Monday, July 29, 2013


July 22, 2013

This week was sweet. A breath of fresh air that I needed to get excited again. We found a lot of new people to teach and did a lot of service. It was just good.

So Monday we had a regular day of work instead of pday because we went to the temple for the whole day on Wednesday and it counted as our pday. Monday wasn't a really well planned day. We kind of just went from house to house of the people that are in our teaching group. We taught a couple lessons and contacted this chick, Lua. We got her name from the mission office and hunted her down. She said she had never talked to the missionaries before and doesn't know where we got her name. We taught her any ways. She's 17 and used to go to the baptist church. It was a cool lesson. Kind of an awkward girl who kind of just did everything we said. I think she was nervous. Don't know why but we gave her the Book of Mormon and the challenge and she took it. She lives with her family and her boyfriend's family so that's a bummer for the baptism potential but we'll work it out somehow. She lives super far away so she'll be a once a weeker. When we were walking back from her house Mainha called us saying there was a sister in the ward who was moving and she needed our hope. Yes mam! So we went to this lady's house and took all of her stuff by hand from one side of town to the other in like 50 trips. It was fun. Always good to do some manual labor to serve it up. Just something different period is fun.There were lots of young men there and we had a good time.

Tuesday I woke up and was sitting on our couch sipping my morningly protein shake and Felipe saunters out of his room and says there's a service project to do for the Bishop in Bondade. We hopped right on that service project not knowing what we were getting ourselves into. Turns out we had to make a roof out of concrete.

So basically what we did was hauled gravel and sand up a ladder in a tin can to the part of the roof that was already finished, and then we mixed it with water on the roof. I had a shovel in my hads for about 4 hours straight just killing this service project. Everyone kept saying "O para ai! Look how hard the americano is working!" I asked, "Do Americanos not usually work??".... "no, they're usually mole(loose/bleh) Glad I could break that stereotype. I was super dead after the project.

My legs were dead. My back was dead. My brain was dead. My neck and arms were burnt to a crisp. Good thing the Bishop's wife made us some bomb food cause I was just dead. I guess my body isn't used to that manual labor anymore. So we were done with that and tried to find this kid Alisson who lives in the neighboring area, Bondade but is planning on going to our ward with his grandma. So we went on the hunt for his house. Impossible here because the numbers are retarded. I went on a mini split with Felipe because he knows his area better than I do. It was cool. I'd like to be his companion one day because we're good friends. Eventually we found it but he wasn't home. Dang it. Then the day ended and we went to sleep early because we were just dead.

Wednesday was the bomb. We woke and went straight to the temple. It's like a 45 minute bus ride. We wanted to get there early cause Elder Borges wanted to baptize his dad who died a while back. He baptized him but we couldn't watch because "We didn't have any family names to do." I'm not sure if that's a real rule but it's fine. I'm just glad that he got to do it. He was way happy after and it was just cool.
We ate lunch in the temple and it was really good food. Bought some stuff in the distribution center and did a session at the temple. The temple is just perfect. It's just a break from the outside world and normal life. It really is the house of the Lord. The session was full of missionaries and other random people and a guy from our ward, Artur was one of the oficiantes. He was really excited to see us. Good guy. After the session we took tons of pictures and headed off to Burger King across the street. (The only place in Brasil where refills are free). It's kind of just tradition to go there after the temple. Americans eating burgers. Tradition.

Thursday I really don't remember what happened. Sorry.

Friday. Uhhhh same deal. Don't remember.

I'll just write about some of our investigators. Jerlaine is the daughter of Claudenice, an older lady in the ward. Recently she stopped working and started studying and so she's at home to receive us. So we taught the first lesson to her and she understood everything and didn't have questions. She'll read and pray for sure. So last week we found a family knocking doors. Well just one door. Elder Amaral and I both got a feeling that we should knock on this one door and we found this family. Adriano is the dad and he got baptized like 12 years ago and hasn't gone to church in 10. His daughter goes to the Assembly(that can be corrected), and the mom just stays at home. This family is super legit. Adriano works every day and is dead when he gets back at night so we have to teach them all on Saturday. But the lesson was just awesome with them! They had tons of questions and were super willing to learn. Breath of fresh air! So all we have to do is reactivate the dad and the family is as good as baptized! OH! I almost forgot. We finally talked to Angelica's husband. He used to be from the assembly but is way open to new ideas. Their son has seizures a lot so they really are relying on god in their lives to help their family out. He knows he needs to include God in his life to get the blessings his family needs. It's great. The only problem is they have to get married! We taught him the first lesson and he liked it and will read and pray. He already went to church once and had some doubts about just the way people dress. Really easy to clear up. Angela already has a testimony so that's great. We'll go back there tonight I think.

I got the package! Supér excited to get my man-watch back. I was using this little digital one and gave it to Painho. He was super excited. I'm glad. Candy is always good. Brasilians can't handle the American candy. More for me I guess. And that orange tie is the one I wanted you to send! Props. I love you mom!

Well that's about it. I can't think of anything else but I love this gospel. Love being a missionary. Love my family. Love Jesus Christ.

Love, Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Cool Week

July 15, 2013

Hello everyone.
This week was cool I guess. I brought my journal with me to write ya'll cause I feel like I forget a ton of good stuff when I'm writing my emails. 
So pday was cool. We went to this shopping mall called Riomar. It's the biggest mall in the north east of Brasil. It is freaking gigantic. It has it's own city bus that drops the people off at the door. I've decided that as a missionary, going to the mall is weird. You stick out like a sore thumb. You see a bunch of stuff that you want to buy but really don't have the use for it. And then there's the movie theater where you see the posters of the movies that are coming out but you don't really have any reason to be excited because you can't see them until you get back. It's just weird. Whenever we go to a big attraction in the city on pday, we always see other elders there. It ends up being a little missionary reunion.  I don't think I will be going to any mall anytime soon, unless I really need something that they don't have in my area. On the way back there was so much traffic it wasn't even funny. There were at least 100 people on our bus and we were standing the whole time.  We got back home and ate at Painho's house. Day closed.
Tuesday we had district meeting in Olinda and studied. At night we had another FHE with that family with the daughter who has been struggling with her testimony. I prepared a message , because when you go to these family nights, you never know if someone's going to dump the message on you. But luckily, mom prepared something so all I had to do was testify. It was a great FHE, and a great message. It's always great to talk about eternal families, and the spirit is always felt. And family nights are also great because we always get free dinner. Score.
Wednesday we had a surprise meeting with President. We found out Tuesday night, so we had to hop on the bus again to get back to Olinda. It was a surprisingly really short meeting and ended with everyone getting interviewed by President Lanius. In my interview he said I was awesome. Somehow I feel like he says that to everyone, but it still made me feel good. haha. After the meeting we tried really hard to meet with people in our teaching group but it was impossible because nobody was home. I don't understand how everyone in our teaching group wasn't home on a Wednesday. We even tried to chase down some of the references that we got from the young men in the ward. Nothing happened with that because young men don't give addresses, just names. And when they do put addresses it's impossible to find the house because the numbers here are COOKOO. So we went to see if we could visit Kelly, a less active recent convert. She wasn't home so we ended up talking to her son, Henrique who hasn't been going to church and needs to receive the priesthood. We're good buds so I threatened him that I would punch him in the face if he didn't go. We laughed and he said he would but the problem is that he didn't. The whole time we were talking the neighbors dog kept biting my leg. I REALLY wanted to kick it but Henrique's neighbor was right there. So we left and went to grab something to eat. I was eating my burger, almost done, and this random dude comes off the street and asks me for a piece of my burger... I was like what?? So I gave the dude my burger kind of hesitantly, he grabs it and walks back to the street without saying thank you. Me and Amaral just looked at each other like what just happened. We got a good laugh out of it. Good times. After eating we found the kid we marked for baptism, Thomas, and brought him to the church to interview him. He's thirteen and is one of those kids you look at and just know is gonna turn out to be a bad apple unless someone intervenes. Good thing we met him. We taught him everything in the baptismal interview questions so he was ready to get interviewed.
Thursday was about the same deal. Going to the houses of the people we've been teaching without any luck. So we started knocking doors. Always the last resort. We talked to this guy from the assembly who didn't have any teeth. It's really hard to talk to people from the assembly because they are basically brainwashed. And it didn't help that this guy was crazy either. Tough luck. Then I remembered this lady that went to church the other Sunday  who is the daughter of this lady in the ward. She's not working and is supposedly interested in making a change in her life. So we went there and she wasn't home. We'll teach her this week. We went back home after that to rest a bit. I whipped out the area book and looked for some names from the previous missionaries who have passed through here. I found a few and we headed out. It's kind of fun to find people without ever seeing them before. It's a surprise when the name you found's face isn't what you picture in your head. We found this kid named Jão Vitor. 17 years old. When we found his house, his friend was way nice and let us in right away. ´´make yourselves at home!``...yeah. So When we got in the house there were like 10 people in there and it was kind of awkward at first. But then we got to talking and everyone kind of just focused on us and our message. It was pretty cool. We taught the first lesson. It went really well and everyone felt it. Turns out Jâõ Vitor had surgery on his brain and can't remember what the missionaries taught him before so that was interesting. His Baptist friend, Stefano was way interested even though he's Baptist. He knew a lot of stuff about the Bible and it was easy to teach him. Everyone said they would pray/come to church. Nobody came to church this Sunday so we'll see if they prayed this week. After that we went to this other FHE super far from our house. Where these people live, all the people in the ward say it's dangerous. People are scared of their own shadow here. I literally scare Felipe at night just getting up to get a drink of water. He just about cries every time. Anyways. We get there and do the message and everything, and then the family starts talking about a hacker running off to Russia... something about Obama?? It was one of those conversations I didn't have the vocab for so I didn't get the whole thing, but I kind of want to know what happened! 
Saturday we did a split with the dl so he could help us with the girls that need to be confirmed. The Mom likes us when we go there but we always hear things about her during the week about how she doesn't like the church... stuff like that. So me and the DL went to the house and talked to the girls hoping the mom would be home. She wasn't there so we just told them to go to church and left. This family is complicated. The mom always says she's going to be home but she never is, so it's hard to get a hold of her! The Oldest girl went to church without the girls that needed to be confirmed and she decided she didn't want to get baptized right now. Nothing we can do but wait. But we have to confirm these 3 sisters.
Sunday we were supposed to baptize but we found out Thomas lived in Bondade so we had to pass him over to the other elders in our house. We basically just gave them a free baptism haha. We really needed the baptism for our area, but as long as somebody's baptizing, I'm happy. 
So this next week we really need to find new people to teach. So in your prayers, please pray for this to happen! I'm feeling ready for a transfer. I've been here for 6 months and I need a change. That's usually the amount people get in their first area so we'll see what happens. Either way vou trabalhar ate o po! Love you family! Have a fun time in Utah. Dad.... play tons of golf for me!
Love you all!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hard At It

July 8, 2013

So this week was normal. Nothing super special. Just some weird stuff going on here and there that's funny to report. 
So pday was another relaxing one where we just stayed home and shot off fireworks. We couldn't leave because all the bus drivers have been on strike for about a week now. It's pretty annoying because that's all people talk about. It's affecting our work a little too because people are starting to work around the bus schedules, making it so we have to change our schedule too. Good thing the missionaries are pretty much always flexible. The Sunday before pday we were  aske by the Bishop to do a family night with this family who had a daughter going to another church. He wanted us to help her build her testimony and kind of see what the deal is because she used to be an active member of the church. So we walked up the huge alto in the pouring rain with Jyn and Mainha, and met Painho there too. The message was left by us. I chose to use a scripture in 2 Nephi towards the end of the book when he's kind of just bearing his testimony and saying that "I will meet you at judgement and we will know that what I was writing about Christ is true". It's a scripture that kind of just wakes you up a bit and he says something like, "If you don't believe in this book, believe in Christ... and if you believe in Christ, you will believe in this book too." The whole chapter is just powerful and is a good one to use for someone who needs to strengthen their testimony. After the message, everyone just bore their testimony, we sang a hymn and all the women cried. 
Another day we taught this kid named Anderson, 18 years. We went with this member Diego, 17 years old. Anderson has tons of dogs and Diego was getting super scared, so we called all the dogs over to mess with him. It was good fun. Anderson is one of these guys that always plays soccer behind the church and has tons of friends that are members. He's a good kid and everyone calls him batatão(big claves). He said he had already received the missionaries and that he hasn't been touched by the holy spirit to get him to be baptized. He knows that he has to, he just doesn't have the will to do so yet. We taught the first lesson because he said he's never heard of the restoration. Duh. We'll have to see what happens with him this week.
So Galileo booted us. I guess he couldn't handle it. He was progressing really slowly and stopped drinking for like a week. Then the weekend hit, we called to make an an appointment and his mom said he was getting wasted. I got a little depressed that day and just had to shake it off. We called a couple days after that and his mom said he didn't want to receive us anymore. Can't say I didn't see it coming but it still made us sad at the same time. We marked him for baptism like 3 times. And we were teaching his sister too. You win some you lose some. 
Valkiria is the mom of one of the young men of the ward. She went to church one time and said she wasn't working and had time to receive us. We went to her house and her son was asleep so we taught her without him. Her friend was there with her and she's one of those people that just talks to talk. I've learned that there are just people who just talk to talk and you have to interrupt them to say what you need to say. I've gotten quite good at this because it's kind of the culture here. Just talking, haha. So we taught the first lesson and challenged them both to be baptized. They both said, "yes."  I sensed that the friend was just saying yes just to talk, but Valkiria was sincere. We went back another day and marked her. She hadn't prayed or read but we marked her for baptism because we knew she would want to after praying. She agreed that it was fair. 
We taught this guy without legs yesterday. He was a reference from the bishop. One day, he and painho helped him into his house and noticed that his wheelchair had the emblem of the church on it and they started talking and told him that they would send the missionaries to leave a message with him. So we went there after church and taught him the first lesson. I asked him what happened to him and he said diabetes got him. He's really not a healthy guy and his mind is suffering because of it. He's been through a ton of surgeries and has scars all over his body. His speech is really hard to understand, even for a native speaker, but we got through it. We had to teach him like a child because he just couldn't concentrate. He's one of those people that just talks to talk that I was talking about. haha. Amaral and I had to tag team teach this guy because we would just get tired of trying to keep his attention. He can't read so that makes things different for the Book of Mormon. It's alright. We taught him as well as we could and challenged him to be baptized. He's going pray to see if he should. Ja era.
So we knocked a lot of doors this week. There's tons of weird people here, and some normal people. Teaching a normal person is literally a refreshment. People who understand and ask questions and want to learn. It's great. We met this guy named Jenilson. He's recovering in his house from a motorcycle accident. He said he was in the hospital for a while not really eating anything because when he got in the accident his intestines came out of his body and they had to fix him up; He's got tons of scars and stuff and he's trying to gain weight back so he can drive buses again. But he's super legit, 27 years old and says he's open for anything and that he wants to visit the church. He said as a kid he used to play soccer at another chapel close to Aguas Compridas with his Mormon buddies and they always talked about the Book of Mormon with him. He was really interested in the BOM and asked where he could buy one. We said anyone can get them for free from the church and that's why they're not in your usual bookstore. Cool. He's not married legally but he's planning to so there's hope for him and the woman he's living with. 
We found this family knocking doors. There were a bunch of kids in front of this house just staring at us and smiling. So I walked towards them and they got scared, haha. I said, "Why are ya'll scared? And I gave them all high fives and asked them their names. They seemed to like us. The mom came out and turns out shes a inactive member with like 3 kids over the age of 8. Missionary gold. She said she doesn't want to go to church or receive a message from us and so I kind of worked my words around her to let us visit to leave a message with the kids next week. She accepted and we're going to baptize/reactivate everyone!
So this week the same exact thing happened as last week with our baptism. The same girls didn't come to church to be baptized so we went there and marked her for the next week. This week were going to have to teach everything again and befriend the family because I don't think we've established that trust level with them yet. Her 3 sisters still have to be confirmed. It's just a mess and we're going to have to be careful and use members to get these girls to church. The mom couldn't bring them this Sunday because she worked because of the bus driver strike.  Somehow I think it would be weird to have 2 missionaries bring 6 little girls to church. It's just not realistic. Especially since they live pretty far away. 
The work is trudgin' along, me and my companion are good friends now and my Portuguese is getting better every day. It's amazing what happens when you put your trust in the Lord. Can you believe I completely forgot about the 4th of July. I feel like a terrible American, but I remembered on the 6th. Something about being in Brasil and a missionary just makes you forget about your identity, haha. Whatever. Love you family. Till next week!

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

Monday, July 1, 2013

Soccer Games and Teaching

July 1, 2013
Hello people of the outside world.
This week was normal. (as my comp says about everything). It's the same word in Portuguese. You ask him how he is and he just says normal. How exciting. 
We started off the week with some random pday fun. We were going to play volleyball with all the dudes from the ward but it was São João, the day of corn holiday and everyone went to the movies. Painho called everyone and set up a time everything. Oh well. I guess everyone just ditches the missionaries haha. So we stayed home and did pretty much nothing. Me and Felipe bought some fireworks across the street from our house and set them off behind the church. That wouldn't be acceptable in the US, but everyone in the city was setting them off so we just kind of blended in with our bombs going off haha. That's something people ALWAYS do when there's a holiday. There are always fireworks. And not the puny kind either. The ones that would be illegal in the US. After all our 5 reais of fireworks was gone, we went to Painhos to eat. It's always a party there. Everyone just yells and tells weird stories. We always eat cuscos over there. Its not the kind we eat in the US. It's super dry and yellow. You have to eat it with something moist. But it's good. I'll probably bring a ton home when I leave Brasil.
Tuesday we had zone meeting. Nothing special. We just went over our numbers and did a training and left. That day, our lunch from the members was money so we just ate in Olinda, the big city in our zone. Our area has two places to eat. This burger place, and this weird Chinese Brasilian place. So if we ever have a chance to eat outside our area we take it!  We went to this buffet and ate a ton for like 4 bucks. Something I've learned to like while I've been here is coke. I really didn't like it before the mission, but everyone drinks it here so I've learned to like it!  After, we went home and studied. We taught Galileo that night and he forgot everything we had ever taught him. It was disappointing but that's life as a missionary. Just got to be patient and go with the flow. We also went back to talk to the mom of the girls we baptized. We went with Mainha so that there wouldn't be any hard feelings or so that she could kind of smooth things over with the mom. And she did. Amazing what a woman can say to another woman to endear her to her. The mom, Luciene had looked up a bunch of stuff about Mormons on the Internet and said she didn't want to be baptized because of the things she found. Never look on the Internet! There are so many bad, false things about our religion on the Internet it's not even funny. We told her the church had always been persecuted, even since the times of Jesus Christ. We left her with the Book of Mormon prayer challenge again and invited her to church. She said she couldn't this Sunday but the next. I can't tell you how many times we've heard that phrase. "not this one but the next"....We'll see. We were going to baptize her other daughter yesterday but she didn't come to church. There's no way we can bring her, because we would have to bring her, and her 5 sisters under the age of 12. We were just going to have to rely on another miracle. We talked to her friend in the street and asked her if they were going to go and she said yeah she would bring them. But our baptism fell and the ZLs and DLs were on our backs. There was just nothing we could do but hope she went to church. So we went to our baptism's(Larisa) house after church, asked her why she didn't go, just to humor the DL, and she said her mom wouldn't let her because her mom had to go to work. There are some things as a missionary you just can't mess with. 
Wednesday we did a ton of contacts with little success, and a couple really good lessons. One of the lessons was with Angelica. This is Valeria's sister. She has a strong testimony of the gospel, and has a really firm desire to seal her family in the temple one day. She lives with this dude who used to go to the assembly of god, so you know he's ready to argue. She keeps saying they plan to get married at the end of the year, and that he has some doubts about the way people act in the church. The assembly has some strong rules about clothing, and what you can and can't use. He got all weird cause he saw a guy in the chapel with gagues. She said that's the only doubt he has so far about the church. Well if this is really the case, this guy is going to get baptized in no time, haha. But there's always something more. As a missionary you have to be on your toes to respond to whatever people will say or do. People are super unpredictable, so you kind of get used to improvising. We talked with Valeria while we were there too. She missed her confirmation on Sunday on Saturday. We talked to the Bishop, and he said she could be confirmed no problem. So we confirmed her on Sunday and she felt super relieved. We did too.
Thursday we did some mad contacts too. You never know what you're going to get when you make a contact.  It's like a box of chocolates. Sometimes it super good, and sometimes you just walk away laughing with your companion. Like this one time at Bandcamp. I mean this one contact we made was this house hidden in the trees. It was pretty creepy looking and I wanted to see what was inside so I clapped my hands and this super old, pale guy came out. Must've been 90 years old. He let us in and we began to teach. His wife came to listen and she was this tiny old lady with white hair. Really nice, too. We start the lesson, kind of , and the guy starts talking about EVERYTHING. Especially about the bad things that are happening in the world. He says there's no such thing as good, and that were kind of just here to do bad things. I won't go into detail. He was practically yelling and wasn't giving us a chance to speak. So I asked his wife what she believed and tried to tone it down a bit. She asked us what church we're from. We told her, started teaching her a bit and then she asked again; what church are we from? At this point Amaral and I are giving each other the signals to close it up and leave because these people are past the point of being conscious of what's going on around them. It was kind of sad but at the same time super hilarious. We really couldn't do anything but leave. We'll see them on the other side, haha. 
We had a baptism interview on Friday. It was super disorganized on our part. When we talked to the mom on Tuesday about her daughter's baptism she said everything was good and that we could do the interview on Friday because she would be home. During the week we didn't call her to make sure everything was good for the district leader to come. The district leader came on Friday and Luciene and her daughter Larica had left to go to school. The dl was super mad and we had to ship the ZLs in later that day after the DLs left. Everything was good. The interview passed, and we didn't baptize on Sunday. I already said why in this letter. The same day we taught a less active, Joelma, hoping that her nonmember husband would be there. We brought the Together Forever DVD about eternal families and he wasn't there. Dang. So we just taught her and invited her to go to church. She served a mission and everything, and she said she didn't have the courage to go to church. I don't understand people like this. Do they just lose sight of what is important? She said she still knows without a doubt that the church is true. She has this next door neighbor that visited the church this Sunday. Prime for baptism. We were thinking that we could get Joelma involved in converting her and it would make Joelma more excited about the gospel. It's perfect. 2 in 1! Sunday there was a huge game. Brasil and Spain. The city shut down and we went to a member's house because we just couldn't teach. We watched the game, I will not lie. But I don't feel guilty. How often do you get to watch Brasilian soccer in Brasil? Never. It was sweet. Fireworks in the street for all 3 goals. It was unreal. Oh and we reached our monthly goal as a mission for 200 baptisms! It's been years since the mission has done that. History!
Well this was my week. I love being a missionary. It's the hardest thing ever but every happy moment is worth the bad ones that we have to pass through. The church is true and Christ lives!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

Christmas Miracle

June 24, 3013

Vamos la.
So this week was a great improvement from last week. I can't remember everything in sequence but will try to put it all together. 
Tuesday was a good day. We went to district meeting and studied for 4 hours after that.  It doesn't leave much time for proselyting but we did the best we could. We visited a lot of people who weren't home and then we decided to visit Angelica. She's Valeria's sister, the chick we baptized last week. We knew going into the lesson that she really wanted to be baptized, but had to get married first. While we were studying in the first part of the day we decided to teach her about "The Family. The proclamation to the World".  We just kind of read it with her and taught her about all the things that didn't make sense. It was a super spiritual lesson and everyone cried, something about eternal families just touches that weak spot in people. It's amazing how true it is. She has a little boy with 5 years, and really wants to get her husband baptized and married to her. We'll go back there this week and see what we can do. 
The next day I remembered one of my baptisms from a long time ago, Cristiane who brought a friend to church and said she wanted to get baptized. Sometimes with little kids you don't really take things seriously like that but we decided to go check it out. So we went to Christiane's house for her to lead us to her friend's house. It was funny, two fully grown men following a tiny Brasilian girl through the street for about a mile.  It just felt a little strange. But we went to this girl's house and found out she lives with her mom and 5 more sisters. Just a little shack house filled with little girls and tons of puppies. So their mom was there and we began talking to her about how her little girls wanted to be baptized and kind of just eased into the first lesson. And the mom ended up wanting to get baptized too! perfect right? Then we started asking about the family and how many girls were over the age of 8, and had been to church and 4 are about the age of 8 and 3 have gone to church already. So we got the mom's signature to baptize these 3 little girls on Sunday. Me and Elder Amaral just looked at each other in disbelief. We struck a gold mine of baptisms. 5!  Everyone over the age of eight wanted to be baptized. It truly was a Christmas miracle. 
The same day we went to visit another girl, Maria Paula, who supposedly wanted to be baptized. She came to church for the ward conference a few weeks back and the Bishop told us that she wanted to get baptized. We got her address and went looking for her. Let me tell you the addresses are super random here. We received this address 67b Rua da Amizade. We found 2 houses with the number 67 but neither of them were it. So we gave up for a few days. Then we talked to her friend Diego, who is a member and he lead us to her house. It was house number 67 still. # house #67??? Gosh dangit Aguas Compridas. So we talked to her, gave the first lesson, challenged her to be baptized and she said no. What?? You don't just say no. So we asked why and helped her to understand why she needs baptism. She understood everything and when I asked her if she wanted blessings from the Lord she said, "yes." Then I asked her what she needs to do to receive the blessings. She said that she needed to be baptized. Then I challenged her again to be baptized. She said no... it was so frustrating! It's so frustrating when people know the truth but don't go through with it. She didn't even have a reason. She just didn't want to. I walked away from that lesson super frustrated, but I did all I could do so that's all that matters. 
The same day we taught Sandro, our bible bashing buddy who we thought we could baptize. It didn't quite work out and we booted him from our teaching group. He just liked to argue and wouldn't let us say anything. It's as if he was preaching to us instead of us preaching to him. He didn't like the word authority. He yelled, "forget authority!"... We used all the scriptures we could find to try to convince him that the Church of Jesus Christ always had authority and always will have authority to baptize/perform all the ordinances. Never again will we go in that house. 
We had really pointless incident this week to. So we got this reference from Elder Bondade(the other elders in our house), and we went searching for it. We went to the top of the alto where we thought it would be but it wasn't there and we started asking people on the street and they just kept leading us further and further from our regular area of prosiletismo(don't know in English). We ended up going all the way to the other side of the mountain/hill into uncharted territory. Seriously. It looked like these people had never left their street. Kids saw my companion and a tall white guy and literally hid themselves. I thought it was funny. There were other kids that just laughed and I laughed a fake laugh with them. We ended up not finding the reference and it started raining super hard. It's that kind of rain that an umbrella doesn't really do anything against. ---That was a weird sentence in English.. maybe its right.
This week with Galileo was a grand ol time. He forgot everything we had already taught him about the restoration. At least he remembered that coffee and beer are bad. But we taught him everything again. We also taught his 17 year old sister too. She's all about the Assembly of God. She is stuck on the whole gift of tongues thing and that at her church the pastor speaks to god in a strange language. Doesn't quite work like that. We semi burned her with the bible and she was impressed and told us we are fire, or awesome I guess in English. But she said she would go to our church if we went to hers. We'll see what happens. We left them both with the Book of Mormon prayer challenge because Galileo hasn't prayed about it yet and she just needs to. They would be sweet members. I just wanna baptize them!
So there were 2 days during this week that had a Brasil soccer game on. Everyone stops when they're playing and there is literally no way to teach during these couple hours. So we went to cut Elder Amaral's hair cause he's been complaining about it like a girl for the past 2 weeks. There just so happened to be a super long line to wait and a TV in the shop so we ended up watching the game. Everyone in the shop was going nuts and when Brasil scored a goal everyone shot fireworks in the road. I love it! Everyone around you rooting for the same team. It's true team spirit. Never really happens in the US. The whole country literally going nuts for one game. It's just cool. Brasil beat Italy 4-2. 
Sunday was the day of the baptism and wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. Baptisms are never just a walk in the park. There's always something that happens that almost makes the baptism not happen. Everything was all worked out the night before. We called the mom and set up the interviews for 830 in the morning in the church. She said she would be there. So Sunday we went there and met the Zone Leaders. The mom didn't show up with her three little girls that were going to be baptized that day. So I called her. She said she was with a headache and that she wasn't able to come. Then I asked if everyone in the house had a headache. Then she said she didn't want her girls to get baptized and hung up in my face. I called her again to ask her what was wrong and she said her girls are still young and don't know what they want. I talked about the whole age of 8 thing and how everyone needs to be baptized blah blah blah... and she hung up again. Everyone got really disappointed after the call and we kind of just gave up. It was probably one of the most disappointing moments of my mission. 5 baptisms down the tubes. 5 souls not saved. But half way through sacrament, Cristiane walks in with a huge bag of clothes and the girls following behind her. Could it be?? We kind of flipped out for a bit and then got our composure back and called the Zone Leaders and talked to the girls and the ward mission leader. The Girls said their mom said they could be baptized and we already had the signature. The ZLs  came back and did the interviews and left. Then my companion got all nervous saying that we shouldn't baptize them. He had called the mom again to make sure and the grandma picked up and yelled that she hadn't authorized the baptisms. But she's the grandma and has nothing to do with the situation, except for turning the mom against us and the church. The grandma is from the assembly and filled the mom's head with some wrong things about the church. It was a really bad situation and something needed to be done. Everyone but Elder Amaral said we should baptize.  But we did it.  We baptized the girls and I didn't regret it. The whole ward supported it and everyone was happy. It was probably one of the best baptisms I've done. The smiles of the girls were priceless and the spirit was definitely felt. If the spirit was felt, it had to be the right thing to do. We will go to their house this week to talk to the mom and set everything straight. We're gonna bring Mainha with us to give some womanly guidance. We already told the mom that the church has always been persecuted by people who don't believe, because she had already told us about the things people have told her about the church. People make things up about the missionaries, about the things we practice, about the bishop.... everything.  Just gotta set it right and baptize her. She already accepted the challenge to be baptized and live the word of wisdom. ahhhh Working with people gets complicated sometimes but the Lord helps us make things happen. 
Later on Sunday we watched the missionary broadcast in another city so we had to catch the bus. The broadcast was amazing. Always good to hear the prophet's voice(through the voice of a Brazilian speaking Portuguese). But the Lord really is hastening his work and we're part of it. I'm proud to be a missionary and love the work. It's hard sometimes but it's well worth it. The good times ALWAYS outweigh the bad. We killed it this week as a companionship. Our numbers were high and so is our confidence. I wrote in the letter from last week that we would get a baptism and we got 3!  boom.
Well I should close this off. It's getting huge. Love you all. Christ lives!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll
 Dallin burns his tie at his six month mark of being on his mission.  Time is flying by!