Monday, October 29, 2012

They´ll Get Married in the Temple Next October

Elder Shepherd, Rogerio and Kristiane Klein,  Elder Moroni

Parade - Gaucho's (Cowboys)

More Gauchos

Note the Dog with Gauchos

Old School Wagon Celebrating the early Gaucho Pioneers

Country shot in Rosario do Sul

Soccer Field and Random Dogs

Largest white sand beach in Brazil aptly called Areias Brancas - White Sands

My companion in Rosario do Sul Elder Ferreira

How was your week?
Very good and extremely hot. 

Did you get any packages yet?
Nope. I´ll for sure get all the ones in Santa Maria tomorrow

Did you get the box from Sister Taylor (she was going to leave it at the Mission Home on Saturday)?
I´ll get that one tomorrow too. Tell her thanks a ton!

What is your new apartment like?
It bakes in the sun all day. So when we get inside it´s like an oven. But we have like 3 fans going in our room all night so that helps a ton. 

Are there any transfers this time?
Yes I´ll explain below.

Have you ridden a horse yet on your mission?
I wish. It´s against the rules..........for now. haha

Did you have your baptisms yesterday?  If so, how did it go?
Yes we had our 3 baptisms on Saturday. It was a very spiritual day. Amazing. 

Also, did you find a basketball court yet? Have you played golf on PDay yet or will the rules allow you to?
They have only one bball court here but it´s at a school and we can´t play on Mondays cuz the kids are in school. And we will be playing golf here one of these weeks I think. the guys are trying to find clubs for us to use cuz the course doesn´t rent them out. 

Hey Family!

We had an awesome week. We taught 41 lessons this last week. The best part of it was the baptism though. It was super spiritual. I am so excited for this family. It´s crazy how they´ll be getting married in the Temple next October and I´ll still be in the mission. The weather has been getting really hot, that´s for sure.  I´m dying of sweat.

So on the transfers... my companion is leaving the area to be a zone leader in another city in the mission. I will be opening an area in this same city and I will be training a new missionary. So I have yet to find out his name or things about him. I guess president feels I´m ready. I will be in the side that Elder Mason was on and he will be on my side with a new companion. The side that Elder Mason was on had some neighborhoods that were shut down to missionaries because of crime. President had the Zone leaders tell me that the whole area is open for me now. So we´ll see how those crazy neighborhoods go. I feel like I´ll be training a Brazilian but I will for sure let you know. Elder Mason´s companion is leaving to open a new area and to be the district leader there. I am very excited and cannot wait to get that part of the city rolling. It´s sad though cuz there are several families in my area that I feel like  could help ready them for baptism, but the lord has a plan for me. 

I have really been studying the Book of Mormon a lot lately. The end of the book of Alma is so interesting. Can you imagine how crazy of a movie the Book of Mormon would be?

How are the presidential races looking? We hear things here and there, but nothing that helps me know what´s going on. Just a lot of people tell us that we are the same religion as Mitt Romney... I´m like no, seriously? haha.  Hopefully we will get to go golfing, I´ve been looking forward to it for a while now. We just haven´t gotten a chance. The guys at the course really want to play against us and told us that they´d pay for it, they´re just trying to get ahold of some clubs for us.

 We didn´t have anyone at church other than the family that we baptized, So there is no one progressing there to tell you about. I have to go to Santa Maria tomorrow morning and I´ll be there all day. Then at night we will meet our new companions and eat pizza at president´s house. Then on Wednesday we have a meeting ‘til noon for the new people and the trainers, Then back here again. So these next couple of days will be crazy. 

I can feel my testimony grow every day. Sometimes when we are teaching I honestly don´t feel like I´m the one talking, it´s like I feel the Spirit pulsing through me and saying everything for me. My companion sometimes tells me after that he didn´t know I could speak that well. Then I just tell him that I didn´t know either. haha. It´s amazing the knowledge I have gained as I become more and more in tune with the spirit. You can read a person, and what they are thinking so much better. You can literally feel the spirit tell you what lesson a person needs to hear and what they need in their lives. I love it. There have been times where I will randomly change the subject because I feel like we are losing someone. Then the lesson goes from boring to super spiritual. I know that this church is true. I know that families really can be together forever. That´s what keeps me going and makes me want to find all of the people possible to teach.

I love you all. I am so grateful I was born into such an amazing family. I hope all is well. Keep up the good work in school and in sports Taylor and Hailey! 


Elder Shepherd

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baptisms Next Week

How was your week?
It was way good. The most that I have sweat in my whole life though. But lots of lessons. 

Are you adjusting to the heat?  
No I don’t think I ever will. And then we eat hot food for lunch and I sweat some more, haha.

Loved hearing about your companion.  How is he?
He´s really good. I think he´ll leave this area next week at transfer, this one went way fast

Are you eating good?
Always. I´m avoiding the toxic vegetables and eating lots of carbs and cheap foods. 

What do you eat in this new area (beside the good BBQ)?
Rice and beans haha - same thing as usual.

Hi Family!
Not a lot of exciting stuff to write this week so it´s going to be rather short. NY sounds like it was a blast. I´m glad you got to go and see 2 plays. I think I´ll learn to appreciate those more and more. Finally Viewmont won in girls soccer! This was the 4th year in a row that they have been in the Championships so it´s about time. Love the picture from that show in New York. I can still remember how ticked we were when we didn´t get in.

We had some random daylight savings time change yesterday, it´s just for here in the south. We went forward and hour, so now I´m like 4 hours ahead of you. I was kinda mad cuz I got one less hour of sleep. And my sleep time here is very precious to me. I basically slept all day today cuz it has been a rainy day. Elder Mason and I have been running every morning, and we went in the pouring rain this morning. Reminded me of the old soccer days in the rain. PLEASE SEND A THING OF MAPLE SYRUP IN THE PACKAGE WITH SISTER TAYLOR! I want to make some pancakes, so if it will fit please send it!

Our baptism of the family is all set to go for next Saturday. I´m really excited for them. The other young woman wasn´t in church yesterday, so we will have to move her baptism for the next Saturday. I´ll make sure to send a photo next Monday of the baptism. We found a sweet family this past week! They didn´t come to church, but I am really confident that all of them will be baptized somewhere here in the near future. We had been teaching at their neighbor’s home, and their son was there in the lesson. Then he told us that his mom and dad would love a message too. We went there a couple days later and struck a golden family. They are so ready for the gospel. We´ll be teaching them tomorrow, so I will let you know how it goes. 

Sorry today is short. I haven´t gotten any packages from grandma yet. I actually haven´t even gotten a letter from anyone at this new address yet haha. Sorry not a lot to say today! I hope that everyone is doing well in school and health. I love you all! Talk to you next Monday!

Elder Shepherd

Monday, October 8, 2012

General Conference was Amazing!

How was your week?
Really good, it´s been all heck here with the rainy thunderstorms and huge winds. I swear there must have been a tornado somewhere close by yesterday.

Have you got some good families that take care of you like in your last area?
Yeah just the district President and his family, they´re awesome.

Have you been playing any soccer or just basketball?
Nothing,  too tired on p-days now. I just slept all day today. But we´re starting to go running for 30 minutes in the mornings now.

Did you get to watch conference?
Yes all of the sessions. It was amazing. 

What was your favorite talk?
Elder Holland´s talk Sunday morning. 

What do you think about them changing the mission age to 18?
I´ll explain below

Are you using all of your clothes or trading any with other missionaries?
Yeah, gave a pair of shorts to Elder Sa cuz he didn´t have any. but I also inherited some soccer shorts. Pay it forward is the golden rule here.

Is the post office there on strike? 
Nope. I think that they are only in like major cities. So just send me stuff here cuz I think that I´ll be here for a while. 

Hey Family!
     So I´m going to write a lot about conference today, first of all: being 18 and being able to leave now changes the whole dynamics of preparation. Taylor this email is going to be written towards you. The fact that you can leave earlier makes seminary THAT much more important. You are losing a year of preparation after high school, meaning that in high school you need to start the preparing.
     Conference yesterday was directed towards families, what destroys families and how families can conquer the worldly threats, and missionary work. Elder Nelson´s talk on Saturday was fantastic; simply saying, “Ask the missionaries for everything”. It´s weird how opened my mind is now. Before I´d tune off during conference, but now I´m like fully locked and loaded. The divine call of a mission is one that is directly from God, without a doubt. Sister Dibb´s talk Saturday morning also was very interesting. She hit all of the points of our church right on the head. ``I´m a Mormon. I know it, I live it, I love it”.  We all need to have that approach on our religion. Only a handful of God´s children have had the privilege that we have. We all need to think of ourselves as missionaries.

Elder Ballard talked about not just being members on Sundays, but showing the Lord that we are part of His church EVERYDAY - is the most important thing that we can do. Elder Bowen´s talk on Saturday was also so amazing. He talked about the concept of ``Why me?`` because there are so many members that will leave the church because of that. We know that God has a plan for all of us, and the prophets have said that God will never give us a trial so hard that we cannot bear it. This life is really simple, as much as we like to look at the difficult things. Church attendance, prayer and repentance, and living the commandments are all we need to do in this life. As much as the world has changed the gospel will never change. The youth learned a lot in conference. All of priesthood session was directed towards them.
PREPARATION STARTS NOW. Have President Morris read this email. Being 18 and being able to serve does not mean you all have to leave now at 18. If you haven´t put in somewhat of the preparation beforehand, and you aren´t accustomed to working hard DON´T LEAVE YET. You can prepare still. And you will be that much more effective out in the field. 

     It´s almost Halloween already!! Holy cow time has flown by. I can remember leaving you all in the airport more clearly than most of the things here; Baptisms as an exception haha. Hailey sounds like she´s starting to prepare to drive. haha Remember, backing up is the opposite way with the wheel Hailey! Just have dad back up for you haha. I hope school is going well. Tell dad I love all of the sports updates though the Viewmont football scores look terrible.   I got all of your emails from last week but I read them today. Sorry if I missed any questions!  
Remember Tay, preparation starts now.

I love all of you!


Elder Shepherd

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Everyone in church has a Missionary Responsibility

Hi Family!
     Today is going to be short and sweet cuz I don´t have any time because I´ve been waiting for you! [We thought his P-day was changed to Tuesday] I sent an SD card today, so you´ll be getting those pictures. This week went by really fast again. We taught about 30 lessons and we have 4 dates marked for baptism on the 20th of this month. They´re marked for the 20th cuz next weekend is General Conference and the next weekend we have a district meeting with the 4 branches in the District. 
     I´ve had a lot more energy lately and my companion and I get along really well. This next week we´re going to try to get 2 more baptisms marked! No allergies in this city so far, probably cuz there isn´t as many farms around, just open fields. 
     Please try and get Matt Grayston´s and Jake Blotter´s writing addresses for me for next week! This city is in the middle of no-where so I won´t be getting your packages and letters for 4 more weeks. 
I think that the water in the river is fresh water, but maybe not. It sounds like everyone is doing well. Keep up the good work in school Taylor and Hailey! I hope that classes are going well! 
      I spoke in church yesterday with my companion. We both talked about the importance of everyone in the church having a missionary responsibility. A lot of people were crying. It was such a spiritual meeting. We´ll see if the attendance will start to pick up. I´m sure we´ll get more people there next week cuz a lot of them will love to hear our prophet speak. Elder Mason and I are going to be in a separate AIR CONDITIONED room watching it in English, that´ll be nice. We don´t go out teaching at all next Saturday or Sunday, so it´ll be a relaxing break. Kinda have mixed feelings about it cuz I love to go out and teach!

I miss you all!
 I love you!

 Elder Shepherd