Friday, October 28, 2011

One Motoboy and a Couple needing to get Married

1- Us with the group that went home

2- Us in the airport with the group that got here

3- Crazy how time passes by - Roomates in the MTC, now we´re two zone leaders and an AP!

Kay so this last week was transfers so it was a tad bit crazy for us.
Last p-day we had a big meeting with President and stuff here in the office. That was cool. This week we started teaching a few really good investigators. We are teaching a guy named Bagé. That's actually not his name, but he is from a city called Bagé, so everyone just calls him Bagé. Anyway, he was a reference from member, and he is really good. He came to church this last week, and we are going to teach him tonight, and we hope to mark his baptismal date. He is way cool. He is like 24, and works as a Motoboy. Motoboy is something we don't really have in the states. A motoboy is a guy who transports people or things by motercycle basically.

Also we started teaching Alexandre and Luciana. They are really good. They are a youngerish couple we found. We were on our way to lunch one day, and Alexandre was in front of his house. I did a contact with him, and we came in and talked to him real quick and did a prayer. Then we just wrote down his address and stuff. On Sunday our plans had fallen through, and so we decided to stop by. We taught them both. The spirit was really strong, and they understood really well. We marked to come back, and we taught them again on Wednesday. They were waiting for us with like homemade bread they made for us and a snack thing (people only do that if they really like you). Alexandre told us he had started to read the Book of Mormon, and I thought to myself, ´´I dont even remember leaving with them a Book of Mormon..?´´. He said that he found it at his mom´s house, and had read the introduction, the testimonies, and the first chapter. He remembered it all super well too. We invited them to church again, and they said that they had already been planning on going! Their only problem is that they are not legally married. So we invited them to be baptized and they accepted but first they have to get married, and that takes like a month in the legal process here. Darn. But they are a really awesome couple. You can really tell that they love each other. They are going to be so awesome in the church.

Monday was really crazy because we had to get the transfer out to everyone. So yea, it was crazy. It was cool though, because Rafael, Patricia, and Mabel came to Santa Maria, so I got to see them a bit. I was sad though because I could'nt spend really any time with them because of all the stuff in the office. But it was really cool to talk to Rafael. He was telling me about how he is serving as 1st counselor in the Young Men's organization, and how he is going to send in his mission papers in March!!!
Tuesday was a weird day. It's the day we take the old people to the airport, and pick up the new ones. It's really weird thinking that these guys´s mission is over. Most of them I´ve known for a while. But it is always really cool to pick up the new missionaries. They are always filled with a great excitement to do the work.
Then on Wednesday we did a training with all the newbies during the morning and afternoon.
Then on Thursday, yesterday, we had the Zone Leader Counsel. It was really good. Presidente Ribeiro did a training about Alma the younger, and how we can apply all of his life to our mission. I gave a training on the Preach My Gospel, How to Begin Teaching.
This last week I have been focusing on becoming a more organized person. I am not really a naturally organized person, but I am working on becoming one, it's going good.
Have an excellent week everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Big Baptism Day!

Last p-day was cool. After doing email and stuff we went to a little museum here in the city. It was pretty cool. There was some interesting stuff there. Then on the 15th was the big baptism day, which means that we had to spend the whole day there; setting up, doing everything, and then cleaning up everything afterward. But it was really good. There were 26 Convert baptisms here in theSanta Maria Stake, and on the whole mission, there were 75. As a mission, we are looking at baptizing the most the mission has baptized in Presidente Ribeiro´s time here.

Victor came to the baptism to watch and then go to Institute. He told me a funny story. Just as us missionaries use the Book of Mormon as a filter to find the lord´s elect, Victor also started using the Book of Mormon as a filter. He tried to give a Book of Mormon to his girlfriend, but she didn´t want it, so he broke up with her! Hahaha.

This week we started teaching a man named Cerezer. Our Bishop gave him a Book of Mormon a few weeks ago, and we were finally able to get a hold of him. He is really good. He owns a restaurant, he is an older guy, but he is really good, and wants to learn. And he knows the Bishop and 1st Counselor already. The only stumbling block I see is that he is in charge of the Tithing funds at his local Catholic Cathedral. But, we´ll take care of that somehow. He is really good, and truly wants to learn more about Christ. He has been liking the Book of Mormon a lot because he feels that it explains and teaches much better than the bible.

This week it seems like we taught a lot of Espiritistas. I´m not sure how to translate that - Spiritualists maybe. But anyway, they are generally good people, and follow a good part of Christ´s teachings, loving your neighbor and stuff, but they are totally off on Christs doctrinal teachings.

They say they believe in the Bible, but the biggest hole I see, is that they do not understand, nor believe in Christ´s Atonement. All of their differing beliefs go back to that. They refuse to believe in the biggest teaching there is in the Bible, in the New and Old Testament - the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ! They instead believe that we will suffer for our own sins as we reincarnate in other lives and other such things. It is truly unfortunate, because they are generally really good people. We even actually found a leader of this religion knocking doors, he invited us in and we talked. I was just shocked. How can they not understand truth when it is taught with such clarity in the scriptures! Quite sad.

Also crazy story - we taught a lady that lives in Manhattan beach, CA this week! She was born here in Santa Maria, then left for the states with 17 years of age. And came back this week to visit family that is a member of the ward. She has an interesting story; truly a modern day example of the American Dream. She went to SoCal with basically no money, and started working as a babysitter, she kept going, studied at UCLA, and now has a big house, a nice car, and travels a lot. It was weird to teach her. The lesson was half English, half Portugues.

Funny story, we did a contact with a guy knocking doors, and he asked us if we knew the Bible, we said yes. He said how many books are there in the bible? How many verses are there? We said we didn´t know, and he just walked off muttering ´´You don't know the bible...´´ haha.

frying potatos on a sandwich maker, pretty good (ps thats not my hand, its elder carlos´s)

us with 2 new americans that just got their visas and came here. Elder Smith and Elder Lyman

Elder Albrechtsen´s birthday, lunch at prez ribeiros house

old and new (just got the new shoes in the mail)

Victor went to the temple to do Baptisms for the Dead and shared this picture.

*Mother's note: It just absolutely cracks me up the words he chooses now when he writes and the order he puts them in. The poor guy is going to be so confused when he gets back and has to write an intelligible paper in English!

Friday, October 14, 2011

White Pants

So the 15th is going to be a really big day for the mission. I havén´t really mentioned this, but Presidente decided to do an experiment. Instead of everyone doing their baptisms isolated on whatever day, the 15th was designated as the big baptism day for the mission. Everyone is going to mark their baptismal dates for this day and everyone will do the baptisms together. So it's going to be really cool.

On saturday we are going to have a big meeting, do a special musical number, special speaker, all that fancy stuff, and then have a ton of baptisms. It will be all of the Stake of Santa Maria together. By the looks of it, there will be about 25 baptisms here in Santa Maria, and 100 in the mission. It's going to be quite awesome.

So anyway, on Sunday morning, we were kind of bummed out, because we have been working really hard, but having trouble finding good investigators that were progressing that could be baptized on this day. When we left to go to church Sunday morning, Elder Albrechtsen said, ´´A miracle is going to happen today´´, and it did. After sacrament meeting, the young women's leader came up to us and told us there was a girl that had been coming to church with a friend the last few weeks that wanted to be baptized. So we talked to her, went to her house later in the day, and marked her baptismal date for the 15th.

On Monday during my free-time in the office I started looking up some family history stuff online on, Elder Bednar´s talk really inspired me. I wish I had more time so that i could actually do some family history work. That would be cool.

Lately I have been reflecting on my time in Quarai a bit. When I was there, a lot of times, it was really hard there, but thinking back, I have so many good memories from being there. It was such an interesting time because everything was new, I didn´t know anything, and I really worked my heart out there, but as I look back now, we worked really ineffectively there, haha. But it is really interesting to look back on things. It was a really good time there. I really do love that city.

This week we started to try to work in a part of our area that has never really been worked in much before. Principaly because it is a pretty rich area, which means its a lot harder to get in houses. But we have a lot of hopes for it. We met a guy last night who just got back from a trip toCalifornia, crazy huh? He went to San Franscisco and Los Angeles. We told him that we are both from california and he got all exited and interested.
We had an interesting visit the other day. We visited this woman named Marli, who after 20 years as a member, has finally quit smoking. She told us about how that is the greatest reason that she spent much of this time inactive. She understands very well the sacrament, better than most active members, I think. She recognizes how it is an important moment of self-evaluation, and she talked about how she would always feel so guilty there, knowing she smoked. It was an interesting experience. She has now finally quit smoking after getting extremely sick and basically being forced to quit.
Also, this week was the stake temple trip, and Victor went!
He is doing way good. He went with the ward to do baptisms for the dead, and we talked to him afterward. He said it was amazing, that the temple was amazing. He absolutlely loved it. He also bought a triple combination at the temple store, and some paintings. He even bought some white pants. I´m not sure why, haha. He said he just likes wearing white. Haha. But anyway, it was an awesome experience for him which is really good. We ran into the 1st counselor in the bishopric last night on the road and talked to him about the temple trip, and he said that in his 12 years as a member, he has not seen a convert as good as Victor.
Have an excellent week family, I love you all!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Musical Fusion

Me Flying

So, we have been teaching this guy Antonio from Peru. He is so awesome, I love him. He has been investigating the church for like 4 years, going to church always. He just doesnt feel like he really has a testimony yet, so we are working with him on that. But he told us he wanted to go out on visits with us, even knock doors with us -haha.
I don't think it was necessarily that this conference was better than the others. I think it was more of an internal thing. This conference, I just felt amazingly enlightened. I feel like my testimony of these men as Apostles doubled. They truly do have the same call that Peter James and John had 2000 years ago.

Sunday was really cool. There's going to be this big Stake baptismal service on the 15th, and so us missionaries are going to do this sweet musical number- "Lead Kindly Light". It's going to be a 12 person choir, 3 for each voice, piano, and violin, and we practiced inbetween sessions. It was awesome. It was just so good to actually participate in musical fusion with other people for basically the first time since I have left home (wow). Then after the practice, me, the piano guy, and the violin guy stuck around to play and sing some other hymns just for fun.

This week we did a really long division(like 3 days). So Monday was kinda busy. We did a division with the Zone leaders in Uruguaiana, so I stayed here with Elder Gonzaga (the guy who was my companion for a week) and Elder Albrechtsen went there with Elder Bott. So Monday was busy for me in the office cuz Elder Albrechtsen left at midday, so I had to do everything. The division with Elder Gonzaga was quite enjoyable. I liked it a lot. At one point in the day, all the plans had fallen through, so we pulled out the map, and prayed that we might know where to go to find a person that would love the Book of Mormon, and we found him. His name is Tainã. We were only able to teach him real quick about the Book of Mormon, but he was really interested, we will be going back.

Another day, I was studying in Preach my Gospel about serving others to find investigators. We made a goal to try to serve and help others throughout the whole day, and prayed that we might have the opportunities. We were given the oportunities. At lunch a Counselor of the Bishopbric called and asked us to help out a woman with a move. We went. It was a neighbor and friend of the second counselor. We helped her do the whole move, and she told us afterward that she wanted to come to church, and that we were welcome at her house anytime! Excellent.

Then that night, a new missionary that just got his Visa got here. So me and Elder Gonzaga went to the bus station to pick him up. We brought him to President's house, and gave him some orientation- cool. Things have been busy.
Victor is doing super awesome. We are now trying to work with his mom to get her baptized. They both went to General Conference and liked it a lot. Victor is reading the Book of Mormon a ton, his mom too. His mom is really good. She knows the bible a lot, and likes the Book of Mormon a lot too. We are going to do all we can to get her baptized on the 15th!
Have a good week everyone!