Monday, July 28, 2014

This is where we baptize people in this ward. But, whats important is that we baptize with authority! Amador Bueno - And the Baptism Celebration Pizza we had afterwards!

First baptism of Amador Bueno, in the swimming pool - Juliana

Week 50: First baptism of Amador Bueno, in the swimming pool!

Hey everybody!!

Thats right, its been a fantastic week here in Amador Bueno!!! Ive had a ton of stories, a ton of success, and to top it all off, my first baptism here in the area!! After a super long and busy week, Juliana was baptized!! Here are the details, along with the details of our top investigators:

Juliana, Joyce: So, we helped Juliana agree to live the rest of the commandments, and after some miracles (listen to the voicemail, specifically about her agreeing to live the law of tithing,) she was all ready for baptism!! A different Elder interviewed her and Joyce, and they both passed! Unfortunately, Joyce still doesnt feel ready for baptism, so were gonna keep on helping her prepare, but she can be baptized in any moment now! Juliana was incredibly excited about the baptism, and it was a super nice service. Yay!! (And yes, Ill send pictures in a bit, but because this ward is in a poor area, there isnt an official baptismal font, so we use one of those swimming pools that you put together. It still worked.

Bruna, Lucas (new!)- 2 cousins of a recent convert here, Brenda, with about 16 and 9 years, respectively. We went to visit them for the first time on Monday night, and as it turns out, theyve been wanting to be baptized! We have a date marked for them for this Sunday, and until now, we dont have anything preventing us from baptizing them!! Yay!!

Vanessa, Valeria (new!)- 2 girls that we found knocking on doors, with about 16 and 14 years, respectively. Its kind of a strange situation, because theyre so receptive that we havent figured out what could go wrong with them. Theyre simply accepting everything and completing all of the commitments were giving them, and they have dates for this Sunday as well!! So we could have 4 baptisms for this week!! Woot!

Caique, Denilson, Guilherme (new!)- 3 teenage boys (I forgot their ages.) Also 3 kids that are just accepting everything and eating up every assignment and commitment that we give them. They have dates for August 9, so we have a bit more time to work with them, but Caique and Denilson went to church yesterday (Denilson wasnt able to go, but he can still be baptized on the 9th), but we have a ton of hope for them!!

Vania- Unfortunately, Vania fell at the last moment. She had a cousin get super sick on the other side of the country, so without telling us, she went there and wont come back for a couple months. But, thats life for you.

Other notes:

It appears that were gonna move into a new house! Were not sure when itll happen, but well likely live with members here in a while. So thats exciting!

Ive been working a ton with my district this week, leaving my area every day except for Sunday (at least for a little bit of time.) we ended up having 3 baptisms in our 4 areas this week, with 11 people planned to be baptized this week! So pray for all of us!!

Alright, Im gonna send some photos now! Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Youd

Amador Bueno - A picture from that family night with Angelica, Rose, Carina, and a few other people. Honestly, there were a lot of people there, so I dont remember everybodys names. Im the white one with the nametag.

Week 49: The little perks of my job!

Hey everybody!!

Its been a super good week here in Amador Bueno. Ive had a ton of new experiences this week, and as for the things that Im used to doing, theres a TON of good things happening here in my area!! So lets just start with my top investigators:

Juliana, Joyce: We went to teach Juliana about the Word of Wisdom, likely the hardest thing for her to accomplish. We were waiting to mark a date with her until we knew if she had any addictions. However, as we were teaching, she told us that she has almost completely stopped smoking already, and when I said, "So, will you live this commandment of God?", she simply responded, "Yes, I will be baptized!" WE have a date marked for this Saturday with her, and we will likely baptize her daughter, Joyce, with her. Miracles!!

Angelica, Rose, Carina (new!): Various members of a scattered-out family. They have friends/family that are members, and Angelica and Carina have already visited the church a ton in the past. But we had a family night with them, and they were INCREDIBLY interested in our message. THeyre gonna pray about being baptized, and we know that theyll have great answers. Next week, Ill likely talk about them individually, because they all live in different places, but they have a ton of potential!

Vania, Jose (new!)- So, its a bit hard for me to talk about this married couple. As Ill talk about soon, Ive been outside of my area a lot this week. But, Elder Baron says that they accepted dates for the 3rd of August, and they seem super cool. From what Ive heard. Ive never talked to them before. Im writing about them to you guys on faith.

Other notes:
So, Im already doing a ton of divisions this last week, and Im doing a ton more this week. (Basically, thats where I work with another missionary in another area.) But, Ive had a ton of success thus far. On my first division, I went with an Elder X. Soares to visit a less active member. He was super cool, told us that he wants to return to church, bought us pizza, and then he gave me a brand new belt for free! And on my second division, I worked with an Elder Kelley, and I did my first 3 baptismal interviews! The first one I had to help out because she was having last minute doubts. Luckily, I was able to help her calm down, and at least accept to be baptized next weekend. They had another person that wasnt quite ready yet, and a third person that was super duper ready! AND this last kid ended up liking me and giving me a free (super fancy) Adidas watch! So, its the little perks that make my job better. Also, helping people come unto Christ and be baptized ;)

Also, this area is HUGE. Im not joking. Its HUGE. Luckily, 99% of what we do, weve managed to control our area of work to a couple of neighborhoods (because we basically have half of the neighborhoods between São Paulo and Sorocaba), but we unfortunately cant control where our lunches live. So, perhaps I walked 25 km just to get to and from lunch on Wednesday. 4 hours of just walking. My legs are dead.

Alright, this LAN House is better, so Ill send some pics! I love you all! Thank you! Até próxima semana!

Elder Youd

Week 48: Greetings from Amador Bueno!!

Hey everybody!!
Thats right...after 6 months in Júlio de Mesquita, I've finally left Sorocaba, and I am in a brand new area!! My new area, as I had said last week, is Amador Bueno. Its part of a city called Itapevi, which lies directly on the outskirts of São Paulo. So, in this moment, I am kinda working in São Paulo, kinda no. BUT the area is very São Paulo-like, much like my first area, Vila Medeiros. There are a decent amount of hills here, so Ill have to remember how to climb hills again.
But honestly, this area has A TON of potential. There are a ton of people here who are ready to receive this gospel. The only problem is, the Elder that was here last transfer appears to have been burnt out of missionary work (and with only 1 year and 3 months in the field,) so he didnt do anything here. But luckily, his companion that is now my companion, Elder Baron, was wanting to work a ton last transfer, and for this we're here to work together. Weve been working our buns off this week, and we plan on continuing, because its bringing a ton of results!
Here are our top investigators (all new!):
Juliana, Joyce: Old investigators that Elder Baron had dropped in the past. President Farnes called everybody and said that he received inspiration that we should all try and visit some old investigators, so he remembered these two people, a mother and daughter that were dropped as investigators about a month ago because they werent doing anything. Lo and behold, we went there, and Juliana had been reading the Book of Mormon without us marking a part for her to read, and she had stopped smoking, and she said that everything here is true! Now, we only need to work with her on her fear of baptism (something Im used to working with, if you all remember Joelson), so she and her daughter should be baptized soon!!
Luana: Another investigator, about 25-30 years old, that knows that everything is true. The only problem that we have with her is that she appears to be slightly unmotivated in action, so we have to help her get motivated to go to church and get baptized. But, she has potential.
Jessica, Benê: a sister and a mother-in-law of an old investigator that we were trying to visit. We started to teach them, and within 10 minutes, Benê had mentioned that she wants to be baptized in a true church, that she misses her son that passed away recently, and that she wants to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, I do believe that spells "Elect"! They werent able to go to church this week, but were gonna keep on working with them to get them excited for baptism!

Week 47: "And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: 'We will not go quietly into the night!' We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive!"

Today we celebrate our Independence Day!!

(Thanks to the people that sent me the quote to help me out!)

Hey everybody!!

So, its been an interesting week for me here in Julio de Mesquita. This email will have a different format, largely because nothing interesting happened with the work, and everything interesting happened in other news of my life/the mission. So, lets start with the biggest and work on down.

Firstly, I am FINALLY being transferred!! Our new mission president, President Farnes (more on him later) is doing transfers differently, so Ill be able to tell you about transfers before I get transferred! So, tomorrow, I return to the grand city of São Paulo, to an area called Amador Bueno (yes, that is Spanish, I believe for "Good Lover", so this should be interesting.) It is part of a zone that Ive heard has a ton of baptisms and success, so we'll see what happens. I'll be working with Elder Baron, who arrived with me in the field, and he's super legit, so it should be a freaking awesome transfer. 

Also with this, I was called to be a District Leader! It really doesnt change a whole lot for me, but it just adds a bit more responsibility for me. Basically, I'll be running trainings that we missionaries do on Tuesdays (itll be a group of 8 misisonaries or so, I think,) talk to missionaries a couple times a week to see how things are going, and when people are ready to be baptized, I get the honor to interview them to see if theyre ready for baptism or not. So thatll be cool!

And, we got to meet our new mission president this week! He seems absolutely awesome! Although hes still relearning Portuguese, President Farnes has a giant vision for the mission! Hes already changing a TON of things, including liberating service projects and more things that we can do on P-Day! And he seems to be freaking intelligent. When people asked questions, he could just open up his scriptures and give an answer. So Im super stoked for the future!

And in World Cup news, the Brazilians have started to calm down a bit about the cup. Unfortunately, Neymar (the star player) broke his back, so...hes not playing with a broken back. And theyll play on Tuesday, but its against Germany, who will destroy them. But I have hope!!

But yeah, life is pretty good here this week. ANd next week, Ill send you all an email from Amador Bueno! Thanks for everything! Love you all! Until next week!

Elder Youd

Gabriela & Oliver's Baptism

Week 46: Batismos de Gabriela e Oliver!!!

So, as you may have guessed (and possibly seen on Facebook?), we had 2 baptisms this week! It all worked out incredibly smoothly (strangely smooth, generally baptisms are maximum stress-outs), and the service was super nice! Details and of other investigators:

Gabriela, Oliver: So yeah, we had the interviews this week for them. Aside from Oliver asking if he could continue playing Grand Theft Auto after baptism for Elder Della-Piana, everything was smooth. The biggest setback we had was the time of the baptism. It was originally set for Saturday afternoon, but we had to move it because we wouldnt be able to leave our house on Saturday (because of the Brazil game), so we moved it to Friday. But the other ward that meets in our chapel had a baptism at the normal time, and Oliver arrives from school kinda late, so we moved it to Friday at 8:00. But the Bishop wasnt quite on board with it being so late (he implied that he had a romantic date planned with his wife...oops. Our bad!) But, being the good man that he is, he made an exception and let us baptize them at that hour, as to not stress out the parents. But the service was super good. I got to baptize Gabriela, and Elder Cerantonio baptized Oliver. Their mom, Talita, LOVES taking pictures and putting them on Facebook/Instagram, so we took a ton of pictures at the service. So if she put them up, thats why. And, also funny, the water was a bit high because the other ward also had baptisms (of an adult), and Gabriela and Oliver are both smaller sized human beings. So, as Elder Cerantonio entered the water with Oliver, Oliver almost screamed, "Wait, I dont swim! I dont swim!" But it all worked out well. They were confirmed on Sunday, and now we are gonna keep on working to keep them active, and to reactivate their mom, who went to church for the first time in years to watch the confirmation! Miracles!!

...aside from this, we didnt have much success this week with other investigators. Valquiria and Anderson were never home, so theres nothing to say about them. But this week we plan on working with them more, and finding more new people to teach and baptize next transfer!!

Other things of importance:

The World Cup continues this week. Brazil, although not playing well, won against Chile, so we keep on going. Although I have a Chilean friend in our zone of missionaries, and I got to give him a bit of crap about it. But keep supporting the US!!

And, big news: we have a new mission president! After serving a year under the reign of President Martins, we now have President Farnes, from Bountiful Utah! I dont know much about him, but I heard that he hugged everybody in the mission office, and hes about as nice as can be. So I feel like itll be a very different second year. But yay!!

And this week is Independence Day!! Hint: Next week's subject will be a very famous movie quote from the President that saved us from the alien invasion, with the help of Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum.

ALright, Ill send some baptismal photos for y'all!! I love you all, and i know that this church is true!! Have a great week!

Elder Youd