March 8, 2015

My week was wonderful.

It started with a fun zone meeting, it was the last for 2 sisters and another one was having a b-day so we made banana pancakes and I gave my training, I’m pretty well known in the mission for giving good trainings. always pretty fun. I think it helps that I am an excited guy so other people have fun too. in the end I played a song for the 3 sisters and Elder Hernandes and I sang, it was super funny and it turned out pretty good.

My English class is incredible. I think it comes along with the me being excited thing, when I started there were 0 students and this week I had 22, people love my class. English here is something interesting, if you speak it you get paid a lot more and all movies and music are in English and people want to understand so they pay tons of money to learn but it is way hard if you don’t live in a place where you can practice speaking. But since people have such a good time in my class people are remembering and really learning.

The 5th is always a tough day but I did not have time to be sad for myself. Elder Caceres an Elder from Argentina was super down and he wanted to go home so I decided to do a division with him and I had him read 2 Nephi 4 and I helped him out a lot, I just hope he sticks with it, he’s only been out 4 months.

We had a family home evening with a less active family and they live in the middle of the jungle and the power went out. it was super fun, it made me miss the quiet Colorado nights. Here in Brazil you almost always share your wall, like there is no space between houses and stores. and with all these big cities there are tons of cars and it is always loud. so it was nice to escape for a minute.

We had a ward choir for ward conference and there are no pianists in the ward and I can read bass cleft and Elder Hernandes can read treble cleft and we both played one hand it was funny and turned out super good.

So Elder Hernandes and I were losing our minds without sugar…ive never liked sweets but i just want candy haha so the sisters bought us some diet chocolate and it was way good.

To say thanks and to celebrate women’s day I made my first batch of oreo truffles here in Brazil because the stuff is way expensive but they turned out amazing!!!!  The sisters loved it.

Then we had our transfer I stayed here with Elder Hernandes so that’s wonderful

Love Derek

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March 1, 2015

My week was pretty good The highlight was Patricia and Layze, they both went to the temple in São Paulo and they loved it. I’m pretty sure they are both going to go on missions, which is the coolest thing ever!!! I’ll probably send them packages all the time. haha

I’ve become pretty creative with the boxes of milk here. They are made out of cardboard and metal and it is waterproof so I make covers for scriptures and planners and stuff and I glue pictures on them and then do a self-lamination thing and it looks pretty professional. I made planner covers for my whole zone and I bought bibles for Patricia and Layze and I made a cover for them as well…it turned out great!

On a sad note Patricia moved back to São Paulo, i think it will be ok but I would have liked to have taught her a little more to be sure she is set.

I have also become a good seamstress. It started as a joke that I was good at it but now people from all of my mission are bringing me bags and cloths to sew and I’m getting pretty good at it.

We are working with 3 wonderful families.

The first is Nelson and his family. He is the father of a member and is very cool but he is a bit of a drinker so we will have to help him with that.

The next is Estephoni and her mom Marisa, estephone is one of my English students and Marisa is her mom and she is 6’5″ its crazy haha. but they are super sincere and genuine I love talking to them.

The last family is the Picolo’s, they are the greatest!!!! it is a father and mother with 3 kids, but the kids are all adults but everyone lives together in their sweet beach house. They are great!!!! They love to talk and they went to church this week and they loved it!!

All in all it was a great week!

Love you all!!!

Love Elder Derek

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Grocery shopping!                                                  Ward Mission leader

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Patricia and Layze at the Sao Paulo Temple!

Feb 23, 2015

hey all!!!

My week was crazy. We worked super hard and traveled a lot which is always a little rough.

I got sad when i learned that Maria is not married just living together and that Dora did not want to talk to us anymore but the good news is Patricia and Layze still ere strong and were baptized!!!! Patricia is super funny and is an epic Harry Potter nerd. its funny to fight with her about who would win in a fight between Dumbledore and Yoda. She will go to the temple this week so that is super cool.

Also I went to a ward in my zone to do a baptismal interview of a family who was unsure about baptism and the spirit was so strong with all of them that in the end they all wanted to be baptized and they were but the problem is when we got to the church there was no water so we started to fill up the fount with buckets of water and after an hour of seeing that that was pointless i called president and he approved a baptism in the ocean (which was less than 100m away) and it was an amazing experience.

Love Elder Winstanley
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Ocean Baptism                                                      Patricia and Layze

Feb 17, 2015

My week was pretty good I spent the first day in Itanhaém and helped the sisters there…they are having some trouble finding people to teach. so we spent the afternoon there and found 8 people for them to teach and marked 3 appointments and gave two of the people a baptismal date.

Then I went on divisions with the assistants (Elder Clark and Elder Debaltzo) since Elder Clark was already my companion i spent the day with Elder DeBaltzo…he is super funny and we had a great day and set some good stuff up.

We have 3 people that will be baptized this week.

Patricia is great; we are not really doing much she has such a strong testimony that we are just the missionaries that had the luck to find her.

Maria and Dora have both decided to be baptized. They are great people and are doing this with a faith that their husbands will fallow them.

Maria José is maybe the smartest Brazilian woman I have ever met, she want to church and took 4 pages of notes and told us that is a very practical religion and that it helped her a lot. We are going to invite her to be baptized as well.

It is Carnival today but I don’t find it all that different…. some people do drink a little more than normal and some people party on the beach but inn the neighborhoods it is pretty normal. Today is supposed to be the biggest day and we are going to still have a normal day.

Then last night I had a meeting with President Cabral and it was one of the most spiritual meetings of my life. it was great.

All in all

I’m doing great and i hope you are all too

Also if you have contact with my bro be sure to tell him congrats that he is going to the second coolest mission in the world…Philadelphia…haha

I am so proud of him

Love you all

Love Elder Winstanley

Feb. 9, 2015

My week was pretty good.

Maria and Dora are still making some great progress…they loved church and are loving to study with us…we had a way cool family home evening with them and a member friend they have and we talked about the plan of salvation and it was great in the end they said they want to be baptized but that they don’t feel ready yet…i did get a little sad because they did not come to church this week…

My English class is going sooo well…i invented a curriculum and its going really well…i submitted it to president cabral and i think the rest of the mission might start using it in the English classes. There is one man in my class that is basically fluent and he loves me. he is like 75 years old and super cool. he is atheist but a way cool guy. we are going to his house this week to talk a little more. He told me that i am the hope for my generation so that was cool.

Elder Hernandes gave on of the best sacrament talks I have ever heard…this ward is super irreverent, its unrealistic, and he talked about the sacrament. he said that the priesthood represent Christ, willingly preparing, blessing and braking his body and then offering it to us. He said when we partake of the sacrament we are destroying the body of Christ because that is what we did throughout the week when we were sinning and making Christ suffer more. in the end he said the sacrament is like a funeral and that he had already been to a funeral (his little brothers, but only i knew that) and that while he was there he could not laugh, gossip or even talk, but just think about the life of the person who was now gone…it touched alot of people.

today we went to a huge fishing dock…it was so cool to be that close to the ocean. It really is crazy beautiful here…

But yeah that’s my week…this up coming one is Carnival so we will see how that goes haha

Love you all!!!

Love Elder Winstanley

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Feb. 2, 2015

Hello friends!!!

My week was pretty good. Sunday is always a good day to see how the week was because its when all the work pays off.

We got to know a recent convert that is maybe the coolest guy i know. he is a Samurai, Pilates dr., archer, and super spiritual…he meditates all the time and once he went a full month without eating food…what?!?!?!?

My English classes are getting pretty famous…i need to start finding a better way to teach…there are tons of people coming. I also teach a music class after and most of my students stay to learn…its sooo cool!!!

We had another mission conference and that is always fun, tons of missionaries are finishing there missions!!!! the sisters that got here with me only have 1 more transfer!!!!!

We met a guy this week, Ricardo, he used to be a pro skate boarder and got into drugs and suffered a lot for a long time and then turned his life around and now he is an artist and wants to find God…its an amazing experience teaching someone who has been that low before because he really recognizes the hand of God.

Sunday was an amazing day.

To explain why i need to tell the story of Maria…a month ago i went to the wrong house and met maria. we marked a day to talk more with her but it did not work out she then told us to go to her work that is by her house but for a month if we went she was not there, if she was there we could not make it…but then 4 days ago it started to rain (and has not stopped since) and we were kinda close to her work and something told me to go talk to her but the street was under water and i thought “yeah right, im not going swimming” but i felt something so we went and she was there closing the loge. she told us to come back the next day, so we did and had a great lesson with her. She said we could stop by her house so she could go to church with us and so on sunday we were super excited and when we got there……she was asleep, so we went to church alone and suddenly her boss  (my English student) shows up and says where is maria? she said i could come to church with her so i told her (dora) to wait for just a sec and we ran back to marias and woke her up and she came with us. in the end it was a wonderful day at church and they both loved it…im so excited to talk to them tomorrow!!!!!

Today we practiced the choir that im in and it is turning out pretty good. playing the cello i learned how to read music but i never knew that i knew how to sing too…its a cool experience.

So yeah that’s what’s happening in mongaguá BRASIL!!!!!

Love Elder Winstanley

A girl that got baptized this week 🙂

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Jan. 26, 2015

MY week was pretty good.

I’ve turned into someone who always talks about the gospel, but in a natural and cool way, it really is a part of me now. i talk to everyone i meet and always find something cool to talk about and then i tie it into the gospel.

We are teaching someone that really surprised me. she was a rather strange woman on the bus but i talked to her and marked to visit her. we went there and she understood everything we taught surprisingly well, so we came back and it was a day that rained alot, and her street is really poor and gets super flooded and we were up to our knees in water (secretly i love that haha) and we taught her and she accepted the invitation to be baptized. Her neighbor was also super impressed that we were in social clothes with water up to our knees just to bring her the Word of God. and then on Sunday she could not go to church with us but she said that she read the book of Mormon and liked it and that when she prayed about it she felt something very strong and now this is something she wants to be a part of. 🙂

On Wednesday i was having a rough day…just a little sad about some stuff that did not work out but after English class i gave a message and a member was really toughed by what i said and she said i changed her life and that she never forgets us in her prayers…in the end she turned out to be an answer to mine because that day turned into a great one.

we also did a talent show this week and it was epic!!!! i did some magic, the rubics cube and we did a skit called “imitose” (look it up on youtube, it is sooooo funny even though its in Portuguese) it was a super great night.

We also had a transfer but i stayed here with Hernandes and I’m stoked about it…he is the coolest!!!!

Love you all!!!!!

Love Elder Winstanley

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My zone