Friday, February 27, 2015

Campeonato das Referências

This week was the start of the transfer!!! Me and Elder Barbosa stayed together and we are really excited about this transfer. Every transfer goes by faster and faster. After this one I will only have 3 more transfers!!! So crazy to think that. 
This week we got to go to the airport and welcome the new missionaries and then go eat lunch at President and Sister Lundgren´s house. Sister Lundgren made American brownies and made it into a sundae with ice cream, which was awesome!!  It is crazy to see new missionaries come in, cause it feels just like yesterday that was me! And knowing that they have 2 years of incredible, life changing experiences ahead of them.
We have two solid investigators that are really progressing towards being baptized in March. Ritchielle is liking the lessons and thinking and praying about being baptized. The rest of her family was baptized in October and her boyfriend is a returned missionary, and she is wanting to really make the decision for herself! She is ready and knows it’s true, we just need to be patient! We will have a family home evening tonight at Scott and Cris´s house and Ritchielle´s family will be there.  Cayre is a 22 year old guy who is a stud. He is super smart and a friend of Ritchielle´s family. He is reading the Book of Mormon and has already been to church. He has tons of questions, but they are solid questions. We can tell he really wants to know has desire.   
This past Sunday we implemented something with our ward at church called "Campeonato das Referências". (Championship of References (referrals)).  A "referência" is when a member of the church gives us a name and address of one of their friends who they would like to introduce to the missionaries and have us visit. The church here is awesome with great members and we know the best way to work and have success, is through the members. I designed some papers and we put it up on the mural at church and explained to the members in the classes what would happen. From now until March 15th, we will see what members can give the most references. We will write them down on the list at church and how many they have given. After the 15th, we will see who gave the most. The Top 3 families who gave the most references  will receive a prize. Us 6 missionaries in the ward will cook an American style breakfast for each family!!   We wanted to serve the people who "win" instead of just give them a chocolate bar or somethin. The ward is getting competitive and really excited :) haha. As of right now our Bishop is in first place!! ha. It's awesome!!

thanks for all the prayers/letters/emails/packages/ etc. yall are the best!!!!
Always remember God loves each and every one of you and is there for us at every moment of this journey that will lead us back to His presence one day!! 

with love,

Elder Bean

Staying together for another transfer!

Office fun :)
Me and Redson we call him "Red". He is awesome and hilarious.
He drives the mission van for us in the office. During a stressful day
he makes things lighter cause he’s awesome and so funny. haha
Tired after a long day :)
Three new Elders arrived!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Carnaval In Brasil...Plenty of Missionary Opportunities

This past week was Carnaval!!! It basically started Saturday and ended on Wednesday. It’s a bigtime holiday here!! We had to get home a little early every night just to be safe. Gets pretty crazy here! Here in Brasilia most of the people travel to the other cities where the parties are bigger, but we still saw a bunch of crazy stuff since we live within walking distance of downtown. 
The week was good though!! On Friday I got to have the privilege of doing a baptism interview with a 65 year old man named José Filho but he likes to be called "Zé Filho". It was the most interesting, spiritual, and enjoyable baptismal interview that I have been able to have. He is so awesome!! I learned so much from Zé Filho. He teaches philosophy. He’s a super funny guy. But during the interview, it was incredible the way he would talk about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. He truly has "come unto Christ" and changed his life around. He loves the prophet Joseph Smith and hearing him relate the first vision and things about the prophet, it was as if they were great, dear friends! Querido amigos. He has such gratitude for what he did. His questions were incredible and he has such desire to change his life around and have a new beginning. I think I walked out of that interview feeling like I learned more from him than he had from me. It was awesome!   After the interview he prayed and asked for blessings on my family back home. It is really special when hearing investigators pray on behalf of my family and loved ones back home. 
We attended his baptism on Saturday which was great!! He is seriously one of the funniest guys I know. He’s a special guy for sure!! 
On Monday we had an awesome Zone Activity at a legit apartment complex in Aguas Claras. that had a soccer court, tennis court, basketball court and a games room with ping pong and stuff (have two swimming pools but we cant swim;)). We ordered a pizza and had a great time with the missionaries from the zone. We played basketball with some older guys which ended up turning into a great missionary opportunity and they accepted the invite to go to church and have the lessons.
On Saturday (valentines day) we got a call from some Elders in another area saying that one of the members in there area is in the hospital near us with her 7 month old baby and the baby wasn’t doing too good and needed a blessing. I called the Father and he explained how he was heading to work and had no way of being able to go. We then went to the hospital where his wife and daughter were. Here in Brasilia there are some good quality hospitals. The one that we went to was more of clinic and in not good conditions. We were able to get in and the receptionist led us as we weaved ourselves through the hallway that was filled with little sick children and their parents (the clinic was overfilled in the rooms so people were treated in the hallways). Being there, made me want to be a pediatrician.  I felt so sad seeing these children suffering yet when we walked by and said hi, they would smile say "Tudo Bem" and have the look on their face like it was Christmas morning. It made me want to be a doctor, and later in life come back to poorer countries and do a service mission and help with healthcare.  We found our way to the room where the mom and her daughter were. When we got there, her face brightened and was really happy. The baby (Louise) was awake and so cute  but was hooked up to all these machines. She looked like a fighter, but things were not going good. The Sprit that I felt as I entered that room hit me hard. It was powerful and I could feel the Spirit of the Lord there. We talked with the mom who I could tell was having a rough time. She was a really sweet lady. It’s her first child and I could tell she was very worried and upset. I then got to give Louise a blessing. It was one of the sweetest spiritual experiences I have had as I layed my hands on her tiny little head.  It was very special and I knew with a certainty that Louise would be ok!  We stayed a little longer and offered to call members from the area to bring food or to come and visit.  After the blessing the mom was full of tears and gratitude. 
I felt an extreme gratitude for all I have been blessed with and for being worthy to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands and exercise the priesthood. No one is perfect. But when we try to do what is right and put ourselves into the Lord´s hands, He will use us to help others. 
I know Christ lives and that He died for each and every one of us. To give us all the opportunity to choose the right, choose to follow HIM, and live eternally with Him, with our Heavenly Father, and with our families. I love the Gospel! It brings true happiness to our lives and allows us to be changed by the grace of Christ and become better individuals, and have a loving and united family. 
Take care!!! I love you

Elder Bean I

Zé Filho's baptism: Elder Lenon, Zé Filho, Me, Elder Godinho 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Jesus Christ's Atonement Can Change Our Hearts and Our Lives

E aí!!!

We had a great week here!! We had a ton of investigators that went to church on Sunday and really grateful for all the great things happening here in Asa Sul. Gibran went to church again and is really liking it. We marked to teach him tomorrow and will invite him to be baptized. Other than church, we haven’t been able to see him during the week. We have been giving him things to read and pray about and he is doing it! He is a stud! He is super busy all the time since he is studying to be a doctor and doing residency right now. 
The members of the church here in Asa Sul are awesome, always willing to help us in whatever we need. We did a Family Night (family home evening) with about 15 members and a few investigators. We did it at a member’s house who everyone is baptized except for the husband. The message was on Eternal families! It was very good and spiritual.  To top it off had some awesome chocolate cake to end the night off. 
We also have been teaching a 19 yr old girl named Ritchelli. Her whole family was baptized in October except for her. We had a great lesson last night with the whole family about Jesus Christ and his life here on Earth. How He is always calling for us to Follow Him and His example that He set for us. Jesus Christ lives and loves us so much!! He knows each everyone of us personally. We need to use His gift to us, the atonement, to change our hearts and change our lives. We feel strongly that Ritchelli will be baptized soon. We invited her last night and she told us how she still hasn’t prayed to Heavenly Father and asked Him if she needs to be baptized. We were able to promise her and testify that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and WILL answer her prayer!!!
 The mission is incredible and everyday brings new experiences and new things to learn. Take advantage of every moment!!!!


Elder Bean

Churrasco (BBQ)  at President and Sister Lundgren's house

Farewell dinner for Elder Hatch

It's hard to say goodbye to a good friend!
Elder Robb (far left), from my MTC group serving in Teresina. Fabricio a youth that
I knew in Gama met him while there on vacation with his family! So fun to get a
letter from Elder Robb and hear about things in northern Brasil!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Baptism!! God Prepares Us One Step at a Time

Everything is going good here in Brasília. This week we had Patricia´s baptism!! It was so awesome and special. That Saturday was an overall awesome day. It started off with a "Church cleaning activity" for the whole ward and then the bishop did a churrasco (BBQ) for everyone! It was a ton of fun and we had several in-active members that went that we are helping and visiting. After the BBQ, President took us to Gama to be there for some baptisms of people that I helped teach! It was so special going back there and seeing everyone again. I felt so much joy it was insane. I felt so happy to be back there and see the people from Gama. Gama will always have a special place in my heart.  Afterwards, we went back to Asa Sul for our baptism with Patricia. And she knows some members from Itapoã so she invited them!!! And at the church building, they were having an EFY (fsy) meeting for all the efy counselors (efy will be during Carnival in February here). And I got to see some more members from Gama including Sandra, Gabriel and Elycia!! Elycia was baptized in January 2014 when I was in Gama the first time. She has been a member for a year now, and is going to be an EFY counselor!! Gabriel is preparing to serve a mission here soon. It was so great seeing them. 
The Baptism for Patricia was truly so special. All the members came to support and had a great turnout!! Her mom, Terezinha, felt the Spirit very strong and felt that everyone in the church is like a big family. I felt the Spirit so strong!! On Sunday she was confirmed a member and I got to participate in that. Irmão Paulo baptized and confirmed her. Patricia is going to be such a great member and will have a positive influence on so many people!! During testimony meeting at church, the spirit was just so powerful. The last testimony borne was by this sweet little old lady who happened to be the first sister missionary to serve in Brasilia. It was in the 1960s. (they are writing a book about her.)  She is a pioneer for the church in Brasil, and she came back to Brasilia to visit. I cannot imagine the joy she must have felt to see how strong the church is now after all these years. Her testimony was so pure and powerful and it made me want to do better!! She is really old, but when talking with her she has such a youthfulness about her and remembers so many details about her past. She loves the missionaries!!
I got to do several baptism interviews this week. It is awesome being able to interview and talk with some amazing people who are investigating the church and wanting to be baptized. Many of them strengthen my own testimony through their thoughts and stories from their life and how they found the church. Seeing how the hand of God has been in their life preparing many of them for much time to accept the missionaries in the future when they were ready is incredible. 
At church we had a great turnout from investigators. We also had a miracle in a guy named Gibran. He is studying to be a doctor and he felt prompted to visit a "Mormon church." so he looked up on the internet where the nearest church was and the times and he showed up!! I gave him a tour of the church and taught him. He is a stud and the members did a great job of integrating him. I love the people so much here in Asa Sul. 

The work here is incredible. I am so grateful to be a part of this great, marvelous, and eternal work. I know that Christ is guiding this work. If we are humble and allow Christ to enter our hearts and our live, we will become changed and become more like Him. He is our perfect example. He is the way! He is the light of the world and the good shepherd. He is forever calling us to come and follow Him. I know He lives!! He is the resurrected Lord and Savior of the World, and has a love for each and every one of us. He died for us and gave us an incredible gift. We need to use his atonement. We need to show our gratefulness for Christ and what he did for us by following Him and keeping His commandments. There is an incredible talk by Brad Wilcox "His grace is sufficient". It is powerful and makes so much sense and I recommend it.

I love y’all so much!! Life is full of challenges, but if it wasn’t for the hard times, the good times truly wouldn’t be as good. If we didn’t have salt, we wouldn’t really know how sweet sugar really is. It’s the difficulties of life, that make us even more grateful for those tender mercies and those moments of happiness.

Elder Bean I

In Gama with President Lundgren for baptisms.

Patricia's baptism

Terezinha (Patricia's mom), Patricia, Irmao Paulo

Elder Bean, Patricia, Elder Barbosa

Still have some muscle, lifting Elder Hatch! Elder Brown looking amazed.

With the Bishop

Happy Day!!

President Lundgren took us to see a professional basketball game.
Lucas Cipolini on the team is in the Asa Sul ward.