Hey World! We are in a BRAND NEW AREA called Leopoldina!
Let me tell you about the city. Its a super small city on the interior of Minas Gerais. And Saturday was the city’s 169th birthday! Well apparently that’s a big enough deal to throw a 4th of July size party in the Center, give everyone in the city the day off and cause chaos in the entire city! WOW! You have no idea! There were bands playing, giant inflatable kiddy rides, a mechanical bull, drinks and drinks and drinks, there were free balloons, and EVERYONE wasn’t home… we had to walk through the center of the city to find a market place to buy some lunch stuff and it was like trying to get through main street in Disneyland on Christmas Eve, NOT KIDDING! Anyway, its super-hot and dry here, there are a ton of huge hills everywhere, but I have the feeling I am going to love Leopoldina!
This week was a lot of work trying to set up the area. There haven’t been missionaries here for over 2 years! This means that we have a blank area book and had 0 investigators when we got here. I was intimidated. Then we got the call from the APs saying that the MP said we have to Baptize someone on our first Sunday here. I was all like “Huh?” There were 2 people who had been going to church for a while a 13 year old kid and a 17 year old girlfriend of a member of the ward. The trick was that we had to try and convince them to get baptized this week. We succeeded with the 13 year old and the Bishop was super stoked to baptize him yesterday. We were super stoked to fulfill a challenge from the MP!
Well I am out of time for this week and so I have to sign off saying that the Lord NEVER gives a commandment to anyone unless he prepares a way for that commandment to be fulfilled! THAT’S THE TRUTH!
I love you all! Have a GREAT WEEK!
Elder Topper Yost
Shout out to Evan Wong! It was awesome to hear from you BROSEPH SMITH!
-I got the packages from the states! Easter never comes too late!
-My watch broke this week 😦 It was great while it lasted!
WE got transferred! Elder Silva and I will open up a brand new area over 2 hours into Juiz de Fora! What this means is that we will most likely be part of the mission Juiz de Fora. They are sending sisters to where we are right now, so that will be great for the ward here! (I think)
Well this week was tiring! On Wednesday the APs came into town and we all cleaned. I didn’t know how big of a task it was to keep a house clean! We had to replace the showers, we had to paint a little the house and all in all it was a 2-day deal! AHH!! It was so tiring and it took up a lot of time to preach and do what the Lord has called us to do (which apparently includes cleaning our houses). During the process of cleaning, the dust in the air caused a lot of problems for elder Silva and we had to leave for a few minutes before he coughed up a lung.
Well I am out of time! We had a great confirmation of Marieleia, Adriano wasn’t able to make it to church on Sunday so he will be confirmed here next Sunday.
The Lord knows our capabilities, he wants our happiness. He lives! He LOVES us. I was reading Helaman this week and read again verse 12 from chapter 5. When we build our life on the foundation of Christ, the Devil will do all he can to bring us down, but if our foundation is securely built on the rock of our redeemer, we will overcome the temptations and storms that the devil hurls at us!
Have a GREAT WEEK!
Elder Topper Yost
Well! This week we had our first baptism of an entire FAMILY!
As far as other news goes there really isn’t much, just that this is the last week of this transfer and will probably be Elder Silva and my last week together. But we are ending our companionship off with a BANG!
This week our focus was the Baptism of Marilea and Adriano. Like I said last week this family has seen the hands of the Lord during their whole conversion process! We had an AMAZING wedding ceremony on Saturday and Marilea was a Beaming Bride! The entire time she was smiling and laughing and it was great to see her and her Husband legally married. Our Bishop performed the ceremony and it was great. He talked a ton about how they are preparing to become an eternal family (All of this made our District Leader trunky because he will be going home this next week LOL). After the great wedding we got to have the baptism of the newlyweds.
Elder Silva got to baptize Adriano and I got to baptize Marilea. The baptism was almost flawless except that Elder Silva messed up on the words the first time and had to repeat the ordinance. Side note! While the wedding was going on we had forgotten that the water for the baptism was left heating up! At the end, we rushed down to change clothes when the tough came to my mind to check the water. THE WATER WAS HOT! Imagine a baptism in a hot tub! We tried putting more cold water in and in the end it was all fine (just a little toasty!). After the baptism we all went to change into dry clothes and we got to talk to Adriano in the changing area. He asked, “So I guess I am officially a Mormon, huh?” I smiled and responded, “YES! Congratulations!” We went up to grab some cake and soda and then ran home to be at home before the missionary curfew.
I think back into the end of February when we tried to have the wedding happen and it ended up not working out. I was SO upset and I felt that I wouldn’t be able to be part of this miraculous day. I felt that we had tried SO hard and gotten SO close, the lord had shown His hand, but we didn’t get the results that we had hoped. Looking back on the rush at the end of February I can see that it was so that this day could happen! WOW the Lord is so merciful to us and I am so thankful to be a part of this AWESOME experience!
The Lords plans arent always our plans, but with pacience, faith, and hard work. Everything ends up working out in the end!
A fé é Tudo!
Hey World! Happy P-day!
Well this week was great! We had an AWESOME Conference and also some GREAT Miracles!
The first of which is that we found THE BEST FOOD in Juiz de Fora, we will go there again today to eat! It’s got great meat and AWESOME Pão de Queijo! (CHEESE BREAD!)
Well when they announced the temple in Rio de Janeiero, our Zone leader let out a small squeal that sounded like a little girl finding tickets to J-Beiber in her Easter basket. But we all were/are equally excited! A Temple brings such amazing blessings to everyone in the surrounding area! The closest temple to us right now is in São Paulo (8 hours away) and a temple in Rio will be about 2 so we are all excited. Given, I will be home way before its completion.
WELL another miracle happened this week! About a month ago we submitted the forms so that Adriano and Marilea (a family investigating the church) could get married and therefore baptized. Generally it takes 60-90 days for such forms to be submitted and return for the actual marriage to happen. On Tuesday I said “Hey I got a feeling, let’s check if the papers arrived!” as proved to be the case! In 32 days flat the papers had gotten back and this Saturday Marilea and Adriano will be married in the Church and on the same day Baptized! I AM SO HAPPY that the hand of the lord has been shown in this small miracle! Their lives will be eternally blessed! They are an example for me of a Family who is eager to bring the blessings of baptism into their lives and I know that they will be eternally blessed!
The stone cut from the mountain without hands is rolling! God’s work is progressing and HE is guiding his church on the earth today! I know that the Lord directs His missionary work and prepares ways for his eternal blessings to enter into the families of those who obey the principles of his gospel!
UNTIL NEXT WEEK!
He is resurrected!
Hello World! Happy April Fool’s Day!
Yesterday was Easter Sunday! It was pretty cool and really low key. We had beef stroganoff for Lunch here and then received GIANT CHOCOLATE EASTER EGGS! Chocolate rocks! I will quote a talk from the Sunday sacrament service yesterday. Claudio who is the second counselor of the bishopric here said “Christ paid the ultimate price for our sins so that we can remember him with Chocolate.” yup, true doctrine! Once again Chocolate ROCKS!
Anyway as far as Brazilian traditions, we didn’t get to see a lot. A lot of Brazilian Easter traditions involve plays that a lot of people do to show the life and death and resurrection of Christ. We didn’t get to see any because we hit the street this week and were working with an investigator for his baptism this last Saturday. Bruno is 22 years old and his ex-girlfriend is a returned missionary of the Church. We received the reference to go there and start teaching him and his family. The lessons have been great. The entire family was progressing so well! But Friday night a pastor from a family member’s church paid them a visit and hurled a whole lot of garbage against the church! That AND Bruno’s girlfriend had broken up with him the same day!
Saturday as we were waiting for them to arrive to the baptism we had no idea why they were late. But when they arrived, I could tell that something was different. The mom talked using a lot of words like “YOUR church” and seemed very uncomfortable to be in the building. I was scratching my head trying to figure out what had happened and so I asked Bruno and he told us everything that had happened. But he said “I know this is the right thing, isn’t it?” Bruno’s faith strengthened mine.
I thought a lot this week about the 2 disciples that were walking sadly home from Jerusalem after the death of Christ. After they had talked a while and gloom had taken a hold of them, the Savior (at this point unrecognized by the disciples) joined them and accompanied them on their way home. It wasn’t until after the long walk and a prayer from the Savior that “their eyes were opened, and they knew him.”
As we walk in life, often saddened by the events of our day to day living, we deny the fact that the Savior has walked with us and will continue to do so. Like these disciples we can be comforted with the knowledge of the Risen Lord and his infinite Love!
Have a Great WEEK!
Elder Topper Yost
HAPPY SEMANA SANTA!
Well this is the first day of the “Holy Week” leading up to the day where we celebrate the most important event in the history of the World, the Atonement and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
This week wasn’t terribly interesting. We ate some beef jerky with peanut butter this morning. I recommend it! It’s kinda weird but strangely satisfying LOL
Well Easter in Brazil is all about the Easter Eggs. Every store in our area is selling giant chocolate Easter eggs ranging from 7 to 30 USD. Basically each egg is made of chocolate and has goodies in the middle. For example there is an “Avengers” Easter egg that in the middle of the egg it has a watch with the heroes from the avengers! There will be a parade on Good Friday. Other than that I have no idea what is going to happen, I will let you know next week!
We have been working with an awesome new family this week. The dad (Ricardo) of the family is “Catholic” and the mom (Beatriz) is non-denominational looking for a good church. The Daughter (Lidia) was recently baptized in an evangelical church and the 22 year old son (Bruno) is going to be baptized in the LDS church this Saturday. We sat down to teach them about the Restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith and the family understood everything really well and understood the importance of Christ´s doctrine. It was a great lesson and we were excited for them to come to Church yesterday. Unfortunately they didn’t show up. Ugh, sometimes I wish that people’s agency wouldn’t get in the way of their salvation but it is all good. We are excited for Bruno’s baptism and know that his family will be touched.
Like I said, this week the world will be celebrating the most important week of the history of Mankind; the Atonement, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These events were prophesied since before Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden, and are the base of the Christian Faith after almost two thousand years after the first Easter. The Atonement of Jesus Christ has the power of making bad men good and good men better. Only through obedience to the principles and ordinances of the Gospel may we be cleansed through the blood of the Lamb and return to live with our father in Heaven.
Christ’s mission did not end at his death, nor his resurrection. I know that Christ is working countless miracles in the lives of countless people around the world. His hand has been in your life and in Mine. I testify of the fact that “He is Risen!”
Elder Topper Yost