The higher our goals in life, the more success we will have in the end

August 31, 2015

So this week 31 missionaries left the field and only 7 arrived. 28 went home and 3 went to the mission home to be trained as secretaries. So our zone and another zone were put together to form a mega zona haha. So now our zone went from 14 missionaries to 27 missionaries!. So my new companion is Elder Freeman. And he’s going home in 4 weeks. So that means I’ll be sending another one home! So I’ll still have 2 more companions!  He’s going home early to see his brother’s wedding or something like that. Anyways, the zone leaders area here was whitewashed and will now be a district leader area so I’m being transferred to Tancredo Neves which is pretty close by. (Hopefully the house is better haha) So I’m pretty excited to be able to get to know a new area. Elder Freeman as well is being transferred there so we’ll have to get to know the area together. 

So last week we started an activity in the area going to member’s houses with our bishop’s counselor and asking them if we could teach their neighbors and such, and we got to know a couple last week, A and F. We taught them for the first time and told them about the importance of having faith in Jesus Christ and following Him (using Ether 12). F said he really needed to follow God and do what’s right. 2 weeks later after lots of ups and downs they were baptized. F will be a great help in the church. He already went on visits with us before his baptism testifying to everyone about the truthfulness of the church and saying how he was going to be baptized Sunday. Usually we don’t think about taking investigators with us to go on visits or splits (I don’t know what it’s called anymore haha), but he really helped bring the Spirit and help other investigators. So I’ll send the pictures of their baptism. 

So yesterday I was sleeping in another house because Elder Vasquez went to the mission home yesterday so I was in a trio with our district leader. We were talking a little bit this morning about how sometimes people set low goals so that they can feel better about themselves knowing that they will reach their goal. For example, a companionship that sets a goal to baptize 4 people in 6 weeks maybe will reach their goal, and if they do they will be excited that they reached their predetermined amount of success. Perhaps they didn’t want to set a goal to baptize 30 people because they were afraid they would fail. However, if the companionship had set a goal of 30 and only baptized 15, they would have baptized 3 times as many people. The goal has to be high, because it’s the performance and outcome that matter, not just the satisfaction of reaching a humble achievable goal. The higher our goals in life, the harder we will work to get there, and the more success we will have in the end. 

I hope you guys have a good week! Sounds like Cole is busy with school and Dad’s having lots of work to do these days. Hope all is well! Now I will be a little bit further from the airport so that’s good, haha. Hope you guys have a good week! Love you guys!

-Elder Udy

We live in Aerolandia: "Land of the Airport and Airplanes"

August 24, 2015

Sounds like you guys had a busy week. We did as well. I’m sure Grandpa and the rest of the family must be sad, but it’s the trials that bring us closer to God in the end. I sure miss everyone. Everyone in the family looks so old and different now.  


We found some families this week that went to church and have baptismal dates. Its really sad to see someone pass away, but when we see a family coming to know and live the gospel it brings so much happiness because you know, and they know, that they will be able to be together forever if they remain faithful. The Joy is incomparable as you see this change that happens in a family that you’ve known for just 2 or 3 weeks, that could affect generations of families; kids and grandkids, just like our family. 
Elder Vasquez is getting kind of trunky because he only has 1 more week and we live in Aerolandia that translated means "Air Land"or "Land of the Airport and Airplanes" haha. So the planes are always passing by real close. However, we’re still working and giving it all we got. 

We made this for lunch one day
This week I got to thinking a little about the scripture in D&C 4:7 and Matthew 7:7 that says “ask and it shall be given, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” This promise is repeated so many times in the scriptures and yet sometimes we ask for things and we don’t receive them, so I started to think about it. I found another scripture in D&C 8:9 (I think) that says we can ask for knowledge on what to do in any circumstance and God will let us know. So instead of asking for free blessings without exercising my faith and works, I decided to ask the Lord exactly what I needed to do to be able to find people who want to be baptized in the next week, and then write down the revelations. As I sincerely asked Him, ideas and thoughts came to my mind about what I needed to do. As they came, I wrote them down knowing that if I followed these revelations I would be able to baptize people in the following week. Well we didn’t end up having as many people to baptize for this coming Sunday that I had hoped for because I didn’t follow exactly what the Lord revealed to me. However, we did have 7 people at church and 5 of them have a baptismal date for this Sunday, and we baptized 2 people Sunday, M and his son, and soon his wife will be baptized too. I didn’t follow exactly as the Lord instructed me. If I had, we would have been more blessed, but I did give an honest and conscious effort and the Lord blessed us for it.

So maybe when you come we can go see the sights of Ceara like Jericoacoara and after see the sights of the Amazons, but I don’t really know what they have there to see, so you guys can decide or we can go to Iguazu or Rio. What looks the best to you guys works for me :) 
I hope you guys have a great week!  Love you guys!
-Elder Udy

Life's like taking an 80 year long test

August 17, 2015
Our Zone

Ever since last p-day I had the thought that Grandma was going to pass away this week. It must be hard for Grandpa to not have her around anymore, but the separation is only temporary. In the spirit world life must be far more happy and with much less stress. Just think, life’s like taking an 80 year long test. I feel really relieved after just 3 hours in the BYU testing center, imagine how we must feel after 80 years! I’ll miss her, but in a few short years we´ll see her again.

Sounds like Cole really had it rough at home this week haha. I wish I had someone to buy me Tru-moo. Without my debit card from the "estates" life is sometimes rough, haha. I didn’t even use it very much before it expired, but here in the area we are using lots of busses and that means we have less money for food. However, just as our money was running out and our food as well haha (our lunch appointment fell through one day and we had to eat everything that was left in our house haha) a member gave us 50 reais for lunch on Thursday. We then told her that we didn’t need the money because on Thursday we are going to have a leadership council with a seventy (#hype). But then she told us to keep the money and use it to buy something some other time. The Lord really does take care of us. 

Tell Cole to get the breakfast ready so he can serve me too in about 8 weeks :) haha. Elder Vasquez is getting near the end, but we´re still giving our all. This week there was a lady that was going to get baptized in the Aldeota Ward... which is the richest ward in Fortaleza I think. (You should see the cars they have in their parking lot during sacrament meeting!) but anyways... when she was interviewed for baptism by the district leader she almost passed, but in the end she didn’t want to commit herself to go to church and endure to the end. So Sunday morning during their ward we went over there to interview her and it turns out that she wants to go to church she just doesn’t know where the church is in her state where she lives half the time. But we planned so the sisters would help her know where it is and then she said that she would always go. So after the interview, there was only 1 hour and 30 minutes until the baptism, and the font takes 3 hours to fill up. So we grabbed the buckets from the closet and started to fill the font with a bunch of members. It was great to see everyone excited for the baptism that the ward was going to have, because generally this ward doesn’t have many baptisms, but thanks to the hard working sisters the ward gained one more member and a lot of unity. 

I can’t believe that Marshall is already home! I must really be getting close to the end #tranqueza haha. It'll be great to see him again.
So anyways, that’s about all I got. Don’t forget to invite 10 people to church this week :) you never know, maybe you’ll be the difference for someone getting baptized, and they’ll love you forever for it. Love you guys and have a great week!! 

Élder Udy 

Steadfast and Immovable

August 10, 2015

Bom dia! Sounds like a crazy week. I ate eggs this morning, and I was thinking about Grandma’s eggs that were always so good, but it’s tough to try and make them in Brazil because the cheese here is different and it’s not the same taste. I’ll remember to keep praying for you guys.

So the other day our bishop told us that our lunch appointment wasn’t going to work out so we could just pass by the restaurant to eat there and he would pay the lady afterwards. So we went to the restaurant that is like a buffet, but you only get one plate, and you just put as much food on the plate as you can. So of course we loaded our plates and just as we were finishing our meal we got a phone call from one of the members saying that they were waiting for us to eat with them. We had just eaten a mountain of food and now we had another lunch. So Elder Vasquez being the good person that he is told them that we would be right over, haha, but we could hardly manage to walk, let alone eat anything. Good thing the house was 45 minutes away, it gave us time to digest a little bit, and when we got there it was rough because the members always want us to eat more, except we weren’t really able to eat at all. So we put just a little rice and beans and chicken on the plate at a time and we kept putting a little more and little more making it look like we were going for seconds and thirds so no one really noticed, but I think if I had eaten one more spoon full of rice I would have thrown up, haha. 

So this week at church just about all the members decided to not go. I don’t remember if I told you guys or not but for about 6 weeks we are going to a different church building because ours is being remodeled, and we are meeting 3 o’clock - 6 o’clock in another neighborhood. And the number of people that the ward has in sacrament meeting has been cut in half since it was moved to the new building. So after church we went to visit some recent convert families that usually always go to church but didn’t this week and some last week as well. I began to think a lot about what’s written in Mosiah 5:15 Especially the beginning that talks about being firm and unmovable (at least I think that’s what it says in English) When I think about someone firm and immovable I think about Captain Moroni when Alma left the church in the hands of Helaman and his brothers. In Alma 46 it talks about how Captain Moroni reacted when he discovered that Amalickiah was turing everyone less active. He was firm and unmovable, and made others act the same way. And we as members should be like him as well, firm and immovable.

Also this week we were having some difficulties finding people to teach. So we searched and taught and searched, and we weren’t able to find anyone that said they would go to church with us and would read the Book of Mormon. I was getting frustrated a little bit and becoming less believing that we would be able to find people to baptize in the next week. There’s a principle in Ether 12:30 that I read this week, the last phrase says "wherefore thou workest after men have faith" which was exactly what I need this week. Elder Vasquez and I need to show our faith to the Lord, not just asking but acting. So as we continued we found a man that was standing on the side of the road who has a family of 5. We taught him the next day and the day after his 2 daughters and on Sunday he went to church with his son, and him and his son are going to be baptized this week, and the rest of the family is going to go to church this Sunday. The Lord really does hear our prayers and acts according to our faith. 

So I don’t have much more time but I hope all goes well in the good 'ol states. Have a good week and don’t forget to read lots in the scriptures. Love you guys! 

-Elder Udy

The Spirit teaches people what words can't teach

August 3, 2015

Sounds like there’s lots going on in the good ol states! I don’t have much time to write this week. I can’t believe Cole’s growing up! (working at Nike) Sounds like Dad’s having quite the adventure. If you don’t want to sell his car, you could just give it to me :) This week we went to the secretaries’ area to work with them last Monday night. They only go proselyting at night because of their secretary stuff they need to do. But their area is pretty cool, so I sent some pictures of me and Elder Vasquez on their balcony. 

I received some birthday emails this week, so that was exciting. I think on the mission we get used to being forgotten, so it was nice to get some emails. O and I got your letter this week! So that was nice as well :)

Mission Leadership

This week I don’t have much time to type because we’re trying to find some church videos to show in our zone training meeting this week. However I’ll write about one experience I had this week when I was interviewing a lady to be baptized. So we had the interview in the bishop’s room.. I forget the name of the room in English but anyways it was there. And she started to talk about how she didn’t have a certainty that she should be baptized. I told her to tell me about her doubts and she started talking and talking, and as she talked all the answers came perfectly to my mind. I think its’ mostly because we were in the bishop’s room. It’s a very sacred place. As I testified to her I felt the power of God, and she said she entered with doubts and left with certainty. The Bishop’s room is really sacred. The Spirit really is present there and teaches people what words can’t teach. 

I hope Grandma gets better soon. It must be a lot of stress for Grandpa, but one day we will all have a perfect body. Hope everyone is doing well. Love you guys! Have a great week!!!
Élder Udy

He heard us and answered because of our faith in Him

July 27, 2015

This week the Lord blessed us a lot and we baptized 5 people.

 And also I’ve bought terere to remember Jackson, it’s actually really good if you put lemonade in it instead of water, so that’s what I’ve been doing and I feel like a true Brazilian, even though no one in Fortaleza drinks terere and most of the people don’t even know what it is, haha. 

So this week was lots of work but it paid off. Here in my new area we have a huuuggee ward, and we are also right next to the airport haha. But to get to some of the lunches we have to walk 50ish minutes and then to get back to the neighborhood where we work it’s 50 minutes again. It’s really big. Well at least it’s really big for me because I’m used to small areas, so we’re pretty poor these days because sometimes we have to use the bus because there’s just not enough time to walk, haha. 

So this week we started our week planning our goals and what we wanted to accomplish in the week, then we presented our goals to God and told him what we would like Him to do for us (which was prepare 3 people to be baptized next week). We then promised Him that we would do our part (our goals... lessons taught and new investigators found).. so as the week went on we couldn’t seem to manage to enter in anyone’s house to teach. Everyone was rejecting us, which is pretty rare because we are in Fortaleza and here everyone likes to hear "the word of God". So we had a goal to find 15 new investigators and it was Friday night and we had only found 4. We had promised God that we would find 15 so we continued searching diligently. About 8 o’clock on Friday night we contacted a lady that was friendly and told us we could go to her house to teach her family. When we arrived there was a family of 6, 5 of which were at least 8 years old and thus we found 5 new investigators in the last minutes of our day on Friday. Saturday came around and the same thing happened again only now we needed to find 6 new investigators in order to fulfill our promise to God and we had to interview someone for the other elders in our zone at the church at 6 o’clock and we still hadn’t found any new investigators, so we got back to the area about 7:20. We started to contact some people and look for our 6 new investigators. We found a couple that accepted us well and we taught them in about 20 minutes to have time to find other new investigators in order that we could keep our promise that we made to God. We finished the lesson which went very well and went to a man’s house that we had contacted earlier that week. We still needed 4 new investigators. When we got there, he invited us in right away. We started to small talk with him a little and then asked if his family wanted to sit down with us as well. He said no (of course), as almost all people do haha, so then we asked if we could invite them. We went over and invited everyone that was sitting inside the house watching tv and what naught. They told us to enter and sit down on the sofa. All of a sudden there were 8 people in the room sitting down to hear what we had to say! In the last minutes of Saturday night God helped us find the new investigators!

So then we started to wait for these 3 people that we had asked God to help us find that would be baptized the next week. We had been inviting everyone to be baptized in the next week but almost all of the new investigators (I think all but 1) were unmarried couples, so they would only be able to be baptized after getting married which usually takes 3-4 weeks. So after meeting all of our goals, we were confident that the Lord would bless us according to our promise.

Sunday morning came around, we had planned on visiting a couple that had been going to church for a while but never had accepted to be baptized. They always loved the missionaries though. We went to teach them and with confidence in the promise we had made with the Lord told them that they would be prepared to be baptized this week. They didn’t accept with certainty but they said they would prepare themselves praying to know if they should be baptized this week and that when they know they will follow.
And the third person that God prepared for us to baptize... one of the ladies that was baptized this week called us Sunday afternoon because she was having a lot of stomach pain and said she wouldn’t be able to go to church or her baptism on that day. Elder Vasquez looked at me for a second and said to her, all right I’ll call you back in 2 minutes. And when he hung up the phone the Bishop’s counselor came over to us and said what is it? By the way this member of the bishopric (é o CARA). Elder Vasquez told him that she was sick and couldn’t get up off the bed. This member said, no way, so let’s go get her and give her a blessing because she IS GOING TO BE BAPTIZED TODAY. So he went over and borrowed the keys to someone’s car and went with us to this investigator’s house. When we got there we said that she would be better and that today was her baptism. The confidence that she felt in us that she would be better and baptized made her get up and we told her about blessings and she said that she had already received one in the past. We blessed her that she would be better and would be able to be baptized and she got up and got ready and came with us to church.... so here’s the part where the 3rd person that the Lord was preparing for us comes in. As we were waiting outside for the investigator to get ready a lady passed by and said, Lei’s baptism is today isn’t it? And the member that was with us said, yes, do you want to go? Go get ready and we’ll wait here, and she said you’ll wait?? And the member said, of course! So we waited and she came to church with us, and she loved it. She came out of nowhere and the Lord made it possible that through this ride that we gave to the investigator going to her house and through the invitation to go to church with us from the member, we had one more person at church that God will prepare to be baptized. He heard our prayers and did His part because we did ours. We set goals that were difficult for us and acted with faith. We asked the Lord specifically what we wanted and he heard us and answered because of our faith that was in Him. It was a miracle that she was at church. God heard us and answered. 

So that’s about all I got time to write this week, I also had to give a talk for 30 minutes and was given the topic about an hour and a half before church, haha but it went well. Hope you guys have a good week!  Love you guys!
-Elder Udy