Saturday, August 30, 2014

May 26, 2014 - "Plain and simple, it's hard"

This week was alright. I'm learning a lot with my new companion. He doesn't like to listen to me.   He says he doesn't believe in anything I'm saying because that's not how they did it in his short mission when he didn't get his visa for 2 weeks.  It's been frustrating to say the least and I've really been struggling with this lately.  Please pray for patience for me.  I am trying everything I have learned about loving others, but it's hard. Plain and simple, it's hard.

Our baptism fell through at the last minute. He was ready, but then his ex-girlfriend came over to his house and yeah. So we need to revisit the Law of Chastity and then we will see.  He is really good, but he doesn't have the desire. We found a couple different families this week.  Francielle, daughter with a baby of 1 month and Gloria, mom of Francielle, Fatima, mom and her two daughters, Talita and Luiza.  Leila, mom and Larissa.  Mayara and Felipe are so close to understanding and wanting to be baptized. The problem is they don't understand the importance of going to church and keeping commitments.  I've really tried studying a lot on how I can change my teaching to get them to keep commitments better.  
It rained for 5 days straight. A little ridiculous honestly and it was in the 50s- 60s so it was the coldest weather I have felt since September.  
McKaylee told me about the graduation. I know I probably shouldn't have laughed, but I could just see this happening to her or me and us forgetting about seminary hahah sorry.  I'm glad you got to see all of my friends. I saw pictures of Matt and Jake. They both look good haha. Jake's thick as heck and Matt is looking like Matt.  I'm sure Jake hits the ball hard and far but probably not very straight.  
This week I also went to Santos because my companion needed some Brazilian identification to carry with him.  Studied in Ether 1-3 really enjoyed it.   Never realized that The brother of Jared saw us in our day because of his faith.  He literally saw everyone before, during and after his time.  Ether 3:25.
Thanks, Dad, for everything
Love cHASE
hahah I'm sorry, mom, about McKaylee robbing years off your life, but I thought it was freaking hilarious, honestly hahahah.  I was just thinking that Grandpa was probably laughing at the whole situation.  Did you take photos of the party or just with the graduation? Of course, she would be the one to take off the NHS collar. She is a goof - there is no other way to describe McKaylee besides McKaylee.  Those chocolate strawberries sound so ridiculously good. I haven't had strawberries in so long.  Was it hectic with both sets of grandparents there?  

I have read the hymnal several times already. I really like what you wrote in there. I always start out my studies reading or humming a song based on what I am going to study. 
Frozen - I haven't watched it, yet.  I probably will watch it today if anything.

McKaylee sure wrecked herself on a chain link fence hahahaha. Typical McKaylee.
Love you mom

May 19, 2014 - New Companion in Registro - Elder Veiga

Chase and Elder Veiga
It was good this week, but we had transfers and now I am training a new Elder from Cape Verde Africa. He is pretty cool, but we are still trying to get used to each other. He is still pretty star struck with everything here because everything is new and I just want to get to each place. He drags a little, but he will get used to it. 

He has come from a really hard background and definitely the church changed his life.  He was a gangster/druggie. Yeah crazy stuff.  When he first told me, I just had a face of shock - like I'm never going to make you mad because I'm worried what you will do. I laugh now, but I was a little freaked out when he told me. I am not sure how much I really like training, but its been good so far.  I have faith that we can have at least 1 baptism this Saturday.  I'm really excited because when you train you have to baptize for you trainee.  

That's cool McKaylee spoke in church. What was it about?  I had to speak again, also in Sacrament meeting, for 20 minutes.  I'm starting to get used to it now. haha  That's a heck of a lot of time sleeping. Do you feel better now?  I think the card will work, I just need to make sure today. If something doesn't work, I'll email you during the week.
Our mission is really focusing on faith and how it can do everything for us.  We made a goal that every missionary baptizes on the 24h or 25th of this month.  We are working so that we can achieve this goal.  
Love you dad
Oh, PS I had a dream last night that we were playing soccer together haha. It was funny to me!

Hahaha Sister Cabral is funny!

It sounds like you had a busy week for sure!  Congrats - you are almost done with Seminary! I definitely think it will be a blessing for you to focus on different things inside the scriptures.  

I got the package last week.  Thank you so much; I loved it.  All the food was gone in a day, but i really enjoyed it.  I figured out the DVD already haha, but I haven't watched it yet.

McKaylee - What a shower can do for someone is huge hahahaha!
I want to see how long that McKaylee is there going to the singles ward before someone starts liking her and taking her on dates there haha. Everyone here wants to email her and I haven't let them yet hahah.

Dad said he slept from basically 4pm to 5 am this morning. Sounds like he really is working a ton these past couple weeks.
I'm doing good right now. I hope next week or duing the week I can share some of my spiritual experiences or miracles that have happened these past couple weeks.  
I love you mom a lot - I (almost) can't take it anymore!!!  (What movie is this?) Squints.
Love you with all my heart

May 12, 2014 - Faith

Scripture marking
Here is the stuff about faith:
"Without faith, it's impossible to please God." - Hebrews 11:6
Ether 12:18 if we want miracles and blessings in our lives, we have to have faith.
12:27 the power of God to do all, being humble to acknowledge that He can do all for us and believing in h\His power.
31 What happens when we believe in God with all intent.
The brother of Jared had such faith that he beheld the hand of the Lord and then his faith grew in that moment that he saw all of Christ.
Enemy to faith= doubt
Mormon 9:21
D&C  67:3 why sometimes we don't receive the fulness of blessings because we doubted.

This is the quick run down hope this helps  you at least a little.

Fried Banana with condensed milk

Man that would be so nice to play in that 4 man scramble!  
A Sister from Chase's CTM district is serving in Curitiba. LOL
Thanks for the heads up, I'll make sure to pay closer attention about the little things!   I still  haven't found anything out about the transfers, but I hope I can stay here in Registro for at least one more.  
This is what I was talking to you about getting the bat out of the church. I had to put it in the dust scooper.

I think it would be good that you go to the bank because the card isn't working.  It was super good to talk to you guys last night. You get really anxious and then you just kind of relax after haha. It will be awhile until we can talk again, so I'm glad we talked for the time that we did.
Love you 
Elder Thurgood

May 11, 2014 - Mother's Day!

Whew! We had some technical difficulties and started hours late, but we finally got to talk with this sweet boy. Happy Mother's Day indeed!

Some of our emails while waiting. . .
Sorry about that, but being the leader means you make the sacrifice. I've already teared up haha. I've been figuring out all of these internet problems and one of the sisters is nearly in tears. It's making me so worried about her.

You've got this. We've got your back. We'll be praying for you to figure it out. Love you

I think I got it, but Elder Chase will talk now and then I will go.

Alright so I will be on Skype at 3 o'clock your time, 6 o'clock my time and we can only talk for an hour maybe a little more but not much over an hour. Love you 

May 6, 2014 - Zone Conference Training

 Well,  my P-day got moved to today because we had zone conference yesterday.  I gave a 2 hour training to my zone. I was pretty nervous at first, but it turned out really well.  The mission right now is having a hard time baptizing, basically it's a lack of faith that we aren't getting it done.  So president asked that all the ZL's talk about faith in the training. It was really good.  I studied really hard so that it could help the misionaries in my zone.  I related how faith will be exactly equal to our personal rightesouness.  If we have personal rightesousness we have faith and vice versa.  I used a ton of scriptures from Ether 12 on faith and also talked how doubt is the enemy of faith.  Super cool - I'll share with you guys more on Sunday.  

 I'll start praying for my package hahah. If I just get the hymn book, I'll be fine.  Learned how to play a lot of songs on the piano.  Do you remember the song,  "Wanted" by Hunter Hayes? I now can play that one. It's pretty cool.    

I think right now, Sunday in the afternoon would be good, basically right after you guys get done with church because we are having a short transfer and already will know if we are transferred to a new area this Sunday.  So for right now, lets plan on 2:30 your time, 5:30 my time. If not, I'll email you because Elder Chase also wants to talk to his family on Sunday.

Elder Parrella with Elder Thurgood

I had a really good talk with Elder Parrella, one of the Assistants and really got a lot of stress released and am doing well.  We talked how the Atonement literally gives us the capacity to do everything and how obedience is everything.

Love you, Mom
See you SOON!

Love you Dad.
Felt your prayers this past week.  Thanks.  Got a lot out of this week on what I need to do. God loves each and every one of us.  If I gained a testimony of anything on the mission it's that God lives, Christ lives.  Without a shadow of a doubt, Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God to restore the Church of Christ with the priesthood authority to act in His name. I'm grateful for the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
I'm doing well with my companion. I'm not being quite as nice with him talking in English.  He needs to learn so I'm being a little hard on him. He will see that it is good for him eventually, I hope hahah.  
"Terrestial" Cleaners.

We are teaching some families that I hope can be baptized this Sunday.  Just need to find the switch inside them.
See  you SUNDAY!!!
te amo

April 28, 2014 - The Week of Learning

Dad and Mom,
You said that sometimes this happens because the current stuff I am working on is hard and I don't know what I need to do next.  Remember the great example of Nephi in 1 Nephi 4:6 "And I was aled by the Spirit, not bknowing beforehand the things which I should do."
Pray and know that the Lord is on your side ready to help. 
Well,. this week wasn't exactly what I was hoping for at all for my first whole week in Registro.  My district leader here in Registro is very one-way minded and the sister missionaries here didn't have the best impression of him, so we basically had 4 - 5 days where the Elder was being really really difficult with everyone. If anyone did anything he didn't like, he refused to participate.  When I tried to talk to him, he didn't answer back and the sisters didn't want to talk to him very much because he treated them badly. They called me to ask for help and he freaked out because they didn't call him.  Freaked out to the point he called President.  Now he will not help the sisters with anything; the sisters are supposed to call him about how their day was each night and that's it.  I got stuck in the middle of it all.  Never have I been so frustrated on my mission.  I think I fasted 3 days this week to make sure I would make it out alive. haha I prayed a lot and read a lot of scriptures.  I definitely learned about how to use my social skills in different ways and how to talk to different people about the same topic differently.  

On Saturday, we ate lunch at the branch president's house and he asked if I could give a 20 minute talk on Sunday.  You can't say no, so I gave a 20 minute talk about reverence and how reverence allows us to receive personal revelation.  I really got a lot out of it even if it only was Saturday night that I prepared it. 
We had no food for two days and no gas for our oven so, I microwaved a potato and put cheese on it. Yep, I hit that level of hunger

Our family hasn't always been the best at missionary work but I read a book this week that I thought was so amazing about member missionary work: The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton M. Christensen. I read it in one day. Even if it was for members, we as missionaries need to understand the role of members and help them fulfill their responsibilities.  It had some great things that I took and have already put into use.
I can understand Spanish so I'm reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish to be able to talk to Spanish speakers when I get back hahahahah.
One scripture that really helped me this week or that hit me spiritually was John 7:17. We have to put into action certain things before we will gain a testimony or know if they are of God.  We used this with an investigator about baptism. We will talk to her this week to know how it affected her.
I also liked a scripture chain about the charity that Christ showed in his Atoning sacrifice for us and all people:
1 Nephi19:9

Mosiah 14:7
Luke 23:9

Answers to questions from Dad:

1. What is your new area like?
Lots of hills very humble, but doesn't like commitments.
2. What is the ward like in your new area?
A branch that is learning how to be a branch.  You know the red manual about instructions; they didn't know what that was until I asked if they had one. So our job here is going to be to teach the the proper order of these things.
3. Who are you teaching?
Leila and Larissa  We had just gotten done having a district meeting where neither the district leader nor the sisters participated. I sat up there and talked the whole time, asking questions with no responses.  I was super frustrated and frankly ticked.  We were walking up a hill and a young man was working on taking roof tiles down to the back of a woman's house; he looked exhausted. We asked if we could help; he accepted and we hauled about 400 roof tiles ( the big orange ones they have here) down to the back of a woman's house in our proselyting clothes. The owner asked who we were and why we were doing this. We told her how we are missionaries and what we do.  Fortunately, she had a neighbor there also named Leila.  We told them how we teach people about Christ and how He can help us in our lives.  The owner of the house didn't want to hear the lessons and kind of didn't give Leila a chance to respond, but the owner wanted our telephone number and address to send us a box of fruits and food because we helped her out, but we didn't know either of them.  So we passed by the next day and we didn't know where Leila lived and gave our info to the owner.  The owner called Leila, gave her our number and 20 minutes after we left, Leila called us and asked if we could talk with her that night. She now has a date of baptism for this Sunday!  The power of service and the happiness it gave me was ridiculous! It changed my whole day around and was exactly what I fasted for - that I could find happiness through the trials in life I find through service.  The church is true.
4. How's the health? Toe? Shoulder?
Health's fine. I feel like I'm losing weight.  The members don't feed us here very much, so I'm learning to not eat quite as much.
5. How do you get around?
Walk a lot haha.

Mom, my companion is from Missouri and has 5 months on the mission. He served in Louisiana for a transfer then came to Brazil

love you guys

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

April 21, 2014 - New American Companion - Elder Chase

My companion's name tag and my  name tag together. "The name's Thurgood. Elder Chase Thurgood.
I have a new American companion named Elder Chase. Yep, you read it right - Elder Chase.  He is new in the mission and doesn't speak much Portuguese at all.  This transfer probably will be the hardest one yet, my patience will be tried on a whole other level.  I am having to explain everything that is said 5 to 10 times to him, but I told him that eventually we will get there.

It's only in 3 Sundays that I will be able to talk to you guys again which will be great!

I am getting skinnier mostly because everything is going down to my butt. I'm having trouble putting on my pants I've got to do a pants dance to get them up now, haha, but also with my new area I'm probably going to lose a lot of weight.  There are a lot of hills and the members are not super faithful about feeding the missionaries - so pray for them and me haha.

Every week  I look on the Fort Collins Temple website to see if anything has changed on the news, but it sounds like it's not enough to update.
Love you so much

All of these photos are from our adventure to lunch one day before I got transferred.
We have a member who is an American and loves golf haha, but he is super rich - like rich of the rich. He lives on the peninsula of our area.
His house is the white one in the middle over looking the beach.
This is his statue of trophies that he had someone make for him.  He has two walls in his house full of trophies. It is so cool. Dad, this one is for you.

This is the American and his wife. They speak like 3 or 4 languages. Super cool.  He is the number one Senior Amateur golfer in Brazil right now.

April 16, 2014 - Easter Conference

This past week we had a Mission Conference for Easter. We learned a ton about the Atonement of Christ.   The things that I learned were really and truly himbling to a point that I found myself in tears.  It was an amazing experience for me.  After the conference, President Cabral explained that you now know the Atonement - not perfectly, but almost at a celestial level, but who is going to use the Atonement at a celestial level? We will have to wait and see.  We also talked about Elder Bruce R. Mcconkie and his experience or dream that he had seeing the Atoning Sacrifice of the Lord.  He explained that for us to enter into the kingdom of God, we need to have a similar experience that we see the Only begotten Son Atone for each and every one of us individually.
I studied this past week also in Alma 5 and I looked really hard into the phrase, "sing the redeeming love." What is the redeeming love first of all? what does it mean to sing?  What can that love do for us?  I got some really cool answers that you should look into and study.
The Pass Over - bitter herbs, unleavened bread and lamb meat

Bitter herbs are unpleasant

And it's necessary to eat all

The bread brings relief to the bitter taste
They did have lunch later - with no bitter herbs.

April 14 - Changes are a comin'. . .

My foot is doing better; it doesn't have as much color, but it is still touchy.  I spent quite a bit of money this past week.   I bought a new tie, a new speaker (because the old one broke), and I went to the foot doctor for my ingrown toenail, which was what really hit me hard.  I should get reimbursed for the foot doctor, though.  

I still know nothing about transfers which is frustrating.  President had a meeting last night with all of the stake presidents, but he didn't pass along the transfers, but I think I'm going.
Temple!  I'm so jealous you went to the temple.  I have learned so many things in the scriptures about the temple and what so much stuff means. Now that I understand that, I want to go so bad! This is really good though, that you are making it your goal!  It will be a great blessing in your life.  

What President Foster said is what President Cabral talks about almost every time I see him: Recognizing and knowing the Savior to become truly converted to the gospel of Christ.
I've been really studying this because it's easier to teach people when you are more converted in the gospel. I asked President for some scriptures and he gave me Matthew 7:23.  It says the opposite of what I thought it would say, but then if you think about it, it says that God didn't know us, so how will He know and recognize us in the last day.  We do this through little things at first, but then we need to exhort ourselves to be our best.  We need to ask for trials and tribulations in our life from God so that we can show that He can trust us and we in Him.  This life is a preparatory time, a time to prove who we serve.Yeah, there's my little spiritual testimony for you this week. I have more scriptures, but I really liked this one.

I'm so jealous about The Hobbit. Man, Frozen and Hobbit 2 came out on DVD here in the stores and it's ridiculous.

Were you crying before you took pictures with Coulson for the Mormon Prom.
Your hair looks good long!
Love you mama 
Love Chase

Later. . .

Chase:  We finally got the call that I'm going to be transferred - both me and E
lder Johnson!

Mom:  Oh, I'm so happy you get to still be with Elder Johnson. 
Does this mean you'll be a zone leader in your new area?
When do you go there?
Where is it?

Chase: No, Mom, this doesn't mean we are together anymore.....we both are getting transferred to different areas.
Yes, that does mean I'll be a Zone Leader in my new area.
I'll go there on Wednesday or Thursday probably.
Won't know until tomorrow morning.
 Mom: So you don't know where you are going? How do you know which bus to take?
Chase: We go to Santos tomorrow to find out where we go then on Wednesday we have an Easter Conference with the whole mission. Then Wednesday night or Thursday morning we leave and most of the time you just need a lot of luck.
 Mom: Well, Chasey  Ronald, you are related to your Grandma Baer, so you have luck.

April 2, 2014 - Leadership Council

Sempre FiƩis! Sempre Prontos! (Semper Fi! Always ready)