Rio Branco: Week 15

Monday, March 28, 2016

This has been up in the apartment since christmas!

Way to go Corinne! Representing the family by finding the golden egg! This reminded me now of the family videos we have of Easter. But it´s true- I think that in the all time standings our family has the least amount of golden egg-findings.

I´ve been thinking about Grant and the new opportunities he´ll have in his study abroad program and at BYU. I talked with a sister who did study abroad in Europe and she highly recommends it!
Wow, I can´t believe that Scott and Heather have 5 girls now!

Grandma Lowe is such a great example to me too. I´m anxious to be able to see her when I get back.

The first few days of the week were busy with the 2 mission conferences that we had. The first one was with all of the missionaries in the captial. We gave training about the lesson of the restoration and how to teach it more powerfully. On Wednesday we traveled to Caicó with Pres. and Sister Soares to have the conference with the interior. We stayed the rest of the week in Caicó. The trip back was an adventure. We bought the bus passage a few days in advance. Normally the busride is about 5 hours from Caicó to Natal, but because of the traffic after the easter holiday, it took about 6hs. On top of that, the bus company decided to load the bus, even after all of the seats were sold. So the bus was packed full with lots of people standing. Fortunately, we had seats because we had bought our tickets beforehand. Then, after a couple of hours on the road, a man sitting near us started to have seizures. He was travelling alone and people started to panic. He had 3 seizures during the ride and at one point randomly let out a few screams. But then, one of the passengers who was a doctor went up near him and stood by him for the rest of the ride and he ended up being OK.

But it was a great week in Caicó! We were able to help out some of the sisters. Caicó was my first area on the mission. On Saturday night I was happy to be able to see a family that loves all of the missionaries. It´s the same family that we saw when they went to visit Natal. But Rogerio made one of his famous huge cakes and he gave everyone Easter chocolate.

Hope you all have a great general conference this week!

Elder Church

Rio Branco: Week 14

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hey mom!

Sorry I haven´t written today yet. We have been busy preparing things today for the mission conference that will be this week. Tomorrow will be the conference for all of the missionaries in the capital, and Thursday will be the conference for the interior.

Thanks for all of the news. That's great that you went to the new Provo temple dedication! I saw the video.

This week went well. Elder W. Silva and I spent a few days in Mossoró. I was in the neighborhood called Belo Horizonte. Mossoró is the hottest city on the mission! In all of the other cities, the water comes out of the fossit and showerhead cold, but in mossoró it comes out hot. I think it´s because the city´s water source is naturally heated. But it´s weird because there are some days that even in the morning it naturally comes out steaming hot.

Luckily, most of the sickness has passed now and I´m hoping I´ll make it through the rest of the mission without getting it.

Have a great week!

Elder Church

Rio Branco: Week 13

Monday, March 14, 2016

Dear family,

Today I wasn´t able to write an update because my computer was being fixed. But they brought it back so now I have a little bit of time to write. I was blessed to have another good week of hard work. On tuesday we picked up the new missionaries at the airport and had dinner at the Presidents house. This time we wanted to do an exciting training for them when they came in so we took out some time from our training and took groups of them out to the street to show them how to do contacts. It was pretty fun! Everything went smoothly with transfers this week. After all of that, I went back to my area. Unfortunately, my companion Elder Cassiano had gotten dengue. This virus hits pretty hard and usually requires a week of rest. There were days when he had difficulties getting out of bed or out of a chair. After a couple of days straight of him staying at home because at Sister Soares´ order, we went down the stairs really quick just to run an errand on the corner of the street. It was hard for him to get up and down the stairs. I felt bad for him this week because he had no choice but to stay resting. But luckily, the other missionaries in the zone were willing to serve. On the days that I was in the area I was able to divide with one of them to work in the area.
It´s been great to be Elder Cassiano´s companion. He joined the church when he was 18 in São Paulo. He´s the only member in his family and came on the mission with only a few years of being a member. He´s very humble and dedicated. The Lord definitely blessed us during the week despite the obstacles. Now he´s doing better. He was able to work just fine with me on Saturday and Sunday.

Let me introduce you to the family in the picture: this is Judson and his mom, Josilma. Judson was baptized by the elders before us. He has progressed really quickly and in his few months of member has been called to be the bishop´s 1st assistant. He always arrives at 7:30 to the church to prepare the sacrament. His mom supported him, and even went to church a couple of times, but never felt like she was ready to be baptized. At first, we started teaching her, but then we just let a few weeks pass by without making any formal visits. We just talked to her every once in a while when we went to see Judson. Anyway, one night we did a movie night at the church and played Meet the Mormons. We took her to the movie and she loved it. She commented afterwards that she liked the part about the missionary and his mom. She felt that she needed to be the type of mom in the movie that went to church and supported her son. She felt that she needed to be baptized! So we marked a date and she was baptized on the following week. It was really a testimony that people need to feel the spirit in order to make a decision. We were really glad to see Judson have his first baptism- his mom!

Have a great week! Love you all!

Rio Branco: Week 12

Monday, March 7, 2016

Good Afternoon!

I´ve been hearing a little about the elections. Is it really going to be between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? Wow that´s great to hear that Bingham Basketball did so well. I´m excited to be able to got to the new Provo temple when I get back.

We had a good mission council last Wednesday where we talked about following up with investigators and the importance of sisters/sister leaders and their contributions to the mission. We spent the rest of the week in the city Parnamirim in an area that I was in over a year ago. It was a great division! Our testimonies of the miracles of divisions grew.

I heard great news yesterday that Deybron and Nábila (do you remember this family? the ones that let me use their computer to do skype last mother´s day) were sealed in the Recife temple last week. I was also surprised to hear that he is the Elders Quorum President in the ward!

Today we had a meeting with the President about transfers and tomorrow we go to the airport to receive 13 new missionaries. President took us and the secretaries out to lunch today at Waynes, a nice american burger place here! Our mission will start to grow a little now after we lost large groups of missionaries. This group that is going away only has 5 missionaries. A few areas will be opening again.

We had some problems on the mission this week with sickness. A couple of leaders weren´t able to attend the council because of this dengue/chikungunya/zika virus. More than 10 missionaries have gotten, or currently have this fever which usually lasts for several days. I´m sure millions have been affected throughout the country because we´ve seen lots of cases in our areas. A couple of weeks ago, about half of my investigators had gotten sick or had family members who were sick! But lucky for me I´ve been healthy and able to work just fine!

Have a great week!!!

Elder Church