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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Week 91 - Christmas in São Paulo

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Last Saturday night, we had a ward Christmas party!  Here are a few pictures from that:

On Christmas Eve, we were given permission to stay out later.  We went to the Rosario’s and had a wonderful dinner.  They are so good to the missionaries.

Christmas morning, I spent with a recent convert.  He comes from Peru and has no where to go.  We invited him over.  We played chess.  He is very good and beat me.

I also got to Skype home.  It was good to catch up with my family.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Week 90 - Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I received my Christmas package from home this year [Last year the package never made it to Dallen.]  My good friend Marcio made me a gift.  He gave me a plaque.

Transfers went fine this week.  We are excited for Christmas and look forward to our Christmas Skype home.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Week 89 - Christmas conferences and preparations.

If you haven't watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, you've missed out!  (You can stream it by clicking the image below).

We are testing out the web cams and microphones to make sure all is ready for use at Christmas. [Missionaries are focused on teaching the gospel and giving service.  They spend most days focused on this.  Once a week they have a preparation day or p-day.   This is when they do shopping, launder their cloths, visit attractions in their area, etc.  As part of their p-day, they write letters and email. This is normally the only time during the week they communicate with friends and family.   Twice a year on Christmas and Mother's day they can call home.  Most Skype, Facetime, Google Hangout, etc, if they have the ability. This is what Dallen is preparing for]

We had two Christmas conferences this week.  Preparing for them hasn't given us much time to prepare for transfers and so now I have a ton of stuff to do. Transfers are Wednesday.

I just looked at the transfer board.  I won't be training so I’ll probably remain in the office for the rest of my mission.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to extend my mission because my visa will expire.

Time has flown. Time in the the office flies by even faster.

Climbing up the side of the church.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Week 88 - We are blessed when we follow the Spirit!

Elder Nilson and I were able to go out and do some tracting on Thursday. We tried to look up some referrals but nothing went our way. I felt like we should visit a member, but she lived REALLY far away from where we were at the moment.  We went anyways.

This member is super awesome.  She is always feeding and making treats for us. But, there are issues in the home.  This night, the family was in a huge fight.  Everyone was yelling at each other.  The father was upset and told us he wanted to leave the church.  The kids were all saying they wanted to run away.  It was a mess.

I looked at Elder Nilson and said “What are we going do?”

I said a prayer and as soon as I finished the idea to play a game popped into my head.  It was a little weird for a missionary to suggest playing a game...

I told Elder Nilson “Let’s quickly run to our apartment and pick up a card game (Spot it).”

He looked at me and thought I was crazy but he went with me.

We returned to the house and got everyone to gather around and play (except the father).  I said the two rules are that no one can say anything bad about another while we are playing and that if someone says anything rude we will stop.  I also added a rule that no one was allowed to cry or complain when I win.

We played and everyone was having a blast and laughing. The kids were helping each other out trying to beat me and it was way fun. Then I suggested Elder Nilson share a message.  He opened his scriptures to the same chapter in the Doctrine and Covenants that I was thinking about. We shared the message and I told them that I would leave the game with them but that no one could play it until everyone in the house did something for another.

The mother of the kids later came to me and wept.  She thanked me for listening to the Spirit.  She told me that she had been praying to God for assistance in uniting her family. The kids told me that was the most fun they have had as a family in a long time. Before I left everyone was scrambling around trying to clean up someone’s mess or offering to do something for the other so they could play the game again.

One of my favorite things in the office is talking with Sister Silcox -- especially about gospel things. She really knows a lot and is just super awesome. She always talks about the Spirit and the importance of the Holy Ghost in our lives. It’s cool to discuss how we receive personal revelation. I remember lots of times on my mission when I had an idea but just kind of shrugged it off only to realize later that it was the Spirit. We suffered consequences when we didn’t follow the Spirit.  Now I’m more knowledgeable about how the Spirit speaks to me.  Now when I get an idea or prompting, I follow it -- even if it sounds weird or isn’t practical (for example, let's play a game).  In the end something amazing always happens!


We decorated the office this week for Christmas. It was fun. It makes me really sad though because I know I’m getting closer to going home.

Medical calls have been crazy this week too.  Apparently, an elder
has the mumps.  that’s a fun one.