Monday, July 24, 2017

This week Elder Aidukaitis

Let me tell you, this week was a week of a lot of news.  New investigators, new neighborhoods, new members, and new missionary skills. To be honest, I never thought I would learn so much more than 1 year into the mish. Why did I learn so much you may ask? Because I participated in 2 meetings with the Area President of Brazil, Elder Aidukaitis. All I have to say is that General Authorities are truly inspired and that the spirit was so strong during the meetings.  Elder A gave us all ideas, knowledge, and desire to double or triple the number of baptisms in the mish. Here were some of my take aways: In the 1st meeting, he told us and focused on chapter 8 of Pregar Meu Evangelho. He told us the importance of plans and goals and how learning to establish plans and accomplish goals will help us in all aspects of our life. He was always referring to our last day on the mish and our last day of this life. Did I make a big or small difference in the lives of others and myself? Could I have done more? He told us a successful missionary is a dedicated missionary in all aspects of missionary life, especially creating plans/accomplishing goals. He asked us “Do you want the people you teach to receive the greatest blessing in their lives???” He made an amazing comparison of the liahona to the area book (a binder where we keep important information about investigators), and told us it is the best place to receive revelation for the area. So treat it with respect!!! He also told us that we need to set high goals. On the next day, he talked a ton about our faith. How our faith needs to be like the missionaries of the Book of Mormon. He told us that we need to have this great faith and works. He emphasized about the characteristics of Christ – love, diligence and patience. Most importantly, we need to have this desire to serve others. There are many other scriptures and infos that Elder A declared, but his remarks on our desire to serve, our desire to open our mouths, our desire to look back on the mish saying I put everything out there is what will get our mish to the success that we want. All of this desire will come through planning and goals and constant focus on our purpose. This week was an awesome energy boost on my desire to serve. I can’t wait to put these teachings in practice. Thanks for everything.
Dave




A little p-day churrasco






Our mission group 1 year after
New Tie That I made p-day


Birthday Elder Gomes


Rockiin doorag




Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Buddism e Baptisms

This week was crazy!!! I saw so many miracles and had super fun. Honestly, one of the fastest weeks of my mish. First off I’ll hit on the fun highlight of the week and after the spiritual notes.

So this week, we traded our p-day for Wednesday so we could visit a Buddhist Temple in Tres Coroas, a city nearby. So we got our x-mission leader to drive us there. The temple was sweet. It’s on top of the mountains here so it gave a great view of our area and many other cities. I have never been to a Buddhist temple, so it was pretty fascinating seeing the sculptures, statues, temples, and practices of a different religion. Haha. I thought the 21 taras were pretty cool. After the Buddhist adventure, we had plans to go to another tourist site, a waterfall that our mission leader told us about. So on the way there, his car broke down, but he didn’t want to ruin our p-day and said it was close by. So we decided to walk. So after walking up a giant hill with food, frying pans, and a guitar, we found a sign that said 8 km to the cascata (this was after walking 5 km).  But we still pressed on. We got to the sweet waterfall, ate chicken that we fried over a campfire, played guitar and headed back hoping to hitchhike. But no one picked us up, so we ended up hiking another 15 km to the house…but in the end, all worth it. One of the coolest p-days of my mission career. But let’s move on to a more spiritual note.

So, remember how I talked about Junior the other week. Well, this week, he got baptized!!! Super cool. But I think I tell you a little more about him. We first met him about three weeks ago when he called us out in the street. We ended up setting up an appointment, and he loved the message of The Book of Mormon. After two weeks, we became super tight, and he was loving church. He has had a rough life, but is fascinated by God and religion. So last week the Pres of the mish came to interview Junior for his baptism, and in the interview, he asked if Pres could baptize him.  And Pres. Campos said yes. So this week, Pres. e Sister Campos returned to the branch for Junior’s baptism. It was awesome. So many people were there, and the spirit was so strong. Fosho a great missionary highlight watching Pres baptizing your investigator. We also started to work in a new neighborhood on the other side of the city. We found 2 couples who are awesome and are progressing a ton. Only problem here in Brazil is that no one gets married. Super frustrating. But I’m excited to work with them. Thanks for all the prayers and support. I know diligence allows and creates opportunities to see miracles. Have an amazing week. à Love Dave

Fun fact: I sang the national anthem in the ward activity to celebrate the 4 of July.



21 taras



cascata dos italianos




Junior's baptism

Pres. Campos baptized Junior


Monday, July 3, 2017

Cheerleading


Well, another week in the bag, and I’m feelin’ better than ever. My comp and I put in so much work this week; my body is aching from the pain. But, it’s all worth it cause I know miracles are coming. This week had many highlights, but first off, I’d like to give you some deets about my comp. First off, his name is Wenderson (never heard this name in my life.) He has 4 years in the church.  His pre-church life was pretty crazy if you ask me. Let’s just say he spent most of his time in the street, but when he was baptized he never looked back. He told me the 1st year and ½ of his time in the church, he didn’t have a single friend, but he went every Sunday. As you will see by the photos, he is hilarious. Always cracking jokes, singing Bob Marley Portuguese style, and loves anything that is free or a present. He also loves to use scriptures, which is great but sometimes leads to a good old Bible Bash. Haha. I’ve never bible bashed so much in my life. I’m getting along with him though because he’s all about being obedient so we’re retidoive and the Lord is prepping so many people to hear our message. This week we found tons of teenagers and young adults. Junior is progressing a ton and had everything ready for his baptism, but he has still got some things with Word of Wisdom to resolve. But next week is his week.  We are teaching this awesome couple named Lorissa and José They have been praying, reading the Book of Mormon, and have been wanting to go to church. Only problem is she is more than 9 months pregnant, so we got to have a little patience. We found 2 awesome part member families. One part member fam has 7 people, and they love Elders, so they have been treating us super well. We just got to reactivate them. We taught a teenager named Leonardo this week, and he loved the message. We said he would pray, read the Book of Mormon, and when we asked him to go to church he said it would be hard to get him to go to church because he is pretty active in his current church. So frustrating, I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. The people you teach say they understand, but in reality, their hearts are closed off. But that always will happen, so you just got to accept it and pray to find those who are prepared. This week had many funny moments. My comp is trying to learn English so in the street we converse very basically. He asked me “How are you?” I replied, “Good, how about you?” and he said, “Sergipe.” (which is where he is from). Pretty classic. Also we were walking on the highway when a motorcycle screamed past us, a minute later the same motorcycle had u-turned and was slowly approaching us. The motorcyclist stopped and said, “You’re an American.” I replied, “Yes.” He then explained how he was an English teacher and needed my help. He took out his phone and showed me a picture of a phrase and told me to translate it: Have you ever not accepted someone’s apology? LOL I tried my best, but there isn’t really a direct translation for apology in Portuguese.  Then he started to ask questions about the present perfect tense, and let me tell you, I was lost. I’ve forgotten all English grammar rules. When he left, I thought to myself, “That was so random.” There were many funny experiences including singing Akon with 5 Brazilians, trying to be male cheerleaders, and just being with my comp is a laughing experience. Overall, another awesome week. Please pray for Junior that he can be baptized this week and avoid temptation. Thanks for the prayers, love and support. This gospel is perfect.
Love, Dave
Omni 1:25-26
Recent converts who are amazing
6 Missionaries for one branch = poder

lol my comp is such a fool
We tried to be male cheerleaders

round 2

arroz e feijão 





Monday, June 26, 2017

Nova Transferência

Hello fam and friends... This week was funny. My new comp is Elder W. Santos. He is from Sergipe Brazil and is hilarious. He has 1 year and 6 months on the mish... so I got some more experience with me now.. haha. He is a convert of 4 years and loves to joke around. But he is by far my most diligent comp that I have had yet, so I'm feeling confident that miracles are going to happen this transfer. We had two baptisms prepped for this week of Jennifer and Terezinha. Jennifer fell into temptation in the last moment, and Terezinha is just needing some patience. She is a senhora who has been to the church many times.... She says she has recieved a answer to her prayers and knows it's the church of Christ. But she has a major, I mean major, difficulty of understanding the importance of baptsim. We tried to help her understand the importance of baptism through experiences, scriptures, testimony, and prayer.... but she stayed pretty focused on her idea of the matter. But I know that in a couple weeks she will be on her path to baptism and the celestial kingdom. We are also teaching a teenager named Junior who is awesome. He is a little crazy, but he is super interested and loved church this week. He has been telling us that he has a huge desire to be a missionary... so we are trying to get him on the path to help others. It was funny this week we taught about 8 of his friends who are super religious... We started to teach the restoration but a bible bash started. In the end, it was all chill but they asked me if i could speak some things in 
English... just to hear English. So I bore my testimony in English that I knew the things that we had said were really true, Joseph Smith was a prophet, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only perfect church here on this earth. It was one of the coolest experiences of the mish. Testifying in very broken English, the spirit was incredibly satisfying, and it was awesome seeing them feel the spirit through English which they didn't understand. I loved a scripture in Omni 23-25 where it shows the importance of the Book of Mormon. Also, it let me know that I need to dedicate myself completely to this work and glory, through prayer and fast. I know that this transfer will be amazing through the dedication of my comp and me. We have so many goals and plans established to find that family who will stay firm in this gospel and raise a generation to the truthfulness of this gospel... I know this church is true, we are all children of God, he loves and knows us, Christ is our perfect brother, Joseph Smith is a prophet of the Lord, and families are forever. Thanks for all the love and prayers.

Dave

Monday, June 19, 2017

Transfers!!!


Haha the news is in..... and I am not being transferred. I will be staying a little more time in Taquara. My comp, Elder Pena, is heading to Passo Fundo (an awesome zone where the members are amazing), where he will have lots of success. Overall, I dont have much to report on this week other than we are preparing some awesome people for baptism. We are teaching a woman named Elizangela, who is awesome and wants to be baptized so bad... but first she needs to seperate or get married to her boyfriend. She is so awesome that she invites friends to church with her. So now we have a pool of people who want to be baptized because of her invitations. Two of these people are Robson and Jennifer. Jennifer said it is her dream to be baptized so we will work with her to get her on the strait and narrow path. We were also working in one of the sketchy bairros this weeek when a teenager called us over and said, "What's up mormons?" He then proceeded to teach us all about mormonism... it was pretty classic. But he really wants to investigate the church so let's see if we can get him to go to church next week. Also, we got a reference from the other missionaries of a women named Susana. We went and taught her the restoration, and she cried throughout the message. She explained how her life was not easy. But this message brought her peace and comfort. Being a missionary is awesome!!! Everyday I can see improvement in myself and miracles. Thanks for all your support and prayers... I hope and pray all is well with you guys... 

Love 

dave
Taquara sunrises

My two comps that i trained Elder Pena e Soares... Pretty simlar if you ask me
So happy 

Brazilian churchs... translates to Ball of snow shurch (we are a ball of snow) There pulpit is a surfboard...


Zone t-shirt


Our branch's mission leader

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trust in the Lord

Fam

Was up!!!! This week was awesome. We had a lot of work and had a bunch of investigators at church! So overall, awesome because we can start preppin’ our investigators for baptism.

We started the week off with an awesome interview with Presidente Campos in our apartment. He reminded me of some of our stories back in the staff in the start of the year, and we laughed a lot. I learned that I really need to have more faith and and confidence in those I am teaching. So, of course, I studied about confidence. Some of my favorite scripture finds were Job 13:15 and Daniel 3:17. I love the stories of Job and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their trust and confidence is so great in the Lord that they would lose their own lives before losing trust in the Lord. These scriptures and Presidente’s counsel helped me see that if I can continually trust in the Lord, then I will trust in my investigators as well to say prayers, read the Book of Mormon, go to church, and be baptized. My gramps helped me realize the importance of trust and being trustful. I remember a quote that he told me of Prophet David O. McKay, “to be trusted is higher than to be loved.” I know our Heavenly Father loves all of his children, but trusts in his children who are always seeking to keep His commandments, improve, and serve others. I want to be trusted by the Lord because with His trust, miracles will happen. The second counsel of Pres. Campos was to visit inactive members. He promised us if we tried our best to edify this branch through serving inactive members, many blessing would come.

So we focused our week on finding new investigators and teaching inactives. Man this week was awesome. So much work. We found tons of people who were wanting to go to church, know if our message was true, and inviting to come back to their houses. We also had the wonderful pleasure of seeing inactive members feel the spirit and remember the blessing of having a trustful relationship with God and Jesus Christ. I’m not gonna lie, this week was kind of ridiculous with members and inactives. Let me give you some examples. We were walking on the street, and a man working construction left the sight and presented himself as Jogo. He said he had been inactive for 8 years but had been praying to go back to the only true church. We gave him a Book of Mormon and marked a day to teach his family. Another day two teenagers passed us, and one said, “Hey, my friend wants to go to your church.” Of course I thought he was joking, but he was serious and explained how he was an inactive member and his friend was looking to get out of the bad life (drugs).  And the stories go on and on. Haha. Real blessings. At church, we had 2 families and a member inativo with his daughter who isn’t a member. Overall, awesome week, and my faith and confidence and testimony have been fortified. Thanks for the prayers and support.

Love, Dave