100 weeks later and here we are. Seems like time passed so
fast but that it was been incredibly long since we last saw each other. It'll
be so good to see you guys again! I'm nervous but excited but sad. You probably
know what I mean. It has been such a journey. I have learned so much. But we'll
start with the highlight days instead of everyday.
MONDAY: Today we had Breakfast with Elder and Sister
Davis and they made pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream and it was so
incredibly good. It has been so long since I've eaten something like that. So
that made that day. Then we went around looking at different things just to
pass the time. We had a lesson that was pretty good. We had a couple that we taught
about the plan of salvation and it was pretty good! They said they were always
wondering about why they were here! So that was cool. Good PDAY!
THURSDAY: Today we had our last lunch appointment with
Pres. A and they have a guitar there. So I started to play something and
then Sister Asaid she wanted to RECORD me for a keepsake. I was reluctant
because I hadn't played for a long time and I don't like to hear my own voice.
But they insisted so I played "Goodbye Nauvoo." They like it a lot.
And that was the last lunch... Sad day. I left them a card and thanked them for
everything. After that we did some tracting until that night and we had a few
appointments that were normal really. So Lunch was the highlight.
FRIDAY: Today was my 20th BDAY and I have to say it
turned out very touching. When we woke up in was pouring rain and we had
district meeting and lunch at Subway. We ended up having to stay inside until
the evening because the rain got way to thick. All of my shoes have holes so
they were all soaked... So we stayed a bit to see if it would lighten up. It
didn't. But we had an appointment at a member's house who was gonna introduce
us to a friend of his for us to teach. So we went there and when we got there
it turned out to be a surprise BDAY party. I was touched by their effort to
help me out on a day where I wasn't too cheerful. I thanked them for everything
and it was great :)
SATURDAY: Today we had an activity where two members
came tracting with us and we got a few addresses and it was cool! WE also had a
few lessons and it was just a good day! All around happiness.
SUNDAY: Well I was thinking I would get away without
speaking in church before I left but they got me. So that was a bummer but it
was good too. I spoke about the Atonement and it was good to see how much I
have improved in speaking since I've been here. The rest of the meetings were
good and I was happy to be able to be here all this time.
It is quite the experience to be on the last PDAY after so long of waiting and hoping that Monday arrives. I am as nervous as when I left I find. Nervous to get on a plane, nervous to leave everything I know and love behind, nervous to go so far away and nervous that I may never come back.... It is a bittersweet feeling for sure....
One thing I have found as I got throughout this time is that there is a time for everything. A time to sleep, a time to walk, a time to talk, a time to teach, a time to learn and a time remember. Along with many other times... This remembrance of everything that has happened to me has gotten to me a few times. It almost feels like home doesn't even exist. Like I come to the computer on Monday and automatically there are emails waiting to provide comfort and counsel. Sometimes I admit I couldn't even feel there WAS someone on the other side. But I can say that that is how we can feel about God sometimes. It may not seem like He is there, but HE IS. I know that is true and I have learned for myself.
This being my last real email I want to express my thoughts
about everything that I have taught and lived these 2 years. I know that Joseph
Smith really is a Prophet of God and that he was given the Priesthood to bless
the lives of others. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet
called of God today. I know that God loves us and provided a way for us to
return to His presence. I know He qualifies who He calls. I know He is there
when we are down and discouraged. He will change our hearts into the person we
need to be. "I'm a good man with a good heart. I had a tough time, got a
rough start, but I've finally learned to let it go."
My friends and family, DONT QUIT! DONT GIVE UP! The Lord
with be with you today tomorrow and forever if we will let Him in. He will
change your lives.
This week was quiet really. Nothing too grand and marvelous to update on! So I guess we'll get to what happened!
MONDAY: Well today we had the usual email session and lunch at
Subway which is always good. Afterword I started looking at my closet
and thinking about what I could start to put away just to not be
stressed on the last week. So I put some of the clothes
and ties that I wouldn't use before I got home in my suitcases and I'm
starting to organize them just to know that it'll be fine on the way
home. So that was good and now i only have the ties that I'll use out
and day after day I'll put it away. Another way
to countdown the days! ;) HAHA TRUNKY RIGHT? But I'm not really
thinking about home just trying to plan and get ready. You know? We had a
lesson tonight and it was good. We have really started to know how to
communicate well with people and help them understand
the lessons. This couple really doesn't have too much interest but they
understand everything. We'll meet with them next Pday to see about if
anything has changed.
TUESDAY: Well this morning we went to the eye doctor to see if my companion
has glaucoma or not and it turns out that he doesn't. So
he was relieved about that. We had lunch with a member. We had a few lessons tonight and they were all good but one of them
was really the most effective. We found a guy a few weeks ago that seems
super interested and wants to change his
life! So we stopped by tonight to see how he was and he is doing well.
WEDNESDAY: Today was lunch with J and I didn't take a picture
with them because we'll have one more lunch appointment there in two
weeks so that'll be fine to do then. After that we smashed the tracting
and talked to 50 people.! That was cool because
we spent all time trying to find new people. It was good because I was
focused on the quality and not the quantity since we had a lot of time
to tract. It was a good experience even though sometimes its annoying(in
the rain cold heat you know). It was a good
THURSDAY: Today we ate lunch at a restaurant and that is normal
really. Nothing new there. And we went back at the tracting since our
investigators are falling off the path every step of the way. We did
well again but tonight we had an appointment with
L and F... L seems to be more dedicated to learning and
knowing then F but it's good to help them out. There was another
lady there that was convinced the the Savior wouldn't come again because
the world was just to bad and without hope.
We tried to explain and it just wouldn't do it for her. So that was
FRIDAY: This morning was district meeting and we ended up having
to do it later since the bus tickets for one area got messed up. So they
got there late but the meeting went well really! We talked about
teaching PEOPLE not just lessons and that's always
full of new insights and cool experiences. Today we visited with V
and that was eh... his desire to follow is solely based on if he KNOWS
right now about EVERYTHING being true... So that's a big challenge for
us. We also talked to another investigator
who is just as set on following her religion as ever so we cut her
too.... Sad day.
SATURDAY: Today was the last lunch with the ward mission leader
and it was good. We took him on
some visits afterword and he helped us with J and F and it
was good because now that they have another
friend they'll want to come to church more often. We met with I
again today and he read the whole pamphlet about the Restoration and he
knew everything! It was cool to see that he really is excited to go to
church but this Sunday he wont be able to because
he has to work and take his mother in law to the bus station because
she was visiting them. But next week! :D
SUNDAY: Today was lunch with F and Church was in the
afternoon yet again. We finally got F and T to go which was
so good. They didn't have too great of an experience because some of the
leadership at church was stressed out.... So that
was disappointing but hopefully they got past that. F is reading
the Book of Mormon and likes it because the story is basically about any
other family trying to follow Christ, but they have a little more
responsibility. It was a good visit with them as
well. I felt like the week went by so fast again! When you work hard it
goes by real quick!
Well I love you all. I was reminded this week about service and how
when the Savior would cure people's afflictions he would ask them not
to tell anyone. We shouldn't seek glory from our peers when we do the
right thing. We do the right thing BECAUSE it
is right. We had an experience about this yesterday. I know the
Priesthood is the Power of God. May we Cherish it more in our lives. I
hope everyone has a great week!
This week FLEW by! WE could hardly catch up with it! Every time I would look at my watch it would be 6ish or 7 already! It has been craziness! We continue on our finding and we are starting to find people that are more interested and that is something that is changing us drastically.
MONDAY: Today was a good Pday. It was long which was good and bad at the same time. I have found that at any time when we aren't doing something I start to think about home and everything that is waiting for me and so that slowed down time. At night we visited two new families one of which doesn't have much interest really but the other we are pretty sure are elect. They are F and J. They have a little 2 year old girl. They asked a lot of questions really wanting to know more and not debate things. They were very interested in the Book of Mormon and they really want to know more! We were both kinda shocked at the lesson and how well it went. So that was Monday really.
TUESDAY: Today was also good as far as teaching! We had 4 lessons and they were for the most part good except for two which weren't terribly productive... The people just weren't to into the lesson so we will stop teaching them in a bit if the don't progress. We met with V and his desire to come to church has grown so we'll see if he comes through Sunday! I had my last lunch with V and G and that was sad really. But it's good because I'll still see them every Sunday at least until I go. Tuesday came and went!
WEDNESDAY: Today was a rainy day and there was 2 lessons but one of which was basically talking to a old lady from a different church and her telling us what she believes and getting irritated if we didn't agree with her. We had a lesson with a guy who married a girl who is an LDS member who doesn't participate, and he is nice but we're not sure if they are wanting us to come back. We shared a message and we'll go back next week. Nothing too interesting today!
THURSDAY: Today was lunch with the branch president's family, and I finally got a picture with them and now mom cant ask for it any more because I got it! It will be my second to last lunch there so that was a bummer. But life goes on. We met with J again and they are so excited to get to know the church more and they are on track to be at church this week! We also had a lesson at night with L and F with a couple from the branch and it was good because they both have powerful testimonies of the Gospel and it'll help the investigators a bunch! Good day!
FRIDAY: Today was district meeting and it was pretty good this time around. We did a debate/ discussion about how inviting people to act is important and how they can understand what to do and do it. It was good. After that we had to go to the island (Florianopolis) to do some medical exams for my companion and so that ate our day really. We'll see how his eyes are later next week!
SATURDAY: Today was our last Lunch with J and E and it was awesome. They made roast and potatoes and that made fasting a wonder. I felt that a different attitude about fasting makes everything different. Tonight we shared a message at the Young Men's activity using a pool table analogy and it turned out well.
SUNDAY: Today was MY LITTLE SISTER'S BDAY and I was thinking about her a lot and hoping she had a good day. We had a lesson today with F and T and they are gonna try to come to church next week. They are enjoying the Book of Mormon and seeing the ways that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is like the Church that Christ established. Unfortunately, none of the people we taught came to church... Everyone fell on that commitment. So that was a huge bummer. So that was a down hill descent for the week but next Sunday will be better that way!
But that was this week! I'll be sure to put some more details next week because we have to go already! Love you guys!
This week was good and we are doing great at finding and teaching but
our investigators are constantly changing now since President has
encouraged us to try harder to find the elect and not waste time on
those who aren't ready to commit themselves to the gospel. So our
families are constantly changing.
MONDAY: Well today we had lunch with Elder and Sister
Davis and they made TACOS! Tacos are NEVER made here and really Mexican
food is NOT popular here. So that was a good change there. We also had
the opportunity to knock doors tonight again and the first door we
knocked let us in and we taught them! It was a great visit and we plan
to go back Thursday with a member that is from the same place that this
family was. They are called L and F. We talked about how we can
know if something is good based on the fruits produced. It seemed to go
well! We also cleaned house and rested a second and that was that!
Today we had lunch with J and N and it was pretty decent.
They made Strogonaff for us and it was good. It is basically the same as
it is there but they use more meat and pour it over rice. Good stuff.
after we taught a new potential investigator and it was a little iffy.
He didn't seem THAT interested. But he let us in which was good. We
taught J and J tonight and it was a good conversation. They
seem to be set on changing, so we'll see if they do. We had to cut an
investigator today and they were sad but understood that there are
others out there that we need to find. We taught C the Adventist
tonight and that wont last too much longer because she likes to debate
and Bible bash to tell us her church is true instead of just praying to
WEDNESDAY: Today I got my last haircut with
Sandra (a member) and that was a weird feeling to think that I would
have my next haircut at home from family. We had lunch with Euzebia and
there wasn't too much there that was FANTASTIC but it was good. We
talked to an inactive member today who finally got up the courage to
leave her husband and find somewhere safe to live until she moves away.
She was in pretty bad shape, but we talked to her about how the
Atonement will help her heal. We also taught a new family tonight but I
don't know if it will last too long either. They are nice and do the
right things but might think that they don't need the Gospel because
they don't do anything extreme. We'll see what happens
Today was a bust until tonight when we visited L and F with
Sister V and Brother I. They went AWESOME together. After we left
they stayed for hours and chatted. Great deal there. We had lunch at
home so we went to Subway. Nothing too exciting.
Today was our Zone Meeting and it was okay... Nothing too different
then what President talked about in the mission conference. But I got my
package finally and it was amazing! I loved it so much and it was good
to feel a little extra love. Elder Valadão loved the tie clip and the
sweets. We'll make mashed potatoes Monday and that'll be awesome :)
Lunch was....well... The family forgot and so we waited a bit and then ate.
We left a LOT later then planned, but that was fine because there wasn't
much to do today other then knock doors and street contact.
Today we had lunch at home again so we went to a restaurant and ate
there. I had meat, mashed potatoes , fruit, salad, and it was great.
Tonight we taught J and J again and that was pretty good again.
They are starting to notice that ever since they started investigating
the church things at home have gotten better. So hopefully that
continues and works in them. We found a guy tonight who smokes marijuana
everyday since he was 15. We talked to him for a
while and then he told us. We told him about the strength to quit and he
told us he really wanted too because he know that it is bad for him. So
we will help him out with that.
SUNDAY: Today church was in
the afternoon again and so we went to lunch and the family had planned
on us staying there until church started so nothing was ready yet. We
ended up leaving at 2 instead of earlier and we were a half hour late to
our appointment because of it. But all went well and we taught T
and F. They seem to be doing well and they are actually applying
what they learn and praying about it knelt down! I was very impressed.
Church was long but I am enjoying at night because everyone seems to be
less bugged and more happy. So that is good. Sacrament meeting was good.
Our Mission leader talked about missionary work and it was a great
talk. Afterward was a talk about sacrifice and obedience. Then the high
councilor got up and gave a great talk about helping others and loving
them. It was good! Then tonight Elder and Sister Davis invited us for
supper at there place and that was simple but well appreciated!
week I was reading D&C 88:73* and I remembered that this is the
LORD'S work and not ours. WE need to be instruments in HIS hands, not
try to do everything ourselves. So that was a great reminder to let him
help us and guide us instead of trying to force our way on things. It
surely was a great realization.
Well I love you all and I'll see you at the end of the month! Thanks for the support!
Elder George *"Behold, I will hasten my work in its time."
This week was quite the up and downer really! In the beginning it wasn't great but at the end lots of stuff happened!
Monday: Today was the same as ever... More or less. We had to stay in the center of town for most of the day trying to solve problems on my bank card and that was a bummer really. But that's life. Tonight we ate hot dogs and that was good. I talked to Andre who is the Branch pres's son and he is gonna come to the airport when I get home means how he'll be there visiting some other people! But other then that nothing too great to report
Tuesday: Today wasn't too great. We had a lesson with a church member who is not attending, and one new investigator today and they are great. S. just doesn't go to church because he doesn't like some of the members... So that's a problem. The new investigator, A, has 2 sisters that are members who don't participate, so she knows all about the church and wants to give it a go and see if it really is true. So that was what happened Today.
Wednesday: Today was worse... We didn't have any lessons and we had to knock doors all day and NO ONE would let us in so that was the trial of the week really. Nothing to update there.
Thursday: Today was more or less. We had lunch with the Branch president again and I forgot to take a freakin picture of them again! So that was a bummer. But the lunch was one of the best lasagnas I have had here. So that was good. After that we went and found a guy that isn't too interested, but let us in to listen anyway. After, we cut a few investigators due to lack of interest and progress, and taught another lesson and it was good. P. got appendicitis and had to get a whole bunch of fingers and toes cut off and some of the heel. He really loves religion and we told him about our message and he was thrilled; so invited us over and we taught him. We'll go back Saturday to see how he is.
Friday: Today was district meeting and it was good. I talked about teaching the Doctrine of Christ in a way that people will understand and have a desire to repent and change their lives. It went well. After, we got invited to a restaurant by a nonmember that we know so we ate for free there which was awesome! He had steak and mashed potatoes and other stuff since it was a buffet. That was great. Then we taught A. again today and she is doing well and doing the stuff we ask her to do and she is feeling a difference in our message! so that does make a difference in the week. Tonight we taught a woman who is an inactive member and apparently had to take out a restraining order against one of the other church members because he was "coming on to her" a lot.
Saturday: Today we taught P. again and he said that when he prayed he got a really good feeling.! So that was awesome! We told him about how he felt and how that was the Spirit telling him it was right and he said that he believed it but needed to know more. So we are working more with him. Walking home tonight we were on the road and out of nowhere Elder Valadão went to the side and picked up something and I looked and it was a MOTO G3!!! Someone had lost their phone! So we waited for someone to call so we could return it. They called and we returned it and it was all good. But it was crazy!
Sunday: Today church was in the afternoon at a different chapel since our chapel in under construction. They are doing a handicapped bathroom and redoing the pulpit. So for the next 2 weeks we will be in the other chapel. We also found a family beforehand which was cool! They are a young family with one child and they seem to like religion. The man of the house has read the bible all the way through and the wife understands the main parts. So they are nice and they want to go to church to see how it's different. Tonight J and E invited us for dinner and that was a really nice thing. Our lunch appointment today was really weak. NOT because the family didn't have much but because the man of the house thinks the missionaries DONT NEED TOO MUCH. But I'm grateful for how fortunate I have been thus far. I know that there aren't many people that have as much as we do. But I know that people are blessed because of the sacrifices that they make for us.
A scripture that helped me this week was D&C 111:10. It helped me remember that even if times get tough in finding people there are always treasures waiting for you. So where ever you are in whatever circumstances remember that YOU ARE THERE FOR A REASON!
Love you all! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
D & C 111:10: " For there are more treasures than one for you in this city."
Today I have very little to report unfortunately... We didnt hardly teach this week because nobody was willing to listen to us. We knocked doors all week and didnt get into any. So it was a bummer. We are convinced that this week will be much better. We both stayed here this last transfer and I will end my mission here. I am happy about it and we are doing well together. It has been really good to get to know someone so well and get along through thick and thin. My companion has truly grown to be a great friend.
We saw the Olympic torch this week! That was the highlight really. it was kinda like a group of floats going down the road and that was it. It was cool becasue it was the TORCH but the rest was a bit ehhh. So that was the highlight of the week.
I wanted to wish mom and dad a happy anniversary and I hope you had a great day of rememberance of all the happy days! :D LOVE YOU GUYS!
This week I was reading about Zion and I was amazed about one thing that Zion does. Zion people strive to HELP EVERYONE SELFLESSLY and I thought a lot about members of the church everywhere who help so selflessly but about others that NEED a gain out of their help. I thought about the City of Enoch and how they were of one mind and one heart. They did everything in unity and were perfectly obedient. They KNEW they needed to because it was what the Savior would do. WE need to be more concerned about our neighbors and treat them how they can become. If people have problems we should treat them how we expect them to become. We can't treat people poorly because of how they are now-their weaknesses or faults; that is not how we would want to be treated most of the time. So we ought to take some more time thinking about how we can help our neighbors. That is something we applied this week with people that shut their door in our face. We didnt feel mad our angry because that isn't what the Savior would do. We would feel sad, because we know that they would be happier with Christ in their lives, but it's their choice. We cant do anything to make them accept. So when we think about the things that people do to us that aren't very nice, let's us do as the Savior taught and turn the other cheek and forgive them. We'll grow to love them and serve them and sooner or later that person will see the things they should change. They will recognize truth and will seek for it. As for ourselves, because of our faith and efforts to follow Christ, we can become a people that the Savior will be satisfied in seeing when He returns.
I love you all and I encourage the young ones to read about Captain Moroni (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/moroni-captain?lang=eng# ) and learn how to be like him. He truly was a servant of the Lord. If we can be like him we will become a Zion people. ONE HEART AND ONE MIND. I know this is true.
Well this week has to be a little fast because we are going to Elder And Sister Davis for lunch and they are waiting for us so I'll cover the best things!
So this week we taught AP and she decided to stop taking the lessons. That wasnt the best. She said there are points in the Gospel that she just cant come to grips with. So we had to stop teaching her. It was really sad because we really love her and want the best for her. So that was a sad moment but there are others that need our help too.
This week after District meeting Elder C and Elder Z from our district decided to take on a 2 liter Açaí challenge. It's like a smoothie but a little thicker with fruit and stuff. So they decided to try and take that down. Elder C got to the very end of the 30 minute time limit and couldnt get the fruit finished on time... But Elder Z got it all done in 28:30! HE is a champ. So that was something funny that we did. I'm gonna try it this week ;) (Elder Z is in the black sweater.)
Saturday we had a party at the church and it was basically a Pioneer day party. It was really fun and there was a lot of food there! All kinds of sweets and cakes and hot dogs (that are different than in the states) and soda! There were a lot of people there that either weren't members of our Church or were not actively participating and that is the best part because the easy lay back activities make it so people feel more comfortable and felt the goodness in the atmosphere. I got some pictures of the stuff that we did.
The family from Amazonas isn't doing too well... It looks like they will be cut here in a bit. They just don't show much interest any more. Maybe some other time they'll do more in the Gospel.
This week is transfers and we are both hoping to stay here together and that's the goal really.
But for the most exciting stuff that's about it! I'll take some pictures at Davis' house and send them next week! LOVE YOU GUYS! Stay safe!
Well this week was okay. We had our mission conference and a few other little things but I'll give a daily update this email.
MONDAY: Monday as usual was PDAY and we emailed and we had lunch at Subway. Then we went looking at stores just to pass time. I found a friend here who is going to school with me; so he is gonna be there in January because he goes home in November. He is Elder C! So he is a cool guy and I lived with him for a while in Joinville and he is cool and it would be cool to live with him. I got to study a packet that I made about the Atonement and that is great. There are a ton of talks from the 90's and the early 2000's. I think it is interesting how the words of certain people like Pres. Monson seem to echo through the years and define who and what those people stand for and think is most important.
TUESDAY: Well we went to an eye doctor to see if my companion needs to use glasses and apparently he has Glaucoma. After he did the test he Dr came out and explained it and he said that one day his eyes would just fall out of their sockets out of nowhere! I ask him is he gets worried and he says that his brother has the same thing but nothing seems to be wrong. SO he isnt worried and we joke about it. We had our appointment with the sister we are teaching, AP, and she talked about how she can't seem to believe that the Plan of Salvation* is how it is. I testified of the Book of Mormon and how it helps us understand more about the plan and other parts of doctrine. So we'll see how it goes Friday. (See FRIDAY) We also taught a few other people that are going well. We are basically finding people all by ourselves (without referrals) so teaching and baptizing is a little sketch but we are going on!
WEDNESDAY: Well today we taught our 9 year old convert, who was already baptized, and that as always is a little hard since she is 9 and doesnt really like to cooperate. But she knows everything and we just teach her because after baptism we teach the lessons again. We also taught some people from Amazonas this week and they are really cool! We found them tracting and they seem to be interested. The mom has a sister in law that is a member and she came to visit her so we taught with her and the lesson went well. Hopefully they come to church... (See SUNDAY) We also found a pastel place that is incredible! THey do GIANT pasteis and you can create your own flavors and it is outstanding.
THURSDAY: Well today was mission conference and it was one of the better ones since I have been on the misison. The assistants did a training about mythbusting on the misison and it was cool. Mission myths are like things on the mission that missionaries say that arent true. For example: it isnt possible to find a new investigator everyday. So that was cool becasue they used Rocky to make it a little more fun! It was funny. President's training was great. He talked a lot about teaching and how we need to teach how the Savior, Jesus Christ does. It really hit me. The lunch was at a resturaunt and that was normal I guess. I took some pictures with people that I probably wont see again for a while. :D
FRIDAY: Today I hit 21 months and that is pretty freaking intense. Life is moving forward. We taught AP and we diecided to go back to the basics and go through faith, repentance, and recieving a testimony about the Book of Mormon. She said that she still doesnt know if it is true, but she knows that she has gotten closer to God through the study she has done in the Book of Mormon. SO at least we accomplished that part of our purpose. We also talked to a lady today... Well she came to talk to us to give us a "hug from MIAMI BEACH" because a relative of hers told her to! SO BIZZARE! We asked her if she would want to recieve our lessons, but she said no... Sad day. But thats life!
SATURDAY: Today was better on teaching and we taught 3 lessons and they were all good. We taught the Restoration** to all of them and it looks like our families from AMAZONAS are coming to church tomorrow! We also talked to one of the church branch member's neighbors and that was kind of awkward becasue the guy is SUPER agnostic... The member kept at him more then I would have but it was good to see them working in missionary work.
SUNDAY: Today was church and our families that we have been teaching went to church and it was amazing! The members included them and helped them feel welcome and it was awesome to see them helping us. The teaching was a little weak for us that afternoon, but we did find a new person today that let us in. We'll see if he goes far! We had choir as well and that was kind of annoying really. Some of the people really get to bickering. But we are doing our part which is what counts.
But that is what happened this week! I Love you all!
This week was quite the busy week! WE had appointments like crazy and people that heard us over and over again. We dont know how many will actually progress but we are trying to help them. It is going okay really.
AP's lessons are going okay. She has a few doubt about the Plan of Salvation and that is a little hard because she already studied with a different religion so she thinks its a big difference. We are trying to help. Please pray for her to understand and to accept the Gospel in her life. Really she is the closest one to Baptism right now. The members are also trying to help us more which is great. They are trying to be more available to help in lessons and references. They have great hearts.
Last monday for PDAY we went to Elder and Sister D.'s house to make cookies and learn how to tie knots! It was a grand time and they treated us to dinner! It was great to make cookies in an "American home" again. I wore and aipran (I dont remember how to spell that) and it was funny. I also took some pics of our area. There is like a bike path in the middle of the area that we pass every once in a while. LOTS OF COWS!
We had our usual district meeting and I decided to talk about finding new investigators to teach becasue the district is having a hard time with that... So I taught about having faith to find and we'll see if things get a little better.
This week we'll have zone conference with President Silva and I hope that it just knocks my sock off because it's my last one! I am looking forward to some really experienced teaching. It'll be great to have that when i get home; LDS Institute classes at BYUI will be great!
Well I was reading this week in Alma about Amulek arguing with Zeezrom and I was struck about how much me and Amulek think similarly. He taught with the environment and logic like I do. I could see a relationship there. After he would talk Alma would come in and testify, and that is when Zeezrom fell and knew he couldnt beat them. I love the story after this point, because it shows even more how people can repent and do the right thing. Give that a read this week loved ones. It really brings peace and courage to do the right thing.
Well I have to say that this week has been a bit of a challenge for us on the health front and we have been walking about trying not to contaminate everyone while still working and that has been fun I guess.
We found a guy that likes to debate a lot and he has read the bible 4 times and thinks he knows everything about what Christ wanted his church to be like. He thinks that those requirements have not been met yet. So that is kinda frustrating when he asks for us to show us evidence in the BIble. My comp is super about trying to let them decide by the Spirit but i don't have so much patience. So I whip out my "almost two years of study" and throw it at him and get him at every point and he ends up just saying that it just isn't here even though there is plain evidence in the Bible. So that has been our week really with debate.
The sister we are teaching is the same as last week. She didnt get a chance to read the Book of Mormon so she didnt know yet if it was true... So we told her to try again and we'll go back tomorrow to see how it went.
The choir is also going well and some people are trying to start thinking they know all there is to know just because they are doing well know. They wanna do all kinds of fancy warm ups and sometimes I get a little impatient. But we are there to help so that is what counts. We are doing "How great thou art" and it is going well really.
Today we are going to Elder and Siter Davis's House to make cookies and that'll be a blast! So I'll take some pics of that and some more of the area! Next transfers are mid July, but I am really loving my companion. He is definitely one of my favorites! He actually has a twin brother. He's 25 and also has an older sister. He is engaged and his girlfriend went on a mission recently. His family are really good people. He says it is kind of weird that he will see me go home since we met when he arrived in the mission. We will keep in touch for sure after the mission.
We had a zone meeting this week and it was okay... The leaders are a little unexperienced and insecure but they did alright. Next week wll be zone conference with President Silva and that will probably be exceptional as always. If not well... Sad day because it's my LAST ONE! So weird to think about that and next week I'll be able to say that I come home NEXT MONTH!!!! It is going by! Not as fast as everyone says but it is going by! Kind of sad really.
This week I read a talk by President Monson and he talked about having the courage to be a good person even if no one else is. We just need to set our mind to do whats right and GO FOR IT! THat is what I've decided to do this last time that I have here. GO FOR IT! Little ones, be an example of someone who does the right without caring about who sees! That is the most important thing you could do!
But as for big news this week thats what I have a I guess. LOVE YOU GUYS
So this week has gone by and we have another one in front of us and this week was colder and it should just get colder everyday! Last night it got down to about 30's and it was a bummer because I was getting sick so that made it settle in on me and so I'm reasonably sick today.
Well mom told me about girls camp this week and I thought I would talk about the Brazilian camp for youth. Here in February they take all the youth on a campout to get them away from Carnival! During the week of Carnival there is basically Sodom and Gamorrah all over again and they want to protect the youth from it. So they take the youth and do constructive activities to help them escape. That is something I thought about this week.
One thing that happened this week was we had an activity in the branch to support the missionary work doing contacts and NO ONE went but us and the Davis's... So one thing that you guys could do there is try and support the missionaries in ANYTHING they need. Being a better missionary just involves talking to your neighbors and getting to know them and being good people so they have good references for the gospel. If you do that and give references the missionaries will never have anything to complain about.
We are teaching a sweet lady and she is doing well. We will go back tomorrow to see how she liked the Book of Mormon and what she thinks. We have found quite a few people that we KNOW have felt something from the Holy Spirit and don't want to continue learning from us because of the lack of desire to change. Hopefully it doesn't happen here!
I realized as well that I haven't sent pics in a while so I will try to be better about that this week and get some decent pics of the city and everything else.
I am still a District Leader and that is stress free! I like it a lot more then being a zone leader! I like getting to know the missionaries on a closer basis so that is good about my calling right now.
Well during pday today I will spend it getting better because I am sick like a dog. I didn't even hear the alarm go off because of how many times I was up in the night. It is quite a bust because we planned our hike for today and now we wont go because we are both sick... But maybe another day.
I guess my best experience this week was district meeting. I trained about diligence and I believe that the other missionaries will improve there. They have difficulty finding new people and that makes things a bit slow and discouraging when there isn't anyone to teach. Sister Davis made cookies for the meeting as well which was a grand thing :-)
But I guess that's it for this week! I love you all and I wish you all a great week!
This week in the transfer we stayed together and two other elders stayed. So we will get 2 new elders in the district. Elder and sister D stay in the same area for their whole mission. So we are here for this next transfer. Elder C who was in my apartment in another area will come to this district which will be awesome. It'll be good to see him again!
But other then that this week Our friend John Lennon came into the church and asked Elder D how to do geneology and that was kinda funny. They already know him and are used to his quirks. SO that was funny.
Our lunches this week were mostly at home because there are some members that cant give us lunch at their homes because they work or for other odd reasons. So we didnt really have lunch with members. This week we will have lunch with the Branch Pres. I'll try to get pics this week... If I forget I'm sorry :}
Here is getting colder everyday and we are loving our little space heater. House and apartments dont have central heating or AC. SO we have a little space heater that we love in the bedroom.
Lessons lacked this week because we lost a lot of investigators again. SO we were knocking doors and street contacting everyday basically. That didnt get us too many results really; we are trying to get more investigators in the way that everyone knows is the worst. But we are working hard and "getting there." We did get one new investigator that is nice and she is curious. We dont know too much about her yet but as soon as we do I'll say more I guess :}
References are lacking ever since the first baptism this area... So that's a bummer. We are doing a contacting activity Saturday so we are hoping for some more references. We will have the choir sing as well and we are working on some songs to perform at the activity. They are getting better at listening and following the director. They are doing great!
This week we made some steaks with some money that the members give us to eat. But I dont really know what I love buying at the store here... Chocolate milk I guess? I dont know!
This week a member was looking through a photo album that I take with me so people can look at my family and where I come from and they said dad seemed like a very funny person. They seemed absolutly sure he were all just fun and games. I told them he is a lawyer and liked to sue people for all they were worth and they got a little nervous! IT was funny as well. I said that really he is chill and they relaxed. Here lawyers apparently arent too honorable people... It was a chuckle.
This week we ate lunch with Elder and Sister D and they made sloppy joes and other stuff that was super good! They also made s'mores for us and Elder D said something that i thought applies to the Gospel. "If the marshmallow catches fire the first time, it'll be easier to catch fire again." I thought that was interesting and can refer to about anything in the gospel whether it be good or bad! If you start reading the Book of Mormon once, its something that will be easier the second time. Unfortunately it works the same way with something that is not good for you; it is easier to do again once you have done it once. So my message this week is be careful with what we start so that we will establish good habits instead of fall into bad ones.
But I love you all and I hope you ahve a great week! Congrats Bri for getting home! WAY TO GO CUZ!
Well starting today is the 3 month countdown!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's so exciting to think about. This week the transfer call will be coming and my companion and I are really hoping to stay another one together. He really likes to work and we get along really well. I would be sad to have one of us moved after only one transfer. But I dont think we will.
This week was interviews with the president and they were the same as always... There is a part where President talks for a while about rules and then gives a training. He talked about the new dress code for sisters and didnt bring ANYTHING for the elders up. So that might just go unnoticed in this misison. But then interviews started and I just asked him a few doctrine questions and that was it. We ended up getting home super late because the bus was an hour and 15 minutes late... So that wore us out.
We did have lunch with the Branch Pres the week and it was awesome! They smoked fish and made salad and fries and they had soda too. They are 4 in all. The couple, a son who is in Utah at Business college, and a daughter. Pres. Alves challenged me to ping pong and that was fun. He is good. If I had a better racket I could have done better ;) But we always leave a message with everyone. Part of the job. But it's good. Something quick and nice. The only bummer was is they were with company but they wanted us to come anyway. It was a little Awkward. Oh Well
Yesterday was Stake Conference. It's the same setup as at home. Elder Mazzagardi was there and he talked about experiences and trips and such. The best talk was the 3 minute testimony by President Silva, our mission president. He always does a great job. He talked about being a man like Christ. It was great for only 3 minutes.
Last night however we had a baptism which made everything better! Our 9 year old got baptized and her family was there to support her but not many from the branch. But it was a good meeting and my companion baptized her.
"John Lennon" basically asks us about the same thing each week. He was a little calmer this week. A few weeks ago he wanted to do something to the governor becasue he "robbed" John lennon.... So that was a little frightening but he got some strong meds and that was that :)
Well I finished up Abinadi this week and I love his example of being a believer until the end. He is one example of daring to be a Christian. I love that quote from President Thomas S. Monson.
Dare to be a Mormon,
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm,
Dare to make it known.
There are ETERNAL truths in this quote. If we could all stand for righteousness and goodness we would be able to be like Chirst more fully. We would be member missionaries and temple worthy. What advice from a Prophet of God and a man I love. He is a prophet. He was called by God. God lives and He directs this work. Let us all press on in the work of the Lord!
I love you all and I wish you all a happy memorial day!
Below is a link for the Story of Abinadi: Mosiah chapters 11-17.
So our next transfer is in two weeks and we are hoping and praying not to be changed. But it's slim chances that we would be transferred, so that's good. Well after church we generally do the same thing which is visit people that went to church and try to find some other people to teach. Really the only different thing that is on Sunday is the church meetings. We also help with the ward choir but that's it really. Same old thing.
I will send pics with the family of the Branch Pres. next week because we have lunch with them this week. So there'll be pics next week for sure. I sent pics a while ago I think. I don t know how long its been but its there.
So this week we will baptize a 9 year old girl. Her parents were members of the LDS Church who don't participate and now she lives with her grandparents who do participate and they wanted her to be baptized and so we taught her and she'll be baptized Sunday!
Well all the people that WERE progressing cut us this week so we're back looking for people and only finding once in a while. But we aren't giving up!
I have a lot of people trying to give advice about my future and telling me I have to make the difference for the US. Its kinda funny when people say that because there's never just one person. But they also give other advice, saying things like "you have to provide, so do something that makes money," and others say "do what you love," and so it's a little complicated. But people are talking to me about it.
I don't really understand until today about what people see in me. They seem to say, after seeing old pictures of me, that I'm better now and I shouldn't have any trouble now because I'm not a kid anymore. Ha! Apparently being a kid doesn't attract people. But now they are saying that I look better and it should take too long until I'm dating. Who knows.
There is this guy that stops at least daily talking about random stuff. He thinks that he is John Lennon and that everyone faked his death, stole all his money and dumped him in Brazil, and now he'll get revenge on everyone and expects us to help him. It's funny every time because he's a little out of his mind so we say some stuff and he gets a little bitter or excited or anything else. Funny guy.
This week we'll have interviews, a baptism and stake conference and so we'll be busy with all kinds of good things. Today we'll try to go on a hike but its a little too cold for that right now he says so we'll see...
Well As far as the REALLY interesting things that's it!
I was reading my President Monson book and he said something really interesting that has helped me repeatedly and that is: God is always with us through trials and that President Monson knew that even when his wife passed away. Through something that would have been the hardest thing for him, he knew that is was the right time and he isn't alone. I know that too. We are NEVER alone and when we do what's right we will be able to feel that stronger.
week I'm totally lost on what to tell you guys... Really today was a week where
I was waiting for time to pass doing the same old things. We didn’t have too
many GREAT lessons. We mostly just talked to a lot of people and got rejected
but hey that’s part of life.
That sounds super
exciting about graduation finally! It's hard to believe that the people that
were sophomores when I was there are now graduating. That is pretty bizarre
really. I can’t even imagine my sister being done for 6 years now! CRAZY! Smoked
salmon for Mothers day??!?! It seems like the best foods I ALWAYS MISS!!!!
ARGH! We have to make something like that when I get home! JEALOUSY!
So, I haven’t gotten mold on my clothes before, but I've had cockroaches in
clothes before..... GROSS!!!!! And I had a spider once..... WORSEEE!!! I've
grown to appreciate dress pants these past months that I have some now that I
have botten and found in houses that I will FOR SURE wear at school with tee
shirts. I also found and insane sale last year of some Nikes that I swooped up
without any problem so that it something that I'll looking forward to. Mostly I
miss all the shirts B. gave me... I'm excited for the ones I left home...
the ones I brought are getting a little beat up in the washing machines here.
Those sure are incredible experiences that Sister Croshaw and Sister Buchanan shared.
We haven’t had one of those exactly yet but probably soon there'll be something
here soon. Miracles happen every day! This week we talked with literally everyone on the road and got some return appointments. We are trying really hard to build up our teaching pool. It's going okay so far. We'll have a baptism on the 29th and that should be great. The work goes on! Here, for District meetings, we have this folder
of topics we have to follow now. I'll show the folder better when I get there
but its about a missionary conference that the missionary department did in
January. I don't make up my own stuff now, I have to use something
from that packet or else I'm breaking the rules. Elder and Sister Davis
generally bring treats or something since they have more time to make
things at home. They work with less actives most of the time.
I LOVE MY
COMPANION AND ONLY BEING IN TWO! With just the two of us in the
apartment it is SOOOO much easier to keep things clean. Well there are
ants and bugs and no carpet so you can see all the dirt and so that is a
bummer...My companion is from the same group as the guy I trained so he's got
another year to go. Also, I have contacted the Branch President's son that
lives in Utah and it seems like we'll get to be good friends! He is super chill
and he likes most everything I do. Another bro!
Well this week I
was studying in Mosiah 4 and I found a verse where he tells everyone to think to
themselves, "I don’t have anything to give but if I did I would give
it." When we don’t have anything more to give, before we can't be self-sufficient,
we need to have in mind that if we had more we would give it and have that
spirit of giving. I know that we are blessed because of it.
Well I'm sorry
that this week is so short but I just don’t have any idea what I should
write.... Let me know what else you wanna know!
Love you all and
have a great week!
Mosiah 4: 24 "And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I wouldgive."
Ward Mission Leader served with a friend from home!
Well with this last Mothers Day down. It has taken a long time to get to this point and I'm still not done yet. I hope to be able to finish the Book of Mormon in Portuguese before I come home. It is about 100 pages longer than in English so it is harder to do. I imagine the fish for Mother's day turned out amazingly and everyone was super thrilled about it. I sure was happy to have the cold chicken sandwich that Sister Davis made for us yesterday. It had been so long since I had had one that it just made my day! YAY CHICKEN!
Mom asked about miracles I've seen on my mission. Last week, there was an electrical part which went bad in our shower (the water is heated in the shower heads-standard for Brazil). We bought the new part, switched off the breaker, replaced the part, and switched the breaker back on. It still wasn't working, so we called a member of the branch to come and have a look at it. When he turned off the breaker marked "shower" and checked it, the electricity was still on; the breakers had been mismarked and that switch that I turned off did NOT turn off the electricity to the shower but to the lights somewhere else. He asked if I had made the repair under these circumstances. I said yes-I had taken the old part out and reattached the new wires to the new part. We realized that those wires should have been flowing with electricity--220 volts, which is the standard in Brazil. I had been protected from the electricity.
Another miracle that I remembered that happened was one night we were coming home and there was this drunk guy that was following us that was shouting some pretty absurd things at us and When he got close to us, out of nowhere he just stopped and turned around and walked calmly away. I thought that was weird and my comp did too. I felt that we were protected and that was cool.
I mentioned that I knew that I was here for a reason and that was because of S. and the man that was baptized here last week. They both expressed to me that I had helped them to understand and accept baptism. Even though S. didn't get baptized while I was in my last area, he told me when I was leaving, "Thank you for bringing the truth to me and my family. We didn't even know it, but we were looking for this." He told me that I should always keep in touch and I told him I would try.That is why I know I was supposed to be here. That has made the difference of all those times I had no idea.
I said I have a hard time with faith and that is true. I like to see evidence of things. But I am starting to understand more and more the things the Lord does for me. Because I was here, I know He helps me to become a man that a wife and kids will be able to rely on in rough and good times.
Just to thank Mom again, Thank you for being my mother. You made ALL the difference in my life because of your example and your belief. I wanted to believe and because of your belief; I let that desire work in my heart until I had my own. I know these things that I have been teaching on my mission are true! They bless us and our families! GOD LOVES AND KNOWS US AND WHAT WE NEED TO GROW AND LEARN! He has passed through every trial and pain and challenge so that we do not have to do so alone.
Have a great week. And remember to look for the good in everyday!