Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

LAST OF THE YEAR! 12-28-15



 
Friends and Family!
This week marks the last week of 2015 and that means... well..... it's the last week? But anyway... Hello! And how are all of you after Christmas week!? I am pleased to have heard from so many this time of year and I am grateful for the donations and gifts that have been made for me this special time of life. I know that you will all be blessed because of this sacrifice.

 
This week was finally another Skype call home and it was fantastic. I enjoyed so thoroughly talking with the family and joking around once more. It was great to see the family and well of course PERCY!! And another dog that I haven't even meet yet... But that was good too I guess. Anyway something interesting happens when I hang up with the family. I'm sad obviously but I feel like it kinda re-energizes a bit. It'll get me to Mother's day for sure!
 
Anyway, someone asked me about a big storm that happened a few weeks ago. I had described as a land hurricane but that wasn't EXACTLY what it was. It was 70 mile an hour winds more or less and LOTS of rain. One of our windows broke and part of the ceiling came off and parts of roofs came off of other buildings so that was something. But it wasn't really a hurricane. No one was hurt and nothing was very damaged. It was just a bit scary.
During this week, for Christmas, we received various boxes of chocolates and cookies and things which was nice of the members. Kinda like how it happens at home. People give random sweet things and that's that!
We got the transfer call last Tuesday and my companion and I are staying here in Joinville and continuing as the zone leaders. We currently have 4 elders in our apartment, but next week we will be getting 2 more. That will make 6 in our apartment. One of the new guys is my last companion so that will be pretty good.
Elder George and his companion
After our baptism, our teaching pool has shrunken down and that's worrisome. But this transfer, now that there are two sets of missionaries for our area, we can plan a lot better on what happens. So we will be able to be more efficient at finding people. We still have 2 people that we are teaching, and they are in early learning about the church. They are interested but they are gone for the holidays so that is a bummer but we'll see what else we can find!
The family we just baptized, were taught for about 6 months before they were baptized. Because the had to get married and stuff it took longer then it should have but it turned out great. After baptism, we teach them all of the lessons again so we will spend some more time with them helping them settle in.
Christmas here is observed like new years basically with a few gifts thrown in. Around town, people just throw fireworks and eat lots of food and open a  few gifts. At home, I always remembered listening to soft Christmas music in the living room at night as one of the best Christmas memories and here they don't really care about the music. Sad day.
Well everyone I encourage you all to take a look at your priorities and see if there isn't something you could do to fit in some study time throughout your days. Often times there is something we can move around to fit some spiritual time in. I would recommend finding something that you think you need to improve spiritually and trying to find things that relate to that. I KNOW that you will be blessed for that sacrifice of time for learning.
Well Everyone I love you all and I hope you all have a great new years and I'll see you in 2016!
Elder George

Monday, December 21, 2015

That Special Time of the Year 12-21-15

Elder George and his companion

Hello once again and may I say that this year has FLOWN by and we are at the best time of year once again! I was thinking about it yesterday and I realized I havent talked to the family in like 7 months... So that's gonna be great to see them again! It's also weird to think that this time next year I'll be with all of you once again enjoying all the sweet things and great memories of time passed away. This year went by fast. A lot of things happened on this end too. I finished my training, trained a missionary, I was district leader, zone leader, finally baptized a family, and had some of the best memeroies ever and met some amazing people.  
But what happened this week...? On to the events.
This week was the Christmas Conference with President and it was okay. So everything was the same as last year. There were games and a good lunch and we got our letters/packages from the mission office. I got BOTH of my packages from home and that was exciting! Thank you all so much!.
 
On Saturday, L, E, O, G, B, and B were baptized!! That was amazing!! They all did great and I got to baptize the two sisters. One of them let her foot come out. So, to be sure it wouldn't happen the next time, I told her to put her feet together so she would be completely immersed. Right when I put her under the water, I stood on her feet and made her bend her knees. It went fine after that. They were quite emotional at the end of the meeting and happy that they had made this decision to be baptized.  Since there were 6 baptisms there has to be 6 registers. So,That was a little tricky. But the Spirit was so strong and they all have in mind the goal to go to the temple in a year to be sealed as a family. So we are happy with their commitment. They are doing so well!

 
This week being Christmas will be great. But we will also probably recieve the transfer call on Christmas Eve. So I will be able to tell my family if I'm leaving or staying in person on Christmas! That'll be weird. But I don't know if I'm leaving yet. We'll see I guess.
But this week that was all the notable things... Sorry this one was so short. BUt IT's time for us to go on to the next thing. I love you all and I hope you all have a great Christmas! Love you all!
Elder George
 
 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas is Here Again-12-14-15


Friends and Family!
Hello again and I am soooo happy! So many good things are happening! YAY HOLIDAYS!
So this last week our family got married and they are on schedule! They are getting baptized on Saturday and we are all excited! They are doing great! I will send pictures of the baptism next week! But please... if everyone could pray for them that they will be able to make this commitment and feel confident! THAT WOULD BE GREAT.
We also this week will have our Christmas Conference. There will be three different zones there partying like none other. There should be a lot of activities and snacks and soda! There will be a secret White elephant exchange and that should be a blast. I dont even know what I'm gonna do... I'll see about that today. But for this week that's what'll happen basically. THis past week it was on and off with the temperature... Looks like this week it should be hot and at the same time rainy.. Which isnt too good for us missionaries. That means it'll be humid and NOTHING will dry like it's supposed to. But patience you know? Actually, last week was the same.... It was humid and hot and rained some of the time... basically tormenting us. But regardless of the annoying weather I am just happy today! Life is GOOD!
I have been reading in the Book of Mormon this week and I cam across Alma's conversion story again and may I say, how powerful can one man be? I love the verse in Mosiah 28 (verse 4) that says that he was among the vilest of sinners and he converted. He became one of the most influential prophets of the Book of Mormon. I love the process of repentence and the oppurtunity that it gives us to be better people. Let us remember the reason why we can repent especially at this time of year. The birth of our Savior should remind all of us of His purpose on the earth. "My Father hath sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross. That even as I am lifted up so might man be lifted up to me." (3 Nephi 27:14) This time of year we celebrate the birth of Him who claimed victory over death and saved us all. Let us all rejoice and help one another this time of year. And in doing so let us also forgive a friend and forget his wrong doings of the past. Surely if they have gained forgiveness from God, we can also forgive them and forget the wrong that was done. Let us all remember this and "if my friends can help me" (if I can help others) I would start that action today. 
I love you all and I'll see you all soon with a baptismal picture! 
Elder George

Monday, December 7, 2015

Experiences 12-7-15


Well, I have to say I'm proud of all those guys who got out on the mission. I know that without the mission I would not have grown up. The mission helped me do that.
That is great theat my Percy-boy is good from his surgery. I'll have to rememer to ask to see him on Christmas. It's been a year since I've seen him! Yesterday there was a family that had 2 Golden Retrievers and I was in a hairy heaven, basically. 
So yeah every time I say it will be hot, that's what everyone else is says... Then it just keeps raining... and raining... and well raining... Everyone says it should get hot here in a bit...who knows.
I don't know about S., but we really hit it off really. His family is really awesome. They all speak English and they got dinner for us and we talked in English and it was amazing. But he basically told us that because his family is Catholic he will stay that way at least for now... But they are really nice and they want to have us back. And they have a.... GUITAR!!!! Since I got rid of mine, that was really fun as well.
They don't really have much Christmas custom here in Brazil like we do in the US. I'm like the only one with Christmas Decor. They don't really care all that much... Which makes me sad.... :/
The Family we are teaching is doing great and they are very strong. They will be baptized on the 19th. We are very proud of them. They are getting married this Saturday. President doesn't allow us go to the wedding, which I am sad about.
My companion is nice and and we get along well. He just works hard and does his things. And the guys in our apartment are awesome as well. They love to have.... NERF WARS!!! For P-day, today we are gonna go to the church to play. It should be epic. 
So this zone has difficulty keeping the rules. Apparently some missionaries were sent home for breaking some important rules and others just don't have obedience as a priority. My responsibilities are the same; I am responsible to keep track of what they are doing, encourage better behavior, and let the president know of problems that are happening. Sometimes that is hard because others may have more seniority than I do. But that's my life this week really. Can't believe Christmas is in 2 weeks!
Love-
Elder Deven George
 
 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Its Gonna Get Hot!!! 11-30-15


This week I have little time so I will try and get some good info and we'll see what happens.
First off thanks MOM FOR THE PACKAGE!!! I got a little bag in the mail with a few goodies from my dear mother and I wanted to to thank her publically for that. THANKS MOM!
 
Anyway, this week was Thanksgiving and may I say I am happy to be going home before the next one because milkshakes on Thanksgiving in 90 degree weather isnt exactly my thing. But, it was good nonetheless. I put up my Christmas lights and tree and that makes me happy inside to see the lights and remember home a bit. So that was a great thing this week.
 
We also went to see our family that is getting ready to be baptized this week and they are doing well. They also went to church yesterday and they undestood and asked lots of questions so that was awesome. They really are learning and feeling the Spirit which is amazing. They are set for the 19th of December and they will get married on the 12th. I find that in Brazil there is a problem with basically nobody wanting to get married. They just move in together and that's that. They have kids and live life without any "commitment" even though they have kids together. So that is a little frustrating... Just get married! It's a good thing! But I guess that's the culture for you.
 
So the title being the title I thought I would express how this area will probably be because of the heat. All the people say that it reaches 100 actual degrees but the sensation gets up to like 125. It will be strange to think that I'll come out of this area looking like a lobster probably. But that's life and I'm actually kinda excited to really feel some heat. At home we think that 90 is already super hot. So imagine 125....
 
Other than that we taught a man who is having some hard times right now and he is really interested in changing his life and joining the church. He said that he didn't do it already because he was just lazy to go to church. But now he is feeling ready and he will start. So we'll see how he does.
 
But as far as the exciting news that sums it up! I love you all and I am grateful for your support! Remember that this life is about happiness and that if we arent happy we need to LOOK for someway to be happy!
"LIVE AFTER THE MANNER OF HAPPINESS!"
See you guys next week!
Elder George

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New 11-23-15

BELOVED FRIENDS




Goodbye from the bus
 
Well after 11 hours on a bus last Monday I arrived at 7 AM. When we got to the apartment I started unpacking and come to find out our lunch for that day had fallen. So we went to a restaurant with the money the member gave us and it was the single best restaurant I have tried in Brazil yet. The buffet was absolutely fantastic and they had freshly made juice and meat grilled in front of you.... Face with 'OK' gesturePerson raising both hands in celebration WIN!!! Later that day we went to contact a reference and come to find out it was a 16 year old girl that had been a foreign exchange student near my home!!!! So When we got there, I saw her and I just started speaking English with her! She is super chill and basically already knows it's all true just doesn't want to be baptized until she's 18. It was cool to see someone from close to home. She came back to Brazil in May and she said she knew a few people from my high school! So that was awesome really. 
Wednesday we had lunch with some investigators with dates for baptism and they are elect. It's a family that have already DECIDED that they WILL be baptized on the date. So it looks like I'll have 5 baptisms here! They are nice and they are getting married and then baptized the week after!
 
So Bob  sent me a referral of a friend of his that lives here! I looked at it and it's the area right next to us! So I called him up and we are gonna go and visit him this week! SO call our dear friend Bob and tell him I will start teaching S. He should be happy about that.
Thursday was hot. It got up to about 100-ish as the sensation and it was humid. So we walked about dying for a bit and then we went home because it started to rain.... Like pour.... Like more then I've seen in Brazil. I looked out at the road and the tire of the cars were like underwater. That wasn't very good to walk in so we couldn't leave again after.
 
Friday was the district meeting and the other Elders in our district seem chill but one is very serious. He tried to burn me that I hadn't baptized yet and I reminded him of Matthew 7. "Judge not..." He stayed quiet after  that. When we went to an appointment later that day a member saw us and stopped to talk to us. Then he asked me where I was from. Just to tease him I said I was from Germany. He said," Really? I thought you were Brazilian!" I started to laugh and I said I was American and he was like," No! You cant be American! You're lying to me!" Then he left and I couldn't stop laughing. First time that's happened. Then that night I found out that in this area there is a rule for the missionaries that when there is thunder we can't leave the house. I thought to myself that it was just someone who was lazy that said that; but apparently there are people that get struck by lightning here so I've heard... So that is interesting for this area.
 
Saturday was a day of temptation and sin. Apparently there was a bunch of parties going on and so EVERYONE was using the buses to go to parties and such. As we were waiting for our bus 30 some girls got off a bus in front of us and they weren't wearing much of anything at all. I looked at my companion and said," How? How does this only happen to the missionaries?" So that was Saturday really.
As far as the area we have about 20 miles of area that we take care of. So we use buses a lot and walk even more. There is a member that lives like an hour and a half from us so we take a bus and then he picks us up afterword. Huge ward boundaries! The food here is mostly the same and the people in town are pretty nice and accepting it seems. But time will tell. My companion is Elder C. and is from Argentina! He is cool and I'll send pics later of us doing cool stuff. We live with another set of missionaries and they are Elder F. and Elder C. Elder C. our housemate is American! SO I won't have to go through the holidays alone! There was another set in our apartment too, but they were transferred because one of them decided to break some fundamental rules. So he went home and the other was transferred. So now there is us four. YAY!
 
Well that is about it for today. Let me know if you have questions! Love you all!
Elder George
 


 


Monday, November 16, 2015

Its a transfer---11-16-15

This has been a big weekend. I have been transferred once again; Me and Elder S from my apartment were transferred. And so this last week was kinda super sad for everyone. I can say that this change will be VERY bitter. This area was the best yet. The ward here is like family to me now. One of the young men here really likes us and when we got done speaking on Sunday he came up to the stands in tears and said he would REALLY miss us. That was SUPER hard for us both. So that's hard this time around. I will leave tonight at 8:30 PM and arrive in my new area at 7 AM... Long time on a bus. So I will try and sleep as best as I can. We'll see how it goes.
As far as I know, my new area is coastal and my comp is someone I've already met so it should be okay. He was here last transfer. I already did a division with him and he seems cool. I am leaving here tonight at 8:30 and I'll get there at 7 AM tomorrow. Long time on a bus. So I will try and sleep as best as I can.
I will be zone leader in my new area, which is in the north part of the mission.
This weekend we went around saying our goodbyes. We went visiting various members and taking pics and laughing and today we went to lunch with one of my good friends here. So that was the weekend really. We had to spend some time in another city because they had a baptismal interview and so we had to be gone for friday and saturday's lunch.
Well, I dont have time to write a big email this week. I still have to do my suitcases.
Love-
Elder George
 

Getting ready for transfers----AGAIN 11-9-15

Friends and Family,

Once again I sit at this computer wondering what I should say to such a broad (or maybe not so broad) audience. HOW ARE YOU!!!? I am fine as we once again approach transfers. We are pretty sure that I and Elder S are gonna leave. I'm sad but also happy but I dont even know yet.... soo we'll see!
It has been raining quite a bit these past few days but everyone is okay and not getting sick thankfully... I dont really want to get sick again...
On sundays we have our meetings like normal in the morning and the rest of the day we do visits and try to find people. We only do one meeting a month with the leaders so that's nice. They don't really talk about anything in relation to Missionary Work... So its nice that it's once a month. 
 
People have been asking about if I see miracles happening in the mission. I have seen a few but they arent the miracles that we see in the scriptures. They are smaller and really almost unnotable. But this week a sister from Utah asked me to give her a blessing and of course I said that I would. She speaks Portuguese well but I had the feeling that I should ask her if she would like it in English. She said she would after some thought and I started in. First of all I found it a little hard to speak in english after all this time not speaking in english! But when I started to struggle a bit something happened. My mind was clear and I felt as if something was coming out of me. I felt as if I wasnt giving the blessing but watching it be given. When I closed the blessing she stood right up, rubbed her eye quickly, and turned to look at me. When she turned around she was rather emotional. I dont know exactly what she felt but I was hit by the spirit when I knew that I didnt really say anything to her. Her Heavenly Father spoke to her in that moment and She knew it. That was one thing so small but hit us both so hard. That was the bestthing that happened this week.
Well for those of you little ones preparing to reicieve the Priesthood Authority of God, you need to go back and read the talks by President Eyering about the Aaronic priesthood. I will attach them to this below. 
I love you all and I will see you guys soon!
 
Elder George
 
 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

13 Months Down! 11-3-15


Hello everyone!
This week was good and well bad... But mostly good! 
First of all we think M. isnt going to continue recieving the lessons. We think someone said something bad about the Church and now she doesnt want to recieve us anymore. But G, M and M are doing reasonablly well! They are progressing and doing the things they should! We are super excited for them! Hope fully they can get baptized before I get transferred. They are feeling the Spirit and actually changing. It's the first time that I really saw somebody changing. Its interesting to see the change in someone affect them so much.
So in our area we dont use the bus too much. We walk a lot. It's also interesting that when we walk down the road people are very civil with us. They greet us when we greet them and they are generally friendly. So that is a nice thing when the people dont cuss you out all day for no reason.
This week we had our ward council and it was very frustrating really. They spent 2 hours talking about one member that had SERIOUS problems and has been through 17 different wards in two years. He has been into some trouble with law and the church various times. Not much was said about missionary work... SO it was 2 hours we didn't get to talk about missionary work on Sunday, which was disappointing.
BUT, We had our zone meeting, that went very well, on Friday! We were very happy how it turned out and it went under the time limit which was good for everyone. We talked about Chapter 13 of Preach my Gospel and everyone seemed to enjoy it. 
Well everyone, next week we'll find out about transfers and we'll find out where everyone will be for Christmas!!! Everyone is excited to see what happens.
Thats all for this week everyone! I love you all and remember who you are! (see video below) Do the little things! 
Love Elder George
 
 

After The Storm 10-26-15


This week was a good week and some interesting things happened. Lets get to it.
Tuesday was really hot... It was 34-36 Celsius (93-96 F) all day and we were dying.... humid and hot and well yeah. We also found out that our interviews with president would be on Thursday so we had to get that all planned and make the ticket schedule for the travelers. We got that all sent and the secretaries called us and said that they were basically gonna change everything because president didn't like it. Well okay then. I was curious about that because I sent the same itinerary to them that we did for the last interviews. But apparently that wouldnt work again. We did that and that was Tuesday.
Wednesday we reicieved the Elders at our apartment and talked about doctrine and things. We had our ward activity that night and we talked about the commandments and made some hand signs to remember them all. We also played hot potato which was fun. There was also a HAIL STORM that night when it was hailing the size of a golf ball!!! CRAZY!!! The power went out and it was really noisy becasue of the hail and thunder... Kinda scary and we found out later that some of the houses got holes in the roof! Scary stuff.
Thursday were interviews and they went smoothly and in my interview president told me to be ready for new responibilities. Sounds like I'm probably gonna be transferred.
And the weekend was normal after that. We had a broadcast from Sao Paulo from the area presidency and that was really cool. They talked a lot about missionary work and they broadcast from the MTC! I saw some of the people that I knew from there and it made me miss them a bit. But the messages were good and funny and made a difference for those who heard it.
Dad asked for some info about the food. Some of the foods that I will miss here are the tropical fruits, pastels, and the style of pizza. The fruits here are a lot better then Idaho. They are a lot cheaper as well. We have pinapple, mango, starfruit, limes, and bananas that are out of this world. And they're super cheap relative to Idaho. Pastels are like little calzones that you put meat, cheese, ham, onion, and even chocolate in and they are dep fried. Apparently there is a memeber here who wants to start a pastel business in the northwest US someday! That would be cool if in a few years there were pastel places in the US!!! But if not I will miss them becasue theryre super cheap and depending on where you go theyre huge!!  The pizza as well is different. Its more flat crust with more toppings. The flavors are different as well more or less. There are 4 cheeses which I will miss a lot!!! It is super cheesy and there are some liquid cheeses that they use to make it amazing.  They also have that dessert pizza that I sent pics of and that is.... Well... to die for.
Well family sorry I don't have more but I have some other stuff to get done. Love you guys! Take care!
Elder George

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Another Week 10-19-15



S'mores
 One more week gone by and may I say that this one actually FLEW by. The week before crawled by and then time flew! So that made us happy. We are having quite a bit of success with one family. They are G, M,and M. They are super cool and they already believe that the church is true. They have to get married however... So I ask that you guys could pray for them to be able to get that put together to have a baptismal date on the 7th of November. We really do think it will work out. PLEASE HELP!
Anyway I was asked this week about the zone meeting that was supposed to happen. Well it was actually canceled because of lack of  time. We'll see when that happens because we have interviews once again with president this week! It'll be good to talk to him a bit.
So! This week the 2nd ward here had a ward party that we were invited to participate. So we went and it turned out to be a macho cake contest! All of the men made cakes and I GOT TO JUDGE THEM!!!! It was super cool. They weren't too bad really. They played music and stuff when they were presenting and it was super funny! I tried to be fair and just about all of the cakes were actually really good. I was rather surprised actually. 
Something that is different about Brazil: Most of the people here don't have school like we do there. The people here have various times to go. morning, afternoon and night. The kids have different times based on grades. So for example, the high school kids go in the morning, the elementary in the afternoon, and the middle school at night. It all depends on the city as well. But for the most part its like that here.
The houses here are made of bricks... Or wood... Really nobody uses sheetrock here. It's really expensive to do. so they use cement and bricks and wood. Basically anything the can find for cheap really.
 
Everyone shops at least once a week if not more. There really isn't a lot of storage of food here.. So everyone goes to the store a lot. Well, really close to our house is a store called Celeiro. Its basically a grocery store. We go shopping based on the food that we don't have. So if we're out of food we go buy food! no cars and no bikes though. Yay for carrying groceries!
So when the transfer happened we lost two sisters from our district... We now have the four Elders from last transfer and two of the sisters from last transfer so 6 in total. They are all super nice and we all get along great. The sisters are from São Paulo and the other from Argentina. They have very unique personalities. They certainly give the meetings a little more attitude if you know what I mean.
So today I was reading the Doctrine and Covenants and I was in the 108th section* and it is great. it talks about the forgiving of Lyman Sherman I think. But I put my name in and thought about when everyone does something wrong or is having a rough time. It says that if we try to be better we will be strengthened and blessed. I felt really good after reading that. Made my day :)
Well, we haven't been terribly busy lately but we are much busier then my first transfer here. We are finding and trying to help others everyday and that really makes the difference. 
But I guess that's it today! I love you all and I hope you all have a spiritual experience today!
Beijo!
Elder George
A sister in the ward who is leaving for her mission.
"Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Lyman: Your sins are forgiven you, because you have obeyed my voice in coming up hither this morning to receive counsel of him whom I have appointed.Therefore, let your soul be at rest concerning your spiritual standing, and resist no more my voice. And arise up and be more careful henceforth in observing your vows, which you have made and do make, and you shall be blessed with exceeding great blessings. Wait patiently until the solemn assembly shall be called of my servants, then you shall be remembered with the first of mine elders, and receive right by ordination with the rest of mine elders whom I have chosen. Behold, this is the promise of the Father unto you if you continue faithful. And it shall be fulfilled upon you in that day that you shall have right to preach my gospel wheresoever I shall send you, from henceforth from that time. Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings. And behold, and lo, I am with you to bless you and deliver you forever. Amen."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

And the rain, rain, rain came down, down down.....10-13-15

 
 

Friends And Family,
This week was the week of rain and as I started to write this letter, it started again... So we sthould get a little wet on the way home. BUT MISSIONARY LIFE!
So first things first. Our investigator M. is doing well... We think... we didnt get a chance to meet with her this week becasue she was visiting her sister to help her with a new baby. So we will go there today to see whats happening. Please pray for her though. She could really need it.
 
So Maybe you guys saw some of the pics that I took. Some of them were of buildings. One of them was an electronic store called Moroni! Another was the shoppin mall that there is here. I took a picture becasue we cant actually go in becasue its against the rules. So thats why I tried to take a pic of the whole thing. Others were in the rain in our area that I thought were cool little views. I thought that you would like to see a little more then me in Brazil and maybe just a bit of brazil. Let me know what you guys would like to know or see!
Well, Mom asked if I have given many priesthood blessings and on a mission and what that could be like. It really is quite a different thing, because you think about the person and about WHO they are to GOD. More often then not you don't know the person very well, and you have to give them a blessing that will mean something for them. You really have to be in tune with the Spirit, more than I was at home. You really have to pay attention to the promptings you receive. Also, I have blessed a house and other things that I will save to mention until later on. Its a great experience using the Savior's authority and acting as Christ's hands.
 
Well a little while ago we had our zone meeting and its getting time to do another one. We are gonna plan to talk about the role of the leadership of the church in missionary work. (chapter 13 Preach My Gospel- Link to material is https://www.lds.org/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/how-do-i-work-with-stake-and-ward-leaders?lang=eng) And being zone leader makes it a little more interesting actually doing the training. I really do enjoy trying to help others be better, because in doing so I have the devotion and incentive to be better myself. It really changes you.
My companion is doing well. It is a bit different because organization is super important to him. He really is bothered when things arent organized and details aren't planned out, So that is a bit different then me. I find that a little planning and a little bit of "on the spot" really brings things to life instead of doing the same thing over and over again. So I am trying to help him see the benefit in that. He is 24 which is different and he is native Brazilian. He is nice and chill and enjoys the work. It really is a good time. He has been out 10 months right now and will make a year in December. We are getting along well! In our house everything stayed the same which was awesome. We were super excited to stay all together for a while more. I had been praying that we would all stay. I really like the guys here. It keeps things fun.
So yesterday we had Children's Day!!! Apparently its a national holiday and EVERYTHING closes. This is why the letters are being sent on Tuesday this week. There was a few little parties but we just stayed home. :)
Well the rain was a hard deal this week. We were wet one way or the other: when we stayed out of the rain we would sweat and when we would leave our rain jackets home to stay cooler it would rain and we would get wet. So we were just wet this week. We also had an investigator that has been going to church for the past few weeks that gained a testimony of the church in Gospel Principles on Sunday and wants to be baptized! That was cool. We marked a date and are gonna visit him tomorrow. He could be the first baptism for me! We'll see!
Well to leave a thought with you guys, I was listening to Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk from General conference (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/a-plea-to-my-sisters?lang=eng) and it really does touch those who have trouble keeping up with trials in life. His wife told him after a recent heart operation failure that he needed to "stop crying and get up, go back to work, and get learning." If we quit, others will have to learn painfully what we already know. I really liked that and I thought about that in the mission. With the time I have another missionary would have to suffer through similair things to know what I know. That is why I can't give up. 1 Nephi 2:15 Talks about the struggles of Lehi. (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/2?lang=eng)  Its simple yet direct. Through our trials we can thank God or be bitter. It's our choice. We can rise or we call fall. There is no middle ground. 
I love you all and I hope that this large piece of memory helps someone learn something that they needed to. I really know that Christ lives and loves us. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. 
Take care everyone,
Elder Deven George

A PS from Elder George's mom:
This past week I received a letter in snail mail. Deven said that he has been trying to play piano again. As a very young child, he took piano lessons, but hasn't played in about 8-9 years. When I questioned him about it he said,
 "Yes mom... I am still playing. In fact I printed some stuff today! I am gonna try and learn some hymns and things to play :) Sharps and flats are a hard deal... They make playing a little slower.. BUT I am liking it :)"

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Transfer 10-5-15

Watching General Conference in English

Well this week was awesome. We had a great time with our ONE YEAR PARTY!!!! On Thursday me and Elder S made one year in the mission and we went around all day shouting HUMP DAY!!!! And singing "Livin' on a Prayer." It was super fun. That night we weren't having to much success so we called it just a bit early and decided to start the party! So we got the pizza ordered, got our Axe spray, lighter, shirts, ties and Coke and we went nuts! When you make a year you burn a shirt and tie. I had some DI ties and we found some shirts that the other elders left and we went off. We poured on hand sanitizer and got the light and did the "blow torch" deal and we had an awesome time burning the past to get ready for the new "year" Certainly was an awesome night. We got two pizzas and coke and we were stuffed that night.
 
So that was Thursday. We also received the transfer call and all of us are staying again! We are excited and ready for one more together. On a plus side Elder J from my first Field District got transferred here and Elder F form my second area also got transferred here! So that should be fun to see them again!
CONFERENCE!!!! General Conference was OUTSTANDING. Me and Elder S got to watch it in English! So we felt more American. I know you should always go with questions to conference so I went with the question," What should I do now to strengthen a future wife and family?" Let me tell ya... Just a FEW answers to that one. I was taking notes like a mad man and managed 20 PAGES of notes. It was good to hear all the messages of the inspired men that lead us. I also was very happy with the new apostles. I knew instantly when they were announced that they were called of God. It was a very good conference. I was really rather sad to see it end. But now I can say only one more General conference until I get home! WHOOT! 
Anyway, We have one girl that has a date for baptism on the 30th of this month that we would really like it is she was prayed for a little more. She is a little afraid of what the answer will be if she asks. So if you guys could pray for her to be calmed and comforted about this I would be grateful. 
You little ones! I want all of you to send an email about your favorite talk from conference so that I can know that you at least paid attention to one talk! Tell me about it, who gave it, and why you liked it. I loved Elder Holland's. Surprise surprise. I thought of Mom and said to myself..."All missionaries in the world are gonna email their moms and apologize for everything they have done wrong now." Mom, sorry for being a rotten child. Should have done better but you can count on that I'll never be that person to you again. <3 So now for all those who read this it's your turn to think about your beloved mothers. Give them a call, write a note, send a message, make a cake etc. Do something to show your appreciation for them. I promise that if you do they will rejoice more then you can realize. 
I love you all and I wish an absolutely fantastic week for you all!
"Remember who you are and where you come from." (Elder Neil L. Anderson)
Elder George
*Here is a link if you are interested in watching any of the messages from General Conference:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2015/10?lang=eng

Monday, September 28, 2015

WHOA!!!! WE'RE HALFWAY THERE!!!!! 9-28-15

One year old missionary shoes

Friends and family,
Today is the last Pday before I make a year!!! WHAT????? Life...
Anyway I just wanted to thank eveyrone for everything that you have done for me and all the support. It means the world to me to know that everyone cares that much about me. Never will I ever be able to make that up, but I hope you all know I love you guys.
Anyway, enough of the sappy sappy. Lets go to the questions of the week!
1-Who is in the pics you sent this week? And why did you send a pic of Captain America?
 - well most of them were our zone. The one with the sister is an Amercan sister that is in our zone. She is one of the few American sisters in the mission. So we took a pic. The reason why I sent the Captain America one is becasue I took that and the people here compare me and Elder S to Captain America. SO I sent that home ;)
2-What is your apartment like? We haven't really heard about that. High rise? Size? In a residential area or more city like? Primarily, are you in a pretty safe area?
 - Our apartment is in a residential area. It is a 3rd floor and its pretty decent now that we are really taking great care of it. 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, a kitchen, service area, and a living room. We also have a balcony witha  hammock! So that makes Pdays the good life ;) This city is really the safest I've been in yet. there really isnt anywhere thats dangerous. SO Mom you can take a breather. ;)
3-Have you ever received the post cards I sometimes send?
- I have gotten some postcards from people... Mostly from Brother B but I did get one from Mom that I remember off the head.
4-How are your investigators doing? Are you still having people progressing and learning?
 - The poeple are good. We are having some trouble with investigators running from us. They dont want it and the just dont tell us. They just cancel appointments and dont answer... so thats annoying but life goes on.
5-Do you serve in just one ward? or do you cover more wards?How many people are in your ward, approx. Is the church gigantic? It looks HUGE from the pic I saw on Google Maps. Smiling face with smiling eyes
 - Well there are two sets in our ward and there are 4 wards in the city and the stake is in like 5 cities. In every ward in this city there are 2 sets of missionaries. Because the areas are so big and we dont have cars or bikes there has to be two sets or else nothing would get done. Our ward isnt very big. There are about 70-80 active members. THe chapel is big because two wards meet at the same time here. They dont usually have that... So thats why it is so big..But the chapel at home chapel is WAYYYY bigger then this one... Just to give a frame of mind.
6-What blessings can you see in your life because of being on a mission? (name at least 3)
 - Well, first I learned how to speak another language and be able to communicate with all the people in their own language. That was tough but that definitely is something that I can use for the rest of life. Second, I learned the power of repentance and the role it is in our lives, but without the Atonement we couldnt even repent so... I guess I learned the power of the Atonement then. Third, I learned for myself that God really does live. I know he Loves each and every one of us and he KNOWS us more then we know ourselves. 
7-What is something you really miss about home?
- Well, I REALLY MIISS A BIG THING OF PEANUT BUTTER.... AND HOT COCOA.... AND.... well.... snow but I dont know how that would work to send... But if you could send a few packages of those instant PEanut Butter cookies I would be SUPER grateful :D
8-Will you share an experience where you saw God’s hand in your life recently.
- Well, this week we had our Zone Conference and so we had to train all of the missionaries in front of president. I was a little nervous because my companion worries about things. So When we got to the time to train he just kinda locked up and I had to step up. I just swallowed and went and did it. And it was awesome!!! I really felt that God was inspiring me to change things on the fly and it really made a difference. That was really what I saw this week!
But that sums up the questions this week! I love you all And I WISH YOU ALL ONE YEAR LESS UNTIL YOURE NOT RID OF ME ANYMORE :D 
Elder George
 

Silly photo

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hellooooooo 9-21-15



Friends and family,
This week was a good one!! Like always I have the Q and A Here for you and we'll see what the people want to know! meaning mom.....
1-What are you eating these days when you are not being fed by members?(you mentioned that you were trying to eat healthier) Do you cook together with all of the Elders in your apartment?
- Well we do cook a lot. I made mashed potatoes, Sausage, eggs, smoothies, stuffing, and a few other things. It tasted a lot better when we actually cook so thats what we do when we have time. Everyone takes turns really. Its nice to get stuff done and when we get home have something to eat. Makes life easier.
2-When do transfers come again? Do you have an idea of what will be happening? Are you hoping to stay in your area since the work is starting to move a little more?
-Transfers are the weekend of General Conference, October 3-4. I am REALLY hoping to stay. Things are really starting to go well and I love the area and the people that I see everyday. Especially the elders in the House... But I think something will change in the house.... :( Maybe in the district and certainly in the zone. There is rarely anytime where someone doesn't get transferred.
3-What are you doing for exercise? What do you do for activities on P-day? Have you seen any sights or other interesting things in your area? Animals? Foods? Anything different than here?
 -Well we do pushups and sit ups and weight bearing excersises now because President decided to prohibit P90x... :'( So now excersises are once again a drag. On pday we buy our food, make the food, eat the food, and then we do some odd thing. There are a bunch of fruits that are soooo good that we dont have in the US. I love Acerola. It like a cherry but a little smaller and a little more sour. Animals are about the same as the south US. They dont have squirrels which is funny. Never saw one.... :/
4-What was something funny that happened this week?
-So two missionaries just got home and everytime we see them they are a bit awkward... ITs kinda funny to watch them. You know how they are ina bit of shock at being a normal person again. 
5-What was the BEST thing that happened this week?
 - Well, we got the shoes that we ordered this week and they are AMAZING!!! I dont think I'll have to buy another pair for the rest of the mission. They are super durable and We are super happy about them. The soles are thermal! They withstand up to like 500 degrees without melting! WHAT???? What are you gonna do at that temp?!? Super cool. SUPER TIGHT!!! ( Just for Ster. ;)  )
6-How often to you have to speak or teach in church?
- Well speaking of that I spoke yesterday. It was good and I talked about Joseph Smith's First vision and how we enjoy the blessings of the Gospel becasue Of the work of Joseph the Prophet. I didn't really have any trouble with speaking and finding all the words that I needed. Makes me feel great to not stumble searching for the right words in Portuguese.
7-It sounds like you are getting more people to teach. How is that going? Are you seeing progress?
 - We are getting a few more people and they are doing well! One person read like 15 extra pages of the Book of Mormon this week! I was suprised! We should have mroe progress this next week. I'll let you know!
Well, Fam. It looks like my time is at hand. I love you all and wish a great week to you all. Make sure to look for opportunities to serve! We serve the Lord by serving others! I'll see you all next week!
Elder Deven George

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week of Burning 9-14-15



Friends and Family,

This week was the week of all burnings. Apparently there was a LOT of disobedience throughout the mission and Presidente emailed everyone about it. We also had leadership council with him this week which I will explain later. Lets get to the questions and answers then! 

What happened with the conference? What was interesting or meaningful to you?

 -Well it was the normal leadership council that they do monthly but with a lot about obedience and The things that come if you aren't obedient. So it was a strong burning for everyone. It wasnt very personal or anything so that was good and I'm not taking it too personally. I thought he conference itself would be a lot bigger then it was. We also got all the mail and stuff for the zone. It was a bummer because we were on a bus for 20 hours this week because of it. Super long!





You sent a lot of pics with different girls…..who are they all? (dad said, “how come he is standing by a girl in so many pictures?”) And were some of the pics with Elders from the MTC?

-So most of the girls we in our last district.  Most of them are leaving this transfer so thats why there were so many pictures. And yeah! There were all the members, except one Elder, from our MTC district there at the conference! I saw people I haven't seen in a year! So that was cool!


Did you stay in Florianopolis for that conference? Where do you stay? Who feeds you?

-So we were on a bus both of the nights. So we were exhausted this week. We had lunch at a resturaunt and we had to provide everything else. We left at 9PM on tuesday and arrived at 530 AM the next day. WE stayed all day, and had our bus back at 9 PM and we got home at 630AM on thursday... Lots of bus time.




I LOVE the pic of the picnic. I notice that there are 5 of you in a couple of pics. Is someone in a 3 person companionship? Is that your house you are outside of, or somewhere else?

 -Actually he is a missionary that just got home! He is super cool and he went to Belo Horizonte. So when he got home we were invited to lunch with them! It was super cool. His parents aren't members but that wont last too long now that he got home. We're gonna start working with them this next week I think.


I love that you have found some new people to teach. How are those lessons going?

 -The lessons are good! We found another family that is doing well. They are gonna read and pray about the Book of Mormon and we'll see what happens! A. couldnt meet with us this week. So we'll see what is going on next week!
Tell me something that you have learned or is important to you from this first half of your mission.

-  I learned that no matter how it may seem time passes FAST. You never know when your last day will come so you need to do your best everyday just in case there isn't a tomorrow. NOT that I've been in life or death situations! But just thinking about life, that's how it is.

Well everyone, Thanks so much for all the support and I hope everyone is reading their scriptures! At least a verse per day! That is a challenge for everyone! Don’t let the habit die!

With Love, Elder George

Thursday, September 10, 2015

One More Week Gone 9-8-15




Friends and Family,
Well this week I will follow the same style as the other weeks and answer the questions that were made to me! If you guys have a question and want me to answer, email me! I don't have enough time to email EVERYONE EVERY WEEK. So this system gets info out to everyone and no one feels left out! hopefully.....
So here are the questions!
1- What was the holiday on Monday? How do they celebrate?
- Well on Monday was Brazil's Independence day! Basically what happens is all the stores close and people have barbecue's and sleep all day. Then if they feel like it they visit friends and family. There weren't any fireworks because it was pounding rain ALL NIGHT LONG... So they couldn't do that very well.
2- How are things working out with the area book? Do you have anyone new to teach?
- So through the Blessing/Curse of the Area Book we have found two families to teach that have a member of their family who is not attending church. We also found a family doing contacts knocking (clapping) doors! They are super cool and they are really getting interested. We are working with one lady, She is the cousin of a member who is trying to return to church. She is interested and will pray to find out if the church is true. We have an appointment today with them so that should give us some info on how it went.
3- How often do you get sick? Have you had any other problems? Do you still use your water filter?
- So I haven't been sick in a while now, thank goodness. I think I had the flu AND allergies. So that is why is was so bad for so long. But I have been trying to eat better and drink lots of PURIFIED water instead of the stuff from that devil tap. Thank goodness it hasn't been bad since. I haven't had really any other problems which is nice. It's always horrible to have problems all the time.
4- Is your companion native? What is his home and family life like? Is his leg ok from the dog bite?
- My comp is Native. I don't know too much about his home life but he is a Convert. He has been a member for 6 years and he is 24 years old. He is chill and we have gotten along so far, So its okay really. His leg is fine and he is seeking vengeance on the dog that bit him. I keep telling him to relax and it's funny to watch him.
5-Who are your  most supportive people in the area? What do they do that helps you? Do you like this area?
- This area is really supportive actually. The members help more then any other area that I have had. The Bishopric and really all the leadership are supporting us a lot. so I couldn't name just one or two people that help. They actually ask to go and do visits with us! And the give referrals and they try to come up with ways to get people into the church. So that's awesome really.
6-Do you notice any difficulty due to politics? Does it affect you guys or your work?
-Politics don't affect us really at all. We just talk about Church and stuff, so there really isn't any problems for us. People are sometimes angry and bitter but that's for them to choose.
7-What was the most spiritual experience you had this week?
- Well this week we had a lesson where I read the story from JSH*** and they were listening. We told about Joseph Smith's vision and we invited them to baptism and they accepted! We didn't mark a date but next visit we would like to mark a date. But the lesson went awesome; I know would be great church leaders and they are all super educated. That was a great lesson.

Well that wraps up the questions this week and next week is chalk full of stuff to do. We are going  to leadership council with President so I should have an experience or two to talk about next week. But as for that I love you all and I can't wait to hear from you next week! I love you all and hope you have a great week filled with adventures and spiritual experiences. 
Love,
Elder George
***Below is a link for the story that he mentions in "JSH" if you are interested in reading it.(https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1?lang=eng ; of particular note, verses 5-23)


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wassup Fam! 8-30-15


Pioneer Activity with the Ward
Friends and Family,
Here we go again! This week was amazing! I finally got my stuff in the mail and I LOVED EVERYTHING that I received! Thank you so much EVERYONE for EVERYTHING you guys have done for me! For those that sent money, thank you so much for you sacrifices! They help a lot here! Alright... So now for the Q and A session from my dearest mother! I will include the Question here so you guys can follow along!
1-How do you proselyte? Do you knock on doors-I mean clap (tracting)? Do you do street meetings or street contacts? Referrals? - So we clap** doors, we talk to people on the street, we use referrals, and really we use whatever we can to try and find new people. When we go to visit people, we usually meet in their house. But if we have a girl or women that we cant get a member to go with us, we just teach outside the house! Its really awesome to do that because then other people can come and say," What are you guys talking about?" and then we can contact them too! That's kinda what we do there.
2-You mentioned some new ideas about approaches to find people to teach. What are some of the things you are trying? - So we are going to be using the area book a lot this transfer to find out if any old investigator would like to be taught again. There are like 200 former investigators, so that will use a lot of time.  There are a lot of Records in the Area Book that aren't complete, for example why the person was cut. So we are gonna be looking for that this transfer.
3-What is the fruit that you are picking from the tree in the pic? Are you holding your comp on your shoulders or taking the pic? - So that fruit(I assume that everyone has seen it...) is something like a plum but its the size of a crab apple and is sourish. It's super good! But I don't know what its called. I was taking the pic because we had just eaten a lot and I had NO energy to try a lift my comp... 

4-What did you think about your package? Did it all arrive there in tact? Were there any things that surprised you? - I loved everything in it! I was surprised about the Mario and Luigi deal that was there! Also about the baseball that everyone signed! That was awesome. Mom, Your little scheme with the book to be opened in private was a crippling blow really. First time I she a tear in a while... Thanks MOM! The CTR ring is awesome and I Already had some comments about it! The ties were amazing and I wore the blue one twice already and the orange one is beautiful! The candy is also well appreciated. The stuff here really just doesn't do the trick.Elder Holland's Book is AMAZING. It has really made an impact on me! I haven't missed a day reading it! Its awesome. The shirts were also well appreciated but they're a bit bigger then the one I came with... But they're the same size... weird. The pens were amazing and I loved the Mandarin House one from the parade! So funny! The socks were also great. Never can go wrong with socks! Potatoes as well! Great stuff there!

5-Did you get all of the cards? - Yes I did finally get ALL the cards! Did Walmart run out of cards?! Thank you so much everyone that sent something! It means a lot to me!
6-How are things with your new companion? - My new comp is super chill. I think we should get along.
7-Are you still the Zone leaders? How is that going? How big is your zone? (geographically and missionaries) - Our zone is the biggest in the mission with 24 missionaries and 5 cities. We are still the zone leaders but we don't really have too much responsibility anymore. There are 2 assistants per zone now so we don't really have any authority anymore. But oh well. I'm not bugged. this week was quite the interesting one with my companion really. When we were sitting down in the shade yesterday these two smallish dogs came up to us. They were barking so we thought it best to be on our way. When we were walking away I looked back and one of the dogs had bit my companion in the leg twice! He had ripped his pants and drawn blood. He had some nice cuts and we may have to go get him vaccinated. So that was quite an adventure!
8-What is the BEST lesson you had this week? (Content and response by investigator) -We had one lesson with a new investigator this week and it was good. We started teaching the Restoration of the Gospel and it was spiritual. When we got there she was all bitter, it looked like, but in the end it looked like she was happy and enjoyed the message. We will teach the rest of that lesson to her this week, so that should be good. We are hoping to get some progression here. 
9-Do you have a challenge for the “little boys?” You haven’t done that in a while; if not maybe next week. - CHALLENGE!!!! My little friends, have you forgotten your promises, or future promises that you have made, or will make, at baptism? My challenge this week is to find ALL the things that you promised at baptism this week. Search the scriptures and talks from General Conference about what baptism is and what it really means. That is one of the most important things that you need to do in life. Remember it!
Well everyone that about wraps it up this week! I love you all and I hope you all have a fantastic week! Almost a YEAR DOWN for me!
Elder George
**In Brazil it is considered very rude to knock on someone's door. Their custom is to stand outside the gate and clap. Then if the people are home, and want to respond, they will come out and let you in. Also, when they teach female investigators, they do not enter their homes unless there is an adult male in the home. They will teach them outside.

A giant pot of Stove Top stuffing- Thanks mom!