Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 75 - 20 February 2012 Two Baptisms

Hey ya´ll! This week was super hectic for us here with the transfer and also a zone conference. Elder R was transferred on Tuesday, but my companion wasn't gonna get here until Thursday. So I had to stay with Elder A.S. for a day, then with him and Elder S for another day in their area until he got here. Then on Thursday we had a conference with President Campos. So actually we only had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to work this week.

BUT, this week we really did see some miracles. My comp and I had two baptisms on Saturday! J has a great desire to change. Some Elders invited him on the street to see the church, and he liked it. We started teaching him this way. The other person we baptized is a cousin of some members in the ward and was just a fantastic investigator. She read and did everything we asked, and definitely was prepared to be baptized. I had the privilege of baptizing J, and F's cousin baptized her. It was super hectic to get these two baptisms, I’ll have to admit, but it was so worth it. 

I’m beat today because of the work haha, but I’m happy.  I don’t have much time left so sorry for another short email haha. I’ll send pics of the baptism next week.

PS Some other things I would like in the next package are more sunflower seeds (of course :), beef jerky (teryaki), Starbursts and Reeses. I would be very grateful haha

Love you all!

Elder Andrus

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Week 74 - 13 February 2012 Carnival

Hey there family! We found out the transfer is today, and I will be staying here in Cabanagem. My new comp will be Brazilian again. He has only about 5 months on the mission, I think, and I will continue as the District Leader here (for the 5th transfer in a row) haha. I was hoping for a little bigger change with this transfer, but it’s all good.

This week now is the starting week of Carnival here in Belém, so I’m thinking this week is going to get pretty crazy and the work will be tough. I’m not sure if we’ll have to stay locked up at home, but we’ll see. The last Carnival that I saw here I was in Oriximiná, and it lasted two 2 months just on the weekends. Here I’ve heard it’ll be a little different and a lot more wild haha. Definitely not something the missionaries should be seeing and experiencing haha.

As for this past week, it was a good week. We had two baptisms planned, but unfortunately one of them told us that she didn’t want to anymore, and the father of the boy didn’t let we went without a baptism this week. It has actually been quite a while since our last one, but we have two more planned for this coming week. They weren’t able to go to church yesterday, so we'll see. Lots of our investigators lately have been falling through, so lately I’ve just been praying for someone that will make it until the waters of baptism.

I actually forgot my notes to write to you this week haha so sorry!

Love you guys!

Elder Andrus

Week 73 - 6 February 2012 Our Search for Happiness

Oí gente! This week passed by in a flash. Feels like just yesterday I was here at the computer talking to you guys. All the days have been blending together lately. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad haha.

This week we started teaching a man who has a different situation at home, but he is awesome. As we taught him the Restoration of the Gospel and the Word of Wisdom, he accepted everything and was excited for his baptism. He keeps asking us what more he needs to do to be baptized, and when he went to church with us, he liked it so much that he said he’s ready and wants to be baptized as soon as possible! He has a date for the 18th of February.

Also, this week we are going to work a lot with a girl who is the niece of a strong family in the stake here. She is timid and shy, and that’s why she didn’t like going to church so much in the past. But last night we took 3 girls and a boy to her house to visit her with us, and she adored it… loved the company and the friendships. This is really what investigators and new converts need - friends. 

Also, this week I read the book "Our Search for Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard. I started it on Wednesday and finished it on Sunday. I don’t know why I have never read it before, but it is amazing. It’s great for members of the church, as well as non-members who want to understand more about the church. As I was reading this literature on Wednesday during my study, I started feeling the Spirit so strong with me. I read an experience that Elder Ballard wrote and it really touched me. It touched me so deeply that I had the prompting to stop, go to the room, and say a pray asking for my testimony to be strengthened, for an experience that could change my life and my outlook on life. This day, I realized just how weak we all are. Sure I have a strong testimony of the church, the Priesthood, and of the Savior, but I finally realized that that isn’t sufficient. I had a thirst to not only know, but to believe and to comprehend the importance of Jesus Christ for all humanity, to increase my understanding and my love for Him, to be worthy of having an experience that could shape my life and my mission. Although it’s not easy out here, we have so much to be happy for. My testimony was surely strengthened this week and undoubtedly increased to a level higher than I have already had. 

I love you all and thank you for your support.

Elder Andrus

Week 72 - 30 January 2012 Blessings of being DL

Hey! This week was a good week for our district! The Elders in my district from another area had six baptisms! And I had the opportunity to make all of the interviews with them. Of these six consisted a family with their son, their niece, another friend, then another boy. The family is super cool, and we became automatic friends with everybody from there. The man has such a strong testimony of the church already, the interview was a testimony builder. One of the blessings of being a District Leader is getting to see the success of your district and being able to meet the people from their areas too.

We have lots of men as referrals, and we’ll have lots of new investigators this coming week. We have really been focusing on finding men and families to teach because it is really with the men and the Priesthood where the church here is going to grow. And as we find men, we’ll also find wives and kids.

Oh and also, a couple weeks ago I met a new Sister who arrived here recently who is from Seattle! Her name is Sister K.....(hmm I forgot how you spell it haha). But something cool is that she’s cousins with the Havili´s from our ward! Small world huh? So that was kinda cool, being able to talk about the good old Pacific Northwest with her haha. 

Oh, and I also got the little package from the young women in our ward. I liked it a lot! Super nice with the pics and the letters. A big thanks for the encouragement from the young women organization.

I’m a little short on time like always, so that’s it for now!

Com todo o meu amor,

Elder Andrus

Week 71 - 23 January 2012 Flooding!

We got home SOAKING wet! Haha
Hey there! Sorry I didn't write last week. The internet stopped working and we weren't  able to get back on to finish the emails. Foi mal! This email is going to be short because I don’t have much time, and I forgot my planner at home so I don’t remember what I was gonna write...haha. It has been flooding here a lot, and it has been filling up the streets a ton. It always rains after lunch until 3 or 4 o’clock, but this week it was pretty spontaneous. Last p-day it even rained the whole day nonstop! haha. Back at home there was a pretty bad snow and ice storm, but I’m glad everyone’s alright! The floods are keeping a ton of people from going to church lately here which stinks, but what can you do?

Lately, it has been pretty tough to get new investigators here and find golden ones. We had a meeting with the bishop, and we talked about what we need to do to help divide the ward. Bishop G. has been bishop for like 10 years and is getting pretty tired with all he has to do. But he told us that he got really excited to work and everything after the meeting. He’ll start making more visits to help increase the attendance. 

Love you guys!

Elder Andrus