Monday, September 28, 2015

Wait for the Pillar of Light

                                                                   Farewell to a friend!

This week was a busy one. When the transfer came out we got together all of the missionaries here in Santo Ângelo and went to the chapel to reveal to everyone their new areas. It was pretty fun to see everyone's reactions together. Obviously Elder Navas was transferred back to São Paulo (home) and my new companion is Elder Longo who will die this next transfer, two kill streak haha. We took a lot of funny pictures For Elder Navas' last district meeting and everyone laughed a lot at my facial expressions. 

We had the opportunity this week to be very grateful for the blessings that God has given us and to look for his hand in all things. On Saturday morning when we were on our way to the chapel to get things ready for the baptism that night we got a call from our Bishop. He said that he had talked with Edelci the night before and that she had decided to not be baptized today. A bit in shock we called Edelci and as soon as we could went straight to her house to talk it out. I haven't prayed so fervently practically running in the street, ever. When we got to her house she explained to us that she talked with her boyfriend, who lives in another city, and that he wanted to be baptized together with her. But he hasn't even met the missionaries and so he wanted her to wait until November or something to see if everything would work out. Very calmly Elder Navas and I explained to her that she had already received an answer from God of what she should do. I told her about the experience of Joseph Smith before the first vision. That before one of the greatest miracles that has ever occurred there was also great opposition. That this was the opposition that God had given her so that she could over come it and be able to partake in one of the greatest miracles of her life and take the first step in our salvation. The Spirit was super strong and we felt sure that she would decide to be baptized again. We said a last prayer and she said she would call her boyfriend again to talk it out and give us a final answer after. Elder Navas and I went straight to the chapel to fill up the baptismal font in faith that she would make the right decision. But regretfully, a few minutes before we had marked for the baptism to start she
called us cancelling... Needless to say we felt quite sad and a bit shocked but thinking about it after we have many chances to be grateful for the service that we give and that we did our part. This only was a part of our own opposition before the miracles in our life and now we just have to wait for the pillar of light.
                                     Read more about the prophet Joseph Smith's First Vision

Elder Navas went to Santa Maria on Sunday and now I'm with the other Elders until my companion arrives on Tuesday. Then BAM on Wednesday we have to travel to Santa Maria for Zone conference and this weekend will be awesome with General Conference and new apostles, very excited!

Love you all family I pray for you every day :)

Elder Pierce
                                                      Despedida (Farewell) Elder Navas

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dreams, Miracles and... It's the Final Count Down! (de de de dee...)

                  Here we are when Elder Halverson came for the exchange in 
"Soccer Team" pose

Well we are coming up to the last week of the transfer and the last week of Elder Navas. I have never bought so much pizza and stuff than in his efforts to make these last weeks of his mission "da hora"
Elder Navas loves pizza, who are we to disagree?!?
(cool or fun, etc) As the time comes he gets thinking a lot so to take his mind off of everything last P-day we played badminton with a volley-ball net , rackets and birdy that we found cleaning out the house when President and Sister Parrela came. Haha it was quite fun and did a great job of distracting Elder Navas especially with his 12 game winning streak. And there's nothing that can really change the fact that if your companion is going home you just can't help but think about how it's gonna be when your time comes too. Especially when it's close, this week makes 1 year and 8 months on the mission. It makes me feel a bit old sometimes, but then I look over at Elder Navas... and I realize haha I'm not that old hahaha. 

                                                       Epic Indoor Badminton Tournament

Here's a super cool experience that happened this week. We had our exchange with the AP, assistant to the president, Elder Halverson who I lived with back in Cruz Alta almost a year ago. In our first visit of the day we went to teach Irmã (Sister) Edelci, the mother of Ana Paula, the young woman who was baptized last month. We have been preparing Edelci to be baptized this last weekend of the month and we brought her baptismal sheet (record? not sure how you call it in English...) to fill out and make everything official for the 26th. When we got to her house the moment we sat down she said to us "I had a dream!" She had already shared with us some other dreams that she has had in the past so I was getting ready for some crazy story but she looked straight at Elder Navas and continued, "I dreamed that you baptized me." And we all just looked at each other wide eyed, BAH! (gaúcho slang: wow!) The spirit was super strong and Elder Navas said to her "Irmã Edelci you have no idea how much this means to me." And really this has made a huge difference for him especially to help him here in the final stretch. 

So yea that was awesome, I'm hanging in there and we'll see what happens with the transfers this week, for sure I'll have a new companion haha. We will have our Zone conference (Meeting with Presidente and half the mission) next week which means the first week of the transfer so Presidente has to do things a bit faster to give everyone time to prepare so instead of Friday, the transfer will probably come out on Wednesday, we'll see, no worries on my part :)

Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Pierce
                                                                           the district
this is our apartment building in the "center" or downtown

Monday, September 14, 2015

Thank Goodness for a Normal Week


I feel like there was a lot of stuff yet at the same time a whole lot of nothing that happened this week haha. This was the first week that I or Elder Navas didn't have to travel to another city! Thank goodness, but we still had an exchange which went cool because I was with Elder Araújo my old companion who is our district leader here in Santo Angelo. The day was full of good memories and great experiences. 

Anyway the entire week we were waiting for the eminent visit from President and Sister Parrela for house inspections and another round of personal interviews. Finally on Friday morning the dreaded "imperial march" ring tone that we put for President on our phone rang and in short time he and Sister were in our house throwing away a bunch of old stuff and doing the interviews. I always like personal interviews with Presidente Parrela in his "with sugar" mode haha. He talked to me a lot about how I'm going back in December and to be alright about it (which I already am but it's a nice reconfirmation) and how he talked with the mission department and how there wasn't really any other option. He also talked about his last area in his mission and the difficulties that he went through but to keep firm till the end and continue to be excellent etc... Pretty much indirect hints that I think I might be here in Santo Angelo until December, we shall see. And as the family has guessed it makes sense too for me to stay here because Elder Navas will be going back home in 14 days (a count he doesn't let anyone forget haha) Elder Navas says that when he gets trunky (thinking about home) he starts to joke around a lot. Lets just say that the day is non-stop laughter haha. 

Other stuff from this week... hummm we walked around a lot contacting "dead records" that the church sends in a "Rescue List" each trimester. Usually the list has 20 names but ours had 57! and we were stuck with 32 all spread out in the area... fun. 

But yea I'll repent and send a bunch of pictures next week, Love y'all!

Elder Pierce 

Monday, September 7, 2015

I'm an Assassin!

                                                         Participating in the Mission Council

Elder Navas  traveling again
My companion Elder Navas got an email today confirming that he will be going home one transfer early which means in 3 weeks bah! When a missionary ends his mission it's called "dying" and his last companion "kills" him so I'm going to kill Elder Navas haha. Elder Navas had already been talking with President Parrela some time about the date change so he was already expecting it, haha but still he gave a huge shout when he read the email. And then I gave another shout when I got the news of the timing of my flights home haha crazy! 
Bus rides are the best, haha.

Anyway things about this week: we had the second half of our Zone conference this week which went well. Then Elder Navas went to Santa Rosa for exchanges and I stayed with Elder Cardoso, the district leader from Santa Rosa here in Santo Ângelo. So again I spent half the week without my companion and it always rains during our exchanges. The second half of the week went pretty awesome. We had the baptism of Nandara on Saturday, her friend who first talked to her about the gospel, William, did the baptism. I got to do my favorite part and sing a solo to close out the baptism. "Eu Sei Que Vive Meu Senhor" ( I know that my redeemer lives) always makes everyone cry :') haha. And a funny bit, here is also a holiday in Brasil: their Independence Day!  Nothing is open and we convinced the lan-house (internet place) to open just for us this afternoon. So that also means that no stores where open for us to buy lunch so we met up with a member who whipped up a mini churrasco yumm. 

So yea sorry for the short email but I love you all and until next week!

Elder Pierce
We got creative and made pancakes.