So, transfers did happen. I went from Capao Bonito to the captial. It´s called Cachoeirinha (I still can´t say it either), and it means little waterfall. I opened an area with Elder D. Silva from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (not El Salvador – that is a country). He is a little too crazy for me, but he never lets the Lord down in his service. He only has 5 months. The big news is that I have moved into a house with 5 other elders. One is Elder Allan, a friend of Elder Henline from Draper, another friend named Elder Dos Anjos that really wants to learn English, Elder Oliveria who was trained by Elder Hadley, and Elder Monrroy from Chile. He´s pretty awesome as well. The ward here is fairly big, and this is the first chapel I´ve seen in Brazil that is sharing with another ward. Parada Pinto, which has my friends Elder Wolfe (same group as me) and Elder Bow, a great friend of mine from the MTC that went to Interlagos, but we picked him up when the missions split. My district also includes the assistants and Elder Long, my companion from the MTC.
The work has been fairly busy, but I want to tell you about today.
You may note that I´m doing this letter on Tuesday. That´s because we went to the temple today. I didn´t know that I would be going, or I would have said something. So many cool things. The scheduled session had so many people that some of us, including me, got pushed back to the 11:30 session. So, we went to watch baptisms being performed. The font is beautiful. They have colored tiles of Alma baptizing on one wall, and the famous Preach My Gospel image on the other. As we waited, they informed us that they didn´t have someone to be baptized. I volunteered, which was a great preparation for the session.
I can´t stress it enough. The temple is the place to learn. As I sat in the session, I was blown by the changes, but I was able to sit and think for a minute. The Lord really is hastening the work, and President is all up in festas about this historic moment in missionary work. “One day, you will be telling your grandchildren about this historic period that you served your missions,” he told us recently. I can´t help but notice the parallels between my mission and Dad´s mission, which he served when full priesthood access had been granted to every one on the earth. (President Martins also served his mission in the late 70´s, too.) As I read more from the Book of Mormon and continue to be accepted and rejected on a daily basis, I feel excited at the prospect of what´s on the horizon. Though my heart saddens when I realize that I have a limited time left in the field (April is just around the corner). Then again, my heart rejoices to know that it will be Cora, not I, that will be part of the greatest and most prepared missionary force we have ever had since the beginning of the world.
That is the truth. I have a similar work to that of Elias, to prepare the way. The ones that come after me will do a great and marvelous work, such as we have never seen. I´m speaking particularly to a few selected people, but this message applies to all who are sitting on the bench or are soon to leave or are approving that age. The prophets have been talking that this was coming for the last few years (President Monson – November 2010, Jeffery Holland – November 2011, etc.), so please, come with your desires. Come serve as a missionary. It doesn´t matter where or in what capacity you serve. It´s not too late, the work is satisfying, and you will be counted among the great and noble ones. The very Savior has said, “If he has desires, he is called to the work.” The prophet has declared “Whom the Lord calls, he qualifies.” So, if you have a desire to serve, you are qualified. Please come, and know what I have come to know in the last year and a half. The work is divine. God lives, Jesus is His Son, and they have a great plan of happiness lined out for us that will permit us to return and live with them and our families with a fullness of joy. It just doesn´t get bigger and better than that.