Monday, December 26, 2016

Feliz Natal!

It was a great week! We did an exchange, taught a lot, ate a lot, and sang a lot. On Christmas eve we ate a special lunch and a special dinner. On Christmas day we also ate a special lunch and I was able to talk to my family through Skype! That was fun.

Fátima was probably the highlight of the week. She is progressing really well and shoudl be baptized this week!! During the week she was afraid that she wouldn't be able to come to church because she would be at a family get together on Christmas Eve until like 4 in the morning (a brazillian tradition). But we focussed a lot on the importance of the Lord's day during the week and she made the right choice!! She actually stayed at the party until 8am, and then went straight to church without sleeping at all! And she invited her whole family to come to her baptism!! It was a Christmas miracle.

Other than that it was a wonderful Christmas! I hope it was a great Christmas for everyone else as well. I love you guys and hope that New Years is goes well for everyone.

I will send some pictures!

Elder Searle

Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas!!

I totally forgot to send a general email last week. Sorry! I will try to sum up these past two weeks in this email.

These past two Sundays have been spectacular! Last week there was a transmission from Salt Lake for all of Brazil and Elder Holland spoke at it! He started and ended his talk in Portuguese which was very spiritual and kind of funny because he doesn't speak portuguese. But he talked about temples and keeping the commandments. It seems like the meeting had a really positive impact on the ward here.

And yesterday was the Primary Program! It was awesome because many investigators came and it's like the best meeting for investigators to come to because of the simplicity of the message that the children share.

One of the investigators that came is Fátima. She is progressing really well. We found her by asking for referrals from a different referral! She is a retired chemist, and looks exactly like my 9th grade math teacher. She is really smart and is learning super fast. Last week she was reading the Book of Mormon, but didn't want to ask God if it was true. We told her that she needed to ask and so she made a plan to ask last Monday, and guess what happened when she asked? She had an amazing dream about everything she had read in the Book of Mormon and woke up super happy! And now she came to church and is excited to be baptized in a couple of weeks!!

Also, we started teaching a family that lives literally right next to the chapel. They came to church and loved it! We just have to help them receive their answer now.

My birthday went really well! My companion made me a surprise breakfast when I was in the shower and let me take one of his ties! And our mission president talked to me in English on the phone haha!

I love you guys! I hope this week is amazing for everyone especially with Christmas on Sunday!

Elder Searle

Monday, December 5, 2016

This week was super awesome!!

So this week was basically a ton of exchanges. To start, on Wednesday we spent 10 hours with our Mission President teaching our current investigators. It was the coolest thing! He took a bunch of pictures and I will send them. I learned a ton. President Fernandes is the type of person who isn't afraid to do anything in a lesson. We were able to help a lot of people understand the importance of following the gospel. One cool thing that happened that day is that we gave a priesthood blessing to a new investigator and two days later she told us that all of the pain she had been feeling in her arm went away immediately after we gave her the blessing. It was amazing!

Then on Thursday we went to the assistant's area to do an exchange with them! I got to stay with E. Knudson which was great. When I arrived on the mission he was my leader and lived in the same house as me. He is an amazing missionary and has taught me a lot of things.

And then on Friday we did another exchange in our area! I stayed with E. Sedrim who is another amazing missionary! He's from São Paulo and has a huge testimony of the gospel as he is the only active member of his family. It was another great day with him. We got our "Zone shirts" that a member here made for us on this day as well! They turned out great, except the sleeves are super short.

So other than that, transfers are tomorrow, but I will remain here with E. Volino. This is his last transfer on the mission and it should be good to work with him one more transfer! There were only a few missionaries transferred from our Zone.

This week should be a good one. We will have Mission Council on Friday then on Sunday there will be a conference broadcasted for all of Brazil. I'm excited!

I love you guys! Have a wonderful week.

Elder Searle

Monday, November 28, 2016

This week was full of good stuff! We did two exchanges and were able to teach quite a bit. 

In the first exchange I worked with a brand new missionary named Elder Cook! He is super awesome and is having a great start to his mission. His trainer is Elder Soares, who was my companion in Janaúba. It was great to be with him. It reminded me of the start of my mission. The language is always a big challenge. Elder Cook is learning really fast though and I was able to give him some tips! We found a new family to teach on the exchange as well.

I also got to do an exchange with Elder Gregatto which was great! I was in his District in Divinópolis when he got to the mission. He is funny and a really good missionary. And of course, in both of the exchanges we ate açaí.

On Saturday a member named Antônio surprised us with an early Christmas present! He got us some shirts from his favorite soccer team, Galo. I will send a pic with us three! Brazillians are really crazy about soccer and he was happy that I would be a Galo fan from here on out.

This week we had a few disappointments with investigators, but we are already finding some new ones thankfully. We are teaching a lady named Luciana, who owns a little store by our house. She found out that her cousin is a member of the church and is showing quite a bit of interest! Also, we are teaching the family that Elder Cook and I found on the exchange. They are reading the Book of Mormon and progressing well.

I was also really happy to get some good news today. Two investigators were baptized in Janaúba! One is Farley, the husband of Eliane, who got baptized when i was there, and the other Josilane, who Elder Carvalho and I taught when I was there. It looks like the branch there will soon become a ward and I'm super excited!!

Well, other than that, I hope everyone has a wonderful week and a great start to the Christmas Season! Check out the church's new video for Christmas if you haven't already! It's so amazing. Love you guys!

Elder Searle

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy almost Thanksgiving!

This week was Stake Conference and it was super great! Elder Leal, a seventy of the church, came and spoke to us. He talked about getting to know Christ, opposed to knowing about Christ. It was really inspiring and made me reflect quite a bit. Our mission president spoke about the Prophet and told some cool stories about President Monson that I hadn't heard before!

This week we started English Class here. I forgot to take a picture, but it went really well. This week I will try to take a picture. Everyone thinks my companion is american too and really enjoyed the class!

We also did an exchange with one of the District Leaders in our Zone. It was great! I ended up almost getting lost because I'm still getting used to the new area. We found some new investigators though so that was good.

I have to be quick today since we are short on time. I'm fine and happy to be serving the Lord! I'll send some pictures. I love you guys! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Searle

Monday, November 14, 2016

Good morning guys!

This week was interesting with the U.S. elections. It was full of people asking me what I thought about the new President and me trying to change the subject because politics never helped anyone's spiritual progression. Anyways, I'ts good to know that no matter what happens politically that the Lord is in control.

We visited a few perspective elders this week and had a rather humorous experience. The man thought we were both american and was convinced that the spirits of the dead Kennedy brothers had sent us to comfort him. He cried a lot as he recounted the story of President Kennedy's assassination and told us about his love for him and his brothers. I felt bad for him because he couldn't seem to stop crying. He affirmed that the Kennedy's were with us during that moment.

This weekend was good! Melissa was baptized on Saturday and it was super spiritual! She bore her testimony in the meeting and said that she became so much happier after she left the water. We are starting to work with her dad who I think also has a chance of joining the church. Melissa also made us dinner during the week. It was like a 4 course meal and I think I ate more than I ever have in my life. She cooks pretty well. Unfortunately, she went to travel Sunday morning really early, but has asked me to confirm her in the next sacrament meeting when she gets back.

Yesterday our ward mission leader, E. Volino, and I talked in sacrament meeting. I talked about preaching the gospel, my companion about member missionary work, and our ward mission leader basically put everyone in tears and with a new resolve to do missionary work. It was great.

Also, our bishop here got sick yesterday and wasn't able to come to church. We had a pretty cool experience because at the end of the day we both felt the need to visit him. When we got there he told us how no one in the ward had visited him. We were able to give him the sacrament and talk quite a bit. It was nice to see his spirits lifted. I know that the Holy Spirit really directs us where to go, what to say, and what to do.

I love you guys! Have a great week!!

Elder Searle
Bad translation :)


Dinner with Melissa

Melissa's Baptism