Thursday, 28 March 2013

In Ashton 2 with... my son Elder Hill!

"I am still in Ashton 2! However, Elder Lesueur has moved in the Chorley Stake. My new companion is my new born son Elder Hill from Layton, Utah! He is just as tall as me. xD He is a basketball player. He is SUPER spiritual! He is always looking for ways that we can help others and has CRAZY AMMOUNTS OF FAITH! Oh my goodness! It is so good to be around someone with so much faith! :D
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to train Elder Hill! I am so excited for our time together! We have been together for nearly 24 hours now and I already love him! He is so excited about the Lord's work! He is very excited about working with the members and so I just know that Ashton 2 is going to keep on seeing Miracles happen.

If that wasn't good enough, I get to have my trainer in my Zone as well! So that's three generations in one Zone! I am so excited! Wow!

As I have spent some time speaking to Elder Hill, it has already reminded me of what I felt like and the sort of person I was when I first got to the mission. I have changed so much. The Lord has changed me so much! I feel comfortable in situations that 1 year ago would have terrified me. I love speaking to people, and I love going to bed at 10:30pm!

I did love my 6 weeks with my great friend Elder LeSueur here in Ashton 2 though. We were blessed to see great Miracles happen with J., T. and M.'s baptisms. They are all so solid as well!

One of the greatest Miracles this week though was on Sunday. As we were seating in the chapel waiting for Sacrament Meeting to start, Elder LeSueur and I look to the side and B. and B. are standing at the entrance!! We met both of them during my first week here and they said they'd like to come to church someday. There they were! 5 weeks later! They loved it and they said they were really glad that they made it to church.

I am excited for this transfer! Hopefully I get to spend 2 transfers with my son as this is only a 5 week transfer... But whatever the Lord has instore for both of us, "come what may and Love it"!"

From right to left: Elder Hill (Elder Pereira's son), Elder Pereira, Elder Lesueur...

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Elder Pereira's family would like to apologise for not updating his blog in 8 months, but we promise to be much better at keeping you updates with what's going on in his mission from now on!

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Gospel is true! :D

"This has been quite a crazy week! In a good sense though! I am just so happy to be a missionary! It was my 10 month mark yesterday... It is weird to think that one day I won't be doing this anymore. Well, not as rigidly as I am right now anyway. I love my mission. I don't want to stop being a missionary. I just keep thinking each day that I have to work that much harder, be that much more diligent and obedient, and speak to many more people. The Gospel is true! :D
Our dated Investigator, M., is amazing! Even though she is 9 she sounds like a 20 year old. Every time that we go over the lessons with her, either she already knows it or she will try to understand it. She asks such good questions as well! I see exactly why the Lord wants us to be as humble as a little child! She is so teachable! And, if we ask her if she has any questions, she does, which always gives us something to study about the next day. She is starving for knowledge! She is such a good example.
During Weekly Planning we were able to put into practice skills that we had learnt to help us have a better revelatory experience than we’d previously had. As we put these new skills into practice, the Lord blessed us with a referral! I love referrals!
The other piece of training that we really wanted to apply was the Member Lessons Skills, but, to do that we needed to meet with people!
Our first opportunity was at the M’s home. We shared with them the message of the Restoration of the Gospel and there was such a sweet Spirit in the home! We invited them to renew their testimony of the Book of Mormon often, and the next time we go over we will definitely make sure we sow and harvest and sow some more! I am sure that is because we were working with one heart and one mind, to build the Faith of all those around us rather than just sharing a nice spiritual thought.
We also had the opportunity to visit the W.’s on Sunday evening and share a Message with them. Oh yeah! And they had T. (Our Recent Convert) over! How great is that?! We were planning to share with them about the Plan of Salvation, but as we got talking about Preach My Gospel, we felt the need to adapt the lesson slightly. We spoke a little bit about “Teach when you find. Find when you teach” and about how people are accustomed to brief and powerful statements. Once again, there was a really sweet Spirit in the room as we shared testimonies with one another.
But my favourite part of the week had to be Sacrament Meeting. I don’t know why, but as a Missionary I just keep on loving church meetings more and more! The talks in Sacrament meeting were given by Bro Lowe, Sister Longmore and Brother Bell. I absolutely loved Bro Bell’s talk, as did everyone else. I don’t think I have ever felt the Spirit so strong in a sacrament meeting before, but it was such an amazing talk that even the children were listening. Yesterday, throughout the whole Sabbath day, I really learnt about who I am, about who I need to become like and how I can do it. I thought I already knew the answer to those questions, but turns out that when you think you know something the Lord humbles you down to the dust and tells you need to become better.
I love the Plan of Happiness so much! I am so glad that I can be sharing it with others at this time."

Monday, 11 March 2013

This is the Lord's work!

"What a great week it has been!
On Monday I had the opportunity to teach my very first Restoration lesson in PORTUGUESE! It was kind of crazy as the words at first were simply not coming out, but as I relied on the Lord and kept a prayer in my heart, we were able to teach a man and his two children about the Restoration of the Gospel. We are seeing them 3 again tonight so that should be exciting!
Tuesday started out with a huge District Meeting! We have half the Zone in the District, but I love it! We spoke about listening to our investigators and the Spirit as we teach, as well as developing love for those whom we work with so that they can feel like they can talk to us. Then I went on exchange with Elder Adair!
The exchange with Elder Adair went pretty well! On my first day there we went to a Park to do some park contacting as the sun was out and we knew it would be full of people. We met such an amazing man. When I said hello to him, he actually turned around and came over to us. He was in the park with his daughter and so we knew that we could talk about how the Gospel blesses family. He seems so solid and I am sure that when the Elders in Ashton 1 meet with him again he will continue to be amazing.
When I got back from the exchange, I had a wonderful surprise! T. and J. were going to the Temple on Thursday! It was so great to hear from them about how they enjoyed their experiences there and how they felt the peace and love that comes from God.
But my favourite part of the week was definitely Sunday! I just love how Sundays usually have so many Miracles!
In the morning, when we went to pick G. up from his house, his mother told us that when we got back she wanted to talk to us about her niece, so I was pretty interested about that. After church, when we got to G.’s house, his mum told us that her niece wanted to be baptized! Her niece then came downstairs, she is Portuguese. When her husband heard that the niece wanted to be baptized he said “A., you do realise that if you get baptized you have to go to church every week, right?” to which she replied “I can do that!” We are going to go see her tomorrow and I am so excited about it! Now I just need some Portuguese copies of the Book of Mormon! 
Yesterday I also receive a letter from my best friend serving in the Sierra Leone Mission, who I hadn’t heard from for 10 months! He hadn’t received any of the 3 letters I had sent. Turns out that that letter was the third letter he was sending me, but it was the first I got! It was so good to hear his testimony and his experiences from his missionary service in Africa!
It is so great to know that this is the Lord’s work!"

Current district!
Going clockwise: Sisters Allston, Orr, Ballantine, Longmore and Dunn; Elders Pereira, Lesueur, Webb, Adair, Omot and Miranda. Elder Miranda is the one at the bottom

Monday, 4 March 2013

God works in mysterious ways!

"Wow! What a week! Both T. and J. were able to get baptised by the end of the week even though it meant we had to see them EVERY SINGLE DAY! It was great though. It helped me to build strong relationships with them both and it became easier to know that they truly were converted to the Gospel.
Quite a lot of people showed up to the baptism! There were some of J.'s friends, T.'s boyfriend, about 8 other missionaries :P and President and Sister Preston! There were also quite a few members there, and it all went SO smoothly! :D I am so happy! I love members so much! Their baptisms were the smoothest baptism I have ever been in and the most spiritual also! I loved it so much. I have to admit something, back at home I wasn’t a big fan of going to baptismal services. I get what has changed though. I have realised that it is NEVER the same. Each time, there is a different child of God coming back to their Father. As I have worked with E. and J. in Barrow, and T. and J. here in Ashton, I have been able to enjoy their services not so much because of the organization that I put into it, but because like Alma, ‘when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy’. I love all 4 of those people so much!
On Sunday, I had the opportunity and privilege to confirm and give the gift of the Holy Ghost to J. and participate in T.’s confirmation also. It is such a blessing to have the Priesthood. You never really understand what the Priesthood is, and its blessings and power, until you use it. There is nothing like clearing your mind up and letting the Lord speak through you to give a blessing to one of His children.
J. brought her best friend to the baptism. She also took her to church the next day! In Gospel Principles, the teacher started the lesson by asking what miracles everyone had seen this past week and J.'s friend said that it had been her first time watching a baptism so that was something very special to her. She also said that J., had told her about how she felt as she was baptized and that she would like to feel like that also. Wow! What example J. was to me at that point! She had just been baptized and she was already standing as a witness of God to her friend. We have arranged to meet her at J.’s place this Thursday and I am really looking forward to it!
Elder Lesueur and I didn’t stop seeing miracles at the end of church meetings. They kept happening throughout the day. Now these are slightly crazy miracles - Aren’t they always – and I truly believe that what it says in Alma 17:3 is true! When we fast and pray, we can have the spirit of prophecy and revelation!
After the meetings, as we were still fasting we decided to do a couple of hours of tracting. We went by a Potential Investigator’s home who wasn’t actually home. So we spoke to all her neighbours who lived in her street. Nothing came out of it. So we started making our way back to the flat while street contacting. At one point, Elder Lesueur said hello to a lady who was pushing a pram and had two African children with her. As I looked up, in my mind I had kind of a flashback. Just the day before we had been looking through the Area Book and some progress records we had found in a drawer. While I was looking through the Area book, I stopped on a lady called S.’s record, and Elder Lesueur looked at the Area book and said ‘I am just reading about S.! Apparently she has two African foster children’. So, back to Sunday while finding, when Elder Lesueur said hello to this lady, I immediately knew who she was and did the craziest thing of all. I asked her ‘Have you ever spoken to missionaries before?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Is your name S.?!’ ‘Yes…’ ‘No way! S. God wanted us to meet today!’ It was slightly mad! But God works in mysterious ways.
Then, yesterday, we went to see a family we hadn’t seen all week. After seeing them, we had made plans to try by a few PIs and Las that lived in the area. As we were walking to one of the houses, I saw a street that I felt really good about, but we were already heading somewhere else. We knocked at the LA’s home and got no reply. So we were about to head somewhere else but the Spirit kept telling me we should go back and tract the other street I had felt good about. So we did! When we got to the street I relied on my Companion’s spiritual sensitivity to decide which side to tract as I asked him whether we should go for even or odd numbers. He chose evens and for a while I thought we were wasting our time in that street. In fact, it wasn’t until the second from last door that anything good happened!
We knocked at the second from last door, and as I was close to the door I could hear what was going on inside. A lady looked from the window and started saying things like ‘Those flippin’ Jehova’s Witnesses! What are they doing knocking on my door on a Sunday?!’ I had to think fast before she opened the door. When she did, she had her index finger up and was about to speak when I interrupted her and said ‘We are not the Jehova’s witnesses!’ She was absolutely confounded and told me to go ahead. We had the most amazing conversation with her! She is only 21 and still remembered a girl from school that was a Mormon! She had also heard of “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” but had never connected them with Mormons which I thought was really funny. Even though she started the conversation by saying she didn’t believe in God, we managed to break the ice and develop a good and solid enough relationship for her to admit to us that she hoped there was something else after death. We bore testimony and let her know that she can receive an answer for herself. We set up an appointment with her for Friday without any struggle at all, and we really feel she will be amazing!
I love receiving Inspiration from the Lord! Every time I do, I am thankful that the Lord placed me with Elder Matute who truly helped me to recognize promptings of the Spirit and to actually follow them. The Gospel is amazing! I love my mission so much! And more than anything, I love my companion, my investigators, my recent converts and the members I work with. I love it."

Baptism of J. and T. with Elder Lesueur and Elder Pereira