Sunday, August 24, 2014

Winter in Brazil....(Or Catching up Over the Last Two Months)

Here is Elder Andrew Schwartz's snail mail address:

Elder Andrew Schwartz
Rua Dr. Luiz da Rocha Miranda
159, 8 Andar
Parque Jaabaquara
04344 - 010
São Paulo - SP;Brazil 


I have been a bit behind on keeping the blog updated with Elder Andrew's emails home.  Here is a summary (short excerpts) from the last couple of months:


So let me give the update of my week. So I guess the first big news is that President and Sister Tanner left and we got to meet President and Sister Broadbent this week. They are amazing! They are such a great couple for this mission and I'm super excited to work with them. I could tell that they are really loving and that they are really humble. They seemed a little nervous about their portuguese but they both actually speak really well.

Elder Schwartz with President and Sister Broadbent

We have been teaching this family where the daughter is actually dating a returned missionary and she and her sister came to church this week. Their names are Jenifer and Beatriz. They were really well recieved at church by the young women and they even went to an activity with them that night. We're going to be following up with them this week and try to get the whole family to church this next Sunday.

Other than that, everything is going well. I am so glad I decided to serve a mission. I know that this is truly Christ's church restored in these latter days. I know that this gospel is a gosple that changes lives. Probably the most special moment this week was during the passing of the sacrament and after I partook of the bread I looked up and I saw Antonio take the sacrament for the first time in 13 years. I recieved a spiritual witness of the importance of this work and how there are many who are still suffering because they don't have the fullness of the gospel in their lives. I love this work.


If you were wondering, we totally celebrated the 4th of July here. Well, at least I did by wearing my american tie. And we called all the missionaries that are americans in our zone and sang the national anthem to them. AMERICA! but it was weird being here in Brazil for the 4th of July, and of all things I did the most brazillian thing I could Brazil beat Colombia in soccer. 

Brazil beats Colombia in World Cup

So this past week we had our first mission council with President Broadbent. It was amazing. It was an opportunity for all of the leaders of the mission to vocalize our opinions about how we can help the mission become better and how we could better help the missionaries. We talked about some changes in the mission and with the culture of our mission.

Jenifer and Beatriz are doing really really well. We had a super sweet lesson with them where we were able to bring the Young Women's President and her husband to meet their mom.  This lesson was a great opportunity for the mom to get to know some of the members who are helping to take care of her daughters.


We had a zone p-day at a park called Parque de Iberapueira that ate up pretty much all of P-day so here in a little bit we are going out to work. 

At the Park

So this week was really good for us. Well, I know I say that every week. But on the mission every week is a good week. And it was good in the sense of that we got to go out and do missionary work and help people, and not in the sense that Brazil totally got destroyed by Germany in the world cup and everyone here is really upset and embarrassed that they lost 7 to 1. Seriously, everyone is devastated. Not to an extent of starting a riot but everyone was pretty bummed out. Everywhere we went people were talking about it. It was a really exciting time here during the world cup, but I'm glad that it's all over so the work will go back to normal. 

Brazil loses to Germany 7-1 in the Coppa Mundial
I'm doing fine. This week is the last week before transfers so I'm going all out. I literally have no idea if I'm going to stay or go. But whatever the Lord wants, I'm going to do it.  I know that the God lives and that this is truly his work. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord and the people of São Paulo. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ truly blesses those that are willing to do His will.


SO it came! The dreaded transfers finally came. So the word is finally out on me.... I'm getting TRANSFERRED. I'm getting transferred to another area and I'm staying as a zone leader. I'm not sure if I'm sad or happy. I'm sad because I love this area so much and I love all the members and the area and the people and everything. but on the other hand I have been here waayyyyyyyy too long and I need a change so I can find other people that I can connect with.  I learned so much being here in Cidade Leonor and with all the companions I had. I'm gonna miss Elder Vargas. He's a really good missionary and he taught me a lot. But that's how it is on the mission, you get transferred and you keep giving your best and learning more each day. 

Good Bye Elder Vargas and Zona Sul 
Mmmmmm!  Tapioca makes saying good bye easier....
Our investigators are well. This week we had seven investigators go to church and 3 Less-actives. It was a miracle. Jenifer and Beatriz went and also this investigator that we have been working with named Alba and she brought her friends and neighbors and all of them loved it and said that they are going to come back next week. Oh, another update! This week Camilla went to the temple on a youth temple trip to perform temple baptisms  and her dad, Antonio was called as the 2nd Counselor in the Young Mens presidency of the ward. They are such an awesome family and I'm really going to miss them. 

 I'm excited for this upcoming week. New transfer, new companion, new area, new zone. It's gonna be sweet. Wherever I go, I'm going to do my best. I know that this work is His and I'm just an instrument.


So let me tell you all about what happened with me at transfers. SO, I left Cidade Leonor and Zona Sul and I got transferred to Zona Rudge Ramos again! So I'm in the same stake that I was in before Zona Sul but i'm in São Bernardo 3rd Ward which is the Zone Leader área. So I'm in the city of São Bernardo do Campo again and the coolest part is that I get to do divisions in both Planalto (my first área) and São Caetano (my second área) and I'm super stoked to be here again. So my companion's name is Elder Provoste and he is from Chile! He super funny and he's an amazing missionary. I already love the guy! I'm really excited to be able to work with him.He's got a year and 5 months in the mission, so just a little bit more time than me and he's been in this are for 3 months already So this ward has three sets of missionaries and we live in a house that should have 4 missionaries. I say "should" because actually we are working in a trio for right now. My other companion is Elder Amon and he is from Curitiba which is the Southern part of Brazil. He's got done being trained and he is our district leader and he is going to be training here in a few weeks. So the reason we are in a trio is because the american missionaries that waited a long time to get their visa are now going to the MTC here in Brazil for three weeks to get retrained on portuguese. So Elder Amon will be getting his companion here in a few weeks but for now, we are taking care of both of the areas. So we live actually in a members house but there are like 3 different houses. So the whole house is owned by one member but he lives in the downstairs part with his Family and upstairs is house where another member lives and then there is our house. It's weird because there's not a lot of that missionary privacy, but its cool.

Elder Provoste, Elder Schwartz, and Elder Amon

New Trio at Ward Party

So this week I got to meet a lot of people. They have a really good teaching pool here.  It was really cool to meet all the different people but we had to walk a lot to go from area to area. But this week was really good. One of the highlights that we had this week was a Ward party that we had on Saturday. In brazil they have a tradition here to have a Festa Caipira or "Redneck Party" where they have a lot of food made of corn, they play a certain type of music, and they wear plaid with cowboy or straw hats and the ladies wear dresses and do pigtails. And there was dancing and lot's of good food. We had a few investigators come and members brought their friends and it was a really good time. Then Church the next day was really good. The Ward is really big so there were a lot of people there. We also had 6 investigators at church, one Family of 4 and two other investigators.  I'll fill you in more next week....


This week I got to do a division in my old stomping grounds of Planalto. It was awesome because I got to see a lot of people from the time I was there. I worked with Elder V Ferreira who is a missionary from the North of Brazil who just got done with his training. It was good working with him and learning from him. This week we also had our zone conference and I got to see a lot of old comps like Elder Steil and Elder Vargas and I learned so much too. President Broadbent is getting a lot more comfortable now that he's been here for a little more than a month and he gave a lot of good counsel for us to help our investigators become better prepared for baptism so that they can stay firm. It was a really good conference and I learned a lot. 


Lion King......

That's so cool to hear about your new calling! I'm super super excited for you guys. I know that both of you will do an excellent job and help so many people. I'm so grateful for the example that both of you have given me in always accepting a calling from the Lord and being so great in magnifying your callings. That's why I always try to do my best in the callings that the Lord gives me, no matter how hard it may be. Thank you so much for being amazing parents! I love you!!!!


We had our mission council with Pres. Broadbent and it was probably the longest council in the history of mission councils. Although it was long, I enjoyed it because we got the chance to address the problems that the mission is having and work together as a council to solve them. President is making a lot of changes but I know that these changes are what the mission needs right now because he's the one with the keys.

Zone Activity

Our Zona....

So this week was the last week we had to work in a trio, Elder Amon's comp gets here tomorrow. But it was good while it lasted. It was definitly harder to take care of both areas but I feel we just got used to teaching in a trio that it's gonna be weird to start teaching in two again. But our investigators are doing well. Johnson and his daughter Milena came to church again this week, as well as Jair. We had a really good lesson with Milena this week. It's been hard to be able to teach the two of them so we had to teach her at mutual at the chapel.Today we have a zone activity so I'll be sure to get lots of pictures for you guys and of a bunch of other things too. I love you all and I know that this is truly the Lord's work. Something I'm perceiving more and more is how fundamental it is to follow the Spirit. I've seen in various lessons and other occasions where I have been inspired to say something or do something that has truly had an impact on someone. I know the Lord is guiding us in this work and I'm doing my best to be worthy and prepared to have His Spirit guiding me. I hope that you guys have a good week and good luck with your new callings mom and dad!


So this week we recieved our new missionary. His name is Elder Buenrostro, from Texas. If you guys wanna hear something crazy, Elder Buenrostro has the same amount of time as me on the mission, he waited a year and 4 months to get his visa. I bet that has to be super difficult. But he's loving it here and he actually speaks really well already because he speaks spanish too. But since he arrived, Elder Provoste and I are now working in our area and are now able to focus on just our investigators. So the week overall was good. It started with Monday, where we had a Zone P-day and we had a barbeque at one of the chapels with the whole zone. It was really really fun and after P-day ended we had our zone training where Elder Provoste and I gave a training about better preparing our investigators for baptism, preparing from the first contact on the street. It was a good training, I felt, and it really helped get the missionaries excited. This week we also got a chance to do a division with the Assistants. I got to stay here and work in our area with Elder Myers again. It was good and I learned a lot. 

Elder Buenrostro, Elder Schwartz, Elder Amon, and Elder Provoste

Captain America and Thor

I wanted to share a cool finding miracle that we had yesterday night. So Provoste and I went to an appointment with an old investigator that told us to pass by his old house (he since had moved to another area) so as we called for him, a man that lived in the back told us he moved so then we decided to start to talk to him. He told us that the night before he said a prayer which he hadn't done in years asking for some sort of direction and then the next day we showed up. It was an amazing and spiritual conversation we had, and he was really interested in our message.

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