Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I would like to say that because of this week I am no longer the same person I was last week. The changes I've been able to see in myself are beyond my words to explain.
This week we had an even higher desire/ faith level than I had when I was with Elder Medina when we baptized 17 in the transfer. This week Elder Farias and I tried to do every single little thing possible to show the Lord our desire to reach our goals as a zone and as a companionship.
We found a dagger in our house.
Starting Tuesday morning, we fasted until Sunday night. We would eat a small breakfast and restart our 24 hour fast every day of the week, some days we didn’t even eat breakfast and kept going to see how far we could push ourselves relying on the Lord's strength to continue on.
Every single night, on our knees we individually prayed as said in Enos chapter 1 verse 2, "And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins." We prayed every night for at least 2 hours, and many nights more, begging, pleading, and "wrestling" with The Lord to help us and our zone accomplish our goals (as well as for our investigators, so that the Spirit could open and soften their hearts and minds towards our message and Jesus Christ's grand plan of happiness for them.
We are working on repenting and doing better each day- every second actively seeking to not make the same mistakes we individually used to make. We are not perfect, but we are anxiously trying every second of every day to choose to right, to do what Christ would do, and to change not only our behaviors, but our natures as missionaries, Priesthood holders, and Men of God.
The City of Porto Feliz
We planned and worked in our area and with the zone harder than we ever had, no breaks, no rest, nothing, as Tad R. Callister said our mindset was "just the track and the finish" nothing else pulsed through our minds, just our goals and what needed to be done to accomplish them. For us, every single day was the last day of our missions.
On a division with Elder Galeano
We also did a division with ward members almost every day to multiply our forces to get more done. We humbled ourselves and let the Spirit guide us where to go and what to say. This week I learned that I truly am nothing, all that was done, all that happened was the Lord and that’s it.
Sunday night, President Farnes and his family came to Itu and gave talks to all of the investigators in the entire zone/stake and after we baptized 7 more people together as a zone.
Elder Hunt and Ferias with Pamela and David and his wife
Also, our recent convert, David, who was baptized last week, received the Priesthood on Sunday and was able to baptize his wife! :)
Elde Hunt also baptized Irene this week (far left)
In the end, our zone baptized 15 this week, breaking the old zone record of 25 baptisms in 5 weeks, to 35 baptisms in 4 weeks. This is even better because generally zones in the interior (way more rich, no favella)-where we are- have a much harder time baptizing. Also, Elder Farias and I ended up baptizing 9 in the month, baptizing more than any other companionship in the mission, winning the "Placa de Desejo" or desire plate.
Elders Hunt and Farias with Bruno and his family on his baptism day
From this week I learned what can be done with faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. Obedience, faith, acts. This week I learned how every single week needs to be and will be, for the rest of my mission, and how I need to be for the rest of my life.
Once again I am thankful for this incredible experience that I've been able to have here. Please continue to expect more and more from us.
Bruno with his family
Monday, June 22, 2015
Itu is located in the interior, further away from Sao Paulo
Monday-Great day, it rained and was nice and cold.
Tuesday- Today was another great day. At District meeting I helped our district leader Elder Martinez with his training because he's new and still learning; AND his district is ALL SISTERS, so it’s a little harder too. :)
Elder Hunt with his animal friends
We planned all the interviews that were to happen the next day with President Farnes in the zone. We have a family home evening in a member’s house with three investigators. The investigators are the nieces of the member; it was a great success and the investigators really enjoyed it.
David is an investigator we found and started teaching last transfer, but we starting working in a different area and we weren’t able to constantly follow up and teach him, UNTIL NOW. HE IS AMAZING.HE LITERALLY IS THE MOST ELECT INVESTIGATOR I'VE SEEN IN MY ENTIRE MISSION. He is 25 years old, he is married, has a 3 year old girl, has a car, lives close to the church, and works with Herbal Life, a world wide health supplement company; he is SO awesome! He has the most amazing questions; he keeps all his commitments, and ALWAYS wants to learn more and more. We even explained to him the organization of the church from the Prophet, Apostles, Area Seventy, Mission President, down to district leader, before his baptism and he understands and knows it all is true! He is so great!!!
Wednesday-We had interviews with President Farnes! The interviews started at 1pm so we bought him a snack consisting of grapes, greek yogurt, water, sparkling soda, M&Ms, and a snickers, and he absolutely loved it haha :) He had been doing interviews with another zone before ours and he hadn't eaten anything all day!
A cool Brasilian Fruit Tree
The whole zone was at our chapel in Itu. We followed up with investigators during the day because as the zone leaders, our interviews are always last. In fact, Elder Farias and I were the last people to be interviewed in the entire mission! I was finally interviewed at about 9pm at night, and it was AMAZING. President Farnes is so Christ like that just spending a few moments with him you feel his and the Savior's love so strongly that you leave the interview as a new person. :) He is so great; I am so blessed to have him as my Mission President.
A few more awesome things: first, we had a bunch of boxes of Books of Mormon in our house so we asked President if we could take his car to go get them...AND HE SAID YES!!!!! I drove President's car! (very carefully) Just the feeling of being behind the wheel again was too good to be true. Honestly the only thing I want when I get home is a nice car again haha, but seriously. :) Also, that night the interviews ended so late that President gave us a ride home. He wanted to see my Olympic rings, so he came inside our house and started doing pull-ups and dips with the rings!!!!! What a stud haha! He's super strong too! What an awesome Mission President! That night six missionaries slept at our house due to the late night interviews.
Thursday-We went to the cartorio and set up another wedding and baptism for the 17th of July!!!! We followed up with David for his baptism on Sunday and worked at night in Sao Judas.
This area is very different from the favellas
Friday-We did a division with Elder Quero, and he did our baptismal interviews for the week! Aside from Elder Medina, meu pai, Elder Quero is the coolest Chilean that I know! J
Saturday-We followed up with all of our investigators for Church on Sunday and used all our records of people who have been to church from our area book in Sao Judas.
Elder Hunt with David on his baptism day
Sunday-David was baptized Sunday morning, he received the Holy Ghost during sacrament meeting and we are planning to get him interviewed on Tuesday to get the Aaronic Priesthood. Then he will baptize his wife next week. We baptized the future Stake President! J
As of now, our zone is still number 1 in the mission for baptisms and this week will be the last week of the competition for the month. This week decides the winner, it is all or nothing, win or lose. THIS IS OUR WEEK.
WE SAY YES WHEN OTHERS SAY NO
WE DO AND OTHERS DONT
WE RISE WHILE OTHERS SLEEP
WE DONT AND CANT STOP
ZONA ITU JUNIO 2015
Monday, June 15, 2015
Monday-We did a division with two funny old guys in our ward. They are both super slow, but they have so much heart for missionary work.
Tuesday-We followed up with a lot of our investigators in an area called Sao Judas, an area a little more humble, even though Itu is rich and touristy, lol. That night we went to Sorrocoba to meet with a member who made our zone t-shirts. The catch is, is that they are given out once a week to one companionship who does the best in the zone. He didn’t finish all the shirts, so he gave us a giant shirt for free as a test drive- lol.
Wednesday-We had district meeting and Elder Quero and Galeano won the t shirt for last week because they baptized two and had a ton of investigators in sacrament meeting with a baptismal date! Awesome day!!!
Thursday-We found peanut butter at a fancy supermarket, so that was sweet because they don’t normally have peanut butter in Brasil. Elder Quero and Galeano came to our area later in the night to do two interviews for us. That night we also did practices with 8 year old Bianca so she would know what to say so her dad would let her be baptized. We did the same thing with Bianca's mom Edina to convince her husband of 6 years to get married to him so they can get baptized. Another amazing day!
Flavio and Nayane
Friday-Flavio and Nayane finally got married today! Today was also the Brazilian equivalent of Valentine's day! How romantic huh? ;) It was fabulous!
That night Flavio, Nayane, and Bianca were baptized!!! Bianca was able to be baptized basically because she wrote her dad a letter telling him why she wanted to get baptized. He was so touched that he cried and he let her get baptized :) Só alegria!!!!! :) Awesome day!!!
Elders Hunt and Farias with Flavio and Nayane on their baptism day
Elder Hunt and Elder Farias with Bianca on her baptism day
Bianca on her baptism day with her parents
Saturday-We had something super awesome happen called a Mission Tour. All the zones in the Interior de Sao Paulo met and Elder Schmeil gave a talk and trainings. It was incredible, he talked a lot about the Sacrament and the importance of it, as well as The Sabbath day. It was incredible :)
Sunday-Flavio, Nayane, and Bianca were confirmed today. We had lunch with Almir our ward mission leader and then the miracles happened again.
We went in search of more baptisms so we went to talk to Nubia, a woman who had frequented the church for over 6 months a few years ago but was never baptized. We taught her in the home of one of her good member friends. We taught her a strong lesson with a video and she accepted the baptismal invite for that evening.
Nubia and Jefferson on their baptism day
Also in the lesson was the nephew of the member, named Jefferson who was never super interested in the church in the past, but was touched by the Spirit and he also wanted to be baptized!Later that evening they were baptized.
Monday-P day, a few Elders in our zone played football, soccer, and basketball in the rain this morning. It was super fun, but Brasilians don’t understand how to play football, lol, só futebol.
In the end, Elder Farias and I baptized five people this week and and as a zone, we baptized nine. With this we are in first place for the mission competition in overall baptisms! God is good, such an amazing week! I've never been happier!
This guy takes his rooster on a walk every Sunday.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Monday- Good p day! That night we met with our Ward Mission Leader, Irmao Almir, who is amazing! He is the best; he is always willing to help us no matter the hour or the task. That night he bought us açai and a pizza!
Tuesday-Transfer meeting! Transfers are always great, a motivating President Farnes message and seeing old friends!
After, we had leadership counsel with the Zone Leaders and the Assistants. Many young zone leaders were called because so many missionaries are ending their missions and not many missionaries are being called to the mission. We shared what went wrong and right in our zones, what will be done to fix it and how to improve. And to end, President ordered us all pizza and made us root beer floats! They don’t even have root beer in Brasil! It was amazing!!!
Wednesday-We had district meeting, which was a zone training we gave. We passed all of the new stuff we learned at the leadership counsel to the zone. We also started a competition with in the zone, with the winners winning an awesome custom-made t shirt that we designed!
We marked a ton of baptismal dates and used a new dvd in almost all our lessons that President Farnes gave us. Great, exhausting day.
Thursday-Today was a holiday here in Brasil. We talked with President and the secretaries and they agreed to give us a 2nd cell phone so we can follow up better with our zone, because our cell phone doesn’t allow us to call one half of our zone due to its location. So early Thursday morning a member drove us to Sao Paulo to the mission office to get our other cell phone!
Good day, that night we redid our activity that included Meet the Mormons and refreshments. The results were much better than the first time we did this. This time, we had over 25 investigators come and we literally had two people come up to us afterward and asked to be baptized that very moment!
Friday-Great day of work! We organized a ward soccer night in efforts to get more investigators, recent converts, and members involved. Another great success!
Saturday-We had an early morning division with Elder Galeano and Quero. I stayed in the area with Elder Quero. I like Elder Quero alot! He is Chilean and arrived with me in Brasil on the same day! The day was a little frustrating, but we taught some very powerful lessons. We had a baptism planned but it fell...
Sunday-Our other baptisms ended up falling, but we fought until the very last second of the night.
From rereading and studying "How to Become a Consecrated Missionary," I can become a more consecrated missionary by more than just reading and studying The Book of Mormon, and living more of it with faith. For example, Sunday afternoon we had an extremely strong prompting to visit an investigator, but we had no idea how we would get there or why we were going there, just like Nephi building the ship to get to the new world. Nephi had no idea how to build a ship, but he trusted that the Lord would reveal it unto him. This is something I am really trying to focus on, along with not always being in such a hurry that we miss out on the promptings of the Spirit to do certain things and talk with certain people. I also am working on strengthening the power of my mind and willpower, pushing to do more and more and more, nothing is sufficient or enough.
Monday-We cleaned A TON, played a little football, studied, worked out a little. At the end of the week, our zone, Zona Itu, baptized the most in the mission, and it’s going to stay like that ;)
Matthew 3:13-17 “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Have an amazing week!