Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 13, 2015


The time is passing really quick now...  I'm getting pretty nervous about going home now, I'm afraid it will be a big transition.
Tomorrow we are going to the temple, it will be the last time I go to the temple here on my mission, so I'm excited.  We're trying to work as hard as we can but our investigators have largely stopped progressing.  We were really hoping Lidiana would be baptized before we left but it's looking like she doesn't have the testimony or desire to be baptized yet, it's sad but she is integrated now so I have high hopes that sooner or later she will be baptized.  

I don't really know what else to write... but I'm anxious to get home and see everyone!
Love you!

July 6, 2015

I haven't had any real updates from my last area but I know that their daughter, Ariel, was baptized last week!  So I can guess that they're doing great!  I hope they are getting ready to get married and get baptized themselves. I'll see if I can contact the missionaries there to see how they are doing.  I would love to visit them, but it's looking like these last weeks are going to be kind of pressed for time, because my companion is also going home, so we will have to split our time between his old areas and mine.
I got a package from the Priest Quorum this week, it had a nice letter and a bunch of American candy!  I loved it!  I took a photo with my comp and the package, and was wondering if you could have it printed and give it to the Priest Quorum with my thanks.
I haven't taken any pictures of this area yet, but I'll get on it!  We're trying to help some really good people we are teaching in this area but nobody is progressing, it's pretty frustrating.  We wanted to baptize Lidiana before we go home but she has become pretty apathetic to the gospel recently, she is really thankful for our helping her get rid of all her addictions but she doesn't seem interested in the church anymore, it's really sad.  But there are several others we are trying to bring to church in these coming weeks, we're just trying to do all the good we can before going home!

Love you!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

June 29, 2015


I know, just one month left!  I used to say I couldn't believe it but this transfer, with a companion who is also going home, it's actually hitting me.  But it's a really weird feeling, I feel like it will be a death/rebirth kind of transition.  But I'm really excited to use all of the amazing things I've learned on my mission in "real life."  

Yesterday we had stake conference (this is the third one I've gone to in like 3 months because of transfers, haha)  but this one was especially cool.  The stake president was the first speaker, which I thought was strange, but then it made sense.  The mission president, temple president, and an area seventy and their wives were all the other speakers!  It was a great meeting and I learned a lot.  Normally President Broadbent speaks about missionary work at the conferences but this time the seventy, Elder Gonzaga, spoke more about it than Presidente Broadbent!  He said that of all his many priesthood callings his mission is the one that made the biggest difference in his life, I thought that was really cool, and I think it will be true for me too!  It was also really cool because we were able to bring a family to church that had never gone before and I think they really felt the spirit there!  This family was reluctant to go to church because, like so many others here in Brazil, they have been traumatized by crazy churches that scream and have possessions and ask people to give half their salaries.  But I think they really saw the difference in the Church of Jesus Christ.  I think that is one of the first witnesses new investigators have of the church, and has been a really interesting experience for me too, that our church is just so much different than the others, and different only in good ways.  It's really hard to get people to actually get up and go to church but on my mission everyone that has gone has loved it without fail!

Ariel, the daughter of Leonardo and Lucia from my last area was baptized this week, I found out from the mission newsletter,  I'm really happy for her and that family, it looks like they haven't slowed down at all, and I'm hopeful the missionaries there are making progress towards their marriage!

I think it would be awesome to do a fireside, I remember missionaries that came home when I was a young man and did firesides and I thought it was super cool!

Love you, let me know about anything else interesting going on!

June 22, 2015

So I was transferred to a city called São Bernardo do Campo, right in the middle of the mission.  It's the biggest city in our mission outside of São Paulo and this area is definitely the richest I have ever served in, haha, even more so than Santo André.  It seems like a great place and I like the ward but it's been pretty hard to teach here.  I'm used to areas with tons of people on the street and people that are really receptive and have time to talk with us but those people just don't seem to exist much here, haha!  But even so, we have some really good investigators that are progressing well!  My new and last companion is Elder Lawrence.  And get this, he is going home this transfer too!   In fact there are like 6 missionaries in our zone going home this transfer.  Elder Lawrence is great, we got here in Brazil at the same time and started our missions here in the same zone, and actually, my first split ever was with him!  And since then we have been in the same zone several times, so I feel like we know each other pretty well already.

We're teaching a woman named Lidiana, she has already been to church a few times and is reading a lot of the Book of Mormon, she isn't baptized just because she wants to be sure that she actually believes what we're teaching.  She's really great, one of the most genuine people I've taught in a long time and she is making a really diligent search for the truth, if you all could put her in your prayers, I really think that she could be baptized shortly!

I got the invite to talk in Sacrament meeting!  aaaahhhh! I think I'm only really realizing this last transfer that my mission is actually ending.

Love you!!

I didn't really do anything for my birthday, I'm in a new area and none of the members know me, so I just kind of let it go by.  We will buy a pizza this week and consider it my birthday pizza, haha!

June 15, 2015


So, this week was pretty hectic, my companion and another Elder we live with who is also going home this week had to do a bunch of traveling to the office together so I spent half the week with Elder Forsgren.  It was really great, we were in the MTC together so it's awesome getting to catch up and have some good conversations.  I was transferred... which is a surprise, I've only been in this area for one transfer!  There are more than 20 missionaries going home so a lot of areas are being closed.  I'm just kind of annoyed that i wont have time to get to know my last area before going home.  Just like this area... ugh... and no one there will know about my birthday either, haha.

But it will be great, I cant believe that tomorrow I will go to my last area with my last companion!

Love you!

June 8, 2015

I'm forwarding a couple of pictures from this week.  All of the really old Americans in the mission had to go to the mission office and then the federal police station in nothern São Paulo to renew their visas.  It was fun, got to spend some time with some of my oldest friends here in the mission, and get this, I somehow managed to get a permanent visa!  haha! I don't exactly know why, but the visa renewal stamps on all the other guys' passports shows an expiration date a year from now but mine says in big bold letters PERMANENTE.  So that's cool.
This week is the last week for my comp, so today we're going to visit some of his old areas and we are going to focus on our investigators that are preparing for baptism this week, Camille and Thyná.  They are two sisters and are really great and have been going to church for a long while and their mother has finally given permission for their baptism!
Leonardo and Lucia are still probably the coolest investigators I've ever taught, they came to stake conference this weekend, Leonardo went to ALL of the sessions!  They used a lot of Doctrine &Covenants there and so Leonardo has been increasingly interested.  He's eating up scriptures and pamphlets as fast as we can give them!  This week they committed to getting married and he actually asked us about the process leading to baptism!
Love you!

June 1, 2015


This week was pretty normal, but we had a really cool stake activity on Saturday and lots of people showed up.  Each ward of the stake made a presentation about one of the church organizations and the activity was aimed at investigators, and we were able to bring out 8 non members from our area to be there!  The missionaries in our zone sang Alma, tem paz (Be Still My Soul) and it went really well, everyone loved it!

Love you, and thank you so much for the prayers, they really help :)

May 25, 2015

So I'm emailing really late again because we went to that farm place again! haha! This time it was a zone p-day, so everyone was there, it was a lot of fun!  
This week was great, Aparacido and Aline were baptized on Saturday!!!  Both of them are great and have a big desire to follow the gospel, Aparaceido has made some really huge changes in his life to get to this point and he seems super committed to continuing until the end.  

I like the idea about writing the lessons from my mission, I think I'll do that, I think I may even buy a new notebook to write that!

We also have been teaching a really cool investigator that came to church yesterday.  Have you ever seen the little video about Wilford Woodruff and his search for the truth?  It's kind of like this guy, Leonardo.  On my mission I've had some chances to teach some really intense lessons with people that have studied the Bible for years and have even taught some pastors with their own churches but this guy's is definitely the most knowlegable about the Bible and the gospel. This man knows so many things about the scriptures, even things that are basically unique to the restored gospel such as: the existence of an apostasy and the Melchizedek Priesthood, the the weird thing? He doesn't go to any church.  He has visited just about any you can think of but hasn't felt that any of them are true.  But yesterday he went with us and really enjoyed it!  When we visited him afterwards he even talked about his plans for him and his wife to get married for the purpose of getting baptized!  They're great, and I really hope to be able to baptize them before the end of my mission!
Love you!

May 18, 2015

Sorry I'm writing late, we went to a chacara today, that's like a ranch kind of thing, not big enough to call a farm, more like a house in the forest.  Anyway, it was really cool, I feel like it's been years since I've been able to walk in the grass and climb trees and stuff, haha!  

This week was good, we were able to get some good work done and Aline and maybe Aparecido will get baptized this Saturday!
I did the little daily blurb thing, so here is it.
Monday - Stayed home, read, and slept, had zone meeting which was pretty inspired!  We went to do some visits at about 7 o'clock but none of the people we planned to visit were home so we ended up having dinner at a members house.
Tuesday - I didn't feel very good this morning, I think it was from eating dinner so late.  We visited the houses of a bunch of less active members but only a few have any interest in the church anymore, the ward is asking us to visit a lot of less actives to see who still lives in the area. It rained at night and we had a great lesson with Leonard, a young man who will be baptized June 13.
Wednesday - Spent a lot of the day searching for less actives, finding referrals, and doing street contacts to find new investigators.  We were able to find quite a few people and have some really good appointments marked for the weekend.  We had good lessons with Aline and Aparecido who should both be baptized on the 23rd.
Thursday - I forgot to write about this week...
Friday - We had zone conference from 9 to 4 and we live in the next city over so we got home about 5:30.  The train was so packed I couldn't lift my arms if i tried, haha!  We visited Leonard and Selma and her family
Saturday - We went to rehearse in the chapel this morning. Elder M. Santos is going to participate in a special young men program in Sacrament meeting this Sunday.  Only young men and young men leaders are going to talk and all of them are going to sing "We'll bring the world his truth"  and Elder M. Santos will play violin.  We had some good lessons especially with Valdinete and her family, she is a less active and their family is having some problems, but they are progressing.
Sunday - Church was great, 5 investigators ended up coming to church and the young men program was great, all the young men either gave a talk or testimony!  We did some visits and at night there was a Primary fireside with a great Primary choir, it was really cool!
So that's what generally happens in our week!

May 11, 2015

The photo in front of the chapel is from a cool looking chapel outside of our mission.  I actually don't remember if I told you, but the first counselor of the Presiding Bishopric, Gerald Causse, did a meeting with our mission and the mission next to us!  It was really cool, it was great getting to hear from him.  Anyway, that was the chapel that our two missions went to for the meeting.