Pictures: 1-It was Elder Sargents Birthday so I bought him a cake and surprised him good! 2-Us in our apartment.
Boa Tarde e Feliz Pascoa (Happy Easter!),
This week went pretty well! Got here in my new area got all things situated and got to work. Elder Assis, my comp. is a quiet missionary and doesn't talk much.. He has been a member for 1 year and 4 months now and only has 4 months on the mission. He has a testimony that is growing and is learning many things about the gospel everyday. I really am blessed with the advantage of being a member for all my life and having a pretty good foundation of gospel truths. I am very grateful that I get to help him develop a testimony and teach him how to be a missionary. He has some confidence issues and doesn't like to work... I will be learning a lot of patience and humility this transfer. It´s exactly what i need though. Please pray for him and I.
Itaqui is an awesome area. We have a big area to cover and share the area with one other companionship, Elder Sargent from Ohio and Elder Rodrigues Santos from São Paulo. They are both very good missionaries! Here in our branch we have a family baptism coming up that will be very exciting. The President of the branch is only 26 and returned from a mission 4 years ago, but he is very solid and loves missionary work. We have many families that want to help with the work and the members are all pretty active. Not as much less-active work here, more of the finding investigators and baptisms because the branch is already very strong. It will be a good change from the past few months in São Borja.
I haven't been able to do to much as the district leader, but have been organizing the area book and other things here that needed to be organized a little better. We also made a new division line in our area making it so we both have part of the city, where all the people are, so we can be more effective in finding and covering more important areas of Itaqui in less time. The missionaries and members are helping well and we are having a lot of fun together.
During the week we found many people in the streets and we shared the amazing lesson of the Restoration with them. I have found an effective way to find a non-member with desire to truly investigate our beliefs or not, which uses less time and is more powerful. Right when we meet a family or person in the street we teach them the Restoration in about 20 minutes or less if we need to. We invite them to read the pamphlet and pray to find out if it´s true or not and if they need to continue meeting with us or not. So far it is working well and we have found 5 people that have desire.
The situation I am in with my companion is forcing me to learn Portuguese faster. It is a blessing, but sometimes it is hard because I feel like I don’t have a comp. He doesn’t want to teach. I am trying to cheer him up and teach him how to teach with more enthusiasm, but he is a very closed person. He did share a great spiritual message with some members and non-members after a Chorraso (BBQ) with like 20 people, which was awesome, but when it´s just him, an investigator and I, it is a little more difficult for him.
Sunday all 4 of us missionaries got to talk during sacrament meeting. I talked about Missionary work and the Plan of Salvation, of how they are very similar and without Jesus Christ and his Atonement we have no Plan and no Missionary Work. It was an awesome experience to plan this talk and give it to these amazing members and non- members. We had 6 non-members in sacrament, 3 of which have a date set to be baptized. The branch is much bigger here as well reaching almost 100 persons every Sunday.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to help the area of Itaqui, my companion, and the other missionaries here. I am so excited for the growth I can make through this service here with these great Elders. I pray that I can help them grow and as well at the branch here. Missions are SO COOL!
I love all of you so very much and hope all of you had a great Easter! Jesus Christ has risen and he is the Savior of the World!
Mom, Itaqui is very cool Mom! You would like it here; it is very beautiful and very calm. Almost a whole other world here compared to São Borja. Ha-ha The responsibilities I have as District leader is to help the district here improve, record numbers, report to the Zone leaders our progress in the work, interview baptismal candidates and serve the Elders in the District best I can. We also have District meetings every week that I will prepare and direct. About Amanda´s pregnancy, I have already been telling people here in Brazil for the past 2 weeks. I’m surprised it didn't spread and get to someone in Saint George. Ha-ha. I am so excited for Amanda! Looks like Easter went awesome for all of you! Easter time is always awesome in our family! I love all the pictures, Mom! :) Thank you! I love you Mom!!
Dad, it is another river town. We went down to the river this morning, but I forgot my camera. Next p-day I will take some awesome pictures. It is so much more beautiful here. There are alligators here, but I haven´t seen any yet…only snakes. I am a little more comfortable with the Portuguese now and a lot of stress is gone because of it. Portuguese is super cool! Dad, you are right about the growth and changes we as followers of Christ make in our lives when we are living the gospel and keeping the commandments. I am excited for the growth I have ahead of me. I love you Dad!
All of you have a great week with much joy, love, service and peace!
Eu Vos amo!