Monday, March 31, 2014

POURING CATS AND DOGS.... Or SPIDERS AND MONKEYS!


Bom Dia!!! Well this week we did a lot of things but it’s the remembering part that is hard, haha, but this was a good week!

 So there was one day that we were walking to the house of a referral and it started to POUR CATS AND DOGS.... Or SPIDERS AND MONKEYS;) We just kept working and walking between all of the slipping and sliding down the side of the mountain, we made it to their house unharmed.  Normally on days like these I get a little frustrated but this day was GREAT!!!! My comp and I had a GREAT attitude about the rain and it was just funny! The way you look at something can change EVERYTHING!!! It was great and we went to our appointment and the little girl went to church a couple weeks ago and asked her mom if she could be baptized. It was great!!! So we were able to baptize her and 2 cousins this week so that was AWESOME! 



Another day we went to a member’s house, while we were talking one of the daughters pointed out a giant spider in her house. They all know how much I love spiders there was yet another one. Needless to say I just stayed WAY back while this 21 year old girl killed a GIANT without batting an eye while I sat and watched. Wow.... I am a baby haha ;) 



Speaking of bugs, I caught a nasty bug or should I say sickness and was pretty sick for a few days. I ached everywhere!!!! A lot of the people told me that they thought that I had Dengue fever... This is some nasty virus that is brought by mosquitoes where the back of your eyes burn and you feel like you want to die. Well that was what was happening but it ended up being a different virus and NOT dengue. Mom you can stop worrying!!! Everything was alright and I am feeling better. 



We also had interviews with our mission president this week where we, after, went to the Brazilian BBQ RODIZIO!!!! ALL YOU CAN EAT MEAT!!!! That was AMAZING!!! Haha Yeah I think was a great day!! I also got my birthday package so thank you so much to the BEST MOM IN THE WORLD!!!! I also got an amazing letter from my Grandma that sang so my comps are "loving" waking up to happy birthday everyday;) haha Thanks to Nan and Bomp for my birthday email!! Also BIG shout out to my cousins Malyn, Josie, and Jonah for making me feel a little trunky with my 1 year birthday cake!!!;) haha IT WAS AWESOME!!! Thanks for all of the pictures.




Well I had something that I learned that I wanted to share but I can’t remember and so I will save that for next week’s email. But thanks for all of the prayers and everything that everyone is doing for me!!! I have the best friends and family in the world!!!



PS one more BIG shout out to the BEAUTIFUL women in Grandville, Especially sister Helen Graul!!! I was thinking about you this last week and just remembering how special you are to me and how much you mean to me! I love you Helen!!! You and all the other people who are there in the Alameada Branch!!! LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Well, until next week,



LOVE 


 ELDER STILSON!!!!!!:)






Monday, March 24, 2014

Putting Away Childish Things



1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

This was one of the first scriptures that my dad sent to me while I was in the MTC. Haha I kind of laughed at it at first because I thought that he was just joking but now that I have been out on my mission just about
1 year I can really see how important this scripture really is! Today I am 20 years old and I am learning every day "How to become a Man". A mission is one of the MOST important things that a young man can do in his life. My favorite young men’s leader and friend of mine, Pat Dover told me before I left that, "On a mission you will learn things in 2 years that you simply CAN NOT learn in 62 years of regular life". This is so true and the things that I am learning I know will really help me later in life. When I was home I didn’t have the time to study 4 hours every day.  Just STRICTLY studying scriptures and focusing on how I can teach and serve others! No matter how hard or how frustrating or how tiring all of this is, the things we learn are more valuable than anything in this world!




This week I was studying in the Book of Mormon and have been studying great missionaries, especially the sons of Mosiah. In chapter 26 of Alma we learn that they were depressed in their hearts for some time but the Lord helped them to have the strength to continue their missions.
 


This week was great! So we have been teaching 2 people for the last 2 weeks, Guilherme and Ana. Both of them were baptized this week. Guilherme is a 14 year old kid, He has an AMAZING testimony of the restored gospel!! He reads the Book of Mormon EVERY NIGHT before he can fall sleep. He loves what he is learning and he is such a funny kid! He also told us this week that he is now planning and SUPER excited about going on a mission. I will make sure he does this J  We also had Ana who was a referral from a member, Maria.   She is SUPER funny. I am so proud of her, she has COMPLETELY stopped smoking and drinking and doesn’t drink coffee any more. She completely changed her life and is so happy.

Mosiah 2:41 This is a work that NEEDS to be done. My cousin Elder Jordan Stilson sent me a letter talking about the signs of the second coming that he has noticed. The coming of our Lord is here so we MUST fortify ourselves and help those that we love to come into the fold so that we can live the 1000 years of peace and live an ETERNAL LIFE were we will have EVERLASTING happiness. Other than that we are just trying to work hard. We are still walking up and down all of the MORROS of NANUQUE. Even though I complain and hate the hills I love being a missionary and will keep working hard. I am receiving blessings spiritual and material! I love you all and miss you guys so much! Keep the faith and NEVER lose hope! Have a great day and week. Thank you all for your prayers, letters and everything else!!!


Eu te amo e sei que o Evangelho de Jesus Cristo É verdadeiro!!! Fique Firme e NUNCA olha atraz! Grande Abraço de ELDER STILSON!!!


Love, Elder Stilson

Monday, March 17, 2014

A tribute to a friend and brother!

Hey everyone, I will not be sending an update about my mission this week, instead I would rather spend this time sending a tribute to the family of a friend and brother of mine that passed away this week. Miller sealed his life serving the Lord. Thanks for understanding. Hopefully they won’t mind me sharing this letter with you.  Everyone should know what an AMAZING man Miller was!
 
To the Toa Family,

I am not sure if you remember who I am but I am Elder Xavier Stilson. I attended, played football and graduated from Layton High with Miller. Miller was one of the greatest people I know. He always had a very positive attitude and was just happy all of the time! I am serving in the Brasil, Vitória mission and was able to talk to Miller a little while we were serving in the MTC. I received a call from the mission office Friday night late telling me of his accident and passing and it really hit me hard. Miller was a great friend and brother who loved everyone and was truly loved by everyone. He was an amazing athlete; it was a privilege to play with him. Miller was always was there from me! He truly was a brother that was always at my side whenever I needed him. He was one of the most Christ-like people I know. He sealed his life serving our Lord and Savior. And now he has a bigger responsibility helping those on the other side to accept the restored gospel.  He has always been an amazing missionary. I really wish that there was something more that I could do. His death was hard for me and I can’t imagine how you all are feeling. But there is someone who is always there for us. He has a perfected plan for each and every one of us. The Plan of Salvation is probably the most valuable knowledge that I have in my life. To know that there is NO end, just a period where we are temporarily separated.  We can have him ALWAYS with us. I know in my life that I can truly feel the presence of each and every one of my past friends and family members. There are experiences that I remember with them that really help me to continue on with my life. This week I have remembered all of the things that your son has taught me. Thank you so much for everything that you have done for me through him! I have a sincere love for each and every one of you and my prayers are with you. Thank you again for everything and if there is anything that I or my family can do to help any one of you please do not hesitate to call or write! My love is always with you.

Miller, God be with you til we meet again!

Love,

Elder Stilson
 
Courtnee Wood and Miller Toa at Xavier's Farewell


Our dear American boy of Samoan and Tongan descent died on March 13, 2014 in an accident while serving in the Micronesia Guam Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He was born on December 26, 1993 in Torrance, CA to Kaiser Tuiaana Toa and Veisinia Tuakimoana.

Miller was active in the Boy Scouts of America and enjoyed football, rugby, and wrestling.  He attended Layton High School, graduating with Summa Cum Laude in 2012.  He loved the people of Chuuk where he served them as a missionary.

Miller is survived by his parents, sisters Victoria and Ilaisaane, brother Albert, niece Jocelyn, and his grandma Moevanu.

We are so thankful and appreciative of the outpouring of love from family and friends.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the Layton Stake Center, 60 Gordon Ave.  Friends may visit family for traditional singing on Friday, March 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Road and Saturday from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Zone Conference

 
Homemade Cookies!
Bom Dia! Another week has flown by. We had a zone conference this week that was awesome! So the zone conference was on Thursday. We left Wednesday night to get there in time for the next morning. Four hours of driving. We left at 11:00 Wednesday night and got there at 3:15 Thursday morning. When we got there the plan was to just wait until 6:30 at the bus stop. Instead an Elder suggested we go to the chapel to wait. So we walked and walked and walked until we found the chapel. When we got there we all fell asleep on
the most legit wooden benches you could ever imagine. Actually it was alright and nice to get some sleep. But hey!!! I got my packages!!! Thank you so much grandma for the letter that you sent with the package. It really was the best thing that I could have received! I love you guys so much and they don’t have pistachios here so that was THE BEST!!! Thank you again. AND I want to send out a HHHHUUUUUGGGGEEEEE shout out to my MISSIONARY MOMS!!! Thank you so much for my Valentines box, I loved it! Just in time for my birthday ;) But thank you so much to my Missionary Moms, Mama STILSON, LETTS, SHRIBER, WEBB, HARROP, ROBINSON, and GITTINS!!!! WE HAVE THE BEST MOMS IN THE WORLD!!! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! The Elders here are amazed at how awesome you all are. My Missionary moms are the talk of my mission.





Our popped volleyball turned into a Rugby ball
After the training we received, we played sports!!! We started out playing volleyball until someone kicked the ball and popped in on the fence with the "security spikes". haha well some of the missionaries said, “there goes the fun”. Six of us decided to do something, we started playing RUGBY.  The popped ball worked out great! It was awesome and so much fun.  We started out playing 2 hand touch... BORING so Elder Stilson changed it to WRAPPING up, yeah and after about 2 touchdowns it changed again to TACKLE!!! Haha that wasn’t the smartest but it was awesome. We had the whole zone absolutely dead the next day but it was worth it. I am still walking like an old man :)

Sunday we had 2 new investigators at church! It was great, we didn’t have to show up at their house and get them to come they showed up at the church on their own. It is so great to see people who are not just interested in the church but they really want the blessings of the gospel in their lives and are willing to do the work themselves to get it. It was awesome especially because they are 2 young men. They are great young men and we were so happy to hear that they want to be baptized. We are really excited for them and hope to baptize them this week! But that is about all that happened this week. We also learned that they have an uncle that is a member of the church.

The only other thing I want to
share is from the Gospel of John. When the first Disciples of Christ were following Him, Nathaniel was called by Philip to come and see the Master. Nathaniel asked "can anything good come out of Nazareth?" And Philips response was "Come and see". This is found in the second chapter of John. People notice that we are happy. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have a different glow. We are more happy and people have asked in their minds "is there any place that we can find peace in this world?'” In preach my gospel it says that there are people waiting to receive the restored gospel! OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES as an answer to their question "Is there any place that we can find peace in this world?" we must tell and SHOW them "COME AND SEE". We are all missionaries and there are people being prepared for EACH AND EVERYONE of us!!! Just tell them to come and see. Make an effort with their faith and they will find this peace and happiness that we have. I can testify of this and I know that the only thing we can do is to open our mouths and ask them to "COME AND SEE".  In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

I love you all very much, Can’t wait to hear from you all.                                            
Love, ELDER STILSON

 




Monday, March 3, 2014

Angels at our Baptism


Fatima's Baptism
Hi everyone, this week was really special.
I love to see the hand of God at work, it was a good week! So to start out, we had our baptism of Fátima. It was such spiritual baptism and I am privileged to have been a part of. We started the meeting singing hymn # 50 in the Portuguese hymn book! When we started singing, there was certain loudness with a reverent feeling that filled the room. The room was filled with the spirit and the feeling was something that I have NEVER felt in my life. There were Angels at our baptism! There were so many things that happened during this baptism. Until this day, February 27, 2014, I have not
remembered my baptism. But this night I remembered everything! I remember how I felt when I got into the water looking up at my Dad.  I remember looking at my Grandpa's, who were the witnesses and I remember exactly how I felt. I never thought of the significance of a baptism and how CLEAN I felt until today. But it truly was an amazing day. One I will ALWAYS remember!:) Later in the week we started to sing CHRISTMAS hymns again.... Holy cow, Brazilians love their Christmas hymns and YEAR ROUND!!! It drives me nuts at times! Haha but it is alright.

"The BIGGEST SPIDER I have ever seen!!!"
We also came in contact with the BIGGEST SPIDER I have ever seen!!! Something NO ONE wants to see!!! We were walking and it was literally the story of the Itsy bitsy spider! It rained hard one day and we are walking and we see this thing in the middle of the road.... Just look at the pictures in comparison to my foot, hand and my body!! She was a GIANT!! Ask my family how much I love spiders.... NOT AT ALL!!! It was really cool to see but I NEVER wanna see one again. Thanks HEAVENS it wasn’t in my house!!!

Other than that everything has been pretty normal. We are staying very busy teaching people. We had to stop teaching a lady we were working with because her pastor says that he doesn’t want her talking to us anymore. She has a testimony of the Book of Mormon but she has more confidence in her pastor right now. There really is nothing we can do at this point other than continue to pray for her. We left her our testimonies and asked her to pray about it but we haven’t heard back from her. It really is sad.


I just want to end my letter by sharing something that I learned while reading in John this week: In the second chapter of St. John we hear about the miracle of Christ turning water into wine. Here we see that His mother was worried because they were running low. For the longest time when I read that Jesus
called his mother "Woman" it sounded disrespectful, but while studying this it, I realized that he was showing her the utmost respect. She accepted it when He said that is wasn’t his time. She accepted his response and waited for the time having the servants wait with him. When the time came He sent the servants to get water and the governor of the wedding asked why Christ had waited to serve the best for the last. As we look at this we can learn a lot of things if we open our minds and our hearts. For example: why did we have to wait until the last days to have the Book of Mormon, these records hold the FULLNESS of the everlasting Gospel? 1) God and Christ were waiting for the right time when the hearts of men were prepared and 2) because They are saving what is the best for last due to their infinite knowledge of what is to come! I know that we have the Book of Mormon and other revelations in this day and age because they are the BEST! and because God knows the timing of everything!! I love the Lord and am trying my hardest to serve him the very best that I can. 



Thank you all for your letters and emails.  I love you all and can’t wait to hear from you again soon. 



Love,

Elder Stilson