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!
Elder J Souza, Carvalho, Brito

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. 
Jean's Baptism

Jean's Mom, Elder Washington, Jean
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.

Marinalva's Baptism
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.

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."

Lelis' Baptism

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.

Felipe and Sandro's Baptisms

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)


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