Monday, May 26, 2014

Making more connections

Does everyone remember the story of that one contact that was absolutely terrible? And then we had a miracle happen with his friend? Well, the contact, Bruno, was baptized this week!

Our miracle, Raimundo, left a little while ago to visit his family in the Interior of Ceara. He's going to return this week, and get baptized the next. But Bruno, the young guy that we contacted that understood absolutely nothing, progressed a ton this week and got baptized! Although he had a lot of trouble understanding us, he has been super diligent and faithful with reading the Book of Mormon and praying everyday. I've never had a more diligent investigator than this guy! Also, when we taught him all the commandments, he just up and left all of his sins. He was like "Drop the coffee? I can do that." And he did it. He also basically memorized all of the missionary lessons too. However, he's a very shy guy, so we had no idea he knew all that stuff until the baptism interview. After he passed the interview, our Zone Leader told us that our lessons with him must have gone very well, because he knew so much. It's funny, because all of our lessons with him were frustruatingly painful. Thank goodness he read all the pamphlets we gave him!

Also, this week we had a really cool miracle! One of our investigators, Brena, is going through trying times in her life. She has been looking for more happiness for her and especially for her family; Brena and her husband have been having troubles in their relationship. Last week (and yesterday), she came to church. However, we found out this week that she only came last week because of a dream she had.

When we first came into contact with Brena, she cried a little during the lesson of the Restoration, and told us at the end that she had been waiting for someone to bring such a happy message to her. There she resolved to go to church, but when Saturday came she had other things to deal with, and was ready to stay in the house during Sunday. When she went to bedSaturday night, she dreamed that Elder Brooks and I were at her front door, calling her to church. Only, it was a dream, so she dreamed that we were talking heavy Cearense slang with her, which was pretty funny. But because of this dream, she woke up with the determination to go to church. And she did.

Now, this week, we went to visit Brena and her husband, Leandro, on Saturday. We brought along our good buddy Cleiton. When he shared his testimony, he literally hit on every single problem that Brena and Leandro were having. Only the funny thing is, Cleiton had no idea what their problems were. Miracle? Heck yeah. 

In 2 Nephi 31:13, the prophet Nephi talks about how when we recieve the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we will be able to speak with the tongue of angels. Cleiton most definitely used this gift with Brena and Leandro. Both of them came to church yesterday, and both of them now have dates to be baptized. 

Well, that's all the awesome for this week! Ate mais!

Elder Bishop 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Baptism, Marriage, and an Apostle

Subject: Baptism, Marraige, and an Apostle

FINALLY! This week we had the baptism of Cleiton! Also he got married. Which is another big thing. I'll have the pictures up next week of the wedding and baptism.

The wedding, this Friday, was really fast but really cool. Nivea and Cleiton came dressed up in their finest clothes, and they were shining with happiness! The wedding was also very emotional. This week, the mother of Nivea had a heart attack, and is going to have open heart surgery. It's been really stressful for them, so the wedding was both very happy and very sad. Driving back to the house, Nivea couldn't help but cry because of all that was going on. She said that she didn't know whether to be really happy or to be crying on behalf of her mom. Cleiton comforted her and told her that she didn't need to cry, because she had the perfect opportunity to cry at the baptism! 

The baptism went really well. Tons of people from our ward came, to support Cleiton (he's basically best friends with everyone already) and watch the baptism of this great dude. Elder Brooks baptized Cleiton, everyone and their dog took a picture with him, and the next day I got to confirm him a member of the Church. Giving him the gift of the Holy Ghost was really cool, but as for the blessing afterwards, I have absolutely no memory of what I said. I hope it was good. But there's also a chance that what I said didn't make much sense. Giving blessings in Portuguese is hard! 

So, the week went great, and things are going good in Ala Ômega! Also, today our mission, and the Fortaleza Leste mission, got to hear from Elder Anderson, the Apostle! He spoke in Portuguese most of the time, and helped all of us missionaries understand how we can serve better in our areas. Yeah, I had no idea he spoke Portuguese also. But it was really great to hear an Apostle of God super close, and speaking in another language! 

See you all next week! Tchau!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Another week of MIRACLES: ( and a few pictures FINALLY)

JHey everyone! Elder Brooks and I had a great week! We had a lot of good work this week, and a crazy awesome miracle.
First off, Elder Brooks and I had a district goal of making 140 contacts in a week. Also, there's only two other Elders in our district, so that makes 35 contacts per person for the week. It was pretty hard, but we met our goal! From all this work during the week came our miracle.
On Monday, after P-day and all that, Elder Brooks felt impressed to talk to a specific young man that we saw sitting on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, we had an appointment at that time, so we both passed him by and went on with our day. A few days later Elder Brooks and I went searching specifically for this young man, and sure enough we found him sitting on the same patch of sidewalk (that's actually extremely normal here), and we contacted him on the spot! The lesson was absolutely horrible. This guy didn't understand a word we said (he's from the interior of Ceara, where they speak a little different), so we weren't able to really invite him to do anything. In the end, we just left a pamphlet of the Restoration with him. 
A few days later, walking down the same patch of sidewalk, we ran into this young guy again, except he had a friend with him. This guy stood up when he saw us, stretched forth his hand and pointed to the Book of Mormon in Elder Brooks' hand. Then he asked what he needed to do to get a Book of Mormon. Elder Brooks happily replied that he only needed to read it, and we gave him a copy. This man, Raimundo, then explained a wonderful story. He said that ten years ago, a young American boy gave him a Book of Mormon. At this time, Raimundo wasn't very interested in the Book, and he loaned it to a friend before he got the chance to read it. The friend never returned the book. Now, ten years later, he had begun to search for the truth of the Gospel. He struggled to find this same book, until his friend, the guy that we contacted, gave him the pamphlet of the Restoration. On the back Raimundo saw the picture of the Book of Mormon, so he read the whole pamphlet and waited for us to return, so he could ask for one. After three days Raimundo has already read up to Jacob in the Book of Mormon, and he came to Church with us. After Sacrament Meeting, he said to us: "I believe my search for the truth has ended."
 So yeah, super cool story.
We also had something hilarious happen to us this week!
While teaching the Plan of Salvation to Eduardo, a 22 year old man, we heard the weirdest noise ever. We heard the sound of some living thing slipping, screeching, and a splash. I'm not so sure, but I don't think any other missionary can say that while they were teaching they had a rat fall from the rafters of the roof into a bucket of water, but mabye I'm wrong. Yes, a rat fell into a bucket of water. WHILE WE WERE TEACHING! Eduardo acted really fast and kicked the bucket, with the rat in it, into the bathroom! He locked the bathroom from the outside and we continued teaching, after a fit of laughter. During the ENTIRE lesson we couldn't help but giggle every once in awhile, because of all the other noises that the rat was making! Scratching around, trying to find a way out, playing in the water... No one in the world would be able to tell what went down in there! And then, at the highlight of the lesson, teaching about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we heard the toilet flush. And after, absolute laughter from everyone in the room. How the rat was able to flush the toilet, I'll never know. But this I do know: One can not simply teach the Plan of Salvation with a rat in the bathroom! 

And that was basically my week. Tune in next time for the awaited wedding and baptism of Cleiton! WHOO! Atê o próximo! 

Elder Bishop


Brazilian LIAHONA

Elder Dup: FIRST companion

Elder Hunter Bishop :  STAR WARS





Monday, May 5, 2014

An investigator's testimony

This week was super great! Our members have started to get really excited about the work, because of our amazing investigator, Cleiton! The members of our ward offered a lot of help this week with missionary work, which gave Elder Brooks and I the chance to get all of our investigators acquainted with some of the members in the ward. Because of all this help, many of the members got to see the joys of missionary work. Fast sunday also helped a ton with this. 

Yesterday, many of our members bore their testimonies about missionary work, because of the experiences they had with our investigators. Then, one of the last people to bare his testimony was.... Cleiton! He didn't know if he was able to bear his testimony as a non-member, so he gave the Bishop a little sign. The Bishop beckoned him to come up to the stand. His testimony was something like this: "Hello Brothers and Sisters. I'm not baptized yet, but I wanted to share my testimony that I know that I have found the true Church of Jesus Christ. I am here to give testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, and contains the Words of God, as well as the Bible has. I will be baptized into this Church. I have gained this testimony for myself, and all of you here that haven't been baptized yet, you guys can find this testimony also! I also want to invite those people to be baptized, because I know already that I will find happiness with my baptism, and I know you all can too. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." And Elder Brooks and I began to giggle like little girls that stumbled into a shop full of Barbies.

There isn't really anything cooler that I can share with you guys, so I'll just leave it at that for this week! Until next week! Tchau!

Elder Bishop