Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One more week in Portugal!!

This guy is Hugo...he is a super cool Brasilian RM
And he has really changed my mission

This is Ernesto, a less active we brought back to church
After getting baptized and never going for 8 months

Our district

This guys name us Sir Anthony
He us the funniest, oldest, healthiest, soap opera loving
Couch potato I have ever met

A group of members that are super sweet!!

This is our dear friend Margarida
She is a riot!!

Some of the members of our ward of
Costa de Caparica

When the Spirit of God touches our hearts, it is meant to change something in our character

Hello everybody!  One more week here in Portugal!  Well news for this week unfortunately we did not see Flavio get baptised this weekend.  We spoke with his father and with him and his dad wasn't 100 percent on it and also flavio still didn't feel the full will to be baptised.  Good news is that he still went to church this last week so we will still be able to make some good progress with him and hopefully see him baptized here in a few weeks.  
Transfer news:  I am staying here one more transfer to finish training Elder Bennett and also I was made again into the District Leader so it should be fun times!  

Well this week went well and yesterday Elder Bennett and I had the opportunity to address the members here in Sacrament meeting on the topic of our choice (so much harder than being assigned a topic)  I in the end chose to speak on our love for Christ.  I think I will base my e mail a bit on the message I gave to the members here.

I based  my talk on one by elder Holland called the first and grfeat commandment that tells of the exchange between the Savior and Peter after the Ressurected savior finds peter has returned to his old life as if nothing has bappened just with the "good feeling" of the past 3 years and the saviors question that is posed three times,  Peter "Do you love me?"  I absolutely love How Elder Holland portrays this event.  How the savior was teaching him that after the experienecs that Peter has had things would NEVER be the same.  And The Atonement was to mark the begging of it all NOT the end.
My message mainly focused on this "  BRothers and sisters how many of us do EXACTLY as peter did?"  How many of us after having felt the spirit burn within our hearts during conference or church or even being in the temple and we return to the exact same habits, saying the exact same things and the exact same "routine" as before with out any change?  When the spirit of God touches our hearts it is meant to CHANGE something in our character, it is meant to give us courage to CHANGE and TURN our hearts more to the Savior and not just to go home just "feeling good"
We have work to do, families to visit, friends to invite and wrongs to right.  There is always something to change and to do.  How do I know that?  Well if you are reading this right now it means you are alive which means you still aren't ready.  So friends HAve the courage to change and really BECOME something through righteous acts and humbling your character. 
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Elder Eldredge

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Our Dwight Schrute tribute night

Traditional 'burning of the shirt' at Brandon's one year mark

The leftover ashes from his shirt

A good Brasilian feast

Christo Rei
A copy cat version of the one in Rio

Me with a cool member family

Mais uma semana na Costa!

Hey everybody!  Not too much to say this week other than I hit my year mark!  I spent the day with Elder Pitcher on a division and we partyed hard.  And by partied hard I mean our investigator bought marijuana while we were teaching him.... It was great haha.  BUt no we had a good division and got some good work done on my 1 year mark as well as burning the shirt and getting some ice cream:) We also marked a young man named flavio for baprtism this sunday so we are going to pray and have faith that he will make  it to the Sunday and be baptised! I also want to give out a big CONGRATS to Cami and Carson who hit the big 1.2. this week as well!  How awesome just think you next birthday I will be able to eat the cake with you!! 

This week we also had a special conference with Elder Bednar this weekend and he gave a great talk on a subject he really likes to speak on which is the enabling power of the atonement!  It was great and really powerful.  A line he said that I remember was that "if we feel that the requirements given by God are to overwhelming or impossible to live up too it is because we are trying to do it alone.
He proceeded to speak on the enabling power and it hit me pretty good that if the stresses of the mission become to seem unbearable and impossible I need to include the Savior more in my thoughts and pray more fervently and humble myself and repent realizing that I can't be successful on my own efforts.  I think the same is true for many in of us in our lifes.  So if you find yourself right now feeling overburdened and opressed I just invite you to heed the advice of Mathew 11
 COME UNTO ME, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I love you all a ton and hope you have a great week!:)
Elder Eldredge

Pictures from April 6, 2015

So as de Setubal e Mirateja

On the beach

This is when Elder Shroeder and his fam came to visit the week after he left

Throwin up some g signs with Jelson (he is a wrapper)

3 generations (one of my trainers and Elder Bennett, whom I am training)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Easter email

Hello everybody!  Happy easter a day late I hope you all enjoyed the Spirti that accomnpanies this season where wer celebrate the greatest victory in the history of existence.  Especailly with the opportunity to hear from the modern day prophets with their inspired messages.
Well I will just share with you all a little that I haved learned in conference and over the last few weeks.  Truth is is that we have been experiencing some true challenges in the work here in our area and I let it get to me a little throughout the days with day after day of rejection and what not.  Also it wasn't helping me that around me I felt that every other misisonary I know is having all the success ever and I let the temptation of comparision get to me a little bit wishing that I could experinence some of the same success.
With all these feelings we go to general conference hoping that one of the 6 investigarores we had committed would show up. None did for any session.  But within the messages of general conference the Spirit oF God lifted my spirits and taught me many impoortant lessons.  I love the talk that explained that many of the most important aspects of service cannot be measured with numbers.  I learned that it is not all that important, how many, how long, in what postition, or who you serve, more that just the simples aspect of HOW you served.  I looked into myself, How is it that I am serving.  Am I really here in Portugal beacuse I love and want to serve my Savior Jesus Christ and offer what little I have?
Now I know that I am not the missionary with the best results, or the most famous missionary in the mission nor the best teacher or the most fluent portuguese speaker.  But not of that matters if I am truly serving with my heart in the work.  The Lord doesn't so much care about the numbers or statistics of our mission.  he cares about what we become because of our service.  And that all depends on HOW you serve.  And that is completely within my power with the agency of none else in play.  So I will keep trying, I will keep pushing, I will keep praying to become what he wants me to become.  I will worry with what he thinks of me and not what other missionaries may think.  I know my Savior lives and is the Redeemer because he Has redeemed and saved me and he has done it more than once.  He lives my friends, and He loves and wants to help us.

I love you all so much 
Elder Eldredge

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Scary, crazy story!!

Hey everybody one more week of work and miracles!  Right now we are still having some troubles and our faith is being tested for sure but without the trials our faith doesn't grow right?  Elder Bennett is also a really postivie kid so it makes life a little easier as well!  I hope am not ruining his mission with how I am training him!  We will see.  It is interesting when he gets to where I am on the mission I will be going home!  That is weird.  Anywho I just wanted to tell you all a story that happened this past weekend that gave all some of our members a bit of a scare. 
So basically ON saturday night we go to sleep and I wake up at about midnight to our Stake president with his son at the foot of my bed screaming Elders Elders!!!!!  When I woke up he clenched his chest and let out a huge sigh of relief!  I was all confused wondering why in the world are you guys here right now.....  He kept saying oh my gosh you guys scared us sooooo bad, are you alright?  Yes we are alright what is going on is what I said back!  Then the ower of our house that lives above us comes into the room and has a similar reaction to my conciousness and lets out the same cry of relief.  Almost to the point of tears.
So obiously I wanted to know the story, so they proceeded to tell me that they had tried calling us and calling us and we didn't answer.  I had accidentally left the phone in the other room after our daily planning session.  And it was in that moment that I realized I forgot to call our district leader that night to tell him how our day went.  And I started understanding what had happened as I looked at the phone seeing many missed calls from OUr district leader zone leaders President Fluckiger stake president and also the member that lives above us.  
SO they told me this story.  So when the missionaries couldn'ty get ahold of us they called president because they were worried.  President then called our stake pres to see what was wrong and the our stake pres then called the lady that lives above us.  So this lady gets this call and The stake pres says to her, don't hang up the phone and go tell me if the Elders are ok, they came home right?  she told him yeah at about 9:30 ok well go check on them we can't get ahold of them.  So she went down and banged on our window (which we do not remmeber at all) but we didn't respond.  She got the spare key and knocked on the door, no response, waked in the house and shouted our names, no response,  she walked in knocked on our bedroom door, no response.  She went into our bedroom and found us laying in our beds and she said she immediately ran out of the room because she thought of the worst case and didn't have the courage.  So the Stake pres is on the pnhone with her all this time and says wait there I am coming right now.  So he grabs his son and heads to our house they walk in the door turn on our light and he shook my leg and I finally woke up.
They had all thought that maybe the gas had been left on or that we had got carbon monozide poisoned or something like that but when we woke up he told us that is was one of the greates reliefs of his life knowing that we were still alive and just fine:)
So yeah we scared the life out of a few of our members........ whoops learned my lesson there.  But yep everything is just fine and the members have a story to tell.  I just can't imagine how Elder bennett felt, having never met the stake president before that nor does he understand portuguese very well,  I can't imagine the confusion that was going through his head!  
So yeah that is my fun story for this week!  I don't have much time we played some american football on the beach today with 4 other Elderes and got pictures and videos taken of us I will send you pics next week!
Lvoe you guys tons!
Elder Eldredge

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Finally back in Costa (March 23rd)

Hello once more everyone! Well I finally after a full week made it back to my actual area of Costa de Caparica.  It has been a little rough trying to get the area back up and going but ya know that is the part that helps you grow is the pain and hardship!  We are doing just fine though and we had a good week bringing investigators and less actives to church!  

I love training it is so awesome!  We have already had some good typical missionary experiences including having the door slammed in our face by an atheist, getting threated in the street by crazy old men, and little black children trying to steal from Elder Benett.  Haha brings a smile to my face:) Also I had a little fun when we were offered tea (the kind here that really isn't against the word of wisdom) and obvioulsy E. Bennett wasn't understanding anything but I turned to him and said in english "Well she is making us tea"  EB gave me a weird look and then she brought us the tea and I just said "just drink it man"  So being the greenie that he is followed me as I drank the tea as well and I wondered what EB must be thinking.  After we left the house we waked for a few meters in silence and then he turns to me and says.... "Why did we just drink tea?" haha it made me laugh and then I explained to him about everyrthing. Haha It brings back the memories of me when I came into the field, scared out of my pants and I had no idea what anyone was saying around me, nor did I know how to share to gospel, no to mention lots of walking!  Elder Bennett is a really good sport though.  He is from Gilbert Arizona, and Graduated high school a year after I did.  Really cool and fun kid for sure!  But yeah it is going to be great to take the fear out of him as fast as we can.  

Training has really made me think about how much I have truly grown and changed.  I am glad to say I am very different than when I came,  I feel that is the way it should be.  That is what the Atonement does, it changes.  And it only changes us if we let it by yielding ourselves to the enticings of the Holy Spirit like we are taught in Mosiah.  I am gaining so much  more doctrinal knowledge here on the mission with things that are so simple that sometimes I question if I actually knew anything before I came out on a mission.  Haha I still am no where near where I would like to be but I hope I am on the right track.  The Atonement truly gives us the power to become perfect.  Keep in your minds throughout your scripture study and especiallt prayer small things that the Savior would do if He was in your shoes that maybe you aren't or ought to be doing.  Take these things one at a time and make it a matter of Prayer pleading that you will have Heaven's help as your strive to be changed through faith on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I love you all so much and wish you all the best week with much health and happiness.  I will keep you all in my prayers especially those you have asked specifically will go in by name:)  Thank you so much!! 
Elder Eldredge  

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

My first greenie!!


This is the really super awesome familiy from Angola that the Elder's in Almada area teaching that we walked to church with, and some funny friends of ours where we spent the birthday night of Elder Pitcher at!

The 'funeral' of Elder Schroeder

Serving in a tripla

New transfer! (March 16th)

Hello all of my friends in the great United States!  Well this week has been awesome and crazy all at the same time.  My companion had to leave on Wednesday to the mission home so I worked the rest of the week with Elder Pitcher and Elder Jones in Almada!  It was a great time and we were blessed with many opportunities to serve in both senses temporally and spiritually!  It was also a lot of fun at the same time!  We taught this Angolan family that is really cool and humble and walked to church with them which was a good fun experience and I think they enjoyed it as well!  The Elders will do a good work with them for sure!  But yes we had some great times and ate some great food!  OH I ate a pigs ear this week..... nasty don't bother trying it.  But yeah some really great things are going to happen in this transfer!

So I am staying here in Costa and I will be training my first new missionary!  His name is Elder Benette and he will be coming here on Wednesday I am super excited for sure!!   Also something fun that happened this transfer is that Elder Davis (my old companion) is going to be my district leader!  It should be a lot of fun with a lot of challenges and opportunities for growth!  I am really filled with desire and drive to train Elder Benette the best I can!  I also found out that Elder Casey (my MTC comp and good hometown friend)  Is now a Zone Leader!  What a boss!

If anything this week I am continuing to learn the pattern of change through Chirst's Atonement.  Take time to study the new testament as we approach easter especially the book of john.  Study and ponder and you will find and learn new things to apply to your life.  This I promise you!

I love you all sooo much! Fiquem felizes!
Elder Eldredge