Monthly Archives: November 2012

Another Month Closing!

Hey world!

Well we are ending the month of November pretty well!
Wow it is freaking Hot here! And when we aren’t dyeing of the heat it is raining a Ton, so I have been debating in my head a lot this week, which is better, rain or sun? When I come to an answer I will definitely let you know!

Well Juiz de Fora is already ready for Christmas! Everyone has their Christmas trees out and Papá Noel is on just about every building! We were with the bishop and his 4 year old son this week and we asked the child what he wanted Santa to bring him, he said a Toothbrush! we all laughed and the bishop felt a bit at ease! Well our area is HUGE, and a lot of our investigators live about an hour from our apartment so we do a lot of walking and a lot of times it is really tiring and can get discouraging when we walk an hour for a lesson to fall through. But that being said our teaching pool is getting really big, so we are getting excited to baptize.

Well this week we started to teach Hélder (which is pronounced the same as Elder, so we have been having fun making jokes with him like if he were a missionary his name would be Elder Hélder, okay It probably isn’t that funny but hey we are missionaries!). We were trying to contact a reference of a member when we saw Hélder sitting on the curb and we started talking with him. The next day we started to teach him and he is really progressing fast! After the first lesson we invited him to be baptized on the 2nd of December and he accepted! He told us how he really felt something different when we were talking about the restoration and wanted to read the Book of Mormon to know that it is true. He is progressing really well and we are really excited. We brought him to the stake conference yesterday and he said that he really liked it and is looking forward to be baptized. Hélder is about 23 years old and lives with his brother and His parents so hopefully after his baptism on the 2nd his family will follow his example and be baptized too! Well for me this is really exciting to have a baptism, and I know with the help of the Lord Elder Jordan and I will continue to have success and find the people that The Lord has been preparing to accept the gospel like Hélder.

This week I have started to read the Book of Mormon again from the top and study the attributes of Christ in the prophets and I have really been astounded by the obedience of Nephi. In chapter 9 of 1 Nephi and he says something that really has stuck in my mind.

“5 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.
6 But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen.”

Nephi didn’t understand the Lords purpose of his commandment, but he had faith enough to really trust in the Lord. For Nephi it was tough to keep a record on big heavy plates of metal, moreover without a perfect understanding of the “Why.” I hope that we can have enough faith in the lord to keep his commandments even when it’s tough and we don’t know why. I know that the lord ALWAYS will come through for us when we do what he has asked us to do. Whether it is walking in the hot and humid in Brazil, keeping the word of Wisdom or going to Church, he loves us and will ALWAYS bless us. I am so thankful to be here in Brazil serving a mission for the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for your support and Prayers, I pray for you too.

Até o Proximo!
Elder Topper Yost

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Jardim America 11.19.2012

Hello World!
Well another week of miracles! And my first week not a greenie and in my new Area with a New companion!

Let me tell you a little bit about Elder Jordan.
He is from the city Quiaba which is way in the west of Brazil. He has 18 months in the mission and is the Leader of our district. He is really cool and really has a great ability to love the people and show his love through teaching with the spirit. This mission was a sacrifice for him. Before the mission he played soccer professionally, and was getting ready to sign a big contract to continue playing football, but he turned it down to serve the lord. He has told me a lot of stories about his friends who thought he was crazy to turn down the opportunity of a lifetime to continue his career in football, but as members of the church we know that a mission is always worth the sacrifice. I don’t have any pictures to upload but I will hopefully have some next week. But we talk a lot, and we get along really well. He is pretty funny and loves to speak English. Often we will be walking down the street and he will be speaking English and I will be speaking Portuguese, I can imagine that it looks pretty funny for everyone else. But we are really having a blast working together!

Speaking about Portuguese, I think I’m getting it pretty much down! All of the members that I met yesterday thought that I was at the end of my mission because of my language skills! I got a couple of questions like “what part of Brazil are you from?” and people are always complimenting me about how well I speak the language. I still have a TON to learn BUT it is so great to hear compliments, and thank the Lord for the divine help he has given to me!

Well let me tell you about my new area. Our area is HUGE! It covers a big part of the Center in Juiz de Fora and continues for miles and miles; farther than I have yet to see. But we spend a lot of time working in the city because it is closer to the chapel and it is closer to our apartment. This city is really cool and I feel really at home. It has pretty much everything; it has a McDonalds and a Subway! It has a lot of cool places to eat (which i hope to take advantage of) and fortunately (or unfortunately, I have yet to know) it has a comic book store that we pass by a lot LOL. The city is really clean and I hope to take advantage of the nice roads and keep walking and talking!
But it really is a cool city with a lot of great members. Our ward has a frequency of over 100 members and they are really excited about missionary work and they are really firm (and they know how to cook really well!). That being said we are working to reactivate some families.

Elder Jordan only has been here for 4 weeks before I arrived, so we are doing a lot of work to find new people to teach. Pretty much how it is here is we will talk to a lot of people on the street, write down their addresses and the next day try and track them down. While we are trying to find investigators it’s kind of tough and some days we walk a lot and teach a little, but I know with a little time it will pick up!
We are really focusing on teaching with the spirit and inviting the spirit though prayer and hymns in our lesson. Yesterday we started to teach a new family. After talking for about 5 minutes we sang a hymn and started to bear testimony about how much the Gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed our families and will bless the families of all of those who accept and follow it. The spirit was so strong and the mom of the family began to cry because she was overcome with emotion. They scheduled for us to return when their oldest son is in the house because they wanted us to teach them all together. It felt so great to see them smile and I hope that we can help them accept the restored gospel in their life!
I am so happy to be a missionary! 5 months in and I feel that I am on top of the world!

This week I have been continuing my study about charity and love. In the book of Mathew, Jesus states that the first and great commandment is to love God, the commandment that comes next is to love our neighbor. We need to have charity in our lives and be filled with that love. At times it is really easy to keep all of the little commandments, whether it is mission rules or other things but we often fail to keep the biggest commandments which are to love God and love everyone. Let’s enter this thanksgiving and Christmas season filled with the pure love of Christ. Love brings happiness and comes through obedience to the laws of an all-knowing all-loving eternal father!

Well until next week!
Com muito amor!
Elder Yost!

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Trained and Transferred!‏

Well! This week was great! And Guess what? I am no longer a greenie! Training is over!
Hello World!

Elder Yost checking in and well I heard the news about the elections and I wont make any comments because I don’t have time lol!

Today will be my last P-day in Cascatinha, because I am being transferred to Jardim America! And Like all missionaries say it is difficult to leave an area, especially if it is your first area. But this week I had some great experiences. First off, Elder Vieira and I really started to get along and have been working really hard to be the best missionaries that we can be to have baptisms. We talked with everyone and started to see progress with our investigators, and the highlight of the week was our lesson with Jacques on Saturday.

I was down, a little discouraged, we were working hard, praying hard but we weren’t seeing miracles, and it would be my second transfer without a single baptism. I prayed that the Lord would show us fruits of our labors this transfer. And as he always does, the Lord came through and answered my prayer.

We knocked on Jacques door and he appeared in the doorway with shampoo in his hair (he said that he was getting ready to dye his hair) but he anxiously asked us to enter the house. We started talking and we could see the smile on his face. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and when we started to talk about Baptism he said something that I never will forget, he said “I will do anything that I can to be baptized in this church.” He then explained how Claudia was drinking heavily everyday but when we started to visit them she hasn’t had any alcohol! More specifically he said that she has had a great change in her life since she came to church last week. Wow, I felt so happy as he sat there telling us about the miracles he has seen over the past few weeks. We challenged him to be baptized the 18th and he accepted! At the end of the visit we asked him to pray with us and he said he didn’t know how, but after we explained a little more about prayer he offered the most sincere prayer that I have heard in a long time. He looked up and said “How was it?” I wanted to cry I was so happy. I knew that these miracles are the answers of many prayers here in Cascatinha and of you all at home. It is moments like this that give me the courage and energy to keep talking to people, climb one more hill and knock on one more door.

Jacques will be baptized next week, I wish I could be there to see this great step in his life, but the Lord has called me to serve elsewhere. It’s tough to leave Jacques, Claudia, Fernando, Rose, Cristiano, Elder Vieira, and all of the people who have touched my life here in Cascatinha, but I know that the Lord is working miracles that at times we don’t even see. We had no Idea what was happening with Claudia until Jacques told us, but it was evident that the Lord was working in the vineyard with us and taking care of that family when we weren’t there.

This week I have been reading a lot in the Scriptures and learning how much we need to trust in the lord like it says in Proverbs:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

This is something that I am learning and that I have learned in Cascatinha, the Lord is at times the only person that we can trust, the only thing that we can put our money on because when he makes a promise, he is bound to keep it. I know that He lives; we need to trust Him and follow Him. Trust that He knows and loves you, and trust that His commandments will always bring happiness.

He Lives, and as a Representativeof Jesus Christ, I bear testimony of his Divine love for all of His children, in the US, in Cascatinha and in Jardím America!

Until Next week!
Elder Yost

Note: Jardim America (suburb of Rio de Janeiro)

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Oh when we have Family Nights‏

SUP WORLD!?

Well it’s another week here in Cascatinha and wow this week the weather was actually pretty nice! We had cloudy cool days where it rained during the night, which means we didn’t die of heat this last week! I hope it continues like this for the rest of my time here lol, but alas the sun is shining on this beautiful P-day and I think this week will be a hot one!

A couple shout outs, Sean Phillips sent me a message which my mom forwarded to me, I really want to respond but I need an address to write a letter, it would be great to get that address so that I can send a letter back next week!

Elections in the United States are this week, I have no idea what’s going on there but man it should be crazy. As a missionary I don’t know if I have any place to make remarks about politics but I hope that the candidate who starts with an “M” and ends with an “itt Romney” puts in a good show!
Happy Halloween! Well I know I’m about a week late but on the 31st we all ate chocolate as a Zone and for about 5 minutes we traded name tags and took photos of our “costumes” I will include a photo or two! But I love candy and I probably ate my fill of candy this Halloween THANKS MOM I LOVE YOU!

The work this week was kind of slow, we tried a lot to work with Jacque and Claudia but when we went to teach them in their house 4 times they weren’t home and the 5th time we ran into them in the road and only got to talk to them for five minutes. That being said Claudia showed up at church this week! Wow it was great. We were about a half hour into a class in the church and Claudia walked in, I wanted to get up and start dancing but decided after 4 months without dancing, it would be kind of awkward… But she stuck around the whole rest of the meetings and we sat next to her during the fast and testimony meeting where there were powerful testimonies shared and I felt the spirit and knew that she did too. We will visit the family Wednesday and invite them to be baptized.

Speaking about baptisms, this week we challenged another investigator, Erir, to be baptized on the 11th he initially accepted but throughout the week when we visited him he expressed that he doesn’t feel ready to make that step in his life just yet and when we passed by his house Sunday he didn’t join us on our way to church. That was disappointing, but we will keep working with him this week and hopefully mark another day for his baptism.

There are such great blessings from living the gospel, in the 36th chapter of Alma, Alma tells his son Helaman that if we live the gospel and trust in the Lord, we will have the help of the Lord in all of our trials and difficulties. It’s easy to try to do everything ourselves and trust that we can do it alone. But when we humble ourselves and search for the lord to help us. We have his great promises that He has our back! That is what I am learning here in Cascatinha, by myself I can only do so much but with the lord I can do anything! That promise is for all who honestly seek to fulfill the will of the master. In the Book of Revelations we learn that The Lord is at the door knocking waiting for us to open the door and accept his blessings. For Erir and Claudia the door is baptism and the blessings are really incomprehensible!

I love you all and Pray each day that we can recognize the blessings and tender mercies of the lord.

A fé é Tudo!

Elder Yost

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