Thursday, October 31, 2013

So It Was An ICE Cold Baptism

How was your week?
eh, just another busy week.... not much more to say than that haha I´ve been preparing trainings every day in the mornings. I think I´m on the phone more than I´m actually doing my own work cuz I´m always talking to other missionaries in the whole mission. 
How many cities have you traveled to this week?
Just one other, and this week just one. Next week we´ll really start to travel. Generally it´ll be one city per week. 
Is there just 4 missionaries there in San Gabriel?
No, there are 2 branches with 4 missionaries in each branch. The other branch has 4 sisters. 

Hey Family!
So, another busy week, with zero exciting stories. Well, actually, I went to Rosario and baptized a woman that I´d taught last year there. She is the girlfriend, now wife, of the member who hooked me up with my guitar. He´s a returned missionary and they finally decided to get married and she decided to get baptized. They saw me at a conference and she told the missionaries there that she wanted me to baptize her. My companion had to do her baptismal interview, then we had the baptism right after. The Elders there forgot to fill up the baptismal font, so it was an ice-cold baptism. The water was only up to just above my knees, so she sat on the bottom and I kneeled and she just laid down to be baptized. It was FREEZING. Other than that there wasn´t really anything interesting this week.

Just lots of preparing for the next two weeks of traveling. Our teaching group gets smaller and smaller each week because we are just passing our investigators to the other companionship to teach because they have a lot more time than we do. We are generally just coordinating the activities with the ward members and always with the young men at the church. While they´re playing, the other companionship is teaching their families in their homes.

This is the 4th year in a row that the [Viewmomnt] girls´ team has played in the state championship and they lost again. 1 for 4!!! That´s too bad.

Cristian, a young man that we re-activated in Rosario, came here this week to open his mission call! Guess where he´s going?? Sao Paulo Norte! I was so happy! That was a BIG fruit from my work here on the mission. He is really excited, leaving January 14th. Marco Aurelio was baptized in Santa Maria on Saturday. That was an incredible day.

So, I will have to say that I am the master of making cakes out of scratch now. I made a way good dump-cake last week on pday for our district.  The man from the radio, Alcino, is really excited and helping us a lot. He´s our Ward Mission Leader and always calling us for updates or passing references. We may have not baptized this transfer, my first, but I´m really happy that we were able to re-activate him. It made the whole transfer worth it. Sorry, boring again today! I love you all very much! Have a great week!


Elder Shepherd

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Brazilian People are My People

How was your week?
Really... interesting. Just busy work and lots of organizing activities to animate the members. 

Are your baptisms still on schedule for next week?
Maybe 1... We´re teaching her tomorrow to see if it´s all good to go. Her name is Leticia, 33 years old and extremely intelligent. She knows the bible stories really well. She came to church with us yesterday and had some brilliant questions during the classes. I hope she accepts to be baptized this Saturday.  We´re also teaching her aunt and her grandma.

How is the teaching going?
It´s going well. We are planting new ideas in our area so we´re doing more of the finding people, and they passing them to the other companionship in our area to teach them.

Did you get a lot of response to your radio program?
Yeah, I believe that we´re going to do it again this week. I´ll have a member send dad a message on FB to let you know the day and the time. We got 22 references and all of them are receiving the missionaries now. The sisters have marked dates for some of them already! It was for sure a success and will continue to be. 

Are you still eating with others quite a bit?
Well we eat lunch with them every day. We eat lunch on p day with all the missionaries in our zone in the chapel. My comp makes it, he´s a great cook. Then we play games and sports til it´s time to go home to shower and go back out to work.

What is your standard meal for breakfast?
Usually like a bologna and cheese sandwich. Something really simple, some crackers too. And usually just some juice. 

Hello Family!

So, my Mission President emailed you huh? Yes, this last week I was put in as a special assignment, to be the Traveling Assistant along with continuing as a Zone Leader. So I´ll basically be traveling every week and I´ll never be here anymore. When I´m in a different zone, the other zone leader will come here to work with my companion in my area to learn how we are working with the members. The members here are so excited about the missionary work. We have been getting so many references, and there are still lots of people calling to the radio every day. They LOVED our program. We sang lots of songs, and then also answered a lot of questions about the Church. We had 24 young men who came out to play soccer this week. Almost all of them are staying for seminary afterwards, and then accepting us, or the sisters, to go to their homes and teach their families.

Every single companionship in our zone had at least 1 investigator at church yesterday and all of us have dates marked to be baptized... except for us ahhh. We´re generally just passing our investigators to the other companionship in our branch though. With all of the activities that we´re doing we never have enough time to go to all of our appointments as well. We want to try to have a baptism with 30 young men and young women by the end of December. I think that´d be so cool because I love working with the youth. With all of the youth participating in everything, all of the older members are starting to get excited about the work. 
It´s interesting how I have changed since the start of the mission. It seems like the things that were really my focus before the mission aren´t anything in the vision anymore. Like I still love my family and my buddies and stuff, but my vision on what´s really important in life has changed so much. I love the mission more than anything. This has been the greatest experience that I´ve ever had. It´s been humbling to see how much we are blessed with living where we live, and how great of a difference the gospel does in our lives when we live it to our fullest. I love it here so much. The Brazilian people are MY people. I may have to come live here and work here or something one day when I´m still young  

Next week I dunno what time I´ll be online. My pday will start to be more and more busy... oh joy.   It´s really hectic and we spend a lot of time at the chapel meeting with members and doing trainings with the missionaries. We generally have a big family night each night in which we invite all of our teaching group and the other dupla and their teaching group and we all meet at a members´ home. It´s been a success in re-activating people. I just love making friends with all of them. We always bring the guitar with us as well to sing a little before the spiritual part. 

Well family, I love you very much. Thank you for all of your prayers and all that you´ve done for me. Have a great week! Be safe.

Elder Shepherd

Monday, October 14, 2013

We're Teaching the Gospel on the Radio

Carson with a member just before they will talk on local radio station:

How was your week?
It was for sure the best week we´ve been here so far! Solid teaching group now and the branch really likes us. 

Did you have your baptism on Saturday?
No, i think we´ll baptize a family and 2 others on the 26th. we´re going to try to mark the set dates this week. 

How's the weather?
HOT. I need it to be cold because I hate sweating! 

Are the people there warming up to you & your companion?
 They are building their trust in us because we´ve been having a lot of success with the activities that we´re doing.

Hi Family!
I have so much stuff to do today so this email will be really short. I´m sorry but you know I love you all. We are eating with our district in the chapel and it´s my turn to cook so we´ve got to go early so that the food is ready by noon. Some of the members eat with us and they have to be back to work by 1. It sounds like mom had a blast in California. We are really gaining the confidence and trust of the members here. The activity that we are doing with the young men at the chapel is going so well! We are finding so many people to teach with it. This week we had 11 investigators playing soccer, and we´ve been to about half of their homes already and almost all of their families are taking the visits. A member invited their friends to church and we also are beginning to teach them. It´s a SWEET family. And they´ve got a car, which makes it all a lot easier to get them out to church on Sundays. He is for sure a future Elder´s Quorum President. We had the niece of one of our members that came. She had already been taught in the past. She´s 20, and her name is Bibiana. She felt the spirit so strongly during testimony meeting and cried. Hopefully she will be baptized next week, and if not then the next week. Her aunt, who isn´t a member, also came and LOVED it. These will be the first baptisms in this branch in over a year. President called us last night at midnight and woke us up just to say parabens. 

Tonight I will be on the radio here! We re-activated a man and his wife who have a program on the radio. He is an ex-bishop who hasn´t come to church in 8 years. He was called as our ward mission leader yesterday and we´re going to work with him a lot. On Saturday we were on the radio for 3 hours, and tonight we´ll be on at 9 o´clock til midnight. President loved the idea and said we could. We taught like all of the missionary lessons over the radio and received lots and lots of phone calls into the radio station asking for visits at people´s homes. The website is DAD get online and listen to it! I think it´ll be at 6 your time. It´ll be at 9 here, so you´ll have to let me know if you hear me. You can tune in on the computer. The picture is of me and the member on the radio.

I love working with creative ideas, so these past few weeks have been so great for us. We´ve also been finding quite a few in-active members though contacting the less-active members. We´re doing lots of family nights with all of them to get them excited again about the work of salvation. I´m sorry today is bad but we´ve gotta go.

I love you all very much! Have a great week, I hope you get to hear me on the radio today! We´re going to sing some songs and talk about the church. 


Elder Shepherd