Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Little Bit of Winter in Brasil, it's "Cold" & Baptism for Augosto!

What a week!!! to start off, today was transfers!! and last night at about 10:00, I received a call that I would be staying and that Elder Rykestili was transferred. Today I got my new companion, Elder Fernandez!! He is from Bolivia (a country in South America)  and has 5 months on the mission! He speaks Portuguese with a sick Spanish accent. Hopefully I can learn a little bit of spanish from him! ha  I am really stoked about this transfer with Elder Fernandez! 
So last week on tuesday I got a call from the assistants, saying that a missionary was coming to join with me and Rykestili in a Trio until Monday. That he was arriving in 15 minutes. Elder Figueiredo! He was transferred from one of the areas that is 14 hours away so they brought him back a week early. He has 3 months on the mission and is an awesome dude!! It was sick being in a trio with Figueiredo and Rykestili, we had a blast this week!!!
We are getting hit by a cold front or something cause this entire week has been freezzinng cold at night and in the morning. been having to use a sweater! but I aint complaining!! It’s better than the killer sun!! ha
I did an exchange this week with the zone leaders, so I went up to Sobradinho with Elder Beaty for a day!! I had a blast there. It was an awesome area and taught some great people up there. 
On Saturday we had a Baptism for Augosto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was awesome!! I felt honored when he asked me if I would perform it! It was incredible and an experience I never wanna forget. It was so funny, while we changed clothes, Augosto was goin crazy. He had "pre-game" nerves and was going crazy since he was so excited and nervous!! Right before we got in the water, we had a like a pep talk, and then he told me how grateful he was for all that we have done for him, we bro hugged then entered the water!!  Augosto is such a stud 13 year old!! He couldn’t stop talking afterwards about how awesome he was feeling!! The Spirit was so strong and I was so happy for him and that I’m able to be a missionary!!! And then on Sunday, I had another proud moment, when I walked out of a meeting at church at 8:20 in the morning (church starts at 9)  and Augosto is already there! showed up all by himself and was super excited to receive the Gift of  Holy Ghost!! His family is super supportive of him! His family loves us and they are gonna start coming to church. When we told Augosto about not drinkin coffee, his mom was funny and told him he would never have another drop and went and bought a bunch of leite (milk) and toddy (chocolate powder). haha. Isso aí!!  He invited us to his nephew´s 2nd birthday party! it was really fun. The coolest thing though, was really seeing the difference in Augosto. He is a changed kid. You can see the Spirit of the Lord glowing through him and how he just acts different!! It is awesome and made me so proud to see how much of a change he has made in his life! 
I also gave a talk in church on Sunday for 20 minutes. It was an awesome experience and it really made me realize the growth I have made here on my mission, as a missionary and in the language. My first time I gave a talk in Brasil was in my first area when I was with Elder D. Call. I wrote the talk down word for word so I wouldn’t mess up speaking Portuguese and I could just look down and read it! But now, it was totally different. It was like I was speakin in English. I was asked to talk, about the Example of Ammon (the great missionary from the Book of Mormon). I only had written down a few bullet points, and a couple scriptures. But about 10 minutes into the talk, I just sent the notes aside and let the Spirit guide what I would say. It was incredible!! Many things I hadn’t planned to say, I ended up saying but was exactly what I needed to say.   I prayed so hard before I got up there and as I prepared it that the Spirit would guide my words. One thing I have really learned on my mission, is to rely on Heavenly Father and not just on myself or my own abilities. I am so grateful that I have learned that, because before the mission I didn’t turn to Heavenly Father in many times that I should of. And in all things that I did!  
This Gospel is awesome!! I love teaching about Christ and bearing my testimony to these wonderful people everyday and feelin the Spirit so constantly in my life. I know this work is true, it isn’t our work, but it is God´s work!! And we are his servants. All of us are workin together in the Lord´s vineyard!! and it's a blessing!!
A igreja é verdadeira!! Nunca esquece disto!!

Elder Bean

Zone, last transfer

Raimundo and Ivaneide made food to celebrate one year on my mission!

With Elder Beaty in Sobradinho for an exchange

Missionary house in Sobradinho

Augusto's Baptism!!!!!!

Augusto, love this kid!! Neymar Jr!!

Elder Rykestili, Figueiredo and me in a Trio for the week,
wearing sweaters because it's cold!

Good Morning Brazil!!  Bom dia Brasil!!

Augusto's nephew's second birthday party

Saw Elder Lima at transfers

New companion, Elder Fernandez

Monday, July 21, 2014

Um Ano Já?! A Year Already?!

I can’t believe this week I will have 1 year on the mission!! it is crazy how fast it has flown by!!! I have gotten so use to being here and the routine. It’s weird thinkin that I’m on the downend!! But I still got a lot of time left to be a missionary and take advantage of the time I got left!!!

This week we found some new people to start teaching but mostly focused on the people we have been teaching. Everyday after 5:00 we are packed!! It’s already like pre-marked from other days in the week. I remember at times on my mission, we would sit down to plan at night for the next day, and sometimes we would have nothing marked, at the best one lesson. We would just have to put people in and hope they were home. Now we have at least 3 people marked solid everyday and we are teaching about 5 to 6 solid lessons in peoples homes a day!! on top of doing contacts and talking with people in the streets and visiting members and less actives. We are planning to have a baptism this Saturday for Augosto!!! he is doing great!! Raimundo and Ivaneide are still solid!!! We went with them both to teach Raimundo´s family. We watched the 15 minute Restoration video which was awesome and really brought in the Spirit, and then we bore our testimonies and why we know the Church was restored once again on the Earth. But the best part and most powerful was when Raimundo bore his testimony to his family. About how much he loves them and he knows all of it is true and that he wants them to all get baptised so they can all go to the temple!  The Spirit was super strong, and Ivaneide even spoke to about what she has been learning and how it just feels right!! it was a proud moment for sure!! it really increased my love for this family and for this Gospel!!
We had a bunch of awesome teaching experiences this week! Lookin back at this past year, its crazy how much has happened and how much I have grown as a person and a missionary. Getting here, understanding nothing and speakin nothing in lessons, to now knowing how to do it all!  This past year on the mission has given me such awesome experiences that I won’t ever forget!!!  I love our Savior and I love being HIS missionary!!!!!!!!

A Igreja é verdadeira!! Jesus Cristo vive! Ele nos ama!! Nós precisamos fazer nosso parte para que um dia possamos voltar e morar com Deus nos céus!!
Amo vocês!!!

[The Church is true! Jesus Christ lives! He loves us! We need to do our part so that one day we can return and live with God in heaven! 
Love you!]

Irmão Jose is such an awesome guy. He was baptized like a year ago.
We visit him a lot and I've grown to love him like family!!
His wife isn't a member but she's an awesome and loving lady!

Augusto aka Neymar Jr. He has some mad futebol skills

I was actually cold enough to wear a sweater,
mainly because I was sick and had chills :)

With Raimundo, Ivaneide and Raimundo's family. Love this family so much!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Being a Missionary is Such an Incredible Experience!

Como vocês estão?? Espero que tudo estejam bem com vocês!! 

Except for Brasil getting destroyed by Germany and losing to the Netherlands, This week was awesome!! We found a bunch of new people and had some great experiences!!
First: Futebol.  So talk about shocked! When Brasil got destroyed 7-1 against Alemanha (germany) and it was already 5-0 with 30 minutes into the game. It was crazy. I got a call from the Zone Leaders after the 5th goal, that President was sending everyone back to the apartments before it got super crazy in the streets. Without going into a lot of detail, It got pretty crazy for sure!! ha. But there is a bar across the street from our apartment that had the game on a big screen and we could see it and hear it all from our window. I think after the 7th goal, people weren’t that ticked at Germany, but more just at Brasil, like what just happened?  The game against Holanda (netherlands) I think most people just expected them to lose after the loss to Alemanha. But it was hard to see them lose like that.  We watched the Final because every house here had it on. Argentina played solid but Alemanha was the best team overall. They are solid and have a lot of chemistry. They have been playing together forever, and when Brasil played them, we were without Neymar and Thiago Silva, two of our best players. But now the days are going to be going back to normal. I’m gonna miss the World Cup atmosphere! it was an awesome experience. I’m not gonna lie, I watched a lot of soccer just cause every house has it turned on. all the games!
But in other news, we have still been visiting with Raimundo and Ivaneide!! They are doing awesome. Really progressing. I enjoy hearing Raimundo´s testimony after each lesson so much! super powerful!! He and Ivaneide are planning on getting legally married soon, and then after she will get baptised!!!  Raimundo gave us a reference to visit his mom, and all of his family!  He showed us where the house was, but didn’t want us to tell his family that he had sent us! He felt that they wouldn’t be as willing to let us in the house if they knew he had sent us. (already tried before)  had to be a surprise! haha it was funny. So on Tuesday at like 8 at night. We clap at their gate! and Patricia (his older sister) comes out and is like who is it!??  So I pulled out my acting skills and was like Sorry, we have been knocking on doors on this street, and are really thirsty and could use a cup of water!  it Worked!!!! haha  Then she brought water to us and was super nice. I then continued to act like I didn’t know anything about their family. She mentioned to me how her brother was a member of the church and his name was Raimundo!  So I kept it going and was like, "raimundo, raimundo... who is raimundo?" Then she described him and I was like "Raimundo, like Ivaneide´s Raimundo?" She was like yeah yeah yeah all excited!  So then I was like No way we know your brother!!! haha we saw him at church and he seemed like a cool guy. (we have really been visiting them for a few weeks ha) what are the odds that out of all the doors we knock on, we find someone whose family member is a member of our church!! she was like, "I know right!! It must be of God! only God knows"  haha I just smiled and said, yep thats right!!  So she let us in to share a message with them! had 6 more family members inside!! And they are all ages 20-50, so in the beginning of my mission when I couldn’t speak that great, I would be intimidated but now it was like, Lets do this!!! I was pumped!  We had such a spiritual lesson, one of the most spiritual lessons that I have taught on my mission about the Restoration. It was definitely an example of "Teach people, not lessons". At then end we taught about the Book of Mormon! They were all clinging onto our words like it was gold! We taught Maria (raimundos mom), Jenni, Marta, Marcelo, Patricia, and Gabriela!  They all fell in love with us and treated us like family from the start!!  We left, full of the Spirit and on cloud 9!! (we never told them that Raimundo had set us up to meet with them!) haha. We ended up markin another day to vist, and  returned later in the week with Raimundo!! He was awesome and totally helped them to continue to believe he hadn’t sent us! His whole family loves him and so when Raimundo bore testimony during the lesson it was perfect! Really powerful! Raimundo is such a stud, super funny and just jokes around with everyone.  We brought 5 more Book of Mormons to give to everyone there!! They had bought cake and soda for us, so after the lesson they suprised us with some food!! That’s always a bonus!! They are an awesome family!!!
We also found a new investigator named Maria (another maria). It was cool how we found her. We were on our way to eat lunch at a members house. I'm new here in the area, so I’m still learning who is who and where people live. So we show up to the house, thinking we are at the house where we will eat lunch with Junior and Patricia. We clap, and some sweet lady answers the door, I was like "ehhh Irmã!!!" She just looked at us and said "Diga". (speak, what do you want). I was confused and was like, wait we aren’t eating here with you? then she got confused! haha it was funny. We ended up realizing we had knocked on the wrong house,  that it was her neighbor who we were suppose to eat with. so after we apologized and laughed it off, I took advantage of the opportunity and told her why we were here on a mission, and we had a message that we know to be true that we would like to share with her and her family. We asked if we could come back after lunch that day. She was like "No, but come tomorrow at 4!" I was taken by surprise. I cant recall another time in my mission, when I made a contact with someone and asked if we could visit and they marked a date and time!! Usually people are, no im super busy. Then we try to talk them into letting us come by later in the week and sometimes they accept! But Maria, was just like demanding us to come back tomorrow at 4! it was awesome!! 
We end up going there and we show up right at four. She is already waiting for us!!! (alot of times people forget or don’t remember the time). We talked with her and got to know her. She is super cool!! She has two kids who are in their late teens and early twenties. She told us how she feels like God sent us there for a reason, That we just didn’t knock on the wrong door for no reason!  I was thinking, Nosso Senhora she is soo Elect!!!!!!! haha.  She told us how she had been a practicing Catholic, going every Sunday for 15 years. And then about 3 months ago, she just felt like something was missing and stopped going. Her pastors and people from her church have been continually going to her house, trying to convince her to go back. But she said she felt like something was missing!  Then we show up!! We taught her about Christ and when he was here on the Earth and His earthly ministry, then we taught about Joseph Smith and how he wanted to truly know which of all the churches was the Church that Christ had established on the Earth. All that we were saying made sense! I then asked her,  God loves all of his children, if he had people here in the Americas, would he give them prophets just as he did for the people in Jerusalem? she was like, Yeah without a doubt! Com certeza!!  Then I asked, do you think they would write down experiences and things they taught so we could read them someday? She continued to agree! Then we showed her the Book of Mormon and taught her about why we use both the Bible and Book of Mormon!  It all just made sense to her. it just clicked.  She then said she would read and pray about it. We asked her if she received an answer that it was true if she would be baptised. She was like Of course, why wouldn’t I? haha I had never seen an answer like that from someone!! it was super awesome!! She then said she would talk to her neighbor to get a ride to church with them!  On Saturday night I called Patricia (maria´s neighbor) to see if she could give Maria a ride. Patricia told me how Maria had already been to her house to ask if she could go with them! I was so happy, nosso senhora Maria is legit!!!  She went to church yesterday and loved it!! We will see how this week goes.  We are also teaching Leila and Ibraim. Leila was baptised about 6 months ago and is super awesome, and Ibraim is such a cool guy, but is addicted to smoking a drinking. So we made some goals with him to gradually go from smoking a carton of cigars a day to only 3 a week and continue to do it less and less until he stops! He is a really good guy, and they have 2 little kids. When we taught about Families being sealed together forever, that gave him the most desire to change his lifestyle and work towards that!!
We have several other people we are teaching and they are all doing good and progressing! Hopefully Augosto will be baptised on the 26th of July. He is doing good!

Being a missionary is such an incredible experience! Everday has something that happens, that you dont want to ever forget! It is such a blessing being a representative of Christ and talking with everyone about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teaching such amazing families and people!! Helping people to change for the better, to come unto Christ and see how much God blesses them! it is incredible!! Seeing the changes in people. I am so grateful for what I have been learning here! How to put my needs aside to focus on others, and to feel such a desire to help them and having such a great love for them! It’s crazy thinking I only have 1 more year to do this! I love my Savior and all He has done for me, and for all of us!

I love yall!!! have a great week!! Espero que vocês tenham uma ótima semana!!!

Te amo,

Elder Bean