Monday, June 23, 2014

Through the trial of our faith

BOM DIA!!!! Hey everyone! So this week was really good!! Through all of the crazy difficulties that we have had here the last 7 weeks we were finally able to see that through the trial of our faith we were brought where we needed to be!
This week we baptized Maria Eduarda and Eliana! They were prepared before we started teaching them a few weeks ago but we were able to see them take the most important part of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is accepting baptism.  These two young sisters are amazing and they both had experiences that helped them to accept this. Maria Eduarda is a young 9 yr old girl. She had a dream after she had prayed to see if this was what she needed to do. In the dream she received a message from a dove that said "Maria, you are the key to your family" This little girl’s faith was able to help the whole family. Her mom, sister and aunt are all returning to the church and by her baptism she will be the key to her family through many more blessings such as sealing for all time and eternity in the temple of the Lord and doing the work for their ancestors. What an amazing opportunity to have the faith of such a young child and to receive such special witness! I know, due to the spirit that was in the room that day, that God had sent that message to her and they are now all going to receive many blessings.

We were also able to have a little fun with participating in the ward activity this Thursday before Eliana was baptized. We had a big Churrascão and even Cotton Candy!! I got to feel like a kid again haha J But it really was awesome and we were able to get a lot of referrals too. We are hoping for more success with these new referrals and it is great potentially have more people to teach.

I would like to share with you all some things that I learned this week in my personal study. This week I finished 3 Nephi through Mormon and these talk from the teachings of Christ in the Americas until all of the Nephite people died due to their unbelief in our Lord and Savior. We can really see that if we aren’t careful here in our times we will come to the same destruction that happened to those who came before us. I know that the Savior lives and that we need him in our lives. What a blessing to know that even though we are sinners we can become clean through the Saviors Atonement. If we just try our hardest and come unto him with a broken heart and contrite spirit. I am needed here on this mission to be able to bring souls unto Him and as Nephi of old told his father "As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us" ( 1 Nephi 3:15) no matter how hard it is I know that the lord will bless each and every one of his servants!

3 Nephi 21:9-10
For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.
 But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

I love serving the Lord and I love being a missionary serving the people of Brazil. Thank you all for the love and support you give me.

I love you all!

Elder Stilson

Monday, June 16, 2014

It Just Makes Sense

Hey everyone, well this week we had to sit at home a few days. Why? Because we are in the country of FUTEBOL! Or as the Americans call it, SOCCER! No matter where you are at in this country there is always a game going and this year at this time we have the 2014 WORLD CUP!!! We were in our house and the entire country of Brazil shook whenever the Brazilian team made a goal. Ha ha it was pretty funny and amazing to see the excitement. The Brazilians told me that "Now you know what BRAZIL is!" Ha ha I have never seen a people so obsessed with something in my life!! Yes I am obsessed with Football but these people are nuts! J ha ha It has been awesome!! Brazil won their first game 4-1 against Croácia.

I want to take a second and tell my cousin, Elder Stilson, PARABÉNS!!! Happy birthday dude!!! Love you man!!! Keep up the good work!!!

We are teaching a little girl from a less active family named Maria Eduarda (or Duda). She is 8 and is turning 9 this week. We are going to have a big party for her at her baptism. She is the sweetest little girl, she reminds me of the other little girl Thaimiris that I baptized in Cobilândia. She has a huge heart and a huge desire to do the Will of God. Her family is amazing as well!! It has been great getting to know her mom Rose and Sister, Gabi. We are having a ward activity on Thursday and then we will have the baptism after with the whole ward there. We are really excited to have their support.

This week was difficult because like I mentioned we stayed home and I would have rather been out working but time is going by so fast.  It is nuts but it is good! This week we were able to mark 2 dates as well even with all the excitement and commotion with the World Cup.

The other lady we are teaching is Eliana. She is 23 and has 2 little kids. This family is awesome! She visited the church during Christmas time when she was pregnant and stopped coming because of some difficulties she was having but she loved what she was learning. She said "This church just makes sense!" She feels good and the teachings follow the bible, we have another testament of Jesus Christ and it just makes sense. That is why I am still a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It follows the teachings and the blessings that Christ gave when he walked on the earth 2 thousand years ago. We believe that God is the same yesterday today and forever! And the things that are being taught are just that! When she said this small statement I really thought about the church and everything that we have to be grateful for!!! It is amazing! J 

Well that is all that really happened this week. Unfortunately there really isn’t much more to share. Oh, we had our last conference with President Araújo. He has been a good President and helped the mission so much. I know that he was called of God and he has done what he needed to do here in the Brasil Vitória Mission! Both President and Sister Araújo served the Lord with all their might mind and strength.

I learned a lot this week because of the time that we had to sit in our house but I left my study journal at home so I will have to leave my message next week. I love the Lord and am trying to serve him the very best that I can.  I am a man but I can do something to make the world a better place! I love you all and challenge to give a referral to your missionaries.  Hark all ye nations and hear heaven voice when President Monson told us we are all missionaries and Elder Ballard said challenged to give at least1 referral every 6 months. Pray to know who is ready to hear the message, share your testimony with them, and have a family night where you invite them with the missionaries to your house without a commitment and start planting seeds. We need all the help we can get and there are only 85 thousand missionaries for over 7 billion people in the world. "Proclaim your faith! Let your faith SHOW!" (Elder Russell M Nelson)

Elder Stilson

Monday, June 9, 2014

Things Happen for a Reason!

Hey everyone!! Well this week was better than the last. The message that President James E. Foust gave was true that "Hope is the Anchor to the soul!" Due to the hope and faith waiting diligently for the tree to bring forth good fruit, we have been able to see that some of the seeds that were planted by us as well as by other missionaries we can now help these people more with their faith in Christ

This week we have really been working with the members trying to find anyone who will accept our help. This week I can really see why I was called to serve in the Denver Colorado South mission in the Alameda branch before I can here. There are a lot of less actives in the ward and I have been able to try to use the same things that I learned in Colorado to share here in Brasil! There are so many ways that the Lord does things for a reason! If we trust in the Lord everything will be all right!:) I have found this to be true in so many ways here on the mission that I hope to take away and always use this in the rest of my life!

This week we found a lady named Rose who is a less active with her aunt and her daughter. It was so great to find this family and help them get into the fold again. With this we have also found another person to baptism! Her name is Maria Eduarda. She is such a cute little girl and super funny. Also, the boyfriend of the oldest daughter has also been listening. Both of them accepted baptism on the 21st of this month. We are so happy to be able to see them be baptized. We have also been teaching Sarash and Matheus and Marly is coming back this Wednesday so we hope to be able to see them and mark a baptismal date with them. We have been so blessed this week. Oh the mercies of God!!

This week I have also been studying the past conference, and have learned so many things. There are two talks that are short but are so good to read and they invite us to do so many things. The one by Richard G Scott and by Russell M Nelson. They both talk about how we are here to be example to those who are of and who are not of our faith. We are examples of our savior Jesus Christ and we need to let it show! We are taught about how in the Book of Mormon the Lamanites and the Nephites bonded together to defeat the Gadianton Robbers and how important that was and how we can apply that in our day. We need to bond together as THE Church of God so that we can help our Savior bring souls unto Christ. It cannot just be members or just missionaries it has to be everyone joined together. Joined together in our homes and families with family home evening, reading the scriptures and praying together building up our Zerahemla!!! Let us all work together to get the work of the Lord going. The Lord knows our difficulties and how busy we all are but WE HAVE TIME. There is always someway to find just a little bit of time. We have to have this in our lives. Without it there is no way we can defeat Satan and his army. We need the strength in the Lord as well as in ONE ANOTHER!!! We are all in this together ( No reference to high school musical;) ha ha) (3 Nephi 3). We have all been given so much. We need to be grateful in our circumstances!! (Deiter F Uchtdorf as well in this conference). 

 I know that the Lord will help us while we try. We need to rely on the Lord to help us with these things. If we ask with faith, and HAVING the faith to act on the answers we receive, the Lord will give us the answer we are looking for. Ask the Lord for one person you can share the gospel with in prayer and have the FAITH to be willing to act on that answer who ever the person may be. The Lord has prepared so many people. The field is white already to harvest, meaning that the field is WAY past ready and has fallen on the ground just waiting to be picked up and ready to be brought in.  I love you all and I love the mission that I am in. Time really is going by so fast and I am trying to make the best of every second. Preparing for the future. I love you all and thank you for the prayers and everything!!!

3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."

Elder Stilson

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Things We Learn

Package from Elder Stilson's Missionary Mom's!

Hey everyone!!! It’s another great day here in Brazil!!! The weather is getting colder but everything is going good. It has been hard trying to meet new people to teach but we only have one family that we are working with and it is going really good.  Happy birthday again to Brinners and Grandma I LOVE YOU!!! This week has been full of great things especially with what I am learning. Again I need to send a HUGE shout out to my Missionary Mama’s!!!!! I got my "Bee Box” and it was Awesome! I loved everything, especially seeing how much work each of you moms put into the box. I can tell you all work so hard to try to find different things to help us share the Gospel. I truly felt this week like the sons of Helaman!!! All of my Missionary moms sent something that they learned, we were able to listen to the counsel of our mothers to use and follow the faith of our Mothers. Where, when we go to battle we have nothing to stand in our way. Thank you so much Mama Stilson, Letts, Webb, Harrop, Gittins, Robinson, Shriber and Thacker. You are the best Mom’s any missionary could have!!! Thank you so much, I love you all!!! GRANDE ABRAÇO!!!!

So this week again has been hard finding anyone else to teach. Again there is a lot of "running away" and the little kid that answers the door tells us, "My mom said to tell you that she is not home". Finally I asked one kid where she was hiding and he said "She’s in the closet"..... GREAT ha ha ha, I thought that was pretty funny. One day we were walking on a street and were spit on again. There was a lot of rejection but it was alright. I have somehow been able to keep the faith and keep going. I know that we will find more people to teach.

We are still teaching the family of Marly with her 2 kids! The only problem is that Marly went to Bela Horizonte in Minas Gerais and won’t be back for another week.  It is good though because her daughter is still going to church. EVERYONE including Marly was surprised that her daughter would even walk on the same side of the sidewalk as a church. But it was awesome and she is making friends and really loves what she is learning. We are going to mark a date for her this week so hopefully she will accept. We are really excited for this family!!! Other than this family we have nothing else. We have                                                                                                            a fresh plate this week to fill!! 
We will find the people this week and if not… I will still be obedient and wake up at 6:30, study at 8 and work until we find someone. There is no use in wasting my time sitting. I could do that at home where there is carpet and my bed J I am going to do what I have learned, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I will share this message with whoever will listen. This week I have been studying more about the life of Christ again. I have been able to use what the missionary mom’s have sent to learn more about what I can do. I love something that President Hinckley shared in the Athens Creed, that every young man at the age of 17 took:

We will never bring disgrace on this City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice. We will fight for the ideal and sacred things of the City, both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the City's laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. We will strive increasingly to quicken the public sense of civic duty. Thus in all these ways we will transmit this City, not only less, but greater and more beautiful that is was transmitted to us.

Each of us has this mission to do, whether it is serving a mission or in our own homes in our own lives. Things happen that we don’t understand but there are so many blessings that we have. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be serving in Brazil to be a part of this great history! There are so many things here that I will truly miss so I need to take everything by what we are given!!! Even though things aren’t always the best, we want more, we need to look at the blessings which we do have! I have the gospel of Jesus Christ and this opportunity to live and breathe and share and sleep 24/7 where I can learn so many great and marvelous things pertaining to this!! And "I believe I am always divinely guided. I believe I will always take the right road. I believe God will always make a way where there is no way" (William Robert Anderson). We have so many things to be grateful for here in the world and the blessings we have are so much greater than the trials we go through! I love the lord and will try to serve him the very best that I can so that I can be noted in the Heavens as a disciple who is following in his footsteps at all times, in all things, and in all places!!! I know that my Redeemer LIVES!


Elder Stilson