Elder Alex Evans has been called to the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission. He reports on July 10th, 2013, and will serve for a period of two years.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015 LAST LETTER HOME!

June 1, 2015
Rio Das Ostras
Last Letter Home!

Dear Family and Friends, 

I am finished. 

I never seemed to completely imagine that this day would come. 

I remember so clearly the nights in the MTC laying on my bed and trying to picture and think about all the things that I was about to do as a missionary for 2 years.

What are my areas going to be like? Who are my companions going to be? What kind of people am I going to meet and help? How many people am I going to see getting baptized? What kind of changes are going to happen in my life?

I never would have been able to imagine it all the way that it happened. I am so grateful that I was able to go to the places that I went:

Vidor 2nd ward
Vidor 3rd ward
Belford Roxo
Cabo Frio
Rio Das Ostras 1
Cabo Frio again
Vila São Luiz
Rio Das Ostras 2

There was something special waiting for me in each area, and I even got to go back to 2 of them to learn even more lessons. I also got to make friends that I'm never going to forget.

Elder Mountain - Georgia
Elder Memea - Hawaii
Elder Wright - South Carolina
Elder Satele - Samoa
Elder Jones - Idaho
Elder L. Silva - Ceará
Elder Braun - Washington
Elder Reed - Florida
Elder Montoya - Colombia
Elder De Medeiros - Rio Grande Do Norte
Elder Call - Colorado
Elder Luque - Equador
Elder F. Leal - Pernambuco
Elder Cardoso - Rio Grande Do Sul
Elder J. Silva - Rio Grande Do Norte
Elder Nascimento - Alagoas

A lot of companions, I know, but they all taught me valuable life lessons as well. 

I'll have time when I get home to tell you about what happened this last week. 

I wanted to let all of you know that I am grateful to Heavenly Father for the privilege that I had to serve a mission, and especially in Houston and Rio. I am a better man. I understand the plan of salvation. I understand why I am here and what I need to do in my life. I know that the Book of Mormon is true.

I know.

I know that all who read, ponder, and ask God with a sincere heart will also receive this conviction. Everybody who is able to serve a mission needs to do it. It's be the best thing that you can do as a young man or woman. And then just pray that you get to serve in Rio de Janeiro, the best mission in the world.

I love all of you, I'll be seeing you shortly!

Elder Evans for the last time.

May 25, 2015 What a Week!

May 25, 2015
Rio Das Ostras

Dear Family and Friends, 

What a week! Elder Siebers and I were joking the whole week, everyday was our last not last Monday, or our last not last Friday. At least serving in the field. Today starts my last full week. My last week serving as a missionary in my area. Good thing that we've been finally able to start the work up as normal this week. We have 2 baptisms set for this coming Sunday morning. R-, is the wife of a recent convert, and V-, an 8 yr old boy who is the grandson of a member who returned to activity recently. It was funny, we were teaching this family of the member and at the end of the lesson V- told us that he really wanted to be a member of the church, he had already told the bishop and asked his mom's permission and she said yes. haha. We talked with and taught his mom and we marked his baptism for the 31st. I'll have have 2 baptisms for my last weekend on the mission. 

We moved this week too. It was a mess. We were told on Thursday that we were going to move houses on Saturday. We live in the "penthouse" of a brand new apartment building now. It's nice, but it's not as nice as it seems. We have a cool view. I'll have to see if I can send a pic home today. It was a hassle, but that's about it.

Other awesome news is that this ward is exploding! We had an attendance of 180 at Sacrament meeting this week! That is really not normal. Most wards in Rio have an average of 75. And what was better is that it was just a normal sunday. No conference or people from other wards, just members and investigators. The gospel principles class is the biggest in the ward, the retention rate of new converts is 96%. And there are baptisms everyweek. I love this place.

Mom asked me what the theme of my mission is. Ours is "Começar com o resultado final em mente; batizar, resgatar, reter, e conduzir ao templo" (just google translate it). This mission has also had several unofficial themes since I've been here. President Lima always said to us everytime you saw him, "Vai com fé" Or "go with faith", another that has always been on my mind is "BATISMO!!!!!" and I think my personal theme or motto would have to be "Só vai" (Just do it - basically). I say that because every hour there is another situation that you have to overcome, someone to talk to, someone to teach, someone to invite to be baptized. Everyone has some kind of fear to just go around talking to strangers all day and especially inviting people that you don't know to be baptized isn't something people normally do, but it's what I'm here to do. If I don't speak to people, if I don't invite them, who will? So, "just do it."

The biggest lessons that I have learned are patience, how to be charitable, how to listen to others, how to seek revelation and follow the inspirations given by the Holy Ghost, how to have faith, and how to serve. But there are too many other lessons than I can count. 
Have a good week!
Elder Evans