Monday, August 29, 2016

Raining miracles

So, our mission set a goal to baptize 80 people this month. As of last monday, we had 41 (twice the monthly average), and right now, we have 63 (thrice the monthly average). There are 12 more people ready to be baptized by Wednesday. So, I ask that all include in their prayers that 5 more people can be ready by Wednesday.

This is where the miracle comes in: One of those 12 is one of our investigator´s. Tomás Gastaldi. His mom got baptized a week and a half ago, and she was the most prepared lady I have ever seen or heard of in my life. Until I met Tomás, who´s mother´s baptism is what got him into the church building for the first time. He went to church last Sunday, and yesterday. Here´s the catch though, we´ve only taught him twice. He wants to get baptized though, and bad. Even more than I want him to get baptized.

We also got a brother of a member to come to church. His name is Mariano Pace. the member is Julian Pace. Julian was super happy to see Mariano in church. His excitement was obvious and uncontainable.

Sorry for the really short letter, I´ll send a better one next week.

Elder Brown

2 Nephi 25:23
 23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

6 more

This morning we accidenlty learned how to make pudding. Elder Sousa tried to make some sort of Brazilian food, but, what he though was corn flour, was corn starch. When he stopped stirring what he thought was going to be dough, that turned out to be a pudding-like substance, we put dulce de leche (something similar to liquid carmel) and cinnamon and it turned out really good.

As the first paragraph suggests, Elder Sousa and I are together for another transfer. Pretty hype and excited. 

An Elder in our district (Elder Cook) is gonna train a new Elder, so, since Elder Sousa is the district leader, Elder Cook is hanging out with us until tomorrow. It´s honestly been pretty weird contacting with three people. People get scared of us when there´s only two of us, but, with three, we give heart attacks.

Elder Cook is nuts. He woke us up early this morning so he could cut my hair. It was his first time cutting hair, and very obviously so. I guess it wouldn´t have turned out too bad, had my clippers not broken halfway through the hair cut. So, it was a disaster. Ended up having to finish with just scissors for all my hair, even the sides.

Don´t have any super solid investigators for now. We thought we had found some GOLDEN investigators, a mother and daughter (the father died). The mother, named Norma Sequiera, said she hates going to her church but goes because she thinks we should go to church to show our love for God. The daughter, Leonela Morello, totally opened up to us, telling us how much it touched her when we contacted her and told her that Heavenly Father loves her. We thought they were golden, until we called on Saturday to remind them about church and she said "We don´t like that people impose rules and stuff on us, and I hate waking up early on Sunday´s. Besides, my mom already goes to a church. I´m still interested, but, she´s not that interested." Hopefully we can help them out.

Had a sweet lesson last night with Mariano Pace. He is the brother of a recent convert. He doesn´t believe in God, but, says that he really wants to believe "like we do." He´s a good guy. Said he´ll go to church this Sunday. I have faith he´ll stick to what he said.

We´ve been brainstorming a lot about how to work more efficiently with the members, and have a bunch of ideas we´re really to implement!

Elder Brown

Doctrine and Covenants 38:7-8
 But behold, verily, verily, I say unto you that mine eyesare upon you. I am in your midst and ye cannot see me;
 But the day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day

Monday, August 15, 2016

Burning spiritual warts

This week was a good week.
Two weeks ago, I burned off the wart that was on my finger. It hurt, a lot, like, really really bad. This last week, God burnt off many, many, many spiritual warts, which hurt even worse. But, just as my finger looks  and feels a lot better without the wart, so does my spirit too feel much better without the warts that I didn´t even know where there.
This week we started teaching a guy named Julian Zepeda. He has a had a tough life. When he was in high school, he found out that the man who raised him his whole life wasn´t his dad, and that his real dad died of diabetes before he was born. As a result, he turn to drugs, and has a pretty serious addiction. He wants to change though, and when we shared a scripture with him from the Book of Mormon he said "What does one have to do to get ahold of one of those books?" Obviously, we then gave him one, saying it was free, and he looked happier than a pig in mud. He commited to get baptized the 17th of September, and I hope he makes it to that day.
I have learned a lot about the nature of God, and of how amazing the Atonement and repentance are. I was sad when I left Empalme, and now, I am very grateful to have been sent to Venado Tuerto.
Hope you all have a great week! I would write more, but, I had to do some things for Pres. Zanni and didn´t keep very good track of time, and the lady who owns this internet café is kicking us out.
Elder Brown
Abraham 3:17-19
Cookies are delicious, but, they have a very steep price

Monday, August 8, 2016

Sou Panaca

Sou panaca is Brazilian slang for "I´m an idiot".
We were invited to do service for a member family, help them paint some planks of wood. We called the other Elder´s in our branch and let them know what time to go over (we assumed they too were invited). When we showed up in the morning, the Sister told us "Elders, I didn´t tell you to invite the other Elder´s. You shouldn´t have called them. The last time they came, they spilled all the paint everywhere!!"  So, we said we were sorry and all that. We painted, nobody spilled anything, and she calmed down. Later, after lunch, she asked us to move a 300 pound cement flower planter. We picked it up, and started walking, and I tripped. And dropped my end. And it fell. And broke, in many, many pieces. Sou panaca. Her husband laughed and said "Haha oh well. It was old anyways. It was an heirloom from my great grandma!" he was joking (I think... I hope), but she looked devastated. She went inside for a little bit (probably to pray and ask for patience with us nimrods), and came out laughing and teased me for dropping it. On the plus side, that thing sliding through my hands as I dropped it pretty much tore out the wart that was growing on my finger, and I was able to easily remove it. My finger looks way better without a wart.

César from Empalme got baptized!!!! Elder Sánchez baptized him. Unfortunately, I could not attend, since I´m about 5 hours away by bus. But, it´s still really sweet.
So we spent the WHOLE week trying to get people to commit to go to church, and a few people said they´d go. We passed by there houses on Sunday morning, and no answer. We called, no answer. We showed up to church without anyone. One investigator said he´d go, but had to work in the night and wasn´t sure if he´d be able to make it on time for sacrament meeting. So, he was our only hope. He never showed up. We did, however, have an investigator. A 9 year old girl brought her 11 year old friend, and we are going to be stopping by her house and we are gonna try to teach her and her grandparents. There is still hope for a baptism this month!!
Sorry this was short, I am rather pressed for time. Hope you all have a great week!
Elder Brown

Alma 5:45-46
 45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?
 46 Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.