Friday, November 17, 2017

November 13, 2017 letter -- Teotonio Villela (Ilheus)

Remember a few weeks ago when president was going to send me to BJDL and then he wanted me to go to Ilheus, but then changed back to BJDL? he moved me this week. new area is teotonio villela in ilheus. its a little bit more inland than the actual city and a pretty humble area.

Teotonia Villela (Ilheus)
wednesday night super cool family in bjdl made a cake for me and we had a sweet time visiting them before i left. 

thursday i spent 14 hours on the bus and another hour in a taxi just to get to my new area. friday and saturday and sunday were spent "showing me the new area" in which my comp just showed me members on the same 3 streets. so i still dont know the area or really any investigators! comp is Elder Araujo. he's brazilian and has only 2 weeks left in his mission.
Sam and new comp Elder Araujo
sunday was super nice to be back in an area where they have lunch for us and people in church! the branch is a little weak right now but we gonna pick things up! it was nice to sing hymns and sacrament and classes and stuff i loved it. also had random people show up at church that we are gonna visit this week im super excited! just gotta keep that positive attitude. and on top of all this president has made this week a week of dedication that we are just gonna skip studying and stuff and get up even earlier so we can literally spend the entire day in the street working. wish me luck. stake conference this weekend so it should be pretty chill here


ive been reading in the beginning of 2 nephi too and jesus the christ (super good book wow) and its really inspiried me to try even harder to be like christ and apply the atonement in my life. i read a scripture that i really liked this week in 1 nephi 17:50-51

50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?

if god has given us a calling or and assignment we can do it! he will never leave us alone to do things but always use his power and lift us up to the level we need to be to accomplish our tasks! I love my god and my savior. we always can have more faith that they are there with us and that we can do the things we need to do

love you tons, sam



Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6, 2017 letter -- Bom Jesus Da Lapa

our week was pretty chill. i feel like i talked to you all so recently because p day was one day late last weeek. not a super ton has changed here but we have been seeing small miracles for our hard work. we were able to put to work some of the trainings and tactics from zone conference to help instill excitement or root out the problems in our investigators. 

the problem is that while we may be able to get into a lot of houses here in bjdl we are having difficulties with finding sincere people. lots of them just let us in to here about jesus then dont want to hear anymore because "they were born catholic and will die catholic" or maybe because they think we are annoying hahha. but in between all of this just while walking in the street we have found like 10 less active members who were baptized in othe cities or states then moved and went inactive. also a ton of peple who were investigators in other cities or states and have invited us to visit them so always count your blessings! i know that the lord never forgets to watch over us and put eveyrthing in our path just the way we need it. 

we finally got some rain here in bjdl and we have seen great numbers of frogs and lizards since the rains. its super cool because we live close to a pond and they are super loud at night. i also go to do a exchange and went into a little town out side of the city where the other companionship works and it was sick! the little town they work iin is super in the midle of a banana plantation that is one of the biggest in the state or country or something like that so it was just bananas for as far as the eye could see. and i ate chicken feet yesterday. 7/10 not much better than the other parts of the chicken. 

we are geting super close to having the baptism of a family here so please keep karin, lurdes, and xavier in your prayers. theyre an awesome family and they already act like members we just gotta get them over the hump. this week i started the book of mormon again and im also trying to read the 4 gospels and its just a spiritual treat. its amazing to read more about my savior and get to know him better. 

i was reading the sermon on the mount this week when i came across a principle that i really like. matthew 6 :14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you"

like one thing we can always do is forgive others and be patience. when we try hard to love others and show them that we love them and forgive them our heavenly father will forgive us and show his love for us. 

i hope each one of you knows how much i love you! have a great week and dont forget to read the book of mormon.

sam

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 31, 2017 -- Bom Jesus Da Lapa

well sounds like a chill wekhahha. but idk about this logan lucky movie. nothing will ever top oceans 11. everyone in the house is getting along pretty well. had a few problems in the other companionship because our district leader is kinda hard headed and likes to do things his way. also he's not very good at doing things on time always seems to be a little late to everything. not a problem though. i'm actually so happy that rachel is on track to graduate and jared is doing well. you and dad really deserve a break after all i put you through so im glad The Lord is blessing you guys hahahah. also sorry about me in high school i was pretty dope but school was not my thing. 

is this infinite atonement book good? please fill me in i like the sound of it. also i'm super proud of myself that i am a "practicing" mormon now. finally been a true member for like 10 months now. rachel and jared copying my costumes i guess you guys really miss me at home hahaha. YOU'RE GONNA CHANGE THE KITCHEN WITHOUT MY PERMISSION?? WHAT IS THIS WORLD I AM THE THIRD PARENT AND WE NEED TO BE IN AGREEMENT. ugh. 

TOKEN SINGLE PERSON AT THE PARTY HAHAHAHA I THINK THIS WEEK WAS THE BEST BUNCH OF EMAILS I HAVE GOTTEN IN SO LONG I JUST IMAGINE YOU using the mic hahahahahahah. [I was the MC at the Elders Quorum Halloween party due to my "single" status with Jeff at work.] what brax talked about in his talk is true. the mission is a rollercoaster. wow rach actually pays attention in church. God really loves you and dad. the other three just keep making up for my mistakes hahahahahahaah. dude those ranger apprentice books are so good. 

well folks this week was extremely normal. a bunch of lessons lots of prayers and some good feeling the spirit. i don't really remember what happened this week. i feel like everytime we get to the computer my mind goes blank. usually i write stuff down but i forgot and forgot my planner. so i'm just gonna share some stuff from sunday and yesterday because they were the most important and eventful days. 

on sunday we were going around visiting all of our investigators before going to prepare the hotel for sacament meeting. we were passing in front of the hotel and we both had the feeling we should go in and talk to the owner who loves us. she doesn't want anything to do with the church but loves having our meetings there and giving lunch. we went in there with nothing to talk to her about but she was doing a contact for us! there was a couple there and she had given them a little friendship card idk what theyre called [pass along cards] but we had left them there and she was giving them out! then we got there to talk to the dude and he had been a pastor at some other church but started seeing all the problems and had been praying and fasting to find other church!!! we taught the restoration right then and there and it was super spiritual. he had already looked into the church but never understood it and we were able to answer all his questions. it was such a cool experience. this was at 4 oclock and sacrament is 5. he went home and came back for the meeting!!! I WAS SO HAPPY I ALMOST CRIED. miracles are real. i have been praying super hard that we can find people who are lost and looking for some help and the lord is always hearing our prayers. 

Sam and Elder Sonntag at zone conference
yesterday we had zone conference in brumado. after a sleepless night on the bus we had an amazing conference. president talked a lot about when he was serving a mission and the letters his father sent him. we learned a lot about how we can help our investigators to read the book of mormon more and keep the commandments with more enthusiasm. also president talked a ton about the difference between worth and worthiness. he emphasized a ton about how much we and all the other children of our heavenly father are worth to him. he gave a super sweet quote from brigham young, i think i wrote it down wrong but "the value of the more unworthy and lowest soul is worth more than worlds to God" imagine that. even the worst scummiest soul is worth more than worlds to God. he knows our eternal potential and loves us no matter what.

so if you all are ever feeling down. remember that God loves you and so do i! 

have a good week! Sam

Monday, October 23, 2017

October 23, 2017 - Bom Jesus Da Lapa

well fam this week was an adventure. 

starting monday our transfer was changed and i was going to ilheus! then as i was standing in the bus station about to buy my ticket president changed the transfer and i was going to bom jesus da lapa again and had to wait until tuesday to pick up the bus. 

so tuesday i was able to say goodbye to members and investigators and it was a good time. its hard to get attached to people then have to move areas. its like leaving home again. im super grateful for all the experiences i had in aeroporto and the wonderful members that helped us out so much. tuesday night i was on the bus and got to BJDL about 5 am and waited for the other elders to come pick me up. [Sam reports the bus ride was about 7 hours by himself.] 


Wednesday morning, straight from the bus without showering we were onto the next activity of shopping for the tables and beds and all that junk that you need in a house to live (update still dont have dressers so my suitcase looks like it got hit by a nuclear bomb). we have also been sleeping on mattresses on the floor cuz dont have bed frames yet hahahha. [A senior couple came to get the house, and now the missionaries are furnishing it.] being in a group is very different. [A group is smaller than a branch.] we have been making our own food and everything so just a whole new experience for me. [In other areas, members have cooked for the missionaries.] wednesday night we were able to visit a family that they have been teaching here and the daughters name is karianne!! spelled exactly like mom spells it.


thursday was the first real day in the city. after a hot stuffy sweaty night trying to sleep we were able to plan and visit some of the awesome people that have already been letting the missionaries in to visit. Bom Jesus Da Lapa (BJDL) has nice cobblestone streets just like the ones i loved in jequie so will send the update about newly ingrown toenails in a few weeks hahaha [Sam described the area as a desert with a lot of ugly trees and bushes. The temperatures have been over 100 F each day this week.]

friday we were able to finish up the preparation for Neia, Caio and Caue so they could be baptized on saturday. neia decided she wasnt ready to be baptized yet so it should happen in the upcoming weeks. caio and caue are some super cool young men who truly have a desire to follow Crhist. We were also able to have a super spiritual lesson about the importance of prayer and how to recognize answers that we receive with the family of karianne. they are a super awesome family and they all have a pretty good knowledge of the bible and have investigated lots of other religions so its awesome to teach them. 

saturday we had the baptism of Caio and Caue in the morning but the van we had set up to take us to the river bailed on us... so we went to the river in...... CHARIOTS WE RODE HORSES TO THE RIVER FOR A BAPTISM I FELT SO COOL HAHAHHA. will send more pics next week the computer here is awful. when we got to the river we had to move locations a few times to avoid random people swimming and the marines who told us the water was too deep, we later found out that 2 people had drowned earlier in the week. we ended up baptizing on our knees another new experience and everything ended up perfectly. 

sunday was another adventure. with a total of 11 people in attendance at church i blessed and passed the sacrament then gave a 30 minute talk. and yes it was a lot better than my farewell talk because i didnt get up to the pulpit trembling and nervous. lets just say blessing the sacrament without a white table cloth and sitting on plastic lawn chairs made by beer companies was a new experience. also the meetings on sunday are held in the garage of a hotel. this transfer should be an adventure.

love you guys tons.

sam

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 16, 2017 - Aeroporto (Vitoria da Conquista)

well fam this week was interesting. I caught a cold in 90 mostly sunny and its completely wrecked me ahhha. also my jumprope broke and a bunch of our investigators went on vacation so that was just icing on the cake hahah

monday we went downtown and i bought some new ties and the best chocolate i have ever had in this store called cacau show. i spent so much money on chocolate my addiciton is still real.

tuesday the cold hit hard but we got to work anyways. we explored a new part of our area super far away trying to get to an appoointment we had set up but then thehouse just didnt exist so that was sweet hahah. we also were able to find a less active member by accident! we had a super aweosme lesson about the restoration with her. 

wednesday we had a lot of stuff fall thru and not a super ton of success gettin in any houses.thursday was weekly planning and a holiday so the streets were empty! but we had a few lessons marked and taught a super awesome lesson to leticia about temples and the importance of doing work in family history. she is so close to being baptized and she talks about it without us even bringing it up. but just patience with her. we also had a pretty fun activity in the church with the whole ward.

saturday we had a awesome lesson reteaching the restoration to elielton and geovana and they promisedus they would make more efforts to go to church and prayer for guidance from heavely father. the holy ghost really is so key and so powerful in missionary work and some of the best ways to invite him to our prescense are thru bearing testimony and reading our scriptures! we also had a birthday party/family home eveing for a member in our ward and i taught sadly my last english class in this ward. teaching english is actually super cool.

sunday we had ward council for the first time in six months in this ward and lets just say it did not go super smoothly. we got chewed out by the ward council for not having more baptisms. while they have not even lifted a finger or done a single thing to help us. they want to blame everything on the missionaries but are unwiling to help us or support us in the things we are trying to do. oh well.

I just found out I'm being transferred to Bom Jesus Da Lapa! Its a city! the area opened up last transfer and its just a group there so im gonna be giving talks every week i think someone was praying for this to happen to me (you). my companion will be Elder Pereira, but i don't know him yet. he's brazilian.

Sam








Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017 -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

super proud of you mom you learned to zoom hahah i laughed super hard when i read that. a good attitude makes all the difference mom youre right and i can testify to that after all this time in the mission. its all about how you look at the painting that makes it beautiful not about the brushstrokes. im on fire with analogies today wow.


this week was nothing short of a normal week and i dont have a whole lot to report. We spend almost a whole day waiting in the rodoviaria (bus station) for an elder that never showed up and no one told us that he wasnt actually coming anymore until after we waited for like 4 hours hahaha. 


we got involved in the stake choir and sang at a hospital for new borns (yes im a yellow angel). liek that special hospital that only lets in babies and mothers, had so many paintings of boobs it was kinda weird and i felt like i needed to repent after. I had a pretty good division with our zone leader and we were able to find some cool new investigators anda sweet new family! im excited because the lesson was super spiritual and the lady started cried and saying it was all true before the even got to finish telling her about Joseph smith! 


my english class was pretty good this week and i taught some english to some guy whol wil be moving to boston in january so hes super excited to learn more enlgish, then to our suprise he stayed for the institute class that ws right after, where he was able to learn about family history work and eternal families, he livesin the other area and met with the missionaries yeserday so im super happy about that hes freaking dope. 
 
sacrament meeting was super exciting this week while during the passing of the sacrament there were kids jumping off the steps near the pulpit and following their older brothers around while they passed. needless to say it was less then reverent. then during the testimony meeting part people like made a line in front of the pulpit. like no onewas sitting downand everyone just stayed standing up while people bore testimony. super weird and im worried my ward might fall into apostasy, jk its all good here. 

please keep leticia brenda cris lucia bianca camilo josias and eliene and vitorio in your prayers this week!!

i love you guys

Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

hey fam and others.

im glad you guys liked conference and had so much fun! i was able to watch IN ENGLISH WOOOO HOOO and it was super uplifitng because the stake had provided some headphones for the americans hahaha i really enjoyed conference and the spirit that was felt. 

me watching conference in english with headphones
our week was alright we had a bit of a struggle to find people but it all turned out alright! we were able to go visit some of our investigators with members so i think that will really help them have more desire to go to church and always three minds and testimonies are better than two! 

tuesday we were able to teach the plan of salvation or at least a part of it to cesar who is always full of questions so just getting thru our life on earth took almost an hour hahah. its really nice to teach people who are truly interested in hearing our message and have questions. I was able to bear testimony about how we are all wonderful children of our Heavenly Father and He cares and has a plan for each of us. 

thrusday we had super good lessons with elielton and geovana and leticia. after explaining for the 4th time to elielton and geovana about the need for the priesthood and the correct baptism we had gotten no futher than we were when we started because geovana is "just happy with my baptism and i dont need another" and elielton is super whipped and gets super excited and wants to be baptized but when geovana is a little sketchy he just follows her. we will keep trying and praying for them! we also found the problem with leticia is that she is still drinking a little bit of coffee because of her husband (member) who started to drink coffee again because of something his doctor said. its a very interesting situation but we are very certain that now that leticia has stopped she will be jumpin in the water very quickly.

this weekend was an amazing general conference where we could here from our modern day apostles and prophets. i loved all of the talks given especially those about the Book of Mormon. i encourage you all to read thme again as well as read the Book of Mormon everyday and your lives will change!! It is the word of God and an amazing blessing in our lives. 

i hope you all have a good week! loves

sam

a sweet church we found near our house that perfectly describes the religious situation here in Bahia. Translation of Garagem da Bencao is "Garage Blessings"