Monday, March 28, 2016

Feliz Páscoa!

I hope this Easter weekend was a good one for everyone. It was really spiritual for me! I was studying about the resurrection and found some verses I really like. Mosiah 16:8-9

"But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."

"He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death."

They are verses I have read many times before, but reading them in a different language kind of opened my mind to how much it means. Christ really opened the eternities up for us through his sacrifice and resurrection. I love the doctrine of Christ!

On Sunday our ward had a super cool Sacrament Meeting. Our bishop and one of the counselors from the Stake Presidency spoke about the death and resurrection of Christ. In Priesthood meeting, Wellington, Julio, and Nathanael all received the Aaronic Priesthood. That was one of the coolest things ever! Julio was called to be a ward missionary too and will start helping teach the recent converts the missionary lessons again.

Our teaching pool grew a bit this week. Wellington and Bruna take care of a boy who is growing up in kind of a hard situation and we have started teaching him. He has been going to church with them for a month, but he may need even more time because he is young and it's not his whole family that would be baptized. His name is Gabriel. We are also working with another child of a less active named Kauan and we are still teaching Cida, Bruna and Denise's mom.

A lot of funny things happened this week too. I'm hoping I will be able to send a few videos of our adventures. We made a friend, became the first horse-riding missionaries, and Elder Otávio decided to be very silly in general. It looks like I'm able to send some short videos so I hope you all enjoy.

Speaking of my companion, we are fearful that on Sunday we could get a phone call separating us. Transfers are upon us and anything could happen. He has been here for 6 months so he could get transferred. I will let you know what happens next week!

I love you guys! Have a great week and enjoy listening to the Prophet's voice this weekend.

Elder Searle
Our new friend :)

Best Acai yet in Brazil

We found Narnia

Elder Otavio being silly with a cat

Monday, March 21, 2016

Querida família e amigos,

This one was a special week for me. It's crazy how satisfying missionary work can be at times! Denise entered the waters of baptism this Saturday and it was so wonderful. She is such an awesome person and it has been a blast teaching and working with her!

Denise is Bruna's sister. It's pretty cool how her story began. We actually taught Bruna's mom first in a family night and Wellington and Bruna's house. She brought the Book of Mormon home and set it on the counter. That night, Denise took the book, put it in her purse, and that week she read all the way to the Book of Jacob. She told us that she doesn't even know what made her pick up the book since she doesn't even like to read. It's amazing how the Lord works. From that point forward, she just ate up the gospel and became very excited to be baptized!

At the baptism meeting Wellington and Bruna both bore testimony for the first time. That was probably my favorite part other than the baptism itself. They both cried their eyes out and Wellington talked about how he hopes his family will accept the gospel one day like Bruna's family is. The actual baptism was super spiritual. When she came out of the water it seemed to me like she grew a little taller and she was so happy!

We are working with the rest of the family too. Hopefully they will feel the desire to follow her example soon. We also found a young man named Kelvin this week. He really wants to learn English and is interested in the church. He wants to spend the whole day with us every day to speak English with me haha! He is a great kid.

This week I was also able to finish reading the book "Our Heritage." I've been reading it at night time for the past couple weeks. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good read!! I learned a lot about the history of the church and prophets.

I hope Easter is good for everyone this week! I know Christ lives. He completed His mission and because of him, we can complete ours.

Elder Searle

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Happy almost Easter!

This was a really good week. I have a lot to write about so I may end up saying less about each thing.

Julio and Nathanael were baptized on Friday! It was a really spiritually uplifting meeting. Julio is super excited and came to church on Sunday in a white shirt and tie for the first time! Nathanael is also super happy. They are amazing young men and I love them! Their dad and many of their relatives made it to the baptism. A few sisters from the Relief Society also felt the presence of their mother during the meeting, who was a member but has already passed away.

Also, on Saturday morning the Sisters from the first ward baptizes Aline! She is a friend of one of our converts but lives in the other area. We taught her in the beginning so it was a special event for us too. It was a little humorous because they had to do the ordinance 4 times becuase her foot kept coming out of the water.

Denise is progressing really well still and she is excited to be baptized soon! She is just a little frustrated that her parents aren't embracing the gospel at the same speed as her. Here, the people in general have a problem with saying the Lord's name in vain. Not as in using His name for bad things, but as in they use his name in like every greeting and goodbye. It has been funny because since the day we taught Denise about taking the Lord's name in vain she has been freaking out every time she forgets haha.

Yesterday was out Mission Tour. Elder Zwick from the first quorum of the seventy addressed us! It was a really good conference. His Portuguese is a little shaky, but he is still such a powerful guy. When he testified of the Savior I felt the spirit really strongly. I know he has a special witness of Him.

I also successfully made Peanut Butter last Pday in the blender. It may have been the biggest culinary success of my life.

Have a good week guys! Remember to study the scriptures and say your prayers and go to church.

Elder Searle

Monday, March 7, 2016

Good morning!

It's been another good week here. Our surprise for Wellington on his birthday went really well! He didn't expect a thing. In the middle of the English class his family got to the chapel and stormed in with cake and dinner. He and Bruna are so perfect. We ate Saturday lunch at the house of Bruna's parents and ate Sunday lunch at the house of Wellington's sister! Their families are cool. 

As of now, it looks like Bruna's sister is going to be baptized soon. We gave her a Book of Mormon last Sunday and in less than a week she has read all the way to Jacob!! I actually had a hard time believing her when she told me that. Her name is Denise.

Something really miraculous happened this week too. There's a young woman in our ward named Keity who has been dragging her boyfriend, Julio, to church for almost 6 months. Since the day I arrived here he has been very closed towards us and the thought of baptism. But this last Pday, we did a family night with all of them that went super well! I asked him in the middle of the lesson what he would ask Christ if he were here right now. He said he would ask if the book was true. From that point, we helped him understand that what the missionaries have been asking him to do all along could answer that question for him. He read and prayed that night and the next day he was firm in his decision to be baptized!! His brother is also wanting the same thing and they are progressing really well now. Julio is 17 and his brother Nathanael is 12, but President said baptizing them wouldn't be a problem since they have been coming to church for so long! Their mother passed away a long time ago, but she was a member of the church. I'm excited for them!!

Rangel's mom, Raimunda is still struggling with smoking. She is smoking a lot less now though so that's good. Keep her in your prayers please!

This week I have been studying King Benjamin's speech. It's crazy how much the things he teaches apply to missionary work! I am better able to understand service and the atonement than I was before.

Next week my Pday will be on Tuesday because we have mission tour on Monday. Elder Zwick from the 70 will address us. It should be great!

I love you guys! Until next week.

Elder Searle