Monday, 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.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
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.
Monday, June 13, 2016
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!
P.S our english class is growing so fast! We have 33 students in 3 weeks! We are already teach half of them!
Thursday, May 5, 2016
He doesn´t do anything on Sundays because it´s a sacred day and he also doesn´t have a certain church. He ending it with his girl friend because she wanted to do bad stuff. Before I got off the bus I got his number and address. We went there on Sunday and had a really spiritual lesson that resulted in marking a baptismal date. I´m so grateful that I was able to feel and act upon the prompting of the spirit.
My trainer got married!!!! Elder Sales!!! I can´t believe that we were comps almost 1 year and 6 months ago. And I was able to go to the wedding with President and Sister. I can´t believe that I saw him go home and get married. Thanks Dad for helping him to get to the temple. He is going to be a great husband and father.
This week the Brasilia stake presidency was released and Elder Aidukaitis came to reorangize the new stake. I was able to talk to him before and I told him that he was Daniels mission President. He is an amazing man who speaks with power. Also 2 men that I was able to baptized in Aguas Claras were sustain to receive the higher Priesthood and another said the closing prayer. It was a sense of peace that the difference we make as missionaries isn´t when they get baptized but after when they apply the things of the gospel. It was a really special day for me and the people of this stake.
Just another day in the fight! We are doing a mission conference next week so we are praying and fasting to know what the mission is needing to continue the hard work and help the strengthening of the Kingdom of God here in Brasilia! We are on the hunt for a temple.
One step at a time we will reach the top of the of our mountainous goals.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
So conference was amazing! I loved every second of it. I felt that everything was said just for me. I was able to take everything and see how it apples to my life. I´m so grateful for Conference and the spirit it gives us to be better and to do better. Something that really touched me was when Gerrit W. Gong was talking about opening our hearts again. All of us already have had a confirmation that this is the church of Jesus Christ. But at time we seem to forget or it doesn´t seem as important as it use to be. He sited a line for the Poet T S Elliot that stuck to me, "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." So when we are getting use to the gospel in a way that we are becoming less excited to do the right. This is when he need to explore again where it all started.
We need to "open our hearts to the Book of Mormon like you did the first time" And we can open our hearts again to anything about church. The will help use stay faithful to the end.
At the stake center I was filled with Joy to see a bunch of the people I baptized there to watch Conference. It was a special moment because I had that confirmation that they aren´t just going to church but they have callings and they are willing to drive an hour to watch Conference at the stake center.(Picture of Victoria and her parents that haven´t been baptized yet).
I´m really proud of my family and the explain they are to me. To my Grandparents to the newiest nephew. Family is everything. As my brother Daniel once wrote to me "Family is everything, bigger is better." I´m excited to enjoy this in my life and apply the gospel to my future family.
This week is going to be really crazy because we have 16 missionies going home and 21 coming to the mission. The new missionaries look great and they are going to love the best mission in the world!
Monday, March 28, 2016
The days pass like minutes and the week pass like seconds around here. I can´t believe it´s Monday again. Things are getting really busy here.
We were in a meeting with President when we heard the news of the bombing in Europe. After we discovered that one of the missionaries was from Santa Clara Utah. Elder Patterson(my comp in the CTM and one of my best friends on the mission) friend was one of the 3 missionaries, they are friend since birth. It was really hard on Elder Patterson because as missionaries we don´t get updates until Monday. Pray for these Elders and everyone that is suffering.
Sadly the baptisms of Daniel and Giselle didn´t happen. She is a leader in her church and one night her buddies all went over there and convinced her out of it. She sent a message to us that said" I know that your church is the true church on the earth but I have greater calling and and God is calling me" This was some hard news for me to take because God gave her varies answer about the church. I just hope and pray that she will understand one day.
On the bright side Edna was baptized this week. She was super ready and prepared by the lord. She is a great example to the rest of her family and we are wanting to baptized her parents. We just need to the help them understand the importance of make covenant's with God. I have faith that with alittle time they well get baptized also.
There is an area in the mission that doesn´t have missionaries right now because it´s dangerous and a few elders got beat up.(Aguas Lindas) But the members there were still working and they taught a few people to the point that they had desire to get baptized. President called us up and we hoped on the bus for 2 hours to interview these people. It was a really great experience to see how the Lords elects are still being found. It was truly privilege to interview them.
The transfers are already coming up so we are up to our ears in planning how it is going to be, buy bus passes, ect. The busy life is the best life! Loving my mission!
Can´t believe that Hannah is in the mission field now! Good luck Sis, make us proud. Katie and Justin, keep rocking it. You guys are great!
Friday, March 18, 2016
This week was crazy! The routine in my new area is so different, so I´m still getting use to it. For example we had a day full of visits but we had to cancel the visits because sadly a sister was going home early. we had to pick here up, take here to her interview with the president and then drop her off at the airport. And after all that was said and done it was 10Pm. So at times it´s difficult to leave teaching people but I understand that we have to help them missionaries in the way they need to be helped, even if it makes our situation difficult.
Our mission has a couple missionary, They are giving English classes ever Saturday morning. The class is starting to get serious. They started with 2 and now have 30 students. This is one of the best way to get people to teach. Since the area is a rich area it´s hard to talk with people on the street or knocking doors. But this English class is helping us alot get new people to teach. We have already marked 3 baptismal dates with the students of this English class! Every week there are more and more people so we are super excited!
Miracle of the week was after the English class. We were leaving to go to lunch and I felt that we had to sit down at a park bench. I don´t know why. As everyone know at home and on the mission I can´t stand staying still, but we sat down. We waited 15 minutes and a woman came up to us and started to talk with us. She said "Elders! So happy I found you. I´m from another state and I was receiving the lessons from other missionaries. I had to move because of my work and I wasn´t able to be baptized. I´v been looking for the church but I haven´t been able to find it for 2 months!" When this happened my jaw almost fell to the floor. What a miracle. We got her address and marked a visit with her. We are really exited to visit her and help her gain a testimony of this gospel.
Well there is a lot more amazing things that happened this week but i´m short on time. Thank you everyone for your support and love. I know that this mission that I´m serving moved me to be a better person. I don´t think alot about home but I´m anxious to used the things I learned to be a better person when I return!
Até semana que vem!
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Monday, February 15, 2016
So Larissa(a investigator) went on the stake camping trip and loved it. I was nervous that something would happen or she wouldn´t like it. But instead she loved every second of it. She was called to be a leader of some of the younger girls and was already looking like a member. She was announcing her baptism to everyone at the camping trip. When she got home she was super excited and happy.
With this in mind we went to work on her little sister Lais. Lais wasn´t exactly sure if she wanted to be baptized with her sister or wait more time. Knowing that it would be a special experience for her to be baptized with her sister we talked with her about the importance of being baptized. She is one of the smartest 10 years I´v ever met. (she wants to be a scientist). During the lesson she sat there thinking about what we had said. Finally she said "Well makes sense, the answer is that I have to be baptized."
The baptism was really special. Their family went and loved every second of it. We are going to start working with their parents and do there marriage! They were true elects.
This morning on P-Day we went to the Cartório to put the papers in for another marriage. The wedding of Fabiana and Rubens. I´v already done 8 weddings on the mission and every time the husband is so nervous. The wife is always super excited and dying to finalize the marriage. I wonder how it will be in my situation;)
They will be married on the 3rd of March and baptized on the 6th. Everyone is excited for these dates. (Family of 4)
Simply I´m great. Love rice and beans, the random rain storms and the people. The mission is a once in a life time opportunity. I´m trying to live it up and succeed in my purpose as a missionary. Life is sweet unto us, as long as you look on the bright side and count your blessings.
I´m on the fourth quarter right now people. If there is one thing that has stuck to me after all the sports I´v played, it´s that fourth quarter is when you put the pedal to the metal.
Monday, February 1, 2016
I having little time because we have to run the a family night with a golden family that we are teaching, so forgive me for it being brief.
So we had been teach Richard who is one of the smarted kids I know. He has been taught for 8 different missionary. He brother was baptized but he was a strong member in the church that he was at. We invited him to ask God after a powerful message. That night his brother called us and said that he want the be baptized. The next day he Mom stopped us on the street and said "How did you two manage to convince my Son to leave his church and get baptized in your Church in one week? Its been 8 months that the missionary are trying.'' My comp and I just smiled and said ''We didn´t do anything, it was the Holy Ghost that told him. And its not our church it the Church of Jesus Christ.''
After Richard received his answer he was determined to follow his answer. The Pastor went to his house for hours to convince him to not get baptized. But we were super proud of him, he bore his testimony at his baptism. He is going to do great thing and help alot of people, he has many talents.
Then on Sunday Victoria was baptized. It was great, there were a lot of people that stayed after the meets to watch. Including the 9 investigators we took to church on Sunday. They were all amazing at the baptism and a few asked what they had to do to be baptized. The ward it starting to get excited and starting to understand our purpose here. They were all offering help after the baptism and giving us references.
Its a good start here in Santa Maria. I´m so grateful for the chance the Lord gave me to be a tool in he hands. I love seeing people when they are feeling the Holy Ghost. It gives me more motivation to keep going so that everyone can feel it.
Love my mission, my comp is great and my President is amazing. My only problem is that time is passing by to fast.
Monday, January 25, 2016
This week we were learning the area. The other missionaries didn´t leave alot but we worked with what we had. The ward is great. It has an average of 120 people going to church every week. The Stake has made a goal of making a new ward with Santa Maria Sul and Norte. We are need to find more priesthood holders to help make this divide happen.
Biggest difficulty is that our ward has to travel to the chapel Sunday morning. Few people have cars and the rest have to take the bus. Sadly a lot have problem with money so the sacrifice is big. As a missionary it is also hard to bring people to church after a long Saturday night of partying. But we trust in the Lord that we will be able to find elects. We have already found many great great people.
We worked like dogs this week to find good people to teach. We talked to everyone and it paid off. We have a great group that we are teaching and we will also have a baptism this weekend. We are praying and working so that we can find more people help come unto Christ.
Its raining cats and dogs here everyday. The worst part is that it comes out of now where. We were tracking down a less active when out of nowhere it starts pouring rain. We retreated to a wall to avoid the side ways rain. Then we heard an old lady calling us to enter in her house. As we entered we thanked her as started to talk to he son Ronnie. We explain the book of Mormon and he accepted a baptismal date. Then as we were testifying he started to cry. He explained that he was needing this. He had recently been kicked out his house because of his addiction to drinking. He has been suffering and the Lord sent us to help him get his life back into order. It was a miracle how we found him! I love this work.
The mission is passing by really fast. I can´t believe it. Love my mission.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
To Start off Happy New Years to all.
This past year of 2015 was one of the most interesting years of my life. Without a doubt it was the year that I feel I grew the most as a person. Looking back at the people I have met and experiences I have had it was incredible. The moments of happiness and moments of sadness were all part of this journey that I am having here in Brasil. Before I started my mission everyone said through the difficulties we pass through on a mission, we are developed in a magnified form at a faster rate. I learned that this year for sure. I am truly grateful for this opportunity to be a servant of the Lord. At times, when we finally achieve a goal in life, the real achievement is the attributes that we gained in process of achieving that goal.
Although I am really happy with the progress I made in this past year, I am far from satisfied. This New Year I was able to reflect and pray about goals that would push me to my limits and help me improve everyday. I challenge everyone to make yearly goals so that they can focus on things that are truly important in life.
This week was great. Everyone is returning home from break and they are want to make changes in their lives. We have an investigator who told us to pass by one day. When we entered his house I felt like we had just entered in the lion's den. His parents had a event for their church in their house. It was jam packed with members of their church. Everything was calm for the first two minutes. Then we started getting pelted with questions from the Pastor who didn't want to hear the answers. We asked him him if was interested in arguing or did he want to learn? Then we just went off and explained everything. He tried to prove us wrong, but we just kept going. At the end everyone was listening to every word we were saying. When we were done, We told them that we had to leave and everyone begun to ask "Where is your church?" The Pastor yelled, you´re not going there! When he stormed out we passed around a paper where many put their names and contact information on the paper to receive a visit. I am so grateful for the spirit and the help it gave us. At the beginning I was super nervous but I said a little prayer and the Lord did the rest. We were able to stay calm and show the people we are truly God's Representatives.
We are working hard and finding a lot of great families. We are so grateful for the Ward. They are helping so much. They are giving a lot of references and doing what they can to help. Transfers are coming up in 2 weeks. I wouldn't mind staying herefor another 6 weeks, but it is not up to me, it up to the Lord. One of the many things I have learned is this work is inspired.
Thank you everyone for the support and love. Time is passing by so quickly!!!