Monday, May 14, 2018

The last official letter

The last official letter. This week I wanted to make it clear that I loved the mission. I love the people, the missionaries, the food, the culture, Presidente e Sister Campos, and so much more. The week was awesome and started with a visit to the temple. Man the temple is always amazing. We can feel the spirit strongly when we enter the Lord’s house. After we went to our area and worked a couple hours. Man our area is huge!!! The next day we headed to Canoas. We were able to divide with Elder Astorga, de Mexico, and Elder Fernandis, de Minas Gerais. The week was amazing. Many spiritual experiences, laughs, blessings and memories. The highlight of the week was the baptism of Ana Clora! She was stoked to enter the waters of baptism and make a covenant with the Lord. My comp and I returned to Porto Alegre and talked with our families. It was funny to think that in a few short days, I would see them all. My sister Mads asked me a question I really enjoyed: “Describe your mission in three words.” In the moment, I didn’t know how to respond. But after thinking a little, I feel as though my mission can be describes as: Gratifying, Challenging, Spiritual. And in a 3 word phrase: “I was/am converted.” I think I could write a book about these 6 words and the experiences that I’ve had over the last 2 years. Ever since I was young, it was my plan to serve a mission, but I never thought how much effect it has had on me, my testimony, and my life. The mission was the best decision of my 21 years on this earth. Maybe in my letters it seems as though it was a cake walk, but I was faced with many challenges. I have learned the challenges have had the greatest effect on me. They have made me into the best missionary I can be. For all of those pondering on serving a mission, my advice is go and serve. It will not be easy, but I can guarantee that it is worth it. It will build you up to be the person the Lord needs you to be. The thing I love about the mission is that it gives one an extraordinary feeling of happiness. Where one truly loses himself in the work, he finds celestial glory working and serving others in the Lord’s vineyard. A scripture that touched me this week was Zephaniah 3:17. It reads, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing!” I know that my Savior is mighty, all-powering, and perfect. I can’t thank him enough for the joy I have found in serving him. I know He loves each one of us. It is my prayer that we can all return to his presence. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on this earth. I know Russell M. Nelson is a prophet. I know that families are for forever. I know that this life is a challenging journey to return to his presence! And I love this Journey. May we all love this Journey! I’d like to end this Journey with the words of President Thomas S. Monson, “Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows. Let us not put off what is most important.”
With Love and until we meet again,
Elder Bodine

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Uncle Hows mini missions

Well here is a photo of what I like to call Uncles Hows mini missions. All my comps and areas

Monday, May 7, 2018

Weeks to Days to Hours to Minutes

I’m hoping as the weeks count down to days and days to hours and hours to minutes, that I can fully take advantage of my time as a representative of Christ. Maybe you wonder, “How does he take advantage as his time as a missionary?” Over the last 90 some odd weeks, I’ve learned that through forgetting myself and serving others, I fully take advantage of every missionary day. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been perfecting this “serve others” mentality. I’ve seen that through the small actions, I have become a more Christ like missionary. Through smiling more, complimenting others, talking with everyone about Christ, serving my companion, loving to learn through the scriptures, listening to my leaders, striving to be more diligent, improving my Portuguese, and inviting all to come unto Christ through baptism. Of course, I’m not perfect, but I have seen major improvement. That is why it’s so heart breaking for it to come to an end. We strive to be perfect, but only in the next life we will arrive to this point.

The week was fantastic. Many miracles were witnessed, and I was able to serve my Savior. Life doesn’t get much better than that. On Tuesday, we went to an area of Sisters, who had an emergency, to follow up 2 of their investigators preparing to be baptized. We successfully taught and marked their baptisms for Sunday. They were both Baptized! The rest of the day we tried teaching other investigators but didn’t have too much success. We spent the whole day in a car because we didn’t know the area. Irmao Paulo, the mission leader in Campo Bom, chauffeured us around the city. The guy is crazy. He wanted everyone to have a chance to get to know the Gospel. Let’ s just say the day was full of laughs. The weirdest part of the trip is that we slept in Irmao Paulo’s house. We had dinner, fam scripture study/prayer, watched some General Conference, and I slept on the couch. Honestly, it was super strange. Woke up to an amazing b-fast, and I was like, “Is this real life?” Irmao Paulo gave us each a tie and drove us back to Porto Alegre. We spent the day in leadership meetings. For all of you that didn’t know, the general authorities of Brasil have challenged all the missions to double the number of baptisms in the next 3 months. So there have been a ton of meetings and plannings on how we are gonna accomplish that goal in Porto Alegre Norte. The next day we made a 5 hour bus ride to Passo Fundo, the first zone of my mish. Once again, it was like taking a trip down memory lane. We divided with Elder Pariente from Uruguay and Elder Wessman from Palm Springs, California. Elder Pariente and I saw many miracles. One of my favorite was a man named Adao. Adao was super humble and explained he started working when he was 6 in the fields harvesting wheat. Despite his lack of knowledge, the message of the restoration made so much sense to him. The spirit was so strong as he accepted to be baptized! We also taught an in-active pastor of a Protestant church. Usually these types of people love to Bible-Bash. As we taught doctrine using the Bible, he quietly listened and agreed with our message. When we invited him to pray, he promised us that that very night he would kneel and receive an answer from God! Man the mission is amazing! Everyday, I see miracles, feel the spirit, and see the lives of others change! How could I not be happy?! Two years of constant Christ like service has helped me in innumerable ways. The only thing I have to offer him is gratitude and my humble service. I’d like to end this post with a poem about my maker and I:

            Everyday I ponder on his name
            Lowly and meekly, he felt my pain
            Determined to liken myself unto him
            Except I find myself shrouded in sin
            Running and Running from the dark that never ends

            But now I find safety in the light he sends
            Opting for the light, my world’s horizons expand,
            Doubting before and believing again
            In his waking light, I choose to forget me
            Now with eyes opened, I let out my only plea:
            “Each day I have left on this humble ground, let me make my maker proud!

Love you all,
Elder Bodine


almost two years after... crazy how time flies

Pajama party at Irmão Paulos... so weird

This little girl decided to sit with us in sacrament meeting. We tried convincing her to bear her testimony but she said she was too nervous. When Elder Shell and I went up, she quickly followed and bore her small testimony. It was awesome

My comp is from texas so naturally he wants to be a boot model

Elder Pariente and I in the streets

Passo Fundo sunsets

Elder Southwick

The house crew at Passo Fundo

Talent show in Passo Fundo

Monday, April 30, 2018

Two Missions from President

This week we were faced with two difficult missions. Normally, I start the week saying, man that passed by fast. This week it was kind of the opposite. Luckily, time stood still. Maybe you’re thinking why is that a good thing?? Well, it is because I have two weeks left on the mission, and I want to take advantage of every single second. I love Porto Alegre and this states people. I don’t know what I’m going to do without this people, their culture, their food, and their language. The other day, my comp, Elder Shell, and I wanted to speak some English. In all honesty, it is easier for me at this point to just speak Portuguese. Haha. I guess I can say that I will miss Brasil. But, I still got 2 solid weeks left, and you best believe they are going to be the best 2 weeks!!!!

We started the week off with a surprise. Honestly, I didn’t think that I would get to work with my comp in this transfer because we are always on splits. Then last Monday, Pres. arrived and told us we would open an area. Open an area means that the city or neighborhood doesn’t have missionaries, and you and your comp open or reopen the area. So we reopened the city of Esteio. Pres. Campos told us that the ward had a list of 30 referrals for us to visit. This meant that I would be working with Elder Shell for an uncertain amount of time. Pres. told us if we found investigators who would be baptized to stay in the area. So I was thinking that I would be there until the end of the mission. We got to the small city of Esteio, which is located in between Porto Alegre and Canoas, and the ward was stoked to have missionaries once again. We had an amazing lunch, got a tour of the city, got keys to our house, and finally got the Golden list of 30 referrals!!! Man I was thrilled, foaming at the mouth, 30 referrals is a missionaries dream. We then started to visit the families 1 for 1. Unfortunately, we quickly realized that these were not the type of referrals we’d be hoping for… so after 30 visits, we only saw a couple of people with potential. We called for Pres., and he gave us a new assignment. He decided to send us to Caxias. We were a little disappointed with the results, but had one amazing lesson with a less active family. They felt the spirit super strongly and decided that they needed to start reading the Book of Mormon and go to church. It was a lesson based on Alma 5:38. Christ is our good shepherd, and we must be on his team when he calls out in the final day. It was strange returning to Caxias for a couple of days. We stayed in a neighborhood called Cinquentenarice. Caxias is huge. It’s the 2ndlargest city of the state. So I wasn’t able to visit some recent converts, but Elder Tate sent a hi to all of them. We did splits with Elder Costa de Portugal and Elder Layton from Utah. The split was awesome and ended with 3 baptisms. Let me tell you it was a challenging but rewarding week. This week I wanted to give one counsel to all you missionaries because everyone is a missionary. It doesn’t matter how tall you are, or how pretty, or the eloquence of your words. Effective missionary work happens through the spirit. It is my prayer that we always invite the sprit when we teach, talk, or present the gospel to others. Through the spirit all will be converted (Corinthians 2). The Lord told Oliver Cowdery in Doctrine and Covenants 68:4, “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon the (spirit) shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of the God unto salvation.”
What a promise that is!!! For this reason, I crave to teach with the spirit. The spirit changes us and lifts those around us. If you aren’t feeling the spirit in your life, you must search for it! If you already feel it, let it influence you to feel it more and help others feel it. It is my promise that through the spirit we will be converted, and those we serve shall be converted as well.

Love, Dave

Monday, April 23, 2018

Glory in my Jesus

“And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born unto God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;” Mosiah 27:25. Over the last 22 months, I have seen a lot of change. Change in others, change in myself, and change in the way I look at those around me. Everyone of us is weak until we let Christ’s atoning sacrifice enter into our lives. With Christ, we can escape our carnal, prideful attitudes, and be born again entering into a state of righteousness. For me, a righteous life is a happy life. Let us all be righteous and inherit God’s eternal kingdom.

Let me tell you. This week was tiring. We did splits in 3 areas and traveled by bus, car, and train throughout the mission area. On Monday, we had an awesome meeting with Presdiente Campos. We could learn many precious teachings and feel a wonderful spirit with him. He invited my comp and I to be full of love, patience, charity, and the spirit during this transfer. He then gave us our weekly assignments. On Tuesday, we headed to Cachoerinha, which is a city next to Gravatai. We went on splits with Elder Lacerda, da Bahia, and Elder Guimaraes, de Fortaleza. I did splits with Elder Lacerda. He is hilarious. Before the mish, he was a zumba teacher. So our morning exercise for 2 days was zumba to EFY music. The division was amazing and super spiritual. In one day, we found 10 new investigators all of which firmly accepted baptism dates. Truly incredible. One of my favorite experiences was when we were in the grounds of the chapel and an 11 year old boy greeted us. He told us he was dying to get to know the church. We taught him and his parents, and they appear very interested. Many other awesome experiences occurred because we were following the spirit. On Thursday, we traveled to Novo Hamburgo and divided with Elder Naciemento, de Belem, e Elder Carvalho from Tocantins. I did splits with Elder Carvalho who is friendly. He literally is always smiling. We made it a goal to say at least 1 prayer as a companionship per hour. We found some awesome people. On Saturday, we went to Campo BOM. We helped a branch visit all it’s members so that they can form a ward. I went out with a member and found 2 families ready to return to the Lord’s flock. There are so many great things that happened this week! I wish I could write more but this post is already too long. I’ll end with a spiritual thought:

Of late, I have been studying the final words of Book of Mormon prophets. Overall, it has been amazing reading these great testimonies of spiritual giants. All of them testify of Christ’s eternal love and infinite atonement. This week I particularly loved Nephi’s last words, “I glory in plainness, I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed by soul from hell.” How are we glorifying Christ? Are we constantly showing him gratitude for his sacrifice? Do we really love him? As I pondered on these questions, I felt a wonderful spirit. Although I have much to improve, I know that I love the Lord and glorify him! I love you all, have an awesome week.
Elder Bodine

campo bom with 20 missionaries

About one year ago. I had the chance to teach Ezequiel the 5 missionary lessons in preperation for baptism. Shortly after I left the area, Ezequiel entered into the baptismal waters. This Sunday we went to a nation wide FHE and guess who I found... Ezequiel. He is prepping for a mission and is dating a young woman from the stake. He is super active in the church, and it was amazing to catch up with him. He is sooooo happy. What a difference the gospel makes in our lives. 

 Me and my comps man crush... Cristiano Ronaldo

Brazilian chapels are insane

Can you spot the mormon chapel

Pizza and that good ole neck tan line

Division with the Elders of Cachoerinha. Elder Lacerda e Elder Guimarães

Can you spot the mormon chapel

Elder Carvalho and some crazy brazilian fruit 

Monday, April 16, 2018

New Assignment

Another sweet week in the books!!! I cannot believe how fast time is flying. I’m down to my last month on the mission. But I don’t want to think too much about that. Yesterday, I got news from Elder Tate in Caxias that Jose and Santina were baptized! He said that the baptism meeting was amazing. So that made me happy. (I will try and send photos). But let me tell you how the week went.

I arrived in Porto Alegre on Monday. On Monday, I met my new comp Elder Shell from Texas and headed to the mission office. We met up with Presidente Campos who told us what we would be doing this transfer. He then told us we would get to participate in the arrival of the new missionaries. Man this was a blast from the past. Seeing the new missionaries in the airport, greeting them, taking them to the mission office, and to the temple, was all surreal. About two years ago, I was getting off the plane in Porto Alegre getting to know Pres. And Sister Campos. They were all extremely excited and nervous to get to the field. We then prepped a mini training for the next day and ate dinner at President’s house. It was great hearing some funny stories with them and the new missionaries. The next day was filled with training and the departure of the new elders/sisters for their areas. After the meetings, Pres. gave us our first mission. Elder Shell and I learned that we’d be traveling to Gravatai, a city super close to Porto Alegre. We’d be helping the Elders of the Monte Belo Ward. We spent 3 days in their area, and it was a blast. I spent the division with Elder Gois from Curitiba. He has been on the mish for two months and has a big desire to learn. I was amazed at how receptive the people of Gravatai were. Everyone was letting us in their houses, talking with us in the street, and treated us well. What a cool area! Finished the splits with 2 baptisms of Christiano and Jennifer. They were the first baptisms of the new Monte Belo Ward! We then headed back to Porto Alegre on Sunday, reported to Pres, and we are now waiting on our next adventure. Thanks for all the love.
Elder Bodine

The Office Staff

Tchau to Caxias and elder Tate

Gravataí morning rise

Splits with Elder Gois e Elder Favoretti, and my comp Elder Shell

Baptism of José e Santina

The Crew