Monday, February 27, 2012

Hello hello hello,What another amazing week. Our two families that we are teaching are progressing a lot. They one lady is trying to stop smoking and we are helping her. (I never want to smoke, it is so sad to see what is happening to her) It is interesting how the addictions I have had in my life help my to help her. Help me to be patient and to just love her. To show her that we are here to support and to hold her hand (not literally obviously, oh by the way did you know that the no hugging rule is nowhere in the missionary handbook? Funny how tradition takes over doctrine sometimes). Kelly, the ex-smoker, is trying to get a testimony. Her heart knows it is true but her head doesn~t. She always talks about the peace we bring to her house (best part of the missionary work) and she prays and thanks Heavenly Father for us. She is very attracted by the temple and the sealing power there. I have faith that we can help this family enter the temple here in a little bit :) We need to marry them which is super hard and complicated and takes about a month from when you get the papers (which takes about another month) So I hope that I am here to see them be baptized. Her husband Waldenei (valdenei) has a strong testimony and he loves the Church. He stopped drinking coffee (so did she) and they are working to get married. It is so wonderful to teach them. IT is great because we get to take our time. We can teach slowly and make sure we are making converts and building testimonies rather than just getting baptisms. I think that is one of the biggest problems with the missions of the world. The perception that we have is that baptisms are the goal. Especially here in Brazil. I hate it. Because like Nephi said baptism is just the gate. And we have to make sure that people are prepared to stay on the path after they get through the gate or the gate doesn~t mean anything. So teaching these two families is wonderful becasue we are really building testimonies and helping people progress. We are able to trust the spirit and just teach to their questions and doubts. It is amazing. Oh hey mom and dad can you guys pay some tithing for me. I got a 25 dollar credit card from gram so if you could throw a five in an envelope for me I would appreciate it. Thanks!I don~t know if I told you about the packages but I know that at least one of them got taxed for 450 reals so that one should be coming back. But I will know tommorrow about it. I love you guys so much. This work is amazing. There are discouraging days but the Lord always gives us a great day or a great lesson after the rough ones. Just one last experience,I followed some advice that Elder Aiken gave me before he left he said that I shoul get down on my knees and pray to know where to track. So we did last week. We felt like we should go to this one area and we did. We found no one. The people were not interested and they were rich. We were walking back to a nother area to teach when I felt like we should knock this house. It was a huge house a rich persons house and I did not want to knock. But I did. And this lady came to the door. She worked at the house as a cleaning lady and was an inactive member we taught her one day, got to know her and she was in church this week. God loves us:)Love you all,Elder Noel

Monday, February 20, 2012

This week was amazing again!!!

Thank you for the prayers about Kelly and Valdo!! They want to be baptized and want to be married in the temple!! We are working on the marriage papers and on the word of wisdom to get them ready to be baptized and start this journey. The spirit is so strong with them.

I love this. They are really the mativation for the work. haha When we see them I just get so excited to help other people. They told us that they can feel a difference in their home when we are there and I got so happy I wanted to just cry and scream. haha

We also went on exchanges with the Elderes quroum presidency this week to find and teach inactive members. They have so much more power than just us! They know people and have relationships with them that we don~t. And I am super excited about what this branch is doing.

The best part is that people recognize our service. They recognize our desire and will to work. It is so great to see them open up. So many missionaries think that we are better than members but when you ask them for advice and ask them for ideas they are more willing to help. And generally they know more than we do. (funny how they know more than 2 foreigners who have little to no education)

But we are doing well. I am glad Dad got a chance to talk to Coach Prentice. Bryson really loves him . I can~t believe Cody didn~t win state! It was our chance to have a state champ in the club :( oh well. haha

A few random things.

Got your package! But it is going to cost me almost 500 Reais (brazilian dollars) to get it becase of some tax or something so that should be coming back to you guys haha. I found out how to get stains out of my white shirts to they have more life now haha.

My friend Elder Robinson got sent home because of knee problems. He should call you guys he is from Spokane and he is going to try to make a visit to the west side. His name is Royce Thomas Robinson maybe he is on facebook? Anyways it would be cool if you guys could give him some support he was pretty hurt about it.

We made homemade alfredo sauce here. Soooo good! haha

I have been studying a lot about the relationship between the words the angel said to king Benjamin and the way the angel explained about the tree of life to Nephi. I am learning so much:)

I love you guys so much! Sorry this weekend was a little rough.

Oh wow what a wonderful week.Besides getting the news that Hamilton Became a 4 time Regional Champ this week was great:)We are teaching two families right now. Jonathan and Jessica, and Valdo and Kelly. They both need to be married and Kelly and Valdo have word of wisdom problems (nothing too serious but enough to keep them out of the font)We have been working hard with them. We made a marriage proposal to Jonathan and he accepted.(it was adorable :) So pray that we can get those two married. Jessica loves the church and she would be baptized right now but Jonathan is a little more stubborn and he pretty much rules the relationship. He has had a rough life and likes to feel more intelligent than people. Which is really easy to do with two foreigners who don~t have any education. So teaching him is an exercise in humility and patience. He won~t do anything that isn~t his idea so the trick is getting him to think that getting baptized and married is something he wants to do. It is a little tricky sometimes but with the spirit we are helping him progress. We need prayers that he can get the documents he needs to get married and that Jessicas desires can help him know that this is something he wants to do. Valdo and Kelly are progressing so much! She went to church without him this week becasue he was working which is huge! She really likes the church but she has some doubts. They need to be married too and we are working with them on that. We invited them to be baptized this week and she thought about it for a long time but said no. I think he would be if we pushed it but everyone needs their own time so we are just helping them progress. He had a brother die about a year ago and the spirit world is so powerful to him. We taught them about baptisms for the Dead which we were pretty scared of because it is some pretty deep douctrine but we felt like that is something we needed to do. The next sunday she came to church and 3 youth bore their testimonies on the powerful experiences they had in the temple that week. One girl talked about doing baptisms for people she knew and how powerful it was. It was so powerful! The Lord really does tell us what we need to teach. When we are flexble and humble enough to listen. Also this week, We ate lunch with a family and then asked them to help us plan a lesson with a lady that night. We explained our doubts to them and asked for their conversion story to help us plan. She looked at us and said, you guys are really special do you know that? She then asked for email addresses of our families so she could email. So mom you should be getting an email this week from her. Then we went to that lesson at a members house. And he had been calling us (boys) since we arrived here. But yesterday for the first time he called us Elders. And he told us how much he appreciated the work we were doing. It is amazing how much peope recognize your service. We have been trying not to worry about numbers but rather about people and it is so rewarding to see that the members recognize our work. I am not writting this to be prideful just to show how much the lord helps us when we need it. When we need a boost he gives it too us. I am learning so much. I spent today studying the difference between the angel that talked to king Benjamin in Mosiah 3 and the Angel that talked to Nephi in 1 Nephi 11 and how they both used the words Great Joy to describe the wonderful news of the attonement. That is why we should teach. The lessons are not about Joseph Smith or the true Church but rather about the wonderful news that the way to fully access the atonement has been restored. The full knowlege of its ´power is here again. That is why we are here. That is why I am here. Love you guys!!Wright

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ok so another great week.We have been asking people how we can help them have missionary experiences in their homes and then responding with suggestions when they don~t know how to answer. Our principle suggestion is to have a family prayer about who to ask to a family night or to church. Monday we had a family night as a result of this. The couple was really nice. Not super interessed in the church but super nice to us and receptive to our message. We ended up teaching them a little more on saturday and left a Book of Mormon and a challenge to read it. We have another appointment this Saturday. (Adam and Ana Paula)Wednesday we met with this couple Valdo and Kelly. When we taught the Plan of Salvation to them we really helped him to undestand the spirit world and he then told us about his brother that died so we applied the plan to his family and it was amazing. He really opened up. When we met wednesday he had already read all of 1st Nephi and was wanting to read more. He asked how it was fair that only some people knew about this so we explained the spirit world again to him and applied his brother. It was amazing! Heavenly Father really does love us and when we teach people He gives us guidance to teach them and not the lessons. It is marvolous how the Lord opens up my mind when I am interested in teaching the person and not the lesson. Sunday we had this family come to church and they loved it. I was usally upset because our meetings are loud because of the kids but they loved that. They said it felt like a family in the church. It was amazing (i know I use that word a lot but my english vocabulary is a little limited now haha) to see the light that they had and the excitement that they have to know more. We need your prayers to know how to teach them. We also had a family night last night with a member and a woman named Juraci. She expressed some doubts in the lesson and the brother and sister responded to her doubts!! We didn~t have to say anything. I just sat back and watched as the Lord used one of His children to answer the prayers of another. It was so powerful. The work is progressing here. I can feel the members getting excited and the branch is ready to grow. Pray for us that we can keep working hard and recognize the lord in our work. I love this so much. I have missed having people progressing and having people that we can help. I love this!!!Miss you guys a lot,Congrats on the wrestling win. Tell Nate congrats for me that is awesome that he is there that young :) And shane!! Good work Shane!!Love you guys!Wright
Ok so just as a snap shot at what I am doing right now...

I am working with a Washington State Placer in Wrestling who comes from a close knit family of 10 or 12, not sure on that note. Who has a great desire to serve Heavenly Father and is new enough to accept advice and change what he is doing to try and be more in line with Preach My Gosple. It is amazing.

This is my first time working in a branch. We meet in a house and have about 30 people in Church. Yesterday we had 4 investigators there and the members are super excited about the work so they are willing to help. (But my companion has yet to see the Branch President at church... yeah....) We are challenging members to pray about who to invite to a family home evening or to a lunch with the Elders and it is fun to see them get excited and to see them express their ideas. A bishop in my last ward told the missionaries to stop asking what they could do for members but rather what they can do to help the members do missionary work. The question is Golden! I love it and love to really help the people and see where the members have doubts or worries about sharing their testimonies. I am so much more excited now that I was last transfer. Last transfer gave me the confidence to be a senior companion but I was sick of not having my ward and my area and my assignments.

We are changing the way we teach people. The mission has it´s lessons. The trainers all teach how to teach the lessons but they don~t follow PMG generally and it is more like a system for baptisms and less like a way to build testimonies. We are trying to work together to teach people and not lessons. And it is amazing to see the way it changes lessons.

We taught a couple last week, Valdo and Kelly, and we taugh the second lesson. I felt really weird about explaining the spirit world so I just kind of explained the attonement more and more talked about Christ and a little about death. Then Valdo shared an experience about his brother who died 1 year ago and some feelings and worries he had. It opened up the lesson completely. We didn~t even talk about ressurrection or judgement of the kingdoms but we really helped him understand the love that Heavenly Father has for him. Because we were less worried about the lesson and more worried about him we were able to help him in an area that he needed. They couldn~t come to Church this week but next week the said they will come. Pray that we can keep teaching with that same spirit and help them come to Christ.

We also taught another couple, Renato and Silvia and we didn~t even teach a PMG lesson. It actually turned into a testimony meeting. It was so much fun to just direct the lesson. We talked a lot less and they just talked and talked to us. It was wonderful.

So many missionaries are worried about saythings but Jeffery R. Holland says that we should just realax and listen because we love them and something they say will highlight a gosple principle about which we can bear testimony.

I love this. I can talk to my companion about stuff I used to do and about the future and just casually enjoying the mission. I feel a lot less pressure now and am just enjoying this time.


It is amazing here. I love it. I am so excited the spirit is so strong in our companionship. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes. We plan for people because we love them and then we walk in ready to leave the plan if necessary and teach the person what they need to hear. We are showing people how much Heavenly Father loves them and I love it.

Hope all is well. Keep me updated on everything.

Thank you for the compliments Dad. I appreciate it. But in all reality Hamilton was reading much more in depth than I was and long before I was too. haha And Romney is a much better example of Charity that I will ever be. Oh and I loved sharing a room. I miss that enviorment and will keep those memories forever.

Love you all so much,

Elder Noel