(Stake President Udo Uhlmann, President of a company of Padlocks. I don't make these things up!)
I love the mission. I love to feel the Spirit day by day and to learn and to work and especially to help direct our mission here, and the hosts of missionaries. I'm not so sharp on cleaning the house but I'm starting to love that too ; )
This week we enter the last week of the transfer! Here's what happened:
Monday we had a fantastic lesson with our investigator, in the chapel. The Spirit was STRONG! and he asked to be baptized, which he will be but not by us as he lives in Sao Paulo and returned this week. My companion was slightly unable to contain himself as he invited him to be baptized, and other similar invites. . .
We also had an FHE with our reactivated couple who brought six friends to hear the message and made a host of food. She this week was called as first counselor in the stake primary presidency (!) and started her mission papers : ) It's a wonderful feeling to be a part of this work. She also sang in the ward choir this week, is attending and bringing friends to institute and learning to lead music in the stake's class each Tuesday. Reactivation complete.
Tuesday we taught and found and prepared information for our meeting with the president about transfers on Wednesday...and Wednesday we held our meeting with him, beginning early in the morning. It's always a pleasure to be with him.
Thursday my companion was back at the doctors and I took advantage of it to apply a little soul medicine from the Book of Mormon, finishing Jacob and so forth. Jacob is one of my heroes. We taught all night as well,
Friday we taught a lot and all with members, the way it should be. We taught one lady who went to church last week with the Relief Society president and it was a wonderful lesson. She grabbed the last bit of coffee in her house and threw it out! She was back at church again on Sunday with more family than we brought. We also had an FHE with a couple that we are teaching. They decided in the lesson that they would marry and both will be baptized. I've never married anyone in the mission so this will be a first. Both were in church Sunday as well. . .
Friday we were kidnapped. President called us at 9 in the morning asked us if we were ready (for what!?) and told us to meet him on the highway in 5. I've never gotten ready so quick in my life! We flew out of there running to meet him on the highway where we left for Marília, he to designate the mission's new councilor and us to train the zone and district leaders on interviews and teaching. Two hours to get there and two to get back. We had some quality time to get to know what president refers to as "his common man" indeed a privilege. He has jokes and wisdom and the Spirit of Captain Moroni. For if all men were like unto him, the foundations of hell would be shaken indeed. We lunched at a classy buffet and he even got to do a contact with a couple at the table next us, the head of the local police, who wanted to know why we were all called "elder." We obliged him an answer and invited him to come and see ; )
Saturday after lunch we trained the newly called ward missionaries using Preach My Gospel and held our weekly meeting to meet and talk about the work and what should be done during next week. One young man held his missionary farewell and it was FULL. We each were able to speak and bear our testimonies about the work he was leaving to do and how it was sure to change his life, and we also invited all to come and see and know why he was doing this. The spirit was STRONG! and many in attendance openly wept. We gathered the addresses and will go to work this week : )
Sunday was ward conference. We showed up in grand style with over thirty people in church because of our efforts, fourteen investigators watching for the first time. That was enough to shatter any previous ward attendance records and we brought down the house with the new record of 175. The best part though was watching the spirit as it touched each and everyone one of the investigators hearts. One investigator as she left the meeting said to us, "If you see me again next Sunday it will be because it is the day of my baptism." This week I hope will be more gathering than planting as we harvest the fruits of this last week.
We managed to grab one more p-day today, the last I'm sure for awhile. I'll make good use of it writing lots of letters ; )
I leave you with one of my favorite scriptural passages: "Having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ. And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above [the things] of the world. And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen.:
Your cousin Naomi wrote, "I slept at Ecully because I was on exchange with Sisters Francis and Fahl. Interesting note. Sister Francis is from England and is delightful. Sister Fahl is from Germany and spent a year living in Lindon, Utah as an exchange student. Any guesses who she lived across the street from? Uncle Ben, who helped teach her the missionary discussions. She loves ya Ben. And they are both wonderful missionaries."
So I wrote Uncle Ben to see if he had read Naomi's letter: "I was catching up on Naomi's letters, and found this portion I knew you'd love...have you seen it? Yeah! How exciting that she joined the church and is now on a mission with Naomi!" Uncle Ben wrote back and said, "I didn't know about this until Sunday when we had Derek over for dinner. It' pretty cool. There's a better story behind it, too. The family she stayed with here in Lindon, the dad served as a missionary in Germany and taught her parents when they were a young couple (not married), but they were never baptized. He's stayed in touch with them over the years - even when he lived in Germany after his mission for a couple of years (for work). Their daughter came on the foreign exchange here and was baptized. The Mom was baptized like a year later.
We got a note from Eric and Mary Lewis, "Hi, I just got a lovely letter from Tanner. It had money in it. Isn't this backwards? Shouldn't I send him money? This is confusing. It was either Brazilian or from a monopoly set. 5's, 10's, and a 100. I'm worried it was an accident. Should I mail it back or just send more beef jerky?" I assured her I would write you and ask, but that most likely it was just something cool you shared with them to keep.
I'm sharing a Ukraine update with you as I think this will affect your former BYU roommate, Jared? He might be coming home!
SALT LAKE CITY — The Church has issued the following statements on the status of missionaries in Ukraine and Venezuela:
Ukraine: Given the evolving situation in Ukraine, 22 missionaries serving in that country will end their missions early and return home over the next few days. This includes missionaries originally scheduled for release in March and April of this year and allows the four missions in Ukraine to better accommodate the missionaries who were moved out of the Crimean Peninsula. Missionaries who have been in missionary training centers preparing to enter Ukraine are being temporarily reassigned to other missions or will remain at the MTCs on a short-term basis (see previous statements issued this week).
Venezuela: All missionaries serving in Venezuela are safe. Church leaders are in regular contact with mission presidents and missionaries serving throughout Venezuela and are closely monitoring the situation to ensure their safety and well-being. (I didn't mention Venezuela last week in the news recap, but it has been experiencing increasing civil unrest, violent protests, and leader issues.)
And an update from your grandfather, actually on facebook with your cousin Roger: "Not bad to have a grandfather who served on guided missile destroyers in the Navy and then a long and distinguished career as an agent in the CIA for 23 years. 10 years as a part of a presidential protection detail and now a lighthouse keeper off the coast of Maine. Yes, I still carry a gun. Several in fact. Good to see you getting an "A" in social life. My main squeeze sends hugs and kisses. And I would walk a mile for those. Still rocking to Jimmy Buffet. Stay sharp lad. Love, a grand father." It might be another year before he gets on again, but as long as you're the top letter writer and phone call maker, his rare appearance might be to you ;-)
Speaking of facebook, your Aunt Jenny had this post today: "We're the family that practices the cub scout fire drill and then locks ourselves out of the house (some in barefeet and shorts) in 36 degree weather. We are home-security dysfunctional." #pathetic Very funny! Maybe we'll do a Whitcomb reenactment, especially since March is National Emergency Preparedness month!
Believe it or not we began last week with a major snowstorm, and had no school days #12 and #13. We probably got seven inches, but the ice that fell first (1/4th") and the 20 degrees made it all worse. The brothers made it back to school after a two hour delay Wednesday. I'm so far behind in seminary!! I know you're not suppose to watch a lot of television but I've almost given up! We're SO done with being in the house! Even Marshall closed on Monday. Today was beautiful and you could almost smell spring in the air. Your brothers were tempted so much they shot a few hoops in the driveway. The worse part was when Sawyer came into the house embarrassed, because a member of his basketball team, who knows he doesn't play basketball on Sunday, drove by. It was a good lesson for him to learn.
Wednesday night he and I ventured out to his basketball game. He had a good game, and since it started at 5:15 p.m. we were home early!
Friday Dad and I went to Porter and Hunter's quiz bowl match. They play well together as their expertise is in different areas. Hunter's got the finance, economics, history, government, literature and classical music covered, while Porter is better at math, Roman/Greek/Egyptian lore, geography and science. Hunter was awarded the MVP for Fairland, and received his plaque for the third year in a row. Fairland won the regular season, and the tournament - that with not one loss! They'll move onto regionals in April and hopefully states in May!
Friday night Dad came with me to watch Sawyer's game, which was great! It was almost a date ;-) We had fun in the stands. If someone was obnoxiously loud we'd get up and move away. Dad's not a yeller, so I covered for him and cheered your brother on. I try really hard to only say positive things, so I cheer when something good happens. Most of what we hear in the stands is mean or as a result of being upset at something their ten year old boy did. Those boys play their hearts out and should only be cheered on. I'll get off my soap box ;-)
Yesterday your three oldest brothers were able to go to the Louisville temple. They took family names to share. While looking for lunch and deciding upon Moe's, they saw a Cabelas there and went for a visit. Your father loves that store. It was but a momentary diversion but made the drive a little more pleasant.
While they were there, I had your three youngest siblings at Sawyer's all star basketball game in South Point. He was not feeling very well, and is probably why they lost, but he did sink all six of his free throws, and a couple of points off rebounds. They needed his edge to top the team. His team won today in the losers bracket, so he'll be back to play the championship game Monday night.
We also went to a baby shower for Dr. Stan the Man's wife, and soon to be born baby Owen. Needless to say I and my three cohorts did not stay long. It was a beautiful day and the cupcake sugar began boiling their blood. I had put them in a bedroom, watching cartoons, and found them jumping on the bed, and looking in the nightstand drawer. Ugg!
Leonardo called last night, two times. The reception was very poor. However, he was able to ask when you were coming home, and I was able to answer. He said he is trying to get to SLC by September. He loves you dearly.
You always speak of your converts when they're doing well so I thought I would tell you about Sawyer's friend that was baptized. His parents continue to come every week. He knows all the songs in Primary, he has memorized the articles of faith, and he gives talks in Primary and sings in Primary programs. We love watching him progress, and lead the way in his sweet family. His mother is coming with me to Time Out for Women next month in Cincinnati - Whitney Johnson is presenting and she hooked me up with a sweet deal - front row seats and free registration. Love those New England connections!
We're still studying Alma in seminary. In 46:9 it says, "Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men." I love thinking of the inverse of this, seeing the great righteousness one righteous man can cause to take place. You are that man. You're the cause of much righteous in Londrina, Brazil. You're doing as those who "felt was the duty which they owed to their God (43:46)." We love you for this, and oh so much more! Have a wonderful week!
Sawyer wanted to go so badly, so he left school a little early, waited in a long line, and got to discuss some coins from his coin collection: a 1914 barber dime, a 1900 Indian head penny, and paper currency from Greece.
He learned he could have earned $1.40, $.40, and paid $1.00,
I thought you would be interested in knowing Miller has reached the 100 book reading club. He read the last fifty all in two days! He was determined to get more than one ribbon (every ten books) in one day, and once he began, he did not want to stop!
Pretty good for a boy diagnosed with dyslexia (auditory processing disorder)!
Missão Brasil Londrina Ave. Higienópolis, 1.100 Sala 61
Bairro: Centro CEP: 86020-911 Londrina-Parana , Brasil
What Mom Believes
"We are created as much from the dust of eternity as we are from the dust of the earth. Every one of us has potential we can scarcely imagine." Joseph B. Wirthlin
“We write to taste life twice once in the moment and retrospect.” Anias Nin
Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery
When we are filled with Love, we can make a profound difference. It's what we came to do. Ardeth G. Kapp
Men are what their mothers made them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860
In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers. Dieter F. Utchdorf
I want to be the kind of Mom that would remember to get the broken Wheezy off of the shelf, fix his squeaker, and put him back in the toy box, having hope that my boys will still want to play.