Returning With Honor


Monday, March 28, 2016

We were Assaulted (Week 28)

Hey Everyone, 

I hope everyone back home had a great Easter Sunday! I know we did! We did a few activities, and even did a "secret friend" gift giving thing with a family. My companion Elder Graças, and I pondered and really focused on the importance of the rememberene of the true meaning of Easter. I can't express to you all enough how strongly I can testify to you that HE LIVES! 

He lives to comfort us when faint, to plead for us now and ever more, to wash away our pride and fear, to give us strength and courage to proceed, to let us know we will succeed, to hear our souls complaint and calm our troubled heart, to feed our hungry souls and quench our thirsting turn our fears into faith, to bear our pain, and to be our prophet, priest, and King! For this and more I too rejoice and declare that he lives. Let us never forget the true meaning of Easter.

The rest of the week:

I got to go on splits with the ZL, and we had a great time. We spoke and taught a lot. It was really cool to be in a different area and learn from the ZL. I am so thankful for that opportunity! 

I also got assaulted this past week. I knew this was going to happen at some point on my mission haha and I may or may not give my mom a heart attack for sharing this, but here we go...My companion Elder Graças and I were walking. I had a feeling that someone was abnormally close to me. I turned around and saw a man reaching for my stuff! The first thing that popped into my head was to prepare to defend myself and react quickly. (Anyone who knows me... knows that I am the biggest goofball, but at the same time have extensive knowledge in self defense/fighting) but I knew I was a missionary, and I just told myself to defend, never fight. So I did the Electric slide away from him. He came closer, swung a punch, but I dodged it and just slid away again. He ran away, and then I looked over at my companion and saw that he needed help. The man attacking my companion was a bit more aggressive. I ran over to help my companion who had to defend himself a bit more then me, and as I came over he ran away too. Nothing happened to us, and the only thing they took was some bread that Elder Graças had. 

Elder Graças and I just looked at each other and went to a more private area to thank our father in heaven for keeping us safe. My faith had been reassured and strengthened by this experience. Never will I deny the love our Father has for ALL of us, as his children. It could have been much worse, and we are so thankful that it was no where near as bad as it could have been, and for that we are eternally grateful.

I hope you all have a safe and productive week!
Elder Arevalo 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thank You To Those Back Home (Week 27)

Hi Everyone!

Spiritual Experiences: 

I hope everyone has been having a great week! This week my sister asked me to share some spiritual experiences that I have had. I pondered a bit on some experiences I have had, and one experience I continue to have over and over is when I study for an investigator. I usually see a scripture that I know will help them, and I instantly right it down and make sure to share it with that investigator that pops into my head and it helps them a ton. After they hear the scripture they have this glow in their eyes that confirms that whatever question they had now made sense. 

One of our investigators Romero said "I know it is true, It's real!" Another spiritual experience happened during a lesson. When we finished the lesson I was going to give the last prayer, and I randomly had the thought to ask if they want me to pray for something special in this prayer, and the investigator Eloise poured her heart and soul to us and started to cry. She talked about all the difficulties in her life, and how she knows she needs the Gospel in her life. She is a single mom who takes care of her mother and her children. I felt the spirit very strong that time. There was not doubt in my mind that I  felt the love the Lord has for her. 

My Companion:

Life with my new companion has definitely been good so far. Elder Graças is from southern Brasil, so he occasionally uses different words, and it throws me off a bit, but I am getting used to the different words and lingoes used here in Brasil haha. It's kind how we speak back in the USA. Some of us say Soda while others say Pop, but overall I feel very comfortable speaking Portuguese. Everyone says I look Brazilian, so I consider my self Brazilian now haha. -VIVA BRASIL-

Thank you to those back home:

Something that really touched me this week is something my dad told me the other week. I was telling him all about life here in Brasil and we started talking about ward life back in Illinois, and he said the following:

"...You are loved by so many people.  During testimony
meeting at church Sister Ranchero thanked us, but especially YOU for being a great 
influence on her son Brent and for helping him get his paperwork ready so that he can go on his mission. Also, just last Sunday a lady form the first word spoke to mom. She mentioned how she has some pictures of when you helped her son Parker to complete his eagle project. They said you had such compassion and love while helping and they thanked us for having such a great son. We feel so blessed to have you as our son, and are reminded of the great works you have accomplished in the past, and I have no doubt that you are continuing to do the same in Brazil..."

What a blessing to have such loving members back home. I hope to continue to be the best I can be so that I can better serve the members here in Brasil. Love you all! Continue to exemplify the light of Christ in your daily lives. Until Next week. 

~Please keep [investigators] Jefferson and Jessica in your prayers~

Elder Arevalo 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Good Life of a Missionary (Week 26)

Coconut Juice from below

Hi, Friends and Family, We had a good week over all the people in Brazil are amazing. We are working hard in my new area, my companion is a great missionary, and we got a good pool of investigators and we love them all.  I just never quite know what to say! This week we will not have a tone of time today, because we are sharing a computer with other Elders. But! We definitely saw some miracles this week. My area is huge we have to walk about 45 minutes to go to church hahaaha It is all-good.

Also this was my first Experience with a Coconut and Knife, it was some how difficult, but I manage to get it open. Today I just wanted to share the love I have for the People of Belem Brazil and I am grateful for the experiences I have every day and for the opportunity to experience life at a much higher spiritual level.

I would like to ask for your prayers for Jão, Jefferson and Jessica as they are praying to come to the knowledge of the Book or Mormon. Also I am getting to know the members in the area better, and they are great. They help as much as they can and they have great testimonies of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Well, I am thinking I am doing very well, or very bad, because since I got to the mission, I haven't had a PPI (Personal Priesthood Interview)  with the Mission president.

My companion is a Native Brazilian and he does not speak English or Spanish, so I a full time Portuguese Speaker now, this will help improve my language skills.

I love you all, and I know that this Gospel is true with my whole heart! I love this work and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He loves us, and I am so grateful to be apart of this great work.

Until next week.
 Elder Arevalo.

Monday, March 7, 2016

New Area (Week 25)

Hey North America!

As you all know...I am officially in a new area called Sacramento in the city of Belem, which so happens to be the biggest area in my mission. Our church building is about 40 minutes away (walking distance).  Its really cool to be here, but it is definitely much different then Altamira. I no longer have to worry about cleaning my shoes everyday. In my old area I would constantly have to clean them everyday because they would end up covered in a orange/red dust from the ground, but now all is well!

I also am closer to the mission home now so I received a package from my family! I LOVED IT! My family put some of my favorite things inside the box. They gave me Popcorn (which I love) and some american candy that I haven't had in a while, and tide sticks since my clothes have really been taking a toll out here. I felt so loved and excited to see and get so many things from home. I even gave away some of my clothes to my companions (sorry mom), but its true.

While on my flight to my new area, I've had a lot of time to deeply think about how I want to influence the people I meet here in Brazil, and I realized that I really want to make my mission a mission of the Lord. If I try my best I know the lord will mold me into who he wants me to be, and who I need to be to accomplish his work.

Earlier today I got to try walking on rope, and it reminded me a lot about life and/or being on a mission. It's important to learn how to balance life obstacles, and do our best to stay on the short and narrow path no matter how wobbly it may seem there is always a purpose and a way to get back on the straight, narrow path if we ever fall. (Hence this cool video) haha.

Hopefully I have more time to write a bit more next week! Missing you all. Keep being amazing examples to those around you.

Elder Arevalo