Things have been chuging along. It's been nice to recieve everyone's letters and get updates on how everyone is doing. I'm glad that Tyler and Michelle made it safely to
apparently with some difficulty). At least you'll always be able to have
something of a summer all the time. Heaven knows I'm going to be in
summer for the next two years. We can write each other and talk about how
hot it is. That'll be fun ;)
So, to the best of my knowledge, my visa isn't here yet. To be honest, I stopped worrying about it a while ago. On day two my branch president said that "visa is a four-letter word that we try to avoid saying" though I don't remember exactly why. One way or another I think it'll be kind of fun to be reassigned and experience the missionary life a little in the states before being shipped to a completely different country. I should be recieving my travel plans next week whether they be for
or a temporary reassignment. If I get reassigned I'll be allowed to shoot
you a quick e-mail on that day to give you a heads up. This will be
either Thursday orFriday night, so watch out for it. I
think getting reassigned to the east coast would be fun (maybe Georgia, though I'm really kind of hoping for New York (especially Palmyra) or something) just because of
my lack of experience and time over there. Plus I've looked into a lot of
graduate schools over there so hopefully that would be a fun experience.
I'm glad to hear grandma's funneral went well. I'm sure it was a very spiritual experience. I enjoyed the program you sent me, especially becuase Braeden and I were inesrted as missionaries. What a blessing that is to have two missionaries serving from our family right now! I would have loved to be in attendance, but I think grandma and grandpa would want me here instead of back home for the funeral. I've been praying for you all a lot and I hope you've felt it. If you haven't I'll pray harder. I've certainlly felt your prayers lift me up. While life here at the CTM isn't exactly "difficult" it sure isn't easy, and I'm sure the mission is significantly harder. One way or another, I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
Anyway, life here at the CTM is somewhat mundane but overall it's been fun. I suppose my issue is that we just keep going the same routine over and over, but lessons are always fun. We've been teaching our "investigators" almost every day and even though they aren't real investigators it's so wonderful and exciting to see the changes in these people's lives, especially since these people are people that our teachers actually had as investigators on their missions! Our sister investigator is named Adrianna and she has a son on a mission, though she wasn't particularly open to the church. We taught the restoration and while it made sense, she didn't really catch the importance of the message. Our next two lessons were all about prayer and how we knew that God hears and answers prayers. Finally on our next lesson we were talking and she said "I tried praying and I didn't recieve an answer" and my companion and I were both like "What did you do after you finished?" and she said "Oh, I went to sleep." Then we said "Well, try listening for two or three minutes after your prayer for a response. In fact, would you try it for us right now?" Though she seemed a little aprehensive she said she would. She said a really brief prayer and asked to know if the Book of Mormon was true and our message was true. She ended and just sat there with her head bowed. The Spirit filled the room and the smile on her face kept getting bigger and bigger the whole time. Then she looked up and said "I feel so happy right now! This is so wonderful!" and we said "That's the Spirit. Do you know that our message and the Book of Mormon are true?". She replied "Yes! know they're true!" We talked a little more but it was so fantastic! Granted, all of what my companion and I said was in very broken Portuguese, but it's not the language that matters. As long as your testimony is true and sincere the Spirit will carry what the investigator needs to know into their hearts. What a blessing it has been.
Based on what I've read, none of you were really able to see the broadcast. But that's okay, because it was posted on the Church website within a few minutes of it's conclusion! I know all of you are very busy, but I definitly encourage each of you to try and watch it, or at least part of it. Much of it was focused on member missionary work. Mostly, the Bretheren talked about how true missionary work can't be accomplished without the efforts of the members and the full-time missionaries are simply there to assist in the work and teach the lessons. Long story short, let's get changing lives! We have the greatest message in the world! The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth by our loving Heavenly Father! He wants us to return to Him and we know how to do it! You can live with your families for eternity! You can read the histories of the people of ancient
and recieve another witness of Christ! Don't be afraid to invite people to hear
about our message. Our message is one of love and happiness and we want
all to recieve it. Anyway, om case you can't tell I'm super pumped to be
a missionary. What a blessing this is and how thrilled I am to share it
with the world.
In my Book of Mormon reading I finally made it to 3 Nephi. I finished Helaman last night and was taught about what a wonderful man Samuel the Lamanite was. In particular I was reading in Helaman 14 and verses 15 & 17 really stuck out to me. Both of them talked about how Christ suffered and died so we could return to our Father. I've heard that so many times and I've even taught it multiple times while here at the CTM, but there was something about the way Samuel said it that went straight into my heart. We can return to our Father because of Christ! What a blessing! It reminds me of John 3:16-17 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotton Son that whosover should believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." Wow! Who's excited to share that message with the world? I am! I'm just a normal man. I've only had the Melchezidek Priesthood for ten months. I've never worked miracles. I've never borne testimony and changed anyone's life. I certainly haven't seen angels and my Portuguese is a struggle every single day. But I know that our message is true! I may not move mountains or raise the dead, but I do have the One who did by my side every day. I know he will be there for each and every person if they sincerely call out to our Father. What a blessing!
We're hosting again next week. DearElder me to let me know if there's anyone I need to look for.
Amo voces! (I love you all, though there's supposed to be a little teepee accent over the e)