Thursday, March 26, 2015

Parada Pinto Week 1

Well I'm clocking in for the first time from Parada Pinto (translation - "Pinto Stop"). The internet here is PAINFULLY slow but I'll do my best here. 

I'm living with four missionaries for the first time in my mission which is pretty sweet. My companion Elder Noleto is from the Northern Brazil and was a salesman before the mission which always helps as a missionary. He's pretty cool, the first week has been an adventure. The other companionship that lives with us is pretty cool as well - Elder Ihasz from Oregon is a very patriotic american that will go home a little before me and Elder J. Lopes is from Curitiba and served in the military before the mission. It's been pretty fun so far.

Work hard
The wark here in São Paulo is very different from the people in Sorocaba. For a missionary it's great because the people live at a faster pace and are really receptive. This week my companion and I were walkinga and talking and we were so excited that I stopped in the middle of a frase to do a contact. He let us in and we met his family -- 4 siblings and a cousin that all accepted to go to church and are now preparing to be baptized. It's a cool family because they grew up in an orphanage and are starting their lives now and are all working together to start a new life. We coordinated for their sister to go to the relief society activity on Saturday and she went there and had so much fun that she ended up going to institute and the YSA dance before she even went to Sacrament meeting for the first time. It was great to have members that made them feel so welcome. We gave them some white shirts and ties and they all went with white shirts and ties which was super cool. 

Play Hard
We went to "Vinte-Cinco de Março" today for p-day which is one of the biggest marketplaces in Brazil. I got to buy some souveneirs that I've wanted for a little while. My companion likes to say "a vida é feita de business" which means "life is made of business" and so it was pretty funny to see him go to work on the bargains. A guy stopped us selling a watch and he worked him down from R$70 to R$30 and went away talking about how he would have been able to get him down to R$25.

It's so amazing to be able to serve full-time only worrying about helping others return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. As I've studied the last week of the savior these last few days I've learned a lot. I loved what Christ taught the apostles about how we can be united in Christ

John 17:
 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

As we take upon ourselves the name of Christ through baptism we unite ourselves with Christ in our purpose to save the whole human race. What a marvalous work to participate in. 

Have a great week peeps,

Elder DP

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Why Stop Now?

Well I kept my transfer streak going.... COMPANION NUMBER 19 HERE I COME!!

Haha this time I'm the one on the transfer bus and I'm headed to São Paulo. I'll get to serve with Elder Noleto, one of the best missionaries in the mission. I'm pretty excited but at the same time it's hard to say bye to everyone here, I thought I'd stick around for longer. I'm stoked though because I'll be in the same zone as Elder Dallto (my companion from before this last transfer). 
 Zona Barcelona! All missionaries from our zone
 ... Porque Batizar é Bom Demais
Mauro's baptism - fun fact: In portuguese
the literal translation of the word for the baptismal
clothes means "Big Monkey" 
 oh louco! 
"Pastor Mauro" was baptised this week. The first time we met him I didn't even mark to go back and visit him I thought it was so unlikely that he would be baptized. The next day he called us in the street to go back to his house and we marked his baptism. He presented himself as "Pastor" because he was a pastor a long time ago in another church. His baptism was right after Stake Conference and so there was a pretty good turnout which was cool. 

The boy in the striped suit
The young man with a suit and purple tie and shirt is a friend of ours that went to church for the first time last week. He went with a suit and everything and I thought he was a member from another ward but it turned out he had already been to church in another ward but isn't baptised and was visiting our ward for the first time. We went there this week and he had a strong desire to keep going to church and be dedicated to following Christ. I'm bummed that I won't be here for his baptism next weekend.

Well I'm pretty stoked for a new adventure in the Capital. I'll be serving in the same zone with several of my friends from the mission and so I'm pretty stoked to be there.

Recent Converts and Youth again
Have a great week!
Até já,
Elder DP

"I like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain"

Rafael is gunna get baptized

Saying Goodbye to recent converts
and other youth from the ward, 

Youth activity with Stake Conference
Service Project

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Barcelona Weekly

We had some fun happenings this week. I practically didn't work with my companion the whole week which was pretty crazy. The AP's came to our zone and did exchanges with us and with other missionaries and so we had two companionships in our area two days in a row, then with leadership counsel, exchanges with members and another exchange for baptismal interviews we basically only worked Saturday and Sunday together. At the same time lots of great things happened this week.

Reactivation Miracles
We decided to crank through the list of members to see if there were any part-member families we could work with and we had some cool sucess with that this week. We found one family that the husband isn't a member. He showed interest in the church and commited to go to church. With a simple invite the whole family went to church! During Gospel Principles the teacher challenged those in the room to commit to read daily the Book of Mormon and those who committed would receive a new Triple Combination and Bible as a present for the challenge and to our surprise (and the surprise of his wife) his hand shot up and he seemed excited for the challenge.

Other Reactivation Miracle
We taught another less-active this week that I mentioned in my email last week. He went to church just like he said he would and he brought his neighbor that loved church and accepted baptism when we passed by his house later that day. It was cool to see another example of someone bringing a friend along coming back to church.

Checklist and Check-Mate
We've got some cool new programs going on in the mission that we recieved more instructions on at Leadership Council. We have a new checklist so that our progressing investigators have daily contact either with us or with a member and so that whenever we teach them we have planned to go with a member. The other one is Check-Mate which we use to make sure that everyone that accepts a baptismal date is baptized on that day using stuff like a refrigerater magnet to remind them of the date, taking pictures beforehand of them trying on baptismal clothes and having them send out invitations to all their friends letting them know about the date. We're really excited about these new ideas. Leadership counsel was really cool.

Atividade de Zona
We played volleyball in the rain and ate some breakfast foods from Portugal and Argentina to celebrate our Elder vs.Sister competition that we used to excite the zone and reward them for having a great month in February. 

Have a great week e'rybody! 

Elder Della-Piana

ps. the pictures are from the activity, leadership council and "a pilar of light... which descended gradually until it fell upon [Sorocaba]" last Sunday. The sun hitting the rain was way cooler to see in person but the picture came out pretty cool

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Doing Work

I love being a missionary. It's hard but it's worth it. This week had its ups and downs. Lots of exchanges and interviews. Lots of miracles and lots of plans that fell through.

We started working a lot this week with less active families and some families that not all are members of the church. It was cool to be able to hear their stories and remind them of their testimonies. There was one Sunday night when we were really tired and decided to try one more street at 8:30 at night and my companion stopped in a doorway and greeted the man that was sitting there. It turned out that he was less active and had been thinking this weekend about how he wanted to be able to go back to church and was thinking about how he wished the Élders had passed by his house. He committed to go to church next sunday :)

Our mission president gave us a challenge starting this week until Easter for us to study the last week of Christ's earthly ministry using the 4 Gospels as well as Jesus the Christ and any references in the Book of Mormon. As we study he asked us to ponder three questions
      1) In His last week, how did He treat others?
      2) In his last week, how did He act before judgement, suffering and betrayal?
      3) How did he finish?

I got stoked when I saw this invite, I think it's going to not only be a fascinating study but also an inspiring experience. (I guess it's my dad's fault I became a scripture nerd...)

Have a great week! Do great things!
Elder DP