Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oi todo bem

Christmas went very well it was good to talk with everyone, I am sorry if I acted a little Crazy i was very excited to talk to everyone. Here for Christmas we went to the house of a member of Saturday and there we had a feast and had a secret Santa type thing, a member that owns close store gave Elder Cunha and I cuflfing which are a little fancy but now a I need to get a shirt so that I can use them. Sunday we had sacrament meeting and after we went to the house of another member to eat lunch and use Skype because Elder Cunha didn't talk to his family yet. Sunday was our p-day which we couldn't do many thing but it was nice to be in an area were the members are great and almost adapt you into their families.

Transfers came and we finally found out what would happen, Elder Cunha was transferred and was called to be Zone leader and I was called to be.....a Trainer, yea I was surprised too. we went to Campinas to get our companions. we had a wonderful training about this new program of training which is 12 weeks and it is two hours of companions study every day. My companion is Elder Inácio he is from Natal, Rio Grande do Norte he is wonderful and has a desire to work, In the training I was feeling a bit overwhelmed but really what President Tanner said is that we have been chose by the lord to train these missionaries and I feel that the lord well help a lot and we will see many miracles in Bom Jesus Dos perdoes.

I have a question about my debit card I can't get money from the ATMs here I wasn't sure I my card can or if you blocked it or because of the bank here in Brazil

Tchau, tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Feliz natal estou muito feliz para vocês

This is always a wonderful time of the year but here is brazil I don't believe it is almost Christmas, it is almost 100 degree almost every day, and it has rain almost every day for the past few week, but singing Christmas hymns every day for personal and companion study is helping a lot.

About the package put in it whatever you want, peanut butter, Oreos would be nice if there is room in the box. One thing, can you put 5 ties of mine that I left in this package I don't have very many and it is very difficult to buy them here for a reasonable price

This week were are preparing two people to be baptized, one (Danel) is a friend of a return missionary of two mouths we are working with his concerns and doubts. We talked with him yesterday and Said he wasn't sure about baptism and wasn't really sure about what he wanted in life. We didn't read for a few days and didn't pray. I said to him that how do you expect to get an answer if you are not doing you part. We need to fulfill are part so that the Lord can do his, but his is bond by eternal law that he can't keep his end of the promise if we don't first do ours. The spirit was there and he has more real intent to know if these things are true and to be baptized this Sunday.

The other person is an older woman of 86 years, whose daughter is an active member, she is really fun and very smart and has healthy mind, many missionaries taught here and visited the Church many times, and right now it is just a matter of baptism.

About the rain one day we were going to a house of an investigator who lives a long ways outside of the city, we took the wrong road and Elder Cunha said to take a sort path through the wilderness, we crossed a river and hiked through brush 4 feet high, but we made it on time to the house of the investigator, but we were completely wet.

I can use Skype the Wednesday before Christmas the day of the 21 of Dec I hope we can work something out so that I can speak with you and with Julie and Levi, let me know what I need to do to use Skype and tell me a time that is good for everyone it would be better in the morning or early afternoon the time difference is 5-6 hours but check to be sure

Tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ola familia tudo bem:

The work is wonderful and in this season of Christmas everything will be good. Here in Perdoes we are working here to bring soul unto heavenly father. We are having some difficulties finding people, but we are receiving a lot of references from the members here, references boas. We taught a young man yesterday who is a friend of a returned missionary, he accepted baptism and we will be teaching and working with him to baptism him in two weeks. One thing that I am working on is making those relationships of trust and friendships with investigators and with the members. As a missionary you really have to show joy and a positive attitude to inspire and lift those around, members, missionaries, investigators every one.

How did thanksgiving go, and Acea's birthday, here In brazil it does not feel like the Christmas Season, it is hot and rainy. Almost every day we have some short of rain fall and with this hot climate you can really feel the heat. I am feel like I am lacking snow but I am glad I don't have to shove for two years. I have a question are the Elders still living in our house or because of the downsizing of elders in the ward our house wasn't needed?

I have a question. I found a man here that repairs the church Buildings here near Campinas, I first ran it to him in June my first Area, and a I bumped into him again, and he said that he had a Companion whose name was Elder Hainsworth from Spokane Washington, I said I will ask a few people to see if Brother Hainsworth served in Curitiba Brazil. Could you ask him if he remembers having a companion named Elder Feliciano? That would we pretty neat if it was indeed him.

I have found out that I might be able to use Skype on Christmas Eve that Saturday to talk to you but I will make sure and let you know, can you send me anyways what I need to know to use Skype?

Love Elder Sands

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank you for the Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you have a good time with eating turkey, and the apple and pumpkin pie. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ACEA, FELIZ ANIVERSARIO!!!!  You will be 16 years old, and that means you can get out there into the world and date all of the righteous young women que alegria.

This past week has been great, a little difficult but great. We are starting almost from scratch, the other elders left a few good people that we are preparing to be baptized but we are slowly building up our teaching pool. The members here are wonderful, they are the most excited and helpful members that I have known on the mission, because they want to help, they want to build up the branch, we have been given many references of friends and family which helps with the integration of present converts to always stay active in the church. There is one thing that I am learning from Elder Cunha and it is to be excited, to really be excited for the work. He is always jumping with joy and shares that joy with everyone and especially with the members, the members need to be your best friend and we help them see the vision of the Branch, but with every goal we need to have faith and not doubt.

One thing I want to say but don't worry too much, we have a rat living in our house. He comes and goes through a little crevice in a door and we got a good look at him on Monday. I took a video which really shows the size; about 8 inches, just pray for us that we can kill him without any problems.

Have a good week and good thanksgiving

Tchau tchau

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We had transfers this week and us both were transferred, I was transferred to perdões an area close to my second area of Itatiba. My new companion is Elder Cunha he is wonderful, he is really excited to work and we will have miracles here in perdões. We are opening an area and the two elders that left didn’t really leave anything for us, no information of investigators, no information about the area, but we found out the members are really excited to work and almost begged us to let them work with us, and that is what we are going to do, the work really can’t move forward much without the missionaries and the members working together, giving references to the missionaries, making friendships with investigators, etc. I am glad you are worried for me but don’t worry I gave that story to show how much Elder Coelho has helped me grow and really become successful. And I have overcome a lot of weaknesses with teaching, working in the Field, planning, all types of thing that are need to become senior companion.

Your question you asked last week or two about Halloween here in Brazil, it is not the same thing with the gathering of candy at every door, it is only parties because it is part of the American culture they have adopted, but Stores sell costumes which are used for parties.

Tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I am glad that life over there is wonderful and I am really seeing the blessings of the Lord in your lives, and I am glad to see Ben almost ready and I know this is the will of the Lord because of the accident. I will make a video but this time in Portuguese; it is a lot easier and you can use the gift of interpretation of tongues. Just kidding, I will make a video and help him really do his best to get out on the mission, hey who knows maybe he will come here in Campinas Brazil. Those pictures of Acea are very good and I think the bottom one you took in the sink with the spoons and forks, hey you could come here and take all of my pictures that would be really good.

I am glad you can see a change in me, it is sometimes hard to see it in yourself because you also see all of you weaknesses. A few weeks ago we had a companionship inventory which we just talk about things we can do better. Like I said before, the purpose the Mission President put me with Elder Coelho is really to speed up the progress to get to ready to be senior companion, and in that inventory he let it all out, all of the weaknesses. I was almost a the point of a breakdown of confidence because I knew what he said was true and that I need to change, but with the help of the Lord I am overcoming these weaknesses and they are becoming strong.

We are having a lot of miracles here in São Manuel, at first we weren't having much success, but with the help of the Lord we are finding, teaching, and baptizing the elect. Last Saturday we had a wonderful wedding were the wife was preparing to be baptized with her daughter, and that night we had a beautiful baptism were two choice daughters of Heavenly Father entered the waters of baptism to further the happiness and piece that has changed their lives. We are preparing a young woman this week and next week two more, a dad and daughter will be baptized. One thing I am learning is when we do our part the Lord will always do his part, when we do all that we can do the Lord will do all that he can do.

I will let you know if I will be transferred next week

Tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's great that you liked the DVD, that has all of the pictures I took up to two weeks ago, If you have any questions or want to know the story behind anyone just ask. I did a little digging about Christmas, If I stayed here in São Manuel I found Skype access but I will have to see if I will be transferred into another area or not.

Thanks for the uplifting encouragement I am learning a lot and learning how to really overcome my weaknesses as a person and as a missionary. My companion (Elder Coelho) is the best, he has taught me more things than my trainer taught me, not about learning Portuguese or learning how to do the basic teaching or techniques but really to speak well, teach with power, and work effectively to find, teach, and baptize children of our Heavenly Father. It has been hard but through the Lord my weaknesses are becoming strong.

This Saturday we will be baptizing a mother and Daughter after her wedding. The wedding and Baptism of Marsia has truly been a miracle, it has be challenging to track down all of the documents required, countless hours of waiting for the Bus, and overcoming every obstacle the enemy has put in our way, but you can feel the love the happiness in the lives of this family and with baptism starts their journey to return with God again and that makes it worth it.

Things are looking up in São Manuel with the help of the members and the cloud of distrust, hopelessness, defeat is starting to dissipate and the light of the gospel and the missionary work is starting to shine through.

An interesting story for you, on Sunday we were making our way to an area in São Manuel a little far, and on the way two ladies going to church stopped us and asked us to check to see if a man that was sleeping on the side of the road was dead. We went and find out he was drunk, very drunk. We helped him up and walk to a park to site and rest and with him was half liter of liquor, my companion asked for it 3 times and finally he gave it to us and right now we have liquor in our apartment, but don't worry we will trough it away where it belongs.

If anyone wants to know anything just ask I will be glad to answer.

Tchau Tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My materials are good I don't have any problems, the only thing that broke was the screen from my shaver and I will replace it with the new one I have. If you are to send a package peanut butter with candy from the US would be good, maybe some black socks and other things you would like to send and be sure to only use US postal service.

This last week went very well, we are getting everything ready for a wedding the 5th of November, with documents they need to show before, with invitations, it is some work but work that is well worth it so that Marcia can be saved and bring the gospel into her home and to heal this family. It has truly been a miracle and we can feel the love and happiness that has flooded into their lives. We are working with another couple were the Sister (Janaina) is a member and will marry with Adriano the 19 of November he will be baptized the same day with his daughter. On Saturday we were able to go to the temple in Campinas just to see and make a goal with them that in one year they will enter and be sealed, we were able to go into the waiting room and teach them a little about the purpose of temples and where they just get a taste of the spirit and the desire to make it to the end. I have pictures and I will try and send them when I get to a computer that actually works with my camera.

I can use Skype but the problem is being able to find a computer on Sunday that has Skype, but I have to wait to see if I will stay here in São Manuel or move to a different area, because transfers are on the 15 of November, But My companion said that I can call two days before Christmas to arrange for my call or on Skype but I will know more in a few more weeks.

Eu Amo todas de Vocês Tchau Tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I am very excited for you, a great mission leader and a bishop it makes all of the difference. If you can always have investigators with members, which is essential for lasting conversion which the Beacon Hill ward does wonderfully. I guess you can talk about me, but really talk about the joy and the blessing to help people really change their lives and follow Christ by serving a mission.

I am in São Manuel which is pretty small only us two in a city of 50,000 more or less. São Manuel only has a small branch of about 40 active, but things here aren't the greatest, a branch that hasn't grown in 20 year, we have 300 people baptized here in this city but all have left the church for one reason or another, but they didn't really have a firm testimony and the members weren’t in the conversion process. The members really make all of the difference when a ward or branch is unified and willing to work the lord blesses the ward, but when there is no unity people leave. Yes I gave a talk a few weeks ago which went well everyone understood and the spirit was there.

Here in Brazil there was no winter only hot. Some times during the “winter” it got chilly during the night but not too bad. Here is the state of São Paulo it is dry the same thing in Spokane, but this past week it only rained for 7 day it only rained and got pretty humid.

My Companion is wonderful I am learning everything I need to really know to be a good missionary and senior companion, I have learned more things from Elder Coelho than my trainer, he is hard and lets me know when I do things wrong but I learn every time and do better.

We marked two wedding these past two weeks, and what a miracle it has been, we will see 4 people enter the water of baptism in just a short few weeks and I will let you know how it went.

I will find out about Skype and telephone, I heard we can use Skype but everything is closed on Christmas and it is on Sunday and we can't buy the internet time like usual, I will tell you when I find out.

Also I sent a DVD of all of my pictures on Monday and it should arrive in a week or so, let me know when you get it, it has 200 pictures with some video, I hope you will like it.

Tchau Tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I was wondering if Bishop Wilhelm would be released, it's great that Bishop Borders is the Bishop. That is very neat that Acea got to play for Richard Elliott. I bet his was very excited and I hope he learned a lot.

The mission is wonderful and as always not the easiest thing in the world to do. We work hard in the sun and the heat but don't find those people that really want to give up every vice and sins to really follow Jesus Christ and be baptized and stay firm, and endure to the end. We are teaching two couples that are ready to be baptized but have to get married first but with faith and patents they will be married in the near future. My companion is wonderful and I am learning more things than I did with my trainer, to really be the best missionary I can be, in teaching, planning, and everything. I stayed in São Manuel for a least one more transfer and next week we are having a multi-zone conference and I will tell you how it goes.

I have been thinking a lot about happiness and how to really obtain it. As a missionary you are really about to see the people you teach be happy there potential, I think we can just see a little bit of what Heavenly Father sees in us, we teach the gospel which by living it we receive true never ending happiness, but when people don't see that we, us missionaries the message we have, is really the answer to their prays for a better live is truly is heart breaking. Only by living righteously, overcoming our mistakes and weaknesses can we truly have peace and happiness in our lives but we first need to show this happiness with everyone.

I will send my pictures for the plaque and on DVD for you guys the pictures for the plaque I will sent are the best they are going to get.

Tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thank you for you wonderfully inspiring letter Acea and I am glad you like General Conference, I loved Elder Holland’s Talk, Elder Christofferson, Elder Scott foi muito bom. Acea I am sorry that I have not sent many pictures and they aren't very good I will do my very best to send them. I only have email right now and I can't even take the pictures from my camera in this area, but I will probably send a DVD of all of my pictures. If I had more time and not serving the Lord I would have perfect pictures, it is important to send picture to share the experience of the mission but a mission is not only about the pictures. You will understand it is not so easy on your mission.

General conference was great Acea. Yes I watched all 10 hours in Portuguese, It was great and a privilege but of course I didn't understand 100% perfect but I understood what the spirit spoke to me. I loved Elder Scotts talk, it was helpful to me to learn Portuguese better and comforting to, because he speaks Portuguese fluently Elder Scott translated and recorded himself speak in Portuguese which inspired me. And a neat fact, all of the talk for general conference are translated in Brazil by one brother in writing he is the stake president of the Stake itatiba my last area and had the privilege to talk to him, what a spiritual giant and very humble.

So great news, we are helping a couple marry and we sent for his birth certificate two weeks ago, and because of the post office strike going on right now we received it on Monday and we will mark a date and baptize him in the near future, a elect, a eleito is a person that accepts everything and desires to be baptized which he really is.

I had a question, for Christmas would it be possible to make a conference call with you and Levi and Julie?

Tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Man! I hoped that picture would do it and, what you said is great, but the hard part is trying to explain that to my Brazilian companion. I will keep on trying but it is going to take longer. I looked at one picture before and looked fine even when I zoomed in. I don't know.

I have not been to the Campinas temple yet, only 3 zones get to go that are in Campinas, I almost when two times, I was in one zone that would go in august but I was transferred, and I was transfer to the Area of Sousas which is the area of the temple which was 15 minutes walking distance from our house and I was to go the 2nd week there but was transferred again and have been very far away right now 4 hours away from Campinas.

Last Sunday we had a baptism of a young man named João Lucas who has been wanted to be baptized for some time but his dad gave permission just last Saturday. He is truly elect and excited and motivated to endure to the end.

This is the last week of this transfer, President Tanner is back and we are making good progress with two couples, one Adriano last Wednesday said that he truly wants to be baptized the one thing that we are waiting for it to get him married with I think will happen next transfer, he even went on visits with member helping them with rides and really getting excited to learn and grow in the Gospel.

One thing that I have been noticing with my speaking abilities is that the people that want to listen to us, care to learn and are receptive, understand me perfectly but the people that don't really care to listen or keep commitments don't understand me very well, and they don't understand my Brazilian companion.

I will work on the picture situation and let you all know whether I have been transferred or not.

Tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Well president Tanner is coming back next week, it was a little strange without him but I know that the mission needed the council of Presidente Pizzirani, I learn a lot from him and will use it for the rest of my life.

This week went good and bad. We are working with a wonderful part member family. The husband has a desire to be baptized but has a strange concept that he is not even ready to go to church, but we got him to commit to come this week and also to a dedication of the newly built Church building in Botucatu. We are also helping them marry so that he can be baptized. We also are helping a elect lady marry so that she can be baptized too. But the sad part is one lady Andreia I talked about last week she was doing well with the smoking but she didn't read at all has no desire to go to church because she is going to another church, that is the hard part about Brazil almost everyone has a religion and they all think that if a church preaches about Christ it doesn't matter which church you go to, and if a man preaches about Christ they have authority. It is hard but we really find the elect that truly what to follow Christ and be baptized.

This last week when we were finding people to teach we ran across an older lady in her 70's that was chopping down a fairly large tree with a machete in such a way that it would have fallen on her if we didn't help. We insisted and we helped, we secured the top of the tree and went to work hacking at it, we eventually succeeded and taught her about the restoration.

I will send the picture soon; just hold on a bit more.

Tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I can’t believe that Tommie passed away, it seems unreal but we all know where he went and is now and the hope we have. But he will be serving a mission in a different way.

Congratulations Acea, you conquered a task that seemed overwhelming only to those who aren’t willing to work for it. And more importantly your gospel knowledge has grown and capacity to learn and retain more has grown, parabems

I did take the picture, the problem now is finding a place I can send it, but I will do my very best to send it in the next few weeks.

Well It difficult to say anything really interesting, the same things occur every day, find, teach, and baptize. We are working with a wonderful lady who is a great friend of a member in Branch (who gives us a lot of oranges because she pick oranges for a living) Andreia, this lady, came to us and said I really want to quit smoking but have never succeeded, we started out slowly but she has done wonders, she started out with 40 cigarettes a day mais ou menos, right now 5 and every day a little less. We also are working with a young man 12 years old who wants to be baptized really bad, he has read the Book of Mormon all of the way through, but the only difficulty is his dad hasn’t given him permission until now and we hope to baptize him this Sunday.

I don’t have really crazy stories but I will try, our house is by a lot of trees and a stream, every night we get a lot of mosquitoes, my first nights here my arms were covered, and I had a tough time sleeping, now every night we have the fan on and cover my arms and face in bug stray. There is a song in Portuguese a returned missionary from Recefe made sobre the live of a missionary it is funny because everything he says is really true, in one part he sings about a person asking him to do magic, here in São Manuel we get that a lot, yesterday we had to kids come up to us and say faz magica (do magic) i think they were a little disappointed when we said we didn’t know how.

This is what happens here is São Manuel and I will hopefully send the picture soon, but I am doing the best I can with this, finding a nice background you will like. Understanding the way you want me to take it, and the time I have to take it. I have it now and I will send it.

Elder Sands

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thank you very much Levi for sending the invitation it looks very nice.

This week has forever changed my life and even the way I think. On Monday we went to Campinas to receive training and interviews with our new mission Presidente Pizzirani. He is wonderful, not very hard on the rules but very excited and really got me motivated to really work and baptize. He mostly talked about how to really set goals and plans to make our goals a reality. 4 things a goal needs to have, first very specific, second is it measurable, third is it realistic, and forth is it a challenge where you stretch and grow and rely on the Lord for help.

He gave an example of these 4 principles with a question a Brazilian had with learning English. The goal specific is to learn in one year, every day study 45 minutes; this is both specific and measurable. every day learn 10 different verbs with is very doable, if you learn 10 verbs in English for one year you will know 3,650 verbs and you can speak any language fluently with that many verbs.

He really inspired me to set these kinds of goals and a desire to fulfill them. One last story he told us that change the way I look at preaching the gospel. One Elder in Brazilia, where President Pizzirani served as a mission president, arrived in an area that was the hardest in the mission, the ward didn't help the Bishop didn't care, and that area is very nice and no one had success there for over one year. The first thing that Elder did was pray and made promises with the lord that he will not return to the house until he found one of the elect (a person that is prepared to receive the Gospel). Every day we went out and talked with people, not made contacts with people only for the numbers but the goal to find the elect. every day he found one, every week he started out with 3 investigators coming to church , next week 6, next week 10, 13, 15, 20, everyone in the ward was surprised, and he was baptizing every week. 2, 3, 4, people every week.

This got me thinking and changed how I find, teach and feel about this work.

This Gospel and Church is the church of Jesus Christ, he is our Savior and redeemer of the world and he guides this work. Joseph Smith really saw Christ and Heavenly Father and restored the fullness of the gospel on the earth again. only by living the gospel and be baptized can we truly have never ending happiness, there is no other way, And if you read the Book of Mormon with a desire above all else to know if it is true, you will receive that answer as it will change your life. This is my testimony that there is no other way, only through the Church of Jesus Christ with authority of God on the earth.

Tchau, Tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I am sorry it is taking so long to get the picture, it is a little difficult to find a spot with a nice background that you will like, and my old companion was tired of taking pictures, but I will take a picture here in a praça (park or square) that has very beautiful gardens. But I don´t know if I can send it while I am here because my companion told me the computers don´t work with the cameras. You can tell people I am on my mission really and steer them to the Blog

Well we have had a few changes in the mission, we have a new mission President, Presidente Pizzirani, President Tanner was not realized but had to go back to the US to have surgery on his leg, and He was hoping to be back by December or January. It is interesting the different between Brazilians and American Presidents. Brazilians are more prone to rules, whereas Americans and Especially President Tanner is a lot more calm leaving it up to the missionaries to choose to be obedient and only the rules that anything that will damage our ability to receive the spirit, the reputation of the Church and as a missionary in Missão Brasil Campinas we should not do.

Other things about the mission and Brazil; we receive an allowance like every other mission every 15 days of 90 reais (60-70 dollars) but in some places more expensive 100 reais to 150 reais. Here in São Manuel we get 100 R$, but most of our money goes to transportation on buses. The buses aren’t too expensive, but when you have to travel a lot for meetings and interview it quickly adds up. We get some money for food, but mostly from money members give us to eat.

The food here is wonderful, we do eat rice and beans every time we eat with members, but with other foods too, chicken is very popular because it is cheap, but also beef is really good too. We also drink a lot of soda; I love orange Fanta and Guarana, muito bom. And dad we eat a lot of Ice cream too, it is the same thing in the US and very cheap to.

This is just a little about the mission in Missão Brasil Campinas for you.

I will do my best to take the picture for the plaque soon

Tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I am so excited for Levi and Julie and for the whole family, and those pictures are so wonderful, even the picture Levi kissed Julie. I am so glad that everyone could make it. Don’t worry about me I can feel a little of the love, spirit, and excitement that occurred; way to go.

Well I have been transferred again and I am about 4 and a half hours away from Campinas, in a small town São Manuel. My new companion is Elder Coelho da Silva, a brasierio, who is a great missionary. The trip over wasn’t as long as your but 4 hours wasn’t that bad, we slept in the house of the Zone leaders last night to catch the bus to São Manuel at 9a.m. This town is pretty old and old in the mission, right now there is branch here and the capela (chapel) is a house, but we well change that pretty soon.

Thank you for the confidence in me, I am always learning to be patient with the process of becoming the best missionary I can be. I have been thinking lately, I haven’t had as much success and other missionary in the field in terms of baptisms. This is a baptizing mission and there are people who really want to be baptised, but were to find them. It is normal to baptize 3, 4, 5 in a week and more in a mouth, but me only two. But these are two, I started really pondering over this, and the scripture in Doctrine and Convents 18 came to mind. “if you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto the children of men and bring just one soul how great should be your Joy, How great shall be your Joy if you can bring many souls unto God” How great shall be my joy with two souls children of heavenly father that are on their way to return to his presence, and After this how much desire I had to really find those people that are ready to receive the gospel, and too to really rely and have trust in the spirit. The thing I have been think has been a little lacking is using the spirit in finding, we have found some elect and it is possible, but now the trick is to develop this.

Thank you much for the pictures and the love, tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

That you for the letter Julie, and Parabens for your casamento por eternidade (marriage for eternity). Welcome to the family again, and I would love to see some picture of your reception and other events.

This is the last week of my second transfer here in Missão Brasil Campinas, time is never enough to get things done sometimes. Oh and I have exciting news, we are preparing two teenagers for baptism this Sunday and they are different than any other investigators we have had, they expect everything, read all that we have them read and when we asked them about baptism they were sincerely excited for their baptisms.

The process I am going through to become a true missionary is coming along, line upon line, lesson upon lesson, conversation upon conversation. Being like Ammon I have learned does not happen overnight but a process, a process that if build upon principles of the gospel and diligence we will become a powerful, successful, Christlike servant of the lord. But and the same time you can be successful day one, when you have the desire, goals, consistently grow and learn, practice, learn from mistakes and struggles, let the Lord mold you into the instrument he want and needs you to be, align your will with his, and work diligently, we are successful.

My Portuguese is becoming better every day, and as I look back at the beginning of this transfer I have progressed a lot. The funny thing is English I harder for me to speak than Portuguese. I say phrases and pronounce words for my Elder Martins my Brazilian companion, but a conversation is difficult. I have seen that as I have worked and only speaking in Portuguese the lord has blessed me with the gift of tongues and has taught me the lessons I needed to learn and still need to learn.

Até mais

Elder Sands

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PARABENS MEU IRMÃO E CUNHADA AMADOS. It is so exciting to see (hear) the joy, love, challenges, success, of your engagement and marriage.

This week has been great! We had the baptism of Adriano and he is truly elect, he was prepare to reacive and live the gospel with are the people that really desire to be baptised. We found another elect family that came and watched Adriano be baptised, and they are learning, and living the gospel. We taught the word of Wisdom yesterday and even though they have some problems with café, fumo (smoking) they sincerely accepted to live this mandamento.

The Mission is exciting and what we do helps share the gospel. My companion is a little energetic and gets excited and works hard with that, and the people we teach feel this excitement and have desire to do but a little lack of the rules of the mission. This is the balance I am trying to find and Improve, to have that excitement, fun, and being friendly but also be 100% obedient, humble, kind, loving and powerful when teaching. The best example of this is Joseph Smith, in the film “Joseph Smith, The prophet of the Restoration”, is perfect to explain this. He had the power and authority and power of a prophet but still played with the kids, had that fun with his fellow brothers, lived with that Christ like optimism and excitement, and joy of the gospel. Many missionaries are fun to be around, are excited, but have a distaste for the rules, and there are missionaries that are completely serious who work hard but don’t make those friendships and the atmospheres of trust that are so very important with working with the members and helping people be baptised. Many people only think you can be one or the other, but there is a balance that is necessary to find. Like all thing I am improving on this. Teaching with love power, conviction, and excitement is also so thing I am working on too.

But one thing that I am learning with Elder Martins is that rules are important and are here for a reason, Missionaries that don’t learn to not only do them, but love them they will not love to keep the commandments when they return home, all things, I am learning, has a time a place, but we have to find those times place and method to use them.

It is so wonderful and excited to see many people in the stake serve missions, this is the joy the gospel brings.

If anyone would like to write me and has a Washington Quarter to please send it with the letter. A brother here has many US Quarter and need this one to complete the collection.

Tchau, tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oi Familia tudo bem? Como vocês estão.

I sound like you had a wonderful time I hope Acea, sometimes things aren’t perfect, but we can still find that joy and learn from things. Things are always good If we want them to be, happiness and joy is a choice we make not is circumstances we find ourselves in. for my I would much rather have that hope and fun rather than looking for things we don’t like.

The work is moving forward here in Itatiba. This city is the city of hills, and hills, and a small hill in the near distance, but one thing is my strength is increasing, and some times and the rate of my ability to speak Portuguese. I also have really exciting news, we are helping another wonderful brother enter the waters of baptism on Saturday night. It is exciting because he can now progress, sentir este felicidade and receber the holy ghost sempre (always). We have found people, taught people, brought people to church, but only those who are truly prepared and elect have the desire to know for themselves if these things are true and a desire to be baptised. We haven’t had a lot of baptisms but I know that these two people are firm and truly have a desire to live the gospel and that brings me much joy.

My Mission life in the first few months really is the ground I am building my mission off of, every day I truly realize that I don’t do things that great, I have many weaknesses, and I have my own challenges as well. With teaching, every time I teach I realize I can do better and need to do better, some time I feel like I haven’t learn anything. But the one thing that is hard is teaching in Portuguese and no one understands, they look at you funny and my companion then re-explains everything I just said. But I am grateful for this; to break me down so that I can be molded into the instrument the Lord can then thrash the wheat of the harvest. I learn and improve from these things; some Elders I see don’t learn from their weaknesses and never improve. I know in whom I can really trust, that he has strengthened me and continues to strengthen me and is slowly but surely making my weaknesses become strong.

One thing I have been really focusing on is teaching with much more excitement, power and effective ness with questions, scriptures and love to. One great example I learn from a lot is the gospel principles teaches in the Ward. She is Italian and shows that excitement that makes me feel like that we can baptize hundreds. This is what I am working on, and I can see how much I have improved in just a few months, this is exciting and oh if I can just show you these people and where they were and where they are going then people will realize how great this work is.

Até next week, tchau tchau

Elder Sands

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

That is going to be a wonderful youth conference that will change lives, when I went it was a little different with different challenges and joys and helped me become who I am today. It is wonderful to learn so much from these activities that like a mission jump start your progression as we learn, ponder, apply and continue to live.

I have been thinking a lot this last week about the mission, missionaries and thoughts that can be on missions, how is Nathan doing, is he preparing, is he excited and desirous to go, Can I get his address so I can write him, I would really appreciate that? Also how is Ben doing; preparing?

The mission is a wonderful place where miracles happen all the time, where you grow, learn, fail, and succeed. I have been thinking about desire a lot this past week, where my desires were, where I was lacking, what I was succeeding in. The mission is tough at times, when you walk all day, in the heat of the sun, don’t find people to teach that day, haven’t eaten in a while, your investigators are not progressing, what do you do next? When you get on your mission, that flame of excitement, energy, enthusiasm, willingness to do whatever it takes dies if you do not feed that fire. It is fed with effective study, the desire to work, the faith to find, the hope that your investigators will have that desire to progress and live the commandments. This mission is not about us, but is the work of Jesus Christ and He guides this work. As we do all that we can to help people change their lives, not to just to be another baptism for all to see that we are successful, but to help them fulfill their divine potential, you can see in them and how happy they can be. This needs to be your focus and purpose for working to keep that fire, excitement, and energy growing stronger even than when it began.

Just two more weeks and you Levi and Julie will be married in the temple; I am so happy for you and be sure to continue to send pictures. And Karýl you will have a birthday, but your still young and full of energy just like Dad.

This is my testimony of the mission Jesus Cristo é nosso Salvador e ele vai nos ajudar neste trabalho. Joseph Smith foi um profeta de Deus. Deus se preparar um jeto para comprir todos mandamentos e ordens, todos as coias são possível com O Senhor.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I don’t have much time, but this past week has been a little crazy with transfers. Right now I am in a new area in Itatiba about 40 south of Campinas. At 10:30pm on Thursday Elder Facer and I got a phone call from our Zone Leaders and they told me that I was being transferred in an emergency transfer the next day. When the call comes we go and do in faith. Don’t worry nothing bad happened but I guess the President is preparing to close Sousas due to lack of missionaries and the work in that area is really weak and needs a period of preparation.

My new companion is Elder Martins a Brazilian who was also trained be my trainer Elder Bennett. He is a little lacks on the rules but gets excited and works well with people.

I will tell you what has occurred in the mission, which is sad and dishearten. Recently, missionaries have been leaving the mission field because they simply do not want to be here. This happen to a great dear friend of mine who just gave up. It is sad because they had so much potential to do good, even being an example to me before the mission field, but now, did not keep his focus on the mission, on helping other people and serving the Lord. And one other thing, on my mission I have witnessed this; it is far easier to serve a mission, find people, teach and baptize, but far harder to be a missionary, which happens by simply following the little rules, becoming like Christ a little at a time. This helps us so much on the mission, and after the mission for the rest of our lives. Those that don’t really live the gospel after the mission didn’t really become a missionary on their mission.

I well send more next week; I love all of you

Tchau, Tchau

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Well transfers came and Elder Bennett and I were on the edge of are seats. The call came and Elder Bennett is to remain in Matão and train a new missionary and I am transferred. We were both surprised but when the call comes, we do in faith. I had no clue who my companion was to be or which area but I packed my bags and went to Campinas to be transferred. Transfers happen yesterday and my new companion is Elder Facer and he has been in the field for 1 year and 8 months, and has just two transfers left. My new area is on Sousas Campinas which is really neat because we are in the same area as the temple and is just 15 min away on foot. Elder Facer is a great companion and reminds me little bit of Jeffery Winkfield. Sousas is a little different area and has its own difficulty and challenges. In Matão we were averaging about 40 lessons a week 15-20 with a member, 10 investigators at church per week, etc. Here the atmosphere is different the people are not as willing to hear the gospel, only a few go to church right now, but we lift were we stand. I know that there are people out there that are ready to hear the gospel; we just have to have the faith to find them.

In just 6 week I have learned alot about using every resource that you can use, and members are essential. gaining confidence and helping them have the vision that this are can and will be growing and many people entering the waters of baptism and remain active. There is the feeling of hopelessness in the air but there is always hope to find, teach , baptize and grow. the problem is some times 6 weeks is not very much time to get the job done, but we work are very hardest. As a missionary we can direct affect our success first with contacts, 210 a week, and with this we will find people to teach, finding people that will go to church and be baptized and we show the lord we are willing to do all that we can do.

So far my Portuguese is getting a lot better, when you only speak Portuguese you learn very fast, But at times people don´t understand me, but you can never give up and continue making mistakes and learning from them. I can teach all lesson with commandments,simply, and that is the goal to teach people simply so they understand and do. But teaching is different in the mission, we give the first lesson in 20-30 mins, second visit follow up, we then by then know there needs so far and ether focus on commandments or the other lesson. the real success come from them reading and praying to receive an answer and live all commandments and going to church.

my stuff is holding up and working great, and I feel that I brought all the thing I needed to bring here. I have not given any talks in church yet, I know that will change soon.

The only thing I ask is to send a real copy of Levi's and Julie's wedding announcement in the mail, it only takes 3 stamps, por favor.

I will send the picture next week.

tchau, tchau

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This past week has been filled with wonderful things. We are teaching a wonderful couple who are elato (elect) they really feel the need to change to live the gospel and to read the Book of Mormon and to pray to see if it is true. We had a wonderful noite familiar (family home Evening with them, Maria and Edvaldo, they made wonderful friends with a family in the Ala (ward) and were spiritually uplifted. We are planning their baptisms for this Sunday, We just need to follow up and give them and Interview. Sometimes it is hard to find people home and to stop by and follow up with people every day, but as long as we try are hardest to do, improve, to find and teach, obey the commandments and All missionary rules, We are and will be successful missionaries.

This past Friday we had a multi-Zone Conference in Campinas, with Elder Godoy, one of the Area Seventy in Brazil. I learned a lot of things of what I could understand; we are here in Brazil on our missions to save souls by finding teaching effectively, and baptizing them. This is no easy take at times and we practiced how to invite people to commit to do something more effectively. We are to Invite them to make and keep a commitment (read and pray about the Book of Mormon, Go to Church) teach them the Doctrine, testify, promise blessing and follow up. We are here to build the Kingdom in our areas and wars with priesthood, tithing, etc. and we are here to save our own souls to progress, keep all commandments, and grow and to keep growing and progressing when we get back from our missions.

Have a great week, Tchau tchau.

Elder Sands

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This first Mouth has gone by really fast. At times there is simply not enough time in the day to work, but we are able to share the gospel as change lives.

I will share an experience that has helped steer me in the direction for my mission. On Monday all of the new missionaries that have been out for one mouth meet with President Tanner for more training. I was very exciting to see old friends from the CTM and my district, but is was saddening to hear so many speak English, this may seem ok and normal but what I have learned on my mission from experience and general authorities is this. For missionaries learning another language for their missions, we have to be able to preach and teach the gospel in the native tongue of the people, and knowing just a missionary vocabulary is not magnifying our calling. The only way to really learn Portuguese is to only speak it. It really also shows the inward commitment of the missionary to use all of heart might mind and strength to this work, when you learn the language with your whole heart and with the help of the Lord. You can tell the difference, hear the difference and you witness the change of the missionary to become Christlike and to be the instrument the Lord needs you to be.

The work here is growing, we have found many wonderful families, and several are progressing to baptism. Also on Monday we were teaching Maria and Armando, they at first had many doubts and did not have much of a desire to read and pray to know that the things we were teaching them are indeed the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Cristo. All we did was pour our whole soul out in testimony, the simple testimonies of two Kids that are week, but have been made strong in the Lords hand, and they opened their hearts, and the spirit change their hearts. Maria said that she was wondering why we knocked (clapped) at their house, and share this message with them out of all the people in that neighborhood, I said, we are here because are message is true and are messengers of Jesus Christ. They said I know that I need to read this book and go to this church; I have never felt this way with any other person and from any other church. The Gospel changes lives and we are here to help change their lives.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Congratulations Acea for finishing a terrific year. Aye and how Elder Christofferson’s talk last April sobre correction in nossas vidas. Mas, acea voce vai fazer muito bom coisas. You will do many great things, and being a life guard is also fun and will teach you many great things. E você não pode compare yourself with other people, only to find good traits in other people and apply them in your own life, And scripture mastery is not a completion but helping you apply and share the gospel. I think you have grown a little bit more engressado (Funny) in just 3 months; it will be fun to talk to you in two years.

This has been a great week in Summarè. On Sunday we had a baptism of a wonderful man, Gilmar who changed and repented and you can see how the Gospel has changed his life, and that is why I am out here, to help change people’s lives by giving them the restored Gospel. But this week we have not had that much success. We found many wonderful families last week, but very few this week. Elder Bennett and I have been pondering, praying, and working smarter. Elder Bennett went to a meeting with the Mission President in which to have higher goals, some people might thing we just care about numbers and baptisms, no we are showing the lord and having the attitude to accomplish the will of the lord just like Nephi, We plan more effectively, more specific, greater faith and reliance on the lord to guide us to people that have been prepare to receive the Gospel. I am learning a lot of not having a lot of success, because I am finding things to improve, to learn and grow, to be shaped with patience and love into the instrument the Lord wants me to be.

Another principle I am learning is the principle of following-up. As missionary we found that if we do not go by every day or call about their progress in the commitments of reading the Book of Mormon, pray to know if it is true, preparing for baptism, they are less likely to be baptised.

Sorry but I forgot my camera so I will send the picture for the plaque next week.

I will pray for Julie to get better Eu Sinto muito para você Julie.

Tchau tchau.

Elder Sands

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This has been a wonderful and interesting week in Sumaré. Last Tuesday we had a down pour, a real life flash flood, I got my first bath in the streets (meu primero banho nas ruas), because of the hills and streets the place we were at, the streets were flooded. Right now, the days are really hot, but at night pretty chilly and my sweater is now one of my favorite friends. This week we found a new area if strength. On Monday we found 11 new investors, and taught 7 first lessons all on a couple of streets. The great thing about it is that we had to go back the next day to give them Books of Mormon.

Another Interesting thing about proselytizing in Brazil is that we sing a lot. We sing before Personal study, before companion study and before all lessons with members or investigators. Pray is also a wonderful thing, to help investigators learn how to pray, we first show them, then they try or we pray and they repeat, Brazilians are a wonderful, friendly, cooking people. The food here is great and I always love lunch, today we are eating lunch with an investigating family who has been prepared to receive the Gospel. Also I have never used my garrafa (water bottle filter) because the people that we teach give us water, sometimes food; it is a different and wonderful Culture.

Elder Sands

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My First area I am in the city of Sumaré which is fairly big, in the area of Matão which is on the edge and next to sugar cane fields. The work is going great, there is a difference in proselyting in Brazil, everyone is really friendly and they let you in and we are able to teach them the first lesson. But the thing that lets us know whether that person is ready to hear the gospel is we always invite them to be baptised in two weeks. This might sound weird but we really can focus our efforts on those that sincerely what to follow Christ.

My daily routine is pretty normal, at 6:30 we wake up and exercise and get ready for the day. At 7:45 we eat a small breakfast, if we have food. A thing about Brazil is we always eat lunch with members every day except our p-days which are Wednesdays. Then we study, first personal, then companion which right now Elder Bennett is helping with the lessons in Portuguese, then language which is helping me more with the language. Then we go out for about an hour and on our way to lunch and contact people, this is the best way to find people and their address are always good, then for the rest of the day we go find people’s houses from the contacts, visiting investigators, some members to strengthen, and less actives.

One thing I observed today at p-day with my Zone is that you have to speak the mission language always, and only when we are teaching Brazilians can we speak English, you can feel and tell the difference between Elders. My companion is fluent and doesn’t have to think about speaking while other Elders having been the same time in the mission have a hard time and still have an accent. I am so very grateful for my companion and his diligence in everything.

My time is almost up and I will remember to take a better Picture. Para-béms (congratulations) on the ring it looks really nice.

Tchau, Tchau.

Elder Sands

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This was a great last week at the CTM, we made goals to work hard, to learn what we can and to prepare for o campo (the field). It is a little sad to leave our humble abode of 2 months but we know our time is up and we need to go out into the field and to use the things we’ve learned and to go and serve. Then the day came, ontem (yesterday) to arrive first at the Mission home of President and Sister Tanner. We had a wonderful Almoço (lunch) and had interview with the president to let him know who we are and get a sense of how we will work. Then we received some training by the assistants and received a very confortable travissiero (pillow). That night I recebei (received) my first companion and trainer. His name is Elder Bennett from Draper Utah, but the cool thing is, he only talks to me in Portuguese, at first I thought he was Brazilian because he spoke it so very well. I am able to communicate better because of this, and he is helping me with grammar, better words to use in contacting and teaching.

Last night we were able to follow up on a family and taught some things about the Book of Mormon. At first it was hard but the spirit helps you beyond your imagination and it is becoming easier and easier to speak Portuguese and it hasn’t be so bad speaking no English for one day now. The Lord is helping me with this work. I was able to give a spiritual thought at a recent converts house, the teaching came more natural than at the CTM, I can feel real love for the people.

My P-days are on Wednesday and I am on around 12:00.

I am so excited for Nathan, Drew, Matt, and even Adam. Brazil is a Wonderful country with Wonderful people, and Portuguese is a wonderful, beautiful language. Just work your hardest at learning and doing.

I encourage you to write me at:

Elder Sebring Sands
Rua 10 de Setembro, 38
13023-100 - Campinas - SP

And it takes three stamps to send.
Até Logo, Tchau

Elder Sands

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thank you for that wonderful email Julie, I know that this is truly exciting. And I am not worried about our brotherly bond, you are a lot more pretty then I am.

This is the last week; hopefully I will be able to send some pictures next week in the field. My favorite scripture is 1 Nefí 3:7, now that I am here this declaration of faith and trust in the lord has been my goal, to be the instrument the Lord wants me to be and to not be limited to sharing the gospel through our limited knowledge but to rely on the spirit. The language is coming faster and I am able to teach simply with lots of help from the spirit, and I fell that I am really learning how to teach effectively, and the language comes. The gift of tongues is my friend and a remarkable gift from our Heavenly Father because he truly wants this missionary work to succeed. On Friday we were able to go again out to share the gospel with the Brazilian people, but this time in the downtown São Paulo in the financial center for South America. After we pleaded for help from the lord Elder Meredith and myself went about sharing the gospel. We talk to an older lady who was really excited to hear that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. Also the Lord led us to a Bishop and we were able to talk with many people in his office and give two Books of Mormon to great people. The spirit does truly lead us even though we don´t know some times that we actual were and are. I hope everything goes well for the wedding and I Hope everything is Ok with Karyl I keep all of you in my prayers. Thank you Julie for taking care of my brother, you can have him all to yourself and maybe the Lord. And for those who don´t know and are wondering CTM is Centro de treinamento missionário de Sáo Paulo, MTC but in Portuguese.

Love you all!

Tchau até logo from the field,

Elder Sands

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sorry Mom but happy mother’s day. I didn’t even know until someone happened to talk about it on that Sunday, I am now repenting. My P-day has been changed to Tuesday and I still email around 13:00 São Paulo time which is 4 hours. I would also very much like to what Levi did to propose to Julie. Also if it is alright can I get an email from Julie, I have to make sure she isn’t talking a too awful chance on Levi. I am probably not the first one to say this, but welcome to the family, Irmã Julie.

Brazil is a wonderful place, I was conversing with a brasiliero about brazil and one thing I have seen is that the church is strong, the members are have built their foundations on Christ, I have learned so much from our Brazilian roommate in just 3 weeks. we go to the temple we get to see a portion of São Paulo, the things I notice is that they only have small carros, they drive crazy, mostly the motorcyclists, and If you look down when crossing any street, you will get run over. Not to worry if you stay vigilant you will make it. Many people come and go in the CTM unless you are learning Portuguese, I feel the second biggest hurtle to jump is finding the needs of investigators, teaching it to them with to spirit, and ensuring that there conversion is in the Bok of Mormon. The language is coming better that I thought, we are able to teach, expound a little and teach with the spirit, it is just hard sometimes really being in sync with my companion, not because of lack of effort, but something that is new to both of us. We sat down and figured out what we can do to teach better, and we both knew that we really need to listen to the spirit, to each other, and also to the investor. It is wonderful to see how when I don’t know what to say next, Elder Meredith knows exactly what to say. We also were taking about how we do ok to good in lesson, but how can we be better not settling for less is the key. This Gospel is true and the Work is guided by Christ himself, one quote I heard is that Christ wants you to succeed. He is helping me; I could not do this work without him or the spirit.

Talk to you next week and sorry about the spelling I will try and do better next week.

Love you Mom and family, welcome to the family again Julie. tchau.

Elder Sands

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thank you so much for the emails, I figured that because of the time difference I didn’t get it time. That is so exciting E estou muito animado that Levi is engaged. It feels as if it is a pretty big prank, but I am very excited to hear to good news. All I ask is to send a picture to my mission Home, because I will get it in about 6 weeks.

The CTM is different than Provo. First of all, this CTM is a fortress with 20ft high wall, razor wire and spikes on the walls, with motion detectors, and a Israeli security firm that protects us. Don’t worry the Brazilian people are very nice, e muito Bom. The food is much better, different and much healthier. The teaching is different, with all native teachers. We learn grammar and then we apply everything in teaching and practicing. TE is wonderful because we get real advice on things we need to improve. This last Friday we went out proselyting in Casa Verde. It was difficult at first to speak to the brasileiros, but I could feel the Lord was helping me speak to the people with the spirit. We talked to several people that were Catholic and didn’t want anything to do with us but still were very friendly. Many people in Brazil say they have Books of Mormon, most of our time we committed people to read it, pray about it, and go to church that Sunday. We did talk to a few people and I felt the Book of Mormon in some way will change their lives. It is truly wonderful to share the truth of the gospel to the people of Brazil.

The language is coming faster than I thought possible, the gift of tongues is real and we couldn’t do this work without it. The cool thing is the help the Brazilians give you, and we in turn teach them a little bit of Ingles.

I love you both, Levi and minha Irmá Julie; ok, Spanish seems awkward and Portuguese seems natural. Levi did you now a Lopez family in Argentina, I know an elder here that might have remembered you

This gospel is wonderful and I feel the blessings and I know you guys are too. Eu amo todas pessoas em Brasil e voces. Até Logo tchau tchau.

Elder Sands

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Brazil is a wonderful, hot and rainy country. It is great to be here studying the gospel in Portuguese and learning to speak with the native speakers. We are getting to know people in Portuguese before we teach a lesson, is it difficult, but it is easier when you just say the language from the verbs and words you know.

This Friday we are going out into the neighborhood around the CTM and handing out some os Livros de Mormon. It is getting us ready to work and get used to the language; I hope they will understand the importance of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel we are there to share with them.

This past week I have done the most learning so far. Irmão Zamboi, one of my teachers, has been teaching us about learning, growing, changing yourself inside rather than blaming others for not learning, and to apply the principles of the gospel in your life. Every day I learn, and it is great to set goals for learning and to meet them, showing the lord you want to learn and he then helps you do that.

We are able to go out on P-day around the neighborhood and go to shops, mail letters and just talk to the people. The Brazilian people are so nice that they do like to have fun and help you if you just try and open your mouth.

The Food is always wonderful, what I have discovered is that some foods taste a little weird by itself but when you mix it with rice, it is fantastic. I also love this fruit call goiaba which the closest taste it compares to is a current berry but has a lime green skin and dark red on the inside, Levi might have had some. The candy and chocolate is good, but when you mention peanut butter all of the Brazilians go crazy.

This church is true and that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet to translate the Book of Mormon, We need to read it and apply the principles in it in our lives, and we need to develop a testimony of it and a love for it.

I will assume you still love me, I didn’t get your letter this week, I write at 1:00 my time which is 4 hours ahead of Washington time. Are you getting my Emails? I am collecting pictures to send and even some great landscapes for mom.

Até logo, tchau.

Elder Sands

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It was good to talk to you guys. I was a little down that night, we were tired, hot, and weary but I am glad we were only stuck in Dallas for one day. At the airport we were a little bored, but we were able to talk to some great people about life and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We also meet a lot of Brazilian members that were flying down to São Paulo and were able to understand a little and talk a little to them.

We were soon on the 9 and a half hour flight, I was sitting with a Brazilian and spoke a little too. I told him I was a missionary for the church but it was hard understanding him and talking with him. Then we made it to the airport and went through customs and I exchanged my money for 16 Reals. We then got on a bus to the CTM/MTC in São Paulo. I was hot, I was sticky and I needed to shave but we were all so happy to finally be in Brazil.

The food here is wonderful, different some times, but wonderful. The rice and beans is served in every meal and it is really tasty. For Breakfast we eat paninees, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. The Guadana is wonderful and it doesn’t really taste like the ginger ale and apple cider mix we had with the Crumps, but it is good.

The Learning and teaching here is different, it is wonderful to be able to speak the language with any Brazilian and they are very nice. They are a bit crazy and full of energy but great people. We also have one Brazilian in our room with his companion from Peru who is learning Portuguese. It is cool to see many Argentinians here as well. There is an Elder Lopez that says he remembers you, but he was speaking in Portuguese at the time so I don´t know for sure.

We are learning a lot more grammar but also focusing on getting to know investigators and teaching to that need. It is hard sometimes with the different situations that we have, it really teaches us to rely on the spirit and also know how to teach to answer their questions.

Wednesday is my P-day. On P-Days we get to go to the temple, it is beautiful and a wonderful time to learn and be edified. Also we get to go out and shop look around and talk with people. The ties down here are very cheap 15 reais for 2 ties or 4-6 bucks a tie.

I got to go but this gospel is true and the work is real and wonderful.

Elder Sands

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Dear Parents,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.

They now have companions and are settled into their rooms. They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study. The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting. These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.

The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs. He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple. This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.

Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

Please accept our love,

President Donald L Clark and Sister Zaza Clark


DO NOT SEND PACKAGES to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you. The only other option is for us to open the package and forward the letters and photographs, giving the rest of the content of the package to the missionaries that are here.

WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers. The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This has been a great week but also a little crazy. On Saturday my companion Elder Peterson went home to get surgery on his knee, and on Tuesday 5 Elders in our district went to the Brazil MTC leaving just four Elders this week, Elder Dimond my new companion, Elder Buchanan, Elder Clay and myself Elder Sands. Also on Tuesday night we had the great blessing of hearing from Elder Rasband. He talked about the great gift of the Holy Ghost and how to always have it with you. I learned that when we listen, and then do what the spirit directs then we will be lead to who the Lord has prepared, and that he can count on me to fulfill this great responsibility.

Then on Thursday we got our visas. 3 of us anyways, poor Elder Dimond is still waiting for his visa and is the only one left in our district. We are praying he will get his soon. I will be leaving to Sao Paulo on Tuesday the 19. I will try and call you at 7-7:30 Texas time.

Today, Friday I had the wonderful blessing to go to the Provo Temple, what a wonderful experience, and it is much bigger than the Spokane temple, I almost got lost in it if it weren’t for my companion steering me in the right direction. We even saw our teacher Irmao Canan on his day off in the temple, that was really exciting.

The Provo MTC has taught me many things, patience, charity for everyone, kindness, studying by the spirit, and trusting the Lord to help me out.

Also during our last TRC, when we taught, the lesson was everywhere by we knew we were being directed by the spirit, and that let us know we are doing the right thing.

This is the true gospel of Jesus Cristo and was restored on the earth again by Joseph Smith the prophet, the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I invite all who read this to read it and pray to know if it is true, if you do not have a copy two missionaries will be happy to take one to you. Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet on the earth today. And Jesus Christ is my savior and the savior of all mankind and we need to follow his example and have faith in him, repent of our sins, be baptized with one who has the authority, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and heed it's promptings, and endure to the end.

I will next write from the Brazil MTC!


Elder Sands

Friday, April 8, 2011

It is Elder Sands, sorry you haven't heard from me in a little while, but because of General Conference we did not get a P-day last week. This past week and a half has been wonderful. I got here and really couldn't believe I am here at the Missionary training center. I meet my district and almost all of them are going to Campinas. The days are made with studying, class time, and more studying, which isn't so bad because you have the spirit of learning that is very hard to get with all of the distractions in the outside world.

The language is going great, the first day our teacher Irmao (brother) Slater only spoke in Portuguese, it was difficult at first, but because we have been trying our best to speak the language all the time the lord is blessing us for our efforts with the gift of tongues. General Conference was wonderful, I loved Sister Stevans talk about how we need to be more like children found in Mosiah 3:19, I made it a goal to be more humble, patient, full of love, and willing to submit my will to the lords.

My companion Elder Peterson is wonderful, he is an elder with few words, but I am learning mountains from him, it humility, brotherly love, and patience. I need to tell you what is going on with us. He has been recovering from an ACL tear for 4 mouths and unfortunately he re torn it on the second day hear. After spending hours in the doctor’s office he has torn his ACL, MCL and his meniscus. He is leaving tomorrow to get surgery on it, and hopefully in 3 mouths he will be here again. I am very sad but will pull through.

Five elders in my district have their visas but not me and they leave Tuesday. I will be praying for it and hope it will come soon. I have been able to talk with Elder Lee a bit and he also got his visa and is leaving Tuesday. So I will have to see what will happen.

I am learning much and doing much; on our first TRC contacting in Portuguese it was rough the first time but got better by the third time. And we taught with the spirit and testified of the truthfulness of this gospel and we looked into their eyes and watched how the spirit was working on them, even though they were just volunteers.

It is great to hear from you and thank you for the letters, for right now just dear elder me because we only have 30 minutes and it is not that much time.

Thank you much I love you and will be out here for two years in service to the Lord.

Elder Sands

Monday, March 7, 2011

Only a short letter to the family this week.

Monday, February 28, 2011

This week wasn’t very exciting, we were all sick!

This week I go to Bahía Blanca and then we have interviews too. But even though we don’t have much time this week we have some amazing investigators!

Have a great week, Chao

Elder Sands

Monday, February 14, 2011

I didn’t send a good recording but I wasn’t feeling well today. I’ve been fighting my health.

It would seem that we we’re able to move out finally.

So we’re going to have two baptisms this week. Two ladies are ready and so we’re going to go on with it.

I have to go, have a great week.

Elder Sands

Monday, February 7, 2011

Well still we’re very complicated with the house it’s such a pain! I’m can’t stand missionaries that break EVERYTHING!

I did get transferred but only to the other side of the area so I lose all of my investigators but I get all of the investigators of the other Elders that live with us. I’m now with Elder Palma from Lima Peru.

So I don’t really have much time at the President sent a huge letter so I ran out of time but I love you all and have a great week! chau!

Elder Sands

Monday, January 31, 2011

This week was awesome and yet still really messed up. First the messed up part. We still aren’t out of this apartment and it is just a black hole when it comes to time. Thankfully we had more time than last week but still we lost a lot of hours to the house problems. We still have a lot to do but we should be moving Wednesday if all goes according to plan.

So as for the awesome part Marisa got Baptized! She’s so amazing and very humble and sensitive to the spirit. She said that when we put our hands on her head she felt like a fire! The spirit is sometimes something instant in terms of the way that we feel it.

So now we have some more investigators that are progressing. We have this Catholic lady Marta that is way prepared but her husband has dementia so it makes it a little difficult for her to come to things, but she was really impressed with how one member acted in the hospital as a volunteer and she was so impacted that she let us in and wanted to know what was it about that woman that made her that way. She loved the restauración as we shared it with her. She later told us about how she was having a terrible time after we had been by and she knew that it was Satan that didn’t want her to accept this!

There’s also another kid named Damian that we may be able to baptize this week because he’s been going for a year and a half and he never got baptized but now that he’s moved from Buenos Aires to here, it seems as though he wants to get baptized. We’ll find out soon on that!

The Lord is very merciful!

Have a great week, I love you all!

Elder Sands

Monday, January 17, 2011

Not much that happened this week as my comp and I we’re both sick on and off. We found out that something got in the water on this side of the city and has been affecting a ton of people, but we’re starting to get over it.

Officially we started to fix the house. Today was crazy. I had to pack up again and we’re playing musical chairs with the rooms in the house. Hopefully it’ll be done soon, it’s really a huge problem because it all takes so much time. We do at least have some options for a house! We still have to do a little bit of investigating in that so we’ll keep praying.

As for investigators, we do have the one lady that I talked about. She went to church yesterday with her family! She’s so ready to get baptized!

Thanks for everything have a great week! Chau

Elder Sands

Monday, January 10, 2011

This week wasn’t one that i would like to repeat. I got really sick on Wednesday night and after that and Thursday it didn’t really let up until late.

On Friday we had to stay in the house for several hours while some people came in and fixed all of the glass in the house. It’s been way complicated and we still haven’t really started anything. We did however have a miracle happen the son of the member who is helping us fix up the house, his wife wants to take the lessons and we’ve gone by to start that on Saturday. Today we go back again. We don’t know if they came to church yesterday because they said that they might go to a different ward.

That’s pretty much it for this week! Hopefully this week will be a bit more routine in that we get to teach a lot more!

Have a great week Chau!

Elder Sands

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wow, an exhausting week! We covered three areas pretty much all week long, it was crazy! I was with another Elder all week long because Elder Carter, an ex comp of mine, was sick and since my comp can’t walk, we we’re on "Divisions" all week which allowed us to more or less keep on working as "normal." Anyway after we did a whole bunch of walking and trying to work three areas which literally take up a third of the city, we are both very tired to say the least.

There is an Elder that had to go to Bahía Blanca so that when the next available plane that goes to the states comes, he can get there easier as he has to go back for an operation. He was with us until we went with Elder Sweany who is Elder Carter’s comp and we dropped him off with Elder Carter once he was feeling better. After that we were once again not able to do much because Elder Risenhoover can’t really walk at all.

All of the members were out of town or with family because New Year’s here is kind of like the biggest holiday that they have all year.

And with all that, here is the big news, I got called on Thursday night and was told that I’m getting transferred in 3 hours to Mar Del Plata to replace the Elder that has to go to the states. There wasn’t any room on the buses until Sunday night so I was able to stay and say a goodbye to everyone in the ward yesterday! I’m going to miss Villa Floresta a lot. The members have been really incredible. They helped us out a ton and even though we didn’t find anyone completely prepared to accept the gospel, I know that we did help a lot of people there and that they are in a position to listen more to the spirit because we did our best and some day they will get baptized and others are now returning to activity and getting the blessings of the gospel more completely in their lives.

Well, I had more to say than I thought I would. Have a great week and thanks for everything!

Elder Sands