Saturday, February 28, 2015

Week that will go Down in History

This week will go down in history for Elder Iverson. It started with a FHE with our Recent Converts. That is always a treat.

We had a MultiZone Conference on Quinta, and Quinta was a day that also will not be forgotten. First, I saw Elder Jacobson again and it was a treat. President talked and it was very good, but what touched me the most was something that Irmão Valoim said. He talked about agency, and the fact that we have the choice. And something he said that we call it free-agency, but really it is only free agency if we choose to be free. (2 Nephi 2:27) We have to choose the right to be set free from sin, guilt, and other feelings of discomfort. So what will it be gente (people)? Let's choose to be free!!

Quinta the meeting ended at 5pm, and we left the rest of the day with our friend (Daniel Damiani who is preparing to serve in Scottsdale, AZ in May) teaching people. We had two lessons that really struck home with me. The first is with a new investigator that we are teaching Beatriz(40) and Elizabeth(7). This was the second lesson that we shared with them, and it was one that was awesome, I would like to send a quick shoutout to Janna Wallace for the Plan Of Salvation she sent me,  used it in this lesson, and Beatriz loved it so much, that she took a picture, and said I will study this, and I want to help my mom, and aunts, and grandmas. It was an experience for sure. We invited her to be baptized in the coming weeks, and she accepted, and said that she would go to church (unfortunately she didn't come). 

Then we had a meeting with Maria and Guilherme. Who called in a panic Quarta (Wednesday) and said that doubts had arisen, and that people were saying garbage to them. We had a lesson via cellphone on Quarta :) When we passed on Quinta (Thursday) she was a little bit of a mess. She talked to us that she was thinking it was too soon, and that it wasn’t the right time. Stuff like that. So, we (The Comforting Crew) helped Maria feel that baptism on Sat is right. I was able to use examples from the past (for example. I compared it to me when I was playing soccer. I knew what I needed to do, and the objective was clear. But what happens, we get down to crunch time and the mind starts to go nuts. Everything that we know by heart, and is natural we start to doubt, the pressure makes us lose our heads.) And the same thing is happening with them. They were 3 days away from the baptism and the brain was going nuts. We talked to them about the temptations of satan, and that he was trying harder now that the baptism as so close. I also gave them the comfort that God knows how strong they are, and so he is letting them be tested, the only thing we need to do, is remain strong. This brought comfort, and still there was doubt, we shared testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, and finished with something awesome. We asked Maria to ponder a little on the things she feels, and to pour out her heart to God in a prayer. We bowed our heads, and 30 seconds later Maria started to pray. She got about 20 seconds into the prayer, and started to ball.. She was crying and talking to Heavenly Father so tenderly, that it was a spiritual overflow. She balled and finished the Prayer. I said thank you, that was the most tender, and loving prayer that I have heard offered. We said another prayer Elder Corrêa said it and left. The spirit was so strong, and what an experience. For sure a testimony builder. 

Friday we had 3 interviews, and all three of them passed!!!!!! Maria on Friday said that she was ready, that it really was the nerves that got to her. 

So we then start on Saturday. We had the great experience to eat with Elder and Sister Swenson in the churrascaria (steak house) in our area. The food was great (and expensive R$530) but the company was better. It was a nice time to chat with them. 

Then we had the baptism in the night. It was good, we got to the church at 6:30 (baptism at 7) and the font was not even 1/4 of the way full....... Crap....... so we grabbed buckets, and a hose and started to fill the font, all went well and we finished filling it at 7:30 which was the time that the deal started. (so yes mom it is custom that nothing starts on time) what didn't help was that there was a meeting of institute in the chapel. There was 500 YSA there...... and wow... it was a mess to start, but once the meeting started all went well. (The meeting started so fast, that we couldn't take pictures before ;( ) but all is well. 

The baptism was great, I got to baptize Russel. He is from Paraguay. He is the husband of a member, and was really excited to get baptized.  The baptisms were spiritual, and we had a lot of people there. With 4 people being baptized the 5th will be this week. We had a lot of help. The event went smoothly and we had other investigators there: Maria and Victoria (more to come on them). With the baptisms we slept well. 

Then Sunday.  We had the classes like normal and Guilherme came in a white shirt and tie :) and all was well, we kind of slacked off and forgot to tell them that they choose who will confirm them. Maria and Guilherme choose me, and Russel Elder Corrêa. I was scared to death. I have never done this is English let alone Port.!!! I was only really nervous. But I will let you know that it all went smoothly. The ordinance was perfect, and I only was nervous for the first part, it flowed after the start :) Wow what a rush.

Then we talked with Lourdes her dad is from Italy. And he was explaining how he likes to go to the park down the street, and it turns out the 90 year old was a little lost :) haha the park is in Italy. haha then we got to talk to Maria and Victoria. The neighbors of Maria who was baptized. It is a mom and daughter who lost their dad. Victoria at the baptism on Sat asked " I can be baptized?" and we talked about the Authority to baptize. They like it. They will be baptized in the coming weeks also. :) WOW!!!!! Things are changing here in Morumbi :)  I Love the work, and it s weird to think of the time that has already passed. 

Much love to everyone. Keep strong.  Elder Iverson  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Lord's Hand

Tuesday February 24th as McKay Parish was leaving his meetings at the church offices in São Paulo Brazil, he and his team members saw two young LDS missionaries walking near the temple.  Mckay, thought he recognized one of the young men as, "Porter's older brother" and so he instinctive yelled out, "Iverson".  As Elder Iverson heard his name in English, he turned around in amazement to find a familiar face in Mr. Parish.  The Parish family lives in Plain City and their oldest son, Carter is a friend of Porters, Elder Iverson's little brother. Although Mckay didn't know Jace very well.  He was inspired to call out to him. 

They visited for a short time and then Elder Iverson had to excuse himself to go to an appointment.  As the two missionaries left, McKay was left feeling like he should have gone with them and should have asked more questions.  

He walked into the church building on the same property and asked where he could find Elder Iverson.  The members he spoke to all spoke so highly of Elder Iverson.  Many commented on the hard work he has put into their area and ward.  They said it was because of his influence that the area of Morumbi has begun to have success in the work and baptisms.  They told him that he may be able to catch him tomorrow at the zone meeting in the church house.

When McKay showed up the next morning, he was disappointed that Elder Iverson was not there.  He left to attend his meetings at the office building next door.  A bit later, there was a knock on his meeting room door.  A member had come to tell him that Elder Iverson was now at the church house. McKay was happy to be able to spend some more time talking with Elder Iverson.  When they met up, Jace asked McKay if he knew Portuguese and of course he did.  He had served an LDS mission in Brazil some years back.  The two of them spoke Portuguese from then on.  McKay thought that Elder Iverson's use of the language was terrific for the short time he'd been in Brazil.   McKay's report was that Jace was so happy and doing so well.  He had many, many friends and was a leader in the area.  Mckay asked if there was anything he could do for Elder Iverson.  At this invitation, Elder Iverson was eager to have him bring home a small package he had been planning to mail home the next week. 

The package was in our hands 48 hours later.  Elder Iverson has never sent a package home, but his letters take over 8 weeks to get to us.  This meeting was such a blessing to all involved.  The Lord knows us and knows how to show us his love and his concern for each of his children.  What a wonderful reminder that we are known and loved and cared for by a Loving Heavenly Father. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Master Chef Corrèa

The tea we can drink it and yes it is mata. It is really good, the other drink is Tereré it is good with some herbs and stuff :) haha Weird to think that life goes on in the mission ;) 

So the hamburger Elder Corrêa is a master chef, and he made those hamburgers!!! Delicious

And the fish was a sister in our ward she made us fish for lunch :) it was lovely :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Much Love Grandpa Fitz

Today I received the news of Gpa Fitzpatrick's passing. Truly was saddening to me that our dear Grandpa, Father, and friend left this life. But it is a comforting fact that we have the knowledge that Gpa is in good hands. Now he is learning a lot, and in one years time the family will get the chance to be baptized for him. The Joy on that day in one year will be incomprehensible! (sorry for the lack of grammar). Know that he is being taken care of :) 
Much love Grandpa :) 

Grandpa Fitzpatrick and Shawn 1974

Send, my love and care to Aunt Linda, Grma Mil, Jamie and all the Phippens, and Andrew.

It is a very sad thing, Grandpa was always a guy to bring a smile to my face and the face of everyone else. He didn't accept the gospel in this life, but he ALWAYS supported us. He is a great man, and the spirit world gained a man of much love. In one years time his baptism will start his eternal progress. Remember everyone to do all the things necessary that we can see Grandpa again. He is in good hands. Much Love Grandpa, until we meet again. Elder Iverson

Strength in Morumbi

We are preparing this Saturday for a day the Morumbi hasn't seen for a long long time. The baptisms of 5 wonderful people will be performed on Sat.: Maria, Guilherme, Russel and investigators of the other missionaries in our ward, Thaina and Silvana. That is going to be a day that goes in the record books my friends.

 For a detailed scoop on the peps. Maria and Guilherme are the mother and son that we have been teaching, the first time that I and Elder Corrêa visited her, she said that the Lord was preparing other ministries for her. I invited her, with a promise that if she went to church the next day that she would receive an answer that this is the church of Jesus Christ. That this church has everything that you need to arrive at the throne of God prepared. That doesn't mean life is easy, but it gives you vision, and purpose, and with vision, purpose, and a determination to get there, The Church can help you, and me, and everyone in the world, we just need to put it to the test. Search the Book of Mormon, go to church, and pray. It doesn't matter if you think, believe, or know the Book of Mormon is true or even if you don't. If you want to know, and I mean really know, PRAY, GOD DOESN'T LIE.  And He doesn't let his children with a sincere desire walk the wrong path. So everyone do the things necessary. 

We had the chance to teach Lourdes (we teach all the recent converts again) we started with talking about questions she had, and then we got into the D&C. It was a good chat and all went well. She is so excited to start paying tithing? wow? are we like that? do you have the desire to pay tithing, and not only that are we happy, and wanting to pay? I know that before the mission I just paid, because I knew it was right, I wasn't sad or mad, but I wasn't happy either? 

A personal testimony that I am gaining is that when we live the commandments and understand why we are doing them, we will be blessed :) 

Friday, February 20, 2015

6 MONTH Milestone

Wowzers, I guess that 1/4 of the mish já era. It is a little sad, but good to know I have a lot more time. 

The week here is Morumbi was fabulous. We started off our week with a little ping pong, it is always good to know that ping pong is still going well after taking a little break :) haha 

As for the celebration for 6 months, it was celebrated in good ol' missionary style, with a burnt tie, and i bet you can guess!!!! PIZZA!!!!!! ahahah :) yeah!!!! Life is good in the mission :) 

Other news that is random:
I heard American Authors playing in a Bar that we passed, I thought "What is this killer music?" and realized who is was ;) wow, I miss music…..

We started to do Insanity the work out program last Monday, (I have to lose some LBs :) haha 

and I saw a baby with 12 fingers :) bem-vindo ao Brasil !!! :) 

Elder Iverson aka Jace? haha :) 

yes thanks I think that that will be the weirdest thing when I get home, being called Jace? like thats not my name? haha ;) 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Embracing Brazilian Culture

Like I have said the tea here is really, really good. And to make it better, this will sound really funny, but we find some leaves in the street, like on a bush. And the Brazilians know which are good and which aren't. And we plucked the leaves, threw them in boiling water, and drank it. And it was very very good :) haah I think my taste buds are liking the flavor of the herbs here ;) hah 

The brazilian culture. I would have to say the food, (im fattening here :0 haha ) and also how people will talk to you, and how people are good cooks, and how they eat a huge lunch, and how I am now in love with tea :) haha good stuff here in BRA :) 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Learning from Elder Corrêa

So.... we had an excellent week this week. To start, Elder Corrêa and I are already best buds....He is teaching me a lot of stuff. For one, cooking.  This kid is a master chef!! He makes stuff, and I was like very good, very good and I threw in a little of my own creation. He made the crepe and I was like have a little dash of Iverson creativity, and what do you get? A Resses Ice Cream Burrito :) Lets just say, it was delicious, but very very messy :) 

But for a more serious note, E Corrêa is a killer young man.  The biggest thing that he is teaching me right now is the power of prayer :) I have never felt or heard anyone pray like Elder Corrêa prays, his sincere nature of communicating with God is literally touching every single time. I am sometimes speechless after he stops praying and it is amazing. 


Thursday, February 12, 2015

This Week's Work

Elder Corrêa, Maria & Elder Iverson
Now to our other investigators. Maria and Guilherme. They are doing very very well, and will be baptized, just a little later than we were planning. The only hold up is that we haven't taught everything, and with work starting again (we are in a holiday here Carlinval) it is only Sat, and Dom to teach them. But we had the great time to take Maria to the garden of the temple. Here the mom of the darling family (Ilizane) helped us teach Maria. We wanted to enter the waiting room, but the temple already closed. We made the best of what we had and shared a great lesson. We told her that her baptism will be on the 28th. She could feel the truthfulness and so she accepted, Her big hold up was coffee. But on Sun she told us that she will try her best to stop. And she will, she already has stopped for a few days. She substituted with a great thing: chá :)  

Maria & Llizane

For the contacts of the week. We had a crazy lady with a knife (it was quite large I will add) and the strangest arrangement of teeth that I have ever seen. She only had teeth on the top, but also only on one side of her mouth!!! and we started a contact with her and she said a few things that made me angry, and it is a heck of a good thing that we are missionaries and have to love everybody :) haha jk, she said that we are little babies to her, and that we didn't know how to cite her Catholic prayer, and that she knew Jesus more than us, and it was all fun, We ended with a nice "It was a pleasure tchau " :) 

We had another Catholic church member this week tell us that she didn't like our church because the Catholic church was easier, more liberal, and was easier to follow with her style of life . Maybe one day people will realize.

This week we fabulous, and the next will be also. I am praying for you all, and hope that you are finding the love of God in your lives, because He is helping, much more that you want to give him credit.

Com muito amor meus queridos 
Elder Iverson

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Batismo :)

I guess you guys heard that we had a baptism or something this week, I won’t spend much time talking about that, but it was good....

I love how Lourdes is also doing Jace's signature "thumb's up"!  So cute!

 haha brincadeira :) 

The baptism of Lourdes was a great, great day. We changed the plans a lot. Elder Contigiacomo left for home on Thursday, and he wanted to see the baptism, and Lourdes wanted Elder Cont to see, so we changed the date to Wednesday. Which meant that P-day we had to sacrifice a little of our time and go to the interview. Elder Gonçalves interviewed her and all was 110% perfect. She is incredible. So the interview was Monday and all was good for Wed. Wed, we filled the font, and then had a lesson with Lourdes in the chapel before the baptism. We talked about the temple and the chance she has to be baptized for her mom and grandmothers. She was very touched and I hope and will work hard so it happens, to take her to the temple and do baptisms for her mom and gmas :) But the lesson was good, we prepared everything for the baptism that would start at 7:30, well that was the planned time. We had not a lot of people show up to the baptism at that time, including Bishop and the WML, ward mission leader, or here LMA. So we were only stressing a lot, and I was pacing and was a little stressful. Actually it is funny, because I thought to myself, tonight you won't even remember the stress before, so just leave it,
And I couldn't.... So we waited and waited and everyone was a little annsy* (I am losing my ability to spell in English, not that it was good before;) But everything was good, bishop showed up at like 8:10, and we changed into the whites. It is always good to dress in the whites for the baptisms and take the bathroom selfies before the dunk;) haha….So we started the ceremony. and all was very good, the baptism was a success. We had a double taker, with the foot being the culprit;) but the spirit was very strong at the baptism. We changed and the missionaries -the six of us- sang. We had Lourdes say the closing prayer (you could feel the spirit so strong as she gave a testimony in her prayer), and we ate some good food :) 

The family that we took a picture with is a darling family in our ward Carvalho. They are very supportive of everything we do, and help us a lot with the work here. Then it was a goodbye to my good friend Elder Contigiacomo, he is now at home.  It was a good time that we had to get to know each other. Then we ran on home, because it was a little late. 
Elder Corrêa, Elder Iverson, Elder Contigiacomo (left to right)