Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Merry Almost Christmas from Brazil

We received the following email on Monday, December 12, 2016.

Hey everyone! 

This week was super cool! Our zone had a Christmas conference and we prepared a nativity program to present to all of the members of the stake. So we dressed up as shepherds and stuff. It went great! Since the conference was just our zone, everyone had to do a lot! I got to conduct the meeting and play piano which is a pretty interesting combination. 

This week instead of normal sacrament meeting we watched a broadcast for the whole area Brazil, which was presided by Jeffrey R. Holland. It was way cool. Lots of inspired words.

Christmas is coming!


Élder Olivier

Monday, December 5, 2016

Great Week!

Here is Elder Olivier's email that he sent today.  It looks like he had birthday cake to celebrate his 20th birthday too!!.......

Being on a mission is the _______ experience ever. It is the best experience ever. The hardest experience ever. The happiest experience ever. The most sorrowful experience ever. The most fulfilling experience ever. The most frustrating experience ever. It´s the full package. You can put almost any superlative in that blank space. A mission is a roller coaster of emotions. Good things happen and difficult things happen. I think that on a mission we get to feel, just an infinitely small portion, of what the Savior felt during his life, earthly ministry, and atonement, and what He feels now. We get to feel joy for the people that accept the gospel and become truly converted. We feel sorrow for those that choose not to accept the gospel, without a full consciousness of what they are really missing. 

The bishop in one of our wards is one of those guys that is always happy. He always tells us, "Elders, we don´t have anything to complain about. God is so good to us that we don´t have anything to complain about. We can only be happy."

Even when things are really hard, even when nothing works out, we have nothing to complain about. I´ve been thinking a lot recently that happiness is really a choice. We have nothing to complain about. We can only be happy. 

I love the Christmas season, because it is a time of year when we can focus a little more on the happiest and most important event that happened in the history of the entire world: the birth, life, death, and resurrection of the Savior. Through him we can receive a remission of our sins. Through him we can have eternal families. That is what the angels meant when they said they were bringing to the shepherds "glad tidings of great joy."

This week we taught a family about the restoration of the gospel for the second or third time. One of the daughters in the family has already been baptized, and she is really anxious to have her family have the same opportunity. The rest of her family hadn´t completely understood the importance of the restoration, so we decided to teach it again. We decided to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon with them. After we read, we asked the father of the family: 

"José, do you believe that the Book of Mormon is true?"

He started talking for a while. He kind of avoided the question. 

"José, we want to ask you a question, and we want you to respond saying either 'yes,' or 'no.' Do you believe that the Book of Mormon is true?"

The was a long pause. 


I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that it changes lives. It changed my life. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that through him we can be happy. God is so good to us that we don´t have anything to complain about. We can only be happy.

I love you all and hope you all have a great week and happy holidays! Sorry that I can´t respond to all of your emails! Just know that I love you all!


Élder Olivier!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

98% DEET, 100% Alegria

We received this email on November 28, the last p-day before his birthday! 

Thanks everyone for all the birthday wishes! That really means a lot! I can´t believe I´m going to be 20! Time passes way faster in the mission field!
Obrigado a todo mundo por ter me parabenizado por meu aniversário! Eu sou muito grato! Eu não acredito que eu vou ter 20 anos! O tempo passa rápido demais na missão!
This week was a very hot week, especially due to the fact that we spent the whole week without energy in our house. Yep. Those were a couple of rough nights, with no fans or air conditioning and many mosquito bites. Luckily that 98% DEET bug spray my mom gave me works pretty well (thanks, Mom!).

So last week I didn´t get a chance to send an email out to everyone, but we got to fly to Manaus to attend the mission leadership counsel and so my companion could renew his visa for another year. Lots and lots of travelling. This week we managed to get a lot of work in in our area, which was a huge blessing because we had been pretty much dying to just get back to our area to work. 

This last week was stake conference and President Castro and Elder Granger, an area seventy, both gave talks. It was really good! We managed to bring some investigators and they all enjoyed it a lot. It´s amazing to see that the church is the same everywhere you go!

Espero que vocês tenham uma ótima semana! Até o P-day que vem! Amo vcs! 

Élder Olivier!

Tender Mercy!

We received this email on November 22, one day after p-day. We did not hear from him on his p-day, but received a tender mercy the following day. We also ran across a few pictures that someone in his ward had posted of him!  

Don´t worry, I didn´t die!
Yesterday was probably the busiest p-day of my mission. We had to go to a bunch of stores to find stuff to buy for all of the houses in the mission next week. We were planning on emailing at 5 o'clock yesterday but it turns out that all of the internet cafes were closed. Elder Marques called me and told me to tell you guys that I didn´t die. Haha. Sorry I didn´t get to email you yesterday!
Elder Olivier

Brazil Manaus Mission Leadership Council