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José Francisco and Sônia ‏ 5.24.2014

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10342001_639585829467249_2255742637834596054_nHello World!

It’s a beautiful cloudy day here in Juiz de Fora, there was a Bird that woke me up at about 5:45 this morning, I was kind of upset BUT its p-day so I forgave that little bird. Everything is better on p-day! Everything!
We went to the park again today to finish up our world cup sticker album, I got it done! FINALLY! That was fun but kind of draining, Elder Ferrin is a Trooper and he is almost done as well.

This is my first out of three remaining E-mails home. This week was awesome! We worked so hard and had so many miracles! President asked us to do splits with the Zone leaders in Barra Mansa and in Juiz de Fora. That was a lot of fun. We are exhausted and the doctor prescribed this P-day just for us!

President has been in São Paulo this whole week and that was great because we didn’t get tied down with office work. And so we got out a lot more and had some real progress. We have 5 people progressing towards baptismal dates on the First of June as well as the 8th so we are really excited for that!

I just wanted to tell you a bit about José Francisco and Sônia, it is a couple that we are teaching. I talked a little bit about them last week and they are just as great as they were last week and better! They went to church and just loved it! The ward here is AMAZING and they received this family with open arms and did a great job integrating them! José Francisco was kind of shy at the beginning of the day, but at the end of the meetings they had a hard time leaving because everyone wanted to talk to them and they were loving it! They have been reading the Book of Mormon every day and on Wednesday after we came back from Barra Mansa we taught them to help them get excited for baptism on the first. We brought Vanderlei who is the first counselor in the bispado here. Anyway they expressed how they are loving the church and loving reading the Book of Mormon. We asked them if they believed that God had answered their prayers and if they believe that the things that we are teaching them are true. I was nervous for half a second about what they would say BUT they told us how they had felt God’s hands in their lives ever since they had been reading the Book of Mormon, they told us how He had answered their prayers and how they feel His presence. So we invited them to really prepare to get baptized on the first. Once again I got nervous to hear what their answer would be. They said that they didn’t know if they could be ready so soon. We promised that if they were willing, we would prepare them and the Lord would send angels to bear them up when they made that decision. Sônia said she would give up smoking for it and José Francisco said that he was “a lot easier” and would definitely get ready. The spirit filled the room and they have been so excited ever since. We taught them the Plan of Salvation last night and they loved it. José Francisco said that he had “Never learned stuff like that in [his] Church!”

I love them! I can’t wait to see them dressed in white on the first of June. They are a miracle and a tender mercy of the Lord.

I love these words from 1 Nephi Chapter 26:
24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.

The Lord Loves us and He Lives! I know that!
See you in a week for part 2 of 3!
A fé é tudo!
Elder Yost

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Boa Tarde! ‏ 5.17.2014

Hello Gente!

We are signing in a bit later today because we ran to the park to trade some stickers! Here in Brazil, everything is getting ready for the World Cup in June. As part of that there are hundreds of people running around collecting stickers of the teams that will compete in the cup. Look it up on Google its really crazy! LOL

This week was really rewarding and hectic, but rewarding so that is good! We have 2 families working towards baptismal dates in these next 3 weeks. They are super great! One of them I already talked about, that is Junior and his wife Irene. We met Irene last night and they are super excited to go to church this week and read the Book of Mormon. They have an 8 year old daughter too. They are big on family union and on service. We hit hard on that and on the importance of reading the scriptures and praying to receive revelation. They are from the “Spiritism” faith, but are really curious and excited to know more about the church!

The other family that we are working with is José Francisco and his wife Sônia. They are very catholic. I love them! I think that Sônia still doesn’t realize that we aren’t catholic. We talk to her about the importance of coming to sacrament meeting and she says things like “Yeah there is nothing better than a good Mass on Sunday is there?” I am joking about the part that they think we are catholic. But here in Brazil everyone is catholic! Anyway they are reading the Book of Mormon daily. They are having trouble praying but we are working with them on that! They are also coming to church on Sunday. We brought Niralto to teach them with us and WOW he dropped a powerful testimony on them and the spirit was so strong that you could feel it. He told them about how his life changed forever when he started living the gospel. That is true, the gospel changes our lives!

Our other investigator with a baptismal date for the first of June is Amanda. She studies with a RM from the ward. She is 22 years old and knows all 300,000 churches in the world and has been to all of them. She is studying the Book of Mormon to know if the Church is true. She also is going to church on Sunday.

That is 5 investigators who are going to church tomorrow! We are super excited; my mission is far from over!
We have a bold message as missionaries. We teach that through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord restored His true Church here on the Earth. Bold, right? How can we claim to know that? How can we claim to have priesthood authority, the authority that Jesus Himself gave to the Apostles? The reason that we believe these things is due to the fact that God reveals these truths to all who diligently search to find out for themselves through prayer and study. That’s how I know, and that’s why I am here.

I know that this gospel is true! I love it; it is the only thing that will bring peace to our lives in these latter days!
A fé é tudo!
Elder Yost

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23 to 1‏ 5.10.14

Bom Dia todo mundo! Estou colecionando figurinhas do Fifa 2014! É muito divertido!
GOOD MORNING WORLD!
How are you doing?
I hope that all is well back there in the States. I hope that we aren’t at war and I hope that everyone who gets this e-mail is alive and well!

Feliz Dia das Mães! Amo a minha Mamãe! Ela é tudo para mim. felicidades e saudades 🙂

Alright well this week was super great! We have been talking to everyone and our teaching pool is changing every day. We have been seeing a lot of blessings as the Lord has put people in our path so that we can contact them, teach them, and invite them to come unto Christ.

So there is a new craze here in Brazil, the 2014 Fifa world cup in Brazil has launched the official sticker album, and I heard about it yesterday, it has been going on for over a month. That makes it clear that we have no idea what is happening back in the states and we don’t even know what is going on here in Brazil. That is a good thing because we are in the world but aren’t of it!

In a month the Fifa World Cup is going to start and that is going to be crazy! I wish the missionaries in the missions in Brazil good luck during the cup. Football is the only thing that matters here in this country. All of the members and investigators ask us who we are going to cheer for in the cup. My answer is usually “I am cheering for the States until they get knocked out and then I am cheering for the Brazil!”

I am so happy to be a missionary. This chance that I have to share the gospel is amazing. I have learned that when we have faith and ask the Lord to place people in our way so that we can share with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he answers our prayers. We contacted a man who finished reading the whole Book of Mormon a little over a month ago. We contacted a man whose wife had died a little over 3 months ago and got to teach him about the plan of salvation. We contacted a family who had been studying about the church for months and are desirous to read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true.
The Lord prepares people to receive His glory, Alma Chapter 13 verse 24 Says:

“For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.”
I know that that is a promise from the Lord. He sends his angels to prepare them, and then he depends on us who know Him and His glory to invite them to come unto Christ.

His invite is the same that Moroni echoed over a thousand years ago:

“…come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

A fé é tudo!
Abraço,

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A New Transfer!‏ 5.3.14

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DSCN6725(1)Buenas Tardes!

Hey Guys! It’s me again, chiming in again from here in Juiz de Fora Brazil!
This week was a great one! We got through another week of transfers! We have this thing down! We tried new things this week and everything went well! Elder Wilde and Elder Charles went home! They were great companions, I learned so much with the two of them! Now I am the “oldest” missionary on the mission! That is crazy and I don’t believe it! I am in that phase where everyone says “Hey Elder Yost, this is your last (meeting, training, counsel, etc.) That is kind of funny! I laugh it off and get back to work. Elder Ferrin and I are having so much fun here with the work. At times it is slow and at times it is really fast. I feel like the only day I take a minute to take a breath is on p-day. And then it is back to work until the next one.

We have been looking for a lot of new investigators and have had some great experiences and challenges. Last night we went to follow up to a challenge that we extended to a family to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We got to the door and the Dad came out and spewed a whole bunch of garbage at us (not literally). He told us that the “story” we taught them had no “foundation” and was “stupid.” For about 2 minutes it was kind of contentious as we tried to help him understand how he was basically making the worst decision ever by not giving the Book a chance by reading it and praying about it. It was kind of tough for me to take back the book. I know the Book of Mormon is true and bring light and happiness to whoever reads it with an open heart and “real intent.”

We had a group of new missionaries come in and I got to see Elder Kenning and Elder Jardine, two Americans who were serving back in the states and just got their visas to come to Brazil. They looked to shell shocked! Like “what is everyone saying?” We have all been there! I remember having the same fears, “Will I be able to do this?,” “Will I ever learn this language?” They are beginning the greatest journey of their life here in Brazil! It is the best way that we get to learn to trust in the Lord. And He magnifies our abilities. In a year Elder Kenning and Elder Jardine will be powerful missionaries who speak the Language fluently!

We have no time to get tied up in silly things. Life is a series of experiences strung together by decisions. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings a song called “Take Time to Be Holy,” there are great lessons learned in the words of this song. Here are some of the lyrics.

“Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

“Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

“Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.”

I love these lyrics! They teach us valuable lessons about how we need to take time each day to remember the Lord and do the things that He would have us do! We take time to update statuses, tweet, blog, eat, chat, level-up, and a million other things. But are we taking enough time to be holy? Do we search to make friends of God’s children or be led by His spirit to His fountains of love? If we don’t I think that we need to find that time. It will be the time best spent, I know that!
Until Next week! AKA Mother’s Day Eve!

Com Amor,
Elder Yost

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Transfers!‏ 4.26.14

Boa Tarde!

CONGRATULATIONS ALLIE!!! My Big Sister Graduated this week from Brigham Young University and is going into nursing school. I am so proud of her!

I am getting out this email a tad later. Today is a “chilly” day here in Juiz de Fora, a whole 65 degrees! What does that mean? Everyone is bundled up head to toe with scarfs sweaters and coats! LOL I will admit I have a sweater on; it is the first time in over 6 months since I have used it!

We ran around so much this last week with exchanges and interviews. Elder Ferrin and I were in Conselheiro Lafaiete, a zone in the mission, and it was POURING. We didn’t have umbrellas so we went to buy them. The second that we bought an umbrella, yup you guessed it, it stopped raining. But that is better; we worked hard with the other missionaries and had some great lessons.

We are in the middle of getting ready for transfers this week. Elder Wilde, Elder Jacox, and elder Charles are going home, they are doing great, finishing hard and they are examples for the whole mission. Elder Palmer is going back into the field after 7 months in the office. He is great!
This week I have started reading the Book of Mormon again after finishing it last week (BTW it’s true!) And I got to reflect over the story of Nephi, and the whole Book of Mormon. I thought how the Lord brought them out of the city of Jerusalem not only to provide salvation for Nephi and his posterity. The Lord never does anything that doesn’t have eternal consequences. Due to the Lord’s commandment to Lehi and his children, the obedience that they showed to that commandment and the continued obedience that countless generations showed throughout the Book of Mormon, we can come to the surety that the Lord has once again started His work her in these last days. The Lord, through the Book of Mormon has given a rock of a witness to all who wish to know better His Son, Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

We as missionaries have our mission divided into 6 week intervals called transfers. I am entering into my last transfer as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am so grateful for these sacred weeks that I have left to serve. I love being a missionary.

I know that my Savior loves each and every one of his children. He Lives.

A fé é tudo.
Elder Yost

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Big Week!‏ 4.19.14

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DSC03397Bom Dia! Como está todo mundo!? Estou bem, e feliz fazendo um churrasco aqui com o Elder Ferrin!

Hello world! We had a big week and I think that I have worked more this week than I ever have before! And when we work the Lord blesses us so much, we saw the Lord’s hand in our work this week.
There is so much to talk about and such little time so here we go!

On Saturday last week we got up to the top of the Morro de Cristo and when we got to the top we heard some guys talking next to us in English. Turns out, one is from southern London, the other is from Malaysia (spelling?) and the other from Portugal. They work in São Paulo and were doing some sightseeing in the city “while [they] [were] still sober,” before going to a party later that night according to the Brit, LOL. We talked to them a bunch on top of the hill and it is so apparent how different of lifestyles we as missionaries live. I love being a missionary! I love the Christian life! Wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Sunday we had a fast and testimony meeting with the ward. Niralto (my first baptism with Elder C. Silva over a year ago) is going to the temple on the 3oth to get sealed and half the ward (including his wife) got up and bore powerful testimony about the gospel and eternal families. It was amazing and touched the heart of our investigators that were watching. Simone (his wife) started to cry while she talked about her child hood dream of being sealed coming true. I love being a missionary!

Tuesday was the Mission Tour, We had an area seventy come and give a talk for the whole mission. I was in charge of keeping everyone in order before President Cascardi showed up with Elder Souza. That was rough, but everything went smoothly. He talked about how repentance has a very negative connotation here in Brazil that means to suffer and how that is completely opposite to what repentance really is. It is a great opportunity to start over again and turn our life back toward God and accept His will. True that! We then got on a bus with the missionaries to go to do divisions in três corações (a 5 hour bus ride) we got in at 01:00 in the morning and got up at 6:30 the next day. I love being a missionary!

Thursday was Sister Cascardi’s birthday! We had a little dinner with Sister Cascardi and President ate cake and that was fun, but it wasn’t the highlight of the week by far.

Earlier Thursday night we were hunting down a referral, after getting into the house of the referral, Paula (the referral’s friend) walked in and after we taught a short lesson invited us to her house to talk with her family. Paula told us that for the past few days she had been praying that God would send the truth to her. She had attended various churches over the years but whenever she was going to get baptized in that church, she would feel that something wasn’t right and begin looking for another church. After teaching her and her husband (Luis Carlos who is an inactive member) the restoration, she told us that God had answered her prayers and that she would read the Book of Mormon, pray about it and if it was true, get baptized.
Last night we went to visit them again and follow up on her reading. We didn’t even ask her when she told us that she read the book and prayed about it. She told us how God answered her prayer and that she knows that the book was true. She couldn’t leave her house yesterday for fear that we would come and she wouldn’t be home. She told us how she kept asking her husband if we would come that day or not. Sufficient to say it was a great lesson. I love this family; they are going to be blessed so much!
I know that this is the work of the Lord! He lives! And because of Him, we have the chance to start over and over again. We can find or, if we need to, return on the path to the kingdom of heaven. That is the great message of this Easter Sunday. I bear my testimony of the resurrected Christ. I love Him, He loves all of us!

A Fé é Tudo!
Elder Yost

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Mission Tour‏ 4.12.14

DSC03456Happy Saturday!
It’s a B-E-A-Utiful day here in Juiz de Fora and the better part of the day is the fact that it is P-day, a day to rest and have fun here in Brazil!

We have been going around the whole mission this last week and it was great to see some missionary buddies that I haven’t seen in a while. I got to spend time with Elder Jacox that I have been friends with since the MTC, I got to go to Teresópolis and spent time with Elder Meyer and see some people I taught that they are still teaching. It was a high time, but I was super happy to get to sleep in my own bed last night for the first time in a week!

Last week in the General Conference I caught that my old mission president , President Lima was called as an area authority. COOL!

We are having a “Mission Tour,” that means that the whole mission is going to come here in Juiz de Fora and we are going to have a special training session from an area authority named Elder Souza. We are all super excited for that and I will let you know how it goes!

Today will be a lot of fun seeing as we are going to the “Morro de Cristo” here in Juiz de Fora, it’s a huge hill with a Christ statue on it. Pictures to come next week!

I got to look over the notes that I took during conference and today I had a quote that caught my attention. It was from President Eyring who said (paraphrasing) “Salvation isn’t one great choice, but rather the decision of many small choices.” That is true. I know that the decisions that we make today will affect our future. Simple obedience to the wisdom of a loving Heavenly father will bring great happiness for all time. The “little” decisions that we make are the important ones. They define our integrity that is who we are!

A fé é tudo!
Elder Yost

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