Monday, May 30, 2011

Another Use for a Fire Hose

"This week was a tough week for us, but we had an awesome baptism!
I'll give you the excerpt from my journal-
Well today we left a bit earlier to fill up the baptismal font. We filled it up, and then went to lunch. After the afternoon, we went back to the chapel an hour before the baptism to check on things, and the font was empty! I don't know if there was some type of leak or if someone pulled the plug, but it was empty and it takes a while to fill up, so we immediately went frantically trying to fill it up!
We turned it on, and then grabbed hoses, buckets, and everything possible to get it filled up, even the fire hose! It still wasn't full when the people got there, there was just a huge mess from us trying to fill it up, haha.
Anyway, the baptism was very nice, David is awesome, here's a little bit about him-
His family was originally encountered by Elder Ball and Elder Vianna around Christmas, and was then taught a bit by Elder Ball and Wiscomb. He even went to church once with them. Then he moved to Santa Catarina to work, that's on the coast like 12 hours away.
Then I showed up in the area. I heard a little bit about him from Ball and Wiscomb. He lives with his mom and his stepdad very close to the church. About a month into my time in the area, David´s real dad was killed. David's dad owned a lot of nightclubs and apparently made himself a few enemies. David didn't really spend much time with him, but he was his dad. His dad left him everything. So david came back to Cruz Alta, took care of all the stuff, sold the nightclubs, got a job, and started going to school.
Then we started visiting him again. When Elder Wiscomb and I started visiting him. We didn't visit much because of his super busy schedule, just once a week or less. We didn't get to teach much. Then Elder Wiscomb was transfered. The next visit, I invited him to be baptized, and he accepted. He has a personal goal about reading the Book of Mormon and all that stuff.
He is going to be an awesome member of the church. He is also going to go to Institute and stuff and he goes to church in a suit, btw that NEVER happens, haha. We talked to him about the preisthood, he is going to get the aaronic preisthood this next week. He is 20, and so serving a mission would be a possibility for him. That would be so awesome.
Being a messanger of the restored truth is the best thing ever.
Other than that, we are teaching a ton of awesome families right now, and I'll tell you more about them next week! This week we need to find new people that will progress quickly. We are teaching awesome famlies, but they have to get married and marriage is something that takes like a month here for the papers to go through.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another Sweet Week

"This week was a sweet week. Monday and Tuesday we were in Santa Maria for Zone Leader counsel. It was really good. Monday was P-day, so we spent our time walking around the ´´big city´´ for most of it with Elder Albrechtsen and Elder Anderson, the guys from Uruguaiana, another city. Then we went to President's house at 6 to start the meetings. It was pretty sweet. Elder Black and Elder Wiscomb were there, along with a bunch of other cool guys, we learned a lot of important stuff about being leaders. Then Tuesday we did the same exact thing, except we went to the chapel in Santa Maria to do it. Once again, it was awesome. We learned a lot of important stuff.
This week I have been learning a lot about being more organized. With every companion, you learn something different and extremely important. With Elder Wiscomb, I learned a lot about really loving the people, with Elder Marx I'm learning a lot about be more organized in the work.
This week I felt that we did a specifically awesome job in using members in our lessons, and integrating the people very well with the members. A few of our investigators went to the Relief Society activity this week and loved it! We are teaching a lot of awesome families right now that will strengthen the church here a lot, but unfortunately they have to get married before they can be baptized. A lot a lot a lot of people in Brazil dont get legally married. They just live together and say they're husband and wife. But this week we will baptizie an awesome guy named David. He is already coming to church in a suit! (PS thats super rare here) We have various investigators that have been reading the Book of Mormon a lot which is key. It's awesome.
This morning for p-day we watched 'The Best Two Years'. That was cool and funny. It gets a whole new meaning when you are a missionary. Haha. Well I hope you all have an awesome week!"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Birthday Report

Well this was a sweet week. I'm now companions with Elder Marx. Tuesday was really busy, we spent a fair part of the day picking people up at the bus station, because this was tranfer week. The bulk of this week was hard, a lot of lessons fell through, but it still ended up really awesome.

Elder Tafoya, Elder Rodrigues´s new companion is a pretty sweet guy, but he also got this crazy bug in his leg. I don't know if you have heard of those. There was some bug in his leg that was eating his flesh apparently, but they got that taken care of, but he still couldn't walk for most of the week. We did some divisions with Elder Rodrigues to visit their investigators.

Contrary to my birthday for you all, my birthday here was awesome. We taught an awesome family, Petri, Jossara, and
Tiago, their 17 year old son and we brought a super awesome member Tiago, who is a radio host. The lesson was way good, Tiago (member)´s testimony was way good. It helped the family a ton. We marked their baptismal date for the 28th. At the end of the lesson I asked them if they believed that the church was true, Petri said, `I think there is a great probablilty that it is´´ haha, Petri is an awesome guy.
Then we visited David, he is awesome too. We also planned his baptism for the 28th. He is 19.

I didn't really tell anyone it was my birthday, I was kinda hoping I would be able to get away with one birthday of my life, without anyone telling me Happy Birthday, haha, it would be some sort of record. Kind of silly, I know.
It lasted until 9:05
We were walking home after teaching David, and then President Ribeiro calls me of all people to wish me Happy Birthday, haha. Then when I got home, Elder Marx made cookies for me. That was sweet. So my birthday was awesome.
Then yesterday was also way awesome. We had some really cool investigators at church, among them, Petri and Jossara. I dropped off Jossara at the Relief Society, nervous about just leaving her there, but I got back after the class, and she had made great friends with the Bishop's wife, sweet! They are liking the church a lot, liking the Book of Mormon. Awesome.
Right now I am in Santa Maria. We have a conference thing of the Zone leaders here at President's house, it's gonna be awesome.
Have an awesome week!

Mother's Note: I think one of the few words he remembers in English is 'awesome' and he has converted the word 'way', for his convenience, into an explicative that can be paired with it.

***11 'awesomes' in this email***

Monday, May 9, 2011

Joseph Smith's First Prayer

Well this was an interesting week, topped off by talking to my awesome family!
On monday, Elder Wiscomb got a call from the Assistants saying that he could choose if he wanted to get transferred or not, he said he would pray about it and call back. He called back, and told them he couldn't choose and to leave it to President Ribeiro. A few minutes later, Presidente called and told him he would be companions with Elder Black, my MTC companion in Santo Angelo, and my friend Elder Marx, with which I lived for 4 months, will come here and be my companion.

When we teach the Restoration, we sing Joseph Smith's first prayer, and the mom of the little boy in the picture, Patricia, told us that she woke up in the middle of the night hearing us sing it, and it appeared to her as if it were real, she believes it was some sort of answer to her prayers.

This week I was studying and learning a lot about charity, the pure love of Christ, and how
I really have to have charity for all the people I serve, have the same love that Christ has for them, so that they can trust in me the same way they trust in God.

This week, also, we chopped some wood at a family's house that we are reactivating the mom and teaching the daughter. That was a fun change of pace, haha.
It was super awesome to talk to you all yesterday!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A White Shirt and Tie

"This week was a tough week, a lot of lessons fell through, but fortunately we had a lot of good lessons with some good investigators. We are teaching and focusing a lot on families. Baptisms, not just baptisms, but baptisms that will really strengthen the church here. The church is weak in our mission. In the past, missionaries have baptized a lot of people that did not really strenghthen the church.

This week we had stake conference. It was really cool. It was a broadcast in which President Monson, Elder Holland, the Primary President and Elder Gavarrett spoke. It was cool because it was done especially for all the stakes in
Rio Grande do Sul. Elder Gavarrett is from Uruguay and served part of his mission in Livramento, that city we went to a lot when I was in Quarai. It was way cool at the begining of Holland's talk, he said " Bom dia irms", "Good morning brethren" in Portugues, for a second we thought he had the gift of tongues, but then he kept talking in English and the translator guy started talking. Haha.

This week we arrived at one of our family's house and their 4 year old boy was dressed in a white shirt and tie, he had apparently been dressed like that for some school thing, then he got home, took a bath, and then put the same clothes back on because he knew we were coming and he wanted to be dressed like that to see us, he had told his mom that he was Mormon. Haha."