Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 8 2018

 Dear Family, 

This week went really well. 

We taught some new people and set some baptismal dates. 

I had an interview with president and it was awesome. He talked to me about how I only have 8 weeks left and how 8 weeks is a lot and to not let the enemy make me think that it is little because I still can become the missionary that I want to be in 8 weeks and accomplish what I need to accomplish. 

So I have really been trying to help us as a zone develop and use the gifts to help the work.
The missionaries have been getting excited about it, but unfortunately these last weeks have been hard with all the holidays and the world cup.

This week we gave talks in sacrament meeting and then the bishop gave his talk. He was roasting everyone and then starting crying. IN the middle of his talk this old guy picked up the phone and started talking so loud! and then when we thought he was going to hang up he talked for 3 more minutes! It was kind of funny I’m not going to lie. 

We had our conference this week, it was good. It was about the Book of Mormon and it was really spiritual. 

It was my second to last conference and Elder Jensen´s last conference so when we are going home they call us up to bare our testimonies so my 
companion bore his. 

I really like my companion and admire that he is still pushing through even though he goes home in two weeks. It’s the good thing about having American companions because I can see them easier after the mission.
I hope everyone is enjoy summer there, 
Have a great trip out in Utah! 
Love you all

Elder Toma

Sunday, July 1, 2018

June 25, 2018 "Just let the Spirit do his part"

Dear Family, 

This week went well.  So this area isn’t close to my first area its actually in a different state. Its closer to my second area but it’s still pretty far from Tobias Barreto which was my second area. This area is SOOO small. we can walk from one side to the other in 20 mins easy. It’s very small. 

Mission Leadership Training
Our baptism didn’t go through this week, there was a holiday called São Jão so church was pretty empty and we didn’t have any investigators at church this week. But we are looking at 2 baptisms for next week. We received some references to and it’s so nice to work with references. I was missing it for a while because my last area was harder. 

This week was spiritual for me during an interview. So we went on splits last week and taught a returned missionaries mom. She told us that she wanted to wait for her husband to come back before she would be baptized. He would only be getting back at the end of the year. 

I'm not going to lie, I had no idea what to say. It was just silence for a while. Then I said "just pray about it" only our Heavenly Father knows what is the best for us. She agreed. But we were still afraid that she wouldn’t be baptized. Her son who just returned from his mission helped a ton. By the end of the lesson we asked how she was feeling and none of our words saved her baptism but the way the Spirit touched her saved it! I thought that was amazing how sometimes we don’t have to say much but let the Spirit do his part.

I also did her interview which was one of the most spiritual interviews that I have done. It’s amazing to watch someone go through the process of conversion, it’s just something so amazing to me. 
She would receive the lessons and then pray and then receive an answer. During the interview she bore her testimony saying that her neighbor tried stopping her from being baptized in the Church because the Mormon church is a "cult". She said "anyone or anything can try and stop me, but nothing will because I can’t deny that answer that God has given me during my prayers" 
This Saturday she was baptized, and everyone cried. 

 This week was a good week even with the world cup going on and São João. 

I’m starting to really like it here, Sergipe is a good place. 

This week I won’t be able to send pictures because of the computer that I am using but next week I’ll send more. 

I hope everyone has a great week.

Love you guys

Elder Toma

Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 18, 2018 Miss my old zone but already love Sergipe

Dear Family,

So I’m in Siqueira Campos Sergipe. it is in Aracaju which is the capital of Sergipe.

It’s a nicer place and its very developed and organized compared to Maceió.

To be honest I love Maceió though. Its where I started my mission and its where I always end up staying. Yeah, it’s more dangerous and it’s like Gotham and here it’s like Metropolis but I just like Maceió more.

The Ward is amazing, I love all the members and I have already come to love them.
So we are living in a house of 4. It’s my companion Elder Jensen from Utah, Elder Marques from the Amazons which was already a previous companion of mine, Elder Kolowski from Paraná Brazil and then me.

The zone is bigger, but I miss my old zone, my companion from the MTC and I opened that zone and it was an amazing experience.

I am getting the hang of Sergipe though, I already love it.

We already have some baptisms marked so it’s nice to come to an area that will be more successful.
It’s crazy here in Brazil, the Presidente had us go home on Sunday because of the world cup. It is hard to make new investigators and work because everyone is partying and drinking.

Soccer is so big here in Brazil and so it’s insane but also fun to see how much the get into it. The roads are all green and yellow and everyone is wearing the Brazil shirt.

My companion is from Brigham City Utah and he finishes his mission this transfer. He is trunky but it’s all good. I talked to him about his goal and I’m happy to help him achieve his goals on baptism and all that, so we are going to work.

So I actually go home September 6th because Presidente changed the date.

I didn’t take any pictures this week, but I’ll send some next week.

Sounds like everyone is doing great!

I miss you all

Elder Toma

Sunday, June 17, 2018

June 11, 2108 Transfer to Siqueira Campos em Sergipe

Dear Family, 

This week went well, we couldn’t work to much because we took injections and I think maybe I got sick from it because Tuesday until Thursday I was feeling pretty sick. 

But I’m all better now. It was a good week overall; the zone had a lot of baptisms and we got 3 investigators to church. The area seems to be progressing a ton. 

The transfers came through. I’ll be going to Siqueira Campos em Sergipe and I’ll be "killing" my companion Elder Jensen. I’ll probably finish my mission there as a zone leader. 

It’s going to probably be trunky but I’m going to do my best to focus on the work. 

This week the attribute is patients. It has been a good attribute to study. 

I lost my cable for my camera, so I’ll have to by a new one so that I can send pictures next week. 

I liked the goals that dad has sent me, and I have been thinking a lot of those goals. 

1) I really want to get 8 baptisms from now until the end of my mission. it’s hard because maybe that goal can be low if a get a really good ward in a good area or maybe it’s too high if a got an area like here. But overall, I want to focus on 8.

2) I want to focus on studding the attributes of Christ. Especially the ones that I am needing. My patriarchal blessing helps a lot with that one. I want to developed being more selfless and I always want to develop obedience the most that I can. But as a goal I’m going to continue to study, pray, and fast weekly for the attributes that I am studying. I think this week I’m going to study charity and love. 

3) to help my companions and others around me, I want to strive to be an example. Especially with my new companion, I’m going to have to help us not get too trunky and hit it hard until the end.

4) To strengthen the members, that’s one that I’ll think about more and respond later ha-ha. 

5) habits to strengthen me and help me maintain the Spirit., THE BOOK OF MORMON. 

Again sorry that I didn’t send pictures, I’ll try and send more next week. 

Hope everyone has a great week. 

Miss you all.

Elder Toma

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 3, 2018 Every week is inspired

Hey family, 

This week went well and super busy. 

We ran around all week doing baptismal interviews, which is a good thing ha-ha. 

I was impressed by some of the people that were baptized this week. They were all so ready for it.
The zone learned a lot about hope last week. It was cool to hear the sisters experience on hope with the baptism that they had. 

They truly believe that every week is inspired. 

This week we are study knowledge and wisdom at the same time. At first I thought that maybe we should study them separate during different weeks but study both of them together has been a great experience. 

They complement each other so well. One of the scriptures that I have liked has been Doctrine and Covenants 88. It’s a great chapter for knowledge and wisdom. 

I thought it was interesting the other day I was studying in my patriarchal blessing. I won’t say everything it says but it did talk about studying the attributes of Christ and that whom that I serve shall benefit. It’s so cool to see the progress the zone has had in unity and in everything. I was worried that maybe not everyone would participate or that it wouldn’t have the results that it has had.

This week we are going to have a zone pday, president is letting us because some of the missionaries in our zone are going home this next week. 

I think that I will be transferred. but it will be good, I’m ready to start fresh in a new area. 
Here it has been so rainy also, I think it’s raining every day. Its starting to cool a little but it’s always hot here ha-ha. 

This week’s letter is a little shorter because today we got to get everything set up, 
we are all going to play volleyball. 

But I hope everyone has a great week. 

Wish Conner a happy birthday!

Love you all. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

May 27, 2018 An Experience with Prayer

Dear Family,
This week was a great week, we had our devotional in the zone on the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was strong, and the music was good. I played the part of Joseph Smith and I bore testimony of the gold plates and the vision of Moroni. President and Sister Taylor gave powerful testimonies that left many of the members in tears.
This week we have been study about “Hope” it has been a great study and we have had many experiences study this attribute.
This week I had an experience with prayer.  When Joseph Smith had the first vision of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ it started with a prayer, it was after a prayer that the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph, Joseph prayed about baptism when the John the Baptist appeared to him, and all other occasion and experiences that happened just occurred after prayer.
A personal experience of this was this week. I was doing something very simple but important which is personal study. It was a busy morning and we had lots to do. So when I finally started to study, I realized that during my study I wasn’t understanding or receiving the promptings of the Spirit.  I felt that something was missing.  I remembered that I forgot to pray. I got on my knees and asked for forgiveness and I prayed.  I later realized the complete difference that prayer makes. “If ye will ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive with diligence in keeping the commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you” (1 Nephi 15:11) Maybe we don’t see the angel Moroni or John the Baptist but through prayer I testify that we can call the powers of heaven, though we don’t all ways see it, we definitely experience it.
The zone is doing so awesome, this Saturday we had 6 baptisms in the zone.  I’m so grateful for the missionaries in my zone. We did have an investigator in church so thanks for the prayers.
 Something that I have learned from President Taylor is to love those that you serve and that kind of answers dad´s second question as well, when a missionary is struggling I have learned to just listen to them, be patient, and then help them by loving them.   The attribute that I have learned, the knowledge and the worth ethic are definitely things that I would like to bring back from me and continue to do. I know that the mission is the place to study so I need to make use of this time, but I would love to continue my studies at home even if it’s just a little a day, maybe setting goals would help with that.
Hope everyone is doing well,
Miss you guys
Have a great week
Elder Toma

Sunday, May 27, 2018

May 20, 2018 Mosiah 2:41 ". . .blessed and happy state. . "

Last week was so good to speak to all of you guys. For me it was probably the least trunky call because usually after we skype we really miss everything back at home. I’m not saying that I don’t miss you all! but maybe it’s the fact that I go home in two transfers. I felt good and I went back to work and it was a normal day for me. But it was really good to see you all and talk for a little.

This week we had a zone conference and my companion, and I had to give a training to the 3 zones that were there. It went well, it was about finding when we teach and teaching when we find. Many times we find people to teach just by reactivating a less active.

Our training was more centered on recent converts. It’s our responsibility to bring the members to them and re-teach the lessons and many times we do find more people to teach just by doing that.

This week we will also have a musical activity on the Book of Mormon. We are planning it as a zone and it sounds like the stake president will be going and even president and sister Taylor.  I will be playing the role as Joseph Smith. My part is basically the testimony of Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon. Ill bare testimony of the Angel Moroni and the golden plates while a video passes behind me on a big screen. We have some good music planned too. One elder plays the violin really well, I’ll be playing a few of the songs on the piano but there is another elder that will play a lot of the songs for the choir which will be the zone.

The zone is doing so well, lots of success and we just have the best missionaries in our zone. The elder that I trained while I was in Arapiraca is in the zone and they are just having so much success. Like two baptisms every week and next week they have 5 baptisms that are set. Everyone else is also just doing so well, this week everyone in the zone hit the standard of excellence for new investigators and for investigators in the church.

I love the scripture in Mosiah 2:41   "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." 

The Lord blesses us when we are obedient in all things, it can be connected to diligence because we need to be diligently quick to obey. I have seen so many blessings in the zone just because of that. I know I brag a lot about my zone but it’s because of the obedience and diligence that the missionaries have been practicing.

 The attribute last week was diligence, so we actually study it for two weeks. I don’t know why but we just felt to continue study diligence for not one week but for two. Tomorrow we will decide our next attribute. Maybe patience, charity and love, virtue, meekness, knowledge, or I really liked gratitude also, that’s a great one.

Skype was great even though everyone was way trunky hahaha. I hope everyone has a great week!  Tchau!