Man! This was the hardest working week of my mission. It was hard, and it was worth all the effort. Finally, after a few tough weeks, blessings and miracles are coming! You have to plant before you can harvest, and we’ve just begun to harvest the blessings of a few tough weeks of planting.
I didn’t get robbed, sick, or dehydrated this week! Woohoo! I’m grateful!
The principle of Ether 12:6 is so true, “Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” I know that when we give our full effort and strive to do something more (fazer algo mais) the Lord WILL bless us. Here are some of this week’s miraculous experiences:
-Wednesday we set high goals to make 30 contacts and knock 20 doors. After lots of work, we accomplished both of those. Instead of calling it a day, I kept going. My interest wasn’t in meeting daily goals but in trying to do all I could to find people to teach and baptize. Our 32nd contact and 22nd door was a woman who five years ago was taught by the missionaries and attended church frequently but was never baptized. We taught her the next day, she already knew “dentro sen coracao” (inside her heart) that the church was true, and she and one of her daughters accepted a baptismal date! ALWAYS do something more!
-Usually if we walk by people that seem busy, I don’t try to contact them. I knew I needed to fix this about myself, since the restored gospel is more important than anything else that would cause someone to be busy. The other morning there was a woman walking towards us holding a motorcycle helmet and some grocery bags. I initially thought she’d be too busy to listen to us, but I overcame that thought and went up and talked to her. We got her address and visited her Friday. She accepted, and the next day her brother and sister accepted, a baptismal date. She and her sister both came to church yesterday. I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone to talk to her.
-Elder Gerson and I knew we needed to find more people. One day we prayed and separately chose 3 roads in a bairro. When we compared, one was the same—Rua Silca Prates. There, we knocked the door of a nice old guy who was receptive to our message, accepted a date, and wants to know more about and experience our church. Awesome!
Life is so much better when you work hard. I’m becoming ever more grateful for missionary work and the blessings of this gospel.
Whenever I’m stressed or discouraged, I just look around. How can I ever doubt that Heavenly Father loves me when I’m able to look out the window and see this great city, colorful and full of trees and life during the day and lit up in patterns of street lights at night; while I have a solid roof over me and a place to live, however small or ant-furnished it may be; and when I can look down and see on my shirt pocket the name of the Savior and know I am a called representative of Him and His Church. As the beloved hymn “I Stand All Amazed” sings: “Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me!”.
I’m so grateful to be hear (of man…I meant to write ‘here’…maybe I should just write in Portuguese haha) in Brasil. Portuguese is going well. I can listen, understand, and respond to a lot of things in real time now, and fewer people ask me “You’re not from here are you?” each week. The rice and beans everyday are great as always, and it’s actually starting to rain here! We’ve had rain about 3 times this week. Also, I saw the first Christmas decorations up this week! It made me happy haha. I love Christmas! This year will be way, way different though, since I’m thousands of miles from home and it will be in the middle of summer. Anyway, it’ll be great! I’m looking forward to skyping the family! Keep it real in the USA!
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