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


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 5, 2017 letter -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

so glad to have life on the street again hahah. its official megan is a big girl now. so happy for her. i hope you all have awesome weeks and say your prayers. be smart and make good decisions. sorry my update is not so killer this week. sorry this update is short this week was a little hectic with the transfer coming up.

not much is new here but we will have the new comp elder bittencourt (i think thats how you spell it) on wednesday. it was good to have elder do vale as a comp but change is always good to get us thinking and working differently! 

tuesday we were able to meet with elielton and geovana who are super awesome the fruits of our work are real! we had been praying to find a sweet family and they fell right in our lap! its been awesome to teach them so far because they ask questions and are truly interested in what we have to say. we were able to teach them the plan of salvation and they accepted a baptismal date for later this month!! 

we had a division with the zone leaders on wednesday which went really well we were able to meet with tais and teach her about the book of mormon. Shes going to the baptist church infrequently right now and we are looking forward to her making an appearance this week in sacrament meeting. she has really liked the lessons so far and has told us she felt the spirit but she just needs to get to church! 

on friday we had a huge bummer when rita decided she did not want to be baptized on saturday. we had been touching base with her everyday this week but she had been a little nervous the whole week, and decided in the end that this weeek was too soon for her but wants us to keep visiting her and keep preparing. The Lord has his time and Hour for everything!

I read a talk and found a scripture that i really liked in Phillipians 3:13 this week "...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize..." 

one thing we can always do is look forward in our lives and have hope and a positive attitude for what is to come. we never know what will happen and we need to make the most of it. we cannot let our past limit us. 

i love you all have a great week! 

Sister Alves, Oliva, Elder Do Vale, High and Palma

                                   Sam's previous companions:

Elder Cruz  -- Amaralina (Salvador)

Elder Washington -- Mandacaru (Jequie)

Elder Carvalho -- Mandacaru (Jequie)

Elder Do Vale -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)

Elder Bittencourt -- Aeroporto (Vitoria Da Conquista)