I sat in the celestial room this morning and happily thought about everybody. The family, Michelle’s family, Natalie’s newest addition, friends from Washington, and my friends in Idaho. Apparently, the girl I’m writing has stirred up some interest. Two of the Elders in my district knows her and it blew their minds! I didn’t know what to say really, but it is indeed a small world.
Not much of interest this week. Oh, except a small temple dedication featuring everybody’s favorite German hero: President Utchdorf! The auditorium became an extension of the Minaus temple (so recommends required). It was so wonderful, and fortunately I remembered the Hosanna shout in English. It was most people’s first dedication, so I felt a small measure of happiness for them. The night before was a cultural celebration for President Utchdorf and Elder Quinten L. Cook. It was so cool! Many dance numbers featuring a small history of Brazil. The crowning moment was the ending story, which featuring the long and difficult trek from Minaus to the São Paulo temple. My heart was deeply touched, as their struggle was very reminiscent of the many thousands who sailed the Atlantic to reach Zion, or those living among the islands of the Pacific trying to reach the nearest temple, or even the crowning pinnacle of our legacy, which was the devotion of many thousands who made the long trek from Nauvoo to Utah. President Monson once said something along the lines of: “Those who sacrifice everything to reach the temple know that those blessings are worth any price to pay.” Such are the blessings of living the Gospel.
Many of our lessons here go wonderfully. By the third week, we had to teach all the lessons in Portuguese, and by week 7, we are now adding other words to our basic phrases in order to teach a bit more about the gospel. We have had one baptism, with two more on the way in the coming weeks. Though they are pretend investigators, we feel genuine joy in knowing that they have enough faith to try to walk in the footsteps of the Savior and begin the process of returning to the presence of the Father.
Many of our friends here, both native and others, have left for the field already, and we have three more weeks. Our dear roommates left this morning, and we will get our third and final batch of Brasilian Elders tomorrow. We know our time is getting close and each of us are exhibiting our excitement in our own ways. Many are soo sick of this place, while I and a few others know that the Lord wants us here for a little while longer. I trust that He knows what he is doing, and so I’ll learn to be the best little Portuguese speaking white Elder I can be.
Other info: We’ve had some crazy Thunder storms this week and it makes me and Elder Porter feel freaking awesome. Elder Porter is the one from Portland and he loves it!
One more thing: PLEASE keep using the temple as often as you can for whatever ordinance work you can do. Those people are waiting, and as their work is done, your joy in the work will increase also.
Eu amo vocês!
Stephen (Elder Jarvis)