Monday, March 19, 2018

March 17, 2018 letter -- Salvador (Ondina)

sunday we had stake conference and it was super good! we had a 70 elder dias come talk to us and he kinda started off his talk nice and cute then just started layin into the members because they need to pay their tithing and have the faith to do it. but he did it with love. then elder cantuario had an interview with president and i got the news that grandma beth passed away. it was pretty funny the way president did it. he came up to me in front of everyone like all the members right after conference had ended and said, "you sweet sweet boy, your grandmother passed away" never in my life thought i would hear president bangerter call a missionary a sweet sweet boy. i still dont think ive proccessed that grandma died. 

monday we went early to presidents house to take some stuff to him and pick up an elder who's companion was headed home. we also got to eat pancakes and eggs!! first time ive had maple syrup in so long!! then we had a long list of things to print out for zone conferences and stake conferences in the next two weeks that we sent with elder davis who went to itabuna monday night. spent the whole day printing and cutting papers hahah. 

tuesday spent the day preparing some more stuff for the transfer and visa documents for the renews we had scheduled thursday and friday. We also got to have a good lesson about the gospel of Christ with Vivaldo and his daughter Talita. Theyre super awesome probably our best investigators we just need to get them to church!

wednesday we had a normal day doing stuff here in the office nothing super exciting. 

thursday and friday were kinda just messes. We had 3 visa appointments marked and none of them went correctly. apparently in like the last week the federal police here have changed how we renew the visas and one elder lost some documents of his so we spent all day both days driving to various government buildings and the airport trying to get this all figured out. to top it off we had the bishops son bail on a FHE we had marked with vivaldos family and some marked lessons fall thru. not the most successful days. 
Elders Iuberes and Prince
Elders Iluberes, Prince, and Opfar

i really liked a scripture that i read this week in 3 nephi 18

21 Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed. 

family prayers are one of the greatest things we can do to strengthen our families and bring unity into our homes. one thing my mother always tried to do was have family prayers every morning and night and i am so grateful for that. i dont think we were ever frequently perfect having the whole fam for two prayers a day but she tried to hard and gave a great example, getting it done by doing 2 or 3 familiy prayers as each child left the house or got home at different times. I am so grateful for that and i think everyone should put a little more effort in to pray with those in your home and family!

elder prince

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March 10, 2018 letter - Salvador (Ondina)

this week was pretty good! monday we had a nice busy day of work in the office and were able to get into our area for some lessons nothing super interesting.

tueday we were doing a lot of preparations for our mission council, elder bednars visit, and salvador stake conference this weekend. We had to buy bus tickets cut papers to be used as reference cards that president made. they look like the name cards that we use for baptisms and temple work theyre actually way cool. I got to do a little division and visit some of elder davis' investigators where we had an awesome lesson about the plan of salvation with ramon and his family who are preparing for their marriage and baptism in the near future!

wednesday we had a good mission council and a busy afternoon getting everyone to their homes. The zone leaders and sister training leaders stayed until friday to be able to meet elder bednar and recieve extra training on thursday. president showed us a new ward mission plan that is gonna be distributed to all the stakes because if there is no plan there will be no action and unity to grow the church!

thursday we ran around making some payments and setting up and planning zone conferences in the next few weeks. President also asked us to come help him set up the chapel for elder bednars visit so Elder Cantuario, President and i set up chairs in the cultural hall and organized them in rows. I felt like i was getting ready for a mission homecoming or farewell back at home again haha. We were able to get into our area and visit Raziel who went to church last week and a less active Galego.

Yesterday was so awesome. We got to the chapel at 6:50 to start getting everything orgazined again hahah and people started rolling in 60 from our misison and 100 from the other mission all to see elder bednar. The transmission worked well and everyone was able to see and hear. It was so amazing to hear from an Apostle of the Lord. He taught us a lot about using questions to teach people, and not questioning to recieve a specific answer but questioning in a way that others learn and gain their own witnesses of the truth. in reality learning to ask questions to make people really think. Then he bore his testimony for us and it was so incredible. before he entered in the room we could already feel a different prescence and then in the end when he bore his testimony it was truly like an out of body experience. We were able to shake his hand and i think he looked so deeply into my soul thru like 5 seconds of eye contact that he saw me and my choices in the premortal life. 

he also gave us an amazing invitation to help us teach better. He asked us all to read all 4 of the standard works and look at the questions that prophets, apostles, servants of the Lord, God and Christ asked people they were teaching. Look at the simplicity of the questions and the way they helped people to learn and have spiritual realizations. those questions that really make the lightbulb go off. 

in acts 15 when there is an issue presented to the apostles they were guided to respond in a certain way because of confirmations from the Holy Ghost,

25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with oneaccord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things bmouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
They counselled with God and He impressed on them thru the spirit in how they should respond and help others. When we have issues we can trust in the feelings we recieve from the spirit to help us do the Lords will and follow what will be best for us! Christ lives and guides his church all throughtout the world for the benefit of all living things!

it was extremely cool i kinda want ot send you a picture of my notes. it was like a discussion for 3 hours. not a single "talk" was given. Elder Bednar also has a firm grip and extremely smooth hands

[Sam's grandmother was hospitalized on Thursday the 8th] This is not really the news i was expecting. please tell grandma i love her very much and im very thankful for all that she has done for me. I miss her very much even though. ive been feeling lately like i should write her a card but i never got around to it. now i know why. thank her for always supporting me and showing me love as well as helping me to learn patience and hard work from the time i spent in her garden and on her roof as well as doing christmas. lol. i will miss christmas and thanksgiving in her house. just like i miss playing othello and other games with her. she has always been an inspiration for me in the way she works hard and is able to live alone (without complaining too much hehe) please tell her i love her and wish i could give her a hug. thank her for helping me with my mission fund. and generously paying my work even when i didnt want to accept it. 

[Sam's mission president wanted him to speak with his grandmother, so we were able to speak with him Saturday night and Sam was able to talk to his grandmother before she passed away later that night.]

March 5, 2018 "supplemental" letter -- Salvador

sorry i forgot to write you guys an email i got caught up in the rush of the mission and some sweet p day activities lol.

tuesday we had a normal day in the office and taught a cool grandma/granddaughter duo who we contacted the week before. we taught them a nice lesson about the restoration and invited them to go to church but they already had other plans so we will get them this week!

wednesday we had a zone meeting and recieve some training about finalizing our baptisms so they dont fall thru at the last minute. the week of baptism can be extrememly stressful sometimes so its always good to practice and remind ourselves of how to handle squirmy investigators. I also finished making some cards for recent converts that president likes to send out. we had a cool lesson with clara and cailani about the plan of salvation but they seem pretty "mole" or soft (dont really care) so we might cut them from our group soon.

thursday we went and spent the morning at a chapel helping some tech people do a practice transmission so that everything goes smoothly on the day Elder Bednar comes and it went well. i got to stand in front of the pulpit and just talk for like an hour to make sure the sound was working on the transmision. it also rained super hard on our 15 minute walk to the chapel so we got soaked. we had a way cool lesson that came out of a contact with a 10 year old on the street and we ended up teaching a group of family and friends of over 10 people from the steps in front of their house. i kinda felt like a preacher hahha. 

friday we had a busy morning in the office but we got to go to our area to work in the afternoon and it was nice productive day. nothing too special or out of the ordinary.

saturday we went to see the lighthouse in itapuĆ£ and ate lunch at president barbosas house (pres bangerters 1st counselhor) nothing better than rice and beans

sunday we went to get our investigators before church and sadly enough we came up empty handed. people who had commited to be there firmly were still sleepy or just didnt want to go anymore so we kinda hung our heads back to the chapel and thru sacrament meeting until we turned around right before the meeting ended and saw that the family who did FHE with us last week had brought their neighbor who we thought wasnt coming!! Raziel is an awesome kid and we had a nice lesson with him later in the afternoon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March 3, 2018 -- Salvador (Ondina)

Elder Prince and Vitalina, a lady he baptized a year ago in Salvador at the beginning of his mission
church members clean the church here too but also churches are way different here. no carpet and just like no one actually tries super hard to keep it clean during the week. fun office stories not a ton. we're gearing up for a mission leadership counsel next week and ELDER BEDNAR making an appearance in the good state of Bahia? i'm pumped as can be. my investigators are doing well. we found some cool people this week and started teaching some former investigators again.

in preparation for elder bednar coming we have been assigned some talks to read and i really liked one part of one of the talks that i want to share with you guys.

"From these examples we recognize that as learners, you and I are to act and be doers of the word and not simply hearers who are only acted upon. Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon? Are the students we serve acting and seeking to learn by faith, or are they waiting to be taught and acted upon? Are you and I encouraging and helping those whom we serve to seek learning by faith? You and I and our students are to be anxiously engaged in asking, seeking, and knocking (see 3 Nephi 14:7)."

lots of what we do as missionaries is this exact invitation, for people to learn then ask God for answers. It is so important that we exercises our faith and agency to seek the Lord and His will for all of us. when we do this we are truly able to access knowledge and information straight from heaven or more easily put revelation. I am so happy to be born in this time when we have this knowledge to seek after our father in heaven. 

elder prince