It´s interesting that you gave me Mormon´s words. This is Elder Dattilo´s missionary scripture and so I´m very aware of it. It´s wonderful that I´m still remembered around there. So, here´s the work week update.
Wednesday is transfers, so we´ll see if one of us will move. There is a chance that Elder Dattilo might go, but he doesn´t think so. I certainly hope not; I´d be extremely lost without him. We´ve been blessed because we have been striving to follow the counsels of President Martins and President Costa. We´ve had our thrid straight week of 40 or more lessons. We haven´t had baptisms yet, but there are a few that are close. We´ve also been striving to be more forward and direct in our teaching. Many situations have turned lukewarm. People love us and are happy for messages and the prayers, but they haven´t been progressing much. Elder and I have thought that this needs to change, and it starts with us. We´ll see how that goes.
Saturday was the ray of sunlight for us. I had made a contact on Wednesday that turned into the most amazing 1st lesson I have yet delievered. Sydney and Kelly, living together, and Kelly offered the prayer of her own accord and couldn´t wait to start reading the Book of Mormon. We were on Cloud 9. Two hours later, one of our investigators was having trouble with the idea of authority. He thought that our church was true, he believes the Book of Mormon to be true, and all other churches are true. This viewpoint has come up quite a few times actually. So, Elder Dattilo “Holland”ed him about the Priesthood and why the other churches are not valid. (Holland is a term I have coined, which means ´burn with your testimony´). Elder Dattilo has really taken to this phrase, and has thus begun to ´Holland` the ward for not doing their part in missionary work. We have no problem teaching the lessons or walking to appointments. We are not scared of the work, but we do need the members to pitch in and do their part if these precious lambs are to be kept in the fold.
So´ isso. I can see the attachments and Katie with the glasses is hilarious. I finally traded out Katie´s picture in the front of my picture book with Brayden. I love them both and both of their pictures fits the book perfectly, yet I still want Katie´s smiling face illuminating the front of the book. It always brings a smile to my face on a sad day, as does Brayden´s picture. Joe, what´s the password for your “nomemoriesremain@yahoo” itunes account? I´ll need it if I´m to listen to Hook. Cora, good luck on the italian. Learning a new langauge is hard. I´m finally getting the hang of Portuguese to the point where I can understand almost everything. When I get home, I am also going to learn Italian. Always a dream of mine. Elder Dattilo´s enthusiasm is rediculous. He wants to learn Italian, Spanish, French, and Galic. Wow. Just wow. I have not heard anything about a mail strike. Maybe President will say something about it later.
The attached pictures include one of a monkey and some pictures of our trip last Monday to Pico do Jagura. So much fun.
I wish to shed some light on the power of testimony this week. Peter once said that we are not following cunningly devised fables. Many people throughout history have sealed their testimonies with the red blood of life. Many of these people were among the greatest of men. Abel, Peter, Stephen, Paul, Joseph Smith, William Tyndale, the women and children of Alma´s and Amulek´s flock being burned, Mormon, and even the very Savior of the World died for their knowledge of the divinity of the Lord´s work. The powers of wickedness are always looking for a way to halt this work and fortunately, it cannot be stopped by the deaths of the righteous. But, there is a way that the work can be slowed. Men closing their mouths and deciding that the praise of men is worth more than the salvation of men. In Doctrine and Covenants, the Savior has said that the best way to press forward is to open your mouths. I must demand, along with a living Apostle today, that you don´t leave religion at the door. Translated, you NEVER EVER shut your mouth about man´s true relationship with God. The Prophet Joseph has said that “only a fool plays with the souls of men.” When you close your mouth, you are throwing a man´s soul to the wind and hoping that someone will catch that man. If you are told by the Spirit of the Lord to close your mouth, fine. But if you ever get a prompting to share your knowledge of the Restoration, and you do it not, you will be judged for it. I´m not perfect at this; my confidence in the language shuts my mouth. Slowly but surely, I am finding that the Lord´s promise of a full mouth of words is true.
When I follow the Savior by listening to the Spirit, I can do all things. I just delivered a second class in Portuguese yesterday. Two little American boys in a favela are touching the hearts of stones. We are still scared as ever about girls back home and speaking in foreign toungues, but through the power of the Lord, the same power that has moved mountains, seals families for all eternity, and created the earth, is working through us. US! Elder Dattilo and I, who have never had any fame in the world, are being directed by the Almighty to work miracles in a foreign land. Our Father, the Savior, and the Holy Ghost are all at work in Novo Osasco with two pitiful, insignificant boys, and making us into mighty men of God the creator. Now, this same power is working through an army of thousands bring the world His truth.
I promise you, as a representative of the Lord, that this same power can and does work through you. Stand a little taller, be of good cheer, and be ye not dismayed. The world has been overcome and you are on the right side. Why should we fear? The eternal benefits of sharing the gospel and bringing souls unto him are the things that will bring joy in this life and the next. This works both in missionary work, and in the sacred place of the home.
I love you all, and until I´m home, I will do my part here. Please do your part. Not because I know it´s a good idea, but because that very Savior of the world is looking for his flock. He needs your help.
Eu amo vocês!