Monday, February 25, 2013

It is so Awesome out Here! I can't even Describe it.

How was your week?
Super good.

Will your companion play any sports with you?
Yeah he is actually the one who makes me get up to go play sometimes - early mornings. 

Have you been playing any basketball or other sports?
we´re going to start playing again tomorrow every morning. 

Are you getting transferred?
Nope. So I´ll be doing 3 transfers with Gula. We work really well together.

Did you hear that 54 new missions were formed (7 in Brazil)?
I just read that when i got on here today. but that is so awesome!

Are you still teaching anyone tracked during the fire?
Not really. Most of the references were outside of my area. We re-activated a giant family because of it though.

Is it hard to find families to teach, Dad, Mom and children?
This is the HARDEST part of the work.There are a lot of single mom´s with their children here, and when they are married the father of the family usually works until night time. And we have to be inside by 9:30PM at the absolute latest. So yes, it´s difficult. 

Do you eat "vitamina's"? The original smoothie!  
Sometimes; I just get so lazy that I hate to make food. If it´s not able to be made quickly, then I just have to pray that my companion wants to cook and then I just pay him for the materials and he cooks for me haha. 

Hello Family!

So we had a pretty good week. It was back to the basics of finding new people to teach because the majority of our teaching group wasn´t progressing. Those lessons make me super sad when we have to stop[teaching] people. We usually just leave our number and a challenge to come to church and read the Book of Mormon. We had 3 12-year old soccer young men come to church with us yesterday.   We taught one of their families, but they didn´t want anything to do with us. Then we have yet to contact the other two families of the other two boys. We get on an old, rickety onibus to go pick people up for church. Maybe a lot of them don´t want to come because of the bus! Haha.

 We also finally had a baptism on Saturday! We re-activated the mom, and baptized her daughter, Juana. Elder Gula baptized her. We combined with a family in the ward that was going to be baptizing their daughter.  It was a good day. It was the longest I´ve been without a baptism in my whole mission. so it was definitely a trial of faith and patience. It was a lesson well learned though. 
Baptism in Santa Maria

Awesome day with Baptisms in Santa Maria

It is so awesome out here. I can´t even describe it. Sorry today´s going to be short because not a lot is going on. Transfers were today. I´m going to be here again, so not a lot of changes. There will be a new assistant. Elder Morrison is going to a different area to train for his last two transfers, so we got Elder Nelson today. He´s from Washington state. right on the other side of the river from Portland, Oregon. He played college football at Snow College, and will go to play at BYU after. He´s a line backer, so he´s just a massive guy. So elder Gula was all happy because he gets to live with 3 Americans again. He said he likes it because it´s helping him a lot with his English.
President didn´t make a lot of changes, so the mission stayed at where it´s at. We had 95 baptisms this month, so I think he likes where things are and doesn´t want to make any sudden changes. The next group going home is HUGE, so there will be a lot of changes here in 6 weeks. The ward I´m in is so big that they have a caravan for the Temple once a month. They all went there on Saturday. 

I´ll be hitting my one-year mark this transfer! that is so crazy to me. It´s been flying by. I honestly feel so much closer to the Savior than I have ever felt, and I truly have a testimony of the Gospel now. It´s one thing to believe and it´s another thing to know. We believe in many things, but knowledge only develops as we study, ponder and pray about things. God doesn´t ask a lot of us. Just those three simple steps have given me all the testimony that I have gained. The Church is true, and I am a TRUE convert now. We all need to hit that mark. 

Tay that is so cool you´ll be captain on the swim team next year! You will just tear it up! The banquet sounds like it went really well. I am happy you´re all doing well! I´m also super jealous of all of the snow. Have a great week!


Elder Shepherd

Monday, February 18, 2013

Not Enough time in the Day!

Elder Shepherd celebrating his birthday with Pizza!

How was your week?
Very productive. I really enjoyed this week and we are seeing success. 

Did the weather cool off this week? 
Some of the days yes, some of the days no. This week it´s supposed to rain ‘til Thursday though, so that´s good. Then it will start to cool down as fall time begins. 

Did you have any new investigators at church?
Yes, we had 4 investigators at church. 

Did you get your package with the book?
Nope. hopefully next week. I´ll let you know next email.

Can you buy everything there in Santa Maria?
Basically yes. American products are crazy expensive though.

I understand you will only have your mission president till summer(here).  When do they change?
The change will be in June, so I´ll have had two mission Presidents. I don´t even know what the new president´s name is or where he´s from. Has it come out there yet? I think it comes out in the March Liahona so we´re a couple weeks away. Not too sure though. 

Hi Family!
What a great week! I was in a division with one of the zone leaders for 2.5 days,   It was some really good work. I went with an Elder from Sao Paulo. His name is Elder Bargas. We took some pictures because we decided to treat ourselves to some pizza and cookies during the division too. I attached a picture of it. My buddy Cristian, from Rosario, is here today for my birthday. He took me out to lunch at the food court at the mall here. He´s a good guy. He´s going to go on a mission in December when he finishes this year of schooling. We had 4 investigators at church yesterday.   We are having a lot of success reactivating families. 

 When I was in the zone leaders area I was in the same house as Elder Pole´o. He´s a way cool guy, he´s a Tongan from Alaska. I will for sure be friends with him after the mission. He goes to a tongan ward there, and he said that there are 3 Samoan wards. He´s dying of the heat here cuz in Anchorage he said it´s never even close to this hot. I hope we have a great week this week, especially if it´s my last week in the area. I have a feeling that it might be, and it´s gone by super fast. Next transfer I will hit my one year mark. Dang that was fast! I feel like I need to work harder and harder, and half the time I don´t feel like there´s enough time in the day to do everything that I wanted to do. The whole prospective of time just changes during the mission. Like before it seemed like time went by so so slow, and now the days just fly by. The church is true. The mission is so awesome! I love all of you, have a great week!

Elder Shepherd

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

God Always Puts us in the Right Place at the Right Time

How was your week?
Good. except for i caught a bug and was home all day on Friday. Then back to work on Saturday.

Is the weather there still blazing hot?
Yes. We had some wind this week so it made the week a little more bearable.

How are the contacts you have made with people been going this week?
They´ve been going okay. We didn´t have as much success this week as we´d been having. I think it´s because all of the kids are getting back to school now, so it was just a lot more chaos for the week. 

Hi Family!

Thanks a lot for the birthday wishes everyone! And thanks so much for getting the overbite devices ordered for me! Those will help a ton. This week will be shorter because really not a lot happened this past week. We taught lessons but nothing really seemed to advance. Our best investigators were all out of town most the week, so we just spend a lot of time searching for new investigators. This week was just a trial of our faith and our patience. It´s rough walking in the hot weather and no one letting you inside, that´s for sure. But, once that special person opens the door and lets you in, it´s a golden opportunity. God always puts us in the right place at the right time, and sometimes the timing just isn´t quite right.

Good job in the swim meet Tay! And thanks for the birthday wish! You did your part buddy, and next year it´s all yours! I am so jealous that you´re going up and skiing mom. Some members in an apartment complex told me to come over and they´re gonna have a little party for me on my birthday. They´re gonna make a little cake and we´re all gonna go over there for a little while on Sunday. You could put some recipes for cookies and pancakes and other baked goods inside this care package. Mom you should totally get a job at a ski resort next year!!!!!!! I would be so down for that. I support you 110 %. I need some free skiing. Just work at PC or Canyons.

We´re teaching a professional painter right now. The guy is sooo good! He gave me a painting of a lion the other day, and talked with us a lot about missionary work. He then told me he wants to paint a painting for Dad for raising such a great kid. Those are his words. He wants you to write him a letter at first, in Portuguese, and just tell him you´d love to receive a painting. You can bear your testimony to him and then just tell him a little bit about where we live.  Shoot him a quick letter. It will help us as we teach him as well. He´s going to come to church next Sunday finally, so that will be awesome. I´m sure he´s already got a painting for you going, he just said it´d be nice to get a letter from you letting him know that you´d actually like to receive a painting. So try to send that off this week. I hope all of you have a great week! Thanks again for the birthday wishes! I love you all!

Elder Shepherd