Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 99 - May 30, 2016

Me and my puppy friend.

Our soon to be baptized and her family 
(she's holding the doggy and her name is Carolina)

Well well well...Where do I begin?? This week was super great, and on top of everything today is officially my very last pday in the field. Where did the time even go??

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10...............Did y’all get the joke??? Because that is how many days I have left out here! Bahahah I am hilarious! Just kidding...but seriously trunkiness is inevitable.

In all seriousness I have learned so much since I have been out here. I’ve learned about the gospel, myself, people, culture, Portuguese (haha), sacrifice, diligence, responsibility, "and so forth"...I was talking with my companion and reflecting a little bit about the mission and came to the conclusion that it has been the furthest thing from easy. To say that these were the happiest two years of my life might be a bit of a stretch, but the BEST two years? The mission definitely wins that title. This is the best decision I’ve made in my life so far, and will be something I’ll look back on every day for the rest of my life. It has given me the chance to take advantage of learning so much about the gospel and to gain experience. No matter what anyone says, it can be the best two years. The mission has certainly opened up my eyes to what kind of blessings God has for those whose sacrifice something for Him. I have never felt His love for me as deeply and strongly as I have while serving those who need to feel the light that the Gospel brings. I have felt my testimony grow so rapidly as I have been doing this work. Looking back to the person I was to the person I am today, the physical appearance doesn’t seem too different (just the receding hairline...), but I can make out the spiritual differences that I have needed to go through to become more converted. That does not mean that I am a perfect person today by any means, but that I know the way I can become the person God wants me to be. Sometimes we ask for miracles to happen in our lives and we look for the miracles that happen around us, but it can be easy to forget and overlook the miracles that God does inside of us. This email is kind of all over the place, but I know today more than ever that the gospel is the right path for someone to find their way back to their heavenly home.

See you all soon!

Elder Buck

Last mirror selfie for the folks.

As camisas que compramos para mostrar que gostamos de futebol kkkkk

A family we have been teaching, super gente boa! 

Morales messing around with my camera...


Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 98 - May 23, 2016

Two weeks and three days...

Hey Fam!

Well this week sure had its ups and downs but we are doing this thing still! We started off the week with a real bang and had our best day of teaching…then EVERYTHING fell through... It was kind of annoying. But this week we were able to help out this family that we have been visiting. They invited us to their house this week for a barbecue where they made us pork hearts (super dope!) and chicken wings. They are having a really hard time because they don’t want to stay together anymore; but in this visit the mother didn’t mention anything about divorce, and didn’t treat her husband poorly, and the same for him. Their whole countenance kind of changed. And as bad as the situation may seem, it’s incredible to see how the gospel really can bless these families.

On a different note, this week, Morales and me did a training/ sermon/ activity thing about the mission plan and missionary work. We spent and hour and a half reading scriptures, watching videos, and doing dynamic activities. It turned out to be super good seeing the members make an effort to really change their ways of thinking, and HOW they help. We resumed everything in 4 points: Cultivar União (2 Nephi 1:21), Aprender e ensinar pelo espirito (DC 42: 12-13), Banquetear-se com as escrituras diariamente (DC 84:85), e Alcançar e Resgatar as Familias (Alma 31: 32-38). It turned out super good! Five people even cried! hahaaha Now we just got to "turn the knife" (pull on the members ears a little to get them to get going a bit...).

Have a great week! Tchau!

Elder Buck

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 97 - May16, 2016

The mirror selfie

Pizza with the boys

This week was super busy with a lot of traveling and stake conference and stuff so I don’t really know what to report...We did have interviews with President and they were super good. Not to mention that it was the last interview I will have with him until I go home...In 23 days! hahaha sorry but yeah!

This week we visited a family that is really struggling to stay together and they really opened up to us and are willing to try to make some changes. We also have a little girl that we are teaching that looks like will be baptized here soon; she’s a daughter of some members here and is really making some progress! 

Morales and me have found serving in this area pretty difficult because of the lack of unity here, and unfortunately nothing seems to get better. I’ve really learned to be more patient with how things happen and how God has something to teach the people in this area that is outside of my control. Our job is to teach and exhort and sometimes that is all we can do. But in the words of president in our latest interviews, "We cannot get discouraged elders, just keep working."

And that’s all there is to it! The church will never stop being true! Love you all and keep your heads up even when it’s hard! Tchau!

Elder Buck

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 96 - May 9, 2016

Winter in Brasil!

Outside the temple *cough cough...sorry I meant the chapel

FROZONE IS IN OUR MISSION!!! oh wait thats just Riberão Preto (Elder Ribeiro)

My grandpa!!!!

So this week was really good! We traveled quite a bit to our zone meetings and slept over at the zone leaders house again so that was basically awful. Hahaha The training that we received was good though; we talked about the role of the Spirit in conversion. We learned a lot!

We have some investigators we are teaching now that are showing a bit of interest, which is way cool. I don’t know if they are going to follow though with certain commitments, but it’s good to be teaching. We have a little girl that we are teaching who is the daughter of a member here and looks like shell be making the commitment soon to get baptized.

I forgot to tell everyone last week that we did a split in the other area in our district and it was freezing there. Literally. hahaha. I think its pretty rare for Brazil temperatures to go down to 32 degrees but it did and we about froze to death. I’m going die when I go home. And on top of everything, while we were there, I met my grandpa in the mission (or in other words, my trainers trainer)! He is a pretty cool guy, now I know where I get it! ;)

But everything is good with us here. I hope you all have a great week! Tchau!

Elder Buck

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 95 - May 2, 2016

5 Weeks Y’all!

So this week was really uneventful, but the members are helping us out a bit more these days, which is really good. It’s a big difference today from when we got here. It’s a good feeling to know that we are making a little bit of a difference here, even though some days it doesn’t seem like it. Some days it is hard for us to not get discouraged because of some things that happen here with the people (and not excluding the members). Unfortunately, there isn’t much harmony and without harmony there is NO PROGRESS. So sometimes it is sad to see the church here being separated or broken up into groups.

I have learned a lot about people though, and how the real changes that need to happen in the church are in the hearts of the members. Sometimes I think, “why doesn’t God help us find new people to teach and why is it so hard some days”, but then I think about the ward and what could happen to a recent convert. I’ve decided that maybe our real work hasn’t been necessarily baptizing, but rather organizing, planning, helping, sustaining, and doing our part. Sometimes we just got to let God do his part and we do ours.

No matter what I wouldn’t give up these experiences for anything, because its all part of Gods plan for us to learn from our own mistakes and the mistakes of others. The church will never stop being true! Stay strong my friends! Love you all!

Elder Buck