Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 60 - August 31, 2015

Saying goodbye to Elder de Jesus.

Monday: We had the opportunity to teach a less active member and her husband about the atonement and how we can become clean if we repent. Her husband has word of wisdom and other serious problems and hasn’t been to church for over a year and a half. He went to church yesterday with her and it was pretty nuts.

Tuesday: We visited Michel and he returned the Book of Mormon and said that he read and prayed and didn’t receive an answer. That was really confusing and hard for us to hear (I’m thinking time is the answer), but he gave us his pastor’s information so we are going to see if we can have a conversation with him. We did a bunch of contacts too...

Wednesday: Wednesdays are some of our two busiest days of the week, but we had visited a less active member in our ward that we found knocking doors (Luciani). Before this we had told the 2nd counselor of bishopric to go visit her and HE DID! Unfortunately, she didn’t go to church on Sunday because she was sick, but I was super happy that the 2nd counselor did that. BUT Luciani gave a referral of another less active member who was living in the same neighborhood. We met them the same day and the man of the family is the nephew of one of the active members of our ward (this ward is kinda nuts). But we also visited Tulio and Tayane and challenged them to read the Book of Mormon and then pray and ask if its true. They said they would and then we challenged them to be baptized and they accepted - so we will have see if that’s going happen. We also visited Anderson later that night and asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon, and he had, but he didn’t feel like he received n answer yet. So we are going to work super hard with him so that he can, because I feel like he hasn’t put a lot of effort into the reading and studying to know if the Book is true.

Thursday: We visited Raul and he is...struggling. He’s 19 with no job, has physical challenges, he lives alone, and currently doesn’t have electricity to his house. He also has some other problems that he going through that are self inflicted so we have been trying to help him make things right. He hasn’t been to church for a super long time, and it has been really difficult for us with him these past few weeks. We had also visited Naor and he isn’t sick anymore so we have been working on getting him back to church. 

Friday: We knocked some doors and found a new person to teach who is 19 and wants to change his life (so he says...). We taught him a littlie bit about our purpose as missionaries and how our message would bless his life. It was good. We also visited a contact that we had who had moved to another house in our same area with her husband. Kelly and Everton... We showed up at 5:00 and left at about 7:45. It was outrageous. After explaining everything we thought he wanted to hear, it actually wasn’t. He just wanted to know about the organization and the commandments of the church, and yeah, Ill let y’all know what happens there. He didn’t accept to read the Book of Mormon but his wife Kelly did - so yeah that was weird.

Saturday: Our Saturdays are super busy like Wednesdays so our schedules were pretty tight. We had been walking on the street in this neighborhood and a woman stopped us and asked us where our church was located. We told her and then she told us that she was a member of the church. We asked for her information and she only gave us her phone number and went on her way. We gave the number to the 2nd counselor and he called them and VISITED THEM and then gave us their address. We went there and she and her husband were both home, so we talked them in to going back to church and they committed to go. We also visited Liliani and Maikon and she hadn’t read the Book of Mormon so we are going to keep working on them. That night we also visited Davilson ad Carliane and spoke to them about the Book of Mormon and challenged them to pray together 2 times a day (because the marriage is struggling at the moment). They accepted and are super elect to receive an answer about the Book of Mormon.

Sunday: We had our meeting with the ward mission leader and he is helping us to do some cool activities with the ward to get the people excited about missionary work. (If any of you have Ideas about what we could do, it would be greatly appreciated. This ward is struggles!) We had family home evening with some members and they had made hamburgers! (It wasn’t Five Guys but it was the effort that counts!) :) That’s all my friends!

Elder Buck

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 59 - August 24, 2015

Still here in Iririú…

The missionaries from your neighborhood...

So this week was the week of transfers and unfortunately one of my best friends in the mission will be going to my old area...Elder de Jesus. That guy is awesome!

The District

Probably two of my closest friends in the mission...

Monday: We taught a less active member this week and she made a ton of awesome food and stuff and it was so good!

Tuesday: We taught Analise and Michel about the importance of the Book of Mormon again because they didn’t read. We also did a lot of knocking on doors because a ton of appointments fell through, so we found ourselves 3 new people to start teaching so that was way cool! At the end of our day we talked with our recent convert Raul and he’s dug himself a pretty giant hole and basically threw his whole life away...we are working super hard to get him back on his feet.

Wednesday: We visited some of our investigators this day, starting with Liliane. She is 19 with a SUPER bad smoking problem and is going through some financial difficulties. We did some calculating and showed her and her husband how much money she was wasting on cigarettes. We later found out that she has been making one pack of cigarettes last almost half a week, which was cool to hear. We invited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Afterward we visited Luis, who has some issues and I’m not sure how much progress he is going to be able to make. After that we visited Wagner, a less active who is way discouraged about going to church. Some of the bishopric committed to visit him and then no one did. We then visited Leonir to see how his reading went and he said it went well and he prayed and afterward felt peace and stuff, but then he started bearing to us his testimony about MARY... and he almost started crying about Mary as the mother of Jesus and said if he goes to hell then at least he is going believing in MARY. And after started saying how praying to MARY is like the same thing as praying to God. <deep sigh>

Thursday: We returned to a bunch of the houses that we knocked on and a ton of people didn’t want to hear what we have to say, but we did bust out some lessons and found some quality people to teach as well so we will see what happens.

Friday: We continued helping Raul with his issues, we taught some less active members, and after that knocked a bunch of doors. (Sounds like I enjoy knocking doors, but the reality is that I don’t...We are just suffering because we have received zero referrals this past transfer and a half.) We found Anderson though! So we knocked on a door and found this guy who suffered a motorcycle accident and we taught him 2 days in a row! And he committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray!

Saturday: We visited Luciani, she’s a less active member who we found knocking doors, and when we showed up she said, " I knew you guys would come today!" And we were kind of confused because we hadn’t really marked anything with her, but she later told us she had a dream that we would visit her that day... so that was pretty cool. She told her husband that morning that we would probably be coming and he made fun of her because she dreamed that we would and he had a really funny look on his face!

Sunday: All of our appointments fell through, but Elder Anderson visited the Brasil, Florianópolis mission area and did a broadcast for all the members yesterday. HE SPEAKS PORTUGUESE! He has an accent (we all do...), but speaks really well! But today he is doing a special training with the missionaries from the 3 closest zones to the island so I didn’t get to go...but I thought that was cool for the missionaries from this mission that had the opportunity the see an apostle. 

But that’s all for this week, Love you all!

Elder Buck

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 58 - August 17, 2015

A gecko we discovered in our house that got smashed by the door.

A leaf with a bunch of caterpillars!

Me and the Rabbit (Elder Coelho)!

Monday: Nothing really special happened…

Tuesday: We had talked with a person at the bus stop who curiously looks like my aunt Leanna and ended up getting to know her. So this past week we went to her house ended up teaching she and her husband about the book of Mormon and the restoration. Was super cool to see their brains starting to work and realize that the things we tell people have a very strong and true argument. They committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

Wednesday: We visited Leonir and asked him if he had prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true and he said he wasn’t sure because he just felt good saying a normal prayer from the heart instead of saying a decorated Catholic prayer so that was super cool to hear. He was also able to explain super well the things we marked for him to read which was cool. We visited Laelcio and he said that his mom doesn’t want us to turn her son away form the teachings of the catholic looks like we won’t be visiting him any time soon. It’s a bummer because he seemed super uninterested when we showed up...

Thursday: We knocked SO MANY DOORS but found a person to start teaching named Pamela. We taught her the first part of the restoration and about families and stuff but with a twist using the Liahona from this month. Before leaving I had a super strong impression to ask her if she likes to read and she said, "who doesn’t like to read, I love to read!" SO...we are kind of short on Book of Mormons at the moment so I ended up giving her a copy of the Liahona instead and told her I wanted it back (as an excuse to go back to visit her again)! I’m so smart! Elder wasn’t too pleased with me giving her the only Liahona from the month of August that we had, but I am hoping it’ll turn out okay!

Friday: We walked a lot this day just looking for unknown members of the church that the Bishop gave to us and it was pretty rough... We had dinner at a member’s house though, so that was cool!

Saturday: We had a meeting with the second counselor of the bishopric to talk about the activities we are going to be doing these next few months to get the ward excited about missionary work because this ward is dead! We are hoping that these activities will bring some investigators to church because it has been a while... we knocked a bunch of doors this day and found a married couple! So that was cool, we taught them and they seemed pretty interested!

Sunday: We went to church and taught a couple lessons and it was a great day!

Love you all!

Elder Buck

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 57 - August 10, 2015

Monday: I don’t really have much to say about this day...

Tuesday: We had a lunch appointment marked at a house on the other side of the universe and we took the bus. The worst choice of bus ever...We ended up taking a tour of a large part of Joinville that was completely out of our area and we showed up at the members house 2 hours late....But we did end up finishing up our day with a bang having family home evening with a less active member and his non member family which was cool. After that, we had a good lesson with Anita and her 10-year-old daughter Mariani. Afterward, Anita PROMISED she would go to church on Sunday too. The visit was really strange actually... Mariani was hosting a Bible study class thing at her house like half hour after we arrived and when we finished, the Catholic ladies started showing up and we thought about sticking around but the Spirit said no hahaha....yeesh. 

Wednesday: We had interviews with President and that guy is super cool! His scriptures are super crazy.

President Silva's scriptures vs. a missionary's scriptures

Thursday: We did a lot of contacting this day and found 4 new people to teach.... It was way cool! The first is Lealcio. He is 22 and when we knocked on his door and started talking about the apostasy he got super interested. He let us in, we taught him about the restoration and then he agreed to let us come back and talk more about it. Then there’s Marilda....she is kind of weird and doesn’t understand very much but yeah... We knocked on a door last week and a guy answered and told us to come back this week and when we returned he let us in and his situation is pretty interesting. He was super interested in the Book of Mormon, and he’s read the Bible 6 times cover to cover…in jail....Soooo we left the book with him and they PROMISED that they would go to church Sunday too.

Friday: We did a ton of trackting again... its rough hahaha, but later that day we visited Naor, a less active member, and he tried convincing us that dentists just want to rip teeth out of people’s heads and that 7 guys tried killing him for leaving the Catholic church and it was weird.... We continued knocking doors after and his dad found us on the street (Naor is a grown man living with his dad...) he told us that he has schizophrenia...that cleared up some stuff for sure.

Saturday: We had a lesson with Leonir and Cleonisse (investigators we found knocking doors...) And Leonir read the part we marked in the Book of Mormon 4 times. It was awesome! Cleonisse is getting there... And we asked him if he prayed to know if the book is true and he said no. He said he didn’t want to pray because he feels like he’s asking God for a sign haha. But he said he would pray anyway and let us know, He’s so cool! 

Sunday: We went to church and none of our investigators showed up. We did have a lesson with some less actives (this is memorable) and this member (Silvana). She just thinks super outside the box and she asked me if the apples in the US taste the same as apples in Brasil and if we have bananas there. Sometimes I feel like I’m from a different planet.

But it was a great week!

Elder Buck

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 56 - August 3, 2015

Took this picture today for all of you!

Joinville Sun!

I had a fantastic week and hope I can put it all in this one Email...

Monday: It was an awful start to a good week - EVERYTHING fell through! But we did talk with a drunk guy on the street and he said we could pass by his house that doesn’t exist. We tried hahaha. 

Tuesday: We had a lunch appointment with a less active member (Maria) who lost her mom this past week. We had the opportunity to talk to her a little more about the plan of salvation and how God’s plan for us is perfect and how He has a perfect love for all of his children. She wanted to quit believing in God and one of the Elders said something really interesting. "Do you think that not believing in God will make your life better?" And it is so true! We can never stop going to church, reading the scriptures, and praying daily. Our situation may be a lot different than hers, but we never really know what life has in store for us!

Wednesday: We had a lesson with an inactive member and he was struggling with some of the same things as Maria (minus the loss of a loved one) and wanted to stop believing In God. He is a member who almost went on a mission and didn’t because of some worthiness problems and now lives with his girlfriend. He has no job, doesn’t go to church, has a baby boy, and is super lost and far from the Spirit. Luckily, I learned a valuable lesson from my dad when I was a small boy. I asked him to imagine that I was the Spirit and he was himself. I asked for everyone to start talking at the same time and then I quietly started trying to talk with him. I started to move myself into other part of the house, and every time he "sinned" placing myself farther and farther away from him until he couldn’t hear me anymore. As we taught this super cool lesson about God and the Spirit, he remembered how he felt as a little boy and he understood very well the principle we were teaching!  Thank you Dad hahaha. We also taught a lesson with Leonir and his wife about families and it was way cool! Also taught a girl who smokes a ton and her boyfriend about the Word of Wisdom and she has been trying to stop little by little. 

Thursday: We dedicated this day to just knock doors to find new people to teach. When we approached this house, we saw this young man sitting in the doorway and before we could say anything, he went inside and a woman from another part of the house told us to enter (we were super weirded out because nobody ever does that...) We went inside and there was a huge family inside a dark room and on the wall was a picture of the temple in Curitiba. The dad introduced himself and they were a less active family from Rio de Janeiro who had been looking for a church the past 2 months and haven’t been able to find one. It was like God placed us at their doorstep and they ended up going to church and it was crazy! They have 3 sons, Israel, Mosias, and Moroni. Yeah!

Friday: Was another day dedicated to knocking on doors and just before we were finished we saw a woman closing her window and decided to talk with her. We asked her name and she got all weird and asked us why, so we told her who we were and she seemed super uninterested. We went to leave and just then she said, "Wait! You know, God answered my prayer... I just received an answer." We were kind of confused…but she asked us if we could return the next day and we said YES! (see Saturday)

Saturday: We returned to this woman’s house (Edisangela and Diego) and got to know them. She explained to us that she was sitting in her window asking if God could give her an answer to know if He really exists. Right then we sort of popped in and she was super shocked. When she was telling us what happened she got super emotional and was so happy to know that God really does answer us when we need Him the most. It was super cool! Her husband didn’t seem too interested but I’m anxious to see what will happen!

Sunday: We went to church and the meetings were awesome. Afterward, Elder Coelho and I had a lesson and since everything else kind of fell through we did some contacts and nothing was really working out…BUT Bishop did realize that the missionaries need help in this ward. It was just such a great and awesome week! That’s all!

Elder Bailey Buck