Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Week

So it was Christmas this week and you know what that means, it means you get to Skype your family.  I’ll start off by talking about that.  It was amazing.  For the first little bit I think I was in shock realizing I was actually talking to my family and that other people in this world actually speak English!  Haha, my vocabulary right now in English is so little.  I honestly now know that I know more in Portuguese than in English.  I couldn’t speak English.  It was honestly kind of hard.  But after a little it started to come back.  I will be real, it was a real confidence booster showing I am learning the language.  

I thought I would have cried seeing my family, but I was just so happy.  The only time I started tearing up is when I was preaching to Bree and Zach about the importance of serving a mission.  I love the mission and everything I have learned here.  I loved talking with my family, it was hard ending the Skype, but again I realized how much I love my family and how important they are.  Families are everything.  Skyping was incredible.

So a little bit more about this week.  We had a Christmas devotional with our whole mission.  And we did skits and stuff with our zones.  I had to act like a fish being caught.  We were acting out “fishers of men”.  So I was in between 20 sisters, and I was dressed in baptismal clothing cause I was an albino fish and then I got caught and had to flop like a fish in front of the whole mission.  It was funny.  Then after we went to this all you can eat pizza place and I ate 16 pieces of pizza.  

The rest of the week went pretty normal then we had Christmas eve.  Christmas eve was awesome because we were offered two dinners from different members.  The first dinner was with the sisters in our district and the President and his wife.  It was awesome because the food was amazing and we played games and stuff.  Made me miss home a little but it’s okay cause everyone there was going through the same thing.  After that we had another dinner at practically my second family’s house and I felt even more homesick but even more loved at the same time.  

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and found the true meaning.  I know God is real and Jesus Christ atoned for our sins so that we could be on this earth today and find the real meaning of happiness through repentance and our Savior’s grace.  He is our Savior and redeemer of the world.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Meyer  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Feliz Natal!

What’s happening!  Pretty fast and pretty fun week.  It was transfers week this week.  Me and my companion will be together for another transfer.  Which is good because we are working well and teaching well together.   We haven’t argued or anything yet, we only have a good time.  So I am pretty pumped to see what this next transfer has in store for us.  Oh and we are staying in the same area.  Which means I will pass almost 5 months in this one area.  It’s chill because I am super close with all the members now, and our area has the best food in the mission.  But also it’s kind of bad because I am up to 95 kilos, almost 96 which is I think is 210-212 pounds.  I left the CTM around 195ish.  So I am planning on gaining some more, but it’s cool cause me and my comp bought protein and weights for a little early Christmas present.  Any ways I am very excited.  

So more about this week.  It is almost Christmas time and the city we are in is called Natal, which literally means Christmas.  So ya, Christmas time here is pretty dope because they love Christmas so much.  We also did some service.  We helped the sisters move out and into another apartment.  We helped set up for a Christmas party and taught a lot of people about the love and humility of Christ.  During the Christmas party that we helped set up for I felt the spirit more than ever during this one part of the ward party.  It was a video that showed how the ward got started.  It started off by saying “everything has a beginning” and it showed baptismal photos of the first families in the ward, and then it showed all the baptismal photos of the people.  I felt the spirit so much because two missionaries started a ward, they started with nothing and slowly baptized enough people for a ward and the ward members helped out and reached to their neighbors and so on.  All because of the courage of missionary work.  The ward we are in was so strong and had so many people in it, it had to be split.  The Church here is so new but so, so, so strong.  The people don’t take it for granted, they love and worship like people should worship such a sacred thing.  It has strengthened my testimony more than I can comprehend.  Even though it is so hard, it’s so worth it in the end. 

I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas.  And I hope you can find the real meaning of Christmas this year.

Feliz Natal,
Elder Meyer

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Contacts through basketball

I think that I just going to start with saying, wow another fast week.  I can’t believe how fast time flies out here.  It is so slow yet so fast.  I remember p-day like it was yesterday but somehow a week passed by.  

This week we made contacts by playing basketball.  We have a court in our apartment and every Monday night they have pick-up games going, with tons of people playing and watching.  So we decided to make contacts there.  Easiest contacting ever because if you are somewhat good at basketball everyone wants to talk to you and on the other hand I am American so they were all wondering why I was here haha, so I went hard for a bit.  I even had people chanting “American” every time I scored.  After we went out with some of them and got pizza and stuff.  And we ended up teaching 4 or 5 of them this week.  They are all perfect investigators too.  We asked them to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  And about what we taught them, if it is true.  They all did, which is amazing because most people don’t do that the first time.  So it was great.  Before each lesson I prayed so hard to have God’s help during the lesson.  And let me tell you I don’t remember a thing I said in all 6 lessons.  Other than my companion telling me I taught perfect and that he thinks I am almost fluent.  I know God took over during those lessons and taught for me through the holy spirit.  I know if you are seeking for something that you need to sincerely pray asking for help.  Don’t pray with your lips, pray with your heart.  

I love being a missionary even though it’s the hardest thing ever.  And not anything what I expected.  I love it so much and wouldn’t change a thing about my mission.  This mission seriously has all my weaknesses.  Every weakness I have this mission has for me and I am taking it head on.  Because I know that those weaknesses will become strengths.  I realized that I want my future wife to have served a mission.  Not only because of the faith you gain out here, because of the real life situations you learn.  I think it would be cool to have a wife that went through similar struggles as you.  Cause when life ever gets hard in the future, together you can just laugh it off and have solutions to get through it.  

Oh and by the way it’s Bree’s birthday this week.  Give her a hug for me if anyone sees her.   Except for boys.  I may be in Brazil but I can still kick anyone’s butt that hugs you Bree, haha. 

Have a great week and keep serving people this Christmas season.

Elder Meyer

Monday, December 5, 2016

Count Your Blessings

I have realized missions are filled with so many ups and downs.  I have also realized the more positive and upbeat you are the more ups you will have.   

This week nothing really happened until Sunday.  I was having a pretty bad week, missing home a lot.  Christmas is coming up too and I miss snow.  It’s so hot here every day.  I just wanna play in the snow. Haha.  So I decided to try something that a lot of people said helps.  And it was count your blessing or miracles you have received on your mission so far.  So I started jotting some down.  All of sudden I had written 2 pages and felt ten times better.  Simple things like having clothes to wear, a bed to sleep in, legs to walk, teeth to give someone a smile.  And it seriously made me feel so much better.  If you ever are having a bad day I recommend trying it.  It truly works.

Ok so back to Sunday.  Sundays on a mission are like the longest days ever and we have church at 3 o’clock so by the time church starts you’re already exhausted.  But this Sunday I wasn’t that exhausted because we gave 2 little girls the gift of the Holy Ghost and then I bore my testimony.  I literally don’t know the language, but, hey, “when in Brazil” haha.  So I bore my testimony, usually the spirit guides most people’s testimonies, like you hear all the time of different missionaries in different parts of the world say “ya the gift on tongues is real” or “I bore my testimony and the spirit took over”.   Haha, no that did not happen for me.  My stomach did the talking, I got up there and said thank you for lunch twice on accident.  And I said, I love you all, the Church is true, Joseph Smith is a true prophet, I miss my family a lot, but the people here I love and are like family.  And then I ended it.  Haha.  I was like a child up there.  I thought I did horrible, but the amount of people that told me they liked my testimony was almost ridiculous.  I’m not sure if they felt bad for me or actually liked it.  My companion told me they will remember me forever.  The bishop said it was “fantastic”.   Elder Gonzales said it brought miracles.  And then a little kid told me my face looked like a tomato.   So I guess you can say it was successful.  The bishop told me he wants me to bear it every fast Sunday. It was good but different. 

Well, that was about it for the week.  If you see my mom around tell her happy birthday.  She deserves a happy birthday because she’s the sweetest person I know.

Elder Meyer

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving In Brazil!

So again wow, another fast week, but awesome week.  We had more baptisms, Thanksgiving, and a birthday of one of the Missionaries that live in our house.   
I will start with Thanksgiving.   Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays ever, but Brazil doesn’t celebrate it.  I brought Thanksgiving to Brazil this year.  And let me tell you I think that this Thanksgiving was probably my favorite one.  And probably one of the best days of my life.  Here’s why, we woke up at around 6:30 and helped a family completely move out of their house.  And completely into another house.  I may not be able to speak but I for sure can help.  So I went all out haha.  I went so hard I thought I was going to pass out.  The Brazilian family that we were helping move I think had an question of why is an American here first off and second so happy to help move at 7 in the morning haha.  They were so grateful.  And I was so happy for that.  After we helped them move, a guy made a special Thanksgiving lunch for me and my comp.  Long story short about his guy that had us over, I’m not going to give details but he’s not even a member and he has had some pretty serious problems and hasn’t accepted anyone to really come over and be his friend for about two years.  But he had us over because he had a special feeling about us.  He made a whole Thanksgiving lunch specifically for me is what he said.  And he opened up to us completely and told us he wants to change his life.  He told us that we have a light about us that he wants to have.  It was an amazing lunch and conversation and so, so, so spiritual to me for some reason.
After lunch we went to one of my favorite investigator’s homes to see how they are doing.  And we walked out with two baptismal commitments.  The two girls named Estela and Estephany.  We have been teaching them for 3 months and never had the impression to ask about baptism.  So we did and they said yes.  I was so pumped because I am so close with this family.  They are amazing and I want a family like theirs when I am married.  They are family goals.  They have stuff but not much and they make the best out of what they have.  And give every time we are over there.  The amount of food and stuff they have given me is touching.  
That was my Thanksgiving, it was literally perfect.  The happiness I felt is indescribable.  You can’t experience happiness like that anywhere else.  The whole day was lead by the spirit.  And I am so grateful for that.  
I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving.  I am so grateful for my family.

Elder Meyer

Monday, November 21, 2016

I have no clue how I have the capacity to love the amount of people that I love here

Another super fast week.  This week was a good week.  We had an Apostle come speak to the missionaries and a member of the 70 came.  It was Elder Remlund.  I am pretty sure he is a fairly new Apostle.  But it was amazing, not only cause it was in English but because we had a freaking Apostle speaking to us pretty much individually.  He answered whatever question we had and gave an amazing talk.  He started off his talk by saying I have 3 messages for you.  First message was “thank you for serving the Lord and being here.”  2nd message was “know that God called you here for a reason” he said when the Prophet makes the calls that if it is not the perfect call for the person he has a horrible feeling and that feeling does not leave till he knows that the call is right.  He said that if you don’t know that this call is yours and that it was made especially for you to figure it out and when you figure it out write it down then pray about it and it will change your entire mission for you.  And the 3rd message was that our President and sister love us.  And that they were called here by God and the 12 Apostles had to all agree on them to be called here.  
That’s how he started his talk, it was great.  He gave an amazing talk.  Some of the main points that stuck out to me were these:
Give a reasonable effort and have faith.  He said don’t work yourself to death.  Give a reasonable effort and have faith, I loved that because I have been working myself almost to death every day but with only little faith.  And I haven’t been seeing the results I want to see.  So I will try that.  He also talked about attitude and effort.  He said when you have a good attitude and give effort you will see miracles.  I loved that.  Man, Apostles are call from God.  I have no doubt in my mind.  
I realized a few things this week too.  That I have no clue how I have the capacity to love the amount of people that I love here.  I was thinking the other day that what if I went home when I was in the CTM, like I wanted to do with all my heart, I would not have met my two companions, I would not have met the members in the ward and stake here.  And I would not have met my investigators that have changed my heart in a complete 180 degree turn.  I have been out for about 3 and a half months and I have learned more about love, family, life and everything that literally you cannot learn at home or in a classroom.  I thank God every day for giving me just enough courage to get through those bad days.  3 months have changed me this much, I can’t even imagine what the next 20 have in store for me.  Don’t get me wrong I am still sassy and have almost my same personality, just with a little more knowledge.  And I know kinda what I want in life.  I want a wife.  
Funny story real quick speaking of marriage.  We have two recent converts that we visit every day.  They are both about 50 I think.  The girl’s name is Maria Jose and the guys name is Fransisco.  Fransisco had no idea who Maria Jose was about 5 days ago.  But Maria Jose was obsessed with him.  So, yesterday we were walking back from church with them.  And they started talking.  And now this week I think they are going to be getting married.  I am pretty sure that is what she told me.  Cause I still don’t understand much but she did a lot of pointing and seemed really excited.  She pointed to her ring finger and I made a heart with my hand and she nodded.  So I think that is a yes.  Haha, it was so cute.
Elder Meyer