Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Monday, May 25, 2015

#38 May 25, 2015 Book of Mormon

Awesome week!! We went into Joinville this week for a double zone conference with Joinville North and Joinville South. I saw Elder Buck! It was awesome! He is doing great and it was super weird to see someone from the hometown. We were talking about how crazy it is that everyone else is getting there calls and that school is ending back home. The mission is totally flying by!

But the conference was totally amazing and changed a lot about my attitude of the Book of Mormon.
So President about 2 to 3 months ago made a new rule on the mission, we don't receive any more copies of the book of mormon! And at first a lot of people thought it was crazy but our mission needed for a few reasons.
One the last president spent the majority of the missions money for this last year in 6 months so Silva came in with nothing... Haha so the first was to conserve money but it wasnt the most important reason.
President Silva talked about how we all just treat the book of mormon like it is nothing and chuck it around to everyone without explaining the importance of the Book when it is the MOST CORRECT AND MOST IMPORTANT BOOK IN THE WORLD THAT WE HAVE TODAY! We give these people this book and tell them to read it but they dont understand how truly important it is!

So Silva said that we will only get new books when our number of baptisms in the area is the same as the number of books we had when the rule hit. If we dont have the same than we have to go to the investigators that are not praying and are not keeping commitments and we take the book back from them! Haha it sounds a little crazy but it actually works and they start to see how important the book is!

But there are a lot of missionaries in the mission as well as a lot of members who are pathetic rebellious lazy people that don't believe in revelation from God and were trying to go against President and basically just causing a bunch of problems!

So President had this last conference to try to show people why the book of mormon is so important and we have to find the people that really are willing to accept it and follow its teachings! It was totally awesome. He talked about when he was on his mission he and his companion started doing this and in a month and a half they baptized 80 people! Haha thats ridiculous! Then of course someone brought up the fact that we are in the south of brasil and that its "hard to baptize" here and President brought up a really good point that ammon was one of the missionaries that baptized the most and taught some of the hardest people! As well as a ton of other missionaries in the book of mormon. He asked the question to us is God the same in the North as he is in the south or does he just change all of a sudden because of a different area? And it is so true! We have to have faith that God is gonna help us out!

But the conference was awesome and he also taught how we need to use the Book of Mormon in our first lessons with people. How are we supposed to convince someone its true if we arent using the book?

So We had to go in to Itapoa to interview one of their baptisms Fernando and that went really well, then we went on Splits after to try and apply it and I went with Elder Sierras and we basically just used the Book of Mormon for everything! The only time we used the bible was to show one scripture talking about the book of mormon and then going back to the book of mormon to show them how it says the same thing. But it was sweet! We had a super strong spirit with us and we could see the difference.

But things are going great here, it is basically just hot again haha so the quick cold was just messing with us. But Bops and Grams, I got your guys letter and money! thank you so much! I love the mission stories you guys share with us! But I love and miss everyone a ton and hope you guys have an awesome week! Read the Book of Mormon every day!

Elder Keller

Monday, May 18, 2015

#37 May 18, 2015

Well this week was great! Our trio is over. We got a new american names elder daines from logan utah! He is a really good guy! He was serving in montanah for 5 months and then came out here! He is super funny and is actually speaking pretty well already. So now im with Nascimento and Elder n. Lopes is with daines! So we are back to 4 in guaratuba!
But this week we went into joinville to get Daines and we also had to go to itapoã to do exchanges (i just realized thats what they are called in english not splits when its between missionaries haha) But it went really well! Itapoã is like an hour away south of us on the beach as well! The branch there is pretty interesting... Its got about 20 members ben it is really weak! The missionaries there Elder Sierras and Elder Mendes are more qualified to be the branch president there than the branch president haha! But they are doing really good work and principally trying to strengthen all the members there to see if they can help it grow! Rumor is the last bishop here in guaratuba who is coming back from being a mission president in june is gonna move there to try to wake em up! we will see what happens!

But it was starting to get cold here and i was super excited and then these past couple days just had a random heat wave! haha good ol brasil (: but who knows, maybe it will get a little better here during the "winter"!

But this week we had an interesting experience. There is a brother in the ward here named adelmo. He is totally awesome but the only one in his family that is baptized! his wife and kids are but his paretns and siblings arent. He wanted to take us to visit his mom and brother because he said they are in really bad shape because his brother is into really heavy drugs... So we went by there with him this week and we went into the house and the smell was just so sad! We had taught others who used drugs but nothing super serious. This guy is totally addicted crack and the house just wreaks of it. His mom is the sweetest lady in the world but has to take care of this 34 year old full grown man who has totally become victim to another one of satans tools! But we saw how drugs just totally detroyed the family! The dad left because he couldnt handle the son anymore and now the mom has major mental issues because of her son. And as we were sitting there the brother in the ward was talking to his mom and brother and I felt the weirdest most empty feeling i have felt on my mission! I felt like I used to feel before my mission, like I always needed to repent of something, or that something just wasnt right in my life and it was so weird! I literally felt like I had to get up and go repent of something that i had done! And i was trying to think about what I had done and then i realized i hadnt done anything but i literally just wasnt feeling the spirit! It was the strangest thing that has happened on my mission I think. But I think Heavenly Father wanted me to have that experience so that I could recognize what it is like to not have the spirit!

That is why the sacrament and our baptismal covenants are so important! It doesnt seem like the promise that we get in return from our heavenly father is as big to have the spirit to be with us always but it is everything! If we have the spirit, it means that we are keeping the commandment and remembering christ, and when we do that we are happy! It is so simple! We always need to strive to keep the commandments and align our will with Gods. That is one of the biggest principles that i am learning on my mission, do what God would have us do and everything will work out alright!

But everything is going great here in Guaratuba! We are working our tails off and loving every second of it! We are trying to expand our teaching group right now because we have pretty much cut everyone we were teaching except for a few. We will see how this week goes!

We go to joinville on wednesday for a zone conference with pres so im super excited about that and Ill get to see buck! someone from the hometown!

But I love and miss all of you so much and hope everything is going great! Have an awesome week and strive to keep the commandments and magnify your callings!

Love Elder Keller

Monday, May 11, 2015

#36 May 11, 2015

Well yesterday was super bitter sweet! The days to call home on your mission are the worst/best days out here! You get to talk to your awesome family who you miss like crazy but then you realize you miss them like crazy! Haha I balled like a little baby! I love my famliy so much! It just stinks to think that people reject the opportunity to have their own families be just like the family that i have! The gospel is true. It is the only way that we can create a family so united and strong as the families of members of the church. And the fact that we have a prophet to lead and guide us helps us so much!

Here in Southern Brazil people have gotten brainwashed into thinking that you can pay your way into heaven and that if you go to church once a week and pay your pastor and yell for a little bit than youre saved! It stinks because they don't want to accept the fact that maybe you have to do a little bit more than that. If only people could see that keeping the commandments helps us out and doesn't hurt us! When we do what the Lord wants our lives are 100 percent better and we are 100 percent happier!

But anyways things are going great here in Guaratuba! We visited Dalton the first time this week! ( He is the Miriams son who just decided to start coming back to church) He had been in some visits with miriam and we have talked to him a lot but the other day we got to go visit his family! We went over there because they wanted us to help them dedicate their house and it ended up being super awesome! We explained about house dedications and what they are for, how they are for us to be able to better protect our families from all the evils of the world. Then we did the prayer and then we talked to them about where they wanted their family to be 40 to 50 years from now. And they told us they wanted a strong family in the church and that seeing the change in their brother douglas's family is motivating them a lot! Daltons wife, Elisiane isnt baptized but we set up goals with them to pray every day, start reading the book of mormon, and go to church. And this week they all went! It was the first time in a long time that all the kids and wives and grandkids of that family have been to church, everyone together! It was so great to see!

But they have gotta get married first so that Elisiane can be baptized but it is awesome to see the great change that is taking place with this family (:

Its starting to get pretty cold here actually! Its awesome! We still walk around with short sleeves but at night and in the morning it gets pretty chilly! And humid cold is so different! But it is 10 times better working in the cold than in the heat! Its awesome!

We just found out that we are going to have a conference in June with a seventy! So I am really pumped for that! We dont know who is gonna come or what is gonna happen but im sure it will be pretty sweet!

But anyways Happy Mothers day to all the mothers out there and especially to mine, the best one ever! I love and miss you all and hope you guys are all striving to magnify your calling and grow in the gospel every day! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Keller

Monday, May 4, 2015

#35 May 4, 2015 The Trio

Alright well this week has been a little crazy! So on tuesday Blanch and I went into Floripa and Blanch stayed there on the other said of the bridge in são jose! stinks that they are all gone but im liking the new guys! So in Floripa I picked up Elders N. Lopes (here everyone has the same last name so on the nametags they have to put numbers and other letters and stuff haha) and Elder Nascimento soon to be changed to sulivan. He just got on the mission!

Lopes has 5 months on the mission and is from Pará way up north in brasil! Nascimento is from the amazon! crazy huh? He is from manaus brasil. And he said its not all crazy indian people like we all imagine haha. But they are both really great guys and working in a trio has been interesting! I thought it would all be portugues from now on but they both really want to learn english so we have been starting up with that and its been pretty cool! Elder Lopes already speaks pretty well and just learned from video games and Elder Nascimento just studied spanish haha but he is getting there with the english! 

So now there are only three of us here in guaratuba so we have been working our tails up because we got the work of the other companionship that was here as well! And because of that work we had a baptism this week! It was awesome! Remember that girl Giane that had the dream that her mom came to here and told her the church was true? Monica is her cousin and got baptized this week. She is twelve but strangely smart for a 12 year old girl... but they are at church every week and are liking it a lot! 

The work here is awesome and the coolest thing ever happened last week! So this family of less actives that we are working with is doing awesome! There is Miriam, and Antonio. The parents! And then the kids are Douglas Dalton and Dennis. Douglas has two kids and his wife Camilla and they are all baptized and its been three years and now are super set on getting to the temple and getting sealed with their family and their parents! Miriam and Antonio just met with bishop and are ready working for it as well! This sunday the whole family came to church! I havent seen that ever happen while i have been here and the ward says its been a long time since they have all showed up. But it was awesome! they are these big rough, tatted up fishermen but it was sweet seeing them all there! Dennis even got up and bore his testimony and it was super cool! But I love seeing their progress and I cant wait to hear about them going through the temple! 

But the work here is awesome! The ward is great and is working really hard! I love guaratuba and leaving this place is going to stink when i have to. but im gonna make the best of it while I can! 

Also having Buck in Joinville is sweet! Ill see him this week I think! I talked to him on the phone last night because he is living with William who is our ZL now! Sounds like he is doing good! Cant believe I am gonna see someone from back home! Crazy! 

But I love and miss you guys all so darn much! I hope you have an awesome week and that all the moms have an awesome mothers day!!! 

Love, Elder Keller