Monday, July 25, 2011

"Yes, I accept"

Well, this week we finally got the hot shower working again. It was cold for about 4 days. It's not that fun when you have to take showers at like 6:30 in the morning and it's in the middle of the winter. But it's all good now haha.

This week was a really tough week. Lots of appointments fell through. On Saturday, we had an appointment marked for every single hour of the day, 10am to 9pm. All but 1 fell through. It was a tough week. But we found some really good people. Last Saturday everything fell through again, so we pulled out our map and prayed to know where to go. We found a woman named Dilsa. We taught her for the first time this week. We gave the BOM to her, she read and absolutely loved it. Loved the visit, she was way good. But unfortunately, it appears that her boyfriend doesn't want her to change religion. But we are going to visit here again on Saturday and see what she can do. She said she cried when her boyfriend said this. She said she prayed and knows that we are really sent from God - tough situation, especially since they have been dating for 6 years.

We had another amazing experience this week. Part of the experience happened 2 weeks ago. Here it is as written by Elder Belnap. I just copy pasted from him cuz I didnt have time to write it. It's a bit weird though, cuz it was originally written in Portugues, then google translatored. well - ----------------------

"We were walking down the street wondering what to do. --- Everything had fallen from "a" through plan "z" --- and not only wanted to slam doors aimlessly. We decided to pray with map in hand to know where we should make contacts.After the prayer, Elder Poulsen felt good about a certain street. I did not feel anything specific, but I agreed that we should follow the impression. At certain street, we were both concentrating on listening to the Spirit to know who to talk to. We went right when I felt it was to hit there. We talked at the gate with Vanya, who has revealed that her mother had died two days before. We offer to teach the plan of salvation and she accepted. The message was brief --- --- ten or fifteen minutes and the Spirit was very strong. Vania said it was very comforted by the message. We were surprised, then, when she said she did not want another visit. She said she had a woman from another church that did Bible study with their children and as she made commitment to this woman, would not be right to schedule with us. We respect her decision and we prepared to leave. Vânia then asked, "How did you know about the death of my mother? Someone told you? "We testified that it was the Spirit of God who had shown us. She was amazed, but did not want another visit.

We left with the certainty that we planted a good seed to be collected in the future. I felt, however, something was missing to do there. I wondered: "But how?! The Spirit was so strong, and was appearing with a history of Ensign! You must have something else to do there. "

Two weeks later, we meet again fallen to all plans. The next plan would take us to a neighborhood accessible by a shortcut in a field close by. When we arrived at camp, we found a gate that normally would be open was now closed.Elder Poulsen said, "Well, there must be someone on the long way that we need to talk to." On the way, we found ourselves in the street Vanya. Again, I felt there was something to do there, so I knocked on the door. Carlos appeared, the husband of Vanya. He said that Vanya was sick. We gotta make a contact with him on The Book of Mormon. In the middle of the contact, he said, "Would you like to come in?" We sat down with him and ended the contact.

"So," asked, "Would you like to know more about these things?" He said yes and then asked, "Can we share with you now?" He accepted and left with him the message of the restoration. He made many intelligent questions and commented that we were the only people who until now had answers that made sense. We asked him what he meant to our message. He said, "Well, that means finally have a true church." He asked us how much cost was The Book of Mormon, because he wanted to buy. One of the children who were listening said, "But we have one of these at home." Carlos quickly turned and said, "Where? Go get it! "He said to us that he usually nor at home. At this point I remembered the words of President Monson, "The Lord puts in our path in a natural way to what he wants in his church." We have all the "coincidences" that took us to his house right now. I told Carlos, "Sir, Heavenly Father has prepared this time for you to hear the truth now. He wants you in his church. We're here to help you prepare for baptism to be part of that church. Do you accept? "Carlos said," Yes, I accept. "

That was our experience yesterday. Two weeks in the making.
Being a missionary is awesome, we are doing the Lords work.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"What? You guys are leaving already?"

Baptism of Gabriela

Well this week had good results.
Let's see. So this week Elder Belnap and I have been working hard on making our teaching a lot more simple and spiritual, and I believe it has been working out well. We have also been focusing on really helping people know how to pray to recieve an answer, cuz a lot of people don't actually know, and we assume they do.

We have been teaching a guy named Ginlei that will be baptized soon. He is 30 and divorced. He also has a broken leg. Here's basically his story up untill now:
Late one night (like 9pm) we were going home, and I realized I hadn't reached my personal goal for contacts with men in the day. So I did a quick silent prayer asked God to just put people in my way, and I would talk to them. So Gilei was the first guy I saw. He was standing up on his porch on crutches. I talked to him and we marked to return later. On first visit I left with him the Book of Mormon, and marked 2 Nephi 31 for him to read. We got there the next appointment, and he had read to Words of Mormon. so then we taught him more, and got him reading from the begining. He is really feeling the spirit very strong in the lessons, and liking it a lot. He told us he would do anything he could to get to church on Sunday, even walk. But we found a ride for him. He went to church and loved it. He even participated in the classes and stuff, volunteering to read parts of the manual. We don't have a date marked for him, but we are going to make it happen!

We also taught a guy named Willian. his wife wasn't there, but they are a young couple. They will go to church next week. He liked our lesson a lot, and also felt the spirit. We were going to leave at one point, we were ending the lesson, and he was like, 'What? You guys are leaving already? Nooo stay and keep teaching me! " So we stayed. I'm quite exited about them.

This week we also taught a guy named Andre. He is really cool. He was studying to be a Padre like 20 years ago, but got kicked out because he got caught doing ''questionable activities'' with a woman studying to be a nun. Though he was perhaps a bit foolish as a yonger man, he is very interesting, and respects the church a lot. He was very exited to recieve the Book of Mormon.

On Friday we had 8 appointments and all but 2 fell through, so that was tough.

Baptism of Luiz

Thats called a pala, its like those mexican panchos.

From our House

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Elder Poulsen!

"This week was good, but it was very complicated with respect to the work. We only were able to visit 2 people twice this week. That's really bad. We have been having trouble finding people again. Though we do have some awesome people we are teaching.
This week I had my mission birthday. I can't believe how fast the mission has already gone by. It's insane. I don't even want to talk about it.
On friday, we went to leadership counsel in Santa Maria. That's always way fun because we get to leave the night before and go on an all night 7 hour bus ride to get there right in the morning. Then the counsel was awesome. Elder Araujo, an area seventy came. It was so good, so awesome.
One other awesome thing about the counsel was that I was able to see the Elders in areas I've served in. In Cruz Alta, David, Rafael, and Alice are doing great, and I talked to the District leader in Quarai, and he said that Grigor, that 9 year old kid I baptized in Quarai, is doing awesome. He said that he went over there after church one day, and Grigor was like ´´Here's a scripture my teacher read in primary today. When I got home I read the whole chapter. This is what I understood from it. What did you guys get?´´ Haha, wow! It's just so good to hear stuff like that.
On Saturday was Gabriela's baptism. I'll send pix next week. It was really good, all of the young men and young women came and stuff."

Monday, July 4, 2011

HAPPY 4th of Julho

Well this week was an awesome awesome week. Some huge changes happened. On Tuesday I did a division with Elder Gillett, up in the north side of the city, to train him as the new district leader of one of our districts here.
The next day was quite awesome. President gave us 2 Ensign articles to study for the zone conference this week, and told us to read 2 Nephi 27. Anyway, I was studying ´´Flood the earth with the Book of Mormon´´ by President Benson and had a very spiritual experience, studying this and pondering on it throughout the day. By the afternoon, I had realized that I needed to start walking with the Book of Mormon in hand, and use it in contacts, I just felt like we had to use it in a much more dynamic way. So I started doing it that night, and I loved it. Then the next day, we had zone conference, and Presidente told us exactly what the spirit told me the day before. We have to flood the earth with the Book of Mormon. It was a really really good zone conference. I'm so exited. What Elder Belnap and I have started doing is introducing the Book of Mormon at the begining of the first lesson, briefly, and then using it to teach. It has been most excellent. We really are guided by the spirit when we really look for it.
This next week we are going to baptize a girl named Gabriela. She is awesome. Yesterday, on her second time at church, she bore her testimony in Sacrament meeting about the Book of Mormon. Wow. It was awesome. Anyway, I'll have to write more about her next week. I must go!

Mother's note: only six awesomes!