Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I'll Bring the World His Truth: It's Time, The Lord is Hastening His Work: I'm excited to learn Portuguese! Welcome to my mission blog! Here, you can keep updated on how I am doing in Brazil. I can't believe t...
I'll Bring the World His Truth: Better late than never: December 4, 2012 Oi, minha familia e meu amigos! How is everyone? I love and miss you and am always praying for you. Wow! A lot has happened...
I'll Bring the World His Truth: Investigators and a man with a big bible.: Oi, minha familia e meu amigos! I cannot believe it is 2013. Well, this week was good for the most part. Thank you for all your email...
I'll Bring the World His Truth: Santo Antonio de Jesus: Oi, meu queridos! Eu amo vocês! There is s ome disappointing news that will correct my last email, Abrantes isn't g...
Eu amo vocês!
There is some disappointing news that will correct my last email, Abrantes isn't getting the chapel yet. Some Mormon rumor. Sad day. They are going to put up some more walls in the site instead of the tent because it is so hot that the members were complaining. Also, they changed church to an hour earlier also because of the heat so some members wouldn't leave right after the Sacrament.
This is my week 6 in the field, so the end of this week will mark the end of my first transfer! Crazy how time flies! Sister Kalamafoni and I are doing well and working well with each other. I had my second interview with President Hart this week. It was a good interview. He is very happy that I have already read not only the Book of Mormon, but all the other scriptures as well. He said I have come very well prepared. Thank you, BYU-I! He also wants me to read Jesus the Christ in English. I am excited to do that. We talked about the language and I think I am right where I am supposed to be with it. After several weeks missionaries are usually at about 60% in understanding the language in a gospel setting. I think I am there. I notice little by little how my portugues is getting better. I can't wait to be more fluent! Yay!
Last p-day we went to a little beach town and it was so cute! We took some pictures on the beach, I will have to send sometime. We also visited this turtle project and saw some cool turtles.
So, I am writing you from Santo Antônio de Jesus, Bahia. It is about 4ish hours from Salvador. Sister Kalamafoni and I are here for more or less about a week. We are still companions and are staying with another companionship, Sister Costa and Sister Pontes (from the CTM). We are going to help them for a time and then we will go back to Abrantes. It's more like a city here. I like it. It rained a lot this morning. It's also good because I get to know this place a little bit for if I get to serve here later in my mission. In the mission right now, there are only 5 areas for sisters to serve.
It was sad to leave Abrantes for this little bit though. I guess you don't really know what you have until it's gone. This will help me appreciate it more when we go back. I am really loving the people there, especially our investigators. I just want so bad for them to accept this gospel. We are making strides with those few that we are helping with the word of wisdom. One has had this as a habit since he was ten years old. He is now about 28. He had two days this past week where he didn't drink at all! He even said one of those days he had many invitations from friends to drink. We were so excited and happy for him. We were very encouraging.
I am doing well. The Lord is definitely with me and Sister Kalamafoni. I can see His hand in our days so frequently. I loved reading about all the stuff you are doing. Keep up the good work, and keep the faith!
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Oi, minha familia e meu amigos!
I cannot believe it is 2013. Well, this week was good for the most part. Thank you for all your emails, I really enjoy reading them and I look forward to them.
I'm glad to hear from everyone else. I hope you are all enjoying church and doing good things at work. I hope you are all in good health and don't forget I pray for you all the time. Again, I will try and send pics next week.
Well, I think the work is moving forward here. The word from the president of the branch is that we are getting a chapel! Supposedly they will start in February or March. I really hope this is the case. I think that will interest a lot of people in what our church is about. How exciting!
Church this week was good. We had 6 investigators with us. It was awesome. President said they never have had this many investigators in church in the past two years since the church has been here. And they were all in gospel principles class -- which I ended up getting to teach! Haha. We didn't have a teacher because they need to call a new one. So I had about 45 minutes to prepare. Awesome. You know, that was like one of my worst fears back in the states, having to teach last minute. Well, here I am doing these things. AND, I am doing it in portuguese! The Lord really does qualify the called and makes up for what you lack. I couldn't understand everything or say everything perfectly, but my companion was there to help.
Also, this week I had my first experience with bible bashing. We tried to visit an investigator but they weren't home. Then we ran into a member who had a referral for us. So we all went to go visit this lady. Well, literally just a few seconds after we sat down in her home, I looked to the door and this nicely dressed man with a bible comes walking in. What? Then his wife and another member of their church. Well, we taught the lesson of the restoration and we talked about many things. I don't know the language very well so I was just trying to understand and I said a few things here and there. They believed that the bible is sufficient for them, that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one person, that man could not see God, etc. And just as I don't know the language perfectly, I don't know the Bible perfectly, or the Book of Mormon perfectly. But there's two things that I did know: 1. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. 2. I know what the Holy Ghost feels like. This was all I needed. I felt and I noticed that my companion was getting frustrated and the pastor was talking really loudly and forcefully, and they just kept sharing scripture after scripture.
The Spirit told me that we needed to leave. I gathered a few thoughts and tried to get a word in. When I finally did, I told him that we had another appointment right now, and then asked if I could say one more thing and then if we could have a prayer after. Everyone agreed. I congratulated them on their faith, and then I started my testimony by identifying myself as a representative of Christ and then bore testimony of my knowledge of the church, the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith. I also testified that Heavenly Father lives and has a body of flesh. And that Jesus Christ lives and has a body of flesh. That Jesus Christ died for us because He loves Heavenly Father and He loves us. That everything Christ did while on the earth was because He loves His Father, not because He loves himself.
I felt the Spirit very strongly and I felt calmness in the room.
But pretty much immediately after I stopped talking, the pastor started talking again. I didn't understand. But what I did understand was that he wanted the last word. So I let him have it. Because then we would never leave. One day all will know of the truthfulness of this gospel. We invited him to pray. The prayer was really loud. This made me appreciate my knowledge of the quiet sacredness of prayer, a conversation with our Heavenly Father.
Well, this was a good experience because it taught me how to deal with those situations and it actually helped me strengthen my testimony. When someone challenges it, that's when it can do a lot of growing, if you use it and if you speak it. It also increased my knowledge of the scriptures because I for my personal study the next day, I gathered some scriptures that will help me for next time.
I love you all so much. Remember to always choose the right. I encourage everyone to pray to recognize missionary opportunities!
Tchau, até mais.