Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever. Alma 26:12

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Every time I feel bad, I think of the prophet Job (9/15)

So last week I returned to the hospital 2 times. The first because I got sick again and the second to get the results of my blood tests (Which werent finished yet... They said one day, but in actuallity, a majority will take about a week). We~re going back again this week (Could you possibly put some money onto my card? Eating in Fortaleza is really expensive (at least for a missionary that spends most of his money on medicine haha)). I think that we havent had a transfer because of my poopy health... I'm not sure why my body is behaving so badly lately, but every time I feel bad, I think of the Prophet Job and remember that I really don,t have it too bad. I love my mission and President / Sister Fusco they take really good care of me. You don't ever need to worry about me while they're around. If you have any questions or worries or anything, email me. Not President Fusco. Love you!! :)

I'm talking to you Mom...9/8

Car ride to Hospital

Dear family,

This last week was great. Or at least most of it was haha. Last monday I got sick, (nothing serious! Im talking to you mom ;)) and wasnt allowed to work that day or tuesday. Everyone thought that I had Dengue (except me) so on Wednesday I went to the hospital (Sao Mateus - Its SUPER nice. Im talking to you mommy ;)) with Elder Hack, one of my Zone Leaders. Well, after some quick blood tests, the results were in. I didn't have anything wrong with me. It was just a little stomach infection (caused by something I ate or drank) that has already gone away. So ya, Im back to full health again and you dont need to worry about me in the slightest (Im talking to you mom ;)). 

Even with those 3 days out of my area, I still had time to see miracles. The biggest of which happened with Silvia. Irma Silvia has lots of problems with the word of wisdom. One of which is smoking. About 2ish weeks ago, we made goals with her to lessen and eventually stop all of her addictions. When we came to cigarets (no idea how to spell that), she told us that she would need at least one per day. I felt that she could do better. When I left her house that day, I left with all of her cigarets  She hasnt smoked since!! She told us that she doesnt even feel the desire anymore. Its crazy, if people had just a little trust in the Lord and what hes able to do in our lives, this world would have a lot less problems.

Elder Hamstead

Pics of baptism and car ride to the hospital 

A very present pattern (9/1)

Dear Family,

The past few weeks have been really cool. Our new bishop decided that we need to spend more time teaching inactive members. Sooo for the last couple weeks, weve been doing exactly that! Our ward has a ton of inactive members (almost 300) and we're trying to meet as many as we can. Unfortunately, there's a very present pattern. Most of the inactives never had a chance to really gain a testimony. And just like the Nephites, who were once a pleasant people, that became part of the Lamanites, they became "more wild". These inactives normally are completely against the church and everything it stands for. It's really weird. Fortunately, some of them had the opportunity to really learn for themselves that the church is true.

A couple weeks ago, I met a sister named Silvia. She was one of the first baptisms in Pacajus and fell away from the church about 10 years ago. She expressed to us her love for the Lord and shared her testimony with us. She seemed perfect and we couldn't understand why she wasnt going to church. So we asked. She said that she doesn't feel comfortable there and doesn't have many friends. We taught her about repentance and discovered that shes got a bunch of problems that she's dealing with. We taught her the word of wisdom and then taught her about the Sabbath day and about the sacrament and why we all need it. She still has a couple of things that she's working on changing, but I doubt that she'll still have problems with them in a month.

Sorry for the rushed letter! didnt have tons of time. Love you all!

Elder Hamstead

It's impossible to read without gaining a testimony...(8/18)

This past week was really interesting. Our Zone started doing a weekly fast last week and the results were almost instant. Our district had 9 baptisms! The most our Zone has ever had in a month was 21. We've already passed that number. Its so cool to be able to be here helping people on their way to recieving salvation. This week, something really interesting and completely new happened to me. So for the last couple weeks, I've been teaching a less active woman named Silvia. She was one of the first baptisms in Pacajus almost 20 years ago and she was super active until about 10 years ago. She's super cool and has more faith (and knowledge) than almost anyone else that I've talked to here. Good news is that shes returning to church now :). Ok, I'm getting off the subject haha. The really interesting and new thing happened while we were teaching her neice, Maira. So Maira is a super smart 13 year old and speaks a ton of English. The third time we arrived at her house, she asked us something that no one has ever asked me before.. If she could "Evangelize" to us.. It was a bit weird but we accepted just for the heck of it. Turns out that her "evangelizing" was actually reading garbage from the internet that "proved" our religion wrong. Anyone that really knows me knows that I'm the kind of person that would love to take every point and destroy it (which would have been very easy for us). Fortunately, my companion is a bit smater than me haha. He told me to be quiet and wait. When she finished reading off all of her points, we bore our testamonies to her and challenged her to start reading the Book of Mormon (because its impossible to read it without gaining a testimony). We're returning on Tuesday. Wish me luck!! haha. 

Love you guys!!!

When it starts getting hard and you want to give up, push harder! (8/11)

Glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Im doing well too :). I'm pretty sure that its hotter there than here. The only difference is that for you guys, it will become cold.. And you guys have AC and don't spend your days walking around in the sun haha. I'm glad to hear that your busness is doing so well! Decide what your gonna do about the ACS yet? Give D a big happy birthday hug for me and tell him that I sent him a birthday card 1-2 months ago! Hope it arrives soon!  

Oh! President Fusco is looking for a couple to work in the mission office! Know anyone? It's for 6 months (It can be extended), they can return home for Christmas/Thanksgiving, Its cheaper than serving a mission as a couple in the US, Portuguese is NOT required (President speaks English), They'll have a nice house close to the beach (Which they can visit whenever they want), They don't have to proselyte if they don't want to. Love you!!

This past week was a great lesson for me. Remember Gina? We've been teaching her for the last 3ish months (and the missionaries before us taught her too). Last week, we started thinking that maybe there was a better way that we could be using the Lords time. We decided to stop teaching her. On Friday, we had a Zone fast and we felt like we should pass by Gina again. Well, we did. She has a baptismal date for this Saturday!! Its crazy! We gave up on her right when she was ready! It reminds me of Moses and parting the Red Sea. He had to walk into the sea until it was right at his nose before anything happened. We always have to keep pushing, we always have to have faith. When it starts getting hard and you want to give up, push harder. That's when the miracles happen.


Elder Hamstead

Time is seriously flying !...(July 28)

It's so crazy to think that it's almost August!! Time is seriously flying. Can you believe that in just a little over a week I'll have been serving for 6 months? And in just a little more than a month I'll have been in Brasil for 6 months? How crazy is that! Well this past week was great. We had a bunch of work and a bunch of great experiences. I don't have a bunch of time to write, but I want share with you guys an article that I read this week that you guys can read for FHE :). It's really super great and a great way to help yourself help non-members. 

Liahona - August 2014
"Por que nos partilhamos o Evangelho" - (Why we share the Gospel)
by Elder D Todd Christofferson.

Love you all!!

So I've decided what I want for Christmas! Missionaries have a new family history pamphlet thats super cool! If you could fill one out as much as you can and if papa could fill one out as much as he can and if you guys could send those to me, that would be super cool :)

Act First..then comes the Miracle! (July 21)

This last week was really cool. The work here is seriously running. So much to do and so little time. Sometimes I think that 2 years just isn't enough time for the work of the Lord. Fortunately, all of us have a lot more than two years. We have every minute of every day. We always need to be serving him. He should always be the first thing on our minds (or at least on our minds). Unfortunately, we all have problems with this (even missionaries get distracted from time to time). No one on this Earth is perfect, which is perfect for us. We're all here to learn. If we were born perfect, we wouldn't ever learn anything. Our trials that we have and mistakes that we make in life are blessings from God. They're opportunities to learn, exercise our faith and become more like him (and we need to treat them as such). As we do this, we will be blessed. We'll feel our burdens lighten and we'll see the miracles of the Lord in our lives.

For the past 2ish months, we've been teaching a lady named Gina. Shes super cool and always has questions for us (an opportunity for her and for us to learn more :)). Unfortunately, she's facing a trial. Shes decided that she won't be baptized until she sees a change in her daughter (who was beptized in March). This is a perfect example of when we need to exercise our faith. She has a testimony, and is ready to be baptized but she wants to recieve her miracle first (Ether 12:6). To recieve the blessings of God, we always have to act first. When we face trials, all we have to do is follow 2 simple steps to be happy / to have the reaction we want. 1. Pray to God and beg him for an answer. 2. Act. Super simple, yet, for some people it seems almost impossible. 

Love you all!! Keep me in your prayers :)

Elder Hamstead

We don't really have the power to convince (July 14)

Super busy week! Unfortunately, I left my planner at home so I'm relyng 100% on my memory... Yesterday, we recieved the transfer news annnnnnd... No one in our area was transfered! It's really weird but we're not complaining. This last week really was a week of miracles. For the past 2ish week, we've been teaching a man named Charlier. He's a really great guy with a lot of faith. Unfortuately, he has a lot of problems as well. Mainly with the word of wisdom and chastity. Both of which he didn't want to believe were commandments of God the first time we taught them to him. During one of our visits there, after trying our best to prove to him / convince him that they are commandments of God, I realized what we were doing wrong. We really don't have the power to convince anyone of anything to do with God. But, fortunately, God does. I told him that we really don't want him to believe us but that we wanted him to really know for himself. I asked him to really pray that night, asking God if these commandments really are his. Guess what... They are! He prayed, he recieved his answer, and now he's trying to stop doing everything that he's been doing! Miracle!! 

Guess what! I rode A motorcycle for the first time!! Super cool!! Mom - We taught Gospel Principles in Salgueiro, but here there's a member called to teach. It's crazy how many misionaries are leaving! Our ward is gonna have a ton! 5 or 6 more this year? So awesome! Glad to hear your work is going so well! Papa - How does it feel having an absolutely massive TV? I can't even imagine a 70 inch TV anymore haha. I'm so jealous of you guys right now! New MAC and TV!?!? Couldn't have bought them a little over 6 months ago?? haha ;) Kelsey - Your adventure looks like it was a ton of fun! We're definitely returning there when I get home!! It's so weird. Before my mission, all I wanted was city life.. All I want now is a bunch of land and peace. Everything here is super close together (houses, stores, everything) like they're literally touching. There aren't areas of just open land like there is in the states. It's different, and I love it, I just don't think I could live with it for my entire life haha.

Love you all so much!!

Fourth of July - Brazilian style! (July 8)

This past week was so awesome!! Last Monday started off with an early morning ride to Fortaleza (We go basically every Monday now for training with President). I absolutely love the training sessions he gives and I feel extremely blessed to be serving under a future 70 or Apostle ;). 

On Wednesday, we had Zone conference. During it, we found out something great, that goes hand in hand with what I was ranting about in my last email haha. Our standard of excellence had been changed!! Basically doubled!! I'm not sure why, but it feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. 

Friday was super cool! 4th of July!! And, since Brasil was playing in the world cup  that day, we couldnt leave the house. Soooo as any good American would do, we celebrated the 4th! It seriously felt like I was bck in the states. We BBQ'd, took pictures, annnd had fireworks all day long (thanks to all the Brazilians watching the game haha)! 

On Sunday, I went on splits with members for the first time. Fortunately, I was with a returned missionary. Unfortunately, in his mission, he didn't have the rule of teaching all lessons in 15 minutes or less. It's crazy to see the difference between people when you teach short and simple and when you teach long and complicated. I haven't been turned down / rejected once in Pacajus (and only like 3 times in my mission), until Sunday.. Basically every time we taught a lesson for over 20 minutes, the people didn't want us to return. This makes perfect sense to me. How did Jesus teach? Long and complicated? I dont think so. Every single one of his teachings were extremely simple (while at the same time being extremely deep). To have success in our lives, we need to gain atributes of Jesus. Only when we do this will we find success.

Elder Hamstead

p.s. I almost forgot!! I got to fill The baptismal font with a fire hose last week!!
p.p.s We didn't have P-day yesterday because we have a game today. President Fusco is letting us have P-day (allowed to leave the house) until 11AM (my time)