Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 26th 2013

Hello family!!! How is it going back home?? Things are going very good here. It was SUPER HOT this week. I almost couldn't sleep well at night. It is a good thing I was used to sleeping with a fan on back home, because here I have to do the same thing!
We had another baptism this week! It was such a blessing. Every time we are preparing a baptism, it seems that the gates of hell open and try to do everything to bring the investigator down. But, I have such a strong testimony of the priesthood now. Truly, we are the church of Jesus Christ and we have the true power of the priesthood! How blessed we are! We owe so much to the Prophet Joseph Smith for being willing to sacrifice himself for our eternal salvation.
My birthday was great! The other elders and I ordered pizza for lunch and we ate lots of cake (the best part). I ate so much cake and chocolate this week that I got sick! It was awesome! ;)
I would like to close with an experience I had this week...We were walking down the street at about 5:00 in the afternoon. I looked down and I saw 10 reais on the ground! I bent down and picked it up and put it in my pocket. Later, I felt like we should stop by a pharmacy to talk to a member that worked there...there was a young mother with three small children who was crying because her youngest baby was really sick and she didn't have enough money to pay for the medicine. I remembered the 10 reais I had found....I went to the pharmacist and talked with him. He agreed to give this young mother all the medicine she needed for exactly 10 reais. It was a real miracle! I am sure she is very grateful that a random stranger like me was there to answer her prayers. But how grateful I am that the Lord used me as an instrument in HIS hands to bless someone else. How grateful I am that He answered my prayers that morning to lead me to someone who was in need!
Elder Spencer D. Eastwood

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 19th 2013

Hey family!! This week was very busy...we had a lot of transfers here and a lot of new changes. I got a new companion from a city called Recife which is in the north east of Brazil. Things are going well. We are working really hard to bring lots of new people to church. The city of Rio Verde has become a "training ground" for new mission leaders, so I am working really hard to pass all the information that I know to the missionaries here. The things we learn here will help us during our entire lives and throughout our church service!
Yesterday we had a great day at church, a very spiritual meeting. It was very nice to see so many members participating and singing the hymns at church. It brings such a nice spirit to the meeting! This morning we had a district meeting about "acting and not being acted upon". I love to read 2 Nephi 2...the gift of free agency was one of the most precious things that the Lord gave to us and we should always use it wisely! Then, the other missionaries made a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to me! It was great!
I hope things are going well back home. Time is flying by! I can't believe it is already the middle of August. I am grateful for the time that I have spent here and the people I have met. I love the people here! I love doing missionary work! I love this Gospel, I love the Priesthood that I hold and I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Spencer Eastwood

August 12th 2013

Hey guys! The time is flying by! I can't believe it is already the second week of August! I was talking to some friends and I told them that one of my dreams in life is to get a picture taken of me giving Pres. Thomas Spencer Monson a high-five on our birthday!!! But one of my other dreams is to have Bono of U2 sing at my wedding, so I don't know how either one is going to work out....
This week was great!! We had one more baptism. The mom of a wonderful family that was prepared for us was baptizedon Saturday. She was so excited! We are preparing her husband and daughter to be baptized soon as well. We are all working very hard in the district to have more baptisms! I have been searching for what I can do to help the other elders. I had the idea to create a "School of THe Prophets", just like Joseph SMith did in the times of the restoration. Each week, we will study the life of a prophet and what leadership principles we can learn from him. I am very excited! This morning we had an awesome district meeting about following the spirit. The Holy Ghost was so strong with us at the chapel. While the elders were moving from room to room, I was sitting in the chapel listening to hymns play. it was one of the most peaceful and serene feelings I have ever had in my life. I am so grateful to have the gift of the Holy Ghost and to be able to follow His guidance.

This week I got called to serve as the secretary of the branch that I am serving in. This will give me more opportunities to serve the people here and to help them participate in the work we are doing! I am excited and humbled for the opportunity!
Also this week, a new sister in the zone got really sick. She is from Ohio and is still learning portuguese. She was really needing a blessing. At the time, I was right by their house and had the opportunity to give her a blessing in English. I am grateful that the Lord sent me to that area at that time so that I could be of service to someone in need. It is so great to know that the Lord used YOU to answer someone's prayer!
"Stand a little taller and be a little better.' - Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley
Elder Eastwood

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August 5th 2013

I can't believe it is already august! The time is flying by! This month, I will turn 21 (on the 21st, how cool is that??), baptize a golden family that we found, and help the mission baptize a lot more! I love my mission so much and am so grateful for the love that I feel for all the people here in Brazil.
This week I had the honor of baptizing four wonderful people into the Church. The baptism was so special and so spiritual. I had the most wonderful feeling of Love coming from the Lord. It was so great. Then, at church yesterday, our recent convert got up and bore her testimony about the true Church. She thanked the Lord for sending "two angels" to her doorstep to teach her the true gospel of peace. She got an answer to her prayers when she had a dream where Jesus Christ appeared to her, sat down next to her, and asked her what she wanted from Him. She answered, "I want peace". He then got up and asked my companion and I to sit down next to her. He told her, these two young men will bring you peace.

I am so grateful that I could be an answer to this lady's prayers! What a blessing it was to know that the Lord used ME, a humble young man who doesn't know much about life, to bless the lives of those who are less fortunate.
I love this Gospel and I know with all my heart that Jesus Christ lives and He loves us so much.
-Elder Spencer D. Eastwood
D&C 87:8
"Remember Who You Are!"

Friday, August 2, 2013

July 29th 2013

Hello family! How are things going??
I am doing very well. This week has been very stressful for us. We are teaching a wonderful family who has been prepared to receive the gospel from me...I am certain of this. Every time we go to teach them, we arrive without any idea of what we should teach....then the Spirit whispers to me what is necessary for me to teach to this family. The Holy Ghost is so strong during these lessons. That is one of the reasons that helps me to know that this family was prepared for me to teach them. And I am learning a lot with them too!! What a blessing it was for me to find them and teach them. We are helping to establish Zion in this city and I am certain this family will be a great addition to the Lord's work.
So, some fun things that happened this week:
-I walked from one end of the city of Rio Verde to the other with a picture of Jesus Christ getting baptized, inviting everyone I met to be baptized too. This resulted in some of the HIGHEST attendance numbers we have ever had at our Sacrament Meeting.
-I had to eat FEIJOADA again...which is a traditional Brazilian meal....some people make it good, others not so much...I remember it was one of the first things I ate here on the mission, and it had a HUGE pig nose in it...GROSS! But this time, it was just some pig feet and pig ears....I still don't like it...
-There was a huge Cold front coming in from the South this week. The temperature dropped to 40*F! It was freezing this week! I was NOT prepared for that!
-The zone leaders are traveling next week and so are some other leaders, so I have to stay here in the city and preside over all the other missionaries. I am a little worried about the responsibility, but am certain that the Lord will help me.
-I gained a stronger testimony of the Power of the Book of Mormon. What a precious witness it is!
-I gained a testimony of how important it is to have a picture of the temple in our homes. I hope you all have a picture of your favorite temple where you can see it every day... I know it will help you.
With love,
Spencer D. Eastwood