This week was full of incredible experiences and my relationship with the Lord grew immensely. I was able to both laugh and cry with many investigators as well as members here in Ananindeua. I really feel like I am serving my Savior and acting as he would act if he was here serving a mission in Brasil. I learned a lot about relying on the spirit and truly know that the Lord puts angels in our lives when we need them most. I wanted to share an experience.
The other day I was reading in Mosiah 7 and was really touched by verse 33. (I will write in Portuguese because the translation in English has the same message but I like the literal Portuguese translation). "Se vos voltardes para o Senhor com todo o coração e colocardes vossa confiança nele e o servirdes com toda diligência de vossa mente, se assim fizerdes ele vos livrará do cativeiro, de acordo com a sua própria vontade e prazer." I love the first part of this scripture "Se vos voltardes para o Senhor com todo o coração" it explains. "If we return our hearts to the Lord". What does it mean to return our hearts? Sometimes we start to move away from the Lord, or create just a little bit of distance. I was feeling a little bit of this with my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I knew and know it is true, but wanted a stronger testimony. So I needed to "return my heart" even more to the Lord. The scripture continues to say that if we put all of our trust in the Lord and serve him with all diligence of mind, he will lead us out of captivity according to his own desire and pleasure. He promises us that if we do our part and turn to him, he will provide the rest for us and lead us out of the darkness and into the light. This is exactly what happened with me this week and my testimony of the Book of Mormon.
We were teaching Daniel and his mom came in and told us that he was born and raised in "Espirita" (a religion here in Brazil) and would not be changing. She said we can exchange ideas but he would not be actively involved in our religion. In that moment I lost a desire to help him, knowing that his mom wouldn’t let us. But then he asked about the Book of Mormon. I explained what it is and testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I asked him if he had a desire to learn more and read the Book of Mormon. He refused. I felt the spirit suddenly testify to me so strongly. The Book of Mormon is true! The truth was/is resting in my hands and he doesn’t want it! Why?! How?! The gospel can change his life! Bring him everlasting salvation and he was rejecting it. My heart started to hurt. I thought of the words of Elder Holland. When people don’t fulfill or complete commitments, don’t just let it go. This is their salvation and we need to be sad, upset, and teach people why the gospel and fulfilling their commitments is important. I needed to somehow get him to read the Book of Mormon. The member that was with me started talking about what makes up the church of Christ. (Prophet, apostles, and authority of God) I turned to 3 Nephi 27:8 and asked him to read. When he read, the spirit was powerful. He felt it too. I know it was because he was now holding the truth. When he finished reading, he tried to get me back the book, I said "no, I don’t want it back." He was confused. I replied "This Book of Mormon is now yours". He lit up and promised that he would read. I expressed how precious the Book of Mormon is and he finally understood.
I know that the fullness of the gospel is here on the earth today and I have the privilege to share it! We each have this opportunity to share the gospel. Share our knowledge and bless the lives of others. I am so grateful for this gift and know that the Lord is counting on each of us to share he everlasting happiness with those around us.
I love you all so much! I am doing great :) transfers are Sunday and I am not ready to leave or change companions. vamos ver! (lets wait and see)
Yesterday.... this is a little TMI... I was in a house were the bathroom wasn’t working and they said "oh just pee on the floor in the shower and then turn on the shower head when you’re done".... I was thinking "no way" but they were serious and would be offended or super embarrassed if I rejected to use their bathroom.... never again.
- açai is a fruit here that they eat as a liquid with tons of sugar and a type of flour that is really hard and crunchy. (looks like sawdust). yesterday a baby was drinking this in a bottle.
- they have a fruit here for every day of the year.
-it rains every day after lunch starting at 2:30 and then rains on and off all day long.