Monday, April 21, 2014

Pasco, Our Dog Friend and Family History

Happy Easter, everyone!
Here's our message from our Elder:
 This week was super fantabulous and amazing!    We meet with the mission president, Had a lot of people attend sacrament meeting!  We also had another dog friend for a day! :D.  All in all, the branch here is growing, both with more people, and with the determination of the members to be great members :D.  Also Brazil celebrates Pasco (Easter)! :D
    So first I want to talk about our dog friend :D.  We were walking between appointments sunday and a dog of one of the members started following us.  At first we though it would soon leave and go back to its home.  It didnt.  It followed us from one side of Estancia to the other.  We were pretty sure it was lost and we didnt know what to do becuase the member wasnt home, and it wouldnt stop following us.  It was fun to have a dog friend though :D.  Eventually it stopped following us, but we still dont know if it made it back to his house or not.  This is the second dog that has done this :D.  
     Becuase of Pasco many people went on vacation, or to visit family so many people were not home :D.  Even so we had a lot of people at sacrament meeting! :D.  So This week was really exciting!  We are also going to have a super frequencia, or we are going to try and have an activity to bring as many people as physically possible to church.  We did this a little while ago and it worked really well.  So we have a lot of hope for this super fruequencia as well :D.
    We also had a zone meeting wednesday and after we were able to have interviews with the mission president.  It was fun, but i didnt have many questions for him :P.  So i dont know if that is good or bad :D.  Everything here is progressing well though.  My companeto has a week and a half left in his mission.  He is determined to work his hardest to the very last day.  So I am trying to work even harder then him!  That way its like a competition of hard working! :D.
    I had actually completly forgotten about Easter.  However the members started giving us a bunch of chockolate and easter eggs.  So that really helped me remember :D.  Easter its really cool on a mission though becuase you are teaching people about Jesus Chirst, both his teachings, and how, becuase he lives, so shall we all :D  Then Easter comes along and its like ´´im trying to teach people about what they are celebrating!´´ :D.  So its super cool to think about :D.  
    As I have been a missionary i have realized something that is really cool.  This work i am doing is work for the living.  Its to help all come unto Christ.  However there is another work that needs to be done by all of us.  That is the work for the dead.  Family history, and temple work is essential to the salvation of all.  There are people that are waiting for us to do this work.  They need our help.  They need helping to do the work that they themselves can not do, and we have the great privlige to help them.  Take some time out of your day, no matter how busy you might feel, just a few minutes can make a difference.  Once you have this time do some family history work.  Become part of the work of salvation, and feel the spirit of the lord as you help others.  For these people need your help.  
    I know this is the work of salvation and we all must play a part.  I know that God loves us all, and I also know that Jesus is the Chirst.    I know he lives, and I know that as he lives, so shall we all :D.  This i know to be true.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.
-Elder Darke
All that I feel that I need to say is "Amen"
Love, Melanie (Mom)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Acai, Elects and Mr. Bean

From our Elder:
   This week was amazing!  i went on a trade, talked to some good friends, made some new ones, Had many people at church, and today i will eat some acai! wooo! :D 
    This week we also made a special atempt to find as many elects as we could.  We found a decent number :D.  We just need to keep in contact and teach them.  :D.  One of the families we taught, we taught on saturday, and extended an invitation to come to church. when we passed by their house sunday morning to take them to church not only were they expecting us, they were all ready to go!  how cool is that? :D.  When we arrived at church i saw the coolest thing, the family had a young daughter (not super young, but young)  So we walked her to primary.  when she entered one of the other girls in primary walked up to her, gave her a big hug, and lead her to an empty seat!  I was stunned.  That is a girl that knows how to fellowship :D.  I found out later that they knew eachother and they went to the same school.  But still that is awesome! :D.
    I also went on a trade to a different area the other day.  Wednesday i think. :D.  (hard to remember when everything happened).  a friend of mine from my district in the MTC is serving in that area so we talked and laughed and had fun! :D.  We actually were laughing so hard that my stomache hurt afterwards. :D.  The only problem was most of it was in english, so we will have to do better at that :D.
    OH and before i forget becuase i have forgotten to talk about this for like 2-3 weeks in a row now, I recently received a package.  Actually i have 2 now.  I got one from my mom!  it was awesome!  and there were chocklate chips in it that actually hadnt all melted :D.  they were in great condition :D.  Also i got a package from my G-MA!  Two days ago :D.  It had an awesome letter, and some skittles!   wooo skilttles! :D.  so i was really excited.  i have also been playing with the pop its that i got.  Trying really hard not to get in trouble :D.
    For church we have 8 people go to church!  that is awesome!  the members really helped us with this becuase only 3 of them were actually us, but the members helped out with the other 5! :D.  What a great example of members helping the work move forward!  :D.  One of the members here actually brought 4 kids to church!  that is 4 people that have the oportunity to be happier in life!  So we just need to keep working with them :D.  I wish i could tell you about the amazing efforts of all the members, but for now, this will do. :D.
    So acai is like the best smashed fruit/ice cream stuff ever!    For the last 2 transfers i havnt eaten any and i am really excited to eat more!  the best part is my companion will buy it for me :D.  Becuase today we went to another area to visit some of his recent converts :D.  It was fun :D, but he is still totally buying me acai! woo! :D.  (really excited) :D
    I have been thinking alout about the preestood this week.  A lot becuse of conference, but also becuase I want to be a better preestood holder :D.  One of the things that i wish i did more before my mission was use the preestood.  So that was i could understand how to use it to bless people better :D.  I still feel like i am a newbie in the preestood.  Not that anything is wrong with that, but the preestood is gods power on the earth to help us.  Every time i think of it that way i am just filled with gratitude for my oportunidade para use th preestood para help other people.  Este e a great oportunity, e a great blessings as well :D.  I beleive, every man that has the preestood, weither it be aronic, or melquesidic needs to use it often, to help those that stand in need of help.  In every way possible.  That the love of god can be shown through these obedient, and worthy men.
-Elder Darke
P.s. i also tried writing a letter on a bus today, probably one of the hardest things i have done in a while.  To write it no, but to make the writing ledgable, yes :D.

Elder Darke also says that the members in the ward he is attending have started calling him Mr. Bean.  He is taking it as a compliment, for now!
Also, Elder Darke asked me how our family was introduced to the church, or how we ARE acquainted with it.  I will send him the stories that I know, but I thought that it would be wonderful if everyone sent their stories as well.  Whether you are a member, active or not, just familiar or not with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, send Elder Darke YOUR story.  I know that he'd love to hear it and share with others as well!
Well, that about sums it up! Have a wonderful Easter, everyone! We hope that you take time to reflect on the beautiful resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Melanie (Mom)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Conferencia, "Remember Who you are" and "There's always hope."

And here's from Elder Darke:
    This entire week I have been looking forward to conference.  Telling everyone that i could about it, and preparing for it. So i am probably going to talk alout about conference. :D.
    Me and my companion started this week with few good people to teach.  My companion is going to his home after this transfer, So he really want to help as many people as physically possible.  So with this is mind we set out to find all the elects that we can find.  It was a tiring week, of walking and doing everything we could to find these people.  I am happy to say that after our efforts we have yeilded some fruit.  We have found a few amazing people.  I cant wait to teach them this week :D.  We need to follow up with the invitations we gave them, and just like it was said in conference, we are going to be very diligent in invitations and then following up with those invitation with determination.
    Unfortunatly i was not able to watch preestood session.  However I was able to watch the other sessions.  It was amazing.  I feel so upbeet, i feel like i can take on the world and do anything that i set my mind to :D.  Ever sense yesterday i have been thinking of the things that i want to be able to do in my life.  The first thing i want to be able to do is serve my mission with full dedication.  With a focused heart, and with everything i have.  I know that i am not perfect.  I know that there are many things that i can be better at, but thanks to the amazing power of Jesus Cristo eu can become better.  i can be the person i want to be.  I am not limited by who i am now, but i can improve to one day be who i want to be.     Something that i really noticed was that conference really talked about obidence.  In the mission, there are many rules that we have.  With so many rules there are many oportunites to be obedient.  I have seen the power of a missionary who follows the rules.  It is simply that they have the spirit.  A missionary with the spirit can do miracles.  Just as any person that has the spirit can be influencial. Remember that one of the things that will aid us in our obedience is remembering who we are.  I remember as i left my house many times i would hear my moms voice saying ´´Remember who you are´´.  I always thought i knew the meaning of those words.  I now realize how little i realized.  Just think of the legecy that we have.  We are children of a loving heavenly father.  We are decendents of adam, and noah, two amazing prophets.  and probably many more.  Jesus Christ gave his life for all of us, and in these recent generations, our parents, and family love us imensily.  This is only the tip of the iceberg.  There is so much more waiting to be discovered.  Waiting for our curious minds to find them.
    This is a generation of amazing things.  Amazing responsibilites, and blessings.  It is our time to take advantage of the many thing we have to help other people that are unaware of the things that are available.  This is one of the most remarcable time in human history.  It is our time to work with every things we can!  Dont fall behind, dont stop for a break.  Dont take a breather.  If you do you might miss countiless oportunities.  Besides, You can sleep, breath, take a break, and all these things when all is done, and when our bodies and spirits separate for a short period.  For there are to many people to help, things to do, and christ like atributes to aquire.  We must keep keep working!  If we have fallen, and feel as though we have blown it.  The amazing Atonement of Christ can help us get up again.  It is not who we are now that defines us, but who we are striving to be.  Who we are striving to be.  Be dilligent, Be kind, and Listen to the adivce of your leaders, all of them :D.  (especially your parents) :D
-Elder Darke
P.s.  Please know that above all, there is hope.
I hope that you enjoy this Elder's messages as much as I do.  He is capable of uplifting me through my hardest days.
Melanie (Mom)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Elder Alves, Portugenglish, and Golden Referrals

A new companion, new adventures and forgotten places.  It seems his portuguese is getting better, because he's started adding it into his letters!  Good luck understanding some of it!  We love this kid!
  From Elder Darke:
Another amazing week!
    Transferes has come and gone and I am not leaving my area yet :D.  I did get a new companion though.  His name is elder Alves and he is super cool!
    For the branch we had something called superfrequencia which is when all the members invite all of their friends to come to church!  The turn out was very promising!
    We also had a really fun renuao de districto este semana!  Nos practicar doing contacts on the bus!  (but we werent really on the bus :D)
    Also this week my normal companion went on splits, so i was with a different companion for a day and we got really lost :D
        So first I shall talk about the split my copmanion went on this week! :D  So my area is called Estancia, and A mile or so to the east is another city called Planaltina (DF).  My companion went to planaltina for the day and i was with another elder.  We also had a bunch of special invites to give to certain members for an activity.  I didnt remember how to get to most of their houses, or even who they were (i had not even met some of them :D).  But luckily for us, Our lunch appointment didnt have a man there so we had to bring a member to lunch.  This member is awesome!  After lunch he stayed with us most of the day helping us find the houses of all the people we had invites to :D.  It took the entire day.  Mostly because every member we could we went in their house and gave a mensagem.  It was a rough day, and i felt really bad for not remembering, but we managed to get all the invites out, (thanks to the member). :D.  If that member had not been with us we would have been lost the entire day. :D
    For District meeting (our group of 6 missionaries) we practiced how to do fast powerful contacts.  We had a range of sinarious to do them in.  Like the super market, and the bus, and the rain.  We were in doors though so we had to do some acting to make them more realistic :D.  I especially liked being the bus driver :D.  Many people here drive fast and Trafic rules arnt exactally that important.  So it can get pretty crazy :D.  So for the practice i tried to copy that.  I am not saying i was a bad driver or anything, but if i was driving a real bus, i think we might have all died :D.  But it was super fun!  We also learned the importance of testimonies.  Becuase they dont have to be long, or elegant.  But they almost always bring the spirit, and the spirit testifies of what you say, so it is the most important thing you can have :D.
    Super Frequencia!  To help the member be more excited about missionary work we did something called super frequencia which is a day for all the members to bring their friends, family, everyone they could to church.  We have been talking about it for two weeks, and the results were very good :D.  For more things about the power of members in missionary work.  We got a referal from a memember to talk to someone.  When we said that their friend sent us their face just lit up.  They invited us in.  We were able to give a great message about the plan of salvation.  All becuase a memeber gave us a referal.  How awesome is that?  It just makes me think what whould happen if all the members gave us referals!  We wouldnt be so busy helping people attain eternal life that we wouldnt have any time to sleep!  and it would be totally worth it :D.
    So Tranfers!  My old companion had been stressing about it for weeks.  But he did indeed get transfered!  So he was happy :D.  He likes the area but he has been here for 6 months, and he wanted to go help other areas as well :D.  I got a new companion!  His name is elder Alves.  It turns out the his first area was Estancia as well.  So he is going to start his mission in estancia, and finish it in estancia.  I also get the oportunidade para moheo ele.  (i get to kill him, its a missionary turm for being someones companion when they die (also a missionary turm, for when they end their mission :D)).  He is determined to work as hard as physically possible for this last transfer though!  This is going to be so awesome!  We are going to visit all the people he helped when he was here!  And other we find! :D.  So i am super excited for this transfer.
    I just have one more thing to say.  All of the missionaries i have meet are amazing.  They work hard to help people.  However every single one that i have talked to has told me that a referal from a member is always a golden investagator.  I have seen that as well.  When a member helps missionaries, the combination suddenly becomes unstoppable, and the work of the lord starts progressing at an unbeleivable rate.  So my friends, what are you waiting for?  The time to do this is now.  ´´The best time to plant a tree, is twenty years ago, the second best time is now.´´
-Elder Darke
P.s. For all of the members that are helping the missionaries, good job!  Keep up the good work!
Here's a link/picture to the area Elder Darke is and has been in.  It's beautiful! I've googled some pictures from there.  I need to bug him for more from him!
Love, Melanie (Mom)