Wednesday, July 29, 2015

O Último Email - The Last Email from Brasil

Hey, sorry I haven’t had any time lately to write any emails!

I’m sitting here "speechless" without words, full of emotion of happiness, gratitude, and love.  For my family, friends, and loved ones back home whom I will see soon, and also for these many incredible missionaries and people I have grown to love and know so much here in Brazil.
These past two weeks have been so special and incredible to me. Words alone on paper/email cannot describe them. 

But today we had our mission conference with the 160 missionaries in Brasilia.  There are just under 200 missionaries here in our mission and it has been such an incredible opportunity in getting to know each and every one of them and gaining such a love for them. It was really hard saying goodbye to many people that have become such important people in my life. Saying goodbye to these good and wonderful people I have come to love here in Brasil has been one of the hardest things. My heart is full and these people will always have a special place in my heart.   
I cannot express my gratitude enough to my Heavenly Father for all I have been given and blessed with. Choosing to serve a mission, has been the best decision I have made in my life until now. Everything that happened in my life before my mission, in a sense prepared me to be here and serve as a missionary in Brazil. I am full of gratitude as I look back and think of how I was as a young teenager and how the Lord new the potential that I had and that I would be able to accomplish much one day in Brazil, even though I didn’t even know it.  I know the Lord never gives up on us. I am so grateful He never gave up on me and has been continually patient with me throughout my life. The decision to serve a mission has set the tone for how the rest of my life will be, and I am so anxious and excited to continue down the path throughout my life. Although as a missionary I serve and teach others,  I have been the one that truly has been served and been taught. I have come to know my Savior and I love Him. I am so grateful for His eternal love and His patience and grace. He loves me, just as much as He loves each and every one of you. He desires us to accept Him and Follow Him, for He is the Truth and the Way.  I know with all the surety of my heart that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth today. Jesus Christ is at the Head of this church, and He leads it through a living prophet.   I love the scriptures and I have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know it to be the word of God. I know it with all my heart and soul. I will never stop to testify of its truthfulness, and how much I have been blessed from reading and learning from it. It has given me a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ and I have come to know Him even more from it, along with the Bible.  Two sacred books that testify that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the Redeemer of the World. I know that if we all exercise our free agency, and choose to make the personal and internal decision to follow Christ, we shall receive eternal life one day. I love my Savior so much and I know that I will never be capable of thanking Him for all He has done for me, for my family, and for all of us: every single person who has ever lived and who will ever live here on earth. 
My heart is full of gratitude and love for Him, I can not express it enough. But I can try and I know that through obedience to His commandments, we show our gratitude for Him and all He has done for us and for our loved ones. He is the Truth, and the Light of the World. 

John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments."    

3 John 1:13-14  says:

"I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee..."       

couldn’t have said it any better :)

I love you all so much and look forward to our reunion. 

Com Amor,

Elder Bean

Last week when we flew to Palmas
The Flight Attendants wanted a pic with us
Mission Conference for all the missionaries the Brasilia Mission except for the 40 missionaries in Palmas

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Gospel of Jesus Christ Brings True Peace

This week was really good!! The mission council on Tuesday was awesome! We were able to talk about several things and get a good idea about what we would talk about at the mission conference. I have learned so much from President Lundgren and hearing him talk with and train the other missionaries. 
So here in Asa Sul, we also watch over another ward in Lago Sul since they don’t have set missionaries there so we only teach people there if they are referrals. Lago Sul is the wealthiest part of Brasilia and has a lot of gate shut communities which makes it hard to teach people unless they are referrals from members.  We have been teaching an awesome lady named Maíra there and she accepted a batismal date for the 22 of August!  She has two young kids and just recently got divorced so has been goin through a rough time. She has been going to church and reading the Book of Mormon and feels that it is true! 
Me and Elder Batista decided to go to church in Lago Sul today because of Maíra and also to let the ward know that they will be receiving missionaries next transfer. I was really excited to go to church since about a third of the ward is American! A lot of them work the US or Canadian embassies.  A lot of big American families which was really cool!!  It’s such an awesome ward and they love when missionaries are there. Met some great people, several who have even lived in Texas at some point. I realized how bad my English really is haha.
Earlier in the week Elder Batista and I were able to meet with the ward mission leader in Lago Sul at his home. He and his family just recently got here to Brasil and he is part of the Air Force and works at the embassy. They have 9 kids, all blonde blue eyed kids!! haha super cool,  really stick out here! They are so great! He speaks fluent Portuguese since he had served a mission in Brasil. It was so great being able to visit their awesome family. They are so excited about missionary work which is a blessing to us!!
We were able to visit Eric again in the hospital. We got there just as they told him that things were worsening and would need to be moved to intensive care for a few days to see if it gets better. His wife was there this time and it was really tough on her. We tried our best to comfort and we felt the peace that comes from the knowledge we have of the gospel, that all would be well. Just felt a peace as we talked with Eric. A little afterwards a doctor came in saying that they would be moving him over just for a few days as a precaution and that everything will be work out.  
In the world we live in, I know that the only true thing that will bring us true peace in our hearts is the knowledge we have of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It isn’t just something we say to feel good or a great story, but it is Real!  It is True! Jesus Christ does live and He is the Savior of the world. If we follow Him, we will not have to fear. We will have an eternal perspective on life. We will understand that just because we have difficulties or struggles in life doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. Jamais! Never.   We will understand based on that eternal perspective that we are here to learn and prepare ourselves to return and live with Him. We will be molded and changed. To change the shape of metal, you need to heat it up and put it through extreme conditions until you can mold it into something beautiful and of value.  Sometimes we might have to endure "extreme conditions", but if we Have Faith and put our Faith in Him, we will continue moving forward with our heads up high knowing that it will be for our best. That all will be well! 

We will head off to Palmas tomorrow and get back on Thursday night!  Hope y'all ave a great week! :)
Eu amo vocês!!

Elder Bean

Me, Rose (Leo's mom) and Elder Batista

Lunch, Sister Marilis is the Relief Society President of the Ward
and her daughter is about to go on a mission to Pocatello Idaho.

Having fun with Sister Rowe's ipad, leaving her with some selfies. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Another Amazing Week Here in Brasil!!

Mais uma semana incrível aqui no Brasil!

 In the beginning of the week we had an awesome family home evening at Ana Paula´s house with her family. She made us some big steaks with french fries to thank us for helping them moving houses. We helped her 20 year old son Lucas go back to church since he hasn’t been in 10 years, he has been back for two weeks now and is a stud! Big ole awesome dude. 
We went on some trades this week, Elder Batista and I went to Samambaia to do exchanges with the elders there. I went with Elder Knight and Batista went with Elder Lucas.  The trade went really well! We were able to mark some baptism dates and see how the work is doing there. Samambaia is an awesome area! It was the first time I had passed through and meant some awesome people. Really good experience!!
On Saturday we went to visit a man named Eric in the hospital. He lives in city 3 hours away from Brasilia. Him and his family are being taught by the missionaries up there and he has been to church a few times. There wasn’t a good hospital there and he got super sick and needs a transplant so he is stayin at the hospital in Brasilia.  Hospital visits are always humbling experiences. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces who have already been through much difficulties, struggles and are suffering really hits the heart. We walked in and could tell Eric was happy to see us. He was hooked up to oxygen since he was having some trouble breathing and was sharing a room with several other guys. We got to know him and even with nurses and doctors running around were able to teach him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and give him a Book of Mormon to read and find out for himself if it is true.  He accepted our invite to give him a priesthood blessing after the lesson and the spirit was really strong in the room. Full of peace.  We are gonna try to visit Eric frequently, especially since he has no one with him. All of his family is back home and can’t make it down until later next week.  We will try to get the ward members involved so he can get several weekly visits.  Saturday night, there was a ward party,  "Festa de Juninha". It was a blast and the members took a toonnnn of their non member friends which was great!!! Asa Sul is such a great place!
This week on Tuesday we will have a mission council with the zone leaders and the sister training leaders with President Lundgren. It will be good and we will then plan the mission conference training based on it. 

I love y'all!!! have a great week!!

com amor,

Painting we had made of all the office Elders and Red,
not sure why he isn't smiling in this pic :)
Family Home Evening at Ana Paula's, she made big steaks and french fries!

Elder Lucas, Me and Elder Knight in Samambaia
Lunch in Samambaia

With one of my favorite families, Brother and Sister Casado and their son Juninho
Pic from awhile back of me trying to play the guitar

Drinking hot chocolate at the new Dunkin Donuts to warm up since
it's winter here. Don't we look freezing haha

One day for lunch the family going to feed us gave us money
instead so we hit it up big at American Prime Steakhouse!

Monday, July 6, 2015

I Love Finding Families and Teaching Them About the Importance of Families and God's Plan

Beleza!! Tudo bem?

Eu aindo não acredito que o mês de Julho começou! Estou no último mês da minha missão. É muito louco! A missão passa rápido demais. Mas sei que tudo estará bem! 

We had an awesome week here! Able to visit several people and find some new investigators! Elder Labrada finished his mission and his mom came to pick him up. We took him to the airport and waited with him at the gate for his mom to come. It was crazy! It made me wonder how y’all will be feeling when I am coming home and you already can see on the screen that my plane has landed and just waiting for me to walk through the doors. haha.  Elder Labrada is a stud and a good friend of mine. He lives in California and goes to UCLA.
We helped a family move apartments on Friday; the family was in-active but is now active in church. They are awesome and treat us like family. They have us over every Monday night to do family home evening! We got there at 11:00 and the move ended at 9:15 at night.. lol. We had to help pack the boxes and then load it all and unload it from the truck.  The apartments were only 10 minutes from each other. We were exhausted but we were glad to help. They are an awesome family and do so much for us.  We went on a trade this week in the city of Ceilândia! I got to work with Elder Escobar from Peru. It was awesome! Ex- Elder Sales (name is Warly) is now living in Ceilândia and he went with us to teach some families for a couple hours!  He was in my first district when I arrived on the mission. I still remember the first time I met him haha, it was my first week here in Brasil and I was waiting outside the church building with Elder D. Call for the other missionaries to show up to open the building to start district meeting. I see a Brasilian missionary (Elder Sales)  arriving and he walks up to me and the first thing he says to me was in perfect English, "What’s up!"  hahaha he’s hilarious.  He has been a good friend since I’ve gotten here and he finished his mission in January. He was an Assistant as well. It was great being able to see him again and have him there to help us out. When a family wasn’t home for us to teach, I turned to him and asked him to take us to visit his non member friends.  He is an awesome member missionary and presented us to his friends like we were rock stars. It was awesome!   Elder Escobar is a really good missionary, has almost one year here and is from Peru. It was good being able to talk with him and get to know him better. We were able to visit several awesome investigators that he and his companion have been teaching and preparing to be baptized!  We had a cool experience that night. So the rule is we have to be home sometime between 9:00-9:30.  We showed up at the house at 9:05 and no one had arrived yet and we didn’t have keys to the house so there was no way to get in. So instead of just waiting outside the door,  I turned to Elder Escobar and said Lets go knock some doors and find a family to teach, what do you think? He got pumped, agreed and we went off!  First house, rejected. Like big time. ha.  Second house, we clapped at the gate and a nice lady opened the kitchen window to see who it was. We were able to explain who we were and what our purpose was. After talkin for a minute we asked if we could enter to share a message about Christ and how important our families are in God´s plan for us. She let us in and we were able to teach the entire family about God´s plan. Where are we from? What is our purpose here? Where will we go after this life?  We bore testimony of families and how sacred and important our families are to Heavenly Father. That families can be together forever.   The family felt the Spirit so strong and they accepted our invite to pray and ask if our message was true and if they needed to be baptized.  We marked a return visit and felt great returning home on a high note. It was a great experience and I hope the family continues to want to know more. I love teaching families and bearing testimony of the importance of them in our lives. We ended up ordering pizza that night (kind of a tradition when we do trades in other areas). 
We had two people from our ward here get called on missions - one to Porto Alegre Brazil and the other Pocatello, Idaho.  haha. We were there when they opened their calls and it was really cool to see the excitement they had and remembering experiencing that over two years ago, opening up my call and having no idea where I would be called to serve. I now know that Brasilia Brasil is where I needed to be called and I am so grateful for being able to serve here. It has been incredible! The Gospel is true!

Com Amor,

Elder Bean

Cleiton got his mission call to Porto Alegre!! He leaves September 30th!!

Elder Xavier, Batista, Labrada, Bean, Vera. Saying goodbye to Labrada!

Warly Sales!!!

With Elder Goodsell reppin our American flag socks on the 4th

Lunch Saturday