Saturday, September 4, 2010

END OF MISSION: *Wrapping things up

"NOW behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men. Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul; And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence. Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen." (D&C 4)

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion." (Isaiah 52:7-8)

Areas Max has served in

14. Nonoai with E. Sampaio 7/27/10-9/9/10

13. Guaíba with E. Benício 6/15/10-7/27/10

12. Arco-Iris with E Mattos 5/3/10-6/14/10

11. OPENING Arco-Iris with E. Bangerter 3/30/10-5/3/10

10. Pelotas with E. Bangerter 2/10/10-3/30/10

9. Pelotas with Elder Pourre 1/6/10-2/10/10 (Zone Leader)

8. Rio Grande with E. Horrocks 10/14/09-1/6/10 (District Leader)

7. Rio Grande with E. Biscoff 7/21/09-10/14/09

6. Cavalhada with E. Romeiro 6/9/09-7/21/09

5. Cavalhada with E. Piccin 3/24/09-6/9/09

4. Cavalhada with E. Headley 2/4/09-3/24/09

3. Office with E. Fernandes 12/31/08-2/4/09

2. Cristal with Elder Jones 11/19/08-12/31/08

1. Brazil MTC with E. Watts 9/17/08-11/19/08

"We are a tiny fraction when compared to the billions of people on earth.

- Boyd K. Packer

Returned With Honor September 9, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

EIGHTH AREA: *A light in the darkness

"So everything is great here, well we are not seeing much success, but we are giving our all and we know we are learning and growing so much together each and every day, Elder Sampaio and I. I love him, he is so great and this week we had some great spiritual experiences and lessons. Almost everybody that we have been teaching just doesn't want to progress and it is sad, but we are focusing now on finding new investigators and families and teaching them and to have a new teaching group and so we've just gotta go forward with faith."

"So Tatiane is the closest to being baptized, but we are feeling that the opposition from her fam is taking its toll on her and she might be slipping, we need to talk with her again. She wasnt able to come to church this week and so we will try and pass by there tonight. So ya know that guy, Perseu. We were planning to have his baptism this sat. but we just feel that he really has mental probs and so we will try and get a hold of the Psychiatrist and mark an appointment. Of course he came to church and he just loves us and he is living the commandments, but it is just so hard to teach him cuz he just cant seem to focus on one subject and we cant know his real motive for everything. So yeah, its a long story, but I will leave it at that. So that fam we were teaching just cant seem to accept everything and so we stopped teaching them as of yesterday and if they want to they will come to church, it is a long story too and sad really, but its part of the work and we have to just stay happy and keep a good attitude."

"We met a young kid who was baptized a few months back and he was the only one baptized in his fam and we marked to pass by and teach him and try and meet his parents and get to know them and so we passed one afternoon this last week, it was just this last saturday and he accepted us in his house and he never wanted to learn anything with the other missionaries, but he accepted a message and Elder Sampaio just left a message real quick, a scripture and he ended and I felt that he was ready to hear the message of the restoration and so we started teaching and he had never been taught before and from the very beginning I could feel the spirit so strong that I was tingling from my feet to my head and we taught together and testified of the 1st vision and I felt the spirit the strongest during that and we gave him his own BOM and he had never even looked at it, just heard of it and he thanked us and we could see that he was touched and felt something different and felt the spirit so we asked him if he felt somethin and he said he that it was the best moment he had had in the last few months! It was incredible and we testified of the spirit and the reality of him and the blessings of the gospel for his family and we ended with a hymn and he was almost in tears and he just thanked us from the bottom of his heart and we prayed and left and marked to come back this week and he wasnt able to go to church yesterday, but he said for sure he will this week. So it was such a special experience for us and helped us with everything and to animate us and to strengthen our testimonies that much more."

EIGHTH AREA: *Rough week

"Elder Sampaio and I after a long, rough day this week (Aug. 23, 2010) and to make things worse, my nose bled, ha ha! No, but it was funny."

"(Aug 2, 2010) We taught a family this week of 10 people with two of their neighbors so that was sweet and such a spiritually powerful lesson and it was great, but it turns out the mom found out later and doesn't want her kids to learn and come to church, cuz she wasn't there when we taught, just the dad with some kids and a grandma with a bunch of kids and a couple neighbor kids, so it was great."

"(Aug 23, 2010) So we are still teaching that big fam from the picture and it was hard this week cuz it is hard for them to change and where they live is so lost in the world and they are too and in the middle of it all and they had a b-day party sat. night and there was alcohol and dancing and so they all stayed up all night and no one came to church and it is hard, we just need to have patience. It is sad, cuz the mom is not fulfilling our invites and she wont even read the BOM and pray, but she said a prayer with us all this week and it was great. We taught them all about the plan of salvation when we were there and took that pic. It was such a spiritual lesson and it was great but it was sad with this weekend and everything that happened and so their baptism will have to wait and the two oldest girls received answers to their prayers and they have testimonies it is just so hard for them to try and escape the world where they live cuz everybody is so lost there and they are right in the middle of it, but we have faith in them and they will be the pioneers from their fam. So this week we were teaching them in the morn before lunch and their neighbor came in and he listened to our message, we talked to him and we invited him to listen to our message and he was really interested and so we marked another day and it was great and he was prepared to accept the gospel and his name is Guilherme and he is 21 and he is great. So after a lot of stress and confusion, we were able to grab a sweet guy from our ward and we ran to pick him up right in time for Sac. Mtg. and he loved it and came with his lil daughter and we went to his house in the afternoon and he said he felt different and really liked it and we told him it was the spirit and he has already read a lot of the BOM and understands the stories very well. So we marked his baptism for the 4th of September and he accepted and we will do everything to prepare him and help him be baptized on the 4th. So this week was great because of him and a lot of other things and so we are excited."

"This is from this morn (August 23, 2010) when we were studying and I put my elbow on the table and it collapsed and so we took a pic and I thought it was pretty funny."

"Two other elders in our ward, Elder Shäfler and Elder Zaguette, they are both Brazilians and Elder Bangerter trained Elder Shäfler in the same area here in our ward and he ended his mission here too! We ate lunch with that young couple and they were both missionaries and have a little boy now. "

"So I dunno if I have told ya'll bout a man that we have been teaching named Perseu. So it is sad, cuz we think he is literally crazy and has some mental probs but it has been 4 weeks that he has come to church everyweek and he is living all of the commandments and stopped drinking alcohol and coffee and he lives alone and so he is so alone that he has gone a lil crazy, we dont know if he was always like that. So we have been teaching him, but he likes us so much and everytime we talk to him he talks so much and it is so hard to teach him, but he reads the BOM everyday and prays and so we talked to the bishop yesterday about him and there is nothing holding back his baptism so our district leader will interview him and see if he is ready and we will have his baptism on Saturday. We will also try and teach with a man in the Cavalhada ward that I already know that is a Psychiatrist to see if he needs treatment. "

"We are also working with that same girl, Tatiane that is so smart and she came to church yesterday in a dress and took her piercing out of her nose and we hadnt even said anything to her. She is great and she had some doubts so last night we went there and helped her with her doubts and did our best to explain them and so we are planning for her baptism for this saturday, she is ready. It is just hard for her cuz she is alone and her parents dont like the church and they are very catholic but Tatiane has a testimony and her lil sis listened to our message yesterday and she is interested but has depression and its hard to get her to come to church. Tatiane came to church yesterday and she loved it. We are planning on doing an FHE with two fams tomorrow night with Tatiane and so it will be great."

EIGHTH AREA: *Helping to roll the stone

"So we had two days of new trainings from Pres. Swenson and every mission in the world is receiving new trainings and so it was different to put em into play, but I have been gaining a testimony of them this week and we had a lot of great experiences this week."

Luis Phillipe, Elder Sampaio, and Max

"Luis Phillipe is the young boy whose grandma is a less-active member and we are teaching her and her grandboys, they are great and are reading the BOM and praying and they are gaining testimonies and it is helping them out alot with the death of their mom."

EIGHTH AREA: *Lots and lots of people to teach

"I just love the gospel. The gospel is everything in our lives, absolutely EVERYTHING!!! The gospel of Jesus Christ, restored through the prophet Joseph Smith is the only way we can return to live with God in families and be happy forever, i know that this is true and the spirit testifies to me each and everyday and I am so grateful for each and every blessing that the gospel brings into our lives and the lives of our family."

People Elder Kirschman & Elder Sampaio are teaching in Nonoai:

Elaine: a single mom with 3 young boys: Donato thats 16 but works on Sunday mornings :( Francisco is 14 and Fabrício is 12.

"We are also teaching the fam of the mom, Elaine and her boys. We are planning the baptism of her boys for this sat. cuz she needs some more time cuz we found out she still smokes :( but we will continue to help her and her boys are ready for baptism this week. :) They are great. Fabrício thats 12 came to church all by himself on his bike and he lives far away, he is such a great kid and we sat with him at church and he has a white shirt and tie that he used yesterday and he is ready to just be with all of his friends passing the sacrament. He always sits behind the deacon's bench alone until after the sacrament when his friends come and sit by him and yesterday we sat by him"

Tatiane: a 17 year old girl that the other missionaries were teaching before we got here and she is great and came to church yesterday and it was her second time to we are helping her to prepare for baptism too and gain a testimony of the BOM. She lives with her grandma and she is VERY catholic and so she is scared of her, but it will all work out. :)

"So we are also working with a great girl named Tatiane that is 17 and she is very smart and understands so well and she has already been to church twice, but didnt come yesterday, she was ready but didnt end up coming cuz the members that passed by called but i guess she didnt here. But we taught her on sat. night she has been reading the BOM and she has been praying and she has been receiving answers to her prayers :) We invited her to be baptized this sat. and she was hesitant because her whole fam is Catholic, but we invited her to pray to know if she should and she said she will follow the answer she receives. She has a lot of faith, wow. It is so great to hear my companion's testimony and to hear him share it with her to help her out because he is the only member of his family and today he is a member for 2 years to the date. Wow, my comp. is the man and he has such a strong testimony and he is an example to me of faith and sacrifice and obedience. His whole family was against his baptism and when he was baptized he lived with his dad and his dad kicked him out of his house and so he went to serve a part time mission in another state and ended up staying for 6 months and went home and now he is here. He bore his testimony to Tatiane and the spirit was so strong and you could see it touching her and she could relate and so it was a great experience. We will go there tonight to see how she is and what she is planning."

Francielle and Katielle: Fran is 16 and Kat is 14. We are teaching all of their lil bros and sis and their mom, they are great. We are planning to bring everyone to church next week.

We also started teaching an old woman that is less active for years and is from another city and she lives with her son in law and 3 grandkids and we are helping the 2 boys prepare for baptism, they are 13 and 10, Luis Felipe and Luis Roberto. They are so great.

Daniel & Carla: So we are also teaching a great young couple with a really cute new baby. They are Daniel and Carla and they came to church yesterday!

"We have a family home evening with the two grandboys and their grandma member and a great family in the ward, we are excited!"

EIGHTH AREA: *Nonoai with Elder Sampaio July 27, 2010

Max is headed to open a new area and train a new missionary - he has come a long way!
"So guess where i'm at? I'm in a new area in a ward called Nonoai that is right next to Cavalhada in Porto Alegre! Ha ha, i am right here almost where i was last year.. its crazy weird, last year i did two divisions in this area and met some of the members so i remembered and it was easier to pick up the area, but with our map its all good and the area is easy enough with the map and everything is going great! :) I am with a new missionary in his first transfer named Elder Sampaio and he is great! (you pronounce that Sam-pie-oo) he is from São Paulo and before the full time mish, he already served two 3 month short time missions in Riberão Preto that is another city in the state of Sao Paulo and has its own mission. Sao Paulo is a city and a state in Brasil just to let ya know.. so he is great and already knows how to do pretty much everything and its like he has been here for 6 months so it is great. He reminds me so much of Russ so its sweet to be with him."

"On tuesday we went to the bus station here in Porto Alegre and Pres got there with all the new missionaries and he introduced all of us and it was great and we were off and so we got here but there was already a companionship here, now the ward has two and so we got the area book and they told us about some of the investigators and we were off and it has been great. "

SEVENTH AREA: *Pictures from Guaíba

"It was a pretty rough week with a lil progress in our area, but it turned out great cuz we found a great new lady with her two lil kids and they came to church and loved it and they have their baptism marked for the 14th of August and they are a great lil fam. The mom is Deborah and she is a single mom and has two lil kids, Luiza thats 8 and Gustavo thats 3. They are way cute and Luiza will be baptized with her mom. So they were the highlight of our week cuz the work has been pretty hard lately with a lot of great ppl that just dont progress and probs, but its just another short phase and we just have to keep the faith and the smile on our faces! :)"

SEVENTH AREA: Baptisms and thunderstorms

"We moved into a new house on Wed. and our new house is great but we were without water for a while but its a long story, ha ha. . .
On Sat. (July 3, 2010) was the baptism of Bruno (16 yrs old) and Guilherme (9 yrs old) and it was so great."

"Yesterday (July 10, 2010) we had Selmar's baptism! He is so great and progressed so fast and his baptism was great - it was right after sac. mtg. and so there was a lot of members and it was great. Elder Benício baptized him and it was great."
"Selmar was confirmed and it was great and the Bishop interviewed him before church about marriage and the Priesthood and after the confirmation he received the Aaronic Priesthood in the office of Priest. Man, it was so great to see and he is awesome and so great."

"Last night we woke up to a crazy storm and it was sweet, but crazy. A ton of rain with lightning and thunder and we thought our house was gonna rip in half, ha ha! So our new house is great, we cleaned it more today and it is great, we are loving it. One thunder last night shook the house."

"So this week was just full of more miracles. On saturday we were walking in the street doin contacts and just talking to ppl in the street and this was this really tall, big kid that Elder B talked too. It was a great contact and we got his address and talked about church and invited him, we said we'd call that night to his phone. We called on sat. night and he said he'd come to church with us and we went there and picked him up and he came to church with us and loved it and already has some friends from school that are members so we are excited to teach him, hes great, his name is Denilson and hes 18 so hes a great potential future missionary, hes huge too so his baptism will be one to remember, he has to be almost 300 pounds but its not all fat, hes really tall, hes sweet and really nice and polite. . ."

"So we also picked up another guy, Leondro, that came to church with us. We started teaching his sister and he was in bed cuz he had a motorcycle wreck and broke his arm completely in half so he was recuperating but just has a cast and sling now and came to church but he is interesting and it didnt seem like he enjoyed it that much and he didnt want to mark another appointment so we will have to try and talk to him another day and see , but i have faith, the Lord works miracles everyday in the hearts of his children to prepare them and I know he felt the spirit cuz church was great as always."

"This week has been a little rough, we found and taught a ton of new ppl this week but nobody came to church yesterday, one of the few times that not one person came to church, so that wasnt easy. There are so many great ppl. that don't want to learn anymore."

"We got to church yesterday and they asked Elder Benício and I to talk in sac. mtg. cuz two ppl. didnt come to talk, its amazing how often this happens! ha ha.. so we both talked with no time to prepare, but it was great and a special experience for me because i could feel and recognize the spirit helping me and guiding me and I had almost no probs with Portuguese. It was amazing and strengthened my testimony."

SEVENTH AREA: *Guaíba with Elder Benício June 15, 2010

Max and Elder Benício in Guaíba.
"So, I am pretty disappointed to announce that I'm being transferred :( but it will all be okay and i know that I was called by the Lord :) So Elder Mattos is gonna stay here with another great missionary and i'm headed to Guaíba. Its a town about a half hour from the capital, Porto Alegre so I'm headed back up north after about a year down here in Rio Grande and Pelotas. I am excited to see Elder Bangerter for the last time at the bus station, at least i hope i do. Hes headed home on Thurs! How crazy is that?! So I just love Elder Mattos and i'm sad to leave but it'll all be okay, i've just gotta make the best of my situation, its all about the attitude right?! My new comp. is Elder Benício and I already know him and he passed here in our zone so i have already worked with him and he is a great missionary."

"Everything is new and so it was another change, but i seems to get used to everything faster and everything is great. I guess I am learning to get used to change faster and easier and this is a miracle and a great blessing from a loving Heavenly Father to me, I know it. So yeah, my new comp. is Elder Benício and all of my worries for this transfer are gone cuz he is great and we are becoming great friends. I am loving to work with him and this week was just full of the spirit and miracles and so I could not ask for more... and we just cut our hair and are looking good ;), ha ha, jk... so yeah, my new area is called Guaíba Jardim and I am loving it. you prounouce that Gwy-eeba Jarjeen Cool huh? ha ha, yup thats portuguese for ya, ha ha.. so the members are sweet here and have already helped out a ton and we already had an FHE last night and the lunches are great and we did a division with some great young men from our ward that are preparing to serve missions."

"A great kid named Bruno that is 16 came to church with us yesterday and he loved it and will come to my english class on saturday and seminary during the week, he already has a friend thats a member and hes great and is reading the BOM."

Apparently Max is teaching an English class which is very cool!

"So it has been an interesting week but it turned out great and everything is just awesome. :) I am loving the opportunity to work with my comp, Elder Benicio and we are working through our differences that I knew we had, but i am learning so much with him and a lot about myself."

"Bruno is doing great, he came to church yesterday again and loved it and already has so many friends that are members and is integrated so well with the young men and so hes ready for his baptism this Saturday! :) He is a great kid, hes 16 years old and we are trying to teach his family too. He lives with his mom and stepdad and two lil bros a new baby and a toddler. We already talked with his stepdad and he doesnt want anything, but his mom allowed his baptism and likes the idea for her son so we want to teach her, but we still haven't been able to."

SIXTH AREA: Testimony of fasting

Elder Kirschman & Elder Mattos continue on. . .
"So, yeah, it was another amazing week and the work is just going so great and I am loving my comp and working with him! Hes the man and hes the best soccer player i've played with i think.. we just got done playing at the church so it was indoor but it was sweet, he bought a new nike ball today and it was nice to play again.. So this week I strengthened my testimony of fasting and prayer. We are still teaching Fernando and he had a lil downfall into depression and was losing his testimony for a few days and we taught him and lifted his spirits and this week i fasted especially for him and he is doing so great and his baptism will be this Sat! He is so funny and so great. My comp. fasted this week too for Elisabeth that was baptized but not confirmed and she is getting better and we will visit her this week and she almost came to church but didnt come so we will work to have her at church this week. I know that fasting really works and really can help us and others in time of need and especially in missionary work."

"We are also teaching a sweet lil girl named Dara that's 10 and she lives with her aunt and uncle and comes to church with them and her baptism is planned for this Sat. too! :) We are seeing so many miracles in our area and we couldn't be happier, I am better than ever and am just loving my area and comp and the work! :) So we had an FHE of the whole ward this week and it was great and we had a lot of investigators there so it was great and they loved it.. We had a ton of great lessons this week that were so spiritual and last night was one too. We are teaching this young couple's friends that aren't married too and the guy is great, his name is Mateus (Matthew in English) and he has long hair and came to the FHE and loved it but didnt come to church and we visited him last night and he felt bad that he didnt come to church but said he will for sure this week, we just need to teach his girlfriend together, we only taught her alone at the gate real fast and she is great too. They just need to read the BOM and pray to receive a testimony, they are such great ppl."

"On Saturday (May 22, 2010) we had Fernando's baptism and it was great and a few of our investigators came and it was great. . . hes so dang funny and he was finally ready to be baptized. It is so great to see him make the right changes in his life and to see him be baptized and confirmed. I was asked to confirm him and it was great and its crazy how i feel that when I confirm someone, my accent seems to just go away for a minute and i feel the spirit so strong and feel completely guided, its just one element of my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, I love the gospel and there is no doubt in my mind that it is true and that we are lucky enough to have the truth in our lives. "

"So i dunno if I told ya'll bout the other Mateus? Hes a 16 year old kid that has a bunch of friends that are members and its been a while that hes been coming to church and he really likes it but he always had doubts cuz his fam is from the baptist church and so he was always confused and he is now reading the BOM and he is gaining a greater testimony and we taught him last night and it was great and we are helpin him to be baptized this sat!"

"So last night we had an amazing lesson with the bishop and Elizabeth. Remember that she was baptized and had a fight with her son and hasnt come back since? She wasnt confirmed and so we taught her about temples cuz her husband died a few years ago and the spirit testified so strong and it was just what she needed and I know she felt it and she said shes gonna come to church this week to be confirmed!! :) We are so happy. So yeah, we are continuing to be so blessed and to see miracles each day, i love the work and everything is great! :)"

"We are witnessing a complete change in Arli and it is a miracle. We taught the word of wisdom this week and they drink coffee (used to drink) and Arli said they had a new pot of coffee that they hadnt even opened and they gave it to us to throw away and it was amazing to see their faith and testimonies in action and so they stopped and are living the word of wisdom and they are reading the BOM and praying and they are just so amazing and were prepared by the Lord, of this i have certainty :) We got there and asked who could pray and Arli said he would and his prayer was so amazing, wow! Seriously it was such a special moment and we had never heard him pray before and it was great and they are just so great, a true miracle and we can see the hand of the Lord in their lives, what a blessing, i am so grateful to be a part :)"

"Diego is ready for his baptism and he is great and this week he told us about the dream he had after he read the BOM and prayed and asked if it was true he said he dreamed with an angel that appeared to him and told him he needed to be baptized! Can you believe that?! Amazing huh? So this week we taught him about the Sabbath Day and the sacrament and the meaning of baptism and the importance of it. He is prepared and knows what he's doing and has a testimony and he will be great missionary here in a year and a half! He is 17 and will turn 18 in october or november I think, he is great."

"So this week was so great. We had the baptism of Diego on Sat. and it turned out perfect and after the baptism we had an FHE of the ward and so it was a great night and we had some investigators too and there were a lot of members there at the baptism to be there for Diego. His friend Gabriel that is a member for a year and a lil bit baptized him and he had to try 3 times to get it right but it all turned out great in the end. Diego is great and he's 17 and will turn 18 this fall so he will already be able to leave for a mission late next year! He is great and I know that he will be a great missionary. I love how my testimony is strengthened each day because of various experiences and I have been thinking in church lately and paying attention to how strong the spirit is during the sacrament, it really is amazing and leaves no doubts. I am so grateful for the spirit and for my testimony and all of your testimonies."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

SIXTH AREA: P-day photo

Max is doing well, and just had a quick moment to snap a photo as they were sending out e-mails on p-day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SIXTH AREA: *Arco-Iris with Elder Mattos 5/3/10

May 3, 2010
"Elder Bangerter is leaving and he will open an area and train a new missionary. I will be comps here in our area with Elder Bangerter's last comp. Elder Mattos. I am so excited cuz he is a great missionary, but sad at the same time to be split up from Elder B. My new comp. is awesome, hes a tall, great looking brazilian that all of the girls love, ha ha.. We are already such great friends."
Elizabete's Baptism
"So this week we have the rest of our baptisms marked and Roni's mom, [Elizabete] is ready and she told me she wants me to baptize her. She would have been baptized yesterday too but she got really sick this week. She went to the hospital cuz she was so bad and so we gave her a blessing and she got better and came to church yesterday and to the baptism and loved it."

"Yesterday in church a lady in our ward gave a great talk about adversity and faith and it was so great and made me think alot and I know that it was for me in the moment and has helped me to have a greater outlook on life and everything we go through. I am so grateful for this amazing gospel and for my testimony. I love the work and everything is going awesome. The time is just a flying and going by a lil too fast, ha ha, of course i am excited to come home and be with everybody again but its just such a great time in my life and the most important time of my life for my future. Its funny how the other day I was thinking about the talk that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave i think last year about the ministry of angels and how i know that everything he said is true and that our loving Heavenly Father always sends angels both seen and unseen and I was thinking and realized how blessed i am with all the angels in my life and every one that God sends to help me and all of us. I realized that before the mission at a crossroads in my life, God sent just one of his sweet angels to help me realize my purpose in life and help my testimony and because of that angel, and many others, i am here today. For this I will be eternally grateful :) I know this fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we have restored is the only way that we will receive eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of our Father and Savior together with our families and friends."

SIXTH AREA: More Miracles and Lots of Hot Dogs

Elder Kirschman's Zone (Max is fifth from the left - top row)
April 19, 2010
"So we were working on Saturday afternoon on this one road and we had two pages full of addresses from contacts in the street that are in our area book. So our appointment fell on that same road so we started knocking doors (clapping) at these addresses that we have. So we knocked at a house of a lady, but only her husband was home and he accepted us right in very nicely and very interested and so we taught him the first lesson, the restoration. So right away the Spirit entered and was with us so strong and it was easy to see that this man was prepared, he is amazing. He was completely prepared to meet us with an open heart and it was such a great blessing. So he understood very well and was paying so much attention and felt the Spirit so strong and accepted everything and even baptism for the 8th of May. He was shaking because the Spirit was so strong. So before I could even get out the invitation to church as I was explaining a lil bout it, he said he would come on sunday! Ha, it was so awesome and he said he would bring his wife and so we got to church and were waiting out front and there they come holding hands and they loved it and we have an appointment with them tonight so we are way excited. They are around 55 years old and have 4 kids but there kids are all moved out and so i just thought its like our fam, ha.. but they are just such great ppl. and we are so excited to teach them and help them be baptized and receive all the blessing and prepare for the temple. And its a miracle too because they are actually legally married! What a blessing."

"So yeah and also we were waiting out front of church for investigators and a guy in a suit and everything and his mom came up and we just thought they were more members from the ward but they said they were visiting and it was the first time and that someone had invited them so we showed them where the classes were and they loved it too and we marked tonight with them too so i am way excited. So yeah, so many miracles have been happening and we also started teaching a sweet lil 9 year old girl this week named Monique. She is great and loves church - so her aunt takes her to church and she wanted us to teach her so she could be baptized. Her mom was baptized as a girl but is inactive and so we will try and teach her together but the aunt said that they all live together with their dad and he doesnt want the missionaries in his house so we taught her at another members house. So yeah, kind of a rough situation but we will see, her baptism will be this week along with Ananda, did i tell ya'll bout her? Shes dating an RM and she is an elect and is so great and is already ready to be baptized so her baptism will be this sat. along with Monique."

"We had zone conference this week on thurs and it was great. We gave our training 4 times to 4 different groups of missionaries and it went great, better than planned, i hope all the missionaries learned something, i learned a ton and we started a new activity this week that is awesome with the whole mission. We all started reading the BOM together from the beginning and we are reading at least 5 pages per day and we are marking in the same way: Yellow = all the names for Jesus Christ, Blue = all of the words that the Lord says when he is quoted, Red = all of the atributes of Christ, and Green = all the points of doctrine and principles. I am loving it and i am also finishing the BOM from where i was at the same time so it is awesome, i just love the BOM!!! There is absolutely no way that it COULDNT be true! :) I know that it is true and have no doubts, I love it, it is our proof that we have for everything and all that we need to know that everything about the church and the gospel are true, everything.. I love the gospel and my testimony is continuing to grow everyday."

FUNNY STORY: "Not last Sat. but the one before we were walking down a street and this lil skinny black kid named Alife that we had talked to one time in the road was passing on his bike and yelled, "Hey, I'm gonna go to your church tom!" So we just told him to really go and it would be awesome. So he passed and I said to Elder B., "If he goes to church tom. I will buy you a hot dog everyday next week" Ha ha and so you can just guess what happened! We walked into church and helped our investigators into class and turned around and this Alife was walking down the hall! Ha ha, it was awesome and he loved church and we have been teaching him and we taught him and his mom and lil bro and it was great. So every single day last week i bought Elder B. a brazilian hot dog and he loved it! Ha ha!"

April 26, 2010
"Roni (remember the R makes an H in portuguese so its pronounced Honi) and his mom, Elizabete that came to church last week by themselves cuz a lady in our ward invited them? They are so great and Roni came to church yesterday and got there early and brought a friend and was wearing a suit! Hes so great and i just love teaching him cuz he wants to learn so much and understands and asks ?s and so hes great. He loved church and his mom didnt come cuz she was a lil sick but we taught them together last night about the plan of salvation and the word of wisdom and we had marked their baptism for the 8th but last night we invited them for this sunday the 2nd! They will pray to know what to do and i told them about how i prayed to know if i should serve a mission and how my answer was like, "you should already be on your mission, get ready as fast as you can and go!" ha ha, and so i told them about this amazing experience and how God always answers our prays and he will answer theirs about if they should be baptized this sunday so they said they would pray and we are gonna pass there tonight so we are excited! :) So they are amazing and Roni is ready to help the ward out already and wants to serve and teach so hes ready to work and the bishop loves him so hes amazing. "
Roni, Celso and Claudete, and Monique

"[The baptism] was so great and I was able to baptize Celso and I was so grateful for the opportunity :) It was prob the best baptism I have had on the mission and the best day yesterday. Church was so great and it was fast and testimony mtg. and Celso and Roni bore their testimonies! It was the first time that I have seen investigators bearing their testimonies in church before their baptism. It was such a special moment for me and such a special day."

Monday, April 12, 2010

SIXTH AREA: Miracles and Mt. Dew

"My comp. and I have been very humbled to receive so many great blessings in just one week and since we arrived in our new area. This week was one full of miracles and the work is just exploding and I am so honored and blessed and grateful to be a part of it. So we are living in another apartment closer to our area now, we moved on Wednesday morning and a member with a lil truck helped us so it was real quick and easy. . . We basically have 3 main parts to our area and two of them are close and ones kinda far but not really far and so we divide our time between them usually and we have just been guided to the right and prepared ppl it seems like and we have been so so blessed."

"A missionary that went home, his dad came to pick him up and left two bottles of Mountain Dew for Elder Bangerter and we got them last week and it was amazing!! Ha ha, the first time in more than a year and a half!"
"We started teaching a guy named Byron last week and he didnt come to conference and we werent able to talk to him again until he called us on Sat. and said he passed by the church and no one was there so he said he'd come and talk to us and he came down the road we were walking in a new car.. He had the BOM in the front seat and was all smiles. Because of Gen. Conf. last week, he thought it was on Sat. too but we explained it to him and he came yesterday with his girlfriend, Maria, they are great and loved it. So Byron told us on sat. that he is reading and praying and that he prayed to help him get a new car and said when he did, he would enter the church and never fall away. Ha!"

SIXTH AREA: *Opening Arco-Iris with E. Bangerter 3/30/10

March 29, 2010
"Tomorrow is the transfer and we got the call this morning, i was nervous cuz we had no idea what would happen. So get this - me and Elder Bangerter and I are staying together one more transfer so we are so happy! :) but we have to change areas!! We are going to go to another area in our same stake that is really close so i think we will stay in our apartment, so thats sweet. It will nice to have another change and to be able to open the area together and i am excited for the work. . .

Elder Bangeter and I are doing great together and loving the time we have together, we will be such good friends after the mission and he said he'll be there at my homecoming, ha ha.. so yeah, the times a winding down and its crazy, i cant even think about it."


"So this week the ward had an activity and we didnt go, but Rodrigo and Felipe went with their other friend Gabriel and they loved it cuz they love playing soccer.. we are gonna play with them this afternoon so it will be sweet.. i will send a pic of them.. after church yesterday we were teaching those three friends on the sidewalk in front of Gabriels house and another one of their friends came to talk to them and we gave him a pamphlet of the restoration and he said he will read and pray. There is so much potential with these guys."

April 5, 2010
"This week we started working in a new area and a new ward, its called Arco-Iris which means rainbow in portuguese and so we are opening the area together and it is going great. So everything is new and we have met a few members and they are great and our Bishop is awesome and helps a ton and our ward mission leader is amazing. Hes only been a member for 4 months and he has such a strong testimony and helps so much, we already taught with him this week and it was great. . .
So conference was just amazing eh?! Wow, we were lucky enough to watch all of the sessions including Priesthood and it was just amazing, wow.. i learned so much and it was just great, i am excited to get the Ensign to be able to study. . .
So saturday night, we were headed to the saturday afternoon session (but it was at 5 here) and we were doing street contacts and talking to ppl in the street like we do everyday and i talked with an old man on a street corner and told him about conference and how it is special and that we were headed there, but that there would be two sessions on sunday and so he said he would try and go like so many hundreds of ppl have said but of course never went so we just went like normal and we got to the sunday afternoon session last night and guess who was sittin in the back all by himself, this old guy with his crutch thing! It was so great to see him. He has diabetes and so he has some circulation probs i think in his feet and legs and so its hard for him to walk and he told me that on sat. so i thought for sure he wouldnt go and was just another contact but he walked all the way there alone and was sitting alone and he got there at 3! so luckily the choir thing was going and i guess he watched that and he stayed for conference and he was in so much pain because of his foot he said but he stayed and at the end after President Monson talked and the choir sang and the prayer, he was crying. Man he was so touched and so was I. So he doesnt live in our area, he lives in another ward that has sisters so they were there and got his address and will pass there this week and teach him, it was a great experience :) So yeah, miracles happen everyday, it doesnt matter how big or small, they happen, its especially easy to see as a missionary. and so i am just so grateful to be a part of these ppls lives."

Friday, March 19, 2010

FIFTH AREA: Divisions

"This pic is from two weeks ago when we taught with Leonã and Alison, it was great.. so this week was great and everything is awesome and i am great and my comp. The work isnt going so great and it was a really hard week, but this week with be a lot better and so dont worry.. we have zone conference this week too on friday so i am excited to see some friends and to learn how to be a better missionary, ha ha.. so we did two divisions this week and it was aight.. i stayed in my area on tues. with elder laird from Ogden and we're buds so it was sweet to work with him and then on friday i went to another area with Elder Santiago, i already did a division with him and hes sweet so it was good and we taught some great lessons."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

FIFTH AREA: Testimony

MARCH 8, 2010

"I love the gospel, its so amazing! how lucky are we all to have the truth in our lives.. i think about my life before the mission and how so very blessed i have been my entire life and for how easy it was for me.. living and serving in Brasil for this time has opened my eyes so much and to see how there are so many ppl lost in lies and apostasy and so many ppl searching and wanting the happiness that our family has always had :) man, its so amazing, i just love it and i love you guys!! My testimony continues to be strengthened each and everyday :)"

"There is a lady in our ward that bore her testimony of the power of the priesthood and it was amazing, a great miracle happened with her this last week.. so about a month ago her and her family were sealed in the temple in Porto Alegre because it was a lil more than a year that her husband was baptized and they are such a sweet fam, we ate lunch with them last sat. and she told us she had to have surgery and yesterday in church she said it was to see the problem that the doctors didnt know why it was happening.. they told her she could have cancer or something else but her husband gave her a priesthood blessing before the surgery so that everything could go great and when the doctors opened her up they found absolutely nothing wrong with the part where the problem was and she was completely cured - wow, it was an amazing story and i was so happy to hear it! :)"

"Then after church Leonã received the Aaronic Priesthood as a priest and it was awesome and we did a division with a kid named Alison and i taught with Leonã.. it was amazing.. i have witnessed a complete change in his life in only about a month of time and how eternally grateful i am for this and for the opportunity. The first time we finally taught him, he didnt really believe in God and this was about a month ago and last night he was bearing his testimony and teaching the complete 1st lesson to strangers in the street and in their houses, it was so amazing!"

(Pres. Swenson had a hernia on a disc in his neck i think but he already had the surgery there in Salt Lake and is just recovering and will return soon)

FIFTH AREA: Leonã’s baptism on 2/27/10

Leonã’s Baptism with Sandra and Wilma February 27, 2010

MARCH 1, 2010
"So this week was great and I just sent the one pic of Leonã’s baptism, it was amazing. Finally a pic of their amazing family.. so it all started with the mom, Sandra and then her mom, Wilma and this last Saturday, Leonã.. it was so great.. we had the baptism together with the other elders in our ward and they baptized a sweet old lady named Ana and it was such a spiritual baptism.. It was planned a lot better and so there was a lot of members there to participate and it was great. Leonã is awesome.. this week he bought all new church clothes for Sunday and he looked great yesterday.. church was great and everything is just going awesome.. I love my comp. and we are such great friends and I love working with him"

FIFTH AREA: *Pelotas Areal Norte with E. Bangerter 2/22/10

FEBRUARY 22, 2010
"My new comp. is Elder Bangerter and he is the man just as i had heard and we get along great and already have such a strong friendship, it is awesome.. i am so grateful for my comps, i have been so blessed my whole mission.. so i will tell ya'll about this crazy week, ha ha, aight? So when i wrote you last week i was in Cavalhada cuz i stayed with the elders there until tues. morn and we had FHE with the Kern fam and it was so great to see them all, i am sending a pic :) so then we had transfers on tues. morn at the bus station in Porto Alegre and it was great to see so many friends.. i saw Elder Horrocks there and he was happy to be transferred because he was with a brazilian slacker that doesnt even want to work so i hope his new area will be great.. so then we waited there and the bus station and i got my new comp. Elder Bangerter and we went to stay with the zone leaders in a city about a half hour from Porto Alegre called Guaíba because we had a mtg. with pres. and all the zone leaders on Wednesday morn.. so we had an amazing experience tues. night in Guaíba.. Elder B. and i went out to just do our contacts in the street and Elder B. talked with a lady who has 5 kids that are members of the church and she invited us to her house to talk so we walked home with her and taught her and her husband and it was amazing and they both accepted to get married and be baptized here in a lil over a month.. it was amazing and i know that thats the reason we stayed there just for one day, it was amazing.. so on wed morn we had the zone counsel with pres. swenson and he had to leave for SLC that afternoon so our new pres. was there too and it was great.. his name is President Gershwandtner and he lives in Porto Alegre and was already the mission pres. of the João Pessoa mission in northern brazil and he was already an area authority so hes great and it was an amazing mtg. with the Spirit so strong and it was great.. so we ate Dominos pizza after and it was amazing and then we went to pick up our bus and came back here to Pelotas and got here in our area around 630. So we lost alot of our week for proselyting but it was a great weekend and we are teaching Leonã and he will be baptized this Sat. and he is just about ready, we just have to help him with some things but he is great and we taught his friend this week too and his name is Stefan and hes 15 and the next day we talked to him and he read 3 Nephi 11 and he asked God if the BOM is true and received an answer and his baptism is marked for the 13th of March and hes great but he couldnt come to church yesterday but he will this week.. we played bball this morn with them and another kid in our ward and it was great"

The Kerns

New Companion Elder Bangerter