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