Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#26 Feb 23, 2015 Going Great in Guaratuba!


Alright so this week was totally awesome with the work here! I feel like Elder William and I are finding too many people that we don't know what to do with them! We have three couples that have to get married for now so that is the biggest thing but it is all going awesome! 

The first is a guy named Pablo and his wife is a member but he never was baptized cuz he smokes! They aren't married but are getting married next month so that he can get baptized and baptize his daughter which will be super awesome! They just moved here from Curitiba this week and he is super excited to be baptized because his 11 year old son was just baptized and he said that that made a big difference and was a huge example to him! Cool lesson to learn that it doesn't matter how old you are, you can still make a difference. 

The next couple is an interesting situation, the wife Camilla loves the church and wants to be baptized along with her 8 year old daughter but the husband is totally against the church so he wouldn't get married until now, but then this week he just decided that finally it would be okay and so know they are getting all the papers ready! (: awesome! so they are gonna get married next month as well and then Camilla and her daughter Camille (yeah kinda close haha) can be baptized! 

The third couple also is a less active returned missionary who started coming back to church and not gonna lie is a little crazy... haha but he is with a chick that isn't baptized and believes the church is true. They aren't married yet because his divorce papers didn't work that he put in back in 2000 so he has been married for 14 years without knowing and so he just re did them so he can marry his "wife" Linda and then she can be baptized!
We are also working a ton here with the youth because they were all baptized like 8 months ago and are on fire! The members here are so amazing i cant believe it! They had us give talks this Sunday and they said the main focus needs to be on missionary work and getting all the people to go out and find people! its awesome! 

We are still working with João and Daniel as well as Gabriel and I'm hoping Gabriel's mom lets him get baptized! 

So Elder William and I had been praying to find someone that really needs the gospel in their lives and this awesome lady just showed up to church on Sunday and we went and visited her after church! super smart single lady with a kid named Adrianna who studied chemical engineering in the USA and speaks fluent English and is looking for a church that can help her and her son because she feels like she needs more religion in her life! it was super awesome to find her! Total blessing! I'll keep you guys updated on how everything goes with her and her son (: 

So yeah I cant remember everyone with whom we are working right now but Guaratuba is totally awesome and the gospel is totally true! This week I started reading the conference talks again from this last conference and whenever you read the words of the apostles and prophets the holy ghost testifies to you super powerfully! I love that we have a prophet and apostles to guide us.
But anyway time is running out! I love and miss you all so dang much! Especially all you lucky dawgs in California right now McCreadies and Kellers! Party hard! Até mais! 

Elder Keller

Monday, February 16, 2015

#25 Feb 16, 2015 Flooding!!!

The Beach at Guaratuba
The District
Elder Keller with Elder Helm (new missionary from WA)

Alright so this week was pretty crazy! Guaratuba also rains cats a dogs and its totally awesome except for when your second story apartment starts to flood... Elder William and I after lunch came back to the apt. because he forgot something there. We were totally soaked cuz of the rain and so when we got there i was taking my shoes and everything off so we wouldn't get our apartment wet, then elder william starts yelling for me to run inside and i was thinking this guy is crazy were gonna get the apartment totally wet with all of our stuff? Then I looked inside and their was like 2 inches of water in our apartment! The balcony was completely filling up with water and all that water was coming into the apartment. So we just grabbed buckets and started chucking water off the balcony and then we realized that the drain on the balcony was totally clogged up. So then we had to get a knife unclog the drain and then for 2 and a half hours bail water out of our house with buckets until we got most of it out. Then we used a squeegy (don't remember how to spell that) and tried to get as much out as we could. In the end it all worked out okay and luckily they don't have carpet here so we just had to dry off the wooden stuff and now we just have a really clean apartment floor! haha 

But the work here is totally awesome! The members here are on fire! On monday we did a family night with Irmão Moraes, the guy who came here alone and started the church (total powerhouse) and there were 18 people there and 5 of them weren't members of the church but are totally already integrated into the church. It was sweet! Then on tuesday Irmão Adijair who was baptized 10 months ago wanted us to do visits with him. So we visited a bunch of less actives and with those less actives they have a lot of people in their family who aren't members still and so we found a bunch of awesome investigators that are ready to accept the gospel! The only problem is that no one is married!!!!! My goodness man people just don't get married anymore! haha so it will probably take a little while with some of these people but at least we have work! 

Were also working with a lot of the youth! They are totally awesome! We have three young men that want to be baptized but their parents wont let them and it totally stinks... !!! These two João and Daniel are brothers and are 12 and 15 years old and their dreams are to one day be missionaries. They live with their drunk dad who is a total jerk in this little broken house and its seriously just one of the saddest situations I have seen. The bishop lives across the street and tries to help them out and brings them to church and the activities every week and the dad lets him do that because he's at the bar all day but he wont let them be baptized. It stinks and I feel so bad for the kids! They're super smart and would be awesome missionaries but the dad is always drunk and just gets mad whenever we show up there. We finally got in because their extended family from Curitiba was there and the grandma wants them to be baptized but we have to get permission from the dad... So please pray that the dads heart will be softened! 

But anyways there was a kid in the ward here who they found last week who was killed by the drug cartel here. He was shot ten times and the police say they think it was a "vengeance kill" or because they were just mad at him. His family had fallen away from the church a few years ago and i think this kid was only 15 or 16 years old but he had gotten into the drugs and stuff here and was killed. The members say that he was a really good kid but he just got caught up in the wrong stuff. Super sad. Every day as a missionary you see the importance of keeping the commandments in our lives! The commandments aren't here to restrict us but to help us! And every less active family we find usually says they started to leave the church because of a problem with the commandments. And then they realize they aren't happy any more and realized that the gospel of Jesus Christ is here to help us! We need to always remember that! 

Anyways I love and miss you all so much! I hope you guys have an awesome week!!! 

Elder Keller 

#24 Feb 9, 2015 I'm in Love, I'm in Love and I don't care who knows it!!!

Well no there aren't a whole lot of pretty girls here but the area is super awesome! Oh my goodness it is literally the dream area of any missionary without doubt!

So to start, leaving Pato Branco was kind of sad and I'm gonna miss those people a lot but Guaratuba is totally sweet! So the area had sisters before and president took them all out and he whitewashed the area with 4 new elders haha! so we have no idea what the heck is going on here! its pretty great! So I am with Elder William and he is totally awesome! I feel like our companionship is gonna be totally sweet especially in this area. The other elders are Elder Arine and Elder Helm who are both totally awesome! Elder Arine went zone leader after 7 to 8 months on the mission and then was a secretary for about 7 to 8 months as well and this is his last transfer. He is training Elder Helm who is from guess where... Washington!!! haha sweet!! Arine is a brazilian from são paulo and a really good missionary so I'm super glad that I'll have this time to learn from him!

So we got here and waited at the bus station for Arine for an hour and then realized our apartment is right across the street haha. That never happens! Everything is super centered and Guaratuba isnt a super huge town. The church is right down the street, the ocean is 200 yards in front of our apartment, and we never have to walk far to catch a bus! Its sweet! So we had no idea what the work was like in this area or what was going on so we just started by picking apart the area book and trying to visit people but the numbers on the streets here have no order! haha so it is almost impossible to find anything! But we are totally in luck because the members here are on fire!!!!! 8 years ago they made their record of baptisms, 105 in 3 MONTHS! haha they knew they needed to grow to get a chapel here so they worked for it! They are so fired up about missionary work, like thats all I've heard them talk about haha! The first week in church we showed up without doing a whole lot and we already had 6 investigators there all brought by members haha. We marked a baptism with a 15 yr. old kid who is totally ready for two saturdays from now on like the third day here. We went over to talk to a member because all the young men in the ward told us to go over there and meet him (75% of whom were all baptized in the past 6 months because of the MEMBERS). So we went there and found out one of the kids wasn't baptized while we were over there so i said to William in english (he is learning english and catching on super fast!) "you want to leave a message for this kid?" and he said yeah. so then we were like alright what do we teach... and then at the same time we just said baptism so we pulled out our scrips and went with it! then at the end he said he felt like he needed to invite him so he did and Bam we got it marked! It all happened so fast! But we have a ton of other people ready to accept the gospel here and its awesome because now president says that if there is more than one companionship in a ward, you just share the ward. so its not divided and we both teach each others investigators and just work together. Its sweet!

It is so awesome when you realize that the spirit can work with you and your comp and help you teach together to help people change their lives! I'm super excited to learn from these guys here and work with these members. They have a goal to split their ward this year and they have about 100 active people right now because tons of people move to Curitiba and theres a lot of less actives! so the bishop wants us to visit a ton of less actives and everyone is trying to help us! This area is totally awesome!

The only downside is that every time i see the water i just wanna jump in... haha but luckily we arent actually close to the beach. We can see the water from our apartment but its not the area of the beach. Its a closed off dock area but its still gorgeous and awesome!
Anyways I love and miss you all so much! Things are totally awesome here in Guaratuba Parana! Funny there are only three areas in Parana in our mission and I've been to them all but our mission is all of Santa Catarina! Maybe I'll make it there some day! I hope you all have an awesome week and that everything is going great! Miss you all!!!
Elder Keller


Monday, February 2, 2015

#23 Feb 2, 2015 Goodbye Pato Branco--Hello Guaratuba!!

Elder William, Ian's new companion is the 2nd from the right in this picture.
 He has been Ian's DL since he arrived in the mission and he is Brazilian.   

So on thursday got the call and I am getting transferred to Guaratuba, Parana tomorrow! And my comp is gonna be elder william my DL!!! I am so hyped! We get to whitewash again and I feel like this companionship is going to be totally awesome! Elder William and I have been in zona Chapecó for 3 transfers together and hes been my DL the whole time so he's coming to Pato Branco tomorrow and then were taking a 10 to 12 hour bus ride to our area which is a big beach city in the Joinville zone! I cant wait to get out there! Rumor has it that we will be living with 4 other elders which would make it one of the biggest apartments in the mission but I honestly have no idea so I guess we will see. I just cant belive im in parana still? i guess we have like 4 or 5 areas that go into parana and i think that guaratuba is the city farthest north from Florianópolis. But i have heard that the church is crazy strong in joinville. They have 2 stakes in one city!!! thats huge!

But im super grateful for the time I had to grow out here in Pato Branco. I feel like my convesion in  the Gospel of Jesus Christ has changed and gotten a  lot better! I cant remember that one talk off the top of my head but the one that talks about being active in the church, as opposed to being active in the gospel. I was not active in the Gospel before my mission. I hate to say it but I was a patheticly lame member! I know that every missionary is called of God and our Heavenly Father knows where we need to go and knows the experiences that we need to gain. I feel like a had a lot of awesome experiences here to help me grow and change to become better. And for that reason I am so grateful for missions! And it scares me to death to think of what i would be like right now without my mission. Haha

But I never thought I would really miss Pato Branco but on Sunday I totally realized how much I love these people here! They are all super awesome and I hope that maybe I can see them again in this life but if not, in the next one. The work here is going pretty well and our coolest investigators are Fabiana and Allison still. They are such studs! So I think i mentioned how they have to get married because theyve been living together for a while and want to get baptised but last night we had an awesome family night with them and a bunch of members and we started talking about missions and Fabi said she would love to go and then Allison said he would to so our awesome crazy member friend Camilla was just straight up, yeah never mind your guys arent gonna get married but your gonna split up and then both go on missions and then come back and get married. It was hillarious! But I think that would be the coolest thing ever for them! They are still super young and have a ton of time. 

We also found a super cool guy named Jair in a market the other day and he said he had seen us pass his store on the main road here in the city and always wanted to know about our church. So we told him what we believe and gave him a Book of Mormon  and went to church yesterday with his wife! I think he is totally prepared and I think Elder Rhoton will do awesome with him! 

Well I love and miss everyone and hope you guys have an awesome week! Até mais!  

Elder Keller

Gonna miss this kid! He is gonna be a stud missionary in 2 years! First convert on the mission! 

20 foot (6.2 meter) long snake we found in a guys house here! he killed it in the state here in brasil called Matto Grosso which literally translates to thick jungle! Pretty sweet!