Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Update :)

Here are Evan's letters from the past few months. Sorry I haven't kept them very current. He also sent a short note a few weeks ago saying he will be home February 17! I knew two years could go by fast but didn't know these two years would go by so amazingly fast. We just dropped him off at the MTC. :)

October 20, 2014
A volta para paraíso

Oi fam!

Como vai?!

I´m back in paradise!  I was transferred this week to Vinhedo, again!  I´ve never been so happy about a transfer.  Back to my favorite city in the mission.  There are two wards here, so I´m in the other ward, but it´s so good to be back and to see so many familiar faces.  I honestly just love it here.  

Also news, President gave me a break from being Zone Leader, and now I´m District Leader again, which I love.  District leader is a lot more fun for me because I get to work a lot closer to the missionaries, and get to know them a lot better.  Plus, I feel a lot less pressure and a lot less stress then I was feeling before.  All in all, I´m thinking I´ll probably finish out the mission here in the city.  The only downside is that it is on the other side of some hills of the campinas airport, so airplanes pass by quite frequently.  But I guess that just makes me more excited to finish out strong the mission.

We have a great teaching group.  We marked four or five baptisms during the week, only one of them went to Church.  We are in part of the city quite a ways away from the chapel, so the hardest part is getting people to church.  But with the help of the members we´ll figure it out.  The people here are so much more receptive then campinas.  Needless to say, I´m pumped to be back.

My new companion is Elder Grandberg.  He´s Brazilian, from Santa Catarina, and has 4 or 5 months out on the mission.  He´s a sweet guy.  Fun, friendly, always smiling.  It´s been fun to work with him.  We are teaching some sweet people, namely Alisson, Lucas, and Samuel.  Alisson is studying law, and has some crazy questions.  But what he´s seen so far he´s liked.  He has searched a lot of religions in his life, and he told us that what he has seen so far seems closest to the truth.  Now we just need to help him feel that it is the truth.  Lucas is 19, and we had a great first lesson for him.  I have high hopes with him, and honestly see him as a future missionary.   We have quite a few other people as well, all of them with a ton of potential.

We had a really good Zone Conference about simplicity.  Big problems require simple solutions.  A lot of times we complicate things, but if we just think simply, and stick to the basics, the big stumbling blocks turn into a lot of little pebbles we can clear away one at a time.  I really liked that, and need to apply it more in my life.  The doctrine of Christ is simple.  Faith, Repentance, and Covenant Making.  If we stick to the basics, it will all work out. 

Love you all.  Hope everyone has a great week.



October 13, 2014
O fim se apoxima

Oi fam!

Como vai?  

One more transfer down.  Three to go.  Wow does time pass by quickly!  I´m getting transferred to what should be my last area.  I´m really excited.  Transfers are always a great opportunity to reavaluate and make the necessary changes to continue improving.  These last two transfers in Campinas have probably been the most challenging of my mission, for various reasons.  One was the constant switch of companions and roomates.  In three months in the ward 10 different missionaries passed through.  The constant changes made it dificult to get into a groove.  The church has a really good book for stress management they have given to missionaries, and it says it usually takes about 6 weeks to adapt to a new situation, so constant changes makes adapting a little bit hard.  I´m hoping I can finish out my mission in the same area with the same companion so things can really start flowing.  But we´ll see what happens.

In spite of the challenges, I learned some powerful lessons these last few months.

1.  The Power of the Priesthood.  

I don´t know if I´ve already told you all about Catia.  We found her knocking doors one day, and started teaching.  She started progressing really quickly, and after a couple weeks of teaching her she told us she has suffered from life long depression, and the day we knocked on here door she was strongly considering suicide, but completely changed her mind when we knocked. Catia never got baptized, but she improved a lot.  However, after a couple months of visiting she fell into really bad depression again,  and completely isolated herself from the world.  We were finally able to visit her again this week and she didn´t listen to anything we said and was completely lost in her depression.  After paciently listening for an hour, we offered to give her a blessing.  She accepted, and after praying, we laid our hands upon our head, and as we gave the blessing, the room filled with the spirit.  She was healed, if not for just a moment.  The love of Christ surrounded us in that moment and the sadness and grief that had enveloped left.  We haven´t been able to go back yet, but I know, at least for a moment, God poured out his love upon her through the Priesthood.

2.  The need not to give up. 

I knew I would probably be transferred this week, and after a lot of trials, I was about ready to call it quits in the area.  But through a lot of prayer and the help of my companion, I kept going.  Exhausted, tired, frustrated, hot, but I kept on working.  Miracously we found 7 new investigators this week.  Not an amazing number, but a significant accomplishment for us.  A couple of them went to church this week, and I hope they all accept the glad message we have.  Goes to show, sometimes we just need to give a little more then what we have.

I love you all.  Hope you all have a great week and enjoy the cool fall weather.



September 29, 2014

hey fam, 

I´m running out of time, but those pics were from a wedding and baptism from a couple I tought in Vinhedo.  President let me go back with Elder Ferguson to watch.  Way fun to see!

There names are Alex e Ivonette.

Have a great week!



September 22, 2014

Oi fam!

Tomorrow I´ll find out my new companion.  Should be good.  

Unfortunately, the people we were preparing for baptism this Sunday fell through.  Not completely though.  We just need to continue teaching and following up so that in the coming weeks they can be baptized.  

We worked hard this week.  Elder Barbosa really pushed himself to the limit and we saw miracles on a daily basis.  But sadly I think my comp pushed himself a little too far.  Yesterday he had an allergic reaction to one of the medicines he´s taking and broke up in really bad acne.  Like really bad.  We passed almost 4 hours in the hospital today, but he should clear up in a couple days now.  One more pill to take away the effects of the other pill.

Jaimi and his family were definitely the highlight of the week.  I found them about a month ago knocking doors with Elder Rodrigues, but this week he really progressed, read the book of mormon, got an anwser to his prayer, and after our lesson, the member who was teaching with us offered to give him a priesthood blessing, and I truly saw the Priesthood in action.  The words were inspired, the spirit was strong, and all of us left in tears, thankful for the amazing love of our Heavenly Father.  

When we look for the miracles from day to day, we are amazed with all God does for us.  May we all look to love our Lord with all our heart and prepare ourselves, our families, our friends, and our neighbors for the glorious day when the Savior will return.  And as we wait, may  we cherish every moment we have been blessed with.

Love you all.  


September 15, 2014
Stand Strong

Oi família!
Como vai!

This week has been pretty great!  Elder Barbosa´s knees are dead.  He´ll be getting emergency transferred to a tiny area next week, which I´m kind of sad about.  We have been working great together!  But to finish things off strong we have a goal to baptize three people this weekend.  Gustavo and Osmar e Rita.

We haven´t been able to work a hundred percent because of we walk all day, the Elder Barbosa´s knees give out, so as far as finding people we are kind of stopped, but we have a good teaching group, and my companion is willing to make the sacrifice to follow up with these people.  

We have had a little mission drama in the house.  The other companinship has been fighting all week, but we had a good talk last night, and things seem to be better. 

I´ve been studying the Book of Mormon.  I have a goal to finish again before the end of the mission, and I´m focusing my whole study on stregthening my ability to feel and follow the Holy Ghost.  One thing I´ve noticed is the diligence required to receive revelation.  I think one of the most repeated promises in the scripture is "ask and ye shall recieve, knock and it shall be opened unto you."  Variations of this promise are found in several places.  To receive revelation we have to look for it, diligently look for it.  I've been trying to make a list of things every week that I need help with, and throughouth the week, diligently study and pray in order to receive personal revelation.  A lot of the times I forget to look for this revelation because life is so good, and I don't feel like I need much revelation to get through life happy, and maybe I don't, but I'm not here just to get through life happy, but to bring God's eternal plan to pass, and for this to happen, I need a lot of revelation.  I really like the scripture in 1 Nephi 10:17-19

 17 And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

 18 For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

 19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

Nephi didn't just listen to his dad and then continue in his same happy life, but diligently searched to know if it was true, and the result was the vision when he pretty much saw everything that would happen until the second coming.  "He that diligently seeketh shal find, and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them."  I wonder how much consel and advice from we leave behind just because we are to lazy to look for it.

Sorry, I kind of got babbling, but just a little of what I have learned on the mission.

Love you all a ton!



September 10, 2014
Oi de Brazil

Oi fam!

It´s been an interesting and fun week.  New transfer, new companion, same area.  I´m back with Elder Barbosa!  I don´t know if you all remember, but he was my first companion when I got to Brasil, and now we are zone leaders together!  It´s nuts.  When I saw his name at transfers, I have to admit that I got really nervous.  That first transfer together was tough, but it was more me adapting to brasil then any problems in the companionship.  But now we are getting along great!  The only problem is his knees.  He has some serious knee problems which makes working difficult.  But we are planning our days well to teach the people that are prepared.  

All in all it´s been a good week.
We have a great teaching group, with five people visiting church Sunday.  And we plan on continue working hard to find more people and help the people we have.  

Scripture thought for the day from 2 nephi 33

 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, likeunto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.

 2 But behold, there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught.

May we always speak with the power of the Holy Ghost to edify those around us, and may we soften our hearts to feel it´s whispers guide us in our daily life.

Love you all,


August 11, 2014
Cansado en Campinas

Oi familia,

Estou muito cansado agora, mas, faz parte da missão.  I think the last 6 months of a missionary really defines him.  The first year and a half we are constantly learning, trying our best, and excited, but then you kind of start to get the hang of things, and everything depends on your desire and execution.  The last 6 months we still learn a lot, but a least for me, I feel like the first year and a half I served, but it also served as a wonderful learning experience, and now I just have to give everything I have to the Lord, and let him finish off my mission the way he wants me too.  

The week was another tough one, at least in terms of the work.  It´s a lot harder to find people here then I´m used too.  It´s pretty much central campinas, not dead center, but close enough where everyone is always busy, doesn´t have time to talk to us on the street, and doesn´t have time to listen to our lessons.  Slowly but surely we are building up a teaching group though.  

Luana is one of our most promising investigators right now.  A lot of problems to overcome, but a lot of desire as well.  That´s all I can ask for.  We can help people change, but we can´t help people desire to change, they have to desire it on their own.  Luana is about 22 years old, has two kids, and currently lives with her Mom, but is still dating this guy who publicly cheats on her.  Anyone, they are planning on living together again, but she really doesn´t want too, and I really hope she doesn´t.  She needs to move on with life.  But let´s see where things go. 

Other than her we are really looking for people, desperately, but maybe I just need to desire it more and God will provide a way.  It´s interesting how much our desires have an influence on our lives, and on our eternity.  I really like these scriptures in Alma 41

 3 And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should bejudged according to their works; and if their works were good inthis life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they shouldalso, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.

 4 And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them forevil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order,every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality,corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inheritthe kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom ofthe devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—

 5 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the otherto evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil whenthe night cometh.

Hope you all have a great week!  Always desire the good in life, because that which ye sow, ye shall also reap.

Love you all!


August 6, 2014
Templo - Foto Zona Campinas

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