Monday, October 21, 2013

A obra está progredindo!

Oi família!
Tudo bem?!

It´s been another good week here in Pouso Alegre.  The definite
highlight of the week was Tchelo´s baptism yesterday.  It was honestly
a miracle how fast he accepted the gospel and sacrificed everything to
change.  We met with him every day this week helping him and
encouraging him.  His birth family rejected his decision, his adopted
family rejected his decision, his girlfriend rejected his decision, a
lot of his friends rejected it, but he stayed firm.  It´s honestly
amazing to see a miracle like this occur in the life of a friend.  I
was talking with him the other day, and started talking about a friend
of his who drinks, is addicted to marijuana, and just really isn´t
happy, and I asked him `Why do people do these things to themselves?
Why don´t they just think for a minute?  It doesn´t make any sense?`
and he replied to me `Porque eles não têm propósito.  Mas temos
propósito.`  It´s been so cool too see him find purpose in life, and
make a goal to have eternal life.  We´ll keep working with him a lot
this week before his confirmation next week, so should be another
great week.  Right now he´s looking for another house to live in, and
is thinking about moving to the states or to Argentina.

Other than that the week was kind of difficult.  We have a lot of potential investigators, but haven´t been able to teach a lot of them.  Lots of dropped appointments.  We
are going to change barrios this week to see if we can´t find some
houses to enter and some families to teach.  We had another
investigator who was progressing really well but didn´t come to Church
again after promising he would.  Sergio loves having us over, loves
the Book of Mormon, loves analogies, and loves learning.  But if he
doesn´t come to Church this week we´ll have to drop him. Maybe pass by
once a week to invite him to Church but nothing more than that.

I´m loving this transfer.  Me and Elder González were assigned as
co-seniors so I´m loving the responsibility too.  I was kind of tired
of being trained, so after 6 and a half months of being trained it´s
been great to have full responsibility for the área.  Elder González
is great.  He´s really patient with the people which is sometimes hard
for me.  Sometimes I get impatient when we are teaching and just want
to get up and leave, but he always does his best to help everyone
understand, even if they are kind of slow.  He´s been a great example
of Christlike love.

I´m making a ton of friends in the city.  We met an awesome lady who
sells hot dogs in the central from the back of her car.  Her and her
family have  been selling hot dogs for 20 years, and she is famous for
having the best hot-dogs in the city.  The cool part is she has been
smart with her money, and now has money to travel the world.  Later
this week she is doing a tour of Europe, and then later in the year is
going to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.  All from money saved from
selling hot-dogs.  Anyway we talked with her quite a bit and have a
lunch/dinner appointment with her tonight.

I´m honestly loving life here.  The work is hard and exhausting.  Our
área is about a half hour or fourty minute walk from our house, and
there are a ton of hills in the city so I´ve been absolutely exhausted,
but absolutely happy as well.  I´m learning to love the culture here
in Brazil.  The people are so great and so friendly.  The city is
great, the branch is great and the other missionaries are great.
Hopefully we´ll get some more people progressing this week and I´m
confident we´ll have a lot of baptisms.

Eu amo vocês!


Translation: "Because they have no purpose. But we have purpose." Tchelo

Monday, October 14, 2013

Memories from Iguatemi

Carol´s Baptism.  Sadly I was transferred after she was baptized, and I´m still not sure whether or not she was confirmed.  The pastor from her other church kind of scared her off and me and Elder Carmongio were double transferred to make room for Sisters, so hopefully they were able to smooth things out.
 Raimundo and Joslali and some of their family and friends when we took them to see the temple.  They have a date to be married October 26th, and President gave me permision to go back to the area to see the marriage and the baptism.  I kind of have to go back since I´m legally signed up to be one of the witnesses to the wedding.

Oi from Pouso Alegre!!

Oi Familia!
Tudo Bem?!

How´s the week been going for everybody! So I just want you all to
know that this week has been amazing. I love Pouso Alegre, I love the
branch, I love the area, I love the new companion (Elder González) and
I´m loving life. It´s honestly been a week filled with miracles.

I got to my area later tuesday night. Pouso Alegre is a 4 hour bus
ride from Campinas. Me and Elder González opened up a second area in
the city, so now the branch has 4 missionaries, which is kind of fun.
Once again, I´m the only American in house. My companion is from
Chili and has 5 months on the mission, and the other two Elder´s are
from Brazil. Elder González is great! He´s a hard worker, loves the
people, and works for the right reasons. He´s not driven by numbers,
and not trying to force people into baptism, but really feels a love
for the people and a desire to help them invite others unto Christ.
At first I was kind of nervous opening up an area with him. Both of
us are still learning Portuguese, both of us are relatively new to
Brazil, but so far it´s been great.

So like I said, a couple of miracles have already happened. We found
an awesome guy named Marcelo who has been looking to speak for
missionaries forever. This guy is brilliant, and I mean brilliant.
He studied at Cambridge in England, speaks English, Spanish, German
and Greek! Yeah, GREEK! Crazy. Anyways, he was born and raised 7th
day adventist, and even studied to be Padre (or priest) in the Church
for a while, but it just didn´t feel right. When he was studying in
Cambridge, someone referred him to, and he studied about
the Church there, found a Book of Mormon in a library and started
reading it, and has been hunting down missionaries for a while.
Somehow he got a hold of the number of the other Elders in the city,
and gave them a call, who referred him to us. We taught him, he loved
it. We invited him to baptism, he accepted. He read and studied the
Book of Mormon we left him, and told us he really felt something
different while he was reading. He is all set and ready to be
baptized this Sunday. The only thing holding him back is talking to
his family. He´s in his late 20s, but living with his parents right
now, so isn´t sure what he´s going to tell them or his girlfriend, but
he knows it´s true, and has been waiting for this his whole life. I´m
so glad he has finally ended his search for truth.

So the other miracle is Heloisa. Saturday night we were looking for a
house, but weren´t sure where the street was. I saw this lady walking
down the street, and went to go ask her, but before I even said
anything, she yelled out in English, `Are you lost?` Turns out she
had also lived in England for 7 years, spoke nearly fluent English,
and had investigated the Church for four months while living there.
We talked for about 20 minutes, and she expressed to me that she felt
there was some divine intervention in our meeting. I invited her to
Church with us, and she came and really liked it. After sacrament
meeting I was talking to her and she told me `The people here are
really great, but they don´t know why I´m here` and then I asked her
`So why are you here?` and she said `I´m here to find answers.` I
promised her she would find all her answers here and told her to write
down all her questions and we have an appointment on tomorrow which
I´m really excited for.

And then I met one other guy in our area the other Elders had been
teaching who was works online programming with some members in
Gilbert, Arizona. They referred him to the Church and I´m excited to
start teaching him to. All in all a really good week!

Well I hope you all have a great week and I´ll let you all know how
things turn out!



Monday, October 7, 2013


1. Cookies!
2. Me and Elder Warlen (roommate) on a cold morning

Bautismo, Transferencias e mais

Oi Familia! Tudo Bem!

So it´s been a great week that ended on a great note, and then on a not so great note. The best news is Carol was baptized on Saturday, inbetween sessions of general conference. The other best news is that we set a date for the marriage of Josali e Raimundo. October 26! We set up an appointment with the Judge, payed the fee, finalized all the information, and are really excited! The bad news is that I´m not going to be here for any of it, and neither will Elder Carmongio. We did such a good job with the area this transfer that President decided to move sisters in. Oh well... I guess a little feminine touch couldn´t hurt a wedding. I have one sliver of hope. They have my name down to be one of the marriage witnesses at the cartorio, so I might get to come back for the wedding and the baptism. I guess we´ll see what happens.

I enjoyed conference, or at least tried to enjoy it as good as I could. It´s not quite the same in Portuguese as it is in English. I missed hearing the voices of President Monson, Elder Holland, Presdent Uchtdorf, and all the other speakers. I tried my hardest to focus, but kind of zoned out a lot so will try to download the talks in English to listen to.

I´m sorry about the letters last week. I´m not sure what was going on. I got a bunch of replies from the Mail Delivery Subsystem saying my letters didn´t make it through to you all. I got all your letters though. Thanks!

Well it´s been a great week and a great transfer. I´ll let you know where I end up. I´m hoping to get out of Campinas and into the interior of the state. Kind of getting tired of the city. But whatever happens it will be good!

Scripture thought for the week is from Alma 29. He talks a lot about his desires to serve God, and how God will grant unto us blessings according to our desires, be it for good, or be it for bad. Desires are at the base of all we do in life. As we purify our desires, our thoughts will be purified, our actions will be good, and our blessings will be many.

Sim, declararia a todas as almas, com voz como a do trovão, o arrependimento e o plano de redenção, para que se arrependessem e aviessem ao nosso Deus, a fim de não haver mais tristeza em toda a face da Terra.
3 Mas eis que sou um homem e peco em meu desejo; porque deveria contentar-me com as coisas que o Senhor me concedeu.
4 Não deveria perturbar com os meus desejos o firme decreto de um Deus justo, porque sei que ele concede aos homens segundo os seus adesejos, sejam estes para a morte ou para a vida; sim, sei que ele concede aos homens, sim, dá-lhes decretos inalteráveis segundo seus bdesejos, sejam eles para salvação ou para destruição.
5 Sim, e que o bem e o mal se apresentam a todos os homens; e aquele que não distingue o bem do mal não é culpado, mas aquele que adistingue o bem do mal, a ele será dado segundo seus desejos, deseje ele o bem ou o mal, a vida ou a morte, a alegria ou o remorso de bconsciência.

Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Eu Amo Vocês