Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sao Paulo Temple and Dessert Activity

Sao Paulo Temple with my companion Elder Caldas
Well we're headed into the last week of the transfer but it's pretty much a done deal that I'll stay here with Elder Caldas and break my transfers streak of being transferred every time. It has been a great few weeks, we've been really blessed in this area. The Lord is truly hastening his work.

Sao Paulo Temple: My comp; companionship that lives
with us; Elder Faimalo (a samoan from Texas)
and Elder Friedrich (a Brazilian from Rio Grande do Sul)
Lunch with President after the temple
So I got to go the the São Paulo temple this week for the first time. It is a really beautiful place. It was cool to be there in a temple that is in the middle of such a huge city and go into a place that is so calm and quiet. It was fun as well because our zone got to go to an all-you-

The Desserts
can-eat Brazilian barbecue after with President because we won the competition last month between the Zones. Needless to say, 14 Elders just about made the place go broke haha. I also drank root beer for the first time in a year and a half because we found a place that sells it close by the temple.
"Do you love your neighbor?"
Dessert Activity
Well I think I mentioned last transfer a ward activity we put on in my other ward with a ton of desserts and such. It was so much fun that we decided to throw the same party here in this ward. It was a huge hit. It started off slow because everybody got there late but we played "Do you love your neighbor?" and everybody had a riot and then ate way to many desserts. We had the visitors be the judges and it was cool because they didn't know beforehand but they totally had the style to be judges on a tv show or something. It was a riot.

Isabel's baptism
This week Isabel was baptized and it was really cool (as always). Several of her daughters and grand daughters  went to support her. Her story is really special. She prayed a few weeks ago so that God would show her a path for her to follow and the next day she prayed again so that he would send an angel to guide her. Just a little while later we knocked on her door and she let us in very willingly. When we taught her about the Spirit and asked her when she had felt that way in her life she said "I felt it when my children were born, when God was by my side when my Husband went through cancer and I feel it right now, I know that God sent you guys here because I asked him to." It was truly a humbling experience. It was also an answer to our prayers because when we got here to open up the area we set some high goals and we had a special dedicatory prayer to accomplish those goals. In that prayer we asked the Lord to send angels to prepare the hearts of the people to receive us and our message and to give them clear answers to their prayers. There are truly many people in the whole world that are who "are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it" (D&C 123:12)

Well as always, it was another great week to be a missionary. We played (American) Football today as well with some other companionships that live close to us at a turf field in front of their house which was a good time. It was quite the riot teaching the Brazilians all the rules but we had a goot time. It had been a long time since the last time I had "Turf Burn" but it feels good.
Have a great week!
See you soon!
Elder DP

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!!!

The new area from the Bishop's place
What a blessing to be able to talk to the Family yesterday! It's crazy to think that next time I see them it will be in person!

We had an amazing week this week. Really full of miracles!!

Adriana, Ana and Pedro
Adriana, Ana and Pedro
This awesome family was baptized this weekend and is seriously one of the most prepared families I know to meet the gospel. They were the first Family that Elder Caldas taught on his mission. We arrived here in the area and went to a member's home the first night and Pedro was there playing with the other boys. The member said that Pedro had already been to church and so we asked him to take us to teach his family. We got there and his mom had had an amazing spiritual experience the day before and was looking for the path the Lord wanted her to follow and they readily accepted baptism. Later we found out that her mom was a member of the church before she passed away. It's amazing how the Lord prepares people.

Elder DP making pancakes for the zone.
We also had zone conference this week and focused on helping people solve their problems. Sister Farnes made Lion House bread rolls and so that was a huge highlight.

Hope everybody has a great week!!

Elder DP

Monday, May 11, 2015

Wattap Brasilândia!!

So my new companion is Elder Caldas from Fortaleza, Ceará in northeastern Brazil. He comes from a great family and was a professional "HandBall" champion before the mission. I didn't really know what handball was when he said it but it sounds like basketball but throwing the ball at a goal instead of shooting it at a hoop. We're both really excited and we have some high goals for the next 10 weeks.

Irmão Djalmo - helped us a TON this weekend 
- completely willing to give us rides for 
everything that we needed.

Opening an area is always a crazy experience. You may recall the last time I opened an area our bishop had to go pick us up because they burned the bus we were supposed to catch. This time the member from another ward that was supposed to take our bags home took off without us and without our bags. Luckily the area is close and I'd already dropped off my bags before transfers with a member from my last ward but we had to catch a ride with members headed in a different direction to get close enough to the area for our ward mission leader to go pick us up haha, welcome to the mission greenie!

General Authorities fo' dayz!
So this week we had two great conferences with general authorities. The first was Friday when we had a mission conference with our mission and the São Paulo East mission with Elder Aidukaitis of the Area Presidency and Elder L. Whitney Cleyton of the Presidency of the Seventy. They shared an amazing conference and we all learned a ton. As always we talked about Baptism, conversion teaching and all that great stuff. He also said that the sisters need to stop being so hard on themselves and that we elders need to be harder on ourselves and expect more! I came away wanting to do everything possible to lengthen my stride and hasten the work.
Reginalda's baptism!
Two of the first converts of the church in São Paulo
- leaders in the São Paulo north stake for years.

We also had a special stake conference with Bishop Gerald Caussé and our mission president just for our stake. It was kind of crazy because my companion and I barely know the path to our ward building and much less how to get to the Stake Center but luckily everything worked out for us and our investigators to make it there safely. Bishop Caussé talked a bunch about the importance of families and basing our families in the principles of the gospel.
We had some AMAZING miracles this week and this was one of the best of all. Reginalda is an amazing woman that has gone through some challenges the last few years. When we knocked on her door this week she said that she was pondering and feeling really down. She had already visited the church a little while back and she was touched by the message of the restored gospel. This Sunday she was baptized after the conference with Bishop Caussé. It was amazing to me to see how humbly and anxiously she accepted the invitation to follow the example of Christ and it inspired me to follow more humbly the Lord's plan in my life. She is already becoming a great missionary and is giving us referrals for us to visit her family and talks about bringing them to church as well!
Well it was a great week and we're super excited here. I think that's one of the biggest secrets to missionary work is staying excited to keep focused and working hard.
Have a great week everybody!
Elder DP


Sunday, May 3, 2015



And the streek continues! Companion number twenty will be........ A GREENIE

That's right, good bye Parada Pinto, hello Brasilândia! Tomorrow afternoon I'll be heading to open a new area with a brand new Elder straight from the MTC! I'll find out tomorrow who it will be. It was a great transfer here with tons of miracles, I'll miss this area, I'm glad I got to come here for my last transfer as ZL.

Pablo and Samuel

Pablo is a great young man that's going to be an excelent missionary. A few weeks ago he brought his Cousin to church and this weekend he got to baptize him! It was cool to see how well he followed up with him, bringing him to activities, reading the book of mormon with him and doing everything possible so that he could be baptized. At first his mom was hesitente to let him be baptized but when we finally got to sit down with her she said that he was so insistant to be baptized that she couldn't keep him from making a good decision to follow God.

Mahari and Family
Mahari was a referral that we got from the Church's site that turned out to be super receptive to the gospel and was baptized this week along with her boyfriends daughter. It was really impressive in the very first visit that we went there she already made the decision to be baptized. She has a very strong desire to start to live a new, clean life. One of the daughters was actually baptized last week but put the white clothes on again to take a picture with her sister as can be seen in the fotos below hahaha

Being a missionary is an interesting experience because we get thrown around so much from ward to ward. It was crazy to make so many new friends and aquaintences in only 6 weeks! It's funny to think that there are just as many great people waiting for me in the next area, both member and non-member that I will be able to work with and bless.

Have a great week everybody!
Um abraço!
Elder DP

We got rained on at the fair when we '
went to buy fruits
 Our Relief Society President's Family whose
 sister lives in the Georgetown ward. Small world.

São Paulo North Zone - Our zone was stacked this transfer
with experienced missionaries, every companionship had
a leadership position - either training, District Leader,
Zone Leader, Sister Training Leader,
Mission Secretary or AP

I tried to hide that I was taking a picture
of this guy while he cut a "Jaca"
which is that huge fruit. It's really good.

This guy wanted me to translate a song he wrote
 and offered to give me a part of the winnings
 when he wins the Grammy Awards .
What a pain I'm getting transferred.