Friday, November 25, 2011


* A big mural at the end of our area. It's a painting of the main street in Santa Maria in 1950. I'm about to do a contact with that guy!

Hello family! Things are going awesome. Or as that one song from the Extremely goofy movie goes, "things are going great, and they´re only gettin´ better". I hope the Thanksgiving break is going good.

This week has been good.
Friday- Last p-day, a week ago, we travelled to São Martinho again, a small little city up north of Santa Maria, to visit a recent convert that was baptized before I got here. That was cool.
Saturday - We taught the Plan of Salvation to Laura and her mom, Isabel, and challenged them to be baptized on the 3rd of December, and they accepted!! They are SO GOOD! It was a really good spiritual lesson, super awesome. They know that this is the true church, they are reading the Book of Mormon a ton.

Sunday - Good day at church, all the important investigators came, then before lunch, Elder Albrechtsen left to do a Division with Elder Tafoya and Elder Jones, and Zone Leaders in Livramento (thats the Elder Tafoya that I lived with in Cruz Alta and the Elder Jones that was my roomate in the MTC), so I stayed the afternoon and night in trio with Elder Carlos and Elder Anderson, the other two guys that work in our ward. Also super exiting, Antonio (the guy from Peru) decided he wanted to get baptized!!! ( so his baptism is tomorrow) Also another fun suprise on Sunday, president told me I was getting a new companion! Elder Menk! so it was planned that Elder Albrechtsen would go to Elder Menk´s area to finish off his last week and a half there.

Monday - I did all the stuff in the office, and then I spent the night with Elder Black and Elder Matoso in their area (which is just north of mine).

Tuesday - I spent with Elder Black and Elder Matoso again. until 6pm, when Elder Albrechtsen got back from Livramento, then we went home, and had to sit and wait for him to make his bags.

Wednesday- In the morning we switched companions. Elder Menk came, and Elder Albrechtsen went to the area Santa Marta where Elder Menk was. Elder Menk is a sweet guy. He is from São Paulo (finally i´ll have a Brazilian comp that I´ll stick with for more than a week, haha) but he is actually not so Brazilian. He lived from 6yrs to 16yrs in Florida. So yea. He is also quite American. Haha.

Wednesday night we taught Alexandre and Luciana.
They want to get baptized, but they have to get married. Here's the deal, in most cities in Brazil, marriage takes like 20 to 30 days to go through, so it can be quite a barrier for people to get baptized. So to get married, obviously, you have to get people's birth certificates, but you have to get updated ones here, from the city where the person was born. Luciana was born in a city called Restinga Seca, its like an hour away. So on the 17th of December, there will be a big Stake baptism, and they want to be baptized on this day. So Wednesday night we went and told them that they would have to start the marriage papers this week to get baptized on this day. Alexandre then said, "Alright, we´re going to Restinga Seca tomorrow then!"

Thursday - yesterday was an awesome day. After Alexandre and Luciana got back, we spent the whole afternoon running around with them getting all their marriage papers in, it took a while cuz we had to go to various government offices, but we got it done! They are getting married on the 15th of December, and getting baptized on the 17th!! Wooohooooo! They are so awesome and so good.

Then last night we went and taught Laura and Isabel. They are so good, we taught them with the Stake President and his wife, it was really good. There is no other way to explain it, they are the elect of the Lord. Kept from the truth only because they knew not where to find it. We taught them the commandments, and they accepted to live them. They talked about how good they feel reading the book of Mormon and going to church, and that they know that it is the true church. They were also talking about how Luciana was telling them at church that they always are super excited for our visits, and their lives have changed so much. Then Isabel said basically, "It's as if you guys didn´t exist! There aren´t other people like you guys in the world, you just bring such a strong spirit into our home..." yea they are so good. I´m really excited for them. We just have to get the dad now. They are quite a well to do family. Isabel was a University professor of Physics, and her husband is too. And Laura is in Law school. But they are elect.
Anyways, so yea, stuff is going pretty good.

Lunch at the Stake President's house

Santa Maria

The view from Laura & Isabel´s Apartment

Division with Elder Black and Elder Matoso

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pesqusadores Progredindo!

E aí gente tudo bem?
Church this week was real good. We had a bunch of people, most importantly, Alexandre and Luciana, and also Laura and her mom. Alexandre and Luciana are doing so awesome. They are reading a ton the Book of Mormon and stuff. Alexandre is in 2 Nephi already. They are so awesome. When we go to their house and greet them, i can see the love in their eyes that they have for us for having brought the Restored Gospel to their lives. On Sunday, Alexandre was asking me how he could pay tithing, and I told him he didnt need to until he was a member, but he said that he already felt like a member, haha. They are doing really good. We are getting them really well fellowshipped with various other couples and members from the ward.
Laura is also doing really well. She is really smart, understands the message very well, and really feels the Spirit in the lessons. She is doing really good. I´m really excited about her.
Things are going swell. The mission is so awesome. Being able to drink so deeply from the well of the scriptures and invite others to join in is awesome.
Weeks go by faster and faster. Elder Albrechtsen has basically only 2 more weeks. Pretty crazy! We have been companions for a really long time. We always joke about that. I´m not really sure what to write. The week went by really fast, but things are going good.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Suprise Trip to Porto Alegre

The Newbies:
So here we go.
Saturday- Really good day, we had some really good lessons. We had lunch at Cerezer (an investigator of ours)´s restaurant. We taught Laura. Laura is a student we found on the street near the office, or actually she found us. She heard us talking with accents in Portuguese, and turned around and started talking to us in English, asking us where we were from and what we did. It turns out she lives right by the chapel, in a big building on the corner. We went and taught her, and it was a really good lesson, then she came to church on Sunday. We taught her again on Thursday, with her mom. It was a very good lesson. They understood very well, and will read and pray about the Book of Mormon. They said they would come to church again this week.

Also, on Saturday we taught Alexandre and Luciana. They are doing so well! I can just see how the gospel is blessing their lives! We are fellowshipping them very well with members, we have brought a few other couples from the ward to visits, and had really good lessons. On Saturday we taught the commandments to them, and they were completely willing to obey all of the commandments. They wanted to get married, and Alexandre wanted to completely quit smoking and drinking. We came yesterday, expecting to make goals with him to stop smoking, but he told us he had already stopped smoking for 2 days!! They are reading the scriptures a lot and understanding really well. Alexandre is almost done with 1 Nephi. He was saying in the lesson, ´´oh yea this reminds me of that part when Lehi has a dream and there is the iron rod...´´ he is understanding and reading the scriptures a lot!

They are truly an example of how we really just need to talk with everyone. We found them one morning on the way to lunch. It was like 11:55, and he was in front of his house. We stopped, and did a quick contact with him, then we came back another day after an appointment had fallen through. So anyway, we just need to get them married, and then baptized!

Tuesday- really crazy day. So this last week we were doing Zone conferences, and so Elder Albrechtsen was going to go travel with President doing trainings in Livramento and Uruguaiana, and I would stick in Santa Maria working with another guy, then on Thursday, I would go up to Santo Angelo to do the training there. Then we would com back to Santa Maria, and have the conference here. But the plans got changed a little.

Tuesday, a bit before lunch, I was already working with Elder Lima, and Presidente and Elder Albrechtsen were already traveling doing conferences. I then got a call that 7 new Americans had just gotten their visas and would be arriving in Porto Alegre the NEXT DAY. So I would no longer be going to Santo Angelo, I would stay in Santa Maria, and pick up the newbies at the bus stop after the Secretaries from Porto Alegre North Mission had gotten them from the airport to the bus station on the way to SM (thats what usually happens when people get here out of the transfer). Then we kept working. It wasn't a super big deal, I would just have to figure out appointments and stuff for the next day. Then at like 6pm, our financial secretery called me and said, ´´Are you ready to travel?!´´ So yea, apparently the Porto Alegre people couldn´t do it, so we had to book a van super quick, and we left the next morning for Porto Alegre.

Wednesday- I basically travelled the whole day. The night was cool though, we had a dinner at President's house (except President wasn't there, just Sister Ribeiro) but it was good. I got to play a tad bit of music with Elder Asbahr. Elder Asbahr plays violin, and I played piano. He is from Sao Paulo but wants to go to BYU after the mission. He took my spot in Cruz Alta 1 when I left there. So he knows the family of Rafael and Patricia really well. Now he is the new financial secretary.

Thursday - we had zone conference for the 2 zones here in Santa Maria. President talked about the life of Paul the Apostle, it was really interesting. It made me want to study a bunch more about him. I did a training on the Preach my Gospel principle ´´How to Begin Teaching´´ (Chapter 10)

So yea. There's kind of a summary of my week.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day of the Dead

This last week we got 8 investigators to church. So that was really good. Including Alexandre and Luciana. They are way good. We taught them with the new 2nd counselor of the Bishopric this week. It was really good. They have been reading the Book of Mormon, and are feeling the Holy Ghost a ton in their lives! They are going to be such an awesome couple in the church!
Other fun things I forgot to mention, Elder Black got transfered and is now here in my District! Pretty cool huh?!
We had a special experience with a woman named Diva. We knocked on her door and she said that she was having a very tough time. In the past few years both her husband and daughter had died. We asked if we could come in and share a message of comfort. We went in, shared a few quick scriptures, and then told her that we had another message about the Plan of Salvation, that talked about the purpose of life, and where we go afterward. She said, ´´you boys will come back and tell me this!´´.

The 2nd of November was Day of the Dead here. Everybody goes to the cemetery and remembers their reletives who have passed away. So we put up a table and stuff by the cemetery and gave out a ton of pamphlets of the Plan of Salvation. You can se a bit in the picture.

Other fun fact - I finished the Book of Mormon in Portugues for the second time, and I now started reading in SPANISH. I just got past Lehi´s dream. It's going pretty well. I´m understanding basically all of it.
Most of my youth, I have always thought it would be cool to be part of some sort of epic battle, something of the type of Lord of the Rings. But more and more recently I have been realizing how real the spiritual battle that is going on is, and how real my part is in it.