Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"A Little More Time To Learn A Lot More"

I´m greatful for the time that I have here on the mission. It´s a time that I wouldn´t trade for anything and I know that I´ve learned a ton. I´ve got a little more time to learn a lot more. I´m taking care of Sis. Magleby to make sure that she´s able to adjust to mission life. She´s doing super well and I know that she´ll learn the language super fast. She still doesn´t know that I´m finishing my mission this transfer, but I think it´s better that she doesn´t know. Starting your mission with a companion that´s going home is rough...I would know because I passed through this.

I don´t have any photos this week to send...but next week for sure. We´re in Independéncia today for a zone activity. It was scheduled to have volleyball and basketball and barbeque, brazillian style. I´m stoked to play volleyball even though I´m no good. Elders are fun to spend time with because they are just like all my friends back home.

On Saturday we found a family that wants to get to know the church. They´ve been living in Hidrolândia for a few years, but have never visited the church. They´ve been curious to know what the Elders do, because they´ve seen lots of them on the street. The best part about this family is that they´re legally married! It´s super hard to find couples that are legally married here...some of them have been living together for decades but never made their relationship legal. I want to help these families understand that a family isn´t until death do you part...it can be forever.

Last night we a had an easter activity at church. We read some of the scriptures of the last days of Christ´s life and then watched a 30 minute movie about the resurrection of Christ...and of course there was a snack after. It was simple, but I know that the members liked it. They´re wanting to have more activities to get out of the house and do something together with family and friends.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Enduring To The End

We were blessed last week with a surprise interview with Pres. Prieto. It was super good to talk with him because it´s been over 3 months since my last interview. I told him about the problems we were facing in the area...it´s a small city, so everyone has already had contact with the church and because of this, the members are disanimated with missionary work. Together, Pres and I brainstormed some activities and firesides that can be done here in the area, to excite the members and the community. He thanked me for the work that I´m doing and the fact that I´ve taken the initiative to look for the problem and a solution. He told me that this is an attribute of a good leader. He´s not counting down the days, but he knows that the end is near and says that it leaves him sad. I´m really working to be a good missionary because I want to help this mission grow. I finished the interview with a closing prayer and he said that he felt a noble spirit every time he was near me. This is because of the dedication I have to the missionary work...what a compliment!

Sis. Magleby´s 22nd birthday...we ate monster cheeseburgers with monster fries.

I was doing laundry ,no big deal, when I ducked down to avoid wet clothes on the clothes line. When I went to stood up, I slammed my face into this metal support that´s part of a broken shelf the elders had made. As you can see it left a pretty line on my forehead which has now scarred over. I think the scar is pretty neat, not going to lie...very distinguished.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This week was hectic...I got a phone call tuesday night saying that I was being transferred the next day! I packed my bags...which are ridiculously heavy and I´m not sure why (I think it´s because of the journals, scriptures and other books). I said goodbye to our recent convert, Patrícia, Nilziele and Deise...I don´t like goodbyes, so I preferred not to round up all the ward members this time. I spent the night in Uberlândia and then the next morning caught a 6 hour bus ride to Goiânia. I´m re-opening an area to sisters...a tiny city called Hidrolândia has only had elders for the past year or so and this past month has been without missionaries. The real kick about this transfer is who my new companion is...or should I say companions. I´m training again...not one, but two new sisters. The two newest sisters in the mission arrived last week and Presidente put me in charge of them both! One is Brazillian from São Paulo and the other is an American from Washington...yup. Needless to say, I´m feeling more than a little overwhelmed in a new area, with 2 new sisters in a branch that has over 200 listed members in the area and a frequency of 30 on Sunday. I know that the Lord is going to give me lots of strength and will help me know what to do. I also know that Presidente Prieto is doing everything to keep my mind off of home...keep me busy with the work!

Sis. Magleby and Sis. Ferro

What´s good about this is that no one (not even my companions) know that I´m on my last transfer...so there are going to be no jokes and no comments. I know that this is going to help me, personally, a lot!

The little town of Hidrolândia is...little. I´m greatful that I wasn´t transferred to some busy city, because I prefer the calm feeling of the suburbs. The city has a population of about 10,000 people and is known for it´s jabuticaba (yummy...too bad it´s not the right season for jabuticaba fruit), and it´s natural waters (which consequently also means it´s cases of dangue.) The branch may be small, but those that attend regularly have rock solid testimonies and I´m excited to get to know the members better. Our branch mission leader is super involved and is willing to help in any way to get the Lord´s work done here.

We´re going to have to be creative in our activities because basically everyone in the city knows a member, or knows the church, or is baptized. What´s funny about the city is that know one uses street names. Because the city is so small, everyone gives directions by landmarks. Instead of saying "I live at 864 silverthorne trail," they people here would say, "I live on the street that curves at the end close to Frank's house. The house with the small tree in front" And everyone would know exactly where I live. This is proving tricky when we try to find new investigators, because they describe where they live instead of pass an address. We´ve found various houses that don´t even have numbers on the front!

I´m excited to work here, but I know that we will need lots of inspiration to help reactivate and animate the members!

Monday, April 4, 2011

God and Jesus Christ

Life is back to normal here in Patos...well, basically. This week we got a surprise phone call saying that there would be zone conference in Uberlândia...so we got back on the bus and drove back to the city we left a few days earlier. The best part of the conference was the fact that ALL of the sisters on the mission were there! We´re few in numbers (there are only 7 sisters in the whole mission) but we know that our numbers will grow a little. Two new sisters are arriving this week and in May we´ll be getting 3 more! Zone conference was super great and we received some new rules including teaching 10 first discussions every day...and reading 15 pages of the Book of Mormon every day. These really are big challenges, but I know that our faith will increase with these tasks.

General conference was super great! There were problems with the connections, so I listened to all the sessions in Portuguese. I know that the translators are good, but nothing can compare to hearing the acutal voice of the speakers...especially Elder Holland and President Monson. We even had a few investigators come and watch which is super great! The members really make all the difference because they are the ones who will still be here in the city when transfers come around. I particularly liked Elder Nelson´s conference talk because it answered a lot of the questions I had written. I know that we receive answers to our prayers, which is why it´s so important that we ask.

We´ve started teaching a woman named Nayara. She´s the daughter of 2 less active members. She´s been living in Germany for the past 9 months and while there has lost faith in any type of God. It´s the first time that I´m having to start the discussion teaching who is God and Jesus Christ and how we can gain faith that they really exist. Teaching the basics is super important and I know that my own testimony will grow as I study to help Nayara gain her faith back.