Thursday, April 16, 2015

March and April in Vila das Mercês with Elders Diaz and Elder Moroni

Note from Elder Schwartz's parents:  Elder Schwartz will be finishing his mission soon.  In May he will be returning home to the USA.  Expected arrival will be around the 18th of May.  We'll update as we get final details....

Elder Schwartz with his new haircut
District with Elder Diaz (down in front center)


With Elder Moroni

March 2, 2015

Hey family,

I can't believe that it is Monday again. It is passing by wayyyyyy too fast for me. This week literally flew by. But it was a really good week for us. I'm glad to hear that you guys are doing well with everything. With all the callings and work and what not. And it's good to hear that Phil is liking his work for Habitat for Humanity. Good stuff is happening at home and that makes me happy. 

So everything here is going good. The area is amazing. The members are awesome. The only down side is that the area is one big hill so it's a bummer for my knees, but I'll hold through, and as we tell our investigators, "endure to the end" -- hahaha. Elder Diaz is good. I'm not sure where in Peru he's from but he doesn't live in Lima but more in the countryside. We actually went to a doctor this week because of the stomach problems I told you guys he was having, and it turns out that he has a stomach virus that is causing ulcers, which really stinks. So he was prescribed some medication that he's gonna take for about a month, then he's gonna take a few tests afterwards to see how it is.  So I'm pretty positive we'll at least finish the transfer together, which I'm pretty excited for.  He's a good missionary.  He is really diligent, which is what I like.  As for the other Elders in the house -- they're not in my district, but actually Elder Starr is another district leader in the zone and he's got like a year and a half on the mission. He's from Spokane and he actually know's Dusty Bonkemeyer which was a crazy small mormon world coincedence. And Elder Frost is from Georgia and he's got a nice Georgia accent and he's got a year and 4 months. I love the house and I know that I'm where the Lord wants me to finish my mission.

So as for the work week -- ohhh, did we work.  We are constantly trying to find new investigators and this area is small and has a lot of people so we've been doing a lot of street contacting and marking appointments. Some appointments fall through. Others we have small lessons, but overall we are having successes. We found a new family this week that came to church. Their names are Rodrigo and Vanessa, they're not married (yet) and they have 3 little children from 4 years down to 7 months. We had really great lesson and the spirit was super strong. Raiza and Barbara didn't make it to church because of some crazy confusion with the parents but they are going next week and we managed to teach them this week. It's going well. And I think I told you guys about our other investigators such as Enzo who's brother Junior is a member that we are reactivating. We managed to bring only Junior to church but we taught them and their mom this week which was a good lesson. The mom goes to another church and has another philosophy but we had a good discussion and we taught her some truths from the restored gospel. But all in all we are working hard and loving it here.

Today for P-day we went to Parque de Iberapuera again but there we had a two-zone activity where we played sports and games and hung out. It was fun. Unfortunately I don't have any photos for the week but next week for sure I'll have some. I love you guys lots and miss you guys. I hope you all have a good week!

Love,
Elder Schwartz

Our House

Our Area

More of our Area, including the "hill"


March 9, 2015

Dear FAMILY!!!

So, I literally have no time at all to write about the week. We have district meeting in 20 minutes, so I gotta jet already. I love you guys! This week was fanatastic! Rodrigo and Vanessa are doing great -- they came to church and are well integrated in the ward, We're just waiting on them to start the paperwork process to get married -- we are excited for them.  They were our only investigators that came to church.  This week we learned new teaching technique that is teaching a lot more clear and direct in teaching the principles of the gospel.  It is changing the way we are working and I really like it. So more efficient and clear. We also had interviews with President which was good, but kind of trunky for me, because he just talked about home stuff -- but I'm staying focused and working hard. 

I LOVE YOU ALL AND I KNOW THAT THIS IS GOD'S WORK!!!

Love, 
Elder Schwartz

Beautiful Sao Paulo
March 16, 2015

My dear beloved family,

How good it is to hear from you guys. I feel bad because I have been bad at writing back and sending pics, but today is a lot more calm so I'll give you guys a good report on the week.

THE MISSIONARIES ARE TEACHING A BRAZILLIAN!?!?!? I want in. I'll help. Tell the elders to put the teaching on hold til I get there hahaha. But that's good to hear. It sounds like there are a lot more brazillians than I though back home, but that's not super suprising either because almost everyone here says they have a cousin or something in the States working there, but they're more concentrated in Miami, Boston, and New York. 

But that's good to hear that everyone is doing great. I liked Nate's throwback pic :)  -- the good ol days. 

As for us here, this week was a rush. I feel like I spent most of the week out of my area. Well that's because I had to do two divisions in a row, to do some baptismal interviews. One for the zone leaders and two for the elders in my district. It was crazy. For both of them, I was out of my area, but Elder Diaz held it down strong. The first division I was with my Portuguese ZL Elder P. Ferreira and then I was with Elder Barros da Silva, a freshly trained greenie who is in his second area. Both divisions were good. I learned a lot from each Elder and we managed to get some good work done.  I enjoyed doing the baptismal interviews as well.

We spent the week evaluating our teaching pool and finding new investigators. Idk if I told you guys but in this ward I'm serving in, there's a member family that bring a lot of primary children to church that aren't members, so we started this week to contact and work with a few of them and their families. This was during the division so I don't know the story of each one too well, but I met two -- Vitor Hugo who's 11 and Evelyn who is 10. There are about 8 that have been going for over a year. So this week we are going to follow up with each of them. As for Rodrigo and Vanessa, they are doing great. They are really progressing well. This week they said that they are going to buy the fiancé rings and go to get everything marked up at the registry. We even had a FHE with them at a members house last night and it went by super well. 

As for my comp he is still having some struggles with his health but he is being a good sport. He is trying really hard and working diligently, for all the pain he is feeling. He's finishing up the treatment and I think in two weeks he'll be doing some more exams to see if he is getting better or not.  Also there is only two weeks in the transfer left. I'm not really sure if he'll be staying in the mission for the next or if he'll even be my comp, if one of us gets transferred. We're just stoked to be working together for these final weeks. 

Anyways I'm excited for this coming week. I'm excited for the opportunities that we are going to have to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for the family I have and all the blessings the Lord has given me and all that he has done to bring me to this point in life. I know that through his divine authority, our families can be together forever. I love my Savior and I am so grateful for the privilege to represent Him and His church here in Brazil. I love you all and I hope you guys have a good week. 

With Love,
Elder Schwartz 

Doing a baptismal interview.  Nice Sister Missionary made soup for the woman who was not feeling well.

March 23, 2015

HELLO FAMILY

First off, I want to wish for my dear older brother a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! 27!!!!! soooo ooooolllldddd!  I got a special present waiting for you Phil ;).  But it's good to hear that you guys had a good week this week. And what is this about closing down Pine meadows!?!?!?! That's my course!!!! They can't close it down on me!!! Vote against it!!!

So I got some kind of sad news for you guys. My comp, Elder Diaz, went home on Saturday, he was still having some difficulites so he went home to get a better treatment and now I have a new comp. My new companion's name is Elder Moroni and he's from Rio de Janeiro (the state, not the city). He's got about 7 months on the mish but he actutally started like 10 months ago but he had to go home to get a surgery and he just got back and now he's with me. He's a good missionary and I'm pretty sure he'll be the one to kill me (translation: he'll be my last comp when I finish). 

SO as for the week and the investigators and everything; well, we got the phone call on Tuesday from the mission doctor that Elder Diaz was going home. It was kind of a rush for everything. We also had zone conference on Thursday which was really really really goood. I learned a lot from the conference and it motivated me to take advantage of every moment for these last six weeks. AS for our investigators, Rodrigo and Vanessa are still super solid. Really good family. We are going to the registry this Wednesday with them. Everything is all marked and set up, so they'll probably get married the last Saturday of April or something. As for the primary children we started to work with, they are good but none of the ones that we are working with went to church this week. We are going to go to a family home evening at the Primary presidents home this week and we'll start our work there.  This week we had a good experience finding a really huge family through a reference from other missionaries. We thought that they were just investigators but we found out that they are a part-member family when we took a member there. We are going to start working with them this week. It's like a house of 15 people so I'm not really good with all of their names yet. 

This week I also got to do some more baptismal interviews for a few areas in the zone which is always a good experience. I got to do an interview for a woman that is 99 years old... it was a good interview and she passed. It was a little hard for her to hear me but as I spoke up, she could understand. She was baptized on Saturday. 

And that's about it for me. I've been sick since Friday nights so I haven't been feeling too well. It sucks to be sick on the mission. But I'm feeling a little bit better today and I'm hoping that these next few days I'll be at full health to be able to work hard. I know that this is the Lord's work and we have to do it His way. I'm really going to do my best this week and yoke myself to Him. Thanks for the scripture dad (Matthew 11:28-30). It's one of my favorites. I'm grateful for Christ, and His Atonement. I'm grateful for the privilege to share His gospel with others. I love you guys and hope you guys have a good week! 

With Love,
Elder Schwartz

Nice Scripture covers....hand made here....

March 30, 2015

Hey Family,

First off, It's good to hear that all of you guys are doing so well.  Like I said, I'm stoked to meet all the brazilians you have met over all this time. I want to keep the portuguese up when I get home, so that will be good. It's so weird to hear that Mitchell is already home. I'm glad to hear that he had a wonderful mission experience like I'm having.  So we literally just got the transfer calls, and it turns out that I'm going to stay with Elder Moroni here in Vila das Mercês and I'm not going to be District leader anymore but I'm going to just be Senior Companion. So it looks like I'll be dying (finishing my mission) in peace -- hahaha. I'm stoked because now it's just me, my comp and our area and we're going to work as hard as possible for these next 5 weeks. 

So this week was probable one of the hardest weeks that I've had on the mission. It was hard. Really hard. We worked a lot, but it seemed that nothing that we were doing was working. All of our appointments were falling, no one was really listening to us. Just one of those weeks. The adversary is working hard, but that's the thing, I'm working harder. We didn't let this get us down nor will we let a hard week get us down.  The lesson I keep learning is that the adversary has real power, but he wins only if we let him, if we choose not to act. And even with all the setbacks and difficulties, this week we found a few really good and firm investigators to start teaching. 

Other events of the week, I got to do another baptismal interview with a woman who had been taught for over a year and finally decided to get baptized. And we also had a little celebration here for Elder Starr's birthday, so we ate a lot of cake and pizza this week. So my diet from now on is more of good all rice, beans and the amazing fruits they have here in Brazil.

Anyways all in all everything is going good. I'm stoked for this upcoming transfer period and all the good that we're going to do. I love you guys and I'm excited to see you guys here in a few weeks. I know that we are God's soldiers out here and we're doing his work. It's hard sometimes, but I'm so grateful for the privilege to go through challenges as Christ's representative. I love you guys and I'll talk to you guys next week!

Love,
Elder Schwartz

Elder Starr's Birthday -- he got "egged"...maybe, a brazilian tradition

April 6, 2015

First off before I forget,

Elder Barreto asked me if you guys can bring a jar of peanut butter down here so he can bring it home and give his mom. So if you guys can just get a jar and put it in the suitcases, you'll make a little brazillian elder happy. 

Anyway.....

SO HEY FAMILY,

How about that general conference? I really really really really loved it. It was SO good. I always love conference because the Brethren always seem to be able to articulate what I am always thinking or feeling, but in a much better way and really open my eyes on how I can become better.  Love it! I'm glad that you guys had a good week with the family all together. 

So this week was difficult but blessed.  Difficult, really difficult but we're not giving up. and looking at the bright side of things we have actually found a lot of really good new investigators this week. A lot of people with a lot of good potential. We're going to keep working with them and I'll let you guys know how they progress this next week. As for the primary children, we went to the family home evening this week at the Primary presidents house and we left a message with them about how they can follow Jesus. They are actually very smart kids and they understand, but they're hard to get and keep calm during the lessons. We are going to keep following up with them and try to talk to them and their families together. 

So that was pretty much the week. For general conference I watched the sessions in english with all the american elders.  I think my favorite talk was Elder Ballard from the priesthood session -- since he directed it to basically my age group it helped me know better what I need to do when I get home and how to keep up the spiritual strength.  But honestly, I loved every single talk. I already put them on a memory card to start listening to them today. This next P-day we'll be going to the temple (for the last time :( ) so I'm not sure if I'll email you guys next Monday or  Tuesday. But I'm glad to hear that everything is going alright and that you guys are doing well. Thanks for all the love, support and prayers for me, my comp, and our investigators. I know that this is the Lord's work and that His church is on the earth. He leads it through His chosen prophet Thomas S. Monson. I'm grateful to God to be living in this era and to be born in a family so amazing and wonderful to have brought me up to learn and know these truths. Have a great week!

With love,
Elder Schwartz

Members of the ward have a picnic between conference sessions

Some yummy fish!  (even with the head still on...)

Yummy "star fruits"

April 13, 2015

Dear Family!

So I'm going to write you guys a little message today and maybe tomorrow as well. So like I said last week, we are going to go to the temple, so they let us write a little today and tomorrow. But it's good to hear that you  guys had a nice camping trip and that you guys had a some sweet adventures down by Monterey.  A really beautiful spot and some great scenery. 

So for us this week was good. It was hard, but we were blessed this week. It was hard because we had a lot of difficulty finding the new investigators that we found last week, at home.  We had a lot of appointments fall through, and this week the majority of the days were all full. But we didn't give up and the Lord really blessed us with investigators that are progressing.  We started to use our area book and we decided to visit some of the investigators that were taught previously and had progressed but weren't baptized for some reason. So through that we now have two investigators that we are preparing to be baptized.  They may even be baptized this coming weekend. Their names are Jessica and the other is Jefferson. Jessica had been to church a lot, we got in contact with her this week and she expressed that she really enjoys the church and the things that she learns and how it is calmer and more peaceful than the other churches that she had been to. She is really intelligent, really the only thing that holds her back is to make the decision to be baptized. So we are going to follow up with her today and if she is prepared we'll arrange an interview for her this week for her baptism. And as for Jefferson, we found him before conference, we actually found him because missionaries had already taught his sister, so we went to find his sister but she wasn't home and he said that we could leave a message with him. He's shown great interest in the church and the Book of Mormon. He and Jessica both came to church yesterday and they both had good experiences.

We had other good experiences this week. I'll try to send another email with the rest of the details of my week tomorrow, but this is pretty much the big highlights of the week. I love you guys. I'm loving this mission and the opportunity to serve and represent Christ. Thanks for all the love and support.

xoxoxo,
Elder Schwartz

At the BK with a clown and a giraffe

With our district....
















Wednesday, February 25, 2015

January and February -- Olavo and Maxwel's Baptism, P-days, and Transfers...


Olavo's Baptism
January 26, 2015

 So I guess the most exciting news of the week is that Olavo got baptized! He was interviewed during the week, and had all the lessons taught, and we held the baptismal service an hour before church, and he was confirmed on the same day.  He chose me to baptize him which was a great honor, and he chose Elder Maits to do the confirmation. It was a really special service. We had good member support there, and even those that didn't know about the baptismal service, got to see it as the room that has the baptismal font, is also where the relief society meets. 

So this week started out great, as we had a meeting with all the district leaders in the mission again to learn some new techniques and practices that I feel are really going to help this mission grow. I'm so happy I have the privilege to be a part of the best mission in the world :). It was a really edifying meeting. 

This week I also had the opportunity to go on a division with the zone leaders. This time I went into their area, which is the area in the mission with the worst hills, but my knees are doing fine and I handled it. I got to work with Elder Polatis, who is from Idaho. It was a good division. We got a lot of good work done, all the while Elder Maits was with Elder Frost doing Olavo's interview. 

We have been finding new investigators and we are starting to work with a family where a young woman is a member who is coming back to church, and we are teaching her mom and husband. This week is going to be starting off well as tonight we are going to be having a family home evening with them at another member's house. I hope that you guys are getting excited to see all the wonderful things that I'm experiencing here in Brazil. I love you guys and I'm grateful for all the things you have done for me to get me here. I know that this really is the Lord's work and it is a privelige to share the blessings of the restored gospel with all these good brother's and sisters. I hope you guys have a good week and I'll look forward to hearing from you again on Monday!

Love,
Elder Schwartz

Olavo's Family

Maxwel's Baptism with Elder Maits

February 2, 2015

So the Patriots won the super bowl huh? That's good, anything so that those seahawks don't win than I'm happy....hahaha.

Well for Elder Maits and me this week went by well. We are working with Maxwel and Olavo to firm them up a little bit and to get them better integrated, and we are also starting to focus more on helping their families go to church now.  Maxwel has a younger sister named Giovanna that is 10 years old who we have started teaching. And we are trying to get Olavo to bring his other family members too. We also found an awesome family who actually have one member that is a member of the church and served a mission but he lives in the interior of the state.  And the kids are adolescent and don't know anything about the church. So we had a really sweet first lesson with them and we are going to keep teaching them during the week. Also, at church this Sunday, a recent convert brought a lot of family members to church, some cousins and her mom. Her mom even got up to bear her testimony during sacrament meeting. It was a miracle too because we weren't able to bring any of our investigators to church. 

So that was pretty much the work week. This P-day we ate barbeque together and now we're about to go to play some sports at the stake center as a zone. Elder Maits is dong well. He understands basically everything and is really self-sufficient in portuguese now. Next week we're going to go to the temple so I think I might be emailing some other day but be prepared on Monday. 

Well, I love you guys. I'm doing great out here. We're working hard and doing our best. I'm going to give it all I got for the time that I've got left. You only serve a mission once, right? I know this is the Lord's work. I know that He is preparing people for us to teach and baptize. I know that His Church his on the earth and I'm so thankful for the restoration of the gospel. Until next week!


P-day Barbecue.  Yum!
February 9, 2015

I think this is the first time I write you guys before you guys write to me! Haha, probably because of what I said last week concerning the temple. So yeah we are going to the temple tomorrow, but because our area is far away we don't have time to do email tomorrow so we are doing it today.

Well I hope you guys had a good week. I got Mom's picture of Phil back at home which was good to see. Our week was really good here. Well, it's always good when you on the Lord's errand. This week we had a few days that were hard on us, because we started doing a lot of contacts and finding new investigators and when we went to the appointments we marked, the address didn't exist, or the person wasn't home, or was busy or something else.  So that was kind of frustrating for us but we worked hard and we had success.  We started teaching Maxwel's sister I think I said in another email and she is ELECT.  She's 10 years old, but still for a 10 year old, she's super firm.  She understands the lessons, she is keeping commitments.  Even when we challenged her to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon each day, and she asked "Instead of just reading one chapter, can I read two?" YES. and even though Maxwel wasn't able to go to church because of work, a member who lives close by picked her up and took her to church. She has a date for the 22nd of this month. We have transfers next tuesday as well so I don't know If I'll be here for the baptism but we'll see what happens.

We spent the week following up with Olavo as well, teaching him the lessons again. And we also got some good work done with less-actives and managed to bring a brother named Sebastião who hadn't been to church in a long time, come back this Sunday. He has some physcological issues and depression so he has to take some pretty strong medicine but he remembers a lot of people and loved going this Sunday. 

Another investigator that we have that is close to baptism is the mother in a part-member family. Her name is Lindaura, her daughter, Jaqueline, is a member and we have been working with them for the past few weeks. A really good family and we are planning on the 22nd as well for her baptism. 

And all in all, the work is going well here. Elder Maits is doing fine. We're working well together and we're both pushing to have success and build up the Lord's kingdom here. I really know that this is His work. We do it His way. I know that He has His hand in everything that we are doing. I know He knows and loves each of us individually and blesses us. We just have to act to receive those blessings. I love you guys and hope you guys have a good week. 

Love,
Elder Schwartz

P-Day

Still Reppin' our boys in Orange....

District on P-day

Great Views of P-day
February 16, 2015

So I'm writing once again before you guys ahah. Well I hope that you guys had good week this week. Well the reason that I'm writing early again is because President called me and Elder Maits in to the office to talk with us so we're going there in a little bit. So it was the last week of the transfer for us. We still don't know what's going to happen because they haven't made the transfer calls yet but if anything I'll find out later today and you guys will know next week what happened. 

So for us this week we kept working with Geovana and Lindaura and firming them up for baptism for this Saturday. They both came to church and they have interviews marked this week. Also Maxwell got the priesthood yesterday and he's going to be the one to baptize his sister. We're really excited for all the success that we are having. The Lord really has been blessing us. We haven't really been able to see that family that I told you guys about this past week but we are going to keep trying. This week we actually found a few more families that we are going to start teaching. We're pretty excited. I'm going to be sad if I get transferred because the work here is going really well. But I'm willing to do whatever the Lord expects of me. 

So this past weekend was Carnaval weekend and there was a huge carnaval parade going on in front of the other Elder's house. So we had to take a few precautions but it was pretty much the same as last year. There weren't a lot of people on the streets and it was hard to get some lessons in because everyone (I guess) was at the parade. Nothing too crazy happened. 

Anyways Family I hope you guys are doing well and that you guys are getting ready to come to the best mission in the world. I love you guys!! Until next week!

Love,
Elder Schwartz 

Mom and Dad, are you sure you want to travel by public transportation?

Our District

Great time at Family Home Evening activity....
February 23, 2015

My dearest family and friends!

Well I guess you guys are curious about the whole transfer news and interview with President. So first off, I got TRANSFERRED!  And Elder Maits stayed in Jd. Pilar as a Junior companion. And I got sent to be a district leader and open an area with Elder Diaz.  Elder Diaz is from Peru and he is an awesome missionary.  He as about a year and 8 months on the mission so he's already an experienced missionary. So by open an area, I mean that they had a companionship here and one went home at the conclusion of his mission and the other got transferred, so we're here basically starting with very investigators or families to work with in the area. But we had a really great first week. I'm serving in a ward called Vila das Mercês and I'm in Zona Parque Bristol. So I'm back in the big city. My area is relatively small compared to my last area and it actually has some pretty steep hills but I'm taking better care of my knees so I'm not to worried for these last two transfers. As for the interview with President, we just talked about how I can reach my potential as a missionary, so that we can reach our goals as a mission.  It was good. It really pumped me up for the transfer and the new area. 

So we had transfers on Tuesday, and we were lucky because our new bishop showed up to transfers to give us a ride and bring our bags to our house. His name is Julio and he is amazing and has been helping us out a lot since we got here.  So the Elders that were here before actually had a baptism the Sunday before transfers of a kid named Anderson. He's 22 and he's a stud.  We met him this week and we started teaching him and preparing to receive the Holy Ghost and then the priesthood. Anderson actually played a key role this last Sunday because our chapel is pretty far to travel for most of our members, so all the members with cars stop by other members' and investigators' houses to pick them up and Anderson has a car and he helped bring some investigators to church. 

As for the work week, we spent most of our time doing street contacts and getting new investigators. We also have been working to get in contact with the investigators that the other elders left for us. We managed to get a young woman named Raiza and her friend Barbara to church. We also managed to bring a less active young man named Edson and his nonmember younger brother Enzo. We had some pretty good success for our first week and we are going to be working with these people and finding others to teach and baptize. 

So we're living in a house of four missionaries. The other two missionaries are Elder Starr and Elder Frost (a different Elder Frost) and they're pretty sweet. They are serving in Jardim Botânico which used to be the old assistants' area. 

And as for me, I'm pretty excited for this transfer. This is most likely going to be my last area so I'm going to work my hardest and do everything I can to bring our Heavenly Father's children to the joy of His gospel. I'm glad to see that everything is going great with you guys and Phil at home and Nate tearin it up at BYU.  AND WHEN DID JACKSON GET SO BIG?!?!?! Seriously that's crazy....I'm old now..... 

Anyways my dear family. I love you guys and I'm praying for you guys. I know that this is the Lord's work and Elder Diaz and I are working to be instruments in His hands and so He can bring forth MIRACLES. Thanks for all the prayers, love, and support.

LOVE,
Elder Schwartz 

New apartment with Elders Starr, Frost, and Diaz


Zone picture - prior zone....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Christmas, New Years, and Beyond.....in Brazil

Merry Christmas from Elder Schwartz

December 15, 2014

Dear Family!

So we just made the song for the christmas album here in the LAN House. Sorry if the quality isn't that good.  We sang, "O Come All Ye Faithful," which I think no one else in the family did. So, I hope you guys like it.  (Schwartz Family Christmas album, volume 2 was being produced for Christmas 2014, so even Elder Andrew participated -- for the full album, go to the iTunes Store....just kidding).  


I'm also pretty much out of time, because today actually isn't P-day.  We're going to go to the temple tomorrow, which is exciting. It will be Elder Mait's first session in Portuguese. It's good to hear that you guys are doing great, and are getting ready for Christmas. We'll plan to talk/Skype on Christmas Day around noon your time.....

Elder Maits and Elder Schwartz at the Temple
Anyways the week for us was good. We got a visit from Pres. Mazzagardi (Regional Church leader) and it was amazing. I learned so much. Our investigators are doing well. Jefferson went to church! But he won't be able go in the next few weeks because he's going to another state for Christmas. But all in all, things are going great. I miss and love you guys. I'm super excited to talk to you guys next week. Prepare yourselves!!!

Love,
Elder Schwartz

December 23, 2014

Hey Family!

Update. Yes I got the package. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU.

I'm just writing a quick email to confirm the skype time.

Glad to hear that you all are having a good time in Palm springs. Here, it's raining like crazy.  I'll give you all the latest updates on Christmas Day :)


Christmas Stuff Elder Schwartz got in Brazil

Christmas Package from Home

More from Home....

December 25, 2014

It was a wonderful Christmas Day for the Schwartz family.  A long, thoroughly enjoyable visit with Elder Schwartz.  He looked good and sounded good, and we loved talking to him.  Here are some snapshots and a short video of the our visiting....

Family gathered around the laptop, visiting with long lost brother/son....

Yes, he did look a bit sunburned...

You can see how happy we are...
video

Mission Christmas Card...hard to spot Elder Schwartz
Mission Christmas Activity

Who knows what is in that Pineapple

Merry Christmas with President and Sister Broadbent

Merry Christmas with fellow missionaries

December 30, 2014

Dear Family!

Sorry, I didn't email you guys yesterday... we went to the mountains to get a view of São Paulo yesterday on P-day. And the train broke basically causing us to lose our whole P-day. So I'm going to just write you guys a quick note to say that I'm okay and I loved talking with you guys this last week. It was soooo good! 

This last week was good for us.  I'm probably only going to be able to send pics next week because we are at a different Lan House today which is being super slow and I have like no time.  Well, the work is going good. We were able to get two investigators to come to
church -- Maxwell and Olavo. It looks like Maxwell is the most firm so
far.  He's already qualified for baptism in almost all respects. 

Anyways, family, my time is almost out, BUT I PROMISE SO MANY PHOTOS FOR YOU GUYS NEXT WEEK. I already filled up the card that was in the camera :) I love you guys and I know that Christ lives and that His Church is here on the Earth and we need to share His Gospel with everyone!

Love,
Elder Schwartz

Overlooking the City

Beautiful City Street Art

Zone Getting Together....
January 5, 2015

My Dear Beloved Family!

WOOWWWWW...... I can't believe that you guys did that (New Years Eve activity) for the missionaries.... I hope they had a good time, haha. This week was good for us here. The end of the year is always pretty difficult, because everyone goes to the beach and goes and visits families in other states and basically only the elect of the elect are at home to receive us. But this week we managed to get some really good work done. 

So for us New Year's was way different than a typical missionary's day. We worked on New Year's Eve and we had to go in a little earlier than normal. So we got in at 8pm. And for New Year's day we had to start the day cleaning everything in our house, literally everything to prepare for future inspections.  We later went to lunch, taught a lesson, and then we had to be in at 6 that day to do our weekly planning session.  SO yeah, it was a little different than for us than for the missionaries at home.  But all in all, it was good. We had really big lunches with the members but we didn't do anything super special to celebrate the new year.

Elder Maits is doing well. I'm really lucky to have missionary who knows what he's doing because he's really been helping me a ton. His Portuguese is getting better and we're making plans to really get this ward on fire about sharing the gospel message. We are getting really close to baptism with a few of our investigators. Maxwel, for example has been going to church and reading the Book of Mormon and is super close to baptism. He has his baptism interview today.

We also did a better job this week contacting on the street. We focused to literally try to talk to everyone and the Lord blessed us. We have this week pretty much filled up with appointments with new investigators. And even cooler is that we are going to have a Ward activity this Friday to help members and investigators get to know each other, and we're pretty excited for that. 

Oh, and in other news, we got the transfer calls on Saturday. Elder Maits and I are going to stay here in Mauá together another transfer. Some missionaries are thinking that I might die (stay until time to go home) here but I'm not sure. If I'm not extending my finish date, then I'll probably finish here, but if I extend, then I'll probably finish off somewhere else. We'll see...

Well that's pretty much the week Family! Thanks for the note and all the love, support and prayers! I that this is truly the Lord's work and we are here to help others to follow our Savior. I know that he loves us and he guides us continually. I know that if we follow His example and keep His commandments we'll be blessed. I love you guys!

Love,
Elder Schwartz

Elder Schwartz's Area Map

Ward Activity

Cutest Ward member ever!

Good Friend from Maua Ward

January 12, 2015

Hey fam!

So this week was really good for us. So I guess the most exciting news is that Maxwel has passed his interview for baptism and has a firm date for this Saturday! He is so firm right now, we have been having some really good lessons with him and ward members. He's making friends with members in the ward and he even went to a ward activity that we had this week. I guess I kinda wanted to start with the most exciting news ahaha. 

Let's see, well, this week we had a lot more member lessons and we did have many new investigators because of our hard work last week. Some of the appointments we marked fell through, which was kind of annoying, especially since this past week I thought I was literally going to be burned alive in the hot sun of Brazil. Seriously, we walked a lot and it was soooo hot. Only just a few moments ago, however, we got a huge downpour on the way to the Lan House, which is nice, because now it's a little cooler.  But anyways, we managed to have sucess and endure the heat, haha. 

For example, one of the people that we went to go visit, wasn't home, but we were greeted by a nice lady named Francielle, and she accepted to hear our message. We shared about the Restoration and there was a sweet spirit in the lesson.  Elder Maits and I noted how she was really paying close attention as we taught her.  She wasn't able to come to church on Sunday, but we are going to be able to follow up with her and most likely have a member go with us.  Lot's of miracles are happening here. 

And like I said a little earlier, this week we had a ward activity. It's a new program that our ward mission leader is putting on to motivate our ward and bring their friends to activities. Our job was to share the spiritual message. And for the spiritual message I was inspired by my dear older brother Nate and we did the activity where we give out candy and each time a piece of candy was given out, I had to do push-ups, and the members liked to see me suffer at first so they all started getting candy until it got to the point where I was really struggling and even they started telling the other elders to stop giving out candy but they kept it up and I kept doing push ups. All to show how Christ suffered for something so sweet. 

I need to end my message right now because I'm out of time, but I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know he lives. I know that His church is on the earth and that after being lost, it was restored by a prophet, by Joseph Smith.  I love you guys and miss you guys. Thanks for all the love and support. I'll be sure to take lot's of pictures for you guys to see my area/investigators/adventures. Thanks for everything. Until next Monday!

Love,
Elder Schwartz 

Go Giants!

Temple Day!


January 19, 2015

Dear Family,

This week was fanatastic, Maxwel was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! It was such a good service!  The other elders in the ward, Elder Gillming and my ex-comp Elder Barreto also baptized Carla, who was the daughter of another recent convert that I taught when I was with Elder Beers. There was a lot of ward support at the service and we even had some investigators attend it. 

In other news I got my "trunky" email from the mission office, which has confirmed that I am going to extend but the transfer that I am extending is going to be only a 5 week transfer -- I complete my mission on May 5th.  I already forwarded the email to you guys and I already filled it out with the necessary information, and sent it back.  So start preparing, and let me know when you get the information on the trip. 

This week was good, we taught a lot of good lessons in and some really good finding opportunities. We also are continuing to get member support and we are firing up this ward. We are going to have another activity of integration this friday so we are excited for that. I'm kind of short on time today, so sorry if this email is short, but we went to Paranápiacaba again today with my district, and we got back just in time to shop, clean, write the "fam", and now we're going to be headed off to district meeting. Pray for us and our investigators.  If everything goes right, we are going to have another investigator ready for baptism again this coming Sunday -- it's a man named Olavo that we have been teaching and he has been going to church with us regularly.  I'll be sure to send you guys pics of the baptism and p-day adventure and activity and everything next week. Elder Maits is doing well. We're both really fired up and doing everything we can to have success here. Sorry for the short email. I love you guys and hope that you all have a great week.

Love,
Elder Schwartz