Happy Conferencing!‏ 4.05.2014

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Happy General Conference!
It really is like Christmas because now not only is it P-day, but it is GENERAL CONFERENCE! And that is the best thing ever!

This week we did exchanges in Barra Mansa and it was so great to work with Elder Jack Nielson, he is a great missionary, we worked hard and got to mark 7 baptismal dates in 3 hours during the exchange. I love missionary work!

Wow! That was probably my favorite session of conference that I have ever watched! I think that I have said it before but I will say it again, general conference is the best thing on the mission. For some reason I get so much more into conference while i am on the mission that I ever have at home.
Here are some of my thoughts/reflections/ highlights.

President Thomas S. Monson:
We are so blessed to have 142 functioning Temples in the World, there are so many on the way. I think it is interesting that there won’t be more temples announced until we have finished work on all of the temple that have been announced and are being constructed.

Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve:
I think there was a conversation between President Monson and Elder Holland that went something like this “you are going first wake them up!” In a world that is saying “Keep calm and do what you want.” Elder Holland said to “Be strong and live the Gospel!” THAT IS SO TRUE! I loved his talk and what he said is true, we need to be strong and take a stand. “Is it worth it?” YES! Another favorite quote; “Talk about making God in man’s image.”

Niel L. Anderson of the Twelve
We are infinitely more important than trees! (NOTE: The Church donated 400,000 trees to Haiti last year)
TRUE THAT! We cannot change God’s values, they are unchangeable. The Truth never will change, and while trends and whirlwinds come and go, the truth will always be in the rock of our Redeemer.

Henry B. Eyering, First Counselor of the First Presidency:
“God makes it attractive to choose the right!” When we choose the right, we find true happiness. It may require patience and faith, but doing the right thing will always make us feel better and bring us happiness. God will always justify our righteous hope!

In Short, I love conference! I am so grateful to have living prophets and apostles to guide us in our lives and let us know God’s will. God Lives! In this conference, His will is being revealed to us.

A fé é tudo!
Elder Topper Yost

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DEPORTED!?‏ 3.29.2014

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We got an interesting call yesterday from the American Embassy here in Brazil. Apparently because of an error in my Visa, I am getting deported from Brazil on Tuesday. President Cascardi entered in contact with the Mission Travel support and on the first I am getting transferred to finish my mission in the Colorado Springs, Colorado Mission. In the states. I don’t know how that will go but when i get there on Tuesday I will let you know!

APRIL FOOLS!!!

Did I get someone? Anyone? Was that funny? I think I am trying too hard LOL

TRANSFERS ARE OVER! I love saying that so I am going to say it again. I repeat TRANSFERS ARE OVER! That is the best thing ever. Everyone is safely in their areas and we are here writing on our P-day to all of you lovely people back in the states.
Transfers are crazy here because it is a “Missão do interior” I think that translates as a mission with a lot of small cities really far from each other. So basically coordinating for transport in the mission is rough. But it is all fine now. We had some cool experiences, and I repeat its over and so I am very happy. The next one is at the end of April and that is when Elder Wilde is going to go home. That brings me to my next point. I have a new companion! Elder Ferrin is his name! He is a great man and I am really excited to work with him. His name is Luke Ferrin and he was in my district back when I was in Leopoldina. I want to be more like him. We are having a lot of fun here and we are getting out to work. Last night we got to work and we found some great new investigators who now have baptismal dates for April.

Rafael Got BAPTISED! He is super great! Sunday was a big testimony to me that the Lord is in charge of this work. Our last sacrament meeting was filled with deep doctrine about ministering angels; improve talks from youth, and a talk about how we all need to do our home teaching. I was thinking “He is gone, that’s it, we lost Rafael.” BUT HE IS A STUD and got in the water. Elder Wilde got to baptize him.

After being baptized we start a new life in Christ. We let go of our past mistakes and start something new. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about second chances. We are never so far from god that we can’t come back. Our Father in Heaven, through His Son, gives all men the great chance to become clean and start over again. Just as He said to us in Isaiah, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” I testify that that promise is extended to all of us. There is nothing that can’t be resolved and corrected through the atonement. How grateful I am for that promise!
God Lives.
A fé é tudo!
Elder Topper Yost

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Muriaé!‏ 3.15.2014

Buenos Dias, mis amigos! Hoy és Sábado!
You know what that means! Its p-day! WOOT!

The weeks are flying by and I am just telling time to, “SLOW DOWN!” I feel like yesterday was P-day. We have been traveling a ton! On Tuesday we were in Petrópolis all day, on Wednesday we were in an exchange with the Zone Leaders in Manchester, Thursday we were in Ubá and Muriaé (more on that later), and yesterday we had a big meeting to start Transfer preparation, swept by the hospital for my comp to talk to a doctor, and then had an activity with the ward. Now it is P-day! That was my last week!

We are really happy and I am trying to be a bit healthier and trying to make healthier choices. On Thursday I ate a salad for lunch to take a day off from the rice and beans. That stunk! The salad was quite tasty but I went the entire day craving for salgados (junk food) and pizza! But I made it through with a couple of granola bars. Why can’t eating well be more fun?

I love President and Sister Cascardi, they are really the best and traveling with them is super fun because they have the best time bickering about directions, it reminds me of home! After taking the wrong route due to the GPS we passed through a tiny city called Guidoval, the smallest city I have ever seen. The main attraction in the city is the “Banco dos Aposentados” or the Bench for retired people! We passed by that bench and there were a bunch of elderly people wondering what we were doing in their dear city! In the millennium there will be a mission in Guidoval.

We are going to be opening up a brand new branch in a city that has been without the church for 6 years! The city is called Muriaé and it is super cool. We got to the city to start preparations for apartments, getting a meeting house ready, and inviting people to come on Sunday when we will have our first meeting in Muriaé! We are going with President on Sunday to have the first meeting there. We got to do a little proselyting in the city and the people there are super receptive to the missionaries. We met families that are going to see the chapel opening on Sunday, and I can’t wait to see what fruits are going to come from that city!

I love seeing the work of the Lord progressing in our mission; it is a fulfillment of the statement that Joseph Smith offered over a hundred years ago:
“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
This IS the truth. It is going forth and we are the standard bearers, as we let our light shine, the Lord will provide us opportunities to serve and save our brothers. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve as His missionary!
A fé é tudo!
Elder Yost

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Happy 8th of March!‏ 3.8.2014

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Is there anything special about the 8th of March? I don’t know, but for me it is a holiday because it is P-DAY!
We have had another great week here in Paradise. Today we got a haircut and I am going to trying to attach a photo of me and Elder Wilde. I love Juiz de Fora, and we are really having a great time because we have been hitting the street hard! The Lord has been so merciful to us too.

We have been drinking a lot of what is called Tereré, It is a south American cold tea from the Mate plant. It is super good! It’s super healthy for you and we just love it. It tastes a bit like grass, but REALLY GOOD GRASS!

This week we got a great referral from the Ward, a young MARRIED family that are best friends with the Elders Quorum President. They travel a lot and so yesterday was the only time we got to teach them in over a week. We taught them the first lesson about the Restoration of Christ’s church for us in our day and it was the best lesson that I have taught in a long time. They are sincerely searching for answers and their search for a Church that they will be able to raise their family, He lead them to us, the Church, and the Lord Jesus Christ. They understood perfectly, asked amazingly sincere deep questions. The Spirit was there and they are going to Church tomorrow for the Second time. They travel a lot, he works on an oil station in the ocean, and she is going to start a class in São Paulo, and so we are going to be bold with them and help them get baptized together. We have been praying a lot to find a family that is ready for the Gospel and I feel that this family will have a profound impact on the ward, themselves, and their children if they embrace the restored gospel.

Time is sacred! And we are a “peculiar people” as the Lord said, 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

The World offers all types of excitement, it offers fortune, it offers fame, it offers everything that appeals to the “Natural Man.” We as members of the Church are familiar to a common phrase. “Being in the World and not of the World.”
The Gospel offers happiness, love, friendships, salvation, meaningful family relationships, it offers everything that appeals to Children of God.
I know that these things are true!
A Fé é tudo!
Elder Yost

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March already!?!‏ 3.1.2014

This morning I woke up, looked at the phone and told Elder Wilde, “You are going home next month!” He wasn’t that happy to hear that LOL!

It is so good to be here! And it is so good that it is SATURDAY! The streets here in Juiz de Fora are completely empty this morning, everyone is sleeping and getting ready for the “blocos” that there are going to be due to Carnival this year. Last Saturday we hit the streets and just saw the Chaos that happened due to the decision that the Juiz de Fora City Council made to have Carnival start a week earlier. We decided to work in an area that just happened to have the biggest party. We tried to walk by the “bloco,” without getting into any trouble. The smell of alcohol and urine just reeked. After a few failed attempts to teach we had to leave that area for another side of the city. the President Cascardi has given us a rule that we can’t tract or contact after 7pm during carnival and that Missionaries have to be home at 9pm the latest. Here in the mission we don’t really see much problems with Carnival, everyone goes to Rio. There it is crazy.

We had a great week! On Wednesday we had a famous Brazilian Billionaire give a sermon about being self-sufficient and we had the whole city invited. We as missionaries in Juiz de Fora greeted people and there wasn’t room in the chapel to stand to watch the sermon. As nonmembers came in by the carful, a question crossed my mind. WHY CANT SUNDAY MORNINGS BE LIKE THAT!? I mean eternal salvation may be just a tad more important than money, just maybe you think? Anyway we got a ton of references for the mission and we are super excited to go contact them and see the hand of the Lord even more. We got to meet the man who gave the sermon; he was a mission president in Brazil and gave us a great technique that we are going to use in the mission. We are excited, President is excited, and we know that the Lord has great things in store for us.

Last night we got to teach Carol, who went to church 2 weeks ago with us and after talking to her “Padre” she told us that she didn’t want to meet with us anymore. We felt like we should visit her and when we got there she was coming out of being a bit drunk, and she told us hared how she needs more light in her life. We invited her to learn more with us about the gospel, and she accepted. We are going to visit her tonight.

The Lord knows His sheep. They are numbered by Him. God is always preparing ways for each one of His children to come unto salvation. Many times we have a critical role in God’s plan for the salvation of his children. We need to always be in tune with the spirit to know what He expects us to do.

A fé é tudo.
Elder Yost

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March 1, 2014 · 6:28 pm

O Copo do Mundo! 2.‏ 22.2014

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Boa Tarde!
It is 1:30 over here and about 80 degrees outside and Its the best time of the week when I get to talk to all of you back in the states!

I am sending you a photo of the latest marketing from Coca-Cola. They are little coke bottles that are driving EVERYBODY CRAZY. In order to get one, you need to grab 4 points from bottle caps on various coke products. Then you bring R$3,80 (US $1.58) to a trade center to get a randomized bottle. Coke has made it so that it isnt enough to buy the soda, you have to buy the collectable “minigarrafinhas” also! Missionaries are asking investigators and members for their coke lids. Everyone wants their set! We went to a trade center this morning and people are going crazy to complete their set, buying, selling, trading its taken over!
I was joking with Elder Wilde saying I just wanted one of Brazil, but now we are probably going to the trade center every p-day until its over! LOL Coke owns Brazil!

We are getting ready because on Tuesday we are starting our Zone conferences and that will be a lot of of fun. We are also preparing for a really famous member of the Church is going to come to Juiz de Fora on wednesday to give a sermon. His name is Carlos Wizard Martins and he is the founder of the most sucessfull english schools here in Brazil. We have been spereading the word and there will be a Lot of people who will come to the church on wednesday just to hear him. I hope that we get some great references from this sermon! We have been going to the English Schools here in Juiz de Fora to spread the word and everyone looks at us so funny when we walk in. They bombard us with questions about the states and we feel like celebrities. Its pretty nice!

On another note, I have been seeing a lot of blessings for work that I did in other areas that I passed through. I got a call from an Elder and he told me that Alberone (an investigator that Elder Sales and I tought in Teresópolis) got baptized with his 2 children. Also Rafael (a recent convert that we baptized in Teresópolis) has baptized over 5 of his brothers and cousins since I got transfered out of there! Wendel and Celina are doing great too! They were reactivated by the sister missionaries in Leopoldina and on Sunday Wendel is coming to a preisthood meeting in Juiz de Fora. I am so happy to hear how the Lord knows His sheep and that they are counted in His eyes.

I have been reflecting a lot about how very little we do, in the big picture, as missionaries and members of the church. And yet the very little that we do after trying our best and maybe failing in the attempt of reaching some great goal. If it just a step in the right direction, the Lord will bless us hundred fold and we will know His almighty hand. The Lord has great blessings for those who seek to do His willl. He promises to all of us.

“for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”
I have felt His hand and know that His angels protect His children.

A fé é tudo!
Elder Yost

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