Monday, March 31, 2014

Hey All! (Week 97)

Hey all!

So this letter will be a bit shorter because we are heading to Sete Lagoas today for a musical that we are putting on today for the new chapel there.

So it was a great busy week this week! On Monday, we had  a big rehearsal for the musical that went well but went long.  When we got back to the office, we got our weekly reports done and then President showed us the transfer.  It was a very big very good transfer that will animate a lot of the mission.  So after that we spent a long time planning and preparing for the logistics for the transfer and everything.  

Then Tuesday, we went to the Airport and got the new group of missionaries - 18 of them!  They are an amazing group, very humble and very excited to be here on the mission!  It was a great pleasure to get to know them, give them some tips and instructions and hear their testimonies at President´s house during lunch.  I always like receiving new missionaries - they have such a vibrant and excited faith! It was awesome.  Late Tuesday night, we called all the missionaries that were transfered and told them to be at the bus station in BH the next morning.

The next morning everyone was there together at the bus station for the transfer.  We did it differently this time.  Once everyone was together, I stood up and read the whole map of the mission to everyone and it helped a lot to be more organized and eficient.  There was a lot of running around, solving problems and sending people where they needed to go, but it was really fun and I enjoyed it.  After everyone was sent on their way, we ran back to the office to get the 7 missionaries who went home to take them to lunch with President. After lunch and a really touching testimony meeting, we took them in a van to the airport.  It was close call because the flight was leaving but it all went well in the end.  One of the missionaries who went home was Elder G. Almeida, a really good friend of mine who was my companion in Florença for a time. He is a great friend and I am really glad to have known him.  

The next day, we went to Sete Lagoas to help with a Casa Aberta that they are doing there.  It was really cool and the new chapel is absolutely beautiful.  

Yesterday, we went to Pirapora with President and divided with the missionaries.  It was a great time especially because we got to listen to the cd´s from the seminar for the new mission presidents during the long road trip which was really insightful and great to learn.  I love President Fortunato, he really is an inspired man and called of God to lead this misison.  I know it.

Well that is all for me! I am happy, excited and so grateful to know that my Redeemer lives!

Have a great week!

Elder Jacob

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Week of Ups and Downs! (Week 96)

Querido Familia Jacob,

Well! What a week it was of ups and downs! But at the end of the day, it was a good one.

Big news first - the mission tour got postponed until the end of April.  Elder Gavarret´s Secretary called Pres. Fortunato on Tuesday and told him that they were going to have to postpone the mission tour.  She didn´t explain why and to this day, I don´t know why he couldn´t come.  We were all really really bummed.  But we fought hard and kept working! We called all the missionaries, made all the necessary readjustments and are looking forward to the end of April when we will have the privilege to be with Elder Gavarret here in Belo Horizonte.  

The other bad thing that happened this week was that Elder Sonnefeld got sinusitis.  Actually everyone in the office has been sick this week ( I am currently fighting a cough and headcold) but that won´t get us down! We are going to keep going!

Today, Elder Juergens, the new Financial Secretary, and I went all the way to Justinopolis and then all the way to Bom Destino in another city to help with a move.  President closed one of the areas and we went to get the keys and make sure that everything was moved and closed up all right.  (That is why I am a little late in writing today.)  It was a lot of fun actually because the whole time I was calling people, people were calling me and we were sorting out a bunch of stuff.  It was fun and exciting.  

We are really excited for tonight! We will have an Integration Night which is a big ward activity where everyone gets together and shares a gospel message, does a small game and eats food.  It is going to be great and we have some investigators who are confirmed to go!

And this next week will be wonderful because it is transfers! It is the last transfer before I get home.  Weird.  I am not really wanting to think about that. But I am super excited to receive new missionaries and give them trainings.  That is one of the things that I love most about being an assistant.  We are getting 22 new missionaries! That is a lot! It is going to be great.

Well that is about it for me.  Just to close my letter, I´ll end with a thought or two.  These days, I have been pondering a lot on Jesus Christ.  I have felt my thoughts return to Him more than usual these days which is wonderful because I always feel peace and motivation when I think about Him.  Since Elder Sonnefeld has been sick, we went to bed early a couple times and I took that time to sit in my bed and ponder a lot about Christ and His work in this world.  I honestly learned a lot and felt a lot in those few moments of quiet thinking.  I know that anyone can receive a testimony of the Savior through sincere seeking.  Because I have received and continue to receive this testimony in the moments that I sincerely seek Him.  That is my hopeful promise to you - if you seek, you shall find.  Actually, it isn´t my promise - it is His.  But I know that is true. 

I love you all. Have a wonderful wonderful week!

Elder Jacob

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Oh Yeah! (Week 95)


It is wonderful to write yáll again. Another week flew by.  Seriously, as I stopped to ponder about what happened this week, I drew a big blank for a while because it was a busy tumultuous week but a very very good one and I am happy, grateful and excited for the future!

The best part about this week is that João and Maria will be baptized tomorrow!  They accepted and are excited.  They will be inteviewed tonight and we are all really grateful for this wonderful blessing of the Lord.  They are friends of members and are very popular in the neighborhood so we are hoping that they can bring a lot more people to our ward to help strengthen it all.

Funny story for the week - On Thursday President took us to Sete Lagoas to meet and train some of the Zone Leaders and have a meeting with the zone while he was doing interviews.  I called some sisters to have them get interviewed but I didn´t know that they were on a division with the Sister Training Leaders so when they showed up, there were four instead of two! I felt bad about my mistake, but President, being the amazingly patient and kind guy he is, made the most of it and interviewed the Sister Training Leaders as well.  It was a good day and we got to talk a lot with President about what we want to do.

Elder Sonnefeld and I are focusing a lot on a new theme for our mission now which is called "Nenhuma Ovelha Perdida"  Instead of accompanying the goals and the numbers of every zone, we are inviting and encouraging the zone leaders and district leaders to focus on every companionship that still hasn´t baptized this month.  The goal is that every missionary in our mission can baptize this month.  This way, the goal isn´t centered on a certain number but instead on the effort of every individual missionary.  We feel like this is what Christ would do if He were here.  He wouldn´t worry just about the missionaries that were having a lot of success, but He would reach out and strengthen the duplas that are having a hard time. 

This week is the big one.  We are going to have Elder Gavarret in our mission Wednesday till Saturday.  That means a whole lot of planning, worrying and praying for us - but I know that it will be great.  I would like to ask everyone that they please pray that Elder Sonnefeld and I can give a really inspiring and powerful training and that all the missionaries can leave the mission tour edified and excited to change and be better.  We trust in the power of the Lord and your faith.  Thank you so much!

Have a wonderful week! Lots of love from this happy missionary here in Brazil!

Elder Jacob

Monday, March 10, 2014

New Chapel in Sevilha (Week 94)

Hey all!

Well, this week was crazy and busy but a great one as well.  We started things off with a great meeting with President about our goals for this month and what we want to accomplish.  We talked alot about working with the members because we know that is what the Prophet has asked us to do and it really is the greatest source of new and ready investigators.  We had a great leadership council on Wednesday but the better story is that Elder Sonnefeld and I stayed up until 2 in the morning getting everything ready - we had a lot of logistics to cover for the mission tour that is coming up! But it was great and the meeting went well.  We are really excited for March!

On Thursday night, we went to Sevilha were they are going to dedicate the new chapel there this weekend.  We helped with the Open House that they did and it was really great to see Elder Stadler again and see how the zone Pampulha is doing.  I love that Zone and I felt like I was coming home when I got to go back!  Something cool happened - we started calling everyone to come and enter in the church to see what is like but for the first part literally no one accepted.  We were getting a bit discouraged and didn´t know what was wrong.  We decided to stop and to say a prayer.  We asked humbly that the Lord would bless us with success.  Right after the prayer, the people started accepting our invitation and we brought about 20 people to the church to see the new chapel and learn about the gospel.  It was a testimony to me that the Lord respects our prayers when we offer them in faith.

We are working hard in our area here and expecting blessings and miracles here.  We found a great man who accepted to come back to church so we are going to see him on Sunday and we have Jose Flavio who is progressing well for baptism!  We are excited and very grateful for the many blessings we are receiving from the Lord!

Love to all!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Month of Minas (Week 93)

Hey family!

Well, this email will be really short.  It was a great great week this week - we did three divisions in a row and it was really tiring but really great! I like being able to do divisions with the elders and we learned a lot together.  We have an investigator progressing for baptism right now and we are really really excited. 

I love being a missionary! I am feeling a lot of pressure to make these last few months count. This month is going to be the Month of Minas! We are really really excited! 

Hope you have a great great week!

Elder Jacob