Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011 Letter


This week was good. We had zone conference and President Lanius was really kinda straight forward. He said, "Some of you have been talking and saying that I'm kinda strict... I just want to tell you something. I am." Wow! It was really powerful. I know that he is strict and strait forward because he loves us. He knows the potential we have, and he knows the importance of missionary work. He really stressed the part about having the Spirit. It´s so true. We all need the Spirit in our lives, especially here on a mission. We need the Spirit to guide us, to protect us, to tell us where to go, what to say, everything. So, that's what I'm trying to do now. Have the spirit really be a companion in my life.

Something kinda sad is that Léo didn't come to church yesterday to be confirmed. He went out of town with his grandpa. But, he´s an amazing kid. He´ll get confirmed this Sunday.

Also, we had a really cool experience on Saturday. We went and taught Rusivel. His wife is already a member but he´s not. They met each other over the Internet.... (kinda weird..:)) But he´s really a cool guy. The lesson was super cool. We had a lesson plan, we prayed before we went in, and we bore testimony and shared experiences and scriptures. It was really cool. The spirit was super strong and he accepted to get baptized! It was really cool. We´re really pushing for this Saturday because next Monday is transfers and we really want to see him get baptized. Because he´s awesome!

The mission is great. I absolutely love it. Time is really flying. Before you know it I´ll be home talking to you all in person. But, as for now I got some more work to do. A lot of it. I love you all.

Until next time,
Elder Tracy

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23, 2011 Letter


Another week. This week was good. Some good experiences, and some... others... haha

This week I went on divisions with Elder Tyler. It was good. He´s 2 transfers "younger" than I am, but I really learned a lot. But, I learned a lot positively and negatively.... if that makes sense. Like, they do some things there, like 'teaching a lesson' by doing a contact on the street, throwing in a gospel doctrine, and thats it. Count it as a lesson. But i feel that they´re just trying to get lessons. Numbers arent everything. Especially when they dont have a significant experience. We´re here to baptize and help people come unto Christ... not just teach 100 lessons a week...

Sunday we had a baptism. Léo(José Léonardo) got baptized. But it happened kinda differently than we had planed. We had scheduled it at 8 in the morning so his mom could go and then get confirmed during sacrament meeting. But, people get ready slow,... lets just say we got there at 8:30. By then the other ward had started so we couldnt do it. But it was good because his mom stayed for church. She´d never been and i think she really liked it. Then was the baptism, it was pretty cool. It just reminded me that sometimes things dont work out as we plan. But, the Lord has a plan. And it´s definitely a lot better than ours. We just have to do the best we can to try and make our plan, and the Lords´ plan, the same plan.

But, things are going good. Elder Barbosa is helping me a lot with portuguese. And he´s also been playing chess with me. Im getting better, so watch out! haha. But really, the mission is great. I love it. Some days are tough, but, you just have to "arise from the dust... and be men". Thats what Im trying to do.

I love you all.

Elder Tracy

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011 Letter

It´s been another week here in Torreão. Things are going better, but still... slow. The first week we pretty much just did contacts and contacts and contacts... This week was better because we actually started teaching some of these people. I like teaching a lot better than finding. I just feel like i can actually help them when im teaching them. Just a thought. But ya, we´ve met some cool people and this area has potential.

So, first person is Léo. He has 14 years and is a stud. Everything we teach him he eats up. He loves it all. Everytime we go there he has a question about what he should, or can, do. Like dating, music, etc... He´s a stud! He wants to be baptized so much, but his mom wont let him. But we´re going there tonight to talk with her and see if we, and the spirit, can help with that little problem. Hopefully we´ll have a baptism for him this weekend!

Next, is a man named Rosivel. He´s like 30 years old. His wife is a member and they just got married like 4 months ago. First off, their house is pretty sweet. She´s japaneese, I think, so they have lots of open spaces, glass windows and doors.. It was pretty cool. But Rosivel is elect! I dont know how he isnt baptized yet, but we´re going to change that. He is such a nice guy, and he loves everything about the gospel. He´s great!

And the last cool thing that happened this week was yesterday we went looking for former investigators, because we still dont know many people here. But we went to one house and asked for Vinicius. The lady we talked to said that she has lived there for 11 years and has never heard the name Vinicius. Then she said, "Who knows? Maybe God sent you here to talk to me."... Ya! That´s exactly what happened! But it was so cool! It really made me realize that the Lord works in mysterious ways.. We just have to be ready and willing to work with what the Lord gives us.

That´s it. I love you all.

Elder Tracy

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011 Letter

Dear Family....

So, this week has been interesting... Last Monday night I got a call from the AP saying I was being transferred... It was weird. I thought that I would have been transferred the week before, at transfers... But this one was a "mini". Where new missionaries arrive, or President just needs to change some things around.. But anyway, said bye to a couple people in Setubal and went to the office. There were a lot of people there. My new companion is Elder Barbosa. He only has 3 months on the mission. Now I´m a senior companion, and we´re opening an area, Torreão... Oh man. It was really surprising to me. I have so much to learn and i feel so inadequate... Lets just say I´ve been praying a lot lately....

But one thing that is hard is getting transferred... Its even harder when you and your new companion were both transferred. You have 6 luggages... Its kinda ridiculous to try and get on a bus with all that stuff... And some bad news, the handle on one of my bags broke.... But its ok, I just have to get stronger to be able to carry it around....

Torreão... It´s hard to open an area. President took the missionaries out of here for a transfer, and now he´s putting us in. It´s hard because neither of us know anyone, anything.. nothing. We´ve been doing a lot of contacts, knocking doors, and trying to find members.. Things will be slow for a while, but hopefully we can change things around here in Torreão.

Thats about it for the week. Done a lot of walking, trying to find, little teaching... It´s been kinda rough. But things will be better this week. I love you all and will talk to you next week.


Elder Tracy

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Well, it´s been another week here in Setubal... Things have been fairly rough this week. We went through our investigators and we dropped the ones we didnt think were progressing, or the one´s that arn´t really interested. We cut quite a few... It was sad. They´re people too. They need the gospel too.... It´s just hard because they arnt interested at the moment, or they dont want to change. But hey, what can you do? Just the best you can, all the time. Thats it.

So, since we cut down our investigator pool, we had a lot more free time than normal. So we used it to do contacts. Its hard, because you dont find many people doing that. But the members here dont really like to give us references... So that leaves the finding to us as well. Elder Hocker doesnt like like tracting and contacts, but im kinda liking it. Ya, it´s definitely hard getting rejected house after house, drunk after drunk, but thats part of life right? How many times in our lives are things always going to work out? How many times in our lives is everything going to be great and dandy? Not all the time. So it´s good for me to learn how to accept rejection. Finding is also helping me "open my mouth" more. I CAN talk, but I dont do it a lot. So, finding kinda forces me to talk, which is good. Thats the way I´ll learn.

So, this week we found a really cool lady. She actually had came to church two times... I guess we kinda missed the ball on that one, but we´re getting it now. Her name is Quiteria. She lives right next door to some members. She´s pretty cool. She has a little "cart" that she sells foody stuff on at a market. She came to church, and it happened to be the same day that we had lunch with these members. So we invited her over to hear the message.... And we taught her about The Restoration and we marked her baptism! It was the greatest lunch message I might ever have! haha.... The only problem is she might drink coffee... because she´s brazilian..... But, we and the Lord willl help her get through that little bump. Shes a really cool woman. It was a great blessing. Because we had knocked a lot of doors, done a lot of contacts, and nothing had happened. So the Lord was blessing us by giving us a nice woman like her. It was really good.

Well, President Lanius just changed the rules.... We cant play soccer, we cant leave our areas, we cant do anything fun! haha  So looks like going to see all the cool sights is off the list, unless its in my area.... Hmm.... what else can i do in the area of Setubal...?

Love you all, Hope all is well,
Elder Tracy

July 25, 2011 Letter


Well, its another week in Brasil. Today was transfers, but I´m staying here with Elder Hocker. Almost nobody got transfered. I think it´s because the new mission president doesnt really know many people. But we have interviews with him this week, and i bet after that there will be more transfers... But ya, for now im staying here.

So, some exciting stuff that happened here this last weekish....

Last Friday we were contacting people on the street. A woman came up to us and asked if only men could go to church. We told her no, and we marked to meet with her that night. So we did. We taught her, gave her a Book of Mormon, and she said she´s pray. It was cool. Then Sunday, she came to church and absolutely loved it. We passed by throughout the week and everytime was a super spiritual experience. One night was super spiritual and we invited her to be baptized that upcoming weekend. We thought for Sunday night but we didnt want to have to make her wait another week to get the Holy Ghost. So we called the Zone Leaders and asked if we could do it Saturday night and they said we could. It was great. This lady, Gilvanise, is absolutely amazing. She is so strong. She has so much faith. She will do anything for the Lord. I can definitely see how the Lord has prepared her to recieve the gospel. She used to smoke, do drugs, drink, "have fun",... everything. But she´s stopped everything a while ago. She´s completely turned to the Lord. It was really amazing. So ya, she got baptized on Saturday. It was amazing. We also had a 14 year old boy named Leandro get baptized too. It was a cool night. I think the highlight of the baptism was playing ping pong with Gil. hahaha It was so funny! I love that lady!!

Something that I have learned, or started learning this week is about life.... Most people think that life is to have fun. But thats because they dont know any better. But i was also thinking about members of the church... They know the truth, they have it, they hopefully learn more about it every Sunday, if not everyday. But even these people dont understand. They feel like the church is good, as long as it doesnt interfere with their other plans. I see it so much here... Its sad. Thats not what life is. The purpose of life isnt to do whatever you want, and fit in church if there´s room. What we really should be doing is focusing our lives on the gospel, on the Savior. Because really, this life is soooooo short. 80, 90 years.... Its not that much.... But eternity... thats like forever.... What people i think dont realize sometimes is that everything we have, everything we are, is because of our Heavenly Father. And some people are so selfish to not recognize that, or not do anything in return. We´re here on this earth to become like our Heavenly Father... How can we do that if we dont give everything we have to the church? If we´re lazy, if we put other things in front of our callings, our duties, our families.... It just doesnt work. So ya. Do whats right. Think about what stuff is taking up time, and maybe throw it out the window, and remember why we´re here.. Alright? :)

Well, thats whats been on my mind lately. So ya. Dont know what else to say. Love you all.

Elder Tracy