Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, October 28, 2013

This week had some great spiritual experiences and some real laughs.

This last PDay, we were relaxing a bit- Elder Ribeiro was washing some clothes, I had just finished Jesus the Christ (If you havent read it yet, stop everything and go read it right now) and I was looking at our plans for the rest of our day.  Behind me I heard a banging coming from the washing machine, a grunt of pain, and then a worried voice *Elder...Elder..ELDER!!!*  I got up and went to go look.  There was my comp with a pile of clothes in his hand.  He put the clothes in my outstretched arms and as he took his hand away a few chunks of skin fell off of his twisted finger.  He had put his hand in the spinning washer (it doesnt have a lid), got his hand stuck and almost broke his arm.  I looked at him as he stuck his sprained fingers in his mouth and couldnt help but laugh hahahaha.  A few minutes later after he put ice on it and the swelling went down, he looked at me and told me *You know it is really not funny*  haha  I guess that is what you get when you send an 18 yr out to the field who has never done his own laundry before.  

This week I got a letter from the Bart family-  it was super great!  Thanks for the thoughts guys!

Saturday night we went over to a family home evening to teach a pesquisadora Perla.  The lesson went great and she is way excited to read the Book of Mormon to see if it is true.  As is custom, at the end of the family home evening, you have a snack.  This time it was hotdogs.  I dont know why, but with each one I ate, I got more and more hungry.  I ate 7.  I got home and after planning we went to bed.  I woke up with a super bad stomach pain-  with my body wanting to expulse those hot dogs in any way it could.  I was feeling super sick and weak.  I said a silent prayer that I could have the health and strength to go to church and help out the ward and the investigators.  We got ready and walked to the chapel.  I sat down in the bishops office for our meeting and the pain and nausea went away.  We had various pesquisadores that went to church and all had great experiences.  The primary program went over with out a hitch and I was so happy to see the ward becoming more unified.  As soon as 3rd hour was up, I stood up, went downstairs, and saw all of the people leave, and then all of the energy left my body, the color drained from my face, and I became weak. My prayer had been answered.  I was given a strength that was not my own, so that I could help others have a good experience at church.  God has that power.  When you ask strength, with the intention to do good, He will sustain you.  I am a witness of this.  What a humbling experience!  

I hope all of you are well and continue each day to search for strength in the scriptures and in prayer.  If we rely on ourselves, we can achieve a good deal, but as we rely on the arm of God, He uses us to fulfill His purposes which is something a lot greater.  

Love you all!

Elder Stinnett

Monday, October 21, 2013

This week was way cool.  Full of difficulties, but worth every moment.  We went to teach a guy who had gone to general conference.  We showed up at his door and he came out sporting a nice pair of boxers and invited us inside.  He showed us his crib and all the books he is ´reading´.  He told us in a hushed wisper that the federal police is out to get him because he has special DNA that doesnt let him sweat.  He reminded me a little bit of nicholas cage in National Treasure, because he took the book of mormon and was folding the pages and making weird designs that looked egyptian, and told us of all the hidden secrets that the book has in it.  He freaked me out a little, so I used the fake call app on our phone to say it was an emergency, grab our bags and left.  Life as a missionary is entertaining haha.

On Thursday, we went to Irmã Neia´s house to eat lunch.  She has a really great heart, and always strives to give the best she has for the missionaries.  She made a feast with rice, a corn jello-y thing, meat, and mocotó (Cow foot stew)  Elder Ribeiro had never heard of mocotó, and I think it is tasty, so I was just going to let it slide and tell him afterward what he ate.  But then Neia asked him, `Do you eat mocotó?` He *I eat just about anything*.  Then her little girl asked him *Do you know what it is?* and then before I could stop her from saying it, with wide eyes told him * pé do buoy!!!!*  Elder Ribeiro almost threw up haha.  I thought it was tasty 

This week, our family went to church again.  Eduardo and his wife and three daughters.  They are so special!  Eduardo got to talk with the bishop afterwards,and expressed for us his sincere desire to do whatever is necessary to help his children and his wife be safe and happy.  I guess that is the desire of all fathers.  We are going to teach them all tonight and invite them to prepare to be baptized.  We had gone there to visit them Saturday, but Eduardo had to leave on emergency call.  When we got to their house, their daughters saw us and ran to us like we were friends they had known for years.  It was such a great feeling.  They introduced us to their friends who were playing ping pong in the street on an improvised table.  I told one of the rapazes that if I beat him, he had to go to church Sunday.  I won but he never showed up at the chapel haha.  

Well, I hope that all is well with you. I miss you guys,and I hope that you are giving references to the missionaries!  

Love you,

Elder Stinnett

Monday, October 14, 2013

:So this week has been a bit interesting.  Ive been sick with a sore throat and then lost my voice.  Each day it is getting better and then it gets worse as I talk with tons of people each day.  Jeffrey R. Holland said that *Satan cannot directly take a life.  That is one of the many things that he cannot do.  But he can effectively stop the work of God if he only binds the tongues of the faithful.*  I refuse to keep my mouth shut!!!  So pray that my voice gets better because I cant stop talking to people haha.  I also woke up with my right eye sealed shut with goobeys.  Guess who has pinkeye!!!  whooohooo!  I put my washcloth with warm water on my eye and it seemed to help a bit.  If it gets bad I will go to the doctor.  
This week we saw a miracle happen.  A man who was baptized with 12, fell away at 17 and now is a military policeman with 55 showed up at church with his three beautiful children.  He said that he felt inspired to come.  it was stake conference, so it was a bit long for the children to sit through, but he said that he wants to come back next week and even try to convince his wife to come too!  It is amazing how God can just do that.  He was baptized in a different city and never entered our chapel, but for some reason he just decided to get up and show up at the chapel.  

So funny story, we were with a member who needs to be reactivated.  This member was walking in the street with sandals and stubbed his pinky toe on a piece of wood.  He gasped in pain, tried to shout, but nothing came out....annnnnd soiled himself hahahahahahaaha.  Stuff that only happens on the mission.

sorry to keep this one short, but I am already running out of time.  I love you!!!

Elder Stinnett

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference!!!  WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Stinking great!  Not quite the same hearing it from the translater in Portuguese, but great just the same.  There are so many great things that you can pick out of every talk.  One of the speakers was bearing his testimony, and said *Ele viveu e morreu pra nós* or Christ lived and died for us.  The way I hear things, I pay more attention to the last part of sentences.  I always knew that Christ died for us.  His suffering was immense and undescribable.  However, I had never quite grasped that He lived for us.  Every single moment of His life was for us.  He served everyone around Him and searched for ways to lift them up.  He set such a perfect example in all things and showed for us the one and only path that leads back to our Father in Heaven.  Wow.  I look at me and my life.  How selfish I am!  I never once found a verse in the scriptures when Jesus said *I am tired*  or *Im hungry*  or *I dont have time to help them, I have stuff to do*.  I realized that and felt so unworthy to wear his sacred name on my chest.  How short I come.  But I am grateful for Him and what I can become.  This process of change is long and stinky and sometimes hurts a little bit, but it is so worth it- because every step that you walk to become more and more like Christ, your eyes open up a little bit more, and the world becomes even brighter.  Repentance is indeed one of the greatest blessings that we have.

This week was great.  My son (Elder Ribeiro) and I were able to take part in the baptism of our pequisador Yuri!  This rapaz has had great changes in conduct and has been able to feel the difference of the gospel in his life.  As the only member of his family right now, he has decided to take it upon himself to be the light that will guide the rest of his family.  He is super excited to be able to pass and prepare the sacrament and Ive got him convinced that he is serving in Arizona for his mission (he thinks Ive got connections with President Monson haha)  It was all the more special because his neighbor Marcelo was the one who introduced him to the church and also the one who baptized him.  It was so awesome to be apart of!  

Welp, out of time

Fique firmes e fortes.
Amo vocês!

Elder Stinnett