Bye Bye, Silvina

York Azevedo Brazilian Family

This week was my last week in Silvina in Sao Bernardo. Its definately a bitter-sweet departure. My ward here is incredible and we baptized a family here this week that I would really love to help progress in these upcoming weeks. But President’s change of my location is inspired so I’m certain the new missionary soon to arrive here will be an incredible help to Cicilia and her family. The story of how we found them was kind of cool…

Three weeks ago when my companion and I were walking to a lesson, my companion stopped to help a lady carry a heavy grocery bag. We found out as we walked to her house with her that she had spoken with the missionaries 3 years ago and that she really appreciated their message. Unfortunately, do to her drunk, abusive husband the missionaries 3 years ago got cold feet and after 6 weeks of teaching the family they left.
Howevery, Cicilia, the mother of the family, never forgot the message that those two elders taught her. Recently, Cicilia serarated from her husband and when we aided her to carry her bag that day she informed us that she was in the legal process with her lawyer of ending her marriage and that she was in search of a new life.
Over the following 2 weeks we helped her understand God’s love for each of her children and for her as well. She and her son Gustavo completed and lived every “compromisso” we gave them. One day while we were teaching them however, something scary, albeit a little bit funny happened: her 6 year old son jumped out of the window of their aparment during the lesson. (they live on the second floor so it was a 20 foot drop). Miraculously he was unhurt (except for bruises on his feet).
 This last week we prepared them for baptism but they both said they felt unready to be baptized because of past sin and sentiments of inadequacy. Up until the day of their baptisms they said they felt inadequate. But when the moment arrived to put on the white clothes and enter God’s fold arrived, they accepted the invitation and were baptized.
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My companion, my zone leaders and I baptised 8 people yesterday and thus I feel that my last week here was great (even if one of our baptisms had to be re-done 5 times because her foot kept coming up).
Anyway this week was solid. I’m looking forward to going to Biraja Piratininga (my new area), also part of Sao Paulo.
God speed and remember to give thanks for the things you have,
Elder West
Ps: the photos are some of the members in my ward in silvina that im leaving and also of the baptisms we had.

York Boy Silvina

 

York Silvina Ward

18 January 2016

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Lunchtime with members!

Hey everyone!

This week was really hard and annoying… that huge family we found heard some false information about the church and now they don’t want anything to do with us. It’s really frustrating but I know that my work will only do a part of the job. When it comes down to it they have to accept the truth as well.
This week I watched a 30 person street fight which was funny and interesting. And funnier still was the fact that probably 25 of the participants were 14 year old girls.
I also remembered that when I was at the hospital with another elder last week (for him not me–don’t worry!), the doctor dropped the tool he was probing the Elder’s mouth with on the floor. Immediately afterward he picked it up and said in portuguese the equivalent of “5 second rule” and kept using the tool to probe the elder’s mouth. lol gross.
Also I sing a lot of opera in my house because I can and it’s free.
This week we did actually have 1 baptism, though. which was cool. A woman got baptised after we tought her the plan of salvation. She said she loved the enphasis on family in Mormonism. Also this upcoming week I have a worldwide broadcast I have to attend which is fun. Also I bought a can of water chestnuts and ate them raw… it was awesome.
I found hazelnut Kit-Kats and I found a Cadbury egg here as well. I bought both even though I dont like Cadbury eggs. It was like re-living family Easter.  Also I’ve learned about 6 or seven Adele songs on the piano on the piano over the past 3 months by chiping away figuring them out on the church piano every p-day (don’t worry, they’re her old songs!) I’m also learning some hymns too.
Anyway I know this weeks report isnt very substantive or fullfilling.
But thats ok, Godspeed and have an incredible day!!
York west

11 January 2016

York Julio Baptism

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This week was really lucky, we found a family of 27 (At least I think its 27, maybe 26) people and all of them want to be baptised. only 22 of them are more than 8 years old. We have 8 of them planning on being baptized this upcoming week.

I made a bet with Elder B. in my zone that I can gain more muscle this transfer than he can lose fat (I’m trying to help him lose some weight) so that should be interesting. Today were going to weigh ourselves so we can start it all tomorrow.
Anyway I’m doing well here in brazil and I feel like im making a difference.
Godspeed and love,
York

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4 January 2016

York sao bernardo

This week I partook of my first New Year’s Day in Brazil. I ended up staying at the Zone Leader’s house for the night which was cool because they have a “barbacue.” I feel the quotations neccesary because -in my book- a sawed-in-half oil drum really doesn’t count as a grill. Needless to say, the 5 kilograms of steak that we cooked that night were truly horrible.

The Zone Leader’s house is situated in between two cities so I got to watch to fire work shows instead of one, each of which lasted for 30 minutes; unfortunately, the shows were monumetally disorganized; Probably ten times I thought “Oh that was kind of a lame finalé… but whatever, I guess I can do without a big blitzing finish to christen my New Year” only to have the fireworks start up again 20 seconds later. That being said, It turned out to be a decent Felize ano novo.
We had 2 more baptisms this week as well which is unfortunatly a slugglish start to my 20 baptisms-this-month goal, but I’m always looking toward the future and thanking god for the blessing of participation in the first steps toward salvation of those two souls.
Anyway, other than that this week was relatively unneccptional.
Have a Great new year and Godspeed!!
Elder West (enhaver, its optional here since nobody can pronounce it)

28 December 2015

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This week was Christmas!! Christmas down here is a little different. Christmas day itself is nothing special down here because everyone opens their presents on Christmas Eve at 12 am. All the kids stay up and there’s fire works and all that jazz.

I spoke with my parents and the fam so that was cool. I got a manicure kit from some members and some mint scented aftershave to use as well. My parents sent me some candy from America and a book about the New Testiment as well so that was nice. I spent Christmas Eve with some members who gave us tons of food and dessert so in that aspect my day was somewhat like normal.
I really have only one complaint: here in Brazil the fireworks are awful. Instead of seeing a tapestry in the sky of beautiful colors, you here the deafening explosions of what appear to be small balls of dynamite. I cant for the life of anyone understand why the country allows them or why anyone would use them, considering that those using them are often the closest to the deafening explosions.
But upon observation I´ve realized that the only ones throwing and discharging these little jump-scaring atrocities are 17 and 16 teen year old teenage boys… I guess it actually makes sense why they exist.
Anyway, As always best of wishes and godspeed back in states
Have a happy new year!!
Elder West

7 Dec. 2015

york and Elder az
(with my new companion, Elder A.)
Good day everyone! This week:
-I worked hard
– I had my palm read by a family of 22 people, all of which had gold teeth (Aparently my palms says I am going to be rich, Im not sure where)
– I decorated for christmas
– ate 12 different kinds of fruit
– got a new companion (Elder Azevedo)
– I talked to (wasnt my choice, he started talking to me) an ULTRA drunk terrorist/gang member who theoretically help murder some US ambassadors in a different country. (Im not sure a believe him)
– I created a mop out of a squeegee
– I found keifer sutherland from the show 24 in my church preach my gospel book (picture below)
– I found MRI scan sheets in my room under my bed
– and I worked hard.
– I ate pizza 3 times
– I recieved a package for christmas and opened its contents.
– I ate pizza with the president because I met the “Gold Standard” of work on our mission.
– I drank tererè for the first time.
– And I cleaned my entire house and
– Oh yeah, And I worked Incredibly hard!!
Have a great week!!
Elder WestKiefer on mission

23 November 2015

This week we met with the president of our area, Elder Costas. It was strange when I first met him becuase I recoginized him from General Conference. He’s spoken there a few times actually. He’s currently the most senior member of the Quorum of the Seventy so if he becomes an Apostle sometime I wouldnt be surprised.

He set our goals even higher and spoke of 2 missionaries 20 years ago here in Brazil who baptised 38 people in one sunday when he was their mission president!! So now of course I’ll have to top that…
Brazil’s begun to mint new currency centered around the olympics here and everywhere you can see advertisements of the olympics. It seems that every single business here is a certified sponser as well so every single reciept I recieve here has the 5 rings on it along with an open invitation to “come with us to the olympics.” Needless to say, because of my undying love for the olympics, this influx of propaganda is killing me!
This week we baptised an incredibly smart 10 year old named Pedro. He’s incredible and during our lessons spoke of how he knows he will always stay active in the church and how he wants to be married in the temple when he mades his wife. He’s awesome.
This week I learned how to use the photo effects on my camera and with a little free time when my companion was sick I crated I tie from the jeans that I tore at the CTM. And not to brag but literally everyone at church was like “you made that!?” All thanks to some old american ingenuity.
Yorks Denim Tie
Anyway, this week was great and although we were working hard the hold time I had lots of fun doing to it.
Godspeed
Elder Westenhaver