Monday, July 31, 2017

P-day 45: Day 321 - "I feel very blessed."

Here's Nathanael's last letter. Sounds like he had a fun p-day!

Hey guys,

This week has been good for me. I'll start with today and go backwards. Today we got permission to go the mall (Dom Pedro) in Campinas, which is outside of our mission, and we spent the whole afternoon there. It was so dang awesome haha. We took a bunch of pictures and I'll send them to you at some point. It felt so much like being at home that it was weird. I got to eat Taco Bell (did you know that this city is the only place in Brazil that has Taco Bell, literally? awesome) and KFC. It was rad. I also finally got to buy myself a Japanese to Portuguese dictionary to entertain myself at night. I don't know if I mentioned it but I've been learning Japanese at night to have fun the last little while. It's nice. The dictionary was about 100 reais (like 40 bucks) so count it as my birthday present for myself. (?!) I also cut my hair and it ended up kinda... too worldly... I don't know, I kinda feel like a rebel, but it'll work out haha.

On Sunday our investigator that talked to us on the bus a couple weeks ago, Edson, went again, and after church he asked us how he can know when he needs to be baptized. Yeah! That really surprised me. So he's gonna have his baptismal interview tomorrow. I hope that all works out ok, and I feel very blessed.

During the week I felt totally destroyed and exhausted. As you guys know I've been struggling a lot. I'm trying to stay obedient, work hard, love the people, and take care of myself. There's a lot we can talk about, but for now the point is that I feel like I'm hanging on ok most of the time. I get down sometimes but during the day you just gotta keep doing your best. I'm not getting everything right but hopefully I'm at least going in the right direction. Sometimes I wish you guys were here and we could just have a real face to face chat and I could just explain everything. Something I've learned about my mission is that life here is full of choices between more or less bad and more or less bad, and not really between good and bad. You know what I mean? Do you guys think that life in general is really like that? It's so hard to see through the fog sometimes, because I really really really wanna get it all right and I just can't. Anyway, food for thought.

Love you guys. It was fun to see the pictures you all sent. Miss you and hope you guys have a fun week. 

Elder Sederholm

Monday, July 24, 2017

P-day 44: Day 314 - "It's been a good week for me."

As we chatted a little more, it became obvious that Nathanael is struggling a little. He's going through the classic mid-mission slump, but he'll be okay. We got lots of pictures this week so I'm going to include some of them here. We love you Nathanael! You've got this!!


It's been a good week for me. We've been working a lot with members, challenging them to share the gospel and stuff like that. That's been really great. We also (a couple weeks ago) had a guy talk to us on the bus, and we've been teaching him and he went to church on Sunday. I'm happy about that. Yesterday was my companion's birthday so some investigators and members threw 2 separate parties for him, and that was really awesome. Things have honestly been pretty normal around here, so there's not much to say haha. I'm excited for my birthday which is coming up in a few weeks. I came across a Japanese book of mormon so at night I've been trying to learn Japanese to entertain myself. It's really hard though haha.

Sounds like Shakespeare festival was fun. I'm super jealous of course but happy you guys had that experience. Mom, your comment about cake made me laugh because basically all of the cities I've lived in have been pretty much like that. Super small towns. This city right now is a pretty decent size though.

Sorry I don't have much to say :( I'm happy to talk to you guys though, and it'll be good to chat back and forth a little bit. Miss you guys tons. Hope you all have a great Pioneer Day! Love you guys!
Elder Sederholm

Monday, July 17, 2017

P-day 43: Day 307 - "I know it's the Lord's grace that makes the difference..."

I've noticed that Nathanael has been feeling a little down. I remember going through a hard patch right at the middle of my mission too. I think it's normal but still hard, and even harder to watch your son go through. Love you Nano!!

Hey guys,

I hope you are doing well. It's been kind of a hard week for me but I'm doing ok. We had a multizona on Wednesday that was nice but also really overwhelming for me, and during the week we had a really hard time finding people to teach. The woman that we've been teaching, Mercia, told us this week that she doesn't want to get baptized after we challenged her to pray about the book of mormon. She told us she believed everything we said except for that, and that she believes that her church and our church are both right. That's a common belief here in Brazil. Maybe someday she'll be more prepared to receive the gospel.

This week I'm going to Piracicaba to renew my visa! Actually I'm going tonight and I'll come back tomorrow night. That should be fun. I've been feeling a little discouraged the last couple of days, even though our week wasn't all bad, so maybe it will be good to change things up for a day. We'll see. It just hit me the other day that I really want to baptize people, really really bad, so I can help them, and despite all my efforts to do that I'm just NOT GETTING IT. I think my companion's getting discouraged too, and I think he's frustrated with life and a little bit with me too, and I feel kinda crappy for those reasons. Sorry to use the word crappy but that's accurate. I'm trying not to get discouraged but you know. Anyway I'm feeling a little homesick too which is normal and not a big deal, I've been thinking a lot about video games and other non mission related stuff and I've basically found myself wanting to be in other places. All this is probably normal, I guess. I can't decide if the Lord is trying to teach me something, or if I really just suck as a missionary haha, or what. Like on Sunday we only had 2 people at church and I really wanted more, and I also slept in a little bit, and I don't know if more people didn't go to church because I slept in -- do you think if I had woken up on time, we would have had a miracle and they would have gone? I know it's the Lord's grace that makes the difference but it seems like everyone around me baptizes and has success and there are so many things I should be doing that I'm not doing, and so many things I shouldn't be doing that I am doing, and at what point will I be good enough to have the miracles I need to get the baptisms? Do you know what I mean?

I'm a little stressed but don't worry, it really was a good week and I love the members, our investigators that we do have and the other missionaries here. I'm happy and I feel like everything's going to be ok, I just don't really know what my part in that is. Sometimes I want this mission to end quickly so I won

[he accidentally sent the email without finishing it, here is the end]

what I was saying is that sometimes I want this mission to be over soon so I won't have to ask myself that question anymore. Well that's all that's really on my mind I think. In other news president bangerter is letting us listen to non-church music that fits within the guidelines now, so I'm downloading a ton of beethoven. Send good music suggestions!

Love you guys. Hope you have a great week and talk to you soon!

Elder Sederholm

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!!


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!


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