Monday, November 28, 2011

Miracles happen....

So I haven't heard from you yet. But ill just write what happened this week. We had a lot of great experience this week. First one was with Cleane and her family.

Cleane: Well my companion and I went to go teach her and her mom (Jeane, Jay-ani) about the plan of salvation. And it was so awesome because literally the spirit guided us. Probably one of the most powerful lessons I have ever taught. We explained about family and how they can be together forever. It totally hit home with them. You could see the tears in their eyes. And well, we asked all the right questions. We explained through baptism they can really have this happiness. And their family and live in the eternities, with so much love and joy with our Heavenly Father. Our final question, Cleane and Jeane do you feel this love and joy right now? Yes. We can have this joy forever, as a family. will you Cleane and Jeane take the first step to eternal happiness and be baptized on December 17? They said yes!!! Freak yeah! Cleane went to church this Sunday too! Jeane didn't, but we will get her next time. haha we had to go and pick Cleane up. Holy cow, I can't describe the happiness in that lesson. It is a lesson I will never forget.

The second experience Geralda. It was a contact we made and asked if we could stop by the next day. Got the address, I didn't know where the street was, but knew the neighborhood I guess you could say. We were talking and asked where this street is at. All of them said, oh it's that way. So we listened to what they said. It was way in the boonies!!! After an hour of walking we thought we were close. We asked some where this street is, they said, oh it's way out there and gave us pretty good directions. About another 45 minutes of walking we though to ourselves, I bet no missionary has been out here. I mean, this place was way the heck out there. But after a little bit more walking we came to a fork. With nothing in either direction. we thought, freak.... were lost now. We thought for a moment and decided to pray in the middle of the fork. Knowing we are messengers of Christ, we prayed to be guided by the spirit to know which path we need to take to share our message with Geralda. Both my companion and I felt to go left. Sure enough 15 or 20 minutes later we found the address. And sure enough we had found more people to teach, her family. Mayara, and Ingrid. So awesome!!! Taught with the spirit and they were balling. So awesome!!! Truly another experience I will never forget.

I learned a lot this week. I learned that one, you always need to be listening to the spirit. And 2 we are messengers of Jesus Christ. He will work miracles to make sure that the people will hear the message. But we have to be listening too. Always be listening. I love what I'm doing out here and seeing these miracles happen! There is nothing greater than bringing a message of true happiness. Hearing people say, I've been waiting for this message. And even better, when we ask, do you believe that we are really representatives of Jesus Christ. And when they say, oh my little angels, Yes I believe it. It makes me chuckle and well think. Wow, look how people look at us. Always keep this in mind as members too. We too are repsresentatives. We are in His church. Be an example and show the way for others. This is my message to you all. I love you all so much. and this week was full of success!

I hope that all is well in the states and keep up the good work :)

Com tanto amor, Elder Firl

Monday, November 21, 2011

New companion! No fat...No worries...

So this week has been amazing! It's gone by so fast! We were really blessed to have a baptism! That was most excellent! Let me tell ya. I love being a missionary. In one year, this family should be sealed in the temple. I wanna go to it! It took 3 months to get Sandra and Mayara baptized. So I feel pretty good! That they made changes and struggled. But I was talking with them yesterday and asked how they felt. And they felt so good and are so happy with their decision. Brings so much happiness to me. Love being a missionary :)

But it sounds like things are going well! Just buy the Letterman's jacket for Alex, make sure it is a little big. Idk I didn't wear mine a ton. But it's all good. You know best mom :)

Love you guys so much. I've been way busy and well the mail sucks here. So I might of not received their letters yet. haha anyways, love the amor and support.

1. Who is your new companion and where is he from?
Holy cow! I did receive a new companion this week. And he is pretty legit, let me tell ya! I've been quite blessed. His name is Elder Viana! Is he from Fortaleza! Hhe played professional soccer before the mission and quit to serve. He was offered a contract by Germany. Hard to turn down because that was literally his profession. He is thinking about playing for Real Salt Lake after the mission, he wants to learn English and well study in the states. But he might take the offer from Germany. Who knows. He is legit though. We have been getting a lot of work done. crazy stuff!

2. Did you teach Flavia again…I know you said you and your new companion would go and teach her!
Ugh, the appointment fell through :/ so we haven't taught her yet.

3. How is Cleane? I know you were bold with her…have you taught her again?
Haha we did :) Her and her mom will read and will be baptized when they feel it is true. nossa! So that was excellent! It was nice to teach her family. She is a little snakey, but it's all good. She has a lot of questions and we showed the Joseph Smith Restoration DVD to her. She loved it! We just need to teach slower with her. But things are going so well!!!

4. How about Audrei and Luciana?
Well Audrei took his huge test and well Luciana has a huge test. It's really hard to get a hold of both of them at the same time. But they are slowly progressing. They will be our goal for next month. They just want to know more and more. And they need to pray more and more. I think Luciana is feeling it's true, but I don't think Audrei is. We shall see the next visit.

5. Have you seen the American’s son at church yet? Have you talked to him? Do you still keep in contact with his mom the American?

He hasn't come yet. He is really stubborn. Yeah I still keep in contact with the mom. I see her every Sunday :) I always give her a nice hand shake and talk to her. haha she is so nice :)

6. How is Valeria and Victoria? I know you said they came to church…have you had anymore discussions?
We haven't been able to contact them... ugh so frustrating. We have tried so many times to visit but they are never home. I know they really loved Elder Schmutz.

7. How is Rento?
He is good :) He only drank once and is fulfilling the law of Chasity! HECK YEAH!!! So now we just have to get him to church again and then he should be ready for baptism. :) We are so close and he is progressing so much!

8. How is Sandra? Is she making any progress? I know you said she stopped smoking for 4 days?
HOLY SMOKES!!! She stopped completely! Everything! And guess what! She was baptized this week!!! hahaha heck yeah! João baptized her and her daughter. The daughter took out her nose piercing and everything. We had a really good lesson about it and well she took it out. haha so awesome!!! I will try to send pictures. Seriously, I love this family and the sacrifices they have made. nossa!

9. Did you get my package for November yet?
I got it! Thank you so much mom :) I've been sharing my goodies with my companion. It's been great. The mashed potatoes we had to give away. We don't really look in the house. haha

10. As missionaries do you have cell phones there?
Yes we do. I hate answering them. I get nervous every time. But I've gotten used to it slowly. I get nervous that I will hear wrong. But the Portuguese is improving a lot. haha in fact! Yesterday I gave a talk in church. I had nothing prepared and winged it. haha in Portuguese. Talk about the gift of tongues. Everyone said my talk was excellent. One sister was so funny, she said ` Elder Firl, when you were talking, it was like there was a light behind you. Excellent talk Elder Firl. You made a huge impression on my son. I talked about weaknesses and how the Lord will bless us. I talked about the struggle with the language and how blessed I've been. And I know I have a long ways to go still. And talked about how I was nervous to teach in a language I didn't know, and talked about the blessings, like the baptism that happened. :)

11. So do a lot of the homes you go into have DVD players? Do you hand out any of the Church DVD’s they have?

Yes, a lot of houses have DVD's. We don't give away the DVD's but we watch them with our investigators.

12. How often do you go to the mission home to get your letters’ and packages? Do they let you know when something arrives?
It depends, once a month or every 2 weeks. I just depends. But on average 2 weeks. They do not notify us if we have something. haha

13. How are your clothes fitting now that you have gained the extra weight! We hadn’t really planned on that! Most missionaries loose over there! I guess you have been lucky in that area!
All my clothes fit perfectly still. No worries. It's just like fat I've gain. haha I've just changed. idk. I'll try to send pictures. I'm just filling out, I guess you can say. haha Not fat. No worries. And yes, I have been blessed. All the members give me food and what not. haha the other Elders get jealous. Of course I share :)

14. Have you been told not to buy food from food stands? Or are there guidelines the mission tells you in regards to the food?
I just buy what I want. haha end of story. I am careful with meat. But other stuff, nah. If it's sealed I'm not worried.

15. How is the language coming?
Nossa, the language is good! Elder Viana is helping me, and well, I'm understanding a lot. I've had the opportunity to talk more and what not. It's pretty sweet. Still have issues with wording at times. But it's coming a lot. I'm learning everyday. Everyday talk is pretty easy. There are just a few times where I have to ask, ok what are you talking about. But it's coming a long. Slowly but surely. We got a new Elder in our district. Elder Cox. He almost speaks nothing. It just reminds me when I arrived. I can't wait to see his progress. Ah good times :) It makes me laugh and well I'm glad I'm not at that stage anymore, because I love to joke with the members and talk. The trick to it is to just talk. haha even if you are speaking wrong just talk and they will correct you. haha it's nice. Because when you apply you learn faster and when you don't understand, say you don't understand. haha just don't blow it off. It's been interesting. haha

16. What kind of service have you done lately for others?
Service, lets see here. We have helped people move. haha that's about it. A lot of people move in and move out of the area pretty quick. There are a lot of people from the north and well you get to hear a lot of different accents. The people from the northeast talk so flippin fast! But it's all good they articulate better. haha

Com Amor,
Elder Firl

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gained 15-20 pounds!

Sounds like it has been a crazy week in Utah :) But it sure seems like you guys had a blast :) que bom! But no, I didn't hear about the missionaries in Texas, that were killed. What happened exactly? And yes we are talking more Portuguese in the house. haha But I am progressing with the Portuguese. I learned a lot of stuff this week that makes things a lot more sense. For example... to say will that work for you? they say will that give to you. haha it's weird. But it makes sense. And just little stuff like that. I can understand people for the most part. But its slowly progressing. haha oh comment of the week from the Bishop.

Right before Elder Schmutz was leaving we were saying goodbye to the Bishop. And he goes Elder Schmutz, you have stayed the same. And well... Elder Firl, it looks like you have gained a little bit of weight. hahaha it was funny. Because I have gained a little. Probably 15lbs or 20. Of course the bishop was like, its not a bad thing. You just don't look like a starving kid anymore, haha you look more normal. It was pretty funny. Anyways, I'll answer the questions and peace out! I love you all and love hearing from you guys. boa semana pra vocês! falou!

Com amor,

Elder Firl

1. So what did you and Elder Schmutz do on his last P-Day?
Well for our last Pday we went to Embu das Artes and we bought some stuff there. haha I got a cuha. I think that's how you spell it. Basically it's this giant cup thing to make chimarrão. It's pretty legit. haha likewise I bought a jersey, a Barcelona one, it's pretty sick. I got it pretty cheap! And then I bought a blowdart gun. It's pretty legit. Everything is way cheap. Elder Schmutz, he bought a hammock. It's a rede. It was pretty expensive, but the Brazilian redes are legends in the north. They were imported from the north to here. It's legit. I'll get one later, that's for sure. They are way cool looking and super comfortable. Hand made! But that's about it. It was pretty chill. It was a good way to end the mission with Elder Schmutz.

2. Did you teach Flavia again?
We did. Things are going really well with her! She is progressing. She really wants to know the truth. Me and my new companion that I will receive tomorrow will go and teach her. So that will be pretty sweet!

3. What about Clayani?
Cleane, I realized I've been spelling it the American way. But she is good. She really wants to know why there are so many churches and which one is true. haha she is having issues with reading and understanding. But yesterday, we went over and told he we are representatives of Jesus Christ and that we are telling her this is the only church on the earth with the proper authority. It was bold, the room was silent, but she said really? You are representatives of Jesus Christ? We said yes of course, and that was SO powerful. She she knew we were, in fact. She said, I knew there was something about you guys. But really, I believe that you guys are reps of Jesus Christ. That was such an awesome experience!

4. How is Audrei and Luciana?
Well they are excellent! With much prayer we finally got their interest. With the Plan of Salvation. They had so many questions and well we answered everyone. Audrei doesn't believe in Adam and Eve, but Lucianna does. haha so that was interesting. But holy cow, they loved that lesson and said they believe all we are saying. Elder Schmutz is the man! He teaches so well!

5. How is the American and her son?
They are good. We said our goodbyes to them yesterday. But her son, he still is not going to church. Ugh, it's a tough situation, we can only do so much. Make invites, be his friend and advise him whats best. But he has the agency.

6. How about Valeria and Victoria? I know they have been busy with school.
THEY CAME TO CHURCH!!! Freak that was awesome! I think they really liked it. We will do a follow up with them, with my new companion So stay tuned! But I think they will get baptized!!!

7. I am sure Sandra hasn’t changed and you have probably moved on from here.

Oh Sandra, crazy story of hers. She hasn't smoked for 4 days, and stopped drinking. FREAK YEAH! She had a crazy experience... involving spirits. But anyways, that was kinda creepy. But because of it she wants to stop and become closer with Christ. She just has to pray about it. She is so close and is slowly getting there. Successful week! Let me tell ya!

8. How is Rento? I know he wanted to change! What is drinking café? Is that like a tea?
Well the baptism with Renato fell through, he was working and couldn't go to church. And it's been hard to contact him. So we have to do a good follow up with him and see how he is doing with Word of Wisdom. But the Law of Chasity is what's really hard. Oh Café, its coffee. haha like a cafe.

9. So do you have a new companion? If so where is he from and what is his name?
Not yet, I will receive a new companion tomorrow. I'm kinda nervous. haha but we shall see. I think he will be Brazilian.

10. Have you gotten my package for November yet?
Not yet. or at least I don't think so. haha

11. Do you need more English Book Of Mormons? Or can you get those from the mission home?
I can get more from the Temple. haha no worries. I'm good for now.

12. Does the mission home do anything for Christmas for you guys as missionaries?
I don't think so. haha I'm not exactly sure. President Pinho is new. haha oh his son is serving in Washington somewhere. haha look for an Elder Pinho. I don't know if he is serving in Spokane or Kennewick.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Last P-Day with Elder Schmutz...

Sounds like things are going so well in the Firl home with sports! haha Oh okay thanks for the package! I'll be looking forward to it.

Yeah it's going to be kinda weird not being here around Christmas, but it's all good. I love it here. haha the language is still hard and I'm noticing more things I need to correct in the language. I think my Portuguese has gone downhill because Elder Schmutz and I always speak English. I'm still learning Portuguese, just not as fast. Haha...and my conjugations are killing me. It's all good though.

So its my companions last P-Day today!!! haha I can't believe it! And well we have a ton of things to do today. Sorry the letter was so short, but we gotta a lot to do. haha

1. Any new people you got to teach this week?
Well we have many new people, but serious investigators, that's a different story. We found Flavia. She is divorced and well... she totally thinks my companion and I are good looking. haha its pretty funny. She tries to flirt with us. Haha... but she really has a desire to find the true church, she always has good questions to ask. So that's been good!! But that's the only new investigator that's serious. WAIT!!! We did find Clayani and her family. Haha... they are loaded with money! and we have met their whole family. Clayani is 19 and she is the youngest. Her family is really interested in the gospel and we have established a super good relationship with the family. Haha... and she is starting to crush on us. Hahaha... she cracks us up. She flirts but we are just like uh... how are the scriptures coming along. So we have found a couple, but they are really interested in the gospel. They are doing their homework :) So we will continue teaching them, even though its awkward at times.

2. How is Audrei and Luciana?
They are... good. We had an intense lesson about authority and well... we spoke with boldness and said our church is the only true church. Luciana is a hardcore Baptist. So that was a killer to her. But we bore testimony and the spirit took the tension away. Luciana has been doing a lot of reading and always has a ton of questions and always wants proof. Like when she asked if her baptism was valid... and well that kinda made her irritated when we asked how she received the holy ghost and she didn't have an answer. It made her think and makes her read more. its been going great with them though :)

3. How is the American and her son? I know you got a phone call from them and you were going to go see them last P-Day.
They are good. He is comfortable talking with us, but still isn't coming to church, so that's really hard. They invited us to a Halloween birthday party, so we went to that for a little bit so that the son would open up to us. He is really hard to get him to talk and spit out the truth. So now he trusts us. which is excellent!!!

4. How is Valeria and Victoria?
They are super! They found a home so we helped them move. That was a tough one. about a ton of stairs. But they are reading and praying. The baptism didn't work out, but she is progressing :) This week we get to teach her in her new house. It's been hard to contact her. She has had 3 exams and is had to move this week. So it was tough to find a time to teach her.

5. Sandra and Renato? I know they were having issues with smoking.
Sandra is still smoking. We have been checking in with her everyday. We feel like she doesn't really have a desire to stop smoking. So that's been tough. BUT! Renato quit! He quit drinking and smoking, and drinking cafe. But we found another problem. He is having problems with the Law of Chasity... like hardcore. But he said he will stop breaking it. He came to church! And we asked him how the Law of Chasity is going. He said "Dude, it's so hard. But I haven't broken the Law of Chasity. And I don't plan on it. Its so hard though." So we have been helping him. He has heart and knows these things are true and will bless him. His dad has talked to us and said, Renato has changed a lot... for the better. What are you guys doing? Talk about a perfect gateway to teach his dad! He told us he isn't interested, but will time... I think he will change his mind.

6. Did we figure something out for Christmas and calling or Skype? I can get you and International card so you can call home, will that work for back up?
Mom, that is not going to be figured out probably till 2 weeks before. I might get transferred 4 days before, so it's hard to say. But I will call and tell you the info. ta bom? Haha... patience. I can buy a calling card. They are cheap and everybody uses them. But i think what will happen is i will go to a members house, call you before you give you their number and the time to call. And I'll meet there and you will call them. haha ok? That's the best info I can give ya.

7. So do you teach on Sundays?
In church no. But yes we teach Sundays. Haha...we teach everyday.

8. Do you have one ward or two wards you work with?
Just one ward. Itapeceria um.

9. How is the ward mission leader? Is he helping you? Do you meet with him weekly?
Yeah he is helping us. He is a recent convert. It's João, the husband of Sandra! Haha... but he is giving us a ton of references.

Got to run...Love, Elder Firl