July 20, 2015 (week 105)

Well, I´m doing well. Today we are going to visit a few areas that we have passed through, and say goodbye before going home.

The Bishop asked me to give a testimony yesterday at sacrament meeting. I was very glad for the oppurtunity. I talked a lot about how I was grateful for the time that I had been on a mission and all the things that I had learned because of it. I talked about the scripture in Matthew 10: 39 “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” I have grown to love this scripture during my mission as I have found its meaning in practices what it said.

It seems like next week we will have a lot of people at church, however I think a lot of them will be going just because me and my companion are going home a few days after. But it will be the first time for a lot of them so I hope they feel the spirit there and have a desire to return often.

I am excited to get home and see everyone again and do normal things again but I’m also a little scared and sad about leaving the mission.

Love
Elder Lawrence

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July 13, 2015 (week 104)

We were able to find a few new people to teach this week, which we were needing.

This week will pass by quick, today and tomorrow we have a lot of things to do and we´ll have to travel a bit. We´re going to the temple tomorrow and we are going to try and visit a museum. Today we have a zone meeting, and I have to go to the mission office and get my temple recommend renewed.

It seems like time is flying by and I´m going to wake up and realize it was all just a dream. It´s a really weird feeling knowing that your life is going to change drastically in just a short amount of time.

Love,
Elder Lawrence

July 6, 2015 (week 103)

This week was kind of slow. We are working with quite a bit of people that it seems like won’t be able to be baptized while I am here for various reasons.

With me and my companion going home it makes it a little harder to find the desire work really hard. While we are working most of our work will be for future missionaries that come into the area.

It’s a really weird feeling that the mission is ending, mixed feeling really. While I am very excited to go home and have a “normal life” again I am going to miss a lot of things here about the mission.

Last Sunday was my last fast and testimony meeting on the mission. There is a young woman leaving for the mission this week in the ward she is going to the same mission as Seth.

Anyways, just this.

Love
Elder Lawrence

June 29, 2015 (week 102)

We had a pretty good week, it passed by really quickly. It was Stake Conference for our ward this week and I really liked the conference , I learned a ton. There was a lot of people there. The stake president, along with the temple president, the mission president and an area seventy. I was able to learn a lot from what they and their spouses talked about.

The temple president talked about a quote from president Hinckley, which said, “The temple is the final product of all we do in the church.” The city we are in right now, São Bernardo, is known for the large number of industry, think motor city. The temple president made a comparison that I thought was really interesting. When we build a car, we build it in parts. Each part is made seperatly then put on an assembly line and put together. Each one of these parts, in and of itself, serve for absolutely nothing, but only the final product is worth something. He compared this to the temple. The temple is the final product. While each piece of the gospel serves for a specific purpose, but without the temple, without the final product, its not worth a whole lot.

There was a few things that the area seventy said that I liked a lot, three things actually.

He talked about the importance of prophets. After the 9/11 attacks, there was a lot of worry about what would happen in the economy and the answer of the economist was that we should spend more money to stimulate the ecomony. The seventy said that, as an economist, that made a lot of sense to him, lower the interest rate to stimulate spending, but he said he was anxious to see what the prophet would say in the next general conference. President Hinckley told us to be content with what we have not make unnecessary debt. If our house or car serves our needs dont make a debt to buy a larger or better one. If this council was followed by the nation there would never had been a national recession. The prophet warned us and those who followed his council were protected. He talked about how President Monson has talked a lot about the Day of the Lord, the Sabbath, and how our family will be protected when we obey this commandment.

Each Sunday we have an oppurtunity to take the sacrament and think about how are week went. We have a time to think about the atonement. Peter, James and John are sometimes criticized for sleeping while Christ asked them to stay awake during the atonement. When we don’t take advantage of the time during the sacrament we are doing as the apostles and it is as if we are sleeping during the atonement.

He talked a little bit about his mission as an 18 year old. He said it was the calling that most changed his life more than the calling of bishop, stake president, mission president and area seventy.

I feel like that is really true, the mission is the spiritual luanching platform for our service to the Lord.

It´s really weird thinking about how my mission is coming to an end, I’m full of mixed feeling.

Love,
Elder Lawrence

June 22, 2015 (week 101)

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Me and Elder Sousa, my last companion.

View from a member's house

View from a member’s house

Ward Party

Ward Party

At Gecy's baptism

At Gecy’s baptism

IMG_7090 IMG_7089 1I got my new companion, his name is Elder Johnson. He´s from North Carolina. He´s actually finishing his mission right now too, we are going home together. I´m thinking they might put sisters in our area after this transfer.

Other than that there isn’t a whole lot of new news. I feel like we might have to let go of a bunch of investigators because they aren’t going to church. I hope we can find more people to teach this week. We are going to work real hard for this.

I´m starting to feel like my mission is coming to an end, it’s a really strange feeling.

I was listening to a talk and I found a poem that I liked:

I tried to find myself, but myself I could not see.
I tried to find my God, but he eluded me.
I tried to find my brother, and then I found all three.

Love,
Elder Lawrence

June 15, 2015 (week 100)

Gecy, which was the lady we were helping to stop smoking, stopped and was baptised this Sunday. We were really excited about it and she was too, but I think the most excited was her husband, who is a convert of about 8 months. The Bishop said it was the most anticipated baptism in the ward for a long time. I don’t have the pictures with me now but I´ll send them next week.

J. Souza, my old companion goes home tomorrow.  I already dropped him of at the mission office. We actually did it yesterday. I am staying with the other companionship in the ward until transfers tomorrow.

They already told me I am going to stay in the area, so I will be finishing my mission out here. I really didn’t want to get transfered to what would have been my last area, so I was happy I stayed, even though it is a little more difficult to have success here than in other parts of the mission.

Vinicius, the young man we baptised in Mauá, got his mission call to Juiz de Fora, which coincidentally is the same mission as his fiancée, and another young man in the ward. This is the same girl that showed him the church.  Her name is Jessica, and they are going to the MTC on the same day. I´m sure the Mission President will talk to them both there about it, but I thought that is was pretty ironic.

I know how Seth feels about the landscaping.  It is rough, especially when you have long hours.

Love
Elder Lawrence

June 8, 2015 (week 99)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We gave the last cigarette to the lady we were helping to stop smoking, on Saturday. Hoping she won’t smoke again and we can baptize her this week.

Other than that there isn’t a lot of stuff happening. My companion is going home next week, and we have transfers. I´m starting to get a bit trunky because of this.

I don’t remember if I already told you that my last companion went home to do a surgery. He has done the surgery now and everything seems like it went well.

A recent convert from Diadema came here to visit me and we visited a few poeple here with him. He´s also going on a mission. He has to go through the interview with the Stake President then he´ll send out his papers. It was amazing to see how much he has progressed in his understanding of the Gospel.

Love
Elder Lawrence

June 1, 2015 (week 98)

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Mom wrote a short letter so I guess that gives me an excuse to write a short letter, haha. The lady that we a are helping to stop smoking smoke half a cigarette each day last week. We cut her cigarettes and give one half to her each day.

There was a single mother that we are teaching as well. She has made some incredible progress and I was really impressed with her. We have been teaching some time now and she had visited the church once already. She wasn’t sure if she was going to go to church this Sunday or go to the beach, which is very common in Sao Paulo. We told her it was going to rain so she wouldn’t go to the beach. It ended up raining and she went to church and brought her friend too.

Love
Elder Lawrence

May 25, 2015 (week 97)

Pday as a zone bowling

Pday as a zone bowling

We were able to find a few really good families this week. They actually live in our apartment complex which helps a little bit. They also have cars which is really important in this area because the church is a long ways away and the members already have cars full of people that they help bring to church.

There´s not a lot more to say, but we are excited to continue working with the families we are teaching.

Love Elder Lawrence

May 18, 2015 (week 96)

Wow! Congratulations Seth that´s super crazy. From what people tell me Fortaleza is really hot but you´ll really enjoy serving a mission in Brazil. You´re going to be real close to where Madison was. From what I´ve heard that mission has a lot of success. A sister that just got transfered from this ward where I am serving is from there. Get started on your visa right away and get it in as soon as possible. A lot of Americans are having trouble with the visas so the sooner the better. But now there will 3 Portuguese speakers in the family.

We are really trying to help a lady stop smoking. She is an amazing person. She is married to a recent convert. It´s pretty incredible all that she does for others. She would already have been baptised if it wasn´t for smoking. She has been able to get it down a lot from 20 to 1 or 2 a day. We have been working a lot with her and hopefully she will be baptised soon.

We have a few other people too, with specific dificulties as well.

Love
Elder Lawrence