Monday, December 10, 2012

Esta tá sem título

Hello again everybody!

So this week wasn´t as good as last week in terms of teaching visits, but we did learn a lot. We tried to find new people to teach, but we weren´t able to find many people, so that took up a good chunk of our time.

The hilights of our week were mainly on Wednesday and Saturday, but we had a good District Meeting on Tuesday. We did a practice with the Book of Mormon where the investigator was troubled about the story of Nephi and Laban. The doubt was about why God would order someone to die for any reason at all. In the practice was brought up two points, one that his death meant the salvation of thousands of souls, and the other was that it was a semblance of Christ´s death for the whole world. There aren´t always sacrifices necessary, but when they occur, they are always for our good.

Wednesday, we had a visit with Osmarina and Karine where we ended up just talking about Prayer and the Book of Mormon. I asked a question that I don´t recall ever asking before. We talked about praying to know if the church is true, which prompted my question... ´´What does ´true church´ mean to you? ´´ As I remember, the answer was something that helps us in this life, that helps us know God and so on. I agreed with their responses and added, that it is all that, in a church founded by our own Savior, for our own salvation. I think that question opened up their understanding about our message, in a point that many times, isn´t very clear when we teach.

Saturday, we visited about as many people as we could, and tried to contact a lot of people, but we couldn´t find anybody at home. I can´t remember what made the day special, but I seem to remember that it was a good day for us.

Sunday, we had a regional conference for Brasilia, Manaus and Fortaleza presided by Elder Ballard. There were four speakers, all General Authorities. All were VERY good talks. First was Elder Audikatis, a native of Porto Alegre. He talked about the things we can learn in our youth. He pointed out that the way we can prove God´s commitment with us is paying our tithing. If we have faith in his promise given in Malachi 8, we can recieve blessings without measure. I had a little more understanding in that phrase ´without measure´ from my scripture study of this week. I have been studying II Kings-II Chronicles, and within these books, there are a lot of measurements of materials and money described. I noted that in great abundance, the materials are not measured, with a promise that it is a VERY large amount. For example, the copper and cedar used in the temple of Solomon was described as without measure, while the greatest measurement given was 1 Million talents of silver. Imagine the amount of blessing God will give u s if we serve him with our heart. Elder Audikatis described that those who serve are blessed, but those who serve with all their heart are blessed immensely... note the word immensely.

The next speaker was Jean A. Stevenson of the General Primary Presidency. She told a story of a boy who, during WW2, found a small piece of a motorcycle mirror, which he took and rounded to use a little mirror. He used this mirror to shine light where it might never shine. As he grew, he continued to play this game, until he realized that it was this that he wanted to do in his life. Reflect light wherever he could in the lives of others. The mirror wasn´t a source of light, but it could reflect from the source. She compared this to ourselves, and how we are not a source of light, but Christ, the light of the world, is. ´´That which ye have seen me do, that you must also do.´´ We aren´t a source of light, but we can reflect this light to the hearts of others through our acts and examples. The will to follow Christ and share his Gospel will let our own light shine.

Elder Gavarret, of Paraguay, but a former resident of Brazil, then spoke to us. He recounted two stories of curings from the New Testament. One man had waited by the pool of Bethesda 38 years to be helped into the waters, that he might be whole. Only when Christ came with his admonition to ´´Take up thy bed and walk´´ was he helped. He recounted another story of a paralytic, who was healed, but with the help of four friends. These friends brought him to the presence of Christ, lowering him through the roof to be ministered unto. He was promptly healed, and rejoined his friends. One man waited 38 years for help, for a friend, while the other was helped immediately. He said that we must be this friend to others, and extend our helping hands, to bring the spiritually afflicted unto Christ, that they might be healed. He then exhorted us to simply ´´Be a friend.´´

Elder Ballard was the last speaker, and his talk was an exhortation to live the Fourth Article of faith. He told us to obtain a habit of praying every day, reading the scriptures, being honest, and living worthily enough to enter the temple. He noted that if we are truly following Christ, we will already be doing these things (A spiritual checklist of sorts). He stated that Jesus atoned for the sins of all those who try to come unto Christ, and live as Christ taught. He then asked the Priesthood holders in attendance to read, study and seek to follow a passage of scripture, which is found in D&C 121:34-46

34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

 35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

 36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

 37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

 38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

 39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

 40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

 41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

 43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

 44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

 45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

 46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

So the meeting passed by very fast, and all that were in attendance learned something.

So this was my week. I hope this letter was satisfactory for you all!

Love, Elder Cornwell

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