Elder Shane B Lee

Elder Shane B Lee

Shane Can Be Reached @

This is the Mission Home address.
Elder Shane Burnham Lee
Brazil Cuiaba Mission
Av. Hist. Rubens de Mendonca, 1731
Sala 10, Bairro: Consil
CSP: 78050-975 Cuiaba - MT
Brazil

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 34 Letter

Monday, October 24, 2011
Hello everyone!
I hope that you all had a great week.  I know that I did.  So, to start off, Saturday was the baptism and confirmation of Ponciano Papa da Arruda, the older man that dreamed of the temple.  It was so awesome, and there was such a strong spirit there.  He was super happy and excited.  We started off the meeting, and when it was his time to do the ordinance of baptism, his son Luiz and I helped him slowly walk into the water from his wheel chair (he is not able to walk along, and even with help he is not able to move a lot), Brother Luiz took him by the shoulders and I was behind him helping to support him but also moving his legs for him with my hands.  After he got into the water, Elder Aidukaites preformed the ordinance and I helped him lower Ponciano into the water and helped him lift him out of the water again.  Ponciano was smiling from ear to ear but he could not get his footing again, so I lifted him up, one hand behind his back, and the other under his knees and carried him out of the font and into his wheel chair.  Then I had the honor of confirming him a member of the church.  What a great experience.  He was so happy, and he truly understood everything that happened and more.  Afterwards Brother Luiz told me that his dad, when they arrived home, made the comment that he knows why he was not able to walk.  It was because he was so weighed down by his sins, but knows that he has been baptized and repented of all of his sins, he said that he felt like he could more than walk, but that he could fly.  He is such a neat and special person.  Also, it was a great experience for Brother Luiz, he was the only member in his family for all of his life, but he was able to see his dad be baptized for a remission of sins and then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  What a neat experience for both of them and for us as missionaries.  Really awesome.  Also, this week we have taught a lot and have met more of the members.  They are excited to give referrals now that we have been baptizing people.  It should be good.  So, everything is good and exciting, and to be honest, I cannot wait for p day to end so that we can get back to work.  I am ready for another good week.  Oh, yeah, and I will attach a photo of the baptism as well.  


So, that about sums up the week.  A lot going on and a lot of things exciting are happening.  Life is good and the work is great.  So, I guess I will let you all go, but I do want you to know that I love every one of you and i pray for all of you many times a day and I can feel your prayers in me mission.  Have a great week and an upcoming Halloween!!  Love Elder Lee!

Dad,
I really love hearing from you dad.  I also miss really hearing your voice, but the letters help a lot.  To answer your questions about conference, there was a full chapel, and about half a gym, although in reality, it is not a gym, it is just another class room because the brazil government will not allow the church to put indoor gyms in the church building anymore, I have not idea way,  but there was a good turnout.  I do have to tell you though,  I gained an appriciation for your conferences.  In this conference Pres and Sister Oliveira spoke, and it was great, but afterwards the stake pres and councilor spoke and all of the missionaries were praying that there invistigators were taking things the right way and sometimes even not listening.  The church is new in Cuiaba, and it is growing rapidly, and the church is always the same, but the people are also new, and the people are also different.  It turned out okay, although we did have to explain a lot to our invistigators and even apologize for some of the things said.  But the work is great and the fruits are many.  President Oliveira has a vision of creating a new stake while he is here, or at least leaving everything ready for a new stake.  We have to stakes in Matto Grosso (the state) and they are both in Cuiaba.  We are really trying to push the work along.  It is awesome to be part of his plan.  My mission President to so awesome!  Really great man and super spiritual and he loves the work.  He was a bisop of an area that my MTC teacher served in during his mission in Recife. I am glad that Ryan like my letter.  I sure miss all of them, but I cannot believe how fast they are growing up.  Somebody the otherday did not believe that my siblings hardly never fight, and I did not know how to explain to them how close we really are.  I simply said, my family is the most important thing to me and all of them have always been my best friends in the world.  I am so blessed to have all of you.  Thanks for the letter dad and have a great week.  I love you.  Elder Lee

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week 33 Letter

Monday, October 17, 2011
Hey Ryan, it is Shane!  Dude, I wanted to wish you a happy birthday and let you know that I am thinking about you. What an awesome week!  You are having a birthday and you are an uncle!  You are getting so big.  I miss you a ton my little man.  I think about all of the fun things that we did together.  I want you to know that I am so proud of you and everything that you are doing.  I am so happy that I will always be your brother, forever and ever.  We will always be buddies.  Have a great birthday and let me know how it was in an email to me.  I love you Ryan, and you are the man.  From your missionary brother Elder Lee

Hello my family of new uncles and aunts, and even grandparents!
How are all of you?!  To let you know a little about how I am, I am great.  I am loving the new area.  Cuiaba is super hot, and it doesn´t cool down at night.  Also, it thunders, lightning, and rains almost every day for about an hour or two and afterwards, it is even hotter because of the hot water in the air.  It can get super stuffy.  Anyways, the people here are great.  I still do not know everybody.  Part of the problem is that first Sunday I had to stay home from church because Elder Brandão was sick and this last Sunday we had stake conference so everybody in Cuiaba was there and so I did not know who was in our ward and who was in other wards.  But, we are working hard and working smart.  I am super excited about this.  Yesterday we baptized a 9 year old girl and this transfer we reactivated her family, mom and sister who have already been baptized but have not been to church for a really long time.  They are great people.  


We want to baptize the dad too, but they are not legally married and the mom has to get a divorce first, so the process is a little complicated.  But it was super fun to work with them and then see them get excited about the gospel again, return to church, and baptize the little girl.  They are a great family.  Also, we have a baptism marked for this Saturday.  The father of a member is really old and getting ready to pass on to the other side.  He was never baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ because he is Catholic and felt attached.  But, one night he dreamed of him and his wife in the temple, a very specific and vivid dream that involves much of what happens in the temple.  His son, who is a member and has served a mission, helped explain what his dream was.  His father now wants to be baptized, feeling that this is the only way to make his dream a reality.  He has been prepared.  How incredible.  He will be baptized this Saturday and confirmed the following Sunday.  Also, we are excited about another family that went to stake conference yesterday.  The family consists of a mom, dad, and 2 daughters 18 and 17 (the dad did not go to conference because of work).  They are really religious in the Baptist church and really like their church, but they also have a lot of questions about our faith.  We invited them to conference and they came and tonight we will teach the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ to them.  I am really excited.  SO, things are going really well here.  We are teaching and working a lot, and we are working smart.  Super awesome.  So, that is what is going on here.  Work and results, which is always a blessing.  I will try to send some pics of the baptism.  So, that about sums everything up for the week.  So, I think to end this letter, I will let you know about something that I have been thinking about a lot lately.  I have been reading in the Doctrine and Covenants and I have learned a lesson over the sections therein.  The lesson is this, God gives line upon line and precept upon precept in his time and in his way.  A lesson simple, but so often not completely understood.  What does it mean in his time and in his way.  Time is simple enough.  God will give us line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little on his time table, when he feels that we are prepared, ready, or when the time is best suited to help us.  Often, it is not when we want or when we expect, but the promise is the same.  He will give if we are searching.  Ask, and ye will receive, knock, and it will be opened unto you (D&C 4:7).  But now, what about in his way?  Often line upon line and precept upon precept is given by the power of the Holy Ghost, who will tell you in your mind and in your heart (D&C 8:2). But, something that I found is that his way means more than the way that he sends the message to you. It also means the form.  What is line upon line, precept upon precept?  I think that God can send line upon line and precept upon precept in the form of simple revelation, a yes or no answer to a question.  For example, is the Book of Mormon true, do I need to be baptized, was Joseph Smith really a true prophet called of God?  All of these questions bring out a yes or no answer.  Also, I believe that there are other forms.  For example, the question of young Joseph Smith, what is to be done?  How did God answer this question?  The answer came from text of holy scripture that entered the heart of the young boy by the power of the Holy Ghost.  Often, line upon line and precept upon precept comes from the scriptures that are made alive by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Another form that I have found in my personal study is in the form of confirmation.  As the experience of Oliver Cowdrey in asking for a more sure knowledge, God asked him to cast his mind to his earlier conversion, the night that he was comforted with a spiritual experience and witness.  I think that it is also important to note that this answer from God came to Oliver by the voice of Joseph Smith who likely did not know of Oliver’s personal experience.  Remember in James 1:5,  that God will give liberally and not upbraid.  There are many forms that God gives line upon line and precept upon precept.  It is always in his way.  Another form that I have seen many times in my study of the Doctrine and Covenants is in the form of commandments.  Often, people do not see commandments as the blessing that they really are.  Just as the early church was constantly looking for instruction and direction, I as a missionary am always searching for instruction for the Lord, and, as sons and daughters of God, we should always be looking for his council and instruction.  What a blessing; that God will give us the instruction that we need.  How often should we ask, what is to be done?  I am so thankful for commandments, and we should always be seeking more commandments from our Heavenly Father.  With every commandment comes a blessing that is predicated upon that commandment or law (D&C 130:20-21).  God will give line upon line and precept upon precept to those that are seeking his will and seeking to be in his service, but he will give line upon line and precept upon precept in his time and in his way.  My testimony is that if we are seeking and knocking, we will receive and the mysteries of the kingdom will be opened to us, but we need to seek and knock with a heart and mind willing and ready to receive the instruction, council, and answers in the time and way of our loving and all- knowing Heavenly Father.  I share this testimony with you, humbly baring witness that I know for myself, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Lee

p.s., the time here changed.  We lost an hour yesterday, so right now it is 11 30 am.  So, I gotta go, but I love you all, and have a great week.  Until then, tchãu!




Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week 32 Letter

Monday, October 10, 2011
Hey everyone! 
Well, first week of the transfer felt more like a first day.  My area is in Cuiaba, just a little outside of the city center.  It is called Marada da Serra.  Elder Aidukaitis and I are opening this area, and so we are started new.  We still do not know a lot of people here and are working hard to find people to teach.  We now have our feet firmly planted on the ground and we are loving the area.  It is a lot bigger than any of my other areas as far as people.  Tons of people and this area has tons of potential.  We are both really excited.  Also, I already know that Elder Aidukaitis is going to be one of my favorite companions.  He is a go getter and he has desires to work and serve.  We were already good friends so it is great working with him.  We are also really working on the little things this transfer that will help us be better missionaries.  We are going to try new things and do a lot of experimenting to see what works and what doesn´t.  I know that I am going to grow a lot as a missionary this transfer.  Anyways, this week we taught a lot, and we know that we will teach even more this week because we have learned the area and know more people and have more investigators.  This area is big, but we are going to try to focus our efforts in a couple of areas this transfer because it does not work to walk to one side of the area to the other every day.  We would do more walking than teaching and nobody likes that.  Also, we are living with the zone leaders, Elder Brandão and Elder Oakerman who are awesome.  They are great missionaries and great people.  They will help us grow as well.  My Portugues apparently has improved a lot.  It is hard to tell at this point in the mission if I am improving.  I could already say just about anything that I wanted.  It is just a matter of losing the American accent and picking up some Brazilian accent.  But, with a switch of transfer, everybody comments on how your Portuguese is.  This transfer everybody in the area has been amazed and comments that my Portuguese is great.  It is funny though because if I do not say anything other than the usual yes, good morning, how are you, people think I am Brazilian, and Elder Aidukaitis looks more American than I do, so it is funny.  The other day we did a contact with somebody from Mexico who was new to Brazil and so asked me if I spoke Spanish and if I was from Mexico.  Funny that I understood because she asked in Spanish because she does not speak Portuguese but I understood everything almost perfectly and I answered in Spanish/Portuguese but she understood.  Ha, just a little funny.  Anyways, everything here is great and I am super excited.  Wow, Cuiaba is super hot and it never cools down.  The nights keep in the 30 plus C and the days are burning hot.  Also, it has rained for about an hour every day, thunderstorms and everything, but only for an hour per day, and I swear that i am not kidding when I say that the rain is actually hot water.  The water from the faucet is always hot too.  Super hot here, so it is weird to hear that Shiloh has snow.  I am pretty sure that I would die in the snow right now because I am use to the hot.  Well, we will see when I get home from the Brazilian summer to the Spokane´s winter.  So, everything is great, and the work is better.  I am loving the area, the companion, and the people.  Not a lot of snakes or alligators, but there are a lot of stray dogs and lizards.  Hey, also, in Lucas after I left my ex companion found a dead alligator that an anaconda tried to eat but spit out.  Mom, it looks like your prayers have been answered as I was not there.  Anyway, I love all of you, and I cannot wait to hear from you all again next week.  Have a great week and until later
Elder Lee

Mom,
I’ll answer your questions but before I forget, do you think that you could send another package to me...?  I am jealous of your weather.  It is burning here.  Man, it is hot.  I am sweating nonstop!  Anyways, I was just talking about hockey with my companion.  I miss sports, but I think that I am going to play some basketball today, which should subside my craving for sports.  It has been a while.  I need you to send me retainers for my teeth.  Dr Bates kept the impressions.  My upper retainer broke this week.
My mission president will leave when I have about 8 months left, so I will have two presidents in my mission.  I will try to take some picks this week for you.  I left my camera at the house today, but I promise to send more pics next week.  My package hasn’t come yet but I think that it should come anytime.  It may already be in the mission office.  If so, I should get it this week.  I think that I am there every Wednesday.  I am not actually in the office, but I am in the church building on the same block doing district meetings there.  So, i can run in and check.  Well, I gotta run, but I love you mom and have a great week.  I think that I might get the letter this week and the package so I will let you know next week if I got it.  Have a great week!  May the force be with you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week 31 Letter


Tuesday, October 3, 2011

Hello everyone, I am now in Cuiaba serving with an elder from rio de janeiro named Elder Aidukaitis (pronounce it like this, I do kites).  I had already known him because he was in my zone in Sorriso.  He is great, and he will be a good senior.  He is excited, outgoing, and likes to baptize, although he also likes to goof around a little and rules have less meaning to him.  He speaks some English and understands well, but I cannot get myself to speak in English.  I guess that I like Portuguese too much.  Anyways, we are living with the zone leaders who are awesome and we are in zone Cuiaba.  It is a big city and it is really weird because I have not seen a decent sized city for 7 months.  It is twice the size of Spokane.  It is super hot, can be 48 degrees C, and it is dirty.  Everybody just throws everything on the road and the city hires sweepers to sweep, but it is always a mess. Anyways, I am really excited to be with my new companion although it is really sad to leave an old companion.  I sure liked Elder Leal.  I also was really sad to leave Lucas.  Thanks for the advice dad.  It is true that there is a temptation to try to not get attached because there really is heartache when you leave, but I know that I am here for a reason and I need to leave everything on the field.  Just like a race.  You can try to run a little slower and you think that you will feel better after, but there is an even better feeling when you leave everything on the track and afterwards you can barely walk but you are satisfied.  I am excited for this new transfer.  Also, I was thinking about everything that I did this last transfer.  We baptized two members who are super firm in the church, we reactivated 2 families and 3 other men, and we helped the branch become really excited about missionary work with both nonmembers and less actives.  President did put another companionship in Lucas and we left the branch with an attendance of over 50 people compared to the 25 that were at church when I arrived.  It was a good transfer.  Also, Elder Leal is now serving as the district leader.  I am really proud of him and his progress.  He is a great missionary.  I did not have the opportunity to watch conference because Lucas does not have the means to watch, so we had a normal sacrament meeting.  I will have to read it in the Liahona.  I am really excited to read it though.  They are incredible teachers.  Well, I think that that about sums everything up for this week.  Everything is fine and I am in the big city.  Hopefully I do not have any of the usual problems of thieves on the street.  Lucky for me, I look like a Brazilian.  Nobody knows or suspects that I am American until I speak, even the American missionaries that do not know me.  So, I think that I might get away lucky.  There was a joke that somebody told me.  I will try to translate for you.  The president of the US, Paraguay, and Brazil were in an airplane.  The pilot wanted to know how well they each knew their country so he asked them to put their hands out the window and speak up when they were above their countries.  Bush was the first to speak.  `Ah, this is my country.  I can feel the power and industry in the air.´   The pilot confirmed.  After, the President of Paraguay spoke `Ah, my country now.  I can feel the farm and crops in the air´  Again, the pilot confirmed.  After a while, the president of Brazil spoke `Yes, my country, I am 100 percent sure, without any doubt.´  Everyone was surprised with the so sure response.  To the pilot´s question of how he knew with so much assurity he said showing his wrist `Somebody stole my wrist watch´  Well, gotta end somehow and a punch line seems appropriate.  we are entering the rain season. give to me.  What a blessing you all are.  I  When it rains it comes down, but it rains hot water.  Seriously, really weird.  As answers to your questions, I have not got my package yet, but I think that it should arrive anytime.  Also, my p day is still Monday, and I did not watch conference because we did not have a way in Lucas so everybody has to read it in the church magazines.  I think that is about all of the questions you had.  I am living with one other companionship but in Cuiaba there are about 6 in my zone, the Cuiaba zone.  There are 2 stakes here, but I do not know how many wards.  We do not have a temple here.  The closest is near sao Paulo about 2 or 3 days by bus depending.  I do not know where the chapel is still, but i think that we live close to it.  The mission office is still a little ways away, but much closer.  This will be my good bye message for the week.  I want to let you know that I am grateful for both you and dad.  I know that my heavenly Father expects a lot      from me because I have been taught by goodly parents who have tasted of the fruit and called         me to come and partake.  I know that much is required because I do not doubt that my parents     know of Christ and his gospel and plan.  I am so thankful for my family and the power that they      love you.  Tchau for now and have a great week.
Shane

Week 30 Letter


Monday September 26, 2011

Hello my family!
Another week has flown by and once again I sat down to write and everything that has happened left my head.  We worked a lot this week and we found a new way to get investigators.  There is an English school called Wizard which has a Mormon owner (Brazilian) but there are also schools in the United States for other languages.  My companion went in last p day for information about English for dummies book prices and we started talking with the school manager.  We ended up teaching about the restoration and book of Mormon right there in her office.  We also marked a date to talk to her class to help them practice their English.  Ironically, I went and was looking to the teacher to confirm that I was speaking English right.  A little sad, I know, but we did pick up another 7 investigators and we went again to a different class Saturday and picked up yet again another 7 people.  So, we had a great contact week but our teaching week was not as good.  We had a hard time finding people home in general and we were forced to stay close to our house because Elder Leal has a wicked case of BOO (ask tony if you do not know what that means).  As a result, we did not have a good turnout at church, although in all honesty, we have 4 investigators who knew that they would not make it yesterday but are firm for the next Sunday, including the English teacher and her legal husband who are awesome people.  We did have a nonnative member return to church who we have been teaching and her husband (sadly not legally) but they are working towards marriage and afterwards his baptism.  We actually ate lunch with them yesterday.  They are great people and will be a great help to the church here in Lucas.  Junior is doing great!  His cell phone was stolen and he was out of town so we did not have a lot of contact with him this week but yesterday he get back into town about 4 in the afternoon so we visited with him and he is doing great.  He will be a branch president in the next year or two.  He is the man.  Also, yesterday we visited an inactive member in his 30s who had served a mission but has left the church.  He promised to be at church Sunday which is good.  He is actually new to Lucas but he already knows a couple members of the church from Cuiaba so everything is set.  What else happened this week... oh, we also found another anaconda skin in the lake, but this one is a little smaller, just less than 2 meters.  Anyways, everything is good and our branch has strengthened a ton, very noticeable, and our mission president is excited to put another companionship here to help with the work because everything has taken fire.  President Oliveira still does not know if he will be able to put another 2 missionaries here this next transfer or if he will have to wait until the next because we will have a shortage of missionaries because we have a big group going home this next week.  But, the branch is doing great.  We are trying to finish the transfer strong.  I have gained a love for Lucas and the people here, so it will be really sad if I have to leave, but if president Oliveira can put another companionship here there is a really good chance that I will stay a 3rd transfer and get a new companion because I already know the people and the area.  Cross your fingers for me.  Thank you all for all of your letters.  I loved reading them.  Sorry that I do not have time to write more than one email, but I do want you all to know that I love you all and I am always praying for you.  No, Halloween is really strange to them.  They think that it is so funny that Americans dress up ugly and go door to door for candy.  Maybe it is because the candy here is cough drops.  Anyways, that is just the people who know about Halloween, aka missionaries who have had American companions. 
On a Spiritual note, I have started reading D&C in Portuguese which has been great.  Everything seems new in a new language.  I have read up to section 48 and it was amazing to me how much about missionary work (directly) all of it was.  A manual for missionaries that has taught me a lot and I am eager to learn more.  The field is white and already to harvest.  The work is great and the laborers are few but I know that with the help of our Heavenly Father, all things we can do.  I love all of you and have a great week!!
Elder Lee

 Anyways, I love you, but I´ve gotta go and get back to work.  We have to buy more rice today.  Our shopping is usually rice, milk, flour, eggs, and juice mix.  Today I think that we just need rice and eggs.  Anyways, have a great week mom, and I will write again soon.
Elder Lee


Hey dad,
I just sent my email to the family, but to let you knew, we had a so so week.  Really, I feel that we had a success considering the circumstances.  Elder Leal was sick all week and had the runs so we had to stay close to the house.  I was sick too, but I did not have the runs which makes being sick much more pleasurable.  Anyways, we stayed close to the house in case of accidents.  He only had one, but we had 4 close calls which consisted of us walking briskly home and then me running a block ahead to open the door to the house and then to the bathroom while ran through the house with his pants down.  The least that I can do since I forced him out of bed and onto the street.  He pretends to be mad, but I can see that he is really proud of himself.  I really will miss him as my companion.  He has a history on the mission that is less than pretty because does not respect anybody, but for some reason he cares about what I think (maybe because I really like him) which has allowed is to grow together a lot.  We did have an investigator to church with his newly active wife whom we have been teaching.  They are not married legally but they are on the path and really excited.  They are great people.  Also, Junior, the guy that we baptized last Sunday is doing great which brings insurmountable joy.  He is the man and has a strong testimony.  That is about our week in a paragraph.  Thanks for the letter dad, and I want you to know that I sure love you.  I think about the lessons that you taught every day.  Sometimes they are lessons from seminary or institute, other times lessons in our everyday conversations that mean so much to me, and sometimes about the lessons that were taught without words.   I want you to know that your work is being carried to Brazil, and I am really hoping and striving to the missionary that I know that you were and are.  Thank you for everything and I am so glad that I have you and mom forever, but in the meantime, I am glad to be away and doing the work.  I do miss you all, but returning home will seem like a back on your heads moment.  The work here is amazing and I am so glad that God calls on the weak things of this world to be an instrument in such a work and glory, his work and his glory.  Have a great week dad!
Elder Lee