Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day

Hope that all is well on this 29th of Feb. 

I am well and healthy here in Brasil. This week had lots of neat experiences and we can see that God helps us in our work as missionaries. We are working with some guys to be baptized. We found a guy named Tiago. He is 19 and lives in very humble circumstances. He is awesome, and loves to talk to us. When we met him he was confused about all the churches and how all of them want money, because there is lots of robbery that happens in the other churches(here in brasil churches don’t pay taxes, and so lots of people just open their own church, it is crazy.!) We talked to him about the church of Jesus Christ and how we as missionaries help the people complete the repentance process. He liked that a lot. We were able to help him understand about the BoM. And how it will help him in his life. He like it and was able to read. Everything was right for him to come to church, Bruno passed at his house to get him, and he wasn’t there.. We were super bummed. We worked so hard, but sometimes things don’t work out like we planned. We need to hold fast, and work hard and everything will work out in the long run. 

This week was a week that you needed to have a good testimony of what you are doing is true. We received a lot of "No"s this week. In contacts that we do in the street, and in appointments that we set up. The neat thing about the mission is that it can take you beyond your own abilities. In these moments I don’t feel the least amount of anger, just I feel sad for the people that don’t understand what we are here to do. 

The best experience of this was yesterday. We had an appointment a long ways away from Lunch. We planned get there on time and had to walk faster than normal. Normally it would talk 25 min to get there and we got there in 12. We got there and it was an appointment that was scheduled. The woman looked at us, went inside to talk to her husband (who is an inactive member) and returned. She said "thanks but we don’t want to talk to you, my husband already knows what you are going to say, and because I am member of another church we don’t want to hear you." Well I couldn’t help but feel so sorry for the people that are confused by the clever temptations of satan. We left sweaty, and sad for them. But never desanimated we went to the next appointments, and we were able to have 2 awesome lessons where we bore strong testimony of how our work is the truth, how the church of Jesus Christ is true, and how our Savior atoned for us. It is incredible in our lowest moments how Jesus Christ can raise us up. 

I hope that you can study the scriptures. In my study these days I was doing the math about how much Christ used scriptures when he was here in the Americas. and 47.5% of the words he spoke were citations directly from the scriptures. WOW!!! and the best example of why we need to use the scriptures is in Chapter 23 of 3 Nephi. He teaches that we need to examine the scriptures. 

I love you guys so much❤  Elder Iverson

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Milagres Acontece

Well this week was a drastic change from the last week. This week was one that was very easy to see the work of God in our work. 

This week we really focused on teaching the parents of Bruno, who aren't members yet, and another married couple. 

When we talk to José and Lu, Bruno's parents, they like the church a whole lot, they love the missionaries (when Aguiar went home lots of tears were shed) and love to listen to us. We always have spiritual lessons and Jose is changing his life. He was a heavy drinker, and we always talked to him about how he will be better when he stops. These past 2 weeks we have just focused on the BoM with them and yesterday Jose told us that it has been 8 days that he hasn’t drank one drop of beer!!!!!! :) WOW!!!!!! it is amazing how God helps the people when we least think it will happen.

This week we started teaching a married couple (Marcilene and Francisco) They are from the North of Brasil and aren’t married, we were able to teach about the restoration and the plan of salvation. They have a son who is 2. They weren’t too excited about getting married, and we told them about the importance of getting married. We invited them to church and they didn’t go. When we visited them yesterday, they said they went in their church (catholic) and that they were going to get married, they just need to mark a date to do it. :) I was like really??? is this happening. When we talked about eternal families with them yesterday, Francisco almost cried. We are amazed at the spirit and how he is able to touch the hearts of those that we can’t.

We also were able to find some awesome new investigators and we are excited that Lucas will be getting the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday. He is excited, and will help with the sacrament and also is helping his brother and uncle come to church, and will be able to baptize them :) 

We love being missionaries. God doesn't help us, he Uses us to fulfill his purposes. These 18 months have changed a lot of how I think about the world, God, and my family. I know that God is real. I know that my family will be eternal one day. 

I love you all, have a great week.
Elder Iverson

'sister mission complete'   

FHE with Rodrigo, Viviane, and their two sons, Migel and Gabriel.

Also Rodrigo's siblings: Diego, Natasha, and Samara.It was an awesome FHE with a funny game at the end, sadly I wasn't able to win.. :) 

This is Maria and Vitoria's family. Only Maria and Vitoria are members. They are 13 and 16, we are working with their mom Kelly (with the hat) 

This is Tiago he is an awesome member in our ward. We had churrasco with him on Sunday :) 

Stevens, me, Elder Villar (peru) and Elder Alves from the south of Brasil. 

And a typical district meeting:) Elder Farias and Elder Barton giving a training. :) 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Americans in the Rose Garden

Whats up my family and friends. All is well here in Brasil. Me and Elder Stevens (my second comp from GA). As Dad said, we will be making a trip to GA maybe around April or something like that.

Here the work is going forth. This week was one that shows us we can just get better. With little success we know that the Lord is asking more and more of us. We were able to help Kelly (who is Vitoria's and Maria's mom) more with her smoking habit. We were able to use the BoM and bare testimony how God and Jesus Christ help us out. When we have confidence in God, we realize that we are nothing, we depend complete on God. He is our help and support. 

This week taught us many principles. Our best today, isn't enough for tomorrow. If I am not getting better, I am getting worse. So we made some goals and looked at our schedule, we will have a stellar week.

This week we had the chance to hear from Pres Costa (he is 70 and Pres of the area Brasil) in Stk Conference. We also heard from our Pres Del Guerso and Sister Del Guerso. 

He talked about Happiness and Pleasure, and how we need to find true happiness.  The most powerful talk was Pres Costa. He gave a powerful talk about how we need to know Christ better. When we know Christ we get to know God the Father. And we need to know him, because one day we will be like him. He gave a powerful testimony how Christ is strong, powerful, and loving. He is a resurrected being that is glorified. He love us, he looks after us, and He is our Savior. In the middle of all our tasks we need to remember this. Jesus Christ is the only shot we got. He is the reason for everything. Why we go to church, why we read the scriptures, why we love, why we serve, why we go to the temple, why we are missionaries, why we have FHE, why we live. The sooner we can recognize this the better off we will be. 

We as representatives of Jesus Christ bare testimony that he is our Savior. He lives, and love us. I know this. 

I love you all.
Look for ways everyday to know more of Christ.

Elder Iverson

SP Brasil


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In The Rose Garden

A crazy flash storm.
An awesome bridge that we found in our area :) don't worry mom, it is kinda sturdy

Carnival in the Rose Garden

Well this was a great week. We celebrated Carnival which has turned to a big mess here in Brasil. The people like to use whatever excuse to head to the bar or have a party. But in the middle of it all, we know that God never stops working. And if God doesn't stop working, his hands will always be active. We as missionaries are God's hands. We have been working hard to help our friend Lucas enter in the waters of baptism. And this week all the hard work paid off. He enter the waters with Bruno baptizing him. 

The day of the Baptism !!
Bruno, Lucas, and Lu (bruno's mom)

He didn't have an easy go, but he knew what he wanted and followed the answer that the Holy Ghost gave him. He is a great example of how the atonement of Jesus Christ can move people for the better. :) 

This week Was the last week with my good friend Elder Aguiar who returned home. He is now happy with his family. 

Well the first pictures are of a little somthing that me and Aguiar made up... haha yes that is an orange tied to string ;) haha 
Sweet dessert that an irmã made for us :) 

The angry ape mask with Edvannia (the sister that made the dessert)

Aguiar and Pinzon were very tired this day. :)

A FHE / going away party for Aguiar. I had to run to do the inverview for Lucas and it started to rain, I got soaking wet while the others ate pizza :) 
Here the work goes forth. I got a new comp. And guess what, he is also from Georgia:)  2 comps from the states and they are from the same state. Crazy huh, his name is Elder Stevens. He is a stud, he has a little more time in the mission then me, he will go home the 7th of June. We will work well together. He is very hard working, and determined. With the two of us together great things will be done. 

I hope that you all read the scriptures. They help us so much. :)  Until next Monday. :) 

PS: closing in on a Sister's mission ;) (next week: 20th) 
My new planner :) 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I'm Coming HOME!

District Meeting Breakfast

A "typical" district meeting (don't worry we hadn't started yet. everyone sits reverently during the meeting)

Zone picture ;) (Aguiar "dying") 

Monday, February 1, 2016

"The Weather in Brazil will not stop to AMAZE us!"

Happy Birthday!

Last week we were able to celebrate the birthday of São Paulo(462), and this week we will be able to celebrate the birthday of my Father who is turning 44!!!! :) well done dad.

This week was great. We were able to help out our friend Lucas prepare more and more for his baptism that will happen on Dad's birthday. It is amazing to see the people move forward in the repentance process. Christ moves us. Even when we don’t deserve it he blesses us. 

We see the people that are prepared to be baptized and come unto Christ. Lucas is an incredible person, that will make a huge difference in the lives of others. (Next Week ill have a picture,sorry about the lack of photo)

This week will be a crazy one with Carnaval and the transfer I will be getting a new companion and Brasil will be partying for hours on end. We as missionaries are safe, don't worry mom. And we will be still preaching the gospel through the parties of the world. The Gospel doesn’t stop. We are the truth :) 

I love you. 

Elder Iverson. 

Personal study time!

Brazilian orange.  You peel and cut in half. I peeled this one in one piece.

Elder Aguiar is liking the Kendama.

Elder Iverson with Bruno and Elder Aguiar. "He's the man"