Monday, July 28, 2014


This week, we had interviews with President Bonini. Our President is a boss. His view on the mission is to "start with the end result in mind," or in other words, to teach investigators with the goal of getting them to the temple. His desire is to change the work of the mission to become something more than just baptism. 

Also, while we were in the mission office, I learned that Sister Evans (married to Elder Evans; a senior couple in our mission) is my cousin! Third cousin, really. Something like that. She's actually Grandpa Bishop's cousin. However, Sister Evans knows a ton about our ancestors and stuff like that, so it was really fun to hear about that. Also, it was Pioneer Day, so it was the perfect day to learn more about that.

In our area this week, we had a few cool things happen, and we had some scary news. First, we had quite a shock when we went to visit Regina. We got there, and only her kids were at home, and all of them were crying. We learned that Regina's toddler, Adele, had a seizure, due to a very high fever, and that they had to race to the hospital. The look of fear and pain written on the faces of Regina's kids that day will never leave my mind. I offered to say a prayer, and I was able to calm the kids down, but it was still pretty intense. That was definitely not the best day of my mission. Fortunately, the three-year old is doing well now, and she's back at home, so everything ended up alright.

On the other hand, the awesome came the next day! We were struggling to find a man from our ward to go with us to visit Leda and Nalda: the family of Lucas. For those of you that don't know, we cannot enter a house that doesn't have a man over the age of sixteen. It's a rule. But this week we absolutely had to visit Leda and Nalda, because we had to try and get them to church. Since the baptism of Lucas inspired them to investigate the church, we were betting on this visit to work out. We probably visited half of the ward (which wasn't too hard, since our area includes about 14 streets) to find someone to come with us, and no one was at home! We almost gave up on our visit, but as we were walking away from what we thought was the last member that would've been able to go with us, we heard someone call out "Elderes!" We turned around, and I had to look for who called us, because I didn't see anyone I recognized. Some guy that I never met before in my life walks up to us, shakes our hands, and tells us a beautiful story. This guy said that he was a member that had just moved into the ward, that he had just got back from a mission, and that he would love to teach with us sometime. So we asked him if he could go with us right there on the spot, and so it was. What a miracle! And lets see the results! We were able to teach Lucas and Leda and Nalda, and all of them went to church. Most likely, we will be able to secure their baptisms now, and Lucas won't be the only one in his family that is from the Church. Out of nowhere our little problem was solved, and the greater question of the Salvation of Souls has begun with this family. Isn't it awesome how God helps us out?

And that was my week. Aproveita.

Elder Bishop

Children and Baptism


Dear Elder Bishop                                                            7-28-2014

What joyous news you shared with us concerning the baptism of Lucas and the other children. When I served in primary and young women’s, I was continually amazed at the faith of children as compared to adults. Their desires, intents, simplicity and willingness to forgive and try again to follow our Savior can be a powerful example to older adults struggling with principles of faith and testimony.
When the Nauvoo temple was dedicated, I was serving as the primary president. As a presidency, we created child-friendly activities, visuals, and games for the children to complete on the 6-hour ride to the temple dedication. I was so impressed by their diligence in understanding the principles and ordinances that take place in the sacred House of God. When Brad and I took you three boys to the Open House, your reverence, respect, and awe was such a testimony to me of the faith of children. At such a young age, each of you struggled with attention and on that day, as we walked on hallowed ground, I knew that the Lord speaks to children in quiet whispers and has a great impact on them. (as soon as we were on the green grass in the sunny, breezy day, you all returned to your energetic and curious true nature)
Jean A Stevens:  Primary General 1st Counselor, offered this reflection concerning children she met.
Let me share some experiences of how children can bless our lives with their innocent yet powerful examples of Christlike attributes.
Todd, a little boy just two years old, recently went with his mother to an art museum that was showing a special exhibit of beautiful paintings of the Savior. As they walked past these sacred images, she heard her little boy reverently saying the name “Jesus.” She looked down to see him folding his arms and bowing his head as he viewed the paintings. Could we learn from Todd something about an attitude of humility, of reverence, and of love for the Lord?
Last fall I watched the example of a 10-year-old boy in Armenia. As we waited for sacrament meeting to begin, he noticed the oldest member of the branch arrive. He was the one who quickly went to her side, offering his arm to steady her faltering steps. He assisted her to the front row of the chapel, where she could hear. Could his small act of kindness teach us that those who are greatest in the Lord’s kingdom are those who look for opportunities to serve others?
Katie, a Primary-age girl, taught us as we saw her influence on her family. She attended Primary and was drawn to the teachings of the gospel. With growing faith and testimony, Katie left a note on her parents’ pillow. She wrote that the gospel truths had found a “home in her heart.” She shared her longing to be close to her Heavenly Father, to be obedient to His commandments, and to have their family sealed in the temple. The simple testimony of their sweet daughter touched her parents’ hearts in a powerful way. Katie and her family did receive sacred temple ordinances that bound their family together forever. Katie’s believing heart and example of faith helped bring eternal blessings to her family. Could her sincere testimony and desire to follow the Lord’s plan lead us to see more clearly what really matters most?”

I am glad you are feeling the sweet spirits and faith of children in Fortaleza, Brazil. May they influence their parents and their decisions.

I know that Isaque will continue to grow in the gospel and his testimony. He has faced his biggest fear and “not run to the BEACH.”  What a great story of a strong young man who really wants to live what he has learned and take it very seriously. He will be a stronger member in doing so when he gets baptized.

I am so amazed at the teaching opportunities that Cecera Brazil and awarded you and your companions, Elder Imperador and Elder Brooks. Your insights on gospel principles, knowledge of the scriptures, Preach My Gospel and other LDS materials is very impressive. I am so proud of your application of faith, diligence, prayer and faith in serving as a missionary.

I am sorry about the SD Card. I have uploaded all the pictures you send me on your Blog:

Any news of recovery? You must have had a SICK feeling in your stomach, but it is not the end of the world. Continue to take pictures of your surroundings, places of worship, people, and upload them as soon as you can. You still have time!!!!!!!!

I love Mom

Monday, July 21, 2014

Teachings in Brazil

We had a baptism this week! Does everyone remember those random kids that we found in the church that said they wanted to be baptized? Well the first, Lucas, was baptized this past Saturday. It was Elder Imperador's first baptism. This week we are going to baptize the other kid, hopefully along with his mother. The rest of this kid's family have been baptized, but are inactive.

It was really fun to teach Lucas. He accepted everything we taught him with a ton of faith! He also just up and left coffee when we explained God's commandment in the Word of Wisdom. His family just moved here about four months ago, and what's funny is that I had already taught his mother and sister with Elder Brooks. However, we didn't ever meet Lucas, and we didn't spend too much time with his family because they didn't have any desire to go to Church. However, as many members of the Church know, God works in His own time and in His own ways; Lucas's mother and sister went to his baptism, and afterwards both of them said that they had felt such peace that they wanted to come to Church! Unfortunately, they weren't able to come this past Sunday because Lucas's mom got sick. 

We also found a really cool new investigator, Isaque. Or rather, he found us. I was on exchanges with my District Leader, and this guy just walked up to us, shook our hands, and told us that he wanted to speak with us. We walked with him to his house, sat down with him, and he began to tell us a story. Apparently, he has already recieved the missionary lessons, and he has already been to church many times. The other missionaries even had his baptism marked up and ready to go, but at the last second, he got scared and fled to the beach, and didn't return to the Church. That sounds a little weird in English, but that's the best translation I've got. Now, when we taught him, he expressed a desire to return to the church, and to try again with baptism. We are really excited to teach him.

We are still working with Enrique and Viviane, but it seems we've hit a wall with them. Enrique, like many of the people here in Brazil, feels obligated to his ties to the Catholic Church. However, I know that him and Viviane have both felt the spirit testifying to them of the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel. I know that if they both continue to strive and live the principles of the Gospel, they will find the true happiness that comes only on the basis of righteous living and the knowledge and usage of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I pray that they realize the blessings that wait for them in the One True Church.

And with that, I'll see you all next week.

Elder Bishop

Monday, July 14, 2014



So, we had transfers again, and I'm still here, in the same area. There must be someone very specific that I need to baptize here, because at the end of the transfer I'll have about 9 months here. That's all fine though, because I love the members here, and I love my investigators. Also, the members of our ward like to joke about how when I recieved my papers, the call was wrong. They say I must've really been called to the Ala Ômega Mission.

Nevertheless, the work goes onward! This past Sunday, we found a few kids that randomly went to church, and that have apparently been to church many times before. Plus, the two of them said that they wanted to be baptized. So that was cool.

Also, because of the World Cup we weren't able to visit Enrique and Viviane this week (they work a TON), but this week everything should go smooth. I don't know if I included it in my email last week, but they offered to bake us a pizza and have us and a few members over for dinner. They are an amazing couple! I hope to have the opportunity to help them get married and get baptized. 

Regina and her family are having a few really hard things happen in their lives. It makes me extremely sad, because all of them want so desperately to do good! Elder Imperador and I are going to visit them more this week, to try and help them with everything (including the wedding). Please everybody pray for Regina and Epitacio! They could really use some blessings right now!

My time is running out, but I will let you all know how this week goes! See you all later!

Elder Bishop

LDS video about church growth on BRAZIL

This is an inspiring look at missionary work in BRAZIL.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A new mission president

This week Elder Imperador and I got to meet our new President, Presidente Bonini! He is actually quite similar to President Souza, so I don't think it'll be hard to adjust to the new mission rules, because there are only two. The first is that we now have to go to church in our suits, and the second is that we can't pay for the weddings of our investigators. I'm fine with the suits thing, but not helping with the weddings is going to make the work with families very hard. However, this new policy fits perfectly with church doctrine, as it provides the family a way to work toward the goal of keeping God's commandments, and after of being baptized. The progression of families is ensured in this way. 

Speaking of families, Elder Imperador and I found another wonderful family! They came to church and really liked it. It helped a lot that it was fast and testimony meeting, and that all the families of our ward got up to bear their testimonies about eternal families. And just like that, we have three weddings that we are preparing. Pretty crazy, huh?

Enrique and Viviane, the family that we found this week, were references from the other Elders that are living in our house, Elder M. Silva and Elder Flake (our district leader). When they found Enrique and Viviane, they were warmly accepted, and they were able to teach about the Restoration of the Gospel. They said the lesson went great, but that the couple were literally all packed to move to their new home, which happened to be in our area! Later, when we were able to teach them here in our area, they said that the visit of the other Elders saved their relationship! The Elders were extremely excited to hear that. We are also extremely excited to get to teach them now. They also want to feed us dinner, which is a bonus.

Until next week everyone!

Elder Bishop