Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment

Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment
Serving in God's Army


24 June 2013 - Transferencias! Para Onde Eu Vou (Transfers! Where Will I Go!?)

   So the big news is that I have been transferred! Well it wasn't too big of news for me because I already kind of knew that I would be transferred because I have been in this area for six months, which for this mission is quite a long time. Normally the missionaries will stay in an area for three months. Along with being transferred I have finished the training of my companion Elder Almeida. He´s doing really well. I can let him do basically everything and he feels comfortable and confident. I really like him and I'm gunna miss him a bunch. He's a hard worker and we completed each other really well.
   I will be returning to Maceío, the state more to the north were I first started and I'll be put in a new area with who knows who, haha, but I'm super excited. Tomorrow morning 2:40am we have to take a bus to Maceío but its only 6 hours, nothing compared to driving to Utah, haha.
   This week we were able to complete a family. The youngest daughter of a lady that was baptized a few weeks ago also made the decision to be baptized and the family was complete. She offered to make us lunch today and afterwards we were all gathered together to leave a message and when I started sharing the message and thanking her for all that she has done for us she started crying and quickly left the room. I've gone through a lot with this family ever since the beginning. Six months I've known them. And they will probably be the people that I'll miss the most. It's been such a great experience to see how much the gospel has helped this family. Seeing them be bonded together, going to church together, learning together, and crying together. We've gone through SO much! Love them!!
   One of the sweetest things that happened this week was at church in the gospel principles class. The class was filled with people that I had helped to know the gospel, and they were still there. Learning, growing, praying, asking questions, helping one another and getting to know the members, and bearing testimony. One of the recent converts said the opening prayer. Later that day we passed by a recent convert's house and he was reading the Book of Mormon outside his house in a rocking chair. All these tender moments that are priceless that I won't forget. Tender moments that build my testimony and let me know that what I'm doing is right.  
   I'm so thankful for the opportunity that I have to serve, to represent Heavenly Father, to be a bearer of his Priesthood. Time is passing SO fast I basically have one year done with my mission! I'm learning SO much and I don't want to stop!
   I know that this church is the true church of God and the only true church on the face of the earth. Christ lives and he loves each and every one of us.
   I love you guys So much and I'm so thankful for all your prayers your love and support.



17 June 2013 - Oi Familia‏

Wow what an interesting week for the real world. Sorry to hear about Austin's Dad.... That's got to be hard. AND GRACIE LOOKS SO CUTE! ( I really like the name:)   
    This week was really good we worked hard and our numbers prove it. We were able to find a number of really special people to teach. One in particular was a man named Samuel who is about twenty five. We were teaching him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and at the end of the lesson we invited him to say a pray to end the lesson. When we were convincing him to say a prayer his girlfriend showed up and sat down beside him. Now he REALLY had pressure haha. I don't know if he said the prayer cause he wanted to or cause his girlfriend was there and wanted him to. But he did and that's what counts. And we told her that he was gunna go to church with us that coming Sunday and asked her if she wanted to come along. She openly agreed ;) The best part was that Samuel was on the fence about going to church, but thanks to the oh so convincing Power of women, he agreed. The two of them went to church and they both really enjoyed it. During the gospel principles class the girlfriend opened up one of the books and opened up to the page that talks about the law of chastity.... She showed Samuel and they both nodded with a smile. I'm pretty sure they knew what it meant but we will have to see this coming week if they are willing to keep it.
   This past week we were able to pass by and visit our recent converts. During our visits all of the recent converts gave us references for other people that we can visit. For me it showed that they really have a testimony of the things that we are teaching them and they are wanting that other people receive the blessings of the gospel. This week we found a lot of people who have huge potential to be baptized, elects, but the only problem is that more than likely I will be transferred this coming week, 25th, and I won't be able to work with these great people. I've been in this area for 6 months! So yeah it's almost certain that I will be transferred. Why?! Why does this always happen! But what can I do... I'll just have to find new people in my next area.
    There is nothing more satisfying than seeing one of your baptisms keep a commandment of God. This past Sunday I noticed a lady that was baptized a few weeks ago, who is a widow, doesn't have a stable job, and has two kids, pay her tithing to the bishop. It was perfect. But then the bishop asked if she was a member of the ward or not.... he had been out of town when the lady was baptized and hadn't put a name to a face yet.... It was pretty awkward. But this lady was so humble that she didn't seem to mind :)
   I'm so happy that I'm making a difference in the lives of these people. I'm So happy for the opportunity that I have to serve.

10 June 2013 - Semana Quatro‏

   One thing that I'm starting to notice on the mission is that Sunday really isn't a day of rest for missionaries, at least for me. It's more like a day of run around like crazy and try to get everything done to finish the week on a good note a prepare everything for the next week. It started off with Saturday. Saturday evening me and the district leaders had another division so that they could interview a man that we have been teaching and to see if he was ready to be baptized. He passed the interview and everything went into hyper speed. We basically threw everything aside to make this baptism happen. But thanks to an amazing ward missionary leader and help from the members this man was baptized. He is the first man that I baptized on my mission. The story behind this man is rather funny. He found us! We were walking on the street trying to find a reference that we received and this man came up to us and said, " Everything we need to know can be found in the Bible". We just started agreeing with him and complimented everything that he said and added a little more, made him become curious, Wahaha! We ended up going to his house and teaching him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and what a difference it could make in his life. He had a number of things going on in his life that he knew he had to change. We´ve been working with him for the past month helping him overcome his problems and he has finally overcome them. This week he was on a good streak with keeping the commandments of God but it was super hard for him. Me and my companion decided that the only thing we could do for him was put him in God's hands. We decided to give him a blessing from our Father in Heaven. We gave him a blessing and from that might on he said that he hasn't even felt the urge to break a commandment of God which in this case was the Word of Wisdom. Through him I learned that God has more power than the chains of Satan that bind so many people from finding true freedom. I learned that the grace of God will complete our work as missionaries AFTER all we can do. During my mission I have had many opportunities to give blessings, to young and old, the suffering and the hopeless. I can say that I have seen and felt the power of God working through me, helping others, curing others, giving strength to others. One example was yesterday during the Gospel Principles class. A lady that has been investigating the church had a mental attack during the class. Her blood pressure dropped and she basically passed out in the middle of the class. She was sitting in front of me and turned around and asked for a cup of water and then lost consciousness. We took her outside and sat her down and gave her a blessing. With a short amount of time she felt better. She lives super close to the church but she didn't want to go home, she wanted to stay. This past Sunday was ward conference so there was a ton of people at church on Sunday, 125 more or less, which is pretty good. This ward's normal number is about 90. This past week we have been trying and trying to find this couple that we taught that had a lot of interests in the church but we could never catch them at home! GRRRR! Saturday night we passed by their house and surprisingly they were not home. So we just left an invitation for the ward conference which started 8:30am, when we arrived at the church around 8:20, there they were. The couple.... They got there at 7:45! luckily there were a few members there who showed them the church and talked with them. AH! having them there made my day! The man attended the elder's quorum and luckily the stake president talked in the class so it was really good! They got along great with the members and really enjoyed all the lessons and the talks. We're looking forward to teaching them and the members of the ward are excited too :) YES!
   I'm really liking being DL now, especially cause my district is doing super well this month, we've more than doubled our numbers! and we've been able to find a lot of MEN which is something that the president asked us to focus on.
   I'm loving the mission and I'm so happy that I have the opportunity to work with these wonderful people. I wouldn't trade my mission for anything!
   Love you Guys So much and I can't wait to hear from you again!
Elder Ralph

3 June 2013 - Semana de Balgunsa‏

Hello Family! 

   Well sounds like you guys had an interesting week! Everyone's going to the hospital! Salads bad for you mom you know that. you need more doughnuts cake and ice cream, haha.
   Well this week was interesting... All in all I was so busy and running around that I only had two days to work in my own area. I went on splits with a set of missionaries in my district, and left my companion and another newbie to work in my own area. Then I had to go to another area to interview the baptism for the Other missionaries in my district. THEN the LZ were over loaded with appointments and asked me to go to their area to help them out! AH I wanna work in my area with my companion. But in the end it turned out alright. My district was able to baptize 4 people this week! And we had a possibility to baptize 6! Yeah it was a busy week but it was totally worth it in the end.
   At church yesterday most of the people that said they would go to church cancelled and we were at the end of the second hour when a man who we've been teaching showed up. He has be trying to stop smoking and it appeared that he had ran to church. Man I can't describe the feeling that I felt when he ran into the door. He has such a strong desire to do what is right but is fighting cigarettes! Gosh we want to help him so much and we're doing all we can but he just hasn't been able to quit. I really believe that he will make it there someday.
   This next week we are planning to work a lot with less active members and helping them become active and meeting their friends and family members and teaching them. We're pretty excited for this coming week.
   I am so happy that I have the opportunity to serve the lord here in Brazil. I know that this is where I need to be. I'm learning SO much. And I'm excited to keep improving and learning more and more. I know that God really does hear and answer our prayers. I see his answers every day.
Staying Strong

20 May 2013 - AWESOME WEEK‏

Dearest Family, Friends, Acquaintances, and Pets

THIS WEEK WAS NUTS! Peanuts! Longest week ever. But it was an awesome week!
   Monday, P-day. Boys in the ward invited us to go Play "War" with them (board game) and that took up most of our afternoon. I got my trash kicked! I always lose at war, haha, I'm hopeless. Monday night we were invited to a family home evening. While we were walking to the person's house a man on a bike yelled at us. Baaaaaaaah! We just continued walking... But 20 feet in front of us the man on the bike went into the middle of the road and cut off a motorcycle. The motorcycle hit him and they both went flying. We all scrambled to get the motorcycle off the road. help the motorist who's helmet flew off and he hit his head pretty badly, broke his pinky, and probably his knee. We called the ambulance and helped get the man into the ambulance to go to the hospital. The man on the bike who was drunk just walked away.... CRAZY
   Tuesday Elder Salazar, the elder who lived with us that was transferred, called me to tell me that his area was closed so no one would be returning to take his place. He told me that his area was now my area. So now there are only two missionaries in the ward. My area that was already huge has doubled in size, and responsibility doubled with it. AND he told me that I was called as a district leader...... WHAT! Yeah That was my response.... I'm the district leader of the Zone Leaders! and one other set of missionaries. And I've already had to do two baptismal interviews. Talk about stress!
   Thursday I have to go to another area with the district leader to interview a young boy, on the way back we waited at a bus stop for an hour and a half! And when we got to the bus station all the buses stopped because it was late... Needless to say we got home very very late, but it was out of our control....
   Saturday we had a baptism!!!!!!! The mother of a girl that I baptized with my last companion was baptized! She was SO much work but she was totally worth it! I love this lady and I'll never forget her. Her baptism was extremely special to me and to her. She is already talking about temples and baptizing her youngest daughter! Ah a lot of hard work with her is finally paying off!
   I'm so happy that I'm here in Brazil serving the lord, I know that He lives and that He answers prayers