Monthly Archives: January 2014

2014 Rocks! ‏ 1/4/2014

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Feliz ano Novo!

Happy New Year folks! This week was the great start of a New Year. I am really excited for the New Year full of challenges and of growth. New Year’s Eve we went to the Mission President’s Counselor’s house with the other missionaries of our district. We ate too much food (that was a common theme of the week) they made food for a ton of missionaries and we ate until we were full, and then until we were sick! There were nuts, chicken, beef, fish, rice (of course), farofa, Jell-o, ice cream, oh there was so much food! And it was all REALY good. We got home, planned, and hit the mattress before 10:30 but were rudely awakened at midnight when all of the fireworks in the City went off. I was kind of upset… I just wanted to sleep but the fireworks went on for a good half hour. New Year’s Day we had a Rodizio lunch with the President Cascardi. That was the best food ever (remember the common theme of the week). There was chicken, steak, tri-tip, filet mignon, ribs, more steak, baked parmesan cheese, coke, and grilled candied pineapple (SO GOOD). Whenever I get the chance, I am going to go back there! It was the going away Lunch for the President’s son who is going to serve his mission in Japan.

We had a Bunch of challenges this week. We had transfers, and that was very stressful and difficult. But through all of these challenges I felt my personal growth and the hand of the Lord conducting everything that we did. We have been the personal travel agents for over 80 missionaries who were involved with the transfer. We had 6 missionaries going home and 23 missionaries who were arriving. There was too much to plan with too little time. 3 out of the four staff members had never participated in a transfer. It was a transfer right after a holiday, which complicated everything.
Our first challenge was when we had a companionship of missionaries who had to get to our house on Wednesday, expected to arrive at 10:00. They called at 9:50 saying that they were getting on a city bus and would quickly arrive in our hou… then their phone died. 10pm, nothing, ten-thirty, nothing, 11pm it started to pour rain and no sign of the missionaries. They had no way to communicate with us. I grabbed Elder Wilde; we grabbed our jackets and started to search for the missionaries in the rain. After looking for about 15 minutes, we decided to pray and ask the Lord to guide us to them. I decided to call the secretaries and ask them to help, but as I called, I saw that instead of calling them, I was calling the Elders with the dead phone and thought, “I don’t want to talk to them! I want to talk to the secretaries!” LOL. But the call went through. They had just put their SIM card into the phone of someone on the street hoping that someone would call them. We ran to where they were, called a taxi and got them safe and sound to our house. We were soaked from head to toe and we were so grateful that the Lord had answered our prayers.

The next day we had the new missionaries who were coming and 23 missionaries is a lot. Seven of the twenty-three were American, and three were sisters. We had a lunch with the greenies (more great food). And at night we had a dinner with the President and the missionaries who were leaving (I probably have gained about 10 pounds this week). The spiritual experiences were amazing; I was on a spiritual High and LOVED it! By Friday all of the missionaries were either home, or in their new areas.

As a reward, we all went with President Cascardi to the new DOMINOES PIZZA that opened right next to our house (okay maybe 15 pounds). We felt SO great and felt that the Lord had strengthen us to rise up and face every challenge that we had. There were so many other things that happened and so many miracles that we saw, but in the end, I learned how much the Lord has helped me do in my opinion, the most difficult challenge in my life up until now.

He Lives.
Have a GREAT week!
Elder Yost

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Feliz Ano Novo! ‏ 12/28/2013

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Happy End of 2013!

I hope that all of you had a great Christmas. So, how was your Christmas? What was something that you did this year that you never did before? Let me know!

My Christmas was GREAT! I got to see the whole family and that was just a Huge blessing. Everyone looks great and healthy. Brick has gotten Huge! That kid is such a STUD! I am so Happy to be able to have talked with everyone and have felt close to them on such a special day.

We spent a lot of time in the office this Christmas, and I was getting kind of anxious to get out. The minute that we finished everything that we needed to do, we were on the street and talking with everyone. Well, there were a lot of people that were caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday so we decided to try something else. Because we are in a city area, there are a TON of apartment buildings, they all have security guards that work on Christmas, so we thought, hey let’s just go and wish all of the security guards a merry Christmas and invite them to learn more about Christ. It was a great idea! We met Carlos that way, a really simple man who seems to be looking for the truth. He showed us pictures of his children and expressed for us how much he loves them. We got to teach about how great it is to know that God wants our families to be happy and united forever. As we talked with Carlos, we felt the spirit testify and it was a great Christmas gift that we received just as much as he did.

Every day is a great day to be a missionary, I am so happy that I have 6 more months to preach the gospel.

How great of a year was it?! 2013 was a whole year of just being a missionary for me! WOO HOO! It was the best year ever, really! I have been talking with Elder Baxter L. Wilde About what goals we should make for this next year. The end of a year is a time to reflect about how we can improve for the next year. We make goals and plans to carry out those goals; goals for physical health, scholarly achievement, relationships, and spiritual growth. The last one is important in my view. At the end of 2013 we need to do a little bit of soul searching find out how we can improve our relationship with Christ. We can ask ourselves what were our sins and bad habits this last year, and then let’s make the goals and plans so that we can leave those things behind.

As we leave behind sins, habits, and whatever else, we should draw wisdom from the classic story in the Bible of Lot and his family. The Lord’s commandment to Lot and his family was simple, leave behind their sins and trust that the Lord would bless them immensely. Was it tough? I’m sure it was. We know that the Lord warned Lot and his family not to look back on what they had left behind. Lot’s wife did not heed this commandment, instead of keeping her eyes fixed on the blessings that the Lord had promised to her, she looked back and desired to return to those sins she left behind.

Let’s leave behind what we need to pick up our cross and follow Christ. He will lead us to green pastures, new opportunities, and true happiness, I testify of that as His missionary in Brazil.

Happy New Year!
A Fé é Tudo!
Elder Topper Yost

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FELIZ NATAL!‏

12/23/2013
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MERRY CHRISTMAS
“Far, far away on Judea’s plains,
Shepherds of old heard the joyous strains…
Peace on earth, goodwill to men;
Sweet are these strains of redeeming love,
Message of mercy from heav’n above:
Lord, with the angels we too would rejoice;
Help us to sing with the heart and voice:
Hasten the time when, from ev’ry clime,
Men shall unite in the strains sublime”

Alright! Feliz Natal! I am super happy to wish you all a Happy Holiday Season! Thank you all for the love and Support that you give me every day! You are all very special to me.

Here in Juiz de Fora, we are experiencing a LOT of rain. AKA our apartment is flooding LOL! After walking for 30 seconds in the rain, we get SOAKED. So I’m dreamin’ of a “Wet” Christmas? I think so! Here in Brazil, a common tradition is for kids to set their shoes next to the door and on Christmas morning the children awake to see that “Papai Noel” filled their shoes with goodies and candies. Last year I missed out on a great Brazilian Christmas treat that is called “Rabanada.” It is heavenly! I mean it is the closest thing to cinnamon rolls that this part of the world has to offer!

This week I got to talk to Adriano that we baptized here in April this year. He has been working on Sundays ever since I was transferred. I am going to try and work with him so that he can come back into full activity in the Church. Other than that we are trying really hard to get a good teaching pool. I have faith and know that the Lord blesses us when we do everything that we can, and then try to give just a tad more.

Our mission Christmas Party on Tuesday was AMAZING! It went perfectly. The Christmas talks by President and Sister Cascardi were great and I think that I did a decent job talking to the entire mission as well. The highlights from the Party were the Lunch and the Musical presentation. The food was SO good! There was turkey and stuffing! Mashed potatoes! And rice and Beans. Each zone prepared a musical number for the afternoon session, some Missionaries sang great! Others sang from the heart, but somewhere between the heart and the mouth things got complicated. I got to sing “O Holy Night” with Elder Pimentel accompanying on the piano. It was SO difficult for me to sing that one. I don’t know why, I have done dozens of concerts before the mission, but it was nerve racking to be in front of the whole mission and singing. That being said, I think it was fine. I sat down after and President Cascardi put his arm around me and gave me great compliments; great party, great day. And the mission had a really high baptizing week!

This will be my last Christmas that I will be serving as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that Christmas in the mission field is sacred. I think of what Christ would do on his birthday. Most likely he would do the same things that he did every other day of His life. That is; strengthen the weak, visit the sick and afflicted, raise up the sad and broken hearted, and proclaim His Eternal Gospel. What a great opportunity that we have to follow His steps and do the same! Let’s make this Christmas sacred, let’s follow Christ’s steps and offer Him our Heart. The Spirit of Christmas is the Holy Ghost. It was Him that led the wise men to the Christ-Child. It is the Spirit that will guide all of us to Christ this Christmas because He lives!

Feliz Natal!
Elder Topper Yost

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