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