Monday, April 24, 2017

04/24/17 Email/Chat

Olá Familia, bom dia.  My week has been pretty good. I have had challenges, but the Lord has helped me through them. My new area is great, but it is hot. I am glad I was sent here in winter or it would be a lot worse. I usually eat with members every day except p-day for almoço (lunch), I usually eat rice and beans with every single last almoço, but they usually provide meat and something else as well a beverage of some kind; whether it be soda or juice or water. Sometimes I am favored with chicken or steak.

I forgot to tell you, but I have met possessed people and I could tell they were possessed because they recognized me. They talked and I noticed something they constantly said I love your church. Every one of them was very careful to neglect saying that they loved the Gospel or plan of Salvation. Satan is truly very cunning. I better learn how to be as wise as a serpent and yet with out sin quickly or things are only going to get more difficult here, But I know that if I exercise faith in the Lord he will help me. Sharing my testimony is not only a privilege but a responsibility. I have already seen some of the power of a testimony in the CTM. I bore mine to my instructor Sister Andrade and she looked as if that was just what she needed to give her hope.

I am here in Várzea Grande with Elder Silva my previous zone leader in Rondónopolis; who is now my District Leader.  I was a little off when I told you that I was going to Cuiabá. Várzea Grande is the area right next to it and is within walking distance of Cuiabá. Várzea Grande is a suburb of Cuiabá.   Elder Silva is now my companion and District Leader.

Now that I have left Rondonópolis I will  have to form new relationships. I met many good people there. One investigator in Rondopolis whose name is Evania called me her preferido, which I think means she really liked me. She may want to get baptized later on. Her son Ygor is the one I had the opportunity to confirm. I made friends with the Elders and some of the Sister missionaries in Rondonópolis.  I have been meeting, strangley enough, many English speaking people here in Matto Grosso. I came here to preach the gospel in Portuguese and the Lord is kind enough to provide me with some English speakers to practice. I have met, in two instances now, English speakers from the Philippines who say they are missionaries for some childrens fundraiser, and each time they have accepted a pamphlet. The first person I met after leaving the CTM was on the plane and I sat next to him. His name was Marcos and he spoke English fluently. He lives in Matto Grosso  from what he told me then. In Rondopolis I met a woman who is from Africa. She was learning Portuguese and knows English fluently. She was a great help to me in Rondonoplis.  Till next time. Valou.

04/17/17 Email/Chat

Olá, bom dia familia.  Happy Pascal, as well.  Everything is going better.  The Lord is showing me things I never dreamed of, including the wild life here. I will be transferring to Cuiabá tomorrow. I am grateful the Lord let me know before hand so that I could pack and get ready. My new area is Mapim, in Zona Cuiabá. Hey dad keep up the good work. You're a great Father. I apologize for not recognizing it before. The Lord has been working miracles for me and helping me in many ways showing me where I have done wrong. He has been helping me understand the scriptures as well. I know that the Book of Mormon and Bible are scripture. I feel a lot better now the Lord has been helping me overcome my difficulties here. I thank the Lord for providing for me and helping me along through my trials. I am grateful for his help in overcoming Satan, which is still difficult. He is very tricky. Lucky he can´t hear my thoughts, so I have an advantage over him.

I will keep trying to get my camera to work. It is a really complicated camera. I will need to learn more about how to use it fully. I hope you have a great week, tchau.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Email/Chat 04/10/17

Bom dia, Minha Família. Como estão vocês?😀 My week was great. My investigator's confirmation went well. I am glad that the Lord helped me. I had a lot of help. Ygor is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Ygor's mother, Evania, is very interested in having us visit her often. The other investigators like us as well. Luzia and Gilmar are doing alright but we are having a hard time visiting them, but we will keep trying. One named Erika we met this last Saturday, is doing fine. She is very intelligent and remembered the basics of our lesson well. When I returned she recited the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. We will probably be returning there this Wednesday.

Things are going well now with my companions, but I am sad to say that Elder Santos, my companion, and Elder Aravena may be leaving me at the next transfer next week. God is supporting me as I humble myself before him and exercise faith in him.

Mom, Dad: thank you for helping me and raising me up. I am sorry for resisting so hard. You are great parents and I hope that the others realize it, too. Thank you Mom and Dad for preparing me so well.  Without the true principles that you gave me from the Lord I would be struggling far more than I have been. Thank you for being good parents.

Oh I forgot I got a new camera. It is called a Nikon. It is of much higher quality than the other one.  I may need to wait a bit to take pictures. It is  dangerous to show expensive stuff out in the open here in  Rondopolis. I need to be careful and trust in the Lord and my companions to get good pictures, but I will try to get good photos as best I can.

I hope you have a good spring week. I love you. Valou.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Email/Chat 04/03/17

My week has been great. The meeting with the President went pretty good. I didn't understand the whole reason why he was there, but I got the jist. He talked mostly about how to set goals and why we set them. Most of it I already had some understanding of. At the meeting with President Oliveira I received the letter from Grammy. I loved General Conference. My batteries got recharged too. I loved all of the ones I could understand, so only the ones I heard in English were the ones I could understand, but the others I tried to listen to. I loved Elder Christofferson's talk as well Hales' talk. I liked that there is going to be a new temple in Brazilia, Brazil and Saratoga Springs in Utah.  The Lord has been blessing me greatly. I love obeying his commandments.

Oh, I haven´t told you yet. Me and my companion had a baptism this last Saturday, in-between the second session and priesthood session. His name is Igor. He will be confirmed probably this coming Saturday or Sunday.  My companion baptized him and I will be confirming him.  We have a new family that we are teaching. They like the gospel and we will be visiting them this week. I can't quite remember their names yet.

My Portuguese is improving better and better each day. The gift of tongues is helping a lot.   I am glad I asked for it before I came here.  My companion has a very thick Eastern Brazilian accent. At times I can´t understand a word that he says. Accent is very important in this language and I still need to work on listening to native speakers and imitating what I hear.  I understand him for the most part, but when he uses either slang or new words I understand little.  His Father is from Africa and knows French and some English. My companion knows some French and English as well. He tries to speak in English and when he does I can understand him for the most part. He wants to learn more English and often during our weekly planning he ends it by trying to pray in English. When he speaks French I don´t get a word.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Email/Chat 03/27/17

My week was pretty good.   I have been having tests of patience, but I am getting better at overcoming them. I am doing alright. I have a family that I am teaching right now that is close to baptism. We may have some opportunities.  I am happy to hear that you have taken care of that tree (in our backyard). I am trying to think of a joke about cutting down trees, but right now I am stumped.   Oh that is great to hear that Sister Mira is having a new menina. I will miss the Miras as well.  They are great people and the things they told me and gave me are very helpful. I can´t think of very many days that I have not used the dictionary that they gave me.

I haven´t taken any pictures because the batteries die too quick for me to take very many. I buy new batteries, but they run out real quick; yet the same batteries work fine in my flashlight. I haven´t been taking pictures because I haven´t been able to. I will keep trying to find a way to solve this problem.  I will keep trying to take pictures when I have the opportunities to but I may be able to use the photos I have received from my district members in my emails.

My companions play a lot of what they call brincadieras on me and each other. Some of them are less fun than others. One thing that is a bit of problem is that my companion doesn't have any money. His family is inactive and is not supporting him.  I have to help him in order for this to work, but I am glad to buy him his needs, but I still need to be careful, because these Elders are not so hesitant to use people as others are. I am trying to help them, but I will try to be careful.

I have a family we are teaching that is nice. They are a good family. Igor is one of them and he is interested in the Gospel and the church. He comes to the English/Spanish class we have and attends sacrament with his little sister Camila. (I don't teach the class but my zone leader Elder Gomez teaches it. Sister Flake helps as well, she is an American. I help out with the class when needed but I don't actually teach it. Many people in Brazil love America and English, because America to them is a symbol of prosperity. Many members want to learn English and Spanish here.) Their Mother can't attend easily because she has work often on Sundays. Lozia and Gilmar, the investigators that I had with Elder Novaes; are progressing a bit, but we need to continue visiting them often in order for this to work.  

I will be watching General Conference in the local church.  I hope to learn much from it.   The President of the mission will be visiting my area this week. I hope to be able to learn from him. He is a good President.

Till next time. valou