Just a note – the “baptism” that Stephen is talking about is not a “true” baptism, but a baptism that is resulting from a training exercise that they have been involved in since the third week they have been at the CTM. Stephen sent this picture this morning with a caption “Can you find Waldo?” Well, if you look hard, he is on the left, second row down from the top, second missionary in (the one that is in serious need of a haircut. Enjoy – vlj
Great to hear from you guys. This week seemed to move along at a brisk pace. I´m getting a little sick of the other Elders saying, “Just think of it, guys. By this time next week, we’ll be out proselyting and the week after that we’ll be out in the field.” Blah, blah. blah. Seriously. You know me, I’m not one to get excited over things like that. What I do get excited for are the lessons we teach the people and the “baptisms” we get. We (finally) baptized Tane’ last night. That is not our fault; her schedule is pretty irregular and we had to move the date cause Elder Costa decided to show up on Friday. Second time he’s ruined our progress and happiness.
No, seriously. His fireside was great, and like Dad said, he got us fired up on missionary work. (As if we needed any encouragement) The highlights this week were the lessons once again. I took the lead yesterday in a short lesson on Chastity. My companion made his section sound like an interrogation, which is easy to do when you are learning a different language. We’re looking forward to the day when we can say more than, “This commandment is very important” and “God promised us that if we keep this commandment, God will bless you.” I kid you not, those words ALWAYS comes up when we teach lesson 4.
Letters: One for Dad going out this week, Mom’s and Christine’s went out last Tuesday, and Brayden should have gotten his by now. I´m starting another letter to Mom, the girls, Joe, Corbin, (that one will be sent to our house since I don´t have Corbin´s address) and Christine. By the end of Thursday, you may want to consider sending your letters to the mission home. I believe Mom has the address, but if not,
Elder Stephen Jarvis
Brazil São Paulo North Mission
Rua Dr. Rui Batista Pereira, 165
05517-080 São Paulo – SP
This morning was our second to last temple trip here in the CTM. It’s getting strange now that there are fewer and fewer people ahead of us. Elder Young got made our district leader last week and he reported on our goals and a bit of praise from our Branch leader. Apparently, he thinks it was bold for us to be learning 15 words a day since week 2. Now, instead of mostly building vocabulary for me, I’m working on conjugations in order to feel more confident in the language.
Let’s see. Finished the first five books of Moses this week and almost done with 1st Samuel. Finished Jesus the Christ some time ago, and just barely got out of the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon. If any of you were wondering whether understanding Isaiah would get easier out here, NOPE! Still have to study it. Day by day we can see our progress as missionaries and as men. We are building tolerance and patience with each other (yes, familiarity does breed contempt). But, as we return to the Savior’s example and our time teaching the investigators, we have a sense of guilt about ourselves and we work to realign ourselves to become more like the servants of the Father that we should be. The best moment is when someone starts to take from your example and emulate it in their own lives. Means you’re doing something right. My favorite moment was when we were interviewing Tane´ for baptism and we asked her what it meant to having a living prophet today, what repentance meant to her, etc. Obviously, it was a teacher answering us, but it does not replace the joy you feel when the people begin to understand and accept the gospel. It was her mini-testimony and I walked out of there feeling a little taller.
I love you all and look forward to hearing from you.