Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well I had a good Christmas I enjoyed calling you and talking for a while. The rest of my Christmas went well. Nothing to esciting though. We had a dinner apointment with a ward family which went well. But as I said nothing to exciting. But our weekend went well we had lots to do. My companion and I were very happy to see our recent convert, Valdomiro who was baptized last week receive the priesthood. He is a great convert, yesterday we were workign near his house finding new investigators and we ran into him and he invited all his friends who were nearby. He bore his testimony and invited each of them to visit church sunday. Sadly none of them took up on his offer but it was great to see him with the desire. As all the first second third or fourth person that we invite might not go maybe not even the fiftieth. But I know by my own experience that the Lord is preparing people to recieve our invitation and I don´t just mean the invitation as a missionary.

But this week has been coming along well. Yesterday we received seven new missionaries, four Brazilians and three Americans. They are all super excited, and one of them, Elder Godinho spent the night with us and helped us out in our area. Tommorow we will get two more Americans which will be good. So that´s how I will spend my New Years Eve, picking up Elders and the airport. But maybe that´s not a bad thing cause working wouldnt be to easy with the parties. But the picture above is a picture of the new staff. The assistants Elder R.Marinho, Elder Shawcroft, President Beynon, ME! and Elder Silva.

But we have had a pretty good week. I have been busy but I have been enjoying myself. I heard that Maria and Rayssa a few recent converts of mine spoke in church on Sunday which made me happy. It is always great to hear about the progress of my converts. But I love you and miss you all!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Well I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas. Today is Christmas and things are going pretty well here. Nothing to crazy. So this last week went well we had a baptism. Brother Valdomiro was baptized. He is a great man, he is over 60 but there is nothing that stops him from walking to Church every sunday since the day we met him. He made quite a few changes in his life to prepare for his baptism. He changed his work schedule and even left some work to make it possible for us to teach him the lessons, he made changes to keep the word of wisdom, he was truly prepared. So this last Saturday he was baptized which was great.

But this last Wednesday we went to Arapiraca to take Christmas packages and letters to the missionaries there. I also took advantage to visit some recent-converts and friends in the two areas that I have passed in. It was lots of fun but also tiring. This week we have been in a trio since Elder Speakman finished his mission. Elder Fernandes has been working here for a few days in the office which was fun.
But now for our Christmas.

So Christmas Eve we worked here in the office than at night we went to Luciene and Junior´s. Here in Brazil it is tradition to stay up late and celebrate at 12:00 foloowing the Catholic-based culture here in Brazil. Everyone isnt catholic but because of the catholic roots there are a lot of traditions that come from Catholisim. But we got approval from our President and we went to there house eating dinner watching a few disney movies and also opening presents. Santa Claus even remebered us, lol. Luciene and Junior gave both my companion and I a shirt and tie. They are great. Finally at about three we got home. Then as for today nothing to exciting in the morning. I wanted to make breakfast but we were a bit to lazy to do that, in addition we didnt get things bought to do anything. Then we had lunch at a members house which went well and then tonight we got invited to another member´s house for dinner so it should be good.
But as I said I hope everyone is having a great Christmas and I hope you all have a happy New Year. I know that this time of year at times we get cought up in the receiving part of Christmas but I know that it is when we give that we are the happiest. As I remember and look back it isnt the presents that I remember or the gifts I received. What I remember are all the memories I had with friends and especially family. Memories cant be bought, they can only be made. So take advanatage of these season and make it one to remember. Make it one to remember in the life of another and it will in turn become memorable to you. This time of year is great to invite others to learnd of the gospel. The lord Jesus Christ has given us so much, we can never thank him enough. But what we can do is help our neightbor come closer to him. I know that when we are in the service of the Lord when we are serving our neighbor. There is no great hyappiness than this.
Merry Christmas and I love you all.

One last thing that will make this Christmas memorable for me... I was cutting my hair as I always do on Wednesday night. Then when I was almost finished I took the comb off the trimmer to do my side burns and set it down. Then I noticed I needed to do some touching up but I forgot that I had taken the comb off and I did this beautiful work as you can see. So then I cut it quite a bit shorter. You can see in the picture by the tree how short it is. I guess it had to happen sometime, but I love you and miss you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Well I have had a busy few weeks, we have had lots of things going on. So this last week we had our Christmas Parties/Zone Conferances. So we had lots of things going on before hand to get everything ready which kept me pretty busy. But this past wednesday is was held here in Maceio. Prior ro lunch we had the more spiritual portion of the conferance and then after a BBQ we held a talent show which was really more of skits. But it was fun and we enjoyed it. Then on this past Thursday I went to Sergipe along with my companion and the assistants for the conferance which was held there. Then on Friday we had the conferance which was held ther and it was the same as here in Maceio. I enjoyed it and I also took advantage to visit a few people from my first area which is there in Sergipe. Overall it was a busy but fun weekend. Then to move on this past weekend went well. We had a Stake Conferance but it was more of a region Conferance. President Eyring and Elder Scott along with Sister Beck were here in Recife, and they transmitted the conferance to the entire north east of Brazil. It was quite enjoyable. I didnt get a chance to watch the Sessions on Saturday but I heard they were great. I didnt know that Sister Beck (General Releif Society President) spoke portuguese and she speaks it well.
But as for this week we have also been busy we are workign really hard with a family who has now been to church for a few weeks. Brother Valdomiro is the best of the family he a the father and a sixty-year-old man who was prepared by the Lord. We are also working with the rest of his family but they are not quite a well prepared as he is. Along with the work in the field things have been busy here in the office too.

But we are geeting excited for Christmas and I am excited to get to call home, it is a bit crazy to think that it will be my last call home. But I love you and miss you all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Well we had a good week. On Wednesday night Sister Beynon called inviting us to their house for a thanksgiving lunch which was great. We had turkey which I have never had in my entire mission along with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and what I porbably liked the most pumpkin pie. i guess all of that I havnt ever had here on my mission but it was great. I wish I would have got picture to upload but I havent got it from the President yet. But going into our weekeng things were going well. But upon the arrival of Sunday things didnt go as we had hoped. But that does always happen sometimes. But this week we have been working a lot more to build a teaching group. We have decided to work in another part of our area so we dont know the area to well but there are quite a few members who live ther and we hope to have success with them.
Today we had a multi-zone activity which went well. The same one I plan a put together every trasnfer. It went well we had almost 70 missionaries there. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, its crazy to think that I will only go to one more.
But I guess I really dont have to much to write this week but I got the updats from home. Congratulations for everyone. I love you and miss you all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Well I have had another good week as always busy but enjoyable. To finish off this last week we had Zone Counsel which went well. Our mission just called six new Zone Leaders and they are all excited and willing to serve. It is funny to think that this last Zone Counsel completes one year of counsels that I have been to. I am not sure if it will be the last but it has been a great experience. It has been interesting to see the changes in the leadership and the attitudes of each leader. Out of all the meetings in the mission Zone Counsel is probably the best and most spiritual. On occasion our Staff meeting are really great but I have learned a lot from our zone counsels. At this counsel we spoke a lot about the mission but in particular the missioná focus or vision. To teach to convert, increase convert retention, reactivate less-actives, baptize more men and families, and train leaders.

But the weekend went well nothing to crazy we have been working hard both in and out of the office. We are having some success with some inactive families but we will see how things go this week. We have been trying hard to work more with the members but things are a little tuff. I love this ward and the members but we have little contact with the most of them. We did take a young woman to church on Sunday that was baptized a few years ago. Mariana is her name, we have been working with her for a while and we were happy to see her their. She also took her younger sister to church and she enjoyed it a lot.
But as for the beginning of this week nothing to crazy, just a lot of work. We are starting to crunch for Christmas. I am in the process of working out a Christmas Mission Choir in which we will go and sing at various locations throughout Maceio. In addition something that wont be too exciting for everyone else but the church came out with IMOS (Internet Mission Office System) which makes our work a lot easier so I have been busy getting orientated with the program and inputting all of our data. Like I said I am sure that isnt very exciting for al lof you but once I get things up and running it will make my life easier.
But I am happy and excited. I love you and miss you all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oxente, this week was a busy one!

This week was a busy one, i´ll tell you what I am exhausted. So as I mentioned last week on a little bit of a sader note we had two missionaries who were sick. Well Thursday one of them was trasnfered to stay in the office with us for a few days, that was Elder Ribeiro. Then on Friday, Elder Azevedo had to go home. I believe I mentioned about him last week he fell and hit his head pretty hard and he losed a lot of his memory. But on the good side he is able to relearn pretty quickly. Along with all that on Friday we also had breakfast at the Presidents house to do a bit of transfer wrap up and also trasnfer planning, it as always went well and tasted great. The only problem it makes me a little homesick everytime we do it cause Sister Beynon always makes Egg Caserole which reminds me of Christmas.
On Saturday we had two baptisms which went well, Edlane and Vinicios. I forgot the pictures so I dont have one to put on. But the baptism went well we had a lot of people in attendance. Following the Baptism ther was a birthday party for Edlane which was fun. She is quite timid and I think the party helped for her to get to know some of the children in the ward.
Then on Sunday it was her sister Mila´s birthday. We had the confirmations at church and we also had a good afternoon but that night we had an interesting experience. We went to Edlane and Mila´s house for a family night where we watched the testaments. During the movie they stopped and told us that one of Mila´s friend´s needed our help. She was in Mila´s room balling and they couldnt figure out why. They asked us to give her a blessing in hopes that she would get better. I slowly enterd the room a little lost as to what we could do but as I sat on the bad talking with he she told us that she was afraid. She felt like something had happened to her family. We gave her a blessing and she quickly calmed and immediately after the blessing her cell phone rang and her family was just fine. I learned a lot that we need not be afraid as to what we are going to do but that we must always be preapred. If we are prepared when the moment comes we will not have a problem. Why she had become so afraid for apparently no reason I am not sure why but I know that Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us as His children. I know that he recognizes our difficulties and knows how we are feeling. Because he knows these things he will bless us with experiences and challenges that we may learn and grow.
But lets move onto this week. It like that end of last week has been a tuff one. On Monday we had everything going on with The Elders who we going to go home on Tuesday. Along with all that Elder Ribeiro who had been our companion for the weekend was sent home. We had to get up at three to help him get out the door and get to the airport. It was sad to see him go but while we dont understand the Lord´s will and why things happen we can trust that he has a plan and not just a plan but a perfect plan.

At the Airport with all the Missionaries going home.

The Mission Staff - Elder Gonçalves, Elder R.Marinho, Elder Silva, and ME!

The Group of the new missionaries.

The new missionaries and I teaching a family in our area (Teles and Rayanne)
As for Tuesday it got even busier. It was transfers so our phone started ringing at four in the morning and Elders began passing our house at 5:00 to pick-up various things and to leave other things. We had ten missionaries going home and 14 missionaried arriving. So we took all the missionaries to the aiport to send them of then picked up the new missionaries. A few notes of Elders that went home, Elder Veloso one of my companions went home along with Elder Sadleir who has both lived with me and worked on the Staff with me for the past few months as an assistant. But after the airport we went to the mission home for lunch and orientations. Then following the orientations four of the Elders went to our house cause there first areas are in sergipe and they didnt go till today. So last night we took them and worked in our area and it went great. We found 15 new investigators and marked 10 baptisms. It was a fun and great night. I love seeing the excitement of the missionaries. I can see that same escitement in the e-mails from Adam. The only challenge then is to learn how to keep that excitement.
As for today we got up a bit before five to get the four new missionaries to the Bus Station. Then we resolved a few office things and spent sometime downtown at an artists market which was cool. But it was a busy week and I am tired but I loved it. I cannot believe where all my time has went, it is going by so quickly. But I love you and miss you all!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another Good Week

Well I had another good week. Into the weekend things went well, nothing to serious went on it was pretty clam. On Friday the staff had interviews with the President as usual which went well. We had a great interview and we decided to as an office staff do a reading of the Book of Mormon. From now till the year´s end we are going to read Mosiah and Alma. We are in the office four days a week so that will be four days a week about ten pages per day. I am escited to do the reading, I love those two books, they are full of missionary experiences.
On Sunday we had a great sacrament meeting and Sunday school and Primary. President Beynon, Sister Beynon, and my companion Elder Silva spoke on sunday. I enjoyed President Beynon´s talk on the Book of Mormon. He had a whole bunch of books that he showed that all teach worthy and needful things, but none of them even come close to what we can find in the few pages of the Book of Mormon. Then following Sacrament meeting we along with the President gave a training to the ward. We did a few practices with the members of how we can invite our friends and neighbors to a family night or to receive the missionaries. Then as I said we had a great Primary. Why did we go to Primary? That is where I got my turn to talk, this months theme is service. So I spoke on service focusing on the service of missionary work and how we can invite our friends to come to church to be happy just as we are. It all went well. Then on Sunday night there was a fireside at the church for all of Maceio, specifically the young single adults but everyone was invited. It was a fireside with Elder Araujo of the seventy. I enjoyed it alot, obviously talking to YSAs he spoke a lot about marriage but he talked about a lot of other things that I enjoyed.
We had a cool experience before the fireside, one of my recent converts was sick and we visited her before the fireside. We decided to give her a blessing so she could get a better and also go to the fireside previously mentioned. After giving hte belssing she said it seems as though the consecrated oil that we annointed her with jst went from her head slowly down to her feet during the blessing curing her along the way. Isabella has such a stong faith. She is most definatley a fighter. Preachmy Gospel teaches that we cannot teach somone beyong our own testimony but I tell you what I wish I had the faith that she has. She is an example to me of how we can truly put the Lord first and put our trust in him.
As for this week it has also been coming along well. Sadly things have not been going wll with some of the missionaries in the mission though. As a part of my work here in the office I work along with Sister Beynon to take care of health in the mission. Elder Azevedo, a new missionary in the mission, had a accident on Sunday morning. While in the bathroom he fell and hit his head and also cut hiself when falling under the chin badly. The part that makes it bad is that he has suffered a bit of Amnesia which is difficult. He is remembering things roughly but we pray for his recovery. It is tuff to see something like this happen all of the sudden. It makes me really realize how fragile our bodies are. It seems as though he will be sent home to recover with his family and we hope upon his recovery he can come back into the mission.

As for today we had a pretty fun P-day! We went and played some paintball which was fun so I am pretty tired. In the end those who still had balls lefts decided to play without guards/shields. I did well and only got hit once but it was a good hit. I wasnt as unlucky as the other when it got down to just him and I. I got him about four times in the chest side and back. As you can see here are a few pictures from today. It was lots of fun and then after that we went home got cleaned up then went to the Chruch to play a little. On the second floor is the Institute, they have ping pong, fusball, air hockey, pool, karaoke, chess and whole buch more.
But ot was a pretty goos week. We are excited for this weekend and the finish of yet another transfer. I love you and miss you all.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Week

Well this has actually been a pretty calm week, nothing to crazy going on. I actually had to think about what I would tell you about this week. Near the end of last week we were excited for Sunday and those we were teaching. They didnt make it to church the week previous but they were excited to go this last Sunday. Sadly they didnt go this week either and they had absolutely no excuse to go. So I know we are going to have to leave them trusting the Lord has prepared others to receive our message.
It´s not all said though, we are working ro reactivate two families and everything is going great with them. Edison, Denise, Milena and Edlane went to church and they are doing great. Edlane is excited for her baptism and birthday on the fourteenth.
Along with their family we have started working with the family of Luciano. He approached us and said I have a problem and I think you can help me. He said my son should have been baptized a long time ago but we haven´t exactly been the most active, but we need to change. They also went to church this last Suday, and last night we had a successful family night. There son is Vinicios, he also has his baptism marked on the fourteenth. Things have been going well with the reactivation of these two familes.
Not to much else is going on in other news. The mission has been doing well as a whole. I have been working these days on a few things for our Christmas and in the process I created a mission logo. These days as I said have been pretty calm here in the office. President Beynon returned from Campinas (near São Paulo) and then went straight into the interviews with the missionaries so he hasnt been in the office much.
But I am doing great I am loving my mission and all the great experiences I am having. This work is truly important and I know that I am being richley blessed. I love you and miss you all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Conferance, Tarins, and Waterfalls!

Well this week was another good one. We finished up with zone conferances which went well. I  learned a lot and I also enjoyed them. I take care of the mission site so I wrote a lot more about the conferances there ( As for the weekend it went well nothing to crazy went on. A few of our investigators didnt go to church which is always sadening but we still had a few investigators at church.
As for this week it has been going well so far. Our mission president left to Campinas Sunday morning for a mission president seminar. Things have been a little bit calmer in the office but at the same time as always busy. I have been working a lot these days getting a few things ready for Christmas. It seems like theres a long time till Christmas but it will come up on us quickly.
But today was a fun day. We went to Rio Largo which is a city about an hour away by train. We took a train to get there along with about ten other elders. While there we walked around the city for a while and eventually we checked out a waterfall nearby. Rio Largo is home to 2 missionaries and a branch of about 50 active members.
The train ride was pretty fun. It wasn´t to long as I think I already said about an hour. The engine and five train cars. I think the best part of it all is the fact that is was only 50 centavos which is about 25 cents. Once ther as I said we check out the city and then we check out the nearby waterfall. It isn´t a huge one and nor was it the cleanest but it was pretty cool.
Close by there was a little cave. Wel lnot really a cave a man made cave, it looks to have been an old drain from the nearby dam. But I got up in there and we say a few bats. Inside were about thrity bats. I tried to take a picture but it didnt turn out to well. I forgot my camera so I was stuck taking pictures with our cell phone. But we enjoyed it as usual I got a little sun burnt and we are tired but we will survive.
I am happy that everything went well for the wedding. I saw the pictures and it looked amazing. But I hope you are all having a great week and I love you all.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Week

Well how is everyone doing? It seems as though things have been pretty busy and also it seems as everything is in place for Kristen´s wedding. As for me things are also going well.
Things in our area are starting to pick up again. We have got another group of investigators and they are all progressing quite well. I am what the mission would refer to as a wave missionary. The first few weeks of the transfer are spent finding new investigators. Then once I get a large group to teach I spend all my time teaching them. Them at the end or near the end of thr transfer I baptize those who I had been teaching. Then the next transfer it starts all over. The preferable way is to spend a bit of time finding and a bit of time teaching. That way there is a nice even transfer. But the way I teach has nobody baptized the first weeks and then a whole bunch baptized in the end. But I dont know that is just the way that I teach. So we have spent a lot of our time finding investigators these weeks and  now we have a good size teaching group.

As for other things going on, we have zone conferances this week. First was Sergipe on Tuesday and then today the first of two here in Maceio. It went well. Along with the conferances I made some banners to help the missionaries remember the conferance from the past. Here is a picture of President Beynon, my companion, and I with the banners.

Then also along with the conferance I made the second issue of "The Lighthouse" It looks a lot better this time. Last time it was good but the first time it was a bit slow to learn how to do it all. Here it is but it is abviously in portuguese.

But everything is going well. I have been real busy these days with the work in the office and also out of the office. We have just started to work with an inactive family and we are also going to baptize there soon to be nine year old daughter. It was so cool we went to teach them the first lesson, the restoration and first vision. We watched the restoration and while we were watching it the little girl leaned over to her mom and asked, mom is this really true. She is real timid but she is super cool. Her family is going through a tuff time with a few things the father has got involved in during their time away from the church but we are working and constantly praying on their behalf.
Then to finish off, yesterday we had the big muli-zone activity here in Maceio. It was the same one that I planned last transfer, and it went well. I am quite dead though. We platyed a lot of soccer and football. Before lunch I think I played for two hours non-stop. Then a little after lunch I played another hour of soccer than and hour and a half of football. It was lots of fun but man am I paying for it today. I am paying for it with just about everyone else who went. We had a good turn out, almost 70 missionaries went and they all seemed to enjoy it.
But I love you all and as always miss you too. Last of all, congratulations to Kristen and Gavin I am keeping you in my prayers and I hope everything works out tommorow!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Councel, Birthdays, and McDonalds!

Well things are going great for me. As always I have been quite busy but I am enjoying my mission and all of the great things that I am learning and all the great experiences I am having. But to start things off last Friday we had zone councel which went really well. We discussed a lot of thigns and we also studies a little bit about the example of the Apostles of Christ. Specifically we studied chapter ten of Luke. There Christ taught the apostles that they must go preach and all houses that would receive them they were to enter and leave a blessing there. So we have put this into practice these last few days and I have really realized a big difference. We have felt the spirit a lot stringer as we teach. I havnt seen a huge increase in success yet but I have noticed one important difference. There are many who let us into their houses to leave a blessing but do not want to visit the church. With these people I have felt a strong spirit everytime. A strong spirit confirming that the Lord has accepted our part, that we have given them a proper chance to recieve the gospel and that it is not by any fault of ours that they do not receive the gospel. It is a good feeling for me but when I think for them it is at times sadening. I never really understood what the Book of Mormon prophets were saying that they had to preach so that the sins of their people would not fall upon their heads. It wasn´t until my mission and mor recently that I understood what they meant. Along with the study at councel I have also been reading Jesus the Christ a lot these days. If I am not mistaken I am at almost page 600. Christ just gave his last parable to the Apostles, and I have been learning so much. I have also seen a rise in spirit as I try to follow better the Lord´s example in my life and more specifically in my teaching as a missionary. Here is a picture taken at zone councel. In the picture are the 14 Zone Leaders, The Assistants, the Secretaries, and Sister Beynon.

After councel on monday we had a little celebration in the office for Preident Beynon´s birthday and then went to McDonalds. I guess there is nothing extremely exciting about that but its not everyday that we go to McDonalds becasue it is rediculously expensive. Whilte we are here in the subject of birthdays Happy Birthday to Dad. Today I sent a package home with presents for Erin, Dad, and Kristen. Here are a few pics from Monday.

As for the rest of this week thigns have been going well. We are getting things ready for Zone Conferance next week. We are all excited for those. But I have just been busy but loving my mission these days. It seems as though things are coming along well for the wedding. Once again congratulations I am happy for you. Everyone is making coments that I am not going to be there but I would not trade where I am and what I am doing for nothing. I am loving it here and I cannot believe the fact that it is coming to the end. But I love you all and miss you too. Let me know when the pacakge gets to you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Conferance and Mission Arrivals

Well I had another good week. As we went into the weekend things went well. A lot of time in the office because of the training of Elder Silva. Then obviously we had General Conferance which I enjoyed. We were able to watch it in english which is always good, I did watch the Priesthood session in portuguese though. Above is a picture of the group that we watched in English with throughout conferance. The two girls on the end are in my ward and they have lived in the United States and speak english quite well. I seem to enjoy it more in english. I understand the portuguese perfectly but when the talks are translated they loose a little bit of the feeling and the voice and feeling of the speakers.
I enjoyed many of the talks and I did learn a lot. I enjoyed in particular the strong testimony and talk given by Elder Holland. I could see that many of the general authorities spoke about the spirit. One thing that really caught my atention was how many was spoken on the fact that we must accept the spirit. We must let the spirit or light of Christ enter into our lives. I can see that principle so much here on my mission. Many people that we teach do not make the choice to let themselves receive the spirit to know that all this is true. I wonder sometimes why when our investigators pray and yet do not receive an answer. I have learned that the Lord will never answer if they do not really want to know. Moroni knew the difficulty many would have when he taught to pray with a sincere heart and real intent. Without these two aspects the Lord has no reason to answer. If we pray to the Lord asking something that we have already made our mind up, many times we wont even get a response. As I said though I enjoyed conferance a lot.

Then yesterday we had eight new missionaries arrive in the mission. We got one American sister, one Brazilian sister and six American elders. There arrival went well. The first week of transfers are always busy with missionaries leaving and others arriving but things went well. The begiinning of the next transfer will be worse, 16 missionaries will be arriving.
Well I guess that was my week, nothing to exciting beyond Conferance and the arrivals. I got Kristen´s wedding announcement, thanks for that. Hmmm let me think what else. Nothing to much. I love you all and miss you all too.
Until next week...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Week... Cake and a New Companion

Well my week went pretty well. Last week things got pretty rushed in the end with a few things going on here in the mission. As for the weekend it went well. We had an activity that we put on for our ward. The activity was called Rei do Bolo which in english is the Cake King. It went well, I would have liked more in attendance but that is always tuff. The activity went like this... Men in the ward were asked to make a cake and then we had a judging panel made of recent converts to see which cake was the best and who was the cake king. As part of the activity we gave a training or message, which went well. We taught those who were there about the importance of sharing the gospel and to present it to those we know. We showed them an important aspect using the cake. When we are presenting the gospel to others we cant just throw it at them in any random way. Just as a cake the presentation of the cake is important. Although a cake me be delicious if it doesnt look good few will desire to get a taste. If the gospel is delicious to us we must let others know because they dont know how good it really is. The sad thing is that to many the gospel doesnt look so delicious. People say it isnt good and because of that few want to taste for themselves. We must present the gospel to our firends showing them really why the gospel is so delicious and fulfilling to us. If we think of it this way it is a lot easier to understand. If you always eat the same cake and somebody asks you why, what would your response be? Oh I always eat this cate cause its delicious. The same thing could happen with the gospel, but it doesnt. I wish everyone would come up and ask members of the church why do you go to church every sunday, why do you do all that "Mormon" stuff. If it worked like that things would be a lot easier, but we must be the ones who go out of our way to tell them about the best cake out there. I know that at times to others the gopel of Jesus Christ doesnt look the best or the most delicious. But I know that it is, there is nothing better. There isnt a better cake and nor is there anything better that we can partake in our lives.
Here is a picture of the Cake King, Brother Gerilo.

As fot the rest of the week things have been going well. I am going to have a new companion. Well I sort of already do. Elder Silva was called to be the new housing secretary. This week he´ll be getting trained and then at the end of the week Elder Amorim will leave. I am excited and so is he; Elder Silva is from Parana and has about 15 months here on his mission. He was actually in one of the old areas, Jacintinho. He has a couple of people he was teaching there so today or tommorow we´ll head back to see them and also help the elders who are currently there. They have been teaching the family of Rayssa which is one of my recent converts there. Im not sure if you remember her but she was one of two young women that I baptized there that are really firm and absolutely love the church. We´ll se if we can help some of them get baptized this week. Here is a picture of Elder Silva. Its not the best picture, it is the one the we use for his Transfer Board here in the office, I had it here on the computer.

But things are going well and I am happy and I cant believe another transfer is about to end. Nor can I believe this weekend will be conferance again but I am definately excited for that. I love you all.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

a BIG week

I am not quite sure where to start this week out. This has probably been the most jam packed week of my entire mission, and I loved every second of it.

As we finished out last week things went rather well. Things in the office were going smoothly and things out in the field were coming along great. Adrianna´s family was prepared for there baptism and also quite excited. An as for Isabella and Ronaldo´s family, they were excited for their wedding on Saturday and also for there baptism that was marked for the 26th.

So lets move onto Saturday, first off, I worked 17 hours on Saturday. I don´t plan on doing that again anytime soon, it was a long but rewarding day. So we woke up at about 4:30 to get ready and then left at 5:00am for Ronaldo and Isabella´s wedding. (There wedding was a free/group wedding put on by the state.) Then by six we arrived at the school where they did the wedding. We got there at six to wait in a huge line, then finally at about 11:00 it was our turn. First of all they filled out a form then we waited in another line this time for just three hours. They then entered the information into there government system. After that luckily there was only one more line which only took about thirty minutes. So we finished all that up by about 2:00pm. Then we had to wait till 5:00 when they started the ceremony.

A member brought us lunch and while we were eating and talking to our investigators things really got rushed. Isabella was telling us how great the day was, she said she had always dreamed of being married but had assumed it would stay that way just a dream. Then to make it even better she said she had also always dreamed of being baptized one day because previous to our teaching she knew of it´s importance. They both made the comment that they would love to be baptized and married on the same day. So they asked and we put people into action.

We finished up the wedding then rushed home to get things all set in place for the baptism of Adrianna and Isabella´s families. We got our entire district and mission staff to help us out. The assistants got some baptismal clothes who were then picked up by the President who wanted to be there for our baptism. A few members of our district got down to the church to get the font ready and also the chairs set-up. As for our district leader and companion, they went to Isabella´s house with Ronaldo and Isabella to help them get ready and also do there interview. We ran home to get our stuff and then met up on the way with Adrianna´s family for their baptism.

So finally everyone got to church with a few of the ward leaders. Things were rushed but luckily everything went well with all eight baptisms; Isabella, Ronaldo, Adrianna, Dayane, Vitor, Erimarcos, Erimax, and Valdomiro. It was a great baptism and we could really see the hand of the Lord in our work, especially on Saturday, there is no way we could have done any of that alone.

Moving on now, Sunday went well; we had a little party at Isabella´s to celebrate her wedding and her baptism. Monday and Tuesday went well as well. A lot of things that we got done in the office.

Then Yesterday, Wednesday, was another big day. We ended up going to Viçosa. I visited a few of my recent converts and friends there but the big part of the day was a hike to the waterfall called “two brothers”. Yesterday made me really see how much I miss hiking, camping, swimming, and exploring. So we took a trail that then met up with the train tacks then we followed them along side the river till we arrived at the waterfall. I´m not sure how far the hike was but it I think it was about an hour and half. The waterfall was cool and so was the hike. A lot of the hike had shade because of trees which made is great. I would explain more but the pictures explain a lot better.

But I guess that was my week. It was a good one. I enjoyed it a lot and then today went well here in the office. But I love you and miss you all.