Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Botanical Gardens, October, and Transfers...

From Mission-wide Activity in Botanical Gardens of Sao Paulo

October 13, 2014


First off, for the big news...TRANSFERS!!! So we got told about transfers Saturday night, which is a little earlier than usual, and both Elder Lago and I are getting transferred out, and we both are going to open areas and train (by open area I mean that they took out the companionship that was there and they put two new missionaries in) I'm actually going to get a companion temporarily for 3 weeks because I'm going to be training a new american missionary that waited for his visa for awhile and finally got it and got sent to the Brazil MTC for a language refresher. I'm kind of sad that I have to leave this area and Elder Lago, because this really came as a surprise for us, but the Lord has another plan for us, and now I have  a new opportunity to do some good and to help others that need me. 

So let me give you guys the update of the week. So this past Tuesday we had the mission-wide p-day activity at the botanical gardens and it was amazing! It was a really pretty place to walk around and a good opportunity to see everyone that I have gotten to know earlier in the mission. So, there were a few activities that were zone versus zone put on, such as tug of war (our zone won one and lost the other), and other fun activities. We had hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch. There was also a sort of talent show where a few missionaries sang and played instruments and did other fun performances. And to close it, President gave a few words about how hard the adversary is working to impede the Lord's work and how we need to do our best to prevent him from disrupting our efforts to bless the lives of our brothers and sisters here in Brazil. 


More Games...

Best Zone Ever!

So on that note, we did our best to help Mylena get baptized and everything worked out. She was baptized yesterday and it was a really beautiful service. Johnson and his family went and the Spirit was really strong there. I know that the missionaries that come to replace us in this area are going to have a lot of success with this family now. 

Mylena's Baptism

Today for P-day, we had a little get together with the district we are part of and had a little brunch and said our goodbyes and everything. I am so grateful for the chance I had to be in this area and with Elder Lago -- I really learned a lot. I'm really excited for this new opportunity and new area and companion. I'll be sure to tell you guys everything this next week. I know that this is truly the Lord's work and I know that when we do our part, he blesses us. Thanks so much for the updates/support/love/everything. Have a great week!!!

Elder Schwartz

Good Bye District....

October 20, 2014

Well that's exciting news to hear about the Giants making it to the world series. Just know that there is at least one Giants fan here in São Paulo, Brazil. 

SO FIRST OFF, here's what happened with me at transfers. So I got transferred to a city called Mauá, which is farther from the city of São Paulo than São Bernardo. I'm serving in the ward, Jardim Pilar, and my companion for these three weeks is Elder Beers from Washington.  He has the same time on the mission as me and the same time in Brazil as well.  In fact, we were in the MTC together, just in different districts. He's really cool. He's the district leader here. So he'll be with me for these three weeks until we get our new american "greenies" (in the sense that they'll be new to Brazil, not the mission). 

So basically I'm really loving this area and working with Elder Beers. The ward here isn't big but we have a good amount of members. But the chapel we have is the smallest I've ever seen in's a little more cosy but I like it. The members here are pretty sweet too. It seems like they have had some problems with leadership in this ward in the past. So what my plan is, is to basically make the ward happy. And what makes a ward happy? BAPTISMS. So the plan is to baptize everyone here in Mauá. Good plan, right?

So this first week here was good. Since Elder Beers was already here and had investigators, we spent most of the time in his part of the area. We did get to spend a little time in what is going to be my part, but we mostly focused on helping the investigators that we have to start progressing. We did have some really good first lessons with new investigators as well, but none were able to come to church :(. The only investigator we had at church is a 9 year old son of a member family.  He is going to be baptized when his dad gets home from a long work trip :D. There's an investigator named Demetrius,that we have who seems to be progressing well and preparing himself for baptism. He's a man about 50 years old, with an 18 year old son, Thiago. Demetruis has an interesting background, just like the man that you met when you went out with the missionaries, dad. He had a past with drugs and alcohol and never really believed in God, but now he is in a search for the truth, believes in God, and he seems to have been well prepared by the Lord. We're working with him now to help him quit smoking, and getting him prepared for baptism. He's a great guy!

So a cool little thing that happened this week was that I called to give a 10 minute talk basically on the spot for sacrament meeting. They asked me to speak about missionary work (of course). It was shocking, but I really am grateful for the Lord's help, because I talked about all the things that I had learned on the mission in respect of doing to Lord's work. I'm grateful for all the learning experiences the Lord has given me that I was able to share in the talk. I felt the Spirit really strong and I hope that the things I said had some sort of impact on the members of this ward to help move the Lord's work forward here in Jardim Pilar.  After sacrament meeting a lot of the members came up to me and Elder Beers, telling us how they needed our help to share the gospel with someone or bringing someone back to church. So it seems we are really starting to gain the trust of the ward members. Pray for us that we will have success in our efforts. Thanks for the sweet update on everything dad. Just know that I love you guys and I pray for you all. I miss you guys!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!

With Love,
Elder Schwartz 

Selfie with Elder Beers

October 27, 2014

Man thanks for the exciting Giant's update. That's really good to hear that we're on top. It's also good to hear that everything is going good with everyone and that everyone is happy with life and things. So to answer your questions:  Mauá is way smaller than São Bernardo but there are still a lot of people. It's definitely a lot greener here and a lot colder.  For example, this week was pretty foggy and it even rained on Sunday. It's weird though because today is super hot, but that's the weather of São Paulo -- hahah!  And, yes, we are working in both the areas of the ward, actually we have been spending a little bit more time in the area that Elder Beers has been working in, but we are managing to find people in what is going to be my area here in a little bit. Yes, I've gotten to know the ward leadership here, and a lot of really good members.  At the moment we don't have a Ward Mission Leader, but in the Priesthood Executive Meeting, Bishop said he is going to be calling one here shortly, which will be really helpful to us.  

Well, family, this week was a good week for us. It was a little rough on the finding new investigator, in part, because this week we had a huge service project that the whole zone was involved in, and we also had a meeting with the stake president and the whole zone. But at least we kept up with those that we found last week :). So, for the activity we all went to a home for the elderly and mentally ill and we took out a bunch of old furniture that they didn't want and we did a little bit of maintenance and clean up in the area. It was pretty fun and there was a good spirit of service as we worked. Then the next day we had that meeting with the stake president at his house (he lives in our ward which is nice), and we talked a lot about how we need to be working in unity as a stake and a zone, and how we can work better together with our ward leaders and how the stake president can help us. It was a good meeting and I'm happy to be serving here this stake because we have good support from our stake president. 

We also had a ward activity this week put on by the young women's organization for the whole ward. There was food and drinks and dancing (don't worry, I didn't dance), but there was also a neat presentation about the history of this ward and how some of the current members of the ward were here when it was originally organized years ago. How cool is that? It was a good activity and we had some investigators there. 

So as for the investigators I was talking about last week:  I talked about Samuel, who is the 9 year old son of a member that we are going to baptize when his dad comes home from work. He's doing good. He's firm and learning well. He's pretty much ready but His mom wants to wait for his dad to come back to perform the ordinance, which won't be until the end of November.  As for Demetrius and his son, we couldn't catch him at home this week so we havn't been able to help him out like we wanted. But there are a few other cool families that we are helping out. For example there is a young couple, Rudolfo and Vivian that we met my first week that have been really receptive and really interested in our message that we are teaching. And also a young single mom named Rafaella that also we taught this last week that has been really receptive and really showed interest for the Book of Mormon. And of course there are other people that we are teaching but if you guys could, please pray for these people. 

Well my time is running out. But thanks for the update on everything, It's good to hear that everything is going good with everyone. Have a great week and I'll talk to you guys next monday. THE CHURCH IS TRUE!

Elder Schwartz

More Photos.....

Our great group!

Mylena's Baptism

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