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!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

May 14, 2018 Mother's Day

Sunday was Mother's Day, so we were able to Skype with Braden.  No letter this week.  It was great to see him and hear his voice.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

May 6, 2018 The Still Small Voice

Hey family! 

This week was hard when it came to teaching new people because we were running around all week doing baptismal interviews but by the end of the week we got the ward really excited to work. 
This week it looks like we have someone to leave with us almost every day! 

Something interesting that I have learned this week is inspiration and revelations comes way more clearly and directly in our spiritual meetings. It doesn’t mean that we don’t receive inspiration when we aren't in those meetings but for me I receive these promptings during prayer and during study but then in these meetings they are magnified to me. I thought it was so interesting. 

I was sitting in sacrament and just names and people and members where flying through my head, it was like the Spirit was just telling me almost as it was in person! 

Something that the prophet has said is that God has so much to tell us and He wants to tell us many things. I remember feeling that everything that the Spirit was telling me was true, but it wasn’t just a loud voice He speaks to us so quietly, if I wasn’t praying or listening in Church then I don't think that I would have even heard it! 

Something that I like that President Russel M Nelson has said is to pray, listen, write down our thoughts, and act. And if practice makes perfect then the more we pray, listen, write, and act then the faster we can recognize or receive revelation. I really like the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants when the Lord commands Joseph and Oliver to write everything down while they were still filled with the Spirit. Even the Prophet Joseph Smith did it!

So my companion is really awesome, he is from Paraná Brazil, it’s in the south of Brazil. He served in the military and is just an overall great guy, I have been blessed my entire mission to have 
such great companions. 

This week we taught a lesson to an old guy outside of his house with tons of birds and chickens running around, to me it was normal but then I thought about what it would be like in the states and I thought "wow, this is not normal"! ha-ha he was a nice guy, he wants to get married and baptized so we are helping him. Afterwards he gave us a whole wheel barrel full of coconuts and avocados, I didn’t want to accept it but I think he would have gotten offended if I didn’t ha-ha. 

Tomorrow my companion and I have to give a training to all the zone leaders at the president’s house on the importance of bringing our investigators to church. Pray that the Spirit can be with us. 
This week we presented the new attribute to the zone, we are all studying about faith.

Wow it has already been a great study, it is so amazing to see how everything connects like a puzzle. Faith, humility, and obedience are all so connected and every week I have understood more about each one. It’s fun to see how much something pops up when you are actually looking for it. I will be just studying about anything and things about faith will pop up, last week it was obedience that was just popping up everywhere! Even the president's weekly message this week is called "FAITH" what a "coincidence" right. 

And you’re right the mission is such a marathon there are those points where we don’t see the finish line and we don’t think that we can make it but seeing those people on the side lines holding up 
your name routing for ya sure helps us continue and it gives us the motivation to press forward,
thanks for being the ones routing for me on the sideline and giving me motivation to always continue. 

Thanks for the prayers, they make all the difference 

I hope everyone has a great week 

Elder Toma

Sunday, May 6, 2018

April 29, 2018 Transfers

Dear Family, 

So this week is the transfer. 

I will be staying in my area Boa Vista and I’ll be training a new zone leader. My companion is going to be transferred even though he has been here for only 5 weeks! 

But the president needs him somewhere and I think that is how the mission should be. If the president feels good about something, then it must be right. 

This week we had to cut some investigators unfortunately. It seems like lots of people talk bad about our religion, like it’s a cult or something and they end up giving up when they hear 
those things from friends or family members. 

But on the bright side we have found lots of new investigators to teach. One of them loved the lesson and has been searching for the true church and another cried in the opening prayer just by feeling the Spirit. 

Something that I learned this week was that my companion and I had a day this week which was just rough. We got rejected by everyone, we put some of our favorite investigators in the area book, and we had a lesson with a crazy woman and her house was just filled with bad feelings. It started pouring on us, it was about 8:20 and we still had 40 minutes before we had to go home. My first thought was, let’s just give up and go do the area book. But we continued until we knocked on someone’s door and when this contact answered the door, she smiled and wanted us to come in. 
That was the lesson of the night! she loved it and wanted to know more! she took the Book of Mormon and was just excited to read it. After we started going back home, my companion was like "I felt like giving up today, I was going to just say let’s do the area book" but good thing that we didn’t. Because if we did, we would have missed that lesson. 
It reminds me of Nephi when he went to go get the plates and he didn’t achieve them the first time, nor the second, but on the third try he got the brass plates. 
many times it’s on the last try that we succeed. The first will be last and the last will be first ha-ha. 

This week’s attribute in the zone was exact obedience. It’s the first law of heaven and definitely an important one. 

The example that i shared was a perfect example of it. Even though many people say that they don’t see the blessings from obedience, many times I believe that obedience blesses the people around us. 

Congrats to Mckinzie and Mark!

It’s good to see the whole family together. 

I miss you guys but three transfers is too little! 

Hope everyone has a great week! 
Elder Toma