I love the people out here in Indaiatuba so much that I wouldn´t mind staying here til March or so.
WOW, Brayden! Good for you! Too bad I can´t be there to support you, but keep at it! I will pray for Addie. A letter once and a while from people is always appreciated. I don´t care what you write about, just write.
I have been trying to be consistent about writing in my journal. The journal is for 2 purposes: one for my children and everyone else, the second is so that I can see the hand of God in my life every day. Yes, I remember President Eyring´s talk on that one, and it helps a bit. It´s easy to get sad or depressed out here. President Martins commented that it is on the mission that most elders lose their faith. I guess you have to keep this in perspective. I also suggest a read of Elder Andersen´s most recent GC talk.
WE HAVE BAPTISMS COMING UP!!! I´m excited; and Elder Viana isn´t complaining either. One of which is a surprise to some people. We also have a couple that is thinking about it, most likely will. This is more than enough to help meet the mission´s goal for 10 baptisms a month for every zone. It´s nice to have a light at the end of the tunnel at times.
An interesting experience today. We spent some time with the nieghboring Elders (One is being emergency transfered and the other will return home in Janurary. Home being close to Renton) and he brought a guitar that someone else left at their apartment.
One thing that will make your days and outlook brighter: sing hymns and primary songs. Really, everything matters here. This is a full time mission, not a 11:00 am – 9:00 pm mission, so the things you do when you are not working really make a difference.
In my scriptures, I´m at the end of Mosiah in Portuguese. I also started reading the New Testament in Portuguese and I got a small list of “Christmas oriented scriptures”, one for every day until Christmas. It has been amazingly rewarding to see the Lord bless me with understanding of what I read. I don´t understand every word, but I find myself figuring out the meaning by the Spirit. It´s addictive.
And now, my thought for the week. We unfortunately lost an investigator this week that was so promising. He is putting more faith in his knowledge and what looks like the hand of God than in the real thing. When he described his “answer” that he is to continue on as he should, I felt a big empty nothing in his words. There was nothing even remotely like the Spirit in what he spoke. The best word for it was hollowness. We knew in that instant that he was not ready. The contrast was with an eldery lady. I love listening to old ladies talk about everything in their lives, and this dear sister lives alone. 40 years of membership in the church, and she has nothing but the highest respect for the missionaries. Anyone who puts on the tag is worth a few tears for her. Our sacrifice is so big and our selflessness is inspiring to her that she cannot help but praise us. While I don´t like to talk about others´ praises for me, I recognized in that moment the love so many members of the church has for us. I feel so puny and so unlike the men and women they describe, but I´m proud that I´m counted among them.
The gospel, and all its tentants, have a prescence and a grand righteous simipilcity to it all. When you hear with your spiritual ears the truths and you see the church go to work, you know it is true. You feel a familiarty with it, because it is the work of your Father. He created it for you, because He wants you to be happy. The Atonement, the gospel, the Plan of Salvation, missionaries, the scriptures, the prophets, your leaders, the Spirit, humanitarian work, genealogy work (good work everybody!), temples, Primary, Seminary, Institute, YSA stuff, Family Home Evening, trials, tribulations, tests. All is because your Father in Heaven desires for you to be better than you are. In growth comes pain, and with overcoming trials comes happiness. I know the only way to true happiness and a fulness of joy here on earth and in heaven can only be found through the work of the Father and The Son and the Holy Ghost. They all desire for us to smile a little more, to be a bit stronger, and to understand the grand design.
I´ve grown and changed quite a bit already and I will yet grow more. I´m looking forward to it, because it will bring me closer and closer to the greatest of all blessings: an eternal family and eternal life with my God. I hope you guys are, too!
Eu amo vocês,