Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Grateful to Be an Instrument in God's Hands


Dang can’t believe it is 7 months already today in the mission!!!! The time is seriously flying by now. This past week was awesome!!!! We found this awesome new family that is so special!! We are seeing them again tonight. Leandro and Fayna. Funny story, so one day we were going to Sandra´s house. The lady that we helped carry bags one day in the street. We go to her house, and we find out that a new family was moving in! We found Leandro moving furniture in the house and found out that he and his family were moving in.  We helped and then asked to come back another day. They are awesome!!! Nossa Senhora they are sooo specail. The love and happiness in their home is so so strong, they have a 6 year old son, Daniel, and she is a couple months pregnant. Daniel is such a cool kid. The Spirit was so strong when we were teaching them. We knew afterwards that we were meant to find this family. I can't describe, how special it was being in their humble home. The level of happiness and love was indescribable. They are going to the English class we teach on Wednesday and going to church next week.  
We have still been teaching Ercília, Laurena, and Gabriel. Wow they are doing so awesome too. Our lesson this week with them was so spiritual. We taught the Plan of Salvation and I felt the Spirit so strong while testifying that families are eternal. Even Ercília started crying when I was talkin about living with our loved ones forever and eternal marriage. Ercília and Laurena went to church and then went to have lunch afterwards at the Stake President´s house with his family. Talk about awesome!! He actually gave us the reference for them. He took the same English class as them and told them he knew two Americans that could help with them with English and share a message about Christ. Our stake president here is awesome!!!! The guy is a champ!!  They really enjoyed church. 
Gabriel couldn't go, but last night we took two of the young men from our ward who are studs and love to play futebol just like Gabriel does. It went awesome. They invited Gabriel to play with them this Thursday at the church, and Gabriel was stoked. They all bonded fast. This will help Gabriel feel more comfortable in coming to church knowing he has some buds already there. 
Today for Pday we actually played futebol!! ha. I am so grateful to be here in Gama. Everyday is a new day full of experiences that I will never forget. I am really starting to notice the miracles that are happening around me. Me and Tippetts are still killing it and workin really hard together. I have learned so much out here on the mission. I have learned to be more grateful for what I have and be humble. It is so cool teaching people and just doing contacts on the street and already having such a deep love for this person. Knowing that they are also another child of God that God loves just as much as He loves me. I am so grateful to be used as an Instrument, In His hands to help his children here in Brasilia. 
I love yall so much!!! Stay strong. Have faith, and know that whenever we have trials, we will only come out more stronger then before through Heavenly Father´s help. He only gives us things we can handle. I miss yall a ton!!! see ya next week!!! Te amo!!!! Obrigado por tudo!!


Elder Bean

Drinking Coca Cola with Agostinho, love this guy

With Elder Sowards!!!  e Agostinho

Agostinho and his son Lucas

Pudding from care package

More soccer pictures from the other week

Love Futebol

Elder Labrada

Eating pizza on Valentine's Day

Celebrating Elder Soward's birthday

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Boa Tarde do Brasil!! 

Today was transfers but none of us four got transferred!!!! We are all stoked. Me and Tippetts will be together until the end of March so we are stoked. Both Reis and Sowards stayed also. This transfer will be awesome!! :) Our zone is doing awesome and we have a ton of fun while also workin our butts off. I love serving here in Gama. The members are great, supportive and really want to help in missionary work. Gama has the richer parts, and also has the poor parts with houses made of mud and bricks. I love being in Gama!! Stoked I will probably be here until May or June.
The highlight of the week was the baptism we had this week for Sarah!!! yeahhhhhhhhhhh. Foi muito muito bom. Nossa foi legal demais. The Spirit was so strong and there was a ton of family and friends that came to support Sarah. The sister missionaries in Gama Central had a mom and her son getting baptised also so there was a ton of people to see the three of them get baptised. Singing the opening song, I was sitting by Sarah and she seemed really uneasy. She was nervous. But as she was coming into the water she started to get emotional and she was beaming cause she was so happy. It was such an incredible experience getting to baptism her. I felt so happy and the Spirit was so strong. I didn’t want to leave the baptism font cause I felt so good! ha. It was like a glimpse of Heaven for a second. Afterwards I asked her how she felt and she couldn’t use words to describe how amazing she felt. She was crying at the end while everyone was giving her hugs and the Spirit was just so strong their. It really strengthened my testimony. It made me so happy to see her happy and having been baptised. She has so many big things ahead of her in life. She told me again while we were singing the closing song that she really wants to serve a mission and help others have this happiness that she has. I was like wowww this is so awesome!! gosh I love being a missionary!!! haha. Her Uncle, Irmão Hélio é O CARA. haha He is THE guy. He is awesome! He has helped so much with us teaching his nieces. He is so involved and his testimony that he shares when we teach with him is so powerful and has warmed the hearts of his family members. He has had several people in his family or friends that have been baptised because he wasn’t afraid to introduce it to them. He is a stud! 
Teaching Sarah with Tippetts has been an amazing experience. That just makes seeing her getting baptised that much sweeter and knowing this isn’t the end of her journey, it is only the beginning!! I personally grew closer to my Heavenly Father during the times we were teaching her and the experiences we had. I know He loves me and He loves all of us. We are all His children! I am so grateful that throughout my mission I have been able to grow closer to my Heavenly Father then I ever was before and really go to Him in prayer when I am in need. The scriptures have meant more to me than ever. I'll be honest, I didn’t read my scriptures a lot by myself before the mission. But I have really grown to love them and so grateful for the Heroes and examples that are throughout them. I love the Book of Mormon!! I know it is the word of God! I know that God answers prayers. There are times when my faith is weak, but Heavenly Father is there and strengthens me and builds me up every time. He literally is there for us. We are never alone. Feeling God´s love for another person is one of the most humbling experiences to me. I am so grateful to be out here on a mission.
This week we started teaching Laurena, Ercilia, and Gabriel!! Tippetts had taught them about 2 months ago twice before the went to Gois to visit their parents. They stay here in Gama since they are studying in college in Brasilia. They are way awesome!!!! They are so cool. We feel really strongly that they will get baptised. There is a special spirit that is there every time we teach them. Our lesson this week with Nathalia went really well!! She had a lot of questions for us but we were able to answer them all so she could understand. The only problem is that she is really nervous about going to church without her cousin. So she comes to the English class every Wednesday night but hasn't come on Sunday yet. I promised her that if she came to ours in the morning on Sunday then we would go visit hers at night. Hopefully she can get to come this week.
I miss and love y’all so much!! You are always in my prayers everyday. The Lord is watching over me and I know he is watching over y’all as well :). I am so grateful to give the Lord my all for these two years in Brasil!! 
Eu amo vocês!!! Muito obrigado por tudo. 


Elder Bean!!

The Zone

Elder Archuletta

Sarah's baptism day

Sarah and her uncle, Irmåo Hélio 

Elder Labrada

First time performing a baptism, it was awesome!

This picture shows about half of the youth that came out for
the baptism, there was a lot of support!

The three blondes walking around Brasil

Elder Sales, I gave him my Texas Jersey, love this guy!

Elder Grisham

Elder Lenon from my MTC district, he just got his visa and got down here!

Elder D. Call, probably the last time I see him before he finishes his mission and goes home.

Soccer stadium

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's Awesome Being Able to Work Hard, and Have a Ton of Fun Doing It!

Boa Tarde!!! :)

I honestly forgot that Valentines Day was coming up until y’all reminded me!! haha I’m doing great! Nossa, every week has so many experiences that are amazing!! I remember before my mission, at times thinking about what it would be like.  I know everyone says this, but honestly being a missionary and serving a mission is so much better than you can think up before you actually get there. I remember thinking of the experiences I would have and I have had so much better and some I never could of imagined. I am truly grateful to have this opportunity, and to be here serving in Brasil. It is making me and forming me into the man that I need to be. Some days after a long day I just wonder how lucky I am, and how do I get so lucky. I feel overwhelmed in a good way with how much I feel the Spirit and feel so happy. At the end of the day I just got to literally sit back and just take a breath haha. I miss a lot of things back home, but I know it will all be there when I get back. I know I need to be here. Gama is awesome, Elder Tippetts is a stud and we love working together everyday. It’s awesome being able to work hard, but also find ways to have a ton of fun doing it. Sharing in these experiences that we are having together is awesome! 
In the beginning of this week I had ingrown toe nails in both of my big toes which was killing me.  But we have a member here who is a champ, and she removed them for me!! She’s awesome!! But we continued to just keep on working and it doesn’t bother me anymore which is nice. 
I got Grandma´s card from Christmas with all the pictures of everyone in the family and a letter to go along with it talking about each family. That was awesome to read and see! Today we had our zone activities since it was the last Pday of this transfer. We have 3 guys from Texas, Elder Preator from Dallas, Elder Ellis from Houston, and me. Out of 14 people in our zone that’s a pretty good number. ha. We are now allowed to play soccer again!!!! haha so that’s what we did all day so far on Pday. Played soccer and had a churrasco (BBQ). We played 4 on 4 and it ended up being North America verse South America. haha Our team was all Americans and the other was a Brasileiro, Boliviano, Argentino, and an Elder from Peru. We actually held our own, and only lost 9-7. I think I’m better at soccer now then football.. lol. I realized though how out of shape I am now. I was dying. ha. Drinking soda everyday hasn’t helped. Everyone here drinks either coca cola or guarana. Só isto!! Only this :) I’m addicted to coca cola now :)  Coca cola is so much better here than in the states. 
Even though the Olympics are going on, everyone in Brasil is already preparing for the World Cup. It’s exciting!  I’ve only seen about 10 minutes in total of the Olympics since it was on at someone’s house.  They are starting to redo the roads here, and build up more skyscrapers here in Gama to make it look better for the World Cup. The stadium here in Gama won’t have games, but will be where some teams will practice. Some games will be played in Brasilia in Asa Sul, about 40 minutes from here. During the world cup, for a whole month and a half school is canceled!! happens every four years. ha.  The school year just started here and goes from Fevererio ate Decembro.
All of the People we have been teaching are progressing really well. Nathalia wasn’t able to go to church but she is doing awesome and all those people we taught with her are great too. We actually passed one of the guys to the other missionaries in Santa Maria cause that is where he lives. He is doing really good to with the other Elders.  We are going to be having a baptism this Saturday, the 15th for Sarah!!! She is so awesome and we had a ton of great spiritual experiences while teaching her. We also got her mom to commit to being baptized on the 28th. I have a ton of respect for Sarah. She prayed and received an answer that she needed to be baptized. She asked all of her friends at her old church if they would still be friends with her if she got baptized. They all said No, we won’t be your friend anymore. All of them except one person. This young man said that he would always be her friend, no matter what. Cause she has made such a big impact on his life, and he will support her no matter what.  Sarah is really strong and is having to give up a lot. Me and Tippetts are really proud of her.
Yesterday we were going out to teach with a member who is 24 yrs old and about to serve a mission. He is hilarious. We were waiting for a bus to get to our appointment but the bus didn’t stop even though Rodrigo was waving it down. So instead about a minute later, he just waved down some car and said for 9 reais take us to this area. Rodrigo just waves us to get in and already acts like he is bestfriends with this random guy.  I couldn’t help but laugh. I ended up making conversation with the driver and he says he has seen us walking around before and wondered what we did. We marked to go visit with Him this week and he seems really interested!! Hopefully it will all work out. 
Teaching her and our other investigators has been such an awesome experience for me and Elder Tippetts. This may be our last week together since transfers are next Monday. 
We have 3 people that we are teaching tonight that we are going to mark a baptism date for the 28th. 
I miss you all so much and hope you have a great week. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father is always there for us. I have gained such a stronger testimony about prayer since I have been here on the mission. I know that He listens to our prayers and answers them. I love this work, and I love y’all so much!!!! Y’all mean the world to me and it always picks my spirits up being able to read y’alls emails. Have a great week!!!


Elder Bean

Lucas, Agostinho's son, he is awesome!

Elder Archuletta, cousin to David Archuletta, super cool guy!

Elder Preator and Elder Ellis from Texas.

Elder Magana

Elder Preator

Wearing our zone shirts! 

Alvorada means "Dawn"

Elder Labrada

Texas brothers

Elder Magana