Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 27, 2014


Tomorrow will be one year since I left on my mission!

This week was really cool, President decided last Thursday that he wanted to have a mission conference yesterday... so we had to get everything set up to do that!  But it turned out being a really incredible experience.  It was basically an all day ordeal, haha.  It started at 3 and was supposed to end at 7 but ended up going until about 8, haha.  The counselors gave talks there, which was really good, it was honestly the first time I had ever seen one of them and the first time I had seen either of them doing anything as mission counselor, but they're super spiritual, and their talks yesterday really showed the missionaries that.  I really hope President starts to do more stuff with them!  We also did some cool stuff like try to take a picture of the whole mission (but that didn't work out, lol) and we filmed the whole mission singing the mission's anthem.  
I don't think I've told you guys about the anthem yet.  São Paulo Sul is the oldest existing mission in Brazil and has a ton of history, and we found some really cool history files and stuff on the computers, including an anthem that some super awesome Elder made and got a choir of missionaries to sing!  It's actually really good and now at all of the big meetings of the mission we sing it!
The real purpose of this conference was to establish a baptismal goal for the mission, we're going to have 410 baptisms before the end of the year!  So the whole conference was about exciting and elevating the missionaries and re-establishing focus on real success in bringing people to Christ. For this conference we did some pretty sweet stuff to really excite everyone, everyone got these really cool printed and laminated cards with a photo of Christ on one side and some quotes and goals and a new motto of the mission on the other. Also, the new assistant used to work doing film editing and photo editing and 3d modeling and music production and basically anything in that realm you could imagine.  He made some really stinking cool videos to help with this conference.

I uploaded the files of some of the videos and the card on my google drive, and soon I'll put up the videos of the mission anthem and the mission singing the anthem! My favorite of the videos is the "meta da missão" (goal of the mission) which was made to announce the goal.  I think it is really well done!  There are a couple of simply miraculously timed pictures that go well with the music that is playing, check out the parts where they sing "when I am down" and then the first time they sing "you raise me up"  It literally makes me so happy, haha!  And crazy enough, Elder Hernandes says that it was totally on accident!

So this week was really busy but it all payed off because the conference was awesome!   And President and Sister said that today is mandatory pday for us!

We're about to leave to see some of the city, but I'll write more later!

August 20, 2014


How is everything going?  This week has been good, and Adailson is going to be baptized this Saturday! His interview is tonight.  Today is also a cool training for the zone leaders, President is trying to basically rewire the brains of the leadership, because they aren't really being examples in terms of the amount of work they are doing, and the mission is baptizing much less because of it.  So that should be a cool thing for the mission, and it will be cool to see in the coming weeks if there is a big change.

Here are some cool pictures. President took us to Pizza Hut one day which was awesome, because it is American pizza, haha.  It was also cool because it is outside of the mission, haha. And nearby the office is a place that sells big tubs of açaí, so I buy it all the time, its really good, I really like açaí.

Love you!

August 14, 2014


This week has been cool!  Wanderley was baptized this Sunday.  It was incredible because this week he was advised that his work schedule would change.  He had been working everyday from like 6pm til some time in the early morning.  This made it hard for him to come to church (but he comes every week because he is awesome)  and he always had to work after church on Sundays.  But now he works from 2pm til 10pm, and has Sundays off!  It's a  much more normal schedule and will allow him to keep the Sabbath day better.  And this happened the week of his baptism!  I definitely think it's a miracle and shows how the Lord always provides a way! Wanderley is awesome because he really searched for understanding, one day in church, in the middle of a meeting he turned to me and asked "What did Enos do that he had to pray so much to receive forgiveness?"  I was super surprised, he had been reading in Enos, haha!  So I gave him a mini lesson on Enos.  It is the best thing in the world when someone really searches for truth.  I have gotten a strong testimony of the promise that "For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."  I honestly have not found one single person on my mission who really, honestly tried to find the truth and read the Book of Mormon who was not convinced that it is true. 

Another great example of this is Adailson.  I don't know if I've already told you about him but we're also teaching a man named Adailson.  He is really awesome too!  He is a construction worker, and is from the north east of Brazil, so he has very little schooling and can barely read. But despite this he is reading the Book of Mormon and has been coming to church for a while now.  He quit drinking alcohol and coffee when we taught the word of wisdom with no problems at all!  He doesn't read well but the few pages he has been able to read he really understands, and applies what he learns in his life,  Its awesome to see!

Have you all seen the Bble videos the church is making?  They're pretty much my favorite thing ever now. Whenever we have lunch in the office I just watch them, they are so cool!  It's so cool to see Christ and his teachings portrayed so realistically.  My favorite is Jesus declares: I am the light of the world, the truth shall make you free.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 8, 2014

I hope you all are doing well!  This week was pretty normal, but we're excited because Wanderley is going to be baptized this Sunday!  He is really awesome, super firm  and really has made a huge effort in changing his life and really committing to the gospel.  He quit smoking and drinking coffee in just a couple of weeks and comes to church every week even though he works during the night!
The office is cool, I'm getting more comfortable now, and I'm realizing that my time here is probably really good preparation for 'real life'.  Because it's more like what life after my mission will be like, having a job, and trying to balance time between working and studying and family. So I thought that was cool when I came up with it!
President was awesome in the zone conferences and leadership council recently.  He really is focused and is doing away with everything that is unnecessary.  His big focus is the number of people that are entering the temple, and then the number of people being baptized, and he says if a missionary is helping a large number of people to do these things that basically nothing else matters (like other numbers, lessons, contacts and such). This is having a good impact, because these past few months the mission has really hit the brakes on baptisms, like the smallest number of people being baptized in a month in like 3 years.
It's funny, president always tells stories of when he served here and how many people he baptized... He baptized WAY more than the mission is now, haha.  But this is giving a really good vision, I think a lot of missionaries had kind of given up on baptizing, because it's so hard, but President is teaching that it's not good enough just to teach someone, but "that if someone is willing to let you into their house and hear your message that you have to convert that person to the gospel." - having real success and really converting people.  It's cool, I'm excited to see how the mission changes as a result of all of this.

I can't believe that I've been on my mission almost a whole year!  It's almost halfway over! AAAhh!  I remember when I got here thinking about all of the people that already had a year, and how old they seemed...  I felt like it would never get here, but now time is passing really fast!  I absolutely love my mission! I am learning soo much, but more importantly I am changing, or at least trying!  Changing to really live the gospel of Jesus Christ with my whole heart, because I know for sure that it is true!

Love you all!

July 29, 2014


It is cool to be with an old comp again, because we already know each other, and it's cool to see how his mission has affected him and how we both have improved our teaching skills since the MTC, haha!  My Portuguese took a big leap when I got to the office, because I talk more here and have gotten a bigger vocabulary.
These past few days have been kind of rushed because we have zone conference this week, which should be good.  President changed up the leadership and is changing some rules and the culture of the mission so this conference, which will be president's first, should be fun! President went tonight to speak at the MTC, he really is busy, it's pretty crazy.
We have some cool investigators, one is really preparing for baptism and should be baptized next week, if not this Sunday!  He is really dedicated and has a real hunger for the truth!  His name is Wanderley, his only problems are with smoking and drinking coffee, which he had already stopped using, but started again when he had a really tough situation at work.  So this week he is working really hard to keep the Word of Wisdom! We went to the avenida Paulista a few weeks ago, which is like the Times Square of São Paulo, it was pretty cool!  But I'm going to need to go back because I didn't take any pictures, haha!
I think it's hilarious that you guys liked the word butthurt, haha, and yes, some people are still pretty butthurt, I think that game is going to become like an old wive's tale to scare little children and soccer fans everywhere!

July 25, 2014


Sorry its been so long since I've sent an email!  I've been pretty sick these past 2 days, it's pretty bad, but I think I should be better by tomorrow, I hope.  
Transfers were this week, Elder Batalla left the office and I got a new companion, you won't believe who: Elder Brinton!  Elder Brinton was called to be the mission Historian, a new thing here, something president thought would be cool.  Elder Brinton is basically a genius with computers so he has been able to help out a lot with stuff here in the office!  

I am the secretary of materials now, and that means that I get tons of calls from the missionaries.  The office Elders get tons of calls for every little thing.  
It was cool to be in the office during transfers, I got to hear a lot about how it is done and see a few drafts before the official transfer was finished.
President Broadbent is really awesome, I am really glad to be here in the office to get to know him better.  
Elder Brinton, in addition to being historian, will do several things that the materials and executive secretaries used to do, so my job should be significantly easier now!  It's pretty cool

Do I really have an accent? haha!

Love You!