Thursday, May 29, 2014

Novo Companheiro! (Letters from May 5th and May 12th)

Week of May 5th & May 12th

Oi Família!

1st off, Happy Birthday, Garrett! I know your birthday is tomorrow, but I didnt wanna forget. 17?? 
Que maravilhoso! 

This week and this transfer flew by. Elder Dallastra got transfered to another area pretty far from here, 
and I´m now with Elder Marcondes! He´s from São Paulo and already I know he´s super legit. I had 
splits with him a couple times my 1st transfer here, and he´s an awesome missionary. Very excited that 
I have a companion that will definitely continue to help the work here. This last week we found more 
people to teach, and 2 couples who are legally married! (This is a very rare thing here)

We didnt have any baptisms last transfer, but the Lord instead gave us a bunch of people to teach. 
I found this type of answer happen a lot in my mission, how he Lord will instead of just fixing 
our problems, will give us the tools or the things we need to fix our problems. When I was 
praying to improve my teaching and finding skills, we recieved a special training from the 
assistants on a new technique on finding and how to enter in houses. I learned from this 
that the Lord expects us to work.

The same principle is applied many times throughout the scriptures. When Nephi is commanded to build
a ship. Build a ship. Not use the ship that the Lord gave them out of thin air, but BUILD a ship. How
different would the story of the Brother of Jared be if the Lord had just given them everything they
needed without the need to think and work? There would be no story. So when we were praying that we
would have baptisms, the Lord gave us people to work with so we could have the baptisms. These things
I´m saying arent profound or unheard of in any way, but these are things that are so easy to forget!
Often times, our prayers are ``Lord, give me a miracle´´, but without challenges, there would be no miracles. 

The weather here warmed up a lot. Its pretty much the equivilent to November, but man its been hot
these past couple days. I´m enjoying every day I have with the sun. Once winter hits, its gonna be pretty
difficult. But ah, tudo bem. 

Im sad that Elder Dallastra is gone. He knew how to cook, cut hair, and make chocolate. I will miss all 
of these things, but I know this time I have now is going to be an excellent time to grow and really help 
this area. If this transfer is anything like last transfer, time literally won´t exist and I´m gonna find myself 
in another area with a new companion before I can think about it. I´m just gonna work and we´ll see what 
happens from there.

I love you all! A special thank you goes to Grandma for sending me letters. My goodness they help a bunch.
Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers. 
Elder Stallings

Hello Family!

Wow, it feels like I just talked with you all yesterday! I think that was the worst joke I´ve made in my
life, so I´m sorry you had to endure through that. But wow, skype was crazy awesome. It felt so
normal to be talking with all of you. Seeing the house and all the little things about our family made
me a little trunky, but we´re back to working. Definitely the best thing you can do to get rid of home sick
feelings. I have to say, It was pretty funny and weird to be speaking English. I felt like I was talking so
slow and my phrases didnt make sense. It was a mess, but awesome at the same time.

I think this letter is going to be a bit on the short side, but know that things here in São Marcos are definitely moving. Elder Marcondes is a monster with this work. He is definitely someone I´m learning a lot of good from in so many forms. Both of us have the equal desire to work and be obedient, and that is such a blessing alone. He knows how to teach with authority, as well as the spirit. He also showed me that there are hundreds of orange trees here in São Marcos. Sometimes they taste like war heads. Other times they have a bitter and horrible taste that I didnt even know they could have. But its so great when we actually find an orange or tangerine thats ready to be eaten. This is literally missionary work in a nutshell. You´ll spend entire days finding people who are extremely bitter with things and people who are definitely
not prepared for the gospel in their lives. But when we find just 1 who´s ready my goodness its the
greatest thing in the world. I really want to help this area, and I have confidence that we, through the
Lord and his spirit, will be able to do incredible things here. Seriously, this companhionship has got me
really motivated. The blessings are real.

Even though I miss you all a lot, I was reminded yesterday that I very well could be at the house
and not serving a mission here in Brazil. It hurt to think about that, and for this I know I´m supposed
to be here. No matter how weak I think I am, the Lord always has a way of lifting us up and helping us
become strong. This gosepl is true. If it isnt, there isnt a true church on this earth. I have such an
incredible opportunity right now to serve our Lord. This is His work.

I love you all so much! You are an incredible family to have. Your support and love mean everything to me.
Elder Stallings

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