So….Some fun things happened for both of us. We had the confirmation of Allan yesterday, lopped on top with another ward baptism. I´m sure that Sister Rolim is getting tired; she´s delivered talks at the last 3 baptisms, inluding ours. Thank you, Mommy, for taking the time to learn that bit in Portuguese. If it´s from Google translator, it´s the first I´ve seen in a while that´s correct.
I wish to take a second here to thank everybody for the kind letters and comments they´ve made over the “carta azul” (Portuguese for “Dear John”, though it actually doesn´t translate out exactly). All of you have brigthened my day with your carinho. I´m taking the moment to respond to all very quickly. I say this as a “I´m alright” thing so that you may rest easily, and not because it´s the typical response or because I don´t want people picking at a wound: I would be a very poor missionary if I´d spent the last 10 months preaching about the ultimate source of healing, and I didn´t immediately use it myself for my own private woes. Also, thank you so much, Mickey for taking time to think and type out messages which Mom is diligently passing to me. It´s wonderful to know that my familiy aren´t the only ones being concerned or affected by my service to the Master.
We had a very scary experience recently that I can´t give full details about. We were involved in a case of casting out demons from a home here. Our recent-convert, Allan, and his mother has had some very frigthening and powerful manifestations of Spirits in their home, and when we went there Tuesday, they finally came forth pleading for us to do something about it. Elder Moura had apparently felt it before, but neglected to tell me anything. I shook off whatever feelings I felt as due to the trafficking business that goes on in the neighborhood. As we approached the house this time, I felt a definite unnatural heat emminanting from the place. Elder Moura stood petrified, not wanting to enter the house, saying that there were many spirits in the home. I knew, at that point, that I didn´t feel comfortable entering the home without some things done first. We offered a prayer to Father for help to rid the house of the Spirits, and then we turned around and performed a special fast. We arrived Wednesday night with the Patriarch to dedicate the house. When we approached the house this time, Allan and his mother thanked us for our help and stated that they felt comfortable in the home and since the prayer the day before, they had felt the heaviness lifted from the house. We dedicated the house, and gave them counsel on how to mantain the blessing upon the house.
So, priesthood power works, as does prayer and fasting. Just saying that.
Yeah, Manaus, the heart of the Amazon. While I was in the MTC, they dedicated the temple there, and I got to attend via tele-brodcast. It was wonderful, and I believe I talked about it a while back in June. Great for Doc. Permit me: “You have taken your first step into a larger world.” We also had a mission tour with Elder Mazzaguardi from the Seventy. I´m embrassed actually to admit that I said that Hoboken was in Canada, to which he promptly corrected me. New Jersy, people. That´s the answer.
I´ve had a kick reading John for the first time in Portuguese. As I finish the gospels again, I marvel at how much of a Master Christ was. Take time to read His responds to the Pharisees, Saducees, and scribes during His last week of his mortal life. I would also suggest reading Talmage side-by-side with it. Each was stunning in its own right and had emboided within it an eternal truth. I´ve been searching recently on how to better my teaching skills and so, how better to turn to thatn Christ, and also Jacob in the Book of Mormon. The simple, everyday eaxamples that they use marked upon the listeners something to think about. We have been blessed with intelligence from God. It is something we all posses, yes, even the cocounuts. We can make connections of all kinds. You´ve all seen it; the primary children saying profound things that has lefted you startled. I´m thinking about the Master´s examples everytime I go to work, and I hope that soon, I can use my own examples too.
Mary was commended for choosing the good part. While service and practice of the word is crucial, there must also be a time when we stop and listen. The still small voice is rarely heeded to in comotion. Listen to hymns, sing with them, take time to read the scriptures aloud. I´m so grateful for having to learn a new language, because now that I´m taking the time to read the things aloud, I´m catching literally pages of stuff I´d not seen before. The boring chapters of scriptures now become essiential in my eyes and I look forward to the next time I hit Jacob 5, Alma 5, or the Savior´s teachings on the 2nd day of His stay with the Nephites. I promise you, that as you slow down and take advantage of deep reflection, the mysteries of the kingdom will be opened to you and life can be fulfilled “to the measure of its creation” and you may “have joy therein”, (BTW, Gen. Did you read President Utchdorf´s talk yet?)
Eu amo vocês