Well it´s been another great week here in Birigui! I´m really grateful to be training Elder Chaves. I´m really glad I that I got a companion that´s here to work. Also I´m starting to feel a little more comfortable with my responsabilities as District Leader. I got to interview two people last week for baptism. It´s such a wonderful experience interviewing people who are making these wonderful decisions.
A lesson about appearances. So in our first week here in Birigui, ELder Chaves and I were walking back to my area after doing a division with the zone leaders and a random girl of about 20 years started shouting out ``Elders!´´ I didn´t want to stop and talk to her because she was in really immodest clothing, smoking and just didn´t look like the person I should stop to talk to. But it turns out that she had already been taught about a year ago by missionaries and she wanted to be baptised but wasn´t elligible at the time. She had fallen back into her addiction to cigarrettes but still wanted to learn more about the Church. Well, yesterday, she was baptised. She stopped smoking again and has resolved her past problems so that she was elligible for baptism. it was a really neat experience to interview her. She used to the Book of Mormon and the Gospel Principles manual to stop smoking. She read the Book of Mormon one and a half times and all of Gospel Principles. She has a really strong testimony of the Gospel. Miracles are made by the Gospel.
This week wasn´t super eventful. it was a pretty routine week. Definitely put us to the challenge but we had some good results. I´m really excited for the work here. I´m super excited to be training Elder Chaves. He is amazing and we work really well together. I hope you all have a great week. I love you all.
Well it´s fun to be back in Birigui! We had a pretty good yet extremely tiring week. I´m yawning it up write now as I write this email. This is my first time getting to know a brand new area with neither of us being familiar with it at all. We have been lost several times. But it´s all worked out so far. We also had Stake Conference yesterday. It was a really good conference. The members here are really good. There are quite a few excited about the work and are ready to gelp out.
I just remembered that you guys don´t even know the name of my ´´filho´´ or son. He is Elder Chaves (Keys). He is from Belém, Pará. He is absolutely amazing. I was really nervous about getting a new missionary not ready for the mission life and not willing to adjust but he is already in the grove of things. He loves to keep all of the rules ``certinho´´ or exactly. It´s such a refresher. He has also picked up really quickly on the teaching techniques. I´m super excited for this transfer. ALso his profession before the mission was ballroom dance professor. He is apparently very good and was pretty famous up in Pará. It´s pretty cool to see that he made the sacrifice to come on a mission. He´s a bit older already but it is really nice to have a companion that is more mature.
I also had the opportunity to do my first baptismal interview last Saturday. What an experience. I was a little nervous because I realized that it was just me and the investigator and I was the one deciding if the investigator was ready to make this important step in life. It was kind of a strange feeling. But it was amazing to be led by the Spirit and be told exactly what to say to him to help him progress. It was a really neat experience. I´m excited to have many more of these experiences.
At Stake Conference yesterday we heard President Prieto speak and also Elder Ribeiro, member of the Seventy. It was a really nice meeting. Elder Ribeiro told a really cool story that I will sum up. So there a was man getting a haircut by an atheist barber. He was sitting in the chair listening to the barber ramble about how he used to believe in God but had long since lost his faith and no longer believed in anything. He saw so much suffering in the world, so many people making bad decisions that he couldn´t imagine there truly being a God. If there was a God their would be no suffering. The man getting his hair cut was a Christian but decided not to argue about the subject and saw quiet. After the haircut he quietly got up and left. He was down the street and saw a ragged looking man sitting on the corner with a long beard and long dirty hair. THe man stopped and looked and thought for a minute and then ran back to the barber. He told the barber ´´ you are not a barber´´. The barber responded surprisedly, ``of course I am. I just got cutting your hair. Did I mess up?´´ The man rsponded no you are not a barber. At the same moment the ragged man walked by and the man whose hair had been cut said ``look at the man. He has long hair and a beard. If barbers existed there would exist long hair and beards.´´ At that moment the Barber realized his fault. The same way that we have to go to the barber to get our hair cut we have to seek the Lord and receive his blessings.
I thought it was a neat little story to disprove the idea that suffering proves that there is no God.
Well, I hope you all have a great week. my time is running out. I have a lot more I could say but....it was a fantastic week! I love you all
Well, I am super nervous, excited, happy and scared all at once. I found out last night that I am going to train a brand new missionary. I am not sure who it will be yet but I am pretty sure it is a Brazilian. I will get him tomorrow!!! I have also been transferred. I am going back to Birigui. I is the same zone I already went to but a different ward. I am super excited to go back. But I磎 also really nervous about training. Not sure if I am ready for that yet. Most of the missionaries from my group are training too. It is going to be fun all of us together. Next week I will let you all know how it will working out.
This last week was a pretty interesting one. A lot of stuff came in the way of letting us work a normal day. One day Hepworth got sick. Another day there was a massive rainstorm and a power outage in about half the city. We also went to work in a Sister’s area of our district to help them out. But, we did have biscuits and gravy for lunch one day! It was a great week and a fun way to finish up in an area. I was sad that I was not able to baptize in that area but we had a lot of success with reactivation. Maybe that is why were sent there. I have talked a little bit about a kid we reactivated named Marcos. He is as excited as ever. The 2nd counselor to the bishop set up a job for him so he can earn money for his mission. We also helped another young man get ready for his mission. I amexcited to hear where he goes. I feel like we had good success there, even though it wasn’t how I expected or wanted it in the beginning. I really learned a lot with Elder Hepworth in that area. I am a much better person becasue of him. I am very blessed.
Well I am kind of short on time. I am in a hurry running around here in Ribeiro Preto before I get my ``son” tomorrow. We use this slang to call our trainees. Iam going to be a dad! Well I hope you all have a great week. I love you all. Thanks for all the support.
Well it´s been another great week here in Franca. Last Thursday we had a ``Mission Tour´´. Elder Godoy the first counselor in the Brazil Area Presidency came to speak and give us a training. It was wonderful. He gave a really good training about the traps that we as missionaries sometimes fall in that make our teaching less effective. He also told us about his conversion story which is quite amazing. He was baptized but went inactive almost immediately because the Sisters that baptized him were transferred and he didn´t have any friends in the ward yet. But, as you can see he came back and is now one of the most amazing members ever. It was a really inspiring training.
We helped a family move yesterday. Wow, have I gotten weak. As a missionary we only walk around. My arms are still sore today from lifting around furniture on Saturday, I need to work out some more....sheesh. But it was fun to help out.
We had fast and testimony meeting yesterday, and some really nice testimonies were borne. My favorite was from 6 year old Eduardo. He said ``I want to bear my testimony that I know ths Church is true and that my dad just bought a really cute hat. Amen´´. Everyone was laughing really hard. His dad is in the bishopric and his mom is Relief Society President. It made my day.
Our mission has two Assistants to the President but this last week the president added two traveling assistants that go and do divisions with everyone to teach better skills. They came to our zone first and did a bunch of divisions and we learned a lot. We had a great week because of things we applied. Unfortunately, the learning mostly came by seeing the traits of these leaders and deciding we don´t want to be like them. The whole time we all just got the feeling that they were here to show us up and put themselves on a pedestal. A lot of teaching was done without the Spirit and just looking to get numbers. It was actually quite sad and we were all very frustrated with the situation. But it was a good learning experience.
Well, I guess that about sums it up for the week. i attached a picture of us eating pancakes for breakfast this morning. You can see me, Elder Stott and Elder Lillenquist (the one that knows Matthew). It was fantastic!