Monday, July 20, 2015

The Secret to Success

                                                                  Zone Conference
Break time at the zone conference
Hello to all after another week! The most exciting thing that happened this past week had to be the Zone Conference last Tuesday. It's always fun to see past friends and companions and a great opportunity to hear from Presidente and Sister Parrela. One of the things that stuck out to me from the conference was this question: "What was the secret to the success of Jesus Christ as the perfect missionary?" In the end the answer is kind of obvious but it was one of those mind-blowing, right in front of you moments, haha, that Christ only did the will of the Father and that he was exactly obedient. (John 5:30, 6:30, 7:16-17, & Luke 22:42) The same stuff as always shed in a new light, cool :)
                                                                             Seeing Old Friends:
                                                                    E. Sargent
                                                                           E. Gois
                                                                     E. Lailson Silva
At our apartment after the conference we also had the elders from San Tiago sleep there to wait for the bus the next morning. So obviously we took advantage of the opportunity and got xis with everyone.
                                                                     Xis- Yummm!

Anyway the rest of our week is a big blur in my mind... Saturday night Bishop called me and said "hey Elder, did anyone tell you that you have a talk tomorrow?".. umm nope haha. But it's all good, we are prepared for this as missionaries. I talked about how we receive revelation through prayer, scripture study, and church attendance. Pretty easy considering I only had to say the stuff that I teach to people pretty much every day. 

Well sorry for the short letter but I love you all and hope that your week goes well!

Elder Pierce
Pancake breakfast that one of the other elders made for us one morning :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Zone Leader Stuff

 Gaucho Legal   
I bought these boots, all I need now is the hat to finish off my gaucho set. :)

My first week here in Santo Ângelo as zone leader went well. My companion Elder Santos Araujo and I have a lot of stuff to do. We have a "good cop (me), bad cop (him)" relationship haha with everyone, other missionaries investigators etc., haha. When Elder Santos Araujo left the CTM I came in so he has 2 more weeks than I do in the mission which makes him my first companion who has more than a year on the mission when I served with them. 
My companion Elder Santos Araujo

As a zone leader we don't have junior or senior companion so we just work things out as we go... so that's interesting. Here's some of the stuff we got to do last week. Tuesday after the 6 hour bus ride from Livramento to Santa Maria was the Mission Council (coolness!) where all of the zone leaders and leaders of the sisters get together and we receive training from the assistants, Sister Parrela and Presidente. A big part of what they told us to help our missionaries was to 1) be happy and 2) believe we can baptize. Then after the trainings everyone sits in a bit circle and we discuss ideas of how to improve the mission. I presented an idea of how to better accompany our district/zone meetings with specific goals and guided additional studies. After all the meetings were over Elder Santos Araujo and I got on a bus to Santo Ângelo, another 4 hours, and we got home late and tired. 
                                                           The bus to Santa Rosa
selfie #aloneonthebus
Next week we have Zone Conference (meeting with various zones back in Santa Maria ahh! more bus rides) so as the zone leaders we had to contact the bus company that will leave from here in the city. We organized all of the information of the missionaries that will travel with us and had to communicate to everyone when we will leave and from where etc. The bus will pass through here, Ijuí and then Cruz Alta before heading down to Santa Maria (not to mention having to do all that in reverse on the way back -ugh). 

As a zone leaders we also do the baptismal interviews for our district leaders. A bit about Zone Santo Ângelo: its huge! The zone covers 4 cities, here, Santa Rosa, San Tiago, and São Luiz Gonzaga. So Friday I had to travel to Santa Rosa alone to go do a baptismal interview for the district leader there. I left 6 from here got there 7. Ran and did the interview: all good. Then went to the district leader's house and gave him some instruction on how to do the paper work etc. because he is new. Then ran back to the bus station at 9 to get home around 10. A bit exhausting but it's all part of the deal. My area here has had some great elders pass through so we have a lot of work to do. Including we had a baptism this week of a boy named Sandro :) Irmão Guilherme is his neighbor and has been working with Sandro's family to bring them to church, literally we are only helping him do his own missionary work as a member. 
This week will be super busy too so I look forward to getting to tell y'all all about it.

Love and hugs! have a great week

Elder Pierce
before the mission council when all the zone leaders and sister trainers 
(? I dont know the name in English... its Líder Treinador das Sisteres in Portuguese) 
sit in a big circle and discuss ideas to inprove the mission
 Baptism of Sandro (Brother Guilherme (translated would be William) performed the ordinance)
traditional pizza after a baptism

Monday, July 6, 2015

An Impactful Week

                                      I made those scripture covers/ box things for Elder Alencar
Well family this week was full of impactful events that I will share with y'all.

Monday wonderful magical Mom activated my card! So that ended a bit of the drought and I'm gonna try this week to finish up some of my gaúcho get up because the clothes and stuff here in Livramento are cheaper than anywhere else.

Tuesday was our District meeting where we played my board game. We reviewed chapter 9 of PMG and then when they stopped on a space they drew a sorted practice situation about one of the principles in chapter 9 all about finding new people to teach. I think it worked out great because it turned practices which are usually really lame into being fun! Everyone said that they wished there was more time to play :)
                                           Making the game for our District Training Meeting
                                               (like the First Presidency game pieces/ haha)
                                                                Playing the game! :) 

Wednesday we had the opportunity to be the answer to a family's prayer. The family had been unable to buy food for a long time and without a word after we left the house Elder Alencar and I both knew what we had to do. We went straight to the store and returned to drop off what we could; basics like beans, rice, and eggs. And it worked out that they had left their door open and were in another room so we were able to slip in and leave the groceries on their table without a peep and then we were off.

Thursday I had the opportunity to do some baptismal interviews. It was an amazing spiritual experience to be able to explain to one of them about the importance of the commandments, the miracle that is repentance, and how the love of God is more powerful than all things. I was truly able to see how the spirit works through us to be able to serve his children and help them back home. God really does answer our prayers, we just need to listen and put our interests out of the way.

Friday morning when Elder Alencar and I were doing our weekly planning I got a call from President Parrela. He called to inform and congratulate me for my new call in the mission as a Zone Leader! I will
Me and my son!
be transferred to Santo Angelo, everyone who I talk to says that it's a beautiful city and all the missionaries say that the ward there is really good. My companion and fellow zone leader will be Elder Santos Araujo from São Paulo I think. There were some mixed feelings about leaving here especially as Elder Alencar was about tearing up when I got the phone call and he knew I would leave but he'll be alright. His step-dad will be another Elder who actually is already here in our district who only moved to the neighboring area, weird but cool haha (the same elder who is leaning over playing the game in the pictures). I also couldn't help but laugh when I remembered a talk from general conference: "Unfortunately, there was a time in my life when I was motivated by titles and authority. It really began innocently. As I was preparing to serve a full-time mission, my older brother was made a zone leader in his mission. I heard so many positive things said about him that I couldn’t help but want those things said about me. I hoped for and may have even prayed for a similar position..." - Elder Ringwood. But I know that the brothers won't do the same haha ;)

                                                                                The rest of the week was more of a blur and so I'll leave it at that but I love you all and I hope y'all have a good week!

Elder Pierce