Monday, March 31, 2014

Lots of Learning Experiences

First of all, sorry.  I have been trying to send pictures but not a lot is working.  I hope next week I can try 
a different computer and it will work better.  This new one doesn´t work, but the one that Elder Sanchez
is on seems to be working, so next week I will dibs that one.

So, first of all, this week on friday night we got a call that Elder de Pina and Elder Veiga were leaving. 
They got their visas!!!  Wahoo.  Brazil visas are super hard right now because of the world cup, but Elder 
de Pina is going to brasil this week and Elder Veiga next week.  Awesome for them, so now Elder 
Sanchez and I are actually serving together.

So there were lots of learning experiences this week.  Some things are getting better, and some things 
are still falling apart in the branch.  We are working super hard, and it is rather very much difficult to help 
these people learn to be strong.  There are a few people that do super good work, and I am super grateful
for them, but there are some people that have their hearts set on the world right now and need to change
some stuff. 

The church is finally opening here this week.  The contract said to open it on the 1st of January, and so
we are only 3 months late!  Man, it has been a long and painful wait.  I am hoping and praying and fasting
that it helps get a lot more success here, because with trying to save the branch, we haven´t had a 
baptism in like 5 weeks and stuff, and so life is a little rough, but at least we have baptisms frequently
here unlike other areas in the world that go the whole mission with only a few baptisms.  We have lots
of room to improve though.

So I have a testimony that God gives us what we ask for. At the beginning of the week I asked for hunger
for the scriptures, and now I can´t get enough.  All the free moments (lunch, morning, night) that I can 
find I just have to read Preach My Gospel or the Book of Mormon.  It is super awesome!  When you 
ask for something just, God gives it to you, every single time. Awesome.

This week we ended up walking a lot, but that was okay.  It is way better to not walk, because that 
wastes time, but there is no school for like 2 weeks right now so there are less cars on the road, 
which means it is harder to find one.  It is good though, because then we can talk and make plans 
about what we are going to do.

One thing that is super great is repentance.  We are working with lots of less actives, and then spirit
has been super strong in all of our letters recently, and we have been preaching repentance to the less 
actives and non actives. (actually though, there are very few that are 100% active).  There is a lot to do, 
and a lot to learn.

I have had to pray and read and pray and fast and pray to keep going hard all the time because it is like 
trying to swim through carmel here right now, but that´s okay, because God has a rope, so we just have
to grab on and everything will be all right.

Well, I hope everything is going well in the land of America. Be grateful for what you have, and let go of
the illusion of control.  Show up at conference with an inspired question that you receve through prayer
led by the Holy Ghost, and everything will go well!

Elder Sampson

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Old Weak

Hey Everyone, nice to talk to ya´ll again.

So this week was an adventure.

So on Friday we had weekly planning and Elder Sanchez and I had a 4 and a half hour planning session
where we figured out how to fix everything here, or the Lord told us how to do it.  So in the past, this area
is strong, then it crashes, then it is strong, then it crashes, etc...  so recently it crshed big time, and then
an Elder came in and baptized and opened a new zone, and that zone has been keeping everything alive,
but then things have been getting worse and worse, for example, of the 16 people from that zone that 
should be in church, only 3 showed up.  That is a problem.  The solution that we recieved was to stop
trying to cover up the problems with new members, and just fix the stuff that is already here.  We have
been using the parable in D&C 101 about the watchmen in the olive garden.  We are in the process
of solving the problems that this area has had for so long.  People are frustrated and tired and falling
away because they don´t have the same vision and are working for the short term and not the long term.  
We will win though.  

So this week Claudio was supposed to be baptized.  We wanted him to show up to church at least 
once here (because he was taught and everything in praia) but on sunday last week when he didn´t show
up we recieved revelation that the Lord still wanted him to be baptized on saturday.  We were working
with him to figure it out, so we went out to caibros where he lives and talked to him a bunch and worked
it out.  (Caibos is in the middle of nowhere but is super green and gorgeous).  We went out on thursday
for the interview, which went well, and then after we had to go to Riberao to do corelation meeting,
so we decided to try this path up in the mountains, so we hiked up like an hour over the mountain,
and then another hour down into Riberao, then no one was home, so we walked another hour down
Riberao because it is way up in the mountains, and then another hour from Cucoli all the way home.
4 hours of hiking, a lot in the dark.  It was good for our health though.  My feet turned black because of my socks and all the walking.  Haha.  It was great.

So Saturday morning we get a call saying Claudio doesn´t want to be baptized, so we try to get 
ahold of him, but his zone doesn´t have reception so we finally decided to go out to his zone, hoping
that he was there.  We got blessed with a car that took us all the way there, so it only took like 30
mins to get there, and he wasn´t there, but we waited then he showed up.  He had lots of righeous
desires that aren´t nessicaraly bad, but that where leading to problems of doubts about getting to
church and other worldly problems having to do with the fact that he hasn´t gotten paid yet so he
can´t pay for himself to get to church and stuff.  We talked for like 3.5 hours because the spirit kept
saying that we had to keep going.  I´m not going to lie, I was ready to stop and just give up, but the
spirit said no, so we kept going.  In the end, it happened sort of like Martin Harris who asked 4 tims
to show the manuscript to his family, and in the end, Claudio wasn´t prepared enough to take the
step of faith, so we left him for the next week, but then he didn´t show up in church, so I don´t know
what is going on.  We´ll see.  

So that is pretty much what happened this week.  It is not easy here right now for sure, but that
is okay becuase the Lord has a plan.
This weeks thought is about patience.  I read a great part of a talk that my dear Grandma Deana
sent me.  Fantastic.  As we choose to be more like Christ, we will realise that there isn´t a quick
fix for everything that in most things we have to have patience with ourselves and with others.

So, Have patience!!!

Elder Sampson
P.S. I tried attaching pictures, but they didn´t work.  Hopefully next week.  Sorry.

Monday, March 17, 2014


March 17, 2014

So this week was sweet.  Elder Sanchez and Elder Amador showed up.  I already knew elder amador, 
and elder sanchez, and they are good, but Elder Amador already left and he will be replaced by an other
Mini that has a calling for realz.  

Elder Sanchez is almost dead in the mission and he is from West Jordan.  I am a little bit tired of 
having comps from Utah, but what can you do?  It´s not like I get to choose.

So this week we walked around showing Elder Sanchez all of his investigators and stuff, and where 
everything is, and then on wednesday, we got a call.  We were planning on going to Mindelo on Friday
morning for our interviews with President Oliveira, but we were told that they were going to happen 
Thursday morning instead, so we went almost imidiately to the boat, and then stayed for a day, 
stayed for a day in Porto Novo the next day for district meeting and then finally got home two and
 a half days later.

Interviews with President Oliveira were Fantastic.  He is truely a man called of God.  The Lord and the 
Spirit have so much power when we let them work within us.  

I had an experience coming back where I was in a Haice (car sort of thing), and was sitting next to 
a man.  The spirit told me to talk to him and to share the gospel, so I started to talk, and he signaled
that he couldn´t hear.  Well, that was easy.  I tried.  Then the spirit said to share the Gospel with him.  
And so after praying a bit, and getting the courage to try again, I signaled to my journal asking if he 
knew how to read so we could talk a bit, and he signaled no.  Well, I tried.  That was all.  Then... 
The spirit said again so share the gospel with him.  Well, I didn´t know what to do, but I started 
praying, and came across an idea to finally give him a pass along card with a picture of Christ by 
the nephites.  I did so, and he pointed to the sky, showing he knew of the divinity of Christ, and the 
spirit testified of my knowledge that Jesus is the Christ.

I know that when the Lord tells us to do something, there is always a way.  It doesn´t matter what
 the world or others say or think.  There is always a way to do it.  

The Lord also blessed us this week in finding people that were ready to come to church and 
helping people even though we were gone most of the week.  It is amazing that the Lord works 
even when we aren´t around if we show our faith in Him.
I know that this Church Is True.
I hope all of you will begin to go and find Faith in Christ, because we all lack.  A lot.

Elder Sampson
P.S.  Happy Birthday Kelsey
p.p.s. congrats to Josh Card on his mission call to Mexico City South, August 6th.

2 Attachments

First, pictures below are Elder Sampson with Elder Duca and Elder Andrade (American Tie).

                                                                                                                                      Then, Elder Sampson 
with Elder De Pina and Elder Duca,  These are some stellar individuals.



Monday, March 10, 2014

Wow, This was an adventure

February 10, 2014

Hi Family and Friends

This last week was great.

We went to Zone Conference and it was incredible.  President Oliveira talked about hunger for the 
help of the Lord, and how we have to have that more so than the hunger we have when we come in
for lunch or when it is time to sleep after the end of a long day.  I was blessed enough to experience
that hunger during the conference and some other times since then, putting my will into the Lords, 
and trying to find out what His will is at every moment, and not just teaching off of what is practicle 
or using the scriptures that you always use.  Also we talked about resolving peoples doubts through 
the book of Mormon.  We practiced and when we got back, applied them and litterally changed lives 
through the Book of Mormon.  That Book is incredible. Also, on an unimportant note, the food at zone 
conference was some of the best I have had in my entire life.  Just because it is Africa doesn´t mean 
you have to starve.  :)  Really though.  That food was incredible.  Literally.

We had a bunch of investigators in church too, and we finally got a bunch of callings.  We have a
 lot of people preparing for baptism.  We have been working with Joaquina and her family for 12 weeks,
and Joaquina is finally starting to progress, but her kids arent.  We got Valdisia (the oldest of the 4, 18
years old) to come to church and she made a few friends, and said that she would come to church
again, but hesitantly, and still won´t do anything else.  We had a lesson with them on Sunday.  It
started out with Valdiesia and Joaquina but Valdesia was doing homework, and we were trying super
 hard to be led by the Spirit and not just teach, and so lots of times throguout I would stop and do
something different that what seemed like the normal thing to do.  Man the sprit is incredible.  Then
part way through we wen´t to D&C 18 where Christ is talking about how He suffered all if we would
repent, and Joaquina moved accross the room be be closer, and tried to find the scripture in her
Book of Mormon, and Valdisia kept trying to focus on her homework, but couldn´t, and finally gave
up and paid full attention.  The spirit was super strong, and then fabio walked in and he had no idea
what we said but he felt something super strong and sat there silent listening, then after a minute
Eliana the youngest (9) came in and started feeling the spirit super strong, and we bore powerful
testimony, and then in the end invited them to be baptized as a family on the 1st of March, and
 they all accepted, and only Joaquina would accept before.  After we asked them to pray and study
 the scriptures, and they said they would, especially Valdesia.  We had started the lesson asking
 her how the Book of Mormon would directly make her happy, and at the end, she had this light that
had come into her, and it was the first time that I really belived her when she said she would read the
 book of mormon and pray and do these things right.  She looked me straight in the eye, and responded
with confidence unlike before.  The only one that wasn´t there was Eliane, but she is the one that likes
us and the church the most of all the kids, so I am sure that she will come along too!  It was a great
miricle showed to me from the Lord.

We were also teaching this guy named Americo, and he is super prepared.  He has been searching
for a long time, and keeps moving churches, is alread on a quit smoking calendar, and knows that
 all the commandments are commandments, he just needed a thing "to push him into aciving all of it".
We gave him the answer, baptism.  The lesson was super sweet.  We had talked to him a few times
before and all had been super awesome, and it was going great.  In the middle of the lesson this drunk
guy walked up and was like, I need to talk to you tomorrow.  And we were like, well, howzabout tuesday,
you are drunk as well.  So he left, and then Americo started talking about how this guy did some bad
stuff and and whatever, and the spirit was like, Go Talk to Him, so the three of us (Me, Elder Andrade,
 and Americo) went and followed him and found him, and sat down with him.  His life is a wreck.  We
 found out that he was baptized 10 years ago, and has been inactive for most of that time.  We had
actually talked to him one other time since then, but didn´t really have a way to work with him because
he lives far away, and we were closed to the spirit when we first talked to him or maybe it just wasn´t
 the Lords time for him.  We talked to him about repentance, and he said a super sencere prayer and
it was fantastic.  He told the Lord about how his life was going and asked for help.  It was his first
prayer in 6 years.  He didn´t even remember how to do it at the beginning.  Man.  Miricles Everywhere.
  I am so blessed but don´t deserve these blessings.  It is all Him.  I have done nothing but try to follow,
and He has blessed me emensiely.

Also, one of our less actives, José who is trying to quit smoking and return after 4 years came to
church and is making super progress, and his prayers for help from God are so incredible and sincere.
I love him, and the Church is True. 

Yeah, So Denise:
Denise was supposed to be baptized last week after a super strong lesson, and then that night she
called us and said that she wasn´t getting baptized this week, and we should wait for the next week
(which was this last weekend).  We couldn´t do anything about that because we got the text after
 we already had to go home, and then the next morning we went to Porto Novo for a day, then São
Vicente the next day (saturday).  At the beginning of the week Denise was planning on saturday.  She
showed up at her interview with one of the APs, Elder Otterstom from Provo who was visiting us, and
 knew all the answers, was living all the commandments, and stuff, but didn´t feel that she had gotten
an answer from God and so she couldn´t be baptized if she wasn´t doing it because she knew from
God that she could (baptism for the right reasons).  She was in the interview for an hour with the AP
talking about how she would be ready and stuff, and then we left her that night to pray and still be
baptized the next day.  We had faith that the Lord would answer her prayers and that He had already
prepared her to be baptized.  The baptism on saturday was set for 4:00 and we had an appointment
at 12:00 to make sure that everything was good.  We showed up, Me, Elder Otterstrom, and my Mini,
Elder Andrade who is super sweet.  We started talking to her, and always she is super hard to talk to.
 She is 22, and is super smart, and loves the book of mormon and all this stuff, but she won´t say
much, not because she is shy, but because she conciously chooses not to.  She speakes perfect
portuguese but choses to always speak in creole.  We started talking and she said she hadn´t gotten
 an answer, and so we started trying to figure out what was up, but she wasn´t getting us anywhere,
so we were wholely relying on the Lord to reveal to us what she needed.  We were slowly making
 progress, and we stayed in the same room talking for 2 hours and 45 mins, trying to reslove her
 doubts.  The spirit was very strong.  We asked like 30 or 40 inspired questions, went through like
 another 30 or 40 scriptures all talking about these things trying to figure out what she needed.  By
 the end she was starting to take stuff in, and we were making progress.  Her Aunt who was baptized
2 weeks ago, Ana, was sitting there patiently the whole time too.  She finally said that she would
be baptized in at this point was in 75 mins, and then we asked her to say the closing prayer, and
she said no.  Well, if they can´t pray, they can´t be baptized because they have to show to the Lord
 their will do do what is right.  We were maybe going to lose all that we had worked for for the whole
2 hours 45 mins, but we trusted in the Lord, not to give in on prayer, and moved foreward with Faith.
We didn´t know what was keeping her from prayer, and therein, baptism, but she wouldn´t pray.
Elder Otterstrom pulled out the last scripture about baptizing those who show the fruits of repentance
 in 3rd Nephi, and she agreed to pray, and then we left with about an hour left before the baptism.

Hahahaha.  It´s Not Over Yet.

So we ate really fast, the past all the people that were going to the baptism and all got together
in the point to wait for the car to take us the 20 drive to the baptism.  Ana (the aunt) called and
said that her and denise would meet us there at the point.  We were just waiting on them two and
Cely, so Me, Elder Otterstrom and Elder Andrade went with the people we already had and Elder
Naylor, and his mini, Elder Duca, stayed to wait.  He called Denise to ask if they had already left
 their house, and she told him she wasn´t being baptized.  Crap.  He called me, who was waiting
with all the members who had paid a lot and traveled an hour or so to be there, and so now they
had all come out for no baptism.  Crap.  I started organizing everyone together to say a prayer for
Denise, while Elder Naylor was on the way to her house.  He showed up and she was sitting there
and wouldn´t talk to anyone and wouldn´t even recognize the Missionaries.  She looked super sad
Elder Naylor said.  He called me again, and so we started getting everyone together to pray for her,
 and then do a training.  We knew that she could still technically be baptized but it was like 30 mins
 after 4:00, and so we were going to pray for her.

A few mins later I got a call from Ana´s phone and it was Denise, asking if she could still be baptized
 today.  (Ana had been working with her because someone else had come in after we left the long 
lesson and threw some doubts at her and Ana had solved them and so had prayer) We said yes, 
Said a prayer of thanksgiving together and then I called Elder Naylor who was super confused but 
happy, and he went and got Her and Ana and Cely, and they showed up to the baptism, and Denise 
was baptized.  


The Lord deffinately knows what needs to happen.  During the lesson, during the waiting times,
and everything, we had Faith that The Lord could make these miricles happen.  He put words
 into our mouths, scriptures into our minds, led us to pray with hunger, and to act in acordance
with the knowledge He had given us that Denise could be baptized.  He sent His Holy Spirit to
testify to Denise and to help Ana help her, and in the end, His will was brought to past.

People say that with God, or with Faith, Nothing is impossible.  Most people don´t believe that
though.  Every single thing that The Lord wants can be brought to past according to our faith in
His will and His word.  If His servants can continue on with faith through adversity, He will show
His miricles.  I did nothing, but as His servant I am eternally grateful to have been able to have
 His will and miricles worked according to my Faith.  It was not me that did anything, but entirely
 was the Lord.  I was just lucky enough to be a tool in His hands.

I know that this Church is true, and that Christ Lives and Guides His Church Today.  That the
Book of Mormon is the most powerful Book ever writen and that the Lord hears and answers
 the prayers of the Faithful.

In The Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Sampson

This Week in the Sahara

This Week in the Sahara            March 10, 2014


Jared Sampson

to me
So, this week was strange which was normal.  This was the extention week transfer.  We did some
nice work during the week and then took a last minute trip to sao vicente for a meeting.

So, Update on Transfers.

I am serving with Elder Sanchez who is from utah and I already knew him.  He has been serving in 
Sao Vicente.  I am also still serving with Elder De Pina.  Elder Duca and Elder Naylor both went to 
Sao Vicente today which was sad, but I will still see them again. I am excited to stay here.  It is going 
to be good.  Also, Elder Lundeen is coming to Sao Vicente, so I will probably get to see him this week 
when we go to Sao Vicente.  

We have interviews with President this week, and everyone gets 10 mins, and is supposed to bring 
one question, and as a missionary there are many questions that are hard to answer so I have been 
pondering about what question I will ask.  It is a good question to ponder. If you had one question and 
10 mins to as Heavenly Father a question, what would it be?  That is pretty much the boat I am in 
because President Oliveira is the person that is the most Christ Like of any of the people I know 
personally.  Man.  He is rediculous.  He will be a general authority some day.  Litterally the only
reason the church runs in the country right now is because of the Lord working through him.  Crazy.

So this week, we did some nice street contacting.
We walked by a guy, and made a joke in saying hello, and then ran into him in a different place like 
10 mins later, and he used the same joke on us right after we finished saying a prayer to find people, 
and so we asked him for references, and he said he didn´t know anyone that needed more happiness,
 and so we asked him if he needed more happiness, and he said, clearly.  So we asked if we could
 talk for 5 mins, and he said 2.5 and so we sat down, then after 2.5 mins he didn´t want to stop, and 
so we talked for like 8 mins and invited him to be baptized and he said he would if he knows that it is 
true, and said he would search and pray.  It was awesome.

Then yesterday, we were doing contacts in the street to build our teaching inventory, when we walked 
up to a guy, and started talking about his life, and then when we found out that he plays guitar and
piano, told him that we need a pianist in our church and that he should join, and so now he is excited
to read the book of mormon, and we will talk with him again in a few days.  That reminds me of the
thing where the branch president wanted a chapel, and so he went to the phone book and called and
converted an archetect, plumber, electrcician, and everything else that he needed.  Sick.

So, this week´s thought is about Gratitude and Humility.  They are very important.  So, everyone 
that reads this should 1. Send me an email and say what you do to have humiliy and gratitude, and 
2. Tell One other person (they don´t have to know me) to also do the same thing.  That would help
 the work here a lot.  Also, if you want to help in the work in the world, send a missionary a scripture.  
Then we can use them when we teach people.  For exampe, Jill Hughes sent me a nice scripture 
that very much was a large factor in a baptism.  So... Do that to.

Elder Sampson
2 Attachments:  Me and Elder Naylor.
Thing I made at district meeting.
2 Attachments:  A picture of the sunset.
Our Baptism of Maria, Hernany, and Kelly, with Kéven doing the baptizing on the far right.