God is aware of all the prayers of His children

May 25, 2015

I can’t believe Jackson and May have been married for a year already??? It seems like they just got married the other day. Sounds exciting. Elder Moroni is 2 weeks from going home. He’s all worried about who he’s going to marry haha.

Sounds like the missionaries in Slippery Rock found a family! Parabéns! Here we had a baptism this week. Her name is "B" and she has a 2 year old daughter. It was great at the baptism because a lot of people came to participate and the young single adults sang a special musical number and made cake.

Also, this week I remember one night I was praying and asking what we should do to find more families and men to teach, and I don’t really remember at what point, but while I was praying it came to my mind a part of our area that we hadn’t been working that much, and we had some time the next day without any set appointments, so the next day I planned with my companion and we decided to go to that part of the area to talk to all the people in the road and try to find some "elects". Still not realizing that that had been the answer to my prayer, we went to that part of the area and started talking to everyone. It seemed like everyone we talked to was either drunk, getting ready to get drunk, or uninterested. On our way back from this part of the area to another appointment, we entered into this little shortcut alleyway. I don’t remember why we entered there because usually we don’t, but this time we did without really thinking. While we were walking, we saw a man that was sitting in his doorway in silence. As missionaries do, we decided to talk to him. After talking for a few moments we asked if we could enter to teach him about the gospel and he let us in with great pleasure. He started to tell us about how he had been in his doorway thinking about God and how he needed help because he was without a job and had 5 kids and a wife and he had been feeling that he needed to be more obedient to God. As he talked to us he started to cry and looked up at us and said, you guys are the answer to my prayer, and when he said that I thought to myself, "and you are the answer to mine."

It’s amazing how God is aware of all the prayers of his children and how he wants to help us all. Last week I told about the experience of when I didn’t follow the Spirit, and this week I could see how God guides us through the Spirit. 
Have a good week! Love you guys, talk to you next week.

-Elder Udy

I learned the importance of following the promptings of the Spirit

May 18, 2015

        Nothin like some pictures from good ol´Slippery Rock. Looks exciting to have some new neighbors.
        This week in church in the Elders Quorum we read a story about some guy.. I don’t’ remember who it was, that handed out .. I think it was 40 Books of Mormon to people on his street, and then he continued and started handing out more to other people. He said the result was amazing that because of all the books he handed out 7 people were baptized soon after, and more time down the road some people that had set the book aside initially, had picked it up again to read and felt the Spirit that comes from reading it and were baptized and later thanked this faithful member. I thought it was interesting how simple it can be to make such a big difference in the lives of others.
        Today Elder Moroni and I were sitting in the Super Market eating lunch thinking about all the people that were around us, and what will be the destination of their souls in 2000 or so years. No one really knows until judgment. But while I thought about the salvation of these people, I felt the desire increase inside of me to share with the people what we have, and what we know. I believe that the process must be the same for members as well. When we think about those around us in an eternal perspective, we have more desire to share the restored gospel with them, especially our closest friends.  We help our friends with worldly cares and desires and want to make their lives more joyful, so why would we not help them with their eternal salvation and make their eternity more joyful?
        This week we decided that we would increase our number of contacts each day and we started talking to everybody, and we found some great new investigators. We found a 19 year old girl who has a 2-year old daughter. We taught her for the first time Tuesday, and when we returned on Thursday we marked her baptism for the 30th and she said "I’ve already had some people asking me if I’m going to be Mormon. I told them that I am going to go to church and if all goes well, I’ll continue going always." And soon after she accepted the baptismal date for the 30th. So we told her that she will be prepared for baptism by reading the Book of Mormon every day and praying everyday and going to church every Sunday, and receiving our visits.
        So after church yesterday we went to visit her and we talked about how she felt at church. She said that she felt so good and happy while she was there. She said she tried hard to listen and to understand everything. So after she said how she had received a testimony that the church is true, we read Luke 5:1-11 with here about how the apostles left their old lives to follow Jesus after they had received testimonies. We then invited her to be baptized this week promising her that using her faith she could be prepared by Sunday. And she accepted!  
        It really feels good to help someone exercise their faith to follow Jesus Christ and see how when they keep little commitments like reading the Book of Mormon every night and saying heartfelt prayers and going to church, they really do start to feel the power of the Holy Ghost, that gives them a testimony of the truth. 
        This week I learned about the importance of following the promptings we feel from the Spirit as we ask God in prayer for advice and answers. About 5 or 6 weeks ago when we started to teach one of our investigators, I remember one night I was praying asking what we could do to help her feel ready to be baptized in the next week. I remember that I felt an impression to give her a Liahona (Ensign magazine) that has a bunch of pictures of the temple and talks about temples, and teach her about temple marriage (she’s 21). However, for some reason, probably because it was something kind of different to talk about in the second visit, I ended up not following the prompting. Only this week did I find out that a few days before we visited her, maybe 1 week, she was having difficulty with a particular commandment, and when she went to church for the first time the first talk was a high priest that gave a great talk on keeping that particular commandment. She said that she felt touched during that talk. However, we didn’t even know that she was having a problem with that commandment. However, God knew, and he told me, I just didn’t listen until after. However, I believe if I had done what the Spirit told me to do that week, she would have been touched even more. It would have been proof to her that we represent Jesus and that the Spirit tells us what we need to say. I believe that if we had taught her the about that particular commandment and temple marriage in the first week, when the Spirit told me to, she would have been baptized already. I learned a strong lesson on the importance of trusting in God and in his Spirit. Even when we don’t want do something out of the ordinary, whatever the Spirit tells us to do, is the will of God and it should be done. 
        So this week was pretty eventful, I don’t really have much more time to write, but sounds like you guys had a good week too. Today for P-day we are going to go to the shirt store to make our zone shirts and maybe next week we´ll be able to get the hot water working in our house :)  Hope you have a good week! Love you guys.
Até mais!!

Élder Udy

We FEEL the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost

May 11, 2015

Oi, So I’m pretty excited to see what Cole gets on the AP History test. It’s possible that he will get a 4 or a 5.... but it’s also possible that he’ll get a 2.. or a 1 ;) haha, we´ll see what happens. It was great to see you guys on Sunday... but it’s always kinda weird for me because I never know what to say and it’s hard to converse normally in English. However, it’s good to just talk a little bit. Here everything is going great. My new companion, Elder Moroni, is great. One of my best companions. Even though he only has 4 weeks left on his mission, he still works as if he only had 1 year out. We’re making lots of changes in the area (finding new investigators) and we’re excited to help the rest of the zone. 
New board we put up to keep track of things in the Zone
This week we started a sanctifying process so we feel the Spirit more with us. We had a fast, and during this fast we wrote down all the things that we feel distance us from the Spirit. After the fast was over we made a commitment to not do any of the things on the list for 40 days.. or 35 in our case because the transfer is only 5 weeks. I’ve already seen a difference it makes in the lessons and in our lives. We feel closer to God and we feel the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We actually feel it all the time. I remember some missionaries saying that we as missionaries get accustomed to feeling the Spirit so much that we stop realizing it is always with us. However, when we make a conscious effort to stop doing any little thing that separates us from the Spirit, we FEEL the constant influence of the Holy Ghost. It’s not just a thing that accompanies us because we were ordained Elders. It is with us when we are worthy of His presence, and when we sanctify ourselves. His presence grows much, much stronger when we are worthy, and the Spirit makes all the difference in the work. 

I don’t really have much time today, but I will send some pictures to make up for that. I hope you guys have a great week and I hope Mother’s Day was good. Thanks for all the prayers!
Trying to fix our shower head

Horse leg in street

A present for Elder Vallo

Love you guys, 

Élder Udy

Elder D. Todd Christofferson came and it was "bom demais."

May 4, 2015

Sounds like Dad’s really enjoying the unemployed life. I’m sure he’s enjoying a computer in his office that has a screen 10 inches bigger than the TV he bought me for college ;) haha. I always thought it would be cool to have one of those giant Macs that you see at Best Buy. So we didn’t end up having the “Last Supper” for Elder Vallos because every one of our investigators or recent converts wanted to make dinner for us haha for his farewell. So yesterday and today I’m in a trio with Elder Benitez and Elder Alexander, however tomorrow my new companion will arrive, Elder Moroni. I lived with him in my first area. It’s been a while but we’re good friends. This will be his last transfer, and its only 5 weeks. 

So this week Elder D. Todd Christofferson came and it was "bom demais". 
Elder D Todd Christofferson & wife, Katherine
When you sit and listen to an apostle it’s like sitting and listening to Jesus Christ. He came with his wife and Elder Costa (from the 70) and his wife as well. I really liked what Elder Costa taught us about reaching our potential. He said that he often thinks about his heroes and examples in the Book of Mormon of the many missionaries that had so much success. He said he ponders often about why they had so much success, and he came to the conclusion that it was because they understood who they were (children of God). He then went on to read the end of Doctrine and Covenants 138 with us.. I think verse 55-58.. that talks about who we were in the pre-existence, and he
Elder Claudio Costa & wife, Margareth
told us that we are all included in that scripture that talks about the great and noble spirits that were prepared to teach the restored gospel in the last days. (for scripture reference click here) https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/138.55-56?lang=eng

Sister Chistofferson also spoke to us. What I remember the most was a story about Elder Christofferson’s mission. She said that while he was serving in Argentina, there was a new city that the mission president wanted to start the church in, so he took 4 of the best missionaries he had in the mission, obedient, diligent, knowledgeable, good missionaries, and sent them to work in that city to start the church. She went on to explain how they worked hard for about 3 weeks and they became worried because they were having no success whatsoever. With the lack of success, they decided to have a fast to discover what they were doing wrong, and what they needed to change. During the fast, while they were praying, they all received a strong impression that the work in that city was not going to progress until they started to love the people. And surely enough, when they received that prompting they made the changes necessary and the church began to grow.... It’s the same thing for us in our mission… if we start to actually love the people, they will feel a difference. And this week I began to think about who we are as missionaries and members of the church. As Elder Christofferson put it, we are saviors to these people, and I started to think about how important I am, or we are, to the eternal happiness of everyone that is in the road or walking past me or who I visit, because we were prepared since before the world was created, until moments before we were born, to bring our brothers and sisters into the Lord’s restored church.   

So the opportunity we had to see Elder Chrstofferson was great. This coming transfer will be the best one yet. Things are great here on the mission. You guys will love it here when you come to visit in....5 months! 0:   This week I’ll pass the 1 year and 6 month mark #4thQuarter I forwarded the email that our secretary sent me so hopefully that helps. Can’t wait to talk to you guys on Sunday. Have a good week! Love You guys.

-Elder Udy