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! 

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