Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016-Elder Seth's Final Email!

Well without a doubt my last week on the mission was one of the most unforgettable. Looking back I can´t say what was the best week of my mission because every week built on this amazing experience. To start out we had 6 baptisms on Saturday. Jessica, Isabele, Nicolas, João, Vilane, and Thaiane. It was an extremely spiritual meeting and clearly made a difference in everyones´ life who was there. The members said that there has never been a baptismal serves with so many people in the last ten years! It was an honor and a privilege to serve in the area of Guará. I was able to give me last talk in Portuguese as a missionary and I got alittle emotional. I was thinking about how my next sacrament meeting would be in english after 104 Sundays in Brasil. After all this I felt that something was lacking, that I still had something more to do.

   On Sunday one of the most meaningful events happened to me. So 8 months ago I was in another area called Aguas Claras. And one day my comp and I were returning home and wanted to buy something to eat really quickly. As we were walking past a college a girl called out "hey Elders". We went and talked to her(Clarissa) and we discovered that she was a less active and her whole family was inactive(Marcia,Cássia, Clarissa, Carine, and Lehi) We got her number and address so that we could visit her family.

So we marked a visit and she cancelled, marked again, cancelled, and a third time, cancelled. Usually when someone does this I stop trying because our time is really precious. But the holy ghost was telling me that we had to keep trying. Finally on the 4th try we were able to visit them and leave a message. Then we were able to visit them again and we found out that her little brother was 8 years old and had never been baptized. After this visit I was transferred and I was super sad because I wasn´t able to bring the amazing family back to church. As a last attempt I wrote a letter from the heart to this family and gave to the Bishop.

 I was always thinking about this family for the last 8 months. I thought that they had completely forgotten about me and weren´t able to return to church. Then this week I got a call from the Bishop from Aguas Claras. He told me that this family was active and asked me if I could baptized there brother/son Lehi.

Without a doubt it was one of the most spiritual baptismal services I have ever had. The 2nd oldest of the family(Clarissa) bore her testimony and told the story about how she called my comp and I and that she had an empty feeling. She starting going back to church then stopped going. Then out of nowhere she felt that she needed to go to church. That Sunday Bishop gave her the letter that I had left for her family. She said she went outside to read the letter and started crying. With this strength she returned to church as a strong member and brought the rest of her family with her.

So grateful for the spirit and the role he has in our in my life. It whispered to her to call us that night when we were getting food. It gave me the motivation to keep trying to visit them.Help them return to church and Lehi was baptized. Lehi bore his testamony as if he was an adult and a member for along time. He made half the room cry. I can´t wait to see his progress and see him go on a mission in a few years. Moments like this brings tears of joy to my eyes and sadness to know that I won´t be a missionary of the Lord for much more time.

It was really a honor to wear the Saviors name on my heart. I am not going to lie, I´m nervous to be going home. But I trust in the Lord that he has a plan for me.

3rd John
13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

-Elder Seth

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 11, 2016-

This week was great. We are getting our investigators ready for baptism! We prepared and  prayed a lot for them so that they could get ready. We are planning a super baptism day with the secretaries on my last weekend of the mission! As of now it is looking great, we had 6 investigators at church and they did as well. Pray for Isabelle, Nicolas, and Iago!!! We hope everything goes right!

This week I did a trade with the Zone Leaders from our Brasilia Norte zone. I had the privilege to work with Elder Rodrigues from São Paulo. He is one of our best missionaries. It was great because we were able to talk about the zone and see the weakness. Also we were able to see varies miracles and people that were prepared by the Lord.  I felt the spirit really strongly near him and I know he will do great things.To put the cherry on top we ran into a member on the street who said I looked like an Elder Daniel who passed through this area. Hahaha I love passing through the same trails that Daniel had passed. So proud to know that after all this time people still remember him.

We have a member who lives in the middle of the forest and this week was had lunch there. It was so awesome because out of no where a bunch of little monkey were playing in the trees above us. It was funny because they snatch bread out of our hands and we were able to snap some pretty great pictures. Going to miss this land so much. Stunning wildlife, amazing fruits, and the unforgettable people.

There are so many great things to say but I´m short on time!

Com Muito amor,

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4, 2016

Happy 4th! my last 4th of july on the on the mission! We had an amazing lunch at Presidents house for the highest baptizing pairs! It was a feast and made me feel right at home. I´m so grateful for my country and the people who sacrificed everything. I´m proud to be an American.        

    I had a very spiritual experience this week with Elder Batista. We were having a meeting with President when a woman from the church called and  asked if we could give a blessing to someone. I grabbed Elder Batista and we went to give the blessing. The woman led us to a lady who was sitting with her eyes closed. She was having a migraine and body pains. She isn´t a member so we quickly explained how a blessing works and we gave her one. Then we quickly returned to our meeting. In the meeting the woman called us again into the the room where the sick person was. As we entered she asked what did you guys do? How did you guys do that? I´m trying to find the pains in my body but I´m feeling absolutely nothing. The second you took your hands off my head the pains I was feeling left.

   At that moment I felt the spirit so strongly. We explained to her that today in the world exists the power of the priesthood and it has the power to cure people. I have already been blessed to be apart of a few experiences where the priesthood cured someone but I have never had seen it happen so quickly. We were able to get her address and give it to the missionaries where she lives. Every time I see a miracle like this my testimony continues to grow. I´m so grateful for the restored priesthood power and the faith we can put in Jesus Christ. This was a very special event for me.

       Saturday night came around and our last visit had just barely cancelled on us. Being in a very traditional neighborhood we didn´t dare knock on doors because of recent failures. After calling a few people and nothing going right, I felt a little discouraged. Saturday is the most important day of the week to confirm people to go to church, but it seem like the day was already over. I´m not going to lie, the thought of just closing the day up and going home passed through my head. But with the spirit of fasting and prayer we received help from our Father in Heaven. We visited a person that we had lost contact with because he was never at home. But on this occasion we found him at home with his cousin! We left a powerful message and invited them to church. Then the next day they walked in alone and loved every second of church! Imagine if we had given up and just gone home? Imagine if we weren´t worthy or hadn´t listened to the still small voice? These small things are what make the difference. The Lord is waiting to bless us when we are putting in everything we have. 

       Last bit of news of the week is that I bore my last testimony in sacrament meeting. I was feeling a weird numb sensation because it would be my last time. I remembered back to the first time I bore my testimony in Jardim Inga(my first area) I was super nervous and unaware of what journey I had ahead of me. I talked about how the mission really helped me put in order my priorities and goals. So grateful for this experience.

Com Amor,
Elder Seth

June 26, 2016

Well Ladies and gentlemen, I´m here again writing my weekly email as if it were yesterday. Trying to think back on the last few day it was all a blur. Time is really the most precious thing we have, it should be used is a constructional manner. So grateful for the people in my life that have help me try to live up every second. At time we think why didn´t I do that?

     Anyways, this week we went to Palmas and boy did I forget how hot it was. When we got there I felt like I was in sauna. It was so hot I felt like a hair dryer was blowing hot air in my face the entire time. I completely forgot how hot it was since it had been 1 year and 6 months since I left. I can´t believe that I made it up there for 6 months! Other than the weather it was amazing to return and visit the people I love so much. I was able see a few of the people I baptized and members that helped me with my mission. I was filled with joy see everyone strong and progressing in the gospel. The down side is that we stayed there for only 2 days and had to go by GOLon one of there old airplanes, I´m convinced tall people have the hardest time on airplanes haha.

     Since this week was the preparation for transfers and we were in another state; sadly we only had 2 days to work in our area. But the 2 day we worked we were able see varies miracles and meet alot of great people. Then on Sunday morning we had 8 investigators that went to church. It was awesome. Running around explaining the sacrament, teaching them how to use the hymn book, and introducing everyone to members. It was chaos at its finest. Love to when people are at church learning a feeling the spirit. Now we just need to help them get baptized!

   The last news of the week is that about 3 months ago we picked up the new missionaries at the airport. I talked to one elder for a good amount of time getting to know him. He is a 26 year old from the south, he is lawyer who was working at a big firm, and was a recent convert. He let everything go to serve a mission. Yesterday he was called to be the new executive secretary of the mission and will be will be living with us. Last night we were talking and we discovered he is dating Hannahs missions Presidents daughter!!! What a small world. He is amazing and will help the mission alot. Maybe in a few years i´ll be at their wedding.

 Well that is basically the highlight! thank you everyone for the emails and support!

Com amor,
Elder Seth

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 21, 2016

Oi Famila

     So this week was great. Once again the week flew by. We are almost done with all the interviews. We are going to grab a plane on Thursday and go to Palmas.(glad were going by plane because last time we went by bus which takes 14 hours!) Also i´m glad to see my second area on the mission where I stayed 6 months. It will be great to see the ward and all the members!

   Last week we sent a group of missionaries home who finish their missions. It was weird to send them off because they are my friends that seemed to start the mission with me. I was a little scary to think that the next group is mine. Time is flying by so fast but the good news is that I will be able to see these missionaries who have become my friends in the future. 

   We had the baptism of Naiara! she was a reference from the family we baptized in the first few weeks in Guará. The baptism was really spiritual and I could tell that our other investigators loved every second of it. The ward is stating to get more and more excited, everyone is starting to offer help and see what they can do. I´m happy because when we got here we were alone in the missionary work. It is so much easier and enjoyable when you have the support of the members. Especially because they will live and take care of our recent converts.

  This past week I focused on using the power of prayer. I really believe that it is a divine power that God gives us. It is a tool that we should use at all times, whether we are thanking God for a blessings or an answer, asking for guidance, or simple talking about our desires. The Lord gave us this privilege to pray fervently as a way to invite to spirit into our lives. With this we can gain patience, lose fear, and cast our impure thoughts. I´m so grateful for the power of prayer and the difference it makes in my life. I know that my Father in Heaven is just one prayer away. When you are in need get on your knees and pray, I promise you that you will feel more peace in your life. 

   This week were are going to get transfers ready! Its going to be super crazy! last group of new missionaries that I will receive on the mission field. Hopefully we can train them up to be Elders 10 time better than me!

Thank you everyone for the support and prayers it makes the biggest difference in a missionaries life.

Com Amor,
Elder Seth

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 6, 2016

Hello everyone, 
  this week was great. I can´t believe I´m here again writing my weekly report. As time has flown by here on the mission I´ve learned about the importance of making every second count. I´ve learned to be more efficient with my time. Whether it is shaving or ironing my shirt fast; or how to teach someone more directly and not beat around the bush. Something I learned is to go all in, put all my mind into that thing I am doing. For example if I´m going to go to church, I´m going to listen to every word and try to learn something new to apply in my life. I know that our time here on earth is precious and super valuable. Especially because this isn´t my time it is the Lords time. I´m excited to apply this and cut the things that I use to do that had no return. 

  Well Elder Patterson is one of the new Secretaries! He was my comp in the CTM. We made a prophecy that we would end our missions together and now it has came to pass. I´m proud of him and excited to work close to him to keep this mission running.
Other news was that Giovanna was baptized! She is a 12 year old girl who is a friend of our recent convert. She was really really excited for her baptism. The sad part is that she doesn´t receive a  lot of support from her family. She doesn´t know her Dad and her Mom has an alcohol addiction. Her Mother went to church at 8:30 and loved it. Then when the baptism came around she didn´t go because she was drinking. Very sad to say the least, well keep working with her.

  One of the greatest experiences that I have had on my mission was participating in a baptism of a 92 year old woman. We had to have 3 missionaries enter in the water to baptize her. She was going to get baptized next week but she was scared she would´n´t live until next week and wanted to be baptized that Saturday. It was a tender moment for me because the gospel is for everyone. Doesn´t matter where your from or your age the gospel moves the lives of people who accept it. We are so proud that she made this major choice!

This week is going to be crazy! we are going to visit all the zones and do interviews. Its going to be tiring but without a doubt will help motivate the missionaries to work harder. Interviews always made a big difference for me and gave me exactly what I needed.

Keep up everyone! Love and miss everyone!

Com Amor, 
Elder Seth

P.S our english class is growing so fast! We have 33 students in 3 weeks! We are already teach half of them!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

May 31, 2016

Hello everyone!

So this week we had mission counsel. We were able to give a training with President to all the zone leaders. It was really spiritual and really productive. We covered a bunch of subjects that our mission is really needing to improve even more. we talked about a powerful invite, reactivating, using the Book of Mormon, obedience, how to find elects and a few other things. I know that it will help out out mission if everyone gets on board and applies these things. I felt the spirit really strong and can testify the Holy Ghost was present.

On Monday we had the special lunch at Presidents house for the best pair of missionaries in each zone! It was great and everyone is getting super excited to work harder.

So Maxwell was confirmed this Sunday! also we are teaching his family and all of this friends on the street! Hopefully we can get some more young men in the ward quickly.

I would like to talk a little bout Cida, The mother of our first baptism in Guará. Throughout this month we have been teaching Cida and trying to help her quit smoking. She has been smoking since she was 7 years old! She has been smoking for over 30 years as well! Smoking as always been a way that she calmed down. When we starting teach her she was already down from 3 packs to 1 pack of cigarettes a day. But she couldn´t find a way to get any lower than that. So we taught her the importance of the word of wisdom and the blessings that she would receive.

 We made a plan of action to help her quit 3 weeks ago. We told her we would return the next day at 9 in the morning and that she couldn´t eat breakfast. We got there and brewed up some cigarette tea. Which is when your boil what and you put the tobacco part of the cigarette in the water to make tea.(one of the worst tasting and worst smelling things known to man). We poured her a cup and told her she had to drink it all down at one time. She did that and looked around as if nothing happened, but within 30 second she went running to the bathroom.

After she had finish throwing up she couldn´t even look at a cigarette. we gave her a blessing of comfort and told her when she was tempted to smoke that she need to pray and ask the Lord for help, if she still had desire, call us. After three weeks she final has stopped smoking!!! This was a special experience for me because it really showed me how if someone has desire to do what's right and looks for the help of the Lord we can conquer what kind of challenges we have. So grateful for the chance I had to see the faith of Irmã Cida winning over her addiction. Now we are going to get her married and baptized!

Anyways were working hard and super busy! Next week we are going to travel around the mission to do interviews with all the missionaries!!

Com Amor,
Elder Seth