Monday, September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017 -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

it was a week very good week. I learned how to make oatmeal and im feelin pretty sweet cuz now i eat breakfast and im not just dead all the day. also all that fiber is helping a ton with my poops so that makes life 100x more enjoyable hahahah oatmeal isnt actually that good but ya know ya gotta do what ya gotta do hahahaha i just put a ton of chocolate milk powder in when i make it so that helps a ton haha. animal count went up i saw some bunnies and was able to pet them it was super nice and relax and a lot of dead animals that were getting eaten by vultures so ya welcome to bahia hahahah people just leave dead animals in the middle of busy streets. 

tuesday we had a super dope lesson with elielton and geovana about temples and eternal familes! they are legally married which is actually more rare than seeing a white person in salvador so im super happy and they love hearing our messages. geovana is normally super quiet during the lessons but as soon as we started talking about eternal marriage she became a completely new person!!! they really are such an awesome couple and they do all the readings and THEY WENT TO CHURCH YESTERDAY ALONE I FREAKED OUT DURING SACRAMENT MEETING cuz they werent there when it started but they showed up in the middle. please please please pray for them. its kinda difficult because elielton works nights on the weekends so its really hard for him to get to church. 

wednesday we had a dope lessons with poliana about the restoration and the importance of the priesthood on the earth. she is part of the espirito religion idk what it is in english so lessons with her are super interesting and she is full of great questions. we also got the chapel ready for zone conference. thursday was zone conference and it was super good. recieving training from president and having an interview always makes me more excited so im super happy about that. and the best part was that the training was about the plan of salvation. and i got my paackage too and it had everything... but could have had more mike and ikes ahahah. then we did a little "pre interview" for ruan and his baptism. i asked him who THomas S monson was and he said "the man who invented the airplane right?" so we were able to have a sweet little teaching moment right there hahahha. it was hilarious hahah

on saturday i taught a sweet little english class and POLIANA WENT and we got to give her a tour of the church and i think she really liked it so i was super super super happy. teaching english is not actually that easy i was having a little bit of trouble even speaking it because portuguese is becoming so much more natural so i think the gift of tongues is real hahah. but i think having more activities like this english class is really gonna get our ward more excited so im anxious to see how it goes!

in my studies of the scriptures and conference talks i came across a theme that struck me really hard. alma and amulek are debating with zeezrom and they start to rock his world then alma says this alma 13:28

"but that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call upon his holy name, and watch and PRAY CONTINUALLY, THAT YE MAY NOT BE TEMPTED ABOVE THAT WHICH YE CAN BEAR, and thus be led by the holy spirit, becoming humble meek submissive,patient AND FULL OF LOVE, and all long suffering"

i was then reading a talk from conference i forgot the name of the talk and who wrote it so bear with me hahaha. but he talks about simply doing the small things to strengthen our faith. the commandment most mention in the scriptures is to pray WITH REAL INTENT but it is also the most broken of the commandments. doing the small and simple things in our lives will help us to overcome any problems or difficulties. God and Christ want to lift us up but they cant if we dont tell them what we need! PRAY MORE

i love you all.


[Sam also performed the baptism of a young boy from a part-member family this week.]

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017 -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

i decided that this week i would write my weekly update first cuz i think its important cuz ive been kinda lazy about writing in my journal and i gotta remember my mission somehow hahahah. elder bitencourt is from parana also and hes pretty chill! hes got a little over a year in the mission and he reminds me a lot of carl from jimmy neutron (will send more pics) but i like him! he was pretty quiet for the first few days and didnt really open up to be more my friend until i asked him to help me with my portuguese and he started making fun of the way i talk so i think that made him feel a lot better hahah. hes sweet though!

Sam and Elder Bitencourt, his new companion
monday we had our last p day with our district and the sisters made lasagna for us then we took everyone to the bus station because everyone was goin to salvador for their new areas or to recieve training. i spent the night with elder high and a few other elders waiting to travel or recieve their comps. 

tuesday i spent the whole day with elder high waiting for our companions. it was really interesting to spend a whole day speaking english with an american but it was also kinda refreshing hahah we taught some lessons and helped challenge a family with a brand new baby to make goals to stop smoking cuz its gonna kill that kid hahah. doesnt sound too spiritual but i know that the spirit was there helping us. our comps showed up at night and we went our seperate ways

Lunch with Elder High, eating fejoada (rice and beans and meat)

wednesday i spent the day showing elder bitencourt our area and doing short visits with a good part of our investigators so he could get to know them better. we met and taught a family from the christian church of brazil or the church of the veil (all the women use veils) and it was interesting to talk with them and kinda discuss the restoratoin. we were able to testify to them about the restoration of the priesthood and how necessary it is to fulfill God´s plan! they got it pretty mixed up and tried to argue with us that the priesthood was really just the Holy Ghost but we whipped out some good scriptures and got it all cleared up for them. im not sure how happy they were about it but it was a way cool lesson!! and we got their daughter to pray without the veil so im pretty sure thats like illegal in their church oops hahaha

thursday we spent the day in the street contacting and teching then we had a super sweet meeting with our ward mission leader and got some good activities set up for he next few weeks that should really give some life to our ward and the members. people say too often that they know where our church is but they dont know why its always closed and empty during the week! gotta change that

friday we got to meet with leticia again after a couple weeks, she had gotten jus a little sick and they were doing construction at their home so they werent letting us come over hahha. we taught her about the importance of sunday then sunday she was at church again!!! it was so awesome to see her there because she had been a little wishy washy lately. we also are starting to think that she is delaying her baptism to be right before she has surgery. Shes discovered some minor heart problems lately and is really nervous about them so please keep her in your prayers!!

saturday we met with celeste who is a woman who has been distraught.. i think i spelled that write, for 4 years since the death of her son. we taught her the plan of salvation and she just went ballistic because the spirit was super strong there and we were able to explain how our families can be eternal but then she was just like yeah im not trynna go to church so BUZZKILL but she said she would be there next week so we are stoked.

it was a solid week and we are lookin forward to a good one with zone conference this week, and i should also finally get my package!! i love you guys


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 5, 2017 letter -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

so glad to have life on the street again hahah. its official megan is a big girl now. so happy for her. i hope you all have awesome weeks and say your prayers. be smart and make good decisions. sorry my update is not so killer this week. sorry this update is short this week was a little hectic with the transfer coming up.

not much is new here but we will have the new comp elder bittencourt (i think thats how you spell it) on wednesday. it was good to have elder do vale as a comp but change is always good to get us thinking and working differently! 

tuesday we were able to meet with elielton and geovana who are super awesome the fruits of our work are real! we had been praying to find a sweet family and they fell right in our lap! its been awesome to teach them so far because they ask questions and are truly interested in what we have to say. we were able to teach them the plan of salvation and they accepted a baptismal date for later this month!! 

we had a division with the zone leaders on wednesday which went really well we were able to meet with tais and teach her about the book of mormon. Shes going to the baptist church infrequently right now and we are looking forward to her making an appearance this week in sacrament meeting. she has really liked the lessons so far and has told us she felt the spirit but she just needs to get to church! 

on friday we had a huge bummer when rita decided she did not want to be baptized on saturday. we had been touching base with her everyday this week but she had been a little nervous the whole week, and decided in the end that this weeek was too soon for her but wants us to keep visiting her and keep preparing. The Lord has his time and Hour for everything!

I read a talk and found a scripture that i really liked in Phillipians 3:13 this week "...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize..." 

one thing we can always do is look forward in our lives and have hope and a positive attitude for what is to come. we never know what will happen and we need to make the most of it. we cannot let our past limit us. 

i love you all have a great week! 

Sam's previous companions:

Elder Cruz  -- Amaralina (Salvador)

Elder Washington -- Mandacaru (Jequie)

Elder Carvalho -- Mandacaru (Jequie)

Elder Do Vale -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

Elder Bittencourt -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017 letter -- Vitoria Da Conquista

my week was pretty good i thought i was gonna be all trunky with the boys but i didnt hardly think about it at all so thats awesome. [Several of Sam's close friends returned from their missions this past week]. we had some really good lessons and found some new people to teach. it was pretty rainy and cold this weeek and it kinda shut the city down here everyone just kinda stays inside but doesnt want to let you in always hahha. i used my long sleeve white shirt for the first time since the mtc so that was a way cool different thing hahaha. 

on tuesday we had another service project and we put this paste all over the walls of the home of some memberand it ate up most of our day. but service is always good and makes me feel like im doing a good thing for that person. but also four missionaries who havenever worked with paste or paint so the walls didnt turn out like the most beautiful things ever hahahah but its the heart and the action that counts not the result. also leticia got sick on tuesday so we did not get to meet with her all week and she wasnt able to get to church but we already have marked to see her this week so things are lookin up!!! 

wednesday we met reginaldo who is super sick!! we were trying to contact some people and he invited us in to ask some questions and learn some more about the church. we taught him a super spiritual lesson and explained the restoration a little bit different to him as we followed the spirit and it was a super awesome lesson. im excited because he seems really interested and was truly listening and understanding when we taught him.

On thursday we had a really cool lesson with a recent convert carol. we were just following up on a reading with her when she began to ask questions about family history and the importance of geneology and i was able to talk and explain to her a ton about it. i may not have fufilled my role as family history counselor before my mission but i know how it works so it was aweosme to be able to explain it to her and challenge her to start doing hers so she can take some names to the temple. 

friday we were walkin in the mud going to an appointment when this lady started asking what kind of religion we were and stopped us as we were walking pretty fast (may or may not have been late) and marked an appointment with her later in the day. Iraci has 13 children and has been bouncing around religions trying to find on that she really likes. she loved our message and has a lot of interest in the concept of eternal families. 

this week was awesome because we were able to have some less active members go to church after we had been visiting them for awhile. rita wasnt able to go to church but we are still hoping that everything will go well for her baptism on saturday!! please keep her and leticia and iraci and aluis in your prayers!!

read a super sweet chapter in mosiah this week when abinadi quotes isiah idk how you spell it english is hard. 
mosiah 14:3-5

he is despised and rejected of men:a man of sorrows and aquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from him: and he was despised and we esteemed him not... surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.. AND WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED.

Christ is my hero. I cant imagine how his life was or how much he loves us. he loves us so much that when we are hurt or sad we can be happy at his expense. the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is so real. Trust in him.

love you all

elder prince

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 21, 2017 letter -- Vitoria Da Conquista


also hello everyone. i like to include everyone when i repy to this so that you all know when im making fun of you. 

hahahha nice regular week mom im glad you guys did fun stuff before school. team mom karianne. its finally come your time to be complete football team mom. barbs not there for ya but im confident you can do it.. also how was brax?? im glad you got to see luke and im glad he was doing well. its funny to think about him trying to speak english because i have the same problems hahah. also ya im probably gonna go to byu. when i got the email to get in back in february it was just kinda like ya wow i guess i gotta go there ahahahha. also be careful what you teach mom dont preach apostasy (the only drink in heaven will be chocolate milk from brown cows). you are so soft now. everyone stays up so late what is this crap. also i love my retinas and my sight is a gift from god so i'm not gonna damage this holy sacred and magnificent temple that is my body just to look at the sun. like duh mom. jared dont play too much xbox with the new neighbors. 

also yes mother you're right the mission is not easy but its great haha. as much as it sucks sometimes im standing shoulder to shoulder with the only perfect life that ever lived and im trying to preach my guts out about how He, and only He, can bring us everlasting happiness. its been so awesome to learn so much and actally understand more of the gospel. its like im finally a member of the church hahahaha. 

this week was good on tuesday we helped the sisters move to their new apartment so we just moved everything it was super fun i love carryying heavy stuff up and down stairs hahah. 

wednesday we visited a less active member and we found the whole family in the house! we were able to teach the restoration and they are gonna start coming to church with us. one of their daughters rita wants to get baptized and the less active sister wants to start coming to church again. but i also went home with a little bit of the runs. not all food is good and not all water is clean hahahah watch out. so i spent the rest of that day and most of thrusday in the bathroom until some medication finally kicked in. 

but we were able to meet with alexandre and adenilza and get them started with their son caio who is a member on reading the book of mormon and saying family prayers each day. they are a super awesome family who are just waiting on some papers to get married and baptized. it ssuper fun to visit them because they have been going to church for 4 years now but havent gotten married yet so its almost like they are members hahahl.. we are really hoping that everything will go well with them. 

on saturday we taught a super awesome lesson to cesar and lora who were references from the bishop of another ward. They have been really awesome to teach because they are full of questions and interest. Cesar wanted to talk more and more about the book of mormon and was just full of questions. We were able to testify to him about the power of God and his desires for us to have these amazing scruptures that include the full gospel of Crhist. 

yesterday we had a way good lesson about the book of mormon during elders quorom and he talked a lot about how Thomas S monson has had some interestnig topics of his talks in the last general conference. Love and the need and importance of the book of mormon. He only talked for a few moments but our Modern day prophet put an emphasis on reading the book of mormon and strengthening our testimonies of Christ. 

i love you all have a good week!!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14, 2017 letter -- Vitoria Da Conquista

welll helloooooo salt lake city utah and whereever else this is being read. another week down and a lot more fun to be had still. This week was a bit of a sweet week with zone conference and stake conference we got to hear from a 70 and pres bangerter two times this week!!

tuesday we had an awesome lesson with leticia. her husband is a member and we have been working and praying really hard that she will be baptized soon. shes been taught by the missionaries for quite sometime now but just hasnt had it in her to take the step into the baptismal font but this week she said she was going to be baptized!!!!!>... but wait theres more she doesnt know when. we have set a date with her but she really just needs the last push over the edge. this week was a huge breakthrough becasue we retaught the plan of salvation and for some reason she just interuppted us durin the middle of the lesson and started talking about baptism. so then we ended up teaching more about baptism and tryin to help her overcome her fear. we still arent really sure whats holdin her back but we are workin on it. please keep her in your prayers. 

wednesday we spent part of the day gettin ready for zone conference and while we were in between appointments we saw a man on the side of the road crying so we went to talk to him. His name is Lel and he has had some difficulties in his life with losing his job and making a lot of sacrafices to have kids with his wife (not actually married thats rare here in bahia) but he was havin a bad time. we were able to talk a lot with him about how we can have more hope for a better world and better life when we follow the teachings of Christ. He perked up a ilttle bit more and we have an appointment with him for this week im super excited! 

friday we had our zone conference and president talked a lot more about how we need to treat the rules of the mission and our obedience like joseph smith had to treat the golden plates. The mission rules are extremely important to help us to have our focus on the mission. He also talke about the importance of understanding and living the higher law or the sermon on the mount. A story was told about how he regularly read matthew 5-7 with his father to be able to learn better the principles that Christ teaches us in these chapters. He also put an emphasis on how the sermon on the mount must be of great importance because it was the first thing that Christ taught when he appeared in the americas nearly word for word. I love the sermon on the mount and i have now read it a few times eince friday haha. It is important that we follow these teachings of Christ so that we can be happier and be a light in the lives of those around us. Mom read this with dad and the kids hehe. 

sunday we had an awesome stake conference and Elder Pinto of the 70 spoke about how we need to try harder to be testimonies of Christ in all aspects of our lives. this had great importance to me because i recognized that I need to testify more about Our Savior and what he has done for me. The Savior lives and loves each of us dearly.

scripture for the week is one that sister bangerter shared with us. 2 nephi 9:39

"... remember to be carnally minded is death and to be Spiritually Minded ILife Eternal." 

i really like the principle here that teaches how we need to be more focused on the important and spiritually part of our lives. we have a lot going on and are super busy but we often lose sight of the gospel and let ourselves be drawn away. we can fight against this by dong the small things, prayer scriptures repentence and takin the sacrament each week. also sister bangerter ´pointed out what the first letter of the words in this scripture spells. SMILE AND BE HAPPY

i love you all.

Elder Prince and Elder Do Vale
Zone Conference  
Elder Prince and Elder High

Elder Prince and Elder Eli

Sam and the big horn

Vitoria Da Conquista (and a goat)

Mission scripture case (its a case i cuz i need to protect my holy bible in the celestial lanuage of portuuese. pres bangerter said that is was the celestial lanuage and sis bangerter burned him so hard so preachin apostasy hahahaha)

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017 letter -- Vitoria Da Conquista

hello to all this week my weekly is gonna be super weak.. how punny hahahhaha

SO MUCH COLLEGE NEW HOME AND OUR HOME IS JUST CHANGING SO MUCH WOW NOW RACHEL WILL BE THE CAVEWOMANH HAHAHAHHAHAHA IM SO FUNNY. but seriously wow our house is changing. life at 4022 splendor way is gona be a lot different without megans lifelong soundtrack playing all the time. also rachel is blessed to have that bathroom all to her self. its a nice bathroom.  [Megan will be moving to BYU in 2 weeks and Rachel has moved downstairs to Sam's old room in the basement.] also yay church JESUS LOVES YOU CHURCH IS TRUE.

this week was a bit hotter. the sun came out a lot more but it still cooled down a lot at night. i still have a stuffy nose and im just not happy about it. oh well i guess i should wear my sweater more. my washing machine is broken but we are getting a new one cuz the senior couple for our mission is american and they love me hahaha. also my mattress is too hard and the other is too soft and i cant find the one thats just right. goldielocks is a lie. 

so monday we played a lot of basketball at the church it was sweeeeet. i miss basketballl and playing sports. its a blessing to have elder high in my district because brazilians just dont reallyl know how to play hhahaha. 

tuesday we spent the wholle day teaching and finding new investigators! it was sweet but the end of the day comes around and you just dont want to talk anymore because you been talking all day. sometimes im teaching peole and they just have blank stares and i wonder if they are understanding a single word i am saying. not cuz of the language but because of the doctrinee and stuff. 

wednesday we taught our ward mission leaders wife the first vision during lunch and shes pretty sick and one of our more solid investigators. we also taught this really awesome family who is part member but they are just trying to get married so they can be baptized. theyre super mormon just not married. it was way cool to tech them the paln of salvation because they kinda knew it because they have been to church so much but we were able to clear up a lot of things for them.  

we found a former investigator from like 4 years ago knocking who was not baptized because her parents are alcoholics and always cuss out the missionaries. we started teaching her again and she loves the messages but we are facing the same difficulties the other missionaries faced ahahha. we also taught this lady all about the restoration and she was super stoked but then got to the end of the lesson and said she would never go to church because in every church she goes in she faints because of the holy ghost. we tried to explain to her that thats just not how it works but she just wasnt having it hahha. oh well. 

saturday we contacted a really awesome family from a refence and they live super far away. we got there and it was an aparment and the numbers werent very clear and we started freakin out because we thought we got the wrong address and wasted all that time walkig out there but we found them eventually and taught an awesome lesson. i love the first vision. evertime i teach it i am able to feel the spirit and have my testimony strengthened. we made some peeps cry during the lesson and i also did a really weird thing and when i explained about joseph reading the bible in james and being inspired to pray i made a erally weird lightbulb noise like in despicable me and it was super funnny during a spiritual moment but it worked out hahhaah

the food is still just rice and beans and pasta but its good. we have been making alot of french fries cuz its easy and my companion and i dont know how to cook hahaha. schedule is exactly the same in every area. ive been going to bed a little to late so i think i need to work on that. the water here is pretty dirty so its hard to drink a ton but ive been buying lots of bottled water dont worry. i think i might start taking a vitamin because idk how healthy im being here living on my own hahah.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace i give unto you not as the world giveth give i unto you: let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Christ is always with us and always comforts us. in times of need we can turn to him to have a part of this peace. and I want to testify that it is better than any other peace in the world. It is only through Him that we can find true and everlasting happiness and peace. 

i love you
all. the church is the church of Jesus Christ. the one and only. Joseph was a prophet. The book of mormon is the word of God. Read it. say your prayers.