Sunday, October 2, 2011

The End Is Near. . .

September 28, 2011

Oh my goodness. I´ve just come back from a wonderful day at the temple. Truly what a wonderful experience. We were all waiting and then we saw a familiar van drive was our dear President and Sister Tanner. Mom and dad, love the two of you, but I think I was more anxious to see guys are alright, Pres. wasn´t. Oh, my goodness, what a sweet and wonderful feeling. They arrived yesterday and came and did a session with us. Oh, how I love the temple.

So, it´s hard to believe this is coming to an end. It hasn´t sunk in yet. I am tired, and my feet are broken and bloody, but other than, I love my life. This work is amazing, Carioba rocks, and I am helping people and I am helping myself be a better person. Yesterday in district meeting, my elders and sisters sang ``God be with you`` and I didn´t cry, I just thought it was lovely. And then today, when we did a session, Poast and I just hugged and hugged and we did it. We did this work. I love S. Barbosa and I love Brazil. The people here are so wonderful.

What more can I say? This is the Lord´s church, it is His work. The last year and a half has flown by. There are people here who changed my life, who´s names are written on my heart. S. Monterio, Carvalho, Poast, Forsyth, Costa, Cleise, continues. Through every trial and problem, I have succeeded. For all of my problems, pride and stubbornness, the Lord has molded me. I truly know that this is the work of God, that it is when we follow Him that we can truly have peace and happiness. When we do the small things, the big things don´t seem so hard. I love this gospel, and I will work my hardest so that I can be with my family for the rest of eternity. There is no greater gift than that. The Book of Mormon was written for us, it contains the answers to all of our questions.

I would not trade this experience for anything. Mom--I am so thankful for you. Dad thank you for your quiet example, for scripture study and the love that is in our home. Eric, Erynn, Megan, Brynn and Callen, thank you guys. I never had to really worry about you guys and I know that I must have done something right in the pre-earth life to be blessed to be a part of this family.

Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, and he was a prophet. Thomas S. Monson leads God´s church today and he called me to serve here. For every problem there has been a lesson. I am different now. I hope that I am more kind, more patient, more faithful and more humble. I came on this mission to learn how to work and it happened. I learned how to work. I love this work and I know that it is work.

I love you all.

September 21, 2011

So we´re working, working and working more. I had the most trunky meeting of my life yesterday. The President was all like: plan, work study marriage...urg. I know that I should write more but I’ll see you in two weeks. Pres. Tanner is coming home Tuesday. I´m going to the temple Wed...and yeah, praying for you all.
I got to give a lesson in Spanish today. There are many people from Peru and Chile. We "talked" to them (it was a mix of Porto-Spanish) and one asked us to come to her home. We borrowed a preach my gospel in Spanish from one of the Elders and worked really hard to learn the lesson. Sister Barbosa was able to do the first vision in Spanish. The spirit was so strong. It doesn't matter the language, the Book of Mormon is always true, and God talks through all languages. 

September 14, 2011
We have this amazing young woman named Myara from one of the other wards who is preparing to serve a mission and is going out and visiting with us. It rocks. She´s from Forteleza and will be going on the mission in March (fingers crossed). She is absolutely amazing and I adore her.

We had a wedding this week of a less active and her ``husfriend`` finally got married. They now live in the other ward, sad, but the elders are getting two baptisms out of this so all is well. Everyone looked beautiful, and I thought it was lovely. But don´t worry, I was not trunky...did not think of my wedding (which S. Barbosa says will happen in three or four months, fat chance) while this was happening. Aren´t you proud?

I was also sent to hell this week. We´re teaching a less active family and their brother and grandparents are of a church were you can´t use pants, cut hair, eyebrows, no makeup, nada. This guy went totally wild, and told me that if I did not go to his church and follow the New Testament, I would go to hell. He talked for about 10 mins. Yeah, think I´d prefer hell to being in heaven with those people. S. Barbosa said a prayer and the spirit became strong again.

Valdimiro is progressing well. He went to church in Sao Paulo and will be getting baptized soon. When we taught him last, he was having some doubts. When we asked how he got these doubts he pulled out his bible that was a bible with footnotes about other religions. It said that we believed that the Holy Ghost was some sort of liquid creature and that we don´t believe in God, and that we were a cult. We worked through these doubts and he gave us this bible so that he didn´t have to read this trash. YES!!!
Yesterday in District meeting, we talked about why we were out here. I said that I was here because my mom was baptized when she was a teenager, and now her life and the lives of our family are totally different, and that we are happy and we will be a family forever. I´m out here so that other people can have that chance as well. I talked about how I always knew that I would serve, but seeing these people change, seeing me change is truly a miracle that I never thought that I could feel this happy, that in the service of my God. How I am so happy for you all, how grateful I am for our Heavenly Father and the promise that if we do all that we can, we will be together forever. That is why I´m here. That is why, for all of my problems and faults and weaknesses, God still loves me and he still trusts me. I am doing my part, and no regrets, but repentance. Like Pres. Eyring´s father, I know now why God needs strong Sons and daughters.

September 7, 2011
So, my head hurts. The last week has been busy with work and then more work. We've been thrown out of some houses, met some new people, and are just doing the work that the Lord has ordered. I am doing well, getting tired, but forcing myself to keep working. I am learning so much about humility and patience, and I need to keep believing in miracles.
We had training with the new president. It was like being in a business class in college. He is extremely intelligent. His son is living in Redmond, working at Microsoft (small world), and we learned about making goals and planning and how to be successful in life. His wife wants us to be healthy and we are getting new diet rules (no soda, less chocolate, eat healthy) and it´s interesting.
Think that´s it, love you all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This week has been hard. One of the families that we have been teaching took off and moved to Sao Paulo, without telling us. Strike one. We started teaching this guy, he accepted everything. Small problem, he lives in Sao Paulo on the weekends, so the elders will baptize him there. Strike two. And finally, finally, finally, we´re helping a menos active family come back and they are getting ready for baptism and marriage, but, they are moving to another ward three days before the wedding. Strike Three, Urg, oh, well. Just keep working. Just keep working. "Every little thing, gonna be alright."

I also had my first migraine headache on the mission. It was not fun. It was after lunch and we were walking in the hot hot hot and bright sun. I started to get those black out moments, when you know that you´re about to crash. Being out of money, I wasn´t able to buy anything sweet fast enough and got home just as I crashed. I took my pills and fell on the bed. My companion didn´t believe that I was sick, and so when one of the elders called twenty mins later (and I was between heck and a headache), she gave me the phone. I talked for thirty seconds, ran to the bathroom and got sick. My comp felt really guilty. I told her not to worry about it. I took my other pills, and crashed for 5 hours. I woke up totally wiped out and made myself get to the store to buy a tiny bit of food and do all my contacts. I was better the next morning.

We´re starting to work in an area farther away. There is this good returned missionary, who came home two weeks ago, and he´s taking us to visit some people that he knows. That rocked. I love it when people help. Mom, Dad, glad you guys are doing your part. We also got a reference and it looking like it might do well.

Yesterday we had a division with S.Tirell, which was awesome. Someone lost the keys to our apt, so we had to go to Campinas to get the spares. But life is good. It´s always an adventure. Adventures are awesome.

Sending my love to all!


Hey Family-

So, not much new to report. Working with people to be baptized. It rocks. Love my companion and my health is somewhat better. As always, the members are giving me food, food and more food. We had a family night on Sunday where I got thrown in the kitchen and the irmas taught me how to make some different types of dishes. The ward seemed to like it. We watched an old church movie and it was quite nice.

On Monday, we had the second sister conference!!! It was awesome. On Sunday night, one of the assistants called and said that there was a conference call...with all the sisters. It was like the opening song from Legally Blonde. We were all so excited to talk to one another again! After two minutes, the assistant yelled, "Sisters, Sisters, Sisters! I have other phone calls to make. You´ll all see each other in the morning."

And we did! Had a day filled with food and friends. I was able to talk to S.Ririe who´s in Braganca. They baptized some of my other investigators!!! And Ana IS FIRM!!! BELLA, GABBS, CAROL!!! MY LITTLE WOMEN TOO!!! I called E.Motto after and he started to cry on the bus!! I was crying, too. Oh, how wonderful it is when the people you love stay in the church.

So, think that´s it. I´m going to a home for lunch and a soap making lesson.

Love you-

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


First off, after writing you, our group of missionaries went to the zoo!!! It was amazing. We had lions, and tigers and...deer. Yes, deer, and ducks too. Quite exotic. The penguins died, and so, it was a little sad. We also saw a duck like creature that looked like it was from the Ice age movies. Photos being sent. It was great, and it was absolutely free!!!!!

As well, I´m pretty sure that this ward is getting ready to sacrifice me to some sort of pagan god or something, because they will not stop giving me food. God probably thought, that since I have had a few difficult areas that now I can be spoiled. But dang it, I´m getting fat...for this family, that is. What happened...see on Saturday we had a July Party (festa de Julhino) where everyone dresses up like cowboys and hicks and you eat and eat and eat. Then after eating hot dogs, corn on the cob, a sweet corn substance, pie and cake and more pie and cake, the women of the ward gave us 5 bags of leftovers to take home. (We have given some to the elders).

Then the next day we baptized Myalla. It was wonderful, the ward stayed and the parents cried and are now firm in their decision to return to the church and to prepare to go to the temple (YES!!!!!) The parents were crying, it was wonderful. After that, because there was still a ton of leftovers, the ward had lunch. The members that we were going to have lunch with said, eat here and then we´ll have lunch at our house. So I had two lunches, pretty much died after.

The members also gave us four laoves of bread and four cartons of milk on Sunday. So much food. Anita is baking us bread, cake and everything else.

Then on Monday we had a family night at the home of a family who are from Peru, but who lived in Japan and are now here in Brazil. They only had hymn books in Spanish, so we sang songs in Spanish...interesting. Then afterwards she made us a Peruvian Dish. It was baked potatoes with beef, eggs and raisins and some more stuff in it. It was quite good. We ate two and then she sent us home with four more.

And then on Tuesday we had a welcome home party for an elder returning home. Mom, Dad, do not even think about it. He came home, went to the stake center and then to the chapel where the ward and all of his friends were waiting with food and slide shows and wow, it was overwhelming. My first day home should be family, salmon, and sleeping. Oh and facebook and Harry Potter. And yes, they gave us leftovers.

So, yeah, working and trying to be better. I´m so proud of this family, you guys rock!!! The book of Mormon truly is the word of God, and it is because of it that we know why we are here. When we read the book we feel the peace of Christ and truly it is amazing. I love you all.



The sisters!
Wow, wow, wow, it seems to be flying so fast. Seems like only yesterday was the day that I was writing you guys and you were all at camp. Dude, no complaints.

Well, so we were able to get some shoes for my comp, but am now totally and completely broke. Whatever. We´re working and we´ll baptize this of the families that we´re helping reactivate. My comp is okay, she just keeps talking and talking and talking and then she´ll talk some more about anything and everything. Let´s just say that I am learning (again) about patience. It´s like Joseph Smith once said, that the Lord has to keep giving us the same lessons until we finally learn it. Again, I am the healthy one of this pair, but honestly, am beginning to feel old and tired.

Last week on our p-day we went and visited the huge Catholic church here. It is so beautiful. They have these giant painted pictures with stories of the Bible. Honestly, I like our story and photos of Adam and Eve more, they look terrified and horrible leaving the garden with and angel (I think it´s supposed to be Micheal because he has a giant sword.) sending them out of the garden. As well, quite funny, you have the baptism of the Lord. He´s sitting next to the river and John is pouring water on his head with a gold cup or something. Complicated. I like our version better, it makes more sense. Who would walk to a river only to have a tiny bit of water sprinkled on your head?

We also were able to take Anita (a recent convert) and her family to the temple. As always, I love the feelings that I feel in that Holy Place. The temple absolutely is the most wonderful place in the world, and I am so thankful for that place. The temple rocks. When I go home, I´ll be going there every single week.

Well, think that´s it. Have fun at camp!!!! See you guys next week!



So, wow, okay...downside to opening an area is you know nothing and usually the other missionaries do not leave you anything...(I´m an exception, I usually leave at least one person to be baptised) but, life is good. This ward is absolutely wonderful, but more on that later.

So, it´s hot here. Yeah, I know, crazy area is absolutely freezing and the next area is hot!!! But what can you do? Americana is a huge city. We have to take the bus everywhere, and so my finances are not as amazing as I would like. I am still with a cold and am not feeling amazing, but I´m going to take it in stride.

S.Barbosa is a convert of 5 years and if from Natal. She is the only member of her family who´s a member of the church and her family doesn´t really support her. For example, she is without shoes...her only pair are breaking and we are trying to find a pair of shoes, but her stake has to approve it and agree to pay for the shoes. It´s quite sad. She is also engaged (and will not stop talking about gosh!!!) to a missionary who is serving in Terezina.

So, on Saturday, I got permission to go back to Cordeiro for Zilda´s baptism (because I´m in the same zone as before, S.Cleise couldn´t come) and we were at a house of a member. I asked her which bus I should take to get to the Rodoviaria. She asked why, I explained that I was going back for a baptism in Cordeiro, and a min later this woman´s husband called and said that he was somewhere far far away biking and could she come get him at 4:00? She replied, yeah, but first I have to drop the sisters off in Cordeiro, so I´ll be a little late. UM,UM,UM??? She said, Get in the car, and she took us. AWESOME!!!

The baptism was absolutely lovely. We had a bus leaving at 5:15, and since every Mormon event starts late, we literally had to book it the moment after Zilda came out of the water. I was so proud of her, and she and I both cried a little. This is also the second baptism that I have given to one of my zl´s...Elder Motto. He was the missionary who baptized Ana, and now he can count this baptism as his as well, because the zl´s are going to take care of Cordeiro now...what do you do?

After that, we went to the stake center in Americana for the stake´s fiesta...which had more than 700 people and many many many investigators, which rocked. There was so much food, I think I gained 4 or 5 pounds. The next day, on Sunday the members informed us that they give food to the missionaries every Sunday...and they gave us three bags of food. Wow, Í´m not complaining.

But, we have really have been walking in circles these past few days, and I do not like it. Yesterday, after DM, I decided to go back to the house and look at the area book and try to figure out what God wanted of us. We prayed to know where to work and nothing.

I remembered a quote that President Lee said when he was talking to President Eyring. He said, ``Hal, if you want to get your revelation, do your homework...`` And that was exactly what Pres.Eyring did. So, I took his advice. Was there anything, any piece of paper, anything? It didn´t look like it. Finally, I saw this piece of paper that the other sisters had written the name of a family less active. It said that they had a nine year old daughter and that she wanted to be baptised, but that they didn´t know the number of the house. Well, let´s start digging. I looked through some old papers and found that a woman had gone to church who lived in that street, number 53. Well, maybe she would know. When we found the house, it turned out to be this family. They want to come back to church and their daughter wants to be baptized, and could we baptize her? Um, yes!!!

As well when we were teaching on that street we did a contact and taught a family that accepted to be baptized. Now, we just have to help them get married, but truly it was a day of miracles and we are going to keep having them if we do our part and stay focused.

Love you all,