Brayden, I couldn´t be more proud of you. Serving the Lord brings forth the marvelous blessings of heaven, (believe me, I know.) and the Lord wants all of His children to know the eternal joy in service to others. When ye are in the service of your fellow-beings, ye are only in the service of your God.
GRANDBABY #6!!!!! This means another fount of happiness for this uncle. Showing off the “nieces and nephews” section is almost always the highlight of the pictures. I´m sure Mom is complaining day and night about the new grandbaby, to say nothing of the added attention from Addie. The kids around here love the Elders. We were invited to a less-active´s house yesterday, where we were showed by love and fake money by the 5-year old girl who showed us her “daughter”. Cute stuff.
So, the word has come from on high, pretty much. Elder Jarvis will stay in Indaiatuba for the next transfer. This means I´ll be the last companion of Elder Moura, and if things play according to how President Martins wants them, I´ll stay in the area to show the next elder the area, and then, maybe I´ll get transferred again. So, unofficially, I have three more months here. Which is fine, I was thinking that I wasn´t here for very long and had an impression or two that my work here is not done yet. We had a missionary activity with the neighboring ward (which this area sorely needed) and we watched the infamous “17 Miracles”. I had not seen it yet, so I was looking forward to it. It is a story about the Willie Handcart Company, and as it was only available down here in English, it had to be subtitled. The film didn´t lose its impact on the 88 people who came out to watch it. Almost everyone had a wet tissue in hand, and I came close to crying. Powerful film. The evening itself was a miracle, as for the first 30 minutes, everything that could go wrong with the projector, computer, and DVD went wrong. Fortunately, the refreshments were handed out first and so we had enough time to fix the issues. After the film started, it was smooth sailing.
Nothing to report on the baptisms, though prospects are always around the corner. I´ll talk about the Craig Christensen meeting another time. I didn´t do anything particualy exciting on Saturday for the B-Day, but I was alright with that. I did, however, have an enormously powerful study session of the first visit of the Savior to the Nephite nation. Once again, I received a confirmation of the power of the Book of Mormon. I´ve come to a conclusion: Either the Bible and the Book of Mormon are both true, or they are both wrong. They are too inseperably linked to be otherwise.
I appreciate you guys inviting Christine and Elder Dattilo (You may call him John, but it seems too weird for me to call him anything other than “Elder” or “Elder Dattilo” or “Meu Pai na missão.”) Be sure to let him know that I´M the one writing her. Oh, post pictures on Facebook or send them to me. Either way. The members here never end their teasing of me anyway.
Wow, 20 years. It kind of freaked me out that night as I thought about the next 20 years. Then I stopped thinking about it and went to bed. Scared me a little. Unlike my friend, Elder Dattilo, I just said a quick gratitude prayer that night and then went to bed; the next morning rising to do the work that He has comissioned me to do. I´ve kind of forgotten the fact that, about 9 months ago, I didn´t speak a word of Portuguese, I was living comfortably with an amazing family, texting a girl like crazy, and doing the things I usually do. That may or may not include reading a comic, reading a chapter of the Book of Mormon, doing some school work, and going to work. In the past 9 months, I´ve experienced some of the hardships I´d only ever read about in history books. True poverty is something I´ve see and felt. I´ve also passed through many “trials of purifying fire” with some of the best friends I´ll ever have here, and I´ve experienced a taste of the sorrow felt by the prophets of old: the sorrow for the sinds and stiff-neckedness of the world. I´ve felt the frusteration of the waiting period of nothingness, when seemingly no progress has been made.
But, I´ve also learned a few things, not the least of which is a testimony of the divinity of this work. I´ve gained: an everlasting appreciation for a family who works behind closed curtains to see me through (although I´m sure the work is very evident on their side of the world), an wonderful new understanding of the principles I was taught since Primary, many pioneering friends whose stories rival those of the early Saints in the States, and some experiences which are very personal to me that has revealed in a small, but ummistakeable way that these things were, and could not have been, created by the “wisdom” of man. Something extraordinary happens within our hearts when we have truth confirmed to us by the Holy Spirit, when we realize that we knew God before, that we agreed to be subject to the magjestic designs of the Supreme Creator, that there is a power that desires our eternal doom, and that there is a light and life of the world who does more that we will ever comprehend to bring to pass the exaltation of the children of a Father and a Mother. Let us be grateful and count our blessings, one by one, “and it will suprise you what the Lord hath done.”
Eu amo vocês!