Monday, September 18, 2017

Was up my family!!!!!!!!!

It's time to get started with the adventure in Santa Cruz. Let's see, where can i start... This week I will give you a little update on the area, comp, and investigators.  Well, Santa Cruz is nothing like the Santa Cruz in CA.... No beaches.... But the city is super pretty. AND LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE HILLS. Man 1 year on the mish, and I have never passed in an area with hills... well here in Santa Cruz, it is all hills. To my suprise also Santa Cruz doesn't look like your normal Brazilian city... it is more like Canela or in other words pretty americanized or europeanized in terms of style and houses. Everyone is german and catholic here which can have its difficulites, but we are creating a good group of investagators through working with the members. We found a great family of inactives that went to church this week and still have some members that need yet to be baptized... Also, we are teaching the boy friend of a member inactive named Albert.... Lol he is so ready to be baptized and said he was willing to completely change his life to follow god. This week we had the baptism of Paula.... She is the neice of a recent convert, and I have never seen someone so ready to be baptized. She literally accepted all of our invitations and commandments so willingly and knew that it would be a blessing for her and her family... We are trying to teach her mom but she is deaf so it will be a little complicated. My comp Elder Rocha Neto... Is hilarious. He is from Recife and has 1 year 8 months on the mish... We are always crackin up in the street and have a ton of similar interests. He has been out here in Santa Cruz for 2 transfers, and we got a lot of big goals for this transfer. We also live with another dupla of a crazy Elder from argentina and a verdinho (greenie or new missionary) from Kirkland, Ohio.... The dude sings let me tell you. Overall, that is the weekly update here in Santa Cruz... other sidenote, we are teaching an amazing family who recently moved from a small town in the middle of nowhere. The husband is a member inactive and served a mish in Manaus.... His kids got baptized a few weeks back, and now his wife is preppin to be baptized. They are the most amazing fam ever, and we are gonna have  FHE there today... Brownie time ahaha. Have an awesome week and know that you are all in my prayers ....


Elder Bodine

Paula´s baptism

Dessert at member´s houses (this is why Missionaries gain weight)

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Week is Gone!!

I honestly don’t know how this week passed so fast. I feel like I was here yesterday typing this email. The week was fantastic! We were hoping to leave the week with a couple baptisms but our investigators still need a little more time to prep. So next week we should have a couple.

This week I continued to focus on prayer, and we had a marvelous experience. On Thursday, all of our lessons had fallen through, and we were left with nothing to do at 7 pm. In our daily planner, my comp’s back up-back up plan was find a family. So we said a prayer and went off. I was feeling pretty in tune with the spirit and was praying constantly. I felt that we needed to cross Avenida dos Maias, and work a neighborhood we’ve never worked before. When we crossed the street, I knew that after the 3 roads we passed we needed to take a left. The third left we walked into a beacon (don’t know in English cul de sac). Then we arrived to a green house, and I had the strongest feeling to knock here. So we knocked (clapped), and a teenager named Alan came out. I chatted it up with him and asked if we could share a message. He said of course, went back out in the house and grabbed his dad. We talked with his dad Clairton who said that we could come in. He went back in the house and 5 minutes after, he came back out and let us in the house. After all the waiting, I was confused, but when we got in the house, Clairton’s wife, Isabella, told us that she had just got in bed to sleep, when we arrived at the door. Her husband wanted to hear the message, she decided to get out of bed and listen too. She told us that the “message” better be good.  After a super spiritual lesson, Isabella asked how we found their family? And how we convinced them to let us in? We explained about the prayer we said, and that we are truly messengers of Jesus Christ. After they excitedly received her new Book of Mormon, she told us we have to come back. They also gave us a reference of a family who lived across the street. The next day, we went and found a family of 6 who loved our message of the plan of salvation. The mom cried during the message. After this experience, I thought, “Why can’t I always be so in tune with the spirit, so focused?” In that moment, I was so full of faith and power that I knew what was going to be the result. I love 1 Nephi 7:12 that tells us God is able to do everything and anything for us if we exert faith. The miracle never comes before the faith. After reflecting on that quotation, I realized that I am able to always be super in tune with the spirit if I’m willing to develop more faith, pray always be obedient, and focused on my purpose as a missionary. I’ve always loved 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” We have to be firm, steadfast and immovable in God’s work. As a missionary no extra effort is in vain. I love this work and this Gospel. Nothing compares!!! I love the people and culture of Brazil! I love the power of prayer! I love being a member of my Heavenly Father’s army. I love seeing my own spiritual progression and the spiritual progression of others. I love my Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. Have an awesome week.


Division with Alvorada... I went out with Elder Romero.... from Arizona... super chill 

Lunch today

streets of Porto Alegre... pretty right.. not

Monday, August 28, 2017

E ai fam!!!

Another week in the Park done and out…Let me tell you the area is crazy. So many families, friends, and kids to teach. Honestly, I have never seen an area more blessed. Let me tell you about a crazy happening this week. Here in the Park (name of the ward), there are 2 companionships. The other day, I did a division with Elder Pariente from Uruguay and had an awesome day. The next day a stranger and all news programs newspapers showed 5 people who were murdered on the street we were working on during the division. Don’t worry mom, my half of the area is way safer. But I’ll always keep an eye out and testify that missionaries are protected when they are doing what is right.

This week I’m going to hit on the importance of prayer. As missionaries, our first invitation for our investigators is to pray and ask God if what we teach is true. I love an example of this in Doctrine and Covenants. In Section 6, Christ speaks with Oliver Cowdery about his request to translate/receive the gift to translate the Book of Mormon. After speaking/testifying to Oliver in section 6, Christ invites Oliver to pray unto Christ to gain a second witness of those things that Christ testified. If Christ invites Oliver to pray, we must as well. (3 Nephi 19:30) This week, I focused on having more fervent prayers and praying more often. Let me say that asking with an extra effort for God is always a great thing. Being more thankful, praying for others, and talking with God about my day and what I need to improve has made a huge spiritual difference in my life. On the street, I try my best to pray often. I’ve developed a habit to pray with my comp several times in the street a day. It’s funny cause we say the prayer walking in the street, eyes open, out loud, and it seems pretty loud, but for me, it’s a serious, focused, inspired conversation with God. On Friday, we were walking the street when I said a prayer to find a family who would accept all the invitations we would give them. We felt inspired to visit some people, who turned out being alright. But at the end of the night, we felt inspired to visit a member who had recently moved to the ward. At her house, we found her family and another family of 5 with 3 girls 12, 8, 4 years of age. Super awesome family who is legally married and accepted all of our invitations during the spiritual message. The power of prayer is real people. My testimony of this simple but impactful principle has grown so much this week. I know that this church is true and our purpose as members is to keep the commandments and bring this gospel light to all places of the world, establishing God’s kingdom here on the earth! Doctrine and Covenants 6:6. Praying to God puts people ready to hear the gospel in your path!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hey Family

This week flew by. This week I started my study of the Doctrine and Covenants, and I’m super stoked to get into a deep study of the revelations of the church. Verse 26 of the first section showed me that we first need to search for wisdom to be instructed. Revelation comes to those who search, study, pray, and work to do God’s will. Section 4 is our mission scripture that we repeat at all the meetings on the mish. Verses 22 and 35 of Section 5 show that obedience is the first law of the heavens and will get us to eternal life. Everyday I’m learning that the Doctrine and Covenants is an inspired scripture in these modern days. I’m loving every minute of study!

This week had many miracles. My comp and I are going to work visiting inactives, members, investigators, and asking anyone for referrals. One of the miracles of this week was Junior. Junior is the son of a recent convert couple. He is 31, super chill, and smart. His mom told me that he is pretty timid and never had had much interest in the church/God. I told her to invite him to our next lunch in her house. When we had lunch with Irma Maria, Junior was waiting to eat with us. We broke the ice and invited him to hear a message. He accepted, and he told us how he never believed in God up until 2 weeks ago.  Two weeks ago, his best friend was killed in the streets. He told us that he would do anything to help his friend be forgiven and return to God’s presence. So we promised him we’d help him. After 2 weeks of constant preparation, Junior was ready to be baptized. When we thought he was ready to be baptized, opposition did everything in his power to prevent his baptism. Junior’s friends tried convincing him that the church is crazy, he woke up with a horrible back pain, and lastly, his dad did not want him to get baptized. His dad, who is a member, didn’t think he was prepared enough to be baptized, but luckily, Junior stayed firm and was baptized in the end. Elder Fernandes and I both needed to get in the water to baptize him. He cried so much when his dad gave him a huge hug after the baptism. Made all the work worth it.

The other week, I shared a scripture about setting goals in the Old Testament. Right after I sent the email, I realized that the scripture had noda ver or nothing to do with goals. But in Job 22:28, we learn that if we decree or declare a goal unto the Lord, his light will guide us to achieve this goal. On the mish, I have many goals, personal, companionship, ward, district, zone, and mission. I know that if we are obedient, exert faith, and trust in the Lord, we will be guided to the achievement of these goals and progress to the greater goal of eternal life. I know these things are true. I love the Gospel and being a missionary.


Junior's baptismi
I'm enjoying the double bubble that my mom sent me

Monday, August 14, 2017

Many miracles!

This week was a week of many miracles... Whether it was finding a family who recently moved but were prepping to get baptized on the street, to working with recent converts to find prepared people. This week was awesome and I'm loving the new area. So many miracles... Literally, where ever we go, we find people to teach. My comp and I have been focusing a lot on talking with everyone... we made it a goal to talk to 30 people a day. Haha let me tell you we have had some crazy conversations. Whether it was conversing with a Korean in broken Portuguese and English about his church, or trying to help old ladies carry groceries in the street... we tried to let everyone know our purpose. It was supreme. ahha. This week I had a realization that I really can't be sad... because I have knowledge of the restored gospel. With that in mind, I made a constant effort to smile... let me tell you as jolly as i might be, that was a challenge. But it was amazing becuase in church on Sunday, 2 of the speakers referenced me for being so happy and sharing messages with them that helped them have a stronger testimony... That made my week and the extra effort all worth it. I loved a scripture in 3 Nephi 20 that showed me what can happen after partaking of the sacrament. In verses 8 and 9, we learn that the Nephites were filled with the spirit after they partook of the sacrament. It made me think when was the last time I was filled with the spirit after the sacrament. I had the opportunity to really prepare for the sacrament and what a difference it did make. I know that the sacrament is the most important meeting of the church. I know that Christ loves us. That He lives and that he really wants us to live so that we can return to his presence one day. I love you all and thank you for your love and support...


I wish I could tell more stories but I'm out of time. many mircles await. have faith and do works.

Monday, August 7, 2017


A new week, a new area, a new comp, a new house, members, city, and so much more. Let me tell you this week passed by slowly. I've never been so lost in so many times and so many places in my life. I literally felt like I was in a Jason Bourne movie.... alley ways and houses on houses... the area is nuts. Plus, my comp, who has one transfer in the area, is super horrible with directions so... that hasn't been too helpful either. BTW, my new comp is known as Will Smith here on the mish because he is a copy of a young skinny Will Smith. His name is Elder Fernandes... a little bipolar, but I'm learning to work with him. The new area, Parque dos Maias, is legit. The members are super awesome and are willing to work with the missionaries. There are 220 active members and 1800 inactive in the area... the bishop wants us to divide the ward so we willl be working a lot with inactives and referrals  This week was full of highlights:
This week, I was in the street when a car pulled up at our side... I thought we would be assaulted, but one of my bffs who already went home hopped out of the car and gave me the biggest hug... haha Elder Manqueo is the best....
We helped out in a Mormon helping hands project where we spent 3 hours giving out flyers to people on the streets of Alvorada... lol I was hoping for a service project where we would change things up a little but handing out flyers to strangers is always great.
We got an awesome reference from a member's son who took us to his best friend's house. We met his friend Kiu, and he started to give us some of the most inspired questions... he is 11. Also, he completely understood our lesson. Let me tell you, the majority of Brazilians have the hardest time understanding the importance of the restoration, but he knew right off the bat. He was also was at church which was great!
We found a 20 year old named Nicolas who had met with the missionaries but never received an answer. We taught the first lesson and invited him to pray and ask God on his knees.. when he finished the prayer he got up and the tears flowed... super spiritual... he received his answer.
Lastly, we taught another couple at 8:55 on Sunday after knocking doors for so long I almost gave up, but my comp decided to knock one more door... and we found an amazing couple and son of 9 years who loved our message and cried when I repeated Joseph's description of the first vision... 
Overall, a lot went down, and I know there are so many experiences waiting me here for me in Porto Alegre. We were talking a lot about goals this week in our zone and found one of the only scriptures that talks about goals in the old testament... Samuel 3:10... really it is a great scripture to ponder and reflect. I dont' have much time this week to get too spiritual on the email but hope that my next can be more edfiying. Thanks for the love and support and prayers


p-day paradise

river baptism

division with Elder Silva

new area... Elder Soua and my comp studying in the background

Monday, July 31, 2017

Transfers and Miracles

Well then.... What can I say... Overall, I'm super sad to be leaving Taquara. Transfers are always the worst... I will let you know why I'm not too psyched to leave Taquara after a week of amazing work. First off, Taquara has been an amazing challenge for me. Over the last 3 transfers, I have been discovering how I can effectively work here to baptize converts. This week was one of my best weeks in the city. First off, I remembered a family that a member had showed me one time and said that maybe we should try to teach them... He told the 2nd week I was here in Taquara. The other day I had a dream that we needed to go there. When we arrived, we found a woman who was one of the first members here in Taquara and her three kids. One of her children, Lucas, who is 22, is amazing. He almost died last year from a brain virus and said he is willing to do anything to follow Christ. We marked his baptism for next week, and he loved church. Also I was able to do a division with Elder Silva one of my office buddies because my comp went to POA to paint houses. On the division, we found a Haitian  Emanuel,who was amazing. He accepted everything that we taught him, and I even got to teach in English. The lesson was super interesting because we had to teach super simply. I was wishin I could make a phone call for Mads because he speaks French. But through using a ton of scriptures in his French bible, he was able to understand the message and accept being baptized. We also taught a couple, Julia e Fabricio, who loved our message. I had already taught them one time, and they have already gone to church. Fabricio is super quiet but when we taught aabout the gospel of Christ, he opened up. We asked him what he wanted to learn in the lesson, and he said how to pray. In the end of the lesson, we kneeled on the their humble houses floor, and he offered the most amazing prayer, asking God for forgiveness for his sins and that he could be prepared to be baptized and start a new life. I couldn't stop smiling. Also, we received an amazing reference of a family who recently moved to Taquara from Fortaleza. They loved church and have a desire to follow what we are teaching. Their 3 kids are super cute also. Lastly, a inactive member who I have visited during my stay here went to church Sunday and brought his son who hasn't been baptized.... he will probably be baptized next week. It always seems like many miracles come at the wrong time.... haha jk. But I'm just happy that i could play a part in these peoples conversion. The transfer was crazy. We live in 4 here in Taquara. One elder will train and his comp will take my place in Taquara with Elder Santos. I'm heading back to Porto Alegre to the area parque dos maias. Pray for me cause I'm excited to see more miracles... thanks for all the love and support.... 



Wedding of Rafael e Patricia

Baptism of Patricia and Rafael no rio

Baptism of Deandry