Monday, August 25, 2014

Chocolate Cake and The Scriptures

I’m doing great!!! been thinkin bout Noah and yall a lot at home since he has been in the MTC and yall had to say goodbye!! I hope that yall are adjusting to him not being around!! He will be awesome!! I know that yall are all proud of him.

So my week was awesome!! Working hard and loving being here and serving the Lord. It’s such a blessing. 
We found this awesome family this week. We found them by doing contacts in the street. I felt prompted to talk with this lady and she was super cool with us! After we explained who we are and what we do, she said "I’m catholic, but would love to have you visit me and my family sometime."  Sold!!!  Her name is Valdierene and her husband is Raimundo. They have two sons. One is 18 and lives in another part of Brasil playing professional soccer. He left home at age 14 to go live with the team at the club center and train in southern Brasil.  I’ve learned that kids even as young as 8 years, leave their families to go live in other cities at the training center. They develop them from a young age. But we shared with them the message of the Restoration, it was super powerful. At the end, when I gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon she was like "Now how much do I need to pay you?" ha. I was like no it’s for free. She was shocked, she said our lesson was so beautiful and would have been willing to buy it if she had to out of curiosity to know about it since she could see how strong our testimonies were about it.  They want to learn more and marked another visit for this week. Raimundo was really cool with us and is a cool guy.  We found many other new people this week who are interested and that we marked second visits with so hopefully they continue to work out. We have been marking a lot of baptism dates and having good turnouts at church with lots of investigators there!!
We have been teaching Antonio, Joelma, and their kids. When we taught them the first time I told them the "cake analogy" that I like to give. comparing the Book of Mormon to a delicious chocolate cake. I told Joelma that I had faith and believed that she made the best, most delicious chocolate cake in the world (besides my momma´s of course). And that her husband could tell me it was the best and many others could as well. But until I try it and experiment it myself, I will never know. I don’t have to eat all of the cake to know it is good and the most delicious that I have eaten. I just have to eat a part. Just take a bite, and I will know.  
I compared how we don’t have to read all of the Book of Mormon or Bible to know if it is good. Just a part will do. I don’t have to eat all the cake to know if it's good, just a part will do.  Later in the week, they invited us over for a BBQ for one of their kid’s birthdays. We did a bunch of contacts with the friends and family they had invited over. We had to leave a little early before they brought out the cake. It was funny, cause Joelma was like "Uh! I made a chocolate cake just for you, because of your example you told us, so you could see how good it was!" hahah. it was hilarious, but she said she would save some when we visit this week on Tuesday. 
Raimundo and Ivaneide are still doing great, their family treats us so good and loves us. Always making dinner for us and bringing it to the apartment at night. Raimundo took us out for ice cream this past week and made us eat a ton!!  We had a great experience with Raimundo yesterday. He went with us to do some visits. One of the visits we made was to his families house where his mom, stepdad, and cousins live. We started talkin with them and then it got into where the stepdad just wanted to argue with me about religion. Even though I want to just fire back with scriptures and knowledge to prove him wrong, I have learned that it doesn’t help to argue back, especially with someone who doesn’t even know what they are saying. Raimundo then started talking and it was incredible what happened. He read to them a part from the Book of Mormon and he started to cry and bore his testimony to his family. It was so powerful. He told them how much he loves them and how important they are to him. He continued to talk about his experiences with the Book and the church and told them how much he desired for them and pleaded for them just to read a part, for 1 minute and then pray and ask God.  He pleaded with them to do it and that it would mean so much to him.  The Spirit was so strong, seriously!! It was powerful and I know everyone felt it!  I was so happy because I have seen so much progression in Raimundo from the first day I visited him, and now he is like family to us and bearing pure and strong testimony to his family cause it is so important to him!! It was incredible!!
Augusto is still doing great!! He is funny, gives us a headache sometimes but me and Fernandez love him! He really is a good kid that wants to do what is right. He is funny, when he told us he is crushin on an investigator his age who we have been bringing to church with her family as well. haha. ohh Augusto. Augusto´s step-dad and mom really love us.  Last night we had a great experience with Augusto. We got there and he said he had something to tell me. I sat down and he made me promise that I wouldn’t be disappointed in him and be upset. He told me how he was at "recess" and the soccer ball went over the wall. So they climbed over the wall and then decided to just skip the rest of the day of school.  When he told me this he almost had tears in his eyes and then told me how he has so much respect for me and never wants to disappoint me. Never wants me to see him as a failure and that I am like a Father to him. 
I just put my arm around him (and tried to think of all the advice my dad gave me) and just told him how I love him and he will never do anything that will make me not love him and care bout him. Cause with Augusto, I have had to get onto him and be firm with him sometimes. At that moment I truly realized how much I meant to him and the impact I have made in his life.  It will be so incredibly hard to say goodbye to him when I leave Itapoã. He is like family, and I’ve grown to love him so much and Fernandez has as well.  At church yesterday, He asked me to be the one to ordain him to the priesthood and the office of Deacon. It was a great experience and I felt really honored to do that for him. Now he will be able to perform his duties as a deacon and continue to grow in the gospel. He wants to serve a mission now and help the rest of his family be baptised someday. It is inspiring to see his answers to the questions we give him in the Book of Mormon, and the duty to God booklet that he is working on.  Hearing about the things he has had to say No to at school and turn down to keep the standards is incredible. 

I’ve learned so much being here, especially from others. So grateful for the people we are teaching that have taught me so much!!

I hope yall have a great week and have a good school year!!


Elder Bean

Elder Fernandez celebrating 6 months on the mission!!
Burning a tie as per tradition to mark the first 6 months

Raimundo and Ivaneide take such good care of us!


Ice cream with Raimundo. He bought us each a sundae with 4 scoops and
then he bought us each a cone with 2 scoops because he wanted us to eat
his favorite flavor!! He's awesome!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Worn Out Shoes,Teaching the Gospel and Loving Itapoã


I can't believe the day has already come, Noah’s already headin out today!!!!! that is so crazy how fast it has come up. It literally feels like yesterday I saw the video of him openin up his call! But I’m so proud of him and I know he’s gonna be an incredible missionary and make a big impact!! He’s gonna be awesome!!!
This past week was really good!! We taught a ton of lessons, marked some baptism dates, and did a bunch of contacts with people in the streets.
It has been "winter" here. but still super hot here and super dry, and it hasn’t even hit the hottest time of the year yet!! not until September and October. It was funny cause the other day, It was super hot and we were talking to some lady in the street. She was like "You need to use sunscreen and drink lots of water, because it’s about to START getting hot here." I asked her "start to get hot?? What do you call this weather that we are having now???" haha.  But it’s all good!! I’m gettin used to it 
We are going to start teaching this family from Peru. They speak Span-gues (spanish and portugues). But it will be cool and my companion is fluent in Spanish and I’m able to understand a lot of it now!  Elder Fernandez is seriously a stud!! We noticed that I had a good sized hole in the side of my pants. Later, after taking a shower and getting ready we go out to work, and I noticed that I didn’t have a hole. I was like what happened?? I looked at Fernandez and he confessed that he had patched it up for me without me knowing! I was like dude you're the man!!    It’s small and simple things like that, that really mean a lot. He didn’t do it to receive thanks or for something in return, but just to be nice.  It meant a lot, now I gotta think of something to do for him. maybe I’ll buy him Açaí or something :)
We found this awesome family/friend group. We were out doing contacts and we saw a group of ladies with a couple guys sitting outside a gate to a house. I could tell they were staring at us and talking bout us since its pretty obvious we are foreigners, but we go over and start up a conversation! It went awesome. They liked us off the bat, and as we were leaving they invited us to come in and meet the rest of the family/friends. So inside the gate, there are like 8 separate houses, full of family and friends. So we met a ton of people, and then scheduled to come back this week on Wednesday. About 30 people agreed to be there, and listen to our lesson that we will share!  We are pretty excited to get over there this week!
But other than that, all of our investigators are doing good and progressing!! I’m loving Itapoã and I don’t want to leave here, I’m feelin in my gut that I will be leaving after this transfer but I really hope that I stay!! 

I love yall so much, I know Noah’s gonna do awesome, have a ton of success, have life-changing experiences, and make yall proud!!! 


Elder Bean

Oh yeah,

Augusto´s  2 year old nephew is so funny. He knows how to say "Bean".
yesterday we go over there, we knock on the gate and when we enter he goes 

hahha its hilarious.  Little Miguel. 

When we left he goes  Eu te amo bean. ahah   I love you bean.

He’s a little stud!!

Enjoying some fun with things from my "one year" package

Duct tape is awesome to fix the insoles of my shoes

Missionary Life....the shoes!!

View of Itapoã from a balcony of a members house where we ate lunch!
They fed us well it was so good; rice, beans, meat with onions,
pasta, salad, chicken and mango juice!

Raimundo and Ivaneida surprised us twice this week with bringing us
dinner after we got home!! They really do take care of us and love us!! They are awesome!

Pão Françes  (french bread).  its soooo good here! Within ten minutes of
walking from our house you pass 7 bakeries. They are all over the
place making the fresh bread. It's awesome!

Every transfer I get a new planner. Everyone covers the
front and back with pictures, check out mine below

Alma 17:13 And it came to pass when they had arrived in the borders of the
land of the Lamanites, that they separated themselves and departed one from another,
trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for they
supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken.

Ready for Church

Monday, August 11, 2014

Street Contacts Are Where It's At

Bom Dia para vocês! Espero que tudo estejam bem com vocês!!


This week flew by so fast! The weeks are starting to feel like days! Last night I realized that today, in one week Noah will be leavin home for the MTC. That’s crazy!! It has come up so fast. It feels like yesterday I was in Gama at a lanhouse watching the video of Noah opening up his mission call!! the time has flowwn by so fast. But I’m super stoked and excited for Noah and the experiences that he will have!! Atta boy!!!

Me and Elder Fernandez worked our butts off this week!! You know you had a good week and worked hard when come Sunday night you are just exhausted beyond belief. Pday is definitely necessary, not just to email and write home but also to rest up for the next week. Our mission has a new rule, of making 100 contacts with people in the streets per week. We found out Wednesday, and me and Fernandez ended up with 102 contacts! on top of teaching 37 lessons in peoples homes this week!! We try to do most of our contacts while walking from appointment to appointment or when appointments fall through and people aren’t home. We normally have to walk about 25 to 30 minutes from one house to the next appointment. We found 12 new investigators this week that are really solid and really interested and that we were able to find and teach this week. Just shows you might have to talk with 10 people, to find 1 good one that is interested. Two of the people we found are Valto and Conceição.
Thursday night while we were walkin to an appointment, we walked past a house and I had a strong feeling to go back and knock on it. So we went back and knocked and "asked for water". Something we usually do is say that we are missionaries, have been walking a ton are super thirsty (even when we had just asked for water at another house a minute earlier) ha.  It seems to be working!!
Valto came and brought us water and he is a super cool guy!! He is in his later 40s and is married. He welcomed us in and we taught him the Restoration! It was super spiritual and he had so many good questions! When we answered them, it all made sense to him and we invited him to get baptised if God answers his prayers about what we taught him! He was like Of course I would!! and we marked a date for August 31st!  The dude is a stud!!
Conceição was a contact we did in the street. She was walking by us and when I guess she could tell that we were gonna talk to her cause before we opened our mouths she said "No, I don’t want anything to do with what you want to say." And walked right past us in a hurry. I smiled, kinda chuckled and took this as a challenge!! :) , So I jogged after her and say "Irmã espera, espera!"  She then stopped and explained to us she is really strong in her church Assembleia de Deus and that her husband and 13 yr old son happen to be members of our church.  After we were talking for a bit in the street, we started inviting her to church and asked if we could write down her address and share a message with her and her family. She said No. After we kept tryin to convince her she looked me right in the eye and said "Why should I!"  Then I just went off on pure testimony and by the power of the Spirit. It was incredible experience, the words were just flowing faster and better sounding then I think I have ever spoken. It was probably better than I would of done in English. She just had a shock look on her face and I knew she had felt the authority and power that was behind the words. After I finished, she smiled and told us her address and said we could come by Sunday night!  Sunday night we went over there and brought Raimundo with us too. We taught the Restoration and it was one of the best lessons that I’ve had the privilege of participating in. We invited her to be baptised on September 7th if she received an answer from God, and she accepted!!  The feelings that we had after leaving that lesson are difficult to explain. It’s a surety that you feel, that you know without a doubt what you taught is true and you just feel so happy!
Raimundo ended up driving us around and teaching with us all Sunday!! The dude is seriously a stud!! He gave us a reference of his friend and took us over there, his name is Augusto. The lesson was awesome and Raimundo spoke a lot and boar his testimony! It was such an awesome moment to see the changes that Raimundo has made in the past two months when I got here. His first Sunday back to church was my first in Itapoã so we both have 8 Sundays straight!!  Him and Ivaneide will get married at the end of the month or beginning of September, and she really wants to get baptised the Sunday after!  Raimundo and Ivaneide treat us like family and Raimundo is always wantin to make sure that we are takin care of and have what we need! It’s a blessing for me to have gotten to know them!!
Augusto (Neymar Jr.) is still doing great!! We give him readin assignments in the Book of Mormon with questions he has to answer and he has been doing them! One of the proudest moments thou, was the other day at his house. We were sharing a message with Augusto, his whole family, and his mom´s friend. It was awesome while we were teaching, Augusto would look at me and ask, "Bean, can I explain this part?"  yaehhhhh buddy. haha it was awesome. And then his mom started crying when she talked about how grateful she is for us and that we were willing to leave our own families to come find her son! (I almost cried when she said those words too).  She talked about the changes she has seen in Augusto and it is amazing. Her friend even mentioned to how much Augusto has changed. She said that Augusto use to be really rebellious, and very disrespectful and not care about anything, only soccer. When she would come by the house and ask if his mom was home, he would be really disrespectful and just not give a darn. He always disrespected people and his mom.  But the other day, she came by the house and asked if his mom was home, Augusto welcomed her in with a big hug and kiss on the cheek, and then got her a cup of coca-cola before she could even ask for something to drink. She said that she was shocked and thought "Is this even Augusto?"  He has literally become a whole new young man!! I am beyond proud of him. Seeing him at church, he goes around and introduces himself to people he doesn’t know and is proactive and is signing up to go to EFY (FSY) next spring 2015!!!  It is so hard to explain how proud I am of that kid. It is incredible seeing how much being a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly does change lives and makes you into the person God hopes and expects you will become here. Augusto even is workin on his "Duty to God" everyday (something I didn’t even finish or focus on like I should of)  It will be the hardest thing saying goodbye to him when I have to leave Itapoã. He has grown to be like a little brother. 
But I am so grateful for the experiences that I’m having here!! Its incredible how much God loves us!!  This work his true!! Go out and spread the word!!!!


Elder Bean

About to start the day

Eating Açai

Augusto's mom's friend, Fernandez, Augusto, Me

Augusto "Neymar Jr"

Eu corri means I ran. It's a marathon shirt that Raimundo always wore and
I would always tell him that's a sick shirt dude. He brought it wrapped up as a
gift for me one Sunday. Love it