Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, May 27, 2013

Transfer, Senior Companion and District Leader

Im getting transferred!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Woohoo.  Time for some change and miracles.  Im headed to Zona Rio de Janeiro which means that I will not be going to the new mission (thank goodness b/c they dont get to see the Cristo Redentor at the end)  My area is Galeão.  My comp will be Elder Miño.  My guess is he is Chilean.  Also, I will be the Lider de Distrito.  Ive got my plate full, and Im freaking out a little bit, but hey.  Go forth with faith right :D  Im super excited for this new opportunity to learn and grow.  I wonder what my new area will look like....hmmmmmmm

Anyways, my last week with Elder Bendoski was a blast.  We had the miracle baptism of Luan to finish off the transfer as well as his confirmation this Sunday.  He is a really special kid, and through him, his parents are working harder than ever to get their papers all ready to marry and be baptised.  Chique ne?  (I will have to send pictures this next week.  We are rushing to write emails and get Elder Bendoski to a training to be a trainer.)

We had a division the day of the baptism and I stayed with a rapaz from the ward named Igor.  He will be a great missionary.  I was able to help him learn how to make street contacts.  Once he got the hang of it, he told me he wanted to try one on his own.  There was a man sitting in a chair outside of his house.  He started it up and we all started conversing.  I dont know how to say it in a better way than -the spirit just flowed and worked through us.  The man opened up, told us of his life, and Igor began to testify of the plan God has for us.  Logo o homem començou de chorar.  Igor will be such a great missionary.  Im a little sad I wont be in the area to see the progress of that man.  

It was insane how we figured out about the transfers.  We got a call at 830 last night saying that my comp would train and I would turn LD but they wouldnt say where.  That started the rush.  As we would leave early this morning, we ran to the house of our adopted mom and told her family.  After all this, another sister of the ward heard what was happening, drove her car to where we were at and took us to her house to eat a little and talk.  We sang God be with you till we meet Again. and she told us how special of a spirit the missionaries have and how much my presence in the ala would be missed.  As I listened to the words she was saying, I was amazed to see how closely the members notice what the missionaries do.  It is a constant reminder of how powerful and sacred the call is to represent the Lord.

Super sorry to make this one short and with terrible punctuation, but next one will have a ton of photos Im sure. Ora por mim por favor :D

Love you all.  Tchau

Elder Stinnett

Monday, May 20, 2013

So this week was really great.  A little bit corrido, but really great.

We had conferencia das zonas with president!  So we woke up at 4 to get to Jacarepagua by
 8:30 and we ended up getting home at 11da noite.  It was long, but it went to fast.  So we have the missionary purpose like every mission has, but we have a lema (motto)  "Batizar, reativar, reter, e estabelecer."  Our president announced that he was inspired to change it.  "Batizar, reativar, reter, a construir o templo!"  Now that the temple was announced, we are working harder than ever to help the families come to the everlasting gospel and keep that temple full!  

We learned a ton of prinicples.  President explained the promise that is in Malachia about paying tithing applies to all things.  The Lord invites us to do what he commands and then "prove Him"  if he won't complete his promise.  When we are doing what the Lord commands, we are told to cobrar O Senhor.  Our faith that He is obliged  and will complete his covenants with us works the miracles that help obra missionaria progress.  We found proof of this yesterday.  We were constantly searching for the off the wall ways to find new investigators.  We were at lunch yesterday (a churrasco for a member's bday) and we met a family that has already been to church, (not baptized b/c not married), but they stopped going because someone there made them upset.  We helped them see how the church isn't for perfect people and mesmo que pode ficar chatiado, nosso Salvador quer que todo mundo esteja na casa Dele.  They thought about it and this next week they are going to church again.  They also decided as a couple that this is a foundation that they want for their child.  They asked us to prepare and baptize him this Sunday.  Just like that.  The power of the Lord is incredible, but sometimes he waits to show his hand until we ask and expect the blessings to be cumpridas.  (Sorry for the portuguese words.  It is easier to explain better with them)

There was a really cool miracle that happened during the week, but I think that I will save that one for a hand written letter home.  (If I forget, ask me about the heart attack story)

I was also given the opportunity to give a talk this week.  It went super well, and I feel like the Lord was able to put the words in my mouth to help the members understand a little bit better about missionary work and how references are crucial.  PS all you guys go give some references to the missionaries!

We were talking earlier about a parable in the bible about the woman who lost one of her pieces of money.  She searched all throughout the house and then when she found it, she called everyone to celebrate with her.  The funny thing is, the money didn't even know it was lost.  It had no idea what its value was.  This is so much like the people today.  They have no idea they are a little lost, and they certainly have no idea how important they are in the eyes of God.  Right now it is our job to find them.  To pick them up, dust them off, and show them how much they mean to us and to their Father.  I'm more and more grateful for the chance to do this every day, and also to discover my own value in the process.  

I love you all.  Take care this week.  

Elder Stinnett

PS:  we found the fattest cat in the world.  I layed down my backpack to take a picture of it kneeling down, but then it came over and layed down by it haha. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's day to everyone!  (a little bit late) :D

This week was pretty great.  Got to talk to the family, eat some good food, and teach a few more people.  
We met this lady who said the is Spirita (some weird, ghost religion or something like that.  hard to explain).  We set up a different day to go there, and later that week she went.  The Church emphasizes hard that you need to get to know your pesquisador really well before trying to teach them, so that you know their needs better.  Well, that time, we decided to put that claim to the test.  We pretty much said whatever the Spirit put in our minds.  Turns out she has had a hard childhood and marriage which left her without a way to believe in God.  As we testified of Him, she began to cry.  The Spirit touched her in a way that she hadn't experienced before to the point where she had us leave because she didn't know why she was crying.  It was kindof a win/loss situation.  

So you know Moroni's promise?  It works.  We went to a house and were teaching a girl about the power of prayer in the Book of Enos.  We decided to end the lesson by kneeling and praying to see if The Book of Mormon is true.  She kneeled and we helped her pray, but she stopped in the middle saying that she couldn't do it.  After the third time trying, she offered one of the most sincere prayers I've heard, and asked God to show her it is true.  When we ended, she told us that she has a feeling she can't explain, but she knows it is her Father in Heaven confirming the veracity of the book.  It still amazes me how quickly and how willing God is to answer our prayers.  

We were also able to help out the members of our ward a bit.  We helped Angela make some pastels while she told us about some problems she was having with a collegue.  She was explaining everything that was happening, and told how this person wasn't treating her like they should.  She finished up saying, "Mas, tudo bem.  Eu vou esquecer that."  I turned my head to her laughing, wondering if that phrase really just came out of her mouth.  Yup, a past elder taught her that one to help her stop a swearing habit.  The things that come out of members' mouths here crack me up.

Well, my time is up, but I hope you all have a great week.  Just figure I'd send a couple of pics.  We found this sweet road sign.  We call it Jesus Street.  The other one is my comp with his fav socer team logo.

Love yall!

Elder Stinnett

Monday, May 6, 2013

So this week has been a week full of blessings.  We did have a few people fall through to be baptized, but it seems like the Lord started throwing people at us to take in and teach.  We ended up meeting a woman on the street while we were lost looking for an adress in a part of the area we've never walked.  She helped us out, and told us that she has a nephew on a mission in Sao Paulo, but doesn't really know much about the church.  We returned there a different day and told us that there seems to be something missing in her family.  She goes to church every once in a while, but feels there is this gap in her heart that dulls the sensations of happiness she wants to have.  We were able explain to her about the Restoration of the Gospel, and how through it you can find peace.  She seemed a bit relieved, and then offered one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard to end the lesson, thanking Heavenly Father for sending this message to her and asking for it to really be true.

Right after we had cut one of our softy pesquisadores, we were a bit sad.  Walking away from their house, we were heading to the next person to teach.  We heard someone calling from behind "ELDERS!!  ELDERS!!"  There was this girl running up behind us.  "Vamos marcar um dia para voces ir em minha casa?" (Let's make a date for you guys to go in my house?) Not gonna lie, the way she asked us weirded me out, but we went there another day.  Turns out she almost got baptized a few years back, but her mom didn't let her.  She already has a testimony!  She pretty much told us the first lesson, and then when we asked her why she needs to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it she said, "So God can tell me again that it is true, and that this is His church."  She's gold!  
We've had a lot of experiences like this this past week.  The field really is white, already to harvest.  

Our Recent Convert, Pamela surprised us early this week.  She has a good heart but always seemed a bit rebellious.  She came up to us one day, handed us her Book of Mormon and said, "terminado."  I was thinking "What the heck?  you just got baptized, and you don't want the church anymore?"  I asked her what she meant.  She told us "Ja lei tudo."  (I already read it all.)  Turns out every bit of spare time she had for the past two weeks she has been reading the Book of Mormon and she had just finished it!  Better yet, she is going to read it again.  The changes in her life are clear and evident.

So, just a few funny things we saw/did this week:

It was labor day here so there was this giant carnival thing with tons of great food right in the part of the area we were working.  I got myself a giant fried hot dog the size of a small baseball bat served on a stick.  Heck yah.

Also, we had a zone pday where we had churrasco and played some volleyball/soccer.

And my personal favorite, we got to see some good old brasillian enginuity.  We were walking down the street and we saw a big van moving pretty slowly.  I got curious to know why. (normally van drivers here are insane)  I looked toward the back, and I saw this brasillian guy on a motorcycle behind it, with his leg stuck out straight, with a painful grimace on his face as he pushed that cargo van down the street with his foot. hahaha  I wish I had the chance to take a photo.

Anyways, that is pretty much my week.  I hope everyone has a great Mother's Day and rest of the week.

Elder Stinnett