Thursday, January 29, 2015

Working and Laboring in the Lord´s Vineyard Here in Brasília

What a great week!!! We are working hard, having a ton of fun, and enjoying "working and laboring in the Lord´s vineyard" here in Brasília. Asa Sul is such a great area!!! The members of the church are awesome, always willing to help, and the people are great. At least once a day, someone comes up to us out of interest and starts talking to us. Whether it is at the bus stop, on the metro train, the grocery store, or on the street. We do our best to try to talk with everyone, but here a lot of people make the first move and come to us which is so cool!!!  
The Bishop of the ward here is awesome! Bishop Marcelo. He is so involved and is willing to do whatever he can to help us and help our investigators. We visited him last week and asked if there were certain people that he knows that are needing our visits. Since we work in the office, we only eat lunch with the members on the weekends so it’s hard to know who is needing help. He gave us a few names and addresses. We felt inspired to contact one of them on Sunday night. So we went to visit Hedson and his family. An in-active family. We get there and Hedson was so happy to see us. He is in his mid 40s, married, and has three kids. All members of the church. Just Hedson was there and the visit was so special. I know it was inspired for Bishop to give us his name and address, and for us to go that night.  Hedson hasn’t been to church for 3 years, but still believes very deeply that it is true and still reads the scriptures. He told us that us coming was an answer to his prayers to Heavenly Father. We shared 3 Nephi 18 about prayer and it really touched his heart. He shared experiences from his own mission when he served. After we bore our testimonies, he got really emotional when thanking us for coming by and knowing that it was divinely inspired by God for us to be there. He recognizes the Spirit and he told us he would go to church on Sunday and also to the Ward Churrasco (BBQ) on Saturday at the church. We knelt in prayer to end our visit and the spirit was just bursting. Me and Elder Barbosa left there feeling elevated and knowing that the Lord had put us in the right place at the right time. They will be such a strength to the church. We returned there two nights ago as well. This time I went with Elder Clinger (another secretary). They were all waiting for us to get there and this time the whole family was there!! There is a special spirit in that home. We got to know everyone, and then read 3 Nephi 11 about when Christ visited the people in the Americas after his resurrection and showed the marks in his hands and his feet just like he did to the 12 apostles in Jerusalem. To show to the people of the Americas, that He is the Savior of the World, and died for them as well. The Spirit was burning and everyone could feel it.  Cleiton, an 18 year old member of the church who is preparing to serve a mission also went to the visit with us.  Hedson bore his testimony and then asked everyone in his family to share how they were feeling (Hedson is a stud!!). His 15 year old son Matheus is big into basketball and plays really good. Lucas, who is the professional basketball player in our church, is also one of the leaders in the young men´s program so that will help Matheus a lot!  At the end of the lesson, I felt really touched. Hedson asked us really humbly if we could please take his "role" and give a "Father´s" blessing to his kids since the new school year was about to start.  It touched us that he was really wanting us to do it for his kids. He was very grateful.   They are a special family!
We visited another super awesome family. Chris and Marisa and their daughter. Chris (non-member) and Marisa (member) are in their mid-50s and super cool!! Chris is from the Carribean islands and where he is from everyone speaks English. So he speaks English and is trying to learn Portuguese. He has been in Brasil for about a year. Marisa is Brasilian but works in embassies as a diplomat so speaks English fluently and has lived all over the world. China, Los Angeles, Europe, etc. And in a couple months they will be moving to the middle east. Their six kids all live in the US except for one that lives in Brasil.  They had us over for dinner and we taught Chris. It was a ton of fun. They made us really feel at home. He showed us pictures where he lived in the Caribbean and it looked so legit. 
Patricia is really progressing and superr excited about her baptism on Saturday!!!!!! She is really integrated with the members. We will visit her again tonight at Scott and Cris´s house! We are super excited for Saturday night!!

Espero que tenham uma ótima semana!! Amo vocês!!

Elder Bean I

Chris and Marisa and their daugher

Me, Elder Barbosa, Chris, Marisa, their daughter

Aguas Claras, city west of Asa Sul

Aguas Claras

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tex-Mex in Brasil!!!

First time eating Tex-Mex in Brasil.

Elder Barbosa, Brown, Hatch, Bean

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I Know Heavenly Father Loves Us • Zone Conference

I’m having a great time here in my new area!! The members at church are awesome!! They help a lot! Our investigator Patrícia went to church and is really progressing towards her baptism on the 31st. We taught her this week at Scott and Cristina´s (Cris) house. Scott and Cris lived in the US and have been here in Brasil for 3 months. Cris is actually Brasilian but she has lived in the US for 10 years and speaks fluent English. Scott works at the US embassy here in Brasília. Its awesome cause they always give us Mountain Dew (which they don’t have in Brasil) whenever we go over since the embassy has stocks of American food and drinks. We also had chips and salsa!!  But the "family home evening" at their house with Patrícia was awesome. They also invited two other ladies from the ward including a recent returned missionary.  We watched the 15 minute video of the Restoration and it was super spiritual. Patrícia (like 30 yrs old) is awesome and really intelligent. She noticed the small details of the movie and was able to point it out at the end. But she has been having trouble with the Book of Mormon, but after the lesson she said how she finally took a chance and decided to read it! And once she started she said she could feel so strong in her heart that what she was reading was true and she couldn’t put it down! It was awesome! 
The professional basketball player in our ward, Lucas, is a stud! He is huge. He is Brasilian and got recruited to go play basketball at BYU-Hawaii. There he got baptized, learned English, and got married to Vanessa, who has always lived in the US but her parents are Brasilian. They are awesome and help a lot. 
We find some great and interesting people here in Asa Sul while doing contacts in the street. The other night we did a contact with this guy from Costa Rica who works at the embassy and has only been here for a month. He only speaks Spanish with like a few Portugues words! He was a way cool guy to talk to about life and the gospel. I was able to understand almost everything he was saying. He heard about our church back in Costa Rica and he accepted our invite to go to church and that we can visit him and his family and start teaching them. 
We had a great zone conference yesterday! It was combined with two zones. We started off watching the movie "Meet the Mormons". Conheça os Mormons.  It was so good! Strengthened my testimony and gave me more desire to go out and continue to help others come unto Christ and spread His word. Im so grateful for all that Heavenly Father has blessed me with and given me. President Lundgren also instructed us. I’m so grateful to have him as my mission president.  He is so spiritual but also so fun to be around and to talk to. 
I hope y’all have a great week and continue to remember thank God always. We can literally communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer. He knows each and every one of us. Ele conheçe cada um de nós. We lived in His presence before this life. We know Him!  President Ezra Taft Benson said,  "Nothing  is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us." 
 When we pray to Heavenly Father, we need to remember that we are communicating and conversating with someone who loves us eternally, and who we know very very well and love. He wants us to reach our potential and do our best in this life, so we can one day return and live forever in his presence. He has given us a map (the scriptures), has given us a guide (a living prophet), and guidelines to keep us safe (the commandments). He loves us! Each and every one of you. Never forget that!


Elder Bean

Brasilia and Brasilia Norte (North)  Zones

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Loving Asa Sul!!

The week has been going great so far! I’m really lovin this new area and the other missionaries here. Elder Barbosa is awesome and we have a ton of fun together. Asa Sul is a great area. It is one of the wealthiest areas here in Brasília. At the church, there are some Americans who are here in Brasil cause they work at the United States embassy.  We are teaching this awesome lady named Patrícia and we teach her in the home of some members, (who all speak English). We are preparing her to be baptized on January 31st. She is solid!! We taught the lesson in English which was an awesome experience, my first time. Elder Barbosa is from Brasil but speaks English fluently. We read the scriptures in Portuguese with her but explained everything in English. I feel the Sprit when I teach in Portuguese and it’s awesome, but its a special feeling being able to do it in English. It was a really cool experience. 
The members here in Asa Sul are awesome and I’m really excited to get to know more of them on Sunday at church. Someone at the church is a professional basketball player on the Brasília team. I’m lovin it here on the mission and so grateful for all the opportunities I have been blessed with here to come to know my Savior better, and to help others come to know him as well.


Elder Bean I

Lofton's new P-day is Thursday, that's when he will send and receive emails.

Saying goodbye to everyone in Gama

The city of Gama up ahead

New companion, Elder Barbosa, from São Paulo Brasil