Saturday, September 20, 2014

August and September in Sao Paulo

Apartment before transfers...Good bye Elder Provoste!


So this week we had a special zone leader training with President Broadbent where we got a chance to talk about some of the problems that the mission is having and how we as leaders are going to lift this mission up through our example. He wants us basically to do everything better than we are already doing. It was weird because a few of the missionaries there including myself, were thinking that we are teaching the best we have ever taught on our mission and that we are working our hardest. But the Lord requires more and we are going to give more. I'm raising the bar for myself, and Elder Provoste and I are going to bring Rudge Ramos to a whole other level of excellence. 

As for miracles this week: we had an amazing one with our investigators, Jair and Aureni. I think I already talked about Jair who is an elderly man that has been coming to church and Aureni is his girlfriend. They don't live together and they're living the commandments so they can be baptized. So this week we had a lesson with them and Aureni started asking about qualifications for baptism and things like that. Until that moment, she had been more resistant to baptism than Jair was and wasn't really sure if it was what she wanted. We started to explain about the qualifications and she began to tell us about she had been praying and reflecting really hard about baptism and she felt in her heart that this was what she needed to do. We invited her and Jair for August 31st, this coming Sunday and they accepted. So this week we are going to have the interview and if everything goes as planned, they are going to be baptized. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father had comforted Aureni's heart about this decision.  I know that this wasn't something that we did, but what He did. It's truly His work and His vineyard and we missionaries are just the tools that He uses to bring people back to His presence. I'm so happy for this great opportunity I have to see these miracles and to be here serving the people of Brazil I know that this church is Christ's true church and the path we need to become perfected in Him. 

It truly was a special week, As well I got to do a division with Elder Buenrostro who is already doing super awesome work for the short time he's here. I learned a lot from him and he helped me become a better person. And as for this coming week, it's the last week of the transfer. I'm hoping that Elder Provoste will stay with me for one more transfer because it's probable that he might leave since the next one would be his 4th transfer. I'll be make sure to update you guys on what happens. But that's all for now! Until next week!


transfers came..........

So My dear Chilean companion Elder Provoste got transferred :( and I'm going to stay here in São Bernardo :) and get another Zone Leader. I'm sad that Elder Provoste is leaving me because we got a long really well and we worked really well together too. He taught me a lot too and I wanted to stay one more transfer, but it's all part of the mission. So next week I'll be sure to send pics with my new comp. 

But it sounds like you guys had a good week. Thanks for all the pics of the golfing trip Pops. It's been so long since I golfed. Father-son golfing when I get home? hahah but it's good to hear that you guys made it to Provo safe and sound. And Dakota sent his papers in? Tell me where he's going when you guys know. Oh and Mom, I know you would love to hear that our ward is starting to offer Zumba in the chapel every Tuesday and we have some investigators that are going to go. Haha.

So I'm short of time, and I won't have pictures this week, but I do have great news! Aureni and Jair got baptized this Sunday! It was such a marvelous service.  Aureni's son is a member in another stake, so he performed the oridinance for her as the rest of the family came and watched and a young man from the ward who has been visiting Jair and Aureni with us performed the ordinance for Jair. And these two bapisms were truly a miracle. When they arrived at the chapel that morning Aureni was set to be baptized, but Jair said that He wasn't going to be baptized. So we went through Sacrament meeting and Gospel priciples and Elder's quorum and just before the baptism started we sat down with Jair alone in a room just to ask what happened?  It turns out that he didn't want to be baptized because he didn't understand about temple baptisms, and it really worried him.  So we sat down and explained the doctrine, and he understood everything perfectly.  We asked him if he believed that the church was true. He said he didn't have a doubt in his mind that it is. We then re-invited him to be baptized and he accepted. Truly a miracle. It was such a wonderful service.  I'm out of time, family but next week I'll give updates on the mish, my new comp and our investigators. Sorry for the rush. I love you all and the Church is true! 


So I guess you guys wanna know what happened to Elder Provoste and know a little bit about my new companion, huh?  Well, Elder Provoste got transferred to São Paulo to open a new area and train at the same time (WOW), which, by experience I know isn't easy to do.  So that's what happened to him.  As for my new companion, his name is Elder Lago, he's Brazillian, from the Bahia (the same state as Elder Barreto) but he has been living in Manaus, which is close to the Amazons over there. He has a year and 9 months so he has only two transfers left, so probably, as we say here in mission terms, I'm going to "kill" him. Which will be cool, I've never "killed" a missionary before. So that means I'll probably be in this area for probably a total of 6 months, which I'm excited for, because I really love this area and the people here. 

Soooooo for us here in São Bernardo here, everything is going good. We had two really powerful lessons with two investigators that we have been working with. One was with Jessica (the one that went to Zumba class), and for Jessica, she has started to really read the Book of Mormon, and she is really enjoying it.  She has been telling us how she has been seeing changes in her life, that she has been happier and has been feeling a lot closer to God. We testified that it truly was God testifying to her that these things are true. We invited her to baptism for the 21st this month and she said that she's going to really think and pray about it.  And we had a really similar lesson with a lady called Sandra. She also has been seeing differences in her life, since we started to visit her and as she has been keeping the commitments that we extend to her.  Pray for our investigators that all will go well with them and that we can get past some of the little barriers and challenges they are having. Seriously, we have a lot of investigators that are so close to baptism, but just have one little barrier, such as marriage, or other things that impede them from being baptized. We are going to work to get passed these difficulties and reach our goals! 

I'm so grateful to be a part of this work. It's truly gratifying and rewarding. Other than the minor difficulties that we are having with some that we are teaching, I'm seeing lots of wonderful blessings. For example, the progress that Jair and Aureni are making. They were confirmed this week and are doing awesome. Aureni especially is really on fire and she has a really strong testimony. I love this gospel and the joy and happiness it brings to me and to all people that accept it. Thanks so much for all your love and support! I love you guys and I'll talk to you next week

Elder Lago and Elder Schwartz


Man what a week! Seriously the mission is flying by wayyyy too fast for me. I feel like there is so much to do and so little time.

Its good to hear that your week went by well. I'm glad that everything went all right with working in the spanish ward. I'm also really happy to hear about Mom's new calling in the Primary, I'm sure she'll do great. But most off all I'm stoked that you are going out visiting with the Elders and helping them out. Members really do make the difference! So keep it up and you'll really be a blessing to those peoples' lives! 

As for me and Elder Lago, we are doing well. Yes, Lago also means lake in portuguese as it does in italian haha. This week was pretty rushed for us. We are spending our time focusing on those who are progressing and have potential and getting our investigators to church. It has been a tiring week but I'm keeping a smile on my face and moving foreward. Jessica is doing well. She came to church this week and even brought a friend from her old church to see "the mormons". As for baptism she said that she wanted to wait a little longer :( but she is totally recongnizing the spirit and changes that are being made in her life. We are going to keep following up with her and helping her progress.

As for another adventure of this week. We went to the hospital. Don't worry I'm fine. I just have an ingrown toenail that started to get pretty ugly. I was doing what the mission told me to do to take care of it with soaking in water and with cotton and whatnot, but it wasn't improving, so we told the secretaries to mark an appointment for me but I guess they forgot or something because they never marked anything, so this week we took it into our own hands to go to the hospital. So when we got there they wanted to do surgery that moment, but my toe was so inflamed that anesthesia wouldn't work, so they told me to take anti-inflammatory pills and they are going to do the surgery this Friday. But I'll be ok. They told me to start wearing sandals instead of shoes, so I had to go out and buy some. And I'm not going to lie, I'm diggin the sandals. It's way better to walk in. My feet feel so free hahahah. 

Well my family, that is pretty much the update of the week. I know that this is the Lord's work. I'm out here to help others to come unto Christ, because I know there is nothing else that will truly bring lasting happiness. I'm so happy to be out here. I love you guys and I pray always for you guys! Until next week!


Elder Schwartz

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