Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 9, 2017 Transfers and called to be a trainer

Dear Family,

This week started out great! So, Monday me and my companion from the MTC burned our yellow shirts ha-ha to mark our one year, and then we ate a good barbecue, Uruguayan style ha-ha. I’ll send pictures next week because the computer place that I’m using today isn’t the best and its taking forever just to write ha-ha.

Transfers have ended and I was very pleased with my district, we all worked hard this transfer and we all had lots of success. 

My companion is sad but also excited to get to know more areas because tomorrow he leaves, it’s interesting because he will be opening an area with Elder Del Rio who is also from my district! so that was interesting I thought. 

I will be staying in Arapiraca second ward as district leader still but the news is that I also will be training! so I don’t even know any information about my new companion yet. 

I don’t have that much time this week because of the transfers but next week I will keep everyone up to date!

thanks for the pics! I loved seeing Conner out there playing football. 
miss you all

Love 
Elder Toma


also, I think the only things that I would like for Christmas would be maybe some hair product because they don’t sell that here, and stick deodorant because also they don’t sell that here ha-ha

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October 1, 2017 Hitting the One-Year Mark!

Dear Family, 

This week went super well, especially Saturday. 

Saturday morning started off with a stake activity with the members of the stake and the missionaries, we all went to this park and handed out Book of Mormons to the people there.

Many people were receptive, like we handed out 200 Book of Mormons in about an hour! we met lots of people that were interested and we taught many, it was a success!

After the activity we all ate a barbecue with the bishop of the ward and then went to the chapel to watch the first session of conference. Conference was amazing! 

I loved Elder Uchtdorf’s talk on those that serve God and love Him with see wonderful things in life and that God will use you if you are willing. The talk by Dallin H. Oaks was also so good I like what he said about families and exaltation is a family matter and salvation is a personal matter and how we should choose the Lords way and not the worlds. D Todd Christofferson gave such a good talk also about the ordinance of the sacrament and bring the Savior into our life and be one. After the first session of conference we had our baptism! we baptized the first counselor´s mother and it was such an amazing baptism with over 50 people attending it. The spirit really did guide us and we only fulfilled what was said. After the baptism we had the second session which was also such a great session. 

This week was great, conference was great, I loved the two sessions on Sunday also and it’s hard to choose a favorite talk, Callister’s talk had me dying because it made all the critics of the Book of Mormon look dumb and Neil L. Anderson’s talk was very touching to hear the words of Elder Hails and our Prophet Thomas S. Monson.

Sounds like everyone is doing well. I’m glad to hear that Conner is active in developing talents, which is an important part of life I think, even if it is guitar or playing football, it’s all good stuff.
It’s crazy that I’m about to make on year, today a member is going to through a barbecue for me and my companion from the MTC ha-ha, so that will be fun.

Miss, you guys, hope you all enjoyed conference.

Até Mais,

Elder Toma

Sunday, October 1, 2017

September 24, 2017 Many spiritual experiences!

This week went very well, lots of spiritual experiences.

The first counselor to the bishop was baptized a few years ago, and every one of the family with him except his mom.  The mom didn’t even allow missionaries to have lunch in the house because she didn’t want to hear the message. But a couple weeks after I arrived she started to except giving lunch and two weeks ago she went to church and we felt the spirit really strongly saying "mark a visit with her and invite her to baptism" like what a crazy thought, ask her to be baptized? but we didn’t even question it because the spirit said to. So during the week we went there and talked with her and with a very spiritual message, we marked baptism for the 30th of this month, The first counselor to the bishop (her son) cried, she cried, and my companion cried ha-ha, but it was a very spiritual experience, the next visit we talked about coffee and I was ready to help her with setting goals when suddenly she said that she will stop that same day, I’m still shocked to this day that she stopped and still hasn’t drinking a single cup of coffee. 

The other miracle was with Matheus, we sat down with him and talked to him about his baptism and I felt inspired to share dad´s story when he was in Japan and the girl wanted to be baptized but her dad wouldn’t let her and finally she fasted and told him that she was fasting and he was impressed. While I was telling this story to him the spirit was very strong and we all felt impressed to fast and pray. even if he doesn’t get baptized this week I know that it was for something because the spirit said so. 

I’m excited for this week because I know that there will be even more miracles this week.

It’s crazy that Cole returns in 3 weeks! give him a hug for me ha-ha.

It sounds like everyone is doing well,  Conner is liking football it sounds like?
ha-ha its funny because I hated soccer but now I’m starting to like it because we play it every pday lol.

The weather here has been weird, hot and then cold and then hot ha-ha, and it is raining a lot this year here. 

I’m excited for conference also, it’s crazy that it has almost been a year since I was at home watching oct conference and then I left for Sao Paulo a few days later.

But how is Porter settling in? culture shock?
Say hi to everyone for me

miss you all.


Elder Toma

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September 17, 2017 The blessings of exact obedience

Dear Family

This week started out terrible but then by the time we hit Saturday the miracles started to arrive.

We found many people to teach that are excited to hear more about the Gospel, Sunday also was such a great day, had the opportunity to teach more families that are just so ready to receive the gospel.
My companion is such a great missionary but he has learned so much with me, when he was back at home he made lots of bad decisions he said and when he talked to his bishop, the bishop told him "serve a mission" and when he talked with his stake president he received the same answer "serve a mission"

So he did what they told him to do, he didn’t want to serve though because he had a girlfriend and his mom has cancer and he wanted to take care of her and also she has a baby that is only 11 months old that she is taking care of.

When he went through his training he only had companions that weren’t a big help, they all just encouraged him to be disobedient. When he became companions with him he already wanted to change and I told him that I would help him be obedient. This last week was partially really difficult because his mom emailed him telling him that her cancer has gotten worse and that if she gets sick she could die. 

This week we went to our zone conference with president Taylor. He told me that he was going to talk to the president for some help. When we got there the president didn’t interview anyone, just my companion, 

My companion never told the president about anything and I didn’t either but the president already knew! so he called in my companion Elder Lescano and already had written what he wanted to say to him. My companion was amazed by the revelation that the president had received and the biggest thing that help my companion is what the president said to him "Be righteous and have exact obedience, and the Lord shall bless your family"

This week has already been better and we have had more success, and my companion has seen the blessings that have come from our obedience and from not quitting after two weeks of almost nothing.

n the zone conference President talked about lots of good things about second chances and about taking everything day by day, it helped me a lot and gave me a boost to just continue working my hardest.

Say hi to everyone for me

Miss you guys 

Love 

Elder Toma

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September 11, 2017 "When we endure challenges in life with patience, the Lord always blesses"

Hey family,

This week was good but it wasn’t the best week that I have had ha-ha.

My district is doing great, lots of baptismal interviews were done this week so that made me happy that everyone baptized but the bad news is that our baptism fell through.

We marked an appointment Friday to do the interview and everything but he called and said that his mom won’t let him be baptized. We then said a prayer and we felt that we should go to the house and talk with his mom. We talked to her and testified of lots of things, the Spirit was present testifying to her but she still wants to think about it and talk with her husband.

The boy that wants to be baptized is Matheus and he is 14, while we were talking to her he came and he just started balling, he wants to be baptized so bad and he has been going to church for like 6 months and already has made a ton of friends in the church, so we decided that we would just talk with his mom every day this week and pray for them.

But when it rains it pours, the very same night that the he baptism fell through, we went home exhausted just wanting to sleep, I laid down in my bed at 10 and the wood fell underneath the bed and made a ton of noise, I sat up in my bed to fix it and more wood fell making more noise, and then suddenly the owner of the apartments knocked on our door screaming at us and cursing telling us that we had to leave, this bothered me a ton, he didn’t even let us explain about what happened. I don’t know if he has problems with our religion or if he had problems with the other missionaries but I have never done anything against him.

I then put my mattress on the floor and slept on the floor because I was afraid that maybe more wood would fall. The next morning I called the office asking to trade houses because he has just been cursing at us for dumb reasons like this, so we spent the rest of the week looking for a house, but it think that we found a house that is bigger and isn’t an apartment were if wood from my bed falls we get yelled at. 

But this week will be a new week and when we endure challenges in life with patience, the Lord always blesses.

Sounds pretty crazy with all the hurricanes in the states, I hope that everyone is well,

Miss you all

Have a great week

Elder Toma

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September 3, 2017 The Spirit IS the teacher

Dear Family,

This week was good but started out really slow ha-ha. It was the beginning of the transfer and I was helping everybody move in to houses and get situated,

I have two new elders and two new sisters, Elder Del Rio from São Paulo, and the other elder is from Santa Catarina, Sister Teixeira is from São Paulo and she is training an American named Sister Dailey from California, they seem to be really excited to work and already have a baptism this coming Saturday so I’m happy with the new sisters in my district.

So this week we were super busy and we didn’t get to much opportunity to make more new investigators and work, but in the end of the week we were blessed

We found some new investigators that are great, and we have a baptism set for this week,
his name is Matheus and he has a couple of months in the church but he mom wouldn’t let him get baptized because he is only 14 years old, but we went there and we talked with his mom and I felt the spirit so strong that the mom started to cry, and everything that I was saying and everything that my companion was saying was exactly in sync
, it was like my companion was reading my mind and I was reading his, it was a true testimony that the Holy Ghost is really there and that he IS the teacher and not us. It was a great experience, when we got there she was so against the idea and then when we left she said, "leave the baptismal sheet here and I will talk with my husband about it" we are praying for him, and also keep Matheus in your prayers so that everything will go well.

Today is going be fun, I’m going go play soccer with the zone leaders and with Elder Crowley my other companion, 

Sounds like everybody is doing well, have fun today at bush gardens, let me know if they have any of the new rides and how are they.

Miss y’all

Love 

Elder Toma

Sunday, September 3, 2017

August 27, 2017 Training with Elder Costa of the Seventy

Dear Family,

This week was a great week,

Wednesday, I got to do a training with Elder Costa of the 70.  He is so cool.  He is from Argentina so he speaks a lot of Portuguese mixed with Spanish but it was easy to understand everything that he said, all the DL and ZL were invited to attend the training and then Thursday we met with our zone and all of Sergipe and he spoke to all of us. It was a great zone conference and I got to see all the people from the state of Sergipe where my last area was Tobias Barreto, it was awesome to see my companion elder Ferreira and everyone there.

Friday was super busy, we were running around doing baptismal interviews and calling the ZLs over to do our baptismal interviews so it was super busy but in the end we got it all done, Saturday I went to another area to do one more baptismal interview and it was super complicated ha-ha, I was filling out the baptismal record and he didn’t know anything about himself, he didn’t know his own birthday or the birthdates of his parents, so it was super complicated and at first he decided to back out of the baptism so I told him to say a prayer and the spirit was super strong and he accepted the baptism and sign the baptismal record and everything and then later that day the elders from my district called and told me that he ran away from the baptism! so their baptism ending up falling through unfortunately, so that made me kind of sad but then when we returned we had our baptism which was such a great baptism! so many people went and the spirit was so strong, we ended up baptizing a man named Quemuel, he is married to a member but for years he didn’t want anything to do with the church, we ended up just trying to gain his trust be being friendly and talking with him without any commitments.

But in a week or two we started teaching him the lessons and inviting him to pray and ask God if these things are true, he is super smart and knows the bible really well and sometimes these types of people are really hard to baptize but here we had another miracle,

Everyone at the baptism was congratulating us and telling us that we are such good missionaries to have convinced him but I tried to stay humble and say that it was all the Lord ha-ha. I’m really glad we got him baptized because this type of person that is stubborn often are the type that have the strongest testimonies and aren’t convinced easily about what the world says and what media says about our church.

So we ended our month as the zone that baptized the most so we got super happy and the president is letting us do a zone pday so I’m excited for today, also Elder Lescano and I baptized the most in our zone so my companion is super super happy about that, he said I’m his favorite companion and that he never has baptized so many people in one month, he used to be someone that didn’t follow all the rules but he is happier then ever that now he is following all the rules with me and working hard, we had the call for transfers yesterday and our ZL called saying that Elder Lescano will be transferred and he was soooo sad but then he said he was joking and I have never seen my companion so happy before ha-ha. I will continue here with him as district leader still and I will receive two new sisters and two new elders so that will be interesting ha-ha. But I’m very excited about this month, 

Sounds like everyone is doing well at home and I’m happy for Conner that he is playing football.


I miss you guys,
Até mais

Elder Toma