Hello everybody! I attached some older pictures I have since I hadn´t been able to put them up until now. But this week was more or less. We had a lot of changes with our investigators, and a lot of appointments that didn´t happen.
Our district meeting, we had a training with the Zone Leaders about conversion and the Doctrine of Christ. I started a new approach to starting to teach someone explaining that what we teach will be familiar, but nothing they have heard before, because of the Restoration, only we have the true and pure Doctrine of Christ. One of the greatest ways the devil tricks people here is by convincing them that ´´any church will do... I can find God wherever I want´´. This statement is half true, but the problem is, our life isn´t about us finding God, but God finding US worthy to live with him and share His glory.
This week, we worked a lot with Itamar, Angela and their children. We are seeing very good progress in them, and they are really seeing why the church is true and why they need it. We have marked a baptismal date with Luiza and Pedro for this Sunday, and they are ELATED! Every time we teach, Pedro wants to say the prayer, and Luiza is already an active participant in the Young Women’s program. Angela and Itamar need to be legally married, but we will help them with that part. Angela is anxious to continue in the church and Itamar is working towards that.
WE also have been teaching a woman named Paula, who we found through her boyfriend..,. a friend of Itamar! She knows she needs to go to church more, but she is suspicious about other churches truly being Christ´s. She is aware that it isn´t any church that speaks in Christ´s name that will ´save´ us, but his true church. We are still talking with her, but she hasn´t been able to go to church yet, but we know when she does, she will never forget the day.
This week, we were only able to talk with Ivan and his family once, because he is busy with the business of motorcycle repair that he has going. But we talked with him at the beginning of the week, and talked about the Book of Mormon. HE seemed pretty interested, but we weren´t able to follow up and see what his thoughts were, and how the reading had went. They are a very friendly family, and like us a lot. The problem is, they are very busy, so we have to mark well ahead of time with them to go to church.
We are going to do a LOT of contacts this week, ask for references and so on to get more people to teach. We didn´t have a lot to do this week because many people stopped their progress at the beginning of the week. As we go on, we will cycle through people to see who really is interested, and they are our focus.
We also worked a good bit with our Ward Mission Leader this week. He and his wife are awesome people. and they invite us over for dinner at least twice a week to eat as Marcia says, ´´The good old soup!´´. We are going to start really working with the area this week and start some serious planning on the future of the work in this ward. The problem is that the members are very disconnected from us, and this affects the work negatively. References are not being made, nor integration of new members. The Lord works with everybody together, and not disorganized pods of workers!
On Sunday, someone brought up a good thought provoking question. in the Gospel Principles, we talked about our Heavenly Father, and the question was asked, ´´What was our conversation with God like when he sent us to Earth?´´ Some people were so happy to be a part in God´s plan, they accepted to live in the harshest and poorest conditions. When I thought about it, I asked myself, if someone was so willing to suffer so much to be a part of His plan, why do I have a part so seemingly easy? I thought back on all the times in church where I thought it would have been much easier to be a convert, but here on the mission, I realized that there is no difference between someone born in the church and a convert. Once I had acquired a firm testimony of the Gospel, I was a convert! In many practices, I act as an investigator that I would be... just like Mom. Someone who knew it existed, but was not actively looking for it. I remembered a line in my Patriarchal Blessing and I thought to myself that God knows my heart, and knows I would be a part of the Gospel, wherever I would be. I realized my purpose on Earth was not to seek and find the church, but be a tool in God´s hands from the beginning. He didn´t want to waste time making me look for the truth... I am better used by him with the truth already written on my heart. That question really changed my vision of my life, and I think it will change most of yours as well... so I challenge everyone who reads my letter to ask themselves this same question. If you can´t think of an answer... talk to the missionaries. I´m sure they will have one for you!
Answers to question Mom asked:
Junior, Dayanne, Carlos, Erika, Gabriel, Lucas, Renato, Tuanny, Jane, Igor, Erickles, Diana, Valdenir, Silviane, Luciano, Gabriella, Everlanya, João, Gabriella, Verlanya, and Geneuza.
What are the names of the people you are currently teaching (regularly)?
Waldecy, Rita, Itamar, Angela, Luiza, Pedro, Kevin, Tania, Paula, Eduardo, Ivan, Katia, Tamires, Leonardo and that’s all we are teaching this week. We are going to rebuild our teaching pool this week to work with more new people. These are the people making progress... the rest had ceased already.
There are a lot of things that make me happy each day, but rain doesn´t happen each day... so we enjoy it while we can! But the Book of Mormon makes me happy, companionship study, teaching families, an afternoon where none of our appointments fall through... these sorts of things... I´m happy when my life is easier haha.
The most effective service is when we can bring a family together. There are a lot of broken families because of alcohol, drugs, infidelity as well as rebellious children. We don´t have to take people to church or baptize them to start helping, but we teach them how to come together as a family based upon the Gospel of Christ. This is the service that is most solicited; that we help a husband, wife or child.
|This must be Elder Feinman, though he doesn't say.|
|I guess they are running their own Brazilian Grill|
|Perhaps a view from their balcony?|
|A balcony view?|