Monday, June 29, 2015

On Monday 29 June 2015 Elder Kamilos wrote....

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well this week was a powerful week for us in the Santa Rita Zone! We ended the month with all but one companionship having baptized during the month. We're certainly moving forward into the next transfer and month, and speaking of transfers, it turns out that I'll be spending my last transfer here in Bayeux with Elder Voorhies!!! It's funny, actually, because almost nothing changed in the zone, which is really great. I'm hoping to end my mission with fire!

Speaking on the new decision of the US Supreme Court, I don't find it all too surprising. Recently I've been digging into the scriptures and reading a lot of prophecies concerning the last days, and it´s amazing how vivid it becomes when we come to understand what the Savior and the prophets and apostles of the scriptures all warned against. I started reading the book of Isaiah last week, and I actually studied that exact chapter (chapter 5) on Saturday. I marked this scripture, and kept pondering on the present condition of the world. The second-coming of the Lord is swiftly coming. The signs testify of that truth. I've come to know and recognize what "apostacy" really means, and I am so grateful for the Restoration of the Gospel that continues to be realized.

As for me, I´ve never been happier or more content on my mission! As I look back at all that has happened, I realize just how much that I've experienced. These have been the best and most productive years of my whole life, and I'm going to miss Brasil so much. But I still have six weeks to make the most of it!

I love you all!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On Monday 22 June 2015 Elder Kamilos wrote....

Dear Mom and Dad,

Happy Father´s Day Dad! I have to admit, I almost forgot, because here in Brasil, Father´s Day is in August, haha. But Giovanna reminded me, because she saw it on facebook. Speaking of that, Joseane and Giovanna were confirmed yesterday! It´s such a great feeling to see converts baptized and confirmed, and start on the path towards a deeper, more profound conversion.

Also, we´re looking forward to a great last week of the month and transfer. Almost all of the companionships have baptisms marked for the 28th, and so we´re hoping to close the month with a great week of miracles! I have the good news next week for sure.

As for me, I continue to do very well with Elder Voorhies. He´s really helping to keep me alive and active until the end, haha.

That´s it for this week! Short and simple. Next week will bring the news of my last transfer on the mission (uh oh!). The time is really passing by so fast. It´s unbelievable. I just tucked away my flight plan because I don´t want to keep my mind of going home. I´m here to endure to the end!

Love you all! I love you Dad! Happy Father´s Day, again!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

May and June....

On Monday 15 June 2015 Elder Kamilos wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad!

Yesterday was a great great day!! Cristina was confirmed, and we had two more baptisms! We baptized a mom and daughter, Joseane and Giovanna! They're a great example of pure faith and trust in the Lord. We worked very hard to help them understand that faith isn´t a perfect knowledge, and that their desire to follow the Savior and their obedience to the commandments is enough, for now, to be baptized. They truly are elect, and we had a lot of help from a family of recent-converts who have a very similar conversion story. Today we'll be having a family home evening with the two families, and we'll be teaching from the fifth Preach My Gospel lesson, specifically about temples and eternal families. We´re so excited to challenge them all to participate in baptisms for the dead in next month's ward temple trip.

Aside from our success, we're seeing a lot of great things happening in the zone. Our goal this month is to have every companionship baptize, and for this week many of the comps that haven't yet had a baptism have investigators marked for the 21st. It's gonna be a great week!

Also, I had quite a testimony-building experience last week when I was on exchanges with one of the district leaders in the zone, Elder Fanzlau. We were headed to visit a recent-convert when we turned around the corner and saw a large group of people on the street side watching a man who was kicking and screaming and rolling on the ground in the mud. People believed he had been possessed, while others thought maybe he had just drunken a little too much. Whatever the case, he was acting unusually strange, even for a drunk. There were probably drugs involved as well. So Elder Fanzlau and I decide in that moment to follow the spirit, and the spirit moved us to give this man a blessing, right there on street. The man stood up, said a few words that didn't really make any sense, and then fell over suddenly and continued to roll around. In that moment, we put our hands on his head, and we gave him a blessing by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. As soon as we said, "amen" he stopped, relaxed completely, and exhaled very deeply. There was an immediate change in him, and he pretty much just fell asleep. This was done in front of many people, and we decided that we had done what we needed, and so we stoop up quietly and left. Everybody was silent. The spirit was strong, and as we walked away, we just felt a powerful energy running through us. Part of it was adrenaline, for sure, but there was much more to it than that. We walked away, having witnessed first hand the reality of Priesthood power. Upon returning that same way about 30 minutes later, we asked a few people on the sidewalk if that man was better. They said he was much better, and about a minute later we saw him walking with a couple of people helping him, and he said, in broken english, "thank you, my friend, my brother." Sure, he was still a little perturbed, but in his resemblance there was a light that just moments earlier had been covered and darkened.

The church is true. The Priesthood is real. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.

I love you all so much!

On Monday 8 June 2015 Elder Kamilos wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad,

Unfortunately, I don't have much time to e-mail today, but the big news is that our investigator, Cristina, was baptized yesterday!! She's a very special woman about mom's age, and she is just so excited to be a new member of the church. She bore a powerful testimony at the baptismal service yesterday, and it was great because our entire district had investigators there to watch. Many our now set to be baptized this coming Sunday, including two of our investigators, Josiane and Gevona, a mom and daughter. They really enjoyed coming to church, and even enjoyed the testimony meeting! Saturday, Elder Voorhies and I took an entire family of recent converts to their house to teach the plan of salvation, and it was seriously the best lesson I've taught in my entire mission. We left that house on such a spiritual high, and I almost started crying for joy during the opening prayer of the next lesson that immediately followed.

So sorry this e-mail is short, but just know that I have never been so enthusiastic about being a missionary and helping this zone as well. We are definitely seeing a lot of wonderful changes, and the zone is really starting to catch on fire!

I love you all! I know this gospel is true!!

On Monday 1 June 2015 Elder Kamilos wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad,

The life in the mission field is great!! Our area continues to go better and better every day, and we´re finding a lot of great families to teach! A member in our ward gave us some outstanding referrals, one of which will be baptized this coming Sunday, and another couple who is really learning a lot with our visits. Elder Voorhies and I work so well together, that it´s really just natural. We´re challenging everyone we contact to be baptized, and the rest of the zone is starting to catch fire as well. On friday, when we set our goals for the month of June, every companionship in the zone gave a high goal, and I have never felt so proud of these missionaries. We´re certainly making some great changes, and we´re hoping to set records in the month of June. The great thing about these numbers, however, is that every single number represents the souls of the children of God. That is why we´re here! To find God´s elect, and to make those who are not yet elect to become elect. Every individual is at a different stage of spiritual growth, but if one has desire, Christ says "come as you are."

I´m sure the news spread quickly of the passing away of Elder Perry. I first heard sunday morning. I was certainly sad to hear, because I really love all of the Brethren as if I knew them personally. Elder
Perry was such a strong witness and voice of the Savior, and I´ll certainly miss him. But then, after thinking about it, he was at such a great age, and with all that he knew, and with such a degree of
faith that he possessed, I´m certain that death was really quite a joyful moment for him. When we know and understand the plan of salvation, it really does give us an eternal perspective of life.

The work of salvation continues to accelerate every passing moment! I know this work is true, and I know that Christ is our Savior, our Brother, and our Captain. He called me to this work through a living prophet, and that is what gives me courage.

I love you all very much!

On Monday 25 May 2015 Elder Kamilos wrote:
Hello from Bayeux!!

This week has been extremely challenging! I say that in a good way, because Elder Voorhies and I basically challenged everyone we contacted to be baptized! I don't think I've ever had such an
enthusiastic companion, and the two of us together pretty much makes a dream team, haha. I think I mentioned this, but he and I arrived in Brasil at the same time. We didn't have any contact for over a year, but when I found out we would be companions, I immediately became very excited. If I could describe his personality in a very simple way, I would just say imagine John, haha. Only nobody can ever replace John, of course. But I'm sure these final months will be the best of my mission!

The work in the zone is going much better now. We basically made the goal to just challenge everybody we talk to to be baptized. It's starting to give some good results too!

I am absolutely sure that this is God's work, and that it is hastening as we speak! I know that we are God's children, and that He loves us very very much. Jesus Christ lives, and this is His church.

I love you all very much! And happy birthday to Leah this week!


On Monday 18 May 2015 Elder Kamilos wrote:

Transfer day!! I´ll be staying in Bayeux with my new companion... Elder Voorhies!! I was really really excited when I heard we would be companions. We first met in the Salt Lake Airport, when I left the Ogden mission, and he had just left the MTC. We immediately became good friends, and I know this is going to be a companionship of power. He´s from Lubbock, Texas, and is only my third american companion since I´ve been in Brasil. Interesting fact about him? His name is Luke, and not after Luke from the Bible, but after Luke Skywalker from Starwars, haha. He and his dad are huge Starwars fans, and they even had the chance to meet George Lucas and watch one day of the filming
of episode three. He´s very enthusiastic, and he´s an experienced leader in the mission, although this is the first time he´ll be serving as a zone leader. But we´re really hoping to boost this zone a lot this transfer. It´s very likely that he´ll be my last companion as well, so we have to make the most of it! Also, he´s a choir boy just like me, so I´m sure there will be plenty of singing in the house, haha.

That´s really interesting about the change in the mission. But that´s way cool that it´ll now be an "Arkansas" mission! Bentonville really is a great place. Almost as good as Fayetteville, haha. :)

As for the temple, I´m really looking forward to making it back to the temple when I get back. That´s one of the first things I want to do, actually.

So, other than transfers, there´s really no big news from me. The work is going, and I´m sure we´ll really hit the ground running today. I´ll let you know of any baptisms!

This is the work of the Lord. That is something that I know so very well. Christ lives, and is our Savior and Redeemer. The Book of Mormon and the Bible are sacred scriptures and truly contain the work of God. If there is one thing I've gained on my mission, it is a love for the scriptures. That has helped my testimony grow so much as well.

Love y´all!

On Monday 11 May 2015 Elder Kamilos wrote:

Dear Mom and Dad,

It was great to see the family yesterday! Bain is really growing up fast! Gavin as well, haha. I'm glad everyone's doing well back home.

It's really hard to believe that I only have three months left here in João Pessoa. I'm determined to make the most of them! I know it'll go by quickly, but I still have plenty of time to bear my testimony and preach the gospel.

As for the work, it's progressing. We've seen a lot of good things happening in the stake among the other companionships. President Nogueira gave a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday, and so we're
hoping that the ward will follow the counsel that he gave.

Transfers will be next week, but since the day of transfers has now changed to Monday, I'll be able to send my weekly e-mail as usual next week. This week will be brief due to the skype call yesterday.

I love you all very much! Happy Mother's Day (yesterday) Mom! I know this work is true, and that God does live. Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world.

Until next week!

On Monday 4 May 2015 Elder Kamilos wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad,

First things first! So it seems like everything is set up for me to call home at 8 pm my time. I hope that´s a convenient time for the family. Our sacrament meeting ends at 7 pm, and from there we´ll go
straight to our ward mission leader´s house to make the call. I still can´t believe how fast the time has flied since the last call! I´ll be home before you know it.

Also, that sounds just fine, concerning the core classes. I think that's best anyway. It´s a shame that the last orientation is just days before I come home, but it seems like it´ll all work out just fine.

This last week was really good because we found 3 great families in which the parents are legally married! One family made it to church yesterday, and another will be coming this next sunday. It will be really great, because our mission president and his wife will be speaking in our ward on mother´s day! We´re hoping it´ll give the ward a little boost. We can use all of the help we can get.

I know for certain that this work is true! One of the greatest things about serving a mission is receiving an undeniable testimony of the gospel. Miracles happen every day. I have such a love for the scriptures and for the revelations of modern prophets. It´s been such a privilege to be a full-time representative of the lord Jesus Christ, and I've felt him walking by my side in so many of the hardest as well as the easiest of times. This is something that I wouldn't trade for anything.

I love you all! The church is true!