Monday, September 21, 2015

Bom Dia!!

Hey everyone!  Well I just want to start out saying that I am super happy.  Happiness is something that everyone needs and desires.  The restored Gospel of Jesus Chirst is the only source of everlasting happiness.  As you lose yourself in service you find peace happiness and a cure for the spirit.  

Everything is going just fine, not much news.  Celia came to church in a brand new dress and it was awesome to see her!  Ana was sick so she couldn't come to church but her friend Catia came to her baptism and now is showing a huge desire to be baptized.  this week we will be working to help her progress and quit smoking as well so she can be baptized as well!
We have been speaking with basically everyone that has crossed our path during the week.  Our President is really teaching us that point.  But I have really gained a testimony of that especially witht the story of Ana.  Our enemy is able to do his work if all he can do is "bind our tongues" like Elder Holland taught in a talk a few conferences ago.  Missionary work is really just that, open you mouth.  Invite people.  Call attention.  Teach.  Bear testimony.  All these things require our words.  And many times when missionaries because of tiredness, fear, our pride choose not to open their mouths to contact or invite, many people do not have to opporunity to embrace the gospel.  I have been talking throughout the week with Elder Mccolley and we were talking how we have learned that it isn't through creative arguments, and expert teqniques that we can convice someone that doesn't want anything to do with us to come to church or hear our message.  "The elect will hear" but we have to find them.  This work is done completely by the influence of the Spirit.  There is no specific defined formula that always works.  That all you have to find the right combonation of variables to get a good result.  Such as more obedience will always bring more baptisms... it is not always true.  You need to be able to seek the infulence of the Spririt through constant study and perserverance.  There is no one way to do it.  
There are no secret patterns, smooth techniques, the gospel is simple.  Have faith, repent, endure to the end.  It is interesting how many of us without knowing can have many problems with the first two most basic principles of the gospel.  Faith and repentance.  Do we have the faith to pay our tithing every month even when times are tight?  Do we have the faith to keep the sabath day  even when it pays more to work on that day?  Many other things could be said the point is there are always points of our faith to be strengtened.
Repentance is also something needed for every single one of us.  Repentance isn't always confessing serious sins.  Repentance can be a greater committment to serve more dilligently in your calling, or to spend less time on the internet when you could be doing other more productive things.  We are here on earth to learn to become gods and goddeses.  We can only do that though repentance and grace.  
Remeber who you are and where you came from.  Whose presence you left, and where you have the potential to go.  Don't forget.
Don't ever forget.
I love you all tons and tons

Elder Eldredge

some fun photos of swords from spain:)

"Burying their weapons of war!"

Celia & Ana 'burying their weapons of war'

Us destroying smoking stuff

Our district 

Carolina's party!

        Carolina's party ( the little girl in the second picture)

            btw she is a cancer survivor

The gospel changes people

Hey everyone!  We had a very awesome week.  It went by really fast.  Well first we had and awesome birthday party for Ana's (our investigator) daughter Carolina.  She is adorable and we are super friends!  WE got here a little pink stuffed dolphin and she loved it!  Anywho things were going really well at the beginning of the week.  We had challenged both Celia and Ana to stop smoking completely by thursday and they both accepted the challenge!  They are both super awesome and made huge sacrífices to continue progressing!  Then on Thursday came and we shared with them the story of the Anti-nephi-lehites and how they buried their weapons of war to show God and their fellow men that they were leaving their old lives and sins behind and would never go back.  That is exactly what we invited those two to do.  So they both gave us basically everything that had to do with their smoking habits and we then destroyed the material in a very epic and legendary manner:)  Anywho they followed through with everything made sacrífices and wer both baptized into the true church on Saturday and confirmed members on Sunday.  Huge blessings are coming to this branch with more than 10 convert baptisms within the last 2 months.  I am loving this área more and more. 
I want to testify to you all that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only source of everlasting happiness and peace.  People may try to find it alone and they may find rest and contentment in worldy pleasures but the problem with all that is that it ends.  Your testimony you gain in this life and your relationship with the Savior is eternally permanent.  So we need to examine the small things we do.  Are we working on things that are going to last, such as testimony, knowledge, family, and developing Christlike attributes?  Do our actions reflect our words we share in church and the things we claim to really know?  I have seen the gospel change people, I know it can, to all who desire.  Every day is a new day to repent, change, and not fall into the sins and erros of yesterday.

I love you all soooo much!
ELder Eldredge 

Monday, September 7, 2015

New companion & goodbye to Elder Gomes

My new companion, Elder McColley

Saying goodbye to Elder Gomes
Bittersweet...he is like a brother

Do something BOLD!

Hey everyone!  This week has been another great one and we are super tired!  I don't have like any time right now but I will just give a few updates.

We had mission council and transfers this week.  I am going to stay here in Santarem and Elder Gomes went off to Porto.  It was kind of sad we were like brothers but ya know ya gotta move on.  I am serving now with Elder McColley.  We are doing good and we have worked hard this first week!  Celia and Ana weren't baptized this weekend but are both remarked for this weekend so they could all use your prayers:)  
I learned this week that dilligence and sacrifice is necessary at all times even when things are going well.  We can never become content with our "good" circumstances we need to be constantly stiving to endure to the end.  
Also I did something pretty funny this lst week.  So presdient amorim challenged us to do something BOLD.  So I decided one day as I entered into the Bus that was full of people and after the bus was going and every one was sat down I went up to the front with a book of mormon and a picture of the first vision.  I just called everyone's attention and I introduced the 1st vision, bore testimony, and invtied everyone to hear our message.  I was super scared before but then after I felt happy and like....... "I just did that"  Haha I felt like the missionaries of old!  Anywho it was a super fun experience and I jsut wanted to share it!

This is a picture of me and elder mccolley
and my parting picture with gomes
I love you all and wish all a great week!

With love 
Elder Eldredge

August 31, 2015

Hey everyone!  This week had its good moments and it's hard ones.  First of all The saddest part of this week was probably Ana.  She was all happy for her baptism and everything she even invited her parents and friends to go but then it was like a bomb exploded with problems and doubts and everything on thursday.  In the end of all the confusion she ended up saying that she wouldn't be baptized this weekend and it would only be this next weekend that is coming.  Then we found out her boyfriend was coming Saturday night to spend some time with her and since then we have not heard from her.  She didn't come to church and is dodging our calls.  It is pretty sad but we will continue with faith!  
On the brighter side of things we had a truly powerful lesson on the plan of salvation this week with our other progressing investigator Celia.  She is marked for this Saturday and we have high hopes!  AS we taught the plan of salvation and specifically the part about the Atonement, tears were shed and testimonies were borne, the Spirit was super strong and I know that Celia felt it.  She has come to church three weeks in a row now and is loving it.  She is struggling with some addictions to tobacco but has reduced dramatically going from 40 cigarettes per day to just 9 in less thatn a week.  Miracles happen!  WE are super happy for her!
Anywho transfers happen this week so we will see what happens!  I think that maybe Elder Gomes will be heading out which is sad we have really come to be like brothers which has been great so it will be sad to leave but hey life goes on.  
Anywho I don't have much more time, sorry it wasn't very inspiring but next week I will be sure to send something better next week!  Love  you all!
Elder Eldredge