Tuesday, February 24, 2015

20 Years and Counting (it's his birthday this week)

Yet another wild week. We got to go to the temple in Campinas which was a huge highlight of the week. It was cool to be around all the other missionaries and even better to be in the house of the Lord. It is such a special thing to be in a Temple. I wish I could go more frequently.

Irmão Ary
This week we had one of the coolest baptisms of my mission. Our good friend Ary was baptized. We found him knocking doors and the second visit he tried to desist saying he heard we would baptize him in the name of a dead person. After my companion said that the only dead person in whose name we baptize has already ressurected he was impressed and has been going to church since. For a while he didn't accept the baptismal dates we tried to mark with him and eventually he marked his own baptismal date for his 80th birthday. A sister in the ward even made cupcakes for him for his birthday and we gave him a new bible. Nearly 20 members of his family came to support him, all from different denominations, including his son who is a catholic minister and his daughter that lives at least 2 hours away in São Paulo. It was a special experience.

New area, new friends
We started to work in a new part of our area that is more humble. It was cool because this was the first sunday and we already had a good number of people that went to church. There was a little girl this week that's 8 years old and she stopped us in the street and asked "Do you guys do prayers for people?" And we responded that we do and she asked us to say a prayer for her mom. It turned out
that her sister has already visited the church many times in the past. We prayed with the family and the sister that had already been to church had a soccer game this sunday but the little girl went to church with us and some of the other people from the neighborhood. It was cool.

Surprise baptism
We also had a surprise baptism in the neighboring city that the sisters called us when the baptism was supposed to start because they didn't have enough priesthood at the baptism and there wasn't anyone else in their ward that could make it. We ran over to the baptism and I got to baptize which is always fun. Even the guy we baptized looks kind of surprised (see picture of the man with the white beard and the jumpsuit for someone a foot taller)

I listened this week to the story of the hatchet cover by Elder Allan F. Packer and saw today the video the church made of the story. It's a great growing opportunity for each one of us to think about what hatchet covers might be keeping us back. Check out the video: 

Adam (3) - picture was in my
wallet for over 10 years.

Have a great week y'all,
Um abraço,

Elder DP

Monday, February 9, 2015


My first week with Élder Emanuel was good. Everybody thinks that he's American. We did a contact this week and he didn't say a word but the lady said "Wait you're not american!? But why do you have a funny accent?" I give him a hard time because if he was in the Hill Cumorah pageant there is no way he wouldn't play Joseph Smith, he looks exactly like him. 

This week we taught two girls that accepted the preparation to be baptized and they needed to stop smoking. We gave them the task to brush their teeth every time they were tempted to smoke and in two days one dropped from 15 per day to 1 and the other stopped after 3 days!! It was so cool to see the great progress they had so fast!

Another Senior Citizen
A few weeks ago we had a very special baptism of a lady that is 79 years old. We have another investigator coming to church every Sunday that is also 79 years old. Last sunday he didn't come and so we went to see what happened and pick him up if he still wanted to go. We got there and he wasn't feeling well so he didn't go to church but he had been praying about baptism and decided he wants to be baptized on his 80th birthday on the 22nd! Even better was that this week he started anouncing it to his whole entire family and inviting them to go see. He is a great guy.

A member of the Stake High Council spoke at church on Sunday and he cited a great quote from Albert Einstein about goals - "Lack of time is an excuse given by those who lack goals." It's so true that without goals we will look back on our lives and the things we've done and see that we accomplished only a part of our potential, whether those goals be physical, monetary, educational, spiritual or of any other sort, we've got to have them and go after them.

Hope you all have a great week!
Elder DP

Monday, February 2, 2015

Barcelona round two

Transfer news is in and.... (drumroll please) ...... I kept my streak going!! Elder Dallto was transfered and companion number 18 will be Elder Emanuel right here in Barcelona. He's from Espirito Santo which is a state in Brazil (yes, there is a state called "Holy Ghost" in Brazil). He's already serving in the same city as I am but in another Zone close by. I'll miss Elder Dallto, we had some great times and cool miracles together.

Completing Families
Three weeks ago we had a cool experience where we met a less-active family by a miracle. I was on exchange in my area and a couple passed by and called out "Hey Elders" but we were in a hurry and I thought they were from another ward and we kept going. Then on the way back we ran into the same couple AGAIN! We found out that they had fallen away from the church a few years ago and went to São Paulo and just now moved back to Sorocaba and they wanted to go back to church! I wrote down their address and marked to go there. The problem was that he accidentally passed us the wrong street name and we didn't find his house. The solution was that on the way home from District Meeting the next week other missionaries ran into him AGAIN!! This time they got the right address and were able to visit them. This week their son was baptized and confirmed. The baptism was even cooler because one of our recent converts did the baptism! It was amazing to see how the Lord truly guides his own work (2 Nephi 27:20). All we had to do was make the invitation and help them have a great experience going back to church.

Zone Activity
We had a zone activity today to celebrate a great transfer. We had breakfast together and played ping pong and volleyball. One of the Elders even brought a basketball and I got to play H-O-R-S-E for the first time in AGES! It was great.

Crazy Velhinos
This week I did a baptismal interview for a little old man that lives in very humble circumstances close by a chapel in another ward. It was kind of a crazy interview because in the middle of the opening prayer a little lady barged in and kicked us out and the old man got flustered and yelled back at her. After it calmed down he didn't want to be interviewed anymore and didn't want to go to the church to be interviewed. I had him take a few deep breaths and he still didn't want to go but finally I just said "Okay, that's fine. Lets go then" and started walking and he went with me haha. It was a great interview. Today I found out that at his baptism when they went to start the service they couldn't find him and the missionaries went looking for him and he was soaking wet already and said "I'm BAPTIZED!" He had baptized himself hahaha. The Elders were able to explain again about the whole being baptized by another person with authority and they started the meeting and he was baptized the right way. Gotta love little old guys.

One More
We had another cool baptism this weekend of a young man that has already been going to church for a while but his less-active and part-member parents didn't let him get baptized. A few weeks ago we had lunch with his grandparents and he showed a great desire to be baptized and through this we were able to get his parents permission and he was baptized. It was great because he gave his testimony about how happy he was to be baptized and then his 10 year old cousin got up there and said, "Every little kid looks forward to their baptism. I know that everyone needs to be baptized and stay firm." It was great to hear wisdom from the mouth of a child.

I hope you enjoy the stories, I figured that I probably won't get a chance to share all these when I get home and so I'd better start telling more of them now. I am so thankful that I get to participate and watch the Lord do his work. It's a pleasure to see the miracles that can happen in so many people's lives.

Have a great week!
Elder DP