Wednesday, May 29, 2013

may 27th 2013

Hello again! I am here in my new area and I am doing well. I am serving in a city about two hours outside of Goiânia called Rio Verde, in Ramo Bandeirantes. In this city there is only a district full of branches, no wards yet. It is very different here than in Goiânia, and I have to admit, I miss Goiânia A LOT. The past seven months that I spent in Ala Goiânia were the best months of my whole mission! I loved every minute of it and I am so grateful for all the experiences and memories I have from there.

This was the most difficult transfer of my whole mission! It was so hard to leave everyone back in Goiânia, but at least I got to say goodbye to everyone cause I was blessed to know that I would be transferred two days early. Usually they just call us the night before and we don't have a chance to say goodbye to anyone. But the Lord blessed me with a tender mercy and allowed me to talk to all my friends and recent converts before I left.

So on Wednesday, we visited all of our converts and said goodbye to them. Then, at night, we went to a member's house and said goodbye to all our friends there. That was the hardest part! You only realize how much you really love people and will miss them when you are gone. But I know that I have to work hard and do my best and the time will fly by! Before you know it, I will be back in Goiânia, seeing all my friends again before I go home!

Yesterday we had the District Conference in Rio Verde. Pres. and Sis. Prieto were the speakers. Sis. Prieto said something in her talk that was an answer to many of my prayers. She said, "Sacrifice is not a loss, it is just a preparation for something much better." Then she talked about how the Lord knows each of us and we just have to trust Him with everything. I remember in my patriarchal blessing how it says, "If you are faithful, the Lord will help you in your efforts..." then it goes on to list a bunch of things that I will be able to do in my future, like finishing my mission, doing well in school, finding a good career, getting married, and raising a family in the Gospel. Sis. Prieto talked about how memories can help us remember the best parts of our past and can help us prepare for an even better future. I am so grateful for the memories and experiences I have had on my mission, especially from the last seven months!

So I am doing good here. I am

ready to work! We had a baptism on Saturday and are preparing more people to get baptized too. Rio Verde is the best zone in the mission! They have been baptizing A LOT these past few months. I am so blessed to be able to be a district leader here! I hope I can make a difference.

I had the wonderful blessing to talk to one of my best friends in Goiânia on the phone for a little bit the night before I left. We had a great conversation that really helped me realize the importance of my work here on my mission and the importance of having patience. At the end of the call, before I hung up, I said to them, "Sorria!" Which means, "Smile!" in Portuguese. So I have been taking my own advice these days and doing what I have done my whole mission, think positively and always SMILE! I love being happy and I hope that I can brighten people's days with just a simple smile. Someone wrote me a letter this past week thanking me for always smiling. They said that whenever they talked to me on the phone, they could somehow tell that I was smiling when I said goodbye to them! That made me feel really happy, cause it is something I have always tried to do and I am glad that people have noticed.

I love my mission and I love you guys! Thanks for everything!

Keep me in your prayers, you are always in mine :)
Love, Spencer

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

may 22nd 2013

hello, Im going to talk about how my week was and then I will give you guys all the big news.

This week was great! The highlight of my week was when we had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators at a member's house on Sunday night. We invited a bunch of the youth over to help us. We taught our investigator about baptism and then at the end, we went around in a circle and every person that was present bore their testimony of the gospel. How grateful I am that the Lord blessed me with answers to my prayers when I was younger, giving me a strong foundation upon which I have based my testimony today. My mission has helped strengthen my testimony so much. I am so grateful for the experiences I have had and will continue to have during these next few months.

At the end of the lesson, my companion felt inspired to have us all kneel down together in prayer. I think it is very interesting to kneel down with others in prayer. Answers and revelation come quickly when you are kneeling down to pray. I thank Heavenly Father every day for the answers to prayers that He has given me, whether it was through a whisper from the Holy Ghost, through a dream, or through another person. I love prayer and I love my Heavenly Father!

So...that was the favorite part of my week. Time for the big news update!

I GOT TRANSFERRED! I found out yesterday morning. And then I ran around in a stressed out frantic calling all the members and my friends to let them know. Man, I am going to miss this place so much. I am leaving tomorrow to go to another city to be the district leader there. I am sad to go, but at the same time, I am excited. I know that I came out on my mission to serve the children of the Lord, and He has many people prepared for me to teach in the new area. But nothing will ever beat the time and experiences I have had here in this ward, in this area, and with these people. These past six and a half months that I have been here have been the best part of my whole mission and I will never forget anything that happened or anyone from here! I loved being here so much! :)

Anyway, that is about all. Now, my P-day is switched back to Mondays. So I will be emailing you all again on Monday. Thanks for keeping up with me and all my crazy mission stuff. Love you guys so much and I am grateful that God is continuing to bless you all.

Lots of love!
Hugs and kisses!!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

may 15th 2013

Well another week has come and gone!
This week was a good one! We had two more baptisms, and then after the baptismal services, we had a talent show with the ward.
I did a skit about a missionary who gets a Dear John letter. It got lots of laughs. Then my companion put on a magic show. It was a fun night!
I love this ward! I hope I don't get transferred soon; I don't want to leave! I hope that I have made a difference in this ward.
This week has been tough on me. I got criticized a lot by other missionaries and other people. It is really hard for me when I am trying my best
and no one seems to appreciate the work I am doing. I am not trying to be prideful, but it is hard to keep going and work hard when you feel unimportant, unappreciated, lonely, and forgotten. But I guess that is what the Savior went through when He was here on Earth. It is hard to keep praying and fasting for help and not feel like you get an answer to your prayers. But I have learned on my mission that the Lord sometimes makes us wait so that in the end we will be stronger. I just keep telling myself, "I know He is there". Everything will be alright in the end. My mission is not easy; it never was and it never will be. But it is a great learning experience and I love every minute of it, even the hard parts. I will try to think positively as I always have - but don't you think it is SO difficult to be positive all the time when you feel like you're not good enough? Anyway, enough of the negative stuff.
Mother's Day was great! It was so good to talk to you guys. I was sad that the video wasn't working, but at least I got to talk to you. I keep joking with my friends, "Yeah you guys have one more phone call to home at Christmas...but the next time I talk to my Mom I will be able to hug her"! I miss you guys a lot, but I am going to take advantage of my time here in Brazil. I am going to miss this place and the people here a lot when I have to go back home. So I will work my hardest and do what is right!
Love you guys so much! Thanks for everything!
Pray for me :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 8th 2013

Hi everybody!

This past week went by very quickly. We are preparing everything in the mission office for the transition between mission presidents that will happen at the end of June. I have a feeling that I am going to get transferred out of this area, but I don't really know what is going to happen. I don't want to leave here! :(

We went to church on Sunday and it was a great fast and testimony meeting. I love hearing other people's testimonies. I think one of the sweetest experiences for me on my mission is when we are teaching lessons or visiting people or something and the Spirit whispers to me to call on a member to bear their testimony, which is something that happened the other day. I am very grateful for the testimony that they gave, it was very powerful and made me think about how I can improve my own testimony. I think hearing another person's testimony is the best way for you to learn how you can strengthen your own. To hear what things are important to another person can help you understand what things you need to work on better or understand what you need to do to strengthen your own testimony. The Holy Ghost is so strong when a member bears their testimony during a lesson, that is why it is so important that we teach lessons together with the members.

Hmmmm...not much has happened this week...we had a family home evening on Monday night, and Tuesday night we went to a birthday party with a member family and it was really fun!

We are preparing for another baptism that we will have on Saturday, and right after that we are going to have a Talent Show in the ward. My companion and I are going to do a funny skit about a missionary getting a Dear John letter! Then Sunday it is MOTHER'S DAY and I get to call you guys on Skype for the LAST TIME while I'm on my mission! Man, that is going to be one trunky phone call, isn't it??? hahaha just kidding ;)

Love you guys so much!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

may 1st 2013

Wow! I can't believe it is already May...the time has gone by so fast. I love my mission so much and I am so grateful for the blessings I have received. It is kind of a bitter sweet feeling to know that in six months I will be heading back home. I will miss my mission, but there are some things I am really looking forward to when I get back home :)

So an update about my was a great one! We had a lot of people at church on Sunday. The ward here is getting so much better. It is such a good feeling to be able to serve people that I love so much. On Monday night we had an awesome family home evening with a wonderful family here in the ward. I wish you all could meet them :)

I am so grateful that I am here in Goiânia. This city and country will always have a special place in my heart. I remember one time, a member here asked me if I liked speaking Portuguese...and I was thinking about it and I really do! I don't know if I speak well or if I have a huge American accent, but I love speaking Portuguese!

Last week we went coconut hunting. This guy climbed up a tree and knocked down a bunch of coconuts for us. Then we had to cut away the green skin with big knives and break open the brown was tiring. Here are some pictures for you guys! (there is another picture of me with a cat on my head from when I fell asleep in the office....I am tired!)

Hahaha, love you guys so much! Hope you have a wonderful week! You are in my prayers :)

Love, Spencer