Monday, May 26, 2014


HELLLLO!! Hey everyone, I hope you all are doing good. Well it’s another transfer and I am staying in Cariacica. There must be someone that I have yet to touch here. This area is a little rough but this week was pretty good. I have a funny story to share with you all but first off I have to give a HUGE Birthday shout out to the best little sister in the world, BRINNERS!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!:D And also to the best Grandma, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I can’t be there to celebrate it with you guys but I sure love you and next year I will be there to party!!!

This is an earlier pic but is shows a similar shower head!
 Well this week as been CHIILLY!!! haha its been in the 60’s or 70’s or something but to me this is COLD! Haha I am going to DIE when I get home!!! Actually it has been really good weather. It’s nice because it’s not blazin hot and it’s not freezing so I will count my blessings.  Ok so to my funny story. This week I was showering and I’m a little too tall for these Brazilian showers. As I go to rinse off, my head hits the shower head and somehow I end up getting stuck in between the shower wall and the shower head. Now normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but in Brazil they have these little electric heaters that attach to the shower head. Now I’m not sure what brilliant person decided to attach an electrical device in a shower but let me tell you it shocked the crap out of me and this isn’t the first time it’s happened!!! Wow that feeling really sucks!!! The only way I got out was because my legs finally gave out and I started to fall. Luckily I caught myself from falling completely. Ya, I thought you all would enjoy that story. It was pretty funny though.

                                                                      This week we were able to serve one of the families we are teaching. I have such a great testimony of how service really helps with missionary work. A few weeks ago we met a lady named Marly. Sadly her husband passed away a little while ago and she had questions about what she needs to do in this life to be able to see her husband again and what else she needs to know about the world to come. We have been teaching her these past few weeks and have even gotten her family to participate as well. We were so excited that Marly and her 2 kids went to church yesterday.  Early in the week Marly told us that she needed to get some things moved into a dumpster to get ready for a new sidewalk.  Saturday morning we were able to go over and help her move a ton of broken concrete into the dumpster for her. We worked with her son who is awesome. It was amazing how that little act of service opened a door and now we have been able to teach the whole family.  We are going to do what we can to help them get baptized and hopefully the 2 kids on missions. It was great because if you help Brazilians they love to pay you back with tons of really good food. We had pizzas and Açai (ice cream) so many other things I can’t even think of them all.

We also found an amazing less active family that is awesome. The 16 year old son goes to church by himself but we are working with the rest of the family to see if we can get them to come back to church. They are a really cool family and I was super happy that we were able to get in contact with them.

But that is about it for the week, I can remember much else. We are working our hardest to get new people and that is our goal again this week. Please pray for the people in Cariacica and also that we might find new investigators to teach. I know I am here for a reason; I just need to find them. This work is true and I will try my best to serve the Lord my very best. If this area is just for me to learn things for myself then let it be! "Not my will but thine be done"

I know that my redeemer lives and loves me and will do what is best for me!!! I KNOW THIS! I know the power of the Atonement and the blessings from it! Our faith in Christ will save us if we use this Faith to bring forth works which is ESSENTIAL in our heavenly fathers plan!

Love you all!!!

Até segunda! 
Elder Stilson

Monday, May 19, 2014

Draw Near To The Savior


Good morning family and friends, I sure love you all!!! Thanks for all of the comforting emails and help that you all have given me!:) You guys are the best!!! I got an awesome quote from my Nan that really helped me out this week "When pain, tests, and trails come in our life, draw near to the Savior. "Wait upon the Lord...look for Him' (Isaiah 8:17; 2 Nephi 18:17) "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint' (Isaiah 40:31) Healing comes in the Lord's time and the Lord's way; be patient."  I believe as we put our faith in the Lord, we need to endure our suffering or trails day by day. In the Liberty Jail the Prophet Joseph Smith struggled with his pain of feeling forgotten and isolated from the Lord. The Lord said "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;  "And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."


I read this on Monday and studied it Tuesday morning for my Personal study. It really is hard to do this but it is possible. Monday night we lost our ONLY investigator that we had. His name is Kevin. He has a HUGE testimony of the Book of Mormon but he decided to go to another church because he said that the parties were more appealing. It was really hard to see him progress so much and work so hard to then make this decision and not want us to come by any more. Tuesday mornings is when we have our weekly planning
session. It was really hard for me to see that we had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to plan for. I sat flipping through my planner over and over and over again. Looking at the pages of the area book I felt lost and frustrated. We have worked so hard to find people to teach but there was nothing there. We left lunch on Tuesday and talked to anyone we saw, bearing our testimony, trying to get a day that we could teach. We got into a few homes to give a prayer but there was no one who wanted us to come back. It was about 6 and we needed to find someone. My
patience and faith was running thin. We talked to easily 20 people in less than 5 mins and everyone was too busy or already had their religion or just didn’t want to stop and talk to us. We got a call from our DL and he asked how the day was going and I got more frustrated. I was ready to throw in the towel and go home, I was done. I then remembered the quote. "Look upon the Lord". In the middle of the road I prayed with all my heart. My companion and I were saying our own prayers asking God to put someone, anyone in our path. Not 15 seconds later we asked a lady for help and you won’t believe it but guess who accepted our message. Both she and her 8 year old son have baptismal dates for the 31st of May. We met other people as well which made this week go by so much better! The Lord really has blessed me and my companion to find those who are prepared.                                                                                    

We are teaching a lady named Marli who was not doing so well and I was able to give her a blessing of Health. It was the first blessing that I have ever said "Be cured"... With her unwavering faith this lady was cured of all infirmities. It was amazing!

What I have learned here on the mission is that at times, as my Aunt Kristen emailed me today, "SATAN SUCKS!!". There are times that we are allowed to be tempted to see what our reaction will be, to see what the consequences are going to be whether they are good or bad. If I would have not exercised my faith and put my trust in the Lord I don’t know what would have happened this week. I KNOW that we would not have had the success that we are having now. God allows Satan to tempt us but it is NEVER more than we can handle! God WILL provide if we just look and lean upon him! Just as this Poem:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
             Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
                       Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
                           other times there were one set of footprints.

                                  This bothered me because I noticed
                                that during the low periods of my life,
                             when I was suffering from
                         anguish, sorrow or defeat,
                     I could see only one set of footprints.

          So I said to the Lord,
      "You promised me Lord,
         that if I followed you,
             you would walk with me always.
                   But I have noticed that during
                          the most trying periods of my life
                                 there have only been one
                                       set of footprints in the sand.
                                           Why, when I needed you most,
                                          you have not been there for me?"

                                 The Lord replied,
                          "The times when you have
                  seen only one set of footprints,
          is when I carried you."
                                                   Mary Stevenson

I know that the Lord lives and will always do what is best for us!!

In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.


These are photos of Xavier's house with the sewer canal running right in his back yard...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Hello everyone, I want to start by sending out a HUGE shout out to the best mom in the world, my mom!!!!!!!! She is the most wonderful lady that I have met in my life. She is the absolute best thing in the world!!!
I LOVE YOU MOM!!! I never imagined that I would cry and miss her as much as I did yesterday. It was SUPER hard but now I have the energy to keep working hard and here in the next few months I can talk to her again. I can’t wait for Christmas!!! I also had the privilege to talk to my Nan and my Grammy. They are the best grandmas in the world. They both do so much for me. I want to just say thank you both so much for all that you do!!! I hope you know how much I love both of you!!! I also have many other moms in my life that I have to give a shout out too as well. I have the most Amazing Aunts that have always been there to help me and love me, especially my Aunt Jerilyn and Aunt Jamie. Thanks for always being so good to me I love you all so much! To my Mama Valerio, I love you so much.  You are the best and I miss you so much. Love you mama V!!!  Then to my Missionary Mamas, I wish I could express how much my packages mean to me. Everything that you guys do and send means so much even down to the little pieces of candy. It is the best thing in the world and more than I could ever wish for. You ladies really are the best and mean so much to me!!! You never really think about how much your mom and the other ladies that have impacted you in your life mean to you until you are away from them but then you really see what blessings they are in your life!!! I love you all so much, Thanks again to all of you and for everything you have done for me.

This week one of our lunches fell through so we decided to make lunch Mexican style. We made tacos and everything to go with it including the lime and cilantro rice. The best part was that we made my Aunt Monica's Guacamole. It isn’t quite the same without the Jalapenos but it was still great. That was really all that happened this week that was exciting. We have met a few new people and were able to meet with them but it is hard trying to get back to their homes. People are busy or have their excuses. We have prayed that we will meet someone who is more ready to hear our message. We will continue to work hard and search to find people to teach.

If you are interested, I have been thinking a lot about a message that has really touched me. You can pull it up on youtube. It’s a video called "Missionary Work and the Atonement". It reminds me a little about my week. This week I was spit upon, cast out and made a hiss and a byword by other churches. It really made me think about my Savior Jesus Christ and what he went through. The feeling he must have had as people persecuted him. I pray that
as I follow in his footsteps that I can become more like him. I truly feel like I am standing shoulder to shoulder with the best man that has ever walked this earth. I have learned so many things in this short year. I am trying my hardest to be more like Him! I know that this church is true and that everything that I am doing here is to help others but to also understand the real meaning of the Atonement for myself. I know that things are hard in life and at times things don’t always go the way that we want them to but as I said last week I am trying my hardest to be the best that I can be. To do whatever here in the Cariacica ward that I can, to have a good attitude and to keep the faith and the hope to know that God WILL Deliver!!!

I love you all so much and want to thank all of you for your continued love and support. I love being a missionary!!! I feel your prayers every day. I can’t wait to hear from you again soon.


Elder Stilson

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's Like Disneyland Everyday!

Hi everyone, I am here is good ol' Cariacica!! It’s a huge city and I have to say, it’s not the prettiest city I have ever been to. Haha I don’t think I would NEVER live here!!! It is a place that has a lot of money but everything is old and rundown. I am still in areas that are FULL of HUGE morros (hills). I think that there are more MORROS here than in Nanuque!!! It is not fun walking this much haha but it is alright! My area here in Cariacica is absolutely GIGANTIC!!!!

This is what we do everyday...

6:30 wake up and exercise and get ready for the day

8:00 Study

10:30 Leave the house and take a bus to the terminal and find another bus that will HOPEFULLY take us RELATIVELY close to our lunch appointment

12:30 - 1:00 show up at lunch (The goal here is to actually make it to the lunch appointment and not miss or take the wrong bus ha ha)

1:30 - 2:00 leave lunch and take another bus back to the terminal

3:00 take a bus from the terminal to our area... (PS me and my comp are new to the area so it is a lot of “take a shot” and hope to get there haha;)

3:30 - 4:00 get and start working

8:00 Start walking home and make contacts because you WILL get lost!

Yeah, that is pretty much how every day is out here. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you the most exciting part. The bus drivers here have 2 buttons on the bus that say:  "STOP" and "GO". When you are on the bus, well for me at least, you feel like you are riding the Disneyland INDIANA JONES ride. With all of the bumps and hills and everything it is Disneyland everyday haha it is pretty exciting I guess.
This week was good. We have walked and rode buses and walked some more! It was a lot of work trying to find people to teach because the last Elders didn’t record much in the area book. It is really hard especially because our area is so big and we are basically opening another area.  We are working hard and we have found a few people who we are working with and are going to be great investigators. We met one lady, Cleide, who was born and raised in the Catholic Church but she really doesn’t know if it is the "Caminho certo" (right way/path). So when we got there she was really interested and she has ALREADY been praying to know which path is right for her! We taught the first lesson and she was really receptive!

I love a quote that my Nan sent me that has really helped me lately but it goes something like this "I am just a man and I know I can’t do everything. But being a man, I know I can do something. So as a man I will do the one thing that I can do."  I know that there are things going on that I can’t change and I can’t change things that have happened in the past. But being a man, I can change who "I AM". I am grateful that I only have to worry about changing and making myself better. You just can’t worry about other things. My cousin Kameron also sent me a quote from Jeffery R. Holland that talks about how if I want to change something, the first thing I need to do is work harder on me; to better myself and then be an example.  Thank you all for sending letters and emails especially the thoughts and quotes that have helped me when I have needed them most.

I love you all!!!

Elder Stilson:)