Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015


Crazy week.  Great week!  It was fuuuuullll of running around and lots of teaching and commitments, but it ended well, and ended in white. 

 G_____ accepted the Lord's invitation to be baptized!  It was such a special day for him.  He has been in Brazil for almost 2 years, and it has a been a huge struggle for him (having to learn a new language, find work, leave his family and friends and culture, and on top of that make enough money to live here and to send back home.  It's complicated!).  He is SO funny!  Even with all of the stressful things in his life, he keeps a smile on his face, and tries to do what is right.  He readily accepted all of our messages, the Book of Mormon (he was so excited that the church has an app in his native language with the scriptures!), and finally, baptism.

It was a bumpy journey though... haha always, ALWAYS when someone accepts baptism, things start to happen... People appear out of nowhere trying to deter them from being baptized!  Haha and it wasn't just once that this happened with G______ this week... We were teaching him in his tiiiiiiiny little dorm (it's not even a house, just a cement room with a window and a door) when out of nowhere appeared some Haitian Pastor from some obscure church who tried to Bible Bash with us.... haha thankfully we shut him up with a LOT of scriptures and testimonies and once we re-assured him that we weren't Jehovah's witnesses... haha  Later the same week, 4 other friends showed up during a lesson and started to ask ridiculous questions to throw G____ off.. but.. it all worked out.  G_____ stayed true to his commitment with the Lord, and he'll surely be blessed!

This week, I've started to read the Book of Mormon from the begining again, but this time, much slower, making notes.  I just want to share a quick scripture that always hits me when I read in 1 Nephi 8 about Lehi's dream. Verse 10 reads:

"...he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree."

There were many groups of people who either made it to the tree, or didn't, but this last group, that "continually held fast to the rod" then "fell down" (exhausted from the journey's battles - the daily battles of faith we face as disciples of Christ) and partook of the fruit of the tree, even eternal life.  It is my goal to be part of this last group - the group that never lets go of the rod; the group that isn't ashamed of the Gospel; the group that achieves the best of all gifts, eternal life.

I am soooo thankful for the simple path Heavenly Father has paved for us to find happiness here on Earth, and to one day return and live with Him and our families for eternity.  The gospel ROCKS!

Love you all!  See you in 4 weeks!

- G____ getting bapped

- The best American dog in all of Brazil (lives in G____'s complex)

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015

Holy Moly... What a wonderful conference weekend!  I hope all were touched and inspired by the words of the living prophet and apostles.  What a marvelous blessing it is to live in this time when Christ's Church has been restored, and we are once again guided by living authorities as in times of old.

This week was full of meetings and mission conferences, and left little time to work work work in the lovely area of Tarumã.  Because the mission set a new record for baptisms/confirmations, President and Sister Monteiro treated the entire mission to a 'SUPER PDAY' where the entire mission got together at one of stake centers to celebrate, wear 'worldly' clothes, and relax for the day.  It was GREAT to see old friends that are now serving in the outskirts of the mission and to exchange stories and tips.  We also had a mission conference, a zone meeting, and then just one day to find people to bring to General Conference!  It was a mad dash, but it all worked out.

We are now working with a really neat young man from Haiti.  Here in Brazil, there are many Haitians who come to work, and live here, sending their earnings to their struggling families in Haiti.  " G____" is a 24 year old young man who came with us to ALL SESSIONS OF GENERAL CONFERENCE.  Whoa... that's 8+ hours of church... #champion   Haha  he has been in the country for almost 2 years, speaks the language well, and is seeking the Lord.  We'll work closely with him this week, and hopefully will be able to baptize him this Sunday.  Pray for him!

Because 24 missionaries finished their missions and went home today, and only 6 came in to replace them, the mission 'closed' a few areas.  We had a set of Sisters here in the area with us, but now, it will be just Elder Cruz dos Santos and me here inTarumã.

This week, amidst the hustle and bustle, I had the privilege of finishing the Book of Mormon again, this time, in the Portuguese language.  It was a touching and memorable experience as I read Moroni 10:3-5 and felt the sweet Spirit of the Lord testify to me again that it is true.  I LOVE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!  it is TRUE.  It is the same in all languages. There is power, and healing in the Book of Mormon  Something that President and Sister Montiero always counsel us is that if we are feeling sad, or discouraged, or weak.... READ THE BOOK OF MORMON.  I am a testament that their 'prescription' from the best doctor, Heavenly Father, works.  It really works.  Time and time again (I think I've already mentioned this in my letters, but I'll say it again) the Book of Mormon has lifted, blessed, and healed my soul and the souls of those we teach.

I would include my favorite quotes from conference, but I left my notebook at home! Oops! 

I love you all SOOOOOOOOOO much and am so thankful that we can all be partakers of the free gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and become our very best selves.

Love forever, 

- our zone

- my furry friend

- in our mission, we follow the example of the Lord and KNOCK DOORS