Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 3, 2013

Hey All!
So J.R. is almost done with his mission (about 2 1/2 months!!) and he decided that he'll probably only send pictures home from now on. If there is any big news that he sends to us, I'll let you know! Thanks to everyone who has kept up with J.R. and supported him these last two years!

May 27, 2013

And I have finally left Jaraguá! They were an amazing 5 months and like always there was that feeling at the end of not wanting to leave but at the same time wanting a new area. It was super hard to say bye to the people I baptized but it's already gone and in the past now. I got the phone call on Monday night from President and joked with me about all the time that I stayed as a zone leader, which were 9 months. And now I am in Itapevi which is a city close by Sao Paulo and I'm a District Leader again. It's weird not being a zone leader anymore I feel like I'm not doing what I should be to know about the whole zone but I don't need to anymore. Also my new companion is Elder Paixão, he's from Salvador Bahia. He's got about 9 months on the mission.
So my new area is fulll of huge hills and I can't lie my legs are killing me but I'm sure I'll get used to it and hopefully it'll help me get a little skinnier to come home. This is most likely my last area. Here in this area they haven't had Americans in a long time, the only other american was here before me and he only stayed for 3 months. Before him it's probably been about 2 years. And it's weird to have to tell people that this is my last area. But I just want to go out with a bang and be able to baptize a ton to finish off the mission. I want to be able to help this part of the Lords Kingdom grow as much as I can in this short time that I have left.
Hopefully in these next couple weeks I'll be sending home a lot of pictures of baptisms like I was able to in Jaraguá.

Eu Te Amo
Elder Gleason

P.S. Mni 10:3-5 (the most important scriptures to know how to gain a testimony of The Book of Mormon) and Mal 1:6; 3:8-10, 18; 4:5-6
 J.R.'s last picture as a Zone Leader
J.R. and Elder Paixao

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

Another great ending to our week, this week we had 3 more baptisms and an amazing ward activity! We baptized 2 more young men that are brothers Gabriel and Rafael. The youth here in this ward are probably one of the strongest organizations here now. It's amazing to see so many youth, I just keep imagining how many future missionaries there are going to be here in about 6-8 years. It's awesome how strong they are and they're bringing their parents with them. It has been a great example for me and everyone here in the church. Also we baptized a lady named Miriam who we have seen change and grow in these couple weeks and she she has been super well accepted by the ward and has felt the love from everyone. Unfortunately her daughter wasn't baptized with her yet though, but hopefully soon she will be.
As for the activity we had the "Pancake Challenge" on Saturday night and it was super great. We had a turn out of about 80 people or so. Both members and non-members with all sorts of pancakes. We were pretty worried that there wouldn't be enough food for everyone but in the end everyone ate and was satisfied. It was like Christ and the 5 loaves and 2 fishes with the 5000 people haha. It was funny because I read that part on the same morning of the activity.
Also this past week I finished the Book of Mormon for the 4th time here on the mission, this time in Portuguese which was yet again another great experience. I truly love the Book of Mormon, I have no doubt whatsoever that it is the word of God. I love reading the Book of Mormon and every time that I do my testimony strengthens.
Well today I find out about transfers and we´ll see what happens it's more than likely that Iwill leave Jaraguá but we´ll see what the Lord wants with me during these last 2 transfers of my mission. So weird to see that so little time is left.

Eu Te Amo
Elder Gleason

P.S. Mni 9:6, 25-26; 10:20, 23, 27, 29, 32-33 and Mic 4:1-2; 6:8; 7:7-8 and Zch 13:6
 The best picture. Yesterday at church J.R. had 19 recent converts that he baptized in Jaragua
 Baptism of Gabriel and Rafael
Baptism of Miriam

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

And another week that ended with more baptisms and confirmations! And it was another group of 3, there is nothing better than ending the week like this with baptisms. This week we baptized Luzia, Kelly and Larissa. Mom, Daughter and Granddaughter! 3 generations all on the same day. It was such a great experience. When I was on the division with Elder Vincent about a month and a half ago me and him did a contact with Kelly and Larissa. The family was all over the place and everybody going to different churches. But now they are all members of the true Church of Jesus Christ. And Kelly is pregnant as well! My first person that I baptized that was pregnant, pretty great experience. I baptized Luzia, who is the oldest and was extremely Catholic, after her baptism she said to me that she NEVER imagined leaving the Catholic church and even less being baptized in another church. But mircales happen and the Lord touched her heart to help her realize that she needed to be baptized by someone who had the Priesthood here on the earth. Elder Moyano baptized Kelly (pregnant) and a YM in the ward baptized Larissa. It was his first time baptizing and he was so excited. Overall it was a fantastic baptism and our hard work with them all payed off.
We also have a few other people who we will still baptize this transfer before it ends, Jaraguá is baptizing like it never has and the members are all super happy. The ward is growing really fast and it's so great to see the chapel fuller and fuller each week. Its a good thing when you have to search for a place to sit and not try and pick from all the empty benches where you want to sit.
Also this week we had yet another mission council. It was so great to get to see all the missionaries again. Especially because now the original 4 from the MTC are all ZLs. Me, Elder Tatafu, Elder Horrocks, and Elder Vincent is the Assistent.

Eu Te Amo
Elder Gleason
P.S. Mni 8:8, 10, 16-17, 20, 25-26 and Amos 3:7, 4:13; 5:14-15; 8:11-12
 Baptism on Saturday 4/5/13 of Luzia, Kelly, and Larissa
3 Generations!! 

April 29, 2013

Well this week was another blessed one that ended with more baptisms! I have been super blessed to have been here in Jaraguá for all this time and we have had a lot of success. This week we had 3 baptisms and we had the baptism service with the other ward that uses the same chapel, Taipas, and they had 2 baptisms. 9 people in white. Man I love pictures with so many people in white at the same time. The week went by really quick and was a rushed one to get everything ready but in the end everything went great and everyone was baptized that we prepared. Priscila and Suellen are mom and daughter, and they accepted the truth extremely quickly and were baptized. It was amazing to see how quickly they progressed. And Luis was the same way, he's Bolivian, my first baptism that isn't brasilian! And he progressed quickly as well. I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part in the lives of these people.
Also next week we have 3 more baptisms marked with a mom, daugther, and granddaugther. 3 generations! We´ve been working with them for awhile and they accepted the goal this past week and were super excited. We have quite a lot of people that we are working with to be baptized during this transfer. This area has had a ton of success with the youth and its awesome to see all the young men that I baptized and how they all want to serve missions. They all talk about what their names will be on the mission.
I LOVE THE MISSION. There is nothing better than being able to help people be baptized!

Eu Te Amo
Elder Gleason

P.S. Mni 7:13, 19, 26, 31, 33-34, 41-42, 45-48 and Dan 12:2-3, 10 and Hos 13:4; 14:9
 All their baptisms, plus the Taipas wards too
 Elder Moyano, Priscila, Suellen, Luis, and J.R.
J.R. at the Pico de Jaragua a few weeks back 

April 22, 2013

Well I am still here in Jaraguá! We got transfers last week and my comp Elder Souza ended up leaving and I stayed for my 4th transfer here now. No one was expecting it, everyong thought it would either be us staying or me leaving but it wasnt either of the 2. It always happens like this on the mission, the unexpected always ends up being the ending. So I'm here in Jaraguá and my new companion is Elder Moyano and he's from Argentina. My second Spanish companion. I should probably work a little harder and try to learn Spanish at the same time. But it's tough. He has a little over 10 months on the mission.
This week was a good one and we worked our butts off and went home tired every day. We want to baptize a ton during this transfer so we need to find more people than we have right now to guarentee that we´ll have more baptisms. However we do have some that are already marked and ready and some other people that we´ll mark dates with this week.
One of our baptisms for next week is a Bolivian young man that just got here in Brasil a couple weeks ago so he barely speaks Portueguese. Elder Moyano has basically been teaching in Spanish. I can understand a little bit of it but not very much. Its pretty tough, everything is a lot quicker.
Also one lady that we've been teaching when we went there last week said that she recieved a really strong answer that she needs to be baptized and that this was the right thing that she was doing and she went to church for the 2nd time yesterday. We're really excited to keep up all the baptizing that has been happening here in the Jaraguá ward. And the ward is really excited as well with all the baptisms. The Lords work will never stop!

Eu Te Amo
Elder Gleason

P.S. Mni 6:1-3, 5-6, 8; 7:5, 11 and Dan 2:20, 34-35, 44-45; 6:10, 16, 23, 27
 Elder Moyano and J.R.
The zone from last transfer
Baptism of Caio

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 15, 2013

And another baptism! For the highest total that I have had in one transfer on the mission, 9 baptisms! It was a little bit of a rush to get everthing done but in the end everything went right and we baptized a man named Caio. He had went to church 2 times already and goes to whatever activity there is at the church. When I was still with Elder Ahmed Caio talked with us in the bus and gave us his phone number but I can't lie I didn't think anything of it. But after a few weeks and when Elder Souza got here in Jaraguá we saw him again in the street and went to his house. And now he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ. It was a really great experience. I don't have the pictures because I forgot my memory card in the house but next week or in the furture I'll send the picture home.
This week we also had another couple families that we're teaching at church and they loved the meetings and already said that they would be there again next week. It was really exciting for us because we've been teaching them for a couple weeks now. It was cool because the mom brought her 3 kids with her and they're 3, 4, and 9 yrs old. The kids loved the primary. And they all call us by Elder when some adults don't even remember who we are haha.
There's not too much other new news, but tonight we find out about transfers and if I'll stay or go. I've been here in Jaraguá for 4 months already and now I only have 4 months left on my mission. So it's very likely that wherever my next area is will be my last. But we´ll see how it all turns out.

Eu Te Amo
Elder Gleason

P.S. Mni 1:3-4; 2:2; 4:3; 5:2 and Ezk 33:4-6, 13: 34:11-12, 31; 37:16-17, 19-20