Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

#48 August 3, 2015

So it got hot this week! It wasnt super hot degrees wise but because it is so humid here you just feel like you are melting haha! I miss dry arizona heat. Joinville is one of the hottest areas in the mission and the members said last year there was a day that it got to be the hottest place on the planet! So if i stay here for summer sounds like thats gonna be fun... They have something here called thermal sensation which shows the degrees of heat that you are feeling because of the humidity and so that is what they go by because the normal gauge isnt accurate at all.

But anyways Joinville is really great! I really love the ward here! The members are all just super cool and really down to earth. So there are two wards that go to our building. It used to be one ward but was split a year ago. The other one has a bunch of richies but ours has really great people so im glad um here! There are a lot of returned missionaries as well so that is really cool! And the food here is actually amazing. Like the other day we were at the Godinhos house (they are an awesome family in the ward who was baptized two years ago but are some of the best members i know know) she made parmesan chicken and it was so good! So i dont have a lot to complain about! 

The work here is like a said a lot different from Guaratuba. We just basically find and cut people every week so that we can try to find the elect and those that really want to be baptized. The best we have right now are Gabriel and Sonia and Sonia has been to church once. But it has been really difficult because she doesnt really understand our purpose there. Right now we feel like she kind of thinks were just the walk around pastors and it is really difficult to change that attitude in someone. The thing is that she loves the book of mormon and believes its true and reads it every day. But this week we are going to use that to try and motivate her more. I feel so bad for her. She is probably 55 years old and divorced so she lives alone. She doesnt have too much contact with her kids and i just feel like that would be so miserable staying couped up in that house all day! So we want to show her that the gospel can offer so much more! 

But gabriel is really awesome! We have been slowly trying to change into the missionary attitude with him and show our real purpose there because the other elders who started teaching him six months ago would go over there and stay for hours watching tv with him... Really frustrating but he is a good guy! He was living with an inactive sister in the ward who used to be really solid but just made some bad decisions. But now they have been going to church pretty regularly and they just need to get married now. So I think our greatest hope is with him! 

But I did an exchange with Elder Malkum the other day, one of the kids in our apartment and I love that guy! He has a few problems with rules and stuff but he serves everyone as much as he can and loves helping others. He is a great example of Christ when it comes selflessness and being humble. He definitely forgets about himself in that sense. But they gave a really good idea for lunch messages to try to help members and what they do in their ward is go to the members house and then after ask the member to share with them what they studied personally in their scriptures the day before. And of course most of the members say no which I was a little surprised at first. Then they talk about the importance of reading their scrips and then say the next lunch we are gonna ask the same thing. So we started doing that with some in our area and it is crazy how many members dont have the habit of personal scripture study! They are great awesome people but it shows really how hard it is to put that in first priority during our lives. It is something so simple but also so difficult for us as members to do but really will make all the difference! 

Im so thankful for awesome parents I have who I always saw studying the scriptures! That is probably one of the greatest examples I always saw from them as a kid. And I know that is one of the biggest reasons that I am out here on a mission today. Thanks mom and dad! 

But anyways I love and miss you all and hope that you are all doing great! Have an awesome week! 

Love, Elder Keller 

#47 July 27, 2015

Well this week was totally sweet! On thursday we went down to Itajai and had a big mission conference with a seventy names Elder Leal who is just a powerful guy. He was so awesome! He is from são paulo and was baptized at 17 years old and then served a mission in a time when very few brazilians were serving. And he went to Portugal!

But anyways he is an amazing teacher. He spoke really quietly and soft but the spirit that he used was so strong! He talked to us about how to be real messengers of Christ and better teachers. He put a bar graph on a white board and numbered it 0 through 10. On one side he put teaching techniques and on the other he put attributes of Christ. Then he went through one by one asking us what we thought the mission used more or where we were on the scale. Five being a perfect balance of what we need between the two. we came to the conclusion that we were a 2 or 3 mission because we rely more on the ways to convince a man by ideas that came from man than on the spirit. He taught us that we still need to use techniques but we also have to rely on the spirit and be the examples of Christ so we can teach with more power and then the people will be convinced! 

One big thing he talked about was knowing that our President was called by God. In our mission unfortunately we have a lot of missionaries that dont like President and think he just makes up rules to make it so that we cant have fun on our missions. It is kind of ridiculous but Elder Leal talked about that. He talked about how revelation really exists! It isnt some made of thing that they tell us to try to keep us in line but that our Presidente receives revelation for us! He was closing one of the meetings during the day when he was talking about this and so he bore his testimony and it was powerful! He said that he knew for himself that president silva was receiving the correct revelation for us because he knows that president did the last transfer one hundred percent correct, that every single one of us was in the exact area with the exact companion at the exact time that we needed. He said he has been to missions where presidents have messed up with that and he has to talk to the mission president. He said he can see and feel when a mission president has done it right because of the power of the spirit! How cool is that? The guy is so in tune with the spirit that he can feel when someone isnt in the right place! Plus that day was the first day he ever met President Silva! haha So that was a big addition to my testimony about personal revelation! 

But one big thing that was reaffirmed at that meeting was the importance of finding a really powerful wife! Sister Silva and Sister Leal actually spoke a lot and they taught with awesome power and they are smart women! Elder Leal talked about how we have to train ourselves to be good husbands as well and that is why we have comps out here. Because marriage is hard and we have to learn how to use the spirit to work it out! And seeing these awesome couples on the mission really helps put it into perspective! 

But anyways i love the new ward! The members are super cool and joinville is awesome! i have some cool picks including alligators in the middle of the city haha pretty sweet! But i probably wont be able to send them until next week because the church is so far away. But I love and miss you all so much and hope everything is going great! Read your scriptures every day! 

Elder Keller