Monday, April 28, 2014

Another Spectacular Week here!

Dear Family and Friends and Kinsfolk,
Sorry, I had some pictures to send, but I left my pendrive that has them in our house, so that will have to wait until next week.
So this week was good.  We didn´t have to travel to Sao Vicente which was awesome.
So the big event this week was the baptism of Sandino and Joaquim.  They have both experienced great changes.
Sandino wasn´t baptised in past weeks because he wasn´t willing to get back from work tired and then spend the rest of the day traveling to get to where he could skype his interview.  But, he had a change of heart, and ended up missing the car to come to his interview, so he started on foot with an amazing attitude, and then the next day there were problems with the car getting people from his area down to the baptism, so when he knew that it wasn´t going well, he started on foot and got down 30 early like we had asked him to be, while everyone else showed up 50 mins late.  It was a real blessing to not have to worry about wheither he would show or not.  The same thing sunday, he came down by himself and waited outside the church for 40 mins before because it wasn´t open yet.  He also called us yesterday, just wanting to chat about how happy he is and about how all he wants to do is to serve God.  It is incredible.  If he continues like this he will end up a stake president or something like that here in not long.  It is amazing.
So when we showed up at the baptism, Joaquim informed us that there is a place that he had a tank of water that he had checked like 10 mins away, instead of this new place we had found that was part of the ocean that is super beautiful a bit further away.  We decided to go to the place that he had said, and when we got there, the tank of water wouldn´t work, so he said that there was another one further up the way, so we started up, but there wasn´t a trail or anything.  We were walking on rocks and aquaduct things all the way up for like 15 mins.  It was like living the rainforest cafe.  This was the real deal.  It was so incredible.  We got to the tank, and it had like 12 feet of water with very tiny steep stairs on the side, so we tried like 6 times to baptize there, but they kept falling in, so we started even further up trying to go to another tank that we thought hopefully had more water, and Elder Sanchez and I stopped behind to say a prayer, and after we stopped the prayer, someone suggested that we could try a place in the river bed, that might still have a bit of water, so we started to check, and found this place.  It looked like the waters of mormon with all the rocks and green.  It took them 5 or 6 tries to get Sandino baptized because there wasn´t that much water and it was slipery and they kept falling over, but in the end, Sandino knelt down and they did it like that, then Joaquim was baptised.  I was a bit afraid that they were going to be unhappy because of all the problems in finding a spot, but Joaquim wasn´t and Sandino was super happy, talking about how it was a place special just for him, and that one day he would bring his kids up to show them "I was baptised right there".  
That night we watched the Testimants as an activity, and that was super powerful for the members.  I got back to my house and was so full of the spirit that there aren´t words to express now and there weren´t words then to express my gratitude for that day.

The mission is by far the hardest thing that I have ever done, but when we have trials in our lives, we are foced to rely on the Lord or fall.  We have to learn to rely on Him before we start to fall and before we are too far.  The Lord is the way.  This is His work.  
Nothing else is worth it in the end.  Only the things that pertain to His Holy Gospel.

Elder Sampson

Monday, April 21, 2014

The power of the Lord our God

Hello Everyone!
It is great to hear that Grandma and Grandpa got to Ukrane in safety and are now serving in the temple!
This past week was great.
The highlights of this week.
We went to Sao Vicente again which was bad because we were out of our area for 2 days, but is twas good because of the stuff that happened.  We had a zone meeting on saturday morning that was very inspired.  It was great to have people preparing by the spirit.  We also went to contact people in the street in the middle of the meeting, and we contacted like 4 because we were faster than some people.  One guy wanted us to give him money for food, so we went to a street vending place and bought 3 grilled cheese sandwitches, but when we came back he was gone, and we couldn´t find anyone and had to go back in and so we had some great grilled cheese sandwitches.
Also on Friday night, we were staying with Elder Lundeen in his house.  We did a division which was awesome.  We were comps in the MTC and this was the first time that we had taught real people together while actually speaking portuguese.  Haha.  We walked around for a while, then found a Melchesidic preisthood holder less active, and his family that used to have the missionarires over at their house every day 8 years ago.  It was good.  Elder Lundeen has become a powerful missionary.  It was great to teach with him.
We had the Stake president with us this weekend and got some needed trainings which was great. He and I spoke on sunday.  I spoke about the resurection.  A lot of catholics went to church yesterday, and then at like 5 in the afternoon, Benfica, which is a portugal soccer team, won the championships, so everyone was out drumming, and banging stuff, and making stuff with their jerseys and flags and everything of Benfica, then lots of people got drunk and it was not a very spiritual easter any more.  :(
So this week Joaquim is getting baptised.  Elder Naylor and I started teaching him in December, and he has been ready for 4 months, but wanted to get baptised in his own building because he owns the building we now have church in, but we still don´t have a font, but the spirit has worked with him little by little, and now he is getting baptized.  I am so happy and excited for him.

The Lord has power to change hearts.  He does it with people here and he has done it with Me.
The first part is prayer.  I envite everyone to evaluate your prayers please.  It is important for your salvation.
If we don´t have the happiness and peace from prayer, it is because the Lord is telling us to let the Spirit guide our prayers!

Good luck to everyone that is ending school!

Elder Sampson

Monday, April 14, 2014

The next transfer

Monday, April 7, 2014

This Week

This week.  Conference was awesome.  I watched like 2 sessions, and downloaded the rest to listen to in my house today and in the future.  We watched it in our new church building which is awesome.  I will try to send a picture.
Also, I attached a picture of me and Elder de Pina.
So this week we went to São vicente for two days which shafted them, we have tomorrow, then we are going back on wednesday andthursday, so that is two more days shafted.  Distance is a big problem here and it doesn´t help anything.  I had to do a baptisimal interview the other day too through skype, but the other end didn´t have a mic, so I just held the very very quiet phone to my ear for 35 mins through the interview which was painful.
We have zone conference this week and then transfers at the end of the week.  We´ll see what happens.
So when I can´t focus super hard on conference and they speak really fast I don´t understand everything, and there were lots of distractions because our branch is made up of a bunch of people that get distracted easily, so it´s good that we have conference magazines.  It was great to see some of my friends in the choir though.  Haha.  
I love the talk about how we can choose to be grateful.  The power to be grateful is in us.  Like faith and charity, gratitude requires action.  It is impossible to be grateful just inside ourselves.  (okay, maybe just really really hard)
So one thing I learned important this week is the power of our callings, and the power of service.  We did a training the other day on doing service to gain the confidence of the members.  Here, all the members are recent converts, so they all trust the missionaries on doctrinal issuses and everything even though they shouldn´t come to us, and when they do we redirect them to the branch president, but there is also another kind of trust that comes with giving the gospel to friends and stuff.  Sweet.
Also, so Elder Sanchez showed up here with 2 pairs of pants left, because all his others are broken, then one broke, and the other is really close, so we went and bought a new pair that I hemed for him (I hate sowing.  Patience...) and then sister oliveira sent hime 2 more, but those were accidently left in Sao Vicente, so we will pick those up soon.  haha.  Pants.
So, for this week, I would invite all of you to read Alma 34.  It is fantastic.  Repentance= Forsaking Sin.

Elder Sampson  

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