This past week was one I will never forget... We had so many incredible experinces that I cannot describe everything to you all but I hope that in some small way you will be able to feel my Love for you all in this E-mail. For those of you who dont know my Companion is Brasilian and he was baptised 7 years ago. His parents are not members and he was less active for a few years before he made the decision to serve a Mission. He is an incredible Missionary and example to me and I love him so much. This past week we had some time to get to know one another so we had many discusions about the Gospel and about his life before the Mission. He doesnt have support from his family to serve his Mission as a matter a fact his father during Christmas begged him to come home and his Girlfriend (now X) also told him she would like him to return... Through all of this he has smiled and broke up with his Girlfriend and told his Father he would never come home until he had served his full two years... He always has a smile and is one of the most amazing Missionarys every. He has already taught me one of the most valuable lessons we could possible learn here on the Mission or in our lifes... That is love. He has such a love for the Gospel and his duty to serve that you can see it when he teaches and when he offers to help others. Hes humble and willing to work and I love him so much. One of the biggest sacrifices I have seen him make so far is he explained to me that he doesnt receive e-mails from anyone... This broke my heart. Here I am recieving love and strength from each of you each week and usually I dont have time to e-mail everyone because I have so many loved ones who send encouragement. I wasnt sure what to say but he responded before I could say anything by saying "Its ok Elder Doggett... Even though I dont have much support I do know that my Heavenly Father loves me and he will support me in all that I do." He said this with such a big smile and I couldnt help but smile as well. Sometimes we dont realize the blessings we truly have. I especially have a tough time with this! :) Everyone who is reading this e-mail please know that I love you and I'm always praying for you. May our Heavenly Father bless you for your love and support and know that I realize now how much you all have and will countinue to bless my life for all time and eternity. What my Companion said this past week truly had me thinking of the Love our Savior has for us... I think it was a perfect time (Easter) to think of this one phrase. "Our Heavenly Father loves us." He loves us so much that he sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for us. What a blessing to know that no matter what we have a friend in the Gospel. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. :) This past week during church we had a "Rescue" meeting because we were missing more then half of the members at church. As the members explained what we needed to do nobody mentioned anything about love... They kept mention ways to find and get people back to church but then our wonderful bishop stood and mentioned the key within the Church of Jesus Christ is to love those who struggle... to love those who have addictions. to love those who hate us, To help those in need without judging them. In my time here on the Mission thats one of the biggest things I have learned is to have love. John 13:34-35. May we do well to remember that through Love of the Gospel and for our Savior all things are possible. :) Actually once our Bishop said a few words about this very subject I asked if he would allow me to stand and explain more of this principle... I stood and bore a small and simple testimony in my fast improving portuguese about the power of Love. I dont remember exactly what I said but once I finished I was in tears and so were many of the members... Thats the key to everything... When we feel the Holy Ghost in our Hearts we are feeling the love of our Savior and even though I didnt speak the best Portuguese in the world the members understood and we all have a fire that cannot be stoped in bringing others back to church this coming Sunday.
This past Easter Sunday I had the chance to reflect a lot on the Saviors love for us as well as we studyed about the ressurection of our Lord and Savior and as we learned of his teachings... I know these things are true and I know that our Lord and Savior has Risen and he guides and directs his Church today here on the earth. I had the chance to see many interesting things about the other faiths believes about the death of our Savior... As a matter of fact my companion and I got caught in the middle of a "Catholic travel" where they re-act the walk to the tomb... We were in the middle of this big cermony and it was very interesting to see how they worshipped during this easter season. They had a big statue layed on a throne ( It represented Jesus Christ) and they had several women dressed in all Black with their faces covered. (They represented Mary and the other women who were with Jesus when he returned to the Fathers Presence) I didnt understand much but they walked down the middle of the street singing and chanting prayers. What a blessing it is for us to know that our Savior lives and that he loves us and that no matter what we can countinue learning and progressing each day because of this wonderful knowlege. I love this Gospel so much and I know this Church is true. I love you all so very much... please never forget that. Ben I hope you know how much I love you. To be honest I'm scarred to write e-mails now because your faith and testimony is something very special and I just dont know how I could share anything more about the Gospel after I read your amazing letters. :) I love you and keep working hard. Never give up! I love you all so much and I know these things are true. Last Sunday I had a Baptism... It was very special as I had the chance to bless Aslessandro (Brother of Nayane and Alexandre, he's 15 years old) on Easter Sunday. I love this Gospel and the Mission. I hope you all know how much I love you and this incredible work. God be with you all until we meet again and remember to feast on the words of General Confrence... I have a feeling this will be a General Confrence we will never forget. Love you all once again so much. Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett