Monday, December 15, 2014

Elder Jonathan Engle 12/15/2014 Christmas Message

Christmas Message

Bom dia ala de Oak Hills. I blinked and it's already the Christmas season. I've truly seen that as we lose ourselves in the Lord's work, in His marvelous plan, time passes painlessly and with much joy. I've never been happier in my life. This is God's work here on earth.

My most recent companion (#21) reminded me of an important lesson in life, based on the scripture 1 Corinthians 13, which says, "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." With everything we do in life, if we have not charity, it doesn't benefit US. We can have much fruits, and never ourselves benefited, which isn't very intelligent. It's true. I've never baptized someone that I didn't truly love.

It's a great challenge to choose my words other than that I love you all. I love my family, my parents, my friends, my ward, and my Gracious and Merciful God for having conceded this brief time in my life to baptize His children. I know that my Savior lives. To serve a mission is not a sacrifice. It is a privilege and a pleasure. May we all stay firm and strong in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ as we all serve our individual and personal missions here on the earth.

                                Elder Jonathan C. Engle
                                Brazil Teresina Mission

Elder Jonathan Engle 12/15/2014 Stake Conference, Opan Brasilian Style

Stake Conference, Opan Brasilian Style

Dear People of Earth,
This week we had Stake Conference, which was given from Elder Quentin L. Cook and a few other General Authorities. It was broadcast from Salt Lake City, UT through half of Brazil. I thought it was interesting how two of the authorities had served here in Brazil, opting not to use translators. They spoke very clearly and understandable, in spite of an incredibly gringo accent. It was a wonderful meeting that helped me to feel more of the Christmas spirit.
This Sunday we were very inspired to visit the address of where we believed a less-active member lives. We arrived, finding him and some friends. The member complained for a good 30 minutes, with little word from us. As he complained, I felt a lot of love for him and listened patiently. As the opportunity presented itself, I shared a scripture talking about the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. After sharing this message, one of his friends cried and cried. He had stopped going to his church for quite awhile, and it had touched his heart. He testified that we were sent there to teach him in that moment. He sang a song from the bottom of his heart that tore the tears right out of me. It was a celestial experience. As we reflected on the lesson, we hardly spoke of baptism but felt that he would, without a doubt, be baptized.
I love this work. Thank you and good night.

Elder Engle
P.S. As you may have noticed, I generally have very large eyes in my photos. My mom, some members of the church here, and Sister Siedschlag have taken note of this. Sister Siedschlag made a new mission rule that I can´t do that anymore (half joke half serious) and I have thus since repented (is it really a sin though). It is my unfortunate displeasure (please don´t cry fans) to announce that there will be little or no large eyes in future photos for the sanity and happiness of many women all throughout the world, but as a coincidental side-effect, I may look more handsome and beautiful in future photos. You have been warned.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Elder Jonathan Engle 12/08/2014 They Were So Young...

They Were So Young...

Dear People of Earth,
Yet another transfer has come and gone. My beloved Elder Massa went to São Luís and I´m now with Elder Gomes. He´s a fantastic missionary from São Paulo. He has a very young face, which is pretty funny for me. Everyone guesses his age really low and mine really high. Generally people guess his age to be 15-17 and mine 25-30. It doesn´t help that I´ve fattened up a bit here in Brazil...
This last Saturday, my bishop offered to cook whatever I wanted. I asked for and he cooked Fettucine Alfredo, Chicken Parmegena with Cheesy Garlic Bread and a special tea of theirs. It was absolutely amazing and incredibly accurate. It was the best and possibly only Italian food I´ve had in Brazil.
I thought it didn´t seem like Christmas when I was in El Paxo, Texas, but this year in Brazil it´s even less like Christmas, ha. It´s the hottest time of year and there´s not very many traditions here like in the U.S. There´s still Christmas trees in some homes, but in general, there´s a lot of parties for the holidays.
I´ve really seen the fruits of charity this week. A lot of people initially didn´t seem promissing this week, but as we loved them and did our best to do our part in teach them well, etc. they turned out to be some our greatest investigators. It was a gratifying week to see how crucial charity is in our work. I´m much happier as a missionary when I remember to have charity for those I serve.

Elder Engle

Elder Jonathan Engle 12/01/2014 Christmas in Brazil

Christmas in Brazil

Dear People of Earth,
This past week was like a week of P-Days. We sang as a missionary choir in the Teresina and Riverside Shopping Centers in Teresina. We also sang in a cultural center, in a special missionary devocional and in a devocional with Elder Campos from the Seventy. It was an incredible opportunity to spread our message to many people and help the church to be more well-known.
Today is transfer day. It seems as if our poor phone´s going to explode with missionaries calling. Elder Massa, my beloved gaúcho companion has been transfered to São Luís. I´ll receive my new companion tomorrow, Elder Gomes. I´ve gotten to know him a little bit with our missionary choir here in Teresina, and it´s going to be a great new transfer. Without a doubt, I will deeply miss Elder Massa. I still don´t know the area very well, and with my second transfer as Zone Leader, I´m already going to train Elder Gomes to be a Zone Leader. It´ll be an adventure!
I´m currently reading like crazy in The Book of Mormon to finish before the year ends, as asked by our Mission President, but the passage that really stuck out to me this week is 1 Corinthians 13. If we don´t love, or have charity (in Portuguêse, it says love instead of charity), "it profiteth me nothing."
May we all remember to search for Charity as we ponder on the love which Christ has for us.

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
Elder Engle

Elder Jonathan Engle 11/24/2014 Engle Engle Engle

Engle Engle Engle

Dear People of Earth,
It´s an interesting perspective on the world of media which we missionaries have. There´s some new song that plays a lot with a slow beat that says ´wiggle wiggle wiggle´ that seems to be popular. Cars sometimes blast it in the street, but the youth seem to really like it here. I doubt it sings anything very edifying, but in general, people here don´t truly understand English, so it´s fairly innocent for them. By matter of fact, the only way I learned about this music was from youth here who instead of singing ´wiggle wiggle wiggle´, started to sing the melody and then ´engle engle engle´. Apparently it´s my theme music. Que bom.
This week was very humbling for me. We worked our best to see results from our work. It seemed like everything fell through. Even Sunday morning, we organized on street with lots of investigators. As we were accompanying everyone that committed to come to Church, the news wasn´t very good. The first person had been drinking Saturday night, so they were hung over. The second house seemed perfect, as they were dressed for church and walking in the direction of the Church and confirmed with me that they were on their way there (which we later discovered that they never went.They most likely went to another Church instead). The third house simply wasn´t home. As we walked back to the Church, fruitless, within 50 meters of the Church, a man stopped by us on his motorcycle and said, "Is it okay if I visit your church today? I´ve always wanted to visit there but never took the chance." We affirmed with excitement, greeted him at the Church, and walked him through all the meetings. Everything went perfect with him. He loved everything. It was such a great miracle that, everyone we visited fell through, but a man very elect crossed our path. The Lord compensates for our efforts.
Elder Engle
P.S. There´s no Thanksgiving here, but I realized from my Mom´s email today that Thanksgiving is this week.. Happy Thanksgiving to all you American folk!
P.S.S. 39C in the photo is a little above 100F. That was just today, it´s gotten up today 44C when we´re there, which is about 112F. Enjoy the snow and we´ll keep sweating out another season of ´bros´, which is Setembro, Outubro, Novembro e Dezembro (September-December), the hottest time of year.