Monday, September 1, 2014

Parque de Fonte Semana 2

Last email from a myldsmail account? Very possibly.

This week was great. I taught one of the best lessons of my mission this week. I was in exchanges with Elder Stout and we were talking with a few people on a street when i saw a little girl in the doorway of a house and I felt "TALK WITH HER." I asked her if her parents would be able to come talk with us but she said no. So we asked if there was some adult who could come to the gate, and she quickly disappeared inside the house. We waited and waited and finally a young man (named Miquéias) came out of the house and said that he was Baptist and didn´t like to "mix things" (which is one of the most common phrases we hear as missionaries... that and, "my mom is taking a shower and can´t come to the door right now" which makes me belive that the people of Paraná spend more time showering than any other group of people on the planet). But we asked him if he would accept hearing a small message from the scriptures and he accepted. We started reading a little about the importance of having prophets and he got very excited and told us that he had stopped going to church about a year ago and that he had lots of questions about the scriptures. He loved hearing about how the Lord called a prophet in our times and about the book of mormon. We then used the book of mormon to explain his questions about where his brother went when he died. we invited him to baptism and he accepted. but got sad thinking about his brother who died without baptism. he asked us if there was any way to help him. we taught about vicarious baptism and he wanted to be baptized as soon as possible to then help his brother. the only catch. he lives in curitiba. i passed the referral and I hope they get to him as soon as possible.

Vigilatto is ready to be baptized on 6/09. I had commented that I lost my scarf in an exchange and he gave me one as a present. I am excited to keep in contact with him for the rest of my life. It is amazing how good of friends you can become in only a few weeks when you have spiritual experiences together.

There are so many other things I wanted to say today, but i don´t have time to write.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Parque de Fonte Semana 1

That´s right folks, with 2 weeks left I was transfered! But this transfer was a little bit different... I have the same companheiro, I live in the same house, and I´ll keep the vast majority of my teaching pool... That´s because we´ve got a new ward in the stake!! Last year I served in Jardim Ipê, and this year I´ve been serving in Afonso Pena. Yesterday they took a chunk of both wards and formed a new one called Parque da Fonte which is where I will stay for the last 2 weeks!

It was a wonderful conference. Presidente Fernandes was there to give a few words of encouragement on helping the kingdom continue growing and preparing to divide the stake next year. The chapel was filled and we invited the whole community to see the calling of a new bishop and the creation of a new ward. I remembered back to when they took Walter´s Hill, Damascus, and Powell Valley, stuck them in the blender and poured out three wards with the same names but different boundaries. It was a very exciting conference.

We have a few people who are making huge progress. One man named Caio has grown to like the church a lot, but he doesn´t have courage to leave his current evangelical community where he knows that he will be shunned by all of his current friends when he leaves. #problems When we told him about "institute" he asked "para que serve?" which translates to something like "what is it´s purpose?/ what is it used for?" I started laughing because just a few minutes earlier he was asking about how he could find a future wife when all of the people around him don´t have morals. We told him that institute has a dual purpose :)

We´re working hard and sweating "de mais" in sun that has returned to Curitiba "com força!"


Elder House

Monday, August 18, 2014

Afonso Pena Semana 9

This week was the week of baptismal interviews! Our area suffered a bit because we spent lots of our time in other areas doing baptismal interviews and training the other missionaries. But we also had several miracles happen.

A member of our ward gave us a referral... at the very end of our area, which if we were in the US wouldn´t be such a big deal, run out there by car or on bike, but in Brasil it´s a huge deal... cause it´s a LONG way away to walk. Anways, we went out there one night and finally contacted them. #eleitos Valéria and Emmerson are a couple that was basically waiting for someone to call them to the path that leads to the tree of life. I´ll take a picture with them and send it next week. They were very excited to learn about the Restoration and are excited to come to church this week.

Mauro and Aldiclea are another couple that is making progress. They are both from strong catholic families and they have fear of what their families will say when they become members of the Church of Jesus Christ. So now we are involving the ward better to help them out... Thiago and Thaissa (recent converts) are going to help them out, because they passed through basically the same thing, but it ended up being much easier than they had thought.

On saturday we had 3 baptisms in the chapel, three young men from different wards who were all excited for baptism and we put all of their services together during a mini-youth-roadshow so the room was packed.

I got that horrible email with the plane ticket to send home, but I´m still not trunky! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

Love you all. Hope all is well.

-Elder House

Monday, August 4, 2014

Afonso Pena Semana 7

Don´t have a whole lot to say...

This week we had Ward Council! Finally :) And we were able to talk about how to help the ward develop into an even better missionary ward. We will soon start a 40 missionary fast in which one family per day will fast to have a missionary experience. That should be cool. And it looks like the ward is going to divide right about the time that i´ll be leaving... It will be very cool to be serving in a ward as it divides!

The Gbur family is very happy with their two new priesthood holders, and the two brothers won black ties from a neat missionary :) They were at church all spify and passed the sacrament! We stopped by their house one night, and they were starting up the bbq to grill sausage and they invited us in. I think they might be my favorite family that i´ve worked with on the mission. What a grand blessing it is for them to be coming back to church in a place where gossip won´t hurt their spiritual progress!

We found an ex-drug dealer to teach... He´s very excited to be learning about the gospel and has already repented of the vast majority of his sins. Our "recém-ativo" Jefferson is a old friend of his and they were at church on sunday together! When this investigator came into the chapel, he sat down on the pew, but didn´t notice who was sitting next to him... another less active member who we´ve been working with for over a month and he finally came back to church yesterday... which just had to be the day that we had this new investigator with us and the less active shouted out, "hey, I know this guy, we were cell mates in prison" and everyone looked on, but didn´t know if they should be concerned or laugh. It was pretty funny for eveyone except our investigator.

Mauro and Aldiclea came to church! And we marked a FHE with the Elder´s Quorum President. But we left the chapel and were helping them find parking while the sacramental hym was being sung, and the lady who was recently called to be the receptionist, didn´t let us in to take the sacrament, nor let one of the deacons out to give it to us... #takingyourcallingseriously And we had to ask the bishop to let us have a mini sacrament meeting later on. But all we had were some wheat crackers... That was a first.

Denise has a baptismal date for the 23 of this month, so now we´re in the fight against cigarettes with her. But I think she´ll give up the cigarretes as she gives up the coffee. But that means a lot of headaches between now and the 23rd.

The airplanes continue making a mess of our teaching, but other than that, things are going quite well.  My area is underneath the path that the planes use to take off and land in Curitiba... so we always have planes that pass over and make a ton of noise that makes it impossible to hear anything. (usually happens during the first vision...)

"Momento GH do mês... 39 lições, 15 na sacramental"

I hope that all is well at home! I´d love to hear from ya!!


Elder House

Monday, July 28, 2014

Afonso Pena Semana 6

Last transfer call. I´m stayin put! Elder Ritchie is goin out to Gurapuava (that cold place out in the middle of the nowhere) and I´m now with Elder Forsyth who i´ll train as a zone leader! Woohoo! My third gringo companion.

Speaking of gringo companions, today I got the wedding announcement from Victor Trevisanut and I opened it up with Elder Gonzales. We both got super trunky, and I told Elder Gonzales to write a FB message to Victor with "parabéns." Elder Gonzales and Elder Rocha are on their way to the airport as we speak. It´s crazy when you are the oldest missionary in the mission, and many of your best friends on the mission have already finished. But that´s how it goes right?

This week we had an awesome baptismal service of Juan (pronounced as if it were spanish) and we were very excited to see all of his family at church again. They are such a special family that we worked with to help come back to church. The father of the family ordained his two sons to the aaronic priesthood, and Juan was confirmed. This transfer we only had one baptism, but we have 6 people reactivated who hadn´t come to church for over 2 years. I will try to take pictures with each of them in these coming weeks.

Afonso Pena is the sister ward of Jardim Ipê, so I see the recent converts from Ipê every sunday! And it looks like a third ward is going to be formed from Ipê and Afonso Pena!! It was my dream that I would see the day that Ipê would divide and I think I´ll still be here when it happens. I think that as a Zone Leader, I´ll probably end up in the newly created ward, but who knows?

Our teaching group somehow filled up with people who believe in reencarnation, so Elder Ritchie and I have been learning how to help people understand the resurrection. It is very interesting that reencarnation denys the power of Jesus Christ... because perfection is attained through trial and error and progress over many lives. Which completely cuts Christ out of the picture. The reality is that Christ overcame death and sin and taught the gospel to help us put of the natural man and become a saint. I don´t have time to write out all the things we are teaching, but I felt that I should make a quick comment about this.


I hope that all is well at home and that someone is freezing blackberries.


Elder House

Monday, July 21, 2014

Afonso Pena Semana 5

Churrasco! We had an awesome zone churrasco today. Maminho, contra filé, linguiça, and costelinha de porco. Then we played a little frisbee and uno. Finally the sun is shining so we are taking advantage of it!

To tell about the week, I don´t know where to start. We are teaching so many good families that it would be hard for me to share about them all. But there´s one success story that I want to share.

Jefferson. 27 years old. Baptized 5(ish) years ago. Suffers from epilepsy. Went less active after becoming involved in something or another in a soccer stadium and spending some time in a cold place thinking about what he did. Picked up a smoking habit (along with a few others). - Jefferson was waiting for a chance to come back to church, but he with the bad habits that he developed and the drastic changes that he made (for the worse) he didn´t know how. We were teaching his cousins next door, but we were ready to drop them from the teaching pool because they weren´t ready to progress, when one day Jefferson was at the gate smoking. When he saw us he threw the cigarette away and shouted out to us that he was a member of the church. We sat down with him and started talking and he needed to vent. We invited him back to church and he was waiting for us at the gate that Sunday. It´s only been about a month, but with steady study of the scriptures, church attendance, and living all of the commandments as well as he could, he gained the forces he needed to overcome the addictions. And this week he smoked his last cigarette. Needless to say we are very excited for him! The bishop still hasn´t interviewed him, and we had to break the bad news that he probably wasn´t ready to go to the temple with the ward yet, but he is very excited to continue putting his life in order, and help his mother prepare for baptism.

Okay one more...

Benedito and Elieleia. A middle aged couple with a daughter (25), son (15) and two grandsons (7&8). Daughter had two children and decided she didn´t like them (after she discovered that one had severe mental disability and problems in the intestine), and now they are being raised by their grandparents. This was a huge burden on their shoulders and they have been working hard for the past 7 years to help their grandson with special needs. The daughter took off with some guy and they are alone with lots of work to do. We shared a little bit of the Plan of Salvation with them and read in Jeremiah about how we lived with Heavenly Father before we were born, and how we were prepared for the challenges that we face. The Spirit was very powerful as they recognized that the reason why Luan was given to them is because the Lord trusts in them enough to give them a child with special needs. Then Elder Ritchie and I sung "Sou um filho de Deus" and they became a bit emotional. This week we will return and finish talking about the Plan of Salvation, and help them come visit the church with us next Sunday.

I love being a missionary. I´m glad that I still have bastante time to serve!


Elder House

Monday, July 14, 2014

Afonso Pena Semana 4

Well Brasil was eliminated from the runnings for the World Cup... and was run over by the Germans. So for the last game (consolation 3rd/4th place) we worked normally, because nobody was too excited about the game. But I have to make a quick commentary about the Brasil x Argentina rivalry. Even though Germany destroyed Brasil, you wouldn´t belive the number of German flags we saw yesterday as they played Argetina. And when they won over argentina, you would´ve thought that Brasil had won the world cup! I think that they were just as excited that argentina didn´t win, as they would´ve been if brasil had won.

This week was awesome. I went on exchanges with Elder Costa and we worked "até o pó"! It was great to arrive in an area that I didn´t know at all and find new people to teach to help them build up a teaching pool. I also got to visit a deaf lady that I interviewed for baptism last week (using the very little brazilian sign language that I was able to pick up) but this time, the gift of tongues was working better, and I was able to communicate well and prayed in signs that impressed Solange!

The sun came out a bit this week! And we were recieved better by everyone. Yesterday we taught an awesome lesson to a lady who has lots of catholic and afro-spiritual beliefs about little saint figures and reincarnation, etc. But Elder Ritchie used a scripture so simply and effectively that I was almost shocked at how strongly the Holy Ghost testified to what we had read. Moroni 7:40-41. Now she understands what she should have hope in so that she can have the faith necessary for the Lord to respond to her prayers. It was awesome.

Well we are gonna go clean up the "green house". And sleep. 10 days of work is a lot to handle.


Elder House