Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 23: Douglas!

Oi everybody!

That's right: douglas was baptized this weekend! I'll get into more details later, but it all went very smoothly (much smoother than Marcio and his family), and he's super happy now! I'll send pictures in a different email (I got one of the crappy computers again.) But it's all good!

Top investigators:

Douglas: After his mom talked to us last sunday, we were mostly just praying that nothing went wrong between sundayand his interview on FridayOn friday, he and Jessica were both interviewed, and both passed. However, Jessica told us that she wants to wait a bit longer to be baptized, just to know the church better first. But all went well. Augusto, the youth leader who's been working with us and Douglas, did the baptism, and I did the confirmation the next day. Although his Mom came with him to church on sunday, she was a bit...hung over, so I don't know how well she felt the good Spirit. But batismo!

Joao- We're about to, unfortunately, cut Joao. Despite the dream he had where he saw Jesus, Joao has turned limp, asking us why we don't have meetings every day and not just Sunday, and also saying that he won't go every Sunday to church. It's quite a disappointment, but it happens.

Fransisco- He and his wife both have said to us separately that they plan on staying with this church, but they just want to go a bit slow in getting baptized. However, they will absolutely be baptized, hopefully in February. But he already is saying, "Eh, I'm a part of this family already. I can do stuff here to help too!"

Wilian (New!)- We found him saturday night. A man in his mid-40s, he lives with his wife and 2 kids and parents. He's Catholic, but he's always felt like something was missing from that church. Two years ago, he and his (then 4-months pregnant) wife were driving, and a drunk driver hit them hardcore. The wife broke her legs, and the baby died in the process. His skull was smashed in, and he was in a coma for 6 months. After many reconstructive surgeries and therapy, he's still looking for peace. We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he was incredibly touched by it. He has a ton of potential to follow Christ.

Maria (New!)- SHe's mostly just cray cray. We've taught her a couple times, and she mostly just laughs and goes on random tangents. We didn't have any hope that she understood what we were talking about...and then she actually came to church on Sunday, against all odds. It was very strange, but a nice surprise indeed.

Other information:

There was a churrascinha serving chicken heart this week. It was actually quite good. I like chicken heart.

We got our information about our new mission president last week. His name is President Farnes, mid-40s, from Bountiful Utah, and he served in Porto Alegre Brazil. This could be a very different second year of the mission. (He starts on July 1, right in the most hectic time of the mission, the World Cup.)

I got a ton of cards this week! To be specific, 7 cards! It was quite a nice addition to receive these after Douglas' interview went well. Thanks to all!

Alright, thank you all for your continued support! The church is true! Jesus loves ya! I'll send photos in a different email!

Much love,
Elder Youd

Week 22: My nose is crying

Ola everybody!!
Firstly, so that everybody reads this. If you plan on sending me a letter from now on, the address of the mission office has officially changed. All cards, packages, well wishes should be sent to the following address:

Elder Michael Bryan Youd
Missão Brasil São Paulo Norte
Avenida Nova Cantareira, 1146  fundos
São Paulo - SP - 02330-001

So send a letter there. To me.

This week has been a great week, albeit a week without baptisms. I suppose that I'm just becoming hungry for baptisms now that I've had a family, so this may be bad. But luckily, we have another baptism planned for this weekend, and possibly 2 or 3! So here are my top investigators:

Douglas: On sunday, we were finally able to talk to Douglas' mom after that last awkward encounter where she told us that she wasn't going to let him be baptised. We had no idea what our plan was, and we were thinking of just teaching all of the lessons again to her. But then, as soon as we started, she commented about baptism, and she approved for him to be baptised this Saturday! Jessica said that she's still wanting to know the church more before she gets baptised, but we can wait for that. And earlier, she had expressed interest in being baptized with Douglas, so there's a chance that she'll get baptized this weekend too. Batismo!

Joao: Listen to the voicemail for more about him, but for all of you planning on missions, know that sometimes your most elect of investigators will turn out to just be limp. Even people who see Jesus in a dream can say that they don't have time for Jesus. He might be baptized this weekend, but I doubt it.

Fransisco- Basically, he told us that he believes that, at the least, this is the church that he wants to stay in, but he wants to be baptized with his wife. He brought her to church on sunday, and she liked it a whole lot, although their grandkid was loud the whole time. And so, we plan on visiting them more frequently throughout the week, possibly baptizing them on the 25th, if possible.

Midia (new!)- We've only talked to her once, but she actually has a lot of potential. Her neighbor just recommended that we see her. Her husband had died 2 days earlier of a blood disease, so we taught her the Plan of Salvation, and she was incredibly receptive to it. She plans on moving to Spain in March though to do a PS I Love You sort of thing, so we've got to get her in the church before then. BUt she has potential.

Limp investigators with baptismal dates (new!)- For some reason, we got 8 people to accept baptismal dates this week, and all of them (Marinalva, Zenaide, Leila, Richard, Aparecida, Ju, Caca, and Sebastiao) are incredibly limp, not wanting stuff the second lessons. So that's new, I suppose.

Other notes:

-I've been sick this week, thus the subject of the email. Sister Martins put me on some pretty intense medications to keep on working, but I still have a holy-runny nose, and a cough that sounds like I'm dying next week. But generally, nobody notices it.

-Marcio and his family are doing super well. He had the Aaronic Priesthood conferred to him on Sunday, and he asked me to do the conferrence. And they're super duper happy as a family now. It's crazy cool.

-In a few weeks, I'll be going to the temple (Feb. 11). So when you guys don't get an email that monday before, don't freak out.

Alright, on to individual emails! Love you all!

Elder Youd

Marcio, Jucelina, and Berenice - with me, Elder Hatch, and Elder Palhares

Marcio, Jucelina, and Berenice's Baptism in Vila Medeiros

Week 21: Yes, Marcio and his family got baptized. Welcome to 2014.

Hey everybody!

That's right. After an absolutely crazy week and a crazy story (refer to the voicemail in this email or the next one), Marcio, Jucelina, and Berenice were baptized this weekend! I had the honor of actually baptizing all three of them, and it was absolutely great! Even if the rest of the week was a bit difficult, and the journey to baptize them was ridiculous, they finally got there! Marcio, after the baptism, immediately told me that he had never felt this good in his life, and that enduring through all the opposition (there was a LOT) was worth it. It was absolutely incredible to see this family come to Christ, and I now have seen the joy that coming to Christ brings to a family. Absolutely phenomenal.

Other top investigators (because they're not investigators anymore!)

Douglas and Jessica: We talked to Douglas only on Sunday. He said that all of the personal issues between him and his mom have been resolved, and that now, she just wants him to know the church better before he gets baptized. A decent desire, so much as she isn't just trying to get him to forget about church. We're gonna try to talk to her again this week. But, he and Jessica were both at church this week, so that's good!

Joao (New!): Holy crap, this is awesome. Elder Hatch found him with our ward mission leader on Tuesday. He said that Joao, a middle-aged, divorced, and currently unemployed man, had a lot of interest in the gospel, and invited us back. When we taught him the second time, without hesitation, he accepted a baptismal date for the 18th. He said that he had a dream Tuesday night, after praying to know if this message was true, and in this dream, he was in front of Jesus Christ, and Jesus told him that he needed to listen to the three young men that would visit him on Friday (even though there were two of them on Tuesday, there were 3 of us on Friday,) be baptized in the church that they were presenting, and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. He came to church on Sunday, and loved it. Now, we're just working with him to clarify some of his former beliefs (we don't worship Mary, our prayers aren't repetitions, etc.). But he's incredibly well-versed in the Bible, incredibly receptive, and so cool. Pray for him.

Fransisco (Maybe new? I don't remember): Fransisco, a married older man of probably 70 years, has been to church a couple times, and expressed his desire to stay with this church. We talked to him last week before the baptism of Marcio and his family, and he and his wife Darci want to join a church together (she was a Jehovah's witness, but never baptised and Fransisco never liked that church.) So he accepted a date for the 18th, but he also wants to go slow. So now we're just working to help him. He is a kind and very funny old man, and we have good hopes for him.

Other notes:

-I'm a bit under the weather right now. It keeps on switching here from scorching hot, to somewhat-cold rain (not cold like I hear the US is experiencing right now.) So with this, I'm a bit sick today, but I'm still rocking and rolling.

-Our New year was pretty good. We had a dinner with a member and his family, and after that went home, planning to sleep at 10:30. But Brazil has a tradition to light off a crap-load of fireworks at midnight on new years. So we stayed up for an hour, watching and listening to those, ringing in 2014. I have a cool video of it from our window, but the file is huge, so you'll just have to ask to see it when I get home. I might have a picture. I don't remember.

Alright, that's been my awesome week! Thank you all so much for your support! I know that this church is true, and that miracles truly do exist! Have faith in God! And also, write to me!

Elder Youd