Friday, September 30, 2011

Isso Aí Rapaz

So, on friday we had Zone Conference. It was way good. We learned about Faith. It was really good.
Saturday was kinda crazy. During the afternoon, Victor called us and said, "Can you guys come over here?" So yea, he said he had a few doubts and questions about stuff, and wasn't sure if he was ready to be baptized. So we dropped our lessons we had marked, and went right over to his house. After teaching for an hour about a certain commandment that literally nobody in Brazil keeps except for church members, we asked him what he thought, and he said, "I think I should be baptized!" So the baptism was saved!
His baptism was really good. Quite awesome. He bore his testimony to everyone. It was really good.
He is doing great. I gave him a Gospel Art Book afterward (do you know what those are?) and explained how all the scriprture references are in the front, and he said, "Awesome, I´ll study all these stories!" Anderson, our ward mission leader said it's been a while since he's seen a baptism as good as Victor.
Also, we are teach this old couple called João and Vilma. João is a famous Gaucho Musician. He has like 10 CDs apparently. The most interesting part is that he doesn't have a left hand, and he plays guitar. He was born without a hand there - just a little stub deal with like a stub thumb thing. So he plays guitar in a really crazy cool manner. He uses a right hander guitar (normal), but he switches it around as if he was left handed, puts a strap pick on his stub, and plays all the chords upside down. Insane. he played a song for us thats going to be on his next album.
Monday morning, we woke up at 5:30am, and hiked up this 'mountain' that's not too far from our house. It was way cool. There was a really good view, as you can see in the pictures. We went with 8 other missionaries from our Zone. It was way cool, but tiring. I ended up with sore muscles for the next few days.
Also- super cool experience. Elder Heleno, who was living with me here last transfer, he is now in Cruz Alta 1, where I was, in Rafael and David´s ward, and I talked to him Monday morning. I asked how Rafael was doing, and he said, "Just a sec, he´s right here, we are going to play soccer right now, so he gave the phone to Rafael and I got to talk to him for a few minutes. It was cool. He told me how he is going out and doing visits with the missionaries there a lot, and how he is preparing to serve a mission already! I talked to Elder Tafoya, who is still Zone leader in Cruz Alta, and he said that the Bishop told Rafael that when he has 11 months as a member, he can send in his missionary papers! Crazy awesome huh?! That is just about the best result ever you can get as a missionary - people you baptize serving a mission.
These last two days I did a division (or exchange, whatever you call them in English) with Elder Freitas who is working in Alegrete. He came here, and Elder Albrechtsen went there for 2 days. It was cool. Elder Freitas is from the Northeast. Unfortunately, most of our lessons fell through, but it was good.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bringing to Pass the Reunion of the Elect

Well p-day got switched to Thursday this week because tomorrow we have Zone Conference.
Well, this week has been good.

This Sunday we will have the baptism of Victor. Victor is so awesome.
He came to church last Sunday in a suit. He has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot, taking it with him on the bus to the college where he studies. He has really been feeling the power of the Holy Ghost in his life. He asked us where he could get paintings like the ones in the chapel, because he wants to put them up in his room and stuff. We taught him about the commandments, and we talked about how living the commandments, we learn to know that they are true, and he said, "I know, its true. Ever since I started coming to church, I have been feeling so good, so much happier."

The other day I finished reading a book called "Following Christ" that I found here in the house. It's by Stephen Robinson. It was a good book. It explains basic gospel principles, but in a really good way. The 20th was cool. It's a holiday, gaucho day, so we had a yummy Churrasco at bishop's house. Our bishop is from Paraguay, but he served a mission here in Santa Maria, and afterward moved back here. I grabbed another book from him to read, "The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff" . It has been pretty good.

That day we also taught Antonio, our investigator that is from Peru that has been investigating the church for 4 years. He finally read the Book of Mormon! We had a really good lesson with him. Basically, the reason he hasn't been baptized is because he doesn't feel like he has a testimony yet, because he hasn't read the BOM, like at all really, just a few parts. But he read 18 chapters this last week!

Things are going well. Being a missionary is the best thing ever. We get to bring to pass the reunion of the Lord's elect, and see many lives changed. I hope you are all doing well!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting the New Guys

1- Yummy brazilian pizza! - yes that is chocolate

2- Here are the guys we lived with this transfer, Elder Heleno, and Elder Carlos. Elder Heleno just got transferred and Elder Carlos is now training the new American that just got here

3- On the bus with the dead! (thats what we call the people that are going home)

4- All 3 of us were companions with each other. Elder Belnap and Albrechtsen were comps in Uruguaina, then Albrechtsen came here, and I went to Uruguaiana with Belnap, and then I came here to be with Albrechtsen

5- The group going home, including a senior couple

6- The group that just got here

So yea, this week has been CRAZY busy.
Last Saturday we taught a guy named Victor. He is 18. We found him looking for a less active person 2 weeks ago. It turns out he lives in the house now, so we talked to him, and he said we could come over sometime.
So a plan fell through on Saturday, and we went there and taught Victor and his mom. They were both really good, they understood very well, and the spirit testified of the truthfulness of the message. They both said they would go to church. Unfortunately, only Victor could come on Sunday, but he loved it. We were talking to him, and he read the 2 chapters we marked in the BOM, and looked up videos of Presidente Monson on the internet. At church we showed him the baptismal font, and he asked when baptisms happened. I told him one would happen next week and that he could even be baptized on this day, he said that he wanted to!

Monday was a crazy day. It was transfer day, so we spent a lot of time in the office doing stuff, then we got to teach a bit at night. Tuesday was also crazy. We woke up at 5 in the morning to get on the bus with the missionaries who were going home, and we took the bus to Porto Alegre. It was super weird going to the airport, because it seems like it was just yesterday that I was getting there and getting picked up by the Assistants.

So then we picked up the new guys, and we came back to Santa Maria. It is about a 4.5 hour drive in between the two. Then we had a dinner thing with them at President's house. Cool stuff. But yea, we had no time to work on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, we did trainings with the new missionaries and their trainers in the morning and afternoon. Basically we use powerpoint, and then Preach my Gospel and the scriptures and stuff like that. I taught about our purpose as missionaries. Then that night we could finally work a bit.

We went to Victor´s house and taught him the plan of salvation. We decided to mark his baptismal date for the 25th. He had read all the pamphlets we gave him, and various chapters of the BOM. He told us that for a few weeks before we got there, he was praying for God to show him the way, and then we showed up. He said he was going to go to church in a suit this week. Sweet.
Then yesterday we had the leadership counsel, that all the Zone leaders and District leaders came to, and we gave trainings again. This time I talked about inviting people to do the vairious commitments we extend as missionaries (going to church, reading, praying, ect.) and following up on them, as shown in Preach my Gospel, it was good.
So yea, my week has been quite busy, but quite good.

I hope you are all doing awesome, because I sure am!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Patricia got Baptized!

So this next week is going to be really crazy for us because it's transfer week, but first, lets talk about this last week.

On monday I found out that Patricia from Cruz Alta got baptized!!! I am so happy for her. I couldn´t believe it. Last week, she kicked Carlos out of the house, and got baptized! Carlos is the guy she was with. He was a cool guy. He drunk, and didn't want to let her go to church and stuff like that. So, on Monday of that week she decided she had had it, and sent him away! I´m so happy for them. Rafael is also doing super awesome! I was talking to Elder Tafoya and Elder Gingell on the phone, 2 of the Elders in Cruz Alta, and they said that Rafael is being the best member missionary there is, and he only got baptized like 3 months ago! They said he got like 5 of his friends together for them to teach! Also, they said he bore his testimony this last Sunday. Their family is doing super awesome.

On Tuesday we put on an activity at the church and everyone liked it a lot. There where like 80 people there. We did a little show with some skits, and then there was a food contest, everyone brought a plate of food. It was really good, everyone loved it. We are hoping to get everyone more exited about working with us and stuff like that, and we hope that as we continue to do activities, the members will want to invite their friends and stuff like that. It´ll be good.

So here's my schedule for next week- On Tuesday, early morning, we get on the bus with all the people going home (including Elder Belnap), and go to Porto Alegre, we drop them off there, and then we pick up all the newbies. We come back with them, and do a dinner at President´s house, then the next day we do a training for all the newbies. Then on Friday there's going to be the leadership counsel, in which we will also give trainings.
Then we will try to work in what other time we have. SWEET!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Spray Paint Artist

So this week has been quite the week
1- soccer field
2- spray paint artist
3- The painting he made for me
4-ran out of BOMs, so we had to use the old ones
5- s鉶 martinho (mother's note: No idea what this says so I thought I would leave it. I usually edit this stuff out)

So last p-day was way cool. w
We went to this fair that was happening and there was this Chilean guy there doing these paintings with spraypaint. This one I sent he did in 5 minutes, and it was 10 Reals. It was way cool. Really amazing watching him do it. He would use all sorts of techniques to get the shapes and colors he wanted. Very cool. He did this one at my request.
Also, last p-day I ended up talking on the phone with Felipe, the ward Clerk from Cruz Alta 1. He called me with question about some baptismal records in the office, but I talked to him a bit, and asked him how Rafael, Alice, and David are doing over there in Cruz Alta. He said that they are doing really awesome. He said they are all really involved and exited about the church. David is Elder's Quorum secretary and Rafael has been doing lots of visits with the Elders that are there right now. Felipe said, "Yea we all like them a lot, thanks for baptizing them." Haha and I said, "Thanks for taking care of them." Experiences like this are among the best on the mission.

I am about finishing reading 'Our Heritage' for the second time. It's a good book. I was realizing a lot how little we sacrifice compared to the early saints. We really have it easy. We have done nothing. There is so much more faith to be had. I taught a guy from Christian Science the other day for the first time on my mission. It's that religion started by Mary Baker Eddy. I remember learning about in in AP US history.
So basically they just believe in the Bible from a spiritual point of view. In fact, they don't
really believe in the bible as much as they do this Bible interpretation book by Mary Baker Eddy.

Also, it was cool, the other day Elder Albrechtsen and I got interviewed for someone's school religion project.

Have you all seen that new short church movie about John Tanner? I encourage you all to watch it. It is way good. It really shed new light for me on the parable of the pearl of great price, (matthew 13).

On monday we went to a nearby city, S鉶 Martinho, to visit a recent convert. Her name is Vania. She is married to a guy named Emmanuel who is a member that was a missionary and even bishop here in Santa Maria, but fell away from the church after his divorce. Now he is married to Vania, for 8 years, and they decided to come back to church. She was not a member, and also they don't have the church in S鉶 Martinho. It's a way small city, so they had to come here.
we are working with some really good investigators right now that we are exited about. I
learned a lot this week in my personal studies.