Sunday, January 31, 2016

Semana 19: Três Lagoas Pt. II‏

tudo bem família e amigos,

This week has been a little different. We started out going to Araçatuba because for the first time in over a decade there was a worldwide missionary training broadcast from salt lake!!! It was super good, but it was about super top secret missionary stuff you guys can't know about. Just kidding. There were a couple speakers from the quorom of the 12, and some others from the missionary leadership of the church. It was about helping people become converted to the church and then baptizing them, which is important cause otherwise people just fall away which is sad.

This week we had 2 baptisms. We had one set in stone, but we set a goal for 2 and really pushed and at the end of the week it all turned out great. The first was Alana, who we met 2 weeks ago through a member, and the other was Maria. Maria's baptism was kind of cool cause she was taught by Elder Lisot (another elder in the mission) on the very first day of his mission, the first lesson actually, and we baptized her on the very last day before he went home. It's kind of poetic. I hope you guys all cried as much as i did when heard it. Not really though haha. But it just shows that all things happen in the Lord's time.

This week was also transfers. I'm still here in três Lagoas, and elder Aguirra went to Ribeirão Preto, so now i'm companions with Elder Vasconcelos, who was in Andradina, and we will have 2 more missionaries here in Três Lagoas. The work is about to take off for real. We were struggling a bit before because all our investigators live spread out in the city, but now we just have half a city to deal with, which is much better.

love you guys tons!
Elder Seaman

Here's a pic from Maria's baptism, and my last day with elder aguirra and Lucas and João, who we reactivated (yes, they're twins)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Semana 18

Bom dia gente,

eu espero que tudo mundo está bem. This week was SUPER good. We've been working a lot with several people who are getting very close to their baptisms, and this week we plan to have 2!!! We've been teaching this girl Alana who's been dating this guy Jared in our ward and clearly, as a mormon, he decided it wouldn't be very fitting to marry someone and have 2 different religions so he introduced her to us and lo and behold we have a baptism this saturday. At the last zone meeting, our zone leaders gave us some pretty hefty goals, so we decided to push for 2 baptisms. We considered who had the most potential, and we remembered another lady we've been teaching, Maria, and after practically turning the town upside down to find her on sunday and get her to church (long story) she wants to be baptized this saturday too!

We've also been teaching the daughter of Reginaldo, that super cool guy we baptized back in November, and she seems to really like the church and people. We were talking with Reginaldo, and seriously this guy is just amazing. He super humble and has the biggest heart and sometimes i think he does more missionary work than us. He was telling us about how hes been trying to share the gospel with his family as well cause he wants them to be as happy as he is, and asked us if we ever get sad about when people reject it. Yes. yes we do.

We've been doing a lot of divisions with some of the young men in the ward, which has been pretty fun. The last time, we stopped by the house of a guy, Jonathan, about 18 years old, who's walked into church a couple times, and we finally got around to visiting him. When we arrived he told us that his mom had died that morning. I honestly couldn't think of anything to say in portuguese or english. He invited us in though, and said it was good that we stopped by. We talked with him about the plan of salvation, and where his mom is, and a little about temple work. He went from bawling tears to seeming really content, so i was glad that we could help him. He invited us back, so well visit him this week.

The mission is a lot of work, and i always arrive at home exhausted, but it's worth it. We help people every day and get to see them change their lives, which is awesome. The only thing that kind of sucks is that now i'm starting to really like três lagoas, and i know one day ill have to go somewhere else. Until then.

Stay sweet
-Elder Seaman

P.S. here's a pic of my first family home evening in brazil!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Semana 17: The week I don't remember

Oi amigos,

this week has been a little interesting. We started the week off with zone meeting in Araçatuba, which meant more traveling. It was pretty fun though. There's been a huge influx of missionaries, and my companion has been there the longest in the zone (almost 1 year in the same zone) so he's been lamenting a bit that all his friends are dead and he's just an old missionary surrounded by nobody that he knows haha. It's pretty funny. But we have received several novinhos which means i'm no longer the youngest in the zone, which somehow makes the mission better haha. the transfer that comes next we'll receive 26 new missionaries in the mission though, and there's been a lot of talk of novinhos training, which, i'm not saying i will train, but there's been a lot of talk of it happening.

We've been working a lot with a couple new investigators we have, one of them is a family, and the other is the girlfriend of a member. Both are SUPER open to everything we teach, keep our invites we give, and want to learn more. It's very exciting.

This week my companion and i got surprise assigned to speak in church, so i got to give a 10 minute talk, which i think was pretty good, but honestly i have no way of knowing haha. It was about how the Savior atoned for all of us and how we don't need to fear failure because we can always look to him for support, and then because i'm a missionary i threw in how we need to help people outside of the church and use our past experiences to show them that we understand, the same that the savior can empathize, etc. etc.

We've been working a lot with Our recently reactivated recent converts, Lucas and João, who are trying to serve missions. Their family aren't members, so it's tough for them to keep strong in their church attendance and to their standards, but i'm super proud of them for doing it. They'd been scared to serve for a while, cause they thought they'd be rejected by their parents when they returned, but this week their mom told them she thinks they should serve! I'm stoked for them and we already set up their interviews so they can get started with their applications.

love you all tons and i hope everything is going great.

-Elder Seaman

Semana 16: Feliz Ano Novo! Whoop, Whoop!

Hey Everyone

I hope your holidays were great. Everyone here is sobering up and going back to work, so you could say life is going back to normal haha.

This week we passed our new years eve with some members, which was pretty fun. The whole day long people were setting off those giant fire crackers (can't remember how they're called) so it felt like we were under fire and i think my ears are still ringing. At midnight they launched LOADS of fireworks over the lake which is right next to our house so it didn't give much to sleep, but our neighbors house was also too tall so we couldn't really see the fireworks either haha. Oh well.

Instead of sweets, the holiday season is spent eating beef. So these last 2 weeks i've eaten more cow than my life in whole. It's suuuuper good but there reaches a point when you've eaten half a cow already that night and the member puts another 3 swords of beef over the coals and you know you're in trouble. Needless to say we don't pass many nights hungry.

We went on divisions this week with our Zone leaders which was pretty fun. I think the most interesting things on the mission happen when you're knocking doors (well, clapping hands here) and that's what me and Elder Aninias did. We met this super cool family (actually 3 families in the same house) and they've been very interested to hear the lessons etc. On sunday they were all ready to go to church (all 8 of them) but their house ran out of gas so the parents had to go to get more and of course every store on this half of the city was closed for new years so they missed church completely, but their son Pablo came with us and he said he loved it. They're all super smart and funny. I'm excited to visit them more.

Hope you all are startting off your new year well.

-Elder Seaman

This week i learned about the essentials to being "gaúcho" which is someone from the state of Rio Grande do Sul, or the south in general. My companion is from there, and he told me they LOVE churrasco, and chimarrão, which is that drink he's holding in the picture.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Semana 15 (Happy New Year)

Hey guys.

This week has been pretty mellow, cause well it was christmas and everyone and their mom travels to the 4 corners of the earth so visiting people was a little tough. We did try though!

So first off Christmas Eve was pretty cool. It was deemed p-day by our mission president so we got to relax all day and then were invited to dinner with a member. It was fun to just talk to the people that were there, and the member's house is on the outskirts of town so we could see the whole sky like in a planetarium. And planetariums are cool, and things in real life are always cooler, so obviously it was super cool. AND we had churrasco (brasilian barbeque) to eat so how great is that.

Christmas Day we had lunch (more churrasco) and got to skype with our families! Always a good time. Then we went and spent some time with some recent converts, Lucas and João. All in all a pretty chill day.

Yesterday we went to church, and i love going to church cause everytime we do another miracle happens out of nowhere. Yesterday we actually had 2. First of all, there were lots of people we didnt know visiting family, so we couldnt really judge who was a member and who wasn't. But as we were sitting there in sacrament meeting, the guy behind us out of nowhere asked for our number and wants us to teach him and his girlfriend! Miracle 1. After sacrament meeting, another guy approached us and wanted to go on divisions with us, which is all cool and everything so we did. But later as we were talking to him it turns out he's moving into our ward and has this HUGE desire to do missionary work conosco cause he's a convert. His name is Regivaldo and he was a huge help in fellowshipping (make friends with) our pesquisadores (ahhh can't remember that word in english, but it's the people we teach), so now we have him to help us with our work too. Christmas miracles haha.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Happy new year! Make some resolutions and keep em!

-Elder Seaman

The only house that decorates for Christmas

Chocattone kind of like an Italian chocolate cake that super rad down here
Our Charlie Brown Christmas tree

Playing risk with some investigators

Artsy photo of the lake

Monday, December 14, 2015

Semana 13

I am pleased to announce that i have survived my first transfer in the field (this one was 7 weeks, a little strange) and, as my companion decided to make clear to me yesterday, i have finished 1/8 of my mission. Ugh, that's crazy to think about.

We've been travelling a lot lately, and it seems like every time we've tried to work something comes up or an appointment falls through etc. I guess that's part of being in the farthest city from the mission home. We did have a good zone meeting last week in Araçatuba, and this week (today actually) we have some missionaries dying, and we'll have 3 missionaries training in our zone, which means i'll no longer have the glory of being the newest missionary. what a shame. not really haha.

I also got the opportunity to do some divisions in Araçatuba, which was cool to work in another area with other missionaries, see how they work and teach, etc. For the first time in my mission i had to knock doors (well, clap my hands outside people's gates). It was, well, knocking doors. We just met a lot of people who were SUPER busy and didn't have time to talk to us haha.

We had a branch christmas party this week, which was pretty fun. We got to know our branch members a little better, and i got to hear Christmas music in English, which is far and few between down here. I do like our area though, so i'm glad ill be staying here for (at least) another 6 weeks. It seems like every week in church, we have new investigators as well. This week, a 17 year old guy just wandered in. Didn't know any members or anything. It was crazy. We'll be adding him to our list of people to teach this week. Things like this make me frustrated though, because we have SUCH a good area, but are hardly ever here to work. Hopefully now that it's a new transfer we'll have time to focus more on our investigators instead of 6 hour bus rides and what city we need to be in every day of the week.

Stay sweet,

Elder Seaman

Most of the zone

Elder Martins- zone leader who just went home

Monday, December 7, 2015

Semana 12


Things have been just swell in Três Lagoas. Miracles every day. Seriously though, little things. Like when you're walking down the street and someone pull onto the sidewalk on their motorcycle and tells you he talked to the missionaries 5 years ago and wants to again. What do you even say to that. "yes" i think is what came out of my mouth.

Our investigators are all doing quite well, and it seems like we hardly have to do anything to find new ones. They pretty much fall into our laps. In D&C 4 when it says the field is white, i'm pretty sure três lagoas is that field. I would think that everythign that happens is a coincidence, but after 6 weeks of coincidences yuo can kind of tell it's not so much that, as it is something bigger at work.

What's even more amazing though is seeing the healing power of the gospel in families and individuals. People who are broken and hopeless suddenly turn around and have direction in their lives. I just wish we had time to teach all the people we have, because the city is SO big.

Sorry i didnt have much time today, but know that things are great and the church is true haha


Elder Seaman

Our house

A main road

The Church of Brazil

The town Christmas Tree

The Daily Flood