Returning With Honor


Monday, November 30, 2015

Entire City Shut Down (Week 11)

Belem, Brazil

Before I get to the juicy details of this week...It was crazy to see the entire city lose internet! No one was able to use it, or go online. It was as if the entire city shut down! It affected everyone....Including us. So today we had to find a spot in a different (yet close area) to which we could communicate with you all today. I must say that I was very sad that two of our planned baptisms that I mentioned last week failed to happen. We had such high hopes for them but they just are not coming to church and they have a pastor from a different religion living at their house. So that makes it a bit harder, but we will see how it goes. Another investigator we have is under age and his mom does not want him to get baptized, but we will do our best to change that...well, if we can actually get into is house first.
Like I said, I was sad to not have the baptisms, but one thing I have learned this week is that things happen on the Lords time, and not on mine. So that was a good lesson I got, but I am going to make sure I give them the opportunity to learn about the Gospel, and if they take that opportunity I will be the HAPPIEST man alive! If they don't, I trust that the Lord has a plan. I just pray that the people we teach continue to stay safe. One day, I know that they will enter into the kingdom of God. Which degree? I don't know but God will prevail. 

On another note...

Clothes get very dirty here. I have to wash my clothes a lot to keep my white shirts clean! I honestly do miss my parents telling me what to do...its a lot easier then asking myself what would my parents tell me to do in certain situations.

An update on my weight...

I am still the same weight! I haven't gotten fat....hallelujah haha. They feed us so much food here! 

I love you all so much! I hope you all had a great thanksgiving!
-Elder Arevalo 

Monday, November 23, 2015

No Water During My Shower (Week 10)

Hi Everyone, 

This week I felt like my companion Elder Numbers, and I have improved our lesson teaching skills. We know what to say and when to say it, and progress is definitely being made! My companion says that the way we are teaching now is much better, and it is most likely because I am speaking more Portuguese now. In case some of you don't remember...we have two people for baptism this upcoming Saturday, and we have a family of seven that came to church yesterday! It was so awesome to have investigators at church. I made sure that I was always next to the investigators the whole time so that they felt welcome, and accompanied. 

For anyone who doesn't investigator is someone who is interested in learning more about out church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We just go around walking the streets of Brasil to see if anyone is interested in our spiritual message, and if they like what they hear, we invite them to come to church and learn more about our religion. It is so awesome to see people's hearts soften and eyes lighten up when they find our message to be uplifting! 

We are still walking a lot everyday. Opening a new area is hard work, and I am eating lots and lots of food...I am eating so much that I decided to limit myself haha. I don't want to get fat! My favorite food so far is this fruit called, açaí! I took a picture of it! 

I love this stuff!

Fun Facts Of This Week: 

-I stepped in dirty water! Which would really be no big deal, but this was like really dirty water. When I stepped in it I said "Ah Que Molesta" which is a Spanish saying that means, "Ah what an inconvenience", but here in Brasil that actually means "molest" and a person looked at me very strange. So I will never be saying that word here again haha. 

-Also, water ran out on me in the middle of the shower haha. Fun Week!

Love you All!
Elder Arevalo

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I was Homeless (Week 9)

Hi Everyone! 

Saving Lives

To start off...we are having a baptism on the 27th of November! I'm stoked! We probably have two more investigators getting baptized, but we are not sure yet. They are a little iffy if they are going to get baptized, but we are doing our best to make sure they understand out messages for now. 

I have a story about the Gift of Tongues...I was sharing my testimony. I really don't know fully what I said, but it seemed liked everyone felt the spirt and understood what I said so that's awesome. We recently also fasted for an investagator and that was hard because the heat kills us out here! My companion told me that fasting here is the hardest part but it brings the most blessings so thats good. Teaching is hard, I can't say everything I want to all the time, but I am speaking a lot through the Gift of Tongues. I am 100% sure I wouldn't be speaking this new language without it. Sometimes we just find people out in the streets that ask to listen to us!  They are ready to receive the Gospel they seemed really interested! 

I Was Homeless 

On another note...I am going to be 100% honest. For the past two weeks my companion and I have been living from house to house, because our contract for our apartment expired 4 months ago. We moved like every other day so I was kinda homeless, but I slept in a house every night so no worries. All the members of the church here are so willing to help. I love them so much! Elder Numbers and I eat lunch with different members everyday, and if anyone ever cancels on us then the Branch Presidents wife makes us food. We are so grateful for her! We always eat fruit for breakfast. I seriously love all the food here. I am even starting to like powdered milk, but not with a lot of water haha. For those who don't know...they only sell powdered milk out here in Brasil!  

Opening A New Area

I am also opening a new area with my companion so we had to learn our way around the new area, and it was hard to go to members houses and find people because it involves so much walking! Miles! So yeah, it's been kinda tough, but I am loving it. I can't believe how much time has passed already. I've been away from you all for 9 weeks now. I also saw the coolest thing! I took a picture. It was a replica of the Statue of Liberty! I thought I was in New York for a second! haha! 

I now have an apartment and all 4 of us are currently living there. We just need to buy some stuff, and we should be good to go. It was hard constantly moving from house to house, but the Lord never stops protecting those who simply do the best they can in life, especially when we are out daily serving our Lord. 
Love you all so much. Keep being your best and giving your all.

Elder Arevalo
In front of the Temple in Brazil
I thought I was in New York!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Walking 24 Kilometers/14 Miles In One Day (Week 8)

Hi Everyone!

This week felt like it flew by! I have been expanding my knowledge on how to better teach the people here in Brasil. I am trying to use stories in the scriptures to teach people with examples so that they better understand our message. I taught a lesson and I did not know how to perfectly say everything, but you can see that the people understand and really come closer to the Lord through the spirit during our lessons. I honestly cannot explain the joy I have from teaching. I just know without a doubt that what I am doing here in Brasil is what my Father in Heaven wants me to be doing. We even walked 24 kilometers in one day. That's about 14 MILES! We love being here to serve others in any way we can, even if we have to walk mile after mile to find those people who are ready to hear God's message. We currently have 4 people with dates to get baptized so we are very exited about that! We just need to have them come to church more! 

I ran across a scripture this past week that really reminded me of my mother in Ephesians. I hope to be a better son when I get home. I know that I was loving and kind to my mother, but I know there is so much more I can do to show my parents my love for them. My mom also told me that she will be sending my a package for Christmas! I am so exited! Even if I don't get the package...I am still so grateful that my family cares about me enough to prepare something and send it over with such love. I already love the package and I have no idea what it is! Haha!

Fun Fact: There are a lot of bugs that I have never seen. The bugs are bigger here and just very interesting haha. 

Mission Companions and Members from the Branch here in Brasil.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Second Biggest City in the World (In land area) Altamira! (Week 7)

Hello Everyone!

This past week I went from Sao Paulo to Belem to another location in Brazil called Altamira. Just to give everyone an inside look...Altamira is the second biggest city in the WORLD, but only because of the amount of land the city has...not because of its population or city size, but instead, for its land size. It is located in the state of Pará, in northern Brazil right by the Amazon river! The weather is very tropical and humid. Everyday is about 85-90 degrees. Altamira is served by Altamira Airport, which is were I flew to from Belem. The flight took about 4 hours and 40 minutes. It was fun flying in with other missionaries.

Since I've been here in Altamira, my new companion has been the greatest ever. His name is Elder Numbers and is now considered my dad and I am his mission son. haha! Elder Numbers is from Brasil and Utah. We both have really focused on heavenly fathers mission. We've have been constantly making new contacts and teaching the people here. We are currently teaching someone who will be going into the military soon. So far its going very well and I am so glad that my whole district is being patient with me and teaching me how to better speak Portuguese. They are so helpful! I made sure to attach a picture of me with three other missionaries, including Elder Numbers! 

The Food Is Amazing! 

I am really loving the food here and am using my water purifier to that the water doesn't make me sick. I have been eating A LOT haha. The food is something I will be enjoying everyday here for sure. I have been trying to find something called Açaí (pronouned a-sa-ee). It is a type of berry from the Amazon and it is so good! I can't explain the flavor, but's good stuff. 

Washing Clothes

Still no ruined clothes! So happy about that. We don't have a washing machine in our apartment, but the branch president lets us use his at his house, which is so kind of him and his family. Honestly, I feel like I am in Guatemala because there are a lot of similarities from when I've been in Guatemala with my family in the past. 

Please share this photo and please tell Ligia Barrera that I am doing great, and that I appreciate her email! I don't always get a lot of time to write to everyone! 

Love you all! Have a great week.
Elder Arevalo
Elder Arevalo [Far left] Elder Stiliviverson [Middle Left] Elder Santos [Middle Right] Elder Numbers [Far right] 
-Elder Stiliviverson is our District Leader and he is awesome.