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


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! 


Elder Toma

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October 23, 2017 You don't have to wear a name tag to be a missionary

Dear Family,

The week went well, we worked hard trying to find some new investigators because none of our investigators went to church this week unfortunately, so this week will be a lot of finding new people to teach.

We have already found of couple of new families that are super interested, they made a cake for us and everything ha-ha. 

My companion is from Goias and he is the only member of his family that is a member of the church. He was baptized about a year and 9 months ago but he has a ton of knowledge of the church and it seems like he was born in the church. This week he has been feeling down because he received news that his friend was electrocuted and died, so I’ve been trying to help him out a little, but he is doing fine.

It was a good this week with teaching also, our leader of the missionary work is preparing to go on his mission here in a month, so he has been with us to teach which I thought was good.
We had a meeting about the importance of members and the role of them, and he happened to participate and our ward missionary leader helps a ton, he is only 21 and he only has a year in the church but he seems like he has a ton of time in the church, he said in the meeting that sometimes the members get confused with church and the temple, they think that you have to be worthy to go to church and they judge those that are going to church just to get better, and that the temple is the place where you have to be worthy, he said that church is like a hospital to help the sick. He also got on top of everyone saying that the role of the missionaries is to baptize and that the members should be the ones making friendships with the new converts because the missionaries don’t stay in the ward forever and also to not wait for the missionary to leave to be a friend but to be a friend a quickly as possible and then when the missionary leaves that person will already feel comfortable to stay because they will have someone to talk to.

He has been such an example to me, I don’t know why I never got involved with missionary work before the mission, but I wish that I did. He talks to everyone he knows and invites everyone to every activity, makes me realize that everyone is a missionary, and that not just the missionaries that are serving a mission with a name tag are missionaries in our church. 

sounds like everyone is doing well, 

I think one of my favorite things this week was hear about Cole´s home coming, and his talk, it had me in tears just hearing about it.

Give him a hug for me,

Hope everyone has a good week,


Elder Toma

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 16, 2017 A new companion: Elder Moraes

Dear family,

This week went really well!

So on Tuesday I went to Maceió to get my new companion.  So his name is Elder Moraes, he lives close to Brasilia which is also a district just like Washington DC.

He is best buds with one of the elders that was in my district but he got transferred this transfer to Sergipe ha-ha. 

He is excited and it’s going to be easy to work with him I think because he wants to be 100% obedient and he wants to work hard.

This week we made some new investigators and invited everyone to church, but surprisingly none of them came to church, I was pretty disappointed but then someone came to church that made me even more surprised. Mathew´s mom! Matheus is the boy that wanted to be baptized but his mom wouldn’t let him, but on Sunday she came to church to see what we are about and she participated in the classes and in sacrament meeting, it was really cool.

Also this week we have a new assistant, my trainer asked the president to train right before he goes home, so for this 12 weeks he will be training in Tobias Barreto my past area.

Our investigators are doing well, we have one investigator that we made, his name is Henrique and we marked his baptism on the first lesson, some people are just ready to receive the gospel, he is excited already.

But I hope that everyone is doing well and I miss you all,

I’ll send some pictures


Elder Toma

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

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