Monday, December 26, 2016

December 26, 2016 Merry Christmas!

Dear Family,

Christmas was good! It was fun to talk to you guys and all. I feel like i couldn't talk really well haha and it was kinda embarrassing haha but other than that it was good to see how everyone was doing. 

So i guess the news is that my comp and i will stay in Barra de São Miguel but we are receiving another companion who is American too. We turned in all our progress and i guess our zone had the most baptisms in the entire mission and Elder Hillstead and I had the most baptisms in the entire zone. 
As for the recipes i think easy desserts would be good, just like cookies or brownies or something and then main dishes that use basic ingredients, i can find basic ingredients here just nothing too complex. Like we made chicken stroganoff a couple weeks ago so they have the basics here. 

I will send some of the pictures of the baptism, love everyone.

Have a good Christmas and new year break!

Love Elder Toma

December 19 The Field is White. . .

Dear Family, 

This week has been really good. I really liked your story dad about how we don't know where the people are but God does. I have a story pretty similar, so last two weeks ago my companion and I were just finished with emails and we were trying to find the Chapel to meet up with some other missionaries. We kept asking for directions but the peoples directions were always wrong. We asked this man and he pointed to us the completely wrong direction but it led us to a woman outside her house. We asked this woman for direction and told us who we were and what we do as missionaries and just that, we then asked her for her address and told her we will contact the missionaries of this area to contact you because this is not our area. She then pointed us to the correct direction. Two weeks later our district leader told us that he found her and was been teaching her.  This lady was fully prepared for the gospel and was baptized this Sunday. It is so true that God leads us to people in need even in a different area. ´´The field is white ready to and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you´´(DC 4). 

This week we also confirmed that young woman that we baptized last week a member of the Church. It was really cool and i have never felt the Spirit so strong while we were confirming. It was also testemunho meeting so it was cool to hear how strong her testimony is of this Church. 

Over all good week I'm excited for Natal (Christmas) and eating lots of food haha. Honestly i don't know the details yet [of when I can Skype] but I'm sure it will all work out. Miss ya guys. have a good week

Até Natal!

Elder Toma

Thursday, December 15, 2016

December 11, 2016 Our First Baptism!

Dear Famìlia,

 This week has been great, My companion is from Springville Utah and he plays football and basketball. He is the only member of his family that has ever served a mission besides his dad. He has 10 months here and he is a great missionary he knows how to help people and how to teach really really well.

Yeah we don’t even really have a ward, I think we are constructing a chapel right now but we meet in this small building haha. This last week we went to the stake center in Macieo and Elder Holland spoke from São Paulo, haha he tried to speak Portuguese at the beginning it was pretty funny.

As for food, we eat two eggs and some chicken for breakfast, for lunch members always feed us noodles, beans, rice, beef, chicken, or fish. The juice here is unbelievable and a lot of the fruits here don’t even exist in the states. For dinner we eat two eggs and drink water haha.

Endelly's baptism

This week we had a baptism, her name is Endelly and she is 23. Her story is unbelievable. We found her trying to contact her cousin actually and we shared the word of wisdom and let her borrow a Book of Mormon. We invited her to read the introduction and then we would check with her the next day. The next day she told us she read the intro and then started reading a little bit of First Nephi and started weeping and she didn’t know why, in that moment she gave up drinking, coffee, and everything in one day. She has a daughter and was living with this guy since she was 16 so 7 years together. This was the only thing holding her back from baptism but finally she decided to leave him because he wasn’t agreeing with the church and she wanted to be baptized, so we finally baptized her this Sunday, I’ve never met anybody so dedicated, that was kind of the highlight of my week.

Overall good week we were busy Tuesday making our Christmas video lol. I think we might have some baptisms this week but it’s hard because people always work here on Sundays. 
Miss you guys, tell everyone I said hi.

It’s really hot here every day haha. But being next to the beach gives us a little bit of a breeze. Sounds like the stake changed a lot (our family’s home stake split this past week). Haha i miss my ward and good singing! the people here are soooo BAD lol and I just miss everything about church at home, but I’m adjusting the church here is really good just different haha. Cant wait for Chrismas!

Até mais

Elder Toma

Thursday, December 8, 2016

December 5, 2016 We have members and investigators on almost every street!

Dear Family, 

this week was great, we worked super hard and got 8 new baptismal dates and 17 new investigators. This week i also just learned alot about the atonement of Jesus Christ and the importance of it. It is the center of the restoration, the center of the plan of salvation, and in the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

We have lessons with a lot of people and are always teaching new people but on every street we have member and investiagtors almost haha. We have a good amount of members but no where near Gainesville lol. We meet in a small building not even a chapel and we dont have any leaders or even a bishop. Me and my comp do the Sacrament prayers every week and we have a couple other Priesthood holders. 

The beaches here are amazing, like ten times better then the pictures on the internet, the sand is like super white and the beach is super blue. 

 I dont have anybody's email so if Conner or Hunter or McKinzie want to talk they have to email me first lol. 

Portuguese is coming well, they people in Macieo are impossible to understand some times haah even for other Brazilians. 

Over all good week, miss you guys. Tell everyone i said hi. 


Elder Toma

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November 28, 2016

Dear Family,
This week went by fast and was good. My comps name is Elder Hillstead and we have such a cool area. It is called

Barra de São Miguel

Barra de São Miguel, it is right on the beach and we have a big lake too. It is always super hot and humid. It gets dark at like 5 at night and is light at 5 in the morning.

Barra de São Miguel
This week we had some pretty cool experiences with investigators. We taught this lesson to this woman for the first time and she told us about this dream where she saw a huge sky full of stars and flying down from the sky was two white horses and they passed her really fast and then ran back up into the stars. She said when they pasted her she felt so much peace. Then she said during our lesson she felt that same piece and was wondering why we wore white shirts and she believes in the church but she wants to know more and learn more.
Thanksgiving for us was pretty good. We ate ramen noodles with hot dogs in it and then ate this huge chocolate cake.

We have 22 new investigators this week and like 9 baptisms lined up this week. We will probably baptize in a church in Macieo but usually we Baptize in this river, we have the only area here that baptizes in rivers ha-ha so that’s pretty cool.

I’ve been reading Jesus the Christ and it is such an amazing book and I don’t even like reading ha-ha. I like how it explains everything about Jesus.

Overall a good week, we worked hard and taught many many people. Tell everyone I said hi.

Love you guys.

Elder Toma