Monday, November 13, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 7

So this week wasn´t the best week. I think that part of it is because I haven´t gotten a new daily planner yet, (because of some problems, and some imperfections.) Anyway, we haven´t planned the best this week, (I am the one that is more organized in the companionship.) I have faith that this week will go well. We visited Benedito again this week, and I had more deja vu. I don´t really know what to make of it.

Also we have a family that we are teaching this week that was a reference of the new Relief Society President. It is a friend of the member who had heard a lot about the missionaries through her friend, but the missionaries had never actually gone there. It was a strange experience because we ``knocked`` the door the first time, and her son came out, and we marked a different day. It was an experience like when missionaries had already been there, so we thought that we weren´t the first ones. We came back again, and the mother came out, and let us in without really talking to us (another sign of missionaries having been there before.) We started to talk, and we realized that the reason she was so open was because she had already heard a lot about the missionaries from her friend. We were amazed at how much they knew without talking to the missionaries. We are now teaching Vanderlei (the dad), Adelia (the mom, and the reference), Leonardo (the youngest son), and we will teach Vinicio who is the oldest son who wasn´t there when we talked with them the first time. This really was an example to me of how much the members can do to prepare people to accept the missionaries. Our job is to teach, but we can only do that if we have people to teach, and it is a lot easier to teach someone who has a friend who is a member. 

That was a long story, but I  all of you to talk a little bit more with people about the gospel or about the missionaries. It is something so simple, but it helps so much.

 I am grateful for all of the things I am doing here, and for the people I am getting to know. Thank you all for the support.

 --  Élder Pettingill

Monday, November 6, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 6

So this week was transfers, and nothing happened. I am stil here with Elder Curbelo which means that I will probably stay here for the next transfer as well (but it isn´t garenteed.)

So this week was a good week. The only thing is that Halloween isn´t really celebrated here so I didn´t even notice that it went by (that was really strange to realize.) We have been working a lot this week. This week I made Elder Curbelo the ``senior`` companion for the week so that he can prep better for one day being the senior. It was good. We have been contacting more references this week and that went well. We found a lot of people that are really good, and really prepared to receive the gospel. We have been well received in these homes, and the work is moving along. The mission president hopes to turn this branch into a ward in December, and the Lord is helping us help him make that happen.

I had an experience really cool. So one day we were going to contact a reference from a missionary that already served here a little while ago, and we ended up finding Benedito. He talked with the missionaries some time ago, and ever since has been reading, and praying to know if the book of Mormon is true, but he hasn´t received an answer yet because he had been hoping for a dream as an answer. Anyway we started to teach him, and I had the weirdest deja vu. I know that I had been there before, and that I had talked with him before. He had a lot of questions and doubts, but I think that we were able to resolve most of them. I know that for some reason I am here teaching this man. SO I would just like to testify that mission presidents are inspired, and that God loves his children. How this story relates I don´t know exactly, but I think that I knew this man before this life, and that if only for him I am here. So this makes sense to me, and I wanted to share this with all you.

I don´t know if I told you, but this area, and Jardim Ipê are in a city called São José dos Pinhais. This area is a poorer area that is also unusually focused on spiritual things so that is really good. I don´t feel unsafe here. Please pray for the branch here. We want a lot of people to come back to church, and we are having a lot of difficulty visiting all the people that need our help here.

 We will be going to the temple probably in the next transfer.

We have been teaching a lot, and helping a lot of people here in Borda do Campo, and the experiences that I am having every day are testifying to me that God is real, and that he lives. Jesus Christ is the son of God, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and we can come closer to God by studying it.

Thank you all for the support, and have a good week.

-- Élder Pettingill

This is of the Family Home Evening that we did with one of the sisters in the ward. Also there is a pic of our investigator Ricardo. Also, these are pics from the jeopardy activity that we did with the Branch this week which included ping pong.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Borda Do Campo Week 5

Hello everyone. So I realized that I have not written about the extent that my current companion played music before the mission. Elder Curbelo was famous; I don´t know exactly how famous, but he was to the point that he could get things really easily, and he could pay for his mission. From what I know he plays at least piano, guitar, and the drums.

Anyway this week was interesting. It started out good, went bad, then went back to good. We got at least three new investigators this week that are really good. Douglas still hasn´t talked with his Dad, but we are pushing to talk with him.

Also I will be renewing my visa tomorrow so that is crazy!

This week I learned that if we do our best to work, and to do what the Lord wants, he pours blessings out on us. We are finding golden investigators, and talking with some of the investigators that we haven´t been able to contact. There is a lot of work to do in this area, to the point that I haven´t really knocked doors in a while. I am feeling so blessed with all the little miracles that I am seeing. I know that everything goes well when we have faith. The gospel is wonderful and I know that we can all be blessed. One of the investigators that we found this week is Gionvanni. He is a guy who for most of his life was a workaholic until he had an experience where he lost a lot of money, and went into depression. He got out when he went to a church one day. His friend invited him to our church, because he is visiting a lot of different churches right now, and he really likes it. His friend referred him to us, and we talked with him. He wants to seek God in his life now.

I am so grateful for the gospel in my life and in the lives of others. Thank you all for the support. I am doing great here.

-- Élder Pettingill

Monday, October 23, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 4

So this week was a good week. We met our goals for the key indicators that we have so that was good. Also a lot of the problems with the branch are being resolved. The President got released (first councilor called), so it was a good week

We had a special division this week because there is an Elder in the district that passed in the area so he came on Tuesday with me, and showed a lot of addresses of people that he visited or contacted. It went well. Also with him we were able to find some new people to teach. After that Elder Curbelo and I marked 2 other baptismal dates, so now we have 3 people with dates for baptism in November. Ricardo who has a date for November 18th which will be a marriage as well. The problem is that he isn´t very firm on this date, he wants to put off the marriage until January, but we think that if he does that he will put it off again, and we want him to keep the commandments as soon as possible.

 We also have Eunisse, who is the mom of a recent convert. She wants to do everything right, and is already reading The Book of Mormon and is a decent way into 2 Nephi. Her problem is that she isn´t married with the person that she has been living with for 20 years, and based on what she has said, he isn´t too excited to get married, also he doesn´t want to talk with us. Date is for November 25th.

Also we have Douglas, who is the only one that came to church this week of the three. He is 14 years old, and almost all of his family are baptized. He is really cool, and he has a friend in the branch. The only problem is that his dad doesn´t like the church (basically religion in general) so pray that all goes well (he doesn´t know that Douglas is talking with us). He has a date for November 4th. I am praying that all goes well with these people.

I have learned a lot about faith this week with the story of Enoch. Enoch had a speech problem to the point that everyone hated him, but because of his faith the was able to convert a lot of people to the gospel to the point where his city was taken up to be with God until the second coming, and he had a one on one conversation with God where God basically explained everything that will happen. Now that is what I call faith. I made a goal to really have faith in God, and to trust in him completely. I love the story of Enoch now, and it just goes to show that with God everything is possible.

Thank you all for the support, and for everything that you do to live the gospel.

--Élder Pettingill

-Elder Andrade and I on the division with Pizza (tradition here)
-Elder Curbelo and I one day when he really wanted pizza
-the 12 Liters of yogurt, and 3 bags of cookies that a Irmã(sister-member) gave to us (Borda do Campo is awesome, also I am not going hungry her mom! :) )

Monday, October 16, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 3

Well this week was good, and interesting at the same time. I ate chicken heart for the first time--that wasn´t that interesting, but hey. We have been working a lot with less actives here, and I think some will start to come to church again soon. Also we have been working with a man called Ricardo. He had a baptismal date for the 28th, but he needs to get married so that will slow it down, but he wants to get married, and be baptized because they are commandments. He is a very good person. Also we have been talking with a youth called Douglas. Practically everyone in his family is baptized except him, and his brother, but we still haven´t been able to talk with the rest of his family. He has already prayed, and received a testimony. The only problem is that his Dad doesn´t like the church (he isn´t a memeber.) I don´t know why, but Douglas doesn´t really want him to know about him talking with us or going to church with us. Anyway that is cool. 

We had a division with the ZLs. I went to the other half of my old area, and Elder Curbelo stayed in Borda with one of his old companions that is a ZL now. It was good, and it helped me really get better at teaching and planning. It helped Elder Curbelo as well from what I have seen. 

I don´t really have any funny stories except Elder Curbelo bought a guitar, and now he is playing it a lot. (Every day before and after working). It is nice, and a little funny at the same time. I didn´t take any pics this week, but I will try to send some next week

I hope that you all are doing well, and thank you for the support

Stay in the gospel (it´s the better way!)

-- Élder Pettingill
This is a picture of Elder Herlin and Elder Pettingill from their division. They shared the butterfinger that we sent, which is Elder Herlin's favorite candy. So his mom shared the picture!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 2

So this week was good. I have seen a lot of miracles this week. I have started to write all the miracles down in my journal, but I don´t have it here with me to remind me of what it has in there.

So we had a zone conference this week and it was really good. We talked about goals, and the area books that we need to be updating every day. It was really cool, and I learned a lot from the things that we did there. I am really motivated to help out this branch here, and to do my best work for the Lord here in Borda do Campo.

Also I got a package from my Mom, with root beer flavoring packets and we are now putting them in these bottles that have carbonated water that they have here. Also I would like to give a shout out to the Folsom 3rd Ward Young Women that made a contribution. It was very fun to see that, and all the things that it had. I also got numbers for my hair cutting clippers, so I cut my hair. (see the pics). There were also a lot of treats and snacks that I am very grateful for along with pics of Mozzie (my dog). It was very fun to get all those pics. Thank you all.

This week we have been visiting a lot of less actives, and looking for others. We are helping out the ones that are less active rebuild, remember, or build their testimonies. There are 274 members in the branch, but only about 50 go to church. I am still finding out the details why, but we are going to help these people get over it.

Also I had an experience with cutting my hair this week. If you didn´t know or didn´t perceive I cut my own hair, but there is a part that I can´t really do by myself. This is the last part of cutting hair. So I had Elder Curbelo do it. It was late at night, and after I had taken a shower I was looking at the back part through some mirrors, and there was a part that was done badly. I was frustrated, but I prayed, and decided I would try to fix it with the help of the mirrors I had. I couldn´t get a good angle to do it so I decided to try it just by feeling with my hands. I was praying a lot while I did it, but everything turned out fine, and I was able to do it, and I know that it was Heavenly Father that guided my hand so that I could know that he loves me, and is there to help me with the small things that I am worried  about. I love how he picks the ways that we will recognize that he is there to help us. I am very grateful to be here serving the Lord in this branch.

Thank you all for the support.

--Élder Pettingill

So here are the pics this week. There are three of the hair cut that I gave myself when I finally got the hair cutting guards to do that. It was A LOT of hair. (as you can see.) Also there is a pic thanking the Folsom 3rd Ward for the things that they sent in my package. It was cool to get. Also there is one of our first District meeting with the transfers. There is Me and Elder Alvarado with the new ties we got. Elder Curbelo and I with a pizza we bought. Also I found a knock off Kool-Aid here. It was pretty funny to find. ​

Monday, October 2, 2017

Borda do Campo Week 1

So for those who don´t know português, which is probably all of you, Borda do Campo means 'the edge of the field'. In this case it means city and mission. The area here is really big, but it is because it has two areas far away that are included in the area. We don´t go there because we have to focus on the branch that we have right now. Anyway with this area we have about 30 members in the branch, and about 3-4 times that in less actives. What happened is that the branch president right now somehow got a lot of people angry so they are waiting for him to be released to come back to church,. Also he moved to a different ward but is still the branch president. Anyway one of his counselors, and one of the counselors from the Elder´s Quorum are holding everything together here. All in all, we have a lot of work to do.

Anyway the living situation is good here. We have a very big house, and we live close to the church, and in the middle of our area so all that is good. Elder Curbelo is a good missionary. He is very excited to work, and he has a lot of faith. With that faith we have seen miracles this week. Being the senior companion hasn´t changed much, but instead of focusing on only improving my teaching and work, I focus on helping Elder Curbelo as well, more than I would as a junior. Also I feel that I have more help from the Lord to be a good missionary, and be an example to my companion.

So we have really been blessed this week. We have been looking for addresses of less actives with people in the family that aren´t members, here they are called NTMs. We didn´t find a whole lot of those people, but we did manage to find a good amount of novos (new investigators). We found one family when the sister of the mom moved to our branch, but didn´t know where the church was, so her sister (the mom of the family) waved us down in the street as we were looking for addresses. We talked with her, and we gave a message to her, and her daughter, then came back when the father was at home, and taught the rest of the family. It was a good experience, and we have had a few experiences like that this week. I feel like we really worked well this week, and I feel blessed. 

General Conference was really good. I got to listen to the first, and most of the second sessions in English, because they set a computer up for me. I really like the talks by Elder Stevenson, and by Elder Holland. I like some of the other talks as well, but I don´t have my notes, and I don´t know the names of the general authorities. Anyway I liked the talk by Elder Stevenson that talked about how we should never let anything, no matter how small, block our view of the Savior. I also really like from the talk given by Elder Holland about how we are not perfect, but  at least the Savior is, and so at least we know where our goal is.

I am so grateful in my life for all that the Savior does for me every day. I am also immensly grateful for his prophets and apostles that lead, and guide us every day, and for all the help that we get so that one day after this life we can live with God again. 

Thank you all for the support.

-- Élder Pettingill

I won´t send any pics this week because the computers here are a little weird, and won´t show my adapter.

Here is a picture a member from his last area posted just before he left last week, along with Elder Salazar who had finished his mission and was going home.