March 2- & Grandma Carney
Hey Mom and Dad,
Thanks for the emails. It was good hearing from you two. I have been praying for Grandma and Grandpa. I am glad to hear that Grandma was able to move on and be relieved from the suffering. I will be really honest, that was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I have been expecting to hear that she had passed away for a little while now, but that was just kind of hard. I was able to have a good little cry, although it is kind of hard in a public computer lab. Just know that I love Grandma and will really miss her. Please send Grandpa my condolances and also let him know that I love him and am praying for him.
Where will she be buried? Will it be at the Golden Cemetery? If so that would be nice, that´s a sacred place.
Thanks for putting me down as an honorary pallbearer, I really appreciate it. Shoot this whole crying thing isn´t fun! It makes typing kind of hard.
I am so so grateful for the power of the temple. I know that families are forever. And even though I am not sealed to her (she wasn´t ever sealed to Grandpa right?) I know that one day we will basically all be sealed together as a giant family and so one day I will be.
I love you two, I am keepign you in my prayers.
Yet another truly great week. We were able to work really hard and just keep on moving forward with our area and our zone. We are realyl striving to do our absolute best. I am really striving to be my absolute best.
That was hard to hear about Grandma Carney, I know that she is now relieved from her suffering, but I will be praying for Grandpa and the rest of the family. I nkow taht the funeral will be really good. I love her and Grandpa.
This week Elder Marchant and Elder Dallto came to work with us in our zone. It was a great help, we are trying so hard to help the zone raise their vision and to work int eh Lord´s way, so it was wonderful having more people to do splits and to help everyone work on being more efficient. We were workign so hard the entire week following up with our investigators. Maria Luiza is such an incredible lady, she has had so so many trials in life and it is amazing to see how she has been blessed by the gospel. This week she changed. She has loved reading the Book of Mormon and told us how great the Book and Church are because she feels like she is beign taught, really being able to understand the importance and the meaning of things like baptism, faith, and other topics. She worked really hard as well to obey the commandments nad prepare for her baptism, and on Sunday after church she was baptised, along with Gabriel and Vitor as well! It was a great baptismal service, they were supported really weel by the ward throughout the week and on Sunday as well. We had several sisters call Maria Luiza and get to know her and the young men and the elders quorum have been helping us with Gabriel and Vitor.
Yesterday we were going to visit this family that is really special to us, we had baptised their son a coupel weeks ago and him and his sister and Dad were at church on sunday but not his mom. His Dad and Mom are being reactivated. Well we planned to visit them and before we went we got a call from teh Elder´s Quorum President and he asked for the dad´s phone number. Well we felt we should invite him to come with us that night and he wanted to so we did. He went with us and told them that he would be their home teacher and proceeded to share a spiritual thought with them, one of his favorite scriptures. That scripture talked about enduring to the end and enduring in the face of trials, continuing with faith in Christ. Well the mom of the family then proceeded to tell us that she had had so many trials and their family had had many these last couple weeks since they have been coming back to church. She told us that that day she hadn´t gone to church and had decided that she wasn´t going to continue in the church. She then found out from her husband that we were coming over and we came with a surprise in this brother and his wonderful message. She bore testamony of God´s love for her and their family and that that was her answer to continue forward int he Gospel. It was a sweet moment. I was able to bear testimony of the importance of home teachign and told them about Bernie and how wonderful him and Karen had been for our family throughout the years.
It was a really good lesson and I am grateful for inspired members who are helping in teh work of salvation.
We are working really hard, I love this work and I love serving a mission. It is truly the best. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation, I know that families can be together forever. I know that our loved ones do not end, our lives do not stop at death. I nkow that we will continue onwards, that one day we will live again with our families and our Heavenly Father and our Savior. I know that we must haev faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end of our lives in order to recieve these greatest of blessings.
Have a wonderful week and open your mouths!
March 9- CHUVAO
Well this last week was really good! We started up with a good family home evening on Monday night with this family that we are teaching and some other families from the ward. The family we are teaching are from Cochabamba , Bolivia. The elders baptized the mother of the family before I got here and now we have been reteaching her and also teaching her daughter-in-law, Alejandra. They are a great family, haha they don´t speak very much Portuguese, but they are improving and it is pretty easy to understand spanish so we are able to comunicate well. Yo hablo español. Haha that is about the extent of it, but luckily they have been here for a while in Brasil so they understand portuguese pretty well. Haha but my comp is from Cape Verde and so him and I both have accents, it just makes for some pretty interesting lessons!
That is about it, sorry about the lack of other details! It was just a good, hard work week!
Love you all! Open your mouths!!
On tuesday we had interviews with President Farnes, he is such an incredible man. I love hearing and listening to him. It is wonderful to be a part of this mission. We were blessed to baptize 199 people in the month of February, the shortest month of the year! And the last weekend of february we baptized 75 people, we are really excited and praying for the entire mission to truly raise their vision and help our Father´s children.
I spent the week basically away from my area, on tuesday I went on splits with the elders from Brasilândia 2, Elder Patterson who is from California. It was good workign with him and trying to work with them on the needs that they have in their area right now. On Thursday morning early we got a bus to go to Sorocaba for Leadership Council, it went really well as always and it was great hearing some training and counseling together on how we can help the mission improve and move forwards. We have been recieving a lot fo tools that have been helping a lot in the work adn we are excited to use them to help our investigators progress and also help the members become more involved. On Friday I went to another area, São Domingos (Saint Sundays???) to work with the other Elder Patterson who is from American Fork. It went really well, haha but the heavens decided to open up! It just rained and rained and rained. It was crazy, very few times have I been so soaked!! We had a good lesson with a family of recent converts whose 20 year old son is getting reeady to be baptised. He had had a date for hte weekend before but he had backed out because he felt he wasn´t ready yet. We read some amazing verses in Mosiah 18 together and afterwards he just asked if the baptism could be marked for the same time on Sunday! Haha it was great, I love seeing how people get touched by the Spirit. Sunday was good, we have this lady named Rute (Ruth) who came to church. Haha she was in the car with us and the member and she has like 80 years, it was pretty great, she started singing some hymns in the car while we were getting other people, she talked about just about everything, she is just realyl great. We are preparing her to be baptized this Sunday.
Sunday after church we had the baptism of Alejandra, she was so excited to be baptized!! It was so great! We took a great picture of her with her daughter who is only like 1 yeards old, but it was wonderful to see her taking this important step that will bless her daughter´s life as well. Her mother-in-law, Judith, gave the closing prayer, and she did it in Spanish but she just broke down crying and said how grateful she was for the gospel. It was a cool experience.
Well, we are just working like crazy! And praying like crazy as well! We really want to help these people and help as many people as possible.
Have a great week!
March 16- Transferencia!
Yet another wonderful week serving the Lord! I am just loving hte mission as always. This last week we worked hard and I was able to do a split and work in Brasilândia with a missionary from Rio de Janeiro called Elder José da Silva. We worked hard and followed up with an investigator that they are teaching, who has been stopping smoking in order to be baptized. It was great working with him and we saw a lot of succes that day. Back here in Pirituba we have been really striving to work with all of our recent converts and find new investigators through them. Maria Luiza, who was baptized a couple of weeks ago is really excited, one day we were close by her house and I had the thought to go and visit her, but immediately I remembered that she wouldn´t be home during that time of the day adn it would be better to go at night. Well I was in our area on a split with Elder Albuquerque (yeah my ex companion from Tucuruvi!!) and just decided to try it out and see if she was home. We were walking and right near her house there was this lady who actually stopped us and asked us about the church. We found out that she was a neighbor of Maria Luiza and had talked to the missionaries in the past. She accompanied us to Maria Luiza´s house - who wasn´t home - and so we taught her a quick lesson in her house next door. It was so great, we then were able to teach her the next day with Maria Luiza, and Adriana, another RC who lives near by as well. It was so wonderful to hear Maria Luiza help us teach Heleina and help her understand things that just a couple of weeks ago were foreign to her! They both went to the Relief Society activity on Saturday and to Church yesterday and she loved it! We are going to help her get married so that way she can be baptized as quickly as possible! The work is going well here, we are just doing our best to help these people and these missioanries progress!Also, I got transferred!!!! Again!!! Haha, I thought I might get transferred so that way I could train, well that was a correct assumption! I am going to train a new missionary and will be going to Salto de Pirapora, which is a small city next to Sorocaba, another city in our mission. I am excited, this area was a sister area for LONG LONG time, and so I will be opening it up with elders! So woo hoo, challenge!! I had a great moment of reflection and prayer and really received a confirmation that this is where I need to be and that I need to be with my future comp. I don´t know who it is, we dont find out until the transfer meeting tomorrow, so I am excited! I will really miss Pirituba, it was such a short time here but I loved it a lot. It will be hard to leave.
March 23- Piraporense!!!
This last week seemed to be just really really long! It was a good week filled with so many different things that were happening and changes as well. On Monday I was able to go and say goodbye to a couple different people in Pirituba, it was honestly pretty sad to leave from there, I really had grown to love that ward. We had a good visit with our bolivian family, and I said goodbye to them. Alejandra´s mother in law, Judith, is such a good lady! She gets emotional sometimes and as we were saying goodbye she got all teared up and said thank you and to not forget them! I just love that family! Then we had a family night which was really good, there were a ton of youth and a couple recent convert famillies there. It went well and at the end they threw a surprise going away party for me!! Haha there was a ton of food that htey had made and they gave me journal they had made and decorated with notes they had written in! It was really nice of them.
Tuesday was great, we went to the office and I was able to see a lot of good friends. I was able to eat lunch with Elder Vieira, it was really great talking with him and seeing how he was feeling, he went home the next day so it was good to spend some time with one of my best friends from the mission before he left. I said bye to Elder Irineu as well, it was great seeing the two of them!! Now they aren´t missionaries anymore, how crazy is that!!!!
Transfer meeting was great as always, we had a great time and it was fun, they have a slideshow that shows the trainer´s photo and everyone claps and we go up to the front and then they show us our trainee´s picture and we get to meet them! It is a really great environment! So I actually have a comp who is super great, his name is Elder Farrapo!! He is from Fortaleza, Ceará, where Elder Davis is serving! He is 22, and it is kind of interesting, he actually has already served here in this mission! He served here two years ago and had to go home early and now is back! He served for 9 months of his mission and unfortunately had to go home but since he was gone for so long he is being retrained, by me! He is pretty quiet, but a really good missionary. Haha he is trying to get back into the rythm, and also remembering how to teach, but he is remembering quickly!
We got into Salto de Pirapora late on Tuesday night, at like 9:30. It is a small city, really small! We live in the center and it is super easy to get anywhere, it is really organized as well here. The sisters that were here left the Area Book and hte house supér well maintained, for that I am grateful. Then we just went to work! It is different opening an area, haha we met a ton of members, received some great referrals, and tried to meet hte investigators the sisters were teaching. It was a little stopped here, but on Sunday we were blessed to have 5 investigators at church! Haha I fouund that the people here aren´t super used to change or changing quickly, so several times we shocked some people with our baptismal invites for being so quick, but as these people are touched by the Spirit and fulfill our invitations, they also recognize the worth of this decision. One investigator, whose sister is a RC was a little nervous, but is now super excited and firm to be bapytized on the 4th of April, in between conference sessions!! His name is Alison, haha yeah it is a guy´s name here. He is really great and we are psyched.
The members here are exited to have Elders again, they are helping us a ton and it seems liek every member we meet tries to feed us. Haha maybe I will finally gain weight in this area!!!
Well, it was a hard week, we reaally want to baptize and teach a lot, I am having to adapt to being in a very very different environment, but we are seeing blessings.
I love you all, have a great week and open your mouths!
March 30- Familias!
What an interesting week that went by! It was just kind of different! Haha we went from being rained on every day the week before to a really really hot sun that was intent on burning my skin! Thank goodness I have sunscreen!
The week went well, we had a good District Meeting, everyone threw in a couple reais and we bought bread and cheese and little cakes to have breakfast together beforehand, so that was fun! Unfortunately on Tuesday my stomach starting hurting and I have had a lovely week of stomach problems since then! Elder Farrapo also starting feeling bad on Tuesday and we were pretty convinced, as were all the members, that he had dengue, which is this fever that you get from mesquitos and in the city here there have been tons of cases. Haha we were a poor looking little companionship, we kind of felt like zombies walking arouund the city in the sun and just not feeling it. So i have been taking some good medication but it made for a pretty rough week.
We have been working hard to help the family of Messias and Eunice and their kids. They are from northeastern brasil and have lived here a couple years. Their son, Jadeilson, who is 20 was interviewed this last week! It went well and he passed but he unfortunately doesn´t feel like he needs to be baptized right now, he believes everything but says that something is lacking for him to feel the need to be baptized. So we are praying a lot for him and trying to understand how we can help the Spirit teach him about the definite need for baptism, it´s a commandment after all!!! His parents are great, they really opened up to us this last week. It turns out that their youngest son passed away when he had 3 years of age, which now happened about 4 years ago. They just loved loved loved their son, and it was so hard on them that they decided to move here to get away from all of the hard memories in the city where they lived. Messias is an older man, pretty hard looking, but he just opened up to us and cried and talked about his son. Well we were able to read Moroni 8 with him, it was really good. His son hadn´t been baptized (they´re catholic, although they don´t really practice) and we talkaekd about how his son was in a great place and was already good to go in regards to salvation. We then talked with him about how he doesn´t need to worry about his son, his son will be saved, he needs to worry about himself, because his son will already receive all that the father has, but he doesn´t have that determined yet! We talked about eternal families and how his decisions now will determine if he will get to be with his family forever or not. It was a powerful lesson and he really loved the chapter, he marked it to read it later and with his wife who wasn´t present at this lesson.
The ward here is working hard to help us, they had a movie night at the church and watched Night at the Musuem 3, we invited a bunch of investigators and Messias´ family came and loved it!
We also are teaching a family thta is really humble but really good. We had already talked to the parents about teaching their kids, Roberto and Andresa, who had come to church and loved it. Well we received their permission to prepare their kids for baptism and them as well (they aren´t married yet, so we are wokring on that). Well on Saturday we were teaching the mom and her teenage son in front of their house, haha and the dad, also named Roberto, arrived. He looked pretty mad and he just told us that he wanted us to follow him into the house and he needed to talk to us... well I was pretty sure he was going to kill us or something because of how he looked!!! We went and talked to him alone and he just opened up, told us how they´d had a fight with their neighbor and how things were really tense in their home and he wanted more peace for his family. He preceded to ask us to say a prayer for him and to come always to his house to help his family!! Woo hoo, a whole lot better! We encouraged him to come to church the next day with his family so that they could feel peace. Well Sunday morning it was raining and I got there with our ward mission leader and who was all ready and waiting for us... Roberto!! We asked him if anyone else was coming and he said they were sleeping, so I asked him to wake them up! He did and the entire family of 8 came to church!! They loved it too! Two of their kids are really young, but the other 4 and them are excited and we are helping them get ready for baptism! We are grateful for this blessing.
We also had a great lesson at Alison´s house with his recent convert sister, Inara, and their parents who aren´t members. The YM President and his wife joined us and it was such a great lesson, Alison is psyched and his parents are as well for his baptism this saturday in between the conference sessions. They also bought him a white shirt, tie, slakcs, and shoes so taht way he can go to church prepared and pass the sacrament soon!!
We are being really blessed, we want to be able to do more, but we are workign hard.
On Sunday there was a transfer! A little different! Elder Farrapo was transferrred and I got a new son! My new comp is Elder Nascimento who is from Maceio, Alagoas. He is really great and I am just getting to know him today since we got here together last night from transfers. So there you go! Love you all, open your mouths, and invite someone to conference!!