Sunday, May 13, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Everything is fine here. It's actually raining today. The weather has been steadily getting cooler, so that's been nice. The members say June and July are the really cold months though. Haha... 'really cold' here means like 10-15 degrees Celsius. Anyways... Oh! Elder Peterson and I were walking today and we heard some blonde girls talking, and it wasn't Portuguese or English. It didn't sound like German to me, and it had a lot of the same sounds as Danish so I’m thinking they were from Sweden. Cool, huh? Cabo Frio is a huge tourist spot with lots of people around the world visiting here. You guys would love it I think.

So my new comp is great, we get along really well. He is a hard worker and always wants to work and follow the rules as well. I'm really glad that all my companions have been this way since my trainer, who was not this way. It's been a huge blessing from the Lord. Anyways, spiritual experience... we had two baptisms yesterday!! You remember that family we are trying to get married? The photo I sent? Well the husband’s mom and sister have been receiving the lessons and going to church as well, so we thought why not baptize them early? They don't need to wait for the marriage. So we challenged them and they accepted! As well, this has inspired this family even more to get married as fast as possible to get baptized. It's been a good week :)

We are working with another two people on their doubts and problems, and have had some really good lessons as well. The only thing this one guy needs to do is read the Book of Mormon and get an answer.  He has already said he wants to get baptized he just needs that confirmation from God.

Alright, so this last week was the Quentin L. Cook Conference. It was amazing! It was pretty short, only 2 hours, but every missionary had a chance to shake his hand and the hands of 2 seventies and their wives. I was also seated right next to the door that he came in from, so I was one of the first missionaries he and his wife saw so they both said hi and waved to me. He talked a lot about real growth and the fact that we need to integrate our converts more into the church. I thought about that and the baptisms that I have had. Out of all of them only one is inactive, and I thought that was pretty good so far. However, the mission is as well focusing a lot on reactivation. So E. Peterson and I are going to work with a family to reactivate them. This ward needs to split badly, the only thing they lack is families and sufficient worthy priesthood holders in the city of Cabo Frio, so our focus is this right now to help the ward split and one day in the near future have a stake here where a branch used to be.
My favorite lesson to teach is teaching the commandments. It's always the lesson where people get the most antsy and not wanting to follow them, so I love helping them realize that if it's true, then it doesn't matter what we have to do. It helps a lot of them.

So after E Mimary left, I realized that I was able to speak Portuguese with the people on the other end of the phone, and I was able to organize everything pretty good too. So for now everything is going smoothly to help get them set up for marriage. But yes, the bishop and ward mission leader have already told me that they know how to do everything and not to worry.

I love you guys lots and hope you have another great week!
Lots of love, Elder Baldwin
P.S. My companion is from Washington and doesn't like fish. I don't know if you wanted more info on him, lol.

Monday, April 23, 2012

So today is the last day of transfers. I'm staying here in Cabo Frio, but my Companion Elder Mimary was called to be a Zone Leader in a different Zone. He wanted to tell you guys they he loves you very much. He is really sad because he wanted to stay for another transfer. The picture of the family I sent is not married. She (The Mom) was the only one in her family not to get baptized, and she regrets it terribly. She even has a brother serving a mission who she writes to every week. We have started the process for them of getting married, but I'm really afraid. Elder Mimary knew much more about the rules of marriage than I do here in Brazil, and I don't know if he knows much about marriage here in Brazil, he is an American. His name is Elder Peterson. I don't know too much about him, I’ll meet him tomorrow. I hope he is a good companion.

So, the family wants to get married really badly. She has a basic knowledge of the gospel because she went to church when she was a little girl, so she knows she should be married. She says she feels that weight pressing on her every time she thinks about it, especially with us here teaching them. Last night she asked how long it would take to finish the marriage process. Here it is about 40-60 days. She wants it this week already lol. Her husband wants to marry as well. He is very shy and reserved, so he doesn't talk much, but he said he wants God more in his life, and we are sure he will be baptized as well after the marriage. Then, she asked how long after the wedding until they could be baptized. We told them it could be the same day if they wanted. That made her very happy. However, the husband has a mom and sister who live with them on the weekends who have been receiving the lessons as well. We invited them both to be baptized this Sunday. His mom immediately accepted. The Sister tentatively accepted. We made the invite on Saturday, before she went to church. She said she really liked the church, though, and we are almost positive that she is firm to be baptized as well.

We have one other investigator with whom we are working, who really likes the church a lot. He doesn't want to get baptized though, until he receives an answer that this is the true church. We are trying to help him recognize that answer. He has been to church now 3 times, and has loved it every time. We want to give him the baptismal challenge this week.

There are a few others but these are the principal and the most firm of our investigators. Thank you for your prayers I know they are helping.
 Say thank you To Uncle Kevin and Aunt Gena for me, and also Uncle Tyler and Aunt Linda. These blessings are huge that they are giving, and they will for sure receive many more blessings for this.

I love you guys so much, and thank you for everything. I'll let you know how the conference goes with Elder Cook. Oh... and Mothers Day is next Transfer. Man, the time has really flown by. I love you guys, Many blessings for you all.
Elder Baldwin

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yesterday we did not have a baptism, it fell through, but we confirmed the lady that we baptized last week. Her name is Marli and she is really starting to get really firm in the gospel. She basically just stays at home all day, so we gave her a bunch of Liahonas to read, the study manual for the old testament (which is what institute here is studying this year) and even now she is asking for doctrine and covenants to read! She always reads just a bit of everything each day. It's really cool to see how much she has progressed.

In terms of new investigators, we have a few. We are working on two families now who are able to be baptized, and another two families who need to get married first. Marriage here is incredibly much more difficult than in America, and for this reason it's much more common to just live together. But, we are helping them get everything done to get married and then baptized. This week we are preparing for Elder Quentin L. Cook to come to Rio, so my companion and I are focusing on people who are able to be baptized this week. We have about 7 candidates, and out of them we are hoping to get about 3 baptisms this week, but at the very least baptize someone lol. I'll let you know how that goes.

We did a service project for a family that took all day. The husband works for the electric company, so they go up in those boxes in the trucks to work on the power lines. We were restoring some of the old boxes for his company. This guy, the husband, his name is Jackson. He is really cool, and loves working with his hands like Dad and Brother Hales. He was given a really old bicycle that was a piece of junk. He sanded it down, took it apart and greased everything up and bought a few new parts for it. I was able to help him put everything back together again. He turned it into a pick hello kitty bike for his daughter’s birthday, and it looks brand new! He said he saved 300 dollars doing it this way, than buying a new one. I have included a picture of it so you can see.

My knee is alright, just a little pain after a lot of walking but nothing major. Keep praying for me, cuz it works! Lol. Yes Brazil gets lots of thunder and lightning when it rains, and I'm reading in Mosiah 22 now. I love you guys and wish you guys a good week! And send me more photos of people in general :) Alright I love you guys. Until next week.
Elder Baldwin