Monday, September 29, 2014

Hey everyone, so I don't have a lot of time today and my time is already almost up. Sorry this isn't longer. We are super excited about the baptism we had of Coutinho. He is awesome!! He has gone to meetings in other church buildings about family history which we will help him prepare for his baptism and he has marked a family home evening this week with everyone in the church and a lot of his friends! I am so excited for him. He has sacrificed so much to be baptized. This week  Elders Bean and Alarcon also baptized Isabela. We are super excited for both of these new members. Both of them have the faith to do whatever the Lord asks them to do. I know that the power of the priesthood is real and it is such an amazing blessing. It is here to bless all the children of our Father in Heaven. We, as priesthood holders, need to ALWAYS be ready to be worthy and in tune with the spirit to use this power to give blessings when they are needed. It is such a great an honor to use it. I love serving our Savior Jesus Christ!!! I need everyone to know that I have a testimony and have gone through an amazing conversion process that everyone can have! I know that my Savior lives and LOVES me. I love you all and will send more next week.
Elder Stilson!!:)


Monday, September 22, 2014

Flecks of Gold

Hey everyone, this week the Lord has again just piled up blessings to where I don't have enough space to receive them all!!! I know that a lot of this is due to my Sister serving in Spain!!! Super excited for her and I love her to death!!! But this week was great. First off I made it through the week without slitting open my head. I know that my family is happy about that but this week started out with another member calling us and telling us that he has a friend that wants to take the missionary lessons. We went there and it was kind of funny, he said he is related to that "awesome family of 6" that we met the other week. Well, turns out that they really aren't and that we are not going to go back to the house. It is very dangerous because they are all tied up in Drug Traffic and making pornographic videos. We are getting out of that craziness haha But anyway back to a perfect investigator!!

This investigator has been prepared for a long time, long before we met him. He is awesome!! He came in contact with the Book of Mormon many years ago and last year he went to a Stake conference and absolutely loved it. now that he has separated from his "wife" (never legally married) he is now able to allow the missionaries come into his home. He knows everything! He is studying, repenting, and getting out of the way of temptation. He is one man who really wants to be converted unto the Lord! Yesterday at church he picked up the tithing slips and got it ready so that next week he can pay tithing. He also put himself on the Missionary Lunch calendar. He is awesome and we are really excited to work with him.

We also had our Zone Conference with President Young on Thursday which was amazing! He is changing a lot of things in the mission. He is trying to help us see that there is more to our purpose than to just baptizing. He explained the Gospel of Jesus Christ as is explained in 3 Nephi 27. There are many truths that are explained clearly that the people who are preparing to be baptized need to know before and after they enter the waters of baptism. Through his training we saw the importance of this more clearly and are excited to start using these changes for the better.

President also taught us to not over look the little flecks of gold that are in our area that are waiting to be collected! I know how true this is but there are some that are so worried about the nuggets they miss the amazing flecks that can be collected and be of SO MUCH WORTH!!! Just as a prospector looks for flecks and Nuggets that is what we need to do. Elder Morgan emailed today talking about how he is serving many people. What a blessing it is to see that he is collecting those flecks. He will gain the trust of the members and also help the lost sheep come back into the fold of God. Elder Freire and I have been better at looking for those tiny moments to serve as well. Last night the lights went out in the city. We heard a little old lady crying. She needed help with getting into her house. We were so blessed to find someone who needed our help so we could show our example of being servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I know that the Savior Lives. I  know that the Book of Mormon is TRUE. READ IT, look for the blessings and promises that it contains. I know was written by Prophets of God.

I LOVE YOU ALL, I can't wait to talk to you guys and see you all again but for now I am focused on the work.
Elder Stilson

Monday, September 15, 2014

I have not abandoned you!

Mom, I need to tell you something but don't freak out...
Hey everyone, first off..... WE NOW HAVE 2 ELDER STILSON'S in the mission field and our FIRST EVER SISTER STILSON!!!! My little sister was set apart to be a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last night. I am so proud of her!!! I also heard that my little cousin Drayten was baptized on Saturday, Congrats little dude!!! I am so proud of you Dray, keep up the good work!!! Holy cow I didn't even know that he was turning 8. But what an amazing experience. So many things are happening at home right now. I am so proud of my amazing family!!!

This week was alright. I kind of freaked out my mom this morning but it is ok!;)
  • LAST email From Mom... "Hey have a great week and don't do anything stupid!!"
  • A few hours later... I ended up with 3 stitches in my head and it wasn't until after I got back from the Dr that I remembered that she had sent that... oops:/
So long story short, I did a pull up and the bar I was using came off. I knocked the back of my head on the cement that was behind me and split open my head. Yeah that was stupid but not my fault! Haha, it wasn't really funny. But everything is good now. I will take them out here on Wednesday, no biggy;)
The rest of the week was kind of slow. We did get in contact with the lady who has the referalls but the family hasn't had time so we are going to work hard to get in contact with them this week. We are excited to teach them. Tuesday Elder Thomas was transferred and Elder Bean came in.  He has been out for 14 months but just got his visa to Brasil. And he already speaks `Portuguese like a BOSS, The gift of tongues is real!!!!!!!
This week we also tried to get in contact with that family of 6 but they don't want to change their religion because the church is further away from their house. It is so frustrating and we don't know how else we can help them. We will keep working with them and try to get them back into the fold. We are just trying to help anyone who will open their door but that is very few. We are working really hard and trying to work with the members but it is hard! But this week I have done a few more fasts (which is easy when your money starts running out and you don't have a ton of food in the house hahaha, just kidding) and I was getting kind of bumbed out... We have tried to stay focused and positive but it has just been so frustrating.  My comp asked me what we were going to do on Saturday but he himself was getting frustrated because I had run out of ideas and he didn't have anything either. I explained to him that I had been fasting and I was lost and didn't know what else to do. The next day we walked over 5 miles just tracting. There was nothing. It is Saturday in Center where everything is just running around. I just kept praying to teach anyone! Then we sat for 5 
Elder & Herman Stilson
mins to just rest and figure out what we were going do next and I said a pray "Father I need help! I don't know what to do. PLEASE help us find someone to serve, or teach, or even just pray with. I NEED YOUR HELP!" After I said the prayer we started walking again and the first road we found an old man and helped him take a closet up to his house. We were able to sit and teach him and we ended with a prayer. It was everything that I had prayed for!!! Then the still small voice of the Holy Ghost whispered to me " I have not abandoned you" I know that the Lord knows what we want and what will be the best! I don't understand why we can't get people to church and don't have more people progressing but I know that if I keep doing what is right with a good attitude and trying to be the best that I can he will do what is best for me. I KNOW HE WILL!!! We just cannot jump off the boat when the storm comes as what the Lord taught in Mark 4 when he and the apostles were crossing the Sea of Galalee. I know that my redeemer lives!!!! I am so happy that the Lord has the trust in me to help people learn the gospel! This is something that I know and that Hermana Stilson will learn when she gets to Spain. I love you all and thank you for everything that you do!!! Keep a good attitude and serve the Lord the VERY BEST YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you all!!

Elder Stilson

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Miracles of Fasting!

Our District!
Hey everyone!!! So this week was alright, really slow but it was alright.  Haha we have a lot of new ideas to get more investigators so we hope they work. This week again we went to Quissamã and got to do more baptismal interviews. YAY for Sister Benítez and Sister Montenegro!!! They are working super hard and have 3 people they are going to be baptized here in the next 2 weeks. Also, Elder Alarcon and Elder Thomas had 7 people at church which was super legit!!! We are working really hard with these people so that is great too. 
This week we did LOTS of tracting and contacting but didn't really get anything out of it... but we did find the blessing of diligence.  On Thursday we met a family who is absolutely amazing!!!! There are 6 people in the family and they accepted everything we taught them. They understood everything and they even accepted baptism!! We are really excited for them but they didn't go to church this week which was a little bit sad, GAHHH. The 17 year old kid went to the beach and the rest of the family went to the Catholic church. Oh well, they will go next week. They are all super legit!!!
It is a little frustrating that we have not had more to do these past few weeks. Honestly we are doing a lot of walking and very little teaching which is hard for me. Yesterday I fasted and prayed that we could have more people to teach. Today as we were walking to email, there was a member who passed by and stopped really fast and said that we need to go to her house tomorrow to meet some new investigators. WHAT A HUGE BLESSING FROM THE LORD!!!! It was honestly a giant
miracle!! I know that if we fast for things, the Lord gives what is needed. I have seen this so many times but most recently when I fasted for Tyce and for Gary. They are proof to me that prayers are heard and are answered. I was on the other end of a fast when I started my mission here in Brasil. I know that it was because of the fasting and prayers from all of you that I was able to stay in Brasil to learn all of the great and amazing things. I know that fasting works!!! Well, I've gotta go, I love you all and can't wait to hear from you guys next week.
Elder Stilson!!!!:)

Before personal study...
After personal study!!!

 Elder Thomas, The Cereal King!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Never Back Down

Hey Everyone, I hope you all are doing good. This week was alright, we had some amazing things happen. At the beginning it was a little slow and we didn't have much to do. We had interviews with President Young on Thursday which was really good. But 4 other Elders had to stay at our house for 2 days so that was a little crazy ha ha but it was good. We did divisions with the 2 districts and got a lot of work done but not many results. Friday we had a Zone meeting and the zone leaders talked about the importance of Faith, Attitude and also Diligence it was a good training but took forever to start and went way over the time. We had to run home and grab a box of Book of Mormons and get to the Bus station to take a bus to a city called Quissamã which is where the Sisters work in my district. We had to go there to do some baptismal interviews. YAY! It was an amazing experience! To see the desire of people to follow the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is amazing!!! It is awesome to hear the different stories and answers that people have. I will send the pictures of Sarah baptism on Saturday this next week. We are all really excited for her.
We had kind of a rough day on Saturday... We had a huge mindset that we would have people in church this week. We left and worked our butts off inviting everyone trying our hardest but there wasn't much that this gave. We will NOT give up or give in to this dissemination but we will work harder this week. The last thing we did was knock on a door of a lady had marked with us to meet with her and her daughters. Well, we knock on the door and a man answers. We tell him that we are missionaries and that we have a message to share with the whole family. He says "Yes, I have heard it before but its better if you don't come back. We already know the Word of God" and then kind of went off and tried to kill everything that we are and everything that I am defending here on the mission. Long story short, due to the fact of time which I don't have, the man was very ignorant and thought that we were trying to get with his daughters. He said we were of Satan and that we should be smarter and not waste our time doing a "False work". After he defiled all of this I tried to bare my testimony and he cut me off again. I said "Sir, we have given you all of the respect we can by listening to you cut down the church of God and now yes we are only 20 and 19 years old but we are all men and would appreciate your respect!" I then bore my testimony to him again. The man did not accept what we had said but Elder Freire and I never back down. A mission is hard but we learn that we KNOW that we are doing is right!!! Anyone can accept or reject it if they want but no one can take away what I KNOW to be true, that God lives, he talks to men, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Kingdom of God here on the earth and that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are true words of God. I love you all and can't wait to talk to you all again this next week. I am excited to share with you more of the miracles that are happened in my life from serving the Lord. Only 2 more weeks until  my sister, Sister Stilson, leaves to serve in Barcelona Spain. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU SIS!!! I Love you Shealeigh!!! I also love you all. Thanks again for all of your love and support.
Elder Stilson:)