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.