Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Listening to the prompting a of the spirit

Well, again this week was very hard and very slow. All of our appointments, except one, fell through this week. 
Nevertheless, we had amazing things happen! One new family in our ward gave us a solid referral for a whole family that they are friends with, and while Elder Dup and I were street contacting, we got about 7 potential investigators! Also, one more big thing while we were street contacting:

Elder Dup and I were walking along a road fairly close to our house, ready to retire for the night, and while we were walking I caught a glance of three men drinking outside of a bar, having themselves a good time. This is normal. Then I heard a very distinct voice whisper to my heart; "You need to talk to them." This is not normal. I didn't know how to react. Elder Dup and I kept walking, and I struggled to try and figure out whether I had heard the Holy Ghost or not. We kept walking. Up to this point, I had only felt the Holy Ghost speak directly to my heart once in my entire life. It was such a long time ago, too! And back then, I didn't listen to the voice, and ended up breaking my arm (some of you may remember the story). Well, this time I knew my arm wouldn't be broken if I didn't listen, but I couldn't shake the feeling that we needed to talk to them. We reached the end of the street, and in perfect Portuguese (which doesn't happen when I'm talking), I relayed to Elder Dup that we needed to go back and talk to those three men. Elder Dup said that he thought we needed to also. 
Both of us traveled back up the road, introduced ourselves to the men at the bar (though none of them were drunk), and asked if we could meet with them to teach them more about Jesus. All three of them said yes, although only one lived in our area. The other two were referred to the missionaries that lived in our area. The one that lived in our area, Mil, will be taking the discussions this week, and I look forward to teaching him. I will be teaching him with another companion, mostly, since the President told Elder Dup that he was going to be a Zone Leader over the Bom Jardim zone (which is sort of far away) this next transfer. I most likely will stay here, in Ala (ward) Ômega. 
The Holy Ghost is the real deal! He will testify to every willing heart the truth of all things, when asked with a sincere desire. And He will guide us, through promptings and feelings, letting us know what we should do to bring us closer to Christ and to our Father.
And that's it! Tchau!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Another day, another miracle. Last week, we had interviews with the President, and I was just barely able to communicate with him! He knows a little English, so when I really didn't understand something, he would translate it. Then he said "Sorry Elder, my English is really bad." and I responded by saying "Meu Português também!" (My Portuguese also!). Anyway, our President is really awesome, but after the interview is when our weekly miracle happened. Elder Dup and I, along with a few other missionaries, went to eat at a nearby McDonald's (Which is still just as gross as the States). While I was about to order, a woman, probably around 26, approached me and asked if we were the Mormon Missionaries! I said that we were, and then she asked if we happened to have "those Mormon books" with us! I said yes, and asked her if she wanted one. She smiled and said that she has been looking for one for awhile. So I got one for her, and told her it was free when she asked how much it cost. Then she sat down with her food and immediately started reading it! She seemed very excited, but I wasn't able to get her name before she left. I hope the missionaries in that area find her. 

Other than this experience, it's been a trying week for Elder Dup and I. We lost two of our investigators. One of them was Gabriela, except she's still going to get baptized. She just moved out of our area to get better schooling. Our other investigator, however, most likely will not be baptized (at least not for awhile). He has one of those "I want to be baptized, but my parents won't let me" situations. The ward has really befriended him though, so I have high hopes for him in the future. 

Anyway, I have to go now! Tchau!

"Brazil" knows how to make Burger King burgers better"

I can't believe it! Two weeks in a row we've had awesome stuff happen to us! This week, though it was slower than usual, was super awesome! 

One of our investigators (that we've been teaching since day one), finally prayed to ask if the church was true. She got an answer, but it wasn't a very ordinary answer. Gabriela, the investigator, just happened to recieve the exact same kind of answer that Elder Dup had recieved when he was investigating the church. 

Elder Dup was so excited, and Gabriela was even more excited! She's definitely going to be baptized this week. Anyway, Gabriela described her experience as having felt another presence in the room with her, comforting her as she prayed. Elder Dup said he had felt the same way, when he was twelve years old investigating the church. 

We didn't have any baptisms this week, but we got to witness a lot of great stuff! We went to a baptism for an investigator of the two missionaries who live with us, Elder Gomez and Elder Ferrari (Yup, that's his name. Except in Portuguese it's pronounced 'Feharri'). They've been having a lot of trouble with their investigators, so it was wonderful to see them able to baptize one of the people they have been teaching. They also were able to set up a marriage date for two investigators they needed to get married! I'm super happy for them. 

They're both great missionaries, and it's really funny trying to communicate with them with my broken Portuguese. Most of the time, we just use really overly-dramatic hand gestures to indicate what we are trying to say. It's not very effective.

One more thing! I am now officially legal in Brazil! Good news, right? The mission secretaries took all the new missionaries from the States to the Police office to complete the registration process. Usually, this takes a matter of hours. We waited the whole day. It was a bit of a waste, but it was fun to be able to get to know some of the missionaries. Also, it was fun to speak English again. It was like running into an old friend, with all the reminiscing of how things were, and how things are now, and how everyone misses the football season, and so on. 

We did get to talk to some people about the church in the office, so the day wasn't a total waste! Also, we ate at Burger King. The food there tasted a lot better than I remember. Mabye it's because I haven't had it in a long time, but I think Brazil just knows how do Burger King better. 

And that was my week! It was a little interesting, but fun all the same. Tchau!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Finding LEECHES in the baptismal font!!!

Hey all! Do you remember last week, when I told you about that guy that randomly came to church and wanted to be baptized, named Dacio? Yeah, his name isn't Dacio (whoops). His name is actually Antonio, but his legend remains the same! Turns out there is a guy named Dacio, though. We'll get to that later. Anyway, Elder Dup and I taught Antonio all the lessons this week. He had us over at his one-room house every day, where we taught him every lesson known to missionaries (when I say we, it's all mostly Elder Dup, since I'm still struggling with the language. I helped though!). 

Anyway, we got to the Word of Wisdom, and we were going through what it means, and Antonio is all like "Hey! I drink coffee! I've been drinking it all my life!" (again, that was in an entirely different language, so it's a very rough translation) and we were all like "No way! Will you stop drinking coffee?" Then he was all like "Heck yeah I'll stop drinking coffee!" (seriously, this all translates very odd). And then, he stopped drinking coffee. Cool story, huh? Except Antonio gets even better. 

During our first lesson, teaching about the Book of Mormon, we found out that Antonio can't read. For us missionaries, that's a pretty big stumbling block. So, we simply invited him to pray and ask God if what we were teaching was true. The next day, when we followed up with our invitation, Antonio said that he had prayed, but then he said that he thought he didn't do it right. We thought that meant that he hadn't recieved an answer. So we asked him if he recieved an answer. He was like "Yeah, I recieved an answer. I just don't think I prayed right. Also, I know that the church is true. When can I be baptized?" 

We were absolutely dumbfounded. Even among the people here, Elder Dup says he has never seen anyone with so much faith! We scheduled his baptism for Saturday, and asked his member friend, Dacio (See? There he is!), to baptize him. 

Saturday, everything went up into chaos. I guess there had to be opposition for such a great guy. First off, we couldn't find the baptismal clothes anywhere (we literally spent three hours looking for them). We had to get some loaned to us by the Bishop in a different ward. 

Second, when we went to pick up Antonio and Dacio, we couldn't find Antonio, and Dacio said that he was too tired from traveling all day to do the baptism. Thankfully, we later found out that Antonio just walked to the church himself, true to his awesome! Antonio was also fine with Elder Dup baptizing him. 

But when we opened up the baptismal font, after arriving at the church, we discovered something else. The font had leeches. LEECHES! How did they get there? Where did they come from? Why do they look so evil? Nevertheless, Antonio went through with the baptism. It went well, and afterwards, neither Antonio or Elder Dup had leeches! Hurrah for Israel!

And that was how the week went. Atê mais!