Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment

Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment
Serving in God's Army


8 April 2013 - Eu Fui Transferido‏

Everyone's Sick?! Get Well Soon :)
This week was pretty Good. There was only one bummer. Alright maybe two, okay Three. One was that Elder Mendes, who is one of the Elders that I live with went home on Wednesday. He finished his two year service and is now home doing his stuff. I'm sure gunna miss him. Two is that one of our investigators who had a baptismal date for this week fell through. Someone talked bad about the church to him. We believe it was his grandfather who is an Atheist. We tried everything we could but couldn't figure out what the man said or why our investigator didn't want anything. Third is that, I found out that I will be leaving behind a lot of good friends, members of the church and investigators tomorrow..... Cause I have been assigned to train in another area!
I was honestly expecting to be called to train a newby this transfer but the area change came as quite a shock. The president took out everyone in our district and will send them to other areas! As of now I only know that I will be training in Sergipe, but where in Sergipe and WHO in Sergipe I don't know yet, I'll find out tomorrow! Gotta pack my suitcases Haha!

I'm super excited to train. To have more responsibility, to grow in my own ability and talents. To help another person grow and learn about missionary work :) I'm Pumped. Since we both will be arriving in the area at the same time we will have to start from scratch, not using references from other Elders or people who were being prepared by other missionaries. I sure will need your prayers these next couple weeks. Thank you so much for your support!

I loved conference! I was able to watch them in Portuguese which wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. One of my favorite talks was by Elder Holland who talked about Faith, and another speaker who talked about real Peace. And OF coarse I loved all the talks that talked about Missionary work and Priestood. I'm super excited for this week. Conference gave me a bunch of ideas and topics that I want to study and then use in my teaching. The story about the tomato plant. And Elder Uchdorf´s talk about the light of Christ. Conference also made me very thankful for my parents and all that they have done for me, how they raised me and the sacrifices that they made in my behalf. I love you two! Ah I loved conference! It passed way too fast!

Until next week! Workin Hard
Elder Ralph


1 April 2013 - Uma semana difícil‏

Hey Dad! Man its great to hear from you and thanks for everything that you said It really helps.

This week was kinda difficult yet rewarding at the same time. Saturday we were able to have three baptisms. A lady of about 35 years, a girl with 11 years and a young man with 17 years. The only problem was that with everyone of them arose some sort of problem. Either with the bishop the members or a missionary.

Starting with the lady... This Lady is engaged to a member who was excommunicated from the church. He was raised in the church, served a mission, had callings, but when he returned, he fell. His fiancé is extremely special. Every time we teach her she shakes with excitement and nervousness. She really believes in every word we say, she has a serious desire to learn and feel the spirit. The problem is that the members don't want her to marry this member because of his weakness in the church, that he will destroy the drive that she has. So members were talking against her baptism.

And now about the girl. This girl seriously appears to be 17 years old but is really 11, still in primary haha. And she is dating a member of the church who is a recent convert, and is 18 years old. Yeah problem. The bishop and the members expressed their concerns to us and sent us to try and separate the two, But the only things we could do was teach the standards and principles of the church. We were really worried that she wouldn't want to be baptized. But in the end it all turned out alright, and with time she will learn and hopefully except the teaching of modern day prophets.

The last baptism was a young man with 17 years. He really is a special kid. When we first met him he didn't believe that God existed, he felt like he had never received an answer to a prayer, like everything between him and God was negative, it was strange. But through many weeks of lessons we were able to break the ice and he wanted to be baptized. The problem with his baptism is that he is really strange... That's it, he is really strange. The presence that he has is just strange, but once a person gets to know him he's really funny and kinda nerdy. During his baptismal interview an American Elder felt that he didn't have a desire to be baptized, that we didn't teach him enough.... Honestly in that moment I was SO frustrated. But we were able to talk to him and he said that he didn't feel comfortable around that elder to talk openly. So we sent an Brazilian elder to talk to him, a elder that is totally awesome and that I LOVE! Elder MENDES. And everything turned out right. At his baptism many of the member were talking bad about him because of his strangeness... Gosh that moment was SO painful... Some people are just different. AH FRUSTRATION!

I was able to confirm the 17 year old yesterday, that was an awesome experience, I honestly didn't want to stop cause the feeling was so intense. I really felt the power of God working through me. I'm not exactly sure what I said or if anyone understood what I said haha, but I know that God worked through me to bless that young man..

I'm so thankful that I am here on my mission serving and helping others, I love you all so much and pray for you everyday!

Can't wait till conference!!!!

25 March 2013 - Eu sei que vive meu Senhor‏

Wow what a crazy weekend without Elder Ralph, everyone's either pregnant or getting married haha Good times. Even my dog's pregnant haha weird but cool!

So today time is really short so I wanted to tell you guy about two of our investigators that we have been working with the past two week. They are 17 year old boys that live in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood. They both have trouble believing that God lives, that he created this earth and everything on it. They believed more in the Big bang theory than the Bible. They seriously doubted everything that we have been teaching them. But in a way that they just want to know the reason behind everything, why things are they way they are. The questions they asked really have opened my mind, and have made me dig into my memory bank to remember the good ole days in seminary. While explaining things we go deeper and deeper into topics and every road that we have taken always leads back to faith. Faith faith faith. Faith is everything for our religion. Everything that we do that we believe requires faith to some degree. Imagine teaching or trying to persuade to someone that God lives and that he create our earth to someone who believes in the big Bang theory..... and without using the Scriptures. Pretty difficult. But it was awesome. These two boys are seriously growing in faith and realizing everyday that GOD lives and Jesus Christ is our savior. One boy said, You know this is actually starting to make sense. YYYYYEEEEEESSSSS :)

The two boys went to church this past Sunday and even brought a friend along with them. That was really cool to see. All in all I am so happy that I am here serving my mission in Brazil. The language is coming along, my ability to teach is improving, the weather is becoming tolerable haha, Everything is Going So So great! Love it. 

This week was honestly strange. People were popping out of no where! Members were bring friends to mutual that wanted to learn more about the church, people stopped us in the streets asking where and when our church holds meetings. Just weird but I really really liked it haha. They Just Popped out of the snow! like Daisy's! :)

I miss you guys like Crazy every last one of you! Thank you so much for you love and support. Until Next Week!

Love Ya

18 March 2013 - Uma semana que passou muita rapida!‏

I can't believe that my own sisters getting married and she didn't invite me... Where's my wedding invitation?! Haha if they have one..... So I got a letter from Sacramento California and Soudnkusuisaf Korea, From Greg and Chayce this past week :) Its was cool to hear how they're doing. Oh and from Brother Carter... That was cool.

Mother darling the weather is fair, our house at 6:30 in the morning is a refreshing 85´F, yesterday it dumped for about ten minutes which was awesome but then the rest of the day was blinkin humid! But I'm getting use to it :) Working on my Tan ;P

This Week started off with an interview with my President. It went really well and I really enjoyed it. He always starts off with a little bit of social talk, he asked about what I planned to do when I finish my mission. I talked about BYU about dance and the daunting decision of choosing a major. He calls me his little dancer bahaha. He asked me what I like to do, hobbies things I've done in the past, he told me about how he found his career and all the loops that he had to jump through. In the end we both agreed that during the mission it isn't a time to think about it, that this time that I have now is precious and its separate from the ways of the world. It was funny that we talked about that cause the week before I found myself thinking about the future a lot. I think its because one Elder that I live with, who's become a good friend of mine is finishing his mission, so we've been talking a lot! But I know that this time that I have to serve the Lord is precious and I'm going to stay focused on the work and leave the future behind for a little while. I know that if I work hard and stay focused and try my best the Lord will continue to help me in the future. The other part of advice that he gave me was to do acts of service without being asked for my companion and see the reaction. "Shine his shoes or something like that". Alright I can do that... So Yesterday I shined my companions shoes! Even if his reaction wasn't exactly what I expected, I really felt different, it was a feeling that's hard to describe but I really enjoyed it. I learned, thanks to my president, that when things are hard its more important and more gratifying than when things are easy, just like when Abenádi ( MOM I FORGOT HOW TO SPELL HIS NAME IN ENGLISH) was in front of King Noah, facing his death, that was when he showed true faith, true courage. Its the same for us, when we have situations that are hard, that is when we have a chance to show how strong we truly are. Going out of the way and doing something Christ-like. At times its not always easier but its always better.

 This past week we were able to find a man named Rodriguese, he's 59 and is married to this cute little old lady that remind me of Grandma Ralph. An interesting thing about Rod is that he doesn't believe in any religion, he believes in just God and Jesus Christ. He has attended his far share of churches and has come to the conclusion that all churches THAT HE HAS ATTENDED have corrupted the teachings in the Bible, that all of them teach doctrines against the Bible. Ding Ding Ding! :) Right You Are Rod. Using his belief in the Bible and the fact that all the Churches THAT HE HAS ATTENDED are false, we were able to teach him about the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon as proof that today we have a Prophet. YES! Because of the reputation that CHURCH has left on him, we had to drag him by his white hair to Church.... Joking but we did have to persuade him. He's said " I'm not going to bring any more so don't you ask for nothing". Haha Yeah he really liked it, and I'm pretty sure he´ll come next week too:) He only has two problems, one is that he has a lot of problems, and the second problem is that he likes to talk about all of his problems hahaha, man even when we try to leave his house within the planned time its impossible, that man has talent to talk to people haha. :) I LIKE HIM!

We've had a lot of success finding people this past week, members brought a number of visitors to church and in through our own effort. This actually has happened these past two weeks! But as you find a lot of people that are interested, there are also a number of people that we find that really don't want anything to do with the church. One lady for example liked me and my companion ( Duh haha ) and really liked hearing our messages. But she wasn't progressing, wasn't going to church and so we had decided to be straight with her and planned to tell her that she had to go to church or there's nothing we can really do for her. So we went to her house and started talking to the family ya know kinda getting settled in. Then out of no where her father-in-law, who we had never talked to, came in and said that we had to leave and never come back, because his son who was the husband of the lady we were teaching, who is in prison right now for murder, who will be released soon, will hear about us and will more than likely kill us for getting close to his wife...... I personally think he's a little over protective haha.. But he didn't have to tell us twice.

So yeah we're finding a lot of people but only a few chosen are progressing towards baptism :)


11 March 2013 - An interesting Week‏

 Well Hello Everybody!

This Week started off really moderately low, then rose to an almost amazing week then plummeted down to a rather difficult week. Like 40% to a 90% then down to a 20%. 

We started off the week rather slow, I and my companion were having difficulties between us, and he was having difficulties with the two other Elders that we live with, something was missing, I personally think it was lack of communication. After spending a good chunk of time talking and discussing what was going on between us, apologize were made. Then our week soured, we were able to find a bunch of people, we used the area book and found a number of people who were ready to hear the gospel and wanted to go to church, that wanted to be baptized. We were able to work together in a way that we´d never worked before these past 8 weeks. It seemed as though people were coming to us to be taught the Gospel! One man showed up at the church during mutual and said that he wanted to learn more about our church, and that he felt good in the church, that he could feel that spirit that was present there. It was so cool! Then Sunday arrived.... Ugh by 8:00 everyone that said they wanted and were able to go to church canceled, all the promises all the appointments fell through. And two cherries to top it off! A member told us that her neighbor complained to her that we knocked on her door. The member was mad that we didn't ask her to talk to her neighbor to ask if we could visit her... Yeah it was weird and kinda ridiculous. And the second cherry was when one of the members told us that her mom didn't like my companion and asked that we don't pass by to teach her anymore. BAM! Yeah that totally destroyed my companion... There were a couple other things that happened between him and a few of the members. I personally think that some of the members are losing patience with him. I don't know he kinda has a manner that's annoying to some people... One thing I've learned this past week is that missionaries have to have higher standards than the members, like sometimes we have to take the blow even when the members act wrong, it's something that is hard for some missionaries...

So were trying to get back on our feel and keep the wheels rolling. Its funny, every time so far in the mission when I've started to struggle during the mission it was always right before I had an interview with the president. And tomorrow I'm scheduled for another interview! WoWho! I'm super excited, honestly I wish I could bring in with me a tape recorder to remember everything that Presidente Gonzaga has said to me during my interviews. I'm super pumped :)

The language is coming along great, I've been reading the Liahona or monthly church magazine out loud to myself or to my companion and its really been helping a lot. Everyday I try to study some form of grammar and then apply it during the day. I LOVE teaching people, it's so interesting following the spirit, like every time, I'll teach in a different way, every time, another idea or way to explain something will come to mind. It's So cool! It's such a cool feeling to be able to promise something to someone in the name of Christ, using the teaching in the scriptures and applying it to people that i meet during the day. I really enjoy giving messages during lunch at a members house, studying a topic or a story and then teaching it to a member or a investigator.

I'm so happy to be here on my mission, learning studying and growing. I'm so thank to our heavenly father for his trust in allowing me to represent his son and spreading the gospel.


4 March 2013


 Just to start things off, I wasn't transferred or called as a trainer. I'm in the same area with the same amazing people. But my companion that I had in the MTC was called as a trainer, and a few other people in my group as well. But! Next week four Greenies will arrive in our area so we shall see Wahaha. But I honestly don't think I'm ready to train, I still have a lot to learn. When I train I want to be an awesome trainer. haha

 So one of the most exciting things that has happened this week is the progress of André, a man who stopped us on the street and asked to know more about the church. This past Sunday was stake conference and André went to the church by himself..... :) He actually showed up at the church before we did.....:( But it was all good. We sat in the second row from the front where it's nice and quiet and the spirit, the piano and the choir are nice a loud haha Isn't that right Mom?? :) The mission presidente and his wife also gave talks. But the part most interesting is that during one of the talks about the atonement of Jesus Christ André got emotional and lowered his head to hide tears. I personally didn't notice but my mission presidente and my companion said that he did. André has been searching for a religion for 16 years. He studied for 3 years to be a pastor in the evangelical church and also spend a number of years in the Baptist and Catholic Church. He's been baptized 3 times... He knows the bible SO well. During one of our lessons, I decided to read a verse in JAMES 2, and he said it by memory once I started reading it... He's good. But the key for him is to read the Book of Mormon to know if it's true or not. He believes that our church makes sense. The facts but in order to get to really believe it He HAS to read the Book of Mormon for himself and pray to know if its true. Then the rest just falls into place. The only hard part is that he works from 6am-12pm then has school from 12-11pm. So during the weekend are we able to meet with him.

 Hey you remember that picture of a teeny tiny truck that I sent to you? Well this past week we had to buy a refrigerado for our house YES! So We FINALLY found one and were able to leave it at a members house who lived right next to the store where we bought it. But the hard part was that we couldn't think of any way to bring it to our house. And we only had 20 dollars to pay someone to bring it to our house, and everyone at the minimum charged $30. So we had to leave it there at the house. But we were tracting and we saw a teeny tiny truck and we asked the man if he would get our fridge for 20 dollars, he agreed!!! YES now the only problem was that his truck was super small. Not too small for the fridge, but too small for three men haha The truck had only two small seats and was a manual. But We squeezed in... painfully :)

 I'm enjoying reading and studying the ensigns and Liahonas and other books of the church. There is So much information out there, stories of where the lord has helped people. Stories that we all can apply to our lives. And! In the Book of Mormon, I'm starting to be able to use the Book of Mormon and apply it to the lives of my investigators and to my own life. I LOVE IT it's so Cool. I love learning :)

 Thank you all for your support and for your prayers, and especially to my parents who have Done So much for me.

 Love you!