Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Elder Jonathan Engle 05/21/2014 Twelve Companheiros!

Twelve Companheiros!

Dear People of Earth,

After a hectic past few weeks, I´m paired with Elder Shepard from Chicago, Illinois. He´s awesome and we´re working like crazy.

Cool Story:
So we have an investigator in Caxias named Gilberto. He´s involved with the radio and television here and he´s going to interview us on television in Caxias if we get approval from our Mission President, which is the coolest thing ever! I hope everyone in Caxias decides to tune in when we do it. I think we might be able to do it a few times. Not only is it awesome to be on TV (in a town with very few TVs), but it´s going to be really powerful in helping more people to get to know our church here.

Spiritual Thought:
I´ve been thinking a lot about faith this week and really applying praying with faith more. We´ve been working really hard in our district to have six baptisms on March 31, which is a huge challenge, because not much´s been going on. Ever since we decided to really focus in on hitting this goal, we´ve been seeing lots of small miracles working towards this. It´s really pushed my spiritual limits and I´m growing a lot. So much of what we do in life ties back to faith.

I´m really excited for Gutenberg and Italu, who should be baptized pretty soon. They´re both about my age and they were invited by a member to activities. After showing up a bit, they´re really feasting upon the words of christ. It´s a great way to do Missionary work is to simple invite people to things. When people get exposure to the church, the members and the missionaries, they can have a lot of good experiences.

My scripture of the week is definitely D&C 121 and 122. It´s been a big pick me up for me as well as a reminder of exercising Priesthood in righteousness.

Elder Engle

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Elder Jonathan Engle 05/14.2014 Knock Knock Knocking On Caxias´ Doors

Knock Knock Knocking On Caxias´ Doors

Dear People of Earth,

This week´s title is inspired from Knocking on Heaven´s Door. Elder F. Silva, our new District Leader, is teaching me to play guitar and it´s great. Obviously, I have very little time to do so, but nevertheless, I found it to be good. Now, down to business.

This past week was very busy indeed. Last week, my new companion Elder Falk arrived. He arrived after a day or two of me working in a trio with Elder F. Silva and Elder Gauthier. We worked Fri-Sun essentially. Even with that, most of our days had various problems and worked less than I´d have liked. Monday, Elder Falk returned to Teresina to have some exams done on his knees. Monday night at about 12:30am, Elder Falk arrived again with Elder Sheperd. Elder Falk was emergency transferred to the area of Elder Sheperd. Elder Sheperd is now my new companion from Chicago, Illinois, he´s very awesome indeed. Elder Falk was very awesome as well and it´s a bummer to see him go. Because of this past week and the rest of my mission before, I´m currently on my twelfth companion with a little over 8 months in the mission!

Today our District had a baptism (the area of Elder F. Silva and Elder Gauthier). It was a very special experience. Yesterday night, they checked the baptismal font and it was all filled and ready to go. After cleaning our house and eating lunch, we arrived, discovering that the font was nearly empty. Also, all the water in our house/chapel wasn´t functioning, so we were in a tough spot. We found 5 buckets and rushed between an outdoor water tank and the font, filling it as fast as we could. It wasn´t pretty, but we did it. We were all sweating a lot, wet from sloshing water, still confused why it wasn´t filled when we arrived. Immediately after having the baptism, which was very good, the water in the house/chapel worked just fine. The moment we realized this, I felt the spirit confirm that we were being tested. We were presented with a very frustrating, nearly impossible situation, but the Lord provided a way and we took it! It was a big testimony to me that the Lord truly tries us to see where we´re really at.

I love Alma 34:8-10 about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is truly infinite and eternal. I love being a missionary here in Caxias. After two weeks of struggling work, we have tons of people to teach. The Lord is truly preparing a way for all of His sheep. God bless you all this coming week.

Elder Engle

Elder Jonathan Engle 04/28/2014 Brasil week 2

Brasil week 2

Dear People of Earth,

Reporting in from one of the poorest, if not the poorest cities in Brasil here. It´s crazy to say the least. We had two baptisms this past Saturday for Thamara and Thanara. I´ll try to send pictures in the future, but it´s kind of dangerous to plug in a pen-drive here.

My scripture of the week is Mosiah 4:11-12. Humility truly is the key, because then the Lord can truly  teach us. It´s hard adjusting to Brasil but I´m thankful  to be here. My companion is awesome and the work charges on! Sorry it´s so short this week.

Elder Engle

P.S. We get to watch the world cup with investigators whenever brasil plays :)

Elder Jonathan Engle 04/21/2014 Elder Engle in Brasil - Caxias!

 Elder Engle in Brasil- Caxias!

Dear People of Earth,

This email is quite challenging to write. I can describe why it´s so hard by explaining Brasil. First of all, the keyboards are Portuguése keyboards. This means not only are they different, but ther´re quite old and beat up as well. Secondly, it´s hot here. Really hot. It´s actually pretty cool here when it´s in the 90s F area. After my first week, I´m already turning brown/red. Also, I don´t use English anymore... I don´t need it except to ask what a certain word is.

I´m currently in Caxias, Maranhão, Brasil. It´s a town of about 200,000 people and the church has been here maybe a little over two years. Our branch has about 30 people attending weekly, but this week was a big holiday week, so we only had about twenty, including some visitors from Codor. My companion is Elder Rodgers from South Carolina. To say he´s a stud is a gross understatement.

Brasil is drastically different... oh goodness. Where do I begin... everything´s different. It´s HOT... and it´s winter. The food is very rich and natural. The people are terribly poor (but we are too). Missionary work is drastically different here as well. In the U.S. we were laboring to work with members a ton, but we only have a tiny little branch here. We can enter any home that we like. We clap or knock outside the door and we´re always accepted inside. They usually like our message, but the trick is findly the elect of God. There´s so much to be done here. We work super hard here. We walk everywhere no matter what the conditions, try to teach as many people as possible, and eat much less than I ate before. That´s just the beginning...

In terms of Portuguése, I know the gift of tongues is real. I´m already very useful in our missionary work and communicate quite well, as long as I have the Spirit with me. Some people already think I´m fluent (usually missionaries rather than natives...). That´s still a great compliment. The Spirit truly magnifies all of our work. It´s incredibly different and exhaustingly difficult to say the least. Foreign missionaries work hard! I feel like we had it easy in New Mexico compared to the experiences here. Cars are rare here. Everyone uses motorcycles, but no one knows how to drive them.

The food is wonderful, although I never know what the food is called heh. The other day I ate a fish eye ball (the locals said that´s weird even for Brasilians though...). It´s true that we eat rice and beans at every meal and it´s VERY GOOD. I´m struggling to remember a lot of the words in English. I seriously haven´t spoken hardly any English since arriving in the Brasil MTC. Portuguese is awesome.

President Siedschlag is my hero. He´s really strong, full of energy, understands missionary work very well, and overall is wonderful.

Emailing in the future will be challenging. I´ll be able to weekly (most likely), but it´s going to be pretty brief. We only have 40 minutes to email here.

Overall, I feel like I understand 1 Corinthians 14 much better. The relationship between the Gift of Prophesy and the Gift of Tongues is very unique indeed. Overall, I say that we need both heh.

I tried to write about the most important stuff I thought people would be interested to know about. We actually live in a pretty decent place. For Brasil, it´s very good. My companion´s been here for quite awhile and helped to arrange for us to live here. Brasil is the chillest culture I´ve ever seen.

Lots of love and best of luck with everything yáll.

Elder Engle

Elder Jonathan Engle 04/11/2014 Greeting From Elder Engle

Greeting From Elder Engle

Dear People of Earth,

I'm currently in Brasil and haven't emailed many of you in a VERY long time. I don't really have any excuses other than missionaries are always busy. This week I'm emailing many people for the first time in quite awhile. I hope you still remember me and forgive me.

I'm in the Brasil MTC until next Tuesday, at which point I'm off for Teresina. My English is awful right now since I haven't really spoken it since I've arrived. Our District is superb and we never speak English. My Portuguese is doing really well. Brasil is beautiful, yet it's extremely hot.

I'd love to know what's going on in your lives? How's life stateside (or in some cases, not stateside) treating y'all?

Sorry for the short email this week. We attended the Sao Paulo temple this morning, but it took all day. We're going to explore Sao Paulo for a bit. Have a good one!

Elder Engle