Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 29, 2011

Wow, this week was crazy. Holy cow talk about... well actually I don't know. Sounds like all is going pretty good at home, and that's always awesome to be with family.  families are the most important people in our lives. As for food, we actually get a pretty good varity in my area, though its mostly meat, rice and beans, and things thus. (coisa assim). Its pretty good, Im getting used to it all, though really I could do without the beans. I do love the suco (juice) here. It is so amazing, seriously. They have good lasagna and some great deserts here too. Too bad im not a huge meat fan, but its still pretty good. This week has been absolutely crazy. I have been on divisions practically all week. I went on one with Elder Nobre, and directly from this went on one with Elder Morais and Elder Candland at the same time. Then I went directly from that to the office with Elder Candland and we stayed the night there. Then we stayed the whole day together until the next afternoon. That was awesome. It truly is a blessing to have Elder Candland in my district. It was awesome, and we went and did contacts and we talked with a guy for quite some time, and we conversed pretty well in Portuguese. That is awesome. I improve little by little everyday in Portuguese, though I still have a while to go. Elder Candland actually speaks pretty good Portuguese. It is really good to talk to him, and we have so many things we can talk about too. Mauro sadly fell again, and we havent been able to see him for a while, and he will go into a rehab thing for 6 months. Willians is doing great and progressing and that is awesome. Keep both of them in your prayers. We always need to pray for our Brothers and Sisters that are searching for the truth, that they can realize that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth. The scripture I choose for this week is Hebrews 13:1. It is so simple, but we should always let our love continue. Truly as Saints of God we should love all man, and that love should be evident. We can serve and show our love in many ways. A simple smile can change a life. I love you all and until next week.
Elder Tanner Ross Paxman

August 22, 2011

1. And you guys said I wouldnt see Apple for a while, ha. There actually is quite a bit. The computers are more rare, but there still are Mac Fans here in Brazil.
2. Just walking along on the street.
3. Rain! Bo-yaaa ha ha ha. Just notice who is soaked and who is dry. Thats my good ol' Washington blood there.
4. Oh yeah! Lookin Chic (She-key)!

Another week passes as time flies by. Indeed it is winter here, and sometimes it can get down to 48 degrees (F), and that can feel a little cold with this humidity, but still isn't freezing. I still haven't used my sweatshirt a whole lot yet. Also I haven't heard anything about my package, but it could be at the escritório waiting for me. (mission office). We do get to attend the ward council meetings, though I have only been able to attend one. The ward here has an amazing ward mission plan. We are really focusing on members helping us here. The ward will have a mission Sunday, and we are working to make sure that each family has a "Pregar Meu Evangelho," that they can study from. We are able to use our priesthood to give blessings a good amount, and people seem to always come to us. Mauro is doing really well, he has been having some struggles with overcoming addiction, but his will is rather amazing. We are working with him a lot, and we have two boys that are going to go on missions help out too. They are a great help. We are going over there today to play chess with them, and talk with him. We also have a new baptismal date with a man named Willans (I actually dont know how to spell it). He came to church and asked if we could teach him more. When we showed up at his house, which was late since we really like to walk in circles and walk all over the place, he even had soda and chocolate for us, and a notepad and pen. He is really awesome too. And about walking in circles, its true, we will walk past a place, continue on and ill recognize something and it'll take us right back through where we came, and eventually where we want to go. And when we don't know where were going, ha. Thats an adventure, running across streets, laughing, and just walking and hoping. Dad, how much I wish you were here to help give me advice and talk to me. You have truly been an example, and a goal of someone to become more like. I guess this is my time to grow to, so someday I can be an example to my children. My companion, Elder Souza, shared this scripture the other day, and It went perfectly with my thoughts. The scripture is Romans 8:28, and truly everything has a reason. While we may not know the reason, God has a reason, and a curse that we have may turn for a blessing. We may not see the results of everything right away either, we may wonder why we were supposed to do something, but always remember that God has a plan. God loves each and everyone of us, and if we just try to follow him, then all things will work for our good. God knows whats best for us, we just need to trust him. I love you all, and wish you a good week.
Elder Tanner Ross Paxman

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011

(above) My new companion Elder Sousa
This is where I get my haircut
Me and Elder Candland
the PAX building
A week, or a Day. I'm not quite sure, but somehow I switched companions and got a new district too. Time is... weird. Ha. Anyways, sounds like you guys had an amazing week. Elder Souza and I get along pretty well, and he is really smart with scriptures and stuff. He has been a member all his life, and was born in Forteleza (sp?), but grew up in Curtitiba (sp?) before returning to Forteleza. He really likes English songs and likes to study too. And he wants to learn english and reads pretty well, but doesn't really speak much. And an interesting thing that is super exciting... Elder Candland is in my district! We had a zone activity today and walked around the center of the city and I talked to him for a while. He seems to be doing great and I have tons of confidence in him. He will be an excellent missionary, I have no doubt. I'm super excited we are in the same district. But as for exchanges and divisions, we haven't had one yet. Its only been a few days. Ha. And it wont be like everyday, Ha, but more than before. As for Mauro, he is progressing really well and has made huge steps. He didn't drink or do drugs for a whole week straight which he wasn't done for the past 10 years. That is huge, the Gospel really does help us in our lives. No matter our circumstance, the gospel is the best thing for us and can help us in our lives. And Bishop Salmon now eh? That's way exciting. Things are changing all around. And I have great confidence in your talks Dad. You always do a great job, I actually am reading the General Conference talks again, and just read about the Priesthood. They were amazing talks, the Priesthood truly is a privilege and the holders of it should strive to live up to our potential. And it seems like everyone is growing up back home too. That's crazy about a bunch of my good friends receiving this great privilege God has given us, the Melchizedek Priesthood. Also, since I forgot to wish this person a happy birthday, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY CHAD! And back to my week, ha. We had a random guy show up to church on Sunday, and he sat with us the whole time, and asked us to come tell him more about the church. Truly there are thousands of elect people ready to hear the Gospel around us. Sometimes we are lucky and they find us, but we too have to search and help our Brothers and Sisters receive the Gospel. God loves each and everyone of us, for we truly are his Children. The scripture I choose this week is John 3:16-17. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to the earth, and Jesus suffered for all of our sins. All of us can be saved. The Lord loves us all so much, and we can never forget that. No matter what is going on in our lives, God does not forget us, and through the atonement of Jesus Christ we all can return to live with our Father in Heaven. I love you all and wish you all a Boa Semana!
Elder Tanner Ross Paxman

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 8, 2011

 Outback! Booo Yahhh ha ha ha! And We had Cheesy fries! Sweetness!

Oi meu amigos e familia! Another week passes in the blur of time. As for my journal, its going great, I might need a new one soon, I dont remember, but I dont think it will last me the whole first year of the mission. And today, we found out about transfers this Wednesday. Drum roll...! I will be... Staying here in Cerqueira César, but will receive a new companion, Elder Souza is my new companion, and he will be the district leader. This means Ill probably be doing more divisions or exchanges now. Im excited, I love this area and the people here are amazing. The Spirit really seems to be there through all the small things that happen. But this past week, on sunday, I really felt prompted to share my testimony, so I did. Who knows if anyone was trully touched, but I know that it at least helped me. So this week, I received 8 letters and was super excited, and we went to the mission office to have interviews and I had 3 more! Thank you so much for all you who send letters. Its so good to receive them all. I actually spent my whole P-day writing letters today and still didn't finish. Ha. The interviews with President went really well. He is awesome. He said that we already have 68 pages of rules and don't need more, so we will be sticking to the Missionary Handbook. So I had the amazing opportunity to eat at Outback! Holy cow it was good. The enviorment was totally American, and the food was so good. The only true difference was the language. It was awesome, a member named Eloi took us. He is really awesome, he is an english teacher and served his mission in Montana. So this week, we were walking on the street, and we had to get back to our apartment. A man called us saying "Elderes," so we thought he must have known some members or something (which he didn't) and asked us to come visit him because he wanted to talk to us because he has a problem. I thought that he seemed really sad, and we took his name and address and left. My companion said that he was drunk because he smelled his breath. I said, maybe he doesn't want to, and wants to stop. Then we went to his house and visited him. My companion said that he was scared the whole time and thought the man was going to kill him. I didn't feel that way at all, ha. I dont know why. His apartment smelled like Norman (Parker Mayberry's daschound) and he also has a daschound. He is really intelligent and organized, and is a teacher of Chess. He plays professionally. He seemed really interested in the Church, and now he is taking the discussions. He has some problems with Drugs and some other things, but he really wants to change. He came to church on sunday, and we will continue to teach him. His name is Mauro. One thing that I really want to emphasize this week is that we always need to be out doing good. My scripture of the week is Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-28. We should be "anxiously engaged in a good cause" and seek to do good of our own free will. In Elder Eyring's (SP?) last talk, he talked about how when we truly are converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we go out and help others. We should always seek for ways to serve. Serving people is one way we truly can help our fellow man, ourselves, and serve our God. May we all strive to be a little better this week, and always seek to improve ourselves. I love you all.
Elder Tanner Ross Paxman

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011

Holy cow, I love the pictures. Thats awesome! Thanks guys! Waterton sounded awesome. Im glad all my sobrinos aren't killing each other, and that Pepper can care for herself. As for Roberta, she still hasn't been baptised. Another thing came up and we delayed until next week, and we have her interview tomorrow. hopefully that goes well, were not quite sure what is going on with her. She is the mother on a member named Derek, and her husband also is a member. She also has a daughter Julia that is younger. The whole situation is complicated to say the least, something always comes up and she has to cancel, and she lives really far away. Ha. And a lot of stuff here is expensive, especially anything American. I'm doing well though, there isn't anything I am dying to have yet. And a package sounds awesome, ha. As for getting the youth away from the world, well that isnt the easiest thing. I really think we all need to take some time to ponder. Truly I don't know what you could do to take them away without them all complaining a lot. I would just say that a simple challenge to truly sit and ponder for a few minutes every week would help. Like our meetings that we had for mission preparation, we made a rule to put your cellphone in a basket when you came in, and you couldn't get it until you left. Its just one way to take away a huge distraction. The youth of this world need time to think. I have no doubt of this. The interesting thing is that they all seem to like it when its all done with, or when its happening, but before they always will complain. A challenge from me is to have youth (and all people) separate themselves from all electronics to think for at least a little bit each week. And now, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMBER! Yay! That's so exciting! Hope all goes well for you. As for my week, it was another fast week, as Im sure most all will be from here on out, and things went well. We didn't really do anything exciting, though it was good. You don't really how much a person knows, or how much they spend their time researching, about the Gospel, until you are a missionary. So many interesting things and people love to talk about them with missionaries. And whats awesome, is that Lucio and his family, (the family of Marco Aurelio and João Vitor) said he wants to come visit us when I return. He visits Canada a bit, and sometimes the United States too. You know, I was thinking about it, and how lucky we are to live where we live. We (meaning our house in Sammamish) live in a beautiful place, have access to a lake, good schools, good community, and really strong saints. That truly is a blessing. Its always good to have a strong base of friends that have the same standards as you. Now, we had a district meeting last week, and we talked about tender mercies of the Lord, which this truly was. And a scripture came up about how we can be "Chosen" to receive these. Its in Doctrine and Covenants 11:20. It is our work to keep the commandments of the Lord. Its not someone elses work, and its now something we can leave alone. We all need to work to keep the commandments of the Lord, and I know that He will bless us. The Lord loves us all. As in the song "Season For Courage" it says when the walls fall down, you will see the reason its a season for courage. The rules may be walls, but the walls were built to keep things out, not to keep us in. May we all strive to be more like our Savior Jesus Christ and Improve our lives little by little. I Love you all, and wish you the best...=]
Elder Tanner Ross Paxman

July 25, 2011

I am glad to hear that Canada is the same usual craziness, Ha. Ótimo visitas no Canadá. I love all our family. Thats way awesome everyone could go together. Im glad your enjoying the pictures, Ha. Im working hard to take some good pictures for you all. So this week was another super fast week. But before I go into describing it, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! I love you Dad, you are the best, and I hope your birthday is great. So this week we has been a pretty much normal week. We have been working with some investigators, and Roberta is hopefully going to be baptised this Saturday! Yay! We went over there after not seeing her for a while because she was traveling and such, and she had a whole new desire. We could just tell by being there and talking to her. She really is ready to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is a certain power that comes when you truly try to do the right things. The Lord wants to help us with our problems, we just have to ask for His help. So this past week, our new mission president liberated soccer, so we can play now. So, our zone got together and we played soccer today. Im definitely not a soccer player, but it was a blast. We played chair soccer too, and then played real soccer, and I played mostly goalie. It was a good time. I have an awesome zone. So this week, we have had an emphasise (Sp?) on working with members, and members doing missionary work too. My scripture of the week is Doctrine and Covenants 18:10, 15-16. For those of you that know seminary know that this is a scripture mastery. Every member should be a missionary. We all need to be a missionary to bring the joy that we feel to those that are around us. Everyone on this earth are our brothers and sisters, and sharing the gospel with them is just helping spread the love in our family. Truly, if we are converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have a desire for others to come to a knowledge of the truth too. And for those of you that don't have a testimony, or who haven't yet had a assurance of the gospel, I exhort you to pray and ask our Heavenly Father to help you to know, and He will answer. We all need to follow the example of Christ, and share the love and knowledge that we have. I love you all.
Elder Tanner Ross Paxman