Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Week 16 ~ We survived! Parabens! Also, Feliz Natal :VWU

Remember, the world was suppose to end on Dec 21? That is what Jacob was referring to about "We survived!"
This has been a great week. I got to e-mail Elder Vester on Monday and then we talked to him, via skype for over 2 1/2 hours on Christmas. He looks great and he is talking in Portuguese. Though he did speak to us in English, which was a good thing. This will have to carry me until Mother's Day.

Here is e-mail and pictures:

Merry Christmas everyone!
It's about 87 degrees here (25 c) and I'm enjoying the cool.
This week has been a fast one!
This is Amanda, that was baptized
We had 1 baptism. c: Her name is Amanda. She is a young woman who has been taught for the last several months, and her mom refused to give permission for her to be baptized.
This 12 year old young woman asked her mother if she could trade her Christmas presents for a baptism, and the mother agreed.
I have been incredibly touched by this young girl's desire to fallow Christ. That's why I'm out here, to help people come to love their savior, and this girl taught this lesson to me with her silent example, and burning desire to do what is right.

Amanda's family
It's truly amazing to see just how amazing the faith of the rising generation is. I am strengthened every time I think of this amazing young girl, and her faith.
Christmas truly is a time for miracles, and remembering our lord and savior, the redeemer, Jesus Christ.

I was very much reminded of a very special recent convert back in the states this week. Her name is Nicole.
I've had about 3 investigators tell me they could not get baptized yet, because they did not have the support of their families. It's a huge roadblock, because many people are devout Catholics. And Family is everything here.

This amazing woman, faced 2 weeks of hardships, because her family did not approve of her joining the church. I remember the Coordination meeting we had with the missionaries just before, and we went to WalMart to see her.
This woman is an amazing example to me of faith. She knew what she had to do, and she fallowed through with baptism, and I am proud of her Love for the savior. She is a very dear friend, and I love her dearly. Thank you for your example Nicole. You are a blessing to everyone who knows you, and all the Brazilians love your tie. <3

Until next week, I'll be thinking of you all fondly. <3
Love you all!
The Moças~
I like puppies. :D
This is my "family" Elder Richerds (My uncle) Elder Pettit (My grampa) Jones (My dad) and me.
(Little training jokes. lol)
Com Amor
Élder Vester

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Week 15 ~ So, the world ends on the 21st or something? :VWU

Well Elder Vester is doing better this week. I think it has to do a lot with attitude. I really appreciate him sacrificing to serve a mission. We are all excited because we get to talk to Jacob Christmas day. He also gets to e-mail me on Monday. I hope we will have something to talk about on Christmas.
We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. Don't forget the "Reason for the Season".

Olá tudo mundo!
This is the book cover I am weaving.
This week has been another rough week, but all is well. c:
Here's some pictures for you guys!
This is the book cover I am weaving. (Shout out to Irmá Monique for teaching me. <3)
This is the Anré-Carloni Coral. <3 Behold my ward of gossipy Brazilian ladies.
Elder Jones and I being cute.
And our new couch. We're the classiest missionaries ever; :D

We had no baptisms this week, and this week was really hard in teaching terms. Almost all of our appointments fell through again.
This is the Anré-Carloni Coral. <3 Behold my ward of gossipy Brazilian ladies.
 But, some positive notes. 
13 new investigators showed up this week. <3 I'm ecstatic. And, we had a random baptism marked for this Friday, and I'm not exactly sure whats going on, but I'll go with it. :D
And! I have found a fellow nerd. His name is Elder Woodmansee, from Ocean Side Cali. He's hilarious, and I really enjoyed doing divisions with him this last week.

My shin splints? Still got em. lol. I've learned to keep walking. But whatever. :D So vai.
I've got a Christmas party with the zone tomorrow, and I'm excited.

Elder Jones and I being cute.
And I've come to truly love conversion stories this week. This last week, I had the opportunity to share my parent's conversion story with Lucimar. She's one of my favorite investigators.
Our new couch. We're the classiest missionaries ever; :D
The spirit was incredibly strong as I related this story, and I became truly grateful for the Allgood family. I'm so grateful to have been able to be born in the church, and to have had the experiences I have had. The people that have taught me to rely on the lord, and the people that taught me to trust others; I thank all of you. I know without the Gospel in my life, I would be down a dark, and scary road, and I am so grateful to everything in my life, and for this experience of teaching the Lord's loving message to others.
The church is true. I know it. I know that families are ordained of God, and that True and everlasting happiness can be found within the pages of holy scripture, and within the Lord´s true church
My heart is full, and I love this work.

So, in the event that the world ends this week, I'll see you all on Sunday.
If not, I'll write another email for ya'll next Monday.
Don't get crazy! <3
Another picture from my place.

~Èlder Vester

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 14 ~ Açai- The seductress of Brazil: VWU

It has been a tough week for Elder Vester this week. I am sure this won't be the last either. I think he is doing better than he thinks he is and with being away from home and family and friends for the holiday, it has to be hard. I know he will make it though, just keep him in your prayers. At least I hope he misses us all!

Here is letter and a picture of Acai.

Olá gente!
Nothing fun happened this week. I fell victim to the Açai. I really love it. :D Attached is a picture of Brazilian ice cream. I'm going to be soooo fat. This work of art is about $1.50 USD.
So enticing!
This week has been rough. Almost all of our appointments fell through, and we had 3 baptisms fall. Lucimar is not making much progress, and the work is very hard right now. It's super hot, and my companion has no patience for complaining. .>->;
My talk was.... ok. I felt like a very silly little boy trying to speak a language I had no clue how to speak, in front of a group of native speakers. 
My solo is this weekend, in some kind of Christmas program. I'l excited. I may have no idea what the words I am singing mean, but I know how to sing them. <3 I blame Sister Miller.
And speaking of music. Elder Luke Haddad, and Elder Brame. I've listened to the recording of Come thou fount a lot this week. Thank you for bringing your love and spirit into my life. <3

This week has been a week of reflection. I've thought a lot about my past. About what I was supposed to learn, and what I have yet to understand about my life. I discovered how hard it is to truly be repentant, and forgive others; its like, super hard sometimes. Sunday was almost all talking about forgiving others, and loving your enemies. How on earth am I supposed to teach people about the atonement, and forgiveness, when I don't have enough room to forgive certain people in my past.
So, I'm doing my best to learn to forgive. I want nothing more then to be successful, and I know this roadblock is keeping me from progressing. There is a sister, by the name of Nildemar in my ward. I look up to her a lot; she is an amazing example of forgiveness. She has a daughter in law, that backed out of a drug deal, and One thing lead to another, and Nil was put in prison for 2 years, and took the fall for what happened. She's found forgiveness in her heart for what happened, and I know I need to do the same. Nil is an amazing woman, and she always has some kind of food for us. :D

But, on a more crafty note, I have began weaving a cover for my little signature book! It's adorable; woven book covers are semi-popular in Brazil, and I love it. I went with Royal Blue, and Gray. RAVENCLAW PRIDE.

I love all of you, and I look forward to skyping the family on Christmas. <3
~Elder Vester

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 13 - Rules are Beautiful

 Another great letter from Elder Vester. He sent 6 pictures but I accidentally lost 3 of them. I will have to see if he can re-send them next week.

Well, this week has been rough.
But really rough. I have had a really hard time understanding Portuguese, and I´ve doubted myself a lot this week. It's been a fight, every single day to keep going. But, I know I am where I need to be, and I'm grateful of the challenges I face, because I know that they will always be there for my improvement. I have finally realized that I am far from perfect, and now I'm working on the parts I need to fix. I left the states a boy, and I know when I return, I'll be a boy with a fantastic tan. :D

This week, Elder Jones and I had 3 baptisms. Daniel, the half-brother of Bruno (Who was baptized 2 weeks ago), and a single mother by the name of Jussara, and her son Gustavo.
Jussara was a Member reference. (Paulo, one of the craziest old men I have ever met; He is very hard to understand, and often slurs his words.)
Jussara is one of the most prepared people I have ever met. She's been looking for the truth, and I thank my Heavenly Father that I could be one of the people to help show her the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She has a very sweet testimony of the tender mercies of the Lord, and being able to feel of her wonderful spirit and love has been a huge blessing in my life. She was baptized after only 2 weeks. Truly amazing to see how the Gospel can change lives.

This week, I have also come to realize several things. 1. I love a clean house. Mom, your prayers have been answered, and I now know how to keep clean. ;P

2. Hot water heaters are a gift from God, and all you spoiled punks in the states better appreciate them more. Because I plan on hugging mine when I return home.
3. Rules, laws, commandments, are truly beautiful things.<3 I had an experience this last week, where I saw just what happens when a missionary does not fallow rules to the best of his ability, and is too proud to accept he was wrong. I may not be perfect at keeping all the rules, every single day, but, I have felt the blessings of obedience, and seen the follies of disobedience. With me being the district leader's companion, I get to see all the dirty laundry. ;D It's better then the telanovelas.
But really. I have come to understand that the Lord's commandments are put in place to show us a better way, and to teach us how to find true happiness in our lives. <3 Love me some Jesus rules.

I also get to speak in church this next week! And I have no idea how to speak Portuguese. :D I get to pick any topic I want, and I think I'll talk about how we can find others to bring to the Gospel.
Oh. And I'm singing Greensleeves for the Christmas program here.
Elder Jones and I always sing a special musical number for our baptisms, and I got roped into the Christmas program. lol.
Sei lá! Fulfillment of prophecy one might say.
I'm learning to take everything one day at a time. Even one hour at a time. I'm loving this work, and I love these people.
Everyone here calls me "Meu Filho." (My Child). It's apparently a term of endearment. 
Brazil is just cutesy like that.

I love all of you, and I miss your faces a bunch.<3
Até aproxima semana.
~Élder Vester

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I am guessing on most of the pictures. Elder Vester didn't have time to tell be which picture was what. Hopefully I am not to far off. I don't think this is all of them but I am glad to have these.

Elder Vester looking cool!

This is what was left of his pizza party that Jacob's dad got for him.

I think Jacob is one of the investigators!

This was Elder Vester's MTC President and wife.

Elder Vester and Elder Johnson companions in the MTC.

This are the name tags of everyone in his MTC District.

The plane ride to Vitoria! That might even be Vitoria below.

Elder Jones and Elder Vester. His first companion in his first location, Serra

Elder Vester's first baptism - Bruno & Davyson with Elder Jones.

Bruno & Davyson

Week 12

Here is Elder Vester's letter for the week ~ enjoy!

Hello Everyone!
CTM People; Does anyone have Noggy´s address? Steve.Naugle is not working for some reason...
This week has been a little nuts. No Baptisms this week, but we have 3 lined up for this weekend!
And the computer keyboard I am using has something sticky inside it, so it´s super hard to type today. :D
My camera battery died last week, but I charged it all up, and I am sending every picture/video I have taken, and sending it to my mom. Fun times for all. :D
Some fun things about Brazil.
People here think I am Japanese; ´m not, but I´m totally OK with people asking. All my years of practice has paid off!
Internet cafes are called Lanhouses.
And American music is everywhere. I´ve heard Call Me Maybe about 9 times this week. :D It´s great.
I´m really enjoying the people. I´ve had the privilege of being taught by the elect here. Let me tell you about Lucimar, one of my favorite investigators. <3
She´s a 20 something, going to an online college, and loving life, and loving the Lord.
She is amazingly well versed in the scriptures. I understand about half of what she says, but I always love visiting her.
This last Sunday morning, she sent a text message to us saying "hey elders, I can´t make it to church today. A friend of mine called me last night and said he was coming over, but never told me what time. But, I am reading, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon, and I know God will answer my prayers. This will be a beautiful transformation for me, and I am excited. IN THE NAME OF JESUS!!"
Elder Jones and I laughed for a good 10 minutes. She´s so ready for the Gospel, and such an amazing person. I thank my Heavenly Father often for the experiences I have had here.

I am super grateful for everyone who sent me letters. <3 I look forward to writing replies today.
Kim, Lynn, I´m writing a joint letter to the both of you, and it´s being sent to the Kim, because I don´t have your mailing address. lol.

Life is good, and I am loving every minute of it; "Life is like a piece of cake. It´s crummy, but so sweet." (Elder Bean)
Till next week my friends!
Love all of you super much!
~Elder Vester

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week 11

Elder Vester seems to be doing well. A little frustrated this week about his camera, hopefully it will just be a dead battery.

Here is his letter for this week:

iei! (Whats up?)
I´ve started to adjust to the missionary life. I have a block of 4 hours of study every morning before I go out to work, but I enjoy it.
Elder Jones and I had 2 baptisms this week! (Both are future missionaries~)
Davyson, and Bruno. I hope to have pictures next week to send out to have put up on my blog. (I think my camera battery just died...)
It´s rained a lot this week. Almost every single day, and it´s rained every single night since I´ve been here. And apparently Serra does not get a bunch of rain. ;D Leave it to me to curse Brazil.
Apparently, this week has been very slow, according to Elder Jones. We taught 19 lessons, and he said that this is the lowest number of lessons in a week he´s ever had on his mission.
But, at the same time, we had 8 investigators, and 6 less active members at church this week. (A personal record for Elder Jones.)
So, I´m not complaining too much.
We also have had some wonderful references this week. Jusara, is by far my favorite.
She was a reference from a ward member, and it´s very clear that she´s been searching for the truth. I extended the Baptismal invitation to her, and she accepted, in the first lesson; By far one of the most wonderful experiences I have had in this mission so far.
I´m starting to understand Portuguese much better now, too! I can understand about half of what´s said now. And I can almost always understand Elder Jones. My vocabulary is very small, but I´m doing my best here. xD
I´m doing my best to learn, but it´s very hard. And a lot of times, I feel like I can´t do this.
So, I came up with a motto for myself.
 "Fear is the lack of Faith; when you´re scared, have more faith!"
And I've repeated it in my head many, many times.
Sometimes the Favelas scare me, and sometimes Portuguese scares me. But Every time I feel scared, I remind myself to have more Faith, and I have felt the supporting hand of the lord carry me through the times when I feel like breaking down.
I am loving the mission. <3
And I´m loving all the sassy black ladies here. Super sassy black ladies are now my favorite.
And also, apparently Halls is a candy brand down here....
I´m not sure how I feel about that; I don´t like cough drops. lol
Anywho! Sorry for the lack of pictures. I´ll probably cry myself to sleep if something is wrong with my camera, and all my pictures are gone.
But, sei la!
I love all of you, and I think of many of you often.
And I miss my Noggy. (MTC Joke.)
~Élder Vester

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 10

Since this is the first time he got to e-mail out in the field, I wasn't sure what time he would be on. So first thing this morning when I got up (4:15 AM) I came downstairs and got my cell phone so I could see if I received an e-mail from Elder Vester while got ready for work. At 6:00 when I left still no word. About 5 minutes down the road I heard a "ding" and looked at my phone and sure enough it was Jacob. So I pulled over on Foothills and spent the next 45 minutes sending e-mails to him. It was great! New rules out in the field ~ he is not suppose to send e-mails to any but his family. He can write to everyone, just not e-mails.

Here is his e-mail from today, which is now his P-day.

So, some new changes. I can´t email anyone other then family, but I can receive emails, and letters. ( I can also send letters to anyone.)
Thats really the only new change. SO I´m having my mom send this out for me. :D
Vitória is BEAUTIFUL!
My area is called Jargim andre caloni. Very hot area, but I love it! My area is about the size of Dewey.
We walk everywhere. I´ve had major Shin-splints for the last week. :D
My Companion is Elder Jones, from Washington. He´s been out for just over a year. Very tall, and has long legs. I have to jog to keep up with him. lol
We normally teach about 5-7 lessons a day. We have 4 people going to be baptized within the next 2 weeks or so. :D Very exciting stuff!
The ward we cover is wonderful. Everyone is so friendly, and patient with my horrible Portuguese.
The Ward Mission Leader, Mario, likes to go and teach lessons with us. I can understand his Portuguese sometimes, but that´s only because he´s around us a lot.
My companion and I speak almost always in Portuguese. It´s hard for me to hear and comprehend, but for the most part I understand nothing. :D It´s like week 1 back in the ctm!
All the members tell me to be patient, and listen, and I will pick up the language.
Everything is such a challenge for me right now. But I´m so glad I can be here!
I really miss the Washing Machines of the States. I have to hand wash my laundry in the sink, and then use the washer to rinse the soap out, and hang dry everything.
And our bathroom gets flooded with water. :D One of the glass pains in the shower broke several weeks ago, so every time we take a shower, the bathroom gets all wet.
Good times! :D
It´s very hot here. I sweat from the moment I get up, to when I go to bed. But, I´m sure I´ll adjust.
Anywhos~ Love all of you to death!
~Élder Vester

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Week 9 - He made it!

E-mail just came in from Elder Vester - he made it to Vitoria! Actually he got there yesterday. It isn't as good as an email from him but it puts my mind at ease to know that he arrived safely.

Now let the work begin!
Here is the e-mail tha I just received:

We are very grateful to have Elder Vester with us in the Brazil Vitória Mission.  He arrived yesterday from the CTM in São Paulo.  Although a little tired due to an early plane flight, he was anxious to begin his service in the mission field.  After a session of training, we met in our home for lunch and an afternoon interview.  Attached is a picture taken in the mission home.  Once again, it was a pleasure getting to know your son and we look forward to serving with him as we invite others to come unto Christ and enjoy the blessings of the gospel.  If in the future you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

President and Sister Araujo

p.s. Monday is our Preparation Day.  As such, you should expect an email this coming Monday!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Last pictures from the CTM (MTC)

Here are the last pictures from Elder Vester at the MTC.
Elder Earl & I (he was in the YSA with me)

Sis Ferrin, me & Sid Wooten. Two very sweet Sisters, I am glad I got to meet them & learn from their examples.

Elder DoVale, me, Elder Moreira. My Brazilian roommates! I learned a lot of Portuguese from them. Sad to see them go. 

Elder Obson, Sis Tyckson, me, Elder Johnson & Elder Bean (down in front) Look at how sunburn we are.

The Elders of room 423!

Solo shot with Sis Ferrin.

Elder Kison, a very amazing elder. Very strong testimony and a very loving heart. I meet him about week 4. He's going to bless the lives of many.

Jacob didn't say what was going on here, but I can just imagine!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Week 8

Jacob is on count down now. One week from today he will be in Vitoria, which is were he will serve. Don't forget to start sending any letters to the mission office. He will only be able to get his mail once a month unless he is close to the Mission office. He will need letters more than anything now. The work will be trying and there won't be as many missionaries around, of course he will always have a missionary companion with his all the time but that isn't the same as hearing for friends and family.

Oi Tudo mundo~
It's my last P-Day in Sao Paulo. By this time next week, I'll be in Vitoria. <3
Eu so muito animado! I am very excited. ^_^
This last week has been very exciting. Elder Johnson and I went proselyting for the first time yesterday. We tracked the streets for about 4 hours, and passed out 3 Book of Mormons. ;D very tiring experience, but good overall. Totally wore me out.

This week has also been a week for goodbyes. I said goodbye to my Brazilian roommates, Do Vale and Moriria.
I also said good bye to Elder Jacob Earl, who was in the Prescott YSA with me. He's off to Salvador Sul mission! Good guy, and I'll miss him.
I also said goodbye to Sister Ferrin, and  her companion Sister Wooten. 2 very sweet girls, and very wonderful missionaries.
And, I said goodbye to the Sao Paulo Temple. I'm going to miss it. All the Brazilian Crystals in lights were beautiful.

Portuguese is coming along. Not as much as I would like, but I know enough to look confused when someone opens their mouth. I have a lot of trouble understanding, because there are so many different accents and dialects just in Sao Paulo. But, I have a goal to be fluent in Portuguese by February.
I so got this. :D
Teaching has been very discouraging. We were unable to baptize Regina before we leave. and Igor has gone back to hating god, and has stopped reading the scriptures. Very sad week in that respect.
And, to top it all off,  We've all gone crazy! I just bought 2 litters of a Brazilian soda called Guarina. Its delicious. :D
Not much else going on!
Remember to use my Vitoria address from now on. <3
I don't know when I can next be able to email, so look out for me!
Vitoria, here I come!
~ Elder Vester

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Week 7

They will be going to Vitoria! Elder's Vester, Oborn, Marlette & Sis. Tychsen

So glad that Elder Vester is enjoying his mission. Two weeks from today he heads to Victoria.
Here is this week's post. Enjoy!

oi tudos povos!
Tudo bem?
This week has been super laid back. Nothing crazy happened. In fact, there was a car wreck I just witnessed out front of the CTM.
Dead things were everywhere. ;D Just a fender bender.
Well! This last week Brazil switched to Summer Time, so I am an hour farther ahead then everyone again.
That means 5 hours between me, and Arizona. lul.

I've officially hit Stir crazy in the CTM. I just bought a Hello Kitty Headband to wear to Gym, because I am the manliest man ever.
I also picked up some cute little Brazilian style headbands for my nieces.
 This week was wonderful for teaching!
Elder Johnson and I were able to commit Regina to Baptism!
And my Atheist Investigator?
He's now reading the book of Mormon, and praying. He's got some pretty hard struggles in his life, and through the spirit, and testimonies, we were able to teach him that God truly loves, and knows us, and that his Son atoned for us, and knows how we feel at every moment of our lives, and can lift us up when nothing else can. The Gospel is truly amazing!

Nothing else really to report. My Portuguese is coming along much better. I was able to have a good 5 minute conversation with a woman who runs a local Yarn Shop. Super nice lady, with a very northern accent. I'm excited to learn how to understand it better. :D

Nothing could be better! (Except maybe the food, and having totally clean clothes....) But all is well. <3
Brazil is beautiful, and rainy today. <3 The temple is beautiful, as normal, and I am sad that next week will be the last chance I have to go to it. ;3;
But! We're going to baptize so many people in Vitoria, that the church will build a new temple, in Vitoria!
At least, I hope. <3
Till next week you pretty people. <3
~ Elder Vester
Just a reminder,  It takes about 2 weeks for mail to get here sometimes, (in fact, I got a letter from a month ago this week.) So, please make sure to start sending letters to my Vitoria address!

This person made Jacob's new scripture case.

What a life! The courtyard at the CTM

Courtyard ~ he loves the plants

View from Jacob's room on a stormy night!

This is the computer lab where he spends a lot of time.

Saying good bye to Elder Webber with Elder Vester and Elder Johnson in the back.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Week 6

Jacob's Dad treated him to a Pizza party. This is Elder Vester enjoying his pizza, cookies and pop outside of the CTM. He looks good!

 Don't forget to start using Jacob's mission address to write him letters!

I've forgotten what week it is.... Day 42 or something like that.

Hello everyone!
Things have been wonderful on this side of the globe.
It's been a very crazy week weather wise. I've had rain, cold, and very hot all within this last week. The rain is sometimes a little icky because of the mass amounts of pollution, but all is well. Everyone loves the rain.
It's been a very slow week with teaching. Igor is very very hard to teach. He is an atheist who goes out and parties every weekend, and does not see a need to have any kind of religion....
And Regina is slowly progressing.

But, a quick update on life.
I have about 2 weeks left here in the CTM, so mail will not longer reach me at this address.
As of this email, please check my facebook for my mailing address in Vitoria. <3

I owe a few of you an apology. I forgot to add a few people to my email contacts when I left, and I just added them today. Sorry. ;a;
But, All is well in the CTM!
I went and took some pictures in the courtyard of the CTM, and around the CTM so you can see where I've been trapped for so long. :D
It's been an awesome week for testimony building. I've had my patience, and forgiveness tried many many times, this week. And I've grown a lot. The Savior truly loves us, and knows each of us. He knows our pain, our sorrows, sufferings, and trials. But he also knows our strengths,  joys, and everything wonderful.
He's reminded me of how blessed I am many times this week.
I am truly grateful for families, and for the Gospel. I know without both, I would be lost, angry, and unhappy. The Gospel brings me so much joy in my life that I could explode!
I love everything!
Its so wonderful. <3
And to end on a Random note, Pokemon Toys and ECT are very cheep down here.
I'm all kinds of excited for that. asdfghjkl;
To everyone, know that I love you, and miss you.
I think of each and every single one of you almost every day.
Stay Strong, and live, laugh, love, and do as Christ would do.
Much Love, and Many Prayers.
~ Elder Vester

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Week 5

Two the the Elders are on their way to their Mission!

Great letter from Elder Vester, along with a few pictures. He is doing so well.

Hello everyone!

Not much of an exciting week for me. Or is it?
Regina is still giving elder Johnson and I a lot of trouble. We're doing our best to teach, but we have such limited Portuguese. You would think we could have converted her after 5 weeks or whatever. lol But I can feel my language skills growing every day. I love it. :D
I do have a small confession to make. Alexandre, and Regina are actually my teachers, role-playing as actual investigators they had. Alexandre, turned out to be Alexrandra, and all of us were relieved to know she was baptized. None of us seemed to get through to her, but we all learned from it.
Starting tomorrow, we teach Igor. :D
TRC has been going well. We did that lesson without a script, and it was wonderful. The sister's knew a lot more Portuguese then Johnson and I did, and they really helped us with pronouncing words and ect~

I really got a lot out of this last general conference. Down here, because of the time difference, the morning sessions were at 1, and the afternoon at 5. The priesthood session was recorded, and replayed for us at 9 Sunday morning. Such a richness of spiritual knowledge in such a short time.
If any of you missed any of the sessions, i would really recommend reading them in the next Ensigns.

The Lord truly loves us, and wants nothing but the best for us. <3 This, I know with my whole heart.
I wish everyone well
Ate Mais manlha.
~ Elder Vester
Everyone arriving at Sao Paulo airport

A Brazilian sunset from Jacob's room. Big city!

Friday, October 5, 2012

This is sooo Jacob

I received an e-mail from David that he received from his friend Nicole. As it turns out Nicole has a family friend, Emily, that is at the CTM in Sao Paulo, where Jacob is at right now. 

So now here's the rest of the story:

(SUNDAY) Today Elder Vester (from Arizona) complemented the dress I was wearing. It is my blue and turquoise drop waist dress that Mom helped me make before the mission. I said "Thank you! I made it myself with help from my Mom!" He looked surprised and said "No Way!" Really?" then it was my turn to be surprised because he asked me if I use the Simplicity or Butterick patterns. That's when I found out that he sews too. It was really coool! We talked all lunch. I'm kinda sad I didn't do more sewing before my mission. ...............
(TUESDAY) Today I had a moment of realization. On Sunday Elder Vester (the one from Arizona) showed me some of the clothes and costumes he has sewn. He's really into Jap-anese Anime and clothing. It really showed through in his pictures. Then I started thinking some of his pictures looked familiar.
Back Story: Before my mission Nicole Baker sent me a message on facebook, with a friend suggestion, for a Jacob Vester.  He was also going on a mission to Brazil and she knew him. So I messaged him and we talked for a few messages about how we were excited to be going to Brazil. Then we dropped it and forgot about each other because we assumed we wouldn't be at the CTM at the same time.
Back to Tuesday: Today it all clicked in my head. This Elder Vester was probably the same Jacob Vester from before my mission on facebook. We had met each other before the mission! But I didn't want to be wrong and embarrass myself so I decided to confirm it. Later in Lunch he sat near me. We started talking and I told him I had some questions for him. I asked if he knew any Bakers. He listed a David or something so I asked specifically about Nicole. He was so excited! It was really funny because by now his eyes were as huge as saucers! Then I asked him if "A random girl messaged him on facebook before his mission and said she knew Nicole and was going to Brazil too?" The moment he made the connection was priceless. "Oh my goodness! That was YOU?" It was great because his mind was blown. He totally didn't' see it coming. We high-fived. (That's how I learned it's against the rules to high five Elders if you're a sister.) Apparently we were loud too because everyone started asking what just happened. All Elder Vester keeps saying is that "the world is so small."

Heavenly Father sends tender mercies when we least expect it. What was the chance of these two missionaries meeting in a very large building. I am sure this experience brighten both of their lives. What a sweet story. 
Nicole, thank you for sharing this with me. I cried when I realized that Heaven Father does know each of us and our needs.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Week 4

I can't believe it has been 4 weeks already. Just think after this week General Conference there will be 3 more Conferences and Elder Vester will be home, another way to look at it ~ 100 more weeks. Do you think I miss him???
Here is his letter for the week. Enjoy!

Week 4 I think?

Ola todos!
Hello everyone!
My week has been very long. But a very good one. The days are very long, but weeks are short.
And as a small side note, there is a Mail Strike going on in Brazil, so I have no idea how long it will take for letters to come and go.
Kinda a bummer, but I can't do anything about it. lol
So! This last week has been quite the challenge for me. We've been getting into some of the more knitty-gritty parts of Portuguese grammar that don't translate into English. It's been hard to wrap my head around it, but I know it will come with time.
It's been an easy week for teaching. Only 5 lessons this week, so it's nice to have a little slower pace.
Elder Johnson and I have hit a little bit of a road block with Regina, just trying to help her understand things.
But Alexandre is coming along well! He's worried that he does not know enough about the Gospel, and commandments to be baptized, but Elder Johnson and I plan to fix that this week. :D
Not much goes on here. We just get up, we study, we eat, we study, we teach, we eat, and then we study some more.
Sorry this week is so short, but if I had some wild tales to be telling, I don't think I would be focused on the right things. And the Lord is on my side, helping me every step of the way. I don't want to mess that up. lol
I'm loving every minute of my life, even if it's as hard as it is. I'm so excited to be a part of this work, and to bring others unto Christ.
Look am me being all churchy and whatnot~
I'm very excited for conference next week~! We're going to be watching in the big auditorio here, and that's not going to be very enjoyable. But I'm excited to hear from the Prophet.
It's wonderful to know that a Prophet of God is on the earth again, and receives revelation for our day.
My testimony of that has grown so much in the last few weeks. The Lord loves us so much!

I'm out of time. <3 I love all of you so super much!
Ate semana!
~Elder Vester

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week 3

Here is Elder Vester's letter for the week. I am so glad that he is doing so well. Sounds like he is working hard and enjoying every minute of it. 
So I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Bon dia saidju da sol~!
I'm up and running with my 3rd completed week in the CTM.
By far one of the most exhausting weeks I have had, but I'm loving every minute of it.
This last week I taught my first discussion without a script. (With Regina.) Elder Johnson and I taught the Restoration. It was a very challenging thing to do, but I thank the lord every day for the things I am learning here. Every time I stop, and look back at how far I have progressed in the last 3 weeks, it's amazing.
This truly is the Lord's work, and I am so grateful to be a part of teaching these wonderful people.
Regina is slowly but surely progressing with her lessons. She's very hard to teach. The language barrier is hard to get over. But I always feel the spirit so much when teach her, and I hope to challenge her to baptism soon.
Alexandre is also coming along. He told us that he was having some major financial problems, and that he hardly had enough money for his 2 kids to eat and have clothes. And as soon as he told me, the church's welfare program was brought to my mind, and somehow, the Portuguese words for "bishop and welfare" came to my mind. It's truly amazing to see just how much the lord is blessing me.
I may not be progressing as much as I would like, but I know more then I did the day before.
I'm slowly getting used to the idea of living in a big city. There are massive skyscrapers, and bunches of tiny cars everywhere we go. It takes us 45 minuets to go 10 miles because traffic is so bad. But, it's starting to grow on me.
TRC this week was wonderful. Rather then having other elders pose as investigators, there were members from the area who came in. I find it ironic that we did better at getting to know the actual people, Recadio and Semyone, better then we did for the teaching exercise. Fun times.
Not much has happened. Every day is the same. I spend about 9 hours in the classroom, studying the language, and It gets very hard sometimes. It's so very different from English.
But whatever. :D I'm loving everything.
I love all of you so much!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Update - Week 2

Some updates - I have updated Elder Vester's mailing address. I added his Box# &  District #. Jacob e-mailed today and said that he hasn't received any mail yet. I have one in the mail and one ready to go, so he was excited to know that there was mail coming.
SOOO if you can please take the time and send him snail mail, I know he would really appreciate it and so would I. He really doesn't have time to read the e-mails right now. He is only given 30 mins on the computer once a week. A 1 oz letter to the CTM costs $1.05 in postage. I bit pricey but he is worth it. I have been checking his e-mails and printing them and mailing them to him for now.
Jacob sounds like things are going good for him. I am so proud of him and his desire to serve a mission even tho we miss him lots.

 Jacob's letter:

Ola world~

Week 2 has gone by much, much faster then week 1 did.
I had the opportunity to go to the Sao Paulo temple again this morning. It looks like I'll be able to do that every single P-day that I am in the CTM! It's such a pretty temple, gold leaf and stained glass everywhere. <3
But anywho.
This last week has been wonderful, and hard at the same time.  I'm still struggling with Portuguese, but I am learning more and more every day.
Progress has been made with Alexandre. c: He's really starting to see and understand more. I'm enjoying every lesson I get to teach to him.
I also have a new person I started teaching/ her name is Regina. She was referred to us by her friend Julia, and she's one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. She's fairly young, mid 20s, and is very interested in the truth of eternal families. <3 I'm excited to teach her again this week.
I had my first TRC this week. It's elders who have been here for more then 7 weeks, will pose as investigators, and have us teach them a lesson, and it's filmed, so we can go back, and review where we messed up, or what we did well.
It's terrifying, but I enjoy it.
I also met Elder Oak's grandson this week. He's been here for 5 weeks, and is really nice. Always smiling, and willing to lend a helping hand.
Life in Brazil is so different from the comforts of America. Different food, different people, different ways of life, different everything!
But I do really love it here. I'm going out shopping today in town, and I'm really excited for that. They keep me couped up in my classroom for a good 9 hours of language study a day.
The Lord has already started to bless me with the Language. I've been worried that I am not learning enough, or keeping everything in line. but my first lesson with Regina really helped me a lot.
I went to go write down what I wanted to say, and I was able to write down almost half of the lesson just from the vocabulary that I have learned thus far.
The church is true. I know that for a fact. My testimony has grown so much in the last 2 weeks, and I'm excited to share the Lord's restored Gospel with Brazil.
It's hard, each and every single day. But I love this work, and I love this language. It's amazing to see the Lord's hand at work, and to know I am a instrument in the Lord's hands.
My time is almost up, so know that I love you all, and wish you the best from Brasil!
Te Amoruso
Elder Vester

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Elder Vester's first week -

Hello everyone! Tuto Bam~!
It's been a very long week. Very first day they started all of us greenies on Portuguese. pardon my spelling, I've only 30 minuets to write all of this.
the first few days have been hard on me, very hard. I was frustrated with the language, and struggling to keep myself positive.
They would not let me write an email, or call anyone to let everyone know I arrived safely. But, they allowed me to write a letter, and it should have reached home by now.
It's so very different from the Arizona I know and love. Even the keyboard I am using is very different. I'm sure I'll figure out how to do all my Asian smiley faces sooon~
My companion is Elder Johnson, from Rexburg Idaho. He's got a very sweet disposition, and I could not have asked for a better companion to be in the Ce te emme with. (CTM, or MTC for all you Americans.)
This entire country is amazing. from my window, I can see the old, and very new, rich and poverty, humble, and proud.
Oh, by the way, I can't take pictures while I am in the ctm, otherwise you would be spammed to death with my photos.
I can already see the Lord blessing me. Elder Johnson and I have already began teaching an investigator, Alexandre (Allashandree). He is a single father of 2, Joao Paulo, and Carlos. Our first lesson was about Families, and how God's  love blesses families, and how the Gospel, evanglho, can bless families.
I noticed something was off, but said nothing about it.
The most recent lesson we tried to teach was about the Restoration. My companion was reading from the Preach my Gospel, and I noticed that Alexandre was close to tears. I asked him what was wrong, and he said that his kids were fighting a lot. He would take them to school, and they would fight, go to work and get yelled at, and come home to more fighting. It really broke my heart to see him as sad.
I did my best to tell him that Heavenly Father (Pai Celestial) and Jesus Christ love him, and love his sons, and that if he did his best to live the Gospel he would be blessed, and that families can be together, forever, and have eteral happiness in the life to come.
I've really grown a lot in the last few days, and I'm excited to interact with the Brazilians later today.
<3 Much love, for everyone.
Elder Vester
My heart is happy. I got to hear from Elder Vester. Will post letter and a picture when I get home tonight. At least I know he is alive and doing well.
Here is the e-mail that we should have gotten if they didn't have the wrong e-mail address for me. THis was sent to our Bishop.

Dear Parents,
We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.
They now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting.  These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.
The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.
Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.  We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “ There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an Elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".
Please accept our love,
President Ralph Degn and Sister Mary Ann Degn
ADDITIONAL  information . . .  
DO not send packages to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving, not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.
WE Strongly eNCOURAGE sENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.
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