Monday, April 28, 2014

CRABS!

Baptism of M!


Hello everybody! 
I had a couple responsibilities on the computer today with a new program for the retention of recent-converts, so I won't have so much time to write to you all.




Love the beaches of Salinas!
Elder Gale, M, and his brother who baptized him.





Yet another miracle! 

God 
blesses us very much. 








We traveled to Salinas on Thursday and met M. He had such a sincere desire to be baptized and be a member that we couldn't wait for the next week. M was baptized on Friday morning in the oceans of Salinas by his brother, R.







After the baptism 
we had an interesting lunch at Raimundo's house--CRABS! 








They were very good! 
You have to break the legs off and eat the portions of meat on the insides. 









You can also suck the juice from the legs. 
It was delicious!







Baptism of J!



J was baptized on Saturday here in Capanema--it was a very tranquil baptismal service.  I played my violin for J's baptism.  




J and her mom





Only her mom was able to come to see the actual baptism, 
but she had the support of her whole family.











Both of the baptisms were wonderful experiences. The Lord is really blessing us in our work here in Capanema and Salinas.
You asked about Elder Da Rosa and our relationship: I don't think that I've ever had a better companion. We're best friends and it's a wonderful opportunity I have to serve him as his trainer and leader, as well as to learn from him and the ideas he has. 

New missionaries have a hope for people that inspires me to continue the work of salvation with enthusiasm! I hope I can stay with Elder Da Rosa for a long time.
Transfers are this next week, can you believe it!?! The members in Salinas told us that they made a special request that we be sent there, but I doubt they really have any influence over the president. Almost 100% I will stay with Elder Da Rosa in either Salinas or Capanema.

We still need to finalize our plans for Mother's day here in Capanema/Salinas, but let's plan for now to Skype/talk at 3 o´clock, Brasil time.
I wish I had more time to write you all. I love each one of you!
Called to Serve,
Elder Gale















Monday, April 21, 2014

BAPTISMO!

Hello everybody!   Happy Easter to you all!
It sounds like Easter was a happy experience for all of you. Mom, I wish so much that I could have been there for your talk and the song you signed. I hope I can see it after somehow! :D
Easter here in Brasil was different but wonderful. There wasn't so much celebration as I am used to. Everything is still very commercialized here, but not the same level as the US. I felt like people focused more on the Resurrection of Christ than the eggs and candy...but maybe that's just because I'm a missionary and everybody acts like that around me. :D
Baptism of M!

Our week was absolutely a week of miracles. We started the week thinking we would have nobody to be baptized. 






On Tuesday, we ended up speaking with one of our old investigators and challenged him for the next Saturday










Miraculously, he accepted! We've been working with him since before I arrived, so it was an absolute surprise to see him willing to change.



We visited him every day during the week and he was baptized on Saturday.

Hallelujah!


Salinas! In this photo everybody is up early in the morning for the baptism.
It has to happen early because if we wait there will be people on the beach.
Everyone´s getting ready for J's baptism! 
(just pretend you don´t notice the hat he´s wearing ;) )




The other was a man named J.  














Actually, we heard about him on Sunday--that he went to the meeting in Salinas. 















I called him on Tuesday and taught the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity to him over the telephone.






Baptism of J! 








On Thursday we traveled to Salinas and taught him for the first time. 





J is taller, and Renato is the young man who baptized him.They both want to be missionaries! 








We read Mosiah 18- baptism powerhouse! 








Everybody together for the baptism!






On Friday 
he was baptized!













Another miracle of the week:
After the baptism, some of the members jumped into the sea to take a bath. 

We have been preparing a young woman, J, for baptism this next Saturday. She lives very far away, so until yesterday we had only met with her in the Chapel. 




Yesterday we had a bit of free time and so we decided to visit her in her house. When we finally found the house, she wasn't there! We talked with her family and explained that we were teaching her. We asked if we could share a message with them. 

1 hour later, Jessica's parents and 4 siblings were on date to be baptized! And they are very excited to come to Jessica's baptism. 

Thank you so much for your prayers that we would find a family! They still need to be married, but we will work with them on that.
Crazy Brazilians!
It was interesting to read your letter about violin. It's weird to me to think that violin was such a big part of my life only a short time ago. I still play frequently, but without practice I've lost a lot of the technical ability I had. I think part of it is the violin itself, because it's not very good for the violin to be in the heat and humidity of Brazil. When I try to play some of the classics that I played for the Senior Recital, I can't get through half the song. But it's absolutely a sacrifice worthwhile to be present here in Capanema being a missionary. There is no work with greater reward than this.
Me at the lighthouse in Salinas!
Piano, however, is a different story. I play every sacrament meeting for the congregation, and while I still don't play all the notes perfectly, I can play almost every hymn in the hymnal. It's great to be able to help the members and still have some music in my life. :D
I hope you all enjoy the time you have with Austin in the last couple months, and especially the last months of him having a beard! You will treasure these memories very much.
I love you all. Choose the right!
Called to Serve,
Elder Gale














Monday, April 14, 2014

SALINAS IS A GROUP!

Hello family, everybody else in the US! I hope everybody's doing well. Life, as always, is steller here in Brasil-Pará-Capanema. It's starting to get very hot here as summer begins to emerge. I might even start to miss the rain...:D
I think the greatest notice of this week is the Title of my Email. Salinas finally became a group! I wasn't able to be there in the actual meeting when it was decided, but I felt a part of it all the same. The stake president came in from Castanhal to visit with the members and investigators and he quickly saw that Salinas was more than ready.
I feel a bit of pride in this. Elder Barros and I were actually the first missionaries to travel to Salinas. The members were the real driving force helping Salinas, but I feel privileged to have been even a small part in helping the members of Salinas grow together as a community in Christ. We don't yet know who will be sent/assigned to work in Salinas, but there will probably be another companionship sent there in the next week. It will grow very fast.
Meanwhile I am loving being here in Capanema with Elder Da Rosa. He is learning very quickly and has a lot of great ideas for missionary work. I hope we will stay together for a long time.
 The work is going fairly well. We are really praying for families to teach. We would appreciate the prayers of our family and friends to help us find, teach, and baptize families. The gospel is meant for families, and President is really emphasizing family's in the mission. Thank you for everything!
Called to Serve,
Elder Gale

Monday, April 7, 2014

...IT'S A BOY!!!

I never thought that I would have to say this while I was on a mission...but Mother....I have a child!
His name is Elder da Rosa. I am his father. He is my son. It's a pretty spectacular relationship.
For those of you who are not familiar with Mission Terms, when a missionary trains a new missionary, he is his father. This transfer, I was lucky enough to be one of the 6 Elders chosen to train the new group of missionaries. I was also asked to be the new District Leader over the city of Capanema and Salinas, which includes our area and the area of the Sisters (Sister Moraes and Sister Mendenhall). Salinas will continue being our area.
I was pretty surprised at the news. I was already hoping to train, but when Elder Soares (the new assistant to the President) called and said I would also be the District Leader I actually replied, "Are you crazy???" in Portuguese. For those of you who are wondering, that is "Tu é doido, eh??".  So life for me changed pretty dramatically. All of a sudden I'm responsible for 2 areas, Senior Companion, and training a new missionary. All in all, I like the change...I think.
I'll start with my companion, Elder da Rosa. He is really from Rio Grande do Sul, but lived in São Paulo with his Uncle for the past couple years. He has been a member all his life and is very excited to serve a mission. We are very similar in our likes and dislikes and are both excited to work hard and see miracles. He doesn't seem to miss his family too much and is very ready to learn. He doesn't have too many nerves to talk to people and is making a good impression on the members of Capanema and the residents. We lost quite a bit of the week because I had to travel to Belém, but in the 3 following days we made 70 contacts and 30 in 1 day, which is more than I have ever done. And Elder da Rosa made a little under half of them! It's so nice to be able to work when I want to and not when my companion wants to. If we keep up this work we will see a ton of miracles this transfer.
Of course, it was a pleasure to hear from our beloved Prophet and the Apostles. There were many things said that I felt were directed exactly at me. I hope you all were able to watch all of the sessions and learn from the doctrine and the spirit of the conference. It was a bit hard to watch in Portuguese, because the translator has to speak over the speaker, but conference was just as good as ever. On the talk of Elder Aidukaitis, he pre-recorded himself speaking in Portuguese, and it was cool to hear the talk without pause.
We had several people this last week that we were preparing for baptism this next Saturday, but they fell through and probably we will not baptize anyone this Saturday. We'll see.
I almost don't know what else to write...life is good. My companion's awesome. We will visit Salinas on Thursday and hold a Family Home Evening with everybody there. It will be great.
Thank you guys so much for the support. It sounds like things are pretty awesome in Missouri and you guys are having a good time. I thought those ideas for the April Fools Day pranks were hilarious! Only my mom...:D April Fools Day exists here but people generally don't do much for it. Dia da Mentira, or day of the Lie.
Love you guys!
Elder Gale