Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ups and Downs - Missionary Life


I got such an awesome Christmas package this week!! Thanks a ton. That countdown calendar to Christmas with a note inside for each day was so awesome!! That big ole marzipan chocolate bar made my day :) I tried my hardest to make it last long. I was actually proud that it lasted almost a whole week. I would just take a few bites every day.  But thanks so much!! It was the best!!! I felt so much love and felt so great after opening it. 
This week had its difficulties but ended up being good week. Last Tuesday we had a Mission council, with our mission president, the assistants, and the zone leaders. It was a great training and the spirit was super strong. President and Sister Lundgren are awesome!  We then had a meeting with our zone on Wednesday.
We had some bad news with Dino this week. He called us during the week and without an explanation said he didn’t want to be baptized anymore. We have been calling him and going over to his house everyday but haven’t been able to find him. His brother said the situation is pretty bad. It was tough.
But Rogerio and Jhennifer are doing great!! That family is so special. She is very excited about her baptism on the 6th of December and we are making goals and preparing Rogerio to be able to perform the ordinance!!  They are so awesome and always ask about my family and friends back home. When Rogerio said the closing prayer at the end of one of our lessons this week, he prayed super hard for a blessing on all my loved ones back home.  It made me feel so good. Rogerio and Jhennifer said they were praying to God that he would guide them to where they needed to go. And the next day, I gave them my seat on the bus and invited them to hear our lessons. 
We have an investigator named Andrea who will be baptized for sure this weekend, and we will possibly have two more this weekend as well. Claudia (a mom of two recent converts) will let us know on Tuesday if she will or not. She is awesome and loves us a ton. 
Raimundo and Ivaneide (in Itapoã) were planning on getting married and baptized this weekend and I would have asked for permission to go, but something happened and it will be rescheduled for December.  I’m hoping so bad that all works out. But yesterday in Itapoa they had two baptisms for people that I had taught there, so I was super excited to hear bout that!!!
I know this work is true!! Christ lives!! Lets make this Christmas season a special one and remembrance of the birth of our Savior!!
Love y’all!

Elder Bean

Christmas came early this year :)  You just never
know how long it will take to get a package to Brasil.

Marzipan, favorite candy!!

Walking miles and miles = holes in shoes

With Rogerio, Jhennifer and their baby, Bryan Arthur

Maria Jovina


Elder Winterbottom

Elder Figueiredo and the jersey he gave me

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Minha Semana - My Week

Today I heard a lot in emails about the cold weather back home and the Thanksgiving coming up.  It’s summer time here so it’s blazing hot and they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here obviously. ha.  But this week we did get a little bit of rain, which was nice. Brasil is having water problems, lacking a lot of water in certain parts. 
This week was solid!!! We were blessed to be able to mark 5 baptism dates this week. On one of the days, we were told by a family that they didn’t want to have our visits anymore and didn’t want to get baptized. I felt a little down when we left, but the Lord blessed us and we were able to mark two more baptism dates that day!! The Lord leads this work and is putting those that are ready and willing to hear the gospel in our paths. 
I did an exchange this week with Elder Figuieredo and I went to Santa Maria. I loved it there. The day started off after our district meetings with one of the best lunches I have ever eaten on the mission!! Gosh it was so darn good. We visited some of the people that they are teaching in Santa Maria. It was a great day and Elder Figueiredo is a boss! We have become really good friends. At then end of the exchange, he surprised me by giving me the soccer jersey of his hometown team!
We did a big service project this week for Maria Jovina (who use to live in Itapoã). We started at 7 in the morning and she made a Great lunch for us at 12:30.  We made a sidewalk and driveway for her. It was awesome being able to do that for her and great learning experience as well. 
Rogerio and Jhennifer went to church on Sunday and loved it!! It was awesome cause some of the members still remember Rogerio (from 6 years ago) and Jhennifer now has a baptism date marked for the 6th of December!! Their 2 month old baby, Bryan Arthur, has a lot of blonde hair and blue eyes and was a huge hit at the church!!! haha. We are trying to see if Rogerio will be able to be ready to baptize Jhennifer since he already has the priesthood and the baby will be blessed on the same day as Jhennifer´s confirmation. I love that family so much. They want to raise their family in the church and prepare to go to the temple a year from now! We had an awesome turnout at church!! We have so many investigators that are progressing and the lessons are having are incredible. We have 10 people with baptism dates so we will see how it goes. 
We had some difficulties with Dino and he wasn’t able to go to church on Sunday, but we are still hopeful and prayerful that he will be baptized this weekend!!! 
I know that this work is truly the Lord´s work and the Lord is at the head of it. He leads and guides it. My strength and faith in him has grown so much.  I am so grateful to be here. It is such blessing to get up everyday and go and Preach the Gospel and help those that are in need. Talk with everyone about Christ´s everlasting love and serving those in need.  The people here in Gama are amazing. Truly some incredible people that I have been so blessed to know.  Whenever we teach people and we see and hear about the problems and difficulties that they face everyday, it humbles me and I forget real quick about the things that I thought were "difficulties" for me. I need to improve so much and I try my best and pray everyday that my weaknesses can become my strengths and that I can try to forget about myself, and focus on those that all around us here. 
Lookin forward to skype!!!! It’s only like a month away. YEAHHHHH.  They are already putting up the Christmas decorations here, the atmosphere is great! Brasil is so awesome and so grateful that I get to spend these "Best Two Years" here. 

Love always,

Elder Bean

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Mãos que Ajudam" Helping Hands Project

Boa tarde!!!! espero que tudo esteja bem com vocês!!! Estou muito bem e gostando muito do Gama!!!
This is seriously a blessed area, here in Gama!!! This week we had a blast and a ton of success. I’m feeling great and loving it here! We were able to mark a baptism date for Dino and his 21 yr. old brother Aldercino this week!!! YEAHHHHH. finally!! I’ve known Dino since February. The dude is solid now and is very firm that he wants to be baptized on the 22nd. I’m so excited and grateful that I’ll be able to be here for that. All the members of the church love Dino. This week I did an exchange with one of the District Leaders in our zone, Elder Winterbottom. It was a ton of fun and we had a great day. Marked the baptism date with Dino on that day. We have a lot of good missionaries in our zone. Will be doing another exchange with another companionship this week. 
On Saturday we had the "Mãos que Ajudam". Helping hands project. It was a project planned by the area authorities. It lasted all day Saturday. Inside the church were a bunch of free offered services to help the community. It didn’t have as much people as expected (was planned on the same day as a national test to get into colleges in Brasil). But we had all the missionaries from the zone there working hard. We would go out and invite people off the streets to come as well as we had a room inside the church that had Mormon Messages playing on a tv with a bunch of pamphlets about our messages. 
On Sunday I had a great little surprise. We were going to eat lunch at Maria Jovina´s. She lived in Itapoã while I was there and about a month before I left, she moved here to Gama! and on Sunday we were going to eat there. When we showed up, there was another member from Itapoã there who came to see me! It was awesome. It was so great to see them.
We are teaching a 19 yr old named Eduardo. He is really progressing and we are hopeful he will be baptized at the end of the month. Rogerio and Jhennifer are still doing good!! We are going to try to mark a baptism date with her this week. There are so many awesome families here in Gama that I have been so blessed to teach and know. It is such a blessing to just go out in the streets, and talk with people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and feel so much love for them. I have been so very humbled when entering the homes and teaching some people that live in very humble circumstances. It makes me grateful for all the things I have been blessed with, including the little things we take for granted. It is so difficult to explain in words, the feeling of love and joy in your heart when you enter the home of someone who has meager means, and they offer you everything they have. They show Christ like love and I have been so blessed to have known so many wonderful families throughout my mission like that. Those that have made a huge impact on my life and shown me what it means to truly have Charity. I find so much joy reading from the scriptures and teaching others about the truths of the Gospel. I know that what I represent is true! I am so grateful to be down here and I know the Lord is blessing all of you!! Stay true to the faith and never forget to pray! Communicate with your Heavenly Father through prayer. Pray morning and night. Pray when you feel the need to and pray when you don’t’ feel the need to. God is listening! That is a knowledge I have come to personally know for myself. He so loves us and is there to help us along the way. Se nós colocarmos nossa fé em Deus, nós cresceremos e tornarmo-nos mais como ele. Deus vive. Ele nos ama. Jesus Cristo é O Salvador do mundo! Ele sofreu pra nos. Ele nos ama e quer que tenhamos felicidade para sempre. Nós precisamos mostrar nosso gratidão por o sacrifício de Cristo por obedecer os mandamentos que Ele deixou. Se nós amarmos Jesus Cristo, nós guardaremos Seus mandamentos.
Fique firme! Ama seu próximo como a ti mesmo.

I love you,
Elder Bean

A fun moment of the week:
On Saturday for Elder Barusso´s birthday we went with a member (Sandra) to a nice grocery store where they make pizza. While we were waiting for pizza I went up to Antonio, a manager there. Me and him are good buddies and he wants to start hearing the lessons again. Taught him already back when I was with Elder Tippetts. He thinks I’m like so awesome for some reason ha :)
But I just put my arm around him and asked him for a big favor: announce happy birthday to elder Barusso over the intercom at the grocery store. haha.

So He does it!!! haha it was so awesome.  Everyone in the grocery store (a big store) enjoyed it too!!!    Was hilarious

Drinking coconut water before lunch, so refreshing and good!!!

Stadium here in Gama

Surprise birthday party for Elder Barusso!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

God Listens to Our Prayers

This week was awesome!!! Had a bunch of highlights and great experiences this week. We did a bunch of divisions (would split up to work with two people from the church) this week with some priest aged (over 16 yrs) guys. It was awesome and great working with the young men who are preparing to serve missions in the near future. I was able to go out with Lucas one day. He is a stud. We were on the bus together, and I have already done several "Fear No Mans" on the bus but I asked Lucas if he would feel uncomfortable if I did it. He was like No that would be awesome! Ha.  It made me think back when I was his age, and if I was with a missionary and he said he wanted to get up and talk to everyone in a big public area, I probably would have been really embarrassed! Ha, Lucas is a champ.
This week I really learned that Heavenly Father will put those that are ready to hear the gospel in your path, especially after prayer and faith. We had missed our bus one morning so we had to wait a little bit to get the next one. It made us late so at first I was a little annoyed but then I realized why it was meant to happen. While we were on the bus a few stops before we would get off, all the seats were taken and a young married couple with a newborn baby got on the bus. So I got up and let them sit down where I was sitting. I took advantage of the situation and I started talking with them about the gospel. I found out that the guy (Rogerio) is a member but hasn’t been to church in 6 years and his wife Jennifer didn’t know anything about the church. I got the address and marked a day to go over there. After a few days when we went over and it was so awesome!! They were so receptive and really trying to get the most out of each word we said in the lesson. They both felt that it was true, and they want to go to church and be united and raise their family there. Rogerio and Jennifer are so awesome! As we left, I could feel so much love for them and the joy was overfilling.  It’s incredible! Jennifer said she thinks her son will end up looking like me since he has blonde hair and blue eyes. ha
We also marked a baptism date with Adrianno, a college guy we found this week. We were at an apartment complex and the person we wanted to visit wasn’t home but I felt that we needed to knock on the door behind us. And we found Adrianno! Taught him the Restoration and he felt the spirit really strong and said he wanted to get baptised!!
Dino is going to be baptised sometime soon!!! yeahhhh. He went to church on
Sunday again and bore his testimony in front of everyone. He said how he has always struggled but feels that he has finally found the true church and wants to be baptized and when he saw me that I returned to Gama, he knew it was an answer to his prayers. I feel like Dino was definitely one of the reasons that I needed to return to Gama.   All the members love Dino and look up to him. He is going to be a strong leader in the church someday.
The week was great, everyday is full of joyful experiences that makes any difficulties seem so small. Everyday is full of rough and sad experiences when we get rejected etc. but it is overshadowed by those joyful experiences of teaching the gospel, helping others, and seeing people come unto Christ.  So grateful to be out here and part of this great work. We are having a huge activity for the whole community this weekend for "Helping Hands" project. It will be awesome!
I love yall so much, I know Christ lives and is our Savior! He is the Savior of the World, but also a personal Savior that knows each and everyone of us personally and the difficulties we encounter everyday. I know that God listens to our prayers and that we have the great privilege of getting to communicate with Him whenever we want to and need to through humble prayer!


Elder Bean I

I still haven’t found my camera... but I haven’t lost hope!!!! I just really want those fotos on it.