Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13th, 2014

The bus ride was actually really nice. It was a 2 level bus with big comfy chairs that reclined. I sat by a drunk man because one of the sisters got that seat and just kept looking at the rest of us saying "quero trocar!" (I want to switch). It was pretty funny and he passed out quickly so I didnt have to interact with him at all. I slept really well which was a tender mercy. Heavenly Father gave me that sleep because He knew I would need it. It is very hot here and the area is huge. From one side of our area to the other takes almost 2 hours. So we spend a lot of the day walking and not a lot of the day teaching. It is pretty frustrating because I am used to just walking 15 or so minutes and teaching a bunch of good lessons. It is a kind of wealthy area, too so there arent many people on the streets. I am just praying for patience and the knowledge that we are still trying hard even though it is near impossible to get our goals for the days and weeks. 

Church was actually really good yesterday. It was the first of my first days at a new area where I felt generally comforable. I directed the music because E. K. Silva is playing piano. They had me bare my testimony, which was the first time they have asked me to introduce myself. It went well and I have people come up to me after introducing themselves. I used a trick that my comp in the MTC taught me. I asked everyone to put their hand on their heart and move a few centimeters to the right. Then I said that if they dont understand anything I say, they can still say that their heart was touched and they were physically moved (thank you E. Williams). I was with out investigators for second hour, so I didnt have to teach anything, but E.K.Silva taught gospel principles. 

He is a really good companion. We get along really well and he is teaching me so much. He is helping me with Portuguese and just missionary work in general. I am learning that missionary work isnt just finding people and teaching lessons, but it is treating and being with people the way Christ would. Christ would take a little extra time to help the people see he loves them and wouldnt worry so much about needing to get out after exactly 30 minutes or an hour. Everyone is different and I am learning lots about that from Elder K. Silva. At the same time, I really want to work hard because this work is urgent and we are running out of time already.

Elder K. Silva is from Canada, where he was born and raised to 10 years. Then he moved to São Paulo and has lived there since. So he is a Brazilian from Canada who lives in Brazil. Yeah. But he is a blast."

I am loving the mission. Christmas went really well because we had lots of fun in Itapoã. We all exchanged gifts and I gave E. Cervantes a copy of Tales of Beedle the Bard. He loved it, of course. We had dinner with a family there in the ward and got to talk to family which was great. New Years I really just slept, woke up at 12 to say happy new year and went back to sleep. Sleep is precious on the mission. 

Thank you! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Excited for the work! Jan 6, 2014

I think about Christmas often, but it really just made me more excited to work. This new year has brought ideas of goals. I wrote down a lot of goals that I want to accomplish and things I want to do better. Already I can see the change. We are working harder, and I am really feeling the urgency of the work. There isnt much time, and we are the ones fighting to make up the last of it. I like thinking of it that way, like we are on a mission to find these people and the time is running out. It gets me going and wanting to be better to use the small time I have. I am almost at 6 months goodness and I have to use it all to the best.

Also, I got transferred. I am going to Palmas, Gurupi. It is 17 hours away and in the jungle and hot as heck. Pray that I dont die. I dont know my comp yet but I will when I get there.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week 5 Itapoa Pictures

Beginning Week 5 in Itapoã

November 11, 2013

Nossa what a week, or two. Sorry for no big email last week. We were sick as dogs the first few days of last week. We ate something called a Mango, I know none of you have heard of it. The only have it here. My body isnt used to this exotic fruit so we were sick because of it. Ok really, everyone knows what it is, but people here eat them when they are green (Manga verde) and they put salt on them. So you know me, "Eat this elder it is really good", it is disgusting, but I couldnt look weak. So I kept eating it, and then threw up for 3 days. I am never eating that again.

But we had a baptism that day!! Maurício got baptized on the 3rd which was so great! Elder Cervantes baptized and the meeting was just awesome. We had a good amount of people from the ward there supporting him and even his non member mom and sister came. YESSS. It was really a fun time.

On Halloween we dressed up and trick-or-treated to each other in our rooms with the pumpkins lit (yep, we carved pumpkins). It was fun. We dressed up and who can guess what was? I was a Hogwarts student, yep. I have a Ravenclaw tie and Elder Cervantes and I used wands. It was fun!

We have some really good investigators right now! One is Armando and he is getting married next week so he can be baptized the following Sunday. We visited him yesterday and he is a rock. We were kind of going over the baptismal interview questions and he is so awesome. He is really doing this because he wants to change and because he knows that because of this he can receive eternal salvation with his family. Man he is awesome. 

We have another, Luan, who found us. It was really a miracle. We were walking to lunch and he called us from his house and said sisters had talked to him one time on the street and said they would visit him. The must have gotten transferred because they never went. So we have taught him a few times and he LOVES our messages. He is saying stuff like "Yeah! Why wouldnt Christ visit the people in the Americas? Yeah, why wouldnt he have prophets here, too." Nossa he is great.

We are teaching this girl, Tatiane, who has a 2 year old. She is 19 and has a difficult life. We feel the spirit with her so much and are really trying to show her that she is not alone in this, and that she can find joy and happiness with Christ. We are guided so much when we teach her. We do our best listening with her. I hope we can learn to do that with everyone else. 

Miracles are happening. We I am loving this. I am so glad I am here and am so blessed to have Heavenly Father, Christ, and the Spirit at my side (with E. C.). We are doing good work, the 5 of us. I love the Book of Mormon and the impact it has on our lives. This gospel is so true and I love that I get to spend two years of my life sharing that with my brothers and sisters here in Brazil. 

I love you all. Thank you for everything.

Elder William Craig Kesler

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pictures of Itapoa

Week 2 in Itapoa

YEAHHH Ok so I love this place. My companion is super rad, Elder Cervantes. He is from Arizona and we get along so well. We can really talk about things that help us to be better and we are learning a lot together... in English AND Português. When I got here, it was much easier to understand people. I still have to listen hard, but I am super learning. 

We had an awesome Mission Conference 2 weeks ago where we had Elder Snow from the 1st Quorum of the Seventy and Sister Snow come speak to us. Something cool was that I was asked to do a solo musical number in the Conference. I sang "How Great Thou Art" with Elder Condori at the piano. It went so well. I sang some parts in English and some in Portuguese. I just tried my hardest to remember who I was singing about. The Spirit was so strong there. I got choked up at one part. I made Elder Swallow cry (YES), but something really awesome was when Sister Snow spoke, she talked about the importance of hymns in sharing the Gospel. She thanked me for what I did and said I must have been inspired because that hymn is Elder Snow's favorite. I just about weeped. The tears just flowed. I am so grateful for the help I got from Heavenly Father in making that be the best it could be. I love Him so much. I am so grateful He answers my prayers. 

We had interviews this past week, which were awesome! Presidente Gaertner and I talked about awesome things and I am so glad to have him. Sister Gaertner gave me a box of chocolates as a gift for my birthday from a couple weeks ago. I love them so much! I got a mission pin, too which I am glad for. 

After interviews, Sister Gaertner brought me and Elder Cervantes to the hospital. I had something in my leg that, here, is called a "borga" I think. Pretty much it means a bug laid eggs in your body and you have to get it out without popping the sac of eggs. GROSS right? Well Elder Lant took a needle to me and tried to get it out. He said he didnt end up getting it out, but he was digging in deep. So we went to get it checked out. The doctor said there wasnt anything in there, and if there was, it had been gotten out. So he gave me a cream and some drugs to take 2 times a day. It's FINE. But yeah that happened. 

Things are going great here in Brazil! I really feel like a missionary now, even though I am still working on the language. But it is happening. Its all so real. And I hit 3 months this week! YEAH! We taught a really awesome family the other day how to play four square. I will send a photo or two of that. But yeah. I am super a missionary. Weird, huh?

Today we are going to carve pumpkins and do some Halloween things. Kind of sad we dont have candy corn, though. Dont be afraid to send me letters or packages! I have been getting letters from a few of you and they have been so wonderful every time!! I am so grateful for all of the help I am receiving from prayers from all of you. Please continue! This work is great! I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I am reading "Jesus the Christ" a little bit each day and it is building my testimony a lot. Reach out to everyone you know, and of you my friends who arent "Mormon", try out going to church with my family, you know my mom would LOVE it. Listen to me here, if I have a cake (bolo) and I tell you it is DELICIOUS, you are going to want to eat it right? I can tell you over and over how tasty it is and so can tons of other people, but if you dont taste it for yourself, you will have no idea. Then, if you dont like it, that is up to you. But I can promise you, this gospel, the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is better than any other cake you have tried or will try in your entire life. I promise you that if you take a chance at this gospel, your life will be blessed. Heavenly Father wants to bless us more than we can even comprehend. He has so many blessings waiting for each of us, because He knows each of us, and He cant wait to bless us. He will bless you through this gospel. Take a chance. Its not like it will hurt. 

I love you all. Thank you for the prayers. Talk soon.

Elder William C. Kesler

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 13th, 2013

This is Will's birthday journal entry.  He didn't write a long email out, so this is what is supposed to be shared with everyone.