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...