Monday, November 24, 2014

"I made a promise with myself and the Lord that this week I would be as perfect as I can possibly be, haha. I don´t want anything on my part to keep this family from progressing and entering into God´s kingdom."

Dear Mom and Dad,

That´s great to hear about your inspired dream. It´s amazing how the Lord speaks to us in so many ways. The Plan of Salvation is now my favorite lesson to teach. At the beginning of the mission, I always thought that the Plan of Salvation was the most complicated and difficult lesson to teach, but I realized rather recently that it can be a turning point for people. After all, it is the exact same plan that was presented to ALL of us in the pre-existence, and our purpose in this life is to make a choice: to accept and live the Gospel, thus fulfilling God´s plan, or to reject it and never reach our divine potential. Eternal life and happiness, or eternal damnation and misery. The choice is ours, and we make that choice through faith and repentance expressed by good works, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

As for the work here in João Pessoa, we had great success this week! We had ten of our investigators attend church yesterday, including a family of six (and the parents are MARRIED!) We found them on saturday, and we will be working with them this week and doing everything to mark a baptismal date. This family has 3 teenage sons and a pre-teen daughter, so they are for sure future missionaries. I made a promise with myself and the Lord that this week I would be as perfect as I can possibly be, haha. I don´t want anything on my part to keep this family from progressing and entering into God´s kingdom. On top of that, we have a mother and son who (with a lot of faith) are preparing to be baptized this week. The son is absolutely ready, he even went to the youth campout last weekend. The mother has a few things to work out, but it´s nothing the Lord can´t help with. I hope to have great news in next week´s email!

How ´bout them Hogs, eh? Sounds like they´re starting to climb back up the ladder! We´ll see what bowl they´ll be going to in a couple of weeks now.

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Make sure to send a hug to all the family! People down here are putting up Christmas lights already. It´s really weird, because as long as I´m being broiled in this Paraíba sun, I
just can´t get used to the fact that it´s the Holiday season, haha. Oh, and one more big news! Last week, my MTC companion, Elder Beavers, finally arrived in Brasil! So now, all 8 of my MTC group are here in the mission! And his "trainer" is my former companion, Elder Castro, haha. I´m sure he´ll adapt quickly, he´s a great Elder.

That´s it from Brasil this week! I love you all! And Christmas is just around the corner! Looks like I'll have to start working out the details for the anticipated skype call. It all depends if I stay here in this area next transfer or not. Transfers will be December 10th, in just over 2 weeks.

Com amor,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"My responsibilities include...."

On Monday November 17, 2014 Elder Kamilos wrote:

Dear Mom and Dad,

So I´m almost out of time! This email will be pretty short this week.

So my district has 12 missionaries: 8 elders and 4 sisters. The zone leaders are also part of the district, so that´s just wonderful, haha. My responsibilities include speaking to all of the senior companions
by phone every night, making sure they´re reaching the standard of excellence, and helping with any difficulties they have. Sunday night is when we close our numbers, and so I have to get all of the numbers from the district and pass to the zl´s.

As for accents, I can certainly tell the difference between the regions of Brasil. It´s usually definable by the way people say their "r´s"

And my time is up! Sorry to cut short. Next week will have more details!

Love you all!! Stay warm!

Monday, November 10, 2014

"I'm assigning you as District Leader, okay? You need to go as quickly as possible to your new area..."

On 10 November 2014 Elder Kamilos wrote:

Dear Mom and Dad,

So as you know well, this mission is just FULL of surprises, haha. So this morning as I was studying, I get a phone call from one of the Assistants, and so I answered the phone wondering what the news was. When I answered, I realized that it was NOT Elder Moraes (the assistant) but that it was President Nogueira!

President: "Elder Kamilos, how are you doing today?
Me: Uhh, great President, I´m fine.
Pres: Good, good Elder, and how are you doing with the commandments,
are you keeping the commandments? (At this point I was shaking, thinking What in the world did I do now??) But I answered honestly and
simply 'I´m keeping the commandments President!'
Pres: Wonderful, Elder. So today you´ll be going to Paratibe (another area in the same stake), and I'm assigning you as District Leader, okay? You need to go as quickly as possible to your new area.
Me: Uuuuhhhh, Okay President! I´ll be ready as soon as possible!
Pres: Thanks Elder, good work!
End call.

So after spending a week and a half with Elder Bezerra in José Américo, I´m now in Paratibe with Elder Pechel from Curitiba, Brasil, my NEW new companion! And I´m actually really excited, because this area is a neighbor to my old area, Valentina. I already know the Bishop and some of the members here, so I´m sure it´ll be a great experience working here.

As for the work this past week, it was an excellent week as far as finding and teaching, but it didn´t close very well because our investigators didn´t go to church. But the work goes on! At least Elder Bezerra knows the area very well, and we left a good area book all up to date. The Elder that took my place is Elder Gannaway, who was one of the Assistants until the switch today. I´m absolutely confident that he´ll do some great work in that ward, he´s an excellent missionary.

The temperature there is falling, while here it´s rising and rising! 35 degrees sounds wonderful, haha. But I´m used to the heat here, so it´s bearable. People are already putting up Christmas lights, which
is strange to me because it´s at least 100 degrees here. I´m definitely not in Utah this holiday season!

So that´s the news from me! Emergency transfers and all that. Hope all is well back home! I´ll have the news from the new area next week!

Love you all!

Elder Kamilos

Monday, November 3, 2014

"This is gonna be a great transfer!"

On 3 November 2014 Elder Kamilos wrote:

Dear Mom and Dad,

So it was a smooth transition from one area to another. I´m settled into the new apartment, and for sure it´s the newest and cleanest residence I´ve been in since I´ve been in Brasil!

The only news as far as the work goes is our one progressing investigator, Adriano. He´s 46 years old, and is REALLY searching for the true church. He always keeps his commitments as far as reading and praying, and he always asks really great questions. With the way things are going, it looks like he´ll be baptized this week or next week. Prospective priesthood bearer!

But other than that, there isn´t much, haha. The area book wasn´t very well put together when I got here, and so we just met a lot of dead ends. But we´re going to be doing a LOT of work this week to get a new teaching pool built up. Our ward mission leader is very very well organized, and he helps a lot with the work. We have SIX ward missionaries as well (WOOHOO!), so I see a lot of potential in this area. We actually have correlation every week, and on top of that our ward mission leader has weekly meetings with the ward missionaries to do lesson training straight from PMG. Our Bishop is really great too, and he has a good sense of humor. He encourages all of the members to give us references, and he even told us we can use his name to bug the members, haha.

I´m sure I´ll have more to talk about next week, concerning the work. But I´m doing really well here! Elder Bezerra is a great companion. He´s obedient, low-stress, and helps me a lot with learning the area and getting to know the people. He has 18 months on the mission, which at first I thought would make it hard for me to be senior companion, but he´s way humble, and he knows how to work, teach, study, and everything else. This is gonna be a great transfer!

Exciting to hear about Jessica and the team! And it sounds like fall is settling in nicely. The summer is starting down here, so the weather is going from hot to hotter, haha.

Love you all!