Friday, July 31, 2015

HE'S HOME!!!!!

Waiting and Waiting....

Walking to get some Regina's Pizza!!!!


Going the Distance

It's a strange feeling to be close to the end and feel excitement to see everybody again and sadness to be leaving the mission. The fourth of July didn't feel like the fourth of July without fireworks and a barbaque...
above São Paulo
Luiz, Fatima and Julia
We found a SUPER special family this week that lives next door to our bishop. They accepted easily the invitation to go to church and we planned specially so that they would have a great experience with people already planned and advised to greet them at the door and accompany them during the sunday meetings. We went there again last night and they expressed that they had an amazing experience and that they want to keep going and prepare for baptism in the next month. It pained me to mark baptismal dates of such a special family and know that I won't be here to see it.

Piko de Jaraguá
Zone Leader and a wild one!
We went on a hike as a zone this week to a spot that you can see all of São Paulo from the top. IT'S HUGE!!! It was wild to see in one direction lots of green and in the other direction so many buildings and think that at one time all of that was green as well and that it didn"t use to have all that smog...
We had a good time joking around with the monkeys that came right up close to us, they had no fear.

on a bus
We had a cool experience seeing a family start to return to activity in the church. A few weeks ago we grabbed a list of part-member families to go visit in the ward and met the Moreira Family. We were only able to talk to Brother Moreira and his children during the visits that we went there. He expressed his concerns of why they weren't going to church but we could see that he wanted to be there with his family. After some invitations he didn't confirm that he would go to church but we said that we hoped to see him there. After 2 weeks that we were unable to visit them he appeared at church with his daughter! It was such a great feeling of joy to be able to see him there. I nearly jumped out of my seat to run up to him when I saw him walk in the door. It was a cool experience.
I look forward to seeing you all very soon. I'm not sure if I'll be sending email again before I get back to the states because next Monday we will have some self-sufficiency training.
Have a great week!!
See you soon!
Elder DP

Hurrah for Israel!!!

We had a good week as always. An exchange with our district leader, a day of visits with the ward and a baptism kept things interesting.

We had a cool baptism this week where a good number of members went to support Nandhara and her family. We met Nandhara a few weeks ago when we left a message with her Dad to have him think about who he could indicate for us to teach and he mentioned his teen daughter that lives in another house but had shown interest recently to go to church. It was clear to us that she had already been prepared by the Lord over the years and a few weeks later she was baptized. Lots of youth were there to support her and the Relief Society President even made a cake :)

Mutirão de visitas
We coordinated a big project this week to do a Blitz with the ward to go visit as many of the Recent Converts from the last two years as we could to see what we could do to help them keep progressing in the gospel. We went out with 4 different companionships and managed to visit a good number of people and everybody had cool experiences. I went with a couple in our ward and we went to several homes but the coolest was a couple that was baptized and shortly after the husband became sick and couldn't go to church anymore. With our visit we were able to help them and they committed to start going to church again now that he's feeling better.

Finishing strong here, I'll be seein' y'all in a bit :)
Até mais!
Elder DP

Monday, June 22, 2015

Perseverar até o fim!! [Enduring to the end]

Saying good bye to a family of recent converts
that moved to a near-by ward that I served in recently.
Hey y'all!!
Another good week! Lots of great stuff!
Os Barracos [The Shacks]
Thank you all for your prayers on behalf of some of the families that are members of the church that were going to be taken out of their homes this week. After quite a bit of excitement they were given more time to find a place to stay. One family already moved to the last ward I was in so it's good to know that they'll be in good hands with some good missionaries that I know there.

What's a selfie-stick?

The Sunday before this one was stake conference and so nobody that was baptized that week was confirmed and so this week was cool because there were 6 confirmations all on the same day. This ward is growing a LOT! There is so much work to be done here!
We also had a good time going to a member's place this morning with the other Elders to eat pancakes, I'll attatch some pics.

Have a great week y'all,
See you soon!
Elder DP

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Full Week!

Yet another action packed week here in São Paulo! We had interviews with presidente, I got to do a few baptismal interviews again, we had a mission conference with Elder Schmiel (an área seventy) and we had stake conference with our mission president and another area seventy present. It was cool to have so many learning experiences with these great men.

Tereza was baptized this week! Before her granddaughter's baptism last week she was saying that she only wanted to be baptized at the end of the year. After the baptism her granddaughter had such a great experience that she decided to be baptized this week with five other people from all the wards in our stake. It was a really cool baptismal service.

Os Barracos
This week we got some bad News for many of the recent converts in our Ward. A small community found out thursday that they will have to evacuate their homes by tomorrow when a bulldozer will come in and level their homes. It's a complicated story but in the end please include them in your prayers because there are more than 30 members of the church living within this community, several being our recent converts. Keep them in your prayers please!

Purification Project
Our mission president gave us a new challenge so that we can be more worthy of the spirit and teach with greater authority. He taught us a lot about the enabeling power of the atonement so that we can make changes from good to better. The challenge is called the "Purification Project" where we are suposed to fast for 24 hours and write down all the things that could drive away the spirit in any manner. After the fast and writing the list we are supposed to promise the Lord that for the next 45 days we will fast from doing those things (not do them). Obviously we won't be perfect but each day we are supposed to Wake up and pray and promise that we will obey and ask for the strength to overcome, and every night review the day and see what we were able to overcome and what we didn't manage to. I'm really excited for the challenge, I've already got a good list to improve on!

Hope you all have a great week,
see you soon!
Elder DP

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Brasilândia Miracles weekly

One more week, one less week. It's amazing how entering into my last transfer of the mission is such a whirlwind of emotions. Excitement to see my Family but sadness to be leaving the mission. The good thing is that all the emotions are a better reason to finish Strong!! We're having tons of miracles here and I'm sure they'll keep coming.

New Converts
This week we had the baptism of Amanda which was really cool. When we knocked her door her grandma tried to make excuses for us not to come back and she came to the door and kept taking away all her excuses. After the first lesson we got back and she had already read 14 chapters in the Book of Mormon!! Her baptism was cool because she was super prepared to receive the gospel. She already lived many of the gospel principles, she even already fasts!

We're doing a huge Project to visit all of the recent converts from the last 2 years in this Ward because there are a lot that are less active. We met one Family that received us really well and accepted easily the invitation to go back to church. It seemed as though they were just waiting for the invitation to go back to church. They went to church and one of the members of the Family even went up and bore her testimony.

Pure Love of Christ
I got to see a miracle this week in sacrament. A less-active member walked in a few minutes late after not having gone to church in a few weeks. One of the members behind us yet out what was nearly a yelp and ran the isle to give him a huge hug and welcome him back. It was cool to see that kind of love.

Hope you all enjoy the stories and have a great week!

Elder Della-Piana

Monday, June 1, 2015

We Broke the Transfer Streak!!!!

Transfer call number 16 is in and.... WE STAYED!!
For the first time in Brazil I will be staying with a companion for two transfers. Elder Caldas will be my last companion and I'll finish the mission in Brasilândia. It will be wierd to work as if it were a normal day on transfer day and not have to go to transfer meeting or wait for a new companion. We're excited.

This ward has baptized many people in the last two years but unfortunately many of these recent converts have fallen away from the church. This week we organized the list of recent converts and began the process of visiting each one, which will be a large task to say the least. We're planning a big group exchange with the ward to go out with 6 different companionships to go visit all these people all on the same day this month and so we're excited to go about that.
We already had some cool miracles with reactivation in this area. We baptized three young men whose sister was already baptized and she began to return to church and is preparing to go on a mission! We're excited about all the miracles that the Lord is performing here in our area.
Well yesterday I lost my daily planner and now I realize how lost I am without it because I feel like I don't remember anything that I did this week hahaha. I guess I really am getting old...
The church has a really cool biography for Elder L. Tom Perry who passed away this weekend. I recomend it to anybody that wants to be inspired: Elder Perry's Biography

Have another great week!

Elder Della-Piana