Thursday, September 8, 2016

Nascer De Novo

 We happened to be eating in the same restaurant as a member from São Paulo!

 Batismo da Neide! (x3)

 Feliz aniversário Elder Mousquer!

 Missing football and reliving the glory days, haha

 The Lake of the Roses and some sweet apartment buildings

 Mãos que Ajudam!

On a rock
 After a successful 4 hours of distribuition
  Palm meditation
 O famoso E. Axel, our district leader
 At home in my office
 TE AMO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday was Neide’s baptism! What a blessing. She is certainly one of the most faithful and good natured people I’ve had the chance to meet and teach on my mission and we as missionaries are so grateful to have been the instruments in the Lord’s hands to help her receive the restored gospel. After almost 3 months of learning about and visiting the church, she is one of the newest members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. So milagres!

Ao ponderar sobre o batismo dela agora, eu gostacia de escrever um pouco sobre o principoi de “nascer de novo” que Jesus ensina em Joao 3. Translation: As I ponder about her baptism right now, I’d like to write a little about the principle of “being born again” that Jesus teaches in John 3. What a profound doctrine! My first memory of learning about the conversation between Christ and Nicodemus was when Pres. Shell taught about it at a youth conference a few years ago. Since then it has stuck out to me. Jesus discerns the thought of Nicodemus and answers his question before he asks it. In verse 5 we learn about a pre-requisite to enter into the kingdom of God—be born of the water and of the Spirit.”
This refers to the first two ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Jesus himself was baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:13-17). In 2 Nephi 31, Nephi explains what it means to fulfill all righteousness and emphasizes our undeniable need for baptism by stating clearly: “and now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!” Peter preached the doctrine of birth by water and Spirit in Acts 2:38, and in Acts 8:14-17, it is explained how being born of the Spirit happens or in other words, how the gift of the Holy Ghost is received. Unlike Christ, who received the gift of the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove, we normal people obtain this spiritual gift through the “laying on of hands” (or, as I am now accustomed to say it in Portuguese, imposição de mãos).
The authority of God by which the ancient apostles baptized (the power to perform the ordinances of the gospel)—the Priesthood—although taken from the Earth for centuries after the deaths of the original apostles, was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I am so grateful for the restoration of the full gospel and that today I, as missionary and Priesthood holder, can perform these ordinances and enable people to reach the kingdom of God, having fulfilled the commandments to be baptized and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. No other way to heaven and eternal happiness exists other than that which Jesus taught and personally exemplified.
Saturday I baptized Neide, and Sunday Elder Antunes confirmed her—rebirth by the water and Spirit. I am humbled and grateful to build my testimony of this doctrine on my mission through both studying it and carrying it out as an authorized servant of the Lord.
Yesterday was cool. We are having our P-Day today instead of yesterday because yesterday morning we participated in a Mormon Helping Hands (Mãos que Ajudam!) service project for the city, distributing a ton of flyers from a government campaign against drugs that offered resources for people to overcome addictions and things. In 4 hours or so each of us handed out about 500 around the city. I tried to maximize efficiency by handing out several at a time to the porters of apartment buildings for them to give to the residents. We took some pictures and had a good time.
Life is great in Brasil! Estou feliz e estou trabalhando duro. Por isso, estou feliz J . I hope you all find yourselves well, and I can’t wait to read and respond to your e-mails and see your pictures. Amo vocês!

Elder Anderson

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