Monday, January 27, 2014

Hurrah for Israel

I Love You, Dad,

I hear your prayers every night when I go to sleep. Thank You. I pray for all of you. I hope your "Truck Norris" is coming along and work, you’re calling, and everything is going well. The language is getting a little easier. My Zone Leader Elder Johnson told me, "Man, Portuguese is nothing. Just try and learn the language of The Spirit and you'll be fine." I've been working on that, too. Thank you for reminding me of that. Thank you for being my greatest missionary example here in mortality. Others will want to know Christ because they know you.

Love your guts, *double-fist-bump*,

Elder Weaver

Bravo Elder!

Dear Family & Friends

Sorry, but my emails will probably be getting progressively shorter. I am blessed with 1 hour to email in this mission. I did get Ashley's email, thank you! I hope her flights arrive on time and safe.

So, I had an interesting experience yesterday, I don't feel comfortable sharing it over email because it will take forever to explain, but let's just say my testimony of Jesus Christ and His Restored Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith were strengthened yesterday. Thank you for your comments. I have not heard that quote before I don't think, but I shall always remember it. I think that's great Y'all (Yes, Y'all, I left my heart in Kansas) are working on member missionary efforts! My one big suggestion to all of you is to USE ROLE-PLAYS. It might seem like the goofiest thing, but some of my most revelatory experiences as a missionary for investigators take place during role-plays. Whether in the MTC, in the field, or in the Wards I have served. They always help. Pretend you are you and someone else pretends they are your friend, co-worker, or other investigator. As you practice what to say, The Spirit tells you what those people need. It's incredible. I never understood how awesome role-plays were before my mission! Use them! And if you need help to know how, check out The District 1 and 2 on The Preach My Gospel DVDs.

I got your package!!! Thank You so much. Everyone asked if my Mom was Catholic, haha. Thanks for making sure the box was protected. You can use pictures of the Savior, too if you want. I think the people here will fear those same as Mary. I shared the goodies with my roommates. The Mint Oreos didn't last long ;). I feel bad it is so expensive. I don't want you to feel like you HAVE to send me things. It is always nice when I get things from y'all, but I know it is a sacrifice. That being said, I don't want you to feel like you have to send me another one right away, but sometime during the mission it would be great if you could send the following, but only if you were already planning on sending me another one, don't worry about it if not:  Contact Solution (it's way expensive for some reason here)  Empty Flash Drives, for pictures, church music and videos when my camera runs out of room.  A mattress cover, if you have an extra one at the house don't feel like you need to buy one. Q-Tips, Ensigns and Church News are always great! Thanks for sending those to me.  And if it's not too much trouble, I will always eat Mint Oreos :)

The Jewish Chocolates were great, too. Haha, I'm going to show my companion later how to make his Hot Chocolate you sent him. News!: Transfers are tomorrow. Elders Araujo and Hansen are getting transferred. But get this! I'm staying put and Elder Williams (John's friend and my zone leader) and Elder Johnson, my other hilarious zone leader, are staying put so I get to be in their zone for Elder William's final transfer. He asked me if Oregon is cold right now and if he should prepare for cold when he returns in March. Also, Elder Quiroz, one of the APs extended and I get the honor of serving with him until April! He is so great. Don't let me forget to tell you about him on Mother's Day. I've got stories for you.

Thank You for all You do! Fique Firme e Fiel!  D&C 130:2

Love, Sempre,

Elder Weaver

PS: FYI...YEAH he got his Christmas package finally, now waiting to see if he gets his birthday package anytime soon!

That is açai ice-cream, by the way, way good!

Letter To President (in Português)

January 27, 2014

The Report: (Sorry, I have to email President in Português)

Presidente Araujo!

Eu sou muito grato por esta semana. Nós ensinamos Sávio e ele não quer para ser batizado agora, mas ele fala ele precisa mais tempo. Vamos trabalhar com ele para ter um desejo por batismo. Encontramos Brenda esta semana também. Ela quer assistir a Igreja. Gabriel trabalha na capela, e ensinamos ele e sua namorada Joziane. Eles ovim á Lição 1 e sentem O Espírito muito! Eu sou grato para ser um missionário aqui. Eu vou trabalhar onde e como você e O Senhor querem. Eu irá onde Ele quer, eu irá dizer Ele quer, e eu irá ser quem Ele quer me para ser.

Te Amo,

Elder Weaver

(Translation using MS Word)

President Araujo!

I am very grateful per this week. We teach Sávio and it he does not want to be baptized now, but it says it needs more time. We go to work with it to have a desire for baptism. We also find Brenda this week. It wants to attend the Church. Gabriel works in the chapel, and teaches it and its namorada Joziane. They ovim Lesson 1 and feel the Spirit very! I am grateful here to be a missionary. I go to work where and as you and they want You. I it will go where It wants, I he will go to say It wants, and I It will go to be who wants me to be. 

I love you,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wonderful To Hear About Ashley!

January 20, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

Yeah, we don't get him until like 6 months I think. President Araujo has been good. (They go by first names, it's weird.) But he showed up randomly to our sacrament meeting a few weeks ago, ha ha! 

That is so wonderful to hear about Ashley! I hope she didn't have to wait too long. I know she will do so well. Because of the time difference I won't be able to get an email from her until next week, but I sent her one that will be ready to go when she has a P-Day in the MTC.

Our family sure is great. I am stoked for Jessica. That is so sweet we have so many Weaver/Pukahi/other Family out on missions! That's great to hear about the Remmington's. I am glad they are curious.

Something I've been thinking a lot about lately is how we truly are treated like The Savior was here on earth. A lot of people (in Kansas, and Brasil) object to the church saying, "If there were going to be more prophets, we would have heard about them in the Bible!" And, ironically enough, people said similar things about the Savior. A Messiah, Savior, and Redeemer have been foretold all throughout the Old Testament...but not once do you read the name "Jesus Christ". The phrase "Son of God" is used once (in reference to when the 3 were thrown into the Furnace...and there was another "...and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.") Então, when Jesus Christ was born and claimed to be The Son of God many people did not believe Him. In reply he said in John 7:16-17

"16 Jesus answered them, and said, My adoctrine is not mine, but his that bsent me.
 17 If any man will ado his bwill, he shall cknow of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

You could witness His miracles, and yet this would not be enough to give you a testimony as to His Divinity. All truth comes by the Spirit. You would still need to "do his will" and try it out. Experiment as Alma says. With faith, real intent, believing you shall receive an answer. These same principles of gaining a testimony as to whether Jesus Christ is The Son of God apply to finding out if the Church is true or not. People argue, "If Jesus wanted another prophet he would have said who it was in the Bible!" The truth is, the Bible gives ample evidence of The Restoration but Bible Bashing will never give someone a testimony. In order to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, you need to experiment on The Book of Mormon and pray to God asking Him for the truth. It's simple. I would submit that it would not only be difficult to gain a Testimony of Jesus Christ as The Savior of the World if His name were mentioned in The Old Testament, but it would be nearly impossible because you would have no room for faith. You would already know. The same with Joseph Smith. If his name were explicitly mentioned in the Bible faith would avail mankind nothing and there would be no appreciation for The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

My Love is constantly with You and You have been here, in Brasil, with me every step of the way. Pioneers didn't just push handcarts. There are plenty of them here.

I Love You All,

Elder Weaver

That's the beach in the background from on top of our apartment.

A Busy Week To Report

January 20, 2014

Letter to President

Presidente Araujo!

I am so grateful to be a missionary here in the Great Brasil Vitória Mission! I Love my companion Elder Alexandrino, because he is very helpful. I am also so thankful for my District and district leader Elder Araujo. We found a new family of investigators this week. Sandra, Savio, João Batista (yes, that's actually his name), Magnolia, and Alex. Savio was the only one, who came to church, and he is on date for baptism, but hopefully we can re-date the rest of the family as well. Also, we hope to start teaching the father, Mario. We began by teaching the Law of Chastity and Savio mentioned how he has had difficulty with homosexuality in the past, but he says he is willing to change and obey this commandment when he gains a testimony of these things. He also has read up to 1 Néfi 12 in O Livro de Mórmon. The mother, Sandra and Magnolia (Sandra's sister), have doubts, but are willing to put our message to the test. We continue to work with our other investigators and hope they will progress as we pray in faith and work for them.

Te Amo!

Elder Weaver

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Work Is Hastening!

January 13, 2014

Re: Hello!

To: Family & Friends,

The work is hastening. They baptize a lot more on average here. President Hinkley had a beautiful quote in one of our training videos where he says you could baptize the whole world and it would mean nothing if your converts do not remain active in the church. Então, we are going to focus efforts on working with the Ward and role-playing with them and helping them create family mission plans.

I am glad Ashley is getting ready to go, and Allison is bringing about the changes in her life that seem appropriate to bring her the most happiness.

You know that line in "Now Let Us Rejoice" that says "...and Earth will appear as the Garden of Eden"? That is sort of what it is like here. The people live in such bad conditions sometime, but nature is so beautiful here. The people always make the most out of what they have.

I look forward to hearing Ashley's talk. I will try and get those pictures to you by this next P-Day, because I promised I would. I wish I could express to Ashley how much joy is in store for her, but I think the best way is for her to discover on her own. She will Love every minute of it, even the hard times. Which doesn't make sense, but that's how it is.

I'm glad Nani is feeling better. I got a letter from Tennessee by the way. Is it from the Guymon's? I couldn't read the handwriting.

I have to go, I'm sorry. We are blessed with an hour to email in this mission. Your comments reminded me of Ether 12:27. Something I realized on my mission is that the Lord actually GIVES us our weaknesses. I used to think weakness was our fault. It's not. It's a gift. And I've been thanking Heavenly Father for my weaknesses because they are opportunities to become strong. The Tender Mercies of The Lord are over all the Earth. So many things happen, if we look for them. Nothing in the book of rules that our Heavenly Father abides by says that He HAS to give us some of the mercies that He does. But He does it, because He Loves Us. I Love You all so much.

I promise You, Mom, that the Lord will bless You and generations will call You blessed for the sacrifice you have made of dedicating 2 of your children to The Lord.

Sempre Amor,

Elder Weaver

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Merry Christmas - Video Call From Elder Austin

A Christmas Stocking for Elder Weaver

Christmas Day 2013 - Elder Weaver

The Power Of Technology

Elder Alexandrino & Elder Weaver - December 25, 2013

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy 2014!

January 6, 2014

Re: Happy 2014!

Dear Family & Friends,

I'm glad to hear your week was stellar. I returned that Epi-Pen because it was expired I believe, but I still have 2, no worries :). But please don't throw that one away. I think it's mine from Australia. That reminds me...I got a really nice email from Jake. I'll have to forward it to you. New Year's Eve was straight crazy! We weren't allowed to proselyte after 8:00 pm.  I think because of the crazies, so my companion and the other 2 Elders that I live with went out for Açai (It's berry’s frozen with ice cream and a bunch of other stuff, it's way good). We took pictures, which I'll send. I hope you got my others? Also, we started talking to the lady working and now she's one of our investigators! Muito bom! I'm glad the Guymon's said Hi! Please tell them I love them! They are the family I had Thanksgiving with in Tennessee.

I'm glad Chelsey and Eric came down! I'm so happy for Ashley :). That's hilarious that I'm baking hot and she's freezing cold, ha ha. I got an adapter for the blow dryer, so we're good, but thank you. The rain stopped shortly after Christmas, I think. Now it's more like Brazil, ha ha. So, it turns out my area includes the beach. A member fed us lunch at a restaurant by the beach it was very...tempting.... but maybe I'll get to see that later ;).

I had a really good talk with my Zone Leader Elder Williams. There are really good missionaries in this mission. I did hear about Jessica! I am so excited for her. I can't wait to find out. Nah, my Christmas package has yet to come. Truck Norris is probably the funniest thing I've heard in a while.  I am excited for Ashley and Allison, too. I think we get the Liahona, but I don't get the Ensign in English.  That sounds like a really great talk. 

I am reminded of the Hymn "God Speed The Right" when I read your comments on The New Year. "If we fail, we fail with glory!" That's true we must always strive. President Monson said, "Sometimes Courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'"

I Love You All! I've been thinking a lot lately about patience. It is absolutely necessary when you are learning a new language. I was scared at first, but God is the same, no matter what language you speak. There was a lady named Flavia, who said she was grateful that God would send young men from so far away to preach the Gospel to her. She asked me if my mother missed me. I said she did, but she was gladder to see me serving the Lord. God is the Lord over the whole earth. Not just over one nation or language. I am reminded of the words of Enos:

" 11 And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my afaith began to be bunshaken in the Lord; and I cprayed unto him with many longdstrugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.
 12 And it came to pass that after I had aprayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy bdesires, because of thy faith.
 13 And now behold, this was the desire which I desired of him—that if it should so be, that my people, the Nephites, should fall into transgression, and by any means be adestroyed, and the Lamanites should not be bdestroyed, that the Lord God wouldcpreserve a record of my people, the Nephites; even if it so be by the power of his holy arm, that it might be dbrought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites, that, perhaps, they might beebrought unto salvation—
 14 For at the present our strugglings were avain in restoring them to the true faith. And they swore in their wrath that, if it were possible, they would bdestroy our records and us, and also all the traditions of our fathers.
 15 Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to apreserveour records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.
 16 And I had faith, and I did cry unto God that he wouldapreserve the brecords; and he covenanted with me that he wouldcbring dthem forth unto the Lamanites in his own due time.
 17 And I, Enos, aknew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest.
 18 And the Lord said unto me: Thy fathers have also required of me this thing; and it shall be done unto them according to their faith; for their faith was like unto thine."

I am honored to preach among the Lamanites, and be a part of fulfilling the covenant that The Lord made with Enos, while he prayed, all day, alone, in a forest for himself and his beloved brethren.


Elder Weaver

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Brazil Mission Pictures

Brazil Vitoria Mission Map
Elder Alexandrino & Elder Weaver
Elder Alexandrino & Elder Weaver
Bus Trip
Zone Conference 

Kansas Mission Pictures

Elder Weaver - Walking the Streets of Kansas
Elder Weaver & Elder Evans
Elder Weaver, Brother Maxwell, Elder Evans

Happy Day!

December 30, 2013

Subject: Re: Happy Day!

Dear, Familia & Friends

Excellent! I’m so glad your Christmas was lovely. Sorry if my email looks funny the computers have funny keyboards here, ha-ha. I haven’t gotten the package yet, but I’ll let you know when I do. Ashley is so ready! The Spirit of Elijah is real. Brother Bartholomew, one of my Branch Leaders in the MTC shared a quote with me from Elder Nelson about how the ancestors of the families I teach on my mission will be my guardian angels, leading me to their posterity so they can have their temple work done. And likewise our ancestors will guide them to us. It was very neat the way he put it.

It has been so good here. I have a few miracles to report, but I’ll just share one for now. The others I think I should tell you in person when I return home. Elder Quiroz, one of the AP’s, called us and asked us to fast on Saturday night at like 7:30 p.m. to find a ready person. Right after the prayer we felt like we should go talk to a woman on the street. But she had left so we went down the road we thought she ran down. We eventually found her sitting there with 2 friends. We ended up teaching all of them a brief lesson 3 and they accepted return visits. It was amazing. We truly have inspired leadership in this mission.

I’ll try and find a good picture for you. I have to go, but just know that I love you, so much! Philippians 4:7 - The Lord has given us peace that passes ALL understanding.

Fique Firme!

Elder Weaver