Ah, Elder Holland. Sister Martins said couple weeks ago that we must stop false traditions. Well, one of mine and Elder Dattilo´s new ones was praising Elder Holland for his boldness. Man, he gets fire cooking under your bones. The trouble is: it´s so easy for that fire to die. We are promised that when we speak, the Lord will be with us. When has the Lord failed to come through on a promise?
So, I need to mention one thing. We have “You´ve got a friend in me” on the cellphone, both English and Portuguese. So, everytime it comes around, I remember a little high voice saying, “Oh! That´s my song!” Oh my gosh, my heart melts. So today, the zone decided to cash in a P-Day and go to Pico do Jagura. (Jagure Peak) You can see a good portion of Sao Paulo from the top, and what a view! I was also in charge of the cellphone, but some didn´t like my music choices. Diss Called to Serve, will you?
The two greatest stories this week. The first happened as we made a contact. Elder Dattilo did the obligatory “Hi. We´re representatives of Jesus Christ.” The man said, “I´ve already been saved.” I responded, “So are we” “You´re sure?” He then proceeded to bash “what we believe”, which, as you might have gussed, was totally wrong. The man did no research on us whatsoever. He then said a word I´ve never heard before, which talked about the resurrection of the dead. We, after going to his house, were entangled in a bible bash. Bring on the hate. I said nothing unless it made no sense, which actually happened a lot. Finally, he said that his dad, as good as a man that he was, did not accept Jesus Christ in this life. (Our cue!) Elder Dattilo and I bared our testimonies and Elder Dattilo said, “Your father is not lost” and we turned around and walked away, with him screaming at us to return so he could prove us wrong. So cool.
The second had to do with a reference given to us. We went and searched for the house, which turned out to be a false address. We asked the woman that lived there if we could pray with her. She said, “Nope. Because we believe in a different gospel.” Elder Dattilo said, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ? The Bible? That God answers prayers?” “Certainly.” “Then, we believe in the same gospel.” Many people here get confused on the word gospel, so some claim that we preach a different gospel. No, we do not. We preach that we must have faith, must repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the End. The same gospel as what is in the Bible. The contact continued, and then a man appeared and proceeded to “prove us wrong.” Temples, tithing, prophets, Joseph Smith, baptisms for the dead, and the Book of Mormon. (His reasoning for tithing was that it was given only to the Jews, and neither Christ nor the Apostles talked about it afterward. Same with Sabbath day observance.) Sabbath in Portuguese means Saturday, ao we have to explain this translation problem. Finally, after almost staying completely silent, I bore my testimony that we have a prophet on this earth that has revealed the Lord´s will for us. I won´t talk too much about the contact, but to our surprise, he agreed to a return visit to read the Bible with him.
I lied, I have more stories. One contact happened with a woman from Africa, who didn´t know how to read. Her husband, passed away now, read to her and now she wants no more to do with the Bible, saying “God knows what he is doing” and “All churchs are right!” I don´t know if she actually believed us or not, cause it seemed that she just didn´t want us there. People, God works very simply. Really, it´s not that difficult. Plus, out of all the beliefs I have seen, only ours makes complete sense. Jesus is 100% human and 100% God? (Check your math, man) God will only save a few. (Is He not our father? Would a father not want to save all of his children?) God doesn´t speak to us through prophets anymore. (Why not? He always has, why change now? It´s certainly not because of our wickedness; that´s the reason he put prophets on the Earth) I don´t believe in your prophet. (I do. You should try it. It makes life much easier and besides, all the cool kids are doing it.) And finally, the grand problem. I don´t believe in your Book of Mormon. How do you know about it´s truthfullness? You have not read it and you have not prayed about it. You can know nothing for a surety with a testimony of truth, which comes from the Holy Spirit.
People, it´s quite simple. Listen to the prophets. It´s much safer and the Lord will never lead us astray. Neither will the prophets, for if they were to do so, God would remove them from their place. We have an upcoming opportunity to partake from the living water of life. Do it! I promise that as you put these teaching and gudiance from the prophets into practice, you´ll be blessed. As Elder Datillo and I have learned, when you just try to put these things into practice, you cannot go wrong. The day after our zone conference, we got 13 lessons, more than we usally get in 3 days. This week, we got 39 lessons, and several that may lead to baptisms. We´re kind of excited.
Now, as for the DNA religion thing, I´ve know this for quite a while. The darkest point of my life was when I was questioning this church and Christ. I can honestly tell you that you don´t want to do that. I could never leave this church. It´s part of who I am. Even if I did go inactive, I could never forget or deny these things. I know they are true. For myself. These are not ceverly desgined fables made to lead the people to hope; this is the very work of the creator of you and the earth. When I return, I will not leave. My children and my future family will be raised with this knowledge, because I know that it is the way to eternal life. The greatest reward that it possible. I´m not stubborn or prideful person. I don´t know much, but I do know the gospel. I´m stubborn only when it comes to the truthfulness of this work. No one here leaves without a testimony that this work is true, and the reason we stay out here is the same. This is a gospel of action and we are doing our calling, to preach the gospel until “the great Jehovah shall say: `The Work is done´.
Eu amo vocês!