Monday, September 28, 2015

Caro Americanos!

Caro Americanos,

This week has been very eventful! I'll try to hit on everything important, but I could probably write a novel about this week.

I made a goal to read the whole Book of Mormon in Português! Reading aloud has really been helping me with the language. At the beginning of the week I was feeling pretty discouraged so I prayed and felt prompted to read 5 more pages during language study. The very last verse of those 5 pages gave me so much comfort. (3 Nephi 13:27). The Lord is truly looking out for me and I´m so blessed to have this opportunity to serve Him.

Jaime gained a rock-solid testimony Friday night!!! This is one of the parts I could write a novel on. In short, we assigned him to read Moroni's promise again and pray again to know the the Book of Mormon is true. I told him to ask very directly and with faith, and that God would answer his prayer. That night he had a dream (he likes to refer to it as a vision, which may be more correct) where he was preaching the gospel in a great city with lots of gold. When he woke, he opened the Book to Helaman 6 and the first bit of the chapter explained perfectly what he had seen in his vision. He bore his testimony to us yesterday without being prompted to. He said Joseph Smith is a prophet and that this is the Lord's church! It was more than a miracle. The Lord truly answers the prayers of the faithful.

Many prayers were answered yesterday in regards to Jaime, and also in regards to our new investigator Karen. On Wednesday I felt a strong prompting to knock on a door while walking down the street, and I'm so glad I followed that prompting! She is progressing really well and came to church with us yesterday. Yesterday afternoon we taught her the Plan of Salvation and holy cow the Spirit was so strong. Her father has passed away and when we told her she would see him again and could be with him forever through following the gospel of Jeus Christ, she cried. A lot. She's 17 years old and has been struggling with the death of her father for years. It made me so happy to share God's plan with her.

Yesterday I came to know for sure that I am supposed to be here in Montes Claros serving with Elder Vieira. I need the people we are teaching, and they need this message. Sometimes I'm stressed about logistics or language, but I truly don't need to be because as long as I have the Spirit with me, everything works out.

We haven't quite moved houses yet and our house has been without water for 4 days now. We've had to get water from the chapel, which has been a little difficult. It's making me realize how spoiled I was in the U.S. haha! But this morning I was able to shower from buckets of water and I've never appreciated a shower so much in my life. I'm thankful for the trials I have because they're making me grow so much.

I love you guys!! So much. I love hearing about how things are going for you and thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement and the prayers. Enjoy General Conference this week!

Elder Searle

Weekly steps: 128,791

Monday, September 21, 2015

First Baptism

Dearest Peoples,
I have some super exciting news!! Helberth (he goes by B) was baptized Saturday night!!! It was an amazing experience. B is so awesome. He had been going to church/activities for a while before we taught him, and he just absorbed the Gospel like a sponge! Every day this past week I would mark a page in the Book of Mormon for him to read and the next day he would have it all marked up! And he already has a desire to serve a mission. He has so much potential. He also turned 12 this week so he will get to pass the sacrament next Sunday! He isn't growing up in the best of circumstances, but it's amazing that he is already an example for his family.

Right now we are focusing on Jaime, who has potential to be baptized in a few weeks. We are going to try and strengthen his testimony in the Book of Mormon/the Church this week because currently he's attending our church as well as a different one. He is so amazing though! When we taught him the Word of Wisdom he willingly gave up coffee and is now reaping the blessing for it.

It's a little hard finding right now because the area hasn't been divided yet and the Zone Leaders who live with us are picking up all the references from members. The Lord is for sure blessing us though! There's a lot of hard things to deal with day-to-day, but the happy moments carry me. My Português is getting better, but still has a long ways to go. The most important language is the Spirit though. I keep learning that every day.

Other than that, Elder Vieira and I have been running in the mornings, which has been nice. We will probably have a new house this week!! I'm super excited for General Conference here soon! And I'll have my first Zone Conference this week so that should be good.

Have a great week everyone!!
Elder Searle
Weekly steps: 121039

Elder Silfies and Elder Searle

Elder Cope, Elder Searle and Elder Ostergaard

B, Elder Searle and Elder Vieira

Elder Searle and B

Elder Vieira, B and Elder Searle

I think this picture was to show me they really are eating.  I asked him if he had lost weight as he looked so skinny in his last pictures. :)
He didn't give me any description, so I assume this is somewhere in the area he is working in.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Elder Jeffrey Searle with the missionaries that traveled to Belo Horizonte the same day with their Mission President and his wife. 
I assume this one was taken in the CTM

Elder Jeffrey Searle with his Mission President and his wife.

New Missionaries with their trainers

Elder Jeffrey Searle and Elder Vieria 

Montes Carlos!

Dear family and friends,

So much has happened since I last emailed! I'll try to make this kind of brief so I have time to send pictures though.

The end of my time in the CTM was good! On Sunday we had a super spiritual testimony meeting. Everyone in my district bore testimonies and it was a great way to end my time there! I also got a haircut. I didn't mean to get it cut as short as I did, but thankfully my hair grows fast.

On Tuesday we flew to Belo Horizonte! It was about an hour flight. The guy that sat next to me was super nice. He let me practice teaching on him and I wrote for him to visit and request missionaries where he lives!

President Fernandes met us at the airport! I love him. He lookd like he could be my age and serving a mission with me! He played ping-pong on the professional level which is sweet.

Tuesday night I got my area and companion assignment! I am in a city called Montes Claros and my trainer is Elder Vieira!! He's from Recife, Brasil and is an amazing teacher. He works hard, follows the rules, and is forcing me to learn português (he knows like 10 words in engligh), which is exactly what I wanted!

As for Montes Claros, it's a lot different than BH. First off, I love the name because I think of dad everytime I hear it haha! The overriding characteristic here is dust, which I'm slowly getting used to. But I swear, everything is so dusty here. Elder Vieira has been here for 3 months and says it's only rained twice in that time! So this city is kind of breaking my pre-conceptions of Brasil.

We are in Montes Claros 3rd Branch! There's actually two sets of elders in our branch and house. Our chapel is awesome. Probably the only building here that has air conditioning. Our house is built for one set of elders, so hopefully we find a new house this week. Our Zone Leaders are our other missionaries in the house though and it's nice to have them near! One of them is American and the other is Brazillian, but speaks English.

The missionary work has been great these past couple of days! Wednesday we spent all day on a bus, so my first real day in the field was Thursday. I like the field a lot better then the CTM! It's a lot more dificult, but a lot more rewarding as well. Yesterday, we had 3 investigators at church! It was so cool. Jaime, B, and Aliçandra. They are all amazing people! Jaime we met this week from contacting. He basically has the Bible memorized. Aliçandra is B's aunt, and we are teaching both of them. B is such a cool kid. His sister is the only member of the church in his family. He has a real desire to be baptised though! He's been coming to church for a while and hopefully we will finish teaching him this week!

The Português they taught me in the CTM was not the Português they speak here. The language has been pretty frustrating this week. But I guess that's to be expected for now. I'm praying for the Gift of Tongues and getting a little better and better each day so it's all good. I know this is where I need to be and the Lord is blessing me with what I need.

I hope all is well back home! I'm praying for you guys.

Elder Searle

Weekandahalfly steps: 124,327
Bites I've decided to stop counting because there's pretty much no mosquitos in this city.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Elder Jeffrey Searle's letter week 5!

Dear Family,

I'm going to be in BH in less than a week! Ahh I'm so excited!! It feels so surreal.

This week has been a very spiritual one for me. The General Authority last week (still don't know how to spell his name) talked about "Começar com o fim in mente," meaning to begin with the end in mind. It's made me think about the missionary and person I want to be in 6 months, a year from now, and in 2 years.

We had a devotional last night too! A senior couple, who literally got here a week ago to be doctors at the CTM, spoke to us. Elder Sharp's talk was moving! He spent 30 years as a pediatric surgeon and has operated on over 30,000 children. His insights on the Resurrection and our potential were inspiring. One of the children he operated on, whose name was Toby, was born without arms or legs. How cool is it that he too will one day be resurrected with a perfect body?

We had a good week of teaching too. We wrapped up the commandments with both of our "investigators" and will teach lesson 5 the rest of this week. When we were teaching Pamela about the Law of Tithing it was really cool because I was able to explain to her that God doesn't need our tithes- we need that law, so that God can bless us more abundantly. Both of our investigators are doing great though! And it's been a great experience to share the gospel with them. My favorite things to teach about are definitely the Atonement, the First Vision, and the eternal nature of families.

Alright so something that's been amusing here is the fact that a lot of missionaries have pretty sweet last names. In the CTM right now, we have an Elder Ensign, Elder Espírito Santo (which literally translates to Holy Ghost), Elder Elder (I know, right?), and an instructor whose last name is Liahona. Crazy!

This last Sunday was pretty interesting because of the renovations they are doing on the ceiling. The ceiling between 3 different sacrament meetings was open so that you could here the other meeting very clearly. So when one room was singing a hymn, everyone could hear. It was still a wonderful meeting though! This next Sunday we will all just have to sing the same hymns at the same time.

My time in the CTM has been very enjoyable! I'm very thankful for Elder Silfies and my teachers who have helped me a ton. More important than learning Português (which I still have a loooong way to go with), I have learned how to feel and teach by the Spirit. Heavenly Father has for sure been in the details of my time here.

We went to the São Paulo Temple again this morning! It was wonderful and I'm really going to miss going to the temple these 2 years.

Just an fyi, my Pdays will now probably be on Mondays, and I fly out on Tuesday so it will be over a week until you hear from me. And by that time I'm sure I'll have exciting news about my area and my trainer!(: So excited!!

Thanks for keeping me up to date on everything! Best of luck to Jarod with starting school, and way to go with working for a few weeks! I hope training goes well for you this week Dad and that the Triathlon on Saturday goes really well! It sounds like Brittany, Chase, and Dad all had awesome talks in church, great job! Enjoy life this week.

Elder Searle

steps: 45286
bites: 9