Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, March 25, 2013

So this week has been full of a lot of funny stuff and miracles.

Every day, we pray to meet families that are married and ready to here the gospel.  (Married people here a rare, and marriage is a lengthly process.)  We were walking in the street one day, and this guy runs up to us in a panic.  "Hey can you help me tie this tie?  I'm getting married here in an hour and I need to get ready!"  Yup, you can bet we tied that tie, wrote down his info, and we'll go back another day.  Little does he know, he wasn't really searching for someone to tie a tie, he was searching for the true and living gospel!  

Also, we had a lot of opportunities to help people out.  There was a man who was walking up a hill with his bicycle.  He was way drunk and falling on the ground and had his pants around his ankles.  We carefully lifted him up off the ground, helped him get his pants on, and started to walk away.  He decided he wanted to take his pants off anyways, so we let him be.  

But later that day we did have the chance to help someone.  It started pouring and there was a girl in a wheelchair trying to get up a hill.  I left my stuff with Elder Gallion at the top and ran down to help her up.  I pushed her to the top, got her to her house and kept going.  By that point, my shirt was so soaked you could see through it, but I felt like I did my job as a missionary.  Sometimes, it's the little things that make your day.  

We kept having the little miracles happen each day that shows that realmente, the Lord is at the head of this work helping people come to Him.  I'm so grateful for this work, but unfortunately my time is up right now.  

Abraco, and until next time my prayers are with you.  

Elder Stinnett

Monday, March 18, 2013

New companion!!!!!!! His name is Elder Gallion, he's from Missouri, and he is a spiritual powerhouse.  He's got about a year and a half on the miss so far and knows his way around things.  We got back from Novo Rio, grabbed a picture of Christ (the awesome one by Del Parson) and taped a picture of Christ getting baptized on the back, and went around telling people como Cristo tem um convite para eles---receber o verdadeiro batismo por alguem que tem autoridade de Deus.  It works surprisingly well.  We had a lot of people let us in and teach them.  I'll have to keep you updated on how it goes because we are out to baptize the world!!!

So we went to a recent convert's house and we found her super sick laying on her bed without the energy to move.  She told us that she new we would come.  We were able to give her a blessing during which I felt the impression to say that she would be healed of this by the faith she has.  The next day we returned and she was up and running around like nothing had ever happened.  Faith is a powerful thing.  It is just the miracles Christ did.  Always, they were based on the faith of the recipient.  I'm super grateful to see all of these miracles working day to day around me.  They are a testimony to me of the truthfulness of this gospel and give me the ability to share them and help others as well.  

Also, remember the lady who liked to walk behind us on the street and ruin our contacts by saying we are of the devil?  If not, that's what happened.  She came up to us out of the blue one day, and gave us a sincere apology saying how wrong she was and how she would like to be forgiven.  I wonder what gave her that change of heart, but what ever it is I'm glad.  My comp and I now call her Alma the younger.

Well, I'm out of time, but here is a little of my life right now.  Super happy, content with the work, and seeing miracles every day.  Tchao for now,

Elder Stinnett

Monday, March 11, 2013

Transfers!!!!  Tomorrow we will have to go to Novo Rio to drop off my comp., Elder Lima who will go to a new area and I will meet my new comp Elder Gallion.  I will have the opportunity to work mais uma transferencia here in Cesario de Melo.  I'm excited to see what kinds of changes will come and how the work will spread.  I have high hopes and know we are following the will of the Lord.  
This week, we had a pesqu. family come to church!!! Almeida, Neigi, and their little boy.  They are super nice and don't lack much to make the critical step of baptism.  I hope we can teach them in a way that the Spirit can touch their hearts and testify to them.  

This week I had the chance to finish reading the Book of Mormon.  I took up the old Moroni's promise and went into the bedroom to kneel and ask, with a sincere heart having faith in Christ if these things are true.  I had barely uttered the words when I was overcome with the Spirit.  Even as I am typing these words, I am having a reconfirmation of the veracidade of these things.  Sempre como missionarios, explicamos o que significa para saber que o Livro de Mormon é verdadeiro.  I started to think of what it meant for me.  If the Book of Mormon is true, which I had just received a confirmation, it means that Joseph Smith was a prophet who restored the Chuch of Jesus Christ.  It means that this path that I have been taught by parents and family and friends, that I have been following my entire life is not only true, but is the will of God.  This mission that I am serving realmente is the will of God, and that these things we teach our pesquisadores will benefit them in an eternal way.  I am so grateful to have this confirmation and will carry it with me whereever I go.  

On a different note, we had the chance to go to the hospital during the week because Elder Lima's ear was bleeding.  It is so strange!  Everyone has a card given by the gov't and they go to the hospital for everything!  We waited a couple hours and then were called into a room with a desk.  The doctor asked Elder Lima a few questions, looked inside a "Easy Diagnosis for Dummy's book"  (ok, ok, that wasn't the title)  and then wrote down a medicine for Elder Lima to buy.  I asked the doctor if he was going to look in Elder Lima's ear.  He told me he didn't have to because it wasn't bleeding or dripping puss.  Huh.  We left, and I have made a promise to myself that when I'm a doctor, I will look inside of every single patient's ear.  Twice.

Well, I'd like to tell more stories, but my time is up.  It's time to go help Elder Lima pack his bags.  I'll see you all next week...ou melhor vou ver suas emails..  Thanks for all of the support.  I feel the effects of your prayers each day. 

Love you, and know I pray for you.  
Abraço forte,

Elder Stinnett

Monday, March 4, 2013

So this week we continued the work in the new part of the area.  We can no longer return to Vilar Carioca as the Gadianton Robbers have completely taken over.  I was reading Mormon in the BoM about the final battle between the Nephites and Lamanites and I'm hoping that I'm transferred to a different area before it happens here.  It is super crazy to see how the hearts of the people have changed since I've come here.  Nobody trusts anybody and it is always looking out for number one.  Nevertheless, we have had some luck in finding a few people who we feel are the elects.  While finding those elects, we have a bunch of fun hearing all of the different reasons people have not to hear the gospel.  Here are 3 of my favorites for the week:
     -"I would love to listen, but at the current moment, my dog is wet."
     - "Hey man, Jesus is great and all, but my hair is wet right now." (spoken by a guy)  My comp. disse que ele espera que este homem vai desfutar tendo cabelo muito seco em inferno. haha
    - (my personal favorite) "I can't give you my address because I forgot where I live."
Missionary humor is weird haha, but it is growing on me.  The only thing I can say is that in the times that are difficult, you've got to laugh or you'll cry.  I know the Lord is preparing people right now, and it is up to us to suck it up and wade through all the flakes to get to the people who realmente care.  

So this week, we went to the pizzeria with all of the zone.  It was super good.  Besides the normal pepperoni, they had french fry pizza, stroganoffe pizza, shrimp pizza, and a pizza that was straight up brownie.  I left that place feeling super sick.  I think I had 11 normal pieces and 6 dessert.  The waiter joked that they would never let us in again because the missionaries eat too much.  

Yesterday, we made a contact with a man and his wife.  The wife started speaking English to me (mais ou menos) and then gave up and broke into Portuguese.  Then the man started talking and at first I thought that he had a really strange accent.  I asked him where he was from.  He told me Central America.  He was speaking Spanish!!!  Holy moly.  Not saying that I understood everything perfectly, but I got the idea of what he was saying.  All of those Spanish speakers in AZ, watch out.  This menino brancinho understands you now!

Ok, so I'll leave y'all with a photo of my comp, and my weekly lady story (seems like I always write one huh?)  They're too funny to keep to myself.  So we were walking through the out door mall to cross Campo Grande (our lunch was on the other side).  There were people walking all around and a bunch of people standing outside trying to sell you something.  There was this group of girls standing outside of a shop trying to get people to pay attention to it.  My comp. passed through them no problem, but as I passed on of them came in from the side, made full body contact and grabbed my hand.  It was like Spiderman.  The world slowed down as my missionary instincts kicked in.  The training from watching Napoleon Dynamite ("break the grip, walk away.  break the grip, walk away") came into play.  In all of my well-dressed smoothness, I broke the grip, pulled a Steve Nash spin move to get around her, called "desculpa" over my shoulder and continued on my way, leaving her alone, empty handed, and full of vergonhia.  Needless to say, I walked a little higher that day, and my comp (who witnessed the whole thing) says that it's the stuff of legends.

Well, this was my week.  Love y'all.  And I hope that you have a great week.  Até proxima vez.

Abraço forte,
Elder Stinnett