Serving in the Brazil, Fortaleza East Mission

Brazil, Fortaleza East Mission

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

Monday, September 4, 2017

Always on the Run (Week #24)

Hello All!
This last week was a blur, and we are always busy as bees here. I do not have much time to write today but will do my best. There were 2 main things that happened this last week. Saturday, we spent most of the day preparing for an activity we were hosting. Since we are just a group here, Missionaries are responsible for any activities planned with members and investigators, so we decided to host a Movie night (my parents will not be at all suprised that this was my Idea).
The room we have church in has a projector and the leader of our group has a computer, so we hosted a ´´Cinema´´ Where we played the movie 17 Miracles and had food and soda. It was one of our best activities because we had members from Quixada come and visit to help, but it was funny because if you have ever seen 17 Miracles, it is a good movie but has many sad parts...well we got through the whole movie up until the final sad part, and the Internet quit on us (we only had 2 minutes more to go!) so that was kind of funny because we had a lot of investigators there and we had to explain to them that there really was a happy ending and we didnt just invite them all to watch a depressing film.
Then the other thing was church yesterday! We only had 19 people arrive but it was an incredibly spiritual fast and testimony meeting. My recent convert, Isidio, blessed the sacrament for the first time which was awesome, then an investigator of ours who is waiting to get married to be baptized, stood up and bore her testimony about how the gospel has changed her life. It was awesome! But the funny part that happened was that last week Elder Passos and I encountered a strange man on the street. Whenever we talk to people and they dont really listen to us, we always just invite them to church and move on. Well yesterday in church when it was really quiet, we had a man that we had done this to actually show up. But it was how he showed up that was funny. We were in Gospel Principles class and all a sudden we hear in a loud booming voice ´´Jesus Christ is returning´´.....
One of the other elders here said he was close to falling on the ground because he thought this was it and Christ actually just showed up haha. He was an interesting character, and kept sharing scriptures from the bible with me although it was a Jehovas Whitness bible and so it was very different from the bible we are all used to. But after church he asked a lot of questions about the book of mormon and wants us to visit him! 

Thats it for this week!
Love and miss you all!
Elder Ferrell

Monday, August 28, 2017

Another Week Gone (Week #23)

Hello World!
This last week passed in a flash! We had a little time to visit people last Tuesday, but then Tuesday night our bus left for Fortaleza at 5 PM. Wednesday morning I went with the Executive Secretary to some Federal Building so that I could receive a social security number and actually be able to use my health insurance card IF I need to. Then after this Elder Passos and I went out working in the afternoon in the área of the assistants. Thursday we had a zone conference which was awesome! Then the rest of the week was pretty normal!
Yesterday our recent convert, Isidio, recieved the Aaronic Priesthood which was awesome! He is so excited about it and He and his wife are growing so much as members already!
I do have one funny experience to share. On Thursday after the Zone conference we went back to the mission Office to wait a few hours until our bus left for Quixeramobim. We left the mission Office 2 hours early to make sure we had time, because I am used to taking a bus from the Travel terminal to the mission Office when we arrive in Fortaleza, but I have never taken the bus from the mission Office to the bus Travel terminal. So before we left I asked one of the secretaries which bus we needed to take. He told us bus number 50,51,52, or 53, and that the bus would finish at the travel terminal. So we left for the bus station, and finally were able to get on a bus numbered 50 (after many attemts being foiled by a stampeid of people as soon as the bus doors opened). We rode this bus for about 20 minutes, but nothing was looking familiar, so I called the secretary to make sure. He Said as long as we really took bus number 50, we Will end up at the terminal, but IF I wanted I could as someone on the bus were the route would finish to have more certanty , so thats what I did, and the person closest to me told me that the bus would finish at the Terminal, so I figured we were Just going a different way. Well, everything I had thought at this point was actually correct, except for one fatal flaw.
Whenever we take the bus FROM the Terminal TO the mission Office, we arrive coming from a certain direction. Silly me thought that to go from the Mission Office TO the Terminal, we needed to catch a bus going in the opposite direction....well after an hour and a half bus ride, our bus definitly finished at the bus terminal, Just the wrong one. We were supposed to catch the bus going the same direction as when arriving to the mission Office because it Just goes in a circle. So Elder Passos and I figured out which bus went to the correct terminal, and after a 3 hour detour in down town fortaleza we finally arrived only an hour after our for Quixeramobim had already left. But everthing worked our, we changed our tickets to a later bus.
And thats it for the adventures here in Ceará Brasil! Tune in next week for more exciting action!
Love and miss you all,
Elder Ferrell