Tuesday, November 23, 2010


So Thanksgiving is coming up! I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! They don't have a similar holiday here, so it'll be a normal day for us. It'll be weird to be walking around on Thanksgiving, realizing that there isn't Turkey waiting for us in the oven. Maybe we'll think of something we can do to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday.

With the transfers, it was a very quiet one. I'm with Elder Loureiro until at least the end of the year! It's a good thing :) We're working well together, teaching well together, so I'm excited. We'll have been companions for 6 months at the end of the year. I keep saying end of the year, but it's hard for me to realize that the year is ending, because it's so dang hot here! The end of the year is supposed to be cold! That's okay though, I can accept it!

There was a man the other day that stopped us and asked for a Book of Mormon! We marked another day to present the Book of Mormon to him and the lesson went really well. Elder Loureiro did an excellent job. He felt like he should mention one of the roles of the Book of Mormon as a means to... I can't think of a better word than correct, but I'll use it, correct the doctrines that have been lost in the Bible due to the various translations it has gone through. Odilon, the man we met, had actually been thinking about that exact same thing. He said he's felt an emptiness inside that he hasn't been able to fill. I know that the Book of Mormon will be able to fill that emptiness with the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whenever we talk to investigators about the Bible and how unfortunately it has lost plain and precious truths, we have to treat it very carefully. If we don't, we make it seem as if the Bible is not really important to us. However, the Bible is precious to me. The Bible relates the live and works of my Saviour Jesus Christ. m Something that I'm so grateful for. Something that the Book of Mormon doesn't do. The Book of Mormon talks about the Atonement of Jesus Christ on a more doctrinal level, something that the Bible doesn't do. They complete each other, they don't take anything away from each other away. The clarify each other.

The Book of Mormon however, is so very important, because it acts as a proof that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. That the Church that Christ established in his day was lost, but once again restored through Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the World. I have come to know Christ because of this book, and it has come through reading it and praying to know if it is true. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, I have received a witness and confirmation that this is the Restored Gospel. Families can literally live together forever because the Authority of God was restored once again on the Earth. Nothing is more important than an Eternal Family to me right now in my life. I would invite anyone who is reading this who would like to know if these things are true to read the Book of Mormon, ponder about the plain and simple truths vound therein, and pray to our Heavenly Father to know if it is true. I know that if you do this, you will receive an answer. I am evidence of this fact.

I love you all, and I hope this week is particularly special to you all during this time of thanksgiving!

Elder Rackham

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Holiday!

So today is another holiday here in Brazil. They've had a lot of holidays as of late. It's something that can be slightly annoying especially when the holiday happens to be on your P-Day. They close everything down. Luckily we found a place where we could use the internet. We were afraid that we wouldn't be able to. It was a little far though. Apparently the holiday is the national independence?

Anyway, today is transfer day, but we haven't heard anything yet. So if I'm transferred I'll have to let you know next week. I guess anything could happen, but I'm feeling that I'll either stay or I'm going to Maranhão, probably the city of Imperatriz. I've just felt it looming over me the past week or so that eventually I'm going to go over there. Who knows.

So this week, Elder Loureiro and I taught our finest lesson on the Restoration of the church on Saturday this past week. It was very good. I should be modest and humble and all, but seriously, this was a good one. We taught a part-member family where the members had gone inactive. We're trying to reactive the family and then unite the family so they can eventually go to the temple and be sealed for time and eternity! We both felt like we had accomplished what we needed to teach in the lesson, they understood everything very clearly. From here we will do our best to improve our teaching methods and follow-up with them. But then again, who knows if we'll still be companions when you read next week's email? Duh duh DUH! If we do stay together, we'll end up being companions for 6 months in total! Whoa! Oh the anticipation! ;)

My scripture study continues to be more meaningful day after day. I'm becoming more confident in the language and my abilities day after day. The things I'm learning will help me so much in my future. I'm really enjoying the food, and by enjoying, I mean really enjoying the food! The sisters of the ward love me, that's all I'm going to say :)

Things are great, fantastic even! I hope you all a wonderful week and a great Thanksgiving! I don't know if this week is Thanksgiving or not, so I'll just say Happy Thanksgiving and if it isn't this week I'll say it next week too! Two times can't hurt!

Love ya'll
Elder Rackham

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Good End to a Good Week!

Hello Everyone!

So we've been focusing on an investigator, Ayla. She's very intelligent, studies a lot and really understands what we teach. The problem is that she hasn't been coming to church. Yesterday was the 3rd sunday we've been inviting her to come. So the first hour rolled around, and she hadn't come yet. After the first hour, I call. She doesn't pick up. Which actually isn't strange at all because she has never answered our calls. She's so busy. Anyway, Sunday School comes and go and still hadn't come. So with 15 minutes to Sacrament Meeting, I call her and she picks up! It was the first time ever. I talk with her, and she tells me that she's swamped correcting tests (she teaching English). So I tell her we'll help her correct tests so she can come to Sacrament Meeting. With the help of the Spirit we keep talking and she finally says alright I'm coming. And 10 minutes into Sacrament Meeting, she gets here!

It was a cool experience, and we were so happy because she was able to come to church to have a spiritual experience, which is essential for her progression and conversion. I'm excited for this week, because we've been praying and thinking about her baptism for this Saturday, and we'll see if we can resolve any of her concerns.

Alright, well I hope everyone is wonderful! Until next week!

Love ya'll!
Elder Rackham

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

I think that's their names from Alice and Wonderland. Anyway, Greetings!

So pictures! Just two this time. It's not looking like I'm going to be able to send the rest from last week. Oh well. Elder Loureiro and I were eating at the Relief Society President's house. We really loved her. She was so good to us! We ate well, she took care of us! She was a big help to us! So that's her and us in the picture. In the other picture with the map, Elder Loureiro and I are just being goofballs! We're both off our rockers, me more than him, so we just like to have our little fun sometimes. We had a joke about the map we used. It was really big. The part that was our area is like 15% of the map so when we opened it, it just looked funny. No one uses maps on the street here in Brazil. Not very many people do in the U.S. either but it's a bit more common. So that's us being funny.

Alright... with the new curriculum that we're learning and applying, we teach people not lessons. Instead of giving a rote lesson, we teach according to the needs of the investigator. I have always liked this principle and I've tried to apply it from the beginning. It's something I heard in the MTC before the change in the curriculum. But it's much more strongly emphasized now. This curriculum is really helping me apply it too.

We were teaching an investigator on Tuesday, and she had a few concerns about the Book of Mormon. She wasn't reading it not entirely because she didn't want to, but moreso because she was busy. She still had a few doubts about why we need a Book of Mormon when we already have a bible. We were orginally teach her about the Sabbath Day but we listened to the spirit that prompted us to ask some questions which lead to us knowing about her doubts. We had a very spirit-filled lesson where she understood why we have a Book of Mormon. That they complement each other, not that one is better than the other. The great doctrine and spirit found in the Bible is only magnified and added upon by the Book of Mormon, and vice versa. When used together, we have a powerful recourse in coming to know our Savior and Redeemer. My testimony was strengthened that day, of the power of the holy scriptures we have in our lives, that God continues to bless us with holy scriptures even today, through the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenents, and Pearl of Great Price, so that we may continue to come unto him unto Eternal Life.

So that was a cool experience that I had this week.

I love you all! I hope you're all doing absolutely fantastic! I'm having a good time down here!
Elder Rackham

P.S. IT RAINED DOWN HERE OH MY GOODNESS WHAT A MIRACLE! It was about 30 degrees celsius one day, and it was actually cool. In the morning that same day I was wrapped up in my blanket because it was cold. Only because a normal day here is 38-40 degrees do I now get cold when it's 30 degrees.