Monday, January 30, 2017

Changes, sheep and other great stuff

We received this email on January 30, 2017.

We found a sheep this week. Baaaaa 

 Also, this week we watched a worldwide missionary broadcast, which was really good. A couple of changes were made with our daily schedule and the way we work so we can be more productive. The game has changed.

This week was the transfer, and my companion and I are staying here! We´re super excited to keep working in our area for the third transfer. Time flies 

Açaí season is back! Finally! It´s been too long!

We´re super excited to keep working hard out here. I´ve learned so much until now and I still have a lot to learn. As we really live the gospel, every day we get a little better. 

Boa semana para todos! Amo vocês!

Élder Olivier

Happy Week

We received this email on January 23, 2017.

This was a great week. Lots of great things happened. I wish I had time to write every single experience down. I´ll try to highlight a few things that stood out this week. 

This week was the baptism of Mateus, one of our investigators. He has not been just a great investigator, but a great friend. His baptism was really, really special. He told us a little this week that when he was really little (like 4 years old) the missionaries actually taught his family, and they even took a couple of pictures with them. He said one of the missionaries was really white and looked a lot like me. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Another cool experience that happened this week: we were on companion exchanges one day and our appointment fell through, so we started clapping some doors. The first family we found let us in. We left a really quick message about God and the plan of salvation, and they seemed to really like it. We asked if they knew anyone else that needed to hear that message, and the mother of the family didn´t hesitate to guide us to her aunt's house. We went there and left a similar message, with similar results. At the end of the lesson we asked if the woman´s aunt could say a closing prayer. She prayed and thanked God for sending us to her house, because the very night before she had prayed practically asking for our visit. It had been quite a while since I have heard a prayer like that. On Sunday both families came to church. I am learning more and more each day what it means to teach by the spirit. It means doing and saying exactly what Christ would do and say if He were in our place. Christ was always in the right place at the right time because He always worked by the spirit. And when we work by the spirit, we will always be in the right place and say the right things; the things that the people we are teaching need to hear. I have come to love the gospel so much. I know, now more than ever, that Jesus Christ is our savior. 

I love you all! Boa semana para todos! Abraço!

Élder Olivier!

Monday, January 16, 2017


Elder Olivier sent this email today!


A few weeks ago we went to the barber on our pday for my companion to get his hair cut. While he was getting his hair cut, a young man that was sitting across from me asked me where we are from. A question we get quite a lot. I told him that we´re from the United States, and he got pretty surprised and started asking a bunch of questions. I talked to him for a while, and finally asked him if he had talked to missionaries before. He said that he had, a really long time ago, and that he knew the "president" of our church (I realized he was talking about the bishop) and had even gone to church several times with the bishop´s family as boy. 

We asked the bishop about him and found out where he lives. We clapped at his door and he came out, super surprised. "Hey Mateus, can we leave a quick message with you?" He accepted and let us in. We taught about the restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon. We challenged him the read it and ask God if it is true. He accepted. 

A couple of days ago we taught Mateus another lesson in the bishop´s house (after teaching him almost every single day since that first day). We decided to teach him again about the purpose of the Book of Mormon. We read the introduction with him, and after a couple of inspired questions from the bishop, he said, "I did what you guys asked me to do the first time you taught me. I prayed, and I´m not going to lie, God showed me that this book is true."

It is amazing how simple the gospel is. If we ask God with faith, He will answer our prayers (James 1:5-6). The best part of being on a mission is seeing how people grow in faith and make changes in their lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I am so grateful for that. 

I love you all, and have a great week! 


Élder Olivier!

P.S. - He told us the young man is planning to be baptized....hopefully this week!

Zone Conference

Monday, January 9, 2017

What a week

This week Elder Olivier wrote us a short email first:

Hi family!

This week was good! We went to Manaus on Monday and got back on Friday, finally! 

Did you guys hear about the whole thing with the prisons in Manaus on the news there? It looks like things are pretty crazy. When we were in Manaus this week we had to get back to the apartment at 8:00 instead of 9:00. All of the missionaries in the city of Manaus have to do that now. But in the mission leadership conference President Castro said that there is no reason for us to be worried, because the wicked will slay the wicked in the latter days until the second coming. He said it will only get worse from here on out! Haha. He told us that if any of us are worried it´s because we don´t actually understand that we have angels by our side at all times (D&C 84:88) and that if we just keep the commandments and obey the mission rules nothing bad will happen to us. 

The work is going well in our area. We managed to get all of the paperwork in for one marriage, and we just have to wait like 20 more days for them to be ready to get into the water! The others......are taking a while. It seems like the documents here in Brazil are never right. There´s always a name spelled wrong or something missing. They told us that if there is something on the document spelled wrong it can take up to 6 months to fix. Yikes. But other than that, the work is going well.

Here is the email he sent to friends and extended family:

Hey everyone! 

This week we went to the mission leadership council in Manaus! Like, always, it travelling there and returning took all week. But, like always, the training was really edifying. This month there will be a worldwide missionary broadcast and it looks like there will be a lot of big changes in the way all of the missionaries will get trained. Exciting stuff. 

When we got back from the long journey to Manaus we had hardly any time to work in our area, but the Lord blessed us with a sacrament meeting full of investigators. It is amazing to see that when we have to travel and fulfill all of our responsibilities He does the rest of the work that is impossible for us to do.

I´ve been thinking a lot this week about the scripture D&C 84:88:

88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

Our mission president talked a little about this scripture at the mission leadership council. Our calling as missionaries is super sacred, and as 20 year old kids it seems like we should be way under qualified to be working in the Lord´s vineyard. But this promise is really uplifting, that as we do the Lord´s work we literally have angels by our side to bear us up. From the little time that I´ve been serving a mission, my testimony of this has grown tremendously. I am so weak and so underqualified, but the Lord has helped me so much. 

Love you all and hope you have a great week! 


Élder Olivier!

 Leadership council fun

 By the temple in Manaus - a bunch of members from my first area were there. It was great talking to all of them

 Looking out the window on the plane

Graviola (a mysterious jungle fruit)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy Ano Novo!

We received this on January 2, 2017...

Lots of stuff happened this week! Here is a list:

We ate lots of food
We heard lots of fireworks
We ate even more food 
We heard even more fireworks
We painted a fence
We worked a lot
We ate lots of food
We heard more fireworks

That pretty much sums up this whole week in 8 sentences! 

I will have to send pictures in another email because computer problems! Don´t freak out! 


Élder Olivier!

And then he sent pictures as promised...  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Feliz Natal!

We had a nice Christmas skype with Elder Olivier on December 25. We took a family photo.

We also received this email on December 26, last email of 2016.

Merry Christmas everyone!

This week we did some cool stuff! First off, we did a service project for a family in one of our wards! We threw concrete at a wall with brushes! Then the wall turned gray! 

Christmas was great! We got to skype home, eat brazilian duck, and sing lots of christmas songs. Doesn´t get much better than that.

Scripture: Alma 7:10-12 

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Olivier!

The Week Before Christmas

We received this email on December 19 from Elder Olivier in response to some of our questions...

My gingerbread cookie!!!!! Save it for me for when I get back!!!!

Holy cow Mackenzie you are getting big!!

I got a package from Oma and Opa with Oreos and CTR t shirts. I don´t think I´ve gotten one from Grandma and Grandpa yet....

The missionary work is going great! In this area the people are a lot less receptive, so we´ve been working a ton with the members. We´re super excited because if everything goes right this week, we will get all of the documents together for three families to get married! 

Mackenzie-- Yes, I sleep on my mission! 

Sorry I can´t send any pictures this week because we are at a different internet cafe and the sd card reader doesn´t work! But next week we´ll skype so it´s all good! 

Until next week!

Elder Olivier
Gingerbread Cookie courtesy of our home teacher!