Monday, March 31, 2014

Nine Weeks in Brazilia

Well this week is week nine for both halves of our companionship: Nine weeks since I arrived in the mission, nine weeks until Elder Soares leaves the mission, but hey, who's counting.

Every week in the mission is so different from another. This week we were running all over the place, I felt like I was hardly in my area. A BIG highlight was a conference we had with President Martins. He taught us all kinds of things throughout the day but the best part was when he used videos of the life of Jesus Christ to teach us about our role as messengers of God. One of the hardest things in the mission is when people reject our message that will bring so much happiness into their lives but he reminded us that Christ was rejected too even though he was perfect. Because of that he suffered much more humiliation than I will ever have to bear talking with people in the street.

MIRACLE! Guilherme, a guy that we're teaching, is going to be baptized this weekend!! He's looking for direction in life and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ he's finding it. I was in another area on an exchange the other day and my companion went to an activity with him and asked "So what to you think about baptism next weekend?" And he said "Sure" (Actually he said "Pode ser" but "Can be" doesn't make sense in english) He's super excited for it and it's such a joy to watch a friend find faith in Christ and choose to center his life around that. 

Other News:
Got asked to play piano in church after 7 months of not playing and the organ wasn't working right... Someone said "Wow, you looked really nervous up there." It was rough
Got kissed by a drunk guy... Again
Tried to put a hot spice on my beans and rice and it accidentally poured rather than dripped on.... The whole table looked at me with shocked eyes and out of emberassment I said "No, it's fine, I like pimenta" (hot seasoning made with peppers) Yeah, I cried.


~Elder Della-Piana

Monday, March 24, 2014

First Baptism in Brazil!

This baptism was a sweet miracle. Well the first baptism was definitely a highlight. Andressa was baptized on Saturday and her Mom came Sunday for her confirmation. Her mom couldn't make it to the baptism but said "And what if I go and want to be baptized too?" We invited her but she didn't come so maybe in a couple weeks. 

Elder DP, Andressa and Elder Soares
We originally got her address because we went out to lunch and a guy there heard me struggling to place my order and asked if I was american. After a couple minutes of trying to describe snow and him mocking my accent we explained what we do as missionaries and got his address and said we'd pass by sometime. After a few weeks we finally passed there and he wasn't home but we taught his mom and his sister and they were really interested. His sister (Andressa) started reading the Book of Mormon and studying it with the Bible, she came to church that Sunday and two weeks later she was baptized! She has a ton of faith and is really excited about the new things she is learning in church. What a blessing to be part of helping others come unto Christ.   (Erick still mocks my accent and tries to teach me all the slang like "Tranquilo como grilo" - peaceful like a grasshopper, yes people use that to great each other here. It's awesome.)

What a sweet week.  I think I mentioned Guilherme last week, a young man that a member referred us to. Well he came to church again and his mom came too. He's super excited and is already integrating with the members. We brought the Relief Society President to a lesson with his mom and it was great. His mom (Anna) keeps talking about how she feels like she's seeking something more in life and that us showing up is an answer to that. They're super cool to which is awesome, it's fun to teach them. He came to the baptism this week and really liked it.  He couldn't say enough good things.

Life is good here in Brazil. During my mission so far something I've definitely learned is summed up by President Thomas S. Monson "Nothing is as constant as change." It's so true but it's nice to know there's a purpose for that. Our life is given so we can grow and as soon as we get comfortable, change happens. The mission it's so true. I feel so stretched all the time but it's great to know that I'll grow because of it. I'm seeing it already. 

Sure love you guys,
~Elder DP

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Miracles in São Bento

Hey Y'all!

Elder Soares and Elder DP
Well transfers came around and Elder Paixão went off to Itapetininga (that's a mouthfull) and I'm sticking around. My new companion is Elder Soares! He's probably about 5'4 and we checked our weights and we weigh the same hahaha I saw our reflection in a window walking the streets the other day and it's a sight to see this tall, white American and a little, round Brazilian roaming the streets. He is seriously a great companion. First of all he already served here a little over a year ago so he already knows the members as well as I do and he has tons of less actives to visit that I never knew existed. He showed up and we automatically gained a ton of trust from the members that we didn't have last transfer. On top of that he's a great teacher and he makes food all the time. 

Transfer Pizza
So, this week was awesome. Last week I mentioned Andressa, a young woman we found the week before that came to church that Sunday. Well we visited her this week and she accepted the 22nd as  her baptismal date!! She seems really solid to be baptized on that day and we're super excited. Her Mom also accepted baptism but won't be baptized on that day because she hasn't made it to church yet. 

Another Miracle - Tuesday Night a young woman that left Thursday to serve a mission brought us to a friends house to introduce us. We taught him and his mom and went back and taught again Friday night. Both lessons went really well, he's reading the Book of Mormon, he had a great experience at church and last night he accepted the goal to prepare for baptism on the 29th!!!!!!! 

I'm loving the mission, watching miracles unfold. It's great. The language is coming along still. Another sweet thing about transfers is Elder Johnson (my MTC Companion) is part of my district now! 

Love you all!

~Elder Della-Piana

Monday, March 10, 2014

Transferência 1 Terminado

Well, Brazil Transfer #1 is in the books. Super hard but I can see myself growing so much.

So this week we had 3 exchanges. For two of them I stayed here in São Bento and the other I went to the Area of the Zone Leaders with one of the missionaries that has baptized like crazy in the mission. He is one of the best teachers in the mission, uses the scriptures, helps people think about things in a different way, inspires them to action and a bunch of other stuff. I learned so much that day. The other exchanges I had to lead in our area and I gained a ton of confidence from those days. I had to lead out on all the teaching because the elders there with me didn't know the people and I was pretty nervous about it. After those days I had so much more confidence, even though I ran into challenges with the language the Lord blessed me so I could help everything run smoothly. 

We had some sweet experiences this week. A family that wasn't very firm (wow I just had to pause to remember how to speak english) came to church and was super excited!! There kids loved it and the dad went from super quiet and not responding during lessons to the point where I could tell he had a good experience at church and will come again next Sunday. We also had two other investigators that we found this week come to church. They both had friends as soon as they showed up. One is 14 and the other is 18 and super intelligent. She's going to Institute this weekend with a member!! It was such a blessing because that had been the hardest thing for us is bringing investigators to church and even though we had a bunch of other that were supposed to come this was cool to see. 

Well we get transfer news tonight but we got a sneak peak and it looks like Elder Paixão is out and I'll be sticking around. President emailed him and said he'll be in another area. I'm pretty stoked, this area hasn't had much success in the work of salvation in a while but I feel like a bunch of things are coming together for miracles to happen here. 

Love you all!

~Elder Della-Piana

Monday, March 3, 2014

Trabalhar com alegria e cantar!! “Work with joy and singing”


Man, are we working here. We are talking to so many people every single day. We have a given space at the back of our daily planner to write down when we meet a potential investigator and get an address to go visit another day and I already ran out of space and we still have a week left in the transfer. I remember when I was serving stateside looking at how many pages were back there and thinking to myself "Wow, that would be hard to use all of those pages." Oh how little I knew then.

This week was good. We went to São Paulo to the Federal Police department to take care of visa stuff and we got lost at 11 pm trying to find the apartment we were supposed to stay at. My companion had no idea and I was no use because I thought I knew something but I couldn't communicate it. We finally wound up there and the next morning everything was smooth. Because of that trip the week was kind of slow at first but then this weekend we taught a ton and found a bunch of new people to teach and we're excited here!!

Like I mentioned last week we're trying to work with the ward here. We had a family home evening in the house of a member this week and were able to bring a man we're teaching and also a family. The family had been kind of wishy-washy before and a little downhearted but after that activity they were excited and they couldn't come to church this week but they  

[Adam's dad here... his ending of the email shouldn't be too alarming. I clearly means he started a conversation with a chance to share the gospel or it just means someone offered him food.  Still, that is the abrupt end of his email.  I'm sure he's fine because he responded to another email after this one was sent.  Kinda comical.  Ciao!]


are going to come next week!! They're kids were dying laughing during the activity and they were able to bond a little bit with the members that were there. 

It's an adventure here in Brazil. Nothing like I could have expected and every day I have a new challenge and every day I see the hand of the Lord lift me through. Like Alma I know this Gospel blesses lives and want to declare it to every creature so that there's no more sadness on the earth.

Elder Adam Della-Piana

PS. Sorry that didn't all send last week, not sure exactly what happened....