Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Então, Sou Muito Grato Estar Aqui no Gama Novamente!!! So I'm Very Grateful to Be Here Again in Gama!!!!

Então, sou muito grato estar aqui no Gama novamente!!!
I really missed the people I left behind in Itapoã and my prayers this week were full of thoughts for them. But I am so grateful to be here in Gama now and we hit it hard this past week.
Since I already know the area really well, I didn’t have to get accustomed or anything the first couple days which causes the work to go slow, was able to hit it hard day one!! One of the positives is for the past month because of the elections, they have had a bus that goes through the city which is free. And they are always passing by so we can schedule a lot of things since it takes time out of walking. Starting this Saturday though, they will start charging bus fares again.  When I got here, we had no baptism dates and no teaching group. Just two people.  Now we have 4 baptism dates marked and found 17 new people this week that we found and taught, and are wanting to continue to learn more from us!! Such a blessing. We also visited Dino!!!! The missionaries stopped teaching him about 3 months cause he wasn’t progressing. So he hadn’t been to church during the past 3 months. But guess who gave us a ride to church on Sunday.. Dino!!!!  We visited him this week and it was such a great spiritual experience. He is wanting to start hearing the messages again. We will see how it goes. It was awesome seeing old investigators, recent converts, and members here that I already have known. They all noticed how much better I’m speaking now. We visited Agostinho of course this week as well!!! Missed that guy. Raimunda about lost it when I showed up at her house, she was just full of tears and happiness that I returned. I love that little old lady so much. ha.
I’m enjoying being a zone leader, our zone is full of great hardworking missionaries and its been a blast getting to work closely with all of them. We played soccer today with some of the guys from the zone. We have a new American who just got on the mission last week in our zone. He is doing great pickin up the language and his companion is a stud Brasilian (Elder Figueredo, who stayed with me in Itapoã for 5 days 3 months ago). So I know not being able to speak English with his companion must be hard but he is doing great!!
This week was full of awesome and spiritual experiences. Truly a memorable week. The weeks are flying by so fast. Can’t believe I have 1 year and 3 months now. I’m lovin the work here. We have some great families that we are teaching and are hoping that November and December are going to be months full of people in white (baptisms!!!).  I am so grateful to be a missionary and see the hand of the Lord in people´s lives, but also see how He is changing my life as well!! 
I love and miss y’all a ton!!!! abraço!!!

Elder Bean I

I am so thankful for all the emails that I have received. It really helps me so much and I’m so grateful. I promise that I read each and every one of them, but I have very limited time to email and sometimes don’t have enough time to reply to everyone, so if I don’t reply just know that I am really grateful and that it really helped me out and picked up my spirits. Truly does mean a lot to me.  Thank you a ton, love y’all.

Our Mission car :)

With some of the guys from our zone after playing soccer. My companion is the guy in the red jersey sitting next to me. The other zone leader, Elder Willardson, is above me in the yellow Brasil shirt.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Transferred back to Gama Leste and made Zone Leader!!!


 Wow. talk about crazyy.
So today was transfers! and last night I found out I would be transferred. I was feeling that it would happen but it was still hard actually finding out that I had to leave Itapoã. It was incredibly hard having to say goodbye to the people there. Saying bye to Augusto and Raimundo and Ivaneide was like saying by to family. Was seriously hard. As we left Raimundo´s house, Ivaneide was trying to stay strong, but then she lost it and started crying really hard. It was so hard to leave. But I’m so grateful to have had the 4 months there and to feel strongly in my heart that I "Left it all on the field" in Itapoã. I love that area and the people so much. Felt so much love from them saying goodbye.
So today at transfers I found out my "new" area. I got called as a Zone Leader in..... GAMA LESTE!!!!!!!!!! hahahah I was so stoked!!  I left Gama Leste 4 months ago as a district leader and now I’m returning as a zone leader!! I'm so excited to be back here and see everyone and help out the people I baptized here. Zona Alvorada!!! My companion is Elder B. Almeida, from Brasil. Now in Gama Leste, the two zone leaders are in separate companionships but we all live together and work in the same area. So the other zone leader is Elder Willardson (American) and his companion is Elder Barusso da Silva (Brasilian). I feel so great and feel like I truly needed to come back here. It's funny cause I can’t find my camera (hopefully it’s at the church or in my bags somewhere) and it had all my photos on it and of saying by to people, and usually I would of been ticked and thrown a fit, but I’m too happy of being back in Gama to be ticked. Even though it was so tough to leave Itapoã. But I’m prayin that I’ll find the camera and all will be good. 
This past week in Itapoã was incredible. We marked a wedding date with Raimundo and Ivaneide for November 7th, Ivaneide´s baptism November 8th, and her confirmation November 9th!!!. I’m really hoping that I’ll get permission to go back to Itapoã for the baptism. So stoked that after 4 months of being with them it is all going to work out. Raimundo is already talking about going to the temple a year from now! Such a champ!!!
We have a bunch of baptism dates marked in Itapoã for the month of November. A solid date marked for each weekend. It was hard leaving Elder Fernandez since we have grown really close, but I know he will do great up there with his new companion. Here in Gama, they don’t have teaching groups so we are gonna start from ground zero, but it is awesome!! I feel like I’m such a better prepared missionary now than I was 4 months ago here in Gama. I know that the Lord needed me to come back here for a reason.
But this past week was incredible, one of the best weeks on the mission. Grateful for all the wonderful experiences and the blessings I received in Itapoã and the wonderful people the Lord blessed me to be able to meet and come to love like family!  I am looking forward for the many experiences to come here in Gama Leste and help our zone accelerate the work and help God´s children here in our part of the " Lord´s vineyard" in Brasilia Brasil.   
I love you all!! Know that you are in my prayers and thoughts. I love the mission, and so grateful for our Heavenly Father and the personal relationship each on of us can have with Him. He loves us! Christ lives and has shown us the way. O caminho é estreito e apertado. Stayin on the right path and obeying all the commandments is hard sometimes and isn’t always easy, but it sure is worth it!! 


Elder Bean I

Elder Fernandez gave me some pics to post today. I'm praying I find my camera!!

We all stayed the night in Sobradinho and had a district meeting the next day, was a blast!!

A restaurant where some of the zone went and ate in Sobradinho. It was an all you
can eat pizza place with a thousand types of pizza that they would bring out every
15 seconds to the table and if you wanted it you could have it. They also had a sushi bar.

Elder Marim, from Chile

First time eating sushi on the mission

An awesome member family, He's the 2nd counselor in the bishopric and she's the
Relief Society president. She helps us a ton and has our backs when the other ladies
at church cancel lunch on us. She is always checking on us.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Birthday!!!! Feliz Aniversário!!!!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone!! Really means a lot! I had a great 20th birthday yesterday! Yesterday was also the holiday of Children´s day here in Brasil! We went to church in the morning, had a ton of investigators there, and visited some great families!! Augusto and his family had gotten some cake and stuff for me which was awesome!! Really grateful for all the many blessings that I have received and for all the loving family and friends I have back home.  
The week went great!! Durin the week I went and did exchanges with the zone leaders so I went to another area for a day. Sobradinho! I loved it up there!  I got to see a wealthier side of Brasil. I had a blast and the missionaries working there are awesome. Had a ton of fun and got to know some great people. For lunch, the family there made a fullout Mexican bbq!! It was sooo good. First time I had guacamole in a year and 2 months!! Que saudades!!!  The family where we ate, are an older couple and have two kids who live in the States so they go and visit often. One of them lives in Lehi, Utah! They were awesome!! It is so great, entering someone’s home for the first time and not knowing them and leaving just a couple hours later feeling like family already!!  Had another experience like that but here in Itapoã this week. Earlier this week I got a call from a member in another city passing a reference to us of a family who lives here in Itapoã. The family is so awesome!! We went over and it was like they were waiting for us! It was Saturday so we got to know them and we invited them to church the next day! They came and loved it. They could feel the difference there. Later on Sunday we taught the message of the Restoration. The Spirit was really strong. Katia (the mom) felt so good and knew it was true. Her kids, Ana Carolina (17 yrs) and Pedro (8yrs) are awesome!! We bonded really fast with that family and already have a lot of love for them. 
We marked 3 more baptism dates this week for November. All of them are solid! Next week is transfers so I think I will probably leave here since I already have 3 transfers here. It will be really hard leaving Itapoã, especially after all the experiences I’ve had here and the people I have come to know and love!  We are teaching this awesome guy named Josemar, who is 20 yrs old and Augusto´s friend. He is mature well beyond his years and has a good head on his shoulders and hilarious. We visited his church with him this week and he came to ours this week. He felt really good and loved the classes. We marked a baptism date with him after church! Before going to lunch, I felt really strong "Go invite Conceição to be baptized."  Conceição´s husband and 14 yr old son are members of the church. She and her two daughters are members of another faith. She always enjoys talking with us and having us over. On Saturday night, we felt inspired and we went over really quick to invite them to all go to church together as a family!! She tried to make a little excuse so I guilt tripped her and told her it was my birthday so she had to go!! :) Sure enough they all did!!  So before lunch, we went by their house real quick and only stayed like 5 minutes. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I remember how strong the Spirit was! I invited her to be baptized on November 30th and she accepted. Then she said, "and You will baptize me!" Fair deal! ha
We also had a zone conference this week with President and Sister Lundgren and our zone. They are so awesome and so grateful to have them as my mission president and sister. They truly love us and want the best for us, and the mission. We are really accelerating the work in our mission and they really want us to get the best out of the mission personally as well.  
So grateful to be here and to be having these experiences. I love y’all so much and thanks again for all the birthday wishes. Really means so much!!  

Much love,

Elder Bean I

All of the Zone except the secretaries and the Assistants.

Elder Lima "my son" after a district meeting

General Conference at the church in Paranoá 

Zone Conference with President and Sister Lundgren

Elder Moreno, he is new on the mission and from Peru.
He's such a stud and makes me laugh constantly!

Me and Elder Omanã, he is from Mexico and returns home this week. He is my zone leader
and I did an exchange with him. He is awesome and has taught me a ton, great example!

Elder Xavier, we are good friends, he is from Rio Grande do Sul (the Texas of Brasil).
 Where he is from most everyone is white and of German descent. 

Cake and Soda for my birthday!!
Walking home after church; Fernandez, Augusto, Me, Josemar and Paulinaria. 
Josemar is Augusto's good friend, he is a solid dude in faith.

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference!!! It was Legit!!

The week was awesome!! General Conference this weekend was definitely on point!! It was legit!!!  It is like a completely different experience now for me, than it was before the mission. I caught myself many times thinking, how could I apply this to the people I am teaching. It was awesome to receive that spiritual training and now applying it to our lives.  We were a little disappointed because we had invited so many investigators to go and many said they would, but only 1 showed up on both the days. We watched it in Paranoá, the church where we do baptisms.  The broadcast was in Portugues but a few of us Americans were able to use the secretary’s office in the church to watch it in English on the computer. Even though I understand it all in Portugues, it is definitely so much better in English and hearing their voices.  The internet crashed for us during the ending of the last session before Bednar´s and President Monson´s talk. My companion told me how good it was since the Portuguese satellite broadcast hadn’t crashed so we rushed over to a member’s house afterwards so I could watch it. All of conference was inspiring and gave me a spiritual boost. Really strengthened my testimony.
This week we found an amazing family! We were "clapping at gates" to find more people to teach and share a message with and we found a lady named Iracema and her family! She is inactive but loves the church. She was baptized in Gama (my last area) about 7 years ago. Her family members are still active in the church in Gama, and her family there are some of my favorite people that I knew in Gama!! It was such a coincidence. But Iracema is awesome. She had moved to Itapoã about 3 years ago, and lost contact with the church. All of her friends are Evangelicals so she just started going there. But she still believes the church is true and she said how much she misses participating in the Relief Society!! We broke the ice really fast with her family and already bonded. When we left, I passed the address to our Bishop so he could visit her sometime. I got a call later that night from Bishop Paulo telling me that he went there and how it went! Our Bishop is awesome! It really showed me how much he wants to help us and values us. When I got here in Itapoã he was the ward mission leader and 1st counselor in the bishopric, and just two weeks ago was called as the new Bishop. Having members and ward leaders active in missionary work is what truly makes the work move forward! It is essential! Without it, it is hard to retain new converts and have much success in an area. 
We had a lot of good and disappointing experiences with those we are teaching. Many are progressing and wanting to know the truth and some of them aren’t wanting to continue. We have to respect people´s agency but its hard creating a bond with these people and seeing them for who they truly are and knowing how much this could bless their life, and them not seeing that. But by at least planting that seed, maybe in the future they will be ready and it will be the right time to make a change in their life. 
This past weekend watching conference really strengthened my faith and testimony of this Restored Gospel and gave me a spiritual boost for the next 6 months until next conference. Truly is such a blessing being able to hear such inspired messages and us having the opportunity and Responsibility to listen and then apply it! 
love yall!!! have a great week!!

Elder Bean I

Elder Bednar in the Sunday afternoon session (at the 1:33 mark) addresses people who are not members of our church and answers the questions, why we like to share our beliefs and why we believe in missionary work.
Sunday afternoon session of General Conference

All the General Conference sessions.

Watching  General Conference in the secretary's office