Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Visiting Padre Bernardo and Brazlândia

This transfer, President is doing interviews in each zone of the mission, so Elder Duarte and I have been going with him. It has been good to see how all the missionaries are doing and while president interviews individually, we have been talking with each district to see what their needs are and helping them with things going on in their areas. On Tuesday night, we headed up to Brazlândia to stay the night with the zone leaders because on Wednesday morning we headed off to Padre Bernardo (a new area that just opened up). Padre Bernardo is about 3 hours by bus from Brasilia and Brazlandia is the halfway point. We went on a charter bus, which was a lot better and comfortable. We got to Padre Bernardo just in time for their district meeting and we participated with them. The four missionaries there are all studs!! Elder Kesler, Ribeiro, Clark, and Nascimento. In Padre Bernardo there are only 6 members of the church - a family of four and another couple. We got to meet the family of four since the district meeting and lunch was at their home. (their home is like a second home to the missionaries). Isaac and Rebeca (14 and 10 years old) are awesome kids and have a really special spirit about them. After lunch, we split into four companionships and we went to work! I worked with Elder Clark and it was a blast!! We invited several people to be baptized and taught some of their great investigators who are progressing to being baptized next week. The Spirit in Padre Bernardo is incredible. It is a small town and the word and gossip has spread about the Four Mormon missionaries walking around the town. People are really interested and their hearts are opening up. While we were walking, this middle age woman stopped us in the street and asked us out of curiosity what we were doing and who we are. (I’m sure two big blonde white guys stick out) We introduced ourselves and we sat on a bench on the side of the road and explained to her about our church and taught her the gospel. She told us how a few weeks ago while at her church, she felt God telling her that the church where she was at wasn’t where she needed to be and that soon the right church would be shown to her. When she told us that, I felt the Spirit and was able to testify to her that we are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and that Heavenly Father put us into each others paths so that she could hear the truths of the restoration and that the Lord needed her to help the growth of the church in Padre Bernardo. It was an awesome experience! She will probably be the first president of the relief society in Padre Bernardo! haha.  It was really cool and a testimony builder to me that she had felt that prompting from Heavenly Father to leave her church and search for the right one a few weeks ago. Because a few weeks ago is exactly when our church was established in Padre Bernardo!! 
We had some awesome family home evenings this week as well in our area. We did one at Demetrio and Norivans home (their daughter just got home from a mission) and had a great message and some pizza.  We also did one at Scott and Cris´s house and had some American food and chips and salsa!!  This week we were able to mark two baptism dates in our area with Àlvaro and Michelle. They have some problems but have the desire to change and that’s what matters! Qual é o seu desejo? What is your desire. Our desires lead to actions. 
We ate lunch on Friday at Lucas and Vanessa´s house. We had to say bye to them and their little daughter Lia since they are leaving on vacation this week and will come back home a few days after we finish our missions. Lucas is the professional basketball player and it’s the offseason right now. They made us some awesome bacon cheeseburgers and we had a really good time. We will miss them a ton!! They have such an awesome spirit in their home and they make us feel so loved and welcomed. 
We made some goals with a member family last night whose teenage kids aren’t wanting to go to church anymore. We made goals with them that they will pray as a family every morning and read the scriptures every day during lunch since they all eat lunch together. Through the small and simple things, the great things are realized and happen (Alma 37:6). Doing something as simple as having family prayer every day and reading the scriptures makes a huge difference. It takes just a few minutes, but that few minutes helps a family be more united and have more love in the home. 
So grateful for all the blessings I have received and for these awesome learning experiences that I have here everyday. I hope y’all have an awesome week and are taken care of!!

Elder Bean

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." Alma 37:6

Elder Clark, Me, Isaac, Rebeca, Elder Kesler and Duarte in Padre Bernardo

Padre Bernardo

The bus ride

Demetrio and Norivan's home

Vanessa, Lia, Lucas. Me and Duarte

Looking down over Brasilia from the TV tower

In Lago Sul for Sunday dinner at Suzy's house, Elder Vera, Elder Dobner, Cleusa,
Elder Duarte, Suzy, Me, Elder Preator, Elder Batista, and Patricia

Suzy's motorcycles, she rides one to work

Suzy's backyard

Ponte JK - Bridge

Elder Bastista, Duarte, Dobner, Me, Vera, and Preator with the bridge behind us

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Any Moment is a Missionary Opportunity!! - Speaking to the Legislative Chamber

Things are going great here!! Today for Pday we played soccer (sorry mom forgot to take pictures) and threw the football around which was a blast!! This past week, Elder Beale and Elder Huntsman stayed with us before going home on Friday. On Thursday, me and Elder Beale were throwing the football around and... broke his finger. ha. The day before going home to England he broke his finger. He’s hilarious and it only would have happened to him. haha.
We had some great lessons this week. Last night we did a Family Home evening with our recent convert family!! It was very spiritual and awesome. It was with Marcos and his wife Raimunda, and their kids  Ritchelle, Gabi, and Marcos Vinicius. We watched an 18 minute church film and had focused on how we can stay faithful and keep to the path even when we have difficulties and shortcomings in life. I am so grateful for the testimony that I have now of the Gospel. I know for myself now that this life truly is a preparation to prepare to return and live with God. To prove ourselves ready and worthy. We were prepared well before this life. We accepted to come here to be tried and tested and to have joy. This life is like an obstacle course. Sometimes things come and hit us along the way that we may not have been expecting or hoping would come. When those things do come, we must fervently pray and never lose faith. There is a quote that I read in the Liahona church magazine that I really like and it says, "If Heavenly Father were to free us from our challenges simply because we asked, He would deny us the very experiences necessary for our salvation."
We will have challenges and trials in this life. Does that mean that God doesn’t love us? Of course not. Does that mean that we should just throw in the towel and give up? Of course not.  After the trial, comes the blessings and our strength and faith is increased and stronger than ever. Christ didn’t perform a miracle on someone and then afterwards ask if that person had faith. He asked if that person had faith, and according to that faith, the miracle was performed. I know God is a God of miracles  (3 Nephi 27:23, Alma 32:17-18,21) and that His hand is in our lives each and every day. He wants us to reach our potential and become who we are destined to become. Decisions determine destiny. By choosing to have faith and live accordingly to that Faith in Christ, we are determining that we will do what it takes to stick to the straight and narrow path and follow the Savior, and we shall receive eternal life with our Heavenly Father and our loved ones for eternity. (2 Nephi 31:20)
We are teaching a 17 year old named Àlvaro. He is a great kid and is wanting to change his life step by step. He has already changed so much. He use to live a rough life and he is starting to change the way he lives, and stop doing the things that hold him back. He went to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it.  We are also going to start teaching Elmo, who was our taxi last night. We had a good conversation with him in the car and he seemed interested and asked us to visit him and his wife and teach them about what we believe!! Any moment is a missionary opportunity!!
This past week we also had an awesome opportunity to be an example to the community and spread around what we as missionaries do. We got invited to visit the Legislative Chamber here in Brasilia and have an opening presentation to the discussion/debate. The discussion was about the youth in Brazil.  We got a great group of 16 missionaries together to go. We prepared a song and a special musical number. We all sang, and then afterwards Me and Elder Duarte spoke a little about who we are as missionaries, what we do, and about the youth. How the standards of the church has helped us growing up. And then Sister Huff played the violin and Sister Hill the piano to the song "Hide to Kolob". It was super spiritual and incredible. It was awesome cause throughout the night, state and national political leaders would stand up and discuss things and they mentioned us the "Mormon missionaries" a ton and how awesome our work is and what we bring. How we are all youth, and yet we have chosen to do something bigger. Chosen to make a difference in the world in the lives of others. It was awesome!! President Lundgren also spoke as well and it was solid!! It was a huge hit and made a big impact on the people there. It was a great missionary opportunity to help people here see who we are and what we do. How we are here to help others come unto Christ, and to help people in all aspects.  It was an incredible opportunity for all of us that participated!! 
I am doing great!!! Enjoyin the mission and lovin the people :) Brasil is awesome!!
I hope yall have a great week!! I love you

Elder Bean 

Speaking to the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District

With Elder Beale at the airport, he's heading home

Downtown Brasilia

It's cooling off a little

Marcos, Raimunda and their family

Monday, May 11, 2015

Transfers are Awesome Being Able to See All the Missionaries!

Hey!!!! :)
Yesterday was so great and such a blessing to be able to skype with y’all and Noah at the same time!!! It’s awesome that we can be able to talk face to face for that special time. It made my day and I hope you had a awesome Mother´s Day momma, and that y’all had an awesome wedding anniversary dad and mom yesterday as well!! I am so grateful for the wonderful parents that I have! Grateful to have been born to "goodly" parents as was Nephi (1 Nephi 1:1)
I cannot thank the Lord enough for the family I have been blessed to have. One of the most gratifying knowledge we can obtain in this life is a surety that we can live with our families forever, for eternity! 
Today was transfers and it went great!!! It is awesome being able to get together will all the missionaries!! Our "family" was united for the first time;  Me, my son, grandson, and great-grandson!!! It was awesome and got some family pics. ha.  It is great to announce the new areas for the missionaries and their new companions. I have gained such a stronger testimony these past few months of how we truly are in the area and with the companion the Lord would have us be with. The Lord is preparing those to hear us, and it's our job to be worthy to act. We are only instruments in the hands of the Lord. We must continue to clean our "instrument" daily, so that when the Lord needs to play the instrument, "use us",  a beautiful and pure sound will come out and will touch the hearts of those who hear it. I have tried to clean my "instrument" daily so the Lord can use me in the manner that he would to help out his children come unto the truth. We are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. He is always there!
I am lookin forward to being here for these last few months and finishing out strong!! So grateful for our Savior whose love and atonement is continually reaching out to each and every one of us. Let's reach out for it and accept it!! Use His grace to change our lives, and allow ourselves to become who we are meant to be and reach our potential. 
I love you all so much!!! Look to reach out and help those who are in need! You might just be that very instrument that the Lord is needing to help that specific child of His, but you wont know until you Act. :)


Elder Bean

Elders, Preator, Bean, Barbosa, Shinigoski, Batista

Skyping with the fam

With Elder Rojas, from Argentina

With my "son" Elder Lima, "grandson" Elder Montes, "great grandson" Elder  Van Wagoner

Monday, May 4, 2015

God Hears Our Prayers!! I Know For Myself That When We Ask in Faith, We Shall Receive.

Today for Pday we played some futebol and had a zone activity with all the missionaries in our zone!! Futebol (soccer) is such a blast playing, really good competition playing with the Brazilians. We have a really fun zone and this is the last week of the transfer so next Monday many of them will be leaving to different areas. It is so crazy how fast this transfer flew by! I only have two more transfers left which is crazy to think about. 
This week we went and did exchanges in an area called Sobradinho-2. It was a ton of fun and super effective. Sobradinho-2 has four missionaries serving there, Elder Laurentino, Elder Ostrom, Elder Smith, and Elder Machado. All studs!!  Me and Elder Duarte went there along with the two zone leaders (Elder Figueiredo and Elder Marrot) who have Sobradinho in their zone, so we could split up and have 8 missionaries in one area for one day. 4 companionships. We all ate lunch at the same house with this awesome member family who was willing to make lunch for all 8 of us. Awesome family.  Me and Elder Duarte split up with the Seniors and the zone leaders split up with the Juniors.  We made a challenge to see whoever returned home at night with the most baptism dates marked during the day wouldn’t have to pay for pizza. I went and worked with Elder Smith. It was awesome being able to work with him for a day. He is a fellow Texan, from Austin!  We ended up marking 4 baptism dates and not having to pay for pizza :). We ran around like crazy, knocking doors, talking with everyone, and visiting their investigators that they have. We knocked on a door and found an incredible family that felt the Spirit super strong during our visit and made a commitment to be baptized. The Spirit was really strong and we returned home knowing we had given it our all.
It is awesome being able to do exchanges and get to know more of the missionaries personally. It is so important to not just do an exchange to work hard and have great numbers that day, but to be able to talk with the missionary and see how they are doing and what they are needing. Me and Elder Smith had some great conversations and had a great time.
On Saturday, we got to stay in our area here in Cruzeiro and we served the whole day with Cleiton, a stud 18 year-old member who is going on a mission this summer. We had a ton of success and visited a lot of inactive families. Cruzeiro and Asa Sul use to be in different wards but about 1 year and a half ago, they were combined. There are a lot of families here who were very very active and strong in the church (bishops, teachers, stake relief society president, etc.) who are now completely inactive. We have 6 families that we are going to really focus on to help bring back into activity. We found their names on the ward roster. On Saturday night, we went to one of the families, and they accepted us really well and we bonded quickly! They were active in the church for almost 20 years, and have been inactive for 2 years. They already have been sealed in the temple and everything. We did our best to really Listen and focus in on what their needs are so we are able to help them. They are a really special family and we are going back there this week. We have some investigators who are progressing and will be baptized at the end of May or in June! 
Really looking forward to Mother´s Day which means... skype!!!!!! :) I’m so stoked. My 4th and the last time. It feels yesterday we were skyping on Christmas!  Now it’s already May :) I love you all so much and looking forward to it. 
I am so so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and that I have the opportunity to be able to help others come to know it everyday here on the mission!! The mission has changed my life and I am so grateful for the learning experiences that come each day. I have come to love the scriptures and have appreciation for the types of courageous people and heros that I read about who stood firm in their faith in Jesus Christ and never faltered. I am reading the Book of Mormon again from cover to cover again before going home. I have seen the prophet Nephi so much differently now than I use to. He was truly a man of God who CHOSE to be obedient and keep the commandments and follow God with a loving heart. He didn’t do it complaining or whining (like his brothers who were obedient in many aspects but did it grudgingly), but did it with a "heart full of song" and with his eyes single to the glory of God. He knew his purpose!! He knew the importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for him personally, and for his loved ones, and all the future generations. I am so grateful for the testimony I have of the Book of Mormon. I have asked God to know if it truly is another testament of Jesus Christ, that along with the Bible testifies of our Savior. I have received an answer and truly know for myself that it is the truth, and day in day out that answer is strengthened every time I read the scriptures and feel the Spirit testifying to my heart and soul that it is the truth. I am so grateful for prayer, I know for myself that when we ask in faith, we shall receive. God hears our prayers!! Whether it’s from a 2 year old child, or a 20 year old missionary, or a full grown adult who feels that they have fallen off the path. Heavenly Father has such a miraculous eternal love for each and every one of us. He wants us to succeed!! He is always listening!! 
I love my Savior and I love His Gospel.  I love you all!! 
Have a wonderful week!

Elder Bean

Nice hairnets

We were eating lunch at the mall and this lady from mcdonalds came up and asked, "Would you all like to do a free tour of our mcdonalds and see what happens behind the scenes?"  I answered, "If I do it, will you give me free french fries?"  she responded "Yes!!!!!" :)  hahah  so we got a 5 minute tour of mcdonalds and got free fries out of it :) lol