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.

sammy
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.

sam

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2917 letter -- Vitoria Da Conquista

another week has come and gone here in this wonderful country of brazil and this week was a little bit different from the rest of the weeks because it was.... COLD????? i have arrived safe and sound in my new area with no problems along the way, except a little carsickness on the bus ride, and i am here in conquista. I quickly caught a little cold and stuffy nose that is still with me until this very minute but its kinda cool cuz its always warm here so i never have stuffy nose. 

Sam and Sponge Bob Square Pants
but the new comp and area are super sweet! elder do vale is from londrina parana and he is suuuper sweet i imagine him fitting in with the boys super well but i think the coolest part is that he is actually super country and just talks about how much he misses his cowboy boots and the rodeo hahah. my new district here is pretty sweet too and the whole district speaks english except for my comp but i really think he does speak english because when i try to tech him words or phrases he has perfect pronunciation. i will do a little bit more investigating and report back. yes he is very brazilian and i love him. its just us in the house! theres like 6 more duplas (pairs) its a pretty big city.  area here is a ward so thats a cool change from jequie, not that i didnt love my branch but there is just something nice about having lunch everyday with the members SUCH A BLESSING

New companion Elder Do Vale
i am really excited to be here in this new area, its been pretty cold and windy and rainy all week so its a big change. its a pretty flat city here so the wind gets going pretty well but it also means that i dont have to walk up hills hahahha also drumroll....... THERES NO COBBLESTONE HALLELUAH PRAISE THE LORD QUE FELICIDADES!!!!! my feet havent felt this good in months and my ingrown toenails are practically gone already im super happy. the area makes up a couple neighborhoods and has mostly asphalt and dirt roads. there is a difference in two parts of our area, one with a little more money and one with a little less but its chiill. also my trainer went home this week rip elder cruz i miss that guy. this week we did a lot of searching and contacting to try and revamp the group and excite the area a little bit.


i read elder hollands talk "songs sung and unsung" this week and the dude just threw down in this talk. i felt the spirit so strongly and encourage you all to read it. "brothers and sisters we live in a mortal world with many songs we cannot or do not yet sing, but i plead with each one of us to stay permanently and faithfully in the choir, where we will be able to savor forever that most precious anthem of all -- the song of redeeming love"

i love this talk and this thought for every one of us. we might not be able to do everything or be the perfect person we want to be but that doesnt matter. we are all unique and loved just the same. love more be happy have faith!!

i love you guys

elder prince 

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017 letter -- Jequie (Mandacaru)

hellllllooooooo family!

we had an awesome week in this last week of the transfer and we were able to see huge miracles. its amazing to see how just doing the very basics diligently can provide miracles and success in our efforts. we felt really strongly that we should try hard to focus on finding new investigators this week so we started knocking doors on streets we hadnt worked much yet. and we knocked and knocked and knocked.. just keep knocking knocking knocking.. except in brazil you dont knock on doors you just stand in front of the house and clap.. as loud as possible because they gotta hear you inside the house. we were able to find some awesome men and families who were ready and excited to accept us and our message. 

tuesday we found willma and her family who have been bouncing around from church to church and we were able to have a spiritual lesson and really explain the importance of the restoration to them. as well as visit a less active part member family who have a true desire to come back to church and recieve all the blessings that the priesthood and atonement have for us. 

wednesday we found hebert natalicio and cleiton who are catholic but really enjoyed and understood the importance of the organization of the church and the restoratoin of the priesthood they were full of questions and really wanted to understand more about joseph smith and how the priesthood was brought back by elias as the bible says. its really interesting to teach people who have a good knowledge of scripture and religion. they all accepted baptismal dates and are really excited about it! 

thursday we were able to also teach alan´s parents and sister about the restoration. lets just say we taught the restoration a lot this week and it is incredible the spirit that we were able to feel everytime we teach this lesson. the restoration of the fullness of the perfect church of Christ invites the holy ghost so strongly to testify of the truthfor those who have an open heart and mind. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and Christ is at the head of HIS church leading us to happier lives and peace in our homes.

I was reading in the book of mormon in the book of enos this week. its only one chapter long but has such an amazing principle to be taught. PRAYER PRAAYER PRAAAAYER. as enos prays for a remission of his sins and protection for his bretheren the nephites and lamanites he describes his prayers as.. " my soul hungered, crying in mighty prayer and suplication, pour out my whole soul... struggle in the spirit... prayed and labored with all diligience..and i had faith and did cry unto God."

i think this example is so amazing and it really made me reevaluate my prayers. are we doing enough to show our HEavenly Father our love and gratitude for him and our blessings? are we praying ferevently enough to help our families? this week we can all do a little bit better to truly put some love and meaning into our prayers. we dont need to just pray but to plead and converse with our Father in Heaven. and after we pray we need to have faith that our desires will be fufilled in accordance with the Will of God. He loves us and will provide us with what we need when we need it. HAVE FAITH PRAY HARD

i will be leaving mandacaru tomorrow morning and going to Vitoria Da Conquista in the area Aeropeurto with elder do vale!

love elder prince

a really awesome family in our branch

our district
a cool work of art of the Last Supper

a sweet page from a training book about electronics in our lives that the church gave to all missionaries. 


Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017 -- Jequie (Mandacaru)

heyyy doooods

well this week was another week here in jequie. intersting animal of the week was two dead cats being eaten by the vultures on our streeet hahahaha now that you all have that beautiful image in your mind onto the gospel. we had zone conference this week and an awesome activity with our branch! the zone conference was super cool but because it was in a different city we lost some proseliting time to travel but a nice bus ride is good for the sleeping purposes. but the zone conference was awesome and always really recharging!

monday night we had a great family home evening with felipes family for damianas birthday! it was a really fun night and i think that it really helped the non members in their family feel the spirit and bond a little bit! 


tuesday we were able to really get to it and get some good work done. we ha an awesome lesson with alexandre, jeans cousin, abou the gospel of Jesus Christ. as you can imagine lessons with teenagers arent always the most reverent of times but one thing i thought was so cool was the strength and power of the spirit we were able to feel while we bore testimony about the power of walkig the straight and narrow path. we also went to visit some less actives and this old lady went on for about an hour about how she loves the church and knows its true but it was just too far away (down the street) so she decided to move even farther away out to the farmlands and start a baptist church in her house... 10/10 people would not recommend doing this and hey just go to church but okay. 

wednesday we had a way cool leesson with a part member family about the restoration. we ha been teaching the less active sister and this HUGE dude walks in and was like "why is it called the book of mormon?" so we explained it all then at the end he asked if we spoke in tongues( screaming in jibberish) and rolled at our church(literally rolling around on the ground) when we feel the spirit. so im just kinda trying to imagine this dude who is the size of ray lewis  rolling around on the ground in a church so we asked him if he thought that CHrist rolled around on the ground when he felt the spirit. then he got really quiet as if he never realized that Christ probably did not roll around n the ground. 

our activity with our branch was so cool! we had all the young men and young women write questions to ask returned missionaries about their missions and preparation then turned all the chairs around and did like a press conference type of thing with all the returned missionaries it was really inteersting and funny! i got to stand in the back and hold up the sign that said " stop talking you have been rambling on forever" but it was way awesome to hear their experiences"

at the zone conference president talked a lot about D+c 4:5 " and faith hope charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God qualify for the work" and how we can be better missionaries by developing these attributes and qualifying ourselves more!

i love you all!

sam

July 10, 2017 - Jequie (Mandacaru)

and the rains came down! it was a very good and interesting week beginning with all of our bathrooms losing hot water for a few days so we still arent really sure what happened but we are just grateful that the water came back so we arent doing the polar bear plunge everytime we take a shower. aside from a few interesting beetles and big spiders we had no interesting animals this week but we had a huge weather change! jequie is the hottest city in our mission but we had rain and rain and rain this week and some nippy winds  every day and night. i was actually cold for the first time this week when we had to take elder silva to the bus station in the pouring rain but then missed the bus ahhaha

tuesday started off pretty crappy with kaike dropping us. everything was pretty much set for his baptism this next week but we showed up and he was just like yeah i dont wanna go to church or hear the lessons anymore thanks now go away hahah we figured out after a sec that he has got himself into the wrong friend group and doesnt really want to leave them. i was pretty bummed because the gospel is what gives us happiness and a firm foundation!  but after we had a really awesome lesson with aleide about thw word of wisdom! it was nice and spiritual and she was really excited to try and stop drinnking coffee because of her headaches and addiction she thinks shes developed. but she has been doing really well with her goal to stop and im super happy for her! elder silva got called to be moved to porto seguro on wednesday and i got the card from the grandparents which was super good haha.  

we had a really interesting week planning and preparing damiana for her baptism hahahah. she had a few things she wanted to do before the baptism but we were just like heck no you gotta follow Christ and she was like oh yeah you is right. and It was really just like you need to do what God whats for you and not what will end up hurting you in the end. We taught her about the plan of salvatoin again and she was pretty much sold and super excited for saturday! her baptism went really well and almost their whole family was in the church for it! but we had one slight problem in the font. no i did not fall in again. but the water straight up ran out.. in the whole church... we got the font like halfway full and then the entire church went completely dry. so we ended up doing the baptism kneeling hahah. sunday there was still no water and everyone blamed us and i was just like oops. its so weird that its been raining so much and theres not water at the church. 

we found a couple young men alan and paul who are super sick and in terstested but they have some work to do. they both want to be baptized after seeing damianas baptism but had some trouble at church on sunday when they made some chick cry during sunday school so we have our work cut out hahaha but "all things are possible to him that believeth"

proverbs 23:7 " for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..." as we try to be positive and eliminate negativity we will perform better in everything we do! try to eliminate negative phrases and words and dont even think negatively! its easier said than done but why not give it a try!

i love you guys
!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

July 3, 2017 - Jequie (Mandacaru)

6 MONTHS

Well lets all be honest who knew i would make it 3 days without mom let alone 6 months so ya im pretty proud of myself. but it has been truly blessed 6 months. i have had so much oppurtunity to grow and have so many new experiences on the other side of the world! brazil is such an amazing place filled with amazing people! the mission is the best thing that has ever happened to me. i might not admit it while im scratching my legs covered in mosquito bites or while im walking thru the pouring rain but its a privilege and honor to serve the Lord. 

this week we was a whole lot better we were able to come out of the gates at a full sprint because elder carvalho got off his bed rest and seemed to have a lot more energy. our little trio has been working really well together and the adventures of 5 missionaries in one house continue. this week alone we raised the count of animals found in our house with 3 birds and another froggy friend that we were eventually able to chase out of the house. 

this week we experiences some really good things but also some disappointments. We were able to teach caique and his grandmother some really solid lessons about the importance of strudying the scriptures and did some reading with them. they are really cool because his grandma doesnt know how to read so he reads for her and she is super ontop of him to read. the only issue with caique is the baptism. for some reason he loves the lessons and reading the scriptures with us but as soon as we talk about baptism he turns into a statue and shuts down. we literally cant get him to talk with us. he was totally ready to go to church this week but then just decided he was feeling to lazy to go when we passed by his house and though i felt like just dragging him to the church i feel like it might have looked kinda bad to everyone in the street lol. 

Damiana, felipes grandmother, was gone all week visiting some familbut saturday we were able to visit her and teach their whole family about the family a proclamation to the world and she asked for a priesthood blessing. the next day she came for fast and testimony meetin and was so impressed with all the testimonies she said she wants to bear hers the next month.. but she wants us to bear testimony about how we cured her with a blessing because shes too scared to talk in front of everyone. she is really progressing and excited to be baptized but we arent sure when it will be because she has to have surgery on her hand this week so it might be next saturday! please keep her in your prayers. 

matthew 5 16  " let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

SHINE bright like a diamond as our friend rihanna says (also Jesus said it)

i love you all

June 26, 2017 - Jequie (Mandacaru)

To be quite honest this week was not great. 

Tuesday we went to the doctor because elder carvalho has been having hip pains and after some x rays we found out that he has a genetic problem in his femurs because the head of the bone is too big for the socket or is missing some indent or something thats not actually that serious. idk the doctor is even more confusing when they use big words in portuguese instead of just big words in english ahha. so yeah hes never gonna be able to do the splits v sad day for him and then to top it all off the doctor put him on a weeks bed rest!  kms lol. lets just say that neither president bangerter or I was very happy to hear about that. we set up an mri for him that we wil go to super super early tomorow morning. 

so the more round one is my comp, the tall one is elder brito, his comp is the other short one elder j souza and they are the zls. elder silva is the other one.

Wednesday we spent the day at home because comp "cant walk" while we waited for a curto praso or part time missionary to come so we could get out and do some work. we were able to get some visits in while he stayed with some members. Elder silva (part timer guy) is staying for us for the res of the transfer i think but we will see. its been really nice to have someone in the house who actually has a desire to be on a mission and work hard! then to make the week even better the other missionaries in jequie got their water shut off so they have been staying at our house! yay crowded house. elder carvalho then proceeded to waste all of his money on hamburgers and diet coke suuuuper healthy after the doctor told him that he needed to eat better and lose weight or the problem in his hips would get worse so i bought his medication twice this week.

Also this week was the holiday sao joao celebrating the beheading of john the baptist. way cool holiday... not. there have been lots and lots of firecrackers and bonfires in the streets here so thats actually kinda cool until the kids start to throw fire crackers at you lol. 

Elder silva and i were able to get out and work when we could find someone to stay with elder carvalho. we have been working hard for the baptism of kaike but he has his date on the 8th of july. we had some really good lessons with him about the book of mormon but then he went off the mapand didnt come to church so please keep him in your prayers. we have been working really hard iwth the family of felipe our recent convertand his grandmas has a date for the 8th of july and shes actually super excited! when we explained the true baptism and restoration of the priesthood she immediately was way more interested lol. the rest of the family kinda needs a kick in the pants to get to church but it should all work out. 

We had some really good lessons about he plan of salvatoin that really reinforced my testimony and i was able to bear testimony about how i will see my grandparents and ruth again. families are forever. 

john 16:33 "these things i have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. in the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer, i have overcome the world!"

listen to Christ he knows exactly what we need!

please keep kaike damiana aleide and babina in your prayers

i love you guys!

sammy

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017 - Jequie (Mandacaru)

well we had another week this week with another new companion! elder carvalho from manaus! monday we sent off half of our district and got ready to recieve our new companions. tuesday elder brito and i got up v early to pick up his new comp and breakfast at 5 am never tasted so good. my comp had still not arrived so i stayed the day in a trio with them, runnin the town like the celtics big three before all this miami heat business. there was some crazy guy trying to preach to us while we bought some food. He walks up and says " at first i thought you were jehovahs witnesses and i thought you needed some Jesus but now that i know you're mormons i think you need to listen to me even more!" I kinda just laughed in his face and we had a sweet convo but moral of the story dont believe everything you read on the internet! elder carvalho arrived wednesday about lunch time and we were able to get to work. its been really strange introducing him to the area and kinda leading everything hahah. i kinda feel like the senior and holy cow its a lot more stressful but its exciting cuz the hardest times are the times where we see the most growth. just gotta get out of the comfort zone and have faith!

thursday we did some serivce at the church to prepare for a little party on saturday for the branch. we taught a really good lesson about the BOM to jeans mom and she said that she would change her life and give upp  her religion if she recieved an answer so we are praying super hard out here. friday we had a good district meeting and we had a sweet lesson with felipes family . during the lesson his little sister ripped the biggest fart at a really quiet moment and i dont know why but it reminded me so much of jared because she just burst out laughing and yelling hahah. its been awesome to work wit their family because i see little changes in their home and lives even since felipes baptism.

we taught them the word of wisdom and law of chastity and challenged his parents to get married! now the big project is get them married as fast as possible hahaa. im super excited to see how marriage will improve their lives!

message for the day. in chapter 4 of matthew Christ is tempted 3 times by satan after 40 days and 40 nights of fasting. he was given the opportunity to make rocks into bread and have power over all the kingdoms of the world but he would not bow down to satan. he was strengthened during these 40 days ad nights to have the power to resist theese temptations and follow his father. fasting prayer and scripture study are the basics but also the most important things in our lives. 
matthew 4:4 "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"

i love you all so much!

June 12, 2017 letter - Jequie (Mandacaru)

well this week was alright. being the last week of the transfer everyone was a little tired and a little stressed out and on top of that it was the last week of elder washingtons mission! so we spent a good portion of the week trying to get him all ready to go home. tuesday we had a trip to conquista for a leadership meeting since elderwashington is still our district leader to get some new training. it was raining really hard when we left jequie and didnt stop until like friday haha. when i got to conquista my birthday packages were sittin all pretty waiting for me!!! i was so dang excited and happy to see all the awesome stuff and eat the candy. the hi chews are already gone and i may or may not have made myself a little sick a few times this week. oops. buuuut i also loved the conference ensign and the back scratcher. scratching my never ending mosquitos bites gives much more satisfaction when done witha back scratcher. 




WE finally got back to jequie with just enough time to meet with jean's mom about his baptism on saturday. She had a bunch of questoins about the BOM and the restoration but it was late so we had to go and teach her another day. thursday we had a good district meeting but it was the same training i recieved the daybefore so you know how that goes. im already super good at paying attention for long periods of time especially with repetative informaiton hahahahaheheheheh. then we were waiting to go to lunch and this crazy dude (the same one who threw the sandwich at me a few weeks ago) started follwing us around like all up in my grill almost touching us so we used some strategy and serpentine movements to get away from him. elder washington had to go to the bank and we waited awhile. it was a long day. friday was also a very long day. we had to go some more things for elder washington and we had weekly planning which is always sucha blast for me!! but we were able to teach the restoration to jeans mom and she had lots of questions and critizims but we shut her down hard with some good scriptures and we were able to bring the spirit really well to the lesson. i think she really enjoyed it. she tried to argue that other churches have apostles but only like one singular apostle in the whole church and we just straight up asked her, well where are the other 11? lol she got super quiet after that.
then saturday. oh saturday. we did a division to do the interviews for baptism and fill up the font but then we got to jeans house and no one had a clue where he was. after a failed wheres waldo attempt we marked to come back later and went to go figgure out the font and our lunch. no i did not fall in the font this week all of my catlike reflexes have returned and i have stayed on my feet. we had our lunch delieverd two hours late after marking super early to bring it to us. then as soon as we got the food literally the same minute jean called and siad he didnt want to get baptized anymore. we dropped everything and went to figure it out with him and everythingw as all good. we were super late for the meeting but saw some super miracles when the branch pres just happened to be driving down the street where we were walking already late for the meetng.then some lady died in the hospital without a priesthood blessing while we were in conquista so sunday was pretty much just everyone fighting and blaming one another for not going to the hospital. it was a wild weekend

we got the transfer a little early this time and i will be staying here in mandacaru with elder carvalho (brasileiro that i havent met yet) for his last transfer in the missino! its pretty much like i am out here serving with one of the boys who will be going home soon!

i was reading the cnference talks this week and i really liked elder renlunds "good shepard". he said " as His disciples, let us fully mirror his love and love one another so that no one feels abandoned, alone, or hopeless" it really is a powerful talk and i lvoed it so much! go read it and then hug someone and tell them you love the. imagine me hugging you all!!

i love you all so much

sammy boy

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017 letter - Jequie

hello fam and friends and loved ones.

another interesting week here in jequie. full of mosquitos, stray dogs, cats, horses and an uncountable number of chickens. also the number of frogs i have found in our house is up at 6! one really interesting thing i have seen here in jequie is the huge number of horses just walking around straight chillin like a normal human being without an owner or anything. it makes me think of harry potter when he gives dobby the sock and dobby yells "dobby is a free elf" idk why tho cuz dobby is an elf and not a horse hahah.

this week we had a really good lunch everyday for the first time here in this area! but it was also the exact same lunch of rice and beans and salad cooked pretty much the exact same way at 5 different houses lol. at this point i still love rice and beans and i am starting to taste the huge difference in the way some people make beans (fun fact that no one cares about). 

tuesday we taught a really good lesson with marinalva about the restoration but it was really hard to do because her family is so nuts. she is sisters with sandro our recent convert! we were teaching her about Joseph smith while here siblings were beating each other up with sticks and running around, or playing laman and lemuel as i thought of it. At the end of the lesson she asked to change her baptismal date to this saturday which was super awesome and cool for us. its so cool to see young people have so much desire in regards to church. 

Wednesday after district meeting and working in our own area we went to help the sisters with a few lessons. We tried teaching this investigator about the restoration and apostasy but he and his sister just wanted to argue about the catholic church not changing lots of doctrine (they did) and why when we feel the spirit during church we dont scream twirl in circles and fall to the ground dramatically like people do in other churches here. nevertheless it was an interesting afternoon. 

Thursday we had an awesome lesson with some less actives and their nonmember cousin who accepted a baptismal date! she was the one who showed more interest the other times we have visited them so it was super awesome for us!! i have really enjoyed trying to teach and reactivate them because they
truly have the knowledge but they also live a little far away and they are busy. also its fun to visit them because they just have chickens running wild in their house and it can be pretty entertaining during the lessons having chickens going inbetween everyones legs lol. later in the day marinalva was super excited when we taught her about all the powerful blessings of following the commandments and on friday she
rocked the preinterview we did before her interview. the gospel is so simple yet so perfect. 


friday was pretty chill we decided we need to renew our group so we tried to start doing more contacts especially with men and families and in parts of area that we dont go to very much. and then i bought myself a milkshake, chocolate of course(TREAT YOSELF) happy birthday to me. the sisters made this card for me.

saturday was super hectic trying to get ready for the baptism. we had to do an interview for the other elders and fill up the font before lunch. someone (me) may or may not have fallen in the font while trying to clean it, then it may or may not have rained as soon as that person got dry. but the baptism went really well lolol. the power of having investigators in the baptismal meetings is super strong. it has helped in almost everysingle one of our baptism for them to see the baptism and feel the spirit in that incredible moment. then sunday it rained and one of the members flaked on our division we were gonna do so we were late to church trying to find our investigators.

spiritual thought: elder washington gave a super awesome message at lunch yesterday. all throughout the BOM the lamanites and nephites were always fighting. they always had different motives, the lamanites want revenge and blood while the nephites want to protect their families and their God. In alma 43 the nephites are afraid of the lamanites but capitan moroni reminds thme to fight for "their liberty
and their freedom from bondage" after this they were strenghtened by the lord and pushed back the attack of the lamanites. i hope that we can all have more confidence and faith in everything that we do this week because the lord is on our side! fight for what is right! also our mission just started reading the book of mormon and im gonna try really hard to do it all in portuguese! wish me luck!


i love you all.
sammy

Friday, June 2, 2017

May 29, 2017 letter - Jequie

Hello family and friends and everyone else who reads this!!

I hope you all had good weeks because mine was fantastic. we started off the week with a trip to conquista for a zone conference. i didn't hardly know anyone in the zone so it was cool to meet some new missionaries. we also got to play basketball but i have completely forgotten how to play. i dont think i have ever thrown up more bricks or airbals in my life, derek bunting please forgive me. but also the zone conference was super awesome. it was one of those meetings where you go in without a single question of great importance and come out with a million answers that penetrate the deepest parts of your soul. President talked about the importance of always talking about and making the goal of baptism with our investigators. he also drilled into our brains the importance of teaching and inviting people with authority and confidence. 

Elder Christofferson and Sam at Zone Conference 

Bus ride to Conquista for Zone Conference

3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called to declare His word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."


We all have this same call that Mormon does! the blue book that i read all day might not have my name on it like it has his but my call is just as important! it was a super spiritual and inspiring meeting. unfortunately after this i was eaten alive by mosquitos. it was the itchiest i have been in my life. We spent the week really working with Lelis, felipe and sandro to be ready for the baptisms. it been crazy to see the change in lelis and the way that the word of wisdom has really changed his life. he is so much happier and feels so much betterr physically and spiritually. the baptism went really well but when we showed up to fill the font it was full of dirty water from like two weeks ago hahahah and then we couldnt figure out how to drain it. so we got to work with the buckets to drain the font. Everything was done in time and i got to conduct the meetings so that was super sweet. i was kinda nervous at first but idk speaking aabout the gospel and stuff like that is so much easier in portuguese so lets just say that there was a lot less trembling and shaking that there was at my farewell hahahah.


Spiritual thought for this week. president shared a really good thought with us that President costa used when he visited a few weeks ago. 

Mark 9:23

" Jesus said unto him if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth"
We have the ability to do all things thru our faith. Faith moves mountains! try a ittle bit harder not to just have faith this week but to put your faith in ACTIONS. when we trust and act on our faith everything works out in the way it needs to.

i love you all stay classy san diego (from Anchorman)

sam

ps. all of you! try family prayer kneeling. it will bring you all closer and invite the spirit more


Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017 Letter - Jequie


Good week again this week. we have been seeing a lot the blessings of our prayers and fasting this week. President gave a us a goal for this week to do twice as many contacts and try to find twice as many new investigators so it goes without saying that we talked with a lot of new people this week. it is a huge blessing that most of the people here in brazil are super out going and love to talk about Jesus. also people love to just sit in the street outside of their homes, they might not always accept a visit or even let you talk but they will tell you their point of view... or at least what their pastor thinks hahaha

On tuesday and wednesday we were able to give baptismal dates to a pair of sisters Catiele and Naiele. they have a lot of interest and questions but they also have open minds and they are set more or less in the right direction. Our investigators Felipe Sandro and Lelis are really prepared for their baptisms this wee so please keep them in your prayers that everything will go well!! Usually when we teach felipe and sandro we teach them in the street outside of Felipe's house and we alwasy have a couple of their friends tune in for the lesson but they kinda run away when we ask who wants to pray so it feels kinda like when mom tries to gather the family for family prayers haha. It is so awesome to see the interest and desire to learn more about Christ that theese kids have because i certainly did not have this much when i was 13 or 14. 

This week we were also able to visit sandro and his family at their home and their mom told us "you need to take all my kids to church and baptize them as fast as possible because they are sinners" just the way she said it made me laugh so hard but she was so serious so we are gonna start working with them. they were able to come to church on sunday and they loved it so im super excited for the next few weeks!!just another blessing of fast and prayer. We did an exposition on saturday night in the big public square in downtown jequie so us six misionaries set up a table with book of mormons and passalong cards to give out to people. We spent the night trying to get people not to buy ice cream or beer and come reaad our magazines about Jesus. It was pretty fun and we talked to a lot of interesting people. 

We did some really good practices this week in our district meeting about promissing blessings to people and the commandment of keeping the sabbath day holy. in DC 59 the Lord gives us a great promise if we go to church and keep the sabbath day holy. "Verily I say that in as much as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours" so who doesnt want all the blessings  and treasures of the earth?? i KNOW THAT if we make the effort to get to church this week we can all be more happy and have more peace and unity in our families.  have a good week.

I LOVE YOU ALL


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May 8, 2017 letter - Jequie, Brazil

Hey everybody! 

So it turns out that in our mission there is a place even hotter than Salvador! Jequie is too hot to handle (just like me) hahah i have never felt a sun so strong in my life, you can literally feel yourself burning as soon as you get out into the sun. The plus side is that its not too humid here so if you can find some shade the temperature drops about 10 degrees instantly. But i think i brought the rain with me from salvador because it rained pretty hard for the first few days. this week was way sweet its been pretty fun to get to know the new area and the new companion Elder Washington. Jequie is a 6 hour bus ride from salvador so i spent all of monday night on a bus. 

Jequie is a city set in between some "mountains" (big hills) but my part of the city is very flat so thats awesome. I think all of the roads here besides the main roads are dirt and cobble stone so thats a big change from salvador but its also really cool. The second day here i thought to myself "wow i feel a whole lot more like im in brazil right now hahah." There are lots of frogs and real life vultures here!! Like condors but smaller and all black they're cool.

Elder washington is from Nicuragua and he is in his final transfer of the mission (not too trunky yet) I feel really blessed because he still has the fire to work really hard. He doesnt want to get lazy and he wants to help me to learn from him so im really excited for this transfer! he also wants to be a fluent english speaker by the time he goes home so we are working hard with that!

The group of investigators here is awesome. we have been working hard with a group of young men and they love hearing our messages.. and playing futbol with all the rest of the kids in the branch. They have made some really good friends and one of them actually asked to be baptized before we could even give him the invitation to be baptized! he still has to have all the lessons so we gotta give it some time. One of the others is Israel, he has a date for this saturday so please keep him in your prayers! Lelis is a man progressing in our area, he had some problems with the word of wisdom but he had an accident so he has dedicated himself to put off his old habits and get in the church! 

On saturday we had a mini mtc with all the ward missionaries in our branch. It went really well but we only had 3 people of 15 show up haha it was way cool to teach members how to teach the lesson and i felt like i learned a lot.

This week i thought a lot about the importance of listening. Listening is a really important skill in missionary work but also in life. Everyone is surrounded by loved ones but they may not recognize the importance of talking and listening to the concerns or problems they might have. Give someone in your life someone to talk to this week and really be there to help them!

"if we listen with love we won't need to wonder what to say, it will be given to us by the Spirit and by our friends"  - Jeffrey R Holland

i love you all! have a good week

sam

PS: I got sick this week because i ate too many hot dogs. also they don't eat the whole hot dog here they cut them up in little pieces hahaha. I have over 21 bug bites on one arm and my face is red from sunburn i will be using bug spray and sunscreen from now on hahahahah

Pictures from the Pelourinho (Historic Center of Salvador) before Sam got transferred.


Monday, May 1, 2017

April 30, 2017 letter - Amaralina (but getting transferred)

Hello everyone 

We had a pretty good but busy week this week! our zone is working really well at the moment so we had to go around and do a bunch of baptismal interview this week! Our water finally came back for the whole city on monday night so i have been very grateful to be able to shower this week hahahah.

Tuesday we had a weird encounter with one of our investigators Valmira. She does bible study with kids from the neighborhood and we showed up during one on accident! During the study one of the kids was acting up really badly and so when the study finished Valmira offered a prayer just to ask God to cast the devil out of the kid and then started laughing way hard still praying haha. She´s real interesting. 

One thing i have noticed during my time here in Brazil is how slowly everyone sings. Its literally like the hymns are at half speed. I always catch myself starting to sing the next note way loud before everyone else even thinks about it . 

We had some really good lessons this week about the Gospel  of Christ and it really made me think about the importance of the sacrament and the importance of attending church! Weekly meetings give us the chance to use the redeeming power of the sacrament every single week, We have the chance to receive a remission of our sins and renew our baptismal covenants. 

We talked a lot this week about the importance and power of our prayers. The story of Enos is so cool to me and I really love how it shows the power of prayer not only for ourselves but for anything/anyone we are praying for. I know without a doubt that heavenly father is listening to every single one of our prayers and answering them! have faith! Enos 1:12

Today is transfer day but still no one in our house has received any news so we are just waiting to hear about that!! 

love elder prince


[Elder Prince is being transferred to the Mandacaru area in the city of Jequie.]

Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017 letter - Amaralina

Hello to all my fans!!!

this week was awesome! the first thing i wanna mention is our new recent convert Rebeca! her baptism yesterday was super spiritual and awesome, we got to sing I am a Child of God in 3 different languages it was so so sweet. She has been so prepared to be baptised and changed her life so much but she keeps having things come up! When she got home from church yesterday after the baptism she was kicked out of her home and is living with some members for the moment so please keep her in your prayers!! She is already asking to go out and visit people with us and talking about serving a mission.

Elder Cruz, Rebeca, Elder Prince
One huge thing that was highlighted for me this week was the plan of salvation. WE had three of the greatest lessons teaching the plan this week and our investigators love it. Paulo and Grazyele were really touched by the perfection of the plan and the knowledge we have about our purpose in life and how we can improve so much. Both of them really opened up about their lives and how they want to change so much. its amazing to see how fast a person can find this happiness and change their lives. Testifying about the plan of salvation and the opportunity that we have to life with our families again is alway so special for me. I can truly feel the spirit so strongly and the truth of these things. The spirit always rings a familiar bell for me and for investigators too.

We had an awesome mission tour this week from President Costa of the 70 and he/his wife gave such awesome training and talks. It was all in portuguese but i really was able to understand a lot of it. My language is getting better, I've started to get complimented by investigators and ward members. His wifes talk was my favorite part i think. She talked about the power of the priesthood and how everyone has a different role and benefits so much from the priesthood. WE need to be worthy and prepared to use our priesthood at any moment to better the lives of those around us and fufill the will of our Heavenly Father. The priesthood really is the power to allow us to return to heaven thru our saving ordinances. She and elder costa also talked about having more charity in our work and the importance of developing lots of love for everyone. 

Love thy neighbor as thyself!! i love you guys so much

Elder Prince
Sam and his district went bike riding today for P-day

Sam and his district: Elder Prince, Elder Silva, Elder Gifford, Sister Maia , Sister Humani and Elder Cruz