My week has been a great example of the principles taught in one of the best verses in the Book of Mormon—Ether 12:27.
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness…”
Oh man, I have felt so weak the past few days. I want so badly to meet the goals of the mission, teach convincingly, obey exactly, and have a thorough plan in place to accomplish everything I need to. Yet, my lack of Portuguese, lack of experience, inability to communicate effectively with my companion and leaders, and other personal weaknesses limit me.
“I give unto men weakness that they may be humble…”
I’ve been stressed, discouraged, tired, frustrated, and lonely—definitely humbled in every way. It’s been so hard, but I know that I’ll make it through this time of personal trial, for:
“…my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me;…”
Humility is a Christlike attribute that we must develop in order to improve ourselves. Growing is a brutal process, but through the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ we will be lifted from our state of despair of human weakness. Though a couple time this week I’ve been heavily discouraged, each time I was blessed with a comforting peace—once immediately after I asked for it in prayer, and once through the calming whispering of the Spirit that said “The Lord Knows” regarding my situation. How grateful I am for His help!
“For if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, than will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
Not only will the Lord aid us through our trials, but He will strengthen us as we persevere faithfully. A mission is a refining fire. I’m in the part of the process right now where I’m really burning haha. But, I know as I continue to work with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, I will emerge stronger, by the grace of the Savior that I have become worthy of through my actions. I hope everyone will experience this trying yet necessary process to become more like Christ. Man, it’s tough, but I can see the “light at the end of the tunnel” which is the grace of God.
Now that my weekly sermon is finished haha, I’ll talk about this week.
My new companion is Elder Gerson. He’s from Rio de Janeiro and doesn’t speak English. It’s hard to talk with him sometimes, but by the end of the transfer, my Portuguese will be excellent! I’m SO grateful that he is a hard worker and obedient. I haven’t even had him for a week yet, and it’s been the most effective part of my mission already!
We met a great investigator this week named Leonardo. He’s the neighbor of a member family who suggested we visit him. Our first lesson with him went well; he was really receptive and interested. When we returned the next evening, he said he had stayed up til 2:30 in the morning reading the Book of Mormon! He read 3 Nephi 11, the part we told him to read, and then all of the introduction parts. So awesome! We answered the questions he had and watched “The Restoration” with him. He liked the message of asking God directly, and not man, for religious answers. We’re going to visit him again tonight, and hopefully he’ll have a lot more questions for us to answer for him!
It was a tough, but definitely a good week, and I’m so grateful that I was called here to serve as a missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ. This work is the best! I hope all is well in the States; I pray for you guys often! Keep emailing me and keeping me up to date on the civilized world haha. Thanks for all your love and support! Obrigado por seu amor e apoio!
|Joaquim, the uncle of Walter and a great member of the ward|
|And the house he's building|
|My second trainer, Elder Gerson|
|It may be the inside back cover of a Portguese grammar book and the Brazilian version of coco puffs, but it was all I had to wish Elder Gerson a happy 23rd!|
|Lunch at O Bispo's house Tuesday, muito bom!|
|Making some herbal chá!|
|Almoco with the Bishop's family|