Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Monday, June 29, 2015

#43 June 29, 2015 A Referral--Vinicius

This week went pretty great! The weather has been awesome! Sunny and cold! It is great! But the work is going awesome here! We have three investigators that are really solid, Edson, Bruno, and Lucas! Edson broke his hip a while back and has been recovering so couldnt leave his bed until now so we are hoping he comes to church this week! He is almost done reading the book of mormon now and he has had it for 3 weeks i think? Pretty cool! Bruno is coming to church every week and goes to all the activities he just has to stop drinking coffee and smoking and then he will be good to go for the baptism! Lucas just has to get married but he, Adriana and their kid are super solid (: so now just comes the wait for all the papers to go through!

We also got a reference this week (miracle!) from the church site from a guy asking for a book of mormon. So we called him up and found out he lives right next to us! Then we went over there and met him. His name is Vinicius, he is 27, lives with his mom, has no job, and isnt going to school. His mom told us he doesnt really like talking to people and is really closed off. So we taught him the restoration, taught him about the power of the book of mormon, he started reading it we went back and he is totally awesome! President Silva is telling us we need to invite someone to read the book of mormon and then go back the next day to see what their answer was because he said this is a one day answer mission! if the investigator follows moroni 10 4 then he or she is gonna get their answer that night when they pray! he said he truly one hundred percent believes that so we cant be wasting our time with people who dont want to ask! So of course I had very little faith in this but we did it and went back the next day to Vinicius. And we asked him and he and his mom said after he read he already seemed to be a different person! They noticed and he felt that he was changing and it was so cool to see the power the book of mormon has in peoples lives. Then he came to church on sunday as well so things are going pretty great here! (: 

To be honest it is kind of frustrating because we have been trying to get back to Ana Lucia and Luciano to see how they are doing but we havent been able to mark anything... They are out of the radius so we were gonna go over there after a lunch that would be in their neighborhood but then the lunch fell through the day before... But it was remarked for this Wednesday so we are going to try to pass by there then. 

We found another couple really cool families because that is something we have been trying to focus on and we are hoping everything goes well with them but I guess we will see! 

But being on the mission makes me so grateful for the family that I have and for all the people in my life that have sacrificed something to try to help me out or teach me something to help me get to my mission! I mean we are always with talking with people whos lives are just falling apart and is shows how easy it is to give into Satan's temptations. It is hard to follow the gospel and very few people really do it! We found two less active twin girls a few weeks back. They were baptized when they were 12, have no family in the church and really didn't understand anything about the baptism or what they were doing... Now they are fifteen and each one already has a kid. and both the kids are one! Like how crazy is that??? And it is like totally normal here. It is so sad though because their lives are a total mess and those kids are probably never going to have a solid example to follow in their lives. I think about the most amazing parents that I was given and sometimes wonder how the heck did I get so lucky? You even talk to the other missionaries out here and their own parent have problems with scripture study and there are big consequences for that! Parents have to study their scriptures, and not just as a family but personally study their scriptures every single day or else it leaves room for Satan to enter in and destroy the family. I have seen in time and time again out here working with less actives and I am SO thankful for the two amazing parents who have always been such an amazing example of that! I always saw my parents studying their scrips! And it makes our family happier. 

Point is personal study of the scriptures and principally the book of mormon is the key if we want exaltation. So we gotta study! 

But anyways I love and miss you all! Time is flying out here and it is weird to think about! But hope you all have an awesome week! 

  Elder Keller 

Monday, June 22, 2015

#42 June 22, 2015 Fourth Day, No Water...

Alright this week I learned about how thankful I am for running water! On friday morning our water got shut off and so it has been an interesting three days! Turns out the office hasnt payed a lot of our water bills and the last one that we had to pay the owner of our apartment building never gave to us so we could send it to the mission secretaries... So yeah it has been very exciting here! haha we learned how to take showers with buckets of water and a sponge this week which actually works out pretty well! We have been grabbing water from the church sink for these four days and its been working out pretty well but we are running low on bucket water and we are starting to stink so we are really hoping to get it turned on today! I guess we will see what happens (: We were thinking about going and filling up the baptismal font but then thought that wouldnt work out too well... haha totally kidding about the baptismal font, But yeah be thankful for running water it is great!

But anyways this week was super awesome! From these big waves of new people that we are finding we found two awesome guys! This first guy is Edson and he is probably 65 years old and is stuck in bed with a busted hip for a few weeks and we taught him about the restoration and we were thinking that nothing would come from it and we explained how important the book of mormon was to him and about how we use it to get answers to our prayers about the church and he wanted to read it so we left it there planning on coming back the next day and taking it back (the silva method which works great by the way and no one has refused us yet) but we went back and the guy had read 53 pages and said he believed in everything that it said! Turns out he is actually super smart and was already using the footnotes and comparing everything with the bible so that was super cool! We went back two days ago and he was on page 300 and something! haha sweet! Hey Higley Manor ward, this guy is beating you all in the Book of Mormon challenge! (; Anyways he has a date in July we just have to wait for him to get better and be able to walk again so that he can start coming to church! (: And he has a car which helps a ton too because its super rare to find investigators who have cars so they can get to church so I mean from everything we have seen the guy is pretty awesome! Pray so that he can get better (: 

Then we also felt like we should visit this contact we did like 3 months ago here (back with william) and so Elder Sulivan and I went there last week and invited him to church. He is about 22 years old and his name is Bruno and he came to stake conference this week and it was super cool! He loved it and at the end was asking for a book of mormon so we went by his house after and explained what the book of mormon was for and he is excited to ask if it is true! 

Adriana (less active member) and Lucas (non member) are coming every week to church now and doing great and just need to get married for lucas to get baptized which will probably get finished up in a month! (takes a really long time here) So that is totally awesome! 

Luciano and Ana Lucia we couldnt visit this week because we had to go into Joinvill twice this week so we lost two work days and we couldnt go over there with the member.. (another rule we can only visit people alone within 3 km of the church if they are out it has to be reference by member and then the member has to visit with us because there are so many less actives who have been baptized who afterwards realize they are not going to have a ride every week and so they stop going to church) But anyways they live outside of the radius which stinks so we have to go there with a member but we are gonna try going by this week! 

But this week we are probably going to find out what is wrong with Elder sulivans knee so we are going to have to keep returning to joinville doing exams and then seeing the reports but pray that he will be okay! 

But just one more catch up with the work, Douglas got the melchezidek priesthood this week and it was totally awesome! Now he is the first one in his family (miriam and antonios big family) to have the melchezidek priesthood! But i love that family so much! I seriously feel like I have the biggest connection with them and i pray that i dont have to leave guaratuba soon because they are all so awesome! When we got here none of them were going to church and now douglas has the priesthood to be able to bless his family! And I love the lessons with them! For sure they are the lessons where we feel the spirit the strongest! Because they want it so bad! They know they want an eternal family and their biggest goal is to get to the temple! So I am super happy for them (: 

Things are super great here! I love and miss everyone so much! And special shoutout happy fathers day dad! youre the best dad ever and im so thankful that heavenly father put me with you! Thank you for being the best example ever and for all that you have taught me! You are the best dad in the world! Have an awesome week! 

Love Elder Keller 

Monday, June 15, 2015

#41 June 15, 2015

This week went great! We got to go into Joinville again for a Zone Training that was pretty awesome! I will be sending videos and pics of it after (:

But anyways things have been going pretty good here. We are going to have to go into Joinville tomorrow because Elder Sulivan has some pretty bad knee problems that are resurfacing that he had before his mission as well so we are going to go to get them checked out. Pray that everything will be good with him! Going home and than coming back out is really hard for some missionaries here especially when you go home after such a short time in the field. But i think everything will work out okay! 

Elder Daines and I were talking the other day (and i know i say this a lot in my letters but it is because we have awesome discussions about the gospel all the time when we are at the house) and we both came to the conclusion that we would probably never have been friends before our missions because we like totally opposite things! He hates all the things I like and I hate all the things he likes yet we totally get along great out here and we both came to a conclusion that it is because we both have interests in the gospel and we want to talk about it and strangely its fun! It doesnt make any sense but it works! And then we compared it to how marriage has to be after the mission (not that we are trying to get ahead or anything) and it shows how we have to find someone who really loves the gospel! That is a key! If you both love the gospel it makes things a lot easier. You take two people that dont have anything in common but then they can totally get along great if they both have the desire to learn more and put Christ at the center of their lives. It makes a lot more sense! That is why through Christ we can all come together as one! 

It is super sad out here because all the time we see marriages that fall apart or families that arent happy and this is the reason. And i think i say this a lot but its the truth! I was studying D&C 121 34 - 46 this week and it totally has our key to life! Many are called but few are chosen and why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the THINGS OF THE WORLD and they aspire to the HONORS OF MEN. I dont have my scrips with my so sorry if i mixed that up a little bit but it is one hundred percent true. It later says that we must have charity towards all and we have to let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly... and then the doctrine will distill upon our souls. And I still feel like I totally stink at doing all this! It is really hard!  But that is why many are called and few are chosen because the more we learn to apply these principles in our lives, the more we will be able to have the right of revelation as well as the spirit. We cant give more value to the things of the world and the honors of men and thats the only thing I did before my mission. But as we strive to follow Christs example instead our families will become stronger and we will be really happy! Not worldly happy. 

But this week Elder Sulivan and I were talking and we were trying to figure out why the ward is getting so weak here! In the two areas I have been in they have had wards that had a building for not too long but after the building had been built the ward had become really weak. And Elder Sulivan said the key was gossip. Gossip totally kills wards down here! There are so many less actives who left the church because of gossip. Like the scriptures tell us we need to learn how to control our tongues as well because that will show a big part of who we are. So we always need to be careful of what we say! And I have gotta work on that a lot! 

But the work is going good and Luciano and Ana Lucia came to church! That awesome family we started teaching and I really hope it went well! The ward was like a jungle gym this week and it wasnt super reverent but I trust the Lord knows what he is doing so I guess we will see what happens when we go back to visit them! They had to leave like 15 minutes before it ended to pick up their son from work so we didnt get to talk to them. But it was awesome to have them there! We are working with two other families right now that are really cool but we dont know where it will go! Lauro and Cisa are parents of Leonardo and Andre and their family is super cool but are really strong in their church and dont like the idea that maybe their is only one true church but they are reading the book of mormon and praying so we hope they get their answer! The other is a couple by the name of Dico and Rose who are pretty young and have 3 little kids and are trying to find a church that they feel is right! So we are going to see how it goes this week teaching them! 

But I love and miss you all so much and hope that everything is going great! Have an awesome week! 

 Elder Keller 

Monday, June 8, 2015

#40 June 8, 2015 Shrimp Season!

We had a good week! Everything is going pretty well here! We are basically just running around trying to find people who are willing to read the book of mormon and who accept the invite to be baptized and if not we take the book of mormon away and go to another house! So we teach a lot of other lessons and we are finding and cutting investigators a lot. But it is going great!

Elder Nascimento changed his name to Elder Sulivan. Pretty dope name! He is the new james cameron avatar! haha there are like 5 names in brasil that they use as there last names so everyone has the same so the missionaries just use their first name or they would be nascimento 1 2 or 3. For example we have da silva 1 da silva 2 da silva 3 all the way up to 5 in the mission! Pretty weird! Im so happy I get to represent the Keller name! 

But anyways we went back and visisted that one family Luciano and Ana Lucia are there names and it went pretty good! They said for sure they will be at church this sunday because they were gonna be at the hospital working this last one so we are hoping to see them (: We might be going back this week with Irmão Adelmo so we will see what happens. 

But a lot of the work we do here as well is trying to reactivate Less Actives and I love it because the Lord puts a lot into our path! Like this last week we felt like we neede to change roads and go talk to this couple and we walk up and turns out she was baptied four years ago and then stopped going to church. So we visited her and she came this week so that was great! She has a ton of problems between the husband and her so we are trying to help them work it out through the power of the gospel! 

Irmã miriams family is doing great! They went back to fishing season and got back yesterday so this morning for a p day activity we went to check out there boats and the shrimp they bring in and ive never seen so much more shrimp in my life! Im in love! We are going to do an FHE on wednesday and leave a lesson with the whole family and then have a fish fry! Super stoked! Antonio, the Dad and Douglas are going to get the Melchezidec Priesthood on the 21st of June! We have stake conference that day so it will be a really cool experience! They have been waiting a long time to have a priesthood holder in the family now that can bless there lives so I am super happy for them! Before they would have to call the Elderes or a Brother in the ward but now they will have it for themselves and it is so awesome to see the change and the blessings that come into the lives of families when they start applying the gospel! Also Elisiane, the only one that isnt baptized is reading the book of mormon like a machine! Its so awesome! She cant get baptized because here "husband" dalton (another brother of the family) still is clearing up divorce papers from an old marriage and then they will have to get married but it is all going great! 

Elder Daines and I were talking about this the other day and it al comes down to reading the book of mormon! Every time we find less actives or members that arent strong it is because they are not reading the book of mormon! That is what it all comes down to in the end! If you read the book of mormon every day you will have an unseen power to stand against the wiles and fiery darts of the devil as Benson teaches us! It is so simple and yet we still sometimes dont get it! 

But everything is great here! I love and miss you all! Hope you guys have an awesome week! 

Love Elder Keller 

Monday, June 1, 2015

#39 June 1, 2015 Gabrielle Baptism/ The ER Doc

This week was pretty great! Gabrielle got baptized so that was good (: We have also been striving to apply what President Silva has been teaching us about using the Book of Mormon and the Bible together so that they can each testify of one or the other because together they have the fulness of the gospel! It has been going great and there is a different spirit when we are straight with the people and dont try to beat around the bush about anything! But President told us we need to have a goal of finding two new investigators to teach every single day so we can just find the max amount of people possible and then we will pretty soon just find the elects who are ready to be baptized! This week we found 15 new people and we have marked to go back and teach them or we have already taught them again so that was great! But this way we can just always have a big teaching pool so we dont hold on to these people who are never fulfilling the invites that we give them. So this week has been going good!

So there was this family that we kept trying to get to teach because this brother in the ward gave them as references but they are out of our teaching radius so we have to be accompanied there by a member with a car. The member was Adelmo who is pretty awesome and was baptized four years ago and loves finding people for the missionaries! Just that sometimes he gets a little excited and we go to places where someone doesnt want anything to do with it haha but it is awesome doing visits with him! 

But anyways we go to this guys house yesterday, Adelmo calls us and says hey in two hours we are going to go over to this families house and try to catch them by surprise and we didnt have any solid appointments, just people who we would try to pass by so we decided to go with him. So we get there and this guy who looks like Bruce Willis and all tatted up answers the door and turns out we woke him up and he just looked totally ticked haha! and we were all just thinking, uh no Adelmo got a little too excited (he hasnt stopped talking about this family for 2 months) So the guy lets us in and he is an e.r. doc and he just got done working 36 hours and we woke him up.. So that was awesome! So we sit down with this guy and then we start trying to break the ice (Adelmo met this guy installing cabinets in his house so he isnt really "friends" with him) and turns out the guy is totally awesome! His wife gets home shortly after we got there and it turned into a totally awesome lesson/get to know you session! They are the first family that I have found who is really intelligent and doesnt give into the whole pay me money and i will bless you crud and they have been for years trying to find something to believe in that seems right but right now the wife believes in God and the husband believes in a greater being than us but not someone who loves us like a Heavenly Father. He says he has seen way too many terrible things working as a doctor (especially in brasil) to believe in that but he says he truly wants to feel something to make him believe! This couple is just like Bops and Grandma Keller I feel like! They were the coolest people ever! They are about 50 years old, three kids, wealthy, swear like sailors, smoke, drink coffee and  wouldnt stop talking and asking questions to clear up the things about the church no matter how many times we tried guiding the conversation in the direction of a lesson but that didnt work. They basically asked every question that is answered by the doctrine of the missionary lessons and we explained that all this would be answered in other visits and then after an hour we tried to leave and they wouldnt let us because they wanted to try to make us food and ask more questions and point is we found a totally awesome family and something that will be a totally new teaching experience through a member and we have to talk to everyone about the gospel and never judge them. This family thought we were some crazy closed cult that did a bunch of horrible things but we were able to clear that up with them last night. But I have no idea where it will go with this family but I pray that it goes well! 

The work here is great and so now we are just working on following up with all these news and if they want it great, if not we cut them and go to find those that do! 

But I love Brasil and I love my mission! Guaratuba is totally awesome and it got to sweater weather this week which was great! We are having great experiences our here! 

I love and miss everyone and I hope you guys have an awesome week! Talk with everyone about the Gospel! We cant deny the power of the atonement to them! That is why we have got to share it. Love you guys! 

Elder Keller