Monday, January 27, 2014


Good morning everybody. Well another 6 weeks have flown by and I am being transferred tomorrow! This transfer was really good and I am going to really miss the people in this area.
First off, this week we did NOT run into anymore problems with knifes!/;) haha Tuesday though it rained hard again which I was not really happy. My comp told me that usually Summer storms don’t last that long but with all of my experiences here in CobilĂąndia I really didn’t believe him so we left the house in flip flops. The water was to our ankles and about 15 mins later the rain stopped and we went the whole day in a white shirt tie black pants and... FLIP FLOPS! Haha oh great! But what can you do. That day we went and talked to Warlesson to make sure everything was good for his Baptism.... Well..... WE BAPTIZED HIM SATURDAY!!;) It was Awesome!

This week we really tried to find new people to teach but no one really seemed interested so we focused on the investigators we had and it was alright.

Now back to the baptism. We really wanted to make this special, he is the first person to be baptized in his family and we knew he had invited all of them to come. We were a little disappointed at the ward turn out. We were hoping to have more people come and support him in this. I really think it makes a difference when the ward steps in to help and support these newly baptized members.

We waited an hour hoping that more members would arrive but decided to begin with the 5 members who did come. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, get in contact with your ward missionaries and ask them when baptisms are and try your ABSOLUTE best to get to them! These recent converts need good friends! But with all that happened, He was finally baptized and the family was very happy. It went so well that they all want to start coming to our church! We couldn’t have asked for a better reaction.

This week I have been taking the challenge of Elder L. Tom Perry about really studying the Articles of Faith. One way I have been doing this is through James Talmages Articles of Faith. In one of the chapters about faith, Talmage talks about exactly what faith is. He says that there is a huge difference BELIEVING and having FAITH in something. If we believe in God we realize that he exists. That is the extent of belief, but faith in God is willing to do HIS will and to believe that he will do what is best for you. To believe that he will put things in your life that you need to know or that you need to learn. Faith is the ACT of believing!
We can say that we believe in God and his prophets but if we do not act on what they have said we DO NOT have faith. One thing that the prophet said is that MEMBERS AND MISSIONARIES NEED TO WORK TOGETHER. Do you believe in his words and do nothing or have you given referrals, talked to the missionaries, ASKED THEM HOW YOU CAN HELP? I have FAITH in the lord, I have FAITH in the prophet and the 12 apostles that is why I am doing all I can to harken to their voices. My challenge this week for EVERYONE is to increase your FAITH. Just as I have had to try to but it is NECESSARY! I know that God lives and I am developing faith everyday as I can! I love you all and this is a challenge for you. Read the last conference and find ways we can ALL strengthen our faith in God! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!


Elder Stilson

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wait... HUH??

Well it is the last week of another transfer and this week has gone by so fast! It seems like  just yesterday that I got to email home so that means we must have had a lot of work this week!:D It was a really good week though.

So last P-Day we went to the ConvĂȘnto da Penha again and the after that got some ice cream at a little place we like to call... MCDONALDS!!! It was really nice being able to taste a little bit of AMERICA!!!;) That was all we really did on P-Day! This week we have been focusing on four of our investigators. 
Joselene is an amazing woman! She is 32 and lost her husband 5 years ago. She has an 8 yr old son. It was really hard the first lesson because we really needed to teach the Plan of Salvation but my comp loves to teach about baptism and get them “dunked” so we started out with The Pre mortal life and then I taught the fall of Adam and Eve. After that I thought that we were going to talk about the Atonement and the 2nd lesson but my companion starts teaching about the Restoration and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.... Wait... HUH?? Haha oh dear... It kinda was an epic fail. After the 2 HOUR lesson I had to remind my companion that we needed to follow the plan because all of these concepts we are teaching are new and foreign to them. There were times I was even lost but the next time we went back we just focused on one lesson so that we didn’t lose her again. It went much better! We are so excited about her growth and hope that we can help her understand the importance of attending Church every week.
We also met with Warlesson. He went to mutual this week, helped clean the church, played soccer with the young men, and went to church again on Sunday. He is only 14 but has a great testimony about the gospel and is learning so much. He reads the Book of Mormon every night for at least 30 mins. He really studies it and loves what he is learning. We have his baptism this week on Saturday at 7pm. Please pray for him specifically!!!! His parents are letting him do this but have really questioned his decision. Even though he is prepared I feel like he could use some extra support through your payers J we are SUPER EXCITED for him!

The last couple we are teaching are the most amazing people. They are not married yet and so we have been teaching them about the importance of marriage. They are a young couple and have their struggles.

When we went to visit them only the mom was there so we were talking to her and her family outside. Soon the dad came home and he and the mom went inside and were there for about 10 mins when the dad yelled "STILSON HELP!!" Wait.... HUH?? So I ran in there to find the mom crying and holding a KNIFE. The dad had the mom pinned to the bed! Elder Freire, my companion, ran and tried to take the knife and started yelling at her but she wouldn’t give it up. I walked over and talked to her and finally was able to get her to calm down enough to drop the knife. We sat and talked for a while about how important it was that they both stop the fighting and that they NEED the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives! We then discussed the importance of marriage, baptism and having the priesthood in the home. It was kind of good that this happened when I was there, I feel like I was able to say the right things to help them both.  Now we have the dad’s Mom and Aunt helping them.

I love this area and the people we are teaching here. I kind of hope I get to stay one more transfer so that I can continue the work with them but I will do the Lords will! I love the work that I am doing even though it is hard and sometimes a little crazy! I love you all so much and I am grateful for all that you do for me. THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! Keep the faith and help the missionaries!:)



Monday, January 13, 2014

"It was something I have NEVER felt in my life"

This week was really good! I need to make a correction though. I told my mom last week that I had boils but I used the wrong word, they were blisters. Mom, those little blisters on my arm have cleared up. Now I am just working on the legs now ;)  This week was awesome! We met an Amazing family. Their names are Washington, Valdirene, Mateus, Walesson, and Ryani. They are really receptive and it has been great working with them. We have a baptism with Walesson this week! It was very spiritual as we taught and worked with him this week. We had invited him to come to church with us and so we walked a half hour to meet him. He lives in Premeiro de Maio.
My companion was a little worried that he wouldn’t come with us but when we got to his house he was waiting for us at the door!!! Right before sacrament meeting we got a call from our Zone Leader and he challenged us to talk to each of our investigators who were at church with us to pray during the passing of the sacrament and ask if this church was true. We had 6 investigators at church and so we asked everyone to do this... After the meeting I asked Walesson if he had done this and he said, “yes, it was something I have never felt before in my life" after that he said "I want to be baptized".  He is 14 years old and has a very strong testimony of the gospel. I am so grateful that we were given the counsel for this small invitation. The spirit during the sacrament was so strong. We asked all of our other investigators and they all said the same thing that it was something that they had NEVER felt before in their lives!! What an amazing blessing to know that these people want this in their lives!

We also had the baptism of Thamiris, it was awesome!! The spirit was so strong during the baptism and then I was able to be in the circle when she received the Holy Ghost. She will be an amazing missionary one day.  This week was just full of these great experiences and I really felt the Spirit especially during the end of the week. I love serving the Lord and I know that this church is true. Those of you who have fallen away "Come, Join with US!" You had a testimony at one point, it is still there! If you know of someone who has fallen away share your testimony with them! Invite them to church and to pray during the sacrament!!! You WILL feel something you have never felt before! Also do this for YOURSELF so you can feel this amazing spirit and then share it with others!! I love you all!!!


Elder Stilson

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Power of a Child's Prayer

Hi everyone, it has been another HOT week here in Brazil. Things have been really good. This week we met with some ELITE families! The first one we met with was Marcos family. They have an amazing 10 year old little girl named Thamiris. She is the first child who wants to be baptized and it is not for reasons that parents want her to be baptized. She really wants to do this for herself. We started the lesson with her and her dad. We asked if she would give the opening prayer.... The Prayer of a Child is the most amazing thing in the world! The power and spirituality of her prayer was amazing! When we closed the prayer everyone was near tears. The Spirit was so strong.  We had a great lesson with them and all of her answers were amazing!!

On Friday, we were also able to work with a member in the ward who is less active whose name is Rafael.  He is 18 and has a 2 yr old son. He wants to help the missionaries in any way he can and he loves working with us. He came to the church at 8 in the morning and helped us take care of all of the things we needed to get done. We have studied with him and it was awesome. He even helped us teach and he did a great job. He has such a strong testimony!

We spend every day walking up and down the morros and it is taking a toll on my knees and ankles but it is definitely worth it when we meet these amazing families and get the opportunity to teach their families. The pain is worth it! I also woke up the other morning with boils on my arm and elbow. I’m not sure what those are from but hopefully it is nothing.

I am sorry that this is so short, we don’t have very much time again this week but I want to thank you all for your love and support. I love you all and I can feel your prayers everyday!