Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Trabalhando Com Membros

Well these past few weeks we've been trying to work more with the members of the ward. We invited a member to come with us to a teaching appointment tuesday night to visit a family that is progressing but is having trouble making it to church. That appointment fell through but the member had a less active in mind that lived close by so we went to visit. It is a young woman in the ward who was baptized less than a year ago but something happened a few weeks ago that offended her and now she doesn't want anything to do with the church. We had actually gone over there earlier that day but made no progress. That night the Brother we brought helped her remember the joy she had felt at church, the friends she has there that love her and all the other reasons why she had joined the church. The next day she hung out with his daughter and came to a church activity and Sunday she came to church and was cheery as if she hadn't left. It was cool to see the good influence that truly caring friends can have within the church. 
Caldo de Cana or Sugarcane Juice

We also had interviews with President Martins this week. I had some questions about promptings of the spirit and he taught me that the word "Constant" actually means closer to "Reliable" in the time the scriptures were translated/written so we won't necessarily have the Spirit with us always but we are promissed that when we need it we can still rely on it. That was cool. 

I still love being a missionary. I think I say it every week. Even though it's hard it feels good to be on the Lord's errand. This week I read D&C 1 and it talks about how the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith is so that men don't have to trust the answers of the world, they can have God's answers through a living prophet. I like verse 26 "That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and simple unto the ends of the world." It's humbling to try to speak Portuguese and still help people with their lives and sometimes I feel week but I know that this message is of great importance so that every person in the world can rely on the Savior's guidance and not just follow the paths of the world. Love you all,

~Elder Della-Piana

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

São Bento


Well another week of challenges and blessings in São Bento. I had a couple firsts this week. My first time in charge of the area on exchange, my first time understanding someone while talking on the phone, and my first time being chased down by a drunk and having him explain Joseph Smith's first vision to me.

So last week before Sacrament Meeting our Bishop pulled us aside and asked us to give a talk the next sunday (yesterday) and informed Elder Paixão that he would have 10 minutes to speak and me that I would have 5. Since we had just been told by our Mission President to focus on Baptism that's what we talked about. I got up there and explained that we were passing on the message from President and how Baptism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ helps us improve our lives and enter the Kingdom of God. Then Elder Paixão got up there and talked about miracles of baptism to help the members understand the focus President Martins has given us. 

Anyways, so the drunk guy that one night. So when he first saw us I heard him say "Look it's the elders" to someone else and I didn't relize he was THAT drunk so I said, "Oh, have you talked to missionaries before?" And he went at it talking about the hundreds of missionaries he knew and Elder Hunt and how much he helped him 12 years ago and how many times he's gone to the church. It was all the more exciting because it was pouring rain and we were literally treading in ankle deep water at several points in our journy and I was on exchange with another American that isn't fluent yet in portuguese. After he taught me how to pray and then knelt in the middle of the street to show me we finally dropped him of safely home. We went back the next day and taught his family. Turns out he was a former investigator that just keeps drinking and smoking and hasn't shown desire to stop. I could see how bad he needs the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his life and I hope with all my heart that he will embrace it this time because his family needs it. 

I love the example in acts of Baptism in CH 19 when some Apostles teach to a multitude and 3000 people are baptized that day. This is basically what Elder Paixão wants to do here. He is definitely excited about baptism.

Anyways, the work is hard but I'm still loving it. I'll write again next week
Love you all!

Elder Della-Piana

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ópa!!! (Wow!!!)

Boa tarde família e amigos!

What a week! All kinds of ups and downs. First, Sunday night last week we were running home (literally running, our appointment went late and we wanted to get home before 9:30 to be obedient) and a little girl hollared after us. We stopped and she directed us to a lady that wanted our attention. Turns out the lady was a former investigator that hadn't been baptized because she was drinking coffee and some other things but we went back monday and had a great lesson and since the ward already knew her and she'd already been to church and was now choosing to keep the commandments she accepted to be baptized on Saturday!! It was a miracle! Then came the day of the baptismal interview. We got there and the house was wild and kids were yelling and her boyfriend showed up and chewed her out for meeting with us and the interview didn't even happen. So tough. Then the last few days her boyfriend has stood guard at the house so we couldn't go teach and answers the phone for her to say she's not there just to keep her from being baptized. It was rough but it was still cool because she stood up to him and told him why she wanted to be baptized so I think she still will join the church it will just be a harder road.

This week was also cool because a young woman in the ward invited her friend to meet with us and we taught the Plan of Salvation and it answered the questions she has about life and then she came to church and after church asked us for a Book of Mormon!! SO SWEET. Elder Paixão will teach her tomorrow with our Zone Leaders while we are on exchange so hopefully that will be sweet.

We also had a mission-wide conference this week and got to meet with our Mission President, President Martins. He is way funny. I still didn't understand everything he said but he talked a ton about baptism. Baptism is our focus because baptism helps people progress and grow. It was sweet.

As far as the language goes it has it's ups and downs. We were with an investigator the other day and he didn't even look at me because he assumed I couldn't say anything after I stuttered over a sentance but then a member asked me if I was from Rio de Janeiro and said I already speak awesome!!! hehe I had her fooled.

I love it here, the language is hard but I'm growing and learning and starting to see blessings unfold.

~Elder Della-Piana

Monday, February 3, 2014


This week has been a whirl! I guess it's been two weeks since I've gotten to write so first I had a great last week in Colorado. We went to some caves for our study one morning with the Spanish Elders and that was way cool. Hopefully I'll get some pictures off of that. I got to say goodbye to just about everyone since I had such good notice but it was weird because all our investigators acted like I was leaving for a vacation, "oh you're going to Brazil! It's going to be so warm there! Plus you'll be close to the beach?!" If only they could see me walking and sweating in the heat now. It was 36 degrees  the other day and the Brazileiros were making a big deal about it so I am guessing that was really hot in Farenheit as well (that's 97 F).
New missionaries Elder DP came in with

President & Sister Martins
 Missionary work is so different here. We literally talk to every single person we see and nearly everyone invites us back because we talk about Christ and they like that because they already have their church they're comfortable with. We teach the restoration and invite them to prepare for baptism right off the bat everytime because we have so many people that we need to weed out who is really interested and who is just being courtious. It's sweet though, my new companion Elder Paixão is a boss. He is SO bold with everyone and it's kind of wild to watch.

Elder DP & Elder Paixão 
Anyways, the language is coming surprisingly well. Either people look at my companion and say, "Wow, 6 six days and he already talks like that" or they look at my companion and say "He doesn't speak much does he?" so it's still hard to guage where I'm at but I'm loving it. Bishop had me start of Testimony on Sunday and I hope they laughed at my joke to start it off and not at me bearing testimony of the book of monkies or something like that. I had to stick to the basics for that but it was good.

Well I'm loving it here. It's hot and the language is hard but the people are amazing and it's still the same gospel so it's great. 


Elder Della-Piana