Monday, February 12, 2018

February 10, 2018 letter -- Salvador

Monday we had 2 visas to renew and they both went well with the only bump in the road being that one elder forgot one of the most important documents for renewal in the office so we had to go back and get it delaying our trip a little bit. We also marked a bunch more visits for march and we are hoping that no one gets sent to a mission in the USA  because of us hahaha. 

Tuesday we had a normal day and some disappointing results in our area. we got out early from the office and we to visit our investigators/less actives and i think they were all out doing stuff for carnaval because our area was EMPTY i have never seen it so empty. 

Elder Prince and Elder Christofferson
Wednesday we had the mission council with all of the zone leaders in the mission home. It was a really nice council and a good motivating spiritual meeting! we were able to evalutate some problems we were having and how we could get past them, then we had a little testimony meeting and some elders were invited to bear testimonies and it was really nice. President talked a lot about the quality of the work we are doing and how important the little details and invitations to church are. Sister Bangerter also talked about all their kids and their interviews with stake presidents after the mission. and the fact that we have these two years of our missions to think about for the rest of our lives.. so we better do a good job! 

Elder Loupero and Elder Prince
Thursday we had our hands full in the office sending out letters to new missionaries who just recieved their calls and preparing folders and supplies for the transfer next week! also being the official start of carnaval the streets were stopped and traffic was not moving in any direction because so many people were passing thru our area to get to the "Barra" where all the concerts and main party stuff is. 

Friday is the day we have set apart to not go to the office but it seems to be impossible. we had everything planned out and a great day of work marked and as soon as we made the bolt for our area after lunch we started getting calls from missionaries saying they needed things or their energy was cut (not my responsibility thank goodness) so we had to go back and pay things but we got out to our area and had really good lessons with a new family (conceição and everyone else) and one of our investigators sisters (nayara). We taught the restoration and conceiçao told us all about her going in and out of her church and some dreams she had where she saw angels and Jesus and it was a really nice lesson. it was really cool the way she participated then was so open to tell us about things that had happened in her life, bringing the spirit into the lesson even stronger. Nayara commited to go to church and even take her kids!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

February 3, 2018 letter -- Salvador

well this week was quite interesting! all of salvador (especially our area) was getting ready for the holiday of iemanja which is some Voo Doo goddess of the sea or water idk i didnt understand that well. There is a tradition to make offerings of flowers or food or stuff like that to pay to the goddess and everyone throws their offerings into the sea on February 2nd. So all week people were getting ready and selling lots of flowers setting up tents on the beach walk (the fastest way for us to get home from our area) and lots of military police stations and it was all a big party. 

Monday we had family night with romilda that had been planned for a few days with an investigator that lives down the street and is really good friends of their family but when the time came around the family of Luiza was just no where to be found. not in their house romildas house not in the street. so FHE went on without them sadly. 

tuesday we got together some papers/folders for people who will arrive in the mssion and people who are going home! it was my turn to stay the night with Elder dos Santos (had surgery) so the other elders went to work in our area.

wednesday we had a district meeting about a training that president gave a few weeks ago and president showed up to the office right in the middle of the training so after recieving the training from elder hilton president decided to take another hour to give the training again lol needless to say it was a nice long district meeting haha. thursday we went to the mall to buy paper and ink because one of the printers is dumb and only prints when it has ink from all colors so if one of the 5 colors runs out we have to go buy it hahah. We cut lots of forms and papers that day too. 

yesterday was the iemanja! it was also our one day in the week that we are not to pass in the office and we are supposed to go work in our area all day long. We live real close to one of the most popular beach walks in salvador where this part/festival is traditionally held so it took us 45 MINUTES  wading thru a crowd at 10 am to get to our area hahahah wow. and right after we had down our first contacts and were getting into a house to teach elder cantuario (stayed at home with elder dos santos) called and said he needed to go to the office to pay rent for all of the houses in the mission and it had to be done by 12. this was 11:15. so we got to the office to let them in to pay and they returned home and we started walking to our lunch in the other elders area (we go to the same ward)  as we got onto the doorstep of the members home 30 minutes walking distance elder cantuario called again and said there was more stuff to pay that we needed to go back to the office. without eating we went to pay the water for the sisters back at the office. then once we finally got back to our area about 2 hours later none of our investigators were home and the member we had marked to go visit some references with bailed. yesterday was just not our day. probably sounds like im complaining a lot in this letter oops hahaha. But we were able to get in a couple lessons and have some really cool contacts. I love being a missionary. as much as we have big disappointments and bad days we are still here serving. And there is nothing better than that. It truly is during our hard times that we are closest to our Savior and he is lifting us up more than ever. But theres nothing better than bearing a sweet testimony about him. back to our day now. and we had to return home thru the big mosh pit festival that was the beach walk. We had to go thru military police scanning it was kinda cool hahaha

i think the only time i have seen such a big party was last year during carnaval here in salvador. I think the part during the day was a lot cooler than at night because lots of less smoking/drugs/drinking/naked people/police and a lot more of the culture and tradition here in Bahia. It really showed the beliefs and traditions of the ancestors and allowed these people to show their roots and do what makes them feel free and in tune with the world. we saw lots of traditional food, spiritual rituals anointing and washings in the streets and marching band kinda and it was incredible. it was a really special experience to see what they were doing and it reminded me a lot about the 11th article of faith "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." that is what is so special about the world today. so many people have so many different view and different truths. what we truly need to do is have more tolerance for all people no matter who they are what they do what they believe. We are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father who truly wants us to be happy. serve someone else this week and learn a little bit more about their point of view before you make a judgement. think a little before you speak. It will make a better world.


elder prince


Sunday, January 28, 2018

January 27, 2018 letter -- Salvador

my week was just fine! sunday we went to get william before church and right when we got there his dad walked out of the house and told us that his mother in law had literally just died. in that very same hour. sad. also very sad that william was not able to go to church with us nor the other 5 houses that we passed by to bring people. lets just say it was a sleepy sunday morning in our area. william is progressing well and liking our visits he just needs to get to church. He has a baptismal date in a few weeks and so far nothing that is holding him back. 

monday we passed the day in the office doing normal work.  we were able to visit a reference from romilda named luiza! we taught the restoration and we had a good lesson then we marked a family home evening with her for monday night because she was going out of town for the rest of the week! i did a lot of shredding but it has not ended! still many boxes. 

wednesday we had such a sweet day. we were able to get out of the office early after doing a few important things (bus tickets and lots of printing stuff for president and shredding papers) then we were able to GO DO A DIVISION WITH OUR WARD MISSION LEADER WOO HOOO. it was sweet elder hilton went with him (mike) and i stayed with elder cantuario and we were able to teach some sweet lessons. We taught a woman named Maria and her two kids mauricio and franscyelli the restoration and they ate it up. maria told us all about how she has been in and out of church and never stayed still in one but really liked our message and wants to learn more. we taught Cristiano another young man with a  baptismal date who already has a bunch of friends in the church and goes every week. we were able to visit some less actives and just have a good afternoon/in our area.

then the week started getting kinda crazy. we had to go to the bus station to buy passes that president requested and for an elder coming to salvador to renew his visa (expires in two weeks oops). He arrived safely thursday morning and we started getting everything set to go to the airport to renew with visa. normally you have to mark a day to go in and renew it but i guess the site had a problem so we went in unmarked. the lady just sent us back out right away even though because of some policy he should be able to renew it without an appointment. just a bunch of confusion. he now has an appointment for feb 5 just like 4 days before his visa expires. really cutting it close hahah. not to mention that at this same time we had an elder that will be staying with us enter into surgery on a hernia. we were able to print out some packets that are important for missionaries leaving/coming into the mission so thats a blessing that we got those done a few weeks early. the elder ended up staying in the hospital overnight and we picked him up yesterday morning he is now staying with us. 

it was a pretty good week. we also got to visit nathan who is a really cool dude! we found him knocking some doors and he invited us in right away. he is currently jobless (i forgot the correct word for that) and is trying to learn more about religion he has been in and out of protestant churches and is kinda doing study with the jehovahs witnesses.

Monday, January 22, 2018

January 20, 2018 letter -- Salvador

Hello Family!

Pretty good week here in Salvador Bahia! Some very special things happened this week but also some very ordinary things. I am having a little bit of trouble getting used to the awful smells of Salvador because of the extremely poor sewage systems and all the garbage but other than that I am very happy to be in the capital. The city is already getting ready for Carnaval which is not until February 9th haha should be very interesting month here in Salvador.

Monday we had a normal day and were able to get into our area to visit people and do some contacts after working in the office.

Tuesday we were able to watch the Presentation from the new First Presidency and the press conference as well. It makes me so happy to know that we have a living prophet and a Loving Father in Heaven who provided perfect organization and plan for us to never be left in the dark again. Russell M Nelson is gonna be an awesome prophet and i am excited to sustain him in April. I had another cool thought but I forgot what i wanted to say.

Wednesday we had a zone conference and recieved the same training from last week in the mission council but it was cool to be able to have the stuff taught again so we can understand better to apply in our areas and work. 
Salvador Zone at January Zone Conference

Thursday we spent the normal morning in the office. this week i have been given a project to destroy a bunch of old papers in the shredder. sad part is that its 10 boxes and the shredder overheats after like 10 minutes then has to cool off for like 30 minutes so its a slow process haha. We taught a way cool lesson with William about the Book of Mormon and he accepted a baptismal date. He is a young man we made contact with last week and he seems really excited about everything in relation to the church and meeting with us so we are pretty pleased. Its amazing how reading some of the scriptures and testifying to our investigators or really any person can bring us closer to the spirit and help us to feel the truth. 

yesterday we were on the search for a ink refill for one of the printers in the office and lets just say it was a thrilling hunt!! jk we just visited 6 different computer/printer shops that couldnt help us because the model is so old hahaah i also continued the destruction of paper and we got to go to the bus station to buy some bus tickets WOO HOO. Life in the office is very... different. We taught a cool lesson to a recent convert using some of the training from President about how we can get more references and it worked! Romilda and her daughter gave us a list of some of their friends that live around here and we are gonna get to work on trying to visit them!

I love my mission and im so glad that i am here. I know my Savior lives and loves each of us. I hope you all have a good weekend!

Elder Prince
Elder Prince aka Michael Scott

Saturday, January 13, 2018

January 13, 2018 -- Salvador

[Sam's p-day is now Saturday.]

having a testimony of prophets is such an essential part of being a member of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints! pray about it! 

yes it has been a short week but i have never been so busy hahahahh i will be trained the rest of this transfer with elder hilton then he will go serve his last two transfers out in the field. i have so many responsibilities. entering baptismal forms in the church data system, organizing the office, buying plane tickets, bus passes, organizing parts of presidents schedule, sending letters to now misionaries and their parents and a bunch of other stuff i havent learned yet. i went to the airport with president to get the new missionaries (10 of them) then help them when they came to the office later in the day. we also gave a training about money and hospital stuff and a bunch of boring stuff hahahah. yes we emailed and sent pictures to all bishops and stake presidents to be sent to families of new missionaries. to be honest working with president bangerter more closely is way cool. i used to be way scared when i would get phone calls from him out in the field cuz that means something important is happening or you screwed up but he calls us tons so its just kinda normal now hahah. also its kinda a lot of pressure. lot of responsibility. 

we love scriptures i'm glad you had a good class mom that makes me happy. I am so glad for all the second chances that our heavenly father gives us and how he never gives up. its like a parent watching their child take its first steps. never getting mad just encouraging them to try again with a big smile, but instead of for a month or two its for like a hundred years. Thanks Heavenly Father. 

my week was pretty chill. I have two companions elder hilton from idaho but his fam is moving to utah and elder cantuario from campinas in são paulo. picture of them included here. 

Elder Cantuario, Elder Hilton, and Elder Prince
also elder hilton is teaching me to play the piano. i have learned how to play i know that my redeemer lives and stay by rihanna in two days (simplified versions) so i hope you're proud hahahaha

this week i traveled on sunday night so i had to get my bags packed in a hurry after church and lunch and i didnt get to say bye to hardly anyone and after a nice bus ride i arrived in salvador monday morning. when i got to the bus station i saw elder davis (new AP) and icaro's family from conquista i love those guys. 

Elder Davis (new AP) and Elder Prince with Icaro and his family from Conquista on Monday morning at the bus station.
went to the secretaries house took a shower and immediately got to work. we went and did some stuff at the office then when to buy the bus passages for every single missionary leaving or arriving in the captial during the transfer (wow that a ton) so we went back and forth from the office to the bus station like 5 times. we also taught a familiy night with a recent convert and his mom named angelo. it was nice.

tuesday we took a short term missionary to the airport in the morning then stayed their until president showed up and we were able to meet the new missionaries when they got off the plane! it was way cool to see them and take them to the mission home and be able to take part in the training and all that. then we spent the rest of the day in between the office and the bus station again trying to get bus passes for all the missionaries who had just arrived and would go with their trainers to the interior.

wednesday we prepared for the mission council by doing what? going to the bus station to buy more passes. we gotta talk to president about online shopping and see if we can do that. we organized some folders and stuff that would be given to zone and district leaders and organized supplies that would be given out the following day. 

thursday we got up suuuuper early to take the missionaries going home to the airport and drop them off. 10 of them. bitter sweet moment because some of my good friends in the mission went home. then we returned to the misison home and recieved training from the assistants and president during the mission council where they go over the baptism and companionships from the last month and would we can do better. also start planning the zone conferences that will happen in the next two weeks. then we spent the whole evening passing out supplies and sending people to the bus station to return to their areas.

friday we did normal office work and spent a bunch of time sending emails and that kinda stuff and putting data in the computer. then we got to WORK IN OUR AREA WOO HOO we were able to have some good lessons and new investigators last night. working in the office is definitely different

anyways it was a good week!
Elder Prince and Elder Opfar

Elder Prince and Elder Davis

Monday, January 8, 2018

January 8, 2017 -- Salvador

Sam is the new mission secretary! He has been transferred back to Salvador and will serve in a companionship with the financial secretary and outgoing mission executive secretary while he is trained. His new companions are Elder Cantuario and Elder Hilton.

Elder Cantuario, Elder Hilton, and Elder Prince

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

January 2, 2018 letter -- Teotonio Vilela

[Sam did not email yesterday because all the internet houses were closed for New Year's Day. They were allowed to email this morning.]

this week was quite interesting. monday (Christmas Day) i got extremely trunky. also ate some crabs after we left the skype i think i sent pictures. 

tuesday we had a good day and two sweet miracles! we visited the aunt of one of the members here that we have taught a few times but have trouble meeting with her regularly and right when we got there she said she had recieved and answer to her prayers buuuut she didnt have time to talk to us. so pretty but she explained that she was very touched by the spirit during a prayer about the church and she loved it. personal revelation is real. also we had a cool lesson with estefane about the restoration and she immediately accepted a baptismal date for the 14 of january! we were in the lesson teaching and testifying and it was so cool the next thing i knew she had accepted a baptismal date. i love the way the spirit works in our lives if we follow his little whispers and have faith to trust in the promptings we receive. when we are able to do this we are extremely blessed!!!

wednesday was just a normal good day and we got to meet with ednalva to help her prepare for the interview and baptism this week! 

thursday we were truly guided by the spirit after a really poor lesson with some less actives to visit the home of another less active. abandonded our plans and went there and he had just gotten home after walking for 3 hours because he couldnt get a ride home from work after having a fight with his boss. he then started to tell us about how he is really frustrated lately and feels like God isnt hearing his prayers. we were then able to read some of the book of mormon and bear some good testimony to help him cheeer up and try again. i know that we are guided by the spirit and the Lord to do his will when we need to do it! we also got to teach a super cool young man named vitor who has some interesting  beliefs in God but doesnt believe in the bible or Jesus and we got to bear some testimony to him in the moment. after a really hard 30 minutes in the lesson we gave up trying to use scriptures and stuff and started to bear testimony of Christ and the Atonement and the restoration and one of the sweetest spirits i have felt in awhile entered into the room. It was enough to take him off his high horse and he kinda just put his head in his hands because he felt the truth of what we taught.

friday ednalva passed her interview and we followed up with estefane about the baptism and she was extremely excited!

saturday ednalvas baptism went well! 

sunday was a good sunday and vitor and estefane both went to church! yesterday we had another good p day just kinda chilin cuz everything was closed.

i read neil l anderssons conference talk about the importance of revelation and general conference! it really touched me and i want you all to read it!