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!


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

December 25, 2017 Christmas video call!

December 25, 2017 letter -- Teotonio Vilela (Ilheus)

this week was chill!

monday we had a normal p day and we went downtown to see some stuff and go to the bank. we found a Crhist the redeemer statue and just hung out with some other elders until we went home and had a cool lesson with tiago. 

Christ the Redeemer statue in Ilheus
Not sure if you are allowed to climb on the statue base, but oh well
 tuesday we had a good day of normal work getting ready for the zone and christmas conference with president. we had some good lessons but nothing too special.

wednesday we went to another part of the city for zone conference. we talked a lot about the importance of working with members and had a few special hymns and activities to celebrate christmas. also we had a white elephant gift exchange and i got a bunch of chocolate hahahh
Ilheus Zone at Christmas Conference

thursday we had good weekly planning and a good session of cleaning the house! also did real missionary work and had an awesome day.

Elder Brito and Elder Prince
friday we had the branch christmas program with primary nativity and some food in the church. 

Elder Sobral and Elder Prince with ward members in Ilheus (from a ward member's instagram)
sunday was only one hour of church but ednalva and stephanie went to church! this week we really got down to business with ednalva dna she is all excited for her baptism this saturday so keep her in your prayers that everything goes well and the interview too. she noticed how happy her daughter has been since she got baptized and wants to feel a little bit of that same thing. that really helped me to remember the effcts we have on other people in our lives without even knowing that we did something for them.

Elder Sobral and Elder Prince
im extremely grateful for my savior Jesus christ and his birth. He lives and loves us. merry christmas to all and to all a good night.

elder prince

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

December 18, 2017 -- Teotonio Vilela

monday (P-day) we went downtown again had a good time just chillin there ya know. 

wednesday we went to una which is just not a place i ever want to go back to hahah then we had a sweet pre baptismal interview interview with emanoel. he's a funny kid and i'm glad i have gotten to know him. its amazing to see a teenager with such desire to study and learn. 

thursday emanoel showed up to his baptism interview full of doubts because of a few things that he read in the bible but i straightened him out with a good old scripture and testimony and then he passed his interview. also traveled to salvador to renew my visa 

Elevator picture in Salvador on visa trip 
Sam's photos for his new visa (current on left, at the beginning of his mission on right)
friday in the office of the mision to  go renew my visa. I left my trainee in ilheus with the other elders. i hope everything is going well wih him hahah pretty sweet day we got to participate in a baptism for some other elders in salvador and i got to see a few people from amaralina they gave me some chocolate. then i got back in the bus to spend the night traveling.

Emanoel and Elder Sobral at the baptism
saturday we had the baptism prep and lunch and the baptism! it went well and had cake so it was a success. we also went and visited less actives with members after to invite them to church on sunday!

sunday we had 71 people in sacrament meeting! 20 more than last week and 30 more than the week before so i was stoked as can be. also emanoel got confirmed a member so it was successful. did some visits and planned the skype. 

merry christmas!

Elder Prince