Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hey everyone!!! Hope you had a good week! I had a pretty good one with another baptism! We baptized a 13 year old named Filipe, he is really cool! He is the younger brother of a recent convert and he was really excited to be baptized! He got baptized on his birthday too! it was a really special baptism. I gave the thought and the Spirit was really strong. Im glad to be a part of this work here in Goiânia...the Church has been here more than 50 years and there is only two stakes...the work is moving slow here. In Fortaleza, Brazil, where they are building the new temple, they have about 15 stakes in the city alone! So Im glad to be working here in Goiânia! The baptism was great and the confirmation was wonderful on sunday as well.

We knocked on tons of doors this week, trying to find more people to teach, but we got rejected at each of them. We did NOT teach much this week. Kind of sad. It is difficult to be rejected all the time. It really brings you down! But these are the times when I rely more on The Lord than myself. Ive been reading a lot about prayer lately, especially in Alma 34:17-29. Those are some really important scriptures!!

Today we had a barbecue for lunch with our non member neighbor...she really loves us. She bought me a whole pineapple just for myself cause she knows it is my favorite! And she always gets us a ton of Guaraná to drink cause she knows we love it too. So I am really FULL right now!

The language is about the same. I cant really tell if Im progressing or not. I am understanding and speaking a little better. Im even starting to think in Portuguese! The other day I was talking with my companion in English and i actually had to translate from Portuguese cause that was just what I was used to talking with! So my English is coming out with the Portuguese grammar rules, it is kind of funny!

Well, I will go now, but I am doing well and I hope we can find more people to teach this week! My companion is getting `trunky` which is what the missionaries call homesickness and wanting to be done with the mission haha. He got his flight plans this morning and so he knows the exact date he will be home in August. So it is kind of difficult, but everything is good.!

Até proxima semana!

-Elder Eastwood

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19th 2012

Well hello everyone!! I have good news! I had my first official baptism this week! I had the opportunity to baptize a young woman named Silmara and it was a really cool experience! How grateful I am for the priesthood so that I could have this opportunity. I remember the first time we taught her...we gave her the Book of Mormon and she was really excited to read it. She read the whole thing in the first night she had it and then started it a second time! We taught the second lesson and she was really interested. By the time we taught the third lesson and invited her to be baptized, she said `Ive been waiting for you to ask me to be baptized ever since I read about baptism in 3 nephi 11` (which is the first part we have investigators read in the book of mormon. So, she was baptized yesterday! Got a picture, she doesnt look very happy which is kinda sad, but it was still cool!

This week has been good, we worked a lot and marked another baptism date for this coming saturday! We had to go to a city called Trindade on Friday for a baptismal interview and it took an hour and a half to get there by bus! It was so far away! We knocked on lots of doors and talked to lots of peopl this week. I remember one instance when we were knocking on doors all day with no luck. Then, we heard thunder and knew it would start POURING. Soon, the rain came and we took shelter under a tree. I decided to knock on the door that was rightnext to us. The lady opened up and I told her that we were missionaries and had a message for her. She didnt say anything and I was just standing there getting totally wet. But then, she decided to let us in. I see this as a tender mercy of the Lord. She didnt really want to commit to anything, but she still could have told us no and let us stay out in the rain!

This week, I had 5 people ask me if I was from Italy. Five! I asked the fifth person why they thought that and they said that I look Italian (I guess?) and that I have an Italian accent when I speak Portuguese...so that is cool...? Anyway this morning I went to a leadership meeting with the zone leaders and they interviewed me and asked if Im ready to start training a new missionary next transfer! So maybe I will be a senior comp. next transfer! I told them I felt ready, but that the language was still rough, so it might be better to be with a Brazilian to help when I cant understand people...

On wednesday, we are doing a companion split and I will be staying here in my area as the senior companion! I am excited! I get to have the cell phone and do all the district leader responsibilities too. How cool!
Anyway, things are going well. I love being a missionary!

Elder Spencer Eastwood
Helaman 5:12

PS: I know you asked for me to send the pictures in a diff. email, but it is easier for me to attach them to this one...you know you can download them right to the computer and print them directly from the computer, right??
PPS: Be grateful you have power flushing toilets in America.

Monday, March 12, 2012

main blog email: 3/12/12

Hello!!! Its a rainy day here in Goiania...we were a little worried we wouldnt get to email, because the power went out in this area and the LAN House had NO INTERNET!!! But finally, it is up and running now, so here I am!

The bad news of the week first...our baptism date, with Fernando, well, it fell through. He decided he didnt want to stop drinking and start living the law of chastity and he doesnt want to get baptized anymore. :( But we will continue working with him. We have some members of the ward who will come with us to help him out. Also, this week, we knocked on three doors where members of a church called the Assembley of Deus lived. They just argued with us and yelled bad things at us. It was my first real bible bashing experience! One lady, I tried to tell her that we were going to leave and go somewhere else...but I made a mistake and she got REALLY ANGRY and flipped out and said that I was never going to learn the language and that I wouldnt make it here in Brazil, cause somehow she knew about the Mormon missionaries that stay here for 2 years. So that made me feel nice. NOT! But it is okay, cause our week ended on a good note!:

We marked two baptisms! One for this weekend and one for next! ANd they are both really strong investigators! One is named Silmara and the other is a 14 year old boy named Felipe. I love teaching them. The Spirit was so strong when we invited them to be baptized. How great a feeling it was when they accepted the invitations.

On Saturday, I feel like I gained about 100 pounds! We first had a HUGE lunch, and the sister in the ward made us chocolate ice cream cake and didnt want any of it left over so we each at three pieces! Then, that night, we got invited over to Silmara´s house for dinner...but, we ALREADY had a dinner appointment with another family! But, we just said yes cause we wanted to make her happy. They made SO MUCH FOOD! Then an hour after we ate there, we went to the other familys house, where they made JUST AS MUCH FOOD! We came home that night and just wanted to throw up. Oh it was bad!

Anyway. Things are going good here. Still trying to find more people to teach. A lot of our days are knocking on doors and getting rejected. It is pretty tough. But I try to keep happy. Still working on the language. Some days are better and I feel like I can talk to anyone. But other days I feel really bad about the language and dont want to talk to anyone. So please pray for me and that I will have the courage to talk to as many people as I can, the courage to talk during lessons, and the courage to open my mouth and bear my testimony.

I love you! See you next week!

-Elder Eastwood
Alma 37:37

Monday, March 5, 2012

3-5-12 Main Blog Email!

Ahhhh finally it is P day!!! The end of the HOTTEST week of my mission is finally here! Seriously, it was SO HOT here this week. I couldnt believe it. Apparently, the rain is over. It is supposed to be straight, hot sun from now until October. Oh my gosh! What am I gonna do??? It is way too hot here! But its okay....sometimes I just wanna jump into a pool!

This week was good...just the same old missionary life! We found one investigator and had a cool experience with him. We taught him one night and he told us that he likes to drink this stuff called Pinga, which is like straight alcohol...really bad...after we left his house that night we werent too excited about it, but we decided to visit him the next day, because he came to Church! He told us that after we left he decided to stop drinking because he felt like that was the right thing to do. He said he loved our church and that he read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and felt very emotional during his prayer. He then told us that he knew with a certainty that our Church was the true and right church here today. He is getting baptized this Saturday!!!

Our other hopeful baptism fell through...the mom of a member. She really loves God and loves hearing our messages, but her daughter (the member) is crazy! I dont know what her problem is...but she told her mom that if she gets baptized, she (the daughter) will kill herself! So...we are working on that....praying for that all the time!

This week, Ive learned something. The happiest people dont HAVE the best of everything, they MAKE the best of everything. There are so many people here in Brazil who have practically nothing and yet,. they are some of the happiest people Ive ever seen. One lady´s house is no bigger than my bedroom back home. She sleeps on a dirty mattress, and only has a propane stove to cook with. But, she has the STRONGEST testimony and she never complains. She is always happy and has so much faith! SHe is such an example to me!

Ummm...tomorrow is transfers and I really hópe i dont get transferred! I love this area! And it is kinda dumb cause they dont tell us till 930 tonight if we are getting transferred, so we have like and hour to pack ALL our stuff before we have to catch the bus tomorrow morning at 5am! So I hope I dont get transferred...but who knows??

Anyway, I will leave you with three quotes that I have enjoyed this week:

`Be courageous and prepared to stand for what you believe, and if that means we have to stand alone, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality, we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven.` - President Monson

`You show your trust in Him when you listen with the intent to learn and repent and then you go and do whatever He asks of you.` Pres Eyring

`Patience is sticking with something until the end. It means never giving up on anyone, and that includes never giving up on yourself.` - Pres. Uchtdorf

With love!
-Elder Spencer Eastwood
Matthew 25:40