Monday, September 29, 2014

Sometimes All You Can Do is Bear Testimony

The week ended great with a baptism! Pedro!!!! It was awesome. He was baptized on Saturday and then confirmed on Sunday. When he asked me to baptize him, I felt honored and so grateful to be in the water with him. He is such a stud! He is seriously such a cool kid. He always has a smile and has me laughin every time we visit him and his family. Him and his sister, Paulinária, are goin strong! They get to church every Sunday before we even do! ha. This past Sunday they got there even before the door was unlocked.  There are so many special people here in Itapoã that I am so grateful to have gotten to know. 
We marked a baptism date in October with a 17 yr old named Antônio! He is a cool guy with a good head on his shoulders. He is Raimundo´s cousin.  He has already been to church several times and when we invited him to be baptized, he said he really wanted to, but had started to work at a job on Sundays so now he won't be able to go to church. I felt really strongly when promising him that if he prayed after the lesson and after we had left, that he needed to baptized that God would let him know and provide a way.   We returned a couple days later and he had received a powerful answer from Heavenly Father!
This week we also visited an "Assembleia Church" on Friday. When we are invited by people, we are allowed to visit other churches. We are teaching these two teenage brothers, and they are both liking what we are teachin. Maxwell (16 yrs old) told his pastor about our visits and even showed him the Book of Mormon. The pastor told Maxwell he wanted to meet with us. Maxwell thought we wouldn’t want to, but we were stoked!!  We ended up going over there to his church. He lives in the back of the church so while the church band was warming up before his sermon, we talked with him in the back and the conversation started really good. We were talking back and forth and it was going really well. Then he just went off on us.  The natural man in me wanted to just fire back and go off on him and use scriptures in his own Bible to prove to him what he was saying was wrong and made no sense. But we just kept our tongues. When he took breathing breaks, we would mention kindly scriptures from the Bible to show him what he was saying was wrong. It wouldn’t even phase him, he wasn’t willing to listen, just talkin. The time came for him to leave, so he got up and wasn’t even going to think bout given us a chance to talk more. He’s a little guy, so I got up as well and just looked down at him in the eye and bore him my testimony. Briefly, and from the heart. The Spirit was so strong!  We left and realized that we had done our part.  And we had shown Christ-like love to him, even though he was saying many things that weren’t true about us. There are a ton of little churches here, so we always run into pastors in the streets. Many times they are awesome to talk to and they think the work we are doing is great. They have a lot of respect. But then we run into others who just wanna try to tear us down.  We tell them that we respect all religions and we are here to help others come unto Christ and to help people have more faith, hope, and love in their lives. 
We are teaching this lady, Conceição whose husband and son are members of the church. She and her daughter attend a different church. We had a powerful lesson with her and she really likes us a lot and is wanting to receive an answer from Heavenly Father. She is listening to the books on tape of the Book of Mormon and really liking it. 
This weekend is general conference and I’m stoked!!! Being a missionary, general conference is like super bowl Sunday!! Getting to hear the words of the prophet, the apostles, and the other leaders of the church that they will speak to the world. I truly know they are called of God and that what they will say, will be exactly what we need to hear. What the Lord would have us know.   I love yall!! take care, have a great week and enjoy General Conference! and hope Olivia has an awesome 14th birthday this weekend!!! getttin old :)


Elder Bean I

Pedro with his sister, Paulinária, his mom and his friend


Paulinária and Pedro

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Best Two Years" of Our Life Should Be the Moment That We Are Currently Living In


The week was awesome!! Found a ton of new great people and families to teach that are really interested in our messages and what we have to share, as well as marked a lot more baptism dates for October, hopefully they all work out.
Today for Pday we went up to Asa Norte (downtown Brasília) and played soccer with about 14 other missionaries and President Lundgren played with us too!! haha it was awesome. President is way cool, and athletic so it was a ton of fun. It reminded me of back home playing church ball but this time it is soccer. 
One of the highlights this week was that Raimundo and Ivaneide got registered at the office so they can get married!! 3rd time going to the office... finally worked out! ha. We just gotta wait til the government sends back the papers saying they are good to get married. It almost didn’t work out. We arranged for two members of the church to be the two witnesses for the signin of the papers. We all get there and it is 4:30 (place closes at 5). And one of the member’s, forgot their identification! I was thinkin no way, this is our third time coming here and it just isn’t workin out.. But Raimundo took her and they zoomed off to go to her house and pick it up, they got back just in time!   so it all worked out!   A lot of prayin while that was goin on :)
On Thursday, we had the opportunity to have a visit from Elder Mazzagardi, Area Seventy of Brasil. He spoke and instructed us for about 4 hours! It was incredible!! The Spirit was so strong and I learned so much. You could feel the power when he spoke. He talked of things that we needed to do to help our investigators but also things to help us personally. He is very powerful, speaks like Elder Holland; but in Portugues obviously. But he is also funny. The electricity had gone out in the church building right when he was getting up to speak. It didn’t come back on until the final hour of his talk. But he continued doing what he would have normally done. It started to get hot in the building and he said, "You think it is hot here? Don’t keep the commandments and you will find out what hot truly is!" lol.  He also said "Those that say your "Best Two Years" of your life are on your mission, are speaking Apostasy!" ha.   He continued to say that our "Best Two Years" of our life should be the moment that we are currently living in. When we get married, that will be our Best Two Years. When we hold our newborn child, that will be our Best Two Years, and so on so on. He then said that he was currently living in his "Best Two Years", and has been for a long time!
He really focused on how he wants us to succeed not only on the mission but in life, to continue to progress after the mission. Not just have strong testimonies and be faithful on the mission, to just give up and fall away after. But to use the mission as a preparation for the rest of our life.  I felt spiritually drained after he ended his talk, it was really incredible and increased my testimony so much. 
On Sunday, Raimundo went and did 4 visits with us! He is such a champ. He has such powerful testimony. He like feels bad if he doesn’t read the scriptures everyday. He has such desire to do what is right, and he has complete trust and confidence in us. Raimundo goes over and beyond to help us out with whatever we need.  I am so grateful to have him and Ivaneide in my life.
The area is doing really good! We have a lot of people that are continuing to progress and accept more of our messages. We are plannin on havin a baptism this weekend so hopefully it works out. We were also able to mark 4 more baptism dates with people this week. The work is really boomin!! I’m loving it here,  it has been killler hot and dry this week, but the work is good and its incredible to be out here and be a missionary!! 
Love yall, hope yall have a great week!!

Elder Bean I

Lofton's mission home moved to a new address. The new address for sending him letters and packages is over in the right column.

In front of some dudes house with the World Cup logo painted on the outside

At the registry office with Raimundo and Ivaneide

An Awesome Family!!

Paulinária and her brother Pedro (who will get baptised soon)

Raimundo and Ivaneide surprised us with pizza and workout tanks.

The workout tank 

Monday, September 15, 2014

I'm Loving it Here! It's Truly a Blessing and I Feel Like I Can't Thank the Lord Enough!!

This week was really good! It ended on a high note with a bunch of investigators at church on Sunday and all 4 of the confirmations went great!!  Itapoã is awesome, and we have some awesome families that we are teaching!!
One of them is a new family, Francinaldo and Leudilene (with two kids: Flavio age 13 and Fernanda age 7)  They were a reference from a recent convert. Our first lesson with them was really good, they are an amazing, humble, loving family. But Francinaldo was showing more interest and Leudilene seemed like she didn’t really want to truly listen. But we marked a day to come back. When we returned Saturday night, it was awesome. Leudilene was so happy to see us and later told us how she had been reading in the Book of Mormon that we had left her. She has already read 137 pages!  Her whole demeanor was totally different than the first visit we had. Her and Francinaldo have been together for 15 years but are going to get legally married sometime in November and she is wanting to get baptized after that!!  During the lesson she was participating along with Francinaldo and asking a bunch of questions. It was so awesome. And at the end of the lesson, she brings out this big ole cake that is cut into like 60 pieces. After eating some, she gave us some to take home as well!  I love their family so much. They are so humble and caring. They have been workin on their dream house for the past 12 years. Francinaldo has been having to build it by himself with a little help from his dad every now and then. Since he has to work during the week and sometimes weekends to support his family, he only has a little time on the weekends to work on the house. So it has been slow process, but definitely worth it, it should be done in about a month. He showed us inside and it is awesome!! He called the kitchen his "american style kitchen" haha its awesome. It’s a beautiful place and I could see how proud he and his family are of it.  They have been living in a wooden shack in the front yard while building the house. We offered our help whenever he needed it.
We had a very spiritual lesson this week with Raimundo and Ivaneide. It was so awesome and super intense. At the end, the spirit took over and I got a little emotional bearing my testimony and telling them how important their family is and how much they mean to me and all that they have done to help us. Raimundo is definitely a lifetime friend. I am so grateful that I have been blessed to know them! 
We were also able to mark two baptism dates this week for October 12th!! My birthday lol.  With Samuel (an 18 yr old guy) and Matilde!! Matilde went to church yesterday and loved it. She is so funny. She is really open with all of her friends and people from her church about her visits from the "Mormons". She’s old enough to be our grandma, and she treats us like we are her grandkids. She is still attending her church and she is really open and honest with us and told us how she feels really good when reading the Book of Mormon and that she really feels the desire in her heart to look into our church and see if its true. She is so awesome and really wants to do what is right and do God´s will. She has alot of trust in us and told us "what you are teaching must be the truth because you left your mommas for two years to come here and teach it" haha. She's right!

But I'm loving it here! it's truly a blessing and I feel like I can't thank the Lord enough!!


Elder Bean I

With an awesome irmã (sister) from the church here. She has a son returning
from his mission in October. She always tells us to come over in the afternoon
when we are hungry and she always feeds us really good!

Her granddaughter wanted her picture taken :)

Thought this was funny :))