Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

This week was good. I love Divinópolis and am very glad to be here! I don't have a whole lot to talk about this week, but hopefully I can think of some things.

We went to a few family home evenings this week which were fun! Wellington and Bruna did one in their house too and it was really cool to see them open their house for the members of the ward. We were also able to eat lunch with them this Saturday. And tomorrow is Wellington's birthday, so we planned with his family to surprise him during the English Class tomorrow! They will all show up midway through with cake! I'm excited.

We started teaching Bruna's parents siblings last night! They were very receptive. Her mom and sister also came to visit church yesterday and her parents came to her baptism. I'll keep you updated on them!

Rangel and Daiana are also doing well! Rangel will hopefully be able to bless the sacrament soon. It's a lot more relaxing to teach them the lessons again too because they already know the doctrine! Raimunda, Rangel's mom, is still struggling to quit smoking. So any prayers for her would be appreciated.

As for us, we are doing well! We will do a very deep clean on the house today. It feels like time flew by super fast this month. I'm excited to be here and to be working!

Thanks for the love and support. 

Elder Searle

Monday, February 22, 2016

Happy Monday!!

This week was wonderful. It started out with Zone Conference, where I rode the bus a lot, learned a lot, and also got more peanut butter from the states. During the week we taught a lot and were able to participate in some fun family nights! And then the end of the week came, and became a weekend that I will never forget.

I guess I want to talk a little bit about each person who was baptized this week. Daiana is an amazing person. Her children are already baptized and she has been attending church for over 2 years. She has a really strong testimony and it was an honor to help her become worthy for baptism! The ward was very moved on Saturday by her because practically everyone there already knows her well. I was able to confirm her on Sunday and it was an amazing experience for me!

Rangel was also baptized! Teaching and getting to know him was really cool for me. Some of his hobbies are martial arts and collecting soda bottles. One thing that really sticks out to me is that even though he has a hard time understanding the Book of Mormon, he reads each day and tells us of how much of a blessing it is for him. He is also a great example for his family. His mom is also investigating the church and we are helping her quit smoking.

Wellington and Bruna are very special to me. I truly felt like an instrument in the hands of the Lord as we helped them become converted to the gospel. The first day I conversed with Wellington was after an english class a few weeks ago. We were on an exchange so I had to respond to his many doubts and questions. We talked for almost 2 hours while I waited at the church for Elder Otávio to return. When he went home to Bruna, he shared what I had taught him about life after death. Little did he know that while he was at the english class, she was listening to a gospel radio about life after death and was worrying about the topic. They say that that night was when they received their answer from God about the church.

From that point on it has been amazing to watch them embrace the gospel! They are bringing us to their family members and helping us in the missionary work! The're a young couple that used to fight a lot, but now there's a lot more respect and love between them.

Thankfully a lot of family members of the converts were able to make it to the baptism meeting too! Holy cow we had a turnout. We had an activity where we passed "meet the mormons" before the baptisms, and it worked out really well. The actual meeting was super spiritual. 

Transfers were yesterday, but everything is staying the same for us! I'm excited to continue working here with Elder Otávio. I'm learning more than I thought was possible and loving serving the Lord!!

Elder Searle

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hello people of the states!

This week was definitely the most interesting and probably the best week of my mission so far. The city of Divinópolis and the ward here are really growing on me. The members are amazing and the work is good. I could see the hand of the Lord in frequently as we worked this week!

Last Sunday we set up something really neat where we marked with the members to teach with us during every afternoon and night of the week. It turned out to be really successful! We get a lot done when we have a car. Plus our investigators are getting to know lots of members as we teach with them. We only had one complication- on Saturday we used this van that our bishop lends to our mission leader and Elder Otavio got locked in the back for a good hour because the handle broke on the inside. It was kind of funny haha! I'll send a picture.

Some exciting things are about to happen(: Wellington and Bruna are the most golden investigators that I've evr had and they are progressing so well. We have already started teaching Wellington's sister who is currently in doubt at her church. Every day we teach them they tell us about how Heavenly Father is answering their prayers and how their marriage is getting better because of the scripture study they're doing together! I was able to teach them many commandments this week and it was amazing to see how easily they accepted everything. I'm so so excited for them!!

Rangel and Rimunda made it to church yesterday too! We are helping Rimunda quit smoking and drinking coffee. It's proving to be pretty difficult, but the good thing is that she has a testimony of the church already! Rangel is progressing really well.

I don't remember if I already talked about Diana, but she is also progressing as an investigator. She has been coming to church for 2 years and has a testimony so so strong and is living all the commandments. The problem was, she wasn't married. She separated from her boyfriend though and wants to be baptized! It has been good to work with her these past couple weeks.

I'm excited for the weeks to come and for our Zone Conference we will have tomorrow! We will wake up at 3am to walk to the big bus station tomorrow morning so that should be fun. Thank you for all the love and support and prayers!

Elder Searle

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hello all!

Sorry I couldn't email yesterday- everywhere was closed for the holiday here! But thankfully today we are allowed to email.

This week went so, so fast! It was a really good week. We were helped so much by the Lord. He led us to many who are prepared for the gospel. I only have a short time so I will focus on the people we're teaching.

A man named Wellington came to the english class this last week and afterwards I sat him down and we talked about the church! This week we began teaching him and his wife Bruna. They are a young couple and are really teachable. They are so amazing! They are reading and praying and even made the sacrifice to come to church when they were planning to leave town. Keep them in your prayers for me please!

We also found another family this week! We found Rimunda, Rangel, Lucas and Narão from a reference that some lady in a store gave us! They also made it to church! I feel so blessed to have people to teach.

The members here are amazing. We were able to use a VW van to pick up our investigators and bring them to church! I will send a picture of it. We fit 10 people in there haha!

This week I ate chicken heart and the best popsicle on earth. It was corn flavored, which sounds like it wouldn't taste good, but it did haha!

Thank you for the prayers and support! I hope this week is good for everyone.

Elder Searle

Monday, February 1, 2016

Good morning!

This week was... a lot of things! It started off pretty exciting. Last Monday night we went to a members house (Maxwell) to share a message at Family Home Evening. He invited his whole extended family and there were like 20 non members there! It was very interesting to teach a group of that nature, but also fun. Unfortunately no one ended up being very interested, but it's wonderful when the members do their part in the work. I attached a picture with everyone there!

During the week was pretty good too. On Tuesday I strayed from the manual in the English Class and taught how to pray in English! And at the end of the class I said a prayer in English and it was the weirdest thing ever. I had to go super slow because I had the urge to speak Portuguese the whole time haha! It is so fun to teach English though. Brazilians have a hard time making the "th" sound so we also worked on that this week.

Friday night we went to visit a couple we're teaching who live in our apartment building (Marcos and Karina). Last Sunday Marcos was supposed to come to church with us, but he couldn't because he had an emergency appendix removal surgery. It was pretty crazy to see the scar and hear about it. They were both still pretty shocked because he had just gotten back from the hospital. We were able to give him a blessing of health and his wife a blessing of comfort to help out while he recovers.

My second day in the field I gave someone a blessing, and I felt so so unqualified because it was one of my first ones ever and I didn't know Portuguese. But on Friday it was so wonderful to see how the Lord made that weakness of mine a strength. It was like words were put right in my mouth as I gave Karina that blessing and afterwards we both had tears in our eyes.

Each month I focus on an attribute of Christ and this month I'm focusing on patience. Patience is something I thought I had before I came on the mission, but I was very wrong. I still have a very long way to go, but I have learned a lot about patience here. I have to be patient with my investigators, my companion, the Lord, and myself. I've also been learning to be more accepting of the Lord's will. When I got here I thought success would come easy because of where I am. I have learned that the work isn't easy for anyone, and that it's only northern Brazil that baptizes like crazy. And I'm also learning that my success isn't measured by that anyways. It's measured on my inner dedication and my outward efforts to serve with all I can offer. It's measured on the love I feel for the people and my personal obedience. I love all that I'm learning and the chance I have each day to represent my Savior Jesus Christ.

Elder Searle