Tuesday, January 28, 2014

6 Months and 3 Baptisms

E aÍ!!!!!! :)

I love and miss y’all a ton and hope y’alls week was great!!! My week was awesome!!!! 
We had 3 baptisms on Saturday!! For Elicya, Sabrina, and Carol!!!! It was so awesome and spiritual. It was such a great experience seeing them make this change in their life. It was very special too cause we helped the uncle of Sabrina and Carol get more active and worthy so he could baptize his two nieces which was awesome!! The next day when we went to their house, he started crying talking about it and saying it was the best experience he has ever had and increased his faith and testimony!!! I was so awesome!!!
Carol has such a strong testimony. She is only 11 years old but has told us how much this has changed her life and the Book of Mormon always makes her feel better and has moved her life. She was taught several months ago by different missionaries but she never felt anything when they taught. She said after our first lesson with her, that she just knew it was all true based on how she felt and the way we talked with her. She is so awesome and reminds me a lot of Olivia so I love talkin with her and when we go over to teach her and Sabrina. Irmão Hélio has been the stud that has helped us a ton with his two nieces. He is there for every lesson and his testimony is really strong now. Me and Elder Tippetts made it a goal to help increase his faith while teaching his nieces. We helped him get worthy so he then could baptize them which was an unbelievable experience for him and for us. Elder Tippetts is a stud. He has already helped me a ton and so grateful for him!
After they were all baptized I could already see how different they were. Especially Elicya. She is so awesome and she seems like a whole new person!! When I confirmed her yesterday during church, the Spirit was so strong and by the end I was a little teary. I was really grateful for that opportunity and it really strengthened me. She is even talking about maybe going on a mission in a couple years. Her boyfriend Gabriel is such a stud, and helped me the most feel welcomed here in Gama. He will probably go on a mission this summer. I am so thankful for these opportunities that I have had here. It is such a great experience seeing the growth in these people from the first lesson, until they decide they want to be baptized. It is one of the most gratifying and amazing parts, is seeing peoples lives change and them so much more happier and knowing it will only get better from here. After the baptism, one of Sabrina´s cousins came up to me and said she felt really good being here and wanted to learn more. And then yesterday we met Sabrina´s sister who was taught by missionaries a long time ago but never got baptized, and yesterday she told us she wants to hear the lessons again but from us.  The work here in Gama is really starting to Boom! They hadn’t had a baptism for 7 months. Elder Tippetts and I found about 5 more people that are really strong and will probably be baptized.
Last Thursday, I had a cool experience. Our lesson with Sabrina and Carol wasn’t until 3 and it was 2 so we decided to go see a youth in the church who hasn’t been going in a while. I got an impression as we were walkin to just go to Sabrina´s house instead. Even though it was only 2:00.  Elder Tippetts agreed so we turned around. As we got closer to their house I saw a woman who was in her 30s carrying two big suitcases ahead of us in the street. I would of asked to help her regardless, but I felt a burning in my heart and felt the spirit really strong. So I ran up to her and asked if I could help. She was really grateful and we just started a casual conversation. When we got to her house she said she has seen us in the streets a lot before and always wondered what we did. As we explained to her our purpose she agreed to meet with us Monday night (Tonight). Her name is Sandra. She then was like I’ll invite my sister and friend too!! I’m just thinking yesss this is awesome. Then she told us that last week her two pre-teen nephews were shot and killed. It has been really hard on her sister (their mom) and for her too. 
I knew we were meant to run into her. That by going to Sabrina´s house early, it really was for another purpose. That’s why we need to always trust in promptings. That is something I have really learned here on my mission is to trust in promptings from the Spirit. Sometimes I don’t know why I need to do it, but when I do it always ends up working out and in ways I didn’t even suspect sometimes.
I love being a missionary!!! I love spreading the Gospel and the Lord´s word to these people. Even though it’s hard sometimes, I am always happy and full of joy. It is seriously awesome :) I am so grateful that I made the decision to come out here for two years to serve the Lord. Heavenly Father has blessed me in more ways than I could imagine. My relationship with Him is firm now and I truly know I can always go to Him in prayer. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. That through Him we can return to live with God and our families forever. I know these experiences I am having will bless my life forever. Eu sou muito grato estar aqui no Brasil. Por meu oportunidade tenho para servir o nosso Senhor. E amo sendo um missionario. Amo demais. Eu sou muito grato por vocês. Por seu amor e apoiar.
Eu amo vocês!!! Para Sempre
I love you all so much, and know you are always in my prayers :)


Elder Bean

Service project, cleaning up a road covered in 5 feet of mud.

Elder Reis, Me, Elder Sowards, Elder Tippetts

Mangoes some of the "fruits" of that day's labors. They have a ton of mango trees here so
I will always grab some and eat it like an apple then spit out the skin....sooooo good!!!

Starfruits, we picked the fruit from the trees to eat later.

We ate lunch at a guy's house who is from Japan and still practices Japanese traditions.
He had us wear these legit Japanese slippers in his house (they only fit like half my foot).

Irmao Hélio ready to baptize his nieces, Carol and Sabrina

I love this picture that hangs in the church.

Carol and I, this little girl is seriously so special to me, she reminds me so much of Olivia.

Elicya's baptism, she was nervous for pictures.
Elder Tippetts baptized her and I got to confirm her.

Gabriel is such a stud!

Elder Reis

Houses in a wealthy area, they all have electric fences.

Making brownies, got the mix in a package from home.

6 months as a missionary and loving it!

It actually got a little cold so I took advantage and put on a sweater :)

1 comment:

  1. Great shots! I love how diligent u are with pictures! You've learned from the best. Your testimony is beautiful. Etch it on your heart so u remember those lessons when you're home & going through hard things (albeit different). Recognizing the spirit was one of the best things for me on the mission. You r awesome!!!