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!

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. 

Elder Schwartz


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!

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.

Elder Schwartz 

New apartment with Elders Starr, Frost, and Diaz

Zone picture - prior zone....


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