Monday, October 14, 2013

Baptism and a Birthday


Thanks for all the birthday wishes! It means a lot. So last Friday I got a call from the secretaries saying I had a package that was being held hostage at the post office.. haha. So today we traveled to Brasilia and I had to pay 120 reals to get it from them.. but it was all worth it!!! It made my day!!!! The package is awesome, thank you so much!!! Seriously love and appreciate it!!!

On my birthday on Saturday, we BAPTIZED DANILO!!!!!!! It was such an awesome experience seeing the growth of Danilo and how far he has come in the past three weeks!! He is so elect and has such a special spirit about him. There was an awesome turnout at the baptism. I got to confirm him a member of the church on Sunday and give him the Holy Ghost. One of the most incredible experiences I have had here!!! I was pretty nervous cause it was in Portuguese and during sacrament meeting, I prayed so hard that Heavenly Father would help me and be with me. It was such an amazing experience. It came out perfectly and sounded smooth. Impossible to explain how I felt. I could feel the love that God has for him.
I then bore my testimony later and towards the end I was trying to say "I know the church will blossom here in Santo Antonio".  Well I didn’t know the word for blossom, and so I just did hand signals and said Blossom in English. haha. It was pretty funny.
Danilo is such a miracle though. It has been amazing to see Heavenly Father´s hand in his life. Danilo used to be a drug dealer. Smuggled them in from other countries, and was addicted to everything. He never had a normal job. He is just 22 years old. He was trying to change his life around, before we met him. He is now clean, has no addictions, has a job, and has a testimony of his Savior, Jesus Christ. He has such a strong testimony. One of the cool experiences he had, he told us last Tuesday.
So on Saturday session of General Conference, Danilo was listening to one of the speakers. He started to pray that Heavenly Father would help him find a job. After conference he left to walk to the bus stop. Me, and Elder D. Call had to stay back to help clean up. While he was walking a member from Taguatinga offered to give him a ride to the bus stop. Danilo agreed and they started talking. The guy, when finding out Danilo wanted a job, said he had been looking for someone to fill a spot at the business he owned!! Danilo was hired on the spot!! He works everyday now except Sunday, which is awesome. We even had to schedule his interviews and more lessons around work, and right after the baptism he had work. He is so excited.
He now has a strong testimony, that God answers prayers in His own time. Sometimes in days or years, or within a few hours. He will answer our prayers if we pray sincerely to Him. It is amazing to see how different Danilo´s life is from when we met him, to now. He used to be jobless, he was addicted to drugs and felt like he had no purpose. He now knows he is a child of God!!! He loves the Gospel, Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. He is much more outgoing now and has a deep love for others. He now has a job too!!! It is so amazing to see how much Heavenly Father has blessed his life. It is a testimony builder to me.
We started teaching this awesome family this week!!! It is a mom, and her three teenage sons. We met one of the sons about a week ago while he was playing soccer in the streets with his friends.  His family is awesome. The spirit was so strong!! One of the most powerful lessons I have ever had. After I would talk, I would literally think in my mind, How in the world did I say that or come up with that. I knew it was the spirit testifying to these people through me that our message was true. When Claber asked me why I was here and why I knew the Book of Mormon was the word of God, I was able to explain everything my heart wanted to say. That I at one point in my life, had questions. On whether or not it was true. I read it and prayed to our Heavenly Father, I felt such a burning feeling inside, and I knew that it was true. That both the Bible and Book of Mormon are true words of God!  And that he could find out for himself. Just as I did. I told them how they didn’t have to just believe in what I taught or said. They could find out for themselves if it is true. So they can know, what I know. Not just rely on my words, but truly know for themselves. I was here with them because God has blessed my life tremendously. I have been blessed with such a loving family and great friends. With the Gospel in my life that has helped me become the person I am. I want to share the happiness that I have with others. So others can know how much God truly does love them, and how Jesus Christ is our Savior. And that they can return and live with God again someday. That families are forever.
It was an incredible experience teaching them. My Portuguese is getting better each day. I can pretty much say what I need and want to say. It is just hard understanding certain people, especially when they mumble.
The weather has been bipolar lately. It will be like over a hundred degrees in the afternoon, and then a storm in the evening. I like it when it rains cause it feels soo good outside. There was a really bad storm the other day though. It damaged some member´s  houses and blew off some people´s roofs. We went and helped put roofs back on.
For my birthday, it didn’t really feel like I had turned 19! haha. But it actually went good. They sang happy birthday to me at the baptism and then the whole zone did a phone conference to sing happy birthday to me! That was pretty cool!! I got a tie from Elder D. Call, Elder Sales, and Lucas (a youth in the ward). A sister in our zone is making me a cake for our zone meeting on Tuesday.  But on Saturday night we stopped by a member´s house, and she had a surprise party for me!!! haha it was awesome!!! It wasn’t big or anything but it was the thought that counted. It was so nice and cool of them to do that. It was hard being away from home but it was a great day :)
Last night was the official end of my first transfer!! Crazy!! So much has happened since I first got here. I have grown so much more spiritually and mentally. I wish I could say I have grown physically but I can’t... hahah. I am so honored and grateful to be serving the Lord for two years. I still have hard times. I miss home and everyone soo much. But I know it will all be worth it. On Thursday we have a mission conference and get to hear from Elder Snow. Two guys from my district at the MTC got visas so I will see them!!! pretty cool.

I am doing good!! Missing y’all like crazy :) Thanks sooooo much for the package and all the birthday wishes and everything. I am so extremely blessed and grateful!!! I love y’all soo much!!!!


Elder Bean

Danilo's baptism

 I promise Brazilians are the most happy people. They just NEVER smile in pictures. haha.
Danilo smiles all the time. 
Surprise birthday party.


Before the storm hit.

Beautiful day before the storm hit.

Later that day, here comes a big storm.

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