Getting to know 3 new Elders and getting them up to speed in their new area hopefully went well. Do you know any of them from past areas/zones?
I know Elder Rockwood, I saw him "be born" in the mission (when he came to Brasil) in Mogi, when I was with Cosme and Mikulecky. He's from Colorado.
E. Longi got here with my son, Mikulecky and I saw him every now and then on the mission. He's from Oregon.
E. Souza is new new new NEWWWW!!!! He has like 6 days on the mission!!!! Haha he's being trained by E. Longi, his first son. He's Braslian.
What was your biggest challenge of the week?
Help the other missionaries and my area and follow up with new people to visit and all that good stuff. But it was a rewarding week.
What was your greatest blessing of the week?
I love Sundays :) I love talking with the members, playing around with them, laughing with them, I love seeing investigators at church, I Really love seeing members interact with investigators, I also love going to members "Hey go meet that investigator!" And they do it, I love getting stuff done and resolving problems, I love being loved, I love using awesome ties and receiving complements, I love an Elder that makes it easier for me to be obedient, I love winning at cards :) Playing is fun too but I prefer to WIN!! Which I did :) Egyptian Rat Screw and Rummi. I'm the king! I made Manga shake (manga with milk and sugar!! AWESOMEEEEE!!!!) I love that still small voice and the certainty that comes with it that I'm doing the right things and I'm on the right path. I love following my Heavenly Father and His commandments. I love my loving leaders and the people that care about me and want what's best for me, especially, you mom and dad and James, Jon, Rie, Liz, Andrew, Shelem, Grandma and grandpa and everyone else.
I’m teaching the RS lesson next Sunday on prayer. Do you have any thoughts or experiences with prayer from your mission or your life that I might share in my lesson?
I love prayer. I have a big testimony about the power of prayer, I have found various scriptures and parables about prayer including:
1) Alma 31:38? (the last verse of the chapter) “And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of aafflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in bfaith.”
2) and the parable about the persistent widow. I know that according to our faith and sincerity and purity, the Lord really responds our prayers and miracles really do happen in response to our prayers.
Some personal experiences on the mission:
I had a friend before the mission that I knew wasn't in the best path or making the best choices. I continued talking with the friend and keeping up the friendship and offering counsels when I could. But I think the most important thing I did was pray for the friend every day and fast weekly for this person. I prayed and worried more about this person than I did about my own investigators (which isn't necessarily a good thing) but I recognized this and it was part of my plead unto God: "God, I can't focus on my investigators because I'm so worried about my friend, please bless this friend to get on the right path so that I can focus on my investigators" I made this and many other pleas to God. I was very persistent and I knew that God could help me and wanted to help me and my friend.
Well what happened? One week, I get a letter, and my friend told me something that, to me, was a miracle. I don't think my friend recognized it as a miracle but I certainly recognized it as a response to all my prayers and fasts and felt the Holy Ghost in that moment confirming that it was divine intervention. After this moment, my friend just got better and better and didn't go back to having the same problems and today, is married and sealed in the temple. I know that God hears our prayers and answers them. He wants our happiness and salvation and that of those around us. Sometimes, he just wants to see our faith and perseverance. I learned a lot from this experience and it's something I've carried with me till today.
Another experience after this one. We were preparing to go to church and I was saying the prayer before we left, I felt inspired to ask that someone who wasn't planning on going to church, could go. And so I did, and what happened? Someone who wasn't planning on going, went! Much to everyone's surprise. Another similar experience. I felt inspired to ask to help us find someone on the way to church to go to church with us. So I did, and what happened? We found someone! And they went to church with us!
This was another principle I learned, our prayers have to be inspired as well, there's scripture about this too...I think in D+C but I don't remember where. But the Holy Ghost will guide our prayers and so we should try and follow Him and what He inspires us to say. When it's inspired, it's 100 percent that it'll happen.
We were at lunch one of these days and Elder Rockwood, my new companion was getting like flavored flour with a spoon and he had gotten it with the spoon and then the fan rotated blowing full speed and blew it all in his face!!!! Man that was funny. I laughed for a good 30 seconds as did everyone else. Good times.
An excerpt from my letter to the president:
So 2 weeks ago, we had an interesting experience. It was Friday or Saturday and we were visiting an investigator and his wife and their son had been kind of reluctant to hear the messages. They both come in, angry, and complaining about how we were taking away their liberty and happiness with our visits because we were visiting them in the mornings and the son couldn't watch TV and we were waking up the mom (without wanting to). We didn't know that this was a problem, the last we heard, they'd wanted us to come in the morning because it was easier for them. In response to this, we said sorry a lot and were really sincere and humble and we could see the difference that our humility had on the family, they became more humble themselves.
Then the son started to complain about the church and the things we'd taught and what not and there were moments that I really wanted to just burn them até o pó and I was very tempted, but I didn't, neither did my companion. We used patience and our knowledge and faith to respond their questions and doubts with humility and we showed our diligence with them marking another day to come back and visit them to help them understand better our beliefs and the Church that we represent. We left their house and they were very friendly and smiling and laughing with us, we went there again this last week and explained everything better and this Sunday, the wife went to church! And liked it! So this to me was proof that really, we need to gain the attributes of Jesus Christ, patience, humility, faith, diligence, knowledge, everything, at all moments. If we hadn't been patient or loving or diligent, we would've cut them and they would've lost the opportunity to know the true church of God, but now, I firmly believe that the whole family will be baptized in the coming weeks. Because we were trying to be like our Savior.
I'm happy for new beginnings and opportunities to be better and second chances or even 490th chances. Thanks for all your love and support!