Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Probably Had One of The Best Weeks of My Mission Last Week!

How is the new companion, what is his full name, where is he from, how long a member etc?
Silas Pereira Lopes, he´s from a city in Sao Paulo called Presidente Prudente. He was baptized a year and a half ago, he´s 26 years old. His mom was baptized about 10 years ago with his 2 sisters but he never wanted to be a member. He has already graduated from college and specialized as a chemical engineer. He worked in a soda pop factory as a scientist before the mission.   He and I really get along. His parents are from India.

Elder Shepherd and Elder Lopes in Santa Maria

What did you think of the new ward? 
We started an activity with the ward when we spoke in sacrament meeting. We´re doing an activity called Missionary Family of the week.  Everyone loved the idea. I love the new ward!

Do you live in a different place now?  Any change in mailing address?
Yes we live like a 30 minute walk from my last apartment. No the mailing address is the exact same. 

How was your week?
Really good! Probably one of the best weeks of my mission.

How is your new area?
It is HUGE! It´s said to be the biggest area in the mission. and half of it is on the other side of a giant mountain. so lots of walking :)

Do you live with three others still?  If so, how are all the others (tell us about them)?
I live with Elder Matt Lipps from California and Elder Rodrigo Cuadra from Chile; he didn´t know Elder Gula before the mission though. They´re both really cool. Elder Lipps is a really quiet guy, but he works really hard. Elder Cuadra and I have been buddies the whole mission, so it´s a riot living with them.

How is your new apartment?
It´s messy. I went into an OCD cleaning mode today all day while the others slept. It´s big so there´s a lot of un-used space.

Hi family!
So like I said above, I probably had one of the best weeks of my mission this week! We had 11 investigators at church yesterday, and we had a sweet baptism already on Saturday! When I got here they were already teaching this woman, Marjara, who lives behind the mission home. Literally, she lives right behind the mission home and shares a driveway with it. No one had ever thought to teach them until the missionaries knocked there about 3 weeks ago. We went there on my first night and had a super spiritual lesson. We challenged her to baptism for that same Saturday and she accepted!
First Baptism with Elder Lopes, Sister Marjara

 We are also teaching her mom and her brother. Her mom drinks tons of coffee so she´ll be a little while. Her brother is so so ready! His only problem is that he only has one friend, and that friend happens to be a pastor in a catholic church. So right after our church he always goes to that church. We´re trying to get him more and more integrated with the members here. He answers all of the questions during the classes at church. His name is Liam and he´s 30 years old. Graduated from college, single, and totally ready for the church and institute.

Then we had just an amazing experience. There is a family that they´d already been teaching, but they didn´t want to get married. Marcio, Diane, Rafael, Tamares, and Adan. They are so perfect!  We taught them on Tuesday and on Wednesday.   They accepted to get married and we got their papers turned in on Friday.

The rest of the investigators that came to church were people that
Elder Lopes and I found during our work during the week. They´re all solid. We´re teaching these two brothers, Carlos and Valdeni, who live together, They were super interested in the message and both came to church, bringing their less-active brother and their nephew with them.

We taught about 40 lessons this week. The ward is all excited, it´s just a great feeling for missionary work right now!  Zone conference was yesterday, so that´s why I’m emailing you today. It was a sweet conference. I´ll miss our mission President a lot though, he´s really helped me change a lot of old habits and attitudes – [we’ll get a new President July 1.]. He´s going to live in Sao Paulo after so we´ll have to go visit him when you come get me. The conference was about the power of the scriptures! Really awesome!

Sorry this week is kinda short, it was really good though! I hope Hailey´s hand is feeling better! Stay away from boys still ‘til i get home. Dad sent me a pic of Tay going to a dance with a soccer girl! She´s a cutie! haha. I think all that I want in packages now is Beef Jerkey and DI ties! Try to get ties that have designs and images on them, the Brazilians love em! Thank you! I hope you´re all doing well and everyone is happy! I love you all very much!

Elder Shepherd

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