Saturday, June 28, 2014
Well you know, just another great week here in Tucuruvi! Haha man, the hard thing is right now I am drawing a blank on what happened, I know that cool things happened but I just can´t remember! It makes me grateful that I am writing in my journal!
Ok, now that I thought about it here we go. On sunday last week we actually had some investigators come to church that we weren´t planning on coming, so that was a nice little tender mercy! One of them, Jandira, is new and she is a referral from this lady in our ward who for a long time has been attending another ward ehre but decided that she should be a part of her ward. So that was cool, her first sunday here and she gave us 2 referrals, then the following sunday her referral came to church because she invited her! Haha it is kind of great to meet a referral while they are already at church, makes it easier with them already having the faith and the experience to go to church! Jandira is kind of in a really difficult situation with her husband. They are unfortunately getting divorced and she has had a really tough life, she lives with her 5 year old son and they are just really great, she just is in a super difficult situation right now. So on Monday night we went there, to the members house and had an excellent lesson with them, it was seriously so good. We talked about how we don't know what she is going through and when it comes down to it we are two twenty year old´s who have never had to pass through this type of trial. But we were then able to testify that even though we do not fully understand, the Savior does, that we are His servants and that because of that our message was of the utmost importance for her, that God loves her and that through his commandments she could be healed, comforted, and made clean. It was really tender (dad word), she got really emotional and it went really well.
Well during that lesson another miracle happened, it turns out this member´s husband, Rogerio, isn´t a member of the church! He came in and greeted us during the lesson and then stood in the doorway listening to the lesson. That night he was really kind to us and welcoming, well later we got a message from the member saying how fantastic it went and how it was a miracle because her husband said he really liked us - the first time he has liked missionaries!! Woo hoo! Haha it was cool, the next time we had an appointment she said that it was the first time in 17 years of marriage he has listened to a missionary lesson, and then that night he fully participated in the lesson with Jandira! It was really cool, we were really humbled in seeing how the Lord prepares his children to receive the Gospel and I so hope and pray that Jandira and Rogerio will both receive the blessing of the Gospel in their lives. As always we invited them to be baptized, which Jandira accepted but said that she thought it was pretty early, so we will continue to teach and encourage and pray that she will have faith enough to follow our Savior.
We also were able to visit the family of Nilza and Nabil this week, as well as Emanuel and Reuza, both of which went well, Nilza is getting a lot better, she is a serious trooper after having such a major surgery. Her husband, Nabil, is really progressing. He even said that he might be baptized, which coming from someone who didnt believe in Jesus Christ when we met him two months ago is pretty big! He is seriously great, really doing well and praying and reading. He said he would come to Stake Conference this Sunday which would be so good for him.
Overall I am super grateful to work here, haha I miss working in my area full time, but as always it is good to serve here in the office. I had my last interview with President Martins, that was super good. He asked how you guys were doing and we talked about Bradley (he asked about you all and I told him you were going to BYU and then on a mission and so he wanted to know more about you). Then he answered some questions I had about receiving revelation and also learning from the temple, it was really good, haha I guess I need to have patience, I just want to know everything now!! But that is ok, I can be patient! Overall I am just loving it, I love the mission, it is weird to see my friends on the mission ending and going home, I don't like that!! Haha I just want to serve with all my heart might mind and strength!! Have a great week and you all could invite someone to come to church this week, I know that would make God happy! Love you all!
at 7:44 AM
This week officially started the 2014 World Cup here in Brasil! And man is it just crazy! People here have been doing a lot to get ready for it, including painting the streets, hanging up Brasilian flags on whatever surface they can find, and wearing all yellow and green and blue. Haha it has been interesting to watch people get so pumped up for it! We had a pretty normal week, last weekend was spectacular as we had Stake Conference, with the adult session on Saturday night and the general session on Sunday. On Sunday it was a broadcast from SLC, it was for all the stakes and districts in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Carol M Stephens spoke, she talked about Preach My Gospel and that the families who have missionaries out in the field should all read it... and send their insights for their missionaries... I really liked her talk! Haha also Ulisses S Soares, from the Presidency of the Seventy, who is also Brasilian, spoke and did a great job. Then Elder Richard G Scott spoke in Portuguese, haha it was so awesome, it was kind of a mix of Portuguese and Spanish, but mainly Portuguese, overall I was super impressed and it was weird to hear him in a different language, but he did a great job speaking and focusing a lot on God´s love for us. Then Elder Russell M Ballard finished it up and spoke on a lot of the concerns that face modern society and families such as technology and the destruction of the family. I was really uplifted and it was cool because we had 5 of our investigators come and watch it and they all really enjoyed it!
The rest of this week was pretty normal, we had a good Zone training on Tuesday and I enjoyed being instructed; I was able to get a few ideas out from it that we are now implementing in our area.
Last weekend the office staff was kind of a mess with the three other secretaries all being super sick, it wasn´t very fun for them. Well then on Monday I started to feel under the weather and by Tuesday it had hit me fully. I got this crazy brasilian virus that only has a cure in the amazon and the mission had to ask for it to be shipped here super fast but the person getting the vaccine got eaten by an anaconda... actually no, it was just this nasty little cold, but it felt not very fun at the time. So this week has been a bit of a blur as I was not able to function at my best, but thanks to Sister Martins and her medicinal advice and some good purchases of American-safe medications I am feeling better. Actually the thing that has been the worst is that I lost my voice, but I have had to talk a lot and do a lot of things on the phone this week so it has been killing me, haha missionaries who know me keep on asking who is talking to them because my voice is so different!
But now I am feeling better, so woo!
On Thursday the World Cup started and we worked in the office until 4 pm, one hour before the game started, and by then we had to be in our house to wait out the rest of the day. That was a bummer, I wanted to work, but that is ok! I was going to study but due to me not feeling good at all I considered it a blessing and slept a bit. So now every Brasilian game we have to stay in our houses for the rest of the day, which just means we will have to prioritize and be even more effective in our proselyting time, so it will be good!
Jandira is progressing but is really hesitant to get baptized, she feels like she needs to be perfect to be baptized... which means she will never get baptized, Haha we actually told her that, and had a great lesson about faith and baptism and it went really well. Also we had a good lesson with Givaldo, he has a date for this next Saturday, the 21st, I so hope and pray that he will get baptized. He will be such a powerful example for Emanuel and Reuza and Nabil and Nilza and the rest of their family! Well, I have a true testimony of the tender mercies of the Lord. He truly is in this work. I am so grateful that he loves me and blesses me so immensely in all aspects of my life. I love my Savior and I love my Heavenly Father. I need to be humble to see His hand in my life, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be grateful. I also am super grateful that I have such a great earthly father as an example to me. Thanks for being such a great dad, Dad! Love you all and Happy Father´s Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
at 7:41 AM
Holy cow, time seriously just flies by, it is just not stopping! It has been really crazy how fast the weeks are going, it seems like yesterday that I was in Itapetininga, when in reality it was in the beginning of March that I left there! How crazy is that? This week was really good. We had a good Sunday last week and were able to eat at Jairo´s house, he is the High Priest Group Leader here and is super awesome, and his wife happens to be one of the best cooks in the ward, and she always makes a ton of food, so that was fun. Church went really well and some of our investigators came which made us happy! On Monday it was Elder Albuquerque´s birthday! We worked hard and I faked that I hadn´t done anything for him and that we were going to just eat like rice and beans when we got back to the apartment at the end of the night... but the assistants bought two cakes for him and we had a little fiesta! So that was fun, haha it is hard to do anything as a surprise for your comp when you are with him 24/7. On Tuesday 4 Americans arrived in the mission, 3 of them are actually from my group and the other one has been out for a little longer than I have!! It was crazy, but two of the sisters were serving in Montana and so it was fun to hear how the mission is and everything. Definitely grateful that I have been able to serve in two missions and that I got my visa and have been able to serve with President Martins. On Tuesday afternoon there was another Brasil game and we had to all stay inside our houses, but with the transfer President was taking the sisters to their areas in the interior and he had to come back that same night to the office so he told us to stay in the office until he got back, haha so we just studied here in the office while listening to the chaos outside until like 8 pm when he got back and we helped him load materials into his car. It was a pretty uneventful day, I am going to be psyched to work in our area more when the cup is over!
We also had our last Zone Conference with President and Sister Martins on Thursday, it was so insane to think that it was the last one! I will be able to see them a couple more times, but it was the last time most of the missionaries will see them. It was really good, he emphasized a lot on priesthood authority and also that President Farnes will receive the inspiration and revelation from the same source, that the president changes but the person who is really in charge doesn´t. So that will be crazy when he gets here and the change happens.
This week we have been working a lot with Givaldo and he was interviewed and passed and will be baptized here in an hour and a half!!! We are super psyched, he is really demonstrating a lot of faith. We are excited how he will be an example for the rest of his family. Also, we were working with Jandira, who also had a date for today but was kind of soft. She has been worried about the "right day" to be baptized and she had the interview and it really helped her see that she is prepared to be baptized and to do this! So she is getting baptized tonight too!! We are super excited for both of them.
We also had a cool experience this week, we taught an investigator in the institute building, his wife is a member and always goes. So we taught him and were teaching about the doctrine of Christ, and we invited him to be baptized and asked if it was a desire of his to follow Jesus Christ and be clean from his sins, haha and he responds "it isn´t a desire of mine, it is faith. I have faith that I need to do this and that I can follow him." Hahaha it was so great to hear those words, so he is now being prepared to be baptized this next weekend! We are feeling so blessed in our area, it is definitely hard, but we are striving to be obedient and to really have faith that we can baptize here, even if we only get to work in our area a little bit each day. I love this church so much, it truly is the church of Jesus Christ and he is at its helm. I love my Savior and I love to have this chance to be a representative of him.
I am glad you are all doing well! Mom, tell Tim and Roxanne that they can use whatever paper or letter to send to me, I am really glad that the letter got to them! I didn't notice that the paper I used was really thin, haha I think I actually bought it in the US! Anyways, hope you are all doing well and I am so glad that Manti went really well, it sounds like it was a fantastic experience!
Love you all! Be missionaries too!
at 7:37 AM
This week was just full of craziness!!! It seemed like there was constantly things to do and get done before President and Sister Martins left! So I spent a really large amount of time in the office this week trying to zero out there credit cards and prepare other important things for when they left. Haha I am really grateful that I was able to get everything done in time! Last Sunday Jandira and Givaldo were both confirmed! It was really cool, a very uplifting experience for both of them. I was able to confirm Jandira, which was actually the first time that I have confirmed someone, it seems like usually we have a member of the ward or bishopric do it but this time she asked me, so that was a learning and very good experience for me. Then we had a really good meeting this week with the High Priest Group leader and the Ward Mission Leader! Missionary work with the members has a history of being very very slow in this ward, so we have been doing our best to build their confidence and really get them involved, there is nothing that causes miracles like working with members. It was great to see the High Priest Group Leader wanting to be involved and help out, Also we got permission from President Martins to assist with Home Teaching here int he ward, there just aren´t very many priesthood holders so we were asked to help.
We are really striving to find new investigators this week, it has been a difficulty here in Tucuruvi. It is a really wealthy area and very commercial, so often the people we make contacts with are always working or live in other areas. I have prayed many many times for help and we always get help with it. I know that God knows where these people are, so really we just need to rely on Him and his help to find them. And even better He knows what they need to hear, how they need to hear it, and everything that has ever happened to them and will happen to them, which is the reason we so badly want to teach with the Spirit, because that truly is what brings conversion.
Man, that killed me a bit to hear about Sparky. Shoot! Haha actually I was thinking about her the other day and wondering if she would make it until I got back. Luckily I know that God has a plan and that truly everything will be all right. I am really glad that we had her. Man, I am going to miss that dog!!
Then on Friday morning President Martins and Sister Martins came with President and Sister Farnes and their family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was just very surreal! it was genuinely sad saying bye to President and Sister Martins, they were such a blessing for me. Then when hey got here and it was very clear right from the start that President Farnes and his family are incredible people. President Farnes is very kind and loving, he gave each of us like five hugs, haha it was great! Sister Farnes is also super kind and was mainly speaking English but she will learn quickly! President already had a lot of things that he wants to get done and today they are already having Mission Leadership Council, so he is really eager to get things moving. I was able to talk to him on the phone a couple times to talk about his credit card and the mission car and everything and he is just really nice, and speaks really good Portuguese. I am really excited to get to know him better and work with him, I know that it is going to be really wonderful for our mission!
We are hopefully going to have a baptism tomorrow after church!! His name is Jorge, he is the husband to a member of our ward, he is really great, has a lot of faith! i hope that everything works out and he gets baptized tomorrow!
I am really really grateful to be serving a mission. yesterday was the anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and I felt so honored and privileged to teach and testify about him and the First Vision. I know that he saw and spoke with God and Christ. I know that the priesthood of God was given to him and the authority restored through him. I know that he died and sealed his testimony. I know that this church is the church of Jesus Christ, and that He is at the head of it.
I also have been thinking about Morgan and the anniversary tomorrow. I am and will be eternally grateful for the wonderful plan of happiness that our Father gave to us. I know that this is the true gospel. I know that I will see my friend someday and that she will be able to be together with her family forever. I love this Gospel. Where would I be without it? It is an honor, truly a blessing to serve my Savior. After all that He has done for me, isn´t it worth it to do my best for Him. I am eternally indebted to Him for the Atonement and I rejoice in the fact that I can receive forgiveness, comfort, peace, and eternal life through His infinite sacrifice.
Have a wonderful week, remember that we need to show our love of God through our works and thoughts, and maybe some good missionary moments and invitations will show how much we truly do love our Father.
at 7:29 AM