Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Spencer's Christmas!

Sounded like Spencer had a wonderful christmas!! talking to him yesterday was so so fun! can't wait to have him back home for next christmas!(: here are so pictures he sent us of his day!!





Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19th 2012

Hey everyone!!

Feliz Natal from Brazil! It is hot here....but the weird thing is is that yesterday it started HAILING!!! Yes, there were actual ice balls falling from the sky. But it was still hot and they melted when they hit the ground, but still. It was weird.
Ten new missionaries got here yesterday. I was there to help them out, give them trainings and stuff. I realized yesterday the importance of EXAMPLE in our lives. Really, we all look up to somebody, and we never know who is watching and who isn't, so we should always be doing what is right, even when we think that no one is looking.
What a blessing it is to be here serving the people of Brazil during this holiday season!! Last wednesday, we had our mission Christmas presentation. About 300 people from the two stakes here in Goiania were there to watch and I was able to talk to all my friends from Ala Novo Mundo again! It was so awesome!
Then on Sunday night, we had our Mission Christmas Conference. We performed the presentation again with the choir and then had a huge Christmas dinner! With about 95 missionaires, the house was full, but it was still fun to just celbrate the Holiday together. :)
Last week was stake conference and Elder M Russell Ballard presided. It was a wonderful conference. He talked about how the doctrine of the Church is so simple. All we need to do is follow the five principles of the gospel and LOVE others and we will be able to go to the celestial kingdom.
Something I have always told our investigators is that they just need to take life one step at a time, think of things in a simpler way, dont complicate it if you dont have to....I think that is good advice for all of us.
Things have a way of working out!

Love, 
Elder Spencer Eastwood
Alma 22:18





Friday, December 7, 2012

December 5th 2012

Hey everyone! How is life going?

Im doing great here. We have a baptism all set up for this weekend. She is the sister of a recent convert and we are all very excited for her to get baptized. She knows A LOT. Yesterday, we went to teach her about prophets, and she already knew basically everything! It is a real privelege to be able to be one of the missionaries sent to teach her.

My testimony has grown so much about the Savior's love for us. Many times, He sends us to help His children who are in trouble. That is why we always need to be ready and prepared to serve others. We never know who is going to need our help. Pres. Eyring once said that we should treat every person that we meet like they are in danger....that way we will truly help those in need. We can even save souls that way. Many times, we think that the phrase "Let me know if I can help" is a good thing to say, but, while well-meaning, it really is no help at all. Think of it this way, if you came across someone who was drowning, would you call out to them and ask if they need help, or would you jump in and save them from the deepening waters?

This gospel is all about true LOVE. If we can learn to really LOVE others, the veil will become thinner for us and we will be able to "know the mysteries of God"! I testify that that is true, because I have learned so much here on my mission. And I notice when the Spirit is closer to me and it is always when I am truly loving everyone.

Matthew 22:38
-Elder Spencer Eastwood.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

November 28th 2012

Hey everyone!!!
It is another P-day on the best mission in the world and I am doing very well.

This week was a little disappointing. After much prayer and fasting....all of our baptisms fell through. Not one happened. It was a little sad for us as we had to watch many of our investigators tell us that they did not want to get baptized and some said they didnt even want to hear our messages anymore.
But it happens! We just have to keep pressing forward and working harder than ever before!
I like this scripture found in Philippians 3:13: "[Forget] those things which are behind, and [reach] forth to those things which are before."
I think that is a good basis for our lives. We should forget our past mistakes and look forward to what our lives have in store for us. Our life here on earth is such a blessing. I am so grateful to my Father In Heaven for the life that I have....for the opportunities I am able to enjoy....for the challenges I face in order for me to grow....for the testimony I have of the Savior.
This week, I discovered the awesome Bible Videos that the Church has been releasing online about the Life of Jesus Christ. Wow...talk about incredible.
They are so real and spiritual and inspiring. It is a huge privelege to have the technology to "see and hear" about the life of the Savior. It is almost like we are able to walk with Him, in His steps.
You should all check them out!

This week was good in the office. The mission president is doing zone conferences so we had to prepare everything for him to travel. Get all the materials ready to send to the other missionaries in far away places. it was pretty hectic in the office this week. We are practicing every Monday morning for our choir Christmas performance...it should be fun!

Anyway, love you guys! Thanks for the prayers and support!

Love, 
Elder Spencer Eastwood

Matthew 14:25-33
Luke 24:36-39


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 21st 2012


Hey everybody! This week was pretty great.
It was a real trial of my faith though.
My companion and I have been fasting almost everyday, trying to mark baptismal dates with our investigators and help them enter into God's kingdom through the step of baptism. But this week, almost every single date fell through. It was a real struggle for us as we are trying our very best. I think I am working harder than I have ever worked on my whole mission. It took me a year to realize the best way for me to work. To realize how the Spirit talks to me. And to realize what God wants me to do for him.
I have learned that what Pres. Monson says is completely true: "We magnify our callings simply by performing the duty that comes with it."
My work in the office is very good. It is such a privelege for me to work so closely with the mission president. He listens closely to our ideas and opinions and I really think this is my chance to help the Brazil Goiânia mission become the best in the world.
My companion, Elder Comsa, is from Springville, Utah and he is basically one of my favorite companions I have had so far. He is so awesome. It is good to be with someone who knows how to work and what he is doing after training new missionaries for my last three companions. It is a real blessing. I feel like he and I are going to continue to be great friends even after the mission.
 
We have zone conference on Friday. And we still have two dates for this Saturday. I hope that we can help these people get baptized. One of them is a girl from Thailand that moved to the US to learn English and then came to Brazil to check it out. She only speaks English. So my comp and I have to speak English together to help each other switch back and forth between Portuguese and English. For about 8 months I was able to speak Portuguese without an American accent....until I could even convince people that I am really from São Paulo. But now that Ive had to speak english a lot, my accent is coming back into my Portuguese.
The other baptism we have is with a guy who was released three months ago from a rehab center. He quit smoking this week and gave me all the cigarretes and alcohol that he had in his house. It has been such a blessing to teach him. As I have learned a lot about how to help others with personal problems.
 
I will close with a quote from the Lion King that has been on my mind a lot lately.
"Look inside yourself. You are more than you have become. Remember who you are."
I hope we can all remember who we are! We need to look at ourselves and try to see ourselves as the Savior sees us.
 
Keep smilin'
-Elder Spencer Eastwood

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14th 2012

Hey everyone!!!! 
Sorry about no email on Monday....about that...
Last Tuesday night, my mission president called me and said "Elder, pack your bags. you are being transferred." Then he hung up.
So I was kinda worried. I got all my bags ready and the next day I was back in Goiânia at the bus terminal. The president met me there and then we went in his car back to the mission office.
While driving, we just kind of talked and then I had the courage to ask him where I would be going.
He said I was being called to be one of his secretaries!
So for the past week now Ive been working in the office and helping the mission a lot.
The thing is is that my P-day got changed to Wednesdays now.

But this is really cool! I have the opportunity to work very closely with the president and with lots of other missionaries.
Plus, we leave the office at 5:00 and still have the chance to teach lots of people.
Speaking of that,
I have a favor to ask you all! We are teaching many people and have lots of chances to baptize and help them this month.
I would ask you to PLEASE remember these names in your prayers each day:
-Terezinha
-Hernani
-Pan
-Diullyani (like Juliane)
-Leticia 1
-Leticia 2
-Soraya
-Bruno
-Max
-Douglas

Please ask Heavenly Father to help us to mark dates with all of them for the 24th of November and that each one of them can stay strong and get baptized on that date!!!! I know that you can help us a lot. With our combined faith, we can have a miracle.

Thanks so much for everything. Im excited to be here working where Im at! It is going to be a fun adventure.

Love, Elder Spencer Eastwood





Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5th 2012


Hey everyone!!

Well, it happened. I got transferred! I knew it was going to happen,
so it didnt come as a big surprise. I was sad the first few days that
I left Novo Mundo, but my new area is awesome!!
Im in a new city, called Anápolis. It is about an hour away from
Goiania. It is a little cooler here. It has rained every day since I
arrived. Im the district leader here too. The city is really pretty,
lots of trees and parks and water fountains. It is a lot cleaner than
Goiania too!!! Im liking it a lot so far. The ward is great, Ala
Anápolis of the Anápolis Brazil Stake. It is great. The members are
willing to help us out.
The roads are all up and down....so Im getting a pretty good work out
here, but luckily my other area helped train me by having me walk so
far!!

It seems like this area has gone a long time without many baptisms.
The first day that I arrived, we committed four people to baptism!
That just proves to me that there are people waiting for ME here! I
just have to find them.
Halloween was great. It came and went without much happening.

Anyway, that is about it for now!!!
Have a good week (is there snow yet?)
Happy Election day tomorrow!!!!

Love, Elder Eastwood
D&C 10:5
1 Nephi 22:17

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31st 2012

Well, this week was a great one!!!

Friday, we had a Halloween Party in the ward....(unfortunately, the computer Im using today is not working with my camera, so I will have to send pictures next week.) 
Of course, for my costume, I went as Bono....I had the sunglasses and everything!!!
It was really cool and the decorations were just like in America!!! It reminded me a lot of being home. It was really fun to be there with all the ward members and to hang
out with them some more. I think this will be the last party I have with this wonderful ward. I have that "feeling" that I will be transferred either this week or the next.
I will miss the ward a lot, but I am ready to move on. This will definitely be the ward that I visit my last Sunday on the mission though!!! Ive already planned it out with
the members here....my favorite family is already planning the "Farewell Party" for next year....hahaha.

Anyway, we are preparing a family for baptism! They went to church yesterday and loved it! They invited us to have coffee with them one day, and we just said that
we dont drink coffee. So they stopped too! We hadnt even taught them about the Word of Wisdom....we are doing that tonight. But they are totally being prepared
by the Lord to become members of this Church! I think that one of my purposes here was to find them and begin teaching them.

I learned a lot this week about the importance of fulfilling our responsibilities as priesthood holders. If we dont do our duty as priesthood brethren, the Lord has no one
here on Earth to help his other children. It is OUR responsibility and OUR privelege. I learned this when I helped my companion give his first blessing. He was very nervous
that he would not know what to say or what to do. I explained to him that it doesnt matter what the words are, all that matters is his faith and the faith of the person he will
be blessing. That is true for all of us!
To hold the priesthood of God and use it to bless the lives of others is the greatest privelege we men can have in this life.

Love, 
Elder Spencer Eastwood!

D&C 121:45-46

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22nd 2012












This week was wonderful!

We had another baptism! I had the awesome privelege to baptize little Samuel, that special little boy that I have talked about before.
It was a baptism like none other. He entered the water and it was like he truly felt the sacredness of the ocasion. He looked around
and took in every single detail: the water, the steps, the mirror, the celing, the doors, everything. And then he looked at me and I 
felt the strongest impression from the spirit that he was doing the right thing. I felt like God was accepting him into his kingdom.
I also had the opportunity to confirm him a member of the church and give him the gift of the holy ghost. It was the first time
I had confirmed someone on my mission, and it was a wonderful experience for me!!

I love my mission. I dont know what I would be doing without it. Our lives move so quickly that often, we miss the best moments if 
we are not really looking for them. Im grateful that I have kept a journal and have not missed a day so far. Im grateful for all the photos
I have and the memories and friends I have made. A mission is the best thing I think anyone could do. I know that Heavenly Father
is preparing me at this time for my future life with my future family and friends. What a blessing!

Anyway, this week was not too stressful. I had an interview with Pres. Prieto and he helped me set some goals for the next year of my mission.
He is so kind and loving to us. I am so blessed to have him serving as my mission president. It was very good to talk with him and really take
time to have a good conversation with him. After our interview, I am almost POSITIVE that I will leave this area next transfer. Which is good 
and bad. I will miss here a lot, but I think Im ready to leave.

Love you all!
-Elder Spencer Eastwood
3 Nephi 9:19-22

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15th 2012

Well, this week was a good one.

We had a miracle yesterday!!!! I got to the church and the Bishop asked to speak with me. I went into his office and he explained that there was a non-member who had already received all the missionary lessons and was directly participating in the church services, but had still not been baptized. He said that he had spoken with Pres. Prieto and that I could interview her that day and she could get baptized that afternoon! I went in, resumed all the lessons with her, and then interviewed her and....she passed! We had a surprise baptism in the ward!!! That was really miraculous! Im grateful that the Lord has allowed me to recognize miracles in my mission and in my life.

This week has been good. We are working with two children of an incomplete member family. The son, Samuel, will get baptized this Saturday. And the other daughter, Samara, will get baptized soon after, I hope. She is really afraid that if she gets baptized, she will have to change every single thing in her life and have to walk around dressed like sisters all the time.

I have gotten in the habit of talking with the members here and asking them about their conversion stories or what they felt when they first gained a tesimony or how was their first visit to the temple. What I have heard and learned is amazing. The faith of these members is unshakeable and it builds my testimony every day. Their examples make me want to be a better and more faithful member of the Church when I return home and begin raising my own family. Because one of the most important things Ive learned here is that there is NOTHING more important than a family established in the gospel of Jesus Christ, who lives the gospel faithfully together. Family Home Evening, family prayer, and family scripture study need to become consistent parts of our life!

I also finished reading the Book of Mormon this morning for the sixth time on my mission. I know with all my heart that that book is true - even the most correct book on earth.

I love you all! Thanks for your faith and prayers in my behalf!

-Elder Spencer Eastwood
D&C 76:22-24

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8th, 2012

So this week was such an inspiring week wasnt it?

Lets go over the news before I get to conference....

There were some transfers this week. I am staying in this area for at least one more transfer....but I am training a new missionary. He is from Sao Paulo and really nice and friendly. But there is a little difficulty in that he doesnt know how to read...so I have to help him and teach him how to read in a language that is not my own! It is really humbling and teaching me patience, so that is good. Anyway, Im still the district leader and I still love this ward, but the money situation with all the bus passes and walking is killing me, so I hope that next transfer I will be moved to another area.

Conference this weekend....wasnt it just AMAZING!?!?! 

How bout that awesome announcement from Pres Monson that young men can start serving at 18 years old and young women at 19??? Everyone here went crazy at that announcement. The youth here are so willing and wonderful. They just want to serve! (Do you hear that Paige?....hehehe) I loved Pres. Uchtdorf's talk...I love when he gave us three suggestions:

"Let us spend more time with those we love.
Let us become who God wants us to be today!"
Let us find happiness now!"

He is such an inspired man. All the talks were awesome and just what I needed to hear. I felt like this conference was the first one where I was constantly feeling the spirit and constantly learning something new. I loved when Elder Nelson said, "Ask the missionaries; They can help you." And I loved Pres Monsons talk at the priesthood session where he talked about how people can change. We can always change with God's help. I can tell, and I hope you all can tell too, that I have changed A LOT since a year ago when I was leaving on my mission. How blessed we are to live in the time we do...to have a prophet of God that loves us and teaches us!

I love you all and hope you had a wonderful experience with conference. How blessed we truly are.

Love, Elder Spencer D Eastwood

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10th 2012




 Just wanted to show you all the weight that Ive lost!
Pretty nice, huh?
Hey everybody!

I will admit it. This week was HARD.
It is HOTTER than ever in Goiânia. Wanna know what Ive been doing to 'beat the heat'? When we go to visit members during the day, I will go to the bathroom, soak my garment tops in water, wring it out, then put it back on. Nice and cool!
But not only the heat was hard....we knocked on so many doors and got NOTHING. The hardest thing for me is when I know I am working hard, but Im not seeing fruits from my labors. Missionary work really drains all the energy out of you.

We went on splits this week. And my comp and the other elder were at the bus station and some members saw them. My companion thought it would be funny to tell them that I was transferred. Everyone believed it and was SO SAD! They started telling everyone else in the ward and almost every day someone was calling and saying "Elder Eastweeeee, were you really transferred???" It was pretty funny and I felt good to know that so many people will miss me when I am gone. I will miss lots of them too! But Im still the DL here and Im still loving the area. We just need more people to teach.

Today we had an activity with the zone. i planned it all! We made french toast and pancakes and then had a waterballoon fight and played water volleyball. It was pretty fun! But Im completely tired out now. I dont know if I can do another week of this heat....I ask for your prayers to be with me so that I can have more strength and energy!

Anyway, that was about it for this week. Not much new, cause not too much happened that was that interesting. Just a leadership meeting with the mission president. I gave a talk at it. It was p cool. :)

Tchau!
-Elder Eastwood
Alma 36:21

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3rd 2012

Hey everyone!!!

This week was great. It was difficult, but it is always good to be a missionary. I'm loving it here!
This is the hottest time of the year in Goiânia...and the last few days were ESPECIALLY hot. We have to walk about 9 miles each way to and from our lunches with the members, and it really takes all the energy out of you when you are walking in the hot sun all day. But it has been good.
We knocked on lots of doors this week, but none of them really gave fruits for us. So that was difficult too, but it is all part of the mission experience.

This week was fun too! On Monday night, two families in the ward had another birthday party celebration for me. And they made a huge strawberry cake that was really good! And we made french toast and all had a good time. Then on Friday night, the whole ward got together for an activity. They made a bunch of signs for the members to hold up and take pictures with the missionaries. It was one of the most special experiences of my mission! I really felt the love that all the members have for me and the other missionaries. Im so grateful that the Lord sent me to serve here. It has been the best time of my life. But I have been feeling lately that I am going to be transferred at the next transfer meeting in three weeks....just means that the Lord needs me in another area of Goiânia! My "theme hymn" for my mission is #228: "You Can Make The Pathway Bright"....hahaha, thought you would like to know....

Well, things are going good. Just REALLY extremely hot. Im working hard as the district leader. And I love my mission! 

Love you all!!
-Elder Spencer D. Eastwood

Mosiah 4:9-10:
 Believe in aGod; believe that he is, and that he bcreated all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all cwisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not dcomprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.  10 And again, believe that ye must arepent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in bsincerity of heart that he would cforgive you; and now, if you dbelieve all these things see that ye edo them.
Spencer made himself an avocado milkshake...guess he didn't like it too much!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27th 2012

Well, this week was great! Im 20 years old! I can hardly believe it!

This week was really special....we were able to baptize one of the daughters of that special family that we found that Ive been talking about for some time. It was a really special baptism, because it reminded her mom of her own baptism 14 years ago. It feels so good to know that Ive done some good in someone's life by knocking on their door and helping them come back to the Church, and also by giving their children this new opportunity to be a part of the true Gospel plan.

We also had a mission conference with the mission president and it was really cool. We learned a lot about the gathering of Israel and how we can use our priesthood power to bless the lives of the people we visit. I have been trying lately to live a special blessing on each home we visit, and in turn, Ive been greatly blessed!! 

The district is doing really good too. We had 3 baptisms this week. I had to go interview the baptismal candidates and it was really special for me to do.

Im loving the time that I have here. Yesterday, we talked about the importance of the temples at church and the bishop asked me to explain to the members what I feel is important about the temples and how my testimony has grown as Ive served here. I have emailed a lot about temples, I know, but it is because they are one of the most important things that the Lord has given us. They are everything to us. I gave the members here a suggestion that no sacrifice is too great for the blessings of the temples. And the same thing applies to every member of the church in every country. No matter how close or how far you live to or from a temple, it should be of utmost importance to you and you should sacrifice to visit it and serve there as often as possible!

I love this Church and I love the opportunity the Lord has given me to serve Him!

Love you all!

-Elder Spencer Eastwood





Alma 33:3-8

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20th 2012


Hello family and friends!

What a blessing it is for me to be able to write to you through email! I certainly was called by revelation to serve a mission in Brazil and not in a different place!

Remember that family I have talked about for some time? Well, we marked a baptismal date for two of the kids this coming Saturday! Their mom was so happy and was brought to tears last night when I asked her to share her testimony with us. She talked about how all her life, she has wanted her kids to be baptized in this church. And after 14 years, the missionaries have knocked on her door again and have given the rest of her family this chance! I was so humbled to know that I was an instrument in the Lords hands to be led to this family that was truly needing His help and His love at this time. I received a confirmation that the Lord truly is mindful of each one of us. (see Alma 26:36-37).

What a blessing we have to be members of this church. I hope that every day we look for the Lords hand in our lives and look for the little blessings He has given us. Sometimes, they are the easiest to take for granted, but in the end, they could be the blessings most important to us.

The Portuguese is better than ever! It is just like normal now. When I speak English, I feel weird. I think my voice sounds weird now when I talk English. Im so grateful for the blessing Heavenly Father gave me to learn a new language. I know it will bless me for the rest of my life!

Im so grateful to hear about my friends who are leaving on missions, preparing to go, or who are going through the temple. It just strengthens my testimony that this church is true and I cant wait for them to be able to serve missions and learn how rewarding this work is.

Im so grateful to be a full-time missionary! In a few months I will be coming up on my one-year mark and I know that this next year will be even better and pass even faster, so Im going to dedicate myself to this work and do the very best I can!

Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers! Love you all!

-Elder Spencer D. Eastwood

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 13th 2012






Hello!!!!!

This week was great!!!

I LOVE THE WARD THAT IM SERVING IN!!!
Im going to be so sad when I leave...I have so many great friends here and the leadership of the ward is just awesome! The bishop is so supportive and helpful. Im so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve here!

Anyway, about the work...it is....going...slowly....we desperately need more people to teach. Im trying to motivate the other members of my district to make more contacts, because the more people we are talking with, the more chances we have to teach them, to invite them to church, to mark dates with them, and to baptize them!!! But we are working hard...yesterday, we knocked an entire street of houses and taught one person! And it was an older lady and I dont think she really understood what we were saying...but it was good nonetheless.

Last P-day I went to the Harley-Davidson dealership here in Goiania. We found out that one of the workers there lives in our area, so we grabbed his address and I think we will go to visit him this week.

We started teaching the wife of a less-active member. They are going to get married here in the chapel in a few weeks and then she will be baptized and they will prepare to be sealed in the temple next year! The family is SO COOL! He used to live in London and speaks English, with an English accent...hahaha it is really cool!

I got a bunch of letters for my birthday this week and it was SO WONDERFUL! I also got the awesome package that you guys sent and the awesome pillow tie (that I have put to good use already). Grandma Beckstrom also sent me a b-day package with raspberry flavored M&Ms and they are the best things ever!

Im so grateful for my family and friends and all the love, support, and kindness I get from you all! You guys are so loving and generous! Thanks so much!

Love, 
Elder Spencer D. Eastwood

Alma 7:23-24

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6th 2012

Well this week has been good! On Thursday, there was another transfer. I am staying in the same area and still training my companion, but the only change is that I have been called to be the new district leader here. We are actually in a trio here until next week...elder nickel is with us until he heads back home next monday as he finishes his mission. It has been fun having three elders in the same house, but now I am always thinking of what it is going to be like when I am preparing to head back home next year! That is gonna be an adventure!

We didnt have a baptism this week, but we are working on trying to find more people to teach and prepare for baptism. This friday, we are going to have a big Fireside at a condo unit that the ward helped us plan to help us get more references. It is going to be about Families and I am the 'keynote speaker'. They put my name on the invitations and that I am visiting from the United States to talk to everyone, so they are all getting pretty excited and I am getting pretty nervous.....hahaha....we will see how it goes!

Anyway, things are pretty normal now. I have a lot more responsibilities now as the DL, but it is all good. Im pretty excited and grateful for this opportunity!

Love you all! Thanks for everything!

-Elder Spencer D. Eastwood