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!!
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!!!
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!!!