Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment

Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment
Serving in God's Army


25 November 2013 - Semana Desafiadora‏

   Well, we started off this week with a service project. We cleaned up the back yard of one of our investigator's house. It was full of broken tiles, trash, and rocks, but I accepted the challenge. I took all of the big rocks that we scattered around the back yard and made a little wall with them. The yard had a huge slope at the back half and just looked normal, but now there is a little walkway with a rock wall... yeah I don't know if you can picture it but it turned out well and I was pretty proud of myself, haha. While we were working on the project I noticed that the shower water from the house was flooding the whole back yard and turned it into a mud pit. So I decided to make a French drain where the water left the house, which is basically a big hole filled with rocks that lets the water go down without clogging or putting in pipes. We dug a huge hole and filled it with the tiles and rocks that were scattered throughout the yard and it worked great! Thanks Dad for everything you taught me. :) The service project was a success to say the least, and that's not to mention the extreme sunburns, sore muscles, blisters and blessings that we received because of it. The woman and her two kids that live in the house of the service project were baptized this week! YES!
   This week I can tell you my patience was really tested, I don't know why but I felt like I was on a short fuse the whole week. Be it my companion, investigators, people on the street, members, everyone. It really felt like everyone was against me. But it was just my attitude and how I was reacting to life and what was happening. Sometimes things don't go how you plan or how you want them to be. I really need to work on my patience. I think that's one of the blessings of serving a mission, you realize your weaknesses and what you need to work on. I am so thankful for this wonderful opportunity to work on my weaknesses. I know that with humility and faith all my weaknesses will turn into strengths. And my dearest companion is really helping me with this. At times I say or do something small that isn't the best or isn't correct and he puts me in my place. When he does this I always have that first impression to explain myself, or make excuses for my behavior or something that I'm doing but a scripture always come to mind, the "wicked take the truth to be hard" because it strikes them to the very heart, something like that. Thinking of that scripture, the anger or frustration leaves and the desire to be better takes its place and I demand better of myself. I want to be better, I want to be a spiritual giant, I want to be..... And I feel like I'm getting there, slowly but surely.
   Two of our investigators fell through this week which was really sad and frustrating. They were progressing SO much! Stopped drinking coffee. It's sad when a person feels and knows that something is true but isn't willing to go after it or do what it takes to receive all of the blessings that the gospel has to offer. At times I just want to show people my life, my family, or other families that have been super blessed from the gospel or teach everything that the church has to offer but I can't...they have to use their faith. Just want to give them a secret code to get more faith but I can't. I can only bring the spirit to them and teach them how it works, but they have to get up on their own feet and use their faith. I love this gospel So much.
   This past week we taught a group of Catholic boys who just wanted to argue about religion. But we didn't argue we just taught. We didn't answer their questions that would lead to arguing, just taught about prophets and the Book of Mormon. It was really good, and strengthened my testimony.
   I am so happy to be on my mission, that I have this time to learn and grow.
I love you all so much and thank you so much for your love and support.



18 November 2013

Hello Dearest family and Friends!
   This week was a good one! We worked really well until my companion got food poisoning and could hardly even walk. But he's all good now and other than that the week went really well. We are working with this family that is friends of a family in our ward. The lady in this family asked why the member family seemed so happy and how they managed to be happy even while facing many difficulties. The lady of the member family responded... "We're members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints"... And from that day forward this family has been hooked. The only thing that is holding them back is that the parents are not married and the husband wants nothing to do with the church, marriage, doesn't want to stop drinking and just really doesn't want anything with his life. That's rather frustrating but what can we do. The woman on the other hand is extremely sure on being baptized and having all her kids be baptized as well, along with a couple neighbors, haha. She is so set that she is going to kick him out of the house for good so she can be baptized. Go woman! Woman Power. It's kind of a weird story because she really likes a cousin of the member family and he is crazy for her and no one in the family likes her current husband. It's a strange story but the beautiful part is that she is 100% set on being baptized. She has already stopped drinking coffee and has told her boss that she can't work on Sundays. She loves the teachings at the church especially the part about families being eternal. We're really excited for her! And this week we are planning a service project at her house, we're gunna clean up her back porch.
   We are teaching another young woman who is 19 and lives with her brother. She lives next to some recent converts who are fireballs and love to talk about the church about their baptism and just talk in general. They are bringing her to church and she too stopped drinking coffee. The only hard part about her is that she works all day and then studies at night. But she works right in the middle of the city so many times during the day we pass by her work and she greets us with a big smile and talks about more people that we can visit and teach a message to. This week we will teach her the law of chastity... so that will make or break her baptism. I love it when people are excited to learn more about the gospel, are willing to read and pray and visit the church. Basically I love it when people exercise faith, cause when they do miracles always happen, the seed starts to Grow!
   We had a baptism planned for this week but it fell through because the girl that could be baptized went out of town with her mother for the weekend. But when she told us that she couldn't be baptized this week she promised us that she will be baptized and that she really wants to. She is fourteen years old and has the maturity of a twenty year old. She has gone through so much in her life with her family, its rather sad. But she doesn't want any of it. She wants to move forward and start over and have the Holy Ghost as her guide. She's great.
   I love being here in Lagarto, Brasil. I'm learning so much and I'm feeling the spirit so strongly every day! I'm so happy that the spirit is with me because it makes all the difference! Thank you so much for you love and support. The church is SO TRUE! 


PS - Just finding people who are really, really special, that are progressing in the gospel and going to church and being baptized... so yeah we're having a bunch of miracles, haha.
Just hearing that Sarah is okay is a  miracle to me.. yeah I've been having a lot of spiritual experiences lately. It's been great! I just want more, haha.  Love you MOM!
Your son Elder Ralph


11 November 2013 Happy Birthday Elder Ralph (12 Nov)

This week was great. We started off going to Maceio to have a meeting with the president and the assistants to pass information to the rest of the Zone. I didn't get as car sick as I thought I would have. The Zone meeting that Elder Gubler and I gave to the zone was a success and at the end many people decided to bear their testimony and said that they need what was passed and they knew that their leaders are inspired by God, which is exactly how I have been feeling while talking with the president.
   Something that was really special for me this week was something that my mom sent to me. She explained about a difficult time in her life that she had passed through and how the gospel helped her get back on her feet and be happy. This week we met a woman who has been passing through the same type of experience. I bore my testimony of the gospel and how it had helped my mother, I knew that the gospel could help this woman as well. The lesson was very spiritual and the woman is excited to learn more.
   I am so thankful for my family and everything they have taught me, for the way that my parents raised me. This week we went to a few people's houses, members who are having difficulties. You can just feel that the Spirit isn't in their house, and we are trying to help them. I'm so thankful for the Spirit and the influence that it has in my life. I love my family so much and my companion knows it. :)
   Sunday we had a mini testimony meeting in the Principles of the Gospel class and a few new converts bore their testimony and how they were converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and how they are now part of the gathering of Israel. It was extremely touching to see how the gospel is changing the lives of so many people. I'm so thankful to be a part of this glorious work. I love my mission. I don't want to be anywhere else in the world right now than Brazil serving the lord. I know that this church is true. It is everything to me. Thank you so much for your love and support.

Elder Ralph


4 November 2013 - November!

 This week went by pretty fast. On the way home from the transfer meeting I started to get motion sickness, which is something I've never felt before, all the times that my family has gone to Utah and all the times I've taken a bus on my mission I am now starting to get car sick. That's perfect because today we are going back to Maceió for another meeting with the president, wowho! Let's see if I get sick or not.

   This week I really felt the spirit while doing the work. We were walking in the street an all of a sudden me and my companion felt the impression to talk to someone and the person was very open and wanted to learn more about our church. It happened several times this past week. Another time, that I felt the spirit extremely strong, was at church when a few recent converts went up to bear their testimonies. I love being around people that are new members. They're so open, so loving and so full of light. In my zone there is an area that was recently opened, and for now it's just a group but before we know it, it will be a branch, but the people there are so Christ-like. The church will grow so much there and I'm so happy to be a part of it.
   Here in Lagarto the work is coming along, a lady came to church this past week and brought the entire primary with her, haha, at least 7 kids. She's a Pro-Mom, haha. She loved it and this coming back. This week we are helping her put in her papers to get married. She said she wanted to be baptized and is doing everything possible so she can be baptized, which is something that I love! It's hard when people say they will do something and you feel and believe that they actually will but they don't.... It's hard and disappointing, but it's part of life, it's kind like how Peter told Christ that he wouldn't deny him but did. It's hard.

   This week I really, really felt like the Lord was speaking through me. That I was being used as an instrument to teach others and help other come unto Christ. There would be times that I would open my mouth without knowing what to say and the truth would just come out and the person would understand and feel the spirit too. But that's another thing, it's so hard when you talk to someone, they feel the spirit, you feel the spirit, they know what you're saying is true and they know that they need to follow and obey but don't want to because of pressures of the world, family or fear. It's so Hard. But I trust that God will prepare these types of people and they will come to realize the true importance of obedience and to feel the blessings that come with them.
   I know that what I'm doing here is the work of God and that he is with every one of his missionaries. He loves us and is watching over us. I'm so happy that I am here serving my Master Lord and King.
   Serving the Lord,
Elder Ralph

 PS. I might be bringing a little Brazilian girl home with me because SHES SO CUTE! haha
         (she's two)