Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hey Dad!!! / and everyone It was really great to hear from you.  
It was great to see that pic of Ollie that mom sent.  he has gotten really cute.  Sounds like the girls are going crazy with missionaries haha-  This week is transfer week. I am going to be transferred to zona Niteroi- the area of Mutuá.  It is on the other side of the sea- so I get to cross the Niteroi bridge!!!!  I will continue to be the Leader ZL  in that zone and my comp will be Elder Richmond.  He is a hunter- so we are going to be best of friends haha. 

So I am leaving the area really fertile.  There will be 2 baptisms this week - Esteffany and Raphaella.  Yuri didnt get baptised because he decided to wait a little more.  They will continue to work with him so that he can increase his faith and take that step.
Im super excited to see you guys on mother´s day!!!  I will have to see who in the new ward has a skype camera so we can video chat it up!!  Im a little nervous about having to lead Sister missionaries in the new zone- but I figure that they cant be too much different than having sisters in a family hahaa.  i am super stoked to see what these next 6 months have in store for me.  

Is Sara the NHS president or something???  that is super cool that she could be the talker person at the induction meeting.  I am really proud of how the family is all doing so well with activites, the church, and school.  Our family really has been blessed. 

Well, I have to go now- 
We´ll get to talk better on skype!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Stinnett

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hey Mom and Dad and everyone!!

That 5 generation picture is probably the coolest thing I have ever seen.  It was so good to see pictures of everyone.  Conner got the priesthood!!!  WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I  It is so weird to think that little Sara is going to college.  I am so happy that she was able to get a half scholarship!!!  After this first semester she is bound to get the full scholarship.  
Easter was really good.  We had a really cool pesquisador that went to church named Yuri- his baptism is marked for this Saturday.  We have to teach his mom though so that she can approve his baptism (he is only 17).  He has never had any kind of religiousness in his life at all (SUPER RARE here in Rio).  He is like an unspoiled canvas- free of the apostasies of the world.  He said some of the most profound things in the lesson we had with him on Saturday.  It seems like the good moral base that his parents gave him as a kid give him an easiness to understand and link the principles of the gospel together. We were teaching him about how the gospel blesses families and how God gave us our families so that we can be happy here.  He stopped and thought and said, "and just to show how much that God loves families, He did not send his only Begotten alone, but to Joseph and  Mary.-  families have got to be really important for Him."  
On the way to search for our pesquisadores before church, we got a call from the mission secretary and he was like" congrats Elder!!  you get to look for a new house!!"  We are going to be getting another pair of Elders here in my area!!!!!!!!!  Sulacap1 and Sulacap2!  We had the help of a member, and we found a new house already that is in a great place stratigically to divide the area.  Super psyched to get a new pair of Elders and help this ala grow super fast!  Also, another area in my district (Bento Ribeiro) will get another dupla of Elderes.  Our zone just grew a ton!   The work is going to fly and PDAYS are going to be super fun.  
This week, we were going to the train station to get to the mission office to drop off Elder Namanny (he finished his mission).  We had to grab a van (some crazy people like to drive vans around here to give people rides and charge 2,50 R$.  Sometimes these vans are run by the government, sometimes by banditos, but everyone uses them.  They drive CRAZY.  The road was slick and we were on a one way street with 5 lanes.  The light turned red and everyone was coming to a stop .  The van swerved to get into a lane without anyone in front, but aparently the car in the next lane over wanted to do the same thing.  The van driver threw on the brakes, the tires locked and we started to skid.  the wet asphalt wasnt giving any traction and the driver did some ninja move and hopped the van up onto the sidewalk, fishtailed, and screamed to a hault right beside a huge concrete telefone pole that we almost nailed.  Elder Namanny  and I looked at eachother as if to ask "Did we almost just die??"  I am glad we had prayed for safety before we left, because I know that God protected us.  I have already seen various vans slammed into telefone poles, but that day, the only casualty was my stained pants.
That pretty sums of the highlights of my week.  My new comp is Elder Amorim from Brasilia- he is a hard worker and has a little less than a year on the mission.  I have to train him how to be a ZL.  I am thinking with us receiving a new dupla of missionaries, I am going to have to stay here in Sulacap to help out this next transfer, but thats ok.  We have the trust of the members, and have a alot of great people to teach.  
Love you all!

Elder Stinnett  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hey yall!!

Sounds like you guys had a really cool week.  i am dying to see the new Cpt American video.  The posters that are all over here look stinking sweet!  We just got done eating at mcdonalds as a district (to celebrate Elder namanny´s last pday) and we got these really sweet glass world cups - mine is purple!! - you know that cool manly shade of purple.

This week was really great.  We have these two girls Karen and Karyne that have been baptized for almost a year now, but did not want to get confirmed.  The missionaries and even President Lima have been fighting to get them confirmed for a long time.  This week they were finally confirmed.  No one in the ward believed that it was happening.  I am so glad that they finally got this ordinance done and now they can progress in the gospel a lot more rapidly.  Their mom was saying that Elder Namanny and I will go down in history as the ones who were able to confirm them haha.  
We also had a few people that went to church- some planned and some that were just miracles.  Silvia is a woman that reminds me a lot of our recent convert, Cilene. She has lived alone her whole life- and never been married.  Super sweet lady.  We found her one day when our appointment fell through.  She was taking care of her mom until she died and now she works as an assistant to an elderly lady in a different city.  Talk about a life dedicated to service to others!  She went to work this sunday and even stayed after for the ward lunch. She made alot of friends and loved the gospel principles class.  I am sure that the spirit touched her at the church.  She has the goal for baptism for 26th of April.  We also had a random guy named Yuri show up and we have marked for him to be visited this Saturday.  He bore his testimony about how he is searching for something in his life and he hopes that the church can help him!!  Also, there is this 17 year old girl named Raphaella that went to church. She is really a special girl.  She had dated a member from another ward a while back and they didnt have such a good relationship because their religious beliefs didnt match. Lately she had been feeling an emptiness as she visited her church, and she talked to her mom.  Her mom told her to pray and ask God what to do.  She felt she needed to come visit the church, found the address, and came.  We visited her afterwards and taught her and her mom.  She explained all that she had come through to come to where she is at right now.  She explained about that emptiness she had felt before and then started to cry.  After a few moments of silence, I asked her that since she had gone to church if she had felt a difference.  She responded that she felt really happy, a happiness that she doesnt know how to describe, and that she feels that they are teaching the truth.  She accepted to goal to be baptized, also on the 26th of April.  Her mom is also really excited to read the Book of Mormon.  
We took the church records and set out to find some new people to bring back to the church.  We found a guy named Jonathas.  He is an RM, is like 50 and has a son who has fallen away from the church.  He has a really strong testimony, but has been away from the church for 2 years because he has fighted with the leaders.  He explained some situations that he has passed through, and they have not been easy.  I listened to him talking about all the stuff that he knows about the church and how he really does have a strong testimony, and I remembered the talk about Seeing people not how they are, but as they can become.  I saw the situation of our ward, and how we could so desperately need someone like him in our ward, and I told him what I saw.  I told him that while he was talking about all the things that happened in the past and how it would be so difficult to go back.  I told him of his potential and told him that God needs him right now.  He shook is head as if to shake of the responsibility, and told us *No, is is who is need of him...* I felt a huge strength,and some what of righteous indignation (for lack of a better word), and stopped him, opening my mouth and saying *No, Jonathas, as representatives of Jesus Christ, we are here to tell you that He needs you.*  The Spirit hit the room so strongly in that moment-  and he looked at the ground and his lip started to tremble.  I have never felt so strongly in my entire mission the fact that I really am a representative of Christ, and that those words that I said were His words and that my call to come back was really His call.  It was an experience that I will never forget.

I love you all!!  Here is a pic of some members of our district with our mcdonalds cups and our zone tshirts that Elder Namanny and I designed and made for the zone.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hey Mom and Dad, 
Thanks so much for your emails.  As far as a birthday present, dont worry about it.  Cards would be enough- the Taylor college, car, ipod savings account is open though :)  just kidding.  I really am not missing anything here spiritually or physically- but man when I get home, I want to get a girlfriend fast. hahaha  My comp is going home this next wednesday (not this one right now).  We still havent heard anything from President Lima on what will happen- but of course, he´s got a lot on his plate right now.  He is in Salt Lake right now with the prophet (He got called as an area 70 during conference!!!!)  Im so proud of him haha.  I wonder how that is going to work out because he still has up until June to finish his mission.  Maybe the new president will come early, or Pres. Lima will just learn how to do two things at once.  

I have been studying my patriarchal blessing a lot lately.  I think I have that habit when the visible results of the work we are doing dont quite match up with effort that we are putting in.  I decided to traslate it to Portuguese, and as I did, I gained a whole new outlook on what the Lord expects of me.  A lot of what I discovered was echoed in General Conference, especially the talk of Elder Uchtdorf when he talked about gratitude.  The way that he was able to explain about how in every trial we can still be thankful- that *we are made of the stuff of eternity* and that *endings here in mortality really are not endings at all, but interuptions* really put things in perspective.  President Lima told us in his email to take a moment to look at ourselves, evaluate our weaknesses and the questions that we have, and then look for answers in the talks.  I got a good 6 topics written, and then I looked over my notes today, marking every time that what they said answered what I needed to know- every single one was answered in depth and exactly what I was searching for-that was right in front of me- but I couldnt see it.  One speaker even quoted my patriarchal blessing.  All of these things combined let me know for sure that these men really are true prophets of God here on earth.  Of that, I have no doubt.

This week I ate Rabada and Caldo Verde!!!  I have been begging the irmãs for a long time to make rabada so I could try it.  It is the tail of a cow and is made with some kind of green leaves.  Cow tails are a LOT thicker than I thought they were.  It was super tasty, full of fat, and I can go ahead and check that one off my list of weird foods to eat.  Now I just have to try dobradinho- which is some type pig stomach soup.  :O  Caldo Verde reminds me of mexican food and is a potatoe soup with sausage and leaves.  Delicious!!!  Oh wait before I forget-  do you remember Emanuel and Val (from Vila São Luis)?????  They are going to get sealed in July!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  I cant believe it!  I am so excited for them.  I am so glad that he was able to stay strong through all his trials and make it to this point.  

Well, Im out of time,  but I love you guys and Im thankful for your prayers!!

Até logo!

Elder Stinnett