Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week #10 10/27/2014

Well this week was actually pretty awesome! We are finding a lot of people to teach and finding a lot of new investigators. We have only found a few that are pretty serious but its nice to be teaching more.

Anyways we were super bummed last p day because all of our commitments fell that day but we just said who cares lets go find someone! Elder Hess was reading some conference talks and totally had a huge change of attitude which was awesome and i finally saw a fire get lit inside of him. So we just started walking and we prayed to be led by the spirit and went to a neighborhood that no elders have hit that is pretty far away. No one would let us in and we were about to turn back and go home but this awesome couple let us in to teach them and they are literally perfect! We can only go on wednesdays cuz of work but the wife was talking about how she thinks a church should be run and she was describing the gospel! haha so that was awesome to find them! 

But anyways everyone and their mother here is a catholic! Its ridiculous and they dont want to hear about any church that they actually have to keep commandments to be a part of haha. But things are getting a lot better and we have three baptisms marked now! We're super stoked about that! Two of them are Danielson and Catia who still have to get married but they are awesome! Danielson is super smart and studies the heck out of the book of mormon! sometimes its hard to answer all his questions haha but they are loving the church and what it teaches! Were probably gonna have to move their date to later in november to give them more time to get married but well see how it goes! The other is Candida who is the daughter of a recent convert and were trying to help her stop smoking right now. 

But anyways i only have seven minutes left so im gonna have to hurry! 

Kind of sad story... We had a referral to this guy and so we went there and found him living in literally a hole in the wall! It was smaller than my room back home and an absolute mess. There was beer everywhere and i was just thinking that there was no way this guy was ready for the gospel. he was sober when we got there and he was explaining that he needed help cuz he was really sick. hes 71 years old, divorced, and living in a hole in the wall of a building. so we gave him a blessing and he just broke down crying and it was so sad! so we just hugged the guy cuz we didnt know what else to do but i felt like an idiot because the guy just needed to know that he had a heavenly father who loved him! so we're going to start working with him and helping him out. hes a really good guy and wants to turn things around. But that is why we have to serve missions! Cuz there are people out there who need to know about the gospel because their lives are miserable! They need to know Christ suffered for their sins and that they can be happy. And we can't be selfish and keep it to ourselves. 

Anyways on a lighter note we were in Fransico Beltrão at a district meeting and we were going to lunch and walk past this group of girls and they are laughing and talking and I'm talking to Elder Manoel and our DL elder william just busts up laughing after we pass these chicks and we turn and ask him what happened and he said that the girls said we have nice butts... hahaha so hey if any rm's want to get married just come down to brazil with some church pants! Haha jk but i miss everyone! I'm out of time! 

Elder Keller

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Week #9 10/20/2014

 FINALLY got some pictures...

Apartment in Pato Branco, Parana

(Rt to Lft: Ian, his comp Elder Hess, the DL, the AP's)

Elders Keller & Hess then the DL Elder William & Mancel
At the CTM

At the CTM

Well things are picking up. We have this one family who is totally awesome! we were walking home one night and found them playing soccer in the street and set up a time to come back and teach them. theyre awesome! there is danielson and catia who are married and then danielsons mom and dad mario and terezinha and then the sister diana. danielson also has a two year old kid named filipe. but anyways we taught them the restoration and danielson was totally into it! he was asking us how he can get the priesthood and all these other questions which was awesome! So then for the second lesson we taught them at the church and we taught the plan of salvation and the spirit was super strong! terezinha was crying and after the lesson said "i found my salvation" which was super cool. the only thing is that the parents switch off working every other sunday which were gonna have to fix but they switch off coming to church which is good! we still have a lot to teach them but they are golden and totally ready for the gospel. Danielson at church was totally commenting the whole time and asking questions and it was great. It really shows how the only thing that can get through to someone is the spirt.

But anyways we have built up our pool of investigators to about 16 to 18 now but only a few are really progressing. The ward here is totally awesome and willing to help. 

But a few funny stories about how different things are here in Brazil... First one is there was a farewell party here for a missionary and he was dating like a 26 year old in the ward and we went because there were a ton of non members he said he was going to invite so we went to get a bunch of referrals but anyways in the middle of the party he proposes to his gf! haha i guess thats how they do it here cuz all the brazilians have rings and fiances waiting back home haha. 

Other funny story... were teaching a lesson the other night and in brazil women dont really care where they nurse their baby or what anyone else sees so things can get pretty awkward. were teaching the first lesson and you can only guess what happened.. She just starts nursing her baby without a blanket or anything during the lesson haha! elder hess and i just kinf of looked at each other and didnt know what to do... haha so awkward! but the life of a missionary really just is awkward i am realizing. But im never gonna see these people again so it doesnt matter! 

Last one is that we were totally an hour late to church this week haha. We didnt know they do their daylight savings now so we thought we were on time but we got there and everyone was asking were we had bad and our investigators didnt know where we were and it was a mess haha! but it all ended up working out okay and now we know the third sunday of october the time goes ahead one hour haha. 

But anyways everything is going good and we're staying alive! But the gospel of Jesus Christ is so true and can bless and change lives and im glad i get to see it out here! miss you all! 

Elder Keller

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week #8 10/13/14

Dang its been a long week! I wish i could write everything that happened. To start off we have just been trying to find people to teach this past week and its been hard! im starting to realize this mission has a different standard than other missions in brazil. they told us we were going to be baptizing all the time in the mtc and now i get out here and the goal is only one a month per elder which i think is totally weak! president silva is trying to change this though and i think he will be able to it just takes time! the elders from this last mission president make it seem like things were very different. everyone here is either a catholic or evangelical and its so frustrating. sometimes i just want to shove the knowledge i have about the church into their heads! haha but we have been able to find a lot of great people willing to listen! especially this one family who is just awesome and we taught the dad about the priesthood and he was asking us at the end how he can get it haha so that is going really well. also we helped bring a less active back to church and she is a rock star! she brought one of her friends with her to church too cuz she liked our message so much! we are reteaching her the lessons because she didnt go to church for very long but she is loving them now and were teaching her daughter as well. but anyways she and her friend are just two super sweet old ladies and they are loving what the gospel is teaching and its totally awesome!! hopefully we can make a lot of progress with her friend this week. but anyways the language is coming a lot better. i can understand for the most part now and i can actually talk in lessons which is super nice! ive learned that the gift of tongues may not help you learn the language in a day but it definitely speeds up the learning processs.

but anyways an awesome experience that happened last thursday. we were studying in our apartment in the morning and camilla, an awesome returned missionary here who litterally tells everyone about the gospel, calls us and says "elders come outside your apartment right now!" then hung up. so we just threw all our stuff on and ran outside and she then explained how she had found a lady at the hospital (she works there) who had  found out both of her kidneys were no longer working. she was in the hospital trying to get on a waiting list for a kidney surgery but the wait was super long for someone who matched up with her. so she said to herself " i need a miracle now" and camilla overheard her and went up and asked if she had faith is jesus christ and the power that he had when was on the earth and she said of course, and so she explained that there were two people down the street who had the priesthood and could heal her or at least keep her alive long enough to receive a kidney transplant. so the lady said she had faith this could happen and that is why camilla was at our apartment. the hospital is right down the street so she told us to prepare ourselves and she ran to get the lady, so we got a chair and put it in the middle of the lobby of our apartment complex and closed all the blind and doors and camilla brought her there and we explained who we were and a little about the priesthood and then we gave her a blessing, right there in the apartment complex! it was awesome! i annointed her and then my comp gave her the blessing and blessed her that either her kidneys would be healed or that she would live long enough to receive a transplant. after that we asked her if we could come by and teach her and her family more about the priesthood and our church and she said of course so we are teaching her family on tuesday. but afterwards she was walking back with camilla to the hospital and asked her how much she owed us haha so camilla had to clear that bit up. but anyways we dont know how she is doing! i cant wait to find out! 

but its so cool to be able to have experiences like that here. its hard work but i know its blessing me and helping me become a better person. im again out of time but i miss everyone! sorry if i dont reply to anyones emails, i dont have any time to out here at least for now until i can pay for extra time. but thank you for all the emails! i appreciate them all. Later! 

Elder Keller

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week #7 10/6/14 1st Area: Pato Blanco

Well dang this past week has been crazy!!!!! Im and hungry all the time and its great! So we landed in florianopolis and it was pouring! haha how awesome! then the mish pres came and picked us up with the ap´s and then went to the mission office. President silva is amazing! the guy is just so awesome and i wish i could be by him! about that my comp is Elder Hess, yeah a white guy hahaha and we got sent to the second farthest area away from florianopolis! haha so that was interesting... usually its a 16 hour bus ride but ours was a straighter shot so we made it in 12! the next farthest area is fransisco beltrão and thats just an hour away. im in pato branco which means white duck haha and its a gorgeous place! i love it! but anyways about the comp and mission president, the president is probably like 5 7 and is just a super powerful guy! he has a lot of rules but that just means well receive a lot more blessings. he doesnt speak any english to us which stinks but i could understand him for the most part.

My companion Elder Hess is an interesting guy! haha hes been out here for a year and four months and his portuguese is really good! hes pretty quiet but he talks to most of the people on the street and he can communicate with the people here which i cant do to save my life! holy cow haha its so hard! i can pick up random words but i dont understand whats going on haha but the members here are awesome! the people here love messing around so at my first lunch at a members house (they feed us the best food every day!) the member asked if i wanted more but i said i was full and so he asked if the food was "porcaria" and me being the dumb white guy that i am responded yes hahaha turns out it means terrible... haha the whole family just started cracking up! but they really are the nicest people ever here! theyre super happy and awesome! but i dont know if theyre is anything more humbling than being a missionary who cant speak the language. it stinks so badly! i can say what i need to say but i just dont know what is going on! but i trust that will come.

So our apartment when we arrived here was trashed! like literally worse than the apartment we cleaned for save the family haha so we had to spend our whole first day which was thursday trying to clean the thing! the other elders were emergency transferred and just had to leave everything. but we got it pretty clean and im excited to be here for the next 12 weeks for training! so we arrived and there is tons of work to do! im not sure what the other elders were doing but there are no investigators and almost everyone that has been baptized in the past few months is inactive now. so weve just been trying to talk to everyone about the church and get as many lessons set up as we can. we have a lot this week but weve only had two so far because of conference weekend, which by the way was in all portugues! haha yeah the language that one guy was speaking! i understood about as much as you guys probably hahaha but something awesome about elder hess is he knows how to invite the spirit into a home. its awesome and i hope i can learn how to do that like him!

the bishop here is a great guy! he loves the members but things are really different down here. we went to an inactive members house and the bishop told us we were just introducing ourselves but halfway through elder hess just kind of took over and started teaching and it was awesome! the spirit was so strong! we got the lady to come to conference with us and she loved it! the bishop told us not to teach her because the last two sets of elders havent been able to get anywhere with her. but elder hess is good with the spirit and it was really all because of him. i said like two things haha but i really wish i could write more but im already out of time because we have to email the president as well and my comp doesnt want to pay for more time... so ill try to get more out next week! i really could have written for another hour because so much has happened! but my computer is gonna be shut off in a couple minutes. anyways missions are amazing! there is a different spirit here that i have never before felt so much in my life! i love it so much! its super hard work and we literally are dead all the time but i know were supposed to be here because we were called to preach the gospel in pato branco and help these people. anyways love and miss you all bye!

Elder Keller

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pictures! Finally!!!

New Companion- Trainer (Elder Hess)

With Elder Heaton, MTC companion

With President & Sister Swanson, MTC President

At the CTM in Sao Paulo, Brazil

With Irmao Barros, his favorite teacher

Temple in Sao Paulo

With Elder Phillips at the temple