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Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 13 - Part 2, Transfer

Transfers were moved to today because of the Brazilian soccer game. I’m staying in Monumento but my companion, Elder Faustino, is leaving.

My new companion is Elder Villca.  Elder Villca is Bolivian.  His mission will soon be over and this will be his last transfer.  This means the next transfer I’ll most likely stay here too.

I am pretty nervous because he doesn’t speak any English.  I’m suppose to show him around and I don’t even know the names of the streets...  I understand almost everything he says so far but when it comes to planning and teaching it’s going to be a different story...  Elder Faustino helped me a lot with that.

A Chinese bank.

Week 13 - The rescue

At stake conference [an area meeting of several congregations] the stake president [area priesthood leader] showed a video from the news about this man that was stranded at sea.   A boat passed by and tried to throw him a float attached to a rope. The man was so weak he wasn’t able to grab it. The boat tried two more times but since the man never grabbed it the boat went on its way.  The man was found dead two days later.

I think it’s an amazing teaching story! The man is like a less active church member or an investigator.  The life float is like the gospel. When we see that someone needs help we try to do something.   Sometimes less active members or investigators are dealing with so much they are too weak and can’t grab the life float.  When we see this we have a choice to make. Either we realize we need to do more -- like jump in and swim to them helping them grab onto the life float or we can say they aren’t going to grab it and continue on.

The boat is like exaltation [Returning to live with our Heavenly Father]. We need to realize that it might be inconvenient at times but it is the person’s welfare or soul we are talking about.  What are we willing to do to help them? Are we willing to jump in the water or are we going to continue on and let them die?

As a missionary, I’m striving to help people grab onto the gospel so together we can return to our Father in Heaven.  I want to do all I can to help.

Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 12 - Baptism!

This week was way awesome! I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM THIS WEEK! An amazing eleven year-old girl we taught was baptized. It was the most beautiful baptism I have ever seen! Everyone was crying! Her mom and dad were so touch by the baptism! Her mom came up to Elder Faustino and I and just started bawling and thanking us for being a part of her conversion. It was the best feeling ever and the most sincere thank you I have ever seen and heard in my life!

Everyone in my district had a baptism! It was a miracle! I don’t know how to really describe all of my week. It was just amazing! I had a lot of personal revelation and we had a lot of success! Elder Faustino and I are getting along so well! Transfers are next Wednesday and I have no idea what’s going to happen.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 11 - Conversion

We were grateful to learn of a conversion this week!!! The mother of one of our investigators told us she has received an answer to her prayers and wants to be baptized!!!  Her son is having issues right now and she will fly out and stay with him.  She doesn't know how long she will be there so she wanted us to refer her to the missionaries there.  We probably won't see her baptism but that's OK because just knowing we helped is good enough for me! It for sure was the happiest moment of my mission yet!

There are beautiful church buildings in São Paulo. Here are some photos of the Catedral da Sé de São Paulo. This church is part of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo. Construction began in 1913. Some parts weren't finished until 2002.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 10 - Zone conference, perfect investigators, and a baptism.

We had stake conference [a service with several congregations attending] this week and it was amazing! The stake president [leader over multiple congregations] is young but he is so cool.  It was all about missionary work the first day.  The second day was a broadcast from [Apostles] Richard G. Scott and M Russell Ballard. 

Last night we went with a family to an investigators house.  We had dinner and deserts! It was way cool!  It was hard to fit us all in because their house is only a little bit bigger then the size of our families down stairs bathroom.  It went really well though!  I taught them how to make "Oreo Balls" They loved them!  Their family are the perfect investigators.  You couldn't have better.

A little girl in the ward [congregation] was baptized this week and it was really beautiful!  The font here is gorgeous! 

Pure and Simple Faith

Week 10 - World Cup

Last week it was cool but this week its been way hot.  This is Brazil's winter.  I'm going to die in the summer!

We received news about what we can do for the World Cup.  We are allowed to watch all the games Brazil plays in!  I'm way excited for that!  However, we are not allowed to be in the streets after the Brazilian games.  We have to stay at a members house for awhile because people are going to be going crazy here! 

Word Cup stadium in Sao Paulo

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 9, part 2 -- Serving in the Ala Monumento Ward

Elder Hammond is serving in the Ala Monumento Ward (Congregation).   Here are some pictures of the meetinghouse:

View of church from road.



Check out the building from Google maps street view

Week 9 - Transfers and Apartment

I didn’t get transferred.  I’m in the same area, which is nice!  It’s finally starting to get cold here so I love the weather right now!   From all the walking and sweating I’m doing I’ve already lost 10 pounds!  The members are telling my face is getting skinner!  I can fit into some pants that I couldn’t fit into at the MTC!

Elder Hammond's study area
Washer and clothes line
Bathroom complete with granite/stainless sink

View down the road.
Elder Peterson got transferred to one of the poorest areas!  He is opening a new area and his companion is twenty-six and speaks no English.  He was kind of nervous but he speaks and understands Portuguese well so will be fine.  

Elder Jacob Peterson
It’s just Elder Faustino and me!  We are getting along great!  I love it!  We have been having a ton of success since it’s just been the two of us!  He knows the scriptures inside and out -- especially the bible because he was catholic before.  He has a way with words and with the scriptures.

Elder Gabriel Faustino

I can understand everything he says.  He helps me a lot with the language! He speaks English pretty well and can read it so if I don’t understand something he reads it in English and then explains.  I study the scriptures verse by verse in Portuguese then English which has been helping a lot.