"O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh ... Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh, ... therefore I will lift up my voice to thee ... my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen." (2 Nephi 4: 34-35)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hey Everybody!!

The work here in this ward has been more and more busy every week! It is a small ward but there is a lot of potential. I think that I might have mentioned that unfortunately the missionary work here in the ward has been a little bit slow in the past few months for various reasons, but my companion and I are determined to get things moving again. Elder Rojas and I have been doing our part of the work but now we need to get the members involved in every aspect of the missionary work. What we have to share is too important to give any less that all that we have.

To get the members excited about missionary work we have arranged a special devotional this Sunday for all of the members of the ward to participate. The assistants of the mission will come to give a special presentation and one of the counselors of the stake will bare a special testimony about how he got to know the church. I am sure that it will be a spiritually uplifting experience for all that are there and will the spirit of missionary work here in the ward.

The Sunday it also looks like we will have a baptism! One of the young men in the ward said that his cousin Mateus asked if he could be baptized! Mateus is only 10 years old but he is very intelligent. Samuel (Mateus´s cousin) told us that mateus will read the Liahona and the Book of Mormon in his spare time and in just the past week he is already in Jacob! We just have to teach Mateus the missionary lessons this week and arrange his baptismal interview.

My companion and I are seeing a lot of blessings here in this area and we hope to be able to bring about miracles in the coming weeks!

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Rice

February 1, 2016

The last few week i feel like i haven´t been able to write very good letters because of a lack of time. But this week i´ve got the play by play of what went down!

segunda-feira (monday) unfortunately due to a terrible time cruch i wasn´t able to write much... but it was a good p-day we ate lunch with an investigator and taught him about the importance of keeping the commitments that we leave with him and how these things will bless his life!

Terça-feira (tuesday) my companion and i had to go to the mission office! I guess my companions old companion may have broken a few rules and there is a slight possibility that he will be sent home... i hope it was just a misunderstanding and all turns out for the best. After going to the mission office we waited for about an hour for the bus. When we finally got back in our area we opened up the chapel to teach an english class, but unfortunately the lights weren´t working and they are doing construction in the chapel and everything was super dirty, and only one person came to the english class, and actually the truth is that we stopped him on the street and just about forced him to participate haha. But it was good and the kid learned how to say a prayer in english, so for me it was a win!

Quarta-feira (Wednesday) I remember pretty much nothing about wednesday other than nothing got in the way of us working and we had a great day of teaching!

Quinta-feira (thrusday) A member of the ward went with us for the whole day to do visits!! It is always super awesome when a member goes with you to teach people. You have the chance to get to know the member better and the member fellowships the investigators making them feel more welcome to go to church! We did visits with a woman named jacoline, she is a returned missionary and is legit

Sexta-feira (Friday) DIVISION!!! My companion and i did a division with a few of the youngmen here in the ward. It is rediculous how efficiante divisions are, you have the chance to get so much done. I did visits with a young man named Pedro and we found a ton of new people in our area, it was awesome. One of the people that taught is named Mara, and i am pretty sure that she will be baptized in a few weeks. She was about to leave so we only talked with her for a few minutes but she was super interested and one of her friends is a member and explained a ton of things to her about the church.

Sábado (saturday) We did a service project that just about took the whole day! We helped a member build a roof behind his house so that he could have a patio area. Domingo! Igreja!! Esse domingo foi muito bom! Tivemos varios pesquisadores na igreja a alguns deles vão ser batizados nas semanas seguintes!! Também almoçamos com o presidente do ramo, a ele nos falou que ele está muito feliz com nosso trabalho aqui, e está feliz que finalmente tem missionários que querem trabalhar. Infelizmente já teve muitos missionários passar nessa área que foram fubecas... mas agora estamos aqui!! e estamos aqui para trabalhar!

 And to wish you all a good week i´ll leave you with a scripture 

´´No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.´´ matt 6:24

´´Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and allthings are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity anddeath, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.´´ 2nephi2:27

In our life we only have two choices, follow our savior Jesus Christ and have eternal life, or give in to the temptation of the devil and be lead down in to captivity. Evaluate every chocice that you make and see if how you are living your life really is leading you to eternal life, or if you are making choices that are slowly leading you in to captivity.

Love you all and wish the best for each and everyone of you!

Love, Elder Rice
January 25, 2016

Hey Everybody!

This week was my first week back in Varzea Grande. 6 months ago I was serving in this same city but in the São Mateus group now I am in the Imperial ward. The two areas are basically right next to each other, so i am excited to have the chance to do a division in my old area and see all the members, investigators and other people that i taught 6 months ago.

This new transfer though has started off really well. My new companion is Elder Rojas, this is his second transfer in the mission so I am finishing up his training! He is a great Elder and works diligently to do everything to the best of his ability. Its a cool experience to be with someone who is new in the mission, it reminds you of everything that you went through and how new everything was.
And here is a quick update on some of the progress here in the area:

Junior- He is 16 years old and this past week we set a date with him for baptism! He loves the church and feels at home there. He has already made several friendships with some of the young-men here in the ward and he is just a great kid. I have known him for about 5 days now but he and his family treat me like we have know each other for years.

Milton and Maria lucia- They have been together for about 10 years now and this Sunday they both went to church. When they arrived at church it turned out that a few of the members in the ward already knew them and they made sure to help them feel right at home! They are a very simple, and poor couple but have a great spirit. The only problem is that they are not married and have a few addictions to overcome. But the atonement of Christ is greater that any difficulty that we face in our lives!

There are also tons of members here in the ward that are helping us out a bunch. It is great to arrive in an area and already feel so welcomed and supported by the members. I am sure that my companion and i will have much success here as we work side by side with all the members.

Love, Elder Rice
January. 18, 2016

Hey Everybody!

So the update about this past week will be quick and short. My companion got really sick with a virus that you get from mesquitos called Dengue. We ended up spending the entire week in the hospital or at home. Dengue causes extreme body pains and pretty much just makes you not want to do anything. I felt really bad for my companion, he would just lay in his bed in pain for hours, and the only thing that i could do to help is offer a cup of cold water... But all is well now he has completely recovered and feeling much better!

So today is transfers!! I found out that i will be transfered to the north to finish the training of a new missionary! ( I forgot his name, it is a really strange name...) The area that i will be serving in is the Imperial branch. I have already served close to this area, so I already know it a little bit! I am excited for the change but I am not excited for the change in climate that I am going to experience... Here in the south it has been raining just about everyday so it stays nice and cool. But in the north, oh man, it is hot, really really hot. Like seriously so rediculously hot that my white skin is gonna get fried. I´ll have to make a small investment in some good sun protection because i am going to need it!

But all is well with me! This new transfer will be a great opportunity for me to help out a new missionary and get to know a new area after spending 6 months here in the universitário ward.

Hope that all is well with all of you!

Love, Elder Rice
January 4, 2016

Hey Everybody!

It's a new year!! And with the new year comes new year's resolutions about how this year will be the best year yet. And that is exactly what I want. With the turning of the New Year I also have completed (almost) one year in the mission and lack only one more year to go. So when I began to think about the goals that I want to make for this coming year I thought a lot about who I want to be as a missionary and what it is that I have to do to accomplish this. I set and made very specific plans about what it is that I want to accomplish but I would like to share a scripture that sums up my overall goal with this coming year.

``For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child,submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.`` (Mosiahs 3:19)

This year I want to be more of a Saint in Christ and stop giving in to the desires of the natural man. All of us have carnal desires but we have to learn to overcome our natural man as we yeild to the enticings of the Holy Spirit. I know that our divine potencial is great and God has already prepared the path for us to succeed. (Nephi 3:7, 1Cor10:13)

So this year let´s walk the straight and narrow path and feel a joy greater than that which we have every felt before.

This letter goes out to many people, and I remember each and every one of you. I often pray for your good and am always wishing the best for you all.

I love each and everyone of you and hope that we can all resolve to be someone better this year! 

Love, Elder Rice
December 28, 2015

Hey Everybody!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Christmas in Brazil was pretty awesome, and a little bit different that what we do in the states. So for christmas the president of the mission let us stay at a members house until midnight Christmas eve if we had been invited. Here in Brazil they celebrate Christmas more like New Years. They make a huge dinner and invite everyone to come over the night before christmas, and every one stays up playing games, exchanging gifts and doing other activities until midnight. And when itsmidnight everyone gets up and wishes Merry Christmas to one another giving hugs and kisses. A little bit different but also super awesome. My companion and i went to the house of the counselor of the stake and had a huge barbaque there. Oh also another thing that was kinda strange was that it was about 90 degrees for Christmas... But everybody ate and just hung out until midnight to wish merry christmas to one another.

Other than the christmas celebration, all of the missionaries in the zone took advantage of the christmas season to go caroling on the buses and in the bus terminals! It was a different tactic than usual to do contacts with people and for the most part everybody enjoyed. In one of the buses after we finished singing all of the passangers applauded for us! haha It was a great chance to spread a little bit of the true spirit of Christmas.

This area is starting to get moving again, Elder Cruz and I have found a few new people to teach that are interesed in the church and actually want to learn. One of them is named Lucas, he is a young man that is 19 years old and has started the process of changing his life. Until recently he was addicted to smoking but quit so that he start a life as follower of Christ. Right now he is frequenting another church but we will teach him the messge of the restoration tonight and what it means to have all of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth again! He is a great guy and hope that he can feel the spirit tonight.

Love all of you guys and as always I will bear my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that God lives and that he sent his son to pay for our sins. If we want happiness in our lives we need to humble ourselves and turn to Christ and be willing to be obedient to the commandments.

``Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep hiscommandments: for this is the whole duty of man.`` (Ecl. 12:13) I hope that we remember our duty and receive the blessings God is waiting to give to us!

Love you all and have a good week!

Elder Rice
December 21, 2015


Hope that all of you guys had a great week this week and are enjoying the Chirstmas spirit! This time of the year is special as everyone remembers the importance of our Savior Jesus Christ, and our families.

Last week I made mention that the week was a little bit rough and the work in this area has been dificult lately. Well this week, was pretty much the same! haha My companion and I are diligently working in a manner traditional and unconventional to find and teach those who are prepared to receive us. Our part as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ and experiment the incredible joy of the gospel. We testify of the beauty of the gospel to all of those we teach and powerfully state that it is only through our obedience to the commandments of God that we have a fullness of joy in this life and eternal life in the world to come!

My comanion and I and the rest of the missionaries in the entire world do this work because of Jesus Christ. Because of what he did for us and how we can benefit from it. Christ was born, died, and rose on the third day to redeem us from physical and spiritual death, of this I have a certainty. And not only is the reason for mine, and millions of others, missionary service, but it is the reason for this Christmas season. This time of the year in particular we remember the humble birth of our Redemer Jesus Christ. How he submitted him self to all the weaknesses of man, but rose above them all to save us. We truly can not express gratitude enough to thank him for what he did. And i think the words of the Prophet Ammon of the book of mormon express this well.

Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel. (Alma 26: 16)

Merry Chirstmas to all and that we can all glory in the lord through our acts of service to our fellow brother and sisters this Christmas!

Love, Elder Rice
December 14, 2015

Hey Everybody!!

Unfortunately this week was a little bit rough. So with the new transfer it seems like the work here in the ward has restarted as well. Elder Cruz and I are working hard with the members and by our own forces to find and teach as many people possible. We were able to find a few people who were very interested and wanted to get to know about the church and its teaching better. But to make a long story short, both of these people, after several great lessons, decided that the church isn´t what they wanted in their lives, and they would rather continue in the direction the are already going.

This was something that made me really sad, but we all have our own agency to choose what we want in our lives. I just hope that at some point in the future they will remember the spirit that they felt with us and have the desire learn more about the church again.

Other than that though the week was good. Elder Cruz and I are working a lot more with the members and are really starting to enjoy the work while still being efficient in what we do. Oh, and a member of the ward did a barbaque for us and it was super, super good! Here in brazil they call it churrasco.

Sorry for the short email, it seems like the time is always a little limited.

Love you all and hope you all have a great week!
December 7, 2015

Here is what has been going on this week with some of the people we have been working with.

Cristiane and the fam!

Unfortunately the struggle with Cristiane and her family is still going on. This Sunday was the Sunday that they would have been officially confirmed members of the church but they were not able to make it to church this Sunday. Saturday night Cristiane started to feel really sick and went to the hospital. (she has quite a few health issues that seem to be constantly affecting her) After going to the hospital she went to her mothers house to get help taking care of her kids, because she is a single mom there is no one else to help her at home. She ended up staying the night at her mom´s house and still felt really sick Sunday. It was pretty unfortunate that she wasn´t able to make it to church Sunday but we are going to go back to her house today to help her and share a good message with them.

Odair and Lediane

Lediane came home from the hospital this Sunday after trying to take her own life. Tuesday we visited her and her family and it seemed as if everything was just fine. and it seems like every time that we are there with them that everything is just fine and dandy, but then the next time we return a million things have gone wrong. We will try to keep helping them this week as much as they was to be helped.


This is a new investigator that we found this week. She is 22 years old and has 2 kids, one that is 6 years old and another that is 1 year old. We actually found her because she stopped us as we were walking in the street. She was interested to know what it is that we do and showed even more interest in getting to know the church. She has a lot of respect for what we do and thought that the message of the restoration was very interesting. I´m excited to see how she continues to progress!

We meet with lots of other people this week but it would take hours to write about all of them. But the work is progressing well and we have a lot to do this transfer. Oh I forgot to mention, Sunday was transfers. I will be staying in the universitário ward with Elder Cruz! I am certain that this transfer will be another great one.

Oh and this Sunday i participated in a play that our stake put on to kick off the Christmas season. Myself and all the elders of my zone were angels in the play ``Salvador do Mundo``. It was a really cool experience! I´ll attack some pics for you guys

Love you all and hope you guys have a great week!

Love, Elder Rice
November 30, 2015

Hey Everybody!

This week was tense! This week was the week of the baptism of Cristiane and her family, and let me tell you it was not a smooth ride. From the begining Cristiane always doubted whether she really deserved to be baptised or not because she didn´t think she was fully prepared or worthy of this convenant. From all the time that my companion and I spent working with her and her family we had no doubt that she truly was prepared we just needed to help her realize the same thing.

During the week we went to her house with an older couple in the ward, who recently returned from a mission. They both have incredible testimonies of the gospel and an amazing conversion story. When we arrived at Cristiane´s house we could already tell that she was a little anxious and as we got to talking we realzed it was becuase she didn´t feel that she was ready for the baptism this Saturday. Irmão Antonio and Irmã Adarcy bore testimony to her that baptism was the next step and covenant that her and her family need to make with God, and that she should let nothing stop her. Their testimonies were exactly what she needed and at the end of the lesson she felt that she should continue with the baptism. So Saturday I returned with another missionary to do the baptismal interviews and have everything ready to go for the baptism Sunday. (we switched the baptism because there was a conference on Saturday and none of the members would have been able to attend) But when we arrived there, Elder Juliani and i could feel that something wasn´t right. As we entered and started talking with Cristiane she confided to us again that she didn´t feel prepared to be baptised and that she didn´t want to be baptised the next day.

When I heard her say that, my heart cringed, but I waited a moment and bore testimony to her about the importance of baptism and that unfortunately before baptism the advesary will do all that he can to stop us from making this decision. Then I suggested that even though she didn´t want to be baptised that it would still be a good experience to do the baptismal interview. She accepted, but mentioned again that she didn´t feel prepared. She and Elder Juliani went in to the house to do the interview. An hour later they came out and Cristiane said that she would be baptised the next day!!!

I´m not entirely sure what happened during that interview, but from what Elder Juliani said, it wasn´t him who did the interview but God himself with angels watching. It really was an incredible experience that strengthened my testimony about the power and influence of the spirit. Other than that unfortunately I have bad news. During the week we went to visit Aldair and lediane and found out that lediane tried to commit suicide and is in the hospital.

Other than that i don´t have any more information but Elder Cruz and i will return to see how they are and if we can help them. I love all of you and hope you guys have an incredible week!
November 23, 2015

Alright p-day was crazy so i have no time to write.

To sum it up i had a great week! This sunday Cristiani and her family came to church and they are on track to get baptized this saturday!!!! A couple that we are working with, Aldair and Leidiane, weren´t able to come to church this sunday because his horse escaped. But they are super awesome and still progressing!

The area is doing well and so am I! I love all of you and pray for you guys often. Never stop studying the scriptures, praying and seeking to be closer to our heavenly father!

Love, Elder Rice
November 16, 2015

 Hey Everybody!!

 Its been another good week! And i even had the chance to get to know the hospitals of Brazil! But don´t worry nothing happened to me. Tuesday morning my companion woke up with a really bad back pain and the whole day it was really difficult and painful for him to walk. Finally at about 3:00 in the afternoon he said that it was hurting too much and that he needed to go to the hospital to get medicine. Luckily for us right next to the church there is a special hospital building called the UPA. It is a special hospital is is available 24 hours a day to give medical care to anybody that walks in. To me it seemed a little bit sketchy, you literally just walk in say that something is hurting and they will give you drugs. My companion explained that he was having back pain, so the first thing they did was give him an injection in the butt... and some pills to take. In the end it all turned out good and my companion felt a lot better the next day. But I still think the whole process is a little sketchy...

Other than that the week was pretty good! We returned several times to teach Cristiani and her family and they are progressing well!! Cristiani and her son Rafael are both reading the Book of Mormon! Cristiani is reading about a chapter a day and we set a goal with Rafael to read 5 verses everyday! They are both loving everything that we are teaching them and are really excited about going to church. But unfortunately they weren´t able to make it to church this Sunday because Cristiani got sick really early Sunday morning and had to go to the hospital. But they are still doing well and we are planning on going to their house tonight to do a family night with them!

 Other than Cristiani and her family my companion and I are searching dilligently for all the other people out there that have been prepared by our Heavenly Father and his angels to receive the message of the restored gospel. I know there are dozens if not hundreds of people waiting to recieve this message here in the area that I am serving i just have to go out there and let the spirit guide me to them or them to my companion and I.

I love all of you guys and hope that you all strive to follow the example of Christ everyday of your lives!

 Love Elder Rice
November 9, 2015

Hey Everybody!!

As a missionary you wait very anxiously for Sunday, it pretty much makes or breaks the whole week. From Monday to Saturday you spend all you time telling everyone how amazing the church is, that living the principles of the gospel is something that has changed your life, and you know that if they do the same they could have the same life changing experience. So Sunday you wait very anxiously to see if the people you´ve taught and you come and see if it is all true. And luckily this Sunday, a lot of people came and felt the spirit of the Church!

 Last week I wrote a little bit about Cristiani and her family, and how special they are. And this week they finally came to church, and loved it! She noticed that the Church was a lot different than other churches here in Brazil, that it was very organized and taught in a clear manner. This difference in organization that she noticed is because we have the same organization that Jesus Christ had when he established the church. The difference that she noticed is that we have the same teaching that Christ taught two thousand years ago, and most importantly that the spirit in the Church is the same Holy Ghost that Christ left with the apostles two thousand years ago (John 14:26-27).

 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints really is the restored church of Jesus Christ here on the earth. It is the church that has authority from God to act in his name. And it is the church where we can recieve a fullness of the gospel and live with a light inside of us that we didn´t know exsisted before. And the proof of all this is inside us of, it is the happiness that we feel and the blessings that we receive as we strive to keep the commandments.

``And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.`` mosiah 2:41

I hope that we can all be this example to those around us and invite them to recieve this happy and blessed state!

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Rice