Monday, March 19, 2012

Hard Work, Faith and Prayers ... We Can Do It!

(Itu, Brazil)

Hey guys!!
So I don’t know if dad got my “knock knock” joke I sent to him.  That was the first thing I did when I got on, so hopefully he replies soon.  If not, I’ll say it anyways … “Happy Birthday Dad!!!!  I got a birthday present for you, but I still have it here.  Just know that you’ll get it one day.  Haha”

Sounds like you guys had a good week!  Britt … congrats on the race!!  Keep working hard, and doing what the coaches say, and you’ll be taking first in no time.  Also, work on your hands in the start blocks like I mentioned in the other email.  It takes strength on your fingers, so at home practice that.  Practice putting weight on your thumb and front two fingers.  It’ll help a lot.

This week was a good one!  We had a bunch of experiences that were really good.  There’s one especially that was sweet.  Everyday, before we leave our house, we say a prayer and we pray about our day.  President Martins has been pushing this a lot, and “Preach My Gospel” talks about it too.  We are taught that when you pray, you present your day, you talk about everything you have planned, and pray for any specific help you may need.  President Martins has always been saying to be specific in our prayers.  (Ex. Pray that at this time you’re going to this house in this area and that if they aren’t home that there will be someone close by that needs the gospel.)  One of the things we had scheduled for the day, was to go to a house we had pulled out of the area book.  In the prayer, we prayed that if she was not home that we could be led to someone who was needing us.  Well, she wasn't home so we stopped and thought, “Which direction should we go on this road?”  I got the prompting to go left so we started walking, talking to some people along the way, but not having too much success.  Then on the road we were on, there was a road to the left side that I felt we should take.  Elder J. Almeida agreed and we started going up.  I saw some people sitting on the side of the road and thought to myself, “Maybe that's who we're supposed to teach.”  But as we were getting closer, Elder J. Almeida stopped and looked at a house and said, "Elder … let's knock this door."  So we went and knocked on the door and met Maria.  We talked with her a bit and taught a little bit of the Restoration, gave her a Book of Mormon, and marked a day to come back because she was busy.  On our return visit we came to find out that years ago she would always see the missionaries passing and always wanted to talk to them.  She was a little intimidated so she never approached them.  She said that she'd often pray that one day the missionaries would stop and talk to her. She told us they never came by until we stopped by there that night.  She said that she had tried going to a bunch of different churches, but none of them felt right, and she ended up giving up.  She said that now was the time she needed us, and now was the time that God sent us to her.  It was such a neat experience and a testimony builder of personal revelation depending on BOTH the missionaries being worthy to receive it.  (It was me that felt the promptings of which direction to go and to take the right road.  But even more than just a direction, it was Elder J. Almeida that knew exactly which house Heavenly Father wanted us to go to.  Both of us need to be worthy and ready to follow and support the companion.)  I am so thankful for the training and teaching we get as missionaries.  I will never forget to be specific in my prayers and then to have faith to listen to the promptings received.  It was a really cool experience.

The second visit was on Saturday and she agreed to come to church with us.  We got a ride for her.  Sunday morning we met up with the ride and, as always, you’re a little worried they won’t come because … well … that’s the normal course of things out here.  Haha  But … we turned onto her street and there she was on the side of the road waiting for us!!  It was so cool!  And this Sunday we had a lot of investigators there and all of them, except one, were women.  What made that extra awesome was that Sunday was a special Sacrament Meeting about the Relief Society.  (I guess it was the anniversary of the Relief Society.)  There was a really strong spirit, and all the talks were about the importance of women, mothers, and strong women in church history.  The last talk was by a counselor in the Bishopric.  He spoke really quickly on how men of the priesthood not only should, but has the duty, to respect and honor all women … but especially the important ones in their lives.  Basically … the church's view on women and how they should be treated.  Obviously, all the investigators there loved it because they are women, and the one man there loved it too because that’s what he believes … not the whole “women are there to cook and clean” thing.  All in all … it was a really good Sunday.

Things are still going good here.  Me and Elder J. Almeida are working hard and having some really great lessons.  He’s still fairly new, only has three months in the field, and hasn’t baptized anyone yet.  He commented that to me, and expressed how much he wants to baptize someone.  He seemed like he was kind of down on it, so I decided to promise him that we would baptize this transfer … but not just one … but FIVE people.  As of right now, we only have four weeks left and no dates.  We are teaching some people that are really good and we’re going to try and mark dates with them this week.  Please keep us in your prayers!  My companion seemed kind of down about no baptisms, but when I promised 5 in this transfer, he got super excited, and that’s all you really need.  Here’s the difficult part though … this is a really slow area.  I don’t think anyone has ever baptized 5 in one transfer in this area, so we’re going to need a lot of help on this so pray for us.  I know that us doing our part and working hard, being obedient, and keeping faith … combined with lots of prayers and help … we’ll easily pull off five in these four weeks!

Anyways … I gotta get going!!!  I love you guys so much!!!  Hope you’re all doing great!  And, Dad, I hope you have a great birthday!!!  I love you all!  Let me know how the birthday went.


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