Monday, January 27, 2014

Picture Week #85

These 5 Elders were all in the MTC together 
Goodbye Elder McAllister!
Goodbye Elder Wilson!

Rejection After Rejection

Oi! Family and Friends,

This week was alot of hard work, alot. First off our areas switched up a bit because the branch boundaries for all the branches in the District were redrawn. So because of this our area was kind of stripped of investigators. So now we don't have too many, which meant we had to go and do finding. LOTS of finding. And we put in the most time of contacting in a week than I've had before in my mission. We put 7 1/2 hours of knocking doors. Also unfortunately, this was probably the most rejection I got on my mission in one week. It was bad unfortunately. But as long as we give people the choice to accept or reject that's all we can do. 

Wednesday was probably the worst. One door we knocked this guy comes out, he looks happy, I say were from the church, and then he just asks what state I was from. I said California, and then in perfect English, he starts yelling at me telling me I should go back there because homosexuality is legal there, that America needs help more than their country. He said he was from New Jersey so he knows, and America needs the Gospel and that we should go back and preach to them, to stop going to the poor in these African countries and taking advantage of them. Go back and preach to Obama, and if we wanted to make any difference in this country we could only preach to the President of Angola, Dos Santos, to have any impact here. He said do what Jesus did, he went to the top, he threw out the money changers. But then I told him that Jesus also taught the poor, and he really didn't like that comment. But yeah he shut the door in our face. That day was just hard, demoralized me a bit. But it's all good, I got help through the scriptures, the example of the great Nephite Missionaries. Suffered so many things, way worse than me, and still trusted in God and kept going with the work. They were amazing. 

Anyways, on Wednesday night, said goodbye to Elder Wilson and Elder McAllister. Way weird to say goodbye to them both. They are both amazing and can't wait to see them on the other side. We did find luckily three cool new investigators in what we call the Miracle Building. We found this one lady that we were able to knock on her door and go in and teach her the Restoration. Her name is Amelia and we got to know her very well. She is married, but her husband has like 2 or 3 other girls on the side. She is having a hard time. She also told us she has had a dream 2 or 3 times where two men come and help her or something like that. Her daughter answered the door, and then we asked her if we could talk to her mom. So she went and apparently she went back and told her mom that the two guys from your dream are here. So she truly believes we are sent from God so that's way cool. 

We also met this cool girl named Helga who could also become a real solid investigator. Then we met this guy named Gildo, an old Portuguese guy who doesn't like churches. Knocked on his door, came out to us and we asked him if he was religious and he said he didn't like churches. We asked him if he believed in Jesus Christ, and he said kinda. We kinda explained ourselves, who we were, and then for some reason he let us in and we talked to him. Told us his life story a bit and why he hates churches. And ya. He said for some reason something told him to let us in and talk to him. Other people have come and tried and he turned them away always. But for some reason he let us in. So were excited to see where he goes. 

But pretty much the work is true, no matter how many rejections it's still true. And I'm so happy that I have the knowledge of that. So grateful to my Heavenly Father that I have been blessed with this testimony. Glad that everyone is doing good. Crazy that 2 years ago I opened my mission call at Maeser Hall. And now I'm sitting here in Angola. Time flies. But I love you all and miss you all. Just got to buckle down these last 4 months. Love you all!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pictures Week #84

Late Christmas Lights
Elder Brown and Elder Domingos

Highs and Lows

Oi! Family and Friends,

This week had its highs and lows, but most definitely was good. We
started off the week with this awesome lesson. Before the lesson, we were going to go and teach about the Plan of Salvation because in their family someone recently died, so we thought that this was the lesson that they needed. So we were preparing to go and leave for their house and I just have a feeling we should bring a Book of Mormon, and Elder Cafferty was like nah we haven't even talked anything about the Book of Mormon, we won't need one. I'm just like, I'm going to bring one, and I feel like we should bring two. And he was like nah if we do bring one we just need one not two. But I made us bring two. 

We go in there, we start the Plan of Salvation and this one girl named Daniela, she is 15, was finishing Elder Cafferty's sentences. We were like did you read the pamphlet, and she said ya only a lil bit. So then she says I do have a question though, What is the Book of Mormon? We explain it, and then the lesson goes everywhere. About the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, about Jesus Christ, about President Monson and the organization of the church, to temples, to baptism. Everything was guided by the spirit. It was unreal. But it turns out we needed those 2 copies of the Book of Mormon. Their names are Lavinah, Daniela, and Manuela. And we are praying for Lavinah because her job stops her from going to church and spending time with her family and she is trying to get a new job so we're praying for her to find a new job. 

Quintas is doing good, I love him, he is still doing good, but we're also praying for him that his job situation as well will change so he can come to church. Sebastiao is a champ. Came to church for the second time yesterday and he is just on fire, I'm really excited for him. Then Rosa won't be baptized on the 1st of February because she isn't coming to church, so we will work with her closer. 

Another Miracle that happened this week is we finally set a baptismal date in another lesson completely guided by the spirit, with an eternal investigator named Juana. Her husband was baptized like last May, but she hasn't, very long and frustrating story but we finally got her a date, a first for her so were stoked about that. 

Then yesterday we had a disappointing lesson. The spirit was just not there. And I think its because the family was already closed off to us before we even started. But pretty much there are those kind of people who only believe the Bible, that's its complete, and we don't need anything else for our salvation. We testified about the Book of Mormon, all that. We were going to get a return appointment, but the husband shot that down. He was just like
you guys are just going to waste your time, there are a lot more people here in Luanda who need to know more about Jesus, we can talk about anything in between Genesis and Revelation, but anything else like Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon isn't welcome here. You will never convince us. Real sad. Real real sad. 

That experience is going to be burned in my head for the rest of life, and I don't know why. I think it's because I saw and felt how Heavenly Father does. How he has viewed his children throughout history. And I don't judge them, maybe one day they won't be so hard hearted and they will accept the truth, I have no
clue. And in the past, something Ive realized lately, I would get
really frustrated with those people. But now I don't really care.
Obviously I want them to accept it and have more blessings and peace and happiness in their lives, it's what I really want them to have. But if they reject me, I don't get frustrated anymore. They used their agency, and it really doesn't matter if they reject me, I did my part. And no matter what I know this is true. God has shown me and told me that all this that I've learned in my life is true. I can't and will never deny this no matter what happens to me. 

I just have a feeling that were heading, the church and its members, are heading for a lot of persecution here in the future. And if we don't have strong testimonies we will fall. Please continue to work on your testimonies and faith everyday. Because you never know when it will be put to the test. When it's a choice between faith and reason. And where everything is pointing to the reason choice, but we have to choose the faith option. Just never give up on this work. So yeah that was our week.
Awesome that BYU Bball and Vball is doing awesome, hope they have a good week this week. The Superbowl seems like its going to be a good one. I'm doing good, it's real hot here, dead middle of Summer, but it's alright. Glad Grandma Brown is doing good, and hope everything keeps going good with her, Well I love you all and hope you have a good week!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Pictures Week #83

Elder Brown and Quintas 
This guys is HUGE
View from Quinta's House 
Another view
Cleaning the Font
Miriam and her friend
Miriam's Baptism

Pretty Cool Week

Oi Family and Friends,

This week was kind of crazy. But first off transfers, nothing really big, me and Elder Cafferty are staying together for a 3rd transfer
here in Cassequel. He isn't the happiest about that, but I'm excited for this coming transfer, we have some pretty cool people. For example, Rosa is doing good, progressing well towards her baptismal date. We also have this new guy named Quintas. Freakin huge guy that I sent a pic of. He is really cool and he doesn't have a church, and even better he is married in the registro. I already love him, and he showed up for Sacrament mtg yesterday so that's way awesome. 

We also have this way awesome guy named Sebastiao. We met him coming back to a house which we knocked like 4 weeks ago. We sat with him and his daughter, and he just asked question after question about being a missionary. He was amazed at what we are doing and for the reasons we do it. But we sat with him twice and it was way cool. He also came to church yesterday so were hoping that he will keep progressing and progressing. 

Three days in a row this week I walked with someone different, because Elder Cafferty had to do interviews and such, so I walked with Elder Stewart, Elder Domingos, and Elder Hanson. It was pretty cool. 

On Saturday we had Miriam´s baptism which we weren't really supposed to do anything because it was the Branch´s baptism, but they kind didn't do anything. So we had to clean the font, then fill it, set the room, etc etc. Miriam is part of a Portuguese family here named the Valdez. They're really cool and they feed us every Thursday for lunch. 

Also, I'm trying to continue to refocus myself and just keep doing the best I can. I studied about diligence alot this week and one thing that I realized in all the scriptures where it talked about diligence it also mentioned faith. Faith and diligence work hand and hand, and I need to continue to try and be more diligent and increase my faith. Because God can and will work miracles in this area, but only if I align myself to his will and am doing everything I possibly can. 

About the travel plans. I will talk with Irma Lasselelete here in Cassequel. She works in a government department and usually she knows alot about these kinds of things. I could probably get her to write a letter of invitation for you guys, and it would probably be a lot better that an Angolan citizen wrote the letter than an American. I'll talk to her and let you know. But yeah life is going good, crazy that January is already half over. But just livin and lovin life. Love you all and hope you all have a good week!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Pictures Week #82

Newport Beach Temple :)
Praça Painting
Praça Stuff

First Week of a New Year!

Oi Family and Friends!

Happy New Years! 2014 here we are. This past week was fun. First off...New Years eve, we just had a dinner at Irma Lassalete's house then went home, and then we had to go to bed on time. So we went to bed but me and Elder Yeanoplos set an alarm at 11:55 and we were up for New Year's then went back to bed haha. Then New Years day we just played soccer at Cajueiro and had a bit of a barbaque. Got a little sunburn but it was a lot of fun for sure. 

Ok time for a spiritual part. We have this investigator named Rosa, and she is awesome, not the most knowledgeable woman but tons of faith. Well we passed this one day and she was way down, way way down. We asked what happened and one of her friends died, then her husband, who is an athiest, said all these mean and ugly names at their teenage daughter, causing her almost to jump out the window. She was just way down. We had no idea what to say or do. I just let the Spirit take over, I tried to do what the Savior would do if he was there. And it was just weird. 

Lately in lessons I've relied more on the spirit, what I should say, where the lesson should go, instead of following the structure we have. And I've seen differences. And its just weird, you can't describe the feelings and thoughts you get when the Spirit is directing you. You are literally an instrument in Gods hand, making someones life better. Its an amazing feeling. And we helped her get better, and comforted. She is going to be baptized the first day of February. 

Today we went to the Praça and I got more stuff, I think this was my last trip until the end of my mission, but I will send pics of what I got, it was pretty sick. But I'm doing great, it's hot here, middle of Summer, but I'm holding up well haha. Loving the city, loving the people, loving life. Well that's all I can think of what happened this week. Everyone keep going strong haha. And I'm not going to be more hipster like, no no no. That is not me. Never will be me. I've changed, and I am different, but not that different. Sorry. Keegs is coming back, better than ever haha. Well love you guys and hope you all have a great