A selfie for mom!

A selfie for mom!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

He will come again, and we shall see him!

FELIZ NATAL!!!!!! ESTOU ANIMADO DEMAIS! Wow! This will be the best Natal yet! We had a week of badly-needed rain, rising temperatures, lots of running around, and a few miracles along the way. Sadly, despite our efforts, nobody went to church. But this week, we are going to work even harder to help them! Today we are going to the city´s center (last time didn´t work out) so that Elder Sharp can withdraw money from the Western Union bank. Tomorrow, as a zone, we will have a secret santa gift exchange. Wednesday (Christmas Eve), we will dine with members in the evening, then spend the rest of the day at home (it gets pretty crazy around Christmas and New Year´s). We´ll be calling you guys to confirm the Skype stuff. Thursday (Christmas Day), we will probably sing christmas carols at the train station as a zone, we will talk with our families, and head home early (18h). Here are our investigators: Isaura - A senhora (60ish) that we are teaching. She investigated the church in the past, but was never baptized. Now, she wants to be baptized! We just have to help her quit smoking (she´s down to just one or two). Her baptism is scheduled for this Sunday. Laila - A young woman (16) who also investigated the church in the past, but stopped because the Sisters that taught her were transferred. Now, we are helping her to be baptized. But it seems like every time she is about to go to church, something happens that prevents it. We´ll have to envoke the powers of heaven to help her overcome the opposition. Her sisters, Pamela (18) and Leticia (14) are inactive members that we are trying to bring back. We have a family home evening with them tonight in a member´s home. Danila - A woman (20ish) who is a friend of Alessandra, a recent convert. She feels that the Church is true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that baptism is essential. We just need to help her to keep the Word of Wisdom, and also to go to sacrament meeting. Zoolaide - A single mom (35ish) who we met through her neighbor, Rosemere, an active member She has three sons, Carlos Eduardo (15) and Carlos Augusto (15), who are twins, and Carlos Henrique.(12). We taught her the Restoration in a very spiritual lesson, and now she wants to come to church. Damiana - (35ish) Another of Alessandra´s friends. She´s pregnant and very interested in being baptized. She has already given up drinking, and we are following up with her on not drinking coffee. The only problem is that she isn´t legally married to her husband, Gildasco. We are working with them to gain a testimony and be legally married so that they can be baptized. Flavio - He´s Junior´s (a less active we helped reactivate in Palmares) father. He and his wife, Adelia, and thier grown children, Levi and Natalia and Daniel are all inactive. We are trying to help them to come back to activity in the church, especially in this time when the ward is in such great need of them I know that Jesus Christ lives, and I have seen Him not only in my life and the lives of my friends and family and companions, but also in the lives of those whom we teach. I have met Him in my afflictions and appreciate His Atonement so much more now that I have tasted (in just a very small portion) of the suffering He went through for me, because He loves me. I know that He is our Heavenly Father´s Only Begotten and perfect Son. I know that this is His Church, and that I am His missionary and representative. He is the Jehovah of old and the Messiah who came. He is my Older Brother, my Redeemer, my Lord and my King. He is the Gift sent from our Pai Celestial. He will come again and we shall see Him. I testify of this in His name, Jesus Christ. Amen. I love you guys! Have a great Christmas Eve! --

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Being a missionary is so awesome!

WOW! THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME! On Monday, we had family home evening with Alessandra. She was baptized recently. She lives alone with her three young kids (with another on the way) in a very humble home. But, working with the members, we have brought the spirit of Christmas into her home. Among other things, they´ve got a small Christmas tree, a large photo of the Temple of São Paulo, and a beautiful painting of the Savior. We´re working with her son, Davi, to prepare him to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. On Tuesday, we had a HUGE miracle! So, we were walking home from lunch after district meeting, when it started to rain, out of nowhere. I swear that it was flash flooding (actually there was devastating flooding in the neighboring missions). Because we were returning from district meeting, we had our area book with us, and other study materials that we consider sacred. So, we decided to pray. Ducking under a canopy, we said a fervent prayer, asking God to stop the rain just enough for us to leave our stuff in the apartment. We both acknowledged a feeling of great faith as we continued our walk home. Immediately, as we left the cover of the canopy, the rain stoppped completely, for the rest of the day. I feel impressed also to mention that right before the rain stopped, two beggars, who were also under the canopy, asked for food. Luckily, at that moment, we had some chocolate chip cookies. We gave them some, and they were so grateful! On Thursday, we had a mission tour with President Claudio R. M. Costa, in the stake center next to the temple. It was amazing. I learned so many great and wonderful things! It turns out that he was so impressed by our mission, that he shared things that he usually doesn´t share. After the meeting, On Saturday, we had stake conference! Isaura, who we are preparing to be baptized on the 27th went to church and loved it! Especially President Dalton´s talk about the Spirit of Elijah and temples. President Dalton gave us a ride home. Elder Sharp got two Christmas packages! Peanut butter snickers and gingerbread cookies! Woo! On Sunday, we had a huge lunch, with the Bishop, his second counsellor, the Relief Society president, one of her counsellors, the YM and YW presidents, and their families. It was so great! I love my "familia Interlagos"! Yesterday, we had the Christmas Conference! A team of podologists (foot doctors) came and gave us a training, and a check up. They gave us tie clips! Also, the First Presidency sent a Christmas card to all the missionaries! Sister Dalton made us ornaments! She´s so sweet! She got hurt recently (she did something to her knee, similar to what happened to Dad), so keep her in your prayers! She´s recovering from a surgery! President and Sister Dalton furnished a great breakfast AND lunch (churrasco) with dessert! We also had many musical numbers, including that was just my zone, and another that was the mission choir. I loved singing in that choir! I now know how to sing the tenor and bass parts of "Joy to the World"! I finished the Standard Works! WOW! I learned SO MUCH from the scriptures! What a privilege it is to have them! I also finished Preach My Gospel, and I´ve arrived at Alma 34. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. And I know that God speaks through his living prophet, Thomas S. Monson! We´ve been getting a lot of rain (which is needed), but today is a great sunny, warm day. I´m stoked! It´s going to be great! Being a missionart is so awesome! The 22nd of December is arriving! I hold this day in sacred remembrance because this is the day that Mom and Dad were sealed to each other, to me, and to our Heavenly Father. This week, I´m excited to share with everyone the good news of the Savior´s birth, and also of temple blessings, which come through His infinite atonement. I glory in my Jesus. He is my Hope, my Strength, my Rock and my Redeemer. Without Him, I am nothing, and through Him, all things are possible. I´m so happy that I have been able to get to know Him through my trials and afflictions. And I am so excited to see Him again in the flesh at the last day. He lives and He will come again. Of this I testify in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Interlagos (antiga Cidade Dutra) Estaca Interlagos Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos