country right by Russia which I thought was awesome. 

We have been doing splits and teaching each other which has helped with the Portuguese. Also, the devotionals are the best here, especially when we get the MTC exclusive videos. 

One final thing, I have the best district and can’t believe that I will be leaving for the field in 3 weeks! Thanks for all your support! Talk to you all soon!

Love,

Elder Joseph A. Kupferer