President Martins called me Wednesday or so to inform me about Grandpa. I took a second or two to stop, but then we went straight back to work. I haven´t shed too many tears because it is only a parting until later. Work is the best remedy for tragedy. You do not hide from the pain, but you console it in someway. When working for the Lord, you are already teaching others about the Plan of Salvation, while many reject us before we get a chance to tell them about eternal families. We haven´t had too much success here, but we attended an 8 year old’s baptism yesterday. Her smiling face reminded me of the innocence of Katie. However, it was a baptism that almost didn´t happen. Almost an hour earlier, the pipes for the font weren´t working, and so Elder Rebeiro, Flavio, Gaberial, and I were taking buckets of water from an outside pipe and dumping them into the font!
Too cool about Sam and Dotta. Luke and Sam will have kids when I get back….Something is weird here. Especially since the world will be on my butt to start dating as soon as I get back. I don´t think Cora would forgive me if I got married before she got home. I can´t tell you how cool it’s been to tell people that my sister and the girl I´m writing will be serving soon. Not to mention Corbin and Dereck. All of you, you are being prayed for around the world. About Elder Rebeiro, I´m not sure there is much we can do. I´ve talked to him a bit, and his worries are about casamento e faculdade (marriage and college). You know, “Responsibility”. What a scary thing!
PLEASE do a brain load dump. An hour each week never feels like enough, but I manage to make it through until, before I know it, it’s Saturday and two days more until our day of rest. Oh, Gen. I was reading in 3 Nephi today doing a study of the Savior´s first visit here to the Nephites. Chapter 12:2 really reminded me of you and your new recent convert friend.
I was reading an article in the Ensign this morning by (All-word-powerful) Elder Holland about the forgiveness and the mercy that was exhibited in “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He talked about an experience that he had in Salt-Lake at the airport, watching a returned missionary coming home. There was a father who clearly was more comfortable behind a plow than in a suit, a mother whose handkerchief was in shreds because she was so anxious, and two or three younger brothers and sisters running around. Elder Holland stopped and thought “Surely the mom will be the first to run to the Elder.” When the Elder appeared, it was not hard to notice him. He stood 6 feet tall, clean and handsome, and with the bright face that usually accompanies a servant of the Lord. He seemed like Captain Moroni. Of course, someone didn´t wait for him to come to them. But it wasn´t the mother who ran; it was the Father. This hulk of a man ran to his son, give him the biggest hug, and lifted him off the ground and held him there for a few seconds. The son had his arms around the father and they were oblivious to what was happening around them.
In Elder Holland´s mind, he immediately thought of another reunion. One where the Savior, having completed His mission and returned to Heaven to present himself to the Father, was encountered by the God of the Universe, who in all likelihood, ran to Him to embrace Him much like this earthly father did with his son. Thinking on this, I immediately thought of the righteous examples of the fathers of the church. Sons want so much to be like their fathers. Nephi did all his father asked, and even helped him during his trials. Moroni kept the records that his father had labored on with such love and sacred respect that he hid himself and the plates for almost 30 years after his father had passed on. In Gospel Principles, we read a bit of Abraham´s story of sacrificing his son. What a pride Issac must of had when he knew that his father put the Lord first!
I always look forward to every update from home, be it Mickey’s Dear Elder responses, Christine’s off and on writing, or most especially, the trusted one letter a week update from Dad. I love to hear the encouragement, suggestions, and stories from home. I feel such a connection with what is being done at home that it feels like we are part of the same army, fighting the same war, while he’s fighting in the homeland, and I’m off in Brazil. Yeah, Dad. You know I love you, and when my thoughts do turn home (It’s impossible for them not to), I often imagine that you will be the first I’ll run to. You and I will have had a shared experience that not many Elders get to have ever, and sure enough, that experience will be repeated some months later, as I embrace my friends who came after me, and then my own sister who I am so proud of.
Eu amo vocês!