Thursday, June 19, 2014

March 10, 2014 - Small World, Transfer and New Companion - Elder Johnson

March 10, 2014

Chase and Elder Johnson.
Well, first things first.  My new companion and area.  My new area is in Enseada Guaruja. This area is super blessed. It's really big and to walk from one end to the other is 2-3 hours so we take the bus a lot!  I have really enjoyed it so far. The people here are really nice and are starting to take missionary work seriously!  

Now my companion.....did you guys go to school with a Shawn Johnson that went to Sky View then Utah State then moved to Virginia because his son is my companion!  ha-ha. He's been out for 4 months, but only one transfer in Brazil so his Portuguese is a little weak, but nothing that I haven't already passed through.  

We have three Americans and a Brazilian in our area.  We aren't dividing the area for right now.  The Brazilian that's here tells everyone that I'm fluent and I understand everything so that's been a confidence booster.  Our area is very close to the beaches, the really pretty ones so that's been cool because the beaches in Santos are really ugly and these have that lighter blue color!  

I'm the senior companion which has been really different ha ha, but nice at the same time. President Cabral and Sister Cabral gave us a talk that was super good that I'm going to send you in Portuguese to translate in Google translator!   

I'm finding out that mom, you've known Shawn Johnson since you were kids.  It's a small world in Logan and Smithfield, Utah ha ha.

March 10, 2014 - Invest in You as a Missionary, Message from President Cabral

Dear Elders and Sisters,
Today, I would like to address each one of you - I want to do something different, talk to you as if I were giving you a clear, direct and simple personal discourse. After reading the speech, please print it and keep it somewhere where you can quickly grab and read it again. I hope that my words will come into your mind and heart, as Joseph Smith said: "penetrated every fiber of my heart."
I do not know what dreams you have, but let me talk a little bit about it with you. You may be disappointed at this moment, discouragement may have slaughtered your faith while working towards this dream, but I want you to know that this dream in your mind and heart is possible!
Zone Conference, March 5, 2014. Chase is in the very back.
You must have already noticed that this work is laborious, HARD, HARD AND NOTHING IS EASY – A HARD LIFE CHANGE. In order to conquer your dreams, you will be exposed to various disillusions, various failures, a lot of pain, moments where you doubt yourself and maybe you question and ask God – Why? Why is this happening to me? I’m trying to just do good for others, help them to be better people, a good father, mother, children, and citizens of the community – to be an eternal family. I’m not doing anything wrong or hurting anyone. Why does this have to happen to me? You may have already experienced some difficulties along your life. Please do not give up your dream!

Zone Conference, March 5, 2014
The times will come, but they do not come to stay, they will come and pass as quickly as they arrived. Achieve the goals of baptism, education, researchers in the church, and speaking a new language. Win a bad habit by keeping the commandments. Having a successful mission is wonderful. The divine is something that only the elect of us will prove. You are a candidate, the chosen, preordained, designated to succeed. You have not been sent to this earth or mission to fail by failing to reach your goals. The DNA of success is something that really exists in all of us.
Divided into 5 workshops
Believe that it is important that you are a son of God, full of divine potential to overcome all things.  Many missionaries arrive in the mission, serve for 18 months or 2 years and then are out of the mission, go back home and die. These missionaries never grow and if they do something, stop immediately after growing. Stop working on themselves, stop thriving, progressing, whether or not they develop and don't take charge of themselves. They just like to complain, but want to do nothing about their situation.

Most missionaries are not working on their dreams, Why? I will say why: it is because of fear of failure. Missionaries are afraid to error, to try and and say to themselves "what if things do not work out?" These missionaries do not dare.
Missionaries spend much time with others, doing nothing or often mining the faith of others. Some other missionaries know others more than themselves. Why? They invest so much time on others, that they do not know who they really are. I will you to spend some time with yourselves. 
As missionaries you meet those that are a bad influence, disobedient and negative. They just attract bad things, speak only evil and deceive themselves. Keep away from them
Start achieving with yourself. Be the missionary that you've always wanted to be.
I challenge you to set your real value.

REMEMBER:Remember:  You are an unusual race, a royal preisthood, a generation elected. It is necessary to align with the missionaries who are positive, obedient, faithful, full of faith, humble, tireless workers. Align with those missionaries who are hungry to achieve their goals, will make things happen and want more.

Chase (partially blocked) and Elder Johnson near the front this time.
Missionaries who are living their dreams belong to Party Vencendores. Missionaries who are living their dreams are those who know that something will happen and it must begin with them.  If you want to be successful, you will have to do things that you have never done before; you have to leave all of your excuses!

I'm asking you to invest in you as a missionary!

Remember, the view that others have about you does not have to turn into reality. You do not have to go through the mission being a victim. Even if you face disappointments, you have to know within yourself - I can do this. Even if no one will see, I'll see for myself. That's what I believe and I'm willing to die for it. No matter how hard it is or how difficult it is to stay, I will do this!

I will teach 4 lessons per day. 
I will have researched 10 RES dates with the chruch

Some missionaries want to get to the highest level. Listen to me. You cannot get to the next level as a missionary if you do not invest time in the study of the scriptures, You cannot unravel the doctrines of the kingdom if you are not reading the scriptures. Today is a good day to start. I challenge you to all go to conference with the right attitude. I challenge you to invest in yourself by studying the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon.

I challenge you to ponder the doctrines. I challenge you to spend an hour knowing yourself during personal study. Plan to become who you should be. Become the person that you were created to be. You should plan to be what you were designed for. 

If you are only talking about your dream. If you are only talking about your goals, but have done nothing about them, take the first step. You can leave your parents proud, you can leave your ward and stake proud, you can touch the life of millions of people and the world will not be the same anymore because you decided to act and tread the path less trodden.

Do not let anyone steal your dream. Leave the club, "This is not possible, what terrible things it makes me do." After you face refusal, have a meeting where no one shows up , have someone say, you can count on me and then they don't help you, and you feel lost again and again and again. If the lights went out before you, no matter what happens, keep taking care of your dream, reviewing it all day and telling yourself: "The dream becomes no greater than the ability to get it."

Maybe you will have more work, will need to use more resources, connect with more people. It is possible. Tell yourself daily, "it is not finished. It is not finished until I win."

You can live your dream!

"Having a great dream is as easy as having a little dream," Gen. Clark.
If you can dream, you can do it," Walt Disney.


With love,

President Cabral

March 2, 2014 - Carnaval and Power of the Priesthood

March 3, 2014

Sao Paulo Carnaval (photo from internet)
Hello, Mom and Dad!  This week has been pretty eventful in Brazil, but uneventful for missionaries who serve in Brazil!  This week is Carnaval which basically gives the right for Brazilians to party literally all night long drinking and dancing with out having any problems.  Of course, my area is the center of it all so it's even worse here!  No one wanted us in their house because of Carnaval so it was pretty boring as a missionary.  President Cabral had all the missionaries in their house by 5 because past this you're going to see naked women walking on the streets.Yeah, you read right; it's terrible. 

McKaylee told me about ball. That's too bad about the boys. I'm sure they were pretty devastated; they were good.  That's so awesome though that McKaylee had her two best games the last two games of her career.  She definitely went out with a bang!  

Dad, I'm thinking that when you leave town on business there's a curse of some sort that something bad will happen. It's just the luck of our family though for sure ha ha.  

This week we didn't have a lot of opportunities to teach, but me and another Elder had an opportunity to give a blessing yesterday to a 19 year old girl in the ward.  First, background: in Brazil, all the young men and young women during Carnaval try to avoid it. They go to something that is basically like EFY and stay there so that they have better options. This girl had to work so she couldn't go, but everyone else had already left so she was literally the only person close to her age group around.  Also she has a boyfriend that's serving a mission which makes it more difficult.  She said that she was feeling alone and that she was always getting upset really quick and annoyed.  We try to focus the blessing on these things so it can make it more powerful.  The elder gave the blessing and said things completely different than what she said was wrong, but things that were very deep and profound. When he finished the blessing and we took our hands off her head, her face was filled with tears falling from her eyes.   She told us that she said only a little bit about what was wrong, but that the elder I was with said everything that was really the matter.  He said things that were in her patriarchal blessing word for word.  It was such a cool experience because you knew that the spirit was testifying to each one of us in that moment.  I also found it significant that the power of the priesthood is the same for anyone.  It doesn't matter who is giving the blessing whether it's a mission president, a patriarch or an elder.  The power of the priesthood is the same.

I'm getting transferred tomorrow. I don't know where or if I will train or who my companion will be yet but I know that I'm leaving this area.  I'm honestly really nervous about transfers because I just feel inadequate to train right now, but I'm still excited to get a new companion.  
For your information, my legs are about twice the size they were before. I weigh 195..yeah shocked me too. In two weeks it will be 6 months.

I'm going to try to send you a talk that my mission president gave us. It's in Portuguese, but maybe putting it in Google translator will do the trick!

love you guys

March 2, 2014 - Happy Birthday, Coulson!

March 2, 2014

Happy Birthday, Coulson!  It’s crazy that you are already 16 years old and close to driving. Now you are able to bless the sacrament!  It’s such a blessing to be able to bless every week!  Make sure that you are worthy and able to do so every week.  I want you to think about the sacrament when you are blessing like this: our covenants of baptism that we made are renewed every week.  How? during the sacrament, and so the entire ward is expecting and hoping that the sacrament is passed in a reverent way so that they can be once again cleansed of their sins from the past week.  Coulson, this is very important that we renew our covenants and we renew them worthily.   As soon as you leave church you should begin preparing to bless for the next Sunday.  

I’m proud of the person you have become and you will become!  I can tell you that I wasn’t the reason that you are who you are but it’s because of you: Your work ethic, your preparation, and your character.  I’m always so proud to talk about what you all are doing back home and just brag of my family.  Thanks for giving me something to brag about, it’s pretty easy to brag about you!  Congrats on being 16 and dating. Just be smart with girls; they are crazy for Thurgood boys wherever in the world they go!  Keep working hard in track, but remember most importantly to have fun. I forgot to have fun my senior season and that’s why I didn’t do as well as I wanted to.  Just have fun!  Here’s a quote for you:  to do less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.  

Love you, Coulson. I am proud of you!

February 24, 2014 - Greetings from the Favela

February 24, 2014

Um did you guys ask for letters????  No, just kidding ha ha, but if you want I can try to send them to you guys because it takes almost 2 months to get there.  I forgot my notes from the stake conference again. I’m sorry, don’t be ashamed of me.  This week has been good we have a new investigator that is very good.  His name is Anderson; he’s doing well and we really are praying that he will get baptized this Saturday!  Other than that, we haven’t had too much stuff happen to us.  

I saw a rat this week the size of one of those Shih Tzu dogs in the canal and then about 100 yards ahead a couple of kids from the favela were swimming in the canal. I nearly puked.

Brazilian Favela; photo from internet
I went to the favela and the houses were on top of the water, I was a little freaked out that I would fall into the water!   But all is well, transfers are next week and I am hoping that I stay in Areia Branca, but I have no idea hah!

love you, Mom

Elder ChaseThurgood