Monday, July 10, 2017

P-day 42: Day 300 - "If Brazilians know how to do anything, they know how to chill really well."

DAY 300!! That's a fun milestone!!

This is this last week's letter. Like I said, I'm behind so I'm just going to post them. I love this guy!!

Enjoy!

Hi! I've been feeling a little homesick this week -- it's been kind of a crazy week actually -- but I've been doing good too. Good times in Sumaré! This city is ZION! We had 6 investigators in sacrament meeting which was excellent. We had Mercia, who has been being taught (that makes sense right) for several months and is getting SO CLOSE to getting baptized. She's a really intelligent and thoughtful person and we're trying to help her. It'll work out haha. We also had Fabio and his wife, and Fagner and his wife. We weren't able to find a lot of new people to teach this week but the good news is that we have a lot of people to teach already, and we have some ideas for where to go next. Good times.

Sorry I don't have any pics of me and my companion yet. I'm getting lazier and lazier. Trust me when I say he's the best though. I love being his companion. The other companionship is also awesome and it's a blast living here with everyone. I'm happy. I've been feeling REALLY tired this week and so I've been doing my best to hang on, work like normal, and do what I can. I'm pushing myself so don't worry, but man that alarm clock rings early sometimes haha. 

It's been a good week. Yesterday I sat down to read my setting apart blessing and felt the Spirit confirm to me that I'm doing a good job. I needed to hear that and that really comforted me. I'm not doing everything perfectly, but I feel the Spirit and I feel like that's a good sign. I'm trying to focus on feeling and following the Spirit and doing what I can, and then just letting the rest fall into the Lord's hands. If Brazilians know how to do anything, they know how to chill really well. You guys know that that's not one of my natural talents (to state it lightly hahaha) so I'm trying to learn all I can from everyone. I feel like I'm making progress.

Love you guys. Any advice would be appreciated. However I'm doing good. I'll send pictures in just a few minutes.

Have a super week!!

Elder Sederholm

Monday, July 3, 2017

P-day 41: Day 293 - "The Lord will bless me to be able to see the fruits of my labor."

I am so behind on posting his letters so I'm just going to throw them up here. Nathanael is doing great!

Enjoy!

Hey guys,

Mom your letter made me laugh because I have no problem believing you guys went to Grandma's at the last minute. ;) You guys are crazy haha. Hope you guys are having fun there. I'm super jealous and had basically forgotten this week would have the 4th of July. Whatever. The good news is that this new area is the best!!! It has been such an awesome week. First of all my comp is the greatest. Elder Britos is from Paraguay and has been on the mission for 6 months. This is his 5th transfer. He speaks great Portuguese and is super nice, loves the people, and is really chill and easy to get along with. We had a really productive and happy week; we were blessed with 6 people at church yesterday including a woman that we're going to try and baptize on Saturday. Her name's Mercia and she's an evangelical christian and it's really fun to see her testimony about the Book of Mormon grow. She takes us to all of her friends so we can share the gospel with them. Good times here.

The members here are awesome so far. They feed us as always (I mean that's true in every area haha) but they are really friendly and helpful too. We live like 5 minutes from the church and like 10 minutes from our investigators. That's a huge change from my last area where we lived pretty close to the church but like 45-60 minutes from everything else haha. This area is just blessings! The only bad news is that the house is tiny and kind of a disaster but we make it work haha. It's all good.

I'm living with another companionship, Elder Bosco and Elder J. Ferreira, the only Brazilian in our house. It's super chill. They're all really easy to get along with honestly and we're friends. It's been a great transfer so far. I had a lot of great experiences this week but one of my favorites was in our zone conference. One of the district leaders read Alma 26: 27 which we as missionaries read a lot to help ourselves feel better but this time when he read the verse, I felt the Spirit touch my heart and tell me that that verse, at this time in my mission, is true for me, that it won't always be easy but if I keep going in my challenges the Lord will bless me to be able to see the fruits of my labor. I'm thankful to have felt that. I always feel like the Lord loves me and is very aware of my situation, and sometimes when I get frustrated or feel discouraged it's good to have a reminder. I was getting pretty discouraged at the end there in Avaré as you guys know. However I did feel when I left that I had done what I needed to do there. Despite whatever happens in terms of outward success here in Sumaré, I hope that I can feel the same way when I leave this area.

<3 <3 Love you guys. Hope yall have an excellent week and fun on the 4th of July. Honestly Mom the most surprising thing you said in your letter was that you skipped out on an Owlz game to fly out to Denver. ;P #owlzblasphemy <3 <3

Love, Elder "GH só agua" Sederholm


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

P-day 40: Day 286 - "I'm leaving a part of myself behind."

We heard from our friends in Brazil via FaceBook that Nathanael was going to be transferred even before he could tell us. It's bittersweet for him. He's excited for a new adventure but will really miss his sweet friends in Avare. I'm grateful to them for their willingness to share news and pictures with us from so far away. It's reassuring to know he is being cared for.

I've been missing Nathanael more than usual this week. I just miss having him around so much. It's been a tough week for me, but I'm so proud of him and what he is accomplishing. Almost 10 months in the field!!

Nathanael sent lots of fun pictures this week! I'll include some of them here:









Enjoy his letter!

Good morning parents!

So I guess you guys heard I'm getting transferred! Who told you? I'm excited and nervous all at once. All this time I was really thinking I would stay but this last week I was feeling really stressed about the work in our area and I knelt down to pray, and had the strong impression that I had almost completed my responsibilities here. Next thing you know I'm getting transferred ;P crazy how fast my time here in Avaré has passed. I'm kinda relieved to be going to a new area but I feel really sad, too. I almost cried when I said goodbye to Iuri and his family. (I don't know if I've talked about them much but ask me sometime, they're an awesome family and a really awesome story.) I've come to really love some of the families and members here and I feel a little like I did when I left home to come to Brazil, like I'm leaving a part of myself behind. Don't really know how to explain that -- it's a really sad feeling but I'm grateful to have known the people here. Maybe someday I'll come and visit!

This week that family we brought to church last week didn't go. I think they're trying to avoid us actually, which is a bummer, but what can you do. The work went really slow this week, and there was a lot going on. Elder Hansen had 2 baptisms and we went to those, which was awesome. 

I'm going to Sumaré! My area will be Matão A or B (not sure), and my companion will be Elder Britos. He's hispanic which should be totally awesome and different. He'll be my first non-brazilian companion. I think Elder Hoch's ok with the transfer. His second companion will be Elder Keeler, another American from Elder Hansen's group. Like I said I'm excited but sad. Oh and I'll be living with 3 other missionaries again. I have all the luck haha. Living with another companionship is generally awesome. I don't know who it'll be yet, if I know them, but we'll see!

We had interviews with President Bangerter this week. He told me that I'm doing a really good job and that I'm an excellent missionary. As you know I have my doubts but when he said that I felt the Spirit confirm that to me. It was as if God was speaking through him in that moment. That was neat for me. But my best experience was I think Saturday, when I prayed to know if I was missing anything -- sort of a "what lack I yet?" type of prayer. I had an impression a little while after, during the baptism on Saturday, where I felt like the Lord was asking me, "why can't you just let it be all right?" or in other words, "it's all right." Don't know when I'll get the message but I was really grateful for yet another confirmation of that truth.

We were learning about sacrifice in the Gospel Principles class yesterday and the teacher said something that really touched me. He talked about 3 Nephi 9:19, which says that our sacrifice to the Lord should be a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I had already heard and thought about that, but he talked a lot about what a broken heart really is and said that it's a heart whose will is in line with Heavenly Father's. That really touched me. I had never thought about that as being the sacrifice that the Lord asks of us, but as something good that we should do. It reminded me again that the Lord really doesn't want our actions, but he wants our will, he wants our entirety. It made me really stop to think if I sometimes do the missionary stuff just because I should, or because I know it's right, but without will. I guess if we do all the stuff but we'd rather be somewhere else, we're missing the point anyway. So my goal is to turn my will a little bit more over to the Lord before worrying about my outward actions so much.

Love you guys so much!!! Papa told me that you guys had a lot of fun last week and that they went to Glenwood, which rules, and I'm jealous. Anyway, have a good week. <3 <3

Love you guys!!
Elder Sederholm

p.s. I've been reading Acts for the first time lately and I've been really impressed with Paul's sense of humor. You guys have probably read Acts and you might think I'm joking but I'm serious. It's worth checking out. Seriously, Paul has one- liners! The scriptures are awesome in so many ways. Anyway, have a good week. By the way, I'm leaving the LAN house now because we have to go to Botucatu now (for the last time :( ) but I'll be back in the afternoon and we can talk. Love you guys!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

P-day 39: Day 279 - "*mic drop*"

I think Nathanael is feeling a little discouraged this week even though it sounds like things are going pretty well. I'm so grateful we have a few minutes to email back and forth because it's fun to be able to talk through these things with him in the moment. Transfers are coming up this next week and he says he's feeling like he will stay in Avare. We'll see! Love you Nathanael!

 


Enjoy his letter!

Hey!

It was so good to get your guys' letters. Thanks as always. Mom I read your talk and it was great. You're always spot on and so wise. I bet that talk went really well. Dad that's awesome that you got invited to write an article! I'm excited for you. Cassie's room looks really great too. I'm happy that Grandma and Papa are visiting; I've been thinking about them lately. I bet you guys are having a lot of fun and i'm jealous! Go Owlz!

This week was extremely stressful for me, but it was really good too. We've been teaching a family of 6 and they went to church this Sunday. *mic drop* So that was extremely cool! Like extremely extremely cool. I'm very excited. And we had some really great spiritual experiences. We invited a boy to pray about the Book of Mormon and we asked him how he felt, and he said he didn't even have words to describe the emotion that he felt. It was really neat. He unfortunately didn't go to church because his mom took him to another city on Sunday but he went to a church activity on Friday and really liked it. He's already accepted the invitation to be baptized.

The longer I'm a trainer the more I'm feeling like I have no idea what I'm doing. That aspect of things is so overwhelming and stressful. Especially now that we have actual interested, progressing investigators, I'm freaking out. I know it's a reason to celebrate haha but I don't wanna screw it up either.

Next week is transfers and I'm starting to think I'm gonna stay here in Avaré again. We'll see. I'll know next P-Day already so I'll let you guys know. Either way is good for me, so I'm chill. Avaré is really awesome but I'm ok to leave too. If I stay, at the end of the next transfer I'll have 11 months and only 2 areas. Oh well haha. That's fine.

I did a division with Elder Almeida, one of our zone leaders, this week. He really wanted to help us have investigators in sacrament meeting. It worked! My stress has been worse this week than it has been in several months. It's just part of the adjustment process though. I already feel like I'm starting to handle it a little better. With new responsibilities always comes a little bit of stress I think. I was talking to Elder Almeida (he noticed I was pretty stressed) and he told me that when he trained he had no idea what he was doing, but if I do the best that I can and know how, it'll be enough for the Lord and I'll know I did my part. I liked that a lot and think that makes sense. 

Anyway I think that's about it. Love you guys. Can't wait to talk to you soon!!

Elder "Sid" Sederholm

Monday, June 12, 2017

P-day 38: Day 272 - "Fight me Brazil!!!"

As usual, I'm behind. Here is Nathanael's letter from last week. He seems to be settling right in to missionary work. I can't believe he's been out for 9 months!! From this picture it looks like it was a rough football game. =)


Hello (again!)!

So it's been a pretty normal and pretty good week. I'm happy and a little stressed which is life as usual, so I'm feeling pretty dang good and on top of things. I loved your emails as always and just wanted to say thanks. Know that your emails are a huge comfort to me and I always love to read them. Dad CONGRATULATIONS on the journal invite!!!!! That's so dang rad and I hope everything goes great. I'm happy for you.

We knocked doors like crazy this week, we tried to contact people in the streets, and we did a ton of other stuff. And it was pretty good and pretty normal. I've been getting a little frustrated because a lot of the time people will say they'll do stuff and then they don't do it. This will probably make you guys laugh because it's life I guess but for me it's so new. Like, this week, I invited a girl to a branch activity. I said, "will you go tonight at 7 to the activity?" (Keeping in mind that she lives about 5 blocks from the church.) "Yes, I'll definitely go," she said. I said, "so you'll go for sure?" She said, "yes, I promise." My companion said, "a promise is a promise," and I said, "yeah, I'll be sad if you don't go! Are you sure you'll go?" She said, "I'll definitely go, I promise."

She didn't go!! Fight me Brazil!!! But anyway that's how it goes. What can you do right. I'm doing my part. We were planning on having 4 investigators in sacrament meeting and we got a text message (this never happens) saying that the family couldn't go. Darn. It's been a little like that this week. I'm not that worried though. My main concern is making sure that I'm using my time well, being a good example to my companion and following the Spirit. If I do that then eventually I'll get it right, right? Right!

Yesterday I felt really good in church. I had the thought basically that this might not be a huge time of success with baptisms for me right now but that I'm learning what the Lord wants me to learn and that it's all good. I really feel like, as always, everything's going to be just fine.

I'm really digging the brazilian hymns so here's the words from the hymn "Agora Nâo, mas Logo Mais" which the english hymnbook apparently doesn't have. Elder Soares quoted this in general conference in April. I find it really comforting because we don't always know why we pass through what we pass through, but Jesus does, and one day we'll understand what everything means.

If clouds instead of sun spread shadows o’er our heart,
If pain afflicts us, never mind; we will soon know who Thou art.
Jesus guides us with His hand, and He will tell us why;
If we listen to His voice, He will tell us by and by.
Confide in God unwaveringly, and let Him us sustain;
Sing His glory endlessly, for later He’ll explain.

Se nuvens em lugar de sol sombreiam nosso coração;
Se a dor vier nos afligir, depois veremos a razão.
Jesus, que sabe o porquê, com sua mão nos guiará;
Se escutarmos sua voz, mais tarde ele nos dirá.
Confiai em Deus, sem vacilar, e sua mão vos guiará;
Cantai-lhe glória sem cessar. Mais tarde ele vos dirá.


Love you guys! Have a great week!

Elder Sederholm

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

P-day 37: Day 265 - "The Lord will help me to be good enough to do what I'm supposed to do."

Now for this week's letter -- Nathanael is doing really well. He always seems to have self-doubts, but I love the way he turns to Heavenly Father for strength and guidance. His intensions are good and I believe he will be blessed for his efforts. He's just plugging along.

Here are a couple of pictures in which I can only guess he is with his new companion, Elder Hoch. He didn't specify. But they get along really well and rely on each other as they try to find people to serve.



Hey guys!! How are you doing??

So at the beginning of the week we had our multizone conference which was great. After that we got home and went to work. We had a couple of really great experiences. On Thursday we found a really cool family and taught them about Joseph Smith. They received an answer about the Book of Mormon and accepted the invitation to be baptized! But when we came back for our next appointment, they told us they wanted to keep going in the Catholic church and that the Mormon church really just wasn't for him. I'm used to rejection but it was a bummer after going for so long not having very many people to teach. Then on Saturday we taught a lady who prayed about the Book of Mormon and received an answer, but didn't want to be baptized because she said that the church you are in doesn't matter. That's a pretty common reaction in Brazil, people generally tend to think that you just need to have faith and you'll be saved, but we're going to work with her. She cried during the first vision part of the first lesson. It was really cool and spiritual.

When I was a junior companion I felt pretty comfortable just doing my thing, bearing my testimony when appropriate and feeling ok even when we didn't have that much success. Now as a senior companion I feel a lot more stressed out! I feel like if we're not baptizing every week, not teaching constantly and not having spiritual experiences it's my fault. I keep seeing things I know we should be doing that we're not doing, and things I know we shouldn't be doing that we are doing, and it's really got me super stressed out. Any advice? I'm just not perfect, haha, and I really guess I thought that once I was a senior companion and "in charge" I would really start to blow the roof off of the mission. I guess I could have learned from my experiences from when I got in the field. There are things that comfort me though that I think I already mentioned -- for one, the priesthood blessing I received where I was told that I would find the people I'm supposed to find, and I'll be a good example for my companions. And yesterday I was feeling stressed out so I sang a hymn ("More Holiness Give Me", or "Mais Vontade Da-me") and I had the strong impression that the Lord will help me to be good enough to do what I'm supposed to do. I'm trying to follow the Spirit like you guys said. It'll all work out but you guys probably can imagine how I'm feeling. It reminds me of how I felt when I got to the mission but not as crazy. It's manageable!

My companion in other news is doing really great. He's an example to me in a lot of ways and helps me when I feel tired. We're getting along really well. Something I forgot to mention, too -- one of the traveling assistents to the president is going to come stay with us for a week or so. I think he's coming today or tomorrow. That should be really great. His name's Elder Sena and he's a really good missionary. I've already heard a lot about him and I'm really excited and kinda relieved. I feel like he'll be able to help us and train us both a little bit, haha. 

President Bangerter visited Avaré this Sunday which was totally rad. He gave a great talk and helped everyone to feel a lot more comfortable about the change in leadership in the branch which is great. It was good to see him, and when he was talking to me he expressed his love for me and I felt the Spirit confirm to me that the Lord is pleased with my work. Even though I'm not perfect! Haha! So that's mission life for ya!

I think that's it for this week. Keep me posted on everything as always. Love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Sederholm

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

P-day 36: Day 258 - "I just wanna get it right, you know?"

I have been totally remiss and haven't posted this week's letter yet, not to mention last week's. So I'm going to start with last week's letter and we'll go from there.

In general, Nathanael is doing great but I sensed a little bit of discouragement in his letter. I'm glad that we get to email back and forth for a few minutes each week because we can chat about the things that are bothering him and help him to reconcile them. I think he is in a good place and is progressing nicely.

Here are a couple of pictures he shared with us.




Hello parents! Hi! I hope you guys are doing good!

It's been a pretty good week for me. This week has felt a lot longer than normal weeks but it's been chill. We've been working hard like crazy and I've been feeling a little discouraged on and off because we haven't had a lot of luck so far in terms of finding people to teach, teaching people and so on. 

The big news in the branch this week is that our super amazing branch president got released and put into the District presidency. He'll spend 2 weeks of every month in our branch still though which will be good. The problem is that our branch is basically in rebellion and one of the counselors said that he lost his testimony of the church and that he only believes in God but not in religion. Right on! So we're trying to deal with that too. Hopefully it's just a bunch of drama and nothing will actually happen. However our branch has a long history of having a lot of serious problems with basically everyone leaving the church, and then coming back, and then leaving again... so we'll see. It'll be ok. The good news is that Rosangela's husband, Luis, was called to be the new branch president and he's AMAZING. He already helps a ton and now it's gonna be even better. We'll see how it works out. Their family gave us a few potential references last week and we're going to contact them and it'll be great.

So on Saturday we took a bus to Botucatu (again) to go to the Botucatu district conference that was Saturday and Sunday. And tomorrow we have a Multizone in Piracicaba so we got permission from President Bangerter to stay here for P-Day. We're only going to get home on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, we're not sure yet. So that's crazy. It's all good though. On Saturday I was feeling pretty destroyed and discouraged but during the meeting on Saturday I felt the Spirit really strongly. I felt that I'm doing a lot of good for the mission and that I don't need to worry about that, and I also remembered the blessing that Elder Guimarães gave me when I got sick. (I'm better by the way!) He blessed me that I would be able to find the people that God is preparing for me to find and that I will be able to be a good example for my companions. I didn't think much of that blessing at the time but now that I'm training it makes a lot more sense. I worry a lot that I'm not doing enough to find people to teach, or that I'm messing up, but God has already promised me that I'll find the people who I'm supposed to find, who I'm here for. I'm doing my best so this promise is mine. I'm good to go and that helped me feel a lot better. I just wanna get it right, you know? Haha. So I felt really strongly that I seriously have nothing to worry about and that everything's going to be ok. That made me happy. 

Sounds like you guys are having a fun time. I had forgotten that today is memorial day. I hope you guys do fun stuff. Are you gonna do something with Marge? I'm on the record jealous. 

Love you guys!!! Have a great week!!!
Elder Sederholm

Monday, May 22, 2017

P-day 35: Day 251 - "God is watching out for me and putting people in my life who will help me."

I'm feeling grateful. Nathanael is having such a good experience and is able to influence others for good. I'm so proud of him. I'm grateful for his appreciation for Papa and Gale, and that he understands how blessed we are to have the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in our lives.

Enjoy his letter!


Hey!! So it's been a pretty dang great week! Pretty different as you guys can imagine but really good.

On Tuesday I said goodbye to Elder Guimarães and got a little teary eyed honestly. He taught me so much and we were like brothers at the end. He's doing good in his new area though. Tuesday I was super nervous. It was crazy. I felt like I did on my very first day in the field -- not knowing what to expect, excited, and super nervous haha. We went and picked up our companions and my new companion is Elder Hoch! He's from Rio Grande do Sul which is the most southern state in Brazil, he's 21 and is super excited. We don't have a lot of people to teach right now so we're in the process of trying to find people. We're talking to members and also knocking doors and just doing what we can. Yesterday it was raining like crazy and we visited a bunch of people who've already been taught and nobody let us in. But what can you do haha? It's all good. We try.

My comp is the best. I feel really lucky. He's a recent convert of 2 years and a few months, and he's cool. He likes to work, he talks to people a lot and he also does great stuff like cooking and cleaning (which is stuff I don't always do, haha, haha) so I'm grateful for that haha. 

Yesterday I talked in church. I hadn't had a single moment to prepare anything so I just grabbed a hymnbook (I forgot my scriptures and was on the stand already) and talked about missionary work. I felt like it went well. It was good for me too because I felt the spirit really strongly. I read the words to "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy". These are the words:

Brightly beams our Father's mercy
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

In the Portuguese version, the word "resgatado" which means "ransomed" is used, instead of the word "save" at the end. I got kinda emotional when I read that part. I talked about how I have been ransomed -- how because of my parents, leaders, and even people like the missionaries who baptized Papa and Gale, I was brought to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I talked about how I'm so grateful that I was ransomed, that we (in the church) have all been ransomed and I try to show my gratitude by sharing the gospel with others. And we all have that opportunity! So that was a really neat experience for me personally.

This week there were a couple of times when I was feeling really discouraged and had no idea at all what to do. It's a lot different being the leader of a companionship and it requires a lot of stuff. Those times I knelt down and said a prayer and God answered those prayers in really specific ways. Elder Hansen, our district leader now, has been giving me a lot of really good advice. He just finished training and he has been the answer to my prayers more than once. I've felt very grateful for him this week, and also grateful to know that God is watching out for me and putting people in my life who will help me. He never leaves me alone.

As far as training goes, I feel really confident in talking to people and teaching. The hardest part is knowing how to use my time in effective ways. But I'm learning and I have a while to get that down. For now all the Lord asks is that I try, which I find comforting.

Love you guys!! Talk to you soon!!

Elder Sederholm

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

P-day 34: Day 244 - "The Lord will never stop helping me as long as I seek Him."

Our Mother's Day chat with Nathanael was awesome! It was so good to see his face! I love that face!! How could you not love that face?!


Here are a few pictures that we either got from Nathanael or members who share the pictures on Facebook. Thank you to those who share online!! The first picture is a baptism that the other pair of Elders Nathanael lives with had this last week. Yay!




Thanks to Sister Bangerter (Nathanael's mission president's wife) for this next gem - Nathanael playing the piano and singing with the other Elders for Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to me!! Click on the link:


Enjoy his letter!

Hi parents!

So we talked yesterday but here I am again! I was so glad to see that you guys are doing good and are happy. That makes me feel really good. I worry a little bit sometimes and knowing you guys are chill helps me feel better. 

I'm nervous about being a trainer this transfer but I really feel like everything's going to be ok. I'm just going to use what I know and follow the pattern I've learned as a missionary of doing my best and always trying to seek and follow the Spirit. That's really helped me out a lot. Like I've mentioned I've had a lot of good feelings about this coming transfer and I feel like the Lord will never stop helping me as long as I seek Him. That being said I'm also FREAKED OUT haha. But only a little bit. Really I'll be fine.
Honestly, the news from Saturday night kinda erased the week from my brain. I don't even remember what happened. But it was a good week I think! Haha. I'm so dang excited to train. I'm just going to let myself be excited and not worry. It's all good. And I'll be living with Elder Hansen, the american, and he just finished training Elder Souza so he can really help me out. It's going to be ok. It's going to be ok. It's going to be ok! (I'm not freaking out, just affirming!)

I'm literally sitting here trying to remember what happened this week! Sorry I can't remember anything exciting! But oh well. The mission's great, the language is great, the culture is great, the people are great. I'm hoping to have more and more opportunities to teach. I'm praying that we can have progressing investigators that are going to go to church and be baptized. I'm praying I can touch people's hearts, bring the Spirit and help them feel and understand that they need this gospel, that it's a good thing and the right thing. Yeah, wish me good luck!! Woohoo!!

If you can't tell I'm really nervous! I think I need to laugh a little bit! Anyway love you guys so much!! Have a great week!!

Elder Sederholm

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

P-day 33: Day 237 - "It's our best, small efforts that the Lord uses to save souls."

Counting down the days until Mother's Day!! I'm so excited to talk to Nathanael! I'm glad that he is having opportunities to visit the beautiful places of Brazil. And I'm grateful for the members who care for the missionaries.

Enjoy his letter!

Hey guys! What a week!

Actually this week was normal. But it was really good to hear from you guys!! I hope you're doing well. I don't have time to respond to everything in your letters but I love to read them and miss just being able to talk to you guys. I'm doing good though.

I'm sending like 40 pictures to you guys this week. They are mostly all of our new house and the stuff we did last P-Day so it's not that exciting but you know. 






As far as Mother's Day goes, we're probably going to go to Nando's house. He cooks really well and is awesome, (and has 2 computers) so it should be great. If we don't go there we're going to Rosangela's. Either way we'll have a place. I'm pumped to talk to you guys. Can you believe it's already been 5 months since the last phone call?? Time really flies. It's one of the miracles of mission service, haha. 

Another week and we haven't been able to teach that many people or bring really anyone to church. However we're working hard and focusing on trying to visit and help less-active and active members. That's been a very satisfying experience. I worry sometimes but I feel strongly that the Lord is satisfied with the service I'm offering and wants me to feel good and just do my thing. So, I can do that haha. My fear of talking to people is disappearing. I feel confident in the language. This Thursday Elder Hansen and I did divisions together and taught a bunch of people and we didn't even speak English together. (At all, seriously! Just portuguese!) So we're feeling confident and happy.

On Tuesday I was studying the Book of Mormon and read Alma 37 where it talks about small and simple things and stuff like that. I've always found that scripture kinda annoying (don't know why) but when I read it I felt the Spirit comfort me and I was able to understand that even when it seems like my best efforts don't always produce that many results (or don't seem to), it's our best, small efforts that the Lord uses to save souls. Good news for me!

I had the feeling this week that a really special blessing is coming for me this next transfer. I have this feeling a lot actually (sometimes I think it's the Lord's way of telling me that being a missionary in itself is a special blessing, haha) but that's good news. At least I didn't have the feeling it would be terrible! ;)

One of the most special things about being a missionary for me is when you feel a lot of love from the people or for the people. This week we've spent a lot of time serving with Sister Rosangela and her family and on Sunday I had the feeling of being loved by them come over me so strong that I literally started crying. I don't think anyone noticed but it was embarassing haha. We're here to serve the people and when people go out of their way to help us it's just so dang nice and really touching. So, know we're being treated well.

We visited a reference from our branch mission leader this week and that was a really spiritual and neat experience. She told us she felt a great peace when we were with her and that she felt like we truly were representatives of Jesus Christ. She talked really openly with us and we invited her to church. Unfortunately she didn't go, but we're going to help and encourage her to go next week. I hope that works out.

That's really it I think. Love you guys tons!!! Have a great week!!!!!
Elder Sederholm

Thursday, May 4, 2017

P-day 32: Day 230 - "I've felt myself getting braver and braver..."

We heard that Monday was Worker's Day in Brazil, similar to our Labor Day, and because of that many moms on Facebook were saying that they weren't expecting to hear from their missionaries because the internet places were closed for the day. So when we got this email at about 4:15 in the afternoon we were really surprised and excited. It's short and sweet because he's busy, but that's how it should be. I love and miss him so much!!

Hey guys!

Sorry it's late! We've had a great but crazy P-Day which means that I'm writing you guys at night. Last night we took 2 buses to go to Botucatu again but it was really awesome this time -- we spent the whole day with President Sidnei (our branch president), his family, and another family in our branch, visitng waterfalls and other nature stuff. It was so dang fun and I'll send a lot of pictures. They might not all load today because we don't have much time but if not I'll send the rest next week. And Sister Rosangela sent you some pictures too Mom. [Here are some of the pictures that Sister Rosangela posted. It looks like they had so much fun! Thank you to her and her family for taking good care of our boys!]











So it's been a pretty normal and great week! I've had a lot of really good experiences. One of the coolest things was that we had Sister Marriott from the general YW presidency visit our mission and she was really awesome. I've been trying to seek and follow inspiration from the Spirit this week and I had some ideas I really liked during that meeting. Sister Marriott was really nice and we had a great experience.

I've felt myself getting braver and braver too. I talked to a guy on the bus about the church this week. That may not sound like a big deal but I was really nervous, but it went well. To me stuff like that is a miracle. We see stuff like that a lot. A lady also stopped us on the street the other day and asked us to teach her daughter. Haha. It's pretty fun how stuff like that works out.

My time is really short and I won't be able to talk but just want to say I love you guys and I'm doing well. Looking forward to Mother's Day. I really enjoyed your letters and the pictures. It sounds like you're all doing great.

I'll talk to you next week! Love you!

Elder Sederholm

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

P-day 31: Day 223 - "One step enough for me..."

As Nathanael reminded me, there are only three more weeks until Mother's Day and we get to talk with him again! I'm so excited for that!!

I know it's really easy for missionaries to measure success by how many baptisms they've had, but more and more the daily growth I'm seeing in Nathanael is so obvious to me. I'm proud of the man he is becoming. He is so sweet and sincere. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that from the time Nathanael was a little boy I've told him that I will consider him successful at whatever he accomplishes as long as he does it with kindness and he hasn't let me down. I'm very proud of his kind heart.

Hey!

I've missed you guys this week. This week was full of blessings but kinda bombed. Lots of good things and some challenges too haha. Challenges is definitely the right word because I know I'll be better for all the difficulties I have. Just gotta keep going. Ok -- so this week started with force (is that only a Brazil expression? I don't know) on Monday when we went to Botucatu so that my companion could go to his leadership meeting on Tuesday. On Tuesday I stayed with an elder in Botucatu that didn't want to work that day so we stayed at home and watched Shrek. We almost watched Transformers but I talked him out of it, haha. So that was kinda a crappy day. But that's ok! Wednesday was really good. We had a mission conference and I really enjoyed that. I got to see all my friends from the mission, including Elder Carlson who got here this transfer, and Elder Baldwin and Elder Work from the MTC. I really enjoyed that. Good times were had.

We came home Thursday, which was fine. However I don't know why but Friday especially and also Saturday I felt incredibly discouraged. It was like someone turned on a switch. I struggled a lot and for me those were some of the hardest days I've had in a while. I guess the mission stress combined with traveling and the extra pressure of receiving a bunch of instruction from President Bangerter (after a day like Tuesday even though I couldn't do anything) was just a lot to deal with. It also rained really hard all day Friday. It was a lot haha. But on Saturday we had a really cool experience!

We were in a part of the area we've never visited before, looking for a less-active member, when we saw a man and a woman in the street. The woman was talking frantically on her phone and asked us to help. The man was having convulsions (don't know how to spell) and so we helped him to sit down. The woman went to get help and while she was gone the guy started to get worse so we helped him lay down. We ended up giving him a blessing on the sidewalk. That was definitely one of the most general conference-y types of experiences I've had on my mission. I felt the Spirit really strongly and felt inspired to bless him that he would improve and that it would pass. He didn't get better right away but started to calm down a little bit. We were also able to talk to his family (who eventually came to pick him up) about the church. They didn't go but hey. And we're going to try to contact them again this week. It was neat because I was feeling really really down on myself at the exact moment we saw this guy but luckily I was prepared spiritually to help this guy and everything was ok. 

I also had the opportunity to give my companion a blessing on Sunday morning because he woke up feeling really sick. That was also a really special experience. I felt the Spirit so strongly. I love to give blessings. It's really humbling and I haven't done it that much but it's an opportunity to invoke the powers of heaven and invite the Spirit with the unique purpose of blessing someone else's life. Very amazing.

The thing about discouragement and stress is that the feelings make it seem like the sky is falling but in the quiet moments when I take time to ponder, I feel the Spirit tell me that everything is all right. I also receive specific instruction from time to time. I struggle sometimes to love the people, because the culture and language is so different, and I've been praying a lot for charity and help to love them so I can better serve them. On Sunday, I felt inspired to hold back my judgemental feelings towards them and let that go. To me, that was really practical advice that I'm trying to implement now. This morning I was feeling discouraged again but on my knees in a quiet moment I felt the peace of the Spirit and was impressed that the Lord is tutoring me and that the most important thing I can do is follow those promptings and do my thing. Growth truly is line upon line. I also read an article on LDS.org today called "What if the Answer is Peace?" or something like that. While reading that article I had the same feeling, and I almost felt as if the Lord asked me, "Why do you need to know the details?" 

I'm reminded of the hymn "Lead, Kindly Light." It says, "Lead thou my feet. I do not ask to see the distant scene/ one step enough for me." In Portuguese (just to brag that I remember, plus it's cool) it's "não peço luz a fim de longe ver/ somente luz em cada passo ter." I know the Savior lives. I know He loves me and that He's directing my paths. I don't see how all the little promptings are going to solve all my problems, and they probably won't right away, but that's the point. Growth is slow and we have to trust the Lord. I'm thankful that He's merciful enough to be patient with me, give me the light I have, and help me to understand the process more and more.

So I've rambled on a lot. The point is that I had a difficult week but I'm doing really well. Só alegria! I can't wait to talk to you guys soon. And don't forget, only 3 weeks till Mother's Day!!! Woohoo!!!! :)

Love you guys.

Elder Sederholm

P-day 30: Day 216 - "We see miracles on a daily basis here."

I've been super slow to get this published! This one is short but sweet. Nathanael is really just plugging along with mission life now and that makes me surprisingly happy and content. I'm happy that he's happy.

Hello! 

It looks like you guys had such a fun time in San Diego. I'm super jealous and glad you guys had fun. It's been a good week for me too. This week was kinda crazy because we had to travel again (and right now we're traveling again... sigh) but what can you do? That's the mission. We work when we can haha. But Easter was good, and we contacted a really cool reference yesterday. He was nice and said we can come back on Friday. I want to baptize this transfer. I'm determined!! I'm sick and tired of not baptizing. Haha. It's gonna happen.

My companion is great like always. I'm really happy to still be companions with him and everything. Our new house is also awesome. Sorry I'm not sending photos today. We're in Botucatu this week again and I don't have my camera. I PROMISE you guys will get a lot of fun pictures next week. Lots of fun stuff has happened!

I think a lot about my mission as a whole from time to time and feel a lot of peace. I feel like the Lord is directing me and giving me inspiration and I always do my best to follow it. We see miracles on a daily basis here. Yesterday we had 2 non-members come to church that we didn't even invite and made plans to contact them during the week. Pretty awesome! Our attendance was down because lots of active families traveled for Easter but I found out that we have officially doubled the branch's attendance in 1 quarter. I got here a little late but I've still been able to be a part of this miracle and I'm grateful for that. It's amazing the things that happen when everyone tries their best. That's all God asks of us, and He's really blessing us for doing that.

I'm happy. I feel more and more self-sufficient as a missionary all the time. I fasted this weekend and asked for a lot of blessings and I feel that the Lord has blessed me with those things, or is blessing me. I basically just asked for a lot of help repenting of little errors and things like that and I feel stronger now. Growth is a slow process I think but it's cool to see how much I've grown from the time that I got here. Can you believe it's been 7 months? Time really flies!

I love you guys sooooo much!! (big kiss noise) I hope you guys are doing good. Know that I'm doing well and feel happy and confident more and more. Things are going good.

I think that's it! Love you guys!! Can't wait to talk to you soon!!

Elder Sederholm

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

P-day 29: Day 209 - "I can rejoice and let go of my worries..."

This week, more than ever, I think Nathanael has lost himself in the work. It's so good to get his letters and see how well he's doing. He seems to have a lot of energy and excitement for the work. It makes me happy!

Enjoy his letter!

Hey guys!!

It's been a good week for us. I hope your guys' week was good too. It's been a good and crazy week. We moved houses, which took forever but was a good thing. I wish I had some pictures -- I left my camera at home and it's a crazy day so I don't have time to grab it. Sorry about that, I'll be sure to bring it next week for sure. 

So, the news you've been waiting for (maybe): no one got transferred! The 4 of us stayed in Avaré. I'm totally fine with that and actually really excited. And Elder Baldwin (my district leader in the MTC) is coming to our zone, too, so I'm excited for that. 

I wish I had a lot of very interesting or spiritual experiences to share but this week has been pretty ordinary and crazy. During the week we had to move like I said and we also had to travel to Botucatu because my companion had to do a baptismal interview at the last second for the zone leaders. Tonight we're going to Botucatu again and we won't get back until Wednesday! Craziness! Seems like there's always something going on that gets in the way of our work. We try though. I am so dang happy that I'm staying with Elder Guimarães. I had a neat experience with him at the beginning of the transfer that I don't think I mentioned. The first day of the transfer, I remember that I looked at his face and had the feeling I had already known him for a really long time -- like he was familiar to me. It was spooky! I wonder sometimes if I already knew him a long time ago (you know?) and we're just now meeting again. Who knows, but the point is that he's an awesome companion and I'm happy. I feel like I'm on track as a missionary too which is great. I'm going at my own pace for sure but I feel like everything is right. In general I'm relaxed in that sense though I sometimes feel impatient with myself but it's all good. For example, I was feeling emotionally and spiritually drained yesterday and in church I wrote down the following impressions: that I can rejoice and let go of my worries, that I did a lot of good things during the week and can focus on that aspect of things (instead of where I fell short), and I also wrote that I was feeling a lot of peace. These are all good signs. In short, I just feel good and I'm happy.

The branch here is doing good. We had an attendance of 87 yesterday which is crazy high! That's the big miracle we've had this week. It was branch conference but even not counting the leadership we had there from the District, we had an attendance of 77. Haha! That's 16 better than our best. That's just what we need here and we're super pumped about that too. Here's to more miracles in the next 5 weeks (this transfer is only 5 weeks).

It'll be good to talk to you. Mother's Day is only 5 weeks away as well. Not that I'm counting but I'm excited haha. It seems like the time is passing so quickly. I try not to count and honestly I'm starting to forget. Life feels normal now. It doesn't feel like I'm "on a mission," it just feels like I'm living my life. I guess that means I'm pretty much adjusted. Coming home is probably going to be really rough, haha. At least I don't have to worry about that until next year!

Did you guys ever feel discouraged about a lack of progressing investigators on your missions? I feel good but we don't have any investigators who are progressing and I feel sad about that sometimes. I know I'm having a good mission experience but sometimes I wonder if I'll ever have very many chances to see the gospel change lives. I guess we'll see. Maybe I panic because the time is passing so fast but sometimes I think to myself, man, I only have a little more than a year left! Where are all the experiences I was hoping to have? But that's just how the Paçoca crumbles I guess. (That's a Brazil joke) It's all good. 

By the way, I think I might come back and live in Brazil after I go to college. We'll see. Life here is so happy! Just a thought though. Who knows how things will work out? Don't let me scare you guys haha.

I think that's about it for this week. Love you guys tons. Can't wait to talk to you soon!!

Elder Sederholm

Friday, April 7, 2017

P-day 28: Day 202 - "Sometimes someone says something that changes your life..."

They were able to baptize Fernanda, Flavia's daughter, this week!


Nathanael seems to be doing really well. He even said he's gained about 5 pounds back. I'm glad to hear he's eating better than he was. Thank you to the members for taking such good care of him and the other missionaries in the area!

A few pictures:




Enjoy his letter!

Hi guys!!

Hope you guys are doing good! This week was good for me. It was kinda crazy too -- we had interviews with President Bangerter, conference and so on. As a result we didn't have a lot of time for other stuff. However everything went well with the baptism so that was great! And the Lord is blessing our branch, because an investigator of the missionaries in Botucatu (a city nearby) who has a baptismal date marked for this Saturday is moving here this week. Lots of baptisms, haha. Hopefully everything goes well with that.

I really liked conference. My favorite session was Saturday morning. I've heard people talking before about how sometimes it seems like the speaker is talking right to you. Well on Sunday morning I had an experience like that -- during Elder Nelson's talk I felt like he was reaching out of the screen, grabbing my shoulders and screaming at me. In a positive way haha. He described a feeling I've had a lot on my mission in a way that even I haven't been able to articulate. I wish I had the talk with me (it hasn't been uploaded yet) but what I understood was that when we don't know what to do in a given situation but the Lord knows that our desire is to do good, He will give us the knowledge and power we need to do what's right. I found that to be so dang comforting. My crying frequency has diminished in the last few weeks but I literally cried for like 5 minutes after the talk ended. Stupid right? But I just had this moment when I wanted to shout, "I knew it! I knew the Lord's grace is sufficient for us when our hearts are in the right place, even when we don't know what to do and when we feel weak. I knew it!" I just needed to hear someone say it. Sometimes someone says something that changes your life and I already know that this is one of those times. So yeah, conference was good. I also had a strong feeling of peace. I feel like the Lord is proud of me and that I can be confident. I'm thankful for that.

I wish there was more I could think to tell you guys. The transfer is coming up next week. I think my companion's going to get transferred so we'll see. 

Sorry I don't always respond specifically to everything you guys say. I love reading your emails and just want to talk to you guys about every little detail but it just doesn't work like that I guess! Which is a bummer, but what can you do? :)

This morning we played football with Batman again. I can catch the ball sometimes and I scored a couple touchdowns which was cool. However I definitely don't live up to the American standard. Oh well, at least I'm good at math right?


Mom to answer your questions, my health and stuff is good. There's a member in the branch who sews and she's adjusting my bigger pairs of pants so that they're not super baggy, which is great. I think I'm at a pretty stable weight. I actually gained like 5 pounds in the last month or so. Overall I feel good. As far as a package goes, I'm always up for getting a package! I'll think of some stuff I need and let you guys know. It's mostly just little things I'm wanting honestly.

Mom I hope everything went well for you with conference. We only had a couple problems with streaming, which I think were internet related. I bragged a little bit. I also told a bunch of missionaries in the zone that when I was a little kid President Hinckley let me assign missionaries to missions and send out calls. Apparently a lot of them thought I was serious. Haha. I won't abuse my power too much of having the coolest family ever, just a little bit!

I think that's it. Love and miss you guys.

Elder Sederholm

Monday, March 27, 2017

P-Day 27: Day 195 - My companion is "helping me to really become who I want to be as a missionary."

Nathanael's letter is short and sweet this week. He sounds great! I'm so glad that he seems to be settling in to mission life.

Enjoy!


Dear Mom and Dad,

I hope your guys' week was really good. I miss you guys a lot. I'm doing really well out here on my mission but sometimes I feel the distance emotionaly and physically between us and I feel sad. You guys are really important to me. However I'm glad we get to talk every week and just know that I'm very happy and doing really well.

I LOVE my companion. Seriously he's the best. He's helping me to really become who I want to be as a missionary. This week he gave me a lot of opportunities to be a "cara de pau" which means stick face and is a person who says what he wants to say without being embarrassed. He's helping me do a lot of stuff, take the initiative, teach with confidence and power, talk to people and be more than just a quiet junior companion. It's totally awesome and I love it. He is nice and believes in me and I'm just so grateful to have a companion like that. It's what I've been needing.

I'm glad you guys are doing well. It'll be fun to have Grandma out there and it sounds like life is just normal and good which makes me happy.

I feel good, guys. It's been a good week. I spent a little money on an awesome chess set.


Flavia's daughter, Fernanda, wasn't baptized this week because of some family drama that happened: Flavia's mom said that Fernanda couldn't be baptized. But Flavia really stepped up and said that she's the mom and she can make that decision, so now Fernanda will get baptized after all, this Saturday. That should be excellent.

I brag to everyone that my mom is doing general conference. I hope that's going well. Mom you rock. 

Dad you rock too. It seems like every week you have a new responsibility or opportunity. I'm so proud of you (are you allowed to be proud of your parents? I don't see why not) and think the world of you, and Mom too. I miss you guys!

Thanks for your letters as always. I think that's about it for this week. This coming week should be more eventful and exciting. We have interviews with President Bangerter and we might move houses which should be cool. Have a good week!

Love you guys,
Elder Sederholm

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

P-day 26: Day 188 - "I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to really come to know my Father in heaven..."

I'm grateful that Nathanael is in a good place. He is happy and working hard and excited about what he is doing. As a mom, that's all I really want for him. It sounds like he is still having experiences that will help him grow and progress which also makes me happy.

I'm grateful that Heavenly Father loves each of us enough and is aware of each of us enough that He allows us to have experiences that stretch and grow us. Without those struggles, we would never become the people He envisions that we could be. It really is a sign of His confidence in us when we are required to do hard things. I'm proud of Nathanael for humbly understanding that his struggles will lead to growth and that they are a sign that he is loved by his Heavenly Father.

Enjoy his letter!

Hello parents!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have seen so many miracles this week. Uh, to avoid using many words...


Woohoo!!!!!!!! We baptized our investigator Flavia!! And boy let me tell you it was a miracle. She had a lot of struggles with the word of wisdom but we've been working with her. We were really worried she was going to fall back into her old habits this weekend but she stayed strong and well, you can see the picture. She said she felt really light and peaceful and stuff like that. So awesome!! Stuff like this is so great. I can't even explain it.

I had a couple of pretty special moments this weekend. When I saw Flavia get out of the car on Saturday night (she was about 10 minutes late to the baptism and I was SO WORRIED she wasn't going to show up) I felt such joy. I don't know if I've ever felt so much joy in my whole life. I had a similar experience on Sunday right after she was confirmed. I felt so much joy. I felt the Spirit really strongly and I had the very strong feeling that I had a very real part in her making this decision and I have made a positive mark on her eternal life. It's indescribable. I have never felt that feeling before and I literally don't know if I've ever felt so happy in my whole life. I can't emphasize this enough. What an incredible weekend.

The adversary really worked on us this week. Elder Guimarães told me on Friday that this had been the worst week of his whole mission. For me it wasn't quite that bad but it was difficult. The work was hard for us. But we pushed through and our hearts were in the right place and it was really amazing to see that we had miracles happen despite our imperfections. I'm so thankful for that.

I hope you guys had a great week. It sounds like you're doing good. As always I miss you guys, sometimes a lot, but we're all in good hands. 

I've discovered something about my mission, or at least it's something I'm thinking about. My mission has been stripping down all the stuff that's not "me." I'm figuring out who I really am, and unfortunately it's kind of disappointing. I'm realizing that I'm a pretty normal dude -- pretty average, pretty disobedient, pretty proud, pretty ugly (just kidding), and pretty normal to sum things up. And what's troubling to me is that I'm very imperfect. I'm a sinner. At least I'm a repentant sinner, but man the Lord has really been very blunt in showing me my weaknesses. (This is hard to explain in english!) When I was set apart president Cutler blessed me that the roots of my testimony would grow deeply on my mission and that this would bless me to be strong during the hard parts of my life. That made me a little nervous at the time because when I went on my mission I had a strong testimony and I knew it! But here I'm on my own more than ever. Now it's just me and the Lord most of the time. And my relationship with Heavenly Father is becoming so personal as a result of this, which puts a lot more responsibility on my shoulders. It's a weighty privelige but it makes a man realize how weak and sinful he really is. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to really come to know my Father in heaven even more. And I really feel like even though I'm weak and normal and blah blah blah, this mission can be the stage where a lot of these discovered weaknesses can become strengths through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I hope. I'll keep you posted on the progress. 

I hope all that makes sense. What I'm trying to say is that I feel like the Lord is just trying to "clean house" in terms of my personal growth, that it's a process, and that I shouldn't be discouraged. And along the way, I'm growing closer to Him. What a blessing!

Love you guys. I'll talk to you soon.
Elder Sederholm

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

P-day 25: Day 181 - "Só alegria!!!"

Nathanael sounds really great again this week! It makes me happy. And I'm really glad that he got his package - finally!!! I'm grateful that he got it and that everything seems to be in it. Thank you for supporting him. As he says at the end of his email, getting letters and emails from home always makes him happy.

Enjoy his letter!
____________________________

Hello!!!!!!!

How are you guys doing?? It was great to get your emails as always. I totally forgot that Pi Day was tomorrow. It's crazy how you start to forget stuff like that after a while. The work is going great. On Tuesday we had a Multizona activity so that kinda estragou (destroyed, haha) our week. We left on Sunday night to get to Botucatu, stayed there Monday, traveled to Piracicaba and then back to Botucatu on Tuesday, came back to Avaré on Wednesday only to go to Arandu (a different city that's part of our area) and back, and then we visited Arandu again on Friday. So it's been a kinda crazy week but we're doing what we can. Between us and the other guys we had 3 investigators in sacrament meeting including 2 that will probably (hopefully!!!!!!) be baptized on Saturday. We'll see. She (Flavia) struggles with the Word of Wisdom but has a testimony and knows she needs to be baptized. Her daughter, Fernanda, is 8 and... is 8. So if Flavia gets baptized she will too, haha. We're really excited about that. 


The members are awesome here and the leadership is really excited to get working with us. We had ward council yesterday and got organized, and yesterday to bond as a branch we played football (the American kind) with the branch president and the first counselor. I'll send a picture. The first counselor is the bald guy and everyone calls him Batman. 


We're working a lot with less active members to try to help them come back to church and get referrals. That family that came to church last week is really great too. Turns out they're not in my area but Elders Hansen and Souza are working with them and at least the mom will almost definitely be baptized next week, which is rad. Só alegria!!! Being a missionary is so fun! There are a lot of difficulties but lots of blessings too.

Lately I've been struggling with the feeling that I don't do enough -- for example, I don't tend to talk to that many people around me, though I've been working on my confidence in lessons which has been great. But when I pray for guidance I tend to get little "tips" from the Spirit and I'm following those instead of just trying to be perfect now. For example I got a little impatient the other day and I had the feeling to just let it go. That sounds really small but it's really turned my perspective around in terms of how I do a couple things and now I'm a slightly better missionary. So stuff like that is really positive and good. Sometimes I feel like I can never possibly measure up to what I imagine that the Lord expects of me but I know that's where grace comes in. It's all good really. I'm very happy and life is good.

I got my package!!!!!!! And everything was in it, I think, sunglasses, credit card, blanket and everything else. It's been great. That dang blanket is the best. And I look like MIB when I use my sunglasses (or maybe I just look stupid, I can't decide) so it's just the best. If it's all right with you guys I'm going to spend some money to buy some pants and a couple other things I need today. My stuff is kinda getting worn out after 6 months (#6months) so (haha) that's starting to become semi urgent.


This is gross but I finally (#hallelujah #miraclesarereal) dug out my ingrown tonail that I've had since December. It feels so much better. I was so happy when I got it that I almost cried. I stayed up till 11:30 digging it out, so it was kinda a struggle, but I didn't have to go to a brazilian hospital so it was all worth it. Did you know that they don't use anesthetic here? 


I got a couple letters -- one from Benson that I loved and a letter from Maren Rowan in the ward. I'll write Benson but let the Rowans know because I don't have a way to contact them please. Honestly I cried a little bit. It feels good to hear from people at home always. 

I think that's basically everything. There's a lot to say actually but after a while I end up just writing too much. Oh, and I'm so excited that Hailee's going on a mission!! She'll be great. Just wanted to mention that too.

Love you guys.
Elder Sederholm