Hey Everyone, I'm pretty tired today, cause we had a zone activity this morning and we played some water balloon games and soccer and stuff, it was fun, we took some pictures, we did that thing where each companionship had a towel and we had to toss the water balloons to each other over and imaginary volleyball net, which was fun and we got some fun pictures, and then we had alot of water balloons left over so we just had a water balloon dodgeball game at the end which was fun. It tired us all out but everyone in our zone came, which was cool. Its important to have a united zone. The zone has been working well and has been baptizing every week, so we have been happy with that, but next week is transfers already, this transfer was only a transfer of 5 weeks instead of 6 weeks so it has been extra quick and short. We will see what happens with transfers I am really interested. Its probably because there will be a ton of changes, I think that about half of the zone will get transferred, I'm pretty sure that I will be staying but nobody knows, transfers are always a shot in the dark, I have been liking this area alot though even though it has been one of the most challenging areas that I have had, the members here have been really good and I have made alot of good friends and have had alot of good experiences here. We had some splits again this week so I spent them in my area it was good, we just looked for new people to teach we went after alot of names on our members list but most of the addresses didn't even exist, it was kinda frustrating and we got called to do a random service project which kinda blew cause our day was already planned out so we had to switch stuff around but it ended up getting a good reference from a member so that's good, I guess. We started teaching some new people and we also found some elect people that wasn't planned, we went to a road looking for some houses that didn't exist anymore so we just decided to knock a door, so we knocked the door and it was a lady without much interest, but we asked if she knew someone that might be interested in hearing the Gospel and she said that maybe her neighbors on the corner so she gave us her name and we went there and taught a lesson to a lady named rita and her grandaughter bruna, it was good and we ended up just talking alot about baptism, we went back later the next day and nobody was home so I went back again the next day after during the division, and they weren't there again, but they said that bruna might be in an office that was located next to the house so we went there and found brunas mom there, she looked familiar and I asked if she had already talked with the missionaries before and she was like yeah you actually came to my house last month and talked to us, then I remembered about a division when I knocked on their door, they were out front cleaning but they said we could come back another day, we never got the chance to go back even though that family crossed my mind every once in a while, so The Lord gave us a second chance to find this family again and teach them, so we went to their house Saturday night and taught bruna again and marked her baptismal date for the middle of may, then she went to church on Sunday and she seemed to like it alot, I think she has 18 years or so, she is really cool and I really think we will be able to baptize her, and hopefully her family as well, another cool thing is that she lives on the same road as Israel and Gabrielle who were our last two baptisms, they are both staying firm and our integrating well with all of the members in the ward. So this week passed by quick and it was good, I will be sad because one of my best friends from the mission Elder W. Santos will be going home next week, he is finishing his mission. I will miss him alot, when I got to Brazil, he was my first zone leader and I did my first division with him, he taught me alot of things and is an excellent example of diligence and service, even though he is almost going home he has still given his all and has been baptizing alot in his area, I want to be like him when I get close to finishing my mission, I want to keep working strong and giving my best effort, his attitude his he came to work for 2 years on a mission, not 1 year or 1 year and 11 months, but 2 years. He was my first zone leader and I have the privilege to be his last zone leader, that was something cool for me. So it sounds like it was pretty chilly for you guys at home, this week was actually alot hotter than the week before but still it sounds like its going to keep cooling down, I would kinda like to see the really cold side of Ponta Porã. So as you can see are zone is a bunch of goofs as you can see in the attached photo, but I love them and have gotten to know them all very well, that's one thing that is cool about being a zone leader is you get to know missionaries alot better then you would normally, dad talked about how after he was a zone leader he really appreciated his time as a trainer, I can say I feel the same way, I know that's how I want to end my mission is training if I can. We will see though. So yeah mission is going by quick I have found myself thinking about the great things at home, after I hit a year and 4 months I was just like whoa, I don't have much time left. By the end of next transfer I will have more than a year and six months, that's crazy stuff. But so yeah the church is true and I love my friends and family. Thanks so much for your letters and for the time you guys spend to write them. pray for us so we can have a week of courage and success! Hugs for all.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Whaaaaat week 70? Tu é doido! Wow what a quick week! Sorry I didn't write yesterday, it was a holiday here and almost the entire city was shut down which meant that there weren't any lan houses open to do emails, but today everything is open again so we are in to write emails real quick and to send in numbers and stuff. So yeah this week went by really fast, cause we had our zone conference here, and so the neighboring zone which is in the city of Dourados also came here and we had our zone conference, it was really good and we learned alot of things and we learned about the importance teaching more about repentance and helping people to have the desire to repent and to be baptized I thought it was really neat and me and Elder Piñon have already started applying what we learned and we have already seen a difference in our investigators and in our lessons. The conference was on Friday and on Thursday the assistants arrived early with the President and Sister Reber, so we did and unexpected division with them in our area which was actually pretty good and we found some new investigators. Then we ate a hamburgers that night together and we had a good time, we had a bunch of stuff to do to help prepare for the conference, they kinda just threw it all on us the last minute, but we got everything taken care of and everything went smoothly. I'm glad to know that even in the little things like preparing for a conference Heavenly Father always has his eye on us and helps us even in the littlest of things. We also had our zone meeting during the conference where we did our zone training that also went well and I was grateful for that. We have been looking for new people to teach and baptize this week which is tough, but we found some cool people and so hopefully this week we will be able to help them and I hope they will progress, thank you for always praying and thinking about our investigators, I know that The Lord hears your prayers. So our house has been giving us problems, there is a wall full of water and the house is super small, there is no room to study, and know room to study or hang clothes, and it always has mold growing, the house just blows, so President came and gave us permission to find another house and move out, hopefully that will work out. I forgot to mention that when it rains alot water come into our house, and so yesterday it rained like crazy and what do you know half of our house got flooded, so we spent forever yesterday getting water out of our house, the owner is in the stake presidency so we will need to talk to him and get this house taken care of, because I don't want to stay in our house any longer. But whatever at least we have a house to live in. Its been cooling down quite a bit I have been using my sweater quite a bit I'm using it right now, its been rainy as well it rained all last night and its still has alot of overcast, I'm not complaining though, most of my mission up until now I have been out in the 100 degree sun, I will take this weather any day. So Happy Easter again It sounds like it was good for you guys, it was cool here as well, we got a huge chocolate egg from our recent convert Gabrielys family, they are really generous to us and our always offering us dinner or lunch and stuff, they really like us. Our Bishop gave a really nice talk on Sunday that reminded me of the love that The Savior has for us, indeed I am grateful for the life and resurrection of the Savior, I know he loves us, and I know he lives, because I have felt His sweet spirit, I know He always watches over us. I am forever grateful to be a member of His church. And I know its true. This work is hard but it is worth it, we have good days and not so good days, but I know that I will look back at these 2 years and they will be memories of joy and happiness, I hope the Lord will give me the opportunity to work in his vineyard again, after the mission and maybe after this mortal life. But I know this work is good, and that it is true. The Savior is our Master, our Captain and Chief. As members of His church we follow Him. I know that He cares about us. I don't really have much more to write but thanks so much for the emails and letters and love and thoughts and prayers, I love you all so much! Have an awesome week!
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
mmmmm p-day what a glorious day for a missionary, nossa, its been a tiring week. My thought have been back at home alot this week, its been a week of challenges and stresses, but in the end as usual everything turned out ok. We have been trying to work alot with members and less actives so we have been trying to go after our list of members but almost all of the houses we go to there is no one there or they moved or the address doesn't exist, as I have said before our area is super difficult because it is the center and its is where the richest people in the city live, so most of the houses are mansions and its rather depressing, but we did what we could even though we didn't have much success, but so Wednesday we went back to Gabrieles and we talked to her dad which is the one that wanted her to wait to get baptized, but he was like no if she wants she can baptized so we were like yay! haha so this week I went on splits again and stayed in my area and we went after some more names of peoples and also we taught Gabriele a little more and we did her interview on Saturday that went fine. Gabriel told me that she wanted me to baptize her i told her that I thought it would be better for her uncle to baptize her since he was the less active member that was returning to church but she insisted on having me baptize her, but on Thursday there was a baptism of a man that had been going to church for a while with his wife who was already a member, they just weren't married and so they scheduled the marriage date over a month ago and on Thursday they finally got married, and that night he got baptized, his name was Josiel, I did his baptismal interview last week during general conference and was impressed to see how prepared he was and how ready he was to take upon him the name of The Savior and follow Him. He was baptized on Thursday night, and then Saturday we had another baptism in our ward accept this one was alot more hectic, the other missionaries had asked for us to get to the church early to turn on the water cause the others weren't going to be able to get their on time and its just us that have the keys to the church but we turned on the water and we saw that instead of the water going into the font the water was spilling shooting out of a pipe in the bathroom, so we turned off the water and found that the pipe was missing a huge joint piece and so water would just spew back out into the bathroom, we didn't have any idea why the pipe piece had been pulled out, so we had a mad rush of filling up the baptismal font by hand with buckets, that was a pain, it took about an hour and a half but we got the font filled up, that was the first time i had to do that on the mission and I hoped it would be the last. So the very next day we were going to have our baptism for Gabriel, so we got to church and what do you know someone had pulled the plug on the font! And it was empty again, so during sacrament meeting me and Elder Piñon starting filling the font up by hand again, but the problem was that the font must have a leak or something because it was slowly losing water so at the end of church there was very barely enough water in the font to do a baptism, luckily Gabriel is fairly short, but it seems like Satan did everything to try and prevent these baptisms from happening but they happened! Our mission ward leader was traveling which complicated alot of things as well and so we had to put everything together on the agenda and notify everyone, but it worked out. When we got in the water it was really cold haha, because yesterday was a super cold day the coldest i had ever had since new york on the mission, but it was interesting because during the baptismal prayer the water all of the sudden went from cold to lukewarm, it happened in a split second, I don't think the water itself became warm but I know that it actually became o water of healing, capable of washing away sins because the Lord had authorized that baptism because it was done by someone having His authority. The water was so low that it was just a little above my knees but even after her baptism I could feel that warm sensation in my body where the water had been touching, and I knew that Gabriel had that exact same feeling in all of her body and being, she felt the spirit strongly and was crying after her baptism. That made all of the difficulties and challenges worth it. Also Israel was confirmed on Sunday and he is doing well and going to seminary and church. Also this week we will be having zone conference here in Ponta Porã, where our zone and the Dourados zone which is a neighboring city and zone will be coming here and we will have a training from President Reber, and then after we will have our own zone conference of just our zone, that was kinda dropped on us this week because before we were going to have the conference in Dourados but now they randomly switched it to our zone, so now we have to get someone to prepare a lunch for all the missionaries and also we have to prepare the chapel and get everything ready for them. This week will probably be pretty wild as well, pray for us so that it will all work out. So mom wanted to know more about my companion, he does not have a blogspot unfortunately, but he lives in Virginia, but is from Miami, he is almost 22 I think and wants to do a career in music after his mission, he also like skateboarding alot before the mission and he will be finishing his mission in august. His dad is from Cuba and his mom is from Illinois I think. We get along really well and I am glad to have him as my companion. Well yeah I have to get going but thanks for your letters and I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. Tell the brothers thanks for their letters and I was glad to have gotten them and read them they made me really happy. oh yeah so Saturday I hit 16 months and I don't feel in different then I did when I had 15 months and 30 days, the mission is going by quick and I need your prayers so that we can continue having success in our area. its cooling down here, last night I was super cold and we wore sweaters these last two days. Its getting chilly it reminds me of home!! Thanks so much for the prayers and thoughts, I know they help. Have a great week everyone!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Boa tarde gente, sorry I'm emailing so late, we played soccer this morning and then we went to a birthday party for a member today and then we went home and cleaned up the house and stuff. So I'm hear with bro man Elder Pinõn, its been a kind of wild week, we havent been hardly able to work cause we have been running around so much with traveling and doing baptismal interviews and stuff, I'm excited though this week to start fresh and have a free week ahead of us, so yeah my companion is Elder Christopher Pinõn, from Miami Florida, but his family is currently living in Virigina, we get along great which is normal, Ive never had any problems with a companion. He is at a year and almost 7 months I think. Who is a super focused and strong missionary and he will help our zone and me alot. So he arrived on Tuesday so I just stayed in a trio for a little bit with elder w santos and his companion. We were going to have a baptism this week of Gabriele, we went to her house on Wednesday and talked with her and her mom and got her signature and it was like the easiest thing in the world, but Thursday we had to leave to go to campo grande right after lunch, cause we had a meeting for all the zone leaders in the south, the reunion was great and we learned alot, president was very pleased with our zone because we had helped triple the baptisms that the zone has been having the last several months, we were the zone that had the most number of baptisms in the south. But that's enough being prideful but the mission now has a new plan that all the zone leaders will do weekly divisions with the district leaders, hopefully it will help the entire mission as much as it has helped us. we didn't get back to Ponta Porã until about 11 Friday night, so we stayed the night at the house of the missionaries that live really close to the bus station, because the next morning we had to do baptismal interviews for them, so we did that and then we went straight to the church so we could watch general conference, we were blessed and they sent up a separate room for the Americans because there are 9 of us in the zone here, so that was nice being able to watch the talks in English, its nice to be able to actually hear their own voices, nothing against Portuguese at all but its just nice hearing the actual voice of the Prophet, Priesthood session we watched in Portuguese though. General conference was great and as I said before I appreciate it alot more now that I am here on the mission. I felt the strength and the power of the words of the speakers and I look forward to being able to study the talks more I plan on downloading them and listening to them. It was strange to think that its been a year since uncle tom passed away, I still miss him and he was in my thoughts, my thoughts were back at home with you guys as well, conference made all the Americans trunky, haha, next conference though will be my last on the mission, and then I will be going home probably. Weird to think that in 6 more months I will be entering into my last transfer of the mission. gosh tu é doido. Lets not think about those things, this week I will hit a year and 4 months, sad thing about missions is they all come to an end whether we like it or not. Oh yeah, so we were going to baptize Gabriele on Sunday but we called her mom to confirm things and she said it would be better for Gabriele to wait to be baptized, I was pretty shocked to hear that but I just told them that we would be coming by to visit them this week, so I don't know what happened but tomorrow we will find out, I hope we can still baptize her, pray for her and us so that everything can go fine so that we can baptize her still. So yeah, I'm really tired cause we were playing alot of soccer which really tired me out, but I'm stoked up for this transfer Elder Pinõn is the man, he is 22 and we are already really good friends this transfer will be really good, it will only be a transfer of 5 weeks instead of 6 weeks though, I was excited to hear that you guys enjoyed conference and that dads companion was called as an area authority, that's cool. But I know the church is true and that Thomas S. Monson really is Gods chosen Prophet, that I know. Families can be together forever, and the mission goes by too fast. Well not much to say today sorry but pray for us so that we can find the Lords elects and baptize them, love you guys and also I hope Keeton gets feeling better, I'm miss my little cousins they have probably changed so much! take care and have a good week!