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'

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