So this week left me really drained and exhausted for a couple of reasons. First, we walked ALL over town non stop and second, we listened to a lot of less actives say that it doesn´t matter who is in the church because it’s true, but as long as so and so is there, I won´t go. Sigh.
SO. I will just go over what our plan of attack was this week, because going lesson by lesson just won´t work out for me (there were a lot!) So we wrote on a makeshift whiteboard all of our investigators, potential investigators and then less actives that we would work with (5 from each organization). Then we planned to visit our investigators 3 times during the week (once in the first few days, once later in the week and once Saturday), and to contact the potentials near the end of the week. With less actives, we passed by each one whenever we could, which worked pretty good with us.
So the first part of the week we focused on how we could help these people truly become converted to the Gospel, and not the church. We brainstormed for about 5 seconds on what could be the tool to do this. The first thing that came to mind was the Book of Mormon, because its, you know, proof! So we planned to focus on helping our investigators (and a lot of less actives) get a testimony of the Book of Mormon. During our study, we turned companionship more into a discussion about all the things we learned (inadvertently, but we thought it went very well). A thing that I learned was that the Bible is absolute of Christ´s divinity and his earthly mission, but the Book of Mormon puts in clear words how we are to go about following him. For this reason, the Book of Mormon is so important in conversion to the Gospel. It teaches and guides you to be converted to the gospel!
The latter part of the week we continued trying to contact new investigators, but the references we had were never home! We ended up finding a lot of new investigators through less actives friends and family. It is always good that way because it (The message of the Restoration) really reminds the less actives truly why they are in the church and helps investigators feel that what they are looking for is in our church. The problem with the majority of the less actives is that the church was really fun for them, but they completely lost focus on the Gospel. They had a testimony of the church and its leadership, NOT the Gospel (Which I will note, is the complete OPPOSITE of all the active members.)
Sunday was a very special day. We were responsible for 6 people in sacrament meeting, and it was a good meeting. Elder Leal gave a talk on our responsibility to help less actives, and the secretary spoke on our Agency and fulfilling our ´potential´. Afterwards, we continued in Sunday school with that same subject. It was interesting to note that we are preordained to do something special, every one of us, but we are not predestined to do anything. Our agency and willingness determines if we fulfill our purpose on earth or not. After sacrament meeting, we hurried to Fortaleza to watch the temple dedication in Manaus. It was an excellent meeting )Elder Clark of the seventy, Elder Cook and President Uchtdorf spoke) and I was very very VERY happy to use my temple recommend again. Elder Cook (I think) said something very profound. He said we cannot live on borrowed light. The Terrestrial Kingdom is compared to the glory of the moon, which glory is actually reflected, or borrowed, glory of the sun, or celestial kingdom. We must find our own light and testimony, so that it can be reflected and place the desire in others to seek their own, but most importantly, to stay firm in the Gospel. Then he told a story about how his father wanted his brother to study instead of going on a mission. He said if Christ was just a great man, and not divine, if Joseph was a great man, and not a divinely called man, if the Book of Mormon was just a good book, and not the divine word of God, it would be better to stay home and study, but if these things are all divine, if Christ is our savior, if Joseph was a prophet and if the Book of Mormon is the true word of God, it is much much MUCH more important to ho and serve a mission. These people are living on borrowed light, and you can´t live or stand on your own with borrowed light. For this reason, we are giving them their own light, so they can stand on their own and live in the world to come.
Today, since we stayed in Fortaleza, I went to the Center to have a fun time. We went to a bunch of stores and dreamed of buying original shirts (I settled for a false shirt of the Brasilian Selection... good birthday present for $7!). We’re going to stay with the ZL´s until tomorrow, so it will be a good time.
So that´s all I have for this week. Vós amo! O Evangelho é verdadeiro e o templo é a casa de Deus aqui na terra. Tenho nehuma duvida disso, graças à minha própria ´luz´