Monday, August 10, 2015

Noah's Ark and Missionary Work

Well our ward is doing really well, but our investigators....
So we have been spending a lot of time working with members, less actives, and recent converts. It's been leading to results! A lot of members and reactivations, for example. The only thing is that we aren't having much luck with our investigators.

This week we started working with a less active member. During the week she had two days in which she didn't smoke, dropped from smoking two boxes a day to two sticks, and went to church! 

Also this week we started asking for referrals in a new manner. We tell the story of Noah (how he saved people from the flood) and ask them:  "If you were Noah who would you want on the bark? Then we write down all the names, and show how they can be like Noah and invite their friends to get in the old boat of Zion and to be safe from the deadly sins of the world. We then work with the person to visit all of these people and get them to church, (but seeing how we are in phase two (contatcting people) we have yet to see a lot of results).

I love you all! 
Elder Lindsey

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mission Tour--1 Year in the Mission

So this week we had mission tour. 
We had P-day and this week almost everything fell through but we found a family of 8 (6 above 8 years) 
We went to Juiz de Fora, and prepared for mission tour.
We had Mission tour and returned home (and I completed one year on the mission)

This week was hard. I think because it's winter break no one is home, so its hard to find people and hard to teach them. But despite the difficulties that made the work hard we did well.

We learned a ton in mission tour!  It was more or less follow the spirit, be humble, follow the spirit, work effectively, follow the spirit, increase your testimony, and whatever the spirit says... DO IT. Oh and did I mention follow the Spirit?
Elder Costa talked about his conversion and his testimony and how important it is to follow the Spirit. He talked about the power of the Atonement and how hard it was for Christ and how we rarely understand exactly what happened or exactly how perfect Christ is. He also told us that we through the atonement may be as Christ is. Perfect. We may be clean. He is the Savior. We may be saviors on mount zion. He has become as the Father, and so may we, through the power of the Atonement. Christ has overcome the world, death and sin, and so to may we. 
Even though we are nothing compared to God, we are not nothing to him!  Your worth to Him is great, and He loves YOU. He loves you enough that He sent His Son. He loves you enough that he restored the Gospel of His Son. God is watching over each and every one of us, and with God on our side how can we fail?

Now is the time to chose whose side we are on, and if we aren't on the side of Christ--get there now! Put both feet on His side and run to Him with everything you have, because it is hard, and there are those that would destroy us.

I know that God loves me. I know that he cares for me, and wants me to succeed. and so that I may succeed He send His Son.
Elder Lindsey

Monday, June 29, 2015

1st Week in Barbacena: Faith in Jesus Christ Leads to Eternal Life

Well another great week in Barbacena. The people here are considerably more open than the people in Rio, The Catholic church is considerably stronger here, so we are having success. The only problem is that the chapel is in a rather inconvenient spot, and we didn't have investigators at church.

But, hey! This week we are going to do a big event in the middle of the city with a bunch of members and we will be handing out pamphlets, copies of the Book of Mormon, pass along cards, and talking to every one who passes by.

This week we taught one of our investigators the Word of Wisdom, and he has simply vanished. We aren't able to talk with him, as he isn't picking up the phone. When we go to his house his father says he isn't home. We are praying that we can encounter him again and that his testimony will out weigh his desires to continue smoking.

This week we had several of those days where nothing happened, but while walking one street we felt like we should start knocking doors, and on that street alone we started teaching and gained baptismal dates with three families. Now we have to see where this leads and pray hard for them.

Thursday we were heading to lunch when we had a man stop us and try to burn us using the bible, and I decided rather than burn him like I usually do to try and speak with love. It didn't make that much of a difference for him, but for me I felt considerably better then I usually do after something like this happens.

Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and more or less tied everything to two points: Everything starts with faith in Jesus, and leads to eternal life.  
Also Sunday we had a M.M.T.C. (member missionary training center) where we talked about how the members can better fulfill their part and help the missionaries. 

Have a happy Monday (and for you missionaries happy p-day) 

Stay firm in the faith!
Moroni 7
Corinthians 13
or just go do a thorough study about Charity.

Elder Lindsey
Sempre Fies 

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Area: Barbacena

Welcome to my new area!
 I'm in a small ward that has a lot of problems, but they are working hard to overcome.
Barbacena is even smaller than my old area Barra Mansa and is extremely Catholic. Every day at six o'clock you can hear "ave maria cheia de graça... " being announced throughout the whole city sounding from every single Catholic church (which aren't few)
The city here is a bit cooler than Barra Mansa, and I pulled out a long sleeve shirt for the first time since Petropolis.
Saterday we had a "festa junina" and had a good number of non-members show up there and we had our own "barraca" and were giving out pass along cards, pamphlets and copies of the Book of Mormon. 
This week we will be doing an exposition in the city to do the same thing with everyone else but it might be a little hard as we wont receive materials and will more or less be handing out pass along cards.
So this week we are teaching a man 22 years old who is really awesome. This week he went to church (at 9 AM), and took his girlfriend there (we didn't know he had one). 
The last time we visited him he started saying that he didn't doubt, but that he didn't yet know, so we shared with him Alma 32 where it talks about the seed.
We were then talking to him about baptism, and he talked about how he felt that in order to be baptized he should be free of addictions (he smokes, and we haven't yet taught him the word of wisdom!!
Also at the end of priesthood meeting we asked the men in the ward if any would be available to do some visits with us this week, and two men, the bishop, and this investigator said they would be available, but our investigator said he would like to know a little bit more first. (yeah he is really awesome)
We are also teaching a young woman, who at the "festa" saw that the people serving food were behind, so she jumped in and started helping. She also has introduced us to her mother, grandparents, and her mothers boyfriend (her mom is separated). She goes to all of the activities in the church, and is making friends with the members of the ward.

Well I love you all and pray that you are blessed, and have the stregnth to resist temptation.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Elder Lindsey

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Prayer is Real

Transfers are this week and I am being transferred!

This week we spent plenty of time in a neighborhood which has rarely been worked by the missionaries (that same one that we started working in these days). We have been having a lot of success there, as of yet we have worked on only 2 streets and gained 5 baptismal dates with these people. 

     So this week we had divisions on Tuesday. We worked to contact the people we had already contacted and  we succeed in finding several new investigators.

     We taught one man whose family is against the church, his mother took the Book of Mormon from him and hid it, and gave it to us as we were leaving-- but we saw him on the street and returned the it to him.

     We found a man who lives in humble circumstances who doesn't even have a chair in his house, but is receiving the lessons. Though he has little time, he seeks to complete the commitments we leave with him.

     We taught an elderly woman who doubts that God calls prophets again, but managed to convince her to plant the seed, and if it grows let it bear fruit. (aka read and pray)

     We had an elderly woman go to church this week who we had been teaching about 3 months ago. She told us that she felt like she needs to get baptized, but is still a little uncertain.

     This week we visited a member and had a family home evening with them, and her friend passed by as we were starting and was invited to enter and hear the message. We briefly resumed the Restoration lesson(she has already received the missionaries) and talked about how we, like captain Moroni, Amon, Alma, Paul, Peter, (Alma Chapter 48) can build our foundations on Christ (Helaman 5:12) by faith, hope, charity, love, humility, patience, virtue, diligence, knowledge, and obedience. At the end of the message she asked to come to church with us (sadly this week she had promised a friend that she would go to church with her) but this week she will go to church.

     This week I had a cool experience with prayer. On the mission I have learned to be direct, as when we are direct we act with faith and authority.I decided to pray by being direct. I decided not to ask for vague things like bless me that i can find people to teach, but more about where should I go to find those who are prepared to hear. Also with questions about the gospel, for example, "what does this investigator need?", or  "what will this help this investigator, and satisfy his needs?". 
     Doing this I received clearer answers, and had an immediate knowledge that God had heard my prayers. We teach our investigators that prayer is a conversation, and I have learned it is.

     I know that Jesus is the Christ, that He lives, He has restored His gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith. He guides us today through a living prophet. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is the true church, and the Book of Mormon, as surely as if it had been writen by the hand of God is true.
     And i know that God loves me.
     May He bless you all
-Elder Lindsey, your brother in Christ

Monday, May 18, 2015

Progressing Investigators and Mission Council

So this week we had a really cool experience! A man showed up at seminary and the teacher took his address and passed it to us. We visited him the next day, and he has a baptismal date! The next day he went to institute and he went to church! He understands the lessons well, and is excited to learn about family history work.
Right now, with the exception of the investigator mentioned above our investigators are progressing slowly. We encountered an investigator who we haven't been able to talk to for a while, and he said that his work is short several workers right now so everyone is working double and he hasn't been able to go to church because he is currently working Sunday morning.
Since Elder Dias was temporarily out of commission this week, I went to mission council in his place, and I learned a ton there. All of the stuff that the zone leaders tell us is little compared to what they talk about in mission council. Then again the next day I had to pass a part to the zone which really wasn't too bad.
Elder Dias is doing a lot better, and is back on his feet working hard, but we have another missionary in our zone that has caught dangue. What fun.

Well another normal and wild week in Brasil

Elder Lindsey

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

He's Training!

Well this week was great! Elder G Correâ was transferred to Novo Friburgo, which is in Teresopolis. I had to go to Juiz de Fora to pick up my companion and receive a training then we came back home (about 9 hours of traveling.) We started work on Thursday an all if our plans fell through, but we managed to knock a few doors and find some new investigators. Elder Cruz (my new companion) assigned a baptismal date in his first lesson in the field!!
Friday was weekly planning and a little less successful than Thursday (we still had 4 lessons but we cut a lot of investigators.) 
However, we did teach one man and his girlfriend and helped them learn about the Restoration.
Saturday was pretty normal (except taking an Elder to the hospital) but we did have several drunkards stop us on the streets.
Sunday we walked clear out to a neighborhood called Km4 (because it is at kilometer marker 4 (I'm pretty sure its already in São Paulo) then headed to Ano Bom where we went to the house of a member and talked to our families for Mother's Day, and then headed home.
I've returned to be Assistant to the Zone Leaders because one of them is sick and the responsibilities is way to much for one Elder. I will therefore have to journey all the way to Juiz de Fora again tonight.)
This week I have started asking a lot more questions and now I'm getting good at having the investigator let himself be taught by the Spirit. It's a much more effective way to teach! The sad part is that several times I have seen the investigator know that it is true, or at least know that he can know and still turn down happiness.
Our efforts have been exceedingly more effective and we have been spending more time on lessons and walking a lot less!
We have also had the opportunity to give several blessings this week and it is amazing to feel the Spirit guide the words that come out of the mouth of the person giving the blessing.
The new elders in my district are pretty cool, we have two in training, and a pretty awesome new Zone Leader

well I love you all and I will write to y'all again next week!

Ask and ye shall receive knock and it shall be opened unto you.

Elder Lindsey