Thursday, August 18, 2016


So this area is probably the biggest out of all the areas I've worked in. It is also pretty disorganized here on our part. Right now we are just trying to figure out how to work more with the members. We also take care of a lot of other cities. All together I think there are about 7 cities in our area that the branch covers. So it's been kind of challenging to try and plan and work in all of them at the same time. So I think what we are going to do is just focus on one or two and go from there.

As for the weather it's been pretty sunny these last few days but it's gotten colder again. I guess from what they've told me is that this city is also one of the hottest cities in the state during the summer. So we'll see how it goes. 

My new companion is from Brazil. He is probably the oldest companion that I've had yet. He is 28 years old. So he is pretty calm and quiet. We are getting along pretty well. But yeah this is his last transfer. 

As for experiences this week not much has really happened. I guess one of the best experiences was our Zone meeting. This zone meeting, we all got into a big circle and talked about our areas and the difficulties that we are having. Then everyone gave ideas and advice to try to help one another. It was really cool. I really felt a lot closer to the other missionaries in the zone. 

The meetings are held in a rented building that used to be a gym. It's a pretty weird set up but it works. 

I love you. We are getting closer and closer to seeing each other again. It's kind of weird to think about. But time just keeps going by and November 15th is just around the corner. 

I love you,



This week was pretty exciting! The Olympic torch passed in our city last week. So we ran out of district meeting on Tuesday to get a look at that thing. I took pictures and video but sadly forget my camera at home. So I´ll have to send those to you guys next week. It was pretty awkward because we were the only adults there. There were a lot of school kids and then just us. But it was pretty cool the runner torch lady running by. It was pretty intense though because there were these police runners that make like a protective circle around her. They all looked like Reno 911 cops. So that was a fun thing that happened. 

As for more spiritual things. We had a miracle happen. So we have an investigator that we were teaching and he is pretty awesome. We taught him almost everything and we've been trying to set up a baptism date but he has been pretty apprehensive. So we invited him one night and he said he would pray about it. The next visit we went back he told us he had a surprise for us. He told us that him and his girlfriend were going to get baptized on Sunday! We were pretty shocked because we didn't even teach his girlfriend that much. So this Sunday we had two baptisms! The baptism was really was great! 

I love you and hope you guys get all the house stuff figured out. 

Oh about your questions. I do write in a journal once every month maybe or just when I have crazy things happen. And right now I am in a city called Lajedado. 

Love you again! 



We had two baptisms on Saturday which was really cool. They were confirmed on Sunday.

Another story. There were some issues later on that needed to be handled afterward, all is well now. I guess what I learned from this experience is that Pride has no place in the church. Pride has the power to destroy the lives of others. But thankfully forgiveness has the power to rebuild and move things forward. I admire the courage of those accused, how they were willing go back to church and keep their covenants they made with the Lord. I also admire the courage that they have to forgive those who have deeply hurt them and those who are in the wrong. I was able to see how strong Christ’s love is through these recent converts. 

I love you and hope that things are going well there. 




Sorry don't have time I was transferred today so I got to go but I sent an audio to dad for you guys to listen to. 

Love you!



So let's see, we made a ward mission plan with a slide show and virtual map of the ward. We ran out of appoints one night and we decided to eat at a new pizza joint. There they have more than 50 flavors of pizza! It was also rodizio which means unlimited slices of pizza! As for the work it was a bit complicated. Our investigators who were baptized didn't go to church because they had to travel because of a family emergency. Our new investigators couldn't come to church because they had to work or were already busy.  

I was able to upload a video and some photos of when we saw the Olympic torch pass through town. I will send you the link so you can see it. 

As for areas I guess they've all been about the same as the work goes. In Farroupilha, we had a lot of help from the leadership and we were able to find some pretty great investigators. Here in Lejeado is also really great to work. The members are fun to work with and we are really getting into a grove here of how to work. 

I remember sending those photos. That was when I was in Esteio. That guy speaks English and wanted to talk with you while I was there. And the other was when I was in Vista Alegre I think, I don't know. 

I love you. Have a good week. 

Love, Derek


So we had a few baptisms set for last week but they fell through. This week we are working more with two investigators. They are pretty cool. One is afraid to get baptized because of his wife who is of another church. But the other is really excited. This last week was pretty tough. Some of our investigators canceled on us, another committed to go to church but didn't go on Sunday. So it's been kind of hard in that sense but this week we have some great investigators to work with. 

As for miracles, we received a list of non-active members from the stake. They just wanted us to see if these people lived at these homes anymore. Most of them didn't live at these homes anymore. But as we were trying to contact one guy who lives in an apartment building he didn't answer the door. So we decided to knock on a neighbor's door to see if they knew who he was. When we knocked on the neighbor’s door we ended up finding a less active family that had come from another city but their documents in the church were never transferred so no one knew that they were living there. They are really cool and want to come back to the church. One of the sons has a girlfriend that isn't a member that we are teaching now. So it was really cool to see how Heavenly Father uses small things to complete his great purposes. 

I love you and hope you guys can figure out the whole housing thing. Hope you are doing well with everything. 

Have a great week!



Thanks for the pictures. Things here have been going O.K. My companion is great.

As for experiences this last week was cool because we met a new family to teach. We invited them to church on Sunday but it didn't seem like they were going to show up. So we went to the bishop’s office to call them when suddenly they walked in the front door of the chapel. It's kind of funny it usually takes until the very last second for our prayers to be answered. 

I love you and hope that you guys are doing well. I think about you guys all the time. 

Have a good week.




This week was actually pretty great. Things here have been pretty difficult. We were struggling a lot with the work but my new companion has helped a lot. I think I am going to learn a lot from him this transfer. We have also been joking around a lot which has been really great to relive the stress.

This week was also full of crazy moments, like on Wednesday we decided to take a different route on our way to a neighborhood where we work. But we found ourselves in a place where a giant corn field kept us from the neighborhood. So we decided to go through the corn field. We crossed barbed wire fences streams and dirt piles until we emerged in someone’s backyard. We got a few weird looks but it sure was fast!

This Sunday was great because we were able to take a lot of our investigators to church. We had to find a way to give everyone a lift to church. We ended up renting a van! 

We also got the chance to give service to lady on Sunday when her boyfriend decided to cut the break line on her motor-scooter.

So we saw this lady almost get hit by a car then crashed her scooter into the curb on the sidewalk right in front of us as we were coming home from a family home evening. It was just us in the street at the time. She was crying and said "He cut the brakes! Watch my bike as I call the police". Then she left us there for like 5 minutes. We weren't really sure what to do but soon the police showed up. It turns out the they had been fighting and it got heated but before she left he boyfriend un-screwed the brakes. They caught him and took him and her to the police station. But they needed a place to keep the scooter so they asked if we could keep it at our apartment for the night. And we said yes. So we pushed her scooter all the way to our apartment building looking like robbers in the process. She's going to come by to pick it up today.

But anyway it was a great week here in Lajeado, Brazil.

I love you guys and hope you guys have a great week!


Part (2)
So this first week of the transfer has been pretty crazy. A lot of things have happened. 

So first things first I will talk about some the miracles that happened. So this Sunday was ward conference and we were able to take almost all of our investigators to church! Which was 11 people! It was pretty hard because they all live in a neighborhood far from the chapel and we had to do some creative thinking to get them all there to church on Sunday morning. There are no buses. So we talked with an old pal. He is a van driver that we hired to take people to church. I was worried that it wouldn´t work but everything went smoothly. 

We also have a planned baptism for this Sunday! If it all goes as planned, we will help 3 people be baptized this Sunday! 

I am really happy with my new companion because he is funny and a great missionary. He was a zone leader but since he is ending his mission with me he's just a regular missionary. But he knows a lot and has a lot of experience. He is teaching me a lot about teaching by the spirit and planning. He also jokes around with me which has been fun. He has been out for 1 year and 11 months. 

I was able to clean the apartment on p-day last week but this week has been tough since we went to Porto Alegre today to make what is called a CPF for my companion. It´s kind of like a Social Security Number but it's different. I already made mine months ago but he didn't think he was going to need to because he is leaving but as it turns out he needs it or he has to pay a big ticket to the government. 

I hope things are going good there. I do love you guys and can't wait to see you guys again!



So today is transfer day and I stayed in my area (Lajeado) But my companion Elder Augusto was transferred. My new companion will be an American Elder Christensen. I've met and talked with him before, and he’s pretty cool. 

This week was pretty crazy because we traveled a lot. We had a Zone meeting with President Campos and his wife. It was a pretty cool meeting. There were a few changes made to the mission to help move things forward. For example, we are to hold the Book of Mormon in our hand wherever we go. It's been cool because more people ask about the book and it makes it easier to talk about the church. 

This Sunday a miracle occurred. An investigator that we've been teaching came to church. We've been trying to find a member to take her to church, last minute a member from another city came to visit her and took her to church. Church was pretty spiritual and awesome. I was glad to see that our investigator made some new friends and seemed to like the experience. I've also had some pretty great personal study experiences that really helped me to know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. As I read the scriptures I felt like he was talking to me directly. He also answered my prayers when we had to take a bus to Santa Cruz for the Zone Meeting. We were waiting for our District leader to arrive before we got onto the bus at the bus station. They were trying to arrive at the bus station but their bus arrived late and we missed the last bus to Santa Cruz. I was praying that we could make it there on time but I thought all was lost when we missed our bus. But then all of a sudden another bus came from nowhere that was going to Santa Cruz. And we hopped on as fast as possible and made it there on time. 

So anyway a lot of small but really sweet experiences. 

I love you and hope you guys have a great week!




Oh yeah Bryan and his son visited this Sunday at church because he served here a few years ago. He said a lot has changed I guess when he was here it wasn´t even a ward yet. But it was fun to talk with them. I felt a bit bad for his son because he doesn't speak any Portuguese. But I just joked around with him a bit. 

That sounds really fun. Ruth's cafe is awesome that is definitely a place I want to stop by once I get back. 

So this week was pretty complicated as well. We have pretty much run out of ideas to apply in our area. We are taking a last chance at asking for referrals from the members. So will see what happens with that. 

Oh on the 13th we have transfers so we’ll see if I am transferred or not this time. 

But other than that nothing new really. Oh today I will buy new shoes because everyone keeps commenting on them and pointing out how destroyed they are. 

As for the food nothing is really different here. Just a few things. Here there are a lot more Germans than a few of my other areas so there is some more German culture here. German breads and pastries and stuff like that. 

Oh yeah I just remembered I was invited by the bishop’s wife to help her in an English lesson. She teaches English in a place called Wizard, so I went there to help them practice. I will be going there again this week which will be fun. It is a great way to get referrals. 

I love you and hope that everything works out with the move. Have a good week!




Well this week was pretty tough. We weren´t able to baptize Sofia because her dad wants to baptize her. Her parents are separated and her dad lives in another state. He always comes to visit her on her birthday so he wanted to delay the baptism until then. Unfortunately, her birthday is in August. Yeah. So we'll see what happens. We are trying to work more with the members to get referrals and to meet more people to teach. The Bishop is really animated about Missionary work so that will help a lot. His son leaves for his mission next week. He'll be going to Quiabá in Brazil. 

So it turns out that our Mission President didn´t come to visit last week so luckily we didn´t have to clean everything, but we are still preparing for any surprise visits. 

That is weird to hear that they are already coming back from their missions. Time seems to go fast here. Before you know it I'll be back enjoying movies and food with you guys. 

Have you guys been searching for a new place? If so where? Because I've heard that Hawaii is a pretty nice place this time of the year. 

I love you and hope things get better for you guys. 




Sorry about that last email. It was pretty sucky. Anyway things here are going better than they were last week. We are teaching a lot of people but it´s been a bit difficult to help them progress and well do the stuff we ask them to do! There is this lady that we were teaching who is creating her own church. The last time that we were there she tried to prove to us that the Book of Mormon is false which was awkward because well it´s not. Sooo we left her house and taught her neighbors. The lesson was actually really great with the family but every time we go back to teach them they don´t let us in. It appears like the lady that lives next door said something to them but we don´t know what. Their son went to church and liked it but he now runs away from us so it´s a bit complicated. There are a lot of others who gave up on receiving the lessons. 

But this week we might have a baptism! We are teaching the daughter of a member that is less-active. Which has been going really well. We´ve also been teaching her step dad but he doesn´t seem very interested. 

Oh my old companion, my District leader has kidney stones! On Saturday he called me from the hospital and wasn´t doing so well. I guess there were a lot of people waiting to be attended too which is kind of funny because every time that we've been there, there never was anyone there. Anyway so he´s taking medication to try and break up the stones. If that doesn´t work, he will have to have surgery to take them out. 

As for me my health is good. I don´t have any problems. Well I guess the old thing is sometimes I have pain in my foot but nothing major. Makes sense since we walk for hours every day. 

Well, sounds like an adventure, moving again. I wish you guys luck if I am not there to help.

How are things going there?

Have a good week, I love you. 




So this week was a lot better than last week. We went to another city that is called Muçum which is also a part of our area. It was really cool because there was a member there who took us from house to house in his Love Bug. We were able to teach a lot of people there. The only problem is that it is really far from the chapel. 

I´ve been working on some letters for you guys. I will send them next week. 

I love you have a good week!




Yeah sorry I haven´t been writing as much as I should. I will make a greater effort to write to you guys about my investigators and what experiences I’ve had. 

It was really fun to be able to talk to you guys yesterday. I am missing you guys a lot but just 6 more months left until we get to see each other in person again. I hope that things are going well there. That is a bit sad about Remi but that´s still good that we can see him any day we want too. 

Well I am not sure what more to say I think I said a lot yesterday what I wanted to say.

Know that I love you, thanks for all of the support you are giving me. 




So I was transferred again, but this time I was transferred to Lajeado which is the other area in our district. Well it is on the other side of the river. So I will be skype-ing there in the new area. So I don´t know what time my new companion set up for us to skype. He is also Brazilian so that will be interesting to try and set up the time with you guys. I also don´t know what day we will be calling to confirm the time. I also usually use the church phone because it can make international calls. But sometimes I use googles internet phone. 

Things have been going really good. I really liked working with my companion Elder Sacramento but sadly I was transferred and I know my new companion because he is a part of my district. I am pretty sure this next transfer will be full of...."change". But! I am going to head in with lots of optimism!

sorry ran out of time again. 

I will be calling to setup a time. I might call on Saturday if not I will call early on Sunday. 




So this week was pretty rough as well. We have been hitting a few road blocks with our investigators and so it’s been a bit hard to help them progress. 

But as for the weather it has been raining a lot these past few days and the temperature has also dropped a bit. So it has been a lot more bearable. It is just crazy hot here so whenever it is overcast I am always jumping with joy. 

As for our p-days it just depends on the day. Here we just hang around the house cleaning, making cookies or sleeping. Sometimes we watch church movies on our dvd player. It´s usually pretty relaxed. We also usually go to the store and buy food and stuff for the week. Sometimes in other areas we go to a shopping mall if there is one. I think the best thing I did on p-day was eat Bar b que at a member’s house one time. But really the best part is usually talking to you guys. 

I usually don´t see my first companion very often, he is usually in other zones. I only see him at zone conferences. The last time I saw him was at the bus station in Porto Alegre during the transfer. 

My exit group will be pretty big I think we are 6 Americans in all. Maybe more. The president thought that sending us home on the 18th of October would make that exit group really big so he made another to make it easier. 

That is pretty interesting to know I am the only one out from the ward. Well we are getting closer. Just 7 months now! 

I love you have good week! 




The new area is pretty great! The city is in vale. So there are mountains around on the horizon. It is also really green here because there is a big river that passes by the city. Which makes it really humid here. I would say that it´s about the same temperature as my last area. This week is going to be in the 90's so that will be interesting. 

As for lunch with the members we usually just eat with 4 or 5 families in the branch. But it´s not that big of a problem. 

As for the apartment. well it is definitely different than any other mission home that I've lived in. It looks like it was made in the 50's. It has wood floors full of termites. It is a bit run down but it is really big and spacious. I will send a video to you guys of the apartment. 

This week was pretty challenging. It was really hot and humid and sadly we weren't able to take all of our investigators to church on Sunday. Of 11 only one came. But this week will be a lot better I think. 

I love you mom have a good week!