Serving in the Brazil, Fortaleza East Mission

Brazil, Fortaleza East Mission

Monday, October 23, 2017

The dream with everything white (Week #31)

Hello world!
Today is a bit chaotic because its transfer day, but last week was awesome!
First of all, I am being transferred to Quixada! If anyone remembers from my previous emails, Quixada is just 30 minutes away from Quixeramobim, and part of the same district! Not only is it an awesome area, but there is a large possibility that I will be able to visit a lot of my friends and recent converts there when we have splits!
My companion is a newer missionary who arrived in the same group as Elder Passos named Elder Brandão.
As for this last week, it was a week of a lot of work but went well! It was really hard to say goodbye to some of our investigators, especially Joao Paulo and his family (Joao Paulo and went to church yesterday in slacks, white shirt and tie!), but that’s part of the mission.
We had a rather incredible experience last Saturday with an investigator who is having a lot of difficulty discerning between our church and another Methodist church. The preacher in the Methodist church preaches a lot of negative things about our church and about us as missionaries, so she is very back and forth, but has a desire true to discover the truth and so is reading the book of Mormon.
Last Saturday we were passing by just to see if everything was ok with her, and she said she had had a dream the night before. To properly explain this dream, first its important to say that she has only been taught about the restoration. Shes been to church a few times but we have only actually had an opportunity to teach her one full lesson because she talks A LOT. Well she told us about this dream and it went something like this:
´´I dreamed that I was in some strange clothes and everything was white. Literally everything I was wearing was white. Then I looked up and saw a thing on my head, as if for a wedding, that also was white, and I looked down at my feet, and was surprised to see they too were white. Then a woman walked by saying that I needed to hurry because it was about to start.´´
We invited here to talk to a member she is friends with who has already been through the Temple about what she dreamed, but she definitely recognized it as and answer to prayer. It was an experience incredible!
I hope you are all well! Next week I will have more to say about Quixada!
Praying for you all always!
With love,
Elder Ferrell

Monday, October 16, 2017

One more week of training (Week #30)

Hello all!
It has been a busy week here in Pedregal! This last week we had zone conference in Fortaleza, so we had P-day on Monday, Weekly planning on Tuesday, Then Wednesday District meeting in the morning and travel to Fortaleza in the Afternoon, and finally returning from Fortaleza Thursday night. So basically we only had Friday and Saturday of last week to really work, but they were good days!
Last P-day, after emailing, Elder Passos and I left Aracati early to go to the house of one of our investigators where he taught us how to prepare castanhas! Pedregal is rich with cajueiro trees, which bear fruit called cajues! (Kah-jew) BUT, cajues have a strange stem attaching them to the tree, that if you remove and allow to dry, and after put in fire for a few minutes, you can break open and eat the nut inside, which back in the united states we all know as cashews! So last P-day we prepared and a ate a lot of cashews which was cool!

I understand that the last few weeks have not necessarily been easy in the United States. While I have a responsability at this time to dedicate all of my focus on the wonderful people of Brasil, I wanted to pass a small thought of comfort on that we learn from the Corinthian saints in the second book of Corinthians. While these saints were experienceing every kind of persecution and difficulty, their statement to Paul was this:

´´ We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken;cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body they dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.´´
                                                                                                                      (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)

When we are faced with hardship, difficulty or discouragement, we have a choice to decide how to react. It can be easy to fall into despair, but if we put our faith and trust in god we will have the opportunity to respond as the Corinthian saints, and make the life of Jesus manifest in our own bodies. Because of Christs sacrifice all of us can receive help with our trials and challenges, and if we try to always follow his example, he will not only help us with our own sorrows, but use us as an instrument in his hands, to help meed the needs of others.

I am praying for you all every day, and wish for a good week for you all,
Until next time,
Elder Ferrell

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bom Dia!!! (Week #29)

Bom Dia!
Hello all! I hope your last week was incredible and that this email finds you all well!
This last week was interesting here in Pedregal, but good! To be honest, not A LOT happens here, but we still managed to have numerous spiritual experiences, and I would like to share one of them with you all today!
About two weeks ago we started teaching a family that is incredible. The Dads name is João Paulo, and he lives together with his ´´wife´´ (really Just his girlfriend) and their 3 year old son. Joao and his family are a true example of the Lord preparing the hearts of the people. We started teaching them on Monday and by Thursday of that week they started having a desire to be baptized. We are working right now to help Joao Paulo get divorced from another woman he is technically still married to, and after to help them get married so they can be baptized. But we (more accurately: he) had an experience incredible with him last week! On Wednesday we arrived at his house and everyone was incredibly happy and and excited. Joao told us that started the first day we visited when we taught him how to pray to his father in heaven, he started praying every single night, specifically asking for help to find a steady job to support his family. At the time, he was leaving the house every day for the city to see if he could find anyone to give him work for the day, and many days didnt find anything. But Last Wednesday he recieved notice that a company in Aracati (the city that is about 10 minutes from Pedregal) wanted to hire him. He started work that next day, Thursday, and it is going well. He is able to support his family now, and he is receiving health and vacation benifits through this new job as well. The incredible part, was that first night, Wednesday, when he had found out he got the job, he told us the first thing he did was get on his knees and thank heavenly father, then his wife did the same, and his son wanted to pray so they did their first prayer together as a family…It was awesome! His whole family was in church yesterday, participating in all the meetings and learning more about the góspel!
The rest of the week passed quickly and in a blur. Pedregal has a lot of drug problems, more than other areas of Brazil generally have, so we are helping a lot of our investigators right now in dealing and healing from addictions, not an easy task but with the help of our Lord and Savior Jesus Cristo, all things are posible.
I testify to you all that Christ lives and loves every one of you.
I hope you have an excellent week!
Until next time,
Elder Ferrell (its pronounced Fehel)

1) Elder de Souza (DL)

 This ones for Dad (I think all Ferrells will understand)

 A ´´castanha´´ (a cashew straight from the tree)

 Waiting for the car to leave from Aracati for Pedregal

Monday, October 2, 2017

A Bit fast today (Week 28)

Hello all,
I hope everyone had an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful instruction we received from our Prophets and leaders this last weekend.

All is well in Pedregal, the work is progressing and every day the we are one step closer to having a ward here.

My email is short today due to time, but I would like to share with you all one last thought from general conference.
Elder Hales will be missed, but its incredible that he knew exactly what the world needed to hear this last conference, and I would like to echo his final words to us all.
Faith is a choice, and when we CHOOSE to have faith in our heavenly father, we are preparing ourselves for his presence after this life.
Its something simple, but today I plead with you all today: when temptation and difficulty arise in our life, we can use our agency to choose to have faith just the same as we can use it to choose to doubt. As President Uchdorf said, look for truth, and in turn look for light, and CHOOSE to have faith.

I love you all and send you the best of wishes, 
Until next week
Elder Ferrell

                                                                         Ramo Pedregal

Monday, September 25, 2017

(Week 27)

Hello all!
This last week was a blur!
We went to Fortaleza on Tuesday for a big mission conference where we heard from a member of the 70. Then the rest of the week was just working to build our area!

We have been working nonstop to help our area be more united becuase there is a lot of tention here between members. But our work is helping! Yesterday we had 51 people in church! This, again was the highest church attendance in the history of the Branch here! We had a lot of minus activos come which was awesome!

God also blessed us for trying our best, and while were were focused on fortalecendo the members here, he blessed us with an awesome young women who just showed up in church our first sunday and had a huge desire to be baptized! We baptized her in the river here on saturday!
Hope all is well with you all! 
Elder Ferrell

1)Leaving for Fortalez

 2)Elder de Souza (our district leader)

 )Baptism of Rayysa on Saturday

 4)Pizza night yesterday

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bro, I was already Baptised in your church! (Week k#26)

Hello World!
This week was crazy but good! We passed Monday traveling and in Fortaleza, then Tuesday left for Pedregal, a neighborhood in the city of Aracati, Ceara. To give you an Idea about our área, if you have seen the movie Glory Road, the scene where the new basketball players are on the bus for Elpaso Texas for the first time, and start wondering where in the heck they are becuase theres litterally nothing but dust for Miles, we understood this very well when arriving here in Pedregal. It is a city next to the beach, but it is also a desert, and has very strong winds that kick up and push around a lot of dust.
When we arrived  a tour house here, we spent most of the Day on Tuesday we arrived Just cleaning to allow it to be livable. The first night here was rough, but after that, cleaning little by little every Day, we were able to make things a lot better. Its a huge house sufficient for 6 missionaries that only Elder Passos and I are living in right now.
The awesome thing here is we actually have Members!!! We have lunches every Day and the members here are incredible. They havent had missionaries here for a long time, so the branch has been doing missionary work alone for the last few months. The Branch president is a very straight forward guy, but very dedicated and excited to work! Its cool because in his mind he never stopped serving a mission, and is determined to have his branch grow!
One such story was a result of this.
We had a plan to go visit an investigator with him, but after trying to call him numerous times, we started back to the Presidents house. Before we arrived, President told us we were still going to teach a lesson, and called a young man over to his house. President was doing some type of identification card for him, and told him to sit down and listen to our message while he worked on the card. So we started to teach him about the gospel of Christ, and when president finished he came and sat with us. We taught for about 25 minutes, and the lesson went well enough so I finally I gave elder Passos the signal to invite him to be baptized. After elder Passos invited him, it was quiet for about a minute, and then he responded:
´´Bro, I already was baptized in your church man´´
President looked supprised and went to go check his records while I tried my best not to start laughing, and President came back and sure enough, he had been baptized back when he was still a kid.
Thats the interesting part of our area, we have over 200 people that were already baptized, but when we arrived they had an attendance of only 22-30 people in church on sundays, with a branch record of 42 people. God worked through us a lot last week and yesterday in church we had 44 people, and more people arrived after sacrament meeting.
It was a good week!
Hope you all are well,
Love, Elder Ferrell

Isidio and Cristina, the married couple Elder Passos and I Baptized


 Baptism in the river last week

 Our first transfer

Monday, September 11, 2017

6 months ja? (already) (Week #25)

Hello all!
My email will be very brief today because it is a VERY busy day.
I got transferred, but the interesting part is I got transferred WITH my companion. We had a barbeque last night in the house of our group leader in Quixeramobim, and I was expecting to stay because I am training. Well, I am still training elder Passos, and President has asked me to go and open a new area!! 
I dont know how to spell the name of the area we are going to, so I will have more details next week.
I hope you all are well, I am praying for all affected by crazy weather conditions there. Hope everyone is safe!
Love and miss you all,
Elder Ferrell