Thursday, March 26, 2015

So Blessed to Be Here in Asa Sul and Cruzeiro

It has been such a blessing to be here in this area, Asa Sul and Cruzeiro. The church and the members here are awesome and I am so grateful to be here. This past week we had to say goodbye to Elder Clinger who returned home. It was really tough seein him leave. He has been an incredible example and great friend to me here. I am gonna miss him a ton but I know he will do great back home. At one of the going away parties for Elder Clinger, me and elder Barbosa made pancakes for everyone and then there was another big party at the Bishop´s house with a ton of members on Monday night to say goodbye to Elder Clinger. It was great to see how grateful all the members were for having had Elder Clinger in the area and showing their appreciation for him.  He deserved it all!! He is a stud!!
I have recently been called to be an Assistant (AP). On Wednesday President called me into his office and told me I would be the new AP. I am really excited about this new opportunity and to be able to help out all the other missionaries. It will be a great learning experience and I am really looking forward to it. My new companion is Elder Duarte. He is a Brazilian from São Paulo and a stud!! My new area is Cruzeiro/Asa Sul.  It is the same ward and area, except I will live in Cruzeiro instead of Asa Sul where I was living. The 4 secretaries live in Asa Sul and the 2 assistants live in Cruzeiro. I am so grateful to be staying in this wonderful ward here!! We are in a trio with Elder Barbosa until the end of the transfer (in a week and a half). I have been so blessed to be companions with Barbosa. He is one of my best buds out here and we have had some awesome experiences together. He will stay in the office and we are still in the same ward at church so I will still see him a ton, which is great. 
This past week we have been getting rain everyday which has been nice. The only bad thing is that it gets in the way of our work sometimes. Elder Barbosa and I have another great idea to help receive more references from the members. We typed up a letter with some inspirational quotes and scriptures along with a personal note from us thanking each family for all they do for us. Inside the card will have a form to fill out with the name and address of the reference they want to give us and we will include some pieces of chocolate in the card as well. ha. We will go by the house of each family and give it to them, and if they aren’t home we will leave it in the mailbox. We have chosen about 25 families from the ward to start off with.
Our recent converts are all doing great here!! Patricia already has a calling and gave an Incredible talk in church about faith and obedience!! She referred to the Story of Nephi and his brothers who weren’t so obedient. It was incredible!  Ritchielle is doing great as well!! She shared with me on Sunday how it was that she felt so sure she needed to be baptized. She was reading the Bible the week leading up to her baptism. She had shown faith by committing herself to be baptized but was feeling unsure cause she wanted to know everything, wanted to a have a perfect knowledge beforehand. As she was readin the Bible, she felt Heavenly Father talking with her as she read a part that basically said she wouldn’t know the truth of all things until she received the Comforter (the Holy Ghost) and she knew that she needed to be baptized and then afterwards she would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was simple yet powerful and she felt the Spirit so strong confirming to her that she needed to be baptized.  She is awesome!
I am so grateful to be here. So crazy thinking that I have only 4 more months here.  3 more transfers! It has been an incredible journey, and it hasn’t ended yet. I know I need to keep going hard and endure til the end so I can "Leave it all on the Field." 
I love this Gospel!! I love my Savior. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He lives and loves each and everyone of us. I am so excited for this upcoming General Conference the first weekend of April, which will be my last on the mission. We will have the privilege to hear from our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson who has been called of God to lead His work here on the earth. This time leading up to Easter, is a great time for each of us to recommit ourselves to Follow Christ and live by his teachings. Accept Him into our hearts and allow Him to make an eternal difference in our lives.
I love you all so much!!


Elder Bean

Here is an incredible new video that explains the importance of Easter and that Jesus Christ is a ressurrected being and lives!!  Because He Lives

An American lady visiting her daughter who lives in Brasil took this pic at church.

Our fridge with the cans of American soda from the Embassy

Milk, we eat granola with milk most mornings

Made popcorn, this is what's left

Saying goodbye to Elder Clinger

Dropping off Elder Clinger at the airport. This is the van that we ride in
everyday driven by Red. The van is called "Branco de Neve" (Snow White)

Trio de Poder - Trio of Power

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Minha Semana Numa Casca de Noz. (My Week in a Nutshell)

E aí,

We had an awesome week!! Last Thursday, we had an incredible lesson with Chris and his wife Marisa. Chris is from the Caribbean and speaks English and is learning Portuguese, and Marisa is Brasilian but speaks fluent English too. They are in their late 50s early 60s and are awesome!! Marisa is a member of the church and Chris is not. They bought some really good pizza for us before the lesson. We always have a great time with them and they treat us like family. Chris always has great questions. We talked basically the whole time in English which was cool! ha.  We prayed a lot before we visited them to seek guidance from Heavenly Father to know what we could teach to help Chris. Chris is a good Christian man and really wants to follow the Savior and studies the bible a lot.  We felt prompted to talk about Eternal marriage and about the Book of Mormon. It was awesome and the Spirit was so strong! It really strengthened our testimonies and Chris was able to feel the Spirit as we testified of the things we taught. Marisa told of some of her personal experiences and how it is her dream to be sealed in the temple with Chris someday. Marisa went to the temple a few weeks ago and Chris went with her for the whole week. While she was inside, Chris stayed outside but felt a special spirit there and said people always came out to talk with him and help him feel welcome. He loves his wife so much which is why we really want them to have the chance to be sealed someday. Chris told us he would read the Book of Mormon and pray to God to know if it is true.  As we left, Chris told us how much he loves us and how important we are to his family! Which was great.
Marisa is a diplomat so she has lived all over the world working in Brazil embassies. They will be leaving this summer to live in the Middle East where she will work in an embassy there. The church is small. Just a group (not even a branch) with just 12 people including 5 little kids. We know that Chris could be such a strong leader to the church up there. I know he will be baptized someday!
This week, we went to visit a new area in the mission that is opening up, "Padre Bernardo". It is a town that reminds me a lot of Santo Antonio do Descoberto where I started my mission. It has a special spirit there and the work will flourish so much there! There are just 6 members of the church living there so it’s just a group but will grow a ton and fast. We talked with some people there and are really receptive to the Gospel. It was cool being able to go see that area and get things ready for the missionaries that will serve there.
We got to visit the soccer stadium "Mané Garrincha" where several of the 2014 World Cup games were played at last summer. Inside, the stadium is pretty sickk. We got to have a tour and it was really cool!!  That night we ate McDonald´s for dinner with an awesome less active member (Hedson) who we are helping come back to church and has been for a few weeks and his son. His son (Matheus) is 15 yrs old and active in the church and loves basketball. He is awesome. He knows everything there is about the NBA so it was cool getting some updates and talkin with him.
This week, Scott and Chris invited us over to teach a referral they gave us! Her name is Tere and she and her husband just moved here to Brasilia. Her husband is American and works in the US embassy and she is Brasilian. She is awesome!! They were living in Chicago. We didn’t get to meet her husband yet since he was traveling but we had a great lesson!! Scott and Chris are really open with people about the gospel and always invite them to get to know us which is awesome!  We taught the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. She is super cool and said that she could feel somethin touch her heart durin the lesson and felt really good. We had a great time and lookin forward to future visits. Tomorrow we are going to visit the US embassy for lunch with them and buy stuff from the store at the embassy (American food/stuff for American prices). 
The weeks keep going by faster and faster. The mission is incredible and I’m so grateful to be out here and having these life-changing experiences. I have been listening to a lot of inspiring church talks lately in the mornings and it’s been a great way to start the day right after I wake up. I know my Savior lives, and it has been a blessing to help others come to know Him, and also for myself to come to know Him even more as well.

Much love,

Elder Bean

On the way to Padre Bernardo

Heading to Padre Bernardo, a new area of the mission that we are opening up.

I love Açaí :)))

World Cup soccer stadium in Brasilia

Sitting where the players sat....dreaming the athlete dream

Red surprised Elder Barbosa and I with a pizza!

Went to the U.S. Embassy and got some American "treats".
Sporting my Texas tie and some red white and blue socks. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Baptism! - God Desires Our Happiness

Hey fam! 
This week we had Ritchielle´s baptism!!! It was incredible. A really special experience for her, her family, us, and everyone in the ward at church. Her boyfriend got to baptize her and it was great! The Spirit was super strong during the whole service. A great guy named Marcelo who was being taught by the other missionaries in our ward was baptized as well. There was a ton of support at the baptism and everyone could feel the strong spirit there. Some other missionaries visited from other areas and we sang the primary song "Quando Eu For Batizado". The Spirit was very strong!! 
Marcos, Ritchielle´s dad, said the closing prayer and he was overcome with gratitude and emotions. It was great to see how happy this family was and that they are now preparing together to go to the temple and be sealed as an eternal family. Incredible!! 
We had an entire family and one other man show up to church that we have been teaching and it was awesome!! They have been inactive and haven’t attended church for a long long time. Seeing them come was great!! It is awesome being able to visit the less and in - actives and bring the Spirit into their home and help them remember those spiritual feelings and experiences they have had, and when they come back to church it is incredible!! 
Jesus is the Christ, and God our Father loves us so much. I have learned here that God has such a great and unique love for each and every one of us. He loves us all and knows us each personally. 
Grandma Bean sent me a quote that said.  "If you want to see a true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."  -------J.K. Rowling.  That quote really hit me. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from. We should treat others the way our Savior has taught us "Love thy neighbor as thyself."  We are all children of an Eternal loving God who wants the best for each and every one of us. We all are here on this "path" here on earth which takes us back to His presence. We all have our own individual trials and challenges along the way. When we have faith in our Savior during our trials, we will come back stronger than before and our faith and love in Him will increase and grow. We will become more like Him and come to know Him for who He is - The Son of God and Savior of the World. When we truly love our Savior, we will obey His commandments and choose the right. Heavenly Father loves us all so much and has given us His beloved Son, that through the redeeming and enabling power of the Atonement, we can become cleansed from our sins and errors and change our hearts and become more like Him and have true happiness in this life. God desires our happiness. He has told us how we can have it. It’s our duty to act and use our agency to CHOOSE to follow Him and to have true happiness.

I hope everything is going great with y’all back home!!! 
Have a great week!!!

with love,

Elder Bean

Ritchielle's baptism day

Ritchielle baptized by her boyfriend

Elder Clinger and Marcelo