zondag 24 mei 2015

"Principle of Mutuality"

Hey, everyone!

Short update, because I have to dash!

This week has been an awesome one! It mostly consisted of biking everywhere and We worked hard and were able to find more people with interest in the Gospel! Success!

We had an awesome wedding reception of a couple in our ward as well! The church was filled to the brim with people, so we, the missionaries, had to go to the kitchen where all the hardworking members were preparing the cakes and treats (we helped them out by eating the leftovers). It was a great party! I was crowned with sunflowers and stuff, too!

Finally we had an amazing Stake Conference held in Shimogamo. I really liked elder Mains' talk where he talked about building Zion in our homes first, before building Zion in our wards. He talked about a "Principle of Mutuality". He explained that the world nowadays has the wrong mindset: "In order for me to win, the other has to lose". We should be careful to not let the traditions of the world intrude our homes and families, our little pieces of heaven, and apply what Christ taught instead: "In order for me to win, everyone else has to win first". If we're all turned outward, focusing on the welfare of others, the world will be a better place! Be selfless, like Christ!

Thanks for reading, friends and family! I love all of you! Have an amazing week!
~聖徒長老, Elder Santos

maandag 18 mei 2015

Good activities & Anti-Climatic Transfer


...'t was a good one! We had a few really good activities throughout the week. We had a very good District Meeting, reviewing the Zone Training Meeting mentioned above and resolving a few questions concerning our iPads. I don't remember what inspired me during the meeting right now, but I have all my thoughts and ideas written down on good ol' paper! The very next day we had a Pizza Party. Everyone (members and non-members alike) was hyped up about the rumors of me making the best pizza in the universe. Because we announced the party way early (a month in advance), a lot of people were able to come (30 people came of which 6 were non-members). A lot of pizza, fellow-shipping, laughter, high-fives all around... We shared a message about the importance of resting from all your work and coming to church. A few non-members said they would come... if they weren't busy with meetings and work (dang it!). The next day we had a special musical number during Sacrament Meeting (an arrangement of hymn #99: "Nearer dear Savior to thee") done by us, the missionaries. I took care of the piano and the other missionaries sang like angels and stuff. I was super nervous. But it went super well and we even made a few members cry. I'm happy we were able to invite the Spirit and make that Sacrament Meeting an even more spiritual experience for everybody.

Also, transfer calls came in. I'm staying in Ootsu, HOORAY! Everyone in our appartment is staying, actually. It was a tiny bit anti-climactic, but I'm not complaining!

Thank you so much for reading, dearest people! You truly are a bunch of super-troopers! Have a super-week!

Lots o' super-love,
~聖徒長老, Elder Santos 

Family Skype

Hola, every-Juan!

Oh no! I forgot to do last week's e-mail update thingamajig!


... I skyped my dear family-peoples over in Deutschland. Everyone is super-genki I cried my eyeballs out like the man I am. Next, we had a pretty good BBQ activity organized by our ward, where we ate, drank and were merry! A few non-members came as fell and it seemed like they were having a really good time and were getting along really well with the members. We also had an amazing Zone Training Meeting about health, obedience and accountability. The homework we got to prepare for that meeting was to read the Missionary Handbook and to find out why we can or cannot do stuff. I really thought studying the Handbook was a cool idea; it really made me understand the rules and be more self-reliant in my judgment when it comes to missionary standards and conduct. Brilliant! Finally we had a good young men activity where we had a "yakisoba" (Japanese fried noodles) cook-off between two teams. We did rock-paper-scissors to pick a set amount of ingredients each of the teams could use, went to the supermarket and got the ingredients and started cooking. It was a lot of fun and we were able to become good buddies with the young men! Throughout the week we, the four elders in Ootsu, have been hard at work to organize a list of less active church members so that we can actually find them and help them out -- we'll be focusing on that this transfer.

donderdag 7 mei 2015

Things Rolling in Ootsu

Hello once again, dear inhabitants of the lands across the seas!

Things have been rolling over here in Ootsu and we're starting to pick up some speed! We found a couple of new investigators last week! It took a lot of finding, but we did it! We have return appointments scheduled for this week! Not only that, but our other investigators are making progress as well! EXCITEMENT!!

We also helped one of our recent converts (a big friendly Brazilian) move out of his old apartment with the ward. It was something that needed to be done for a long time. The old apartment just caused him a lot of stress and made things with his wife and kid worse. His neighbors didn't cut him any slack either. But now he lives in a spectacular home and everyone's happy! The best part about all of this is that he went up to the stand on fast-Sunday and shared his testimony for the first time, in which he expressed love and gratitude for the whole ward! YOSH!

Then, we had a companion exchange on Thursday, in which I went over to Oumihachiman again (in order to teach some Brazilians). One of the Brazilian members invited us over for lunch and he brought a bunch of his Brazilian friends (who are all non-members) and we had a delicious feast of Brazilian goodness. We then taught one of the friends who had previously been to church and seemed to really like it. He had many questions that were left unanswered about the Bible and we helped him find answers to every single one of them. We testified to him that the Book of Mormon is the second testimony he needs to understand the word of God. He accepted to read it and said he would like to meet up again to hear more about our message! Initially, there would be the I'm-in-Ootsu-and-you're-in-Oumihachiman-problem, but we got permission from our zone leaders to teach through Skype!! I'll be Skyping with him and the other elders to help with Portuguese translation. I'm really excited!

This week's District Meeting was pretty good as well! I think I really like how our new District Leader does things around here. I always get a ton of inspiration from him. I also learned a lot from the exchange with him; a lot of notes taken. (Now, where did I leave those notes...)

Finally, we had the other elder's baptism on Sunday! It was really good! Ootsu has seen a lot of baptisms lately. Makes me want to work even harder and bring others to Christ!

It's been an awesome week! I'm really glad how everything turned out and I hope you've had an amazing week as well, everybody! See you next Monday

Tons of love,
~聖徒長老, Elder Santos