Monday, January 30, 2017

The theme of this week was this- change.

A lot changed this week. We had a worldwide broadcast for missionaries on Wednesday and there were changes made in schedule and key indicators. Now we have more freedom in choosing when we will study and work and also we have more time on Pday to get our week in order! I'm sure all of the changes will have a positive impact on the work.

Yesterday another change happened. Our ward mission leader became our bishop and im pretty sure our old bishop will become our ward mission leader soon! We had ward conference and it was super great! It was the second week in a row that they had to bless the two sets of water during the sacrament because there were so many people.

Also, Tayná will be baptized this Saturday! And she chose me to do the ordinance! I'm very excited. She is very elect. She understands everything really easily and was already living the commandments that people usually have problems with. Yesterday in Gospel Principles we learned about choices and she said that by being baptized she is making a choice that were give her more freedom and happiness in her life! We are really proud of the progress that she's making.

We also did an un-planned exchange this week. The assistants called us on Tuesday and told us to do an exchange with an area in our zone as soon as possible so we went there on Friday. It was a super great exchange! We were able to help them find 12 new investigators!! Their area is really hilly and we worked in one of the highest places. It was quite a work out for my legs, but it was fun as well.

Oh yeah. I just remembered that Something happened this week that I have to tell you guys. I had my first kiss on the mission. But don't get worried, I can explain. We were on the exchange on Friday and this guy named Fransisco rides up to us on his bicycle. Turns out he was a less-active member. But he tells me that he has a secret to tell that he tells to all the new missionaries. So he motions for me to lean in so he can whisper it into my ear and then grabs my head, gives me a big kiss on the cheek, and starts laughing his head off! It was quite the unusual experience.

I love you guys! Have a great week!

Elder Searle

Monday, January 23, 2017

This week I got my new companion! Elder Barbosa. He is super awesome. Let me tell you guys a little bit about him.

E. Barbosa is from Olinda, Pernambuco, Brasil. He is short and funny. In his first transfer of the mission, he got hit by a semi-truck and miraculously lived. It's kind of a long story, but basically he was on the bus and the bus hit a pedestrian. And then his companion and another missionary on the bus went to give the pedestrian a blessing while E. Barbosa held a flashlight over the guy. After the blessing, a semi-truck came flying by and hit E. Barbosa, the pedestrian, and the bus. He doesn't remember anything after it happened, but apparently he flew 6 meters and the ambulance that was coming for the pedestrian was actually meant for him. He went to the hospital, recovered at home for a few months while his brain was re-constructing itself, and now is pretty much 100% healthy and has been back on the mission for over a year!

This week was really great. We were able to work a lot and we are seeing the blessings from it. We found a really good family and Tainã, who is the daughter of Jonas and Cleide, will be baptized in a couple of weeks! We are helping Jonas and Cleide to get married so they can be baptized too. Tainã is 22 years old and loves learning about the gospel. She accepted the invitation to prepare for baptism on our first visit and it has been amazing to see her progress ever since! She even brought a friend to church with her this week.

My testimony really grew this week when we got to church. These 12 weeks that I've been here the ward's attendance has been pretty low (always 100 or less), but this week 130 people came to church! 8 of which we are teaching as investigators! It was amazing to see. I hope that it's even better this next Sunday as we will have our ward conference.

Today we are cleaning out our house and re-organizing a ton so that this transfer we have a nice clean place to live. It should be great.

Have a great week you guys! I love you!

Elder Searle

Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy transfers everybody!

So tomorrow I will get a new companion and will continue serving in Pampulha!! My new companion is Elder Barbosa! He is from the north of Brazil, bu other than that I don't know much about him and I've never met him before. It should be awesome to meet him tomorrow! I will train him to be a Zone Leader so that should be fun. Also, many missionaries in our Zone will train brand new missionaries this transfer!

This week has been great! We did an exchange with the assistants and I did a baptismal interview. The lady I interviewed is super cool! She has read the whole Book of Mormon in less than 25 days! I was so surprised. I don't know how people can read that fast and still remember stuff. But she is super converted and ready for baptism!

Thankfully, we were able to find some good investigators this week. Some friends of a member came to the English Class and then came to church on Sunday! We will be teaching them tonight.

I hope you all had a great week! I love you guys!

Elder Searle

Monday, January 9, 2017

Boa tarde!

This week has been wonderful! We did another exchange, had leadership council, and found some great new investigators!

I don't have a ton of time so I will try to cover the most important stuff. On Friday, we went to a contact's house who we met at a church soccer activity. He and his brother (Víctor and Junior) are both really receptive and are excited to get to know the church better. They were so curious during the first message and it seemed like they were directing everything through their questions and comments. They accepted baptism and have been reading from the Book of Mormon! I am excited to continue working with them.

Fátima is doing really well. She will bring a friend to church this Sunday and also come to the church to do family history during this week. We gave her a triple combination on her birthday Saturday!! She didn't have the courage to bear her testimony in sacrament meeting this Sunday, but I believe that next month she will for sure. But she is really enjoying Relief Society and even won a treat this Sunday for explaining apostasy in the class!

Edson came to church with his wife again! His mom sent him his birth certificate through mail and as soon as it gets to him we will try to get them married as soon as possible so he can be baptized. It will be the first time that I make a marriage happen on my mission and it should be a great experience!

This is Elder Volino's last week on the mission! So next week I should already know who my next companion will be. That will be exciting! I love you guys!!

Elder Searle

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy 2017!!

I am grateful that new years landed on a Sunday this year! It made for a great sacrament meeting with a lot of reflection about the new year. It was also really special because Fátima was confirmed a member of the church on the first day of the year!! Her baptism was on Friday and I had the privilege to perform the ordinance! She was so excited and happy on the day of her baptism!!

I wanted to relate Fátima's conversion story a little better for you guys. A while ago, a member gave us a referral of a locksmith so we went to talk to him. When we saw that he wasn't very interested, I asked him who he knew that could be, and he indicated Fátima, who lives close to his key store. So we went to talk to Fátima, who he informed us had a smoking problem and depression. She seemed a little scared when we first came to her house and didn't let us in, but accepted a pamphlet about the restoration. A few days later we came back, gave her a Book of Mormon to read, and marked to come back the next day. Ever since we taught her the first lesson she began to change very quickly. She received an answer to her prayers through a dream and started reading the Book of Mormon a lot. She is really intelligent and basically memorizes the contents of the chapters and then relates them to us! We gave her a priesthood blessing to stop smoking and drinking coffee and she never broke the word of wisdom since, she loved church, and she is finally happy. Her birthday is this week and I will give her a triple combination! She is already doing her genealogy and is excited to go to the temple soon to do baptisms for the dead!! She was truly prepared for the restored gospel.

Other than Fátimas baptism, we did an exchange this week and found a family that have visited temple square in Salt Lake City! They are traveling now, but when they come back in a couple weeks we will continue to teach them. One of them Has a Utah Jazz hat!

I am so excited for this new year! It's crazy to think that I have been serving a mission during all the year of 2016. I have missionary goals for this new year and am determined to achieve them. I know that all things are possible through diligence and faith and I also know that God has many souls prepared for me still on my mission. I love you guys and hope you have a wonderful start to the new year!

Elder Searle