Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week #13 Nov 24, 2014

The church building in Chapeco

At the bus station taking a 5 hr bus ride to Chapeco for zone meeting

So cars here are the tiniest things in the world.... This is one of the most common "trucks" haha. But also drivers here are absolutely insane! I feel like im gonna die every time i get in a car with a member. We have recently figured out the bus system which is so nice! But it literally feels like a ride at disney land! Pretty fun actually haha

Our apartment building on R. Barao do Rio Branco in Pato Branco, Parana

Outside our apartment

The view from our apartment of Bato Branco

Lunch of rice & noodles

Family, theres two UW fans in my zone!!!!! how awesome is that??? hahaha it was so awesome! I was reppin the UW tie at our zone conference this week, which was totally awesome, and right after it ended this sister came up to me and said "go dawgs" and it was probably one of the greatest moments ever to find a husky fan in brazil. the other kid isnt necessarily a fan he just lives there but still pretty cool! but anyways the elder is from bonny lake next to puyallup and the sister is from east washington and still isnt a coug fan. Props to her on that! But it was so awesome to finally talk about football after eight weeks even if it was with a sister haha.

But anyways this week was super awesome! We had a zone conference in Chapecó and it was totally awesome because the spirit was really teaching us a ton as a zone. This zone has been the cruddy zone for basically the past three years so president silva is trying to get it up and running again because four years ago it was the best in the mission! I dont have a lot of time as usual but a big part of what we talked about was our relationships with our companions. And i found out a ton of things i was doing wrong as usual haha. But they talked about really talking to your companion and getting everything out and communicating and i of course always thought that was just really dumb... But on the 5 hour bus ride home we actually had a really good comp to comp talk and it totally helped! we found a bunch of little things in the companionship that could be possibly holding us back from feeling and having the spirt with us and were now really communicating and growing closer! Elder Hess is a very good guy and we are learning a ton from each other.

But Candida is doing well and goes a few days without smoking every once in a while but shes going to church which is good! We're going to stop by her house tonight and see how things are going.

Gabriel is so awesome! The kid is ridiculous! He is walking at least 20 minutes to the church every other day to have a lesson with us cuz he doesnt think his parents want us to teach in his house. And he's at church every single week! The kid is awesome. We were teaching him the other night and we were walking home with him cuz it was like 8:50 and i asked him if he wanted to stay in pato branco after school and he was like yeah but im gonna serve my mission first. haha the kid is awesome! he was asking if he could go on splits with us to see how missionary life is. But we have stake conference this week in chapeco and a conference with elder costa the area president this week so he is getting baptized on december 6! Im so excited! We have taught everything and now we just meet with him to see how things are going. But you really learn to love your investigators and just get super excited for them when they tell you how they are feeling the spirit! I hope i get to have this opportunity with a lot more people on my mission.

But as with other investigators we technically have a lot but they really arent progressing. A few of them will read the book of mormon but to get someone to church is the hardest part.

But the mission is awesome and i love and miss you all! Especially my dad on his birthday!! Happy Birthday dad!

Elder Keller

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week #12 Nov 17, 2014 Like My Momma Says, There is Opposition in All Things

Got a package for christmas and it was amazing! Mom you are the best person in the world and i love you so much! We love our christmas tree! and the ensign is so amazing to have. Dont ever take for granted that you guys can listen to the prophet!

Alright so this week... I can't remember if I already told you about gabriel but we marked a date with him for baptism! He is 16 and totally awesome and prepared! He is reading the book of mormon and watching conference talks and bringing his mom to church haha so we thought for sure it would all go smoothly right? Wrong!!! His baptism was marked for this saturday and then we got a call saying we had a zone meeting in chapecó this week so the DL cant come to do the interview cuz its too far away... Ahhhh frusterating!! Haha but the important thing is that he is totally loving the gospel and wants to be baptised!

Then there's Candida. She finally came to church after 6 dang long weeks and it was awesome! She has already been like a year ago with other elders but she has major social problems with people so its really hard for her. As for smoking though... ugh I hate cig's!!!!! So we thought she would finally be done with them but then we went back this week and asked how she was doing and her mom went and bought her more cuz she though she was going to have a panic attack... Dang it literally hurt inside when I hear that. I think on our missions we get a glimpse of how not only our own parents but our heavenly father feels when we aren't doing whats right. It's weird cuz like you're not necessarily mad, just totally disappointed! Dang it stinks! But we visited her three times this past week and she was originally smoking 7 a day but she said she is lowering the number a lot. I wish I had grandma here to tell her her story! I've tried but i dont think she truly wants to give it up the way grandma keller did. So that means we've gotta start at the bottom and help her build her faith in Jesus Christ.

But anyways we are teaching a lot of people now which is awesome, its just that people her are so dang catholic that they cant understand the concept of the apostasy and really refuse to open up there minds. Plus we have a ton of investigators who just never do anything we ask haha thats pretty normal but that means that we have got to become better teachers and help them feel the spirit more in the lessons to motivate them to actually come to church. And on this subject our president sent out an amazing email last week.

The guy is just a genius and his letters rock! I finally just began to understand them now and i love them! He is such a smart guy! I wish i could forward them but they're in português and it doesnt translate directly... But he send out a massive email this last week based only on the scripture, D &C 88:122 and the quote from Elder Bednar, (i dont know exatly what it is in english just translating) "If we always do what we have always done, we will always have what we have always had". And man, the email was just totally awesome! The scripture talks about designating a teacher amongst ourselves and that teacher needs to be the Holy Ghost. We as missionaries are not going to do anything, just explaining the gospel and trying to prove something to people, we have to do everything we can to invite the spirit to be with us in the lesson so that these people can have all of this knowledge brought back to their rememberance, (John 14:26) And he used the quote to talk about how we all need to get out of our comfort zones and do the things we have never done before. Just like Coach Pete says, the only way to every grow is by challenging yourself and leaving your comfort zones. And its so true! If we ever want to get better at anything in life, we have to do things that are hard, and make us uncomfortable. He said that maybe the things that we did in our lives before were probably great but only in that specific period of time. Times change and we shouldnt ever necessarily be the same person! We should be challenging ourselves every day and trying to better ourselves for our Heavenly Father. Oh and that was another huge part of the email! He was talking about how we have to change now because Jesus Christ is speeding up this work. He gave tons of examples including the mission age and other things but its true! Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are changing things here and speeding up the work to prepare for the second coming. And basically the point of his email is that we have to choose now whether or not were going to change as well in order to match the pace of the Lord or are we going to stay the same person and simply do what we need to and sit by and watch as the Great Work goes forth? We cant ever think that we have aririved to a point where we have learned all that we can. I'm totally seeing that on my mission! I feel like I could have 100,000 years and not be able to study and learn everything that we can learn here on this earth. But anyways the gospel is amazing and missions are awesome! The only way to be happy in this life, truly happy is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love and miss you all! Hope all is well and that you're all staying righteous haha

Elder Keller

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week #11 Nov 10, 2014

The church at Francisco Beltrao

Inside the church

Early morning hill run overlooking Pato Branco

Where everyone here goes to church...haha.  And guess what? There's actually 3 more the same size.
The view of the 7th Day Adventist Church from our apartment

Elder Hess making our "pancakes"

Alright, well this week was totally awesome! When i said missions arent fun i had no idea what i was talking about! I was just being a big baby. We went on splits with Elder William and Elder Manoel and it was so awesome! They are brazilian so i wasnt worried about anything! But i went with Elder Manoel who is only has 6 weeks left on his mission so it was such a great learning opportunity! I learned so much in just that one day. The guy has that fire that EVERY single missionary should always strive for. He's probably 5 4 at most but he is so awesome! every contact he did was perfect and he testified and we even went up to these guys dealing pot and totally freaked em out and taugh them about the gospel for 15 minutes! hahahaha one of the funniest things ever! But it really was a great opportunity and im glad i got the chance to go on splits with him before he left. We taught two lessons that day, one to Candida who ran out of cigarretes (i cant remember how to spell) thank goodness! And we also taught this one family the restoration. Dude Elder Manoel knows how to teach with the spirit. There was no way i could deny that i was feeling the spirit right there in that lesson. It was so cool! What stinks is you just wish that the people your are teaching would recognize the same thing. Its frustrating haha! But anyways getting candida to quit is hard! Elder Hess and I were teaching her earlier this week and she's been kind of beating around the bush when it comes to smoking so we finally just told here to get all of her packs she had left so she went and got em and she had three left or like 60 cig's. so we said, look were gonna take these and man she totally flipped!!!! hahaha we just wanted to see where she was with smoking and everything and then she started to open up more about it. she smokes three in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. so we said ok look were gonna take two. she flipped again. so we said okay just one. flipped again. so we didnt know what to do and then the quote that aunt sarah used all the time totally popped into my head! "faith can not exist with fear" she kept telling us she was scared of what would happen when she ran out because she does have some pyschological problems and health things and she didnt want that to happen soon. So i asked here if she had faith and if she had a testimony. she said yes and so i asked if i could take one. again she said no! so i finally said candida, youre sitting here saying your have faith in jesus christ but you dont have enough faith that hes gonna help you when you run out of cigarrets. and so she finally let us take one which was a big win haha but she ran out the other day and has been doing good! But things went awesome this week! we started teaching a 16 year old kid who is dating a girl in the ward and started coming to church. so we asked him if he wanted to take the lessons and he answered with the question how can i be baptized? so that was pretty great! haha but his parents are hardcore catholic as usual and dont want him to be baptized... Dang catholics are frustrating sometimes! But we actually figured out what was going on with denilsen. Elder Hess heard him wrong over the phone, he like totally messed up his back and has been in another city for the past 2 weeks! so hopefully things will pick back up again with him. theres a ton happening and i always want to right more every week but i never have time. But Im just gonna end with my testimony of a mission. Yeah they're stinkin hard but they're amazing! EVERY single able young man should serve a mission. And if you're not worthy then get worthy because i've only been out for almost 3 months and its totally changing me for the better. Ive got a long way to go but a mission is speeding up that process for sure.

Eu amo vocês e espero que tudo seja bem.

Elder Keller