Monday, November 25, 2013

Finding The Missionary In You!

Oi todo mundo! Todo bom?? Aqui em Conilândia todo é perfeito!;) Well, that is about the extent of my Portuguese. Haha, just kidding. This week has been really good and my Portuguese is getting a little better every day! I also have a goal to not have ANY of my American accent left by my one year mark. It’s hard but everyday that gets better too!

Well P-day we went to the Convento da Penha! This is a HUGE Catholic Church on top of one of the Morros here in Vila Velha! When you are on the top you can see the Third Bridge which is AWESOME!! It is the thing to see when you are in Espirito Santo! The HUGE Chocolate factory here in Vila Velha is another big tourist attraction and we are going to visit it on the 2nd of December.

This week was awesome though!!! We didn’t have any baptisms but we have 3 marked for the 7th of December! Their names are Lucas, Daniel, and Gabriel! These are 3 young kids that we met on the street. Daniel was the first that we contacted and we went back to his house and his mom was really interested in our message as well! We want her to be baptized but she smokes so that pushes her date back just a little bit. But while we were teaching Daniel and his mother, Gabriel shows up. Daniel and Gabriel are twins so it was kind of funny when he came in! But then he started to listen and really liked the message. Then Lucas came in. He is very timid and didn’t say anything the first visit but when we went back he came and sat down by himself and loved the message!!! We went back a third time and they had all read the Intro to the BOM but Lucas read up to 1 Nephi 2! When he got to the pictures he read all the descriptions as well as the scriptures!!!! He is VERY Bible smart and when we talked about everything in the bible he knew all the answers but accepted the "new" doctrine. He says that he LOVES the BOM! That is amazing!!! They are great kids and will be even better Missionaries!!!

We were supposed to have a baptism this week but it fell through because the Lady says she isn’t quite ready. We have done everything we can with her and the spirit is so strong when we teach her but Satan is working on her NONSTOP!!! It is really frustrating working with someone to the point of baptism and then have it fall through, especially when they have a testimony.  I guess this is just one of the frustrations of being a missionary. We are going to continue to work with her and I know that one day she will be baptized.
I wish we were given more time to email.  There is so much more I would like to share with you all but I am out of time. I would like to thank those of you who have written me! You really have no idea how much those letters mean to me and how some of the simple things you have said have meant the world to me. I love reading your letters and if you have time, please write a little note about how your family is doing when you send your Christmas card so I can have something to write back!!!:) AND DONT FORGET THE CHRISTMAS CARD!!!;) Haha well I love you all so much. God speed be with you!

One more quick thing, this Saturday and Sunday we had an opportunity to hear from Elder Môroni Torgan of the 70 and he talked a lot about missionary work with members! Missionary work is so hard sometimes. 90 percent of our success comes from member referrals! SOMEONE you know needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They either need a blessing or prayer or service or SOMETHING! Please share these people with the missionaries! Even if you are afraid, talk to the missionaries, they will be able to help you. We don’t want to push people away. The missionaries don’t even have to talk about the Gospel in the beginning.  Just having the opportunity to meet with them and find things that they need is the perfect way for the spirit to reach these people’s hearts. Have faith!! And if you have wavering faith as Peter did while walking on water, or the un-surety of the man who brought his son to Christ, do as they did!!! Pray to Heavenly Father and ask him for faith to be able to reach out to these friends and neighbors! I have a testimony about this! It is so hard to approach random people on the street every day.  I ask Heavenly Father to help me with my faith to be able to overcome this and talk to everyone!!! HE WILL HELP YOU just like he is helping me!!! In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Elder Stilson

Monday, November 18, 2013

H-O-T HOT!!!

Vitoria District Missionaries

HOWDY!! And BOM DIA to everyone!!! This week has been really good with a couple of bumps... First off Elder Crapo was transferred! Now it is just me and Elder M. Silva. We have to cover 2 areas now with just 2 missionaries... It’s rough because of all of the hills here haha but it is alright. We have been making a lot of progress here in Cobilândia and I love it here.

Tuesday was H-O-T HOT!!! I think it was close to 120!! Now the humidity isn’t what has been killing me! I thought it would be but it is just the stinking heat!!! We had to stop after walking for about an hour after lunch and asked a random guy for water, it was a nice house so we think the water was safe ;) (My mom will love to hear that! She reminded me over and over not to drink the water.)  While we were sitting there we got a call from the APs saying that Elder Crapo had been transferred! Well he served a good week here in Cobilândia ;)

After we took him to the bus stop we had amazing lesson with an investigator Sheila! She wants a Joseph Smith testimony experience before she is baptized though... We have tried and tried to get her understand it usually doesn’t work that way.  She finally has accepted baptism and is scheduled to be baptized this Saturday! She feels the spirit every time we visit with her but it is hard to tell someone exactly what they will feel and what their answer will be. She wants to be baptized so we are hopeful about Saturday!!

Wednesday we had a lesson with Lorival which was really good. Teaching him was very different because everything we taught he accepted!!?? WHAT?! A 71 year old catholic accepting everything?! Yeah we were a little shocked at how accepting he was about everything we taught but we now know that he truly was prepared!! He stopped drinking coffee and he was baptized this week! It was amazing and the members here have really helped him! He is an amazing man and one of my best friends here in Cobilândia!!

The rest of our time this week was mainly spent trying to get addresses! Our zone leaders have made this a new rule. We didn’t get all 35 addresses this week so we had to go out this morning and get the 8 that we were missing.  It is frustrating but we did it and I’m glad we were able to get it done.
Sevice Project
I don’t have a lot of time today but I want to thank everyone for the letters and emails. Thank you for everything that y’all have done for me!! You are the best!! JR thank you so much for that essay that you sent me! I hope you know how much that means to me and I know you said not to waste my time but I need to thank you for that! It really is going to help me!



Family Home Evening

Monday, November 11, 2013

Just Do It!

BOM DIA!!! Well I was transferred!! I am in Vilha Velha! I am in an area called Cobilândia! I absolutely love this area and the people here are great!!! The area is HUGE!!! We are in a trio as well. I’m with Elder Crapo again and Elder M. Silva
Our New District

This week was great and went by SUPER fast! I love when that happens! That means that I am working and loving what I am doing! Our area is flat except for 2 morros or hills. That is where all the houses are at. Now at first I HATED walking them, but now I love it!! They people here are amazing and so willing to accept the gospel!!

This week we had a BAPTISM!!!! Now how baptisms work here is that you have a wedding in the morning then the baptism at night ;) The man that was baptized is Iran! He is big like me and we get along great! He is just awesome!!! His wife doesn’t want to be baptized right now but we are really going to work on her testimony of the BOM!!!

We also have a new investigator named Lorival. We met him this week and he is just a great 71 yr old guy! We went and had some great lessons with him despite our ability to teach PERFECTLY in our companionship. But he was waiting for us on Sunday when we went to pick him up and he really liked church! So this Saturday we have a baptism as well!!

We have also been knocking a lot of doors this week as well. On the morros and have had some success! There are a lot of Catholics and members of the Maranata church who are very happy where they are at right now but we are working hard and I KNOW that we are going to have great success in this area!
I have really figured out why the last 2 transfers felt so slow and it was because of my ATTITUDE!!! As a missionary you can have an amazing experience during your 2 years of service or it can go by SUPER slow. If you have the attitude that you are here to teach people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and you are ready to do whatever it takes. Decide how you want things to be and then JUST DO IT!!! ONLY YOU have control on what these 2 years are going to be, NOT your companion, NOT your mission president, NOT ANYONE BUT YOU! JUST DO the Lords work and he will bless you and you will ENJOY THE JOURNEY! I remember in Jd. da Penha when we would walk I would basically just look down or in front of me and not think about anything except who do we get to talk to next... Now I am really starting to enjoy the people and what is around me and we all need to do this!

Like yesterday! I SAW FIREFLIES FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! And I wouldn’t have seen them if I wasn’t looking around and enjoying what I have been given!!!

I love you all! I hope everyone will put me on their mailing list for Christmas.  I would love to hear from everyone.

Well I love you all and JUST DO IT!!! Whatever it may be!!

Elder Stilson

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bats, Spiders and Snakes... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Hey everyone! Well, this week was HALLOWEEN!!! It was another busy week here in Brazil and yes, I really did run into bats, spiders and snakes! What a SPOOKY way to celebrate Halloween; in a foreign land with REAL creepy crawling things all around you.

Well, to start off the week we emailed on Tuesday.  It has been awesome only having to wait 6 days to email home again. I got my Halloween package and it was LEGIT!!!! We had so much fun opening it and going through all of our Halloween treats. Thanks to all of my Missionary Moms, it was AWESOME! We took a lot of pictures and were able to decorate the church with the items for our Runinão Integração!  They really don’t celebrate Halloween here so we really used and had fun with that Missionary box; it worked perfectly!!!

Our Zone Leaders are very ambitious and are always coming up with new goals for us. Now we have been challenged to talk to 30 people every day. This really is awesome to go out and meet and talk with new people but it is also difficult because we still have appointments set up to teach lessons investigators we have already met. My companion and I decided we were going to hit it hard and we spent the entire day walking and talking to people. Now for all of you who haven’t served a mission, walking all day gets really boring and makes for a very SLOW day. But it is ok and we even found a couple of people to teach.
Wednesday we were walking in one of the Praças (Like huge round about) and I looked at Elder Torres and I see something moving slowly on my shoulder...again my companion’s face goes completely white. I quickly bat off the spider, but this time it was a baby TARANTULA.  CREEPY! I was a little freaked out!!! Haha
Every night we see a bunch of bats flying around so it really does like Halloween this week!!  I have to say, it is pretty cool!!!

We had an AWESOME baptism this week. Giliard had set his baptismal date in January but had a dream that changed everything!! He stopped smoking and drinking and had been clean for a few weeks and when he had that dream and decided he needed to be baptized now. I am so grateful for that! He is also going to serve a mission and will be an amazing missionary!!!
We finally were able to meet with a lady who is really interested in hearing more about the gospel! We contacted her for the first time a few weeks ago but we were finally able to set up an appointment and were able to teach her! She accepted it really well as well as her 11 year old daughter.  She was very excited and she wants us to come back.

I was able to bare my testimony to a less active man and his non-member wife. The spirit was so strong, it was awesome! She accepted our baptism invitation and we are excited and ready for her success.
Daniel is going to be baptized the 16th of this month. He is the one that I mentioned before that now that he has turned 16 his parents are allowing him to make his own decision about being baptized. That will be a great day for him. My Mission President told me that I am going to be transferred tomorrow so I am sad that I won’t be able to be there with Daniel but I am happy that he is able to make that decision and will now have the Gospel in his life.   

Well, that was our Halloween week here in Brazil. I love you all and wish I had more time to email. I am so grateful for all my emails, Keep them coming!!! I am also grateful for all the prayers and fasts and everything that I cannot see but that I feel every day. I love you all!!!


Elder Stilson
The things you do to get a free haircut!