Cidade do Sol: Week 9

Monday, March 23, 2015

Death isn´t such a bad thing

In the last update I sent I mentioned the death that happened in the ward. This week we passed by a few times in their house and left a message with their family on one of the days. We also showed the dad that mormon message video about the man whose family died in a drunk driver car accident and who forgave the driver. The video really touched him because it was a similar situation to his. He has already decided to go the house of the guy who hit his son and forgive him. Also, his wife who had been inactive from the church for several years went back to church on Sunday!

There is also a lady in the ward (she´s not a member but her son is) whose sister died a couple weeks ago. It was really hard on her and she went to be with her family (who are all members) in fortaleza for a week. But she came back and went to church on sunday. We went and visited her house last night and she told us that she really wants to be baptized! She said missionaries have worked with her in the past and even set a baptismal date, but things had come up or she had traveled so it didn´t happen yet. But now it will!

So death is a sad thing but it sure does a lot of good sometimes, haha.

Other than that it´s still been raining lots this week. I really have been liking our new bishop. He has been running the most effective ward council meetings that I´ve ever seen on my mission. He is also very willing to help all three of the sets of missionaries in our ward by making visits with us.

Oh yeah, this week there were also some pretty big protests in our area. On Tuesday there were people that burned buses and other crazy things right here in Natal. Some people were saying it was a big deal, but it was only a one-day thing and we weren´t affected by it.

We have a conference tomorrow with half of our mission so I´m excited for that! 

Have a great week. Love you all,

Elder Church

Cidade do Sol: Week 8

Monday, March 16, 2015

We had a couple of obstacles to the work this week, but it still ended up being a good one. I started feeling sick with a cold and headache earlier in the week, but luckily I was able to work just fine, and it passed quickly anyway. But then my companion got sick and it was worse so we had to stay home for a day. There was also a death of someone in the ward this week which was really sad. It was the ward mission leader´s 25-year-old son. The son was inactive, and in fact the dad was the only active one in the family, but we had talked to him several times when we were over at their house. He died in a motorcycle accident.

But one of the awesome things that happened this week was our house full of americans. Elder Gomes dos Santos did a division with another set of missionaries, sending another american here for a few days. It was a blast! Two of them are from utah- Beaver and Brigham city, and Elder Wilson is from florida like i´ve said before. Elder Wilson had gotten a huge package from his mom with lots of american treats, and so we even made mac and cheese that night, something that doesn´t exist here, haha.

Sometimes I get a little discouraged feeling like no one here wants to listen because they already have ´their religion´. One of the big churches here is called the Assembly of God and everyone that church has a pretty hard head and are convinced that their church is right. Some religions are at least more humble and willing to listen. And of course there are lots of people who don´t have a religion or who don´t practice. But this week I was excited to meet two families who accepted the restoration message. The only thing is, they live in the area of the other two elders. But that made me happy to realize that there are lots of people out here who are looking for the truth but just don´t know where to find it (and are humble enough to accept it).

Well that´s a little about my week! Our ward is continuing to do really well and have high attendance. It is awesome to see the recent converts in the ward progressing so quickly. We just need to start working harder to be able to find baptisms.

Have a great week,

Elder Church

Cidade do Sol: Week 7

Monday, March 9, 2015

Glad to hear that everyone´s doing well! This week the weather has been nice for a change. It´s rained almost every day this week and has been pretty cloudy. My companion stayed for another transfer and no one in our house of 4 was moved. He was really surprised when he stayed because our mission president almost never leaves people in one area for more than 4 transfers. Our house is a lot of fun though. We play chess sometimes and other games. We have also been making lots of brownies lately because we found boxes of brownie mix in one of the supermarkets.

I like being in this ward a lot because the leadership is young, motivated, and energetic. Elder Wilson and I tried to find a lot of new people to teach this week. Most of the contacting we do is just with people walking on the streets, but this week we decided to knock on a couple of doors. The first two that we tried ended up going really well, so we might start doing that some more! We had a good lesson of the restoration with one of the families that we found, but then they ended up not wanting to go to church, so I don´t know if they have much potential. But I´m excited to keep working hard in these next few weeks and finding lots of new people.

To answer your questions, Dad:
I haven´t yet heard a returned missionary in sacrament meeting. Once I did go to one homecoming party during the week, but I was transferred before sunday. In this ward there are currently 4 missionaries serving in the field- 2 in Brazil and 2 in south american countries. I have met very few members here that have been to the US. I think most people that have the means to travel there just go there to live. I´ve met several people that have friends or family that live in Ogden/Layton utah area. I´ve heard a ward choir sing but only at a stake conference. It´s rare to see special musical numbers in sacrament meeting. There was a primary christmas program in my last area though.

In this area I have really liked attending ward council. We have a brief ward council meeting every sunday shortly after sacrament meeting. This week I had an idea come to me to work with the ward council that felt like a prompting from the spirit. Recently, the mission president gave us a form to follow up with all of our recent converts. We are instructed to carry it around with us and to fill it out for recent converts within the last year. I had the idea to fill out a form for every organization with a list of the converts in their group. Sometimes it happens that someone is baptized and the leader of their organization doesn´t even know about it, and then the person stops going to church. It ended up fitting in well with the ward council meeting and with the new bishop´s vision. We gave out a filled-out sheet to every organization leader and I think it will help them out in their callings. I´ll send you a copy of the form that we use.

Wow, general conference is coming up soon and so is the next Skype call. That´s pretty exciting for me.

Have a great week!


Cidade do Sol: week 6

Monday, March 2, 2015

The four missionaries in our house, and one of the youth from the ward

Well i´m finishing up this first transfer here in Cidade do Sol and I hope that I can stay for another! This week we had 2 birthdays in our house: Mine and Elder Harris´. He was actually born on february 29th so we celebrated on the 28th! Not that we actually celebrated for either of them though. They were just normal days. We did go out for açaí one night though which was fun. 
Yesterday was exciting because Deybron and Nabila got callings in the ward! They had an interview with the bishop earlier in the week and I was impressed that he already had callings for them. Nabila was called to be one of the relief society instructers and Deybron to be the young men´s secretary. All 6 elders also had lunch at their house yesterday. 

I´ll send pictures!

Love you,

Elder Church