Monday, December 11, 2017

December 11, 2017 letter -- Teotonio Vilela (Ilheus)

my week was pretty chill. monday we went sightseeing downtown and saw some other elders. had a good lesson about the restoration with marcos and part of his family! 

Sao Sebastiao Cathedral

Elder Prince and Elder Sobral
tuesday we started teaching the mother of a recent convert! she didnt tell us but told her daughter that she wants to get baptized but doesnt know if now is the right time for her! pray for edinalva! shes kinda deaf so we had a fun time teaching her practically screaming the whole time wiht a lot of translating from her daughter hahah we get put in so many interesting situations during the mission hahah

wednesday we had zone meeting on the other side of the city so lots of travel and some good training there. it was just missionaries because we will have christmas conference in a few weeks! we have also started to set up soccer activies on wednesday nights for men and young men to come play together with dominoes and ping pong too. it was so awesome to see the church full of men and young men and we were able to get all their addresses and we have started visiting them! the look on our branch presidents face was priceless when he got there i dont think he had ever seen so many men or young men in the chapel hahaha

Elder Prince and his zone (elder costa e silva, elder lluberes, elder souza, elder moeira, elder bastos, elder davis, elder ferreira, elder sontag, sister g silva, sister miguel, and my companino and me in no particular order)
thursday we contacted some references with members and taught a really interesting lesson about the restoration to a presbyterian. he told us all about this gospel music cd hes recording and how is trying to work his way up to the level of priest and pastor in his church. it just really reminded me about the blessings of the restoration and how we have revelation to truly understand about the priesthood and callings and leadership in the true church of Jesus Christ. also a sweet family home evening in the church with most of the branch and investigators. 

friday we taught emanoel about the plan of salvation and he was all excited to get baptized this week! his excitement to read and get baptized is energizing for me. before he was just a low energy person but now he has really started to be lively and open  up to us. he is really happy and reading tons1

sunday i gave a talk on the restoration and we had some good visits with members to less activies and references! investigators are coming. we are getting some real good references from the members and everythings starting to go well. keep emanoel in your prayers for his baptism this saturday! trying to get some more dates of baptism out there but its coming slowly! gotta find more sincere people. 

i love you guys have a good week. 

Elder Prince

Monday, December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017 -- Teotonio Vilela (Ilhéus)

monday i got to travel to salvador to pick up my new comp straight from the mtc and i sat on the bus by 3 missionaries going home and they were just trunky and nervous hahahah but we made it to salvador safely. 

tuesday we spent the whole day in presidents house recieving training and introducing the new missionaries to the mission. it was pretty cool and nice to be back in salvador. i had really missed it and it was fun to see some friends and other missionaries. I got my new comp elder sobral from sao paulo! hes been a member for a little over a year and he's extremely excited about the work. we finished off the night by picing up another bus back to ilheus 8 hours yay

Elder Prince and Elder Sobral

wednesday i showed elder sobral around the area and we met some membrers and some of our investigators. we had a cool lesson with emanoel and davi about their reading in the book of mormon and they both accepted baptismal dates in a few weeks! its so nice to have the book of mormon and challenge people to read it to gain a testimony. 

thursday and friday and saturday were just kind anormal proselting days. elder sobral got to experience his first day in the mission where you dont find a whole lot of people at home and you do a whole lot of walking. but we had a really cool experience. we were walking down the street and this man walks past us then turns around and stops us and read our nametags then nearly pulled us to his house to teach him more! his name is junior and we started talking about the Church of Jesus Crhist and how it was lost after the death of christ and was restored. He gave this whole explanation aout how he wondered why there were so many churches in our days and stuff and it was super cool.

we got to see a ton of less activies ths week and they all or most of them went to chrch it was so nice to see the church more full and stuff. 

i think the best part of this week is that every time we walk by the church elder sobral shakes his head because our church is gigantic but we only have  branch here. its so different for him becaus ehis ward is big but chapel small and it makes me laugh so hard everytime.
Gigantic church building for the branch

i love you all so much. Jesus loves you too.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November 27, 2017 -- Teotonio Villela (Ilheus)

Sam's companion Elder Araujo goes home this week, so Sam will get a new missionary straight from the MTC. He reports that he will travel to the mission home Monday night, have a day of training, and get his new comp on Wednesday. They will serve in Teotonio Villela (Ilheus), where Sam has been serving for the last few weeks.

Brazilians love Christmas, so they already have a tree in their apartment.

View from their balcony

I think this photo is from their apartment.

Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017 letter - Teotonio Villela (Ilheus)

this week because of the week of dedication we started a little early on monday. 3 pm instead of 6 so that was kinda weird. i felt like we didnt even have a p day but it was chill. 

uesday was super duper rainy the whole day so we spent the day trying to visit investigators and less actives in the rain and lets just say that we had less success than we would have liked. also got super muddy because my area is full of dirt roads but im really coming to enjoy that part of the misison. its something im not used to seeing. well now im used to it but not so normal in the states. 

wednesday was a holiday here in brazil im not sure for what. i think every other week has a holiday here in brazil. but there was a bbq for the ward and it rained again. one funny thing in the mission is that in the handbook says that sundays and holidays are the best days to FIND PEOPLE AT HOME. what it does not include is that they are THE WORST for people to let you in their homes hahah but it was a pretty good day as well. 

thursday we were able to meet with an investigator who showed up randomly at church and he has a super cool story. eugenio was a drug addict but then got put out on the streets and moved to sao paulo. after trying to sell fruits in the streets of the big city he has made his way home and is really searching to find the purpose in his life and trying to support his family witha son on the way. he loved church and loved our lesson about the restoration and the existance of prophets to guide us. 

friday we visited a part member family who commited to start reading the bom together and prayhing together. the parents need to get married so they can get baptized and are actually super excited to have us visiting  them. 

the rest of the weekend we spent preparing for stake conference and gettting a few things in order for my companion to go home next week! lets just say he is pretty excited hahahah. stake conference was super good. lots of talks about keeping the sabbath day holy. 4 to be exact. then the area seventy came in and talked for a full hour. it was an amazing talk about sacrafice love and truly serving our neighbors. truly guarding the 2 greatest commandment to love our neighbor. it was an amazing talk and got a sweet feeling of the spirit to make me happy. 

also had another super cool/crappy experience this week. for the past little while i have been doing lots of my personal study only in english and not reading in portuguese very much anymore and it came back to bite me. this week it was like my tongue was not meant to speak portuguese and my ears not made to understand anything. it was a very odd feeling but as soon as i started doing my study again in portuguese evertyhing turned around and i was understanding and speaking again. i recieved a very personal testimony about the gift of tongues and them importance of using the talents the lord gives us. if we hide our talents we will lose them. mmaybe we dont all have the coolest talents or talents that seem popular or necessary but our talents are what make us who we are and what make us special to our Heavenly father. SO use your talents! be grateful for the talents you have this thanksgiving week.

i love yall. 


Friday, November 17, 2017

November 13, 2017 letter -- Teotonio Villela (Ilheus)

Remember a few weeks ago when president was going to send me to BJDL and then he wanted me to go to Ilheus, but then changed back to BJDL? he moved me this week. new area is teotonio villela in ilheus. its a little bit more inland than the actual city and a pretty humble area.

Teotonia Villela (Ilheus)
wednesday night super cool family in bjdl made a cake for me and we had a sweet time visiting them before i left. 

thursday i spent 14 hours on the bus and another hour in a taxi just to get to my new area. friday and saturday and sunday were spent "showing me the new area" in which my comp just showed me members on the same 3 streets. so i still dont know the area or really any investigators! comp is Elder Araujo. he's brazilian and has only 2 weeks left in his mission.
Sam and new comp Elder Araujo
sunday was super nice to be back in an area where they have lunch for us and people in church! the branch is a little weak right now but we gonna pick things up! it was nice to sing hymns and sacrament and classes and stuff i loved it. also had random people show up at church that we are gonna visit this week im super excited! just gotta keep that positive attitude. and on top of all this president has made this week a week of dedication that we are just gonna skip studying and stuff and get up even earlier so we can literally spend the entire day in the street working. wish me luck. stake conference this weekend so it should be pretty chill here

ive been reading in the beginning of 2 nephi too and jesus the christ (super good book wow) and its really inspiried me to try even harder to be like christ and apply the atonement in my life. i read a scripture that i really liked this week in 1 nephi 17:50-51

50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?

if god has given us a calling or and assignment we can do it! he will never leave us alone to do things but always use his power and lift us up to the level we need to be to accomplish our tasks! I love my god and my savior. we always can have more faith that they are there with us and that we can do the things we need to do

love you tons, sam

Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6, 2017 letter -- Bom Jesus Da Lapa

our week was pretty chill. i feel like i talked to you all so recently because p day was one day late last weeek. not a super ton has changed here but we have been seeing small miracles for our hard work. we were able to put to work some of the trainings and tactics from zone conference to help instill excitement or root out the problems in our investigators. 

the problem is that while we may be able to get into a lot of houses here in bjdl we are having difficulties with finding sincere people. lots of them just let us in to here about jesus then dont want to hear anymore because "they were born catholic and will die catholic" or maybe because they think we are annoying hahha. but in between all of this just while walking in the street we have found like 10 less active members who were baptized in othe cities or states then moved and went inactive. also a ton of peple who were investigators in other cities or states and have invited us to visit them so always count your blessings! i know that the lord never forgets to watch over us and put eveyrthing in our path just the way we need it. 

we finally got some rain here in bjdl and we have seen great numbers of frogs and lizards since the rains. its super cool because we live close to a pond and they are super loud at night. i also go to do a exchange and went into a little town out side of the city where the other companionship works and it was sick! the little town they work iin is super in the midle of a banana plantation that is one of the biggest in the state or country or something like that so it was just bananas for as far as the eye could see. and i ate chicken feet yesterday. 7/10 not much better than the other parts of the chicken. 

we are geting super close to having the baptism of a family here so please keep karin, lurdes, and xavier in your prayers. theyre an awesome family and they already act like members we just gotta get them over the hump. this week i started the book of mormon again and im also trying to read the 4 gospels and its just a spiritual treat. its amazing to read more about my savior and get to know him better. 

i was reading the sermon on the mount this week when i came across a principle that i really like. matthew 6 :14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you"

like one thing we can always do is forgive others and be patience. when we try hard to love others and show them that we love them and forgive them our heavenly father will forgive us and show his love for us. 

i hope each one of you knows how much i love you! have a great week and dont forget to read the book of mormon.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 31, 2017 -- Bom Jesus Da Lapa

well sounds like a chill wekhahha. but idk about this logan lucky movie. nothing will ever top oceans 11. everyone in the house is getting along pretty well. had a few problems in the other companionship because our district leader is kinda hard headed and likes to do things his way. also he's not very good at doing things on time always seems to be a little late to everything. not a problem though. i'm actually so happy that rachel is on track to graduate and jared is doing well. you and dad really deserve a break after all i put you through so im glad The Lord is blessing you guys hahahah. also sorry about me in high school i was pretty dope but school was not my thing. 

is this infinite atonement book good? please fill me in i like the sound of it. also i'm super proud of myself that i am a "practicing" mormon now. finally been a true member for like 10 months now. rachel and jared copying my costumes i guess you guys really miss me at home hahaha. YOU'RE GONNA CHANGE THE KITCHEN WITHOUT MY PERMISSION?? WHAT IS THIS WORLD I AM THE THIRD PARENT AND WE NEED TO BE IN AGREEMENT. ugh. 

TOKEN SINGLE PERSON AT THE PARTY HAHAHAHA I THINK THIS WEEK WAS THE BEST BUNCH OF EMAILS I HAVE GOTTEN IN SO LONG I JUST IMAGINE YOU using the mic hahahahahahah. [I was the MC at the Elders Quorum Halloween party due to my "single" status with Jeff at work.] what brax talked about in his talk is true. the mission is a rollercoaster. wow rach actually pays attention in church. God really loves you and dad. the other three just keep making up for my mistakes hahahahahahaah. dude those ranger apprentice books are so good. 

well folks this week was extremely normal. a bunch of lessons lots of prayers and some good feeling the spirit. i don't really remember what happened this week. i feel like everytime we get to the computer my mind goes blank. usually i write stuff down but i forgot and forgot my planner. so i'm just gonna share some stuff from sunday and yesterday because they were the most important and eventful days. 

on sunday we were going around visiting all of our investigators before going to prepare the hotel for sacament meeting. we were passing in front of the hotel and we both had the feeling we should go in and talk to the owner who loves us. she doesn't want anything to do with the church but loves having our meetings there and giving lunch. we went in there with nothing to talk to her about but she was doing a contact for us! there was a couple there and she had given them a little friendship card idk what theyre called [pass along cards] but we had left them there and she was giving them out! then we got there to talk to the dude and he had been a pastor at some other church but started seeing all the problems and had been praying and fasting to find other church!!! we taught the restoration right then and there and it was super spiritual. he had already looked into the church but never understood it and we were able to answer all his questions. it was such a cool experience. this was at 4 oclock and sacrament is 5. he went home and came back for the meeting!!! I WAS SO HAPPY I ALMOST CRIED. miracles are real. i have been praying super hard that we can find people who are lost and looking for some help and the lord is always hearing our prayers. 

Sam and Elder Sonntag at zone conference
yesterday we had zone conference in brumado. after a sleepless night on the bus we had an amazing conference. president talked a lot about when he was serving a mission and the letters his father sent him. we learned a lot about how we can help our investigators to read the book of mormon more and keep the commandments with more enthusiasm. also president talked a ton about the difference between worth and worthiness. he emphasized a ton about how much we and all the other children of our heavenly father are worth to him. he gave a super sweet quote from brigham young, i think i wrote it down wrong but "the value of the more unworthy and lowest soul is worth more than worlds to God" imagine that. even the worst scummiest soul is worth more than worlds to God. he knows our eternal potential and loves us no matter what.

so if you all are ever feeling down. remember that God loves you and so do i! 

have a good week! Sam

Monday, October 23, 2017

October 23, 2017 - Bom Jesus Da Lapa

well fam this week was an adventure. 

starting monday our transfer was changed and i was going to ilheus! then as i was standing in the bus station about to buy my ticket president changed the transfer and i was going to bom jesus da lapa again and had to wait until tuesday to pick up the bus. 

so tuesday i was able to say goodbye to members and investigators and it was a good time. its hard to get attached to people then have to move areas. its like leaving home again. im super grateful for all the experiences i had in aeroporto and the wonderful members that helped us out so much. tuesday night i was on the bus and got to BJDL about 5 am and waited for the other elders to come pick me up. [Sam reports the bus ride was about 7 hours by himself.] 

Wednesday morning, straight from the bus without showering we were onto the next activity of shopping for the tables and beds and all that junk that you need in a house to live (update still dont have dressers so my suitcase looks like it got hit by a nuclear bomb). we have also been sleeping on mattresses on the floor cuz dont have bed frames yet hahahha. [A senior couple came to get the house, and now the missionaries are furnishing it.] being in a group is very different. [A group is smaller than a branch.] we have been making our own food and everything so just a whole new experience for me. [In other areas, members have cooked for the missionaries.] wednesday night we were able to visit a family that they have been teaching here and the daughters name is karianne!! spelled exactly like mom spells it.

thursday was the first real day in the city. after a hot stuffy sweaty night trying to sleep we were able to plan and visit some of the awesome people that have already been letting the missionaries in to visit. Bom Jesus Da Lapa (BJDL) has nice cobblestone streets just like the ones i loved in jequie so will send the update about newly ingrown toenails in a few weeks hahaha [Sam described the area as a desert with a lot of ugly trees and bushes. The temperatures have been over 100 F each day this week.]

friday we were able to finish up the preparation for Neia, Caio and Caue so they could be baptized on saturday. neia decided she wasnt ready to be baptized yet so it should happen in the upcoming weeks. caio and caue are some super cool young men who truly have a desire to follow Crhist. We were also able to have a super spiritual lesson about the importance of prayer and how to recognize answers that we receive with the family of karianne. they are a super awesome family and they all have a pretty good knowledge of the bible and have investigated lots of other religions so its awesome to teach them. 

saturday we had the baptism of Caio and Caue in the morning but the van we had set up to take us to the river bailed on us... so we went to the river in...... CHARIOTS WE RODE HORSES TO THE RIVER FOR A BAPTISM I FELT SO COOL HAHAHHA. will send more pics next week the computer here is awful. when we got to the river we had to move locations a few times to avoid random people swimming and the marines who told us the water was too deep, we later found out that 2 people had drowned earlier in the week. we ended up baptizing on our knees another new experience and everything ended up perfectly. 

sunday was another adventure. with a total of 11 people in attendance at church i blessed and passed the sacrament then gave a 30 minute talk. and yes it was a lot better than my farewell talk because i didnt get up to the pulpit trembling and nervous. lets just say blessing the sacrament without a white table cloth and sitting on plastic lawn chairs made by beer companies was a new experience. also the meetings on sunday are held in the garage of a hotel. this transfer should be an adventure.

love you guys tons.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 16, 2017 - Aeroporto (Vitoria da Conquista)

well fam this week was interesting. I caught a cold in 90 mostly sunny and its completely wrecked me ahhha. also my jumprope broke and a bunch of our investigators went on vacation so that was just icing on the cake hahah

monday we went downtown and i bought some new ties and the best chocolate i have ever had in this store called cacau show. i spent so much money on chocolate my addiciton is still real.

tuesday the cold hit hard but we got to work anyways. we explored a new part of our area super far away trying to get to an appoointment we had set up but then thehouse just didnt exist so that was sweet hahah. we also were able to find a less active member by accident! we had a super aweosme lesson about the restoration with her. 

wednesday we had a lot of stuff fall thru and not a super ton of success gettin in any houses.thursday was weekly planning and a holiday so the streets were empty! but we had a few lessons marked and taught a super awesome lesson to leticia about temples and the importance of doing work in family history. she is so close to being baptized and she talks about it without us even bringing it up. but just patience with her. we also had a pretty fun activity in the church with the whole ward.

saturday we had a awesome lesson reteaching the restoration to elielton and geovana and they promisedus they would make more efforts to go to church and prayer for guidance from heavely father. the holy ghost really is so key and so powerful in missionary work and some of the best ways to invite him to our prescense are thru bearing testimony and reading our scriptures! we also had a birthday party/family home eveing for a member in our ward and i taught sadly my last english class in this ward. teaching english is actually super cool.

sunday we had ward council for the first time in six months in this ward and lets just say it did not go super smoothly. we got chewed out by the ward council for not having more baptisms. while they have not even lifted a finger or done a single thing to help us. they want to blame everything on the missionaries but are unwiling to help us or support us in the things we are trying to do. oh well.

I just found out I'm being transferred to Bom Jesus Da Lapa! Its a city! the area opened up last transfer and its just a group there so im gonna be giving talks every week i think someone was praying for this to happen to me (you). my companion will be Elder Pereira, but i don't know him yet. he's brazilian.


Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017 -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

super proud of you mom you learned to zoom hahah i laughed super hard when i read that. a good attitude makes all the difference mom youre right and i can testify to that after all this time in the mission. its all about how you look at the painting that makes it beautiful not about the brushstrokes. im on fire with analogies today wow.

this week was nothing short of a normal week and i dont have a whole lot to report. We spend almost a whole day waiting in the rodoviaria (bus station) for an elder that never showed up and no one told us that he wasnt actually coming anymore until after we waited for like 4 hours hahaha. 

we got involved in the stake choir and sang at a hospital for new borns (yes im a yellow angel). liek that special hospital that only lets in babies and mothers, had so many paintings of boobs it was kinda weird and i felt like i needed to repent after. I had a pretty good division with our zone leader and we were able to find some cool new investigators anda sweet new family! im excited because the lesson was super spiritual and the lady started cried and saying it was all true before the even got to finish telling her about Joseph smith! 

my english class was pretty good this week and i taught some english to some guy whol wil be moving to boston in january so hes super excited to learn more enlgish, then to our suprise he stayed for the institute class that ws right after, where he was able to learn about family history work and eternal families, he livesin the other area and met with the missionaries yeserday so im super happy about that hes freaking dope. 
sacrament meeting was super exciting this week while during the passing of the sacrament there were kids jumping off the steps near the pulpit and following their older brothers around while they passed. needless to say it was less then reverent. then during the testimony meeting part people like made a line in front of the pulpit. like no onewas sitting downand everyone just stayed standing up while people bore testimony. super weird and im worried my ward might fall into apostasy, jk its all good here. 

please keep leticia brenda cris lucia bianca camilo josias and eliene and vitorio in your prayers this week!!

i love you guys

Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

hey fam and others.

im glad you guys liked conference and had so much fun! i was able to watch IN ENGLISH WOOOO HOOO and it was super uplifitng because the stake had provided some headphones for the americans hahaha i really enjoyed conference and the spirit that was felt. 

me watching conference in english with headphones
our week was alright we had a bit of a struggle to find people but it all turned out alright! we were able to go visit some of our investigators with members so i think that will really help them have more desire to go to church and always three minds and testimonies are better than two! 

tuesday we were able to teach the plan of salvation or at least a part of it to cesar who is always full of questions so just getting thru our life on earth took almost an hour hahah. its really nice to teach people who are truly interested in hearing our message and have questions. I was able to bear testimony about how we are all wonderful children of our Heavenly Father and He cares and has a plan for each of us. 

thrusday we had super good lessons with elielton and geovana and leticia. after explaining for the 4th time to elielton and geovana about the need for the priesthood and the correct baptism we had gotten no futher than we were when we started because geovana is "just happy with my baptism and i dont need another" and elielton is super whipped and gets super excited and wants to be baptized but when geovana is a little sketchy he just follows her. we will keep trying and praying for them! we also found the problem with leticia is that she is still drinking a little bit of coffee because of her husband (member) who started to drink coffee again because of something his doctor said. its a very interesting situation but we are very certain that now that leticia has stopped she will be jumpin in the water very quickly.

this weekend was an amazing general conference where we could here from our modern day apostles and prophets. i loved all of the talks given especially those about the Book of Mormon. i encourage you all to read thme again as well as read the Book of Mormon everyday and your lives will change!! It is the word of God and an amazing blessing in our lives. 

i hope you all have a good week! loves


a sweet church we found near our house that perfectly describes the religious situation here in Bahia. Translation of Garagem da Bencao is "Garage Blessings"

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September 25, 2017 - Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

HELLO MOTHER and everyone else

super glad that its cold there because its getting hot here again. i have actually missed the heat a little bit so im excited for it to come back. also extremely happy that harold got out of the hospital and dad got over the flu. so glad you were able to relax you super swim team mom sucha  stud. DONT REBUILD SKYLINE THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN THOSE UGLY COLORED WALL PANELS HAHAHAH but thats actually way cool hooray. fun day to have megs home from provo. i feel like if i was home i would visit a lot more. mommas boy. im glad all the churchy stuff was super good. bens a stud i think he'll be a great missionary. 

my week was pretty chill not a whole lot to report on sometimes some weeks are a little bit slower and some a little faster!

on tuesday i got to go to an english class with one of our ward members and kinda give a little presentation in english so it was super weird to talk about life and the church and stuff in english but i really enjoyed it. he takes class in a super nice part of the city so i felt like i was back in downtown salt lake for a minute there hahah. it was really intersting to watch a brazilian teach the english class because her pronuncation was not great but her grammar was impeccable. 

wednesday we were able to invite elielton and geovana to be baptized october 7th and they accepted! they are still a little bit doubting because they already were baptized but we are working super hard with them to clear everything up. please keep them in your prayers. we were able to help them to see the importance of the gift of the holy ghost as part of the baptism which really helped them to have more desire!

thursday we were able to do almost exactly the same thing with leticia! she accepted a date for the exact same day and it was a super spiritual time as my companion was able to share some experiences about when he was baptized and we asked her using some scriptures what was stopping her from being baptized and she said nothing! so i think everythings all set there!

saturday i was able to teach a super awesome english class. we had a bunch of members there and it was super fun to talk with them all. since ive been here i have notice that a lot of people have been able to learn a good amount of english just from watching netflix and listening to music. idk if they are praying for the gift of tongues but i know that the gifts of the spirit are real. its been such a blessing to have the help of the Lord in trying to learn and speak portuguese and i know i couldnt have gotten this far without His help. all hard things can be done if we have a righteous motive!

sunday we recieved a lot of new ward members because of realignment in the stake here so it should help our ward a ton! we were also about to find an old investigator in the street and reteach her about Joseph Smith and the miracle of the restoration. Nothing like testifiying in the pouring rain haha. Its such a blessing that we have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives and that we are able to be a part of his church. Never forget that!

i read a talk from elder holland this week in the this months liahona and it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite quotes from Abraham Lincoln "most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be" [this quote has been on the back of our front door for years. I'm glad to see it made an impression.] DON'T FORGET TO BE HAPPY. i know that living the gospel of Christ and following his commandments with willingness are what allow us to reach higher and higher on the scale of joy and peace.

love sam

Monday, September 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

i love you all.


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

Monday, September 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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