Saturday, August 30, 2014

Transferência! August 25, 2014

Well this kind of strange writing email just a couple of days after i wrote the last time!! I am enjoying it here already! On Saturday we were able to get everything ready for Rogerio´s baptism, it was really special. Haha there was a slight accident with the baptismal font, but we got everything all cleaned up before the baptism, so that was great, very grateful that Heavenly Father answers the prayers of desperate missionaries.

The baptism went well, I baptized Rogerio and it was special. The heater is broken for the font so the water is super cold. Haha we have asked for it to be fixed but that hasn´t happened yet so it was another cold baptism. Rogerio was kind of worried about it but afterwards he said he didn´t feel any cold and he felt really warm and good as he went into the water. We were really happy for him, they are such a great couple. They set a goal to be sealed a year from now and invited me to it already... haha we will see but that would be awesome!

Also this keyboard is really bad, so sorry ahead of time if there aren´t any spaces for some words!

So on Sunday we went and it was really good. A lot of people came to church which was nice because I was able to say goodbye to them. Church went well, one of my investigators, Gabriel, the brother of Thaís came and is really firm for getting baptized here at the end of the week. Bummer that I won´t be there, but I am glad that he is staying firm and will start on this wonderful path.
I was able to give a talk on Sunday, I found out at the beginning of the meetings because one of the speakers was sick. So i was the last speaker and when I got up there was 35 minutes left in the meeting... haha so I was just a little nervous but it actually went really well, another answer to a desperate missionaries´prayer. I spoke on the Atonement and Missionary Work and spoke on the examples of prophets from the Book of Mormon who repented and changed their lives and then had the desire to share the joy they felt through the gospel with other people. It went well, I felt guided by the Spirit. It also was sweet to talk about, it is so true, when we apply the Atonement in our lives, we naturally have a desire to share that grandest of all blessings with others. I love the mission for that, I get to talk to others all day about how they can be clean from their sins, be forgiven, and be perfected in Christ so that one day they can be with their families forever. It´s wonderful.

Rogerio got confirmed which was also really great, it was such a tender mercy to be able to stay in Tucuruvi for just one more week in order to see that happen.

After church I took pics with a ton of the families from the ward and my investigators and recent converts. It was pretty hard, I will truly miss that ward. It was hard but super great.

Then I got here!! I met my comp, Elder Gimenez, from Argentina, which reminds me a lot of my trainer, ElderMussin. He is a great missionary. We are in Ariston, which is part of the Capitol still. They are tons of people here, it´s crazy. It is in a city Carapicuíba,which has one of the densest populations on the planet, or at least they say that here! There are so many people here,it is so great as a missionary, I just eat it up! We are teaching a lot of people here and I am really excited. The ward here wants to split really soon and the members are all super excited and want to work hard with the missionaries. Also, we live in the same house as two other sets of missionaries, one of them being Elder Matthews! He was one of the APs almost the whole time I was in the office and is one of my best friends on the mission, so that has been fun thus far. Even though I am only going to be here for a short period, I am really going to like it here and I know that I am here for a purpose.

On Thursday we are going to have a mission tour with Elder Aidukaitis (or something like that, haha his name is difficult to spell), he is from the first quorum of the seventy and is the second counselor in the Brasil Area Presidency.We are all really excited, it is going to be really great.

Well,that is about it, love you all and my P-Day next week is going to be on Tuesday because of the temple! Woo hoo, love you all!

Elder Carney

Eu fiquei! Transferência! August 23, 2014

Yet another week full of craziness! Last Saturday we went to the center of São Paulo to this street called 25 de Março which is FULL of shops and things like that and even more full with people. I went with Elder McArthur and the other elders told us some horror stories of people getting mugged and stabbed and stuff like that on this street and that we needed to be careful because we are two tall blond Americans who stick even more out because we are missionaries. But we had both been there before and we were careful and gratefully none of those things happened to us! But I bought some super cheap ties and also got to go to the open Market that is close by and we tried some pretty crazy fruits that they had there! One of the ladies at one the stands started to talk to us and ask questions about what we believe and the entire time we were explaining the gospel to her she just kept shoving samples of cool fruits at us, it was super delicious and we got her address for the missionaries to teach her! So it was a double blessing! Then we got back and cleaned and finished of our Preparation Day with a nap! On Sunday Thaís was confirmed and it was really sweet, she started to cry and a bunch of people got emotional as well, she has a really sweet spirit. Rogeiro also came to church! I don't know if I have already talked about Rogerio (actually yes I have, see the letter from June 7th), but he is one of our investigators. I will talk about him more later in the letter. So then I was just completely convinced that I would be leaving. I had told President that the Church preferred that I train for 6 weeks but that Elder McArthur was ready and I would go wherever he wanted me to go. SO I thought for sure I would leave and I said a couple "goodbyes" to some of the members of the ward and then the next morning I found out that I am actually going to stay for three more weeks!!! Which made me glad and bummed at hte same time, I was looking forwards to getting back to my area full time, but I know that it will be good to finish training well. Well transfers happened and as always were insane, super busy, but they went well and Elder Barton went home (he was my comp who trained me here in the office) and I was able to visit our recent converts with him on his last night in Brazil in our area. 

Elder Albuquerque is training now as well, he is training an elder named Elder Curtis, he is a great missionary and is from Georgia, so for the next three weeks we will be working in trio. Haha it is kind of complicated, I train Elder McArthur during the day but he isn´t my comp, he works with Elder Machado after the office while I work with Elder Albuquerque and now Elder Curtis as my companions. So that´s exciting! And even more exciting is what happened the night of transfers, we went to Rogerio and Julianas house and it was so great, Rogerio told us he was ready to be baptized! We have been inviting him a lot and really encouraging him to take a step of faith. Well he decided he really needed to be baptized and that he came to a realization that he believed everything that we did and it had really touched his heart! Then he bore his testimony to us and it was just powerful, simple, but powerful. It is truly a miracle. He was a espirita, which is a religion here that doesn´t believe in Christ, it is really popular in all of Brazil and is just not so great. Well he didn´t believe in the Bible, and especially not the Book of Mormon and was actually pretty hardened against the church and the missionaries because of experiences that he had had in the past. We started to teach him because he decided to participate in on lessons that we had with Jandira who we were teaching in their house! well he has just taken a 360 turn. He is seriously so so prepared and it is such a tender mercy of Heavenly Father that I stayed here in this area and that I will be able to see his baptism. He is going to be baptized tonight and we are all really excited for him. 

It was a crazy week but also really good! I love you all and have a fantastic week1 Share the gospel with someone (or everyone)!
Elder Carney

 Hey well I just got a call from President... I got transferred!!!!! There is a missionary who is having a lot of problems with his knee and is really struggling, so President is going to have him come to the office just for two more weeks to kind of get a rest and I am going to be with his companion and be in the Ariston ward! Haha so that is kind of crazy! haha but he also said it is only going to be for two weeks and then I am going to be transferred again!!! Crazy! President said I could leave tonight or tomorrow so that way I can see Rogerio´s baptism. Kind of crazy! So it looks like I will be having a P-Day on Monday again! So... talk to you all on Monday!

Love you!

Elder Carney

Cupuaçú! August 16, 2014

Hahahaha that was one of the best stories that I have heard in a while, haha sorry that you had to go through that snake trauma mom!! But it was funny, maybe it happened just so you could make your son serving in São Paulo laugh! Haha here these type of situations are fairly common but with other things, like rats and cockroaches! Luckily we don´t have rats where we live (or at least in the house; São Paulo is full of them) but cockroaches are the bain of my existence. Haha the funny thing is that all of my Brasilian companions that I have had will kill a cockroach by just hitting it with a stick or rod or something and then leave it there... but it´s not dead yet! So then when the don´t listen to me saying we have to hit it harder a couple minutes afterwards it will have left the trash can and be out and running again! Hahaha but it makes for good stories. So thanks for that, hopefully Roxanne will want to enter our house again and hopefully you don´t move because of a snake!

This week was great, it flew by! It seems like time is just speeding up, it´s crazy! There are a lot of missionaries that are good friends of mine that are heading home here soon and it just blows my mind! We had interviews with President Farnes on Monday, that was really good. It was our first interviews with him and it went really well, we basically just talked but we talked about things like humility and confidence and the confidence that the Atonement brings into our lives. It was interesting as it set the tone for some of my studying this week. I was reading about humility in Preach My Gospel and it made me remember a talk that President Uchtdorf had given titled "Pride and the Priesthood." In it one of my favorite quotes goes as follows, "We don´t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves." Loved that. It is so true, one of the wonderful things about the mission is it gives us so much opportunities to think about other people, to truly become more like Christ. I am grateful for my interview with President, he is truly a great president. Another interesting fact is it looks like I might leave the office this next week!!!! I started my training in the middle of the transfer and usually I have to train for a minimum of 6 weeks but President said he would like me to get out in the field again! He said that he didn´t know for sure yet but if he felt inspired to transfer me he wanted to make sure that Elder McArthur would be fine alone! So the rest of this week was spent really making sure that he knows how to do everything and feels comfortable doing the things that he needs to do in the office! We will see, but perhaps on Tuesday I will be in a new area!!!! I will find out on Monday morning and maybe be able to send you an email really quickly, because if that is the case it means my next Preparation Day won´t be until the following Monday. But we will see, I will go wherever and do whatever! 

This week we had a good lesson with Thaís and her family, we are excited for them, they are really progressing as a family. IT was a fairly normal week in our area, haha yesterday we were doing street contacts on this really busy street in our area and we did this contact with this young woman who just brightened up and got excited when we started to talk to her! We told her we were servants of God and she responded that she already knew that was true!!! Hahah she is a member. Ah well! So we reassured her that she was on the right path and gave her a pass-along card to give to someone. Haha but at least we opened our mouths! I actually really love doing street contacts, it is fun getting to know people and we have had some really great experiences through it. Besides that we also found a great family last night who are really open to the Gospel and are excited to go to church this Sunday! 

Well, I think that is about it! We set a couple baptismal dates this week for the following weeks but it looks like I won´t be able to see them if I get transferred! But that´s ok, it is good to do that and leave the area better than when I found it! Love you all, have a great week!!! Oh and congrats on the baptism in the ward!! It makes me really excited to hear that hte work is progressing in our ward!

Elder Carney 

Falta de Tempo -Aug 9, 2014

As shown by this subject line, this week was just kind of rough because of how little time we had to do everything that needs to be done! But let´s go back to last Sunday:

So we got to church and it turns out that unfortunately some family members had kind of put some not so positive encouragement into Gabriel´s head about his being baptized. So he didn´t come to church and it broke our hearts, but we know that he will get baptized soon.

 Lygia also had an interesting circumstance; so her husband lives in a different city and has some serious struggles with the word of wisdom and is a less active member of the church. She was set to get baptized because they have been separated (they aren´t married) for a long while now (like 8 months) and so she was really excited. Well on the same weekend of her baptism it all came to a breaking point with her husband and it turns out he is having some very real problems with depression, related to his word of wisdom problems, and needs help from Lygia. So she decided that she is going to move back to the other city and help him get over these struggles. Her kids will stay here with her parents in the same house that she has been staying at and she is going to commute back and forth to be with both parties. Which also kind of broke our heart, but they are planning on already setting a marriage date so that she can be baptized as quickly as possible. So I was kind of a bummed out Elder, but I am so thankful for Thais. She was SO excited to be baptized. 

So she came to church and at Sacrament meeting she was bawling because of how happy she was to be there. So then came the baptism and Elder Albuquerque baptized her and I helped him in the font because she can´t stand up on her own. She has MS which makes it hard for her to use her hands really well so I got to plug her nose for her. It was really sweet, she was so so happy to be baptized and the ward really was there and supportive of her. The Spirit that was there was one of the strongest that I have felt in a long time. She is truly a special daughter of God. So after a lot and a lot of prayer she was baptized and it was such a joy to see it happen.

Then started like the most busy week ever! We had an elder go home because he had to start school earlier than normal, well we found out that day after looking a his passport for seemingly no reason that when he had had his visa renewed the Federal Police hadn´t stamped his passport! So it showed that he was illegal in Brasil! Even though he had had it renewed! So we were definitely worried and after obtaining some documents proving he was legal we ended up having to go with him to the airport in the case that they wanted to detain or tax him or something. It ended up going smoothly which was another answer to a lot prayers from some very worried Elders!! It was good to go with him as well, he is one of my friends from the mission and it was just so strange to see him going home! 

Also on Monday we had two of the Analysts from the Church Headquarters of Brasil come and give President and Elder McArthur and I a training since President is new. It was really good, it was a review for me but it was great for Elder McArthur and President to get a solid comprehensive understanding of how finances work for the missions here. They were super nice too and afterwards did an audit of the mission and it went really smoothly. I am grateful that we have so many rules about organization, it makes it easy to have an audit when everything is in it´s right place and ordered!

So then another thing happened that broke our hearts (our hearts were kind of beat up on this week). One of the elders here in the mission had to go home because his mom was killed in a car accident. He is from Santiago, Chile and his dad already passed away years ago and so now he only has his step-dad and his younger brother who has like 10 years. President drove two hours to tell the elder what had happened at like midnight. It was hard, I can´t imagine how that would be. There was only one flight available that day to go back and he didn´t have time to pass by the office before he left so that he could make his flight so we went to the airport again to meet him there and give him his passport and flight info. He barely made it but then we sent him off and came back with his companion to get them all set off for the emergency transfer. We fasted as a mission for him and his family, he s going back for the funeral and to make sure his little brother is cared for and then he coming back in two weeks. We are all praying a lot for him right now.

Between all the craziness this week we have had barely any time at all in our area and it makes me worried for my investigators, I have been praying a lot that the Lord will bless them while we can´t be there to teach them. I have found that the Lord has blessed us so much, that when we cannot be there, the Spirit teaches them so much and often softens their hearts. I am really praying for them so that they can continue to progress towards baptism.

Well it was kind of a crazy week, I am glad that the Lord blesses us so much. He truly loves His children and blesses his missionaries. I feel those blessings all the time and am grateful for God´s tender mercies.

Love you all, have a great week!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gratidão 8/2/14

Yet another great week here in Tucuruvi! Time is just flying by!! I seriously cannot believe that I have already been here in the office for four transfers, it is the same amount of time that I had in Brazil when I got called to work here! It just blows my mind! Well this week was definitely interesting, we had an American who got his visa come on Tuesday and with that came a whole bunch of changes! One of them was Elder Matthews got transferred from the office, he was on the Assistants and has been here since last December and is going home in November so he was really excited to get back to his area full time. It was a bummer for me because he has become one of my best friends here on the mission but it´s all good, he is going to BYU after his mission so I will see him again in the future. Then another crazy thing happened with the transfer... I am training the new financial secretary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha so my life changed, now it means that here in six weeks I will be out in the field again! And done with any form of payments/reimbursements/rent/who knows what else that I do here int he office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha but that brings me to my subject line. I am so so grateful to have worked here in this area and in this calling. i truly need to be grateful for all that the Lord has blessed me with and how much of a blessing this area and the office has been for me. So yeah. But I am training Elder McArthur from Star Valley, WY to be the new finance guy and it will be awesome, he learns really quickly and now I am just getting to shown him how to do everything and then let him go at it! So it´s been good thus far. This week we had to travel a bunch to do payments and get documents signed for the Church, so it was a little tiring but really good. I almost say Elder Mason Davis too!!!! They went to the Federal Police on Thursday and we went on Wednesday, which would have been super fun but that´s ok! Then today we got permission to go to the Zoo here in São Paulo which was way fun, President Farnes and his family decided to come and join us, so it was a fun day there with them. It was great fun and good talking to his family. 

Now for the best parts of the week, I am just amazed at the faith that some of our investigators have. Lygia is doing great, she is truly wanting to be baptized. this week we were talking to Thaís about her baptism and Lygia told us that she was wanting to get baptized this weekend too! It was great, she also understands really well the principles of the gospel, it has been awhile since I have had an investigator who has such a good grasp on the gospel. Her family is awesome and they were interviewed this week and Lygia, Thaís and Gabriel are going to be baptized tomorrow after Church. We are really excited for them and the ward is as well. We are having troubles finding new investigators and are really trying to find new ones, we cant teach anyone until we find them, so we are striving really hard to open our mouths and talk to all of the people that are on the streets. We also have been blessed with some super solid member referrals, it´s been hard to get referrals here in Tucuruvi but when we get them the people are really solid investigators/ soon to be members. I am amazed at how the Lord truly blesses His servants, so many times it feels like we are just guided to these people who are so perfectly prepared to receive the gospel. 

This morning during personal study I was reading in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon and I was reading in the 7th chapter and it talks about the wickedness of some of the rulers of the people and at the end about a king named Shule who ruled in righteousness. It ends with this verse:  
27 And there were no more wars in the days of Shule; and he remembered the great things that the Lord had done for his fathers in bringing them across the great deep into the promised land; wherefore he did execute judgment in righteousness all his days.

I loved it. I had a though about the fact that he had remembered all the blessings that the Lord had given to him and his fathers and people. I thought about how when we remember all the blessings that we have been given by God, we are more humble and grateful and with that we are more obedient and righteous. So I was reminded once again about the importance of gratitude in our lives. I need to be so grateful for this Gospel and all the blessings that come with it. The Lord has blessed me so much in my life, He truly does take care of us. I am humbled and amazed at how merciful He is to us as His children. 

Well, super psyched for another week, just gotta love the mission! Have a good one family!

Elder Carney

Updates from July!

7/12/14- His new Mission President, Pres. Farnes & the office staff

This week just flew by, it was so crazy!!!! Last week at church was one of the best days that I have had on my mission. First of all it was Fast Sunday, something that i just love. Seriously fasting is great, it really helps us out. So we were fasting as a mission that every missionary companionship will be able to baptize at least 2 people this month of July. IT was great to be united as a mission and really exercise our faith. Here because lunch is the biggest meal we start on Saturday after we eat lunch and fast until lunch on Sunday, it is a little different but now I am used to it. So we had that and it was great to really re focus on the Lord and have a good opportunity to really think and ponder on my reliance that I have on him. So then on Sunday Jorge got confirmed which was wonderful to see, the Bishop confirmed him and it just made us really happy. Also, Givaldo got ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood!!!!!!! He is now a Priest, and after church it was an honor to be able to be a part of the ordination. It was so great, one of the best moments of my mission, he truly has progressed so much. He even got up and bore his testimony during sacrament meeting. It was really special, you don't know him so you don't know how shy he is. He is super shy. So he got up, and he had invited his family (our other investigators Nabil and Nilza and their son) to church and he bore one of the most simple and powerful testimonies that I have ever heard. It really touched my heart. It was great. 

So that was just a great Sunday, we had investigators at church who also really really benefited from seeing the progress of our recent converts. Then this week has just been insanity because of transfers!! President Farnes decided he wanted to completely change up transfers so we moved the location, times, days, now there is a meeting with everyone who is going to be transferred and he does the whole little thing where each new missionary finds out one at a time who will train them, stuff like that. haha well for us in the office it kind of meant insanity because we had to figure out how it would all work out smoothly and go together, but after a lot of prayer it worked out!!! It happened on Tuesday and it was really good! Also it was a huge transfer, so many people got mixed up and transferred, it was crazy!! Also some of my good friends here on the mission were called as Zone Leaders or to train, something that was great to see because they are truly awesome missionaries and they are going to have a lot of opportunity now to help other missionaries. One of them, Elder Andersen who went to Montana with me, even is my Zone Leader now, I am really excited!  

Also now we have 8 people on the office staff! Elder Lima is training the new housing secretary so he can leave in August, then Elder McArthur, an elder who is a good friend of mine and is from Star valley, got called as the health secretary because he has a lot of experience and background working in hospitals and Sister Farnes doesn't know as of yet the medications and things that are different her In Brasil. So it is crazy, there are 8 missionaries living in our house now, haha it has been really fun! Also I might train this next transfer so I can leave and get back to being in my area... haha that would be really great!! I love it here but this is already my fourth transfer in the office, can you believe it!!?? It has flown by but it will already be like 6 months! 

This week we had a lot of tender mercies happen, one of them being with Breno and Guilherme, the sons of Emanoel and Reuza. Emanoel and Reuza need to get married but their sons are completely ready to get baptized, well because of how crazy it has been these last two weeks we have had a really hard time following up with their family. Seriously I had been really stressing out and praying a TON for them because we just were not able to be with them as much as we should have been able to. So I was truly trusting in the Lord and that the Spirit would work with them because we couldn´t. So we marked a baptismal interview for them last night and we got there and they both passed!!!! Then it got really tense. We asked what time they would want to be baptized on Saturday or Sunday and Reuza like cringed and said it was really really fast. Basically they are so awesome but they don't like change really quickly. So we had this discussion that was really crazy intense and spiritual, Emanoel said he would like to be an example to them and be baptized first and then be able to baptize them. Well I was just praying so hard to be guided and then out of nowhere Emanoel said that earlier that day he had been reading in Mark in the Bible about Christ´s baptism and he said that he had had a really strong thought and feeling that he shouldn´t impede his sons from being baptized and being obedient. 

It was so awesome!!! he said he wanted to baptize them but because he couldn't right now he should let them really follow our Savior. It was great, really a powerful experience. So they decided they are going to get baptized Sunday morning before church!!! It was great. We were really relieved and so so grateful, it was truly a tender mercy and miracle to see the change of heart that they had. So woo hoo!!! 

Well, that is about it, haha have a great week everyone!!
Elder Carney
7/19/14- Estrangeiros!!!!
Holy cow this week was just crazy!! Haha I kind of feel like every email is sounding like that, but it is kind of that exactly! My life has just been kind of this crazy blur since we had the transition to President Farnes, haha it just seems like there is so much to do and the list just never ends! But that is ok, I am learning a lot and growing a lot as well! So that´s good.

This last weekend was great, Brasil lost miserably again, which was sad, but then Breno and Guilherme got baptized!!! Which was awesome! They got baptized on Sunday morning because the Brasil game was Saturday night and the streets had the potential to not be very safe. The other elders had a baptism too and it was great, the whole ward showed up early and really helped support. It was a great baptismal service! Nabil came, he has really progressed so far and is going to be baptized soon, we are praying a lot for him. I feel so blessed in that I have been able to teach so many people on my mission from so many different places!! In Montana I was able to teach Beibei from China, then some wonderful Montana-ites! Here in Brasil I have met and taught people from all over Brasil, and Nabil who is from Lebanon. It is just really cool in how it has helped me realize the basic need that every child of God needs the restored gospel in their lives, no matter what background or belief they had while growing up. It has been very cool to see these people change their lives. Then we worked hard during the World Cup Final which was one of the least productive days I have had on my mission. Haha but we were working and praying so hard and were able to find people to teach and find this amazing family that just moved into our ward boundaries!! We were really trying to exercise our faith, most people were having parties and watching the game but we were praying hard to find someone and hte Lord truly did bless us in being able to visit some of our investigators and find new ones. This new family is great, her name is Lijia, she moved back to live with her parents who live in our area with her five kids! They were living in another city in another mission but were being taught by the missionaries and just love the church, she unfortunately cant be baptized right now because she isn´t married and her husband is living hte other city for now, but her kids are seriously great and the three teenagers all have strong desires the follow Christ and love the church. It has been cool to see, Lijia has a testimony that is really strong, she helps us teach her parents who are really strong catholics but very kind and accepting of learning about what their daughter now believes in. Later this week we had a great lesson with them and marked baptismal dates with them, so we are excited! 
On Friday we went to the Policia Federal to register President Farnes and his whole family, as well as another sister missionary. It was cool being there with them, I always love going there and doing contacts with people from so many different countries! Yesterday I talked to these three Chinese people, a married couple and their coworker, I got their address and talked to them in english (they don't speak Portuguese and I definitely don't speak Mandarin) and taught them about what we believe and know to be true. It was great, they live close to the temple here and so I am excited to pass on their address! Yesterday we woke up early to get their on time and then we had to run back here to the office to make copies of their registration documents and then we had to get back on the subway to go to the church offices and get new cell phones and give the travel department the registration documents, then we had to go to President´s house to work on the transfer board, then finally we got back in our area at like 8 pm. I am a tired missionary today. Haha it was crazy, a very busy day, but at the end we were able to have a great family night with our investigator Rogerio, who is the husband of Juliana, a member of the ward. It was really great, he is progressing a lot and even bore his testimony this week to our recent convert about the Book of Mormon. It is great to see the changes happening in him because of the Spirit and the Book of Mormon. 

Today we were sitting here and I started my email and a knock on the door of the office surprised us and there was a member and this girl who started speaking english with this heavy accent! It turns out the member was waiting in the front of the church (which is next door to the office) and this girl started talking to him in english and motioned to the church so he brought her to talk to us! Her name is Emma and she is from Zurich, Switzerland, and she wanted to know if she could pray in the church! Haha so I gave her a tour of the church and it was super great, very spiritual, she is here visiting for just a short time and I taught her about baptism while I showed her the font and she loved the feeling she had in the chapel. I taught her about baptism and how she can be clean from her sins and be renewed, and she got excited and said that that is what she has been looking for in her life!! So then she asked if she can be baptized... AHHH!!! Haha it was crazy, but I explained to her that we can teach her and help her prepare to be baptized and then the missionaries there in Zurich can finish and baptize her, it was really cool. So we got her phone number and she gave us her home address, and tonight she is going to come to the activity and then to church tomorrow! It was really cool, there is a sister (the RS President) who speaks english and actually told me this week she really wanted to practice and get better and so she is going to translate for her! So we are excited, it truly was wonderful to see and a sweet experience. Also it has been weird teaching this week in English so many times between the Policia Federal and today! But anyways, God truly does have a plan for every one of his children.

Have a great week everyone!!!

Elder Carney
Here are some pictures from the baptism of Breno and Guilherme! Does Breno (the younger and lighter colored hair one remind you of anyone????? Haha if you knew him personally you would all think he is the mini version of Bradley!!!! Seriously though. I found the brasilian bradley. They are basically the same in personality and I think he looks like booboo did when he was younger! But it´s great, because now Bradley is a member of the church and his mini me is too!!!!! Love you all!

7/26/14 - Mom Note**  This week Jeff's brother passed away very unexpectedly.  Jeff sent Danny the email letting him know what had happened.***
 I don't really know what to start off with, it was rough to hear about Uncle Mike passing away, but it makes me so so grateful to have hte knowledge that we have about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the resurrection. I am so glad that we have the opportunity to be sealed to our families forever, and that truly is a blessing to know, especially when loved ones pass away. I have seen people here in Brasil who pass through similar trials and do not have the same peace in their hearts. Some people believe that after this life it all ends. But I am eternally grateful to my loving Heavenly Father that has given me this knowledge and testimony that families are meant to be together forever.

This week was really good, I had told you about that Swiss girl named Emma who came and asked to have a tour of the church. So we did that and then that night she ended up coming to our ward activity and she loved it. My Mission President and his family decided to come on a whim and it was a little miracle because Sister Farnes and her kids don´t speak Portuguese and so were able to talk to her in english, it was really cool. Then the next day she came to church and stayed for all of the meetings. Afterwards several people invited her to lunch and she ended up eating at the same house as we did and we taught her another lesson. We also were able to give her a Book of Mormon in german, her native language, and she is reading it. When we taught about the Restoration, she told us that she just couldn´t believe that a 14 year old boy saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, but that she just had to believe because she had been guided there to that exact moment to hear these things. It is cool to see the faith that she has, she accepted baptism and really wants to be a missionary. Haha and the members have really helped her, shown her around São Paulo and invited her to do things with their families almost every day, she even met up with randomly the Mission President from São Paulo East and his wife and talked to them in english as well, haha she has been pretty blessed in having so many opportunities to learn about the gospel in her little visit to Brasil. So that has been really cool this week teaching her, she will probably go to Rio this next monday and we have her address to send to the missionaries there in Switzerland. 

This week we were able to teach Lygia (found out the real spelling this week) and her family a couple times, her daughter Thaís, is 14 years old and uses a wheel chair. She is super great, really excited to get baptized and she just lights up when we talk about it and when she can go to church. One of the members here who has a car helps her get there. Also her older brother, Gabriel, is great. When we invited him to be baptized he was a little hesitant so we gave him the Book of Mormon and promised him that if he would just read it and pray about it he would know that he needed to be baptized in this church. So we returned and visited with him and he said he had read and felt so different while reading, that he knew it was a true book and that this was the true church, and that he wanted to be baptized. It was humbling and exciting to see such faith. It was cool, so we are psyched to see this family work towards being an eternal family! 

This week the rest of the office went to this park here in São Paulo that has this exhibit about the Mayans, but last week with setting up for the ward party and next week we are planning on going to the Zoo here in são paulo, so I decided I was going to stay here with another one of the Elders and rest up a bit. I am so grateful to be here, it is truly the best. I am so glad that I know the Christ lives. He is my Savior. I love Him for all that He did for me. I know that our family is an eternal family. I know that the sealing power of the temple is real. I am so honored and humbled to serve my God during these two years. I am keeping you all in my prayers, I know that God does provide for us when we obey the commandments. Love you all!!!
Elder Carney