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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Eu tava sentindo muito saudade de politico haha..

Dear Family,

This last week has been great! Elder Page is awesome! Hes learning the language super quickly and he loves to work (Fortunately! Dragging around companions is something I NEVER want to do again). 

So, Mommy, to answer your questions, as DL I normaly do interviews every weekend. Also, becoming district leader doesn't normally affect your time in an area. I've seen missionaries stay in the same area for 7 months as DL and I've seen missionaries that only stay for one transfer. Being a trainer on the other hand probably means that I have at least one more transfer here after this one (training is 2 transfers and President usually likes to have one trainer per missionary). But who knows, I could literally be transfered whenever (Hopefully not any time soon, Im loving it here :) ).

I'm glad to hear that David is having such a great time playing Baseball - Can't wait to get back and play with ya , little bro! Oh ya! I got my package last week (Just not the one with socks)! 

Sorry for not writing about it last week, I wasn't exactly myself while emailing last week. I had been feeling sick that morning so President sent me to the Hospital... Again.. They gave me some shots and I felt better, so we returned to my area. We went straight to the LAN house and I started feeling sick again. So we went back home and I took a nap. A couple hours later, I woke up feeling better again but I had a strong feeling that I shouldn't go out for the rest of the day. I stayed at the house with Elder Gardner and sent Elder Page and Elder Alvorado to go to family home evening. Just like 20ish minutes after I started getting super cold. We took my temperature and called Sister Fusco. I had a fever of 103... Not fun.. Fortunately, Elder Gardner forced me (I really didn't want to haha) to take a freezing shower for 20 minutes and my fever broke. The next day, it was back to the hospital in Fortaleza but this time, Sister Fusco told us that we couldnt leave until the Doctors actually knew exactly what was wrong with me. All the other times, they were all basically just guessing and giving me medicines to fight the symptoms. After 7-8 hours and a million blood tests, they finally found my problem. So now I'm taking super powerful medicine and I shouldn't have anymore problems like this for the rest of my mission!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! 

So ya, this last week was great. On Sunday, we had the baptism of Vítoria (Niece of Jaqueline)! It was so cool! The first time that Elder Page actually got in the water! He was so nervous, but he did a great job. Yesterday was also the second vote (If one doesn't have 50 percent or more, they vote again) for President. We had dinner with the Andreias family and they were just going crazy! Eu tava sentindo muito saudade de politico haha.. (I was feeling very homesick for politics)

Anyways, the mission is going great!! LOVE YOU GUYS!!

Elder Hamstead

Monday, October 20, 2014

I don't know why I haven't been doing this my entire mission

Dear family,

This last week was great! We started out last Monday doing a family home evening in Jaqueline's house. It was so cool! I don't know why I haven't been doing this my entire mission. We watched Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration and had a bunch of cake and popcorn! Were doing another one tonight. 

This week, we really pushed hard with one of our investigators that weve been teaching for almost 2 months. Francisco has had a super difficult life and had problems with drugs and alchool (like a lot of problems). When we started teaching him, he didn't believe in God or anything that we taught him. This last week we returned every day and gave him a date for Sunday. He accepted, and after a couple really spiritual experiences, he was baptized! I feel like everytime I baptize someone, they enter the water nervous and leave it without any regret, with one of the greatest feelings they've ever felt. I love being able to see the gospel change lives! It's probably the best testimony builder that exists! I know that I am here as a representative of Christ. I know that he has the power to change the life of anyone. 

On Sunday, our ward secretary asked Elder Page (my new comp) to give a talk in sacrament (I seriously think he's crazy... Elder P only has a bit more than a week here and doesn't really know how to speak yet...). So I told the secretary that I would speak. I really love the opportunity. I spoke on missionary work and every member a mssionary. I don't think I have ever seen my ward so quiet (Wards here are a lot different than in the US.. People don't see it as a problem to talk or do whatever they want during sacrament meeting.. It's really sad) than it was when I was speaking. I'm expecting it to be a lot easier to get the help of the members now haha. 

Love you guys so much!! Only like 2 more months until SKYPE!!!

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

Elder Hamstead

Unfortunately, we didn't find anyone to baptize.... Forutnately, the Lord did (Oct 13)

Dear family, 

Sooooo I started out this week SUPER nervous!! Starting as a trainer and district leader... I didn't feel prepared. Fortunately, my companion, Elder Page, is AWESOME! He doesn't speak much yet, but he's already understanding really well. He loves working annnnnnnd he's from the motherland! Utah! Haha... 

So this week, we only had 3 days of work in my area... Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I really wanted to have a baptism on Elder Pages first Sunday.. Unfortunately, we didn't find anyone to baptize.... Forutnately, the Lord did ;). On Sunday, one of the families we're teaching arrived in sacrament and one of their sons was completely filled with the desire to be baptized. At first, his parents didn't let him, but just a few minutes after, the spirit touched their hearts and they wanted him to be baptized too!!!! Such a cool experience. 

So this week, I also started my duties as district leader (Mom - 8 missionaries), which includes doing interviews. The first time I was nervous, but it turns out that interviewing is literally the most spiritual thing that ive probably ever done! I felt the Spirit so strongly in my last one (of 7).. I can't say too much about it, but I can say this: I know this church is true. I know that Jesus lives and that He gave his life for me and for you. I know that if I was the only person to ever live, Jesus would still give his life, just to save me. I know that he loves me and that he loves you. I've literally felt him in my life and I know that he's here with us right now. I know that he would do anything to help us. I know that is why he calls prophets / gave us the Book of Mormon and Bible. I know that he wants us to be happy in our lives. I know that he wants us to return. Not so that we can live with him again, but so that he can live with us. We love him because he loved us first.

(Sorry for the short letter)

Elder Hamstead

Monday, October 6, 2014

It was a bit squished, but fortunately, we still had enough room for the Spirit

This past week has been completely insane. On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to go to Fortaleza for a mission conference (Which was SUPER COOL)! We got spiritually fed for basically the entire day (8am-7pm). I love going to any meeting that President Fusco speaks in. I always feel so energized and happy afterwards. Unfortunately, by the time I got back to my house we didn't have time to work. Fortunately, I've still got a bunch of time left :). 

On Wednesday, I went on a division with the other Elders that live in my house. I got to explore their area with Elder Alvorado (Hes a Honduran (From Honduras)  being trained by Elder Gardner and has 1 transfer in the mission). It was so cool and such a good experience. Even though he only has one transfer, I feel like I was able to learn a lot with him.

Thursday was a really good day. We had a lot of lessons, novos and... I finally reached the end of my self imposed junk food/soda diet. Wahooooo! I can finally drink soda again haha. Not really excited about being able to eat junk food haha. I think I'll just continue avoiding it haha. 

Friday was completely insane. We passed by literally all of our investigators to confirm conference with them. 

Saturday was.... Interesting. We arrived at the chapel a bit early only to find that the satelite was having problems and that at least the first session would be a no go. We called a bunch of investigators, informing them of the problem. We tried to find a member to watch with, but unfortunately, this weekend Brasil had elections and in Brasil, you can only vote where you were born (Unless you file some papers and switch voting places.. Which basically nobody does here..). So ya.. Basically all the members were gone and we missed the first session. During the time that would have been ^between sessions^, We had the baptism of Jaqueline! Shes super cool and has a great testamony! Unfortunately, the problem with the satalite persisted during the Saturday night session too.. You have no idea how frustrated I was. Fortunately, the missionaries in Pacajus 2 (the other ward) found a member that we could watch with. It was a bit squished, but fortunately, we still had enough room for the Spirit. That session was soooooooo goooooood! Sunday morning we were scrambeling to find a member that we could watch with. We didnt find anyone.. But fortunately, like half an hour into it, we recieved the call that the satelite was functioning again. We ran to the chaple and caught the last hour. Sunday night was the only session without problems haha. Im downloading them all right now haha. 

Sunday was also transfer day.. My companion, Elder Aron, was the only one in our house to be transfered. And this morning I woke up as Lider de Distrito Treinador (District Leader Trainer).... I cant explain how nervous I am or how unprepared I feel. Fortunately, I know that the Lord will qualify me. I know it won't be painless, but I know he'll be with me every step of the way. On Thursday, I'll go to Fortaleza to pick up my new companion (American! I hope my Portugese is good enough to teach him......). Until then, I'm staying with the District Leader of Horizonte. 

I have pictures to send but I forgot my card reader... Sorry!!!


Elder Hamstead

P.s. Dont be upset if I didn't respond to your email.. Didn't have enough time :/

Friday, October 3, 2014

It was a breath of fresh air!

Dear family,

This week was really... Interesting. P-day was basically the only normal day haha. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I left my area on divisions for the second time on my mission. Wahooo! I was with Elder J. Martinez. He's really cool and just about to finish his second transfer on the mission. He's from Colombia and speaks Spanish. At first I was nervous that he wouldn't speak very well and that I wouldn't understand anything he said, but after just a few short minutes with him, I knew there wouldn't be any problem. It's crazy how quickly native Spanish speakers learn Portugese! After almost 5 months in my area, going to an area that I had never been in before was like a breath of fresh air. It's crazy how quickly you get bored of the same scenery everyday as a missionary haha. 

Thursday was super cool. Last week, our stake had a caravan to the temple (Recife) basically everyone went... Including the Seminary teacher. And as you can probably guess, she asked us to teach for her. Seminary here is every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 6:30-7:30pm. Sooo everyone in our house took a day. Thursday was mine. At first I was a bit nervous (arriving half an hour late didn't help.. We were given the wrong time) but as soon as I entered the classroom, I was literally filled with the Spirit. It was such a great experience. I feel like I really connected with them. We went a bit over, but no one complained. The spirit was there and it was strong. 

Thursday night, our zone leaders called and said that they wanted to do a division with us. So Friday morning, I left my area again. I got on the bus and about an hour later, we arrived in Pedras (Area of the Zone leaders). It was my second time in their area, but again, it was a breath of fresh air. 

We returned on Saturday just in time for the baptism of Camilla. She is 18 years old and her life hasn't exactly been easy. I'll write more about her next week. All in all this week was a blessing for me. Filled with miracles and the Spirit. I know that what we're doing here and what missionaries are doing all over the world is the work of God. He isn't calling just a few. He is literally calling every single one of his children to repentance. We all need to change. If we and becoming better or at least trying every day, we can't pretend to be real followers of Christ. He came to the world to save us from sin. He already paid for every single one of them. Now is our part. We have to decide whether we will accept this huge gift that hes given to us. 

Eu sei que Jesus é nosso Salvador. Só por meio dele, nos podemos voltar para a presença do pai. 

Love you guys!!

Elder Hamstead

*we looked up the translation of Christopher's message above:
I know that Jesus is our Savior. Only through him, we can go back to his father's presence.