Monday, January 20, 2014

Running out of ideas of what to title my emails.

Oi Familia!
Tudo Bem?!

Just like to start off my sending out a big thanks for the Birthday
package! It was way fun to get, and I felt like you guys sent a lot
of love with all the simple gifts. Goes to show that love bridges any
barrier, even across the continents. Dad, thanks for the music, it
really was great to get, and also thanks for giving up the Reeses, I
know that was probably a sacrifice. Lisa, thanks so much for the
Kool-aid. It really has been helping in the hot afternoons. Amy, I
love listening to you sing! Your choir is so good and so inspiring.
Thanks for the game as well. I still need to try it out. I think
I´ll do that after I finish writing this. Thanks for the tie Brian! I
wore it on Sunday. Really pretty chique. And thanks Mom for the
brownies, and everything else, and more than anything, the love you
were able to pack into everything. I love you all so much.

So I went shopping at Walmart today. Yep, it truly is taking over the
world. Kind felt like a piece of home here in Brazil ;)

The week really flew by. We really have a great teaching group right
now, just need to help some people pray and read the Book of Mormon,
and when they do, I know they will feel that this is all true. It
really is so simple. Read the Book of Mormon and pray with sincerity,
and God will answer. But you have to want it. Without real intenção
ou desejo, God can´t do much for us. Reminds me of a phrase I learned
in the MTC, God can´t drive a parked car.

Diego was baptized yesterday. A great experience for him, and even
more importantly, his family. His Mom and Brother came and really
enjoyed the baptismal service, and church as well after, so it looks
as if their hearts have opened up a bit.

We are also teaching the family of Gabi. Gabi has been going to
church for three years but hasn´t been baptized yet because her Mom
thought she was too young to make that kind of decision, and her Mom
was really Catholic at the time, but we taught her the Restoration,
and she really understood and even accepted baptism as well! She just
wants to take some time, but we will get her reading the Book of
Mormon, and Gabi, her Mom, and her Brother all should be baptized
within the next month or so.

There are a ton of other people here as well. It´s been so fun to see
the teaching group grow so fast, but it just goes to show how much God
is preparing his children. If I´ve learned anything this transfer,
it´s that so much depends on our vision. If we believe we can do
something, and have the faith that God will help us, it will happen.

Love you all so much, and wish you all the best of weeks!



Monday, January 13, 2014

Ficando Perdido em Campinas

Oi Familia!

So after about a week and a half here in the area I still hardly know
exactly where I am. But at least I know how to get to church and how
to get home, so that´s all that really matters. Everything else just
kind of works out throughout the day. So I´m happy to say that Diego
is really progressing. He´s devoured all the pamphlets we´ve given
him, loves reading the Book of Mormon, and loves going to Church, but
he just has this fear of baptism for some reason. He used to go to
another Church, which tried to force him into baptism, so maybe that´s
the reason, but we had talked about everything and marked a baptism
with him and he seemed to be over the fear, but then he called me the
other day and said he still felt all conflicted, but I´m sure he´ll
get over it sooner or later.

As for the rest of the week, we have found some new people to teach.
Everyone here will let you teach, especially in the favella, but the
problem is finding people who actually want to change. But it´s a
process, so you just have to hope and pray a lot for people, and do
your best. I always tell people that we are here to teach and help
and support, but that they are the ones who do the real changing. We
can bring the message of Christ, the message of hope, but if they
don´t act on it, then nothing is going to happen, and I think the same
is true of us as well, if we don´t act on what we know, nothing is
going to change and nothing is going to get better. Sure it´s hard,
but life is going to be hard sometimes, so you might as well grow from

Elder Lybbert is still as confused as ever. Yesterday was really
funny because he was shaking peoples hands at church and said to one
of the members `How are you?` in English, and the member gave him a
really funny look and I looked over to him and said `Elder, remember
people here don´t speak English` But he´s working hard and he´ll
catch on pretty quick.

It´s hotter than ever right now, but that´s alright. We just keep on
going and sweating, and life is a great.

I just finished up reading Mateus hoje and loved reading about the
life of Christ. He is such a great example in everything, and I hope
I am becoming more like him. We really need to let the light of
Christ within us shine, and people will recognize it and want to know
what it is.

Hope you all have a wonderful, cold week!



Monday, January 6, 2014

Mais um desafia em volta para Campinas

Oi Familia!
Tudo Bem!

Well it´s another year gone and by, another area left, another
companion, and several more challenges ahead, but I know 2014 will be

So I was transferred again. Kind of sad to say goodbye to Itupeva,
but I guess not to sad. I liked it their, but it wasn´t my favorite
area, or the best of transfers, and so it wasn´t to hard to leave
behind. President sent me back to Campinas! Back to the big city it
is! I´m liking the area here, but one of the hardest things about
being the missionary is that we are always in the cities, and I´m not
exactly the biggest city guy, so first thing I´m going to do when I
get home is take a nice long mountain retreat away from humans and all
their problems.

Sorry, kind of went off on a tangent their. Anyways, I´m back in
Campinas again with Elder Lybbert who is from Georgia and has mais ou
menos 4 days in Brazil. It´s kind of funny to see him so completely
bewildered with Brazil and remember that only 5 or 6 months ago, I was
in exactly the same place. He´s new as new, hardly speaks, but is at
least willing to try and talk with people for a couple seconds before
looking at me with bewilderment when the people respond. It´s

Anyways we are opening an area together. I guess not really opening,
but we got double transferred in, so neither of us had much of an idea
of where to go or what to do. But we found some nice members of the
ward to help orient us, and it´s all work now. We are actually in
charge of two wards here, so I´m going to 6 hours of Church every
Sunday. Never will complain about three hours again. But with two
wards we have our work cut out for us. Should be a blast.

So we already found an awesome guy to teach. His name is Diego and we
found him knocking doors. We taught him and his whole family, and he
was totally interested, read the pamphlets we left him, and when we
picked him up for Church yesterday he asked us if he could have a Book
of Mormon. And then it turns out some of his great friends are
already members, so he looks like he´s on the fast track to be
baptized. He´s already reading the Book of Mormon, already going to
Church, is really interested, and alread has friends in the Church.
Golden Investigator!

President has asked that we start doing a lot more work with Menos
Ativos which has been really cool. Yesterday we went by this guys
house who was baptized when he was 18, stayed firm for 20 years and
was even stake executive secratary, but then had a really ugly divorce
which kind of drove him away from the Church. But he never lost his
testimony. When we stopped by, he told us he wants to go back, and
that he knows its true, but he´s living with another woman now, and he
thought she didn´t want anything to do with the Church. So we talked
a bit with him, telling him that people can change, and then his wife
walks in and we start talking to her, and turns out she has been
wanting to find a church to go to, and has some really serious
concerns about life she wants answered, and agreed to start taking
lessons from us, which took her husband completely by suprise. Goes,
to show, you just never know who the Lord is preparing.

Well that´s kind of what´s happening with me this week. Just want to
share a scripture to end it off.

Mateus 20:25-28

25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes
of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great
exercise authority upon them.

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great
among you, let him be your minister;

27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Jesus Christ is our perfect example. He spent his whole life serving
and teaching others, helping them to become better people, and ended
up giving his life so that through him, we can overcome our
difficulties and become cleansed from sin so we can return to his
presence. For all that he did, he never demanded fame, he never
demanded honor. He served with his heart out of love for others. As
followers of Christ, we need to do the same. Love with all out heart
and minister unto the needs of others.

Eu sei que Deus nos ama muito e mandou seu Filho para que pudessemos
vencer pecado e dor. Sei que Jesus Cristo é nosso Salvador, e só por
meio ele podemos ter felicidade e alegria durante nossas vidas.

Eu amo vocês.