Monday, August 31, 2015

Oi from Africa!‏

Oi everyone!!!

This week went super fast!! We did not do a ton, but what we did do was great! We have not gotten any new investigators this week, but all of the previous investigators that we had are progressing very well! We have 14 people marked for a baptism either in the end of September or the middle of October! We are in the process of helping a lot of people get married right now. This transfer ends next week, so we are really wanting to get a lot done this week!

So I went on two divisions this week! One of them was an hour away in a really rich area! (rich for Africa that is) So that was nice! I was with Elder Ellingson, our Zone Leader, who is from Oregon. We found quite a few of great contacts!

The other transfer was in my area! I was with Elder Tanner. It was difficult because neither of us are fluent and I am still learning my area. Since it was in my area, I had to lead everything. This was hard at times, but it really helped me learn the language and area even better than before!

That was about it for this week, but I am sure a lot will happen this week. Sorry this was a short letter, but talk to you next week!!

Tchau for now!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Another week down!

Oi everyone! I hope everybody has had a great week!

This week for us was pretty slow. We have had many small miracles, but the days have been long. We are still in our finding phase, so we are spending tons of time trying to contact people and finding new investigators. We have found quite few people that are extremely ready for the Gospel!

One of these people is named Fatima. Fatima lives with her boyfriend and her 15 year old daughter. Her daughter has a 2 month old baby. So with Fatima, we walk by her house every night when we are walking to different places in our area. We always say hi to her and talk to her. She has wanted to sit with us before, but we explain to her how either her spouse needs to be present or she needs to come to church first. But this night, she stopped us and said her boyfriend was home and she wanted to talk to us. So we talked for a little bit and made an appointment. The next day we came to her house at the time we set up but her boyfriend was not there. We waited for 20 minutes for him but he never came. She asked if she could explain a problem she is having to us. So of course we said yes. She explained how her spouse is leaving and wants nothing to do with her. She then went into how all she wants in life is to find the true church. She sees churches everywhere here but knows there can only be one true church and wants to find it. We explained to her that we are that one true church and we set up a new appointment with her. We also explained how we know it wasn´t just luck that we chose to walk by her house everyday because there are many shorter ways that we can go.

One other small miracle we had is with a joven´s (youth´s) mother. She is very against the church and is actually a missionary for a different church here. We passed by their house last night and asked to sit with them. She finally said yes! So we sat with her and her husband and explained the principles of our religion and about prayer because those were the two things she asked us to talk about. After we finished our lesson, she explained how she notices something different about our church and will pray to know if her church or our church is true. She then went on to explain how if she received an answer that our church is true that she would be the first one at the chapel every Sunday.

It is great to see how God has slowly been opening the hearts of so many people here and how he places them in our path to help!

Besides these small miracles, not much has happened. We have gone many days without lessons or any contacts. But all we can do is be diligent in the work and we will be blessed! We are already seeing blessings come!

This week I went on a division with another elder in my district. His name is Elder Katoa and he is from St. George. We had 8 lessons! It was crazy how busy we were. We were literally running around trying to get to them all. We taught a Recent Convert named Felicidade. She has a pig pen and two pigs! The pigs are named Carvalho and Larsen. Felicidade let me get in the pig pen and feed the pigs! So I casually got into the pen and played with pigs. Be jealous. At another lesson we taught, the investigators had a pet cat. The cat name was Potato. Best. Cat. Name. Ever.

Well, that is pretty much everything that happened this week. Tchau for now!

Finally can send some pictures!!!

1   Me and the pigs!!
2   Me and Inacios little sisters
3   Me and Joanas neighbor!
4   All of the people being baptized the first week i got here along with the ward members that came to support them
5   Me and Bernardo and his friend at Stake Conference

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekly Update!

Oi everyone!

This week has been great! It has been extremely busy, but we have had a lot of success. We have 8 new investigators this week! We found 2 new families to teach and a bunch of jovens (young adults) that are ready for the Gospel. We spent a lot of this week finding and "knocking" doors. We found a family that was so eager to hear the Gospel, so we marked a visit with them. We still have a lot to do in regards to finding people, but we are definitely finding success after a few slow weeks.

Our Mission President has changed our focus from finding new people to teach, to working with less actives and part member families. So this next week we are planning to meet with some less active members to hopefully reactivate them.

Some of our investigators:

Joana- We had to push back her baptism again to next week. She didn´t come to church this week and is having a really hard time right now. She is very lonely and really misses her sister, also her best friend, that recently passed away. We are really trying to work with her and helping her both spiritually and with finding friendship in our ward.

Gerson- Still progressing! He is extremely eager to be baptized and learn!

Moises e Vitoria- Right now, we have taught them all of the lessons. We are just trying to get them married. They plan on being married soon in order to be baptized, but they are just saving the money.

Simon- Simon is quite interesting how we found! On the back of one of the missionary vehicles it says "Quer ter uma familia feliz?" or, in English, "Do you want to have a happy family?". Then it has a phone number of the missionaries. So Simon called this number and he wants nothing more than to feel love and happiness at home. So we are trying to help his family right now, but all is well!

We have many more, but those are some that I wanted to share with you! I will keep you updated!

Nothing too significant happened this week, but I will update everyone next week!

One last thing. GIVE MISSIONARIES REFERENCES!!!! :) I know that many of you can think of at least one, if not more, people that would be open to learning about the gospel. Sharing the Gospel can bless both your life and theirs. Just think of the joy you can bring to their lives!

Anyway, tchau for now!! Até proxima semana!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

2 Month Mark!

Oi everyone!

As of today, I have been on my mission for 2 months! Isn't that crazy?! Time sure does go fast.

So to start, I just want to let everyone know that since the internet here is not the best and our time is limited, it is really hard for me to reply to everyone. That being said, if I do not reply to you one week, I will do my best to get you the next week! So please do not worry! :)

Anyway, this week was a pretty long week. We have been really trying to find new people and families to teach. So we have been contacting A LOT! But recently, our mission president has asked us to focus on getting referrals from members. So we have been going to many members houses and teaching and attempting to get referrals. One lesson that we have had success with is teaching the story of Noah's Ark. We teach the story and then give everyone a piece of paper and pencil and tell them to draw a boat. We then ask them to write the names of everyone that they would want to save from the flood. From there, we go into how everyone is a missionary and should strive to teach everyone. Afterwards we ask for referrals! It is pretty successful actually!

Update on Gerson and Joana.

Gerson has invited all of his family and friends to take the discussions as well! So we teach up to 5-6 people along with him now. So that is great! His baptismal date is September 19th, so we are working hard to get him prepared for that.

Joana's baptism is being pushed to next week. She did not come to church this week, so we are required to wait one more week. The church and different members have started helping her with her food situation, so she is definitely improving there! She is also trying to find a new and better paying job. Hopefully that works out for her! 

We had a Zone Training this week! We discussed the importance of families and how we need to find more referrals. Along with that, we ate at KFC twice this week! It is the only American food we have here so that tasted amazing!

Our first Stake conference was a success! The stake center was packed full and so many people loved it. Since the stake conference was 45 minutes away and no one has a car here, we rented two buses. The buses picked the ward up at 8 in the morning and then dropped everyone off at the stake center! It was so much fun seeing so many people! They got their first Patriarch as well! Only people that have served missions have received a Patriarchal blessing, so it will be a huge blessing to the people here.

Anyway, tchau for now and talk to you next week!