Hey everyone! This week has been great and fun! This week really flew by we had a lot of things to do! We had a lot of preparations to do for the ward barbeque that the missionaries (us) put on the for the branch, and you think that it would be simple ya know, food, barbeque, fun, water fight and stuff like that but it was almost like pulling teeth to get people to come to the activity! It was kind of amazing to me because in the first place the branch hadn't done any activities at all this year. But anywho It was super crazy I will tell the story really quick. We had it all planned out super well and we came to the chapel at about 8 o'clock to start setting up for the activity to start at 11. So 11 comes around and 1 person shows up.......... But I still had a little hope beacuse I am sure you all know what "mormon time" means so I had hope that people would keep showing up. 12 rolled around and 1 more person showed up........ that made 2 (not including the 4 missionaries). Sweet! We had a whole bunch of acitivites, food, and stuff and 2 people showed up. SO we started making some calls to people who lived close to see if we could get some more people. With a little luck we got a few more people that said thay would come! Then our investigator Ana (who had been gone all week) called us said she was back and that she wanted to go and just need a ride! So we called another member to give her a ride and he ended up bringing his family too! Little by little we a had a good amount of people at about 12:30ish which wasn't too bad! The acitivty turned out to be really good for those that came and the barbeque was super yummy too! but anywho the story gets better. So people keep showing up at like 2:00 and there were tons of people there during the time to eat (naturally) and we were all having a good time. We had been so caught up and worried about our activity and getting people there that we forgot that the sisters from a nearby city told us they would be having a baptism at 4 o'clock in our chapel.
When I saw the sisters show up with their investigator and all the members that came my heart dropped..... We forgot to fill up the baptismal font! The font is pretty darn big here and it takes like 2 and a half to three hours to fill up. Haha whoops. They weren't very happy for obvious reasons and so we turned on the font and we all got buckets and hauled them back an forth from the outside spigot to fill up the font faster. Haha I will never forget filling up the font with buckets. Anywho we were able to do it all in about 30 or 40 minutes which was no near as long as 2.5 hours. It was crazy but it ended up good. The lady got baptized and our investigator Ana (that is on track to be baptized this sunday) was able to see a baptism and she got excited as well!:) So anywho it was truly a crazy day for us missionaries but in the end gave good memories to remember.
Anywho I don't have much time left but I wish you all well and hope you are all happy!:)
Hey everyone! This week was great! And I am super happy to say that we saw Carlos enter into the waters of Baptism this week!! It was really awesome to finally see him take this step! It was a good fight to get him there. many times I was super sad our discouraged because of some decisions that he made but all of that was worth it to see this moment! It is so awesome to see people from many different backgrounds accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ and changing becuase of the things they learn, it is a great joy that you feel when you see that, anyone who has participated in the work of salvation.
Also we had a awesome week this past week. One of the young men in the branch named João Barata (17 years old) served a "mini mission" with us this week! He stayed with us the whole week and lived as if he were a missionary! I have some good respect for him! I don't know if I would have been able to do that when I was 17! I think and hope that he had a good experience and he for sure helped out a lot with his testimony in our lessons!
Anywho we are doing well keep up the prayers for us!:) here are some fun picutres!
Hello everyone! This week has been pretty normal nothing ourside of the norm! WE had our first mission council with our new Presidente which was really good! He will do a lot of good things with this mission no doubt! One thing he did was he asked to to make a big list about why it is so hard to baptize in portugal. We made a giant list as a group with things like THEY'RE ALL CATHOLIC or no one gets married, the members are dicouraged and a buch of excuses why. Then President asked us (with this giant list in front of us) How do you feel that you were called to serve here? Then he began to teach us the true principles of D&C 4 "The field is white and ready to harvest". He taught us that when we are looking and thinking about all of these excuses (that is all they are) we are spending our missions looking at the ground. He helped uys to gain a better vision with the work here. The church here certainly is not as persecuted as it was when it started in the united states in its beginning, the church is new here but that will not stop in from growing and we need to do our part in helping Portugal become the "Lighthouse of Europe" like it has been prophesied to be. He is an incredible example to me for sure!
Also another cool thing that happened this week was with Carlos! The investgator I told you all about a while ago that was having troubles with smoking. He is marked and progressing towards baptism this saturday! How did we do it? He asked us to read the book of mormon with him every day so we did and of course no one (with a sincere heart) can read the book of mormon without being touched by the Spirit he started gaining the courage back to get back on the right path. One day we did something pretty cool with him. We brought baptismal clothes from the chapel to his house, we gave him the clothes and told him to get dressed. He was asking a lot of questions but we just insisted... get dressed! It was actually kind of funny! He got into white clothes and we commented on how good he looked and then suddenly something hit me and my eyes got full with tears and my heart was full.
He had a big smile on his face and asked "now what?" We put him in front of the mirror asked him how he looked and then I held up his sack of tobacco right next to him after a bit and I asked him..." Carlos what do you really want? He shook his head and looked himself in the eyes in the mirror and was silent. My companion then invited him to be baptized the following Saturday and to make a renewed effort to quit smoking. Carlos accepted and is on the road to baptism. It is not going to be easy Carlos knows that, but that confirmation that I recieved as I saw him in white that filled my eyes with tears, I know that we will do everything in our power to help this man to baptism this Saturday. I am truly excited and happy:)
Well thats about all for this week! Love you guys tons and tons!
Hey guys! This week was good! Not as good as our last week, we work our tails off maybe a little too hard we were dying this week but we will for sure be better this coming week!
I am doing well and happy. transfers happened and me and Elder Gomes will be staying here another transfer (halleujah!) I really like serving here with him. Not too much news to report. We are teaching this lady named Ana right now. She has got the cutest little kids and they love us! ONe is named Carolina she recently overcame and won the fight with cancer! She is an awesome little girl I will get a picture to you guys soon!:) BUt Ana really has been prepared for a long time to hear us. She even told us when she saw us in the street she had the feeling that she needed to talk to us but right at the last minute decided not too and she would talk with us another day (adversaries whisperings). Luckily Elder Gomes contacted her and she was super surprised and glady accepted to recieve us in her house:) She is progressing really well and has a great desire to be baptized. She just needs to quit her habit of smoking, I have faith that she will. Right now she is on vacation (a big trial here in portugal during the month of august) but when she gets back we are going to get her in the WATER!:) I am loving the mission more and more. I really hope that I can reach my potential as a missionary, I know that the smallest decisions I am making right now are going to deterime in large what kind of person, husband, and father I will be in the future. and that gives me motiviation to press forward with faith:)
As far as a little spiritual message. Lately in my studies I have been noticing and pondering a lot about the word remember. This could be the most important word in the dictionary! The only way someone that received even the smallest testimony falls away is because they forget about that experience. Satan does not want us to remember our spiritual experiences because he knows they will gives us strength. IN our times of trial and hardship many times we don't even think to remember the ways the Lord has helped us in the past because we are to caught up with the present problem. I love the example in the sciptures of the Eben-ezer in 1 Samuel and the Standard of Liberty that Moroni put up. These things were made to help the people remember the blessings of the Lord and how His hand had touched their hearts and helped them in the past. IF you are passing through hard times, try to remember your spiritual experiences. Read your journal. Go to the temple. These things will help you to calm down and give a better perspective on the situation. This exact process has helped me many times on my mission so I know it can help hany of you!:)
I love you all so much and wish a great week for you all!:)
Well this week has been full of work! I have never worked so hard on my whole mission! OUr mission President gave us the challenge of 60 contacts per day. Me and Elder Gomes had a habit of doing only about 15 contacts per day. We used excuses to excuse our lack of work, like we have traveled a lot and that has made us really tired, we had to go to the chapel to take care of zone stuff, our it was too hot outside and other things. After a great training and a personal interview from our new mission President Amorim both me and my companion felt that we needed to repent and change. Our President took us aside and said, "Elders you have a leadership postition, but that does not make you leaders. There is a big diference between the two. You have to BE a leader to make a difference. You have to work harder and be the example for your zone. He taught us many things inlcuding the parable of the talents (which is a parable of leadership), and also in missionary work it doesn't work like this.... "There are 10 people in front of you and you pray to the Lord to tell you which of the 10 you need to talk to". He told us he doesn't believe that is how it works. He taught that you have to talk with all 10 of them and the Lord will guide to you the ones that will accept only after you have shown your faith and desire. With that teaching he challenged me and Elder Gomes to complete 60 contacts every day. We also decided to go the extra mile and set a goal of 75 contacts per day. I will say that it was not easy at all, even many days we fell short contacting only 43 or 38 but we were able a few days do 70 and 63 and 58. Me and Elder Gomes many times divided and contacted two people or familias at the same time. Things like ok I got the family on the bench you go get that dude over there. This was nonstop many days until the last minute of the day. I got home completely whipped but witha giant peace in my heart knowing that we did it. Those are some of the best feelings in missionary work, feeling that you did what the Lord would have you do. We showed the Lord our faith and our true desire through our nearly quadruple amount of work that we were doing before. The Lord has truly put incredible blessings in our path. Inlcuding 2 new families to teach and many more new investgators found. Also the Lord blessed us with 2 baptisms this Sunday of the two friends of our Recent Convert Joaquim, that had previously denied even the thought of baptism and out of nothing accepted the invitation. We had the Spirit and testtified with His power. We saw miracles, we worked hard, we suffered a lot of fatigue thirst and weakness. But we felt His power, His hand, and His love in our lives. This week wer were truly on the Lord's errand the whole week. I love this work and my testimony grows stronger and stronger of the divinty of it. The Savior lives, this is His church, and the church is being restored on the earth before our eyes. I love you all and wish you a happy week!
Hey everyone! I will have to be a little short this week sorry. But we had a great week. We had another 3 baptisms in the zone which makes a total of 7 so far this month. This is great progress for this zone! We are really happy! We are also super happy to have President amorim as you new Mission Presdient. He has a great gift of motivating and inspiring. I already know that he will be a grand influence for my life. He had a private conversation with me and Elder Gomes and gave us a challenge to do 60 contacts every day this week. We decided we can do better so we set a goal of 75 every day. This is going to be super hard and tiring but I know that the Lord will bless us for showing our desires to find his elect. I am super excited!" I love you all and hope you are doing well!:) Sorry for the short boring letter this week but I love you tons and tons!! Thank you for your prayers!