Monday, July 16, 2018

July 14, 2018 -- Salvador

this week went just fine! we had some good lessons and busy times doing office work! monday we had a few things to do around the office but once we left we were finally able to find a family that we had taught a few months ago. antonia diogo edmundo and jaqueline! we taught them the restoration and we had commentary from many view points because of the mixed religious backgrounds but there was a spirit felt by all! in the end Edmundo said that he was feeling very good and really enjoyed hearing our message! the first time we had visited they werent so open to us hahah so we can see the progress we are making and the way the Lord opens up that hearts of the people. 

tuesday was a normal day nothing of great import. imagine me speaking with people in the street and typing things on a computer. wednesday was also fairly bland but i had a call with the people from the reference center in the provo MTC. gave me some good training about how to better pass the media references or from members to the missionaries. 

thursday we had a lesson with Sara and her niece and friend. Tiago went along with us and we taught them about the Book of Mormon being another testament of Christ. it was a cool lesson and we were able to meet some new gators. Sara was a reference from Haziel, who is doing well. 

friday we visited vivaldo and his family and had a long chat about.. fruit. they had some weird orange coconut they got from their farm but they didnt know its name. but once we started going, Vivaldo told us that he really had a desire to be baptized and loved going to church with us. we were trying to set a date with him but its a little difficult because of some stuff with his "wife" (not actually married). apparently for like 30 yeras she wanted to get married but he didnt and now he wants to but she doesnt! love it! 

reading the scriptures this week i was really inspired by King Benjamins speech and how amazing the teachings are. dude was a good guy and loved the Lord! we can always benefit from humbling ourselves and being unselfish and more loving towards others. 

Elder Prince

July 7, 2018 -- Salvador

monday we spent the day talking with pres biddulph and planning. he came to the office and spent most of the day kind of getting to know us and the mission and we kinda started showing him the basics. we gave him the little secretaries training so he knows what we do and what is important for him to know from our viewpoint. and we had some technological problems so it was a bit of a slow day

tuesday we had zone conference and it went really well! president biddulph and sister biddulph bore their testimonies and we had good trainings from the zone leaders and assistants about the plan of salvation. we also were able to visit angelo who was baptized around christmas time and has been having some troubles financially and with his mothers health and we were able to comfort him a little bit. he talked about how he had felt really lonely lately and we were able to share christs story of how the Father left him at his most difficult moment and bear our testimonies to him. great moment!

wednesday i got to help sister biddulph and their daughter do some registering with the government and get ID numbers and a whole bunch of junk. mission presidents and their fams have a lot more stufff to do than normal missionaries hahaha but we are figuring it out thats okay! also finally Vivaldo and Reinaldo got back from the farm and we were able to visit them and invite them to church again! they are commited and we are excited!

thursday and friday we had busy days in the office and helping president get everything set up for him. its been a busy week and super interesting going from a president who has had 3 years of practice and experience to one who only has 3 days. President Bangerter was amazing and President Biddulph is too! 2 inspired men who are here to serve and help us come unto Christ. im so grateful for both of them and for being able to work closely with them. they both love to serve and love the people but one thing president biddulph said this week stuck with me. love and service are our duties and show our gratitude to our Father in Heaven.

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. 

have a good week!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

June 30, 2018 -- Salvador

my investigators are good. its been busy here  in the office so a little harder to get to our area. Mateus and Geisa are doing well, theyre a new family we found right before the transfer. Vivaldo and Reinaldo are still traveling on their little farm. Nilza is finally opening her heart a little after we gave her a priesthood blessing and her pains have disappear. shes obviously got a lot of faith just a little shy and closed about sharing it still. we had a good FHE the other day. haziel is still going to church and passing the sacrament but our ward has been pretty empty lately. this time of year is very complicated and the attendance has taken a nice little dip. the world cup is more important than anything here. literally when brazil has a game is a holiday. last week they had a game on wednesday i think? since it was a morning game no one went to work. literally everyone got the day off end of story. weird right?

love you guys!
Elder Prince

[After Sam wrote this email, his new Mission President, President Biddulph, arrived and President Bangerter left after a brief training. I have high hopes Sam will send more details. Sister Biddulph posted the photo to Instagram--a mission mom who uses social media! this is fantastic!]
Group photo including President and Sister Bangerter and President and Sister Biddulph and the office elders.

Outgoing President Bangerter (third from left) with incoming President and Sister Biddulph and the office elders. Best looking one is on the right.

Monday, June 25, 2018

June 23, 2018 -- Salvador

president and sister biddulph get here on the 30th i think and they are taking one daughter is all i have heard so far. president bangerter has assured me that him and i are gonna get real close this week cuz he has a lot of stuff he needs help with to finish up the mission perks of being secretary. its gonna be nuts. 

this week was super busy. we had transfers and mission leadership council! monday we had a meeting all morning long with president bangerter and the assistants planning out a very hectic week. We had lots of people coming and going and staying extra time in salvador because of the leadership council so we had to plan how long everyone would stay and where they would stay. Then we spent 6 hours waiting in lines to buy bus tickets for the transfer. i think i got stuck waiting in more lines in the bus station than i do in 2 days at Disneyland. This weekend, today actually, is the holiday thats really strong here in Bahia, São João which pretty much celebrates John the Baptists death. ive heard it explained a lot of different ways but they pretty much celebrate his death by eating lots of cooked peanuts, dancing and countryish music and dancing in all the citys that arent the capital. so all week the traffic has been awful and theres not that many people in the city. on top of that we have the world cup! during the two brazil games so far you cannot find a living breathing soul in the street during the game.

tuesday we had the arrival of 5 new missionaries and trained them all day long before sending them off to various areas in the city and state. 

wednesday we had an appointment in the federal police to register the thompson senior misisonary couple and it was pretty fun. we ended up getting stuck in traffic and misplacing a few things so we were kinda scrambling all of over the city all morning but everything ended up going just fine. we spent our first real afternoon working in the office and at night had to return to get the bus tickets for the mission council that we werent able to buy the other night which meant 2 more hours in the lines. people were so stressed out they all started fighting in the lines and getting all mad. 

thursday things got real interesting. president took a group of missionaries early early to the airport and thought they had all gotten on their flights but one elder got all the way in and was waiting to board when they were informed that the flight had been canceled and he would miss his connection, but we didnt get this information until later in the day when president was back home and i was picking up another missionary to take to the airport because his flight was a good amount of time later in the day. so when we got to the airport the elder who missed his flight was nowhere to be found and president had told him to go back to the mission home. we ended up taking him again at 5 am the next day and the same exact flight got cancelled again and the elder ended up going home in a taxi since he lives in the neighboring state like 4 hours away.

yesterday was president bangerter's last big meeting in the mission council. it was moving and spiritual and i am very grateful to have had him and sister bangerter taking care of us here in Brazil. it was amazing to hear him express his love for the gospel and the Lord and each of us. i'm gonna miss him. They are an amazing couple and really have a great focus/motivation to help all of us and the people of bahia. at the very end of the council he cited the scripture from alma 26:16

16 Therefore, let us agloryyea, we will bglory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his cmercyand of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, say unto you, cannot say the smallest part which feel. 

the Lord is great and He is our strength.  we can rely on Him in any moment.


elder prince

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 16, 2018 -- Salvador

well lets start off with a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW MOM! YOURE GREAT AND I LOVE YOU TO BITS! sounds like it was really hot. 

my week has been pretty good and busy! the remodel here in the office has been a bit of a hassle here. the place is just a huge mess ahahha theres no place to put or organize anything. president called me last night and said " Elder Prince.. the office is just.. a completely disaster" hahahahha i got a got laugh out of it and reassured him that i would make sure it got cleaned up once the remodel was done. im gonna miss president bangerter. he is now in his last 3 weeks.

monday we had a busy time in the office i have been working on the mission history project a bunch and trying to get everything organized for the transfer next week.

tuesday we had a cool lesson with a family George and his wife and daughter aobut the restoration. Its amazing to me still how open the people are here. After we came into their home without being invited then talked to them about our religion they made us juice and crackers and even sent us on our way with Vá com Deus (go with God). I love the brazilian people and their humility and love of the Lord.

wednesday we had our district meeting and took a trip to the post office to send off a few things. We did divisions with the other elders from our wards and got to visit some extra people! this week has been rather ordinary and i dont really have much to report. a few long days at the office, getting high off the paint fumes and trying not to bang my head against the wall after scanning all the pages of all passports of all the foreigners in the mission (another cool project i have been working on). the work here in the office is very different. not exactly as rewarding but just as crucial.

in 1st nephi 9 nephi is commanded to make two records of the people. I am not here writing the history of everything that happens here in the Church in Bahia nor writing on plates but i think i have been able to have a few moments that nephi might have had. I imagine when he got this commandment he might have wanted to roll his eyes and be like "cmon God 2 sets of plates?? do you know how hard it is to write on these things??" but he, Nephi, being lots more humble and obedient than i continued by saying 

Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a awise purpose in him, which purpose I know not. But the Lord aknoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all bpowerunto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen.
arent we grateful that he did the tedious little things so we can have the Book of Mormon? this example has inspired me to keep working when i cant bear to look at the computer screen anymore and given me a new appreciation for the ward clerks. this week when you go to church give that ward secretary a nice big hug because he does a lot so that your ward keeps running smoothly. 
I love the gospel and I am so grateful for the opportunity i have to serve Christ. This is His Church on the earth and we are so blessed to be able to be a part of it.
have a good week
elder prince

June 9, 2018 letter - Salvador

my birthday week has been fine. they have started reforming here in the office for the new president so its just a huge mess and smells like paint smells. but it should look good once its done. the trucker strike is over i thought?? im kinda worried about it cuz almost no mail is getting deilivered and that means that the materials i ordered arent getting here which means we arent gonna have any supplies in the office!! and thats like my main responsibility!!!! looks like im slacking out here. i have had plenty to eat dont worry mom. things were gettting a little ugly like 10 days ago the grocery stores were pretty empty but we made it. the strike was about the politicians (or thieves as the brazilians like to call them) raising gas prices and the truckers not having any money to feed their kids i think.. ya know important stuff. this week we were only able to see michelle and leandro really fast because michelle got sick and they have traveled back to their parents homes in Itabuna. 
Super cool mural on the walk to Walmart

Elder Prince and Elder Davis

Monday we were able to teach another super cool family though! Matheus and Jaisa have a kid and recently moved right up the alleyway from one of our members so we made a contact and got in to teach them. We had a cool discussion about the book of mormon and they explained their problems with many orgaanized religions they see but how they are also seeking after some place to worship. Matheus is a jujistu instructor so he is super busy but we have marked for them to go to church with us tomorrow! 

Tuesday we visited a few non-member friends of a RM in our ward and had some cool lessons and some good people. Also i tried to get a CPF (brazilian id number or something like that) and they didnt let me yet. rude right? 

Wednesday we had district meeting and we had to buy some bus tickets for people outside of salvador because they dont know how to save their money for emergencies. missionaries. 

Thursday we did visits with another member Valmir and we were able to visit Romilda, a recent convert from part member family, and Reinaldo and Talita our investigators. They had a friend there who didnt know anything about the church so we had a cool little discusison and now the sisters in the area next to ours will teach him! gotta love the gospel and the way a little love and friendship can open up the hearts of the people and do some good. 

I heard a good talk from Elder Uchtdorf this week "Be not afraid, only believe" and i really liked one part of it. He talks a lot about how faith is not blindly following but truly choosing to believe and have faith!
Implied in such a statement is another of Satan’s deceptions: that belief is available to some people but not to others. There is no magic to belief. But wanting to believe is the necessary first step! God is no respecter of persons.6 He is your Father. He wants to speak to you. However, it requires a little scientific curiosity—it requires an experiment upon the word of God—and the exercise of a “particle of faith.”7 It also takes a little humility. And it requires an open heart and an open mind. It requires seeking, in the full meaning of the word. And, perhaps hardest of all, it requires being patient and waiting upon the Lord."

Humility and patience can take us a long way in this world we live in and help us to maintain and repair relationships with anyone, friend, family, enemy, and even God. He is waiting to hear from us! knock and it shall be opened unto you!

have a good week!

Elder Prince

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

June 2, 2018 -- Happy Birthday Elder Prince!

Vitalina is a member in Amaralina, an area of Salvador. Sam and his companion Elder Cruz baptized her when he first got to Brazil. She had Sam and his companion over for lunch and a birthday surprise!