Monday, July 28, 2014


Hey everyone!!! So this week was really good and flew by!! It seems like every week just goes faster and faster!!! It is CRAZY!!! I only have 7 months left on the mission... And this week I realized that I don’t think I am ready to come home ha ha... I tried to do what the Mission presidents have counseled us to do and that is to make goals and start thinking about what you want to do for the rest of your life.... Well the "My Goals" paper is sitting on my desk with 1 HUGE goal on it.. " #1... MAKE GOALS!!" Well I have a lot of things that I want to do but it isn’t until I can figure out what I really want to do to figure out the rest of the goals haha. Well I came to the conclusion this week that "HEY you still have time!" So I will take advantage of that.

This week was really good! For the past few weeks a little old lady, Nair, has been going to church with her son that was recently baptized but the old missionaries who had taught and had baptized the son thought that the mom was a little crazy and really didn’t have her head all the way screwed on so they never really taught her. But this week we went and visited with her and we invited her to be baptized and she accepted!!!!! She is a 75 year old lady and is super sweet! This week we are going to help her prepare for this amazing ordinance of baptism!!

We have received more changes that are happening in the mission right now. It will be really good to see the mission change! People will be more prepared now and will hopefully be able to stay strong in the church!! I am really excited to be able to really help people more! 
We are still giving the temple prep classes to Maria Fransisca which is awesome!! We also have been helping by taking the sacrament to her every Sunday that she is not able to attend church! We love this lady so much and she takes great care of the missionaries!!!! She always has food for us. She is super funny!

We have also been teaching Jéssica! The biggest problem with her is that she needs to get married first and she needs to go to church!!!! GAHHH!!!! God has given us such an amazing gift, Agency, but everyone, at one time or another, will use this gift wrongly.... And we can see that a lot! But it is such a great feeling to see the atonement work in your own life and the life of your investigators! It is amazing to see the mercy and justice of God in our lives so that we can have more and more blessings from the Father.

That is about it with the firm people we are teaching right now but we will have more this next week!!! This week, with all of the changes that the mission president has implemented, a lot of the missionaries have been against what he is trying to do. But something that I have learned this week is the WHY for everything. In life we have 3 important questions that go with every question but many people get the order of the 3 mixed up. It is WHY, HOW, and WHAT. Many times we are more worried about the WHAT than with the
WHY. If we look at a job we can think "Well this job is going to get me a lot of money" But then we forget WHY we are really doing what we are doing. The WHY should be more of a passion or a desire than something that could be an end result. In the Gospel of Jesus Christ we need to think more about the WHY. Here in our mission we can see that many of the missionaries are more worried about the NUMBER or things and what they think they will get if they get high numbers rather than WHY are we here doing what we are doing. WHY do we go on missions? Because we need to help others come unto Christ. The WHY is not baptize. That is one of the what's. I have been doing more studying about the whys and not so much of the what's just as we can see that the First Presidency, Mission President, and the Lord are looking at things. People need what we have so that they can have eternal life!!! I am grateful for the understanding  the Lord has helped me with!!  I invite all of you to try to look at the WHY more that the WHAT in our everyday lives with whatever we do!!!!:)

Elder Stilson

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Blessings We Have

It's blurry but I still think they are worth posting!
HEY EVERYONE!!!! So this week was really good! It has been a little hard finding new people but we have some good investigators but I really wish they started using their free agency correctly!!! Ha ha by the end of the week I was feeling impatient and a little annoyed with the things that people tell us. For example we have one man we are teaching who we visited with 2 days ago and asked him if he really wanted to know what Gods plan was for Him. He said yes and then we asked him if he had prayed about what we had talked about and said no not yet… he said that he was waiting for God to put people in his path so that he could receive answers and learn more about the gospel...Wait, HANG ON, what are we?? At that point I wanted to scream and him to "OPEN YOUR EARS!!" "OPEN YOUR EYES"  "OPEN YOUR HEART!!!" This man has received many blessings and knows that the church is true but is still waiting for MORE. God gives each and every one of us things to answer our prayers but we have to be ready to hear! We then calmly explained to him what he needed to do and tried to help him. I really hope that when we go there today that he has prayed and that we can at least try to help him recognize the blessings in his life. This man is really a good investigator but we need him to do what we ask so we can help more.
The only other SUPER AWESOME thing that happened this week was that Elder Rosário and I have taken over the responsibility of teaching an older lady, Maria Fransisca, the Temple Prep course. She was baptized 3 years ago but has not been able to go to church for the past 6 months because she has to watch her 90 year old mother. For the past 4 months she has been waiting for people from the ward to teach her what she needs to go to the temple but they have all fallen through. So this week we started teaching her! It was such a blessing to be able to do what we have been doing. The Holy Ghost has brought back to my memory the covenants and the teachings that we learn in the temple and I understand a little bit more every time I think about the temple. It is one of the amazing blessings that we have in our lives today. There are saving ordinances that we can be a part of that were not available before. Even with Maria Fransisca yesterday we taught her a very deep lesson about the plan of salvation where both I and Elder Rosário were able to learn about so many new great things. My studying this week has really strengthened my testimony of the temple and temple work.

Also in my studies this week something that really stood out to me was some of the parables that Christ taught. The Sower and the Mustard seed were two that I found to be able to go together! The parable of the Sower is that the sower threw his seeds into the field and some fell on the way side, where nothing can grow, on bedrock, where the seed can take root on the thin soil but cant mature, throughout the weeds, where the seed is choked by the bad roots, and then in the perfect ground. During the parable Christ never states that every type of soil cannot be prepared in different ways to where the seeds could take root. Then we can think about the mustard seed that is the smallest, which was compared to the kingdom of God, of all herbs that turned into a great tree after time. The sower, or Christ, can cast the mustard seeds (us one the the lowest creature here on the Earth that CAN turn into GREAT eternal beings) and spring up so that our branches can be safe heavens for all those who enter into the branches! Through our small faith at first we can spring up and help other people through physical and spiritual means to help get the comfort they need. The only things we need is just that SMALL faith and let it grow in our hearts until it gets to that great tree of knowledge and wisdom!!! I know that if we do these things we will receive many great blessings from our Heavenly Father!
 To end this email I have to thank my family, something I haven’t done in a while. Thanks to Great grandma and great grandpa Stilson for every sacrifice that they gave so that our family could be here today for your continued love and support. Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa and for their example and things that you guys have taught me! Grandma, learning piano has blessed my life and the life of the people here in Brasil. When they don’t have anyone who can play and I by some miracle can play the hymns! Thanks to Nan and Bomp for what they have done to bless my life. They are great examples to me. Nan taught me to think more about the eternities than just this TINY part of life here on Earth! Thanks to mom for loving me enough to let me go to another country to serve my Lord and all of the prayers and comfort that she gives. To Dad for loving me enough to help me by whatever means even if at times it was fighting but it was ALWAYS for my good!!! Through love especially getting in my face which has always helped me here! Shea for here example on being the first Sister of the family and my best friend! For Tyce and teaching me things, even if a lot of it was patience;) haha JK bro love you!! For Brinn and her loving smile and watching Spongebob with me! Tate for his example of hard work and diligence! And to all of my family, Davin, JeryLyn, Kelsie, Elder Jordan Stilson(My best friend and brother who is serving in Georgia who continues to be an amazing example to me), Brielle, Nicole, Brayden, Derek, April, Haley, Kenzie, Drayton Gracie, Ryan, Monica, Nadine, Andrew, Jason, Kristin, Brittany, Cade, Jack, Lane, Rhett, Shantel, Kade, Ryker, Makai, Maila, Kourt, Jamie, Jonah, Josie, Maylin, Baby Parks, Derek, Shaina and Kameron who have all been huge examples on what kind of missionary I need to be. Thanks to all of my friends who have always been there for me and have helped me be the person I am now. And my priesthood leaders especially Pat Dover and Chris Hall and Jason Lynn you all have been amazing examples and have helped me so much be who I am today! I love you all and can’t wait to talk to email you all again next week. GRANDE ABRAÇO!!!!!

Elder Stilson


I finally have a blanket!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Let me Take you to RIO!

HEY EVERYONE!!!!!! Well it is a new day, a new area, and a new transfer here in Missão Brasil Vitória!!! And I am now in RIO DE JANEIRO!!!! I left the state of Espirito Santo and now I am at the furthest South of my mission. It is a lot prettier than the other state but much colder!

I don’t have a lot of time, the way the LAN house works here isn’t all that great. I didn’t do hardly anything other than travel and meet with the mission President this week. Because he is so new he traveled to Rio with us to start his interviews down there. My mission president wants us to know a little more about our ancestors so I am wondering if my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even cousins if they could send me stories about any of our relatives. This would really help me out a lot and it would give you a reason to write to me ha ha. This week was the end of the World Cup. It was quite an upset and it was interesting to see to people’s reactions. I was able to watch the last game Brasil played in against the Netherlands but I ended up falling asleep. Hey, I don’t love soccer ;) haha but it’s good to say that we were able to watch a game. I have a great comp and the people that I live with are awesome. We have an amazing district! We are all excited to work and can’t wait to see the blessings that come. Thanks to everyone for all that you do for me especially all of the prayers and blessings that come to me daily. My prayers are for each of you, everyday! I love you all and hope that everything is good!!!


Elder Stilson

Monday, July 7, 2014

Well NOW things are really heating up here!!!

One of the 2014 Brazil World Cup Practice Stadiums

Hey everyone! Well it is that time of the
mission again which is.... Transfers! I am being transferred!! Usually we are transferred on Tuesday but something happened last Friday that changed that. I am sure all of you soccer fans know what that is... BRASIL HAS MADE IT TO THE SEMI FINALS IN THE WORLD CUP!!! Well NOW things are really heating up here!!! It seemed like Brasil was celebrating the 4th of July!!! There were Fireworks and loud noises. We even had people throwing fireworks that look like sticks of dynamite on our front door. The celebration was great!!! We also had a BBQ with the Relief Society President and that was awesome.
On Tuesday we had an interview with our new Mission President, David E. Young from Salt Lake UT. President Young is way cool, hilarious, and a SPIRITUAL GAINT!!! I am so excited to get to serve with this Man of God. He really is an amazing man! After meeting with him we were able to talk to Marly who finally accepted our invitation to be baptized. She was baptized on the 5 of July. It was super spiritual! Just as my friend Elder Jeremy Thacker said in one of his emails, that he remembered Christ explaining the importance of baptism to Nicodemos:"
John 3:3-5
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again , he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 

Elder Thacker says that he was touched by this 77 year old lady who was born again through the waters of Baptism just as sweet Marly, the 54 year old lady we have been teaching here. Both of them were able to be 100% clean again by excepting Christ’s invitation to "Come unto me.. [and] be perfected in HIM". Marly will now be the key to the rest of her family! She brought her daughter and one of her grandsons and they all seem to be really interested and excited in her decision. I hope that they will accept the invitation as well.

These were the highlights of the week. Every missionary will have difficulties and trials in their mission but the blessings that we find are so worth it! This morning during my personal study I studied the talk given by Elder David A. Bednar titled Converted unto the Lord. In this talk Elder Bednar talks about the difference between conversion and a testimony. Elder Bednar gives us the invitation to do all the things that the Lord has given us, to always have the Lord in our lives that way we can ALWAYS have this conversion with the Lord! He states that
“Testimony alone is not and will not be enough to protect us in the latter-day storm of darkness and evil in which we are living. Testimony is important and necessary but not sufficient to provide the spiritual strength and protection we need. Some members of the Church with testimonies have wavered and fallen away. Their spiritual knowledge and commitment did not measure up to the challenges they faced.”

I have always said that I want a testimony when I leave my mission that will never break but after reading this talk I have changed that thought to be that I want to start a conversion that will continue for the rest of my life starting with a firm foundation, being my testimony. I know that the Lord lives and that this work that I am doing is so important! I love you all and again want to thank you for all of the love and support you give to me.
Love you,
Elder Stilson

Here is the link to Elder Bednars conference talk I studied for those of you interested in reading it.