Monday, February 23, 2015

We all have heroes!

When we choose heroes, we begin to copy, consciously or unconsciously, what we admire most in them." 
-President Henry B. Erying. 

I feel very very blessed on the mission. Among many blessings I am grateful for those the Lord has put before me to be models of Priesthood men. My whole life I´ve been blessed by the example of my dad and other church leaders. 
Here in Brazil I have been blessed to work with many leaders that have become my heroes. As stated in Preach my Gospel  "The relationships you establish with Church leaders will bless you for the rest of your life." (pg 213)
One great leader has been the 1st councilor to the Stake President, Nigel Costa. He has left an impression on me, that he never came home from his mission. I´m convinced He still thinks, studies, prays, and feels as a full-time missionary does. He´s helped us a lot. 
Another hero, has been our elder´s quorum president. President Mota. He took us to the home of a less-active man who was in his mid 50´s. He had fallen in-active for a couple of years due to an event that happened that had discouraged him from activity. This man felt his integrity had been destroyed. President Mota explained to him "We have a great challenge in the quorum. The problem is that I´m new here, and a lot of the elders are, and we don´t know everyone that should be there and who´s not there. We need someone that knows the quorum and it´s members, that is experienced and respected to take role weekly and call those who did not show up. 
I´ve prayed to know who should have this calling, and the Lord has called you. Do you accept your call? To be there every Sunday and help us with this?"
The man gladly rose up to and accepted his call. He became full of confidence as we read in the scriptures the importance of his call in Moroni 6:4. 
This week we went to the EFY (Especially for Youth) camp out for the day. It was a large campground with fields for games, swimming pools, dorms, etc. We soon met the owner of the grounds Maurcio. He wasn´t a member of the church, he and his wife were active Baptists. this was his 4th time renting out the grounds to "the Mormons" He liked the group of kids that came each year, but had his own ideas and religion. Missionaries had come to his home and visited his wife once years ago, but he asked that they never return.  However this year, he received a visit from a 70, Elder Ribeiro, who asked to speak with him in his office. 
Elder Ribeiro taught him the Restoration of true church of Jesus Christ. Later, President Lisonbee, my companion, and I were asked to speak with him. After his conversation with Elder Riberio, Maurcio was rather emotional and said he was very interested to come to know the True Church Of Jesus Christ. We challenged him to be baptized, he accepted. He asked his wife for forgiveness, for sending the missionaries away. He gave us his address and we´ve sent the missionaries over. 
Maurcio wasn´t the only one over-whelmed by the spirit at EFY. A young investigator from other missionaries, had gone to EFY. At the end of the 5 days, he asked if he could be baptized. Elder Ribeiro authorized him to be baptized there at the camp out on that same day. 
Got to go, we are headed out right now to get a bus to head to Petrolina. It 8 hours north from here, and actually is part of another state. We´ll be giving training's to the missionaries we have out there, I´m excited. 
Love you! 

Questions and Answers

Joslyn had asked Daylen the following questions and here are his answers. A challenge for all is to answer them for yourself, as a sort of spiritual self check.
1. What has been your biggest challenge this week?
Concerns for Missionaries in dangerous areas. Emergency transfers. Spiritual problems of missionaries. Missionaries wanting to go home. Disobedience. Lots of phone calls from President- lots of problems to resolve. 
2. What has been your biggest concern?
Spiritual and physical well-being of the missionaries in this mission. 
3. What has been your biggest success?
Choosing to always stop- no matter where I´m at or what´s going on- to have a personal study (1 hour) and companionship study (1 hour). Receiving revelation through the book of Mormon individually and with my companion on how to conquer our challenges. 
We´ve been running around a lot these days, but every day we´ve managed to get those studies in. One day this week it was after we had eaten a quick lunch at the mall and we were about to head to our next task, but we decided to study first. Surrounded by others in a loud place (for there was no other place to go) we began reading from the the Book of Mormon. I felt the spirit pour out upon me. All the noise seemed to stop. I felt entirely alone and that still small voice was piercing through my soul telling me word for word as I read from the scriptures of how I need to improve. It was a great experience.  My companion said he felt sucked into the book as he read. The best scripture studies were when it was most difficult to study.   
4. Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
Besides my companion and our mission President and his Wife and the 70 that visited us for stake conference, it was a handicap man named Favio.  He´s 35 years old and he stopped us on the street, speaking loudly and claiming he knew us.  We followed him to his humble home. He didn´t seem to have the capacity to understand very well. The only impression I had as we began teaching was "Teach him as you would teach a 5 year old" 
That impression helped me have more love for him. Gave me patience to help him understand. Gave me ideas for using pictures and examples. Many things had to be taught several times using different ways to really help him understand. It helped me see him as a child, that made his comments more funny than annoying or worrisome. My companion was right there on the same page patiently helping this man understand the restoration. We felt the spirit so strongly that I began to cry as we spoke of the appearance of the Father and the Son to that young boy. As we left these words came to mind "Are we not all handicaped? Don´t we all require to be taught with patience and love until we understand? Are we not all children?" 
He is my favorite person this week for he taught me a lesson I hope I can learn and amplify. 
5. What has been your most significant tender mercy?
We were placed in a situation to go eat dinner or go do visits. We prayed, but didn´t feel anything on what choice to make. We were both hungry, but determined to help those who may need us that day. We decided to go to work and began visiting people. We took trust in the Savior´s promise that if we sought first His kingdom all things would be added unto us. There were many that we were able to help that evening we decided to go work rather then go eat. As we were visiting those in our area more than once they offered us food to eat that sustained us. 
I learned the reason why the Lord had answered that prayer with "no response"- was because both were right. And He trusted us to make a choice. Had we gone to eat dinner- i believe He would still have blessed us. But because we choose to do what was best over that which was just "good" we were greatly blessed and learned a lot.  
6. What are you looking forward to this coming week?
Training's on family history work and missionary work- we are giving to 4 different zones this week. Seeing all the missionaries from Salvador and Cama├žari. We´ll be traveling with President as he does interviews for all 188 missionaries. We´ll be giving training´s as he interviews them. 
7. Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
Help 3 people be baptized in our area this week. Eliana and her sons are ready if they can just stop drinking coffee. We´ve made a plan together, I hope they can this week, or the next. 
8. Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?

"Stop Listening to Satan´s lie that you don´t have time to study the scriptures." Elder Richard G. Scott

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Strong Converts

Patricia has turned into a super-member missionary. She helped us give a training at the transfer meeting. She told her conversion story to all the missionaries. She told how she had grown up in a Christian Church her whole life, but there was something very different about us. She said she use to know Christ- having heard of Him through the Bible. Now, in she´s a place to have real and personal experiences with Him. A living and true Church.
Last Sunday one of our investigators (Wilson) got up to bear his testimony. He´s about 25. A short man of African descent. Also one of the happiest people I know.  It was his 3rd time at church. He got up and stated
” I declare the importance of missionary work! For years I´ve seen the missionaries of this church walk by and I have always felt a desire to part of that. It´s a beautiful sight. Last month I say them walking by as I was on the bus- I decided to finally talk to them! I rushed down and headed after them… do those Elders walk fast…….When I got up to meet Elder Belo and Elder Allison, and I asked how does one become part of this group. They wrote down my name and address on that little planner and told me they would pass it to the missionaries in my area.
Well, 2 days went by and they still had not passed. Then I saw two other missionaries- Elder Pollard and Elder Bitencourt. I ran after them as well. Told them I wanted that visit. They already knew my address and marked a day to be at my house. I have loved it. They have brought a few brothers from the church with them and the lessons are amazing. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. That it entirely supports the Bible. I know that all of you have friends and family that could be here and are not, and I invite you to bring them here. In the Name of Jesus Christ Amen.”
We were grinning ear to ear. After he bore his testimony, he took the initiate to talk to the bishop about getting the marriage papers in for himself and the girlfriend who lives with him. He is a very well prepared man. Already was living the word of wisdom for his whole life. After each lesson, he asks where we are headed and if he can come. He´s been going with us to teach others.

It´s been a good week. We´ve been really busy. Love you lots!