Yeah, about that organ bench, I´m tempted to talk with the ward director about getting somebody to play piano for sacrament. Yesterday, we had 6 investigators, Christmas song, but no pianist. It´s just not Christmas until you have the hymns.
The bishop for this ward got here last week, and Elder Viana and I absolutely love him. He was in England for 3 months doing some work at a plant for Boeing, working on a 777 out there. Yeah, he knows where at least Everett is, and he speaks English very well. We spent lunch with them Saturday, and they had one of the Motab´s Christmas DVD´s playing. (The one with Brian Mitchell) FINALLY, some good Christmas sounding music. Brazil is wonderful and there are quite a few Christmas lovers here, but it´s not the same. Oh, and it will be from his computer that we are doing Skype next Tuesday.
YEAH FOR CORA!!! I´ve been bothering her for a while about getting her patriarchal blessing. Great for Tyler and his sweetheart. We´ve recently had some activity in the ward about some sealings, and it´s wonderful to see the brightness in their faces. I took some time this morning to watch the Restoration in Tagalog (with Portuguese Subtitles). Some of the ministers sound pretty threatening.
Poverty sucks hardcore, especially this time of year. Last Wednesday, we had our last appointment of the day fall through. As we were passing by a club, a man stopped us. His name is Luiz and he has been searching for a job. He does drink and smoke, but once he heard that magical phrase (representatives of Jesus Christ, or in this case, representantes de Jesus Cristo) he broke down and cried a river of tears. He wants the best for his two children (girl of 11 and son of 9), and unfortunately, because of his circumstances, he has a limited amount of time before they take the kids away. It was his call to repentance from the state, and so he is doing his best to change and provide for his children. The girl, Guliana, told us that he doesn´t eat until his kids are done, even if that means he goes without food. The gospel light has touched their lives in just a few short days. The kids´s eyes lighten up when they see us and within the time they spent at church, they have made plans to attend a primary activity on Thursday. The father didn´t turn down our invitation to follow the Savior, but he wants a stronger confirmation first. I think the kids, though, are all over it. However, I think we should wait a little so we can get all three in the font on the same day.
Elder Viana is very enthustatic about getting the members to work with us. The ward mission leader is a fine returned missionary named Moroni, and I think we´ll be fine. When I say “we”, I mean me and my new companion. President Martins has a way of letting us know beforehand if one of us will be transfered (took me three tries to prove this). So, it looks like Elder Viana will be transfered soon, or maybe I could be. Don´t worry too much. If I get transfered, you guys will know soon and it won´t create any problem with our upcoming phone conversation. Although it does look like it may be a little latter than I thought. I can´t say when for sure, so just keep the computer on and listen for the beep from Skype. Oh, and accept any weird Brasilian looking names as friends. (That felt weird just typing that.)
So, it´s official. John is my favorite of the 4 testimonies. I was studying 2 Nephi 28 this morning, after praying to Father about receiving new enlightenment about the value of the scriptures. I marked a few reasons why new scriptures are expected, needed, and are sure to come. The whole chapter is pretty convincing as to why the words of God “never cease”.
This time of year is a time of commitment and remembrance. The birth of the Savior is perhaps the biggest celebration in history, yet I never understood why Christmas was so special. Because we are Latter Day-Saints and worship and try to live like Christ 24/7, why is this day really any different than any other day? I think it is because the world too often forgets the trials of their fathers and thus needs a big reminder every year. I realized that it was really the day that is signifcant; it is the event. There are three events that occured within the space of 33 years that gave us hope. The birth of the Savior of the world, which means that all that the prophets said shall come to pass and thus we can hope for a better world; the Atonement, which marks the point when we can finally be free from the grasp of the devil´s damnation; and finally the Ressurection, which is the culmination of it all. All barriers that stood between us and Father are destoryed. Finally, after 4000 years, it is possible for us at last to return to our Father in Heaven. The Plan of Salvation was realized with the life of the Messiah. Thus, at Christmas, we remind ourselves of the first pillar. We can hope for a better world because the words of the prophets are true. Jesus came into the world and lived a perfect life, thus giving us an example of what manner of men ought we to be.
How I love my Redeemer, whose servant I have been called to be for a time. How grateful I am when I can find someone looking for the light and peace of the gospel. How grateful I am that, because we have a Father who loves us, my deepest dreams can be realized: My family, eternally bound, Happiness for me and my brothers and sisters on this earth and in the world to come, and a chance to personally thank the God who made this possible because His work is that of the Father. To immortalize and exalt all of His children. I´m grateful that we have a King, who cared enough for his subjects, to give His precious life for the flock. May we not let this sacrifice go in vain.
Off to the rescue we hasten…
Eu amo vocês!