Friday, August 5, 2016

May 30, 2016 - Venezuela

Olá! This week was quite different. My comp had surgery this week on his hernia and so he stayed at the mission home basically all this week recovering and so I was in a trio with the other elders in our house. It was pretty fun. But tomorrow, life will be back to normal. 

Our favorite butcher, Claudino, is getting ready for baptism on the 18th! We're super pumped and his recent convert friend is helping so much! He's just a solid, down to earth, humble guy who wants to find something different and better for his life. 

We had stake conference yesterday and after having served 8 transfers in this same stake in 3 different wards I realized that I know basically everyone in this stake haha its so fun! A British lady that has been living in portugal for several years gave a really good talk about teaching your children to pray. It was a really good talk about example and how much people are always looking up to us and watching our example and who we should make good habits while we're young. "Always be teaching, and when necessary, use words." So yeah always be a good example to everyone around you! 

Have a good week! And don't forget to be happy!

May 23, 2016 - Frank.

So we need my comp's hernia Frank. Frank is being removed this week. 

Anyway this week was a spiritual overload. The one and only Elder Bednar visited our mission for a mission tour and it was incredible! He talked all about faith is ACTING! Faith is not praying for 5 hours and just waiting for God to do something. Faith is just doing and trussing in God. Then he had an hour Q&A session and we received all sorts of personal revelation. THEN we all shook his hand but i decided that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity so I gave him a big bear hug. Hahah best day ever. Then he came back that night for a triple stake fireside. It was legendary.

Cool and sad story. There is a really old member who is bed ridden and we had tried to give him the sacrament 2 weeks in a row but we went to the wrong house and we thought he just wasnt home. So then finally last Sunday we found his house and gave him the sacrament. Unfortunately 5 days later he passed away. Crazy miracle right? He stayed alive and fought on just 1 more week to take the sacrament 1 more time before he died. It really made me appreciate the sacrament more.

We have this really cool butcher that we're teaching and he came to our Meet the Mormons activity and loved the movie. He told the member that gave us the reference that he wants to be baptized! So this week we will make that wish a reality! haha so yeah we're pumped. We love the members here. 

Well gotta run. Read your scriptures and say your prayers. And don't take for granted the sacrament. You never know when it will be your last time.....

May 16, 2016 - XII

Well this week was fantastic!! I am still here in Amial with my comp Elder Sutton for a 2 straight with him and we're campaigning for a 3rd!

First off we got a car!!! Too awesome. So my comp is going to be having surgery on his hernia ad we swindled a car out of president because I already have my license so now when he's out of commission I can just taxi him around. It's been way too fun.

Our amazing recent convert, Vitor, received the priesthood yesterday and it was the coolest experience ever to watch his progress since day 1. 

Our investigator Carlos came to church yesterday. He's the Chief of Police of our City and he's actually the most down to earth guy! He's battling cancer (all of our investigators are dying of cancer....) and we think that now he's finding God through all this ya know? But anyway it was really cool to finally see progress. 

So having a car gives us a little bit more freedom. So yesterday we drove to the outskirts of town and found this HUGE catholic monastery. And we happened to get there right when Sunday Mass was starting. Its been about 7 months since my last Mass so we decided to go in. And it was actually really nice at first while we were waiting for the Priest to arrive and I actually felt the spirit. But then It actually started with all the chanting and prayers and what not and the spirit left. We only stayed of about 20 minutes and we decided that that experience actually strengthened our testimony of the truthfulness of our church. The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints is the one and only true church. It was a Garden of Eden experience with the fruit of good and evil. So my recommendation is for all of you to go to a Catholic mass so you can see the difference. Is that wrong of me to say that? Haha anyway have a great week!

This is me at the beach today!

May 9, 2016 - I Love You Mom!

Well happy mothers day to all you mothers out there! And especially to the best one of all, MY MOM! :) It was awesome talking to everyone on skype and next time I see you will be in real life... which is really weird....

So my comp has a hernia. And its bad. So we've been taking it easy this week and we had some fun doctor visits so this week was pretty slow. Our recent convert brought with her a friend to church who is a 50 year old butcher who is really chill and normal and it was awesome having people do our work for us! Haha

Our other recent convert who has been battling cancer over her life and and now again this past week was in bad condition. BUT she still came to church yeaterday. She basically limped herself in being supported by her husband just so she could come to sacrament meeting. It gave me a whole new meaning to church and the importance of sacrament meeting. 

Well hope you all have a marvelous week and I will see you next transfer!

May 2, 2016 - Whoa. Where did the time go?

Hey so its been 2 weeks since I've last written and it's been a full 2 weeks! 

First off our zone is Killing it!! We had 31 investigators in church last week as a zone and that was 1\3 of the 98 that the whole mission had!! We were pumped. Our zone is super united its awesome!

Lurdes, our recent convert of a couple months, has been checked into the hospital. She had some cysts in her head which they thought was a result of her breast cancer that she fought and won. And now there have been more complication and some cancer has spread into her back and spine. It's been pretty bad so keep her in her prayers. We gave her a really good blessing and the ward has really rallied around her already its been cool.

But her son Pedro came to church with his dad Vitor and he is getting ready for baptism! We really want Vitor to get the priesthood and baptize him! It's going to be a fun next couple weeks!

My comp has a Hernia.

Funny story. We went to our favorite RM couple's house to eat lunch and they were talking about some friends that were coming to eat that night for dinner that they wanted to introduce us to. So we thought of a sneaky plan. They gave us some tupperware that we had to "return" at the precise time that they were coming over to eat haha and it worked like a charm! haha we came back later that night and we said hi and talked about who we were for a couple minutes and they loved us! So now we're working with them:D Creativity is fun!

These pictures are from our P day last week in porto! Most beautiful city ever!

Apr. 11, 2016 - Vito Reis!

This is out of order because mom and dad were on vacation this week and so it got sent out late.  :-)

Well this week can definitely be described in the picture below. Vitor got baptized and it was the best baptismal service ever! His whole family came, about 6 non members and all felt the spirit super strong. Vitor was like bouncing off the walls with excitement and it was so great to see the change he's made in his life. 

We are now working with his son, Pedro, who came to the baptism and really liked it and we created a pretty good friendship with him, he's 14 I think. We are totally going to complete the family!!

We had our Zone meeting and the theme we created was "Do you believe in Miracles?" and we used the USA 1980 Olympic hockey team that beat the USSR and it was the best zone meeting I've ever been to let alone planned and conducted haha it was awesome! We have a goal of 20 baptisms this transfer for the zone and we already have 1 so we're just going full steam ahead! 

Miracles happen! You just have to expect them and look for them!!

Apr. 18, 2016 - The Lord Will Provide

So we start this week with close to no money between the 4 of us in our house. So we say alright this week for groceries we'll just tough it out and buy the necessities like rice and cheese and bread and eggs and it comes out to like 15 euros in total. Then out of no where we get 4 member meals in like 3 days! First time that's ever happened, ever! So we actually eating more than we ever have with our cupboards empty! The best part is that people start sending us home with leftovers! Miracles really do happen! (Don't worry mom, I'm not going hungry;)

Anyway this week was pretty sweet. I went on a division to my first area, Braga! It was pretty cool and passed some recent converts over there! Really weird with the reversal of roles now but we really helped that area get back on their feet.

So we finally marked Pedro for Baptism. He is Lurdes and Vitor's 14 year old son who is really smart and already has received an answer about the Book of Mormon and everything. May 7th is his date for baptism and we're pumped!

We taught a lesson this week to a teenager who is having some problems with high school and friends and parents and actually everything. It was centered around this scripture, Alma 7:11-12

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

I hadn't felt such a comforting feeling in quite some time. We testified about the infinite love of Christ and how we ALWAYS have someone going through this life right by our side. I know that Christ is our eternal Friend and will never leave us. He knows what we've been through because he already has. I love Him and I love this work! 

Pics. Just to prove that I was in Braga haha you can't really see me
And this is Elder Jensen and his amazing art he gave me after our division!

Elder Powell

Apr. 4, 2016 - We Get Credit for Trying

Happy Conference weekend everyone!

Lets just start off with the best closing pitcher in history, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland! His talk really struck me. "Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going." This quote was so comforting and I love this principle of the atonement of our savior Jesus Christ! We just have to keep trying everyday and we will be blessed! So keep trying!!

This week was too good! I said goodbye to my comp Elder Da Veiga and watched his plane leave. Literally. The airport is in our area and there is this little spot about 50 feet from the runway where we can go watch the planes take off and land. It's awesome! So we went and watched him take off haha we literally saw him in the window! too funny! Anyway I got a new comp Elder Sutton who is hilarious! We've become pretty good friends over the months but now we're comps! 

Vítor is all ready for baptism on the 9th and he loved conference! I was thanking all the apostles for all their talks about families and fatherhood. Vítor really received some personal revelation this weekend. 

One more quote from our Prophet just because I love him. "If we choose Christ, we will have made the correct Choice."