Everyone I will never be able to descibe what your e-mails do for me each week.... If you all truly knew what this experience was like you would all send millions of letters hahah :) Its the greatest experience in the world and I cannot tell you how full my joy is this day. I dont have much to report or a Spiritual message prepared today, only my heart and love for all you back home in this letter. So I hope if this E-mail dosent make since you'll pray afterwards and get something good from it but alright here it goes. :)
This past week was another miracle and blessing for me... yesterday I had my second Baptism with Igor (13 years old as well) and also had the chance to participate in giving Alexandre the Priesthood.... what an incredible week. My heart is full and my joy is overwhelming and it looks like we should have many more Baptisms to come within the next few weeks but what happens happens, its all in the Lords hands! :) This week was also really interesting as I was thinking about my Brothers e-mail last week about the worldly thing not being very important anymore and its so true... this week I was at a members house and they pulled up my facebook account (Yeah TROUBLE!) My first instinct was to look at my friends list and all my pictures and our backstreet boy music video I made with all my dear friends! Everything was right there on the Facebook page, my life before the Mission.... my old life. I remember having this desire to look as they browsed through my things but I walked away, I remembered my purpose. Its strange on the Mission I've realized that facebook, television, cellphones, and entertainment are all good things if we use them correctly but here on the Mission we are NOT ALLOWED we are above the worldly things. (Which is a very good thing haha) They can be so distrutive if we miss use them! Its strange because in my mind I've trained myself here on the Mission that these things are bad haha whenever I see a television or facebook I tell myself "Elder this is wrong and bad, go away" My mind has thought like this for the past 8 months and well... I understand why missionarys who return are so diffrent! :) Imagine going two whole years with this thinking and it explains why Missionarys really come home changed. :) Theres many things that change a Missionary and this is just a small small small part but its the thing that stood out to me this week.
I'm not sure why im mentioning this or what purpose it has but I guess the true message to all this is remember whats really important. I remember something my Father always said to ben and I "Boys just make sure you have a balance in you life in all things." Do we have a Balance with our lifes? To much of one thing is always Bad! (Unless your spending all you time e-mailing and writting letters to Two Twin brothers serving in Brasil, then its ok! haha) :) Just make sure the Lord is our first priority over everything else. I'm not sure why I'm writting this but I hope it makes sense to someone reading it and answers a prayer. Well about the Baptism that I'm sure you all wondering what happened, a few weeks back we had a strange desire (The Spirit) to get a list of the menos ativos (Less Actives) and if an apoinment fell we would go and visit a less active member. Well an appointment fell and we went off to visit maria. Shes been a member for a very long time and I will attach a photo at the bottom of this but as we met her we began teaching her grandchildren and one thing lead to another and her grandson (Igor) was Baptised and we will begin teaching his mother this week. :) I cannot explain how much the Lord is pouring out his blessings upon us but I hope that I can countinue to work and do what the Lord wants. Thats all thats important to me right now... Right now in my life nothing else matters other then doing the Fathers will... Thats so important to always remember... I love this work and I love this gospel. Now dont get me wrong just because Im bursting with joy right now doesnt mean I dont have my "Hard days" The mission is so very tough family and friends, everyday I see a new weakness or new flaw in my character that I need to work on or change. Im not perfect and nobody is but our purpose is to give everything to the Lord and allow him to work on us. Something interesting I learned this past week was in Ether 12:27 (A scripture well know) Generally speaking everyone will focus on the end of this verse but everyone read the first line and really ponder on this... it isnt until we come to christ that we will be show our weaknesses. It makes sense, a pridefull man will never reconginize his flaws and mistakes. Always remember this and countinue to do your best. Still my Portuguese is stuggling but Im not giving up, I laugh at my mistakes and I've learned that people recive you better (Especially during a contact) If you just try you best and smile. :) I will never give up!!!! Im sorry everyone this e-mail doesnt make much sense its just all over the place hahah but I just hope you all know that I love you and I cant believe how fast its all going by now... I hope I can do my best and enjoy this awesome ride. :) I love you all and I miss you all dearly... Words cannot describe the saddness and lonliness we as Missionarys sometimes feel... especially during the holidays but as long as we keep our focus all things are possible. :) I love you all so very much and I hope you all have a great time enjoying the freezing weather back home because I think I'm going to have a heat stroke here in a few minutes because of the heat haha :) Love you all and mom... I'm sad to hear about your release from the Primary but I know that the Lord has a purpose in all things and that your realese is the Lord telling you "Alright Val you learned what you needed there and its time to put you in the next learning experince" :) Love you all so much and I hope to hear from all you soon... Especially during the holidays! haha :) Love Elder Matthew Ryan Dogget