Monday, January 20, 2014

Speaking Portuguese is Paying Off

Oi Familia! 
So today is 2 months of being on a mission. Woah. It's so weird how time is going by. 2 months doesn't seem like that much, but it really is insane how fast this is already going. This week went by extra fast! 

We taught 50 lessons this week. It's kind of a new record for us. A lot of it came from street contacting, and it's so awesome. I thought of this really cool way to get us more lessons and practice portuguese. So basically when we see someone, Elder Young starts talking with them, and then I compliment them on something in Portuguese. They usually look at me funny, and that's when Elder Young explains that I'm speaking Portuguese because I'm going to Brazil soon. Then he asks if it would be okay if I could 'practice' sharing my testimony with them and he'll translate. The funny part is is that he can't understand what I'm saying either, so most of the time he trys his best to figure out what I'm saying and if he can't, he makes up his own sentence of doctrine to tell the person. It get's really funny sometimes how differen't of sentences he says haha. I almost burst out laughing sometimes when I say a long sentence in Portuguese like "I know that Jesus Christ will bless you in your life and that he is our savior" to which he would just stare at me and then says something like "My companion says that going to church will help you". But the technique is so great, because the people are very interested in hearing the portuguese and then at the same time, we get good doctrine in to invite the spirit. We actually ran into a man yesterday, Raul who spoke a little bit of portuguese. I shared my testimony as well as other thoughts I had about the church with him. He was almost like a completely different person from the time that I first started talking with him to end of conversation. His demeanor had changed and you could tell he was very uplifted. He said my Portuguese was great and that he loved the way I spoke of Jesus Christ. So this technique is proving to be very successful. 

Man, this ward is so great. There's a returned missionary who just got back from Londrina, Brazil who was visiting for the weekend from BYU Provo. His name is Mitch Childs, and he came out tracting/teaching with us. He is still on fire and such a help, not only in the missionary work but in helping with Portuguese. He said that during the time I have language study that I should call him, and he'll help me with Portuguese. I'm so happy with that, and I know I'll be able to learn a lot with him. 

We taught a lesson yesterday to a young lady named Janna. She had been to seminary as a kid because she had an LDS friends. We ran into her on the street and she agreed to talk with us later, but that she knew about the church and wasn't sure. We ended up having a very spiritual experience with her, and we were able to clear up all of her little doubts and misconceptions about the church. After we did that, she was all ears and we were able to set a baptismal date [goal] with her. She was someone who I really wasn't sure if teaching was going to work or not, but the spirit was able to do it's thing and we were able to have a successful 1st visit. Very excited to continue teaching her.

I was asked to give a talk on sunday (yesterday) last minute on Helaman 5:12. I saw it as an opportunity for the ward to get to know me, and it turned out okay. A lot of people said I did a great job and that they were happy to have me here. Some one even asked what scriptures I used because she wanted to write them down for later. (D&C 19:23-24 are what I used) That kind of blew my mind that someone would take notes from my talk. This time I have in Reno is very uplifting and full of spiritual growth.

Sorry I haven't been able to get too many pictures this week. Just been very busy. I'll try to get some this week to send back. Reno is so cool. I'm very happy to be serving the Lord. Thank you for your prayers! It's clear that the Lord is helping so much with his work. I love you all! Ate Mais!
Love,
Elder Stallings

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