Monday, February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013

 Elder Allan and his umbrella.  Good times!
Us and our pesquisador friend, Aloisio!

Wow, times flies. Its super weird. This will be my last full week in the mission. Where did all that time go? That's so weird. We already had our exit interviews with President, and that was super weird. It was like, "why is president talking about all this stuff? am I really going home?" It still hasn't fully hit yet. So, I guess you all heard about the new missions, and yes our mission will be affected. Our mission will be divided, but more details will come later. Its super exciting. Oh, and before I forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY! I can hardly believe its been a year. It'll be so good to see all my nieces and nephews when I get back. Anyways, the work is going great here in Brazil. We have several people that we are working with, and our hope is that this week we will have a baptism. I am feeling so strange at the end of the mission, it not feeling real at all, but we are ready to work hard this week. "Lets work until the water!" (Vamos Trabalhar até a agua! ou, Pia Batismal!). We are working with a pesquisador called Aloisio that is an awesome guy. And we have been working with several of the recent converts as well. Its been going great here. I am so thankful to be on the mission. I just wanted to leave a message in Alma 37:16. Its when Alma tells his son about the plates, but I believe it applies to all of us. If we keep the commandments, we will prosper, and Satan will have no power over us. God will fulfill all His promises if we but keep our part. God truly is all powerful, and will bless us, all we need to do is keep the commandments. We need to always move forward, always counseling with the Lord for the best way to move forward. I hope that all you guys have a great week, and I love you all.


Elder Tanner Ross Paxman

PS: We have had some huge thunderstorms here recently. Not always with rain, though we have been soaked a few times. They are crazy cool storms with lots of lightning and really loud rumbling thunder. They have been occurring quite a bit recently.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

 Lots of rain ... and only one Guarda Chuva for Elder Long and I! (division)
 Here comes the thunder!
 Baptism of Sarah!
Baptism of Sarah (2)!

Wow, so this week went by really fast. I can hardly believe it. But, it happened, so I guess I have to. Ha. (Sorry for the lame humor). This last week, Elder Allan was feeling pretty sick, and I wasn't doing to great myself ...  so it wasn't the best week ... but we are anxious to work this week. I also did a division with Elder Long, where it poured rain a dang lot!  There were lots of huge puddles, and even waterfalls coming down stairs. Its pretty cool stuff. I do love a good thunder and lightning storm. This week, Sarah was baptised, and she asked me to baptise her, so that was cool. It went great, and we are excited for her. As for Bruno, we talked to him quickly on the street, and looks like he had family in town, and also that he traveled a little. We have some great leaders here in the branch, and the work seems to be going well. We have some people that are progressing, and we are trying to help people be ready for baptism. I would like to leave a thought from Alma 44:3-4. We need to exercise true faith, and righteous faith in our lives. The Lord will help us in all that we do, and we can receive all the blessings that God wants for us, and we can "prosper in the Land," if we but keep the commandments of God. We may not be in a literal fight, but everyday we have to fight against the servants of the Devil. I hope that all of you have the strength and power this week to overcome your "enemies," and exercise your faith. The Lord blesses the Righteous!  Its as simple as that. I love you all, and wish you all a great week.


Elder Tanner Ross Paxman

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013

 Filling up the Branch "baptismal pool"  -  by buckets and a small hose ...
 Baptism of Stephanie!
 another one ...
Cliff and I ...   ha.

Times flies when your a missionary. And I can hardly believe that its already been a week. Its weird that my time is running out as a missionary. Lets do this! As for couple missionaries in our mission, I don't even know...  There was a couple at the beginning of my mission, but I haven't seen any since then. I've seen some that serve "here," but I don't know if they are part of our mission. This past week was a pretty good week as we had the Baptism of Stefanie. She came to the Branch one week, after several months of being invited by Elder Wolfe while he was on a division. Then she travelled, and now everything calmed back down, and she was finally able to be baptised. It was the first baptism at our Branch building. All the rest have been at the Chapel in another area. It was in a type of pool that we set up, and we filled it up with a slow going hose, and a lot of Buckets. That was pretty cool. It also was leaking the whole time as well, so we had to fill it up enough so it wouldn't lower to much. The leak wasn't too much though ...  In the end, she was Baptised and all went well, so that was way cool. We also have another Baptism planned for this week that is the daughter of a member that was inactive for some time. She came back when she moved here, and asked us to teach her daughter. Sara is her Daughter and is about 10 years old. We also are working with several Rapazes (Young men, + or -) about our age. One of them is ready to be baptised, and just needs to go to church. His name is Henrique, and he is pretty cool. The other is Aloisio, and we found him the other day when a drunk called us over and talked to us. Then he called Aloisio over to pray with us, and we went to his house and taught him. He seems like a cool guy. We hope that he also progresses to be baptised. We haven't seen Bruno since the day he was confirmed, but we are planning to go there tonight. I am doing great here, and am loving the mission. I also wanted to send home a scripture that is in Ether 12:6. It is indeed a scripture mastery, but I hope that we always decide to take the step of Faith in our lives. The Lord loves all of us, and wants us all to be happy, but happiness doesn't come on a silver platter. True happiness comes through our work and devotion to eternal things and keeping the commandments of God. That involves us taking our first steps of faith, and getting up every time that we fall. We will never really understand the ways of God in this life, but what we can understand is that He is our Loving Father in Heaven, and will bless us according to our faith. I hope that we all can focus on our faith, do God's will. Blessings appear to come to those that do wrong things, but the so called "blessing" is but a small moment that will be drown out by the great misery that comes from sin. The Righteous will always be blessed, and the Lord blesses us so that all things are possible through our faith. I love you all, and hope that you all can have a great week this week.


Elder Tanner Ross Paxman

Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013

Me and Bruno ! 
 Baptism!  Yeah!  All of the family and a friend, and us!
 Me and Elder Crandall !!
 Bowling!  That was Sweet!
 My Brownie Birthday cake!
 Yup ... I'm painted on a wall ...
 Going away party!  We'll miss you Elder Hendrixson!
 The new Elder, Elder Long, who now lives with us!  (Poor him, ha) 
Look at them shoes!  Ha.

Wow, the weeks are just flying by ... Its crazy. Its weird to think I only have a few more weeks left. Oh well, its time to go out with a bang. So, I am still here in Jaguaré with Elder Allan, though Elder Hendrixson was transferred and now Elder Long (Utah) is living with us too with his companion Elder Vazquez. Sounds crazy with all the people getting back from missions, and it'll be great to see them. So this past week we had a going away party Tuesday night for Elder Hendrixson, and then started our next transfer. This past week was great as we were able to baptise a young boy of 13 years of age (Bruno) that is the cousin of Léo.   He is an awesome guy, and it is great getting to work with him, and all their families. We also are working with several other people ...  and aside from getting avoided by some ...  others are progressing and have great potential. We hopefully have some baptisms on the way too. I am happy, and having a great time preaching and testify of our Savior and Redeemer. I am so grateful to be a part of this great and marvelous work. Its strange to think it will end some day, but I will do my part until I am released from my duties as a full time missionary. The great part about the Gospel, is that it applies to all. Its sad at times, that the world grows so far away from the paths of God. I was reading in the scriptures today, and came across a scripture in Alma 41:11. Truly people only think they are happy when they follow the natural or carnal man, but really they are far from it. What is one small moment of false and indignant happiness compared to an eternal happiness without end? The path that we need to take is here, and once we know it, we need to continue until we reach our destination. The path does not move itself, it is us ourselves that move from the path. But just as much as we move away, we can return. And we can only return through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and that he loves us, and that through His atonement we can overcome the natural man and have no reason to fear. The Gospel is a message of Joy, and it will bring all those that follow it a greater joy and happiness. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church, and the Kingdom of God, on this earth. I love you all, and hope that this week is amazing for all of you.

Elder Tanner Ross Paxman

PS:  There are some great foods here like Pão de Queijo which is amazing. Its bread with cheese in the batter. Basically a roll made of cheese. Its good stuff. Most the stuff here - they have there. Or at least I could make it. Like Puddim. Its really good stuff too. Its like pudding, but its more solid and is in a round form. The chocolate is different here so that it doesn't melt at such a low temperature ...  I think the American is better ...   As for fruits; some are seasonal.  Some trees give fruit two or more times in the year normally. Some give fruit all year round too. It depends on the fruit.