Monday, November 20, 2017

Day in the life of Elder Bodine

Man, November is flying by. This week was solid and had many special moments.  This week, I’ll try and give you a close up at life as a missionary. What is it like to be a missionary in Brazil in Santa Cruz do sul? Wake up at 6:00, go running with my Argentina/German running bud, Elder Alretch. We cruz for an hour, and man it is amazing.  3 great things about running in the mish. 1. It gets the adrenaline flowing. 2. It keeps me more alert/awake during our morning studies. 3. You get to know and memorize your area. I feel like I know every road/alley of my area. Get back to the house at 7, drink a banana smoothie, take a shower, plan, and then study. This week, I loved a scripture in Jacob 6:12. The scripture is just a simple command and rhetorical question. It helped me think throughout the week in all aspects of missionary life, “Am I being smart/am I being wise?” Reflecting on a simple question has made me a better decision maker. After studying by myself, with my comp, and a little bit of Portuguese, we say a prayer and hit the road. Normally before lunch, we teach a lesson or do some street contacting. I’ve learned the importance of using this time with wisdom. From 10:30 – 12:00, there is a huge amount of time to find the Lord’s elects. For example, this Saturday we marked a visit with an inactive member, but when we got there, they remarked with us, and we were faced with a decision. Head to lunch or try and find somebody to teach. We decided to find. Within a couple of minutes, we found Irmã Maria, an old woman about 80 years old.  She accepted our message, went to church on Sunday, and is preparing to get baptized next week. After morning appointments, we head to lunch. Lunch is almost always with members. Here in Santa Cruz, the lunches are almost always amazing. For example, here in Brazil, it is always family style. There is always a bowl of rice, black beans, salad, and a meat (chicken or beef). Spaghetti is guaranteed, and there is always soda/or juice. Man, grape juice, mango juice, passion fruit juice are my fave natural juices. After 2 or 3 or 4 plates of food, we leave a message, sing a song, or play a video for the members. (Dessert is normally just on Sundays). At 1:30, we leave and head out for the street. From 1 to 4 o’clock are the slower hours of the day. Everyone is sleeping, at work, or are not very interested to hear a message. So we focus this time on teaching inactives. Teaching inactives is an awesome way to receive referrals and find families that are incomplete. Also, it is amazing to see the spirit touch those who have fallen away from the church. After 4, we enter prime time. From 4-9, we can teach anywhere from 5 – 7 lessons. Brazil is amazing because the people are so receptive. Of course, there are people who don’t want to hear, but the majority are very receptive, open, kind, and loving.  We always have people to teach which is a huge blessing. The biggest difficulty is finding people willing and ready to accept invitations and act on them. We are teaching an old man named Carvalho who is amazing. In two weeks since we have met him, he has read ½ of the Book of Mormon, stopped smoking his daily 20 cigarettes and drinking 6 cups of coffee, and has so much desire to be baptized. But he is not willing to change his work hours so that he can go to church. We want him to believe that the Lord will provide a way to get him to church, but first he needs to take a leap of faith. One other difficulty we have here in Rio Grande do sul is appointments that fall through. I don’t know what it is about this culture, but here, it is totally chill to remark an appointment in the last minute, forget about the appointment, or hide form the missionaries when they arrive at your door in the hour that you marked a visit. Because of this, we have always got to be prepared. That’s why we always have back up plans. This week, we have been teaching an old lady named Irene who went to church last week. We noticed a young couple that lived next to her and put them on a back up plan if our appointment with Irene fell through. Well, of course our appointment with Irene fell through so we headed to the young couple, clapped and they opened the door. We taught the restoration, and when I said the words Joseph Smith, the woman’s eyes lit up. At the end of the lesson, she told us how she had been baptized in the church at the age of 11 but shortly after moved, and her mom traded religions. She told us how she had been waiting many years to find the church again. Awesome experience. After proselyting at 9, we get at home, update teaching records, eat, talk about the day, and sleep… Dead tired. Then we repeat. Let me tell you, it is an amazing process. Everyday is amazing. Honestly a privilege to be a missionary. I love this work and leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.  Dave

We were the first missionaries to enter the city Sinimbu... taught lessons, did contacts, in a city with two streets... it was awesome




Sunday lunch selfie with Irmão Messias

Monday, November 13, 2017

21 and Noite Americana!


I can’t believe that I’ve passed for two birthdays on the mish. Man time flies. It feels like yesterday that I was in Canela celebrating my 20th birthday. But, now one year after, I’m here in Santa Cruz celebrating 21. Nero (Right) haha! Well, this birthday was a normal day in the life of a missionary. I went for a run at 6 with my Argentinian/German running buddy, and when I got back, my comp and his comp had a cake, balloons, signs and hats waiting for me. It was a great little surprise to start off the day. Once again, I tried to focus on others rather than myself on my birthday. I found an article the other day that teaches of the importance of seeking out miracles. On the mission when I am constantly searching out miracles, there is no way I can be depressed, distraught, or unfocused. When we search out miracles, we will find them and crave more. I witnessed many miracles on my birthday. And now, I have created a daily goal to find or see or witness a miracle in my life or in the lives of others. I have begun to write down the miracle of the day, and I’m loving it.  Overall, it is great to be 21, and I’m loving the mission everyday.

The highlight of the week was Noite Americana. Man what a crazy night. We spent the week setting up decorations, making video invites on Facebook, visiting members to invite friends, and get in the American spirit. A member here runs an English school and loaned us a ton of decorations so it turned out great. We had over 110 people at the event. We separated the members into 3 teams…Red, White and Blue. Each team participated in activities, competitions and more. Blue team, my team, started off in the front, but we finished off weak. The highlights from the activity were the over 20 non members at the activity, me giving a message in broken English, ice cold apple bob and 350 chocolate chip cookies. I made 6 batches of my mom’s famous recipe and baked cookies for 5 hours. They were a hit! My fav part of the activity was when I announced the teams in a WWE voice over the mike. Turned out sweet. We finished the night off by announcing our English class. Everyone turned out super stoked to have a free English class again in the Branch. Overall, I highly suggest doing an American night. We got the members super excited, met non-members, and had super fun. By far best activity I have participated in.

Overall, I’m grateful to be a missionary and to serve in such a friendly, receptive, loving, and happy place. I love the Lord, his gospel, and to be a missionary. Have an amazing week searching for miracles.
Love, Dave

District photos


Downtown Santa Cruz photos



21st b-day suprise... only blurry photos


American Night!








Noite Americana