Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 27th 2013

Hello family and friends!

This week was great. We had a record number of investigators at church on Sunday: 10! We were so excited. We found this awesome family of FIVE who are looking for a church and some spiritual help. We taught them and they were like, "Yeah, we would love to go to church with you!" So we brought them to church and introduced them to the bishop and all the members of the ward.

There are so many people in this ward that are so excited to help us! The youth of this ward are awesome, always ready and willing to help. For example, last night, we visited with this family and marked a baptismal date with them for the 13th of April. They accepted it and got really excited! So, we called a bunch of members afterwards to tell them the good news and to invite them to help us teach this family. One young woman got really excited and said, "Elders, call me when you are going to go teach them! I really want to help you!"

I am grateful that I get to serve in this wonderful ward, and I hope I can stay in this area a little longer. I will be sad when I leave and I will miss everybody very much. People are so nice to the missionaries here. I have made some of my best friends here in this ward! I hope I never lose contact with them and that I can come back and visit them here in Goiânia after my mission.

 It makes me really humbled to be able to be serving in this work. The ward is so great here....and everyone makes fun of me because of all the weight I lost (so now, all my clothes are way too big and I look like an 80's bell-bottom dancer).

Anyway, I am excited for this week. Easter is on Sunday and then next weekend is General Conference (my second to last one, by the way). I love my mission and the things that I am learning!

Love you too! See you next week. And know that you are all in my prayers :)

-Elder Spencer D. Eastwood

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 20th 2013

Hey family!! This week was GREAT! I love the ward that I am serving in. All the members are so wonderful and most of them are willing to help. I feel very close to them and I am glad to call them my friends. I really hope I can keep in contact with them after the mission. It is such a blessing to have email and Facebook these days. There were so many members at our BAPTISM on Saturday!

That's right, we had another one!! And it was very special. It was one of the best baptismal services I have seen on my mission. I felt the spirit very strongly and I know that the members and families that were there did too. Im grateful for the opportunity I have to be able to serve here in Brazil and to know the people I have met and to have made so many wonderful friends here.

We had a family home evening on Monday night and we talked about the temple and eternal families. I almost got emotional when I bore my testimony, because I just love this work so much! I have no idea what I am going to do when I get home. As much as I joke about going home, I am really going to miss my mission. This has been the best experience of my life. I am going to miss all my recent converts, all the members that I have gotten to know better, and all the other missionaries. I am going to miss being able to just feel the Spirit all the time and be able to testify and stand up for righteousness and for what I believe in.

I love the temple! I love our Prophet! I love the Book of Mormon! I love my family! I can't wait to one day become a husband and father and be able to teach all these things that I know and love to my future family. I feel so blessed in everything I do. Even though there are always hard times, we have to keep pushing through the bad so that we can see the good. I think of a flower growing out of the ground. It has to push so hard to get through that rough soil. But once it sees the sun shine, things are so much better. it is like that with our lives.

Love you guys so much! You are the best!
-Elder Spencer Eastwood

PS: The pictures are from our baptism. One is me kneeling in the middle of the road asking the Lord for direction and guidance, (I really did that and my comp was smart enough to take a picture...I loved it!) And the last attachment is of a quote that I love from Pres. Hinckley!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 13th 2013

This week was a great one! We had some success finally! After weeks of hard work, we had a baptism! I am sending some pictures. It was a really special meeting and I am glad that all the members helped us out so much. I love this ward and I will be sad when I leave it.

This week was hot...especially in our house. Our house has very few windows and gets really hot and humid in it. Aside from that and the cockroaches, it is a nice place to live.

We are working very hard in the office. This week they are doing some renovations. this past week we got a book from a convert in the United States about some ideas for making missionary work more successful... It is only in English, so I read some parts and translated it for my mission president and he liked the ideas. So, I will be translating the whole book into Portuguese and preparing it to send out to the other missionaries and all the missions in Brazil! That will be fun!

Well, this week we are preparing another young woman to get baptized on Saturday. She would have been baptized two weeks ago, but it didn't work out right. So we will baptize her now! I am excited and very happy!

here is a quote I love:
"At moments of crisis and challenge, some choose to abandon faith just at the time when it most needs to be embraced. Prayer is ignored at the very hour when it needs to be intensified. Virtue is carelessly tossed aside when it needs to be cherished. God is forsaken in the all-too-human yet mistaken fear that He has forsaken us. The truth is that our only safety, our only security, our only hope is to hold fast to that which is good. As the mists of darkness gather around us, we are only lost if we choose to let go of the iron rod, which is the word of God."

Love, Elder Spencer D. Eastwood

Friday, March 8, 2013

March 5th 2013

This week was busy, and unfortunately, a little bit sad. I know now, more than ever, that as much as we work and strive to help others, Satan works just as hard to bring them down. Our baptisms fell through this week. And both of the situation were out of our control. It was literally a situation where I felt helpless and didn't know what else to do except to get down on my knees and pray. We have been working so hard, and to see our baptisms fall through our fingers was very hard on me. I took it very personally and have been very discouraged these past few days.

But we have to stand up and smile! Whatever comes to us, if we face the future with faith, we will be able to do anything that the Lord asks of us. I know He puts trials in our lives to see if we will really do "whatsoever thing [HE] asks of us". Trials serve to make us stronger.

I was asked this past week by some new missionaries that I was training, "What is one piece of advice you can give us?" I responded, saying, "The same piece of advice I give to myself: Be on your knees every morning and every night".

This Church is true and Heavenly Father loves you. (Look that rhymes!)

-Elder Spencer D. Eastwood
3 Nephi 12:16