Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rogerio and his niece are Baptized

How was this week?
It was really good. Some sad moments though, I´ll explain below.

How's being the senior companion going?
It´s good. My companion is really learning a lot and we are working hard. 

Did you have baptisms this weekend?
Yes, we had Rogerio´s baptism. He´s STOKED!

How is your companion doing, is he teaching more?
Yes he is doing more and more each lesson. He´s got the first two pretty much down, two more to go.

How many did you have in church yesterday?
We were at about 75 people with 5 new investigators. 

What has been your most eye opening experience so far?
The power of getting the members involved. It´s making miracles happen here.

What specific preparation would you have Taylor focus on as he works on getting ready to serve?
Just becoming really familiar with the Book of Mormon and the scripture masteries; and bearing his testimony in church. Cuz he´ll do that every day out here.

Hello Family!

We had an awesome week this week. It all went just terrific. The members are becoming more and more helpful and the frequency in the branch is shooting up. We had our baptism on Saturday. Rogerio was baptized by one of the members in the area. I was glad we got to involve a member with the baptism because we now know that he for sure has friends inside the church. I baptized a cute little 8-year old girl in the branch. Her family are [all] members, she´s Rogerio´s niece, but she insisted that I do the baptism. So that was really a fun experience. She was super afraid of water, so I told her that I´d go under with her if she wanted me to. She politely declined haha. 

Elders with Rogerio and his niece December 1, 2012
We were supposed to have a baptism for Jurema, Rogerio´s mother-in-law, but we had some events happen. Everything was set to go and she had her interview on Friday. Then we got a call Friday night saying that she wasn’t going to get baptized anymore. Her husband is in jail, but there is a weird law to it, which allows him to leave during the days and he only has to sleep there at night.  He´s in jail because he murdered 3 men 2 years ago. He came home Friday and had told her that if she got baptized he would kill the missionaries and beat her and her daughters. Then we saw him in the street coming towards us on his bike and we ran. So basically it was an eventful night. It´ll be a lot easier to explain on Christmas so make sure to remind me about it. Really scary. I wrote it all down that night. So her baptism isn´t going through right now and president has restricted us from going into that neighborhood for the time being. Today is going to be quick because my computer had a problem logging in. 
Elder Mason and I went on a HUGE run this morning. We ran 12 kilometers. Talk about a workout. We went with a less-active member, Mateus, in my branch. He took us to this hill they have a ways off and we could see the whole city. It was beautiful. I´ll attach a picture of it. He and I are going to run in the city-wide 12k on the 31st. It falls on a p-day so that will be perfect. They break it down into age brackets... so I´ll be running with 15-19 year olds and Elder Mason will be running with the 20-25 year olds. Hopefully I win cuz the winner gets money and a medal haha. The race is called Sao Silvestre, Rosario do Sul, if dad wants to look it up.
A hilltop view of Rosario do Sul
Fast and testimony meeting was yesterday. I made a deal with Rogerio and his family this past week. I said that if I go up and bear my testimony first, that all of them who are members have to go up. So all but one ended up going after me! It was an incredible meeting. Rogerio´s dad was there, and he´s been super against the church until he heard Rogerio bear his testimony. We have an appointment set up with him this week. Rogerio bore a very powerful testimony. It made almost everyone in the congregation cry. He told people that they knew who he was before, and look at him now. The gospel really does work miracles. He was a drug addict in his past, and now that life is behind him. He and his wife, Loriane, were legally married on Friday. You´ll see all of the pictures in the next card I send. I´ll try to get one off soon! I have been slacking on taking pictures until this past week, it´s just been so busy and I´m becoming more and more focused on the work. Almost everyone gave me a big hug at church on Sunday and was telling us thank you. This branch hasn´t seen this many people here or this many baptisms in years. A lot of people were crying. It really was just a powerful meeting, full of the spirit. I know with 100 percent certainty that this gospel is true. It is for every single person. It is literally impossible to be sad in this church. It can´t happen. You cannot physically listen to a talk and feel bad after.

Stake conference sounds like it went really well. Kyle [Lemperle] sounds like he´s been getting a workout. I´ve been writing him quite a bit. We are always in touch; and with Brian Nance and Austin Phelps too. 

For Christmas I think it´s awesome that everyone is coming over. I will be able to Skype you all so make sure you set-up a Skype account. Use dad´s laptop cuz it will be the fastest.  Here´s the deal though, I want alone time to talk to all 4 of you separately.. Maybe a little time to talk to Sammie, because she is my best friend.  And with grandma Frome and Grandma and Grandpa Shepherd too. With everyone else we can all just talk at the same time. We don´t do anything on Christmas and I´ll be at our Branch mission leader´s house eating and watching these church movies all day. My companion is going to call his family in the morning and around noon. I´ll call sometime in the afternoon.  I´ll probably call around lunchtime there.  I´m 5 hours ahead of you.  We´ll keep talking about what we want to do. I´ll send you a Christmas card this week. Shipping from here to there is ridiculously expensive, so I´ll just save all of your presents and bring them with me when I come home. I hope all of you are enjoying the cool weather there. I am dying from the heat and sweating every ounce of fat off of my body. It´s good though. I´ll have some wicked tan lines when I get home!

I love all of you! Have a great week!


Elder Shepherd

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