Saturday, June 28, 2014

Week 45: The miracles that come when you least expect them

Hey everybody!

This weeks been a great week here in Julio de Mesquita! Its been a long transfer with little success, but this week were finally reaping the fruits of our labors!!! Weve got some great progress, AND we will have 2 baptisms this weekend! Top investigators:

Gabriela and Oliver (new!)- A 15 year old girl and her 9 year old brother. Their whole family are members (strangely, their mom is cousins to Allini, wife of Joelson, who I baptized!) Theyve always gone to church, but their dad (non member) never let them be baptized. But their Dad isnt a part of their lives anymore, so they are ready as can be to be baptized! They went to church this week, are ready to live all of the commandments, and theyll be interviewed this Tuesday to be baptized on Saturday. Miracles!!

Anderson- Hes stopped smoking, which is super good. We talked to him on Saturday, and he accepted to be interviewed next saturday for baptism. We dont know if he will pass the interview or not, but we have hope that he can be baptized soon, for he really wants to be baptized.

Valquiria- Shes been praying, but she still hasnt recognized that shes received an answer from God (she knows simply that the Book of Mormon is true, but hasnt connected that to a confirmation.) But she said that, when she knows that this is true, that she will be baptized! Its nuts, so many people are ready to be baptized now!!! Miracles!

Other notes:

Elder Marques, an elder that lives with us, hurt his leg this week. It appears to be a ligament problem, but he will go to the doctor. But its been a relaxing week for him and Elder Ladwig.

The World Cup continues to rule the world right now. So. Much. Soccer. On the bright side, the United States is actually doing pretty well! We won against Ghana, and we tied against Portugal, who had the "best player in the world", Cristiano Ronaldo, sending them home! We just have to do decent against Germany, and well classify!!

Last week was our last meeting with President Martins. He cried, we all felt good about life, and he is going home this Friday, switching with our new mission president, Presidente Farnes, from Bountiful Utah. So we are all super excited to see what happens.

Alright, everybody, thats it for me! I know that this church is true, that it is led by a living prophet, and that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and Savior! I hope that you all remember that! Love you all!

Elder Youd

PS- Yesterday was my sister Brettes birthday! I was talking to Gabriela and Oliver yesterday, and I said that I had a birthday a few weeks ago, and Oliver said, "Para-bens atrasado!" or "Delayed congrats!" I say the same to my sister! Para-bens atrasado!
Attachments area

Baptism - Emiliana is the Mom, and Bianca is the daughter.

Week 44: Welcome to the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Hey everybody!

Thats right...the time has arrived for the 2014 World Cup! Weve been hearing about basically nothing else for the past month, and now that its here, the whole country is going insane. Unfortunately for us, this has put a temporary stop in the work, seeing as its a whole lot more difficult to convince people to let us talk about God when the Netherlands are destroying Spain (we hear about every single games results), so were working a bit slower and harder. But fortunately, its quite a unique experience to be in the country of the world cup during the world cup. Everybodys focus is on soccer, so its super duper fun. But, firstly, about the work!

Top investigators:

Emiliana, Bianca (new, and you wont ever hear about them again!)- So, being in an area with 2 groups, we occassionally do divisions, just to help each other out (more the last 2 transfers than this transfer.) But, on some of these divisions, I went to the other half of Julio de Mesquita. There had a mother and daughter, Emiliana and Bianca. I taught them duringe these divisions. They were completely elect, and needed this gospel to help them cope with some personal problems. But, luckily last weekend they finally were baptized!! I was honored to be able to watch the service, and I even snuck into the baptismal picture. So I do believe that I have 2 more baptisms!!!

Anderson- Hes doing good. Didnt go to church this week, but he is ready to be interviewed and baptized! We just need to find him at home. Keep praying for Anderson!

Valquiria- We finally got ahold of Valquiria. The problem is that she has started to work at a mall, from 11 AM-11 PM. But she still is interested, and we just need to help her get to church on sunday (these work hours are making her incredibly exhausted.)

Other notes:

Yeah, its basically just this. The World Cup is our lives right now. We hear nothing else except for details about the World Cup. We breathe soccer right now. But all is well! 

Also, thank you all for your birthday wishes! I feel like a man, seeing that Ive survived my first week of my 3rd decade of life. Im getting older, wiser, and stronger (Ive started taking exercises more seriously, I want a toned bod.) But Thats my life! On to individual emails/photos! Love you all!

Until next week,
Elder Youd

We have to cross this pipe to get from our house to the neighborhood Torino, where we have some lunches, and some investigators.

Week 43: My freaking birthday!!!

Oi everybody!!

Thats right...TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY! 20 years ago, I emerged into this world, a bunch of strangers seeing me completely naked, and a man in white tore a freaking cord from my stomach. And so it was, that I started my life. 20 years later, I do believe that Im doing alright. I somehow ended up in Brazil, but at least I can speak enough Portuguese to party now. For those of you that are wondering, I do plan on partying today, in the missionary way. AKA I will likely eat a bunch of food, and relax for the day. We have plans to visit a less active member that loves us, so at least well eat some more food with him. But tomorrow, its back to work, in the normal way. But for today, at least, I am happy.

But this week has been good. Weve got some good progress with some of our investigators, namely:

Taina (new!)- We started teaching Taina, an 18 year old girl, last week. She was incredibly receptive, and accepted to be baptized! Shes already visited the church in the past, so were planning on baptizing her on June 21. Pray for Taina!

Anderson- We managed to talk to Anderson this week. In the time that hes spent between changing missionaries, hes managed to break the last habit that was preventing him from being baptized, smoking. So now, weve just gotta get him interviewed and baptized! Yay!!! Continue to pray for Anderson!

Valquiria (now that I know how to spell her name)- Shes been hiding from us this week. Unfortunately, shes started to work crazy hours that dont let her be in her house between 10AM-midnight. So weve just gotta be patient and try and find that golden opportunity to talk to her again.

Other notes:

This week is the world cup! During the Brazilian games, were not going to be allowed to leave the house for the entire day (only for lunch,) so this month were gonna have a few days of relaxation, which will be nice. But everybody here is going nuts for the World Cup. Its gonna be an interesting thing. And for those of you that are cheering for the United States (as you all should be doing, support your country!), we may actually have a chance! Some of the best players in our group from Germany and Portugal got hurt, and if they play, they wont be playing at full force. So...USA! USA! USA!!

Basically, its just this. Thank you all for your support, and I hope that you all have a great week! Thanks for the birthday wishes, keep them coming! I miss you all!

Elder Youd

During a division, Elder Ladwig and I found a couch on the side of the road. So I posed there.

Weve been helping a less active member, Bruno, come back to church. So we all took a picture with these hamburgers that his mom bought for us.

A member here (The one with the meat) had a birthday this week, and he and his family love the missionaries, so we had a "churrasco" or Brazilian BBQ. It was super duper good. A ton of meat.

left to right: me, Elder Marques, Elder Ladwig, and Elder Cerantonio. In our kitchen.

Me and Elder Cerantonio

Week 42: I feel like Im in a Bruce Springsteen song

...Im growing up and still stuck in the same place.

Oi everybody!!

Thats right, for those of you that dont understand my reference. There are two important parts to the big news. Firstly...Im still here in Julio de Mesquita. Thisll be my 4th transfer in the area, and by the time I finish this transfer, I will have spent about 6 months here in the area, 1/4 of my mission. Elder Taveira went to São Paulo, in an area with a bunch of hills (very different than here), and I am now here with Elder Cerantonio, an Argentino with about 5 months on the mission. Hes very laid back, but when were working he does well, so I shouldnt have any problem with companionship this transfer.

And the other part is that...Im growing up!!! *hint hint* next monday is my Birthday!!! So this is my last week of being a teenager. So if you all love me, you could write to me next week, so my birthday isnt so lonely... :D

Alright, but things are still going alright here. Here is the info about our top investigators:

Valkyria: Unfortunately, Valkyria has started to work again, so we havent been able to find her this week. She said that shed go to church, but I think she is working until midnight every night, so she wasnt able to wake up in time to go to church. But well keep on working with her.

Bryan (new!)- A younger guy thats about 25 years old. We had been teaching him for a bit of time, but he wasnt really going anywhere. But, as fate would have it, Bryan works for the same company that our good friend Lima (my recent convert with the mustache), and Lima decided to invite Bryan to an Integration night at our ward. Bryan came with a friend and Lima! Hes a younger guy, but he understands a lot about God, and hes interested. He wasnt able to come to church this week, but well see what happens.

Anderson (new)- A younger guy that had been taught for a long time in a neighboring area (ironically, Elder Cerantonio was the one that found him), that we found by a miracle! A drunk guy told us to follow him to his house while we were on the street one day, and for some reason, we started following. As it turns out, the drunk is Andersons uncle, and Anderson has moved to our area! Hes already been to church a few times, and hes interested, so he has a ton of potential!

Other notes:

-The World Cup is approaching. Weve learned that we arent going to be working on the days when Brazil is playing, so we are going to have a few days off this transfer. Between this, my birthday (hint hint), July 4, and the fact that we are switching Misison Presidents this transfer, this transfer should be interesting. And of course, Id be put together with an Argentinian during the world cup. (Argentina and Brazil have a GIANT rivalry with soccer. Ive already heard a ton of people only talking to him about soccer.)

Im finally at a computer that works, so I believe that Im going to send a ton of pictures while I can. So be ready for these pictures!!

Alright everybody, thanks for all of your support! I love you all, and so does God!! Até mais!

Elder Youd

Week 41: Not exactly what we were expecting

Hey everybody!

So this week was a bit more difficult for us here in Júlio de Mesquita. As youll likely realize, I dont have any notes from our conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson...because we unfortunately didnt have that conference. THere were rumors about a police strike, so we were told to stay in our houses for that day. And unfortunately, those police strikes didnt even happen (at least in our mission), so we didnt even have a purpose to stay indoors. But at the very least, we were able to relax for a day. Although Im still wanting to hear from Elder Russell M. Nelson.

But the rest of the week was pretty good! We had a lot of rainy days, so our work didnt move forward as much as we wanted to. But, weve gotten ourselves some good investigators!

Valkyria- A mother of 4 kids (2 of which are older than 8 years), that simply is looking for a good church. She prayed to God, and received a confirmation that we are authorized servants of God! And she went to church on Sunday, which was super nice!! She has a ton of potential.

Kesley- Hes still doing well. He wants to go to church, but his work schedule is nuts, so were working with him on that. But he still has potential.

In other news:

We learn about transfers today. Elder Bow will go home (hes finishing his mission!), and Elder Ladwig will likely stay. Im thinking that I will be transferred, although anything is possible. Again, if I am transferred, Ill be happy with the work that Ive done here. With the help of the Lord, Ive managed 4 baptisms, one of which managed to help an inactive family return to church. Ive seen miracles work here in the past four months, and to credit this work to anything but the hand of the Lord. If I leave, I will leave satisfied. If I stay, Ill do my best for the next 6 weeks.

Also, today is my sister Kaitie's birthday!! Happy birthday Kaitie!! Ill try and send you a photo of what I bought for you!!

Alright, on to my individual emails! Love you all!! 

Elder Youd

Week 40: The final stretch of the transfer

Hey everybody!!

Thats right, we are reaching the end of the transfer already! It is nuts how quickly the time goes by here on the mission, especially when were working super hard!! Ill admit that Im a bit tired today (partially because I wont have P-Day after writing emails, more deets later), but we are still doing good!

This week we didnt have a whole lot of success with investigators. We have a few people that are showing some interest in hearing our message, but nobody is progressing a whole lot. We had some people that gave firm commitments to go to church, but unfortunately we didnt have anybody in the chapel yesterday. And its not just our area. The other 2 areas in our district have had the same problems as well. But, even as we end this transfer, we have hope that during this last week of the transfer that we can find some people who are ready to make commitments and keep them, to try and help them come closer to Christ. Were just in a slight rut at the moment. But luckily, all ruts can be exited, and we can continue having success here!

In other news, we have something super exciting! After I send these emails, Im going to continue working today. Why? Because this wednesday, were going to São Paulo to hear an Apostle of the Lord, Elder Russell M. Nelson!! Were all super stoked, and we are willing to work during our P-Day to make up for the lost time. Itll all be good, and Ill send some notes from him during the next email!!

Alright, Im sorry that this email is shorter than usual, but next week will have Apostolic notes included, so thats pretty cool!! Alright, love you all!! Until next week!

Elder Youd

Beautiful Sorocaba

Week 39: Refreshed after a Mothers Day talk

Hey everybody!!

This week has been great for me, primarily because...I GOT TO TALK TO MY FAMILY!!!!! It was so nice to get to talk to everybody, and what a present for a son on Mothers Day. I feel genuinely refreshed after this wonderful conversation, and Ill work diligently until Christmas when I talk to my family again. 

As for the rest of the week, weve had some difficulties. Like my last 2 weeks that I had in Vila Medeiros, I have arrived at the point in this area where I feel like Ive knocked on every door, and that theres no more for me personally to do here. Both of our dates fell this week. Estella got the idea in her head that she needs to feel an answer (for those of you that perhaps are learning more about the Church, just know that you dont need to FEEL a confirmation from the Holy Ghost. Ask God if these things are true, and be ready for an answer in whatever form. Ive seen it happen in a bunch of different ways, from feelings to dreams to a simple certainty. Ask, and ye shall receive. Off of my soapbox now.) So weve basically just been looking for new people, likely to be baptized next transfer (probably after I leave.) But its all good.

Honestly, I have loved this area. The ward is great, Ive had some awesome baptism miracles happen here, and theres a home-ish feeling that I have here. Although its probably time in the future to move to another area (we have transfers in 2 weeks, so Ive still got some time here,) I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Júlio de Mesquita.

And I suppose that I shall end this with a simple declaration. I know that this church is the Church of Jesus Christ, built on the firm foundation of prophets, apostles, and authority of God. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the pathway to return to Him, through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) was restored by a prophet called of God. And I know that I am on the Lords errand here in Brazil, where I have been for 9 months now. And anybody that wants to know the truth of these things can talk to the missionaries, and afterwards ask God if these things are true. And if you ask with faith, real intent, and a sincere heart, you have the right to receive this confirmation.

Alright, on to individual emails! Love you all!

Elder Youd