Monday, September 12, 2016

Happy Monday

Hi family!!!!

This week was good! I am feeling great! About the rainy season.... to be honest I don´t understand this whole rainy season thing at all because everyone says different things about it, and it pretty much just rains a ton all the time, haha. But right now it is no longer açaí season so that is sad..... apparently it will come back soon. Everyone in brazil is obsessed with açaí because it´s super good and apparently it´s also super healthy. And the best açaí in brazil is from Amazonas, of course. 

So yesterday before church was way crazy. 99.999% of the crazy things that happen here happen sunday before church, when we are trying to bring investigators to church. So on saturday we taught a family (a single mother and her three boys) that we have been teaching for about a week. On saturday we taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy, and they lesson was pretty much perfect. We left everything perfect for everyone to go to church the next day. They would all wake up at 6:00 to get ready, and we were going to walk with them to church around 8:00. Awesome. 

But like my companion always says, every sunday morning before church we have to fight face to face with satan. 

When we got to their house, everyone was all dressed up and ready to go. But when we were about to leave, the mom looked at her door and noticed that her padlock was missing. Uh oh. She said she couldn´t leave her house without locking it, because it had already been robbed three or four times during the day. So we decided to do the impossible. We told her we would find a padlock for her to use, and that we would return shortly. We first thought to call the bishop and the counselors to ask them if they had an extra padlock. But then, to our horror, we realized that our cell phone didn´t have any more minutes. We went to two or three houses of members who lived close by, but they either didn´t have a padlock or had already gone to church. It was then we remembered that our apartment has a padlock! Duh! We ran back to our apartment, got the lock, returned, and tried to close the door with the lock. 

It was too big for the chain. Freak. 

Also, the mom said that her son had left and gone to another church that he usually goes to. After we said to him that we would come back to bring them to church. Freak. 

We asked her if she could go talk to her son in the other church so they could go to church all together. And while she did that we would find a smaller lock. 

So then we went to another investigator´s house (we were already pretty late) to bring her to church. And guess what was on her house. A smaller padlock! Élder Fernandez put the big lock through the chain, and it worked! So we asked her dad if we could switch the locks, just for the day, and that it was a long story but he would be helping us a ton. haha. So we switched the locks. 

We went back to the first house, to find that the mom and her son who went to church weren´t there. But another boy was there. "She is looking for her son, because he didn´t actually go to church. He went there and left his bible there and left. She said that it wouldn´t work out for her to go to church today." 


Satan couldn´t win. 

We started walking/running like crazy people to the other church. They weren´t there. We went back, and then we finally saw them on the street. The mom was really mad at her son, who apparently had done this before, pretending he was at church when he really wasn´t. She told us that she was really mad, and that she wasn´t in the right state of mind to go to church. 


We started to talk to her. We showed her the lock. We told her that she needed to go to church now more than ever, and that satan was doing everything possible for her not to go to church. I asked her if she believed that the Book of Mormon is true. She said yes. I said that satan doesn´t want her to go to church, because he knows that she knows that the Book of Mormon is true. And that he knows that she knows that that huge church in the "downtown" part of Manacapuru is the only true church in the whole city. 

She thought for a couple of minutes. 

"Put on your shoes, we´re going to church."

Long story short: unfortunately we didn´t bring 35 people to church. We´ll save that one for next time. But what happened ended up being a huge victory. That family went to church, they all loved it, and the son that escaped from the other church didn´t even try to escape from the true church, because he loved it there. 

And once again, two very sweaty missionaries arrived very late to church. :)


Love, Elder Olivier 

Me in my new hammock, because all the cool kids these days sleep in hammocks

Élder Fernandez and I in an alley

Me with a cashew (that´s what a cashew fruit looks like, the grayish part on top is the nut part that you all know and love)

Here are some family home evenings that we went to this week too.....!!!!!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Manacapuru 4evr

We received these emails today from Elder Olivier.  The first one was a response to our family email, while the second one was more of a general summary of his week.  

Hi everyone!!!!!!

This week was great! We are teaching tons of people like always! We´ve been working recently on inviting TONS of people to church and this week we were able to bring 24 (yes, 24!) investigators to sacrament meeting! That is the most that we have ever gotten to come to church. It was awesome! This week is actually ward council and we set a goal with the ward to have an attendance of 200 people (this week we only had a little over 100) and we (the missionaries) set a goal to bring 35 people to church. It´s a big goal. So we´ll see how it goes.

My health is great! I´ve never been better! 

Our ward is great! Sometimes it´s a little hard to work in this area because there are few active priesthood holders and there we don´t get much help from the members. But other than that it´s só alegria (just happiness) 

We actually don´t eat dinner with the members, we eat lunch. Here in Brazil lunch is the biggest meal of the day and most people hardly eat anything for breakfast or dinner. We usually eat lunch with the members every single day, and usually if they can´t make lunch they give us money to eat at a restaurant

So far here in Manacapuru I´ve only given one talk, but I do play the piano every week in sacrament meeting

Toothpaste and dental floss are 100% the same here in brazil so you don´t have to worry about that.... haha. But if you somehow can manage to send root beer that would probably be the best thing ever! haha. 

That´s crazy how there are 4 sets of missionaries in the ward! Hopefully they baptize like crazy there! 

That´s crazy how Cameron is in high school! Freshman! Has anyone stuffed him in a locker yet? 

Dad- step on that carpet again! 

Wow, pão de queijo! Yes, I have eaten that, a lot. We go to the bakery close to our house a lot in the mornings to buy it. 

Tchau!!! I love you all too!

Love, Josh!!

Hi everyone! 

This week we went on divisions, and I went to an area in Manaus to work with Elder George, another american. Working american missionaries is a little different, because you can talk about things like chick fil-a and they will know what you´re talking about! haha. But it is always a really good experience when we go on divisions with other missionaries. We taught a really awesome family that the elders had brought to the temple a few days ago, and everyone in that family was actually baptized this week. 

On saturday I got back to my area. On yesterday we had a baptism of a woman named Sinelande and her daughter Joyce, who are relatives of another recent convert. Their baptism was really spiritual, and Sinelande was actually crying after the ordinance. It was great to see the president of the relief society and one of her counselors talk to her after the ordinance and hug her. I am continually amazed at how much the gospel blesses and changes people. The best part of being on a mission is seeing the gospel change others, and also seeing it is changing me.  There is power in following the Savior´s example and living the gospel.  

I hope you all have a great week! 


Élder Olivier!!!

Oh and here´s a picture of the camel that you guys (Mom) sent me- here in Brazil! On my head! 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Pequeno Milagre

We received this email on August 29, 2016.

Hi everone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week we had a pretty cool experience. We had lots of people on date for baptism, but one by one something happened with every single person (went travelling, their parents didn´t allow them to be baptized, lost interest, etc) until, very late in the week, we were left with no one to baptize. We were a little bummed, but we kept working hard like normal. Saturday when we were visiting some other people close to the house of a young man who had travelled to a different city for the week, we actually realized that that young man had actually returned from his trip. We were able to talk to him and he accepted to be baptized the next day. Milagre! I know that as long as we work diligently and do our part, God always does His part. 

Anyway, have a great week! I love you all! 


Élder Olivier!!!