April 15, 2017


Hey World!
This week went pretty well!
As for office work, I have been trying to get settled out the situation of a few packages that some parents sent their missionaries. Sometimes, parents send boxes to their missionaries, and it gets up to a $250 tax on it! There is a way to request a review of the tax, basically asking for it off because we are missionaries. Sometimes they take off the tax, sometimes not. I basically have to gather a bunch of information, and fill out a bunch of papers. I am working on 4 boxes right now, but so far nothing has been taken off!
We went and taught the family of Sheila and Lucio again, and they are awesome! Lucio and the two kids all really want to get baptized, but Sheila just doesn’t really have a testimony yet. We talked with them about that, and left some reading in the Book of Mormon for her to read and pray about. They really like the church, the missionaries, and the members, but they all need testimonies to be able and get baptized!
We had a family home evening last night with a single woman in the ward, and her investigating friend, and talked about having Christ as our focus. From what I understood, she also needs to learn more about the restoration of the gospel, and pray more sincerely about it. But, we all ate food and chocolate afterwards, so it was good!
We found a really cool barbershop here, so I decided to get my hair cut there! They have massage chairs, a pool table, playstation 4, free drinks, and a bunch of cool stuff like that. Elder Ferreira, one of the other missionaries here in the office, convinced me to do some chemical hair straightening treatment thing. I think it turned out pretty well! I’ll attach some pictures!
Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend! Remember what Easter is all about! I know that Jesus Christ died for us, but that he rose on the third day, and today, he lives!!!!!
Love,

Your favorite missionary,
Élder Spencer Reece Peterson

April 8, 2017

Hey Guys!!!!

This week was a pretty normal week!!
I enjoyed General Conference last weekend, and it was cool to hear that there will be a another temple in Brazil! I go into every General Conference weekend waiting to hear them announce a new temple in Iowa, but I think that there is still some work left before that happens!
I really enjoyed Elder Valeri V. Cordón’s talk, ‘The Language of the Gospel’. I think since I am in a different culture, speaking another language, I can really relate to the example in his talk! I have noticed in my life when I am studying the gospel, I am still ‘fluent’ in the gospel, and still have the spirit with me. The same has been for me and Portuguese. When I am studying and practicing, I am speaking well. When I don’t practice, I get worse. I have even seen this with English! After so long of not speaking English, my English is not as good as you would think!!
I have been working really hard in the office to stay organized and finish everything on time. I have been managing to to get everything more organized from when the last secretary was here. I am trying to get everything ready for when I have to teach someone else in June how to do all this for when I go home. I am trying to make it easier for him to understand everything, and I think I am doing a good job so far.
This week we had a little more time to go out and visit people, and we went and taught the family of Sheila and Lucio. They have been ‘investigating’ the church for a while, and we got to know them better. They still have a few things to resolve, but we will work with them more to help them stop drinking/smoking.
A family of recent-converts that we visited is Patricia and her two kids, Stephanie and Ryan. They really liked the other missionaries that were here before us and that left recently, so we got to know them a little more, and showed them a Book of Mormon example of when the missionaries change! It was in the time of the sons of Mosiah and Alma the Younger.
That is basically all that happened this week!!
I hope all of you guys have a great week!!!
Love,
Your favorite missionary,
Élder Spencer Reece Peterson
P.S. – Sorry for the lack of pictures, I will try and take some more this week!!

April 1, 2017

Sorry this picture is a from a few weeks ago, but this was our “Mission Tour” with Elder Robbins of the seventy. The whole mission is there (with only like 40 people missing). I am in the top row.

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Hey Guys!!!

 

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I’ve written, so I will try and remember everything that has happened since I last wrote!

 

My last week in Saco dos Limões was busy. We left Saco dos Limões on Wednesday, and already headed off to the center of Florianópolis. Because of transfers, the last week of the transfer and the first week of the transfer are always really busy! President usually gives us the list of transfers on Tuesday, and then the assistants start making the transfer schedule. They have to arrange at what time people will leave their area and go to their next. That took about 2 days, and then they gave that to me on Thursday, so I could start buying the bus passes for everyone. That took me all of Thursday.

On Friday, it was a holiday here in Florianópolis, so I wasn’t able to buy tickets. I spent the day printing things for the new missionaries to sign when they got here.

 

On Saturday, the 3 missionaries going home from the office started packing their bags and getting ready to go home. I then started cleaning up the house a bit and started unpacking my suitcases. I also did a little bit in the office to get ready for the new missionaries getting here.

 

On Sunday, we went to church here in the center, and met some of the members of the ward.  Because of the office work, we only eat lunch with the members on Sundays, so we went and ate lunch with a family in the ward after church. We visited some members afterwards that the other missionaries in the office had been teaching.

 

On Monday, it was the real first day alone as the executive secretary. I mostly spent the day buying bus tickets and doing last minute preparations for transfers. That night, we ate dinner with the missionaries going home at President Silva’s house.

 

Tuesday was probably one of the busiest days ever! Missionaries started going to the airport already at 6:00 am, and then I was in the office getting everything ready for the arrival of the new missionaries. They got to the office around 9:30 am, and all the secretaries gave a training to them. I explained a little about the mission, and what I do as Executive Secretary. It was really funny to see all the Americans, fresh from the US, and not able to speak like anything in Portuguese! They were trying really hard to understand the other secreatries as they learned about the mission. On of the best parts of each transfer is when the new missionaries get to the mission. Then it reminds you how far you’ve come!

 

I frantically ran around grabbing people’s documents, passports, visa papers and random other documents for a couple hours. I scanned in the Brazilians’ documents, because I had to give those back. I just kept the foreigners’ documents so that I could scan them later.

At the lunch with the new missionaries, I started telling them about something called açai, which is a frozen fruit dessert thing, that they have here in Brazil, and that we were going to eat for lunch. They looked at me like I was weird or stupid or something, and then told me that they have açai in the US! So, apparently in these 2 years that I have been gone, açai has become the new Frozen Yogurt or something trendy like that!

On Wednesday, I spent the day scanning in documents and getting things ready to go to the Federal Police Station, to request that the new missionaries addresses be changed to Florianópolis from São Paulo. I also picked up some identity cards for other missionaries.

The rest of this last week, I spent getting some reservations and other things ready, because I needed a bunch of signatures from President before he traveled for zone conferences. Everything was going great and on schedule until yesterday, when the internet stopped working! So, yesterday I was really limited in the work because of that! It makes me realize how much we all depend on the internet!!

This upcoming week, we will have more time to actually do some evening proslyting, so that will be awesome! So, instead of some cool teaching stories, I’ll bear my testimony!

In this time of General Conference, I am really grateful for living prophets! I know now, more ever that God works through living apostles and prophets, and that he inspires them for our days! I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that he provides a way for all of us to return and live with our Heavenly Father again!

I hope that everyone has a great week, and that everyone takes some time to watch General Conference!!!

Love,

Your favorite missionary,

Élder Spencer Reece Peterson

March 20, 2017

Hey guys!

This last week was good!
This week, we had a ‘Mission Tour’ on Thursday. Basically, one of the church leaders back from the US (Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder Aidukaitus of the Seventy) came to our mission and talked to us, and gave a training.
Before I explain that though, I will explain Wednesday. I took advantage that the entire mission came to Florianópolis, and took three new Americans in the mission to get registered and get some other legal stuff done. I first took them to the Federal Police station and got them registered here in Brazil. Then after that, I took them to make a CPF number (which is basically a social security number, just less important and less secret). Then we went to some legal place to have them sign papers and make copies of thier documents, to basically give me all legal rights to act in their names and do stuff for them. It lasted the whole day, and I was proud that I didn’t screw anything up.
On Thursday, like I said, we had our ‘Mission Tour’. It was only a 2 hour meeting, but it was good either way. Elder Robbins talked about a few missionary work experiences, and how we need to share the gospel with all people. I had a good time, and was glad that all the bus times and tickets worked out. I had to arrange buses for the entire mission of 160 missionaries to come from all over that state here. It was stressful, but it got done.
We taught Lucas and Aline again on Saturday, and finished the Plan of Salvation. Lucas is understanding basically everything we teach him, and is understanding really well! Aline will have her baby any day now, and they are also getting ready to get married. Lucas is excited to be baptized, and I am excited for him. Me and Elder F. Santos are moving to the center of the city this week though, so now we won’t be teaching them anymore, and other missionaries will be teaching him.
But, I am starting my last week of training, and am excited for the next 4 months!
Hope everyone is doing well!!!
Love,
Your favorite missionary,
Elder Spencer Reece Peterson

March 13, 2017

Hey Guys!!!

This week was pretty good!
As my training time is winding down in the office, I am trying to learn/understand everything that I possibly can before Elder Meredith goes home. I feel like I am understanding the majority though!
This upcoming week we are going to have a ‘Mission Tour’ here in our mission. Basically, a member of the presidency of the seventy and a member of the seventy (church leaders from Salt Lake City) are going to come and visit our mission. President got permission to being the entire misison to Florianópolis for the first time ever, to have one big meeting with them. It is going to be pretty cool, but there is a lot of preparatin behind it!
I spent a good part of the week organizing all of the travel stuff. I had to reserve 4 tour buses to bring the misisonaries here, and also bus tickets to get all the missionaries together in the cities that the buses will pass. So, after hours of calls and internet searches, Elder Meredith and I finally got everything reserved and ready for the missionaries to come and go from Florianópolis!
Since here in two weeks we will have our transfers in the mission, I have been trying to get all the things ready for the new missionaires that will arrive in the mission. I have to get a bunch of materials ready for them when they get here, and a bunch of papers to sign. On the day that they get here, I will be taking care of all of their documents and legal papers, so I have to have everything ready!
We are still teaching Lucas and Aline, and it is going well! This week we taught them about the ressurection and the final judgement. Lucas is understanding everything well, and continues to ask a lot of questions! They are getting marriage papers ready, and Lucas is looking for a job, so we are trying to help them with both of those things.
Today I received my plane itinerary for going home! I will be leaving on July 25th, and getting home on July 26th. I will spend the night on the plane! Even though that is still like 4 months away, I am pretty excited! It is weird to think about too!
Being on a mission has for sure helped my testimony grow stronger. I have spent a year and 7 months inviting people to find out for themselves about God and his church, and I can say that I myself have a strong testimony that Jesus Christ lives and that his church is restored and on the earth today! This life is the time we have to prepare and progress, and I know that the Lord’s work is the most important work that there is! After watching so many people learn and progress in the gospel, I know the power that God has in others’ lives.
That is basically all for this week! I will let everyone know how these next couple weeks go!
Love your favorite missionary,
Élder Spencer Reece Peterson

March 6, 2017

Hey Guys!

This week went by pretty fast, but was pretty good!
I am still learning a lot here in the mission office, and am getting the hang out it. Elder Meredith and I went to the federal police station to get some documents for some missionaries and he showed me where to go to renew visas, register people in the country, and a bunch of other stuff! He also showed me how I can register people in the federal police system to mark them appointments there to do all the visa stuff. There are so many people trying to get an appointment at the federal police that I am marking appointments there for the end of August. So, it is pretty backed up there. If I don’t pay attention of the federal police website, an opening can come up, and be gone in a few hours, so I have to keep my eye out for stuff that happens there!
I learned that if I don’t mark someone an appointment and take them to renew their visa, the church people in São Paulo will eventually take the missionary out of the mission, fly them to São Paulo using our mission’s funds, and personally renew the missionary’s visa. So basically, I could screw up pretty bad if I don’t pay attention to how long the missionaries have been in the mission!
This week we had a zone conference with President Silva, and there were about 50 missionaries here in Florianópolis.  I took advantage of having a bunch of missionaries there, and had a bunch of missionaries sign some documents that I need to send in to São Paulo. Other than that, the zone conference was good!
Saturday was Luiza’s baptism, and it went pretty well! She decided to only invite her family and friends, but she must have a lot of friends, because there was like 30 people there! She seemed pretty happy to finally be getting baptized!
We taught Lucas and Aline yesterday, and continued teaching them about the Plan of Salvation. We go really slow with them because they always have a bunch of questions about everything. Despite going slowly, they seem to be understanding everything really well! Lucas is excited to be baptized and they are working on getting things ready to get married here soon!
Yesterday after lunch, a member decided to show us some cool scenery here in our area. It is a little beach with a small island out in the ocean. It was on a street called “Rua da Praia” which literally means “Street of the Beach”, so it seems to be pretty self-explanatory.
That is pretty much all that happened this week! If anyone ever has any questions or something to ask, feel free to e-mail me to ask!
And for those that were wondering, I have 4 and a half months left on the mission. I will be arriving home on July 26th!
Hope everyone has a good week!
Love your favorite missionary,
Élder Spencer Reece Peterson

February 27, 2017

Hey Guys!

This week was pretty good! I am still learning how to do everything here in the office, so most of the week was spent in the office! I learned a little more how to renew people’s visas and other small responsibilities I have during the transfers.
Related to the work, Elder F. Santos and I are teaching a guy named Lucas. He is going to get married to a member, and is pretty interested in the church. He and his mom, Mari, both have a bunch of questions about the church. We are teaching them on Saturday afternoons when we aren’t in the office. They live a little far away, so we take a bus each week to go teach them.
Another person we are teaching is a girl named Luiza. She is a niece of a member here, and was already being taught by a few other missionaries before us. We invited her to be baptized, and marked the date for March 4th. Even though we didn’t do most of the teaching, it is pretty cool to see someone who has a desire to follow Christ’s example and is excited to be baptized!
This week here in Brazil was Carnival, which is a pretty crazy holiday. It is a lot of drinking and partying and other stuff like that. It started on Friday, and goes until Tuesday. There were a bunch of guys dressed like women and a lot of drinking, so we are trying to stay away from some of our area where it is like that!
That is pretty much all that happened this week! Sorry if it isn’t too exciting. Office work might be fun for me, but not necessarily exciting to hear about!
Hope everyone has a good week!
Your favorite missionary,
Elder Spencer Reece Peterson

February 20, 2017

This week went by soooooo fast!!!!

Being in the mission office makes the whole week go by really fast. This past week I spent a lot of time in the office to be able to learn how to do all the stuff I need to do. Elder Meredith showed me how to take care of all the documental/legal stuff when all of the new missionaries got to the mission office this past week, and then also showed me how to buy bus passes, plane tickets, resreve hotels, order nametags, and do a bunch of other things! I think I am learning well how to do all of it, and since I still have 5 weeks left to be trained, I think I will get the hang out it!
In our area of prosylyting, Elder F. Santos and I are getting to know the area well. Our area is called “Saco dos Limões” and we will actually only be here for 5 more weeks before being transfered to the actual secretaries house. We traveled to a part of our area far away to teach a guy named Lucas and his mom, Mari. They had a bunch of questions, and were understanding everything really well! They would ask their questions, and after thinking about it for a second, would already respond to themselves. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation, and they understood it well!
After we got our apartment all clean, we have basically settled in. It is way cleaner and more organized now. I am trying not to take much out of my suitcases, cause I know that I will be moving apartments here in 5 weeks.
My area here actually does have some pretty big hills, so I am not completely free from hills! I guess I will have to wait 5 weeks to be free!
Besides that, not much has happened this week! I spent a lot of it in the mission office, and don’t really have anything to say!
But, hope everyone has a good week!!!
Love your favorite missionary,
Élder Spencer Reece Peterson

February 13, 2017

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Well, my life is completely different than it was one week ago!

Well, on Tuesday, Elder Marcelino and I visited a few people and organized a little the apartment. Not much happened.
On Wednesday, we got a call from the mission president about transfers. We were both being transfered! My companion, Elder Marcelino, went to Guaratuba, an area in a state called Paraná. I was transfered to Florianópolis to be the mission’s new Executive Secretary! I am also a district leader of the biggest district in the mission, with 18 people in it. My companion’s are Elder Meredith and Elder F. Santos. My area is called “Sacos dos Limões” or in English “Sack of the Limes”, and we are living with the assistants. In 6 weeks, we will move to the actual “staff” apartment and live with the rest of the assistants. So, I will end up having another area here in 6 weeks!
After receiving that call, I found out that my bus was leaving Friday morning, so I basically got to work packing my bags, cleaning the apartment, visiting our investigators and letting them know that we were going to leave. Especially since we were both leaving the area and two new missionaries were going to go in our place in Joaçaba, we had to leave a bunch of letters for them, explaining EVERYTHING about the area and everything they need to know. I feel like we did a good job!
I left of Friday morning, and got here in Florianópolis Friday evening. I immediately started talking with the previous Executive Secretary as he started to explain to me how to do my new job. It doesn’t seem that hard and I am enjoying it a lot! I am now in an air conditioninged building, and am avoiding the sun! It is awesome!
I have been buying bus passes and plane tickets, dealing with passports and a bunch of other really official stuff that I only kinda know how to do. I feel like their is a lot of power in my hands, but as it was once said in a Spiderman movie, “With great power comes great responsibility”, and it is true! If I screwed up before, maybe someone would get mad, and then forget. If I screw up now, people can be illegal in the country or be flown home to the wrong place.
This is a summary of the things I do:
  • Buy bus passes for transfers, meetings and interviews
  • Buy plane tickets for misisonaries to go home
  • Deal with and renew visas and passports and documents that make people legal here!
  • Reserve hotels for the mission president when he travels
  • Resolve problems with people’s mail and boxes being held and taxed by the government
  • I am the doorman of the office who opens the gate for people and talk to people on the video screen when they ring the bell
  • And I put paper in the printer when it runs out!!!!
That is basically what I do! I am sure I do other things that I just don’t know yet that I do, and will soon have to find out!
Attached is a picture of the office staff and some other missionaries here that are being transfered!
But, I am enjoying my job so far here, and am really excited for the rest of the mission!
I will keep everyone else updated about how my week goes!! Hope everyone has a good week!
Love your favorite missionary,
Élder Spencer Reece Peterson

February 6, 2017

Hey Guys!!!

This week went pretty well!
On Tuesday, Elder Marcelino and I decided to knock some doors in a part of the city I hadn’t really worked in before. I hadn’t worked there before mostly because there is a lot of hills, but when you have already knocked the rest of the easy spots, you have to start climbing hills to find the un-knocked parts! The neighborhood there is called, “Menino Deus” or in English “Boy God”. Everything here is pretty Catholic, even the neighborhood names.  We found a family knocking doors that let us in and we shared a message about Jesus Christ with them. They told us that it is hard to find them at home, so we haven’t been able to go back yet.
On Thursday, we decided to knock doors in a part of the city that is just really far away, (walking at least) to maybe find someone to teach. We were able to teach a little old lady who lives directly in front of a family in the Branch. Her name is Genir, she is 80 years old, and is really Catholic. But, we had a good talk about her late husband and temples and eternal families. Plus, the sun was RIDICULOUSLY scorching hot, so it was good to get out of the sun!
On Friday we went to a city called Campos Novos for our district meeting. After the district meeting, the elders were going to have a branch missionary activity, so I made them a lime cake for refreshments. They said it was pretty good, so that’s good!
On Saturday, we went to try and see if a Haitian less active member and her sister -in-law were wanting a ride to church the next day, but when we got there, their husbands weren’t home. We weren’t going to teach them anything anyway, so normally their husbands not being there wouldn’t be a problem, we were just going to see if they needed a ride to church. The problem was that they don’t speak Portuguese. Or English either for that matter. Just Creole. So, we stood there for a few minutes trying to sign out asking if they needed a ride. Eventually they got the message, and knew how to say ‘no’. So, that was pretty interesting!
Yesterday, we went to teach someone we found knocking doors on Friday. After getting back to the bus station in Joaçaba on Friday, we were going to walk back home. The bus station is basically on top of a mountain/hill, so it is a while to get back down to the city. I decided to knock some doors on the descend, seeing that we were already up there, and didn’t have to climb hills to get there. One lady told us to come back another day, and we went back on Sunday to teach her and her family. After talking with them, we discovered that they knew a family that is active in the church, and told us that they are a good family! They also told us that they had never seen missionaries before, and thought that they didn’t exist anymore. They have a lot of questions, and they are being a good investigating family!
Something I’ve noticed in my mission is how much faster the work is when the members are helping you, finding people for you to teach. The Lord prepares people to receive the gospel, and then puts people there to share it. When the members have the chance to share it but don’t, it just takes a lot longer and makes the missionaries job a lot harder too! The familes are prepared, and God leave them without their chance. It’s just frustrating sometimes that most of the time the missionaries have to find the member’s friends to be able to invite them!!!! So, all of you members back home should try and help the missionaries by introducing your friends to them. They will have to knock a lot less doors to find them!
This  week we are starting now is the last week of the transfer, and we will receive transfer calls here in a few days. I am hoping to be transfered to the mission office, but even if I don’t, I am most likely getting a new companion. My companion, Elder Marcelino, has already been here in Joaçaba for 6 months, so I am sure I will switch companions either way!!!
But, that is basically all for now! I will make sure to keep you all updated! If I don’t write next Monday, it’s because I was transfered to the mission office, and my P-day was switched to Saturday!!!
Love your favorite missionary,
Élder Spencer Reece Peterson