Monday, December 15, 2014

Last week in ITU!!!

Well transfer news is in and I kept my streak going of getting a new companion per transfer. Companion number 17 will be Elder Dalton in area number 6 which will be Barcelona. Barcelona is a stake in the city Sorocaba which is the city I served in when I first got here to Brazil. 

Activity with President
So this week we had a super fun activity with our Mission President and his family. We had a great month as a zone and earned a day with them of Volleyball, Basketball, Ping Pong, Pizza and other fun stuff. It rained a little bit but we had a great time. It felt so good to play volley for the first time in a while and felt even better to spike on (and get spiked on by) President Farnes.
ZONE ACTIVITY for "great month as a zone"

We had a cool miracle this week when during Sunday School we said a prayer asking God to help us find somebody that we could bring to church and teach and then continue teaching afterwards and went out to the street. It's a long story but to get down to the line after being rejected a bunch we invited a man that went in with us to Sacrament Meeting. He seemed to enjoy himself but snuck out before the meeting ended without us noticing and we didn't get his address and we thought we had missed our chance to teach him. Later that day we ended up starting our walk home earlier than we had planned so that we could try a few people in a different neighborhood. Can you guess who we ran into? Yes, our good friend. He showed us to his home and we were able to teach him and his wife and he said he wants to go to church next week as well and make changes in his life. It was cool to see that miracle. 

Crazy Rain Lady
So, I'm sending a picture that unexplained makes no sense and explained doesn't make much more. Also another long story short kind of story. So we were about to leave the apartments where we were working to go to a ward activity and it started to have a pretty good rain out. We asked one of the residents that we knew to give us a cup of water before we headed out and she told us to step in and informed us that she would not let us leave the apartments until it stopped raining. After explaining how we really needed to get going and that the bus stop was close by she still didn't want to let us go. Having forgotten our umbrellas she created the bright solution of which can be explained in the pictures attached I'm not sure if our rain apparel was within the missionary dress code but at least we managed to catch our bus and we weren't all that wet upon arrival at the activity. 
Wow.  Crazy rain lady is quite a fashion designer.

As can be seen in the stories and photos I'm having a great time and plenty of miracles. It was a great pleasure to serve here in Itu and I'll miss a lot of people here but I'm excited for some new adventures!

Until next week!

~Elder Della-Piana

PS The picture with my companion and a couple is the man that we invited to church yesterday and met back up with him. Two of the pictures are from the zone activity and I'll leave the fourth up to the imagination 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quase Natal!!!

Well, I started writing this email in Portuguese and then I had to go back and delete it because I realized y'all weren't going to understand to well.

Well as always it was a good week to be in the service of the Lord. I spent a lot of time out of my area on exchanges with some Elders in our Zone as well as going to a conference in another city. It was good though, we had some great experiences there.

I think the sweetest visit this week was when we went to visit a member's referral. The member had brought his friend to church this last week and his friend really enjoyed it. We met him Sunday and marked to visit him during the week. We had some complications that afternoon and didn't know which bus to catch to make it to his house and we got lucky and found the right bus to not have to walk and show up super late. When we got there he was already at the end of his street waiting for us. He walked us to his humble home where he had set up two chairs for us to teach him and his daughter. During the lesson he talked about how badly he wanted to change his life and how he recently was able to get rid of some strong addictions very quickly and is feeling a huge change in his life. After talking about the Gospel we marked his and his daughter's baptismal dates. It was cool because when his daughter accepted the date she got super excited and ran out to tell her friends, "I'm gunna get baptized!!" It was a really special experience to see someone who had truly humbled himself and desired to be baptized (D&C 20:37)

We had another fun week bringing everybody to church. We went with a member to go pick up a family and on the way we called to confirm and they said they would come. When we got there and they didn't answer we were not only baffled but also a bit frustrated. Then we called them and found out that they had caught a ride with another investigator that was going to church. Fortunately we were able to give their places to a few other investigators that were going to catch the bus to go to church and we gave them our seats so thei could go catch the meetings and we walked back to the church so that we could invite a few more people to come to church with us. It was a great time. 

Have a great week!
Elder DP

PS one photo is me and my companion suited up to chase down investigators to go to church and the other is a friend of ours at a local Acaí place called O Bocão. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dia de Ação de Graças

As always, another great week in Itu. One of the families in our ward invited us over for a Thanksgiving Dinner which was really funny because nobody here celebrates Thanksgiving. It was the first thanksgiving I've been to where rice was a main dish, 'farofa' instead of stuffing, in 80 degree weather without football but it was still awesome. 
Family Home Evening
We had a fun family home evening this week with a family of recent-converts in a Member's home. They had already been to other family home evenings before their baptism and there has always been a different game with some sort of trick that you have to catch on to. We played one game where you have to tap a pen on a book three times and say "Sou burro, sou burro, sou burro" and if you don't do it just right everyone that knows the game calls you a burro. Until you can get it right. It took several people a while to catch on but it turned into a great time for everyone. We also got them excited during the message to start searching out their Family History as we told some stories from our own family history. 

Primary Program
So this week was the primary program and it was really cool because there were a lot of non-members there to attend, both broght by members as well as our investigators. As always it was a special performance as it is in the whole world but the coolest part was when one of our investigator's daughters participated. The investigator had said that she would only be able to stay for the first part of church but when her daughter went and practiced with the other children she ended up staying for Sacrament Meeting as well. Her daughter even got to say a few lines :)

I sure love being a missionary, it's a pleasure to serve all the time. When you all get a chance you should go to and watch the Video "He is the Gift" and share it with everyone else. It's a great chance to keep Christ in the picture this Christmas season. 

Tenham uma boa semana!!
Elder DP

Monday, November 24, 2014


This week we had a super cool experience where we got to do a week-long exchange with the AP's. They came to our area and we teared it up the whole week and used every ounce of energy we could muster. It was also fun because they are both great guys and friends of ours, you can tell from the picture just about how the week went.

Sunday Morning
So usually when we go out Sunday Morning to bring people to church we split up and one of us goes with a member to pick people up and the other stays at the church with a member to receive people that come. This week having four of us made it much more exciting. During the week we had around 20 people all from the same neighborhood of appartment buildings all promise to come to church with us. Our gameplan was to go there with two members with cars, send a couple people with the members to church and then catch the bus with everybody else. We divided up the list with addresses for the other companionship and we went out. We totally looked like a special operations unit showing up in suits, hopping out of the cars and running from house to house to get everyone, we felt like bosses. 

Unfortunatly we returned from there with only one investigator in our car but when we got there several families that we are teaching had already made it either on their own or brought by members and we were even able to bring an old lady into the church by just inviting her in front of the door. It was so much fun to go about all that with so much energy. 

Sunday Morning Cont. 
We also had an interesting experience when I went with one of the AP's to try to bring an old investigator to church Sunday morning. I knocked the door and rang the doorbell but it looked like she wasn't going to be coming out. Then the Elder with me shouted her name at the top of his loungs. As we waited she came out startled and when she saw it was us her reaction was priceless. She went back to throw some clothes on and came to church with us but told us "Look, everyone that lives there was already mad at me and now it's just worse because you woke them all up;" We brought her to church and during the meeting it talked about exactly what she needed to hear and afterwards she thanked us for getting her which was really great. 

Go the extra mile for the people around you, it's so worth it!!!

Have a great week!
Elder DP

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Water in Itu!

Well Elder S. Costa got here tuesday morning and it was a great week. I've been pretty lucky lately as far as companions go, I keep on getting great ones. It's also cool because he already passed through this area earlier in his mission when there were two companionships in the Area so he kind of knows the area already.

So this week there is a young man that is headed out from Itú to go serve in the Chile Concepción Mission. It was cool because there is a Seventy from our Stake that helped reactivate him and he asked the Seventy to come speak at his farewell Sunday. It was cool to hear Elder Antunes talk about how important our study of the scriptures is for our missions and for our lives. He talked about how sometimes we read the scriptures too fast and we miss out on some special messages that when pick up on when we read them slower and really think about the meaning. 

I had a cool experience as well this week as I, along with the rest of the Zone, pray for people more specifically in my prayers at night and wrote down the questions that came to mind for me to ask God. In my prayers at night I asked those questions and then throughout the day I saw how the Lord answered my questions through my studies, conversations with others and meetings that I participated in. It was really cool.

There was also a very cool baptism in our ward this week (and not just because the water was cold). There is a mom and a daughter that we began teaching a few weeks ago that were baptised this weekend. I don't always write about the baptisms but this one was very special because of how strong their testimonies are. Lu (the Mom) told us in the second visit before she had even been to church that when she read the Book of Mormon she read several verses and stopped several times to ask God if it was true. She had the privilege to feel that it was true THREE TIMES as she asked, asked again and asked again. Then this week she told us that as she prayed and thought again recently she had a vision of us two missionaries all dressed in white to help her be baptized and it was yet another confirmation for her that what we had taught was true. Good thing they are both short because we couldn't fill the font all the way up because of the lack of water so they had to be baptized sitting down.

We had another visit this week that when we arrived to visit a family that not all are members (yet) the recent convert was there reading with her Mother who is preparing to be baptized as well. It is such a pleasure when as a missionary we get to be around people that are being truly converted.

Other Miracle this week = WATER!!! We've had water at our house that we payed a truck to bring in and we've been able to take normal showers lately but for the first time in 6 Months water came from the street with enough pressure to fill up our water boxes above our house!! WooHoo!! Living Water!

Have a great week y'all!

Elder DP

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mais 6 Semanas (SIX MORE WEEKS)

Well we got transfer news early this week and unfortunately Elder Berrios is headed out already. This is my 11th transfer and my 11th companion not counting the MTC (Counting the MTC 12th transfer, 16th companion). I must be hard to live with. Elder S. Costa from Natal will be coming in tomorrow and Elder Berrios is going to be training in São Paulo again. I was pretty bummed to find out he was headed out, I really enjoyed serving with him. 

I wish I could share all that I have learned each week with all of you but I guess that's why the mission is only for two years because only when I get home will I be able to share with you all the life changing experiences that are the every day occurrences here in Brazil. 

So we've been praying pretty hard for rain the last little while because of the lack of water and fortunately but unfortunately the Heavens Opened. It was great except for every time we were caught completely unprepared. One time I got lucky and we found a cheap umbrella that I snagged that kept only my head dry but the other night we got out of an apartment looking at a torrential downpour. It must have been quite the scene to see us run from apartment building to apartment building stopping under garages and stairways to try to wait out the rain. By the time we got to a bus stop we were soaking wet and we caught a bus the rest of the way home. 

There are many other amazing stories but it wouldn't do them justice to share by email so I look forward to sharing someday when I'm home of a member who exhibited selfless service in a way that has changed my life, giving a blessing of comfort in a catholic chapel at a funeral, and some amazing people that have come to church lately and are accepting the Gospel. 

Of all the things we can do for the people around us, the greatest thing we can do is give willingly to those we know, whether we are close to them or not. 

Have an amazing week everybody, and please, "lift up the hands that hang down,"

Elder DP

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Itu, Itu, Seco Itu

Yet another interesting week in Itu. My companion messed up his leg and we had to get rides with members to visit most of our lessons but it was at least a great excuse to work more with the members. We had a truck bring water to our house to fill up a huge water box in front of our house because the city is without water in the water systems so at least we can take baths and wash dishes using water that we put in soda bottles haha.

Sunday Switchup
So on saturday we went and visited a good number of families that we are teaching to confirm that they would come to church on Sunday. That night after confirming everything we learned that Sacrament Meeting had been cancelled for the next day due to a Funeral Service for a brother in our ward that had passed away. In stead of bringing all of our investigators to a funeral we had to run around calling them and arranging rides for them to come with us to the neighboring ward. It was funny because this week we had way more investigators at church than we usually have and they all felt very welcome in the other ward. We even had the problem that some want to attend there because they felt so welcome hahaha. One of our investigators that is very solid but waiting to be married to be baptized offered afterwards to bring some other investigators to church on a weekly basis!! She's already a great member missionary without even being a member yet. 

Interviews with President
So since interviews with President Farnes were in our Area we had marked our companionship as the last to be interviewed. President had made a goal for how short it would be but our interview ended up finishing about 2 and a half hours after it was scheduled to end. It was great though. It is a very special thing to have one on one learning opertunities with someone that has so much life experience and wants so badly for us to succeed. One of the things he talked to me about that I learned a lot from was about how everyone has a story and if we want people to listen to us we have to listen to them. 

This week was truly a great experience. I know with all certainty that God answers our Prayers. I look forward to the day when I get to tell you all about the cool experiences we have as missionaries. 

Have a great week everybody!!

Elder DP 

Monday, October 27, 2014

QUE SORTE!! (What Luck!!!)

Well another week in Itu went by well. We started working in a completely different part of our area and we've seen some great progress already. 

Such thing as luck?
One of the families that we started teaching this week is a single mom with three kids. They understood very well and want to come to church. When we went to our second appointment that week they weren't home and we went on to another house. As we were in another appointment the young man's phone rang and it was her. She had called him because she heard we were teaching him as well and asked him to tell us she'd be home later and that we should still go over. In that visit she accepted a baptismal date and we had a really good lesson with her. It was cool to see how the Lord prepared everything just right so that we could still teach them even though we'd missed thrm earlier in the day.

Lucky again
So we had lunch this week at a neighborhood a little ways out of the city so the member was going to pick us up to bring us there. He ended up taking for ever and a half and a 10 minute wait turned into a half hour then an hour and then nearly two hours waiting for him. We got a call while we were there from an investigator that we'd lost contact with for two weeks because she travelled to see her mom who is sick. A few minutes after we talked to her she got off the bus right at the stop where we were waiting and we were able to converse with her better and hear how she was and invite her back to church and everything. It was really cool. 

One of my growing experiences this week was when I started to apply something that I read in the Message from the First Presidency about Preparing for our prayers. Elder Eyering talked about how we should ponder what questions we want to ask, what we're thankful for and who we want to include in our prayers as we go to pray and that we should have something with us to write down the inspiration that comes. I've seen a huge difference in my prayers as I've started using this approach, check out his message:

Well, I don't believe in luck, God is always preparing the details of our lives to work out the way it needs to be. 

Have a great week everyone!
Elder DP

Monday, October 20, 2014

Water Shortage

Well as always, a week in the service of the Lord is a week well spent. A companionship of Elders in our Zone had to move in with us for a few days because of the lack of water which was pretty fun. We had three Americans and one Brazilian in the same house which was fun because it's the first time in my mission that I've lived with four in one house. 

More funny excuses
So as some may have heard there is a major shortage of water in certain parts of São Paulo. There is one neighborhood in our city that we are working in that has nearly no water and the people have to buy water just to drink. We went to that neighborhood and knocked a door where we could see the empty bathroom from where we were standing with the shower turned off and the little kid still wasn't creative enough to come up with anything better than "She can't come right now, she's taking a shower." 

The Work
So we went to a new part of town this week to try working there and we have had a ton of success there so far. It is a fairly humble part of town and so the people are very receptive. We got a referral from one lady who said to visit her neighbor who is going through a rough time. We went there and she was very receptive. The second visit was Sunday afternoon and she expressed how the prayer we had done with her had made a great difference and she felt we were truly sent by God and believed she would be able to stop smoking so that she could be baptized. It was sure gratifying to hear that.

Miracle Family
There was a mom and daughter that just showed up at church on their own last week and Bishop came and let us know they had come. Come to find out the mom's sisters are members of the Church and they had had a strong desire to come to church for nearly a year but they only just now got around to doing so and came not only to church but to another activity that there had this week. The daughter loves to read and not only read the chapter we marked for her but when we invited her to start from the beginning of the Book of Mormon she showed us all that she had marked because she already had started!

Well unfortunately we had many more people that promissed to come to church Sunday than that actually came but we had the privelage several times this week of having people thank us for our visits because they had felt a different peace since we had started visiting them. It sure is a pleasure to be on the Lord's errand.

Have a good week,

Elder DP

Monday, October 13, 2014

Campinas Temple

Elder DP & Berrios at the Campinas Temple
Well with Elder Berrios there is never a dull moment. It's been really funny because as we talk it is funny to see how we're both very alike and complete opposites at the same time. He was born in Honduras but is from New York City. He speaks spanish, french, italian, English and now portuguese fluently because his grandma is italian, his other grandparents spanish and he was raised for a while in a french speaking carribean country. Everyone thinks he's brazilian because his accent is so good and because he looks brazilian. It's been fun though, we get along well.

Funny excuses of the week
- trying to get a reference we asked a guy if there were any big families in his street that we could try to visit. He responded, "There's a ton of big families in this street go ahead and try to find one." When we asked him to indicate which houses had big families he responded "Nobody in this street has many kids, only like one or two."
- We knocked a door and two kids came out. - "Hey can we talk to your mom?" - "No, she's not home" - "Do you know when she'll get back?" - They simultaniously responded, one saying "She just left the house" And the other "she still hasn't gotten home from work."

So last week for General Conference I had a cool experience that was continued this week. As Conference started I wrote down three questions that I had that I wanted answered. Having to do with how I could help more people become truly converted, how I could help the members with missionary work and how I could personally be a better leader as I help other missionaries. As we went through conference I felt inspired with certain things that speakers said and also with thoughts that came to mind as my mind wandered. The cool thing was that this week I went back with colored scripture markers to mark the answers that I had found as I took notes, each color according to the questions I had asked. As I went through it was amazing to see how much I had learned and see how the Lord had truly answered my question through conference. 

As usual I'm exhausted but I love doing missionary work. It takes so much out of me emotionally, spiritually and physically but as far as I can see it's worth every ounce.

Here's a picture of Me and Elder Berrios in front of the Campinas Temple.

Until next week,
Elder DP

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


So this week marked one year since the last time I got to go to the temple and I was really missing it. Then last week in the middle of the week we found out that today was going to be P-Day and we would use it to go to the TEMPLE!!! Which was AMAZING but it means that I have about 30 seconds to write this email.

There was also a leadership counsel with president and other leaders in the mission that was really cool to participate in. I attached the picture that we took there. 

So we're starting a new study of the Book of Mormon this week as a mission to lead up to conference so that we can gain a greater appreciation of Christ and his sacrifice for us. I attached it and challenge anyone that wants to to study with me as we go into Christmas.

Have a great week y'all,

Elder DP

Short video of Elder DP and his comp!

[We got a short video from a mother picking up her daughter from her mission in Sao Paulo.]

Monday, September 29, 2014

Transfers Yet Again!

Some day I'll have a companion in Brazil for more than one transfer but it looks like it's not this go around. It's kind of funny though because the transfer is going to be a trade. Elder Marciano is headed to take the place of Elder Berrios and Berrios is coming to ITU tomorrow to be my companion. It was a great transfer with Elder Marciano, always good to have a companion that's also a good friend.

Conferência Multi-Zona
OUR ZONE. The license plate reads "Desejo" which means "Desire" in English. Mission President's first license plate  home from the mission. His mother in law didn't like it,  she thought it was the name of his ex-girlfriend. President talked about how we will reap our rewards according to the desire of our hears. If we desire a united family we'll have it because if we have REAL desire we'll change our behaviors to do what we need to. If we Desire to teach lots of people we will because we will do what's necessary.
We went to Sorocaba for a multi-zone conference this week. One of the cool things that we've talked about lately is consacration, giving up every bit of disobedience, laziness, fear or distraction and going to work. One of the best parts of the conference was a quote that said, "If you want to baptize a few people, talk to a few people. If you want to baptize a lot of people, talk to a bunch of people. If you want to baptize everyone possible, talk to every person you possibly can." One of the hardest things as a missionary is giving up fear but when we can see every one in the street as our brother or sister, there is no fear that can keep us from declaring the gospel to them. 

Spreading the word of God is so worth every ounce of energy. We're excited here for General Conference. This time around our president is letting us watch priesthood session which he wasn't going to let us watch before. 

Have a great week everybody!
Elder DP

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Work, work, work. There is no satisfactory substitute!"

What a week!! One of the things I've learned in my mission is that as we work, lots of times the fruits of our labors don't come directly from the actions we do but from the blessings that the Lord starts to trust us with.

Finding, Finding, Finding
This week we were blessed to find a ton of new investigators. We've been taking advantage of every chance we get. One man we found when we were running to get to the bus stop to make it to an appointment in another part of our area and we saw two guys walking down the street trying to carry two sofas with one on top of the other and basically putting on a hard-core balancing act. We ran up to them and asked to help and got their address. When we passed by another day the man talked about how he knew that God sent us to help him with his life and he even came to church on Sunday and was talking about how he wanted our help to prepare to be baptized. 
There was another man that we met when we were trying to contact a reference that someone gave us and they described where the person lived but didn't know the number, just that it was close to a certain bar. After the drunks there didn't help at all we finally asked someone else for some instructions and he chased everyone down in the street for us to find where this person was and after we found the person we went to his house. He told us that that morning he was thinking about how badly he needed to find a church and moments before we passed by he got up and went into the street just because he suddenly had the urge to go outside. I don't believe in coincedence.

So our mission president has been talking a lot lately about consagrating our lives and the pattern of sacrifice in the old testament. The first sacrifice was for sin, the next was the burnt and then the peace sacrifice. He talks a lot about how the burnt is when we give up ALL that we have to the Lord without holding back anything, truly consagrating our lives. I studied a little more about this sacrifice this week and found that they did this sacrifice twice daily, one in the morning and one at night, because the need to surrender our will to God is CONSTANT. What a great thing to remember as we pray daily to start and end our days.

Have a great week everybody!
Elder DP

Monday, September 15, 2014


We keep having cool experiences with members doing missionary work here in this ward. It is seriously cool to see so many people participating in the work of salvation.

So thursday morning we got a text from a member of another ward saying that she wanted to bring us to a friend's house in our area so we could give her a blessing and teach her about the gospel. The friend lives in one of the farthest away neighborhoods of our area that we never go to and the member said it had to be THAT DAY. Fortunately our lunch was in that neighborhood so we were able to catch a ride to go there. When we gave her a blessing she began to cry and thank us and talk about how badly she wanted to have her family more oriented and focused on God. She and her cousin both accepted baptism and were very excited. When we marked the day of their baptism the cousin said "If it were tomorrow I'd already be baptized!!" we had to explain how there are lessons and preparation and she has to come to church first haha.

Bringing Friends to Church
There was another lady that her friend brought her to church Sunday last week and we got to teach her on saturday. All we did to start the lesson was ask how she liked church and she started talking about the peace she felt and the desire to dedicate her life and before we could even finish the invite to the baptismal date she already accepted the day for her baptism. 

Bringing Strangers to Church
During sunday school me and my companion left the lessons and went out to the street to invite everybody to sacrament meeting. Neither of us had tried this before and lots of people blew past us ignoring the invite but we finally managed to bring a young man in and he had a good experience and really liked it. 

The work is going well here. There were other exciting adventures this week that will be told in a few more months 

Tchau gente!
Elder DP

Dinosaur Hunting

Hunting Dinosaurs 
Today we went dinosaur hunting for p-day (see attached pictures). We found out that Jurassic Park is in our Zone so we went there with another companionship for P-day which was pretty fun. We managed to find a couple but the foam and metal used to construct them weren't too tasty so it was a good thing we brought ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.

Travels (again)
We lost a few days of work again this week because of exchanges and a leadership counsel in Sorocaba (another city) that we had to travel to that we didn't know was going to happen until two days before. There were some great things we learned though at that meeting. President played a video from Elders Holland and Eyering about missionary work and the atonement that was super inspiring. It helped us think about how when we're exhausted or think we can't do more, we should think of Christ and how he persevered when it was hard and when He was tired.

                                                                                    Member Missionary
There is an awesome Sister in our ward that lives in the neighborhood where we're working. We always teach a certain recent convert in her house that she introduced to the gospel. We stopped by her house to get some water one day and asked her, "Which of your friends or family members will be the next person that we will baptize?" And she stopped and thought just as one boy was running through her house and asked "Hey Renato, were you baptized at the same time with your mom?" and he said "No" and she said "Well sit down then the missionaries are going to help you be baptized" and he stopped and listened to our lesson and we marked his baptism. As soon as he left another non-member came in and we taught him in her house as well. It is cool to see a member that doesn't have any fear to help the people around her meet the missionaries and learn about the Gospel. 

I'm having a great time and learning a ton,

Elder DP

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Report from ITU

What a week. Interviews and travels we ended up only working 3 days in our area but it was still a good week.

Travels for Trainings
So this week we got to head over to São Paulo for a Leadership Conference with Elder Aidukatis of the Seventy and then stay the night in Sorocaba for another training with our zone and two other zones with Elder Aidukatis again. I learned SO much in those two days. It was funny because he received the results of a questionaire that we filled out and he started off the training saying that he, our president and the Lord are all very happy with our work, but still not satisfied and warned that if he was being hard on us we could call out for him to "put more sugar on it." Haha it was good though, president Farnes and his wife talked about being consacrated missionaries, how every morning in our prayers we should consacrate our day to the Lord. It was very cool.

Pizza Até o Pô (Lots of Pizza)
So the night we stayed in Sorocaba we stayed there with about 14 other missionaries that also lived a long ways away from the meeting and had to stay there for travel purposes. One of the Elders had already passed in that area and mentioned an all you can eat pizza place not too far from the house. Needless to say, you should have seen the eyes on the waiters at this little pizza place when 14 hungry missionaries walked in. It was great.

Member Missionary
There was a talent show Saturday in our ward that was pretty cool. The highlight was that one of the members was at a hot dog place right before and invited a random guy to come and join the party and he CAME! We sat with him and made friends with him and invited him to church the next day! He said he wants to come more times and talked a lot about how God's going to change his life. 

So I got to give a talk in the new ward and one of the things that I shared after talking about techniques to share the gospel is that every person on this earth was created by a divine being. That divine being gave us each individual gifts and talents. Those gifts and talents were given with a specific purpose "To bring to pass the imortality and eternal life of man." Wouldn't it be a shame if we didn't develop and share our talents and use them in the work of salvation. 

Love you guys!

Elder DP

Monday, August 25, 2014



Well it was a quick ride in Vila Madeiros. My Companion stayed behind and is training a new missionary. I got shipped back into the interior to a city called Itu. When I told people in São Paulo that I'd be coming here they all said "Everything is big there." My first day my companion showed me in the town square where they've got two GIANT telephones. I'll see what I can do to get some photos of them. The biggest thing here is the size of my area and the distance we walk every day, there was a few days it felt like I was on a hiking trip instead of a mission. 

There were some sweet blessings this week. First of all we found a bunch of families this week. One has already visited the church several times and were already taught by the missionaries. They only weren't baptized because they weren't married and then lost contact with the missionaries when they moved to Itu. We found them when their son ran up and stopped us in the street and showed us his house so we could go visit them. 
The other major blessing is that our ward is the stake center and so for the first time since I left the US our church building has a BASKETBALL COURT!!! We're headed there as soon as we finish with the computer

So the other thing that everybody said when they heard I was going to Itu was "Wow, you're not going to have any water." Itu's been using the same water systems for 30 years and the expanding population and lack of rain this year are causing some major water problems. We have to pay a truck to bring water in every 15 days so we can shower and wash clothes haha. It's okay though, God promised that we won't go thirsty and don't have to worry about what we have to eat, drink or be clothed (D&C 84:80-84)

My companion is great. He's from Rio de Janeiro and he has a lot of experience as a missionary. He trained an elder from my MTC group and another elder from the group that I arrived with in Brazil so I'm stoked to learn a lot working with him. Plus he's almost as tall as I am so we're like two giants in this city.

Until next week, 

Elder Della-Piana

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Wow, that year blew by fast. It was funny, every time I wrote the date this week after the 14th I thought, "Wait, this day already happened once on my mission." They say the rest is downhill from here but as far as learning and working goes I know theres plenty of uphill still to be made. We celebrated with a pizza (as seen in the attatched photo)

Well we celebrated my 1 year mark by staying in all day. No, that wasn't what I CHOSE to do, my companion was sick. We had brazilian style hot dogs for dinner with a part-member family the night before. The funny thing about Brazilian hot dogs is that they put EVERYthing on them. Corn, peas, mashed potatoes, salad - the works. I loved it but unfortunately it didn't sit to well the next day with Elder Lene.

Well Tomorrow is transfers. I sure loved the time I've gotten to work here in Vila Madeiros. Usually we get transfer news sooner in the day but it looks like they're taking their time this time. I would love working in this ward again, there are some truly amazing people here and the work is definitely accelerating here.

Other mixed news - 
 - There was a lady we were teaching that interrupted my companion while he was talking and said "Wow, when I look into your eyes I feel something different, my hands start to tremble. I don't know what it is." We played it off and then later she said. "I am trying to avoid looking in his eyes because when I do my stomach churns" After the lesson he explained to me that he was drowsing off a bit when she said it and maybe it was because his eyes were shutting hahaha oh the strange things you hear on the mission. 
 - We got a call Friday night from the Elders in my district that are in another City WAY out in the middle of nowhere to do a baptismal interview for them Saturday Morning and we had to travel basically two hours both ways to get there between catching buses and walking. It was cool though because my companion hadn't been there before and as we drove along he kept looking in awe at all the greenerie and "Favella" (Ghettos) that we saw on the bus ride.

 If you get a chance, check out the Mormon Message "The Will of God" - I love listening to the original talk that Elder Christofferson uses.

Love you all!!
Elder DP

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just Miracles

Sweet week. I seriously love the ward I'm in and my companion is a freaking stud. We are constantly laughing and joking and having miracles. 

I've already mentioned a few times in my letters about an awesome recent convert in our ward that is on FIRE helping us out with our work here. Well this week he did his first baptism. He is an aquaintance with a lady we were teaching that was baptised this week and she chose him to baptise her. It was so cool to see him reading his lines over and over so he could get it right. Unfortunately when we filled up the font that morning it didn't seal very well to keep the water in and we arived to do the baptism and it was a good 8 inches shallower than we had left it... Maria had to go down three times but the third time he got it right. 

Musically Challenged
This week the brother that was going to play for sacrament meeting had to leave early so during the third hour the 1st counselor to the Bishop passed me a paper during class for me to mark which hymns the ward would sing. I wrote down three that I knew and passed it to him. After a few minutes he passed the paper back to me. He had crossed out the hymn I'd picked and asked me pick another "our congregation doesn't sing that hymn." Curious I wrote down a different hymn and asked why. He wrote and passed it back "They don't know it..." It must have been a pretty bad performance the last time they sang that one. 

The Power of Prayer
This week we saw several miracles that felt like clear answers to prayers. One morning I prayed specifically to find someone that day that we could help be baptised and then in our companionship prayer my companion made the same, specific petition without me saying anything. That day after lunch a member asked "Can I bring you guys to teach my sister after lunch, she's not a member." We went there and she talked about how she was wanting to follow Christ more fully in her life and how she already had been to church several times and she felt the time had come for her to be baptised. Then later this week I prayed personally to find a family that day that we could help prepare for baptism and we showed up at a house that day and the family let us in for a prayer and when I opened my eyes from the prayer I saw that there was already a Book of Mormon open on the floor that other missionaries had left years earlier. When we left the house I told my companion about my prayer and he said "How come you always copy my prayers?"

 I can truly testify that God answers our just pleas, when we ask him for something good he will truly give it.

Matthew 7

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Love you guys!!! 

Elder Della-Piana

PS Sorry that I havent been able to send photos lately, my memory card has been giving me issues, the photos will come along soon enough

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ò Tio! (O Uncle!)

Yet another great week in Brazil.

They Call Us "Uncle"
So this week we accidentally ended up at a soccer court where we didn't mean to be and ended up kicking a ball around for a few minutes with about 30 kids. When they found out I was american it turned into a huge shouting fest asking questions about what it's like there and why I'm here in Brazil. They all kept shouting at me and my companion "Ò tio! Ò tio!" (Hey uncle, hey uncle) and pestering us with questions. It was quite the site. We managed to get the address of some of the teens to go visit them and their families.

Grandma "Glory"
We had lunch on Sunday with a lady in the ward named Gloria (Glory) that was baptised about a year ago when she went to Salt Lake City to visit her daughter that is a member. We got talking and she mentioned that her daughter works in Salt Lake Temple which is funny because I remember that when I went there about a year ago with Grandma and Grandpa we talked to a lady from Brazil that works there and it all adds up to be her daughter haha what a small world. She talked about how she called the missionaries that baptised her her grandsons haha.

More Exchanges
I worked outside of the area a lot again this week for exchanges. One of the cool thing I noticed as I did an exchange with one of our leaders was the way that he praises all the people around him. I started trying to apply the same thing with my companion and realized how I started to notice the great things that he is doing as well. I think that is a great thing for any relationship is to praise the people around you. 

I'm loving the mission and learning a ton. 

Love you! Keep strong everyone!
Elder Della-Piana

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Accelerando a Obra

The work is going great here. The week was a little weird because I got to do a bunch of baptismal interviews in other areas but that was a great problem to have haha

The 'At Will' Restaurant
This week we ate lunch at a restaurant in another area so we could have time to make it to do interviews for the Sisters. In portuguese they say "at will" instead of "all you can eat." We went and after 6 plates I was feeling pretty full. As I got up to pay my companion said "You're done already!?" and I said "Yes, I'm stuffed" and he said "You won't get another plate." "You're right, I won't, I'm stuffed."  That's when he said, "Don't be a girl" - I ate 7 times...

This week we baptised Elvis and his brother Ruiz (no I haven't heard him sing yet). They are Bolivian and the rest of their family doesn't speak much portuguese but is super supportive of them joining the church. Elvis has already read the entire Book of Mormon and is participating in and loving Seminary. 
Elvis told my companion "I'm going to stump you right now with a scripture" and read Moroni 7 about Charity and showing love to others and then asked "So if you have a plate of food in front of you and you see a man walking past in the street that is clearly homeless and hungry and needing a bath, what should you do?" Elder Lene replied, "I would give him the food and let him take a bath and help him out." Elvis replied, "Wrong! You should have invited him to church" haha Elvis will be a great missionary someday.

Our president told us this week that we're not here to sit in church meetings by ourselves, we're here to help people come to church, if we don't have investigators at church, we should go get some! We had one person in church but she went to Relief Society and so we were alone for the first hour. After waiting to see if people would show up late we left and started calling everyone to come. We finally woke up an investigator that wanted to come but forgot the alarm and she came and had an awesome experience. It was something small and normal that we did but to me it showed how those little victories we have every day make all the difference. 

Something I learned this week to help notice the needs of the people around us is to observe, listen, discern and then act on the things we notic about other people. As I've been more observant I've been able to have more effective lessons and feel like I'm helping people more individually as I seek to serve and bless them. I love the work here!! Being a missionary is hard but it's also freaking AWESOME!!

Fiquem firmes,
Elder DP

Hurrah for Israel!!!!

Well we're finally getting to know the area better. It's been a neat experience to open an area. It's a great excuse to ask help from the members and offer to help them as well. This week we found a ton of new people to teach, in fact each of the companionships in our district did really well at finding this week, everyone had at least 24 new investigators which was sweet!!

On Tuesday I got to do an exchange in an area that is basically what I imagined the mission would be like when I got my call to Brazil. We left district meeting and we caught a bus for about an hour with a ton of forrest and landscape to get to another city where the missionaries cover one ward and it has a ton of other neighborhoods that they have to catch a bus to work in the different parts of their area. It was cool to be in an area with way less congestion and traffic, nice and calm, people were super-receptive. We found a ton of new people to teach that day that all had a good amount of interest. 

Growing Ward
Serving here is cool because in the last year there have been a lot of people baptized in this ward. There is one recent convert that showed up at the church on his own without ever having contact with the missionaries and was later baptized. He went to lessons with us twice this week and is super strong in the church. There's another that is recently returning to the church and is preparing to serve a mission that we got to meet and visit. It's cool to see the influence that the great missionaries that passed through this area have left. 

Well I love it here. We had interviews with President this week and he directed me to Matthew 25:30-46 about how Christ will seperate the sheep from the goats. The interesting thing that I found afterwards is that the sheep didn't see that they had done great service and the goats didn't see how many oppertunities they had missed to serve. I want to be a great sheep alongside the good shepherd.

Love you all!! 

Elder DP


Well I'm sure glad the World Cup is over and we can get back to business. It was funny this week because everybody here think's I'm German which was great yesterday when they won the World Cup but a little less awesome on Tuesday when Brazil lost to them 7-1. We got to lunch one day this week and my companion intruduced me as being from Germany. The Irmã that fed us nearly kicked me out of the house before I clarified that I'm just a plain old 'Merican. 

Finding Home
So I know I mentioned that I was transfered this week but I don't think I mentioned that I am opening an area with my companion. In other words the two elders that were here went to the mission office, handed me the keys, cell phone and a sheet of paper with some instructions and headed off to catch a bus to their new areas. There was a brother from the ward that picked up our bags but we had to stay for a meeting with our President so we had to catch a bus home. The only trick was finding home. Long story short we waited until the game ended since the bus didn't pass during the Brazil Game, then our Zone Leaders caught a bus with us and left us to catch another bus to our area. We waited there for about an hour and it was getting late before we stopped a different bus and asked if ours would pass by and they told us that people were burning buses downtown and so our bus wouldn't pass that night. We finally got into contact with our Bishop and fortunately he was able to give us a ride. Turns out the bus we stopped would have brought us to the same spot... ahh
View from apartment window

New Companion 
So my new companion is Elder Lene. He's from New Zealand and his first name has 26 letters in it. He's hilarious and is always happy and talking to people in the streets. When we had our first meeting with our new ward mission leader he asked us, "Have you guys watched 'The Other Side of Heaven?' Because I can't look at you guys without wanting to call Elder Della-Piana 'Kolipoke'" hahaha

Elder Lene & Elder DP
It's really cool serving in this ward because I either served with or nearby nearly all of the missionaries that have served here in the last 8 months so I already know the missionaries that baptized the recent converts here and have already heard about some of the members. I am really looking forward to it here. We found a ton of new people to teach this week since we know nobody and just talk to everyone in the streets but it's been a great experience. 

Our president taught us to follow Christ's example when he multiplied the fish as we start this transfer:
1) What do we have? (6 loafs of bread, 2 fish)
2) Give thanks (Matthew 6:41)
3) Have miracles - (Fed thousands)

What a great formula for any situation. I'm thankful for all the blessings the Lord has given me and my family. 

Love you All,

Elder DP

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tchau São Bento

Well this morning I found out that tomorrow I will be leaving São Bento to go to Villa Madeiro in the City of São Paulo. After 6 months in an area it will be hard to say goodbye to a lot of people here.

New President
Timothy L. and Linsey A. Farnes

So we got to meet our new Mission President and his family this week. They are amazing people. As my companion and I were entering the church gate he pulled up in his car parked and ran right out to embrace us and tell us how excited he was. His wife and family speak very little portuguese and he is trying to remember but even in broken portuguese his love for us and for the Lord was very evident. He talked a lot about winning the daily victories. LiVE - Little Victories Everyday (forget the i because we need to be unselfish). We all came away super excited (and he's an athlete so it looks like he's going to liberate basketball!!)

Member Missionaries
We had an awesome miracle that has been happening this week. There is a young man in our ward that when I got here was not active in the church. He had a rough background and he went to church only every once in a while. Suddenly these last few weeks he started coming to church regularly and participating in the ward. This week he told us that he wants to serve a mission!!! The sweet part is that he is bringing his friend along to everything and we've been teaching his friend as well!

This week we had a baptism that the day before the investigator told us that she showed up at her neighbor's house (where we were telling her member friend that she would pray at the baptism) and told us that she wasn't going to be baptised the next day because she felt like she was being pressured into it. We talked to her a bit, read scriptures and such trying to help her but she insisted on the baptism being another date. We left and went to dinner at a member's home and while we were there we got a call from her "Hey have you told everyone to cancel my baptism yet" "No why?" "Because I talked to my member friend a bit more and I'm going to be baptised tomorrow" *FISTPUMP*
There were even fireworks going on during her baptism to celebrate (it was just because of Brazil winning in the world cup but we'll credit the baptism)

I am going to miss this area, there are so many other families and miracles that I will share when I get home, the mission is amazing. It is such a blessing to be able to help people every day learn about the Gospel and how their family can be together forever.

Love you All,
~Elder Della-Piana

Timothy Lowell Farnes, 44, and Linsey Anne Farnes, five children, Bridlewood Ward, Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake, succeeding President Marcus H. Martins and Sister Mirian B. Martins. Brother Farnes is a former counselor in a stake presidency, high councilor, bishop, counselor in a ward Young Men presidency, and missionary in the Brazil Porto Alegre Mission. Founder/CEO, Aspire Holdings. Born in Baltimore, Md., to Gary William and Mary Ellen Farnes.
Sister Farnes is a former ward Young Women president, counselor in a ward Relief Society presidency, counselor in a ward Primary presidency, Relief Society instructor, and Primary teacher. Born in Provo, Utah, to David Roos and Judith Lynn Skinner.

Monday, June 30, 2014

"só loucura" (JUST CRAZY)

What a week.

Well first of all our new misson president, President Farnes, showed up this week. The elders that have already met him say he is awesome! We're going to get to meet him on Wednesday this coming week so that should be sweet. He already started changing some of the rules after just a few days to let us play volleyball again and listen to a variety of church music during the week and such.

This week there were two World Cup games for Brazil and so it was just craziness here. Saturday the game was against Chile and that is where my companion is from so he was cheering pretty hard for them to win. For those who don't know, Chile lost and everybody that knows my companion is from Chile is giving him a hard time about it, he's even tried to introduce himself as being from Spain to make up for the accent but avoid the heckling haha.

This week was also really cool to see the members helping us meet and teach their friends. There was a ward activity Saturday Night and President let us go. Nearly everyone brought friends to the activity and we marked a bunch of appointments to teach them this week in the homes of those members.

Scripture of the week:
"Be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers" I know that the Lord answers prayers and wants to hear from us. As a missionary we pray a ton every day for all the people we know and love here and back home.

Love you all,
~Elder DP

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Last Conference with President & Sister Martins

Oi gente,
Great week although we didn't get out on the streets working much.
On Tuesday Brazil played Mexico in a high scoring thriller (Final 0-0). The people were bummed but not as mad as they would be if they'd lost. We also had a multi-zone conference to say goodbye to President Martins and his wife as President Farnes will be arriving on Saturday and will from then on be our new mission president. It was great to hear from him once again and receive instructions to boost our faith and excitement to do the work of the Lord. 
Last Zone Conference with President & Sister Martins

Because of that we only worked from Thursday to Sunday basically and even that was interrupted by baptismal interviews to do in other areas. 

Cool experience this week was that we met a family that was a reference we got just from asking someone in the street if they knew someone we could visit. It was way out of the way of where we usually work but we made time to go there since it was a reference. We got there and they let us in and explained that they had always wanted to go to our church but they lost contact with the Sisters when they lived in another area and never got the Address. We got the chance to give them the address of the Church and invite them to make a visit. 

This week I got to give a talk about member missionary work and invited the Members to invite their friends to Family Home Evenings and that we would go there to give the message so they could learn more about our beliefs. We didn't even get out of the chapel after Sacrament Meeting and a young woman in the ward had already come up to us and marked to have her friends over on Thursday to have an FHE there. Then at lunch the sister there said that the week after we'll have an FHE in here home with her neighbors as well!! What a blessing to see members working to help their friends come unto Christ.

I'm loving the mission, Brazil is crazy but great.

Love you all,

Elder Della-Piana

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What a week!

The funny thing about having one hour to relate a week of experiences and reply to other emails is that there are so many things that have to be left out, I guess that's why the mission ends some day.

So wednesday the World Cup shut the club down. We were at home since we no one would attend us if we tried to go talk to people but when Brazil scored it felt like we were in the stadium. The entire city literally exploded in cheers and cars took off just to rev their engines and honk their horns and have a "bagunsa" (circus) in the streets. It was quite the experience. 

We found two awesome families this week that have true interest! One of them the wife had stopped us in the street about three weeks ago. She asked what we do since she'd always seen us in the neighborhood but she was waiting a bus and had to get on before we could get her information to visit her and her family. Then this week we asked someone in the street for a reference to visit and she indicated her sister which just so happened to be this lady I had talked to. When we finally got her at home with the family they were in the middle of the barbacue but they stopped everyone and pulled them into one room to have a prayer and a message. The lady explained to us that she had had a dream of our church when she had been praying to overcome depression and then that was when she talked to us!! She asked a ton of great questions and it looks like they'll be at church on sunday!

Fun experience of the week - SO this week I did an exchange with Elder Youd. The thing about when I'm with Elder Youd is that that is when all the excitement happens. So we were walking out of a lesson and the pregnant lady asked "Wow that's a coincidence, you're both named 'Elder'" so we explained that it's a title and she asked our names. After explaining that they could only call us Elder, not our first name, we told them our names. When she heard Adam she said "Wow that's a cool name" and then grabbed her stomach "ADAM!!! THAT'S THE NAME!!!" and looked at her friend and they got really excited. So yeah, I got a kid named after me. No big deal, there will now be a kid in São Bento with a name that not even he can pronounce correctly..

I love it here and I love you guys. Spiritual thought of the week is Moroni 7:45-48 - I've been pondering a lot lately how the worold would be different if people truly had charity one for another.

Love you all,

~Elder Della-Piana

Monday, June 9, 2014

World Cup Here We Go

Well the world cup is about to start this week and Brazil is an exciting place to be. We'll literally just be shut into our house during and after the game this week. 

Well the highlight of the week was a stake conference broadcast that we got to hear from Richard G. Scott and M. Russell Ballard. Elder Scott speaks Spanish and gave his talk in Portuñol (Spanish/Portuguese combo) and it was AMAZING. He talked about how God answers prayers and how we need to respond. The interesting thing I got was that sometimes we don't get an answer if he trusts us to work it out on our own because we're being obedient. Our investigator that was there loved it.

I also got to do my first Baptismal Interview this week. It went smoothly. The only trick was that we caught the hour-long bus home at 9, the time when we were already supposed to be home planning and finishing out our day that was a bit exhausting.

Other News:
- The Broken Key - well our key to the back door broke locked from the inside. Good news - we were inside, Bad news - there's no way to get to our washing machine or our laundry that's drying without leaving that door or climbing on the neighbor's roof to get in and out. Long story short - after several unsuccessful attempts to pick the lock (oh it's a dead bolt that locks with one of those ancient looking keys) I finally took a screwdriver and an exercise weight and went to work, busting out a piece of the lock to make a different key fit - oh what we go through to get to laundry.

- My Chilean companion always says "Aw Fetch" when something doesn't go well and it's hilarious because he doesn't speak English, his last companion corrupted him.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wild Week of Transfers

Well I have never had such a wild transfer week. 

Elder DP & Elder Johnson
As some that are serving or have served missions know the week of transfers is always a week of high anxiety and anticipation. This time I wasn't worried because I'd already assumed I would leave São Bento since I've been here for so long and so I was just waiting for where I would be sent - I was wrong. The call for transfers came in Monday and I was told I would stay in São Bento and that my new companion would be ELDER JOHNSON - one of my favorite elders in the whole mission and someone that I look up to a ton. Even better because we were already serving in are

Change of plans - not companions
as close by. Then tuesday morning the mission office called me and let me know I would still be in São Bento but instead of Elder Johnson I would have a different companion... Ahhhh, it would have been good.

Anyways, now I'm with Elder Alvarez from Chile. He has even less time speaking portuguese than I do which is interesting because he can't trade into English to clarify and I've had to try to remember Spanish to understand. It's great though he's excited.

So, funny story of th
e week. There was a drunk guy (at 10 am in the morning) that came up to a group of me and 5 other American missionaries at a bus stop and asked if Mormons are a cult or a religion. After explaining that it's a religion he said "I like you guys, even though I just threw down a few 'pingas' (alcoholic drinks) you guys still talk to me." Another missionary - a big, blue-eyed, blonde-haired german-american, started inviting him to go to church on sunday and in the middle of explaining the guy blurted out "Why do they always send the good-looking ones here for us brazilians, you have beautiful eyes." We got a kick out of that one.
Elder DP & Elder Alvarez

Well the work of salvation is great here. We're working a lot to bring back those that have drifted away from the Gospel. It's cool to help people that have already been baptized renew their faith in Christ and become active in following him once more.

Love you guys,

Elder Della-Piana

Brazilian Autumn

Well we are reaching the point here with the weather when it's not too hot during the day and it gets just cold enough at night to be comfortable. Ahhh lovin it.

So today (Monday) is usually P-day but rather than that we are going to email our family and then go teach and work as normal. You might ask why and the reason is that on WEDNESDAY we get to hear from ELDER RUSSELL M. NELSON!!!!! He's going to be here in São Paulo and they're pulling together three different missions to all come hear from him. Since it's going to take away from our time to work they decided to make that day p-day, if he weren't an Apostle I'd be more sore about it. 

Outside of that it was a pretty normal week. I worked outside of my area for most of it working with other missionaries in other areas but it was still good. We had a cool experience in another area where we were going through an old list of members of the church and visiting the ones that aren't going to church and we came to this tiny side allyway and couldn't find the house in this alley and we were asking everyone and almost gave up. Finally we talked to a guy that said he didn't know the person we were looking for but then said 'Wait, you mean Benedito that lives in that house around the corner?' and directed us to the person we were looking for that lived in a house we would have never found. He received us warmly and expressed a strong desire to come back to the church and bring his family with him that aren't members yet. After having been rejected for an entire afternoon it was cool to be reminded that there are people out there that DO want to hear from us and DO want to improve their lives. 

"Our missionaries are going forth to different Nations. The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”

What a marvelous work and a wonder,

Elder DP