Monday, December 15, 2014

Should I Stay or Should I Go! (The Clash)

A lot of amazing things have been happening. 

The trunky call is when the secretaries call to ask what airport you´ll be landing in when you go home. They informed me I´ll be leaving with the rest of the missionaries this march, who started with me in April, When they said that, I had a bad feeling. I felt that it was just too soon. Just under two years, but they say it´s what normal for an American in another country. I just had a feeling that it was wrong, that I needed to stay longer. I began considering talking with President Lisonbee to extend my mission. 
I got around to calling him this week. In my conversation with him, he assured me that on my call it says I am to stay another transfer until the end of April. He told me that there was not a mistake, I was called to serve just over the 2 years. :D I felt excited and a peace with it. 

       I love my companion elder Morgan so much! It has been a fantastic transfer. I learned a lot. He was teaching me so many things, that I wish I had a greater capacity to absorb it all. He taught me how to be better listener. How to become more humble. How to chose not take offense, regardless of what others say. I felt like we were making some great progress in our relationship and in our area. Elder Morgan has fulfilled specific parts of my patriarchal blessing about my mission. It got to the point that I didn´t want to be transferred. 
        For the first time I called the mission President to ask for him to consider me staying. I explained all the things that were happening. How I wanted to stay and help my companion and stay here in this area. I told him that I would go anywhere the Lord wants, but I personally would like to stay. 
         He heard me out. Told me that it was a righteous desire and that he would pray about it. He called me back later in the afternoon. He told me that I would not be able to stay, for he feels and has felt for a time that the Lord had a special assignment for me to do. He than called me to be his assistant. 
          I´ll still be in the same zone, and only an hour away from here.  I feel anxious and excited and a little stressed. I´ll be working a lot in the office helping president prepare training's and such. I´m heading out tonight. Tomorrow we´ll go to the airport to get the new missionaries arriving. ( I´m also happy, from what I understand, we have a maid that is going to wash our clothes- She can sew some of my pants! Hehe)

            We had a Christmas meeting with the mission. Our district put on a little skit of the birth of the savior. It went really well. I saw Elder Briggs (my trainer) there. He´s going home on Wednesday! I had an impression when I saw him, that we needed to go back to Alogoinhas, where I started my mission. I told him what I felt. He agreed. He spoke with president and he gave us permission to head there last Saturday. 
            It was really fun. I had a great time with Elder Briggs as we traveled and talked. I felt like we were in Paradise- leaned back in some comfy chairs on the bus eating some pastels and watching the green hills of jungle go by with one of my best friends conversing about the mission. 
           Walking those streets again was amazing. I felt like I was on holy ground. Everything looked so much different. So much more calm and small. The massive hills that I walked before, looked like small slants. They were nothing compared to the massive hills I´ve climbed since. The long streets, looked like little pathways. The intimating homes and people in the streets now looked harmless and non-threatening.  My perception was entirely changed in this year. The area didn´t change, I did. 
            When I was there a year ago, I felt like a servant in the area. I was rushing a lot and felt worried. But now, I didn´t feel like a servant to the area- but rather a MASTER. I felt so calm and peaceful. So full of confidence. The large area seemed rather small and we moved around quickly, with a peaceful pace. I felt we had learned to walk as the Savior did. 
  
  As we got there, an impression came that we needed to go to Joline´s home. She was a girl I had baptized over a year ago. We stopped by a members home first to have someone take us there. They informed us that she had gone less-active. That her parents had discouraged her from going to church and she had given up a little. 
             We got to her home with a calmness and an assurance we were not showing up alone. I felt the presence of the Lord and His angels. We were confident we would help her. 
           We clapped our hands (which is normal for knocking). Joline appeared from her home, she was surprised to see us, but delighted. Her parents also greeted us with surprise looks of Joy. They had heard that the missionaries almost never come back. They asked why had we. With the spirit in our hearts we told them plainly- God has sent us. For you and your family, He will always send angels to help. 
           Joline began to cry. As we knelt in prayer with everyone. And we bore just simple testimony. Her mother was soon in tears from the spirit. It was the feeling of an open mind. A new heart. repentance. We spoke little-only what we felt to say, and we sat in the silent much and just listened. For the greatest Teacher taught us. 
            Uplifted and recommitted. Jonline and her family were at church yesterday having returned. 

          Eu amo todos vocês! Eu presto meu testemunho que essa é igreja verdadeira, a unica verdadeira. Eu testifico do Senhor Jesus Cristo, que eu sei que ele vive. Esse é Sua Igreja, Ele guia essa trabalho.Ele sempre mandar os Anjos dele. Muitas vezes ele nos chama a voltar e ser esses anjos.  Nós podemos ajudar outros quando nós escutamos O espirito dele e oramos para a capacidade de chamar arrependimento com humildade. Digo, em nome Jesus Cristo, Ámen. 

I love you all! I bear witness that this is the true church , the true unique . I testify of the Lord Jesus Christ , I know that he lives . This is His Church , He guides this work . He always send the Angels. He often calls us to come back and be these angels . We can help others when we listen to His spirit and pray for the ability to call repentance in humility. I say , on behalf of Jesus Christ , Amen .

Picture Video



Here´s a video Grazy made. She was a woman we reactivated. In it are lots of photos, of lots of people we were teaching and reactivating.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmKXZVVvPXs&feature=youtu.be 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Short and sweet

I can´t wait to Skype you! I´ll probably be in a new area by then. There´s going to be transfer next week, and I got word that I´m going. As I conversed with Elder Morgan about our investigators I actually began to cry. Because I don´t feel ready to leave them in a week. I love the ward and it´s members. I love our investigators. I´m closer to the people here than I´ve been in any other area. I don´t know how I´m ever going to leave this country

It was a great week. Bianca was baptized! Elder Reynolds and I found her mom Nataly weeks ago. Nataly´s active now.  I feel really grateful, for the first time I went to their home, it didn´t go super well. But I had that impression I would baptize Bianca. It was really spiritual. 

Sorry for the Short email. But I want you to know that I love you!!!! Talk to you next week. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gratitude increases your attitude!




There was no Turkey this thanksgiving. (Looks like a couple of Turkeys in the photos above don't you think?) We worked and planned the day like any other. Except we did change one thing. Prayers of only Gratitude. From the moment we woke up, to our studies, to all visits, to planning, and to moments of need, we only gave thanks. We started the lessons with a prayer, thanking the Lord for the privilege of knowing the individual and his/her progress in the gospel. 
There were many times, I wanted to ask for things. I never realized how much I and others ask, ask, and ask, until I made a conscious effort to stop. The lessons I learned this thanksgiving were amazing. I had an amazing feeling of joy by the end of the day. I could feel within my soul that we having a Loving Heavenly Father willing to bless us in all things.
 I learned that because of my often ingratitude, I focus on what I see as a problem to be removed, and fail to see the miracles already wrought. I learned how this truly is a marvelous work and a wonder, it is still however- a work in process. With only some small daily quirks to be worked out, that we often stress over these relatively small issues and if we are not careful, we will fail to see the big picture of the Lord hand pushing things forward. .  
With each stress that day, instead of pleading for help, I gave a heart full of gratitude. I felt my faith and hope grow. My worries were always calmed. Because it takes faith to just give gratitude when we only see a problem. 
Things are going really well here. We met Zeek´s wife, Cristina who´s an american. We taught them all together at the home of Daniel and Josey- (whom are in the process of marriage papers to get baptized!) Today we went and saw the beach with Zeek and had lunch by a neat lake.
I felt so happy when I saw Graziela stand up in sacrament meeting yesterday, called as a ward missionary. To think it was only a couple months ago, she told us she would never return- now she´s teaching everyone with us. 
Another Family close to our hearts are the Estake´s. The Father São Paio is kind to us, but is not yet a member. His wife, Rosangela, their 4 kids are less-actives for many years. Many in the ward knows this family. They receive many visits from members trying to help them. As we´ve prayed and fasted together we felt that it must start with Rosangela. That if she were to return to activity, her family would follow. 
We met once again with this family this week with her home teachers. But we did it a little different, before we started her family and home teachers looked to us- the missionaries- to start teaching, we looked at Rosangela and ask her to give all of us a message. 
Singing a hymn and the opening prayer were just enough time for her to find a scripture to share. She gave a great message of the importance of studying the scriptures and the sacrifices of others so we could have them. The conversation lead to the pioneers and those that had given their very lives so we could have the gospel. 
We asked Rosangela a simple question ´If these people that went on before us, were here now, what do you think they would expect of you?´ 
Rosangela had tears in her eyes when she said ´To return back to church, so I can help them.´
We explained that we needed her, that the church needed her, that her ancestors needed her, and her children and many generations to follow needed her. Then she stated with firmness ´I will be there. I will come to church´ 
And she did.  

.   Love you all! Love you mom and dad! I´m so proud to be your son. 
(AWWWWWWWW)

Monday, November 24, 2014

11/23/14 Answers to YOUR questions.

Our zone has gained a few more missionaries, the brand new missionaries are my favorite ones to call. They are so excited and anxious. We gave a zone training about effective planning, it was fun, we involved arm-wrestling and spoke about that techniques can make you much more effective than brute force. I´ll show you one day. 
There´s a family we are teaching. Josefa (mother), Elide, Perolá, and Evane. Elide is 23, she´s the oldest. 2 days ago, she asked us a question. ´Why does God allow so much suffering? Why is there so much suffering?´ We could see the pain in her eyes, but wouldn´t give her an answer. For we have learned, when an answer is just given, it´s easily forgotten within a few days. But when an answer comes from the spirit, through seeking it, we remember it for the rest of our lives. 
So, we taught her how to get the answer. We marked 2 Nephi 2. The instructions were simple. Pray-ask God the question. Read the chapter. Go to Church, and you´ll get YOUR answer. Not, THE answer, it will feel personalized. 
One of my concerns here in the ward, is the quality of teaching. In the gospel principles class, I was concerned a great deal of all our investigators and less-actives that went to it. I am certain, that we don´t go to church to learn a few more doctrinal facts, we need to feel the presence of the Lord. I, myself struggled in that class to stay awake. 
We prayed about it a great deal. We didn´t stop praying about how to help that teacher, until we got an answer. We received the answer, that we must show the teacher who she is and who she can become. We thanked her for her classes and her help. She expressed that she felt that students weren´t learning. We suggested that we meet with her and tell her of all the people that come to that class, so she could know and pray for them by name. My companion chose a talk about the Savior´s example of teaching. We expressed our appreciation and assured her that she had been called of God, and He will give her what to do and say. 
We came that Sunday, with many less-actives and investigators, including Eldie. The class was different, more personal. The chairs were set in a circle, instead of rows. The teacher was sitting with us asking inspired questions. She did fantastic. Personal experiences were shared that impressed us. Tears were shed with testimony. And a question was asked by our ward mission Leader ´Some may ask,´He said ´Why does God allow so much suffering?´ Then He answered it. Entirely. Elide looked at me, and I couldn´t help but laugh. I´m so grateful for that class, and look forward to it again. For the manual wasn´t being taught anymore, people were. 
Later that night. Elide expressed how she got her answer, and said she wants to be baptized. Pray for her family. We are grateful for the Lord´s Hands here. 
I love you all. Something my companion Elder Morgan has taught that the greater the Trial, the greater our capacity to feel joy in helping others. I can see clearly, because of his trials, he has a great capacity at discerning the needs of others and helping them. I am grateful for challenges. I am grateful for the Savior, who suffered all things, so that he could succor his people. Succor- meaning to literally run to. He faced pains, so that He could be with us in ours.    
Te Amo! 

11/17/14 Small World

Over one year ago. I was in a pleasant ward named Lynbrook. It composed of only about 6 blocks of the massive city of Las Vegas. I loved our P-Day´s. We would go to the church gym and play basketball. Nearly every week, there was a member named Surf Decker. He was the High School Basketball captain, and he brought some of the best baller´s in the neighborhood to play with us. 

I loved the Decker family. Their home was always pleasant and welcoming to be in. It was full of laughter and life. And yet had a beautiful peaceful feeling. It was a strong family in the gospel and they loved the missionaries. It was Brother Decker who told us about the Carter family to go visit, which we did and Austin Carter was the first baptism I saw on the mission. They were so excited for me to go to Brazil and always showed me great support. They themselves had 2 kids serving missions at that time, with one more, being Surf getting ready to go. 
Someone asked me where I thought Surf would go on his mission. Joking, I said Salvador Brazil.
Well, I entered in the chapel building for transfers on Tuesday. Sister Lisonbee came up to me and told me there was a new missionary from Las Vegas asking for an Elder Pollard. I was filled with Joy to see Elder Decker (Surf)! Haha, small world.  (I´ll send photo next week!)
I have one amazing friend as my new companion Elder Morgan! He´s very loving and kind. He has served me greatly. He cleansed our home of all spiders and dirt. Re-organized all my things and showed me a greater way to live. As he cleaned and served me, he said ´sometimes we can´t express how much we love someone, we just have to show it by serving them.´ 
He´s fallen perfectly into place in the area. The ward has welcomed in him. And the investigators and less-actives he has continued to push on what Elder Reynolds and I were doing, he often says to them ´Do you know Elder Reynolds? He´s my cousin. And God sent me to finish what he has started.´ Of many miracles, I enjoyed how he took all the coffee out of a less-active, Angela´s home and threw it out. After a great message of overcoming addictions by setting goals for today, and not waiting until tomorrow,, she was at church yesterday.
The work keeps going on. We are bringing the gospel to many. 
Love you all!    

I´m loving this area! It´s become to feel like a 2nd home for me. I love the people, they are very receptive and kind. Our ward is amazing, because everyone loves to serve us and help us.  

11/10/14 Saying goodbye to Elder Reynolds

This has been the last week for my companion Elder Reynolds. I feel so attached to him. Before he came, I saw my area as rather a dark, heavy feeling, and dangerous place. I felt like I was in a constant battle spiritually. Never before I have seen so much sin and destruction. I felt weighed down and worried. Then, Elder Reynolds came. He didn´t change our circumstances, He changed me. One of his greatest gifts, is helping someone see their weakness, put it right in front of their face, and then he gives great counsel to overcome them. 
It´s what he did to me. I expressed to him, that at times I was afraid to build people up, to compliment them, for fear that it would cause them to become prideful. But he taught me it does just the opposite. He taught me if you treat someone the way they are, they will continue to stay the way they are. But if you treat someone the way they could and should be, they will become that person. 
He taught me so much about humility. He taught me about always placing others first. To get up and make your companion´s bed, before making your own. To make him breakfast first, then find food for yourself. He taught me to believe in people and to trust in God. He taught me to never let a problem to be solved, ever become more important than a person to be loved. 
He taught me how to patiently wait with joy, even when we are late. He taught me that there is a way to act as the Savior would, when you are in a hurry, calmly and with joy. He taught me how to overcome feeling over-heated or tired. He showed me how to be childlike and to laugh often. 
I love him. and I´ll greatly miss him. It has been so neat to see a noble and great one, finishing his mission. I have witnessed him being upheld by angels. I have seen his words and presence touch lives. I saw the Lord blessing us with miracles. We have so many people ready and many to teach. The church has become so full, I think we´ve been the largest ward in the state.
Our strongest points has been our relationship. I know Elder Reynolds completely, of past experiences and facts I could easily be outbeat. But I know who he is, and who he will be. He is a humble servant of God, who teaches with boldness, most often by example. 
We gave a training this week to the zone, about bettering your relationship with your companion. We had lots of laughs and funny practices. But I was most touched by a senior couple, a sister who stood and said ´I´ve always wondered when it was that my kids who served missions became men. I know they left as boys, and returned men. But at what point did this change happen? I know now, that it happens in meetings like these, searching to get better.´ 
It´s been a great time serving together..............i got a feeling I may just be companions with his cousins, who is also serving here. 
Thanks for everything I love you! Till next week.   

11/03/14 Can YOU meet the challenge.

 You can meet the challenge to pray to find someone. Just imagine for a moment that you already did it. Imagine that you prayed, and felt courage fill your heart, that you feel like your very soul was smiling. After, you found yourself unable to stop smiling. As you prayed, you felt your body entirely renewed. All sores and aches, all tiredness left you. You had a quiet joyful feeling. You still did all the daily responsibilities, that everyone so greatly appreciated. But somehow, it went by faster, easier, less stressfull. At some point in that day, you met someone, unexceptectly. They spoke to you so kindly. You loved talking to them, and felt you had made a new friend quickly.Perhaps you talked about me on a mission. Somewhow you spoke of the gospel, they so despitely needed and wanted. The impression from your prayer that morning came back to your head, though somewhat unsure how, that courage filled your heart again and you invited this person to our home, (the very missionaries could practice with real people) and visit the church with you. Think of the difference that would have today. I know you can do it.  The Lord can ease your schedule, He does it for me everyday. I feel the spirit everyday tell me that my family is being blessed back home. I feel so grateful to be here.

A couple weeks ago, we met Denevoldo, a very drunk, very smelly, shirtless, hairy man came up to us. He had a dirty beard, missing teeth, and walked slowly with a limp. He approached us holding his arm and moaning in pain. He said he had fallen and broken his arm. Looking at the disfigurement of the arm, we believed him. He asked for a prayer or a blessing. 
Reconginzing his poor nurtition, my companion bought him some rice. We walked him to his humble home that was molding away. We prayed with him. Blessed him. Taught him the importance of cleaness. Spiritual and physical. We gave instructions to how to clean his home. We taught the word of wisdom. 
When we saw him next. I honestly didn´t reconginze him. He was clean shaven. Wearing a shirt and pants. His home was cleaner. He was sober. He told us, since that day we came to his home, he never drank again. He came to church with us. Accepted everything we taught, and has a desire to obey. 
       A great lesson I´ve learned these past couple weeks is that ´any excuse, no matter how valid it is, will weaken your character.´ I´ve been trying to cut out any excuse or justification with anything. I don´t want to justify, I want to sanctify. I don´t want to be okay with it, I want to repent and feel peace. We´ve been helping others repent, by helping them stop giving excuses, and start having character. 
I love you all so much! Have an awesome week. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10/27/14 Don't Judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes.

We spent 3 nights in a row sleeping on the bus traveling. We had what we called a sanctification day, one day dedicated entirely to cleaning our homes. Elder Reynolds and I went and did house inspections in our zone of missionaries who live 6 to 9 hours away. 
It was very fun. I felt like I was on a road trip with my best friend. Elder Reynolds and I had a lot of laughs traveling and getting to know new places and missionaries. We gave training's and did divisions. 
One night, we got off the bus at around 2:30 am, with a zombie-walk of tiredness, we traveled down a road for 20 min to find the home of the missionaries. We managed to do a contact with a man walking with us, I think we were so tired that half of what we said could have been in English, and I wouldn´t have noticed. 
We got to the home to be greeted by what looked like angels. 4 missionaries were sleeping in baptismal clothes, saying they were so excited for our visit that they knew a miracle would happen and that they would baptize that week. (2 people were interviewed and baptized). They gave us a good laugh. 
We enjoyed celebrating a birthday with elder Williams, by smashing eggs on his head. 
We met one missionary, whose shoes were horrible. They were all torn up. I was dumbfounded how one  with only 6 months could have worn his shoes out so quickly. I didn´t think a lot of it, until we were headed home and I saw my companion wearing those same shoes, a size to small and well-worn. I was touched by Elder Reynolds charity. He had given his good pair of shoes to this Elder in need. Elder Reynolds offered his shoes, because he´ll be going home soon. We later learned about how grateful the elder was, for his feet were bleeding and he didn´t have the means of getting new shoes. 
We didn´t have 1 whole day in our area this week. We were worried about our  investigators, we didn´t have the chance to visit anybody. We feared that they wouldn´t be at church, and that some may stop progressing. But we learned a great lesson when we arrived at church. The chapel was full of our investigators and less-actives. I had such a feeling of peace as I heard the Lord´s voice ´This is My work, I am in Control here.´ We feel so grateful to be here serving, and know that the Lord is doing a marvelous work and wonder. I know He is at the Head. 
Love you! 

Knock and it shall be opened or use a hammer and a chisel. 10/21/14

October 21, 2014
This is a photo of our zone with President Costa. It was really cool. 5 missionaries of the mission were chosen to have have an interview with him. I was chosen as one. It was amazing. I asked him a lot of questions. He gave answers, some that were awesome, and others that I´m still trying to understand. When I asked him for what advice he had for me, I was surprised he specifically said. ´Take care of your sisters. Do a brother- sister date when you go home, if their dates don´t show up or something. Help them to have fun. 
Valmir and Creuza were baptized on Sunday. (The photo is from the wedding) Such an amazing family to have in the ward. They are so dedicated. They have run into so many challenges since they started this journey. It took them months to do marriage papers. They had people tell them lies and try to put doubts in their heads. But they keep moving forward with humble dignity to that which they feel is true.
There´s another couple whom we love greatly, named Lucas and Emily. A young couple. Emily is pregnant with her 3 child. We met them on the street, and they gladly received us in their home. They enjoyed to make us dinner when we were close to them. We had lots of laughs together. I loved to teach them. The area in which they live is very loud, so we used to walk them to the church and teach them there inside, we had many spiritual experiences together. One Sunday, we went to go walk with lucas to head to church. He was running late and weren´t ready when we got there. As Lucas opened the door and came out to talk with us, he door shut behind him and locked himself out. The keys on the inside in the door. But Lucas was determined. He said ´nothing is going to stop me from going to church!´ After trying various methods of getting in. He grabbed a hammer and a chisel. ´There´s no time to do anything else.´ He explained. And we watched as he smashed a hole into the side of his house, and grabbed his keys. 
He was there. On time.I still don´t know how he explained that to his wife. 

I love you all! We have been praying not to just find people, but to have people find us. People have been finding us. Today a man just walked into the church, while we were there to ask when he could come and visit. He just walked in, because he had watched the movie the other side of heaven, and now is really interested. That´s cool, go Disney. 
Ate na próxima semana. (until next week)



Saturday, October 18, 2014

A letter from The Mission Presidents Wife

Since Daylen did not have time to write us this week I thought we would share a letter we recieved from Sister Lisonbee. Sounds like he is doing an awesome job over there.
Destry

Dear Sister Pollard,
I want to tell you about how in our Mission Council Meeting President Lisonbee asked if any of the missionaries wanted to recite the Joseph Smith story by memory.  Your son volunteered and what he did will go down as one of my all time favorite mission memories.  He stood and with humble confidence he told the story in Joseph's own words.  His Portuguese was beautiful and the Spirit was so strong there was a hush in the room.  It was remarkable.
We love your son and the only problem we have with him is that we cannot clone him!  We wish he could be everywhere in the mission!  He is pictured here with his great companion, Elder Reynolds.  They are accomplishing wonderful things together especially in terms of working with the members and gaining their trust and confidence.
We were blessed to have the president of our Area, Claudio Costa come and tour our mission this past week.  In the meeting that your son was in the President asked your son to share the Joseph Smith story to about 100 of us that were there.  He did not have any prior warning, but he told us later that he had a feeling he would be asked to do this.  Once again it was so special.  I hope you will have him do it for you when he returns.  It won't matter whether you can understand Portuguese or not, you will feel the Spirit.
Thank you again for sending us such a fine young man.
All the best,  Sister Bianca Lisonbee

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Daylen fell that Investigators might feel Joy"

Last week I asked that you would pray for our investigators. It´s making a difference. Pedro Lopes and His wife Elonise are progressing wonderfully. They study the scriptures together everyday. Elonise responded for Pedro when I asked if he had been reading the Book of Mormon, she said ´Ha! I can´t get him to stop! He would sit and read all day if I let him.´
They come from some of the most humble of circumstances. But I have faith that the gospel will help them in all things. They live in a small home, incomplete is walls and ceiling. A dirt floor. No bathroom. Our Ward mission Leader is a plumber, so he´s going to help get a toilet in there for them. Despite their humble conditions, their home is filled with peace, due to faithful prayers. 
This week we´ve gone over and taught the plan of salvation. Due to lack of chairs, they usually sat on an old tank of water to listen. I offered them our chairs, and that we could sit on the tank so they could be more comfortable. As I sat on the lid of this old water tanks, it shattered from beneath me. I fell in, luckly no water in it. After being pulled out, and me giving some apologies. We all had a hearty laughed. We laughed a good while. Later, we explained the fall of Adam and Eve, Pedro didn´t understand 2 Nephi 2;25 Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. 
So I explained it based on what happened. We were all feeling normal as the visit started. Then I fell in the tank. Creating worry, embarrassment, opposition. Due to the opposition, the joy we felt after was so much greater. We all had a great laugh. I am convinced, for every tear of sadness, the Lord replaces it with a 100 tears of joy. The greater the opposition, the greater shall be our joy.  
We learned that Elonise has had 9 children, but 5 passed away young. She loved the concept of baptisms for the dead and they´ve committed to go and do the work shortly after their baptism.
We taught the Celestial kingdom, and about Celestial marriage. We plan to get the papers done for marriage this month for them, it´s going to take some money and a 8 hour travel to do papers, but they are willing to sacrifice everything to do it. They love the idea of temples and having a marriage for eternity. 
They are good christian people. They were fully active in another church before we meet them, in fact, they were baptized in that church just 6 months ago. But now that they´ve found the full truth. They´ve accepted it all. 
This Friday a wonderful couple that have been going to church for 7 months now every Sunday, are finally being married and then shortly there-after baptized. Valmir and Creuza, they already have their 3 children that were baptized in the church, and they look forward to joining them, and making their way to the temple to be sealed as a family. 
General Conference was so good. I was so pumped. I said and thought things of ´wow! The talks are so much better! That was so much more powerful. The best general conference!.´Until my mission presidents wife, sister Lisonbee told me that all general conferences are like that. It´s not that it´s changed, but I have. 
We watched it in English. But I loved the Brazilian who spoke, and it was awesome to watch him straight in português. It was an  awesome talk. 
I made a list of 10 questions I had. All were answered in general conference, either directly or by subtle whisperings of the spirit. I also found, that General conference gives answers, even when new question are actually formed. It answers present, past, and future needs. 
Eu sei que este é o unica igreja verdadeira e viva do senhor Jesus Cristo. Eu Amei de ouvir dos Profetas e Apóstolos. Eu reconheci o voz do bom pastor, atrás de estes vozes de servos. Ele Vive. Ele é a cabeça de Sua Igreja. Em nome De Jesus Cristo, Ámen. 

Eu Amo Todos De Vocês

I know this is the only true and living church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I loved to hear the Prophets and Apostles . I recognized the voice of the good shepherd behind these voices of servants . He Lives . He is the head of His Church . In the name of Jesus Christ , Amen .

I Love All of You


Monday, September 29, 2014

9/29/14 Need your prayers


(No Subjec

Things are fantastic here in Cajazeiras!  We have more people to teach than we know what to do with. Other areas in our zone are struggling to find people to teach, and I been trying to figure out why they couldn´t find people, and we seem to have too many people. Our issue isn´t in finding, but follow-up with all these people and helping them progress. What is it we were doing that they weren´t? 
Well, our President, President Lisonbee answered that. He called us this week and asked if we wanted to have lunch with him. It was really neat. We talked about a lot of things, from going to school, to our zone, to future profession.. Anyway, in our conversion he stated that a good way to find people to teach, is through the members and the less-actives. Then we realized,  We often just went out to the members and went with them to find the less-actives, in the process the spirit has always lead us to people to teach. 
We had a neat experience this week, Bishop gave us a list of some less-actives he wanted us to find and bring back. We went near the area where they lived, and took the list to the home of an active member, Washington. We explained to Washington the challenge Bishop had given us, and asked if he would help. We showed the list and told him to pick someone to go see. We then headed off together searching for the street and house. 
The thing is. Here in Salvador, addresses of homes are tough! One road will have about 4 different names, that are just determined by whoever, no signs to tell anything. The numbers of houses are mumbo jumbo, like everyone just picked their favorite number and drew it on their home. Then, someone builds their house on top or behind and just uses the same address. Until there´s a stack of like 10 houses with the same address. Hahaha, one day I´ll miss this place.
In the mix of all the confusion, we headed up some stairs, in the midst of a few homes. Washington stopped at one of these homes, seemly going straight to it. I had a good feeling about this home as well. There we didn´t find the less-active. But the Lord sent us to an Elderly Couple , Pedro and His wife Elinese. We said that we were representatives of Jesus Christ, sent to help them. We asked if we could give a message. They accepted. We started by singing a hymn that stirred our hearts ´I need thee, every hour.´
.After We asked, if the Lord was here before you, what would you ask for? Pedro and Elinese are in their 70´s, they both said they desire greater health. We knelt and prayed for them. When we finished Pedro began to weep silently. He and Elinese were greatly touched. We invited them to come to church the next day with us. They accepted.
Washington went by their house and made the walk and bus trip to church with them. There were powerful meetings. After sacrament meeting Washington insisted my companion and I to teach them the Restoration in that very moment, so they could understand better. We went in a room with the couple and asked what they thought of church. Pedro and Elinese had been fully active in another church, but Pedro stated he felt so good, and then told his wife ´we´ll be here every Sunday!´ 
Our hearts and theirs were touched by the message of the restoration we then discussed with them. As we finished how this is the Lord´s Jesus Christ Church. The only living and True Church. We invited them to be baptized. Which Pedro, accepted with joy. Then Elinese said she surely would too, stating she wouldn´t let him do this alone. 
I ask for my family´s help to pray for these people. We need it. Unfortunately, an issue here is that very few are legally married. And we must first help them through the papers of marriage to then be baptized. 
Others we are teaching that are in the process of getting married. Are Valmir and Creusa. Daniel and Josey. Pedro and Maria. Kelly and Joanderson, all have been attending church, and  if there was time I would love to tell the stories of each. Pray for them and for us, so we can help them come to Christ. .  
I love you!!! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

9/22/14 "Even the very drunks obey him"

Elder Reynolds has a gift or a curse, or some magical power to draw drunk people to him. I´ve never had so many drunk people stop us on the street. I think it´s his blond hair, that makes him stick out and gives these intoxicated men a desire to talk to him. They try to speak English with him and discuss things of the US. The only English they speak is ´Goodie Morniningie´ which is an attempt of ´Good Morning.´
It often makes me laugh. Yesterday on our way to church, there was a dirty, drunk man in the middle of the road arguing with and bugging another person. He was shouting at someone. Elder Reyonlds put his arm around him and said ´Brother.....let´s go to church.´ I could hardly believe my eyes that he came with us. He didn´t say anything more, than let´s go, and the man followed. He came and sat through the priesthood meeting with us. 
I heard a member say concerning my companion ´what manner of man is this, that even the very drunks obey him?´ 
  Graziela called us this week and asked for us to come and teach her father and brother. ´they are also less active,´she said ´ And they are tough in the heart with no desire to go back, but so was I. So come over.´ We´ve had some powerful lessons with her family this week. And we can´t help but smile, they gave the same excuses that Graziela gave. But now she´s back and is encouraging her family. She brought her sister law Kelly, who is not a member, to church yesterday.And we are excited for the progress that is happening. 
Zeek, is a still a powerful member missionary. We´ve been teaching his cousin Josey and her husband Daniel. Yesterday they went to church together. Along with Zeek´s friend Hogo and his wife. 
I am so grateful that Joslyn and Nate are praying for these people. Please do. It makes a large difference. 
We had a zone meeting. 4 Elders were unable to come, because their areas are too far, over 8 hours. This week, we're headed up north to our zone to give a training and fireside in the smaller branches with our mission president. Transfers are tomorrow, I´m staying here with my companion, But our zone is about to get even larger and receive more missionaries, so we´re excited for that. 
Love you all!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

9-15-14 Never lose the love you have.

The Hastening

I believe that the spirit of the Hastening, is the holy ghost bearing a thrilling witness of the work speeding up through divine assistance of members on both sides of the veil. I felt this spirit when I was in Las Vegas, it was the feeling of the missionary work changing, become something more effective, the converts greater retained, and the help of angels increased. The members not only giving referrals, but planning with us, finding with us, teaching with us, and baptizing with us. 
However this spirit, or feeling of the Hastening, in my view, hasn´t seem to be quite hitting here in our mission. The work here hasn´t seemed to change for the past 10 years. Missionaries still doing contacts in the street and knocking on doors, they often baptize without much help from the ward. I have seen specifically here in my ward the horrible effect of the lack of unity between members and missionaries. I got to this area to find that there were hundreds and hundreds of less actives. Lunches with members were struggling, for many had been offended or upset with past missionaries. I felt there was a lack of coordination in the ward and the work. 
Elder Driscoll and I, and now Elder Reynolds and I, have prayed and fasted and strive to do all we felt to do to help this ward and bring the spirit of the hastening. This week has brought an amazing joy to us, as have started to see some of the fruits of our labors. Some of the things that have helped us, is getting in a personal meeting with the bishop each week to discuss the ward and the week. Each Sunday, trying our best to get in every ward council meeting we can. We found it helpful to do everything we could to try to make our lunches with members as spiritual and uplifting as we could. At first, they would leave us alone to sit at the table by ourselves. We insisted that all members of the home eat with us. While we ate we would get to know them. We have a goal to learn the name and conversion story of every single member, even to the children. 
We found singing  hymns for the members at lunch was a great way to bring the spirit. We would have solo´s and sing in parts and practice to make it an uplifting experience. As we met with them, we were always on time, and we leave on time. We discuss the people we are teaching near them, and mark dates for the member to come with us. We ask them, ´who do you want to see at church?´ If I ever hear a missionary complain that members aren´t helping them, I remind them, we are here to help the members, to bring to church who they want to see there, whether the person be less-active or not yet a member. We are to help the members become missionaries, I am convinced that the spirit of the hastening means that literally all work is through and with the members.
The potential in the ward is incredible, it´s full of returned missionaries. The first councilor of the bishop, was probably the member who disliked the missionaries the most when I got here. He often complained of us. We have sought to serve him, to receive and follow his council and gain his trust. This week, he called us and asked where we were. He came and got us in a car, and told us he wants to visit all the people we have with him. We spent nearly the whole day together visiting less-actives, investigators, and he showed us some new people. It was the first time he´s gone with missionaries in years. He´s become on of our good friends. He feels the spirit of the hastening. 
Thanks to our fantastic relief society president, Saundra, and many other amazing women, who have told all the women in the church how much they enjoy our lunch appointments, we are booked with lunches for about the next 2 months.  These lunches always result with us planning with these people to visit their family members and friends to bring them to God´s kingdom. 
A few members gave the same reference of a less active woman named Graziela. Graziela was sealed and married in the temple to a returned missionary. They had a beautiful daughter. Graziela was a powerful member missionary who brought many to the church, and helped many stay in it. She was a connection to the conversion of many members. However, a difficult trial came and she and her husband become divorced. Her husband continued going to church and ended up dating another member there. 
Graziela, as you can imagine, stopped going to church. Despite the visits of friends, she refused to return. Her relationship with God began to weaken. Soon the scripture study stopped as did her prayers. 
A member named Ana Sales, after lunch, was the first to take us to her home. Graziela greeted us with big smiles and a upbeat attitude. Yet, we had a feeling of much seriousness, and saw through the outer layer she was displaying. She remarked ´You´re different than the other missionaries.` 
Each visit we had with her was remarkable. She was always so kind and upbeat and insisted to us that she was happy, without the church and had no desire to go back. Through the spirit we could see through that, and patient as we felt, we were bolder than we wanted to be as we spoke to her. 
On one occasion we continued to insist that she would open up with us, she said in some frustration ´you won´t understand, you don´t know me.´ Tears filled our eyes, as we told her, ´But we want to know you.........we get on our knees every night and pray for you......we worry about you.......we won´t ever get up.......you can say what ever you want, do whatever, and we will never be offended, we will never stop coming.´ 
That was the first time we saw her fall apart, as she began to cry. She gave us some advice that has changed my life. She told us ´Don´t ever let that love you have change, you need to have that same love for your family when you return home. It´s so sad that those who are closest to me, express their love the least, while those who hardly know me tell me they love me the most.´ 
That night was her turning point. She began studying the scriptures and praying again with more intensity.  
Another night, we were in the church, it was late and we had to one more quick visit for the night, we prayed where we should go. We felt it was Grazeila. She lived far from the church, but we knew the impression was from God, so we began running. We caught a bus just in time and were at her house faster than I thought possible. We went in, and the impression was clear why the Lord had sent us, we asked ´Grazeila........do you want a blessing?´ 
She answered instantly she would, and that just moments ago she was thinking to ask for one. 
This week we watched a video of missionary work and the Atonement with her. We saw her starting through the repentance process. She told us that she was rather comfortable before we showed up, now things were changing and she feels a sorrow. That sorrow is essential for change. 
Pleased to say, that yesterday she was at Church. 

Love you so much mom! Thank you so much for your letter Kendyl. My advice for you to get through high school and doing scholarships and preparing for college, is to be child-like. Not childish. But Child-like. Sometimes get on the teeter- totter with a friend. Be quick to laugh. Quick to forgive. Quick to share. Quick to sing a hymn or primary song. And lastly be close to mom and dad. I wouldn´t have made it without them in my hard times.  Go to them for advice often. 
Love you all! 

9/8/14 VIDEOS

Here are a couple of videos that someone in Brazil posted on Facebook and shared with us. The first one is of Daylen pretending he's got a machine gun I guess. We have no idea what he is doing but it makes us laugh each time we watch the opening scene.

video


video
this one is of bike ride with some other missionaries and locals Daylen is in Yellow and it is mainly his voice you here as he leads them on.

and a photo of Daylen and his companion getting breakfast



9-1-14 Having been born of Goodly Parents

 (Nanette and I had no idea the profound effect our words and actions would have on our children's life seemingly simple interactions and life lessons have really made and impact. These were really no BIG moments to us just trying to be what we thought were good parents. We are so proud of Daylen and all our children for the examples they are and are humbled that they think that their character had something to do with the way we "raised"them. Destry)  I had a neat experience this week that gave me  a greater appreciation for our family. We were at the home of the releif society president, named Saundra. She´s just an amazing member, of only 2 years in the church. She has 3 young children, and with all the many things she has to do, still managed to make us lunch this week. She asked me, if all my family were members of the church, I told her yes, and as one of my new favorite things to talk about I started telling stories of our ancestory from Thomas Grover to early pioneers to missionaries.
Then, I heard from the concerned and worried voice of our mother for her children, she asked me. ´How do you feel towards your parents? Did you ever fall away from the church? How is that they raised you to be strong in the gospel? What did they do?´ 
My first thoughts I shared were on dad´s attitude, whenever I complained ´do we have to? Do we have to do this?´ He answer was always the same ´No, you get to.´ Dad had a way of understanding personal agency, and that we must do things for ourselves, or our character and attitude cannot be changed. We will not benefit from the work or service if we don´t want to do those things. We cannot be happy doing the things that make us happy, if we don´t want to do those things. I never felt I had to read or pray or go to church. Dad even asked me if I was sure I wanted to go on the mission, I knew he would have given full support had I choosed not to or to wait. I knew I would never be punished for falling short, when I once returned home from school with poor grades, he responded lovingly to keep trying, they were better grades than what he got. Because of that, I wasn´t ever ashamed to come to him when I struggled at school, because I knew he would understand. The relationship, motivated me to do better in school and try harder. 
It has been dad´s earnestness and honesty about his mission, that has often carried me to keep going on mine. And be the best I can be. 
Then I spoke of you mom, one experience brought me to tears as I told it. I was coming home late one night. I knew I was in the wrong. I was late to the hour I should have been home. Hastenily driving home, with only pathetic exscuses to give I arrived to find you not home. Pain and nervousness hit me as I learned you had left, out looking for me, this had my guilt only grow. I expected a lecture or a punishment, anger, dissapointment or frustration to come from you by the time you had returned. But you suprised me, with tears in your eyes, you gave me a hug, and said ´I´m grateful that your okay´  
That changed my life, more than any lecture ever could have. You didn´t even give a lecture, just assured me of your trust in me to be doing the right thing. That trust and love, helped me in times of temptations and trial. It drove me to do my best in all things, it brought the best I could give, because I knew it´s what was expected. I still made many mistakes, but I felt my parents love was always there. Faith in your and my families love, brought me to faith in the Savior´s love. 
The member here, Saundra began to cry. She thanks you. She thanks us for having great missionaries in the ward. The ward has been so good to us, and nearly all we do, there is a member with us, helping us find and teach and re-activate. There is no greater call, than the call of a parent. Your influence in my life, as affected many lives here. Thank you mom and dad, for your love and support.   Until next week. 
Ti amo

8/25/14 Hastening the work

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!! PARABÉNS PARA OS MELHORES PAIS DO MUNDO! I love you so much. All the kids are growing up so fast. I agree with what you said mom, I have found my place, my people, my language, I´ve found who am I am. I´ve never been more confident or more sure of things. I feel the work is about to start hastening here, and take a different spin. We´ve been having meetings with our mission president and stake presidents and other church leaders. This past week we´ve been visting area´s of our missionaries and giving training's and learning from them. I´ve learned this week that we become confident in ourselves and our personalities, only as we think about others. As are thoughts are entirely focused on serving those around us, we will lose ourselves, and thus find who we really are as we serve him. We shall not be afraid to open up with people, because we won´t be thinking of ourselves, but who we can bless the individual. 
At the end of a day I spent with another missionary he told me, he learned about charity that day. He said he never met someone who knew so little about, but shared so much with him. I´ve learned we must share with people who we are, not what we know. We share it often through our talents, we receive more as we serve more. 
This week, i´ve learned the great value of standing in Holy places. There is no other place here that I feel so at peace and so safe, than the church chapel. When things get rough and we feel we are being attacked by the adversary, we return to the church building, to receive strength, then we get back to work. 
We are busy, started going with members and searching for the less-actives here. Now, We have more than we know what to do with. What I have learned as we´ve met with so many amazing people is that we are so much more than our weakness, the savior loves to forgive, and through Him we can do it. I hope that we never doubt that perfect character He has, and who quickly He comes to help us as we just decide to act. 
Dinese is an active and always cheerful member here. Her daughter is Kelly, who after our visit, went to read scriptures instead of going to a party, and has been returning to church. Dinese has been very so kind to us, and this week she asked us for a blessing. Before we gave it, we asked what she was feeling. This last week, she´s gone to the hospital, and found she has cancer. We could not hold back our tears, for it was only 5 years ago that she had lost her son, who was 21 to cancer. She reassured us with a smile, ´don´t worry elders, I have faith in the Lord, let it be according to His will, the question isn´t if I live or die, it´s if His will is done, there may be others needing me on the other side.´ As the spirit filled our hearts, we gratefully gave her a blessing, in it, we gained another witness that death is not the end, and that these people on the other side live. 
I am so grateful for my family, and how we are all safe and well. I love you. Things are all good. My camera isn´t working, so I don´t have photos to send yet, but I´m going to try to have it looked at today. Tchau! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Come Back 8/18/14

We had transfers, my new companion is Elder Reynalds from Layton, Utah. He´s the most humble missionary I´ve met. A great desire to get better and learn and work hard. We´ve become close friends quickly and have learned so much together. We laugh quick and often.
We are so grateful for the amazing opportunity we´ve had working here. We´ve been having lots of lessons with less-actives and the Lord´s been doing miracles. With each less-active returning to church they almost always bring someone who´s not a member with them. 
As we´ve prayed, we´ve been finding many. On one occasion a 15 year old girl came sprinting across the road to stop us, trying to catch her breath she told us her name was Bionca. She´s from my first area Alagoinhas (I know her aunt), she´s a member of the church, but when she moved here a year ago she stopped going because she didn´t know where the church was. In tears, she expressed how she felt so alone. Her parents separated and are not members, her older brother had passed away and just the day before she had knelt done and asked God `have you abandoned me?´ 
When she saw us, she felt a large impression of ´I haven´t abandoned you, you´ve abandoned me.´ She ran over, and felt her prayer was answered. She´s came back to church. 
We have learned so much, how we must get out of the way of the spirit, so He can teach. Sometimes that´s asking a question that invites revelation and personal reflection, other times that means just shutting up and listening. At the home of a less active woman named Kelly, who hasn´t been to church in years, we knelt down with her and said a prayer, we looked her in the eyes and said ´If the Savior was Here, Here´s what He´d say to you......´Then we just sat there in the silence. My companion and I praying quietly that He may speak through us, but in that silence, before we spoke, Kelly began to cry. Then the words came `Come back.´  She has. 
I know the mission, truly is the university of the Lord. I´ve learned things that I would have never learned had I not come. I feel so much more fully prepared to return home and become as the Lord would have. I love you all so much.