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. 

sam

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. 
Karianne, Dona Lurdes, Xavier and their family
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.

sam