Woah this week has been insane!!!! Haha to start I got water back last week so everything is going good and we are all clean but you'll be so proud of me mom, I didnt freak out about wearing the same clothes twice in a row or smelling bad haha im really changing here on the Mission! :) haha Well to start thank you all for the e-mails I re-read them so much, there the best but im sorry I wont be able to respond to most of them until next week as time is short but im also happy to say that I also received all my letters finally.... all 15 of them! "Im not going to brag but im getting pretty popular around here" (Quote for Ben) anyway this week was great. Thanks rachel for all the letters, I got 7 from you and they mean the world to me. Thank you for all the detail you add into them I like to be kept up on things back home. Also thank you Brady, Kristin, Ben, Mom, and Dad. Your all inspirations and I miss and love you all so much. I love the quote my ótimo mother sent me last week from Elder Jeffery R. Holland. "I have struggled to find an adequate way to tell you how loved of God you all are" I feel very much the same way every week.... I love you all so much with a pure and everlasting love. Ben thank you for the letter, I'm sorry to say this but when I return I hope to be half the Man you'll be you spiritually Giant you! :) Anyway what a great week overall family and friends.
To start... Still no Baptisms! agh its so frustrating but we havent given up hope and we are woring harder then ever. We have 7 Investigators who are so so so close! Their names are. thayana, Joanaton, Rosandila, Fernado, Daine, Diego, and Mayara. They're all incredible and so close to Baptism but they all have one fear that I've realized everyone in the world has... Its called change. Change is so extremly difficult for everyone. Dad I love what you wrote last week "Someone who hears the Gospel for the first time must not just believe but must take action for there to be a witness or assurance." How true that is. This is probably the hardest part about the Mission is helping people overcame their obstacles and trials in life and change to follow Christ.
Yesterday we had a lesson with Mayara and man was it tough. Her neighbor saw us teaching her the other day and so she told Mayara that we are servents of Satan trying to lead her down a path of destruction... sadly Mayara believed her and that made things very difficult for us, but yesterday we had one powerfull lesson prepared for her. We found her sitting in front of her house very upset and confused about everything we had been teaching her. She looked like she had been crying and we knew that we had to help. So we sat down in the middle of the dirty street and began teaching her about our beloved Savior Jesus Christ. We Bore our testimoneys about our Savior and brother... that we werent servents sent by Satan but that we are Represenitives of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That we had been sent to her by our Beloved Heavenly Father to invite her to come unto Christ. The Spirit was overwhelming and we asked her "Do you beleving that the feelings you are feeling are from Satan or from Heavenly Father?" She said "There is no way that this peace and joy I feel from you two boys could be from Satan..." She then began to cry and so did I. She then said "Your church is hard... I just dont think I can change" I looked her in the eye and said yes you can. I then read her Néfi 3:7 that the Lord will prepare a way for all to follow him. I then shared how my first few months in Brasil were hard and I felt like I couldnt make it.... but this scripture gave me so much hope! She cried and I cried and I know that this experience will be something that I hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life. We are hoping to help her through this extremly difficult time in her life where she will be changing and coming unto Christ. Its not an easy path for any of us but one we must all take.
During my Personal studies latly I've really been focusing on how to require a change in our lifes. How can we develop faith to aquire a change of Heart? For many back home you may have realized my focus during my Mission has been on the process of change especially within the Church with both investigators, members, and Missionarys. Why is it the Gospel brings about so much change in our lifes. Ever since I was a young lad in sacrement meeting I was also in shock with the change Missionarys had when they returned home from their missions.... I always wanted that but never understood how to obtain that. Then I was reading in Helamen 14:8 about Samuel the Lamanite and well he had some pretty dang good advice for the Nephites about change. In Hel. 14:8 we learn "Believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life." If we believe on the Son of God our faith will naturally grow! In verse 10-13 we learn that our job as Missionarys or people in general is to cry repentance unto the people. Dont be afraid my family and friends, be bold with your words and actions and stand tall upon your wall of Faith. Remember that Samuel had Faith to stand upon the wall against the Nephites and so can we! Verse 30-31 We have a choice in all things, we can either follow God or not.... we can either choose Eternal life or not... We can either incoprartae the attributes of light or darkness into our lifes. In the end EVERYTHING boils down to choice and agency. We can choose to develop faith in our hearts, we just need to open them to the Savior. In chapter 15 of Hel. verse 7 We learn what a changing Heart is. There are three very simple steps to changing and opening are hearts. 1st "Believe in the Holy Scriptures" read and ponder its teachings with an open heart. 2nd "Believe in the Holy Prophets." Next week we have General Confrence... how blessed are we to listen to their messages and really ponder on their words. 3rd "Faith on the Lord unto Repentance." With these three qualities we'll naturally obtain a change in our lifes but verse 6 is the key to all this.... We must be Diligent in all things and work hard!! That is key to everything, hard work on our part to change.
Everyday here on the Mission I meet people who are un-happy with their lifes and they want to change and be happy... to let Christ enter into their hearts but no of them are willing to put in the hard painfull work to change. Family and Friends I know life is hard and I know that times get discouraging but we must never give up! Its only through hard trials and pain do we truly grow and learn to do better! We are at a difficult stage with our investigators because they must make the change and decision within their hearts to change, are job as Missionarys is to be the guide/light for them during this hard time in their lifes. :) Family and Friends I hope you know how much I love you all and Im so happy for the chance to be here in Brasil sharing the Gospel. Im glad to say the language is no longer a concern of mine... I struggle still of course but I realize there are much more important things to focus on here. :) I love you all so much and I wont lie im pretty excited to finish this e-mail so I can run back to my house and read all your e-mails and cry hahah :) I love you all with my entire soul. I miss you all and pray for all of you everyday but I want you to all know that I have never been more happy in all my life. This Gospel is real... that is a fact! I know this church is the true church her on the earth because its the only church that really requires us to make a change in our life and to come unto Christ with full purpose of heart. :) Thank you for all your love and support and I hope to be a better Man when I return! Ge dangit I cant believe its been 6 months... feels like yesterday I left haha. Love you all so much. :)