Well, from my part of the woods, this week we finally were able to meet President Fortunato and his family!! Monday we had a zone conference, and wow it was incredible. Even though he has less than 2 weeks as President, it was incredible to see how the mantle of the calling fell upon him so quickly. He spoke with so much motivating power and the authority of what he said was incredible. It all fell in line perfectly with what Moroni 7 had told me. He constantly was saying the phrase, "How is your faith?" And then taught us how our faith is the only limit that miracles have. If we truly believe that we'll find a family to teach today, we will find a family. If we want someone to be cured and we pray and know that it is in fact the Lord's will that the person be cured, and truly believe, it will happen. Another awesome lesson that he taught me about this was that the only true way to show what we believe, is how we act and live. It doesn't work for a missionary or a member to say to a non-member, "The restored gospel can help you obtain the peace and joy you're looking for!!!" if that person themselve isn't actually having peace and joy in their life. We can tell an investigator, "If you read and pray about the Book of Mormon, He will respond to your prayers!" if we aren't recieving answers to our own personal prayers. It was really an eye opener to realize just how important that verse in James is that explains how faith without works is dead. It really helped me understand how making miracles happen isn't just a thing where you sit there clenching and thinking, 'the miracle will happen, the miracle will happen...' No, it's going out there and doing absolutely everything that you possibly can, knowing that the Lord will help the miracle happen, and doing everything as if you already have a certainty that it will happen and turn out alright. I dunno if I'm explaining all that well, but it made sense in my head and in my study journal haha. I had my interview with President Fortunato as well and wow he is an inspired man. He has served as the director of the EFY productions here in Brazil, so he knows perfectly how to work with youth, so his counsels are already helping me in ways that I didn't even expect. I'm super excited to get to know him better and better and continue to learn with him.
On another note, I have a favor to ask of everyone, principally Aust (now that you have a new daughter and I know that your time is gunna be way more busy haha) I recieved a letter this week from a lady in the ward of Vespasiano where I served during october until january. She's a relatively new member (like a year and a half or so since she was baptized) and was always one of the most kind and caring members in the ward in respect to making wonderful lunches (she'd always always ask our favorite food and then make it, she's great) and always helping with FHE and stuff like that. Anyways, she told me in her letter that this past month she sent her youngest son out on a mission!!! Super super exciting news, but now she's basically living alone and just from the way she wrote in the letter, you can tell it's really tough for her since she's still relatively new in the gospel. So Mom, with Aust's help to translate, could you write her a letter of support and explain for her how much the Lord has blessed the family as you've sent me and Aust out? I think your words and ideas would be perfect for her to hear, and I know it'd mean a lot just hearing from one of the missionaries' moms. I know that it'd be a huge help to excite her and help her stay strong and see the blessings that the Lord is hold for her.
Here's her address -> Fátima Dias
Rua José Candido 507
Vespasiano - MG
For the rest of you guys, Fátima told me in her letter that Jorge and Helena (they're that couple that he found the Book of Mormon rolled up in a tire repare shop and were baptized in January) are going less active cuz Helena's mom passed away a little while back, and it's been really really hard for her to take. I talked to the missionaries that are serving there and Jorge still has his strong testimony of the chruch, but Helena really really took it hard when her mom died, and she has just lost her desire to keep going to church. It kills me to hear this, but at the same time I know that the Lord can help them return. So, for everyone that'd like to, I know that you guys just writing your testimonies (once again, Aust'll have to help with the translation, thanks bro) and maybe even sending a picture of you guys (especially the kids) would be something really special for them to receive. I'll of course write them to see how I can help and try to excite them again, but it just goes to show how the devil always works hardest with the people with the most potential. Any help that you guys can give them I know the Lord will be able to testify through your testimonies, and I just feel and know that it'll help them out. Here's their address ->
Jorge & Helena
Rua Dr. Jorge Dias Oliva 810
Vespasiano - MG
Well, besides that help that these two families are needing, everything is wonderful here. We have two very special people that will be baptized this weekend, and I'm just super happy. I love this mission with all of my heart, and the Lord just never stops to bless us and all his children here. I'm excited and happy to be here, and my love for this people and this gospel grows more and more every day. Hurrah for Israel!!!! and Hurrah for Arlee as well :D
|This was how I
celebrated the 4th. Remember that pack of|
cookie dough mix you sent me last year Mom?
Yeah I finally used it haha.
And there's my little taste of America that I made.
I did in fact hear fireworks that night, miracle idn't it?
|This is William, he's
the autistic son of a lady that will be baptized|
this sunday. He's so much fun and is a really special spirit.
His prayers are so awesome to hear :)