May 2011-May 2013

Kevin has been called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been assigned to labor in the Brazil Londrina Mission for two years and will be teaching the gospel in the Portuguese language. Kevin will not be using the internet while serving as a missionary. This site will be updated by me, his mom, as I recieve his weekly email letters and pictures. Enjoy!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Sharing Living Bread and Water


Crongrats to Micah! it´s weird to think that this stuff actually happens, you always think its waayyy in the future. to think that my mission will end in five more months is reeeaaalllly strange. 

Tell D to go on a mission. If he doesn’t he will regret it for eternity, and the people that he could have baptized will suffer in spiritual hunger so much longer.

The most saddening thing are the faithful of the great and abominable church, they just want more than anything to have a relationship with God and have the comfort of the Holy Ghost but they are completely blinded by false traditions that don’t and can't satiate the desire. 

It´s like watching a homeless person thrown in a ditch on the side of the street trying to suck on rocks to try to get some sort of nourishment as he slowly becomes thinner and sicker.

There is no greater feeling than to help that honest, good person out of the ditch and give him water to drink and bread to eat.  See the light in his eye when he learns that he has a loving Heavenly Father that hears and answers prayers.

There is also no worse feeling then when you stretch out your hand and try to pull the guy out of the ditch but he just doesn’t want to leave, and even calls you a liar or tries to shove his saliva-covered rock he´s been sucking on down your throat. In that case, you just got to give up and try to help the next one.

I love the Savior for having given me the truth, now I have to help others too.

Love you all,
 
-Elder Leete

Monday, December 24, 2012

Owls and Christmas Cakes


You got my pictures? Cool. These type of owls live everywhere here in Paraná (the name of the state where I’m in) they are those kinds of owls that live in burrows in the ground.
I remember Owls in the family, I loved those stories! I remember that dad would read it to us in the living room on Sunday afternoons. Also he made us read a little when his voice got tired. I think it’s one of the reasons that everyone in the family grew up to love to read.  It´s interesting here in Brazil, books are expensive so people rarely read.  When people don’t have a habit of reading society as a whole decays. The only book people read here is the bible. And in the bible they only read psalms and proverbs.

I’m gonna Skype you guys at 5pm my time. Thank you for preparing questions, I feel awkward when I have nothing to say.

This Sunday a bunch of members gave us Christmas cakes and candy, I've gained about 3 kilos in this area so far, it´s what I get for serving in a richer ward.

We have 3 couples here that we are helping to get married. One is a couple that me and Elder P found 1 year ago and baptized their two daughters. Another is one we baptized the two kids two weeks ago. The last is a couple that we have been working with for like three months, R and C. C finished reading the Book of Mormon recently! But also hasn’t stopped smoking. . .


I like it here in Londrina, the only annoying thing is that when missionaries are sick or there is an emergency transfer they always sleep in our house or president makes them work in a trio with us. Teaching in a trio is really annoying. But it’s also good so that me and Elder P don’t get tired of each other. At the end of this transfer it will be 6 months that we worked together. Or one fourth of our missions. It’s weird to think about. Also weird to think about is that this will be my last call home! For mother’s day i can talk to you all in person  


Love you all!

-Elder Leete







Monday, December 17, 2012

Only 3 More Transfers

Hello everyone!

One more transfer passes by and it doesn’t even feel like the time is passing. I only have three more transfers, or 4 1/2 more months. I’m starting to go a little crazy here in the Londrina 3rd Ward, the members are really great and everything but the area is being difficult to find really interested people. 90% of all our investigators are people that  have moved recently into the neighborhood from another city or from the farms in the countryside, people that aren´t the old Catholics that have been living in the same houses for the past 30 years.

At the end of this transfer I will have spent 6 months in this area, and 6 months with elder P (3 one year ago and 3 now).

I like it here in Londrina, the city is really nice, I wouldn’t even mind living here, but America is way better so I won’t.

We have 3 couples that we are trying to marry, so that means 6 baptisms after about a month if everything goes right.

I´m happy and working hard,

-Elder Leete

Monday, December 10, 2012

BATISMO!



Sounds crazy. . . Jennifer Graduating already! I only finished my freshman year. . .

but I've got some good news for everyone. . .

BATISMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally we were blessed with a baptism here in  3rd ward! After 4 months of not having any success.

my first week here me and Elder S talked with a man on the street, he had just got back from work so he was really tired so we marked another day to come back, and when we went back he wasn't at home. a week or two later we knocked on his door again and found him and his wife at home, we taught them the first lesson and they even accepted to be baptized when they receive an answer to their prayers that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

We returned for a follow up lesson and they lost interest, didn't read the book of Mormon, and said that they were going to another church so didn't want to learn more.

About a month later me and Elder S met  the wife on the street and she said that her husband got sent to jail. We invited her to go to church so that God could help them resolve their problems. It was funny, we kept on seeing her in the street over the next two months or so and we kept inviting her to go to church. Finally, one Saturday night we were walking in front of her house and we saw her in the yard and invited her one more time to go to church. she said that she was praying so that she could find a lawyer to turn in some documents so that her husband could be released from jail and we said that if went to church we would introduce her to a lawyer in the ward.

So she went the next day and we introduced her to the lawyer, he couldn't really help, just point her in the right direction and give her some tips, and when she started to pay attention to the meetings she felt the spirit really strongly and wanted to always come back.

We then started teaching her and two of her kids, and a member family close by started to bring them to the church during the week to play soccer and volleyball, and the two kids started to really want to be baptized! But, only when her husband could watch, which means that he would have to get let out of jail.

Through a lot of prayer and reading of the scriptures the whole family developed more faith and after a few weeks, (this week) he got released!!

We baptized the two kids, and when the parents get married legally they can get baptized too!

só milagres!!!!

I’m very grateful for the Lord having helped us and that everything could go well for the kids to be baptized this week.

I love you all
-Elder Leete


Monday, December 3, 2012

Time Ticks By


The time ticks by, and Christmas doesn't seem like it will come this year, it just gets hotter and hotter. Hardly believe that I've spent the whole year of 2012 in a foreign country preaching the gospel. I’m also excited to have my LAST skype call with you all on Christmas! I’ll be home probably before next mother´s day!

The mission passes by way faster than I imagined it would. But I've got lots of people to baptize still!!!

-Elder Leete! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Valiant Defenders of the Truth


Thanksgiving passed by completely unnoticed, but that’s okay, there are a lot of holidays here that we don’t have there so it all evens out. Not like we celebrate any of them though. Just on holidays there are a lot more drunk people so it’s more fun to do street contacts. 

Every month the zone leaders of the mission have a special meeting with the mission president to talk about how to better the missionary work in the mission. I've learned that there is an eternal principal that is involved in this: 

The study of doctrine has a more profound effect on behaviors then a study of behaviors. When we really study and understand the doctrine of Christ and the Atonement, we naturally work harder and have better results in missionary work. You talk with more people on the street and have more spirit in your lessons.

It’s the same thing in our day to day life, and with teaching investigators. If someone understands the doctrine of the Law of Chastity and really understands that they are offending God by living together without being married, then they can use their agency to choose if they will get married or not, and they will receive their recompense in the last day.

I can recognize that 90% of all the times we sin we simply are tricked by Satan into not thinking about the definitiveness of the doctrine. We think, "Just a little bit isn’t all that bad" or "what I’m doing doesn’t really fall under this commandment". He tries to get us to forget where the lines are or better yet redefine our own lines or the lines set by the world.

As missionaries we try to be "Valiant Defenders of the Truth" (as it says in the missionary handbook) and testify of what GOD has set the standards to be in such a way that the person feel the spirit testify of its truth, then let that person choose for himself if he will follow or not.

I’m really learning a lot on the mission. It really is a lifetimes worth of experiences all shoved in two years.

I definitely recommend it for everyone.

Love you all!

-Elder Leete

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Me and elder P are doing well, we are trying really hard to
get the members of our ward involved in missionary work, so we are
trying to get them to go with us and teach people and we will try to
do some activities to get them excited.

We have some possibilidades for baptism this week, so we are going to
pray a lot that they happen. Our zone has been baptizing very little
lately so if me and Elder P show the example I think it will
get everybody really excited to work hard.

Happy thanksgiving everybody!

I’m sending another flash drive of pictures home today.


Love you all!
-Elder Leete

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Companion/Old Companion


Hey Everyone, 

i´ve got some exciting news, the new transfer starts now and my new companion will be Elder P! i´m really excited that we will work together again, i trained him when he arrived on the mission and now we will be Zone Leaders together 8 months later!

after 12 weeks of working in this area we havn´t baptized anybody, but we have a few people that are progressing and i´m feeling like here in a couple of weeks we will start baptizing a lot! just have to have faith!

realized that i will have spent half my mission here in the Ts Stake, i´m getting to know every area pretty well.

lets see the MIRACLES happen these next few weeks!

Love you all!
-Elder Leete

P.S. for the Christmas package I could use some more blistex, and i want updated pictures of everyone! and more milky ways!
I love you all!

 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween, Stake Conferences, Election, & Smoking


Halloween past by completely unnoticed, if i didn’t have to renew my vista on Oct 31st I would have never even thought about it.
Here in the “Londrina T” stake we will have conference this next week. The culture about Church meetings are a lot diferente here, because more than half the people don’t have cars they have to walk to church so one of the biggest concerns that bishops and stake presidentes have  is simply getting the people to go to church every Sunday, and especially stake conferences.
I really look forward to stake conferences; I really can recognize how spiritually great the seventies are. When I was growing up a stake conference was just like any other Sunday, but now that I guess I’m more spiritually involved in every church meeting, I can see and feel the difference in the spirituality of brother John Doe in the Ward and one of the seventy when they visit. I´m not saying that brother John isn’t spiritual, because an  honest testimony with sincere words Always brings the spirit, but when a general authority talks he brings with it his calling, and they always talk about what the people in that region really need.
Are there really 47 missionaries from our stake? That’s crazy! Here a stake is Lucky if it sends out 7 or 10. How many wards are there in the stake?
As for the election, every investigator seems to ask me who is going to win, and I’m so disconnected I don’t know anything. Hey, if my ballot got there in the mail, can you guys vote for me. Send one more in for Romney (not like it will matter, we do live in Oregon)  
I Liked the Package you all sent! I got a bunch of Pictures from R and Peanut butter and Cake from the Family. Every morning now I make a “vitamina” how they call it in Portuguese. I put whole milk, bananas, Nesquick, and peanut butter in a blender. It’s delicious, But I’m also gaining weight. . .
This week is my Companions Last week on the mission. We have about 8 people that could be baptized but have problems. (Marriage, word of wisdom, etc. . .)
We are teaching a young couple that both smoke. We gave them a blessing to stop and the husband, who smoked a carton of cigarettes per day didn’t smoke any more since then. The wife is having a harder time, she just is smoking less. This is the third time on the mission that I gave someone a blessing to stop smoking and they stopped. They all have the same thing that they just don’t have any more desire to. I know the Priesthood is real, but it completely depends on the Faith of the person who was blessed, I have given blessings in a lot of people that just kept smoking in the same way.
Love you all, I´m doing great here
-Elder Leete

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hard Work is Starting to Pay off.


One more week passes by, me and Elder S have been working really hard and it’s starting to pay off this week, we found a young family on Saturday and they went to church Sunday and when we went to visit them Sunday night they said that they liked it at lot and "who knows, maybe we´ll get baptized. . ." without us even asking them! The only problem is that they are a little poor and don’t have the money to get married.

Also, on Sunday, there was a missionary couple visiting our ward that is serving in the Temple and they went with us to teach a relative of theirs. She is an old lady and asked "if I wanted to get baptized next week, would I have to like take a class or something?" before we even started the lesson!!

I really hope that we can help these people be baptized this week; they are the first people we´ve seen in a long time that are really interested in knowing the truth.

Also today I got 2 packages! One from you guys and one from Rebecca. That and a bunch of cards and letters for my birthday from last week.   Today is a really great day. And to top it all off, I found a place that sells Cereal really cheap only like 4 R$!! A box of frosted flakes is like 15 R$ here so I never buy it, so this week will be the first time in like a year and a half that I have cereal for breakfast!


I love you all! Have a great week!
-Elder Leete


Monday, October 22, 2012

Drunks & Missionary Mid-life



 This week went by really fast, the assistants visited our zone so one stayed with Elder S. in our area while the other (an old friend of mine, Elder L) did a split with me and we visited all the areas of the zone doing splits with everybody. It was a lot of fun.


My birthday was good. I taught a couple of drunks in front of a bar that are real art freaks (are studying art and theatre in the university ) when we gave them a Book of Mormon he gave me a book about Brazilian art in return. That was my birthday present for the day. Teaching drunks is always entertaining. Unless they are those angry drunks that think that our religion is false and they already follow God. (Oh the hypocrisy. . . .)

We have been working for the past month or so with some investigators that are having a hard time to stop smoking. After a certain point you can’t really do much more, you don´t have enough minutes on your cell fone to be calling them all day reminding them not to smoke.

I’m starting to reach the missionary mid-life crisis.

not really mid-life, just the realization that in a few short weeks I will only have 6 months left on the mission.

Have I really worked as hard as I should have?
Have I baptized as much as I could have?

You start to become tired, both physically and mentally. My companion right now is on his last transfer before he goes home, and it shows. He is really beaten up. I’m thinking to myself, will I be like that in six months? Will I have worked as hard and have given my all so that really I’m physically and mentally and emotionally worn out? Or will I just kind have glided through the mission with have given everything I have.

These thoughts give me a new resolution to give more than I have given before and go all out. I’ve got a  lot more time and a lot more people to baptize.

love you all!
-Elder Leete

P.S. did you guys send me any packages? and if so to what address so i can look out for them 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

For A Birthday Present to Me...


Oct 15, 2012
Wow, it’s weird to think that I will turn 21 too. It’s weird on the mission too because you are so separated from the concept of time. Time here is just something that you are constantly racing against, that goes by really fast or not fast enough.

This ward that I’m working in know is a really old ward full of returned missionaries and stuff, so you´d think it would be a good ward to work in, but the area is really tough, its super hard to find people that are interested in your message.

The worst part is that even though the members are really great and knowledgeable, they don’t give references!!!! The worst sin that members of the church have nowadays is their disinterest in sharing the gospel with their friends. The excuse that everyone gives is that all their friends are Mormon too.

WELL THEN MAKE MORE FREINDS!!!!!!
There are millions of people around us every day that don’t know what their purpose in life is or how they can find peace in their homes or families but WE KNOW!! So what does it cost to tell your colleague at work or your acquaintance at school or that same guy that always waits at the bus stop at the same time as you?  It costs nothing!!!

Something my mission president says that really sticks out in my mind:

missionaries that don’t talk to people on the street are PRIDEFUL; they think more about what people will think about them than what God thinks about them.

All members of the church have the responsibility to share the gospel with others. if you don’t have a desire to share the gospel it means that you don’t really believe (you don’t really have a testimony) that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God´s church on the earth, and that it contains the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and is the ONLY WAY that all people on this earth can return to live with God and Jesus Christ and receive the fullness of joy with their eternalized families.

So think about this to yourself, everyone that reads this letter: I really believe? I REALLY believe?

And if you do, then you will tell your neighbor. Because you will have a desire that he knows how he can be happy in this life and saved in the next. You will feel like these great missionaries in Mosiah 28:3.

I know that this is true, I know it. Not because I saw a vision or had any supernatural experiences, but because the Lord reveals it to me every single day through the Holy Ghost.

For a birthday present to me, talk to somebody about the gospel this week. If they seem even the slightest bit interested, get their address and give it to the missionaries. Just do it.

I love you all!

 Thanks so much for the birthday cards!

We have an investigator that wants to be baptized but is having trouble trying to stop smoking.  If you could pray for her that would be great.

-Elder Leete

Monday, October 8, 2012

Best Thing You'll Ever Do


General conference was so great!!! as a missionary, the best thing in the world is listening to conference.

Ran out of computer time again so all i have to say is EVERYBODY THAT NOW QUALIFIES BECAUSE OF THE NEW AGE REQUIREMENT SHOULD GO ON A MISSION. IT IS THE BEST THING YOU WILL EVER DO IN YOU LIFE. (except for getting married in the temple of course)


Love you all!
-Elder Leete

Monday, October 1, 2012

Busy Pdays


Dad asked:  Are you taking any opportunity to see any of the countryside on P-DAY? It sounds like a nap is the best part of the day.  You might want to try to get to know the country a bit; the change might do you some good.

There isn't really much to do here to get to know the country, and even if there was something good to do I wouldn't have time. P-day goes like this:
Wake up 6:30 just like every other day and follow the normal study schedule until 10:00.
From 10 to eleven clean the house.
At eleven until twelve thirty use the internet to report all the numbers for the zone, write a zone newsletter, write to you guys, write to the mission president, and try to backup pictures.
12:30 to 2:00 buy food for the week.
2:00 arrive in house, eat.
3:00-6:00 free time! (Wash clothes, organize stuff, sleep, and write letters.)
6:00 back to work!

Basically, you have 3 hours of free time every p day. For example, if I wanted to go to the museum downtown, I would spend one hour on the bus to get there, one hour in the museum and one hour to get back to the area, so it isn't worth it. Plus I wouldn't have clean clothes for the week.

When I was in Bauru I almost had the courage to go to the zoo, but I slept instead.

The life of a missionary doesn't have time for sightseeing, and there isn't anything really of worth to go see. Maybe one day I’ll pass through Foz do Iguassu and I’ll go to see the waterfalls which is one of the 7 wonders of the world, but you can only go with the mission president so it’s rare to go. Maybe I’ll be a zone leader over there and I’ll be able to beg the president to go.

One more transfer comes to an end here; the time seems to fly by faster and faster. I have 1 year and four months on the mission, at the end of this transfer I’ll have 1 and a half years. Crazy.

I got a letter from Jessica, she knows Elder C, he was a really great missionary, in my first city  he was the zone leader of the other zone in the city. He was even an AP at the end of his mission, so Jessica you have my permission to date him.

I’m hopeful for this new transfer, me and Elder S will stay together (this will be his last transfer before going home) and I hope that we find some good people to teach. This Sunday a woman went to church that is really interested, but every time we talk about some kind of commitment (go to church, baptism, etc.) she just says stuff like "I can’t answer you that now, we´ll see when we get there." these excuses are really annoying. But she feels the spirit really strongly when she reads, we just have to help her recognize that it is an answer to her prayers.
Another family that we are teaching is a family of 4 that we tried to baptize at the beginning of the transfer, the wife and son want to get baptized but don’t want to do it without the Father, and he doesn’t want to commit to anything. It’s like watching in a horror film when you know the person is going to die and there is nothing you can do about it. you just watch as he is blinded by the craftiness of men and Satan leads him bit by bit to eternal damnation, and worst of all he is dragging his family with him.

Something that I've learned on the mission is how really there are only two options: Follow God through his Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Satan, by doing anything else.
It’s really that simple.

And it’s a pity that there are so many members and leaders of the church that don´t understand that and so they don’t have the desire to share the gospel with their friends. I was one of those people and I’m repenting of it now

Love you all!
até semana que vem!
-Elder Leete


Monday, September 24, 2012

It's up to their Agency


I’m working hard as usual, I’m starting to go a little crazy, it´s been almost a whole transfer without a baptism. But you can’t force anyone to do anything, just got to teach your best and help them feel the spirit. Whether or not the people act on these spiritual impressions is up to their agency. But it is a little discouraging after a while when nobody seems to want the restored gospel truth that brings you so much happiness and purpose.

But that’s just the way things are, not even God makes people accept the truth.

As for my birthday, the only thing i want is the movie "Joseph Smith: the Profet of the Restoration " in Portuguese to show my investigators. It’s that one- hour movie about Joseph Smith

love you all,
-Elder Leete


Monday, September 17, 2012

Just Gotta Have Faith


i love you all, sorry ran out of computer time today my week went by normally, just this area is being a little harder to find interested people. but we´ll find them. just gotta have faith!

 

-Elder Leete

Monday, September 10, 2012

Spiritual Work Work Work


Well this week chugged along as usual, we have been having a hard time in this new area, i think ive never been rejected so much as i am being now, and thus i´m teaching less than usual

but thats okay, it just means that you have to change your tactics. we started visiting all of the members in the ward and teaching a little bit about the doctrine of christ and then asking for references, and in ward counsel on sunday we asked for all the leaders to indicate 5 families for us to work with that are less active or are incomplete.

with this i think we are going to have a lot more success this week, it´s been like three weeks since i´ve had a "BATISMO!" so i´ve got to work a little harder. i know that God has people here in this area that are ready, the "Elect" that just arent baptized yet because they dont know where they can find the truth

i´ve spent a little bit of money in the last month or so. . .  don´t remember how much. as you get older and older on the mission you care less and less about stuff like this.

ive realized that really the mission is more mentally tiring than anything. just the fact that you are constantly concerned about the spiritual well-being of your investigators and the  missionaries in your zone you get tired.

thats why you get P-day! the best thing to do is sleep to unwind. i´m excited about that in a couple of hours. P- day really just is to short, after you study, clean your house and do email and shopping you have like 2 hours to sleep before you are on the street again.

but thats the life of a missionary, just work, work, work, all the time. it’s great that it’s a spiritual work that has real worth and brings satisfaction, if you were living like this just for a normal job to get money it would be a really annoying life

love you all!

-Elder Leete

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Gospel Really does Change Lives

The transfer is going great, me and my comp (Elder S) work well together.  We aren’t really opening up a new area, this is one of the oldest wards in the city so it´s always had missionaries, but the both of the last missionaries to serve here were sent to other areas and me and Elder S arrived here without knowing the area at all. We have both served in Londrina before but not in this part.

We found a family this week that has been taught by the missionaries for over two years but never was baptized. We arrived and taught a lesson where the spirit was so strong you could cut it with a knife. The mom and the son accepted to be baptized this Saturday.  Everything was going really well, we passed there every day to teach and the spirit was always so strong, but when Saturday arrived the dad didn’t want to get baptized, fear of entering into something new and stuff like that. Wants more time to think and prepare (like 2 years isn’t enough). The wife and the son want really badly to be baptized, but they also don’t want to be baptized if the father isn’t baptized too at the same time. A little frustrating for us missionaries, but you have to respect the free agency of your investigators. Your purpose as a missionary is to teach the restored gospel with the spirit, and baptize the people if they want to follow the spirit that they are feeling. Sometimes you just want to grab the people by the collar and throw them in the water because you KNOW that’s what’s best for them, but you just can’t.

Preach my Gospel explains it something like this: you know you are a successful missionary if you can feel the spirit work through you as you find and teach people. Whether or not the accept doesn’t have anything to do with your success.

But one cool thing that happened is that we went to do a baptismal interview in the ward where I served 6 months ago. I took the opportunity to visit a family where I baptized the daughters  but the parents weren’t married at that time so they couldn’t.  They still are active and happy in the church and the marriage papers are almost done, so here in a couple of weeks they can get baptized!!! I probably will still be here which is good because S tells all the missionaries that the only person that will baptize him will be me. They even were going to name their baby "Kevin",  (D is 8 and a half months pregnant) but they found out that it’s going to be a girl. When I talked with them I got to see the great change that happened in their lives in the past six months since me and Elder P baptized them. It is one great testimony that the Gospel really does change lives. It’s amazing to see.

The mission is an experience that I can’t explain; you are changing lives for eternity every single day.

Love you all!

-Elder Leete

Monday, August 27, 2012

Opening a new Area in Londrina 3


Question: I hope your transfer went smoothly and that you are all settled into your new area.  So tell us who your new companion is and what you are up to.  Still a Zone Leader?

Answer:

This was a little crazy, we thought that we were going to work in the V Ward (which is the neighboring ward of were I served here in Londrina 4 months ago) but after two days president changed his mind and sent us to the "Londrina 3" Ward, so we had to pack our bags again and open this new area. so my first day of work in this new area was Saturday. We are the zone leaders of the "T" zone, which makes up about half of the city of Londrina. My companion is Elder S.

It was weird working close to where already worked a couple of months ago, I got to see people that I did baptismal interviews for and stuff. The missionaries there are going to baptize the granddaughter of an old man that me and Elder A found knocking on doors when we did a split like 6 months ago. (At that time Elder A was my zone leader, yes, the same one that was my companion in M last transfer.)

Also, now that I’m here I’ll probably do a split to see how my recent converts are doing in the S Ward; maybe a family that I tried to baptize finally got married legally.

I’m sorry to hear that summer has come and gone already, now it’s back to school for you all. I’m also sorry to say that winter is ending for me here, so it will start to heat up again.

I Love you all!!

até a próxima semana!

-Elder Leete

Monday, August 20, 2012

It is Just the Work of the Lord, Baptizing the Elect


This week was more hard work for us, we found a lot of people that had a good chance of being baptized, but every single one fell through.

Until Saturday morning at 10:30am

The bishop called us and said there was a young man that wanted to be baptized at the mutual activity that was going on!

We ran to the chapel to find C, a guy that has been dating a girl in the ward, apparently he has been going to church off and on for three years because his parents don’t authorize his baptism. But this week he turned 18! We didn’t even have to teach him anything, Elder A did the baptismal interview right then. He was baptized on Sunday by one of his friends in the ward.

It made me realize how a lot of times we, as missionaries, as much as we work and work every day in the end it is just the work of the Lord, baptizing the elect. Where there are humble people who listen and accept the gospel there are baptisms. We just have to find them.

Love you all, Transfers are this week but I don’t know what will happen because the secretaries haven’t called yet, but if I’m still on the computer I’ll send another email to tell you real quick.

tchau

-Eler Leete

Left to Right:  Elder A, D (member friend that did the baptism), C, and Me



Sent: Monday, August 20, 2012 8:43 AM

Subject: transfers

I’m being transferred back to Londrina!! I’m going to work in the V ward, which is the neighboring ward of where I was working last time. It will be weird, I’ll use the same chapel and everything.
love you all!

-Elder Leete


Monday, August 13, 2012

The Hardest Part about being a Missionary


This week was more of the same for me, working hard all day every day.

The hardest part about being a missionary is being a missionary leader.  I work with a lot of missionaries and it seems like they just don’t have a desire to work hard, or they work hard but they aren’t working in an effective manner so their numbers are low.

 These numbers or "key indicators" that we work with are baptisms, confirmations, investigators in sacrament meeting, lessons taught with a member present, other lessons taught, "progressing" investigators (they are reading the Book of Mormon and praying and trying to keep the commandments), references received  (from members), references contacted, new investigators, lessons taught to less actives and recent converts, and contacts on the street.

The goal of a good missionary is to work hard to increase these numbers every week, because as you do so you will help more and more people accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

The problem is when missionaries start to get satisfied with low numbers. Let’s say that I’ve taught 4  lessons today (4 lessons is like the minimum for a day´s work), I can 1) say that I’ve done enough for the day and not really try hard to talk to people on the street or even go to a member house to eat a snack for the rest of the evening. Or I can 2) still try my hardest and teach another 4 before the night runs out.

The missionaries that do the first a lot of times get stuck in the rut of only teaching a low number of lessons every day, so they start lowering their goals and instead of teaching a minimum of 4 lessons a day their goal BECOMES 4 lessons per day. Then they start teaching even less. . . .and then start slacking off  with the free time that they have because they aren’t exerting themselves during the day.

But then there are other types of missionaries that have good intentions but they don’t really know how to use their time wisely. They start teaching instigators in a wide, spread-out area so they spend half their time during the day walking.  They arrive in house tired at the end of the day working hard and obeying the rules, but they don’t baptize often because they aren’t teaching very many people.  (I was like this at the beginning of the mission.)

Our job as leaders is to help people improve the quality of teaching and planning (through training meetings and doing splits to teach by example) and to motivate and inspire the missionaries in the zone to work their hardest.

The hardest thing to do I think is to inspire people to work.  I’m not a very crazy and outgoing guy. I’m good at teaching  principles and solving problems, but when it comes to getting up in front of 20 other missionaries and trying to motivate them to work harder I’m like a fish out of water. I’ve been getting better with practice but it’s still awkward.

O well, I hope by the end of the mission I get a hang of it.
But that’s what I’ve had on my mind today, love you all

I bought new insoles this week, Dr. Scholls all the way. I’m gonna buy more this week too I think


até mais!!!

-Elder Leete

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nobody Beat Me Up


August 6, 2012

This week was another crazy week; I’m starting to get worn out. . . .
This week I did splits for 5 days in a row with different missionaries and different areas to help those who haven’t baptized in a while. on Tuesday i was in G(a small city about 40 minutes away), Wednesday in P (another ward in the city), Thursday in the ward in the center of the city, Friday back in P to work with the other  missionary there, and then Saturday I spent a total of 6 hours on a bus going back and forth to do a  baptismal interview in the city of O. Crazy.

To top all that off Saturday night I got bit like 5 times by a mosquito, but there is one certain species that I’m like allergic two so when it bites my I swell up really bad.  Sunday I spent the whole day with my right eye swollen shut. Oh the wonders of Brasil. The most annoying part is that the people here love the missionaries so much that I had to explain to everyone in the ward that I was fine and didn’t need any more Meds and nobody beat me up.

Anyway, I’m excited for this week to get a good week of work done in my own area, we have been teaching a woman that was going to get baptized this week but a pastor started visiting her and telling her a bunch of lies about the Book of Mórmon. So we gotta clean that up this week.

I’m glad that you all are melting in the heat over there; you can feel how I felt at Christmastime hahaha.

The mission is great, I’m learning so much about how to deal with all kinds of people and all kinds of situations, and above all about simply that the Church is true, there is no other explanation. I’ve seen too many people receive answers to prayers, it´s just not possible that it´s not true.

Love you all!
Stay healthy and happy!

-Elder Leete

Monday, July 30, 2012

Just Miracles!

Batismo!!!

We brought two 14 year olds to church last week, and as we taught them this week with their families everyone accepted! Everyone was really excited to get baptized this Sunday!

When we showed up to walk with them to church Sunday morning everybody was super tired and sick, it seems like Satan swept in and gave everybody a nasty cold. We woke everyone up and encouraged them to go to church even though they were tired and a little sick. As official representatives of the Savior we promised them that if they went they would feel better.

We stayed at their house for like half an hour until finally all the kids piled into a member´s car that lives nearby and went to church. We promised the mom that we would come back in an hour to pick her up (she wanted to rest a a little bit more). When everyone got to church they began to feel the spirit and everyone felt better, but still were unsure about baptism.

We called in another missionary to do the baptismal interviews for everyone and the interview is always a really spiritual experience, so everyone got re-excited and the whole family got baptized! Mom,  son, and daughter (there´s three more daughters but they have less than 8 years).

They had two cousins too that wanted to get baptized but their parents wouldn’t let them, but with yesterday´s experience I think it will happen this next Sunday. And with a little more teaching with the spirit I’m sure their parents will get baptized too!

só milagres!
Just miracles!

Great week for us, but the zone hasn’t been having very much success so me and Elder A will do a bunch of splits this week to try to work in a bunch of different areas and help all of our missionaries baptize someone by the end of the transfer. It’s a lot of work, and I’m sure I’ll end up spending a ton of money on the bus, but it will be worth it if we can help all these missionaries have the baptizing experience also.

Love you all lots!
Don´t have too much fun on your summer break!

-Elder Leete

Monday, July 23, 2012

Baptism is Easy, Retention is Hard


This week was crazy! (I’m starting to discover that every week is crazy on the mission) me and Elder A did a split with another companionship that works on the other side of the city on Friday, and while I was in the other area they talked with a woman on the street, entered to teach a lesson to discover that the house had live 5 less active people living there with 2 actives that are attending another neighboring ward because their friends go there. Anyway, turns out that they have a nine-year-old Brother that hadn´t been baptized yet! He already knew everything (growing up in the church and all) so he went straight to the waters of repentance on Sunday. On Saturday we did another split with the elders of the neighboring ward where they attend, so I ended up not even teaching him, but he lives in our area so it technically counts as a baptism for me.

Anyway, at the same time we found out that 2 of their cousins that live in the other ward haven’t been baptized either, so the other missionaries ran over there, taught them everything and they were baptized too. We did all three baptisms in the same service. Was really cool, the less active members in the family are all really excited to come back to church, in the two families makes like 10 people.

Crazy stuff, we just got to work extra hard with the ward leaders so that these families get home and visiting teachers and actually get visited so that they stay active this time, I’m finding here on the mission that baptism is easy, retention is hard. And retention is completely dependent on the willingness of the ward to integrate and visit those who get baptized.

Love you all, 

-Elder Leete 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Filling the Hole in Your Chest


Hello family!

I´m doing great here in M, yesterday we found a really cool  family, it’s really just a couple, they were taught ten years ago by the elders and were almost were baptized but some personal problems came up in their lives so they stopped going to church, but they know it’s true and always wanted to be members, they even talked to us about how they wanted to build a house with a big old back yard so that they can have church activities and invite people over for family home evenings.

I’ve been discovering in these last months about how really every person has the same hole in their chest, the same emptiness that only the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Gift of the Holy Ghost fills.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost really serves two purposes, to comfort and perfect.

The Holy Ghost is a comforter because he 1) testifies of the truth of things to comfort us to know we are on the right path and 2) makes us feel the love of God, whether it be when we repent to feel the remission of sins or to feel literally comforted from the trials and stains of the fallen world around us; to feel the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.

The Holy Ghost purifies us because we want to feel this comfort, so we strive to live the commandments to be able to. God doesn’t change us by punishing us, he just gives us the chance to be comforted if we do what he says and lets us choose for ourselves if that´s it what we want.   

That is why Jesus said:
“Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost” (3 Nephi 27:20).

It’s really just this, as we receive the Holy Ghost we are purified and comforted, and as Preach My Gospel says:
Many of these people are searching for purpose in life. They are concerned for their families. They need the sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of God, members of His eternal family. They want to feel secure in a world of changing values. They want “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23), but they are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:12).

And I´m here to help them find it.

Love you all! Until next week!

-Elder Leete

Monday, July 9, 2012

Encouraging our Zone to be Better


Mon 7/9/2012 1:31 PM

its weird, i had completely forgotten that it was fourth of July week.  . . you get really out of it here.

this week was great, we have been working with the zone to get everyone to teach more lessons with members, and we doubled the average for the week! it makes me happy that we actually were able to encourage our zone to be better, that is the hardest thing about the mission, being a good leader in a way that you actually make a difference, instead of just keeping the thing going the way its always been going.

one more transfer passed by, i will stay here in m while Elder C gets transferred to another city, my new companion will be Elder A, he was my Zone Leader when i was in Londrina, he´s really crazy, i´m excited to see how this next transfer will turn out.

we´ve been using Al and Qui to  teach their neighbors and family, their Daughter really wants to be baptized but shes not married to the man shes living with who doesnt want to get married, so she has to decide if she will split up with him or get married anyway to get baptized. this happens a LOT here in brasil, its really annoying, I´ve never seen a person receive a testimony so strong so fast before, so i really hope it will turn out well for her.

I´m glad R got the package, enjoy the fotos everyone, I´ve been taking a lot less i got to repent of that


love you all!


-Elder Leete

Monday, July 2, 2012

Learning a lot about Patience, Faith, & Hope


sounds like everybody is having a great time! this week was a little hard for us, we baptized everyone that we were teaching last week and so we were having a hard time finding new people to teach this week. but, one of our investigators went to church this week that we didnt even excpect would go, so i´m really happy about that.

i sent a package this last week to r and in it put a memory card with an update of all the pictures i have, so tell her to share with you when she gets it. I couldn´t remember when i sent the last memory card so i bet there is a bunch of overlap but thats okay.

love you all, lesss miracles this week, we had a lot of trials in the zone, a lot of missionaries that had baptisms that fell through, so i´ve been learning a lot about patience, faith and hope. working and working and working and even when it seems like its not working out, working and working some more

love you all!

-Elder Leete
 


Picture from baptisms last week!




me and elder c with our beautiful jumpsuits and Al and Qui on the left and the sister missionary that taught him three years ago with her husband that came to watch on the right, was a really great day

Monday, June 25, 2012

Too Many Miracles to not Believe.


this week was really spectacular! me and elder c baptized 5 people this week!!!

Al told us that he was waiting for the missionaries to find him again, the sisters had taught him three years ago but he didnt want to be baptized because he wasnt able to stop smoking. but about four or five months ago he read exodus 23:20-23 and recognized the missionaries as the angels and with prayed really hard and finally stopped smoking! he was just waiting for us to come baptize him! on wednesday we taught him and his wife, Qui, was in house (usually she works all day) we taught her about the restauration and challenged her to pray RIGHT THEN to ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet. so we all kneeled down and she prayed and asked. after a few moments she looked up at us and said that it felt like the weight of the world dissappeared and was floating, really light and happy.  she accepted that as a response from the Holy Spirit and accepted the invitation to be baptized THAT SATURDAY!!!

the other 3 people was another family that we have been working with for about a month, a family of 4.a couple and 2 kids. the wife is scared of choosing the wrong church and hasnt been receiving answers to her prayers, but last week we discovered that se was smoking, which blocks the spirit. we gave her a blessing, and after that she said that she didn't get any pleasure out of smoking. she even tried smoking a couple of times after that just to see if the addict´s pleasure would return but it didn't. God straight up took the pleasure out of smoking from her, so she stopped and was baptized with her husband and daughter! (her son is being a little rebellious so we are going to have to teach him more so he can gain a testimony)

crazy, crazy week, i´ve never felt the spirit so strong in my life as i had this past week, because even with this miraculous show of priesthood power she STILL was scared of making the covenant of baptism, so we taught her every day with members and even brought Al to bear  his testimony to her, She could not deny the power of the Spirit of the witnesses of so many things and got baptized!!!!

Love you all, i Know that this church is true, i´ve seen too many miracles to not believe

-Elder Leete

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Great Week!

This week was a great week! We had a leadership training meeting for all the zone leaders. Which is always really great and spiritual and then we spent two days travelling to some small cities that surround M to do some splits with the missionaries that are working there.

Also we had a BAPTISM!!! 

I baptized B, a grandson of a member that was really into bad things, but after he went to church for the first time he lost all desire and wanted to turn good. It has been really cool to see his spiritual growth and how his whole demeanor has changed since we started visiting him.

This week also we have been teaching an old man that studies theology, his name is A, he studies the bible every day for hours. He said that he studies so much just so that when preachers talk to him he can beat them in a bible bash. He was taught by the sister missionaries like 3 years ago but wasn´t baptized because he was smoking.

When we visited him this week and left him a Book of Mormon he started to change, he could see that we could answer all of his questions and weren´t taken off guard by his tricks. We took him to church yesterday and when we did a follow up visit to teach the plan of salvation he said "I know that all of this is true, this is the true church because it has the true, pure doctrine." When he said the closing prayer he said "Thank you for sending these missionaries, I have been waiting for them. "He had stopped smoking just a few months ago and now feels ready to be baptized. So, we are going to baptize him this weekend!

I really know that this work is guided by God, there are people here that are ready and waiting to accept the truth, we just need to find them.

I love you all, until next week!

-Elder Leete


p.s. I spent 70 reais (Brazilian money) on bus fare this week, but it went to a good cause.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Swamped!


June 11, 2012

This week I’m swamped with zone leader work, I have to make sure that everyone in the city has all the materials and stuff they need and I write like a newsletter for the zone with a spiritual message and everything.

Love you all, until next week!


-Elder Leete

Monday, June 4, 2012

Life as a Zone Leader


Answers to moms questions:

So tell us about your new companion-where is he from? 

What is your daily routine as a Zone Leader like? You liking your new area? 

Sis G’s nephew should be about done with the MTC soon so keep an eye out for Elder M (he got there in March). 

My comp is Elder C,  he was my zone leader like 8 months ago when I was in the city M! It’s really weird, he is like the Brazilian version of me. We get along really well, the only problem now is to make sure that we are always talking and focusing on the work instead of wandering and thinking about profound doctrine.

The biggest difference about being a zone leader is that you have to follow up with everyone. Lots of missionaries are really great teachers and stuff, but sometimes let a baptism fall through because they weren’t following up enough or didn’t go the extra mile to help that person. Our job is to help them think about all these things and give feedback on their work and show an example with our work in our area.

It seems like we are always on the phone.


I saw Elder M! (not in person just on paper) he is working in the "centro c" ward in Londrina. That’s a great ward I’ve heard a lot about it, it´s the ward where our mission president lives. He´s being trained by a funny American missionary that I’ve met one or two times.


That’s all my time for today! I love you all and having a great time here, I think I even forgot to say that we had a baptism last week! An older woman named E!


Love you all!

-Elder Leete

Monday, May 28, 2012

Transfers this week will bring me a new Companion


today has been crazy, we will have transfers this week , i´m going to stay and get a new companion Elder C, he was my zone leader in m and now we are going to be zone leaders together here in m. i´m excited .


Elder s, my comp now, fell and hit his head pretty bad yesterday, so we spent last night in the hospital, but he is getting better, seems like he has a stomach bug or something that made him faint, so hes off solid food for a couple of days but he´ll be just fine.

ive spent some money in the past couple months on restaurants and grocereies but i think ive been forgetting to tell you, so should probably check to make sure its all good.



love you all,

-elder Leete

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth


hi EVERYBODY!


things are chugging along well here in m, me and Elder S are having a hard time finding some good families to teach that are really interested, but the miracle always happens AFTER the trial of your faith, so we just gotta keep going thrusting in our sickle with all our might.

Parabéns pra seus aniversários! (congratulations for your birthdays!)

we are  all so old now, jennifer is 22, im 20 jessica is 19. . .its really weird to think about.

glad that everythings going well at home, here a year from now that gazebo thing should have a good ivy growth on it it will look cool.

a while ago i finished reading Jesus the Christ, its a really great book. helped me really understand not only the life of christ and his teachings, but more about how he really was the chosen one from the begining. how the history of the bible and the traditions of the jews all tie in and show perfectly the divinity of Jesus as Jehova and how he established his church in EVERY dispensation, including this one

the most annoying thing about teaching people is that literally their heads are just completely full of lies. they think they understand the bible but they really dont. they think they understand their own religion but they dont. most people don´t even know where it was written or by who. i´ve even taught people that thought that God wrote the bible as it is now with his finger in stone.

if only the people just like took a basic history class about the bible our message would make so much more sense. . . .

some people dont even believe in their own religion. the Catholic Church claims to have the pope, wich is the divine successor of peter who then holds the keys to the priesthood and so the catholic church is the only true church. I have only ever spoken to one catholic who actually believes that. everyone else just follows it because of tradition or because they like worshipping Mary. its sad, here she is literally the fourth member of the trinity. . .

but thats just apostasy, i´m so happy that we have the truth restored in the latter days, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. the truth that you can study over and over and over again and always learn something more, the truth that makes more and more sense with every single new bit of information

love you all, untill next week

especially yours,

-Elder Leete

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Skype

From the Editor:  We enjoyed a wonderful Skype with Elder Kevin Leete for mother's day!  We had a great time talking with him and seeing him.  All is good in mission-land.  His testimony is strong.  He is working hard.  He is happy.  And we are proud!  

Here are some of the things we talked about:

I asked what the most embarrassing time was so far. He said that it was when he was doing some street contacting and found out the women they were talking to were actually men!

We asked about what the membership was like there. He said the branches and wards were small.  A big percent are inactive. One thing they are working on is going through the ward lists and visiting those they don't know. They try to get that magic number where they can become a ward, then big enough so that they can have a building.   They don't have organs, and maybe out of their whole membership they will have only one person that can play the piano. He said that they sing mostly a capella, or have someone play out of the simplified hymn book, or play with one hand.

When asked what it was like for the members there and what challenges they had, he said that everything was just  worse there for them compared to us  at home.  For example- because of the heat, immodest dress was more prevalent.  He said think of Westview High school and the bad stuff there (language, sex, etc) and multiply it.  He also said that marriage isn't the norm.  Most couples have lived together for years and aren't married- even with children.   He said that if they find  a couple that are married, they jump at the chance and teach them because it means pretty much a guaranteed baptism.

When we asked him to tell us of a spiritual experience he has had, he told us that everything about a mission is spiritual, non-stop. He loves studying the scriptures, prayer, teaching, and conferences with the other missionaries.  He especially liked having Elder Cook visit with them, and loves learning from his mission president, who he said is awesome and was sure that he will be a general authority some day!

Here is the nice note I got today at his normal email time:

Mon 5/14/2012 8:34 AM

i love you too mom!

 you know what´s weird? i will probably be home next mother´s day!

 it was great seeing everybody! but its still is weird, mom´s keeping me all updated on everything so i dont have anything to talk about! i´m trying to get back up some pictures today, so ill try to send you guys some!

 i love you all!

-elder leete

Leadership Counsel with the President


The names of those in my zone that are from my same group.
(have the same amount of time on the mission)


Monday, May 7, 2012

Responsibility means no Excuses

This week has been really crazy for me, being a lider (leader) really takes up all your time, and on top of that we opened a new area here so we have almost nobody to teach. But we´ve been working a lot with some recent converts to complete their families so let’s see if that leads to anything these next few weeks.

One of the weird things now is that I don’t have any excuses to say that I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m a leader now and have more than a year on my mission. If I don’t find any baptisms, it´s my fault, if my investigators aren´t progressing than it’s my teaching that isn’t good enough.

When you are a junior companion it’s easy, you just arrive, throw in your two cents and follow your senior. now it’s me that has to plan out my day all nice and neat, it’s me that has to have results, it’s me that will be found guilty at the last day if I don’t find that one soul the God put here to be taught the gospel, and on top of that I have to watch over 20 other missionaries to make sure they are doing the same things, and it’s my head on the chopping block if something happens to one of them.

It’s weird having responsibility, I don’t think I like it so much.

But other than that I’m doing great here in this new city of M. I owe you guys some fotos but I left my camera in the house so maybe next week you guys will get some. I’ll talk more next Sunday.

I love you all!

-Elder Leete
editors note: Kevin will be skyping me for mother's day!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Transfer to M as Zone Leader


Mon 4/30/2012 8:02 AM

HI to all back home! This week has been really crazy; I spent Tuesday through Saturday with 5 missionaries in my tiny apartment in Londrina, 2 of them were sick and had to come here to see the doctor and we had one greenie American that just arrived from the CTM.

  Then we had the visit of Elder Cook on Saturday!!!! It was really excellent; I could feel really that he is an apostle of the Lord Jesus Crist.

 Then, on Saturday we had transfers after the meeting with the apostle.

 My greenie Elder P is going to train this transfer!! I’m really proud of him, he is an excellent missionary.   Also, I’m now here in a city called M, back in the countryside of São Paulo. It’s a nice big city though, not like P where I was like 5 months ago.  And here I’ve been called to be the Zone Leader together with my new companion Elder S.  It’s a lot more responsibility for me, there are 22 missionaries in my zone that covers M and also three small neighboring cities.

 I really don’t feel adequate for the call, but I know that everything will work out just fine. Just now I have even less time, it seems that we are always on the phone trying to resolve some sort of problem or on the bus going to another area. I don’t know when we are going to find time to do proselyting in our own area! But everything will settle down as I get the hang of things. Elder S has been a zone leader for a while so he knows what he is doing.

That’s all the time I have today! I love you all!

-Elder Leete!