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