Monday, March 19, 2018

March 17, 2018 letter -- Salvador

sunday we had stake conference and it was super good! we had a 70 elder dias come talk to us and he kinda started off his talk nice and cute then just started layin into the members because they need to pay their tithing and have the faith to do it. but he did it with love. then elder cantuario had an interview with president and i got the news that grandma beth passed away. it was pretty funny the way president did it. he came up to me in front of everyone like all the members right after conference had ended and said, "you sweet sweet boy, your grandmother passed away" never in my life thought i would hear president bangerter call a missionary a sweet sweet boy. i still dont think ive proccessed that grandma died. 

monday we went early to presidents house to take some stuff to him and pick up an elder who's companion was headed home. we also got to eat pancakes and eggs!! first time ive had maple syrup in so long!! then we had a long list of things to print out for zone conferences and stake conferences in the next two weeks that we sent with elder davis who went to itabuna monday night. spent the whole day printing and cutting papers hahah. 

tuesday spent the day preparing some more stuff for the transfer and visa documents for the renews we had scheduled thursday and friday. We also got to have a good lesson about the gospel of Christ with Vivaldo and his daughter Talita. Theyre super awesome probably our best investigators we just need to get them to church!

wednesday we had a normal day doing stuff here in the office nothing super exciting. 

thursday and friday were kinda just messes. We had 3 visa appointments marked and none of them went correctly. apparently in like the last week the federal police here have changed how we renew the visas and one elder lost some documents of his so we spent all day both days driving to various government buildings and the airport trying to get this all figured out. to top it off we had the bishops son bail on a FHE we had marked with vivaldos family and some marked lessons fall thru. not the most successful days. 
Elders Iuberes and Prince
Elders Iluberes, Prince, and Opfar

i really liked a scripture that i read this week in 3 nephi 18

21 Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed. 

family prayers are one of the greatest things we can do to strengthen our families and bring unity into our homes. one thing my mother always tried to do was have family prayers every morning and night and i am so grateful for that. i dont think we were ever frequently perfect having the whole fam for two prayers a day but she tried to hard and gave a great example, getting it done by doing 2 or 3 familiy prayers as each child left the house or got home at different times. I am so grateful for that and i think everyone should put a little more effort in to pray with those in your home and family!

elder prince

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March 10, 2018 letter - Salvador

this week was pretty good! monday we had a nice busy day of work in the office and were able to get into our area for some lessons nothing super interesting.

tueday we were doing a lot of preparations for our mission council, elder bednars visit, and salvador stake conference this weekend. We had to buy bus tickets cut papers to be used as reference cards that president made. they look like the name cards that we use for baptisms and temple work theyre actually way cool. I got to do a little division and visit some of elder davis' investigators where we had an awesome lesson about the plan of salvation with ramon and his family who are preparing for their marriage and baptism in the near future!

wednesday we had a good mission council and a busy afternoon getting everyone to their homes. The zone leaders and sister training leaders stayed until friday to be able to meet elder bednar and recieve extra training on thursday. president showed us a new ward mission plan that is gonna be distributed to all the stakes because if there is no plan there will be no action and unity to grow the church!

thursday we ran around making some payments and setting up and planning zone conferences in the next few weeks. President also asked us to come help him set up the chapel for elder bednars visit so Elder Cantuario, President and i set up chairs in the cultural hall and organized them in rows. I felt like i was getting ready for a mission homecoming or farewell back at home again haha. We were able to get into our area and visit Raziel who went to church last week and a less active Galego.

Yesterday was so awesome. We got to the chapel at 6:50 to start getting everything orgazined again hahah and people started rolling in 60 from our misison and 100 from the other mission all to see elder bednar. The transmission worked well and everyone was able to see and hear. It was so amazing to hear from an Apostle of the Lord. He taught us a lot about using questions to teach people, and not questioning to recieve a specific answer but questioning in a way that others learn and gain their own witnesses of the truth. in reality learning to ask questions to make people really think. Then he bore his testimony for us and it was so incredible. before he entered in the room we could already feel a different prescence and then in the end when he bore his testimony it was truly like an out of body experience. We were able to shake his hand and i think he looked so deeply into my soul thru like 5 seconds of eye contact that he saw me and my choices in the premortal life. 

he also gave us an amazing invitation to help us teach better. He asked us all to read all 4 of the standard works and look at the questions that prophets, apostles, servants of the Lord, God and Christ asked people they were teaching. Look at the simplicity of the questions and the way they helped people to learn and have spiritual realizations. those questions that really make the lightbulb go off. 

in acts 15 when there is an issue presented to the apostles they were guided to respond in a certain way because of confirmations from the Holy Ghost,

25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with oneaccord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things bmouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
They counselled with God and He impressed on them thru the spirit in how they should respond and help others. When we have issues we can trust in the feelings we recieve from the spirit to help us do the Lords will and follow what will be best for us! Christ lives and guides his church all throughtout the world for the benefit of all living things!

it was extremely cool i kinda want ot send you a picture of my notes. it was like a discussion for 3 hours. not a single "talk" was given. Elder Bednar also has a firm grip and extremely smooth hands

[Sam's grandmother was hospitalized on Thursday the 8th] This is not really the news i was expecting. please tell grandma i love her very much and im very thankful for all that she has done for me. I miss her very much even though. ive been feeling lately like i should write her a card but i never got around to it. now i know why. thank her for always supporting me and showing me love as well as helping me to learn patience and hard work from the time i spent in her garden and on her roof as well as doing christmas. lol. i will miss christmas and thanksgiving in her house. just like i miss playing othello and other games with her. she has always been an inspiration for me in the way she works hard and is able to live alone (without complaining too much hehe) please tell her i love her and wish i could give her a hug. thank her for helping me with my mission fund. and generously paying my work even when i didnt want to accept it. 

[Sam's mission president wanted him to speak with his grandmother, so we were able to speak with him Saturday night and Sam was able to talk to his grandmother before she passed away later that night.]

March 5, 2018 "supplemental" letter -- Salvador

sorry i forgot to write you guys an email i got caught up in the rush of the mission and some sweet p day activities lol.

tuesday we had a normal day in the office and taught a cool grandma/granddaughter duo who we contacted the week before. we taught them a nice lesson about the restoration and invited them to go to church but they already had other plans so we will get them this week!

wednesday we had a zone meeting and recieve some training about finalizing our baptisms so they dont fall thru at the last minute. the week of baptism can be extrememly stressful sometimes so its always good to practice and remind ourselves of how to handle squirmy investigators. I also finished making some cards for recent converts that president likes to send out. we had a cool lesson with clara and cailani about the plan of salvation but they seem pretty "mole" or soft (dont really care) so we might cut them from our group soon.

thursday we went and spent the morning at a chapel helping some tech people do a practice transmission so that everything goes smoothly on the day Elder Bednar comes and it went well. i got to stand in front of the pulpit and just talk for like an hour to make sure the sound was working on the transmision. it also rained super hard on our 15 minute walk to the chapel so we got soaked. we had a way cool lesson that came out of a contact with a 10 year old on the street and we ended up teaching a group of family and friends of over 10 people from the steps in front of their house. i kinda felt like a preacher hahha. 

friday we had a busy morning in the office but we got to go to our area to work in the afternoon and it was nice productive day. nothing too special or out of the ordinary.

saturday we went to see the lighthouse in itapuã and ate lunch at president barbosas house (pres bangerters 1st counselhor) nothing better than rice and beans

sunday we went to get our investigators before church and sadly enough we came up empty handed. people who had commited to be there firmly were still sleepy or just didnt want to go anymore so we kinda hung our heads back to the chapel and thru sacrament meeting until we turned around right before the meeting ended and saw that the family who did FHE with us last week had brought their neighbor who we thought wasnt coming!! Raziel is an awesome kid and we had a nice lesson with him later in the afternoon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March 3, 2018 -- Salvador

Elder Prince and Vitalina, a lady he baptized a year ago in Salvador at the beginning of his mission
church members clean the church here too but also churches are way different here. no carpet and just like no one actually tries super hard to keep it clean during the week. fun office stories not a ton. we're gearing up for a mission leadership counsel next week and ELDER BEDNAR making an appearance in the good state of Bahia? i'm pumped as can be. my investigators are doing well. we found some cool people this week and started teaching some former investigators again.

in preparation for elder bednar coming we have been assigned some talks to read and i really liked one part of one of the talks that i want to share with you guys.

"From these examples we recognize that as learners, you and I are to act and be doers of the word and not simply hearers who are only acted upon. Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon? Are the students we serve acting and seeking to learn by faith, or are they waiting to be taught and acted upon? Are you and I encouraging and helping those whom we serve to seek learning by faith? You and I and our students are to be anxiously engaged in asking, seeking, and knocking (see 3 Nephi 14:7)."

lots of what we do as missionaries is this exact invitation, for people to learn then ask God for answers. It is so important that we exercises our faith and agency to seek the Lord and His will for all of us. when we do this we are truly able to access knowledge and information straight from heaven or more easily put revelation. I am so happy to be born in this time when we have this knowledge to seek after our father in heaven. 

elder prince

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February 23, 2018 -- Salvador

so it all starts sunday night. elder hilton because of his toe we kinda had to sit around all day and its like 830 before we are about to start getting ready for bed and his recent converts call him up and are all like "are you not gonna visit us??? we made food and are waiting for you?" so we hustled over to our house. until this time we had still not recieved the transfer from president so we could buy the bus tickets for the very next day. really crunch time. president then called us at like 10:30 to tell us he had sent the transfer but we couldnt go look at it until tomorow.

I requested a photo from Sam and this is what I got. Mirror pic from my missionary!
monday we left elder hilton home and went to the office before the rooster crowed so the we could get started on the passage buy. we then spent from 8 am - 2 pm in the bus station. returned to the office to clean up a little bit and start calling the whole mission to let them know what time their bus was. after about an hour 4 mysterious box of pizza showed up, turns out president was feeling the love and had sent pizza to the office for us. So we chowed down until he got there to have a meeting with us. Which turned into some good training that went until 630 and elder hiltons bus was at 715 all of his bags still at home. As karianne's child i promptly thought of "divide and conquer" so we had some quick divisions and elder hilton still missed the bus. (about this time his head cold really kicked in and he lost his voice/his eyes started swelling up) so we got to the bus station to find elder hilton was not there. he had gone back to the office alone, to hang out with president because he missed the bus. so we waited at the bus station for more people that were starting to leave the capital. At this time i started to realized that i had picked up elder hiltons head cold. i thought i was gonna die. Everyone got their buses and we sent elder hilton to itabuna then porto seguro. we returned to the office to finish a few things with elder christofferson (stayed the night at our house) then went home to sleep. Started the next at 500 am and i woke up dead.

tuesday. woke up feeling like i had been run over by a train. seriously i never felt so awful in my life. not even wheni got knocked out in football. but we had training for the new missionaries so we hurried to called taxis and ubers for all the missionaries getting into the city because of transfer and recieving training in the mission home. finally got to presidents house about 9 and went straight to the airport to get the new missionaries. everything was great we got them and started our way home when my fever really kicked in and i got carsick. we made it to presidents house and here is the true best moment of the week. i pushed passed all the new missionaries in the van to open the door. as i opened the door i jumped out and mid air puked all my breakfast and the food i ate last night. and everyone was watching from presidents apartment window. so about 1/3 of the misson and all the new missionaries saw me throw up. nice sam. i just kinda walked off in shame and sat down on the side walk ahahhahahaah. everyone went inside and they started the festivities and i just kinda sat outside for an hour. then when i ventured inside (without my tie cuz i threw up on it) sister bangerter took me in the back room and i laid down for a little bit. they woke me up in time to give the secretaries part of the training and i felt better for the rest of the day. we were able to get everyone on their buses to their cities.

wednesday we woke up to phone calls from president bangerter asking about a missionary going home on thursday that was supposed to show up in salvador on tuesday morning and had still not arrived. Turns out elder boemia had missed the bus from Mucuri (18 by bus to salvador the last city in bahia before the state Espirito Santo) TWO TIMES MONDAY AND TUESDAY. so we started calling every missionary in his zone trying to figure out where he was. he was still in mucuri and was able to get on the bus. we had a normal day besides that in the office and we got to our area for the first time but as we started climbing some stairs i got sick so we went home hahah. 

thursday morning. so my toe has had an ingrown toenail for awhile. i woke up to a nice big ball of pus. ( i popped it ill send pics) so i called sister bangerter and she sent me to get it checked out at some fancy beauty salon that does work with this kinda stuff instead of the hospital. were waiting for my appointment when president calls us to let us know that a sister left TWO PIECES OF LUGGAGE in the pousada and her plane to go home left in a hour. so we remarked the appointment and hustled to the pousada and got the bags there in time. i went back to the place and got a bunch of my toenail torn out then spent the day doing missionary work. but also had one elder whose flight was at 1150 pm so we had the privilege to take him to the airport and got home very late. secretary life woo hoo.

friday was pretty normal still werent able to escape the office and we got to do some good work in our area. we had an awesome family night with a members family and their neighbors. we watched the lamb of god video and it was nice.

saturday is today. my toe is doing well and im not very sick anymore hahah. its been a week for the record books. dont worry mom im totally fine. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

February 17, 2018 letter - Salvador

my week was quite uneventful. we had some time to get into our area but seemed like there was always something stopping us from getting very much quality time in our area (Carnaval) even though we were working hard and diligently in the office so we could leave ontime/early to be able to get some work done! despite these unfortunately timed things we had to do we were able to have a pretty good week. 

we have rooted out some gators that werent progressing and had a few really good contacts that look promising for the next transfer. And we had absolutely incredible lessons with a few people!!! we were really excited and felt the spirit strongly and they accepted commitments and then when we got to marking a next appointment... "actually i dont live here, i live in             area (not a part we work in) but could you tell the missionaries there to visit us?" like yeah sure.. im still excited about them but its kind of a huge buzzkill when you teach a really good lesson and find a really good person but they dont live in your area. happened almost everyday this week. Nevertheless we still  have a few investigators who have commited to come to church with us this weekend please pray for william, marianne, nayara, lenilson, conceição, and tatianne that they will wake up on time and not have anything to stop them from getting to church. 

other big event elder hiltons toe got pretty ingrown and infected recently (way worse than mine) so we took him to the doctor and he got part of his nail cut off. Now he has a huge ball of gauze on his toe like dad did that one time and cant wear shoes for a few days. This weekend is also the last of the transfer so next week is a new transfer! as far as i know i will be staying here in the office and Ondina as long as something crazy doesnt happen. President has not released the transfer yet but soon enough we will have it and be going to the bus station.

i wanted to share a scripture and a talk with you guys that brax sent to us this week. its  Moses 7 and Enoch’s interaction with the Lord. Enoch asks how is it that Heavenly Father weeps since He is just, mercurial and kind forever.

He says, “Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands. … I gave unto them … [a] commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood. … Wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?”

Its really incredible that in just a few short lines we can understand so much about Heavenly Father and who/how/what He is. He is a loving caring father. Christ's life was also just another way that Father in Heaven tried to show us His true character. Idk how to really explain it yet but theres a really good talk by Jeffrey R. Holland "the grandeur of God" and y'all should give it a look.


elder prince

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!