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