Friday, June 21, 2013

I've Felt His Embrace

Minha Familia!

Wow.  Legit, can't believe it's been three whole weeks now.  Granted, I still have over 100 to go, but I feel like after that first Sundayeverything has flown by.  On a happy note, our district was picked to be new missionary hosts next week! YAY! I wish we could temporarily leave the monastary, but I think we know that isn't going to happen.  Blast. Still, I'll be glad to get out of class for a little while and help other people get situated.  Heaven knows my transition into the CTM was hard enough.  Hopefully I can help other people to enjoy the first few days more than I did.

Anyway, apparently there's been an "intestinal virus" going around the CTM so all bodily contact has been nixed until further notice.  No hugs, no ossos (bones), no handshakes, no elbones, no nothing.  Some kid puked and blacked out at the devotional on Tuesday which is probably where it all started.  My companion said that the reason for the intestinal virus is because of the food they serve, which seems the most likely explanation.  You never know.  The meals are rather hit and miss.  Occasionally they have something worthwile (and the only time I've had something fairly good was a week or so ago) but most of the time it's just a lot of "well, this seems the least likely to kill me or give me a heart attack" so I go with that.  Sometimes, absolutely nothing looks good.  Fortunetely, we've been blessed with cereal for those instances.  The CTM has recently introduced Cocoa Roos into the mix, which has been nice so I can get my daily fill of chocolate.

By the way, if Tyler or Trevor could write and explain what happend with grandma from a medical standpoint, that would be awesome.  However, I can't deny that I've loved getting the updates on the family and the funeral.  Not that I love updates about it, I just prefer being kept in the loop.  You can only learn so much when you're inside the monastary.  I think it's great that every single grandkid will be at the funeral.  I know Braeden and I would both love to be there, but we are in the Lord's service and grandma and grandpa will be with us during that time anyway.

Devotionals this week have been pretty good.  The Sunday devotional was by Stephen B. Allen, the Executive Director of the missionary department.  Basically he showed us a lot of really old commercials that the church produced.  Given that many of them were made in the 70s and 80s, there were some pretty hilarious clips.  There wasn't much of a common thread to what happend, but each commercial ended with a nice tagline like "If you think childish arguments don't hurt, stop kidding yourself", "It's not who you aren't, it's who you are! And being yourself is great!", and things of that nature.  Rather cheesy, but entertaining.  Also, for the first time, they broadcast the devotional from the West Campus so we were actually seeing a transmission which was a little different.  Altogether it was a good meeting.  After Sunday devotionals, there are "films" or talks to watch throughout the CTM.  This past Sunday I really wanted to see "Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar, but since I had chosen the talk the previous week, I figured I should really let my companion choose the talk/film.  I tried really hard to get my companion to go to Character of Christ, but he said he wanted to go to an actual movie.  We decided to go to the Testaments, though I initially wasn't very happy about it.  Finally I decided to grin and bear it and just be happy about serving my companion.  Thank heaven I did.  The Testaments is a fictional story about some people in the Americas during the life of Christ.  While the story is fictional, we all know that Christ did in fact come to the Americas after his time in Jeruselam.  The story in the Americas was interspersed with clips from the miracles and life of Christ in Israel.  I wasn't initially pumped to not hear a sermon, but I know I learned about the Character of Christ from watching The Testaments than I would have from listening to Elder Bednar. Seeing His miracles was such a blessing and it reminded me of times in my life when I was suffering and I felt His embrace.  What a blessing it is that I get to share that with the people of Brazil, and more likely than not, the people in the US somewhere. On Tuesday we hear a great devotional from Robert C. Gay of the seventy.  Mostly he talked about following the spirit and putting the focus on our investigators.  The Spirit was so strong and it was amazing to feel of his spirit and learn through his experiences.  Afterwards I was talking with and Elder in our branch named Elder Gosch (gosh) and he said the most insightful yet simple thing.  He said "it's amazing what can happen when people speak by the spirit.  When people speak by the spirit, no matter what their words are, their message will be customized to each individual who is listening" which I can definitely understand.  Wow, what a devotional.  Granted, it was super nice to leave the monastary temporarily.

The district is doing well.  Sister Brown tore her miniscus the beginning of our time here, but she's since been through surgery and recovering very well.  We've had a number of miracles during our time here, but that has been the biggest one.  Please keep her in your prayers. 

Anyway, though things have been difficult, being a missionary has been pretty awesome.  Having the spirit of discernment has been such a blessing and it's helped me so much when having to pray about others in our district.

I'm thrilled to hear the LeAnne got the RBS job.  Hope that goes well! I'm praying for you guys ever day.  If you feel you need anything, hit me up.  I'm more than happy to help you in any way I can, which at this time, all I can do is pray for you.  But I'm more than happy to do that. 

So, I can't think of much else to say.  I hope the funeral goes well.  I think the musical selection was very beautiful.  Of course, I'm very excited Earl will be there.  After all, he is Earl.  Though I haven't felt the tender mercies of the Lord upon each of you, I know he's been bearing me up.  I know the Lord will bless us through this trying time.  There's a verse in 1 Nephi 1 that explains how the tender mercies of the Lord are upon those whom he ha chosen and I know that that is true.  What a blessing it is to know that the Lord is looking out for his faithful followers, especialy when we have to suffer.

May the Lord's blessings be upon each of you

Elder Trent Leon Evans

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