Monday, January 30, 2017

Ping Pong Night

Kaique and Marcos and me! Marcos has the hat!
Hi everybody!!

So how are you all?! I hope you guys had a great week. This week was great for us. Just to let you guys know, Kaique's baptism didn't happen Saturday. But don't worry it's not for a bad reason! He still is going to get baptized. I'll explain a little later!

Tuesday this week we had a really great experience. Our ward Mission Leader, Cleber, is the best. Because of his help, this branch will grow. Anyway every Tuesday night he organizes Ping Pong at the church. There are snacks and drinks and he invites a TON of no

n-members. It is actually how Kaique got to know the Church. So far this Ping Pong night has been a gold mine and this last week was no exception. Elder Freitas and I showed up a little late and had fun with everyone. There were 5 non-members there, including Kaique. We got to know everyone and even played some ping pong. Quick side note- I really need to work on my ping pong skills. I was getting destroyed. But anyways, at the end, Cleber gathered everyone together and said that now was the spiritual part of the night, the best part. Everyone sat down and me and Elder Freitas taught a group of about 12! 5 non-members and the rest members. It was definitely the biggest group I've ever taught. The lesson was great and the Spirit strong. I felt like the first missionaries of the Church back in the olden days when they would preach to big crowds! Haha, it was a really cool night and a few of the non-members that were there came to church Sunday. 

Now for Kaique. He was at Ping Pong Tuesday and afterwards we scheduled to visit him the next day. So Wednesday night we went over to his house. We finally met some of his family. His mom, brother and little sister. His mom is really nice and glad Kaique is going to church. We taught her and Kaique about the Book of Mormon. We had planned to go into the Plan of Salvation, but when his mom offered us coffee we decided to teach the “Word of Wisdom” about how we don't drink coffee, tea, alcohol, etc. first, haha. Tuesday at Ping Pong I had asked Kaique if he had told his mom about the baptism. He said he did and she was all good. The problem, I found out, was that he told his mom about the baptism, but not the DATE of it. So Wednesday at their house when I mentioned something about Saturday she kind of freaked out. She said (1) "That is really soon! Doesn't he need to prepare more?" and (2) that she wanted to be there for the baptism, and make a cake for it. We talked and decided it would be best to have his family there so we pushed it back to February 11th, which works for everyone. So Kaique will still be baptized for sure. Plus this gives us the chance to teach him better and now teach his family too!

Friday night we got to go to the wedding of one of our investigators, Vagner. He was dating a member and after years of not wanting to marry in the church, changed his mind. So their wedding was at the church Friday night. It was really cool and special and Vagner is awesome. The branch is already supporting him a lot and he has a ton of friends at church. He'll get baptized someday, I’m sure.

Saturday afternoon we had another awesome lesson. In the branch there is a guy named Daniel in his 20s.  He is a returned missionary. He is dating this girl named Maria Gabriella who is 19 almost 20. Maria has already been to church a ton. Saturday we finally got to teach her. Our lesson was in the chapel with her and Daniel. It was a really cool lesson. She was a little timid but opened up as the time went. The best and most spiritual part of the lesson happened during the telling of the First Vision, like always. After I said the words of Joseph I paused and let the Spirit work. After a few seconds Elder Freitas asked her how she felt. During the 1st lesson when telling the First Vision we always show the image of Heavenly Father and Christ appearing to Joseph. Still looking at the picture she said, "It's... strong." She then explained, "Ever since I was a little kid, every time I see an image of Jesus I feel something different, just like now." That experience was just another witness to me how we, the missionaries, really aren't the teachers. The Spirit is.

So, for the last thing… Sunday was amazing again. It's normal now. We had 6 investigators at church!! The same thing as last week happened. For the 3rd hour we taught. Except this time it was more than just one. We taught 4 of the investigators who were there. Kaique, Marcos, who goes to Ping Pong, Vagner, and an older lady who has a really difficult name haha. But we all gathered in a classroom and we taught. AGAIN we taught the Restoration and AGAIN the Spirit was so strong. We marked with every one to visit them this week. They all should be baptized! For me, yet again, the coolest part happened as I was recounting the First Vision. As I was saying it, Kaique, who was now hearing the lesson a 2nd time AND who already read the whole pamphlet, was mouthing the words with me. It was amazing. Kaique saying the words to himself as I was telling it out loud to everyone. SOO awesome!! The kid is a stud!

Cleber, the Ward Mission Leader, has so much fire about the work and a vision about what we will do. It is helping so much and making this work more fun than it already is. I am really excited for all this. We will have baptisms here and we are pumped! Also the fact that it is 99% certain I am staying here this transfer is sweet. The future is looking bright here and I can't wait to see what it brings. 

I love my mission. I love this gospel and I love you all!! Have a great week! 

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

PS- One strange thing about this week was that I realized I LOVE to clean! Hahaha! Crazy! I felt like Uncle TJ! 

Wednesday when we watched the training from Salt Lake about the changes which will happen here in a little bit! Just schedule changes though, nothing too strange. Can you spot the American? LOL! 
Picture of the First Vision we showed Maria

Monday, January 23, 2017

6 MONTHS!!!!

A rough week of being sick and having a sick companion. Thankfully everyone is better now! 

Hi Everybody! 

So wow. This week was a roller-coaster to say the least. Sadly most of it was not the fun parts but yesterday, Sunday, saved the week. It made up for ALL the other bad stuff during the week. I'll explain. 

I'll start last p-day. After emailing in the morning we headed off to the chapel. A ton of missionaries from the area were at the chapel and we all hung out, played games, and had Brasilian BBQ. It was way fun. We even played this Brasilian street so-called baseball thing called "taco." It wasn't anything like baseball though, haha. The problems started that night when I wasn't feeling so good. I had a pretty bad fever that night as I went to bed. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling only slightly better, still feeling pretty bad. And the other 3 Elders all woke up really sick too. So Tuesday was not fun. All 4 of us were sick. It must have been something we ate, or being in the hot sun all p-day. I have made the conclusion that being sick on a mission is worse than being sick at home. At home when you're sick you can relax, watch movies, and have chicken noodle soup. Here you can't do that stuff. But, the one good thing about being sick on a mission is that you get a lot of time to study since that is pretty much all you can do. 

In my studies I have especially been into reading the book "Jesus the Christ” recently.  It is a monster because it’s such a big book but I have been SUPER into it. I am learning SO much from it and it has really helped me. This week I  was even able to use some of the things I learned from reading that book in a our discussion we had with a pastor and it was great. I am feeling like I know Christ better and it is amazing. When I got here to Conquista I had read about 50 pages. And now I am at almost 400! 

The rest of the week slowly got better, but was still pretty hard because Elder Freitas was sick for a lot of it. But I'm going to focus on the good stuff of the week now, because where is the fun in reading an email about a bunch of negative stuff?! 

Thursday I hit 6 months on the mission. 6 MONTHS?!?! WHAT?! That is 25%, one-fourth, half of a whole year! This is insanity! I can't believe how fast it is going. All I have left is the length of a sister’s mission, haha, 18 months! 

Thursday we made a contact and it made me think about some things. We were walking on the sidewalk that afternoon and on the other side of the road this guy called us over. We crossed the street and started to talk to him. He had a lot of questions about the Church and had heard a lot of untrue things. We cleared up his doubts and taught a mini-Restoration lesson. He was really nice but at the end declined our offer to visit him further. That was it. But it made me think about how everybody has their own time to learn and accept the Gospel.  It also made me think how every time we share our beliefs, the person doesn't have to accept it all. And that it doesn't have to be a huge, miraculous experience. Just by sharing a little, whether they accept it or not, we are doing our duty. 

Another cool thing that happened this week was on Saturday. We met with a man named Cleison. I had never formally had a lesson with him but Elder Freitas already had. Saturday he was finally free again so we got to meet with him. Now Cleison is a pastor and he has his own church. He really likes learning about our beliefs and in our discussion doesn't attack or fight with us over differences.  It was really cool because this week we actually met with him in his church.  Now we had a great long discussion with him about the Church. We focused on the Book of Mormon. He said he would read it for sure and pray to know if it was true. I loved to see how our message to the world is the same for everyone. Whether Pastor or poor man we preach the same thing. How awesome that the Gospel is for everyone?

Now for the thing that saved the week, Sunday. We had 5 investigators at church, which shocked me given the fact that we didn't get to visit a lot this week. That was already a good sign. One of those 5 was Kaique, which is pronounced Kai-e-key. Kaique is 17 turning 18 this week. One of his friends is a member who was inactive but now is starting to come back. Sunday was already Kaique's second time at church. Our plan this past week was to visit him but because of our sicknesses and his busy schedule it never worked out. Earlier we had decided with our leaders here to focus on 3 investigators in particular, Kaique being one of them. At church during the second hour I was sitting in class when an impression came into my mind. "Teach Kaique the first lesson today, ASAP." I was surprised at the thought because we had already made plans to go visit him this coming Tuesday but I decided to follow the prompting. What time is better than a Sunday, in the church, where the Spirit is already there. I told Elder Freitas and he was all for it. So after the second hour we grabbed Kaique, and our ward mission leader and headed to an empty classroom. That lesson was one of the best I have been a part of my whole mission. We taught with power and clarity, thanks to the Spirit guiding our thoughts and words. Kaique understood perfectly and loved the message. When Elder Freitas challenged him to baptism, Kaique, with tears in his eyes, accepted. Then we did another thing that was awesome. We needed a date. We asked Kaique to pray and ask Heavenly Father for a specific day. So right then and there we kneeled down and he prayed. Afterwards we asked, “So what are you feeling?" He responded, "I don't know... I turn 18 on Thursday so maybe a couple days after." Exactly what we were thinking. Kaique is going to be baptized this Saturday the 28th. Now that is what I'm talking about. Everybody please pray for him this week! 

Our new Ward Mission Leader, Cleber, is amazing. We had a meeting with him on Friday night and it was sweet. We planned like 4 family nights and a bunch of divisions with the branch. We will definitely teach and baptize with him helping us. He is actually one of the people helping with Kaique and everything. It is awesome to see. I wish that every area had a LMA (ward mission leader) like him. I will definitely  take advantage of him while I’m here. 

Anyways, that is all! I love you all and have a great week!!

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Pics-Drawing to bide the time during sick days

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bold but not offending!

Elder Castlemain and Elder Christofferson
Hello Everyone!!

We are already half way into January and the weeks seem to be speeding by! I hope you all had a great week! This week for us was great, capped off by a great Sunday! Things are looking promising and I am excited! 

So I finished my first journal on Saturday. It's crazy because I NEVER wrote in a journal before the mission and now I finished a whole one already! Haha! I am starting the second one I brought with me so Mom, I’ll need a third one soon!

One thing funny and cool happened last p-day. We were at the church playing soccer with some less-actives and investigators, ALL Brasilian. Being the only American, I had to represent but of course I was the worst among a bunch

of people who learn the sport in the womb. It was fun and awesome. Best part, I scored a goal. The American with all the Brasilians and I scored. Haha it was sweet. Check that one off the bucket list. 

Tuesday was a good day with a lot of work as all Tuesdays are. First we went to Clede. She is the lady who we found the week before and who said she'd go to church Sunday. She disappeared Sunday so we went to investigate. We found her at her house and she said "Oh I'm so sorry. My aunt had to get rushed to the hospital Sunday really early and I went with her." We were relieved! She actually felt bad and had a real reason so it was all good. She invited us in and we started to teach about the Book of Mormon. About 10 minutes into the lesson her daughter, Andressa, showed up. We had never met her. We started to talk to her and soon realized she was going to be a tough one. She was really respectful as we explained and taught but didn't really understand our point. That the Church of Jesus Christ was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and that it is the true church of Christ on the Earth today. After I accounted the story of Joseph Smith and the First Vision she got quieter and seemed to touched and was feeling the spirit. She then said, "I think that that is true, but I have my own church and am happy there. I have a good life, I don't need a change." I was so sad! Those things are probably true for her but she doesn't realize the FULNESS of joy and blessings that this church and the Gospel teachings brings if she accepted it. 

Another cool thing that happened on Tuesday was at our lunch appointment. It was at Camila's house. She is a lady in our ward in her 30s married to a non-member and has two kids. She is really strong in the church. During lunch we were talking and I learned that this last General Conference in October she went to Utah. We got to talking about the food there and I found out that she ate at that Costa Vida that we always go to near Auntie Julie’s and everybody in Highland. The one in the same place as that In-N-Out. Crazy and it left me missing American food! 

Wednesday was great too. We had our Zone Meeting. It was awesome because I got to meet a ton of new people and because the training got me and everybody else really excited. I saw Elder Oliveira and Elder Ataíde again and they both are doing great so far in their new areas. I also got to meet Elder Castlemain, another American who got here after me. He likes the Broncos so I automatically liked him! The Zone Leaders gave a great training about diligence and how our zone can be amazing. It got me really excited for the rest of this transfer and I think did for everyone else too. 

Thursday was a different day this week. We have a new missionary couple in the mission. They are American, the Briggs. Their first assignment was to go around to all the houses and do a check-up and see what we need. They came Thursday around 3. It is funny because when they sent their papers in their last choice of where they wanted to serve was Brasil. They just put it because Elder Briggs served a mission here when he was 20. They explained to us how it all happened. Elder Briggs barely spoke Portuguese still and Sister Briggs spoke none at all. It was really funny because Sister Briggs reminded me of what I imagine Nana was like their first months in Haiti. Trying really hard to have a positive attitude. Haha! It was hilarious. The best part is they said our house was the cleanest and nicest they have seen in the mission so far! WOW!

Friday was probably the best day of the week for me. We did a division and I was with Elder Reinaldo in his area all day. It was weird because I am older than him in mission time. Just us 2,  more-or-less, newbies, doing our thing. It was awesome! I was feeling it Friday. I was better with my teaching, felt more bold in my statements and more confident talking to people. For example, we went to the house of some investigators. The mother and daughter of the family are the ones being taught. They are both awesome, but the one thing holding the two back is coffee. As we taught I was direct and bold but not offending. The lesson was great and both of the investigators promised to try their hardest to stop. I felt like I was accompanied and directed by the Spirit as I spoke and that feeling is awesome. Feeling the spirit is the way people truly learn that what we teach is true because it witnesses truth to our hearts!

Later that night we went to visit a contact from the week before. The lady answered the door and let us in but said she didn't have a lot of time. We changed our plans and said all we wanted to do was leave a prayer with her. Elder Reinaldo asked, "So can we kneel and pray?" Almost always that answer is yes but she replied, "Why kneeling?" Both of us were a little startled without an answer ready right off the bat so she started to tell her story. She had been some well-known teacher at a Catholic Church for years. She left after some time and became an Evangelical. She said that in her opinion we should pray standing. I had the opportunity to have an answer placed in my mind. I responded to her question, "From my knowledge and what I believe, kneeling is a sign of respect. For me, Heavenly Father is my King and I will kneel to him in person when I see him again someday so when I am talking to him in prayer I will do the same." It was really cool and after we set a return appointment and finished with a prayer. I am so lucky and grateful for the Holy Ghost to help me. When I am really "flowing" it is because the Spirit is there helping me. I love it!

Our good week ended fantastic when we had 4 investigators at church yesterday. Also a new Ward Mission Leader got called and he is really really really excited and pumped and ready to work and baptize. He is awesome and after yesterday this transfer is looking really promising. 
I love this gospel! I love you all! Have a great week! 

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Reunited with Elder Oliveira

Family night at a members home (notice Donald Trump is on the TV) 
One journal filled!!!! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

True, lasting happiness only comes through Christ!

Elder C and his new companion, Elder Freitas

Hello everybody!!!

So wow this week was different and crazy and awesome and a whole bunch of stuff! Naturally with a change of area and companion it would be haha. But change is a good thing and this week was good. Great actually!!

The beginning of this week I was in Itabuna still. We had a funny experience. Elder Oliveira needed a haircut so we went to the barber. I had brought the little mini-yellow football I have that Mom sent in a package. While Elder Oliveira was getting his haircut, Elder Ataíde and I stood out front tossing the football. Oh man, it might be the new secret weapon. Two missionaries, one Columbian and one American, in white shirts and ties already gets a TON of looks. But add throwing a football? The whole street was staring. It was hilarious!! SOO many people stopped to talk to us to ask what that was, ask if they could try, tell us we should be using our feet, etc. And actually in exchange we got some contacts, haha! It was great because I'm sure none of them have ever seen a football before. 

Wednesday was travel day. Elder Oliveira and Elder Ataíde were going to Poçoes, which is on the way to my area in Conquista, so I got to be with somebody for most of the bus ride. We got up really early and headed out. Saying goodbye to those guys, especially my companion, Elder Oliveira, was tough. I am so grateful for that guy and all that I learned with him. Luckily he is in my zone still so I will see him this week at the Zone meeting! The bus ride took about 6 hours. It was not fun but I got here! 

“Here” is Vitória da Conquista. My new city. And, yet again, after being scared for a new transfer, Heavenly Father blessed me with a good companion and a good area. I really like it here. The weather is AMAZING. It is like kind of chilly at night and in the morning. This is the city that gets way cold in winter. But it's summer right now, still gets a little "fresco", as you say it here at night and is hot during the day. It is more of a dry, Colorado-like heat though because we are far from the ocean. It reminds me so much more here of the States. Everything is flat and spread out. Way more organized and clean here too. It actually kind of reminds me of Texas from that time we went to the Final Four in Dallas. Anyway, all the Americans love Conquista and it's because it feels like the USA a little bit I think. 

Elder Freitas is my new companion. He is really great. I like him a lot! He is from São Paulo, has about a year and one month on the mission, and is really really really really good at soccer. In just the little that I have seen he might be the best I have ever seen in person. We already work well together and have had some great spíritual experiences together in just a few days. Also living in our house is Elder Araújo and Elder Reinaldo. Elder Reinaldo is newer than me on the mission which is crazy but I'm not that new anymore I guess haha. 
We have worked A LOT just in the few days I've had here and it feels fantastic. Friday we had a cool experience. We were in this neighborhood doing our thing. We had just finished teaching a guy we contacted on the street named Gabriel. Elder Freitas had planned to take me to visit someone but then said "actually let's go the other way." We walked the opposite way and saw this street. Waaayy at the end of it was a lady sitting in front of her house. Both me and my companion looked at each other and felt we should go talk to her. She was the only person on the street and way at the end but we followed the promptings and went. Her name is Clede and she is awesome. She has some relatives in our branch and has already visited a few times. We sat next to her and talked to her for a while. At the moment her life is pretty tough and we promised her that this gospel will bring happiness. Which really is true. A lot of other things in this world can bring happiness. But true, lasting happiness only comes through Christ. That is what I am here to share. 

Saturday was a GREAT day! We had lunch at this member's house named Roberta. She reminds me of someone in our extended family but I can't figure it out still and it is frustrating, haha. Anyway, she made stroganoff, which is a big thing here and my favorite. But it tasted EXACTLY like Mom's Hawaiian Haystacks and I almost cried because of it. Such a silly thing but awesome at the same time. 

Later that day we were able to visit Clede again. We taught her the first lesson and Dad, like you used to tell me, the part about Joseph Smith ALWAYS brings such a strong spirit. That lesson was awesome. I love lessons like that when it's not even me talking but the Spirit guiding me what to say. At the end Elder Freitas said a prayer and we all kneeled. He said a powerful prayer and the Spirit was so strong. I felt like I got punched in the chest with the Spirit. But a “good” punch if that makes sense. It was the best. 

Saturday afternoon we were looking for someone and found another guy named Douglas. We taught him in front of his house and he really liked it. Then we invited him to church. He was really timid about it. He had heard some not true things about the church so he was a little scared. We explained to him how it was and that he would like it. Still, he was not wanting to go. So we explained the commandment of the Sabbath day and the MOUNTAIN of blessings that he will get for keeping that commandment. Finally he said something simple, that I liked. "I need the blessings." Douglas was at church yesterday! 

At church on Sunday I bore my testimony and introduced myself. It was a great meeting and I remembered all the times I saw new Elders do the same thing in our ward. 

I love serving the Lord! Anyone thinking about it should pray and ask! I know that nothing bad could come from serving Him.

Love you all! Have a great week!!

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Last night in Itabuna. View from our apartment. 

Street/future construction/open space in the new area

Nametag pic. (making fun of the sister Missionaries who do this all the time. Mom LOVES it!) 

The New District and my roommates 

 Elder Reinaldo and Elder Araujo

Goofin around! 

Monday, January 2, 2017

So it's a New Year! 2017!

Irmao Santos, one of the members who has been so good to the Missionaries in Itabuna
Hello everybody!!!

So it's a New Year! 2017!! This is going to be one awesome year for me as it will be a full year on a mission. I'm so excited to see what it brings. 

I was writing in my journal last night and realized that 2016 probably was the biggest year of my life. The Broncos won the Super Bowl, we went to Hawaii, went to Pebble Beach with Dad, moved into a new house, got into BYU, got my Eagle Scout, graduated high school, had senior prom, went on a road trip with Noah and Dante, got my mission call, and of course, left on my mission. A pretty jam-packed year if I do say so myself. 2017 will be just as good or better but for different reasons! 

So this week is transfer week and I'm getting transferred! I will be going to the Zone Jequié but my area is in the city Vitoria da Conquista. Specifically my area is called Morada dos Pássaros. It is a branch so it is a little smaller in the number of members. But I am hearing AWESOME things about the area so I am really excited to go there. My new companion will be Elder Freitas. He is from São Paulo and I think he has about one year on the mission. I am nervous but of course really excited about the changes. When I told Elder Janish where I am going he said, "Oh lucky! You get the best area on the mission!" I am really excited. I am hearing it is awesome and has amazing members. Elders Oliveira and Ataíde will leave this area too and be in my zone so I will still get to see them. This ward is going back down into one dupla and Elder Janish will stay here and train again.

I am sad to leave this ward and area. My first on the mission and I have grown to love this place. The members and people are amazing here and I will miss it. I am so grateful for all the love and friendship I have felt here! 

The last week of 2016 was great here for us but also a little tough. Almost everybody was out of town or leaving for the New Year. Nevertheless we went to work. Tuesday we went to go visit an inactive who goes by Junior. He is about 40 years old, is married with one son. He is an awesome guy. He knows a lot of the people in the ward and was baptized as a youth, but went inactive in his 20s. We started just having a normal conversation with him and of course it led to us talking about the church. He started explaining his feelings and started to cry. The Spirit was really strong and we knew that he knows he needs to come back. We bore our testimonies to him and then asked if we could return the next night to talk and share a message with his whole family. He said "yes of course." We went back Wednesday night but his wife was really sick so we didn't get to meet with them sadly. But the Elders will go back for sure. 

Tuesday we also went to a woman's house named Irene. She had come to church with a member last Sunday so we went by and taught her the Restoration and it was awesome. She was really excited and invited us to come back. The next day we went back only to see some strange activity going on next door. There were these 2 older drunk, crazy dudes arguing. She wasn't home so we started to walk away and then saw her at the second house down and she said to come back tomorrow. So we started to walk away again and heard a noise. We turned around to see the 2 old guys fighting and it was hilarious. It actually got bad because one of the guys had a cane and was using it. The cops ended up showing up and everything but it was crazy. Oh Brasil! 

Thursday was awesome too. My companion had the impression to go to a contact we had made weeks earlier. We always tried to go back to the house but only the grandma would be there, not the whole family. So we went Thursday night and sure enough more of the family was there. The grandma, her husband, and their grandson Andre. Andre is about 17. We taught them the Restoration and it was perfect! The Spirit was helping us a ton. Actually he was the one doing it all, haha. It felt like one of the best lessons I have been a part of. Andre especially, understood everything perfectly!!! It was really cool. But the end made us sad. Andre was leaving the next day for Ilheus to go to the beach for the New Year and will stay there living with his mom until March! Ugh! So sad but we got his info and will give it to the Elders there for sure. 

So Thursday night dinner was at bishop's house. It was just me and Elder Oliveira. At dinner we were talking about all the missionaries that have passed through the ward and everything and they said that all the missionaries have usually been great. But then Bishop said that we are the first they are actually friends with and love. I got so happy! I will miss him and his family. 

Friday we had a last district/zone meeting because it was the last of the transfer and Elder Dupaix's last on the mission as he goes home this week!! He is an awesome guy and I learned a lot from him and will miss him. 

Saturday night, New Years eve, Irmão Santos invited us over to have a party. President Bangerter had already told the mission that we could stay up until midnight for the new year. We asked and got permission to go to Santos' that night. It was a blast and they barbequed, we played games and just had a great last night of 2016. Members like them are what make a mission a lot easier for me. I love it! So all you members be really nice to the missionaries! Haha! 

So every day this week we tried to go to Elizeo. He was not home at all and was traveling almost all of the week. So that sucks because I don't get to wish him well but Elder Janish will take it over. And saddest of all to me, the same thing happened with Patrick. He wasn't home at all this week. Every time we went he was working or out of town and didn't answer his phone at all. It is really sad because I wanted to take a picture with him and teach him a few more times. I never baptized him which really is sad for me because he was my favorite. I really hope he gets baptized someday. But this is how it is supposed to be for now. I hope I get a call in a few weeks or months from the elders in this ward and they say, "Patrick is getting baptized!" I would be happier than ever. I pray that that will happen. 

I know that this church is the church of Jesus Christ. He really is the head of this church and through a living prophet runs it. I love this gospel and I love all of you!
Have a great week!

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Hi All! This is Marilee. Last night I sent Spencer’s companion a quick Happy New Year email and was surprised and touched by his sweet response email (see below). I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I know Spencer has loved Elder Oliveira so much, but I have a very special place in my heart for this amazing young man. He has faced so many trials in his life and has given up everything for the Gospel. For one so young, his faith and love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ AMAZES and INSPIRES me! He has truly been an answer to our prayers as he has been an example and a friend to Spencer. There is truly something special about him and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for him. 

Elder Oliveira- definitely one of the good ones! :-)


Dear Moma Diz

I was very happy to get your email. It was wonderful to be the companion of Elder Christofferson.  I Love Him very much. And because of him I became a better person. I am very Happy to know that you guys are praying for me. I also pray for you guys and love you guys. Thank you for everything! 

With Love
Elder Oliveira.

Last District/Zone Meeting in Itabuna
Elder Janish- He'll be staying in Itabuna
Irmao Santos' son Nefi
Elder Janish
Elder Ataide- He's being transferred to the same Zone as me.
Elder Dupaix- Going home this week. Awesome missionary 
New Years Eve dinner with the Santos'