Elder Bean's Mission Scripture

Elder Bean's Mission Scripture:

Alma 26: 35

35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Dec 25, 2012 Elder Bean's Christmas greeting via Skype!

Elder Bean was able to skype with his family on Christmas day! 
The local bishop had the elders over on Christmas day and let them use his computer to Skype their families.  The bishop spoke briefly to David's mother and told her warmly, "I love your son!" 
David and his family had a great visit.  Merry Christmas to all, and Happy New Year, too!!!

Dec 10, 2012 "Get in the Zone!"

Missionarios in Brazil
Ice Cream, drugs, blisters, inspiration and more!  Read on to get the full story!
(Ba Ha.  Like my hook?  Who can resist such an intriguing and exciting first line? Ha Ha - not you!) J

So, Fam and Pals,
How are you doing?  I sure hope well.  I pray for you all sempre (always).  Life here is grand, I’m in good hands.  I had my first zone conference this week, and I got to see and hear more of President Martins.  He’s a very intelligent man, very cool.  His desires for the mission and us, personally, as missionaries, are very good and grand.  It was made obvious to me that he is very much led by the Spirit, and I knew he receives inspiration for us.  It was good for me to gain a testimony of my priesthood leader.  At this conference, along with a lot of notes, I also got a few letters:  thanks a million to Elder Andrew W--, Elder Ryan T--, cousin Will and my wonderful Grandma K. 

After the great zone conference Elder Petersen and I sent on a split with Elder Wheatley (our district leader) and his companion Elder Chavarria (who was a member of my district in the CTM!).  I went with Elder Wheatley to his area, spent the night, and worked all day there, with new people.  It was great, and so interesting to see how another missionary works. I learned a nice bit about the importance of talking to everybody you see.  Elder Wheatley also had some good tips about learning Portugues, and such things like that.  I admit, I was excited to return to minha casa, meu companheiro, my own people. J  One thing I learned this week from Elder Petersen was, if an appointment falls through, or someone isn’t home, it’s important not to just “move on.”  Because God knew what your plans were.  And He knew that that person wouldn’t be available.  So, it’s our job to have faith, and look for the person on that street, or in that neighborhood who is ready for the gospel.  E  legal.  And it works too.  Angels prepare the way.  We just need to put in a little effort, a little faith.  So good. 

OH!  Elder Petersen’s mom gave him new shoes, and his new shoes gave him BLISTERS! Then his blisters gave him more blisters.  So now we walk really slowly.  My poor companion.  I haven’t gotten a blister yet, just calluses.  Big, beautiful calluses.  J  But, what I have gotten is burned!  Nossa!  I’m so burned.  I finally used sunscreen this week.  So greasy already, then add greasy sunscreen, it’s just a grease fest.  Nasty-sauce. 

Speaking of ice cream, Elder Petersen and I each bought a tub of Acai ice cream and a carton of condensed milk. After pouring the gooey leich condensaos in the ice cream, we devoured the whole tub in 30 minutes.  Yeah, life is good.  Oh my!  More to say but no time!  Umm...
1) I heard the entire movie of “August Rush” this week.  The people who live above us watched it.   It made me happy to overhear the music from that movie. Also when we’re walking down the street, I have little jam fests to Coldplay, or swing songs I used to dance to, or many other examples. 
2) After two months, a woman we’re working with finally said the prayer in our lesson! J 
3) We’re currently teaching a man who is addicted to drugs, and we’re trying to help him quit.  We go to his house almost every day.  It’s really cool.
4) On December 7, I thought about all my Timpview peoples who went to Pearl Harbor.  Spread my love, remember the fallen, never forget.
Well, it’s been another episode of beaninbrazil.  Hope you can join us next time!  Drive (home) safe folks.  Write me maybe. 
Elder David Bean

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dec 3, 2012: Friends: Past, Present and...Hopefully Future!

[This catches us up on David's "back" blog letters!]

Past: Congrats all you peoples who got your mission calls:  J  Stephanie T, Eve S, Jasmine C, Clark C, Maranda C, Aya W, Lydia M, Megan F, etc. Y’all are awesome! Boa sorte!  Also, thanks for writing: Mom, Jonathan, Emily, Elders Wheatly & Arf Da Silva, Johnny L, Sarah J, and the (entire) Wood Family! J  I will write you back as soon as I can!  Know I love you all, very much!

Present: Meu companheiro é muito legal e muito paciente comigo.  Not to be repetitive, but Elder P is such a blessing.  We’re working really well together- he's a great trainer. We went to the temple today.  It was really special—and all in Portugues!  Super legal!  Also my good friend from the CTM, Elder Hermansen, was there, and we got to talk together like old times.  J It was great to talk to him.  He’s loving the mission as much as I am.  I’m so happy he’s doing well.  After the temple, on the way home, we rode the bus.  And if I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:  they need to make a ride at Disneyland called Sao Paulo Bus!  BaHa.

So, this week continued:  I invited many people to be baptized. One girl passed her interview and is going to be baptized in a week or two.  Whenever I get homesick or sad or selfish or overwhelmed, I just think about our investigators and my spirits rise immediately!  E bom! 

And...Hopefully Future:  We need more investigators!  Pray hard for us, for them to be found, por favor! J
Yep, it was a good week, very normal.  I think I’ve started to hit my stride or normality here on the mission.  Speaking of stride, we walk so much that Marching Band was the best mission prep for my body ever.  I have a goal to go a full 24 hours when I don’t trip.  Yeah—haven’t  reached my goal yet – Baha!  I also got a haircut today.  It was a million times better than the barber at the CTM (who cut your hair without even looking!).

Forgive me, this letter isn’t going to be very long.  Love you all.  Serve God, be good to each other (rock on, dude!).  Until next week—
Elder David Bean

Nov 26, 2012: "Burning feet, broken lock, smiling elders singing in the rain"

[We finally got Elder Bean’s long awaited “blog” letters!  The more recent posts have been excerpts from his family letters.  So...the dates are going to be out of order, going back in time just a bit, while we get caught up.  Here’s Elder Bean’s blog letter dated Nov 26, 2012]

Oh, meu bondade – Where to begin?  We’ll get to the juicy stuff in a bit.  First, the week was good; I love the members; my accent is so bad people don’t understand me; I saw a picture of Brother and Sister Woodruff in the house of my ward mission leader Irmao Oppe whose son served in their mission (that was really cool); There’s a lady in my ward who looks like a Brazilian version of Grandma K J; I made my first phone call in Portugues, and foi horrivel (it was horrible)!; People here don’t flush their toilet paper, they throw it away (interesting fact of the day); and... I die with happiness every time I hear American music (this week it was Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson—I heard it on the street)!

I got letters this week!  Yeah!!  Thanks to Mom, Sister O. (from my CTM 36-B District), Elders C. S. and P. (former CTM roommates), Elder Matthew W., Stephanie T., and Maren Y.  THANK YOU!!

So now, some short stories:  Obviously the field is a lot more walking than your body is used to, and they say that pain is just weakness leaving your body, right?  Well, the weakness in my body is pouring out like a water hydrant!  Whoo.  J Sometimes I feel like shouting in my best Gollum/Smeagol voice: It burns!  It burns!  Baha.  Yeah, my legs and feet hurt a lot now-a-days.  But a really great blessing: many times in a day I think to myself, Oh, Elder Bean, you’re gonna have to ask Elder Petersen if we could take a break, cause you can’t keep going.  But ...I never have to.  By some miracle, even though I think I’ll have to stop, I never need to.  Just endure the pain and take another step.  And right now, all I can see is Brady W shouting, ENDURANCE!!!  J Thanks, Brady.

Another short story:  Sometimes when Elder Petersen and I are late, we decide to run to our next lesson.  This is very funny, because I’m sure we look like complete locos as we fly down the streets of Oscasco, our ties flapping, shirts untucking, bags bouncing, and sweat pouring! But I always like it, kinda feel like I’m willing to look like a fool for the Lord.  Baha.  Anywho, we attract a lot more attention.  Entao, maybe it’s a good thing...?  J

Oh, one last story!  Baha.  You aren’t going to believe what happened.  So one day, after teaching a crazy lady, visiting sick menos-ativos, and recommitting a woman to keep the Sabbath day holy, we were entering our apartment, 9:30pm, and as I was unlocking the door our key broke!  With half in the lock, half in my hand, and the door still locked.  BAHAHA!  I looked up in disbelief and said, Elder! Oh meu bondade!!!  Entao, we had to be driven to the house of our zone leaders, sleep on filthy mattresses (we didn’t even sleep much), then in the morning, head to our district meeting: no shave, no shower, no clean clothes, no food.  Yeah.  During our meeting I tried to not talk too close to people, cause obviously we didn’t brush our teeth, too.  Ha.  After the D.M., it started raining...super hard.  Like huge drops.  And finally... really cold.  And guess whose umbrella was locked inside their house?   Uh huh.  This story just gets funnier by the minute.  So, by the time we got to our lunch appointment (which couldn’t have been farther away) we were soaked, dirty, and hungry.  Absolutely pathetic.  J  But despite all this, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!  SO MUCH!!*  Oh, man, the mission is such a confirmation that life is good, because every horrible thing can happen, and you and your companion are still smiling, singing Singing in the Rain,and talking about how great the mission is.  Muito legal.  Oh, we also had a mold/leak problem we discovered when we finally entered our apartment.  Pois e.  J Ate aproximo semana.
Com amor,
Elder David Bean

* and with the help of a nice locksmith, we got into our apartment around 3pm. J

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nov 19, 2012 Stroganoff, Rain, Happy Elder in Ugly Coat

[We finally got Elder David’s long-awaited “blog” letters!  The more recent posts have been excerpts from his family letters.  So...the dates are going to be out of order, going back in time just a bit, while we get caught up.  Here’s Elder Bean’s blog letter dated Nov 19, 2012]

“(Pizza) x (Stroganoff4 + Ugly Coat)(Melons)   = 2 (Happy Missionaries)”
                   (Soaking wet clothes)      (No Time)

Well, I’ve survived another week in the field!  As you can probably tell from the title, a lot has been happening.  I’ve met so many people my head is spinning!  I’m gonna just start giving descriptions:
A mom and her daughter who will get baptized soon! J, a girl who got baptized a few weeks ago, whose mother gives us bags full of fruit we don’t want, three teenage boys who are interested and will hear more, a non-active family who is really cool (to whom we give our fruit - baha!), the members of my district (including an elder from the CTM), a family that likes our messages, but doesn’t want to be baptized, and many, many other people.  I’m teaching way more this week than last week, but I still have my moments when all I can do is smile and hope what they are saying isn’t sad.  Baha. J  Also, many times this week, I had to muster up the courage and ask the hard questions, like, “We want you to come to church with your family,” or “We want you to hear the things your 8 year old daughter believes,” or, “God wants you to stop smoking,” Etc... It is difficult, but if the missionaries don’t ask the hard things, who will?  And sure, people don’t want to change, won’t agree, but, sometimes they will. J  And that makes it all worth it. 
My companion Elder Petersen is as cool as ever!  We are working well, he’s helping me a lot.  We ordered pizza, which is very different here in Brasil than the US, but still good.

Hmmm... what else?  It’s been super cold lately.  Because I left half my stuff at the mission home, I don’t have my jacket here.  So I’ve been using this jacket that was left behind by some elder probably from the 50s.  Oh man, you have got to see this thing.  The ugliest, most hideous coat you can possibly imagine. J  And yes, I love it. 

Hmmm... Also I heard (and understood) my first Portugues pun!  Baha.  A play on words... but Portugues words!  Legal. 

We ate stroganoff four times in five days, and today, I got about as close to death as a person can get. Here in Brasil, the relationship between pedestrians and cars is a lot like a matador and a bull.  And today the bull almost got the better of me!  Also today, it rained... a lot.  Like Elder Petersen and I were so dripping wet, we didn’t want to track the water all through the house.  So we changed clothes at the doorway!  Foi muito engrasado.  Well, like usual, I have no time to write, but all you wonderful people, don’t lose hope!  I am impossibly happy, life could not get better. 
Love you all, and as the Brasilians say, “Vai com Deus.”  J
Love, Elder David Bean

Novembro 12, 2012 "Verdinho e vermeloho"

[We finally got Elder David’s long-awaited “blog” letters!  The more recent posts have been excerpts from his family letters.  So...the dates are going to be out of order, going back in time just a bit, while we get caught up.  Here’s Elder Bean’s blog letter dated Nov 12, 2012]

Title translation (best guess): the "greenie" [new missionary] is red [sunburned]!

How to even begin.  I’m finally in the field.  It doesn’t feel real (again like a dream), but don’t worry, my feet remind me constantly of the reality. J 
It is so great to be teaching, meeting, and helping REAL people.  The language... is hard right now, but each day is a little easier.  I’m already starting to teach just a little.  Mostly, I just try to pay attention and smile.  Baha!

This last week started off with saying goodbye (and singing “God Be With You”) to the sisters and elders from our district who are headed to Salvadore Sol and Victoria.  We six elders left then - got in our own van and went to the mission home for Sao Paulo Norte -  to spend the night, meet President Martins, and meet our companions the next day.  Foi Legal.  President Martins is a very intelligent and friendly man.  Ate lunch with him and Sister Martins.  She’s really sweet.  The missionaries that run the mission home counseled us to combine our essential stuff into one suitcase, ‘cause it’s apparently impossible to travel with two.  This was an ordeal.  But I felt grateful ‘cause there was a guy with three!  Baha! J
And now, my companion:  his name is Elder Petersen from Washington.  He’s super legal, likes to work hard, and is a great trainer.  We never speak English which has helped me a lot, and he puts up with all my questions.  I’m learning many things about what kind of missionary I want to be from him.  One day, it was super hot (I’m super sunburned!), my feet were killing (literally, I think they were trying to murder me), I was crazy for water (which is the most beautiful thing on the planet), and I wasn’t understanding a thing.  That night, I prayed I would feel better, learn more, and faster, and that we would be blessed.  Then, in companionship prayer, Elder Petersen only prayed for our investigators by name and prayed we could try harder to do better.  That was a wake-up call big time!! I was only thinking about myself.  He’s a great example of selflessness, patience, hope, and humility.  I’m so grateful he’s my trainer.  The church here is beautiful. On Fast Sunday, as soon as the bishop sat down, twenty people stood up and sat in the choir seats to bear their testimonies.  So cool.  The saints here are amazing

We only ever eat lunch (almoco), so that’s new, but I’ll be okay. J  We have a few baptisms for the future- muito legal-and life is simply great. 

I love being a missionary so much!!  I pray for ya’ll back home a lot.  Oh and btw, I’ll only receive letters every 2-3 weeks or so, so please be patient with responses.  J 
Sure love ya’ll.  Continue being awesome.
Elder David Bean

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nov 5, 2012 “The Greatest Adventure Is What Lies Ahead!”

[We finally got Elder David's long-awaited "blog" letters! The more recent posts have been excerpts from his  family letters.  So...the dates are going to be out of order, going back in time a bit, while we get caught up.  Here's Elder Bean's blog letter dated Nov 5, 2012]

This is it folks.  Tomorrow I head out for... the field!! (cool sound effects)!!!  I’m a little scared, but that’s life.  Life is a little scary.  I’m mostly excited though. And! This week we were officially the oldest group here.  Crazy weird--and awesome.  It is so great to include, help, and befriend the blue dots (the pointo azulls).  Okay, my mind is so crammed full of stuff and preoccupied with “o campo!” that I can’t think of how to organize this letter. Baha! So here’s a whole bunch of random stuff. 
1) Halloween was last Wednesday.  Nothing happened here.  Lame?  Yes. J
Hope y’all had a great one. To celebrate, I bought a 2-liter bottle of guarana (and drank it all in one night. Bad idea).
2) For our mission conference, we sang “Consider the Lilies” in Portugues.  Muito molho de legal. 
3) I got letters this week from Opie, Elder Aaron W, Aunt Jody and Uncle Mark and, of course, Mom. J You’re all the best and I’ll write/send out responses as soon as I can. 
4) We had an “orientation day” yesterday.  It was 100% freeway speed Portugues.  But by some miracle, I understood most of it.  As always, I’m grateful for God’s goodness.
5) Also, one more time, I want to say just how great my CTM district was: each person--so unique, so special.  I will remember these people, and they have a special place in my memory as my first district. It’s going to be hard saying goodbye tomorrow morning.  I’ve learned so much from them. Things like what I want for life, understanding myself better, patience and many other Christ-like attributes.
6)  I also want to write a little about what I’ve learned from each companion. The credit goes to Andrew Woodruff for this idea.  Entao, Elder Barton.  I learned from him how to better be courageous in this work.  He was a great example of this when we were on the street.  Also, he wouldn’t ever complain.  Just patiently help, and continue on.  He helped me a lot with Portugues.  Best of luck to him!  
7)  I also learned so much from our instructor Irmao Ricardo.  He’s a great guy.  I can’t possibly write all the things he taught, so I’ll just say that the most impactful thing was he taught the importance of loving the people, and a close second, that sacrificing is worth it.  Some experiences with Irmao Ricardho this week: We taught a few times this week where Irmao Ricardo role-played himself as the investigator--as his non-member self at 17 years old!!  He’s a convert, and was simulating his own conversion!  Legal!  Also, a big confidence boost when he said we did as good as the real missionaries who taught him!!!  J  WHOOHOO!!!  Also, our district and Irmao Ricardo had a final testimony meeting together. We've had about five already this week with other groups of people--oh my, yes, I am spiritually and emotionally exhausted.  All in Portugues.  We have all grown so close here, like a family, and Irmao Ricardo is (as DF would say) our sergeant father!!  Baha, but really, this testimony meeting was so special.  And very wet. J  After our testimonies, Irmao Ricardo said the closing prayer, and prayed for each of us specifically by name.  It was really special, kinda like getting a blessing.  We’re his first American district and I think he’ll miss us too.  After saying goodbye, I was a little moist. J  
Well, a few last things:
8) My final interview was a miracle, because the Presidency member (without knowing) addressed every worry I had about the field, exactly.  Was amazing. God loves me. 
9) After packing like crazy today, we sang (for the last time) the Brasil National Anthem which we do every week.  It was muito legal!  My first week, I couldn’t sing one word of this fast paced, crazy anthem.  But, just barely, I sang every word!!!  So cool.  Such progression now that I look back.  It’s important to stop for a second every now and then and recognize how far we’ve come.  Loco.  Muito bom.  Well, I gotta go.  Gotta sleep for tomorrow’s big day.  So long CTM, so long English, so long District 36-B.  I’m heading out to Sao Paulo North on my mission!!! And so... It begins.  The greatest adventure is what lies ahead...
Love, Elder David Bean

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nov 19 - Dec 3 Updates

David’s “official” blog letters still haven’t arrived, but here are excerpts from his emails to his mom that include brief updates plus messages he asked be delivered to friends and extended family.

Nov 19:  Ups & Downs of the 2nd week “o campo” (in the field)
This week has been so fantastic.  Major ups, major downs, too: people accepting the gospel, people not accepting, people not keeping commitments, people who we help to start anew.  So sad.  So great.  So happy.  The greater the love, the greater the pain.

Days are good.  Food is good and far spaced (only eat one meal a day).  I thank God every day for Elder Petersen.  He is such a help and a blessing.

One really cool experience really fast:  we went to a less active family’s house, and to make a long story short, I committed them to go to church, and they came!  And we’re friends now.  So legit.  Had district meeting - first one - last week:  cool people.

Yesterday (Sunday Nov 18) I was asked to bear my testimony in church!  So scary, but I stumbled through it and it was okay. J  The language is really hard, but it is coming.

I love you all so much.  Thank you for your prayers.
Elder David

Nov 28:  “Rain, Key, Temple & Time”
Foi uma great week.
No P-day on Monday, because we had a temple trip today.  Temple was good.
Companheiro is molho de legal!!!!!
It rained a lot this week.
Our key to our house broke in the door.  Great adventure that was! Baha!
Language is coming well:  I quasi understand 80%-ish of significado.
God is good.
No time.  Never tem (have) time.
Keep praying.
I love it here.
I love you all.
I literally have no time to write letters.  In a whole month I have not had one minute.  We are only supposed to write letters on Pday (of course), and Pdays are always jam packed.  So I need to send some greetings via the fam email:  Sam A, Stephanie T (so cool you got your call!!!), Opie, Johnny L, and Grandma, Uncle, Aunt, Cousins: I got your letters!  I love you all!
Hope your Thanksgiving was great!
We are going to have a lot of baptisms soon I think/hope!
Gotta go!
Love, always,
Elder David J

Dec 3:  “I’m totally happy here”
Hi!!  J
Sibs:  I love you, sister!  I love you, brother!  Thanks for your letters.  I pray for you always. Continue in the faith.
About my investigators:  a mom & daughter are going to be baptized later this month!  We are helping/teaching three really nice young men.  Also teaching a father and daughter, and much, much more people.

I need to leave.  I love you!
 Elder David

P.S. Jiffy muffins are gold here!  Very easy to make and also very good.
Also, I am totally happy here, I do not need anything.

P.P.S. Opie, right now I’m listening to that song “I’m glad you came” cause it’s playing here at the computer place, and I’m totally dancing the wedding dance in my head!  Baha!!! :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nov 23, 2012 Pictures and recent note to the family

Note from David's mom:
On Nov 19th  Elder Bean wrote that he has mailed 3 blog letters, but so far, we have not received them.  While we continue to wait on the sketchy mail service (remember there is a postal strike going on that slows the mail), I'll share some more photos of his last days in the MTC which we received earlier this week. 

Irmao Ricardo (CTM instructor) with Elder Bean 

Elder Bean with Irmao Zamignani--another CTM instructor

CTM instructor with Elder Bean

Elder Bean's study desk at the CTM (Sao Paulo MTC)

David in black & white shot

Elder Bean with MTC President and Sister Deign

Hmmm--don't know the story of this octopus on the CTM whiteboard, but it has a witch hat and tie-on nose, and is carrying a trick or treat bag. It looks like an illustration by David.  The speech bubble says "Hi! Can (it) pray for us?'  There's a story here...but don't know what it is!
Elder Bean


overlooking a 4 story LDS Chapel

Friday, November 16, 2012

Nov 12, 2012 "First week in 'o campo' - the field!"

Elder Petersen and Elder Bean

It has been a great last two weeks.  The week leading up to the field was so wonderful—having final experiences with my wonderful district and instructors.  So good, and oh, man-!!!-the field is just what I expected and better!  Português is hard, but it’s coming.  Elder Petersen is so legal.  God loves me a lot.  I was really worried whether or not I would receive a good trainer, but I’m in good hands J  Elder Petersen works really hard, helps me, and we only speak Português.  It’s really great.  It’s also amazing to be teaching real people—can’t tell you how great this work is.

The apartment is great, although right across the street is a lingerie store.  Life here is obviously very different.  My whole body hurts and I’m bright vermelho-!- but so happy. 
We never eat breakfast or dinner, but the members feed us well for almoço.  
All is well, the Português is coming, and I’m where I belong.  Love, Elder David

P.S.  Use the MISSION HOME ADDRESS for everything: 
Elder David Kirkwood Bean
Brasil São Paulo Norte Mission
Rua Dr. Rui Batista Pereira, 165
Jardim Caxingui
São Paulo - SP

Take care, I love you, have a great week!

Nov 6, 2012 Update from David’s mom

Our Elder Bean was transferred from the MTC to the Sao Paulo North mission home on Nov 6.
Before he left the MTC he sent a number of pictures he’d taken from his top floor window.  He has loved the view overlooking that part of Sao Paulo, and has taken pictures of the panorama in every condition possible:  sunrise, sunset, midday, cloudy, clear, stormy and at night. Many of the pictures were pixilated, so I’ll not post them.  He was not able to write a blog letter that day, but did send a short note to me which I’ll share:
Mom!  I’m at the mission home, life is wonderful!  Tomorrow I’ll meet my companion Elder Petersen, and we will go to the Osasco Brazil Stake, Novo Granada Ward.  My P-day is Monday, so I’ll write next week to catch up.  With all my love, Elder David
Distrito 36-B Sao Paulo MTC  early Nov 2012

Outubro 30, 2012 "Of Progress, Proselyting and Pandemonium"

Oi, all!  Tudo bem?  Muito bom.  Vida aqui esta otimo! J
[Hi, all!  Everything well?  Very good.  Life here is great!]

Elder Bean with instuctor Irmao Ricardo and District 36-B
One more week ’til “o campo”—the field!  There is so much to do in this last week, it’s crazy.  It is such an exciting time for all of us!  I’m also feeling sad out district is going to have to say goodbye and go our separate ways, but I know God will bless them, cause, oh man, has He blessed me.  He will always support His servants.

This week there has been a HUGE growth in our understanding of the language.  As of today, we’re the oldest group here.  It’s weird to think that just “yesterday” I was eating my first lunch here as a Blue-dot, talking to the 8-Weekers and thinking, “There’s no way I’m going to do that.”  J  Ta da!  It’s legit.

So the best thing that happened this week was when we went proselyting yesterday.  I was so nervous and worried I wouldn’t understand, or that the people would hate me or my message feel fake, etc, etc.  But again!  God supports and sustains His servants.  My mouth and ears were opened and the Português just happened.  Tender mercy.  The CTM gives each missionary two copies of The Book of Mormon to hand out.  Elder Barton and I brought some extra copies we had purchased at the Distribution Center, so we went out with ten books, and with the Lord’s help were able to hand out eight of them.  So good.  Each time we talked to someone, it was special, and the Spirit guided.  It was so refreshing to do the real thing and not just a role play.  One thing that our instructor said that helped me be bold was, “Remember, this could be the only opportunity that person has to join the church, so talk to everyone, and don’t be timid.”  That got me pumped! J
Also, on average, the people who accepted The Book of Mormon and genuinely wanted to learn more were guys about my age.  It was cool bearing testimony to them of what I know and how it’s blessed me.  Ah, man, so cool.  One lady looked like she was going to cry when Elder Barton told her God loves her.  And for the first time ever (in Português), I was able to bear testimony that there is a God.  I realize, now, how two months of struggling, feeling incompetent, hard work and stress is worth a few moments on a hot afternoon. J  I’m so happy.  And I can’t wait for the field!  Proselyting confirmed to me that this is truly possible.  I mean, oh my gosh, I was preaching the gospel in Português to Brazilians yesterday!!!  Wow.  Can’t even say how great I feel.

Shout out this weeks goes to my wonderful mother for the letters she writes!  Uncle Mark, too.  Thank you so much. J

And now for the random stuff:  1) There are a lot of cockroaches here, but I think “Wall-e” cured me of any possible fear of them 2) I have been so tired, as of late, that I will fall asleep during choir practice.  This is amazing ’cause I do it while standing and singing.  Suffice it to say, it is a very scary sensation to wake up as you’re legs are giving out and you’re falling down.  BaHa.  Thankfully, I’ve not yet had an encounter with the floor. J   3) Two elders in our district like to ride the elevator to our room on the 6th floor at the end of the day.  Elder Barton and I have started racing them there, but using the stairs.  Oh my gosh, it is so funny as he and I scrabble up those seven flights of stairs as fast as we can!  And we usually win.  HaHa.  4) I did a few English fasts this week, and they were really helpful.  It makes the Portuguese more ingrained in my mind.  I don’t speak much, but I do speak.  And I speak enough for now.  5)  We only have one more week to try and help our “investigator” Evandro to be baptized.  Our date is set for this Saturday.  But we still have a few lessons we need to teach him.  Hopefully, it all works out.  We just need more time!

Hey, thank you for your prayers.  I definitely feel them.  The love is real!!!  Sure hope life is treating you well.  Life is hard, it’s supposed to be, but life is so good.  Continue in faith, continue to write, continue to love God and those around you.
’Til next letter (and I’ll be in the field!!!) J
Elder David Bean

Sunday, November 4, 2012

More CTM photos

Companions: Elders Barton and Bean

Missionary Nametags

Missionarios in the CTM

David with 4 other missionarios
Sao Paulo: evening view as seen from David's 7th floor window
Sao Paulo:  daytime view

Photos Sept - Oct 2012

District 36- B

Having a little fun!

Uniquely personalized 
Leather scripture case

Brazilian candy
Elder Bean and missionary

Trio of elders

Newly arrived Elder Shawcraft with Elder Bean

Outubro 23, 2012 "Baby steps to the...Português?”

Missionarios leaving the CTM. Soon it will be Elder Bean's turn.

It’s happening peoples.  I’m learning Português.  I didn’t think it possible, but after sending our second batch of Brazilian roommates out into the field, I realize just how much I’m progressing.  Now, I’m sure in two weeks (Did you catch that?  Two weeks.) I’ll get a rude awakening to the reality of native fast-talking Português (just to make very clear, it’s two weeks.  That’s all.  Ahh!), but it’ll all be okay.  I’m doing well.  I’m understanding more and more every day as I force myself to constantly talk to Brazilian missionaries. J

Elder Bean with Elder J. Pereira

My district has really gotten even closer.  For one of our goals this week we had a compliment circle every night, and each companionship would get complimented by everyone else.  It was really nice, and also enlightening, because as I thought about the unique abilities each person had, I realized the traits I wanted to grow in and work on.  Another thing that was great was working with Irmao Ricardo this whole week.  He understands missionary work so well, and he constantly teaches us (all in Português) how to be better servants to the Lord and the people.  It’s gonna be hard to say goodbye to him.  Saying goodbye to my Brazilians this morning wasn’t too hard—I’m mostly excited for them.  And I want them to be able to succeed so much!  They’ll do great.  Especially Elder J. Pereira!  He was district leader for his district, so helpful to me, and was always just so happy about this gospel and the opportunity to serve!  He’s a great example.  He got sick a few days ago and asked for a priesthood blessing.  Another Brazilian gave it, but I stood in, and, oh my goodness, such a cool thing.  I learned that 1) God speaks and inspires men to speak in Português, and 2) whether it be English, Português or Finnish, the priesthood is the same and the eternal laws respect it the same in any tongue.  I also got to give a sister in my district a blessing of comfort.  Just simply put, God is good, and so trusting; He loves us and wants the best for us.

Last few tidbits of info for this week:  I got letters from Mom, Grandma, Miriam Blaser, Opie Arnold, Rosemary Merrill and Elder Matthew Woodruff.  Thank you so much!  I’m responding to y’all as fast as I can! J  Oh, I also was asked during our church meeting on Sunday to give a talk.  It was a great blessing to be able to give it in Português.  See? God is too good to all of us. J  Oh, it is wonderful to me.

Last thought—for my Band tribe:  Pay attention to the things you learned in Marching Band.  As you close your season, make it worth something, and be better.  I loved band because it provided me opportunities, in abundance, to change myself for the better.  And the lessons learned are applicable to every single part of your life. Here on the mission it is sadly obvious that there are “two bands on the field.”  Those that are digging in and progressing, and those that are doing less than their best.  The longer we go, the greater and more apparent the divide.  All y’all, prepare for life, prepare for missions, choose ye this day whom you will serve.  No regrets.  But...there will be regrets, so remember, “it’s never too late to be the way you wish you would’ve been.”  I love you all— I couldn’t ask for better family and friends.   J 
With my love and prayers, Elder David 

Elder Bean with missionary at the CTM!

Missionarios in front of the World Map.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Outubro 16, 2012 "1/16, 155, 3, 7"

It has been such a crazy good week.  It feels like I’ve been here forever, and like I arrived at the CTM yesterday.  It’s weird, but good.  I’m done, as of today, with a sixteenth of my mission--my first “transfer” period.  So crazy.  So good.  I’ve reached my goal of weighing 155 pounds!  And I still have 3 more weeks to go.  Yep, I’m a happy man. J  I received seven letters this week.  Thank you Mom, Grandma, Uncle Mark (two letters) Taylor Ashby, Laura Williams and Sara Bass!  You guys are great and I sent stuff out today to y’all.  And three Books of Mormon were placed by our district last week on P-day--such cool experiences talking about the church in broken Português.  It is such a tender mercy, a miracle, how fast we are learning.  I don’t know a lot, but I know a ton more than I did a few weeks ago. For our last TRC teaching, Elder Barton and I killed it!  We dominated! J It was so good.  Now we get to be investigators for Blue Dots (the new guys). 

Some things that happened this week:  I did an English fast on Wednesday.  It was good and hard--I learned a lot.  It has been stormy all week (but I love the weather here).  I’m understanding  a lot about English grammar as I study Português.  I had to write a talk on baptism in Português —just in case I was called to speak in church.  I wasn’t, but it was really hard to write a Português discourse!  The workshops we have at night have been really good practice to help people and not teach lessons. Also, to help with our Português, Elder Barton, our Brazilian roommate Elder J. Pereira and I read aloud in the Livro de Mormon.  It’s really good for my pronunciation.

Elder David Bean with Elder Mike Oaks
Two last things:  1) we had a “baptism!”  Our ”investigator” Evandro is preparing for baptism, so in our last lesson, Elder Barton and I invited him to come to the baptism of someone else, just to see what it entailed.  He agreed, and then our instructor said we actually needed to put on a “baptism” for him!  HAHA!  So out district leader was the “bishop,” we “baptized” another elder, and another sister and I gave “talks.”  It was actually a really cool experience.  2) Elder Mike Oaks left today for Curitiba.  It was hard saying goodbye, but he’s gonna be a great missionary. J I gave him a hug to give Elder Andrew Woodruff for me.  It’s so legit we are in Brasil.  Wow. 
            God is good.  His work is everything!  Shall we not go on in so great a cause? J Peace be with you.  You’re in my prayers.  Love, Elder David Bean