Sunday, December 17, 2017

December 10, 2017 A super hot Christmas!

So this week went well, we already had a miracle this week. 

So one of the investigators Mila has been wanted to be baptized but she has been struggling with a few problems and immorality which as we know [is hard] to overcome. She has been praying for months and fasting to overcome this temptation and this week on Sunday before church she was baptized and confirmed. To me that was a miracle.

So here Christmas is celebrated and I’m already seeing lots of decorations, it’s interesting that they decorate winter themed stuff, but here its super hot!

So there is this place called the grove here that they have decorated well and its super pretty. They set up this HUGE Christmas tree, its fake but its super tall! and I also saw these lights that say Natal Familia, which is Christmas and family. I thought that was interesting.

The president confirmed that I will be transferred on the 2nd of Jan, he said whatever I need to get done get it done. I really just want to give this area my all right before I leave. 

Being here for almost 6 months is a long time and I love the area but it’s time to leave. I’m glad that I will be able to at least pass Christmas and New Year’s here. 

This week I made some sticky chicken for my companion ha-ha he liked it. oh and can you send me the venichini recipe, I like to make super easy food and also beef stroganoff ha-ha. 

I hope everyone has a good week. I’ll send pictures next week because I didn’t take any this week. 

Miss you all

Tchau!


Elder Toma

Sunday, December 10, 2017

December 3 2017 Miracles

This week went well but super super busy. 

So on Tuesday we taught Adriano and set everything for his baptism on Saturday and then we walked like 5000 miles to this other investigator that we met a church, her name is Nercia and she is 20 and super interested but she lives with and aunt and uncle and the uncle is a pastor and the aunt a missionary of their church so that’s kind of complicated. they respected us and even gave us some soda and cake but afterwards Nercia said that she wants to go to church but maybe her uncle won’t let her. On Wednesday we traveled to Maceió and we stayed there until Thursday where we had our leadership meeting. It was a great meeting I learned a lot there and how to help my district. It was fun to see my past companions and see them as leaders too. I’ll make sure to send some pictures. On Friday we went to Penedo another city to do some baptismal interviews and then finally we returned to our home! on Saturday afternoon and we went to interview Adriano. Adriano´s baptism fell through because he works for the 1st counselor of our stake who isn’t paying him! so that kind of gave him a bad image and also when he prayed he had a dream that he entered the church and a leader cut him and it was a bad dream he said so he decided to not be baptized this week. We finally were able to talk to him and explain that obviously his dream wasn’t an answer from God and we will set his baptism for this week. Satan is also working on the other side. I think I have had only one easy baptism, baptisms aren’t easy but marking baptism are, isn’t that interesting? 
The moment that we mark the baptism is the moment that Satan comes in trying to stop the baptism using whatever or whoever to stop it. Every baptism is a miracle because it’s also proof that God is much more powerful. 

One of the miracle I saw this week was Matheus who was baptized recently passed the sacrament for the first time. Since I’ve gotten here and I’m sure for the last year and a half he always sits with the deacons on the bench which are his friends and watches them pass the sacrament but never was able to participate because he wasn’t baptized. This week it was a miracle to see him smiling and participating with his friends in passing the sacrament, and it was all because of a prayer and a fast that softened the hearts of his parents.

Its sounds like lots of people want to know what we eat here ha-ha. So we eat rice, beans, noodles, chicken or meat and salad and depending which area we drink soda or juice. The fruits here are super good. the fruits are mangos, acerola, pineapple, star fruit, passion fruit, watermelon, banana, apple, oranges, limes, papaya, graviola, and jack fruit guaraná and also açaí and I think there is a lot more. Every desert that we eat half the time has sweet and condensed milk ha-ha, but it’s always super good. I’ll make sure to take a picture of lunch one day and I’ll send it to all ya. 

I think some of the weirdest things that I have eaten that I actually like is heart and lungs and also I’ve eaten like a bird, like a little bird ha-ha it was actually pretty good. The worst thing was the insides of a crab, it was so gross but I rarely don’t like something. Even my companion says that I like everything ha-ha. He says that the food his is a lot different than the food where he is from which is close to the capital of |Brazil. 

Sounds like you guys all had a great week. 

Miss, you all

Love 
Elder Toma











It’s probably arriving here soon.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

November 26, 2017 I find joy in serving and helping bless others

Dear Family

This week went really, we taught some really spiritual lessons and it seems like my companion is learning a ton, he already came on the mission super prepared, but he teaches some super good lessons now.

I’m still dl and I’m liking it a lot, two newbies have arrived, one of them is from Campo Verde which is an island off of Africa. He is a good missionary and already speaks Portuguese because it is the language where he lives.

When he arrived he didn’t know how to use a washing machine because not very many people have washing machines there and so he hand washes and also he said that the water that he drank the most is rain water so the first time that it rains it cleans the roof of the house and then the second time they through buckets out and collect rain water to drink, so I thought that that was interesting. His companion is from Peru so the district is an interesting mix.
So yeah Matheus was baptized last week and confirmed and receiving the priesthood this week, he is happy and already helping us a ton with all of his friends who aren’t members. This week we are going to baptize Pedro one of Matthew’s friends whose parents also won’t let him be baptized and Adriano who is 20 years old.

Last night was crazy, right outside of our apartment this car was driving crazy and hit someone on a motorcycle and he flew, the car that hit him drove off, it was pretty messed up, I think someone took a pic of the license plate. But what I liked is that everyone that was close, like 30 people all got out and helped him, they called ambulance and his family and it looks like he wasn’t to injured, he was able to get up but he was awake and able to pass information. It’s always a comfort to know that there are many good people that are willing to help, even in the old times of the bible there was people not willing to help in the story of the good Samaritan.

Everything is doing well in the area and with the members.

This week lots of lunches with the members fell through, so here in Brazil we don’t eat dinner with members, we eat lunch lol, but yeah it was strange because usually it doesn’t fall through, I think this week was just busy, so I’ve had to use some of the personal money to buy lunch, I hope I still have money left lol.

It’s crazy how fast time is flying, before I know it it’s going to be Christmas, I still haven’t gotten the package but its probably arriving. Its sounds like thanksgiving was good, I totally forgot about thanksgiving, I liked the pictures hahaha.
So my day schedule is that we wake up at 6:30 and we clean up a little or we go buy some bread and eggs for breakfast and then we eat and do some exercise a little ha-ha I’m starting to slack on the exercising lol.

Then we study personally and then we do the12 weeks training for my companion and we do companion study and language study, I’m helping him learn English and he´s reading the book of Mormon in English really well already, Then we go to lunch and usually we choose to work in one area per day because our area is huge, I like being a missionary servant because I like leaving back my life, before the mission I had a testimony but it was more relied on the testimonies around me and I’m able to try and do what Matthew 10:39 which say  "He that findeth his own life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it". I feel that I’m finding my life more losing my life, I love being on the mission and I love serving the Lord and giving him everything that I have, its where I’ve come closer to Him and where I have been able to coming closer to finding my life.

And to answer the other question, this is what has brought me happiest and joy, also being able to bring souls to Christ. I find joy in serving and helping bless others.

I miss you guys but I’m glad that there is still lots of time for me to be here.

I’m excited to see you guys on Christmas.

hope everyone has a great week

Amo Vocês

Elder Toma

Sunday, November 26, 2017

November 20, 2017 Seeing lives change

Dear family this week has been good, 

So this week is also going to be stake conference, I’m interested to see what changes will be made, maybe there will be changes in my area. 

Transfers is tomorrow, I’ll be staying as district leader and I’ll be finishing up my companions training, 

It’s crazy how time is passing by, I’m now the oldest missionary in the district, it seems like yesterday I was the youngest.

This week we also went to an activity that was about an hour away, it was fun to go to a little city and leave with members of the church that we didn’t know and do splits inviting people to an activity about the restoration of the gospel. From me it was a good experience but also an experience that I have every day so I was already used to it, but for the members it was a super experience and it really strengthened their testimonies. 

We are also teaching a young man named Adriano which is 20 years old, its seems like his baptism is set for this Saturday, he will help a lot in the church I think as a priesthood holder and he still has time to serve a mission.

On Wednesday my ward mission leader Daniel is going to leave for his mission, he has been a super great example for me, he gave his farewell talk and Sunday and had everyone crying including our bishop, 

I’ve never seen someone’s life change as his, he made a complete 180 and his family is already being blessed for it, and I already have such a great desire to share the gospel, he baptized his mom, his sister, his friends, his neighbors, his girlfriend who is now going to serve a mission also, and I truly believe that his father will be baptized in these next two years. The bishop told me that he changed the missionary work in our ward, it’s sad that he is leaving but everyone is happy for him. 

It was good to hear about how everyone is doing, chase Cole and the Maos.

Conner is looking good, Mao sent me some pictures this week, he really enjoyed visiting with you guys.

Continue to also be a good friend, especially to the recent converts.

miss you all,

Love 

Elder Toma

Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 12, 2017 God always has His perfect plan

Dear Family,

This week went great, it was really busy but it was good.

So on Friday we went to another training for trainers and for trainees. It was a good meeting but a lot of traveling,

it’s about a four-hour travel and it planned for me to go to this meeting and then after the meeting buy a bus ticket to another city called Penedo and I was going to do 4 baptismal interviews there because it was already Friday and the baptism was set for Saturday, so we were really in a rush.

When I got to the bus station I asked for the next ticket to Penedo possible but the lady said that there were only tickets to Penedo for Saturday morning which wasn’t going give, so I just traveled back to Arapiraca and I was going to get a van from Arapiraca to Penedo 

I called the missionaries from Penedo if I could do the interview in Saturday morning and they said that the interviews were set for Friday night, so I called the zone leaders and one of the zone leaders got permission from the president to take a van to Penedo alone while the other zone leader was doing another interview in our zone and the zone leader that stayed called our ward mission leader Daniel to do splits with him. 

My zone leader was doing an interview of a boy who wanted to be baptized but his dad wouldn’t let him, they went there about two times trying to help the father understand about baptism and help out when finally, Daniel my ward mission leader went on splits and when he got there
he recognized the family and knew the dad, he then talked to him and the father let his son be baptized. 

It was a complicated week and we all were throwing out plans last minute for everything to go through but in the end Penedo baptized and also the boy from the Verdes Camps ward who´s dad wouldn’t let him be baptized. In the end everything worked out perfectly.

It was another reminder that God always has HIS perfect plan. The plan that we had was good but it fell through for a reason because if our plan went through Penedo would have been baptized but the boy from our stake wouldn’t have been. It was important that Danile was there to talk to the boy’s father. 

Sunday was also a very good day, president and his wife came to speak to our ward and it was super good, it really helps our ward. They talked a lot on missionary work and it was good for our investigators that were there too, very spiritual.

Today we are going to throw a barbecue and play a bunch of games because this month we were the baptizing zone, and this month is already going well also so we are all pretty excited about that.
ha-ha while it is getting colder there, it is getting super hot here. Its definitely summer time here and its only going to get hotter. 

I hope every has a good week

miss you guys.


Tchau

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November 5, 2017 Power is something that depends on us

Dear Family

This week was a good week, we had the opportunity to go to our zone conference which was super good, I have already come to love my president and his spouse. They are such good people and are helping the mission a ton.

It was good to see some old companions at the conference so that was fun. This week we are just preparing for Mateus’s baptism on Friday, it sounds like his whole family is going to be there.

One scripture that I like that I read this week is words of Mormon 1:17 that says, " For behold, King Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority; and they did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people"

I like to sometimes apply the scriptures to modern day so I replaced King Benjamin with Presidente Monson. Today he guides us and we can be the many holy men or women preaching the word of God with power and authority.

I realized that authority could be our callings for example I’m called and ordained as a missionary and so I have the authority to preach the Gospel, but power is something that depends on us. If we are more obedient and if we have more faith then we have more power to preach the word of God. Russel Ballard said that the only true conversion is through the power of the Holy Ghost. I liked that a lot because it is so true.

I think it is very possible to baptize someone without that person feeling the spirit but either they will feel it and be converted or the will fall away from the church.

Congrats to Conner and for his team for beating Battlefield.

At Zone Conference
Sounds like everyone is doing good.

Miss you guys,

I’ll send some pics

Love

Elder Toma





Sunday, November 5, 2017

October 30, 2017 A week of miracles

Dear family,

This week was a week of miracles. So we all decided to fast so that Mateus’s parents would sign the baptismal record and also another investigator Gemison because also his mom didn’t want to sign his baptismal record.

So we did our fast, Matheus, my companion and I. On Thursday we went on splits, I went with one of the zl to interview our investigators. We first went to Matheus’s house and we left a message with his mom who afterwards refused to sign it and said that she would not sign it until Matheus was 18 years old! but then as we talked to her we discovered that she was afraid that Matheus’s father would get upset that she signed it and that if he agreed to sign it then she would support it. 
I won’t lie when I left I was pretty upset and even tempted to break my fast, but I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do so I continued fasting. We then went to Gemison´s house, he is a 12-year-old boy and his brothers are all baptized, and he has a ton of time in the church too, but his mom never let him get baptized, so when went there and did his interview and he passed with excellence and then we talked to his mom who surprisingly agreed to signing his baptismal record and on Saturday we baptized him and his mom even showed up to support. But then the next day on Saturday Matheus came up to us saying that he talked to his dad and that his dad will sign the baptismal record to let him be baptized!

Fasting really does bring miracles when we put our faith in the Lord, Gemison could have been baptized any day for these past few years, Matheus´s parents could have signed his record any time this year, but they didn’t,

All this happened in one week with a little fast to soften the hearts of this boy´s parents. I know that God´s hands played a part in this. Every baptism is a miracle and a testimony that God is real, 
I know that conversion without the Holy Ghost isn’t a true conversion, he plays a major role in the conversion process, Doctrina e Convenios 42 says that if ye don’t receive the spirit ye shall not teach.

I’m excited for this week because I know that we will experience even more miracles, it’s a new miracle every day. 

Hope everyone is doing well, I miss you all 

Happy Halloween! 



Love 

Elder Toma