Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment

Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment
Serving in God's Army


27 January 2014 -- Penedo!

Hello Family dearest!
   Well I'm sure you're all just dying to know where I'm at and who I'm with! So let's get to it.
At the transfer meeting I got talking to all the other zone leaders to see who was transferred and who would stay in the area. I had a pretty good idea of where I would go and with who I would be with before the meeting even started and boy, was I excited. The meeting started and I started checking off the possibilities. Then all of a sudden my name was called and they said that I was called as a trainer! Ahhhh, I couldn't believe it! I was stun struck! Haha it was really funny, I couldn't stop laughing! I'm training again! The thought didn't even cross my mind that I would train again. But at the end of the meeting it was obvious what the president was doing. He called 5 zone leaders to train new missionaries that were entering into the mission field. I am now training Elder Martins, a Brazilian from São Paulo.
   We are in an interstate area of Alagoas called Penedo. Penedo is an older city, built over 300 years ago and it's built on the bank of a beautiful river. The buildings are all old and falling apart but really impressive. After sending emails we're going to go a take a couple of pictures. We are working in a branch that it trying to become a ward. They just need a few more men. So we're "men hunting," haha. But the chapel is huge! With air conditioning! YES! It's one of the biggest the I've ever been in on my mission, and the Church is on a corner where there is a lot of traffic so everyone knows where it is. And the church is new so many people want to see what it's like inside. The members are helping a lot. The Elders that were here in the area didn't leave anything to help us find our way around, but the work is coming along. We have built a good relationship with some of the members that can go out with us to teach, they help so much!
   Training near the end of the mission is so different than training at the beginning. I feel like I know so much more. I have so much more confidence, the language is much smoother. It's just way different. I'm trying to help my new little son as best I can. He's really good. Has a good spirit and loves to work hard and talk to everyone that crosses his path. He's given me so much energy, which is something I have needed these past few weeks. I really believe, I know without a doubt that my mission president is inspired by God. He always places the right type of person with me at the right time. Elder Martins is great. I let him begin teaching the other day and he kind of got nervous and just went right into the restoration and the first vision, which is something that I've never seen before but it worked out just fine! It's amazing how the spirit can guide you when you really trust in it. I am so thankful for the spirit and how it has been guiding me this past week. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to serve, to train, to teach, and to be a missionary.
   I'm so thankful for my family and everything they have taught me, for all the sacrifices they have made for me! I know that this church is true! I know that it teaches the truth sent from God to his prophets today!
   Elder Martins always makes me smile, always likes to talk to me, trusts me, wants my help and guidance and wants to improve. LOVE THE MAN!
 Love you all so much!


20 January 2014 -- Transferencias‏

In the front, middle leaning over a table with a Santa hat on, I've got my back to the camera.
   Well it looks like I've been transferred. Tomorrow I will know where I will be going and with whom I will work. This week was a good one! Especially with the number of investigators AND members who came to church. The church was full, which is always a good thing. But with that also comes a lot of Kids! There were so many little children running around here and there and everywhere. Haha, but it was still great.

   This week a girl named Rose came to church and it seemed like she was already a member of the church. She came in a skirt with her scriptures and I little baggy and the girls in the branch swarmed her and I believe that she felt very welcome. The only hard part for her is that she lives far from the church it's about a 45 minute walk.... But her friend, the member who passed her as a reference, lives even farther! So she passes by her house so they can walk together! YES! This past week we presented the Book of Mormon to her. When we started teaching about the Book of Mormon we handed one to her and she fluttered through the pages curiously and she agreed with everything that we taught and showed her. But all of a sudden she gave the book back to us with a confused unsatisfied look on her face. We began to bear our testimonies and the members that were with us also bore our testimonies. Then Rose asked how much the book cost! Opps, she thought that the book would be expensive and gave it back to us because she thought that she wouldn't be able to pay for it. But after the testimonies she was willing to pay for the book to know if it was true or not for herself. When we explained that it was free and that we would give it as a present she exploded with joy. She couldn't stop smiling and was literally jumping out of her seat. We have high hopes for Rose. :)

   These past few weeks we have been helping a less active young adult come back to church. He has been coming to church for the past four weeks and is super happy and super excited. He really has a strong testimony of the church but stopped going because of a social reason. And this Sunday he brought his older sister to church. We have been teaching the two of them together. His sister isn't a member. She really liked the church and the members really reached out to her. We are gunna help her get legally married and then baptized! Woot! Woot!
   These past few weeks were rather hard for me but I'm doing a lot better. There is nothing like scripture reading and fasting to help us get through our problems. I know that the scriptures are true. They are the word of God written for us. They have helped me so much these past few weeks. Helped me stay focused. Helped me resolve my problems. They are true.
   I hope you all have a great week and a Happy New Year!

Fotos do Natal


12 January 2014 -- Semana melhor!

Hello familia that I love so much,
   First of all I would like to thank you for all your love and prayers on my behalf. I know that you are praying for me and I feel your prayers every day. Please don't stop, because I need them.
   This week the president had interviews with all the missionaries and I got to talk with him for a big chunk of time. I really needed that. He helped me with many things and I left the room feeling great, reenergized and full of life. He gave me a challenge to read the Book of Mormon in three months, the time that it was translated. He told me to read it with a purpose or while reading it to look for something, words or feelings. We decided to look for principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So since that day I have been reading in the little time that I have had and it has been really interesting to see how much the Book of Mormon teaches of Christ. How it can build the faith of anyone who reads it. Love the book of Mormon, it has so much Power. I know that it is true.
      This week we were able to find a number of new people. Both investigators and less-actives that we are helping come back to church. We also received a referral from a young woman in the ward that was great! This twenty year old girl is amazing she really has a desire to know the truth, but thinks that she has little faith. She had a great question. She asked about death and people who die from accident or murder. She wanted to know if God lets those people die, or allows a person to die. and Why?... It was a really good question and we're excited to continue working with her. The only trouble that she has is her lack of faith in herself, or faith in the faith that she has.... if that makes sense.
   This week I cut an elder's hair with scissors... I did a pretty good job. I was pretty proud of myself. Then I let him cut my hair and he totally botched it! Oh well.
   We are also trying really hard to help one family that is really special. The woman is more in tune with churches than the husband, but the wife's brother is really into religion and they all ask questions galore! Yesterday we taught them about baptism and the power that is required to have a true baptism. We taught about the church of Jesus Christ and how it was organized with that power and how the power was lost. We taught more detailed than I have ever taught in my mission. But it was really good. We taught how just one church can have the power that can seal on earth and in heaven. We invited them to pray, knowing that through diligent study and PRAYER they could receive an answer for themselves. This family is really special and we are doing all we can to help them know the truth and follow the example of Jesus Christ.
   I know that Jesus Christ is our savior that His love for us is eternal. It's infinite. His love can purify us of all our faults. I love him and I know that He loves me, too. I will do my best to follow him, follow His example and His precious gospel. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on the earth today.


6 January 2014 -- A Weak Week

Hello Family Dearest,
   This week was rather uneventful to tell the truth. This week we went to Maceio again. The training that was passed to us was really good and tomorrow my companion and I are going to pass the training to our zone. My companion is kind of stressed out about the meeting because it will be his first. I don't blame him. I was pretty stressed out when I did my first zone meeting. But it´ll all go well he´s good. One really great thing that happened this week was with a man named Edimilson and his nephew Felipe. They are two investigators that we have been teaching with a group of three other people. To tell the truth they were the least expected to come to church while everyone else that we are teaching were very strong with the appointment. And the two of them really enjoyed the meeting. And Edimilson who is a 28 year old already knows almost all the members of the ward. We didn't even have to stay with him because the members just took him away which was really cool.
   Really the rest of the week was spent traveling and studying for the training that we are going to give tomorrow. Sorry I really have little to say.
   My companion is good. He doesn't stress me too much, haha. Transfers are on the 20th, I think. I am mostly stressed about the work and how it's not going exactly how I would like it to go. We just have very few people to work with. And the people that we have aren't progressing how they could be progressing. It's hard to see potential in someone and then watch them falter. Yeah its just that.
   Next week the e-mail will be bigger I promise.
Well I gotta go. Have a great week!
Elder Ralph


30 December 2013 -- Feliz Natal

Hello Family and Friends!
   Well it was another Christmas away from home but it was a Christmas to remember. Christmas Eve we passed by a home of a wonderful family and we just spent the time laughing and talking about random things. It was a great chance to relax a bit, and then Christmas Day talking with my family was GREAT! I really liked how I was able to talk to everyone at the same time. Google + Rocks! Thank you all for being there to support me. It really meant a lot. I really did feel your love for me and I hope that I was able to show at least a portion of the love that I have for each one of you! You all mean so much to me.
   This week in relation to the missionary work was rather difficult. Hardly anyone was at home. People here like to travel out into the boondocks or to their little farms that they have around the city and just chill, haha. So it was kinda hard to teach this week. And New Years will be worse because everyone goes to the beach to watch the fireworks... Its tradition! Maybe we will go too.... JK.
   This week we have been teaching a new family. And they are one of those golden families that really understand and want to know more about our religion. We explained the plan of salvation this week and the questions and commentaries they made were excellent. They asked about the purpose of life, about the fall of Adam and what will happen after this life. And we always had an explanation for them and they agreed with everything we said! And it’s kinda funny to see people bash on other churches. Like we will be teaching something and all of a sudden they will chip in and say, “You know this church? They believe in this and this and that! And I don’t believe in this what do you guys believe.” Then we explain everything that we believe and the person will say, I like that I believe that. It’s really cool to see how a person can FEEL that the things we are teaching are true. I really love our church. I love how its organized, I love the teachings, it’s just great. This church truly is the church of our savior Jesus Christ. I know it.
   One of the bummers of this week was that this amazing family that we were working with didn’t come to church! Ahh! The father of the family was called suddenly to work and the rest of the family couldn’t come without him. But hopefully they will come next week.
   One thing that really touched me this week was when a boy that we were teaching, 14 years old but looks like an 18 year old, we went to his house to walk with him to church but when we got there he was still sleeping. His dad woke him up and he said that it wouldn’t be enough time to get ready…. We felt like he just didn’t want to come so we just let it go and started walking to church. But then, halfway to church, he came out of nowhere on a bike that he borrowed and said that he wanted to go to church but just slept in on accident. It was a great feeling walking with him to church. We’re extremely excited for his progress!
   Thank you all for all of your support! You guys are awesome!