Monday, September 18, 2017

Oí Everybody Fazenda Rio Grande Semana 4-5 (Hi Everybody Fazenda Rio Grande Week 4-5) *Week 28

So first sorry i didn't have time to send a big email to everybody last week. It was my birthday so i had a lot of time talking to my family for my birthday!

I have had a lot of things that have gone on these past two weeks with a lot of experiences and a lot of just the normal. One thing that happened is that my friends Elder Sousa and Elder Goes have now gotten a home closer to their area now. Well actually its in their area which means now we have a house that is huge for just two missionaries lol. But this week we have had our investigators really really progress by either going to church or they are understanding everything we teach them and literally throwing out the coffee from the house lol. 

One of the days we were knocking doors ( we have knocked a lot!) we entered into the house and felt the spirit really strong. Anyways at the end of every lesson we ask if we can do anything to help of service of any kind. He began to talk about literally nothing and about life. It came down to it and he was asking for food. And its not like he said i wasn't a hamburger, he just said as small as a cup of rice would help his whole family be able to eat. At this moment i felt bad because sometimes money is tight for everybody but he was just asking for a little bit of rice. We don't have money to give out but i do want to see how we can help him for sure! 

The other day we were fasting to be able to find those that are looking for the truth. We passed a house and i saw a little boy running inside (maybe 2 years old) and i had an impression... Knock their door and talk to them. After lunch (because we were late) i knocked their door and said exactly what i thought Hello my name is Elder Hammond and my friend is Elder Pereira and we had a thought earlier that we need to share our message with you because its important for me and i know it can be important for your family and it brings blessings! Can we share this message with your family right now? Needless to say we entered right away and taught them. I don't know what will happen next but if i wasn't able to listen to the Holy Ghost we would not have talked to them. We will visit them this week to see how they are doing! 

Last thing i want to talk about is we found a less active family the other day with her 5 kids and how she wants the best for them (mom their son looks like me as a 2 year old and my cousin Bracken lol). We were talking and i thought of my mom! I remember my mom always wants the best for me and my siblings and i am so so so grateful for my mom today! When anything was hard she always brought Scriptures and God into the subject and even when sometimes i wasn't always the best at following i know we need the scriptures and God in our lives today! Thank you mom for always being a big example for me even when i was stubborn at times and didn't know where i wanted to be. Now i know without you i couldn't have found these things for myself. I know now we all need to search God in our lives to be better people and to learn and grow. I know that we have a Prophet today that talks with Our Heavenly Father and can guide our family better ! As President Gordon B. Hinkley said Satan knows where to place those bombs to destroy us and the first bomb is to destroy a family. In these days we need to build our house on top of God and Jesus Christ (our cement) and then build our pillars of church, prayer and scripture pondering!  I know this is a priority in these modern days!

Love you all!
-Elder Hammond 

The pizza was my 6 months in the mission!!!! - Bryson

A new tie! Thank you Grandma! Its a woven tie! - Bryson

Jacqueline made a birthday cake for Bryson! Claudio sent me these pictures on my birthday (9/15/17) over WhatsApp and said that Bryson said he was sharing this cake with me for my birthday. Such a sweet son I have! I missed him more than words on both of our birthday's, which are 4 days apart. - Mom (Amy Hammond)

Thank you Jacqueline for making Bryson a birthday cake! Thank you Claudio and Jacqueline for always taking such good care of our boys, and sending me pictures and messages so we know how Bryson is doing! We sure miss him, so these are tender mercy blessings you bring to us! - Mom (Amy Hammond)

Claudio with all 4 Elders

Such amazing missionaries!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Fazenda Rio Grande - Semana 3 (Week 26 - 6 Months!)

So there is one question members like to ask me during lunch. Well actually there is 2 questions lol. 1. Do you have beans and rice in the United states?..... and 2. Do you guys eat actual meals or just snack?... I can always expect to have these two questions asked during lunch. I always respond with I actually ate a lot of rice in my house almost every day. This is just 2 of the normal questions I get haha. 

So two weeks ago I had a fast because I have been needing to fast for a while and I had one day i was able to. So i had this fast to know if i should teach a lesson (which would be a bible bash, I don't like these because the spirit cant be there with this. Especially because I know this family likes to yell during these...)  or not because i had a feeling not to. Anyways this fast was for us to be able to find success in our area. Its a very good area but its hard to get people to church. So I arrived here and we didn't have any baptism dates set at all. This past week we have received 4 dates for baptisms. one mom with a son that is 5 years old we met this week used to be visited by the missionaries and then she moved 1 month before and she couldn't find another Chapel. She then finally contacted us though the Sisters in our district and said I NEED the address of your church and the contact of missionaries now. Lol a dream for missionaries and she already read the Book of Mormon front to back by then. She has already set a date for a baptism on the 15th of September!!! she said i want people to visit me too outside of the Missionaries! This week has has been really good in this aspect. We also were able to help 6 investigators get to church!!!!! So happy they were all able to make it this Sunday ! 

So finally this month i have officially become fluent enough i can carry on a full conversation and my accent is coming about 25-30% so people actually understand me now!!! This was my goal at 6 months to be fluent!! Oh i hit my 6 months this week btw 😀😎. I am so happy i can understand basically everything now even with words i don't understand i can understand with other words in the phrase! But this does not mean i will stop studying my best everyday. I literally don't want to have others think i am American when i talk lol. Love my country but if i am here in Brasil i want to talk like one!

This week we have walked more then i every have in my life! Actually our area goes from one city to another and we had lunch in Mandirituba the other day which is almost 2 hours walking south and that's from our house which isn't even the top of the area 😐. Needless to say i paid for my companion and i to get a bus home lol. 

This week has been great and my testimony has grown a lot this week through walking a lot to only find out a new investigator left the house when we had an appointment. This has stretched my faith a lot this week! Among other things too! 

Love ya all 
-Elder Hammond

Monday, August 28, 2017

Fazenda Rio Grande - Semana 2 (Week 25)

This week has been good and crazy in the same time lol. So for two days we were in the office of President Cuvelier one for Zone Conference and another for Interviews which i always like interviews with President Cuvelier ! 

So one crazy day that we had this week was i think Saturday and we were just knocking doors and one lady got really heated up at us because our Sabbath day is on Sunday and not Saturday and she basically invited all of her neighbors over to judge us that we are breaking the 10 Commandments because we go to church on Sundays lol. She said to return tomorrow because her husband would like to talk to us. I fasted for this and i got a feeling not to go because i know they will be in our face a lot about this. It wouldn't be a lesson it would just be them talking really loud lol. Anyways that same day we were walking i the street and this man that is the father of one of our investigators saw us. Keep in mind he was a pastor (built his church) and now he is a drug addict and just doesn't have a really good life now. So he said Ay! and then i said Opa boa tarde Irmão (good afternoon brother) Then he went off and said to us if you all go to my house again talking about the living Prophet Mormon again i will beat you both up and then i will call the cops on you both! Anyways we had planned to teach his family but they weren't in the house so we will return another day lol. 

This week i have felt the Atonement more and realized the importance of it and how everybody needs it in their life. We has Zone conference this week and President Cuvelier asked a question and that is "What have you learned through the Book of Mormon most?" I personally have learned more about repentance and the Atonement of Christ more. The Book of Mormon mentions repentance 360 times in just 600 pages (Portuguese has 600 pages) and without the Atonement we cant be forgiven of our sins and return to Heavenly Father. What have you all learned most from The Book of Mormon? If you haven't yet read it, find out for yourself by reading! 

I have photos this week lol!

-Elder Hammond

First pair of shoes worn out in 6 months! Time for the second pair, and mom preparing to send more!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fazenda Rio Grande - Semana 1 (Ala Pioneiros) (Week 24)

Hello everyone!

This week has been a bit crazy to be completely honest because my area is immensely bigger than my old area Novo Mundo. I think to be able to walk from one side to the other it has to be an hour or more just walking so that is fun lol. In Novo Mundo, i could walk from one side to the other and back in probably 30-45 minutes. The chapel for Church is outside of our area too which is new for me. It's a smaller ward because the wards split 6 weeks ago. We had a lot present this Sunday which is probably about 80 people in attendance so we have lots of work to do which is great! One thing I notices a lot Sunday is that the members rely a lot on the missionaries to almost teach lessons in class. It's a lot different than Curitiba for sure but I like it here a lot. Our session for church starts at 2:30 and ends at 5:30 which is cool because I get to study in the morning before we go to church 😁.

This house we are staying in is huge too we have 3 rooms, kitchen, dining room, front room (with nothing in it) and 2 bathrooms and then a area we have space to exercise ( we don't exercise really intense lol). The first day we got there we cleaned for maybe an hour or more because I would of died without cleaning there but it's all clean now!

So for the past 2 or 3 days its bee raining a lot here which I normally like but when we can't stay inside its a bit annoying. Yesterday I know for sure it rained literally all day and maybe stopped for 10 min and then raining cats and dogs again. It's okay when it's raining during sleep but I like to have the sun out when we teach. 

Lol so we have these two dogs that always follow us literally everywhere. They are not ours or anything but the just follow us when we knock doors or teach lessons. I arrived here and my companion said yeah they just protect us I guess lol. 

I have photos but I left my camera at the house ..... 😑 Not much fotos but more of how worn out my shoes are lol. I will be changing into my new ones soon for sure! will send the photos next week!

Até mais!

-Elder Hammond

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hello again everybody! (Week 23)

Today I start my new journey in another area and this means I am emailing from a lan house which is kinda a downfall but this area is huge which means lots of people to work with and more growth of the Church of Jesus Christ !!! 

This past Saturday we had the baptism of Lebny Gabriel and Abner!!!! I am so so so happy for their decision to be baptized and am so honored I was able to baptize Lebny! After Sunday they said to me that if I leave for another area that my mission was complete in Novo Mundo because they were baptized! I am also so happy to see Gabriel and Abner be ordained as a Teacher and Deacon and receive the Priesthood !! There is literally no other better feeling than to see the people I care about be more happy than they ever have and see the light glow on them! So in our church, after we are Baptised you receive the Gift of The Holy ghost! I did the confirmation for Lebny and yes it was in Portuguese in front of the whole ward. 

My language is not as much as a stress as it has been in the past and I think this is just because I am being patient with myself and realizing I am only 5 months here so I can be calm! 

I am so very excited for this new area too now! I am nervous but I am excited to help this area grow! No matter where I serve I will be working as hard as I did in the last area! Our church session starts here at 2 PM so that's going to be a little bit different but maybe this means more can attend sacrament meeting when we invite? Idk let's see how this goes. My companion wants to learn English so this means we will have language study every day and 30 min of English for him too! 

I am so honored to be here in Brasil and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in another language. I am so honored to be able to wear a nametag with my name and Jesus Christ on it too! 

Photos soon! 

-Elder Hammond

The baptism of Lebny Gabriel and Abner! Bryson was able to baptize Lebny. He sure loves this family!

Bryson with his new companion Elder Perera! He was transferred today to a new area, about 30 min from where he was before. We found out his new area is called Pioneiros or pronounced "Pioneers" in English.

So fun to see the items and hand written letters we sent Bryson in his care packages this month! We love and miss you Bryson! Hope these things help home not feel so far away.

Monday, August 7, 2017

BAPTISM!!! (Week 22 - 5 Months!)

This week has had its ups and also its downs and I think more downs than I have had my entire mission just thinking more about other things and being frustrated in ways. I should not be frustrated though! We had a baptism this week of Vitor and I was super shocked he choose me to baptize him because his GF is a member and she has people in her family that he could of choose lol. Anyway, I was and still am so grateful that he choose me to enter the water and baptism him!! I said the words wrong the first time but Heavenly Father knows I tried to pronounce it right! He is really kinda like me in a way because he is going into school for sports therapy and won't even drink soda lol. I drink soda here now because usually, people drink soda or juice (i try to stay with the juice lol) . Anyways he has been long prepared to be baptized he just needed somebody to help with that process! 

This Saturday Lebny, Gabriel, and Abner will be baptized and they are really excited! They even already know who will baptize who! I will baptize Lebny, Elder Krepsz will baptize Gabriel and a member Bruno will baptize Abner who is the leader for the young men here! Anyways they are really pumped for this next step in their life and I am excited to see them take on this step. Gabriel will leave with us Thursday to eat lunch with a member and then maybe go to some lessons after (he doesn't know about the lessons part though lol). This Saturday will be great because in my district we will have 11 baptisms in one day and we are trying to have them all in the same Chapel at the same time!!! I think that would be really cool. 

We read a part in The Book of Mórmon this week in 3 Nephi chapter 11 verses 7-17 and this describes a part when Jesus Christ visited the Americas and showed the scars on his feet and hands. I love this part in the scriptures because some day we will have this opportunity to know Jesus Christ in person! The Bible and The Book of Mórmon testify of this. here below is verses 7-15 but verses 1-19 are even better!!

 7 Behold my Beloved Sonin whom am well pleased, in whohave glorified my name—hear ye him.
And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; anbehold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he waclothed in white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes othe whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeareunto them.
And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, am the light and the life of the world; and have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified thFather in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which have suffered the willof the Father in all things from the beginning.
12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these wordthe whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.
13 And it came to pass that thLord spake unto them saying:
14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your ha ds into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that athe God of Israel, and the God of the whole earthand havbeen slain for the sins of the world.
15 And it came to pass that thmultitude went forth, and t rust their hands into his sideand did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and diknow of surety and did bearecord, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

Baptism of Vitor. He requested for Bryson to baptism him. 💗

Handsome Missionary, having fun! 😊

Packages from home and Suprise Skippy Peanut Butter! He received all of these on his 5th month anniversary! 😃