June 16, 2014:
The World Cup started this week, so things down here in Brasil are getting pretty crazy. President Ferrin had all of the missionaries go to a member's home during the Brasil game because we could get hurt if we stayed out in the street and tried teach. We even have to have member's take us home afterwards, because after the Brasil game, they were lighting fireworks all over the road and cars were driving around at a million miles an hour. It has been quite the experience! Brasil won 3-1, so everyone down here is pretty happy.
After Brasil made a goal, it seemed as if the world may blow up. You could hear people screaming and that's when the fireworks began.
We had a great conference this week with the Area President, Elder Costa. Because of the World Cup, it has made travel quite difficult. We have had to take several bus rides and walk quite a ways to get to it, but once we were there, it was awesome. I have had a couple of other meetings with Elder Costa, and every single time I learn so much. He teaches how to be effective leaders and better missionaries. He is all about helping us improve.
In other news, José Valter received the Priesthood on Sunday! It was a great day! Following the ordination, we went and taught a senior couple and they really enjoyed our lesson. They already have a second lesson scheduled, so we will be going back on Thursday. I was skeptical at first, because I felt like they didn't want to hear what we had to say. I mean, who really wants to what two kids have to say? I misjudged them though, and they were extremely humble and grateful to have us.
Following that lesson, we were able to go and visit a man in our ward who is very sick. He has prostate cancer, which has spread to his bones. He and his wife are also elderly, and are quite lonely. Every single time we visit them, they cry when we leave because they love having us in their home. They have such a sweet spirit in their home. Visiting humble people like this are just one of the things I love about being a missionary.
We also had the opportunity to have a devotional at Jose's house. But this week it was incredibly touching because they did the lesson, song, and prayer all by themselves. They are such a strong family and I have loved watching them grow. They are looking to get sealed in the temple a year from now.
June 9, 2014:
Well it was a very busy week. We had the opportunity to teach so many different people. I also was assigned to give a talk in our Stake Conference as well. The Priesthood session was really good, our stake president gave a powerful message. Then during the regular session of stake conference, the building filled up completely. There were seriously so many people there. I was very nervous, because I was the only non-Brazilian speaking. My talk was on the importance of every member being a missionary regardless of your calling. I also talked about the importance of working together as missionaries and members. I hope it went well.
On Sunday, we had another session of conference which was broadcast to all of the buildings. Elder Scott and Elder Ballard spoke. Elder Scott spoke about the importance of prayer and how it is essential to us in our everyday battles. Elder Ballard spoke about the use of technology and how we can use it to spread the Gospel, while also avoiding temptation online. It was amazing to hear Apostles of the Lord speak directly to us here in Brasil.
Following conference, we were walking to an appointment when I had a feeling we needed to visit an elder couple. We stopped by and the husband has serious health problems. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and it is now spreading. We left a message with them as we were leaving, and the wife started to cry. I sure love being a missionary.
I am praying for you always.
I love you all so much!