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, July 8, 2013

April 15, 2013 “Leaving My Birthplace…”

Well, folks, it happened.  I’m being transferred from this wonderful area of Nova Granada, Osasco.  I’m super sad, but also happy.  And I’m extremely grateful that I was able to serve here the last 6 months.  So this last week was super good, a great end to this chapter of my mission.  I’ll tell you the day by day:

Six generations of missionaries! (Each missionary trained the elder on his left.)
This time I have a "son" - Elder Lucas.
Tuesday 4/9:  We had our zone meeting, and afterwards Elder Lucas and I needed to catch the bus back to our area. The only thing is… we got on the bus going in the wrong direction!  So… 2 ½ hours later, we got off the bus and finally arrived in our area.  Yeah, it was awful!  But I got two letters delivered: one from Mom (Happy Easter) and the other from Elder C. Santos, a Brazilian roommate from the CTM!  : ) Thank you!

Wednesday 4/10:  Wow, I am getting fat…you guys are not going to believe it. 

Thursday 4/11:  Elder Lucas and I have been teaching a special lesson on baptism that we’ve given to lots of our investigators.  It teaches the need to be baptized in very simple and plain terms.  People have responded well.

Friday 4/12:  We had a really special Family Home Evening with a little family I’ve been working with the last 6 months.  I love them like they’re my own family.  It was cool to show them how to have a Family Night.  I made a million muffins for the treat afterwards, and had a ton leftover. 
"Member of Gold" Certificate
Elder Lucas and I also made a special certificate to give to a lady in our ward who helps us a lot with our missionary work, and she cried with gratitude for being recognized.

On Saturday 4/13:  We had a good last “normal” day proselyting in Nova Granada.  I don’t want to leave this wonderful place, these people, my companion!  Oh, man, Elder Lucas is so awesome.  It has been my privilege to work alongside this stalwart missionary.  I learned so much about this work as I was training him.  Elder Lucas taught me to just be a friend, and to not complain.  He also showed me how to teach with true simplicity and clarity.  We had some amazing miracles together, and I love Elder Lucas like a brother.  Boa sorte para ele e companheiro dele nos esforcos deles. [Good luck to him and his companion in their efforts.]  : )

And on Sunday 4/14:  We had almost double the amount of investigators at church than we usually do!  And it’s my 222 day on the mission!  Crazy sauce.  Also a guy who was high on drugs came into the chapel, and Elder Lucas and I gave him a few of the chocolate muffins from Friday and helped him out. : )  It was nice.
And…on today, Monday:  I got the call that I’ll be leaving for the Mairipora ward in the Jacana Stake, and that my companion will be Elder Robison (Eli Robison’s cousin) from Washington.  So tonight I started visiting people for the last time, and well, 6 goodbyes later, I’m kinda a mess, but it’s all good.  I cried and it was hard, but also so good, and it was cool bearing a last testimony.  It didn’t help that all the people we visited cried too.  One of the people I baptized said, “Você vai sempre ficar em nossos corações.” [“You will always be in our hearts.”] The bishop also cried.  It’s so humbling to realize that I was able to do some good here, that I made a difference. Alma 26: 12 “Yeah I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.”  And verse 16: “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 or 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.”  Oh man, it’s painful leaving a part of my heart here.  Mas, Nova Granada, nunca esqueça que “Lembro-me sempre de ti em minhas orações, rogando constantemente a Deus, o Pai, em nome de seu Santo Filho Jesus, que ele, por sual infinita bonade e graçe, te conserve constant na fé em seu nome até o fim.” [But, Nova Granada, never forget that “I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.” ] - Moroni 8: 3.

Well, Love y’all.  Until next week, Love Always, Elder David Bean : )

Elder Bean and Irmao Samuel.  This man is a dynamic leader and friend.
Elder Bean and good friend Fabio.
Tiffany will keep this Nativity always
Elder Lucas and me after a barber destroyed our hair!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

April 8, 2013 “Pizza, Beer and General Conference"

This week was super fast, and a little tiring.  Okay, I actually feel dead.  But this week was still good as ever!

We ate pizza with our member friend Fabio in the bishop’s office.  It was nice of him to give us pizza.  And I don’t know if I’ve talked much about Fabio…well, Fabio is a recent convert to the church, and he’s the man!  He helps us out so much, and he does so much to help the church.  Fabio is preparing to serve a mission, and I love him. He’s also hilarious, people.  But yeah…pizza here in Brasil is really, really good. : )

We carried cases of beer to the bar of our non-member friend as an act of service! : ) Baha.  For those of y’all that don’t know why this was a little humorous, I’ll tell you.  Faithful members of the church don’t smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, or consume coffee or tea, because a prophet of God received a revelation from out Heavenly Father in 1833, and promised we would be blessed for our obedience (see Doctrine and Covenants 89 – this revelation is called “The Word of Wisdom”).  So it was just funny as we were giving this service: two missionaries carrying beer cases over to the bar!  The owner was grateful, and gave us some soda there - so there we were, drinking Fanta in the bar…yep.  : )

General Conference April 2013 
We watched General Conference on Saturday and Sunday!  We were able to bring a few people with us, too.   I saw Elder Barton in the chapel, and it was crazy to think that we were watching General Conference in the CTM six months ago!!!   Time - oh my!  I didn’t understand a lot of what was said because the translator spoke really fast and with a heavy accent. 

But, I had a miracle talk where I understood almost everything!  Yep, Elder Holland.  So good!  He talked about how we need to “hold fast to what [we] already know,” and that it isn’t the size of your faith that matters, it’s the integrity of your faith:  “Be true to the faith you do have.”  Oh, so epic.  : )  

Last two things: 
1) I bore a strong testimony to a few non-active members, telling them that it is in the small things that personal spirituality and progression are discovered:  waking up on Sunday to go to church, calling the family for prayer, kneeling, opening the scriptures, paying tithing first, keeping the commandments. Ahhh -!  It’s so simple: put God first, and everything else will work out!  

2) Today, all of our P-day, Elder Lucas and I made a framed piece of art for two of our recent baptisms.  It was a picture of all four of us dressed in white at the baptism.  Surrounding our picture was a border of pictures of Christ, also dressed in white.  It’s beautiful!  Anybody who knows me, knows I love making “artsy” things, and I was grateful we could make something special for these special friends.

Hey people, I love you all - like a lot!  Okay?!  Remember, I pray for you all the time.  Do what is right. : )
Until next week!  Love, Elder David Bean  

Elders Nogueira and Bean

Elders Grosbeck and Bean

Card we made

Chorrasco - Brazilian BBQ

April 1, 2013 "Three More Miracles"

Early in the week we had a division with Elder Young, one of our zone leaders, and he invited five of our investigators to be baptized this last Saturday (March 30th).  Four of the five accepted the invitation!  Three were, in fact, baptized on Saturday, and the fourth will be baptized on the 27th of April.  And one didn’t like the invitation, and has stopped visiting with us. 

So, to explain the three that were baptized:  we’ve been teaching the first two, a mom and her 23 year old daughter, for a couple of weeks, so their acceptance to be baptized was not unexpected.  In fact, they showed their faith in accepting the need to be baptized during our very first lesson!  They’ve been trying hard to prepare, and be ready to act on their desires to follow Christ.  They are both so wonderful, and it has been a privilege teaching them.  They are inspiring.

Now, about the third baptism:  she is the young adult daughter of the investigator who is scheduled to be baptized on the 27th.  As we missionaries were walking out the door, Elder Young asked the investigator’s 22 year old daughter if she had faith in Christ.  She said yes.  He asked her if she’d been to church before (yes), read The Book of Mormon (yes), and thought they were true.  She said yes.  He asked her if he could talk to her to ask her a few more questions.  She said yes, and about thirty minutes later, the two of them returned with big smiles and a baptismal form in hand!  As we were leaving, Elder Young told me that she was “ready and wanting” to be baptized, and would be baptized in three days, to which I replied, “Elder, what’s her name?”  Uh-huh.  That’s right.  I’d never taught her before.  But the Spirit was strong, and confirmed she was ready and prepared.  She had some questions and concerns during the rest of the week, and we prayed hard for her.  It took her faith and our faith to overcome some adversity, but in the end, she had the faith to move forward.  It was like a complete miracle.  It is wonderful to me!

True faith is to keep going and doing your best until the last moment.  Then God takes it from there.

All three ladies were radiant on their baptismal day!  Baptism allowed each to receive a remission of their sins.  Wow, God is good.  And on Sunday it was wonderful being an instrument in God’s hands as each convert had the gift of the Holy Ghost bestowed upon her.  The gospel is true, folks, and so good. : ) 

One year and three days ago I opened my mission call.  Time’s going by fast?  Uh Huh…yep.

People, thank you for your prayers, I feel them. : ) 

And thank you to Uncle Mark, Elder Matthew Woodruff, Elder Andrew Woodruff and Maren Young for your letters!  : ) You’re the best.

Okay, I love you all. Until next week,
Love, Elder David Kirkwood Bean

P.S. Happy Birthday, Nick Walton  : )

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

March 25, 2013 Seven Miracles in Nova Granada

I could also title this "Suffer the little children to come unto me."  Read on to find out why.

Five miracles and counting...
So this week (Oh, Hi everybody!):  Our zone’s goal was to have 7 miracles be baptized, and while as a zone, we didn’t have seven miracle baptisms, Elder Lucas and I did have 7 miracles happen in Nova Granada.

#1 – We are teaching a woman who just two weeks ago said (I’m translating into English): “Okay, Elders, you’re great and I like what you’re teaching me.  But just to be clear, I am not going to be baptized, understand?”  So what did we do?  We planned a special lesson on baptism (teaching that Jesus was baptized, He showed us the way, etc).  And you know what?  When I invited her to be baptized she said yes – that she wanted a change for the better in her life and it felt like the right thing to do.  Wow.

#2  – Elder Lucas and I are strengthened beyond our capacity.  Who would have thought that an American gringo and an Argentine newby – both learning Portuguese – would be doing the Lord’s work together in Brazil?!  Life is so good.

#3 and #4  – We’ve been teaching two families: “Family A” and “Family B.” Daughters in both families wanted to be baptized, but Mom A and Mom B were both apprehensive about it.  We had the baptismal interview with Girl A, and found her to be completely ready, but her mom declined permission, saying no, she would not approve (which is her right, and the Church respects parents’ wishes).  As we explained the concept of baptism, the mother’s heart softened and she decided to sign the permission form after all.  Mom B supported her daughter in her choice, and also signed the permission form.  So…both young ladies were baptized this last Saturday.  3 Nephi 11: 37-38: And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.  And again, I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

#5    I was able to confirm one of these girls, in Portuguese, and did so fluently, without making some horrible language mistake.  I love the power of confirmations!

#6  – We were walking down the street close to the church, and this man on crutches came up to us…(well, actually he staggered up to us because he had been drinking).  He asked us if we had any money because he was hungry.  We couldn’t give him any money, but we told him that if he’d wait we would get him some food.  We ran to the church and were looking for someone who might be able to help, when lo and behold, we found a giant platter of tuna sandwiches!  In the church! (Insert heavenly voices here :D !!)  Elder Lucas and I took a few back to the man.  Isn’t that awesome?!  The Lord provides in unexpected ways.

#7  – Repentance.  It is such a humbling experience to see the miracle of true repentance as it transforms the lives of people.  Christ lives and He loves us so much.  We can change our lives for the better though faith in Him, and a sincere desire to come closer to Him.  The church I represent isn’t just another good church, I testify that this is THE Church of Jesus Christ – the one He organized and ordained. 

I love you all.  Share your testimonies. 
Until next week, with all my love, Elder David Bean

Putting on white

March 18, 2013 Helping others take baby steps to the non-smoking elevator...

The news is old...but newly posted...so new to all you BeaninBrazil Blog readers!

Hi, everybody! Elder Lucas and I had a great week.  It was a super busy, a little stressful, kinda painful totally worth it, awesome-sauce week.  So what’s new?  Well, I’ll tell you:

Scriptural thoughts attached to cigarettes -
helping good people break a bad habit
1.  We’re working with some people who need to overcome their smoking addiction before their baptisms, and we are coming up with the craziest ideas! We've written scripture references on their cigarettes, made fake cigarettes for them to hold and encouraged them to tally how many cigarettes they smoke in a day on a picture of Christ.  It’s crazy, but the results are good!  From 3 packs a day (about 60 cigarettes) to ½ pack (10 a day) — They’re really progressing!  It’s so cool seeing people trying to “leave the world” behind.

2.  We don’t have any credits on our cell phone, so to talk to anybody we’ve been having to go there “ by foot” and talk face to face!  Ahh!!

3.  I’m the stroganoff wizard!  I’ve become really good at making rice and a good ol’ stroganoff.  Cool, huh?

Elder Groesbeck and Elder Bean
4.  We had a wonderful conference on Tuesday with a few other zones, and I learned a ton!  Our zone leaders (Elder Groesbeck and Elder Young) taught a great workshop on our purpose: to baptize.  Really, everything we do points to baptism, and I learned how to preach baptism in all I do.  Sometimes missionaries don’t want to invite people to be baptized because they don’t want to offend, be rejected or feel uncomfortable.  But when we treat baptism like a normal necessity (which it is), the people also see it as normal.  We learned a lot of other cool stuff, and as we’ve started applying it in our day-to-day work we’re seeing major differences already!  It’s super.  I also got to see Elder Petersen (my first trainer and companion in the field) at the conference. :)

5.  The “mantle” of responsibility I’ve been feeling is still heavy, but it’s also happy.  I love this work!

6.  If you had told me four months ago that I’d be teaching an Argentinean the Portugues language, and taking the lead in the lessons and making decisions for the work, I would have said you were crazy. I’m in Brazil, folks, on a mission, and so happy to be here!

Until next week!  Elder David Bean

Love, Elder David Bean

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mar 11, 2013 I stayed!

 I’m still here in Nova Granada and it feels so right that I have a little bit more time in this wonderful area with these fantastic people.  I am excited, too, that I’m training!  An Argentinian!
Elders Lucas and Bean

Yes, I now have a “son” [nickname used by missionary trainers for those they train]:  Elder Lucas from ArgentinaJ  It’s super cool, and a little scary being the senior companion with responsibility to lead and teach/train, but still, I love it!  I’m learning a lot—sometimes I think I’m learning more than my new companion.  I’m trying to set a good example and show this new elder what missionary work is all about. It’s awesome being reminded of what I was experiencing and how I was feeling only four months ago.  Time...wow.

Anyway, what I learned from Elder Nielsen was to be bold, really friendly, to conjugate in all the weird tenses (subjunctive, imperfect, conditional, etc.) and to simply do your best every day.  We had a great nine weeks together – thanks, Elder Nielsen J.  He and ten other people left out zone this transfer. And guess who is now in my zone?  Elder Barton, my companion from the CTM!!  J  Cool, huh?!  And!  I got a letter from Sister Whitaker (also from my CTM group) and Elder A. Wheatley. Thanks J

My twin sister Emily is going to enter the field tomorrow, and I hope and pray that she gets through the hard times and loves the good times!  She is so cool.  It’s so cool having a twin on a mission at the same time as you.  Andrew, Matthew, am I right or am I right?  Baha.  But yeah, good luck out there, Sister Emily!  J 

Well, that’s about it for this week.  Here’s some profound advice for anyone who wants a better life:  
Do what is right.

Hey, I love y’all, and I mean it.  Until next week - Love, Elder David Bean

March 4, 2013 “1/4”

Hi, everyone.  As of today I’ve been on a mission for six months.  Six months!  That’s one fourth finished, fulfilled, done!  It went by so crazy fast...

Anyway, this entry will only be ¼ the usual length!

We had a special conference with Elder Mazzagardi.  Foi ótimo – It was great!

I got letters from Mom, Sister Emily, and Aubrey S—Thanks much!

The work is so great (I probably say that every letter, huh...?!) – I just love it here.  Elder Nielsen and I met a lot of new people this week.  We’re marking baptismal dates, doing all we can to invite souls unto Christ.  It is interesting that a portion of our investigators include kids (pre-teens).  That makes me think of 3 Nephi 9:21-22 where the Savior says, “Behold I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin.  Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God.”

I’m so happy serving a mission.  It is very fulfilling.  Also, I love this area!  I’m really nervous about this next transfer...I don’t know what will happen, but I know the Lord is in it.  Tomorrow I discover my fate—will I stay?  Or will I go?  Stay tuned and find out next week. Love y’all.  I’ll be home before you know it.

Love with all my heart,
Elder David Bean    

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Feb. 25, 2013 Happy Birthday to you! Happy "birth"-day to me!

First things first:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!  J  Sure love you, and I’m so grateful for you, your example, your support and love.  Hope you had a fantastic day! 
Second things second:  I was baptized twelve years ago on the same day as my mom’s b-day.  J  It was cool talking with our investigators about what my baptism was like and how special it was.  I remember so much about that day from so long ago. 

Our district leader has challenged us to invite someone to be baptized every day, and that has helped us keep our focus and purpose in mine:  share more about this special ordinance/covenant which Jesus showed us by His example and Word is a commandment. 

Elder Nielsen baptized a woman this week, and she has a miracle story that is super cool!  She had been investigating the church for about a year, and had never felt like it was her time to get baptized.  She and the missionaries had been praying that she would be able to find work, which she found, but worked on Sundays.  Elder Nielsen and I challenged her to find a job where she didn’t have to work on Sundays.  So, one day last week, she left her house to go our and find a new job…which she found!  She showed her faith, and that same day she found a job that was better than the first, and that didn’t required her to work on the Sabbath. J  I believe in miracles!  And it gets better!  As she was riding the bus home after finding the new job, she said a prayer to thank God, and as she opened her eyes, she saw us, the Elders, walking down the street.  She felt a strong prompting that she should move forward with baptism, and the next day, asked us if she could be baptized!!!  We were like, “Wha--at?  Are you serious?”  And then we realized her faith and God’s hand in both her new job and her decision to be baptized. Wow –very powerful, and so cool.

Know what else is cool?  Getting letters from my family, Maren (good luck in the MTC!) Sister Olivia, Bao. Ashley M, Seth M, Aunt Jody, cousin Will and my wonderful Grandma.  Thanks, too, for two packages from the best mom in the world!  A new Preach My Gospel, some candy and muffin mixes definitely made this missionary feel loved.  And seriously, guys -  all of you people writing -  you’re so great!  Your letters really keep the spirits up. The love is real.  J

So…we have an investigator who owns a restaurant, and he’s going to invite all his employees to listen to our lessons!  How cool!  I accept. J

We also had interviews with President Martins a few days ago.  Our time was scheduled for 11:00 am, but we didn’t get to meet with him until 5:00 pm.  Ha – six hours waiting in the same chair for two minutes speaking with him!  Baha—but I got to know the other members of my zone really well.

So…to wrap it up:  The work is super good!  The ward is starting to get really involved, and we’re teaching a lot of people with potential to move forward in accepting the Gospel. As missionaries we are called to find and teach people who want to come closer to Christ.  It is a little sad that not everyone progresses to that point, but all of Father’s children are under His care and watchful eye.  In general, Nova Granada is progressing super well. It’s exciting to see the momentum of this “stone cut out of a mountain” as it begins to roll forth. J
Hey, I sure love and miss you all.  Be good.  Search for opportunities to sever, to be better, to grow.  Until next week, Love, Elder David Bean

Feb 18, 2013 “And I say, ‘Hey! What a wonderful kind of day!’”

NOTE from Elder Bean's Mom:  We finally got a whole bunch of "blog" letters!!!  I'll post them as fast as I can (they come handwritten and I get to type them).  You will recognize from the news he recounts the background stories to some of the pictures I have previously posted.  Have fun matching the pictures to the blogs!]

 Hey, everybody!  God is good!  And so was this week! J  I baptized a woman last Saturday, and it was super special.  She is the mother of two, has a good husband, and she is setting the example for her family.  Her story:  she has a sister in the other ward, and for some time now she’s been visiting that ward with her sister.  So what she needed, more than anything, was a friend in our ward, connections, etc., to have the desire to switch over [members of the church attend the ward within their prescribed geographical area].  And now, we experienced a miracle.  When we first arrived for her baptism, there was no one there. We went upstairs to find her  some baptismal clothing (a white jumpsuit), and we discovered the entire Relief Society from our ward finishing a meeting! J  We invited them all to come downstairs and watch the baptism,  and show their support, and they all came.  It was perfect!  The new member met the Relief Society Presidency, and many, many new friends, and other women who will help her with her kids, etc.  It was exactly what she needed – such a tender mercy. J  Her husband came to the baptism, and attended church the next day to watch the confirmation.  He really liked it, and he felt the Spirit. 

That same Sunday, another one of our investigators, with tears in her eyes, finally made the decision to go to church. She loved it and felt the Spirit, and said she is going back!  J  The recent converts I’ve been able to work with are getting stronger and stronger [in their faith in Christ], and they’re changing more and more [putting off the “natural” or worldly self, and becoming more Christ-centered].  It is seriously miraculous to see.

And!  I hear that my twin sister Emily is still keeping on, keeping on in the MTC in the Dominican RepublicJ  Like always, I’m so proud of her.  

The work here is progressing so well!  It’s Great (with a capital G)!

So…the night after the baptism of this woman, Elder Nielsen and I were about to do another visit before returning home, but just as we were about to enter, we got a call from some members who said that the woman who was baptized a few hours ago was suddenly super sick – and that we needed to help her, to get to her fast!  Without a second thought, Elder Nielsen and I ran (literally sprinted) twenty minutes to the other side of our area to her house (we were half expecting to cast out devils that had gotten hold of out convert), but when we arrived, we found her, her husband, her two children, her sister and other family members and friends all smiling and looking perfectly healthy.  They started to laugh as they revealed some pizza and soda.  Uh-huh…they had tricked us to get us to come to a party celebrating her baptism!  And they knew we wouldn’t have come if we had known it was a party!  It was kinda cute, a little funny, but mostly…painful!  [That was a long, frantic run to her house!].  Some people!  J Baha!  But the pizza here is really good.  There are like a million different types, too.

Okay, one last bit of interesting news:  We had a temple trip scheduled for this last week, but President Martins called the zone leaders to let us know that as a mission, we weren’t worthy to go to the temple.  He said that individually, there are many of us who are clean / temple worthy, but as a mission, we need to be more obedient.  Wow!  It was a shocker, but I think it’s cool we are going to be “raising the bar.”  Elder Nielsen and I have already made a list of the few rules we weren’t fulfilling with exactness, and started working on them.  We can already see a difference in our work.  Obedience = blessings.  Just be obedient, people!  This life is really simple: obey the commandments, and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. J
It feels like we’re starting a new phase for the Mission Sao Paulo Norte.  J
Well, until next week, that’s all for now, folks.
Yours truly, Elder David Bean  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

March 11 photos and news

Note:  Still no "official" blog letter, but Elder Bean sent these photos to his family on March 11th.  The big news was that he was not transferred during the previous week.  His email home reads:

Mom! :)
...I STAYED!!!!  Yahoo!!!  I'm super happy about it, and... I'm training!!! :D  I'm a trainer of an Argentinian named Elder Lucas.  I'm teaching him Portuguese, and  how to do this missionary work!  It's so cool!  I love it.  It's like DM,* just more personal.  We're working well and it's great.  It's so wonderful that I'm training him where I was trained!

Elders Lucas and Bean

March 6, 2013: Between "pai" and "filho."
Elder Bean saw his first trainer, Elder Petersen, while at the mission home
to pick up Elder Lucas.
* DM stands for Drum Major--a position in which David served while in his high school's marching band.  Elder Bean often mentions his gratitude for the ways band and scouting helped prepare him for his current service in Brazil.

March 4 photos

Note: Still haven't gotten those blog letters...but Elder Bean has sent some great photos!
Irma N with Elder Bean

Maria and Elder Bean

Elder Bean with "V--" and his sister "F--"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Feb 25, 2013 Photos and Commentary

We had another baptism yesterday, and it was an absolute miracle! Mara was praying to receive new work, and on Tuesday last week, found a new job.  While she was thanking God on the bus on her way home from the job, she saw Elder Nielsen and me walking down the street. She suddenly had a strong confirmation that she needed to be baptized! She has been investigating for about a year. So HAPPY for her!  :)

Mara's baptism.

Thanks for the package of goodies!

Saw this on the street...Band is everywhere!

Worn out shoe inserts!

We walk so much!  Shoes just don't last as long.
I am in Hermana Oppes' ward.  This is a picture of a picture of her son
when he was serving in the Woodruff's mission.  Small world!!
Life is super good here. I am constantly thinking about the possibility of leaving this wonderful area.  I´ll find out next Monday (March 4) if I stay or if I go...

The ward is working with us alot, and we´re meeting new people everyday. The work here is really starting to take off.  It's wonderful seeing the momentum, and a little sad that I might not be here to enjoy the fruits. But hey, that´s a mission, and I'll go where called.  :)  Meanwhile. . . I' m sooo happy!

Feb 18, 2013 Photos

Note:  Elder Bean's handwritten blog posts take much longer to get to me than the photos he uploads.  Though he does not send pictures weekly,
he does send them fairly often.  Here are some photos sent Feb 18.

Big, dark rain clouds over Sao Paulo.

Caught in the downpour!  Elders Nielsen and Bean.

Fernanda's Baptism.

A little party celebrating Fernanda's baptism.

Feb 11, 2013 “They Come, They Eat, They Leave”

 So this week, we were at one of our lunch appointments, with the familia Dantes, and I realized that they were the first lunch appointment I had here in the field.  I remembered how scared and inept I was, not being able to speak, or understand, feeling tired and apprehensive, just following my trainer and trying to pull myself together.

But!  This visit, three months later, was such the opposite!  I was talking and talking, making jokes, bearing my testimony, eating with gustou, and afterwards giving a spiritual message with confidence and a smile!  I was so grateful to see the difference, and to be reminded once again, how much God loves me and all of us, and how He helps our efforts. 

Also, it is wonderful to be constantly reminded how much you all support us missionaries.  Thank you for your letters:  Elders Andrew and Matthew Woodruff, Hermana Bean (so cool my twin is a sister missionary!), Miriam (it’s awesome you are getting Bro Pearce for seminary—great teacher—tell him hi from me!) and family, plus Rachel Arteta...and a package from Rosemary Merrill!  Que Alegria!!  Thanks so much.  The love is real ;)

This next part I might subtitle:  a division, a debater, a death and a dream.
A division:  We had a division with the zone leaders this week.  Elder Nielsen with Elder Groesbeck, and me with Elder Nagueira.  It was so great!  Elder Nagueira is a Brazilian who has been out 1 year and 7months, and knows that he is a servant of God—and a representative of Jesus Christ.  He has such excitement to spread the Gospel message!  He talks to everyone (like literally everyone!), and talks about the importance of baptism in the first contact.  He said to me (I’m translating from the Portugues), “Don’t ever let fear stop you.  Close your eyes and continue.”  I had a great day with him, and I already know my mission is going to be different because I learned so much from him during this division.
A debater:  I understand something about my companion, Elder Nielsen.  He was on his school’s debate team, and it rubbed off a little on his personality.  This is why he is so bold and direct when teaching, and why he can help guide our investigator to understand what they’re feeling and thinking, and why he can identify what their concerns are.  He’s a great man.  We are working well together:  He knows Portugues  grammer really well, and this week, a light bulb turned on in my brain about the different tenses (incomplete, present, indicative, imperfect subjunctive, conditional, future subjunctive, past participle, etc., etc.)!  Yahoo!

A death:  There is a twelve year old boy here who has a genuine testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, yet plans to not act on that knowledge because he wants to please his godparents (long story, I won’t go into it). And Aah!  It’s killing me. He’s a great kid: really special.  And he’s so close!  Sometimes I see glimpses of his future as a member of the church: the mission he might serve, being married in the temple, raising his family in the Church, teaching Elders Quorum, etc., etc. AHH! And I just want to die to think that he may miss it because of a desire to please somebody else’s ideas for his life instead of living his future based on his own feelings and choices.  So yeah, while I say I could die, I also need to remember: he is young.  He has a great understanding and capacity—especially for someone so young.  So we continue to work with him, and put our faith in the Lord that it will all work out.

A dream: This whole mission is like a dream, a Matrix—a Truman Show—it’s the “Sao Paulo Dream.”  It’s crazy.  It can’t be real because it’s so good!

Hey, all—Be good to each other. Keep the commandments...“in this there is safety and peace.”  See you.  Love you.  I mean it.  Tchau, tchau. 
Love, Elder David Bean

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Photos from Christmas: "Too good to miss!"

Friends from "The Chosen" sent Elder Bean a gingerbread man kit for Christmas...

...which inspired Elder Bean to depict Nephi slaying Laban!

Christmas lights along a small street in Sao Paulo.


Feb 4, 2013 "From One Soap to the Next"

Sorry, this entry is going to be a little shorter.  Life is good - how can it not be? (Dur!)  We’re walking a lot (like a lot!  See the picture attached if you don’t believe me), the time is going by so fast (I say that every time, huh...must be true!).  You have no idea how fast...).   It’s crrraaaay-saaaaay! (yes, that was a Miriam and Brady reference). 

Portuguese is going well, (but English? Ha Ha -  the Brazilians here know more about English than I do.  They’re teaching me my own grammar...).

Sao Paulo street awash in rain water
 I’ve been kinda sick this last week.  It flooded again in the streets because of the rain, and we kept working out in the cold wetness.

I left my coat at the mission office when I was first
assigned to the Osasco area, and when it suddenly
turned cold, this was the only coat in the apartment.
It's ugly, and has been through many generations of
missionaries, but it kept me warm. 
A big thank you to Mom, Emily and Rosemary for your letters.  Congrats to Rosemary who will serve in Brasil.  And my twin sister has left for her mission!  She’s probably loving it, crying every day (’cause I practically did, Baha), and busy learning Spanish!  I’m so proud of her!  It is so cool she is serving.  For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to hear her farewell, I heard it was awesome.  Also, I know Shane McQuarrie is back from his mission in Chicago, Illinois.  Hey Shane, doing good?  Good.  J  I know it’ll be me in no time.  Ah, I won’t think about it.  I still have 18 more months.

Well, the work is continuing—just living one soap to the next, day to day.  The most recent work has been with people who have particularly serious challenges (like alcoholism, drug addiction and abandoned family members).  These people, plus a bunch of other people, all need the Gospel.  Remember, my friends and family, how blessed you are, how blessed we are.  God is always ready and waiting to help us.  All we have to do is follow the Savior and live the commandments. 
[See Alma 37: 44 and Matthew 11:30.  Seriously, they are good scriptures!J ]

Hey, I love you. Pray always.  Keep me updated on how life is treating you.

Until next week-- Love, Elder David Bean

P.S.  A funny moment:  A convert asked me this week “Why is the Holy Ghost hot?”  Porque Esprito Santo e quent?  And after thinking for a second, I responded  Melhor quente que frio!  “Better hot than cold!”  J  Baha.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Recent photos

Note from Elder Bean's mom:  well, once again, I'm playing catch up with David's blogs!  Some were late arriving, and some got put on the back burner while we got his twin Emily ready for her mission to Puerto Rico!  Elder David has sent some great pictures recently, and I thought it would be fun to post them. 
P.S. Hey, Bandies and other friends who are leaving for missions around the world:  I know you won't have access to Elder Bean's blog while you are gone, so if you'd like me to mail you a hard copy of his blogs from time to time, contact me! :)
Name Tags
Elders Lowe, Bean & Barton

Elders Petersen, Bean and Lago

Friend, Elders at Fernando's Baptism

Elder Bean and Tifany

Grandmother & Granddaughter with Elder Bean

Elder Petersen checking for '"floaties" on the surface.  Just after this photo was taken his foot slipped and he plunged one leg into the water!
Sweaty face, but happy!

Elder Bean with Osasco youth/ young adults