Monday, June 17, 2013

Ipe Semana 13

Congrats to Mom and Dad on 25 years of mawaaagge! And with everyone busy, sounds like a normal start to the summer, everyone doing something different and exciting. The only downside to getting email is that every once in a while Dad has to let me know about something cool that happened back home, like the BYU Ballroom team getting the first standing ovation in Blackpool history... Which is indeed very exciting. Thank you for the update.

This week was a bit of a Russian Mountain (which is what they call roller coasters here), with the call to be District Leader, giving 6 blessings, completing my first baptismal interview, and fighting with the local cartorio to let Vilson and Valdete marry there... But that´s what a mission is all about right? We tried so hard to work well with the members, but almost every single member who had planned to go on visits with us, canceled. The Bishop was getting a bit frustrated with our Ward Mission Leader because he wasn´t completing the assignments he was given, so we recieved an assistant to the Ward Mission Leader who is on fire and ready to help everyone! We are very excited for this.

So now that I am District Leader, I get to do the baptismal interviews when someone is ready to be baptized somewhere close to me. On Saturday I did my first interview with a boy named William who is very ready, and very excited to be baptized because, as he put it, `all my life I wanted to be an Elder, and now this is the first step.` It was a neat experience.

We are doing well as a compaionship and growing together. Elder is feeling a bit under the weather every day when we wake up because it is cold, but with just a little persuasion, he´s ready and willing to leave the bed. I know that he is missing home because of the cold here, but he is being a good sport... The NE tip of Brazil, which is where he is from, NEVER dips below 65 degrees. And that would be during a rainstorm in the dead of night in the middle of winter. So the very Oregon-like 45 and drizzling has taken a bit of adjusting for him.

This week we were really working to use the Book of Mormon more effectively, and we ended entering in contact with people from varius cities that don´t have the church yet (Telemaco Borba, Mafra, and a bunch of little cities in Santa Caterina). So we planted many seeds and copies of the Book of Mormon. Elder Silva is now using and explaining scriptures very well and asking very inspired questions.

Last night we found an eleito named Diego. He was seated at a bus stop and night in the rain, and we decided to talk to him. His mother-in-law is sick and this was the event he needed to start looking for the truth. When we started talking about the Book of Mormon, his eyes lit up and I he wanted all the information we could give him about the church. He lives in another part of the mission, but I am praying that we can get his info to the missionaries there! This is why we do street contacts.

This past week was the craziest Sunday in the world. I taught the Gospel Principles class with about 2 minutes of forewarning, gave a talk on the spot when the Bishop called on me, played the piano, and still managed to follow-up with everyone who was visiting and mark brothers to help us with visits. Day of rest my foot! :) But it is the best feeling in the world to be super busy and have the Lord´s help to be able to do it all.

Speaking of my talk, I think it was probably the best talk I´ve ever given... I took a page out of the Brother Allen playbook and talked about how Salmon find their way back to their little stream from whence they came. I talked about how the plan of salvation is very similar. We were all there in the presence of God, but we left that little stream for the ocean (earth) where we would grow and learn and gain experience. But one day we need to return. But how are you going to find your way back to Johnson Creek from the mouth of the Columbia River? You follow the smell. As we choose the right, we make the choices that smell good, that feel right, as the Spirit testifies of what we should do. If we follow the Spirit, we will know what to do (2 Nephi 32:5). Wait... where´s the missionary connection? So I talked about how we are the little fishies who know where to go. With all the different smells in the big river, we know what to do, and how to return. So we have to let all our little fishy friends know how to get back too! It´s our responsibility to help them out! I also talked about how we need to be changed to enter the precence of God... Imagine that God only listens to country music, and you hate country music... you would hate being there with Him. So we need to change ourselves to like what He likes, the music, the food, how He talks, how He acts, or else we won´t WANT to be there with him... 

You know it was a good talk when afterwards, everyone wants to mark a visit with their friends :)

Working hard in Jardim Ipe!


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