Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment

Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment
Serving in God's Army


26 May 2014 - HEY!

    Hello my dearest family and friends. This week was full of little great experiences, miracles and moments of learning. One of our recent converts who is probably the “youngest in heart” ladies I have ever met in my life was at a Ward activity at a member's house. There wasn't any more room inside so we sat outside talking with her about life, family, and all that was new. She said that she talked with a friend who is a less active member of the church and the friend told her that she left the church when she heard that we can one day become Gods. The recent convert told her that she probably understood wrong or the person who was teaching didn't know what they were talking about because she hasn't heard anything about this teaching. Silence.... haha I then had the pleasure to explain to her about this doctrine that was restored during the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. It was something that I had never explained once in my whole mission. But it seemed as if it was something that I taught every day. Scriptures, examples, explanations and questions came so quickly to my mind. The spirit, in that critical moment of the spiritual progress of that member, helped us to teach with power and conviction something that was never trained into us or rehearsed beforehand. The spirit really does guide us as we teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Something really special that happened this week was to see one of our recent converts give a talk in Sacrament meeting about obedience. He did a great job. I asked him afterwards how he felt and he said “I feel great!” and I asked, “do you wanna do it again?” and he shook his head "no."
    This week I will admit that I had a slip with patience. It was during the Ward council meeting. We were instructed by the stake presidency that we need to have Ward council every Sunday for half an hour and that we would talk about the progress of our investigators and our recent converts and less actives. The presidency passed a great training about what we should do and what we should say. So we got together with our Ward mission leader and filled out all the records and the whole deal. But when we got to the meeting it seemed like no one was paying attention to the stake presidency. They started talking about the same old problems that the branch is having, cleaning the church and few people singing. I got really tense and I wanted to say something really bad. I was able to control myself until one of the members started complaining to the president about something that he did and everyone was arguing about random stuff. That's when I lost it and I raised my hand and got the attention of every one and told them what the purpose of the meeting was and how they were not doing their part. I said a few things that I don't remember anymore. But my heart was pounding. The president said a few more things and then turned the time over to our Ward mission leader. He said, “you have 8 minutes to talk about missionary work”.... I wanted to get up and leave. Eight minutes. Eight minutes to talk about the salvation of God's Children. Eight minutes to talk about those who are coming to know the true gospel of Christ. Eight minutes to talk about those who have let go of the iron rod. Eight minutes to talk about the progress of those who have entered in the straight and narrow path. I was so mad. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing. Nothing depresses a missionary than to know that those who he has helped enter into the fold of God WON'T be nourished by the good word. We got a lot of work to do....


    PS We were almost robbed this week. But we have a friend who is a security guard.
I love being a missionary. There is nothing better! Love you guys so much Keep it real.


19 May 2014 - Ups and Downs!‏

 Elder Ralph will be finishing his mission in a threesome! I am now with Elder Lira and Elder Alves. Elder Alves was with Elder Luis and Luis was transferred. So now we have the whole city of Penedo to ourselves, hahaha!
   Well this week was full of ups and downs. One day was amazing and the next.... not so amazing. We were able to find some amazing people; members introduced us to their friends. And it seemed like almost everyone wanted to be baptized, haha. We are getting pretty excited and the members are too. This Sunday a member of the stake presidency came and he passed a new way to do Ward Council. So now EVERY Sunday, the council will meet to discuss how they can improve and what progress is being made in the missionary work, the work of salvation.
   So after one good day we had a rather BAD day haha. We marked a whole day full of appointments and referrals and less actives and recent converts, the whole nine yards. And everything fell through. We went a whole day without teaching a single lesson. I don't think I've ever had a day like that in my whole mission. I ended up being so sad that it was funny! But one bad day doesn't knock down the three musketeers! We have some great people that we are working with. One of them is Everton. Everton is a referral from a member. The missionaries have already taught Everton some time ago but they lost contact because he moved to another city for a couple months. When we started teaching Everton he said that he was reading the Book of Mormon still and was really enjoying it. He said told us about Lehi's dream and how he partook of the fruit of the tree of life and that it was the most delicious and sweetest taste he had ever tasted. Everton was very detailed to tell the truth. But he said that he wanted to know what the fruit means, and how HE can taste such a fruit. WoW! Holy moley! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. We went on teaching him about salvation and eternal life and how he could taste that fruit. We explained about Christ and how He showed us the path to the tree of life, we explained about baptism and how it is the key to salvation, but when it is done by someone who has the restored priesthood Keys of God. It was really good and we're excited to teach him again.   Another sweet surprise this week was when two members brought their friends to church! Love it when the blessings just fall from heaven. The work is coming along great. We're all super excited and working hard.
Thank you all for your love and support! God Bless!

Elder Ralph


12 May 2014

Hello Family!

   This week we were able to find a young man named Alex. He was a contact made by the other elders in our house. He is really cool and full of light and respect and is really bright. It was interesting talking with him because he had a lot of doubts about religion, which one is right and how he can know it. While we were teaching him he was called in to work so we gave him a watered down version of everything that we had to teach him and we did it in less than five minutes! But he understood everything and said that he would come to church this Sunday. At the end we invited him to be baptized, which is something we do in every first lesson. And he accepted and asked what he needed to do to get himself ready! He is a really good guy. During the week we arranged to go to his house in the morning to help him finish plastering the side of his house with cement. We arrived at his house around 8 o'clock and he was still sleeping, haha. Bummer. But we let him sleep. We had doubts if he would be able to wake up at 8 o'clock to come to church that Sunday. But he came! All spiffy and clean and ready to hear the good word, haha. He's really a great guy and we are super excited for him. It is amazing to see how the lord has prepared him to hear and accept the gospel. I love being a missionary!



5 May 2014 -- HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!‏

Rain, rain, go away...

Hello Family and Friends,

Getting started on a service project.
   Well this week it rained, rained, rained, and rained. All my towels and clothes are soaked and starting to smell funny haha. But the work still goes on. There's nothing better than walking in the rain to go and teach the gospel to someone. This week we have been working in a new area. We got the names of all the members that lived in this neighborhood and we are visiting one by one. And it's been working quite well actually. We have found a lot of people who needed a few words of comfort because of family members that had passed away. And we were able to tie all the experiences that these people were going through to the gospel and how we can all one day return to the presence of our Father in Heaven as families eternally sealed and exalted. And my new companion and I are getting used to each other's teaching habits, which has helped a lot. Elder Lira is really good and he can bring the spirit into the lesson so well. And what are we without the spirit? Nothing! This week we needed the spirit big time to help one of our investigators with the fact that God has a body of flesh and bones. It was great! She was having a lot of trouble with the concept until… Ding! The spirit hit here like a bumble bee in a dog house…. Ha! But everything just started clicking for her and she started talking positively about the principle and just kinda sat there thinking. Then she nodded her head and agreed that she will pray and ask to be certain. Milagre!! Love the Spirit it's so AWESOME!
Roof repair needed...the posts were eaten through.
     This week we got to help with a service project at a widow's house. Her house was basically collapsing but the Mormons came to save the day, haha. Termites had eaten in the support beams and cross beams of her roof! So the branch bought the wood and called the troops and we started taking the tiles off her house. We were about halfway done when we saw a dark group of clouds coming towards us. Yeah it dumped rain and the poor ladies house was all drenched. But she didn’t seem to mind a bit. Better than the roof falling on her during the night. And I was having a blast using work clothes in the rain. Nothing stops a Washingtonian from working in the rain, isn't that right dad? And I learned how to lay down shingles on a Brazilian roof! It was good to get out and help.
The São Fransisco river is famous here in Brazil. 

   Everyday my testimony of Christ and his restored church grows. Every day I can hear the little inspiring voice of the Holy Ghost telling me to do something or to not do something or to talk to a specific person. My testimony of the Church and it's divine organization grows every day. I am so thankful for the opportunity that God has given me to serve a full time mission, to be a member of his church on this earth. I am so thankful for the testimony that I have which is something that I will cherish and nourish forever. I know that God lives and that He loves each and every one of us. I know that he has a body of flesh and bone and that we are made in his image. He IS our father and watches over us. He made a plan, a perfect plan so that we may gain a body, develop, learn, progress, return to his presence and become as He is. I am eternally thankful for all that he has done for me. Especially for the wonderful mother that he gave me. She has done so much for me and has helped me become who I am today. I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. I love you mom SO much and I can't wait to see you!

A homeless guy...dirty from a service project...

Getting help from an Elder


Trying to start a car???

This is more like it...