Monday, October 31, 2016

Greetings from Pampulha!

Well I made it to my new area and it's been quite the shock. I've never worked in an area like this one before and it's proving to be a great experience. So let me tell you a little bit about my area first..

Our apartment is literally right next to the chapel. It's a nice apartment. Our area is one of the richest area in the whole mission. Every member that I ate lunch with this week gave us dessert and most of our investigators have pools in their backyards. It's crazy how rich some people are here. And every Sunday, the members all bring food to church for the missionaries. There are so many blessings here. I guess the only down side is that there are a lot of hills. But that's good as well since my legs will get in better shape.

Our ward mission leader is a recently returned mission president. He served as the mission president in the Curitiba South, Brazil Mission, which was the highest baptizing mission in the world at the time. He is super awesome and is surely going to be a great help with the work here.

Elder Volino is an awesome companion!! He is from Curitiba, Brazil and is pretty tall. He is always happy and likes to work. I will be with him until the end of his mission since he only has two transfers left. It should be a good time together!!

This week was a lot of fun! The missionary who I'm replacing here (Elder Horton) just finished his mission and his parents came to Brazil to pick him up! So he spent another week with his dad as his companion and was able to help us quite a bit. He performed the baptisms on Saturday as well since they were investigators that he has been working with for a while. Saturday was the first time the ward had baptized in a while and I felt blessed to arrive and be able to see the miracle of baptism right away in my new area! Dario, the husband of a member, and Maria, the daughter of a member, were baptized.

Tomorrow I will participate in the Leadership Council for the first time on my mission!! I'm super excited. And then on Thursday we will hold a Zone Meeting in for our Zone! I'm excited to personally meet all of the missionaries that we are taking care of.

I'm happy to be here being a missionary. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and is guiding me each day. I know that Christ is my savior. I'm extremely grateful for the scriptures and the light they bring into my life.  

I have quite a bit of pictures to send that will hopefully explain my week better. I love you guys!!

Elder Searle

Friday, October 28, 2016


Well, today I will say good bye to Janaúba. It's been an amazing experience to serve here in Janaúba and I'm sure going to miss a lot of people here. I love the members here and they have made a big impact on me. Especially our Branch President, who has been working so well to help the branch grow. E. Marques is leaving too, and he cried when he found out that we were going. We have become great friends and I hope to see him and his family again.

I'm headed to a city named Pampulha that sits just outside of Belo Horizonte! My new companion will be Elder Volino. He is Brazilian and from the south of Brazil I think. I met him once and remember that he is tall and looks like an american. I'm excited and a little worried at the same time because of the new responsibility. I will be a Zone Leader and take care of 4 districts.

This week was good. I did two baptism interviews and we taught quite a bit. We had a good attendance in sacrament meeting and we found out yesterday that the request for a chapel has already been made!!! Our mission president will have a meeting on Sunday to see what will be done. I sure hope they will be able to construct the chapel soon!!

Tonight we travel to Montes Claros by bus and tomorrow we will catch a flight early in the morning to BH. I'm excited to be in a new area with a new companion! Have a great week you guys! I will send some pictures that I took this week.

Elder Searle
Making some visits with our branch president and his son

Saying goodbye to the ward council

Last night saying goodbye to Honorato

The other Elders trying to close E. Marque's suitcase

Monday, October 17, 2016

It was a busy week!

This week we did a lot of things. First off, I am now teaching the beginning and the advanced English class at church. The course continues to grow and the people are really enjoying it. I have learned to like teaching as well. We learned about commerce in the advanced class this week and I told the class my story about buying a unicycle which they found quite entertaining.

During the week we traveled to Montes Claros by taxi to do interviews with our mission president. It was a good time and he gave us some nice compliments on the work being done in Janaúba. After the interview I felt like I would be transferred this week. We will just have to wait and see!

This last weekend was our District Conference so once again we traveled to Montes Claros. It was an amazing experience! Two of the men I baptized here, Honorato and Jaime, received the Melchizedek Priesthood!! And Gentil also received, who I was able to interview for baptism. It is amazing to see how much these men have progressed in the gospel and how well the Branch has taken care of them during these past months.

I am doing a speed read of the Book of Mormon. Erica, who was baptized a couple months ago, read it in a little over 2 months and I am determined to beat her record by reading it in 50 days. I've made it to page 100 in 9 days so I'm on a good track.

So Deborah is progressing nicely. She missed her church for the second time in a row and came to the conference with us! She had quite the courage because we had to leave really early by bus and get back at 3pm. But she really enjoyed it and is reading quite a bit of the Book of Mormon. 

I am so grateful to be a missionary. I know that God loves his children and desires the best for them. I see His blessings being poured out on the obedient. I know that He fulfills His promises. 

I will send some pictures from the travels and the conference! I love you guys. Have a great week!

Elder Searle

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy 10/10 everyone! Finally the U.S. and Brazil can agree on this day. (because in Brazil, the day comes before the month in writing the date)

Well this week was pretty great! It rained 4 times, which is pretty miraculous considering that last year it didn't rain in the month of October at all.

This week we found some good investigators. Eric is the brother of a member and he is progressing pretty well. He likes the church and is reading the Book of Mormon. We just need to help understand the importance of baptism a little more. He has a pretty complicated life, but it looks like he's willing to make some changes in order to keep the commandments.

We are also teaching this woman named Deborah who came to church yesterday for the third time! I was almost sure that she wouldn't come because the church she usually goes to is at the same time, but she accepted our challenge and made the sacrifice! She is really involved in the other church though, so we are helping her with a few doctrinal points still.

Yesterday some special things happened. A return missionary who served here 2 years ago came back to visit! He is from Utah, but has been living in São Paulo to study. He knew my first and second companion from when he was on his mission!! Also, Erica received the calling to be the Relief Society Secretary and will also give a talk in a couple of weeks! It's good to see the recent converts continue to progress.

This week we will go to Montes Claros on Friday for interviews with our Mission President, and then go there again on Sunday for our District Conference. It will be a lot of traveling by bus, but it should be good! I love you guys!!

Elder Searle

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Feliz outubro!!

So this is going to be really short since I'm running out of time, but this week was great! General Conference, exchanges, and some unforgettable days.

Last Monday night our Branch President called us with some good news that we will probably have a chapel built in Janaúba!!! The leaders of the church aren't letting us renovate the house we are at because they will send in a request for a chapel. It was awesome. I got the reaction of the other missionaries on film. I'll send the video!

General Conference was super awesome!!! It was great to hear those great men speaking. I felt like they really focused on the doctrine of Christ (a lot on repentance), the day of the Lord, and missionary work!

We need to get going. I hope everyone has a great week! I love you guys!!

Elder Searle