Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Monday, March 30, 2015

#31 March 30, 2015 Adriana's Baptism

Elder Keller, Elder William & Adrianna at her baptism... Ian tried to send several pictures of her baptism but this was the only one that came through....kinda goofy but better still cute!
Elder Helm  Guaratuba

Always a good week when someone goes in the water! So Adriana got baptized on Saturday by Elder William and I confirmed her on Sunday! It was so awesome! And her son who she is trying to help out, Luiz Henrique came to the baptism and liked it a lot! So we will see what we can do with that (:
Adriana was such a champion! She just cut off cigarettes and coffee and then just didn't go back! she is so awesome!!! And it was such a cool opportunity to take her to baptism! And the ward here is so awesome that she is already totally integrated with the members and getting visiting teachers to go over there and she already has friends so it worked out pretty great! She wants to serve like crazy and came over to the church to help clean at 8 on a saturday morning and helped clean the church for like 5 hours! She is awesome!

(*** BTW- In case you don't remember this was what Ian first told us about Adriana on Feb 23:
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 (:   )
But the work here is still going awesome! William and I are finding people all week long! And we are learning more together how to follow the spirit! Linda is still on for day 11 of April, and Camila and her daughter Camili are still good for april 25! Its gonna be sweet!
Blanchard and Helm are way awesome and had the coolest experience the other day! William, me, and Helm went and taught these two girls that Arine and Helm started teaching the last week of the transfer and taught them about the restoration and baptism and life after death and ended up being a huge lesson because their mom had passed away a week before. They have a dad who is drugged out and the live in a tiny little shack that is falling apart! We had a super awesome spiritual lesson with them the first time and then Blanch and Helm took over when Blanch arrived. The other day one of the girls had a dream that her mom came to her in white robes and told her to go to church and they went to ours! So they will get baptized now on the 11 of april as well! Super awesome mission miracles!
I love my mission so much! Guaratuba is gorgeous! We went and ran 6 km with the youth this morning and went up this huge hill here to a big Christ statue and it was sweet! I'm so blessed to be out here and although I miss home I know the mission is the most important thing we can do to prepare for our lives in heaven and on earth! I have no doubt in my mind! Christ atoned for us and we will be blessed and live for eternity with our families if we keep the commandments! 
I love and miss you all! Have an awesome week!
Elder Keller

Monday, March 23, 2015

#30 March 23, 2015

Alright so this week was an awesome week here in Guaratuba! It was a sweet finding week for William and I because we have been feeling like we have just been visiting the same people over and over again and we aren't getting anywhere with anyone else. We got to a point by Saturday where we just felt like chickens with our heads cut off because we weren't finding any new people to teach and our pool was super small. So we prayed a lot that morning that we would be able to go out and find the people who are actually ready to accept the gospel in their lives right now and we went out that day with faith that it would work out. And it was sweet! We were just finding random people all either with a connection already to the Church or people who had just gone through something in their lives and they said that their church wasn't helping them find any peace and they were looking for something else. It was such a miracle! We did about thirty contacts in a few hours before our appointments that day and almost every single one was awesome and with someone who really had interest in the church and learning something new! I'm sure that only a few of those will really play out but it was an awesome day that showed us the importance of never doing anything without praying first.
Our investigators are awesome! Adriana is on date to get baptized this saturday and stopped smoking and drinking coffee last week and says she is ready! (: so im super pumped for that! Camilla is gonna get married april 24 and then get baptized on april 25 and is super excited! And originally the church was gonna pay for half of the marriage but the husband really doesnt like the church so he got all mad and said he'd pay for the whole thing which worked out great for the ward in the end (: And then we have also got Linda on date for April 11 still! So things are going awesome!
We have this awesome family here in the ward who has a son on a mission, an 11 year old daughter baptized in the church, but the parents arent baptized! We cant figure out why because they are such an awesome family and invite us over for dinner and lunch all the time and we have only been able to share little quick messages until now. On saturday night we went over there and literally had one of the coolest lessons ever with Blanchard (the new guy in the apartment from my group) Helm and William! We talked about the restoration and then at the end we all bore our testimonies and it was one of the most spiritual lessons we have had out here. Everyone was crying and it was super cool! We talked about testimonies and how they can gain their own testimonies just like their son did before he decided to serve his mission. We had to take off out of there right after the lesson because it was super late but William and I are going back this week! But I love the power of the Spirit and the effect that it can have on people! It is the only way to work! No matter what I have always got to remember that Elder Keller is an idiot and will only be successfull  with the power of the Holy Ghost influencing these people! That is why we have gotta obey all the rules too! With exactness!
But anyways thank you for everything all of you are doing for me back at home! I love all the emails and the updates on life and I hope it continues to go great! I love and miss you all!!
Élder Keller

Monday, March 16, 2015

#29 March 16, 2015

Well sorry I havent gotten anything out in the past 3 weeks! I know I stink and I am sorry but I'll be better from now on! So the past three weeks have been a roller coaster but its awesome now! We had an awesome conference with the presidente and got to watch Meet the Mórmons which was a super awesome movie! The president talked a lot about obedience which seems to be a really importante subject in this mission unfortunately... But it was way cool and I learned a lot about the importance of obedience from Pres and it all line up with exactly what my parents have always taught me! One thing that they always tell me his that our mission is like a mini-life. If we can't obey the little things in our mission how are we supposed to do that in life after the mission? And if we can't endure to the end on our mission how will we endure to the end after?
But also we got to go to Itapoá this week and go on a Split with Elders Sierras and Mendes and it was way awesome! Then we did a pretty cool activity there with the branch to try to get them fired up for missionary work and it went super well! While we were there I went to lunch with Mendes and an american that married a brazilian and has a lot of money and comes and stays for a couple months here. Holy cow his house was gorgeous and right on the beach and there family is super cool! he is in his late sixties and retired at 57 and is a total genius! He was an accountant but did medical school for 5 years and decided to switch haha the house is the nicest and biggest house i have ever seen in brasil! It was also super cool to just talk to someone in english and leave a message in english haha it is way easier!!! But I'm glad I've got portugues too now (: I didnt ask but the guy as he was showing me around his house told me it cost 800 thousand dollars (and this was 15 years ago) so the house is crazy! He also has like 3 houses in the U.S. So I got his email so I can go find him in utah afterwards and he can teach me how to be an accountant haha (; 

But anyways we are getting Elder Blanchard in the apartment and I'm super psyched!!! Blanchard is an american from utah and is in my group so we have the same time on the mish! Its gonna be a party/work house here in Guaratuba and I'm super hyped! 

But with investigators, Linda is gonna be baptized april tenth, Adrianna on march 28, and Camilla just has to get married next month and then she and her daughter will get a date (: Pablo turned out to be a dud. Bishop found him going to the "Assembleia de Deus" also which is another huge church here so he is just going around to the churches to get money and help because he doesnt have a lot of money! It was super sad when the bishop told us but it makes sense. Plus he moved 12 kilometros away and we got a new rule that we can only work within a 3 kilometer radius from the church because we need to focus our work and poeple dont have cars here. So if we get a ride from a member we can go but things arent looking to up and he didnt come to church last sunday... Stinks and its super sad but people have their free agency still! 
We are also working with a 17 year old kid Vinicius and he is super awesome and has a ton of faith but just can't accept that there is only one true church but he is a good kid and William and I have faith that we will be able to help him out! A lot of his extended family passed away last year and his life is just hitting those low points so we are trying to help him out! 

But anyways I love and miss everyone! Hope you guys have an awesome week! Email time was cut and it stinks but its all good and it will make us better! The gospel is true! Live it! 

Élder Keller 

Monday, March 9, 2015

#27 & #28 March 9, 2015 Update on Elder Keller

2nd week with no General Email from Ian, but I thought I'd send you a few clips from emails we have gotten because many of you have been following the story of what is going on with Ian and his mission recently.  In case you don't know, Ian got transferred to a new area about a month ago where there are 4 elders in the apartment.  The other companionship in the apartment consists of a new greenie from WA who is being "trained" by an older missionary who is Brazilian, like 25 or 26 Yrs old, and is leaving to go home next week.  We'll call the older missionary Elder A.  Elder A has been a zone leader and served as a secretary in the office for a while so people all look up to him as a leader in the mission but Ian was surprised that Elder A has his own secret Samsung Galaxy smartphone & often stays in bed most of the day on it, only going out for lunch appointments with members or if they have an appointment.  Ian has also discovered that many of the "legends" or leaders in the mission also have these phones & have been known to break many other rules, sometimes much more serious ones. 
Ian's companion, who is Brazilian, and who is very obedient, was leery of telling the mission president about what was going on.  But we encouraged Ian to discuss it all with him.  Last week, Ian used his time on the computer to write to the mission president to let him know, so he had no time to write a general letter.  Today was similar and they had to cut their email time short.  Although we haven't gotten the full story about it, I'll share a few clips from his emails to us....

(From his Mission Ties family letter to us written last Monday that we got this morning...)
I am starting to see more of what is going on.  At this conference we went to President literally talked about rules the whole time and it felt like no one in the entire group that was there gave a rats rear end about what he was saying.  What I am seeing is that all these older missionaries try to turn the new ones right when they get out here so that everything keeps on going.  But that can't happen anymore.  I know that! Things are gonna change, I just don't know how long it is going to take.  Don't worry about sending an email (to the President).  I've chosen my side now & I am kind of ticked that it took me so long but I'll tell President Silva everything I learn. Besides the cell phones, there are absolutely ridiculous stories that happened here!  It is crazy! .(Missionaries stealing money from the mission office, going to visit girls in other areas, etc.) ...So I am gonna do everything in my power to stop it!  I promise!  If I was the MP I wouldn't want all this to be hidden from me.  So I guess we'll see what happens. 

This week I went on splits with one of our Zone Leaders, "Elder B" who is the legend of the mission!  He became AP at like 10 months out & everyone says he is an awesome teacher.  We started out the split teaching 3 lessons and holy cow the guy is an amazing teacher & awesome missionary. But Elder A had said the Elder B had picked up a cell phone this last transfer.  I was super confused because he was this awesome missionary who knew the scriptures & showed me awesome new ways to study the scrips but Elder A said he had gotten a cell phone.  The whole day I was drilling him with questions 1. because he is an awesome guy and I know I can learn from him but 2. I wanted to see if he really had one.  Closer to the end of the day he finally told me he did & showed me how he just got one of the secretaries (elders) in the office to grab an old one & then he bought some minutes.  Not a smartphone, a piece of crud actually, but still a phone. (You just buy these chips here to put into a phone with minutes on them.)  He said he was using it to talk to his girlfriend back in the Sao Paulo & I was totally shocked.  This guy had been to BYU Idaho to study for a year, which is super hard for a Brasilian to do & he speaks English fluently and is an awesome missionary.  So we ended up talking about that for a long time & why he thought it was okay to have one.  And this isn't some dumb kid.  He really is an awesome missionary & reminds me a lot of Dad just minus the cell phone.  So I asked him what he would do in my position, knowing all these things.  He said he didn't know.  I also asked him if he thinks he will be able to say that he did everything he could for his mission & he said he didn't know yet & would have to answer me before he went home.  (He is going home March 16th too with Elder A).  And that was it, the split was over.  He called me a few days later & told me that he broke the phone & knew it was wrong.  So I guess there is still hope.  It didn't make sense because everyone said that this guy was obedient to a T & was amazing, but towards the end started to tinker off the edge.  It goes to show that any of us can give into that & that is why we have gotta destroy this mentality out here on the mission.  I'm gonna be honest with Pres. Silva about everything now & make sure nothing is hidden from him. 
(Then this is from the email this morning)
i love you guys! everything is working out great with telling president! he knows everything and we have been talking to him on the phone a lot this week. we dont know when but it sounds like president knew about it and was just waiting to see if someone would say something. im not sure. im about to go read his email right now! but ill explain everything in the my family letter this week! but "elder A" and i are good! the guy has been hit pretty hard and just came into our room the other night crying... he is a 25 almost 26 year old man and just looked broken! i feel bad for the guy and we dont know whats gonna happen with him yet but we will see. i love and miss you guys so much! 

....alrighty so everything is good! we still dont know whats going to happen with Elder A but you guys were 100 percent correct! President sent me an email saying thanks and that from now on when i see something we give the comp one chance and then we call. and im an idiot! i know thats what it is supposed to be like! it'll never happen again! but i know for sure now what we have to do! i dont know why the heck i listened to elder william saying that president can just use the spirit of discernment to read our minds and that he isnt gonna care... that was retarded! haha but no we are getting everything back on track and im gonna do everthing i can to help the mission become more obedient!

Pres changed email time to an hour and 15 minutes this week so it is going to be a lot shorter! I just found this out so i already have to get off the computer which totally stinks... ): im so sorry! two weeks in a row without a general! i stink! i promise next week the first thing i will send will be my general! but i love you guys so so much and thank you so much for your advice and guidance and awesome examples! you guys are the best family that i could ever ask for and i love you all more than anything in the world! have an awesome week and ill send a mission ties! sorry again! 
Elder Keller