Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Week 54: Welcome to Jaraguá!

Hey guys!

So, I sent you all a preliminary thing, but yes, after only 6 weeks in Amador Bueno, I have been transferred again! My new area is called Jaraguá, in the zone Jaraguá! Its a part of São Paulo, so Im back in the gigantic city again, just like where I started in Vila Medeiros. So, Ill give details about my new comp, new area, and new leadership position in a bit, but first, for my top investigators (All new, and there are a lot):

Matteus: Hes a 15 year old adopted son of a less active member thats been slowly coming back to church. He has a baptismal date for this weekend. We dont see any major problems in the road (perhaps his dad will think that its too early, but I dont think itll be a problem), so we should have at least 1 baptism this Saturday!

Mário: Hes a middle aged ex-investigator that we found this week. In the past he had progressed a lot with the missionaries, and almost was baptized, but he wasnt ready to live the commandments. But, we talked to him, and we marked a date for him to be baptized this Saturday! We just have to help him give up his drinking (its not an addiction, just something that he does every once in a while), and then we'll baptize him!

Luan: He was a security guard working at the chapel for a long time, and while he was there, he was taught literally everything. I was actually confused as to why hes not baptized yet. But, we can only find him on Sundays, which is more difficult. So, we got him interviewed for baptism, and he passed. He wants to talk to his mom to see if she supports him in this baptism, and then he should be baptized this Sunday!

Nicolas, Jackeline: Technically, Jackeline lives in another area, but we and the other missionaries are teaching them together, because theyre friends. Nicolas already had been taught everything, but wasnt able to go to church recently. But he finally decided to go to church! It was super cool, and his friend, Jackeline, also accepted a baptismal date with him, for the 6th! So, we have 2 different sets of missionaries working with them at the same time, but its cool, since they go to the same church building.

Debora, Leandro: Theyve been investigators for a long time, and it seems like Ive come in at the perfect time. After a long time, they decided to mark a marriage date so that Debora could get baptized (theyre both not members.) And, Leandro in the past had been wishy-washy about being baptized. So, they have a wedding date marked for the 20th. (Were gonna have a wedding!!!) And, when I went there last week, Leandro said that he stopped drinking coffee! So, were convinced that we can help Leandro get baptized with Debora on the day of their wedding. Yay weddings!

Other notes:

My new companion is Elder Berrios, from New York. Hes Hispanic-American, has 1 year and 4 months on the mission, and were working super well together. And hes a genius with languages. Like, he speaks Spanish, English, French, Italian, and Portuguese. Hes like a human American Melting Pot. And, we seem to get along well, so Im super excited for this transfer!

And, I have a new leadership position! I am now a Zone Leader, which basically is one step above District Leader, which I was last transfer. Basically its the same thing that i was doing last transfer (baptismal interviews, trainings, help a group of missionaries be proactive), but instead of supervising a few areas, I supervise 2 districts, helping the District Leaders out. So, its basically the same song, different verse, but its fun anyways.

Also, just for you to know, I wasnt the only one who moved up. Elder Baron, my old companion, stayed in Amador Bueno, and he is now District Leader and hes training a new missionary. So were happy with our lives.

And, I get to meet a Seventy this week! Elder Aidukaitis, that Seventy with the funny accent that spoke at last General Conference, is coming to tour our mission this week. Ill get to hear him on Tuesday (at a leadership conference) and on Thursday (for our zone and a few other zones). So thats cool!

Alright, thats my week! On to individual emails! Sorry, this computer doesnt have USB, so I cant send any pictures this week, but Ill send some when I can! Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Youd

Week 53: We did it!! 1 Year!!!

Hey everybody!!

Thats right, I have hit a very significant point in my one year mark!! Last Thursday marked 1 year since I entered the MTC and started to be a missionary. So, we worked a bit during the day, and during the night, we ended up eating pizza during the night, so it was a pretty good way. If I were to hypothetically stay exactly two years, Im officially past my half-way mark! (But, Im actually a bit past the halfway mark, seeing as Ill go home a bit earlier than two years because of visa stuff.) But, thats my excitement.

Honestly, theres not a lot to say about the work this week. Weve been working to find new people to teach for next transfer, but between a lack of success and a lack of time to work, we werent able to find anybody thats just screaming "potential". But, weve got some other things going on this week. Here are the notes this week:

-Again, we learn about transfers today. Im honestly stalling a bit to learn about the transfers. But, if I end up learning about transfers after I send this, Ill send a follow-up email with the new info. But seeing as Ive only been here 6 weeks, Ill likely stay here in Amador Bueno.

-We moved this week! I forgot to take pictures of the new house, but Ill send them next week. We were living in a freaking cellar before, that always felt humid and we had a landlady that didnt like the missionaries so much. Now, were living in a house behind one of the Bishops counselors. The move was quite interesting. We had to move the majority of the stuff by ourselves, which includes undoing the beds and desks, and installing a new showerhead, etc. It was quite the adventure, and by the time we moved, we were completely dead. But that was an adventure this week!

-And for a funny story this week, I saved 5 lives (kind of.) We were working close to the chapel, and I needed to use the bathroom, so we stopped and rested for about 10 minutes. I went to one of the rooms, and I realized that one of the desks that they were using was actually a piano. I decided to see if it worked, and it worked; however, when I started playing, I heard a scream! As it turns out, there was a cat with 4 kittens, hidden inside of the piano. For how much time they were there, I have no idea, but we got someone there to get those cats out of there!

So, thats my week. It seems like Ill send you all an email when I learn about transfers! Until next week! Love you all!

Elder Youd

From left to right: Elder Baron, Milena, me.

From left to right: Elder Baron, Elder Carr, Tainá, Danilo, Raisa, Elder X. Soares, and me.

From left to right: Me, Elder Carr, Guilherme, Kaique, Denilson, Elder X. Soares, Elder Baron.

Week 52: Uh...I baptized 7 this week.


So...yeah. This week has been a fairly pleasant surprise for me. While our plan was to baptize at least 1 person this week, our area managed to baptize 3 people this week...and then I participated in the baptismal service of 4 I, uh...I baptized 7 this week. Its still a bit of a surprise to me, so I guess Ill just explain how it all went down, with the descriptions of the baptisms:

Amador Bueno: Kaique, Guilherme, and Denilson- So these past 2 weeks weve been having problems with having elect investigators, whose parents didnt let them be baptized because "they dont know what theyre doing", etc. Its how we lost Bruna, Lucas, Vanessa (more on her later), and Valeria. So needless to say, we were super worried about these 3. We talked to them on Wednesday, and after they accepted to live the commandments, we asked if their parents were okay with everything. Kaique and Guilherme said that their parents were good with everything, but Denilson said that his parents wanted to talk to us about this. So we were expecting the worst. We went to his house, and at first, his step-dad talked to us and said (in a super rude manner), "If I have a say in this, I say no. Hes not ready. Hes a problematic kid, and he has no idea what hes doing. I dont like the idea, and if its up to me, I say no. But you can talk to his mom tomorrow, and if she says different, Ill accept her decision." But we talked to his Mom the next day, and after a very short time, she became super excited for Denilson to be baptized!! She said that he needs help to be as respectful at home as he is on the street (for all 3 of these kids are ridiculously respectful to us), and so we got the approval!! After 2 weeks of difficulties, God finally gave us a giant victory! The three were baptized on Saturday. I baptized Kaique and Guilherme, and Elder Carr (who did their baptismal interviews) was asked by Denilson to baptize him. 3!

Itapevi: Danilo, Taina, Raisa- So, while Elder Carr was doing the baptismal interviews of Kaique, Guilherme, and Denilson, I went to his area (called Itapevi) to do the interviews of three siblings, Danilo, Taina, Raisa. In the past, Elder Baron went there during an exchange and marked the baptismal date with them. Honestly, they were all ready to be baptized (Danilo was just a bit shy about the matter.) But, at the end of baptismal interviews, we ask the candidates who they want to baptize them. I asked, and while Taina and Raisa chose Elder X. Soares (Elder Carr's companion) to baptize them, Danilo (and his drunk dad at the same time) asked me to baptize him! So, I got to baptize Danilo, and us 4 (me, Elder Baron, Elder Carr, and Elder X. Soares) now count these 6 baptisms as ours. 6!


Barueri: Milena- We had the baptisms in Amador Bueno during the afternoon on Saturday, and the baptisms in Itapevi during the night. Between these services, Barueri called me and asked me to do an emergency baptismal interview. I went there, and as it turns out, they were basically doing a "Hail Mary": they marked the interview with a girl, Milena, to be baptized that night, and when I went there, they were helping her get ready, filling the font, etc. So, I interviewed her, helped her with her last minute doubts, and she decided to be baptized that night! Although I wasnt able to be there to watch the baptism (because I was baptizing Danilo), I took advantage of the moment and the fact that I had my camera with me, and I took a pic with her in front of the font, where she was baptized later that

7 baptisms in one day. What an adventure.

Other top investigators:

Vanessa, Valeria: So, as I said, this week Vanessa said that her mom doesnt want her to be baptized for some time, because "she needs to know what she wants". Because her praying to God and receiving a divine confirmation that this is the path for her. But, she wants to be baptized still, so were gonna try and talk to her mom this week, and perhaps baptize her this week. Lets see what happens.

Other notes:

Yes, for those of you that are keeping track, this week is a very special week for me--my one year mark. Today, 1 year ago, I gave my farewell talk, and then I was set apart. And this Thursday, one year ago, I went to the MTC in Provo and started to be a missionary. So, its a big week for me! Thank you all so much for your support this last year!!

We had our interviews with President Farnes this week. He really seemed to like me in my interview. He had heard that I had participated in various performance-type things before the mission (choir, stand-up, etc.), and he said that I was doing a stellar job as a leader, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. So good things are happening here!

So yeah, thats my (slightly bigger than normal) week here! If possible, Ill try to send some photos (Im at the crappy LAN House again). If not, Ill send them next week! Love you all!! Tchau!!

Elder Youd

Week 51: Miracles, just slightly delayed!

Hey everybody!!

So its been a pretty good week here in Amador Bueno. Honestly, it was the first week that Ive had here that was less than "MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING HERE!", but I suppose that every week cant be perfect. But, weve still got some super good stuff going on here. Ill cut the small talk and move on directly to our investigators!

Caique, Guilherme: It seems like Denilson, friend of Caique and Guilherme, has lost interest in being baptized. He avoided all of our appointments this week, and didnt go to church. BUT Caique and Guilherme are still firm to be baptized this weekend, and they went to church! We just need to go over the rest of the commandments with them, and then were good! 

Vanessa, Valeria: So Valeria also is avoiding us, perhaps because shes 14 years old and doesnt really care about religion right now. BUT Vanessa is super firm to be baptized this weekend! She prayed, and decided that this is the path that she wants to follow for the rest of her life! We had plans to baptize her last weekend, but when she went to church last week, one of our ward missionaries (bless his heart) got confused and told her that she would be baptized on the 9th. So well baptize her this weekend. Miracles...just slightly delayed!! But shes doing super well. She already knows about the temple, and got excited that she can go there as soon as possible!! Elect!!

Bruna, Lucas: Our sadder note for this week. We went over the commandments with Bruna and Lucas to be baptized last week, and they were super duper good with everything and super excited to be baptized. But, their parents go to a SUPER anti-Mormon church, and although they were afraid to tell it to us, they had no plans to allow them to be baptized. We marked an appointment to talk to their parents, but then they "went out of town" during that time, and then called a ward member and said that Bruna and Lucas were never to go to church again. Well see what we can do to help, but it seems like Satan is working hard against us with them.

But we are still having a ton of success here, and we are super excited for the future!!

Other notes:

This week, I wish my Dad a happy birthday!!! I dont remember how old he'll be, but know that hes pretty old and super wise! Happy birthday Dad!

Alright, thats all for me this week! Were at a crappier LAN House today, so I probably wont be able to send photos. But, Ill do my best! Love you all!
Elder Youd