Monday, October 14, 2013

My Last General Conference In Brazil

Did you see all of conference and priesthood session?
Yes we watched all of the sessions. 

Are you eating good?
Trying to :)

Are you being fed at people's houses very much?
Yes always! The Brazilians love us!

How many miles do you walk in a day?
Honestly it depends. We are planning smartly and using the members, which avoids walking a lot and gives more productivity. 

How close are the other missionaries to you?
What? My companion is sitting next to me and the other two I don´t know. We all work in the same area and it´s smaller, so we see them in the streets sometimes. 

Which conference talk was your favorite?
I really loved elder Dyches´ talk. LOVED IT. Yesterday morning was my favorite session.

Hi Family!
So this week was really busy, but not a lot of real missionary work in our area. We only had Thursday and Friday to do some tracting. Monday was our P day so we just went to the chapel and my companion made lunch for everyone in the district. Then we played basketball and volleyball with everyone. Tuesday we were in Santa Maria for leadership training and didn´t come home til Wednesday. Then conference Saturday and Sunday. Leadership training was really interesting. I gave the training to all of the mission leaders about member missionary work. It´s amazing how we were already doing that, and now the church is completely focused on it. That´s why President called me to do the training. The missionaries really liked it and all of the ideas, and my zone is already having significant success with the idea. I really enjoyed conference the past two days. Did I already say that? Because it was amazing. They are really focusing on missionary work more and more, and involving ALL of the members. Elder Andersen talked about my mission president´s family in the afternoon session yesterday. Did you pick up on that? There were pics of my president and his brothers that appeared on the television. We called President Parrela right after to tell him how cool it was. Dad asked if I am having enough time to teach and to baptize.... for now we aren´t having like anytime at all, but this week will be better. We will finally be in the streets every day this week. The members have really like the family night idea that we´ve put into place here. Several are already helping, and we´re finding it to be a way to create an easy relationship with the less-active members. There is a talk that I want Taylor to study. It´s in the October Liahona, called ``Preach My Gospel Missionary.`` It´s a great little talk, and will help him really focus on being a great missionary. 

I´m sorry, I have way less time on the computer than I had before because I have to spend time sending zone updates.  We´ve been opening the chapel and the sports court every single day in the afternoon and inviting all of the young men that we find in the streets to come and participate in a HUGE soccer tournament that we´re organizing. The purpose is for them to go to seminary, so the ones that play in the games will have had to participate in seminary the day before. It´s working so far and there are a lot more young men going to seminary. With more young men, the young women are coming! haha. we´re trying to think of activities that we could do with the young women while the young men play soccer. It´s still an up-in-the-air situation. It´s worked so far. With all of the youth coming, we´re able to get their addresses to go to their homes and teach their families. President really liked the idea, so he´s behind us. We´ll see what happens. We have a member here that works for the radio here and we´re going to start going live every Saturday afternoon for an hour. We´re going to announce the soccer activity, then just respond to simple questions about the church. We´ve already spoken to several newspapers about putting an article in as well and getting a column about us. Hopefully we can get that going this week. We bring the guitar everywhere with us and sing hymns in the streets. Preach my Gospel tells us to use our talents to teach, so we are trying EVERYTHING here! Just older people that have already ´´made´´ decisions in their lives. The young people grow up, then leave to go study in bigger cities. We´ll get it going though, I know it. We´ve got til the end of the year to do this Stake! I believe that is the Lord´s decision. As I have learned to completely consecrate myself, I have felt such great blessings. The Lord has truly blessed me with a firm testimony of the truth and let me be an instrument in his hands in this marvelous work. I know that we will have success here according to His desires. Thank you for all of the prayers you give to me and my companion. We truly do feel it. I love it here though, and it may be hard for you to get me to come home. I love you all very much. Have a great week! Be safe!

Elder Shepherd

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