Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment

Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment
Serving in God's Army


14 January 2012

Hello Everyone!
This week was a long one!
Started off with Tuesday, I had an interview with the mission president... Wow, I don't even know how to describe it! it was awesome! He gave me great advice, advice that I want to apply to my whole life. Honestly, I don't even know how to repeat the words that he said, the way that he said them. But it proved to me that he is a man called of God to organize and direct this work here in Maceío. That being said, he transferred me! haha We received a call last night saying that my companion and are being transferred to another area. WoHoo! 4 months in the same area is a long time, but I really love the people here, I feel known, like random people that I've never talked to (usually intoxicated) that I always say hi to, HEY MORMONS haha, But I feel good about it, I feel like I left a good mark on this area, that the members and non-members will talk highly of me after I leave. But! After my companion and I talked to the president we decided together to kick it into high gear. We took the advice that the president gave us and went the extra mile. Sooo we had a great week!, which is why it was so long haha. We found a lot of people that were prepared by the Lord, in many different ways to hear our message. So now it's hard to leave this area when we just barely started working with these awesome people! We found one lady that is very religious, but in her own way, she suffered a lot in her life and has found and receive comfort in religion. She talks So much, but we love it. She asks questions, tells stories and were able to apply the gospel and everything that we know to her life. It was amazing to see the relieve in her appearance when we taught her. Love it! She came to church on Sunday with her two sons, Samuel 1.5 years and Davidly... I think, strange name haha but it was great! I think she really liked it, but it was a little long for the little ones haha. She attended the class that the missionaries teach, Gospel principles, I think, and we got there and I thought that my companion was going to teach and he thought that I was going to teach so neither one of us prepared anything HA! So I volunteered to teach, cause it was my last Sunday so I wanted to teach... So this is what I did, I opened the manual randomly and said our lesson today will be about.... Charity! SWEET! The spirit haha seriously it was an awesome lesson! And I really think it was meant for her, because we talked about how we have to have charity or the pure love of Christ to endure hard times. She ended up sharing a story of her past and how her relationship with her family is really hard. Bingo! It was really cool because the members of the ward who were in the class and were new members, reached out to her, gave her advice and... yeah it was really Great! And I went overtime by like ten minutes because they were talking and talking and talking, it was awesome! But there were a lot of angry young women in the hall, Wahaha!
Saturday we had a division between me, my comp, the second counselor of the bishopric and a member from the stake, he came to help our ward with members less active. And I knew the area the most so I went with the member of the stake. At first I was nervous, but once we got to the first house everything went Great! It felt good to have control, to be in charge :) Wahaha, So we had the division and visited a lot of the members and a majority of them were able to make it the church on Sunday. Good times:)
During the week I also had a division with my DL. I went to his area and he came to mine. It was awesome I loved it, we had a lot of success and I felt like a made a difference in the area. I really enjoyed getting to know the people in that area, I felt like I could be more outgoing :) Asking question and stuff like that. Loved it! I had some great experiences in that area.
Last night we had a meeting with all the wards in our district. President Gonzaga and Sister Gonzaga came and talked to all the wards about helping the missionaries, and then the missionaries did practices with the members. Two members from my ward showed up :( Sad huh. But the practices were great. My companion and I covered a cereal box with frosting as if it were a cake and asked one of the members to describe the flavor or the taste of the cake. We applied it to how we can't teach or talk about something that we don't know, so we all have to read the Book of Mormon to be able to tell people about it! Something like that
Well next e-mail ill be in a different area with a different companion! Oooo I'm kinda nervous!
Thank you All for All your love and support!


7 January 2013

Hello family that I love so much!

Well it sounds like things are starting to get exciting at the Ralph house, Goals, Weddings, Pregnancies haha, everything changing.... Crazy! Sounds like fun :)

This week was... a little bit tougher than normal. We had lined up two baptisms this week, not one but TWO! One Friday and one Saturday, we were on our way Friday night to our baptism when our phone rang and the mom of the daughter that was about to be baptized cut the strings. Gahhh! We then called our other baptism to visit with him that night, but his mother said that his father-in-law wanted to talk to the boy before his baptism, but he could only talk to him on Monday, so we had to cancel our other baptism. It was a bummer cause I seriously called, reminded, invited everyone to support the girl that was being baptized cause her father is an inactive member. Halfway through the conversation between us and the boy that was going to be baptized our credit on our phone ran out, we only get 100 minutes per month. So I couldn't call anyone to inform them that the baptism was postponed.... this led to Sunday being a "no eye contact day" from the members, hey weren't to happy with us... some of them, others who actually understand missionary work and how it is were supportive but others... nope. The best part of this week was seeing two of our baptism sitting side by side, in white shirts and ties when we walked into sacrament meeting. Seriously the feeling was indescribable.

Houses here in Brazil are made out of these hollow bricks, and this morning we were able to do some service at Esteffanie's house, moving at least 2000 of these bricks from the front of their house to the back.... and now I need two hand to lift up a glass of water, I'm gunna be so sore tomorrow, but it felt so good to work, to get dirty and help people, LOVED IT!

I am so thankful that I'm here in Brazil, serving, learning, helping others, growing in testimony and faith in Jesus Christ. He really is everything for us. He's the reason we will live together as families, be resurrected, be forgiven of ours sins and weakness of the flesh, to live with God again. He is our comfort, our relief in any challenge that we face. During times of difficulty, sorrow, loneliness, fatigue, He knows how we feel, he will help us if we let him, if we ask him. Jesus Christ is everything to me, I owe him everything. He's our Captain, our leader, our perfect example. And now during my mission is the time that I have to represent him. I know that I'm not worthy to represent Jesus Christ, but through his help, his love, with him by my side, I can carry his name, I can learn, and fulfill this calling. I'm trying my best to be worthy of his presence. I know that Jesus Christ lives, that he loves each and every one of us. I'm so grateful that he found me worthy to represent him here in Brazil. He has given me so much, made me who I am today, he gave me an amazing family, that raised me to serve and to help others. My life is filled with blessing, and now is my time to show my gratitude and serve him, representing Jesus Christ. I'm so thankful for all of your prayers on my behalf, I heard a quote this week that I really liked." mothers are kneeling so their sons can stay standing". This Gospel is real, it's simple and powerful. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ is True.

All my Love,

Tommorrow me and my companion have an interview with the mission president. Oooooo!

1 January 2013

HAPPY NEW YEARS! 2013 Wheeeee 2012 was a great year wasn't it? :)

Wow where do I begin!
AH I'm gunna be an uncle again! Wohoo! I'm so excited for you Jon and Jenna and I wish you the best.
Tell Sarah that I want to be the first to know where she get called! (I kind a hope she comes to Brazil haha)
Well sounds like ya´ll had a great Christmas! I hope that you all are safe and sound driving in the snow back and forth from Utah and Washington, crazy dangerous memories haha...

This week honestly has been a little bit harder than others, not because i miss my family like crazy that's normal, but a lot of our appointments and people that we have been working with have fallen through. A lot of people have left, traveling somewhere who knows, visiting family or friends for Christmas and new years. One family that we were super excited for won't be back until February.... Bummer. Another hard thing to handle was Christmas in general. Christmas morning was normal, not too many people in the streets, but Christmas night was sketchy, everything was shut down except for the bars. So unfortunately many of our investigators drank and drank and drank.... One of the hardest parts of this week was when we were talking with one of my baptisms and he told us that he got home 4 o'clock in the morning completely drunk.... he acted as if we would be proud of him or would praise him in some way.. How do you handle that?! That was honestly THE hardest thing... Do we teach him again?? Honestly I don't know what to do... He didn't go to church on Sunday..
But this week had its Up and Downs, one of the UPs was Luiz Rocha, I'm not sure if I told you about him but he's an inactive member, he has two daughters and a wife. One of his daughters an 8 years old, cute little thing, talked to us in the street and brought us home to meet mommy, turned out I had already visited the family with the 2nd counselor of the bishopric back in November but I didn't recognize the girl. It turned out being a great visit, we talked and got to know the family. Turns out the wife and the daughter want to be baptized, the wife, Marcia needs to be married with her husband first but the daughter Victoria can be baptized this week. The coolest part which is really two parts is that the father Luiz who in an inactive member read the Book of Mormon to his wife like we asked, and his wife doesn't know how to read, they ALL went to church on Sunday, AND! He didn't drink a drop of beer during Christmas!!! Which isn't normal, we're hoping that the baptism of his daughter and his wife will help him get back onto the straight and narrow.

This week we've had a lot of wasted time, because of appointments falling through, meetings or things that my companion needs to do. And one thing that I've learned for sure on my mission is when you have extra time and your just sit or wait the mind drifts off to wonderland, and since I recently talked to ya´ll the mind drifted off to you, family friends, nephews, nieces. And the thing that has saved me this week from becoming homesick is reading the Book of Mormon, in Portuguese. I'm cruzing! haha I don't know what happened but the first time I tried to read the Book of Mormon in Portuguese it was so hard! I couldn't understand hardly anything, but now it's like BAM! and I can read it straight through and I feel like I'm learning from my reading.. like I'm not focusing on what each word means I'm finally able to find principles, and apply them in my teaching! And boy do I have a scripture or two to share with my baptism that went drinking the other night mmmhmm :)

Oh Woah totally forgot! As missionaries we always walk a bunch! Our chapel is a whopping 40 minutes away from our house, uphill both ways! Seriously... but we make the sacrifice, teaching is even sweeter when you walk a long distance to teach someone... So we've been working this week with a family, William, Williane, and their mom Patricia that live super far from us! We have to climb 10 steps to visit them... Yup they live above us haha and they're awesome we love visiting them, not only because they're super close haha in fact Patricia made us lunch today! :) Just friendly people, William has accepted baptism and we haven't had the opportunity yet to invite the others, but were making a plan wahahaha! We had lunch at their house and saw some word of wisdom issues so it should be interesting.... but we're darn close if they need any help not smoking or drinking, haha, we´ll take that beer in a heartbeat haha.

And! I taught Sunday School again on the spirit world and it was AWESOME! I went over time! haha Ah it runs in the family (MOM) love ya

I am So happy to be on my mission. To be learning and growing spiritually, that's one of the things that I wanted to happen during my mission, I'm so grateful for this. I'm so thankful for my family, how they raised me and how they give me the support that I need. I love you guys SO much and miss you like Crazy!

Always Trying My Best