Monday, October 28, 2013

My Week (Week 75)

Hey all!

Yet another week passed by.  And I am very grateful to be here on the Mission.  People always say a lot about missions but you really don´t know how they are until you go on one.  They are great, they are hard and really they are unique in what they can do for your life.  

Zelandia received a calling yesterday - she was made the Librarian of the ward.  We are having more people come to sacrament meeting and we are working really closely to the ward council which always gives us great animo.  

We will have a great zone conference tomorrow with Pres. Fortunato and the Assistants.  I am really excited.  We are in need of a good zone conference to get us pepped up again. 

I know that the Lord Lives and that He called prophets.  I know that He called me as a missionary - I know that He knows my weaknesses but He is helping me overcome them.  I know that in the end, the Gospel will triumph over all.  

Have a wonderful week! I love you all!

Elder Jacob

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Weekly Pâo de Queijo (Week 74)

Heyah all!

Well it was a good long week this week.  No baptisms in our ward this week.  But we are working hard and are going to baptize this next week for sure.  It was great that Zelandia was confirmed yesterday.  She is doing well and we are going to help her kids also be part of the Lord´s Church this next Sunday too.

I am enjoying being companions with Elder Wensel.  He is definitely American (it is interesting the culture difference between Brazilians and Americans. I like them both!)  but he is helping me a lot and I am grateful for him.  He is really teaching the value of patience and being calm under pressure.  Also, I am learning to really dive into the scriptures and teach by the Spirit.  It is a blessing to be his companion.

We had a three hour meeting with the Stake Leadership on Saturday.  It was actually super awesome.  The leaders were all really animated and it was cool to discuss what was going on in our Stake and how we can help it improve.  We discovered that a lot of the bishops don´t know what the goals of the missionaries are for baptisms in the month so we are going to help the missionaries work more closely with the member and the leadership so that we can all work together instead of separately.  

Speaking of working together, we had a sweet meeting yesterday with the ward missionaries.  They are all youth from 13-18 but they are excited and are going to help a lot.  We have goals for how many referrals they will give to us and they are going to help visit our recent converts and some less actives too.  I have never been in a ward that has worked so much with missionary work.  It is awesome.

And do you want to hear some awesome news?  Ramo Riacho, where I started my mission, became Ala Riacho or in English it became a ward last week!  I was really excited and happy.  I am very pleased that the little work Elder Sloan and I were able to do helped that part of the vineyard grow.  

I am doing well.  I am grateful for the challenge of everyday to give my all and improve my character and teaching.  It isn´t easy to keep going but it wasn´t supposed to be and that´s why it is good.  To endure to the end, you gotta be patient, happy and have the courage to keep going.  I am sincerely so very grateful to be here on the mission! 

Have you talked to someone today about the gospel?  If not, then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above! :)
love you all!
Elder Jacob

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hey Howdy Hey! (Week 73)

Hey family!

It was another great week on the mission.  Where do I start?  One of the things that I love the most about the mission is the personal growth that you get.  It is also one of the hardest parts of the mission, but one of the most rewarding.  I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity that I have to become a better, stronger person because of my experiences on the mission.  Sometimes it is hard to have love or patience with crazy people that want to prove to you why you are wrong, sometimes you are tired and don´t know how you can keep going on, but the thing that I have learned from this week is that challenges bring growth - it wasn´t supposed to be easy! And we will keep going! The work of the Lord will keep going! 

We had a really cool story this week. Zelandia was baptized.  She was dating a less active who brought her to church one time.  Her whole family is from another church that really doesn´t like the Church of Jesus Christ but she read the Book of Mormon and received a witness that it is true.  The best part was that she followed that witnessed and decided to be baptized! She stopped dating her boyfriend to keep the law of Chastity (she isn´t legally divorced yet) and she is really happy, even though her family is giving her a lot of grief.  We are going to work so that her 3 kids will be baptized this Sunday.  She really is a blessing from the Lord and it strengthened my faith a lot to help her. When we taught her the Plan of Salvation and about eternal families, she said, "I know that is true! I always thought how annoying it would be to just live in heaven and sing all the time without knowing your children or parents or spouse!" She said that was one of the things that helped her the most - to know that as she follows this path, she can have an eternal family.  That is a great reminder to all of us too. :)

Elder Wensel is a great missionary and is helping me a lot. He is a realy smart guy and we are getting along well.  It is always hard to get used to a new companion but things are rolling better now.  :)

I am happy and healthy and doing well.  I know that the Church is true and the Book of Mormon is true.  I know that the Priesthood was restored. Keep the commandments, say honest sincere prayers and study sincerely the scriptures! That is the way to be guided in your life.

I love you all!
Elder Jacob

Monday, October 7, 2013

Family Email‏ (Week 72)

Hey all!

Well it was yet another crazy, wonderful week on the mission.  They say that 2 years on the mission is 50 years spiritually speaking - don´t exactly know about that conversion rate but it was a spiritual adventure this week and I am so grateful for what has happened.

There we were planning about 9:20 on Tuesday night when the Assistants called and told us that Elder Almeida would be transferred.  It was really unexpected and we were honestly really sad to say good-bye.  He was a great friend and we were only together for 5 weeks.  But I honestly have a testimony that the Lord guides this work because now I am with Elder Wensel from good ol´ South Jordan UT (He went to Bingham mom!) He was the Financial Secretary for 10 months and so he has a lot of experience talking and working with President so we have a lot of great ideas and plans to help our zone get going. It is going to be good.

We had a great council with President on Wednesday that was really inspiring and awesome.  I know that President Fortunato is called of God.  You can just feel it - it isn´t that he is perfect or anything but he has the mantle of a mission president and you can see the Lord working through him.  I am so grateful to be serving with Pres. Fortunato.  He is a remarkable, remarkable man.

We had the great opportunity to baptize Mercedes and Kaique yesterday before the sessions of conference. Mercedes was a reference from a member and she was really ready to be baptized.  It was so cool to help her get to know the gospel - she is really humble, sincere and spiritual.  She said that the first time she went to the church it was like the heavens opened.  She went to a lot of different churches and never had a desire to be baptized but when we taught her and she went to church, she said that she honestly felt that she should be baptized.  She and her grandson were baptized together.  That just goes to show the power that the members have on this work - when a member referrs their friend or colleague to the missionarys, miracles happen.  I think the Lord wants to strengthen all of us so He asks that the members and the missionaries can all work together so that the work of salvation can be accomplished in ALL of our lives, not just the investigators.  I know that when the members get involved, the work really happy, the true work starts to happen.  So if you have a friend or relative that you would like to introduce to the gospel, don´t hesitate! Just go! And the Lord will help you as you do your best!

Conference was incredible.  We were able to bring investigators to all the sessions so I had the privilege to watch all the sessions.  Elder Wensel wanted to watch them in English (dah!)  So I watched them in English but that was cool too.  The point is that I watched them.  I am not worried but I am intrigued at how many of them talked about morality, repentance and the impact that society is having on the family.  I don´t know how it is over there in the States but from what I heard of the Prophets and Apostles, we´ve gotta step up the morality folks.  I loved Conference and I honestly know that Pres. Monson is a prophet of God.  He truly is. 

I love you alll! That was my week!  Here´s for another great one coming right now! Hope you all have a great week! I know that the Church is the true Church of God on the Earth!

Elder Jacob